Saturday, December 18, 2010

Can I Decorate Like This?

So I'm not much of an Urban Outfitters girl, but you have to check out their creative headquarters, it's a pretty fantastic space. My favorite thing though is how they decorated this wall with GIGANTIC crocheted pieces. I could totally do that for an apartment one day.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Tis The Season of Giving

Swap stuff!
 Just wanted to share with you guys what I gave my swap person in the Stitch-n-Kvetch Chanukah Swap. The theme was Blue and White and she likes jewel tones so I made (another) Spring Beret in Spa yarn in the color "Spruce." I also gave her two skeins of Bris yarn which is a Soy/Wool blend and is SO SOFT. There's an Interweave Knits Weekend pattern magazine, a plastic cup with a Menorah on it and a bag of blue and white Hershey Kisses.

Bris Yarn

Spring Beret

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

At First You Don't Succeed

Try, try again. Well, I finished my prototype hat, and I have to say, I'm not so pleased with how it turned out. I think i need to make the band narrowerer from top to bottom, but wider around, and make the band bigger. Anyway, I'll probably have this as a long-term project that I keep fiddling with.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Swap Goodness!
I finally opened everything from knitnskate from the Stitch-n-Kvetch Chanukah swap. She is SO amazing as a swap person, really, she gave me FANTASTIC stuff. The best of the best thing is Jared Flood's Made in Brooklyn. Have I mentioned how much I love, LOVE, everything that Jared Flood does? He has the most beautiful patterns and photographs them SO WELL (um, and he's cute). Ok, done swooning. The second best thing she gave me was two gorgeous skeins of Araucania Ranco Multy which is a fingering weight wool/nylon blend. I have no clue what I'm going to do with it right now except just admire it. She also gave me Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen. I'm always up for something else to read, I'll let you all know how it is :D There was also some tea, nosh and a bar of Endangered Species Chocolate, which is pretty nice. Thanks Knitnskate!

Knit Anxiety

So I'm sitting here, waiting for The Wench to come pick me up so that we can go to Michael's, stock up on yarn, and do a sweater Knit-Along (KAL). I really, really want to make this hooded pullover that was in the Fall 2008 issue of VogueKnitting. But I was going through everyone's comments and such on Ravelry about this pattern and it seems like there are SO many issues with it. Like the pattern is written badly, and the hood pulls the neckline, and the gauge is wonky, and the acrylic yarn stretches to look like Swiss-cheese. To top that all off it's supposed to be knit in bulky yarn and they say you shouldn't put bulky yarn on a bulky person because it just makes them look even bulkier. I think I'll attempt it anyway. I want to be a fearless knitter. I've definitely improved since I first tried to make a sweater and if I have to do it along with The Wench, hopefully it will give both of us motivation to finish.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sow's Ear

Recycled Silk Yarn
To a silk purse. On Sunday after Thanksgiving The Boyfriend and I celebrated our 5th Anniversary (!!) by going to the American Visionary Arts Museum to see their exhibit on what makes us smile. It was a pretty great exhibit, I totally recommend it if you're in the Baltimore area. Of course, though, no trip to a museum is complete without a visit to the gift shop, and just so you know, the gift shop at AVAM is pretty darn spectacular. Anywhoo, at the gift shop The Boyfriend bought me this ball of recycled silk. I think I would like to make it into a bag that I could carry with me to weddings and such.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Monkey See, Monkey Knit

So I was recently in Virginia with The Boyfriend and his family for his cousin's Bar Mitzvah (which was a grand bash), and one of his aunts was wearing a very cute hat (which of course I didn't get a picture of >_<). Anyway, I decided I wanted to try and copy it, but put my own tweaks on it, and it's in the process right now. I'm using some grey Wool-Ease that I have on hand from a sweater I started back in college but never finished (that's a story for another time). I started by knitting the band that goes around the head, casting on 12 stitches and increasing them in the middle until I had 40 stitches across, then decreased back down so the band is sort of a football shape, and then sewed the two ends together (actually, not sewed. Kitchener stitched together because I provisionally cast on.) 
Then, with a circular needle I picked up 75 stitches around one edge of the band and decreased every 15 stitches every other row, on the wrong side of the fabric (I know this doesnt make a lot of sense, hopefully, when I'm done, I'll write a pattern that makes sense). After that, I picked up stitches on the other edge of the band that I am knitting in order to sew a band of boning into the edge.  
But, since I had to buy some boning today, I also ended up with three skeins of yarn from Jo-Ann's too. Two skeins of Vanna's Choice (hey, I'm going to have to test-knit the hat, right?) and a skein of Red Heart: Heart & Sole in Ivory, which I'm going to try and dye with food coloring (which I feel is a step up from Kool-Aid).

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I Really Need To Branch Out From Hats

Oooh...look at the shineys!
but they're just so quick and easy (usually). Like this chunky blue one that I made mostly because I needed something to knit. It's this Chunky Slouch Cap pattern, done on size 10 needles with Michael's Loops & Threads Dewdrop yarn. I actually really liked this yarn because it's an acrylic/mohair blend AND it has SEQUINS IN IT!!! I'm such a girl. Anyway, this hat basically took up the entire skein, because I kept ripping it back when I realized that I could use more yarn and make it bigger. SUCH a pain in the butt. I did it though, I think I'm gaining more patience as I knit more.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sometimes We Amaze Ourselves

With our own stupidity. That story is coming up. Like I said I was going to do, I went out to Woolstock Yarn Shop. I chose to patron this particular yarn store because it's the only one in the area that's open on Monday (my one day off). Which honestly, is a little ridiculous, because there are several yarn stores in the area including A Good Yarn, Lovelyarns, Woolworks, and Cloverhill Yarns just to name a few.
Super Colorful and Sparkly Yarn from Woolstock
Anyway, the people at Woolstock were really very nice. I was having issues locating the store, even with my Google directions (there was construction in the way, ok?), and when I called they were very nice in explaining how I should find the store. (Ok, here comes the "Becca can be really stupid" part) Then, when I accidentally locked my keys in the car (with it off, thank goodness) they helped me call the police to see if they would come unlock it and even offered to drive me home to get the spare key. Well, it didn't come to that, I called Mom. She valiantly came to open the car and was not mad at all :-D They also encouraged me to sit and relax, knit and otherwise enjoy the ambiance of the store, which was nice.
More colorful yarns at Woolstock

Crazy Zauberball. Someone buy this for me? Please?

Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn

As for the selection at Woolstock itself, overall I was pretty happy. They definitely have some pricey-er yarns but there was a really large selection of things from wool, to cotton to acrylics. Their notions section could have been a bit larger, but they had some pretty fancy stitch markers and all the essentials you might need. I walked out with two skeins of Bris for my Stitch-N-Kvetch swap partner and one skein of  Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn for myself. I really, really, REALLY wanted to buy myself a Crazy Zauberball, but the Noro was a teeny bit cheaper and I wanted to hold out on the Zauberball until I can make something really fabulous with  it. So I ended up walking out having spent about $40 total. All in all, I would go back to Woolstock, especially if I was looking for a really fancy yarn, or some help on a pattern.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Smithsonian Is A Big Deal

I was just flipping through my dad's Smithsonian Magazine and they had a feature on Margaret Wertheim! Check out the Smithsonian's video of her here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stay Tuned

For pics and stuff about the Stitch-n-Kvetch Chanukkah swap, my visit to Woolstock Yarn Shop, and goals to do a sweater KAL (Knit Along) with The Wench and have a Stitch-n-Bitch with friends from work.
In the meantime, please enjoy this amusing knitting-related vintage ad while I go encourage my swap item to block faster.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ay, With A Twink

And a wink of my eye, I have finished my first shawl-like item. This pattern is Martina Behm's 22.5 Degrees, so named for the angles of the corners. I didn't swatch for this, I just started knitting with the Serenity Garden on size 2 (2 3/4mm) needles and I stopped when I had 329 stitches on the needle. The scalloped edge was a new experience. Thankfully, Ms Behm has a link to a YouTube video to demonstrate how to do the scallops. It's actually not as difficult as I had anticipated. Overall, I'm quite pleased with how this turned out, even if it is a little smaller than I initially thought it would be.
Full view of the finished product.

Close up of the scallops.

Wearing my creation. 

Um...Little House on the Prairie? 
Also, The Wench and I are once again participating in a swap with other Stitch-n-Kvetcher's on Ravelry. So The Wench decided she wanted to give her swappee some glow-in-the-dark yarn, which I happened to have in my stash. So she traded me a skein of turquoise JojoLand Ballad for some Bernat Glow in the Dark.

Oooh....prettiness for socks.

Hopefully tomorrow I will make it to Woolstock Yarn Shop to buy some goodies for my swappee. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mo's Lace

Finished the hat for The Redhead. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. Lacy in a way I envisioned. I will say though that the cables were a MASSIVE pain. I think that just the natural way I knit they ended up lopsided in tension. Oh well, short of frogging it all out and sitting in a solitary room solely concentrating on knitting it's not going to get any better. I'm ok with that. For you though there are pictures. What do you think? Leave me a comment!
Top of Hat

Side of Hat


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Purple People Wearers

If you'll recall I bought a skein of Lion Brand Cotton to make a hat for a friend of mine. I probably should have made the slouchier version of this hat, but I didn't. Oh well, cotton is stretchy, hopefully it'll be ok.

In the meantime, I had all this leftover yarn and no plan. Then I remembered my friend/coworker Red is also a fan of the purple and decided to make a hat for her with the rest. I feel like Red is not a slouchy hat type person so I wanted to make a really lacy cap to contrast to her hair. This picture is of the progress as of the very beginning of November. You'll notice that the pattern calls for a rolled brim and I did 2x2 ribbing. I think this will make a better cap than a rolled brim. Stay tuned for the finished product!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It Helps To Pay Attention

I needed to change it up a bit, but keep knitting small, portable stuff (cuz I knit at work. Apron pockets are excellent for stashing projects) so I grabbed a skein of Red Heart: Heart & Sole to make a pair of toe-up socks for myself. For the record, I only make socks for myself. They are too individualized and too time consuming to make for other people. Especially when you do dumb-ass things like I do like knit the heel of the sock on the side so that there's NO WAY you can comfortably wear them. GRRR.... BUT, I, like a mature knitter, took a deep breath and very, VERY carefully frogged back the whole damn heel. Then of course, I ran out of yarn on the very end of the second sock, so if you look carefully you can see that the cuff of one sock does not really match with the other. Oh well, they're socks for me and they're warm and comfy and that's all that matters.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Things I Don't Usually Notice

Trends. But this time I did. I was just in NYC this weekend to see The Cowboy and a friend from my year in Israel. It was a pretty fantastically fun weekend. I even made Brown Sugar-Hazelnut Cupcakes with Blackberry Butter-cream Frosting which were AMAZING.
My home made cupcakes.
 But, I did notice going around the city, that many people were wearing bulky, knit cowls to keep warm. Like these

Readers, these are SUPER EASY. Get out some super-bulky yarn, (Lion Brand has a bunch of nice stuff) and some needles and get knitting! Here's some links to some free patterns for pretty trending looking cowls. So in a short amount of time you can be warm AND fashionable. Who wouldn't want that?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Off To Och-Eye Land

I was recently IMing a friend of mine who is doing museum studies in Scotland who was saying that it's gotten really cold there and that she'd really like a pair of fingerless gloves. To which I responded "well, I know someone who can make them" ^_^ I chose to go with Patons Classic Wool in a color that would go just fine with a tan coat. I also went with something with a gorgeous cable so that the gloves would be more than just hand-warmers. There was also a MAJOR proud moment for me knitting these hand-warmers because at one point I twisted the cable the wrong direction. Instead of ripping it back, I switched it around when I got back to that spot on the next row.  It was WAY cheaper than I thought it would be to ship something to Scotland. I also crocheted a matching flower for her to pin to her coat. :-D

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Take Me To Your Bakery

In that fabulous Blueberry Ascot. Ages and ages ago The Teacher handed me two skeins of Plymouth Yarn Shire Silk and asked me if I could make a scarf for her.It took me forever to get around to it, but I made it into Kat Coyle's Huckleberry Ascot. All in all a great pattern using short row shaping that doesn't take too long. The pattern has you make bobbles on the edges but since I'm not much of a bobble person, and I was really pushing the limits of the yarn that I had I made ruffles on the edges which I like so much more. As for working with the silk, it was an interesting experience. It's kind of got the same texture as cotton but it was way more nubbly so it would shred a little. I think I would use it again though.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Excuse Me??

So apparently this super-fancy fashion label has flipped their gourd. They want to charge $500 for a hand-crocheted pair of mohair/alpaca socks. Read about it here. I'm sorry, but even if I used the fanciest yarn I could find I could still make those socks for less than $100. What is wrong with these people? Who would actually buy this? What do you think? Would you pay me that much to make socks for you? Let me know!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Confessions Of A Yarn Addict

 My name is Rebecca and I am a Yarn-aholic. I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics today to get some yarn. I only needed one skein for a hat for a friend of mine and instead I walked out with six skeins of yarn. It's not my fault though! It was on sale!
Lion Brand Alpine Wool
Deborah Norville Serenity Sock Weight

Deborah Norville Serenity Garden Yarn

Lion Brand Cotton

September Socks

Bows make it better.
The museum where I work is closed for the month of September for a variety of reasons, one of which is they use the time to train the employees in new programs and ideas. This means lectures. Lectures for me means knitting. I don't do well with just sitting and listening, I need to keep my hands moving. I also just needed something to make that didn't take a lot of thought or new yarn so I ended up making 2 pairs of these feeties. The  blue and pink pair are made with yarn I dyed with Kool-Aid. Of course when The Little Sister laid eyes on them  she pretty much demanded they be made for her. I made up the pattern for the bows because she usually wears shoes with STUFF on the toes so I thought hers should have something.Mine are the ones in the fall colors and I used puff paint to make dots on the bottom so i wont slip on the hardwood floors in our house. It works pretty well. My only issue with this pattern is that the heel doesn't go high enough or something so it keeps slipping off the back of my foot. Maybe I should have made some sort of strap. Have you made this pattern? What do you think?