August 8, 2012 § 2 Comments
Here’s a picture I took of my current knitting on the living-room floor. I’m working on a Ladybower in Black Chadwick from Louisa Harding’s Little Cake (as far as names go: the dress version of the sweater is Wightwizzle, if that gives you any idea.) Between the close fit and the way the cables undulate when stretched, this sweater’s going to be– I think– pretty sexy.
I’m already trying to keep myself from buying a pair of black jeans to match.
August 6, 2012 § 1 Comment
I’ve had my heart set on knitting this sweater since it came out two years ago. I don’t think I’m going to ruin anyone’s surprise by saying that I’m planning on making one in Sabine (crew neck, long sleeves) for my sister’s birthday in October.
photo courtesy of Knitty and © Chris Vaccaro
Just the thing to put me in a fall mood!
August 3, 2012 § 3 Comments
Juniper Moon Farm will be debuting a really fantastic yarn this fall. It’s called Herriot (yep), and it’s a DK weight alpaca yarn in 10 different natural colors (as in, undyed, straight-off-the-alpaca!). I’ve been involved in putting together the pattern book, which is another tale for several other days– one that I really can’t wait to share with you. The story of this sweater begins at the exact point when I saw this yarn, because I knew exactly what I was going to make with it.
I think a common trait among anyone who makes things is that she carries around a mental (and opportunistic) list like this one: “If I ever happen to encounter [x] sort of fabric, or wood, or yarn, or ground, I’d do [y] with it.”
My list, ever since the fall of 2009, when Kate published the pattern, had included the entry (x=slightly over 1000 yds drapey alpaca DK, y=Manu). When Herriot arrived from the mill early this spring, I knew my yarn had arrived.
As soon as the Herriot arrived, though, there was the matter of that aforementioned pattern book, so I wasn’t able to get to cast on for this sweater until June. (Not that this was a bad thing! I spent this past spring doing some really neat work that I’m really proud of, and can’t wait to show off!) Plus, I felt pretty guilty nabbing sweater quantities of a fantastic new yarn, so I waited until the not-quite-used up skeins of yarn came back from our wonderful test knitters, and then used about 10 of those already-orphaned skeins.
As soon as I was finished with my last book-related knitting project– as it happens, I was in the car on the way to TNNA with Susan– I set it down and picked up work on Manu. I’m lucky that the construction was so simple, because it made for perfect car-knitting. Things don’t get more oceans-of-stockinette than an extra-long seamless yoked cardigan with a pleated neckline– I think Kate describes it as “knitting a giant box.”
I worked the slightly-more-fiddly finishing– the pleats, puffed pockets, blousy sleeve cuffs, and the miles of i-cord trim– while on vacation (!) in Chapel Hill. I’m really, really happy with how it turned out. I know I’ll be using Herriot in the future– I’ve got other projects on my mental list that are clamoring to be made!
Yarn: Herriot in River Birch
Needles: US 5 circulars and DPNs
Timespan: June 21st – June 27th
February 26, 2011 § Leave a Comment
February 10, 2011 § Leave a Comment
I am completely in love with it.
The name (RED HOT) is rather a joke, because, although I talked it up as EVIL, SELF-INDULGENT post-Christmas knitting (“I’m making a RED DRESS. In EXPENSIVE YARN. For MYSELF.”), this dress is knee-length, and long-sleeved, and cowl-necked (was really unsure as to how the neck would turn out, as, per the pattern, “the garter collar is somewhere between a funnel, cowl, and turtlenecked”, but I’m completely pleased), and so not really, you know, a red dress after the Roxanne school.
This all was knit up in less than a week, about a month ago, in the why-hasn’t-school-started-yet limbo of early January. Because of my knitting’s furious pace, I scarcely remember doing any of it– although, I do distinctly remember the post-dress feeling of Sick-of-Knitting. My friends, that was 1200m of yarn in 6 days.
I knit it exactly to spec, making no alterations, because, really, there was nothing about the pattern that wasn’t perfect. It has darling little front pockets (that are, unfortunately, as you can see in the picture above, slightly too low to be functional as anything but fingertip-warmers), and a faux belt in the back, and fits loosely enough to be comfortable (and, you know, modest). I’ve gone into the yarn at great length so no need to discuss that any further… but, it is COZY.
Because the secret is OUT that I knit, I got lots of you-made-that-didn’t-you compliments on the day I first wore it, and that is always, always a good feeling. However, I am most proud of taking a lady completely by surprise with my thanks-I-made-it! to her hey-I-like-your-dress. (This is because I never grew out of being a showoff.)
This dress also has the irresistible allure not only of coziness, but also of one-piece-ed-ness. Namely: when getting dressed, there is only one thing to think about. There is minimal matching, zero buttoning, zero zipper-fussing. Do not underestimate this. The stats** stand currently at 7 wears in the past month (that’s about twice a week, which is a lot for such a recognizable piece).
Minimal pilling (on the backs of my forearms? I guess I’m always rubbing them on tabletops or something?). Not bad for biking. Warmest Ever. Quite Fine.
*also, this particular knitting-magic seems to have worked! and it seems to have been very propitious indeed that this dress is red! No I am not talking about Harvard!
** yes, I am nuts. undoubtedly.
February 2, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Look at these!!
It’s a sweater, it’s a sweater– interesting & how non-traditional to put a shawl collar on a yoked norwegian pullover like that– whoa whoa whoa, THAT IS NOT A SWEATER.
Nope. Sorry. Still not a sweater.
What. Fooled by the lusekofte or something?
Check it this one is not even a suit jacket GOTCHA!
So, this is from Junya Wantanabe’s Fall/Winter 2011 line, and my main question is, are these things knit? Since regular suit fabric is woven wool– to knit the wool instead (and most likely felt, to make the cutting less of a mess), then cut & piece it into a suit! And, in the knitting, to put traditional sweatery motifs, for the trompe l’oeil humor!
Goodness gracious that is genius!
All photos via The Sartorialist.
January 1, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Potentially, a better reincarnation?
I’d spent so much time making Bertrand Louises that I had half-brioche stitch on my mind– and so, the clear solution for all of these un-give-away-able (well, Maggie was able to give one away when someone complimented it at a show or something) neon yellow headbands, was to turn them into a big, fat, cozy, super-double-warm headband.
“You look like a Puritan,” said Mom.
And then, “You’ve never looked so Swedish.”
Anyway, this one. Well. It’s available. For sale. If you’re interested in having a warm head. And in High Visibility! i.e. in having no-one hit you whilst riding your bike.
(Is that– “start selling on Etsy furreal“– a New Year’s Resolution? Well. What do you think?)
August 29, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Does anyone know how much these fair-isles (and other accompanying images) from the Lena Hoschek Fall 2010 lookbook are driving me to:
a) greater dedication to the Ullman Library?
b) curse the upcoming week’s high-of-95 forecast?
August 23, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Nothing, nothing excites a knitter in the summer like the prospect of the onset of fall. There he– and here I am trying out Martha Nussbaum’s jarring method of, “That’s not the pronoun you were expecting, was it!? Well, philosophy pertains to females, and men knit, too!”– sits, needles & cotton/linen/silk (or wool, for the obstinate, like me) in lap, wishing for crisper garments and crisper weather, for the damp & cold, and the wool that protects against it (something really, really pleasurably smug, in our pantoporos protection against the elements– until you realize the tent leaks, at least).
Cranking the A/C. Thinking about leaves and woodsmoke and pot roast. (Anyone who has read any of Jared Flood Autumnal Eulogies– or this odd Ralph Lauren photoessay I once found in middle school?– knows what I am talking about.)
None of this happens, at least in the Carolinas, until, say, Halloween. That is two months from now. But, as the Yarn Harlot noted earlier this month, even if it isn’t emotionally time to talk about Fall, it certainly is the knitterly time to do so.
Enter the Fall issue of Twist Collective (heck, enter the back-issues! God knows I’ve A: been in love with them ever since they got off the ground, B: been too much of a terrible, unventing cheapskate to ever actually pay for a pattern), an issue I read pretty much as soon as it launched (ie, in the early hours of August 1st), which then made me dream of friendship-and-sharing-a-beer-with-famous-knitters (that is embarrassing, and, according to my mother, worrisome).
But this issue has patterns that are so pretty, I actually might pay for them. Let’s discuss:
I am itching to knit a Stratocumulus,
because the neck treatment is so darn clever, and pretty, and ruffled-without-being-ruffles, and I have never ever seen anything like it. And I look at a lot of sweaters.
And then another one I really want is Kiloran,
(oh, look, now they are breaking up– but she is still in pink, they are still speaking French, and there is still une bicyclette, so my attention is still held)
which is less “oh, what interesting knitting, a fine technique, clever construction!” and more, “I really want to wear that dress. On a cold day in October. I cannot wait to wear that dress.” A rather fine compliment for any piece of clothing.
I think cityscape would be really fun to make & wear:
And I think the idea behind Orange Pop (namely: show the reverse side, on the outside!) is simply genius:
But the cable pattern on Tern
is something I cannot figure out or understand.
And the fact that the cables lift up to become the waist-tie-loops in Aliquot:
is nothing short of inspired. I am going to remember & replicate that design element. Someday.
Way to go, Twist-Ladies (and, perhaps, Gentlemen? I am trying to be conscious of the sexism– and racism– that is inherent to knitting-as-a-hobby. More on that later). You blew my mind. Yet again. I am going to start a back-to-school Big Project very, very soon.
On another fall-time note, since school starts tomorrow, I’ll be shifting the blog into ever-lower gears, until the work eventually overcomes me, and I cease to write at all. In an attempt to preempt this (or maybe, rolling over and playing dead; ramping it down before it’s necessary), I’ll be switching to posting every other day.
Not to be too predictable.
July 4, 2010 § 3 Comments
I have a very odd problem.
I am a bicycle person. We own, between us, around six fully built & functional bikes, with a plethora of frames & parts & cannibalized steeds in the stable (in the shed, and scattered around the house). I evangelize without meaning to. I ride daily– and want to for the rest of my life. I automatically assume that anyone else on a bike is a friend or potential friend. It’s one of the first things you learn about me.
Along with many folks in the world, I think that they look good (…and are one of the most perfect inventions of humankind, but that is another story*). And so, why not put them on clothes, or hang up pictures of them, represent them in every medium possible?
Who doesn’t want to put these in their hair?
Who doesn’t like this?
I myself own this t-shirt:
And really really wanted this dress:
from Anthropologie, but, they don’t need any advertisement from me**.
but prevented myself from buying it, because, the problem is, I already talk/do/think about/exude so much eau de bicyclette, that if I were to buy & wear any of these items/styles/whats-have-you, that the overall response would be:
Okay, we get it, point taken, you are really in to two wheels & old-fashioned modes of transportation, calm down, I understand!
I don’t think this is a conflict of authentic/trendy– those who wear bicycle-charm necklaces, versus those who, you know, get reconquísta‘d from their homes by an ever-swelling sea of bikes & parts– most likely a problem of Don’t-Show-Too-Much-Enthusiasm.
Anyway, the moral of the story is, I like bike-accessories-and-clothes a lot, and am a little miffed that I am kept away from them precisely by my own exuberant & evangelical love of the bicycle. It is a weird situation.
* Weiss, Eben. Bike Snob. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 2010. pp.8-11.
** my relationship to that store: a whole ‘nother story, most accurately described as begrudging-love/hate.