Showing posts with label castle pullover. Show all posts
Showing posts with label castle pullover. Show all posts

Monday, January 2, 2012

Episode 24: Retrospectively Speaking

On the Needles:
I thought I would never say this, but I got suckered into knitting a commissioned item, which is a cabled baby hat.

That is what is currently on and active right now because I have to finish this by the time we get to work on Tuesday. After this, I plan to cast on for some bookmarks as prizes for my students which can be done during the NYE party that Mel and I are planning which is now just a small gathering.

Off the Needles:
I never thought I would say this, but the Castle Pullover is COMPLETE.

In addition, I finished the Snapdragon Tam in Roman Hills Gruber worsted in the colorway Toasted marshmallow. I love how it came out - it looks like a spiral and I finally blocked a tam correctly!!! I used the smaller of my two dinnerplates and it came out nicely and the brim is not all stretched out as well.

Knitting Finds:
Two things of note for this episode: first, Faultline by Gabriella Henry. She is a New Zealand based designer, and designed this beautiful shawl after the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, NZ which was her hometown at the time. 25% of pattern sales (for the forseeable future) will be donated to the Red Cross NZ in recognition of the first response aid they have provided to families.

Second is a Etsy shop called On the Round by Rachel Jones from Owls Head, Maine.

Year in Review: 
I came across two great posts covering 2011 in the knitting world by Clara Parkes and Carol of Black Bunny Fibres of the blog Go Knit in your Hat.
1. The Knitting Show: For years there has always been the Sheep and Wool Festivals, but with events like Vogue Knitting Live, Interweave Knitting Lab, Sock Summit and Knit Nation, there is a growing demand for the knitting show itself where it is like a convention or a conference - people take classes, listen to lectures and attend a marketplace all in one centralized location.
2. Yarn and fibre: There was a huge outcry against discontinuing Rowan Calmer, a cotton acrylic blend which is a great alternative for those with knitting allergies. Mission Falls also closed its doors as well as some indie dyer companies, Such as Gaia's Colors and Kitchen Sink Dyeworks and the split of Sanguine Gryphon shortly after Rhinebeck which was a bit of a shocker for me at least and are reforming into The Verdant Gryphon & Cephalopod Yarns.
 That being said, there is some new yarn that I was happy to discover: Cascade 220 is now in Sport Weight yarn and Brooklyn Tweed came out with Loft, which is like Shelter but in fingering weight - mmm colorwork. Lorna's Laces came out with a new yarn called Solemate. Lastly, Martha Stewart introduced her line of yarns at Lion Brand Yarn Studio - interesting, but not for me.

There is an increased interest overall in terms of where we get our yarn, how it is made and where it is made - Jared Flood published a series of blog entries detailing the process of making the Shelter yarn at the mill in Maine and books like Knit Local also highlight where to get yarn made in the USA. In addition, Quince & Co. opened this past year.
 In the UK, there were events such as Wovember which promotes the wearing of 100% wool and appreciation for the term itself - there are alot of items that say they are Wool but in fact they are not, so there is a need to increase awareness about the misuse of the term. The slogan is "Celebrate real wool that comes from Real Sheep."
There is also the Campaign for Wool which was jump started by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, who had observed that the wool industry was facing enormous and unprecedented challenges.

3. Books, Clubs, Magazines and Knit Alongs: so many good books came out this year:  Vintage Modern Knits, Wendy Knits Lace, Teeny Tiny Mochimochi, Knitted Socks East and West, and The Knitter's Book of Socks. 

In addition, special issues came out this year such as Jane Austen Knits, which demonstrates a trend about looking to the past for inspiration and reinterpreting it for the modern knitter.

There was Little Red in the City which strengthened the connection between print and digital publications - with the purchase of the book you get a scratch off code for a digital copy, and many books and magazines came out with corresponding digitial versions.
 Stephen West came out with the Earth and Sky pattern and corresponding mystery KAL which fired up the Ravelry boards and Cookie A came out with a sock club that also featured cookie recipes as well.

Overall, the knitting community - large as it may be - is growing more aware and sophisticated in what we do with our knitting and even closer to one another what with so many people on twitter talking about knitting and spinning and on Ravelry as well. Shows like VK Live in addition to the fiber festivals help us put faces to the names and gives many of us the opportunity to meet one another whether it be a knitter meeting with a favorite designer, or a bunch of knitters that met up through a common interest group on Ravelry.

I will be attending Vogue Knitting Live this on January 14. I am not sure if there will be some sort of meetup, but I do plan to be there at the Marketplace preview on Friday and hanging out on Saturday before my class.

The first round of our Knit the Queue Along is over and we have winners! Thank you so much for everyone who played along both in the FOs thread and the chat thread and asking questions, which helps iron out alot of the finer details of hosting a larger-scale QAL. Thanks to those who donated prizes:

2 copies Faultline Shawl by Gabriella Henry
Skein of yarn (base TBD) in the colorway our choice from a selection by Apothecary Yarns
Set of Stitch markers by Velvet Hippo
Skein of yarn and corresponding pattern from Creatively Dyed

The winners of the QAL are:
katepricey, teenuh, jazzy-j stitches, lapurplepenguin, and kitty stitches. Congratulations!

Thanks for listening!
Closing Song: "Smile" by Madeleine Peyroux from Half the Perfect World

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Episode 11: Equal Opportunity Yarnies Unite!

On the Needles
Did the heel for the Monkey socks and now working on the foot.

Knitting Trainwrecks
Still working on the Castle Pullover, but gauge is creating a bit of a detour.

Swatch & Learn
This segment is where I talk about tips and tricks I picked up about knitting and what I do to help make knitting easier and more manageable. And soon, I will begin my Knitting History series, so long as there is still interest - picked up No Idle Hands: A Social History of American Knitting from the NYPL and while it can get a bit tedious and dense, I LOVE it. It's really great to know more about the origins and the history of a craft because you learn what happened in the past that perhaps played a role or influenced what we do today.

There was a bit of discussion in the Ravelry group on why I had a bajillion stitch markers on my Castle Pullover, even though the pattern didn't call for it.

Knitting Finds
This week is the start of the Second Annual Knit and Crochet Blog Week. The first topic was about two different yarns. My post is here, but thinking about acrylic and sock yarn opened up another issue that I have been thinking about for awhile: yarn snobbery and yarn as currency.

Knitty City will be having its monthly Ravelry meetup on April 7 (from 6-8pm).

Maryland Sheep and Wool! I will be there on May 6. Still no vendors yet! General tip for now: go with a basic idea of the things you want so that you don't overspend. 

I am extending the lottery that I am running with Reni of Knit Girl in Idaho for the Japan stitchmarkers - thank you to those who have donated and participated so far! The information is here, and the lottery sign-up thread is here. I will be extending it to April 10. 

Closing Song: "Arrivederci" by Emi Meyer from Curious Creature

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Episode 10: Monkeying Around

On the Needles

Chugging along on my Castle Pullover which is turning out quite nicely; cast on for the Monkey Socks as part of the Manic Purl podcast's March Monkey Madness KAL.

Currently looking at the Dyakcraft needles in the 6" length, hands cramp up with the small DPNs, i usually prefer bamboo because I like how they do eventually curve into the palm of my hand, which is like getting custom fit needles. A friend who is going to be with me at MS&W has the interchangeable set and I think the DPN set so I will try them then.

Stashers Anonymous

My Mythos armful custom came last Friday - already have projects lined up - the Artemis laceweight will be the Anthemion wrap, the Poseidon worsted will be a cable and bobble hat from a Japanese pattern book and the Athena yarn will be socks.

Also picked up 2 skeins of The Fibre Company Savannah DK in Sycamore that was on sale for 40% off at Purl SoHo, where I was for the Vintage Modern Knits book signing - but this came out of the MS&W budget to be fair. Plan to knit the Bramble beret from the book.

Spin Right Round

A listener asked to talk about about how yarn is made and I thought to first start with the difference between worsted and woollen spun yarn. Here is a conversation from the Spin-Off forums of fulling woollen spun yarn.

Jared Flood completed his photo essay series of touring the mill in Maine where the Shelter line of yarns is produced.

Knitting Finds

Stitch markers from Blue Ridge Notions on Etsy - ordered the shell and the blue porcelain ones.

Knitting Travels

Spring is in the air in New York City and that means three things:

  1. In Astoria, everyone is blasting Greek music from the cafes in my neighborhood and from cars. I'm glad I live in the back of the building. 
  2. All of the restaurants are open to the warm air and al fresco dining.
  3. Walking! Lot's of it and just wandering around neighborhoods, particularly in those where there are yarn shops. 

Here are some of my favorite/recommended yarn shops and the neighborhoods they are in (and places to eat - I like to travel through museums, yarn shops and my stomach):

  1. Upper West Side: Knitty City. Located on 79th and Amsterdam, it is a residential area, but if you walk south along either Amsterdam/Columbus Aves or Broadway it's a nice area to walk and enjoy the various restaurants. I like Alice's Tea Cup located on 73rd Street just off of Columbus Avenue. American Museum of Natural History is on 80th and Central Park West and if feeling up for a walk across the park on a beautiful day, the Metropolitan Musuem of Art and Museum Mile is on 5th Ave and 82nd Street. 
  2. SoHo: Purl SoHo. Very pretty visually and they have a nice fabric selection as well - but if you do want fabric, head on over to the garment district for MJ Trimmings and Mood Fabrics. Tons of shops in the area and 2 good places to eat are Balthazar's and SoHo Park
  3. Union Square/Flatiron District: Lion Brand Yarn Studio.Tons of classes and events here but be careful - they close at 3 on Fridays and are closed all day Saturdays. My friends and I keep forgetting this. Tons of restaurants along Park Avenue South on the other side of the square and there is also the farmer's market and a really fun bar called Lillie's. If you want a quick bite, Whole Foods is on the south side of the square. 
There are tons of other yarn shops in the city and every fall there is a NYC Yarn Crawl

Events and Knit-A-Longs

I will be at Maryland Sheep & Wool, but the vendors are still not up yet!

This Saturday is No Sheep Till Brooklyn for the local area knitters - bit off schedule since it's a Saturday.

Knitty City has Ravelry Meet-Ups; pretty sure the next is April 7.

Abby and Ben from the Knit Knit Cafe are having a Stephen West knit-a-long.

A Special Announcement

As you know last week Japan was hit by a an earthquake and subsequent tsunami in the Tohoku area which is in the northeast. Thankfully all of my friends and their families are ok, but I would like to do something no matter how small.

Thanks to Reni of Knit Girl in Idaho I am going to put up for lottery 4 sets of 2 stitch markers with images of Japan that I took while I lived in Japan (thanks to the people in the Fresh From the Cauldron group for the inspiration of how to structure this):

How to purchase your "lottery" ticket:
  1. Please make a donation of at least $10 to the charity of your choice or to the Japan Society Earthquake Relief Fund or the Red Cross if you are not sure of a charity/fundraising site. (my personal recommendation - great organization and I took Japanese classes here, so far they have raised about $1mil dollars). 
  2. Forward the receipt or a screenshot to confirm the donation to and please note your Ravelry ID and how much donated.
  3. Post that you have made a donation in the thread for the stitch markers. The post number will be your ticket number and I will close the thread in about two weeks (April 3, 5pm EST) and run a RNG for 4 recipients of the stitch markers, 1 per recipient.  
Domo Arigato Gozaimasu!


Thanks for tuning in and once again, welcome to new and returning listeners.

Closing Song: "I Feel it All" by Feist.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Episode 9: Onto the Castle

Off the Needles

Completed Vasili's Socks - still need to weave in the ends and perhaps do a light steam block to open up the sock a bit more. Finished the toe while sitting in the front seat of my parent's car - had the opportunity to try out the Sea Bands and knitting at the same time since I didn't get a chance to do that while in Florida, despite the copius amount of time spent in the car.

On the Needles

Thanks to the generosity of a listener, I have recieved 6 skeins of Lorna's Laces Dove in the colorway Aslan! I knew that this was dying to be a sweater so I eventually cast on for the Castle Pullover, by Cecily Glowik MacDonald from Quince & Co.

Knitting Trainwrecks
I didn't actually get the yarn and immediately swatch for the Castle Pullover; according to the Ravelry database Lorna's Laces Dove is an Aran weight yarn. In reality it's not; I swatched for the Cadence Pullover on 10s and didn't get gauge, even though the fabric was to my taste. Then tried 11s to get gauge and it was too loose so I undid the swatch and pretty much threw my interchangeable needle case across the living room (not quite, but close enough). I took the yarn and wrapped it around my WPI measuring tool and instead of 8 WPI, I got...13 which is a heavy sport/light fingering. Definitely not aran.

Knitting Finds

Velvet Hippo - her stitch markers are so lovely! Like little bits of jewelry for your knitting, which is apt since Torii is also a jewelry maker and it shows in the quality of the stitch markers.

Little Red Bicycle - heard about this indie dyer from the Never Not Knitting podcast, really beautiful tonal and semi-solid colors as well as some variegated.

On Brooklyn Tweed's blog, Jared Flood discusses a recent trip he made to the mill in Maine where the Shelter line is made, and mentions that he is going to post a photo essay series this week on the entire process in which yarn is made at the mill which is very exciting. (not jsut for the gorgeous photography but to also see how yarn is made at a mill)

Events and Knit-a-Longs

Went to the first of Knitty City's Ravelry meet-ups, which are on the first Thursday of the month from 6-8pm. There were snacks, lots of knitting and a 10% discount. I had the pleasure of meeting one of the listeners from the show and learned something interesting about myself. Also met Jennie Gee who created the popular Keep Calm and Carry Yarn bags and recently brought a new series of bags to the shop. I picked up one of them which is a series of screenprinted quotes related to knitting from literature - the first quote was from Charles Dicken's Tale of Two Cities. Definitely plan to go to the next one!

This Sunday, Courtney Kelley and Kate Gagnon Osborn from Kelbourne Woolens, who are distributors of the Fibre Company Yarns will be at Purl SoHo teaching an Intro to Cables and Arans Workshop from 12-3 and a book signing of Vintage Modern Knits and trunk show will follow from 3-6 pm.

Maryland Sheep and Wool is coming! Hooray! Who will be going? Unfortunately the vendors are still not up, so I can not make my plan of attack (via Excel spreadsheet) just yet.


Thanks for listening!

Closing Song: "The Car Song," by The Cat Empire from the album Two Shoes. 
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