Thursday, January 18, 2018

3 things: what i'm knitting now

The sub-title of the post should be: for better or worse.  I'm really jazzed about  a number (greater than three! a cornucopia of knits!) of projects I have going on,  but these three are actively being knit on this week.
My Jane Jacobs Shawl from I Knit New York.   I am having fun with this! Mosaic knitting over a large surface is new for me. It flies by magically. My only issue is indecision about colors. I need to swap out for the next section.  Designer Kirsten Kapur gave me the heads up that in mosaic knitting, subtle contrasts get lost--more so than in garter stripes or stranded colorwork. Who knew??  Being friends with the designer has its advantages, but now I am fretting the colors.  I think the next section will be blue (see yarn options at top) with black squares, then with grey with squares and end with the purple with lightest silver/white squares. Or....maybe not...

Bonus: on an episode of the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, there's  a scene with Jane Jacobs, on a  soapbox in Washington Square Park. I sputtered in excitement as I watched " Hey I AM KNITTING A SHAWL named after her".  I may have repeated it three times.  (any wonder non-knitters think we are crazy?)
TWO I finished Dave's sweater, Zacapa by Thea Colman. I love everything about it except the fit is messed up.  Entirely MY fault, NOT the pattern's.  Dave tried it on fresh off the needles,  I thought all it needed was a good blocking. So I wove in ends, finished seams, blocked it thoroughly (3 days to dry, no joke, it is heavy yarn ).  Now it is obvious the sleeves and shoulders are all wrong.  My first saddle shoulders will soon be my second saddle shoulders ;-) .  I have lost my zip to work on this but he loves it, so I shall seek zip and rip back soon . Quite a ways back. UGH.  It's beautiful Jill Draper Makes Stuff Middlefield yarn , far too nice to leave unworn and neglected!
If you are thinking " wtf ? scribble lace in south florida flamingo and green?" , I hear you. Though we are calling it seaweed green and mermaid pink.  It is a gift for someone who is all about such foof and flair.  I want to make something that she will love.  Back in the day  (so far back, pre-ravelry) I knit at least two Loopy & Luscious Wraps .  This is a narrower version as a scarf, in the venerable KidSilk Haze and a skein of really lovely but intensely pink Soul Wool merino. Both skeins have been here a while.  It became obvious to me they need to be this gift.
The scribble lace cranks off the size US15 needles--I watch a little TV and work on it at night for an hour or so-  it'll be done soon and then I can leap onto one of three sweaters for me that are in the plans. And on my Make Nine.  And calling to me every time I walk past the yarn.

Not unrelated--Berroco is running a Lopi KAL starting February 1st.  I am so in to Lopi-Along.  You? 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Lucy & Ethel Cowl: Drop Dead Easy Knits

It's time to shine a spotlight on the Lucy and Ethel Cowls from Drop Dead Easy Knits. Design by Kirsten Kapur

When we brainstormed a pattern name that referenced two friends that were fun and colorful (as the cowls are) and had slightly different styles (as the cowls do), we leapt on Lucy and Ethel. But we didn't know they knit!!!  And I don't think they are faking it, you can find Lucy knitting on several episodes and sometimes just for the hell of it.  Links to I Love Lucy episodes for your wintertainment* right here
Two simple stitch patterns make up the design.  Like everything in the book, they are simpler than you'd think , and more stylish than you'd expect from a pattern that isn't hard to knit.  Worsted weight**, so they go fast .
The longer style can be loopy, I always think of that one as Lucy.  Or for a quick knit and less volume, the shorter cowl Ethel is a great choice.
The cowls appear in a chapter of patterns we presented as great for knitting in multiples to give as gifts to your friends. We wanted the photos to give off a buddies vibe. You wouldn't know it from this photo, but these two had just met. We had to use the top photo, with the hat hiding the smile, in the book, so that the focus stayed on the knits and not the beautiful happy faces.  I don't think photoshoots need to be dour affairs-- we like to goof around a little while we work.

Just like Ethel and Lucy!
* I know you may be reading this in Australia or somewhere else southern hemisphere, and it may not be winter where you are....but frankly, it is SO WINTERY here that I can't imagine anything else today. Sorry! I have midwinter January brain.

** The samples shown are in The Fibre Company Knightsbridge yarn, which is lovely llama and silk , but I'd also knit them in Berroco UltraAlpaca--it has some of the same heathery colors and wool/alpaca loft and an insane range of  color options. I just fell down the rabbit hole of choosing...Barley and Cerulean? Zinc and PeaSoup? or GrapefruitMix??? aaaaghhhhhh. What would you choose? 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

I Knit NY: bts with Kristy Glass Knits

 On a summery early October day (remember summery weather? )I was in New York shooting the excellent brand new book I Knit New York* from One More Row Press--the first in their series of Knit Like a Local.

I was so focused on my work that day, I didn't realize Kristy had filmed us in action, including my very enthusiastic two thumbs up to the model, somewhere around the 7.20 mark on the 10 minutes video. 

And as long as we're all video-sharey today, here's our beautiful and multi-talented dancer model Becca, doing her thing with her band, the Gentlemen Brawlers. 

 I bet Kristy didn't know I caught her in action too.....

Shot while the model was changing, and as you know , given 10 minutes, knitters gonna knit.I have A LOT more to say and share about this book, so I'll be back on the topic soon.

* You can order the book online or if you are coming to VKLive in NYC this weekend, stop by the Backyard Fiberworks booth and get a signed copy from Kathleen Dames and Alice O'Reilly, the talented partnership behind this project. Bonus-see the samples and get some of Alice's yarn :-) ** If you do not follow and watch Kristy Glass Knits channel, you are missing out on some of the best knittertainment around, as well as seeing great interviews, meet people,and see books and ideas reviewed by this talented and passionate social media rock star.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Make Nine 2018

I've been having a fine time over on Insta looking at Making Plans of the Multitudes. Did you know you can follow a hashtag now,  as well as a person?  I added #MakeNine2018 to my feed and poof, inspiration-- and aspiration-- out the wazoo.

I wasn't going to put one together myself but it's amazing what a snowed-in day leads to....

1. September House Sweater from Kirsten Kapur (pattern releasing soon) .

2. Amy Louise Shift by Ellen Mason, Odacier .

3. Solbein by Mary Jane Mucklestone, as a pullover.  I'm indecisively hovering over All the  Lopi to pick colors. Side note: It's in Making No. 4 Lines, which is SO GOOD.  I could Make Nine from it alone.

4. Dottie Angel Frock from Simplicity. The company's pattern photos are white bread twee but look around online and you'll see great versions. Again, indecision abounds, this time for fabric choices.

5. Farmhouse Cardi by Savory Knitting, Amy Christopher. Ok, so I started this near the end of 2017 but it had to be put aside, so it's 95% a 2018 knit. In Jill Draper Makes Stuff Empire. With vintage buttons. Why am I sitting here blogging when I could be working on it???? ;-)

6. Jane Jacobs Shawl by Kirsten Kapur from I Knit New York, released yesterday! I cast on late last night, could not resist, in  this Backyard Fiberworks .  You can see the sample at VKLive in NYC, at the Backyard Fiberworks booth--and get signed print copies of the book.  I am quite biased, as the photographer but it is a gorgeous collection. I could easily Make Nine from this one too.

7. Brioche.  I really enjoy going round and round in 2 color brioche. I have a lot of beautiful yarn. I think you know where this is going......there will be more brioche.

8. Metamorphic Dress by Sew Liberated. I am crazy about this dress. I've yet to see a version that I don't love. If I can  get the proportions right, it will be a major part of my wardrobe. (It's reversible so that's doubly true).

9. I can't show it  yet but Berroco Portfolio 5  (link is to Portfolio 4, which is no slouch ) is coming out in a couple of weeks.  I'll add the link when it's clickable. Again I am biased since I shot it, and it's one of my favorite series of photos ever so....obvs I need to knit from it.

Anyone else do one of these? leave your link in the comments!

Thursday, January 04, 2018

3 things about the brioche topper (to start the year)

Brioche Topper by Laura Nelkin is my first FO for 2018.  It was also my last FO for 2017.  Lucky for me  (Thing 1):  The Brioche Topper is a fun knit.
It's a perfect Three on Thursday post because...I knit it three times.  Above: the final, version 3 .
It was a gift for sister Lulu, she wanted something chunky, and I thought I'd supersize the aran weight pattern into something slouchier.
Above, a view of unravelling between V1 & 2.  
V1 was ginormous. Version 2 was smaller, but not quite small enough (I like loose hats, turns out sister Lulu does not, and to be fair, she's  petite) . V3,  knit Tuesday night, just right. 
Are you wondering which yarn I'm using for all this knitting, ripping out and knitting again. ? The hand dyed is a Wonderland Yarns Tweedle Dee Dum bulky weight merino  in the colorway January (nailed it! so. exactly. right). and the grey is Quince  Osprey. Both feel soft and squooshy and warm. Both held up fabulously to the re-do and the re-do of the re-do.
 It looks cute on her, right? --and  she showed up wearing  gift circa 2010 granny square scarf

I'll be knitting more of these.  Because it's a great design. Thing 2: The brioche section, which is essentially double weight, is great on the ears. Also if you like brioche but don't loovvvvve it, it is just a small section of the project. However, I DO I loovvvvve brioche, so I'm ready to cast on another brioche project.

My final version used size 7US needles for the brioche section and size 10US for the rest of it.  This 3 sizes difference is what the designer suggested. When I knit V1, I thought really full brioche would be better, so I used size 9 needles.  Nope! Duh! Listen to the designer! It was waaaay too relaxed.  
The very large V1. See how much poufier the brioche is compared to the top? Two heads could have fit in there. 
Thing three: this is a very well-written pattern, just follow the instructions and don't try to mess around with it like I did on V1 and V2--- you'll have a fab hat the first time around.
Belated happy new year! December blogging was obliterated by my return to yoga plus holiday related activity. I'm not saying  I'll be back daily but I'll be here...more. 

And, in the interest of sharing BTS, here's the uncropped view of my top photo.  Usually I duck outside to make a quick photo on the porch but it's so freakin' cold out I just didn't want to.
So... here you see an old roasting pan, some paint chips I picked up to choose colors for painting the stairs and stairway walls (I guess their colorway is also January?)  .  I plopped it on a cabinet that gets decent light from windows nearby.  I'm getting very enamored of shooting on old baking trays. You'll see more of that this year, too, no doubt.

Stay warm fellow east coasters in the US! Knit a new hat today!