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My revival of knitting inspired by vampires!

November 22, 2011

A while back, I was given this sweater because L thought that the yarn would be good to reclaim. I took apart the sweater and the yarn stayed in my stash for the whole summer while I tried to figure out what I was going to do with it. I thought maybe I might make a vest, but I wasn’t really liking the way that was turning out, so I took it apart.  Then I thought back to when a friend made me look through a book called Vampire Knits: Projects to Keep You Knitting from Twilight to Dawn by Genevieve Miller. I was skeptical when I first heard about it, but since I’ve been a fan of vampires for a very long time, I felt as though I needed to give it a shot. As I flipped through, I found myself loving many of the patterns featured in the book. As a rule, I try not to buy a book unless there is a pattern that I am looking to make right away, or there are more than three patterns that I can see myself making. This book was affordable and I found myself wanting to make several of the patterns that were in it, so the obvious next step was to get the book!

My first project from Vampire Knits was the Under the Cover of Midnight Hooded Cowl designed by Judie Turjoman. This pattern has been admired by many of  my friends- both knitters and non knitters alike. I found the versatility of the pattern appealing- you can use it to keep your neck warm, or pull it up higher to keep your head warm as well! The pattern itself was very easy to follow and enjoyable for me to knit. Knitting in the round on size US 9 needles meant that it was a quick knit and minimal amounts of finishing in the end. Minimal yes, though I can’t say that I have actually finished weaving in any of the ends even though I’m wearing it as I write this post! Once I finished the cowl I discovered that I had a lot of yarn leftover. This led me to my next project from the book.

The Bellissima Mittens! Perfect for the cold weather and super cute! I loved knitting these mittens. The horseshoe cable is easy and the mittens were finished in no time! I knit these on size US 7 needles, which was interesting because the pattern said I should use US 9 for the smallest size. Looking back, I should have checked my gauge but I sort of winged it because I figured mittens are smaller and I would be able to tell fairly quickly if they did not fit properly.

A couple days ago I found this picture on Franklin Habit’s blog The Panopticon and

thought it was hilarious and the perfect way to end this post.

- S

Knitting for My Work and Our Charity Events!

April 4, 2011

A few months ago a coworker told me about a new exhibit at work which would unveil in April called “Finding Peace.” Then excitedly she said, “I was just looking for you. Part of the exhibit will be about fiber and knitting!” She told me they had patterns and knitted items in our library archives and wondered if I would be willing to knit one of the vintage patterns for the exhibit! Being an avid knitter and history major I immediately accepted.

A bit of research suddenly inspired me to reclaim one of my old sweaters (as discussed in a previous post). This was a test for me. If my personal project went well, I would do the same thing for the exhibit’s vest. My project went smoothly, however, I had some real trouble finding old wool sweaters that were worsted weight and the right olive green color. So instead of reclaiming, I came across an olive wool at a LYS and purchased it. The color was just perfect!

I’ve always wanted to incorporate knitting into my job or career, so I was happy to have this opportunity. I began talking to coworkers so much about how awesome knitting is, a few of them decided to pick up needles and try it out! I also suggested we start a knitting group and knit for charity to go along with the new exhibit. My boss loved the idea (brownie points!) and started planning. Now we are having the fabulous event “Finding Peace Through Fiber Arts“!

Knitters/crocheters will get together once a month on a Sunday afternoon at the Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston, MA. We will be focusing on three different charity projects:

  • April–June: Blankets for children in need
  • July–September: Hats and slippers for American troops
  • October–December: Hats, scarves, and mittens for Boston’s homeless

For those of you not in the Boston area who would like to contribute you can mail in your knitted items and we will put them with the other items to be donated.  The first session will be this Sunday (April 10)! I will be attending and would love to see you there.

- S

If you’d like to read about the exhibit and my experience with knitting the vintage vest check out the post on the Library’s blog.

Yarn Crawl Purchases!

March 31, 2011

Okay. We knew it would happen. We spend a bit at this year’s Red Line Yarn Crawl.  At least we can share our purchases with you!

Blue Sky Alpacas - Bulky Naturals *I am hoping to make a cowl with this warm, fuzzy yarn*

Karabello Yarns - Superyak! *Really excited to try knitting with Yak*

Queensland Collection - Hyacinth *The yarn picked for my gift to Sharon. More on that later :-P*

Cascade Yarns - Pure Alpaca *The yarn picked for Sharon's gift to me. Again, more to come about that later!*

There was also some Noro Chirimen bought on sale ($5 a skein!) that I was so happy to find. As you may know from previous posts, I plan to make my own Noro scarf after the Christmas gift went so well. Will share more once the scarf is complete!

Have a great weekend everyone,

L

Red Line Yarn Crawl 2011

March 24, 2011

When there is a local yarn crawl in your neighborhood do you get as excited as I do?  It’s funny really, how under normal circumstances I would never buy certain yarn. “But it was on sale!” “I bought it at an annual yarn event!” This is how I will justify my prospective purchases this weekend. That and, well, you can never have too much yarn. :-)

In Boston we have a crawl along the red line, a branch of the underground train system. It’s a pretty fast line compared to some lines *cough* green *cough* and you can hop on and off as you make your way to each destination. Three yarn shops participate: Minds Eye Yarn at the Porter Sq stop in Cambridge, The Windsor Button at the Park St stop in downtown Boston, and The Stitch House at the UMass/JFK stop in Dorchester. All are a short walk from their respective T stops and all mentioned various sales, raffles, or surprises on their websites!

This is only their second yarn crawl but last years was a blast, so knitters should definitely check it out. And if you are one of those poor college students (like myself) who love nice yarn but really shouldn’t/can’t afford it, you will be in for a treat (though I suppose this may be MORE dangerous on your wallet)! A couple highlights are:

  • Berroco Trunk Show at the Windor Button from 12-3 (and 15% off all Berroco yarn!)
  • A yarn tasting with Cascade at Minds Eye from 10-11:30
  • Hourly door prizes and deep discounts for some yarns at the Stitch House all day
  • All shops will be doing drawings, give-aways, and a coupon that gains value with every store you visit.

Veteran Notes:

  • The coupon is good at a later date, not this Saturday. You’ll get 5% off your purchase with every stamp you get (but you only get a stamp if you buy something)! Buy something at all 3 stores and you’ll receive 3 stamps, so 15% off one future purchase at one of the three stores.
  • The Stitch House had bins of sale yarn last year. We hit this store later in the afternoon and it was super picked over. Definitely hitting this shop first this time!
  • Mingle with the other shoppers/knitters. They are all on Ravelry and you can make some really cool friends.
  • Don’t talk yourself out of a purchase out loud where others may overhear. You’re in a room of people who are all addicted to the lovely colors, fun textures, and warm wooliness of yarn! They will encourage you to buy more! :-P

The event goes from 10AM – 6PM.  We’ll be there chatting with other knitters, filling our baskets with yarn, and hopefully winning some prizes! Hope to see you there.

-L

A sweater for the Daddy… again!

March 5, 2011

At Christmas I decided I was going to ask people what they wanted me to make them that way I knew they’d receive a present they wanted. Everybody had their own little things, all projects that I could get done in time for Christmas. I was very excited. Then I came to Dad and he told me he wears everything that I’ve knit him and he didn’t really need anything…except for a new sweater.

It was then that I realized that I could not finish all of my projects because of this little hiccup. Well, big hiccup. I come from a family of very tall, burly men and my Dad is no exception. So, I made a deal with him saying he’d get his sweater but it would be a combo present for Christmas and his February birthday. AND t sweeten the deal, we’d go yarn shopping together and he can have a say in the pattern.

Now, I wanted to make him a pullover sweater with some cables, something easy, top-down, knit-in-the-round but no! He said he doesn’t wear pullovers and a cardigan would work much better. *sigh* Since I want him to actually wear this sweater we came to a compromise. The compromise was Josh Bennett’s Men’s One Cable Cardigan found here on his blog (or on ravelry where you can purchase it)! I’ve taken a quick picture to show you all (and my Daddy) the progress I’ve made so far.

As you can see, I still have a ways to go but I love the way it is coming out so far! I haven’t really made any sweaters where I had to sew the sleeves on, so this will be new and exciting for me. Hopefully it will come out okay since I’m not a super confident seamer!

I guess this sort of links with L’s post about the Boyfriend sweater curse. Maybe this is partly because I don’t have a boyfriend, but Dad is the only person who’s worthy of all this work. Meme was an avid knitter and he still has an old cardigan she made him over 40 years ago! I know he’ll appreciate all the work and love that’s going into the cardigan I’m making for him. Even if the sweater curse is true, making something for someone is a sure-fire way of showing them you care (but it doesn’t hurt to remind them of your hard work when they’re asking you knit a pattern way more time consuming than you would’ve chosen to knit).

As some of you might know, knitting an XL man’s sweater is no small feat (nor is it cheap). But I love my Dad and I really love knitting this sweater, and let’s face it, I can’t say no to somebody asking me to knit them something. Especially when I know they will cherish it and wear it with pride!

-S

The Sweater Curse

February 19, 2011

I’ve been thinking, for some time now, about knitting N a sweater. Our 7 year anniversary is coming up and that’s a long time for someone to be dating a knitter and not receive a hand-knit sweater. Truthfully, the curse is on my brain every time I stumble upon a cute guy’s sweater pattern. So, I just file it away and move on with other projects. It may be superstitious but to many of us in the knitting world it actually seems quite plausible. Knitters share their personal experiences in books, magazines, blogs, and by word of mouth. Doing a little research lead me to the ‘Sweater Curse’ Wikipedia article, which is actually quite terrifying.

These glittens were knit in the colors of his favorite hockey team. Why doesn't he wear them?!

Apparently knitters have several possible processes for the Sweater Curse which then lead me to ask myself, why do I want to knit this thing in the first place? I must attempt to rule out all possible mechanisms for a successful curse!

Unlucky timing. Okay, we have been together 7 years. This makes the 7-Year Itch pretty relevant to our situation. But now I’m compounding superstitions on superstitions! Does that negate them? :-P

Rescue mission. Hardly. He is on the verge of proposing, so this wouldn’t be relevant!  Of course, he has been on the verge for about 3 years now…curious.

Catalyst for analyzing the relationship. No no, he loves me and I love him and this sweater is just showing him how much I care!

Aversion. Hmm, interesting thought. No matter what I knit for him he graciously thanks me and then immediately places it under a pile of clothes! Apparently everything I make is too itchy. :-/

Misdirected attention. Well, I would certainly love the sweater more than he would. Is that really a problem?

Delusion. Geez, I sure hope I am not delusional and wasting years of my life! Wikipedia you can really do a lot to excite a girl’s nerves!

In the end, none of these apply to me and the curse seems all in good fun. Yet I cannot shake the idea that knitting him a sweater is a bad idea. Has anyone else experienced the curse? Did you stare it in the face and come out on the other side successful?

-L

Valentine’s Day Knitting

February 14, 2011

Love may be in the air for some people, but the truth is everyone spends their Valentine’s Day slightly differently. Take the three of us for example! We have very different activities going on for Valentine’s Day…

S is spending her evening being inspired by a heart-shaped cable pattern and pairing it with a current obsession with mittens. She will design the mitten pattern to the soundtrack of Bon Iver, probably stopping only to eating at some point. 

L will be cooking a Mediterranean feast with her boyfriend and trying ever so hard to be okay with him in the kitchen. Then they’ll watch the Beanpot Finals together cheering on their alma mater Northeastern!

N has to work late, a horrible way to start off any week. She will most likely come home annoyed and bake some chewy chocolate chip cookies (thank you Alton Brown) to brighten her mood.

Yum for the rest of us! :-P

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

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