Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Grandpa Progress

For the past 2 days, I have been home sick. My tummy was not cooperating with anything I wanted to eat. I decided to just drink my meals with fruit smoothies and shakes. But just because my stomach was sick, doesn't mean my hands were. I got a good bit of knitting done. 

Here is my Grandpa Cardigan in 3 phases. 

Working the back portion. 

Picking up for the right front piece on the finished back portion. 

The completed right front piece. 

So, the next step is the left front piece, and then joining all of the pieces together. 

Happy knitting everyone!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Not Your Grandfather's Sweater.

I recently joined Joji's Fall KAL 2014, and it came just in time for me to pick the perfect Rhinebeck sweater. I was contemplating for a while. I didn't want a pullover, in case I got too hot. I didn't want anything that was loads of stockinette, because I would get bored easily. I didn't want to have too many seams, because that has set me back many times before. So, I was looking at the different sweaters that Joji has, and the Grandpa Sweater jumped out at me.

It is seamlessly knit from the shoulders down, and the cables are written in the sense where there are different cables for each size. She has loads of clear charts in her pattern pages. I actually prefer working with charts, instead of reading words in sentence form. I tend to lose where I am in the sentence mid-row.

So, I ordered my yarn from Knitpicks. Capra DK in the Regal colorway. It is 85% Merino Wool and 15% Cashmere. It's a hand wash type of wool, but that is just fine with me. I don't throw my handknits into the washer anyway.

As I started to knit, my fingers began to feel hot. I don't now if it's because it is August now, but I was just knitting with MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light, and it didn't feel as hot. Hopefully, this is a good indication that I will have a really warm sweater this winter.

My swatch knit up to the pattern's gauge, so I ended it at 2 inches. I was too excited to start this project, I lost patience. I really doubt it will bite me in the end.

So, along with that precious yarn, I also acquired a major stash enhancement during Knit Pick's sale.

I ordered all of the rest of the colored yarn that I need for my Hexipuff blanket. There were a few colors that were of low quantity, and I didn't want them to run out and not be able to complete my blanket's design. So, I just need to buy 8 more skeins of the grey color, and I will be all set. I will wait for another sale. Haha!

I also ordered a book and a magazine, as they were 40% off. I started having this lace frenzy, and saw projects in each of these that I liked.

The first is Knitscene Accessories.

I found a hat and cowl set in there that is just divine. I purchased Gloss DK in the Sweetheart colorway to go with it.

There is also a chunky cabled wrap that I am contemplating....

The book purchase is Lace One Skein Wonders. I saw this book at Purl Soho the day I bought the Tosh Merino Light. So when I saw the sale price, I couldn't resist.

Here are a few styles from the book that I am contemplating knitting. It all depends on the yardage of what is in my stash. At the current moment, I am banned from acquiring any more yarn.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Elephants, Owls, and Hearts

I am gearing up to start a Rhinebeck Sweater as ell as a few lace projects. When knitting these very intense projects, the most important thing isn't the yarn or the gauge. It's all about the stitch markers. Yes, having sizing is hugely important. But, keeping track of your stitches could be the difference between finishing a garment or note getting through a lace portion enough to make something you can actually try on.

On Friday night, after work, I decided to walk a few blocks over to the Bead shop on Broadway. There are a few of them in the area, but this one particular shop had something that tickled my fancy. NEON Charms. Squeeeee!!! They are so cute.

This is my haul.

I immediately got to work. I had some Swarovski beads leftover from jewelry projects that I have worked on years ago. My tools were still in pretty good shape, and I had a good amount of wire leftover as well.

So, here are my stitch markers.

Elephants, Owls, and Hearts

Love Emojis


And more Love

Purple Elephants

Diamante Keys

I went a little overboard and made quite a bit, but it will surely be put to good use. You can never have too many stitch markers.

These stitch markers rings are shown here on a DK weight size 7 needle, but they can comfortably fit up to a 10.5 needle for Chunky projects.

I made some for my friend Ceci. She absolutely loves owls.

I also made a set for another friend after she saw them posted on Facebook, and immediately put in her request.

And last, but not least, I put them on my current Infinity Scarf project. I absolutely love the neon colors. Stephen West said he likes a pop of color, with more pops added to the pop. I agree. This whole thing is poppin'.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Stephen & Steven Tour.

Last Wednesday, at La Casita, I had the fabulous opportunity to meet Stephen West and Steven Berg. They are both knitwear designers that have an attitude and aesthetic that is far from structured and ordinary, but you can't help but to love it. Stephen West can be found at and Steven Berg can be found at

So, let's get to the knitty gritty shall we?

They put together a trunk show of sorts, and started pulling pieces out of a suitcase and describing how they were made and the design concept behind it. There were 3 apparent themes..... Colors, Gradients, and knit freely.

Stephen West loves to add a "POP" of color to everything. And he likes to add pops to the pops as well. His favorite color, from what I am guessing, is highlighter yellow. He wore a pair of shorts in that color, and also had it accented in some of his pieces. Steven Be loved it too, because he had it lovingly draped around his neck.

So, a technique that they like to use is holding more than 1 yarn while knitting, then dropping one, continuing with the rest, and picking up a different color as the knitting moves along. This establishes a gradient, or Ombre effect that I love. They also love to mix and match colors with an anything goes attitude. Nothing is contrived. If you are knitting a garment, and run out of one color, you just continue on with another color. I admire that sense of freeness. I personally haven't fully let go and allowed myself to do that, but I can see how much fun it is.

This is apparent in Stephen's Parachutey sweater/tunic/dress. It depends on how big you are willing to make it.

I can totally see it over some black tights, with a nice cinch waist belt and heels, and lipstick to offset one of the POP colors. But that's just the stylist in my head talking. He also displayed his color craze with this Dotted Rays pattern.

Now, I had to take a shot of the "junk in the trunk". Then I saw the most beautiful thing ever. This sparkly Pink and Black Yarn.

It is called Galaxy Fingering in the Barbie Dream Zebra colorway, from Wild Hare Fiber Studio. The fiber content is wool and nylon. It's meant for socks, but I want to make something that I can wrap around my neck. Plus, it has sparkles intertwined in the yarn. I can't possible hide those in a pair of boots.

I bought the pattern book from the tour, and in there is the Sharktooth pattern. I am going to give my Barbie Dream Zebra a sharktooth. LOL . I hope to be able to cast on soon, once I get something off the needles. I have never been a huge fan of Garter Stitch, but Stephen West's designs always have these geometric shapes that make it so interesting.

I got to take a picture with both designers, and they signed my pattern book. I had such a fun time meeting them.

Here is my haul from the show.  Knit Simple magazine was complementary.  These guys rock!

Happy Birthday to me..... 2 weeks later. Haha!

It's been a few weeks since my last post, and although my hexipuff knitting has slowed down a bit, the knitting bug is still biting. I celebrated a 30-something birthday on July 22nd, and took the time to reflect on a few things. Then it hit me. BAM!!! I need to make an infinity cowl.

The color inspiration came from a skirt that I wore on my birthday. A very bright peachy orange.

I've gotten so obsessed, that I even did an acrylic nail overlay with this color.

Well, it didn't stop there. I had to find a yarn in this color. Lo and behold, it was waiting for me at Purl Soho. Madeline Tosh Tosh Merino Light in Neon Peach. Oh, they have it in DK too..... but that's for another project.

So, of course I immediately went to buy it. It was my birthday gift to myself.

My mom decided to model the yarn for me, and yes her nails match as well. This color is so infectious.

With the flash on, it looks Neon Pinky and with no flash it looks Neon Orangey.

I also bought a stitch dictionary, so that I can try some new design ideas. This book is especially helpful because it gives you the instructions for knitting flat or in the round, bottom up or top down. How cool is that?

So, of course I pick out 3 lace panels and start testing them out with the yarn. At one point I had to rip it out and choose a different pattern #3, because it just wasn't working. But that's all in the fun process of designing right?

So, now at this point, I have already mapped out where I want this birthday cowl to take me. I casted on the appropriate amount of stitches needed for my cowl and began the journey.

My goal is to have something that is feminine, pretty, light and lofty. Yet, still warm enough to ward off an autumn chill.

Here I am, finishing 1 repeat of one of my lace panels. A little early to see the magic happen, but the kinks are worked out and I'm taking notes. I already have two offers for test knitters. Knitters are such beautiful people. They have such faith in the end product, even though the path isn't fully mapped out. I love it.

Oh, and let's not forget my second birthday present to myself.

 I finally got my FULL ChiaoGoo Needle set.

I had wanted the set since I bought 2 fixed circulars at Rhinebeck and loved the way the yarn felt gliding through my fingers harmoniously with the needle. It's a feeling only a knitter can understand. Craftsy had a 40% off sale last week. I also ordered a kit to make the Aran Counterpane sock. That kit just put me over the threshold for free shipping. Why put the money toward shipping when it can be better used toward yarn?

I love how the package comes with a pocket for the needle gauge and keys for tightening the cables. Everything is labeled nicely and has its specific compartment. I can't wait to put new stitch markers in the little pocket.

The yarn that came with the sock kit is Lorna's Laces Solemate in Buckingham Fountain. I wanted to make a sock, but after attending the Stephen and Steven tour, it might very well turn into some sort of scarf/shawl/wrap/neck thingy. I seem to have a cowl obsession. Don't judge me. More on the Stephen and Steven tour coming up really soon.......