Just Knitting

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Oh HI friends!

I feel like it's one of those mornings in which I have nothing to say. I want to be witty and funny and oh so pretty but honestly I am just trying not to brew a 3rd or 4th cup of coffee.

BUT OH am I knitting! I have been test knitting for a few designers in hopes to have some of their magical design genuis rub off on me. 

I'd be lying if I said it wasn't working. I'm definitely brimming with some design ideas and have casted on a few swatches to see if anything will work in real life. I sometimes get carried away at the thought of a design that in reality will SO not work. (Knitted Mini Skirt, anyone?) Practicality is necessary with knitting, I'd dare say.

Stay tuned, I of course will have a few cowls to show you but really it's my hope to be able to give you guys something a little more substatntial than that!

For now, I leave you with my notions bag. I finally did the ol' turn it upside down, pour that crap out out on the couch clean up. It's amazing the random things in there. Keys, a thumb drive (!?), some lip gloss, cute buttons, a pen, biz cards… oh and mints! Who wants to knit with someone with stinky breath. Not I!

But I also have the things I cannot live with out. My zebra sissors, a bajillion stitch markers and my trusty Susan Bates gauge and needle measuring thingy. (So technical I am) I am pretty sure it's been used on EVERYTHING I have made. 

What's in your notions bag? (try to NOT read that like the viking's in the Capital One commercial.)

Sharing the bracelet love

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It's out! The new Petite Purls magazine with a friendship bracelet tutorial from yours truly! It was an honor to work with the wonderful Allegra and Brandy for their fabulous e-magazine. I hope you'll go check it out, buy some DMC floss and make a few for you, your kid, your bestie, and the list could go on!

If you want an added frienship bracelet bonus check out my tutorial for a 4-sided braid which can be found here

Happy bracelet making!

 

Missoni for Knitters

I don't know about you but I thought it was pretty crazy how quickly the Missoni products few off the shelves at Target. I even heard the hysteria for buying things crashed the Target site. People were hording 3 to 4 pieces each to apparently try to make a quick buck by re-selling stuff on ebay. Sad but true.

It's one of those days where I am happy I am a knitter because I don't need Target to get my Missoni. I just need a little Ravelry search :-).

Missoni Inspired Blanket by Kelly Kingston

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Ida's Kitchen by Kristin Kapur

Ida in Florence

 

Lovfald Skirt by Annette Danielsen 

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Chevron Cowl by Not So Knotty Knits

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Suze Chevron Tunic by Irina Poludnenko

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Not to mention the ever popular Jaywalkers by Grumperina or Miriam Felton's beautiful Chevron Collection! Just add the popular Missoni stripes.

Flashback Friday: Fifi

Fifi

Made in 2007
Pattern: Fifi by French Girl
Yarn: Rowan Calmer
Original Post 

This was the knit that first introduced me to my SFAM (sister from another mother) Nonnahs! As we began to read each others blogs and view our notebooks and saved projects we found we had the exact same taste! So of course when I saw her Fifi I loved it so much that I immediately casted on one for myself.

Moulin Rouge

I still have this knit and will throw it on every once in a while. It is a great top down seamless tee. Perfect for that cool Fall day when all you need is a kiss of warmth. 

Learn How to Knit

I realize that 99.9% of my readers are most likely knitters but for that 1% of you who pop by this ol' blog just for the sheer enjoyment of my knittyness I thought I'd at least encourage you to try to pick up some sticks!

Did you know knitting has been shown to help prevent stress, arthritis, heart attacks and dementia! Not to mention it's the perfect ice breaker for anyone who has to move to a new city, across the country, or around the world?

AND, I'd like to think if I was stuck on a deserted island I would be a hot commody with my skill. I know I could fashion a few sticks from some bushes or palm tree and some "yarn" from a leaf to knit from. Move over Professor from Guilligan's Island!

So where to begin? 

Find your Local Yarn Shop!
The easiest thing to do is to search for "yarn shops" near your town OR you can use this nifty little site Knitmap. Most yarn shops offer beginners knitting and you can meet other newbie knitters like yourself and create a whole crew of new and obessed knitters!

My personal favs: (as in I know the owners and they are all FABULOUS! Tell em' Margaux sent ya!)
Hoboken, NJ – Patricia's Yarns
Babylon, NY – The Village Knitter 
Philadelphia, PA – Loop
San Francisco, CA – Atelier Yarns 
Oakland, CA – A Verb for Keeping Warm 

Do an online course!

Craftsy
If you can't get to your LYS or you prefer to learn at home check out Craftsy.com! It's a new site that offers a great number of knitting courses. You can follow along at your own pace and you don't need worry that your fumbling fingers will embarrass you.

I also tell a lot of people I know who want to learn how to knit to use knittinghelp.com. I've even sent this site to my own beginner knit students to help them with their knitting homework.

Get a knitting handbook!
Even if you do a course at a LYS or online having your won knit handbook is a MUST in your knitting library. The one I learned out of (yes yours truly learned from a knitting book!): Stitch N Bitch. Debbie Stoller's personality shines through in this must have book. There are great sketches and no nonsense writing.  

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For a more traditonal route, get Montroe Stanley's Knitter's Handbook. These two books are ones you will come back to again and again!

Find other knitters like yourself!
Once you get your knits and purls down you're going to want to meet other knit enthusists like yourself. Enter: Ravelry.

Ravelry - a knit and crochet community
The "Facebook" for knitters. I pretty much talk about Ravelry at least once a post. I primarily use it to research patterns I want to make or to pair a yarn I have in my stash with a pattern. The benefits are endless in being a member, plus it's FREE.

Knitty.com is also another fabulous place to find patterns and instructions. Techniques with Teresa is my favorite column! I've learned so much from her column.

My other knitters out there – how did you learn how to knit?

Remembering

9-11

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Originally posted Sept. 11, 2006

5 years ago today I was sleeping soundly in my bed at college. It was a day that I didn't have morning classes and like any college kid would I decided to sleep in. The phone abruptly rang and I fumbled around to pick it up.  My dad was on the other end. "Hi, Honey. I just wanted you to know that I'm alright".  His voice was calm and in my waking cloudiness I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. He was surprised I didn't know yet.  

"A plane just hit the world trade".  Of course when you hear something like that you're never really thinking of the worse case scenario. I imagined a small propeller plane manned by a novice pilot who got lost on his way out of Teterboro. Never in my wildest nightmares did I think of this. I jumped out of bed with my phone in hand and flipped on the TV. There it was – a smoking tower. I was on the phone with my dad just as the second plane struck. I could tell he was just as shocked as I was, but trying to hold his calm. 

My father should have been at work that day on the 98th floor of Tower Two, but because I needed my car at school he took the day off to get it serviced. I stayed on the phone with him as we watched in horror as the towers fell. I was devastated.

I was an Resident Assistant that year and had to pull myself together to be a support for the students on my hall.  Sure enough the doors of other dorm rooms were flung open as TV sets came alive with the scene. A girl whose HS was in the neighborhood began crying; another had yet to hear from her own dad, someones uncle was on the plane. 

I went to Boston College which was heavily struck by this tragedy. There were numerous family and faculty members on those flights. We held a prayer service. We had a mourning wall. We had no idea who Bin Ladin was but were learning more about this man whose name is now synonymous with terror.

It's a day like today that makes me think.

I think of all those who passed. I think of all those who still need healing. I think of the heroes. I think of all the people in our world and hope that we never, ever, have to witness a tragedy such as this on any soil.

I think of my knitting. Of the calm it has given me in times of stress. Of the excitement it has given me in moments of inspiration. It has given me such joy.  A co-worker of mine came across this article that was written int the National Catholic Reporter called "Knitting Ourselves Together."  It speaks of the bonds knitting has created in the here and now, across seas and across time. A strong connection we have when connections are so easily broken.

Thinking of you all on this day.  
M

FO: Different Lines

Different Lines

Pattern: Different Lines by Veera 
Yarn: Madeline Tosh Sock & Alpha B yarn BBF
Needles: US 6
Raveled 

Have you ever timed your stitches? 

I don't consider myself a fast knitter. The reason why I make so many things is because I spend a lot of time working on them. I don't admit to people how much time I spend but it's A LOT. I may or may not forget to eat, shower or do laundry when I am in the zone with a knit I cannot wait to finish.

It didn't occur to me that I was anywhere near being a fast knitter until I was working different lines.

Different Lines

Well folks, apparently I am a fast knitter.

It's a funny thing to respond to when someone calls you out being so quick. I mean what do you say in response? "Thank you!" or "I try." or "Awe Shucks, you're just seeing things!"

Speed doesn't always mean quality. Sure you can knit like the wind but are those stitches even? Who wants a wonky sweater that's made fast? Quality takes time.

It's true knitting continental (picking your yarn) allows you to create the stitches in a much quicker way than knitting english (throwing your yarn) does. It's the nature of the mechanics. Does that mean it's better? I don't think so. I learned how to knit the english way and often times I'll switch back because it just "feels better". And don't even get me started on combination knitting! That's a whole other world.

Different Lines

My goal in knitting is to create something I will love and wear often. It's what gets me most excited about the craft. Not speed or structure or even technique, it's the end product that get me pumped. Do I learn how to make better stitches along the way? absolutely! But again, the end product must be something I can wear proudly.

I was walking with my husband yesterday wearing my different lines and he mentioned how he felt that this piece would get a lot of people asking, "Where did you buy that?"

It's one of my favorite questions. I love telling people, "Oh no, I made this!"

Different Lines 

Different Lines

Do I dare consider making Stripe Study now? 😉