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?

Knitter Extraordinaire Spotlight

Since moving to SF I have met so many wonderful knitters. Women and men who are just as obsessed (and dare I say, some more) with this craft as I am (MY PEOPLE!). So when my friend Linda posted her new finished project on Ravelry I just HAD to show off! 

P8290274

Made by the brilliant Linda (Rav ID: lindaloveslace) for her daughter. 
Yarn: Northhampton Valley Yarns, Worsted
Needles: US 5, 7, and 3s

Victory Lap X

Dudes, it's her OWN pattern! She calls it Project X: Victory Lap. Don't you worry I am demanding encouraging her to write it up. 

P8290269
What's doubly amazing is that her daughter, Lauren, made this mural! It's done with MARKERS people. If you're in SF and walking along the panhandle at Oak and Lyon look for this gorgeous door. It's just incredible.There's no doubt that creativity and talent run in the family. 

Beautiful job, Linda & Lauren!

FO: Melanie Wrap

Melanie Wrap

Pattern: Melanie Wrap (My own)
Yarn: Quince & Co. Lark (100% American Wool, 134 yrds/50g),
Chanterelle, 5balls, Pomegranate, 1 ball (100% American Wool, 134 yrds)
US 7(4.5mm) circular and DPN needles

Melanie Wrap

Melanie Wrap

While it is not an "exact" copy of what Mel wore I still think it caputres the essence of what she wore. Classic yet stylish. I hope you will enjoy making and wearing it while watching Sweet Home Alabama.

I am loving all the comments coming in for the Loop-D-Loop Lace Giveaway – it's getting me excited on what to knit for fall! Hopefully you'll now all add this to your list!

Flashback Friday: Cherry

Cherry

OH how tan I was!

Cherry made in 2007
Yarn: Elann Sonatta
Original Post

This is sweater is one of my most 'hearted' projects in my Ravelry notebook (2nd to my Heather Hoodie Vest). A beautiful short sleeved cardigan sweater by the wonderful Anna Bell. 

I remember even now working on the sleeves during my epic 10 hr delay in Heathrow airport. I was the chaperone for a school trip taking 43 girls to Italy for two weeks.  Did I ever tell you all about that experience? Due to some breakdown in the baggage area in Heathrow there was all hell breaking loose. So much so that for half of us on the trip had to wait an extra week to receive our luggage. Take a moment and think about this: 20 teenage girls without their luggage for One Week. TWENTY.

Cherry

I learned patience, compassion and love that week. I saw girls who willingly gave of themselves (and their clothes) to those who saw this as the most devastating moment of their lives. Some pieces of luggage never made it back to their owners. I'm sure they shared their story in many a college application essay.

But let's get back to the sweater shall we? I love love love this piece – such a great construction and beautiful design. The yarn and sweater have held up beautifully since. 

I'm currently in Portland leaving for SF tonight. This city is facinating to me. I'll speak more on that on Monday. I also have a finished and blocked Aidez to share… luvre luvre love.

have a great weekend!

Penelope

Penelope

I have a problem.  It's not that I can't say "no", it's just that I don't want to.

Wanna open another bottle of wine?  Yes.

Wanna *bake some chocolate chip cookies tonight? Yes

So when my LYS got their shipment of Madeline Tosh Sock my eye caught this gorgeous light cranberry color – Wanna knit something with me?  Oh hells yes.

Those two skeins barely touched the shelf  before I grabbed and clutched them close to my chest saying, "Mine."  See, I told you I have a problem.

The wheels in my head began turning.  I imagined a wide drapy scarf I could wear either once wrapped around my neck or nice and snug – depending on my mood and the cold Jersey air.

Penelope

I took out my trusty Barbara Walker Stitch Treasury (vol. 1) and found a perfect and simple lace patten.  Turns out it's such a popular stitch pattern that there was already a scarf using it called the Strangling Vines Lace Scarf on Ravelry.

What I used:
Two balls of Madeline Tosh, Amber Trinket
Needles: US 5 
Raveled 

Penelope

I call my scarf Penelope after a cute restaurant in midtown Manhattan that serves excellent chicken meatballs.  I went there a few weeks ago with my girlfriends and just love it's quaint ambiance.

The knitting continues to pile up on my needles and I keep thinking of more and more to knit everyday.

Wanna make a mini skirt?

Yup. It's a problem.

 *When I say bake, what I really mean is "take out the ready made Nestle Toll House from the refrigerator, break off a few blocks and eat them promptly out of the oven with a huge glass of milk."