Monday, May 23, 2011

New Address

In the need to consolidate my life, and stop trying to compartmentalize myself, I have moved this blog over to my original blog address. I hope you won't mind re-directing yourselves there.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Kindle Kover 2.0

I finally completed the Kindle Kover 2.0 that was requested of me months ago. After weeks of plotting, sketching and swatching, I finished sewing in the lining this morning. Of course I see tons of room for improvement, but that's just the type of knitter I am, I suppose.

I think my friend will enjoy it, which is the most important part.

One particular area of re-working that I need, however, is how my ribbing turns out. As one can see from the picture on the right, I did a tubular cast on for this project. Now while that was a new feat all its own, I ended up with a rather common knitter's problem where the knit/purls in my ribbing would become looser as they were made one after the other. The problem isn't really present on the right side, but screams out to me on the left. I'm researching now how to fix this, and will update you once I've figured it out.

Now, time for some iPod socks! (The second half of the request).

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Late Coming

I'm incredibly late in posting these photos, but I did want to get them up. They're from the Vogue Fashion Show that Lion Brand Yarn Studio put on in May. Was a great show, though as always, wish I had gotten to see a couple more men's designs. Beautiful pieces over all though. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Vermont, Part Deux

I'm up in Vermont again. GP is graduating from his cartooning program. Everyone else is still asleep in the apartment. As usual, I can't sleep for very long when I'm away from home, so I sat down at the computer for some light and continued to work on my swatch of a cable I'll be doing in my next project.

Since cables are usually done on a purling background, I wanted to see if purling would be necessary if I  knitted the cable stitches in a different color than the main work. I don't mind the idea of doing the purl, I just want to know what the effect will be like. I saw in another test swatch that the purling is desirable when using the same color as the rest of the work.

Oh, sun's really rising finally. Better start to get ready for the day. After just one more row.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Scotch at Gymboree

Yesterday was a great knitting day. A few weeks ago I noticed Petrina, a Ravelry member (first row in the photo, holding the Vera Bradley bag), had created a thread seeing if anyone would be interested in having a subway knitting event. The idea was to have a bunch of knitters meet up and take over a subway car. With mostly positive responses from fellow Ravelers, Petrina took it upon herself to plan the whole event (a piece a cake I'm sure for an event planner).

We met at the 57th & 7th Stop of the Q train (the first/last stop of the train in Manhattan). I arrived in a hurry, worried that my ride downtown on the 1 and then walking to the station would make me late. I walked down the platform, not spotting any knitters at first, and thought perhaps no one else had arrived yet. And then I came across a bench surrounded by women knitting. As I thought may be the case, I had the pleasure of being the only male present. In fact, as I arrived holding my Denise circulars in hand to identify myself as a knitter, I was greeted by Suzy exclaiming, "A knitting dude!" I may have blushed.

Petrina introduced herself to me, and I attempted to greet some of the other knitters. We waited until 2PM and then boarded the next Q train and began our ride out to Coney Island. We took up about half the train car (seated) and I thought nothing of it at first. Anyone who wasn't already knitting began to pull out projects and ask what the person next to them was working on. Or had one of the delicious chocolate chip cookies that were brought along. Everyone seemed to be excited to be taking part of the event, and to have the chance to meet other knitters.

 It wasn't until we pulled into Times Square, and I saw the mass of people waiting to board the train, that I began to think how people would react to a train car filled with people stitching away.
I'd say we mostly went by unnoticed, except for a curious glance that I caught from a rider or two. A few passengers (some knitters, some not) were very excited to see us on the train. They asked questions and we politely answered, and enjoyed the trip out to the beach. One of the quickest I've ever had (though I've only ever been out there once or twice before).

Once we arrived at Coney Island, we headed over to Footprints Cafe for some linner (it's lunch and dinner). Petrina had been kind enough to reserve the entire patio for us. Footprints, a sort of Caribbean-styled restaurant, had a 4-page long list of drinks, a good variety of entrees, and a good wait-staff. Being the least adventurous of my group, I started off with Buffalo wings, followed by grilled chicken and vegetables with a side of rice. Others had codfish and crab cakes, Rasta Pasta and other names I can't remember. But we all had a great time, as we ended up being there for nearly 3 hours. But with great company, good food and knitting at hand, it felt like five minutes.

Thank heavens yesterday was my going out day. I'm not sure if I could have handled being out by Coney Island in this heat and humidity.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Knit Something Already!

My interchangable needles are here! Or, they have beem since the 13th. I've been putting them to use since they day I got them, and have been knitting just about everywhere now. Originally I was suppose to receive a set for my birthday/Christmas. However, that set were placed on backorder without informing my incredible friend who had ordered them. So when they still hadn't arrived in February, I asked what had ever happened to them. He informed me that he called the company, told him what happened, and he canceled the order. Instead we went with the Denise Interchangeable Needles Kit, and I'm incredibly happy with them! I'll post a review on how well they work perhaps a little later.

Since I got my set of Denise Needles, there's been a familiar exchange between my boyfriend and me:

"What are you working on?" David asks, taking a break from whatever school project he's working on.
"Oh, I'm just practicing." I reply.
"Just make something already!" he says before he turns back to his work.
On some level, I find it all very amusing. Though I can see why it would frustrate him that I've been just sort of knitting swatches or practicing a new stitch. He's been waiting an awful long time for me to make him socks or a blanket, so I really do have to hop to it.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

"It's not your average tweed"*

A fantastic evening** with Jared Flood, aka, Brooklyn Tweed. I couldn't have asked for a better injection of motivation to get my knitting, and surrounding life, into gear!

"What you see here are two very idyllic images."
Taking the stage at LBYS, Flood began the night by showing us pictures of where he grew up and went to school--the Pacific Northwest. Pictures filled with nature: flowers, trees and lakes. His goal was to demonstrate the differences between his influences from back home, and the very urban beauty he finds in New York City. His final photo of the Northwest was of a foggy road--the fog seemed to be easing in and dominating the road. This picture of light filled water particles set the tone of the evening for me.

"Artists' perception develops in the light where they grew up." I forget at times that Flood's training and background is that of a painter/draftsman. And as he continues to speak, Flood touches on the fact that when he designs his knitwear, it's images such as these that he goes to for inspiration. Not the patterns or pieces of other knitwear designers. As well, he explained that he uses mood boards when he works. A way to set the tone for the piece(s) that he is working on. I of course find this particularly interesting because his approach is incredibly artistic, but also how many fashion designers approach their work. 

In addition to explaining where his inspiration comes from, Flood shared that it is, as with many hand knitters, the texture of the pieces that so often catches his attention. "I think of light as physical." It is the textures that he saw when he was living in Rome and Dublin, the tangible light in the fog, that inspires him to create. A psuedo-hidden architecture fan, Flood showed us how the Seattle Public Library had a direct impact on his Koolhaas pattern. His approach seems both incredibly modest and direct. Quite humble in a way. How can someone not, in turn, want to go into the world and be inspired. To find their own avenue of creation.

Flood continued to fill us in on his adventures into knitting. Though he began to learn when he was about 5, it only lasted for a week or so before he left it behind. He started creating an online presence for himself because he had fallen into the 9-to-5 rut (something that I think we can call commiserate with) and wanted to have a way to hold himself accountable. "This is a good thing to do with my work computer" he said. And thus a sort of 'hobby' that he did, over the last 7 years, has become a career that he never expected. 

"You're designing a garment. But you're also designing an experience."
Flood's designs are keen on simplicity. "If you have the right materials in your hands, the simplest thing can be beautiful" noted Flood, as he showed us a lace shawl. "I just really love lace because it gives you an excuse to play with shape." Its no surprise then, that one of Flood's future projects is a book of lace patterns. The evening moved along very quickly, with Flood showing us his work and explaining what his future projects would be. Common through his pieces are miles of garter stitch with just a simple twist to add that elegance that has become so associated with Brooklyn Tweed. 

If any of you have been to Flood's blog, you will have seen the gorgeous photos he takes of his work. So it was no surprise that during the Q&A section, Flood was asked for some tips for those aspiring to take Brooklyn Tweed worthy pictures of their knitting:
  1. Always approach your piece from a perpendicular angle to where the light is coming from. Doing this is what allows your pictures to have depth and not become flat.
  2. Create a secondary light source. You can use a white pillow, a sheet of poster board, anything that will reflect light back onto the piece you are photographing.
  3. You are only responsible for what is in your field. Kick the dirty laundry out of the way, and you're picture will have the right focus, and compliment the rest of your space. Apparently he receives regular questions about how large his apartment must be, when in fact, it's just 650 squared-feet.
I'd like to end this by touching on how Flood chose to end his presentation. The final photo was of where he knits when he is home. A large, well-worn, brown leather chair is seated in the corner, next to a wooden table. On the table their are a couple skeins of yarn, and a large potted plant. Behind the table is a large window with an unbelievable amount of sun streaming in. He included this image because, though his online presence has given him so much, "If you never left the house it would all be in your head." I know I was glad to have left the house tonight.

Just make sure you bring your knitting along for the ride.

*Yes, he did say this at some point, and I was immensely amused by it. Though perhaps only I was.

** I would like to say that this evening was made possible by the kindness of a knitter that I had never met before. I'm not sure how she found out--I believe she saw my post on Ravelry lamenting that I was too late to RSVP--but she had a opening in her RSVP, and decided to reach out to me. I, of course, jumped at the opportunity to go see Jared Flood. So thank you so much, Kimberly, for inviting me out to what was such a great event.