Monday, March 26, 2007

Simple Leather-Handled Shoulder Bag

I spent Sunday lazily knitting at The Point, and chatting with various people, both customers and employees. I worked on the Brussels Lace Camisole from Handknit Holidays while eating some yummy plum cake. Later I stopped by Purl Patchwork to pick up some fabric for a project for my mom. When I got home, I realized I hadn't bought enough, and it was the wrong type of fabric anyway. So, tonight I made a bag out of it.

This is the Simple Leather-Handled Shoulder Bag from Amy Butler's In Stitches. I was able to make this courtesy of a friend from work who recently gave me her sewing machine to replace my tiny little $10 craft sewing machine. I bought the leather straps a while back at M&J Trimming in anticipation of making this bag eventually. The fabric is something japanese, so I can't read the manufacturer. I liked this pattern. It was clear (after reading it carefully) and relatively easy for my very basic sewing skills. It is lined with the same fabric as the outside- sort of a long tube that is pushed inside itself to make the lining.

Friday, March 23, 2007


Pattern Notes
Clapotis from Knitty

It seems like everyone in the online knitting community has made this wrap and now I can see why! It is an easily memorized knit, but is also a slower knit than I expected.

Yarn: Autumn House Rayon Yarn bought at Rhinebeck 2006
Color: 501 blues and white
Needles: US 6 (my ebony needles!)

I used size 6 needles because this yarn seemed to work well on them. The 8's just seemed too big. As a result, I used only 2 skeins (of the 4 I had) of this yarn, for a total of 460 yards. I think it is smaller than the one in the pattern. I love it though. It is so soft, shiny, and drapy, and very delicate. I didn't modify the pattern at all.

Booga Bag

Pattern Notes

Booga Bag from Black Sheep Bags

My email knitting buddy had made this bag and told me how quick and easy the pattern was. I had two sets of this yarn for a while set aside for this pattern, and I finally got around to making one. I love this colorway. I also have enough for another one in a blue colorway (if I don't use it for something else).

Yarn: Noro Kureyon
Needles: US 10.5

I love this bag and use it all the time now, although I am thinking of felting it even more, and possibly even making the straps shorter. Right now, if there's stuff in it, it comes right down to my knees when it's on my shoulder. I want it to come low on my hips.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Wild Stripes Blanket

Pattern Notes
Wild Stripes from Knitty

As soon as I saw this pattern in Knitty last year, I knew I was going to make it for my best friend, Renee, when she got pregnant. Little did I know, it wasn't long until I needed to begin. Renee told me she was only a few weeks pregnant in August of 2006 and is due around Easter. I gave her this blanket, along with the Outdoor Snuggle, at her baby shower in February.

Yarn: KnitPicks Merino Style 100% wool; same colors as used in pattern
Needles: US 5 circular needles
Piping: Wrights Maxi Piping from Walmart
Lining: Free Spirit cotton fabric from Brooklyn General

I knitted this blanket as described in the pattern. The embroidery, however, was not sewn through the lining. Since I did not use a gingham fabric (I couldn't find any anywhere), I was unable to line up the embroidery on the back of the blanket. So, as a result, the lining is not attached to the blanket, except around the sides, of course.

Friday, March 16, 2007

A Lot of Catch Up

This post is basically an update on the many various things that I have been meaning to post about. I am hoping I can clear my mind and start to get back to blogging regularly by posting this back stuff.

First, I am working on a secret project that I most likely won't post anymore about for quite a while, until it is finished probably. Any knitters might be able to see my progress on this project over at a KAL dedicated to a couple Interweave books. Hopefully at least (and only) the knitters out there can decode what I just said. These are some of my swatching for the project, which is being knit in Frog Tree Alpaca. I had the day off today and actually began the project and worked on it most of the day.

Next, some socks. A basic sock pattern that I have knit a couple times now, and the pattern that I learned to knit socks from. It's from an issue of Martha Stewart's Living Magazine from several years ago. The yarn is Lorna's Laces and a colorway that is being sold exclusively at Purl Soho. This sock has since been frogged... yes, even though I was close to the end... I can't even remember why.

This is my current "travel project". Since this picture was taken, I have begun the heel. I spent much of last Sunday wandering around mostly the Soho area and visiting The Point, where I sat for a while knitting with Ravi and Amy (a new knitter and sadly, blogless). The yarn is Regia Stripe and the pattern is Anastasia's socks.

I began (and then frogged) this cami that I have been wanting to knit for a while. I have had the yarn for quite a while (Plymouth Yarn Suri Merino). It's actually a very beautiful dark purple color that is not well-reproduced in this picture. I have basically been practicing the relatively basic lace pattern so that when my knitting group next meets I can actually talk to them while beginning again.

The yarn diet has been going relatively well. My two mishaps so far are not actually breaking the official rules. I guess, even though I feel like I am cheating, I am successful in spending far less on yarn so far than last year. My three cheats are the Frog Tree Alpaca (see rule 2b), this cute little kit below, and the Claudia Handpainted below that. I bought the kit from Purl Soho. This one really is sort of a cheat, but I figured since it was a very tiny amount of yarn in this relatively cheap little kit, it wasn't like I was actually buying yarn. The Claudia Handpainted lace weight yarn is 1100 yards of silk for only $42! Now, technically, I am breaking the yarn diet here since it isn't sock yarn, but it could be my "get out of jail" yarn (rule 2d)... I have a feeling this card might be used once more if I go to a fiber event in the summer.

Isn't it beautiful?

One of our knitting group members, who moved to DC last year sent this 'zine to our group: Slave to the Needles. I was the first to recieve it and since I haven't seen the group, have yet to pass it on. It is so cute and has lots of interviews and a couple cute patterns. Thanks Cheryl!

A while back I made this cute little pouch using Anna's Zipper Tutorial. I love this little tutorial and my pouch doesn't do it justice. The problem probably has to do with the fact that I am using a $10 sewing machine (one of those tiny ones you can find in the craft store) without a zipper foot (which I believe she warns us about). Well, even though it's wrinkly (not matter how much I ironed) and the stitches aren't straight, it's probably not bad for my first try. When I get a larger apartment, hopefully I can get a "real" sewing machine.

Cath Kidston was recommended to me by the girls over at Purl Patchwork when I couldn't find what I was looking for in their store. Well, unfortunately, the prices at Cath Kidston's were somewhat riduculous for fabrics, but I did find this cute little clothes pin holder on sale there.

Last week (the day I spent at The Point), I hopped on the subway to go up to Kinokuniya Bookstore, also recommended by Purl (by Joelle herself!). I love these japanese craft books that I have been seeing all over the craft blogs. I have seen a few in stores, but they either weren't for sale or they weren't quite what I was looking for. I found three on this trip because the store's craft section is relatively large. A crochet book (there weren't many knitting ones) which had an adorable little mult-colored wrap in it, and a couple sewing/general craft books. One of these had a crocheted bag that struck me, as well as a patchwork/crochet bag, reminiscent of the Zakka-Style Pouch in The Crafter's Companion. The other had a bunch of different sewn pouches and bags that I loved.

I also bought a couple cardboard file holders there that I thought were were so cute. Here's the pattern on them... cute, right?

Last weekend at The Point, Ravi was working on some beautiful fair isle swatches, one of which she cut (*gasp*) right in front of me. Everytime I see this kind of knitting I keep thinking I have to actually get to one of the color projects I want to try. I definately need work on my stranded knitting. The Red Light Special hat over at Brooklyn Tweed is a definate must. I also love some of the stitch patterns in Stitchionary 3, especially montana, ooh las vegas, and our town. I also bought this while I was there:

I had meant to mention Cogknition's Ombre Blanket ever since she posted about it. It is from Last Minute Knitted Gifts and I love love love the colors she chose.

I am also loving the Diamond in the Square Quilt at KnitWhits.

Another thing I should have mentioned weeks ago was that I went to the Radical Lace & Subversive Knitting exhibit at the Museum of Art & Design in NYC. Fave piece: "It Sucks" in beautiful, very intricate, fine white lace.

Another random thought: I love Bella's Grand Unified Field Theory of Stash. Read it - it's great.

Walking back to my car from The Point last weekend, I saw this cool doorway... on Bleeker... I think.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Knitting Library

Julie tagged... well everyone with this meme (originated by Rae).

1. What is your favorite pattern book? I love Last Minute Knitted Gifts because it has such a diverse range of projects for men, women, babies, teens, and anyone else you could possibly want to knit for.

2. What is your favorite technique book? Believe it or not, Stitch -n- Bitch. I am always referring to this book for a technique I have forgotton, or want to make sure I am doing right. I don't own any of the really "techy" books but I really want to own Knitting Technology, and it's been on my wish list for a while.

3. What classic technique book should every knitter own? Again, I don't buy many technical knitting books, but for designing, there is lots of good information in Designing Knitwear.

4. How many knitting books do you typically buy in a year? Like Julie, I find this question a little scary (especially since I am on a yarn diet). I probably buy 1-2 per month... maybe 3 some months. But I think I am saturated to where I don't need to buy every new good one that comes out. The reason is because if it's a good book, but I have similar patterns in another book, I won't buy it (at least not until I am really needing to buy one). Everytime a new book comes out and I realize it's one more that I don't have to own, I am very happy. That said, I bought both The Natural Knitter and Knitting Around within the last two weeks.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Outdoor Snuggle

Pattern Notes

Outdoor Snuggle from Nursery Knits by Zoe Mellor

I gave this to my best friend at her baby shower, along with the Wild Stripes blanket.

Yarn: Rowan Wool Cotton; some random unknowns for the motif and edging
Color: blue (color # SH933), orange, yellow
Needles: US 5
Zipper: white, from Walmart

I bought this yarn at the Whippletree Yarn Shop when I was on a business trip to Woodstock, VT. I ended up needing an extra skein which I ordered from them later. I just received the errata for this book (thanks, Andy!) and it turns out that I was supposed to need that extra skein! The shop did have the same dye lot (yay!) and I ended up buying 2 extra skeins, just in case, and so I have an extra skein and a half of this yarn left.

The yellow and orange yarns were tiny partial skeins that the shop was selling for 25 cents each, and since they were about the right weight, I figured I would save money, instead of buying full skeins in those colors.

I knit the pattern as written, for the most part, but had to "fudge" some spots. I didn't document very well the exact modifications I made, but I seem to remember them being around the neck and flaps. After seeing the errata, I now know that I am not as bad at counting stitches as this pattern had me thinking, lol. As a side note, in case anyone is thinking of buying this book, there are only 2 patterns that had any major changes in the errata (it just so happened that I was knitting one of them).

I had bought this book since I am at the age where a lot of my friends are having kids. Of the choices of knitting books geared mainly towards babies and toddlers, this one seemed to suit my tastes the best. It features more unique and interesting patterns than many of the knitting books for kids, and as a plus the patterns are diverse (and so will cover my kid-knitting needs for the forseeable future). My favorites are the kitten and puppy sweaters, the outdoor snuggle (of course), the zoo toybag, and the luxury lettered coat (very cute in tweed!).