Thursday, December 19, 2013

Addi-ctive


I wish I was clever enough to come up with that title, but my friend Asuka used it after seeing my new Addi Express machine in action.... and it is addictive!

Asuka is the Director of Education and Public Programs at the Santa Monica Museum of Art and had hired me to teach a couple of workshops at the Museum. For the 2nd workshop I brought the Addi machine and was so glad I did. It's hard to offer a workshop or to teach a class where you walk out with a completely finished project but it happened that night! We all walked out with finished hats having cranked out the bulk of the hat on the knitting machine. To set it up and crank it out takes probably 10 minutes tops. The most involved part is getting the work off the machine then knitting the ribbing on the bottom edge and binding off.

I first saw it in action at a trunk show the rep for Addi had at The Little Knittery and Kat and I were immediately taken with it (you can check out videos on youtube to see it in action.) After my daughter kept asking if we could get one I thought, what the heck and justified it by thinking of all the Christmas gifts we could crank out... as of yet not one :(

Here's Wilhelmina, my 6 year old working on it. It's a very simple machine to use, she has no problem doing the set up row, making the piece and taking it off by herself. The flat pieces are a little trickier but she's trying.

Here's a flat piece on the machine. Kat and I were making fingerless mitts and were getting a little frustrated with how it would sometimes skip at the ends and we would have to redo it but we weren't sure if it was our inexperience with the machine or if flat pieces are just trickier.

Here's a flat swatch and a bit of a hat showing at the top of the picture. The hat I used Misti Alpaca Chunky and it worked great. I used a 10.5 US needle for the ribbing and did a kitchener bind off. The flat piece was a lighter worsted and it worked great too. I want to work on a sweater with a lighter worsted... I think the needles on the machine are the equivalent to a US 10 or 10.5 so the lighter worsted would have a nice drape.

Here's Ursula wearing the hat she made (with a little help from mom). Again we used Misti Alpaca Chunky. For the bottom we held it together with a thin strand of something sparkly. There are a few rounds of this yarn that was like ric rac that she wanted but it was such a pain to work with we nixed it before it ruined the whole thing.


But what threw me off track with the machine and my intent to make lots of Christmas gifts was a job I had knitting for The Ellen Show last weekend. They wanted a matching hat and scarf in a bulky yarn (unfortunately the yarn was too thick for the machine.) It's always a good feeling to finish within a deadline and although I didn't get to see it a friend of mine sent me this photo and I thought it looked pretty good!



OK finally, hope everyone is having a great Holiday Season... better sign off to get cranking on some gifts! All the best in the New Year!




Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Santa Monica Museum of Art Workshops

Join me this Saturday, November 23rd at 10am for a beginning knitting workshop at the Santa Monica Museum of Art... already know how to knit then come on by December 3rd from 7-10pm for project knitting.

These workshops are in connection with a collaborative exhibit by artists Yutaka Sone & Benjamin Weissman. Check out the museum's website for a sneak peak or stop by tonight for the opening reception.

Hope to see you there!




Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wild Oats Fingerless Mitts


These fingerless mitts I made for an Intro to Cables class we had at The Little Knittery.  But I'm liking it as a great project for Holiday knitting, certainly meets all my requirements for gift knitting: quick, pretty easy and doesn't require much yarn... gotta keep chipping away at my stash!

These used 1/2 a skein of Pediboo by Frog Tree, so 2 pairs from one skein!


Materials:
1 skein Pediboo Yarn (182yds/165m) A blend of 80% Machine Washable Merino and 20% Bamboo Viscose.
#9 (5.5mm) needles
Darning needle
Cable Needle
Gauge 4sts = 1" in Stockinette Stitch
Finished measurements: 6"x 4"
If any adjustments are made to the pattern in regards to the stitch count add or subtract in multiples of 4, the number of stitches between the *'s.

Glossary:
K: knit
P: purl
St(s): stitch(es)
Stockinette Stitch (St st): alternate rows of Knit and Purl.
Sl 1: Go into the stitch as if you were going to purl and slip it from the left to the right hand needle.
 * : repeat
CN: cable needle
LHN: left hand needle
BO: bind or cast off

Cast on 35 stitches.
Rows 1-7: K
Row 8: P
Work 4 sets of Wild Oats Pattern. 32 rows total.
On the last set of the Wild Oats Pattern Knit Row 8.
K 7 more rows. BO
Sew side seams leaving a hole for the thumb @2.25" from the top and 2" from the bottom or how best it fits your hand.

Wild Oats Pattern (multiples of 4 +3)
Rows 1 and 5: (RS) Sl 1, * K2, sl1, K1, rep from * to last 2sts, K2
Rows 2 and 6: Sl 1, P1, * P1, sl1, P2, rep from * to end, P1.
Row 3: Sl 1, * Slip next 2 sts onto CN and hold at back of work, K the slip st from the LHN, K2 from CN, K1, Rep from * to last st, K2.
Row 4: P
Row 7: Sl 1, K1, * K1, slip the slip st onto CN and hold at front of work, K2, K1 from CN, rep from * to end, K1.
Row 8: P
Rep these 8 rows.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Sporty


Sometimes I just want to cast on and start knitting without thinking about how it will translate into a pattern. I want a break from my knitting "work" and just knit for the love of it.

It started last month when I was trying to downsize my stash and found these 2 colors of Pastaza by Cascade that I had left over from when I owned the shop Knit 1 in Chicago. Whenever Cascade would discontinue a color of a yarn I liked I would buy a bag having no idea what I would do with it but knowing I would use it someday... too many of those bags laying around!
So when I was going through my yarn and saw these two colors together it made me think of a 60's ski sweater and I knew I had to make something sporty.

I'm happy with how it turned out although I really need to block it (I want the body & sleeves a little bit longer.) And while it looks pretty simple because of the garter stitch, the construction of it (the top) is involved and is a little bit more than I want to translate right now... even though I did take notes.
That being said I'm sure at some point I'll write the pattern (next year). If you're an experienced knitter who is comfortable with minimal instruction and would like to try making it email me, I'm more than happy to share my notes.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

the Crochet Brioche Sweater

 After many months and promises of almost having it ready I'm happy to say the pattern for the Crochet Brioche Sweater is ready!

Having nothing to do with bread or the crochet brioche stitch the sweater is named after my knit version the Honeycomb Brioche Sweater. (pictured above)

Made using between 550-615 yards, 503-562m (4.5 skeins for S/M, 5 skeins for L) of Magnum by Cascade and Q/15.75mm hook this piece works up quickly and would be a good 1st sweater project for an advanced beginner to tackle. Nothing too complicated with this one... minimal increasing at the bottom waist section is probably the most complicated part. 

Pattern available as a PDF download. $6.50





Saturday, September 07, 2013

Just in time for Fall...

Huge wink for that title since I'm clearly a season behind! Has summer officially ended though? If it has you couldn't tell by the weather here in LA. September has been like a blast from a furnace so there's still some mileage for these pieces.

Stargazer Stripes:

The Knit Collage yarn Stargazer Silk, a 100% silk yarn that is threaded with silver colored brass sequins is a perfect yarn for this reversible A line tank. The weight of the yarn from the combination of the sequins and the silk makes it feel quite luxurious and adds a lot of drama to a simple striped top.

Worked from the top down with simple increases, easy color changes and an i-cord for the straps this would be a good top for an advanced beginner to tackle. Sizes: S/M, L

Yarn: 3(4) skeins of Color A (black) & 2 skeins of Color B (white)
Stargazer Silk by Knit Collage
Needle: US 10.5

Available as a PDF download. $6.50


a Simple Tank
This simple tank I designed for The Little Knittery as a shop sample. Made from the bottom up (a rarity for me) with a minimum of shaping and again i-cord straps, it's another one that would be good for an advanced beginner to try. I grafted the straps to make them seamless though these could be sewn. This top has deep armholes making it a good layering piece for cooler weather.



Yarn: 3 balls of Job-Life (L302) by On Line 
Needle: US #19 24" circular.

Available as a PDF download. $6.50


Simple Girl's Top




















Another simple top made for The Little Knittery. This sweet little number is a great intro to top down knitting. Raglan sleeves, a minimum of side shaping with a cute picot hem. My girls love it!


Yarn: 1 skein of Ella Rae Lace Merino
Needle: US #6 24"

Pattern available as a PDF download. $6.50


If you made it this far... 
My next pattern coming mid September will be the crochet sweater if I can bear touching it in this heat!

Sunday, August 04, 2013

the Scrappy Triangle Scarf

I was asked months ago to design a triangle scarf/shawl using super chunky yarn and I finally got around to making it. It took about 4-5 hours total to work up... don't know what took me so long!

I kept it pretty simple using garter stitch while giving it a little interest with an eyelet row every few rows. The finished measurements for my scarf:
70"/178cm across & 28"/71cm from top to point.
Gauge: isn't too important but I had a gauge of @4sts = 4"/10cm

Trying to use up scrap yarn from my stash (hence the name) I used about 180yd/165m of Magnum by Cascade, a 60"/152cm long #19/15mm needle and 2 markers to mark either side of the center stitch.

Glossary:
K: knit
K2tog: knit 2 stitches together
pm: place marker
sl m: slip marker from one needle to the next
* : repeat

Here goes:

Cast on 5sts.
Row 1: [K1, yo] 2x's, pm, K1, pm, [yo, K1] 2x's
9sts
Row 2 & all even rows: K
Row 3: K1, yo, K to marker, yo, sl m, K1, sl m, yo, K to 1 stitch before the end of row, yo, K1.
13sts
Row5: K1, yo, K1 * yo, K2tog * to marker, yo, sl m, K1, sl m, yo, *K2tog, yo * to last 2sts, K1, yo, K1.
17sts
Row 6: K

Repeat below sequence to desired length:
Work Rows 3&4 [2x's]
Work Rows 5&6 once

I cast off when I had 97sts.
4 increases are made on each odd numbered row. If changing colors do so on a Row 5.
Instead of keeping track of my rows I kept track of my number of stitches for when I should work a Row 5, so when I had 13sts I worked a Row 5; 21sts work a Row 5, 29sts and so on... when the stitch count has increased by 8sts work the eyelet row.




Patterns coming up in the next couple of months:

 





I used a bulky cotton tape for this tank.







This is made with Knit Collage's "Stargazer Silk & Sequins."
LOVE this yarn!







#6's & Ella Rae's Lace Merino for this cute little top.








I've been asked a lot about the pattern for this one. I should have it by the end of August, beginning of September.





I know I'm missing a couple of promised ones as well, just not enough hours in the day!

Friday, June 07, 2013

the Swing Coat


My latest design is a piece for The BagSmith to show at TNNA. Made with 2 (125yds/115m each) of their new merino bumbs and a #50(25mm) needle. This oversized coat is knit cuff to cuff and from the top down. The hardest techniques involved are an invisible cast on, short row shaping and either grafting or a 3 needle bind off. I would have to rate this for an intermediate knitter. S/M/L sizes available.



This is a piece I would wear everyday in the winter, the merino feels so good and I love the oversized fit.


Pattern available as a PDF download. $6.50

Friday, May 17, 2013

the Coyle


I've known Kat Coyle for a couple of years now from working at The Little Knittery. Mostly in passing as we never worked together, but once she bought the store in October we've become a lot closer.

I admire Kat for her artistry & mastery of Lace, her gorgeous embroidery and most of all her endurance as an amazing single mom & shop owner.

So when I received a package of gorgeous yarns from Knit Collage my admiration turned to inspiration and I knew I wanted to make something that Kat would want to wear.
Thankfully she loves it!


So here it is, the Coyle... for S, M (L) made using #19's, 1 skein of Knit Collage's "Sister" yarn in Camel for the main body and 1(2) skeins of their "Rolling Stone" yarn in Poppy for the trim. This is a pretty simple construction for an intermediate knitter. There is some involvement on the knitters part to get the perfect fit as the pattern is based on the size shown with adjustments for larger or smaller sizes noted along the way.

Available as a PDF download. $6.50




Saturday, April 13, 2013

LA Yarn Crawl & Knit Collage Yarns

The last couple of days were great fun at The Little Knittery. Meeting lots of area knitters & crocheters out and about for the LA Yarn Crawl (one day left).
Here's Kat wearing my new design for Knit Collage. Made using 1 skein each of Sister & Rolling Stone... pattern available next week.

I made this design first, but I have to make an adjustment to the sleeves so I didn't have it at the trunk show. This uses 2 skeins of Sister & 1 of Rolling Stone... the pattern will be available the end of May.

My free pattern "A Simple Shrug" made using 2 skeins of Rolling Stone.

And finally, it was so nice to see knitters returning from last years crawl to see me and as you can see here to show off a finished October Vest, thanks V!