Monday, December 31, 2007

new years!

My last FO of 2007--a failure! From yarn selection to needle size, I made all the wrong choices on the Trinity Stitch Hat. So much so, that I feel like it's not even worth fixing or saving. My trinity stitch certainly doesn't look like this. Oh well. No problem, though. I've decided to leave this one (well hidden) in 2007 and move on to (hopefully) many more successful projects in 2008.

I'm really looking forward to seeing what the new year brings, and am approaching it with a lot of optimism and enthusiasm.

Have fun everyone, and see you all in 2008!

Friday, December 21, 2007

holiday homemade

Homemade candies for the people in my department.


I made two kinds of candy that are seriously, the easiest candies you could make. There's a layered mint fudge (like Andes mints but richer) and some peanut butter squares (like Reeses, but in bar form instead of cups, although it would be easy to alter the recipe and maybe do them in muffin tins) and put them together in little cellophane bags with some labels printed on card stock. The hardest part was just sourcing out some FDA-approved baggies to keep the food safe. I finally found some at Jam Paper.

I hope people at the office enjoyed them.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

knit :: beet

Here's a fun/interesting project on the way soon from Norah Gaughan (via her blog).
There's something so cute about knit vegetables, and I like it WAY more than knitted baked goods. I can wait for the recipe--I mean pattern--to come out.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Found :: Art

I am smitten with the work of Wilhelm Staehle on Silhouette Masterpiece Theatre. The silhouettes, the clever copy, and the elegant typefaces together in the artwork are just great, and create a really fun, albeit slightly subversive aesthetic. I want to post ALL of the images here and look at them all day! Instead, I'll beseech you to go have a look yourself.

Okay, I can't resist. One more here, a favorite. But go click through anyways. It will make you smile.

Monday, December 10, 2007

long time no

... oh well, you know.

I've been working on some test knitting of some stuff I wish I can post but don't think I can until the patterns are published. Although I'm not under any sort of official confidentiality agreement, I don't want to push it and get in trouble and owe anyone a bunch of money. It's been fun, but I'm excited to get back to my own projects now.

Over the weekend, I did get a chance to start on a project for myself, though. I'm in dire need of a new hat for winter, and the Trinity Stitch Hat fits the bill. Here it is in progress:

Trinity Stitch Hat
Cute and slouchy. And by cute, I mean hopefully cute on me.

Besides that, there's been yummyness happening.

Butternut Squash Risotto
Butternut Squash Risotto
Starch in any form is ok by me!

Baked Eggs
Baked Eggs
These are so neat because you make a little pita cup in a muffin tray, add some fillings (instead of the suggested ingredients I added pesto, tomato and a shrimp) and fill with an egg and bake it all together. Yum!

Next up is a return to the Drops Cardigan that has become all the rage (over 200 projects in Ravelry!). Also, hopefully the final chapter in what I have now named the Brachs Jaywalkers.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

FO :: Cavern

A long time in the finishing... those closures get me every time. Sweater languishing for months as I procrastinate on figuring out the little details. I played around with the idea of inserting a buttonhole, or crocheting in some ties, but they all seemed to pull too much. For the moment, though I'm not sure this will be the ultimate solution, I've used my new-found fandom of snaps to get this to a photo-ready stage.

Cavern Cardigan

This grew quite a bit with the wet-blocking I did, and I'm glad. I usually resort to steam blocking, but now I do declare myself a fan of the wet block. It softens up the fabric so much.

Cavern Cardigan

My only concern is the wide neckline. The sweater feels like it's going to fall off of my shoulders, but that would probably be fixed just by wearing a crew neck underneath.

Cavern Cardigan

Project Details:
Pattern: Cavern Cardigan. Free pattern from Cosmicpluto.
Yarn: Cascade 220 Tweed in Persimmon.
Completed: Nov. 2007

Don't Stop Believin'

I have a finished object to post but I'm waiting on the batteries for my camera to charge so I can get the photos off of them. In the meantime, I will distract you with photos of Japanese condom packaging.

Sanrio is a trusted name in birth control?


Hilarity ensued this weekend when we found the karaoke channel on cable TV. Free karaoke any time of the day or night! What could be better?


Michelle's neighbors now love us. A lot.

Monday, November 12, 2007

FO :: Pie

A very overdue FO:

Pie

It only took me 2 months to buy snaps to finish up this little baby sweater. I had tried a number of different closures for this but nothing was really looking right. Ties were wonky and button closures didn't seem like they would stay closed. Until yesterday, snaps were a mystery, but once I found the package and learned how easy they are to sew in, I couldn't believe I waited so long. They're a snap (sorry!) to add. From now on, I'll be the one adding snaps to everything. I bought the snaps from Brooklyn General yesterday (an really great store, by the way).

Pie

The little flower details were a little decoration I bought from Piece Goods (do they even still exist? Maybe they were just in the south?) waaaaay back in say, 1994 or so. I've been hoarding them not really knowing what to do with them -- they were for a quilt project I did at my high school. So I needed a little something to make this sweater a little bit more special so it seemed to be a perfect match. And even though I try to avoid it, a sweater for a newborn baby girl is one good reason to go a bit precious, no?

Pie

Project Details:

Pattern: Pie (free from Berroco)
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Blush & Putty
Completed: Nov. 2007
For: Baby Maggie G

Saturday, November 10, 2007

norah gaughan :: has a blog

I just signed up for the KnitBits email newsletter from Berroco, where, as most probably know, Norah Gaughan is now the design director. I love Norah's designs. I think they are really innovative and creative, and I love how they are inspired by nature and science--very unique!

In yesterday's email, I caught a note about a new(ish) blog though Berroco from Norah herself! It's notes on the design process and what goes on in the studio and in Norah's knitting life. There is some time lapses between the entries, but to me, any insight into the creative process is always welcome, especially from someone like Ms. Gaughan.

Monday, November 05, 2007

twinkle/anthro :: some photos

Last week was the last of the Knitting in the City nights held by Twinkle at the Rockefeller Center Anthropologie. Over the last couple of months, I assisted at three of them, and had a nice time helping out and meeting some other knitters (I don’t know too many). I finally shot a couple photos.

A view from above as people start settling in. All of those seats were filled up (plus lots more).

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Beginner’s section. Anthropologie is a pretty store, isn’t it? I always see some beautiful decorating ideas there (many of which seem to involve recycling, too).

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Me, Ivette, and Anne – all of us a little exhausted. Anne and I have on Twinkle tops from matching fabric. Behind me, and on Ivette’s lap are the bags that they gave to all of the knitters, containing needles, a hank of the Twinkle Soft Chunky and catalogs. Yay schwag!

knitnight.jpg

I believe Wenlan will be doing a book signing on November 29th at the same Anthro, but I’m not sure if (or what type of) a knitting event will be happening the same night.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

::Heartfelt ::

I love looking at the new collection on Kim Hargreaves' site. Heartfelt features 21 gorgeous knit pieces that are romantic and classic, with a modern flair. The photo styling is simply gorgeous, with all the samples knit in neutral tones (but why's the model so sad?). I've found myself returning to the site everyday, because every day something new catches my eye there.

Kits are available for most projects, in which you can order the yarn and buttons when you order the book (you have to order the book separately), and the yarns are from Rowan. Unfortunately, the book is only available through mailorder on her website, making it a pretty pricey investment. I have enough projects lined up for awhile, so I think I'm going to wait and keep my eyes out for a stateside publication. If that doesn't happen in the next half year or so, I might just take the plunge.

Click through to take a peak at Kim Hargreaves new pattern book, Heartfelt - the Dark House Collection.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

everybody's doing it

The beginning of my Drops Jacket. It's turned into quite a popular pattern (116 projects on Ravelry!). I'm only about halfway done with the back.


I'm actually liking the Knit Picks Bulky WOTA quite a bit. It's making a light, soft fabric that I believe will be quite warm for the winter months.

I'm anticipating slow progress on this (and on the second Socktoberfest sock) for the next little while, as I'm switching attention over to do some test knitting. This will be my first foray into doing pattern testing, but I think that it will be a good challenge for me to really pay attention and not let little things slip by -- something I really should be doing with my own knitting, but tend to be pretty loose with.

Happy Halloween

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Photo Today


RedHookFairway, originally uploaded by lekkercraft.

I'm trying to take more photos of things that strike me during the week. This here's the building that houses the Fairway in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

testing

playing around with my feeds, so funny things might be happening around here for a bit...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Friday, October 12, 2007

le sigh...

Last week I decided to re-do the neckline on my Twinkle Shopping Tunic. I liked how it looked originally, but everytime I put it on, the bulky cowl just felt very much in the way. I work all day on the computer, looking down to enter in edits or content, and I could tell it would start to get annoying and feel a bit claustrophobic.

I decided to rip down to the armpits and re-knit, using the basic shaping of the sweater dress on the front of the book, the Groovy Sweater, but without the bobbles.

Shopping Tunic re-do

I'm not much of a fan of how it looks now. It's just not working out. I think I took something that was ok and made it worse. I'm going to let it stay as is for a little bit, but I think I might reclaim the yarn for a different piece out of the Twinkle book.

My dislike has nothing to do with the pattern. I still think I should probably have gone up one size. Not to mention I think it would do well in a softer yarn than the Cascade Magnum that I substituted for the Soft Chunky (Soft Chunky had just been released when I was shopping for yarn for this sweater and was hard to find).

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

first pair

Jaywalker 1

I might be a little late to the party, but this here is the start on my first pair of Jaywalkers. I was doubtful of how it would look with the self-patterning (like this jacquard-ish) yarn , but so far I'm liking the outcome!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Weekend Knits

Heads up, Twinkle-lovers! Come February, there will be a new book from Wenlan Chia; Twinkle's Weekend Knits: 20 Fast Designs for Fun Getaways.

From the Random House/Crown Publishing website:

About This Book

Following her first book, Twinkle’s Big City Knits, Wenlan Chia brings devotees and new fans more fabulous Twinkle designs to create at home (at a fraction of the price you’d pay for them in stores like Barneys, Saks, Nordstrom, and Bloomingdale’s). Known for transforming bold, chunky yarns into delicate, body-shaping pieces, Wenlan Chia again shares her signature style; this time in 20 inspired patterns that are perfect for weekend knitting and for wearing any time.

Start the weekend with Friday night out with friends as you Twinkle through the night. The Nightfall Cropped Top is knit with lush silk and cotton yarn, while the Wisteria Scarf creates drama with its cascading clusters of blossom stitches.

Saturday is the day for fun–hiking, shopping, or just going for a stroll. Capture this feeling with the lively, sporty fashions in the Fun Alfresco chapter, including the Oceania Sweater, a vintage-inspired pullover with a built-in iPod pocket, or the Snowdrop Hat & Peony Scarf, the perfect set for a day on the slopes.

Take a moment to recharge on Sunday, the last night away, with more relaxed, simple knits. From the Meridian Tunic Dress, perfect with jeans and sandals, to the Cloudburst Cardigan, a ruffled knit that easily slips on over a dress, the patterns in this chapter are casual and comfortable.

For those starting their very first sweater to experienced knitters looking for new tips and techniques to enhance designs they’ve already mastered, this beautifully illustrated book offers many weekends’ worth of knitting pleasure and fabulous, one-of-a-kind Twinkle wares.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

simply green

I've really been enjoying perusing Danny Seo's blog, Simply Green. Danny is a designer and author who has written a number of books on living (designing/ decorating/ entertaining) green, and provides almost daily updates via his blog, of things he's seen, projects he's working on, tips on clever re-purposing... all done with class and style. I'm getting a ton of great ideas.

Here's one that caught my eye; Re-claiming old sweaters and using them to reupholster dining room chairs. I love how the sweaters unify the set without making them too matchy-matchy.

Image from Simply Green.

Monday, October 01, 2007

project update

I had to order a couple of sets of the Knitpicks needles for some magic loop sock knitting, so I ordered enough yarn for a couple of projects in order to hit the minimum for the free shipping. Here are the projects that I'm either getting ready to start, finish, or am working on...

This Main Line will become Flair, by Wendy Bernard.

Knit Picks Main Line - Chocolate

This bulky Wool of the Andes is slated to become the Drops Design cardigan/jacket. I’m not 100% positive this will be the yarn I ultimately want to use, but I’ll swatch it up to see how it acts/feels/looks.

Knit Picks WOTA - Pewter


I have pulled some Trekking (XXL) out of my stash to try out the Universal toe-up socks pattern from Knitty for Soctoberfest.

I still have to block Cavern.

I just need to figure out the closure for Pie. Or figure out how to add snaps. Then it will be ready to be gifted.

I’ve also ripped out the top 1/3 of my finished Shopping Tunic. I’ve decided to rig up an alternate neckline based cover sweater from the same book, because every time I try to wear it to work I end up forgoing it for something else. Even though I like the way it looks as is, I always feel like the big cowl is going to get annoying while sitting at the computer all day.

And speaking of Twinkle, I had a great time volunteering at the Twinkle event at Anthropologie last week – "Knitting in the City." I had a chance to meet Anne and Ivette (from Another Shopgirl and Knotology, respectively), who are the first knitbloggers I’ve ever personally met and are both really great. I think we all had a pretty good time. Unfortunately I forgot to shoot any photos of us in our Twinkle outfits (that we got to keep in exchange for volunteering – not a bad deal!) or of the rest of the night. I think I’d really like to do another one of these in the future, so hopefully will be more prepared next time, especially being a bit more confident in knowing what to expect.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

more stuff I didn't knit

I swear that next post will actually be about knitting that I actually do, but I just couldn't resist sharing these:

From Old Navy.

They're shoes! They're cabled! They're under $20!

SKIF

I've been hearing some buzz about SKIF. Have you seen this line of patterns?
A bit avant garde. A bit post-apocalyptic. A bit earthy.
Structured but not so much... The patterns are $15-$20 each, and you can find them here at Shopknits. Although it is bit steep for a pattern, it seems you get some extras such as buttons and some cording and a special SKIF tag. And some of the designs have some very interesting and special design elements and details (check out the two top sweaters. I can't direct link to them).Though none of these specific patterns are jumping out to me as a must knit, it looks like the company will start releasing patterns regularly. I really like the overall aesthetic of these sweaters and of those on the SKIF International website, and I think it will just be a matter of time before one speaks directly to me. I will definitely be keeping an eye on them.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

method

Starting in October, buy $20 worth of Method cleaning products and get a free re-useable shopping bag designed by Danny Seo.



Cute bag. And you can't go wrong with doing anything to be more green.

Via Happy Mundane.

If I could sew...

I would sew things from BurdaStyle...


Free patterns. And anything free = good in my book!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Off Air



So I'm feeling frustrated that I'm having a hard time responding to you lovely people's comments, even if just to say "thanks for visiting" or to answer a question. Something about the new blogger settings keep the emails as "no reply." I know the comments that I leave on other accounts don't have my email attached and I can't for the life of me figure out how to change that setting.

Anyways, I'm moving to a new apartment this week so everything is a bit rushed and stressful. After I get settled, I may try to install Haloscan, since that seems to solve the problem for a lot of folks. Let me know if y'all have any suggestions. Perhaps I'll change blog hosts altogether. Or maybe just a template spruce up. I feel like I should do some fall cleaning!

Also, I realize that when you click through to the permalink for each post, the formatting goes completely wonky. I'm not clever enough with the html to figure out why that's happening quickly, but that's next on my fixit list.

Blah, blah, blah. Enough with the long-winded excuses - bear with me!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Thursday, September 06, 2007

vintage inspiration


A few months ago, my stylist friend Celine told me about a place in Brooklyn that sold authentic, pristine, vintage knit sweaters. It sounded really cool, but it slipped my mind and I never researched into it further. Until today when the Craft Magazine Blog announced the opening of the Ohio Knitting Mills online store, and yay for lazy me! I can check out these beauties from the comfort of my own home!

The garments were produced between 1947-1974, and I love looking at the textures and the shapes, the crazy geometrical patterns and the various color combinations I would never think to put together. It appears that they only have one (or very few) of each style, so I imagine that the photos will change here occasionally as they go through their stock. Or if you're in the Brooklyn vicinity, stop by and check out their showroom.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Digging right now...

Thai Iced Tea Instructions at Instructables.

The clever foodie writings of The Girl Who Ate Everything.

The Couch to 5k Running Plan.

Cute new purple bargain shoes:

Monday, September 03, 2007

i live in a thimble

The Cavern Cardigan is finished, but still needs to have the ends woven in and the ties added on, plus needs some major blocking.


Unfortunately, I think the blocking will have to wait until after I move back to Brooklyn at the end of the month. Right now I don't have a surface or a section of floor that I can steal for a few days while it dries without being completely in the way.