Keep Calm & Knit

Right after I publicly swore off sweater knitting, this pattern appeared roughly EVERYWHERE in the DIY areas of the inter webs. In a moment of ‘I HAVE TO BUY SOMETHING RIGHT NOW’ I bought the pattern. Which is ridiculous because I hate knitting cables. And this pattern is lousy with them.
Heather, at her most be your best self enablist, has thrown down the gauntlet with a knitalong. So now I have someone I can bug, directly, when I want to burn the 3 inches of sweater back that’s not growing fast enough.
Closet Case Files
My second coming with knitting is quite recent. I’ve been fondling yarn more than sewing lately. I think something’s going around because I have a lady date with several members of my old knitting crew. I’ve been trying to think of way to grab my yarn of choice before I get with them so I can curse and gnash my teeth over the cable chart with in person company. I think I’m going to use Cascade Eco, perhaps Eco+, if I can find a color I like.
With Heather’s cheerleading, I think I could actually knit this sweater in 2016.

The Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator

I took a tour of the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator, yesterday. A truly amazing space!! Like a normal atelier…on steroids. In space lol. We (Jenny and I) saw soooooo many cools things. In addition a truly enviable space, the tools, designers and common spaces are to die for. I’m feeling so inspired.

These beauties great you when you walk in the door. Pieces from some of the design venture fellows.
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 On the far right, you can see the entrance to their conference room. This space can be utilized to by venture fellows to  present collections and rented by locals. As soon as you turn left of this pciture, you’re met with this outstanding sight. Knitting machines roughly the size of a car, lol.

IMG_8764These are Shima Seiki knitting machines. This one is a normal, flat knitting machine. While the one behind it knits an entire garment. That’s not a clear enough description. An entire, finished sweater comes OUT OF THE MACHINE!! Madness.

They also have the Cadillac of 3D printers. I wish I had taken photos of the other samples. Totally unreal. Linked, complex pieces with the fluidity of fabric. But still rigid to the touch. I can’t wait until they give tours for kids. I’m totally bringing my kiddos and as many neighborhood kids as I can grab.
When I look at that space and those tools I see future careers.

The Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator is just getting started. I can’t wait to see what they’re made of!
BF+DA

Creative Education: Machine Knitting

Mastering a new craft takes time and commitment.
And money!
Tools and materials and patience all come at a premium. For me, they don’t usually arrive all at the same time.

In my case, the money and opportunity to buy a knitting machine came nearly a year ago. The patience, time, and what I like to think of as my capacity to learn, are all coming together, now. I jumped in with both feet when I first brought the machine home, but I often experience blocks when I first try something new and when I return to it I can’t imagine why it ever seemed so difficult.

Does that happen to anyone else?

This foray into machine knitting has been easier and more importantly, it makes sense. I understand what I’m trying doing as opposed to blinding flipping switches and levers. This makes all the difference, for me. This knowledge was hard earned through closely reading the (many, many) manuals that came with machines (I truly got a ton of stuff for what I’m only  just beginning to understand was an outstanding price) viewing many excellent YouTube videos (Roberta Rose Kelley is a genius) and researching and reading machine knitter’s blogs. I immersed myself in learning different methods, in different mediums and from different points of view. And in an unhurried manner. Which is pretty important for learning a new skill, too.

As you can see, things were swimming along. So much so, I hadn’t stopped to think of what I was going to do with the narrow-ish strip of knitting. Impatience was telling me to keep going and figure it out later. Patience reminded me that I don’t need a garment (self-made or otherwise) that I don’t really like. So, off it came.

High on my success, I moved on to the ribber attachment.
Where this happened.

STUCK!!
This was as far as I got, all day. I, literally, spent all day Sunday trying to work this ribbing past the third row. Nothing doing. Some cheer leading and advice via Instagram has me anxious to try again.

But first, I must make dinner. If I eat anymore take out I’ll turn into a big pot of grease and fat. That’s what I feel like when I have tons of outside food.
Gross.

After the ribber, I have intarsia and lace carriages to master and two additional tools, a yarn changer and automatic linker to get stuck into. It must be said, again, the materials and tools are all in amazing condition. I knew they were old, knitting machines of this type are not really manufactured anymore, but check out the date on the receipt.

1984!! And it’s like new. I’m so grateful to the woman who listed this for sale. With no experience with knitting machines I would have no way of knowing if it even worked. The more I investigate (the tools and the price) and the more I play around with it (and note the condition and many extras), the more gratitude I feel.

And, as always, I am grateful for the chance to explore new crafts and expressive my creativity.

I’m a lucky gal:)

Knitted & Read

My Green Thumb mitts are done!
I feel like I haven’t finished a knit (with the exception of Frida’s Heart) in forever!!

Feels fantastic!

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The yarn is Shelridge Yarns Soft Touch DK. I have a whole skein in brown that I will never, ever, knit. If you want it, holla!

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I’m working on Hetty in these photos. It’s coming along so well. Maybe there is something to swatching after all.

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This is the upper back, nearly complete. After a couple false starts, last night and some ballet class knitting, today. It’s a miracle I got any done at all, as I am absolutely engrossed in a new book series:

The Monstrumologist.

I’m reading book #2 (The Curse of the Wendigo) which I walked clear across Brooklyn to borrow from the library. I couldn’t possibly wait for it to come in on hold, I was nearly done with the first one. There was a tense moment when I couldn’t find it on the shelf….luckily, I didn’t panic and asked the librarian to confirm its location. It was with the SciFi books (not YA, even though it’s a “kids” book).

Close call.

My feet still haven’t forgiven me for that walk, though.

Basquiat, Shibori & Indigo

Quickie sewing.

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A little knitting project bag made with some special indigo shibori dyed fabric.

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With a little Basquiat flavor courtesy of Sharpie😉

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Thanks to some dance class knitting time, I’m well into mitt number two.

Basquiat, Shibori & Indigo

I’m about to get stuck into another (hopefully) quickie project. The Plaintain tee from Deer & Doe!!

Movies & Style: Volver

I posted my to watch or not to watch, Volver, dilemma on Instagram, too. Opinions, universally, skewed towards WATCH IT, NOW!! So, I watched it.

And I’m in love….
with the colors, with Penelope Cruz (again, I LOVE her in Woman On Top), and with the knitwear.
So lush. All three.

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MV5BMTUyMjYyNzQ1MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNTgwODk2._V1_SX640_SY720_It seems that I’ve channeled parts of the color scheme, recently (foreshadowing?). I’m done, all but thumb, on this first mitt. Maybe a Raimnuda inspired cardi in the future? (1,2,3)9af72426718611e3a5e7128a49ca55a1_8My Basquait themed nails continue (there’s an different iteration on them, now!)

And a couple new lip colors joined the crew.

I definitely want more color, this winter. With layers to stay warm.

(1,2,3,4,5,6,7)

And to watch more of the films on my list. Volver’s parental theme is a sensitive one for me. I can get extremely emotional watching anything, but mother-daughter-multi-generational story lines always get to me.

If you’ve seen Volver, what did you think?

In Bloom

Hubby got me this Amaryllis plant for my birthday.
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That teeny stalk you see there has grown about a foot and a half, with this beautiful bloom sprouting at the top.
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There’s something so miraculous about watching a plant change and grow and bloom, up close.
My short-y goals also continue to bloom, too. The girls’ room got the fall cleaning treatment. Hubby and I DID get to go on our date! And, I nested, away from the computer (!!) with some knitting.
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CABLES!!!
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This is Ysolda’s, Gretel. Worked up in Moda Dea Washable wool that I got in a swap. This hat is difficult enough for me as it is loaded with cables. I was plugging along when I, somehow, had the right number of stitches but the pattern just wasn’t ending the right way.

GRRRRRRR!!

I counted and recounted and then counted again. Nothing. I even went and bought the pdf pattern on Ravelry, which I placed a hold on and borrowed this Stitch and Bitch book to avoid doing, to see if the book pattern was wrong. It ain’t. On my way back to my bedroom, my mistake was suddenly clear. I read P1, K4, P1, but I was knitting P1, K4 over and over. Completely missing that second purl.

DUH!! It’s worse because I’ve made this mistake before. Several times. Whatever. That’s what happens when you knit at 3am while laughing your ass off at RuPaul’s Drag Race, the Ru-vealed special episodes. HILARIOUS! So, Ysolda gets another $6 bucks in her pocket and I can print out the pattern all nice and neat.

I also bought, rather impulsively, this color work pattern a couple weeks ago. I can’t wait to try it out.

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And I was working on a Miette I started a while back. But it has been ripped back, almost to the beginning. It was coming out way too big. I’m sort of out of love with it and want to move onto something else. I really, really like this pattern.

sallycardigan2It’s called Sally. Isn’t it cute? It’s color work AND steeking, which I really want to try. It’s also free and will work with yarn that I already have, so those are definite pluses.

Are you knitting anything?