Archive for April, 2011

Dove Chocolate & Knit Sew Crochet!

Apr 19

Dove Chocolate - Flaws are Fabulous

Shout out to Knitting, Sewing & Crochet in the above chocolate commercial!
I love chocolate and I love to Knit, Sew, & Crochet!! Mind explosion.
Check out Dove Chocolate’s latest commercial on their Facebook page.

Amazing Micro Ant by SuAmi Vietnam

Apr 18

Micro Sized Red Brown Ant by Su Ami

I first saw this tweeted awhile ago and had to make a post for posterity’s sake. Check out these talented Crocheters from Vietnam who call themselves “Su Ami“. They are a family of 5 crocheters! Their youngest crocheter is just 10 years old and the inspiration behind all their tiny Amigurumi animals! Their shop is named after her! You can find out all about them on their blog.

Check out their Etsy shop for their entire Animal Series and the whimsical and teensy creations in their Tiny & Micro Series. Their crochet animals come in Micro to Maxi sizes. OMG! Heart it!

Elephant Series by Su Ami

Update: SuAmi featured on Cute Overload http://cuteoverload.com/2013/05/28/itty-bitty-friends/

Inspiration: Nerd Alert Sweater Trio

Apr 17

It’s not Winter nor is it Christmas time nor is it at all appropriate for anything at all. But here is a trio of delightfully nerdy sweaters (some include patterns) for those looking to channel their inner Nerd.

Contra Sweater via Nerd Nirvana Clown Sweater via Wil Wheaton Super Mario Sweater by Happy Seamstress
L to R: Contra Sweater, Clown Sweater, Super Mario Sweater

Here is the Back View of the Super Mario Sweater by Happy Seamstress. After popular demand, she is giving away her custom pattern for the sweater! Note: She custom dyed her yarn especially for this sweater! Check out the Super Mario Bushes in the sweater!

Also, thanks to Wil Wheaton for posting that ridiculous sweater on his blog! It’s the internet meme that keeps on giving. Resistance is futile! Folklore has it that it was purchased for $3.75 at a Salvation Army in San Francisco circa 2002. As far as the Contra Sweater goes, I smell a photoshop bomb but inspiration is inspiration. I have not found who “made” it yet but if ever I do it shall be posted! If you know who it belongs to, please let me know!

Contra Sweater – http://www.nerdnirvana.org/2011/04/17/contra-sweater-2/
Clown Sweater – http://wilwheaton.typepad.com/wwdnbackup/2005/12/if_you_want_to_.html
Super Mario Sweater – http://www.happyseamstress.com/knitting/the-nerdiest-sweatervest-in-the-world/

Crochet Bomber Strikes Again!

Apr 07

Crochet Car - Yarn Bomb - Agata Olek
I’ve been seeing Agata Olek’s stuff around New York randomly.
Here’s yet another Yarn Bomb! via The Gothamist

Must See: Crochet on the Subway

Apr 07

Photo of my computer showing my website that displayed a photo of a Crochet Man on Subway. By OMG! Heart

Look at this man on the subway train. He is NEXT LEVEL OMG HEART it! My long lost brother. First of all, his outfit IS FIERCE! Andre 3000 eat your heart out. Second, notice that not only is his entire outfit, from his head right down to his toes, Crochet but he is also working on another Crochet piece in Circular Crochet!?!? I also think he might be a Lefty! Lastly, total WIN! O.G.

Can someone tell me who this is? He’s on what looks like either a 4,5,6? BDFM? 7 Train? Must find out. Email me. “He looks like a mix of Andre 3000 & the dude from Yo Gabba Gabba. I totally want to be his friend!” -Poorly Dressed Blog Commentor

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Need For Speed: A Study In Knitting Positions

Apr 05

I’ve been looking to switch up my knitting style for awhile. Try some different hand positions for speed and to avoid The Carps. e.g., Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I’ve found my knitting style has evolved over the years, naturally getting more efficient. However, the other day in class, I saw a lady knitting so fast her hands blurred! So I decided to take a closer look at the various ways a knitter can step up their knitting game! I trolled the internet, watched a bunch of videos. Here’s what I found.

No matter what the style or country of origin, it boiled down to a few major factors. Read on for the break down with videos! Beginning with the two most fundamental styles of Knitting along with some of their variations. And hopefully the ideal combination of knitting techniques to achieve supersonic speed!

Knitting Styles
English – I’m a “righty” and an American Style or English Style Knitter. So I hold the the yarn coming from the yarn ball or “working yarn” in my Right Hand and throw the yarn over the needle. This motion is known as Throwing. These two characteristics together, Right Hand Yarn and Throwing, define English Style Knitting. Depending on your hand/yarn position and needle position, the throwing action required in American/English Style Knitting can be more or less efficient in turn affecting the knitting speed.

Continental – In Continental Style or European Style or German Style Knitting the working yarn is held in the Left Hand, the same side as the needle where all the stitches are hanging from or the “live stitches”. The action here resembles more of the hooking motion in Crochet and is called Picking. These two characteristics together, Left Hand Yarn and Picking, define Continental Style Knitting. Since these hand positions and the motion are naturally closer together with less wasted movement it is, in general, where the efficiency comes from.

Knitting Variations
Whatever they’re called, there are infinite variations in which you can hold the needles, hold the working yarn, and wrap the yarn on your fingers which affect both tension and throwing position which I’ll call Primary Variations or Stance. And then all of that further combined with your motions – hand motion, finger motion, and needle positions in motion – during the knitting action which I’ll call Secondary Variations or Swing. All combine to achieve the most effective style of knitting. Which in my case is speed! Among these 2 major groups lies the 4 major factors that are the key. Let’s take a look!

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Toe Up Socks – Two At A Time!

Apr 04

Toe Up Socks - Two at a Time
Toe Up Socks – Two at at Time

I officially have Socks Fever! Not only are these my first ever socks but they are done using a technique called Toe-Up Sock Knitting! Which simply means instead of knitting the socks from the cuff down to the toe, they are knit beginning from the toe on up! Is this any better traditional sock knitting? I guess the benefit is you can try them on as you go! For me this method just seems more fun, you can see the sock form right away which is more satisfying to me. And best of all the worst part is done once the foot is formed so you’re home free from the ankle on up to the cuff! Another benefit is that these socks are done using circular needles (2 needles) instead of double pointed needles (4 needles). Nice!

Toe Up Socks - Two at a TimeToe Up Socks - Two at a TimeToe Up Socks - Two at a Time
My First Socks – Sample Socks!

As part of my Spring Knit, Sew, & Crochet Class Mania, I took this one day 7-hour class taught by Melissa Morgan Oakes at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio here in New York. We learned Judy Becker’s Magic Cast On, increasing the gusset, shaped heel cups, and heel flaps, all from the toe up! We were able to finish our sample baby booties all the way up til the ankle in one class. We were required to use Lion Brand Yarn and purchase the book. But it was a lovely productive class and still worth the money. Class, 7 hours, $95. Book, $10.95. US Size 6 Circular Needles 40 inch, Addi Turbos, $17.50. Lion Brand Yarn – Baby Wool, Worsted Weight, 98 yards, $5.29.

Toe Up Socks - Completed to AnkleToe and Feet Portion

Socks Front View - Complete to AnkleHeel Cup and Heel Flap

Note: I liked Judy’s Magic Cast On which is a variation on the Magic Loop (a technique used for tubular knitting or circular knitting when using circs instead of dpns). The major difference is you cast on to both needles at once with your fingers rather than using the basic cast on and them splitting the loops into 2 groups by bending the wire. What I like is the cast on is lightning fast and I feel easier than your traditional cast on. A drawback is the first row must be knit slightly different because of the way the stitches are oriented.

If you’d like to find out more on your own, check out Melissa’s book, Toe Up Socks – 2 at a Time. Or check out Knit Picks who has a lovely free downloadable pattern that includes everything you need to know! Also note, these sample socks are baby size except I managed to mess up the foot so it is too long! Stay tuned for my first real socks!

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My Fave LYS: Lion Brand Yarn Studio

Apr 02

The elusive “local yarn shop”. If you’re an avid Knitter or Crocheter living in Manhattan then you’ll know a decent local yarn shop is a rare beast. Our frenetic city and its people have plenty of personality but not enough time for the personal. I find yarn shops here have trouble with balancing personal attention with what New Yorkers need. Professional!

So many shops just end up succeeding in being eccentric and moody with none of the benefits an LYS or a well run yarn shop can provide. I appreciate all the uniqueness that makes an LYS an LYS but I want one that has it all without having to intrude, pry, or cajole for the service.

Lion Brand Yarn Studio
Lion Brand Yarn Studio ~ 34 W. 15th Street, New York, NY 10011 ~ (212) 243-9070

Which is why Lion Brand Yarn Studio is worth its own mention. It’s the perfect combination of local yarn shop along with what I’m looking for in an NYC yarn shop! Personal yet professional attention. Unlikely on first glance since Lion Brand Yarn is actually a large nationwide company that you’d normally associate with a more mass market approach. But no. Their lovely bright studio, 2 floors, has all the character and style of a small boutique store but without the prices and all the comforts and perks a large store can afford!

Nowadays there are Purl Sohos and Lion Brand Yarn Studios, the two shops that come closest to what I’m looking for here. But it wasn’t so long ago that finding a passable yarn shop was just short of demoralizing!

So what’s so great about it? (more…)