Archive for May, 2011

Pattern: Hoop Earrings Crochet Style

May 29

Crochet Hoop Earrings
Pattern #3 of my Beaches, Bikes, & Babes Collection for Spring/Summer 2011.

Summer is officially here! It was a hot hazy kick off to Memorial Day Weekend here in NYC. I was doing some spring cleaning when these random hoop earrings fell out. I was going to toss them but thought maybe I can crochet over them and then thought “and I have the perfect yarn for it!”. So here they are. It took about 20-30 minutes tops. This is a great use for any DK Weight scrap yarn you have laying around!

It’s also a great way to change the look of a pair of nice hoops you have just for the summer. Just unravel the yarn when you’re done and you’ll have your expensive hoops back to normal! Re-crochet the same pair of earring in whatever color you like after you get sick of the first one!

Karabella Glimmer, Pink (674), DK Weight, 90% Rayon 10% Lurex, 141 yards, $9.50 per ball
Crochet Hook Size E [3.50mm]
1 Pair Hoop Earrings

Skill Level: Beginner

Crochet Hoop EarringsPattern:
Make a slip knot as normal. Slip this loop onto your earring. Leave the loop a little loose so there is room to slip your hook through. Slip your crochet hook through the loop as if to Single Crochet. Then tighten the loop.

Crochet Hoop EarringsSingle crochet as normal treating the hoop portion of the earring as your base row!

Crochet Hoop EarringsMake sure to tuck in your tail as you go for a neat finish.

Crochet Hoop EarringsContinue this all the way around until complete! Fasten off!. Clip yarn as close to the hoop as possible since you will not be able to weave in ends.

Choose any cheapie hoop earrings you’d like. In any size.

Crochet tight! Also, when nearing the end, spread out the stitches so that they are tight around the hoop. This way the stitches don’t slip off the hoop.

Mix up your stitches – E.g. Repeat [sc, hdc, dc, hdc, sc] for a scalloped or flower petal look for kids! ANY crochet border or edging stitch pattern will work for these. Go nuts!

Karabella Glimmer is an old yarn. I got it at School Products. It is pink with metallic gold thread through it. I think it is discontinued. Some nice substitutes would be Jute yarn, Hemp yarn, anything with a nice texture. Any metallics. E.g. Tahki Stacy Charles metallics like these S. Charles Collezione metallics. Or a novelty yarn.

Worldwide Knitting in Public Day 2011

May 26

Worldwide Knitting in Public DayWorldwide Knitting in Public Day is coming soon and will be celebrated here in New York’s Bryant Park on June 11th! I’ve never attended but thought it was a neat idea. Just show up to start knitting outdoors with fellow knitting fanatics. This year WWKIP is celebrated from June 11-19 depending on your area. All you have to do is bring yourself. Yarn and needles will be provided.

Hosted by: Knitty City
Location: Bryant Park
Time: 12noon-5pm
Date: Saturday, June 11, 2011

I first found out about this event from Phyllis Howe who organizes the NY Yarn Crawl! I met her at the Loopy Mango Knit Night the other day. She’s been in the fiber industry for years and is of course a knitting fanatic!

Look for The Big Circle. The Big Circle, a community art/knitting project by Berger & Hilkens from Amsterdam, is coming for WWKIP Day, New York. 75 people can knit together at the same time around “The Big Circle”. “The Big Circle” started as a community art project, to connect people from an Amsterdam multi-cultural neighborhood called the Dapperbuurt. We want to continue that connection with the people of New York. Join us to make some stitches June 11 in Bryant Park. If you’d like to volunteer to help out with the event, please email with the subject line ‘Volunteer for The Big Circle at Bryant Park’. -From Knitty City

If you can’t make it on June 11th, Bryant Park will also have a summer-long program dedicated to Knitting called Bryant Park Knits! Every Tuesday from 1:30-3:00PM for June, July, and August in the Upper Terrace. So if you’re in the area or work in the area it could be a perfect alternative to your regular lunch. Stop by and take a free knitting class for lunch or bring your knitting project to the park. Again, Knitty City is providing free instruction to beginners including yarn and needles. Call 212-787-5896 to pre-register, or take a chance and drop by.

Bryant Park is between 40th and 42nd Streets & Fifth and Sixth Avenues.
Take the B, D, F, or M train to 42nd Street/Bryant Park
Take the 7 to 5th Avenue

If you’re not in NY, you can also check out the WWKIP website for an event near you! It’s worldwide! Follow these links for more about The Big Circle, Knitty City, and WWKIP.

Pattern: Summer Shift Dress

May 25

OMG! Heart in Summer Shift Dress, My Brother in Standard Issue Grad Gear, and Mom in Vintage Adolfo
Happy Graduation to my brother, Yale SOM Class of 2011!

Hi fellow knitting, crochet, and sewing fanatics! I made my dress for my brother’s graduation! Otherwise known as my Schoolhouse Rock Dress. That day turned out cold and rainy which I wasn’t entirely prepared for :( But it all worked out. We met so many lovely fellow grads from all over the world and their families. Clever, witty, unique, and of course, off to save the world each in their own way. Architecture, Finance, Forestry/Eco, Medicine, Law, Drama, and Healthcare to name a few! Impressive and inspiring all around! We were also treated to a sea of creatively decorated graduation hats, heard some wonderful class speakers that stole the show from Tom Hanks, ate delicious, albeit soggy, sandwiches in makeshift classrooms, and above all helped some graduates celebrate the completion of years of hard work. So congratulations to my brother and his 216 classmates! We heart you, De!

Schoolhouse Rock Dress is a dressier version of the Summer Shift Dress I made. It’s just in a different color and long! I am also wearing my Tri-Strand Cowl over it. I wouldn’t normally pair them both together but had to out of necessity! If you’d like to make this simple yet satisfying knit dress see below for the pattern.

3 Balls Lang Yarns Sol Dégradé, Spirit, 100% Combed Cotton, 220 yards. $20 per ball
US Size 13 [9.00mm] Circular Knitting Needles, 24″ Clover Takumi Velvets, $15

Measurements & Sizing:
Flat Measurements – Width: Approx. 21 inches. Height: Approx. 53 inches. When worn, the dress has a lot of give and drape given the loose knit. So this will fit anywhere from petite sizes to big/tall sizes depending on the look you’d like. I wanted the dress super long past my ankles when belted. I’m 5′ 4” and about 145 pounds. The dress is really roomy and hangs down to my ankles and a few inches off the floor if I’m wearing heels. So it was on the short side. But as the day wore on, it lengthened! So the dress will settle and lengthen to its proper length after a few wears. Hang overnight on a dress form or hanger to help it along!

The full pattern for Summer Shift Dress is here.

The only difference between this dress pattern and the Summer Shift Dress is 2 things –
      1. It uses 3 balls of Lang Yarn instead of 2 balls
      2. I used US Size 13 [9.00mm] circular needles instead of the US Size 15.

This pattern uses 3 full balls of the Lang Yarn. There were a few scraps to spare but I basically split the 2 pieces, front and back, into 1.5 balls each with a little left over to whipstitch the pieces together. For taller people it might be a good idea to get a 4th ball to add more rows. When Loopy Mango made this dress they added contrasting yarn to the train for some added detail and length!

Unbelted it looks/wears like a giant muumuu or dashiki!

Summer Shift Dress -  Long Summer Shift Dress -  Long Summer Shift Dress -  Long Summer Shift Dress -  Long Lang Yarns Sol Degrade in Spirit

Additional Clothing & Accessories On This Page
Bag – Miss Lonelyhearts
Hat – Stetson
Belt – UNIQLO, 2006
Slip Black – H & M, 2011
Mom’s Dress – Vintage Adolfo – It’s all Machine Knit!
Indian Cuff Shoes – Vintage, Brazil

Pattern: Spring/Summer Tri-Strand Cowl

May 20

Beaches, Bikes, and Babes: Tri-Strand Cowl

I love working with multiple strands of yarn. Not sure why, but I do! I saw this piece at Loopy Mango down in Soho and decided to make it! It was a simple and freeform piece that knitted up in a jiffy. It was made by Waejong of Loopy Mango. Anna, the other half of the Loopy Mango, helped me figure out what the pattern was! It’s great for summer-weight yarns. It is knitted using Circular Knitting while holding 3 strands of yarn together. This is a quick and easy pattern. About 8 hours. Great for a travelin’ knit. Perfect for a Beginner knitter who’d also like to try Circular Knitting.

I used an Ella Rae Lace Merino, a fingering weight yarn made in Italy. But the beautiful super-fine yarns over at Habu Textiles would be a perfect substitution! Try one of their exotic handcrafted fibers for an extra special finish.

Pattern #2 of my Beaches, Bikes, & Babes Collection for Spring/Summer 2011. 4 more to come! Twist it up for a double thick cowl or wear it as a hood!

Beaches, Bikes, and Babes: Tri-Strand Cowl Beaches, Bikes, and Babes: Tri-Strand Cowl Beaches, Bikes, and Babes: Tri-Strand Cowl Beaches, Bikes, and Babes: Tri-Strand Cowl

1 Hanks Ella Rae Lace Merino Color #21 – Deep Purple, 100% Superwash Merino Wool, 460 yards. $20 per hank
2 Hanks Ella Rae Lace Merino Color #118 – Maroon, Grey, Charcoal, 100% Superwash Merino Wool, 460 yards. $23 per hank
US Size 13 [9mm] Circular Knitting Needles, 24″. Clover Takumi Velvets, $15

Skill Level: Beginner

Measurements & Sizing*:
Width: Approx. 20 inches
Height: Approx. 19 inches
One Size Fits All

Cast on 108 stitches. I used the Long Tail Cast On.
Mark the end of the row with a stitch marker. Join row.
Rows 1- 10: Knit stitch until end of round
Rows 11- 20: Purl stitch until end of round
Repeat [Rows 1-20] 3 more times!
You will have 4 sets each of Stockinette Stitch and Garter Stitch. A total of 80 rows in all!

Rows 1-7: Knit until end of round
Row 8: Knit 2 together (K2tog), Yarn Over (yo). Repeat until end of round.
Row 9: Knit until end of round.
Row 10: Cast off.
Weave in ends.

Drawstring Cord:
Using Crochet: Chain Stitch about 2-3 feet of cord. I used a Crochet Hook Size I [6.00mm]
Weave in through Finish Row #8.
Make some tassels for the cord if you like!

Ella Rae Yarn - Lace Merino, 100% Superwash Merino Wool, 460 yards, $20 - $23 per hankNotes:
It turned out way too floppy and saggy for me. A bit too bulky. Since it’s already an oversized knit, I would definitely suggest knitting on the tight side.

I’m also a loose knitter, so I stopped at 7 sections (70 rows) and then began the Finishing. So I had a total of 8 sections (80 rows) instead of 9 (90 rows) when I was finished. Going back I would have either gone down one needle size to make it less floppy or knitted tighter!

To join in the round and begin circular knitting, it’s simple! Cast on as normal. Then when beginning your next row, knit into the first stitch of your cast on row! That’s really all there is to it.

You are basically connecting the last stitch you just made to the first stitch you made (the one with the slip knot in it). Since the last stitch is the one with the working yarn hanging from it, you will be making a ring out of your cast on row when you knit into the first stitch!

Place your stitch marker right in between the 2 stitches to mark the end of the round. From there you just knit around and around until you’re done with your pattern. Never having to turn your work. Just make sure to check your cast on row for twisted stitches before joining AND that you are always knitting with the “right side” facing you. The side that will be showing when your work is done!

Knitting Tips by Judy has a good video on YouTube illustrating circular knitting nicely.

Beaches, Bikes, and Babes: Tri-Strand Cowl*Measurements and Sizing: The measurements were taken with the piece laid flat, when it looks almost like a square. But the piece has a lot of drape. So when worn, it will stretch and sag to much more than the measurements given. The measurements given are a good minimum size. It is a one size fits all but it may be too big or too small for some. So I would say take some time to swatch it if you are very particular about fit and drape!

KnitMap! Find Your Local Yarn Shop

May 19

KnitMap! Find your local yarn shop

I recently discovered KnitMap!. Find your local yarn shop by simply typing in your Zip Code!! I tried it with my zip code and it is really comprehensive. It’s aim is to provide a searchable directory of local yarn shops neatly mapped out on Google Maps from all over the world. Just type in a city, state, country whatever! You can also rate and review! Complete with store hours, directions, and contact information.

Ever away on vacation or just travelling a different city/country and looking to pop into a local yarn shop ? I do. So if you’re crazy about yarn, this directory is especially handy dandy.

It’s also especially handy for when you’re running around town looking for a special tool or shopping for a specific yarn/fiber for your next wonder design and need to raid EVERY LYS you can find.

Put your yarn store on the map too by adding it to KnitMap. Help us find your store!

Update, June 11, 2011: Dude, Where’s My Yarn is also an online directory I found recently. Not as slick nor as comprehensive as KnitMap but it could be a great supporting resource! A fun tidbit I noticed was that New York had the highest number of yarn stores per state listed, 80! With Pennsylvania in 2nd place with 76! Yes, New York could quite possibly have the most yarn stores per state in the country! Since it is user driven it’s not really clear if that’s actually accurate. It may just be that some states are not as internet saavy or have yet to find the site to post their store but you get the idea! Neat!

Pattern: Summer Shift Tunic

May 16

OMG! Heart in Summer Shift Dress by OMG! Heart
Summer Shift Dress by OMG! Heart

Beaches, Bikes, and Babes: Summer Shift Dress
Beaches, Bikes, and Babes: Summer Shift Dress Beaches, Bikes, and Babes: Summer Shift Dress Beaches, Bikes, and Babes: Summer Shift Dress

So easy and breezy. Inspired by this dress made by Waejong and Anna from Loopy Mango. Super simple satisfying knit. Knit 2 giant rectangles in Garter Stitch all the way around. That’s it! It’s also a very efficient use of yarn. 2 balls was all it took for either a long tunic or shirt dress length top!

Anna helped me figure out this pattern. My version is slightly sportier but can be dressed up or down as you like! I also discovered a new yarn I fell in love with, Lang Yarns Sol Dégradé Collection in Autumn Paint. It. Is. Gorgeous. The colors are amazing and the texture is a curious silk/suede sheen. It is a fine ribbon or tape yarn in the Novelty or Fancy category. Lang Yarns is from Germany.

If you’d like to try the long dress version, it will take a total of 3 balls of Lang Sol Dégradé! Feel free to mix and match yarns. Again, Habu would be a great substitute for a slightly different look/feel and a nice showcase for their exquisite yarns. See here for my post on the Long Summer Shift Dress.

Pattern #1 of my Beaches, Bikes, & Babes Collection to celebrate Spring/Summer 2011. 5 more patterns coming soon!

2 Balls Lang Yarns Sol Dégradé, Autumn Paint, 100% Combed Cotton, 220 yards. $20 per ball
US Size 15 [10.00mm] Circular Knitting Needles, 24″ Clover Takumi Velvets, $15

Skill Level: Advanced Beginner

Measurements & Sizing*:
Width: Approx. 21 inches
Height: Approx. 30 inches
One Size Fits All

Cast on 50 stitches. I used the Long Tail Cast On.
Rows 1-36: Knit stitch until end of round (You will be knitting very loosely)
Row 37: Cast off. Leave a long tail, about 6-8 inches.
Make 2.

Now you will have 2 rectangles. Join the 2 rectangles at the sides from the bottom corner to about 6-8 inches from the top. *If your pieces are not the same length, it may be safer to join from the 6-8 inches from top down instead. This may leave the piece different lengths but that’s ok too!

For the Armholes: Do not join all the way to to the top. Leave about 6-8 inches from the top for the armholes.

For the Neckline: Join the tops of the 2 pieces from the outer corners in to the middle. About 6-8 inches in. This will leave you with a boatneck style neckline.

Weave in ends.

Finish with an additional border at the bottom with a different yarn. A nice heavy yarn would be perfect to help stabilize the knit and give the piece some body. Simply crochet it on, freeform.

 Lang Sol de Grade Yarn, Autumn Paint, 100% Combed Cotton, 220 yards, $20 per ballNotes:
Cast on tight. Or at least at a normal tension. This will define how wide (and floppy) your piece will be.

Also, knit the first row pretty tight. Or at least at normal tension. Mix in some tighter rows if you’d like to also help stabilize the piece.

When knitting, use an extremely loose knit. Each loop actually hangs down over an inch from my needles. Varying the stitch “height” makes for a nice texture.

This loose knit stitch is easy but hard to wrangle since the loops are extremely loose. They will slide off the needles if not careful. I did a lot of stitch picking up!

Joining the piece was tough too, the stitches were so loose it was hard to pick out where to join.

Going back I would have chosen a US Size 13 Needle [9.00mm] instead for longer, narrower stitches. But the 15′s were just fine too depending on the look you’d like to have.

Each rectangle takes about 1 ball with more than enough left over to join seams.

The piece will look super short when knitting. It will almost look like a short wide shirt. When you’re done, the looseness and the weight of the yarn will drag it down making it almost knee-length! So don’t worry if it looks too short when complete. Just hang overnight on a dress form or from a hanger.

It’s both flimsy and filmy so choose a nice bikini top, tank, or slip to go underneath. Lovely belted too, which is how I wear it.

*Measurements & Sizing: The measurements for this piece were taken when laid flat. The piece is airy and lightweight but has a good amount of drape due to the very loose knit. So it will stretch and sag indefinitely. The measurements given are a minimum size and will fit most average body-types from very petite to big/tall. I’m 5′ 4″ and about 145 pounds. It fits very loosely on me and hangs down almost to my knees!

8-bit RPGs + Amigurumis = Nerd Love!

May 13

Gurk Army

Finally my amigurumi army is complete! These crochet critters have been kicking around in my parking lot (or graveyard) of projects in progress since way before my National Crochet Month post. I first made them as party favors for my friend Shahina’s Christmas Party circa 2008. My original 12 crochet critters are now all over the world from Denmark to Singapore to England and all across the United States. This batch was started last year only to be completed last week! My new batch includes some surprise characters – The Gurk Heroes!

Gurk Heroes - Feraldan, Sir Rugnar, & Gorlok

Meet the Gurk Heroes [Left to Right]: Feraldan the Archer ~ Sir Rugnar the Knight ~ Gorlok the Wizard!

Gurk Heroes Screenshot - Feraldan, Sir Rugnar, Gorlok

No, I did not name them. Who are they? These are the characters from the mobile game, Gurk ! They are the very same characters you’ll be playing in this 8-bit RPG game to explore The Wilderness, venture into the Gray Citadel, or hang out in Port Bristle. In short, Gurk is a game for your mobile phone. It’s a throwback to retro gaming that you can now play on your Android phone!

For all those Gurk fans out there who will naturally be reading this knitting blog – get ready to LOSE YOUR MINDS! Gurk II, the sequel to Gurk Original, just dropped a few days ago! Mushroom cloud! These are the characters from the original Gurk. Why do I care? The Mad Scientist made this game!

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

But first, would you like to make your very own crochet critters? These amigurumis make a great Beginner Intermediate project in nice bite-sized pieces. Also a great way to try out Circular Crochet or Crochet in the Round. The only drawback with these projects is in the assembly! The crochet part is easy! It’s all the finishing touches and details that take some special care. Each critter consists of 1 head (stuffed with poly-fill), 1 body (stuffed with beans), felt eyes (sewed on), and embroidery floss mouth. You can customize them from there on out.

Crochet Critter Materials - Beans to stuff the body, a pile of disembodied heads waiting to get attached, and some critters waiting to get assembled. Gurk Factory or Dr. Frankenstein's Laboratory Pile of Hoods!

What You’ll Need
Red Heart Super Saver Yarn, Worsted Weight, 100% Acrylic
364 yards, $3.99 per skein. In lots of assorted colors! (more…)

OMG! Heart: Loopy Mango

May 06

Loopy Mango   Loopy Mango   Loopy Mango
Loopy Mango ~ 78 Grand Street, New York, NY 10013 ~ (212) 343-7425
Between Wooster & Greene

I mean really heart. I found this shop and the exquisite knit pieces above while looking for bikini yarn like Cascade Fixation which just wasn’t doing it for me. Quite the mythical pipe dream considering I not only want to look good in my bikinis but I want to be able to SWIM in them too! But I digress.

This 2000 square foot wonderland of a boutique carries not only everything from home to clothing to accessories but in January 2011 they began carrying a sophisticated collection of yarn and notions. Some of my faves include Bagsmith Big Stitch yarn and tools and Lang Lanalux – a possible excellent contender for my swim dreams!

It’s a curious shop indeed. However you’d like to label it, whatever it is they carry, it’s gorgeous. Heaven. I have not been down there myself yet but will be stopping by hopefully this weekend!

They are Waejong Kim & Anna Pulvermakher who met at FIT, a jewelry designer and artist respectively. Waejong and Anna has also published a crochet jewelry book, 40 Beautiful and Unique Designs. They also have a blog dedicated to textiles and fiber arts. Swoon.

Loopy Mango   Loopy Mango
♥ ♥

Update: That very Friday I ran down to Loopy Mango to check it out. Their little yarn annex in the back is FILLED with an exquisitely eccentric collection of yarns. I bought 6! The Ella Rae Lace Merino and the Lang Sol de Grade. The Lang yarn is exquisite. The prices are wonderful too. I got the Ella Rae’s for $20-$23 and saw them online for as much as $28! Very competitive. And they carry Clover Takumi Velvets! $15 each for Size 13 and 15 in 24″!

And there are lots of beautiful knit pieces hanging around for insipiration. The dress you see hanging on the dress form in the above pic is done in the Lang Yarns Sol Degrade. I’m actually in the process of making it now!