Archives for category: Travel

I’m back from a wonderful and restful vacation — it’s amazing what a little time off will do for your energy. It’s also amazing what the ocean air can do for you when you have nothing to do but knit in front of the sea for 6 days. Dreamy!

I came home to the new issue of The Knitter — in which is featured an interview that Meg Swansen and I conducted with the wonderful ladies of The Knitter while in the UK. If you don’t know this magazine, it’s a great one – a bit hard to come by in the US, but getting easier, so I hear. The article features a few sneak peeks at some of my upcoming designs which will be out next month.

Knitter Article

And you know I can’t take a trip with acquiring a few woolly souvenirs, despite trying desperately to pack light, and keep it that way! Behind the scenes here I run what I like to think of as a Sweater Rescue Program – searching thrift stores and flea markets for beautiful woolen cast-offs that have been slightly damaged, dirtied, or just plain overlooked. I like to take them in, mend them with matching scrap yarn, clean them up and give them new life. I do this rather often, which explains my large collection of machine knit sweaters (on top of all those hand-knit ones), which some people find puzzling. I say: Good Knitwear is Good Knitwear, right!?

That said, I found a real BEAUTY in Portland at my favorite thrifting locale: “The Bins” (aka Buying-Sweaters-By-Weight-For-Change). This here is a vintage shetland pullover with great details and wonderful wool. It has plenty of small moth-holes and a few little stains that can be easily taken out with a good hand-washing. And since I seem to have somehow acquired every possible shade of Shetland Grey in existence all under one roof, I figured I’d be able to find a pretty good match for this one.

Sweater Rescue Continues!

Mending commences this week!

In vacation-knitting news, I got some work done on new designs, but mostly zoned out with my stockinette project for the baby … enjoying these beautiful shades of gold and soaking up the sounds of the ocean. I love knitting by the sea just after dusk and into evening – stockinette is nice cause you don’t really need to look at your knitting, at least not that much.

Leggings Needing One More Leg

The leggings are in need of one more leg, which should be quick work for car knitting that will be happening in the next few days (passenger, not driver…. although I’ve been known to try. Keep that one quiet.)

Stick around in the next week or so for some big announcements and blatant eye-candy. Until next time!

What a crazy month it’s been! Now that I’m finally home and the dust has settled, it’s time to get back to my knitting. And that’s something worth celebrating! As I’ve been unpacking (it never ends), reorganizing and regrouping, the full realization of how much yarn I actually acquired during my travels has hit. I was a bit of a magnet – I SWEAR I try to keep yarn intake down to the absolute essentials… but then I black out and find a suitcase full of the stuff splayed out on the floor when I get back.

I’ve been doing a lot of swatching in the last couple of days – my head is full of ideas and I’m ready to explore them! Today, though, I thought I might feature a few highlights from my collection of travel souvenirs.

Garthenor Black Sheep

Serious British Wool Alert: Have you heard of Garthenor? I hadn’t until I was over in the UK and picked up these two balls of beautiful black sheep’s wool in London. Garthenor produces organic wool for spinners and knitters from UK grown sheep. Their website has info about what wools
are actually in their yarns, which is (oddly) rare and always a major plus in my book! I have a weakness for black wools – this yarn is a rustic DK-weight Black Welsh Mountain breed, and is begging to become a pair of sturdy, woolly mittens!


And speaking of black sheep… here’s something that has got my spinning mojo rip-roaring again! A 70/30 black shetland/tussah silk combed top from Old Maiden Aunt. This stuff is beaaautiful and just waiting for the wheel (this week I hope!). Shetland is my favorite spinning material, so I’m psyched to see how the silk feels blended in. Color-wise I think it works incredibly well together. I’m planning for a totally zen evening with this one.

Oh and the blue? Yeah, it’s kind of a stunner, isn’t it. It’s a fingering weight merino from the same dyer’s Homecoming Collection – “Lon Dubh (Blackbird)” – a deep, saturated, smokey blue that definitely WORKS. Both of the gems above were gifts from the generous and talented Old Maiden Aunt in Scotland – I’m thrilled!

Rowan Lima

At TNNA, back in Ohio, I stowed away with a few choice balls of new yarn for Fall and this one got me really excited. Now – I’m not a big alpaca head – but this yarn commands some attention! It’s a new worsted alpaca from Rowan called “Lima.” Aside from the beautiful palette of colors and great heathered blending that’s happening, the construction of the yarn I think is notable as utilizing some of alpacas best qualities and ditching some of its worst. The yarn is basically a miniature 2-stitch I-Cord which, most importantly, traps a lot of air in the yarn – keeping it LIGHT – while at the same time maintaining great elasticity. Elasticity and lightness are words I don’t often use to describe alpaca so I really think this yarn was designed well. Now all there is left to do is appreciate the lofty, butter-soft jewel-tones, which I will proceed to do now.

Marr Haven Wool

And lastly – this one doesn’t
really count as an official souvenir but it was waiting for me when I got home from traveling (I ordered it just before I left, as a bit of incentive) and is certainly a show stopper! I’ve spoken about Marr Haven before, but this is one of my very favorite yarns and I do like to treat myself to it every now and again. The folks at Marr Haven grow purebred Merino-Rambouillet sheep (soft wool, but with body!) in Michigan and mule-spin it to keep the true integrity of the fibers intact. They don’t offer a ton of color selection, but if you’re happy knitting with naturals until you die, like me, you’re set. Aside from that wonderfuly soft, lofty, lanolin-y experience while knitting, the texture is a game-changer! I’m smitten.

I certainly have plenty to keep me busy this summer – the yarns above are just a sampling! When it rains it pours, doesn’t it?

Are your air-conditioners fired up? Summer knitting, here we come.

I’ve been knitting my way around the UK over the last week and a half, having an absolutely wonderful time and meeting some great UK knitters!

Oxford Grounds

There have been so many highlights – not least of which was getting some quality time with Meg Swansen, what a treat! Meg and I appeared on BBC radio to promote Ravelry, British Wool, and most of all, Knitting with a capital K! Meg taught our host how to knit on the air – I’m glad I had my camera!

Meg Teaching Our Host

I’m headed back stateside this weekend for TNNA in Columbus. If you’re there, stop by and say hello!

After TNNA, I’ll have some much needed down time – my knitting and I are in need of some one-on-one in a desperate way!

But this one works too! It’s been a turbulent 2 years – too quiet around the blog on my part and all-too unquiet everywhere else! Thanks for sticking with me as I powered through my MFA.

I’m taking a week off (from everything), then I’ll be headed over the pond to go bananas at UK Ravelry Day. I’ll be teaching alongside Meg Swansen, Wooly Wormhead, Debbie Bliss, and many others whose presence I am absolutely honored to be in!

Here’s to a new chapter – one where there is much more time for knitting!

Hi, everyone! The last weeks have been quite the whirlwind – I spent July traveling around my home turf in the PNW. I did a lot of knitting and design work and got a much needed break from city life. The trip was peaceful, insightful and inspiring – exactly what I was after. When I finally got back to New York, I had a last minute opportunity to travel to Cape Cod, and I promptly jumped on that train, despite my better judgement that staying home and catching up on the bevy of work awaiting me here was the right thing to do, and don’t regret it. I figure I need to enjoy my last summer as a student in an official capacity.

So what’s been doing on the needles? So very much to share. That lace bug that comes around every few months is back with a vengeance, and I thought I’d try my hand at some lace designing. Uncharted territory for me, but I’ve been having a looot of fun with it.

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To tell you the truth, my tolerance of heat is starting to wear thin – granted we’ve had what I would consider a very mild summer here (knock on wood), and I haven’t even been here the whole time, but air conditioned quarters are still required for marathon knitting – and my wintry temperament is feeling stifled. Visions of lace, cables and colorwork taunt me nightly. Even so, I’ll continue patiently waiting for the click of the seasons to happen sometime in September (please?). When it does though…

New Lace for Fall (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

…there will be plenty of warm, winter lace. I thought maybe the summer would stave off this year’s blanket trend in my knitting, but the “Year of the Blanket” title has remained all the same. There may or may not be more than just this one gaining momentum in recesses of the apartment.

I’ve been playing with wools both heavy and light – I can’t seem to get enough of that wonderful texture you get with pre-blocked, heavy weight lace projects.

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I know it’s cruel to just give little peeks under the (lace) blanket, but these things will be expounded upon shortly. Something I can indulge you in more of however is this, my most treasured recent acquisition: a box of new yarns from Beaverslide Dry Goods, one of my all time favorite farms over in beautiful Montana. Tell me though, seriously, what could be better than coming home from vacation to this:

Best. Box. Ever. (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

Most definitely worth breaking a serious yarn diet for. No guilt here. Really.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be catching up on many things that have been sorely neglected, not the least of which is my inbox. All things considered, it’s great to be home – I really missed my yarn.

The glorious red blob is finally shaping up into something really special, and I’m loving it.

Red Blob (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

The spiral is, to me, a constantly intriguing motif in knitting and I love patterns that play with and incorporate its structure. I’m enjoying this sweater so much, I might make two – what a great pattern!

The Spiral Begins (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

I had a wonderful time in Virginia teaching and got to meet a whole bunch of wonderful knitters. Between the recovery from my trip and preparations for my real vacation, things have been a bit crazy, but I’m gearing up for a hell of a lot of knitting over the next month.

More Spiral (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

As of tomorrow, and for the entire month of July I’ll be relaxing on the west coast on a much needed vacation. I’ll be passing back and forth between Seattle, Portland and the Oregon Coast with knitting always by my side and happily leaving the NYC humidity behind. I plan on knitting a lot and finally getting to play around with some new design ideas. I will have my computer with me, so you may not notice much of a change around here, other than hopefully more knitting output than normal. That’s what vacations are all about, right? At least for us knitters.

Goodbye Brooklyn, hello Pacific.

spent a wonderful weekend in philly with k. finished my prospy park hat
on saturday just in time to wear it to the Fruit Bats/Son Volt concert, which
was unbelievably awesome. the hat is wearing well and oh so soft. i didn’t
have a chance to take pictures, i will soon.

the other knitting hi-lite: finally got to check out loop in philly – i had been
wanting to check it out for some time. ever since i read the article in the philly
paper about the two local yarn suppliers that were run and owned by MEN.
loop and the knit with (in chestnut hill) – both of which have my hearty stamp
of approval. bought a fat hank of malabrigo, it has quickly asserted itself as
my temporary yarn of choice. can you tell? this hank is a deep, subtly
variegated red. the color title… get this … “sealing wax.” how great?!

can definitely get 2, if not 3 red hats for holiday gifts pumped out in no time
from my new acquisition.

OH. i also scored a great sweater from daffys for 19 dollars, its a warm brown
t w e e d wool that i am planning on tearing out and recycling. a LARGE sweater
with wonderful wool for less than 20 dollars. i can make a smaller size sweater for myself that will fit and still have some left over to make something small.
oh how i love yarn recycling…..