knitfish

Tulip Mania

October 10th, 2007

There’s a run on tulips this fall, and it’s not the Holland variety. It’s the Tulip Sweater pattern from Dream in Color yarn, which has become quite popular since the Yarn Harlot blogged about it last spring. I’ve gotten sucked in to tulip mania myself – the moment I saw it I knew I’d be knitting it for my niece, Phoebe, who is almost six months old. But my sister-in-law, and therefore my niece, are not “pink girls” and so the original colorway just won’t work for them.

So that’s where the power of the internet comes in. Through Ravelry I found a bunch of various color combos that others have knitted, as well as links to stores that sell little kits made up with exactly enough yarn of each color to make the sweater (otherwise you’d need seven full balls, something around $160 for a baby sweater- ugh!). And the person at the first store I called, Carri at Coldwater Collaborative, was amazing! She got all excited about helping me develop a deeper/stronger color palette that had browns and greens as a base, and it seems like the minute we got off the phone she wound up the balls and mailed it off – because I got it yesterday (and Monday was a mail holiday!).

I don’t have all the colors with me to show (will do that soon), and this is a terrible picture, but here’s the start of the Tulip Sweater ala Carri.

Tulip Sweater Beginning

Ravelry

September 15th, 2007

Oh my.  Oh Ravelry.  Poor Knitfish has been completely tossed aside because of Ravelry.  I know, it’s pathetic that I have such narrow bandwidth, but I just can’t seem to keep them both up.

It started on July 24, when I won Jackie’s contest to get a Ravelry invite.  I was on the waiting list, about number 1700 in queue, when she posted a contest whereby if you donated to Doctors Without Borders you’d get an entry into the drawing for the invite.  And, wouldn’t you know it, I won!  I never win anything – and this was, to me, a major prize.  So I immediately started doing what one does in Ravelry – uploading photos, inventorying my needles, picking out patterns for my queue, photgraphing my stash (well, the last hasn’t gotten very far, but I’m trying!).

It’s an amazing resource and also really addictive – I spent nearly an hour this morning looking for a sweater pattern to use up yarn I have in my stash.  Last week I spent a huge hunk of time flipping through stole/scarf patterns.

From Ravelry I’ve already downloaded and used a few patterns, including the utterly adorable Spur-of-the-moment Baby Hat.  You can work this hat for any kid in any yarn -  just figure out (from a gauge swatch) the number of stitches per inch you get, then figure out how big the kid’s head is (circumference in inches), then multiply your gauge by their head measurement – add 2-3 inches if you want it loose – and voila, you’ve got the rough number of stitches you need to fit the head.  Now adjust so that your number is divisible by 8 (I recommend adding stitches rather than taking away) – and you’ve got the number to cast on.

(This concept of determining how many stitches to cast on works for nearly any in-the-round bottom-up hat pattern.  As long as you have a number divisible by 8, you can decrease (near the top of the hat) starting with 8 stitches per section (k6, k2tog*), knit one round plain, then decrease with 7 stitches per section (k5, k2tog*), knit one round plain, etc.  until you have only a few stitches at the top that you draw the yarn through to close.)

If you’re not yet on Ravelry, sign up for an invite now – they are still beta testing but rumor has it they’ll be opening up to the public soon.  And come find me there – I’m ‘stephanies’ on Ravelry.  Looking forward to connecting with you!

Magical Knitting

July 25th, 2007

If you’re like me, you’ve been not knitting for the last few days as you’ve been savoring Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows .
At one of the bookstore events on Friday, we noticed this book, and naturally had to pick it up.

Charmed Knits: Projects for Fans of Harry Potter offers dozens of patterns for items that evoke the mystique of Harry Potter—Wizard Robe, an Invisibility Shawl, a Quidditch Sweater, Ron’s Ragg Raglan, a Clock Blanket, Harry Christmas Ornaments, and more. Easy-to-follow patterns, color photos of the finished projects, and illustrations of special stitch patterns and design elements make it easy for all knitters—from beginners to those at Mrs.Weasley’s level—to work some knitting magic. Includes patterns for all four houses– Slytherin, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, & Ravenclaw, so no matter who you are knitting for, there’s some knitting magic for everyone.

Knit Yourself An Iphone

July 7th, 2007

HandKnit Iphone

With all of the hype surrounding the iphone, it’s no surprise that someone came up with a pattern to knit one. The only real question is– how come we didn’t come up with it first?

KNIT AN IPHONE INSTRUCTIONS

Free Sock Knitting Patterns

April 26th, 2007

I’m just getting into knitting socks, and I’m loving it. I was, as many new knitters are, skeptical at first. Why knit socks? They are easy to buy, come in great colors already, and they actually fit me off the shelf. But once you pick up the slinky yarn and the double-pointed needles….there’s definitely an allure to knitting the tube, turning the heel, finishing the toe. I get it now. People knit socks.

So here are a bunch of free knitting patterns that are all socks. They’re all links directly to the free patterns (no PDFs, just web pages) and they all have pictures of the finished products.

Alpaca Cable Socks

American Flag Socks

Amy’s Toe-Up On Circular Socks (knitted toe-up on circular needles)

Basic Ribbed Socks

Basketweave Socks

Boyfriend Socks

Bunny Hop Socks (caution, not for the faint of heart)

Chevron Lace Socks

Double Knit Two Needle Socks

Diamonds In The Rough Socks

Falling In Love Socks

Falling Leaves Socks

Feather & Fan Lace Socks

George’s Socks (good for handspun wool)

Globetrotter Socks

Goosebump Socks

Happy Socks

Impossible Socks (knit on tiny needles)

Lace Anklet

Lacy Mock Cable Socks

“Little Chippers” Socks (stripes with a racing stripe on the side)

Matt’s Fixation Socks

Men’s Berlin Socks

Milanese Lace Socks

Mock Croc Socks

Monkey Socks (name doesn’t do it justice – very pretty lace and twisted rib)

More Fun Than Cables Socks

Peacock Socks

Picot Eyelet Socks

Pinetree Toe-Up Socks

Pom-Pom Ankle Socks

Queen Of Cups Lace Socks

Quick Knit Eyelet Socks

Quill Lace Socks

Rainy Day Lace Socks

Scallop Cuff Socks

Short Ribs Socks

Sideways Knitted Socks

Split Toe Socks

Sunset Socks (cool slipped stitch pattern)

Texture & Lace Socks

Tweeds Socks

Twin Rib Socks

Vintage Lace Anklets

Zig Zag Socks

Free Food Knitting Patterns

April 20th, 2007

I’m a foodie + a knitter, so the concept of knitting food works out really well for me. I love to knit unusual things, and these little projects are mostly pretty quick. Knitting food is also a great way to use up leftover yarn (or to quickly “hide” a stash that’s gotten way too big).

Here’s a fantastic list of free knitting patterns that are all foods. They’re all links directly to the free patterns (no PDFs, just web pages) and they all have pictures of the finished products.

Apples (felted)

Beer Bottle

Birthday Cake

Blueberry Pie Slice

Cheese Sandwich

Cherry Pie

Chocolate Bar

Cinnamon Roll

Fruits & Veggies (eggplant, cucumber, banana, carrot, orange – pattern is for baby rattles, but can be made without the rattles of course)

Ice Cream Sundae

Oreo Cookie (called a biscuit in the UK where the pattern is from)

Pumpkins (felted)

Peas

Pizza

Strawberries (scroll down for the pattern, it’s in the comments section)

Sushi

Vegetables (corn, celery, broccoli, carrot, tomato)

Fingerless for Spring

March 25th, 2007

It’s starting to feel like spring, and I hope we won’t need bulky mittens and gloves for too much longer.  So here are some fingerless glove patterns.

  1. Knitty’s “Fetching” fingerless gloves: knit with only a thumb, these get complicated with cable detailing.   These are knit in Debbie Bliss’ Cashmerino Aran- a truly yummy yarn.
  2. Wendy’s Striped fingerless mitts: knit up pretty quickly with a slightly bulky wool, like Noro Kureyon.
  3. “Hooray for Me” fingerless gloves: this is a pair I’ve been working on (and off) for a while, with this great sock yarn from Schoeller.

Get knitting while it’s still sorta chilly out – and while you can enjoy your fingerless gloves for at least a month or two more.

10 Free Scarf Patterns

March 18th, 2007

The first project new knitters usually take on is a scarf. It’s not necessarily the best first project – scarves take a long time (as compared to, say, a baby hat, or even an adult hat), but it’s definitely easy to grasp the concept of a first scarf – cast on, knit, knit, knit, knit, bind off.

If you’re beyond that basic scarf concept, here are ten free scarf patterns to try (with some yarn recommendations to boot!).

  1. Lace “Touch of Whimsy” scarf – Yarn: Patons Classic Merino
  2. Seed Stitch scarf -Yarn: Misti Alpaca Bulky
  3. Lengthwise Stripe scarf – Yarn: Tahki Bunny Alpaca
  4. Basketweave scarf – Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease
  5. Feather & Fan scarf – Yarn: Noro Silk Garden
  6. Woven Stitch skinny scarf – Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted
  7. Simple lace Drop Stitch scarf – Yarn: Caron Pizazz
  8. Keyhole short scarf – Yarn: Moda Dea Bow Ties
  9. Cable Scarf scarf – Yarn: Any bulky weight yarn
  10. Big Wool Ribbed scarf – Yarn: Any two colors of Merino wool

Have fun!

A provocative and timely exhibition of work by international artists that use knitting and traditional handcrafts in unexpected and unorthodox ways, Radical Lace & Subversive Knitting illuminates a field of creative practice that is fresh, surprising, and engaging. The exhibit features 27 artists from seven countries, and the work ranges from Althea Merback’s microknit garments (1:144 scale) to large-scale, site-specific installations. The artists employ a variety of media, from traditional yarns and laces, to found objects and video, and explore contemporary currents in art practice of socially engaged, participatory work.

Radical reformers in the world of knitting and lace making have overthrown the status quo from the inside out. In the space of ten years, knitting has emerged from the “loving hands at home” hobbyist’s den into museums and galleries worldwide. Knitting clubs meet in cities from San Francisco to Stockholm, while interactive knitting “performances” have been held in as seemingly unlikely places as the London Underground. Artist Sabrina Gschwandtner turned the traditional knitting circle into a participatory event, in which Museum visitors can use knitting to engage in a dialogue about war. Janet Echelman’s work also provides social commentary, highlighting the countries that have publically detonated nuclear weapons

The artists in this exhibition are experimenting with forms and techniques in the most novel and surprising ways, exploring new relationships between structure, design, color, and pattern. Yoshiki Hishinuma uses industrial knitting machines to create 3-dimensional free-form sculptures, some of which are also wearable. Industrial designer Niels van Eijk has used lace techniques to create a lamp out of optical fibers.

And the rest of the artists are equally interesting!

If you are in the New York area and a devotee of the knitting arts, don’t miss this exhibit!

WHEN: January 25 – June 17, 2007
WHERE: Museum of Arts and Design, 40 West 53rd St., NY 212.956.3535
OPEN: Daily 10 am-6pm, Thursdays until 8 pm, Closed Major Holidays
COST: $9 for adults, $7 students & seniors, free for members
WEBSITE: http://www.madmuseum.org

READ MORE ABOUT THE EXHIBIT

Here are three things I hadn’t thought of knitting. I’m sure most of you will say “duh, of course you could knit that,” but I’m just not that quick.

1 A knitting needle case. Check out this great pattern from Berroco – I want to try it just go work on cables. Berroco Knitting Needle Case
2 Another cool Berroco pattern – a knitted necklace! I’m not a big fan of suede yarn but this seems like a great use for it. Knitted Necklace Pattern
3 A slice of pizza. And I actually have someone to make this for – perfect! Berroco Knitting Needle Case

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