I was completely tickled to see this video from the NY Times. This booklet is for the fashion forward baby, yo!
Find more information and an entry form in KnitBits #300! Dig into your stash or head to your LYS for these eligible yarns: Berroco Sox, Berroco Sox Metallic, Comfort Sock and Ultra Alpaca Fine and start sketching, swatching, SCHEMING!
I’m busily preparing to head to Sock Summit 2009 where you can visit the Berroco booth (#418) to learn more about our sock yarn offerings or get inspired for your own sock yarn designs. I’m not much of a sock knitter but I am over the moon for sock YARNS for a lot of reasons. It’s affordable (so much yardage for so little money!), it’s not overly delicate, the colors and the cool striping effects are right up my alley and the finer weight makes a really wearable fabric. It’s also highly stashable!
Why do you love sock yarn? Let me know in the comments!
Working in the world of knitwear design means that your calendar is more than a little screwy. Deadlines and lead times require you to be mentally “out of season” pretty much all the time. I’ve modeled heavy alpaca sweaters in July, knit angora in August and sketched summery tanks in September. Perhaps the craziest part is photographing catalogs and pattern booklets for spring in the middle of New England autumn which is COLD! You’ve got to think warm thoughts!
This was pretty easy for the first photoshoot of our spring collection. For Booklet #282 Latitude, we set up shop at a seaside hotel in Galilee, Rhode Island. Brisk October air was indeed whipping around us, but a steady diet of fried clam cakes and great nautical scenery made it feel like we were enjoying a particularly late summer vacation. Have a look:
Be sure to subscribe to KnitBits for plenty more inside info about the Spring/Summer 2009 collection. We’ll be posting pictures, pattern information, audio slideshows and as always, free patterns galore. I have a few more behind the scenes videos to share here as well so stay tuned!
For this week’s KnitBits holiday greeting, I whipped up some festive holiday orbs! These yarn balls are so evocative, they simultaneously remind me of evergreens, presents, snowballs, ornaments…all things sparkly and bright! They were very easy to make, if you made Morty or don’t own a ballwinder, you can totally handle these holiday spheres.
Start with a round object (Norah notes that crumpled up newspaper is a greener alternative to Styrofoam balls) and wrap as you normally would to form a yarn ball, turning every few wraps to ensure a nice round shape. Turn in small increments for a neat ball or turn at sharp angles for the randomized look featured here.
I used a selection of Berroco Yarns: Ultra Alpaca, Pure Merino, Palace, Peruvia and Peruvia Quick, Inca Gold and Lumina. I started each ball with two shades of green. The next layer is the ornament layer–I chose jewel tones and bright primaries inspired by the traditional nose magnifying glass orbs. I finished each yarn ball with a few turns of shiny gold Lumina. Tuck each end into the layers so the yarn stays put.
That’s it! To create a treescape stick a knitting needle through a shoebox and spear three yarn balls onto the needle, shish kabob style. Create mini spheres and thread them onto a strong plied yarn (like Ultra Alpaca) to create a colorful garland for your real tree. Attach a paper clip to hang them from the tree or simply display them in a glass vase or shallow bowl. Instant pretty!
Pretty much the moment I started at Berroco we’ve been talking about GIFTS. It started way back in September with tiny holiday sweaters and gift sets you could make on a budget. There was a bit of a debate over the propriety of verbing a noun (I maintain that it is okay in the case of ‘gifting’ and Dictionary.com agrees). This week we’ve decided to give our KnitBits subscribers a gift–a chance to win one of four baskets specially selected by members of the Berroco design team. No worries if you’re not already a subscriber, you can enter until 12 p.m. PST on December 15th (your entry will also sign you up for the KnitBits newsletter).
Our baskets are totally idiosyncratic, though mine was a little conservative to begin with. It contained the yarn to knit Crotona in a watery blue shade of Cuzco since that is what I have been knitting for myself in between holiday gift knitting. After I saw the masterpiece Donna had whipped up, I knew I had to step up my game.
I finally settled on a basket stuffed to the gills with two skeins of every color of Ultra Alpaca Fine. I threw in lots of Clover bamboo DPNs and Booklet #275 which is full of basic sock patterns. The idea was that you could knit socks for yourself or your friends all year long but I immediately came up with a billion other uses for the yarn. I think it would be perfect for crewel, the wool embroidery that is making a comeback. It would also totally rock on the rigid heddle loom–the high yardage (I just typed ‘yarnage’ by mistake, tee hee) and the nylon content are perfect for weaving with.
If you can believe it, Elin, a Swedish blogger living in Melbourne is knitting a STRIPED CARDIGAN with it. This makes her a high priestess of patience IMHO and check it out, she’s not cutting any corners. My new year’s knitting resolution is to take a page from Elin’s book (blog) and knit simply but well.
And since this is a blog entry about gifts and the holidays I may as well share my stance on it–it’s the knitter’s way, no? I have done exactly one Christmas where everyone got a handknit gift and it was a very harried December. This year I took the Buy Handmade pledge and have had a fabulous time visiting Etsy and places like Craftland. Now that the crafting pressure is off I’m more motivated than ever to knit for friends and family! I’m loving Closely Knit by Hannah Fettig and Knit One, Embellish Too by Cosette Cornelius-Bates.
Good luck to all us gift knitters! Remember to rest!
This week’s KnitBits, due out on Friday, is the second in a series of themed entries called the Recession Collection. Last week’s issue was a collection of 50 projects you can knit for under 50 dollars–a LOT less than 50 dollars in most cases.
The theme of this week’s issue is staycations–the sort of holiday you take when you can’t afford to jump on a plane headed for luxurious locales. Our feeling is that knitters know how to make the best out of a weekend on a couch. You can read our “travelogues” below but you’ll have to look for KnitBits #267 to see what Norah and Margery whipped up over the weekend.
Favorite escapist movie:
N: Much Ado about Nothing with Kenneth Brannagh. I laughed, I cried, ……I sang!
M: Off the top of my head, month by month: Bell Book & Candle in December, Giant in January, All About Eve in February, Rebel Without a Cause in March, Vertigo in April, Splendor in the Grass in May, Rear Window in June, Dirty Dancing in July, A Walk on the Moon in August, Breakfast at Tiffany’s in September, The Body Snatchers in October, La Strada in November.
C: Right now, Sofia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette.”
Favorite libation or wintery beverage:
N: Hot cocoa with a star anise pod thrown in.
M: Just a nice glass of Chianti.
C: Pumpkin beer–bottled dessert!
A guilty pleasure snack or comfort food recipe:
N: Chocolate and honey toasted on good bread.
M: Tarmasalata (Greek caviar spread) on a tuscan cracker.
C: Grilled cheese made with Cotswold cheddar–a double Gloucester cheese with chives.
Who or what surrounds you on the couch?
N: Lena and Jake, some tapestry needles (fallen behind the cushions) and big comfy pillows.
M: Memories of my dear cat Fred.
C: A laptop playing episodes of the British comedy “Peep Show.”
How do you unwind and shut out the world at the end of the work week?
N: I like to plant myself on the couch and watch long marathons of TV – like the Gilmore Girls or Project Runway.
M: We take Max, Olivia and Noah [Ed: Margery's son, daughter-in-law and beloved grandson] to our favorite Indian restaurant and we have a Bombay Sapphire Martini while Noah drinks a mango lassi and we all munch on pappadam. MMMMM!
C: Yoga and some difficult cooking–at least two hours in the kitchen! Last weekend it was matzo ball soup and the weekend before that was bourbon bread pudding. Okay, now my stomach is growling…
What does the knitting glitterati do behind close doors when they’re knitting for themselves and themselves alone?
N: When I’m really fried – garter stitch.
M: My new love is my sewing machine, so that is were I go to update my wardrobe. When it is yarn I am craving in my hands, I crochet and felt, hats, bags and other vessels.
C: Like Margery, I’ve been ‘cheating’ on my needles…I spin or weave! It’s a good way to get a little instant fiber gratification without having to think about shaping or fit or gauge…as long as I’m touching yarn, I’m happy! And like Norah, I always love garter stitch.
I hope you’ll join us–answer any of the questions you like, either in the comments or at your blog.