Category Archives: Knitting

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Dead End-Knitted Yarns is now at http://knittedyarns.net

Knitted Yarns has moved to http://KnittedYarns.net

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Thanks and happy knitting!
Knitted-Yarns Editor-in-Chief.

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Montauk Bound With Knitting

Montauk Sweatshirts for Sale

Montauk Sweatshirts for Sale

 

We love the beach in Montauk which can be relatively empty (at least by New Yorkers’ standards) on holiday weekends. It’s a wonderful expanse of beach with rolling waves that make for peaceful rejuvenation. Of course, it’s not every Manhattanite’s idea of a “local” beach but my husband and I make it an adventure and it beats battling the local airport or driving out of town.

The over 3 hour train trip from NYC’s Penn Station to Montauk gives us an opportunity to sleep, read or knit. We enjoy bagels and coffee on the train and are ready to hit the beach by the time we get to Montauk.  There are a variety of local taxi companies that meet the infrequent trains making getting to the center of town a breeze. From there we can walk to the beach, food and Purl By the Sea.

Atlantic Ocean Beach - Relatively Empty at Montauk

Atlantic Ocean Beach - Relatively Empty at Montauk

Kite Surfers at Montauk Use Strings Differently from Knitters

Kite Surfers at Montauk Use Strings Differently from Knitters

I always love visiting Purl By the Sea. While most knitting stores attract wonderful knitters and crocheters, there’s always laughter around the knitting table at Purl By the Sea. It sends out such good vibe that my husband likes sitting in the spouse rocker and hearing the joyful chatter.  

 

Entrance to Purl By the Sea with Flowers Blooming

Entrance to Purl By the Sea with Flowers Blooming

On July 5th, there was a local spinner giving a demonstration and selling her roving and yarn, both merino and alpaca. The spinner’s wares were spread through out the store.

Spinning demonstration at Purl By the Sea

Spinning demonstration at Purl By the Sea

Spinner's Wares at Purl By the Sea

Spinner's Wares at Purl By the Sea

 

Local Spinner's Roving at Purl By the Sea

Local Spinner's Roving at Purl By the Sea

Additionally, Nora Franzetti, the owner of Purl By the Sea, had been to TNNA and stocked up on new yarns and wonderful books. She brought back samples of yarns and books that she’s considering. She showed me a stack of signed knitting books to make any knitter jealous.

Since I am still swatching and testing the Botanica Medallion from Summer 2009 Vogue Knitting, I bought more Tahki Cotton in aqua and forest green to add more color to the top.  I was lucky that I picked a color that many of the Purl By the Sea knitters don’t like!

For me, the entire day was a knitting adventure. I had time to work on several projects including the Fountain Pen Shawl and the Hemlock Blankie which has been a great beach project. 

Hemlock Ring Blankie on Montauk Beach

Hemlock Ring Blankie on Montauk Beach

 

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Shiri Mor’s Botanica Medallion Sweater from Vogue Knitting

   

Shiri Mors Botanica Medallion on Vogue Knitting Cover

 

Shiri Mor's Botanica Medallion on Vogue Knitting Cover

When I started knitting lace doilies, one of my friends suggested that I check out the pattern on the cover of Vogue Knitting Summer 2009. It’s an unusual pattern by Shiri Mor. It’s more of a vest than a sweater. It consists of a center circle knit in the round like a doily and a separate border knitted with a variety of lace stitches so that it is larger at the outer edge than the inner edge. 

 

Interestingly, the sample is knit in Blue Sky Skinny Dyed Cotton for summer wearing. Given the way that the pattern is knit, it is a strong candidate for a Noro type yarn which would add a wonderful pattern to the center and stripes to the outer circle.

When I first thought about doing the top, I wanted to combine several colors. I wanted to use the watery blues and greens that have been showcased in Eileen Fisher’s windows on Fifth Avenue this spring.

Due to the fact that I’ve been on a yarn diet (of course, those of you who are regular readers know that I allow myself yarn treats and occasional splurges like MDSW and Webs Tent Sale.)  Therefore I decided to use some Tahki Cotton Classic from my stash. The 4 1/2 balls of white Tahki Cotton Classic (or 432+ yards) that I got at a yarn swap  wasn’t enough to make the top.  Combined with one or two other colors, it was a good start.

Tahki Cotton Classic in White, Aqua and Blue-Green

Tahki Cotton Classic in White, Aqua and Blue-Green

After studying the Botanica Medallion pattern, I realized that it was difficult to adapt to multiple colors in the way that a vintage doily might be. Therefore, I bought 5 skeins of aqua at Purl By the Sea (or 540 yards) in Montauk.

Flower Medallion of Shiri Mor's Vogue Cardi

Flower Medallion of Shiri Mor's Vogue Cardi

32 rows of Botanica Medallion in Tahki Cotton Classic

32 rows of Botanica Medallion in Tahki Cotton Classic

While it’s a rare event that I get gauge (of course, I was using needles that were 2 sizes smaller), I set out to knit the  medallion centerpiece of the sweater. After knitting about 34 rows of the 54 rows needed, I realized that, while my gauge was on target, the piece even after blocking was way too small to work for me.

Given that the centerpiece of the Botanica Medallion consists of close stocking knit and reverse stocking knit, I chose not to increase the needle size to make the piece larger. Also, I am using 100% cotton which should be knitted tightly for garments. Therefore, I decided to look for another doily to use in lieu of the flower / starfish pattern medallion of Mor’s piece. 

Having made several different doilies, I estimate that I will need a pattern with about 70 rows. Although a pattern which allows me the flexibility to add more rows to reach my goal is optimal. Further, it’s important to take blocking into consideration. For example, my Heirloom Doily Placemats grew from 15″ to 17″ in diameter when they were blocked. I assume that the piece will grow about 10-20% due to blocking the lace (which is different from non-lace blocking.)

While some of you dear readers might be upset at this change, I am thrilled since it will allow me to use a variety of colors and to have a unique design at the center. I am thinking about making the border striped but I am not sure that I will like the color changes. I will need to test knit them.

P.S. For those NYC based knitters, Shiri Mor is teaching a class focused on making the Botanica Medallion at Knitty City.

Submitted by Knitted Yarns-Editor-in-Chief

Creative Knitting Supplies-Stitch Marker Alternatives

Corliss on the Bay-Fair Harbor General Store

Corliss on the Bay-Fair Harbor General Store

In preparation for our vacation, I had stocked up on knitting supplies but I underestimated the number of stitch markers that I would need. With 4 lace projects going at the same time, additional stitch markers are a necessity! Unfortunately, I underestimated how many I would need.

When you’re away from your LYS, knitting supplies can be difficult to come by. This is particularly true when you’re on a beach vacation in an island town that only has a food store and a general store which focuses on household supplies and beach goods. 

We went to Corliss on the Bay, Fair Harbor’s lone general store. A couple of years ago, I had bought some attractive paper clips that I thought might do the trick. But alas, they were out of stock. The helpful clerk brought me over to a sewing section (which contained about 7 items) where they had a massive box of safety pins. Since I’m working with fine lace weight yarn, I didn’t want it to get ripped on the safety pin coils which has happened to me in the past. I examined the children’s beading section in hopes of some alternative without luck.

My husband went to the owner and asked about washers and other plumbing related supplies. The owner showed him a plastic box filled with various sections filled with different sized black rubber o-rings. When I saw them, my eyes lit up. They were perfect! I hope that no one in town needs any in the near future since I cornered the supply of small sizes. 

 

o-Rings as Stitch Holders

o-Rings as Stitch Holders

 

O-Rings as Stitch Markers on Nightsong Shawl in Pink Cashmere

O-Rings as Stitch Markers on Nightsong Shawl in Pink Cashmere

It’s funny since one of my knitting buddies bought up the supply of black stitch markers from a merchant at MDSW. These black rubber beauties were equally good!

When I got back to my knitting, I found that these rubber o-rings were better than the hard plastic stitch markers since they gripped the metal circular needles and helped keep my stitches in place. I am so happy. I’m planning a trip to Home Depot when I get back to NYC! 

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

WWKIP-Brooklyn Bound

WWWKIP 

 

WWKIP

As a Manhattanite, I had a number of options for Worldwide Knit In Public day or WWKIP as it’s better known. Many of the choices involved sitting on the lawn of one of the many parks which I did a couple of years ago and got rather bitten. Instead I chose to join the knitters at the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza. Since the weather was forecast to be overcast and potentially rainy, this KIP option offered a wonderful indoors alternative.

Organized by one of the librarians, WWKIP at the Brooklyn Public Library on Grand Army Plaza was a wonderful event. It took place on the plaza outside the library. There were tables for charity knitting and learning to knit. There was a raffle for lots of knitting books and yarn. There was also a live band and lots of people who turned out to have fun. Refreshments and the farmers’ market were nearby. 

WWKIP at Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza

WWKIP at Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza

View from Brooklyn Public Library

View from Brooklyn Public Library

Art decco doors to Brooklyn Public Library

Art decco doors to Brooklyn Public Library

WWKIP at the Brooklyn Public Library

WWKIP at the Brooklyn Public Library

Teaching knitting at WWKIP at the Brooklyn Public Library

Teaching knitting at WWKIP at the Brooklyn Public Library

For those of you who rarely leave Manhattan, the main branch of the library is easily accessible from the Eastern Parkway subway stop (on the number 2 or 3 train) which is one of the most beautiful stops. It’s got wonderful sculpture from the Brooklyn Museum which upstairs and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens are next door. I was advised to use this stop since it means that you don’t need to cross Grand Army Plaza.

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Vogue Knitting Summer 2009 – Cover Inspiration

The cover pattern on the Summer 2009  issue of Vogue Knitting has me intrigued. After my first foray into lace knitting in the round, Amanda suggested that I try the Medallion piece since it uses circular lace. After reading through the related instructions, I discovered that it’s an amazing piece that uses a variety of stitches to make the outer border. The different stitches compensate for the difference in the circumference rather than growing by adding more stitches each row. I am planning to make the vest in a combination of two tones so that I can use some white Tahki cotton that’s in my stash.

I stopped using Vogue patterns since they tended to be very simplistic designs but, to my pleasant surprise, this issue has several patterns that I can’t wait to knit. 

As with any pattern I knit these days, I always check out the comments on Ravelry. This medallion top has almost 100 projects already. I also found out that (no surprise here!) there are corrections to the pattern. 

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Webs Tent Sale Means Yarn Adventure

Webs is every knitters’ idea of heaven with a wide variety of yarns and brands including a great selection of related tools like knitting needles and looms. In addition to the quantity discount, they have a warehouse filled with discounted items and cones of fiber. For me, it’s a treasure hunt. Being fortunate to have a fiber-friendly husband, I tend to make an annual pilgrimage as part of a trip further north during the summer.  

Webs 2009 Annual Tent Sale

Webs 2009 Annual Tent Sale

This year, my friend Amanda persuaded me to join her for the  Webs’ Annual Tent Sale. She didn’t have to work very hard to convince me to meet her for a girls weekend of yarn-related road trips and knitting.  Since Amanda got to last year’s sale mid-afternoon by which point the merchandise was well picked over, we left at the crack of dawn to get to the sale early. Webs had taken over a nearby parking lot and there was lots of activity under the tent. There were so many people that we had to wait to get containers to collect the items we wanted.  The people at the tables were at least three people deep debating the virtues of the various fibers and brands. In addition to yarn there were carryalls and needles (which were a bargain at $1 and $2 a pair!). Fortunately, it was cloudy which kept the heat down. 

At one point, I spied a couple of cartons with a big crowd. It turned out to be free fiber! I got some wonderful white cotton with fushia rayon wrapped around it as well as some rust and baby blue ribbon. It was the idea of free that drove me since I stopped knitting with ribbon ages ago. I went through the various tables at least three times before making my decisions. The bags of Noro for $49.95 kept drawing me over. There was an especially wonderful turquoise, green and yellow blend. Amanda persuaded me that I still had a bag of Noro Silver Thaw from two years ago so…No Noro for me! The tent line took about a half hour. Part of the problem was that there were several yarns that were mismarked in the computer system. 

Then we went inside where Amanda was on a mission for some Cascade 220 for a special project as well as some sock yarn for a friend who had to work. Not one to pass up the opportunity to drool over Web’s inventory, I meandered through the warehouse. There were some wonderful treasures but I restrained myself and waited on line. Inside, there were four separate check out lines that snaked through the store! It took another hour to get checked out inside.  

4 Check Out Lines Inside Webs - Where's my knitting?

4 Check Out Lines Inside Webs - Where's my knitting?

Outside, there were some local purveyors of fiber and animals. It’s like a mini-fiber festival.  

Naturally dyed wool

Naturally dyed wool

 

Local fiber merchants at Webs Tent Sale

Local fiber merchants at Webs Tent Sale

 

Alpacas at Webs Tent Sale

Alpacas at Webs Tent Sale

We left with some great yarn buys and our stashes happily enhanced!  As Amanda pointed out we extended our lives by increasing our stash. Between keeping us calmer and augmenting our SABLE, buying yarn is a great life insurance policy.

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief