Knit Wit Living

Reflections, Beading, Knitting, Life

Archive for the tag “colorful”

Cross Stitch Finds

One of my secrets for finding inspiration is just way too easy that I am always surprised that I haven’t seen anyone else mention this. Have you ever noticed that cross stitch patterns are easily translatable for knitting?  They use the same grid designs that are used for knitting patterns and I find that cross stitch patterns are more prolific than knitting design patterns.

This is the reason why I always try to include links for deals for cross stitch products on my offers page.  This post is about me not assuming you knew why they are included.

I have one of the best books – a Reader’s Digest Big Book of Cross Stitch Designs – that I bought for this very purpose.  Its designs are simple to follow and range from basic to complex in its colorwork.

Cross Stitch Finds

I also subscribe to Jenny Hart’s sublime stitching newsletter. Her designs are for embroidery, not cross stitch, but I have ordered some of them to incorporate into knitting as well.

I love the crossover from one medium to another.  There is a woman who displays her art of prints focused on yarn and knitting stitches at the Vogue Knitting Live shows. I can only wish that I were that talented! (I will update the post with her name and works when I find it – or after the next VKL if she is showing there again.)

Here are some cross stitch inspirations that I just love –

Cross Stitch Finds

Cross Stitch Finds

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Cross Stitch Finds

Where do you find inspiration?

Holiday Sale for Knitting Inspirations

I took some time off last week for a staycation which mostly consisted of cleaning out my “arts and crafts” room, i.e. organizing my stash, and taking advantage of some holiday sales.

While I was in the mall, I took some pictures of some fair isle or other knitting inspirations.

Knitting Inspiration

Knitting Inspiration

Knitting Inspiration

and then I went  on Etsy and found this lovely Missoni vintage blouse.

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Just gorgeous!

Hats Done but not Done Well

I completed two hats over the Thanksgiving and winter holiday breaks, but neither turned out well.  First, I reluctantly made a pattern that LD selected on Ravelry. I didn’t like it because it didn’t look like it would sit snugly on her head.  I made it anyway, without making any changes to the pattern despite my concerns.  I was able to complete it in a day or two as it is knit with bulky yarn, and it turned out just like the picture!  The report back was that it’s too big. No surprise there.

Hats Done but not Done Well

Here are some photos of me modeling the hat as LD often treats me as paparazzi and shields herself from my photo taking attempts. (I can’t really blame her. I think it’s a natural instinct as I remember doing the same thing when I was young.)

Hats Done but not Done Well

I think it turned out cuter than I expected but the fit just isn’t right.

Then ES asked for a hat, picked out a basic pattern on Ravelry then picked out the snowflake design from Nicky Epstein’s Knitting Block by Block book.

I diligently created a swatch, washed it, measured it, and calculated the number of stitches, including the width of the design in my determination.  All that said and done, the hat also came out too large. I compared the hat’s end results to my swatch, after washing the hat too, and the stitches were just totally different sizes. What I learned from this experience is to do the swatch with a design in it, because that changes the tightness of the stitches.  Aaaargh.  I gave ES more washing instructions in the hope that this wool/cashmere blend may shrink a little more.

Hats Done but not Done Well

Hats Done but not Done Well

Hats Done but not Done Well

Isn’t it pretty though?

Hats Done but not Done Well. Very frustrating.

Knitting Update

Finally! The update that I’ve been waiting to write and to show you what I’ve done with that beautiful yarn from Shunklies, through Etsy.


I finally decided upon a crocheted scarf that would more clearly display the segue from one color combination to the next.  I also included a couple of rows of white to show off the colors better. (One of the tips from Lucy Neatby in my Vogue Knitting Live class, Various Variegations, last year.)

Knitting Update

Knitting Update

Knitting Update

…and I don’t know if you can tell, but it is really long!

Knitting Update

I’m pretty sure I am going to sew the ends together, so that when I double or triple it to wear I don’t have to worry about it coming apart.

…but wait! There’s more!  I decided to use up the leftover yarn by making a long i-cord that can be used as a necklace or scarf or wrapped around my wrist.

Knitting Update

It’s not done yet…but it sure is pretty…

Knitting Update

and then when that’s done…more projects await…

Knitting Update

Thanks to all the Black Friday / Cyber Monday specials…and this yarn was so lovely. I know I’m eventually going to get some more!

MoMA’s Matisse Cut Out Exhibition

…or you know you’re a knitter when you see knitting pattern possibilities when looking at one of art’s great masters.

Verve Cut Out

ES was in town for Thanksgiving and took me to the MoMA’s Exhibition of Matisse Cut Outs as a birthday gift.  It was a perfect gift – getting to spend time with my son, going into the city, and going to the MoMA.  (Then, of course, I took him to lunch [at Momofuku Ma Peche, which we spontaneously selected due to proximity to the museum] which we both enjoyed before heading back home.)


MatissCut Oute started doing cut outs from paper when he was putting together designs for his works.  It seems simple enough, I’m sure many of us have done it.  When I first walked into the exhibition, I thought, well, this is interesting but is it really art?  The exhibit also displayed quotes that some people weren’t sure of it either.



But then as his work and the exhibition continued, you can see it evolving from simple paper cutouts to his thought processes…

Cut Out Evolution 1





Cut Out Evolution 2







Cut Out Evolution 3








and in some cases, they had the final result – the actual artwork (like a lovely stained glass window) next to its respective cut outs (not pictured in this post).

You know when some people just have a knack for composition and colors, they make it look so easy.  That’s what this exhibit was about. I love colors and loved the way Matisse placed the shapes together.  But this exhibit also shows that he worked at it.  Played around with the composition and juxtaposition of the shapes.

Cut Out Evolution 4




My son and I discussed how revolutionary these designs were in Matisse’s era.  It may now be deemed more commonplace, though still appreciated (Marimekko and Kaffe Fassett came readily to mind) – which is amazing that we’re seeing its origins!

If you are a fiber enthusiast – knitter, crocheter, spinner, embroiderer, etc. – I’m betting your mind is just humming with these colors and patterns, like mine was!  Designs for a hat, scarf, throw, new color compositions to consider, etc.

The Sheaf









The Sheaf Evolution 2?






The Sheaf Evolution 3?





One more – easy knitting design?!!

Matisse Cut Out








Oh, and if NYC is a schlep for you, but you’re planning to go to the NYC Vogue Knitting Live in January, you’re in luck! The exhibit runs through February 8, 2015.

Matisse Cut Out

This was one of Matisse’s later cut outs, which was considered a final art piece in itself.



Frogging is an Aerobic Exercise!

In a previous post, I said I would keep you up to date on my progress using the lovely DK yarn I purchased on Etsy from Shunklies.


I have frogged it twice already!

I really want it to be a very long scarf that shows off the wonderful colors.

First I tried Tunisian crochet, but…

  • The colors were too close together and
  • I wasn’t having much fun with the technique,
    • So I frogged it.

Then I tried knitting it. I used No. 10 needles so that the yarn would really shine through and the stitches wouldn’t be too tight. After about 5 inches, I listened to the nagging in my head and Stopped the Project.

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  • I wasn’t sure how long it was going to be
    • Even though I had cast on over 300 stitches
  • I didn’t like the pattern I was making up as I was going along
    • Stockinette a bunch of rows
    • Reverse Stockinette a bunch of rows
    • K3, P3 a bunch of rows
    • P3, K3 a bunch of rows
    • (And then I would have repeated the first two sections)
  • The knitting and ribbing didn’t show off the color variations very well
    • The colors were too close together and
    • They appeared as a cacophony of colors instead of being able to appreciate each color set

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When I pulled it off the needles, I saw that it was actually very long – 139 inches to be exact!

Cool! Would it be worth it to finish it off there or (gasp!) put the 300+ stitches back on the needle and carry on?


Continue with the new plan to Start Over.

So I ripped out at least 5” worth of 300+ stitches.

Who says Frogging isn’t good for you?

My Fitbit captured it as over 900 steps!

Frogging is an aerobic exercise

Now I am on to crocheting in my usual Crocheted Scarf pattern. I think it looks good. It gives each color pattern its own place to shine. Keep your fingers crossed that this pattern is the one. I’ll keep you posted.

After Frogging

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