Knit Wit Living

Reflections, Beading, Knitting, Life

Archive for the tag “Crochet”

Back from VKL NYC Weekend

Ugh. I just have this blah feeling after the VKL NYC event this weekend. It did not live up to my expectations. I was uninspired from 2 of my 3 classes, and the Gala dinner was disappointing.

So the good news is that I now know that I really don’t want to crochet. My first class was crocheting, and some sample sweaters were passed around. I didn’t really like them that much. The majority were linear and boxy, and just uninspiring to me. There was one that I liked and could get inspired to do (if I were a crocheter), but no, <head shaking>, not interested.  This is good news because it means I can maintain my focus on knitting projects, and not veer off into this other direction.

VKL NYC Weekend

This is the one crochet sweater that I liked enough to think about making.

Then I took the Fingers First class.  The good news there was that I finally learned how to do the provisional cast on. The woman sitting next to me showed me after the instructor (Amy Detjen) rushed through her explanation.  Then we learned how to use the i-cord technique to make the finger. The woman next to me and I did not think this was easier than dpns, nor did it look as good. However, Amy did have a good way of knitting the fingers into the rest of the glove that anchors them in place and avoids holes between the digits.  But this material did not deserve a 3-hour class.  Very disappointing.

Let’s be frank, shall we.  Getting a goody (or swag) bag is fun.  That’s one of the perks of the Gala dinner. This. Goody. Bag. Was. Not. Fun.  First, Vogue Knitting gave us the Fall 2014 issue, which at this point I can say, FROM LAST YEAR! Which I, and probably everyone else in the room, have already read.  THEN, Rowan must have used this dinner as a write-off to get rid of one of the ugliest yarns I have ever seen.

VKL NYC Weekend

Can you say UGLY Yarn? This is IT. The complete contents of the not-so-swag, not-so-good, goody bag.

And thank goodness for Vogue that a woman from Eileen Fisher was their guest speaker. Otherwise, there would have been nothing in the goody bag at all. The Eileen Fisher Company was able to clean out its promotional merchandise closet by giving us each a ballpoint Eileen Fisher pen (yes, really!) and a laundry bag for fine washables. Oh, let’s be fair. They also gave a “You and a Friend” $25 coupon off of at least a $50 purchase, which is reasonable as I don’t think they sell anything for under $50 (unless perhaps a pair of their tights, which you could then wash in the garment bag). There was a pill remover that looks halfway decent, and that rounds out the bag. Nothing at all like last year, where the bag was Fab-u-Lous!

Finally, on Sunday, a fun class! Beading 101. The instructor, Laura Nelkin, was really informative and thorough. OMG, just thinking of the possibility of making more decisions about what to make – to include beads! – both thrills and frightens me!  Another stash opportunity?  [Side note: I visited my friend Linda, a fantastic! beader, and her bead stash rivals anyone’s yarn stash. (She is also a crocheter, so she is probably hiding a yarn stash somewhere.)] Laura was funny. She told us that bead purchases are less noticeable because the packages are so tiny.  Of course, I am not in a position to have to think about that (as I live alone) but it was still amusing.

VKL NYC Weekend

Here are the beads I used in the class, and my little swatch from the lessons.

Laura brought many examples of her work to illustrate her lesson, and one was more stunning than the next.

One of my favorite expressions is “you can have reasons or results,” meaning I don’t want to just complain. What can I do to make my next experience better?  Here’s what I’m going to think about over the next few months.

  1.  Spend more time thinking about what classes to take. Maybe do a themed approach and take all color work, designing or how to dye yarn type classes.
  2. Think about only going to the Marketplace, and one class.
  3. Think about making a full weekend out of  it,  and include doing other things in the city.
  4. Think about going to VKL in another city as a mini-vacation.
  5. Don’t go next year? (I don’t think so, but it IS an option.)

Oh, I did meet some really nice women.  Two in particular – the lady I sat next to in the Crochet class actually knits pieces for designers – you see her work in knitting patterns, ads and magazines. How cool is that!

I also met a lovely woman from Brazil who designs scarves. I think she won’t mind if I link to her designs for you. I really appreciated the conversation we had about widowhood and living with loss.

I am going to share my Marketplace finds in my next post.  I am very proud of myself for being (a little) conservative in my purchases.

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.

Lovely!

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.

Lovely!

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?

No!

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

More Crocheted Scarves

I thought that my first few incidents of crocheted scarves were going to be short stints.  But these crocheted infinity scarves have been so easy to make, and help keep my neck warm that they’ve become a staple project.

Recently, LD asked me for a gray infinity scarf and allowed me to use variegated yarn.

Excited to use a variegated yarn for her, I select a worsted weight yarn from Knit Picks – their  Chroma style, in the Fog Bank color: “A subtle series of grays, Fog Bank rises from dark charcoal, to medium blue-gray, to a light mist.” Unfortunately, this also had some brown in it and I wasn’t sure if LD would like it.  I told her about it and she was iffy.

fog-bank-chroma-worsted

The yarn for the first scarf – hard to tell that there’s brown in it..

Chroma Fog Bank - double stranded. Definitely browns and grays.

Chroma Fog Bank – double stranded. Definitely browns and grays.

I then went to Webs, and found a lovely yarn with its strand having the different colors, rather than having it as a series of colors along the yarn.  “Rowan Drift is a bulky single ply yarn that swirls several colors together to create a stunning appearance when knit or crocheted.”

This one is definitely not brown!

Rowan Drift finished product.

Rowan Drift finished product.

Rowan Drift scarf up close and personal.

Rowan Drift scarf up close and personal.

I’m visiting LD at college this weekend and brought both scarves up for her to see. I would have been satisfied if she had liked one and sent the other home with me…that I would use!

I received even better results. She wanted both!

Now on to some knitting?

NYC Vogue Knitting Live 2015!

I have registered for the  Vogue Knitting Live 2015 in NYC the weekend of January 17th!

Last year, the person I sat next to in the Norah Gaughan lecture shared her attendance strategy of only attending lectures. She found them very informative and more relaxing.  I tried to do the same this year, but found that there really aren’t that many lectures from which to choose, the price for 3 lectures is almost the same as taking 3 classes, the Marketplace ticket is an additional expense, and worst of all, one would have to wait till a later date to purchase a ticket to the gala dinner.

No,no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.  That was not going to work for me.

I also learned in the past that I really have to register early to get the classes that I want. Last year I dilly-dallied over the machine knitting classes, and totally missed out.  So within the hour of receiving the email that regular registration was open, I was there (online)!

I registered for:

  • Special Techniques of the Savvy StitcherDo you ever sense that there are important concepts missing in your crochet education? So many crocheters are self-taught, they manage to acquire lots of skill without quite mastering others. This class provides the knowledge you may be seeking about: counting stitches, turning chains and alternatives, stitch pattern multiples, increasing and decreasing, joining yarns, changing colors, weaving in ends, and foundation stitches. We’ll continue building techniques for tackling challenging stitches like reverse single crochet and various loop stitches. Move your skill level up a notch by reviewing both standard and innovative ways to tackle typical crochet questions. Taught by Dora Ohrenstein, who is an established crochet designer and is teaching many crochet-oriented classes this year. I looked her up on Ravelry, and chose two of her designs to share with you.

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  • Fingers First Gloves – Taught by Amy Detjen, who works closely with Meg Swansen,  Amy will teach you how to make seamless gloves starting with the fingers (done using an I-cord technique). This guarantees a custom fit, and you get the pesky part done at the beginning. Amy will demonstrate lots of techniques during the class, which also includes a sheet of guidelines for making custom gloves. I have always been intimidated by the fingers (which is odd since I love dpn knitting) so I thought this would be good to do in a classroom setting.
  • Beading 101 – I have been coveting some bead sites lately, so decided to take this class to justify converting my lusting to actual purchases (from the oh-so-very-beautiful and unique beadroom.com, to PandaHall, the site that offers standard beads at good prices.)
    BeadRoom.com
    This class teaches three different techniques for working with beads. It is the perfect introductory knitting with beads workshop! Besides learning how to choose beads and yarn, you will learn how to place beads on a stitch with a crochet hook or dental floss, how to work with prestrung beads, and how to make a beaded attached I-cord edging. This is a class for knitters with basic knitting skills who want to learn how to add some bling to their knitting! It is taught by Laura Nelkin, 2 of her designs from Ravelry are shown below.

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I tried to throw in a lecture during Saturday lunch, but it brought the cost up a little more than I wanted to spend.  I tried to do 2 lectures on Sunday instead of 1 class, but again, not worth the expense. I ended up registering via the Broadway Baby package, that includes the Marketplace entrance fee.  I paid for the dinner as a separate expense.  As you may recall from last year’s recount, they give a goody-bag that more than covers the cost of the dinner, not to mention experiencing the wonderful camaraderie with the other guests, speaking the knitting language in a great social setting.

Vogue Knitting Live 2015

I can’t wait!

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