Knit Wit Living

Reflections, Beading, Knitting, Life

Archive for the tag “knitting inspiration”

Still beading

Knitting, beading, so many options!  One thing I will say is that it’s a lot less expensive to make “a little purchase” of beads than yarn!  Unfortunately, the bead merchants are just as prolific at sending out enticing emails as the knitting industry.

I haven’t really accomplished much lately.  I’m knitting a poncho for a friend so feel compelled not to do other knitting with such a large project on my plate.  It’s not particularly complicated, just time consuming.  More on that in another post.

I’ve been mulling about beading now. I really am inspired to do something unique – hard to do in this day and age!  I’ve decided that I need to understand the basic elements of beading so I’ve been reading a lot, and trying my hand at this new art. My problem is – and always has been – that I like to get ahead of myself.  I don’t like the tedious practice of learning, instead wanting to jump into the advanced skills.  I know it doesn’t work well that way…

Well, I want to share some ideas that I tried but came out rather clumsily. A lot of the beading patterns show rope like chains, so I thought what if I used an i-cord instead of a rope.  What if the i-cord had beads in it?  I tried placing the beads in different ways on the stitches.

beading

beading

I’ll admit it’s interesting, but I don’t like the end result.

I found a shop on etsy, where the woman knits necklaces, and knits the pieces to look like beads.

knitting beading

knitted beading

It’s interesting. I also saw this old ad/pattern of knitted beading

knitted jewelry

What’s old is (or can be) new again?

I tried stringing beads along an i-cord, but am not enthralled with this either.

beading

and with a decorative beaded element (on the left)

knitted beading

Luckily I have plenty of time and lots of ideas.  And a poncho to keep me busy.

3 Patterns

I set a goal of “3 Patterns” for the past 6 weeks. It was a bit vague, but I think I really meant it just to spur my creativity and branch out. It could have been read 3 Patterns, write 3 Patterns, knit 3 Patterns, crochet 3 Patterns…just do something with 3 different Patterns!

I met my goal and tried 3 knitting patterns, completed 2, 1 was a success. Smile. I am more about process than results, so I am happy that I did 3 Patterns. Never mind the results!

1. Winter Hat with variegated yarn intarsia pattern.
2. Started the Summit Shawl.
3. Made a very long boa scarf for a 5-year old princesslittle girl..princess.

1. Winter Hat


This is the Neighborhood Fiber DK in Victorian Village and a variegated pink DK that I bought on Etsy from Mothy and The Squid. I also used a gold strand with the Victorian Village outside of the ribbing. What fun colors!

I really need to read other winter hat knitting patterns, because once again, the final product turned out too big…but pretty!

2.  The Summit ShawlMandie Harrington is a genius! She created this beautiful shawl, and as I knit it, I continuously marveled at how brilliant she is to have created this pattern.

summitALT2

I started mine in a fingering yarn, and it was turning out nicely.  However, I decided to use the yarn for something else, so frogged it.  I think that I will use a DK instead of a fingering yarn when I do this pattern again.

Summit Shawl

3. Boa scarf. I was asked by this little princess to make a scarf.

3 Patterns

I used a pink fur yarn, a variegated pink/purple fur yarn, a deep pink strand, and knit in bells at each end!

I think I loved it more than the recipient!  Though she had fun with it too.

 

VKL Marketplace

The VKL NYC Marketplace was filled with wonderful choices and never-ending ways to spend money!  However, having recently organized my stash, I was well aware of the multitude of projects already awaiting my attention.

Add to that two classes that left me uninspired, I wandered around on Saturday feeling that nothing was leaping out at me.

I had also very carefully planned my purchases ahead of time. I printed out 9 patterns from Ravelry and noted the yarn needs for each.  460 yards of fingering for one, 900 yards of DK for another, etc.  I was so proud of myself for creating a structure in which to shop.

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Throw all that preparation and organization to the winds!

If I was tempted by something…I just had to find the right color and I was IN!

The icebreaker (my first purchase): I came upon the booth for Jill Draper Makes Stuff. I had really admired her yarns at the VKL Marketplace a couple of years ago, took her card with the intention of getting something later, and have also favorited her Etsy shop, but I have never made an actual purchase. Time to stop the procrastination!  I bought this skein of Esopus (fingering weight) in the color Caribbean with the intent to use it for one of the pieces in the Curls book I recently purchased.  But then in my Beading 101 class, this very yarn was mentioned as great for knitting with beads.  So we shall see how it ends up…

VKL Marketplace

Jill Draper Makes Stuff: Esopus – Caribbean

Then I purchased 3 skeins of Rustic Fingering from Neighborhood Fiber, one of my favorite shops.  The yarn names are after different neighborhoods in Baltimore: The purple-y one is called Lauraville,  the brown-orange is Lincoln Park, and the green-yellow is Fells Point .  I purchased these for the Color Affection shawl. I wanted colors in the same tone, but that you might not automatically think go together, which is what I think will make this shawl really pop (or go terribly wrong!).

It’s interesting to watch my own tastes in colors, fibers, and weights change over the years.  When I was growing up, my absolute favorite color was yellow.  Over the past decade or so, it has been gray (because gray goes with Everything!).  Since DDSO passed away, I gravitated back to yellow, as it was his favorite color.  Now, I find myself going more for pinks (!) (I know, what’s up with that?) and sparkly yarn.  I also bought only fingering weight yarn this year, whereas before I usually liked working with DK.  And prior to this year’s purchases, I would Never buy yarn with nylon or acrylic.  EEK! I have let down that guard too. But I had to because that seems to be a necessary component for the sparkly yarns.  It’s all about choices! (Inside joke/reference to a previous post about food.)

Next up: Sparkly fingering weight yarns. This is Holiday Yarns: Silver Sock Fingering in Muse (shades of blue) and Highlighter (great name! for this bright yellow). Each of which I thought could be used to make the Manhattan shawl.

VKL Marketplace

Holiday Yarn

VKL Marketplace

Manhattan Shawl

Okay, I was done. It was Saturday, after two classes and the gala dinner was going to start in an hour.  I decided that there was nothing really calling my name and that was it.

Well, wouldn’t you know.  My Sunday morning class was held in a room within the Marketplace!  Fate? <smile!> Sure.  So during our break, I rushed over to the Woolstock booth to buy these flexible rods for blocking.  Leslye Solomon’s company makes them and I have been tempted to buy them since the first class I took with her at the 2nd VKL.  Not a very exciting purchase, but it should make the blocking process a whole lot easier and more effective.

VKL Marketplace

When the class was over, I took a last stroll through the Marketplace. I thought about buying a swift but a handmade maple swift for $200+ was not on my list. But what was on my list was to get yarn for these socks (yes! I know! socks?! usually not my thing).  But I really like the creator and her blog, and the design, Shersocks,  is tempting (enough to do them!).

VKL Marketplace

Shersocks

Here’s the yarn I got for them.   It’s Simple Sock from Kismet Fiber Works in Michigan Cherry and Limoncello. I don’t think the photo gives the colors justice. I decided to do the heel in the design color (Michigan Cherry) and not purchase  a 3rd color. Hopefully the colors will turn out more vibrant when I take pictures of the completed project. (This year!)

VKL Marketplace

Kismet Fiber Works

And then, on my way out, I felt I just had to stop at this one booth at the “end cap” (from my merchandising days) where the guy always said hello when I passed by.  Turns out Molly Girl Yarn is from the next county over…so very happy to support them! I picked this lovely Diva Fingering yarn in the color “Alive for the First Time” to do some kind of beaded piece, having just come out of Beading 101.

VKL Marketplace

Molly Girl Yarn

Laura Nelkin, the Beading instructor, had given us coupons to buy knitting beading kits on Ravelry or her Etsy store, and I have indulged!  Those are not VKL Marketplace purchases, so I’ll save them for another post.

I have enough to keep me busy for awhile.

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

2014-12-28 12.46.37

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!

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.

 

 

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