Thursday, October 21, 2010


Today I had the pleasure of visiting the Tiger Button Company in Manhattan, where a family friend works. He showed me the showroom and then let me loose in the stockroom.... YIPPEE!!! I snatched up a few hundred high-end, beautiful buttons and have spent the last hour lovingly organizing and playing with them.

Here was my button collection before:

And here it was after:

I also got a few D-Rings, latches, other notions, etc. I got so many cute buttons! I also got a really sweet leather toggle, which I was going to use on an open cardigan I have, but I lost it already :(. I think I took it out to admire it at a pizza place and now it's gone. I'm really sad.

But I did end up SCORING on the button end of things. Here are some closeups:

And some favorites:

I got leather, metal, plastic, wood, every kind of button!!!

Not totally sure what I'm going to DO with them exactly, but now when I make stuff with buttons I have a lot of choices. The storeroom was just aisles of boxes upon boxes of buttons.... it was like being a kid in a candy store. Which, actually, I am on my working days. So I'm just a lucky gal.

I also made another Blackberry case for my best friend Jill, with more leftover sock yarn:

It took about five hours of TV time, start to finish. Quick and easy.

I fitted it on my iPod again. I'm giving it to her when I go down to D.C. in a few weeks for Jon Stewart's RALLY TO RESTORE SANITY!!!

Now I'm going to sew buttons on the baby sweater, and then they're all ready to go.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Blackberry Cozy Pattern


Since I last wrote I have started and completed two projects... no three. One was a Blackberry case for my aunt, another was a sample hat, and the third was a baby sweater. Each project took an average of about a day and a half.

My aunt requested a "slim" sleek little knit case for her Blackberry so I whipped this up with some leftover sock yarn:
Here it is modeled on my roughly-the-same-size iPod. Unfortunately I could not get ONE good picture of it. My camera really sucks. I used leftover Malabrigo Sock from my Karira socks-- It used up SO little yardage I could easily make six or seven more cases. It was a simple 2x2 rib with a garter opening. Here's the pattern:


Fits a Blackberry, iPod, slim camera, or most other little handheld devices.

Use a sock or fingering yarn and two size 1-2 circulars (whatever you normally use for socks).
CO 36 sts, split the stitches onto two circulars, and join in the round. Work 6 rows in garter stitch (you must knit one round, then purl one round in order to achieve garter in the round).

Begin k2, p2 ribbing and continue until work measures approximately 4.5", or however long your device is. WARNING: Since this cozy is meant to be very stretchy, the length of the work will not necessarily equal the length of the device-- the cozy will be shorter. Make sure to check the length often against the device in order to ensure a good fit.

When work reaches desired length, separate the stitches so that there are 18 on each needle. Turn the sock inside out (or you can simply bind off from the RS-- both sides are identical up to this point) and work 3-needle bind off.

Button flap: Choose which side of the opening you want to be the back. Pick up 5 stitches in the center of it from the RS. Work garter stitch for 3/4". Buttonhole round: K1, k2tog, yo, k2. Continue in garter stitch until flap measures 1.25". Bind off.

Finishing: Sew button onto cozy beneath buttonhole. Weave in ends. Ta da!

You can finish this in a few hours. And it's a sweet little cozy. I'm thinking of making another one with a button band... I just LOVE putting buttons on things. They give such a finished look to knit pieces.

Anyway... I also made a baby sweater for my friend, due in December:

For some reason the right shoulder is kind of square. This sweater is knit in pieces and seamed. I like working flat but I HATE the thick seams you get when you have to sew it together!! This is Aran weight Muench Family, which is SUPERSOFT and perfect for kid things, but it also makes a bulky seam when sewn together. I hope it doesn't bother the baby... and I hope they put it on the baby. I still have to get some buttons for the neckband placket. But it was a fun little project. Baby stuff is great. So quick and gratifying. My future kids are going to be the most knit-furnished babies on the planet!! I just hope, for their own sake, that they are born in the winter.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Updates 'n' stuff

Been busy WORKING!! UGH!! Hate being an adult!! JK. It's good to be working. But it leaves less time for knitting, sadly. Nevertheless I have managed to do some stuff.

I started a little short-sleeved sweater, which, like most of my knitting, has its own saga. I technically started it September 25th, but had to rip it out after a few inches because I wanted to do it in a small instead of a medium size. I don't know what's wrong with me. I don't know if it's the gauge or just the pattern, but EVERY TIME, I KNIT THINGS THE WRONG SIZE!! Seriously, I get so frustrated. I even checked the gauge! Okay, I knit like four rows, but I thought it would be good enough. Not, apparently, because the sweater started looking pretty wide. But then I realized it was because the pattern called for casting on the number of BUST STITCHES and working straight, with no waist shaping. So of course it was going to be huge.

Too big.

I started again with a small, casting on 246, and started doing some shaping that I had worked out. When I finished with the waist shaping at 202 sts, I tentatively tried it on (dropping a ton of stitches because my needle it too short to accommodate me) and it was . . . well, roomy. I even tried it on over my bust and it was STILL roomy. Like, 202 sts was still too freaking roomy for my bust!!! I mean! Completely Ridiculous! For this to actually be a fitted sweater, I'd have to CAST ON less than 202 sts. SERIOUSLY!!!

What is WRONG with me?

I started increasing for the bust anyway. Right now I've got like 230 sts, about, which I'm going to keep going with. The bust is actually going to be MORE narrow than the hip circumference. Which is so silly. If I was a really fastidious knitter (not), I'd rip it out and redo the whole effing thing, using my own numbers. But I'm not going to. I know it'll still look nice, just not fitted. And not ENORMOUS hopefully, just standard-fitting. I hope. Sigh.

 I'm at about 10.5" now. 4.5" to the splitting. Knitknitknitknitknitknitknitknitslipmarkerknitknitknit. 

As I often do when I'm involved in a more serious WIP, I decided to do a quick knit. I made a string market bag! It's great! I started it Saturday night and finished it Sunday, knitting most of it in the car going to and from apple picking with my parents. Check it out.

It was so fast. Only 24 rows total, but the pattern called for a bunch of funky stitches. I used Knit Picks Organic Cotton Sport, so I feel even more crunchy!! Organic, undyed yarn. Lovelove. It's perfect for taking to the store if you're just getting a few things, but where I really envision using it most is in the shuk in Israel where you buy fresh fruit and veggies and all kinds of stuff. It looks small, but BOY does it stretch!!!

 I packed dozens of apples in it and there was room to spare. I could have fit more. I made the strap a bit long, so stretched out it's a little longer than I would like. However, I'm happy with it.

I'm also considering making a few baby things for some friends back in Israel. I already made the Bailey kids hats-- I still have to make a baby sweater for them, but I also have a few other friends who have/will soon have newborns.So I might have some more things to add to my list!