Monday, November 30, 2009

Knitting a Circle Scarf

Hey there!
So here it is; my first tutorial. Well, sort of a cross between a tutorial and a pattern... Anyway, I'll do my best here.
I'm going to show you how to knit a circle scarf that is really basic, knits up quickly, but also looks quite chic. I also think it's a great length to be worn long to look kind of fashion-y or double wrapped for warmth. And it only takes one skein of yarn so it makes a great, inexpensive gift! With so many neat things about this scarf, how could you resist making one?

Here's what you'll need:
-1 skein Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick yarn ( I used the color Cilantro)
-Size 17 29-inch circular needles
-1 stitch marker (I just used a piece of yarn tied into a loop)

The first thing you do (as with most knitting patterns) is make a nice little slip knot.

Now you start casting on. Use a nice stretchy cast-on method. I like to use the knitting cast-on. I'll give you a description here but if you want to watch a video you can click here.

With your slip knot on the left hand needle, insert the tip of the right hand needle into the loop from the left to the right.

Hold both needles in you left hand so that you can use your right hand to wrap the yarn around the right needle from the back to the front.

Use the right hand needle to pull the yarn though.

Slip this new loop of yarn from the right needle to the left needle. Now you have two stitches cast on!

Keep going in this fashion until you have 70 stitches on the needle. Remember to cast on loosely, don't tug on the yarn.

Now switch the needles between your hands so that the needle with the working yarn is in your right hand. Place your stitch marker on the right needle.

Now it's time to get down to business! For the first row, purl all stitches. Then, when you get back around to the stitch marker, slip the marker from the left to the right needle and knit all stitches. Alternate between purl rows and knit rows until your piece measures about 6 1/2" from cast-on edge. Remove stitch marker and loosely bind off all stitches. Weave in edges and you're done!!!

I'll show you photos of my finished product tomorrow when the sun (hopefully) comes out.

Want to see the finished product? Click here.
Want it with a hood? Click here.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Oh, circle scarves. They are all over the place right now.

Most experienced knitters can probably whip one of these up without any help. But I figure there are probably some beginner knitters out there who would like a little help... right? So I'm working on a tutorial right now to show you how to make a nice chunky circle scarf. It will be here for you on Monday so check back then!

P.S. The scarf is shown doubled in this photo. When it's just wrapped once it goes down to just around my belly button.

My Place & Yours: That's Nice, That's Different, That's Unusual

So, Pip over at Meet Me at Mike's has a really sweet meme called "My Place & Yours" which basically encourages people to show off little bits about where they live and create and whatnot. I've been wanting to play along for a while and this week I'm doing it. The theme this week is "That's Nice, That's Different, That's Unusual", chosen by Little Suitcase. And here I go!

Something in our apartment that I think is unusual but also very nice is the huge umm... piece of art we have in the living room.
Logan found it in the West Village and brought it home. The face of the blue person used to be a pretty lady but someone had drawn a mustache on her. So Calder just painted over her face and one leg to make her a zombie (I think). And this thing really is huge- it takes over the wall and you can see it from the street. I love it.

Something else that is unusual but not quite so nice is our poor little green chair. Are you wondering what the yellow thing underneath it is?
It's a huge cone of yarn... and it's literally holding up the chair.
We bought the chair at a stoop sale for cheap and it had already been mended a couple times. Now it's a bit of a hazard. But it's a really cozy chair so, for now, it stays.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wildwood, NJ

Tonight I saw this documentary in Williamsburg. It rules.
If you are in the New York City area, Monkey Town will be showing this film three more times within the next week.
See it!

I'll write more about crafty stuff soon. Promise.
Have an awesome Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nothing Too Exciting

The weather was so nice today! I took the boy I babysit to his swimming lesson that is in this amazing pool on the top floor of a building on the upper east side.
The baby and I used the wait time to work on some drawings.
And here is the view from the pool. The sun was just starting to set. It was beautiful.
Also, do you remember these? Woven pot-holders! Last weekend my friend Nora brought out her little pot-holder loom and let me make one. It's something I remember doing in pre-school. I loved it.
I think I might get a couple kits for my sisters for Christmas. You can find them here, by the way. And if you've never done it before, trust me, they are really fun to make.

Monday, November 23, 2009

One Giant Slipper

These ones look so cute...
So... I had been wanting to make these slippers for a long time. They were in issue 5 of Craft magazine and were also featured on the Craft blog a little while back. I had some purple and pink yarns (kool-aid dyed) that look really nice together so it seemed like the timing was right to finally make these super-cute slippers.
I only knit one because it actually took quite a long time and because I wanted to make sure it would all work out before I knit two of them. And it was HUGE. It was so huge that I was able to fit it on my head and convince my friend that I had knit a really weird hat (it seemed funny at the time).
We don't have a washer and dryer at our apartment so I tried felting it by hand with hot soapy water... It hardly shrank at all! In fact it's still this big.
See how big it is compared to my foot?
I guess I'll have to use a proper washing machine to really get them to felt enough. We'll see how that goes...
For now I'm just going to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and knit with... cashmere! I bought my first cashmere yarn ever and it's so so so nice. It's white and lovely and I'll post photos of what I'm making soon. I just have to be careful not to get any peanut butter on it in the meantime...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy Friday!

I'm heading out for the night but I wanted to post this music video. It's not a new video but it always makes me laugh. There is a little bit of nudity but it's all in good fun...

Have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Yarns and Leaves

First of all, I now have hand dyed yarn in the shop. Hooray!
I have to say I really think they are so pretty... and I'll have more coming out within the next couple weeks.
I also want to tell you about something that i think is really neat:
I am very lucky to get to hang out in Central Park a few times a week (because of babysitting). It's such a beautiful place to spend time and it's especially beautiful in autumn.
So, behind the Metropolitan Museum (which is in the park) is this huge vent that blows out a ton of warm air, and the kids from the school play this game where they all get a huge arm-load of leaves and throw them on the vent at the same time.
The leaves shoot way up into the air and all the kids shout and scream and it's actually super exciting. If you're in nyc you should really try it sometime.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Get Dressed!

Hi there.
Here she is! I'm pretty pleased with how this little doll turned out. I hope she'll go to a little kid who will give her a lot of love.
Here she is in her little body suit (I decided to make her a body suit so I wouldn't have to make her a top and underwear). It's made out of a sock. Isn't that neat? It was so quick to sew up and I really like the cheerful color.
And here's a detail photo of her little sweater. This is the fourth project I've done with this felted sweater. I've also made two pairs of mittens and an iPod cozy, and the sweater only cost $2! And I still have a lot left! I've gotta buy more funky wool sweaters.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What I'm working on now

Doesn't she look happy?

Right now I'm finishing up making a doll to donate to the school of the kid I babysit. She is a Waldorf-style doll and they are really fun to make but it is a lot of work. I made one last year as well and I thought I would remember more about the process this year but... I didn't. Maybe the third time will be the charm?

Here she is right before she got arms

I really like how the doll itself turned out- she's really cute! I used a different process for the hair this year, in which yarn is attached to the head using pins first and then sewn on. It's relatively quick and very sweet. I'm having trouble with her outfit though. I wanted to make a little girl but her clothes are making her look more like a middle aged woman... maybe it's my imagination. So far she has a little cap knit from remnants of some Manos del Uraguay yarn, a sweater made from a felted sweater (from a swap meet in VT), her shirt is from a cut-up sock, and her skirt is from a sleeve I cut off a dress. And she doesn't have any shoes yet. Or underwear. And it's a school rule that dolls with skirts and dresses need underwear... Tomorrow I'll post some clothing photos.

Also this week, I finished up a hat for myself. Kind of...
I used yarn I spun from some really beautiful merino/tencel blend I got from Cloudlover69 on Etsy. It's really pretty yarn and the tencel gives it a cool shine that is difficult to photograph properly. But I think I used too small needles and tried to decrease too quickly at the end because the shaping just wasn't good and it was too stiff... so i ripped it out.
And lastly I finally gave this little beanie to my niece Olive. It was knit with handspun from some lovely merino roving from Rawfish that I spun last winter. Actually that was some of my first handspun... it might have been done on the drop spindle... I've gotta start making more notes...
Look at the expression on her face. She is such a ham. I love her for it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dear Internet,

My name is Lydia and I'm starting this little blog today for a few reasons:
-to promote my Etsy shop
-to organize some of my own thoughts and ideas (and hopefully be more productive)
-to share some of the knowledge I have through tutorials and knitting patterns and other things like that
-to have more motivation to take photos of things I make and do

Lately I've been really getting into Kool-Aid dying. It's really fun, pretty cheap, and a great way to try out dying with out spending a ton of money on a big dye kit and special pots and mordant and whatnot. I used this tutorial from to get started. You can really get some beautiful colors and it even smells good. Well, except the Mango, that one smells so weird and musty and definitely not something I would ever drink.... eww.

Some yarn drying on my little balcony

Yarn dyeing in progress using Cherry, Orange and Mango Kool-Aid
More to come soon!