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For my fourth episode of Any Stitch Will Get You There, I am so excited to introduce you to Lauren from Girly Knits. Lauren has been knitting since she was nine, has a background in fashion design, and has been designing knitwear under Girly Knits for the last 4 years. Her designs are consistently some of my favorite – they’re feminine, flirty, and fashion forward.

Scroll through some Lauren’s incredible designs:

Lauren and I met up in Central Park one afternoon and chatted about how yarn stores are basically candy stores, designing for a younger audience, especially teens, and how knitting on the train is great way to get people to smile.

 

 

Lauren can be found all over the internet – go say hi!

 

Lauren has been knitting since she was 9, and working in New York City as a fashion designer for juniors and girls since 2005.  She loves purple, cats, and all things girly!   She is the winner of the first ever knitting reality competition “The Fiber Factor”, and has been a featured guest on Knitting Daily TV.


What was your favorite part of the interview? And what is your favorite Girly Knits design??

I’ve been working on a few hats to be ready for when the weather turns, and I’m so excited to share them with you today.

Each one has something unique to it, whether it’s lacework, brambles, cabling, or simple knits and purls.

Arosa Slouchy Lace Hat

The Arosa Slouchy Lace Hat was inspired by the flames and the smoke you’re bewitched by when you’re sitting around a bonfire in the fall. I wanted to capture that sweeping feeling in a hat. It has a slight slouch to it.

 

Wild Bramble Hat

The Wild Bramble Hat is such a fun, textured hat. It features vertical stripes, converging at the crown. In between the stripes are brambles, stars, little bumps that are quick and easy to make.

 

Adirondack Basket Hat

The Adirondack Basket Hat is a series of interweaving cable stitches, separated by stripes. It’s more fitted and because of the thickness of the cables, it seems much warmer.

 

IMG_5947

The Chutes and Ladders Hat is super fun. I was playing around with various striping patterns when I settled on this one – and it looks like little ladders! The ladders and stripes converge at the top and a giant pompom is in the center. (I think you should make it even bigger!)

Material
1 skein of Lion’s Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Yarn
DPNs, size varies between US size 11-15 depending on hat
Stitch marker(s)
Tapestry Needle
Scissors

EVEN MORE FUN is this: I’m going to do a Knit Along for one of the hats!

Grab all the details here.

30for30

I don’t know how things are going for you, but it’s incredibly busy in my part of the world! On top of everything else, I turned 30!

Everyone seems concerned that I would have a little mini mid-life crisis, but I’m feeling pretty great. Besides, I’m much too busy worrying about moving across the country to worry about my age – I feel just as young as I felt a month ago!

Anyway, to celebrate my birthday, I’m offering 30% off in my ravelry and etsy shops!

Use coupon code 30FOR30 – that code works on all of my patterns AND all of my finished knitwear.

You’ll might notice a few of my newest hat patterns – I’m releasing them all officially later this week (or Monday, depending on how the move goes!), and I’ll be announcing a Knit Along as well.

If you’ve never heard of a Knit Along, here’s how it will work: I’ll have a link up with my new hat patterns. You’ll get to vote on your favorite, and the #1 choice will be what everyone will work on as a group – you can follow along with the pattern, or, if you’re new to knitting, you can follow along with my video instructions. More details in the next few days!!

I hope everyone’s enjoying the week. I hear fall is around the corner, but you’d never know it here in NYC – we’re still in the middle of a heat wave!

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For the third episode of Any Stitch Will Get You There, I am chatting with Sami, who blogs over at Trouble Knits. While she is starting to dip her hand into designing, Sami primarily started knitting as a form of self-care, as a way to feel normal.

She learned as a young child, but didn’t really become a knitter until she was in college. We chatted one lovely afternoon about her experiences and what knitting means to her.

Definitely give this one a watch! Sami talks about knitting as a post-apocalyptic life skill, why she learned to knit (she liked feeling the yarn!), and why knitting makes her feel normal.

Check out some of her creations:

You can find Sami here – go say hi!
Trouble Knits
Instagram
Facebook

198841_511340518914975_1828455622_nIn addition to knitting, Sami is a one stop shop for graphic and instructional design. She has five years of experience as a graphic designer and photographer; almost two years as an instructional designer; and will have a combination BA/M.Ed from the Pennyslvania State University’s Schreyer Honors College in May 2016.

She creates engaging, beautiful, and research-informed materials that leverage interactivity and aesthetics into a meaningful product. She’s designed for groups ranging from United States military clinicians to middle school students to independent startups. No project is too big or too small. Find her at Orange Juice Diaries.


 

I am so excited to introduce the Catalina Beach Sweater! I almost gave up on summer knitting, but I was inspired at the end of July to do one more beach sweater – and this is perfect because it easily transitions for the fall season.

The Catalina Beach Sweater is a great transitional piece for your wardrobe.

Designed to be worn on those cooler, summer nights, the Catalina is knit with cotton yarn and designed with lace eyelets and chevron – to give it a chunky sweater feel, but without the weight.

It’s oversized, with enough ease for you to slip it on easily over your swimsuit – or your button down.

You don’t have to retire it at the end of the season. It’s perfect for layering in the spring or fall, over a t-shirt or a button down, and it’s perfect for school or work.

The shoulders are dropped, giving it a casual vibe, and the sleeves stop at the elbows – perfectly cool for all seasons.

Want to buy the sweater? Here’s the etsy page for that! Use coupon code NEWCATALINA for 15% off until August 30, 2015.

Ready to knit it up? You can grab the pattern on ravelry. Use coupon code CATALINA50 for 50% off until August 25, 2015.

Do you want this in video form?

Otherwise, here are the details:

Materials
Wool and the Gang Shiny Happy Cotton, 100% Cotton, 110g / 155yd, Color Vitamin C, 4 (5, 6, 7 ) skeins
US 10 / 6.0mm circular needles, 32in / 80cm or size needed to obtain gauge
Optional: US 10 / 6.0mm straight needles
tapestry needle
scissors
measuring tape
stitch markers
t-pins

Gauge
11 sts x 20 rows = 4x4in / 10 x 10cm in stockinette st

Sizing
XS (S/M, L/XL, XXL)
32 (36, 40, 44) in / 81 (91, 102, 112) cm, after blocking
Intended Ease = 4in / 10cm. For a more fitted garment, choose a smaller size.

 

Any Stitch Will Get You There

It’s time for the second episode of Any Stitch Will Get You There, and I am so excited to chat with Allyson from The Sweatshop of Love, Holla Knits, the show Yarn Talk, and the soon to be published Midwestern Knits – the girl stays busy!

Scroll through a sampling of her designs:

Allyson and I chatted one sweltering afternoon – actually, many afternoons! I had so many technical difficulties, but I finally got her amazing thoughts on video. She talks about where she gets her best ideas, knitting in bars, and finding your own tribe of weirdos.

 

You can find Allyson all over the internet – go say hi!

Sweatshop of Love
Holla Knits
Midwestern Knits
Yarn Talk
Instagram
Facebook
Twitter
Ravelry

AllysonDykhuizenHeadShot Allyson Dykhuizen is a knitwear designer and knitting teacher from Michigan who lives in Chicago. Her patterns have been published in Interweave Knits, Knitscene, knit.wear, and knit.purl magazines, by Lion Brand Yarns, and included in the Knit Picks Independent Designer Program.

Allyson is coeditor of the book Midwestern Knits, and has multiple how to videos produced by Interweave/F&W available at Craft Daily and Interweave.com. She self publishes and blogs on her website The Sweatshop of Love, and is creator and editor of the online knitting magazine Holla Knits.

Follow Allyson on twitter @AllysonKnits, The Sweatshop of Love on facebook, and AllysonDykhuizen on instagram, and email her at allyson@thesweatshopoflove.com.


What was your favorite part of the interview? Any fun or interesting moments? (Does anyone else use their couch as a desk??)

anystitchwillgetyouthere
For my first guest on Any Stitch Will Get You There, I am so pleased to have Alexandra Tavel from Two of Wands.

If you haven’t heard of Alexandra or her shop, Two of Wands, you’re in for a treat. Her designs are very romantic and a bit bohemian. I’m also madly in love with her animal hoods that I’m pretty sure can also be worn by adults…

We met in Central Park one sunny afternoon to chat knitting, and Alexandra shared what inspires her, how she started knitting, and even a bit of her design process.

Watch here:

You can find Alexandra around the internet at the links below – go say hi!

www.twoofwands.com
www.etsy.com/shop/twoofwandsshop
instagram.com/twoofwands
facebook.com/twoofwands
ravelry.com/people/TwoOfWands
kollabora.com/brands/two-wands

 

headshotAlexandra Tavel is a knitwear designer located in New York City. With a degree in Fashion Design and Costume Construction Technology from Indiana University, she has been designing under the label Two of Wands since 2014.

She grew up in Loveland, Ohio with her artist mother who was constantly teaching her all forms of art – whether it was painting, sculpting, sewing, knitting, jewelry making, or even making dollhouses out of flowers and materials found in the woods in the backyard.

As long as she can remember, Alexandra has always had at least 10 projects going at the same time, and she really can’t get enough of anything relating to art and creativity. She is influenced by her mom and her free-spirited, bohemian style and she has done quite a bit of traveling around the world, where she is always inspired by the different cultures and handcrafted goods that she finds in every country.

What was your favorite part of the interview? Any fun ideas or interesting moments for you? 

 

I don’t know why you learned to knit.

Maybe you started knitting as a form of self-care, maybe you wanted to bond with a friend/neighbor/relative, maybe you wanted to knit a blanket for the cutest new kid in your life – whatever the reason, you’re starting to flounder.

Knitting was fun, but you have a busy life. “Maybe I’ll have time to knit tomorrow,” you said, nearly a month ago.

Meanwhile, when you finally do get back to your knitting, it’s like starting over on day one.

I feel you. It’s no fun looking up tutorials for stitches you knew how to make a week ago.

This post is for you, my super ladies, who try to do it all, including knitting.

These are my favorite places to knit when you have no time.

1. Lunch break. Does anyone still get an hour for their lunch break? I’ve only ever had 30 minutes, which is just enough time to grab something and stuff it in your face, BUT if you’re one of the lucky ones, don’t go back to the office early, hang out on a park bench and get a few rows in.

 

2. Work meetings/conferences. If you have a chill boss, he or she might be happy to let you knit away. (Just explain that it helps you concentrate!) Either way, I know you have phone and web conferences where face time isn’t required. Bam – better listening skills AND you just finished that sleeve.

 

3. Waiting rooms. Waiting can really suck. The best advice I’ve seen is to focus on your breath, be present, and spend some time with yourself, but that’s not always easy to do, especially if you can’t stop thinking about the germs flying across the room from that gross person that can’t stop hacking and coughing. Whether you’re waiting a few minutes or an hour, have your knitting handy.


4. Happy Hours. Okay, a lot of people are uncomfortable with this one. It’s weird to be the only person knitting, especially when everyone’s sharing the latest gossip and trashing that client from hell. But the thing is, in between pounding beers (or tea, depending on the group!), it’s nice to have something to occupy your hands. And trust me, it’s only weird the first time you pull it out. Then everyone thinks you’re that cool girl that will knit them something.

 

5. Movie/TV nights. I’m all about bonding with family and friends, and sometimes that means you all get together, order a pizza or tacos, and watch some TV. It can be fun, but let’s be honest, your friends and family don’t always have the best taste in shows. When it’s not your turn to pick what you watch, grab your knitting. It helps get you through those awful, awful jokes.

 

6. Commuting. If you drive to work, then maybe skip this step. But if you take the train, the subway, a bus, or carpool, you should definitely whip out your needles. There’s really zero point to focusing on the traffic, worrying about if you’re going to be late, or attempting to get a jumpstart on your email – there will always be more emails!

 

7. Sporting events. I’m not going to lie – I really don’t understand the point of a lot of sports. Sure, sometimes it’s exciting, but then there’s 10 minutes of downtime for every 3 minutes of play, and what’s the point of that? But even if you like all that downtime or the atmosphere or whatever brings you there, it’s always nice to have something to do while you’re waiting for game play to resume.

*knits furiously*

 

8. Trains, Planes, and Automobiles. As before, if you’re driving, steering, or in some sort of control, pass on the knitting. But if you’re taking a trip somewhere as a passenger, you have to take your knitting. I know you packed a book, some sudoku puzzles, and even a magazine, but I promise, and you know this, you’re going to get bored with those things after an hour, tops. And then what? Oh gosh, ESPECIALLY if you have a layover. Your coffee and pastry don’t last forever, and you can only watch so many planes take off before your thoughts turn dark and you begin questioning your life decisions while listening to – somehow – the most annoying collection of people ever assembled. (And yes, you can take knitting needles on domestic flights – double check for international ones!)

 

So get to knitting in your free time, and soon you’ll be a champion knitter, and no one will be able to stop you.

 

 

Once you have the stitches down and you feel like a real knitter, you can even justify spending more than $15/skein!

 

 

And then, before you know it, you’ll be old and gray and still knitting projects as awesome as you are.

 

Image result for banksy knitting

 

What makes someone want to knit?

Many of my friends are not yet knitters. I hold out hope for most of them. 😉

Many non-knitters are intrigued by those of us who tend to carry yarn and needles around and knit in places like the subway and various waiting rooms. They’re intrigued, but not ready to commit, and I completely understand.

I wanted to create a little 3-5 minute documentary that explained how amazing knitting can be: It’s great for your mind, it’s great for your closet, and it really does help you reclaim a little bit of peace in this busy world we live in.

Of course, when I started interviewing people, I decided that I had to run each interview in its entirety because everyone I spoke with was so incredibly passionate and full of life.

Don’t worry, I still planning on doing the short – but I’m still in the middle of filming so give me a few more weeks. 🙂

Check out my intro video to find out more about me and the series. Next week, I’ll start with the first episode – and I know you’ll love it.

Be sure to subscribe here so you don’t miss an episode!

Don’t Miss an Episode!

You may have seen me mentioning that I’ve been working on this cardigan for the last few weeks (months?) – anyway, it’s finally here and for sale!

 

The Rockaway Cardigan is perfect for those cooler summer nights when you’re not ready to leave the beach (or the bonfire), and it’s still a little warm for that hoodie you’ve got stashed for emergencies. This is for you! You can still look cute, summery, and keep warm.

 

This is made from Wool and the Gang cotton* so it’s not too heavy, and it’s super, super, ridiculously soft. (*That link is an affiliate link – but it also gets you 15% off your order.)

 

A few details about the cardigan:
-buttonless
-lace paneling in the back
-border on the front
-the front edges curl, as if corded
-Written instructions and chart.

Supplies
4-7 skeins of bulky cotton from Wool and the Gang*
needles, US size 10 (6.0mm)
needles, US size 10.5 (6.5mm)

Sizing
Finished Bust Size 32 (36, 40, 44, 48, 52, 56)” to fit 30 (34, 38, 42, 46, 50, 54)” /
81 (91, 102, 112, 122, 132, 142) to fit 76 (86, 97, 107, 117, 127, 137) cm

Gauge
With size 10.5 needles, cast on 12 stitches and knit 15 rows. Your swatch should measure 4″x4″.

Ravelry page here.