You Make My Day

Posted on | February 3, 2008 | 5 Comments

Krissy of FreeRangeKnitter and Mel of PurlingPlans both gave me some “You Make My Day” recognition and it’s time for me to spread some blog love around.

Krissy and I communicated while she furiously worked to have the first completed Henley Perfected (my pattern from the winter Interweave Knits issue) on Ravelry. Check out her lovely version here. Mel is a budding designer who’s already turned out some very lovely work. Her shrug was my favorite pattern in August’s Magknits and since then, she’s paired her creative ideas with Sanguine Gryphon’s exquisite yarns. It’s an exciting collaboration that’s sure to yield more fruit.

The blogs who make my day are:

Following Veronique’s example, I’ll cheat a little and reference the entire Spiders list. They’re really a bunch of inspiring women – knitting, sewing, cooking, photography, jewelry design – these categories barely scratch the surface of what they accomplish.

Angela is an in-demand designer with work appearing in Knitty, Magknits, Interweave Knits, and Vogue Knitting, as well as under her own imprint. Her blog offers insight into her design process (giving tantalizing glimpses of swatches, sketches, and in progress projects) *and* gives me an opportunity to practice my flagging Italian, what can be better than that?

Julia of Mind of Winter always writes thoughtful posts whether they’re about her projects, her dogs, her designs, or her meditations on life.

Kat has a quirky, fiercely independent style that shines through in her blog, her designs, and her art. I can almost always pinpoint a Kat Coyle design by sight – and that’s a good thing.

Chrissy’s blog really inspired me when I first started thinking about designing. In it, she generously shares her experiences navigating the sometimes tricky world of independent knitwear design.

Jody is wonderfully geeky in the best possible way. Her site has tutorials galore with just the right balance of exposition and photos.

Parikha always has the most gorgeous photos. Whether they’re of food, knitwear, or places, they instantly make me want to cook/eat, make, or go to where ever she points her lens.

Vanessa is also a very gifted shutterbug. Armed with her camera, she helped whip up a Habu feeding frenzy and convinced hordes of knitters to knit Juno.

Stef is wickedly funny and irreverent. No topic is safe. Witness her list of general gripes from September ‘07: funny, funny stuff. Plus she knits and designs. I heart her Judith pullover.

And last, but not least, Lauren (who’s probably receiving these tags by the truckloads), who has the uncanny ability to instantly transport you to different places via a perfect marriage of sharp writing and luscious photos. Her posts run the gamut from travelogue to instructional to inspirational. I can’t wait to see what she does next.

Tag, I’m it!

Posted on | January 24, 2008 | 9 Comments

The other day, Rosemary – she of Ice Queen and Muir fame; and knitwear inspired jewelry artist extraordinare – tagged me for a ‘10 unusual things I’ve done’ meme. First of all, go look at her list. It’s awesome! And it’s made me very insecure about my list. I’m a pretty safe person – lived all of my childhood (other than my first two years which were spent in Texas) in California, went dutifully to school, etc. etc.; so dredging up some interesting and unusual stuff that others might not have done is a little hard. I hope you’ll bear with me. Here is the list:

1) Got a Ph.D. in physics.

2) Went to 5 schools in 6 years because of indecision issues. I know I’ve already mentioned this before in another meme, but I thought it bore repeating; plus I’m running out of stuff already!

3) Got married in Italy (where my husband is from).

4) My husband, in addition to his native Italy, has lived in Greece, Belgium, Singapore (where he completed high school), and London (where he went for undergrad). I know, I know, it’s something unusual about my husband, but I’m getting desperate here!

5) Had a short story (very short – 500 words) published in the San Francisco Chronicle when I was 12 based on Beverly Cleary’s Ramona the Pest series.

6) Have had designs published in Knitter’s, Interweave Knits, One Planet Yarn and Fiber, JCA, Magknits, and two books (contributions).

7) Wrote for the Harvard Crimson when I was an undergrad.

Okay, I’m stumped. If I can think of any more, I’ll edit this post in the future. But for now, 7 unusual things is all you’re getting from me.

I’m supposed to tag a few other people now to do the same, but I feel a little lame requiring other people to do what I couldn’t. So, consider yourself tagged if you’d like to post about 10 things you’ve done that are unique and let me know if you do so I can read about it!

Henley #2 Completed

Posted on | January 14, 2008 | 13 Comments

I am officially sick of this pattern now. ;)

I finally finished my mom’s Henley Perfected. I made the smallest size with a few additional small modifications to accommodate her short torso and arms.

I used just 7 skeins of Alpaca Silk for this, one less than the pattern called for. The discrepancy is due to a combination of shortening the sweater and my lack of swatching for this project (which is what inspired me to use Alpaca Silk again). In fact, I had actually wanted to use a lighter yarn for this. Alpaca is a little heavy for the temperate California climate my mom’s lucky enough to live in, but I got lazy. I was pretty sure my gauge in Alpaca Silk wouldn’t change all that much between June (when I made the sample sweater for Interweave) and now. And since swatching is one of my least favorite parts of knitting (I know, bad Connie!), I decided to go with what I know.

Year in Review

Posted on | January 11, 2008 | 9 Comments

1. Knitter’s Summer ‘07 Fitted Tank, 2. Knitter’s Summer ‘07 Auburn Mist, 3. Magknits Tori Vest, 4. Sensual Knits Lace Panel Twin Set, 5. Sensual Knits Lace Panel Camisole, 6. One Planet Yarn and Fiber Hexagon Bag, 7. Interweave Knits Winter ‘07 Henley Perfected, 8.One Planet Yarn and Fiber Lacy Rib Turtleneck

2007 has been a year of knitwear design for me. Technically, I started knitting my first design for publication (the Fitted Tank in the Summer Knitter’s) in December 2006, but since it wasn’t released in print until June ‘07, I’m counting it as a tick in the 2007 column.

There are items not included in the collage above (thanks, Lolly for providing the links to the mosaic maker) because they haven’t been published yet. Among them are 3 items for Pure Knits, Yahaira’s follow up to Sensual Knits, 3 designs that will appear in upcoming issues of Interweave Knits, a sweater for JCA’s Spring ‘07 line, and a cashmere number for One Planet Yarn and Fiber.

2007 also marks the year where I met some knit bloggers in. real. life. First, I met up with Angela when my husband and I visited his family in Italy. Then, through my association with Sensual Knits, I met Veronique and through her the Spiders. And finally, I met Olga and Vanessa when they vacationed in NYC in the spring.

Last, but definitely not least, at the end of 2007, I was welcomed into the Spiders. Having a regular appointment to knit and chat with buddies has been wonderful!

Best wishes to everyone for a happy new year!

Sensual Knits Errata

Posted on | December 31, 2007 | 3 Comments

It’s just come to my attention from a vigilant knitter bthat there are quite a few errors in the charts for both my lace panel camisole and lace panel cardigan in Sensual Knits. I’ve emailed Yahaira about it so that she can include it in her

A Spiders Holiday Party

Posted on | December 16, 2007 | 14 Comments

See that shiny new button on the right sidebar there? I’m officially a Spider (don’t know if it’s capitalized or not) now. The Spiders are a group of great NYC (and surrounding areas) knitters who meet regularly to share their obsessive love of the craft. And they’re really a talented bunch – each artistic in her own way – and horrible enablers. Between Ravelry and them, I’m finding it hard keeping my projects and stash in check! Among the possibilities are the

Of course, the next day, I found another cube in her shop that I had to have. I guess you can never have too many. They’re perfect for socks or for that manageable sweater piece.

Thanks so much, Cathy!

Multiple posts in a week & Sensual Knits

Posted on | November 30, 2007 | 14 Comments

In what must be a first for me, this is my third post this week. I guess that’s what happens when knits that I’ve had to hold my tongue about for so long are finally released out into the world.

Yahaira’s book, Sensual Knits, was released unexpectedly early last week. I have two contributions in this book, a lace camisole and its matching cardigan. For some reason, the book only shows the two pieces worn together:

The yarn we ended up using for this was Blue Sky’s Royal Alpaca. Those who know me know that I’m pretty sensitive to fibers (cruel irony for an avid knitter) and alpaca especially is usually too scratchy for me. But I had no problems with the Royal Alpaca. It’s really something else. As Clara Parkes writes in her great reference, The Knitter’s Book of Yarn, royal alpaca is “the cream of the alpaca fiber crop”.

This twinset was my third design, a couple of months into my long break from academia and pursuit of my knitwear ambitions. Through this book, I met a lot of great people, some of whom I’ve gotten to know in real life too. :)

Knitting Daily post

Posted on | November 29, 2007 | 4 Comments

Check out Monday’s Knitting Daily post featuring my Henley Perfected on a variety of women. Katie Himmelberg’s Citrus Yoke Pullover is also featured and today’s gallery showcases Mari Lynn Patrick’s Bon Bon Pullover.

To add another real person picture to the mix, here’s a picture my husband snapped of me wearing the henley. You can tell I was a bit rushed because the picture is taken literally outside of the Ithaca, NY FedEx building just before I sent off the sweater to Interweave.

For the record, my bust size is 32″ and I was wearing a camisole under the henley.

I read some people’s comments on Knitting Daily expressing concern about the button placket gaping. It shouldn’t gape as long as you work some positive ease into the garment. For me, I like sweaters that have 2-3″ of positive ease, but that’s mostly because I don’t like any tight clothing. For example, I shy away from anything that has any lycra content in it.

When I was designing the henley, I did consider doubling the button band placket so that it matched the turned hems of the sleeves and body. Doubling the button band placket would also make it sturdier and less likely to gape; and it’s certainly an easy enough modification. In fact, Jen has a great tutorial on how to work a doubled button band easily which I tried with this design. The doubled button band instructions worked like a charm (thanks, Jen!), but ultimately I felt that it took away a little from the delicacy of the design and decided instead to work a rolling single layer placket edged with i-cord to stabilize it. But the great thing about Interweave is that they really encourage knitters to customize their garments to fit the individual (witness the new ‘Designer’s secrets’ articles inaugurated by Pam Allen’s great sleeve cap tutorial in the winter issue and Katie’s useful suggestions for mods in the Knitting Daily sweater galleries) and so I would encourage anyone who has doubts about the placket to try a few different things to see what effect they like best.


Posted on | November 27, 2007 | 2 Comments

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving.

My husband and I went into the city to catch the last 20 minutes of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Why only the last 20 minutes? Well, we both hate crowds and standing in line, but I’ve always wanted to see the parade live (rather than on TV). Maurizio only knows about the parade through an early episode of Friends (where the Wonderdog balloon escapes and Monica and Rachel lock themselves out of their apartment), but that reference was enough to get him at least interested.

We managed to see Kermit, Wynona Judd on a big-a** guitar, and Santa Claus and his elves.


Finally finished something!

Posted on | November 16, 2007 | 11 Comments

The Dragon Skin Wrap is all done and ready to be mailed off to its recipient, my college friend’s 2-month-new baby daughter.

The stats are:

Size: 22″ chest circumference, sized for 3-12 months.
Yarn: 3 + a quarter of a 4th ball of Filatura di Crosa Zara in pale pink (color 2502)
Needle: Size 7 (ball band calls for size 4-6 for a gauge of 23 sts/31 rows per 4″x4″)

The yarn is a little lighter than the Kollage Yummy that Angela used for the sample so I went up a needle size — especially since the stitch pattern was a little dense from all the shaping that constructs the lovely scales. In fact, when I was knitting it, I was worried that it would be a little stiff; but I figured that since it’s for a very young baby, any size would do, even if it turned out slightly smaller than the published dimensions. To my happy surprise, blocking softened it quite a bit, making it drapier (and larger!) and now it’s actually between the small and medium sizes — great from a utility standpoint. With utility in mind, I didn’t sew in the snap closure that I bought for the wrap, but will include it in my package to my friends so that they can decide where best to put it or whether to put it in at all.

I think my friends will be thrilled with this wrap. It’s a very cute baby design (and more importantly, fun to knit!) — a little different than the usual baby staples I’ve seen in pattern books and works equally well for boys as well as girls. I’m already trying to think if I have any friends with boy babies for a blue wrap!

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