Happy birthday to me

birthday knitting tools gifts

Happy late morning, everyone. I’m getting a late start today after a very long birthday yesterday. I worked all day and then spent the evening at a monthly gathering of maker friends, two of whom I’m coaching through knitting projects (one giant snood and one kimono-style sweater). Which really probably shouldn’t be done in combination with birthday libations, I’m just saying. But getting to be at an event full of people I love on my birthday, without it actually being a birthday party, is among my favorite things. And that followed a long, fun weekend of crab and champagne with my husband and good friends plus girls’ day downtown.

So I slept in a bit this morning, but wanted to tell you about a few sweet gifts I got that will factor into my knitting kit. First came the navy-blue Stitch & Hammer pouch I’ve been a little bit obsessed with, which my husband and a dear friend conspired to acquire for me. I believe it will eventually hold the Dreamz interchangeable needles that my darling sister got me (but we won’t know for sure until I get Webs to send them — they inadvertently sent the wrong thing). And another dear friend, who shares my love of paper and blank books, gave me the Rowan Morrison Found Paper Journal, with a giant pair of scissors embossed into the kraft cover. I also might have bought myself a new African market basket for piling all my WIPs into. And in a very pleasant surprise, a brand-new friend sent me some digital patterns. So I’m feeling flush with good friends and good supplies. What more could a girl ask for?


Building the ideal project bag

knitting project bag coming soon

Ever since I took up knitting, I’ve been longing for the perfect project bag. I’m a bag fiend, in general, have been my whole life. And I’m also an organizer. It pleases me for each project to have its own little bag to nestle into — the ball(s) of yarn; the work in progress; maybe a printed pattern or Moleskine, with requisite notations; a spare circular or double-point-in-waiting. I keep my tools in a pouch of their own, but occasionally throw my scissors and/or tape measure in with a project when I’m on the go. You know how it is.

Not having found the perfect bag, I’ve amassed a mismatched collection of not-quite-right ones. For me, the perfect bag would have some pockets, but not too many. Some structure, but not too much. It would have enough presence to stand or travel on its own, while also easily submitting to being stuffed into my tote bag with the rest of my gear. And it would, of course, look great doing it. Nothing fussy or synthetic — just a nice hardworking, good-looking little gem.

Fortunately, my good friend Johanna — recently seen knitting in Moab — is a bag designer of some repute. (Many of you likely have carried a diaper bag or tote that she designed.) And I’m thrilled to tell you that she and I have partnered up and are in the process of producing our ideal bag! We have a couple of prototypes in hand — I’ve been knitting out of one of the samples! — and we’re going to be putting it into production in a matter of days. So not only will I have the bag I want, we’ll be able to make it available to you guys and hopefully lots of others, too. And soon! I hope you love it. I could not be more excited about this.

I’ll have more to show and share on that in the next couple of weeks, but meanwhile I’d really love to hear about your own preferences and predilections where project bags are concerned. Do you use one/many? What are the features and characteristics that are important to you? I find this stuff endlessly interesting, so please spare me no detail!


Tiny needles

9 inch circular knitting needle

I’m back in the saddle, as they say. After nearly a week in which I knitted not a single stitch of anything, I finally picked my sweater back up. I’d been avoiding it because I knew I had to work out the rate of decrease for my sleeves — specifically, how to go quickly from broad-shouldered to skinny-armed without creating a puff sleeve — but more than that, there was a mechanical issue holding me back. I don’t much enjoy knitting with larger double-points (I like ’em small) and dreaded having the weight of an entire sweater pulling against them as I worked. I haven’t gotten the hang of magic loop or even the two-circulars method, so I decided to give 9-inch circulars a try. So far so good. I mean, holy moly, this thing is tiny — hard on the wrist — but it’s making quick work of the first sleeve.