ktog x maman nyc

We have the wonderful good fortune of being connected to amazingly creative people in awesome jobs! Andrea DeMaio is the sister of Kate's sister-in-law, Karen. Besides being a sweet, positive, and generous friend and a talented baker, she is now the marketing director for Maman, a small chain of French-inspired cafes in New York City and a few other locations.

Since Karen is familiar with our work and has done freelance design for Maman (check out their gorgeous menus!), she suggested we approach them to design a winter window display featuring our knits. When we looked at their images and style, we were inspired by their blue palette and floral and snowflake motifs, all based on French countryside toile prints. Their cafes are warm and inviting and we were excited to add our own cozy knit artwork to complement their atmosphere.

Karen illustrates beautiful floral designs, and we've always thought it would be fun to translate her drawings into knit work. She drew some floral and bunny shapes that we used for color work panels in the Soho window.

Karen illustrates beautiful floral designs, and we've always thought it would be fun to translate her drawings into knit work. She drew some floral and bunny shapes that we used for color work panels in the Soho window.

We were providing window displays for their 3 major cafes in NY, one in Soho, Greenpoint, and Tribeca. We wanted each to have their own defined style but still work together overall. We used our trademark bobbles as garlands and vertical hangings, and experimented with a new open sphere design. 

It was so much fun to drive up to the city, install the windows, sip coffee, and laugh all day with Karen and Andrea. We met Elisa and Ben at the Tribeca location, and were blown away by their hospitality. They were so generous, enthusiastic, and friendly! It was obvious that their spirit imbued each cafe with a delightful uniqueness and charm, shown in their creative decor, family photos of happy children, and more bunnies than we could count!

We are honored that we could use our passion of knitting to contribute to the beautiful mood of Maman.

SOHO

The Soho display incorporated our trademark cream bobble garlands, and some fun smaller items that we think captures the essence of everything Maman.

The Soho display incorporated our trademark cream bobble garlands, and some fun smaller items that we think captures the essence of everything Maman.

A few coffee mug covers to keep the hands cozy! (How beautiful are Maman's custom designed cups?!)

A few coffee mug covers to keep the hands cozy! (How beautiful are Maman's custom designed cups?!)

Fun with colorwork!

Fun with colorwork!

We love bunnies, coffee, and bobbles!

We love bunnies, coffee, and bobbles!

TRIBECA

We invented these open sphere hangings for a graphic look at the Tribeca location. 

We invented these open sphere hangings for a graphic look at the Tribeca location. 

GREENPOINT

These hanging bobbles create more of an interior cozy feel at the Greenpoint Maman.

These hanging bobbles create more of an interior cozy feel at the Greenpoint Maman.

Our favorite loopy bobbles!

Our favorite loopy bobbles!

Camp REAL

This week we had the opportunity to give some local kids an introduction to knitting and yarnbombing. We taught finger knitting at Camp REAL, a program put on by Newark Parks and Recreation. They were familiar with us through Knit the Trail, and asked if we'd be interested in being a part of this wonderful camp that gives kids fun summer mornings full of new experiences.

We met Sharon Bruen, who shared her enthusiasm for the program: "Camp R.E.A.L. is an eight week long free half-day summer camp for children ages 6 to 14 in one of Newark's lower income areas near Dickey Park. Camp R.E.A.L.'s focus is on Recreation, Exploration, Adventure, and Leadership; tools and traits that we try to instill in the campers through the summer."

Knit the Trail trees re-imagined at Dickey Park!

Knit the Trail trees re-imagined at Dickey Park!

The night before we were going to teach, we used two of our giant tree blankets from Knit the Trail to yarnbomb the trees at the park. We wanted the campers to experience the surprise of yarnbombing before we explained their project to them. Since we were working with a wide age range, finger knitting seemed like the best way for the kids to try 'knitting'. They all learned pretty quickly, and some loved it so much they went home and taught their family. All their pieces were wrapped around the branches of a giant tree that can be easily seen in their neighborhood.

Busy finger knitting! Red, white, and blue for the upcoming summer Olympics!

Busy finger knitting! Red, white, and blue for the upcoming summer Olympics!

The youngest of the campers... and awesome finger knitters!

The youngest of the campers... and awesome finger knitters!

Wrapping their knits around the branches.

Wrapping their knits around the branches.

It's special to see all their pieces come together into one colorful display. We hope they take pride surprising their families and friends with their yarnbomb. We had so much fun getting to know these kids and sharing our love of knitting with them.

For us, this really is the essence of what it means to be knit together in love. Being part of a community that encourages each other, reaches out in creative ways, and has fun together is one way we envision knitting connecting people's hearts and lives.

May is Lyme Awareness Month

by Lacey

One of the most exciting outcomes of Knit the Trail has been the connections we've made with other Newark yarn lovers. Mimi Eastman is one new friend who saw the trail yarnbombing and joined the NFL Yarnivores group, where I met her and got to hear a little about what excites her. She says her favorite things are to knit and raise awareness about Lyme Disease, which she does through her instagram and facebook page, Lyme Yarns. She invited the Yarnivores, ktog, and other women to contribute lime green yarnwork to be wrapped around the parking meters in downtown Newark for the month of May. Mimi also attached info about the Take a Bite out of Lyme Challenge.

Several of my friends and family have been affected by Lyme, and I'm thrilled to join Mimi in raising awareness. Symptoms are varied and Lyme is often misdiagnosed. Proper treatment early on is so crucial to prevent chronic struggles.

Had to do some bobbles!

Had to do some bobbles!

Delaware has the 6th highest incidence of Lyme Disease in our country. Two new pieces of legislature have been introduced this month that would improve prevention, awareness, treatment, and coverage of Lyme. House Bill 290 will address the prevalence of Lyme-carrying ticks in our state and work with the DNR to mitigate that. House Bill 291 will create a healthcare education board. Accurate information and a proper perspective of the seriousness of the disease is necessary for healthcare professionals to best treat their patients.

Victoria's colorful piece! 

Victoria's colorful piece! 

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Kate and I took a bite out of Lyme! Please join us (it's quite refreshing!), but more importantly, take a few minutes to learn more about Lyme Disease. Remember as you head out to enjoy the great outdoors to wear protective clothing and tick repellent. Inspect yourself (and your kids!!!!) for ticks and quickly remove them. Deer ticks are teeny-tiny, but a routine of checking daily is so worth it. Here's some more info:

http://lymediseasechallenge.org/learn-lyme-disease/

http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/health/2015/12/10/lawmakers-push-lyme-disease-awareness/77100338/

http://6abc.com/1321629/

Thank you, Mimi, for sharing your passion in a colorful way that helps our community!

Knit the Trail Install

The day began with Lace and I hitting the James F. Hall Trail at 7:30 am. We set off for the skinny trees with some sidewalk chalk and a measuring tape. We began by marking each tree to match each knitted piece to its corresponding tree. Once we were satisfied with our placement, we picked up coffee to share, and headed for the end of the trail to meet the Yarnivores from the Newark Free Library. 

Photo by Katie Yandell

Photo by Katie Yandell

NFL Yarnivores

NFL Yarnivores

The NFL Yarnivores arrived at 9 am at the fan tree right near the Delaware Technology park at the end of the trail. It was a chilly morning, so we supplied them with some fresh Dunkin' coffee and went to meet our faithful friends to install the skinny trees. 

Photo by Katie Yandell

Photo by Katie Yandell

We handed out colorful sewing kits, threaded our darning needles, and ventured into the woods to match our knitted pieces to the trees. There was something so wonderful happening. Our vision of these skinny trees from months and months ago began to take shape. It was like the woods awoke with pops of color as each tree was completed! It was incredibly cheery, even though it was such a frigid morning. I was so happy, I hardly felt the cold! Verna and Angie came to our rescue at noon, and finished the skinny trees for us. Lace and I had to leave for a very special and important baby shower that afternoon (Maddie's!). We planned to return to the trail at 4:30pm, and finish the install. 
During the shower, it began to snow. Yup, snow. It had gotten colder than in the morning! So when we returned to the trail with Verna, her husband Adam (who was the best support ever!) and Marta, the task looked daunting; about 8 feet daunting! 

Photo by Plum Speckled Photography

Photo by Plum Speckled Photography

Photo by Plum Speckled Photography

Photo by Plum Speckled Photography

Our next install was the 5 big striped trees in Kells park. Each one is 5-6 feet around, and 7.5-8 feet high. We brought the two ladders we had, our lovely, time-consuming knitted pieces, and began sewing the stripes in their corresponding colors, working from the top of the tree down to the trunk. It was tedious and slow pace work. Adam was our superhero here. He held ladders for us, made a coffee run, kept his 'tank' warm so we could thaw our hands out periodically, cheered us on, ran between the trees supplying us with yarn, using his flashlight on his phone to shed light on our shivering hands and the stitches, and even climbed the ladder himself to help us get the trees started! God bless the man. The devotion and persistence these friends showed Lace and I leaves me a little speechless. We quickly realized that bringing our designs to reality was a bigger task than ourselves. We do not know how to thank each friend sufficiently for the time donated, and for every stitch knitted! 

Photo by Adam Ayers

Photo by Adam Ayers

We finally finished the 5 big striped trees by 9 pm and decided to go home. Lace and Marta had been working on the two gradient trees while we finished the striped trees. It felt like a scramble, so we could finally get out of the cold! The warmth we felt when we finally got in our cars, was so welcome! 
The next day, Lace and Pete sewed the rest of the gradient trees together. (Way to go, Pete! A jack of all trades, you are!) Then, Lace and I spent 5 hours out on the trail working on the two small weeping cherry trees that afternoon. Still, we were not finished! Later on in the week we came back a couple time to sew random branches on, and finally on Wednesday morning before the artist walk, we completed the trees! While we were sewing during the day, we had so many trail walkers, runners, and bikers stop and talk to us about the installation. We had so many positive reactions, it was incredible to hear! Overwhelmingly, we realized that our main goal was accomplished through the installation: joy, cheer, encouragement, and surprise. 

Photo by Plum Speckled Photography

Photo by Plum Speckled Photography

Lace and I are so grateful to everyone that came to help with the installation. After a very long weekend of installing the trail, we know that we never could have done it by ourselves. This fact is the component that exposes the bare bones of a community installment. The scale of this design was big, and each knitter/crocheter played a part in bringing the dream to life, just like every stitch and every piece sewn together. Thankfulness is not enough to describe our feelings about this installment and the wonderful outcome. The involvement we experienced from these friends, family, and local knitting groups completely warms our hearts and fills us with happiness!

Enjoy the trail, and let us know what you think!
#knitthetrail
 

Knit the Trail Tour

Knit the Trail is displayed over 1.72 trail miles in Newark, DE. It was knit (and crocheted) by over 35 women. 47, 550 yards of yarn were used... that's almost 27 miles! 32 trees along the trail were yarnbombed. 

Follow along, starting at the Delaware Technology Park, for a more in depth look at the installation.

NFL Yarnivores Tree

Knit and crocheted by: Deborah Ryszka, Maggie Adams, Donna Dantinne, Heike Clouse, Elizabeth Wickersham, Morgan Wiebke, Michele Faucett, Varina Eisenhower Caton, Tami Ring-Kuchenbeiser, Theresa Hill, Megan Conklin Ridgely, Maria LeClair, Barbora Simacek, Megan Cobb

One of the first groups we approached about getting involved in the project was the Newark Free Library yarn group. Last winter they warmed up The Student statue outside the library, so we were excited when they eagerly agreed to be part of our yarnbombing display. We gave them the yarn they would need and told them to do whatever they wanted with this fantastic tree! It has been a pleasure to get to know these ladies. They do everything with enthusiasm, and I'm sure this won't be the last work of yarnbombing Newark sees from them!

From the Yarnivores:

Each person who participated in this project created their own unique piece of knitting or crocheting. There are large pieces and small pieces. Some did very simple stitches in one color while others used multiple colors and complex stitch patterns. These pieces were created by educators and scientists, stay at home moms and actors, administrators and retail workers, high school students and retirees. This piece reflects our love of yarn for all the possibilities and potential it holds. We are the NFL Yarnivores and we meet each Tuesday, 7 pm at the Newark Free Library- come join us sometime!

Trees at Pomeroy-James F. Hall

Knit and crocheted by: Carol Maurer, Kathleen Robinson, Laura Mackey, Linda Henker, Khea Bright, Paula Jennings, Marta Weber, Angie Bramble, Victoria Blansfield, Kim Givens, Mel Johnson, Hannah Brilliant, Jalisa Anderson, Amy Coleman, Lacey Koczera, Aevyn Koczera, Elisabeth McDowell, West Park Elementary students

These skinny trees were our first design for this project. We thought that coming toward an area and seeing little pops of color would be surprising and fun. We love that they can be viewed from different paths of the trail, and hope they add a touch of whimsy to your walk.

This was a great way for individuals to contribute to the project. With over 22 completed trees, we had women who speedily whipped 2 or 3 off the needles in no time, and friends who worked together to create one. We took knitting looms to West Park Elementary School's Art Night and taught students (and parents) how to use them. They did several inches of two trees that were then finished by other knitters. Several ladies from the Newark Arts Alliance Loose Threads group accepted 'the tree challenge' to knit or crochet for this display. These trees are a perfect example of coming together with others to create something bigger than you could do alone!

Trees at Kells Park

Knit by: Kate Groop, Lacey Koczera, Verna Ayers, Marta Weber

We wanted something big to stand out as the central point of the trail walk. These trees are each 50 to 74 inches around, and each blanket we knit is 7.5 to 8 feet tall. 

There are 3 organized striping patterns, and 2 more random arrangements between them. Each one took 60 to 80 hours of knitting. We are all faster knitters after doing these, and they kept us cozy while working this winter... So much to the point that we may have also taken a few naps under the blankets as they grew bigger and bigger.

Fun fact: The middle tree has 182 knit stitches per row and 34 rows per color block. With 14 color blocks, there are 86,632 total stitches!

Gradient Colored Trees near Newark History Museum

Knit by: Lacey Koczera and Marta Weber

When we were first working on designs for the trail, we made this small card with all the colors arranged in this ombre pattern. After looking at if for so long we decided to take it to a larger scale. 

From far away these colors are seen as they smoothly flow from dark to lighter to bright again. As you get closer though, the striping can be appreciated as a more detailed transition. 

These trees add a powerful solidarity of color that is visible from the trail and the train tracks.

Phillips Park trees

Knit by: Kate Groop, Marta Weber, Lacey Koczera, Sharon Quinney, Tori Pennington, Bethany Crecenzo, Jalisa Anderson

These were the last design added to the trail. But really, it's like these branch-y trees were just begging for it! They are fun and spirited, and add a random pop of color at the end of the walk. Hopefully you get to view the bright colors while the soft pink blossom are in bloom.

We'd like to add a special thanks to the City of Newark Parks and Rec. They have been a fantastic team to work with. We appreciate their passion for making our city a wonderful place to live and play!

Much thanks to the Delaware Running Co. for sponsoring part of the project. They joined with us as a business supporter, but were also a huge encouragement as we brought something new to Newark. They have planned a specific running course to pass through and view the work, and we love their commitment to supporting the local community!

Thank you to Jessica Geiger of Plum Speckled Photography, for spending a lovely morning with us and for capturing these images! 

Thank you for taking the time to enjoy our installation along the James F. Hall Trail. We hope it's brought a smile to your day! Use #knitthetrail to share your experiences with us all!

Lacey Koczera & Kate Groop

Knit the Trail

It's the beginning of a new year, and with that comes new goals and projects! (While we could determine to be better bloggers, let's face it, we'll probably just spend all our time knitting!) 

At the end of 2015, we proposed a public art installation to the City of Newark. We are happy to announce their support for our display that will decorate the trees in several areas along the James F. Hall Trail, which follows the railroad line in Newark, and is the most frequented trail in Delaware.

So many people in Newark value this trail, and have their specific attachments and emotions that go along with the time they spend there. Whether they run, bike, play tennis, or take their kids to the playground, the trail brings members of our community outside together. For the two of us, we've spent hours running the trail and hanging out with friends and our children. This project was inspired one summer evening while we were running together. The idea of seeing something new and surprising along different points of the trail really excited us. Winter brightening toward spring is such an optimistic and promising time, and we hope this display will be as surprising, playful, and inspiring as nature itself.

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Another aspect of accomplishing a project of this scale is that it offers an opportunity to connect with other local knitters. We're excited to have old and new friends join us, and if you're interested in contributing, email us for more info! We have supplies and would love to get you involved. After all, knitting together in love is our thing! 



Lacey: Knits of 2014

This past year was an interesting one for knitting.  The Winterscape Bobble display took up most of my summer and autumn, but there were a few other projects I completed in the meantime.  

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Winterscape Bobbles- These strands are each 10 feet long and took a total of 240 hours to knit! 

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You know stripes are our favorite! This year I did a baby-sized one, a colorful size 5 for Kate's daughter, and an adult version for me! Measurements and math are coming a little easier as I learn more and more!

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Aevyn was fun to knit for this year!  Sometimes it's a specific need that we meet, like with the ballet wrap (her studio is freezing!); and sometimes it's just fun to knit with a chunky, bright yarn, like the little cape. The loop stitch sweater is a more artistic design that squeaked in with the years end.  It was a really fun project that I'll write more about later!

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Scarves are always an easy project to carry in the purse. I wear this seed stitch cowl every day, sometimes all day! Of course, the girls needed their own! We taught an arm knitting class at a local library, so I ended up with a demo scarf... quick and easy!

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There were a few special little projects that I knit up in between the bigger ones. I did a fair isle Christmas ball for my mom to give a friend, some stripe-y hats for Kate's newborn twins, and the loopy bobble ornament. Kate and I knit bow ties for a summer wedding, and I also did a lapel rose and pocket square for my handsome husband. 

I have no idea what this year will bring, but I hope 2015 is full of soft yarn and good friends to knit with!

Last Minute Festive-ness!

There are 6 more days until Christmas!  Some people have been finished shopping and had their decorations up the day after Thanksgiving (some started earlier this year, and we're not even going to mention them)!  Others will get to the whole Christmas shopping thing in about 4 days.  But you may find yourself with things about done, just some finishing touches needed.

We have the perfect solution for present toppers, hostess gifts, and unique ornaments.

The Loopy Bobble!

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We knit these as part of our Winterscape Bobble display that is still up at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio.  We're drawn to it's cozy texture and the possibilities for creativity are endless!

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There are several tutorials out there for the loop stitch, but this is our favorite from Wool and the Gang.

You can personalize the Loopy Bobble in so many fun ways.  Use double stranded yarns to create a more dimentional look.  Use thinner yarn and smaller needles to make a tiny Loopy Bobble.  By that same idea, go HUGE!

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Mistletoe Bobble!  I must admit, I kept saying 'retake', because those kisses are so sweet!

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You can get started in our Pattern pages, or look it up on ravelry!

Instead of going loopy trying to fight the crowds these next few days, just knit a Bobble instead!

Merry Christmas!

Pins and Needles

We are casting on for the Save the Children Make the World Better with a Sweater Challenge!

By encouraging participants to knit a sweater, wear a sweater, or participate in a 'Sweater Run', and donate, Save the Children is bringing awareness and "making the world a better place- transforming children's lives and the future we all share".

We love the idea of knitting for awareness and being part of a bigger community. Our passion for knitting can encourage others and help those in need.

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K: I'm knitting this sweater in honor of my mom.  She was a stay-at-home mom of 9 children, home-schooled each of us, and placed so much importance on family time. She has completely molded my values of family, hospitality, faith and generosity. She is a force of good; using all of her time to plan events to raise funds for the Village of Hope Orphanage in Zambia, Global Aid Network- which sends meals around the world, and church functions. This year she's turning 60! Recently, she told me that she is doing exactly what she loves to do and is so joyful in the thick of the work. The woman has an insatiable appetite for helping others and she puts all of her energy into that effort.

L: My friend, Jenni, has been involved in remarkable work around the world these past few years. Working on HERproject, she traveled to advise companies on how to facilitate safe and sustainable practices for the women they employ. Now, she creates policies to encourage sustainability in the garment industry. This investment in the lives of women surely affects their children and communities as well. Jenni has always had a heart for people, and the ability to understand needs and find practical ways to meet those needs. Jenni, your work is so inspiring to me!

We're encouraging any knitters and crocheters out there to join us! Tag your pictures with #Sweater and @savethechildren. Anyone can donate $5 by texting SWEATER to 20222, or go online at www.SavetheChildren.org.

Happy knitting!

Winterscape

Last January, while at Vogue Knitting Live NYC, Kate and I met the creative director of Lion Brand Yarn Studio.  She invited ktog to be a part of their Featured Fiber Artist Gallery located in the studio. 

This was so exciting for us because Lion Brand is often the yarn we go to for our projects.  The very first sweaters we made together were in LB Hometown USA, we use the Martha Stewart Extrasoft Wool for almost every baby sweater we make, and we're smitten with their Alpine Wool right now.

Kate and I discussed some ideas and I began work on a new art display, Winterscape, to hang across the gallery wall at the Lion Brand Studio.

Loop stitch bobble

Loop stitch bobble

Winterscape Bobbles will be on display at the studio until the end of January.  Inspired by the winter season, it has a palette of cream and white yarns.  Shape and texture are the main focus, taking the viewer across the wall, up and down the slopes of a zig zag.

Pinterest inspiration board

We've knit our bobbles before, but instead of using size and color in a random way, this piece was all about using the bobbles to form a bigger image.  I loved getting a little more technical with the gauge and measurements, making sure everything lined up properly.  I wanted the textures of the bobbles to convey the feel of being in the mountains or city on a snowy day, but still offer a cozy warmth.

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It's been fun to see the way different viewers relate to certain aspects of the piece.  Some have a favorite bobble, others like the zigzags, and some enjoy the shadow play the most.  For me, it's a contemplative journey to study the piece up close, following the lines of the pattern, and then step back for the full effect.

Pete and I installed the bobbles this week, and even met the president of Lion Brand, David Blumenthal!  It's been a pleasure to work with Gretchen and Mark from Lion Brand, and I can't wait to get back up to NYC to visit the studio (and my bobbles)!

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Livng, Loving, and Knitting...

Hello there!  While we may not have spent much time writing lately, we have still been knitting away!

We've found that there is a fine balance when trying to take care of families, spend time with friends, serve in our communities, and accomplish our knitting goals.  Sometimes good things have to be set aside for the best things to take priority.

And what could be better than a new baby?  Two new babies!  Kate will be welcoming her twins in the middle of August.  This will be such an exciting time for her family!  

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Lacey is heading up a project that we will be displaying at the Lion Brand Studio this winter.  Lots of cream, lots of bobbles, hours and hours of knitting!

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We will be updating the website Gallery as often as possible with our finished pieces, and we'd always love to hear any questions or feedback.

We're thankful for everything God is doing in our lives right now.  May your hearts continue to be encouraged by beautiful things each day!

 

 

Happy Easter!

There is so much to celebrate right now....the most long-awaited arrival of spring, our Lord and Savior, and it's Lacey's birthday today! I have such a close, wonderfully caring friend in her. Spring is also a time for fun, ultra bright knitting projects! 

My ELI (english language institute) student, who just learned to knit this winter, found these little chicks on PurlBee. The pattern is free, and so quick to knit up, especially if you use a size 7, instead of the suggested size 3 gauge. So, mine turned out slightly mega, but the kids still love it! Here it is! 

Lacey: Celtic Knots

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

My husband's family has some Irish roots, so it's always been fun to cook a hearty meal, and enjoy the festivities.  However, we somehow seem to always be lacking green in our closets.  Not wanting anyone to get pinched, I knit these Celtic knot necklaces for me and Aevyn.

I used a French knitting spool to make long i-cords.  Then I found online tutorials for the knots I liked.  Mine is the bumble bee knot, and for Aevyn I tied the heart knot.

Aline needed a little extra green too!

No pinching!  Just Irish kisses for us!

Lacey: You need to knit yourself a skirt!

Last January, I thought that instead of always knitting tops and hats, my bottom half needed some warmth too!  A hand knit skirt would be a new style to try out.  Since I wasn't finding any patterns I liked, I took my love of cables and a skein of Lion Brand Fishermen's Wool, and designed a skirt that was completely unique and the perfect touch for the end of winter!

The celtic cable in front is the main attraction, but each cable in the skirt is different.

The celtic cable in front is the main attraction, but each cable in the skirt is different.

I wore the skirt once, and then gave it to Kate, because I knew she would get much more wear out of it.  Every time I see her in it, I feel so happy!  And one thing we agreed on... Everyone needs a wool, hand knit skirt!  We call it the "bum warmer" because it is sooo warm!  

Then in September, I knit a skirt designed by Pickles.  I loved the pattern as soon as I saw it, but I did shorten it by several inches!  (You reach a point where you don't want to knit another inch, you just want to wear it!)  This skirt was also knit in the Fishermen's Wool, and I sent it to my friend in Paris as a birthday gift.  

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It's been a year, but I finally have my very own "bum warmer" again!  I did the same Pickles skirt, in the same color, because it's just perfect.  This pattern is a great project to have on the needles for knitting nights or times when your concentration will be split.  It's easy to pick up anytime and you can do the cables without an extra needle.  And, I can't say it enough, it really does keep your bottom so toasty!

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The Knitty Gritty

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Pattern: Sassy Secretary Skirt by Pickles

Yarn: Lion Brand Fishermen's Wool in Nature's Brown

Needles: Size 6 circular, size 4 circular for ribbing

Size: XS

Modifications: For the waistband, I did ribbing for 3 inches.  I like how it gives it a more slimming shape, and it stays put just fine.  I also shortened the overall length of the skirt by several inches!  

I plan on wearing this skirt as much as I can for the rest of the winter.  It's cozy and casual with a t-shirt and leggings, but can also be paired with silk fabrics or even leather!  I love it's versatility, and the simple cable pattern makes it perfect for any day.  Bottom line (wink, wink)... you need one!  

Lacey: Knits of 2013

One of the reasons Kate and I started blogging was to be able to collect the projects we've done.  When I'm working on a long stretch of stockinette, or feel like I've ripped the same part out over and over, it's nice to look back and see that 'Yes!  I can finish projects!'

With our Tuesday night knitting group and all the evenings I stayed up way too late because my husband was traveling, I feel like I was able to get a lot done this year!

Hanging bobble garlands, knitted tree, striped sweater for an auction, Phildar dress, Ahoy matey sweater (I did two of these- 6m and 24m sizes)

Hanging bobble garlands, knitted tree, striped sweater for an auction, Phildar dress, Ahoy matey sweater (I did two of these- 6m and 24m sizes)

Striped sweater for Charlie, Petite Sophisticate for a baby friend, knit hair bows, Traveling Roses scarf for my grandmother, beret for Aline

Striped sweater for Charlie, Petite Sophisticate for a baby friend, knit hair bows, Traveling Roses scarf for my grandmother, beret for Aline

Dropstitch Cowl, boot cuffs, a hat for Aev, and bobbles for the Astor window

Dropstitch Cowl, boot cuffs, a hat for Aev, and bobbles for the Astor window

Knitted ties for Justin and Karen's wedding, a fox costume, Lil' Miss Coat for Aline, cable knit skirt, another tie, a little lamb hat

Knitted ties for Justin and Karen's wedding, a fox costume, Lil' Miss Coat for Aline, cable knit skirt, another tie, a little lamb hat

Party Strand bobble garland, Sassy Secretary skirt, Bobble wall hanging, striped sweater (3T), striped sweater for Aline

Party Strand bobble garland, Sassy Secretary skirt, Bobble wall hanging, striped sweater (3T), striped sweater for Aline

Striped sweater (6m), Armknit panel with cable for Astor, cotton summer sweater, Cozy round pillow, snowflake hat for the hubby, my fuzzy, furry scarf

Striped sweater (6m), Armknit panel with cable for Astor, cotton summer sweater, Cozy round pillow, snowflake hat for the hubby, my fuzzy, furry scarf

I've already completed a few projects (mainly my own designs!) this January.  My goals for 2014 include challenging myself with new skills, knit an adult sweater, and perhaps create a new art installment.  Should be fun!

Ktog is going to New York!

This is always a busy time of year for us, with Christmas and New Year's, but also birthdays and time spent with all the friends and family who travel home for the holidays.

This season we also had some crazy knitting filling up any gaps in our schedule.  First, we were contacted by Vogue Knitting Live to display in the artist gallery at their upcoming event in NY!  We were so excited when we got this email, and knew our Hanging Bobble Garlands would be just the piece.  We're still working on a few finishing touches to make sure it is perfect for the event in the middle of January.  We are ecstatic to have this opportunity and can't wait to spend a few days talking to other artists, designers, and knitters.

We were also approached in December by the ever creative Karen DeMaio Weber, Kate's sister-in-law, to knit a window display for Astor Wines, where she is currently working as their Art Director.  This put our needles (and arms, actually!) into overdrive as we prepared three 4x6 foot arm-knit panels and three 15 foot bobble garlands for delivery by January 2!

Kate arm-knitting, sketch of the display design, lots of bobbles ready to ship!

Kate arm-knitting, sketch of the display design, lots of bobbles ready to ship!

Seeing our bobbles in NYC will be a surreal experience, and as always, we couldn't do any of this without the support and patience of our wonderful husbands!  Watch out, New York... we're on our way!

Hooded Baby Onesie by Devin Cole

K: My sister-in-law asked me to knit a gift for her friend's baby girl early this fall. So, we looked for the cutest pattern we could find, and found this one! It is from a book called 60 More Quick Baby Knits and it is designed by Devin Cole.

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  It is the type of pattern that just evokes that strong "Aww" reaction from everyone. The cable work is so interesting, and it has bobbles, so I was on board! I also love the beautiful sections of seed stitch, adding so much texture. The color is pleasantly unexpected, and we were able to pretty much match it perfectly. We used a cotton yarn for the blue, and a wool/acrylic blend for the white, both from Joann's. I thought this pattern was written very clearly as well, and was easy to follow. This pattern is a great intermediate knitter's challenge. Did I forget to mention how genius those pompoms are? They are a new obsession of mine as well. I loved the stitch pattern in this baby item, but there is a lot of seaming that has to happen at the end. This obviously is not my favorite part of knitting, but the finished product here was worth it! 

Here is the finished project!  

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I was really excited to find snaps that matched the buttons I chose for the placket! 

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Put a Bow on It!

We've been knitting lots of bow ties and hair bows, and they're all up in the shop!

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There's nothing cuter than a boy in a bowtie, and these would be a dapper accessory to a holiday outfit.  They come in lots of colors, and some are detailed with a contrast edging.

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We have bows for little girls too!  They look elegant pinned in a ponytail, and will make her feel extra fancy!  Add a little sparkle to your girl's wardrobe this winter with these sweet hair bows!

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These would be perfect stocking stuffers for a happy holiday!

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Mother-Daughter Knitting

My church hosts small groups for 10 week sessions throughout the year.  Any person can choose a discussion, service, or activity to base their group on.  The hope is that people can get together throughout the week, and connect in deeper ways than a quick wave during the Sunday gathering.  This fall I've been hosting a Mother-Daughter Knitting group.   

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We meet at a coffeeshop, enjoy coffee and hot cocoa, and some cozy, quality time with our girls.  I love being able to share my love of knitting with Aevyn, and it has been so exciting to see her develop her skills and even teach others.  All of the moms in our group learned the basics pretty quickly, and each week they come with something new they've started, or a question that pushes their skills further.  The girls are doing great, too!  

Aevyn's projects

Aevyn's projects

What I love is that each of these mother-daughter pairs now has an activity they can do together.  They may not knit during every spare moment, but it's something they can pick up whenever.  And the girls will always be able to say, "I learned to knit with my mom!"

(These photos and videos are Aevyn's perspective on knitting group!)

The Cutest Fox

I've made several Halloween costumes over the last few years, but the charm has lost it's appeal as the kids grow older and want what their friends are wearing.  And this year, since we were going to be in Chicago for Vogue Knitting Live (we'll post all about it soon!), I was happy to keep things simple for whoever was taking them trick-or-treating.

But I still made one little costume! 

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The Fox by Ylvis has been a huge hit this year.  You either love it or hate it, and Aline loves it!  So we all do!   I knitted her a top down hat with perky fox ears and pompom ties.  Add a tutu and fox tail, and she's ready to sing and dance all night!