Chicago, Here we Come!

We are flying out to Chicago for Vogue Knitting Live

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This will be our first time doing anything like this.  We'll each be taking a few classes from the experts.  Mine will focus around sweater design and cables, and Kate will be learning more about color work.  

Besides the classes, there will be a marketplace filled with amazing yarns, knitting lounges, and fellow knitters to hang out with!  This is going to be a great opportunity for us to see what trends are going on right now and what other knitters are excited about!  

Our husbands are also both going, so our evenings will be full of yummy food and drinks with friends. 

We've been looking forward to this weekend for so long, we almost can't believe it's here!  We'll tell you all about it when we get back!

Tying the Knot

K: My younger brother Justin  got married! I love him so much. He has one of the best personal styles I have encountered, and he is just as interesting to talk to. No one that has met him has anything negative to say about him, ever...and that is very rare nowadays. I can't say enough great things about him. And to say the least, his wedding was magical. Especially because he married Karen Demaio. 

  (Thanks to Andrew Larason for snapping this beautiful shot of the bride and groom!)

 (Thanks to Andrew Larason for snapping this beautiful shot of the bride and groom!)

L:  Creativity exudes from everything Karen and Justin do.  They are both super talented artists, as well as such kind, genuine people.  Karen has been so supportive and encouraging of our ktog adventures! 

K: Karen is a friend, who has been a huge inspiration to me with knitting. She and Justin together communicate love for the arts, and they appreciate the art that others create. They are humble in that they want to promote others and share in the joy of creation. They are collaborators, like joyful kids, fun, and so artistic, it's pretty ridiculous. Ridiculously charming, that is.

About two months before the wedding, Karen asked Lacey and I if we could pull off knitting seven ties for Justin and the groomsmen. She wanted us to be a part of her overall look for the wedding! We were pretty intrigued, because we have never knit ties before. Karen had a particular peach-orange in mind, so we began the search for the perfect color.
 
I took Karen to one of my favorite yarn shops, Stitches with Style which is right in our area! We picked up a yarn called Kimono, a linen blend. We played with the idea of color-blocking, concentrating the peach at the bottom of the tie, with the rest of the tie cream-colored. Over the course of a month we knit, tore out, knit some more, tore out, and kept knitting. 
 It was such a process!

 L:  After doing some test samples, at 2 inches wide, we started to realize the tie was going to be a bit bulky under a shirt collar, especially with the knot.  Our first full length ties had a decrease down to 1 1/2 inches right before the knot would be made.  It was at this time that the original idea with the peach on the bottom was traded in for a design that was mainly peach, with some cream stripes toward the bottom of the tie.  We also decided to make the whole thing 1 1/2 inches wide, decreasing down to one inch for the last ten inches of the tie.

K: Each tie was 56 inches long, and we knit the ties in stockinette on size four needles! As you can imagine, knitting stockinette for that long can drive any knitter crazy! However, Lacey and I learned more about ourselves as a knitting team through the whole process. She is amazing at colorwork and tying in ends, two things I don't have the patience for at all.

L: And Kate is insanely fast, so she could speed along with all that peach!  I knit the first 15 inches, then passed the ties on to Kate to finish. 

K: We completed the ties much faster that way!  We also wanted to professionally finish the ties, so we had tags printed for the tie stay in the back of the tie! The ties turned out even better than we expected, and looked great! 

 K: My brothers from left: Jon, Brett, Jeremy, and Ryan

K: My brothers from left: Jon, Brett, Jeremy, and Ryan

 K: My brother, Jeremy!  He wears this tie well!

K: My brother, Jeremy!  He wears this tie well!

 Just a little close-up of the tags we had printed for the ties!

Just a little close-up of the tags we had printed for the ties!

K: On their honeymoon, Justin and Karen did a little photo shoot of Justin wearing his tie with this olive green H & M suit... and we absolutely love these shots! Thanks, Karen and Justin!

 This is a favorite shot of one of the ties! 

This is a favorite shot of one of the ties! 

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 What a cool guy! Did I mention  Justin  is a professional yo-yo/ performance artist? 

What a cool guy! Did I mention Justin is a professional yo-yo/ performance artist? 

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K: Lacey and I are both thankful for the opportunity to be a part of such a special day for Karen and Justin, and we hope to collaborate more with them in the future!

L:  Congratulations, Karen and Justin!  Thanks for sporting our ties! 

Grand Opening!!!

It's  I love yarn day!  And we do, so much!  We decided to celebrate by...

Opening our etsy shop! 

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We decided to open our shop with two of our favorite things to knit: Bobble garlands and baby sweaters! We offer the option to personalize each sweater's color and yarn, and we are able to match your room decor with our many-colored bobble garlands. Come check it out! 

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You can always get to our shop from the shop link in our sidebar! We are excited to share our designs with everyone!   

 

 

 

 


 

Cozy up with a handknit round pillow!

After I had a little bit of time to recover from the knit installment Lacey and I did for the Table at Brandywine in the Spring...I found myself wanting to knit spheres again. Weird inkling, right? Two of the failed bobbles from the event actually turned into a set of round knit couch pillows for my sister-in-law's living room. She has a major knack for decorating a space, and she made these accidental pillows look totally cool. So, I thought I would make my sister Nat a pillow as a house-warming gift! She just recently moved to Brooklyn! Here is the pillow and the how-to!

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The Knitty Gritty:
Needles: Size 13, 16-inch circular and dpns
Yarn: Lionbrand Hometown Dallas Grey
 Finished size: about 15 inches across!

CO 5 sts onto dpns. (CO 2 sts on first needle, 2 sts on the next, and then 1 st on the last one.) This part is slightly cumbersome because of the small number of stitches, but it gets better, I promise!
Place marker to mark the beginning of the round.
 Join in the round. 
Rnd 1: K2 in each stitch around. (10 sts)
Rnd 2: K1, K2 in next stitch, 5 times. (15 sts) 
Rnd 3: K2, K2 in next stitch, 5 times. (20 sts)
Rnd 4: K3, K2 in next stitch, 5 times. (25 sts)

Switch to the 16-inch circulars once your sts fill the dpns. 

Continue increasing in this way, adding 1 more knit stitch in between increases for each round, until you have at least 75 stitches total. For this grey pillow I increased until I had at least 100 stitches. Honestly, I cannot remember the exact amount of stitches I ended up with! A little tip, take notes as you go, so that if you ever want to replicate your project, it's easy!  

Once you have 100 stitches on your needles, Knit 7 garter ridges. This will be 14 purl rows without increases. This is where you want to start filling the pillow with fluff. I buy the polyester fiberfill from Joanns fabrics. Its cheap, and with a coupon its even cheaper! I recommend filling the pillow with small pieces of fluff because this gives the pillow a smoother look. Definitely fill it to the max, you don't want a deflated look to your cozy round pillow, right? Fill as much as you can while comfortably knitting!

 Begin decreases as follow:
 
 Rnd 1: K8, k2tog, 5 times. (95 sts remaining)
 Rnd 2: K7, k2tog, 5 times. (90 sts) 
Rnd 3: K6, k2tog, 5 times. (85 sts)
 Rnd 4: K5, k2tog, 5 times. (80 sts)

Continue in this way until you have only 5 stitches left. (make sure to stuff the pillow full before finishing off! ) Thread a darning needle with the yarn end and pull through the last 5 sts to finish off. Tuck in the remaining tail of yarn and VOILA! It is finished! 

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I love quick, fun knits like this. Hope you do too! Happy knitting! 

 

Phildar N. 7 La Robe

I started this adorable dress a few months ago, but ran out of yarn halfway through. My dear friend sent me the skein of coral yarn I needed (thank you so much, Jenni!), and I was able to finish the project!

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The Knitty Gritty

Pattern:  Phildar N. 067-T11-435 from Spring/Summer 2012                                                                                   

Yarn: Phildar Phil Coton 3 in guimauve, corail, and rosee                                                               

Needles: US size 6 circular, US size 2 circular                                                                            

Size: 12 months (I think they run a size big, because Aline normally wears 18m.)                 

Modifications: I used 3 colors instead of the 5 the pattern called for. (Also, in the future, I think I might slip the edge stitch around the arm holes.) Once I wove in all my stripe-y ends, I actually sewed the dress together with a machine.  This is the second time I've done this, and I really like the way it turns out.  I think it holds up fine, and looks nicer than if I tried to sew it with yarn!  

I love this little dress!  Fortunately, Aline does too!  She has worn it as a tunic over leggings, and a dress over a diaper cover.  It's been washed a few times by now, too!  Washes fine and the stitches look just as crisp as when they were just knit! 

 Pretty sure every photo shoot with Aline will include Cheerios! 

Pretty sure every photo shoot with Aline will include Cheerios! 

I love the yarn, love the stripes, and love the simple style!  But what I love most of all is when someone asks Aline if I knit her dress, and she looks down and smooths it out to show it off.  Such a sweetie pie!

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Have you ever knit a pattern that was written in a different language?  How about sewing a knitted garment together?

Adventures with Bobbles

  The bobble is my favorite detail stitch in knitting. I am drawn to round shapes, and the bobble is everything that epitomizes cute, unexpected texture, and fun detail in a garment.  This cape was posted on pinterest, and is just so wonderful! 

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The bobble became my signature earlier this year when I was asked to knit a display for a book release party called Dream Friends, put on by the table at brandywine at DCCA, the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts in Wilmington. I began with a wooden wagon wheel that I yarn-bombed with a diamond cable and bobble design around the circumference. I loved the idea of how knit can connect to other things- space, places, people...so I wanted tendril-like garlands reaching out from the wagon wheel, hanging where people could touch them and feel connected to the piece in that way. The I-cord was perfect, and I added the bobble concept to it to come up with tons of "bobble garlands" hanging from the wagon wheel up to 9 feet long.

Here is one of the bobble strands in progress! I added a tiny little sparkle strand that I picked up on South Street in Philadelphia randomly, that added a little something special to each strand! 

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Soon, the project grew, and became a series of four wagon wheels with as many bobble garlands hanging off of them as Lacey and I could knit in a month and a half. We also recruited our whole knitting group, and we lived, breathed, and obsessed about these bobble garlands. It was like a knitting race, requiring constant work and endurance. Our hands were tired, our husbands, and even our children seemed tired! Finally in March, the date rolled around, and we had knit so many bobble garlands that we ended up using 5 and a half MILES of yarn for the piece! Thank God it was mainly Bernat handicrafter cotton, or else we would have knit our husbands and children out of house and home! Despite all the grueling work the knit piece had become, it was the most satisfying project I have ever created, including all the clothing pieces I designed in college.  The piece looked exactly like my sketches, and when we hung it up at DCCA, it was a dream come true. In fact, it fueled our love for knit installments, and has really changed the course of ktog's knitting aspirations.  Here are some shots of the final piece!

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We are so thankful to the Table at Brandywine who gave us the opportunity to dream big and use knitting in an unexpected way. Check out their upcoming events here

 

Hanging Out

L:  We've both been on vacations with our families these last few weeks!  I went up to Massachusetts to visit my sister and her family in Marblehead.

K:  Each year, we go to Corolla, in the Outer Banks, and spend a week together at the beach with my husband's dad and siblings.  This year, Grandpa came too!  Good friends of ours, who we've vacationed with in the past, also came along for the fun.  

Here are a few photos of our works in progress: 

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L:   Dropstitch Cowl, a nice chunky knit!

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L:  A little pirate sweater in need of some sleeves! 

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K:  Baby mobile I've been working on for a while that I really love, I just have the finishing touches to do! 

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K:  I've been picturing a little pink and navy polka dot sweater, something new and challenging! 

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L and K:  Testing some samples!  We might knit ties for a good friend's upcoming wedding! 

Happy summer knitting!


 

Half a Dress....

Have you heard of  Phildar?  I first saw one of their patterns on Pinterest, and determined to check them out when I visited my friend in Paris.  Although I've read on other blogs that this is a cheaper brand (maybe similar to Lion Brand?), I have loved everything I've seen from them.  

 Only picture we took... but look at the bright colors! 

Only picture we took... but look at the bright colors! 

I found the yarn on a floor in Les Printemps, a world famous department store.  Can you imagine picking up a few skeins of yarn while you're browsing the designer collections at Nordstrom?  I think this shows a difference in the cultural perceptions of knitting, and crafting, in general.  The French value the process, and encourage it as a part of high fashion.  

Phildar designs garments that are cute and practical, so I bought a few kids catalogs and several skeins of yarn.  Once I got home, I realized that, of course, the catalogs are in French!  I found a great site that shares the translations of French knitting terms, and so far I haven't had any problems.  Well...

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...until I ran out of yarn in the middle of this dress.

This will be for my 18 month old daughter, Aline.  The yarn is Phildar Coton 3, and although it's 100% cotton, it has such a beautiful shine!  I'm using size 3 needles, and the smaller size makes the dress feel more delicate and special.  Knitting stockinette can get boring, but the stripes are fun!  I love these colors together!  So sweet and girly! 

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I can't wait to see my baby toddling around this summer in her striped dress!  Fortunately, I have a special order of that pretty orange coming in!  (Perk of having a friend who lives in Paris!)                                                                                                                                                  

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We love stripes!

I have been working on a little sweater design for the past couple of weeks. It stemmed off of the baby sophisticate sweater by Linden Down on Ravelry. I learned how to do raglan shaping from her adorable sweater! I wanted to try a simple striped pullover with raglan shaping and a button placket opening in the back. The first one turned out pretty well, so Lace and I thought that we would make a couple different color combos!

Here they are! 

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The pink and white one is all Lily and Bernat cotton, the green and cream one is Berrocco Comfort yarn, and the blue and yellow one is Martha Stewart and Berrocco yarn together. My favorite one to knit was the cream and green sweater. It is so soft! Ever since I made the Purlbee chevron blanket, I have been in love with Berrocco Comfort yarn. It is wonderful! 

We hope to post the pattern soon, but for now, here are some more photos!

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Finger-knitting

L:  Every Tuesday, we spend the evening with a few friends that we've taught to knit over the last few months.  It's a time to knit, talk, knit, chat, knit, laugh...  It's become a night that we all look forward to.  We have the chance to catch up, encourage each other through whatever we're dealing with, and share our lives.  Teaching others to knit is one of Kate and my passions; and we've also seen how it can be a great comfort to create something for a friend going through a hard time, or to have this hobby when you are struggling yourself.

K: I have always had eczema, but this past year, I have dealt with a bad eczema breakout that lasted most of the year. All year I went to multiple doctors, tried all sorts of creams, all kinds of diets, and nothing seemed to help. The breakout was the worst on my hands, but spread to the rest of my body. It made huge cracks and open sores all over. There were weeks where I was in so much pain, that even the smallest movement was difficult because of the pain. And actually, most of the year, from September through March, I had to wear gloves. Days when I didn't have the self control not to scratch and pick at my hands, I would knit, and knit, and knit. Knitting made me feel like I was fighting the eczema, even though I could not find the solution. It helped me keep my hopes up! 

Colossians 2:2 gives us inspiration to use knitting as a way to comfort and encourage others. Today, our group Knit Together In Love, has the opportunity to go to AI DuPont children’s hospital in Wilmington to share the knitting love! They have a craft room that is open to the kids every night! So tonight we are teaching finger knitting, a fun twist to traditional knitting. All you need is your fingers, and some bits of yarn! It’s so easy and fun! 

Here is a video tutorial on finger-knitting: (our first video tutorial ever! We will post written instructions at the end of this post as well.) 

Some cool things to make with your finger knitting:

http://www.vanessachristenson.com/2011/03/v-and-co-how-to-jersey-knit-bracelet.html

How to Finger Knit:

1.     Leaving a 6” tail, lay yarn across your left palm and squeeze in place with your thumb.  Turn hand over to face up.

2.     Using your right hand, weave yarn over your index finger, under the middle, over the ring, and under the pinkie.

3.     Wrap it around your pinkie, under the ring, over the middle, and under and around the index finger.

4.     Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have two rows of yarn on each finger.

5.     Starting with the pinky, pull the bottom loop over the top one, and let it drop off your finger.  Do this with each of the fingers.  (This first time, it will be the tail that you pull over and let hang off the index finger.  It will be tightened up later.)

6.     Wrap the working yarn around and over your index finger, under the middle, over the ring, and around the pinkie, back under the ring, over the middle, and under the index again. 

7.     Repeat steps 5 and 6 until your knitted piece is as long as you want. 

8.     When you want to finish, leave one row of yarn around your fingers.  Move the pinkie loop over to the ring finger and pull the bottom loop over it.  Move this loop over to the middle and do the same thing.  Once you get to the index finger, cut your yarn about 6” and pull it through the last loop.  

Testing...

I just knitted a gauge swatch for a new project!  And it's for me!

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I'm using Classic Elite Firefly, a viscose and linen blend, to knit Hane.  A gorgeous pattern, and vibrant yarn...

I'm completely intimidated!

I've been staring at the pattern, and it seems far more complicated than anything I've done before.  Maybe I just have to catch on to the writing style, but until I find my bearings, I'm blogging instead of knitting!  Wish me luck!

Surprise!

In a recent post I showed some swatches of a secret project we were knitting, and now it's time for the great reveal!

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We knitted a tree!

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Kate and I have loved looking at pictures of 'knit graffiti' projects, and since we've never seen anything like it around our area, we really wanted to do it ourselves.  What better time than in the spring, when the trees are starting to grow buds and everything is fresh and new again?

It was actually relaxing to knit these swatches.  You can take them anywhere, try new stitches, clear your stash, and it's finished quickly!  We got the girls from our knitting group involved, and I love that the tree represents our collaboration.  Even though we only 'yarn bombed' my front yard, it still felt sneaky sewing a sweater on a tree in the middle of the night!  

 Kate and Lacey sewing in the middle of the night

Kate and Lacey sewing in the middle of the night

 Knit Together in Love- Lacey, Verna, Victoria, Kate

Knit Together in Love- Lacey, Verna, Victoria, Kate

I'm the lucky one who gets to see this every time I look out my window!  We hope the bright colors and whimsical display encourage people as they pass by.  We want them to feel inspired to pursue whatever creative interests they have and share it with the community.

Purl bee chevron baby blanket

A childhood friend commissioned me to knit a blanket for her friend’s new baby. I have wanted to make this blanket for a while now, so when she asked me I knew this was my chance.  I had no idea how nice it would be to knit up!

The Knitty Gritty:
Pattern: Purl Bee’s Baby Chevron Blanket
http://www.purlbee.com/chevron-baby-blanket/
Yarn: Berroco Comfort Worsted Weight, double-stranded
Needle: US size 13, 29 inch circulars 
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I loooove this pattern so much! I am so happy it was free on Purl Bee too. (To all the folks at Purl Bee, you are awesome.) Purl bee's blanket is made out of Blue Sky organic cotton, but it is $14.50 per skein. As much as I would like to, I can't afford to knit with the stuff angels are made of. Someday, maybe!

So, I chose Berrocco Comfort Worsted Weight yarn in order to keep the cost reasonable for this blanket! For all the colors it came out to $49 for 7 skeins of this wonderfully cozy yarn. It is double stranded, so I was able to up the needle to a 13. It is such an easy-going knit, and so far I am super happy with it. I know I will have little bits left of each color, so if I can manage it, I want to knit up a cloud to send along with the blanket to the new mama!

Here are some progress shots:

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Tip: 
Weave in your ends as you go! There is nothing worse than having a bunch of ends to weave in once you have finally cast off! If the finishing touches seem daunting it makes it easier to let the project sit unfinished! I am a guilty culprit! This is an article that completely changed my method of weaving in ends, and it really looks great; it turns out practically invisible!

Here is the tutorial: http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall04/FEATfall04TT.html

I have never been this happy with the selection of yarn I made for a particular project. Berrocco Comfort is so plush and cozy, perfect for a baby’s skin. The blanket is knitting up nice and thick, so it could work well as a throw blanket to sit on outside through this beautiful spring weather! The chevron pattern is a really simple two-row repeat, so the actual knitting is interesting, but not so much that I have to constantly count and tear out! Love it!

This is us!

Hi there, we’re Kate and Lace. Welcome to ktog, our spot to share our love of knitting!

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K: I learned how to knit when I was 8 years old, but really started to challenge myself when Lacey learned in 2009.  She was just picking it up, and wasn’t afraid to try anything! Besides scarves, the first new project I tried was a baby sweater for a friend. From that project I have become obsessed with knitting, more than I ever had been before. 

L: Seeing some of the things Kate had knit was a big part of why I wanted to learn knitting in the first place. I practiced on my first scarf, but I much prefer sweaters or baby items. I normally have a very specific idea in my head, and I love the details that go into planning and executing a project.

I can tend to be a perfectionist, but Kate has helped me realize which details are important, and which mistakes (because, let’s face it, I will make them) I can live with. Since I started, I’ve barely gone a day without knitting!

K: Lacey and I have learned so much together, and we are always inspired by our friendship and mutual love of yarns and all things knit. 

We’ve spent so many hours together, knitting, drinking coffee, and talking through life and we’ve been encouraged by having a friend to share things with. We started to have a vision of creating a group, with the goal of teaching others to knit while enjoying the process together, as we have. In September of 2012, we started Knit Together in Love, and we have created a couple of obsessed knitters that we get together with weekly.

This verse

“…that their hearts may be encouraged and comforted, knit together in love, so that they may have all the riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, which is Christ.” ~Colossians 2:2

 is our inspiration as we continue to spread the knitting love, and encourage others through our projects and friendships.

We are excited to share our collaborations, inspirations, and aspirations with you and we hope you’ll enjoy and be encouraged in your own knitting adventures.