Category Archives: Knitting

Fair Isle Success

_MG_1935I made a promise to try to push myself to learn new techniques and skills this year.  First up…stranded colorwork knitting. For some reason, stranded colorwork always seemed really hard and kind of scary. I posted a picture of my yarn stash on Instagram last week along with a caption about my resolution to learn colorwork, and a few people commented that I should try YouTube. I was unsure that I could learn via video but it was surprisingly easy! I watched a few videos and then gave it a shot.  I had to get the hang of holding two strands at a time, which was the most challenging part.

_MG_1910

_MG_1894I picked the Schuyler hat for my first pattern.  I found it via Fringe Association and I’m so glad I did.  This is such a beautiful, wearable pattern.  I’m thinking of lining it with fleece, which would make it the perfect winter hat!  Of course everyone in the house is fighting over it, so I already have a second colorwork hat on my needles.  And you know two more will have to come soon after!  At this rate I’ll be ripping through my stash in no time…which can only mean one thing… yarn shopping is in my future!

_MG_1923

2016-01-16_0002

A Style All His Own

_MG_9771We’re having a gorgeous fall here in Providence.  Every street is breathtakingly beautiful, full of fiery red and golden yellow trees.  It is a magical time, and now that we’ve figured out our schedule in a way that makes everyone happy, we’re sinking in and enjoying the ride.  I was thrilled to finish Vik’s first sweater a few weeks ago in time for fall, and even more thrilled that he’s wanted to wear it.  I think I made the mistake of lumping Vik’s style preferences in with Vijays; comfy pants, t-shirts, loose, easy clothing.  It turns out Vik has a style all his own.  He LOVED wearing a tux and shiny patent leather shoes for my brother’s wedding (pictures to come). In fact he loved it so much he wore the full ensemble the day after the wedding to the casual brunch.  My favorite Vik story from that weekend was when he was getting ready for the wedding with my mom- they were in her bathroom brushing their teeth and he said, “I’m going to have shiny shoes and shiny teeth, Grammy!”  Imagine that said with the cutest little 3-year-old lisp. Ohhh, he slays me.

_MG_9788And in preparation for the beach wedding we went to last weekend he came with me to the store and personally picked out outfits for him and Vijay to wear- crisp navy shorts and collared dress shirts.  They looked quite dapper.  And so that brings us to this sweater: Vik has been growing more and more curious about my knitting, always asking who I’m knitting for and wondering when I’ll knit him a sweater.  And so I decided it was time to give it a whirl, starting with a very simple crewneck sweater.  He loves it and wears it with pride.  Makes my heart happy!  You can check out the details on my Ravelry page.  It looks like I finally get to start knitting for at least one of my boys!

_MG_9797

_MG_9775

Eve’s Immie Tee

_MG_5420A few weeks ago, my friend Sarah welcomed her little girl, Eve into the world.  We all know how I feel about baby girl knits, so you can imagine my delight at being given the chance to knit something special to welcome this sweet summer babe.  I decided on the Immie Tee, which I have had my eye on for years.  It seemed like the perfect light knit to slip over a onesie during the summer months, and then later on in the fall, layer over a long-sleeve tee.  Although Eve is just a wee thing, I knit the 9 month pattern, thinking she would have more time to wear it.

_MG_5403I absolutely love how it turned out, and I must say I was thrilled with how quickly it knit up.  It took me a little over a week.  And that is counting the rows I had to rip back when I messed up the lace pattern 😉  You can check out the details on Ravelry here.

_MG_5407Although this knit is super sweet on the hanger, I simply can’t wait to see it on Eve.  She’s a beauty, just like her mama.  And there is simply nothing sweater than a newborn in knits.

_MG_4468On a separate note, I hope all my American friends had a wonderful long weekend.  We celebrated the 4th with family in Northern Michigan and it was perfect.  Now we’re getting ready to sink into a long sweet month at our family’s cottage.

_MG_6431

_MG_6453

The Gift of Craft

_MG_4044Two years ago a young family bought the dilapidated home next to ours.  Previously, there had been a mother and daughter living there.  The house was completely run down and they had been hoarders, so the amount of stuff left behind was rather mind-boggling.  A Grey Gardens situation, if you will.  Lucky for us, the family that moved in began the long process of restoring the home to its former glory.  They have a son Vik’s age, and the boys have become fast friends.  They are expecting another baby in July; a baby girl!  You know I have a serious weakness for baby girl knits, and so I set about making a gift (or four).  Three dresses, a sweater, and a pair of bloomers later (might I have gone a bit overboard?).  I packed it all up in a large box with layers of pearly paper in between.  My neighbor was pretty blown away (and probably thinks I have way too much time on my hands!).  These are some of my favorite baby knits to date…you can see pattern details on my Ravelry page.

_MG_4556

_MG_4567

sweater and bloomers

_MG_4569I love knitting and sewing for others.  Nothing can match the joy of gifting something handmade.  Also this week I finished up a quilt for my nephew.  I made my niece a quilt last summer and have been working on his ever since.  I bit off more than I could chew with the pattern (triangles are not your friend if you are not a precise quilter- lesson learned).  It took me sooo long to finish.  But I love how it turned out.  Thank goodness for long-arm quilting- it hides a multitude of sins!  The quilt was packed up with love and sent on its way.

_MG_4546Of course my hands never stays still for long.  A new stack of fabrics were waiting for me and I made myself two gorgeous tops to show off at Squam (I leave today- cannot wait!).  I’ll have to get some pictures- they are my best to date!  And I have a pile of Hole and Sons yarn waiting in the wings for the perfect project.

_MG_3943

_MG_3951But first up on the needles is a project to welcome baby Eve.  My friend Sarah gave birth to a baby girl last week, and I had the honor of being in the hospital to capture the moment where her older daughter met her new baby sister.  It was such a beautiful, beautiful moment, and it brought back so many memories of my boy’s first meeting.  These two girls are so lucky to call Sarah “mama.”  Life is so full of blessings at the moment.  What better way to celebrate than a bit of handmade, homemade love.  I’ll be back next week with images and stories from my time at Squam…I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am!  If you are going to be in the area, I’ll be at the Squam Art Fair selling some goods from India, as well as autographing copies of Little Bites at the Roost table!  Yes- the books have arrived!  Yahoo!  I can’t wait for you all to hold a copy in your hands.  It’s a beauty.

_MG_4126

Gretel

_MG_2609I figured it was about time to try my hand at testing a pattern.  It feels like a Ravelry rite of passage.  So when I saw this adorable sweater, accompanied with a call for test knitters, I jumped at the chance to give it a whirl.  I found that I liked being given a deadline.  It kept me focused and excited to see this knit take shape.  The resulting sweater is the cutest darn thing I have ever knit.  The bobble pattern gives the sweater a vintage feel, like something your great grandma might have knit for your grandma.  You know, old school in the very best way.  Since I have no little girl of my own (boo hoo!), I continue to knit a rather embarrassing amount for my friend Sarah’s daughter.  Most people would probably ask me to back away slowly from my needles…but Sarah understands that all the cutest knits are for little girls and that I just can’t help myself!  Vijay wanted to know who this sweater was for, and when I told him Emily, he said, “Mom, I guess I would wear a sweater you made if it had something really, really cool on it.”  It was like he was humoring me.  Can you imagine?  Four years old and he’s already humoring his poor old mother.

_MG_2566

_MG_2576

_MG_2612

Our Tools, Ourselves Feature

c_chitnis_knit_01I am so honored to be featured over on Fringe Association this week as part of Karen’s Our Tools, Ourselves series.  Her blog is one of my absolute favorite so it feels like quite the knitter-ly stamp of approval.  I’m sharing details about my knitting and sewing, including the tools that I use, how I organize my crafting materials and my deepest, darkest knitting secret!

Storage shelves

c_chitnis_knit_07

baktus1

wiksten tank and project bag(all photos, except of my studio shelves, were taken by the exceptionally talented Forrest Elliott)

Kynance Cove

_MG_1692I taught our babysitter, Liz, how to knit this summer and she took off with it like a shot.  She’s already knitting cables.  Seriously she blows me away!  She completed four gorgeous, chunky, cable hats for her two brothers and two roommates for Christmas.  Now she’s itching to start a baby project- a tiny sweater so that she can learn about knitted garment construction.  As we were scrolling through Ravelry she mentioned how overwhelming it is to choose a pattern.  I couldn’t agree more.  In fact, it is something I still struggle with every time I choose a new project.  But I am getting better, and I tried to share with her the top three tips I’ve learned when choosing a pattern.  This really applies to knitting for yourself, but I suppose you could apply it to projects for your kids, or gifted projects:

1. Will it fit my style?  This is huge.  I made a really cute, open cardigan last year and I have never worn it.  I don’t wear cardigans, especially those that don’t button or zip.  No matter how cute the color or gorgeous the yarn, I’m not going to wear it.  So I can cross cardigans off my list.  I dress like a tomboy, as I’m sure I’ve said before.  Jeans, tees, anything that is comfortable and easy to wear.  In terms of sweaters that means simple pullovers.

2. What do I really need?  Maybe this is the minimalist in me talking, but I don’t need 20 pullovers to get me through the winter.  At the most I need 2-3.  So before casting on another pullover, I’ll take a good look at my wardrobe and see if I really have a need for another (though I am eying this at the moment).  Same goes for hats, shawls, cowls, and fingerless gloves. Wait, then what should I knit? See some of the helpful comments and suggestions in this post.  Luckily, I have some pregnant friends, so I’ve got enough baby knitting to keep me happy for the moment being.  After that, I’m starting to think about socks.  I’ve never knit a sock and Lord knows I could use a few new pairs.  And little ole’ Vijay has come around and started asking for a sweater.  After his refusal to wear the last masterpiece I knit for him, I don’t know if I can trust him, but we’ll see 🙂  In all fairness, I’m beginning to think that he has a slight sensory issue as he insists on only wearing “soft” clothes.  He’s never even worn jeans, so sweaters might just be too  itchy for him.  Either that or he’s just a really stubborn little bugger.  But I digress…

3. Will it look good on my body type?  Take a look at your closet.  You probably have a good idea of what looks nice on your body type.  Do you like loose, flow-y clothes?  Do you like fitted, structured clothes?  Make sure the knit project that you have your eye on will look good on you (and don’t be fooled by the pretty gal modeling the sweater in the press shots!).

This sweater, Kynance Cove, perfectly illustrates a well-chosen pattern.  I finished it up last week and wore it all weekend.  I started this sweater back in October, though I purchased the yarn in Northern Michigan this past summer.  It feels as though I’ve been knitting it forever, and it didn’t help that once I was finished it felt like there were 2 million ends to be sewed in.  I would seriously clean your entire house top to bottom if while I was cleaning you’d be willing to sew in my ends for me- it’s my least favorite part of knitting.  Anyway, this sweater…  I love it.  It’s comfortable, has clean-lines, fits just the way I like and is easy to wear.  It still can’t compare to my Antler.  *Sigh* My knitting career peaked too early with that beauty!  But I’m still chasing that high.

A few of my favorite knitting blogs often talk about this very subject and they offer a wealth of knowledge way beyond my scattered thoughts, so I suggest you take a read: The Craft Sessions and Fringe Association.  Also I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject, and perhaps you’d like to share a few of your favorite patterns.

Cables and Changing Seasons

_MG_8549It snowed last week, the first snow of the year.  Vijay and Vik went outside just long enough to throw a few snowballs at each other, and then they came back inside and pretty much refused to leave the house for the rest of the weekend.  They wanted to wear their fleece pajamas and take warm baths, and build forts and pirate ships out of all the couch cushions and blankets in the house.  They are SO not cold weather kids.  It is laughable, really.  And perhaps the transition into winter will be extra difficult this year since we had such a lovely fall, full of sunshine and gradually changing leaves.  It fooled us all into thinking that winter might not be that bad….but apparently, it is supposedly there is a polar vortex coming our way.

_MG_8558On a sunny day last week (maybe one of our last?), I headed out into the falling leaves with my friend Sarah, and her daughter Emily.  We wanted to take some pictures of Emily in the sweater that I had knit her paired with the tunic that Sarah made.  The sweater goes by the name of Miss Korrigan, and it is the loveliest little layering piece imaginable.  Sweet cables, seed stitch trim, and luscious purple yarn combine for the perfect fall sweater.  Every single time I knit a little girl’s sweater for Emily, I start thinking about having a little girl of my own.  And then I snap back to reality and realize that I am perfectly happy knitting for little Em…at least for the moment!

_MG_8552

_MG_8546

_MG_8588

A Dress for the Fourth

_MG_1085This great wide blogging world is such an amazing place.  Every now and then you meet a blogger that you really connect with, and it is exciting to watch their lives unfold through their words and pictures.  Erin of Reading My Tea Leaves is one of those people.  We’ve only met once, years ago, but we’ve maintained an online friendship and I’d like to think that we’ve supported each other and cheered each other on through the years.  She recently gave birth to a beautiful little girl, Faye, and to celebrate I made a little summer dress and knitted wrap.  I was so excited to send them along their merry way a few weeks ago, and I was absolutely tickled when Erin posted pictures of her Fourth of July weekend- and there was Faye, looking resplendent in her little dress.  It’s worth noting for all you knitters out there that the wrap, Petite Artichaut, is quite a beautiful, though challenging knit. There are hardly two rows alike, so it really demands your attention, but it is amazing to watch it come together- like a tiny piece of origami.  The result is a delicate, heirloom-worthy knit.

_MG_1075We’re in Michigan now for the month, and I can’t wait to share some of the beauty with you.  Last year I wrote an in-depth guide to “My Michigan” and if you’re going to be in the area, you should check it out!  I hope you had a beautiful long weekend celebrating our great country…isn’t it nice to be in the swing of summer now!?

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 8.29.30 PM

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 11.42.24 AM*there’s little Faye, by the seashore, in her dress (iphone pics courtesy of Erin)

Waterlily: A Summer Knit

_MG_0878I started this knit feeling pretty sure I wouldn’t like it.  I had ordered the yarn online, and when it arrived it struck me as much too bright and purple-y, like something a young girl might wear accessorized with a sparkly tiara and tutu!  In fact right up until I bound off, I was sure this knit wasn’t for me.   And then I tried it on…

_MG_0900

_MG_0879It is perfection.  As my friend Sarah said while snapping these pictures, “You would never guess it’s a hand knit.”  It’s true- the pattern is intricate, the fit is perfect.  It is just an all-around gorgeous summer top (you can find my Ravelry notes here).  I think the reason I find myself completely addicted to knitting is that there is something to learn with every stitch.  This top taught me patience (I had to rip back the lacework several times) and perseverance.  It taught me some new techniques while working the neckline.  But mainly it taught me not to judge a knit until that moment when it is blocked, and all the ends are sewn in, and you slip it on over your head….to discover that you have truly made something lovely.  That’s the moment worth knitting for.

_MG_0886