I woke up with my head full of deadlines, and then I turned on NY1 for my daily dose of weather on the 1s, and “In the Papers”, and I realized what day it is. I’ve never written about 9/11, in part because of how politicized it has become and the terrible things that have been done in it’s name, but I went onto Facebook and saw this really wonderful video posted by my brilliant friend Francesca. (you can watch it here).
New York City after 9/11
It made me remember what it was like to come to the city when it was so beat up and broken. I posted this on Facebook:
“I moved to NY for a job (the amazing show The Last Five Years). I arrived on Dec 3, 2001. It was 12 weeks after 9/11 and the city was still on fire, the subways were a mess, people downtown still wore masks, the city was hurting, and the people were amazing. It’s hard to describe what it was like, but it was sad and wonderful and beautiful. We’ve lost a bit of that spirit of kindness that existed in those months following the attack, but it still comes back when we need it the most. I’ll never forget how amazing people were during the city wide blackout that happened two years after 9/11. I forgot who said it, but when asked why there was virtually no rioting or crime during the blackout (the city was ravaged by crime during the citywide blackout in the 70s) someone said, because New Yorkers now know the difference between a tragedy and an inconvenience. I saw that spirit of kindness again after Sandy.
We all complain about NYC from time to time. It can be a hard place to live in, but it can also be unspeakably beautiful. I love New York. Thanks for taking me in when you were broken.”
It started me thinking about New York and how frustrating, wonderful, difficult, exciting, ridiculous, brilliant, horrible, and magical it is to live in this city. You hate and love this place. It infuriates and delights you. It’s like your family.
Just like your family, it’s not perfect, but it’s yours. You understand it when others don’t. You can complain about the insane rents and home prices, but when someone outside the city says “but you can get a mansion in (fill in the blank) for that price”, you say “but then I’d have to live in (fill in the blank) and not NYC.” You can complain about the city, but you are defensive when non New Yorkers ask you “how can you live there?”
After all, just like your family, you can complain about it, but up comes your dukes if anyone else dares to do the same (I think that’s what bugged me so much about the tourist family I wrote about in my subway rant). So just like your family you might take the city for granted from time to time.
So on this day, let’s take a minute to thank our city for everything it gives us. Through all the craziness of the last 13 years, I can still say – I Love New York.
When Bad bind offs happen to good people.
When you bind off do you get something that looks like a noose at the end of your knitting? Does it bug you as much as it does me?
Better Bind Off
First let’s take a look at what a regular bind off leaves you with:
Ah, but to paraphrase Jason Robert Brown’s Last Five Years (movie coming out soon!), we can do better than that!
For other knitting tips from Patty’s Knitting Bag of tricks you can join me live in class!
For those on the East Coast I’ll be teaching it at Stitches East in Hartford, CT, Oct 9 – 12
For those in the Mid West, I’ll be teaching it At Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago, IL Oct 24 – 26
For those in the West, I’ll be teaching a three day sweater intensive with all SORTS of knitting tricks to make your sweater look perfect at Camp Stitches in New Mexico, Nov. 13 – 17
To read past Tuesday tips, just click on the Tutorial catagory of the blog (or here I did it for you!)
If you have a “is there a better way to do that”, or “how do you do that” question, leave me a comment, and I’ll add it to the Tuesday Tip list!
“JUST DO IT” – Doing What You Love
It’s been quite a year. Yep, believe it or not, I began this incredible journey of being a full time knitwear designer and teacher a little over a year ago. I’d been working in the industry for seven years, but always for other people (yarn shop, yarn company), but now I’ve spent the most amazing year doing ONLY what I love full time, and working for just one crazy boss . . . me.
It’s been quite a roller coaster and there have been a few uh oh moments along the way (if you submit to six different magazines who all have the same deadline and all designs get approved . . . better hire some sample knitters!). There have been some 12 hr knitting days when deadlines were tight, and I’ve learned that as much as I love to knit, I have to let projects go to other knitters, so I can move on to the next one. That’s been hard. To see some of the designs I did this year, that are already published (can’t show you the other 14 that haven’t come out yet), you can click here.
There have been too many great things about this year to name, but I think one of my favorite things about the designer part of my job is that my grandmother’s rocking chair in front of my fireplace has been my workspace in the winter, and my (now destroyed, but that’s a story for another day) roof deck was my workspace in the spring / summer
As a teacher, I’ve been lucky enough to travel all over the country this year, teaching at shows, guilds and shops. I’ve loved working with all the students and have been really excited to see the same students from last year coming back. It’s really fun to get to know students (and Sandi always brings me a little gift – pretty awesome). I also had two video classes and two webinar classes launch this year, and I just got done filming another one. Doing on camera work is a whole other ball game, but I love it. Stay tuned for more info about some new classes I’ll be filming this winter.
But the most important, wonderful, shocking, amazing, awe inspiring thing I found out this year, was how generous and amazing people in this industry can be. It’s no exaggeration to say there were many things I knew NOTHING about. I was lucky enough to have brilliant friends to bother all year long with “what do you do when . . .”, “how do I . . .” , “what happens if . . .” questions. I also was lucky enough to have a bunch of brilliant and well respected folks believe in me enough to say, yeah, let’s work with her. I’ve had a year of feeling humbled, stupid, smart, ashamed and proud (remember roller coaster).
I wanted to name all the people who have helped me so much this year (and in past years), but I was afraid of two things:
1) It would sound like an Oscar speech and I hadn’t won anything
2) They would be “outed” for how wonderful they are and have their doors pounded down with people asking for help.
I hope you all know who you are, but just in case, I’m going to send you an e-mail saying “hey, I was talking about you”
On second thought, maybe I did win something . . . the job I’ve always wanted. I wish the same for all of you.
I’ve been a terrible blogger, but I hope you’ll forgive me when you see the new designs & classes coming out. It’s been an insanely busy summer with planning for filming a new online class for Annie’s as well as an exciting new teaching plan (sorry can’t tell ya yet, stay tuned) and many new designs (sorry, can’t show ya yet).
Since the summer is slipping away fast, you can imagine how excited I was when I found out I’m going to CAMP, Camp Stitches that is!! Yep, that means three straight days of knitting in GORGEOUS New Mexico! Squee!!
Camp Stitches -
Secrets to Spectacular Sweater Success!
Join me for a three day sweater intensive – click here for more info and to book
There are so many ways your sweater can go wrong but even more ways it can go sooo right. In this three-day sweater intensive, we will be looking beyond the pattern to really explore all the secrets and tricks every knitter needs to know to create their perfect sweater. We will begin with an exploration of knitting technique—how to create a more stable fabric with no “rowing out,” how to make neat edges and fix the big loopy first stitch, as well as better cast-ons and bind offs to name just a few.
Next we will delve into specific knitting techniques and how to improve them including best practice for picking up stitches, tricks to avoid gaps in your necklines, and how to improve the look of ribs and cables, better matching YO in lace, making a SSK that matches your K2tog, better transition from rib and so much more!
We will also be answering what every knitter wants to know: what parts of the pattern to ignore or change. When to use short rows, should you or should you not convert to in the round, what if you want to get a different size or use a different yarn.
Finally we’ll address what you need to start and end a perfect project: gauge and blocking. How and why does your gauge swatch lie to you, and how to block your garment perfectly?
Make this the year of your perfect sweater!
For those of you who hear “camp” and have these images jump into you head
Actual uniform catalog. Note the helpful fashion suggestion to “Show that you belong – wear your complete dress uniform properly and with pride at all times”.
Or perhaps you grew up as a city gal, and have never camped a day in your life . . .
Camp STITCHES WILL have:
Camp STITCHES Will NOT have:
|- Fabulous Teachers
– Fun classes
– Brilliant Students
– Beautiful Setting
|- Uncomfortable sleeping bags
– Ugly camp uniforms
– Horrible camp food
– Bad camp songs (Can’t swear to this one)
Hope you can join me November 13 – 17 and make this the year of your dream sweater!
In the last Tuesday Tip I covered the felted join as the spit splice. This type of splice is for animal fibers that are non machine washable . . . but wait, there is another way.
Meet the Needle Felted Join
When I want to splice a non animal fiber I try pulling out my handy dandy needle felting pen. I’m never 100% sure if a fiber will hold the splice until I give it a try, but often if a yarn has a bit of bite to it, a cotton, or raw silk blend for instance, or a machine washable wool, acrylic blend, it will work like a charm.
1) The first thing I do is cut away a bit on each tail. Here I have a single ply, and I’ve done a bit of a diagonal cut on each end.
3) As you stab (being oh, so careful to keep your hands far away from those CRAZY sharp needles), you’ll see that the join may start to flatten out a bit. You can turn it so it stays round.
4) Give a delicate tug to see how it’s going. If it starts to slide apart, keep stabbing until . . .
5) Ta Da . . . the needle felted join.
I like this so much more then weaving in ends