Saturday, December 29, 2007

Knit Cafe the Point

I went yesterday to The Point Knit café in New York City. I've been seeing this place for a year before I started knitting, and I was glad to finally gen in there knowing what to ask and to do.

I must say that despite a few harsh critics I red on Ravelry, I found a very nice ambiance, lovely people, prepared and friendly that helped me with patience to find the best 16" circular needle I could ever buy: the Addi Turbo!

Great selection of precious yarns and a few books. If you add a lovely cup of coffee, a piece of cake you have a peaceful afternoon of knitting relax.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop

Image of Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting WorkshopAnd finally yesterday I've received also thje second book I ordered on, the great Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop!

The author has a lovely sense of humour. I wouldn't define this book a pattern book, it's more a philosophy book of knitting. I love Zimmerman's way of saying things and the fact that she didn't like to seam either, makes me love her even more.

I think I'll buy her other oeuvres as soon as i get to the US ;-)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Organizing my mess

ShadesThanks to Ravelry I went finally through my stash and all the crochet hooks and knitting needles I've been collecting in those years. I must say I was pretty surprised to discover skeins and hooks and needles I didn't even know I had.

Now That everything is in order, though, I shall try to give every skein a project to go with, ans it isn't easy. Especially if you consider that in NYC I'll be buyng other pounds and pounds of fine yarn! ;-P

Saturday, December 08, 2007

I'm on Ravelry

I made it! I'm on, you can add me here :-D

Sunday, December 02, 2007

101 Designer One-Skein Wonders

Yesterday I finally received the lovely book 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders I've ordered on a month ago!

The book is as good as I expected, though most of the patterns use 100 gr skeins and sometimes even cones (isn't it cheating a bit?), and I have loads of 50 gr singles. Anyway I'm sure I'll find a way.

I've just started a lovely lacy hat, I'll post pics as soon as is finished.

On the Clapotis front, I'm progressing and happy with the pattern that is definitely longer that i expected, but right now is pretty promising I hope the result will pay :-)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Hat + Neckwarmer, finished

It's been a busy week and I've been able to finish two project I was working on. I'm pretty glad even if both project didn't came up as I expected. Anyway I learned a few new things and I'm pleased by that.

Here is Kim Neckwarmer made in the very original Mammoth by Artfiber, a superfine baby alpaca that I bought when I was living in San Francisco. The fuzzy yarn doesn't show very well Kim's texture but the result is quite pretty I think.

The second project I ended is the Swell Hat by Kimmie Kemper on I loved doing it, and it went up pretty fast. I used some recycled yarn and a part of a skein of Cascade 220 in pink. I did a Medium size but the hat is a bit tight, I guess this is how it is supposed to be but I'm not sure I'll use it a lot.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

My first Clapotis on the go

For my birthday a really sweet friend of mine offered me a HUGE skein of wool. 500gr of fine yarn blue, yellow and cyan. Really pretty! I've been thinking of the right project to make with it and I ended up with the famous Clapotis by Kate Gilbert.

It's going to be a long way up to the end, but I'm sure it's worth it!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Help! NYC: Shops & Magazines?

I've planned a short holiday in NYC on Christmas, I'm very happy! Do you have any suggestions on:

must-see-yarn shops
must-buy US magazines
must-have knit and crochet books

I already have on my list:

-Purl Soho
-The Point

-Vogue Knitting
-Interweave Knits

What else???

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Stitch 'n' Bitch Milan

Lovely Stitch 'n' Bitch yesterday at La Triennale in Milan. Some news ladies, the lovely Silvia, Silvietta, Flavia and Susan and even a couple of guest (stars) drinking beers (my sys and her friend Crippa the man). Great afternoon! :-)

More pics HERE

Monday, November 12, 2007

Foliage hat with too many leaves

I've just finished my Foliage hat revisited. Because my yarn was much thinner that the one suggested by the pattern (I used Alpaca Perù by Filatura di Crosa a very enjoyable yarn I must say) I added a round in the crown pattern. It took me the whole week end to do it. Unfortunately the result is a hat way too large :-(

This was my very first lace pattern and I loved doing it, but I'll have to undo it completely. I guess next time I'll do it with the right yarn.

I hope I'll be more lucky with Kim's Cashmere Neckwarmer made in Mammoth. At least this should be a faster project to achieve.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Oversized Beret

Just in time before the chill hit Milan I've been able to finish this lovely Oversize Beret from Lion Brand. Nice and easy. It reminded me how faster is crochet, compared to knitting, when you make hats.

I used a forgotten skein I found in my old stash in Rome, the yarn is called Mouflon by Tessitura di Tollegno color 1533, I used less than one skein. Yarn gauge 19stsx24 rows, crochet hook 5,5 mm / US 9 (I actually started with a 5mm/US8 but switched after a few rows).

Because my yarn was a bit thinner than the one suggested, I adapted the pattern adding two rows of increase and one row of decrease. I like the results, it's a nice, practical warm hat finished right on time!

On the Knitting for Homeless front I've finally found the right yarn and just yesterday the right pattern. It's a rib that in Italian is called "Fake English Rib", very nice, I think it will give a lovely scarf. The color is a bright red and I hope that the homeless guy who lives in the park down here will accept it and like it.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

One Skein Wonder, in one week end

Before this "long week end" I was reading Ingrid's Blog, always a great source of inspiration, and I found her version of the One Skein Wonder. I immediately fell in love with the pattern and bought it right away. I have so many single skeins right now!

I was about to go to Rome by train and I thought it would be a perfect knit for the 4 and 1/2 hours travel. I definitely made the right choice because the train had a 2 hours delay and I almost finished the OSW during my way out.

It's definitely a lovely pattern, a bit trickier than I originally thought, but surely rewarding. Now that I did one I will definitely make others. I particularly love this version.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My So Called Scarf, finished!

I did it! I loved this pattern, it's amazing, a joy to knit, never boring and the results are gorgeous.

I was so pleased by knitting this that I've immediately started a new project, the Foliage Hat by Emilee Mooney on Knitty. I'm doing it in Mondial Extrafine Merino (Color 629) so I will have to adapt it a bit to this yarn. I hope I won't run out of yarn at the end. So far is a bit of a challenge and I'm really liking it. It's my first knitted hat on dnps, and I'm addicted to it. I wish I could bring it in the subway with me, but dpns aren't exactly easy to use in a crowded wagon ;-)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Drops free patterns

I've just discovered this amazing source of fancy patterns, Drops Design

Aren't these beautiful?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tulip baby booties

How cute is this "Tulip Toes" pattern from Cathy Campaigne for Knitty?

It goes straight into my to-do list, which right now counts:

-2 knitting for homeless scarves
-A Crocheted Hat for Puly
-Fingerless mitts
-Lace/beaded wristwarmers
-BSJ (I've just ordered the "Knitting Workshop" from
-Crocheted snowflakes...

...I'll never make it for Christmas! :-D

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Brea Vs Creole

Looking for some nice crochet patterns on line I ended up on this one, the Creole Bag by Berocco. Does it remind anything to you?

Yes, it's the crocheted version on my beloved (and still-to-assemble) Brea bag. If only I had seen it before, maybe I would have a little new bag already ;-)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fell in Love with BSJ

This week end I went to the knit and yarn convention in Milan, Filiamo 2007, there I got some very nice cachemire skeins, one fascinating ball of recycled silk and a few other lovely things. I'll post some pics asap.

The thing that captured my imagination, though, was this ADORABLE Baby Surprise Jacket made by Knitaly (well I guess it was hers). Isn't it the most pretty baby jacket that you've ever seen?

The best part is that there is almost no sewing and Elizabeth Zimmermann's pattern it's made with circular needles, all in purl. I want to to it for a friend's baby girl soon to be born, it's too cute!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Counterfeit crochet project

Look what I've found running around online: The counterfeit crochet project by the stylist/crocheter/blogger Stephanie Yjuco, who says:

I am an artist and craftsperson seeking crocheters to participate in an art project that utilizes the tenacity and skills of crafters to interpret and "translate" high fashion handbags (Chanel, Gucci, Fendi, etc.) into "homemade" versions.

Here some info in Italian. I wish I were more capable, so that I could join the project, those crochet counterfeit bags are so desirable and I love this Gucci texture, is simply genius!

More on hairpin lace

I found new resources on this amazing technique. Especially Knitaly post on her different yarn attempts was really helpful.

She also sugegsted me a nice mohair hairpin shawl on Mani di Fata and the italin k-word for hairpin: "forcella".

Sunday, October 14, 2007

So Called projects going on

Here a few pics of my progress on the So Called Scarf. I must say that I fell in love with this pattern. It's easier and faster that I thought. I have to really thanks heyjulie95 for her really helpful video tutorial, especially for suggesting an alternative way to realize the crossed stitch on the right side. Now I'm thinking about realizing my own video for those among us who knit the English way (as opposite to the "Continental" way).

Anyway the scarf is progressing well, thanks to circular needles I knit on the bus, on the subway, at work, watching tv, etc... Very funny.

I only have a doubt on Manos del Uruguay, it's a pretty rough wool. I hope it will soften after washing. The pattern is also pretty stiff, so the result is a quite rigid scarf. We'll see when it's finished and washed, I'm pretty sure this wool and pattern would be perfect for a purse. I'll do it maybe after I've finished this one.

I also progressed a bit on Hairpin Lace, the tool is amazing. I'm thinking, though, that maybe it's more fun with a thicker yarn. I want to try it also with very thin mohair and see what it looks like. Vik, don't worry your hairpin lace scarves are on the go! :-)

Monday, October 08, 2007

Ready to start "My So Called Scarf"

Kathryn IvyI'm ready to finally start this amazing scarf I've been dreaming of for two years.
The pattern, one of the most famous on line, is the one from Sheep in The City, and the Yarn is Manos del Uruguay in a lovely red-purple shade.

Before I start, I've printed the pattern and took a look at on line resources on the subject. With a great surprise I found at least two great links. First, the So Called Scarf Video Tutorial which explains very clearly the two ways of achieving the special stitch required by the pattern.

The second fantastic link I found is the So Called Scarf Flickr Pool! SO many beautiful scarves there in so many shades. I look forward to put my pics to!! :-)

This pic is from Kathryn Ivy flickr and blog. The shade she used is very similar to the one I got, I just hope my results will be as good as hers!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Starting to finish

Besides the Brea Bag that is finished and only needs to be sewn (by someone else, I guess, because I'm TOO bad at it), I've managed to finish the Pima Poncho I've been knitting and undoing since June! :-D

Well, it actually looks more like a scarf, but I have to join the two sides and add the fringes. Again the joining scares me. I guess I have to take some sewing classes ;-)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Giles Deacon bulky scarf

I love it! Maybe with such a huge yarn, even I could finish a scarf before the winter is over ;-)

I even found the pattern online but I'm not sure if the "lana grezza" will be easy to find.

I like it so much!!

I started using the Hairpin fork, is fun and fast. If only I had some more time at night to crochet a bit. Anyway I'm confident I'll finish one of Vik's scarves soon!

Other update, I've finished the Brea bag (yuhuu) but I'm totally unable to sew it, I guess I?ll bring it to the next Stitch 'n' Bitch in Milan to seek for help from the girls ;-)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hairpin Crochet patterns and tutorials

Thanks to Knitaly I found the essential key word to understand and use the knitting fork Ingrid offered me, the k-word is "Hairpin".

Looking for "Hairpin Looms", "Hairpin crochet" and "Hairpin patterns" I found all I need to know to correctly use this amazing tool and make wonderful scarves and shawls in no time. Horray! I feel I will be able to make some lovely scarves for Vik's project! :-)

Here a few links:

Hairpin Crochet video tutorial

Hairpin Looms tips and techniques

Joining two Hairpin stripes

Hairpin Afghan

Vogue Knitting Shawl (.pdf)

Many Hairpin patterns

Basic Directions Over a Span of 109 Years

Tatting as Combined with Hairpin Crochet Lace

I'm totally excited! :-)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Winter 2007/2008 projects

Once I have finished all the works I have cued in the warm months I'd love to "attack" those really irresistible patterns:

Cinderella socks by Kathryn Beckerdite - SOOOO CUTE!!!

The button-up sweater for Valda

Ysolda Teague Skull Illusion Scarf

Sportmax mustard scarf

Hairpin lace scarf or shawl

And so many other cute things I see everyday arouuund!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Assembling Brea

I'm almost done with the Brea Bag. I've finished the knitting part and now I'm trying to assemble it. Now I know why I LOVE patterns in circle. I am so bad at sewing. And I don't even think about the lining. I'm pretty sure the results, after assembling, will be pretty poor, but I promised I'll finish it and I'll do it!

Funny pics to follow ;-)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Not yet, but almost

Yesterday I went to the first Fall Stitch & Bitch in Milan. It was so nice to see all the girls again. I was very happy to be able to say goodbye to Ingrid, who is about to leave to the other side of the world, and to chat with Typesetter (who was wearing a desirable 2 colors sweater she made, SO nice), Pm10, Zrinka and many new lovely knitters.

We talked about new projects, admired Ingrid's just-made brand new Urchin hat (published by just the day before and already finished and wonderful) that she made with a delicious yellow-brown shade of Manos-like wool. Adorable, we all wanted one!

As we chatted about summer holidays and finished projects, they all agreed that I'm a lazy lousy crocheter that has too many things going on and who hasn't finished one in months. I felt a bit ashamed (but mostly giggled) and I made a promise to Susan: I commit to finish at least 2 projects before the end of the month. Mark my words: I WILL DO IT.

After a quick look to my unfinished works gallery, I chose the (in)famous Brea Bag, almost done since June, and the Chanson Poncho, which is pretty fast and easy to do (if only I didn't have to unravel 1 kg of black cotton yarn before I could start). The poncho yarn, by the way, is starting to be full of Valda's hair, but Ingrid says that's not too bad, in ancient times dog's hair was mixed with wool on purpose to make it warmer during winter. Good news.

Ingrid is not only wise and fast she is also incredibly sweet. She brought me a present from Estonia, a fascinating tool that I foresee will give me infinite pleasure during winter evenings at home. The Netting Fork, to be used with crochet hook. I'm so intrigued and pleased by the thought of learning a new technique, and I'm seriously tempted by trying it right now. BUT I made a promise, no new projects until I finish something. So I better hurry up, and after I'm done with the "knitting for the homeless" scarves I'll jump on the netting fork! Can't wait!! Thank you Ingrid, have a nice trip!!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

I am a starter

There's no doubt about it. The problem is, I never finish anything. I recently gave up on at least 3 projects. Vik scarves for the homeless are waiting for me, half started. The pink mohair shawl is somewhere in a bag, the brea bag is almost finished, almost, and what about the polar blanket? Still waiting for the winter to come.

And what do I do? Of course I've just started a new project!! I guess I have to definitely face the fact that I am a flighty starter and knit alongs simply aren't good for me (or, better to say, I am not good for them).

Anyway, this is the lovely new project I've embraced yesterday, the Chanson Capelet. Isn't it sweet? I'm making it in black cotton and instead of working it as a little cape, I'm doing closed rounds, so that in the end I'll have a short poncho. If I manage to finish it.

But this time the pattern goes on pretty fast and I'm confident that I can make it. I'll keep you posted :-)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Back in Town

turningpointbooks.comHi everybody, I realize today that almost a month passed since I last wrote on this blog, lazy me! I must admit that I haven't progressed a lot while working from beautiful Umbria.

Instead of knitting and crocheting I've been using my free time to read and I definitely discovered that reading and knitting don't get along easily when you just have evenings to dedicate to yourself.

Anyway I don't complain, I've been discovering some authors that I really enjoyed: the French Fred Vargas, the Italian Gianrico Carofiglio and the British Eric Ambler.

Now that I'm back in Milan, though, I went back to my favorite hobby and hope to have soon progresses to show you here!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Back to Umbria, back to crochet

Back in Umbria for a one week holiday (the on e and only this year) I 'm relaxing on the sun, eating delicious local specialties and crocheting a little bit. Today I've started a lacy shawl, I've been looking for a while for a nice pattern and finally I've picked one from Crochet Pattern central.It's the Evening Shawl by Craftown. I'm using a superkid mohair by Ornaghi Filati, and a USG6/4.00mm hook.
I haven't finished yet the pima tencel poncho nor the knitting for the homeless scarves nor the brea bag (almost done!), but I can't help myself always starting something new, especially during holidays. I know, I know, I'm definitely a starter... but I will finish everything, eventually.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I've got an award!

How cool is that?! Vik, the sweetest knitter-blogger ever, gave me a Thinking Blogger Award! Ain't that a nice thought?

I must apologize with all my knitting/crocheting blog friends for disappearing a bit lately. I'm tremendously tense because of my job. Hopefully I'll have a week holiday in 10 days and I promise I'll step by all my favorite blogs and say hi! :-)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Knitting among flowers

On our way to Rome we decided to take some rest at Luca's mother's beautiful house in Umbria. Set free the cats from the kennels, gave water to Valda, we worked a little in the sun and had a lovely dinner at the Conte's.

This morning, a warm and fresh day inspired me a bit of knitting outside. While Valda was running around, Luca hand picked some gorgeous flowers in the garden and I went back to the Pima Poncho.

This poncho will drive me crazy. I make a row and undo two. I'm seriously tempted to undo all I have knitted so far and start anew. The problem with the lovely brioche stitch is that if you make a mistake you cannot correct it, you just have to go back to the beginning of the row and knit it again. So far I made a few mistakes and I keep doing them, and right now my poncho looks a bit like a gruyere cheese.

So annoying! I guess I'll try a fresh start...