Follow me on my Facebook page. Have Needles Will Knit

I seem to be better at updating my Facebook page Have Needles Will Knit. I’m working on getting back to this page though too. Thanks for following!

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I will be updating soon!!!

Be patient – I am working on updating and starting to blog again soon! Thanks for your support!

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Knitting Season is…..OPEN!

Welcome to fall! Sorry I haven’t posted since May/June. It was a busy summer! I knit all summer but some of us don’t. I am feeling particularly inspired this fall though.

I thought my first blog post of the fall would be about inspiration…..

I ordered these vintage buckles from etsy. I don’t know what I am going to do with them yet- but they are light weight enough to be used with knitting. I was sort of thinking bracelets since they are about 1-2 inches long.

I love to get color ideas for designing from vintage hankies. I got these while hitting some flea markets in Manhattan this summer.

I thought I would share this scarf tying idea that I have seen quite a bit lately…..(not my idea but I can’t tell you the exact source)

I also LOVE this scarf which I found this summer at the Young Designers Market in lower Manhattan.

My new “craft” space! I need to work on it- kind of plain right now but I have lots of ideas…..

This is my first quilt, it is an Amy Butler pattern and of course her fabrics. I liked it because it was doable. You first attach and over lap the pieces on muslin. I can’t wait to make another one.

My next bit of inspiration came from finding a stash of Malabrigo worsted in a sale bin in Minnesota! What? In a sale bin you say? YES!

I knitted this blanket using linen stitch from all of the wonderful Malabrigo that I found on sale….. and its for me!

Speaking of Malabrigo, I have to share this tip that I learned from a vest pattern in Malabrigo Book 3. When binding off, especially binding off on the edge of a 2×2 ribbing…. use 3 sizes bigger needles than what you used for the project during bind off. You get this beautiful edge that you don’t have to wrestle with:

My next little beauty is an antique Italian glass tile brooch that I found at the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market…..I think it will look so great on some of my knits.

In case you haven’t found something that inspires you here…go to www.pinterest.com, this is my latest obsession- very fun!!

So what is next? The pattern for this pillow will be on sale soon at pkramarsic.etsy.com … I will let you know RIGHT HERE when it goes on sale! Happy knitting!

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Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival 2011

I realize I am a little late on this post! The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival was May 7 and 8, 2011. If you haven’t been and you like anything having to do with sheep, wool, alpaca, goats, spinning, knitting, crocheting, weaving etc. -this is a must! This years Sheep and Wool Festival was huge- as it seems to grow each year! This year there was lots more roving! Gorgeous roving everywhere!

There were braided hunks of roving, bats of roving and all the equipment needed to make your own roving or start spinning- yeah I bought some and I bought a drop spindle.

I really wish I had taken notes so that I could tell you all about the vendors and where they came from but I was so overwhelmed- as I am each year! Just enjoy the pictures!

I was and always am amazed at all of the different sizes and shapes and textures of wool!

here are some of the sweet faces that go with all of that gorgeous fiber!

Lots of YARN of course:

I have to admit the pictures don’t do the festival justice- there was just so much to see!

and of course, shopping!! No more yarn for awhile or you will see me on an episode of Hoarders! This year there was more roving, raw fiber, wool rug hooking, spinning and weaving vendors then there have been in the past.

Someday I want to go to Rhinebeck in New York! I hear that these 2 festivals are equally awesome but for different reasons……

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Mixing Fibers

I am trying to come up with “stash” busting ideas lately because The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is coming up next weekend and I need to make room for MORE yarn! When I started knitting about 10 years ago or so, I remember getting snapped at by yarn snobs because I wanted to mix different fibers within a project. Well…..it seems that is the thing to do NOW, all I keep seeing are ads for yarns that contain many different types of fibers. For example, I am currently using a yarn that contains soy, wool, and chitin (shrimp and clam shell fragments) and I am seeing a lot of yarns that contain cotton but some other type of fiber is added to give it some elasticity- I think it all is genius because you can get a more versatile yarn in the end.  I have even seen cotton and wool mixed in the same yarn!!

Above is something I love to do and have done many times as a “stash” busting project. I do a Log Cabin type of design for a blanket or throw with different fibers (it can be anything, just the same gauge) and instead of doing the traditional Log Cabin with garter stitch sections I do different stitches in each section -all that have a very similar gauge. It is fun and it looks really neat in the end. I think these blankets can be sentimental too, in this one I included some odds and ends of yarns that I got at various knitting events and even some special yarn that a friend gave me as a gift. I look at this blanket and I know where all the yarns came from.

It isn’t done yet, if you want more info on Log Cabin knitting there is a great book called, Mason-Dixon Knitting by Kay Cardiner and Ann Shayne.

Another project in which I mixed fibers is this throw (pictured below), I love how it turned out! It has every fiber imaginable in it (almost) and it is thick and chunky. I made this one by holding 3-4 strands of different fibers together throughout and then I would switch one or two of them periodically to give different textured stripes (knit 1, purl 1 throughout). This one is a particularly useful “stash” buster because you can create the same gauge by using more or less strands, in other words if you wanted to use 1 worsted strand instead of 2 sock yarn strands you could get away with it.

     It just so happens that this throw is for sale in my Etsy shop (www.pkramarsic.etsy.com) You can also view more pictures there.

My last “stash” buster that I am working on is a pattern from an old Verena magazine, it is a cowl but instead of using the yarn that the pattern calls for I am using 2 lighter weight yarns held together. I discovered that if you use 1 solid colored yarn and 1 variegated yarn you get a sort of a tweed looking product. The yarns I used were wool (solid), a soy-cotton (variegated) and a mohair (solid). I used the mohair yarn paired with the variegated yarn in the ribbing giving it a halo just in the ribbing.

In the next picture you can see the halo on the edge from the mohair.

Anyway, The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is May 7-8 at the Howard County Fairgrounds (www.sheepandwool.org). Gotta run……….

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Birth of a Sweater

I thought it would be fun to explain my thoughts and inspiration behind my latest design. It is a very simple design because I wanted something sort of mindless to work on, take a break from cables, lace and other forms of intricate design elements.

I got the inspiration for this design at the Night of Knitting on the Rocks at the City Bakery event. Some of you may have read my previous post but to recap, I saw this girl wearing this pretty, basic cardigan and it had gray and white stripes but one stripe was florescent yellow. Very functional and simple but with a fun twist of color.

See picture above. I didn’t want to “copy” her design but I wanted to work with a florescent color. Purl Soho just happened to be selling said colors at their table.

I opted for this color combo, and I mean to tell you- we all love Manos del Uruguay yarn-but this pink is absolutely saturated, I wanted to eat it the whole time I was working with it (yeah, I am weird). It looks like candy and the pictures do not do it justice. I take the yarn home and for weeks I can’t stop thinking about what I will do with it. I wanted to make something that I would throw on anytime- neutral but not your typical neutral. I finally decided that it had to be a raglan (because they are my fav), knit top-down in one piece and I added the arm cuffs and front band/collar later. I also pictured the wooden buttons that I love so much from oruaka.etsy.com because they would tone down the wild pink on the front band and bring an element of nature back to the sweater.

Here is a picture of some others working with the florescent colors. I honestly never thought I would go for any of these colors but paired with naturals and neutrals it is gorgeous!! and IN I might add.

I get this far and I am torn on what to do about the front band and collar. I had to stare at it awhile. I finally decided against the shawl collar that I originally wanted to do because I wanted a SIMPLE sweater- remember? I resisted throwing in a cabled front band also.

so I know the suspense is killing you, right? Well here is the finished sweater, I am in LOVE, I really feel I will wear this alot! I am short and petite so I love that it is cropped, I also think this adds a modern feel to an old classic!

I hope I have inspired someone else to use a POP of color that you wouldn’t normally use. It is fun- trust me……..

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Knitting Road Trip

My friend Stacy and I decided -pretty much at the last minute- to drive up to New York City to the Knitting on The Rocks event at The City Bakery (thecitybakery.com) last Thursday night. We were coming from Crofton, MD so this is about a 3 hour and 20 minute drive, but it was well worth it!

We left at 1 PM and got there and parked about 4:30 PM. We took a cab to Purl Soho knitting shop since we had 2 hours to kill before the event started. This shop is amazing- check our their website purlsoho.com and their blog purlbee.com

This picture is a tease because there are no pictures that could be taken that would do it justice. Amazing selection of yarn, needlepoint supplies, weaving and spinning supplies and quilting fabrics, etc., gorgeously displayed.

We were inspired to make Joelle’s favorite vest after we saw and felt the Madeline Tosh Merino Light that it is made with. The vest pattern can be found at purlbee.com

The experience was overwhelming but I was proud of myself for walking out of there without a needlepoint canvas and supplies, drop spindle and spinning supplies or the Eiffel Tower scissors that I wanted! I ONLY bought yarn for the vest!

So after walking out of Purl Soho we took a cab back up to The City Bakery on 18th St. We had to wait for 30 minutes outside in the cccccold since it was a private event and the doors didn’t open until 7 PM.

This event was everything advertised and more, great food, great inspiration, raffle, charity knitting, demonstrations, etc. Stacy and I loved it and vow to go back to it next year if they do it again. Did I mention the FOOD? Crazy good! I won’t disclose what was on the menu, only that it was yummy and plentiful (trying to create some mystery so you’ll want to go yourself!). We heard about it on the Purlbee.com blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

YES! Homemade marshmallows! and YES that is marshmallow garland! AWESOME!

There was a contest……who could knit their favorite City Bakery treat and then it was judged- there were many good looking ones.

…….and hair dreds……I wanted to go home and say, “look honey, how do you think this would look on ME?”

Spinning anyone? The Downtown Yarn Shop (downtownyarns.com) did a spinning demo. I loved it! Did you know these spinning wheels fold flat! Perfect for small spaces.

 

 

 

 

 

Knitty City yarn shop (knittycity.com) had a charity knitting table and if you knit a few rows or a square you got a give away. Again- I won’t say what that freebe was. You have to go! Brooklyn General Store (brooklyngeneral.com)  even had a demo on making knitted donuts!

 

 

 

 

 

AND plenty of inspiration!!!

See the sweater with the grey and white stripes? I am so inspired by that bright yellow stripe! I want to make something with this same concept (but totally different of course).

I bought some Manos del Uruguay wool in which to create something of the same concept- neutral and functional but a pop of something bright:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another of our favorite tables was the Wool and the Gang table (woolandthegang.com):

They had these chunky needles and chunky yarns for sale. The coolest part though is that they sell kits on their website OR you can buy their clothing items already knit at their store.

Well, all in all it was a successful and inspiring road trip- we got back at 2 AM broke and exhausted but we would do it all over again!

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