Big/Little

photo

Ever since learning that my friend Tim and his wife Liis were expecting, I knew I would be knitting a sweater for their little one.
We met Tim when we were living in NYC; he’s an amazing photographer and one of those people that feels like family after you’ve only known them a short while. Tim and Liis moved to California while we were still in NY, and then we moved to Texas and Tim and Liis moved to Switzerland. Their beautiful baby boy Johannes was born in December and Auntie Kim is a bit late in getting a sweater to this little guy. I knit him the Storytime Scholar Cardigan by Lisa Chemery in the 9-12 month size, and I think it will easily fit him well into his first year. You can’t go wrong with a grandpa sweater for a little boy, and the garter stitch elbow patches really sold me on this pattern. The yarn I used is quickly becoming an easy go-to yarn for baby sweaters: Berocco Vintage. I like it because its soft, wooly and heathered, but with an acrylic content so its washable and no-fuss for the parents. I think it resulted in a sweet little sweater and I hope it keeps baby Johann warm and stylish in Switzerland.

I also wanted to share the sweetest thing Tim said when I was asking him how he was enjoying life with a new son. “Johann is my little and I am his big/ the cosmos just paired us up is all.”

Insta March

Insta March 14

They say March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb which was very true for me. My month started out with chilly days filled with coffee and knitting while snuggled under a blanket on the couch and ended with a warm weekend at my parents’ ranch, drinking Coronas in the sun with my mom and aunt. Joey has been away on tour since mid-February, but he had three days at home between European and US tours. We filled those three days with lots of Tex Mex, lots of record-listening, and watching an outdoor movie at our town square, nestled in the grass on a blanket and sharing a thermos of wine.

 

You can follow me on Instagram as Kimidawn24

Knitterly Goodies from Fringe Supply Co.

20140309-182852.jpg
I recently decided to treat myself to a couple of small goodies from Fringe Supply Co. for my birthday. I snagged one of the ebony repair hooks (a double-ended crochet hook, really) because it is so much prettier than the silly pink steel one that’s always lounging in the bottom of my knitting bag. Speaking of knitting bags, I snagged a super cute bento bag in tan ticking stripe. I carry my knitting with me to work every day and having a small knitting bag that can be thrown into my purse or any other bag at a moment’s notice is what I’m looking for.

20140309-183012.jpg
I also grabbed a set of the ebony cable needles. I’ve wanted some of these for quite a while because I love that they are short and straight and have little notches in them to help keep the stitches secure. I recently finished knitting a project with SO MANY CABLES and decided that my old bent steel cable needle that I bought when I first started knitting was just too annoying to use for something with lots of cabling going on. I got so tired of it that I switched to a random 4″ DPN which was much nicer to use, but HELLO? These ebony cable needles are beauts. Had to have ‘em.

20140309-183130.jpg
If you haven’t checked out Karen’s shop or even her blog, you should definitely do both.

Tagged , , , ,

Paris, pt. 2

If you missed it, you can read part one here.

We woke up the next morning and hopped back on the bus to head across town for a radio performance.

20140303-164429.jpg
The show consisted of a short interview and a few live songs performed in front of a studio audience. One of the other wives, Fiona was in town and she and I decided to slip out for a little bit of sightseeing while the guys did their interview. We walked around, meandering our way towards the Eiffel Tower. It was such a bright and sunny day and I was speechless for a few moments before I asked her to take my picture.

20140303-165051.jpg
I knew our time in Paris would be pretty busy- Joey was there to work, after all- but the only ‘must do’ item had just been checked off my list and so Fiona and I headed back to the station just as the guys were wrapping up their performance.

20140303-165830.jpg
Afterwards, we all hopped back on the bus and across town again to the studios of Canal Plus France, where the guys would be filming an episode of ‘Album de la semaine.’

20140303-170331.jpg
I stood in the wings of the theater and watched their performance. Their harmonies sounded so wonderful, despite three of them fighting off sore throats and failing voices after being on the road for three weeks and performing two to three times each day. I watched the audience’s reactions and I welled up with pride for my talented husband and our talented friends. To spend your days traveling the world and making wonderful music that brings other people happiness is a very good thing.

20140303-190213.jpg
After the performance it was a quick goodbye as the guys were heading on overnight to Belgium and I had a plane to catch in the morning. My years living in NYC served as good training for venturing out on my own in Paris, back on the metro to find my hotel for the night. I stayed in the St Germain district and sadly didn’t get to explore it very much as it was getting late and I was really looking forward to a hotel bed and a good night’s rest before my long journey home. I took the RER to the airport the next morning and while waiting on the train with my luggage in hand, a French woman about my age asked me something I couldn’t understand. I explained that I didn’t speak French and she quickly switched to English, asking if this was in fact the train to the airport. I confirmed that it was, and instantly felt a little more calm and collected. If I could look like an in-the-know Parisian instead of oozing tourist vibes, then I guess my two days in Paris served me well.

Paris, pt. 1

Today Joey is in Paris. I always assumed that after having the opportunity to travel to some of these places myself, I’d be less jealous the next time he went without me. Apparently that is not the case and I find myself daydreaming of Paris. As my thoughts today are on this beautiful and still-magical seeming city, I thought I’d share my experience in Paris.

20140303-111537.jpg

We traveled overnight from Amsterdam to Paris on the tour bus. I awoke in my bunk to a sliver of light coming in through the curtain and the sound of cars driving and honking. I peeked out the window and was eye level with a piece by the street artist, Space Invader on the side of a building. It momentarily brought me back to Brooklyn, where I would walk past another of his pieces on an almost daily basis. I woke Joey and we decided to stretch our legs and find out where the showers were.
It turned out we were parked outside the venue the band would be playing that evening and our tour manager was sorting out where everyone could get cleaned up, so Joey and I decided to take a stroll to find some coffee.
We didn’t have to walk very far before we found a patisserie and grabbed an espresso each, a slice of quiche, and an eclair to share. (When in Paris, right?)

20140303-113504.jpg

After breakfast and determining it would be a few more hours before our hotel room would be ready, we decided to take another little stroll around the area. It was during this walk that I discovered that Paris is much more hilly than Texas. We walked up and down cobblestone streets, past brick walls with moss growing along the cracks in the walls and past some of the most charming little apartments and I was already picturing what it would be like to live there. It was very windy and kept threatening to rain- we actually did get caught in the tiniest of cloudbursts before we headed back to the venue for sound check.

20140303-114534.jpg

We had about an hour before dinner and I really wanted to see Sacré-Cœur, so we hopped on the metro towards Anvers. When we hopped off, we had lost our sense of direction and weren’t sure which direction to walk. We stopped at this corner flower shop and asked the kind old man “which way to Sacré-Cœur?” He did not speak English and I don’t speak French, so I just repeated “Sacré-Cœur?” in a questioning tone. He still didn’t quite understand what I was asking for, but fortunately a man standing nearby spoke English and translated for us. When he told the old man we were looking for Sacré-Cœur, the old man’s face brightened and said “oh, Sacré-Cœur” in the most beautiful French and proceeded to tell is to take the metro to Anvers. Grateful for the assistance and embarrassed that my Texas-accented attempt at pronouncing Sacré-Cœur sounded not even remotely recognizable to this kind man, we turned to go. I was still so confused. We just got off the metro at Anvers, so why would he be telling us to get back on? We walked a couple more blocks, thinking that like the NYC subway sometimes each stop has multiple entrances and exits, perhaps we exited at the wrong sortie. We came upon the next metro entrance and quickly realized we had gotten off at Avron, not Anvers. Silly Americans! We arrived at Anvers not too long afterwards and arrived at the steps to Sacré-Cœur just as the sun was setting.

20140303-122052.jpg

20140303-120639.jpg
The show that night was a crowded and sweaty affair. The venue was way too small to hold the crowd that gathered and the air was thick with the heat and humidity from all those people crowded into a small room. The band sounded excellent and I spent part of the time watching from the small sound booth and then squeezing my way backstage to the tiniest upstairs green room with the most insane death-trap staircase/ladder that I’m not soon to forget. After the show, I could hear everyone milling about just outside the venue as cool crisp air wafted in the windows, a welcome refresher after the crowded show.

20140303-121810.jpg

Tagged , ,

Insta Janu-February

Bet you didn’t notice that I forgot to post an Instagram roundup of my January goings-on. I didn’t notice either, so this time you get January and February smashed into one Insta-double-whammy. (I promise it’s not as painful as it sounds).

Insta Jan Feb 14

During the first part of January we were in Aspen, CO where the band played a couple of shows, one of them was a big New Year’s eve bash. The shows were excellent and we toasted the new year in grand fashion. It was such a fun trip and we were even able to squeeze in a visit to a natural hot springs pool nestled in the mountains, and a couple of days of skiing. Back home in Texas, I’ve spent the past month and a half working, working, working, with a few stolen moments here and there for doggie snuggles and knitting and crafting. I released my Wayfinder Mitts pattern, re-released my Hill Country Hat pattern, and am wrapping up a new design submission that I’m super excited about. I had a birthday just a few days ago and celebrated with lots of sweet treats, good friends, and wonderful mail surprises from Joey, who is already back out on tour.  Now I’m getting ready for some warmer weather (aren’t we all?) and looking forward to casting on a couple of new knitting projects.

 

 

The Pup Tent

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I had a crazy bout of inspiration this past weekend which resulted in this ridiculous and adorable doggie teepee. I’ve seen teepees and tents cropping up a lot online lately and always thought they were kind of cute, but I figured it would be silly to make myself a teepee. (I still really want a backyard yurt, but that’s for “someday.”)

Then I saw a doggie teepee in one of the instagram feeds I follow and I decided that yes, of course, my Henry dog definitely needed a teepee.

Processed with VSCOcam with m3 preset

I just decided to wing it on the construction- I grabbed a few 38” long dowels, some jute twine and a canvas drop cloth at the hardware store. The hardest part was figuring out how to do the cover. I didn’t want to just drape the fabric over the frame so I decided to bring out the sewing machine and sew a bunch of triangles together. I also decided to paint some black stripes along the bottom and stitch on a few reinforcements above the slit for the opening.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

It’s not perfect- I’m too impatient when it comes to sewing to care about making sure my seams are lined up. Heck I didn’t even properly measure before I started cutting out the fabric pieces. Such is life when it comes to inspiration. No stopping to plan or measure, just make, make, make.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I think it turned out really cute and it looks like Henry likes it too.  Now off to plan for that yurt.

 

Tagged , , , ,

Hill Country Sessions

I’m excited to finally share the article I wrote for the Spring 2013 issue of Pom Pom Quarterly!  I’d like to add a note that the album that the article discusses, Israel Nash’s Rain Plans is now out via Loose Music in Europe. 

Cactusx

Hill Country Sessions

As a knitter married to a touring musician, I try to join my husband on his travels as often as my schedule will allow and I always bring my knitting along for the journey. This particular trip finds us down in Texas Hill Country about an hour’s drive outside of Austin, Texas. We are here for two weeks while Joey records guitar for the upcoming Israel Nash album with some of our closest friends.

ranch

photo by Tim Underwood

The setting is perfect for recording an album: there are nine of us holed up in a big ranch house that is surrounded on all sides by tree and cactus-covered hills. The closest neighbor is over a mile away; too far away to be disturbed by any music that goes late into the night. The cathedral-ceilinged living room has been transformed into a recording studio; the cowhide rug on the floor is crisscrossed with cables running from the many guitars and amps to the mixing board and analog tape machine.

Joey guitars

Photo by Tim Underwood

IMG_1105

As the band sets up their gear, my friend Laura and I set up our gear. We are staking our claim to the two lounge chairs on the back patio that overlook the valley that provides a stunning view at sunset. It is an idyllic setup for us: the guys will record their album while we lounge within earshot of the music, knitting away and enjoying each other’s company. I’ve brought along a ball of tweedy yarn and some circular needles and a vague idea for a slouchy hat that I want to make.

IMG_0685

The day fades quickly into night and I find myself knitting stitch after soothing stitch as I listen to the sounds of a song coming to life. The song they are working on has a dark and beautiful sound, and has most definitely been inspired by our isolated surroundings. It is the ideal soundtrack for knitting and watching the moon rise above the hills.

IMG_1100

One afternoon we decide to go on a walkabout to tour the natural springs that are in the area. We hike down into the valley, careful of our footing as we walk over chalky white rocks and through dry branches and thorny grasses. There is an artist living nearby that creates intricate sculptures out of the flat rocks that are abundant in the area and we happen upon a few of her works and study them with appreciation. As I survey the many precisely-placed layers of rocks, I am reminded that much like recording an album or knitting, some of the best creations are made slowly by building layer upon layer, stitch upon stitch.

sculpture

photo by Tim Underwood

As the days pass by, my hat is taking shape at a leisurely pace. I’m picking it up and putting it down often between dips in the swimming pool, walks to pick wildflowers or trips into town to refresh our stores of food. I’ll knit a few rounds as we’re all sitting around in the evenings, listening to the day’s work and discussing the songs left to be recorded. Just as I’m not in a rush to finish my hat, I’m not in a rush for my time here to be over, but before I know it I am binding off and weaving in the ends and packing my bags into the car to head home.

knittingonvacayx

Our trip has been full of so many fun memories that are forever linked in my mind with the songs that were recorded while we were here. And when the album is released and I hear the songs again, you can bet I will also be listening closely to see if I can hear sound of my knitting needles clicking away in the background.

Free Pattern: Hill Country Hat

IMG_5660x

Originally published in Pom Pom Quarterly 4: Verdant Stitches, I’m happy to now offer the Hill Country Hat knitting pattern as a free Ravelry Download. The Hill Country hat knits up quickly in a bulky weight yarn and has a good amount of slouch. The finished size is 20.5 inches in circumference by 9.25 inches long, brim to crown.

Materials

Bulky weight yarn- approximately 142 yards/130 meters

Sample shown in Queensland Collection Kathmandu Chunky Tweed (85% merino, 10% silk, 5% cashmere; 142 yards/130 meters/100 g) in the colorway Oatmeal (108)

US 10.5/6.5 mm 16”/40 cm circular needles

US 10.5/6.5 mm double pointed needles (DPNs) or size needed to obtain gauge below

Tapestry needle for weaving ends

Stitch marker

Gauge

14 stitches and 20 rounds = 4”/10 cm in stockinette stitch, after blocking

IMG_5630x

Tagged , , ,

New Knitting Pattern: Wayfinder Mitts

photo by Nikki Mann

photo by Nikki Mann

I’m excited to announce that my Wayfinder Mitts knitting pattern is now available as a Ravelry download. Worked in Madelinetosh DK, each Wayfinder Mitt is cast on at the bottom edge and knit in the round. The top and bottom cuffs are worked in 2×2 rib, which stretches nicely to fit the wearer. The directional cables flow out of the ribbed cuff and are mirrored on the back of each hand. Thumb gussets are created by increases placed at the side of each mitt; after increasing, thumb stitches are placed on waste yarn and later picked up and worked in the round. Instructions are provided as both charted and written.

photo by Nikki Mann

photo by Nikki Mann

MATERIALS

DK weight wool yarn – approximately 115 yards/106 meters

Sample shown in Madelinetosh Tosh DK (100% superwash merino wool; 225 yards/206 meters/100 g) in the Antique Lace colorway on hands measuring 7.5″/19 cm in circumference.

US 6/4.0 mm (or size needed to obtain gauge) dpns, two circulars, or long circular for magic loop

Cable needle

3 Stitch markers

Tapestry needle for weaving ends

Waste yarn

GAUGE

22 sts by 30 rounds = 4”/10 cm in stockinette stitch

FINISHED SIZE

8”/20.5 cm long by 7”/17.75 cm in circumference (unstretched) to fit hands measuring 6.5″/16.5 cm to 8″/20.25 cm in circumference.

Visit the Ravelry pattern page here or buy now.

photo by Nikki Mann

photo by Nikki Mann

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 31 other followers