Make It Better: A Craftalong For Sandy Relief

•November 7, 2012 • Leave a Comment

This is just a quick post to pass along some info regarding a craftalong being organized by Brett Bara and Natalie Soud to make warm things from those suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, especially in New York City.

I’m planning to make a fleece blanket this afternoon, and rummage thru my unfinished knitting projects to see if there are any hats, scarves and/or mittens that would be suitable.  Isn’t this the perfect motivation for finally finishing those things?

I hope you will also consider making something warm and popping it in the mail pretty quickly!!

Here are the basic instructions (copied from Brett’s post):


MAKE IT. Simply knit, crochet or sew a warm garment or blanket–items most needed are hats, socks, gloves/mittens, scarves, sweaters, and blankets. Use one of the quick and easy free patterns we found below, or any pattern you like. If you’d like to include other small items to help the relief effort, feel free to donate another warm garment (new or gently used, please). We are hearing reports that general clothing is no longer needed, so please restrict your donations to warm winter items only.
SEND IT. Send your finished item to 9 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10013 as soon as possible (c/o Natalie Soud). We want to start distributing warm goods within a week or less, so stitch something quick and send it off! Our volunteers will deliver the items to various points in and around New York City. (Although we’ll start delivering immediately, we’ll be accepting donations for the near future, so free free to send projects whenever they’re complete.)
CRAFTALONG. Share what you’ve made and help spread the word! Please, please, please blog, Tweet, Facebook, Instagram, and Pin that you’re participating in the Sandy Craftalong as soon as you can (like today!) so that we can get as many hands stitching as possible. Then, when you finish your project, share what you’ve made by posting it on your own blog and on our Facebook page at Also remember to use the tags  #makeitbetter and #sandycraftalong

You can find the information in Brett’s post here.


And the address to send things is:

Natalie Soud
Soho Grand Hotel
310 W. Broadway
New York, NY 10013


It has been Oh.So.Long!!

•August 29, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I can’t believe that the summer is almost over! This coming weekend is Labor Day! Yikes!  And it’s been more than a month since I posted here.

  • I have NOT been working on my Master Knitter Level 2 swatches, questions, or reports, despite my best intentions.
  • I did NOT go to my 30th college reunion.
  • I have NOT been to Cape Cod to visit my Mom, and one of my favorite places on the planet.
  • I have NOT been riding my bike NOR walking as much as I would have liked, NOR have I been hiking or to a yoga class at all, even tho I live in such a beautiful part of the world for all of those activities.

I’ve been busy with all sorts of other things:

  • Selling a house that has been a rental for 2 years (while renters are still in residence), and getting the yard under control again.
  • Acting as co-captain for the “For the Love of Bob” group Ravellenic Games team.  Go Team Bob!!!
  • Participating in the Ravellenic Games by completing one of my longest languishing projects in the WIPs Wrestling event.  In addition to having been around since 2004, this was one of the most challenging projects in my stash of WIPs.
  • Planning a trip to Europe – part of which will be a solo trip for me.  I’m doing most of the planning myself, rather than using a travel agent.
  • Sewing part of my wardrobe for that trip to Europe.
  • Working on a soon to be released Katinka Knits’ pattern.
  • But most of all not sleeping well or at the right times of the day or night!  ;P

But…  I so hope to be back soon with a real post about one or two or all of these activities that have been so occupying my time and energy this summer!

Noro Prism Scarf Pattern

•July 16, 2012 • Leave a Comment

At one point, I called this pattern the “Noro Diamond Eyelet Scarf Pattern.”   For the life of me, I can’t remember why the pattern has two different names!  I think the scarf that I knit originally was a beautiful and happy accident!  In July of 2012, I reformatted the pattern so that it is more easily readable on a computer screen or on an electronic  tablet.  I haven’t shared it on this blog before, so here is another one of my scarf patterns…

Katinka Knits’ Noro Prism Scarf Knitting Pattern

It is a fun scarf to knit!  I’d like to try some other variations with smaller needles and finer yarn.  Perhaps I’ll go search my stash now!  😉

Here are the details:

Suggested Yarns:  Noro Silk Garden (2-3 balls, Color #206).

Suggested Needles:  US Size 8 (5.0 mm) and US Size 9 (5.5 mm).

Suggested Gauge:  16 sts & 24 rows = 4 inches (10 cm) in pattern.

Finished Size:  Approximately 7.25″ x 60″ or desired length (18.4 cm x 1.5 m)

The pattern is available for $3.50 on Etsy, or Ravelry (or by clicking the button under the photo above).* 

*Note: To use the Ravelry links, you will need to be a member of Ravelry and signed in.

I leave you today with just a few more photos of this lovely scarf!

Busy, Busy, Busy!

•July 10, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Please note:  Some links in this post go to, so you’ll go to the right place if you are already signed in on the site.

It feels as if I’ve been busy, but not accomplishing much of anything!  One thing that I’m sure that I’ve been doing is co-captaining Team Bob for the recently renamed, “2012 Ravellenic Games.”  I’m glad that our team is laid back and significantly smaller than it’s been in years past!  (If you are looking for a team to join, of course, Team Bob welcomes new members until just before the Games start on July 27, 2012, so feel free to join our fun!)

I decided that my personal goal will be to finish the Alpaca Gansey sweater that I started knitting sometime before August 2004.  It’s about time, don’t you think?  I’m not committing to any other projects during the games this year, and am wondering if I can actually complete this long-languishing sweater in the two weeks of the Olympics!

(Please focus on the sweater in the photo above, rather than the mess of boxes on the floor behind the dressmaker’s dummy!  Fortunately, my life is much more orderly than it was when I took that photo soon after I joined Ravelry!)

I have found the project AND the pattern booklet, and have set them aside!  Most other Team Bob members have decided on their projects, so we’re all in pretty good shape!

Mass cast-on for the 2012 Ravellenic Games will begin at 9 p.m. London time (that’s GMT + 1 hour).  In my part of the world that is 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon.  Now, isn’t that the perfect time to sit down at a sports bar, order a beer and pick up my knitting?  😉  I’m imagining the looks I might get from other Olympic spectators!

Anyway, If you’d like to calculate when YOU can begin working on your Ravellenic Games project(s), here’s a link to a Time Zone Converter.  And there’s a countdown clock at the top of the sidebar!  See you at the starting line!  😉

Yves Saint Laurent Retrospective

•June 12, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Before too much time passes, I want to tell you all about my most recent trip to Denver with a good friend.  The primary purpose of the trip was to see the Yves Saint Laurent Retrospective Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum.

The exhibit covered Yves Saint Laurent’s work from the end of his time working under Christian Dior in the late 1950s and early 1960s through his final show in 2002.  Throughout his career, his designs pushed the boundaries of women’s fashion – from the military and nautically inspired designs of his early career to the later, extremely colorful work inspired by his visits to Morocco.

We could tell while looking at the vast number of pieces displayed, that there was a perfectionism, meticulousness and attention to detail that may have been unrivaled.  The seams and top stitching details were always in perfect alignment, which is both inspiring and daunting to imagine achieving.

I didn’t think about it before stepping into the first gallery of the exhibit, but considering the fact that I am in the planning stages of a travel wardrobe for a trip to Europe in the fall, the timing of our visit to this particular exhibit was perfect.  I came away with ideas for garments and design details that I hadn’t expected to glean.

For the most part, the exhibit was laid-out chronologically, until the piece de resistance, which was the last gallery.  You entered this room to be confronted by a two walls of mannequins attired in tuxedos from every Yves Saint Laurent collection… Three tiers of mannequins, one after the other!  Astounding!  The tuxedo was one of Yves Saint Laurent’s signature pieces, and every collection included a new interpretation.

Wall of Tuxedos
Photo by A. Guirkinger/© Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent, Paris

After trying to absorb every detail of the tuxedo collection, we turned to see a vast array of every color and style of ball gown, with mannequins in various poses on a sweeping red staircase.  Yet another awe-inspiring room!

The final piece was a jeweled heart (“Le Coeur”) that was worn on the runway, by the model wearing Yves Saint Laurent’s favorite piece during each season’s show, to identify the “heart of the collection.”

This was a truly inspiring exhibit of a incredibly vast and complete body of work, and because I felt so inspired, I decided to purchase the rather large volume that includes a catalog of the exhibit.  No buyer’s remorse about the expense, since there were definitely dresses and pantsuits and tuxedos that I want to remember, and what a wonderful opportunity we have living so close to one of the three cities in the world that have an opportunity to host this Retrospective.

The Yves Saint Laurent Retrospective Exhibit is only showing in Paris, Madrid, and Denver, so if you are in the US, and have the opportunity to visit Denver before July 8, 2012, I highly recommend visiting the Denver Art Museum (and be sure to make reservations ahead of time!  😉 )

We Interrupt the Apron Project for a Quick Home DIY on Clotheslines…

•May 30, 2012 • Leave a Comment

When I bought my first house in 1993, there was a clothesline in the back yard – between the back door of the house and the garage.  I loved having a clothesline, so when I had the yard re-landscaped, I asked to have the clothesline moved to the narrow part of yard on the south side of the house (between my house and the neighbor’s).  My house was red brick and nothing would grow in that strip of side yard except weeds, so I decided to have the area beneath the clothesline covered with river rocks.  On that clothesline, in that location, under those conditions, laundry dried in a flash!

I moved from that house in 1999, and have missed that clothesline ever since.  Immediately after living in that house, I lived in a basement apartment of a friend’s house, and she didn’t have a clothesline.  Then I bought a home in a home owner’s association which didn’t allow clothes lines.  After selling that house, I moved into a tiny house with a tiny yard in the older part of town, where a clothesline never quite worked or I never quite worked it out, but I did often gaze longingly at the clothesline in the back yard across the street.

Now, I live in the house next door to the tiny house and I still don’t have much of a yard, but am still dreaming about a clothesline.  So last year, I purchased a Home Essentials Sunline® Umbrella Style Clothes Dryer (1600) from the Downtown Ace Hardware store.  This clothes “dryer” came with a sleeve that is meant to be “planted” in the ground.  (You can see a photo of the sleeve on the Home Essentials’ page for this dryer; it’s the gray tube in the last image.)

A friend told me that he put the sleeve for his clothes dryer in a 5-gallon paint bucket filled with QUIKRETE®.  I don’t know if he dug a hole for the bucket first, or after he filled it with QUIKRETE®, but he told me that the bucket is in the ground.  There really isn’t a good place in my yard to “plant” my clothesline, so I got a little more creative.

I happened to have a 5-gallon paint bucket, and a round mesh patio table with a hole in the center for an umbrella (although I don’t have an umbrella at the moment).  The bucket fits perfectly under the table.  Image

I decided to put the clothes dryer sleeve in the bucket with river rocks around it holding it in place.  Image

I put the bucket under the table and slid the pole through the hole in the center of the table and into the sleeve in the bucket.


I also have some sand to put in the bucket, but the bucket seems heavy enough with the rocks.  The table, however, may need some sand bags to keep it from tipping over, which it did after the wind came up while there was laundry on the line today, so I guess my clothes dryer is a work in progress.  I am still thrilled, however, to be able to take advantage of the intense sunlight to dry my laundry!

Edited to add:  The top of the sleeve is lower than the top edge of the bucket, so when the clothes dryer pole is removed, the bucket can be covered to prevent rain or debris from collecting…  I should have drilled a few holes near the bottom of the bucket for drainage.

Katinka’s Apron Project: Introduction

•March 26, 2012 • Leave a Comment


For a while, I’ve had a vague plan – just an idea, really – to host a party with friends to make aprons for ourselves.  If you’re reading this blog and are not one of my close circle or if you live in another part of the world, I encourage you to gather a group of your friends together to have an apron making party of your own.  I’m planning a series of blog posts about sewing aprons, patterns, books with apron patterns, fabrics, etc.  I hope it will be fun!!  😉

The idea of this party comes up with some members of my knitting group from time to time.  There has been a trend in the last few years of resurrecting crafts that were popular in days gone by.  Melanie, of A Sewing Journal, wrote about this in a blog post on Sew Mama Sew in June 2011… quilts, embroidery, aprons, etc.  And then there’s the Retro trend among sewing and knitting bloggers, Tweed Run cyclists, etc.

Historical Context:

While helping my mom clean out a house that my grandparents bought in 1959, I came across several “vintage” cotton aprons in a dresser drawer.  They had been my grandmother’s, and when I asked my mom if I could have them, she told me that my grandmother had really used them to protect her clothing.  My grandmother always dressed “just so,” so I can certainly imagine her wearing aprons to protect her dresses while in the kitchen.

I brought five aprons home with me more than a year ago, and finally the other day, I photographed them.  (Please excuse the wrinkles!  I should have ironed them before the photo-shoot! 😉  )  Included in the collection of my grandmother’s aprons that I came home with were: 2 “half-aprons,”

Two full aprons,

And one full apron that can be folded to work as a half-apron.

I particularly like the striped, chevron apron with yellow rick-rack trim, but there are practical and/or design details that I appreciate about each one.  And I suppose that I have an appreciation for the textile history as well as the domestic history that are represented by these aprons.

Do you have an apron to two that belonged to your mother, grandmother, or great-grandmother?  What kind of stories do they bring up for you?

More contemporary aprons will be the subject of an upcoming post!

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