Archive for July, 2011
Taken from WeHeartIt
At school I rarely get the chance to knit or crochet, so I indulge my favorite hobby as much as possible with blogs. Lately, with the popularity of Ravelry, many yarn blogs have slowed in energy and activity. But this creates a Darwinian internet environment as blogs adapt to what knitters and crocheters need – it’s not so much about patterns anymore but, rather, personal voice and pretty pictures. Websites like tumblr make blogging easy for beginning bloggers and aficionados, and, because of this, there are a myriad of blogs available for every possible hobby and fandom – including knitting and crocheting. Below are some of the knitting and crochet blogs I go to for inspiration. You’ll notice a lot of them are tumblrs, and, of the rest, a few have attached tumblers. Some have personality and journal-like entries, and some are just pictures with few musings.
http://onesheepishgirl.blogspot.com/ – With One Sheepish Girl you’ll get the hip inside look into the life of an Etsy knitter. Meredith is college-age and tres chic – even her blog is pretty! Here you’ll find the usual giveaways and personal stories, but Sheepish also has gorgeous pictures, interesting angles, and an adorable voice. Also check out her tumblr (http://sheepishknitcrochet.tumblr.com/) for some vintage knitted Vogue, runway looks, and the perfect amount of inspiration.
http://www.pickles.no/ – Even though Pickles is in Norwegian, the pictures are easy, breezy, and pretty and the patterns have been translated on the website into English. With its cute and pastel style, Pickles is great for summer and spring inspiration. All the knits can be done thick or thin, easily done for all different weather types.
http://textisles.com/ – Suggested by Samantha G., this blog is chock-full of gorgeous landscapes and pictures. It’s up-close and personal about projects. And just skimming through it, I found myself already itching to draw stuff out in my ideas notebook.
http://dramallamaknitting.tumblr.com/ – This knitting tumblr is all about color. Not only will you find pictures of projects and the daily happenings of a yarn vendor, you’ll see paint streaks, cityscapes, National Geographic shots, and COLOR. So much color! After flipping through a few pages of this blog, you’ll probably never buy white, tan, or gray yarn again. As they say, it’s all about Skeinspiration!
http://kdkkdk.tumblr.com/ – Another tumblr, this time for all things handmade. I love this new fashionable move towards handmade; it’s nostalgic and quaint and so cozy. This website creates the “mood” of handicraft so well and the color combinations it displays are easy to recreate through knitting.
http://truenorthcrochet.tumblr.com/ – Crochet! Another Etsy crafter, this blog goes into the knitty-gritty (ack! wrong term!) of making things for her shop. This pictures are in high-definition and the commentary is cute. It’s still new, but I have high hopes for it!
http://knittingfuckyeah.tumblr.com/ – If you don’t mind the expletives in the url, this blog is great for pretty pictures of knitted objects. It’s a hodge-podge of a whole lotta knitting and crocheting stuff. Take a few minutes to wade through it – it’s a little overwhelming how much cool stuff is on here.
It’s almost worth starting an account to save these blogs and pictures – maybe you could be the next tumblr yarn guru!
- Nadya the Intern
July 26th, 2011
Even though it’s been months since the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the country still hasn’t bounced back completely. During my usual perusing of knitting blogs, I happened upon an interesting relief effort – Scarves for Japan (check here for packaging directions and the address to send to). It emphasizes the importance of donating handmade knitted goods to bolster the spirits of those affected in the Tohoku region. It’s so cold here, many froze to death after the earthquake struck. As such, they’re calling for charitable knitters and crocheters to donate scarves, hats, gloves, socks, baby blankets, and baby booties – anything you can make by hand, with love and care, they’ll willingly accept and pass on to those who need them. Though it says scarves were accepted up till January, goods sent after January will still be mailed, rather than hand-delivered, by Scarves for Japan to those in need. Another relief progject, Knit for Japan, also collects knitted donations. It runs a blog that details the donated items they receive from around the world. This site also provides an address to which you can send knitted goods. Both organizations do good and will appreciate your donations.
In addition, there are various private knitters who are still raising money for relief efforts through the selling of knitting patterns and goods. Like Garilynn’s Amigurumi Crane and Kay Gardiner’s Mitered Crosses Blanket, people are still working on designs and projects that will fundraise for relief efforts. And while the efforts have cooled considerably, Japan is still not out of the collective knitting mind.
I strongly urge you to use up your leftover wool and knit some scarves for Japan. Knit your bit!
July 25th, 2011
In addition to the English to Spanish knitting and crochet terms translations that are posted below, I’ve also been working on a few other languages. With the help of knitting goddess Sudha, the Hindi editions of the knitting and crochet term translations have been assembled. I’m happy to say that the Hindi terms lists are now ready for your knitting pleasure and the others (French, Japanese, and Chinese) are almost presentable. Hopefully this will open up a whole new area of patterns for you!
The pdf for knitting terms: English-Hindi Knitting
The pdf for crochet terms: English-Hindi Crochet
P.S. I’m curious to know what you think about these translations. Are they helpful? Are they correct? Let me know!
- Nadya the Intern
July 22nd, 2011
For fearless reporter and gorgeous intern Nadya, attending a craft fair was all in a day’s work, or so she thought… Attack of the Renegade (Craft Fair)!
Honestly, as nerdy as it is, I had been excitedly waiting for weeks (like huge cheesy smile, trying to keep myself from jumping up and down excited) for the Renegade Craft Fair. The email said it was at the Mason Center Pavilion in San Francisco, so my mother, the vigilant life-giver she is, tried her hardest to bundle me up before leaving. My whole family decided to come along, so everyone piled into the car and we set off for The City.
It took a bit to find the place – we drove around the area for a while until we hit (not literally) a whole crowd of hipsters. ”We’re here!” I said loudly and probably in a sing-song voice. We were in the gorgeous Marina Park, right on the bay – it looked like a scene out of Full House.
- Marina Park, San Francisco, Gorgeous California
- On the Sea, O Say Can You See?
Look how excited I was (and how un-excited my brother was – he’s the one in the hoodie):
- I. AM. SO. HAPPY. RIGHT. NOW.
It was nice and cloudy, as San Francisco should be, and our long walk to the pavilion was slightly wet and very windy. When we got there, though, the place was teeming! There were people going in with bemused expressions and hordes coming out, clutching gift bags and posters, smiling hugely and chattering loudly. There were even dogs waddling and skipping between people. One step inside and it was clear I was home. Home among the crafty hipsters!
- It was like this, but for miles.
I jumped from booth to booth, poking at the plushes and handling the handicrafts – everything was so put-together and cute! (I say “put-together” because I have this fear that any time I make something it’ll fall apart as soon as someone touches it.) These were professional crafters; Etsy sellers with their own personalized price tags, banners, and well-constructed store fronts. Gone are the days of macaroni art (unless it’s ironic) and doily Valentines’ cards; this was the real deal. Some of the crafts were so original, and yet doable, that I wished I brought my ideas book along – but then I would’ve been like an art student in the Louvre, you know, crazily sketching in the middle of the pathway.
Here are some cute things I found:
- Wooden cutout pendants – say, have you met Lydia?
- My brother trying on a wooden tie – as my mom says, “You’ll never have to iron it!”
But what got me, of course, was all the YARN! So much yarn and so many knitted/crochet items! I even came across some lovely vendors knitting and crocheting during their down time:
- Better than plastic!
I had so much fun exploring the craft fair, I forgot to buy things! Maybe it’s because I craft as well, but some of the prices for the goods from the fair were a little steep for me – it was all well designed and legitimately creative, but I still could not get myself to spend upwards of $30 for a printed shirt or $40 for a felted plushie sheep. I had a good time walking around, though. There were even free crafting workshops you could take at the back of the fair. I didn’t have time to check these out, but my mom assures me they were properly cute.
The Renegade Craft Fair tours the U.S. and pops up in a whole bunch of cities (I even think it goes abroad to Europe). Check out their website http://www.renegadecraft.com/.
I hope they come back again next year!
- Nadya the Intern
July 21st, 2011
Here it is: give away numero due!
What we have here is a skein of Malabrigo Rasta (super bulky wool in color “Piedras”), a set of double pointed 6″ US 2 needles by HiyaHiya, one US 6 interchangeable needle tips by HiyaHiya, an 18″ cord to go with your tips, one skein of Zealana Kauri (fingering weight, 60% Merino, 30% possum, and 10% silk) [the color is a medium purple - the color didn't show up so well in the photo], a knitting bag by Della Q, and a cool tool by Boye that is a gauge check, and needle and hook check and a yarn and guage recommender (all in one). Not too shabby, eh?
To enter into this give away, the rules are changing just a bit. Instead of writing just ANY comment, please tell us what your favorite non-superwash 100% Wool worsted weight yarn is (besides Cascade 220). It does not have to be a yarn we sell at the store. Just your all-time favorite. Also, you will be disqualified from the giveaway if you enter more than once (ie write more than one comment). I didn’t disqualify anyone on the last contest, but I realize now it will make everything more fair if everyone has the same odds of winning.
Good luck to all! We will be announcing the winner of this contest on Friday, August 5th.
July 18th, 2011
Hey, Rubiers. My name is Nadya Agrawal and I’m the summer intern here at Nine Rubies. You may have seen a couple of my articles here on the blog and I promise more are on the way. I just wanted to give y’all a little background on me.
My grandmother, as it was for many, was the first to try to teach me to knit. I was eight and she was patient. She pulled out her best yarn for me and carefully cast on the beginning stitches. As I fumbled through a row of knit and then one of purl, she looked on and made corrections. By the end of the lesson I was left with a useless, jagged-edged semblance of a square. I was disappointed, but my grandmother was all smiles. That was the beginning. I didn’t really continue with yarncraft for a while after that.
My grandmother's on the far left and I'm in the center
My second run-in with knitting was in the seventh grade when my friend decided she was going to knit herself a Ravenclaw house scarf for the upcoming Harry Potter movie. During class she worked away, using pencils as knitting needles, and after a few days she had a pile of incongruous gray and blue squares. They were mismatched in size and contained different shades of each hue, but she was calm and resolute as she sewed them together. It was an arduous process of fat stitches and ripped out hems. By the end of it, though, she was shining with pride. To me, this was a labor of love.
Through high school, I edged back into knitting. I picked up seriously difficult and fabulous knits and I made them badly. I was so happy my first sweater (which I never wore). It wasn’t until my friends realized that I could actually make wearable and huggable things with all this yarn I was buying that I got serious about projects. I was being plied left and right with yarn and requests for hats, scarves, mittens, and stuffed octopi. So, I amassed my first stash and sat down to work. That Holiday season, around 2007 or 2008, did not have a single store-bought gift.
And now, here I am, a university student about to start my third year and still knitting like my life depends on it. Summer is when I do most of my knitting (wrong season, I know) so I’ve been steadily working through my stash of acrylic blends – I figure I have to sort those out before I can move on to the real stuff. As a college student and a knitter, I feel like I have a somewhat unique perspective when it comes to shopping for yarns – I am on a very strict budget and I want quality. Unfortunately, for years the first condition meant I was often mucking through JoAnn or Michael’s (both fantastic for the frugal crafter) looking for something that wasn’t acrylic but still ridiculously cheap. So, as a university kid, used to scrimping for this hobby, entering Nine Rubies was like, literally, being in a candy store – there’s so much silk, wool, alpaca, and gorgeously luscious and delicious yarns at every turn.
I hope, over the rest of this summer, I’ll be able to write some more and give you a better idea of who I am and what I like. And I hope you’ll let me get to know you – tell me, what was your first experience with knitting?
July 16th, 2011
I’m sure you must be wondering – it’s almost the end of the day on the West Coast already!
Sorry for the delay. We got a big Malabrigo shipment in today and spent hours labeling the skeins and putting them nicely on the shelves (wow, you should see our shelves!).
So, back to the matter at hand! The winner was chosen via a random number generator (namely, this one), and it settled on…..
Congratualtions, Lilian! I will be contacting you via email soon to get your mailing address! And thank you all for entering the contest. For all the non-winners: don’t worry, there is a consolation prize….Giveaway Number 2!
Tune in Monday for the official announcement!
July 15th, 2011
When I’m at school, I stick to a very simple schedule: mild-mannered University student by day, crime-fighting, record-spinning, Bollywood-blasting DJ by night. That’s right, I use my super cool and hip job to play Bollywood music all the time. At school I get teased about my addiction to the sequin city, but I have no regrets; there’s nothing quite like the throbbing rhythms and liquid bass of a good item number. There is such a range to Bollywood – from the classic black-and-white pictures, to the Dirty Harry-esque Amitabh Bachchan 70s, to the big-haired and Madhuri Dixit dancing 90s, to the Karan Johar-driven 2000s – and it’s all completely glamorous. And while the hype around Slumdog Millionaire has dissipated, I know you still love the golds and reds and greens of the Indian Subcontinent. Believe me, it’s a love that never really goes away.
Occasionally, when I’m sitting down for a long (and boring) knitting project, usually accompanied by basic yarns or neutral colors, I wish I was working with something intricate and bright. You know, something rani-esque, like a sari or a headscarf or something else exciting and exotic. My mother has an entire closet of saris, all hung up, color-coded, and cared-for. When I was a kid, I loved running my hands over the beadwork, so minute and exact it didn’t seem human-made. And, even now, at the age of 20, I still love opening her closet to see the lines of magentas, deep greens, striking yellows, and grapey purples. Saris are always richly colored and dripping in beading, sequins, ribbons, or embroidery. To me, there is no disconnect between my mom’s closet full of saris and the shining, smiling, singing world of Bollywood – everything is full of color. It’s enough to make me throw my half-made scarf to the side and long for (like Simran for her Raj) a project that’s challenging and exotic, something that makes me think of monsoons, mangoes, and dance sequences.
And if you’re like me (intrepid, creative, dazzlingly beautiful, etc.), you’ll be interested to know that Nine Rubies has you and your Bollywood fantasies covered! Below are some of my favorite sari-esque yarns and Indian-ish patterns:
Artyarns Mohair Splash – Red with Gold
This stuff is so pretty! With it’s silk-mohair blend, sprinkled with gold sequins and beads, this yarn is absolutely perfect for the Bollywood-inspired knitter. It’s warm and soft and shiny – what else could a Bollywood dreamer ask for?
Tilli Tomas Disco Lights – Jade
The yarn here is completely silk in a gorgeous dark green-blue color. The sequins are tiny and frequent, catching the light in way reminiscent of the tiny mirrors sewn on to Indian dresses. Jade is easy to work with as the recommended needle size is #7 – so this is definitely for the knitter looking for quicker project gratification.
Lemon Squeezy Silk Wrap - by Haley Waxberg
This wrap can be easily done in sari silk yarns or colorful silk blends. With simple stitches and construction that shows of a variety of colors, it screams “filmi!”
Tilli Tomas Disco Lights – Coral Sap
I adore these colors! So happy and cheerful, they remind me the dresses my baby cousins would wear at Indian weddings. This yarn, with its silk make, is great for the high-quality knit, and the pretty orange and pink combination makes it perfect for child knits.
Artyarns Mohair Splash – Burnt Orange with Gold
Like its sister, Artyarns Mohair Splash Red and Gold, Burnt Orange and Gold is gorgeous (must run in the family)! Also invoking South Asian visions of sunsets on the Ganges, this yarn is India incarnate. It’s a silk-mohair blend, and the beads and sequins add a very pretty shine.
Rani Wristwarmers by Katherine Matthews
Actually inspired by Hindi cinema, Rani is a gorgeous pattern with in-built sari-esque beadwork and shine. These would be the perfect compliment for an evening gown or for a touch of extra glitz during the day.
Tilli Tomas Disco Lights – Atmosphere
So elegant and soft, this is exactly the type of color the heroine would wear to an upscale party. I love the silk, and the sequins are small and complimentary. So shiny.
Artyarns Mohair Splash – Emerald City with Silver
Traditional Indian designs are chock-full of greens. So, here’s my favorite sari silk yarn in green! Just like the other two Mohair Splashes, this one is a silk and mohair blend with beads and sequins – this time in silver. This jewel color is perfect for darker skin tones and the silver in the yarn picks up light well.
Gypsy’s Shoulder Bag by Stephanie Shiman
Whenever I visit India, I always pick up a few recycled sari bags. I wear them with everything and I usually get my fair share of compliments for them. This pattern is reminiscent of those bags – a must have for every honorary Desi.
Noro Silk Garden 311
For the knitter who wants a little less busyness in her work, this silk Noro color combination will give you the rich sari dyes and shine without the sequins or beads. I love the blend of greens and reds – almost traditional Indian.
I hope this helps! And to get you in the mood: Laung da Lashkara
- Nadya the Intern
July 12th, 2011
You may have heard this buzz word in the knitting world over the past months, or even years. In case you don’t know already, “yarn bombing” is the term given to the act of using knitting or crocheting as a medium for public art.
Magda Sayeg (aka Knitta Please) is the storied inventor of this art form. In 2005, she decided to knit a cover for a doorknob, and the rest is history. There’s now even an International Yarn Bombing Day! June 11th this year was the first one!
To me, the rise of yarn bombing connotes female empowerment. As knitters and crocheters are mostly women (although, of course, there are male stitchers AND male yarn bombers), it’s a way to bring women into the public art game. It’s also less destructive than painted or pasted graffiti, as it doesn’t do any damage to the item on which it’s placed. I mean, what could possibly be harmful about crocheting a colorful sweater for the Wall Street Bull*?
The exciting part about all of this is that Nine Rubies has convinced one of the authors of the bible of yarn bombing to come pay a visit to our store! Leanne Prain will be spending an evening with us on October 8th from 6-8pm. Her book, Yarnbombing: the Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti is so much fun to read through – we had it in our store, but promptly sold out (give us a call if you’d like us to hold one for you when the shipment comes in).
We are planning to (YARN!) bomb San Mateo’s Central Park. Saloni loved this idea from a Norwegian artist:
Will you help us, please? We have a small stash of yarn at the store that anyone is welcome to use for this project. If you ever have a moment, stop on by, take a seat, some yarn and needles and whip out a flower or two! Below are some simple crocheted and knitted flower patterns, but feel free to create your own. Don’t be confined to knitting and crocheting, either! Sew some togther, weave them(!), whatever floats your boat.
After the installaion in the park is complete, we will be moving it to the store to put on permanent display. We hope you all can join us (and I do mean ALL)!
Simple Knitted Flower (Ravelry)
Lots of Different Flowers (pdf)
A Felted Flower
*Woops, the artist who clothed the bull “gets really upset” if you call her work an act of yarn bombing.
-Written by Samantha
July 8th, 2011
Look Ma! No Hands!
The Nine Rubies staff is jumping up and down with excitement at the newest addition to the store: an electric ball winder! Our biceps are thanking us for no longer having to hand-wind skein upon skein of lace-weight yarn!
In order to honor this momentous occation, we are throwing a party! An all-day yarn winding party! On Wednesday, July 20th, bring in your unwound skeins of yarn – it doesn’t matter where you bought it – and we will wind it for you for free!
For every skein of yarn wound that day, Nine Rubies will donate $1 to Samaritan House, a San Mateo County charity that provides for the needs of low-income families in the area.
We will have some drinks and snacks for you to munch on while browsing our shelves and waiting for your yarn to wind. The party lasts from 10:00am until 8:30pm, when we close (Wednesday is Knit Night, so we stay open extra late). We hope to see you there.
July 6th, 2011