Sunday, December 23, 2012

Etsy Featured Seller!

I'm so honored to be the Etsy Featured Seller this weekend!

Please check out my interview here...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Knit Chandelier Necklace in Creative Knitting Magazine

Meet my new necklace design, just released in the summer issue of Creative Knitting Magazine!  

One of my favorite design challenges is to think of cool necklaces made from typical jewelry materials like beads and chains and translate them into knitted form. As in this bright statement necklace below inspired by vintage-esque costume jewelry....

For the necklace in Creative Knitting, I wanted to do something more feminine and delicate, and so I decided to do a riff on chandelier necklaces and earrings with drooping crystals. 

The yarn (Berroco Seduce) has a great silky sparkle reminiscent of metal, and I love the way the grey blue green color plays off the metal chain. Even better, this design is super fast to knit and great for busting through scraps in your stash. It would make a great little handmade gift. The pattern in the magazine is called "Hint of Decadence," and who doesn't need a little extra decadence now and then? 

Creative Knitting July 2012 is available for purchase here, and at knitting shops and newsstands. 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

5 Tips for Organizing a Knitting Studio

This spring I've been transitioning into a new studio space. I say "transitioning" because the new space is smaller and it's going to require a lot more organization on the intake to prevent it from turning into a giant yarn ball come fall. 

For any knitters out there looking to reorganize their craft materials, here are five tips I've already incorporated into my new studio that I think are great for everybody, no matter how big your stash.

Tip #1: Box It Up!

Divide up your stash into boxes based on fiber, weight, or by project, but keep your boxes small! Don't overstuff them. Take it from somebody who knows -  if you dig into a stuffed container full of yarn, crazy knots and yarn messes WILL occur, no matter how neatly wound it all was to begin with. Using lots of easy-to-peer-into, small boxes, like the boxes arranged below in a dresser with the drawers removed, will save you time in the long run. 
Organize Yarn Boxes in a Drawer less Dresser (from Sew Many Ways) 
Using boxes to divide up your stash not only keeps things organized, but it keeps your yarn safe from "outside elements" (aka. dust, pet hair, odors etc). Wool especially has a tendency to absorb odors, so throw in a sachet of baking soda in each box.

Tip #2: Pin Down Your Scraps!

I've wound and rewound countless small mini-balls of yarn leftover from projects. The reason I keep rewinding them? Small balls of yarn are like small children, they're cute but tend to throw temper tantrums if not handled properly. This ingenious idea of winding your small leftover balls of yarn around clothespins works wonders. Why? The end of each yarn ball gets pinned tight, so you can group them together without them falling apart like a playground full of sugared up toddlers. Bonus, the clothespins make them look even cuter.

Use Clothespins for Yarn Scraps (from Cornflower Blue Studio)

Tip #3: Mind those Ends!

The biggest culprit in yarn messiness can often be those little tiny snippets of yarn that are too short to wind into anything. They might seem like trash to you, but they are actually a treasure trove to the birds outside your window. Keep a pretty bowl or vase wherever you do your knitting or finishing and fill it up with your baby scrap ends (cotton or wool, 3-8 inches long works best). Leave your scraps outside in the winter and spring for birds to use in their nests. I'm not sure if it was the yarn scraps that did it, but I have 2 birds nests in my backyard right now! The little chirps are the cutest!

Tip #4: Look Your Needles in the Eye

If you have the wall real estate, hanging your needles is a great idea. They take up less space that way and something about having them at eye level feels really motivating, like you are picking out tools from a tool shed. Maybe that's not the best explanation, but feel free to give it a try and see if it makes more sense. If you do, I recommend the wall organizers below, especially the easy-to-make circular needle hanger!

Click me
Circular Needle Organizer DIY from Craftster
Organizer from Dapper Toad

Tip #5: Create Stations!

I think I mostly cribbed this idea from a non-knitting-related self help book, but making "stations" for different activities translates really well to the knitting process. 

As a high volume knitter, I've created a knitting "inbox" for yarn for upcoming projects, a "works-in-progress" area for casted on stuff, and an "outbox" for knit up items that need to be finished. Each "box" gets its own station with the appropriate materials. For example, there are patterns and needles with the inbox, markers and scissors and measuring tapes with the works-in-progress, tapestry needles and buttons and such with the outbox. 

If you are a more casual knitter, why not just make one knitting station for all your knitting related goodies? The knitting cabinet below is a great example!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Making Portland Awesome!

Alison at the House of Moss blog (and creator of these adorable felted seedlings) asked me to be a part of a great series showcasing Portland's creative community. I was so honored to be included and share some of my thoughts about our lovely city.

You can check out my interview on her blog, along with the full series of posts with other awesome, inspiring Portland artists.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Grey Lacefield Knits back in stock!

Grey is always a very popular color in the Neeka Knits shop. And I know why! Of all the neutrals, it's my fave - not quite as sleek as black but not as earthy as brown - it looks great with all the bright colors in your wardrobe. And I think we all know how I feel about bright colors.

I've been out of grey yarn for quite a while now, but I finally have some back in stock. Just in time for some lacey knit legwarmers....

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Conceptual Knitting

I've been running into some cool conceptual knits online recently. Like this awesome Sky Scarf project by Leafcutter Designs. It's made by knitting the color of the sky each day for a year! I have a feeling I would end up with a very grey scarf.

Slightly less cozy is this giant knit credit card by Dimitri Tsykalov that is slowly unraveling. If only debt, like knitting, could be erased by frogging.

These projects definitely make me think about what I would knit if I saw knitting as a way to communicate ideas rather than the usual cute, cozy, fun wearables. Maybe upcoming International Yarn Bombing Day would make a good debut for a little knitting installation art!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Circle Time...

With the warm weather a-coming, it's time to start knitting pretty little headbands again. I'm looking to get a good color palette going for summer. Let me know if you have any color favorites!