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!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Love Letter Day

I'm not the biggest fan of Valentine's Day - a fact I commemorated in video last year. I think it's silly to devote only one day of the year to loving somebody. So while I've long ago removed the pressure or need to be romantic on February 14th, I've decided it's not a bad idea to use today to celebrate things I actually have taken for granted the rest of the year.

While I'm not a fan of heart-shaped chocolate boxes (really, those chocolates are so nasty!), I am a huge fan of love letters. In the age of Facebook and texting, the love letter might quickly become a lost art, so why not celebrate today with a love letter, a written by hand on actual paper love letter. It can be written to anything that you love but take for granted. In fact, I've chosen a rather unconventional recipient for my love letter today and wrote it in my journal for safe-keeping. I've transcribed the letter below because I'm thinking there might be other recipients out there to whom it applies. Enjoy!

To my sweet and lovely Hands,

I am so grateful for everything you do for me.

I love the way you squeeze exactly the right amount of toothpaste on the brush in the morning, and how quickly and effortlessly you circle a spoon in my mug to stir my tea, or pinch the edge of a book to turn the page.

With you, I can cook dinner for a friend, or plant a tree in the garden, or draw a silly picture, or knit a scarf to keep me warm. You don't just make all these things easier, you make them possible. So thank you.

I promise to protect you from the cold and wind, to keep you safe from knives and scratchy things when I can, and nurse your wounds when I can't, to wash you with sweet smelling soap and pay extra money for the good moisturizer instead of the cheap kind, and to give you breaks and let you rest when you are tired. Mostly, I promise to stop taking you for granted and to tell you more often, as I'm telling you now, how amazing you truly are....

Your Brain

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Webbing a Web

I've been working on a spiffy new official website for Neeka Knits!
The kind with the plain old thing going on, instead of a You know what I mean. 

Because I'm always up for a challenge, I'm creating it myself! Yay for skill acquisition! So far, this is what you see on the home page. I think it does a good job of explaining where I'm at....

Monday, January 30, 2012

Lacefield Boot Toppers

Remember when I said I had some new designs to share? Well, this isn't quite a new design, as much as it is a new addition to an already existing design family. But I love them nonetheless. Please welcome the Lacefield Boot Toppers, a new member of the Lacefield Collection!

In addition to mitts and headbands, the "lacefield" pattern has now found itself on these cute little legwarmers, perfect for peeking out of your nicest pair of boots, like the lovely Frye Veronica Shorties I have on in the picture above. As a fellow Shorty, I feel a lot of love for these boots, even if I don't wear them as much as I should in the winter.  So I knit up some extra special friends to go with them! 

These leg warmers keep your calves cozy, while the tight fit shows off the pretty lace. I especially love the contrast of the feminine lace with some nice rugged worn leather. 

If you're interested in knitting up a pair of these for yourself, you can find the pattern on the Neeka Knits Etsy Shop....

And as part of their coming out party, readers of my blog can use the coupon code "LACELOVE" when you checkout to get all 3 Lacefield knitting patterns (headband, mitts and boot toppers) for the price of one!