As I am sure you have noticed, the hipster movement is going strong. Uncool is cool- retro is in and going against the grain is mainstream. Sure, a lot of hipsters are just into being trendy. Others are making strides in making the earth a healthier and cleaner place to live, and making smarter choices in their own lives and encouraging others to do the same. This guide is your ticket to knitting for your local hipster; be it yourself, acquaintance, friend, relative, child or grandchild. With fun colors and many motifs to choose from, hipster themed projects are as fun to knit as they are to receive.
There are a few things to remember when it comes to hipster knitting.
Rule #1: Don’t give a vegan a gift made from wool. Vegans turn away from animal products, which usually (depending on the individual) includes wool. Organic cotton or hemp yarn is sure to be a hit with hipster projects!
Rule #2: Retro/Vintage is IN! Think 1940s-1970s. If the hipster you know is into rockabilly, think more pinup or Elvis and go with themes from the 40s to early 60s. Go with themes from the late 60s to early 70s for your modern hippie.
Rule #3: Don’t be afraid to mix and match. Technology patterns in vintage colors are extremely trendy.
Rule #4: Choose your project wisely. Handmade is the Bomb Diggity right now, but try to keep personal style in mind.
Hats (especially beanies or cabbie hats)
Gloves- or better yet- mittens! (Yes, the mittens have made a comeback! Especially the kind that have a flap to fold up so you can use your smartphone!)
When it comes to color choices, you will want to stay in the following color families:
For your rockabilly lovers, you’ll want to use reds, black, blues and dark pink. Maybe some darker emerald green, but that will really depend on your recipient.
For some color inspiration, check out http://www.knitpicks.com/yarn-fiber/comfy-worsted-yarn.html
Try Marina, Peapod, Zinnia, Carrot or Lilac!
When picking out the shades and hues, remember that the brighter the better, but neon is not trendy with this crowd. It is ok to go light, but never go to pastel. Your project will look like an oversized baby gift, and will probably not be appreciated.
As for motifs, one of your best friends will be an online chart generator. (Just go to google.com and search for knitting chart generator and choose the one you like the best.) The generator will allow you to upload images (be sure they are saved as .jpg) and convert them into a pattern chart! If you have Photoshop you can even save phrases, words, etc as a .jpg and load them into the generator!
SMART IS SEXY
Vinyl Record Adapter (You know, the little plastic thing that goes in the middle of your record so you can listen to 33s and 45s.)
Square Glasses (Think Buddy Holly or Rivers Cuomo.)
Old school cameras
Martini glass with an olive (Think 50’s bar, or Alton Brown’s kitchen theme)
Be sure to utilize Pinterest.com for project ideas and to check up on the latest craft fashions in the DIY/Crafts category.
We will never be arrogant enough to assume we put EVERY abbreviation in the yarn crafting world in this chart, but dang it, I think we came pretty close.
If something important was missed, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org !
|**||repeat instructions following the asterisks as directed|
|bo (knit)||Bind off|
|BPdc||Back post double crochet|
|BPsc||Back post single crochet|
|BPtr||Back post treble crochet|
|ch-||Chain or space previously made|
|dc2tog||Double crochet 2 stitches together|
|dpn||Double pointed needles|
|FPdc||Front post double crochet|
|FPsc||Front post single crochet|
|FPtr||Front post treble crochet|
|hdc||Half double crochet|
|k2tog||Knit two together|
|m1||Make one stitch|
|p2tog||Purl two together|
|psso||Pass slipped stitch over|
|sc2tog||Single crochet 2 stitches together|
|sk2p||Slip 1, knit 2 together, pass slip stitch over the knit 2 together;
2 stitches have been decreased
|Skp||Slip, knit, pass stitch over—one stitch decreased|
|Sl st||Slip stitch|
|sl1k||slip 1 knitwise|
|sl1p||Slip 1 purlwise|
|ssk||Slip, slip, knit these 2 stiches together—a decrease|
|sssk||Slip, slip, slip, knit 3 stitches together|
|St st||Stockinette stitch|
|tbl||Through back loop|
|tbl||Through back loop|
|trtr||Triple treble crochet|
|wyib||With yarn in back|
|Wyif||With yarn in front|
|yoh||Yarn over hook|
|yon||Yarn over needle|
|yrn||Yarn around needle|
Since I knit (and crochet) in public a lot, I am often asked why I knit and crochet. The short answer is usually that, “It’s cheaper than therapy and I have socks (or whatever I am working on) when I’m done.” When asked about spinning (I will use a drop spindle in public), the answer is that, “It’s cheaper than therapy, and I have yarn when I’m done.”
In truth, though, I knit and crochet because it’s what I do. It’s what I’ve done ever since my parents taught me when I was a kid. And, yes, I said parents. My mother taught me to knit, but Pop taught me to crochet. (Pop also taught me the joys of geometrical design, but that’s another column.)
Like many craftspeople, I have my strengths and weaknesses. My strengths are my color sense, and my love of textural knitting. My weakness is designing, although I can claim one of the first toe-up sock patterns on the Web (“Deb’s Almost-Easy Toe-Up Sock),” at Socknitters.com.
Currently, my favorite things to knit are socks, shawls, and shawlettes. My favorite designers are many: Wendy Johnson, Cookie A, Vickie Howell, Ysolda, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Mary Ann Beattie, and many others. I have at least five projects going most of the time, and I switch back and forth depending on mood, event I will be at, and whether I can do the pattern from memory, or need a printout or proximity to a computer.
When I am not plying needles or hooks, I am either making beaded jewelry, writing (I’m a freelance writer by trade), reading, walking, or some combination of the above.
I live in Brooklyn, NY, with a roommate and two cats, and I love to show off my city, wander through parks and museums, and try most of the ethnic foods so readily available in New York (Indian and Hispanic are particular favorites).
I look forward to meeting many of you online, and possibly in person if you are ever in New York City.
I joined Twitter last year after swearing I would never, ever participate in something as silly as that service. Bear in mind, I also said the same thing about Facebook. There are several reasons that these types of services can be of great help to artisans.
First, say you are working on a pattern and you get stuck, don’t know what an abbreviation is, or are having a problem selecting a pattern. Head over to your “Tweeps” and ask! This is a great resource for finding new patterns, getting opinions on patterns or yarn that you are considering, etc. I found Cookie A’s Monkey socks pattern in exactly this way.
Second, as a stay at home mom, it is really nice to be able to “chat” with others when I’m sitting at home watching endless hours of kid’s movies and cartoons as I’m working on my various projects. It’s even nicer when these relationships that are developed online transition into the real world. I’ve met several of my knitty tweeps in real life for knit time at local yarn shops, and they are just as delightful in person!
Third, if you are a seller on Etsy, Artfire, or simply in craft shows, social media is a great way to promote your items and what you are doing! Pattern notifications, both for sale and that are listed for free… those postings run rampant on Twitter. Special sales, discounts, and promotions are consistently listed on social media. I’ve found out about huge sales from Lantern Moon and Blue Moon Fiber Arts through these channels and have saved a ton because of it!
Finally, it can result in great opportunities both for individuals and businesses. I have made enough connections that I will be working with a dyer and spinner in the future with her new business that she is starting up! I’ve always been computer savvy, but was late to the social media game. I am so excited to say that I have embraced it whole-heartedly, and I wish more crafty types would do the same! It really is a great networking tool, and can be used as much or as little as you like.
We have all had those times where we want to knit or crochet, but we just don’t know which project to work on. So many lovely patterns out there but sometimes it is hard to find one to start working on. I can’t tell you how many times I have sat down wanting to knit only to get frustrated because I just couldn’t find my knitting mojo.
It wasn’t because I didn’t want to. It wasn’t because I didn’t have patterns or yarn. It was just because I couldn’t find the inspiration that I needed. Where can someone who has lost their mojo turn to? There are many different places and resources available.
The most readily available resources most of us have are knitting books and magazines. There are so many to choose from. Most libraries have at least a few knitting books. Sometimes beautiful patterns can be found in the most unlikely books or magazines. As far as magazines are concerned though, don’t just flip through looking at the pictures. There are so many wonderfully written articles about all different aspects of crafts that it can really get those creative juices flowing.
As for those of us that are a little more comfortable with the wealth of information that is available online, there are many resources there as well. There is everything from craft related blogs, to different types of online communities. The possibilities are endless when it comes to the internet. If you have particular yarn you want to use, no doubt there is a website for that yarn that you could gain inspiration from. There are even podcasts to listen to.
You don’t have to have an iPod to listen, just download it to your computer! They are like little radio programs about all sorts of different topics. I put knit in the search bar and there were so many to choose from! I was hooked instantly. I now have more than I could possibly ever listen to in a normal amount of time, because I like to go back and listen to all of my favorite podcasters episodes.
Imagine, getting to listen to someone talk about their achievements, difficulties, and general yarn journeys! Plus I can listen to them when I can’t have yarn in my hands.
Besides books, and the internet, the biggest thing that I do to keep track of my inspiration is to keep a journal. I write down everything. I make lists and notes constantly. I write down websites that I enjoy, blogs that I read, patterns that I love, and sometimes even notes on patterns that I am working on. It is meant to be something that I can look at to spark creativity when I am not feeling so creative. Having a knitting journal can also be really helpful in keeping my thoughts somewhat organized, even though there when there is no rhyme or reason to the order in the notebook itself.
And I can take it with me anywhere I go so if inspiration hits me when I am out, I can write it down and save it for later! Everyone has things that inspire them more than others and surrounding yourself with those things can really help find your knitting mojo.
Also, check out the other Gypsy Knitterz column posts for more tips and tricks on keeping you fiber projects organized and finding your knitting mojo.
There are many ways to approach knitting. Making finished objects, making hundreds of swatches to learn various techniques and knitting for the process.
I love a beautiful hand knit project as much as the next gal (or guy). I really do! I have three sweaters on needles, a pair of slippers begging to be sewn together and felted, a pattern waiting to be typed and yarn for about ten other specific projects calling my name. I am a process knitter. What’s that? I knit because I love the action of knitting and not for the contentment of completing finished pieces.
When I knit I become part of what I am knitting. It is a movement and a flow. The knitting itself is the point, not the finished product. It is about a connection I get to a project. It’s about the satisfaction I get using my hands to create something. A kind of satisfaction I don’t get from my creative industry job. It is a break from the sterility of computers and the perfection they give.
I have a short attention span and always get bored with a project long before it’s done. Including hats. After I have experienced the best there is about a pattern, I am ready to move on. I usually finish hats when I run out of short circular needles and need them for another project that I so very much need to knit.
My aversion to getting to the end of a project might be because of my deadline driven professional life. Sometimes it’s just nice to create and not have the pressure hanging over the process. Sometimes I feel I should be creating better goals for myself and try to finish more of my projects. I’m afraid that by doing this I will taint my pure connection to the act of knitting. I will turn knitting into a task that is always looming.
So, I will continue on my path to knit with every type of fiber that I can find followed by an attempt to learn as many techniques and stitches along the way. Maybe, just maybe, all of this will end up in a higher project completion rate for me. Maybe it won’t and I am ok with that too.
I am certain I’m not the only knitter out there who knits for its calming effects. I hope I am not the only person who knits just to knit and not to make a finished work piece.
People often marvel that I’m able to complete as many knitting projects as I do. I didn’t think I was knitting all that much and then I started to add up what I’d gotten accomplished. From August until now I’ve finished over 50 items!
I haven’t always been this accomplished of a finisher but deadlines and a desire to push myself has proven very helpful. However, my strategy of being a stern, whip-bearing task-master, may not work for everyone. I’ve come up with a handy list of five ways to finish more knitting projects.
Have a “project” bag you can take with you - Be sure you’ve got either a purse big enough to carry your project or a designated “project bag” you carry with you everywhere. This way you can knit while in line at the post office, while others are driving, while waiting for a child’s ballet class to get finished, etc. An extra five or ten minutes here and there will get you closer to your goal of finished knitting projects!
Keep it simple – This can mean knitting up a pair of stockinette stitch socks, letting self-patterning yarn do all the hard work for you or it could mean ribbed scarves. Figure out what you can knit blindfolded and let that stitch or project type dominate your “to knit” list. If you love to knit scarves then knit scarves. You can give them to everyone for the holidays. Don’t force yourself to knit items you’ll stress about and won’t enjoy!
Make it small – If you take a close look at the projects I’m finishing not one of them is large-scale. I don’t knit many sweaters and if I do they’re of the baby variety. Much of my knitting is hats, hats, hats. Many are for the One Hundred Hats project but I’m also getting into the habit of knitting hats for everyone around me. I’d love to be known as the hat lady passing out hats all year ‘round to friends, loved ones, and even strangers! By keeping my knitting small I’m able to bust through projects faster!
Keep a list – I find that I get more knitting done when I write out a list of what I’d like to accomplish. This works great around the holidays, or if you have several birthdays arriving at once. My “holiday knit list” has been a life-saver this season – I don’t have to wonder what’s next to make, I just consult the list! I’ve got everything from One Hundred Hats projects to gifts for friends and family added, so I’ve just been working down the list, one project at a time!
Set BIG goals – Sounds strange to “make it small” and “keep it simple” and also to set big goals but not to me! Deciding to knit One Hundred Hats was a huge goal and one I entered into quite lightly to be honest. I arbitrarily picked a number and a time-frame. It has really changed my life. I find I’m more goal-oriented now. I’m constantly thinking about my “main things” and I’m focusing my life around something I’ve become extremely passionate about.
People have asked me what I’ll do if I don’t make my goal. All I say is, “But I will make it!”! That’s the only way I’ll allow myself to think about it. Setting this challenge is forcing me to focus. My thinking about the best way for me to use my time has pushed me to not only knit One Hundred Hats but a lot of other items too.
Maybe you don’t want to set as big a goal for yourself. Whatever goal you set for yourself be sure there’s a bit of danger to it. You know, “Can I really do that?” …and remember to always enjoy the ride!
This is a witty documentary called The Manly Art of Knitting. Here is an interesting video about men who enjoy the fiber art of knitting. Although Naughty Knitterz currently has no male members (as of the posting of this video) we keep hoping for a few guys to join our circle. We created the category “Guys Only” for just that reason. This video is proof that there are men who knit. We just don’t know any personally. We’ll keep trying!
Here we go with the second half of our Knitting A Baby Sweater post. Hopefully you’ve completed part one and you’re ready to finish your sweater.
Now that you’ve got the yoke of your sweater done you’re ready to start working on the sleeves and the lower body. As tricky as some of these instructions may seem I promise they’ll go just as fast as the yoke part of the sweater.
First up is dividing for the sleeves and body. What I love about a pattern like this is that you knit the sleeves in the midst of knitting the body so there’s truly no seaming to be done. According to the directions you knit through the first 22 stitches and then put them on a spare needle, a stitch holder or some yarn. For this I just leave the stitches on the needle. Once you start working on the sleeve it’s pretty clear which stitches are which and then you don’t have to futz with any extra tools.
Follow the directions for the sleeve: knit a row, purl a row, continue along until you decrease. You already know how to do this thanks to the first half of the sweater! Then knit seven rows in stockinette stitch. Bind off to the last stitch leaving the loop free for seaming up the sleeve.
It should look something like this:
Now fold the sleeve in half, as seen in the photo below, with the right sides together. You’ll be grabbing a crochet hook (I use size “I” for this) to slip stitch up the sleeve. To slip stitch in crochet, insert your hook through one stitch on either side of the sleeve and wrap the yarn around the crochet hook, from back to front.
Pull the hook (with the yarn wrapped around it) through all three stitches you now have on your needle
and you’ve got yourself a slipped stitch!
Continue like this all the way down the side of the sleeve, until you come to the armpit of the sleeve. You should have one stitch left on the crochet hook and see a bit of space between the needles and where the arm should join the sweater.
To get rid of what will end up being holes in the armpits I simply pick up a few stitches before I move on. This isn’t in the instructions but it helps get rid of those holes that will otherwise show up and we’ll get rid of those extra stitches later on!
To pick up stitches, simply insert your right needle into a free spot between it and the sleeve. Do this twice and then slip the stitch off the crochet hook and onto the right needle.
Pick up two more stitches between the sleeve and the left needle (using the right needle again) and then knit across the back stitches. Repeat this same “sleeve making process” for the other sleeve and finish knitting across the row.
The rest of the sweater is easy! You simply knit a row, then purl a row, until the sweater is long enough that you want to add the bottom edge on. If you want to get rid of those four extra stitches under the arms simply knit two together four times around each armpit on your first knitting row after adding the sleeves.
The bottom edge of the sweater is simply a few more rows of garter stitch which should seem like a cake walk compared to all the new stitches you’ve now mastered. All that’s left is to weave in the ends and you’ve got yourself a great new baby sweater!
Now if you’re anything like me you’ve already gotten addicted to it and you’re about to cast on another!
Don’t forget to make one or two and donate them to your local hospital – the babies will thank you! You can also send your sweater to the Knit for Needs charity and Meridith will make sure it gets to a baby that needs a warm sweater.