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.
Pure Romance Cash Bag
Original Pattern by The Gypsy. Feel free to share, but please do not sell the pattern! Thanks!
In Indianapolis on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, you have the awesome opportunity to be able to go to the zoo with free admission when you bring a canned food item. Given that today was the coldest day in two years, I decided to forgo the zoo trip and knit something. This super simple pattern will make a fabulous cash bag for my Pure Romance business, or a super cute little clutch for your afternoon out. Enjoy!
CO: Cast On
BO: Bind Off
RS: Right Side
Size US 11 knitting needles
A: One Skein Dark Grey
B: One Skein Bright Pink
(Or whatever colors your stash is begging you to work with)
Buttons, Velcro, Bows, or whatever you want to use to help the bag stay shut and look pretty.
With A, CO 40 STS. Knit 4 rows. Switch to B.
With B, K 2 rows. Switch to A. With A, K 4 Rows.
Switch to B. K4 rows. Switch to A. K 4 rows.
Switch to B. K6 rows. Switch to A. K 4 rows.
Switch to B. K8 rows.
Switch to A. K 8 rows. Switch to B. K 4 rows.
Switch to A. K 6 rows. Switch to B. K 4 rows.
Switch to A. K 4 rows. Switch to B. K 4 rows.
Switch to A. K 2 rows. Switch to B. K 4 rows.
Holding strands A and B TOG, BO.
Weave in CO ends. (Both yarns)
Thread needle with both strands from BO. Weave ends through the end stitch from BO row to end of 18th
row. (End of 3rd to last B stripe) (You are just trying to camouflage it.)
Lay piece flat with RS up.
With CO edge, fold first 3 A stripes away from you. This will be the opening flap.
What is not folded is the bag.
Fold this section in half and seam. Flip RS out. Add any buttons, velcro, bows, etc- whatever suits your fancy to keep it closed and make it pretty.
Browsing the patterns online, in books and on hooks in the yarn stores it is hard to notice that household crafts are a major trend right now. Not only trending in patterns, knit and crochet items are also on displays in stores everywhere. If you feel lucky you might consider buying a lottery ticket, playing bingo or you can just read on and try your hand at one of the following projects.
Here are a few basic knitting patterns to help your household projects come to life!
With size US 4 needles, Cast On 40 stitches. Knit 2 rows. On row 3, knit 1, knit into front and back of next stitch, knit to end of row. Repeat row 3. Work 16 rows in stockinette. Repeat row 3. Repeat row 3. Knit 2 rows. Bind off and seam.
Increase pattern as needed to fit vases, flowerpots, mugs
Dishcloth frenzy is huge right now. There are hundreds of patterns out there. To make a basic cloth, simply cast on anywhere from 35 to 50 stitches on size 7 needles. Work in your favorite stitch. Lace and illusion patterns are great for decorative cloths, and stitches like garter and seed will be better for scrubbing. Just work your piece until it is at your desired length.
Important note: Be sure to use a machine washable yarn. I LOVE cotton yarn for dishcloths!
Increase pattern as needed to make matching hand towels, dish towels, and decrease to make a dusting cloth or seam into a rectangle or try this crochet pattern to make a soap scrubbie!
I love square coasters. Mainly, I think, because so many yarn crafted coasters are circles. To make my favorite coasters, follow the pattern below:
Size US 8 needles
CO 15 sts. Knit 3 rows. On row 4, knit the first 3 sts, purl until 3 sts remain, then knit remaining 3 sts. Row 5: knit all sts.
Repeat the last two rows until piece is almost a square. (Will depend on tension.)
Knit 3 rows
BO. Weave in ends.
Increase pattern as needed to make matching placemats or table runners!
Of course, there are MANY more items that can be made for the home, including reusable shopping bags, holders for plastic shopping bags, pincushions for your craft room, felted bowls for odds and ends, pouf-like footstools, rugs, seat covers- the list goes on!!! What items do you want to see on the pattern share? Leave your ideas in the comments below or email firstname.lastname@example.org !
I’m somewhat frugal and try not to turn the heat on until at least November. Yesterday I broke down and turned on the furnace because it was cold in the house. In Boston we had our first brush with snow this past Thursday, burr!
The market bag pattern created by Gypsy is super easy to follow. I made my two market bags using this red cotton yarn I found. What a deal it was. I paid $4 for a giant spool of yarn at my local Walmart.
It’s perfect for the bags I’ve made so far. What else does a person do with that much red cotton yarn? Look for a picture of my bag posted to the Facebook knit-a-long event. I use my bag to carry the other canvas grocery bags I use. It is perfect to then use to carry home the bread I buy.
My market bag has drawn some attention where I shop for my groceries. One woman asked where I got the idea.
Now is the time of year I want some warm wool around my fingers so I’m knitting these Cabled Fingerless Mitts. I found this cool pattern which I downloaded from the Pattern Share page. I will be knitting up these gloves using the American Gothic yarn you can find on the Misfit Knitterz page.
I was apprehensive about using a yarn blend using pistachio, purple, mauve, and olive brown colors. From the description I thought the yarn would be pretty but wasn’t sure. I love it.
I don’t know what I was so concerned about. All I can say is that the American Gothic yarn is absolutely beautiful. How does Michele come up with these color blends?
Look for an email coming soon announcing an end of the year deal on the new Misfit Yarnz page. You should visit the page to see this funky picture slide Mike added which shows all the yarn available in an automated way.
For those of you not subscribed to our Facebook page, allow me to catch you up. On September 1st, we began our Fall KAL, with a pattern of my own design. As promised, this pattern is now available for all Naughty Knitterz, not just those on Facebook. (Though be sure to find us on Facebook! We’ll be starting another KAL soon!!!)
My apartment is littered with knitting needles. I have a single DPN on the desk, a circular needle in the kitchen (not really sure why, though….) and many, many needles in the Clover case in the coffee table cubby. This is not including, however, needles in use, the needles in my yarn baskets, and the needles in my KIP bag. Something definitely needs to change.
I remember buying the Clover needle case. ( http://tinyurl.com/3c7vj7r ) “Finally! I can keep my needles organized!” Haha- wow. If anything, this case has hindered my needle organization. It was great when I first got it- a full three months into my knitting career, when I had maybe five sets of needles. But now that I’ve squeezed as many of the smaller ones into the 2inches by one inch case, but I don’t think I could get another size 2 in if I tried- let alone all of my needles over a size 8. Now that my needles are scattered across my apartment, I think its time to get creative.
The ideas listed in this article are only those of my own- I would love to know what my readers are doing to tame their needles! Be sure to comment and share your tips!
• The quilter method:
o This idea is based on the pattern I found in the Stitch n Bitch Handbook. It is essentially fabric sewn with mini pockets in order of size. Pretty- but not the best if you are new to the sewing machine.
• The excuse-to-knit-something-easy method:
o This method can be quite fun if you’re in need of some method knitting. Cast on enough stitches to give you a knitted width of about 16 inches. Knit with a sturdy yarn in garter stitch until it’s as long as you need. Sew a button on the cast on end and make a loop on the bind off end to give you a way to close it securely. Then, just poke the tip of the needle in about one inch from the edge to where it is under about 3 stitches, then again at the other end to hold it together. Repeat as necessary, then roll up and secure with the button for easy storage. I got this idea from one of my paintbrush kits. This can work for straight needles and circular needles, but you might want to loop the cord of the circs so it doesn’t get caught on anything while rolling.
• The shoebox/memory box/photo box/you get the point method:
o This one is great for people who have lots of storage space and lots of needles especially in the same size. Now, when I say shoebox I’m not talking about the Shape-Ups box or an 8 inch stiletto box. (Though those would work fantastically for circs!) I mean more along the lines of those comfy, cute-flats-I wear-to-the-grocery-store boxes. You can get boxes that are already pretty in the scrapbooking sections of most stores, or you can decorate your own if you don’t like having a bunch of shoeboxes where people can see them (Just paint them with a water based paint or decoupage them!). Make one box for every 2 sizes or so. You can keep sets together with the tiny rubber bands you get for hair, chopstick holders, and attached point protectors for easier access.
• The what-most-of-us-will-probably-do method (also known as the buy it method):
o Just buy it! You can buy pre-decorated boxes, pre-sewn versions of the quilter method, or use an old scarf for the excuse-to-knit-something-easy method, assuming you have a scarf that is wide enough.
Remember- the knitter that organized knitter is the happy knitter. Knit happy!
You know what they: time flies when you’re having yarny fun! Unfortunately, yarn doesn’t always fly as quickly as we’d like. Here are some tips to stick to your 2011 yarn resolutionz!
• Plan Ahead:
o Now, granted, impromptu-type projectz, (i.e. baby items) can’t be planned. But let’s be realistic. We all have those books tabbed with mini-Post-its, odd bits of yarn and Starbucks receipts. Let’s put them to use and plan some projectz out.
Start by making a calendar and designate a date to start the project by, goal finish date, and estimated finish date. Write down the recipient, materials needed, and any notes you have on the project, such as which pattern size you are using. (For example, K3 (4, 5, 6, 7, 9))
• Will Power!!!!
o Once I step into a yarn store, most of my will power- that is to say all willpower not being used to watch my bank account balance- waits outside for me. Before I know it I’ve got lots of soft baby yarn without having a newborn recipient to knit for. (Baby booties are my weakness!!) My goal is to only buy yarn I need for SPECIFIC projectz. “But what about my stash?!” you might say. My response is this: How many storage containers of yarn do you have?
Then you should wait that many months before buying non-project specific yarn. This will not only help you accomplish more projectz in the coming year- it can help with your goals to cut down on spending and clutter!
• Make an Adjoining Resolution:
o Already made a resolution to eat less, quit smoking, or spend less money going out? Keep a small basket next to your comfy tv spot and keep a project or two in it to keep idle hands from the junk food. (That’s one of my favorite tricks!) Keep a couple teensie needles and some laceweight yarn in your purse or project bag to take to work and turn your smoke break into a bookmark knitting break, then donate the bookmarks to a local school or library to turn a habit into something positive.
To save some cash on a bored night, instead of going out to dinner and shopping, pick up something quick and easy from the grocery store and knit along to your favorite movie, sitcom, or podcast. (Netflix has a great package for less than $10 that includes unlimited DVDs and streaming of movies and tv shows.
The iTunes store has hundreds of free podcasts that can be played from any iTunes compatible device, including laptops, and www.hulu.com has plenty of free recent tv shows online!)
Wishing you all a wonderful New Yearz!
Over the past few years, it seems as if everyone is “Going Green”… current proposals where I live have local government discussing proposals to “Ban the Bag”, which would result in no more plastic shopping bags and a five cent charge for paper bags. So, as crafty types, this is a whole new realm to get involved in.
Many people ask, “Well, where can I start?” or “What is a good project to begin with?” Fortunately, there is a simple answer. In fact, it is so simple that it is easy to overlook! We started our household out with washcloths. Yep, an hour to make and a whole two dollars spent for two of them. This is also a great thing to pass along to friends and family – a set of three tied with a pretty ribbon and an organic bar of soap makes a great hostess gift!
Another option which is super popular is the cotton market bags. I’ve found several patterns for everything from a messenger bag size to totes to littler ones specifically for fruits and vegetables. The Lion Brand site has a couple really great patterns and Ravelry is always a terrific source. The thing about these that I really like about these patterns is that they’re customizable for any recipient (or yourself…) and can easily be adjusted in size or in color… just grab a different cotton!
Hand towels for the kitchen and bath, cute little reusable lunch totes, reusable coffee sleeves for those days when you forget your reusable mug, mug wraps for at home instead of using that paper towel, coasters, placemats, napkins. These are all fantastic, easy and decorative projects that are readily available. Look around your home and see what you can find… sometimes the inspiration for your next project may be in the last place you would think – like the top of a bottle of wine!
You’ll notice that a lot of these projects are made with cotton. There is, naturally (oh, yes, pun was intended), the debate between organic and regular cotton. In my opinion, yes, organic cotton is the better choice, and if you can find an organic bamboo/cotton mix, then that is stellar. However, that being said, I don’t like to spend eight or nine dollars on one little thing of yarn that is going to make me one washcloth. Call me crazy. I think the first step is to make products that are reusable and get not only yourself, but your friends and family into the habit of reusable goods as well.
One final thought… local farmers markets and fairs usually have farmers that spin their own wool (and if you’re really lucky and live in the southern part of the U.S., they should have cotton too!). Buy from them! Support your local growers. Not only are you helping build a sustainable local economy, you’re also cutting down on pollutants needed for shipping and manufacture of the mass market goods. Just make sure you are tossing those farmer’s market purchases in the tote that you made!
I recently purchased a wonderful book titled “AwareKnits” by pro knitter Vickie Howell and Adrienne Armstrong (knitter and wife of Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong). Along with dozens of eco-friendly knitting and crochet patterns and tips, there was a fabulous section on Plarn- or plastic yarn.
Plarn can definitely take some getting used to while knitting but its actually fun to make and a clever way to recycle plastic shopping bags. Through trial and error I have some fantastic tips to get you Plarn-ing away.
Here are the supplies you will need:
- Flat surface
- Scissors or Exacto knife, depending on your preference.
- Oodles of plastic bags. More bags = more Plarn!
Try to make your bag as flat as possible and remove the handles. You can keep the handles to use as embellishment or just recycle them. Take your cutting implement of choice and make a one inch cut in the top of the bag at the seam going down. That will be the start of your strip. Cut in a spiral until the whole bag is one big strip (the book compares it to peeling an orange). Remember- the longer the strip, the fewer knots you have to tie.
From there, its just wash, rinse, repeat. Keep your strips in a pile until all of your bags are cut. I know it seems like a lot, but once you find your rhythm you’ll be turning out bags a lot more quickly. Once all of your bags are cut, tie them together. Knot them GENTLY so you do not tear the plastic but TIGHTLY because you’ll be knitting or crocheting with it. Snip the ends off the knots. Once they’re all knotted just ball it up and bada bing- PLARN!
Once you’ve made your Plarn there are many different things you can do with it. The book has a pattern for a bag, but you could do some really stellar art- deco items for the home or some mod or bohemian- esque jewelry. The possibilities are endless, and there are millions of bags out there.
Stitch on and remember to Knit Happy with your PLARN!!!
Red Heart’s Eco Ways Recycled Blend Yarn Review
- 70% acrylic, 30% recycled polyester
- 186 yards, 113 grams
- Machine wash warm – gentle cycle, tumble dry low
Because I make so many things for kids, and living in the Northwest…well, if you don’t use something with some form of recycled fibers people look at you like you have three heads. I saw this yarn on one of my trips to the craft shop for Fiber-fill. The Eco-Ways blend was on sale and I thought, hey I’ll give it a shot.
Overall, not too bad! While it does have a slightly “acrylic feel” to it while knitting, it doesn’t “squeak” or have a rough finish to it when the project is completed. I used this for two different projects (for a child’s ball and on a preschooler’s backpack) and am currently using it on a third project. The yarn is durable and holds up well under washing and drying.
I would recommend this for smaller projects or projects specifically for children – simply because you can toss it in the washing machine without worrying about what will happen to the piece. While the pattern given on the wrapper lists an afghan, I think this yarn might have too rough of a feel upon the completion of that project.
Definite bonuses: inexpensive (around $3), easy to care for, usually on sale! Unfortunately, the colors I’ve seen in the stores are all pretty neutral. The bright colors are only to be found on-line.
I found a really good selection at the JoAnn Fabric and Crafts website: www.joann.com