Thursday, December 25, 2014

Gifts for your knitting friends

Have you been so busy that you forgot to get gifts for your knitting friends this holiday season? I am doing a promo where if you gift a pattern before new years I'll send you one too. Not to worry if you already have the gift pattern, substitutions are OK.

Just keep in mind that this is not an automated Ravelry sale and there may be 1-3 days lag time to deliver your PDF.

If you have the pattern that you want to gift, tell me ASAP so you can get what you want in time

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Zipper Scarf

The Zipper is a unisex sideways knit scarf with a unique ripple pattern. Inspired by the dots and curves in Aboriginal art, the wave motif provides a great foundation for any color combo. It looks great in dark colors or brights, making it bold or subtle. This pattern inspired a lot of graphics and animations when I was exploring color combos, but I'll stay on topic and post them later.

This pattern uses stacked increases and decreases for the colorwork. This means that it is

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fiber friday: Medieval book repair, indigo, and morre indigo.

1. Medieval books were precious and expensive, but the parchment they were written on was not always pristine. You can read about the way these books were patched to turn ugly imperfections into colorful art as historian Erik Kwakkel  studies these examples.

2. Don't think too little of that old pair of jeans. Indigo is an amazing and historic dye which creates that signature blue color.

3. no text, just more indigo. I'll be starting an indigo Dying vat soon  (the kind you don't have to pee in) and there's urine in old style indigo BTW.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Star Pattern

These stars are a fun way to learn stacked increases. You may have seen these in the Fox Paws or Solarita patterns and wondered how they work. You can use these fun stars to practice stacked increases before jumping into a more complex project, or just make them because they're a lot of fun.This technique can be used to create lobed edging, flame stitch motifs, and shaping. Stacked increases are worked by slipping stitches back to the left needle to work them again.

Learn to use stacked increases

If you've learned how to work a stacked increase in my first article and possibly tried making a Star, you're ready to come up with your own patterns that use this unique stitch. This article is going to focus on how to adjust the height of your stacks  and go over some of the math. It is a lot like how you change the height of a stacked decrease.

How to do a stacked increase

There are so many people interested in knitting the Petal Cowl and Fox Paws, but not all knitters like to jump into a project with new and uncommon stitches. I've put together this article, a video tutorial, and a free pattern to introduce the fundamental increase that makes these patterns work.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Learn to use stacked decreases

If you've learned how to work a stacked decrease in my first article and possibly tried making an oak leaf, you're ready to come up with your own patterns that use this unique stitch. This article is going to focus on how to adjust the height of your stacks  and go over some of the math. Don't worry, it's not too hard.

Learn to knit stacked decreases

Some knitters have been asking about stacked decreases lately. In response, I've put together this article, a video tutorial, and a free pattern that uses this technique in a few ways.  Since publishing my Petal Cowl and Fox Paws patterns, there have been many emails from knitters asking whether they're interpreting the pattern right or wondering how I took these stitches and put them together into a pattern.

I'll go over the basics of how to do the decrease here, then, in the next article, we'll move on to some design tips.

Oak Leaf Pattern

The Oak Leaf is a fun little introduction to stacked decreases. This technique can be used to create lobe shaped edging, flame stitch motifs, and shaping. Stacked decreases are worked by slipping stitches back to the left needle to work them again.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Phillip Frond's sweater

Those of you who follow this blog may have noticed that there was no Fiber Friday this week, that's because I was at New York Comic Con for the day. I decided to cosplay Mr. Frond, the guidance counselor at the Wagstaff School from Bob's Burgers.

In case any of you want to do this for Halloween, I'm posting the lettering chart here.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Fox Paws and Color Choice

If you're one of the many people who has started knitting Fox Paws in the last few weeks, you know that there are certain advantages to using 5 colors of yarn. They generally look good because there are so many of them. In any case, the questions have been coming in about what to pick, how I picked my colors, and how to arrange them in the best order.  I'm posting this to show a bit of color theory and process behind my decisions. I'd like to encourage all of you to add some advice that you have for other knitters as well.

How did I pick my colors? Let me explain.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Fiber Friday: Couture beading, knit glass, and organic embroidery

1. Tambour beading is a type of beaded embroidery often seen on couture gowns. If you have never heard of it, check out this blog post showing examples and finished works. It even has a link to a YouTube video showing how it's done and a class in the technique.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Fiber Friday: Hand dyed yarn, Woven photographs, and Making traditional ikat fabric

1. YARN, everyone needs more. If you haven't already heard of Ball and Skein you need to go look at their colors. Above you can see the beautiful sea foam, shiny silk yarn

They will have a booth this weekend at The Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival but do other events all the time. Follow them on facebook to see other events  or 
Go visit them at the fair:
Washington County Fair, Inc.
392 Old Schuylerville Road, Greenwich, NY 12834, USA

2. IKAT PRINT FABRIC If you like Ikat prints and want to know how the patterns are traditionally made this is a fascinating article from Getting Down To It. In this article,  they show all of the steps of making a real Ikat print, it's not like any other fabric.

3. WOVEN IMAGES - This is a lot like ikat for the digital age. Artist Lala Abaddon weaves different images together to create one single, merged image. Her work is bright, textural, and somehow spans the wide distance between craft and digital art. You must go to her website and see some of the closeups of these woven pieces.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Knit Season

Happy Fall, from Sept. 22-29, all patterns in the Xandy Peters Design Ravelry store are 20% off with coupon code knitseason

That includes all new patterns which can be knit in heavy weight yarns for winter.

You’ll also find some free patterns as well.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fiber Friday: Wild Knitting, Tattoos, and Fascinating Fashion

Starting this week, I'll be listing my favorite 3 awesome fashion, fiber, and textile links that I found this week.

So here they are -

Field Trip: Lion Brand Retail Store

Last weekend I took a trip to the Albany area. The trip included a stop at the Lion Brand Retail store in Colonie, NY. If you like Lion Brand or live in the area, this store is worth the trip. It's one of the only places to see nearly all of the yarns and colorways that Lion Brand has to offer including clearance and discontinued items, new yarns, and a few small batch products that are only carried in their retail and factory stores. Any knitter, crocheter, or general crafter can find something there.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Foxpaws pattern notes

View the full size image to get the hi res version for printing.
A pdf of this file is available as a download if you have already purchased the pattern.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Knit Tips: Weaving in ends as you knit

I love knitting stripes and using different colors in my knitting, but I HATE sewing in ends. To avoid all that extra finishing work, just these simple directions.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fox Paws

It is somewhat painful to keep a secret that is very exciting. It is also somewhat painful to be halfway through a project and to find out the burning sensation in your mouth and nose is caused by said project. Today I can gladly announce that Fox Paws, a new flame stitch pattern, is now published after months of secrecy.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

So, I make stuff


Not sure if you all noticed, but something changed over the weekend, that's right, it's the name of this blog.

The work is getting to me is now known as So I make I have made the change for a few reasons. Nobody remembered what I was called, the name was so long that it couldn't be used as a twitter handle, and most importantly, I don't talk about homework or work anymore, rather, I show you what fun things I do when I'm not working.

All of the old links will continue to work, the only difference is the name of the website. Over the next few weeks you may see some cosmetic changes, but also a lot more regular updates again.

I'd be attending to such changes now, but I've got deadlines to meet for work first - so yes, it does still get to me.

Thank you for visiting in spite of the construction,

Sunday, August 17, 2014

☠ chromatose ☢

I got this yarn on impulse, thinking that maybe it would make a decent sweater. The idea of entirely unique skeins made from mill ends is really wonderful. I want to make a bunch of these just to group skeins into sweaters. I am looking into getting this yarn direct from the mill in Michigan to make some machine knit sweaters for retail!

Machine Knitting Trip Part 2: Knitting

The 2 day intensive machine knitting course at the Textile Arts Center in Carroll Gardens was incredibly informative.The instructor, Mandy Kordal, Really knew her stuff, using a combination of demos and one on one instruction to make sure everyone was able to grasp the basics.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Machine Knitting Trip Part 1: Shopping

Last weekend, I took a very sudden vacation to New York City to take a machine knitting class at the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn.

A while ago a generous person gave me a knitting machine to use, but after a year of improperly installed sponge bars and jammed carriages, I knew that I needed help. I found a knitting machine class on tumblr and found that it was relatively easy to get to. Immediately, I found that my mother wanted to share a hotel room to reduce the commute time and so we made plans.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Guest Post: How to Shoot the Moon

These days we hear the term "Super Moon" all over the place. What does this mean? To me it is a great opportunity to get a good photograph of the moon. Scientifically in astronomy it is called a perigean full moon,that is, a full moon closely coinciding with perigee – the moon’s closest point to Earth in its orbit. The Moon follows an elliptical path around Earth with one side ("perigee") about 50,000 km closer than the other ("apogee").  Full Moons that occur on the perigee side of the Moon's orbit seem extra big and bright. On August 10th it becomes full during the same hour as perigee— making it an extra-super Moon.

Everyone wants to capture this photographic experience for themselves. Unfortunately, photographers are often disappointed because the pictures capture only a bright white dot on a black sky and no detail in the moon.

I will break down step by step how I get good results. If you have a DSLR camera this information may be basic but I want to make sure I share all of the important information for all levels of learning.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Making friendship bracelets with swarovski elements

Since it's summer again, I've started making some friendship bracelet videos again. The latest one has some extra bling added in the form of a Swarovski crystal cup chain.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


I was thinking of the sun, margaritas, and very warm, autumnal shawls when I designed this crescent wrap. I'm even cold in the summer sometimes. Especially after dark, or in late August when the weather starts to shift. Thinking of the summer sun setting as I sit outside with friends, chatting and watching the sky change color - this is when I start to shiver and look for something warm like the sun.

So I drew up a shawl like the setting sun in my sketchbook. It has a bold border with triangles and finger-like fringe. I found another use for my crazy stripe stitches that did not need color changes to show up. 

Surprisingly, the finished shawl looks almost exactly like the drawing, That rarely works out so well.

The yarn is Brooklyn Tweed Loft, a very springy yarn with bright flecks of orange and green undertones.

The best part is that it matches my favorite (only?) formal dress. No more cheap ugly cardigans or cold arms.

If you are interested in this pattern, you can check it out on Ravelry or buy it here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Petal cowl pattern

A while ago, I made a post about some swatches that I was developing into patterns. Well, today I am publishing the first of my crazy stripe patterns.

Petal is a cowl designed to highlight the color shifts of a self striping yarn. The stich shapes are inspired by flower petals, fish scales, and vintage crochet afghans. A great summer knit, or a cold weather project when made in heavy yarn. A unique stitch is used to create an extra long chevron motif which set this cowl apart.

Finished Size: 10” (26cm) wide and 40” (100cm) around.

Yarn: 1 skein of Noro Taiyo Sock (shown in color 59), Silk Garden Sock or 462 yards of self striping fingering weight yarn. Gauge can be adjusted to work with any weight yarn.

Needles: Size 5 (3.75mm) 32”circular needles, or size needed to obtain gauge.

Gauge: 36 sts and 18 rounds in patt = 5 x 5” (12.5 x 12.5 cm) square.

Other Materials: 1 marker, sewing needle, pins, damp cloth, and iron for blocking.

Instructions are for fingering weight yarn, but are adjustable for any stitch count or gauge. I cannot wait to make this in Kureyon for winter.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

spinning extra fine yarn

My mother got a new camera with the ability to take extra sharp video. We did a little quality test showing a close up of my hands drafting fiber while spinning. Some quality was lost compressing the video for internet, but you can still see the individual merino fibers as they are drafted into a threadlike single.

There are already a lot of spinning videos around, but hopefully this one is sharp enough to really show how the fibers twist together. HD quality can be selected and you will see the hi res video best full screen. Please leave feedback, we would both like to know if the video is high enough quality to be interesting now that it is online.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Mother's day sweater

Last year, for mother's day, I gave my mom sock yarn gradient dyed in her favorite colors.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Connecticut Sheep and Wool festival 2014

Last year, about 2 months after getting into drop spindling, I was able to convince my mom to come with me up to a fiber fair in Vernon CT. This year, it was decided that we are turning this into a tradition. CT is a small state that doesn't quite fit into one cultural region, I live in an NYC suburb, but the upper part of the state has farms, sheep, and Red Sox fans (or so I've heard).

The vendors at the wool festival tend to be from all over New England with a few NY and NJ vendors. It is worth visiting purely because these people are just so incredibly friendly, helpful, and overall amazing. This year's weather wasn't awesome, but the vendors are mostly in 3 barn structures, so rain is not a big issue. My mother took some pictures, I was way too busy shopping and learning about fibers to stop and document.

I got a batt at this stand in wool and firestar. I also picked up a cool one for a friend that couldn't make it to the fair. I am looking for the info on the ladies who made these, it will be posted later.

I saw a friend that I made last year, she owns Blue Button Farm and had these super cute turtles in great colors.

He will show up a lot in the future.

I also got a handspun skein from Leslie Alexander and a ball of babydoll roving from rowanwood farm at the same stand. The roving is extremely springy and soft, perfect for woolen yarn.

Alpaca Obsession had a great selection of blended rovings in all sorts of colors, not all alpaca. I got some of these earth tone bundles.

Last, we stopped at the Ball and Skein stand. They have some of the nicest hand dyed colors I have seen.
My mother got this silk wool blend .

 I got bulky wool for a hat, and some lace weight.
I just can't decide yet if these colors should go together to make a huge cozy merino/silk/cashmere shawl. They are sporty and fun, but I don't know what it would look like yet or if I'd rather use them as separate solids. Input is appreciated.

If you live in the area, next year, check out the fair. It is a great place to meet local farmers, spinners, and dyers Including so many that I didn't take pictures of.

You might also like...