Sandy Craftalong

I hope everyone is doing well and on the road to recovery post-Sandy. I know that many of us East-Coasters were affected (myself included) and my thoughts go out to all of the families that are still suffering from the destruction that Sandy left behind.

When I stumbled across this project I thought it would be perfect for the crafty readers of this blog. Two NY-based craft bloggers have organized a craftalong to make warm items to donate to Sandy victims. Items they are looking for include hats, mittens, scarves, blankets, socks and sweaters, and these items can be knit, crocheted, or sewn! If you have any time and resources to spare, I encourage you to consider participating in this craftalong. The sooner you can make something the better, as they're hoping to start passing out donations within a week or less. If you'd like to find out more information, click through to this post!

By Nnenna of star-crossed smile

Handmade Knit Wedding Gown

                 Source: via Nnenna on Pinterest

When I came across this image on Pinterest I knew it was too awesome not to share it with you guys! Twenty-six year-old Lydia from the United Kingdom handknit her own wedding gown in order to save money.  According to the article, she tried on a few wedding dresses in stores, but then decided that she wanted to go the handmade route. She was able to create her dress above with about 300 grams of yarn and at least 100,000 stitches- all for under 200 pounds!

I think her wedding dress is really beautiful and I love that it's completely unique- what a great treasure that will be for future generations in her family!

Tell me: What do you think of her knit wedding dress? Did you or would you make your own wedding gown?

By Nnenna of star-crossed smile

Hats for Young Runners

The New York Road Runners is not only a premier running organization for adults, they also offer extensive programming for children. Their Young Runners program is a free after-school program available to underserved communities in New York City. Their Mighty Milers program teaches kids of all fitness levels and abilities how to run or walk a half-mile, two to five times a week.

When The {NewNew} found out about a drive that combined the passion of quite a few of our members namely running and knitting, they were excited to commit their time to knit up hats for some of the neediest participants in the New York Road Runner Youth programs. Modeled by some of our "honorary" members, here are the first hats about to be delivered to the NYRR.

If this inspires you to donate some of your time to a charity crafting project, check out Lion Brand Yarn's Charity Connection hub where you can find out about charity projects in your community.

Happy Crafting


World Maker Faire: Bring A Bootie - Get Some SWAG

Newborn Hat and Bootie Set Lion Brand Pattern 10117 AD

The Maker Faire, a family-friendly extravaganza that brings together art, craft, science, food, and engineering in shall we say "interesting" ways, will be in town in just a few weeks (Sept. 25 & 26) and The {NewNew} is in full production mode to prepare our booth.  For our project we invite you to stop by and join our retro knitting/crocheting circle. There we will make some booties and hats for newborns at Bronx Lebanon Hospital like the one I just finished. As a reward you'll get one of our fun SWAG bags filled with little surprises for you.

If you need some inspiration, we will be providing patterns by our longtime supporters Lion Brand Yarn, who are also exhibiting at the Maker Faire. Should you want to get yourself into the Maker mindset before the event, crochet or knit a baby item now and bring it to our booth in exchange for some SWAG. Use your favorite pattern or pick one of Lion Brand Yarn's many free patterns on their website. (To access their extensive pattern library you need to set up a password and provide your mailing address). If you would love to make something, but can't spare the time at the Faire, stop by anyway and pick up one of our kits. You can mail your hat to us after the event. And finally, if you wish to destash some of your yarns, we will accept non-wool, good condition balls of yarns to add to our charity stash. And yes, you'll get a SWAG bag.


Today Is Make a Hat Day!

Today is make a hat day! If you have any experience with knitting or crocheting, you can find many resources online for patterns, such as Knitting Central's extensive list seen here.

If you've always wanted to learn how to knit or crochet, but dont know where to begin, youtube is a great resource. Give it a try!

Want something unique for your new hat-making venture? Check out Etsy's supplies section for handspun yarn.

However, if it's all too much for you and you'd rather leave it to others, The NewNew team has some great options...
This brown and caramel beanie from Harlempurls with bow detail is perfect for your child's wardrobe.
Knitting Guru lovingly named this vintage chenille hat, Autumn in New York.And if any babies are in the picture (or coming into it!), NY Crochet has many great choices including custom baby hats.-Michelle / Dirty Loves Clean

Summer Knitting in the City

I have always been a crafter and feel a need to keep busy, especially when traveling. A few years ago, I discovered knitting and found that it was the perfect mobile craft. I was originally self taught from books, but have since discovered that taking classes here in the city improved my skills and understanding of the craft so much more. I learned how to finish a garment, how to choose the right yarn for the right project, how to fix some mistakes... I even learned how to crochet.

Knitting on the subways and buses is such a natural thing to do as a crafter in NYC. All you need is one skein of yarn, knowledge of two stitches (knit and purl), and one set of knitting needles at a time and off you go. Buying and using circular needles made it so easy that I found myself going everywhere with a knitting project in tow. With the circular needle, I wouldn't even bother those who sat next to me with my long needles clicking away. As I knit, I found that other passengers were interested in learning about the art of knitting and would strike up conversations about knitting groups, materials, shops, etc. I have taught more than a few children in the Bronx how to knit on my morning or afternoon commutes to and from the school I taught within and I even began to carry an extra set of needles and scrap yarn in my bag, just in case.

As it got hotter and hotter in the city during the summer months, I found myself struggling to continue with my commuting pastime though. The feeling of wool passing between my fingers warms and comforts me in the winter and fall, but makes me itch and sweat in the summer. Then I discovered the wonders of cotton and bamboo yarns, that are fabulous for summer shawls, baby knits and household knits. These yarns are less expensive than their wool and alpaca counterparts (for the most part) and softer than their acrylic cousins. All of the projects fit nicely into my happy tote and are readily available for every commute by train, bus, or ferry, for every queue that I must wait within, and for every park that has a bench or lawn to sit upon. Heck, knitting is the one craft that is endorsed by America's favorite summer sport, baseball. A bleacher seat is a great setting to knit considering that major league sporting events take commercial breaks and now there are cup holders for your beer. Stitch N' Pitch events are scheduled throughout the world. Check out the schedule for a game in your area.

Summer in the city is also the moving season for most NYC dwellers. Housewarming parties become frequent calendar events. A summer knit project may become that perfect housewarming gift. A set of hand-knit dish cloths are a great eco-friendly gift possibility. Below I have listed several other summer knitting project possibilities. And if you have an iPhone or something of that sort, there are now numerous applications that help a knitter keep track of their stitches and/or their stashes.

Speaking of stashes, when it comes to yarn in the summertime, I have learned that going into the shops and talking to those who work there, asking for advice, and feeling the yarns are the best things that you may do before starting your summer knit projects. Some of the shops that offer a wonderful selection of classes and materials are Purl Soho in Soho, Knitty City on the UWS, and Flying Fingers in Tarrytown, NY. Please check out their websites for details as they offer new classes each month in a wide variety of skill levels and have new yarns coming in almost every week. Also, a couple of the shops mentioned are offering special deals for you lucky readers! For those of you not in the NYC area, they do offer online shopping too!

Knitty City
208 West 79th St
10% discount for all shoppers mentioning The {NewNew} between 7/26/2009-8/26/2009
They will be closed from August 11 - August 16 though.
Look out for their kimono fabrics and handmade papers too!

Purl Soho
137 Sullivan Street
Check for special {NewNew} offers too.

Flying Fingers
15 Main Street, Tarrytown, New York
Offers free transportation from NYC to Tarrytown, NY aboard the Yarn Bus. Check their website for the schedule and how to make a reservation. A great Saturday getaway for the knitter looking to get out of the city for the day, enjoy the Hudson views, and get their knit on.

Marvelous Summer Knitting Project Ideas (with FREE patterns)

iPhone Applications that may make your mobile knitting even easier:
(Links open in iTunes)

Knitting Yarn Calculator
Ewe Stash
Knit Buddy
iKnit Needle Sizer
Knit Counter
iLocate - wool & yarn
Knit Counter Lite

If you love and want the knitted item, but don't care to knit it yourself, then check out the following {NewNew} team members and their beautifully knit items in their etsy shops.

Felt It

Knitta Installation

{NewNew} team knitters by Jonathan Hokklo

On Wednesday evening, the parking meters on Montague Street, in Brooklyn Heights, were transformed from stark grey poles to colorful coziness. The Knitta Please public art project, known as "69 meters" and commissioned by the Montague Street Business Improvement, was installed.

Running late, I rushed to a first floor meeting location in a building adjacent to St. Ann's Church. People's attention and cameras were directed toward the front of the room where Head Knitta in Charge, Magda Sayeg demonstrated how to attach the sleeves to the meters.

Installed with Bike attached

Fellow {NewNew} team members, Kimm of KimmChi, Nguyen of KnitKnit and Lydia of L'elephant Rose were in attendance to install their pieces. Each installer received a clear numbered bag containing their sleeve that corresponded to a numbered parking meter. Kimm headed toward the Promenade in search of hers. Nguyen and I paired up since our numbers were close together. As luck would have it, our meters were across the street from the church. Although one of her meters had a parked blue bike locked to it, Nguyen installed her cozy which features her signature power cord pattern. I installed three, including one created by a friend who could not attend.


Photo by Nguyen Le
Knitta Please: 69 Meters Installation
Originally uploaded by nguyen le

Through out the entire installation process, it was evident that passersby were curious about what we were doing. There were a lot of looks. New Yorkers stopped to talk, to inquire, to ask "What's the significance of this?" These fleeting moments with neighbors, fellow Brooklynites, strangers, and visitors alike, may just be the best part of this project.

The project is expected to stay up for at least 3 weeks. So if you're in the Heights anytime soon, make sure to stop by Montague Street.

Click here for more photos.

Red Bridge Studio

Knitta Project: A work in progress

On a summer-like day in April, I headed to open craft night at the Etsy Labs. I came with a project in mind: a parking meter cozy. That's right. Even parking meters need love as they collect your quarters. The meter sleeve is one of 69 for the the Knitta Please project commissioned by the Montague Street Business Improvement District. For more info read Knitting for the Streets.

I'm an occasional knitter with more projects started than completed. With an impending deadline for the project installation and a strong desire to participate, I decided to see this through. Craft night would be the perfect opportunity to get things started.

On my list of things to bring were needles and yarn. Although initially missing in action, I managed to find the biggest needles I own, size 17. The yarn would come from a scarf, the first knitting project I ever completed. I spent my time on the train unraveling 2 skeins worth of yarn. Shortly after arriving at the Labs, my project was underway.

Scarf yet to be unraveled

Unraveled yarn from scarf yields 2 skeins

Several {NewNew} members are participating in the project, including KnitKnit and Kimmchi. They were both in attendance on Monday, making for a lively craft night. KnitKnit graciously provided some scrumptious chocolate pear bread. YUM! Most of the knitters participating are from the New York area. However, word has arrived that member May Luk has secured 4 sleeves all the way from from San Franciso.

Since craft night, I've been knitting on the train. Bigs needles require ample elbow room. So I have to be careful not to elbow someone or take an eye out with my needles. I'm more than halfway done and look forward to submitting it. Stay tuned for an update on the installation on Montague Street.

Knitting Stash on the train

- Red Bridge Studio

how to knit cable

When I see knitted goods with cable pattern, I automatically feel warm & fuzzy inside. Or think about drinking heavily because it reminds me of St Patty's Day in Rockaway. Anyway it looks like it will keep you warm in the cold winter months. I was however, scared to learn. I thought I couldn't handle it. About a month ago we were in VT, perfect setting to try. And surprise! I didn't need a magical elf or a pint of Guiness! So here is a how to, this is just directions to get you going . It's a swatch of cable so you can test out your skillzz before applying to an actual pattern.

Since it's just practice, all you'll need are:
*any size needles you like (but a size close the your cable needles would be best)
*cable needles

Cast on 18 stiches. Row 1: purl 6, knit 6, purl 6. Row 2: knit the knits and purl the purls.
Row 3 is where you will learn to cross the stiches over. Purl 6, take the next 3 stitches and slip them onto a cable needle.

Let the cable needle slouch away from your work and knit the next 3 stitches with your regular needles. Be sure to pull that first stitch tight, don't be afraid to finagle things.
Then knit the 3 stitches that are on the cable needle, pull tight, don't forget to finagle.

YAY!!! That's all it takes! So now you'll think of it like this: the pattern is 6 rows long so for rows 4,5 & 6 you will knit the knits & purl the purls. *Don't forget to keep track of rows on paper.

After the 6th row you start over: rows 1 & 2 you knit the knits and purl the purls and row 3 is where you cross over to the dark side - oops I mean cross over the stitches. Too much Star Wars. Do this as long as you like, I find knitting to be so relaxing..........


Baby, It's Cold Outside :: A Baby Leg Warmer How-To!

As a mom of a ten-month old, it's very tempting to keep my daughter in her pajamas all day during the winter. Pajamas are easy. They make diaper changes a snap. They keep her warm. But what about all those cute dresses and long-sleeved onesies lying dormant in her clothing baskets? Will I be forced to tell Aunt Edna that I never got around to putting my daughter in that awesome dress she gave us at our baby shower because it was too cold (or, ahem, that I was too lazy)?

Thankfully, there is a solution to this age old problem that I'm sure is plaguing all of us at night. Baby legwarmers are the solution to style, comfort, and ease in these cold winter months. They don't have to be removed while changing diapers, and they keep chubby baby legs toasty and protected. They look really cool with a dress. You will definitely be labeled as the cool mom.

The pattern for baby legwarmers is quite easy, and you can easily use leftover yarn (you will need about 40 grams total). Just a small caution: this project requires small knitting needles and fingerling yarn, so progress might be a little slow. But rest assured, the end product is well worth the work!

Baby Legwarmers (fits babies 0 - 18 months, maybe longer!)

1 set of US #2 double-pointed needles
Fingerling yarn in two colors (I used Lanette Superwash in Peach and Mauve. You can make 2 sets of baby legwarmers if you alternate the colors.)

1. Cast on 60 stitches in Mauve, making sure stitches are loose
2. Distribute the stitches evenly on three needles (20 stitches per needle) and join in a circle
3. Knit 2x2 rib for 1.5 inches
4. Switch to Peach yarn and do straight stockinette stitch until 5 inches long from cast on
6. *K5, K2tog and repeat from * to end of round
7. *K4, K2tog and repeat from * to end of round
8. Knit straight for another 2 inches
9. *K3, K2tog and repeat from * to end of round
10. Switch back to Mauve yarn
11. Knit 2x2 rib for another 1.5 inches
12. Bind off
13. Repeat for other side

Stay warm!

Windows of Agate