Sunday, November 30, 2014

Weekend Project: Upholstered Storage Bench

(Jordynn writing) 

I've had this bench in my living room for a while, and unfortunately it got chewed up by my puppy, Cooper. This weekend I decided to make it over for additional playroom storage. 

Here's the before: 

And here's the after: 

The fabric was from my stash. I also used this fabric for a DIY Boppy pillow, shown in these nursery pics

I used the directions from this blog post and pretty much muffled my way through it. Since I'm even lazier than the blogger who wrote up those directions, mine is much less neat underneath and on the inside. You can see that the parts around the legs are a bit lumpy, and I also half-assed the tubular part that goes around the sides. Somehow my measurements were way off and my sewing machine was not cooperating, so I just took in several inches with one seam and called it a day. That means the seams don't line up with the edges of the bench, but I figure the main person who will be using it is P. and she won't care. 

All in all, not a bad use of an afternoon, I'd say! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Free Pattern: Seagrove Coffee Cozy

A few weeks ago, I bought this cool ceramic coffee mug at the local co-op.

Made by a local potter, it's perfect for my new resolution, which is to spend less on coffee by making it at home. So far, so good, except for one thing: it got too hot to hold. 

That's where this simple knit coffee cozy comes in. 

This was a quick little pattern I made up using some leftover worstedish grey yarn. Let's just say it is some grey Paton's Classic Merino (but really, who knows). It won't matter much for the pattern--just pick something worstedish and some size 8 dpns or two circulars (for the double circular method, which is what I used). 

Tada! Now I can use my beautiful cup. I named the pattern Seagrove after the town in North Carolina--Seagrove calls itself the "handmade pottery capital of the United States." If you ever get a chance to visit, you should. After checking out the displays at the North Carolina Pottery Center, you get a map and drive around the rural countryside, stopping in at the shops that interest you and chatting with the potters at work in their studios.

The stitch pattern in Seagrove echoes the crystalline structure of ceramic clay (on the right):

So, without further ado, here is the pattern.

Seagrove Coffee Cozy 


Size 8 needles - 2 24' double circulars OR dpns
Small amount of worsted yarn (about 50-60 yards)
Stitch marker
Needle for weaving in ends


Cast on 36 stitches.
Divide evenly over dpns, or for double circular method, place 18 stitches on each needle.
Place marker.
Join to work in the round, as follows:

Round 1-3: *p1, k2; repeat from * to end of round
Round 4: *p1, ktbl in the second stitch on left needle (leaving st on needle), k the first stitch, pull both stitches off needle; repeat from * to end of round

Repeat rounds 1-4  until coffee cozy is the desired length. (I repeated the stitch pattern five times).

Repeat rounds 1-3.

Bind off in pattern.


Weave in ends.
Put your coffee cozy on your favorite mug, brew some good coffee, pour and enjoy!

Cast on for this project at Ravelry!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

What did we miss?

(Jordynn here)

You may have noticed that, collectively, our output here at Knitty Professors has diminished over the past few years. If you look under our Books page, you'll see why: together and separately, we've been writing a lot. In addition to our new co-authored textbook, we've written single-authored manuscripts, columns in Slate and other publications, and online guides of various sorts. Not only that, but we now have three children, have moved three times, and have started three new career roles between us. Knitting time has to be worked in between laundry, playdates, and our mutual obsession with dystopian/fantasy fiction.

But we seem to have come up for air, at least temporarily, as a number of big projects are wrapping up. So what did we miss over the last, oh, two to three years? What have been your favorite projects, patterns, knitting books to come out?

One thing I've noticed as I've had the chance to hop back on Ravelry, for instance, is that I'm drawn to a different silhouette. Maybe it is due to my post-baby body, but I'm loving the slouchier, boxier sweaters like Princess Fiona, Ease, and pretty much everything Joji Locatelli has been designing lately. Four years ago I was in love with Fitted Knits, but now I'm dying to cast on for some of these looser sweaters to wear with tights and skinny jeans. It's all about the positive ease.

So I have a few questions for those of you who have been paying attention for the past few years.

Are superchunky knits over? I feel like my love for chunky cowls (like this one that I wore to the State Fair )has not abated, but is that no longer a thing?

And is everyone still obsessed with knitting triangular scarves?

What's the new Clapotis or Central Park Hoodie--the pattern everyone has to knit?

And what else is new, knitting friends?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Fall Renewal

(Jordynn here)

For many, spring is the season that best represents renewal. But for us knitters, autumn is the time we find most rejuvenating: a time for new projects, new yarn, and another chance to break out our favorite knits. Here at KnittyProfessors, we are celebrating fall with a refreshed blog design.

This fall also marks a renewal for Katie and I, as we are finally finishing up a monster project that has been in the works for over four years: our textbook, How Writing Works. With this project done, we'll be able to cast on (hrr hrr) for some new endeavors.

As we near the final stages of this project and a few others, I finally have a few hours to sit down and take stock of some knitting projects that have been on hiatus for a while. My cat, Leo, graciously offered to help model.

First up is the Fisher Queen. I've been looking high and low for years for a top-down, in-the-round Fisherman's sweater pattern and finally found this one by Jennifer Dassau. I can't believe it hasn't been knit more often. It calls for bulky yarn so I'm using some Paton's Classic Wool I had from a frogged project, held double.

The construction is neat: you start with two rectangular shoulder saddles and then knit down from there, eventually joining to work in the round. I'm finally finishing up the body of the sweater, and just need to finish the arms and neckline. Hopefully I'll be done in time to enjoy it this winter--if more deadlines don't derail me. 

Check out my Ravelry page for this project here

The other project is a design I'm working on for a toddler Fair Isle sweater. My designs often come about when I'm looking for something in particular and can't find a pattern that suits. In this case, I wanted something colorful that my daughter can wear on top of a variety of different outfits, and I thought polka dots would be a fresher take on traditional Fair Isle. Here it is so far, with Leo modeling it as a cowl. 

Did I mention I have the most patient cat ever? 

And here's the lovely view out my back window.