The Sweatshop of Love Blog

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June, 2011

The Mysteries of the Body Necklace Revealed

So I’ve been talking about these body necklaces I made for Renegade Brooklyn over the past few weeks but I hadn’t gotten around to doing a photo shoot to show them off until last week when I put them in my Etsy shop.

Without further ado I give you THE BODY NECKLACE!

Body Necklace Style

You  may recognize this Built By Wendy Mini Dress I made last May! It’s a great dress for a body necklace because it’s got a high neckline and is A-line, so works great with a belt.

Here is the body necklace worn as a body necklace – tied around my neck and around my waist like a belt AND a necklace!

And From the Back

I made long ties so each end ties comfortably behind your head and back. This is a size small, which fits up to a 36″ waist. There is a lot of tie left over! Size large has longer ties to fit up to a 56″ waist.

Body Necklace Belt Style

Here it is tied around my waist like a belt! Pretty cute belt, right? It’s a little less adventurous than the Body Necklace style but just as awesome.

Body Necklace Necklace Style

And if you want to just add a little jazz so an outfit, you can tie it around your neck and wear it as a necklace! The ties can be tied for a long necklace, like I’ve got here, or for a shorter necklace.

There you have it! It’s a pretty versatile piece of jewelry. And lucky for you they weren’t remotely popular in Brooklyn so as you can see I’ve got a ton in a bunch of different colors in my Etsy shop.

HUGE Etsy Shop Update!

I was a busy bee last week updating the crap out of my etsy shop with a ton of new merchandise after a very dismal showing at Renegade Brooklyn.

Daisy Chain Necklace

Included in this update are my new kits! My first ever crochet kits, they are the Daisy Chain Necklace and Ruffle Bracelet.

Ruffle Bracelet Crochet Kit

Just like all my kits, these new crochet kits come with everything you need to put together these beautiful pieces of jewelry.

Both kits come in blue and yellow and you can check out all four new crochet kits in my etsy shop here.They are also available to buy already made and ready to wear!

Red Hello Sailor Knot Necklace

Also available are a ton of different colored finished Hello Sailor Knot Necklaces that are ready for you to wear without having to do any work! I added a Hello Sailor Knot Necklace knit kits in different fun colors, too.

Knot Bracelet

I added a bunch of these cute knot bracelets to the shop in a ton of different colors!

Bow Headbands

MORE! I added a bunch of my fun bow headbands that are ready to wear on your little head!

Cable Change Purses!

I knit up a few of my cable change purses in the same fun colors everything else is knit in and they are pretty much too cute for words.

Baseball Lining!

A little purse with a masculine edge! I got this adorable baseball fabric from Lily and just new it had to make purse lining.

The Sweatshop of Love Tote!

And I’ve got tote bags! Yellow or natural, these fun, screen printed yarn totes are hot!

I’m sending out a newsletter tomorrow with a coupon code for free shipping on all items in my shop so be sure sign up for my newsletter! Subscribe in the box to the right, or email me at allyson[at]thesweatshopoflove[dot]com to get the coupon.

Thanks so much for your support!

Knit Along Week 5 – More Body!

We’re knitting these sweaters in different directions – the Make Up Your Mind tank starts from the bottom and works its way up. The Loop Entrelac Tank, on the other hand, starts at the straps and works its way down. This week both sweaters are meeting in the middle! We are at the same spot in both sweaters. Kinda fun, right?!

This is a tricky week for both sweaters, so we’re going to take it nice and slow. Be sure to email me or chat on the forums if you are having problems or if something isn’t clear. We can do this!

Make Up Your Mind

ahandfuloftime's Make Up Your Mind!

And last but not least, we’re tackling the fourth band this week in the Make Up Your Mind tank, and the Hindu Pillar stitch is the trickiest panel we’ve tackled so far. Quite a few of you have been looking ahead in the pattern and already bulking at these instructions, so let’s just take it punctuation mark to punctuation mark, easy peasy, and get it right.

Stacie's Make Up Your Mind!

This Week’s Make Up Your Mind Goal: Work the fourth band. This involves the 3 st cluster, described in the Pattern Notes section on the front page of the pattern. Let’s take it even slower:

Jessica's Make Up Your Mind!

3-st cluster: Julie’s instructions on the pattern are in bold, my notes follow.

P3tog but do not drop sts from left needle – So just like you would normally, swing your yarn to the front, put your right needle into the next three stitches purlwise, wrap your yarn around normally, and purl together those three stitches, but make sure you stop before you slide those stitches off the left needle.

k same 3 sts together but do not drop from left needle –  Swing your yarn around between your needles to the back of your work, just like you’d do if you were switching your yarn from the front to the back between purl and knit stitches. Go back into those three stitches as if you hadn’t before and knit them together without dropping them from your left needle. You know have 2 sts on your right needle and that cluster of three stitches on your left needle.

p same 3 sts together again and drop from left needle – Swing your yarn again between your needles to the front of your work, just like you’d go back to purling after knitting. Go back into those three stitches as if you hadn’t before and purl them together. You now have three stitches on your right needle and those same three stitches on your left needle. When you drop those three stitches from your left needle, your stitch count won’t change because you’ve worked three stitches into three stitches.

Max Holding Sarah's Make Up Your Mind!

I was working on this yesterday and this stitch is hard on my hands. My best advice would be to keep your stitches in round 1 really loose, so it’s easy to move your right needle in and out of the stitches, then tighten them up in round 2 when you are just knitting.

Rachel's Make Up Your Mind!

Take these instructions step by step, punctuation mark to punctuation mark, and make it happen! It won’t look like much until you finish round 2, but it’s actually a really beautiful stitch! One I hope I never come across again.

At this point we’re still 2” longer than what the sweater suggests, so work your Hindu Pillar stitch until your sweater is work measures 12[12, 12, 14, 14, 14, 16, 16, 16] inches from your cast on edge, and work your garter stitch rows.

Next week we’re separating our front and back sections! Get ready!

The Loop Entrelac Tank

Max Modeling Sarah's The Loop Entrelac Tank!

Tummy panel! It doesn’t get much cuter than that. We’re getting a start on the front of The Loop Entrelac Tank this week and finishing it for Week 6. It’s built right onto the pieces that we’ve already completed, as is the rest of the pieces we make from now on, so take instructions like, ‘seam as you go’ to heart! This is how you’ll get your sizing. There are no more stitch counts in the entire sweater pattern! Good and kinda scary, right?

Stefanie's Entrelac Tank!

This Week’s The Loop Entrelac Tank Goal: Knit about half of your tummy panel. This should be all of your increases and a couple inches into the front body of your top.

Seam the bottoms of your entrelac straps together, as pictured, and pick up your stitches for the tummy panel from there. Increase a bunch of rows as instructed, and seam up one side to your boob flap. Keep doing this until the increase section of your tummy panel matches the length of your boob flap. Switch to working your increases every 6th row for a few inches more. No pressure! We’ll finish this panel next week.

~~~

So there’s lots of new things this week, but we’re tackling them together so it’s ok! I’ve been on the forums like a hawk so keep posting questions and pics there! Email me and tweet me, too!

Good luck and happy knitting!

Knit Along Sweater Update and Western New York Love

This week I’ve been sharing vacation pics from our long road trip last week! We started off in Brooklyn for Renegade, drove north to Boston for a few days, and hit up Cooperstown on our way to PT’s family cottage in rural Western New York.

View of the Cottage from the Pond!

This little house has been in PT’s family for a really long time. His grandparents, who lived in Rochester NY, which is only about an hour and a half north, came here every weekend for like 50 years.

Me Sitting on the Porch

My favorite part of the house was that huge porch, and we spent the majority of our 2 days there sitting on the porch, watching for crazy wildlife – like badgers!

My Porch Chair, with Knitting

All I wanted to do was relax and knit after our hectic pace over the previous week, so I jumped ahead on both knit along sweaters.

Linen Rib on Make Up Your Mind

This Linen Rib section of Make Up Your Mind is one I was not looking forward to at all. All that slipping and yarn turning didn’t sound fun, but I actually really liked this stitch! I got in the groove and it actually knit up really fast! So what do I know?

Two Boob Flaps, Two Straps

And speaking of knitting up fast, these boob flaps on The Loop Entrelac Tank I knit in about 3 hours each. They look pretty tiny! But I’m trusting my pattern. Since it’s mine I’m even less confident than I usually am! I ALWAYS second guess myself when I’m following my own pattern.

That pic was taken from the coffee table on the inside of the cottage, where we were not alone.

Our Friend the Deer

The men in PT’s family are big hunters, so we had lots of company while staying at the cottage. Just looking out for us!

Growing up in Michigan, deer heads were a focal point in many houses, but I certainly had to get use to him WATCHING ME.

Our road trip ended with a 17 hour drive straight through to Minneapolis, which was one of the least fun days ever. Through Ohio and Indiana? Easy. Through Illinois? Not so much. Chicago traffic was, well, Chicago traffic, on top of construction all the way to Wisconsin and we were not happy campers. Those last 4 hours to Minneapolis were brutal, and we vowed never to get into another car again. 5 days later and we’re still honoring that promise!

Thanks so much for reliving our trip with me this week. Things don’t calm down from here! An impending niece birth is right around the corner! We’ll be sitting in that car for another road trip soon.

Hand Knits at The Baseball Hall of Fame

Did I go to The Baseball Hall of Fame last week with the intention of writing a blog post about knitting? Absolutely not. But when you love two very different things, like baseball and knitting, you tend to freak out when those things unexpectedly overlap.

So fair warning: this is a real freak out baseball knitting love fest.

New York Giants Warm Up Sweater

The Baseball Hall of Fame is in Cooperstown NY – a tiny town in the middle of the state that just happened to fall not too far out of our way between Boston and the cottage we were driving to last weekend. We couldn’t NOT make it happen!

At the start of The Baseball Hall of Fame it’s a lot of memorabilia from the few baseball teams that have been around since the late 1800s. The New York Giants, who didn’t move to San Fransisco until 1958, were one of those original teams, so the start of the museum was Giants-heavy, including this spectacular knit warm up sweater, which still looked to be in pretty awesome shape considering it has to be around 80 years old.

Yankees Warm Up Sweater

This Yankee warm up sweater from 1925 hasn’t held up as well but looks very hand knit, doesn’t it? The way the sleeves and pockets are set in? There was no information on either sweater about their origins, and I couldn’t find any information about the history of hand knits in baseball online.

Knit Stockings

There were tons of knit stockings from every early team displayed, including these White Sox stockings from 1917.

Babe Ruth Mini-Tapestry

Though not knitted, this mini-tapestry of Babe Ruth caught my eye. Ray Masterson creates these tiny baseball tapestries with 1,200 stitches per square inch. He started making them to pass the time during a 15 year prison sentence! He’s got a crazy story and is a great example of baseball crafting.

Embroidered Jerseys

The elaborate embroidered jerseys everyone had in the early baseball days were all amazing. None were as detailed as the early St Louis Cardinals jerseys. Again, I couldn’t find any information on the history of the embroidery on the jerseys. In my next life I’m going to be a hand crafted baseball historian.

Once you walked up through the 1950s, though, most of the knitwear disappeared. Which makes sense! I can’t imagine anyone playing baseball in knits. Its a summer sport! I bet all the players were excited to see the back side of knitted garments.

Hand Knit Socks!

THEN toward the end of the museum I came across these hand knit socks made by Meredith Wills, who I FOUND ON RAVELRY and sent a gushing HOLYSHITYOUAREAMAZING message. Because this knitter is in the freaking Baseball Hall of Fame! For knitting! I immediately put this sock pattern in my queue, momentarily forgetting how much I hate colorwork and mostly seriously dislike sock knitting.

Size 0 needles. I would have to frame them. Or, I would have to frame one of them because if I ever cast these on there would be no way I could finish one, much less TWO! Gah. We can dream.

In my baseball knitting research I did come across knitting patterns for baseball warm up sweaters available on ebay! Those are more my speed.

The Tigers!

My pictures weren’t all knitting related. I did geek out over my Tigers a LOT. And PT geeked out over the Twins. We were both geeking hard core from start to finish.

RIP Harmon

It was basically the best time ever. Baseball has such an amazing, rich, long history that I just want to suck up through my pores. As much as it hurts me I keep coming back, and will for the rest of my life. And all that love also involving knitting?! Tears were shed. Tears were shed.

Needless to say, if you ever find yourself driving around New York state, make your way to The Baseball Hall of Fame. If not for a love of baseball, do it for a love of the history of knitting. And bring me with you! I’d go again in a heartbeat.