The Sweatshop of Love Blog

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December, 2012

Holiday Hiatus

I’m off to Michigan tomorrow for Christmas with my family. I’ve promised to not be drunk or hungover. I think, though, that they will wish I was drunk when I show up – the very sad sack that I am.

Mochimochi Land

For now, let’s just think about these hilarious santas! And the 40 greatest dog GIFs of all time. And the 69 most mouthwatering Ryan Gosling moments of the year. And 30 lessons we’ve learned from Amy Poehler in 2012. Merry Christmas FROM THE INTERNET!

Happy holidays, y’all! I hope you are all surrounded by people totally freaking out about how amazing your handmade gifts are. See you in 2013!

Knit Accessories: Essentials and Variations by Kate Atherley – Review and Giveaway!

Knit Accessories by Kate Atherley

Knit Accessories by Kate Atherley

The amazingly hard working and delightful people over at Cooperative Press have recently come out with a new knitting book called Knit Accessories, Essentials & Variations, by Kate Atherley. Kate is’s lead Technical Editor, and a seriously prolific designer – check out all of her designs here on ravelry, and find her at Wise Hilda Knits.

Hat Variations

Hat Variations

In Kate’s introduction she says, ‘Every knitter needs a set of solid patterns for the essential accessories: hats, mitts, scarves, cowls, legwarmers, and socks.’ And that is exactly what this book gives you! You’ve got 13 basic accessories patterns perfect for gifting. But more than that, Kate chats with you along the way about how you can build from these basic patterns infinit variations by switching up the yarn, the stitch pattern, the gauge, and get a lifetime of perfect accessories for you and your loved ones.

TONS of Different Scarves!

Kate also goes into detail about what these variations mean for how much yarn you’ll need, how many stitches to cast on, how to go from fingering weight yarn to chunky yarn, and even into what the hell fingering weight yarn is! Want super long legwarmers? She’s got a formula for how much yarn you’ll need. She’s got size charts for every imaginable head size, whether you want a fitted hat or a slouchy hat. Have a skein of variegated yarn but don’t know how that will look knit up into mittens? Kate will show you.

Mitts for Everyone!

Mitts for Everyone!

Whether you are a beginning knitter looking to get into accessory knitting or a seasoned knitter looking for a rock solid collection of patterns, this book will come in handy again and again. I think especially if you’ve just learned to knit but don’t know how to make the patterns you are finding online work for you, or how to dive into the world of pattern modification, Knit Accessories will answer all of your questions. Kate helps you make the yarn you have work for the pattern you want to make without you pulling your hair out. And no matter how advanced a knitter you are, we could all use some of that.

Socks, Striped or Solid

Socks, Striped or Solid

Snag Knit Accessories: Essentials and Variations by Kate Atherley for $22.95 plus shipping for a PDF and print copy, and $16.95 for the PDF only. Check out all of the patterns on ravelry! But remember that those patterns are only the beginning, and you’ll be able to knit ALL OF THE ACCESSORIES with Kate’s helpful modifications.

Is all of this hitting home with you as you are struggling to finish knitting for this holiday season? Then I’ve got good news for you! I’m giving away a PDF copy of Knit Accessories to one lucky commenter! Leave a comment on this blog post by this Friday, December 21st at midnight for your chance to win. I’ll randomly pick a winner and you’ll have the book in time for a weekend of holiday knitting frenzy!

Tweet this for an extra entry: So excited about @CoopPress’s new book Knit Accessories! <- and you should be, too!

Share this post on facebook for an extra entry, and repin this pin:

And after every social media share, come back here and tell me in a separate comment that you did.

Good luck, knitters!

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Tiny Knitting

Sometimes all you can do it knit very tiny things.

Tiny Ski Sweater

Tiny Ski Sweater

I haven’t been doing too much around here the past few days. Watching Christmas movies, hugging my cats, and lots of tears.

Tiny Vest

And for whatever reason I’ve taken up my never ending tiny sweater project and can’t put it down. I punched out two more after tackling one over Thanksgiving, which brings my total tiny sweater number up to 6! See them all on my ravelry page.

Tiny Lights!

Tiny Lights!

There are some other cute things in the Snow Day pattern, but I skipped the shenanigans and went straight for the string of Christmas lights.

Make Them As Long As You Want!

Make Them As Long As You Want!

It’s a really smart pattern – you knit up some icord, hold some stitches with safety pins and build the lights there. Then go back and knit more icord! I’ve been knitting up the icord through 4 light bulbs at a time, knitting up the lightbulbs, then knitting up the icord through 4 more lightbulbs. I know I’m going to get sick of it at some point, but so far it’s really nice to be working on something so mindless. The only thought I’m putting into it is which color I’m going to use for each bulb.

So clearly I missed the boat YET AGAIN for creating my own knit tiny sweaters and lightbulbs tree, but 2013 is going to be amazing.

New Bag from Jenna Lou Designs

Being a maker has made me more appreciative of other makers, and I’m working towards making more of the things I buy come directly from their makers. Thinking about purchases as investments, and buying fewer quality pieces rather than a ton of shit is something that I’m working toward. It’s hard, especially since my yearly income is well below poverty level, but every little bit helps. I know how much it means to me when I make a sale, and sharing that feeling helps me feel good, too.




PT and I hit up the No Coast Craft Fair on Saturday, and it continues to be the best curated show I’ve ever been to. I wasn’t looking for a bag, I wasn’t really looking for anything, but when I walked by Jenna Lou Designs’ booth, her beautiful bags jumped out at me. This is my perfect bag! Cross body bag with adjustable handle, it’s the perfect size, it’s handmade and seriously amazingly constructed, and IT’S GOT FREAKING BEARS ON IT.



Jenna Lou Designs had a TON of really fun bags like this at her booth, and I’m not seeing any that are this shape and size on her site. Maybe she is still working on updating it after the show.

Even the Back is Cute!

Things have not been going awesome for me recently, and big changes are imminent. But this bag made me happy, so I bought it. It’s 2 weeks before Christmas and I bought myself a $90 handbag. Fuck it. You know? I’d do it again. You should do it!

Vague WIP Quilting Shots

I’ve been working on a huge project over the past couple weeks that is finally nearing the end!

Quilt Binding and LOTS of Sewing!

What I like to do for holiday presents is get an awesome idea that will work for multiple people, and make a bunch of them in different patterns or sizes or whatever, and then assembly-line them all out.

Sneak Peek!

And, of course, make one for myself. That way we all have this same project, and no matter where we are in the world, we have the same handmade ___________. Cute right?

Even Some Hand Sewing

This is my first stab at quilting, something I’ve hesitated trying out because my mom is so amazing at it. She hand quilts, and these I did on my machine for the most part, so I think it’s ok. I’m not too interested right now in putting together an actual quilt, but quilting other things seems more my speed. And it’s fun! There are lots of steps, and I like projects where I’m up moving around, as opposed to knitting, the most sedentary craft ever.

Fabric and Quilt Binding

Since Stefanie died I’ve been thinking a lot about what we leave behind, and what we do with the time we have, and how we show each other love while we can. I’m a maker, and I make things with my hands, and I give those things to the people I love. FO shots after I give these all away!