My First Pattern Release! The Alki Beach Sweater

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Bam!  There it is!  Okay, this is actually my second pattern release, but the first is top secret until it’s (squee!) published in the beginning of September.  Stay tuned for MASSIVE excitement then.

In the meantime, here’s my Alki Beach sweater, modeled by my awesome sister Katie.  I loved designing this sweater.  It’s made for the transitional season–or for those of you who live in warmer climates.  A linen/cotton blend..what more you you ask for?  How about an  unexpected element to the design when you turn around?  IMG_6096

The pattern is available on Ravelry. There’s more pix there, but the best ones are the outtakes from the photo shoot.  Ready for some fun? IMG_6093

 

 

A true “little sister/big sister moment!”  We’re both totally guessing at how to set up the shot while my patient and talented husband took the pix.

 

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Then there’s the “Can I steal your hat?” pic which was clearly not Katie’s favorite idea. She’s a trooper, but in all fairness, she did get a custom made original sweater out of the deal.

 

If you are a knitter, this is a pretty easy pattern–great for car knitting, movies, or just chilling with friends. The design is kind to every body shape, and the drape of the linen and cotton just rocks. Get the pattern here!IMG_6099

Thanks for sharing my excitement with me..more to come soon, but in the meantime..

Spin and knit on!

Fiber Friday: Little Giant & Moss Stitch

20140131-101055.jpgI am traveling this week, so I took an easy sweater for the trip, and since it’s SUPER bulky it’s moving along very quickly. The pattern is another Wool and the Gang pattern, Little Giants. I’m already done with the front and the back, and I can’t wait to do the sleeves and seam it up! Cozy!!! Plan on wearing it for the Superbowl! Go Seahawks!!
Until then, here’s a lovely pile of knitted goodness:

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Spin (and knit) on!

Where Do you Find Inspiration?

20140120-061706.jpgRecently, Christina from Feel Good Knitting wrote a great post about something we all go through as artists…inspiration.  Which inspired me to think through that process a bit more.   For me, 80% of my inspiration comes from being outdoors. When I get too wrapped up in color wheels and techniques, I find freedom in watching how all the “rules” are out the window when it comes to beauty in nature. Random color schemes, uneven light and dark, diagonals mixed with solids..I feel completely free when I take in that kind of beauty.

But as we all know..freeform creativity does have an element of structure, but finding the balance between unplanned and something you would actually wear is a little trickier!

So…here’s a little inspiration sharing from my top five “go to’s” if I am looking for inspiration and ideas. There’s many more, but my hope is that you will share a link or two below as well. Here we go!

Pre #1. All of the blogs on my reader list, which is pretty much the same as my followers. I LOVE scanning my reader list and seeing what all of you are doing!

The next five, but not in order of preference…

1. The blog at Wool and the Gang  Why? They get it. They have an awesome ability to make simple become uber unique and edgy. They also support knitters from Peru and bring in their Crazy Sexy Wool from there. It’s a neat story..you should check it out. (Plus, any yarn that has “sexy” in the title has my vote!”

2. Quince and Company Blog  I go here when I just want to be captured by an updated version of classic beauty. Their wool is locally sourced from the US, and the colors and textures are just awesome.

3. Do Stuff! Lee Meredith (Leethal Knits) I intentionally linked to her recycled reconstructed sweater because it’s a perfect example of how brilliant and unique she is in her creative approach. I’ve done several of her patterns and have always enjoyed the way she puts them together.

4. Spin Artiste  LOVE this site for spinning inspiration! So much so that I am enrolled in her “Fibery Goodness” online course. Arlene highlights indie spinners front around the world and I am always filled with inspiration when I read those stories/interviews.

5. Fringe Association  Another beautifully put together that celebrates the amazing possibilities with knitting. Great subject variety filled with inspirations and current knitting trends.

Okay..one more! I just can’t help myself.

6. Knitted Bliss  I love her “Modification Mondays” as well as her blending in snippets of real life to her posts. It feels very personal, genuine, and inspiring. Great patterns too–a few have been on Knitty and her overall style is awesome.

Wow–was a fun share out!! Your turn, and Spin On!

When Knitting Meets Weaving

The other day I ran across a very cool book, cleverly named Kismet by Hill Country Weavers. I love my rigid heddle loom, and I have been looking for more ways to use it besides scarves. Kismet has it..here’s a pic of my first project (not a scarf, but a cowl!) which is a morph between two projects in the book (how kismet of me)!

20140113-200335.jpg So the body is woven, then after securing the ends I picked up and knit off the end to give it some stretchiness, which is perfect for a woven cowl. Finish the edges with a single crochet border (first time crocheting, mind you..there might have been a few bad words) and you have a Kismet Cowl!

And..then..I made some hats.

20140113-200633.jpgAll in all, January has been busy but productive. Next post..more adventures in spinning!

Spin on!

Oliver, spinning, weaving…so much going on!

So…my blogging has been a little slow because of this sweet distraction.

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Can you blame me? Oh. My. Gosh. Meet Oliver, my new little sidekick. He’s 5, a rescue, and a mix of Shitzu and Maltese. He’s like a cuddly teddy bear. I confess I have missed a few spinning evenings because he’s brand new to us and I couldn’t stop holding him!
Stay tuned for more Ollie stories… But for now, back to spinning, knitting and weaving!

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Fall colors…and a cabled yarn.
If I had to choose my favorite type of art yarn to spin, it would be yarn with beads in it. I’m fascinated with the combination of yarn colors and textures with various beads..and the possibilities are endless! This yarn is a 4 played cable, which was tons of fun, but I worked beads in like this:

20131118-184252.jpg It’s a pretty simple technique and I love having the beads spun directly onto the yarn. I’ll write up the pattern soon–it’s a very simple cowl that makes a sweet neck warmer–and with the beads, who needs a necklace?
My other big project was a shawl I wove for my mom..she requested one large enough to wrap around while sitting on the sofa watching a movie or reading, but not a bulky as a blanket. I think she’ll enjoy it! I do love weaving..it’s such a different stride from spinning and knitting. I just have to get over the whole warping thing..not my favorite part! But still..a fun project! Spin on!!

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The “Cross My Heart” sweater wrap!

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I am SO happy with the way this turned out. New favorite pattern from Wool and the Gang and it was a fast and fun knit! Simple concept but still unique construction. Biggest lesson learned? Don’t ever try to seam something that is Möbius strip like after a glass of wine. It. Just. Won’t. Work.
So here’s the step by step.

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Lay it out flat. Drink coffee.

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Twist once. Drink more coffee.

20131007-134818.jpgTwist again. Caffeinate. Breathe.

20131007-135016.jpgTurn pretzel fabric into this. For me, that meant putting it on and slipping it off to get it to lay right.

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20131007-135356.jpgBut..I love it!! Super warm and cozy! I spent the afternoon on my SUP and then warmed up in my cozy wrap. Good times. Thanks Wool and the Gang!

Another finished sweater

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I have been a bit of a knitting fiend. But here’s the crazy trail that took me to this now-my-favorite sweater. A few weeks ago I wrote this post about knitting and yoga. I mentioned in the post that I looked around to see who else was making this awesome connection. That brought me to this article in The Guardian, which took me to one of my new favorite fiber addictions, Wool and the Gang.

Oh. My. Gosh. I love the edgy cool factor in their knits. The attitude. The clean designs that are appealing to both beginning and advanced knitters. The fact that I cranked this hoodie out in a week and a half was just a bonus. They have a really unique vibe that reminds us that knitting is a blast!

I’ve been doing a ton of spinning, so I bought the knit kit for the hoodie because it was cotton yarn–something I am not likely to spin. Ever. Now I just want to try a bunch of their other patterns. The only mod I will make to my next hoodie (because there will be another) is to knit the sleeves in the round and the body in one piece. Bam!

Happy Friday and spin on!

Fiber Friday! A week focused on new techniques.

What a great creative spinning week! It’s funny how the time goes by and it feels like you haven’t done much until you stop and take a look.
First: I sold my first yarn!!!
Wheeeee! This was uber exciting!

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Here’s a progress photo for the rest of the week:

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1. 400 yards of singles. 70% wool, 30% silk.
2. Coreless tailspun yarn: 50 yards, local lamb locks and mohair locks
3. My best ever supercoils and the project from them.

All in all, a great week. How about you?

Spin on!

What to do with supercoils?

I 💜 supercoils!

20130815-094402.jpgBut what do you do with art yarn? I am on a quest..to figure out great and exciting uses for spectacular yarn. Here’s my first recommendation. All it takes is about 70 yards of supercoils and a couple of large beads.

20130815-094541.jpg Hand pull a row of chain stitches, loop around itself three times. Pull ends through a large bead and secure end knot with fabric glue. Pretty, funky, warm..and most importantly, shows off the yarn!

Spin on!

Handspun socks are where it’s at…(even in July)

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A lot (and I mean a LOT) of my projects are for camping and outdoors activities. In fact, I am in the process of working on a thin and durable hiking sock..but that’s another post. This pair of socks made me really happy because:

I knit them while camping/sitting at the beach
There’s no pattern..just the perfect fit for my feet.
I LOVE the cuffs.

Sometimes I don’t like busy patterns with variegated yarns…the colors themselves are enough design. But then there’s the cuffs…and I do like a little flair.

This pattern is a toe up, figure 8 cast on, fleegle heel, and picot edge for the cuffs. Simple but pretty. I did figure out a trick for the heels though. I was always trying to knit to the exact point where the foot/shin connect, but my socks were a tad too long. Now I stop just about 1/2 before and the heel is nice and snug. Simple, easy wins are great. Gotta enjoy them!

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