Cowls, inspiration

FO: Atelier Cowl

Atelier Cowl

Oh hey, you lookin' at me? Me and my fabulous and cozy cowl? Yea, I know you want it too. It's super chunky, oh so soft and I love it. I don't think I've told you all yet, but have been working at a yarn shop in San Francisco called Atelier Yarns. The 20 year old store is now owned by Amanda, who designs patterns for the yarn we sell.

Well, when Amanda whipped out this simple yet awesome cowl I had that feeling we all get when you see something you want to make rightthisveryinstant – fixation, obesssion,  a casual sensation to cast on.

Atelier Cowl

Atelier Shop Pattern #195
Needles: US 9
Yarn: Di.Ve Autmno, 5 balls
Raveled 

The yarn has a slight stripe to which adds to the dimension of the knit and purl sections. It's like a giant Wurm. The best part – the cowl is so stretchy that you can wear it as a capelet too.

Atelier Cowl/Capelet

I am giving this cowl to my best friend Julie who just became a new mom. I figure it's one of those easy, throw over your head and get warm fast type of knits! No need to think any harder than that! And hello, easy holiday gift – done and done. You know me and CowlsObsessed.

You can order the yarn and pattern (#195) which is free with yarn purchase by calling Atelier Yarns at 415-771-1550 or email atelieryarns@gmail.com.

inspiration

what gets me through the day

I am not a complainer but I must tell you that it’s been pretty rough getting back to work these past couple of days.  I think my alarm clock doesn’t know what to do with itself, either beep, or sleep, or Shut the F up.  What has been helping me out dramatically is seeing some new to me inspiring knits that helps me get through to that "5 o’clock whistle". (Which in HS admissions time is 2:30… i know i know again not complain’, just sayin’)

I shall share, in hopes to give anyone else who reads blogs at work to help pass the time, something to enjoy ;-). My new fresh knitspirations…

Lolly’s new knit, the Berroco Crotona Coat, despite all that seed stitch, I am in love!

– A new friend for me on Ravely, Abackus has made me look twice at the Slimmy Vest from Knitty – the bright color she’s making it in makes me want to make a few of these for work!

Ann Hanson, who I had the lovely pleasure to meet briefly at TNNA, has got me thinking about Socks again, which is hard to do with my sweater jones!! Her Kites socks are so pretty and simple and lovely and I just need a pair and some new cute shoes and and and… 

– Then there’s dear dear Kim Hardgraves who has two sweaters I keep clicking on to see again and again.  The first is coming out in her newest collection Thrown Together (which I think is just a "Greatest Hits" maybe, because some I’ve seen before) called Olivia and the other is from the Romantic Knits book, the Chevron Lace Top.  This last one reminds me a bit of a Eunny Jang’s Arrowhead Pullover which I loved so much!

I am doing my best to do what my mother says to be "focused and crisp" at work but you know what they say "a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down"!

xoxo
M

inspiration

Is this heaven? No, it’s Ohio.

I could have sworn it was heaven.  (LAP* – or Long Ass Post, ahead)

TNNA 08 - OH

So much has happened this past weekend that my mind is a blur!  TNNA was so much fun and now I’m extremely impatient for the fall and it’s promise of beautiful yarns and designs.

It’s such a funny feeling to be in a place where all of your Favorite Designers, the people you want to be when you grow up, are All in the Same Room.  Everywhere I looked… I would see someone and try my best to hold back the "OMG. I love you and your patterns and OMG OMG OMG everything about you!" teenager inside of me.   Of course, I let a few gushes fly when I saw Norah Gaughan. (How can you not??) And had the great fortune of bumping into Kate Gilbert at least a half dozen times…. I was like a kid in a Wonderful Knitty Wonderland.

The Harlot and the Dry Ice

I was a bystander to the Yarn Harlot’s magical mystical Dry Ice Spectacle in the hotel lobby. (If you scroll down to see her pictures I’m actually IN one trying to get a good shot of the Dry Ice homage myself!)  It’s like where’s Waldo! 😉

I heart Ravelry

Patricia and I also had the grand pleasure of meeting the Ravelry Trio – Jess, Casey and Mary Heather. (Yes they are that Tall and I am not standing in a ditch. Or maybe I’m that Short?) You’ve heard it before and I’ll say it again: They are all wonderful and warm people! I am so excited for them and so grateful for all that they do to inspire and help the fiber arts community!! You guys Rock!  The fact that I’m sure there were well over 300 people who wanted to say HI! and take their picture with them and all the while they were gracious with each and everyone of us is truly a testament to how awesome they are!!  Speaking of wonderful… Beth and Peter from Lorna’s Laces, and Taiu and Rhichard from Koigu are the NICEST people ever.  To know that these two wonderful yarn companies are being lead by such caring and just down to earth people is amazing.  I will never hesitate to increase my stash with those two beautiful yarns (as if I did That before!! ;-)).

TNNA 014

I also cannot forget to shout out the Philly People!!  Craig, Mark and Laura, the creative minds behind Loop and Spool…  hi hi hi hi!

TNNA

You can see here that Laura thinks I’m Crazy.  Why yes I am. 😉 Above us is Mark and Craig! Thanks for the fabulous weekend!  It was so nice to really talk to another LYS and see how they do things vs. how we do things and share ideas and inspiration.  Craig seemed to know Everyone! I think he should be awarded Class Best Friend at TNNA!

One other MAJOR highlight and I’m so pisssssed I don’t have a picture is meeting Cathi from In the PINK!!! Cathi, I was so so happy to meet you!!  Getting to meet the people behind the blogs is so fun.  We didn’t have to go through the whole intro-conversation, we went straight to the, "how’s your family and life!"  She was totally holding it down at the TNNA in the Alchemy booth. 

Needle Arts is such a wonderful industry.  It’s a BUSINESS and not just people getting together to SnB.  To think you can make money (dare I say a Living) doing what you love is so in tune to my morals of doing work.  And realizing that a lot of these beautiful yarns and designers are small businesses and that feedback whether positive or negative can be very influential.  It reminds me to mind what I say – to give good and beneficial criticism and to absolutely neutralize any Negativity that’s thrown anyone’s way.  These people aren’t Wal-Marts or Targets who can bounce back if people make a stink about this or that.  They depend on Us.  (ok enough of that soap box talk)

TNNA

Lastly, but most importantly, I need to thank Patricia (seen above with Rhichard from Koigu) for being so wonderful and giving me this opportunity to help her business and to just be a part of a weekend I will remember for the rest of my life! I would not have been able to go or get back to NJ without her! (Literally… yours truly, dropped her wallet in the taxi on the way over. I’m brilliant! Trish was In control, getting me through security in one piece – although frisked!)  I kept calling her my superhero and I her sidekick.  Watch out knitty world here we come!

That whole knitting mojo lost?? HAH! It’s Back baby!

inspiration

Rebecca

Do you remember reading that wonderful novel (probably for a HS summer reading assingment) from Daphine Du Daurier that had that "scene" at a party when the lead character was dressed EXACTLY like the First Wife and it freaked out the hubby… and well… OMG. Sooooo good!?!  Well this is So Much better than that!

What I’m talking about of course is the  Rebecca knitting magazine from GGH… Number 36 to be exact.  I seriously cannot stop pouring over the pages and scheming over what I want to knit.  I actually own two other Rebecca  magazines but have never been so excited before. Number 36, I cannot stop looking at you!

Yes, Rebeeca has some serious naming issues – "Cropped Jacket with Belt" or "Long Jacket with Rib Pattern"?  but the patterns will make you look beyond that! Yes, Rebecca, Go have a pow wow with Rowan and get on the creative naming bus!  At least you are still better at the naming gig than Phildar (Pull 1823-92389-?? – something or another… huh?).

It all stated with This Dress:

Rebecca1_2

I want to make you. I really really do.  But the question is… will I wear you?  Will you even Look Good on me?  Will I have that moment of frolicking in the ocean with you on?  Would I even risk the salt water on this precious knit!?  And part of me just wants to say F’ it – I want to make you anyway.  It’s just too damn cute!

Then there’s this cabled beauty.  I can So see myself wearing you out and about – w/ jeans, skirts…

Rebecca2_2 

Then there’s this… one dress, two dress… Count von Count would have a field day with this!

Rebecca3

Despite the weird sleeves on this one which I would so modify I heart this one too!

Rebecca5

Just when you thought we were Done… no no my friends, there’s more cabley good ness..

Rebecca4

but Rebecca, dear dear, Rebecca… Hot Shorts?  With a Bum shot in the pattern section?

Really? Really.  No, really? 

So now this is where I get to tell you HOW Much I love Ravelry.  You make it possible for me to not break the bank when it comes to these knits by allowing me to realize that I have a thing called a Stash and that at least one of these knits can be done with what I already have.  I love you for that.  My bank account LOVES you for that.  My boyfriend loves you for that too.  If you have been living under a rock – this site is a must for knitters… it’s such a great resource… which leads me to Ravelraiser08!!  Go over to Fricknits to check out the details – it’s awesome.  It’s a way to say THANK YOU and Please Keep It Comin’!

This obsessed knitter is grateful!

inspiration

growing

All around me things are budding.  Tulip leaves are pushing themselves up from the ground.  Flowers are beginning to show their colors.  Trees are ready-ing their flair for another season – it’s a time of growth! 

So how am I growing in the Spring time? Well, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my first "from scratch" sweater – I think it’s finally time for me to grow in that way as a knitter.  It’s been mulling over in my head since late January only really getting a chance to see needle time now.  How fortunate are we in these times with such an overflow of information!  There are tremendous resources about how to design your own knits – how to make those designs knittable for others, how to figure out that magical rate of decrease to make waists and sleeves fit in perfectly…  So I guess there was only one thing to do – cast on.

Swatch

This knit is going to be for the spring/summer so I want it to be a breathable but wearable knit!  I keep seeing myself wearing this with a nice pair of jeans and a long beaded necklace with a class of crisp white wine in my hand.  Most of it will be knit in stockinette with a nice firm border… I’m still trying to decide whether I want to pick up stitches for the collar or have it just knit right in. Ahhh decisions decisions!  I guess this is where the knitting and ripping and rethinking commences!

The yarn I’m using is the Rowan Purelife cotton. So far I’m really loving how it’s knitting up.  There’s a slight variation to the color which gives it a certain charm.  It’s also very soft for a cotton.  I’m nervous about getting so involved and spending so much time on this and it not panning out.  But it’s for me! (for now..) So Really I just need to have fun with this – to hopefully have something wearable in the end with lots of lessons learned, I’m sure!

For now, it’s just a seedling, soon to be getting those April showers to make it hopefully bloom one day…

inspiration

giving thanks

There’s so much this year that I have to be thankful for. Of course no true list can encapsulate what that truly means but I figured like an actress who’s won an academy award I would try.

I’d like to thank: (sounds of paper being unfolded, shuffled and reshuffled)

My mother who is celebrating her 5th year of being breast cancer free.  Your inspiration is my guiding light.

My father who is always loved and cherished.

My brother who is an ocean away but never far from a loving call or email.

My wonderful BF who knows how to make me laugh everyday in words and mostly actions ;-).

My girlfriends who listen, guide, inspire, amuse and challenge me everyday.

My readers who have kept me bookmarked and have helped me to grow in my craft and creativity.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

-sound of the orchestra leading me off the stage-

inspiration

30 years in the making

Happy Birthday, Big Bro!

Andrew_baby_2

Andrew, 1977.

Thank you…
For paving the way.  For stuffing me underneath the cushions of the couch then sitting on me.  For letting me play with your Nintendo.  For picking me up from school in your Hooptie.  For buying me beverages when I couldn’t buy them yet myself.  For filling out my BC application.  For having good taste in clothing.  For always ordering one more round. For protecting me. For being such a fabulous knit-model. For being the life of the party!

Img_0822

Happy Birthday, Andrew.

I hear 30 is the new 20. 😉

inspiration

70 degrees

This insane weather we’re having in Jersey is confusing the heck out of everything.  Birds are chirping and not flying south, trees are budding, deer are out having a blast, bears are probably besides themselves since I can only imagine how much they adore sleeping for 3 months straight. 

For me it’s just the same.  Wintery months are for cozing up on the couch under a warm blanket and knitting.  It’a s time to knit new socks because your apartment is too cold and your feet are begging for them.  Only now I find myself OUTDOORS playing pick up games of basketball or walking in the city to a dinner party with the BF wearing only a simple Pashmina! (noted that i really must make a rockin’ shawl for these occasions).  It’s a January fit for California.

I should stop all my moaning and enjoy this unseasonably warm weather.  I can pretend it’s summer again and sit at the park knitting on a blanket using my new and chic knitting bag!!

Jordana Paige Bag

Jordana Paige’s bags are so fabu!  This one was a gift from my dear friend Patricia’s.  She let me even choose what color I wanted! Can you believe!?  She currently has a trunk show at her shop with the whole collection of beautiful bags by the great Jordana.  It’s a great gift for someone who loves to knit but perhaps wouldn’t think to buy themselves a luxury bag.  And for you knitters, go spoil yourself… this bag is awesome.

For now, I’ll pack up my CP (back finished, front left almost done…) and enjoy the seasonably warm weather… that is until the Giants play. 

inspiration

Christmas Goodies

Knitting_books_3   

A very merry christmas to you all!  Many carols were sung at this piano, wine glasses filled, dirty jokes shared and wrapping paper strewn all over the floor.

It’s now that in between time of the big holidays where christmas returns are made and days are happily spent being lazy, drinking wine in the afternoons and going to bed at any tme.  I’m happily indulging in all things with my brother who is home only until tomorrow. We are partaking in a 24 marathon tonight.  Living in London has starved him from Jack Bauer.

I was throughly blessed with all things knit this Christmas.  Of course, my mom, brother and my boyfriend’s mother all were so suprised and happy with their presents.  The shawls were a huge success as both mothers didn’t take them off once opened.  (not suprising right!?)

Happily I was gifted with three beautiful knitting books.  Victorian Lace Today, The Opinionated Knitter, and Homespun Handknits.  I’m already obessed with the first book as I have been actively lurking at the KAL.  The second of course is by the great KnitGodess herself, EZ!  The last is a fabulous book filled with great mitten, hat and scarf patterns.  Yes that aforementioned list of my current "knit wish" is so being modified!

My aunt and uncle also bought me this gorgeous yarn from a local spinner.  It’s a stunning blue.  I haven’t even thought of what to make with it yet.  It’s certainly enough for at least two shawls.

Blue_yarn_1 

And how can you have a christmas without these little guys…

Korknisse

I wish everyone a very wonderful holiday and a happy New Year!

inspiration

the sweater dress

sweaterdress

At first i wasn’t a huge fan of the concept but  now seeing this via my Urban Outfitters email – I need to make one! I tried to find the dress on their site but it wasn’t there.  Or the dress they have for sale is a bit different (there’s a huge cable in front).  I was hoping for a closer look to dissect how to make it and unfortunately this picture isn’t sharp enough! How can they tease me so? help!