Do you Chan Luu?

Its been a long time since I've made my own jewelry (circa 2003 in college when I decided to string a multi stranded seed necklace during finals week – I'm a multi tasker.) And to be honest after teaming up with Stella & Dot I figured that was never gonna happen again. Never say never ahe?

Enter my friend Emily and her fabulous bracelets. While working at the shop one day she was accosted by several customers asking her whether her bracelets were Chan Luu. She happily replied she made them and then offered us a lesson!

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Emily was a fabulous instructor and armed with some red wine and procecco we were all happily getting our Chan Luu on. 

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Murielle even brought out her head lamp! (A must for every knitter IMHO.) After we worked up a big hunger making our bracelets we were treated to a delicious pallella made by the host's husband, Gary.

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To which we happily dined on.

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We all chose different styles and colors and it was fun to see the different varieties. I doubt this will be the last time we get together to make some!

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Thank you Linda for hosting, Emily for the fabulous instruction and Gary for the food (and being the photographer!) Looking forward to making more!

Finished bracelet

WIP: Finishing what you started

Swatching

A new year gives me that squeeky clean feeling, like starting a new quarter in school, cracking open a fresh notebook promising this time to keep your notes all organized.

In a way I almost feel like Mike Holmes from Holmes on Homes. Finding old knits, ripping them apart and starting them over to make it right. 

It is with that in mind that I am re-starting my arrowhead vest. Made in April 2010 and had all intentions of getting the pattern out there but I didn't. Now, I am re-working the pattern in Fibre Co. Acadia, a gorgeous light yarn. It's part of my new goal of 2012 – get things done!

Here are a few other things that I want to Get Done in 2012:

– Stash bust! It's time I give some of my yarn a new home. 

– Submissions! There's a deadline coming up and I need to focus and get some designs going.

– Balance between work knitting and knitting for pleasure.

– Keep up the blogging!

– Publish a pattern every other month. (I am not going to say monthly because that's a bit cray cray – BUT if I manage to do it, it will be a BONUS! hah!)

Thank you always for coming by and reading! I'm looking forward to a fabulous 2012!

M

2011: A Knitters Year

Knits of 2011

2011. 

What a year. 

I moved to California. One thing I've learned for certain is that I am a coast girl. Living in San Francisco has been a dream so far. A beautiful city with so much to offer – it's been such a blessing to be able to live here. 

I started to knit and design fulltime.  Along with doing a great deal of sample knitting I was able to self publish a few patterns this year including the Felicity Cowl and the Melanie Wrap. The mosaic above reflects a few of the pieces I knitted for myself, add to that my sample knitting and you can only imagine the amount of yarn that has passed through my fingers. It's dizzying. It can be tricky turning a hobby into a career but with help from my friends who have kept me in check I am finding such happiness in it. 

I also started working at a shop in SF called Atelier and if you've been reading here long you know how much that has helped in my cowl obession. It's great to have a LYS in SF as welcoming as my favorite one in Hoboken, Patricia's Yarns.

I raised over $1,000 with a Cowl for Nick and the number keeps on rising. I am so glad to have been able to help in the fight against ALS. I find that I am emailing out a pattern nearly everyday. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

As I look ahead to the new year I wonder where 2012 will take me. New goals, new inspirations, new ideas – it's all very exciting. I know not to blink because it's gonna go fast.  SO here we go… 

Knit Style: Minimalist Cardigan

Knit Style: Minimalist Cardigan

Sweater: Minimalist Cardigan (knit in 08 but seamed 2009 – original post)
Cowl: Atelier Cowl (ravelry link)
Dress from Marmalade
Glasses: Bonlook
Boots: Frye  (sorry they got cut off!)

Sorry I got sidetracked with my knit style posts! I had originally wanted to do this weekly or at least bi-weekly and realized I had only done the ONE! So here I am all gussied up for work. I even washed my hair.

Knit Style: Minimalist Cardigan

My minimalist cardigan is high in the rotation. I love how simple and straightforward the pattern is and I almost forgot how much I love moss stitch. Not to mention the yarn from foxfire fiber… swoon.

WIP Wednesday: Socks

I can't believe I am going to say this but I want to knit my cold feet a pair of socks.

It may shock a few people by saying this but socks aren't my favorite thing to make. I don't know, maybe I am just a sweater and cowl girl and trying to find the time to knit socks between them is hard. Let's not even discuss the socks I owe a certain person who shall not be named here. 

But here I am, my feet being particularly cold this November begging me to over come my sock block.  

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Wouldn't you know, I don't know what all my fuss was about? 

I may be making a few more socks this winter as I am also loving these socks in the new knitty

FO: Rabbit Fur Cowl

Rabbit Fur Cowl

I am the first to admit I was wrong. When Atelier got a shipment of this rabbit fur yarn my initial reaction was, "Seriously? I just got this in my trick bag for halloween!" I swore up and down that I would never be caught dead knitting with it. Leave it to Amanda to make me put my knitting in my mouth. This is no fun fur.

Rabbit Fur

While I completely get what makers of fun fur or other eyelash yarn are going for there is no duplicating the real thing. This yarn which is exclusive to Atelier is made from actual rabbit pelts. Now before you get all PETA on me and start splashing my blog with cans of paint – the rabbit that this fur comes from is harvested for its meat. All those hides that would have gone to waste are used to create this unique yarn. As far as I know this is the first actual rabbit yarn on the market. It makes for a beautiful fabric just like the scarves or vests you would get at Neiman Marcus for a fraction of the price.

Atelier currently carries this red/black, a dark green, black (worn by the fabulous Linda below) and the currently sold-out grey/black color below. It was that cowl that turned my mind around. 

Lindame

It was my mother that fell in love with red/black blend. During her Thanksgiving visit we went to Atelier and she walked out with a skein of the red and while she wanted to make it herself, I couldn't help taking it from her.

Now she has something luxurious to wear on her flight home…

Rabbit Fur Cowl

and I have a reason to use my "people's eyebrow" model pose. You're all welcome.

Winner of Coastal Knits!

How fitting is this?

Coastalknitswinner

A TEN!!!

Congrats to Sillylittlelady!! I hope you enjoy Coastal Knits as much as I do!

I promise to get back to regularly scheduled blogging this week! It feels so good to be done with a few deadlines and to have some breathing room. My swift and ball winder are getting a good workout while I plan for some new knits for both me and some lucky recipents this holiday.

Hope you all had a fabulous and peaceful Thanksgiving! 

Bust DIY Winner!

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YAY Patti! I really enjoyed your advice too:

From the late Kyle Rae Tucy Sweet – hold your head up high when you walk in anywhere – makes you look like you know exactly what you're doing – even if you're petrified!

I will always walk with my head high!

Have a great weekend everyone! 

xo

Must Have Book: Bust DIY Guide to Life

Last Wednesday I had the opportunity to go to the book signing and party for Debbie Stoller & Laurie Henzel's new book the Bust DIY Guide to Life

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The signing took place at the same shop where I acquired my Little Red Bicycle yarn, Princess Animal. It's a small yarn shop that lives in the back of the Serendipty card store on Valencia and 21st in the Mission. When my friend Sarah first told me about the book signing I thought simply of meeting Stoller. I mean, it's not often you can meet the lady who is responsible for your craft addition.

What I wasn't prepared for was what this book was actually about. This was no simple encyclopedia of crafts. 

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There are 350+ pages of great useable information from growing your own vegetables, starting your own craft business (hmmm!), getting rid of cockroaches, or making a hairdo like the late Amy Winehouse. I even crossed checked my "emergency bag" with the items that they listed for their diy disaster kit. (I ended up adding ziplock bags and fem supplies)

There is even instructions on making a coin purse out of a cassette tape and now I wish I had held on to all those tapes I would get with my Jem dolls.

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Like it's title, it truly is a Guide to Life – giving you all the instruction to take control in any part you think needs some help. Hone in on your craft side with friendship bracelets, etched glasses, or tea towels. Try to enhase the foodie in you with making your own mozzerella or one of their fabulous coctails. Take control of your career with resume writing, speech giving, or shameless self promotion. What's more, like all other Debbie Stoller books it's the TONE that brings you in.

This isn't a book talking down to you or reads like stereo instructions – no, it's got a way about it that says, "So you wanna wear your hair in a beehive today at work? Right on! Lemme show you how." It's that inviting tone that makes me consider going out to get some worms to get my compost on.

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We should all be thankful that back in '93 Laurie and Debbie decided to put their collective genius to work and begin producing a magazine like Bust. It's led to so many wonderful opportunities and projects that have cumulated to this fabulous DIY book.

Thank you so much to Kathy, owner of Princess Animal for being on the book tour! I really enjoyed making snow globes, having a some wine and talking about the state of feminism. A HUGE thank you to Laurie and Debbie for being so badass. Can't wait to see what you ladies do next!

I'm happy to have an extra copy of this fabulous Bust DIY Guide to Life to give to one of my readers! Leave me a comment on the best advice you've ever received on anything in life (be it car mechanics, cooking, or how to get that darn red wine out of your knitting ;-)) from your mom or any other important female in your world.

(Comments will close Thursday midnight EST)