Friday, September 19, 2014

Birthday!

Hey every people! It's my birthday!
Me, centre, wanting cake.
I'm off enjoying it. Having a birthday in September has its great advantages, especially when it comes to being a knitwear designer; I can celebrate by sharing with you a coupon code to enable your autumn wardrobe enhancement!

Today through the 22nd, take 32% off any pattern available in my Ravelry shop with the code: Tis32

Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Podcast Panel; Or, I Got all Embarrassed n Stuff

Last weekend, I participated in a podcaster's panel at the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitter's Fair.

I was highly flattered to be included in the company of the Knit 1 Geek 2 ladies and Sasha Torres of The Spin Doctor.

It was fun!, if, you know, a bit embarrassing. Which surprised me, as I thought I had psyched myself up into believing it was "the same thing" as touring visitors in the museum where I work. Something I do all the time! So, I thought the skill might be transferable. But apparently not!

It was also really cool to meet the faces attached to the voices I've become so used to listening to over the last few months. Some of the emotion was that star-struck feeling, but some of it was a bit of embarrassment. And upon reflection, I think that embarrassment is because of the intimacy of radio (well, podcasting, but they're in essence the same thing). Radio/podcasting is a voice, invited into your home. Listened to closely. And in some way other minds must likely have dwelt on to a great extent, it's not quite the same thing as video. There's a presence to the voice that there isn't with the visual of a video. Maybe it's just more clear to our brain that a video is artificial, whereas a voice can be somehow more present?
I'll stop myself there, because wow, I'm going down a too-steep path there.

Anyhows, the panel was recorded, and I'll have it up here on the blog as well as a special podcast episode in the near future.

One of the questions they asked was about how the podcast/blog has affected my knitting.
So I'm throwing that one out to you: Do you have a blog? Do you feel that it affects your knitting/crafting?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Baah!

I first encountered Baah Yarns at TNNA last year.

If any of you have been to a large knitting convention, you'll know the feeling of wandering the aisles and being both excited and overstimulated, almost immediately. It's candy land! It's everything you've dreamed of, times twenty! But where to go first?

Where to go? Where to turn? Those are THE questions. There's so much amazingness that you start to scan. You start to realize, quite quickly, your yarnny preferences. Even if you didn't walk in there with a list or clear ideas, if you take a moment after the frenetic energy of the day subsides, you'll see that there were certain booths that you kept seeing first and returning to most. And there's certain reasons for it, too.

Baah Yarns was one of those booths. It was laid out wonderfully. It was draped in an enticing array of colours, with an attractive number of bases. It was filled with extremely friendly staff. And Mira Cole, the wonderful head over at Baah, kindly gave me a bag full of La Jolla in Obsidian and Sage to create a simple, cozy, autumn cardigan.

I've had the grand pleasure of working with this yarn over the summer, and I'm rounding the corner on release time for this pattern.

One of the things I've noticed while working with these colours is the fantastically earthy, stoic, harmony that they create together. Mira herself picked them off the rack as a great pairing, and I have to agree. Individually one might think the Obsidian would overpower the seemingly delicate Sage, but each colour has a strength and depth that work together to create a garment that recalls the quiteness of the outdoors in autumn. Of the last few days of the season, before any snow has fallen, and the rock and their mossy tops are still visible, stalwart in the face of the cold to come.

Romantic, but not untrue.
Whenever I've picked up this project I've had these late-autumn thoughts running through my head.

I can't wait to show you the finished cardigan!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Holla Knits Fall/Winter 2014 Blog Tour


I might not look it here, but I loves me this cardi!
The joy of samples and swatches, and the sadness of knitting out of season.

The swatch for Geo Delight really did delight me in a way unlike any other swatch I've ever completed. For real! I have it pinned up in a place of honour on my incredibly over-crowded inspiration corkboard.

I figured if I was that tickled about the swatch, the finished sample would put me over the moon with the dish and the spoon. And it did!

I've been bursting with excitement, keeping this pattern under wraps! I've wanted to share it as soon as it was off the blocking mat and on my back.




Here you see my sample, off and away at a photo shoot!

But the only sadness (and really, there's only one!) of knitting up samples is the extended lead time. Which you of course need, what with tech editing, second sample knitting, pattern formatting and layout, not to mention photographs and all the other bits of collaboration that go into creating a finished collection.

So you end up always knitting out of season, and sending off your little wee knit babies to the Land of Pattern Photographs and Promos.

Really, this post is to say how very glad I am that this cat is out of the bag, and how very glad I am that my Geo Delight sample will be heading its way back to me!




Sept 8: Launch
Sept 9: The Sweatshop of Love - pattern giveaway, SEG: 6 skeins KP WotA Tweed in Brass Heather
Sept 10: Klever Knits - pattern and skein of Rowan Kid Classic giveaway, SEG: 6 skeins KP City Tweed Aran in Jacquard
Sept 11: Berroco - review and pattern giveaway
Sept 12: Canary Knits - pattern giveaway, SEG: 1 500 yard skein of Mountain Colors 4/8’s Wool in Harmony Ice

Sept 15: Mountain Colors Facebook Page - SEG: Mountain Colors Perspectives Twizzle in Blue/Turq
Sept 16: Life on Laffer - review and pattern giveaway
Sept 17: Knits in Class - SEG: 1 skein of Knit in Class
Sept 18: Makewise Designs - review and pattern giveaway
Sept 19: Anzula - SEG all the Anzula yarn needed for the vest

Sept 22: Ruby Submarine - SEG: 3 skeins KP WofA Tweed in Thirst Heather
Sept 23: BoKnits - SEG: 8 skeins KP Swish DK in Indigo Heather
Sept 24: Under the Red Umbrella - review and pattern giveaway
Sept 25: DoogKnits - review and pattern giveaway
Sept 26: Cosmos and Cashmere - review and pattern giveaway

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Carol E. Herman
Rav ID: cehermanator
Some Great Designs: cehermanator's Rav Designer Page

Texture! This week's designer has texture that speaks of autumn. Something about it gets me in the knitty, chilly, sittin-by-the-fireplace mood.

First up is the pictured Hood River Cowl. Its densely ribbed edge creates a firm fabric, that surrounds a brocade-looking stitch texture of X and O decorating the inner panel of the cowl. A very handsome accessory!

I love the way texture is used on this very cute I ♥ Oregon Dishcloth. I don't generally go weak at the knees for dishcloths, but I love this idea and can imagine that plenty of YOU would like to have one of each state (or province!) you've ever lived in or visited. Cool, eh?

Her Topiary Fingerless Mitts demonstrates how texture can be created through colour, and not only the real physicality of the fabric. The rhythmic patterns dancing across these colourwork mitts do indeed create a visual texture of their own.

ETA:
Check out her latest designs: Route 66 Driving Mitts (love that texture! So cozy!) and My Sense of Direction Mitts.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Newsletter Subscriber Exclusive Giveaway

Geo Delight is one of my proudest designs.
Sometimes you have ones you're just really attached to, and this is one of them!


It's almost never left my side so far this season, and that's because it's such an easy wardrobe staple. It adds a bit of pizzazz to almost any outfit.
(I love how it was styled with a skirt in the pattern photoshoot!)

I usually wear mine with jeans and a cami (I usually run a bit warmer than most other folks!)

Are you interested in knitting up a Geo Delight of your very own?
You can hop on over to Holla Knits to purchase a copy, or you could become a Canary Knits Newsletter Subscriber for your chance to win your own copy!
This giveaway ends on Wednesday, September 17, so sign up before then for your chance to win!


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Rock Owl Rock On

I had this idea. From Pinterest, naturally. There was a seductively lovely image of a smooth rock, painted with a charming wee critter. Of course the first thought that occurred to me was: I have to do this too!

On one of my trips up to a cottage last month I collected a couple likely specimens for the purpose. These rocks, as you see, were not the smooth-as-a-canvas ones from the pin.
Oh no, certainly not.

These are chunks of the Canadian Shield, and are rough and jaggedy as you can imagine.

The challenge was on: I dug out my high school art materials and set to work. Really, it wasn't all that labour intensive. I had a general idea of what I wanted to paint, and gessoed a silhouette on each rock.

After several layers of that, it was oil paint time! Those, of course, took their sweet time in drying. But now they're all set, and are currently sitting pretty on my mantle.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Geo Delight

YAY!
I'm so excited to say that one of my favourite patterns ever has been released today.

Holla Knits has published their Fall/Winter 2015 collection, and in it is my Geo Delight. (see it on Ravelry).

Stay tuned to see a bit more about the pattern on the blog tour that'll be stopping hereabouts on the 12th.

But for now, I shall gush and say WHEEE! It's here!

I love this pattern (and think you will too) because:
  • it's versatile
  • it's fun to knit
  • it's got that great pop of twisted rib
  • it's something you can throw on to make an outfit stand out
  • despite it being knit in stages, it's seamless! Love the seamless!

Sample 1 with two different contrasting colours.

Sample 2 with exciting ombre of blue-to-teal!

Friday, September 05, 2014

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Todd Gocken
Blog: Todd Gocken Designs
Rav ID: ToddG
Some Great Designs: ToddG's Rav Designer Page

Yay! Fantastic men's patterns! Get your needles out, folks. This review has something different for you.

I've gone a little giddy, and not sure which of the so very many fantastically classic, interesting, and handsome men's sweaters to feature. They all share those qualities; if you're looking for a pattern for a man this autumn, go here!

It was difficult to choose a favourite to feature in the image above, but after much debate I went with Huddle. I don't think I have to tell you why this is such a fantastic piece. (but I will squee about that great shawl collar. Niiiiice!)

You many have seen some of his work in Knitty from last year, Streymoy. It's a cozy colourwork cardigan, as is the zippered Duncan. I really like Duncan; the strong colours and geometric patterns seem like fun updated retro winter-wear.

There is certainly a lot to see from this designer, but I'll just point out one more: Marshall. A great use of saddle shoulders, this form fitting ribbed sweater is very classic and flattering.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Wedding Prep: Arts and Crafts Attack

Crap! Where did time go? It's only one month until my wedding and I need to get my ass in gear if I'm going to complete any of my fantasized crafty... thingys.
I've lost my words. Anyhows, I'm hoping I can hand-create a not insignificant amount of the stuffs for this party.

There's bouquets and corsages of pom poms, fabric, and wildflowers (weeds, really), there's boutonnieres of the same materials, there's centrepieces of hoards of glass jars and wood slices and tea lights, and there's the trickiest of them all, my feathery wedding cape.

There's chocolate-dipped spoon, cookie, and hot chocolate favours. There's cupcake tree stands.  There's seating plans and table numbers and cute photo ideas. And clearly there's cakes toppers, too. Hell, there's even music playlists from pre-ceremony to super fun dance mix. (I've got no fun link for that one, they're still a-brewin').
And if  I can fit it in, there's the stupid throwback Wedding Day sign for the car. I'm undecided about that one.

Can you tell I'm using this post as a to-do list?

See my pinterest wedding board. Cause I know you wanna.

Acorns, hopefully to dry out and use for acorny goodness.
Feathers, for a feathery cape.
Wee bees that will go on hair pins.



Monday, September 01, 2014

The 80s Come to Roost

A short while ago, a friend of mine had a mini party wherein she busted out her fantastic collection of 80s toys and we played. We played like the five year old version of ourselves that we've always been.

Evidence!
Pony circle of power!

Sugarberry!
Applejack!

Did you know there was a SHEEP My Little Pony?
And it had balls of yarn as its symbol!
Remember these guys?


Do you collect anything? Yarn stash totally counts!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Indie Designer Revisit

Freyr
Designer: Kayla Dyches
Blog: The Yarn Bearer
Rav ID: TheYarnBearer
Some Great Designs: TheYarnBearer's Rav Designer Page
Original Indie Designer Post: December 4, 2009

Lighthearted, with a sense of humour and a good dose of design talent.
Those are a few of the reasons I dig this month's revisited designer, TheYarnBearer.

There's the deliciously cabeled Bitter End and Rutland (so cozy!). The eye catching Gaia Revisited and Night Circus. And then there's possibly my favourite, Freyr (keep this one in mind for the soon-to-be-here cold weather!)

Don't miss the whimsy of Gnome Hat for Pets. I need these for my neighbourhood cats!

And then there's her fun, possibly NSFW pieces. But check them out (at home, perhaps?)
Clam Hands
Peen Chart

And many more! Hop on over to her Rav Designer Page and bask in the fun glory that it contains!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Events!


Ya'll might know, I started a podcast back in February. And boyo, wasn't I flattered when the organizers at the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitter's Fair invited me to participate in a speakers panel about knitting-focused podcasts!
Daaaaamn excited!

I always thought it was cool (and yet, a shame) that the podcasts I listen to list all the events they'll be at. Cool because, hey! Going to events and being able to meet podcasters is cool! A shame because, well, I'm never, never local to any of the podcasters I listen to.

Until now!

The podcasters on the panel are all from Southern Ontario. Let me introduce you to them!

Knit 1 Geek 2
Karen and Maggie guide you through the wide world of geekery and knitting.

Spin Doctor
Sasha Torres provided fantastic info for the handspinner from 2010-2013.

If you're interested in attending, put this Saturday, September 13 in your calendars. Hope to see you there!

Monday, August 25, 2014

From Skein to Sweater: A Rhinebeck Adventure

The road to Rhinebeck starts here.
Well, it started at last year's Rhinebeck, but we'll get to that in a minute.

Rhinebeck is the location for a much celebrated sheepie, fibrey, yarny festival in New York State during the most beautiful time of year.
A powerful gathering place for knitters from all over the continent (and dare I say, even world!?), books have been written about it and the specific magic and drive that is: The Rhinebeck Sweater.

I've been to Rhinebeck twice; the first trip was sweater-less, but I cottoned on for the second year and am now riding high on inspiration and am going for the third.

Along with my friends at Handknit I'll be heading down for the whole weekend, hopefully bedecking in a very new, very lime green, sweater. At Rhinebeck 2013 I fell in love with this yarn (pictured: it's Maple Creek Farm Yarns "Sherman" in Lime; 80% superwash wool, 20% nylon, 400 y / 3.5 oz).
You knew I would, right? Totes. This is an amazing colour.
I was a bit trepidatious, if you can believe it; I did question at the time of purchase, "Will I be able to wear this in a sweater and not feel... overdone?"

Well my knitterly friends, I have the solution. To balance the eye-searing beauty that is this neon green, I've decided to go pretty damn traditional with the accompanying pattern.
I'm thinking a basic, classically-inspired aran sweater will do the trick.

With this is mind, I've been searching Ravelry for some cable-inspiration, mostly hanging around Alice Starmore's portfolio (designs like Eala Bhan and St. Brigid) and the lovely Vika by Veronik Avery (and I do indeed know it's for kids. I'm digging the cable combinations).

As for the shape and construction of the sweater itself, I'm thinking of my favourite sweater elements: a wide and deep scoop neck, top-down seamless, with elbow or 3/4 length sleeves. Maybe even get creative with the waist/bust shaping. We shall see. But certainly it will have some negative ease and my loveist of ribs, the 1x1 twisted.

I'm excited! And possibly ill-advised. Start a sweater NOW for mid-October? When I have plenty of other knitting that needs to be done? AND a Christmas present from last year that remains incomplete?
Naaaaah. I'm good. I'm gonna indulge. Because I don't believe it's technically a Rhinebeck sweater if you aren't stressing over it and desperately weaving in the ends during the road trip.

Magic, I tells ya. Magic.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Jen Hintz
Blog: FibroFibers
Rav ID: jenhintz
Some Great Designs: jenhintz's Rav Designer Page

Texture and fun! That's this week's designer's work.

Take Zig. I love Zig! Look how cute! Check out the other pics on the pattern page, because it looks equally great with either the wider or narrower brim, and is fantastically unisex. Now that's a hat that looks great, is fun to knit, and will keep your head warm this cold season!

Stackhouse is an otherwise pretty simple and classic-looking cowl, but paired with its intended yarn of FibroFibers Nightfall sock set and BAM! It becomes and interesting colourwork piece.

And I want to end with a rather summery (and cool!) "No Coaster Needed" Beverage Cozies. They are what they sound like, folks. And a cute idea for some of that summer's-almost-at-an-end crochet to work on while you enjoy the sun (and your beverage!)