Friday, October 24, 2014

Rhinebeck: Video Recap 2014

I gave you some of the details in this post, but here's the (now traditional) Rhinebeck video recap post!
See 2013 and 2011.

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Jennifer Beaumont
Rav ID: Jenmama
Some Great Designs: Jenmama's Rav Designer Page

I research and line up these indie designer posts pretty far in advance.
For example, I first contacted this week's designer in July. She very kindly gave me permission! At the time, she had two designs. The Bright Windows Beret and the Pixelated Pullover (pictured).

I knew that these two would certainly give me plenty to talk about. Plus, they're super cool! I LOVE the Pixelated Pullover. Not only is the colourwork fun, offering plenty of room for creative palette choices, the colours she picked for the samples are so right up my alley. NEON BABY! Look at it. In all its bright bright glory.
And for those who are reticent to commit to much/any neon, something like the Pixelated Pullover is great. You can play with just a touch of it. And how it's placed in this photo, up by the wearer's face, is a lovely way of drawing attention to your beaming smile (which you know you'll have because you'll be wearing an awesome sweater!)

So yes, plenty to say about even just one of her patterns. But, wouldn't you know it, she's been awfully busy these past few three months! As of today, she has three new patterns!
Tessellated Pullovers is another riot of colourwork fun (with herringbone and houndstooth options!)
Gemstone Wristers and Pixelated Palms are both cute colourwork pieces, demonstrating her strength with this technique and eye for combinations. I'm really looking forward to seeing what she designs next!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fawned; A New Pattern

I think scarves have gotten a bad reputation.

Whenever you talk to someone who's a new knitter, they sum up their skills derogatorily as "only" being able to knit a scarf.
Those many years ago when I began knitting, the talk was always about moving on from scarves. They're just a starting point, and if you want to be serious you're going to want to knit more important and interesting stuff.

I'm here to say: I think scarves are fun, very functional, and can most certainly be interesting!

Here's Fawned, my latest pattern. It's included in Knit Pick's fall 2015 Northwoods collection (alongside some wonderful patterns!)
On Ravelry

Fawned is designed to be a little wider and a touch longer than your average scarf. Great for wrapping around your neck!
It also has the added fun of pom poms. YES! Pom poms. You know you love them. And here, they're also quite a functional element: they keep the ends of your scarf hanging down, and thus less likely to blow away and in your face this chilly season. Bam! Design element as functional fun!

The cables meander from one pointed end to the other, surrounded by a cozy pair of plains of seed stitch.

Want to knit Fawned? Join the KAL in the Canary Knits group on Ravelry. You can win priiiiizesssss!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Rhinebeck Recap 2014

View with my morning coffee. Ahhhh.
Oh, Rhinebeck. What to write about Rhinebeck!

I had a fantastic time this year. I road tripped it with a couple of friends and we stayed in a near-impossibly charming 1800s farmhouse in Red Hook. The drive down the I-87 made me, yet again, want to live in the Hudson Valley.

As this was my third Rhinebeck, I had a better idea of how the weekend unfolds itself. The layout of the fairgrounds is familiar now; certain vendors are generally in the same places year-to-year. You know that there's that tent with the DELICIOUS cheese from Sprout Creek right outside the barns with sheep and llamas and alpacas and booths full of small farms and dyers selling their hard-to-get yarns.

I returned to two such booths this year, and that's where I spent the bulk of my cash. Maple Creek Farms, which is nowhere to be found online (I've tried!), was filled with layers and layers of unwound hanks draped down in cascades of fibrey rainbows.

Oasis Farm had, yet again, fantastically soft and unbelievably inexpensive angora for sale. I restrained myself to one hank (220 yards). Bonnet, anyone?

I had the famous apple cider doughnuts (next year I'm buying a dozen and bringing them home with me!!), enjoyed the alpaca parade on numerous occasions, and had the distinct pleasure of watching the Leaping Llama competition. Yes, leaping llamas.
Wandering the Rhinebeck roads with Kate.

I was able to meet up with and run in to a few American friends!  And of course, I missed out on crossing paths with others. We'll have to plan better for 2015.
Wearing The Rhinebeck Sweater.

Soon to come will be my (now traditional) video recap. In it,  I'll be including in it a show and tell of my purchases, as well as some tips and advice gleaned from these three years of Rhinebeck attendance.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Knitting Book Read Along: Let's Pick Book Two!

Thanks to all you wonderful people who participated, I think our first knitting book read along was a great success. We had some great discussions on the ravelry group, and I feel like it's time to select our second read along book!

I have a short list, gathered from suggestions from numerous knitters. This short list is what we'll vote on. Find the poll below.


I'll leave the voting open until November 1.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fire Hair!

For years, and with varying success, I've tried to get myself fire hair.
These failed and disappointing attempts were all so because (at least, I believe it's because) it was ME doing the dyeing, and not a professional.

Enter the professional!
Foil head!

While I dig the idea of a full head of fire hair (my pinterest board is no joke, people!), I wanted to see how the professional's dye would behave on my hair before I went all-out. I elected to just dye the bottom section of my hair, from the ears down.

The dye they used is called Elumen, and I've been promised that it sticks in your hair like mad.
My hair is a medium-dark brown, so to get the intensity of colour I was looking for, it needed to be bleached out.
Bleached and ready for colour!

The colour itself only sat on my hair for about 20-30 minutes. And wowzers! Did the yellow ever turn out great! I'm less impressed with the red and orange, though have been promised that with successive dyes they'll be much more saturated colours.
The pixie magic that is stylists' styling.

It remains to be seen if I'll do my whole head in fire hair. The prospect is exciting. I'll keep you in the loop with the behaviour of this Elumen dye. I really hope it sticks! Cause fire hair rocks!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Jessica K. Larson
Rav ID: omarsyarn
Some Great Designs: omarsyarn's Rav Designer Page

We've got a great accessory designer this week. I'd like to show you three of her shawls:

Lakewood (pictured) is a near-hypnotic play with curved lines and texture. It has a unique sideways construction, with the rows never getting too long! This looks like it would be a relaxing, entertaining knit.

In Flight uses angled rows of yarn overs in a simple and effective demonstration of how shape and drape effect a basic, traditional shawl.

Froom is cool: it uses plain stockinette, with very interesting elongated stitches, to create depth, interest, and movement.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Delightfully Geo SALE!

I'm still very in love with this design.
I've found myself wearing it up, over, and all around the place this autumn. It's great to throw on over a tee or long sleeved shirt.
With the extra positive ease (not usually within my repertoire, but here used for great effect) it's great for wrapping around yourself and feeling cozy.

And since I live in the lovely loveliness of Ontario, where the autumn beauty is spectacular, I thought I'd take some more outdoor pics of my favourite FO.

Oh yes, and IT'S ON SALE!

Today ONLY, you can download Geo Delight for only $4.

I would LOVE to see some Geo Delight FOs. And I know you won't be disappointed with this knit!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Rhinebeck Ready(ish)!

This is exciting, ruffling my feathers and getting me all in a tizzy. But a fantastic tizzy!

I'm furiously working away on my Rhinebeck sweater (which at this point is only down to the waist). Yep. Oh, and it's in sock weight. Because that's how I roll.

So, do you think I can do it? Can I finish a sock weight sweater, from the waist down, and the sleeves (both of them!) AND the neckline? Can I? EXCITING! Playing with fire!

I've also heard that it's not really a Rhinebeck sweater if you're not knitting up the last bits in the car on the way there, and blocking it in the hotel room the night before.

At this point I think a good block is not gonna happen. But the sweater might!(?)

So hey, if you'll be at Rhinebeck, and you happen to see me (hopefully in a neon green sweater!) come say hi! I'd love to meet you.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Melissa Schaschwary
Blog: dandilion girl designs
Rav ID: dandiliongrl
Some Great Designs: dandiliongrl's Rav Designer Page

This week's designer has over 100 patterns, which I'm sure you'll understand, made it difficult for me to choose what to talk about!

I'll keep it to the women's garments and accessories, but you need to know that she has a great collection of knits for kids and a few for men, too.

Oh man, I love this one: Chateau. Just look at that glory of batwing-y, cabled goodness. You know you want one too. You can totally imagine walking down a tree-lined lane in this beauty that is October wearing this knit. SO gorgeous.

And in a leap to a totally different time of the year, North Fork is a softly summer tee with wide stripes. While it might be a simple top down raglan, it has a cute bit of short-row ingenuity with a split hem, keeping this piece seamless and fun to knit.

Finally, River Edge is a hat that would make a fantastic gift. Its textured surface is great for both solid and variegated yarns, but I bet you'll want to keep one for yourself (or, you know, just knit tons of them!)

Friday, October 03, 2014

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Nicole Montgomery
Blog: Behind the Scenes at Trappings and Trinkets
Rav ID: colie75
Some Great Designs: colie75's Rav Designer Page

There's a lot to show you with this week's designer, so point-form it is! But first, an introduction:
With dozens of patterns for adults and children, colie75's designs can carry you all through the year!

Beekeeper's Tank: I love the loose and flowing lines of this sleeveless top. And the honeycomb detail at the neckline is so sweet!

Siesta Tee: A breezy mesh top, perfect for walking along the beach.
(and I had to include a second one):
Summer Vines: a textured and handsome sleeveless tank.

Orchard Pullover:(pictured) Super pretty! I think maybe I'm a sucker for a good cable combination, but this sweater is so great! I dig the neckline, too.

Snowy: This is a delicately colourworked slouchy hat, that I think would look equally well on a man or a woman.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Wedding Prep: Bouquets n Things!

I'm getting married on Saturday, and have been making my brains out!
See earlier posts here and here.

Pom pom bouquet: left over yarn from years gone by and decorative bunches of sticks, cut down to about 12" long, from the dollar store. Make the pom pom, tie it off, but before you fluff it up, dab a bit of hot glue in the middle and place the stick through the centre. Ta da!

Jaunty wee corsages and boutonnieres. For the boutonnieres, I just used a thin piece of leather as the backing and wrapped copper wire around it, some feathers, and a pin. The acorns were gathered about a month ago and finished by drying in the oven and then hot gluing the caps (all of which had popped off) back on.

The corsages are mainly felt, but also have remnants of silk yarn as pom poms, with a few feathers and of course an elastic wrist band. Hand sewn. Didn't take very long at all.

And now I think I'm ready! Bring on the party!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Indie Designer Revisit

Designer: Holly Chayes
Blog: Holly Chayes
Rav ID: hollychayes
Some Great Designs: hollychayes's Rav Designer Page
Original Indie Designer Post: November 5, 2010

Four years ago (wow!), when I first profiled hollychayes, I highlighted her lace design.
It's great to see she's still working with this strength, and I've a few goodies to show you:

The show-stopping shawl pictured is Tumbling Deco, and I don't think I even have to tell you why this is such a great design. I love that shape: it looks like it'll hug around your shoulders and neck perfectly. I love that structured, geometric pattern: it's refreshing to see in a lace shawl, which are generally much more organic and "feminine". And the name?: Fantastic!

Yuki, part of the collection Shawls to Play With, is both interesting to knit and look at.
The collection is described as simple shawl patterns, "designed to open up a new world of shawl knitting possibilities". And I have to agree! Other pieces include Gratia, Xylia, and Idril.

Asymmetrical Bluebells is one of those very wearable shawls, with its long, narrow, triangular shape and fun, garter texture as background. You don't see that enough!

Looking at her work, you can see that hollychayes takes the traditional lace shawl and has the talent to mix it up.

ps: I had to add in Birds of a Feather Tam because, well, feathers!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

New-to-Me Yarnny Beauties

The other week when I visited the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitter's Fair I had my yarn-scanny goggles on for new-to-me products.

I had a limited amount of time to look around the many vendors, but it didn't take me long to locate two who had to come home with me AND who I knew I'd have to mention on this here bloggy.

The first is Yarn Indulgences.
Why it caught my eye: Their booth had an attractive array of multi-colour yarns in a few different weights. There were a few solids/semi-solids, but this may not have been representative of their true offerings as I made it there in the afternoon, after they had most likely been picked-over.

What came home with me: As you see in this pic, I brought home two hanks of their fingering weight (because I can't resist this weight, dammit!) in Peach Rose. I have visions of fringed shawls dancing in my head. Because I feel that fringe is my New Big Thing.

The second yarn that called to me was Georgian Bay Fibre Co.
Why it caught my eye: Just look at that photo! Beautiful solids in the best range of colours. Classic neutrals and exciting brights. One of my favourite things about this yarn company is the creator's colour sensibility. Each one is thoughtfully presented to you as a package of beautiful yarn, and inspiration.
Maybe it's my soft-spot for Ontario, and even that particular part of it, but I thought it was the best of finishing touches when, upon my four different colour purchase, matching postcards explaining and illustrating the colour inspiration were presented to me.
(checking out her Instagram will show you some of this same colour thoughtfulness. @gbfibreco)

What came home with me: See here my four colours. Don't you want them too! What they will become is a mystery, but I'm thoroughly in love with these sheepy-smelling (yet soft) hanks. I hope you'll see a finished design with this impressive yarn in the coming months!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Wedding Prep: Chocolate Spoons and Two Weeks to Go!

I've spoken briefly about my upcoming wedding before, but with LESS THAN TWO WEEKS, I thought I'd give you an update from Wedding Prep HQ.
(FYI, linky to pinterest wedding board. Just in case you're interested).

It's a cavalcade of fun stuff happening over here.

There's the raw materials for the corsages and boutonnieres.
Hopefully more to come on them soon. I have plans involving sewing machines.

There's the Thank You sign from this cute photo idea.
How did I make that?
Years ago, for some unknown and uninspired reason, I cut stiff felt into a pile of circles and glued scrap fabric from this costume dress. They sat around unloved until I had a light bulb idea, spurred on by my determination to maintain budget and a low-level of extra effort (read: laziness).
I purchased the pack of glittery letters from Michaels and just hot glued them on, along with a backing of jute twine.
Just: remember to place the letters face down and in reverse order. Or else you'll glue them all down, hold it up, and have a great sign that says ! U O Y K N A N T

The favours will consist of edible yums, including the above pictured extra gingery gingerbread, and pre- and post-chocolate covered spoons below.

I made a few visits to my local Value Village and picked up these spoons. The chocolate was melted in a double boiler (important to get it the right consistency) and dipping them was actually way more fun than you might think.
They're actually sitting on their wax paper rests, drying as I type.

I didn't have much of a clue about the (cup)cake toppers. I knew I wanted something cute, but not a fortune. Particularly as I had so damn many bits of crafting crap that I've accumulated over many years.
So, you'll recognize these glitterly letters from the Thank You sign above. Again, my good friend the hot glue gun strikes. Just stuck down some round sticks and I'm done.

Well, for now. I still have banners and signs and corsages and bouquets and centrepieces and....