October 12, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Fall has…fallen. The temperatures are dropping, and I’m chilly ALL THE TIME. So when I came across this tutorial for a super easy, lightweight cowl I was all over it. It’s exactly right for chilly-but-not-cold weather.
It’s seriously so, so easy. Take an old tshirt (or a new one you picked up on sale or something). Cut the bottom hem off. Then cut parallel to the bottom hem just under the sleeves. You now have a tube of fabric. Stretch that mutha out as much as you can. Start with stretching it your full wingspan, then you can step on one end and pull the other up — the more you stretch it, the longer it will get (obviously) and the curlier the edges will get. I think I might make a few more of these and decorate them with bleach pen designs, or dip dye them, or applique them…
February 4, 2012 § 1 Comment
Back in November, this totally gorgeous pattern came across my Twitters. Since I was headed up to a friend’s house that very weekend for a stitch’n'bitch, I grabbed the pattern and some yarn and started when I got to the s’n'b. This pattern is definitely going to get made again…it’s got a ton of variety in the stitches, but each row is consistent and simple enough that you can work around while paying minimal attention to the actual stitches you’re making. The combination of variety and simplicity is absolutely perfect for a project to work on while hanging out and chatting with friends, or sitting in waiting rooms, or really, just about anything. Best of all, if you’re a bit distracted like I’ve been for the past few months, you can miss a couple rows and still end up with a great looking final project!
Get your own copy of the pattern here! And while you’re there, check out the rest of Ruth’s patterns and read some of her blogs…as I mentioned on Twitter the other day, she’s totally my knitter-crush.
*See, this would be really funny if we’d been having a cold winter.
January 5, 2012 § Leave a Comment
As I mentioned a few days ago (and you already know if you have a calendar/access to the internet/contact with other people), ’tis the season for resolutions (or not), and reflections on the year gone past, and goal-setting for the coming year and beyond. I had an interesting conversation about this last point the other day. An article came across my interwebs that suggested that if one wanted to be a serious writer, one needed to make that a top priority in one’s life. Conversation ensued about whether that was realistic for someone who isn’t — and can’t be — a full-time writer.
The conversation isn’t really important — this isn’t a blog about being an author, after all — but as we were having the conversation, I realized that much of what we were talking about pertained to the design career I’m working so hard on launching, and I needed to think about what “prioritizing” that actually meant to me. I have a full-time job (that I actually quite like and don’t want to give up, even if I do become a successful designer), a family that requires quite a bit of my time and attention, and a number of hobbies that I quite enjoy. I don’t believe that I should — or do — have to undermine any of those things to be successful with knitting design. That’s not prioritizing; that’s just unhealthy.
What I do have to do is make sure that I have concrete (small) goals set out every month, every week, every day. For instance, the other day my goal was to establish the stitch patterns and choose the yarn I want to use in a couple of submissions that are done at the end of the month. There’s a ton of other stuff that needs to be done for those submissions: sketches need to be drawn, swatches need to be knit, descriptions need to be written, etc. But that night, the goal was to figure out the stitch patterns and pick the yarn. And I got that done. Meeting that small goal has done a number of things for me: It has moved me forward on the list o’ things to do for those submissions…now I’m ready to start making those swatches. It has given me a feeling of accomplishment — I got something done! And it has put me in a position to feel comfortable enough with where I am on those deadlines that I can take some time and work on other stuff, like writing up a one-off pattern for a friend, and knit a little on my current “relaxing” project: Rock and Purl’s Vitamin C Cowl.
I am truly enjoying working this pattern up. I chose to do it in Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky in the Pumpkin colorway, because orange seemed like an appropriate color for this pattern (I considered Tweed Stripes in the Wildfire colorway, but I was afraid the striping would obscure the lovely stitch patterns). There is just enough going on with the stitching to keep me from feeling that “oh dear god how am I not done with this already” feeling that I get with miles of stockinette/seed/ribbing, but not nearly enough that I feel the need to constantly check the pattern. Just a few minutes of working gets me to that very relaxed, zen place that really good knitting can deliver you to. I’m enjoying it enough that I’m going to be a little sad when I’m done with it, I think. For now, though, I’ll just enjoy the moments.