Friday, May 29, 2009

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Tatiana
Blog: Blueberry Place
Rav ID: blueberry-place
Some Great Designs: blueberry-place's Rav Projects Page

Sometimes it's truly amazing to see the amount of creativity and knit-beauty that can come from one designer's fingers and brain!

This week's designer, blueberry-place, is a perfect example of this - so much so that I've had to give ya'll a wee listy at the end of this post to point you to some of my favourites on her Rav Projects Page.

But, I will talk about just two of them, to whet your proverbial fibre-appetites.

First we have Leafy (pictured right). Delicate cable designs on purl background make me weak at the knees, and when I laid eyes on this one I nearly hit the floor. How fantastic! It's difficult to choose a favourite design element with this one, but I'll have to point to the creative arched framing of the centre leaf with those curving cable vines!

Secondly, take a gander at her Cabled Cardi. The combination of multiple and various popping textures and cables make this sweater attractive in the extreme. It also appears highly functional as well, like something you could wear all the time in the autumn (or leave slung over your chair in the cold, cold office during the summer).

As promised, here is a list of some other great to gander:
Leaves and Berries Sweater
Eights and Bobbles Hat
Crystal Lace Pullover
Sunny Crochet Top

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Swirlette ArrĂȘt

Pattern: Swirlette
Yarn: Berroco Pure Merino, colour Meringue, 5 skeins

This is what happens when I like pretty yarn.

I saw the colour and the springyness of this Berroco and couldn't resist. Without much of a plan I cast on and improvised from there - it was one of those "de-stress knits" I mentioned a few weeks back.

In general, I would knit two rows (beginning with 1x1 rib), then on the 3rd row I twisted each knit stitch to the left. When I had to increase I would purl front and back, first on every third (or fourth, I can't remember) purl, then eventually even out the number of purls so that all the knit ribs were evenly spaced across the bodice.
There were a few issues, forcing several frog sessions, as well as a yarn run - needed a couple extra skeins.
(In this piccy on the right the twists serendipitously aligned with some purty sunshine to show themselves off).

SwirletteDecreasing was one place where I had problems. Had to add more stitches for the hips in a hurry, stupidly forgetting how much the twisting tightens the stitches and reduces stretch. The top also has this unfortunate tendency to puff out at the back, because when increasing for the bust I increased evenly around the entire circumference (you can sort of see the back-twists on the picture below).

The yarn is lovely and multi-plied for an interesting knit. There were more than a few instances of needle-catching-in-yarn, and my inattentiveness when re-knitting frogged areas led to a couple half-picked up stitches. *le sigh

But, as you might be able to tell, I had some great fun on this particular photo session. It's been an incredible few days round these parts, and I fortuitously entered this park garden and initially didn't realize why it smelled so damn good.

These lilies of the valley needed to be in my hair. And they came home with me.

All told, I'm fairly pleased with this "de-stress" knit.
Though, it has to go into hiding for the summer.
But, as is my way, the cold-weather knits get completed right before they can't be used.
Hooray for seasonal planning!

Do you have fresh flowers in your place?
Now that the lilacs are all zapped from the sun, the lilies have taken over.
Sweet goodness.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Indie Designer Day

Cattrack CowlDesigner: Chris Church
Website: Pursuit of Fiber
Rav ID: rchrispy
Some Great Designs: rchrispy's Rav Designer Page

As promised last Friday, we've got the second half of a partnership designing duo: rchrispy!

First, her own designs.
Pictured right is her Cattrack Cowl, with a colourwork technique that blew my mind (that is, it's the twined knitting technique which uses two ends from the opposite sides of the ball of yarn). Very cool, right? But, adding to this work's coolness is the wee design inspiration description(I love those!) rchrisy added to the pattern page:
"Have you ever looked down at the ground at a groomed ski trail at a resort? Well this cowl has the same marks left by the Sno-Cats that groom the more advanced trails here in the Northwest."

After checking out her other designs, I wasn't surprised to find out that she'd graduated from art school focusing on fiber. Take for example the Squiggle Cowl. With what I believe to be a pretty pretty1 and innovative use of shaping she's created "dips" in the front and back to help maintain warmth and block out drafts.

Any of you able to go the the TNNA show? Some exciting late-breaking news from rchrispy is that she'll have a piece in the fashion show with a local company. How cool is that?!

And now, you've got to check out another cool innovation.
Partnership designing!

Jonquil Mom and rchrispy have two patterns up on rav, and they're both an interesting combination of each designer's aesthetics. The Holland Cowl and Holland Neckwarmer fuse Jonquil Mom's neat-o cables and rchrispy's tidy designs to create a synthesized style that's fascinating to witness.
There's more to come from these two designers; I have it on good authority that there's a men's cabled sweater in the works which will hopefully be out by Christmas.
1 Ain't I a stinker? Sad attempts at word play can't seem to stop crawling out of my head!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lilac Lova; And/Or, How I Thank You Readers

LilacI've gone nutty.
Spring has somehow settled in my veins and brains, and I now run the risk of turning this into a consta-pretty-nature posting blog.

Here you see a selection of lilacs happily bloomed just outside my place o' work.
Though the pink ones are very charming, the purple have the best scent ever.
My knitting mojo hasn't stopped. Quite the contrary, actually.
Astonishingly I've been on a "finish the damn UFO" kick, and have polished off one in the past couple of days, and have now voraciously moved on to two more of the proverbial monkeys on my back.
Hooray for knitmojo!
Birdy Bath

I'll hopefully have some FO pics for you all tomorrow (which I plan to spend on a Mr. Toad's Wild Ride of bridal crap shopping and Royal Botanical Garden frolicking).

In the meantime, I leave you with an adorable birds-bathing-in-fountain pic.
On a separate note - I'd like to thank all you wonderful readers and commenters. Unfortunately, blogger doesn't really facilitate easy thanking-and-feedbacking for authors, so I'll be holding a Reader Appreciation Giveaway instead! It'll begin in the next few weeks. I've yet to iron out the details, but stay tuned!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Aeolian Smile

Pattern: Aeolian Shawl
Yarn: Ingido Moon Bombyx Silk, in Peridot

Weeeeee! Lace!

PhotobucketSometimes there's a fire lit beneath you.
Ever since I beheld this beautiful lace project in this Spring's Knitty, I knew it had to be mine. Miiiiiine, in fact.

As you can probably deduce, I knit the shoulderette version rather than the full-on shawl. I'm generally not a shawl person, and was fearful of putting many hours of work into something I would ultimately neglect.

Despite my earlier notions, I think this pretty will find its way into regular warm-weather wardrobe rotation. Particularly with the pretty wee summer dress.

PhotobucketThe lovely hank o' yarn has ended up as a cascade of green and silk and nupps (though, through my beginner-level understanding of lace I will persist in labelling them bobbles).

You may be able to tell that I
1) had much fun on a sunny yesterday photoging this FO, and
2) photoged the FO myself.

Slightly less graceful is the photograph of lace taken by the wearer!

I'd like to thank the lilacs for being so accommodating in their photographic appearance, the nupps for not ultimately driving me nutty and the camera for not breaking when I knocked it off the edge of the park bench.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Indie Designer Day

CliodnaDesigner: Jenny Raymond
Website: Jonquil Mom
Blog: and they call me 'Mommy'
Etsy Store: Jonquil Mom
Rav ID: zzwhitejd
Some Great Designs: zzwhitejd's Rav Designer Page

Great things come in threes!
Take for instance zzwhitejd's lovely cabled Mythology series, and the warm cowl Cliodna (pictured right). This accessory is named after the Irish/Celtic goddess of beauty and the underworld.
The thick twining of the cables and their wide meanderings adds great interest to this knit.

The first of the trilogy is the neckwarmer Chimera. It's a pretty interestingly shaped item, so make sure you check it out! Highly practical for keeping those cold breezes off ya.

And certainly, mythological cables - as attractive as they are - can also be applied to body parts aside from the neck. Enter the fingerless mitts, Ariadne. As the "cables wander in and out in a hypnotic way",1 one can easily imagine these mitts as a practial knitterly addition to a springtime wardrobe.

Jonquil Mom creates non mythy works, too. I realize that One Stitch at a Time has been frogged, but I'm ultra glad for the remaining images and story. That is, a creative process that is spontaneous and happens "one stitch at a time". How cool is that?

Stayed tuned for your Indie Designer Day infusion to see an interesting and entirely new addition: joint design! Jonquil Mom co-designs with rchrispy/Chris Church, the gracious subject of next week's post.
1Line yoinked from pattern description on Rav.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I'll let you in on a secret: I've got some secret knitting on the go.

So, here lives a post wherein I obfuscate my current workings and present you with a list of fascination.Martha Stewart Cake

Shareable Secrets from CanaryLady

1) Not sure if I've divulged this one yet, but I do have a real name, and it's Teresa.

2) I've also (as have a number of my friends and family) been given the middle name Marie.

3) My last name is filled with vowels and I guess is pretty wacky and out there; people find it incomprehensible despite my attempts at very clear articulation (I'm being facetious, but for real, people have issues spelling it).

Oscar de la Renta4) I began my undergraduate degree as a Studio Arts major, but learned that my skin is not thick enough, nor my hands talented enough, to actually create decent work. Switched to Art History right quick.

5) You've all seen my face, and perhaps may find it bizarre to hear that it's not uncommon for me to get carded when buying alcohol or other such stuff that grown ups get to do. I look over 18, right? (though I've been given the story that they have to card anyone who looks 24 and under, I still exceed that age by a handful of years).

6) A while ago I set up a blog that's way top secret where I've been keeping track of wedding stuff. That's where I yoinked these two pics from. Top one is a pretty-ful cake that I obviously won't have (courtesy of Martha Stewart), and the bottom one is a pretty-ful dress that I obviously won't have (it's Oscar de la Renta, fyi).

7) I love dancing, and have been known to bust a move at inopportune moments to the embarrassment of my friends and family.

8) My brother and sister are twins, and when I tell people this, they sometimes ask me if they're identical. If I'm feeling silly, I'll sometimes respond with "yes, everything but their genitals".
Really, though, they have very different looks. My brother is very fair, and sister the opposite (kinda sorta like me).

9) My most recent favourite artist is Leonard Baskin. You can read more about him here, here or here, if you likes.

10) Drinking coffee doesn't wake me up in the least, though I still enjoy a java infusion daily.

11) When I was younger, I wished I had green eyes. They still fascinate me. Do you know anyone with green eyes? Cause I don't.

12) The school system decided to alter its approach to educating wee ones when I was wee. From about the late 70s into the 90s, they didn't actually teach grammar. So, the first time I learned about nouns and verbs was in French class. Even yet, me grammar is no so good. I'm trying to educate myself on this point, and have the Oxford Concise Companion to the English Language on my wish list.

13) I've been gifted a load and a half of happy fun retro patterns. If you're wondering, yes, there will be a giveaway soon.

Stay tuned.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Indie Designer Day

First BlushDesigner: Ijeoma Oluo
Blog: Malcolm and Marcus Designs
Rav ID: ijinstitches
Some Great Designs: ijinstitches' Rav Designer Page

Spring certainly has sprung!

In a lovely, delicate, and decidedly printemps-esque shawl ijinstitches gives us First Blush (pictured right). I've been searching for something to knit when the weather gets warm, and this one immediately caught my fancy.

For another jaunt into lovely shawl territory, take a peek at her Spring Peach Shawl. This knit is so awesome! It combines dropped stitches and cables to create a lacy effect, while maintaining a modern look for this pretty accessory.

I'll tempt you with just one more of her knits, the Opulent Armwarmers. I, as do many of you, work in a climate-controlled habitat, which regulates summertime indoor temperatures to a shockingly low degree (haha, you can't stop the pun train baby!)
These armwarmers are a beautiful and rather elegant way to maintain some warmth indoors. Simply slip the sweeties off when you step outside for your (sweltering) lunch break!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Things That Let Me Know It's Spring

Magnolia TreeWhile it doesn't rate #1 on my list o' favourite seasons, Spring does have it's own kickass qualities.

All that rebirth, renewal and sprouty-greening of stuff generally leads to an enlivening and uplifting of spirits round these parts.

My spirits are currently being enlivened by one of the most lovely sights to be seen - it's the magnolia tree outside my work.
On a recent breaktime jaunt around campus, an overwhelming desire to revert to my teenage self urged me to climb the tree and be in & amongst all that pretty floral fragrantness. My reasoning-lobe notified me that this would not be a proper activity for someone on break from work, and gawd it'd be embarrassing to get caught up a magnolia tree.

So, I decided to do the next-best thing and create my own pretty fragrant floralness with which to wrap meself in.
With no small part of my stash being laceweight (which has generally gone unnoticed) I impulsively and irrationally plucked some frantastic hanks from the Indigo Moon table at the recent Knitter's Frolic.
The appley greenness of the silk got me started on a Springtime knitting kick, and so far I have the result of a couple day's work on my very own magnolia-tree substitute.

The pattern is Elizabeth Freeman's Aeolian and I'm bonkers for it. It's one of those knits that has that special, all-consuming hold on your knittal-lobe. I can't put the leafy thing down!
(in plumbing the depths of various thesauri, which incidentally I do for fun, I've come across this gem of a word, bosky. Means to be covered with bushes, small trees, and other wee greeneries. Just thought I'd share!)

While Aeolian grows like a weed (and I do intend to extend this metaphor to it's breaking point), I have found myself a fun little website, which you might find fun too. It's The Phrontistery, and it has a cool Lost Words section. Check it out. This particular entry made me laugh, as it's rather reminiscent of knitters I know:
aeipathy n 1847 -1853: continued passion; an unyielding disease.
"Her aeipathy for stamp collecting bordered at times on the pathological."
English is messed, and yet so fun.
I leave you with some more magnolia prettiness, and scoot off to inhale some more fragrant floralness.
Magnolia Tree

Friday, May 01, 2009

Indie Designer Day

BeckettDesigner: Mary Veterano
Blog: Platformnine Designs
Etsy Store: Platformnine Designs
Rav ID: platformnine
Some Great Designs: platformnine's Rav Designer Page

Fairly new to designing, platformnine has already created a cool portfolio of knits.

Her Beckett Beret (pictured right) is a wonderful example of texture as central in a knit. The cable work is definitely eye-catching and incredibly interesting and unique. (The gorgeous photo with storm clouds a-brewin' doesn't hurt, either!)

In Diamond Days platformnine gives knitters an adorable set of fingerless mitts that can easily be either funky cool or classy/understated. I wasn't surprised to see that she states they were inspired by the movie Moulin Rouge!

There's more to see on her Rav Designer Page!