Friday, October 28, 2011

Indie Designer Revisited

Designer: Hanna Breetz
PhotobucketBlog: evergreenknits
Rav ID: evergreenknits
Some Great Designs: evergreenknits' Rav Designer Page
Original Indie Designer Post: February 6, 2009

Not only are evergreenknits' designs beautiful and consistently elegant, she's maintained her dedication to knitting green.
Her latest blog post talks about natural dying with pecans - really cool.
On to the knitting!

Since I first profiled Hanna in 2009, she's done much more great work. She's published a fantastic shawl pattern for Sanguine Gryphon, Industrial Revolution (pictured). I encourage you to check out the other photos of this shawl on the pattern page. It seems to morph wonderfully into several different shawls, depending on how it's worn.

Another beautiful knit, self-published this time, is Vermont Shawl. I love how it really does seem to reflect the lushy greeny leafiness of a strong, old forest.

And one more notable mention is the adorable Sea Urchin. This sweet little whimsy just might find it's way onto my Christmas knitting list!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Indie Designer Day

PhotobucketDesigner: Cecilia Flori
Rav ID: ceciknits
Some Great Designs: ceciknits' Rav Designer Page

With interesting shapes and attractive elements, this week's designer has a great talent for creating fabulous accessories.

One of the two patterns she has posted is the pictured a thousand splendid suns. Great name, right? I think it's rad gear.
The photograph shows off the beautiful way this seemingly simple knit can look so interesting, and I can imagine it really "making" an outfit.

The second pattern ceciknits has published is the long (and winding) mesh. Again, great name. Take a look at the number of photos she has posted of this piece. It appears to transform into so many different shapes! I really love the look of it all scrunched up, and the little flipped over cowl look is great too.

Thanks for the patterns! Looking forward to any new designs you may cook up (and the wonderful names to accompany them!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rhinebeck Redux;, Or, Here's My First Video Post

Hi all!

As a bit of a recap, I thought I'd let you know a bit about how Rhinebeck went for me. And, in a video post!
I apologize ahead of time for the following:
-poor video quality
-obvious awkwardness
-any inability of the video to play

Rhinebeck Redux from canarysanctuary on Vimeo.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Beware: Four Hungry Knitters on Road to Rhinebeck!

PhotobucketIt's true. This year is the year.

I'm finally going to experience the consta-lauded, much-anticipated, always-venerated Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival.

I'm not new to attending knitting fairs, but by all accounts, this is a festival like no other. I'm pretty dern excited, and I'll tell you why:

This is going to be a superawesomesauce road trip for me and three other knitting buds. The Orange Beast1 is up for the haul. I've done over 6 hours of straight driving before, but that was all within Canada. Crossing the border is new! So, that orange car with the Ontario license plate? That's us.2

As a big fan of cute animals (especially dumb cute animals), I look forward to meeting a few of the ovine persuasion. And, if anyone of you will be there, please say hi! Fair warning, you might have to pull me away from whatever shiny thing I'm fawning over at the time!

1 The Orange Beast is my fantastico car. Guess my favourite colour?
2 I've coordinated with all the other orange-car drivers in Ontario - they're not going. I have the market cornered on Ontario orange cars.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thanksgiving; Or, How Awesome It Is

Leaves - on blog

It's difficult to choose, but in the general rankings of holiday awesomeness, Thanksgiving's my second favourite of the year.

Previous years have seen me post a wee bit on this topic: a few years ago it was joy at the successful avoidance of mass familial poisoning at my first Thanksgiving as hostess.
This year, I sadly am stepping down as party-starter. My new home isn't up for company quite yet. I suspect the atmosphere might be ruined if the dining situation involved boxes-as-chairs and plastic cutlery (because you know, somehow, there seems to have been a bizarre migration of real silverware from the box they were supposed to be in to some random, foreign box, buried at the bottom of the bottomless pile of randomness in the fright-maze that is the basement....)

Aaaaanyway, I've always felt Thanksgiving is so wonderful and warm. Family together, that fantastic post-gorging bloat, the beauty of an Ontario autumn, and really, I dig the whole "taking time to be thankful" thing.
I'll tell you a secret: the apparently frivolous nature of this blog? It's silly and pleasant and happy and frivolous on purpose. This is itself a tool for being thankful.

I'm thankful for pretty yarn. For the inspirational creativity of others. For the fact that my life is prosperous and comfortable enough to allow me the time to indulge in frivolity. I have fantastic people around me who I can turn to for help; people who support (and even understand) my squeals of delight over a simple hank of yarn.

I hope you all have that level of happiness, too. And even more!

*ok, wiping away the superfluous amounts of saccharinity....

Let's go eat food! Because there's no joy in life like a full belly.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all, whether you're in Canada or not.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Halloween: Oh How I Love Thee, Part the First; My Costume!

This year my new ch√Ęteau will be host to Halloween!

October is the best for oh-so-many reasons, and Halloween is my list topper. I love this holiday. If it were a human, I'd be seriously inclined to marry it. At the very least we'd go out on a few dates. See how the chemistry worked out.

This post is a warning, beware and heads-up: I'll be re-entering the blogging world with a superfluity of Halloweeny party planning.

This post is also a discussion about, rant upon and general headdesking about women's Halloween costumes.1

Here is what I wanted to be for Halloween: a Roman centurion.
Guess what type of costumes I found for a grown woman Roman centurion?


I believe the photograph, with it's ability to speak one thousand words, explains why I have not chosen this pre-fab.

With limited time and sewing skills, I didn't feel up to the task for doing any of the following:
-buying this.... costume.... and altering it to suit my tastes
-buying either a men's costume pattern or boy's costume pattern and modifying it to fit me
-searching (perhaps fruitlessly) for bits and pieces to toss together and hobble up my own no-sew version of a Roman centurion

And so, off to the fabric store I went, fingers crossed that somehow it would have a women's Roman centurion pattern that... suited my tastes... which the internet did not.

Lo, and to my everlasting non-shock, it did not.

But what the fabric store did have was an array of lovely historical dress patterns. Being a history nerd, I couldn't resist, and purchased Butterick's B4827 Misses Medieval Dress pattern.


Of course, I couldn't go as just any well-to-do medieval woman: I'm going as Eleanor of Aquitaine!

Boo yeah!

This costume suits my many costume guidelines:
-will keep me reasonably warm on what will obviously be a chilly October evening
-allows for freedom of movement (this guideline unfortunately rules out tons of kickass costumes)
-does not require any sort of thick face paint
-also, does not require a mask (clashes with the glasses. Glasses cancel out masks. I choose my ability to see over costume)

So, anachronistic as it shall be, I'll be a plastic-frame bespectacled Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Next time: costume sewing success (or failure. And if it's a failure, I promise it'll be a hilarious one.)
1 Wooo! Feminism post!
Yes yes, it's all very personal-as-political, but everyone has their bugbears, and sexualized Halloween costumes happen to fall in the category of things that yank my chain.
It highlights the masquerade parade that is acceptable "femininity" in this culture that women, when given the opportunity to dress up, are assumed to
want to have every single costume choice be highly sexualized.
Even when you can find a costume for an adult female (and disturbingly, even for teenage girls and
pre-teens!) that isn't by it's nature very sexual, it is morphed into a sexualized piece of women-hating garbage.
Want to be Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz? Be prepared to raise that hemline and expose some breast! For dog's sake, Dorothy was a little girl.
And, think there's a limit to what can be sexualized?
A few years ago a friend of mine saw a woman dressed up as a sexy Ninja Turtle.
End Rant.

Indie Designer Day

PhotobucketDesigner: Atelier Alfa
Blog: Making Things
Rav ID: al-fa
Some Great Designs: alfa's Rav Designer Page

This week's designer is fantastic with manipulating and utilizing interesting shape.

It's an aspect of knit design that's always intrigued me, and seen to great effect in the
escargot hat and scarf (pictured). This knit-in-one-piece hat has a matching scarf as well. Just look at the cool short row work. I'm imagination-drooling over the thought of this knit in a self-striping yarn.

Check out another project with cool shape (and lace this time too! with big and small leaves cardigan. With pretty detailing and bulky yarn, this sweater looks like a great, cozy, autumn knit!

She's also got several men's patterns; recto verso for men is a simply detailed pullover, with texture that would retain any knitter's interest, while still being masculine enough to appeal to many men.1

Finally, I'd like to point out the awesomely adaptable hoodiescarf. I dig knits that can do a few duties, (one of the reason cowls rule the world), and this one combines all that you need to keep your noggin nice and toasty.

al-fa has so many more patterns for you to see - just check out her Rav designer page!

1 As a side note: being a female, I suppose I'm generally not privy to the sorts of special, gender-based information and rule that govern the Proper Clothing for Men. In a few (very few) conversations with those of the Masculine Man gender, I've discovered that baby blue is not appropriate for men. Too "soft", perhaps? This may be something for another post....