Friday, May 25, 2012

Indie Designer Revisited

PhotobucketDesigner: Emma Fassio
Blog: Emma Fassio Knitting
Rav ID: emmafassio
Some Great Designs: emmafassio's Designer Page
Original Indie Designer Post: March 12, 2010

Over the past two years, Emma Fassio has been knitting up a storm!

She's been published in a number of yarn pattern booklets, as well as many self-published patterns.

Where to begin?

Well, the pictured knit at right, Celebrating Azzu's Shawl, is actually a neat bit of knitter-centric historiography. This shawl references one she published at the same time as the original profile I wrote, called Azzu's Shawl.

Clessidra is a neat little knit, simple lines and shape, but doing double duty as a cowl and mini cape.

Sensibilità was published in the booklet Knitting on Italian Traditions. A continuation of her fantastic use of simple shape to create unique-looking knits.

Another pattern booklet offering is Knitting an Italian Day. In particular, check out Jaana, possibly my favourite of Emma Fassio's patterns. A lovely little shell top, with ruffle and texture done just right! I'm getting a bit of a historic fashion vibe from it too, which is likely why I'm so very keen on it.

Her own ebook Sweet Moments sums up her design aesthetic; in particular check out the very pretty and delicate Allegria.

Monday, May 21, 2012

I am my Father's Daughter: Or, Karma Chameleon

When I was a kid, my family and I were amused by the ongoing, ceaseless and hilarious yearly battle between my father and the local raccoons.

With a substantial garden and glorious grapevines, our yard must have been a raccoon foodie's paradise. This, as you can imagine, was extremely frustrating for my father. The keeper, planter and carer of these plants, foiled every single year by those sneaky, tricky and really rather intelligent fat-bottomed critters.
Unkindly we would tease my father. Outwitted by the raccoons again, eh dad? Those stringed up tin cans didn't scare them away, huh? Yeah, I saw them playing some calypso music on them and having a grand old party, your garden as the buffet!

Well, don't karma come and bit ME on the behind!

Here's what I'm facing:

Karma has dictated that one of my neighbours chooses to allow her pet cat to wander around outdoors. This is a nice enough cat, but he's a cat. He likes to poop in places, whether those are places he should poop or not.

I awoke Tuesday morning to find my newly transplanted, spindly wee strawberry seedlings had been... fertilized? by said cat.

So now, the battle of Teresa and the Orange Cat of Strawberry Death has begun.

I ask of you, wise gardeners, knowledgeable cat-owners:

How do I keep the Orange Cat of Strawberry Death out of my garden?

Here's a sampling of the suggestions the interwebs has given me:
-a cat-safe produce called CatScat (though admittedly it does resemble some sort of medieval torture device)
-ultrasonic machines that emit a cat-repelling sound (out of the range of human ears)
-orange peels, scattered around the garden edge
-cayenne pepper, scattered likewise
-cages/netting to protect garden
and, my favourite
-green 1-litre bottles filled with water. Yeah. Like, empty 7-Up bottles, just placed around the garden. Supposed to scare the cats off.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Munich; Or, How I Went to Germany and Got a Tan

And, as the last stop on my wee jaunt to Europe, we visited the lovely city of Munich.

I want to send a shout out to the very friendly knitters who knit at the Treeman Cafe in Munich. They invited me (specifically manduh, a fantastic designer!) to their knit night. It was a fantastic way to relax after a long day of sight-seeing. Thanks everyone!

Alte Pinakothek. So amazing. Filled with wonderful stuff (don't tell the Louvre, but the Alte Pinakothek is just as great!)
Here I visited my long-lasting crush, Albrecht Durer. Oh yeah. All you art history geeks know what I'm talking about. You sat there in that dimmed Introduction to Art History class and saw that slide flash up on the screen (yes, I said slide. I'm that old).

Just around the corner from where we stayed was a fantastic wee area with all sorts of vintage shops.

I visited the adorable Wolladiho yarn shop. The owner was so kind and friendly!


Wolladiho: This lamp is so lovely!

I absolutely did not buy any of these, but thought they were the cutest bugs evar.

Alte Rathaus.

Oh my god people, this store is AMAZING. Holareidulijö.
I got a dirndl, of course. The staff were so lovely, the shop charming, and believe it or not, in the change room there was a pair of clearly handknit footed tights. Yes. You heard me. Footed tights. Had a ribbon threaded through the waist for a belt.
I didn't have a camera on me at the time, darn it.
I also shopped in the fantastic store Wisen Tracht und Mehr. So friendly. Lovely clothes. You'll see below :)

Munich is beautiful! Fountain in front of the university.

Yes! Another sewer cover. Let me tell you, those Germans know how to do a rad sewer cover.

I'm a beer drinker. I couldn't say no to a (half litre) of Hofbräuhaus brew. It was yum, even though it was something like 2:00 in the afternoon!
Oh yes, and here be my dirndl from Wisen Tracht und Mehr.

Delicious lunch at Hofbräuhaus.

View from hotel window. Pigeons in very serious discussion.

The Alter Nördlicher Friedhof. Gorgeous cemetery.

Serene fountainn in front of the Frauenkirche.

Thought you needed a close up on that.

And thus ends, to your collective sigh of relief, my inundation of travel photos.

Now, back to knitting!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Indie Designer Day

PhotobucketDesigner: Marie Adeline Boyer
Rav ID: MarieAdeline
Some Great Designs: MarieAdeline's Rav Designer Page

Lace, lace, glorious lace!
This week's designer is absolutely great with lace; maybe because it runs in her family.

With a grandfather who can work the lace knitting like nobody's business, MarieAdeline has a selection of patterns to make your fingers itch for those knitting needles!

Pictured here is Yasmine, one of my favourites by this designer. I'm not sure I really have to say much here: look at how lovely it is, wrapped around and layered perfectly.

Cassandra and Alice are a great pair of shawls (offered for free!) that play off the same stitch pattern. I love the designer's thought process on this one:
"Sometimes I’m surprised to see how two sisters can be so different from each other. I was wondering someday, how two sisters can interpret in their own way a same stitch pattern to create their own shawl.
From this idea two little shawls were created, based on a lovely leaf pattern."

Cute, eh?

Finally, lest you think she knitteth only shawls, there's the very pretty Sweet Little Nothing. A lace and cable beret, this fingering-weight hat doesn't shout texture, its sings it. Wonderfully! I love a good light-weight knit, and this one looks like it's a perfect wee knit for the months to come.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Berlin Rawks Socks; Or, How My Socks were Rawked in Berlin

So, the second stop on my trip to Europe was Berlin.
I'll let the pictures do (most) of the talking.

You'll notice the weather was lovely.
Here is the Berliner Dom on Museum Island.

Brandenburg Gate.

How cool is this sewer cover? I totally dig.


Reichstag. Getting all angled and whatnot.

By the river, real close to the Reichstag.

There's a number of ways the Wall and its former path are physically marked out. This is just one of them.

Hey, cute buns!

I was lucky enough to be contacted by a blog reader, Jennifer, who was very kind and acted as my very own tour guide for an evening! Yeah, guess where we met up? How could I say no to yarn tourism! Here we're in front of the lovely shop, Handmade Berlin.

How thoughtful! Jennifer gifted me these adorable candies.

This is some of what I came away with.

Chillin on a bench outside of Handmade Berlin, and this wee guy joined me!

Panorama nearto the Brandenburg Gate. Such a lovely day.

Panorama in the Pergamon Museum. Berlin is for art lovers.

Layers of posters. Reminds me of home!
Berlin was overall very comfortable. Things seemed familiar. I didn't feel like I had to always watch my behaviour, afraid I would do something "wrong" and look a fool.
I recommend Berlin to everyone!

Ok, I promise I'm almost totally done with all these.

Just one more installation... Munich!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Indie Designer Day

PhotobucketDesigner: Vanessa Smith
Blog: Knit Rhapsody
Rav ID: NessaRenee
Some Great Designs: NessaRenee's Rav Designer Page

This designer's work is so amazing, and I've known about her designs for so long, I had assumed I profiled her ages ago.

I felt awfully foolish when I discovered I was wrong!

So here is the very long overdue indie designer profile of a fantastic, hip, feminine, wearable and wonderful knit designer, NessaRenee.

You've probably seen her work around the interwebs. I'll point out a few of my favourites:

Pictured is the Chantalle sweater. The whole thing is great, but check out the pattern page to see pics of the back of the neckline. It rises up and hugs the nape of your neck, in a very lovely detail.

Julissa, a straightforward, cabled, 3/4 length sleeve knit, is done up in great style by this designer. She has (what I happen to think) is the exact right amount of ease, interest, wearability AND knittability in this design.

Well, in all her designs, really.

To give you a taste of a non-sweater garment, Dyade is a set of fingerless mitts and a cowl: photographed wonderfully, styled perfectly, knit in delicious-looking yarn, and utilizing great texture to create interest.

She can do shawls and lace too.

Check out Kaliope and Sarai. These two knits have quite different vibes (one's sweet and feminine lace, one's a hip and modern take on simple shape and texture) but both contain the hallmarks of this designer's style: knitability, wearability, youth and femininity.

Love your work, NessaRenee! Can't believe I didn't profile you earlier!

Monday, May 07, 2012

What Paris Did for Me; Or, What I Did in Paris!

I know, I know. It's a narrow segment of the general population that actually enjoys looking at vacation photographs.
I believe the diplomatic word to use is "regaled". You've been, "regaled" with some stranger's boring vacay photogs.

I'm sad to say, I'm remarkably just like everyone else; I want to regale you with my photos.

And, in a multi-post series, no less!

Herein you see my sampling from Paris.

It's difficult to pick a place to begin in the photography inundation!
I'll try to keep it to my favourite spots and images.
The one above was taken in the gardens surrounding the Musée de Cluny.
My favourite museum in Paris. That's right, favourite.

Above: the Unicorn Tapestry room in the Musée de Cluny. I used the nifty Photosynth app on me iphone to capture this panorama.

Above: just because it's adorable! The audio tour icon on some of the labels in the Musée de Cluny is a unicorn wearing headphones.

Above: exterior of Musée de Cluny. Crenulations! Oh, be still my heart.

Above: seems like I came to Paris at just the right time! Full of beautiful tulips and flowering trees. Here's a sampling from alongside Notre Dame.

Above: witness wet wet feet. I think I should thank the rain for making Paris' flowers so lovely and grass so green.

Park bench nearto Notre Dame.
Meeting of the birds.

Notre Dame itself! You won't be surprised when I tell you I have nearly 100 pictures of the place. It was difficult to find a pic where I wasn't grinning inanely.

We got to ascend to the (almost) tippy top of the cathedral. Made friends with some gargoyles and got me some cloudy-sky pictures of the Eiffel tower.

Guess who this gargoyle reminded me of?

Above and below: while it might have made my hair a damp mess, the rainy drizzle that followed us along the quay certainly made for some pretty photo opportunities.


Pretty Metro. Ah, even the public transit is lovely.
Thanks Paris, how am I supposed to return to the real world now?

Paris - on blog
One of my favourite things evar is stained glass windows.
So you better believe I made me a stop in Sainte Chapelle.
Half of it was under repairs, but even blotting out so much of the walls with scaffolding won't hold back the shining, radiant, gem-like glory of the place.

Paris - on blog
With only three days in Paris, you've got to make some sight-seeing choices.
While I did not actually go to the Eiffel tower, I took a chilly and wonderful nighttime river cruise right along past it.

The Arènes de Lutèce. A Roman ampitheatre, now a park, right smack dab in the midst of Paris.
I actually got wifi here.

Ahhh, you know I had to satisfy my yarnny inclinations! Here's me with my spoils from La Droguerie. It's so much awesomer than you can even believe. Yarn and beads and haberdashery to the rafters.
I was a bit shy to take many photos inside the shop. It was quite busy when I arrived, and I didn't want to put anyone off by randomly click click clicking away.
Below, you'll see a shot of some of the beads on offer.


Dude, you know I couldn't write a post about Paris and NOT include some luscious photos of food! Above and below: two different bakeries, window displays to make you want to forget all you know about health and what you *should* and *shouldn't* be putting into your body.
I totally had some macarons.


Regaling complete!
If this hasn't soured you yet, I've still got two more cities to gush about.
Check back in a couple days for Berlin.