Friday, June 28, 2013

Indie Designer Revisit

Designer: Iryna Klionava
Blog: Knotting Noodles
Rav ID: klionik
Some Great Designs: klionik's Rav Designer Page
Original Indie Designer Post: September 10, 2010

More delightful little knits from this month's indie designer revisit, klionik.

The picture on the right is her adorable Little Cupcake Newborn Hat.  Let me tell you, if I had me an infant, it would be dressed up like food (and perhaps various fun and interesting movie characters) like, all the time. As long as I have control over the wardrobe it's CUTE STUFF FOR YOU! Muwhahaha.
But I digress.
Really, they're very cute! Keep this pattern in mind next time you have an emergency baby shower to knit for!

For yourself, there's the pretty Zigzag Tunic. It's a great summery knit, perfect for these hot and sunny days. I love the colours she's picked for the sample, too. Very nautical!

Finally, I'd like to point out her On the Wing (knitter neckerchief). A double-sided shawl, this piece is a great one to work on in the summer, and have ready to go for the first crispness of the autumn!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

TNNA Summer 2013: Recap

The radio silence on the blog is mainly due to this past weekend's very exciting and absolutely wonderful TNNA.
Hotel lobby. Squee! TNNA!
What that is, technically, is the National Needle Arts annual trade show. While the summer show is the "big one", they have others throughout the year.

This is where yarnny people connect.

I can't tell you all how much fun I had!
(well, I'll try...)

Picture it: Columbus Ohio, June 2013. It's hot outside and freeeeezing in the packed-full Convention Center. People's eyes are dazzled by yarn and patterns and all other sorts of goods and exciting news. Their bellies full of delicious ice cream.

While my ability to take photos was drastically reduced by this state of overwhelmed-stupor, I do have some to share.

I got to meet so many wonderful people!
Photo courtesy of Allyson Dykhuizen.

Here's me and the ADORABLE Allyson Dykhuizen from Holla Knits and the Sweatshop of Love. We were roomies. She rules. Seriously, running Holla Knits and the Sweatshop of Love?

She sported a whole bunch of great knits (and crochet!) over the weekend. Check out her TNNA recap.

We also roomed with the very talented Alison Green. See her great patterns here. I'm really keen on her latest, the Budding Garden Pullover. She's also got a bunch of pretty new designs with Juniper Moon Farm yarns.

MarlyBird Designer Dinner swag.

I was lucky enough to score an invite to MarlyBird's Designer Dinner. She has a great podcast. If you dig listening to them, check it out. She's so upbeat and delightful!

Each of us had a packed-full loot bag. Some of the contents:

-cute gift tags from the knit- and graphics-designer Jill Zielinski
-two cute Chic-A bags
-some new Eucalan Wrapture
-the new issue of the Love of Knitting, with a beautiful duster pattern from MarlyBird herself

I got to meet freshstitches, rock and purl, Carina Spencer, Lee Meredith, Amy Palmer, Andrea Rangel, Stacey Winklepleck, Rohn Strong, Cirilia Rose, Carol Feller, Chris Church, Shannon Okey, Elizabeth Green Musselman, Knitterella, Mari Knits, Jean Chung, Angela Tong and many others. Designer Dinner WIN!
The show floor.

Spud and Chloƫ swag!

Cute pin from Lee Meredith.

mmmm.... Jeni's....

Photo courtesy of Allyson Dykhuizen.
 Yay ice cream! Here's me, Rohn Strong and Alison Green enjoying some Jeni's.

Lucania, in Zen Yarn Garden's booth.
I was super stoked that Roxanne, the creative director of Zen Yarn Garden, entered my new pattern Lucania into the fashion show! Gah!

Yay! Lucania was in the fashion show.
Me and Hilary!

And I finally got to meet a long-time internet bud, Hilary Smith Callis. She is such a sweet and kind person!

Her booth was fantastic (which she shared with Irish Girlie Knits). Check out those mini Citrons-as-bunting! Very cute, eh?
And just because it makes me smile: Hilary, me, AND Alison all have the same birthday? Cool beans!

(ps: mini pattern preview! I just might be wearing a very-soon-to-be-released design here!)

Pretty Anzula.
I got me some absolutely beautiful Anzula yarn. Swatching will commence soon. I can't wait!
Ok, so a run down on some of the nummy yarn and other goodies:

-lots of exciting bright yarns! Malabrigo, Anzula, Manos and many others are all jumping on neon like it's HAWT! (which it is, btw).
-got to check out the new issue of Knitscene, and a sneak peek at some upcoming Knit Picks collections (which I'm glad to say I'll be a part of!) as well as the VERY COOL Doomsday KnitsCooperative Press does such awesome and interesting things!
-got to see the new madtosh colours (and yeah, if you're not a fan of the neon, there's nothing to worry about. Madtosh has you covered with lovely soft shades).
-got to see some great new (to me) yarns from Red Barn Yarn and Baah Yarn.

So, I have returned from the whirlwind (wherein I drove 7 hours each way. Yah, I totes did it. Car did not explode into flames with the flaming hot heat flames of late June). I consider that a victory.
Amongst all the other awesomeness of this weekend.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Lena Fedotova
Blog: Sea Snail Shell
Rav ID: ravliki
Some Great Designs: ravliki's Rav Designer Page

I don't feature much crochet on this blog, but you know, sometimes there's some crochet that just needs to be seen!

This week's designer, ravliki, has a great array of crocheted pieces.

See Sands (pictured). How pretty! Very wearable crochet. I love the v neck, I love the ripple, and I love the ruffle. It looks very soft and comfortable. So, get your hooks out, peeps! This one's a keeper!

Pond Ripples is pretty in the same sort of way as Sands. Very wearable, warm-weather top. I love the modularity of the piece, and its lacy effect.

And, one of my favourites, Ocean Samba Skirt.  Here's a bit about it: "The combination of techniques - hairpin lace crochet and knitting in garter stitch with a gentle lace touch - is easy and very quick to make. And the pattern instructions will help you to create a skirt of any size and length."
You've got to see this skirt. There's some great pics on the pattern page on rav, including some action-shots of it in full swing!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Ambah O'Brien
Blog: Ambah: confessions of a serial crafter
Rav ID: ambahobrien
Some Great Designs: Ambah's Rav Designer Page

So, here's the problem: you love the knittings, but you hate the heat?
Well, this week's designer has a great wee pattern for you!

Look at Petarli.  Uniting some of the most happy things about knitting and yet, being knittable and wearable in this summery summery heat. It's so pretty! But, Ambah has a selection of other pretties to check out.

Magine is a pretty shawl/scarf. Delicate and geometric.

Billo is for those cooler times of year. Again, it has a very nice geometric texture, structured on a simple (unisex) knit cap.

Elinya is the last one I'll point out to you today. It's another lovely shawl, but this time large and cozy. I love that pretty picot border!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Still Sewing!

I'm so dern pleased with my latest dress, I just had to share.

This one is from a pattern that (very much looks like) it's from the late 1950s. It's actually quite a simple dress, but I'm glad it seems I'm getting better at zippers.

The pattern isn't even my size; it's about one size too small. But, I'm thinking either a) I like the ease to be less than is generally given for a sewing pattern or b) I have somehow drastically mis-read my actual size.
This isn't the first time it's happened, that sewing patterns are supposed to be my size and end up with too much room all over. Here's to hoping that will raise my alterations skills!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Lucania Styled

Lucania, which debuted just last week, is a pretty and versatile sleeveless sweater. Here's a few different ways you can wear it.

I styled this thinking about "girl's night out". Something fun and comfortable (hence the jeans and leopard print shoes!)

Here you see how great this piece is as a layering, keep-me-warm-in-the-office piece.

I'm thinking... date night? Adorable, feminine skirt paired with ballet flats and pretty floral headband.
Thinking of buying Lucania? Just click here and get your copy for only $6.50 CAD.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Oh Alberta! Or, I Go on Vacay to Wild-lifey Results

Lucky for me, my boyfriend likes to take photos. Here is your Official Inundation of Alberta Trip Pics.

First off, here's where we went:
That's from Edmonton (in the middle there, at F) to either side of the province (from A, which is Bonnyville, to C, which is Jasper National Park). Lots of driving, and thankfully not by me!

So, that trip to the cabin in the mountains gave plenty of ridiculously beautiful and majestic vistas.

Including  me being a smart ass, as I tend to do.

We stayed in a cabin near Jasper National Park.

Which was fantastically close to the Athabasca River.

We took a ride up to the top (nearly) of one of the mountains.

And a hike along trails running a couple kilometres from the Athabasca Falls and Maligne Canyon.
There were deep ravines with all sorts of rocky nooks and crannies around the canyon.
I, quite obviously, had to take the opportunity to act as an evil canyon troll.

There was wildlife spotting to my heart's content.

I had this song stuck in my head the WHOLE TIME.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Sandy Richards
Blog: Marshall Lane Library Blog
Rav ID: poodlemaster
Some Great Designs: poodlemaster's Rav Designer Page

It's heating up out there!

Here's a pattern from a designer to sport in the Junetime:
Spider Lace Summer Hat (pictured here) is a nicely light and airy topper for the warm weather.

Our designer poodlemaster creates projects with a great feel. Check out her Lattice and Leaf Scarf for example.  Nice texture, simple knit, but interesting!

But my favourite has got to be the Bobble and Twist Hood. Step back, it has pom poms, people! I love me my well-used pom poms! This is such a cute hat, I'm very much wishing it was cold out so that I could wear it! Keeping your ears warm in style, my friends. Oh yeah!

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Sizes: A Manifesto in Parts

This is the second in my ongoing discussion about sizing.

In this post, I was initially going to send out a feel-good list of resources for us to look at, in order to ground ourselves in the idea that every body is different, thus making it impossible for any system of standardization to cater to everyone.

I got sidetracked with a rant about what was meant to be my first resource, My Body Gallery.

Here, the rant.

Though I don't care for their tagline, My Body Gallery is a user-reliant site that has women self-determine their body shape and enter height and weight data. It's as helpful as the accuracy of the input, but still a nice reminder that just because you're 5'5" and 145 lbs, that doesn't mean you're going to look like every other woman with that same height and weight.

The offending tagline for My Body Gallery is "What Real Women Look Like".

Please, please everyone, do your best to stop using the term "real women look like X". That implies that those women you're comparing against aren't real. We're all humans. We're all real. Keep this in mind when selecting the terms you're using.

I know, I know, you mean skinny, tall, big-breasted women who obviously have had "work done". If that's what you mean, then say it. Don't imply those women aren't real. They're real. Some people have genes coded in their bodies that make them tall, skinny and big breasted. Just because our culture happens to value their looks over others, keep in mind that a) this is fickle (in the 50s, a larger size was the one valued), and b) THIS DEMONSTRATES THAT A WOMAN'S VALUE IS RELIANT ON HER LOOKS, and that's not good for any of us humans. So let's take down that system, person-by-person, by treating each other with respect and understanding. There's a lot of pressure out there on women to look a certain way. Let's all try our best not to participate in it by shaming other women.

I know I've been guilty of my anger at this system being pointed in the wrong direction. This system which values one body type and shames all others. I'm certainly guilty of disliking things about my body that have no impact on my worth as a person. But, end up a detriment to my comportment and attitude; some stupid shackles I was taught to put on myself.

So I try my best to knowingly undo those stupid shackles. That's what I call my feminism.

At one point I was hell-bound against wearing any makeup. At another, it was a certain type of clothing.
I'm trying my best to navigate the waters of feminitity, being female, being a woman, and functioning in this culture.

So yeah, rant over. But, you know, sort of "to be continued" with this whole Sizes: A Manifesto in Parts series.

This awesome woman's videos on the youtubes are inspiring and eye opening. But, if you don't care for the swearing, just watch out. There's some in there.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Be Sweet Winner

Just popping on by to say congratulations to MaryKate. You're the winner of the Be Sweet giveaway.

I'm officially back from vacation now, and hope to have some pics to share soon. Wildlife abounds!

Monday, June 03, 2013

Elbie is Famous!; Or, Embarrass the Bird in June

The War of 1812 is big news around my locale. They've been bigging it up since last year, as from 2012-2014 it's the bicentenary of the war itself.

Here you see Elbie as a British red coat, defending British North America from invaders!
In particular, he's placed in the Battle of Stoney Creek, fought on June 6, 1813. It was a turning point in the war, and significant win for the British.

May, as Indie!
April, as the WWI fighter pilot Billy Bishop.
March, as a sea captain.
February, as a debonair monsieur.
January, as a Bavarian.