Friday, January 31, 2014

Indie Designer Revisit

Designer: Lena Fedotova
Blog: a Cup of Stitches
Rav ID: ravliki
Some Great Designs: ravliki's Rav Designer Page
Original Indie Designer Post: June 21, 2013

Less than a year, and already this designer has plenty of work for me to revisit! Since the weather is chilly out there, I'm going to go over a few of her more snuggly, warm-keeping patterns.

New since June are some crocheted blankets, Tunisian Shell and Bargello. Both of these display crochet's strong points, with lovely texture and various effects of colour and modularity.

Lavender Path (pictured) is a top-down crocheted shawl, designed to be a stress-free, easily re-sized piece of needle (or  hook!) work.

And I couldn't miss out on pointing you to the Flowers and Tiles Top. I'm not a big crocheter, but I certainly am big on showing people what beautiful things crochet can do. This is a great top for the warm weather, but you can certainly layer with it and wear it in the chillier months too.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Christine Roy
Rav ID: Sicilienne
Some Great Designs: Sicilienne's Rav Designer Page

The cold is still here for a while, folks! A new hat, cowl, or scarf never goes amiss.
And this week's designer can certainly fill that need!

Sicilienne has many lovely, textural, cozy-looking winter accessories to please. Pictured here is her latest design, A Tale of 2 rivers - beanie. This design also has the strength of being a unisex piece, as well as having a matching scarf in the very pretty A Tale of 2 rivers.

I also really love the simple yet effective and interesting texture on My comfy little hat. It's a quick wee knit, also designed to be knit flat (for those times you're just not in the mood to work in the round... or maybe have a chronic shortage of dpns and circs!)

She has plenty more pieces, but I'll limit myself to just one more here: the great colourwork cowl that is A cosy cocoon cowl. There's all sorts of great ways to wear this piece which she's photographed in the pattern's page. Since it's reversible it's extra warm, and can be folded up or down. And I really love her combination of neutrals and neons!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

On Podcasting and Planning Ahead

Vincent van Gogh. Lying Cow, 1883.
"The age of thirty is, for the working man, just the beginning of a period of some stability, and as such one feels young and full of energy.

"But, at the same time, a phase of life is past. This makes one melancholy, thinking some things will never come back. And it is no silly sentimentalism to feel a certain regret. Well, many things really begin at the age of thirty, and certainly not all is over then. But one doesn't expect out of life what one has already learned that it cannot give, but rather one begins to see more and more clearly that life is only a kind of sowing time, and the harvest is not here."

Letters of Vincent van Gogh
February 8, 1883
Written about three years before he arrived in Paris, van Gogh was thirty himself, and working in his traditionally-Dutch-inspired colour palette. Little known, it seems, as the explosion of colour brought on by the creative surrounding of Paris are the lauded stylistic period of his career.

And that's saying something, really. Seems like he foresaw greater things ahead of himself, and that his "harvest time" would come later.

So, what I'm getting out of this quote is: plan ahead!
I pontificated earlier about how planning stuff is quite fulfilling. I think this is a great example of it at work.

That's not to say I'm all inside van Gogh's head of course, but it does seem to ring of a self-fulfilling prophecy. In the most positive of senses.

With that said, I pose a thought and a question.

For ages, I've loved listening to podcasts. I'm addicted. I have a variety of topics I like to listen to, from history and language to knitting and humour.

If I began a podcast, would you be interested in listening? What sorts of things would you like to hear about? Share your thoughts and opinions - I'd love to hear them!

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Week of Lady Bat!

Hi everyone! I'm quickly popping on here to let you know this week is the Week of Lady Bat over on Holla Knits.

Have you been thinking about picking up a copy of this pattern? Let  me tell you, now would be the time. It's 50%! Yes, only $3! 


This week you'll also find a number of great posts on Holla Knits about Lady Bat.
Starting today, with How to Style your Lady Bat for the Winter.

In other Holla Knits/Lady Bat news:
Holla Knits is having a big, amazing, fun, and prize-filled KAL for a selection of its patterns, including Lady Bat.
If you're interested in more info, then check out this post on Holla Knit's Ravelry group.

Some info about the KAL:

Everyone who finishes anything by May 2nd will win a free pattern of the winner’s choosing! The pool of patterns to choose from includes all Holla Knits patterns, and also patterns from HK designers Emma Welford, Casey Carroll, Teresa Gregorio, Katie Canavan, Emily Greene Blue, Jennifer Dassau, and Allyson Dykhuizen.

Everyone who posts an FO will also be entered to win grand prizes including yarn from Unplanned Peacock, Knits in Class, The Copper Corgi, Periwinkle Sheep, Gynx Yarns, Dirty Water Dyeworks, and Baah Yarns, pattern collections from Allyson Dykhuizen, Emma Welford, Teresa Gregorio, Ann Podlesak, and Jennifer Dassau. Grand Prizes also include a 2014 Holla Knits subscription and a $25 Knit Picks gift card!

HK Subscribers will get first pick of Grand Prizes, and non subscribers will be assigned prizes.
Sounds fun, right?! Get over to the Holla Knits Ravelry Group and sign up! Let us know which pattern or patterns you’ll be casting on on Monday February 3rd. I can’t wait to get started!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Indie Designer Day

© Linajoy
Designer: Lina Wolf

Rav ID: Linajoy
Some Great Designs: Linajoy's Rav Designer Page

This week's designer has quite the strength in housewares design. The featured photo here is the Snowy-Owl reversible DK pillowcase. It's based on a great image from Popular Science Monthly Volume 11, 1877. I think it's got that Victorian-image vibe!

She also has the full set of Chinese-zodiac inspired potholders. Here's the year of the Dog (which is clearly the best year, right? I'm not biased!) in a colourwork dog image, and alternatively textured symbol.
I understand this is the year of the horse; any other horses out there? :)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I Love FOs: Milk Maiden

I love checking in on Ravelry to see the FOs people have made from my designs.

Milk Maiden is a pattern that was published in 2010 in Brave New Knits; so doing this little profile post feels like a sweet little walk down memory lane for me!

rockabillydoll is the first of a few knitters who've been quite keen on a red Milk Maiden.
It's a bit hard to tell from the photo, but I think she's tucked it into her skirt(?), which I think gives it a nice, streamlined, lady-like, and slightly fancier look.

StarFruitKnits looks so happy! I really dig it when people look so happy in FO shots :) Again, another great red Milk Maiden. I also like to note what people like to layer with it. I did have layering in mind when I designed it; it is, after all, based on a 17th century print, with 17th century fashion sensibilities that included square, low necklines and blousey layers beneath.

Though, as I mentioned above, I was inspired by a layered top, Milk Maiden can most certainly be worn without a lower layer of shirt or camisole visible. LisaKereliuk (who is also a great designer!) has made a few mods, including omitting the leaf neckline, adding a pretty picot trim to the bottom edge, and a cute cable on the front ribbing.
Also, check out her project page for more image of it with various layers.

© Minabear

Minabear has worked hers with a few modifications for an ideal fit, including set-in sleeves and adding to the front ribbing. Again, a very nice red Milk Maiden (madtosh Tart!), and no leaf lace neckline detail.

tharensolo's is a beautiful green! Red does seem to be one of the most popular colours to knit Milk Maiden in, but I'm quite keen on the green too! (and what a great photo!) Very useful to demonstrate how this top can be a dressier or more casual, every day sweater, just depending on how you work it in your outfit.
madhamster has styled her Milk Maiden so wonderfully! Check out her blog here. It'll explain her great sense of style :)
It's amazing how something as simple as the right choice of belt and necklace can really make a piece fill with personality.

© brendajosephson

brendajosephson has made a few great mods I'd like to point out: she changed the hem to a turned one, added short rows across the front ribbing, and made the ribbing in twisted stitches. I love twisted stitches. Great mods!

Sparkly blue Milk Maiden? Yes please! This yarn is so cool, I love the choice of colour and the sparkly!

I love to see the same project worked in a variety of different colours. This pink is such a great one! This is again another example of how pairing Milk Maiden with different pieces makes for a dressier or more casual look: a nice pair of black slacks dresses it up!

NJdeB has made a nice, softly green Milk Maiden. Paired with black, well tailored slacks, I think it looks lovely and quietly romantic and graceful.

wickedstitches modified her Milk Maiden to have slightly wider front side panels and a similar leaf pattern to the original. I love the blue!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Sarah Punderson
Blog: Sarah Montie Handknits
Rav ID: sarahmontie
Some Great Designs: sarahmontie's Rav Designer Page

I wonder sometimes where my brain is.
Long time reader and thoughtful commenter on this here bloggy, sarahmontie is a talented designer; I'm very glad to be finally profiling her this week.

On her rav designer page, she describes her work as "Simple shapes and minimal finishing define most of my designs. I am inspired by fiber, texture, color and nature."
I agree, and I'll show you some here.

The Reversible Rib, Reversible Hat is a great example. Look at those cool, clean lines and total wearability. The exciting pop of colour that makes you happy for spring in the winter, and ready to go out into the chilly wind.
Another lovely example of this is the TW Cowl. I like cowls in the first place, but add in some fun texture and colour and blamo! Instant add-to-the-queue material.

The superfun shape of the Seaweed Scarf makes me want to knit it right now. Seriously, isn't this a totally cool take on the spiral scarf?

And something to keep you cozy: the Bow Tie Shawl. I do like being toasty warm cozy, and very much appreciate that this shawl has the fastening built-in... and it's not a button! A simple, relaxing knit, this is something that I'm sure you'll find much use for yourself, let alone plenty of people who'd love it as a gift.

With over 80 designs, sarahmontie has so very much to offer! Pop on over to her rav designer page to see more.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Hinterland: Winter; A Quick Preview

As this post's title suggests, here I have for you a very quick preview to the three patterns that will be included in the last installment of the Hinterland collection.
This time, it's keep-you-warm-knits for Winter!

Friday, January 03, 2014

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Jan Cullen
Blog: Colour Adventures and Knitting Adventures
Rav ID: JanHarvey
Some Great Designs: JanHarvey's Rav Designer Page

Let's start off 2014 with some cool hats!

Here's the High Line Hat (pictured). Unisex, great lines. Nice quick knit. I dig! Check out the pattern page on ravelry. There's a bunch of different ages and genders wearing this hat, and in a number of different ways. I love how a simple piece can be so versatile.

A friend's having a baby. You have to make a gift, last minute. But you only have small bits of stashed yarn?! The Scrappy Baby Hat flies in for the rescue! A cute little topper for a teeny little human.  Plus it's free!

And here's another child's hat, Girls Lacy Sun Hat. It might not be hot in the northern hemisphere, but I haven't forgotten about our southern hemisphere pals! Here's a quick little knit for you, suitable to the season :)