Saturday, January 30, 2016

vogue knitting live 2016

Hi friends!  I hope you're having a wonderful, relaxing weekend full of all of your favorite things.  I certainly am!  This morning, I woke up early and cleaned my apartment, did some yoga, and headed out to Brooklyn to meet up with my brother.  We had a delicious brunch at The Bounty, which is a completely charming restaurant.  We actually tried to check out a few other places first-- one was closed, one was closed down completely, and one had a very confusing ordering system and there wasn't much seating.  It worked out for the best, though-- both the food and the ambiance of The Bounty were perfect for a relaxed Saturday morning.  Zach ordered the mackerel and scrambled eggs on toast, and I had biscuits with sausage gravy.  Both dishes were yummy, but we both agreed that the biscuits and gravy were hard to beat.  Definitely a good choice if you're looking for a cozy, reasonably-priced-for-New-York option in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

The other reason I was in Greenpoint was to meet up with some knitting friends at Gauge and Tension!  I spent an absolutely wonderful afternoon knitting with Jennie and Devon from the Tiny Paper Foxes podcast, Jaclyn from the Brooklyn Knitfolk podcast, Denise from the Yarn Geek podcast, Michael from the Penuin Coffee Klatchd podcast, and Allison, who works at Gauge and Tension.  Jennie, along with Eric from the Sticks + Twine podcast, hosted a meetup after Vogue Knitting Live a few weeks ago, so I'd already met a few of these lovely people, and it was great to have some more time with them, as well as meeting a few new friends!

Speaking of Vogue Knitting Live, today I'd like to share my VKL purchases!  I went to the VKL marketplace with my friend Kristina, who is incredibly fun to shop with.  Our tastes in color are almost complete opposites, so we're never competing for the same skein, and we are both expert enablers.  As Jennie would say, it was a Festival of Woolpiggery.
narwhal needlework yarn narwhal needlework coffee date
First is this beautiful skein from Narwhal Needlework.  Look at those colors!  The blush, the raspberry, the deep brown-- the speckles!  For crying out loud, the speckles!  I fell in love with this skein from a few booths away and zoomed right over to purchase it.  This is a superwash merino and nylon blend, fingering weight, and the colorway is called Coffee Date.  Too cute!
narwhal needlework tweed narwhal needlework tweed
Next up is this beautiful tweedy skein, also from Narwhal Needlework.  Every once in a while, I run across a dyer who just speaks to me with their color sense.  Narwhal Needlework is definitely one of those dyers.  There was nothing in their booth that I wouldn't love to knit.  This is another fingering weight, in the colorway Marooned.
hedgehog fibers yarn hedgehog fibers yarn
These two beautiful skeins are by Hedgehog Fibres, purchased at the StevenBe booth.  Both are in the colorway Opalite, but I couldn't choose which weight of yarn to get, so I decided to get both!  The sock yarn is a superwash merino/ nylon blend, and the merino singles are, obviously, merino, in a worsted weight.
Jill Draper Makes Stuff yarn Jill Draper Makes Stuff yarn
I think I picked up and put down this yarn about five times before finally committing to purchasing it.  There is a lot of tonal blush yarn in my yarn stash, and I wasn't sure I needed another skein-- but I kept picking up this one and squeezing it and rubbing it against my cheek and even sniffing it (it's so sheepy!), and I finally decided to buy it.  After all, the reason I have so much tonal blush yarn in my stash is because I love tonal blush yarn.  This is Mohonk from Jill Draper Makes Stuff, a gorgeous sport-weight Cormo wool, in the Tiny Dancer colorway.
holiday yarns
Last but not least are these two gorgeous skeins of sparkly fingering weight from Holiday Yarns, in the colorway Silver Screen.  I purchased these as an option for my Crazed Scandinavian Cowl, but ended up choosing the darker gray from my last post.  I'm so glad I bought these though, because they will look lovely in a colorwork project with some lavender or pale blue-- ooh, or yellow!  Wouldn't these be lovely paired with a mustard color?

Well, lovelies, I hope you have a fantastic Saturday night!  I'll be spending the rest of the evening knitting, snuggling Bucky and Cocoa, sipping tea, and reading the latest issue of Artful Blogging magazine.  Maybe I'll do a little journaling, too.  Getting wild and crazy over here!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

gray and blush

gray and pink yarn 
This weekend has been incredibly cozy.  I came home Friday after work, got into my pajamas (begin as you mean to go on, right?), and settled in for a snowy weekend inside.  Friday night was spent cleaning and organizing, because I can't relax if my apartment isn't tidy, and I guess the organizing bug was still in my system on Saturday morning, because I decided to take on a pretty mammoth task: organizing my yarn stash.  That entailed taking every single skein and braid out of my yarn cabinet-- have I mentioned that I have a lot of yarn and spinning fiber?  I'm hoping to do a little stash tour soon, too.  The up close and personal view of my many, many yards of yarn and ounces of fiber was a little intimidating, to be honest, but it was also exciting.  It also gave me a chance to see trends in my yarn purchasing, and while I have a lot of lavender and a lot of pale blue, the majority of my stash is gray and blush.  
gray and pink yarn 
Since I have so much of it, and because gray and blush go with pretty much everything in my wardrobe, I decided to cast on a few projects.  The two soft, lovely yarns above are O-Wool Legacy Bulky in Desert Blush and Cascade 128 Bulky in Silver.  The Cascade 128 Bulky was a gift from my lovely friend and coworker Kristina-- she knit a gorgeous fisherman's rib scarf out of it and when I said that I loved it, she passed along her four extra skeins to me!  Kristina, that was so generous of you, thank you so much. These are going to become the Color Dipped Scarf from Purl Soho.  This will be my first try at brioche knitting and I'm pretty excited about it!  
crazed scandinavian cowl
I spent most of this weekend knitting on the Crazed Scandinavian Cowl by Wendy Johnson.  I'm still relatively new at colorwork, as this is only my fourth colorwork project, so I find myself un-knitting quite often and my tension is occasionally a little wonky (which will hopefully even out in blocking).  I'm enjoying it nonetheless, and these yarns make it such a pleasant project to knit on.  The blush yarn is Kraemer Sterling Sock in the Pink Pearl colorway, purchased at Vogue Knitting Live in January of 2015 at the Woolbearers booth.  The gray is from Holiday Yarns, in the Silver Sock base, in the Badger Black colorway--and that color name makes my little Hufflepuff heart very happy.  I purchased this yarn at Vogue Knitting Live 2016, just over a week ago. (I'll be sharing the rest of my purchases with you in my next post, and guess what?  Gray and blush.  All of it.)   These are definitely dyed up on the same base from Kraemer, consisting of merino, silk, and nylon, so the two yarns work perfectly together.  This is an at-home-only project for me, so I've also cast on some socks for my mom so that I'll have something to knit on the train and while watching podcasts, since I need to follow a chart closely for this cowl.  Now that I'm finally finished with my Christmas knitting, I want to cast on all the things!

I hope your week is off to a great start!  

Sunday, January 24, 2016

knitting catch-up: purple socks

Hi friends!  So, life got a little crazy and I took an unintentional blogging break.  I'm hoping to get on a more regular schedule soon, but in the meantime, I've been knitting up a storm.  I'm going to break up my projects into a few knitting catch-up post to keep it from becoming overwhelming.  Today, let's talk socks, specifically, purple socks.

patons kroy socks
First up, these are the Blueberry Waffle Socks  in Paton's Kroy sock yarn, in the Cameo Colors colorway.  I fell in love with this pattern/yarn combination after seeing Dani knit these on the Little Bobbins podcast, and I shamelessly copied.  I've since knit several pairs of Blueberry Waffle Socks, they've become my go-to sock pattern.  The ribbed nature of the pattern makes them fit really well, and it's just interesting enough to be both enjoyable and mindless knitting, perfect for my commute knitting or knitting on while watching podcasts.  I did contrasting afterthought heels on these socks in some charcoal gray Paton's Kroy.

handknit socks
I also knit a pair of plain stockinette socks out of some gorgeous yarn from Black Bunny Fibers.  I purchased this yarn at Vogue Knitting Live in January of 2015.  It's the Belmont base, which is a blend of 55% superwash merino, 25% nylon, and 20% kid mohair, and the colorway is Cracked Pepper.  I wasn't sure how I would feel about the mohair content in this yarn, but I barely noticed it while I was knitting.  If anything, the socks feel a little more sturdy and hard-wearing than usual. Toes, afterthought heels, and cuffs are in charcoal Paton's Kroy.

When I knit these socks, I was using a US size 1 needle, and 72 stitches.  I'm a tight knitter, so I've since changed to using a US size 2 needle and 64 stitches.  The fit is the same, but the socks feel softer because they're not quite so dense.  Honestly, when I first started knitting, I wasn't sure I was ever going to be a Sock Knitter (capital S and K).  I was not even close to correct.  I love knitting socks and I almost always have a pair on the needles.  And that's a good thing, because my stash of sock yarn.... well, let's say it's healthy.  Very healthy.  Robustly healthy.

Oh, and #blizzard2016?  Yup, that happened-- we got about 26" of snow in Bayonne between Friday night and this morning.  Thankfully, I have a vacation day on Monday, so I don't have to venture out of the apartment for a few more days.  I'm all stocked up on the essentials: Lush bath bombs, tea, and Choco Leibniz biscuits.  Oh, and yarn.  So much yarn.

How did all of you weather the storm?  What are your hunkering-down essentials?  
Stay cozy!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

summer reminiscing

purple flower macro

I hope all of my friends in the US had a wonderful Thanksgiving (and that my lovely international friend had a fantastic Thursday!)  My holiday was about as perfect as I could wish for-- lots of time relaxing with family, many, many delicious meals, and it was all topped off with a tree-trimming party at my apartment.  As I'm writing this, I'm curled up on my couch under a blanket, enjoying my Christmas tree as I wait for my tub to fill for a hot, foamy bubble bath.  But today I'd like to go back in time a bit (insert TARDIS sound here) and share some photos from the end of the summer.
My mom and I went blueberry picking at her local blueberry farm!  We had read on their website that it was a pretty sparse year for berries, but we weren't discouraged-- and sure enough, we came away with enough blueberries for a pie!  Actually, I want to share a kind of odd experience from that day, because I just couldn't believe it was happening.  My mom and I were picking blueberries, minding our own business, and this couple comes along and starts picking blueberries right next to us.  Like... right next to us.  This blueberry farm has three huge fields full of blueberry bushes, so my mom and I looked at each other like "Ohhhh-kay, this is a little weird."  So then the woman in the couple starts picking from the same bush as my mom!  First she went on the opposite side, then she came around and was literally shoulder to shoulder with my mom.  Why?  Just--- why?!  It was the blueberry picking equivalent of going to a sample sale-- if somebody else has it, it must be good!  We had a wonderful time, though, and finished our excursion with homemade ice cream from the farm's ice cream shop.  
My mom has a beautiful flower garden in front of her porch, and I love sitting on the porch with my knitting and watching all of the birds and woodland creatures that come to visit.  My favorite visitors are the group of hummingbirds that hang around.  There are three females and two males, and they're so used to my mom that they fly to eye level a few feet away from her to say hello.  I've always thought of hummingbirds as just whirring wings and a long skinny beak, but they have a lot of personality!  There is no battle more ferocious than two hummingbirds fighting over a flower.  Conversely, there's nothing cuter than a plump little hummingbird preening on a fence post!  Eeeeeep!  So adorable!
moss on log
mossy fallen tree limb in the woods
yarrow-- one of my favorite wildflowers

I hope you are warm and cozy on this gray Saturday!  

Saturday, November 7, 2015

flower crowns

flower crown floral design bridal 
Hi friends!  Today I would like to share a project that I did as part of my floral design class.  I created two flower crowns with fresh flowers!  I absolutely loved making these, and two of my lovely coworkers were kind enough to model for me.

flower crown floral design bridal 
Orange isn't usually a color that I'm drawn to, but these incredible orange roses just enchanted me.  I kept this crown simple to let the roses remain the focal point, only adding some greenery and a touch of baby's breath
flower crown floral design bridal 

flower crown floral design bridal 
Color was also the inspiration for my second flower crown.  Since the orange crown is so bright, I wanted my second crown to be a bit more wild and moody.  I fell in love with these deep plum purple carnations, and accented them with purple waxflowers and sprig's of baby's breath.  
flower crown floral design bridal 

flower crown floral design bridal 

flower crown floral design bridal
I so enjoyed making these crowns.  Floral design is incredibly inspiring to me, and I can lose track of hours while I'm working on a floral project.  Creating with flowers is both soothing and exciting to me, and I can't wait to share more of my floral designs with you!

special thanks to Rachel and Alex for being such beautiful models!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

knitting catch-up: JDRF mittens!

One of the many things I love about my job is working for a company that gives back.  In August, we had an in-office carnival to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and of course, the knitters of the office were ready to represent.  Here's what I contributed to our booth!

knit owl fingerless mittens 
These cuties are the Fingerless Gloves With Owl Detail pattern.  I actually knit two pairs of these.  They were quick and easy, and the cable pattern added some interest to the knitting.  The pattern is written to be knit flat, but I modified it to be knit in the round because I am all about avoiding seaming my knitwear.  I knit these mitts (and, actually, everything else in this post) with Berroco Vintage left over from the Never-ending Boyfriend Blanket.  It's a lovely, squishy wool-blend yarn that can be given to non-knitters without fear of shrinking or felting.  Good thing I like it, too-- I still have lots left over!
Emma's Mittens knitting 
Next up is a pair of Emma's Mittens! These were super fun to knit, and Emma's Mittens will definitely become one of my go-to mitten patterns.  There's definitely a lot going on in this pattern, what with all the cables and the many, many bobbles, but the pattern repeat is short enough that the knitting seems to fly by.  I knit these while sitting on my mom's porch, watching hummingbirds darting around her flower garden.  
Emma's Mittens fingerless knitting 
Another pair of dark gray Emma's Mittens, but fingerless!  These were actually a custom request from one of my coworkers.  She loved the dark gray Emma's Mittens in the knitting club booth, but she felt that a fingerless version would work better for her.  I was happy to knit them up for her-- apparently, this particular coworker always buys lots of handknits from the knitting club's booth at the JDRF carnival.  How cool is that?  I love knitting for other people who work in creative fields or have creative hobbies, because they truly understand how much time and thought and love goes into every handmade object.  
Emma's Mittens knitting Emma's Mittens knitting cables
Last up, a pair of Emma's Mittens in a lovely robin's egg blue!  It was a wrench putting these into the booth, because I love this color and thought these mittens turned out particularly pretty.  Lucky for me, they were the only thing I made that didn't sell!  So now they are mine, mine, mine.  Yay!  I also knit a bunch of little mug cozies, and it has been so much fun seeing them snuggled around mugs on desks in the office.  

Happy Halloween!  I will be spending the day curled up with Bucky and Cocoa, watching Halloween movies and knitting away on Christmas presents.  I hope your day is cozy (or spooky, whichever you prefer)!

Monday, May 11, 2015

hand-tied bouquet

Hi there!

I've always loved flowers-- I grew up spending a lot of time outside, and when I was in college, I went up to the High Line almost every week to get a little time with nature.  Flowers have always been a huge influence on my fashion design work, too.  I recently enrolled in a floral design class on Nicole's Classes, taught by Chelsea Fuss of the lovely Frolic! blog.  Today I'd like to share the first assignment with you!

The first assignment was to make a hand-tied bouquet.  The flowers I chose for my bouquet were yellow and pink ranunculus, purple mini-carnations, pink spray roses, yellow freesia, white waxflower, and spirea.  

hand tied bouquet flowers ranunculus roses
I wanted my bouquet to look lush, but maintain a fresh, garden-y feeling, so I also put in a few unopened buds from the carnations.  The wispy waxflower and slightly wild-looking eucalyptus, as well as the curvy spirea, also give the bouquet a more organic look.

hand tied bouquet flowers ranunculus rose

I had purchased enough flowers for a couple bouquets-- here is the second one.  I was especially pleased with the pink ranunculus in this bouquet- I love how full and round they look! 
hand tied bouquet

 After about a week, some of my flowers were starting to look a little worse for wear, so I took out the ones that still looked fresh and rearranged them into this cute little row of mason jars.  
flowers in mason jars ranunculus

ranunculus pink

yellow ranunculus

I'm currently in the third week of the class and absolutely loving it.  It's so soothing and lovely and inspiring to be working with beautiful, natural forms and textures.  I can't wait to share more of my floral design work with you!