Today I have something really exciting to share with you! I can finally show you a bit of what I was working on in 2013! My first design for Knitscene magazine is out now in the Spring 2014 issue.
The Oud Tank is a sleeveless top with lace collar and underarm panels. I had so much fun challenging myself with this construction. And I think the simplicity of the front and back contrasted with a bit of lace is very much my style. I hope to see lots of different color combinations. Seeing it in black and white really gives you room to let your imaginations run wild!
Yesterday, I got my copy of the magazine in the mail and it was really exciting. I put a lot of love and thought and anxiety (do I do anything without anxiety being involved?) into this design and then I finished it and moved on to the next project. But here it is now! All of that effort and waiting has become a tangible thing!
There are a ton of other great patterns in this issue so you should pick up a copy. What do you think? Will you be knitting Oud?
This year has come and gone so quickly. I can hardly believe everything that I accomplished and the new projects on the horizon. I went back and looked at the goals I had outlined for this year while I was taking a break last week. I just wanted to make a lot of stuff. I certainly did that (though not enough, NEVER enough). My mantra back in January was that 2013 would be my year. I was going to kick ass and take names, etc. I certainly think that I succeeded.
First of all, I’ve been working harder than ever to make this blog what you see. I certainly have lots of help and support and I need it but the time and effort has paid off. I have had so much fun this year hearing from readers and making my bonds with other knitters even stronger. I love being able to reach right to you all and I can’t wait for more!
I have a lot of lovely FOs this year. I think 2013 was about tying up loose ends (sometimes literally) in order to make new beginnings.
Most importantly, though, I really got started designing. Some wonderful editors and curators believed in my work and took a gamble on me. Designing is probably one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever taken on. I’m really enjoying it, though, and I look forward to more! Last year I wore the Maxfield cardigan when I met my knitting crush Amy Christoffers at Rhinebeck and one year later, I greeted her while wearing my first published sweater. I don’t think I’ll ever be in the same league as Amy, it would be silly to compare myself, but it felt really cool. That kind of sums up what a crazy time I’ve had over the past twelve months.
And, of course, there are so many cool projects on the horizon. A lot more designing is happening! Am I doing this? I think I’m doing this, yes. Plenty of projects are happening that I can actually share with you right now and I have some cool ideas for keeping things fun and interesting in the new year. I don’t like to make resolutions but I do plan on making 2014 a killer year with BIG THINGS happening. (I’ll leave it cryptic, I’d hate to jinx myself.)
Thank you all, lovelies, for sticking with me through this fun year. I hope that you’ll stay on for the ride. 2014 is going to be fun. Happy New Year! I wish I could be popping a bottle with you all.
ps. 2012 in FOs
Check it out! This week Holla Knits is promoting my sweater pattern, The Crash. That means that you can pick up a copy for $3! That’s 50% off! As we are showing The Crash a little love, keep your eye on the Holla Knits blog for inspiration, styling suggestions, and more! Allyson will be sharing her outfits with The Crash later this week.
Monday, I kicked off the sale with this post about dressing The Crash up and down. This piece is a little intimidating but, deep down, it’s really fun to play around with. Since it’s very fashion forward, it can make everyday jeans and boots look pretty fierce. Here’s a peek at my favorite outfit.
How will you dress your FO of The Crash?
Want to talk furniture again?
This whole table thing is actually ending up easier than I’d expected. But there’s a real ongoing theme of not knowing what we’re doing slash not bothering to plan anything ahead of time. It’s a blast. Don’t do it that way. In case you were like, “Hm. I too would like a trendy reclaimed wood table” but weren’t sure about what to do after purchasing said reclaimed wood, well, I’m here to help.
At the lumber yard, they were able to scrape down the wood to get most of the major gunk off. That helped a lot. The guy recommended that we don’t do too much sanding lest we strip the patina right off. Once we got it home, we gave it a good scrub. First, we mixed some Mrs. Meyers dish soap (I like lavender) with warm water. After that, and probably more importantly, we washed it again with a cup or two of borax in warm water. The borax was really difficult to find for some reason but I found it at Target. This second wash kills any bugs and other gross things that I don’t want to think about living in my kitchen table.
After the table was dry, we decided we really needed to do a light sanding. Things were kind of treacherous without. I was going to rent a sander but did you know that they sell little sanders for $30? I have a sander now but not that many things to sand. Anyway, Jon removed the gigantic rusty nails that were sticking out using lots of elbow grease while I got to use the power tools. I went over once with 160 grit and once with 280. Did the trick perfectly.
Next was sealing. Staining was something we toyed with briefly (after we went to the hardware store and bought everything but stain) but we thought that it was best to leave the wood as close to the way we got it. A lot of people in my brief research suggested not sealing the table at all and letting all of the spills and dings and scratches become part of the weathered look. That sounds lovely but I’d really rather keep the wood stuff in the table and everything else out. I’ve had butcher block tables before and this just isn’t quite the same since it’s a bit bumpy and everything. We used a polyacrylic sealer (instead of polyurethane) with a satin finish. It dried super fast and really kind of woke up the wood and made it look fresh and happy.
So that’s just about where we’re at. It’s not very exciting to look at but one day, this little door will grow up to be a real table! Next step is the legs and, well, maybe that’s it!
How much patina is just right for you?
Hunger Games: Catching Fire comes out next month which means a big dose of one of my favorite things: Jennifer Lawrence! While my love for JLaw and the Hunger Games books is no secret, something new has caught my eye and I know I’m not alone. Lots to cover so let’s dive right in and talk about this fantastic cowl.
I caught a glimpse of this cowl months ago when the teaser came out and I knew this was going to be a big deal. Now that the trailer is here, I’m basically just drooling over this gorgeous piece. I love the rustic tweed. It reminds me of Roman Hills’ Winters Bone color way! (Winters Bone, Jennifer Lawrence, IT’S MEANT TO BE!) While it’s kind of earthy and has that hand-crafted look, it’s got a fantastically futuristic shape. I love knits that are minimal and trendy and I’ve found that it’s really really hard to pull off knits that are cool in a modern way instead of a comfy cozy camping kind of way. But this piece finds a way to straddle both looks perfectly. I’m really in awe.
When Jess and I were tweeting about the cowl earlier in the week, we started doing some research. The cowl, featured in Capitol Couture’s profile of Katniss, was designed by Maria Dora. I’m now completely obsessed with her work. Her pieces are being worn by celebrities right now and it looks like she only has more interesting things to come.
This stunning photo really shows off the details and amazing construction of the cowl! A cowl with an arm hole, YES PLEASE.
Jess reached out to the designer and Maria was nice enough to tell us that the cowl is woven not knit. (Doesn’t stop my imagination from running wild!) But! She said that they are developing a knitting pattern and would keep us posted.
This aspect really excited me. I’ve been looking forward to writing about the cowl and saying, as I always do, “Oh, I’d love to figure out how to make my own.” But I’m crazy about that idea of a couture/high street designer sharing their brand with people who couldn’t afford it (or maybe just wouldn’t be interested) off the hanger. If you’ve been keeping up with knitting news, you know that Fred Perry tried and failed to do something similar but I hope other designers put some genuine thought into it. It’s a really interesting way to create conversation between makers that work on completely different scales (without, in my opinion at least, devaluing their brand). I do feel a little sad when I want to rip off designs that I see in stores and there are tons of knitters that don’t have the interest or skills or time to invest in knitting “knock offs” (sorry, I can’t think of a better way to put it but I mean that with love). I’d love to collaborate in this way with mainstream fashion.
Either way, I salute Ms. Dora for her fabulous work. It makes me not only excited to see this movie (the production design is just going to blow the first one out of the water) but excited for the future of knitwear. That’s a pretty big thing to say but I mean it!
What do you think about big brands sharing patterns with knitters? Do you think this cowl is funky in a good way or would you be afraid to wear it? How excited are you for Hunger Games? My weapon of choice is the knitting needle.
ps. Thanks, Jess, for fangirling over this cowl for like three hours with me!
Tags: armhole, braid, capitol couture, catching fire, costume, couture, Cowl, design, fred perry, futuristic, hand knit, hunger games, Jennifer Lawrence, katniss, knit, leather, maria dora, movie, pattern, production design, shaping, witchin in the kitchen, woven
When Meredith at One Sheepish Girl was looking for guest bloggers while she prepares her book (!!!), I raised my hand really high and went “Oo oo oo pick me!” I absolutely love her blog and adorable style.
I wrote up a really fun pattern for a Plant Cozy to share with her readers. You should go check it out (along with the rest of her blog) here!
Do you dress up your plants?
The samples are shown with contrasting shoulders (Lion Brand Superwash Merino Cashmere and Lion Brand Alpine Wool) and in monotone (Unplanned Peacock Studio Superwash Merino Bulky and Unplanned Peacock Studio Superwash Merino Bulky both in Onyx). Like I’ve said before, it’s super extra fierce! It can be worn punky with a black skirt, fishnets, and boots or just spice up a pair of jeans with cute flats for an easy brunch look. I was inspired by those furry vests that never seem to go out of style, faux fur throws that decorate every Scandinavian-style living room, and diva shoulder details. I paired that with a contrasting, conservative diamond pattern to make straightforward menswear meet bold surprises. Go big or go home!
As far as construction, you couldn’t ask for a breezier knit. The sweater is knit flat in six pieces. The shoulder pads are attached before sleeves are set in. Voila!
I have to thank Allyson for embracing the craziness of this design! I love her wild style and so admire her for making Holla Knits all about patterns that are unconventional and downright fun.
Want to knit this serious sweater yourself? Just leave a comment below to be entered to win a copy of The Crash! A winner will be drawn on Friday 9/27!
ps. Double your odds! Check out Unplanned Peacock‘s blog for another chance to win a copy of the pattern!
It’s here! I just wanted to stop by to remind you that the Holla Knits F/W 2013 collection is out TODAY.
I haven’t shared any photos of the second sample which is knit with Unplanned Peacock Studio yarn. The shoulder details are knit in the same colorway as the rest of the sweater (but in the bulky weight) so you can see everything in monotone! Check it out!
You can purchase a PDF of the pattern right here!
And I hope you’re not tired of seeing The Crash because I’ll be hosting a Blog Tour Stop (with giveaways!) on Friday. Stay tuned!
Shall we play a game? There was another piece I finished recently that I kept pretty hush hush.
Here are a few shots!
It’s pretty easy to narrow down what’s going on with embroidery. But the piece is very special and of my own design. I really love photographing embroidery. Something about the way it stands up off of the fabric really fascinates me. I can’t explain it. Do you know what I mean? I think I feel the same way about cables.
I can’t wait to show you more but you’ll have to wait until next week!
Don’t forget! Holla Knits Fall/Winter 2013 collection comes out Monday!
I’m really excited today, guys. After lots of hard work and waiting and recently some rough times, I can finally share something cool with you! Today I can reveal to you my pattern for the Holla Knits Fall/Winter collection!
There she is!
The pattern is called The Crash and it’s probably the most challenging thing I’ve ever designed. Allyson’s funky style and the bold looks of past Holla Knits collections really inspired me to go crazy and design something really daring. It’s a cool look that can be punky or dressed down but it’s wearable. I had fun mixing masculine lines with vintage textures.
Right now I’m totally teasing you because the collection does not come out until Monday. I just couldn’t keep it to myself anymore. Make sure that you STAY TUNED! I’ll have all of the details on 9/16! In the mean time, hop on the Holla Knits blog to see the other designs from the collection!
Which HK pattern is your favorite?