My Personal Blank Canvas

Jeans

I’m always surprised when people compliment me on putting together cool outfits. Thank you very much for the compliments friends, they are appreciated, but I feel, undeserved. I’ve loved fashion since I was 10 or 11. My dad bought me Teen magazine for a long road trip, and I devoured it cover to cover multiple times on the road, and promptly subscribed when I got home so I would never miss another issue. I still love fashion magazines, subscribe to way more than I should, and read them regularly.

However, I don’t consider myself a very fashion-y sort of person. The only times I go shopping are with my dear friend C, which is more to spend time with her than because I’m really dying to go shopping, or when I absolutely need something. I’m not particularly trendy either, and am not one of those people who keeps catalogs of outfits. My main problem is time, and honestly, I am much more interested in the process of creating clothes than I am in being known for how I dress.

I tend to think of my clothes as a blank canvas to show off my knitwear. The two most important things to me are fit and practicality. Of course I like to look good, but I also need to be comfortable because I’m constantly working, and during the school year, running around for the kids. I thought I’d share are the building blocks I use, which of course, are there just to show off the stuff I’m truly proud of…aka, my handmade pieces! :)

Shirts

I have a drawer filled with basic crew- or V-neck long-sleeved tshirts. I buy them cheap at Target, but I would advise trying them on at different stores to figure out which store makes a cut that you find flattering on yourself, and then buying them in multiple colors. I color-coordinate them with scarves, cowls, and shawls, or I wear a neutral color underneath my alpaca poncho in the winter.

Tank

WhiteTee

I don’t think you can ever have too many tank tops or short-sleeve tshirts. You can layer them under cardigans or wear them alone with jeans or shorts and of course, whatever handmade accessories you feel like showing off. I also wear tank tops under looser knit sweaters, as I feel a tank top gives a cleaner look than something with sleeves. Black, white and gray are the musts – other than that, it’s open season on your favorite colors! I buy my favorites at Victoria’s Secret, but again, look around and find the ones you feel best flatter you.

Shoes

Shoes. Oh, where to start?! Aside from my knitwear, there is nothing else I love more. In the summer, I live in sandals and flipflops because they are so versatile. Unless you’re going black tie, you can wear a nice dress and scarf, and sandals, and still look dressy enough to go out for an evening, but still wear them all day and be comfortable. For the cooler weather, you can’t beat comfortable boots. I wear the high ones over leggings, or with skirts, and the shorter ones with everything else. One caveat about boots – I advise trying them on before buying. I buy alot of things online just to save time, but my favorite, and longest-lasting, pairs of boots are the ones I took the time to try on and buy in-store. Unfortunately, boots are not something you can “cheat” – if they don’t fit perfectly, you’ll never wear them.

And last, but definitely not least, jeans and leggings! Aside from the hot months, when I’m forced to swap my jeans for shorts and dresses, I rarely wear anything else. I buy good-quality black leggings at WhiteHouseBlackMarket, and I buy my jeans wherever I can find a pair that I feel truly flatters me. Jeans are the other item I advise trying on. There are so many different cuts, and the only thing that really matters is how you feel and look when you put them on. I don’t pay attention to the size, as I am happy to wear a larger size than normal if I feel a pair flatters me. I also don’t care about brand. I do care about price, so I am not a proponent of the $250 dollar pair of jeans, but other than that, it’s all about fit and color. I like a good dark wash, but switch it up with white and colored pairs. The basics are your favorite blue wash, black, and white, but from there, it’s all about personal preference.

If you have favorite ways of showing off your crochet and knit pieces, please share! I’m always open to trying something new!


Links to Inspire

Simply beautiful!

Cool DIY project that involves fiber, if not yarn!

Just for fun – and also a great idea for playing with colors if you’re feeling stuck!

I’m a sucker for cool stationery, and 100 times so for DIY, and I still believe a handwritten thank you note beats email and social media any day!

And if you prefer to apply your marbling to household items instead of paper.


Designers Guild Looking Glass

Last night, I was finally reading the book I’ve saved until summer, and was surfing around looking for a place to buy a certain kind of dye when I stumbled across this site. (This always happens when I’m trying to find something specific.) It is a gorgeous site, filled with inspiration and color palettes, and I’m filing it away for future reference, even if I’m not working on house projects. I’m sure you will especially enjoy the international Window Display Competition posts – at least, I did! If, like me, just looking at fabrics and colors gives you the same thrill some people get walking into a candy store, you will want to bookmark this for a time when you can sit and surf. Enjoy!


My Closet In Sketches

As you all know, I’m a big proponent of drawing. I’m not a talented illustrator by any means, so I try to cut myself slack and focus on sketching design ideas as a record to refer to at a later date. I very rarely show people my drawings, as I don’t feel they’re very good, and most of the time, they’re not “finished”. So you can imagine how much admiration (and yes, a little jealousy) I have for someone who can whip out finished drawings at such a rate they can run an entire blog around them. Of course, I don’t draw every day, and the advice I received throughout art school was to do just that. I’m too busy knitting and crocheting every day, and am not currently in possession of enough free time to add another daily learning habit. But I hope people get as much enjoyment out of looking at the results of my knit and crochet habits as I get out of looking at someone else’s daily sketching. Enjoy!


Soothing Summer Knitting

Front View

Front View

3/4 view - so you can see the sleeves better

3/4 view – so you can see the sleeves better

The last month and a half has been so crazy and hectic for me that I wanted a soothing, relaxing project that didn’t require a whole lot of pattern memorization and brainpower from me. I also wanted a super cool, neutral, versatile summer top to wear with everything all summer. (Summer starts early in LA – it’s already been about 100 every day this week!) This pattern fit the bill on all counts, and I may even make another one with some different yarn!


Swants

I’ve been giving very careful thought to my next projects. Inspired by Stephen West, and my recent fun at Stitches with him, I decided to try my hand at swants. Harem-style pants are really fashionable right now, and I realized out of all the garments I’ve made, I’ve never knit any bottoms.

If you are interested in making your own, Stephen gave an excellent tutorial on his blog.

He also, just for fun, did a Youtube video of dancing in them.

There are many reasons to make swants, but the best one I can think of is putting a sweater you’re sick of to different use. There are lots of tutorials for doing it, and I would suggest doing a quick search on Youtube to watch a video if you have a hard time following the blog tutorials.

Yes, I saved the best for last. Steven and Stephen.

The two who can pull off everything, including swants!

So….you all don’t really believe me, do you??? April Fool’s! :)


Photo Evidence

A very happy weekend to all of you! As promised, a few photos from my previous happy weekend at Stitches West. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy sharing them!

 

A view of the huge, vast event!

A view of the huge, vast event!

Dragon Scarf by Mary Scott Huff

Dragons by Mary Scott Huff at the Abstract Fiber booth

Yes, I saved the best for last. Steven and Stephen.

Yes, I saved the best for last. Steven Be and Stephen West, both of whom are incredibly fun and gracious.

 


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