Fall has always been my favorite season. However, as much as I love Los Angeles, and I do, the city doesn’t have a fall season. There are no changing leaves, no cooler crisp weather, and no football season like I was used to in Ohio. I still feel in the mood for fall, and I would love to see the city get some installation art like this. It reminds me very much of walking down the street where I used to live in Pittsburgh when all the trees were brilliant colors.
And while I knit year-round, I do look forward to cooler weather when I can curl up on the couch and feel more cozy while doing it. Not that any knitter really needs anyone to tell them the benefits of knitting, but here is a list, just for fun.
Fall is also the time of year that all the fashion magazines put out the biggest issues. I am always excited to get my fall issues and always save them for a day I can curl up uninterrupted to browse and read at leisure. I look for inspiration for new projects and by the time I’m done, all my magazines have Post-Its stuck everywhere.
Wherever you live, whatever the weather is, I hope you are having a beautiful fall. Please share your inspirations with me!
Awhile ago, I did a post about why yarn is more expensive in a yarn store than in chain stores. There is so much hand work involved in handspun and hand-dyed yarn. Dyers who produce handpainted yarn literally do take the time to handpaint their skeins. I think of buying these sorts of yarns as my luxury in life, since I can’t afford to buy haute couture clothing.
This article about the process of making cashmere is closely related, and makes the price of cashmere much more understandable. I didn’t realize that the hairs aren’t even sheared – they are hand-combed. It also explains how to know when you’re buying good-quality cashmere (or not). As usual, you pay for what you get, but being educated helps you appreciate the luxuries you choose to indulge in and helps you avoid overspending on something that doesn’t measure up to true quality.
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! :)
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.
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. 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!
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.
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!
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!
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!