Worth the Time

It always makes my day when someone buys one of my patterns or follows my blog or other social media. Hopefully I’m not the only designer out there whose biggest fear is that no one will like her work. Whenever I release a new design, I always feel like I’m putting a little piece of myself out there, and I am incredibly grateful and relieved when people like it. I am also extremely honored when a fellow artist or designer follows me and deems me worthy of their time and attention. Recently, Sue Wong (among others) followed me on Twitter, and when I watched her intro video, I had to share it! Her beautiful clothes and talent as a designer are on full display, but for me, it was worth the time to watch it because she also shares her joy in being creative and tells her story, from her life as a poor immigrant and how she grew into her success of today. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did!


Unfurled

Inspired by an orchid, this shawl unfurls color as you knit it. This baby goat mohair is as close to the softness of flower petals as I could get!

Inspired by an orchid, this shawl unfurls color as you knit it. This baby goat mohair is as close to the softness of flower petals as I could get!

Just want to share my latest pattern, which I am also honored to have on display at Unwind! I hope you will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed designing it. Colinton Australia is a total luxury, and I truly hope my design does it justice! Flowers are so full of color and texture, I can promise with certainty that this will not be the last pattern I design inspired by them!


Back to Styling

Not too long ago, I posted about learning to style your knitwear. It has been on my mind to follow up that post with ideas and tips for my own patterns. To begin, I will start with the free chunky fringed scarf I posted last week.

People come in the shop all the time saying they always buy the same yarn colors and need “to break out of their rut”. And while I am all for constant experimentation and expanding my horizons, I have to say that I don’t like to see people feel ashamed of buying their favorite colors. When you crochet or knit with your favorites, you are guaranteed to end up with lots of pieces that work together that you will love year-round. Styling is all about being able to swap items in and out of different outfits. As you may have already figured out, I am very drawn to reds (although that could change). This scarf is now going to serve me well no matter what season it is (and if you’re wondering, yes, it was about 95 degrees the day I shot these photos, so the winter look is here just for your benefit!) Hope you enjoy!

My go-to look so much of the time! Printed tank top, denim shorts, metallic sandals and a hand-knit accessory!

My go-to look so much of the time! Printed tank top, denim shorts, metallic sandals and a hand-knit accessory! And a pedicure, of course!

Yes, that's my knitting bag! I often wear a plain tank top because I don't like to detract from the handknits, but in this case, I think the black and white print sets off the bright color well.

Yes, that’s my knitting bag! I often wear a plain tank top because I don’t like to detract from the handknits, but in this case, I think the black and white print sets off the bright color well.

I never get tired of a winter whites look. In Los Angeles, I can only wear this much warm about 1 month out of the year, but I always get compliments when I do a winter white look.

In Los Angeles, I can only wear this much warmth about 1 month out of the year, but I always get compliments when I do a winter white look.

Varying shades of cream with a shot of color is a simple way to look pulled together.

Varying shades of cream with a shot of color is a simple way to look pulled together.

 


Styling

As most of you probably know by now, I am a fashion girl. Not that I have much time to read, but when I do, if it’s not knitting magazines, it’s probably fashion blogs and magazines. The two are closely connected, but one thing I’ve noticed a great deal of in fashion and not so much in knitting, is styling. I’m not sure why that is, but considering how much time it takes to knit something, I’m surprised we don’t talk more about this. Styling is, in my opinion, way more important than following trends, and is the best thing to learn if you want to maximize your wardrobe! Learn to style, and you can take a whole bunch of basics and get way more mileage out of them instead of buying new stuff all the time! And since most of us knit things to keep for a long time, it is especially beneficial to knitters so they can get more use out of the items they spent so much time creating! I plan on keeping this in mind and will post more about this subject as I figure things out. But to get all my fellow knitters started, here is a tutorial on 25 ways to style a scarf, as demonstrated by Wendy!


Monday Morning Inspiration

Musetouch is supportive of artists and filled with visual inspiration! The highlight from their Facebook page is this photo of Christian Dior gowns circa 1949. Even though many people like to make fun of the absurdity of runway shows and the cost of couture, this photo is a perfect example of why I hope there will always be the world of couture. How beautiful can one make something if given endless resources? And almost 70 years later, here we are enjoying the work! Happy Monday friends!

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The Details

I have always thought that the edge stitches on charts were optional. In fact, most of the time, this is true. For those of you not familiar with charts, here is a quick summary of how they work. They should tell you the number of stitches in the pattern, plus the number of stitches in the borders. So for instance, if you have a chart that tells you it is a multiple of 10 plus 4, this means that if you want to repeat the pattern twice, you cast on a total of 24 stitches. (10 for each repeat, plus 4 for the edges.) The chart will usually enclose the repeat section between two bold lines, with the edge stitches on either side. In most cases, you can choose to simply cast on the number of multiples you wish, and then shorten or lengthen the number of edge stitches depending on what you need to meet your finished measurements.

The Barbara Walker pattern below is an exception to this rule. It has taken me hours of knitting, ripping out, reknitting, and finally, a trip to my LYS to confer with one of my coworkers, to realize why I ran into problems. For my design, I want a finished measurement of 24″ wide. The pattern repeat is a multiple of 18 stitches, and so I determined that if I did 5 repeats (90 stitches), I would be as close to my goal as I could get using complete repeats.

However, as you can see from the chart, the repeat shifts about halfway through. (The bold lines show where this shift takes place.) In this case, the edge stitches are necessary to make the pattern work, because without them, there is nowhere for the pattern to shift.

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I hope these little details will help my fellow knitters. Because making garments fit has everything to do with gauge and stitch count, is helps to know where you can have freedom to alter a pattern, and where you MUST follow the chart exactly as it is written.

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This shows where the ribbing was interrupted in the piece without the extra edge stitches.

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And here is the partially finished swatch with the edge stitches. The shift is now working without interruption of the stitch pattern.


Yarn Crawl LA 2014

Are you familiar with yarn crawling? If not, here is a quick description: in cities that host one, all the participating yarn stores have special promotions and events going on for a weekend, and people “crawl” with their friends. In LA specifically, you purchase a passport and tote bag and go from store to store and get your passport stamped. The more stores you crawl in and out of, the more stamps you get and the more goodies you’re eligible to win!

I am so honored and excited to design two patterns for Unwind, both of which will be free Ravelry downloads. One is knit, the other crocheted, and both are super fast, soft, squishy cowls made out of Manos Maxima. I thank Unwind for giving me the privilege of designing for our store!

Bright Doubles CowlDouble Posts Cowl


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