A Solution to a Common Problem

I LOVE these ideas for what to do with yarn scraps! Most of the time, I throw mine away, but I always hate doing it. It goes back to that whole, I-Hate-being-wasteful thing. Check out a tutorial, save your scraps and share your photos if you like. I’m going to have to find a special spot to start saving my scraps from now on. :)


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!


My Summer of FO’s

For you non-crafters, FO stands for Finished Object. Today is the first day of school, and in recognition of the end of summer, I would like to share all the projects I finished over the course of summer vacation. This finishing of projects I’d lost interest in required way more self-discipline than I am usually capable of, so I think it deserves recognition. And celebration, because I can finally see my coffee table again. :)

Since every crocheter and knitter I know has this problem from time to time, let me encourage you to finish up some of those things laying around! I recommend picking a set amount of time (for me it was the summer), and for that amount of time, work on only one project at a time. Focus on the one closest to completion, then move on to the next. Cut yourself off from buying yarn. Don’t start anything new. This last piece of advice was really hard for me because summer is usually a time I like to start new projects. However, it was also a good length of time to finish things because it’s long enough to see progress, but short enough I knew I could tough it out for the three months! If you set yourself up to a similar challenge, try to strike that happy balance between allowing yourself enough time to see a stack of projects through, but not such a long time you just get sick of it and give up. And when you do meet your goals, reward yourself! I hope you enjoy browsing mine!

As simple as this pattern was to knit and design, the truth is it sat around for a few years because I was intimidated by the fringe.

As simple as this pattern was to knit and design, the truth is it sat around for a few years because I was intimidated by the fringe.

Don’t let yourself be intimidated by something simple. :)

My go-to outfit for work, the airport, chilly late summer nights...

My go-to outfit for work, the airport, chilly late summer nights…

This pattern is one I plan to make many times over! This one did not actually sit around for a long time, but I included it because it was something I finished early in the summer.

Bobble hats from a Noro magazine - shown with the bobbles and inside out because I liked the look of both sides!

Bobble hats from a Noro magazine – shown with the bobbles and inside out because I liked the look of both sides!

Gifts for my nieces. I don’t have a good explanation for why I started these and then took 2 years to finish them. But the fact that I went to see my family and had a deadline helped me get motivated to finish. :)

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!

The only bit of design work I’ve done this summer. I started it back in March or April, and decided to push to get it done so I could give my brain a rest. :)

Stephen West's safety cowl, which was designed by the master himself for our shop as an exclusive offering in the Yarn Crawl a few years ago.

Stephen West’s safety cowl, designed by the master himself for our shop as an exclusive offering in the Yarn Crawl a few years ago.

The only reason I can think of that I let this one sit around was that other items took more priority until I decided to give this as a gift to my sister. Note to self: having a firm idea of what you want to do with an item when it’s done helps you get it done! :)

First time ever doing Tunisian crochet.

First time ever doing Tunisian crochet.

I knew from the start that I wanted to give these to my sister. She likes to decorate her kitchen seasonally, and I thought she’d enjoy these Easter egg colors during spring. I wanted to try Tunisian crochet, and decided this would be a good project because they were just flat rectangles. The problem is, to have a set, you must do FOUR.

A shawl from the Ysolda Follow Your Arrow mystery KAL.

A shawl from the Ysolda Follow Your Arrow mystery KAL.

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This was not really languishing that long, but um, I didn’t get it done by the end of the mystery KAL. I was in the middle of alot of design work at the time and so it went on the back burner. But it’s a whole lot of camel, silk, and merino to wrap myself up in when the weather gets cold. Which, to be honest, was THE best motivator to get it done before I started anything else!


New to Me

As I might have mentioned in prior posts, I have a hard time dealing with clutter. The main reason for this is because I really hate being wasteful. I don’t like getting rid of things that I still feel have life left in them, but I’m not one of those people who has constant inspiration for how to repurpose stuff. I walk into thrift stores and immediately feel overwhelmed. One of my best friends is an extremely talented artist who can take a toilet paper roll and make fine art out of it. I admire this trait very much, and so when I was at the library last week, I was intantly drawn to this book. And of course, I went to this artist’s blog and found way more goodies than can fit into a book. I don’t know if it will help me get rid of all my clutter, but I am inspired to keep trying to look at old items in a new way.


My First Love – Craftwise

Where knitting can have a negative connotation, crochet can end up receiving the same in double. I learned to crochet before I learned to knit, and I still love it. When my friend first taught me, I came straight home, put my kids to bed, and sat up until 3 am practicing so I wouldn’t forget how to do it before I saw her again!

It is often alot easier to find knitting patterns that inspire me, but every once in awhile, I find a crochet treasure trove. This is a shame, as both crafts are equally satisfying and are art forms in their own right. Props to this site for having some great crochet and free patterns!


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!


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