Sheba

20160501_152934As promised, here are more photos and details about my latest design with Colinton Australia. This started out as a long-sleeve sweater with different yarn, and after working on it for a short time, we changed direction. We realized if I worked in UltraFine Lace, I would have a design in each of the Colinton bases. It also works well for us both to have three pieces in the TNNA fashion show featuring my collection of work in mohair and all three weights of her yarn.

She also suggested I take a look at 1920s fashion, which surprised me at the time, because my focus has been to show mohair in a modern way. However, once I started perusing all of my books on fashion in that era, (Coco Chanel’s work in particular), I realized how much the 1920s silhouettes still influence what we wear today. (And who am I kidding – I really love the fact I had an excuse to study Coco Chanel’s work for a week!)

The 1920s featured a very loose, drapey look, with wide v-necks in the front and back. All of the clothing was very heavy with beading and embellishments, and women tended to wear more makeup – strong lipcolors, eyeliner, etc. Even though the fit was relaxed, it was still a very formal look. A popular look was called tabard, which was basically a top with an opening for the head, but did not have side seams. I was inspired by the drapey look of these tops, although seaming the sides seemed much more practical for today.

In comparison, modern fashion is all about mixing high and low. I think this is why 1920s looks can be translated so well into modern fashion. You can take things that are embellished or formal, and pair them with jeans and flip flops if you’re running errands or dress up your ripped jeans with heels (as I did here) and be ready for a night out. All body types look good because of the loose, easy fit, and it makes the wearer feel confident. Fashion is known to be cyclical, but it seems like the 1920s have had a far-reaching influence, and I’m inclined to think it’s probably because the silhouettes were so flattering for everyone.

With all that said, I present Sheba (inspired by the film of the same name that garnered so much attention in the 1920s).

Front

Back

It is a fun, relaxing knit with an easy-to-memorize slip stitch pattern, a V-neck in the front and back, and a drapey, loose fit. It is worked from the bottom up and includes a few simple short rows to add a flattering hemline shape in the front and back. The textures in this piece subtly mimic the rows of beading in original 1920s clothing, and you can customize the neckline to be open or more tightened up.

Closeup

I hope you like this design, and if you choose to make it, please share photos with me. I would love to hear your thoughts, and I hope to be able to share highlights from the fashion show with all of you. Have a beautiful weekend!

New Pattern Collaboration: Urban Lines

Urban Lines cardigan
Urban Lines

Here is my latest pattern, which I hope all of you will like. I did this in collaboration with Colinton Australia, and it has been a whole new experience for me as a designer. This truly was a collaboration, and a total pleasure for me to do. We had long conversations about working with the fiber, other designs we felt worked or didn’t work and why, as well as what we both felt would constitute a worthwhile knit for our customers. Our focus was to design a garment that would be versatile, flattering for lots of body shapes and sizes, and worth the purchase of her luxurious yarn.

In addition to flattering angles and drape, we did not want the project to require more than 6 skeins, and we wanted an innovative design. There are many beautiful lace designs in mohair, but we decided to head in the opposite direction to create clean lines and add a modern twist to a fiber that has traditionally been viewed as best lending itself to lace.

Back View
Back View

Closeup1

This is a piece you will want to wear all the time, with everything. It is a beautiful combination of being lightweight, yet warm, and I recommend you choose your favorite colors and not second guess yourself!

Closeup2

This project was an incredible learning process for me about mohair, and I will be sharing tips and tricks for working with it in upcoming posts. I did not realize until this design collaboration how different it is from wool, for example, and also that all mohair is not created the same. I hope you will enjoy the series I’m planning and that this design (which was many months in the making) inspires you!

I also owe a big thanks to Colinton Australia for supporting a new designer like myself. A year ago, she took my first design in her yarn to TNNA, and now features my work on her site. Both Unfurled and Urban Lines were featured at Vogue Knitting Live last month, and I am most grateful for the support!

Veteran’s Day Week 2015 in Photos

Colinton Australia made a mohair believer out of me!
Colinton Australia made a mohair believer out of me!

I am working on an exciting new project with Colinton Australia. I made a shawl with her yarn a few years ago and am still loving the yarn as much now as I did the first time around. I am not generally a fan of working with mohair, but Colinton’s yarn is totally different from any other mohair I’ve ever worked with. It still has the loft you expect, but it is more substantial than a typical mohair strand and you don’t feel like there are fibers floating in your face when you work with it. She also dyes a huge, gorgeous selection of colors, and when we used to have a wall of it in the shop, I spent every quiet minute putting together possibilities in my head. I can’t wait to show you all more of the project we are collaborating on!

From a new favorite spot in La Crescenta
From a new favorite spot in La Crescenta

As I’ve mentioned in past posts, I’ve had many changes in my life this last year. Due to my daughter being involved with a new activity this year, I now have a few hours to explore the La Crescenta area of LA. As you can see, I already found the most important thing, which is a new favorite coffee shop. I love exploring new parts of the city anyway, but La Crescenta is already becoming a favorite of mine. It is only a 20 minute drive barring any crazy traffic, but I feel like I’m in a mountain town and it’s a nice change of pace. The other night, I enjoyed a nice mocha while I was working on the above-mentioned new project.

Berry blossom cake to go with my mocha
Berry blossom cake to go with my mocha

I had never heard of berry blossom cake, but now that I tried a generous slice, I would love to learn how to make it when I’m baking during the holidays. It has whole berries and is very light but still satisfies my sweet tooth. It’s beautiful to just look at, although as you can see, I did way more than just look. 🙂

Bath and Body Works' nod to fiber lovers
Bath and Body Works’ nod to fiber lovers

I’ve been noticing little nods to the fiber industry everywhere. In case you wonder, yes, I bought a bottle of Cashmere Mist from Donna Karan a long time ago, and love it whenever I wear it. Thus started my love of scents with fiber names. But then the other day, I noticed Bath and Body Works now makes an equally lovely scent called Cashmere Glow which I plan to put on my Christmas list. And yes, I’m attracted to the name, but I did try it, and it is heavenly and just my kind of scent. And much cheaper than Donna Karan’s luxury.

My Boo all curled up on me. Yes, I was knitting at the time.
My Boo all curled up on me. Yes, I was knitting at the time.

I had more than my fill of being at home stuck on the couch when I broke my ankle. But the weather has cooled off considerably, and I have to admit that a Sunday afternoon of knitting at home with a purring cat on my lap was most satisfying indeed.