Monday, October 29, 2012

Weekend Sightseeing

Today we might be eyeing our supply of water and soup cans while waiting for news on Hurricane Sandy, but Saturday was a beautiful day. I managed to do something other than knit and dye yarn! An old friend came to visit and I showed her around Salem. I didn't take photos of the crazy October crowds, but I did capture some of the beautiful historic parts of the city.


Good luck today and please stay safe!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

On Knitting: Artwork and Stigma

I am always looking for more art to decorate the walls of my studio and today I thought to myself, "what about art that portrays knitting?" So I set off to find some. The results were interesting. As much as there is a craft renaissance of sorts right now and a lot of knitters out there, it seems like there is still a stigma about knitting among non-knitters.

With Grandma

It's that thing your grandma does, or something quaint but not actually of interest to people. The overwhelming majority of what I found was tagged as "art for nurseries" and a lot of it didn't seem to capture the delight and comfort those of us who knit find in fiber.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this - do you find there is still a knitting stigma out there? I often find myself getting looks of sheer horror from people my age when I knit on public transportation.

But, I did find a few pieces I loved and I hope you enjoy them too.

The Girl Who Knitted Love

Knitting Girl on 7 Train to Sunnyside

I will keep on knitting in public, hopefully changing this stigma and teaching people about knitting: people of all ages, and genders, are knitters. Also, knitting is a lot of work. Maybe by watching knitting in action, people will start to understand why hand-knit goods aren't priced at $5 a piece.

This one - this one is my alter ego.

Superhero Girl

Images borrowed from each artist's shop

Monday, October 22, 2012

Loving: Lilla Van by 508

Happy Monday friends! I hope this weekend was kind to you. We had some bizarre warm weather on Saturday, which lead to open windows, a fresh breeze, and some serious house-cleaning - I was overtaken by the "spring cleaning" bug, courtesy of the springlike weather. The good part is the extra-clean house. The bad part is that I start thinking about our unfinished house projects and my desire to add more decor to some spaces. I came across 508 {restoration and design} several months ago. I immediately fell in love with their painted animal silhouettes but I decided to wait and see if I really loved them or it was just momentary infatuation. After this weekend's cleaning marathon, I cannot get these silhouettes out of my mind. You can read more about the concept behind the collection here.

I had already planned on posting about them today, then I went on their website and found out that they are going through some serious family illness right now. My heart goes out to them. It does make it the perfect time to support them though.

What do you think? Which one would you pick?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

On Writing a New Pattern (And Losing to Hyper-Creativity)


So you may have heard that last Friday was I Love Yarn day. I was minding my own business on Twitter (ok, I was procrastinating) when Gather Here tweeted about their special I Love Yarn sale. My insane yarn addiction immediately kicked I made a mature, informed decision to go in and spoil myself with some Shibui. My schedule is pretty much 120% booked until January with shows and stocking shops, but I told myself I would save this until after the holidays and make myself something pretty as reward.

Then it happened. The Shibui yarn started haunting me, with its pretty warm purple tones. I got so distracted daydreaming about it that I started making mistakes on the knitting I should be working on. I pulled out my swift and winder and said, "this way I can interact with it a little, then I'll put it away." So I wound the yarn into pretty little balls and put them on the table, to put away in the closet later. Long story short: an hour later I had whipped out some spare needles and was casting on. Instead of just making any old thing, I semi-justified this misbehavior by deciding to write a new pattern to release after the holidays. Even though I abandoned my immediate to-do list, I was still being productive for my business so it's okay, right?


And here we are. Itch partially scratched, and a new infinity scarf pattern in the works. The next sample will be in a my super-squishy Merino/Cashmere/Nylon Sock in a light color to show off the stitching better, and then I'll be offering free yarn to a few pattern testers. Any takers?


On another note - after I assembled this post, I came across this article: Too Many Ideas in your Mind? Let Your Hyper Creative Mind To Achieve Success. Very convenient timing, no? I lost the hyper-creativity battle this time around, but maybe this will help me stay focused until January. If you read it, I'd love to know what you think!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Studio Days


I've been spending a lot of time in my studio these last few weeks, prepping for fall/winter events - I can't believe how busy my schedule is (you can check out my schedule here)! There are only 2 and a half months left in the year, had you noticed? I'm hoping I can sneak in a couple of fall outings before the real cold kicks in. Have you been out on any fall adventures yet?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

In defiance of triteness


I am always afraid of posting quotes because they are often over-used and become trite. But, this quote brought me so much clarity when I first came across it a couple of years ago. When I find myself questioning what I am doing and the direction I am going in, this reminds me that not pursuing dreams is as risky as chasing them - the risk of mediocrity and unhappiness. As so, here are words of wisdom from Anais Nin:

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”
- Anais Nin

The photo above is from our trip to Antigua last year. Having grown up in a tropical climate and spending my childhood on the beach, nothing brings me as much comfort and happiness than the ocean. I love New England and I've grown very fond of the crisp fall weather, but warm days by the sea will always be my favorite. What does your happy place look like?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Columbus Day Weekend: Lowell Open Studios!

Can you believe Columbus Day weekend is already sneaking up on us? Instead of a trip to the country fair like we have done in past years, I'll be spending Saturday and Sunday at Lowell Open Studios! I am in studio #331 at Western Avenue Studios. There are lots of wonderful folks at WAS, including these lovely friends of mine:

Made in Lowell by Liz Smith

Migration Goods

Lush Beads

What are you doing for the holiday weekend? I hope it includes a trip to Lowell!

Images borrowed from each maker's website

Monday, October 1, 2012

Squam, Part 2: Classes!

Even though I feel like I could talk about Squam endlessly, I am going to wrap it up in this post. I talked about the indescribable feeling of change that came from the retreat and about a personal lesson. A lot of learning happens outside the scheduled classes, but the "real" classes are pretty fabulous too.

The first class was with Helene, the fabulous food photographer behind the Tartelette blog. Helene is French born and raised, and now lives in the southern US. Love her and her sassy French/southern accent! She taught a cupcake baking and photography class. I admit I didn't realize how focused on the photography portion the class would be, but I really wanted to learn how to bake cupcakes (I am a bit challenged in the baking department). In the end, I did learn how to bake cupcakes, but I also learned a lot about styling photo shoots. I had no idea how much work can go into it!

Squam - Cupcakes
Squam - Cupcakes
Squam - Cupcakes
Squam - Cupcakes

My second class, Simple Screen Printing, was with Heather Moore - the creative genius behind Skinny Laminx. I knew of Heather's work before Squam and it was super exciting to meet her in person. Heather was amazingly sweet, friendly and completely adorable. She taught us how to make simple screens out of embroidery hoops, and Lotta Jansdotter was in my class!

Squam - Screenprinting
Squam - Screenprinting
Squam - Screenprinting
Squam - Screenprinting
Squam - Screenprinting

It was a truly wonderful retreat and I can't wait to go back!