Friday, November 21, 2014

Photoshoot: Melancholia Jacket


Fall is always a bittersweet time of year for me. Each year, the end of October marks the anniversary of the murder-suicide that changed the course of my life. (This year, it's eight.)


In fall, the days grow shorter, and the light of day is tempered by shadows. In some moments, it's easy to fall into darkness completely.

And yet, in marking this time, I feel a sense of comfort. Every October will be another October since the magnetism of my world shifted, just as every November ticks off the years since I refused to let that violence destroy me.


And as strange as it is, there is also comfort in recognizing others who have touched the rim of that same darkness, and chosen to turn their profound despair into beauty. My tremendously talented housemate and dear friend Melody Hirsch designed and constructed this jacket, inspired by the film Melancholia, to reach into the darkness and call it by its name.


So when she asked me to take her jacket into the woods on a hazy Thursday, and told me the story of its origin, of course I said yes.

Happy Friday.

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Yarny Weekend at Knit Fit!

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The other weekend, I met up with my yarny friends Sooz, Ariel, and Kat at the Knit Fit market on Sunday. Along with some of my favorites on the festival circuit (Three Fates Yarns! Abstract Fiber! Yarnarchy!) and the local shops that I love (The Fiber Gallery! Tea Cozy Yarn!), there was a nice variety of independent dyers and designers, with booths and booths of beautiful yarn and yarn-related goodies. And even though I only got to stop by for a few hours towards the end of the show, it was an incredibly welcoming place to be. I've loved both of my experiences at Knit Fit, and I'm excited to see what next year's show holds!

So without further ado, here's some of my vendor highlights from the show.

Beautifully shaded colors inspired by nature

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Portland-based Bumblebirch has been on my radar for a while now, so I was really excited to see her name on the list of vendors. The booth had weights and colors that I hadn't seen in person before - worsted and DK-weight, gently variegated floral colorways - and I had to restrain myself from taking home one of each. The colors are clearly influenced by the natural world, and gently shaded, as if viewed through fogged glass: fallen leaves, the morning sky when it's about to rain, an iris bowing on its stalk. Swoon.

Sophisticated neutrals & deep, arboreal hues

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I first encountered YOTH on a trip out to Tolt Yarn & Wool when they had just debuted their line of one-of-a-kind colors, and I've been watching with excitement for the last few months as they've grown and added more color to their lineup of repeatable colorways. I absolutely love their aesthetic: it's a gorgeous, distinctly Northwestern balance of practicality and worn-in beauty. And their yarn lines - DK & fingering weight merino/cashmere/nylon blends, charmingly named Big Sister and Little Brother - are wonderfully, squishably soft.

Hazel Knits
Vibrant, beautiful, color!

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When I'm looking for a specific and flawlessly-executed color, I look to Hazel Knits first. Her color catalogue is a most magical paintbox, each shade evoking its name perfectly: Beachglass; Stick o' Butter; Vamp; Hoppy Blonde. The depth and clarity of each color practically sings, in a palette ranging from earthy neutrals, to pastels, to brights. And with an expanded range of weights - from sleek laceweight Filigree Silk, all the way up to ultra-squishy worsted Cadence - it's an exciting time to be a Hazel Knits enthusiast!

Spincycle Yarns
Handcrafted yarn, dyed and spun in Washington

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Okay, I'm gonna be blatant here: I love Spincycle. My mom sent me two skeins of BFL Worsted for my 20th birthday - back when I was a wee knitter! - and I remember being absolutely captivated by its color and texture. I've been a fan ever since. In the last few years, Kate & Rachel have brought their signature color sense to locally dyed, small-batch millspun yarns that capture the organic color shifts and unexpected beauty of handspun, with the advantages of accessibility and quantity offered by millspun.

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I also popped by my friend and coworker Ann's booth to say hi. As anyone who has read my poetic waxings about materials will know, I have a liiiiittle bit of a button obsession - and lucky for me, Ann brought her whole awesome collection of vintage buttons to the market! I swooped up some stunning cut glass buttons with gold leaf accents, because apparently I'm a large, girl-shaped magpie.


Overall, I had a great time running around, taking pictures, and talking with friends, dyers, and designers! If you're out of state - or local and didn't get a chance to come - and interested in checking out a wonderful selection of independent dyers and makers, I highly recommend that you check out the Vendor page. And maybe you can come next year! (Wink wink, nudge nudge.)

A huge thank you to every vendor who graciously allowed me to take photos and chat, and to all the coordinators and volunteers who make this great event happen!

Happy Monday!

Friday, November 14, 2014

WIP: Custom Fit Blouse

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I bound off Suki yesterday and, of course, needed something else to work on, so I picked up the Custom Fit sweater I'm knitting for work and busted out a few inches on it.

My coworkers have already knit some beautifully fitting wooly cardigans and pullovers as examples, so I wanted to go in a totally different direction by making a more blouse-like sweater in a cotton yarn.  I chose a fitted, mid-hip length, short-sleeved shape, knit in Cascade Ultra Pima in an ultra-girly pink shade. A great fit is one of my nerdy passions, so I'm excited to see how this project turns out.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Pattern Release: Pip

Pip Hat Front Cover

Oh hey - it's a Pip!

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Namely, it's a Pip pattern - now available on Ravelry for $5.00 - with a brand spankin' new format! (Many thanks to my awesome test knitters, without whom I would be adrift in a sea of pie and indecision.)

I'm really happy with this little hat, and I'm so excited to share it with you! Happy Thursday, friends!

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