Monday, April 6, 2015

A Short Interruption


Hi friends! We interrupt this week's usual posting schedule for cranky-rat-maintenance, as well as some Serious (and Potentially Very Exciting) Adult Crap. I hate to be all vague about it, but hopefully I'll have news I can actually share in a few days.

In the meantime, please enjoy this picture of Mr. Squishypants not plotting to destroy my soul while I sleep.

Happy Monday!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Local Love: Sassafras Boutique

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This week, I went down to Sassafras, the Seattle boutique where my friend Katy works, to hang out and put together some fun, springy outfits to share on their Instagram. Sassafras is a shop that houses both retail and work spaces to showcase and support the work of local designers, and it's super cool and inspiring to hang out in a place where Seattle fashion is thriving.

And the company was top notch, too! In addition to being a sparkly unicorn of friendship and positivity, Katy is an NYFA grad, talented designer, and savvy businesslady - so of course I jumped at the opportunity to chill with her. We had such a great time going through the racks and pulling tons of beautiful, fresh, and funky pieces to play with - and this was one of my favorite looks from the day!

The dress is the Madison Dress, by BOHO Republic, and I might have to take one home with me this spring: it has that classic '50s silhouette with some major vavoom in the waist/bust ratio area, but with the easy fit of a fuller silhouette, cleverly nipped in by a shirred waist - so you can look adorable and eat all the tacos you want, which is a) a necessary part of being a fancy lady, and b) sometimes a seam-busting challenge with true vintage pieces.


The other thing I'm wearing - which I did take home because I loved it so much - was this pair of tagua nut slice earrings by Diana Fakhoury Designs. I've been feeling a major Megan Draper moment in my fashion sense lately, probably because of binge-watching Season 7 of Mad Men in my spare time, and these earrings were just the right amount of mod and swingy to indulge it.

I already posted pictures of them styled with my outfit from today on my own Instagram feed, where I would love for you to follow me. If you want to. If you're not too busy eating tacos.

Big thanks to Katy for the awesome day and photos, and to Sassafras for having me! Happy Friday, friends.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Design Notebook: Chirality

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In the last few months, I've been thinking a lot about chirality, a term from chemistry which I find beautifully descriptive of a different kind of symmetry. Basically, it describes the handedness of an object, which is exactly as it sounds: just as your right and left hand are mirrored duplicates of one another, an object which is chiral is mirrored about a point - making not quite a copy of itself, but rather an equal and opposite reflection of its essential features. (This is greatly simplifying the concept, but you get the idea.)

The whole thing sets me off on all sorts of weedy paths. On the human side of things, it can describe both our internal and external lives: we move through the world while embodying all sorts of polarized traits, and each of us as are distinct as fingerprints despite our shared interests, qualities, or origins. Just as the functionality of enantiomers can be wildly variable despite their shared chemical identities, we all move in paths independent of our bunkmates - even if, at our core, we are much the same.

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All of this, in turn, connects to ideas that I encountered a few nights ago at a wonderful lecture by the artist Ann Hamilton: of clothing as the first architecture of our lives; of art as the practice of moving experience towards form; of art as a thing both personal and communal in gesture. (The lovely combinations of words are purely hers, which I hastily jotted down in my notebook as she spoke, and I'm still working through their meanings.)

So where does knitting come into all of this?

In the midst all of these Deep Thoughts, I had an idea for a piece of knitting that would create a large-scale chevron-like effect by decreasing and increasing about two axes. In my mind, it would be a normal, flat, round thing, like a cowl. But as I knitted, the fabric began to show its bias, and eventually, its chirality: a two-dimensional object that changed its nature based on its orientation in space; that was mirrored about these two points, creating geometries unknown.

So although I had ideas about what this thing would be, in the end, it was the thing itself that decided what it was. And so, wool continues to capture my imagination; in becoming itself, independent of my hand, it has the delightful ability to challenge and shape my own inner landscape.

Happy Wednesday.

Monday, March 30, 2015

FO: Talus & Heather


Sometimes the boundary between creative integrity and unreasonable self-criticism is a dark and murky line to tread. Take for example, this hat: I started and finished it a few weeks ago, and blocked it soon after, but I haven't had the heart to photograph it until now.

The reason? Because, in my infinite wisdom and forethought, I left it on my blocking table for a few days after it had dried. Each day I would walk by it, sitting in its little patch of sun, and think: now that is a good hat. It's pink and cute, and though it feels different than the original, I'm still quite fond of it.

It wasn't until I picked it up to weave in the ends that I had the sinking realization that while it basked in that bright patch of sunshine, the hat had faded from a clear, lovely pink to a tea-stained rose - just on the side that was facing the sun. A faint yellowed line marked the difference between front and back, and if I could tell, then goddamn it, anyone could.

So I got upset: with myself; with the yarn; with myself again. And I grumpily took photos, and I asked my fellow knitters for their advice. We all came down on the side of overdyeing it, and I let the matter rest until I could stomach the idea of actually doing it.


But yesterday, I picked up the hat, and I tried it on again. And somewhere between last week and this week, I unconsciously made the decision that sometimes 'good, not perfect' is good enough. I don't need to tear myself apart over a hat - a hat which, if I didn't point it out to anyone, wouldn't even register as flawed - just because it doesn't live up to my usual (read: unreasonably high) personal creative standards.

Because, for all my misgivings about it, the ethos that has served me best over the years is not perfection, but adventure. Without it, I never would have learned to knit socks, or gone to Indonesia, or gotten married; I wouldn't have built a ballgown, or worked at a yarn shop, or taken jazz piano lessons in Japan. All of those things were scary; they also define the moments at which I've been most thankful to be a human being.

So while perfection can be gorgeous, I don't want it, and neither does my hat. Which, if I do say so myself, is still pretty darn cute.

Details are on Ravelry here.

Happy Monday!