Wednesday, December 10, 2014

FO: Magnolia Jacket


Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are ruled by forces of water: tidal, meteorological, glacial.

They create a sense of intimacy with our surroundings: a tree in the rain is not just a tree, but shelter; a fire in the damp is not just a fire, but safety.


They remind us of the youth of our geography: our rocky beaches and jagged peaks, carved by the methodical hands of ice and time.


They tell us of the pull of things: that the forces that draw water towards us and away are constant, unchanging, endless.


There is a feeling to all of this, a sense of balance and rightness and repetition. By this definition, there is nothing new on this earth, and there is a measure of comfort in that knowledge: the rain will come down, and the tide will turn, and water will shape the land, each without regard for anything but its own purpose.

And yet, there are small things that locate us in the landscape of this greater design: the wonder of finding something old or somehow familiar, that falls into the grain of your life and grows into something you've never experienced before. A quiet magic in everyday things.

A pair of boots, a favorite coffee cup, a blanket. A stone. A rainy day.

A jacket.

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Photography: Melody Hirsch
Jacket: Magnolia Jacket, by Cory Ellen Boberg
Dress: Vintage Hal Ferman dress, from the amazing Trove Vintage Boutique
Socks: Waving Lace Socks by Evelyn Clark
 Boots: Fluevog Adriana Nuni

Monday, December 1, 2014

WIP: Talus

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Two days after the first snow of the year, our neighbor's roof is still covered in a mosaic of ice. The basement tile is too cold to walk on in bare feet, and even the hardwood in the kitchen radiates a muffled chill. But still, the winter sun cuts through the upstairs windows, filling the room with soft yellow light and the deceitful promise of warmth.

This weekend, folded up on the couch until the early morning hours, I cast on for Talus. The wind is thin and cold outside, but inside, I knit: heat on, air golden with dust motes and sun, the rats sleeping with their heads tucked into their bellies.

The winter may be long, but I have miles and miles of wool to keep away the cold. And soon, another little hat to keep me warm.


On another note, I will be taking a (hopefully short) hiatus, so that I can finish my schoolwork for graduation. I may pop in here and there, but my hope is that I'll be back to regular posting in January.

Happy Monday, and stay warm out there.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Design Notebook: Talus Hat

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I picked up just a few special skeins at Knit Fit this year, including this gorgeous skein of YOTH Big Sister in the colorway Oyster. I had been on the search for a light neutral dk weight for a hat design that has been kicking around my head for a bit, and this misted grey hit all the right notes.

So the other day, I pulled out my stitch dictionaries, fired up my Excel charts, and grabbed a few leftovers to swatch.

My first swatch - the blue - was in leftover Hazel Knits Lively DK, and I started off with the Christmas Trees motif from Barbara Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns (page 202-03, in case you want to take a peek). The stitch pattern as I charted it was huge, the ribbing didn't flow into the pattern, and I wasn't happy with the proportions of the center tree to the little trees. But the swatch gave me enough information to see what I wanted to change.

So, I tinkered with the chart, moved the trees together, shifted the ribbing, and voila! The second swatch - the pinkish purple - was done in a bit of Anzula Cricket, and as I saw the pattern emerging, it just made sense. Which, as weird as it is, is even more gratifying than making something that looks pretty: making a thing that, when you look at it, appears to have overturned something essential and correct in our dimensional space, simply by existing. It is the greatest feeling.

And it will be a good hat, I think.

Happy Wednesday.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Tailored Jacket: Closer & Closer

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Last week was positively full of jackets: on Wednesday, I worked on my jacket with my tailoring teacher, and Thursday, Sparklepants and I went on our photoshoot adventure. With the days so short, it's hard to get photographs before the light fades, but today I finally managed to snap some photos of my jacket progress.

I was under the silly impression that I might finish last week, but even though I didn't, I got a lot done: I started setting in the lining, sewed on the facings, and finished up some details on the contrast collar and lapel. Whew!

Now that the collar is almost done, it's really rewarding to see it all coming together. It's starting to look like a real jacket! And although there are things I would do differently on my next tailored jacket - making the sleeves an inch or two longer, for starters - there are lots of things that I'm really proud of with this piece.

And with a little luck and a lot of work, it should be done sometime in the next month or so!

Happy Monday.