Thursday, June 30, 2011

Stash Appreciation: Tosh Sock Amber Trinket


So my mom went to San Francisco for a conference this last weekend, and when she picked me up from work on Tuesday, she gave me a souvenir present of Tosh Sock in the colorway Amber Trinket.  This color is crazy-deep - purple at first glance, with undertones of amber, green, orange, and pink in the light.  It's seriously pretty.


Now I just have to find the appropriate pattern for it.  I've been drooling over a lot of books lately, particularly Around the World in Knitted Socks and Sock Knitting Master Class.  I can think of a couple of twisted-stitch socks from Sock Knitting Master Class that would look awesome.  Alternately, maybe one of Glenna C's gorgeous sock patterns would be best.  Hmm.  Hmmm.  Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Outfit Post: Pattern Mixing


So I was looking in my closet and trying to figure out something comfortable, relatively casual, and suitable for walking about a mile to the pharmacy.  I came up with this flannel shirt, this thrifted and hemmed skirt, and these ridiculous socks.  Seriously, I don't actually know where they came from.  I found them in my sock drawer when I was sixteen without the foggiest idea where they came from.

Laundry day inspires the weirdest outfits.  Seriously.


The flannel was thrifted on one of my epic excursions with my friend Sparkle and the Lumberjack.  I love that it's flannel, which automatically means comfy, but has some tailored touches as well - the millions of buttons with tiny little button loops (solves the ever-present gappage problem!), the pintucks, and the slight puff above the cuffs.

The skirt I bought for a class project.  We had to modify a thrifted item, so I grabbed a super-90s maxi skirt in a rayon fabric, hemmed about 9 inches off the bottom and removed the tacky belt loops.  I've actually worn it a surprising amount, and have found the color to be a pleasant neutral.  For me, at least.

Actually, come to think of it, all of the clothing in this outfit probably cost me about $10 total.  Neat!


These earrings are from Oberlin, and they're made by Ruth, the owner of a shop called Bead Paradise.  She's also the mother of my favorite jewelry designers, the two-sister team Tasi, whose pieces are also carried at the shop.  I bought these amber drop earrings about two years ago and they've become a favorite member of my earring rotation.  I love how simple they are.

Flannel shirt: Thrifted
Skirt: Thrifted
Earrings: Ruth, from Bead Paradise
Belt: from Oberlin's Free Store

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Work in Progress: Pomotomus


I love this sock so much: the yarn, Ella Rae Lace Merino, is perfectly suited for this pattern, Pomatomus by Cookie A.  It's sculptural, almost tear-inducingly beautiful in its precision.  But alas, sometimes the best laid plans, the best yarn, and the best patterns just don't mesh.  I cast on with size 1s the other day, and after a couple of silly mistakes, I finally got moving on it last night.  Once I had about four inches of the cuff, I tried it on, and...


Let's just say it didn't fit.  Let's not use the words "obviously" or "completely wrong" or "stuck on instep".  If only I knew someone with smaller feet.  Actually, scratch that - if only I wasn't selfish enough to want to keep these instead of finding a friend with smaller feet.  Despite the setback, I'm fairly sure that this pattern is what this yarn wants to be, so I'm going to pull it out and try again on size 1.5s.  It'll give me a good excuse to try out one of my graduation presents, which I'll be sharing shortly!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pattern Review: Knitty First Fall 2011

So the new Knitty is out! And, predictably, my favorites are the socks and lace, 'cause that's how I roll.

The above pattern is a new one by Elizabeth Freeman, called Rhodion.  One of the girls I work with brought in her nearly-completed Aeolian to cast off, and I fell in love with the pattern all over again.  Lace patterns sometimes look thrown together, without much attention paid to the dimensions and balance of the different motifs.  Elizabeth Freeman's lace designs always have a certain something - a lovely juxtaposition of shapes, or some interest at the hem - and this one is no exception.

The second is this pair of socks called Lingerie, by Maria Nรคslund.  I've been really loving socks that come to a point on the top of the foot - it really does feel like a retro lingerie detail.  Maybe I'm also thinking of sewn fagoting, as seen on Colette Patterns' tutorial?  In either case, I am highly likely to knit these, although probably not in white.

Annnd another pair of socks, these ones called Inlay and designed by Hunter Hammersen of Silk Road Socks fame.  (Which, by the way, is an absolutely stunning collection of socks, if you haven't seen them yet.  It's totally on my to-buy list.)  These socks are just detailed enough to be interesting, but built on the most basic of architectures.  I think that, done in a neutral or dark blue, that these would be excellent man socks.

So these are my favorites!  And what about the rest of the issue?  Well... I wasn't in love with this one, I have to say.  It seemed like there was less variety than usual, and although the socks and lace certainly delivered as per usual, the garments held little to no interest for me.  These last few are designs that I like in principle, but which I absolutely know would not work for me.

I like a lot of things about this one, called Date Night by Nikol Lohr, but my overall reaction is rather mixed.  I like the neckline, and I like the color, and I like the lace.  But the cut of the sleeves and the cropped length would totally not work for me.  As I may have mentioned before, I'm top heavy, so I don't need any more help looking broad in the shoulders and chest.  The broad line that the cap sleeve creates for the overall silhouette would not be so good on my figure.

This is (yet another) gorgeous Stephen West design.  Seriously, this guy is not only insanely talented, but also prolific!  This one is called Creekbed and features his signature colorblocking and interesting construction.  Sadly, I am not a colorblocking sort of lady.  I knit Akimbo and enjoyed it, but tried it on and it just... wasn't me.  Which is sad, because as a young designer, I really root for him.

The last is a Laura Chau pattern called Darrin.  This looks super comfortable, and I really enjoy the sleeve details, but it's another issue of personal style.  I can't pull off self-belted sweaters, and tunics are iffy.  But I will just say, it's knit in Fiber Company yarn, so putting it on is probably like being covered in kittens.  Sigh.

What did you guys think of the new issue?  Which designs wouldn't you knit, and which ones are you currently scheming to cast on ASAP?

All photos copyright and the respective designers.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Outfit Post: Heidi Goes to Work


So, since I last wrote, I started my new job as a yarn store clerk.  It's been really fun, and a fun challenge for making outfits!  There's a mild dress code - no jeans, no open-toed shoes - and I spend 6-8 hours on my feet at a time, so comfy clothes and shoes are a must.  I've started wearing skirts pretty much every day, but luckily the dress code doesn't exclude my weird style.


This morning I decided to go for Heidi braids, this awesome mustard yellow industrial-chic German pullover I got from Etsy seller pinguim, who has provided some of my favorite pieces in my closet.  I love how badass this shirt makes me feel.


The shoes are a recent purchase - new Fluevogs!  When I started work, all of my clothes were packed away in a storage unit, so I had to scramble to get something appropriate to wear on my feet.  Lumberjack and I took the bus to Seattle and went to the Fluevog store, where I tried on a gratuitous amount of shoes and finally decided on these relatively simple black Mary Janes.  Excuse the scuffing - I've been wearing them constantly!  They're insanely comfortable and great for showcasing hand-knit socks, which is one of my favorite things.

Hope you've all been well!

Yellow corduroy shirt: pinguim
Black lace skirt with cream lining: New York and Company, from Oberlin's Free Store
Pink petal belt: elizabethkelly
Shoes: Fellowship Kathy by John Fluevog
Socks: Hand-knit, probably On-Line sock yarn

Monday, June 13, 2011

Quick update!

Yarn pirate

Lots of exciting things are happening over here, and faster than I had thought they would!  I had a job interview and was hired on Friday, looked at apartments on Saturday, and turned in the application for a really great place today.  The knitting has been nonexistent, but lots of other things have been getting moving.  Stay tuned for updates!  In the meantime, here is a lumberjack yarn pirate to stand in for your regular programming.  Because every lumberjack needs a lace hat.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pattern Review: Scrumptious Collection from Fyberspates


So I was reading a few of my favorite blogs and saw that the girls over at joli house are involved with a new collection from fyberspates.

These are a few of my favorites.  The first above is Burdrop, a gorgeous ruffled cape.  I almost can't believe this is knitted.  It looks so cozy, and I've really been loving drapey clothing and knits lately.  I can't resist a well-done ruffle.


The second is called Hethe, a laceweight cardigan with lace details.  I love the fact that it has nupps - that fact alone would have me sold! - but I also love the romantic shape and delicate edgings.  Swoon.


I like the shape of this vest, Tirrold, as well.  Vests can be hard because they add a layer of bulk over the midsection, but I love the idea of a vest in laceweight - it would add interest and warmth without too much bulk.  Plus, I like that this is cropped.  I think it would look awesome with a high-waisted skirt.


This little lacy cardigan is called Stonor.  It's knit in a fingering weight, so it's a little heavier than the other pieces I really like, but I think it works really well.  The texture reminds me of vintage woolen sweaters, but the shape is modern.  I like that the laciness gives it polish, but it still looks warm and comfortable.


I also love Murcott.  It's simple, but has some really pretty details, like the turned hem and the small pleats at the shoulders and sleeve cap.  I'm not sure how well the wrap style would work on my large-busted shape, but I might be able to modify it to have more fabric in the chest.  That's one of the joys of knitting - if you can do a little math and planning, you can customize for your shape.

Overall, I'm pretty excited for this collection.  I would definitely knit at least half of the patterns, the photography is gorgeous, and most of them are knit from laceweight or fingering weight, which are my favorite yarns to knit with.  It looks like it's available for purchase on fyberspates' website here.  


Lastly, this one called Wray is not actually in the collection, but it's the work of the model, Lily.  She designed this cardigan when she was only 12, but she already has a great eye for texture and detail.  Her designs have a certain delicacy and lightness.  I'm definitely going to keep my eyes out for more of her work.

All images copyright Amanda France

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Stash Appreciation: Pigeonroof Studios


So remember how I said I was going to pick up a skein of Pigeonroof Studios?  Well, I'm super speedy!  I got this skein of cashmere/merino/nylon fingering weight yesterday.


I was thinking about getting one of the semisolid colors, which have a beautiful depth.  But what I really love about Pigeonroof Studios is her ability to combine colors - all of her colorways are a touch gothic, blended like watercolors, and often consist of shades that you wouldn't ordinarily combine but end up looking gorgeous.


I don't know if these will become socks.  I think this yarn would look awesome in garter stitch, so I might have to find something with simple lace and garter.  The yardage is a little skimpy - 380 yards - because of the cashmere content, but I'm sure I can find something. 


The last few days have been really great - Lumberjack and I have been hanging out with one of my good friends and her boyfriend, hanging out at a really cool coffee shop in New Haven, and taking naps in the middle of the day - basically the perfect vacation.  Saturday we went to New York to see the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met, which was breathtaking.  It was really great to see the sheer breadth of his creativity.  All of the clothes were intricate, hand-beaded, intellectualized and yet still beautiful.  The world has lost a genius, but he left an incredible legacy behind him.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Stash Appreciation: Schaefer Audrey


The last two weeks have been a whirlwind of yarn - my mom and I went to a fiber fest with Lumberjack and Ondrea, and I went a little crazy with the yarn purchases.  But all of those are packed up and on their way home to Washington, and I'm in New Haven visiting a friend, so I bought a skein of Schaefer Audrey at Knit New Haven.  I stopped in last year and bought some Pigeonroof Studios roving, and I wondered if this year they'd have some of their yarn.  They did, and I'm planning to make another stop to pick up a skein later in the week.


I saw this yarn a few times at the now-defunct Village Yarn and Tea, but didn't buy it, and kicked myself  when they went out of business shortly thereafter.  It's a 50/50 merino/silk single that has the best drape ever.  This color is on the neutral side for me, but I love it anyway.  Pale colors can be difficult for me to pull off because my skin tone is rather olive and looks washed out when paired with lighter colors.  This green, however, is a lovely, cool shade of minty green that I think will look good with my dark hair.


I'm thinking I'll make Jaali, or perhaps another one of Kitman Figueroa's patterns.  I've been seeing them all over Ravelry, and I think they're stunning.  Just another one to add to the list of spectacular lace I need to make.

Image of Jaali copyright Kitman Figueroa

Happy Monday!  I'm hoping to get back to regular posting this week, but we'll see how that goes.  Thanks for bearing with me during this crazy transitional time!

Friday, June 3, 2011

FO Post: Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies


Hi there!  Since the last time I wrote, I've become the proud new owner of a BA from Oberlin College.  The ceremony was long and hot, but surprisingly good and surprisingly emotional.  I wore combat boots because it had been storming the day before and the grass where the ceremony was being held was inch-deep in mud.  I think it was an appropriately strange outfit to wear to graduation from a school that embraces eccentricity as one of its foundational qualities.


The plan for the next few months is to find a job and an apartment and start my new life as a college graduate.  I think this picture most accurately depicts how I feel about that.