Monday, June 30, 2014

FO: Scully Tee

krista krista10krista2 krista8

This little vintage-inspired blouse was a lot speedier to knit than my last excursion into the genre, but no less adorable! I started knitting this Krista Tee by Joan McGowan-Michael - also called the Shaped Lace Tee from Knitting Lingerie Style - in October of last year, then I lost a bunch of weight and decided to rip it out and start over. I restarted around April and finished knitting it a few weeks ago. Once my blocking boards were freed up, I blocked the sleeves, set them in, and voila! A cute little cotton blouse just in time for summer. (Funny how quickly things go when you, uh, do them within a reasonable period of time.)

It's a relatively short top, and I would have had enough yarn to lengthen it a bit, but I'm happy enough with it that it's staying. I knit the 33.5" size for about 2.5 inches of negative ease, and it fits just about perfectly. I converted the pattern from knitted flat to knitted in the round, with columns of purl stitches to mark the side seams.

I love the dramatic scooped neck and the pretty lace details. This blouse was knit from some deep, deep stash KFI King Tut cotton from my LYS back in Ohio, so I'm really happy that it's finally reached its full potential!

Details are on Ravelry here.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Ballgown Styling

styling styling4styling3 styling5

On Tuesday evening of this week, I had a makeup test for my ballgown styling with a coworker of my friend Sooz, who kindly offered to do the makeup for my presentation. We played with some dramatic layers of eye color, but in the end, we decided that an understated smokey eye with a pop of dark green was just the ticket. To keep things simple but polished, we threw in a nude lip and some soft blush. I love it - it's the exact amount of subtle prettiness that I wanted to complement the dress.

Plus, it picks up just a little bit of the color from my delicious Chie Mihara pumps! (Clearly, matching the shoes is the most important.) Overall, styling this gown has been a bit more of a challenge for me; I usually like to pair vibrant colors together, but the aesthetic of the dress is so soft and romantic that I have to be careful of upstaging it with fancy accessories and overpowering colors.


Good thing I've got Monsieur Pooper to help me out!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

FO: Taygete

taygete taygete7taygete9 taygete3

Over a year ago, my mom inspired me to make my own Taygete after I saw her gorgeous version in Tosh Merino Light in shades of lavender. I thought it was so pretty that I decided to make my own! I bought the yarn, Sincere Sheep Tenacious, at Madrona Fiber Arts on one of my precious days off from working on the fashion show, and cast on the second I finished my deadline knitting. I loved every second of knitting it - it was a welcome breath of fresh knitting after working on different versions of the same dumb lovely but complicated sweater for three months.

But then - in my fashion - after messing up on the bind-off last summer, I shoved it in a bag to deal with later. I picked it up again a few months ago in an effort to clear out my WIP basket, and finished it, and then it sat around for a while longer until I blocked about a million things last week.

I didn't take great notes, but I remember vaguely that I added an extra repeat or two of the lace motif - for some reason, I felt like the proportions of the finished garter section on my shawl begged for a  slightly deeper lace section.

Overall, I'm really happy with it! And as I mentioned on Monday, I'm already plotting my next striped shawl pattern...

All the details are on Ravelry here.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Striped Shawl Extravaganza


With my finishing spree coming to a close soon, I've started to brainstorm new projects. Since striped shawls have been one of my obsessions for the last year - and I just finished Taygete yayyyyyy - I really should start another one. (Case in point: I like them so much that I designed one. Hahah!)

 I know, I know... this has been a trend for a while. But it wasn't until I was working on the fashion show last year that I really started to see the infinite possibilities in striped shawls: they're a great opportunity to play with color, and the perfect way to use small, special skeins without making a dinky shawl. Not only that, since I'm late to this party, there are now about a million options. (We'll just say that, as with pretty much every other knitting trend, that I'm just, uh, fashionably late.)

Without any further ado, here are some of my favorites!

Cameo, by Paulina Popiolek.

I love every version of this shawl that I've seen. It's just the right balance of colorplay and lace in a super wearable shape.

Suki, by Miriam Pike.

What can I say? Yarn Harlot's delicious cashmere version sent me over the edge.  Pretty lace border + simple eyelet stripes + lovely proportions = I need this shawl in my life.

Mormorio, by Heather Zoppetti.

This was one of the shawls that kicked off my obsession. It's a great size for everyday wear, and the lace edging adds lightness and femininity to a simple, flattering stripe pattern.

Color Affection, by Veera Välimäki.

Yep. I'm jumping on this bandwagon. My friend Sooz knitted one and decided it wasn't for her, so she gave it to me, and I absolutely love it! I have the yarn to make a shaded grey and pale blue version, which I'm pretty excited about.

Ulmus Slipped Shawl

Ulmus, by Kristin Kapur.

I love how graphic this one is, and I think it would be a great showcase of lightly variegated yarns. I also think the slip-stitch pattern would be really texturally interesting in a laceweight yarn.


I need to pick one and start soon, because ballgown is coming right up! I know from experience that I need plenty of established knitting while I work on big, complicated projects, and I think any one of these shawls would be just the ticket.

All photos are copyright to their designers.

Friday, June 20, 2014

WIP: Fashion Illustration Porfolio Section

illustration2 IMGP9940

For some reason, this week I was really motivated to start messing around with my portfolio again. I've been working on it off and on for the last few months, so I had a few ideas about the next step, but Wednesday I finally sat down and worked on it... and ended up finishing a draft of the Fashion Illustration section. Whee!

Portfolio - Illustration
Portfolio - Illustration2
Portfolio - Illustration3

In each section, I'm doing a different layout to exercise my graphic design chops. For this section, I wanted to give a varied but specific range of examples of my illustration skills, with a pretty script balanced out by an unfussy layout and graphic borders.

Over the last three years at NYFA, I've worked with watercolors, pen, colored pencil, markers, cut paper, charcoal, and Illustrator, and I've done a lot of experimentation with different media to get a variety of effects in my illustrations. I really enjoy having the ability and freedom to illustrate garments in all these different ways, and I think it's made me a better designer and patternmaker.

Portfolio - Illustration4

So after the fun, designy illustrations, I decided to include some of my flat sketches as well. I actually love doing these type of illustrations, especially when I haven't created the garment yet; it really forces me to think about all of the functionality of a piece, because ultimately someone should be able to figure out how to make that garment based on the flat sketch alone.

It can also be a nice reference for proportion and details - there were quite a few times during the show that I would look back at a flat sketch to double-check the design lines or seam placement of a garment!

Portfolio - Illustration5
Portfolio - Illustration6

These ones are probably familiar - it seems like just yesterday that I was illustrating my ballgowns! In the process of creating the presentation, I scanned the original illustrations and spent hours editing them, so I have nice clean digital copies that I can print or use digitally as many times as I need to. Thanks, past self, for thinking of everything!

Overall, this draft was probably about 8 hours of work, and I'm really happy with the overall feel of the section. The next section will be ballgown, so that will probably happen sometime in August.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

WIP: Amazing Multicolored Neck Blanket, Part III

neckblanket3 neckblanketneckblanket2 kurtgraduation2

On my way out the door last Saturday, I picked up my Amazing Multicolored Neck Blanket to keep me company at my older brother's graduation ceremony for his master's degree. (Proud of you, Nüble!)

Since then, I've been on a roll - I'm on my 7th color of 10 now! I had almost forgotten how much I love this project. I'm really happy with the colors I picked - heavy on my favorite shades of pink and blue; just a touch of neutrals to help the transition between disparate colors. It's big enough to be an actual blanket on my lap while I knit, which has been nice during the cool weather we've been having.

 IMG_1917 IMGP9203 IMGP9205 IMG_0826 IMG_1266 IMGP9559 IMGP9561 IMGP9208IMGP9420 IMGP9198 IMGP4498 IMGP9207

Amazing Multicolored Neck Blanket Posts

The Plan
The Beginning
Part II

Yarn Color & Content Info on Ravelry

Monday, June 16, 2014

FO: Oberlin Salt Creek Hat

saltcreekhat7 saltcreekhat3saltcreekhat8 saltcreekhat6

I started this Salt Creek hat a few years ago while teaching a class in Oberlin and then never finished (story of my knitting liiiiife), so I pulled it out the other day, knitted another few inches on the body, did the crown, and boom! Finished hat.

The Salt Creek hat was my first real pattern, so there was definitely a learning curve in the design and pattern-writing process, but I still really like it even years later. I may go back and revamp it at some point, although probably not until after ballgown!

The yarn is Malabrigo Arroyo, a delightfully soft superwash merino. I love the weight of it - not too skinny, not too thick - and the colors are, as always with Malabrigo, gorgeous. Unfortunately this color doesn't really go with my glasses - I'm finding that the turquoise is great with many saturated colors, but it doesn't play nicely with cool blues.

I would usually make a joke about how my hat is done just in time for summer, but to be honest, I wore this outfit all afternoon on Friday and it was the perfect temperature!

All the details are on Ravelry here.

Friday, June 13, 2014



Ta-da - we have a ballgown design! The director gave it a lot of thought, and let me know her decision a few weeks ago. I will be creating Clara, the '30s-inspired gown worked in pink crepe back satin with lace appliqué. Of the three gowns, this design is the most representative of my design aesthetic: subtly romantic; simple with thoughtful details. I'm really excited to make it!

ballgownprep ballgownprep3

In preparation, I've started gathering things.

The Fun Ones - Materials!

Chantilly lace, French cotton lace edging, buttons, underpinnings, the perfect shoes.

ballgownprep4 ballgownprep5

The Hard but Worthwhile Ones - Happy Self-Care Habits.

I've decided to put my tailored jacket and other big projects on hold. Instead, I'm deep cleaning the house; tying up loose ends on small projects that have been hanging around for years; planning chore schedules, meals, and mental-health strategies for the month of ballgown.

I'm working and knitting a lot, trying to let go of both physical and mental stresses, and generally being nice to myself: taking classes that sound cool, reading good books, writing lists, eating lots of vegetables and chocolate.

I want the ballgown process to be happy and fulfilling, and I'm hoping that doing these small things to prepare will help pave the way for success.

Happy Friday!