Friday, November 27, 2015

Fireweed With Me: Deadline Reminder!

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Just wanted to pop in and remind you all that the Fireweed With Me KAL is wrapping up soon - next week, actually! It's been so fun to see all your projects on Ravelry, on Instagram, and in person, and I hope that it's been fun for you all too!

In keeping with the chillness of this KAL, I've extended the date for posting your FO on the Ravelry thread, so you have an extra week to block, weave in ends, and snap some photos. And if you're not quite finished yet? No worries! Post a photo of your WIP on the FO thread instead.

So here's all the relevant nitty gritty stuff again, just in case:

Fireweed With Me KAL Dates
  • We'll start knitting Friday, September 25th, with a finish date of Friday, December 4th.
  • Post your Fireweed on the Fireweed With Me FO thread on Ravelry by 11:59 pm on Friday, December 4th, let's say Friday, December 11th! and you'll be entered to win some super cool prizes, including yarn from Spincycle and patterns from my Ravelry store.
Happy Friday, friends!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Back to Reality

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Oomph - it's been a while, friends! Last I saw you, I was in the throes of pattern releases and preparations for vending my first show, both of which had been eating my brain cells and all of my free time for the last three months. And after all of that hard work, a whole weekend vending at Knit Fit was the perfect way to finish it all off! Of course I forgot to bring my camera, but I managed to get a couple of dorky pictures with my booth setup and vendor badge.

I've waxed poetic about the wonderfulness of this show before, and this year was even more magical (if that's possible??) Although I've worked shows as an employee before, this was my first show as a vendor for indie.knits, and I felt so welcomed and supported by every person I met: the entire Knit Fit crew, the other vendors, the attendees. I had a great time chatting with tons of knitters, and the vendor selection was top-notch, and I learned so, so much from the whole experience. A big thank you to everyone who stopped by to say hello, and a monumental thank you to Sasa and the other behind-the-scenes folks who made this great event happen.

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And because of course I did, I woke up the day after Knit Fit with a desperately ill rattie and a cold. Wah-wahhhhhh. After taking Mr. Pooper to the vet and getting him on a nebulizer treatment (he's doing much better!), I spent the rest of last week flopped on the couch, watching Jane the Virgin and attempting to send work emails in between Theraflu-induced naps. The second I started to recover, I started to tend to my sadly neglected house by doing boring adult things like dishes and vacuuming and taking out the trash. (Of course, it's not until you have at terrible cold, a dishwasher full of dirty spoons, and overflowing recycling bin full of soup cans that you realize how frequent and necessary such tasks truly are.)

After I finished all of that stuff, I turned my attention to the tub full of handwashing and the heaps of paper and knitting needles and clothes and half-finished projects all over my studio. Yikes! So yesterday I completely rearranged and cleaned my studio, which, unsurprisingly, made me feel loads better. The blocking queue is back up and running - including my finished Fireweed for the Fireweed With Me KAL! Yayyy! - and all the flat spaces are now ready for me to explode ideas and sketches and swatches all over them.

Because what are clean spaces for, except to facilitate creative clutter and coffee-drinking? Nothing, that's what.

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Friday, November 13, 2015

F / W 2015: They're Up!

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Hooray, hooray! All of the patterns in the F / W 2015 Collection are live and available for download on Ravelry.

If you prefer your patterns in print and are Seattle local, you can also pick up a copy at Knit Fit this Saturday or Sunday, where I'll be hanging out with Ann in the Vintage Buttons booth! A lot of my favorite folks will be there - Spincycle Yarns, YOTH Yarns, Hazel Knits, Three Fates Yarns, and many other favorites just waiting to be discovered - and it should be a really, really great show.

Market Hours:
Saturday November 14th, 8:30 am - 6 pm
Sunday November 15th, 8:30 am - 4 pm

The market is free, the people are amazing, and the yarn is spectacular. You should come!

Happy, happy Friday, friends! <3<3<3

F / W 2015: Cairn

The last piece F / W Collection is another brand-new accessory pattern: the Cairn hat. As with the other items in the collection, it will be available for download later today (!!!), Friday, November 13th.

Cairn is knit in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rustica, a hearty Columbia wool made entirely in the Pacific Northwest, produced by Imperial Stock Ranch and hand-dyed in amazing colors by Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Additional details on the yarn and pattern can be found on Ravelry.

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When I was sixteen, I hiked a trail called Six Ridge. It was an unremarkable hike for the first three or four miles, a steep incline and a glacier lake at the first of its peaks, and after lunch and refilling our water bottles at the lake, we pushed on, leaving the established trail behind. Within minutes, the trail turned from a wide swath of rocky dirt into a skinny, meandering footpath through woods so dense they blocked the daylight. As the afternoon drew on, the forest thinned, and the trail evaporated into long slopes of grass and wildflowers punctuated with islands of brush, nothing but tiny orange flags tied on the odd branch to mark our way.

As darkness fell, the friendly orange ribbons faded into the same murky grey soup as everything else, so we made camp, ate a hasty dinner, and fell asleep. The next morning, we woke early, rediscovered the flags, and continued on. As we hiked, the landscape changed again and again, from thick, grassy meadows criss-crossed with hidden rivulets of water, to flats of mud and dead trees and air choked with mosquitos. We found a few signs of other people - a burnt coffee can here, a discarded tent pole there - but other than that, we were alone.

Midway through the day, we came upon a fork in the road: the way was either up a steep rock face, or it was through a shaded path along a small ridge. We chose the path. At the top of the ridge, the path opened up into a rocky outcrop overlooking the valley, surrounded on all sides by steep, grassy hills, a black bear nuzzling the far hillside as we approached. There was no way forward, and although there had been lighthearted talk of being lost in the hours before, the word had grown heavier in our throats as the day wore on, our precious reserve of daylight growing smaller and smaller with every minute. In all my time in the wilderness, that moment was the first and only time I've ever felt truly lost.

In the end, we turned back. We retraced our steps to the fork in the road, back to that sheer face of rock - but this time, we saw something we all had missed before, in our haste to keep moving forward: a little stack of round stones, neatly stacked from biggest to smallest. A sign of human intervention, a message without language. It's safe. Keep going. I made this for you.

Ten minutes later, we were at the top of a cliff, with an elevation signpost and a breathtaking view of the small blue world below. It was exhilarating and wonderful, but it's not what I remember. What I remember is the feeling of that gentle nudge in the midst of loss and fear, that little reminder that you and I are in this together, even if we are separated by place and time.

What I remember is the cairn.

Happy Friday, friends.

Model & Styling: Nicole Hood
Designer, Photographer & Styling: Cory Ellen Boberg

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

F / W 2015: Lingon

Next up in the F / W Collection is another brand-new accessory pattern: the Lingon shawl. As with the other items in the collection, it will be available for download this Friday, November 13th.

Lingon is knit in one or two skeins of Swans Island Natural Colors Merino Fingering, a hand-dyed, organic merino that creates a soft, finely textured fabric. Additional details on the yarn and pattern can be found on Ravelry.

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I discovered the music of Sigur Rós when I was fifteen. I listened to the album ( ) on repeat on my little silver Discman and headphones as I studied for chemistry exams in a deserted cafeteria, as I wrote short stories in my bedroom at 2 am, as I walked the mile to school in my Chucks and rainbow socks. This strange music was a key moment in my musical awakening: in a caught breath on the freeway overpass when the sun was shining and the sidewalk was covered in a crust of ice crystals, thrown suddenly into dazzling light. It was the sound of longing and joy and bitter cold, the pulls of a bow on a guitar creating a sound like music from inside a canyon. I had never heard anything so beautiful.

 It was there as I grew older, Takk... on repeat while I studied for my college calculus final and the snow fell in gentle drifts outside my dorm room window, my heart broken over a boy who didn't love me. And again, Valtari on repeat as I steamed yards and yards of red wool for the last piece in my senior collection for NYFA, as I cut and stitched little pieces of lace together into a gentle curve, as I lay on the couch in the magazine room at school and the shadows fell through the window in grey slanted lines.

And again, when Gobbledigook played as I walked down the aisle ten years later, to marry the kid who had taken me to my first Sigur Rós concert when we were seventeen, when we both sat in awe of the glitter of stage lights and the dark tangle of cords and instruments from which came all that vast, heartbreaking beauty.

And so, Lingon is a sort of a love letter to the possibilities of darkness and light; of curve and line. To the sparse and linear, as well as their inverse: the shape of a set of parenthesis, or a crown of berries, or a rising sun.

Happy Wednesday, friends.

Model & Styling: Nicole Hood
Designer, Photographer & Styling: Cory Ellen Boberg

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

F / W 2015: Wayward

Next up in the F / W Collection is a brand-new accessory pattern: the Wayward mitts. As with the other items in the collection, it will be available for download this Friday, November 13th.

Wayward is knit in two colors of Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift, a richly textured, traditional Shetland yarn with an incredible range of colors, perfect for colorwork and light, warm accessories. Additional details on the yarn and pattern can be found on Ravelry.

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Growing up, family was anyone you chose to give your heart to, and I can think of no better example than my grandma Margaret. Born in the 1920s and raised in New Mexico, Margaret worked as a computer at Los Alamos during the war, and met my mother when they both worked in the aerospace industry in the late 1980s. 

Sleepovers at Margaret's apartment were a fixture of my childhood weekends. Although I was too young to understand the significance of an unmarried woman working in technology in the mid-twentieth century, I always gravitated towards the material artifacts of her long and adventurous life: a painting of the mesa; a clock made from a piece of petrified wood; ceramics of turquoise and gold and speckled earth.

It was not New Mexico that I fell in love with from these objects; it was New Mexico through Margaret's eyes. The moment when the sun goes down and night begins to settle in over the desert, the sky fading from cerulean to a blue so deep it nearly blots out the stars. The black mountains in the distance, cupping the valley in darkness. The little square windows of the houses illuminated, the activity of the people inside framed as if in miniature: who cooks with an old iron pot, who wears sheepskin slippers, who drinks coffee thick with grounds. 

And so, Wayward is like one of those small windows to me: a mountain in twilight, a sketch of a place done from memory. To follow this thread of taking inspiration from women dear to me, I drew the name and color choices from the work of my friend Kat of The Wayward Knitter, whose beautifully earthbound color sense constantly surprises and delights me.

And with that - happy Wednesday Tuesday, friends. (ETA: Hee hee! Can you tell I'm tired? I don't even know what day it is.)

Model & Styling: Nicole Hood
Designer, Photographer & Styling: Cory Ellen Boberg

Monday, November 9, 2015

F / W 2015: Sweet Root

The first piece in the F / W Collection is a familiar one: the Sweet Root cardigan. As with the other items in the collection, it will be available for download this Friday, November 13th.

Sweet Root is knit in Imperial Yarn Tracie Too, a beautiful worsted-spun sport weight wool with a light, crisp hand. Additional details on the yarn and pattern can be found on Ravelry.

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There is a particular spot that I return to in my memory, when I think of the woods: a clearing in the back woods of Saint Edward Park, a place that I first went when I was nine or ten. There is a loamy path, covered in pine needles and rotten leaves; there is a canopy of cedar and maple overhead, and the chattering of birds, and the smell of wet earth; and there is a young man climbing a tree to pick a licorice fern.

There are four or five of us huddled at the base of the tree - me, my brother, and two or three other children - and when the young man returns to the ground, hands covered in dirt, he snaps the root from the stalk of each tightly furled leaf and hands them to us, exclaiming: they taste like licorice. You should eat them.

It's a memory many times replayed since then: the feeling of unknowing excitement, my cold fingers, the mud on my boots. The taste of the fern root, woody and green; the faint taste of spice and dirt. And from that moment, the unfolding of a corner of some unknown mystery; the internal knitting-together of some thread which connected my small being to the tall green world around me.

So whenever I see those little ferns growing on the slope of some mossy tree, I always think of that place in the woods and the memory they conjure: the licorice ferns; the sweet root.

Happy Monday, friends.

Model & Styling: Nicole Hood
Designer, Photographer & Styling: Cory Ellen Boberg

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Announcement: F / W 2015 Collection, and Knit Fit!

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Hi friends! I've been keeping this news under my hat for a while, so I'm pretty stoked to announce my two huge projects from the last few months:

indie.knits - F / W 2015

I'm about to release my first collection for indie.knits, a Fall/Winter collection which includes the Sweet Root cardigan, as well as three new accessory designs. (I'll be introducing each piece individually in the next week - stay tuned!)

The collection is wool-focused, worked in rich, autumnal colors, and heavily inspired by the natural world. Each piece is designed to be both wearable and fun to knit, and it's my hope that you'll love each of them as much as I loved creating them!

Each piece in the collection will be available as an individual Ravelry download beginning on Friday, November 13th, and I'll be sure to share when they go live.

But wait, there's more! Seattle folks will have early access to the collection, in a special sneak peek hosted at The Fiber Gallery on Thursday, November 12th, from 6-8 pm. I'd love to see you there!

And now for the second piece of news:

indie.knits at Knit Fit!

A while back, my friend Ann kindly offered to share her booth with me at Knit Fit, our fabulous local indie knitting festival, and of course I jumped at the chance!

I'll be there with the collection, as well as my other patterns - many of which are newly updated and shiny - and plenty of samples for you to squish. I'll be chilling with Ann in her Vintage Buttons booth, and you can bet that I'll be wearing something bright and funky!

I'm so excited for the opportunity to meet and share my work with the Seattle community of fiber folks. Knit Fit is a wonderful, lovingly curated event, with fun classes and a fabulous market, and I do hope you'll stop by!

The happiest of Wednesdays to you, friends!