Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Year in Knits: 2015

2015 in Knitwear Design

talusshoot2 Untitled piphat12 saltcreek5
fireweedFO2 lupinefo6blake2
colsweet10 colwayward colling8 colcairn

This year, I released or reformatted 11 patterns:

3 shawls - Fireweed, Lupine, Lingon
1 scarf - Blake
1 pair of mitts - Wayward
1 sweater - Sweet Root

2015 was absolutely huge for indie.knits, and I can't wait to see what 2016 holds! Thank you so much for your support, your cool projects, and your awesome feedback this year. I adore connecting with you all - whether through Ravelry, or Instagram, or in person - it makes the work I do feel really meaningful, knowing that there are wonderful folks like you to share it with. <3

2015 in Knits (and a Crochet) for Funsies!

modcollar4 yarnbowl

So what about my for-fun knitting? Well, I need to get back on that! I've destashed quite a lot of yarn over the last year, with the goal of streamlining my stash and only making projects that I will love to knit and wear. As I've devoted more time to designing, I've had to drastically cut down the number of for-fun projects I knit, so I'd like to become even more careful about choosing great projects in 2016.

So what are the numbers? Let's take a look!

modcollar gabrielle fluffycollar

3 collars

anniversaryfo Untitled lumberjacksocks3 Untitled

4 pairs of socks

arcticfo sekkuloopfo4 Untitled

3 cowls

violetlupine5 fireweedfo magiclupine3 jeyna5
plumjudy3 littlebirdfo - Version 2 sukifo2 - Version 2

7 shawls

ondreafo3 Untitled

2 sweaters

 Untitled tropicaltalus2

2 hats (both Talus, oops!)


1 pair of mitts


So for the final count, I'm at 29 finished projects for 2015 - many of which are in the design section, although not all the samples have a project page, so I made even more than 29 things. Clear as mud, right?

According to Knitmeter, in 2015 I've knit 12,006 yards, about 6.8 miles, not including the aforementioned extra entries - up from last year's 10,348 yards (5.9 miles.) High five, 2015 me!

I've destashed 90-some-odd yarns in 2015, and knitted up somewhere in the ballpark of 20 stash entries. As we've settled into living in a smaller house, I've become more and comfortable with the idea of owning less - it makes a high level of laziness much more achievable, while still appearing as though I am a fully functional adult (hahah) - so I'd love to continue the downward trend in my stuff in general, and in my stash particularly.

(That said, the stash will never fully go away, because I <3 my stash! Where else would I get my late-night yarn squishings?)

Happy knitting new year!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Kind of Blue

blue4 blueblue2 blue3

I'm stuck. There it is.

On the last four repeats of my shawl, on the color navy, with a bum hand from a needle stick that turned my smallest finger blue and yellow. I can still feel the sting of it from the moment that it happened: late at night, too tired to move but the little rat needed his medicine, and so I crouched near the floor and made his nebulizer dose, but I was thinking of something else and my eyes flicked away for a second and the needle slipped, and I was surprised, but it felt more as though I were looking through glass at someone else's pain and only the throb in my hand betrayed the fact that it was my own. I bandaged my hand and cleaned up and pulled the little one out of his cage; I could feel every knob on his spine like a neat line of buttons, and when I put him on my chest he lay flat and nestled his face into the hollow of my neck and closed his eyes.

He's gone now, but the throb in my hand is still there. We buried him outside our bedroom window with a little clump of yellow flowers that somehow survived the frost. In the night I still listen for his scrabbly breath, and I hope in time that I'll remember him as he was before: fur the color of wheat, dark sweet eyes, and the feeling of his soft little body nestled up in my pajamas as I read myself to sleep. In time it will come, like spring, when the ground warms up and the sun moves in wider and wider circles around the earth.

For now I wait, but in time it will come. I have hope.


RIP Monsieur Garth 'Pooper'
Spring 2013 - December 18th, 2015


Monday, December 14, 2015

Fireweed With Me: FO & WIP Drawing Winners!

fireweedkalprize FireweedKAL2 fireweedkalprize2

Hooray, we have winners of the drawing from the Fireweed With Me KAL! I'll be in touch with the winners shortly on Ravelry. Thank you all so much for sharing your gorgeous work - it's been such a treat to see so many beautiful and unique Fireweeds on the Ravelry thread! <3

First Prize FO

Orontelmi on Ravelry

Three skeins of Spincycle Dyed in the Wool, in The Family Jewels and Nostalgia colorways, generously donated by Kate & Rachel of Spincycle! <3

Print copies of all 4 patterns in the indie.knits F / W Collection

Second Prize FO

mar-dev on Ravelry

Digital copies of all 4 patterns in the indie.knits F / W Collection

Runner-Up WIP

lettyb on Ravelry

A digital copy of a pattern of her choice in my Ravelry shop


Okie dokie, that's it, friends! Congratulations to our winners, and thank you again to everyone who participated and made this KAL so chill and fun. Hope everyone has a lovely week!


All prizes selected using the List Randomizer on

Friday, December 11, 2015

FO: Fireweed With Me KAL!

fireweedfo fireweedfo2fireweedfo4 fireweedfo3

These days, we have about four minutes of soggy daylight in Seattle - but even so, Lumberjack and I managed to duck outside yesterday to take some pictures of my finished Fireweed With Me shawl! As much as I love rainy weather, I get pretty bummed out by the constant darkness, so this shawl is a welcome reprieve - like a fruity cocktail on the beach, but in the middle of winter.

Side note - the cute little feather pin is a vintage French barrette from Mane Message, but it works perfectly as a shawl pin too! Ah, I love it when being a magpie pays off in unexpected ways...

Last reminder - to enter to win cool prizes for participating in the KAL, post post post to the Ravelry FO thread by 11:59 pm tonight, Friday, December 11th, and I'll post the winners here and on Ravelry on Monday! Finished shawls, WIPs - whateva! If you made it, I'd love to see it.

Thanks again so much for knitting along with me - I had so much fun seeing all of your color combinations and finished shawls, and I hope it was fun for you guys, too.

Happy Friday, friends!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Stitchjones Design Challenge Part II: Styling Brights

For the second post in the Stitchjones Design Challenge series with Ariel and Noriko, we're all taking on the subject of styling brights. Color tends to have strong personal resonance with folks, and bright color in particular can be tricky to style. I'm always delighted when I see customers at the shop wearing bright, funky frames or colorful outfits, but I've also noticed that bright color can be a bit intimidating for those who'd like to try it, but aren't sure how to jump in.

My #1 piece of unsolicited advice for those folks is: if you open your heart up to color, it will love you back. It may sound silly, but I always find that open and heartfelt expression of self is radiant in any color, no matter what the rule books say about that shade of blue. Find the things that make your heart skip a beat, and wear them with joy.

But beyond that, what about actual styling? Well, for my own part, I love wearing color - the brighter the better - so I thought I'd share some of my favorite ways to bring color into an outfit. These are just a few things that have worked for me, so if you have any brilliant color matching secrets, please feel free to let me know in the comments!

blake5 saltcreek3

Accent: Choose a neutral outfit and let strongly colored accessories be a focal point.

As I've streamlined my closet over the last six months, I've started noticing a major feature that was pretty surprising, considering my love of color: I wear a lot of black, white, and grey! Once I thought about it, though, it makes a ton of sense. When I start with a layer of neutral, it brings a bright accessory into focus without so much visual competition.

This method can be quite striking while still feeling sophisticated - I always feel so fancy when I wear all-black! - and it's super easy to do, since you don't have to coordinate your accessory with another color in the outfit.

Your neutral doesn't have to be black or grey, either, you can definitely do this with warmer browns and beiges, but the overall look may feel a bit softer.

 brights3 sweetroot9

Echo: Pick up a coordinating color within a print using accessories or layers.

I'm a sucker for prints, especially when they use a variety of different colors. This opens up all sorts of opportunities to play with more color in accessories and layers, since you can coordinate with a main color, or pick up on some of the subtler colors in the print. On the left, I coordinated with the coral in the side panels; on the right, with the teeny little dots of forest green in the bodice. Magic!

In general, I find this to be a great starting point for coordinating colors; if you liked the print enough to bring it into your closet, that means the designer did a good job putting those colors together, and that means you can and should totally bogart their color sense. You can also file away one of those color combinations for a future outfit.

It's also a way to wear colors that you might not normally like and/or find flattering. Love acid green but it makes you feel like wilted salad when you put it next to your face? Keep your eyes peeled for a cool print in a color that you jam with, with just a little bit of that challenging color you love. (This goes for variegated yarns, too.)

Or, y'know, put that color next to your face and rock the shit out of it anyways.

talusshoot saltcreekblue

Soften: Add neutral accessories to balance color impact.

Sometimes your outfit is bold and bright on its own, and you want to complement it without going overboard. This is where neutral accessories come in for me - they're like little palate cleansers that you can add to balance out a strong color, unusual cut, or wild print.

To me, the beauty of a bold design element is not just in the thing itself, but also in its relationship with the world around it. In my photography style, that often means high-contrast color or juxtaposition of subject matter - a light color against a dark wall, or a structurally interesting piece against a soft, natural background - and in styling outfits, the same ideas apply, but you have the added element of texture to play with as well.

You can balance a fabric with a jagged print with a cashmere hat; a tailored dress with a light, voluminous mohair wrap; a chunky hat with a delicate lace blouse. All of them contain a relationship of contrast, which allows the eye to focus on the beauty of each element without getting overwhelmed by similarity.


Thanks for reading, friends! Ariel and Noriko's posts are listed below under Part II, and I hope you'll pop over and check them out.

Stitchjones Design Challenge

Part I: Interviews with Stitchjones

Part II: Styling Brights

Happy Wednesday!