Thursday, August 25, 2016

Special Event: Lelia Mitts & Lupine Shawl Classes at Starlight Knitting Society

indie knits at starlight

Friends, I'm excited to announce that I'll be teaching two project-based classes at Starlight Knitting Society this fall!

I found Starlight about six months ago, at the recommendation of several of my Issaquah Tinker friends who stopped by and discovered this little gem of a store. With a fun, friendly vibe, and a fabulous stock of Fibre Company, Spincycle Yarns, O-Wool, and more, Starlight has quickly become my favorite yarn shop to visit when I'm down in Portland! They have a cozy layout for sitting and chatting, and a jewelbox display of yarns everywhere you look.

This fall, they'll be celebrating their 1-year anniversary with a fab party on Friday, September 16th, from 5-9 pm, and I'm excited to come celebrate with them on Friday - then teach a couple of fun classes on Saturday, as part of the festivities!

 lupinefo6 lelia8

I'll be teaching two classes based on my designs - the Lelia Mitts, and the Lupine shawl - both on Saturday, September 17th.

If you're in the Portland area - or you're in the Pacific Northwest and would love an excuse to go on a yarny field trip! - pop over to the class section of Starlight's website or call the shop to sign up.

Okay - onto the details! (Follow the links for full details on materials and skills.)

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Lupine shawl
September 17th, 10 am -12 pm

New to lace? Have no fear! We’ll start with the basics - practicing increases, simple lace, and even a scalloped edging technique in a swatch before jumping into your project. Along the way, I’ll talk about troubleshooting lace projects, and how to easily customize the size of your shawl.

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Lelia Mitts
September 17th, 1-3 pm.

Inspired by vintage dishware, the Lelia Mitts are a fun introduction to two-color knitting! We’ll talk about choosing colors and practice techniques to create beautiful, even stranded colorwork and stripes. In the process, I’ll share some of my favorite little tweaks to make your knitting shine.

magiclupine2 Lelia Mitts (Release Front))

I'm sending out samples of both projects to Starlight this afternoon, so you can head on over to the shop and pet them in person before class starts! :D 

It should be a really fun weekend event - I hope to see you there!


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Cloth, Paper, Memory

At certain moments, I don't realize that I have forgotten who I am, until a photograph or a scrap of handwriting brings it back to me. It's amazing, the vast amount of sensory information the human brain can store: how it clings like sediment to the darkest corners of your memory, only to be shaken loose by an outline of light in chemicals, or a child's scrawl.

Which neighbor's cat was sick but her mother couldn't afford the vet. Which friend wrote letters on paper that smelled like drugstore perfume, mailed from Auckland with an international stamp at the top of the envelope. Which friend slept on her living room floor next to me, how the sun woke me up through the back door and her little red dog was always at my feet. 

I wonder, how did I forget the name of the boy who wrote that I was lovely at any angle?

How did I fall out of touch with the girls from camp who wrote me letters - Chipy and Mouse were their names, but what was mine? I still remember the sound of our voices echoing in the rafters of the mess hall, a chorus of soprano and grit in our throats, hoarse from saltwater and too much yelling. 

And there we were, yelling again, just the same.

Paper in my hands, I'm tempted to tell the ones I still know that I remember them. In my mind they are all six or twelve or seventeen, and their faces still as freckled and smiling as they were that day - that summer, that winter, that fall, that spring - of my remembering. But older now: with medical degrees and babies and fellowships, fewer braces, more scars. My old friends.

Remember when we all rolled up our sweatshirts and fell asleep on the cliff above the canal, whispering and looking at the stars? I'd ask.

Yes, they might say. I do.


All photographs taken at the Mood Indigo exhibit and permanent collection at Seattle Asian Art Museum. (Exhibit closing October 9th 2016.)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Fighting the Ick: Bubbles & Brights

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One of the biggest dangers I've faced as I work towards designing full-time is the trap of thinking that creative self-care isn't work.

I've dropped into post-creative depression enough times that I should know better, but still, there it is: one day, when the work is finally out in the world and I'm proud and excited and tired, I wake up and find out that my world has constricted to the size of a raisin.

Where did the light go, when the sun is right there? Why does the sight of dirty dishes in the sink make my heart flop around in my ribcage like a sack of wet garbage? And there's the guilt, too: the stern questioning of self, the rehashing of time-honored questions like, why-must-we-do-this-again and I-thought-we-were-done-with-this-fuckery?

At this point, I think I've finally come to a solution: I put on pants. I leave the house. I go for a walk, or look at plants, or browse the local vintage mall for cool stuff. I let it be okay that I'm not working-working.

And inevitably, it's the second that I let myself stop stressing out about the work for two minutes, that the joy of possibility comes back to me. I'll be anxious and stupid and on the verge of having a screaming match with my sofa - but hey, go look at some colorful teakettles and Hawaiian-print shirts and I'm suddenly a-bursting with ideas.

So this afternoon, instead of hyperventilating on the floor of my studio for an hour, I went over the Fremont Vintage Mall and searched for treasures, with the sole intent of not stressing out about work. I didn't buy anything (although I often do; it's one of my favorite places to find cool housewares) - I just wandered around and took pictures of the textures and colors that caught my eye.

And just like that, I feel better.



PS. Thank you to everyone who has favorited and commented on my recent releases on Ravelry, Instagram, and the blog - it's been really exciting to work with such great companies and publications, and I'm looking forward to doing more of it in the future! (I just gotta focus and make time to look at kitschy lamps and flamingo-shaped jewelry boxes too...)


Friday, August 5, 2016

Pattern Release: Jardiniere, a Collaboration with Black Wolf Ranch

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Annnd they just keep coming! A few months back, I started chatting with Wendy from Black Wolf Ranch about creating an original design using her yarn, with an eye towards featuring several of her beautiful dyed colorways.

This is the resulting shawl: Jardiniere, a four-color shawl inspired by knitted counterpane motifs, knit up in Wendy's beautifully textured alpaca/mohair Spirit for the body, and lusciously soft & glowy Distinctly Alpaca Sport for the color panels and edging. Wendy and I put together two different colorways - one with lots of color, and one neutral with just a little pop of brightness, which you can take a look at below.

This pattern is debuting as a kit at Black Wolf Ranch's booth at Stitches Midwest 2016 this weekend, and will be available exclusively from Black Wolf Ranch until July of 2017. 

Jardiniere Alternate Colorway paris2paris jardinierefo5

I knitted most of the sample on a two-week trip to London and Paris a few months ago. I'll always remember knitting in bed on a rainy afternoon in Paris: the city shrouded in mist and rain streaking across the windows; our rooftop balcony lined with plants, a kinetic green against the gray.

When it came time to name the shawl, Jardiniere seemed like a perfect fit: it's a word used in both French and English, with multiple meanings - a flower box, a gardener. A word that by its meaning alone is something ordinary, but in its context means something more.

A painted container full of earth and color, tendrils of green spilling out over its walls. A woman with dirt under her fingernails holding a tomato still warm from the vine, her face half-shaded from the sun. This is what I thought of as I named it.

I hope you love it.

Happy Friday, friends - and happy Stitches!


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Stranded Magazine & Pattern Release: Gilia Legwarmers

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Photo credit: Andi Satterlund, Stranded Magazine

I'm super excited to announce the release of the Stranded Magazine: Mild Weather 2016 issue, and my pattern, the Gilia legwarmers! Knit up in Miss Babs Yowza - Whatta Skein!, they're a fun, cozy way to extend skirts and dresses into the fall, or keep your legs toasty walking down to the diner for pie and damn good coffee. ;)

Gilia is available as part of the full issue, which you can check out on their website or Ravelry.

Now that the official stuff is done, okay, full disclosure: I'm in love with this issue! The bright, retro styling, the Twin-Peaks-y vibe, the designs - Salal and Tupshin and Latourell, omg - soo goood. Not to mention the articles, including a feature on my absolute favorite yarnies, Kate & Rachel of Spincycle Yarns! Yep... time to go find my wool skirts, put on some winged eyeliner, and start adding new projects to my queue...

(And just as a little introduction after the fact, Stranded is a new online publication put together by local designers & yarn folks Andi Satterlund, Erin Birnel, and Monica Kirby - they've been an awesome team to work with, and I'm super stoked to see what they do next. I hope you like the issue as much as I do!)

Happy Thursday!