Thursday, May 11, 2017

FO: Salt Creek Hat & Loop for Black Wolf Ranch

IMGP6006 IMGP6070IMGP6076 IMGP6177

In the two years since I started working on indie.knits full time, I've been lucky to connect and work with some awesome local and American-made yarn companies - and among my favorite folks to work with are Black Wolf Ranch, a brand that features luxury alpaca blends in luminous colors influenced by the Montana landscape.

Last year, I knit up a Nusa cowl sample, and later, designed the Jardiniere shawl, using their gorgeous yarns. And this past February at Madrona Fiber Arts, I was delighted to see my designs featured in their booth both as individual patterns and thoughtfully chosen kits.

While I was there, I got to catch up with Wendy and her lovely team - and when she asked if I would be available to knit up samples of my Salt Creek Hat & Loop for them, out of two different dreamy silk-blend yarns, I was like um, yes please!

IMGP5992 IMGP5986

Salt Creek Hat

This was the first design that I ever released for sale on Ravelry, so it holds a special place in my heart! I revamped the pattern in 2014, and ever since, I've been so happy to see it keep getting love. The simple cable and twisted stitch details add knitterly interest, while the garter stitch gives it a bit of textured smoosh. And the crown decreases are pretty neat, if I do say so myself!

I knit up the sample in Black Wolf Ranch Rustic Wool, a 70/30 BFL/tussah silk blend, in the colorway Tuscan Sun, which is a beautiful shade of green-scented yellow - like a ripening lemon, or a splash of fresh olive oil. The BFL adds structure and crispness to the fabric, which lets the silk content sing the lead, as the color shimmers and glows from within.

For more details, you can check out my project page here.

IMGP6171 IMGP6175

Salt Creek Loop

This pattern came a little later, when I was inspired to try the same textural details of the Salt Creek Hat in a soft, drapey alpaca yarn. I worked on the pattern on a trip to Iceland in 2012, and I have distinct memories of blocking the sample in our rental laundry room during a bout of insomnia: the cement floor and hum of the dryer, the smell of soap and sulfur lingering in the air like a strange, cozy dream.

I knit up this sample in Black Wolf Ranch Spirit Alpaca & Tussah, a 70/30 alpaca/tussah silk blend, in the colorway Cenote', a deep, complex blue-green - just like the pools of clear, cavernous blue of its namesake. In this yarn, the sinuous quality of the alpaca combines with the luster of the silk to create a fabric with amazing drape and shine - like the yarn version of silk crepe-back satin.

For more details, you can check out my project page here.

IMGP6032

One of my favorite things about working as an independent designer is the opportunity to partner with folks who share my love of color, local and independently-produced yarns, and strong, supportive community - and by all of those counts, Black Wolf Ranch has been a total pleasure to work with. If you ever get the opportunity to stop by their booth at a fiber festival or show, I do hope you'll say hello!

In the meantime, if you're interested in their lovely yarns, you can shop online here.

(And a few of my patterns are available as kits as well, which is pretty awesome!)

Thanks again to Wendy, Amanda, and the rest of the Black Wolf Ranch team for their support, and for letting me play with their pretty, pretty yarns!

And thank you for reading, friends. Happy Thursday!

<3
Cory

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Upcoming Event: Fireweed Workshop at All Wound Up!

Fireweed Workshop-4

hosted by
18521 - 76th Ave W, Ste 109
Edmonds, WA 98026
425-245-5104


Saturday, June 24th
9 am - 12 pm

Class Fee: $75 (supplies included)
Skill level: Adventurous beginner

Materials and other details are available on sign-up -
call, stop by, or register online for all the details! <3

fireweedFO2 fireweedco4twinfireweeds2 fireweedfo

Wanna Fireweed with me? Here's what we'll be doing!

Lace and stripes and Spincycle, oh my! Come learn how to plan and create your very own Fireweed shawl - a two-color asymmetrical shawl featuring gorgeous Spincycle Yarns - with the designer, Seattle local Cory Ellen (that's meee!)

We’ll start by exploring how to use color theory, inspiring images, and personal style to choose colors that will make your heart sing! Then, in the hands-on section of class, we’ll knit Fireweed swatches to practice two-color stripe techniques, an easy way of picking up and knitting, and how to work and troubleshoot simple lace. 

As a handy reminder of the color theory and inspiration we cover, each student will receive a handout with helpful terms, photo examples, and tips on how to approach color pairing in your yarns and projects.

*********************** 

I'm very excited to be hosted by Nona and Leslie at All Wound Up, a local yarn shop in Edmonds, WA with a fabulous selection of local & hand-dyed yarns and a wonderful community of knitters & crocheters! If you're a Seattle local, I highly recommend checking them out.

All Wound Up will also be hosting a trunk show of my designs from June 14 - 24 -  so stay tuned for more details!

Happy Wednesday, friends!

<3
Cory

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Upcoming Event: Color Play! Part II Workshop at Serial Knitters

Color Play! II Variegated-3

hosted by


Saturday, March 25th
4-6 pm

Class Fee: $35 + supplies
Skill level: Intermediate
Skills needed: Casting on, knitting, purling, binding off. Yo increase, decreases, and cabling a plus.

Materials

Yarn: One or more skeins of variegated DK-weight yarn (one skein of gradient, optional) for swatching.

Notions: Stitch markers, cable needle.

Needles: Size 5 or 6 US (3.75 or 4 mm) 24” (61 cm) circular needles, or preferred needles for working flat.

Recommended yarn: Variegated - Black Trillium Sublime, Knitted Wit Victory DK, Malabrigo Arroyo, Madelinetosh Tosh DK.

Optional gradient: Done Roving Frolicking Feet DK; Spincycle Yarns Dyed in the Wool (bring size 4 or 5 US [3.5 mm or 3.75 mm] needle for this one!)


Join us!

Call, email, or stop by Serial Knitters to sign up.

Color Play II - Variegated Promotional Photo cloudburst5chiral11 pausing

Why Color Play?

There's nothing more tempting to a knitter than variegated & gradient yarns! But once you've got that precious skein in your hot little hands, how do you choose a pattern that will highlight its gorgeous colors? 

As a knitter and designer with 10+ years experience in the yarn world, this is one of my favorite questions - not to mention a fabulous opportunity to play with the color alchemy of yarns created by talented indie dyers.

So I invite you to join me as we jump feet-first into the world of variegated & gradient yarns!

Come learn how to choose and use these beautiful yarns in the second workshop of my series on knitterly color play. (You do not need to have taken Part I to attend!)

In this workshop, we'll explore:

- the basics of color theory
- types of variegation & gradients
- how to choose a variegated yarn that speaks to you

as well as

- how to choose stitch patterns and design elements for variegated & gradient yarns
- hands-on swatching of 3 different variegation-friendly stitch patterns

Other workshop highlights:

As we work, we'll also have the opportunity to look at lots of swatches and samples up close, for examples of variegated and gradient yarns knit into different types of projects.

And, as a handy reminder of the topics we cover, each student will receive a handout with helpful terms, photo examples, and tips on how approach variegated & gradient yarns and projects - so you can keep the color party going at home!

*********************** 

The first Color Play workshop at Serial Knitters was a blast, and I'm so excited for the opportunity to come back and share another afternoon of color adventure with you all!

It should be an awesome workshop - I hope to see you there!

<3
Cory

Monday, March 6, 2017

Upcoming Event: 2-Session Lelia Mitts Workshop at The Fiber Gallery!

Lelia Mitts Workshop-3

hosted by
Sundays, March 12th & March 19th (2 sessions)
3 - 5 pm

Class Fee: $50 + supplies
Skill level: Adventurous beginner to intermediate
Skills needed: Long-tail cast-on, knitting & purling, small-circumference
knitting in the round (DPNs or Magic Loop.)

Starts this weekend - stop by, call, or email to sign up!

The Fiber Gallery
8212 Greenwood Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98103

(206) 706-4197
fibergallery@comcast.net

lelia5 Color Pairing Workshop Banner

Workshop Overview

Local to Seattle and curious about colorwork? Come join me at The Fiber Gallery in a 2-week workshop featuring my Lelia Mitts pattern, and learn the ropes of basic stranded colorwork!

We’ll talk about choosing colors and practice techniques to create beautiful, even stranded colorwork and stripes on your very own Lelia Mitts project. And as we knit, I’ll share some of my favorite little tweaks to make your knitting shine.

In addition to the in-class discussion of color, you'll receive a Color Play! Combining Two Colors handout to take home.

We'll Learn About:

- how to choose a stranding technique that works with your knitting style
- how to work simple stranded colorwork
- how to work a pretty 2-row stripe technique

as well as

- color dominance in stranded knitting
- basics of yarny color theory
- how to create inspired color pairings

Lelia Mitts (Release Front)) pinkpanther2

Please Bring

- Lelia Mitts pattern
available in print or through Ravelry at The Fiber Gallery

 - 125 yards sport weight Main Color
- 95 yards sport weight Contrast Color
- 3 stitch markers
- needles

Recommended yarn:
Main Color - Cascade 220 Sport, 1 skein.
Contrast Color - Spincycle Yarns Dyed in the Wool, 1 skein.

Recommended needles:
Size 2.5 US (3.0 mm) DPNs
Size 3 US (3.25 mm) DPNs
Size 4 US (3.5 mm) 32"+ (81 cm +) circular needles

Or, preferred needles for small-circumference knitting in the round.

---------------

I'm very excited to be working with Megan, our new owner at The Fiber Gallery, to bring you this indie.knits workshop - it's been so cool to be a part of the awesome new ideas and energy she brings to the shop! <3

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

Love,
Cory

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Pattern Release: Trespassers William

Now, Piglet lived in a very grand house in the middle of a beech tree in the middle of the forest - and Piglet loved it. The house had been in the family for a long long time and had his grandfather's name on a broken sign to prove it: TRESPASSERS WILL.

"That," Piglet would explain, "is short for TRESPASSERS WILLIAM, my grandfather's name."

from "Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day." Walt Disney's Winnie the Pooh Storybook. 1989.

IMGP5891 IMGP5675IMGP5710 IMGP5966

On my coffee table, there is a book: red and fraying at the corners, the embossed design of the cover worn down to a scattering of gold flecks. The image that's left is half of Winnie the Pooh, seated, with one golden finger suspended in the air. The other half - whatever he was holding in one chubby hand, and the rest of his face - are blotted out by a water stain.

There are twin mysteries there: what, exactly, did the Silly Old Bear's face used to look like? And what on earth did I spill on it back in 1991, when I was three and my favorite pastime was stealing crumbs of cheese from the family refrigerator?

(The first question is easy enough to address with a quick Google search. As for the second, the world may never know.)

What I do know is that from ages 3 to 8 or so, the Winnie the Pooh Storybook was my literary comfort food.

When I listened to - and later, read - the words, I was reminded of the forest outside my back door: I felt the sun through the trees; heard the singing of water and the hush of pine needles beneath my feet. I knew the characters as I knew my friends, in all their habits and foibles and joy. And through their stories - of meeting new people, overcoming fear, and practicing kindness in small ways - I learned how to be a person.

All of that from a red, water-stained book - which is why, over two decades later, it still sits on my coffee table.

IMGP5589 IMGP5933

And so, this week I'm very excited to release Trespassers William, a collaboration with my friend Kenneth of The Homestead Hobbyist, featuring his beautiful yarn and inspired by my childhood love of Winnie the Pooh.

I hope you love it too.

You can check out the pattern on Ravelry here, or purchase directly below.


Happy Wednesday, friends. <3

Cory

Friday, January 20, 2017

Upcoming Events: Lupine Shawl Workshop at The Nifty Knitter!

Lupine Shawl Nifty Knitter-2

hosted by


Saturday, February 11th
1 - 5 pm

Stop by, call, or email to sign up!

The Nifty Knitter (Facebook)
317 NW Gilman Blvd Ste 27
Issaquah, WA 98027

(425) 369-3098
theniftyknittershop@gmail.com

Class Overview

Class Fee: $50 + supplies
Skill level: Adventurous beginner
Skills needed: Casting on, knitting and purling

New to lace? Have no fear! In this workshop, we'll play with simple lace using the fun, asymmetrical Lupine shawl pattern.

We’ll start with the basics in a swatch - practicing increases, simple lace, and even a scalloped edging technique - before jumping into your project. Since the Lupine shawl is a great way to showcase variegated yarns, we'll also talk about how to choose and use variegated yarns in this kind of project.

At the end of class, you'll have a swatch, a Color Play! Variegation & Gradients handout, and your very own Lupine shawl-in-progress!

lupinefo5 IMG_2241

We'll Learn About:

- how to create a bias asymmetrical shawl shape
- how to work simple lace
- how to plan, swatch, and cast on your own Lupine

as well as

- different types of variegated yarns, and how to use them in projects
- handy tips for troubleshooting lace projects
- how to easily customize the size of your shawl.

Please Bring

- Lupine shawl pattern
available in print or through Ravelry at The Nifty Knitter

 - 50 yards fingering weight for practice
- 400+ yards fingering weight for project.
- needles

Recommended needles: Size 6 US (4 mm) 32” (81 cm) circular needles.

Recommended yarn: Malabrigo Mechita, or any fingering weight wool/wool blend. (Works particularly well for hand-dyed skeins.)

---------------

It should be a really fun class! I'm so excited to be working with Ben and The Nifty Knitter team - and I hope to see you there! <3

Love,
Cory

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Old Year / New Year

charliehalp2 IMG_1322

As much as I'd like to be able to look back and say something concrete about 2016 in my personal and professional life, I'm honestly still pretty confused by it. Not in a bad way - I just feel as though I'm nearing the edge of something meaningful, but I'm still far enough away that the path is spongey and lightless beneath my feet. I can feel the outline of it in the dark, but I really couldn't tell you whether it was a weasel or a bowl of fruit in front of me.

Which is a strange, untethered kind of feeling - and one that I'd prefer to leave behind in 2016, thanksverymuch.

unnamed

So if I had to say, what was this year, for me?

2016 was a year that challenged me to say yes to things.

To my little schnoodle Charlie, who is the puppy love of my life. <3

To writing, when I started taking creative writing classes for the first time in 10 years, and connected with a dynamic, passionate, and inspiring teacher and workshop cohort.

To traveling, when I tagged along to London, Paris, and Hawaii with Blake - and met his awesome coworkers - during his company-sponsored work weeks.

To teaching workshops in local yarn shops, which basically introduces me to the most wonderful students and lets me dance around and throw metaphorical glitter at them while they practice jogless 2-row stripes.

TO SWIMMING WITH DOLPHINS, WHICH WAS LITERALLY THE BEST THING I'VE EVER DONE

LIKE, I AM CRYING WITH HAPPINESS RIGHT NOW AND IT WAS A MONTH AGO, GEEZ, GET AHOLD OF YOURSELF ALREADY, CORY.

IMG_1918

And 2016 was a year that challenged me to say no to things.

I said no to a lot of expectations about who I should be for other people, sometimes painfully.

I said no to this blog a lot.

I said no to a lot of my old ideas and belongings that didn't fit me anymore.

And probably even more than I said no, I said:

Yes, and... this is what I need.
Yes, and... this is what I'm worth.

(Which sent me into a blubbery pile of puppy snuggles and self-doubt, more often than a person should admit to in respectable company, but let's not dwell on that.)

At the end of the day, the important thing is that I made it through - and I'm gonna give myself a Liz-Lemon-style, self-high-five to that.

And while we're at it, in 2016 I also made this:

lelia8 pow5 chiral11leliahatfo2 cloudburst5 Gilia_Front_01jardinierefront updatedfl11 spectrallines5

1 // Lelia Mitts for The Fiber Gallery at Madrona 2016  2 // Pow! shawl collaboration with Noriko, Ariel, and Stitchjones
3 // Chiral cowl  4 // Lelia Hat  5 // Cloudburst Hat for the 2016 Northwest LYS Tour
6 // Gilia legwarmers for Stranded Mag Mild Weather Issue 2016 (photo copyright Andi Satterlund)
7 // Jardiniere shawl, an exclusive collaboration with Black Wolf Ranch 
8 // Folded Lotus pattern update  9 // Spectral Lines shawl collaboration with Blissful Knits

I also vended at Knit Fit! as a standalone booth for the first time in November of 2016, which was an incredible opportunity, and one of the highlights of my year.

IMG_1580

I am pretty fucking proud of the design and teaching work I've done in 2016. I've worked with some amazing companies, and pushed myself and grown as a creative in some really exciting ways:

Hello, first exclusive design featured by a Stitches Midwest vendor (Jardiniere!)

Hello, first 30-minute start-to-finish design proposal (Spectral Lines!)

Hello, first design in a publication (Gilia!)

Hello, first design that passed 1000 likes on Ravelry (Cloudburst Hat!)

And on a teaching note, I developed several pamphlets and class plans for informative, inspiring workshops for knitters - something that has taken me out of my comfort zone, and helped me realize how passionate I am about teaching others about creativity and self-expression.

maggiefo3

(Maggie hat by Noriko Ho & Zara top by Dianna Walla, both finished recently and tragically unblogged as of yet!)

And lastly, all of the cool things I've been able to do in 2016 have been made possible by the folks that I count as friends, family, and community - so many of you that I tried to write a list and it got, like, wayyyy too long. I can't express how lucky and loved that makes me feel.

You all are my sparkle-makers; my confidants and supporters; the wellspring of my woolly heart. Thank you.

I can't wait to see what we create in 2017. Happy New Year.

Much love,
Cory