Summer Knitting Inspiration Part 1

Saturday, June 13, 2015

With the recent FIRST hot summer days, here in Sonoma County, I'm now ready to start thinking about some summer knitting. I'll be doing a summer knitting series, to help inspire and remind us that we can still knit in summer.

So I went back through my 3 favorite knitting magazines, Interweave Knits, Knitscene, and knit.purl and picked my 6 favs from each. (This was hard, so I forced myself to focus on what I'd actually and realistically want to wear or want to knit with during the hot sticky summer days.)

Knitscene Summer 2015 Picks
© Knitscene/Harper Point
1. Devant Tank by Adrienne Larsen
2. Sissone Tee by Lana Jois
3. Lady Ontario Hat by Allyson Dykhuizen
4. Battement Tee by Nadya Stallings
5. Ouverte Tee by Emily Ringelman
6. Green Apple Tank by Amy Palmer

Ready to knit one? Click here if you don't have your own copy?

Interweave Knits Summer 2015 Picks

© Interweave Knits
1. Western Slope Tee by Quenna Lee
2. Trillium Shawl by Manda Shah
3. Figure 8 Head Scarf by Jennifer Mattesky
4. Larkspur Shawl by Maria Leigh
5. Bartram Vest by Cassie Castillo
6. Wildflower Bolero by Carolyn Noyes

Which is your favorite? If you need a copy of the issue, you can purchase and download it here.

knit.purl Spring/Summer 2015

© Interweave Knits
1. Ladder Tank by Ashley Rao
2. Linen Rib Tank by Jennifer Hagan
3. Hanky Tank by Joan Forgione
4. Moth Wing Top by Moon Eldridge
5. Wavy Lace Cardigan by Debbie O'Neill
6. Open Back Bias Tank by Sachiko Burgin

Is there one you'd like to knit and wear this summer? Don't have a copy, click here?

If you need more inspiration for your summer knitting, part 2 will be posted in just a few days.

Have you gotten started on any summer knitting? Or many you already have your projects planned?

Frogging My Sweater Vest

Friday, June 5, 2015

For over nine years now, this poor sweater vest has just been sitting in my dresser drawer, very sad and lonely. She never gets worn.

This cotton vest was one of my first garments and my first large knitted piece. But the shoulders turned out too wide and resulted in an unattractive Star Trek look. For a while I tried wearing it with the shoulder edges folded under, but that just looked sloppy. 

So there she sat. And sat and sat.

When going through some clothes to donate, I decided against donating this poor little vest. I still love the feel of the cotton (the hard to find Jo Sharp Soho Summer DK Cotton) and the beautiful pinkish plum continues to remind me of Irish heather on a gray, "dull sorta of a day". 

So the only solution. She needed to be FROGGED. 

It didn't take to long to rip her out, while hand winding into a ball. It's faster if you use a ball winder and directly unwind the yarn into a ball on the winder, but I did half in the car and the other half laying down watching a movie. And I kinda get an evil-ish charge out of ripping out my knitting! Plus it's very meditative and it's fun to try to form these perfect little balls of yarn!

After the cute balls were wound, it was time to reskein them. You can see how the curl from the knit is still affecting the yarn. But that won't stay. 

Next, I soak a few skeins at a time in tepid water for 20 minutes. Not hot or cold, even though this cotton and not wool I still don't want to shock the fibers, so keeping the waters temp as near to room temp works for me. It seems to me that while shocking cotton fibers won't ruin or felt it, it does seem to wear it out faster. My current fav scent, for sweater soap is Eucalan's Jasmine -- so dreamy. 

Then it's time to drain the water out and rinse a little of the soap out. (I don't like to leave all the soap in, as the soap could attract dust.) I hung the skeins outside on a folding drying rack. Before laying down a skein I swung the skein around, letting access water fly out. After a day outside the skeins are all dry. 

And now I have new pretty yarn, with a lovely smell and just in time for summer! I'm thinking a short sleeved boat neck, boxy sweater with the same lace diamonds from the original garment den the front and or the back.

Soon I will start swatching and sketching up a new garment!

BlogRecommit Lesson 1

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Don't wait until the afternoon to write that day's post. (With my health and energy level so inconsistent its essential to work ahead.)

Here was some ideas for how to continue blogging with health problems and fatigue issues. 

• Write posts several days before their publish dates (in case I can't get it done the day scheduled)
• Write posts in the late morning to early afternoon, when I still have enough energy (maybe right after yoga and breakfast, generally I feel a bit more energized then.)
• Come up with a couple blog post ideas that are quick to put up (in case above 2 didn't work) but still interesting etc.
• Maybe having a couple rough drafts going at same time. Might be easier to fine tune then come up with a new one from scratch. Or do some in parts, if it's a longer post. 

Today's post doesn't count as one of my 3 posts a week for June's #blogrecommit. I had something else planned but my energy was zapped by the late afternoon.  This is planned for tomorrow!

Blog Recommit

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

This month I'm setting out on a blog campaign, to recommit myself to my blog. I've wanted/planned to do it for sometime, and I think I'm ready. So, June is my blogrecommit month!

I will be posting 3 times a week, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I will be focusing mainly on knitting, and design inspirations, with a bit of personal stuff thrown in. I'm so focused on my health recovery and implementing my new wellness life approach that it somehow feels dishonest to leave that "personal" stuff out. 

During the month I'll be experimenting with what types of posts I like to write and what seems to works best for the blog. I really want to figure a schedule out as well as ways to stay on top of blogging, so that it's as creative and fun as I know it can be. :-) 

With that I'll leave you one of the tools I use for feeling connected and balanced. 

Full Moon June 2, 2015

Moon Gazing! I love going out right before bed to watch the moon. If I'm feeling down or stressed She brings me back to myself and to the present. 

knit.wear Fall '13 arrived

Saturday, September 21, 2013

It arrived! It's here!
My first design for a magazine -- Interweave's knit.wear Fall 2013

Absolutely loving everything about how it looks. The model is perfect, the photographs are amazing.
So ecstatic right now!!!

I'll be posting soon about the process, some progress pics and more.

Autumn is Emerging

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

While sitting outside in my favorite outdoor knitting chair I noticed that Autumn is starting to appear. I'm always given a hint that Autumn is on it's way, when my little hen Bridget starts losing feathers (she's the first to start molting).

Autumn feather. #feather #bird #hen #nature

Hen Bath. Bridget taking a dirt and sun bath. She's also molting so bathing happens a lot this time of year. #hen

Here's a wonderful autumn poem by my favorite poet Wendell Berry.

Grace in Autumn
by Wendell Berry

"The woods is shining this morning.
Red, gold and green, the leaves
lie on the ground, or fall,
or hang full of light in the air still.
Perfect in its rise and in its fall, it takes
the place it has been coming to forever.
It has not hastened here, or lagged.
See how surely it has sought itself,
its roots passing lordly through the earth.
See how without confusion it is
all that it is, and how flawless
its grace is. Running or walking,
the way is the same. Be still. Be still.
He moves your bones, and the way is clear."

Afternoon sun streaming through the leaves of the Mayten tree. #trees #nature #light

Autumn is coming. #fallenleaves #leaves #nature

Inspiration from Others

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I recently picked up a copy of the newest Artful Blogging mag (my first) and have been so taken with all the lovely creative minds!

I was joyfully surprised to find an article by Vivienna McMaster, whom I've taken two "Be Your Own Beloved" online workshops with -- she is just brilliant and such a warm encouraging woman. And her photographs capture such feeling stories. 

Someone new I discovered is the Wabi-sabi Wanderer. I loved her random snatches of quite soft moments in her life. Since first learning about the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi-sabi in my junior year of art school, my love of transient awareness and natural qualities has grown into an important basic foundation for my own aesthetics wanderings. So, this article really called out to me and I have come back to her images multiple times. 

The inspiration that gave me an "ah ha moment" was from Samantha Schwikkard of Elephantshoe. Her lovely graphics and vignettes are wonderful, but some of her words caused a light bulb to turn on. 

Samantha tells a story of an old friend reminding her of a card she'd made the friend when they were little. The card had little burn marks from where she'd burned through the paper when embossing it, and despite the flaw she gave her friend the card. Samantha said this reminder highlights a key lesson for her and blogging -- "don't get fixated on perfection; it will hold you back from sharing new ideas."

I try to tell myself this a lot, but I never truly get it. But when I read this it just clicked. It's a HUGE lesson for me to internalize. I have ideas and things I'm working on, or just this blog alone, and I think things need to be perfect or new perfect before I share, but that holds me back and I don't share it. Maybe it comes from going through art school and preparing for critiques. Your work had to be as perfect as possible before you were going to share it (presentation, presentation, presentation was drummed into your head). So now a part of me holds back because I'm afraid of being criticized and I just don't have the energy for perfection every time I want to share something. Hmm. I think I need to embrace some wabi-sabiness into my ideas of sharing :-) 
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