View from my room.
On Friday I took a quick trip to New York City to meet with the team from CreativeBug. We stayed in the Ace Hotel, which, from a design perspective, is eye-popping. Every corner oozes with hipster chic. Even the view from my window was cool, like a borrowed set from RENT.
The graffiti art on the wall in my room. It took me a couple of hours to figure out it said “Un-Knowing” then I wondered if I should take it personally.
Each room has an original urban-inspired mural. Instead of the standard fridge, my room had a steamer trunk stamped with the word “rations,” and next to my desk, I found an assortment of kitchy records, plus a turntable. For sure I am not cool enough to stay in this hotel. I’m surprised they didn’t kick me out.
Our uber-hip meeting space.
A basket of bobbins…not so as rock star as the rest of the hotel, but a good sign.
The “loft” where we held our meeting appeared rockstar ready, and I found myself wondering how many famous guitarists had trashed it. Funnily, amidst the in-your-face urban-ness, sat a wire basket of vintage industrial bobbins and spools. Me and the gang from CreativeBug took that as a good sign.
When I got back, I had several graphic design deadlines and I’m pretty certain my work was heavily influenced by the trip. I distressed every font, applied a stamp technique to every graphic. I had to draw a set of sewing needles and even those took on an air of crisp edginess.
Here’s a sampling of this week’s work (including the business card Lisa and I have been working on together).
I’m so excited about this free workshop that I did for CreativeBug and Red Heart yarns. I love the sweater’s construction and overall look and feel. When you take the class, you’ll learn side-to-side, seamless sweater construction, provisional cast-on, picking up stitches … the list of techniques packed in such a quick knit goes on and on. And at the end you’ll have an adorable, figure flattering little shrug that’s sure to fit because you size it to your body as you go.
Everyone who takes the workshop has a chance to win a 3-month subscription to CreativeBug, plus yarn and needles from Red Heart yarn.
And if you are going to Stitches in San Jose this weekend, stop by the Red Heart booth, where the workshop will be playing throughout the show.
I was excited to learn this week that CreativeBug wants me to do another workshop, this time using Red Heart yarn. The two companies are teaming up to bring a free workshop to the Red Heart booth at the Stitches West knitting conference in San Jose the weekend of Feb 22. Both companies are both looking for a project that would be appropriate for fairly serious knitters.
I thought it would be interesting to show a behind-the-scenes look at how such a project comes to life … How are the materials chosen? How is the final design decided upon?
First, I get the yarn. Then the whole process unfolds from there:
CreativeBug sent me this yarn, a new offering from Red Heart called Filagree.
First I made it into a twirly scarf by crocheting into the edge, but that was too simple a technique to fill a whole workshop. Plus, I’m talking to serious knitters, so not a match.
Next I tried knitting it into icord to see if it could become a piece of a chunky multi-strand scarf…
…that would drape like this…but still not enough technique.
i tried crocheting the edges together to make a fabric that I could turn into a garment or a glove or…well… anything.
Again, that was too simple a technique to fill a workshop.
I tried straight-up knitting with it. I liked the feel of this, especially if I made a large farmers market bag or yoga mat carrier. The knitting would be complicated enough, but I was concerned that the technique didn’t highlight the airy quality of the fiber.
I sent all these photos to the producer with my comments and they decided to try a new yarn. I got Treasure.
The color changes in Treasure remind me of Noro, which I love. Side-to-side contstruction really shows off a yarn like this….which led to a frantic night of knitting, that yielded this design breakthrough! I sent this pic to my producer, and I got the green light to finish. Stay tuned for the final product…
I had the pleasure of working with Kristin Nicholas this fall on her CreativeBug shoot. I spent an amazing week with her at her sheep farm and learned a lot about sheep, knitting and working with color. The result of the shoot is now live on CreativeBug, and I have to say I’m thrilled with how it turned out.
I may have hit a record for one week’s worth of designing and knitting. Here are the projects I turned in last week for the Simplicity project. Can’t believe I can still type.
I’m on a ridiculously tight deadline for an assignment I’m working on for Simplicity, in which I’m designing and knitting 6 projects in one week. While this may sound horrifying to most, to me it’s just the kind of challenge I like. It’s like Knitting Project Runway (in my own special Walter Mitty mind, at least). I’ve been given a list of 1. needle sizes and 2. possible yarns. Other than that, I have carte blanche to create whatever I’d like.
Last night I headed off to Wal-Mart to pick up my supplies. I have to admit, at this point in my imaginary Knitting Project Runway, I’m wasn’t too happy that Wal-Mart was the stand-in for Mood Fabrics. I’ve been to Mood Fabrics and It’s ah-maze-ing. WalMart not so much. That said, when I arrived at Wal-Mart, prepared for the worst, I found a few yarns that I actually really liked. One is Lion Brand’s Hometown USA. It’s a super soft acrylic yarn that’s washable and swatches nicely. It comes in a broad range of bright colors — perfect for the projects I have in mind. Also, it’s a super bulky weight that calls for a size 13 needle. On my list are size 13 and size 15 straights … check and check. I’m also using Lion Brand’s Baby’s First for a baby toy I’ll be making. Not on my list was Martha Stewart Crafts Extra Soft Wool Blend — which was a shame because this is a beautiful yarn in Martha Stewarty colors.
Here are the projects I’ve figured out so far:
I’m going to translate these felted mittens into chunky mittens in very bright, girly colors. Next I’ll take a stab at a bulky scarf in a mock cable stitch I just learned. Then using the Baby’s First, I’ll translate this little felted cat toy I designed for Knit & Crochet Now into a Blue’s Clues inspired dog.
Lisa forwarded me this photo she found on Etsy, saying she loved the idea of a knitted wrap. In fact, she titled the photo”shawl shape I love loose green knit,” which I found hilarious because who titles their photos like that? Then, I found this yarn — very similar in color (Trendsetter Merino 8 Shadow). Much lighter weight, but I’m thinking I can double it. The idea is I’m going to knit her a thank you for the Downton Abbey extravaganza. From what I can see, I’m guessing I should use maybe size 15 needles? Maybe bigger. Then some sort of yarn-over technique for the body, then garter stitch at the top. Not sure. But I’ll figure something out. And then I’ll let you know how it goes, and replace that ? with, hopefully, a !
Get a free pattern when you spend more than $6 at Pick Up Sticks between now and Jan. 1! Simply enter FREE PATTERN at checkout.
Teach yourself to knit or someone you love with our fingerless glove and scarf pattern:
Come check out the shop. All of my samples will be for sale, plus yarn in balls and on cones. Lisa, my business partner at SIFT and I put together this little shop for the holiday art hop in Burlington, VT. Please stop by! 180 Flynn Avenue, in the back.