Friday, June 26, 2015

A great day

Sometimes issues are very complex and messy, and sometimes they are simple. Humanity wins today. Love is love.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

YarnTalk Episode 3 is up on YouTube

Episode 3 of #YarnTalk is live!

In this episode, Heidi talks about that guy who's knitting a short film, Allyson interviews fab designer Emma Welford, and we chat about lace knitting for summer. Also, we share what we can't wait to cast on (patterns from Kirsten SingerCourtney Spainhower and Emma Welford)!

I think this is our best yet-- we're getting the hang of this video thing! Heidi is a great editor. Allyson is teaching me how to dimple with the best of them. I hope you enjoy this episode!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Medusa Loop Scarf KAL is complete!

Laura, Tricia and I are done knitting our new Medusa Loop Scarves, and I think they look pretty great!

Laura went for eye-catching BRIGHT pink and was rewarded with this gorgeous, huge beast of a scarf, Tricia went for a nice neutral and I used some coordinating scraps for a wild, stripey scarf.

Thanks for knitting along with me, ladies!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Scarves in the Round by Heather Walpole

I recently got the chance to review Heather Walpole's fantastic new book, Scarves in the Round, and wanted to share how much I loved it.

Heather is the owner/HBIC/creativity machine at one of my favorite yarn companies, Ewe Ewe. I work with her a lot and she's a friend, so I was very excited to see her book. When we were at TNNA I got to read through it ahead of her book signing, and it is great. There are dozens of lovely patterns in there, all worked in the round-- Horaay! Circular needles and mostly knit stitches! -- for your knitting enjoyment. There are cowls, infinity scarves, tube scarves, capelets... many of which I'd like to make and wear.

My favorite scarf is this one, "Pixel Perfect," which is worked as a tube, alternating a solid color (shown in Ewe So Sporty) with a gradient color-changing yarn (Ombre Sport by Freia Fibers). The effect is simple and striking.

Totally tubular, dude

I really enjoyed the projects and photos in the book, and I bet you will too.

Are you into it?? You can win a copy of the book!

To enter to win a copy from Stackpole Books, leave a comment below about why you like working in the round rather than flat. Be sure to include an email address so we can find you! Comment by Friday, June 19th to enter.

As Heather says in the book, get busy knitting yourself in circles!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

YarnTalk episode 2

Episode 2 of YarnTalk is now up! We talk about our experiences at TNNA, what we can't wait to cast on, capes, ponchos, kimono sweaters, lions, tigers, bears, oh my!

I'm still working on relaxing my face on video... harder than it looks! I'll get there.

Great Northern - A Knitwear Collection Inspired By Twin Peaks

Ever since watching Twin Peaks for the first time years ago, I have wanted to design a collection based on the amazing sweaters worn by the female characters. I know I am far from the only knitwear designer to have had this same impulse -- when I've mentioned this idea to other industry people who are familiar with the show, they will say something along the lines of "Oh my gosh-- I almost did that!"

Twin Peaks is beloved by knitters for many of the same reasons that made it a cult classic. It was a groundbreaking show when it came out, incorporating cinematic and thematic elements into a weekly tv show in a way that was new and incredibly exciting. David Lynch's vision was fully realized with his team-- the attention to detail in characterization, wardrobe, cinematography and all aspects of production was impeccable. The show is hilariously funny, horrifying, truly bizarre and touching, often in the same episode.

And then, there are the sweaters.

Since I was late to this party (I was 7 years old when Twin Peaks originally aired), watching it a few years ago was like a shock to my system. "This show is AMAZING and it's been around this WHOLE TIME and I didn't know about it??!" I felt cheated of all the years, especially in high school, when I could have used some Agent Cooper, Audrey, and Lynchian weirdness. I saw the David Lynch movies that I could when I was younger, but somehow the show eluded my grasp. I knew it existed, but I didn't know what I was in for.

All of this is to say that I respect the legacy of the show, and I have given this all a lot of thought. Some of the sweaters I'm working on have been cooking in my brain for many years.

So, why now?

I waited until I had designed a number of sweaters and was confident in my garment design before attempting to put this all together. Around the time I started kicking this around in my head for real, Teresa Gregorio reached out to me about doing a collaboration. This turned out to be fortuitous timing, and she fully got on board when I explained my idea. Teresa's design aesthetic is playful, feminine, and incorporates fun colorwork and textures into fantastic designs-- basically, we're a great match to design a collection together.

After about a billion emails, Teresa and I finally met in person at TNNA last month. We schemed, sketched, filmed, and made lots of lists.

We're working on a Kickstarter video and will launch the fundraising this summer. We will release the collection in Fall 2016! Great Northern will include 10 sweaters and a number of accessories and home goods. We will publish the collection as an e-book AND a print book, which we are very excited about!

It should be said that the sweaters will not be direct knock-offs of the show wardrobe. We are taking the silhouettes, textures and styles of our favorite sweaters and made them our own, while still keeping the style intact-- Audrey, Donna, Norma, the Log Lady, Maddie and Lucy would be proud to wear them.

So, stay tuned! We're using the hashtag #greatnorthernknits to give you glimpses of what we're working on until we release the video! We've also got a simple website where you can sign up for our newsletter for updates. I hope you do!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

TNNA recap!

Last weekend, the yarnfolk gathered in Columbus, OH for the fall 2015 TNNA tradeshow. This bi-annual event is where vendors sell yarn (and other crafty things) to store owners, people from all areas of the industry gather, classes are taught, and all the new designs and products are previewed before they get released to the public.

This was my first TNNA as a full-time designer, and I had a great time. I met some awesome folks, knit (although not as much as you might think), drank tons of beer, and hung out with designer and yarny friends new and old. There were also some meetings in there, too.

Beer flight at Wolf's Ridge, our first "meal"

L to R: Heidi Gustad, Carina Spencer, Allyson Dykhuizen, Me, Teresa Gregorio.

In the mornings, I hung with my friend Heather in her Ewe Ewe Yarns booth. I've worked with Heather's yarn a lot over the years and am a big supporter, so helping her sell it was no problem!

My wrap "Rainbows and Unicorns" in its natural environment

Heather Walpole and me rocking the knitwear

A huge reason that I decided to go to TNNA was that Teresa Gregorio and I are working on a project together, but had never met in person before. Teresa is awesome, and you should check out her designs if you haven't already. We had a very productive, fun time working together and not surprisingly, got a lot more done when we were sitting on the same couch than during our email sessions.

Schemin' (via @canaryknits on instagram)

Filmin' (via @canaryknits on instagram)

You may have heard rumblings about our project (and if you know me or Teresa personally, you certainly have), and we are almost ready to make an official announcement. Stay tuned for that!

Overall, TNNA was a great experience and worth the travel. I had never been to Columbus before and was pleasantly surprised with what it has to offer.

We're working on a YarnTalk episode about the show, so check back for that in a week or so!