30 June 2012

June Giveaway Winner!

Happy Saturday! I have two projects blocking right now that I can't wait to show you on Monday...

Our winner for the month of June is... Number 57!

Congrats, ahookernamedbeth, I'll get in contact with you to send this beautiful Yellow Hobbit yarn!

Thank you so very much to everyone who read/followed along for the month of June! I'm super excited for July's giveaway, too, so check back tomorrow to enter again!

- YX

26 June 2012

Wool People and more sewing

Brooklyn Tweed just came out with "Wool People 3," which aims to tackle summer knits in wool.

It's an interesting concept, really, because we see SO MUCH cotton, linen, and flax blends right now. Rayon's another great choice for lightweight, not-as-hot yarn, but wool? I love it. Like anything, I struggle to entirely eliminate wool from my summer palette. The Pinctada I'm working on now is wool, and I chose it for the versatility. And let's be honest-- there are so many incredible, varying color options in wool. Especially superwash sock wool.

Go to the link above-- there are some great images for this publication. This triptych is my favorite. It just screams beach bonfires, camping under the stars, and lawn parties:

That wrap! Aaaaaghhhhh I need it!

Have you ever looked at a Brooklyn Tweed Wool People issue? They're PDFs, and gorgeous. The PDF opens full screen, and it's about as close to looking at a real magazine as I can get on my computer. Great images, great graphics. I love it when every step of the process is well-designed, from initial literature to patterns. I think Brooklyn Tweed does this better than any other designer or group I know.

So go check it out! The link above will send you to the blog post where you can click on the PDF, but you can also find it here, with the rest of the books!

In personal crafting news, my Pinctada is still in the black hole of the unfinished. But I sewed something again this weekend. It was super quick: 

It's a simple flyaway cardigan. I had some super lightweight jersey fabric that had a crazy slubbed texture, and it is way too sheer to make a standalone garment. I used a cardigan I already owned to get the basic construction, and then improvised the details. I'm super happy with it, especially because I'm definitely in a flowy/drapey mood lately. Hot weather does that to you. 

I'll have to take some good photos of this (and a few other things) when I finish the Pinctada. 

- YX

PS- reminder that we're just a few days out from June's giveaway! Still time to enter...

22 June 2012

Trend: Coral

For me, coral means summer. It's light, bright, and looks amazing with summer whites. A great accent color, it looks great on a variety of skin tones.

Some options for coral yarn:

Carolyn's colors Calypso yarn in corals and pinks:

Countess Ablaze 4-ply merino silk in coral:

I love these colorways! I'm definitely a geek for semisolids, and these corals make my mouth water! I think it's because they remind me of one of my favorite candies: 

Coral's not your thing? Maybe this is!
- YX

18 June 2012

It won't end!

So you may be wondering how my Pinctada's coming along... Well, I think they may be carting me away soon, sleeves of my Versio grafted onto opposing shoulders, straight jacket-style.

It seems that no matter how long I knit, it won't end. I surpassed cowl-length and seem to have stalled on achieving my desired length. It seems like every project gets to this stage at some point: your sleeves make no progress, or you spend hours on a shawl edging that refuses to grow. It's definitely discouraging. Thank you, Pinctada, for making me want to stab my eyes out repeatedly with an enthusiastically-sharpened Signature needle.

But when I look at it, it seems like a decent amount of work:

I'm on my third skein of tosh DK and it's the last one I have, which is at least somewhat motivating. I've been knitting everywhere: in the car, any time I'm home, pretty much everywhere in public...

I know the rules. I'll knit like a madwoman, try it on for size, and be just a few rows away from the end out of nowhere. No explanation of how I popped back out of the wormhole, or where all those thousands of stitches were hiding. But it'll be done!

You're taunting me. 
I'm so excited to have the finished product, and that's the only reason this thing hasn't been crammed into the depths of my knitting bag. I usually work on other projects in conjunction with a "main" one, so having nothing to turn to is keeping me on track. Sort of.

See, I needed the gratification of a completed project, and I happened to have great timing this weekend... I've been looking for a serger on Craigslist, and one came up for sale that fit my needs. I got it home, set it up, and whipped out a maxi skirt to satisfy my FO cravings:
It's not my intention to blog about any sewing projects here, but at least I feel like I've made SOMETHING, instead of knitting yards and yards of yarn into what appears to be a very well-hidden black hole.

Perhaps my next WIP post will have some victory in it... I feel like I can't be much more than a week or two away from completion at this point... please?!

- YX

16 June 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day! Share your favorite dad-friendly patterns in the comments! And of course, enter to win this month's yarn!
- YX

12 June 2012

Queued: Connate

My queue is out of control. And yet, I can't stop myself:

This is Connate, by Norah Gaughan. It's brand-spanking new and absolutely gorgeous! This sweater is kind of sweetly jackety and pretty, with some structure and cool detailing:

I love how the cables on the front meet a horizontal panel on the sides, creating a handkerchief-style uneven hem that drapes beautifully. There isn't a ton of information available just yet, but I do know it uses aran-weight yarn, and the sample is Berroco Blackstone Tweed, in a really gorgeous periwinkle that is so atypical to my normal preferences, but seems to work so well here. But if you weren't using Berroco, what would you sub in? Leave your suggestions in the comments!

- YX
(Yarn, yarn, yarn!)

06 June 2012

Vintage knits

Today's D-Day, the anniversary of the first troop landings at Normandy during WWII. I'm not a big war buff, but I've heard and seen a few references to the historical significance of today, and thought I'd use history as inspiration for today's entry.

Normally, I pick patterns from all over the place, but today, I want to look at a selection of Susan Crawford's patterns. Susan's a knitwear designer who specializes in vintage-inspired patterns, and she's blow-your-mind talented. Check out some of my faves:

A Charming Neckline:
Wow. Simple and beautiful and nautically delicious.

Blouse with Gathered Neckline:
Necklinesssssss! This one's buttoned up and would look awesome with a short, tailored skirt.

A Swagger Coat:
Holy wow. Great details, and so much work! I love it.

Amazing!!! I love the drape and delicacy of this piece. This one would definitely see a lot of wear time in my wardrobe.

She's done a ton of great stuff! Check out her Ravelry designer page to see her pieces! Share your favorite vintage patterns with me in the comments!

- YX

(And win some yarn to knit those vintage pieces)

04 June 2012

Hot right now: Grey Twist Cardi

This cute little cardigan has blown up my friends' queues lately:

It's the Grey Twist Cardi by Judy Brien, and it's awesome. According to Ravelry, she's a new designer, and as far as I'm concerned, a promising addition to the knitwear design world. 

The sweater is done in laceweight yarn, and the fabric really reminds me of Versio- super light and airy.

I wish there were more photos, but it looks like a sweet, simple cardigan that would show off fun yarn... I wonder if it'd be nice in a linen lace for summer? The suggested yarn is Madelinetosh lace, which would be cosy enough for fall or spring! So versatile!

I love sweaters that are layerable and simple, with good detailing. I feel like they're much more wearable than the thick and quick aran sweaters I'm generally drawn to... Oh masochism, thy name is knitting.

- YX

(Get some free yarn)

01 June 2012

June Giveaway!

Woohoo June! Summer has descended upon our city, and I thought I was going to melt on the sidewalk outside today: 100 degrees is like breathing air through hot fleece! I could really use a sno-cone right about now...

At least I have June's giveaway yarn to cool me off:

Holy gorgeous, Batman! What do we have here?

It's Yellow Hobbit yarn! This is her 100% merino superwash in "Scootaloo"! For the uninformed, Scootaloo is a character on the new My Little Pony cartoon:

What a fun concept for yarn colors! First the Avengers, and now My Little Pony are inspiring dyers to make all kinds of fun color combinations. This superwash has a great springiness that seems like it'd be a breeze to knit with. At 490 yards, you have enough to do a decent-sized project, too!

Okay, okay, what do you have to do to enter this month? Check out Yellow Hobbit's Etsy store, fave something, and then come back and tell me what you faved!

Good luck, and I'll draw the winner on the 30th!
- YX