Category Archives: knitting

Choice Bit of Calico

Whoa. A lot of work goes into designing and writing up a pattern. Who knew? /s (My husband tells me that’s how you indicate sarcasm on the internet.)

I’m just putting the finishing touches on my newest pattern, Choice Bit of Calico, and let me tell you, it’s been a long time coming.

This design idea first came to me early last year as I was binge-watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on Netflix. I’m obsessed with Miss Fisher’s wardrobe, and I wanted to bring a bit of that to my knitting. I knew it had to be absolutely decadent, over-the-top fancy, and what better way to do that than with silk and beads.

IMG_9255 (2)I was lucky enough to get a skein of One Twisted Tree Lustrous, a merino/silk base, that Danie was testing out. It was kismet. The yarn had to be something beautiful. Miss Fisher-inspired designs must be knit with something wonderfully wanton. And it became the perfect marriage of yarn and pattern. That’s not to say it was easy. There were many stops and starts…and stops…and stops…and time outs. IMG_9226 (2)

But that’s the process, right? (If it isn’t, don’t tell me.)

I had a lot of fun taking photos of this one. I played with hanging it up different places and going for all kinds of fun angles to show off the beads and drape. But the most inspired idea I had was to use an antique sewing table and a crystal glass we’d gotten as a wedding gift (the first time it’s ever been used) as props.

IMG_9244 (2)

Now, I’m not saying I’m brilliant, but that’s a pretty inspired photo, right? The colors are really offset by the wood, and you can just see the sparkle in the beads.

To say I’m proud of this one is an understatement, not just because of the design, although I love that, too, but because I kept with it.

Isn’t it crazy how we, as knitters, can turn string (albeit gorgeous, glittering string) into something so beautiful??

(Note: My whole house smelled like vinegar for the afternoon after this photo shoot, but vinegar makes a good substitute when you don’t have whiskey.)

Cultivate and Create: Episode 4

Long day today. Commute home took much longer than planned, but it was made less unpleasant by Paula and company. Thanks, @knittingpipeline. And, @bronwyndp, this probably isn't surprising, but I used to read the dictionary. Happy mail was waiting to help

Thank you so much for joining me! (Sorry, the dogs joined me as well.) Currently Knitting

  Test knitting a hat by @hunterhammersen this morning. Using up the last of my @anothercraftygirl Ponkie Brewster stash. I'll have to stock up at Knitting Pipeline.

Something I want: A hands-free commute (aka: lots of knitting time)!!

Something I need:

Something to wear: Lots of shawls!!

Germinate by Kirsten Kapur (I apologize for mispronouncing her first name.) TTL Mystery Shawl

Something to read:

Knitting + Inspiration = Knitspiration KAL

What inspires you? What patterns do you just have to knit now? What yarns do you dream about knitting into something beautiful? Whose projects do you find yourself wanting to imitate? Who posts photos of the most amazing spinning projects on Instagram?Let’s knitspire one another, using #knitspirationKAL16 on Ravelry and Instagram.

Prizes:

Details:

  • Choose yarn, fiber, a pattern, or another knitter’s project that inspires you (can also be an inspired WIP).
  • Finish between January 15 and February 29 of 2016.
  • Post one time in the FO thread, but add and tag those knitspired entries as you finish them.
  • Must be at least 50 grams.
  • Must be a member of the group.

Find me on Ravelry and Instagram as mrsshoo and the Ravelry group Cultivate and Create.

Cultivate and Create: Episode 3

Thank you for joining me in this third episode and all the conversation on the Ravelry board. I recorded this episode three times, so if I sound scripted, that’s why.

Currently Knitting

 

 

      • Choice Bit of Calico, a new design by me in One Twisted Tree Lustrous in the Rare Woman Claire colorway.

 

            Yesterday's failures become today's successes. #fortunecookiewisdom #choicebitofcalico #cultivateandcreate

Something I want: Skew by Lana Holden

Something I need: Balance!!!

In my quest for focus, I found it…to the detriment of balance. Is there such a thing as too focused??

Something to wear: Handknit socks

Other socks I want to knit:

Something to read: Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin

Knitting + Inspiration = Knitspiration KAL

What inspires you? What patterns do you just have to knit now? What yarns do you dream about knitting into something beautiful? Whose projects do you find yourself wanting to imitate? Who posts photos of the most amazing spinning projects on Instagram?Let’s knitspire one another, using #knitspirationKAL16 on Ravelry and Instagram.

Foolproof by Louise Zass-Bangham in Marigold Jen merino/silk single.

Prizes for the #knitspirationKAL16. Check out the link in my profile for details. These are all makers who inspire me.

Prizes:

  • Choose yarn, fiber, a pattern, or another knitter’s project that inspires you (can also be an inspired WIP).
  • Finish between January 15 and February 29 of 2016.
  • Post one time in the FO thread, but add and tag those knitspired entries as you finish them.
  • Must be at least 50 grams.
  • Must be a member of the group.

Find me on Ravelry and Instagram as mrsshoo and the Ravelry group Cultivate and Create.

A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.

When I started knitting my first shawl, I wondered why in the world I was doing it. Now here I am ten or so shawls later and wearing one nearly every day when it’s chilly out.
The first shawl I knit was huge, 1000 or so yards. While I love it, and it is so cozy and warm, I don’t wear it very often because it isn’t as practical as some of my later shawls. Although I do love to snuggle up in it when I’m reading or watching television in my chair.

Calming Waters

As I became more skilled at knitting and realized I enjoyed knitting shawls, I started to consider how exactly to wear my shawls, and I began to really think about what I was knitting instead of being dazzled by the yarn. I really love shawls for their warmth and for their ability to pull together an outfit. I tend to be a warmer person, so I like that I can throw on a shawl on a chilly day, and while it takes off the chill, I don’t get overheated like I would in a sweater or jacket. I also feel like I’m actually dressed, even in a t-shirt and jeans, if I wear some sort of neck wear. My students would frequently comment on how cute an outfit was because of the shawl I wore with it. (And if teenager girls compliment you, you know you’re doing something right.)

Elk Tooth

I frequently see people ask on Ravelry how to wear shawls, and I found myself doing the same thing. Finally, I grabbed several of my own shawls in several different shapes and just starting futzing in front of the mirror. In doing so, I definitely figured out my preferred method of wearing shawls and also my preferred shawl shape, not that I don’t deviate from that, but it has to be an amazing pattern.

Because I’m a shawl-lover and wish I could convince the world that these are the accessory to wear, I grabbed my resident photog (Chris) and two different shawl shapes and did a photo shoot to model different ways I wear a shawl.

All stretched out

I find crescent shapes a little more difficult to wear, as I sometimes feel like they look like a bib when worn around the neck. I tend to wear them off to one side or the other.

More formal

Sometimes that gets too warm, so I just drape it over my shoulders; in fact, this is how I wore it at knit night on Tuesday. The AC was on in Panera, so there was a little chill; I just draped this guy over my shoulders, and I could knit and talk with my hands and not freeze.

Just hanging there

The great thing about longer, shallower shawls is that you could wrap them over your head and around your neck if you forget a hat. My husband thought I was crazy when I did this last night, but there have been some windy winter days where I needed something on my head.

Head Scarf

Triangle-ish shawls are typically my favorite shape. They just seem to be easier for me to wear.

All stretched out

I’ve seen people wear them tied around in back so the shawl almost looks like a shrug in front, but while this looks cute in front, on me, the back looks lumpy. Other people pull off this look, and it makes me jealous. I’m afraid the problem is my body, not the shawl.

Shrug

If someone has the secret to making this work, please let me know!! (And I made this picture small intentionally; no one needs to see this one in large-size.)

Tied in Back

This is a more traditional way to wear a shawl. I know some people think it looks granny-ish, but if the shawl style or colors are modern enough, I don’t see a problem. (Disclaimer: I am not the pinnacle of style.)

Tied in Front
More Traditional

My personal favorite way to wear a shawl is kerchief-style. It’s really easy, just a little wrap and twist, and really low-maintenance. I wear nearly all my triangle shawls this way since it is so easy to do. I also don’t find myself tugging and pulling and rearranging like I do when I wear them other ways.

Kerchief

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Like I said, I’m not the pinnacle of style, but I do think I might have some cred in this whole thing since my students did frequently tell me how cute my shawls looked. (Ok, maybe I don’t since I just used the word “cred”.) It took me a while to get comfortable wearing a shawl, but I really do think that’s the key to pulling it, and any style, off. My thinking is that I like it…who cares if anyone else does? However, I do love when someone compliments me on what I’m wearing, and I get to tell them I made it.

Even my husband can look good in my shawls because of his ability to rock it.

Even the husband is modeling

Title quote by Coco Chanel