Wednesday, 19 February 2014

drool-worthy #6 - "quills arrow shawl" by courtney spainhower

it's been a little while since i've had a drool-worthy post (still waiting for a yarn store trip to grab my yarn for hana hou…). conveniently, this pattern basically smacked me across the face earlier this morning.

meet the quills arrow shawl by courtney spainhower. she's got some pretty adorable other patterns (check out the birch doll), but this one just floored me. i'm a little obsessed with shawls right now, mostly because a) i wear a lot of neckwear all year round and b) they involve no seaming, unlike my sweater obsessions. even the honey shrug i'm knitting right now has a couple of seams. you'll see pics of that soon enough. seams are the bane of my knitting existence. anyway, back to this shawl.

first off, look at those colours. so delicious. the best part, though, is that you can imagine basically any other colour combination on top of them too. it could be bright and obnoxious or muted and cozy. or both. imagine bright neon with a mottled grey? so great. 

and all the little details that flow so beautifully throughout it. just enough to make it stand out and be unique, without making your eyes explode.

of course, the model's various tattoos are always a welcome addition to a pattern's photography. but maybe that's just me… i have a few too many wips at the moment and some deadlines to address, but this puppy will definitely get knit over the summer. it's like the perfect road trip project. enough detail to keep you entertained over the miles without being too bulky to fit in your lap. and it's in dk weight, which means it'll be the perfect level of cozy for those late summer evenings. 

Thursday, 13 February 2014

twat hat (nsfw-ish)

one of my favourite humans, sam, is coming to canada this summer to help me tour my show and co-facilitate workshops. besides our plans for world liberation through theatre and getting as many tattoos as feasibly possible, we'll also hopefully be doing other fun things like hiking in the mountains. which, if you've ever done it, you know can get pretty chilly even in the middle of summer. therefore, hats!

i actually owed sam a hat anyway. he was one of my models for the sunflower knit knitting patterns i'll eventually release (i'm having trouble getting around to the formatting, but i swear i'll get them released in the next few months). here he is, wearing the stylish "cunt" version of my cozy convertible hat. this hat now lives down in the states with a dear friend who likes to chant fun words loudly at rallies. 

photo courtesy of stuart window.
originally, i planned to make sam his own "cunt" hat. but then i decided "twat" was more appropriate. there are a variety of reasons, but one of them is that it's just a great word. try saying it. twat. it's so satisfying. 

of course, i know that not every situation allows for curse words to be emblazoned on headwear, so i was nice and made it reversible, with a plainer side for those more professional (re: boring) situations. i'm kind of in love with the way it turned out. to be fair, it's stupidly warm, like blizzard warm, so it'll probably not work for this summer. i still love it though. and if we ever tour canada in the middle of winter, or do a winter residency in one of the scandinavian countries, he'll have a cozy noggin.

the deets:
pattern: cozy convertible hat by me, still to be released
yarn used: one full skein each of quince & co.'s lark in crow and iceland, plus a little bit of cascade 220 and malabrigo rios from the stash (one skein of lark would normally easily make a one-sided hat, but i had to increase the cast-on by an extra 8 stitches to account for the extra bulk, and sam's head)
fun facts: reversible, provisional cast on at bottom to connect the two hats, colourwork, stranded knitting, ombre-esque

this is my "oh my glob, why is it so cold?" face.
i have a whole bunch of choice words already graphed out for more hats. i'm also totally down for doing custom orders, with or without the reversible option. so you can have your own curse hat! or just say, "mine!" a friend suggested that, and i happen to think it's brilliant.

Monday, 10 February 2014

it's done! a commission in review

it's done, it's done! 

the commission is finally complete. it's a kind of shrug/loose cardigan. i'm pretty darn pleased with it, i must say. and it should sit nicer on its owner's shoulders than on mine. i'll let the photos do most of the talking, but here are some of the details:

base pattern: seraphine by lucy sweetland for brooklyn tweed

yarn: 6 skeins of malabrigo rios in plomo

main details: -the back cabled panel is straight from the pattern. that's the only part of the pattern that i followed, so i'm afraid i can't attest to it beyond that. it's beautiful though, and well-written, if you are interested.
-reverse stockinette sleeves
-3x2 ribbing for the cuffs, upper back panel, and collar band
-tubular bind-off on the cuffs for a squishier, comfier edging
-sleeves seamed along the lower edge after all of the individual pieces were seamed together

the colour in this photo is the truest to the actual yarn.
the winter sun wasn't so cooperative today, actually giving me way too much light (i'm not a sophisticated enough photographer yet to know how to really deal with that), but i think the photos turned out alright. maybe i'll get a chance to take photos of it on its owner at a later date. you can view the facebook album here.

Friday, 7 February 2014

a streetcar named desire

i haven't posted much recently, with the exception of the latest drool-worthy post (check it out!). i swear i'm still alive, and in fact my twitter feed will prove that, but i'm afraid my blog has been sat by the wayside for a bit. i've actually written a few posts (mostly focusing on fo things), but haven't had the time to do some nice photography. hence, no posts. but today, i bring you a post, complete with an fo, and also news about what i've been so busy with lately! 

how gorgeous is this baby? i knit up my own rising dawn shawl over 6 days, while the commission sat blocking once again. it's made from about 1.75 skeins of sweetgeorgia tough love sock in stella, one skein of which came from l'oisivethé in paris and the other which came from a fellow raveler. i'm so incredibly pleased with it. the colours are way brighter than i would normally wear, but it just seems to fit. love it.

i knit it for the sweetgeorgia stashbuster spring kal, which goes until april 1st, so if you've got a skein or three of sweetgeorgia kicking around, now is the perfect time to do something with it! the vancouver-based dye studio makes absolutely stunning colourways. i've knit with a couple of their yarn bases now and they're always gorgeous and high quality. 

in other news, i've suddenly been caught in a deluge of deadlines at the same time as social engagements (by which i mean, theatre productions and meetings). curiouser theatre is furiously working on networking, grant applications, business plans, accounts, and every other thing that could possibly get dropped on a theatre company. which is super exciting, but also slightly insane. i've been spending literally hours just emailing potential tour partners, never mind all the other stuff we have to do. but it's great. and exciting. and feels really amazing to be so busy and productive with something that is your passion. 

i've also picked up some more contract work, this time with the child nutrition council of manitoba. it's a mixture of basic office stuff (spreadsheets, letters, etc.) and helping out with the planning of the big annual fundraiser, stone soup. if you're in winnipeg, mark your calendars for lunch on march 12! you've got a date with us and 12 of the city's top chefs, among other folks. 

we're also puppysitting right now, and for a short period of time, i'm dealing with all of the household chores and upkeep, including cooking. of course this happens when i'm busy with actual deadlines. it's good though. i like being kept on my toes. i feel more productive and fulfilled when i'm working on several things at once. speaking of which, i should get back to the commission. it's nearly done, and may even be ahead of the deadline. 

drool-worthy #5 - "hana hou" by mel ski

i think by now we all know that i love layers. also, i'm someone who loves practical and versatile fashion - items that can be comfortably worn in the studio, but that are also fancy enough to pass if i need to run off to a show or a dinner, and ideally also cozy. simple, right? so when i find patterns that tick all my boxes, i tend to fall in love.

meet hana hou, by mel ski. this loose sweater has the exact same construction (shape-wise) as my favourite cotton sweater. it's perfect - oversized for extra warmth, multiple silhouettes depending on how you fasten (or don't fasten) it, and a slightly femme-y sensibility that doesn't feel out of place in the studio but that easily dresses up a pair of jeans if i have an impromptu meeting. 

also, this beauty features smocking, and extra-long sleeves. 

i think this may be the sweater project for the summer. or maybe i'll get it done in time for a friend's wedding social in may. depends on how many other things pop up beforehand, and to be fair, i already have the yarn ordered for a shawl for that event. still, one can never wear too many knits.

the biggest issue with this one will be deciding on the yarn, i think. i have a couple of beautiful handmade wooden buttons that would be great as the fastener. i love working with quince & co.'s yarns, and chickadee would be ideal for it, but i do so love my semi-solids. i'll do some hunting and see what i come up with. sport weight is a bit awkward to find among canadian dyers, i find, so i might be looking at either the states or the uk. the problem with a pattern like this is that it deserves a high-quality yarn, which is not exactly in my budget at the moment. i'll see what i can come up with and let you all know, i'm sure.

just completed one of the other drool-worthy patterns, which i'll be posting about shortly. what about you? do you have any drool-worthy knits lined up?