Knitwishlist: Tara Stiles x Wool & the Gang
I’ve graduated! Now that I’ve more free time, I’m excited to devote my time to all those projects– such as this one- that have fallen to the wayside. If you follow me on instagram, you might have noticed that I’m working through the Brooklyn Tweed Stranger Cardigan by Michyio. I’ve finished the cabling and now I’m working at the stockinette, but as much as I love the yarn, I’m starting to get a little bored. However, it’s the best kind of stitch to work on when marathoning television (need to catch up on Game of Thrones and Doctor Who!).
Now enter the collaboration between Tara Stiles and Wool & the Gang; it combines my two favorite cathartic activities: yoga and knitting. I’ve been a fan of Tara for a while– I adore her relaxed and gracious personality and approach to yoga– and when she started tweeting about her knitting adventures with Wool & the Gang, I fell in love with their company. Their branding and design is so fresh and forthright, and their tag line? “Fabricated tales.” Be still my fantastical heart.
As if I couldn’t be more obsessed, the mint and hot pink colors in the collection are right up my alley and absolutely perfect for summer. The price tag is a little steep but considering it’s pima cotton, it’s not much more expensive than other non-acrylic yarns from comparable companies. That being said, I still wish the patterns were available on their own, but it seems as the pieces are only sold as kits. In any case, I still have quite a project backlog, so the price is probably a good deterrent to keep me on track.
Do any of you have some knitting or crafting projects that you’re excited about?
The End is the Beginning is the End*
I’m graduating on Saturday. In an effort to combat the debilitating fear and impending doom, I’m trying to take comfort in the fact that I’ve somehow managed to incorporate a few of my favorite things into my academic career. I’ve managed not only to bookend my college experience with my favorite book, Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, but I’ve also snuck in my favorite television show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer**.
My first encounter with Kavalier & Clay was in my senior AP English class. Our final assignment (outside of the year-long “Senior Project” which also incorporated Buffy- what? I’m nothing if not a dedicated fan!) was a simple book report. The catch was that the list included works like Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day, Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, Isabel Allende’s The House of Spirits, and among them was Chabon’s Pulitzer Prize winner. It was the last book I read as a senior in High School, and by a stroke of luck, it was also the last one I read and wrote on when I transferred from one college to where I am now; finally, it’s become a part of my undergraduate thesis.
As trite as the symmetry is, I’m a little weepy. Of course, using it in my thesis was deliberate, but it was an easy choice given that this beautiful book is a goddamn tome; rich, elaborate, poignant, and inspiring. Naturally, it’s a story about heroism, but it’s also about identity and human connections. Through my third revisit, I still find myself getting emotional, if not more so, given that I’m already aware of how it all unravels.
Obviously, each time I’ve written on Kavalier & Clay has been on a different theme, and this time it’s used in conjunction with the idea of metamorphosis and psychological dissonance. Because, why shouldn’t I make the last major work a giant piece of actual self-help? Right?!
The inclusion of Buffy follows along the same points of choice, but considering that that her character is an inversion of some many traditional tropes, she’s a fascinating character to explore.
*Yes, this is the title of The Smashing Pumpkin’s song from the Batman & Robin Soundtrack (one of the best OSTs, don’t deny it!), and it’s also fitting because I’m including Batgirl into my thesis. Be jealous.
**Today is the tenth anniversary of the series finale! :’) *sniff*
March Miscellany Madness
This past month has mainly been flooded with scrambling to get things done for school, interspersed with a lot of game playing, especially the new Tomb Raider and Bioshock Infinite. Whoops. However, given that the reboot of Tomb Raider is set on the island of Yamatai (thanks Square-Enix!), and that the emphasis of my major is in Japanese Cultural Studies, I’ve been rationalizing the use of my free time.
Also, having since completed the game, that feeling of accomplishment has definitely gone a long way and into the territory of feeling productive and efficient. Yes, more rationalizing.
Now, this last week was spring break, and I’ve been able to add some “variety” to my activities. If my time could even be considered active, that is. While I’m only partially embarrassed to admit that I didn’t go anywhere, I’m not really complaining as I’ve taken marathon television watching, easy reading, lots of knitting, and copious game playing. What can I say? I’m an introvert. With those last two, I’ve also basically primed myself for early carpal tunnel syndrome. However, working through the first two seasons of Nikita; a re-watch of the first season of the new Doctor Who; reading Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone for the Vaginal Fantasy book club; finishing one panel on my Brooklyn Tweed Stranger Cardigan; completing Tomb Raider; getting into the Thieves Guild in Skyrim and acquiring the Nightingale Armor; and experiencing the world of Bioshock Infinite‘s Columbia totally seems worth the minor pain.
Yeah, I hear Ron Weasley saying “she has got to sort out her priorities” as well. Forgive the irony.
On the Needles: “Greenhaas” (Koolhaas Hat in Evergreen)
My final semester is proving to be as challenging as I thought it would be! Luckily I’ve been channelling the pressure into “stress!crafting” (see also: stress!baking and stress!cleaning). With my dad’s birthday coming up, I chose to knit up a gift and the popular “Koolhaas Hat” by Jared Flood (Brooklyn Tweed) seemed perfect.
At first the cables seemed quite intimidating, but after having worked two swatches to get the proper gauge, they’re actually pretty fun! Since it’s only a single stitch being held, I’ve been working the cables without a cable needle à la Grumperina.
Speaking of swatches, here’s the second swatch I made:
As you can plainly tell, there are three colors, only one of them actually being used in the final product; all three are the same yarn! In all honesty, this pattern was chosen not just because I know my dad will appreciate it, but because I’m also trying to whittle down my yarn stash (shh… I would like to think my father would appreciate the resourcefulness and pragmatism!). I had so little the other colors and just barely enough green for the hat, so I did what I had to do. It’s a pretty looking swatch though, right?
Handmade + Fangirl + Stationary = the best
As I mentioned yesterday, my friend Kim outdid herself this year when it came to gifts!
This Slytherin notepad is the perfect addition to my stash of Hogwarts school supplies. Here it is atop my third-year style scarf (previously seen here):
As if that wasn’t amazing enough, she also handmade these Sailor Senshi mini notebooks, even packaging them in the order ther Inner Senshi were unveiled! Yes, that detail is incredibly nerdy, but I love that I have friends who not only know those kind of things, but also trust that I know it too!
Again, thank you Kim! I love these so much!
Crafty Christmas 2012
I know this post seems belated, but it was only yesterday that I had the opportunity to give my friend Kim* these necklaces that I made for her. I had never made jewelry before- not even those woven friendship bracelets!- and I only really decided to do this after I couldn’t find the perfect gift. Yes, I’m a bit insane. It wasn’t just a Christmas gift that I needed; her birthday is only a week before the holiday and she was turning twenty-five, so it needed to be überspecial! The Rabbit Run necklace was made for her birthday, while The Stag and The Rose and Fury Grows Strong were made as Christmas gifts.
One can never really go wrong using the astrology theme for birthday presents, and since I’m a little obsessed with the symbology and symbolism of both the western zodiac and Chinese astrology, I used both of my friend’s signs. Naturally, I didn’t stop there; gotta add the birthstone for December!
As for the other two on the right, fellow fans of A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones will understand. ;)
The work that went into making these was surprisingly easier than I thought it would be- but that’s not to say that it was incredibly easy! Although I didn’t cast these charms myself, I did have to open many jump rings, wrap a number of wires [and rewrap and rewrap and rewrap all the wires I broke or wonkily wrapped], and figure out the hard way which gauges are the ones for the job. But it was fun! Then again, when isn’t crafting fun?
*Yes, the same one who gave me these kawaii kitty cups last year. She outdid herself this year- I’ll be posting those details tomorrow!
Merry Christmas Eve Eve!*
Despite featuring this song last year, I couldn’t help wanting to sing it myself. Like I’ve said, it’s my favorite; I have no regrets! Shout out to my dear friend Kelsey who gave me that owl ornament many Christmases ago; doesn’t it look so cute all befuddled atop a white, plastic tree?
Now that we have the Mayan Apocalypse behind us, I hope everyone is having a fun and festive holiday season!
For the feeds/non-Soundcloud:
*Friends forever, am I right?
Instagram Update: Nov 2012
To say that this semester has been kicking my ass would be an understatement. Despite this lull in blog activity, exciting plans and collaborations have been brewing “behind the scenes”, so once finals are over, late December and January will reveal some lovely new projects.
In the meantime, I’ve taken to using instagram to document my life. More or less:
I can’t believe it’s already going to be December!
Sunday Sounds: Her & Gold, “Magnolia”
Although “Magnolia” could be heard primarily as a breakup song, it’s one without any spite or malice and because of that maturity it’s also, if not more so, a song of individualism. The chorus of this song just gets to me. Vocals are unencumbered by any other instrumentation and the line “I deserve to see the world” is just so sincere; Sais de Sicilia’s voice has a really lovely sweetness to it that doesn’t sound saccharine. The keys and the guitar also create a meandering, scenic sound, befitting the lyrics.
“Magnolia” is a perfect official introduction to the Her & Gold world. Since the lyrics themselves also denote a kind of independence, it’s appropriate that this is a departure from the folk-influence heard in Bears of Manitou (which she’s still involved with!). There are a bit more electric keys and electric guitar, as well as an heavier introspective inclination. Having been a fan of other Matt Malpass produced records, there’s also that particular polish to this song, a slight city atmosphere, if you will. I can’t wait for the full-length album!
Sais de Sicilia celebrated the release of the first Her & Gold single with an acoustic version of this song, and it’s a whole different kind of beautiful.
I love how casual this video is!
Black, white, and basics. New layout!
My apologies, it’s been so long!
As you may have noticed, I’ve taken some time off; I’ve been wondering and doubting- as I’m wont to do- about what I’ve been doing with my digital space. Questions like, “What do I have to say or offer?”, “What am I saying?”, “What voice have I been conveying?”, and “Why can’t I ever take a picture the way I imagine it in my head?! *rageface*” have been swirling around my head; alas, even with all that time away, I don’t think I’m much closer to an answer than I was before. However, what was clear, was the fact that I needed to do something, even if that meant doing anything.
So naturally, like the need for a new haircut or outfit, I went to working on a new layout. Although I didn’t intend that this happen, this version, with it’s excessive black and white, addresses my need for a clean slate.
While there are a few coding issues that need to be fixed, I’m proud to say that this new layout is the first where I’ve really coded it all by my lonesome! No heavily-modified-TwentyEleven here!