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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.

I need this hoodie in my life. The color is perfect!

I need this hoodie in my life. The color is perfect!

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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?

crafting, photos

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.

Evergreen Koolhaas Hat

Evergreen Koolhaas Hat 02

Evergreen Koolhaas Hat 03

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:

Oyster Heather Mink Heather Evergreen Koolhaas swatch

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?


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.

Gifts for my fellow Sagittarius; she also happens to love A Song of Fire & Ice/Game of Thrones. House Baratheon & Tyrell FTW!

For the Sagittarius who also loves A Song of Ice and Fire. Houses Baratheon & Tyrell united FTW!

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!

crafting, miscellany, philobabble

Stitch by Stitch

I have a penchant for procrastination. Although I finished this before the end of June, I didn’t block it until the second week of July and only photographed it on the 31st. Yes, that’s quite a bit of time in between. While the project deserves a comprehensive post of its own, I want to take a moment to discuss productivity.

I’m learning that I work best in obsessively focused, isolated periods of time. While I do have different projects all going at the same time, I can’t work on one for an allotted amount of time and then move on to the next, repeating day after day until completion. I need to work until I feel like I’ve reached a significant milestone before I can put it down and sometimes one project takes all my attention away from another.

It’s a process that can be as ineffective as it sounds. The key is in specificity; if I don’t detail the steps, I keep going until I can’t anymore– which is usually due to frustration or fatigue. Liberal list-making, here I come!

I’m always fascinated by the creative processes of others; how do you work best?

books, crafting, miscellany, music

Admired, Inspired 06.20.12

Admired, Inspired is a roundup of a bunch of my favorite links. Enjoy!

  • Anyone who listens to music needs to read David Lowery’s Letter to Emily White at NPR All Songs Considered. It’s far more than just a response; Lowery has crafted an incredibly informative treatise on the music industry as it stands today. Emphasis is my own:

    The fundamental shift in principals and morality is about who gets to control and exploit the work of an artist. The accepted norm for hudreds of years of western civilization is the artist exclusively has the right to exploit and control his/her work for a period of time… By allowing the artist to treat his/her work as actual property, the artist can decide how to monetize his or her work. This system has worked very well for fans and artists. Now we are being asked to undo this not because we think this is a bad or unfair way to compensate artists but simply because it is technologically possible for corporations or individuals to exploit artists work without their permission on a massive scale and globally. We are being asked to continue to let these companies violate the law without being punished or prosecuted. We are being asked to change our morality and principals to match what I think are immoral and unethical business models.

  • From the always fantastic Seth Godin, who constantly helps navigate through changing tides of creation and consumerism: Amplify the positive outliers.
  • Not just for creatives, but for anyone who wants to just try something new, Leo Babauta answers the inevitable question: “Where in the world do I start?
  • I’m hesitant to add on another knitting project to my plate, but the items in the Knit Red: Stitching for Women’s Heart Health are not only beautiful, but also for an important cause.
  • Jillian Tamaki’s embroidered book covers are amazing. (via Design Love Fest)
  • New favorite blog discovery! I came across The House Vintage after Catherine linked to her interview with them. I’m so enamored! I love that their features and interviews dig into personal choices and philosophies beyond the visual aesthetics of fashion and style.
  • While I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t been keeping up with the show for quite some time, this interview with Maurice LaMarche, voice actor extraordinaire (Orson Welles! The Brain! Mr. Freeze! Kif!), makes me excited for tonight’s Futurama season premiere!

    Our writing gets richer. As our writers come into a more mature age, they’re exploring deeper themes, because that’s what happens to us when we get old. When we started, all our writers were in their 30s. Now, they’re in their late 40s. Some of them are in their early 50s. This show was a little more joke-driven, gag-driven. Now, we’re exploring things like father-son relationships, what it means to love, what is God. You know, comedy.

  • Over the weekend, I tried to make these Chocolate Swirl Buns from Smitten Kitchen… “tried” being the operative word. Long story short, I need to stop making major substitutions on my first attempt at a recipe. Note to self: baking is a science. Measurements exist for a reason. The end result was still quite delicious though!