Friday, February 27, 2015

On My Needles || Twenty Ten




Twenty Ten is a short sleeved, asymmetrical cardigan designed by Veera Valimaki.  Project number three that I have knitted in the past year from her designs.  I'm going to call this my "knitting rule of threes".  First, my obsession with Hannah Fettig's knitwear wonders, now Veera.  I wonder who will be next?

In any case, I began this project as an early summer knit - actually, I'm pretty sure I cast on for the flight to see my niece graduate from high school in Denver last May.  Sadly, Featherweight took priority over it after my return and I didn't pick it up again until this fall.  That's okay, since the turmeric colorway of Knit Picks' Billow yarn really put me in the autumn mood.  I had been starry-eyed over this smooshy-looking, bulky cotton since they debuted it - was that last year?  And for the record, it's just as smooshy as it looks.  They have a way with product photos, those Knit Picks people.  If you haven't seen the recent release of kettle dyed Hawthorne, prepare to lust.

When I first saw this pattern, I was really drawn in by the asymmetrical button band, again by the moss stitch texture, and the cowl neck really did me in.  The model is shown wearing it over a long sleeve top, and looks about as comfortable in it as I look curled up on the couch in my fluffy robe watching Gilmore Girls on Saturdays (while knitting, of course).  

I finished it over Christmas and it's been blocked already.  I think it might end up fitting a little bit large, but I'm waiting to attach some buttons before I determine that for sure.  It's possible that I may sew the buttons on further onto the front panel from the hem than they are meant to go, partly to add a little fabric to restrict airflow, and partly for a more snug fit.  I'll let you know how that goes.

Moss stitch is my new jam, folks.  I've been using it on other small projects since finishing this one, just because I enjoyed looking at it so much. 

Happy Friday!  I'm going to mope around because the weather is supposed to be gross AGAIN, but March begins next week so I know I have something to look forward to.  :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

North Cascades Fungi || Part 2



Here is a continuation of my post on fungi observed along the Lake 22 Trail in the North Cascades of Washington State.  Check out the first post here.









Friday, February 20, 2015

52 Forms of Fungi || #42




Flat-topped club coral.  I love the shapes of these little guys.  Apparently they are edible, and actually have a somewhat sweet flavor.  Dessert mushrooms?  That's a new one to me.  Have any of you tried these before?

These mushrooms were knitted for my project, 52 Forms of Fungi.  You can see more phases from this project here.





Wednesday, February 18, 2015

North Cascades Fungi || Part 1



Back in October, J and I visited a couple of dear friends in Seattle for a few days.  While on our trip, we drove into the North Cascades and hiked the Lake 22 trail in the Mt. Baker - Snoqualmie National Forest.  This day was really one of the highlights of my year, and I'm still feeding off of the inspiration and beauty that we beheld in the Pacific Northwest.  I know I say this a lot, but I really can't believe things like this exist.  It's mind blowing, really!  The hike up the mountain took about 3 times longer than the trek down, because of constant stops to observe and gawk (and photograph) about once every 20 feet or so.  I know it's excessive, but when the opportunity arises you just need to take these things in, you know?  Here is a sampling of the fungi I observed that day.  This will be a two part post, since it's pretty photo heavy - and there's part two to look forward to next week!  Can't wait to go back...











Monday, February 16, 2015

52 Forms of Fungi || #41



We're at the countdown, folks.  I'm now twelve phases from finishing the 52 Forms of Fungi project.  Last week, I sat down and planned out exactly which species to include and am really excited to share them with you, starting with bleeding hydnellum!  When young, this fungus appears to be "beaded" with red droplets, almost blood-like.  As it grows, the flesh will envelope surrounding objects - twigs, leaves, cones, PLANTS (whoa!), etc.  According to my trusty field guide that I bought in Oregon a few months back, this is also a great dye mushroom and (surprisingly) produces hues of blue and green.  Another common name for this species is "Strawberries and Cream".  Yum, right?  I'm glad to finally add this little guy to my fungi index, and now I'm off to keep working on future phases for the countdown.  For those of you with the day off today, I hope you enjoy your holiday!  






Thursday, February 12, 2015

Warby Parker Half Decade Collection



I've been a fan of Warby Parker eyewear for a few years now.  Stylish, affordable prescription frames from a company that gives a pair of eyewear to someone in need for each pair purchased?  Can't beat that.  When I updated my prescription recently, I excitedly settled on the Holcomb style.  I went back and forth a few times between some more conservative styles and decided that I liked these sassy frames the best.  For the most part I wear them for computer use and desk work at my day job, but I like that I can style them in my off time to give my wardrobe a little more personality.  Personality is good, don't you think?!  With all that said, I was excited when Warby Parker asked me to help them launch their new collection!  It just so happens that they are celebrating their five year anniversary, and in honor of this milestone they just released a special collection of frames.

Here is what they have to say about this event:


The past five years have been busy— we’re not complaining—and we’re just getting started.

Since February 2010, we’ve grown out of five offices and set up a second hub in Nashville, expanded to 500-and-counting employees, rode across the country in a refurbished school bus, opened 10 stores (with more to come) throughout the U.S., and distributed glasses to over one million people in need worldwide.

We’re celebrating the occasion with the Half-Decade Collection, a group of five and a half shapes from our first-ever collection, re-released in a limited-edition spectrum of our signature hue, blue, and engraved with a 5 on the temple tip. Each pair arrives packaged in a specially designed box inscribed with all our frame names to date.

The new Harbor Blue, Striped Indigo, and Atlas Blue round out a crew of perennial favorite colors Eastern Bluebird Fade, Blue Slate Fade, and Blue Sapphire. They give the frames—Huxley, Roosevelt, Nedwin, Wiloughby, Fillmore, and our Colonel monocle—a fresh look.

As always, for every pair sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.





I like the sassiness of my Holcomb frames because of the shape, but color is an area I have not ventured into with my eyewear.  Talk about personality!  I think my favorite pair from the new collection is the Roosevelt in Blue Slate Fade.  Here is a sneak peek at the Still Light Tunic that I just finished (a hint at what is to come on the blog soon).  Normally, as you may have noticed if you follow my knitwear posts, I like to make with (and wear) a lot of color.  As a result, my accessories are a little toned down or nonexistent.  However, with a neutral outfit like this one, little pops of color really bring it to life.  Paired with some frames in that Blue Slate Fade hue or the Harbor Blue for a bolder touch, some brightly colored tights... good to go.





Or... I suppose we could get a little matchy-matchy.  This Ruckle tunic I finished over the summer would look great with any of the frames in the Half Decade collection, but I especially like these Huxleys in Eastern Bluebird Fade.  Still mostly neutral, with just a little colorful accent.  Discreet, just right.

Those blues, can't get enough.  I'm seriously tempted to spring for some!  You can check out the full collection here.

Warby Parker provided images and information for this post.  However, interpretations and opinions are my own, in supporting a great company that I am fond of!

 


Friday, February 6, 2015

Off the Needles || Whispers






The lack of On My Needles/Off The Needles posts would lead one to assume that I have abandoned knitwear as of late, but it's quite the contrary... Aside from a recent need to disconnect a little bit and center myself, it's just been a little hard lately to get in knitwear photoshoots for a number of circumstances. This project has been bound off, finished and blocked for a couple of months now, and draped over the back of my studio chair along with a couple of other FOs.  The bad part about this habit is that I never wear a piece until after I've gotten photos (to hell with wrinkles!) and given that it's the middle of January I'm not really in the best season for this sort of top, now am I?  It's the perfect piece to break out as soon as spring arrives, though, so I will eagerly await that moment --- just as I eagerly await seeing daylight after 7:30 PM.  

This is Whispers, my first Veera Valimaki project.  Oddly enough, the two other FOs hanging out in my studio at the moment were both also designed by her... both of which will have posts coming up in the next couple of weeks.  I find that this garment is very flattering and comfortable to wear, especially with the length that I added to it.  Although, it's been so long since I made this and I did not make note of it in the previous post, I cannot remember exactly how much I added on! (Sorry to you prospective knitters, if that's something you were wondering about).  The split sleeves are a fun and interesting touch.

I wrote about the gradient yarn in my previous post about this project -- Black Trillium Lilt Sock Gradient kit in plum.  I do want to reiterate that the brilliant idea of using an ombre yarn for this particular pattern was not my own.  Cassy of Knitthehellout did it first, and truth be told her project is what sold me on this pattern in the end.  Kudos, Cassy!  If you're a fan of knitting blogs I highly suggest checking hers out.



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