Tag Archives: all weather cowl

Vogue Knitting Live 2014: Day 3 and Stash Musings

VKL NYNY

Today was the last day of Vogue Knitting Live, and I felt a bit under the weather (perhaps that cold shower yesterday was to blame).  I did actually take my obligatory pre-event picture, but I looked so grumpy that I decided not to post it.  I was wearing my All Weather Cowl (you know, the one that brought me fame and fortune), which turned out to be just right because I could wear it indoors comfortably.

I had a chance to interview Sally Melville today, as well as catch the back end of her lecture on Creativity.  She had some fabulous samples on display, including several sizes of the lovely L’Enveloppe.  Sally was wearing her own version over a stunning coat with a coordinating pair of Fluevogs.

blog VKL NYC 2014 Sally Melville

I walked through the Marketplace one last time before saying goodbye to Vogue Knitting Live for 2014.  Though it was extremely tempting, I managed just to touch the buttons at Dusty’s Vintage Buttons without buying anything.  (I think we all know that I have way too many buttons at home to buy them at random.  I have to at least pretend there’s a plan for using them first!)

blog VKL NYC 2014 vintage buttons3

And then I visited the Feederbrook Farm booth.  Yesterday, in the rare quiet moments at the Michelle’s Assortment booth, I would look across at their yarns, and I ended up developing quite an attachment.  I decided on four skeins of Shepherd Spun, which is quite a bit of yarn for someone allegedly trying to reduce their stash.  In my defense, I fell in love with two of the hand dyed yarns, and rather than have them sit in my stash forever, I paired each with a coordinating solid.

blog Feederbrook Farm Mocha & Ava with shawl pin

These two are a bit out of my comfort zone, but I really was drawn to the skein on the bottom, called Ava, which is surprising because it isn’t in my typical colors.  And then I had to buy a coordinating Matryoshka pin from Michelle – I had been eyeing them, too, but couldn’t decide on a color until I had the yarn.

The other two skeins are much more “me” – purples, blues, and greens.

blog VKL NYC 2014 Feederbrook Farm Wia and Michelles Assortment shawl pin

This skein is called Win and is paired up with the shawl pin I picked up yesterday.

blog VKL NYC 2014 Michelles Assortment shawl pins

So after 3 days of Marketplace exposure, I ended the show with 3 shawl pins, and 5 skeins of yarn.

blog VKL NYC 2014 yarn haul

It was more than I (consciously) planned to spend, but I did happen to have cash left over, so apparently it was within the budget I had (subconsciously) created for the event.  I actually spent less than the cost of registering for a class, so in the end things seem to have worked out.

The charcoal Studio Donegal yarn in the center is already dedicated to being a cabled hat for my dad, and I have ideas about what I want to do with each of the other pairs.  But (head hanging in shame)…

I have yet to use any of the yarns I bought at last year’s Vogue Knitting Live.  (They’re pretty too, don’t you think?)

Vogue Knitting Live Yarn Haul

Partly it’s because I suffer from the “I must make something extra super fantabulous with yarn bought at a special event” syndrome, and the rest of it is because none of these lovelies are machine washable, which means they are unsuitable for most of my gift crafting.

I’m not going to feel too bad about buying five more skeins of yarn, since I did use over 19,000 yards of yarn (through both knitting and crocheting projects) last year.  I do, however, think it’s time to go through my stash again and see what I might be able to donate or sell.  Not only will that free up room for these five new skeins, but it will probably excite me about what I have on hand to use.

In my mind, I actually have new designs waiting for each of these pairs of yarn, but I think we all know that our initial ideas and our final plans don’t always align…

2013 Crochet Blog Awards

I’m really pleased to share that I won two 2013 crochet blog awards.

Awesome Crochet Blogger Award

Kathryn from Crochet Concupiscence awarded me her 2013 Awesome Crochet Blogger Award for Best Crochet Interviews for the third year in a row (!).  (On a side note, wow, the pressure is really on now to come with some fantastic interviews!  Luckily, I already have a few up my sleeve that I’ll be posting later this year.)

Kathryn is one of my favorite bloggers, and this is really an honor.  I love her annual blogger award series and her weekly link love posts, which always introduce me to new crochet blogs.  You can read my interviews with Kathryn here and here, and find out more about what I love about her blog here.

I’m sharing links to four of my favorite crochet interviews from 2013:

You can find links to all of my interviews (mostly with yarn industry professionals) here.

Blog Button AllFreeCrochet

I’m happy to hear that my All Weather Cowl pattern (available for download here) was chosen by AllFreeCrochet as one of their 100 Favorites: The Most Popular Free Crochet Patterns of 2013, and so I’ve also been named one of their 2013 Top Bloggers.

This might explain why my Pinterest source page currently looks like this:

All Weather Cowl on Pinterest

(Usually, there is a variety of different photos!)  The All Weather Cowl is definitely one of my favorite samples to wear out.  (I even wear it around the house when it’s extra cold.)  I only wish the yarn I designed it with, Galler Yarns Aztec Boucle, hadn’t been discontinued this past summer.  You could make the entire cowl with just one skein!

Perhaps this award will motivate me to make another sample with a yarn that’s currently available…

Vogue Knitting Live NYC 2013!

I mentioned last month that I’m going to Vogue Knitting Live, which starts today.

Last night, I picked up my guide and badge at the hotel.

And this morning, the weather conspired to make it a perfect day for wearing handmade accessories.  After an unusually warm week, today it’s very cold.

MC snapped a picture of me before I left this morning.

I’m wearing my All Weather Cowl today since it keeps me toasy warm when I loop it around three times.  And today it is finally cold enough outside to wear the awesome hand knit mittens I ordered from Handicraftart on Etsy.

Aren't they awesome??!!

I lack the skill and patience to make something like these mittens for myself, so I was thrilled to find them on Etsy.  The best part is that these were custom made for me, and (yes, I have to say it), they fit like a glove :).

If you’ll be at Vogue Knitting Live, too, I hope to see you there!  If not, I hope you have great (cold) weather wherever you are so you can flash your projects, too.

2012 Year in Review: 12 for Myself

Back in January, I joined the Ravelry group 12 for Myself (now called For Myself!) with the hopes of making some crochet projects for me!  I’m that type of crocheter who always makse things for others and rarely for myself.  You know, the one who never has her own scarf finished in time for the winter because she was finishing a baby blanket for a colleague’s wife so she ends up buying one at the last minute.  This tendency has gotten even worse now that I’ve been designing, because I also have design deadlines that take precedence over gift and charity projects.

The original idea was to create 12 projects for me in 2012.  I actually made more than 12 projects, but there are only 5 that I actually use on a regular basis.  Others were repurposed as gifts or charity projects.  Since I probably only made one thing for myself in 2011, I consider this a good start!

My favorite projects were the two infinity scarves I made.

The All Weather Cowl (Ravelry project page/free pattern) is great because I used a neutral color so I can wear it a lot.

 

On the other hand, the Eyelet Ripple Infinity Scarf (Ravelry project page/for sale pattern) is really vibrant and bright, and I love to wear it on grey days.

The most unlikely project for myself that I actually love is this bathroom rug.

The backstory: I wanted to participate in as many competitions as possible in the Ravellenic Games.  This rug started out as the only partially completed project I was willing to unravel that was old enough to compete in the Frogging Trampoline.  At the same time, my current bathroom rug was looking really sad, so this seemed like the best usage of 1″ wide strips of cotton fabric.  I have used it every day since!

I’m also very proud of myself for finally finishing the Craft Yarn Council Certified Instructors Program in Knitting.  I consider the swatches I made for the program one of my favorite gifts to myself this year!

The final project for me success story is this placemat.  In many ways, it is totally impractical – after all, it has an uneven texture and the yarn doesn’t match my dining table in any way.  But I love it and it gives me a happy feeling to put my plate on it at dinner time.

After looking through what worked and what didn’t work for me this year, I learned a few things that will help me make more projects for myself in 2013.

  • I prefer functional projects for myself.
  • I still have a lot of trouble making things for me, so combining a “for me” project with an “obligatory” project (such as a design, testing out a pattern as part of a book review, or trying to use up stash yarn) seems to work best.
  • Although it helps to have some guidelines (“I’d like to make myself some winter accessories!”), I seem to use projects made spontaneously – and not necessarily with me as the intended recipient – more often.

Are you the type of crocheter or knitter who makes a lot of projects for yourself?  Do you plan to change that in 2013?

2012 Year in Review: Exploring Ravelry

Although I’ve been a Ravelry member since December, 2007, I barely used it until 2011.  Last year, I finally started to browse Ravelry regularly for pattern searches and began to participate in several groups.  My Rav goal for 2012 was to use the notebook to track all of my projects.

Adding projects (and even taking pictures of them) eventually became like second nature for me.  Looking through my notebook, I discovered that I completed over 160 projects in 2012.  Before you congratulate me for being the most prolific crocheter/knitter in America, let me mention that number includes many, many small projects (like an individual granny square for charity).

I actually think tracking my projects helped me to complete more (if only because seeing all of those WIPs can be distressing), and it definitely encouraged me to take more pictures!  If you don’t already track your projects on Ravelry, I encourage you to start!

These are my 5 favorite completed 2012 projects using other designers’ patterns:

My first “magic loop” project – a hat for my dad.
Ravelry project page.  Pattern: A Hat Fit for a Fella by Shana Kreikemeier.

 

My first Bruges lace project – a scarf for one of my best friends.
Ravelry project page.  Pattern: Sparkling Wave Scarf by Tatyana Mirer.

 

 

Yoga socks for my mom.
Ravelry project page.  Pattern: Pilates Peds (Crochet Yoga Socks) by Pam Daley.

 

 

My first knit shawl (made during and after Hurricane Sandy).
Ravelry project page.  Pattern: Terribly Simple by Caitlin ffrench.

 

 

Super cute crochet slippers, made as a swap gifty.
Ravelry project page.  Pattern: Granny Slippers by Bernat designer.

 

 

And these are my 5 favorite completed 2012 projects using my own patterns:

The All Weather Cowl, which I’ve been wearing a lot lately.
Ravelry project page.  Free pattern available here.

 

 

The Sandworm’s Journey Beanie, my first knitting design, and a gift for my friend, JP.
Ravelry project page.  Free pattern available here.

By the way, JP proved herself very knitworthy by sending this email after opening her hat (which I was worried might be too small for her):

I love my new hat! It is perfect in every way!!!!! I love the color, cables, shape, size, etc…. PERFECT!!!!!

My very first infinity scarf/cowl.  Now I finally understand why everyone wears these – so warm!
Ravelry project page.  Pattern available for sale here.

 

 

My first Bruges lace design.
Ravelry project page.  Pattern available for sale here.

 

This hat is way cuter with the pom pom added.
Ravelry project page.  Free pattern available here.

 

 

And this last project, a combo of my own layout with the pattern of another designer…

The never ending New Orleans Saints themed double Irish Chain granny square bedspread for my little sister.
Ravelry project page.  Pattern: I used my own layout, but my granny square was a four round version of the Basic Granny Square by Julie A. Bolduc.

On a related note, I started using Ravelry’s stash feature after reading this great post by FreshStitches.  I definitely don’t have all of my stash listed, but it has helped me to sell some stash and also to keep track of my stashbusting efforts this year.

What’s your favorite Ravelry feature?