It’s been crazy-pants around here lately, but of a productive variety. I’ve put together 4 different swatches since Friday, and have managed not to neglect the current WIP (not listed on Rav) too terribly either. I’ve also put in an embarrassing number of extra hours at work and fulfilled a bunch of family obligations as well. I can only blame it on Spring Fever. Mother Nature is so busy getting stuff done; I can’t help but try to get stuff done too. Look what all this gorgeous weather has gotten me:
Posts Tagged ‘physical’
Last December I took Amy Herzog’s class at my local LYS and expressed excitement about her upcoming book. Well, it’s finally here! It only arrived today and I’ve already eagerly devoured the whole thing. A lot of it was simply recapping what we covered in her workshop, but it is nice to have it all neatly written in one place, with examples and photos for each concept.
Another thing I really love about the book is that once you’ve figured out your body shape, there’s an entire section devoted to it – regardless of which shape that is. There are also mini-sections for other features you might need to consider, such as being larger or smaller than the industry standard B-cup, or having an unusually curvy or straight waist, etc.
Also exciting is that each of the patterns included in the book is placed in the section for the body type it best suits, BUT with suggestions to modify it to fit the other body types. If there was any doubt in my mind about whether I’d gotten the right idea about my shape from the workshop, right there in the Bottom Heavy section was the sweater I’ve been coveting since December – Flutter. I’m in the unique position of already knowing for sure it will look awesome on me, because I’ve already tried it on! Time to go yarn shopping!
Wow, I am impressed at how enthusiastic you guys were about yesterday’s contest! I will have to do another scavenger hunt in the future! I was a little worried there wouldn’t be much response since many people stop knitting as the weather warms, and my sales typically dip then too. Clearly I am not the only one who continues to knit voraciously in spring and summer! What do you like to knit this time of year? For me…
Ironically, I don’t really wear shawls that much. I LOVE to knit them though. They’re lighter and more delicate than say, a cabled sweater, so they’re great for knitting when it’s warm out. If you’re a shawl-wearer, they’re also immediately wearable in the springtime. For me, unless I’m knitting for a special event (like the upcoming new design for a friend’s wedding), I tend to wind up giving my shawls to a friend or relative. They’re one of the only things I knit that are more about process than product.
2. Tank Tops
For a while I was seriously skeptical about knitted summer shirts. Something about knitwear and summer just seemed mutually exclusive. Then I discovered linen. From there it progressed to cotton, silk, bamboo…there’s just no stopping me! Sleeveless tops knit up fast, even with thin, light-weight yarns. They don’t weigh much or make you sweat as they sit in your lap mid-project. AND…instant wearability! While central air-conditioning does allow me to knit long-sleeved pullovers and blankets in the summer, there’s nothing quite like the reward of putting on a piece fresh from the blocking board.
No, I’m not going to wear these right away. In fact, I try to wear as little on my feet as possible, for as much of the year as possible. However, the cold weather will return eventually, and it’s always nice to have a fresh new pile of socks waiting for me when that happens. Socks are fast, light, and easy to stuff in a purse or carry-on when I’m traveling (as I tend to in the summer). Again, they’re small and not going to make me sweaty while I knit them.
I’ve also very recently discovered a serious affection for summery cardigans, thanks to a phenomenon I call the Summer Deep Freeze. Sometimes American businesses are just a little too enthusiastic about air conditioning for my taste. My school seems to be especially guilty of this, so look for a lot of new cardigans to come from me!
P.S. If you can’t tell from the photos, yes, the seasons do influence my color cravings. Spring means greeeeeeeeeen!
In the northern hemisphere, there’s still just about one pullover’s worth of cold weather left in this season. If you’re in the southern hemisphere, lucky you! You’ve got months of cold (or cool) weather knitting ahead! Either way, I hope you’ll consider my newest pattern, Misty Morning.
This time of year is full of cool, grey mornings that really call for an extra bit of cozy. What better way to get your “cozy fix” than cashmere? The recommended cashmere blend is knit at a loose gauge for a bit of drape and elegance in an otherwise simple raglan pullover. Combined with the extra length in the torso and sleeves, this sweater is as comfortable as pajamas, but a lot more stylish!
The dramatic collar, which can be worn multiple ways, also adds a bit of flair. The moodiness of mornings this time of year just sort of demands some flair, doesn’t it? It also keeps the mostly stockinette sweater from being an absolute bore for more advanced knitters (although honestly, cashmere kind of does that all on its own)!
So cozy on up to your next Misty Morning and make the most out of the season while you still can!
A couple of weeks ago, I posted some tips on feeling good in the endless winter dullness. Since this is a knitting blog, I think a more detailed post is in order about the fibers that make me feel good in winter.
If you are a knitter or crocheter, this is probably a bit of a “duh”. Wool is even the common term for yarn in many nations. This is not a coincidence. Wool is very warm, but breathes well enough to reduce sweating. It has memory, so it holds its shape nicely and can be coaxed into doing many interesting things. Because it’s available in so many breeds and levels of quality, it can also be a good cheap “starter” for new knitters (or broke ones!) or in forms like merino it can be a luxurious indulgence.
Some people call alpaca “the poor man’s cashmere”, but it really is a fantastic fiber all on its own. Pure alpaca is deliciously soft, drapey, and pretty much the definition of “smooshy”. It is also significantly warmer and lighter than sheep’s wool. Alpacas are also naturally lanolin-free, making it nearly hypoallergenic. Those with mild wool allergies can often wear alpaca. Blending with wool adds structure and memory to the yarn, and can also tame the “too hot” and “too fuzzy” issues some people have with it. Personally, alpaca is probably my favorite winter fiber because it is so very tactile and cozy.
If we’re going to have “poor man’s cashmere”, we might as well have the real thing too! Cashmere is actually even softer than alpaca and like alpaca is much lighter than sheep’s wool. The most commonly used Cashmere goats also have white undercoats, thus their wool lends itself well to dyeing. Due to the cost of cashmere, I’ve never used it in it’s pure form. Just adding a bit of it to merino or other quality fibers really does make a noticeable difference though. It’s quite a luxury, and a great pick me up this time of year.
This one often surprises people, particularly if you recall that I also recommended silk in my summer fibers post. Silk’s innate absorbency makes it ideal to wear close to the skin in summer, but its low conductivity helps trap warmth next to your body in winter too. Silk is also fantastically strong and holds up to wear very nicely. The sheen and smoothness of silk fiber is a wonderful change from the dull and rough that sort of takes over the region this time of year too. Definitely a nice perk.
What’s your favorite winter fiber?
I had a pretty impressive “Messy” post in the works, but the truth is I’ve been sick and am just not up to the work involved at the moment. Which, I suppose, is its own kind of messy. I’ve been rather minimally productive all week, spending as much time ripping and re-knitting as actually creating anything. Illness is not good for my brain, or my coordination. I’m also waiting on the weather to cooperate so I can photograph a sample before sending it off to the tech editor, and cooperate it will not. Who’d have thought I’d be hoping for fog and mist? It’s really not the right time of year for it, unfortunately. Plenty of grey and rainy, but no mist.
So in the mean time, I’ve been quietly encouraging myself with a sensory feast. I’ve been spinning this lovely, saturated silk blend:
Plugging away at a bit of lace in a color that reminds me Spring isn’t so very far away:
And being utterly charmed by these stubborn little garlic shoots who do not seem to care that it’s been a good 20 degrees below the seasonal average this week, and that even the seasonal average should still be too cold for them to sprout:
It doesn’t hurt that this morning’s icy ugliness resulted in a “Snow” Day and so I get a surprise 3-day weekend to work on fighting this upper respiratory blech. Hope you’re holding up out there too!
Between the steady rain for the last 3 days, and the 2 days of heavy fog before that, I have not seen the sun since Friday. It is also disgustingly cold. Sadly, this is pretty typical for mid-winter around here. For someone whose mood is as dependent on the weather as me, it’s easy to fall into a steady state of “blah”. How do I combat it?
1. I wear as much sparkle and shine as I can get away with while still looking like a reasonably respectable professional. Sometimes that means hiding a bit of sparkle under a tamer cardigan or dress.
2. I wear lots of deep, saturated colors in a semi-deliberate attempt to counter the dark and grey outside. Bonus points if I can combine the rich colors with some shiny.
3. I wear the warmest, softest, most decadent clothes I own – this is where being a knitter comes in handy. The warm and fuzzy against my bare skin is a little tactile treat that almost replaces the warm sun on my bare skin.
4. I work out like a madman. This is partly because the workout itself boosts my mood, but also partly because it leaves more room for the comfort foods that also boost my mood. Bread and soup, anyone?
What do you do to keep the “blahs” at bay?
Yesterday I was lucky enough to finally attend one of Amy Herzog‘s Fit to Flatter workshops. I won’t go into too much detail, because you really do need to take the workshop to get the full picture, but it was definitely a worthwhile experience. It was interesting to see that I’ve been instinctively knitting and designing for my bottom-heavy figure, in spite of the fact that my measurements suggest I should be a more proportional figure and I always assumed they told the whole story.
As she pointed out, the initial, head-on impression of your body is the one most people carry around in their brains, so that’s the one that counts. The decidedly unflattering shot above shows that when you reduce me to a 2-dimensional amalgam of shapes, my hips are wider than anything up top. That means things with fancy details in the top half, like cowls
or color work, or yokes, or lace work help to balance my figure and flatter it. Because I’m so curvy (in the literal sense, if not the euphemistic one), wide, deep necklines also flatter – even if I wear a tank or something else high-necked underneath.
Details that call attention to my waistline are also flattering, although a simple belt will do the trick there. I also got to try on the samples from a lot of Amy’s patterns, and learned that since Amy’s body type is similar to my own, a whole lot of the patterns from her upcoming book are going to look awesome on me. Can’t wait til it comes out!
Wow, you guys have been busy! I can’t believe how many blog posts I sat down to today! I, on the other hand, have been totally consumed by work and family stuff and writing proposals, and so literally haven’t knit more than a dozen stitches since I finished Owlie. Part of it is because I’ve been avoided coming up with a pattern for the leaves I want to include on two of the wine patterns.
But part of it is definitely just because I am exhausted. Hubby is away playing G.I. Joe, so I planned to come home today and have a whole uninterrupted evening to catch up on some knitting. I have not knit a stitch. I also haven’t looked at my schoolwork since I dropped it on the arm of the couch when I got home. It’s really kind of a miracle I even managed to make dinner.
Tomorrow I’ll have eleventy billion hours in the car (I may be exaggerating that number a little) to go visit an aunt, but sadly I will be driving rather than riding and knitting. I may have some time at the aunt’s house to knit though, if I can get something together by then that’s portable and not heavily dependent on checking the pattern every few seconds. Hmm…
Sundays are awesome any time of year, but this time of year in particular, I loooove Sunday. A few of the reasons? Well, take a look at what today has in store.
The temperature is chillier than I would like outside, but inside it’s a perfect day to open the windows and slip on some alpaca.
Any time I don’t have to wear shoes is a good time. Additionally, Sundays in autumn mean sports. I’m still a bit bitter about the lack of NHL hockey in my life right now, but at least there’s still football. Plus, football is a great excuse for football foods, like the home-brew and warm pita we’re currently chowing down on.
It’s also several hours of (almost) uninterrupted knitting time. Extra important when you’re knitting on a deadline as I am now. Though the knitting may have hit the floor when Ryan Kerrigan scored a couple minutes ago.
With any luck, especially with how long NFL games are taking this season, I’ll finish the sleep sack before the players finish their game. Then comes the best part of Sundays: I have alllllll day to cook whatever strikes my fancy. There’s currently a big old pork shoulder in the Crock Pot and the promise of homemade rolls and caramel apples later. Take that, work week.