Designer Spotlight

An unexpected gift

I've been so quiet on here that it I wasn't sure how to break the silence. :( So I thought, why not just jump straight back in and share this awesome gift I received with you. About 5 months ago, in my regular 9-to-5 job, I came across a lookbook by one of my all-time favorite designers, Jared Flood of BrooklynTweed. Now if you've been reading my blog for a while now, you know how muchI admire (and covet) his work and talent. I was therefore beyond overjoyed to talk to our marketing team and ask if there was anyway we could work with them.

A few months have gone by now, and we'd been working on a few things with the BrooklynTweed team when this showed up in the office for me!!


Oh yes!! I get to try BrooklynTweed's Shelter yarn, and that gorgeous cabled hat pattern, Habitat! Woohoo! I can't wait! Can you feel my joy?

Then, to top things off, BrooklynTweed just came out with their new lookbook, Wool People 7! This girl is very happy over here!

A review of my favorites from this collection will be coming up shortly!

Have a great day and a lovely weekend, and thank you for sticking with me despite my long absence on this blog. :)

Shawls, shawls everywhere! Pt 2

Last week, I shared 3 shawls from Quince & Co.'s recent design set. Here are the last 2 shawl designs from that set. The fourth shawl from Quince & Co.'s newest pattern release is the Qinnitan Shawl, designed by Melanie Berg using Petal 111 and Chanterelle 118 colorways from their Finch yarn line. Qinnitan is another crescent-shaped shawl, worked in fingering weight yarn. The incorporation of stripes adds a welcome touch of playfulness to this shawl. I also love the choice of neutral colors for this design.

The last shawl in this set is the Fulmar Shawl by Veera Välimäki, designed in the Egret 101 and Iceland 153 colorways of their Finch yarn line. Now I haven't knit anything designed by Veera yet, but her designs are mind-blowingly gorgeous! When I grow up, I want to be like her. She takes the simplest stitches and crafts beautiful designs that will stand the test of time. She does the same thing with Fulmar, using clean lines and soothing garter stitch for a wonderful knitting experience. The shawl is worked from the neck down and shaped using short rows.

BONUS: You all saw how I was so excited by Veera Välimäki's work, right? I thought I'd share one of her top-selling designs on Ravelry with you, because it's just too pretty to keep to myself. Veera takes garter stitch and striping to a whole new level, creating designs that seem almost magical. I'm truly in awe of her work, and can't wait for when I actually knit one of her designs (or meet her in person! Squee!!).

Color Affection is probably one of the hottest patterns on Ravelry, with almost 9500 projects to its credit. Again, Veera uses garter stitch and striping to create a stunning shawl that is both warm and stylish. Without further ado, here's Color Affection.

Gorgeous right? I told you!! Which of these designs is calling out to you? Tell me in the comments section below! Enjoy the rest of your week and see you back here next week!


Shawls, shawls everywhere! Pt. 1

After scarves, shawls are my next favorite items to knit. Qunce & Co., an American yarn company (and one of my favorite yarn companies! I love their site, their yarn, and their packaging. Everything of theirs is so pretty!!), recently came out with a week of shawls. I love the designs so much that I thought I'd share with you all! First up is the Everly Shawl, designed by Mindy Wilkes in the Petal 111 colorway of their Finch yarn line. The shawl is so light and pretty that it could work as a scarf too. The lace border is a simple 4-row repeat, and the body is worked with short-row shaping without wraps, according to the designer. I love when simple stitches create such a work of art.

Next up is the Leaves Shawl, designed by Kristen TenDyke in the Little Fern 205 colorway of the Sparrow line (linen yarn). This shawl looks so light and airy, but because of it's large triangular shape, it can keep you warm and cosy without adding bulk to your outfit. The lace details are quite stunning, and look more intricate than they actually are. How neat!

The third shawl is the Lullaby Rain Shawl by Paula Emons-Fuessle in the Glacier 105 colorway of their Chickadee line. This shawl is a top-down crescent shawl with ribbing and a soft curve at the neck to keep the shawl in place on your shoulders. You also have the option of finishing the edging with a plain garter stitch border or a picot border, giving you the chance to add your own touch to this elegant shawl.

Stay tuned for 2 more shawls from this collection next week. Which of these is your favorite? And what color would you rock that shawl in? Tell me in the comments section below. I would love to hear from you!



Designer Spotlight: Allyson Dykhuizen's Awesome Knits for Baseball Season

I hear from some reliable sources that it's baseball season! And one of my favorite designers, Allyson Dykhuizen from The Sweatshop of Love, has come up with Vintage Inspired Baseball Knits, a collection of great designs that are perfect for baseball season knitting. There are 7 patterns in this collection, and all of them are pretty fun knits. The first one that caught my eye was the Trolley Dodgercardigan. This cardigan is a very simple, classic design that would look great in your favorite team's colors. I'm a big fan of the large stripe on the left sleeve, and also of the little contrast color details at the wrists and on the pockets.

Another cardigan from this collection, The Georgia Peach,with its beautiful contrast color styling at the hem, button/buttonhole edging and collar, is reminiscent of the sweaters worn by baseball players of old.

I also like the Harnett Tank, named after the first woman to join the All-American Girls' Professional Baseball League. The playful stripes on this cute tank can be worked in your favorite team's colors.

This collection also includes the Knickerbocker Tee, Stadium Blanket (for keeping warm while cheering your team on), the Baby Babe Ruth ( a cute little knit for little ones to get into the baseball spirit), and 16 original baseball team logos that you can incorporate into a sweater, scarf, or blanket. Check the Vintage Inspired Baseball Knits collection out and support a fellow independent knitwear designer. The patterns are also available as an ebook on KnitPicks.

PS: I'm so sorry I missed sending out last week's post. I'll put up another post this week to make up for it. :)


Designer Spotlight: Circles + Dots by Olga Buraya-Kefelian

I have wanted to feature this pattern collection on my blog since it came out, but it never seemed like the right time. Well I think this week's post is just the right time to highlight Olga Buraya-Kefelian's "Circles + Dots" pattern collection from Quince & Co. (who make such beautiful yarns! Oh, and I have a crush on their website!). The designs are classic and stunning, and all those circles and dots make me giddy with joy. There are 5 patterns in this collection: a pullover, a cardigan, a hat, a scarf and a pair of mitts. Just a little of everything for every kind of knitter, right? First up is the Effervescence Cardigan, which is the first of the collection that caught my eye. I love the front detail in this pattern and can very well see myself knitting this cardigan.

The Compass Pullover is my second favorite in this collection. (For someone who rarely knits clothing, it's interesting that I was drawn to these pieces in the collection. Maybe it's a sign to take a step of faith and start knitting some sweaters? Hmmm.) This top is just sleek and eye-catching, and I could immediately see myself rocking it with some fun jewelry and a pair of jeans during the fall.

Next up are the accessories!! Woohoo!! You all know how much I love my accessories. The Cowry Hat is a sexy, little slouchy hat that makes me so happy. I'm slowly but surely venturing into hat knitting and design, and the level of detail on this hat makes my little knitterly heart sing. The ebb and flow of the design as it snakes along the hat is quite hypnotic. I'm going to stop talking now, and show you the hat. :)

Then there's the Gyre Scarf, a simple, straight-to-the-point stockinette stitch scarf that has some garter chevron action and little open "dots" at the edges to add a little spice. I love, love, love it!

And last but definitely not least, the Flotilla Mitts. Who doesn't love some flirty little mitts covering up their hands and wrists? These mitts are a little longer than usual, with a few dots breaking up the stockinette stitch used.

I love Olga's design style, and I think this collection is just stunning. Which of these is your favorite? Which of these would you wear? Do let me know in the comment sections, and have a wonderful weekend!



SF Etsy Annual Interview Swap - Interview with Even Howard of Nadene

I am a member of the SF Etsy team (made up of Etsy sellers living in the San Francisco Bay Area), and one of our activities this month was a blog interview swap with some of our team members. I was paired up with the lovely Even Howard, who makes handmade crochet art jewelry under the Nadene label. I love her shop tagline - "little dreams becoming string", and was excited to get to talk to her. Even is also one of the team co-captains, so it was a double honor for me to be paired with her. Let's get to the interview then, shall we?

How did you get into crocheting? How many years have you been doing it for?

I first wanted to crochet when I was about 11 and my mom made a little sleeping bag for one of my tiny animals.  I had seen her make gorgeous baby sweaters, but this was the first time that I understood clearly that if you know how to crochet, you can just materialize any cozy thing as soon as it's needed!  I tried to learn then and only succeeded in making a very tight knot.  Within a few weeks, I had some library books and followed them step by step and I was on my way.  I made a lot of gifts and daydreams and it's been over 20 years of doing the same.



Do you dabble in any other hand crafts?

Oh yes.  I sew a lot and used to make almost all of my own clothes.  It's almost weird to me now that many days can go by and I'm not wearing something I sewed.  I'm a slow knitter so I don't knit commercially, but I do make accessories for gifts and a sweater about once a year.  I have a pretty extensive background in ceramics and love creating large coil based sculpture works like fountains and things that live in the garden.  Woodworking is a big interest of mine, but I really don't understand most of what the materials can do as well as the tools so it's a long term project of mine to learn slowly.  I did build my own boat two summers ago.  It was pre-cut, so the woodworking was basic and my general craftiness made the fiberglassing a dream.



I'm always drawn to greens and reds when I'm knitting or designing. Are there some colors you are drawn to whenever you are working?

I love finding the ways that a gray lavender and a rosy peach can connect.  I also always love seafoam and teal shades.



A lot of people usually knit or crochet to relax after a hard day's work. Since crocheting is your hard day's work, what do you do to relax? Any other hobbies?

I knit on easy projects, occasionally paint, and I draw a lot. I like yoga and teach yoga. I think one of my hobbies is browsing Etsy and seeing what new things our team members are creating! (Such a great co-captain, right? Keeping up to date on our progress.)


When did you make the leap to make your crocheting into a business? What motivated you to make that decision?

I used to live in Japan and I became a founding designer with the site so that helped me launch as a crochet designer.  Because I lived abroad and most submissions were not by email then, I had a stifled wish to be more involved in crochet design for print.  Those built up hopes gave me the motivation to be involved more when I returned to the US and I was offered publication in magazines and books.  I started doing small finished works for sale as my interest moved into getting ideas out faster than it takes with those publications.  I still like creating patterns and kits; it's a challenge for me to finish such big projects on long timelines though. (I know what you mean. The publication lead times can make waiting so hard.)



Where would you like to see your business go?

This is actually a really deep issue for me.  Many makers and small business owners are encouraged to expand and eventually move into manufacturing or being picked up by larger companies.  I have a lot of mixed feelings about that and continually re-evaluate the purpose of my business.  Fundamentally, I seek to create within my talents, expand my creativity, and offer the results of that to a community that is also doing the same with their own ideas.  All of this can happen on a "human-scale", meaning that I don't actually need to create large volumes, just create what I can within a healthy lifestyle and I'm encouraging others to do the same.  So I know my business will change over time and maybe even grow, and I look forward to being reflective and caring about that process.  I'm more interested in the lifestyle and outlook my work creates than the scale or scope of my business. (Very inspiring. I'd never thought about it this way.)


Care to share your stash?

Haha! I was gifted yarn from my step-grandmother's long ago job in a yarn shop as well as more recent collected skeins.  I'm on Ravelry as evenhoward if anyone would like to see!  I still buy yarn though, especially for big projects and I recently came home and told my boyfriend how glad I am that I don't have to hide my yarn purchases (other knitters and crocheters will know about all the jokes and seriousness along those lines!). (Oh yes! I've stopped commenting on my stash and my hubby has stopped "noticing" the pile of bags and boxes from yarn shops in our house.)


How long have you lived in the Bay Area?

I've been here since 2008.  I moved here to be close to my love. :) (So sweet!)


How long have you been a member of SFEtsy?

I think 2008 or 2009.  Wanting to be a member of SFEtsy helped me improve the quality of my shop and work online because I wanted to show things I could be proud of and make some new friends.  Mission accomplished, thanks team!

Anything else you'd like to share?

Thanks so much to you Denise!  It's really great getting to tell some stories and I look forward to the connections we make.

Thank you for taking the time to interview with me Even! Please check out her Nadene Etsy shop for some lovely handmade crochet art jewelry. Have a lovely weekend!


Quince & Co's Scarves Etc. 2013

I am quite excited for this week's post. I have a small crush on Quince & Co: their yarn, their website, and their photography all make my little knitting heart sing! And just this week they came up with their newest pattern collection, Scarves Etc. 2013. There are some gorgeous scarves in this collection, and I couldn't wait to share them with you (and ogle the photos too!) NOTE: All photos are by Carrie Bostick Hoge

There are so many lovely scarves in here that I'm having a hard time picking my favorites. I'll share a few that caught my eye almost as soon as I saw them.

My first love from this collection is Netty, designed by Ien Sie. It uses stranded colorwork to create a bubble pattern that just looks striking, especially in the colors chosen for this design.















My next favorite is Isleif by Rachel Coopey. I don't know what it is about me and colorwork this time, but I was taken aback by this scarf because the colorwork in it looks printed, not knitted. How cool is that!!















Now this third one is a scarf after my own heart - Ebb by Susan Anderson! It's an infinity scarf, chunky, and full of texture! And that color! It's the Peacock colorway of the Quince & Co. Lark line. I just love it! And it looks super squishy! Oh goodness I am filled with startitis right now! I want to knit this cowl in this exact color!! Somebody stop me!! (or help me with a few skeins of this beautiful, squishy, bouncy yarn!)















I bet you can't wait to cast on one of these scarves for yourself if you are a knitter! And do you see what I mean by the photos? They have this hazy, dreamy quality that just invites you in. I love all of it! And these are only 3 of the 17 scarves in this collection! What are you waiting for? Go grab your copy now! Also, Quince & Co is having a special offer - The first 50 people to purchase the Scarves Etc. 2013 ebook as well as 3 skeins of yarn will get a free tote bag to carry all that goodness in!

Have a wonderful rest of the week!