Friday, November 30, 2012

Future Furniture

Do any of you put together really, really advance plans for your future homes? Right now, it always feels like Andrew and I are waiting -- waiting to have a more solid living situation, a more solid income, more solid jobs. Of course, this is to be expected, since he is in the process of finishing his degree, and soon I will be finishing my own, and then we will be out in the world looking for work and a 'settled' place to be. But right now, I can't help but dream a little about that future space, in between my shifts at work and looking for a night job, digging my clean clothes out of a laundry hamper instead of a dresser, and wistfully wishing that I could upgrade Craigslist furniture, although I have no access to  space like a garage or backyard.

Apartment living is hard, sometimes -- it never feels like the space is fully your own, at least, not where we are, and the things that you'd want to change most are the most forbidden. You can't paint the walls, you can't add screens to the windows, and then drafty-ness of having a window air conditioner, which you could change just by taking the thing out in the winter time, is an uncompromising constant. We're lucky, though -- we don't have bugs, noisy neighbors, or dirty carpet. We don't have leaks coming in through our ceilings or broken windows our landlords won't fix. So I know there are many things to be thankful for.

But sometimes, you just want to dream a little, which is why I have started putting together a small collection of 'future' things -- paint swatches and pictures from magazines, Pinterest boards dedicated to future spaces. I ordered these little fabric swatches from Thrive Furniture about two months ago, and they've finally arrived, so much prettier than I thought. Andrew and I have had a good time looking through them and thinking about what colors we like best. He surprised me by pointing out a reddish, deep, eggplant as one of his favorites. Or blue, of course, since it is his most favorite of colors. I could go for that.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Book 4 Has Arrived!

I got my contributor copies of Malabrigo Book 4 in the mail a couple of days ago, and have been thumbing through them! The paper they chose for this next volume is fantastic -- thick, with a satin-matte finish and excellent color distribution. The photographer was really excellent to work with, and while there have been a few complaints about the styling, I feel generally very good about it. 

I will admit that I am a bit sad not to be doing anything right now with a company or a book. I feel most at home when I have a project, so perhaps after I finish the few smaller design projects I've been working on, it will be time to tackle something large scale again. If you know of any companies that you feel really need help on their books, please leave a comment or send me an email!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Box Step

Jubilee Boxy from the side by h.thiessen

Jubilee Boxy from the side, a photo by h.thiessen on Flickr.
Boxy on Ravelry: project, pattern, yarn

I finally finished my Boxy pullover! Knit up in fingering-weight handspun, I felt like this sweater should have taken forever, when it really only took about a month and a half. I spun the yarn, you may remember, from Two if By Hand 'Jubilee' -- the only worry I had early is that some of the skeins seemed less saturated, but in the finished garment you really can't tell at all. I love it! The Polworth wool makes it very cozy but not heavy at all.

The pattern was a little hard to follow in places, just because there are two sets of instructions -- one set is for in the round, and the other is for a seamed pullover. When you follow the seamless version, like I did, you have to do some skipping around. Other than that, the most 'challenging' part of this pattern was the cast on, which included a massive number of stitches that you had to be careful not to twist! My favorite part of this pattern was definitely blocking it. During the whole process I kept trying it on and wasn't sure I would love it -- it seemed very tent-like. But once it was finished, I steam-blocked using my iron, and it made all the difference in the world. I should have trusted my swatch more, as the finished swatch had plenty of drape.

Andrew is new to taking knitting pictures for me, but I think he did pretty well. Don't you just love the super-classy state of the building we're living in? Yes, that is two tones of peeling paint. No, they don't have any intention of sanding or refinishing the building ever.....

Friday, November 16, 2012

Blog Tour - Accessories: Autumne 2012

Lucky me! I was asked by the very talented Denise Voie de Vie to review her newest e-book collection of accessories, aptly titled Accessories: Autumne 2012. This is an absolutely lovely collection of five patterns that are perfect for the transition into cool weather and beyond.

Denise chose a lot of yarns that have rich, rustic textures, while keeping the patterns fully accessible to knitters of intermediate (or adventurous beginner) levels and budgets. Choosing yarns from Lion Brand favorites like 'Fisherman's Wool' to Brooklyn Tweed's new line of yarns including 'Shelter' and 'Loft', and pulling them into high relief with crochet , Denise expertly blends textured yarns and textured stitches.

My favorite pattern in this collection has got to be the gorgeous Piaf Scarf, named after the famous chanteuse, Edith Piaf. I can certainly imagine wrapping this luxurious, tasseled, scarf about my shoulders and striding through the streets of Paris. Perhaps someday -- for now I'll have to settle for Knoxville, Tennessee levels of glamour!

As part of her blog tour, Denise has agreed to give away a copy of her pattern Slouching Towards Tassels Cap, which is worked up in Brooklyn Tweed for the sample. While I love BT yarns, don't you think it would look equally fabulous worked up in handspun? I do too, and that's why I'm going to match Denise's generosity with some of my own, and give away a skein of handspun with this pattern! Lucky for you, I happen to have a skein of handspun Freckle Face Fibers in the colorway 'Oceanglass' for one reader of this blog (see picture below). This is 160 yards of worsted, and enough to make the worsted version of this hat. To win, just leave a comment here by the end of the year. Prizes will be announced the first week of January and shipped immediately. Please make sure you have an email address attached to your post, or you leave your Ravelry name. With my Genet Giveaways, this was a big issue, since it is hard to contact someone without any contact information!