Shop Update || Knitted Accessories

I'm in the process of updating the shop with ready-to-wear knitted headbands, made from my original pattern the Urbanite Garland.  If you've been eyeing the pattern but are not a knitter, these are for you!
Perfect for keeping your hair out of your face on a windy day or seeking an effortless style when going out with friends, the Urbanite Garland is the ideal summer accessory. I created this design originally to get the utility of a bandana-- just dressed up a little... and I pretty much live in it on weekends.
It features a wide band across the top of the head (about 8" wide) and tapers on the sides to a 3/4" band on the back. Subtle cable details accent the wider portion, while the thin part of the band has a more pronounced cabled or twisted appearance. The headband may be worn with the maximum width spread across the top of the head, or scrunched up a little for a different look.
Originally just available as a knitting pattern, I'm excited to list the Urbanite Garland as a ready-made accessory, no knitting required!
Check out the available colors here - more to come soon.

New Pattern || Exoskeleton

This pattern has been a long time coming, so to say I'm excited to finally release it is an understatement.   I experimented with elongated stitch a few years ago, which involves a series of drop stitches creating the unique oval texture you see in the body of the shawl.  The entire time I was knitting it I kept thinking of watching roly polys (or doodle bugs, everyone has their own name for them) in my back yard as a kid.  The crossing and length of the stitches in this pattern reminded me of their little shells, their exoskeletons.  Thus, the origin of the name, Exoskeleton.  While I chose the name based on an association with the stitch pattern, I think a shawl in itself is a sort of second skin, another layer of protection and warmth.

Thank you to my lovely friend Jenna for modeling for me, despite the fact that it took me over a year to put the photos to use.  Cheers to shawl season!

Knitting Pattern || Urbanite Garland

It's amazing how fast a year can slip through your fingers.  Granted, this past year has been a whirlwind of accomplishments… sometimes other things just have to wait so you can make sure they're done exactly the way you want them done.  I designed this pattern a couple of summers ago, and my lovely friend modeled the garment for me last summer as I was preparing to release it… and then Momentum Tulsa happened.  It's been chaos ever since, until recently.  I'm very excited to show you this headband, the Urbanite Garland, which is now available both in my Ravelry store and on Etsy as a PDF download.
The original prototype for the design makes a regular appearance in my wardrobe, in particular on windy days or those when my hair is a little unruly but I don't want to wear it up.  A versatile piece, it fits into a lot of different styles and only takes a few hours to knit.  So if you're looking for a new summertime accessory, something to throw on after a day at the lake or on the way to dinner with friends after a long day at work, this is the perfect piece.

Free Pattern || Snowdrift

Snowdrift is a cozy, soft headband perfect for crisp spring mornings/evenings in addition to winter warmth.  Our winter here has been particularly harsh, and I have no doubts that another cold snap or two will hit.  I wanted a headband wide enough to fit over my big hair (I have a lot of hair) while still covering my ears and also making a statement.  Enter Snowdrift!
Love Knitting sent me some Mirasol Sulka for this pattern, which is a beautifully soft chunky merino/alpaca/silk blend.  It's a new yarn to me, but I'll definitely keep it in my arsenal - a portion of Mirasol's proceeds go toward education for the children of alpaca farmers in Peru.

BIG THING #1 aka Off the Needles || Foundation

Remember the "big things that are happening" that I vaguely mentioned a few days ago?  Well, this is the first one.  Last year one of my very dearest friends, Emily, and her husband had a baby and I knew I needed to make something extra special to commemorate this event.  Thus, "Foundation" was born.  Little Beatriz (pictured below - how adorable is this sweet little girl?!?!) was born in mid summer, so I was obviously running a little bit behind on this project but it was way worth it.
A tree's root system is the foundation of the organism - it provides anchorage for the tree's weight, it absorbs the minerals and moisture necessary for metabolic processes, it exchanges gases that are crucial for tree survival and it stores sugars that provide energy to fuel the tree.  Without this foundation, the tree would be nothing.  This blanket that I designed symbolizes that support structure of Beatriz' family.  The growth rings in the center represent the five years her parents built their relationship before bringing her into the world.  I hope it is a piece that she will cherish for years to come, if not at least to keep around because it's a dang soft (and warm) blanket to snuggle beneath. :)
The blanket is made from Knit Picks Swish Worsted.  It incorporates a chart of 6 identical sections knitted in the round.  I plan to publish the pattern eventually, although it will require a little bit of tweaking.  I am going to adapt it with 8 sections to make the growth rings a little rounder - they turned out a little too geometric.
Regardless, it feels so good to finish this project!  I don't even know how many hours of work went into this - weekends and weekends!  Since it was knit in the round, I couldn't really see how it was progressing because it was bunched up at the needles the whole time.  I designed the chart as I went, since I could see the last several rows I had knitted the whole way through to gauge how the pattern was turning out.  Once I started to bind off, the finished product took my breath away.  I will work on trying to make this available soon!


Free Pattern || Big Heart Beanie

Love is in the air, but truth be told that even if it wasn't hearts seem to be making a comeback in the accessories/fashion world...  At least that's what the Blogosphere tells me.
J and I aren't huge Valentine's Day people, although our 7 year anniversary of when we first fell for each other falls during this week.  We always celebrate in some way or another.  Early dating stages around Valentine's Day make for an AWKWARD "day of love"--- Do you get them a gift?  Will it seem too serious too soon?  Will they be offended if you don't give them something?  Fortunately, neither of us ever really put too much weight on the holiday, so that first Valentine's Day went pretty smoothly for us.  Now we just pick a day during the week to go out for a nice dinner (any excuse to eat great food is enough for us -- we picked sushi this year!) and chat in disbelief at how long ago we found each other.  Just about a quarter of my life ago.  Madness.  But it makes me so thankful for him.
This beanie is an homage to all of the big hearts I've seen floating around the web lately on garments and accessories.  It's a super quick knit using worsted weight yarn -- the yarns listed in the pattern are the two types I had in my stash and used to make the hat pictured.  The heart may be appropriate for the season, but it's also on trend enough that it could be worn on into spring too.  Happy Love Day!
Download the Big Heart Beanie as a PDF through my Ravelry store.


On My Needles || Another Mantra

I enjoyed creating my first Mantra Scarf so much that I recently decided to chart out some different phrases to knit up as well.  The one I'm working on currently is for my best friend Sarah, but I have decided to continue making these and to offer them in my online shop once I have enough inventory to open.  The mantra woven into this piece is "Feel Everything", a phrase that has stuck in my head since I started listening to Fiona Apple's new album. I've been using fair isle technique for weaving in the floats, and this is my first attempt at English/Continental style knitting.  It's somewhat difficult to get the hang of, but I'm getting used to it (and my fingers are cramping up less).  I must say it's odd knitting with two strands of yarn, one in each hand, but I'm glad I've been able to practice a new technique and improve my skills through this process.  My hope is to finish this scarf later this week (time permitting - Oregon is coming up fast and I still have over a hundred bits of fungi to assemble for my first Decomposition installation.)  In any case, have a look!  :)




Off the Needles || Urbanite Garland

Fairly often, I will look through my stash baskets and fawn over the gorgeous single skeins I bought just for the satisfaction of having yarn so beautiful, or perhaps for another project that lost steam long ago and never regained its momentum.  I have a few skeins of Berroco Seduce for reasons closely related to the latter - I need to revise a pattern but can't manage to sit down and just do it, so there they lie. The other day my eyes set on one skein of Seduce in particular that was a rich, copper color (one of my favorite colors) and I suddenly had a brilliant idea on how to use it.  I sat down, started knitting and jotting down pattern notes and behold--  a few days later I have this headband that I am absolutely in love with.

It reminds me of a number of things: the "Roaring Twenties" flapper hair pieces, a bohemian clover garland, an 80's sweat band (let's forget about that one), and the ever modern hipster headband that rivals the fedora in every way.  So, hence comes the name, "Urbanite Garland", a combination of those things... a little bit boho and a little bit glam.  a little bit hip and a little bit... functional?  (damn those 80's)

I'm planning to get the pattern typed up to share here and on Ravelry (for free!), but in the meantime here are some photos of the finished product.  I knitted some small twists into the main fabric, which only show up when you look very closely because of how ornate the yarn is.  I like how subtle they are though.  The thin strip on the back of the head is also cabled into a series of twists.  This might be a great pattern for a stylish work out headband too if you knit it up in some organic cotton.. I intend to experiment a little bit with a few different yarns, so I'll post about how it goes!






Greyhound Cowl Knitting Pattern

If you know anything about greyhounds, you know that they have very little body fat. They are also a sweet, quiet, calm, affectionate breed that will make your jaw drop with their warp speed sprints, but will also warm your heart as a loyal companion. I would recommend a greyhound to anyone as a pet/furry (but shedless) family member, but I digress. Back to the body fat issue.

In climates that actually experience winter, some additional layering is necessary for the hounds so they don't freeze their butts off. I believe that the general rule is: if you need your coat, your hound does too. And there are specialized services/shops that sell custom coats just for greyhounds! It's glorious! My Emma has a nice little red fleece number that keeps her body warm, but the past couple of weeks dipped in the temperature range, so I decided to make her a nice little neck warmer to give her a little more comfort when we go out. Leg warmers may be next, but I haven't decided how to go about that while still giving her the mobility she needs when running around. It's probably not even necessary. Anyhow, the cowl is working out great for the days when the wind chill is just too low. I thought I would share the pattern in case any other knitting greyhound lovers are out there that would like to try it.

For Emma, I made it a little big so it would scrunch up or cover more of her head and neck. I also did not want for it to be too tight. Lastly, the pattern features an opening so that the collar can stay underneath the cowl, but the leash can be hooked to it from the outside. Here is the pattern!:

Greyhound Cowl

Needles: US 11 double pointed needles Yarn: heavy worsted, approx. 200 yards max

Starting rib: CO 45 st K2, p2 to end of round. Repeat until piece measures 2". (it's ok to end with 1 k st so that there are 3 k st together. The rib does not have to be even)

Start increases: Row 1: kfb, k to end of round Row 2: k to end of round Row 3: k to end of round Row 4: k to end of round Repeat these 4 rows 2 more times

Make leash hole: Row 1: kfb, k halfway through round, yo 4 times, k to end of round Row 2: k to yarn overs, drop all yarn overs except for 1, k into remaining yo, k to end of round. Row 3: k to end of round Row 4: k to end of round

Continue increases: Follow pattern for increases 6 times.

Finishing Rib: K2, p2 to end of row Repeat until rib section measures 2" Bo all st

That's it! Good luck!