I am so excited about this post, this collaboration and this whole month!!! I have had the incredible pleasure of working with KnitCrate to design SIX new patterns that are designed to be perfect layering essentials for any wardrobe. There are both knit and crochet options of course. I love them ALL! This post includes affiliate links. Read full blog disclosure here.Read More
The perfect accessory to show of your fun and whimsical side. Great for parties and gifts too. I’ve teamed up with Kristy Glass and Nancy Ricci to bring you these amazing free, fun and easy flower crown patterns for both Knit AND crochet!Read More
GET FUNKY! So basically - here is what you really need to know: This yarn, this company is amazing AND I took my Boulder Beanie and some of their AMAZING Funky Chunky Yarn and used my Furls 10mm hook. Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. Read full blog disclosure here.Read More
Since going home to NYC for Vogue Knitting Live in January and then again in April to visit friends and celebrate my birthday, well, I have had my inspiration by architecture reignited. It got me thinking about my crochet design work and it inspired me to present a collection of Shawls Of A New Shape for 2018.Read More
I am so excited about this next Kit Shop exclusive collaboration that I can hardly find words. This is really a tale of two Stephanie's and a creative dream.
You know how sometimes you meet people and it is instant connection, inspiration and creativity abound? Well i have been fortunate enough to have that happen a few times and it is such magic. Then when you get to bring some of those relationships together for a collaboration - well then it is purely spectacular! This is one of those magical moments.
Stephanie of Triple Knot Studio has been my crafty friend for a few years now. We met on Instagram and a long lasting friendship quickly formed. It is funny how that can happen and I love it. We have had the chance to hang out many times when she came to Stitch Up Chicago and it is so much fun when we get together. So when she had an idea to design a Summer Vest lightweight cover up I was so excited and all about it!
Bring in yarn dyer extraordinaire and Stephanie number TOO....
So when Stephanie and I were thinking about what yarn would make for a fun Summer Vest I immediately thought of another Stephanie, the brilliant Stephanie behind Asylum Fibers. I met Stephanie when I went to Vogue Knit Live in NYC and it was an INSTANT connection. I was in love with her wit, her humor and her creativity. She came to my big birthday celebration in NYC last month and I KNEW I wanted to collaborate with her. I HAD TO MAKE IT HAPPEN! And we DID!
Stephanie creates Asylum Fiber colorways that make me want to make all the things. So I knew it was perfect for the Summer Vest collaboration and the tale of two Stephanies in an email thread was born.
Once we got going it all came together so fast and I loved working with Stephanie of Triple Knot Studio on her first garment design. Bringing her idea to life was challenging and fun and all the things you want it to be when taking on a project like this. On a personal note, it was one of the most rewarding projects I have ever been part of.
There were late nights. Long emails. Tears. So. Many. Tears. Working with Stephanie, such a good friend, on her first garment design really was an experience I will cherish forever. It is what this blog is about - feeding into the creativity of others. And to have the chance to help feed into the creativity of someone I care so deeply about was a gift in and of itself. OK... back to this AMAZING VEST.....
The Summer Vest is the perfect accessory to your summer wardrobe. It is ideal for over a swimsuit or to dress up a tank top for a night out. This one item will be all you need to pack for vacation to hit all the notes. It works up super fast and has a great pattern stitch for beginners.
In the Limited Edition Kit you get all you need to make this vest: The pattern, stitch-work chart, custom hand dyed fiber from Asylum Fibers, hook and a special handmade project bag. Or you can get the pattern and make one in the color of your choice from Asylum Fibers.
We are so excited to feature this collaboration in the Stitch & Hustle Kit Shop!!! Can't wait to see all your summer vests!
The best thing about launching the Stitch & Hustle Kit Shop is that I get to work with and be inspired by so many makers and designers every day. It is the awesome circle of creative energy that feeds and drives more creativity. It's the good stuff.
One gal who constantly inspires me and who has just dropped the latest Stitch & Hustle Exclusive design is Katie of The Queen Stitch. Oh yes, we have featured her many times because she is in fact... um... AWESOMENESS. I knew I wanted to add a sweater to our collective and Katie came up with a masterpiece. The Mary Shelley Sweater.
Read on and she will tell you all about it and you can get the exclusive pattern here.
The inspiration for the Mary Shelley sweater came from the streets of New York City, literally. The silhouette of this sweater came from a piece of graffiti in the LES by Bradley Theodore called "Pineapple Heads".
It seemed out there, dramatic, playful and fun - all things The Queen Stitch brand is built on, and pursues! I am always inspired by textures and shapes around me, and I love a challenge. I wanted to see if I could turn this piece of street art into wearable art (you can be the judge of that).
The sweater couldn't have happened without the support of Stitch & Hustle and them providing me with the awesome Wool and the Gang Feeling Good Yarn.
The design features a high Victorian neckline, and is created using primarily shell stitch - hence the name "Mary Shelley" (though lit snobs will tell me she was technically of the Gothic era - I hope you'll all give me creative license to utilize the shell pun!)
This sweater design challenges conventions with it's vertical stitching to create reach-out-and-touch-it texture. I hope you love it!
I am such a fan of Nicole of Naturally Nora Crochet. I really love her true commitment to authentic simple and slow living. It is why I have invited her to guest on the blog. And we have had so many wonderful collaborations. I was so excited when she wanted to design a special Cotton Hat for our Kit Shop as the April launched, Exclusive Kit.
This hat is such a fabulous extension of Nicole's authentic easy style and is designed with such beauty. From fiber choice to finished hat, I know it will soon be a fave for summer festival season. Cotton hats are a must have, for me at least!
This kit is great for a beginner and what is so fun is that it is a nice repetitive pattern. You can listen to your favorite podcast and drift away stitch by stitch. You can grab up the kit in a variety of colors here. You can also get the pattern if you want here.
it will quickly be one of your favorite summer hats!
Working with Manos Del Uruguay is always such a treat. They have such a rich history of helping lift up women and creating beautiful fibers. Read how the Montevideo Pullover was born. Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. Read full blog disclosure here.Read More
Anyone who knows me for more than five minutes knows I am New York City born and bred. I wear it with pride. I am old school NYC too, pre-gentrification & beautification and escalated rent rates. Back when graffiti wasn't just an art but it was tagging up the subways and claiming territories like flags in the air. Back when riding the subway was both efficient and risky. Back when I was the only white girl in Harlem on any given day when I went to hang out with my grandpa when he visited his businesses. Most of my childhood memories, rough around the edges as they may be, are in the landscape of NYC. My city and the one that shaped me. It is so much a part of my DNA.
I have traveled the world and lived in many post codes. Just like Jenny from the block Jennifer Lopez will always be from the Bronx, I will always be NYC baby. No matter where I am, I am a New Yorker.
So it is no surprise that it was only a matter of time before the roots of my being and the city I love became the focal point for a collection. But this is not just any collection. This may be one of the most incredible undertakings I have been blessed to be part of. Because just like NYC is truly a melting pot of people and inspirations, so is this project. I have teamed up with fellow NYC fiber artist Alex Reynoso of Alex Creates and Vanessa Black of Vanessa Knits to create a series and collection inspired by that great Urban Jungle: New York City.
OK, yes, Vanessa is a Jersey Girl. But hey... we love her and she has them good East Coast Vibes. So we let her pay the toll to cross the river and join us on this adventure.
The collection consists of a limited series of designs by myself, Vanessa and showcases Alex's hand dyed fibers. Alex may even toss in a design of his own. Each Kit will be available in limited quantity while supplies last. When they are gone they are gone. Check the kits out below as they each become available.
The first design & kit is the Gotham Nights Scarf. It is simply magnificent. Inspired by the New York City Skyline and how the city literally lights up on a clear night, Alex carried that sparkle over in to the fiber. He created a magical colorway that translates the Gotham Nights perfectly.
As Vanessa began to work up this super scarf, Gotham Night Sky quickly took shape.
Vanessa says: "This design was inspired by the NYC skyline at night. It starts with the glistening sparkle in the gray, cement sidewalk. As you raise your eyes you see the skyscrapers lit up with a yellow glow from the lights inside. Finally, you look up to the night sky - dark, but still able to spy the twinkling lights of the stars above. Made in fingering weight yarn, this exaggeratedly long scarf can be wrapped around multiple times for added warmth or worn loosely as a statement piece."
And what it is ... is more than a statement. It is a MASTERPIECE!!! Get the Kit here.
While it is true, I am a cozy vibe, snowboard loving, scarf making kind of gal, anyone who knows me knows I am truly an ocean loving Pisces to the core. Nothing gets to me like the fresh waves and salt air. When I lived in Australia, there wasn't a single day that went without a dip in the South Pacific, of course it helped that I lived and worked a short walk from the beach. With this in mind, it was probably only a matter of time before my two passions (yarn and ocean) collided.
About two years ago, while on location in Florida for a shoot, I got the idea to make myself some lightweight cotton garments to wear. But while on location with super long shooting days, and still prepping for the Chicago One Of A Kind Show... well let's just say such an undertaking would have to wait.
Last year, while in Miami for several weeks, the idea reignited and so the journey began. Over the last year I have experimented with various fibers and cotton was always the winner for this idea. Like the commercial says, it is the "fabric of our lives" after all. I began my process of swatching and sketching and found the old ideas I had tucked away coming to life again. In the process, I quickly fell in love with a few specific cottons that lent themselves in both color and texture to my vision.
Thus my first Summer Cottons Collection was born.
Within a few weeks I had edited it down to a variety of looks I would want in my own closet. I drew inspiration from the many coastal places I have been and created pieces that spark a memory from each place they are named for.
I have put my heart into my first Summer Cottons Collection. This collection features garments made from some of the softest cottons and breathable for those summer days. Garments I enjoy both making and wearing. And I hope they are garments many others will enjoy both making and wearing.
The collection is made up of 20 new designs for makers to enjoy and be inspired by and a handful of made to order garments available here. And you can try the Inwood Summer Beach Top free pattern here.
For a deeper look at the fibers, read on to learn about the materials. (disclosure: the following contains affiliate links where I may get credit or commissions but these are not sponsored posts and opinions are my own).
Wool And The Gang Shiny Happy Cotton
Ok... this is by far the most superior cotton of all the fibers I have used and tried gearing up for this collection. Yes, I work with WATG often, no they did not pay me to say that. My order receipts can be proof enough how much this material factors into my designs and offerings. Why is it so special? First of all, it is just a wee bit thicker than most other cottons on the market. It has that few added strands that makes a difference in how it holds structure of my stitches. And still, it does not sacrifice drape effect for being a wee bit thicker which is awesome because when designing with lightweight fibers drape matters! Last, I do not know what their color process is but this cotton has a sheen like none other. It truly is Shiny Happy Cotton and I love it! And because WATG is awesome, you get 15% off with code WATG144S through 6/9/17!
Betta Knit Pima Cotton
I discovered Betta Knit last winter when I collaborated with them on the Stella Jumper design and fell in love with their chunky wool. I was thrilled to discover they are offering Pima Cotton for summer. This cotton is great for those drapey and lacey designs. It holds the stitch structure well for a finer fabric. This is technically a category 3 DK yarn but in truth it works up like a sport weight and I just love it. I designed my Megan's Bay Shrug specifically for the way this fiber drapes. And... Betta Knit is giving you 20% off with code 144XBK through June 30, 2017 WOOT WOOT!
Lion Brand Yarn 24/7 Cotton
Lion Brand continues to deliver for affordable yarn options. The 24/7 Cotton is mercerized adding a sparkle and sheen even after multiple washings. Trust me, I tested this claim out and it passed the test! This fiber is interesting because it is a little bit "rope-like" for lack of a better term. It was interesting to work up and I quickly fell in love. It is perfect for my Saratoga Shrug design! I loved it so much I reached out to Lion Brand and we teamed up to collaborate on a design specifically for this collection and this yarn. More coming on that very soon!
Universal Yarn Cotton Supreme
The name says it all. It truly is Cotton Supreme. One of my favorite things about this fiber beyond the awesome texture is all the colors they offer. You can get so many blends and without much effort in yarn change, your garments will have style and color all their own. This is a heavier weight cotton, definitely more category 4 worsted. And yes still gives you the soft drape of the finer fibers. It is ideal for garments like my Manchester Tunic where you can let the yarn do the color work for you!
Debbie Bliss Cotton
I discovered Debbie Bliss Cotton well into this project. In fact, most patterns were already out for testing when I came across this gem. I discovered it while checking out a new Local Yarn Shop Wool & Company that opened about 15 minutes from my home. (More on them in a future post). This fiber is delicious! In colors and in texture, I was delightfully surprised. It says it is DK, but more of a sport weight for sure. You can order from them here and they provide free shipping in the US!
I know there are endless other cottons out there and have tried many. But these are the ones that inspired and are featured in this collection and I encourage you to try them out. Do you have a favorite cotton you want us to know about? Share in the comments below. And tag #stitchandhustle on social media so we can see your summer cotton projects. Happy summer and see you in the Cotton Club!
And to celebrate.... I am giving away the whole collection of designs. Yep - ALL 20 PATTERNS could be yours! Enter below
Ok ... so I could hardly contain my excitement when I was told Manos Del Uruguay would be sending me their new Milo fiber to try and review ... and what colors would I like. Um... ALL OF THEM? Can that be an option?
No but seriously, even though the palette of this fiber is more muted than the vibrant colors I typically work with I wanted them all. They are so fabulous and so enticing it was hard to choose.
As I looked at the colors I had this instant image from the Florida beaches on a full moonlit night. I selected to make an ombre item that would be like the shoreline beach up to the dark sky.
The colors I chose were:
Can you see it? Beach to night sky? Ah - PERFECT!
When the yarn arrived I was ecstatic about my choices once I saw how truly perfect they worked together. It was exactly the blend I envisioned.
Now, the yarn states that it is "fingering weight" but in truth it is closer to sport weight. Ish. You know how it goes... no strands are ever quite exactly the same. Either way - it was definitely thinner and lighter than my normal chunky yarn vibe. I worked up a couple of swatches and I knew a shrug would be perfect. I pulled out an old motif and got ready to put a new twist on it.
The Milo works up so quickly and so smoothly. It has an interesting texture because of the linen blend but it is not stiff with that starch-like feeling so many other linen blends that I've used have.
I could not be more please with this yarn and am already starting another project with it! because yes.. it is THAT GOOD! I want to make so many things with it.
Thank you so much to Fairmont Fibers & Manos Del Uruguay for sending me this yarn to try. I am definitely a new fan.
You can get the Naples Shrug pattern here to make your own.
Webs Yarn has Milo in stock and also if you buy a certain amount you get their club discount. I love their customer service - here is the link. (nope - not an affiliate link - I just like shopping with them).
Disclosure: Fairmont Fibers & Manos Del Uruguay sent me this yarn free of charge for the purpose of this review and collaboration. Although this is sponsored content, opinions and review are my own.
I was so excited when We Are Knitters wanted to collaborate on a blanket pattern. I mean just the thought of all that chunky squishy wool made my heart pitter patter with cozy vibes. I retreated to my cozy corner with this big basket of squishy and started creating.
First I had to decide to Knit or to crochet? It was not an easy choice.
I have wanted to knit a throw for quite a while as my knitting skills keep expanding. I see so many wonderful inspiring designs on instagram that give me so many ideas. So it was a tough decision. But this blue they sent reminded me so much of the rich tropical ocean like when I was in St. Thomas, that it inspired me to do an open crochet variation of "shells" throw. It inspired me to create something I imagined I would use while on the beach bungalow deck when I was there not too long ago.
Truly making this blanket brought me back to those wonderful breezy nights and ocean waves crashing behind the bungalow.
The yarn worked up so well for this pattern, no frogging involved! It just flowed which is another sign it was meant to be a crochet blanket. I could not be more thrilled with the final outcome.
And you can enter below to win all the yarn to make your own! Yup - that is right: We Are Knitters will send you all the yarn you need to make this blanket in the color of your choice. Enter below.
Disclosure: we are knitters sent me this yarn free of charge for the purpose of this pattern collaboration and giveaway. Although this is sponsored content, opinions and review and design are completely my own.
A little known fact about me is that I used to be the Prop Master for Sesame Street Live World Tour. It was beyond amazing traveling the world building and maintaining props. It was also incredibly fun to explore supplies and techniques all over the world. I must say I found some amazing finds in little known corners of the world.
The experience kept my creative juices flowing in full effect. Building giant toys and painting and basically playing super-sized arts and crafts all day was a dream job.
So when I was recently commissioned to create the accessories for the Winter Wonderland at the Javits Center in NYC I was both humbled and thrilled. I mean it was perfect bringing my current creative world full circle back to my supersized prop creating past.
Let's do it! I selected Lion Brand Wool Ease thick & Quick yarn for two main reasons: it works up great and is chunky enough to be both cozy looking and proportional for the garments I was making. It also came in the perfect shade of blue and fisherman ivory for the Winter Wonderland scene.
Now for the patterns. The key character is a 8 ft tall winter bear. The bear's head has a circumference of 58". I am about 61" tall so that is a reference point for you for size: he has a BIG head. The scarf needed to be 16 FEET long, with fringe and wide enough to be proportional. The client was very clear about the look they wanted: Cozy, winter and hip. I had two patterns that i just knew could easily be modified for this giant bear perfectly. I also chose to both crochet AND knit for a nice texture variety. The bear should be fashionable after all.
For the Hat I chose to knit for the texture and modified my Birmingham Hat pattern to be super sized. I used Premier Yarns size 19 15mm 47" circular needles. I love how these feel in my hands and normally use them for my Harbour Cowl but they worked perfectly for this giant hat too. Since my normal cast on for this hat is 40 and fits an average 21" head I just tripled the cast on. Then I knit... and knit.. and knit some more. Then I kept knitting. Eventually I had to start decreasing and create the peak. I altered my decrease from the pattern to be more beanie than slouchy and knew the pom pom weight would add slouch. I made 4 pom poms using the Clover Giant Pom Pom maker and then tied them together.
For the scarf I chose an to do an oversized variation of my Roma Traveller Scarf. Then I added fringe. Lots and lots of fringe. The scarf itself ended up being 14' long and with fringe hit just over 16 feet. The fringe needed to proportional in bulk and length. It always comes back to math lol.
I chose to go back and forth between knitting the hat and crocheting the scarf to give my hands a break and also keep the project lively and interesting. I could not be more pleased with the result and the client loved it. I took a minute to have some fun with the giant scarf before shipping it off to New York city and you can see the complete Winter Wonderland scene below.
I love hand dyed or hand-painted yarns. I have been a fan for years. The colors and tonal shades are just magical. I also love Lion Brand Wool Ease series - it is a staple in my arsenal of yarn. So when I heard that Lion Brand was coming out with a line of Wool Ease Tonal, based on hand dyed coloring, I have to admit that I was both excited and skeptical.
I tried not to be bias when my sample box arrived from Lion Brand and not compare it directly to hand dyed fibers. And I was not disappointed. The subtleties of the tone on tone in each colorway is what makes them so special. There is a true 'natural" appearance to the color blends. And Wool - Ease? I mean come on... I just love it. Works up quick and has that chunky Wool Ease feel I love so much.
The yarn is perfect for my chunky hats and I even created a new set based on the subtleties of this yarn. The Amherst Beanie works up fast and picks up the accents of the colorway.
The combination of the yarn and getting into fall weather, inspired me to create something new and fabulous. Something that really played with the shades of the Tonal. I created this Chapen Shrug.
The Chapen is my own fun twist on the traditional granny. It is misleading because it is not a granny at all! I created a graduated color scheme with the grey-scale Tonal shades. The yarn works up so well, and really lends itself to this kind of design.
And now you too can try this new delightful cozy yarn. Lion Brand is sponsoring the ALL You Need To Make This Giveaway. You win the yarn, the pattern, the hook, the yarn (did I say that twice? Because it's THAT GOOD)- the whole kit. Yup - how AWESOME is that?!?! Enter below.
Disclosure: Although this is sponsored content, opinions and review are my own.