The Urban Jungle Collaboration Series

OH YA KNOW, HANGING OUT IN MY URBAN JUNGLE - AT THE PLAYGROUND NYC STYLE

OH YA KNOW, HANGING OUT IN MY URBAN JUNGLE - AT THE PLAYGROUND NYC STYLE

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.

 

Kit Shop Featured Maker: Vanessa Knits

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You guys: I could not be more excited about the December 2017 Featured Maker: Vanessa of Vanessa Knits. OK so I will just tell you that I adore her as a human being. I admire her as a fellow woman in small biz. And, I am constantly inspired & blown away by her knitting ninja skills. The woman CAN KNIT!

I got to meet and laugh and knit with Vanessa when she came to our first Stitch Up Chicago event in February. And it has basically been a fiber love fest ever since not to mention all the love and friendship she showed me when I lost my Sadie. This woman is the real deal y'all!

So yeah I was beyond thrilled when Vanessa wanted to be part of the Kit Shop Maker Cooperative. I mean HECK YEAH! And wait until you see all what she has in store for us. In fact, we have teamed up with another indie fiber friend for a very special collaboration. But more on that coming soon. So stay tuned and for now check out Vanessa's kits in The Kit Shop and enter below to win the Super Maeve Cowl Kit!

Now, let's get to know miss Vanessa a bit more when I ask he the Stitch & Hustle Maker 5 Questions:

1. Tell us your name and a little about your craft and business.

I am Vanessa Coscarelli Black. I've been crocheting for over twenty five years and knitting for about seventeen.  I have had a crochet hook or knitting needles in my hands for as long as I can remember! My small business is VanessaKnits and my focus as of late has been to design modern, yet classic knits that have visually appealing textures. I come from a long line of makers and am proud to continue the maker lifestyle into the next generation.  I am a Jersey girl, a wife, mother, animal lover and the original #minimamamaker !

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2. What inspired you to start your handmade adventure?

I was blessed to grow up in a family of makers in a variety of industries.  Using one's hands to make was a necessity in my parents and grandparents generations -- there was no money to simply go to the store to buy a new dress -- you had to make it!  No contractor to call when the walls needed repairs -- you did it yourself!  This "do it yourself" mentality has always been very appealing to me.  I find that makers, no matter what field they are in, are bright, creative and innovative.  Being around tailors, painters, mechanics, shoemakers, contractors, etc my whole life was a huge influence in how I got to become a maker by profession.
 

3. What is your one favorite thing about what you do? 

I had a VP level role in a big financial services firm for years and although that work was fulfilling in a different way, the maker role is completely different.   I love that after a few hours of work I have something tangible to show for my time. Something that will be gifted, keep someone warm or teach them to learn a new skill.  This is all very rewarding to me.

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4. What is one goal you have for this season? How are you doing with that goal?

For the winter season (but really 2018) my knitting goals are to learn brioche and knit my first pair of socks.  I bought the needles to knit socks and lots of yarn -- that's a good start, right?

 

5. Since this is about community, what other makers inspire you (can be any maker field, does not have to be fiber arts of course)?

Oh my goodness, there are SO many but here's a few (and please know that I could easily list 100 more)!  This account @stitchandhustle for cultivating a community of makers who are empowered to take their businesses to the next level. @premknits for her ability to teach knitting skills to newbies via her patterns -- and her awesome yarn dyeing skills.  @sere_k_nity for being a supportive friend who finally succumbed to my peer pressure and released her first pattern to much success! @kittysknittycreation who not only is a wonderful knitter, crocheter and macrame artist, but also works as an RN which is probably one of the most important jobs of all. @mutzebyashley because she had the balls to invest in high quality fibers for her knitted pieces and it is paying off! @tripleknotstudio for being able to manage three kids, a job outside the house and her maker business flawlessly.  @maisondene who's sweater designs are so wearable and whose photography is always stunning. @bristolivy who I aspire to knit and design as well as (give me another 25 years or so 😅). @allaboutami who was the first crochet blogger I started following years ago and who now has grown her presence exponentially. @tina.say.knits who is undoubtedly one of the most talented knitters in her age group I've ever come across. @kristyglassknits for making a YouTube channel dedicated to interviews with fiber artists -- Seriously, check it out!  @boylandknitworks and @dreareneeknits who are two of the most talented knitwear designers -- they're basically knitting geniuses!  Finally, @terrefermepottery who creates one of a kind pieces of ceramic vessels that convey to the buyer the amount of meditative skill required to make such a piece.

Last but not least… Link us up baby! How can people connect with you:

Website: www.vanessaknits.com
Etsy Shop: Vanessaknits
Facebook: www.facebook.com/vanessaknits
Instagram: @vanessaknits
Ravelry: vanessaknits615

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