Talitha Kuomi And The Break Up Knits

Talitha Kuomi And The Break Up Knits

I am so excited to celebrate Talith’as new accomplishments with this book. She is right: Break Ups are never easy so let us knit our way through those rough days to creating beautiful objects we can celebrate! And now you can enter here to win a copy of your very own It’s Not Me, It’s You and get started on these fabulous designs. Also scroll down to see Tal’s hilarious fun interview with Kristy Glass.

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Say Hello To The Oliphant Kat Shawl!

Say Hello To The Oliphant Kat Shawl!

Continuing my New York City roots exploration and shining a spotlight on other makers & designers, I want to introduce you to Katrina Walser of Oliphant Kat and her newest design for us: Emilia’s Nursing Shawl. And don’t worry - no baby is required to create and love this designer and this design!

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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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Kit Shop Featured Maker: The Queen Stitch

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Although my business name is The Queen Stitch, my real name is Katie - and I’m the featured Kit Shop maker for the month of November! I am primarily a crocheter, though I’ve recently learned to knit, embroider, and weave. Crochet is my first love, and we’re in an open relationship. So, while I play with other crafts for a little while to clear my creative headspace, I always go back to crochet. Colorful, fun, inclusive, flirtatious, I see no reason why knitwear can’t be all of these things at once, and so I wanted to prove it – thus the Queen Stitch was born. My designs are usually a bit different in terms of structure, texture and color. Some of my favorite designs are a flamingo halter top, a lemon wedge bralette, and a backless sweater.

I first connected with Michele of Stitch+Hustle after she reached out to me about my women’s march protest vest, which read “I am more than my pussy, but she great” and I was honored to contribute to her blog! This will be my second contribution and I am so proud of her, the community inclusion in the kit shop, and all the fun projects that will come out of it.

My pieces are inspired by a lot of pop art and cartoons. Sometimes I’ll see a pin or a print on Instagram and think to myself – I could crochet that. That’s how the lemon wedge bralette came into being. I follow a marketing artist called @lizzie_darden, and she made lemon slices and sticks of sage look like a bikini, and I was like… doin’ it! I follow a lot of artists on Instagram – I think it’s about 50/50 of fiber arts to other types, and it’s usually these others that inspire my best knitwear!

 

 

 

 

 

 Though, I remember I saw a hot pink crochet kink outfit by @hanaquist that changed my life. Every new strange onesie photo in the wilderness by @lordvonschmitt - I really wish I could go camping with him and all his gorgeous models! I just bought this bare breast knit top from @responsivetextiles that made me the belle of the house party the other weekend. I could go on… I am just so continuously in awe of all the makers in the community.

 

I sometimes get inspired just by texture as well. @miskunn has this magical bobble pillow that I looked at and thought, I wish I could wear that. Which is how the bobble sweater sprang into being. I think that might be my favorite thing about creating. Seeing something in my head, grabbing a yarn and a hook and slowly watching it appear it front of me. It’s like the design flows right down my arms, going from behind my eyes to in front of my eyes. Plus then I get to wear it.

Alternatively, my least favorite parts of the craft are all practical things, rather than the conceptual and artistic. I live in New York City, my apt is approximately 500 sq feet, and I have another person sharing that space! I see this pictures of people’s gorgeous organized spaces and I’m like… how the frick do they do that? And living in NY isn’t even an excuse. I look at @debrosse_nyc and her space is Type A perfection. Meanwhile I’m sitting on my couch, under approximately 50 skeins of yarn wondering if I have a problem.

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I’m not a total loss yet; I usually sort my many works in progress into different project bags. I have the attention span of a beta fish so I like to switch between projects. That way, I’m technically still switching it up, but I’m always working. I always find it interesting when people give tips on making because it seems like the creative process is so different for each person. I’m very much of the “do you” school of thought.

My creative goal this winter is to remind everyone that knitwear doesn’t make you anything other than cozy. I catch some flack from my friends for going to bed early and making knitwear. Knitwear doesn’t make you frumpy, it doesn’t make you grandma-like, it doesn’t make you anything.  You can be hot, smart, active and ambitious and wear knits, you can go to bed whenever you want and wear knits. I have a couple fun projects lined up towards this goal in terms of re-branding, photoshoots, new patterns – so stay tuned for some more fun!

 


Make Sure to connect with The Queen Stitch:
Website: http://thequeenstitch.com/
Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheQueenStitch
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheQueenStitch/
Instagram: @thequeenstitch

Takeover Maker: Macy of ImCrazyForCraftin

As mentioned in my post to launch this series we are reminded: the biggest gift of community are its members. We have some amazing ones. And this week's takeover maker kind of blows me away. Like a LOT.

I discovered Macy on Instagram about a year ago shortly after I joined. She always had such cozy creations and positive vibes in her posts. She had to take a break for a while to focus on some life things and I messaged her just to say I missed seeing her on my feed. We soon struck up a conversation and I discovered a few more things about Macy that only made me go WOW even more and I just adore her.

For example, we both have strong ties to our grandmas and that is a very awesome connection. More than just spoils and gifts, we both thrive on relationships with them. I also discovered... wait for it ... she is 16.

WHAT?

So poised. So talented. So kind. Just blew me away. And here she is starting her business, creating cozy delights, being part of a community and inspiring others. And that is just WOW. It is also one more thing I love about this creative community. It is open to all who want to create and share their talents and passion. At any age!

Macy is wise beyond her years I tell you. So follow along on IG as Macy takes over this week and shares her maker inspiration and creations and things she loves. Get to know Macy more here when I asked her the Stitch & Hustle Maker Five: Questions

1. Tell us your name and a little about your craft and business.
2. What inspired you to start your handmade adventure?

I'm Macy. The owner, designer, photographer, and dreamer behind I'm Crazy for Craftin.' I'm 16 years old, and I've loved crafting for as long as I can remember. I started my business when I was 10, and opened my Etsy shop when I was 13.

 

 

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

This whole experience has been such a wonderful time of learning and growing. One of my favorite things about what I do is getting to meet new people. I've met lifelong friends at craft shows, and met so many wonderful people through social media.

4. What is one goal you have for this year? How are you doing with that goal? How can we, me, the community help you with that goal?

Macy and her cozy creations set up for market

Macy and her cozy creations set up for market

I've set lots of goals for my business this year, but the most important one to me is making my business "my own". Not that it isn't right now, but I want to come up with my own ideas, and not copy anyone else; just get inspiration from them.

 

 

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)?

A few makers I'm inspired by are Nicole from Miskunn, Hailey from Ozetta, and Rosalynne from Rosalynne Love (just to name a few!). It's so wonderful to connect with other talented makers in person, and through Instagram.

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

Etsy: www.imcrazyforcraftin.etsy.com
Facebook: I'm Crazy for Craftin'
Instagram: @imcrazyforcraftin

Takeover Maker: Chantal of Knitatude

As mentioned in my previous post to launch this series we are reminded: the biggest gift of community are its members. We have some amazing ones.

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The first amazing maker for our April Maker Takeover is Chantal of Knitatude. Ok... let me be clear.... I have a total maker crush on this gal. She IS the real deal. She inspires me SO MUCH in so many ways. Why you ask? Well not only is she a badass knitter (really she is amazing) but she gets it. She just gets what it is about to be an empowered woman creative who supports other empowered women creatives. Chantal hosts a regular yarn & small business meet up in her local community and has just launched a second IG account to help others as well. She, like me, believes that by helping others succeed we too will succeed.

On top of all that, the goofball in me totally adores the goofball in her.  So follow along on IG as Chantal takes over and shares her maker inspiration and creations. And get to know Chantal more I asked her the MAKER Five questions here:
 

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

Hi my name is Chantal and I'm the sole knitta behind Knitatude - aka Knitting with Attitude. I knit chunky scarves, headbands, toques, blankets, write patterns, try to take over the world and make crochet and knit essential tool kits with inappropriate sayings on them. I'm a huge believer in staying true to oneself. I have practically no filter, so on my feed you will see some sassy comments and me making an ass out of myself. I am such a huge advocate for makers in our community and because of it I've started to delve into the world of supplying maker advice. You can usually find me doing IG lives on topics of social media tips and how to stick up for your own company in multiple ways.

2. What inspired you to start your handmade adventure?

I feel so bad saying this - but Knitatude started off selfishly. I wanted an infinity scarf for Christmas and when I didn't get one I took matters into my own hands. When people started to like my items it was so humbling and I loved making others feel good. That feeling has only grown since then. Not to mention I fell madly in love with the aspect of making things with my own hands I thought "Now this is some cool shit!".

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

I love making people laugh. My tool kits are exactly this. Funny, inappropriate sayings that when actually read get those wide eyes, shocked open mouths and chuckles. It's what I live for every market because I love seeing people who have as dirty of a mind as I do when it comes to knitting and crocheting. Also I love that I host a knit night every week. This community is so rich and vibrant and caring and I adore getting to see all my fibre loving peeps each week!

4. What is one goal you have for this year? How are you doing with that goal? How can we, me, the community help you with that goal?

Oh boy. I have so many! My MAIN goal is to get people knitting in general and breaking the stigma and stereotypes around it. I'm so tired of being called a Grandma because I knit and I'm not ancient. I also want people to stop saying "Not you're grandmas knitting" cause it isn't helping. The second is; I want our community to start charging what we are worth. There is literally nothing that peeves me off more than someone undervaluing their work and undercutting themselves and everyone around them. To break the stigma around "knitting is cheap" we have to make knitting not cheap! Which I think simple communication and yelling it from the rooftops will help.

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)?

Nicole from @saltwaterteajewelry / @woolfield.studio is not only my best friend but she legit is my rock. I bounce ideas off of her, ask her a billion questions a day, drown her in my rants and everything you can imagine. This girl is the shit. She takes me for who I am, doesn't take any of my shit and won't hesitate to question me on anything that she thinks won't be in my best interest business wise and in my personal life. She is a crazy talented boss babe as owns her own shop (Greater Goods YYC), her jewelry biz, volunteers her time to an all female small biz networking group called YYC Girl Gang as my vice-prez and is now opening her own consulting company for makers. She is a diamond in the rough.

The whole team from We Are Knitters - I don't know how they do it but they inspire me to keep trying new things, getting out of my comfort zone and give me all the heart eyes when it comes to knitting.

Kelly from Knit Brooks - I seriously can't even begin to tell you how much I look up to Kelly. She may be soft spoken in her videos but the amount of love and care that comes out of this human is jawdropping. She's always there to lend a hand or give advice and is just a instagram convo away. She's super down to earth and makes just the most beautiful stuff. Beautiful person inside and out!


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

Website: knitatude.ca
Etsy Shop: www.knitatude.etsy.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/knitatude
Instagram: @knitatude
Twitter: @knitatude