Monday, July 25, 2011

I'm so happy to finally share this design with you guys!!

(photo courtesy of Jared Flood/BrooklynTweed)

I think I might have actually jumped up and down when I got the original email from Brooklyn Tweed, asking if I would consider being part of a digital design book they were putting together, using Guest Designers whose work they thought would be a good fit for SHELTER. As a huge fan of Brooklyn Tweed and a well documented tweed/SHELTER enthusiast, I could not have been more excited. I had it in my head already that I wanted to knit a tweed dress for fall, and this was the perfect excuse to start messing around with the idea.

I had the image of something rustic but urban, that could be customized in about a hundred ways. With a big statement cable - as a focus and for a flattering vertical line. It may have taken a few (ahem) swatches, but I fell in love with this twisted rib nested cable.

(my bad photo, on the dressmaker dummy)

I also wanted and some kind of faux off center belt that would give me an excuse to play in my tin of BIG buttons, and maybe give the dress a little hint of a 60s mod vibe. ( I actually sent an extra bag of button options out with the sample, as it was way too hard to pick just one, but they kept my original choice on the dress here.)

The design I ended up with gives you lots of options for making a knit that flatters you. In addition to changing sleeve or skirt length, you can easily adjust the width of the bust, waist or hips as you need. The skirt is written as a subtle A line, but could easily be more of a triangle shape (for skimming over anything that needs skimming over) or a straighter pencil (if you're that lucky and need no skimming).

The ribbing and belt can be placed high, for an empire waist, placed at the waist for a traditional hourglass shape, or worn low, for more of a hip slung look. Directions and comments are in the pattern for each option. I wear mine a bit loose throughout the body, with a higher belt, to hide my pooch and minimize my bust. The model here looks gorgeous in a more fitted silhouette, with the belt at her natural waist (sans pooch).

And for those of you who think they might not wear a dress, the design also works as a long tunic over leggings or jeans.

(photo courtesy of Jared Flood/BrooklynTweed)

The yarn itself is beautiful, so there's lots of stockinette to show off the subtle colors and texture of the tweed. Which means that it's easy TV knitting, too, right?

With a drink. I know there's Allegheny Ale, but the dress seems to me a bit more of a scotch whisky concoction. So I'm going to say that you should have a Manhattan or a Rob Roy during your stockinette. Just pay attention on the cable :-)

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All the specs and details are here, and the pattern can be bought on the BrooklynTweed website for $6.50.

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In other news, I owe you many drinks and probably some kind of update on where I've been living and what we're doing to the new house. At our last trip to Target (where else can you get paintbrushes, new sneakers, groceries, and a shelf in one stop?) I found an amazing peach - pear soda and a blood orange soda. We've been having fun with them, but I need to pick the good combos and take pics. Along with my next design in the works.

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In the meantime, enjoy Allegheny and be sure to check out the other designs in Wool People. (I am so in love with the button band on Gudrun's Levenwick, and the lace on Anne Hanson's Hourglass Throw.) There is something in there for all kinds of knitters - from simple to complex, and there's all kinds of projects: from accessories to sweaters to wraps. It's an honor to be included in such a beautiful collection of knits by so many other talented designers!

Saturday, July 09, 2011

We got two pies out of the strawberries from our farmshare bounty. So, a contest was had. Maya and her buddy made a strawberry - peach, and then I made the other, which turned into a peach- apple-strawberry-cherry. Both were tasty, but I humbly deferred to the girls' version, as mine lacked the tasty goop, and they claimed that it was in fact, more tart-like than pie-like without the juicy goo. Either way, they were awesome, and a half/half of each was the way to go.


And then, with leftover stawberries still in hand, I was able to give Erin's Strawberry, Burbon, Basil drink a try.


In all honesty, I think I over-club soda-ed and it was a little lame.

But a bit of simple syrup and a tad more burbon and it worked out pretty well! Then I found a bottle of vanilla club soda in our bag and mixed that with the same thing. Vanilla and burbon never goes wrong.

I was also happy to use my new drink glasses. Looking for vintage light fixtures at the local flea market, you get a little distracted, right? These were three for $2, and I love the shape.

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I remembered to bring my camera over, so here are a couple progress shots of the downstairs of our new house.

The entryway, without the wallpaper anymore.


The dining room and office - both piled high with all the furniture for the first floor.

Eventually this will be a kitchen again.


And eventually this will be my favorite thing in that kitchen.
(Julia, if you're reading, it IS a BlueStar!)


In the meantime, I'm working on button placement.

Thanks for weighing in on the hood question. After your commentary, I am thinking I'll do a regular neckline - both to avoid the bathrobe possibilities and the extra yarn needed, which was also mentioned. Hopefully I'll get to finish up this week, and the writing can begin!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Found my camera.


Living in one house and cat-sitting in another has a few benefits that make up for all the things I can't find, though....

This week, friends of ours had us pick up their CSA share while they were away in VT. We took our buddies Erin and Geneva with us and went off to the farm for PYO strawberries and 3 bags of various lettuces and carrots and squashes and stuff. I'm about to figure out something I might make with the chard, carrots, beets and fava beans, and Maya has big pie plans for the strawberries tonight. Knitting buddy Kellee has a pretty awesome looking squash casserole recipe on her new food blog that's timed kind of perfectly, and I'm open to any other good suggestions, if you have 'em.

But the part you'll like best came from Erin. She told me about the latest drink making the rounds on Pinterest.

Strawberry-Basil-Burbon
muddle a few strawberries and 1-2 basil leaves in the bottom of a glass
add 2 oz of burbon
top with seltzer and ice cubes

All my burbon and seltzer is in the new house, but luckily I have to spend a few hours over there this afternoon waiting for appliances, tile, a vanity, and a sink -- So, I'll have plenty of time to dig through the piles for the appropriate ingredients and hope to share the results with you soon. Along with some "during" photos, maybe. Perhaps my crew of contractors will all pose next to the porta potty holding skeins of yarn if I explain this whole blog thing to them? I'm tninking they may not.

Anyways, back to the veggies. After an hour or so in the hot sun, we deserved something cold, so we drove over to this awesome summer joint I remembered from years past. I always loved how this place looks, so I snapped a shot to share. (Maybe I was a little snap happy having found my camera, so pardon the unrelated pic, and be glad I'm not sharing the rest!)



But it is pretty perfect, right? And those milkshakes totally hit the spot.


The last summer green I'm sharing IS knitting related, and almost done! Three pieces of long soft sweater, in Fibre Company's Canopy. I'm playing with all kinds of ribbing here, and going for a long slouchy feel. About to do some sleeves and seam things up, but I'm debating whether or not a long (mid thigh long) sweater with a hood is too much like a bathrobe.

Thoughts? Would you prefer a hooded long cardigan, or a regular necked one?

You can think about it while sipping some strawberry/basil/burbon stuff, and imagining the potty yarn man photo.