Creative Space Revisited . . . Again

Funny, when I notice my frustration regarding housing all things knitting.  I am quick to think it is the stash of yarn that needs some kind of attention.  Whether it be shelving for the large collection of yarn, or a way in which to organize the yarn, a color coding system, a pattern to fiber system . . . these sorts of things.   However I am noticing, it is not the housing of the yarn stash at all that is taking my planning and thoughtful consideration, rather the housing of my finished projects.  And, of course, as time moves along, this ‘challenge’ only grows.

I know, I know, you thought I had a system and I did.  Question.  Do you ever re-visit your own thinking or walk around critiquing this or that about your house after you’ve come home from a trip?  One of the things I like best about travel, besides the obvious, is that upon arriving back home, I do just that.  As if I were a visitor into someone else’s house and seeing the house for the first time, I walk around to see what it looks like, feels like,  I ask myself questions like what could I do to make my environment more pleasing?  Have I utilized light and space to its fullest advantage?

When I did just that this last trip, I didn’t love the arrangement I had created for my finished objects.  I also noticed the containers my sweaters were in looked sweaty, not a good look visually and I wondered if that was doing harm to the garments.  Also, I knew there was more space in my upstairs due to the fact that I have been working down my stash and not purchasing more yarn which is an amazing thing in itself!   Another thing I’ve felt, like children, when not in sight I miss them.  Yes, these projects really are a part of me.  ok . . I thought, I need to revisit my own system of organization of all things yarn and do so by utilizing one spare bedroom.

First step.  Since my closets are painted as beautiful as the room,  I thought, let’s take off the door so that it becomes an extension of the room.   “Does this shelf unit fit in the closet?  How ’bout a sweater nook?” I asked myself.  The sun streams east to west and narry into this space.  A bit of luck!  Let’s remove this, put that there and let’s see, “I think this may work!”   Not purchasing one new thing to pull this new arrangement off but rearranging in a smarter way, the look and feel is now quite different.

Feel free to browse my creative space.  I think I’m quite happy!

IMG_0577

fits perfectly

room for many more

The hooks were already there and yes, there is a working light in the closet and when turned on at night, is just beautiful.  Hey, if you want to see these things on, just look right HERE!

Space for over-flow is to the right . My knitted dresses and suits are housed, here. The top space is for sewing supplies needed for knitting.

Those four containers on the right? Leftover stash organized by weight . . bulky on bottom, fingering weight on top.  Such easy accessibility.

my precious Vogue Knitting collection . . .

There is no curtain on that back window because I love the view. That is where I sit and can view my sweater nook. ahhhhh

Would love to ditch that other curtain but you can see the sun streaming in. This is the view from the doorway. Heaven.

Until my next critique (after travel), me thinks this looks pretty good!

WordPress Junkie

So, I received this yesterday from WordPress.

Said it was my fourth year anniversary.  How nice, I thought not remembering it was an anniversary of Hollyknits.   I paused for a moment to reflect.  You see,  I was in the middle of publishing my first post . . . on another WordPress site at the very moment this anniversary announcement popped up!  Yes, a first post on a new website!

When I hit the “publish” button for that post, this little beauty popped up!

Wow, I thought.  What a coincidence to be rewarded for a first post on the second website on the anniversary of the first!   Again, it caused me to pause.

Oh!  You want to know about the new website?  It is for The Knitting Guild of Greater Buffalo, a well-established community organization for yarn and knitting enthusiasts for the Greater Buffalo area,

We, members of the Guild, would love for you to check out our active goings-on right here!  We’ve deleted our outdated, difficult to navigate, not too attractive old site saving the meaningful ‘stuff”, moved it, and re-worked it right here on WordPress!  Let’s see how she goes keeping up TWO websites!  Yikes!

Me thinks I may be a WordPress junkie!

Mom Strong

The other night I was asked to define this term.  It was my daughter who asked and I took the request seriously.  I played around with the concept wondering if ‘MomStrong’ was a noun, verb, or adjective realizing it is truly all of them.  I gave considerable attention to its definition.  My daughter explained defining the term was the theme of the week at her place of work.

Continue reading

Spring version of Renaissance Tunic

Well, I do keep my word.  Today, we had a redo photo shoot of my Renaissance Tunic, designed by Teva Durham.  Now, make no mistake as to how much I love this sweater as evidenced by its wearing this winter.  My love of this tunic is probably why I wanted to bring it to you, again as I wasn’t sure the first photo shoot did it justice.  However, this idea does add pressure to an already stressful activity.  That is how I feel with these photo sessions, pure stress.  Many reasons.  You see, hubby, who wants so desperately to please is not quite as flexible and energetic as he once was and the model is getting older.  Both get cranky and both want these photo shoots to be successful, at least in our eyes.  Also, a redo moment takes twice the energy to ready our ‘get-up-and-go’ and we (or at least, I) have high hopes of capturing some good looking shots.

Continue reading

Details, details / Gift Wrapping Knitting

I like details.  I think they often make or break a decision, a choice, how I feel about something.  Did you ever notice when an actor puts himself into character?  The bow of a ballerina?  The music before the start of a movie?  The role of an actor does not begin at the first scene but long before and after to draw the audience into the portrayal of the story or to leave one thinking after the story has been told.

To me, delivering the wedding cape, talked about here to my friend was an opportunity to set the scene for the wedding that was about to occur.  Everything had gone smoothly in the process of knitting the cape so I wanted the happiness to continue.  Maybe, it was like Chapter Two, Smooth Transition of Cape to Bride.  How could the delivery of the cape that meant so much to me be delivered in a most meaningful and thoughtful way, to let the wonderful story of a wedding begin long before the walk down the aisle?

Well, this is what I did and it created some inquiry on Ravelry.

It happens that I have not only a yarn stash but also a collection of sewing materials.  I was, after all a seamstress long before I was a knitter.  It is surprisingly often that I go into the ‘sewing vault’ for something I  am knitting.  Snaps, seam binding, elastic are some items I’ve needed.  So, when I was thinking about packaging this project, I remembered I had a catch of fabric bags I had received yarn in.   How perfect are these bags for gifts!   I love that the hand knitting shows through this fabric.  These are just squares of tulle with a ribbon as a drawstring top.  How easy would these be to make, in just the right size, with ribbon strung through to match the theme of your gift!

I knew that the bride’s colors were navy blue and orange.  So, I took some pictures, like the one above of the cape packaged by our Van Gogh “Sunflowers” painting and sent the photos to her Mom.   Maybe, to be added to the photo album of the wedding?  It was my way of staying within the theme of the story that was being created.

When I saw these photographs of the cut flowers and flower arrangers, I was taken aback.  First, I had to hold my breath at how gorgeous the flowers were.  Then, I noticed the warmth on the faces of the arrangers.  Then, and only then I realized how our Van Gogh painting came pretty darn close to the exact shade.  Sight unseen, I thought that pretty spectacular.  Can’t you just feel the love in the air?

Here is a picture of one beautifully created centerpiece.  I like the touch of the navy fabric underneath and the warm light bouncing from the flickering candles.

IMG_0055 (1)

I wish the bride and groom every happiness in their future, and I must say, as I notice details, I do love the navy pumps in the photo, below.

Photo credit:  Amy Paulson/photography

 

Yarn Fest or Yarn Fast . . . or both!

The Knitting Guild of Greater Buffalo is hosting its annual Yarn Fest.  Vendors far and wide have been invited to share their wares and tease us with their latest color ways, fibers, and other such goodies.  Knitting lessons and/or help as well as other goodies will be there and, of course, to us knitters, crocheters, spinners, and other such yarnies, we will be thrilled with the display and it will be like Christmas all over again.  Of course, I want to support this event being an active member of the organization.

It also happens that I’ve spent many an hour these last few weeks taking down my own yarn stash.

stash scrap

When I say taking down, I mean taking off the shelf every yarn ball I’ve ever purchased and making sure it is used to its and my best advantage.  I’ve set a goal of not purchasing any new yarn this year, an actual yarn fast!  I’ve been talking about this is recent posts, specifically here.   Aside from the bundles of yarn I’ve created and re-created for current and wearable garments, I’ve also gone into the remnant stash, organized it by characteristics of weight and color to see what I may discover.  Four projects have surfaced from this effort having successfully completed a bulky topper designed by Mari Lynn Patrick as seen in Vogue Knitting Fall 2011 using remnants from three projects and await cooperative weather for a photo shoot.

This is Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed Bulky, one of the three yarns used.

Here is the second project that I am currently knitting utilizing worsted weight yarn, remnants from nine recently completed projects.  This will be a fair isle coat designed by Yoko Hatta as seen in Vogue Knitting, Fall 2013 and pictured, below.

IMG_1129

IMG_1132

I’ve got all the yarn organized in this fabric box for easy retrieval and color organizing.

It seems like a yarn fest and a yarn fast are unfortunately at opposing ends of one’s actions.  So, I’ve been trying to figure out how to support both and I think I’ve come up with an idea!

Truly, the bundles of yarn in my collection for specific projects are a done deal in my mind, meaning I am not going to touch them.  However, I’ve also decided that the remnant yarn, no matter how planned at this moment, be given permission for freedom of change, to allow myself creative flexibility.  This means that when I am at the yarn fest, no matter how efficient or well planned I feel my future plans are in utilizing my yarn,  in particular the remnant stash, I will be open to looking at and purchasing small amounts of new yarn that could supplement, maybe add texture, or color to the ideas I have or put me in a new direction that might be even better!  This will make the event fun for me while remaining within the grasp of my goal.

Here is an example of yarn that was slated for one thing but has perfectly fit the bill for another.  This is not an easy thing for me to do and I am beginning to enjoy this process of change.  This is Berroco Lustra that is being made into a two-tone cable sweater, design by Heather Lodinsky.  More about this when completed.

IMG_1141

So, with one month or so to go and acceptance within myself for some play,  excitement is building for Yarn Fest 2016!  Hope to see you, there!

Renaissance

One of my goals as I entered into retirement was to knit from my stash.  The stash I am talking about includes patterns I have loved and collected over time and/or the bundles of yarn that were purchased at a time when I thought I could knit a particular project.  I suppose enthusiasm outweighs time, at least that is my case, so in my new state of retirement, I am addressing this.  This project is an example of that.  I don’t even know where I first saw this pattern as I do not subscribe to Interweave Knits but I have been following Teva Durham, the creative designer since being aware of her work through Vogue Knitting.  The pattern is called Renaissance Tunic, as you will see, for obvious reasons.  And, I am thrilled to finally be adding this to my wardrobe.

Continue reading

Mitts Update

“Mikey Likes it!” You may remember a slogan from a commercial some years back where kids push off the then-new cereal, Life to Mikey, who was too young to realize the product was being touted as healthy.   Ends up that Mikey’s happy so the older boys accept that the cereal might have good flavor as well as nutritional value.  As the boys were in anticipation of reaction, I was in anticipation of feedback whether my daughter liked her hand knitted Hedgehog Mitts.  And, I indeed heard word that ‘Mikey likes them!’  I believe the exact words were, “They are perfect!”  (Keep in mind we are serious animal lovers, here.)  And, in fact, she is seizing the opportunity with her now retired Mother requesting that every gift from this point on (from me) be hand-knitted.  Smart girl.  And, by the looks of things she is not the only one finding some bit of humor and joy in them.

ok, now I am getting silly . . .

Continue reading

A Gift Idea

Please join me in welcoming guest, Tom Melby.  He is the owner and director of an animal shearing equipment company called Clippers Ireland.  He says, “I am passionate about wool, and recently created an infographic entitled ‘The Complete Beginners Guide to Knitting’.”   He has asked for it to be posted here on Holly Knits thinking that readers might enjoy.   I am wondering if it can serve as inspiration for gift giving . . . a gift of a set of lessons, or a package of knitting inquiry or a box of yarn . . “touch me, you’ll fall in love with me.”  You get the idea.  And, of course I am happy to give Tom the spotlight as anyone who is passionate about wool is a friend of mine!

Continue reading