Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hooked on Crochet!

Doily Dress

Crochet is everywhere these days!

I spotted the cute crochet dress above 
at Anthropologie last month while vacationing in
 Carmel, California.  
It's hand-crocheted in cotton by
(an in-house brand registered to Urban Outfitters, 
Anthopologie's parent company).

I love its lacy "doily" look.
Wouldn't it be perfect to wear to a garden party?

 Sophie Scarf

While shopping in Carmel, 
I also had the chance to see (and try on) 
Sophie Digard's beautiful crochet scarves in person at
my favorite Carmel boutique, 

As badly as I wanted to buy one of Sophie's crochet scarves,
I decided it would be more rewarding 
to crochet a "sophie-style" scarf myself.

I love the Japanese flower scarves my knitting pen pal
Teresa and Lucy of Attic 24, both in England have crocheted.
 Their colorful motif scarves have inspired me
 to challenge myself and
improve my crochet abilities
so I can crochet one, too.

Japanese Crochet Motif Vol. 4

So I have the book...
now as soon as my hand is better,
you guessed it...
I'm signing up for more crochet classes!

(Sophie Digard image from The French Needle.)

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Recovery Therapy

These days, 
knitting books are my therapy.

My hand is recovering well from my surgery
 which was just one week ago.
I am finding it quite difficult to be idle, though.

It seems, 
that when you can't knit...
all you want to do is,

I think it will be about a month before I can knit again.  
In the meantime, 
the best therapy is turning out to be knitting books.

I'm enjoying going through my "dog-eared" knitting books 
and planning my next projects.  
I'm also finding my down time 
a perfect opportunity to treat myself to a few new books.


At the top of my book list is Louisa Harding's 
new spring/summer pattern book
  Aster .

My Ravelry pen pal Teresa in England has 
 agreed to join me for a knit-along  
with Louisa's gorgeous new Delicia scarf
from the Aster book.
The Delicia scarf is knit in Louisa's luxurious silk yarns,
Mulberry and her new Mulberry Hand Beaded yarn. 

Teresa has a jump start on me and has already ordered her yarns.  
So, now I'm off to find my book and yarns.
Planning such a beautiful new spring project...
is perfect therapy.

(Delicia scarf image from Louisa Harding's Aster book,
 photo credit: Stephen Jessup.)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Idle Hands

Knitting Break

I haven't been knitting much these days
due to tremendous finger pain.
I attributed my pain to
too much knitting at Christmas time or perhaps tendinitis. 

Unfortunately, my pain did not go way.
Eventually I was diagnosed with ganglion cysts 
on my right index and middle finger 
tendon sheaths.

(Hmmm, do you think this could be caused from
too much knitting and
too much time on the computer mouse?)

I'm having hand surgery tomorrow.
Since I'm right handed,
I will be out of commission for awhile.

I hope to be back in a few weeks.

(In the photo:  On my needles:  Louisa Harding Divine Lace Scarf in Rowan Kidsilk Haze
and stitch marker by Mae Soren from Knitique, A Yarn Boutique.)


 The Knitter

I haven't picked up the UK's The Knitter magazine 
for quite some time now.  

While at Barnes & Noble the other day, 
I certainly could not resist Issue 41
because it came with a free 
Louisa Harding pattern supplement!

by Louisa Harding

Included with The Knitter magazine 
is a glossy-color supplement for 
Louisa Harding's Elderflower pattern.  

It's a treat for sure, for Louisa Harding fans, like me,
 and includes the same beautiful photographs from her
  Absinthe pattern book, 
which the pattern is from.  

I haven't been able to find the Absinthe book
 at my local yarn stores 
so I am thrilled to have this supplement now 
for my Louisa Harding library.

The Elderflower pattern can be knit three ways:
as a collar, a cowl or capelet, 
depending on which Louisa Harding yarn and needle size you use.

I plan on knitting the cowl version in Louisa's Thistle yarn.
 I love Thistle and, just so happen,
 to have two colors in my stash, 
Holly and Aqua.


So now I need your help...
which color do you think I should knit my
 Elderflower cowl in?
Holly or Aqua?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Not Your Grandmother's Knitting!

 Designer, Joan McGowan-Michael

I love the family stories by top designers in,

I bought the book last year as soon as it hit the shelves.  

My favorite design in the book is the 
This pretty vintage-inspired knit 
just happens to be designed by,
(a favorite local Designer)

I often travel miles to meet my favorite designers.  
Yesterday I didn't have to... 
because my favorite LYS,  Knitique
hosted a book signing and fitting clinic with Joan.  

 Angelina Shrug

I loved reading Joan's story in the book 
and how she named her Angelina Shrug
 after her Mother.
The shrug is a tribute to Joan's Mother's fabulous 1940's style 
and is modeled after the bed jackets of that era. 

Joan says in the book:
"My Mother was a 1940's fashionista."

Well, Joan is quite the fashionista  herself!

Throughout the afternoon,
I had a chance to chat with Joan.
 I found out that it was her mother who taught her to knit.  
 Her mother taught her the garter stitch and Joan was hooked.  
As a young girl, Joan went on learning more about knitting 
with the help of Girl Scout books at her local library.  

At the age of 20,
 Joan became a professional fashion designer
after finishing design school. 
She landed her first job with Frederick's of Hollywood. Wow!  
That job obviously had a big influence on Joan because her first book (2007) is titled,  Knitting Lingerie Style!

White Lies Designs Trunk Show

In 2001, Joan founded her company White Lies Designs
She is well loved for her romantic designs 
that will "fit and flatter" ladies of all sizes.  

Joan credits working as a 
Custom Bridal Wear Designer (later in her career)
 to really helping her understand fitting different body types,
 including plus sizes.  
Joan took her knowledge from the fashion world 
and transferred it to her knitting designs and patterns.

During a brief talk at Knitique,
 Joan mentioned tips about "tweaking patterns" for knitting. 
She shared tips about:  
raising or lowering waists, nipping a waist and widening straps.  
All helpful tips depending on your body type.  

Knitique is also hosting a Trunk Show with 
Joan's White Lies Designs garments.  
The most talked about patterns yesterday at Knitique,
I want to knit them all!

Danielle & Joan 

Thank you to Danielle, the owner of Knitique
(and my knitting teacher)
 for such a fun event yesterday with Joan. 

Thank you to Joan,
for being so fabulous and 
for sharing your fashion tips with all of us yesterday!

PS:  I can't wait to knit my own Angelina Shrug...
it just has to wait awhile due to my upcoming hand surgery.