Wednesday, September 28, 2011

ku-ku for cowls

ok, so it's officially fall and even though the days are still pretty warm, my mind can't help but happily drift towards the possibility of upcoming days of cool, crisp weather. autumn is absolutely my most favorite time of year (and not just because i'm a libra) and brings with it a return of some of my favorite things, namely, pumpkin gobs, halloween costumes, fleece jackets, hats, and of course the simplest of accessories, the scarf.

i eagerly waded into my wool stash a few weeks ago, pulling out merinos, cashmere-merino-silk blends, and of course big chunky skeins. once i had myself surrounded with all the lovely colors and textures i tried to figure out what i was going to make with them all. after searching through a bunch of old patterns books and looking on the web for new scarf patterns to try, i finally stumbled upon one for a mobius cowl. now, i had never made a cowl before and certainly never anything that was a mobius but i was intrigued by what seemed to be a complex creation and decided i needed to at least try it. after watching a few tutorials on youtube (search Cat Bordhi, you won't be disappointed) and grabbing some bulky Araucania Limari yarn, i dove in to the process!

this was the first one i made:

then i decided to try some contrast on the outside edges:

verdict: i like the mobius. when you first look at it, it's hard to tell where it begins and ends, but then, that's the whole point, huh?

after that, it seemed only natural to try some other patterns. playing around with a cabled vines stitch pattern that i've used in the past for hats and fingerless gloves, i make up some more cowls. grabbing the merino-cashmere-silk blends as well as some merino-cashmere skeins that i had been holding onto, a half dozen more cowls were created. i really love the way the cable pattern pops with these yarns.

sometimes though, the yarn needs to just speak for itself. this was the last one i made. jokingly referring to it as the "candyland" yarn that jumped into my hands from a display last week at Yarn Explosion, i literally had to have it. not sure i'll be able to part with this one, the colors are just soooo pretty!

final conclusion after 2 weeks of cowl making: i hope my scarves don't take it personally, but i have a new fall LOVE :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Quirky Quilted Bags

no big surprise but i LOVE bright colors and bold fabrics. i get mesmerized by walls lined with patterned bolts of cotton and tend to lose a fair amount of time trying to decide which ones to buy. i've heard this is a fairly common problem amongst my fellow sewing enthusiasts, which makes me feel slightly better about the ever growing stash that fills the white cabinet in the studio. sometimes though, i have trouble finding just the right combination of both pattern and colorway and need to search the web for my heart's desire. there are plenty of lovely on-line shops to fill the void, with beautiful selections and comparable prices to the brick and mortar shops around town.

i was lucky enough to find all these showcased fabrics on ETSY, browsing through their site is always inspiring, and being able to easily compare prices from shop to shop is definitely a bonus. i miss being able to run my fingers across the bolts but it's equally exciting when the ordered goodies are dropped off in my mailbox!

these are a few of the bags that will be available at the Grandin Village Community Market, Arts and Music Day on October 1st. they're even more beautiful in person, and literally have so many pockets you'll never lose your keys, phone,or chapstick again! so if you're in the neighborhood pop on over and say hi from 9am - 1pm. facebook fans of the Quirky Forest automatically get 10% off any bag that day (yes, that includes the wool felted ones too).