Meeting Stephen West – Westknits

Right before I left for my trip for work I signed up for a Stephen West book signing at my local yarn shop, Fibre Space for his new book Westknits Bestknits 2. It was partially why I knit his Brio-Garter Hat, just because I knew I’d meet him. Also one of my early projects that had cables and short rows and I was super proud of in the beginning was his Helm hat pattern (one for my husband and one for myself). It’s still one of my favorites.
And I must say, he’s just delightful in person. Also I did not wear my Royally Striped cardigan to meet him but he did compliment me on my color choices for my Comfort Fade Cardigan.
He is as animated and colorful as his designs, which is one of the reasons I really like his patterns. He doesn’t stick to a lot of the knitting norms and encourages you to make it your own and use his patterns as just a foundation to a creative piece. His explanations of his design process were really interesting, I love hearing how designers work. And he said a lot of the reason why he’s doing fading and marbling in his knitting is because he knows a lot of knitters buy 1 or 2 random skeins of yarn and this is an easy way to blend them all together instead of having to have a sweater quantity of a single color.
And he said one thing I really loved, ‘don’t knit it if you don’t love it, do what you want to do.’ That was really my mantra last year, I only made stuff I really wanted to make when I wanted to make it. And that’s how you end up knitting 27 sweaters in a year.
I absolutely love this floaty top and can see myself making one as a layering piece to wear all year. But the piece I HAVE to kint…
His Kanagarullover (you may have seen it on Instagram)!! He brought this sample with him and it is so good and it has a huge kangaroo pocket on the front that I can totally see Jellybean trying to snuggle inside of when I wear it. I told him the kinds of yarn in my stash I was thinking of using and he suggested I add in some non-superwash yarns so it wasn’t as heavy so I used my gift card to pick up some creamy white Woolfolk Tov DK. I surprised myself with a purchase of all white yarn but I figured I’ve got a ton of color and want to mix it up and tone it down a bit. I cannot wait to get started on this one! I have a feeling it will be on my needles sooner rather than later.


Little Things & Lots of Color

There are lots of little things I’ve been loving lately that I thought I’d share. I mentioned the other day that I won one of the extra prices in the Summer of Basics Makealong for making Jellybean a tiny Angelina pullover to match mine. Well, I got to pick a field bag in the color of my choice (I love my field bag but the first versions just came in plain canvas) so of course I chose the bright cobalt blue. When it arrived I thought it was only fitting to put Jellybean in her sweater and pop her in the field bag.
She’s so tiny and so cute that I have to share that silliness with everyone else. You’re welcome.
I’ve also been pouring over the latest issue of Pom Pom QuarterlyPom Pom Quarterly, I recommend grabbing a digital copy or ordering a paper copy. I’m obsessed with a couple of sweaters (I can see myself knitting this one for myself after the holidays). But there was a column by Anna Matlz and illustration by Amy Blackwell that just got me.
Loud Slow Fashion
Anna wrote about the slow fashion movement but touched on something about the movement that has felt a bit off-putting to me. Whenever we talk about fashion, style or basics it’s about neutrals like gray, white, camel and black. Those are the colors I have the least of in my wardrobe. So even when I posted pics for the Summer of Basics Makealong it was obvious that I stuck out like a sore thumb with my rainbow cardigan contrasting against a lot of neutrals. And don’t get me wrong, if neutrals are your thing, rock on (my BFF Jess lives in black but I always put her in color). It’s just not me. Here’s one quote I loved (it was full of many):

I wholeheartedly agree with the growing call for respectful and conscientious consumerism…However I cannot get on board with the dominant approach to achieving such a wardrobe. You see, when I hear terms like ‘neutrals’, ‘classic’, ‘timeless’, ‘chic’, ‘staples’ or ‘basics’ I start to squirm with ornery conviction…

She leans more towards the colorful and unique to fill her wardrobe much like I do and I felt like someone got how I feel about color being a vital part of a wardrobe.
Loud Slow Fashion
These are some of my favorites I’ve made for myself and they get worn repeatedly. Why? Because the color makes me happy whenever I put them on and isn’t that what it’s all about? I think I’m going to have to start using the hashtag #loudslowfashion moving forward.
And the really dope illustration on the article was by Amy Blackwell. Of course I wanted to see more of her colorful work and that lead me to her website where I bought one of these hand painted sweater brooches! How adorable is this? I can’t wait to pin it on one of my many winter coats.

So those are the little things that I’m obsessed with lately. Have any of you grabbed that copy of Pom Pom Quarterly? What do you think about color as a neutral?

The Need for Color

The thing that is most commented on here and in my personal life is my use of color. I have said to people before that I just don’t feel right if I don’t surround myself with color or wear color. My home is colorful and there is art all around me. So I found this super short documentary on Jim Carrey and his artwork and need for color absolutely fascinating.

I knew he was an artist after seeing him on an episode of Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians Riding in Cars Getting Coffee but I didn’t get to see the full body of his work. It’s lovely. And to me, knitting is art. We use our hands to create objects with color that can transform how you look or how you feel. It’s amazing. I wanted to be an artist when I was a little girl and never felt like I was until I started knitting. Crazy, right? But this just seems to be the medium that connects with me the most. Definitely check out this video, it’s only 6 minutes long and will pleasantly surprise you. Have a great weekend!