Friday, November 25, 2016

The Gifting Games Have Begun!

It has been a whirlwind around Chez Voie de Vie in the last week. The whirlwind included all the behind-the-scenes prep work for the Ravelry Indie Designer GAL kick-off, which occurred on Tuesday, 11/22, at exactly 8:00 pm eastern standard time. Of course, the Ravelry website then preceded to go down not once, but twice, between then and mid-day on Wednesday. It's all the gift-making - we fried Ravelry. Yeah, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Of course, all of us in the U.S. then took off Thursday for that great yearly food fest, Thanksgiving. And now, we have a slew of days to catch up on designs we love and plot gift-making strategies: today, Black Friday, tomorrow, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday on 11/28 and, finally, Giving Tuesday the following day. 

As you can see to the right, a whole bunch - 20 to be exact - of my designs are currently 25% off. Head on over to my Ravelry design page to see which ones are discounted, as well as all the rest of my designs. 

Of course, I am not the only designer in on the Indie Designer GAL - 334 of my fellow designers have joined in! Pretty much everywhere you go on Ravelry, you'll bump into a designer who has provided a bundle of select discounted designs and/or are making gifts of other designers' patterns for holiday giving. I am no different - I'll be working up a Tranquille for a family member, one of my own designs, the Lush Looped Scarf as a secret surprise gift, and a customized Swirling Leaves Cowl for moi, moi, moi. To show you just how much we all love making holiday gifts, it took the GAL group's more than 7,750 members less than 50 hours to make the first 50 gifts of the season - our resident stats guru Kimberly of 80 Skeins informed us it took less than 45 hours. It is rather thrilling and just a little humbling that this DIY gift-making can bring together so many from all over the world. Participating designers can be found in 32 countries, and makers from, I expect, more than that. 

To cap all this goodness, I additionally was interviewed by the editor of Crochet World Magazine, and that interview was published on Wednesday. Jackie Daugherty is the newly installed editor of both Crochet World and several special Crochet! Magazine and other Annie's publications with the retirement of Carol Alexander. We have gotten to know each other, as she was managing editor just prior to her assuming the editor position, and it is a real treat for me to see her thriving in her new role. 

So, absolutely busy, busy, busy here at Chez Voie de Vie.

Definitely happily so.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Wardrobes are Better For It

So, it is the beginning of November - my favorite month! First, however, I really do need to say thank you to all the participants in my Wardrobe Weather-a-long, which ended on Monday. 

To the left is a visual recap of only some of the amazing and wonderful projects completed. Scarves, cowls, ponchos, sweaters and a few awesome hats were prominently represented in the mix. I managed to complete a poncho, cowl, and skirt for my own wardrobe enhancement (and I'm working to complete a hoodie which didn't make it before the deadline). I am totally blown away by just how well each of these projects turned out - excellent yarn and color choices, and the pieces really suit the makers. I have already worn my new projects, and I hope the above projects are worn well and often. For a designer, it doesn't get much better than that!

So now we turn to November - the month of U.S. Thanksgiving and the start of the Indie Designer Gift-a-long - that mass (and massive) gift-making and indie-designer-celebrating-palooza. We are working behind the scenes setting things up right now on Ravelry for the November 22nd start. I will be a participating designer again this year, as well as a member of the Pinterest pinning team and a co-moderator in one of the making groups. I hope everyone will join us in supporting independent designers by purchasing designs, and celebrating the season by making something - for yourself, for family and friends, and/or for charity. I received an early yarny holiday gift from my favorite indie dyer, Neighborhood Fiber Co. Get a load of all that graffiti goodness! I am not certain what I will make with all of this, but some of it might find its way into a project during the Indie GAL. However, I know I have at least one shawl on deck that I'll gift to a family member. I purchased the pattern a few GALs ago and I have the yarn set aside all ready to go. 

It's bountiful right now around chez Voie de Vie. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Make A-longs Past and Present

As most everyone who reads this blog knows, I am in the midst of a final K/CAL (knit/crochet a-long) celebrating my five year design anniversary. While I will get to a progress photo of my projects (and they really are coming along), I do want to provide an update on a CAL I hosted last Fall in the Crochet! Magazine Ravelry group.

I wrote several blog posts last year around the design that was the focus of that a-long, the Gradient Flower Cowl. I made several cowls for myself using up stash (so pleasing!), and have worn them in the intervening months. However, the (now) editor of Crochet! Magazine's special newsstand issues as well as Crochet World Magazine, Jackie Daugherty, was also participating and trying to decide on exactly what form her project should take: cowl, shawl, or (gasp!) blanket. 

A process photo of Jackie's
amazing shawl, based on
my Gradient Flower Cowl
Well, I am so thrilled to report that Jackie has completed her project - a stole - and all 505 motifs are made with amazing Koigu fingering scraps given to her by a friend! Isn't that shawl a piece of art? I think it looks like a springtime flower bed. You can read more about the journey of this beautiful shawl on the Crochet World blog, as Jackie has provided some additional background tidbits (including a great photo of the heap o' Koigu) in today's post. The shawl will also be on display next month at the Fiber Festival of New England, so if you are around that area and attending the event, definitely seek it out.

And now, onto my current K/CAL projects:

Pieces of another New Wave Skirt (on bottom) are topped by the
beginnings of both a Bomber-inspired Hoodie Vest (the cream textured
 piece on the right) and a Mixlace Poncho in awesome deep green.
My New Wave skirt pieces are almost completed, but as I have told my K/CAL peeps, I am having a devil of a time finding a short zipper in an appropriate color. I have been to three different places, and I have one more on my list before I give up the ghost and go online (but there's something about buying so small an item online that really doesn't sit right with me - all that gas for travel time and such). I am thoroughly enjoying the textures of my other two projects, as well as that gorgeous fall color palette. This is definitely my color sweet spot. I want to wear all of this right now!

I hope everyone is enjoying the season and making all kinds of wonderful projects. Get thee to thy needles and hooks and yarn!