Thursday, September 29, 2016

A New Design!

Hello everyone - can you believe it is the end of September? Where has it gone? I want it back - I have more things I need to get done!

There is a confluence of events that will be taking place in October, and I hope you will stick around to read about some of them here. The Slow Fashion October conversation will once again take place the entire month. I encourage everyone to read about this year's prompts and join in the wonderfully big and sometimes unwieldy conversation, occurring both online and via Instagram. I know I have a fair amount to say this year, and I plan on doing just that. 

Additionally, I and my merry band of makers will continue with the second month of my Ravelry group's Wardrobe Weather a-long. I am in the process of making a few things, some of which should be completed like, very soon. I am planning on some Wardrobe Wednesday posts in October that tie in with both the above events.

And, not a moment too soon, I will be rolling out my second home collection - with a design a day (well, almost), through the beginning weeks in October. To the right you'll see a sneak peek of a few of the designs.

I know that one doesn't immediately think of home accessories in Fall, but for me, my home design efforts are just as important as my garment and accessories designing. It is, somehow, fitting that home and wardrobe should come together in a fall collection, and so I have done just that. I will flat out tell you, this is my largest seasonal collection to date, and I'm pretty darn excited about it. 

So, I am going to kick off things just a wee bit early with one of the personal accessory designs from the collection:

Say hello to the Below the Fold Shawl. This shawl design started from original materials received in a swap back in April. We all swapped materials we had on hand, whether whole skeins of yarn or bits of fabric, and from the materials I received came the prototype for Below the Fold. I then tested it in August during the Rio Olympics - and a huge shout out to my testers for their wonderful help: Kris, Liza, Debi, Michelle, Aimee and Joann - and then made this final sample using awesome Neighborhood Fiber Co. Rustic Fingering. The written pattern, including charts, is finally ready for release into the crafty wild, and I will do just that by adding it to my Ravelry store.

I am so thrilled with everything about this design: the initial inspiration, which is exactly in line with Slow Fashion October's theme and community building, the testing phase (which I really enjoyed - thanks, again, ladies!), the finished, polished pattern and sample, as well as how I arrived at the design's name. From start to finish, a true joy.

Isn't that a great way to gear up for October?

Monday, September 19, 2016

What a Rockin' Start to Autumn ...

And it isn't even officially autumn yet! Nonetheless, it's been crafty busy here at chez Voie de Vie,  and I couldn't be happier. 

I am so thrilled with the response my Mixlace Poncho, published in Interweave Crochet's Fall 2016 edition, is receiving. All kinds of crafters are completing finished projects from this design - and many (including yours truly) still need to make one as part of my current Ravelry Wardrobe Weather a-long. Everyone seems to find the making easy and the finished poncho wonderful to wear. I thought I would show you a quick round-up of a few of the completed projects:
Clockwise from left: Micha of Stitches & Woes showing off, via 
Instagram @stitchesandwoes, her awesome teal version (all Scarfie),
Raveler Naptural1's version in the original sample Scarfie colors,
and Raveler 
Extremehaekllerin's all blue version worked up with 
Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball.

I have the yarn for my own Mixlace, which I will be tucking into just as soon as one of the a-long participants in Australia receives her magazine (but the wait? Ugh!):

My Mixlace will be green and cream/taupe (on the right), and the left stash yarn, which I am committed to using, will become another New Wave Skirt. I am also going to work up a Bomber-Inspired Hoodie Vest, and I had identified yarn in my stash that I wanted to use, but I am coming to a different yarn decision. There is still bucket loads of time to join us on Ravelry and work up a new something for your own fall wardrobe.

I do love Autumn!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

15 Years

New York, NY

Shanksville, PA

Washington, D.C.

I have blogged previously about 9/11, but this anniversary seems to be marked with far more public remembrances, across many social platforms, than in recent years (or at least that is how it feels to me). Since this August has been marked by multiple deaths affecting those around me, today also feels particularly poignant.

I have written it before, and I'll say it again: that September day 15 years ago feels light years away, although I have instant recall of its events, and most of the days immediately following. I say most because at the time I was in graduate school with an internship that was sited at Ground Zero, and after the day we spent about a month with no access to downtown Manhattan (no public transportation either to or from the area). I spent considerable time on September 12th attempting to make contact with my internship office at the EEOC to ensure everyone was safe (a very understanding person in the Boston EEOC office confirmed all were fine). After I had expended that energy (which felt superhuman to me), I pretty much spent the next week on the couch, re-living the events via the seeming 24 hour loop on which it appeared on my television. That time is pretty much a blur. Classes were cancelled, grief counseling set up (at least one of the professors lost someone on one of the flights), but I missed all of it. My couch was my sanctuary from the complete turmoil happening just outside my door. (I should also say at the time I lived in Forest Hills, in a neighborhood that lost a high concentration of Cantor Fitzgerald-employed lives, so every time I stepped outside, until I moved the following May, I was hit with flyers everywhere, every day pleading for help to find a loved one "missing" in the towers.)

Moving away from New York (and, ultimately, the East Coast) was the first step in my own personal healing (from many things on many levels), although I would not have recognized it as such when I made the series of moving decisions. All I knew at the time? I needed to put New York City firmly behind me, and I did just that. I completed my last graduate school final around noontime on a day in late May, 2002, and by 3:00 pm my car was packed and I was on the road headed out of Forest Hills. Not until I hit the New Jersey Turnpike did I finally look in my rear view mirror. Literally.  

I have since been back to Manhattan several times, having made my peace with my memories on the first subsequent visit (which was many years post-9/11). New York City has always had a special, warm place in my heart (I've lived there twice), and that warm spot remains firmly embedded. For me, rehashing the events of that September Tuesday 15 years ago - in the immediately following years - would have been a bad idea. I needed time and space in order to gain perspective and understanding, and I took it. We all heal in our own ways and time, and 15 years into this I hope everyone has created the space and time needed for their own healing journey. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

It's Wardrobe Weather Time, Folks!

In the United States we celebrate Labor Day the first weekend in September. It is always a time of renewal and beginning for many, myself included. Growing up, if I was going to get any new clothing, Labor Day weekend would be the time, right before the start of the new school year. 

Old habits die hard, but in this instance why should they die at all? Who doesn't like a new outfit or a quick accessory to spruce up a perhaps slightly tired closet? Look no further as I enthusiastically raise my hand! So I hope you will join me in the final group make of my 5-year design celebratory year as I, along with other fellow maker peeps, get together in my Ravelry group and create some fall wardrobe magic.

I'll be making (I think, time permitting), another New Wave Skirt, a Bomber-inspired Hoodie Vest (I have been hankering for one of these for my very self for a long while now), and of course a new Mixlace Poncho in greens and creams. (An aside: I cannot believe there's already two Ravelry projects started for this design, and one maker is already done! Ahhhhmazing in the best possible way.)

I'll also be sharing how I am revamping my wardrobe one outfit at a time with some additional Wardrobe Wednesday posts between now and the end of October. I do love this time of year, and I hope you'll join me in getting your maker wardrobe on.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

It's A Maker's World

Happy September, everyone! Can you believe the end of summer is upon us? In the United States, we are about to enter the long Labor Day weekend that marks the "traditional" end of summer. We all seem to turn our attention to fall, new wardrobes, and fresh starts.

So, it is with amazement that I kick off the month with a little newsstand recap for makers everywhere. What a time to be a maker! If you love to crochet and knit, I would urge you to run - not walk - to your local bookstore and purchase these publications. Some of the freshest looks around can be found in them, all just waiting for your crafty hands to whip up. 

Now, I admit, I have a design in each of two of these fine magazines (!), but honestly, if I had the time, I could create a whole, new, vast wardrobe around so many of the designs in these three publications. The colorwork in the Fall edition of Vogue Knitting is, simply, breathtaking. As I have already blogged, Annie's special edition Stress-Free Seamless Crochet has no less than eight projects I could envision myself making, including my awesome design the Paisley Lace Shawl. And, finally, I can reveal the second design of mine to hit the newsstands this season, the Mixlace Poncho in Interweave Crochet's Fall 2016 edition. Worked up in two colorways of Lion Brand Scarfie, just two skeins makes a generously-sized poncho and, with a large hook, the making is quick and the fabric light and drapey. While this is a photo I quickly snapped prior to sending it to Interweave, the magazine has styled it beautifully to show off not only the awesome color changes but also the beautiful lace and texture. I could not, as a designer, be more pleased and proud to see this garment in print.

If you love to make as much as I do, get thee to thy local magazine stand, pick up these publications, and let the fall making begin!

I will also tell you I will have one more announcement at the end of this long weekend, so stay tuned. Yes, folks, it's a great time to be a maker. Yes, yes indeed.