Friday, July 30, 2010

Facelift with new banner

I needed a new banner, and as I am THE diy person, I made one myself. Simple and less colorful.
Nothing fancy, but I like it, and it's pretty much ME.
I like to keep things that work for me, but even PSD has to make a few changes from time to time.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Playing with my new yarns

New head scarves in chenille...they don't slip and come in rich fall colors.

Oversized visor tam...dreadlocks style.

Irish wool yarns, new old stock, discontinued treasures to crochet retro berets.

More Irish wool, my "pathfinder" tam, inspired by J.F. Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales.

It;'s a good time to leave the beaten paths and let imagination guide me to broaden my merchandize palette.
As always, made with passion:)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

New Yarn and why Bohemian chic?

Sometimes, in the midst of a busy time I get fascinated with a certain style, period, epoche.
Often it just takes a memory, a picture or in this case, a great yarn deal, to trigger a creative rush.

Had I passed up boucles and chenilles in the past, I was drawn to these shimmering yarns all the sudden. And I went on a buying spree in a store going out of business.

It had started with knitting ponchos, in a variety of textures and colors, and I wanted to add even more of an artisan feel to them in the future. Basically I was captured by my former fascination of anything Bohemian when I was in my teens.
I never shied away from ruffles as long as I could pair them with old levi's and I valued my hand knitted sweater. Up to this day I love long flowing skirts and I don't worry about any pattern being too wild.

My little research brought me to wikipedia as usual, and  while boho chic is attributed to some young 2000'ish  movie stars and starlettes, I found some more intriguing figures from the past when Bohemian was introduced and associated with the lifestyle

"Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people, involving musical, artistic or literary pursuits, with few permanent ties. Bohemians can be wanderers, adventurers, or vagabonds.

The term bohemian, of French origin, was first used in the English language in the nineteenth century[1] to describe the non-traditional lifestyles of marginalised and impoverished artistswritersjournalistsmusicians, and actors in major European cities. Bohemians were associated with unorthodox or anti-establishment political or social viewpoints, which were often expressed through free lovefrugality, and/or voluntary poverty.
The term emerged in France in the early 19th century when artists and creators began to concentrate in the lower-rent, lower class gypsy neighborhoods. The termbohémien was a common term for the Romani people of France, who had reached Western Europe via Bohemia.[2]"

And today there are said to be 5 types of Bohemians:
"The Bombshell Manual of Style author, Laren Stover, breaks down the Bohemian into five distinct mind-sets/styles in Bohemian Manifesto: a Field Guide to Living on the Edge. The Bohemian is "not easily classified like species of birds," writes Stover, noting that there are crossovers and hybrids. The five types are:

  • Nouveau: bohemians with money who attempt to join traditional bohemianism with contemporary culture
  • Gypsy: drifters, neo-hippies, and others with nostalgia for previous, romanticized eras
  • Beat: also drifters, but non-materialist and art-focused
  • Zen: "post-beat," focus on spirituality rather than art
  • Dandy: no money, but try to appear as if they have it by expensive or rare items - such as brands of alcohol[15]"

I particularly love the Dorelia Look:

The "Dorelia" look

Among female Bohemians in the early 20th century, the "gypsy look" was a recurring theme, popularised by, among others, Dorothy "Dorelia" McNeill (1881-1969), muse, lover and second wife of the painter Augustus John (1878-1961), whose full skirts and bright colours gave rise to the so-called "Dorelia look" [15]Katherine Everettnée Olive, a former student of the Slade School of Art in London, has described McNeil's "tight fitting, hand-sewn, canary coloured bodice above a dark gathered flowing skirt, and her hair very black and gleaming, emphasiz[ing] the long silver earrings which were her only adornment" 

Karlovy Vary Czech Republik, heart of Bohemia

(I visited in 1992 when the former Czechoslovakia opened its borders to visitors. A breathtaking historic town)

Here is one of my interpretations, listed on Etsy:

Historical roots of "boho-chic"

Contemporary Dashikis/Kaftans

The west integrates all styles and fiber arts into a medley of garments called "boho-chic"

There are 1000s of high fashion examples featuring ruffly, bright, mundane and victorian style crochet garments and accessories.  

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Stars over Oklahoma

Last night, after an especially intense sweatlodge gathering I lay on the ground and gazed up into the sky above.
The starry night was such a fascinating beautiful site, peaceful, tranquil and taking me back into time when I was a little girl, and laying on the bare ground was just a normal kid thing.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tired eyes and my reading list for July

Allergies really kick butt this summer, my eyes itch and my lids feel heavy like bricks.
Nevertheless, I am crocheting, knitting and reading, and as much as I enjoy the natural light of the summer months, my eyes will probably be thankful for clear fall air.
I just finished "Passage to Danzig", a heavy meal to digest before bedtime.


Evil descends in one night.

Who will be crushed in its grip?

IT'S NOVEMBER 9, 1938--Kristal Nacht, the "Night of Breaking Glass." As Hitler's minions blaze through Berlin, arresting Jews, burning homes, shops, and synagogues, Pastor Karl Ibsen races to aid the Kalners, a Jewish family in his congregation. But will he be too late? And what price will his wife, Helen, and children, Lori and Jamie, pay for his actions?

As Berlin burns, Karl's family waits in New Church for the Nazis to come. The Wallich family hides in a nearby apartment. Lucy Strasburg, girlfriend of a Nazi officer, watches with horror, realizing what the "glory of the Reich" really means...and wondering what, if anything, she can do.
For all, there is only one hope--the Danzig Passage.

After this tragic plot I reached for "Emerald O'Brien makes a killer cup of tea", the first in the series of "Ghost of a chance".

I enjoy this rather light-hearted mystery witch novel by Yasemine Galenorn.

Emerald O'Brien is the owner of the Chintz 'n China Tea Room where guests are served the perfect blend of tea and tarot reading. She never set out to be a detective, but once word gets out that she can communicate with the dead, there's no turning back...

When the ghost of Susan Mitchell asks for Emerald's help in convicting her own murderer, Emerald can't refuse. Along with her friends-an ex-supermodel and a cop-and her new love interest, Emerald must search for clues to put the killer behind bars-and this tortured soul to rest.

I have a tall stack of more reading choices on my nightstand. I would love to hear what others have on their lists and a short personal review.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fall preview in July

(a beret out of the ordinary, inspired by "The Snow Queen", a Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, more fantasy/mythology/folklore/fairytale hats to come)

I am right there with the retailers, well maybe a step or 2 behind, but way better prepared to stock up on autumn inventory than any other year in the past.
But don't worry, I am still listing cotton hats as they come fresh off my hook.

A few tam hats that will be created in different variations in the style shown below:
(At least I have high hopes I'll pull through with my long idea/to-do list).

Simple sock tam shape, new yarns: Elements. Interesting painted/printed shading and variegated in unusual color combos. Soft and stretchy and ideal for the budget-conscious vegan.

Jazzed -- a vintage looking variegated yarn in great color combo.

Riverbank, a surf and turf print variegated yarn. I love them all and I will be hunting for more as they provide this random patchwork feel that I personally love so much and which is also part of my handmade style, a branding element in yuppie "business talk". (no offense to anyone:)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Morning serenity and playing with textures in handknit

Hi everyone, happy 4th of July.

For us it's a quiet day, my DH and I are not into the 4th of July party thing.
We live abstinent and don't buy fireworks anymore (we had made that decision many years ago, I'd rather give to charity than literally blow up my money into the sky) ), our activities will be unspectacular by any means.

When I woke up this morning shortly after 7 am I stepped outside and greeted the cloudy sky, knowing that the temperatures will be pleasantly cooler and give us a break from the heat.

The early morning felt like a good time of some contemplation, even though this expression may be too strong for my silent early hour on the patio, watching the birds, listening to the sounds of the morning and align myself with life by sitting still in silence.

I don't know if it's my daily dose of Vitamin B or just the abundance of summer light that makes me want to get out of bed and stay active. I have achieved a lot lately, and have played around with new textures and designs, re-discovering my love for ponchos/wrap/shawls. Anything that I can knit on my new thick needles and that will drape loosely.

What a wonderful way of using my yarn stash by randomly pulling out colors and qualities and see how they blend harmoniously into a rustic weave.