Thursday, January 23, 2014

:: How Pink ::

When Pantone announced late last year that the color for 2014 is Radiant Orchid I had to chuckle because a similar color was all the rage back in 2002. Why would I remember you might ask? I still own an orchid pink coat from back then that I still love. Now only I wish it was of a bit different construction, on a looser side a la this or this one , but I still happy to have it in my wardrobe.

When it comes to pink knits I must say that one must choose to tread lightly on the subject - some absolutely hate it, some love it. But to me, it is the right hue of the pink color that can tilt that pink sweater into baby territory or come out an absolute winner for your outfit. I personally think that the pinks being on the cooler side are certainly a better choice. It is not too orchid either. Not to mention proper styling that actually goes a long long way and inspires. It makes us want to dare wearing pink! I have collected some fun street style spotting of pink sweaters in the wild and most fun cuts and pairing.

http://www.stylebistro.com/Street+Style+Spotlight+Chunky+Knits/articles/8_73xG1_wXN/Baby+Pink



http://www.elleuk.com/style/street-style/paris-fashion-week-street-style-2012#image=53

http://carolinesmode.com/stockholmstreetstyle/art/290189/linda_tol/

And just recently the ongoing collections for Pre-Fall 2014 have showed quite an amount of pink as well.






So what do you think? Is it fleeting or a growing trend? Would you need a pink sweater (or maybe even a coat) for your wardrobe?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

:: Triangulate ::

Continuing in the New Year with a resolution to blog more, yet again. And actually having a lot to share, but not quite having a lot of time to write all I want to say about a certain process here and there. Thoughts are fleeting and majority of the time they want to become sketches and stitches instead of words...

Today I want to take you through my process of designing a really fun accessory, that actually have started the triangles theme for me last year while still in Japan and as the inspiration continued catching on, it gave life to Sankaku Shawl, but here is what it all started.

I admit I have not always been good at or admired geometry. In my younger years math was a bit of a struggle, maybe that is why I sought out education as a linguist and a teacher, but as time goes by I get more and more intrigued how I found my way back to math and geometry through my love for knitting, bit backward I am sure, but it now excites me just like solving riddles of creating a new stitch pattern or puzzles of construction that I like to take on.
In my recent posts, I have described that I have discovered a really cool dot grid notebook from Muji that is really versatile - you can draw using dot grid as visual markers or join those lines to create square grid for drawing a stitch pattern idea as well as for flat sketching of your schematics. Since I prefer doing it old school vs drawing directly into a computer program, notebook and my erasable pen are now a ritual.
On one of those rituals I took these tools to "town" having fun drawing out some geometric shapes.


Once I spend a certain amount of time thinking about this patterning, I feel my mind becomes more and more open and I start noticing it in various incarnations around me. Fractals are actually nature's geometry at work! But my fascination with them was simply enhanced..

Here is my favorite piece of architecture in Tokyo, Prada Building in Aoyama. Every time when I was in the vicinity I would try to walk by it. It is truly inspirational!


And my friends, knowing me now so well surprised me by getting me this Baobao clutch for my Birthday (aren't they amazing!!!), which is basically triangles adhered to fabric, but allows movement, so every facet helps transform the shape of the bag. And I heart it so much!


A WONDERFUL find which is this silk fabric, that got procured with the help of a friend in Australia and which I turned into the scarf and it makes me utterly happy when I wear it!


I really miss taking trains everywhere in Japan, the trips were quite lengthy and here is the prototype being worked on in fingering weight yarn.
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fractals-hat


Nature of fractals is that it is a set pattern and altering it a tiny bit in the beginning would be very hard to adjust for later on and still stay within pattern.
So I had to design my hat with the right yarn weight and needle size! And this entire process was very much worth the result.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fractals-hat

I have picked a very new to me yarn, Anzula Cricket, which is merino and cashmere with a dash of nylon. Being colorwork, it worried me for a second if my yarn choice was right, but after washing my swatches, I didn't doubt that the result will end up what I was needed it to become. The yarn really bloomed, evening out colorwork and transformed into luxurious bright hat.



I have always loved grellow color combination (maybe obsessively so), but recently I have been really enamored with camel and pink together. It is such an unusual combination, yet very fun!




And the result is Fractals hat  comes in 2 sizes, has charted and written instructions and my now favorite tubular cast on. So find your favorite Sport or Dk weight yarns and fall in love with geometry all over again!

Find Fractals Hat On Ravelry


$6.00

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

:: 2014 ::

HAPPY NEW YEAR of 2014!!!

Wishing all of you the best and knittiest year yet!!!!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

:: back to school ::

Or rather I have been back to teaching knitting since last November.


And I meant to talk about it sooner, but just never got to it because of packing, moving and all the fuss. Last November I was introduced by Marianne Isager to textile artist and textiles designer Reiko Sudo. If you know something about Japanese textiles, you may know that Reiko Sudo and Jun-ichi Arai started NUNO back in early 80ies. Reiko now is the directior of NUNO and NUNO textiles are known all over the world on their novelty and mind-blowing texture. Meeting Reiko was an extremely humbling experience for me since I have been doing research on NUNO while writing Ori Ami Knits. And I was lucky enough to visit "Fabrics of Feathers and Steel: The Innovation of Nuno" exhibit back in 2009 in The Textile Museum in Washington DC prior to our move to Japan and admire those textiles in person. Imagine my awe when upon our meeting Reiko became so fascinated with my work in knitwear that she asked me to teach her and several NUNO members. I know I was questioning myself whether that was real life or some illusion! At the time of our meeting I had only 7 months left in Japan and she wanted to start classes immediately and every single Saturday I would travel to Tokyo to share my knowledge with one of the most revered Japanese textile artists. Below is the photo of our last class. Reiko's apprentices have become textiles artists of their own and they are NUNO members as well.

Left to Right: Gaku Masui, Yuki Abe, Kazuhiro Ueno, myself, Reiko Sudo, Yumi Yasue and one is missing - Bun-chan!


After our last class my students gifted me this funny drawing of ourselves drawn by Yuki-san.


Reiko is also a professor at the Tokyo Zokei University of Art and Design in Japan. Last spring I was invited to give a guest lecture along with Reiko who also helped to interpret. The lecture was for her 4th year weaving students and the subject of it was 3 dimensional knitwear, explored through a variety of my designs that they continued on working.





And this morning I found out that those students completed their projects and then some! The students took their own approach with creative modifications of the existing pattern designs. But what is even cooler that their finished knits were turned into exhibit and are now on display at Tokyo Zokei University and Reiko named it creatively after my book title "Ori Ami Knits"!!!




This is such honor and these images are truly heartwarming, just like when I see photos of newly finished projects of others knit from my patterns!
I am really missing Japan this crisp Fall afternoon... And winter is coming soon, so time to be knitting away on those woolies and get ready. But it's also time to get excited for my classes in the States are coming soon!