Last year, I really wanted to design a cool cape design that still embodies the inspiration I got from Downton Abbey. Plus, California was uncharacteristically cold and wet; perhaps I was up earlier than most people going to work at 3 am.
I sketched and drafted this pattern on the metrolink, while commuting to work. I knitted a prototype/test sample in aran weight yarn but was not happy with the yarn choice or the finished product. I knew I wanted the general design to be still feminine and romantic but wanted the fabric to be slightly more dense and heavier.
Up close and personal:
C’mon. I know that you have this yarn somewhere in your stash!
It’s none other than Bernat Natural Alpaca Blend in Natural. I know, an acrylic blend? I knew that if I wore this outside, I would get it dirty somehow. I also wanted it to be easily washed in the washing machine. Then I added a laceweight mohair/acrylic blend yarn from Universal Yarns, and held the two yarns together for this marled effect.
I also re-did the collar 3 times in the first prototype to get it right. At first, I wanted it to be asymmetric and with a button closure. It didn’t fit right.
So I frogged and did it in 1×1 rib but it didn’t look right either. It was kind of soft and drapey, which didn’t look right with the look I was going for in my head.
I made the collar in double thickness, so that it will stand right and hold the overall heavy/dense look.
Now, I didn’t really know what to call this. I had a choice between a CAPE and a Shawl, and went with a Shawl since I wanted it to be something you just grab and throw on for a quick walk with your doggies or a lunch date. SHAWL with a COLLAR. =)
So there you go people. I published this pattern on Ravelry as well as Craftsy.
See the original blog on SweetGeorgia here.
At TNNA I made sure to stop by the SweetGeorgia booth 1) because I love their yarns but also 2) because I designed my Tweedy Upsized zipper vest in their yarns and wore it to the show.
I met Ginny at the booth who kindly offered me a chance to try out her Schacht Sidekick spinning wheel and then later introduced me to Denise Renee Grace at Schacht Spindles. Whaaaaaat— I know. I was super excited and had a lot of fun with the Sidekick as well as SweetGeorgia’s Panda spinning fiber that I brought some fiber home with me then ordered a new wheel the next day!
I’ll make the big reveal when the wheel arrives!
TNNA’s very first show in 2014 was in sunny San Diego. The Convention Center is located in the Historic Gaslamp District and it was a really good getaway weekend, full of knitting and chatting and shopping. Not much sleeping though.
I hung out mostly at the Crafty Diversions booth.
Anne was one of the designers I enjoyed working with as a sample knitter while I was in law school. A couple of her earlier works even has my pictures wearing her designs as I modeled for her too, as we live pretty close to each other in Orange County.
When I first got there, the artist was still working on it, and I had no idea this was what she was doing. On Day 2 of the show, I finally saw the finished product and was blown away!
This place, Lion Coffee, is a bit farther away from the Convention Center and Gaslamp District, but it was so worth it. I had to be up early for my 8 o’clock class and I didn’t know any coffee places that were open in the area. I Yelp’ed and this place came up. I got a large caramel macchiato, and an Acai Bowl, which is a delicious combination of strawberries, banana, granola, and blended frozen acai, finished with honey drizzeled all over. YUMMY~
Shot during my Sunday morning class, “Joy of Finishing.” I was the only designer, the rest of the class were shop owners. I was a little bit disappointed as I didn’t really get to learn anything truly new. There were some tips I picked up, but the techniques themselves weren’t new to me.
By the way, the weather was really weird! You’d think: Hey, Sunny ACalifornia. But this was shot Sunday morning. It was cold and foggy.
I stayed at Omni Hotel and they brought me a glass of OJ and apple every morning!
My room. I kind of really liked the room, and felt a little bit sad leaving it on Monday.
I don’t have that many shots of the exhibit hall as this was my 3rd TNNA show and was more interested in talking to people than taking pictures of it :P
So while hanging out with Anne in her booth, I learned to STEEK. I’ve always wanted to try it, and had seen a lot of tutorials on it but never really tried it in real life. Anne kindly took the time to explain the easiest way to do it and that’s the end result. Will I use it in my next design…??? PERHAPS.
All in all, it was a great show. I picked up some yarns and fibers from SweetGeorgia and Anzula, and needles from HiyaHiya, as well as some tools from other vendors.