Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Colour Inspiration: Blue Ombre

docked tones

Tomorrow I'll be posting a tutorial that shows you how to make your very own shimmery beach bag like the one below from Free People. The colour palette above comes from Design Seeds and makes me want to dive straight into that cool, cool water!

shimmer bag

Botanicals brighten your day!

My friend Catherine sent me this lovely card all the way from Houston, Texas, where she visited Bayou Bend, the decorative art wing of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.

"Displayed in the former home of Houston civic leader and philanthropist Ima Hogg (1882–1975), the collection is one of the finest showcases of American furnishings, silver, ceramics, and paintings in the world. The house is situated on 14 acres of organically maintained gardens in Houston's historic River Oaks neighborhood.

Open year-round, Bayou Bend welcomes thousands of visitors every year for tours and special programs. With the opening of the Lora Jean Kilroy Visitor and Education Center in 2010, which includes the Kitty King Powell Library and Study Center and The Shop at Bayou Bend, as well as state of the art education and rental spaces, Bayou Bend is well positioned to take its place in the continually growing cultural arts scene of Houston."

Friday, 25 May 2012

Kaffe Fassett at the Chelsea Flower Show

Here's a little bit of eye candy for your Friday afternoon.  As if the lovely English summer weather weren't enough of a treat today, my heart was warmed even more by the lunchtime update on the BBC of this year's Chelsea Flower Show. I just caught a glimpse of an artisan retreat styled by Kaffe Fassett, colour and textiles designer extraordinaire. There aren't many photos of the exhibit on the web yet, but here are a couple of lovely shots courtesy of The House Mag:

Artist's retreat


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Tutorial: Missoni Inspired Scarf in Blue

As promised yesterday, here is the tutorial for this scarf. Feel free to make it as long or short as you like. You could also add a few inches of straight stockinette stitch to more closely match the original. The pattern is written out below. You can also save the pattern a favourite and update your progress on Ravelry!

A darning needle
Knitting needles (circular or straight). I used 4mm.
Prism, Delicato in Thunderclap colourway; Approximately 320 yards used
M Ward, A Wasteland Companion
K-knit, P-purl, K2tog-knit two together, YO-yarn over

Cast on 76 sts (2 edge sts on either side and 4 x 18sts).
Rows 1-3: Garter stitch all rows.
Row 4: P2, knit across, P2.

Row 5: Knit to end.
Row 6: Purl to end.
Row 7: K2 *(K2tog) 3 times, (YO, K1) 6 times, (K2tog) 3 times, repeat from *5 times, K2.
Row 8: P2, knit across, P2.

Repeat rows 5 – 8 until desired length is reached.

Last 3 rows: Garter stitch all rows.
Cast off loosely.

Tencel irons nicely, so I used a steamy iron to block out my scarf. I can never be bothered to used pins or anything; eye it. Just be careful not to squash out the texture. I wouldn't recommend a steamy iron if you've used wool.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Missoni Inspired Scarf in Blue

On a recent trip to Hill Country Weavers in Austin, Texas, I treated myself to the best sort of souvenir - yarn! I wanted something local, something I couldn't easily find here in England, and the result was a yummy hank of tencel called Delicato by Prism, based in Florida. The colourway is blue/purple/green (not usually what I go for), but the colours seem to suit the cool, watery feel of the fibers.

I had no idea what I'd make with my new yarn. I spent the entire SXSW week balling up the hank. 
Be warned folks! This yarn tangles easily, and once it's in a mess, it is damn near impossible to unravel again - especially after a few margaritas, sitting on the dusty ground, while watching M. Ward at Auditorium Shores, in eager anticipation for the return of The Shins!

After an 11-hour plane ride back to London of winding tencel wool, I was reunited with my needle kit, and I decided on a simple wavy lace pattern. It's great for mindless TV watching - just count over your row occasionally to make sure you stay on track. And use loose tension if you have splitty yarn, like this one. 

My finished product used only half the 630 yards I bought. I made it for my mom, who lives in Houston, and on the coolest day in Texas, you don't want a scarf that wraps around your next twice. So the finished product is about 36" long and 7" wide. I'd like to secure it with a wooden scarf pin. Any suggestions?

I took a few pictures yesterday with the fancy camera my husband borrowed from work. And while doing so it occured to me that the scarf looks a little Missoni. Maybe a lot Missoni! Technically, it's not Missoni-inspired at all. Just a coincidence. Stay tuned for the pattern tomorrow!

missoni scarf

my scarf

missoni scarf
my scarf

missoni inspired scarf in blue

Sunday, 20 May 2012

What's in the banner?

Ah, I'm so glad you asked. Over the next few weeks and months, I'm sure you'll see the blog layout change quite a bit. Meanwhile, I posted the banner above to whet your appetites for what's to come!

The first project I'm going post is a tutorial showing you how to make your very own Shimmering Beach Bag based on this adorable one from Free People. I'm making the blue version! All the bits and pieces were ordered off of ebay, and the total cost of this project is going to come in well under £20. It retails for £68 and $98!

Next up will be an open-weave summer scarf made from a cotton/linen blend inspired by the Gap. Don't expect massive savings here, especially since everything at the Gap goes on mega-sale after a while. But I've been meaning to make an infinity scarf for about 5 years. Here's my chance!

I can't for the life of me figure out what stitch has been used to create this meshy Zadig & Voltaire top, but I'll come up with something similar. 

And lastly, I'll be deconstructing (figuratively, not literally of course!) this little beauty by Chloe...ah! What? Where are all the accents on this computer? Okay, please bear with me while I find the accent codes. I'm not proposing to make this whole sweater, but I'm intrigued by the stitch on the sleeves and back and might use something similar to make yet another scarf!

I'm off to knit and to enjoy a Sunday away from the computer. Hope y'all do the same!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

It's time to unravel...

Welcome to Unravelled! I've started this blog for many reasons, but it's mostly an excuse to look for new knitting projects. My husband and I have recently escaped the hustle and bustle of London by moving out west to Somerset. Because of the move I'm only working a few hours a week right now, so I have lots of time to while away crafting. If you feel that knitting is not just a hobby but also a form of therapy, then you understand me. I'll introduce the major characters in my life bit by bit, but I'll primarily use this forum to focus on the projects.

My mother used to tell me stories about her aunt who could walk into any fine department store (probably Neiman Marcus in Dallas), sketch out the latest fashions, and go home and make her own dresses. I'm fascinated by this idea! Not fascinated enough to make all my own clothes, mind you, but I'll try my hand at a designer knock-off. And this is where the blog comes in.

This blog with feature a few designer-inspired DIYs posted by other bloggers and magazines. I am going to try my best to get short interviews with knitwear designers. And I'm going to feature my own small projects. Here we go!

I have been living in England on and off since 2007, but I originally hail from Texas. While in the workplace I am very conscientious to stick to one language - British English vs. American English - I'm going to write as casually as I can here on this blog. So you'll get a big ridiculous mix of words used on both sides of the pond, and I doubt very much that I'll ever be very consistent. My "voice" changes everyday, and I'll sound like a pre-divorce/pre-move back to Manhattan Madonna before long. Go on, you friends from home, bring on the teasing....