Not a Fashionista

July 31, 2008

notafashionista

Back in the Netherlands, my friends would always shake their heads and lament over my clothing. More than once they would beg me to please please please get a bra that actually fits. And I vividly remember how one of my friends forbade me to buy T-shirts, because I had too many in my wardrobe.

I simply couldn’t care less… But that was then.

Then came knitting

I have never been interested in making clothing. Come to think of it, I have never been really interested in fashion at all and certainly not haute couture. And then came knitting…

Knitting made me look at clothing in a whole different way. And it all began when I made my choli without a pattern. A whole new world opened up to me! The engineering of the choli pulled me into the world of knitting engineering and I have been totally hooked ever since.

Most of all I am interested in getting techniques down. Once you realize how increases and decreases work, oh boy, the whole shaping thing is at your feet!

One self designed garment let to another one, and then another one….

Lately, I have taken an interest in garments and especially garment construction. Night after night I am browsing the internet for websites that interest me and I have found several blogs that I frequent every single day now.

Some interesting links…

A dress a day : This blog is mainly about vintage dresses and a lot of times the writer gives out so many wonderful links to other blogs.

Zuburbia : I found this blog through “A dress a day”, and I am very taken by the beautiful vintage desinger pieces. Through this site I found a lot of designers that I had never heard of and I very much like their style. One of the designers I find very interesting is Azzedine Alaia.

Designers Block : While googling the net for Azzedine Alaia, I stumbled upon this blog. It is simply wonderful. It touches style, fashion, furniture and also yarn at times. Beautiful pictures and a lot so it may take a while to download but totally worth it in my opinion.

The Sartorialist: The photographer and writer of this blog captures people on the street with their own personal style. It is often times very inspiring to me.

Finding my own “style”

Lately I have been asking myself the question what my “style” is. If I am to put out a pattern, what would I like it to be? What yarn am I attracted to? What garments do I like best? What type of garment am I most drawn to?

More and more I am very taken by minimalist design. The less whistles and bells it has, the more I tend to like it.

How about you?

Thanks for reading and untill the next entry!

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Browsing Magazines and Books

July 27, 2008

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For the past few days, I have been browsing all kinds of knitting magazines and knitting books.

For hours and hours on end I am flipping page after page, absorbing all the visuals and interesting information on knitwear, patterns, schematics and knitwear design. It is a very nice break from knitting, really, and I am thoroughly enjoying myself.

Magazines

Don’t you just love flipping through all kinds of magazines and get some inspiration?

This picture is a design from the magazine Linea Rossa #3 by the european yarn company Lana Grossa:

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Very classy, if you ask me. I have been drawn more and more to Lana Grossa’s knitwear designs lately.

I also find it very nice to browse the fasion magazines for knitwear. According to Instyle Fall 2008, chunky knits are going to be hot during autumn:

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These sweaters are all very very expensive! $ 425 and $750, ooffff!!!

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Oooh, I am having way too much fun!

Knitwear design books

On the books front I have been flipping through Vogue Knitting The ultimate knitting book, Designing Knitwear by Deborah Newton, Reader’s Digest Knitter’s Handbook and the knitter’s handy book of sweater patterns by Ann Budd…. to name a few.

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But the one book I am most taken with is Sweater Design in Plain English by Maggie Righetti:

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I adore Righetti’s style of writing, her thoroughness and clearness in which she explains knitwear design is simply excellent. I am especially taken by what Righetti writes on page 85:

“Never accept the WORD of any expert without first checking it out yourself. Your experience may be different from mine, and that is okay. If you don’t check out the WORD of experts, you will be stuck with their foibles and fallacies.”

Also, more than once, Righetti’s style of writing makes this knitter chuckle. In a chapter on measurements and body types, she writes on page 53:

“You must learn to eyeball the figure. Ask yourself, are the breasts lemon-, orange-, grapefruit-, or cantaloupe-sized?”

If you are ever thinking about getting into sweater design, Sweater Design in Plain English is a must have. It is chockfull of information and written in a very easy to follow style. I like this book very much!

Thank you for reading and untill the next entry! Oh, and also thank you for all the nice compliments on Mata Hari… I so appreciate that!


Finished: Bamboo Vine Lace Tunic

July 2, 2008

Bamboo Vine Lace Tunic

Pattern: My own design.
Yarn: 3 skeins of Farmhouse Bonnie’s Bamboo
Needles: Addi’s circ 32″ US 7
Cast on date: Friday, June 27, 2008
Cast off date: Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Bamboo, what a wonderful fiber!

I am in love with bamboo… and I am in love with my bamboo tunic! It shines so beautifully and its heavy drape I heart. I am so incredibly inspired by this strong yet elegant and feminine fiber.

Inspiration for this tunic I found in a book called Knitting Lingerie Style. While browsing through the patterns, I found this:

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I was especially taken by the little bit of Vine Lace used by the designer in the neckline and bottomline. So I took that idea and incorporated it into my own design:

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Bamboo is so incredibly drapey. It is the drapiest yarn I have ever worked with. You can see in these pictures what it does:

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But honestly, the photos do not do it justice. You should see how it hangs elegantly around the body and how it flows and moves while you walk. I am so taken by this fiber. More than I have ever been by any other fiber.

Bamboo grows considerably after washing!

Please keep in mind that bamboo’s gauge changes considerably after washing. It grows in length as well as in width so please do yourself a favour and make a gauge swatch and then WASH it before you measure your gauge! That way you will not face unpleasant surprises when you wash your finished garment for the first time!

Also I have come to the conclusion that bamboo has a very strong will of its own. It is not only heavy, but it has a heavy drape. So forget about very fitted garments in this fiber!

Very content with the outcome

At first I was not so taken by the outcome of my project. This however, changed once I washed it and blocked it! I am so content!

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Thanks for reading and untill the next entry!