For months we had tickets to see The Breeders perform here in Atlanta. We eagerly awaited the date upon which said band would perform their “classic” album Last Splash in its entirety. It must be stated, though, that as kids of the 1990′s, we felt just little bit older knowing that this tour was booked in celebration of that album’s 20th anniversary. Has our cherished music become our generation’s “classic rock”? Maybe, probably, but that’s a discussion for another time. So the day finally came, and as you might expect from Kim Deal, the band played a fine, upbeat show of all the “classics”. But the best part—and the biggest surprise—was the last minute addition of Atlanta’s own Deerhunter to the bill.
For months the opening act was listed as the not uncommon, yet still frustratingly vague “special guests”. The ambiguous listing looked especially odd in print mere days before the now sold-out show date. Being a hometown band as well as 4AD label mates with The Breeders, I wondered (hoped?) for a moment if Deerhunter might make a surprise appearance. Though, to be honest, that seemed like a stretch. A double bill at the last minute? Not likely.
Well, as you might imagine by this point, it turns out I was correct. Within a day or two of the show, Deerhunter were added to the bill. The band even played the role of opening act, which seemed like a cute gesture given their status here in 2013. And they didn’t fail to deliver the goods either, playing loudly, crisply, and confidently while filling up the hall with ample moments of drone, reverb-laden guitars, and pop hooks. It also turns out that the band won’t be playing Atlanta for the foreseeable future as they jetted off for a string of European dates just two days after Wednesday night’s gig. Even better.
We love surprises like this. You know, when something pretty good miraculously gets even better right at the last second. This was one of those things.
Our unseasonably cool and gray spring made for a slow start in the workshop, but things have certainly warmed up quickly. In addition to multiple new editions currently in the works, I just wrapped production on a custom print commission that has made this unusually damp and dreary spring feel downright sunny and sublime.
The edition was hand-printed for a very cool purveyor of goods and fine art for the home that will be opening its first brick and mortar location this summer in a suitably beachy location. So break out the sunscreen and sand castles and get ready for details as they develop.
I finished this pattern this weekend after a long break. Not too much has changed, but I cleaned up the type, added some additional measurement information and included a chart for the crown decreases in addition to the written instructions. This hat is really simple, but looks great and works for a wide range of head sizes without modifications because it is so stretchy.
Buy it here on Etsy for $3.50.
Buy it here on Craftsy for $3.50.
This last weekend of April is a rainy one, but I have a quick round-up of my knitting progress for the month. My day job is still keeping me very busy, so knitting has been taking a back burner. I made the most progress on the Cuffed Zigzag Mitts revisions. The pattern was in good shape, so all I had to do was just add some charts and tweak the layout a bit. I also got to use my skein of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Mansfield Garden Party – a one-of-a-kind skein I picked up last year. It seemed like a good time to use it with all of the beautiful spring colors. It was so large that I was able to use it to make a final test pair of the gloves, a matching hat and another pair of gloves to send to my niece.
I also started working on the revision to the reversible rib hat pattern, but then got distracted by making a final piece to donate to the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art Yarn installation project. At the last free workshop there was a mountain of donated yarn to choose from. I found a huge hand-dyed skein that I couldn’t resist, so I am making a fan lace piece that works well with the nubby texture and shows off the color variations in an interesting way. It took me a few tries to land on the right pattern, but I’m pleased with how its turning out. I’m giving myself until the end of the week to get as far as I can and then I’ll bind it off and donate it even if I haven’t gotten through all the yarn. (It took me 2 hours to hand-wind a center-pull ball that felt like a bowling ball when I was done!)
I have also been enjoying a beautiful spring here. We’ve gotten a good amount of rain this year and it has yielded one of the more beautiful blooming seasons in recent memory. Here are a few pictures – the cherry tree is in my front yard and never lasts long enough!
The pattern for the cuffed ZigZag fingerless mitts was in pretty good shape since it is one of my later patterns, but I still tweaked it a bit by reducing the number of cuffs rows by a few and adding in pattern charts so you can easily see the difference between the two. I left the original photography because it turned out so well. Enjoy!
Pattern is now available as an immediate download on Etsy and Craftsy!
Get it on Etsy for $3.50
Get it on Craftsy for $3.50
Out from the bottom of the stacks comes another version of “Untitled (X)”. I completed a couple of these a year or two ago, but somehow just completely forgot about them.
I wanted to try this design on black with some opaque inks in coordinating neutrals. It turned out well enough, though it seems to lack a certain spark. At the very least it offers a stark contrast to the versions in pop colors on white. It certainly sets a different mood or atmosphere—even more so enveloped by the black frame.
Wow. It’s getting better by the second. Perhaps all X ever needed was a bit more consideration and context.
Its been a long time coming, but I am finally finished updating the ZigZag Swirl hat pattern. The zigzag pattern has been revised from the original with the addition of a pattern chart as well as more detailed measurement information and yarn yardage.
I’ve also knit the sample up with my recommended yarn – Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Oak. The yarn has a wonderful feel, the right amount of bulk and a beautiful depth of color. I hope you enjoy!
Get it on Etsy for $3.50
Get it on Craftsy for $3.50
Its been a while since I’ve posted on knitting, but for good reason. I took most of last month to create a baby blanket. I attended the shower, so now I can post the pictures without ruining the surprise!
I recently got a book on brioche knitting techniques titled Knitting Brioche: The Essential Guide to the Brioche Stitch by Nancy Marchant. It is filled with an amazing array of brioche knitting techniques and I found it almost overwhelming with possibilities. Its a great resource that is well written with good photography of the technique. I was able to figure it out from the book without jumping on youtube for instructional videos . I really love the look of the two color brioche stitch, and the blanket was the perfect opportunity to try it out. I added columns of cable stitches to give it a little more punch. I really like the way it turned out using a solid cream for one side and a multi-color yarn for the other. It makes the white raised rib side look like piped icing, which I think any little girl would like.
As it turns out, my little kitty Ginger thought I had made this blanket for her. I had to shoo her off it it more than once to a disgruntled meow. The brioche technique makes such a thick and warm fabric, its perfect for a blanket or throw.
If you haven’t tried the technique, I highly recommend it. It does take longer to build progress since you are essentially knitting each row twice, but it makes such a beautiful double-sided fabric. Once you get the trick of it, it is fairly easy to do.
Berlin design consultancy Double Standards continues to deliver outstanding cover art for Perlon, the label (also of Berlin) famous for bringing ultra-tight minimal techno to the surface (if you’re curious, Pantytec’s “Pony Slaystation” is still a solid favorite). For the label’s 15th birthday, Double Standards curated – or arranged, rather – an exhibition of each and every Perlon release which is now on display at Bureau Mueller.
Huge typography is clipped and cropped and printed up in shocking fluorescents. That’s really about it, but it does make for a dizzying, disorienting read. And it’s a weirdly euphoric experience. After all, why should a cover need a photograph, an illustration or even whole words to tell a story? Double Standards prefers to set the mood and let the songs do the talking. Staying true to the music, the covers feature a minimum of parts maxed out to full effect. The beats skip, stutter, slip and slide like the words across the covers; drifting by and bubbling up with a subdued pulse that throbs just below the surface.
In January a neighbor of mine told me about a yarn installation project that will be happening at my local art museum and suggested that I should volunteer to help out. I was excited to have an opportunity to work with other local knitters, so I went to the first free workshop last week to help teach. I had a really fun time – its great to see people picking it up so quickly! There were three of us there to help with knitting and we all had different techniques for casting on. We each took a few people and showed them our technique.
The long orange and burgundy piece above the was sampler that I started that night and ended up finishing a few days later. It was fun to just knit and not worry about a pattern. I also decided to dig out my pinwheel project from last year and sew them together into a piece to donate to the installation. I had used various weights of yarn, so it has a more organic feel. It was fun to see how the colors all work together.
I’ll be digging out some more partial skeins and scraps to knit a few more samplers before they’re due in June. Its fun to see all the talent and energy that will come together to make this happen.