New Pattern: Corduroy Button Mitts

041515-both-mitts copy2

These twisted rib fingerless mitts are simple but have added detail that let you make them your own. The ribs expand when worn to resemble corduroy and have a working button flap at the cuff. The top edge can be knit with either a flat edge or a fancier 2-stitch picot edge.

These fingerless mitts knit from the bottom cuff up.
They are knit both flat and in the round.

Special skills:
• Button holes
• Knitting in the round
• Increase & Decrease
• Twisted stitches

Size: Adult – one size
Approximate finished measurements: Glove length: 8.5 in (21.6 cm), Bottom Cuff flat width: 3 in (7.6 cm)

Needles: US 4 (3.5 mm) double pointed needles – set of 4 recommended. Optional straight or circular needles for flat cuff section in same size.
stitch marker and stitch counter optional

Buttons: 6 total, 7/16 in – 1/2 in diameter (11.12mm – 12.7 mm)

Yarn: Worsted Weight, approx 150 yds (145 m)

Instructions include full written directions.

Available on Etsy for $3.50
Available on Craftsy for $3.50

Spring Knits: Cardigan

One project that took up a large chunk of my spring was the knitting of Even Flow by Joji Locatelli, a present for my friend Sonya. We picked this pattern because it will work both dressed up or down and has a timeless quality that should look good for many years. We went to one of my favorite yarn stores, Eat Sleep Knit, to find the perfect yarn. We chose Madelinetosh Tosh Sport in Gossamer, a beautifully subtle warm neutral.

I would highly recommend this pattern. It is skillfully written and is created all in one piece, avoiding stitching together pieces at the end by picking up stitches directly on sections you’ve already knit, or holding live stitches until you can knit pieces to connect them. The texture pattern on the back and part of the side sections is a very easy pattern to memorize and looks more complex than it is. You can tell that the pattern designer took time and care in making the process as simple as possible and a joy to knit!

Prints: And We’re Off!

kurt_seidle_arrows_in_process

Have I titled a blog post this way before? Seems like I’m always kickstarting the season with some sort of cliched header and for some reason this one seems familiar. Yes? No? Oh well, we’ll just go with it.

I started printing again last week with a simple two color design. Arrows. It’s all about the arrows. Don’t get me started about arrows. Oh really? You haven’t heard? Well then, let me discuss. I’ll keep it brief. Promise.

Arrows are the perfect form. They’re bold, angular, directional, geometric, purposeful, iconic, graphic, dynamic, exclamatory, international and come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes. All that and yet they still manage to say what needs to be said: this/you, here. You can’t get much better than that.


Prints: Untitled (Chevron), 2014

kurt_seidle_chevron_blue

In celebration of the second day of spring—one of those classic gray, dreary, rainy, half-chilly/half-warm days—here is a Chevron print that I screened last fall. It’s sky blue and powder blue on steel gray. Call it Wintry Mix or Rainy Day Blues if you want, ’cause the sky is looking pretty neutral today. Anyway, this was a quickee, spur of the moment, impulse thing. I wanted to try another version on a colored stock and this combo seemed to fit the bill. Not bad, not great, it just is. Perfect for a day like today.

Things We Like: Nite Fields

nite_fields_depersonalization

Lately (pun intended?), we’ve been listening to Nite Fields’ debut album, Depersonalization. T. Cole Rachel wrote in a review on Pitchfork that the band had been absorbing and faithfully reinterpreting early 4AD, Clan of Xymox, Cure, and New Order (personally, I’d also throw in some Church and Death in June). And while it’s true to the source material—dreamy, echoey, lethargic, retro—listening makes me wonder if all of the revival/archival aesthetics going on out there generally is a good thing. Don’t misunderstand, as a nostalgic, approaching-middle-age music fan, I’m all about it, but I’m not sure it’s very productive in the grand scheme of things. You know, say, being a quasi early 80’s cover band versus pushing new boundaries. I suppose that’s a compliment that speaks to the band’s ability to recreate a certain sound, I’m just not sure how healthy the tendency of mere reproduction is. Going down that road tends to reduce the music (and ensuing discussion) down to nothing more than a laundry list of references and influences.

Then again, cribbing from previous styles is nothing new. Really, it’s been standard practice for ages. And amid all the retreads that such endeavors encourage, this is often where new ideas are hatched and permutated into something fresh. New life breathed into dead ends.

So there. I pretty much just turned my original commentary on its end. That, and we can’t seem to stop listening to this thing. When it’s good, it’s good. Embrace it. For now, let’s just zone out and enjoy the ride.

Prints: Untitled (Chevron), 2014

kurt_seidle_chevron_green_gold

I usually don’t revisit artwork once it’s been retired. Last year, though, I was asked to reconsider and take another look at my Chevron print of 2012. While initially reluctant, I said yes (I’m apprehensive about delving too deeply back into the archive for fear of watering down—or extinguishing—that initial spark. I’m also inclined to keep pressing forward and letting the past speak for itself. There are so many ideas and so little time that I’d rather just work on something new). But, alas, I’m getting off-topic. In short, I’m grateful for the extra arm-twisting because it allowed me to see the work with fresh eyes and perhaps bring something new to the table. And lo and behold, inspiration struck.

The latest addition/edition from Fall 2014 was something that popped into my head fully formed: the chevron in green and gold. That was it. No fussing with swatches, no anguished sketching or scrutiny. It had to be be kelly green and metallic gold—right from the get-go. If pressed for some statement on inspiration, I’d say that these colors simply remind me of my hometown. That’s not a statement of longing (nor one of criticism, for that matter), it just is.  It’s an abstraction of things in the air in that place—an apt representation that just feels right.

Things We Like: Valentine’s Edition

The Cure - Wish

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, we discuss an album that Elizabeth and I agreed on, oddly, early in our relationship. While there were other more relevant bands and albums that we obsessed and connected over at that time, The Cure was another band further down the list that we could check in the common interests “yes” column.

But while we enthusiastically agreed on Disintegration as masterpiece, we coolly agreed on Wish as a half-great/half-terrible mixed bag. Yet we each felt uneasy holding the latter opinion. Not only because most everyone loved or hated Wish completely, but because choosing a vague “maybe, sort of” left things in a weird, gray area at home: you weren’t ready to relegate the disc to the local used bin but you also didn’t want to display it too prominently in your rack of discs. I was especially sheepish about calling attention to an album that carried a pop hit as massive (and happy) as “Friday I’m in Love.”   

And yet these feelings of ambivalence still linger today. Talking about the record recently, I reflected that the collection of songs on Wish seem wholly uneven, the album an emotional roller coaster ride between happy and sad that dragged you up and down and back and forth with a complete disregard for continuity, pacing or structure. At least up until that point you could count on a Cure album as being completely up or completely down. But this one was all over the place. Liz even called some of the tracks boring, nothing more than incidental music.

So sad, because some of the tracks on there are excellent. For all the flack we’ve given Wish so far, there are some very strong contenders on there—“Open”, “From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea” and “End” among them. So yes, we gravitate toward the darker, angrier, moodier pieces. And, surprisingly, the album obliges with a handful of solid tracks in that vein. But taking those tracks meant also taking the shiny, happy tracks like “High” and “Doing the Unstuck”—some of their poppiest tracks to date. And at that time, without iTunes or a dubbed cassette to weed out the filler, you were stuck with the whole CD.

Now up until last week we each half-remembered Wish as vaguely, kind of half-good. So to dispel the myths and half-truths, we finally sat down and listened to Wish again in totality. We even made lists of our preferred tracks and regrouped to settle the score. And wouldn’t you know it? We were right. The record splits right down the middle: half happy, half sad. Or if you prefer, half good, half bad.

So to make it official, here’s our break down of how Wish stacks up:

The Cure Wish Breakdown