Category Archives: Inspiration

Inspiration: Wonder Woman!

You guys!  I watched Wonder Woman this weekend, and holy cow!  It’s so good!  Back in high school, I used to be 100% in any time they made a movie about someone with superpowers (superhero movies were new and exciting then).  But the last decade or so has so over-saturated the market with too many crappy superhero movies where overly-muscled dudes in spandex level cities in an attempt to show how they’re stronger/better/right-er than their arch nemesis.

Enter Wonder Woman!

I mean, look at her!  She’s amazing!  She fights her way across no man’s land between WWI trenches with a freaking sword! She speaks hundreds of languages!  She fights to end war!  Her whole thing is saving people!  I’m pretty stoked about her.

And, there’s her aunt, Antiope, played by Robin Wright (Princess Buttercup!  The Princess Bride was one of my favorite movies as a kid, and it’s awesome to see Princess Buttercup do some fighting).  She’s a totally bad-ass general.  At one point she flips off the back of a horse while shooting three Nazis simultaneously with the three arrows she had nocked in her bow.  So good!

But it’s not just the good guys that are kick-butt women.  The bad guy, Dr. Poison is a totally creepy mad scientist lady!  She’s got a super icky mask (because she melted the bottom half of her face in a lab accident), and a penchant for inventing chemical weapons.

Of course, there are men in the movie, too, but it’s just amazing to see women headlining a superhero movie- and totally kicking butt!

So, let’s tie this to something knitting-related (this is a knitting blog after all).

This tiny Wonder Woman will save the day using her cuteness!

Wonder Woman Amigurumi by Clare Heesh

I love this classic Wonder Woman-style hat!

Great Hera! by Jensen Reyes

And this sweater would be perfect for days when you need to feel your most Wonder-full!

Wonder Woman Jumper by Kirsty Lothian

Have you seen Wonder Woman yet? If not, what are you waiting for!  (Just be aware, you’re going to go around kicking things and sword fighting after you see it.)

Inspiration: Silicon Valley

Sometimes I search out knitting;  I go to the library and look through books.  I spend hours scrolling through Ravelry or visiting yarn shops.  I’m not complaining, obviously, I think it’s fun, interesting, and a pretty pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

But, sometimes knitting just jumps out of the weirdest places, without any warning.  For example, I was catching up on last week’s episode of Silicon Valley (episode 36, “The Keenan Vortex”), and BAM! Knitting!

Jared, my favorite character, the dorky business manager with a heart of gold, was rocking some great knitwear this week.  (There was a whole subplot where there was a cold snap, so everyone was getting out their winter gear, but Jared’s was my favorite.  Everyone else had boring ski jackets on.  Why wear a ski jacket when you can wear an amazing wool sweater?  But I’m getting ahead of myself.)

He starts out slow, with a simple ribbed-scarf-and-pea-coat combo.  Classic.I need a nice simple scarf- maybe I should follow Jared’s lead and knit up one of these.

Fisherman’s Rib Muffler in Three Gauges by Churchmouse Yarns and TeasThen he stepped up his game with a mustard sweater vest. Now, I’m not usually a fan of a sweater vest, but if I really wanted to stay true to the Jared spirit, I’d knit up one of these bad boys.

Nathan by Jones & VandermeerBut the best knitwear is definitely saved for last- Jared comes out of nowhere with this amazing cabled gansey turtleneck.  The guys on the show tease him for it, but I gotta say- I love anyone who can unironically rock a cabled sweater.  Those are my people.It’s not as great as Jared’s sweater, but this one’s pretty good, too.

59-6 Sweater by DROPS DesignHave your favorite TV characters ever shown up in knitwear?

Inspiration: Ukulele

For my thirtieth birthday, I decided to splurge and get myself a birthday present.  And what did I pick out?  Something practical?  Something yarn-related? Something that I knew I’d use?

Of course not.  Instead, I got myself a ukulele!  A baritone ukulele, actually (which sounds like a guitar, but is small and easy to play, like a uke).

I’ve been slowly teaching myself how to play over the last year and a bit.  I’ve learned a couple handfulls of chords, and I know a few songs (unfortunately, I’m a fairly terrible singer, so singing where anyone other than my dog can hear me is right out).  When my dad visits, he brings his bass and we play together.  And over the last couple months, I’ve been playing with a ukulele group in Seattle (It’s me and a bunch of old hippies/baby boomers.  We meet in a park once a week and play old standards…  it’s silly, but pretty fun).

I’m not going to be going professional with my ukulele playing, but I’m having a great time learning a new skill- I’ve never really played a stringed instrument before (I tried to learn guitar in high school… it went… poorly).  And, I think it’ll make a good excuse to visit Hawaii again.

In celebration of my new hobby, let’s look at ukulele inspired knits!

I stole the strap from my old guitar to put on my ukulele, but I really like the idea of making a strap myself.  I think it should be in a cute, tropical color!

Ukulele Strap by Lise GrayYou guys know I love tiny things, so of course I’d love a tiny ukulele (which are tiny to begin with, so a mini one must be super tiny)!

Melee Ukulele or Guitar by Mad Crochet ScientistIt gets a little chilly, playing in the park in the evenings, even in June.  So maybe I should make myself a Hawaiian-themed blanket to keep me cozy when I’m playing with my uke group.

Hawaiian Flowers by Sarah London

Have you been learning any new skills lately?  Do you play any instruments?

Inspiration: In the Shade

Phew!  It’s getting hot out here!

It’s been bouncing between the upper-60s and the mid-80s here in Seattle lately.  It’s been sunny and clear and dry.  I’ve had the windows open and the furnace turned off for over a week.  And, I’m down to only wearing sweaters first thing in the morning.  That means only one thing:  Summer’s just about here.

It’s hot, and I’ve become a total PNW weenie about the heat.  It gets over 70 degrees, and I start to whine, over 75 and I stop going outside if I can avoid it.  (The version of me that lived in Austin for three years is disgusted with current me… that version wouldn’t even think of breaking out the shorts until it was approaching 100.  That version of me was a little bit dumb, I think.)

Ollie totally agrees.  He’s been spending his days sunning himself out on the deck until he starts to pant too much, then trots inside and to sprawl out on the cool tile floor and drink from the toilet, even though he has a nice big bowl of fresh water… you’ve got to keep an eye on him.  He’s crafty (and a little gross).  He’s not a fan of hot weather either.But, as hot as it is in the sun, it’s actually been kind of nice in the shade.   If only there was a way to take the shade with you…

Oh wait!  There is!

We Seattleites might refuse to carry umbrellas with us when it rains, but we could totally carry umbrellas with us to keep the sun from our pale, pale skin.

I like the simplicity of this one, it would definitely provide plenty of protection from the sun.

Victoria by Kelly GriffithThis one is too cute for words- don’t you just love the stripes?

17S/Parasol by michiyoAnd this one is just gorgeous!  Unfortunately I think all that lace would take me until the end of summer before I finished.  But then I could have it for next summer…

Schattenspiele/R by Christine NöllerOr, I suppose Ollie and I could just drink some water, stay in the shade and stop being weenies about the heat.

What do you do to keep cool in the summer?

Inspiration: Procrastiknitting

I finished my BIG SECRET PROJECT the other day (I’ve got it blocking right now, and I keep checking on it every couple hours… it continues to be damp, much to my chagrin).

I’ve got two other big projects waiting in the queue, so I really should get straight to work on them.  Buuuuut…..

I don’t wanna.

I just want to make something fun and cute and silly.  (And, since I really should be working on other projects, something small.)

So, let’s look at some little-bitty cute projects that I could work on while totally not procrastinating!

I love this teeny tiny kitty.  I don’t know what I’d do with him, but I think I might need to make him.

Tiny Window Cat by Sara Elizabeth KellnerAnd, I love this tiny earbud pouch.  I’m always getting my headphones tangled up with my purse knitting, and maybe this would help keep them under control.  Or maybe it would just be another thing to get lost in my purse.  Either way, it’s cute!

Earbud Pouch by Mary KeenanOr, I could just go all-in on the cute, tiny, silliness.  I could do the whole Christmas in May thing, and knit up some little Christmas Elves.  I mean, how cute are they?!

Jolly Wee Elf by Churchmouse Yarns and TeasHave you ever “procrastiknitted” before?  What did you make?

Inspiration: Warm Weather

It’s been absolutely gorgeous in Seattle for the last week- sunny and around 70.  (Unfortunately, the fact that I’m typing this out means that the rain will start up again in the next 15 minutes.  That’s just how good weather in Seattle works- it turns cold and damp as soon as you acknowledge that the sun is out.)  The windows have been open, the dog has been snoozing in the sun on the back porch, and I’ve been wearing fewer sweaters (I’ve still been wearing some, because I’m me and constantly feel like it’s 20 degrees colder than it actually is).

Which made me think about warm-weather knitwear.  I start thinking about it every year about this time.  What can I knit, or what can I wear, that would be comfortable in 70+ degree weather.  I always feels a little silly thinking about knitting up tank tops and shorts, skirts and t-shirts.  But people do it- heck, I even designed a tank top a couple years ago (which I think turned out pretty cute, if I say so myself).

I’ve dug through Ravelry, and picked out three (non-ugly) summery tank tops just for you.  (And, I guess, for me too, in the off chance that the sun sticks around a little longer.)

(I was going to look up an assortment of summery clothing instead of just tank tops, but I defy any of you to find a not-terrible pair of knit shorts for anyone older than in infant.  I don’t think they exist.)

I really like this top (I guess it’s got a tiny little sleeve, so it’s not really a tank). It’s feminine and pretty, with an interesting neckline.  I love that it’s made with stretch cotton-a perfect yarn for summery tops- and it’s a lovely, flattering shape.

Tee Top in Lace Daisy by Ekaterina ArndtThis tank top is totally adorable, too.  It’s so simple and such a classic shape.  And, anything with mini stripes is OK by me.

#02 Simple Tank by Debbie BlissSome (most?) knit tank tops end up having a weirdly ’90s vibe about them, but I love how modern this one feels.  I love the racer back, combined with the wide neckline and loose, draped silhouette.  I might actually have a go at knitting up this one… some day… when I have time…

Flying Buttress Tank by Andrea RangelDo you have any warm-weather knitwear?  What do you knit when it gets warm outside?

*Yawn*

Good morning, everyone.  Did you sleep well?

No?  Me neither.  I don’t now if it’s the springtime pollen in the air, or something I’ve eaten, or that I have something on my mind, but I’ve been having a tough time sleeping the last few days.  Or, I should be more precise, I’m having a tough time getting out of bed in the morning.

All I want to do right now is close all the shades, snuggle back under the covers, and sleep for about three more hours.  Somehow, I don’t think I’m going to be able to do that, what with work, housework, and one small dog that’s really looking forward to going on a walk.

Instead of going back to sleep, let’s look at adorable knit sleep aids, and dream of dreaming.

I always have cold feet, and my current slippers are getting a bit disreputable, so maybe I should knit up a pair of these thrummed slippers to wear before bed, while sipping my Sleepytime Tea.

Cadeautje by Ysolda TeagueThen I could prop myself up with this adorable sheep pillow while I read a chapter or two of my current novel before bed.

Bobble Sheep Pillow in Super Soft Merino by Purl SohoAnd then I’d snuggle under my pile of blankets, and go to sleep.  I can always use one more blanket, and this one looks so soft and pretty, I know I’d get really good sleep under it.

Garter Squish by Stephen WestAll this sleep-talk is making me, well, sleepy.  I’d better go make some coffee *yawn*, or I’ll just end up back… zzzzz…..

Spring Break! (Woooo!)

Happy Spring Break, you guys!  The Seattle schools are off this week for spring break, which means my sewing classes are off, too.

So what’s a girl to do with a whole week of spring break all to herself?  Should I go to the beach?  Should I sun myself and drink tropical drinks by the pool?

Of course not!  I live in Seattle where my spring break consists of knitting, drinking coffee and (maybe) a little yard work if the sun comes out.

Yesterday was lovely and sunny, but the day before was crazy!  Pouring rain, sun, hail, and crazy wind.  That was some of the weirdest weather I’d seen here in years.  We even had “sun-showers,” where it was simultaneously pouring and super sunny.

Sparkling Rain by Christelle NihoulOf course, spring really has hit here- The daffodils are going crazy, the cherry trees are clouds of pink and white, and the tulips are getting ready to explode.

Flower Shawl by Jenny Johnson JohnenSpring break in Seattle is also a time for goats.

That’s right.  Goats.  (Especially baby ones.)

(I spent the afternoon yesterday at one of my favorite local breweries, sipping tasty beer and saying high to a whole herd of baby goats from the Puget Sound Goat Rescue!  They were tiny (smaller than my dog), and so stinking cute.  Seattle is the best!  Where else would you get to pet baby goats on a Tuesday afternoon?)

Goats of Inversnaid Gauntlets by Kate DaviesDo you get a spring break?  What do you do when you get a break in your neck of the woods?

Inspiration: Daffodils!

It’s officially, 100%, completely, totally springtime here in the Pacific Northwest.  That means two things:

  1.  I’ve started taking allergy medication again, yet still spend every morning sneezing and sniffling.
  2.  Daffodils!


The daffodils are blooming, and I’m so excited!  We planted a big bag of bulbs in the fall, and I wasn’t sure if they’d come up this year, so I was just thrilled when they started peeking through the dirt about a month ago.  They’re really going to town now, our yard if full of the cheerful little guys. (Full disclosure, the photo is our neighbors’ yard, because they have even more daffodils than us, and it makes for a much more impressive picture.  #goals)  I’ve filled our house with cut flowers (which is delightful, but is probably what’s making me sneeze all over the place).

If you love daffodils as much as I do (and if you’re more logical about your allergies than I am), maybe you’ll want to get cracking on some daffodil-themed knitting.

This adorably accurate daffodil is too cute for words!  Can you imagine making a whole bouquet of these bad boys?

Daffodils by Jessica GoddardAnd this shawl is so beautiful!  I love the honeycomb-ish pattern she used to fill the big petals.

Daffodil Design by Marianne KinzelBut, I think this little lady takes the cake.  She’s a tiny fairy wearing a daffodil as a dress!  Have you ever seen anything more darling?  (And, I say that as someone who’s never called anyone or anything “darling” in her life.)

Daffodil Flower Fairy by Lorna PearmanAre the Daffodils blooming in your neck of the woods?

Inspiration: St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!

Have you all drank your green beer and eaten your corned beef yet?   No?  Well, what are you waiting for?!  (Though, to be honest, it’s far too early for beer for me, and I’ve never actually drank a green one, even in college.  Also, I’m vegetarian, so no corned beef for me.  But, maybe I’ll make some Irish soda bread for dinner.  Yes, that sounds good.  Irish soda bread and a beer around 6:00 tonight.)

I’m not really sure how to celebrate St. Patrick’s day, really.  I’m not Catholic, so I won’t be going to mass.  I’m not a big drinker, so I’m not going on a bender.  And, I’m only part Irish, anyway (maybe- my family history is fairly muddled, but my maiden name was kind of Irish).

What I am, though, is a knitter.  And if you thought I was going to let a day like this pass by without talking about Irish sweaters (Aran jumpers, in particular), you were wildly mistaken.

Aran jumpers are simply gorgeous, and they’ve been on my knitting bucket list for years.  Originating from the Aran Islands (just off the coast of Ireland), Aran jumpers are the old-school version of an all-weather coat.  They are traditionally made with untreated wool, so the yarn retains all that good lanolin, making the sweaters perfect for wearing in the rain (something that happens a lot on the Aran Islands), or while fishing on the ocean.  Supposedly, each family has a favorite Aran pattern- specific cables that everyone in the family wears, something like each clan having its own tartan.  I’m pretty sure that’s a myth, but I love the idea anyway.

Of course, these days, people use Aran cables to decorate anything, not just sweaters.

This shawl may be simple, but you can definitely see the Aran jumper influence with that gorgeous braided cable along the bottom.

Celtic Myths by Asita KrebsThis designer took the opposite approach, and crammed every square inch with cables!  I can only imagine how cuddly and warm this blanket must be.  (Can you spot the same braided cable in this project, too?)

Celtic Aran Afghan by Sharondipity DesignsI just love this sweater.  It’s a modern take on the Aran jumper, oversized and cozy, but still undeniably Aran.  And, there’s that cable again, running right up the front!

Katla by Lars Rains

Do you have plans for St. Patrick’s Day?  Have you ever knit up an Aran sweater?