Blog Crush: True Brit Knits

Blog Crush: True Brit Knits

One of my favorite blogs is nearly impossible to read, but I mean this strictly in a technical sense. True Brits Knits is Belinda Boaden and Wendy Baker, and you’ve no doubt seen multiple references to it/them here in the past. I love love love their blog, but can only get to their posts by way of a feed reader, or a permalink posted on social media, or what have you. I don’t know what my glitch is, but I do know that persistence pays off! (And here’s the Bloglovin page from which you can get to the individual posts if the site itself isn’t working for you either.) ANYWAY! The point is, however you get to it, get to it. I love the mix of mood boards and trend watching and swatches and sketches, and all the playing around with scale and texture — so inspiring. And you never know what they might be getting up to with patterns. (Remember Pendleton?) Most recently it’s this tricked-out aran sweater, The Highland Bling, which I like to pretend they made with me in mind. If ever I were to wear sequins, they would have to be ironically crusted onto a fisherman sweater, right? Brilliant.

Blog Crush: True Brit Knits

SPEAKING OF AMAZING CABLES: To my immense astonishment (and gratitude!), the enormous stack of Cable Fashion Drama I had, which I thought would last awhile, is already down to a handful of copies. I’m hoping to be able to score some more of them, but at best we’ll be waiting for the slow boat again. Just so you know.

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Blog Crush: Kate Davies

Blog Crush: Kate Davies

I know I’ve indirectly professed my love for Kate Davies’ blog before, but I want to give it a proper place in the Blog Crush annals, because the longer I follow it, the more my esteem grows and grows. The blog is a mix of personal updates, pattern releases, vintage finds, tutorials and historical perspectives — and she’s good at all of it. She lives in incredibly scenic rural Scotland (having moved from Edinburgh last summer) and has been recovering over the past few years from a stroke, about which she’s been quite candid. She posts generously about the thought process behind each new design she releases. And everything she creates or writes about is infused with her admirable love and knowledge of the history of knitting and textile design. Her posts always leave me feeling like I’ve learned a little something and also that I have a whole bright world of things yet to be learned. So she’s inspiring on all sorts of levels. If you aren’t already reading her blog religiously, add it to your list.

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Blog Crush: Dianna Walla’s Paper Tiger

Blog Crush: Dianna Walla's Paper Tiger

You may or may not have seen my update to the Colorwork for first-timers post, but Dianna Walla noted (and I added) that she had just recently done a post on her blog about knitting from repeat-based charts, so it was a funny coincidence that I had used her same chart as an example in my post — and a big reminder I was behind on my surfing. I find myself catching up on blogs about once every 10 days or so at this point (woe is me!), and Dianna’s Paper Tiger is one I’m always eager to get to. You’ve heard me utter her name fairly regularly lately, with respect to her many recent patterns I admire. I haven’t been following Dianna long enough to know why it’s called Paper Tiger, but I do have the sense that her focus has shifted over the past year or two as she’s advanced her career as a knit designer. It’s hard to pinpoint, but I think what I like so much about her blog is the variety of it, and how plain-spoken she is, whether she’s talking about the biking sweater she just finished for herself, or sharing the back story on a new pattern, or giving a lesson in color dominance, or whatever the case may be. I’ve never met her, but her blog gives me that pleasant feeling that if we did meet, we would totally be friends. (And that’s from before my name turned up in some of her posts!)

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SHOP NOTE: I’ve added a few copies of the last two issues of Pom Pom to the shop, and also got a few more of the large natural baskets, which I can’t ever seem to get enough of at one time! FYI, since I had a few questions about it, the ones I used in this post are the “small” size.

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Blog Crush: Rebekka Seale

Avocado-dyed yarn from Camellia Fiber Co photo by Rebekka Seale

Sorry, poor neglected Blog Crush! Between the loss of Google Reader (which I’m still trying to adjust to), the increasingly glacial performance of my ancient iPad (whose only job anymore is to deliver me to blogs) and being sick for most of a month (and thus behind on everything), my blog reading has been patchy lately. Regardless, it’s been a long time since I fell into a new-to-me blog and didn’t want to come out, but it happened to me on Saturday with the blog of Rebekka Seale.

I stumbled across her on Instagram when Beth Kirby noted under a picture of herself that her hat had been knitted by @rebekkaseale. I knew the name was slightly familiar, and the beautiful yarn shots in her Instagram feed were definitely familiar, but I couldn’t think why. Then I opened up her blog, began reading, and realized I had seen an interview with her recently at One Sheepish Girl. The marigold-dyed yarn had prompted me to click through to her webshop, Camellia Fiber Company, and all I remember thinking when presented with those seductive yarn photos is “Close the tab, Karen. CLOSE THE TAB!” Which I guess explains why I didn’t get as far as her blog at the time.

Seale is an artist, illustrator and house portraitist, living in Nashville, whose blog has been a delectable journal of food and gardening and illustrations and portraits — one exquisite photo after another — and I’d have been happy to find it for all that. But over the summer she began dyeing yarn. And since then, and the launch of the webshop, yarn appears to have taken over her life — and may just be taking over her gorgeous blog.

[UPDATE JAN ’14: Rebekka has officially moved her blog and shifted her focus. Update your bookmarks or feedreaders to http://camelliafibercompany.com/ ]

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ICYMI for this week, harking back to last week’s post about the simplicity of cable knitting, is Knit the Look: Jemma Baines’ big black cable beanie.

And one other quick note: You can now find the Fringe Supply Co. stitch markers at Knit Purl in Portland OR. Or, see the Stockists page to find a shop near you!

Blog Crush: The Etsy Blog

Blog Crush: The Etsy Blog

This may strike you as odd, since I’ve only used Blog Crush so far to highlight individuals and small businesses, but really if there’s any one blog I think makers (of every stripe) should be reading, it’s The Etsy Blog. I often tout it in my role as a web consultant as something for companies to study and emulate but, I’ve realized, I rarely mention it to friends looking for something great to read. The simple fact is: It’s one of the best publications on the web, in my view. When I say “the Etsy blog” (assuming you’re not already reading it) you probably imagine the standard company blog — new software feature announcements, etc. It’s a shame it doesn’t have its own identity, because it’s actually a robust magazine for creative types, with features ranging from recipes and craft tutorials to product roundups (bests of Etsy), profiles of makers both starting out and wildly successful, historical contextualizations of product types and trends, and the list goes on. If you’re interested in making and in makers (and/or in making your making into a business, on Etsy or otherwise), it’s a must read, plain and simple.

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Photos from featured shop profiles: top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right

Blog Crush: Abigail Doan

abigail doan fiber artist

“I grew up in a household that had a spinning wheel whirling in the background while evening television was on. I realize now that this was not really the norm.” So writes self-professed environmental fiber artist Abigail Doan on her blog, which is part cumulative artist statement, part esoteric travelogue, part … I don’t even know yet. I stumbled across Doan on Instagram somehow (where she’s known as lostinfiber) and just now ventured from there to her blog, where I formed an instant Blog Crush. Doan divides time between NYC and Bulgaria, and what’s even more clear from looking at her blog than her Instagram stream is that she sees the world in textures. And if there’s one thing I love, it’s getting to see what the world looks like through someone else’s eyes.

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From Kate Davies’ ephemera files

kate davies knitting ephemera series

I really like Kate Davies’ blog and will probably write a proper Blog Crush about it at some point, but right now I just want to tell you about this new series of posts she’s started doing, in case you aren’t already following along. Like a lot of people (especially recovering graphic designers), I’m a sucker for ephemera as a window into history, so I’m easy prey for this one. She doesn’t seem to have given it a formal name or created a tag for it (although all of her History-tagged content is worth a browse), but what she’s doing is dipping into her presumably amazing collection of vintage prints and postcards, and writing about them with characteristic insight and perspective. The first installment was Images of Knitting #1, followed by A Kiss from France. I can’t do justice to her manner of writing about these things, so you’ll just have to go read. Go go go.

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