Tag Archives: school

A Visit to the New Art Fibers

14 Nov

We’re starting to work on our final projects for my knitwear design and construction class. I’ve been stuck working with acrylic for my sample swatches most of the semester, but for this project we get to choose our own yarn. The problem is the yarn provided isn’t always adequately labeled and I have no clue what’s vegan, and what is vegan doesn’t come in the colors I want, so I just said screw it and just decided to buy some of my own yarn.

After class I took a trip to the newly reopened Art Fibers in downtown San Francisco where they sell luxury yarn by the yard, and you can buy on it wound cones too! This is great for machine knitting because that means I don’t have to put it on the cone myself! Fancy! Another great thing about yarn by the yard is that you don’t have that annoying issue of needing 307 yards but the skein is only 300 yards, which forces you to buy a whole new skein that you’re probably not actually going to use, but hey you’ll buy it just in case.

The new Art Fibers space is pretty neat. I only went to the old location once, but I fairly remember the store being  hard to find and inside kind of dark and uninviting. The new space is huge, has a great amount of natural light, and certainly gives off a “studio loft” type vibe which suits their downtown, 3rd floor location. They sell a limited quantity of luxury yarns so swatches, skeins and content information are all laid out on tables for browsing, instead of the usual wall-to-wall shelves you’ll find at most  yarn shops. The staff is sweet and helpful.

As for vegan friendliness they get an A+ from me.  I would guess that almost 1/3 of the yarn they carry is vegan. I made off with two cones of a surprisingly soft 100% linen in variegated colors that work perfectly for my project.

So yeah! Check it out if you’re in the area you’ll find some great yarn you can’t find anywhere else.

I actually can’t believe I’m starting on my final projects. It feels like just yesterday I was all nervous about going to my first knitwear design class. As much fun as I’m having, I can’t say I’m sad to see the holiday break fast approaching.

Today is the last day to enter the contest to win a signed copy of the Vegan Girl’s Guide to Life, I’m drawing the name at midnight! So get commenting and tweetin’!

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Oh, right. Socks.

10 Sep

Oh hey, remember these? Yeah, well I finished them forever ago and then never posted anything about them. I set them aside to dry somewhere and then completely forgot about their existence.

Just for fun!

Finished Soybean Socks

Finished Soybean Socks

I had a lot of fun making these. It’s a great pattern!

In other news, I had my first knitwear design class this week. I have fallen in love with the knitting machine. It’s not as relaxing as knitting by hand, it’s more akin to working with a sewing machine, but I love watching my swatches take shape so quickly! What can I say, sometimes instant gratification is nice.

My First Hand Dying Adventure

1 Sep

Today is my last official day of summer. Tomorrow I start my online classes, Saturday I have my first on campus knitwear design class and Tuesday I go back to work.  I’m using today to wrap up some projects I started over my break, clean, organize and of course, knit.

Here’s one project I finally finished today. A couple of months ago a yarn shop in my area went out of business and had a huge sale. I grabbed about 9 skeins of this:

Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton

And because it was on sale for about half off the sticker price, I convinced myself I really liked it. I mean, how could I not? I could make  an entire sweater, plus maybe a hat, or mittens for so cheap. But then I got home, swatched it up using a few different stitch patterns and of course I absolutely hated it. It was just too…beige and white? I’m sure it could be great for something, but definitely not a garment. Sorry, Blue Sky Alpacas, you know I still love you.

So I bought some blue dye and went to town on it.

Now, I’ve never dyed anything before in my entire life. Not even tye-dye. Not even easter eggs. I was really just making things up as I went along. Next time I know to dye on the table and not the floor (back ache!) and the wear gloves that go up to the elbow (I had a very blue index finger for a few days). I had fun though! I enjoyed myself and as soon as I find out exactly what the protocol is for rinsing hand dyed yarn (I was in the bathtub for hours wringing out the yarn) I want to do it again, and maybe even give hand painting a try!

The results?

My first hand dying project

I like it! I didn’t expect the brown to still show through after dying since it’s just naturally grown to be that color, but oh well. I think it swatches up quite nice.

Who Me? Cardigan Swatch

I’ve already cast on for the Who Me? Cardigan from the latest issue of Knitscene. I want a go-to cardigan I can wear year round, but still have some interesting details. I think the yarn will help it stand out and match the grey jeans I wear all the time.

The tank top I’m working on is going swimmingly —that is until I decided I wanted an entirely different hem and ripped the whole thing out. Like I said, things are always subject to change with me, I’m definitely a perfectionist when it comes to design (and absolutely nothing else). I’d rather do more work than be unhappy with the finished product. Hopefully I can catch up on it soon.

Regarding my Future

23 Aug

I’ve been holding out on making the official announcement for awhile due to some rather irritating complications, but I think I can finally tell the world! In a little more than a week I will be starting classes at the Academy of Art where I will be majoring in knitwear design. I am extremely excited, and nervous, but mostly excited. I’ve missed being in design school since I graduated last year, and even though I’ve been taking a few classes here and there I’m ready to go back full time. I’m hoping that along with being personally fulfilling this will open new doors for me career-wise.

I loved working on my associates degree in fashion design at FIDM where I learned a great deal about design and construction with wovens, but since I began working in the knitwear market earlier this year I’ve discovered that I really want to expand my knowledge and go for my BFA where I can experiment with  a variety of materials and design techniques. The school has amazing facilities and equipment that I can’t wait to get my hands on.

Of course, I wouldn’t have this amazing opportunity without my  family. They support me unconditionally and never hesitate to tell me how proud they are. I’m getting kind of tear-y eyed just writing this. They are seriously great.

So that’s what I will be up to for the next two years. I’ll be still be working, so you can bet with adding full time school I will be a little bit busy. But don’t worry, I’ll update you on any neat projects I have going on for school, and of course whatever I’m working on in my free (err…bus commute?) time.