Yarn Pilgrimage // NYC

I'm still giddy over our trip to New York. It was probably the first time in my life that I really needed a vacation, due to all the work that I've been doing (& loving! but still, lots & lots of work). And it certainly did the trick - I came back nourished, inspired, & ready to jump into the holiday season.

I shared about our trip to Rhinebeck in my last post, & I'm so excited to share more about all the fibery exploring we did in New York City itself (& some fun new designs I've already started knitting with my new yarn!). Welcome to the second installment of my new favorite blog segment: Yarn Pilgrimage.

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Yarn Pilgrimage // Rhinebeck, NY

I often joke about going on "yarn pilgrimages" - AKA semi (or fully) planning a trip because of the yarn stores, fiber festivals, and/or sheep I want to see. It happened a lot when I studied abroad - my Spring Break conveniently fell over the weekend of the Edinburgh Yarn Festival in Scotland, so of course I had to go. And of course I had to take a trip to Loop London while I was in the UK. And of course it was all amazing!

In the spirit of fully embracing yarn pilgrimages & traveling with yarn/knitting/craft at the forefront of one's mind, I've decided to dedicate an entire blog segment to it. Hence, welcome to the first installment of the Yarn Pilgrimage blog posts: Rhinebeck.

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Golden Birthday Sale!

I grew up thinking Golden Birthdays were common knowledge, but as I've learned while celebrating mine, a lot of people have no idea what they are. So here's a fun little fact for you, in case you didn't know: your Golden Birthday is when you turn the age that is the date of your birthday! So mine was yesterday - I turned 23 on October 23rd. And it was one of the best birthdays I've ever had! Grayson & I celebrated with a trip to NYC & Rhinebeck (more on that later) & I ate a whole lot of cake.

So I've been celebrating pretty well, but I wanted to make sure that you guys can celebrate with me too! So for today & tomorrow (10/24 & 10/25), I'm offering 23% off everything everywhere! That's 23% off all patterns, handknit goods, & mugs. It's pretty exciting!

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Book Club // How Art Can Make You Happy by Bridget Watson Payne

This is the fourth installment of Book Club, bringing you books of all kinds to feed a creative & beautiful life. This segment runs the first or second Friday of every month to stimulate creative energy & passion for your weekend & throughout the month ahead. Please feel free to discuss the book (or give book recommendations) in the comments, & enjoy this month's pick: How Art Can Make You Happy by Bridget Watson Payne.

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Slow Fashion October // Making, Remaking, & Mending

Slow Fashion October is in full swing all over the internet & I am LOVING it! Check out the #slowfashionoctober hashtag on Instagram to follow along, & if you missed my first blog post you can check it out here. In this post, I outline the results of my wardrobe musings & where to go from here - a leap into sewing, mending long-worn pieces, & reworking some very special yarn.

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Slow Fashion October // Introduction & Goals

The best month of the year is finally here! Just kidding, they're all great. But October has a special place in my heart, because #1 it's birthday month (& GOLDEN birthday month this year!); #2 the weather is pretty much unequivocally excellent; and #3 it's Slow Fashion October!

I am an avid follower of Karen Templer's blog, Fringe Association (& her shop is awesome too!), and one of my favorite things that she does is Slow Fashion October. For the glorious month of October, she facilitates a beautiful, messy, complex, & rewarding conversation surrounding the concept of slow fashion & the people, brands, & cultures that choose to partake in it.

Everyone defines slow fashion differently - I'm partial to Karen's definition found here - but the way I look at it is pretty simple (on the surface). To me, slow fashion is just paying attention to your clothes. Of course, that can be broken down - where they come from, how they make you feel, who made them, how to properly care for them, what they're made of... the list can go on & on. But on its purest level, slow fashion, to me, is paying attention to your clothes.

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Design Revamp // Rachel Wrap

Happy first day of autumn, everyone! It feels ridiculous typing that since it's currently 92 degrees in Chicago, but hey - let's not talk about that. To celebrate the beginning of a truly fabulous season (especially for knitwear), I'm introducing a new blog segment: Design Revamp. In this segment, I'll revisit past designs & re-release them with some kind of new schnazzy update. Maybe that means more modification options, expanded sizes, or just an update to my new pattern layout.

For my first Design Revamp, I'm taking on one of my most popular patterns: the Rachel Wrap. This was part of the first three designs I ever released last year (along with the Maddie Headband & the Jaclyn Mitts), & it was originally only available in one size. Now, this piece is available in Adult Small/Medium AND Adult Large/X-Large! And it has the pretty new pattern design I've been releasing all my recent patterns in.

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Color Inspiration Week 13: The Most Perfect Rose Gold Yarn

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw me gush about this yarn in the above photo earlier this week. And honestly, I cannot stop gushing. It is glorious. It's the kind of yarn that is (literally) keeping me up at night with ideas, & even though I purchased it with very specific projects in mind I have about 7 billion other things I want to knit with it.

It's basically rose gold in a yarn, which was unintentional as I purchased it but such a lovely surprise. I would like an entire shelf full of it in every base that Madelinetosh offers because it does all of the magical things that rose gold does: it warms everything it comes into contact with, it's basically neutral but with just a hint of blush that compliments any skin tone, & it just feels luxurious. I genuinely think it might be my favorite yarn ever (*gasp!*).

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Thoughts & Feelings // On work/life balance & self-care

It's been a (wonderfully) busy week here in Chicago, accompanied by rising temperatures that I'm finding not so wonderful. I'm incredibly jealous of people who are currently experiencing Fall-like weather, especially since I've been working on that bulky mountain of goodness in the photo above. 80+ degree temperatures do not mix well with super chunky knitwear!

My original plan was to have all the designs of the Adventurer Collection released by the end of this week, but obviously that hasn't come to fruition. I put a bit too much on my plate, & I just need more time to work though it all. There's a serious beauty to being your own boss (seriously, I love it!), but it also means that you're really the only person who can check your level of work/life balance. And I'm definitely still working on that!

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Shop Update // Up North Headband Pattern & Handknit Goods (& more!)

This post is a result of a crazy busy week - which means I'm combining everything all into one! We have a new pattern release, an Etsy shop update, an ongoing sale on new Fall styles (everywhere! 20% off new Fall patterns AND handknit goods!), color inspiration, & a bit of creative process. But never fear, this post is remarkably short for containing so many lovely things.

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Explorer Tank Pattern & Creative Process

This design has been on quite the journey. Originally conceptualized as an artistic component to my Communication Studies Capstone Project this past May (in which I observed yarn store culture & synthesized my observations into a series of codes which I then translated into a handknit top - just typical academic stuff), I pulled this tank out of my closet towards the end of the summer & fell in love.

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Book Club: The Secret Lives of Colour by Kassia St Clair

This is the third installment of Book Club, bringing you books of all kinds to feed a creative & beautiful life. This segment runs the first Friday of every month (or in this case the second because the first came way too early!) to stimulate creative energy & passion for your weekend & throughout the month ahead. Please feel free to discuss the book (or give book recommendations) in the comments, & enjoy this month's pick: The Secret Lives of Colour by Kassia St Clair.

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Shop Update // Beanies & Coffee Cozies!

Non-knitters, rejoice! The weather is getting chillier & I'm sure you are too, but never fear - Freesia Fibers has all the cozy things you could ever need! Or at least we've got some beanies & coffee cozies, but that should be all you need right now. I'm pretty sure we're a few weeks away from freezing temperatures (but who knows, with all this crazy weather!).

Etsy is updated with a few Rocky Mountain Beanies & Comfort Coffee Cozies in all sorts of fun colors. See a preview of them below & head over to Etsy to check out all the fun things I've been cooking up.

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Color Inspiration Week 11: The Colors of the Wind

Last Friday, I found myself awake for the sunrise thanks to Grayson having to work super early & me thinking it was a good idea to just wake up at 4 AM with him. While I regret waking up that early because I think I'm still recovering from lack of sleep, I would do it again in a heartbeat to witness the beautiful sunrise over Lake Michigan. I'm going on my 5th year of living in Chicago (& living right off the lake every year, no less) & somehow this is the first time I've witnessed this crazy beautiful natural experience.

While it was early, I was far from alone. There were seagulls everywhere, people running past on the lakeshore trail, & a hilarious older couple doing some kind of sun salutation dance on the beach (they were awesome). It was a different side of the city - softer, kinder, & a bit more bizarre. I loved it!

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Free Pattern! // Comfort Coffee Cozy

The Adventurer Collection has a lot of big exciting pieces, but this little guy is just as fun as the rest of them. And he's free!

The Comfort Coffee Cozy brings a little bit of home with you wherever you're out exploring. You can store this cute lil' buddy in your purse & whip it out whenever you get a coffee on-the-go & add some personality to your java as well as some homestyle comfort. It's also a wee bit more eco friendly than those cardboard cup warmers - & it can fit around a reusable to-go cup as well!

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Rocky Mountain Beanie Pattern & Creative Process

I love love LOVE this beanie! There have been a few chilly days the past few weeks & every one of them has included me popping this wooly goodness on my head & having the best & coziest day ever.

The inspiration for this hat comes from my best friend Maddie (of the Maddie Headband) & her cross-country move to Denver, Colorado. Maddie is like a beanie personified - so warm & inviting but also kind of hip and edgy. She's the coolest, & I decided she needed a beanie to go with her to the Rocky Mountains. Since the Adventurer Collection is named for a life of exploring, it made sense to name this beanie after the magnificent mountain range of her new home.

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Introducing the Adventurer Collection // Fall 2017

It's here, it's here! It's finally here! I'm so flippin' excited I could probably burst! I've been working on this collection for months & to see all of my ideas come together into a Fall wardrobe that I'm just super psyched to wear is unbelievably fulfilling. And starting next week, you can get this Fall wardrobe for yourself as well!

This collection is built for the adventurer - the traveler, the jet setter, the go getter, the person who is always discovering & living life to the fullest. Many of the pieces are convertible (or have many modification options) & they are all built to be just as comfortable as they are cute. I originally was knitting this collection in more muted colors (see this post), but as many of those original samples were sent off to the people who inspired them, I started knitting in lighter, brighter colors that just make me smile. The end result is a joyful compilation of wooly goodness.

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Color Inspiration Week 10: Yellow!

For anyone who knows me personally & has been following along with these Color Inspiration posts, it's probably pretty shocking that I haven't yet done one that focuses on the glorious color yellow. Yellow is 100%, no questions asked, no if's/and's/but's, my absolute favorite color. It's so happy & cheery & it literally scientifically helps put a smile on your face (evidence: seeing yellow releases serotonin in your brain which is supposed to do good things. I'm not an expert, I just learned this once & I will hold onto it forever.)!

Now I understand that I am among the few people in the population who hold yellow to this high standard - in the few random surveys I spotted online, yellow was only getting about 2-8% of the votes - but I'm here to change that. Along with making the world love wool, making the world love yellow is probably my #2 mission. Also world peace.

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Color Inspiration Week 9: Dog Days of Summer

Did you know that, like many things, the origin of the phrase "dog days of Summer" is Greco Roman? As I learned from this lovely Nat Geo article, this phrase actually refers to the heliacal position of the dog star, Sirius (AKA the origin of Sirius Black's name). The Greeks & Romans would refer to the time of the year when Sirius appeared to rise just before the sun as the "dog days" - the hottest & least bearable time of year.

Apparently the time when Sirius rises isn't actually always the hottest time of year, but it's still a fun anecdote. And fitting for this week, when my buddy Jake popped in front of the camera as I was taking a picture of our backyard & more of my mom's planters - adding a lovely warm chestnut to the color palette.

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