Posts tagged creative process
Savor // Harry Potter's Common Room Socks Pattern Release & Creative Process

J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series has impacted every facet of my life - it taught me what true friendship should look like, gave me a love of reading that will last a lifetime, & challenged me to believe in light even in the darkest of times. In short, I'm obsessed. And that obsession naturally had to merge with my other obsession - knitting! So here we are with the first of 7 sock designs, each inspired by one of the magical Harry Potter novels.

Fair warning: you are about to read essentially a book report from a superfan merged with the creative process of me designing socks. It's as nerdy (but hopefully as lovable) as you would expect.

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Savor // Super G Hat Montana Meltdown

Alright, so here's the deal. My sister always has a way of keeping me in check & bringing me back to reality (this could also be interpreted as "popping my bubble of joy") & she did just that on my Instagram post releasing the Super G hat. In all of my joy at the finished product, I literally mentally blocked out the more difficult parts of the process of creating this hat.

Like I had a FULL BLOWN meltdown over the first iteration of this hat (more details below, don't you worry) & it wasn't that I consciously chose to exclude it in my last blog post of sunshine & flowers, I literally did not remember that it happened. But then Erin reminded me (& also gave me a great blog post title, already in proper grammatical style) & now I must recount this vital part of the creative process. Because creativity includes maaany highs & lows, & I know that I am often guilty of only documenting the highs...

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Savor // Super G Hat Pattern Release & Creative Process

Has anyone else been watching the Olympics nonstop? This hat was made for Grayson as a Christmas gift, but when I asked him what he wanted it to be named last night he immediately blurted out "SUPER G" & then started talking about how it kinda looks like a ski hat & basically we've got winter sports on the brain.

I've knit Grayson a Christmas hat every year since we started dating, so this is his fourth hat! So exciting! He requested colorwork so I went simple & graphic, & I'm so happy with the result...

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Savor // Inspirations & Color Summary

Happy lazy Sunday, friends! Chicago has experienced about a million pounds of snow this weekend (very accurate measurement), which means I've spent a whole lot of time relaxing indoors, taking night time walks in the twinkly snow, knitting, & hanging out with some of my favorite people.

Basically, I've been embracing the feeling of this Journal: SAVOR - taking the time to enjoy late winter in all of its glory (read more about my new Journal model here). This post will give you a little more insight into the inspiration behind this issue, as well as preview of a few of my new designs & projects to come...

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Gift Knitting Guide // Erin Beanie Pattern Release

Happy December! I don't know about you, but this is one of my favorite months. We spent all day yesterday decorating & getting the apartment in order for the busy holiday season ahead & now I have the perfect ambiance to knit my fingers off! And I'm definitely going to be making a few more of these before the end of the month!

This is the Erin Beanie, one of the last pieces of the Gift Knitting Guide. It's what Grayson called a "fisherman's hat" (direct quote: "I like that one that looks like a fisherman would wear it"), which I think he meant that it looks warm enough even to wear on the stormy seas. And it certainly is! It's knit with one strand of DK weight & one strand of fingering weight yarn, giving it a lovely marled look as well as quite a bit of extra warmth.

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Gift Knitting Guide // Dan the Man Hat Pattern Release

It's family hat week! For the last part of the Gift Knitting guide, each of my family members gets their own hat pattern. There are four of us, but we're all very different people - giving you lots of options & styles to knit for your special loved ones!

Yesterday was the Donna Hat, & today is the Dan the Man Hat - aptly named because he is Dan the Man, but also because it's a simple & tailored hat that will be perfect for the difficult-to-buy-for man in your life.

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Hermine Colorwork Mittens Creative Process

I know that I say every new pattern is my favorite, but the Hermine Colorwork Mittens are truly the OG (yes, I just referred to mittens as "Original Gangsters"). The inspiration for them came long before I even knew how to knit, when my Great Great Aunt Hermine (yes, she's a boss - still knitting at age 95) sent my family gorgeous colorwork mittens all the way from Austria to America every few years when I was a kid.

These are the kind of mittens that everybody loves - even my sister, who dresses in purely neutrals & solids, has a pair. There's something completely classic about them that's a little irresistible. Whenever I knit a pair in public, I get strangers coming up to me oooh-ing & aaah-ing. Whenever I knit a pair for someone I know & love, it's treasured in a way that I really hope all my handknits are treasured, but it's for some reason a more palpable feeling. It's like these mittens are unmistakably a great feat of knitting - people can't help but stop & admire them.

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Gift Knitting Guide // Brooklyn Cap Pattern Release

Happy week 2 of the Gift Knitting Guide! This week's pattern is the Brooklyn Cap, a sweet little sport weight hat that is as cozy as it is cute. The pattern is 25% off through Friday, so grab it at only $3.75 from Ravelry, Etsy, or my website. If you'd like to order a handknit Brooklyn Cap of your own, this wool/alpaca/mohair goodness will only cost you $60 (email me at to place your order).

Oh, and sidenote - if you liked last week's pattern (the Golden Wrap) & you'd like to order a handknit wrap, that one is only $68 thanks to its super bulky yarn (it's very quick to knit up, which keeps labor costs down). Hooray for gift knitting!

Read on to learn more about the creative process behind the Brooklyn Cap, & get a few more snapshots of it & this glorious yarn.

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Gift Knitting Guide // Golden Wrap Pattern Release

The holidays are rapidly approaching, which for me usually means that my knitting kicks into high gear & I try to make everything for everyone. It's not always successful - I've wrapped unfinished scarves with the knitting needles still attached more times than I'd like to admit - but I genuinely love knitting for people so I keep doing it year after year.

In an effort to make gift knitting less stressful for you (& for myself!), this year I'll be releasing a few patterns that are gift knitting appropriate. Scarves, hats, mittens - all things that shouldn't take more than a few days to make & won't add to your holiday stress. And they're fun as heck to knit! I've really enjoyed knitting up these pieces and I hope that you will too.

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Vienna Vest & European Wrap // Pattern Releases & Creative Processes

The last of the Fall designs are here! The Vienna Vest & the European Wrap are two intricately connected pieces, very much inspired by & informed by one another. They were inspired by my dear friend Emily Kate - first I created the European Wrap just for her & her adventures abroad in Rome, & then the Vienna Vest was born & she ended up test knitting it for me! Neither of these pieces would exist without her & her beautiful, adventurous spirit (perfectly fitting into the Fall 2017 Adventurer Collection!).

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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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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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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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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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Speckle Pillow Pattern & Creative Process

I'm having a lot of fun with home goods. They're remarkably functional, & they allow for knitwear to be enjoyed every day as opposed to a top you can only wear every few days, or a sweater you can only wear half of the year. I've also developed a deep love of 12"x18" pillows, because I've discovered they are just perfect for sticking behind your neck as you sit on the couch. Just the right amount of support!

This design was created specially for my new(ish) home and was honestly a bit of an accident. Grayson & I's home is made up of so many lovely handmade touches; some made by me, some by my mom, & others that we found through various other means (including a really sweet wooden Chicago flag made from reclaimed Chicago wood that we got from UrbanArtChicago - check them out on Etsy here!). Our bedroom is still a bit of a work in progress, but will include a quilt my mom is making us (she is the absolute best), a sewn pillow she originally made my sister but was transferred to me, & some knit pillows made by me (this will eventually all be photographed, don't you worry).

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Ombre Brioche Pillow Pattern & Creative Process

I freaking love these pillows. They honestly might be my favorite thing I've ever made. The marriage of the stitch pattern, yarn, & function is just so spot on & they are the coziest, loveliest addition to any room.

I love all of Brooklyn Tweed's yarn, but I especially love Arbor. It's incredibly lofty & springy, & the color palette (based heavily on major artists, I might add) is exceptional. They have an impressive array of very chromatic neutrals, which was perfect for this project as it was again for my sister, who, as you can see from the Erin Crop Top, is a big fan of neutrals (pattern found here, finished goods found here).

Erin recently moved cross country, & in addition to her graduation present being a specially designed top, her birthday present was a set of pillows for her new apartment (I know, she gets spoiled with knitwear). I was able to design these pillows while on our family vacation in Banff, Canada, which meant that she could approve every step along the way.

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