Recent Project Extravaganza!

I’ve been on a serious knitting spree this summer. Kind of contradictory, I know–who wants to hold five pounds of wool in their lap on a 95 degree day? Still, this summer I’ve wrapped up tons of long-overdue projects and whipped up a couple of new ones. 

From top to bottom: Bundled in Brioche by Stephen West, an original pattern I’ll be sharing soon!,  Viajante by Martina Behm, a random bastardized DROPS pattern I have never been able to find again, and Women’s Cardigan Style No. 150 from Free Vintage Knitting

Currently on my needles: Ladies Classic Raglan Pullover by Jane Richmond in Cascade 220 (the color scheme is Neapolitan Ice Cream, of course), and a pair of rainbow socks in Manos del Uruguay fingering weight for my niece. 

I’ll have more new patterns coming your way soon! 

xoxo

Call for Artists, Photographers, Writers, Crafters…!

Image: Vogue.com

Hey there!

My boyfriend and I are currently putting together a magazine featuring the creative work of our friends and family and we want you to be a part of it! We need writers, illustrators, artists, photographers, chefs, crafters, comic artists…basically anyone whose work can be displayed on the pages of a magazine. 

There are no restrictions on what we are looking for, besides it being awesome and important to you. If you are looking for an opportunity to have your work published, send it over! If we choos to include your work, we will contact you ASAP. Everyone featured in the magazine will receive a free copy and be featured on an upcoming website.

Use THIS FORM to submit. All submissions are due by September 15th, 2015. 

Submission Guidelines:

Visual Art + Photography: Photos should be in .jpg or .png format. At least 1500 x 1500 pixels.

Prose + Poetry: .pdf or .doc format. Up to 7,500 words total (can be multiple pieces).

E-mail me with any questions: katiestich@gmail.com

Favorite Yarn: Araucania Huasco

Image: earthfaire.com

Oh yeah, this blog is about knitting too, right? Well let’s talk yarn!

I’ve had a skein of Araucania Huasco Botany Lace sitting around in my stash for at least two years. As with any great skein, I bought it because it was just so damn pretty–a beautiful kettle-dyed mix of blues and greys. Yet, being a fingering weight, I have resisted using it because I either can’t decide on a project or don’t feel like self-inflicting carpal tunnel with #1 needles that day. 

Finally, after completing a ginormous sweater for Rhinebeck (that can only be described as Bjorkian) I wanted to do something small-scale with a bit of intricacies. I pulled out my Araucania, some #4’s, and cast on for a hat. 

I am literally addicted to knitting with this yarn right now–which doesn’t bode very well considering it’s finals week and I’d rather make a hat and watch Sailor Moon. The texture of the yarn is squishy, never stringy, and the variegation in color is oh-so subtle. The best part: the stitch consistently is really beautiful. I’m working the honeycomb stitch in the round and the results have been really even and lovely. 

This would be a seriously rad yarn for a sweater or bigger project (if you have the patience…pshhhh). I can’t even imagine these colors on a large scale! The yarn is delicate and it’s advised to be dry-cleaned, so I wouldn’t suggest socks despite how good they would feel. I think scarves, shawls, hats, and other down the middle projects would be made really special with this yarn.

Have you knit with Araucania before? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

xoxo

Shop Araucania Yarns at KnittingFever.com

 

Today I Stop Shopping at Forever 21

*Cue the heavens opening. A beam of golden light shines down upon me. Angels flutter down and hand me a certificate that says “Best Human Ever Award”*

Today I went into Forever 21. I needed a new sports bra and figured this would be the cheapest, quickest way to get the job done. I left the store about 30 minutes later with two sports bras, gym shorts, a tank top, a blouse, and a sweater. What could have cost me less than $10 ended up forcing me to sell my grandmother’s prized family heirlooms on the corner. Not really, but almost. 

I have been in a complicated relationship with Forever 21 for as long as I’ve been dressing myself. The store is an overwhelming sensory experience of glitter, nonsensical pop music, things with cats and/or pineapples on them, surprisingly cute underwear, jewelry that leaves your fingers green, and stuff that could actually pass as not being from Forever 21.

Above all: it’s cheap. Disgustingly cheap. As in, I am fairly sure I have paid less than $1 for more than one thing there. When something is that cheap, its origins are instantly undeniable. A quick Google search will link you to tons of reports on completely unacceptable labor practices used by Forever 21, H&M, Zara, and basically anywhere else a college student will tell you she got her outfit. 

Yet we’re all able to suppress the idea that an 11-year-old kid made our Floral Crochet Vests because this kind of shopping experience is addicting. Checking a price tag on a cute top and seeing a teeny-tiny $6.00 is a rush, especially when your total clothing budget is $20.00. Holy cow, I can get three of these puppies! I might as well get that unicorn-shaped necklace too!! And why not a new skirt?!! Don’t act like you haven’t been there. Also, don’t act like you haven’t gone home and realized half of the things you got aren’t even that cute. Hell, I already dubbed that tank top I bought earlier as “Officially Fugly.” 

For people who are struggling to clothe themselves, inexpensive clothing can be a real blessing and I fully acknowledge that. I am thankful I am not in this position and have the choice to be mindful about how and where I spend my money. Of course, making this kind of decision doesn’t automatically mean the Human Rights Fairy is going to bless me with infinite monies to purchase higher quality, more ethically made clothing. As it turns out, there are so many resources for finding affordable, ethical, slow fashion. This list is a great jumping off point. 

So, I’m done with it. Forever 21, Zara, H&M can kiss my overused credit card farewell. I am tired of foolishly compromising my morals, my budget, and my style (and my skin to all these synthetic fabrics, psshaww!) for the sake of a temporary shopping high.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas for new places to shop!

xoxo

 

Kate Hudson Convinced Me to Buy Exercise Clothes And…

My teenage anarchist self would be so pissed if she found out that Kate Hudson convinced me to buy activewear, via an advertisement on Facebook. But $25 for a complete outfit? Anyone who has ever set foot in a Nike store knows you could buy about one boob’s worth of a sports bra with $25. 

That in mind, it’s not hard to figure out why my workout wear consists largely of beat-up Soffe shorts left over from high school Ultimate Frisbee, paired with any t-shirt I ever got for free. It’s a perfectly acceptable look, certainly, but lately the wedgie-inducing shorts and suffocating polyester blend tee’s have been getting to me. So, when a 45º angled Kate Hudson invited me into a world of affordable compression and support, I shrugged and clicked. 

Now on Fabletics.com, I was directed to a fancy lil’ quiz, asking me how and where I liked to work out, and what I thought about a bunch of unfortunate color palettes. Following the quiz, I was presented with my own “personalized picks” featuring gear that best suited my needs.

The introductory $25/outfit offer applies to a specified selection of outfits, but there was still plenty to choose from. I, personally, chose the “Indio” outfit, as it had three pieces, while most had two and, as we already established, this entire mission was of the more bang for your buck variety. 

The Indio ensemble features the Barbados Tank, the Salar Crop, and Joliet High Impact Bra. You can pick and choose from several colors, but I went with the standard pink and black.

It’s worth noting: make sure you check the size guide before ordering. There’s some seriously weird vanity sizing going on. I chose my usual size in everything, but then some celestial inspiration came down upon me and provoked me to check the size guide, where measurements revealed I should actually order a size up. (And after trying everything on, thank the lawd I did!)  

Less than a week later, and my shiny new clothes arrived at my doorstep. I unpacked each piece and all I could think was “damn this is soft.” Everything was so cute I was inspired to go running right away. I put everything on, it fit like a glove, and hell yeah I looked good. Certainly an improvement from the usual reflection of a sweaty “2006 Middle School Field Day” variety. 

From the top down: the Joliet High Impact Bra was without a doubt the most hardcore support I’ve ever experienced. I generally don’t need that much support in that area, but wearing this made a noticeable difference in comfort, even for me. Bonus: it’s multi-layered, which means I was able to stash my keys and iPod in it. 

The Salar Crop was also lovely. Essentially, they keep it tight with nary a hint of a muffin top. I have seen the errors of running in yoga pants! 

Finally, the Barbados tank topped everything off really nicely. It’s ultra-drapey and doesn’t cling to the body at all, even when you start sweating hardcore. For those of us who hate the feeling of wearing a tight shirt/anything with sleeves while exercising, but also haven’t transcended to a mental state where we can be okay in just a sports bra, this top is the perfect medium. If (and I assume this is true) all of their similar tops are of the same material, I want 10 in every color. 

So yes, I am down with Fabletics. The clothes are cute. Quite cute at that. Most activewear follows a similar model, regardless of brand, so it’s more or less variations on a theme. But some of those variations are really quite rad. Some of my favorites include the Switch Back Tee, the Salar Capri, and the Sicily Top. Not too shabby, right?

Of course a well-priced pair of pants isn’t going to knock a minute off of your mile or make you able to lift five more pounds, but I found that I genuinely felt good working out in these clothes. I wasn’t bothered by the hinderances of modified street clothes (see aforementioned wedgie) and this made for an overall experience that was more fun and more productive. And best of all, I felt cute while doing it! Hot dog, I even wore a bracelet! 

So, would I recommend Fabletics to a friend? Sure! Am I going to order from them again? Probably! Especially if they give me a coupon for writing this. 

xoxo

Every Jane Austen Movie Adaptation & Where to Watch Them

Much to the annoyance of, well, pretty much everyone, I am the worst person to watch a movie with. I strike down nearly every suggestion, thinking to myself “Oh sure, The Pianist may be objectively good–but this is 1/12th of this day I’m never going to get back people!” 

That being said, there is one film category I will never turn down: Jane Austen adaptations. Every white ballgown, every discussion of propriety, every embarrassingly uncomfortable 90’s actor in a waistcoat all swirls together in a delicious ice cream soup that’s just as good every time. 

I’ve assembled a list of all TV and film adaptations from 1990-present. There were plenty before 1990, of course, but if you just want to watch bad wigs you can do that on your own time. Most are available on major streaming sources, but there were several to be found only from more dubious purveyors. Also to note, this list is exclusively of strict adaptations of Austen’s novels, i.e. half of the movie is overhead shots of the English countryside. There is an infinite number of spin-offs, of which you can find an exhaustive list here (and might I recommend Bride & Prejudice). 

Anyway, go forth, drink some wine, knit a shawl, and contemplate why Mr. Bingley is so damn underrated. 

***

Emma

BBC Mini-Series (2009)Watch on Hulu

Feature Film (1996) – Watch on Movie2kto

Mansfield Park

TV Movie (2007) – Watch on Project Free TV

Feature Film (1999) – Watch on Netflix / Watch on Amazon Prime

Northanger Abbey

Masterpiece TV Movie (2007) – Watch on Hulu / Watch on YouTube

Persuasion

TV Movie (2007)Watch on YouTube

Pride & Prejudice

Feature Film (2005) – Watch on HDMovie14

BBC Mini Series (1995)Watch on Amazon Prime / Watch on Hulu

Sense & Sensibility

TV Mini-Series (2008) – Watch on Hulu

Feature Film (1995) – Watch on Amazon Prime

Jane Austen-Related

“Becoming Jane” Feature Film (2007) – Watch on FFilms.org

 

This is What Real Fitness Looks Like

Who doesn’t want to be healthier/fitter/more confident and comfortable in their own body? Duh! Of course there are the select few who have already reached curvaceous nirvana and shall never want for a push up. But for many, a balanced diet and exercise combo is a great system for boosting physical and emotional well-being. 

Strangely, the fitness community, both online and in the “real world” is populated with the same naturally thin blondes in pink $120 Nike sports bras. This is the ideal that we, as people focused on physical fitness, are given to aspire to. But…when was the last time you perfectly contoured your face to go to the gym?

Exercise is sweaty, brutal, exhilarating, and fun! Fitness doesn’t follow a strict set of rules and isn’t confined to a snobby gym. Larger people aren’t necessarily unhealthy, and the reverse applies for their smaller counterparts. No one should feel pressured to be sexy or appealing when exercising–the focus is internal! Why don’t we see that in conventional representations? Surprise people! Not everyone capable of running a marathon is a 25 year-old, size 0 ballerina. 

If you’re thinking “damn straight!” then may I offer you a virtual high five. May I also introduce you to the wonderful world of This Girl Can, a British campaign aiming to end the judgment and shame many are often subjected to for simply wanting to be active! This Girl Can has created a network of women celebrating simply “doing it!” no matter how well/fast/accurately they happen to go about it.  Check out their incredible ad campaign below:

#THISGIRLCAN

Go forth and kick some ass,

xoxo

Life Updates: Brioche, Blume and A Mystery Novel

Hey all! Life is good! It’s summer, I’m happy, and I am currently eating a garlic knot! There’s so much going on in my world that I thought I’d share:

This morning, I just finished reading Judy Blume’s latest novel In the Unlikely Event. It’s one of her few novels “for adults,” centering around three plane crashes in Elizabeth, New Jersey in the early 1950’s. The novel has garnered mixed reviews–but I am on the side of praise. The novel follows a large, complex cast of characters and is incredible in its capacity to evoke time and place both mentally and physically. Just as a side note: this isn’t good airport reading.

So, after years of considering myself a semi-pro knitter, I finally learned to brioche. It only took about 50 different YouTube videos and online walkthroughts, but I think I finally got the hang of it. I’m currently working with some Rowan Silky Tweed to create a two-tone scarf.

I recently went home for a long weekend to visit my family, and needless to say it was swell. The real surprise was coming home to find my boyfriend had purchased me a vintage Remington Tab Master typewriter! It’s absolutely beautiful, if not delightfully noisy. I’ve been using it nearly everyday, which brings me to my next point:

I am currently halfway through writing my first novella. I plan on self-publishing by the end of the year (so yes that means you should get the eBook for all of your friends and family this holiday season). I’ve *attempted* many an extended work in the past, but I have such a great feeling about this one.

This week, my best friend forever is coming to stay with me for a few days! We have sensational plans that include, but are not limited to, seeing Ken Wantanabe in the living, breathing flesh on Broadway.

Speaking of said friend…we are going to Rhinebeck this year. Which reminds me…I better start knitting that sweater.

I love you all!

xoxo

New Pattern: Peach Slice Socks

s1.jpg

Peach Slice is a pair of squishy, stripe-y socks that are perfect for pairing with summer sandals. I made the leg slightly shorter than normal socks to give them a sportier look.

The socks are knit from the top down, which can be a bit of a confusing method if you’ve never done it before. If you’re a first-time sock knitter, I would recommend the wonderful Susan B. Anderson tutorial “How I Make My Socks.

Tosh Merino Light is a really fun yarn with just a hint of variegation and texture. One skein is a little more than enough for a pair of socks.

The pattern is currently available for download on Ravelry! So head on over!

xoxo,

Hare & Anser