{after hours} New Adventures

Oh hey!!! My last episode for Season 1 of Knitting Myself Together dropped today and it's bittersweet. The feelings of accomplishment for learning so much during Season 1 (thank you for your patience!) is amazing but knowing I need to take a break until September 21st is hard because I really like talking with you. I'll still be online on social media, doing the good ol' Instagram and Facebook but there's something about verbal communication that really makes me tick. Probably because at heart, I'm a verbal processor. Either way, I don't want to go all the way until September 21st without chatting with you!

So. Here I am, trying something new (to me). I know videos are A Thing for knitters on YouTube but I've never really gotten into it. Audio only is really where my heart is. That being said, a number of you have asked if I'd do videos, so I'm giving it a try. This first video is public and 100% free. Moving forward, all videos during the hiatus for Knitting Myself Together will available exclusively to my Patreon supporters

If you enjoyed our conversation in this new format, do me a favor and check out things over at Patreon. You'll see a wide range of ways you can support me and my endeavors. Every single level of support will receive exclusive access to these videos, but there are some great additional perks for the higher levels of support as well. Everything from access to a private Facebook group to you receiving FREE patterns at each release. There's even a level where I knit something for you! But seriously, even $2.00 a month is an incredible and humbling thing to receive from my community. 

If your budget can't support one more line item to have access to the upcoming videos (trust me, I know those feels!), the audio podcast will remain free and I'll rejoin that conversation on September 21st. 

Until next time,

Dallas Ann xoxo

{fof} Personal Project

I decided to spend my vacation last week knitting a shawl design that was created by another designer. It was the perfect choice -- no pressure to document everything I was doing or second guessing if anyone but me would like the final product. The shawl wasn't quite done before we all got home, so I delayed unpacking my suitcase until it was bound off and blocking. Call my superstitious, but projects never turn out well if I start them on vacation and don't finish before I unpack. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the pattern and the yarn was a dream to work with. While knitting up this project, my creativity was allowed freedom to roam and now I am brimming with ideas for this yarn base. Hopefully I'll be able to share them with you soon!

{moodboard monday} Boardwalk Pullover

Ferris Wheels, tufts of cotton candy, and hot summer nights were the inspiration for this sweater. As always, the goal of practicality is threaded throughout the entire top down piece; lightweight and airy with enough structure to give shape without making you uncomfortable in the heat. Cap sleeves and high-low style offers practical design elements beautifully balanced against the whimsical color work and hem statements.  The stranded color work is only on the front, to avoid accidentally snagging anything you might brush up against, and the bobbles at the hem provide just enough weight to keep the edges from curling while maintaining the charming scallop.

To see more images that inspired my forthcoming pattern Boardwalk, take a peek over at this Pintrest board!

SOURCES: SUNSET PIER, PINK BALLOONS, FERRIS WHEEL, WINDSOCKS, TICKET BOOTH

Boardwalk!!

Dallas Ann modeling her new design: the Boardwalk pullover

Dallas Ann modeling her new design: the Boardwalk pullover

Hello there! I'm Susan, a mama, a knitter, and a proud piece of the behind the scenes of The Violet Pie.I thought it would be fun to find out a little bit more about the design process that went into "BOARDWALK", the new pattern coming out on Tuesday, and floated the idea by Dallas Ann yesterday. She LOVED it! So here it is, a mini interview sharing with you a little bit of what went into this perfect for summer pattern!

The colors you used for Boardwalk are so bright and happy; were you inspired by yarn colors or did the pattern idea come first? It all coalesced at the same time! I wanted to do non traditional color work, but couldn't decide if I wanted to do non traditional color or non traditional technique. So ultimately I embraced the power of "and" by incorporating both perceived options into the project. 


What do you like best about Boardwalk?
The bobble bind off. It evokes such a sense of summer and just straight up happiness for me. 


Do you have a favorite place to find inspiration, or does it find you?
It tends to find me through experiences in life or visual combinations of color and texture I see in the wild. 


Tell me a couple of things you enjoyed from the testing group 
I loved how everyone took me literally when I said "pick what colors you want" and seeing the vibrant combinations come forth. Combinations I never would have put together have best utterly delightful to see and have made me literally squee with happiness IRL. 


Boardwalk is your first big pattern release, was it hard to put it out there? 
Technically it wasn't the first return release, my birthday shawl was, and while there is more time invested in an article of clothing, Bobble Paw held much more emotional weight for me. Boardwalk is an easy and fun summer knit where inspiration and a design coalesced into a great piece, and I'm excited for its release!"


Thank you Dallas Ann for letting us take a peek into your creative process <3 

 

Knit In Public Round Up

L-R car ride knitting, beach knitting, Field Museum knitting, random sidewalk knitting, bowling alley cast on post frogging, regained knitting in final colors.  

L-R car ride knitting, beach knitting, Field Museum knitting, random sidewalk knitting, bowling alley cast on post frogging, regained knitting in final colors.  

Finally back home after a week long adventure in the Windy City. There was a lot of knitting in public done, though I ended up frogging most of what I created. Ultimately, that was the best choice because I'm going to have a shawl I will absolutely wear instead of one I was feeling iffy on. It amazes me that color order would impact my enjoyment that much! Bottom left image is the original color line up and bottom right is what I settled on after frogging. 

Having knitting with me really helped manage life in general while out all day every day. I broke my foot 72 hours before leaving and had to find ways to keep myself busy while the rest of the family went on parts of our adventures without me. To be honest, I was really angry about the whole foot mess and having to adjust plans to accommodate my pain and ability levels. Thankfully, the family didn't have to hold back on their activities but sitting on the sidelines isn't something I'm good at. Knitting really helped me manage my feels (even though so much frogging. Ugh.) and now I'll have a shawl knit in my favorite yarn filled with great memories of our time together because we all had an amazing time.

This weekend, after catching up on adulting and grocery shopping, I'm planning on laying on the couch to ice my foot so all knitting will be happening in the privacy of my own home instead of taking part in Worldwide Knit In Public Day. But what about you? Are you participating by knitting in public? I'd love to hear about your experiences!

 

{irl} Knitting on the Road

IMG_4282.JPG

I'm officially on vacation for the entire week in the Windy City! Well, a trip would be the more accurate term since children are involved. As discussed in previous podcasts, vacations with young kids never actually becomes a "vacation" but rather a trip.  

I had high ambitions for my knitting productivity on this trip. I brought the supplies for a cotton Aran weight lace tank and everything needed to complete a sport weight linen blend shawl. I originally cast on for the tee, but I just wasn't feeling it on the 3 hour drive here (carsick puking kids might have something to do with it). I think tomorrow I'm going to attempt the shawl and if THAT doesn't fall into place. Well. I might have to detail plans to find a yarn store ASAP for inspiration. 

You can follow along with my knitting in public adventures in real time over at The Violet Pie Instagram. I'm trying out the IG story feature, too, which is fun. 

Xoxo

{sunday inspiration} Community

I'm loving what I'm seeing and reading over in the Ravelry group! Its amazing to see my designs come to life and bring people together. If you haven't already you should come over and join the KAL or sign up to test the latest pattern or just poke around a bit and say hi.

#whatsinyournotionsbag

Notions

I'm a knitter who loves notions. I feel underdressed for knitting if I don't at least have scissors, measuring tape, and tapestry needle! So I've compiled a notions bag that lives in my purse at all times. I never go anywhere without my purse because of my epi pen, so I'm almost always guaranteed to have my notions with me.

My notions are as follows:

  • A pair of small, snippy scissors
  • Length of smooth scrap yarn 
  • Slender crochet hook 
  • 10 stitch markers held on a safety pin
  • Tube with tapestry needles
  • Cable needle
  • Pen
  • Tape measure

All held in an amazing and wonderful bag covered in unicorns by from the seeds. This is, hands down, my favorite notions bag because it's holds just enough and doesn't let anything poke through the sides without being a hard case. Amber's currently on maternity leave to spend time with her darling new Olive, but you can catch updates on her Instagram if you want to be charmed by her sweet family and lovely creations.

What about you? What are the notions you absolutely must have? Or are you one of those crafters who live on the edge without notions at all? If you're on social media, snap a picture of your notions and share with all of us! Be sure to use #whatsinyournotionsbag so we can all follow along.

xoxo

MAY 10 - {wipw} Cast on!!

 

This WIP Wednesday is all about you! The Bobble Paw pattern is a free pattern that I released on my birthday as my gift to you. I also have a KAL going on over in Ravelry, and would love for you to join in! The thread is already humming with activity; yarn choices being decided on, and there are even some 3 and 4 color schemes in the works which I can't wait to see all knit up! 

Come on over, see what all the excitement is about, and cast on!

Pattern

Bobble Paw KAL Ravelry Thread

 

 

{mood board monday} Bobble Paw Shawl

Inspiration is such a fluid thing. I often think it has quite the sense of humor. 

It can strike in one place: a vintage loop through neckerchief for instance. Then end up in a completely different, but still cohesive, place with lacework that looks like a bears paw. Add bobbles as a fun AND functional design feature, and BAM! you've got yourself the Bobble Paw Shawl.

SEE THE PINTEREST BOARD

SOURCES: Gal in neckerchief - Wall in Park - Mushroom - Bear - Bird of paradise - Shopping cartsPapaya in bowl

{sunday inspiration} Garter

Garter. The first stitch you learn. The simplest of all the stitches. Boooooring, right? Not if you do it right. 

I'm starting to see a revival of this simple stitch, and I'm quite excited about it. While I'm not a overwhelming fan of working this stitch myself over large portions of a pattern, I feel it has a very solid place as a design element and I look forward to seeing how far this resurgence goes. 

SEE THE PINTEREST BOARD

SOURCES (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT): HAT - SHAWL - SWEATER - SWEATER - BAG - CROPPED SWEATER - BLANKET SQUARE 

{tbt} Way the Hell Back Edition

Knitting during war time was definitely a THING in WWI and WWII. Not only was it incredibly useful, but it lent a sense of purpose and community to those on the home front, as well as physical and emotional support to those fighting.  

While the most urgent need was for socks, there was a option for everyone: "Beginning knitters would make mufflers. School kids would knit simple nine-inch squares that would be sewn together into blankets. Those who never mastered purling could make bandages: 15-20’ lengths knit in garter stitch with 100% cotton yarn." SOURCE 

Do you currently knit for those in the armed forces? Or perhaps you did in WWII. I would love to hear about your experience and how you give back.

SOURCES: POSTER

{sunday inspiration} Texture

There's just something about texture, whether in nature or man made, that makes me completely giddy. It's everywhere, and my brain can barely keep up with the endless stream of inspiration. How can I translate that woven rush basket into a knit fabric via the medium of sticks and string? Oh! That leaf could so easily be a lace design. Tile roofs have such a wonderful garter ridge order to them, hmmm. So begins the magic of another design. 

SEE THE PINTEREST BOARD

SOURCES (clockwise from top left): Texture 1 - Texture 2 - Texture 3 - texture 4 - texture 5 - texture 6 - texture 7

{wipw} Small Things Edition

Inspiration strikes without regard for situation or setting. I couldn't resist the siren call of my knitting muse and began a provisional cast on for a new design. All while in my car just minutes before having to walk into my day job. 

I took this picture to document the beginning of a new creation, the birth of a dream. Also to remember how things just come together when I'm living present and accounted for in my life. The delicate flowers of my dress against the cream of the provisional cast on balanced by the blue crochet hook sit so prettily in my eye. The lighting was that pretty early morning light that makes everything beautiful. Even snapshots taken in the front seat of a 4 door sedan. 

It was as if the universe was trying to remind me to simply take a breath and keep on moving. This will fall into place as they should and beauty will be found along the way.