Back by popular demand for another season, the Union Scarf is a chunky, warm, delicious cowl to wrap up in on the chilliest of days. I’m most excited to introduce some new colors this year — here’s a subtle grey with bits of day-glo yellow:
As always, I’ll be making the scarf in a mixture of solid colors, too:
I haven’t been terribly productive lately — whatwith the new job, writing, renovating the new house, etc. etc. So this post is of things I made a few years ago. Summertime always makes me rethink my approach to knitwear — it’s not easy to come up with light, airy things to wear out of yarn. But every now and again, I make an attempt. This was the first tank top I made, back in 2011 I think:
And then I tried turning the tank into a beach cover up, which my friend Mikela is sporting here in an avocado green:
The major problem with this type of knitwear is that unless you use a super fine thread (which would take ages), it ends up being a bit chunky. I’ll keep you posted when/if I try something again for summer wear!
Back in January 2011, when I was just starting out with Brooker Hollow, a friend and colleague of mine, Michael, would occasionally comment on Brooker Hollow photos I posted on Facebook. At the time, I was looking for people to try out samples, and so I made and sent him two chunky cowls to try out.
Michael recently made my day by forwarding a stunning photo that he took of himself with his partner, Derwin, all wrapped up in one of those cowls.
And here’s another one from the same shoot. Amazing:
I can say without hesitation that these are the best photos I’ve received from anyone who has worn Brooker Hollow knitwear. See more of Michael’s incredible photos and follow his Instagram feed here: afrographia.
I’ve often wanted to experiment with making ornaments, but the holiday season always passes me by before I have the chance. This year, I got started early. It certainly helped that I acquired a bunch of doily-strength yarn from my grandmother’s house this past fall. I tried out some patterns from the Snowcatcher website, which has a lot of ideas to get you started.
The first step is to go ahead and crochet your little snowflakes. It’s tricky using such fine yarn, but it gets easier the more you do it:
The next step is to paint your snowflakes with a glue-and-water mixture, and pin them to some sort of drying rack. I put down a layer of wax paper, and pinned them to a bulletin board I use for blocking. One thing I learned the hard way: use straight pins instead of thumbtacks if you can! I used thumbtacks, and a few of the pieces have little rusty stains on them if you look closely.
After letting them dry for about 24 hours, carefully remove the pins and peel them from the wax paper. Here’s a close-up of one of my favorites:
Add a little string, and hang them in your window or on the tree. Voilà!
I recently got a few orders for my kitchen squares, and just made a big batch in a bunch of bright colors. 100% cotton. Absorbent and perfect for scrubbing, wiping, dusting, soaking up spills, and burping baby. Available for purchase here.
I participated in an art exhibit this past weekend in Prospect Park, Our Ocean is a Park. It was the first public opportunity I’ve had as an adult to make and display a work of art. I have always had a creative streak, but opted to become a teacher instead of an artist, and while I don’t regret that decision, I often miss the gritty, raw, wonderful feeling of producing something for show that won’t necessarily be used. After all, the majority of what I make for Brooker Hollow is to use or wear — it’s all been very practical.
As I was coming up with the idea and going through the process of installation, I kept thinking about my high school art teacher, Deborah Corwin. She inspired me to pursue projects in high school that I might not have otherwise pursued — a series of collapsed, abstract pots in ceramics; yarn and cord sculptures; fabric and textile designs. I was also thinking about meine Oma, who unknowingly provided most of the yarn for the project. When she passed away three years ago, I acquired boxes and boxes of yarn she’d started collecting in the 40s and 50s. You can’t find such brilliant colors as easily these days, and I’m grateful that she left me something with which to continue her knit-and-crochet legacy.
Ms. Corwin coached me to look to nature for inspiration — to think about how feathers and animal coats and plants create patterns and flows in color and line. Oma inspired me to consider color in my work and often had me speaking in German with her. This piece, which is inspired by both Ms. Corwin and Oma, is called Weide Baum, German for weeping willow.
I started out with 200 yards of large-scale crochet chain, and upped it to 300 when Brian Higbee, another participant in the show, suggested that outside, more is definitely more. This is what I came up with.
And here’s a shot a little further away, so you can get a sense of how the shapes are reflected in the background.
Many thanks to the curator, Ben Knight, for the opportunity to participate.
This time of year always makes me think of when I was a kid, and being by the water. Which makes me think of fishing boats. And I find myself wanting to wear a lightweight scarf all the time, as the weather makes up its mind if it’s going to finally get warm or not. So this new scarf is inspired by scarves I’ve worn for years (see below), and trawlers, the nets that fishing boats pull behind them.
Here is the new scarf in jade. The actual color is a bit more jewel-toned and brilliant, but is hard to capture in a photograph accurately:
A few years ago, a dear friend brought back a scarf from Thailand, and it reminded me of a scarf another dear friend brought back for me from Paris in college, which reminded me of a scarf my sister brought back for me from Berlin in high school. I’ve long lost the ones from Berlin and Paris, but all three were similar in shape and function: square, and easy to shape into a triangle and wrap around for optimal comfort in transition weather. I patterned the Trawler Scarf into a triangle, thinking of how much I loved wearing these three other scarves that were gifted to me over the years. Here’s the one from Thailand:
And here’s both styled another way, so you can get a sense of the similarity in shape:
Available for purchase here.