So the result is my first eBook, "A Touch of Lace". It's three designs that are just a little lacy, but are all quick accessories. Have a look at the preview here:
When I was younger, I would sit in my room doodling with my fluorescent Stabilo markers. The shape of the markers themselves were enough for me to choose them over any other brand. A mystery to my father who would sneak plain-barreled, boring, old highlighters home only to be met with my disapproving gaze as I shook my head. Oh no, they had to be Stabilo Boss markers.
I loved those things. I saved up months and months worth of allowance for a whole set made up of all the colors in a fluorescent rainbow. Then, I remember moving onto Paint Markers. I was on the Prop Design team in elementary school, and the volunteer mother brought in a bunch of these Uni Paint markers. Of course, all in fluorescents. It felt like my entire world shifted. These were opaque wonders of magic. I could use these markers and draw on anything. The brightness of the colors kept their integrity! They didn't soak through the material!
When all of my overused paint markers dried up, and their tips looks more like feather dusters than pointed nibs, I found... Puffy Paint. I think they call it "dimensional fabric paint" now. But it used to come in these crazy looking plastic bottles that you could squeeze down like an accordion. I begged my mother for high-top black Converse sneakers, and went to town on them. I got all the fluorescent puffy paint I could get my greedy little hands on, as well as some metallic glitter colors and doodled all over my brand new sneakers. (Since my brother had just cut my hair into what I could only describe as some sort of modified winged-mohawk, my mother was far from surprised.)
Anyway, it was shortly thereafter I came across Keith Haring. My mind was blown. His energetic, simple and tribal artwork captivated me. It was fun and provocative. And, it looked like my Converse sneakers!! (OK, to me it did.) But I thought, "Omigod - we were meant to be!!" Since this was before the internet, I was a bit baffled as to how I could find out more about this person... this simpatico. Slowly, I started to find out a few tidbits. I found out much of his art could be seen in the subways since he graffiti'ed. He was friends with Madonna. He went to SVA. (I made a mental note to apply to SVA when I was in high school.) I had to be an artist like him. I had to be on the streets doing my thing, like he was. He was just across the river in NYC, and I had to meet him. I just knew we would be inseparable; we would be BFFs.
Of course, that never came to pass. He passed away in 1990. I was a junior in high school. I was deeply saddened. I talked to my Open Studio Art teacher - the only one I knew who would understand - and she gave me this advice: keep doing what he has inspired you to do and you will feel better. So, I did the only thing I knew. I painted all the walls in my bedroom with his dancing men,
and pulsating hearts. (Again, my mother was not surprised.)
It's been years since I've thought about him and the impact he had made on me. (SVA was the first application I ordered when I started applying to colleges. And, my first term paper in college was entitled, "Graffiti is Art".) But, I was reminded as I walked through the Brooklyn Museum's show of his work from 1978-82.
It's nice to walk down memory lane, piecing together the things that make you who you are today.
It takes a while for me to warm up to the idea of Spring. I love Winter, and what comes with the crisp, cold weather. But I can never deny the brightening and lightening I feel when the air starts to smell grassy, the breeze is soft and warm, and everyone seems just a little happier.
My absolute favorite part about Spring is the idea of throwing on a cardigan and flats instead of a shearling and boots, and waltzing right out the door. I love how easy it is to get-up-and-go with warm weather. And instead of piling on all my hand knits, I love deciding which favorite piece I'll use to take away the little bit of nip left in the air.
That "favorite piece" is what I kept in mind when designing for Brooklyn Tweed's Spring Thaw Collection. I wanted each design to stand out on its own and to be worn with just a shirt and jeans, or that awesome cotton dress you forget you have by the end of every winter.
The perfect cardigan is essential for every season - something for early morning dog walks, windy ferry rides and late-night stargazing on the beach. With all that daydreaming, the Exeter cardigan came to mind. I love the easiness of it unbuttoned, and the more structured feel it takes on when it is buttoned up.
The stranded, fair isle knits I designed are truly meant to be unintimidating and perfect for those just starting out in colorwork. They're all knit in the round, and the Polar hat is such a quick knit in Shelter. A one-day knit if you've dedicated yourself to the couch on the weekend.
Oslo is great fun; the buttons at each end are meant to simply close up the tube. But you can wrap it around and button one end to the other and make a cowl.
And Forester was definitely something a little different for me. I've always liked marled knits and how it reminds me of the covers of composition notebooks I used in grade school. But, I realized I had never actually bought one, or made one for myself. So, I was a little nervous when I started playing around with the idea - would I actually like it? It turns out I liked it. And, I still like it a lot. It was fast to knit, and I think it's turned out to be one of my favorite sweaters. And what you can't see in the photos is the texture of the fabric that holding two strands of Shelter together. It's so much more lightweight than you think, and after blocking it the sponginess is so cushy and comfy, you're never going to want to take it off.
For me, it's the perfect sweater I'll be throwing on over my leggings after a long week, grabbing a glass of wine, sitting out on the terrace, tucking my knees up under and looking out onto the Manhattan skyline.
I hope you enjoy these designs as much I had daydreaming about them. Now that I have my favorites, I'm ready for Spring!