Monthly Archives: June 2012

Guest Post: Off You Go…

Today’s guest post comes from designer Jennifer Dassau, who blogs at The Knitting Vortex. Here Jennifer talks about how we emailed back and forth for a while before deciding on the perfect yarn for her beautiful new design. I’m so glad we settled on what we did because it’s beautiful! Say hi to Jennifer at @knittingvortex.

Jennifer’s Sweater!

That’s what I fondly said as I mailed away this package. Inside, a new sweater design to be included in Holla Knits! Fall/Winter 2012, which I cant wait to see in its entirety when it comes out in September.

I originally submitted a version of this design for the Spring 2012 debut issue, but Allyson asked if I would consider holding it for fall. Since it’s insulating fiber in a richly saturated color, and plenty warm as I recently experienced first hand, that made total sense.

Jennifer’s Original Swatch

When we discussed it again, we were talking about a swatch in mohair. Lovely KnitPicks Super Kid Mohair & Silk, but mohair nonetheless, which can be, y’know, scratchy. I love looking at it all gleamy and fuzzy, and even touching it briefly with my hand . . . but for wearing next to the skin? Not so much.

Knit Picks Capretta

Apparently I’m not the only one, as Allyson suggested using KnitPicks Capretta, an MCN blend fingering weight. It seemed like a good idea, and it turned out to be fabulous – soft and warm, and very luxe. I’m sometimes afraid of bold color, but this deep, rich jewel tone really makes a powerful statement – and it’s a girl-power sweater.

So what’s in the package? Eye-catching simplicity.

Guest Post: How I Finished My Second Holla Knits Design in a Third of the Time It Took Me to do the First

Today’s guest post is brought to you by designer Katie Canavan, who you know from her Finishing School design from the Spring/Summer collection. Katie has a design in the Fall/Winter collection that is amazing! Katie blogs at Under the Red Umbrella and you can find her on twitter at @katiecanavan.

I was really excited when I found out that I would be designing again for Holla Knits.

Cables in Knit Picks Gloss DK

I loved designing Finishing School, but in terms of timing, it was a disaster. I ended up knitting the sample while packing and searching for apartments in LA, and writing the pattern a week after the due date in a cafe, because I didn’t have internet at my apartment yet. Yup, I moved across the country right in the middle of the process.

So this second design would be a chance for me to do it right. To be more professional, and not turn in my pattern a week after it was due. And then I got my contract from Allyson, and realized that the due date fell right at the end of my planned 10-day vacation.

So Many Cables!

There was no way I was going to travel with my sample and try to write on the road. So that meant that I would have to design and knit a cable-heavy garment in three weeks.

I got it done in just over two, and wanted to share my tips:

  1. Set Your Priorities – I’m a busy lady. While designing, I was also working two jobs, taking a Shakespeare acting class, and opened a new Etsy shop for WORK + SHELTER.  But I wanted to be able to relax on vacation more than I wanted to go out on Friday night, so I spent many a Friday knitting, sometimes until 2am.
  2. Break It Down– We’ve heard this a million times before: in order to finish a huge task, break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks. For my design, my list looked something like this:
    1. Research cables
    2. Swatch
    3. Knit
    4. Finishing
    5. Edit Pattern

Running, Green Cables

That made it pretty easy to assign due dates for each step, and so as long as I met my mini due date, I’d meet the overall due date.

  1. Don’t Procrastinate – I am the worlds biggest procrastinator. I even procrastinated writing this blog post! But when your goals are big, figure out a way to block facebook or turn off your phone, and just get it done.
  2. Reward Yourself – The majority of my sample was knit while watching Game of Thrones, which is so addicting, it made the knitting time fly by. And when I was completely, totally done, I got to start a new project, my Lace Striped Sweater, which was a different kind of reward!

And now that I’m done with this blog post, I’ll reward myself with more Lace Stripes!

Style Your Knits: Umbre Lovre

It is summer, and I’ve got a pile of beautiful warm weather knits sitting on my work table. The easy solution here is to start wearing them out! So I’m bringing you a new blog post series called Style Your Knits, where I’ll be taking pictures of how I wear my Holla Knits out and about. First up is my Umbre Lovre!

Umbre Lovre, Belted, With a Skirt

With an oversize top like Umbre Lovre it’s hard to wear it with anything other than tight pants or shorts because with a skirt you start to look like a tiered cake. Enter the belt! I belted Umbre Lovre here, giving me a waist but not taking away from the oversize look of the top.

Ready to Go!

I wore this cute outfit out Saturday night in Minneapolis! We went to Huge Theater, to see a couple shows as part of the Twin Cities Improv Festival. It was a really fun night out, and I was looking pretty cute, if I do say so myself!

Knit: Umbre Lovre by Allyson Dykhuizen
Belt: Thrifted
Skirt: Gifted, from Target

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