The Eleanor Scarf
The Boyfriend Scarf
The Soldotna Cowl
Come on over to Anaid Designs on Etsy - the only place to get the Fall Ready to Wear Line!
I'm bringing it back.... the Ready to Wear Line! With Fall approaching (or already here) it's time to get snuggly! And what better way to celebrate the season than re-introducing our ready to wear items. Just a select few - the classic fav's from Anaid:
The Eleanor Scarf
Soft and oh-so squishy, this lovely lady is the belle of the ball. Finished off with exquisite hand crafted wooden buttons. Made with 50% wool & 50% acrylic yarn.
The Boyfriend Scarf
Simple, classic, and easy. THE Fall look for 2015. Made with 100% vegan acrylic yarn.
The Soldotna Cowl
Named for a small town in Alaska, this cowl will keep you snuggly warm on the chilliest days! Super thick and soft and worked in 100% vegan acrylic.
And that's the current line-up! :) I may add some more... if you are interested in any of my other designs as a pre-made item let me know. They are all still available as custom orders at anytime!
Come on over to Anaid Designs on Etsy - the only place to get the Fall Ready to Wear Line!
She's finally here! The petal top... now named "Regatta Cap Sleeve".
As I was working on it, I was reminded of the beach in Maryland. Watching the boats come in while standing on the boardwalk, a crisp breeze in the air combining with the warm sun for just the right mix of temperatures. The colors of the water are echoed in this gorgeous Madelinetosh Sock yarn - color Georgia O'Keefe. And the extra width worked into the hips gives a fun and flirty hemline that will flutter and flow softly in the breeze.
Thus the name: Regatta. In remembrance of those lovely days at the shore.
We are in the first week of school here. And can I just say "WHAT?!" The world is a much crazier place the older I get. And the older my children get. Every day there is some new need for school that we have to run out and get. Or a pair of shoes that have grown too small. (or several pairs). Or a saxophone that decided to completely fall apart the second day of band. Yeahhhh. I feel like a short order cook. No idea what is coming next but be ready to change directions at the drop of a hat. I am exhausted!
And feeling extremely guilty for my lack of work here on the site... and all my other online locations! I have a scarf to photograph, a short sleeve sweater to photograph (the Petal Top), a full length sweater to write a pattern for - oh and photograph! - and I am partway through a NEW design that I haven't shared yet. Again I say "WHAT?!"
I am SO behind right now. You know that feeling. The one where your to-do list is a mile long and every time you cross something off that list... three more things get added.
All this is to say "I'm STILL HERE!" and I AM working. Feverishly. And I have a feeling that it will be a feast or famine situation. So basically we are in the famine at the moment. But stick with me... the feast is coming! Many new patterns are in the wings just waiting for their big debut. When I finally have a moment to photograph them... they will all coming rushing out!
In the meantime... I do have a pic to share with you. I thought you might find it interesting. This is a sketch of my newest 'in the works' design. It's a tunic style sweater. Very simple and modern with strong lines.
As you can see, I am far from a sketch artist. But I am a visual person so it helps me tremendously to (attempt to) sketch out my ideas. Just a basic idea so I can remember the direction that I am heading in and stay on target during my knitting process. Of course, things sometimes change as I knit. Often in fact. But hopefully the original inspiration will come through in the finished product.
I have just reached the bottom of the front placket so I have quite a way to go. BUT I am loving the yarn (Quince and Co. Tern). The silk in the yarn makes it very smooth and great to work with. I can't wait to get this one done. Of course I say that EVERY SINGLE TIME. I really wish I could knit faster! Like a sweater a day faster! haha. OH and while we are dreaming, it would be great to have a professional photographer come with her gorgeous model to do all that work for me too! ;) Sigh. Big dreams I have. Big dreams!
I will leave you with that little sneak peek and a promise that more is to come soon. VERY SOON. Keep an eye out... it's going to get exciting here in the next few weeks!
And if this is your little one's week back to school - I wish you great patience, energy, and a whole lotta luck! ;)
I just finished designing my new marketing materials - and they are off to the printer! SOOOO exciting!!! These are my new rack cards for my yoga classes. Basically like a business card/postcard/flyer all in one! :) Most bang for the buck, I say! Isn't that right in line with my simplify ideal? Very pleased with myself! haha!
So they are two sided - above is the front side (obviously) and on the back side:
I list out all the classes. I figured it's so much easier this way than directing them here, there and everywhere to get the info. Literally ALL the info that is available is on this card! It makes me happy!
This is a BIG jump for me. I've really just started out and its been word of mouth/friends for my clientele. So this is my first marketing attempt out in the great big world. Deep breath in.... hope it goes well! ;)
What do you think? If you saw this card at the counter of your beauty shop, day spa, etc would you be intrigued enough to pick it up and see what it's about? If you have never practiced yoga before... would you try it out for $8? And what WOULD make you want to try it? Going with a friend? A free class? I'd love to hear your ideas!!!
As knitters... do you practice yoga? Would it be something you would be interested in trying? How about a Yarn & Yoga workshop... or retreat? These are ideas that I am intrigued by. I'd love to get your thoughts on it. In the future... I'd really like to put together a Yarn & Yoga retreat. What could be better than playing with yarn all day knitting away and then stretching and relaxing it all away with yoga? And don't forget to finish off the day with a gourmet meal and maybe, just maybe, a glass of wine? I don't know about you... but that is MY PERFECT DAY!
Give me your thoughts and I'll enter you in for a Free Pattern giveaway! Winner will be announced Friday, August 7th.
I'm almost there... I can see the end in sight! The Petal Top is nearly finished!! I can't wait to get it off the needles and see how this girl blocks out. I know she'll grow a bit... which is a good thing. She needs to RELAX. :) Of course it's very, very fitted on me at the moment and my husband would prefer that I didn't block it. haha. I swear he's disappointed every time I block something. Before blocking: "Ahhhh, I like that one!" After blocking: "what happened to it? Why is it all big now?" Boys. They never grow up! :)
So of course you can tell I have a double meaning with my post title. The home stretch of my project... seeing the end. And also the 'stretch' of the blocking! heehee. I know... I'm easily entertained!
Question for all you knitters (and crocheters) -- Do you ever have issues with blocking a garment? Like a sweater. Shawls and scarfs, etc are easy. No real fit required. But for a sweater, do you have that moment of panic before submerging your carefully and painstakingly knitted finished garment into the water? With a thought of "is it going to work? or am I ruining it as we speak?"
I have had SEVERAL mishaps with garments. I have a cardigan that would (very literally) fit TWO of me inside it. It's CRAZY too big. And while I was knitting it, I was concerned about how SMALL it looked. I didn't think it would fit me! Little did I know that when I wetted that particular yarn down it would react like the Grinch's heart... and grow THREE sizes! It also permanently fused together the yarn (those seams are NEVER coming out)... so no re-do on that one. I still wear it and it is my go-to around the house snuggler. It's seriously like wearing a blanket! My hubs says I look like a homeless person in it. Which is ironic since the yarn in the sweater totaled up to approx. $150. YEAHHHHHH... I'm wearing that bad boy! :)
What did I learn from that experience?? ALWAYS block your swatch. Don't 'eyeball' how big you think the sweater should be - believe your math! And the bigger you size up on your needles the more that puppy will grow when wet! Keeping your stitches smaller and tighter greatly reduces growth during blocking.
All good knitting life lessons.
I STILL have trouble believing my math. I have to fight the urge to 'eyeball' sizing as I go. I am ALWAYS thinking that the finished garment will be too small. And then I put in scrap yarn, take it off the needles, and test fit it.... and it's REALLY BIG! What is it with me and thinking everything looks small??? Weird. But now I know that about myself, so I just go with it and hope for the best. And you know when it turns out pretty darn perfect?? When I - TRUST - THE - MATH! Crazy notion, huh?
So to return to the Petal Sweater... right now it fits... but snug. So I am thinking after washing and blocking it should be perfect? I'm taking a deep breath and taking the plunge... or rather IT is taking the plunge! :) Happy Blocking To All!
Yoga is a BIG deal in my life. Not as big as I would like it to be... but balance is everything! I am just starting on my journey as a yoga instructor. And LOVE it. But with that comes more time devoted to yoga. And not just at class like before! Now I have to research, and plan, and practice, and memorize! As a student you just show up and do as you are told - ahhhh the good ol' days! :) Seriously though, I love this new adventure and I LOVE working closely with others. Especially in such a lovely and life inspiring way. I can't imagine not doing this now that I have started doing it. Does that even make sense?
Where I teach, we have other fitness classes as well. So I am currently also teaching Senior Fit classes. Which is an aerobic/weight based class that stays on the feet the whole time. No floor work and no jumping. I pretty much love it. And I am impressed and inspired daily by the lovely ladies and gentlemen in my classes. I strive to be just like them in another twenty years!
Planning my classes is just another way for me to come back to center with my ideal of simplifying my life. Of course there are hundreds of ways to plan a class, moves to perform, crazy things to do. BUT I like to come at both of my class types the same way. FLOW from form to form in the easiest and simplest way possible. Do what seems to come instinctually instead of fighting to remember the next transition. Enjoy the process and slow down into it. You WILL work out just as hard if you slow - it - down. Usually harder. ;)
So next time you are doing something - anything - slow down into the process. Really think about what you are doing. Enjoy the moment. I know sometimes that seems silly. But even rinsing dishes can be a meditative thing if you slow your mind and focus on the moment. Talk about stress melting away when you do manage to make it happen!
And I will need to remember that in the fall.... because I will be adding substitute teaching into my schedule. PLUS I have promised to help a friend with her AMAZING little shop. It's my ideal shop to own - yarn, knitted goods, locally made foods and beauty products, and sweet little vintage finds. WHAT?!? BEST - SHOP - EVER! And she needed someone to work very, very part time. As in just a few hours on only a few days a month. And I was happy to hop on that one! Luckily for me, she knows that I design for a living and is happy for me to bring my work with me to fill quiet time at the shop! YEA! That is a real win-win and I'm pretty excited for the opportunity.
Add those two things in with 3 yoga classes and 2 senior fit classes a week... and I'll be a busy little lady. But how amazing?? I love my life. I get to see both of my children off to school, do all of these little, fun, amazing jobs during the day and be home again to get them off the bus. I cannot believe how lucky I am. And I do know this. I never take it for granted!
Life gets busy, crazy, rushed, hectic. It does for all of us. Bring yourself back to center by slowing down. Take 15 min a day to sit quietly (even if it's before everyone wakes up or after everyone is asleep!). Close your eyes, breathe deeply and literally count your blessings! NO negative thoughts here. Think about all the cute things your children did that day, that compliment your hubby paid you, or a fun coffee break with your bestie. Even if it was three great things to a hundred crazy things.... think about, remember and cherish those three great things. After awhile of doing this daily, you will see your perspective change. And those around you will notice too!
Good Luck! And keep it SLOW!
So here we are, halfway through summer already. Time is FLYING by. I cannot believe that it has been so long since my last post. Feels like it was a week ago!
But here's the good news... I have been working, working, working and am also HALFWAY done with a new design! So here is a little preview for you:
I'm working with another wonderful Madelinetosh yarn - Tosh Sock. In color Georgia O'Keefe. Which unfortunately is no longer on their color list per the Madelinetosh website... but you can still find skeins at other online (and I'm sure local) yarn shops.
I love the colorway - it's a great balance of light and dark with lovely green/blue hues. I have been a little obsessed with blues lately and have several more blue toned yarns waiting to be designed. Sorry! I'll try to branch out more on my color choices! :)
So for the gorgeous sock yarn, I decided to make a soft and feminine sweater. Tailored through the bodice and waist to softly flow out through the hips for a little swing. I added in a 'petal' type detailing that is both feminine and modern. Soft petal shapes but in a rather straightforward and modern form.
Worked from the bottom hem up, you're looking at the hemline here and my needles are approximately at armhole level. So these are not dainty little petals, but large and very graphically based designs.
My plan is to fashion the top as a yoke with the hemline repeated at the bottom of the yoke and the petals pointing up to the neckline. Simple, modern, and fun. That's my goal! I am also planning this as a two-for-one design. I started designing this as a short sleeved sweater (ending at the bottom of the yoke for little cap style sleeves). However, if I have enough yarn!, I'd like to also design and give instructions for optional sleeves. Yippee! I love designs that give me options!
I will continue to plow away at this one in all my free (hahahaha) time this summer! You might want to send me some good thoughts through the internet! Wish me speedy needles and quiet afternoons! ;)
Our whole lives we have looked forward to summertime. That is when the swimming happens, the bbq's and picnics, the amusement parks, possibly a family vacation, and of course the whole NO SCHOOL thing too.
As an adult, summertime has a bit of a different spin. A working adult really sees no difference in their daily grind. It's all the same ol' same ol'. Just hotter outside. Which really stinks usually. Hot car baking in the parking lot of work, fancy work clothes are all sticky and gross by the time you actually get to work, and of course the well loved summertime 'crazies' out on the road while you are trying to get to said job. All fun all the time, right? Maybe not?
Well, I am a stay at home mom now. Which by definition means I WANT to be home with my children. Which I do. Of course. Mostly. But let's just say for argument's sake that SOME moms might feel like it's ALOT to have two children at home 24/7. Not me of course... oh no...
Alright, I'm coming clean.... I'm losing my MIND here people! My two children are lovely. Seriously. A boy and a girl. Best of both worlds and I am so lucky! Also, their ages are 12 and (about to be) 6. The age difference is rough. Really rough. Some days more than others. We can't necessarily do 12 year old boy stuff because the 6 year old girl either can't keep up, physically is not ALLOWED to do it (height restrictions), or it's just plain not appropriate for her age. SIGH. Trying to find activities that make them BOTH happy and more importantly INTERESTED is super difficult. The pool is about it. And I have already tanned to a color that is making me look like a different nationality! haha!
But honestly all of that is normal SAHM stuff to deal with. We all do it, nothing special there. Plus I only have TWO kids... so many of you have SO many more... Seriously just thinking about more children kinda makes my eye start twitching. ha.
All of that is not the big problem, MY big problem is.... finding time to WORK. I am starting to go through knitting withdrawal. That's a real thing, by the way, and VERY dangerous. If you suspect someone you know is going through it - just open the door a crack, throw in a bag of yarn and needles and close the door. Back away slowly and silently!
I wish someone would do that for me! I used to have a quiet, empty house all to myself from 7:45-2:45 EVERY MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY. Bliss. I could actually have a multiple sentence thought without being interrupted. I could do math for my designs. I could COUNT STITCHES! Now? Not so much. I cannot leave the room without a shadow at my back. And not a quiet shadow. Oh no. "Where are you going? What are you doing? Mommy? Mommy? Can I have a snack? The guinea pig just peed on the carpet. I knocked over a glass trying to get to it. And gum fell out of my mouth onto the guinea pigs back. Mommy? Do you hear me?"
OK maybe it's not THAT bad (usually) but that's a pretty accurate portrayal of the chain of thought of either of my children. It's constant. It's a little crazy. And it's a lot LOUD.
So all of this is to say... I AM working. Just a whole lot slower than usual. Which makes me feel like a slacker. A total slacker. I want to be ramping up designs for the coming fall season and I feel like the most I can do right now is tread water! Bear with me guys! I promise I am not falling off the designer wagon... I am just clinging to the side and bouncing along! In August, I'll get pulled back into the wagon proper. :)
NOW I understand those photos of the moms all jumping for joy in the background of the kid's first day of school photos. Ahhhhh.... yes... I understand you! Does that make us horrible moms? NO I don't think so. I think that makes us amazing women that have THINGS TO DO in this life. And our children learn from that. They see and they do. I want my children (and honestly especially my daughter) to SEE that mom had a life. A passion. A job. Something that she worked hard at to build and progress in. While staying at home with her children. And hopefully doing a pretty good job at that too. :) I want her to learn that she CAN have it all. You just have to be creative with how you go about doing it.
I just have to be creative and figure out this new routine. Or lack thereof.
Yoga helps my body in so, so, so many ways! But one of the absolute best things for me... as a CONSTANT knitter... are these lovely little wrist stretches. Great for anybody and everybody - but especially great for those of us that use our hands in repetitive motions. So knitters, crocheters, seamstresses, artists, even those typing on the computer all day will all get so much from practicing these stretches daily. Or many times a day as I do! And the added bonus? You can do SOME of them anywhere you'd like and still not look like a crazy person! ;)
OK... here we go:
1. With your arm held straight out in front of you and fingers pointed up (think 'talk to the hand') pull back on your fingers with your opposite hand. Hold for as long as you like... but usually a nice count of 10 works well for me. And of course switch and give your other hand some love too!
2. With your arm held straight out in front of you and fingers pointed down (think old school offering your hand for a kiss!) pull back on your fingers with your opposite hand. Like you are trying to touch your fingers to your arm. Again, hold for as long as you like... but a count of 10 is great.
3. An oldie but goodie - and super effective: just rotate your wrists - rotate your right wrist toward the right for three turns, then to the left for three turns. Now your left wrist! Rotate right three turns then left three turns. The EASIEST of the exercises and we all know how to do it... but we just get lazy! So rotate those wrists!! Also try it with your fingers relaxed and now do it with your fingers really engaged and 'stretched' out as far as you can make them go. Can you tell the difference?? Doing it both ways will get you the most from these!
4. We are going to get a little more involved on this one. And you need a flat surface (counter top, table, or the floor). Place your hands flat on the surface with fingers pointed away from you. Now lean into your hands and slightly forward so you are stretching those wrists. Hold for 10... or whatever.
5. Staying in the same position - turn your hands around so your fingers are now pointed TOWARD you. This may be enough stretch as is. It's a deep stretch for your wrists and forearms! If you can handle more then lean backward - but keep your palms ALL the way down on the surface. If they are popping up as you lean then you need to back off until they can stay flat. Hold.
After going through all 5 motions listed above - I like to give a little rotation to each wrist again. By now they should feel MUCH looser than when you started! And hopefully helped alleviate any pain you may have been having.
Share your experiences incorporating these into your day! Have they helped you get another few rows in? Or maybe kept you from reaching for medication? I'd love to hear your stories!
My sister recently visited Ireland and upon her return I had a surprise in my mailbox! A lovely little skein of yarn. She apologized that - due to lack of space in her luggage - she could only get one skein. But when I looked it up on the amazing resource that is Ravelry, I found that one skein of this lovely yarn will make an entire shawl! Score!
I am in love with the history of this yarn mill. I mean, look at the label. Since 1204??? WOW! Not something you could even possibly see in America! So yeah... maybe it's just the American in me - but that is impressive!
The yarn itself is a sturdy little boucle. A very nice camel color - they call it Barley - it's comprised of 70% mohair and 30% wool. This is a much 'hardier' yarn than I would typically choose out for myself. I like the SUPER soft yarns. And this is not that. It's lovely to look at but has a fairly coarse texture straight off the skein.
However, I have just washed and blocked out my shawl and feel that the yarn has loosened and softened quite a bit. I washed it with a product containing tea tree oil and lavender oil and the silkiness of the oil seems to really be helping the texture. Now I am anxiously awaiting it to dry completely so I can assess the final product!
I chose to design a simple asymmetrical shawl with the yarn. Because it is boucle - I kept the stitches simple and just worked garter throughout the project. Wide at one end and narrowing down to a point at the other end - the shawl is a fun, modern piece to throw on in any number of different ways.
Because the yarn is so sturdy - and boucle - it has a TON of body to it and keeps its shape spectacularly. So you can really style your look and know that it will stay where you put it!
I've been 'holding' this post because I was going to put all my photos with it. BUT we are apparently having monsoon season in Oklahoma lately and I haven't been able to get a decent day for photographing anything! So I am finally giving up and posting this for you -- since it has been forever since my last post! Photos of the finished shawl (and pattern) to come soon! Fingers crossed!
Designer, mom, wife, lover of all things handmade. Yarn addict. Yoga enthusiast.