Carol Feller: Scrumptious designer of Scrumptious Knits

I’m today’s stop on Carol Feller‘s book release blog tour!  Carol, knitwear designer, and author of Contemporary Irish Knits stopped by today to tell us all about her design process for her new Scrumptious Knits collection. I love hearing how these gorgeous knits came into being, and you will, too!  Read on to learn more about Carol’s creative process and to win a PDF copy of the book for yourself!

 

Carol Says: For me, creating a collection of patterns is a very organic process.  When I began working on the Scrumptious Knits book, I did not start out with a fully formed theme in mind.  However, as I began sketching and fitting various design ideas together with the yarns, the concept for the collection quickly began to take shape.  The smooth, shimmering qualities of the silk really dominated my design process and the general aesthetic of the collection.   I wanted to create a sleek, elegant collection that showed both the stitches and the yarn to their full advantage.

In all of the designs I wanted to keep the lines clean, accented with single, visually striking details.  Below, I give you a little overview of each design, and how I envisioned it.

 

Ignus (in photo above) is a top down cowled tunic with the body knit in stockinette stitch. However, the body is complemented by side panels of ribbing which have a cable pattern running through them.  The large cowl neck really creates the finishing touch for the tunic and balances out the length.

Bakersville is a hooded cardigan in sports weight yarn with diagonal ribbing as the primary design feature.  I designed this hoodie to be a very wearable piece for those in-between seasons.  Personally, it’s probably the piece I’d get the most use out of (I’ve even knit a second one to use myself!)  The construction method used for this cardigan, top down with seamless set in sleeves, is also one of my favourites.

The third garment in this collection is Taupo.  Several years ago I designed a vest with the same basic construction techniques used here.  It begins with a provisional cast on at the center of the back, then short rows are worked to create a-line shaped hips and finally short rows shape the capped sleeves.  It’s an amazing top to knit if you want to learn or improve your short rows technique, and the finished piece is really flattering for many different body types.  I’ve added some subtle pattern details to this vest, using Trinity Stitch, which really emphasises the short row shaping.

The remaining pieces in this collection are all accessories.  The Haruna hat and glove set are all about the subtle, simple details.  The hat is a flapper style hat that uses short rows (yes again!) and gathers on one side to create an asymmetric brim.  The garter brim is continued up along the side of the hat with some fun faux bobble ‘buttons’ running up it.  The gloves were created to complete the set with the same wrist gather and bobble ‘buttons’ up the side.  The simple details combined with a single point of visual emphasis works really well with a yarn that can shine in its own right.

The final two accessories are the Flama shawl and the Vesuvius cowl.  The shawl is a rectangular shawl worked with a garter stitch base.  The central lace section is decreased as you work until you reach the top.  I’ve shown some subtle beading details at the edge that give extra sparkle and weight to the piece.  The final accessory, Vesuvius, is a simple loosely knit cowl.  It is perfect for modifying just by increasing or decreasing the number of repeats.  Thanks to the super softness of the yarn it is a complete dream to wear!

SO! Wouldn’t you love to win a copy of Carol’s new pattern collection?  All you have to do is comment below, telling us which is your favorite of these patterns and why.

The winner will be chosen next week by random number generator.

TGV and Anzula make for a perfect late night knit!

Anzula TGV

Woo Hoo! I just blocked my TGV. I used Anzula Squishy and US 5s. It’s so awesome! The pattern is really simple, and great for those nights when I’m just awake enough for an episode or two of a favorite show on Netflix, but not up for anything too complex.

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The yarn is a gorgeous shade of orange. It’s so soft and squishy, and feels great. I wore it on Saturday with a gray tunic & black leggings. It was the perfect pop.

 

Mazie and the TGV

 

Mazie helped me take my pics, and found some flowers! She’s at such a fun age…so smart and really trying to be helpful.  She’s amazing!

 

My TGV

Here’s the scarf before blocking.  It’s got a totally different shape than after.  Look at how squishy that Squishy is!!

LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!!

My TGV

Camping, cleaning, thrifting, and margaritas!

This is another mobile blog post. Even though the images aren’t blowing me away, I really will blog more now that it can be an on-the-go thing! Yay!!

We had SO much fun this past weekend! I got home kind of late from work on Friday. And found Nathan and the girls in the back yard. The girls were playing with the solar lights and pretending they were flashlights, and Mazie said, “Mommy we might sleep outside.” This was obviously news to my darling husband, ever the good sport.

But, you know what? It was still 70 degrees out, we have a rockin’ tent in the basement that my dad gave us and we never use… So I got it out, set up, and the girls and I slept outside!

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You guys, if you’ve never backyard camped with your kids, you Have To Try it!

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We ran electricity so we had a lamp, brought out their pillows & quilts, and I blew up an air bed for me. We had down comforters, goldfish snacks, all of their security stuff (blankets, stuffies) and Netflix on the iPad.

In short, it was awesome!! Something about the breeze, the cool air at night, the gentle hum of the cars on I-25 (that if you let your mind go can sound like ocean waves) … Made us all sleep SO well.

We got up on Saturday and went to for bagels. (We are giving Daddy a bit of a break this weekend, after he had the girls for four days alone while I was at Craftcation. He is usually right there with us when we do crazy stuff. The poor man has been a walking zombie for the last few days, bless his heart.)

After breakfast, Mazie and I got our hair cut. Olive’s still hasn’t been trimmed. It looks like she’s going to have curly hair like me, but we’ll see. They had coloring books and snacks and did a great job waiting & playing. Next, we went to a new (to us) Goodwill that we found and wanted to check out. The girls are so funny, they love to go thrifting as much as I do. I think you’re either born with that gene or you’re not. And they are, in full effect. We found lots of books. I don’t really like to support the Disney megacorp, but I’ll buy the princess stuff secondhand. So we bought some books of princesses that they didn’t know. We also found two cute cowboy hats, and lots of outfits and dresses. I was blown away at getting Lily Pulitzer, Garnet Hill, and Ralph Lauren (and some awesome true vintage finds) for just a couple bucks each.

Here’s some of our haul:

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Here are my cuties wearing some of their “new” stuff:

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Finally, to top it all off…homemade Margaritas! It was just that kind of an unseasonably warm weekend!

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A snowy little family getaway

With all the hubbub of daily life, it’s awesome when we get a chance to get away! A couple of weeks ago, we took the girls up to Keystone and just did family stuff. We rented a little condo with a cozy fireplace, watched movies, played in the snow, and just generally enjoyed each others’ company.

Here are a few pics:
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Nathan and Mazie

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Mazie having cocoa on the mountain

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Mazie and Olive in a gondola

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Mazie in the snow

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Mazie tubing

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Us in Georgetown on the way back to Denver

Poor Olive Decided to cut a new molar while we were on our trip…but she was easily distracted by all of the snowy fun!

Coming from New Mexico, all of this winter stuff is totally new for the girls, so it’s really fun to see how much they love it, and how excited they are.

How do you spend your family vacations with little ones?