Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Styling Your Apocalypse: Kill All Humans (or maybe don't, yet.)

Time for the second installment of Styling Your Apocalypse! This time we're taking on the "Kill All Humans" chapter of Doomsday Knits. This is the cyber-punky, rise-of-the-machines, robot-revolt type chapter, and as such the designs (and outfits) are a bit less gritty than some of the others. It would be tough to strip away all of the futuristic-y vibes in these designs (and why would you want to?) but you can still wear them without going full-on cyberpunk. (Unless of course you want to, in which case, I encourage it, and please send pics.) 

Styling Your Apocalypse: Outfit ideas for "Doomsday Knits" patterns on dull-roar.com

First up is Grom-Mitts by Brenda K.B. Anderson. These are so dang cool- definitely one of the patterns in the book that is sure to elicit oohs and aahs. Actual grommets worked into cables aren't something you see everyday, after all. Since they're so long, they pair well with t-shirts, though you can scrunch them down a bit if you like (as in the first picture, there.) Though obviously you will try and keep your grommets in a line, because you are more conscientious than I am. This tee has a bit of that faux-leather detailing that was so popular last fall, which gives it a nice bit of edge that goes well with the hardware. 

Styling Your Apocalypse: Outfit ideas for "Doomsday Knits" patterns on dull-roar.com

You could certainly wear these with  jeans, but I figured this series was going to get boring fast if I pair jeans with everything, so I whipped out the ole shorts-and-tights trick. Far too bitter cold for this right now, but I love it in the transitional seasons (okay who are we kidding, I do it in the summer too.) Head-to-toe monochrome enhances that cold, futurey feeling. Though I also tried it with some yellows:

Styling Your Apocalypse: Outfit ideas for "Doomsday Knits" patterns on dull-roar.com

Personally I like it, but I thought it might be a bit too quirky for most people. Incidentally, this is a really good illustration of the "horizontal lines and light colors make things look wider" rule. Notice how my thighs look larger in the second photo. Part of that is the extra layer, but those socks are pretty thin. If you have spindly chicken legs like me, this is a good way to trompe l'oeil yourself some va-va-voom (but if it's not a part of your body that you want to emphasize, you may want to stick with darker colors and fewer bisecting lines.) 

Styling Your Apocalypse: Outfit ideas for "Doomsday Knits" patterns on dull-roar.com

Next, we've got Alternating Current (by me, and which I perpetually want to misspell as 'alternating currant') and Spillyjane's Circuit mitts. Being wintery accessories, these are pretty easy to style- wear 'em with black and black and black and black. This jacket has a nice asymmetrical 'moto' thing going on, but they'd also look dandy with a black peacoat. 



Technologica is the trickiest- there's no getting away from the "Jane Jetson"ness of it all.

Styling Your Apocalypse: Outfit ideas for "Doomsday Knits" patterns on dull-roar.com

My first instinct was to do a toned-down version of the outfit in the book: black jeans instead of leather leggings, riding boots instead of platform monstrosities. Maybe a jacket. 

Styling Your Apocalypse: Outfit ideas for "Doomsday Knits" patterns on dull-roar.com

But, that kinda felt like a cop out. So I thought I'd see if it could pull off "angry futuristic businesswoman":

Styling Your Apocalypse: Outfit ideas for "Doomsday Knits" patterns on dull-roar.com

Good news! Yes it can. Pencil skirt, sky-high-and-horribly-uncomfortable-stilettos, and some trusty fishnets to keep it from being too buttoned-up. Hair chopsticks optional. Remember hair chopsticks? (PS, please don't tell Chef Travis what I've been doing with his chopsticks.) 

And that's all for today! (No, I will not be styling the dreadfalls. Mostly because they got tangled badly in my luggage and I threw them away. Eep.) You can see more pics/all the outfits in this flickr set here, and can find the book on Ravelry or at the Cooperative Press website. More chapters to follow!

Styling Your Apocalypse: Outfit ideas for "Doomsday Knits" patterns on dull-roar.com

Here are the other installments of Styling Your Apocalypse so far:
Dystopian Dandies
Wasteland Vagabonds
Global Warming
Sky Pirates

Monday, January 13, 2014

Alpaca Direct Giveaway Winner

And the giftcard goes to.... Cole, and her imaginary alpaca Clyde!

Thank you everyone for entering, and thank you to Alpaca Direct! There were a lot of very excellent alpaca names in that comment thread- when my dreams of alpaca farm-having come true, I will be stealing all your best ideas ;-)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Styling Your Apocalypse: Nuclear Winter Meets... Regular Winter

I'm excited to introduce a series that I've really been looking forward to doing: Styling Your Apocalypse! (Any excuse to play dress-up, right?) I know when you're looking at a book like Doomsday Knits where the photos are quite costumey and fantastical, it can sometimes be difficult to imagine them fitting into your actual wardrobe. So, I want to work my way through the book and see if I can't give some examples and tips for pre-apocalypse wear. (I was waiting in hopes that I'd get a better outfit-photographing set up figured out, but that probably won't happen any time soon. Darn itty-bitty house!)

I'll admit, I'm starting with an easy one- many of the outfits in the "Nuclear Winter" chapter aren't really that unwearable anyway. But given the several feet of snow and below-zero temperatures I've been putting up lately, I'm in a bit of a wintery mood. (We'll save Global Warming for later in the spring, eh?) But regardless, let's dive in!

Styling Your Apocalypse: outfit ideas for the patterns in Doomsday Knits, on dull-roar.com

Styling Your Apocalypse: outfit ideas for the patterns in Doomsday Knits, on dull-roar.com 

The very winteriest of all: Alpacalypse! First thing to note: this sweater is WARM. This is some Polar Vortex gear right here. On all but the coldest days, you probably won't need a coat on top of it. Alpaca does not mess around. Because it's fairly chunky, I paired it with tight jeans and sleek-ish boots (a good rule of thumb for outfit proportion is to make sure that if the top is big/bulky/oversized, the bottom is not, and vice-versa.) Neutral colors make matching easy...and also allude the fact that 90% of the clothes I own are neutral colors. So you'll probably be seeing a lot of those. Heh. 



Styling Your Apocalypse: outfit ideas for the patterns in Doomsday Knits, on dull-roar.com

Styling Your Apocalypse: outfit ideas for the patterns in Doomsday Knits, on dull-roar.com

Next up, the Fission mitts! A cropped cardi with 3/4 length sleeves is great with fingerless gloves because it keeps the majority of your arms covered and warm without overlapping and looking weird. Because the tops are fairly tight, jeans with a little more volume work well (plus, the cropped cardi adds a bit more visual interest at the shoulders, and the slight bootcut-flarey silhouette balances that out well.) If you're not insane enough to try to wear ballet flats in the snow, sneakers or booties of some sort would work well too (or just wear big ole boots and change when you get there.) I think you could do some cool stuff with the ties on the Fission mitts, wrapping it up your arm maybe...but as I'm home alone, I'll have to explore that possibility later.

Styling Your Apocalypse: outfit ideas for the patterns in Doomsday Knits, on dull-roar.com 

Because cheating is easy, I slapped Fallout and a jacket on top of that outfit and called it another outfit! Hooded cowls look great with hoodless jackets (insta-hoodie!) and personally I really like the mix of knit and leather.

  Styling Your Apocalypse: outfit ideas for the patterns in Doomsday Knits, on dull-roar.com  

(Apparently my default modeling pose is "stand like a flamingo.")

Now, I'm the first to admit that while Fallout looks stylish down, it looks a little silly when it's up...

  Styling Your Apocalypse: outfit ideas for the patterns in Doomsday Knits, on dull-roar.com 

But it's WARM! The close, balaclava-ish fit and relatively small opening are designed more for practicality than style, and it does its job well. The wide collar tucks underneath the jacket to make sure no air sneaks in. And you can totally bunch it up over your chin and go Kenny-style: 

 Styling Your Apocalypse: outfit ideas for the patterns in Doomsday Knits, on dull-roar.com


Let's move along to I Was a Teenaged Mutant (and a very cool t-shirt.)

 Styling Your Apocalypse: outfit ideas for the patterns in Doomsday Knits, on dull-roar.com

Styling Your Apocalypse: outfit ideas for the patterns in Doomsday Knits, on dull-roar.com

Yes, obviously I wanted to pair that shirt with Alpacalypse, but bright-white and off-white just do not look good together. It's the thought that counts, right? 

Styling hats is weird because, at least as far as I'm concerned, knit hats go with just about everything. So I grabbed a very casual everyday-ish outfit, stuck some combat boots in there just to tie in with the tee a bit, et voila. Easy peasy. 

Also easy to style? Socks, such as the scrumptiously squishy Long Road Ahead...

Styling Your Apocalypse: outfit ideas for the patterns in Doomsday Knits, on dull-roar.com

Don't mind me, just waving my feet around (I was NOT going to let those socks come in contact with our constantly-fluffy-no-matter-how-much-we-vacuum-and-we-vacuum-a-LOT floors.)

Styling Your Apocalypse: outfit ideas for the patterns in Doomsday Knits, on dull-roar.com

These socks, y'all. These socks. I don't like knitting socks but I need to own a pair of these. I'll probably make them go up to my knees. Or possibly my neck. (Long Road Ahead? More like Long Johns Ahead.)

Significantly harder to style is Baby's First Principles, because a) it's a blanket and b) I have no babies handy. Didn't think Amy would appreciate me swaddling Rupert in it, so I went for the next best thing: Captain Apocalypse superhero cape!


Styling Your Apocalypse: outfit ideas for the patterns in Doomsday Knits, on dull-roar.com

Styling Your Apocalypse: outfit ideas for the patterns in Doomsday Knits, on dull-roar.com 

And now you know why I have like three friends and the neighbors think we're weird. Please join us next time for...whatever chapter I feel like doing that day! Happy knittin'!


Other installments of Styling Your Apocalypse:
Kill All Humans
Dystopian Dandies
Wasteland Vagabonds
Global Warming
Sky Pirates
Misc Mayhem

Monday, January 6, 2014

It's Mah Fave!!


Many years ago (okay like, 4) I knit a hat that looked just like this. In fact, you might say it looked like this: 


That hat rapidly became my go-to. I own, at last count, over 100 hats...and I still reach for this one 9 times out of 10. At least. Part of it is probably that my wardrobe is primarily gray and black, and a nearly-black hat is super easy to match. Part of it is that it has the perfect, face-flattering amount of slouch. I can even hide my hair it in without it looking all weird and lumpy. On really cold days, it even works great as a second layer on top of another hat.

Oh hello pointy halloween bangs!

ANYWAY.... at the time, I didn't write up the pattern. I don't know why. I was a foolish newb. I tried to recreate it with Meriwether but (all due respect to the aforementioned) it just wasn't the same.

Finally, driven to a panic by the fact that my most treasured hat was about to fuzz and felt beyond the point where I could count the stitches, I decided to track down the exact same yarn (Alpaca With a Twist Highlander in Blackthorn) and make it a younger, less ragged twin. And this time, a pattern would be had. Oh yes. Everyone should have a good, reliable fave in their wardrobe ;-) And here we are!

Check out Fave on Ravelry here... or you can buy now!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Alpaca Direct Review and Giveaway!

I was recently given a chance to Alpaca Direct's new and improved website for a spin. Which I did, with glee...



And even better, I have a gift card to give away to one of you to do the same!

But first, a bit about the company:

Alpaca Direct is owned and operated by Kelley and Jim, who first got into alpacas when their daughter began showing them in 4-H. They soon fell in love with these charming animals and their scrumptiously soft fiber, and now own an alpaca ranch and a lively brick-and-mortar yarn store in Idaho (which I'd love to visit someday) in addition to the ecommerce site. I had the privilege of talking to Jim and Kelley on the phone, and they are as friendly as can be- their enthusiasm and pride for their business really shines through. They know their products inside and out: Kelley told me, "We test knit every single yarn we carry- if we don't like it or can't figure out what to do with it, we don't carry it."

The site itself is super well organized- you can search by brand, fiber content, or weight, and though of course they specialize in alpaca, there are lots of other natural fiber options and blends as well. When I was browsing just before the holidays, they warned me that stock was a little low due to the rush, but there were still plenty of tempting options. They also carry roving and spinning supplies, as well as alpaca clothing and gifts... which is lovely if you don't feel like knitting alpaca socks but do feel like wearing them (this girl, right here.) Have you guys ever held an alpaca teddy bear? 'Cause let me tell you, they are SOFT. The one thing I did recommend with regard to the website is "MOAR EYECANDY!" Because, as I'm sure many of you are painfully aware, knitters are prone to "oooh pretty" impulse buys ;-) Not that that's how I acquired most of my stash, or anything.

Speaking of my stash, I went for primarily alpaca (because, duh) but tossed a little Silky Wool in too. The shipping was super fast considering it was right before Christmas (and they had a free shipping promo going on, woohoo!)

Obviously I have some black projects planned.


Aaaaaand get excited, 'cause one of you can win a $25 Gift Certificate to Alpaca Direct!
All you gotta do is comment and tell me what you'd name your alpaca, if you had one, and I'll randomly select a comment in one week's time (Sunday January 12th).

I think I'd name mine "Herman"...

Unlike the noble alpaca, Pog produces no useful fibers of any sort, though not for want of trying.



Disclaimer: I was provided a gift certificate in exchange for my honest review; 
however this is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own :-) 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Resolution Sale: Make 2014 the Year of the Designer!

Is one of your 2014 resolutions to finally publish some knitting patterns? Or perhaps to take your design career to the next level? Maybe you're going to attend your first trade show, or submit to your first magazine?

If so, you're in luck! "So You Want to Be a Knitting Designer..." is on sale until January 7th!


A few months ago, I set out to write the book I wished I'd had when I was relatively new to the knitting industry, and this is it!  SYWBAKD covers such diverse ground as...

- Putting together an excellent design proposal
- Marketing and social media
- Working with tech editors and testers
- Dealing with problem customers and copycats
- Attending TNNA and other trade shows
- The ins and outs of yarn support
- Pattern writing, formatting, and photography


(You can take a sneak peek at the table of contents and hear with Stacey of FreshStitches had to say about the book over on her blog. )

SYWBAKD is normally $19.50 but with the code "hello2014" it is just $14! I don't discount it often, so nab it quick ;-) 


"So You Want to Be a Knitting Designer"
$19.50 $14 with code
Add to Cart



I am toying with releasing another resource for new designers but the kinks aren't quite worked out yet- but if you're a new-ish designer, keep your eyes peeled! 

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