knits by emma gets a photoshoot

Two of my very good friends were kind enough to help me out with a quick photoshoot for knits by emma last weekend. We had heaps of fun frolicking around in the back garden. Summer in Perth is exceptionally bright, even at 6pm, but we still were able to get a few good shots.

So here’s a quick glance at what you all can expect to see from me in 2014. The girls and I had such a great time with this, and I really believe the photos capture the essence of my products. I like fun and functional and of course beautiful cables!

Two of the colors I have available have not been photographed in the current shoot, but I plan to remedy that shortly. My accessories are designed by me and have been hand-knit from 100% Australian merino machine-washable yarn. Many of the products photographed have been machine-washed already and tested for durability and color retention.

Next on my list is to obtain sewn-on labels with brand name and care instructions. I’m in discussions right now with a supplier on Etsy.

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The kind you find in a second-hand store

2013-Winner-Facebook-Cover

Big news y’all! I’ve had a busy few days, but on Friday I finished or “won” NaNoWriMo a day early at 50,233 words. My novel isn’t finished yet, but I hit the goal and am feeling proud. The fiancé also succeeded, so we had celebratory brunch with friends this morning.

I’ve had quite a bit on the needles to share. First I am happy to say that I finished my “raspberry beret,” which I wore today at brunch.

This is an awesome free pattern which can be found HERE. I had a few knitting attacks while working on this, which made the process take probably twice as long as it should have. Hint: read the clarification on the Ravelry page before completing. Sigh.

Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin pie anyone?

Thursday night Matt and I went to Thanksgiving dinner at an American bar. I brought the pumpkin pie, which went over very well. We met some cool people and had a DELICIOUS meal.

Thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving dinner

On Friday I got in a shipment of yarn I’d ordered to make legwarmers for my sister. She picked out the color herself. It’s Cascade 220 in the Tutu shade. A bit pink for my taste, but I know she’ll love them.

Legwarmers for Rachel

Legwarmers for Rachel

I also finally picked up the last skein to finish off my Rocky Coast Cardigan. I wet-blocked it last night and it’s nearly dry. I had a mini panic thinking it might stretch out, but I laid it out flat in the measurements I wanted, and it seems to be snapping back into place nicely. Can’t wait for it to be dry so I can get a photo in it!

Rocky Coast Cardigan

Rocky Coast Cardigan

I made it out of Loyal 10ply, my favorite 100% wool New Zealand yarn. It comes in some amazing colors. My raspberry beret was also made out of Loyal.

Other than that I’ve been making a gift for someone, so that’s hush hush until it’s finished. Basically my fingers are exhausted! I knit up the legwarmers at lightening speed so I could get them in the package with my family’s Xmas gifts, which heads to the States tomorrow morning!

The Rocky Coast Cardigan

Over the weekend we really started to see some scary high summer temps, so naturally I cast on a cardigan.

I’ve been an admirer of Alana Dakos (of Never Not Knitting) and Hannah Fettig (of Knitbot) for some time now. Basically anything Hannah Fettig has ever done, I want to knit. I’ve purchased patterns from both women, and one of my sisters is even getting a Hannah Fettig accessory from for Christmas.

The pair of them collaborated to bring us Coastal Knits. I’m actually having buyer’s remorse because I foolishly bought the Rocky Coast Cardigan pdf by itself rather than taking the time to really decide whether I wanted the whole book or not. Turns out I do.

Based on the comments and reviews on Ravelry, I decided to knit a size bigger than I actually require. I’d rather have it too big than too small. It’s a top-down sweater knit in one piece, meaning I won’t have to do any seaming at the sides. I started it on Saturday and after a few silly mistakes (read: not properly reading the instructions), I divided for the sleeves two nights ago and now it’s really cruising.

By now I’m sure my love of cables is totally obvious. I can tell this is going to turn out just beautifully. I love the ecru I chose (in Loyal 10ply). Matt was with me when I picked it out, and he agreed that it would look great on my coloring and be totally versatile.

I also blocked my sisters’ Christmas presents over the weekend. Now I just need to finish and block Mom’s gift. And also knit up everything for my upcoming craft fair appearance. Yikes!

When I finish Rocky Coast, I’m eager to get started on Alana’s new Sprig sweater design. She released the pattern early, and it will appear in her upcoming book. She’s generously allowed people to purchase it now, and then later get the book at the full price minus the cost of this pattern if they chose to buy it in advance. I’m definitely buying the whole book this time. Not making that mistake again!

Fashion and festivity

For the first time ever, I got to properly partake in Melbourne Cup day, or as it’s also known: The race that stops the nation.

It doesn’t exactly stop the nation. It stops Melbourne. And since those slackers get the whole day off to watch a single horse race, the rest of us stomp our feet and insist on playing too.

Part of the deal is getting fabulously dressed up (just like the Kentucky Derby or the Royal Wedding) and wearing strange hairpieces, which is most of the fun, really.

I was very excited to finally wear the dress I ordered weeks ago from Neiman Marcus over in the States. I am not at all the type to order something for a specific occasion (though I did just recently put down the deposit on my wedding dress, squee!), but my first real Melbourne Cup warranted a treat. Plus summer is long since over up in the northern hemisphere, so it was on sale. SCORE!

Perfect race day Longchamp

Perfect race day Longchamp

La pièce de résistance was my gorgeous navy Longchamp bag, which I’ve had for years and tend to bring out only for evenings out when I need space for more than just my ID and some cash. It seemed fitting for race day, non?

This year my office was doing a little shin dig, which was a lot of fun. We ate pies and sausage rolls and got to chat and catch up, plus of course we watched the race.

After things wrapped up I came home and plopped on the couch for some knitting. I’ve been rewatching Gilmore Girls for the millionth time (my all-time favorite show), and I’ve gotten to season 7. While the earlier seasons have seen countless viewings, season 7 is one I often avoid because it so thoroughly pisses me off. But, silver lining, I’d completely forgotten there was a Knit-a-thon episode! How cool is that? I’m knitting while all of Stars Hallow joins in?! (Guess you had to be there.)

Lovely light purple headband

Lovely light purple headband

I did manage to knit up this bad boy, and it’s still early enough for me to get a bit of writing done before I go to bed.

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is going pretty well both for me and for Matt. I’m ahead of schedule on my word count so far, but if I skip tonight, I’ll fall behind and I don’t want to lose momentum. I suspect I’ll crack the 10,000 word mark tonight. That’s a fifth of the way!

Thoughts on summer knitting

If this is your first visit to my site, you may not know that I live in Perth, Australia. Being in the southern hemisphere is confusing to a girl from Minnesota. As we kick off November, rather than entering winter wonderland, I am headed straight for the dead of summer.

I tend to work myself into quite a fury when I’m smack in the middle of a fun knitting pattern. I also run particularly on the warm side. Lately I’ve been positively radiating heat. Matt sometimes has to move away from me on the couch so he doesn’t catch my extreme rays.

All this paired with the temps reaching freakish heights means hand knits are definitely off the table. Or are they?

Dark teal legwarmer anyone?

Dark teal legwarmer anyone?

You other office workers out there can relate to my summer quandary. One minute you’re sweltering on the morning commute, and the next you’re shivering as you sit stationary under an aggressive air vent pumping a frigid stream. So what to wear?

I’m a sundress girl myself, never been too keen on shorts, (not that they’re office appropriate anyway) and dresses quick and easy to throw in my backpack before I hop on my bike and head to work. Lucky me, my office has a shower!

My poor legs and shoulders are freezing once I’ve been sitting at my desk about twenty minutes, so this week it was time for some serious brainstorming. I came up with a few fun projects to get me through the Perth summer months.

I already had the perfect yarn to get going on some very pretty loose chunky legwarmers to leave under my desk. I still need to make the second one, but I just couldn’t wait to share. I used a combination of a few patterns, and I just know they’ll be great for keeping my legs from turning to icicles. Once the second one’s made I promise to model them properly.

For another summer project, I’m considering doing some wristers in an equally fun color (or two). Bare arms can be just chilly as bare legs, after all. These are pretty cool. I’m really digging Loyal 10 ply yarn at the moment. It’s based out of New Zealand and comes in spectacular colors.

I even bought some Loyal in a nice ecru shade to swatch my Rocky Coast Cardigan by Hannah Fettig. Hopefully I can finish it by the time we come back after Christmas. I plan to leave it hanging on my chair to throw over my shoulders. Escaping the draft is crucial as being cold makes me distracted and, let’s face, hungry.

I’ve got my eye on Hannah’s new Knitbot book through Quince & Co., but we’ll discuss that when I actually get my hands on it.

If you have any other great summer knitting ideas to share, please do!