Traveling Times and Inspiration Found

Filed in Industry Insight, Just Stitches, Point of View by on November 2, 2015 0 Comments

Last week I was in Omaha, Nebraska visiting a friend. She is one of the many I’ve helped learn to knit over the years, and she is a total inspiration to me because she took the basic skills I taught her and really ran with them.

She’s completely fearless when it comes to adapting patterns and instructions, and she is crazy good at looking at a photo, then coming up with her own version, complete with original adaptations.

She and I did some shopping in the Old Market in Omaha and found things to spark ideas as soon as we arrived, just walking across the street.

inspiration After staring at the cobblestones and seeing mostly stitch patterns and color combos,  I examined this coat in a lovely boutique and determined that the motif was applied by needle felting. This fabric was done by machine, but I’m now officially in the market for a good thrift store coat to try this out. Have you ever done anything like this? I’ve embellished on a small scale by needle felting yarn scraps onto my knitting, but this is an entire fabric. I loved it. Maybe I can at least do the collar and cuffs on something.


In the course of the week, I worked on the baby blanket I showed you last week, but didn’t get a chance to play with any of the stitch variations I mentioned. Did you?? That is on the agenda for this week, though, so I’ll have some swatches and photos next week.

I am loving carrying around my Fair Isle bag, inspired so long ago by a picture in a Peruvian Connection catalog and finally lined and fully functional, just in time for this month’s Eduknit topic of bags. It was the perfect bag to pack in my suitcase to use while on the trip when I didn’t want to carry awesome-but-biggish Tom Bihn bag around. I’m working on taking photos and writing about lots of different bag construction and architectures — it’s been fun to explore. IMG_2191

I found this bit of kelp on the sand in coastal North Carolina, and loved the overall feeling of random symmetry. I’m using this as inspiration for a new design, maybe in a cable or knot motif. How would this inspire you? Texture? As a colorway (I can see so many different shades of green) or a style of yarn (smooth and glossy)?IMG_2246

Later this week or early next I’ll be visiting a local-ish mill just over the border in Pennsylvania. Sweitzers Fiber Mill is making its mark in the yarn world by making beautiful, high-quality yarns from great fiber blends. That’s in preparation for December’s exploration into where yarn comes from.

All in all, it’s great to be busy with work, and to have it come in such variety. I continue to make my way through the busy fall portrait season, and when that finishes up next week, I’ll have a month or so at home preparing for another winter of potential long-term travel. I’m visiting my kids in Utah for Christmas, then taking a daughter out to school in Idaho, heading to San Diego for the TNNA winter show, helping my mom in Arizona, then heading back to California for STITCHES West in February. Whew.

As always, I’m glad I’ll have my knitting with me during all my travels. It provides calm, consistency and a feeling of home, no matter where I go.


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