Tag Archives: Mom

Staggered

top

So excited to release my first pattern on Ravelry. ravelry

MOMwrappedI originally knit this pattern as a birthday present for Mom. It became a problem when I always wanted to steal it from her.

 

While working a shift at Knitche one day, I witnessed the arrival of Blue Sky Alpaca Extra. My first reaction was to wrap the hank of yarn around my neck and cuddle up. I decided this was the perfect yarn to re-knit my cabled cowl.

 

I’ve been pouring over the chart for this design for quite some time, trying to bring in my graphic knowledge to help make it more user friendly. I’m excited to get feedback on this to make the pattern even better.

modeled

To get help, I’m releasing this temporarily as a free pattern. Please help out!

Update: A hearty THANK YOU to the 1400 Ravelers who downloaded my pattern in the last 24 hours! I’ve been so excited to see such warm response to my first published design. Now that I have a great pool of testers, I will be charging a small fee for downloads. I look forward to your feedback and can’t wait to see the projects start popping up!

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Taken By Surprise

1_65Wall

I realized in January that my mother was to have a special birthday this February.

She was turning … ?5.

I quickly got to work and organized a surprise party! For invitations I designed a very simple, clean postcard. I love drawing type by hand – I think it added a warm, personal touch to the invitation. Being in Chicago, I wanted to find a local, independent printer that I could work with to achieve the best result for the postcard. The people at HD Design & Printing were fantastic to work with – I was able to make an appointment, talk to them about the result I wanted and look at papers. They were able to turn this small job out in a matter of days.

 

2_Invites

 

Next task was to start planning the decorations. My go-to books at home are Paper + Craft by Minhee & Truman Cho and Handmade Weddings by Eunice Moyle, Sabrina Moyle, and Shana Faust (I find that at least 80% of this book translates to Handmade Events, not just weddings!). My apartment has a strong white base with a heavy dose of natural lighting – it’s the perfect neutral setting to easily transform. When choosing materials, I stuck with a palette of white and gold using subtle pops of pink and black.

 

3_Wall

 

The cone wreath came from a project in Paper + Craft. I chose a variety of neutral metallic papers to construct this decoration. In the dining room, I used two long strings of lights to run back and forth across the ceiling which created a party tent-like effect. From Handmade Weddings, I took inspiration from the Cupcake Liner Pom-Poms using both metallic gold and a black patterned liners. I also used coffee filters to create some contrast in size. In the dining room, I had different stations which I denoted with floating signs. I created these by cutting letters out of glitter paper. I then used blue tape to secure the letters to metal wire I hung from the strings of lights.

 

4_Deserts 5_counter

 

As for refreshments, I kept things classy and simple by serving coffee, a variety of teas, a blackberry lemonade champagne punch and  an assortment of both savory and sweet finger foods – no forks! To serve food and drinks, I used a mismatched system based on the white and gold palette. The outcome was subtle, but still very fun and eclectic.

 

6_dessertfood

 

What worked in perfectly was a set of china I inherited from my grandmother. I was both ecstatic and terrified to use this thin, fragile set of Bavarian china for the first time. While being acquired a number of generations back on my mother’s side, it has a delightful Art Deco feel to it – it’s simple with just a thin band of a geometric plant pattern on the edges, outlined in gold (of course). However, I figured that if I were ever going to use it – this was the right age group to give it a go!

 

7_ChinaComp8_China_Rim

 

For a more original decoration, I went back to the original branding I had created for the invitation. I blew up the “?5” I had drawn and printed these 2′ elements as an engineering plot at Staples for about $4. I used a large piece of cardboard and cut these pieces out with a larger exacto knife. After these were cut, I carefully wrapped the pieces in crepe paper – carefully taping the strands in back and pulling the corners over the curves. I then took them outside and lightly spray painted them gold. I then took the “Sally turns”  hand-drawn elements, blew them up, printed them out and cut them out of black glitter paper. I placed all these elements in a similar position to the invitation and it became a beautiful wall decoration.

 

12_Wall_Comp

 

Last, but not least, I made the birthday girl a pin to wear. I used the Felt Bud project from Handmade Weddings. Instead of making boutonnieres, I glued the buds and leaves to a pin back.

 

15_Pin

 

When the hour finally arrived and I coaxed my mother upstairs, nothing beat the look of astonishment on her face when her close friends and family yelled “Surprise!”

 

16_Hugs

 

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

a sweater for Mom

Greetings! I am rejoining the world and loving every new breath. I currently left a salaried position in the Big Apple with a Grade A Workaholic boss who, in turn, managed to start morphing me as well.

Luckily, my bright, outgoing personality couldn’t take the plunge! I am most enthusiastic about my new life doing what I love. Have I cut back in the hours I was pulling? No … but it’s such a different experience doing something that makes you happy and working with amazing, lovely people. I need to give a quick thank you to my parents, family, and friends who helped me to accept the decision to move on and make an honest effort to do what I love!

Aside from this, I’ve also been able to enhance my knitting production, a passion nurtured since 2006. Did I learn from my mother? No … but she did teach me everything else in life. For my first post, I want to showcase and thank her.

SanFranMom hails from Western Springs, Illinois. She was the perfect All-American daughter, never stepping too far out of line (to my knowledge …). As an adult, she worked in an elementary school district in a suburb South of Chicago running a Media Center. She met her next-door-neighbor when she went to vote. Their first date was to a Chicago Bears game. One fine day, he announced they were to wed and soon after Mom became step-mom to three young children who lived out of state. Shortly after, I came along and she had summers full caring for four kids within a 10 year range.

Mom moved to the classroom and taught second and third grades throughout the years. During this time, we adopted my little sister from China. Soon after welcoming Kiveran into our life, Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was a champ. She even fit treatments into her school schedule so that she could teach half days and be with her students. I remember knowing Mom was sick, but she still seemed so strong and healthy. It wasn’t until recently that I learned we almost lost her. I would not be the same bubbly character that I am today if we had. Everyone always tells me, “You are your mother’s daughter,” and I’ve never found anything to be more true nor more of a compliment.

Mom_n_Girlsjpg

In high school, Mom became more of a friend and we were a team. She finished her career as Director of the Title One program for her district. She has spent retirement caring for her mother and being my sibling’s and my biggest fan. She says raising me was like living in a musical … probably not a very good one, but surely entertaining. To show Mom my love and thanks, I made my first sweater for her in 2010. I used Kim Hargreaves’ pattern, Olivia, published in Thrown Together. The sweater is knit with Blue Sky Alpaca’s Sport Weight. We took these pictures outside the house she grew up in – she lit up so brightly! These are some of my favorite pictures of her.

Tagged , , ,
%d bloggers like this: