Hey, my blog has an updated look! I just love it and I hope you do, too.
One day I was reading one of my favorite non-knitting blogs, Steph Modo, which is a Martha Stewart meets Cookie Magazine sort of blog. I really admire her clean, uncluttered design and was inspired to update my blog.
Up to this point, I've been relying on the kindness of my already very busy friends for blog design help. But you can only mooch for so long, you know? I did some investigating and discovered Jo-Lynne of DCR Design. Her tagline is "beautifying the blogosphere" and I think she's done just that.
I asked Jo-Lynn to give me a few tips for working with a designer on your blog. She says:
Be ready to go to work when you contact. Be available for quick answers so the process can move along.
Be prepared to pay for extra revisions if you request a lot of extra work.
Find a designer whose style you really love. And then trust his/her advice.
I echo this point and would add something I once learned in the old days of my PR career:
Think: What do you want people to think about your blog?
Feel: What do you want people to feel about you and your blog?
Do: What do you want people to do when visiting your blog?
So....what do YOU think about the redesign? Does the design of a blog you visit impact your inclination to visit again? What design features do you love/hate about blogs?
Back in December, I blogged about the winter window at Knit 1, my local yarn boutique.
Karen Schmidt, the shop owner and knitwear designer extraordinaire, is ushering in spring with three new brightly-colored designs in her window. What makes all of this even more amazing is that Karen just had a baby! Yup, Karen's wiggly toddler girl now has a snuggly little sister.
Check out the pieces!
I talked to Karen recently and here's what she had to say about the new designs:
What was your design inspiration for the window? I like to change up the window about every 3 months and the last window was about to expire so I guess you could say my inspiration was to get it changed before the baby came.
Tell me about your design process and how long it takes to whip these up. In my mind I gave myself less than a week to make them and the go-to yarn for that is Cascade Magnum and some trusty #19 Addi Turbo's (except the yellow piece I used #15's). The three pieces are just variation on themes I've done in the past. The frame work is the same, I just changed elements to make them different enough to stand on their own but still relate to the others. That allowed me to knock them out quicky. The purple capelet and the pink sleeveless (sort of cap sleeve) pullover I did in a day and a half. The yellow one took maybe 3 days... can't quite remember. Luckily I have a new baby that sleeps continuously and a supportive husband who kept the 18 month old busy so I could concentrate on my knitting.
After my last post about the window designs, I got a few questions about the availability of patterns for Karen's designs. The short answer is that she does not make patterns available. Her desire is to inspire knitters to create their own pieces. She definitely has inspired me! However, if you are an experienced knitter I'll bet Karen could sit down with you for a few classes and teach you how to make your very own version of what's in the window.
That's right. I drew the above picture! I have begun a class based on Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. One of the big exercises in class this week was copying Picasso's sketch of Igor Stravinsky. So you know, the original looks like this:
Even though I messed up the face and the hands, I am so excited as I begin to add this skill to my design arsenal. The main reason I started the class to learn to sketch my ideas for knitwear designs. This is a really big part of submissions for knitting magazines and I want to make my sketches really, really good. Isaac Mizrahi good. I was inspired by his sketch in Women's Wear Daily of inauguration dresses for the First Lady and her girls:
What about you? What new things are you learning to do?
Check her out! I love the way she's wearing it cuffed over like a large turtleneck with that puffy coat and movie-star sunglasses. And I can almost guarantee there's not a stitch of makeup on her face, nor has she been anywhere near a Botox injection! You won't want to hear this, either, but she's a really talented photographer who took this shot with her iPhone! She's also tall and thin and.....but don't get me started.....just focus on how great this cowl looks on her.
This is the second in a series of pieces about knitwear designers who inspire.
I first came across Lutz and Patmos in an article in the September 2008 issue of O magazine. The article featured a chunky knit jacket (below in lilac) that made generous use of my beloved textural garter stitch.
It was this piece that inspired me to enter the contest to design pieces for the window mannequins at my LYS, Knit 1. For more on that, see my very first post.
Tina Lutz and Marcia Patmos, the genius partnership behind this brand, started their brand in 2000. Nine years later, they have a full line of basics as well as seasonal collections. My favorite from the spring collection is the beach shell cardigan. It makes me want to learn to crochet. They have also collaborated with many national retailers, including household accessories at West Elm.
Another thing I just love about Lutz and Patmos is that they are truly knitterly designers. What do I mean by that? Several things. First off, knitters genuinely and passionately care where their fiber is sourced. Lutz and Patmos supports the local economy in Uruguay, where the yarn is sourced and hand-knit, hand-loomed or crochet by a group of local artisans.
Lutz and Patmos design not for seasons, but for years. Doesn't that ring true? When you go to all the trouble to knit a sweater you want to be able to wear it for a long, long time. Last, and this is a biggie for me, hand-drawn schematics of each piece appear next to the photos on their site. Remember that lovely beach shell cardigan? Here's the schematic posted next to the piece. I just love that! That schematic gives you an idea of how the piece is constructed, which is helpful for design inspiration as well as for customers.
The only thing Lutz and Patmos hasn't done is write a book of knitting patterns. So, to them I say, "Pretty please write a pattern book. I promise I'll buy it."
I love to create container gardens! It's the easiest and quickest way to transform a space and create an inviting atmosphere. Plus, once you buy the right containers you can change your look every season. This blog chronicles my journey to create container gardens that make people truly happy in their outdoor spaces.