The Sweatshop of Love Blog

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July, 2013

LOTS of California Knitting

Poolside Knitting

Poolside Knitting

One of the things I needed to do while in California was knit my fingers off. And I feel pretty good about all of the knitting I’ve gotten done!

Lace Raglan!

Lace Raglan!

I came to California 13 days ago with 30% of one sweater done and yarn for two more, and on the day before I leave to go back to Chicago I’ve got 1 sweater finished, 1 sweater 70% done, and another sweater 50% done. My goal was to have 2 1/2 sweaters finished, so with a knitting day today and a knitting/travel day tomorrow, I’ll say I’ll get there!

Travel Knitting on the Way to California!

Travel Knitting on the Way to California!

Why such an insane schedule? Holla Knits Fall/Winter, of course! I’m testing patterns and tech editing before the photo shoot on August 24th. Will I do it? …. I don’t really have a choice!

Knitting at Dodger Stadium!

Knitting at Dodger Stadium!

If I come up short it certainly won’t be for lack of trying. I’ve been knitting everywhere – 6-10 hour knitting days, on top of shooting the web series and embroidery pattern planning!

But I have been having a total blast here! I even crashed the LA Stitch and Pitch and caught a Dodger’s game with my new friend Jessie, who I met on Instagram! Which has got to be the first Instagram matchmaker ever!

Jessie and Me at the Dodger's Game!

Jessie and Me at the Dodger’s Game!

And we kinda look like sisters, right?! Look at those matching squinty smile eyes!

(Find Jessie on instagram at TheBonvivant, and me at AllysonDykhuizen, if you aren’t on it already!)

Me Knitting at the Beach!

Me Knitting at the Beach!

And we went to a beach in Malibu yesterday and I was even working hard on a sweater there! So I’m going to do it!

… I hope!

Fat Camp Business Retreat

So as you could see on Monday, I’m having FUN in California!

Katie Getting Made Up!

Katie Getting Made Up!

I’m also working my butt off. I keep referring to this trip as a fat camp business retreat – I’m trying to eat super healthy (+FROYO), and working constantly.

We are shooting a TON of footage for Katie‘s web series! It’s going really well. I kind of fell into the co director roll, I’m shooting most of it, AND I’m going to teach myself Final Cut when this is all over and edit it. Fun!

Katie on a DATE!

Katie on a DATE!

Here is Katie on a ‘date’ – we shot this at like 10:30 am. That drink? ‘Apple juice’ made of mostly high fructose corn syrup. More about this fun project soon!

Katie and I Getting PRETTY!

Katie and I Getting PRETTY!

Not to mention all the Holla Knits work I’m doing! But we are taking some breaks to go out. Like Saturday night we went downtown to dance, and afterwards found ourselves at a rooftop karaoke party.

Me, Joey, and Katie

Me, Joey, and Katie

Here I am, with my new friend Joey, and Katie, before we went out on Saturday night. Little did we know we’d be hanging out with 22 year olds dressed like it is 1992. I’m not ready to go back to a time when you leave the house specifically not looking pretty!

PARTY TIMEZ!

PARTY TIMEZ!

Here we are at the dance party! And I’m drinking vodka sodas like a girl trying not to gain 100 pounds while in California for 2 weeks.

One week down, one to go, and Katie and I still have a TON to do! Knitting and embroidery WIP pics coming SOON!

DIY Standing Pool Desk

I’m in California soaking up some rays! Or, as us Dutch girls like to call it, hiding in the shade with SPF 60.

People keep asking me if I’m traveling for business or pleasure, and it’s really both. Katie and I have been busy filming her web series, and I’ve been busy knitting and pattern editing for the Holla Knits Fall/Winter Collection! Katie and I are also working on designing for the launch of Red Letter Day Stitches. I guess it’s hard to differentiate between business and pleasure when your business IS your pleasure.

Case in point? I’ve created a fun solution to having to knit wool sweaters in 90 degree heat! I give you my standing pool desk!

Standing Pool Desk!

Standing Pool Desk!

Am I right? This way you are IN THE POOL not sweating to death, knitting with 100% wool. SMART.

Feet in Pool, Knitting Away

Feet in Pool, Knitting Away

Also awesome is the sitting on the side of the pool, feet in the water, bikini, knitting in your lap move. For when it’s only like 80 degrees.

And the best part? Katie’s pool is in the shade! No burning, all the knitting, fresh air. I could get used to this!

Knitted Swatch Wall Art!

Swatch Wall Hangings!

Swatch Wall Hangings!

Tara, my good friend and member of my weekly knit night in Chicago, is getting married in just a few weeks! Inspired by a pin I found months ago, I thought it would be a fun project if I got swatches from all of our knit night regulars to mount and give to her at her knit night shower.

All Different!

All Different!

I gave everyone the same prompt – knit a 6″x6″ square swatch in a fingering, sock, sport, dk weight yarn. Any color, and stitch pattern, anything.

MORE!

MORE!

I collected 9 swatches in all, and I thought it was pretty amazing how they all look amazing together! With no thoughts of uniformity in color or stitch. 8 of them were lace patterns, 7 of them were in greys, tans, or blues. 1 of them was crocheted.

The Backs!

The Backs!

So I just kinda winged it! I got out some muslin and my hot glue gun and went to town. I cut out two squares that comfortably covered my 6″ wooden hoops. I laid a piece of muslin down over the bottom hoop, laid a swatch over it, and pressed the top hoop over it. I stretched it all over to straighten up the stitch pattern and make sure it was all looking good. I tightened the hoop as far as it could go, and I folded the extra fabric to the inside of the hoop. Then I started hot glue-ing the other piece of muslin to the edge of the inside of the hoop, close to the fabric. When I had hot glued it all in place, I cut the extra muslin off around the circle.

Mine!

Mine!

I think the turned out awesome. So awesome that everyone at knit night wants a set for themselves! We are going to organize a swap so we can all have these beautiful swatches hanging in our homes, too!

It’s such a fun project, and pretty quick to complete. So start saving those gauge swatches and make yourself some super fun craft room wall art!

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California Bound!

So I know I was just in California in February, but you can’t have too much California, right?

CALIFORNIA

Today I’m headed back to Burbank to stay with my friend Katie Canavan of Under the Red Umbrella for TWO WEEKS! She is shooting a web series about online dating, and I’m going to try to help.

We are also launching a new site together! Red Letter Day Stitches, a new holiday focused embroidery pattern site, will launch soon. And it’s going to be awesome!

So see? I’m traveling to California for business. Business that I can do from the pool!