If you’re getting sick of seeing these photos and hearing me ramble on about my latest design, I’m sorry. It’s just that I’m really, really excited about it! The TEJEDA sweater is my first ever garment design that I’m truly happy with — many earlier garments got frogged relentlessly — so I guess it’s worth celebrating. (Not that I need anything to celebrate to drink wine on a beach.) Anyway, today I share some bits and pieces about how this design came to be.
Today, there are so many amazing shops out there for knitters. So many gorgeous yarns to choose from, and so many awesome patterns to knit. But I think Wool and the Gang‘s knit kits will always have a special place in my heart. Wool and the Gang is that company that made me wanted to learn how to knit. And when I did, with the help of their video tutorials, it was a Wool and the Gang knit kit that got me knitting my first sweater.
This year, they also launched my favorite yarn to date: a white cotton with black specks. I just had to get my hands on some and knit their Lucky Star tank pattern with it. Now it may not be Summer anymore where you are, but if not, keep this one in mind for when temperatures go up again. Because it has already become a staple piece in my wardrobe.
It’s been a while since I finished what I can safely call one of the most successful garments I ever knitted. Obviously, I’m talking about my Mae sweater. That one many of you loved when I posted pictures of it on Instagram. It’s a stunning design by Andrea Mowry (@dreareneeknits) — who has loads more of amazing patterns for sale — with some color-block-and-long-sleeve-adjustments by yours truly. Wanna know how I made it (and how it looks on)? Read on.
Little did I know that pattern knitting could be so satisfying. I’ve always focussed simply on learning knitting techniques, hoping that would help me design my own patterns. Now there’s nothing wrong with learning new techniques, but learning how to use them is a whole different story. I found myself utterly overwhelmed by all the possibilities. So I searched for a knitting pattern that would give me my groove back and stumbled upon the Long Island Sweater by Drops. Today I’m showing you how it turned out. <3
Sooo, I’ve been thinking long and hard about this. I’ve wanted the perfect format for my blog for ages. Back in the merely-merel.nl days (the archives of which you’re highly recommended to check out if you wanna have a laugh) as well as now. I wanted to know exactly what kind of blogposts I was going to post. What to talk about. Which categories and labels to give them. How to style them. All that stuff. As you can guess from this blogpost’s title, that didn’t work out. Again, haha. So I’m embracing my ever-changing self and today I tell you all about my plans. Plus a little personal update related to my prepping for Gran Canaria!
To be honest, I didn’t get it myself at first: why on earth would someone sell super simple knitting patterns? Patterns that are so easy that you can make out the stitches used when looking at a picture of the finished piece? Who the hell would want to buy them? And where did you get the brutality to charge money for it? Well, I guess that was my old, little, ignorant me, because I totally get it now. And since I’m planning on selling simple knitting patterns myself, I’m gonna explain it to all of you in need of enlightenment. :’-D
Admittedly, starting a handmade shop for a modern audience (sorry grannies out there, I do love you too!) is harder than it initially seemed. I mean, the thought of making fashion items exactly corresponding to my own style is a lovely idea and all, but I can’t escape the fact that knitting / crochet are old-fashioned techniques and definitely are in danger to look so too. Therefore, I think it is extremely important to dive into my own wardrobe to see what modern elements I could possibly implement in my handmade designs to make them look like they just came off the runway.
It’s been a struggle, I’m not gonna lie. But I pride myself on having put together both a wardrobe and a yarn stash in overwhelmingly neutral color palettes. Black, white, grey, nude — repeat. Untill now. ‘Cause I’ve found myself a new addiction and it’s called olive green. Now Chain Twenty is not 1-2-3 gonna turn into rainbow unicorns, but beware for olive green in the FW16/17 collection. Here’s a little outfit sneak preview.
It seemed like a good idea to me to complement my (still future) handmade shop with a blog — the one you’re reading now, duh. 😉 A blog can provide inspiration, story telling, and trust building. And a fun excuse to snuggle up on the couch with coffee + chocochip cookies. Anyhow, from the story telling point of view, I’d like to spend this post telling you about the main purpose of Chain Twenty’s blog. Spreading the love for a cozy, minimalist, and modern lifestyle. Sounds good? I thought so!
In retrospect, selling something I made or designed myself has been on my mind since I was little. I remember waking my parents during the Weekend at six a.m. to make drawings. Yes, lovely, I know. I remember braiding friends bracelets at school a few years later, selling them for marbles. I remember receiving my best high school grades for Visual Arts. And I finally remember going to art school, and enrolling in an Art History bachelors program afterwards. And even though I’m now writing a research masters thesis in Ancient History, I continue longing for making. Why is that? What do I (and others) love about making so much? Here are five reasons why I pursue a career in handmade design! #relatablealarm