August 31, 2011

Norwegian Knitting

One of my favorite groups on Ravelry that I follow is the Anthropologie Group. If you want to know what I do to "waste time" this would be one explanation. I love most things "Anthropologie" and there is a network of knitwear designers on Ravelry who can't wait to pounce on every new knitwear design that's offered for sale at their stores and see if they can replicate the pattern on their own. And they're hugely successful at it! Just looking at knitwear designs recommended by these "Anthro Knitters" leads me down many rabbit holes.

It was down one of these rabbit holes yesterday that led me to the discovery of designer Solveig Hisdal from Norway. Her book, Poetry in Stitches: Clothes You Can Knit, is filled with colorful Norwegian style knitwear designs and I have to say I'M IN LOVE!!!

Solveig's inspiration for her designs in the book came from visiting Norwegian museums and studying textiles and costumes. She has translated textile history into art with her beautiful designs in Poetry in Stitches. Lucky for me, our library has a copy of the book, so I've placed a hold for one of the copies. I suspect that I will love the book too much not to own my own copy.

She is also the designer behind Oleana, a Norway-based textile manufacturer. For some reason, her designs just speak to me. They're feminine, whimsical and jaw-dropping gorgeous.


Solveig's designs inspire me to experiment more on my own with color and design.

My beloved grandmother Vivian was of Norwegian descent and she taught me to knit when I was very young. She knit my sisters and I beautiful Fair Isle cardigans (that my Aunt later ruined when she decided to wash and dry them in the laundry). I would love to know more about the designs she chose and wonder if they might have had some historical family significance. My sister April still has two of the cardigans after using them for many years to dress her dolls (yes, they shrunk that much!). I'll have to dig them out and see if I can do some detective work on my own on the designs. 

August 24, 2011

Paris - T Minus 14 Days

In 14 short days, April and I will be on our way to Paris where we hope to bask in the warm Autumn sun from one of our three apartment terraces, including one with a hammock!  This will be our first time renting a vacation apartment from Homelidays. We started looking for a vacation rental in January 2011 and it didn't take us long to find the perfect Paris apartment that met all of our criteria. The favorable reviews from previous renters and our interaction with the owner quickly removed any hesitation we had when pondering the idea of using another "vacation rental by owner" site for our Paris rental. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that our choice will not disappoint.

My greatest challenge in the next two weeks will be to efficiently pack everything I need for a month into one checked bag and one medium-sized carry on. I am a habitual "over-packer" and although we will certainly have laundry facilities available, it's difficult to achieve the right balance of wardrobe for early autumn in Paris and late summer in the French Riviera. Where do I fit all my shoes? I'm going to need sandals, flip-flops, walking shoes, "cute" shoes, closed-toe shoes, flats and possibly boots. Combine my shoes with all of my hair products and that's a very large checked bag alone, not to mention the rest of my toiletries. What's a girl to do? It occurred to me that I could just PLAN to shop while in Paris. What's not to love about a new Channel lipstick? Who needs to pack a coat, when I can probably just find an adorable one at Zara? Suddenly I feel a bit liberated from the need to check off every necessity from my list of "must haves" knowing that I'm going to be in the city of Paris . . . with all of their lovely shops . . . for like 30 days . . . sounds like my packing problem has been resolved!