Tag Archives: designer

Ravelry lunch date at the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival

I always enjoy talking to people in real life situations. As much as I love reading and writing and conversing with others online, nothing compares with the subtle hand and facial gestures we all subconsciously make and implicitly understand. That being said, I got to meet up with some fellow Ravelers this weekend at the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival. So, HiMyNameIsPurple, me (LadyDanio), samie1914, scf1270 and junebug2285 met up in the hotel lobby where this pretty picture below was taken. We had a quick lunch date in the middle of a busy Saturday and it was wonderful getting to know everyone in real life.

Sam (pictured in the pink top) and I (with the ginormous Mini Mania Scarf) met up first. Unbeknownst to me, she had just sent me a Rav message, and I was in the middle of reading a text from Lindsay (pictured in the purple and grey scarf), so we had a hilarious who’s-on-first conversation at the beginning! Once we figured out who we each were, everyone else arrived. We headed off to the hotel bar, which was serving a buffet.

Sam and Heather (in the blue) had just come out of the festival, so they showed off all of their goodies, which included some dynamite SpaceCadet Creations yarns and a handturned wooden nostepinne for ball winding. Lunch was tons of fun as we got to know each other. We discovered that most of us knew the same people from similar knit groups in the area and I think I have been roped into joining them for an evening! 😉

Since Sam and Heather had already shopped and were heading out, they were so kind as to sneak their $15 handtags to Lindsay and I so that we could slip into the festival for a few minutes without having to pay. Lindsay had been there the day before, but hadn’t been able to stay because her toddler is going through the terrible twos, and so she kindly gave me a grand tour so I didn’t waste time (yes, I had the booths I wanted to see mapped out). I think we were only there for 20 minutes, but I definitely plopped down a bunch of money on yarns!

Of course I stopped by SpaceCadet to see the dyer, Stephanie, who’s a friend of mine, and stumbled into friend and fellow designer Sara Bench, aka CelticQueen, who was the Knitty Surprise design feature for their winter issue. Her pattern Love Actually (is all around) is an absolutely adorable heart-patterned cowl.

Then I headed over to Highland Alpaca, whose yarns I love so much that I began their Ravelry database listings several years ago and try to update them whenever I see them at a new show. I was running out of time but I hit Blue Heron Yarns to tell the dyer about my favorite yarn of hers, Blue Heron Silk Merino, which I have in two different colorways. I wear the Hayworth Shawlette that is made out of that ALL THE TIME. It’s my go-to scarf for both indoors and stylish wearing in light winter weather. The dyer confessed that she loves that yarn to death as well, so much so that she keeps a private stock for her own dyeing purposes! But she let it slip that if you contact her personally she’ll do a custom order for you. If you’ve been looking for some high-end silk merino sportweight that is really fab, you should get in touch with her and ask. She also sometimes dyes it on a whim, and there were some skeins she had in kits, so you may be able to get your hands on it that way.

We had wrapped up the day by 1:30 p.m. and were heading out. I think I could have sat and talked for another hour with everyone but we’d just run out of time! It was great seeing everyone and great meeting in real life. Next time I’ll be out and about will be the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this May. Maybe you’ll see me there!


Getting “Huffy” Over Milk Fiber: German Designer Claims She Invented It

Anke Domaske, image courtesy QMilk

My ears have been burning all day over the latest drama in the fashion world. The Huffington Post reported today that a German fashion designer, Anke Domaske, is claiming to have invented milk fiber. Luckily, they had my heavily researched blog post to take down the ludicrous claims of Mademoiselle Chi-Chi.

Now, to give Anke Domaske some credit here, she does have a background in biology as well as fashion design. Her milk fiber is being created in a factory right in Germany and she says that her and her team worked for years on the formula perfecting how to turn sour milk into fabric.

So the way her company processes and makes fabric out of milk could slightly differ from the processes outlined in all of the public scientific articles I’ve read. Or perhaps she just wanted to reinvent the wheel, so she created the exact same product from scratch, instead of getting the recipe from one of the many mills in China I referenced in my last article.

But to claim that you invented milk fiber in the last five years or so and to boost that your product is brand new and innovative is just absurd, especially considering humans have had the ability to make products from the proteins in milk since the Ancient Egyptians. And as for fabric made from milk itself? Well, maybe the fashion world considers off-the-rack, mass-produced clothing déclassé, but really, all of those vintage dresses from the 1930s and 40s is all the proof you need that milk fiber has been around long before Anke came on the scene, and the many websites selling milk fiber and fabric products takes us right up to the present.

Anke apparently told the BBC in a radio interview that her product was all-natural and eco-friendly because she doesn’t use chemicals to make it, blend it with AN, and she only uses milk that is being “thrown away,” as opposed to owning her own herd of dairy cows. I’m not sure how she can get away with not using any chemicals at all, since she is turning a liquid into a solid, nor do I understand how she could make her products strong enough without introducing a blend, since this was the problem with milk clothing in the first place, but then, I’m not a chemist.

As for Anke? She says that she wants to make clothing out of milk fiber the next big thing, and thinks everyone should be wearing milk fabrics in the future. Nice dream, Anke. I really doubt that she is going to find enough sour milk just being “tossed out” to make her fabric. The reason milk fiber isn’t widespread? Because it takes take about 100 pounds of skim milk to make 3 pounds of milk fiber.  Chew on that cud.

Mask is done!

I reknit the mask and it’s gorgeous. It took a bit more yarn than the last one (26 yards), but every design flaw has been mended. I immediately laid it on the table that I use for photographing my yarns and moved everything else away from it so that it didn’t get rumpled. I finally got a chance to photograph it and edit the images yesterday, and I think everything came out pretty well. It was kinda dark outside (ok, raining and miserable), so I decided to go for a moody, spa-like look. I nabbed a crappy candle that I’d never used from one shelf and a shell that was filled with stylish toothpicks from another and shoved them together. Then I prayed that I didn’t set the curtain on fire, since I create my “lightbox” effect by wrapping the white sheers around the table. Oy! Everything went well. I found a wee little mistake in my seed stitch border on the mask (oops!) but it’s tiny and hopefully no will notice or care. Oh, and I used the pink ribbon for color and to mimic the effect of ties (if you are into that sort of thing, which I am not). Here’s some photo p0rn for you:

Oh! And I’ve been working on getting submitted as a pattern designer on Ravelry! It’s harder than it looks, so I’m actually glad I started before my official “release” date, which I randomly decided would be Oct. 1. I got OK’d today, so here’s a link to the page, even though the pattern isn’t up yet. People are already favoriting it!