Oh, hello friends!  Remember me?  I remember you!  And I am still here.  Did I tell you about all of the holiday markets I was fortunate enough to have been accepted into this year?  I think I forgot to tell you.  Although, after finding out I was accepted into three amazing markets again this year, I think I forgot to breathe as well, so.

Today is my last calm, quiet day working at home and then I spend the next few weeks in a whirlwind.  It is still amazing to me that I prepare for this exact day for months; I make hundreds of scarves & cowls & earwarmers, I gather up my brown paper & string so I can wrap up gifts for people I'll probably never meet, I pack my car and travel up & down the West Coast, I meet new friends & delight in watching the reactions of rank strangers when they fall in love with something I've created...  And then in a matter of weeks it is all over.  All my things are gone.  In a way it's like losing a friend, which sounds slightly dramatic, but I can't help but feel like each and every piece I make is a friend.

I love this time of year.  The festivities, the crispness in the air, the overwhelming feelings of cheer & good tidings people seem to exude.  I really do love all of it.  I am so looking forward to meeting new people and sharing my own good cheer at all the shows I am lucky enough to be attending.

If you live in Seattle, Portland, or San Francisco and can make it out to any of the shows listed in the photo above, please stop by our booth and say hi!  We love booth visitors, especially friends.

If you don't live in any of those fine cities but would like to order something from my online shop (and I'd be honored) tomorrow is the last day to place orders in time for Christmas.

I can't wait to come back home with stories & pictures to share, and get back into the routine of taking photographs & blogging again.  I have so many ideas I want to share with you, I just haven't had the time!

I do hope you all have a cheery, cozy, and happy holiday season.  I know I plan on it!

introducing: the ombré cowl

Eep! Hello, friends! Today is a BIG day for me--I am so happy to announce that something I have been working on for what feels like ages is finally available: please meet the Ombre Cowl! This is the largest piece I offer in my collection and let me tell you...it. is. HUGE.  Laid flat it measures over 2.5 feet long.  Yes, feet.  I am in love...

I have been working for months now, getting the proportions just perfect and creating 9 gorgeous ombre colorways. This really should not have taken me as long as it did, but the process of choosing colors & finalizing all the little details that come along with shooting product photographs has fallen to the wayside these past few months as I've been getting ready for holiday markets. It is that incredibly crazy time of year when well-planned to-do lists become slowly buried by piles of scarves, cowls, and earwarmers. Yet another thing I love!

I hope you are all having a beautiful Fall.  And if you are one of the people living in the Northeastern part of the country and have been affected by Hurricane Sandy, please know that the entire world is sending you safe, warm, and well wishes.  We are all thinking of you!

This Yarn Wrangler must get back to work now...so many things to make before Urban Craft Uprising, Crafty Wonderland, and Renegade SF. Whew!

DIY - Easy Ombre Nails

If you're like me & can never seem to keep a fancy manicure looking presentable for more than three days at a time (hello, hand-washing dishes!), you've probably been hopelessly lusting after some of the same pretty & inventive d.i.y. manicures as I have. They seem to be popping up all over the place these days, but I just know after spending time painting little dots or cute chevrons on my nails...well, they'll be chipped & sad looking once I wash up after a few home-cooked dinners.

But if you have the time to slap on a simple coat of polish before you head out the door on date night, might I suggest ombre nails? All you need are 3 nail polishes in 3 shades of the same hue, and you're set! It's an incredibly easy way to make your nail polish routine that much more interesting. I will admit that I have been caught once or twice just holding my hands up and staring at my nails when sporting an ombre manicure...
Happy painting!
xo, Anna

introducing: the corrugate cowl

cor·ru·gate: verb Contract or cause to contract into wrinkles or folds

Hello friends!  I am so pleased to introduce you to the newest offering in my shop: The Corrugate Cowl. I have been keeping it under wraps all Summer, and I am excited to finally share it with you all!  It is a rather voluminous, striped, and textured cowl. The three-stripe pattern repeat causes the cowl to appear intricately folded & twisted when worn, even though its structure is a simple tube.

Perfect for both men and women, The Corrugate Cowl can be made in virtually any color combination you like. With 25 different colors to work with, you can truly create your very own unique cowl.  I've been having a lot of fun combining unexpected colors & seeing how they work up into this design--some have been surprisingly beautiful!  In fact, I'm not sure I've made one yet that I didn't like.  Combining three neutral colors gives the cowl a soft, romantic feel; while combining three bright, bold colors gives it a very striking & graphic appearance.  That is one thing I absolutely love about it: the design stays the same, but changing the colors changes it so much, depending on which three you choose.

If you'd like to take a peek at more photos of The Corrugate Cowl plus other cool weather offerings from my shop, just click here.  

I am slooowly unveiling updated photographs & a spiffy new look for my shop--I do hope you like it!
xo, Anna

Let The Sun Shine In.

October. It is the first of October, yet there is unabashedly garish sunlight streaming through my bedroom window in the afternoon. There are still sailboats passing through the small pieces of Puget Sound I am lucky enough to see out my kitchen windows. I am still watering the rose geraniums on my fire escape, for there have been no rain drops to speak of over the past few months. I will admit, this is one of the stranger Summer-into-Fall transitions I have ever experienced here in the Pacific Northwest...although who could argue with it? It's just plain beautiful.

Even though my eyes are telling me it's Summer, my brain knows better. I still have the urge to sit down and quickly hand-wind wool; begin a long overdue sweater for myself; tell myself it's okay not to do work into the evenings and maybe not even on the weekends, but to switch gears and knit something for me, just me. My brain knows that the first of October means I only have two full months of time to make an incredibly large amount of things for the craft shows I know are coming. But this year will be different. This year I will slow down. I will not ignore the small daily activities that make life so wonderful, just because I have a (sometimes oppressive) deadline to meet. I will still wake up too early and stay up too late some days, going to bed with crossed-eyes and tired hands. But I will tell myself it is okay if I don't get a Wisteria Wrap made in that one color I meant to make it in this year-I am the only person who will notice. This year will be different, easier, better. And I am so ready for it.
xo, Anna

**The poster you see a mirror-image of above was made by an incredibly sweet husband and wife duo, Slide Sideways, who are located here in the PNW. Their 'Let the Sun Shine In' poster along with the rest of their amazing work can be found here.**

Is It Fall Yet?

Hi friends!  I made the spontaneous decision to offer free domestic shipping in the Victory Garden Yarn Etsy shop all weekend, in honor of the most glorious of events: the first day of FALL!  If you find yourself in need of a new handmade cozy to help you celebrate the Autumnal Equinox, look no further.  All my handmade cowls, scarves, ear-warmers, and Granny Hoops (they want in on the celebration, too!) are in stock & ready to ship.  Just use code FALLISHERE at checkout & your entire order will ship for free.  The sale starts right now & ends Sunday, September 23, at 11pm PST, so hurry!

Happy Fall, friends!
xo, Anna

**Multiple item orders will be shipped to one address only, they cannot be broken up into multiple shipments. Thank you!**

Steamboat Rock, Polaroids, August 2012

A month ago I completed 31 revolutions around the sun and began my 32nd year in orbit.  To celebrate my accomplishment, I desperately wanted to hop in the car and drive somewhere hot, dry, and dusty; even if only for a day or two.  Eastern Washington is the closest place to experience an honest Summer in this neck of the woods, so we set out on a last minute journey over the mountains.  We camped at Steamboat Rock--which is quickly becoming one of my most favorite places (even with all 34 mosquito bites I came home with), swam in Banks Lake, ate cheese-oozing burgers at roadside joints, stopped in at every dinky thrift & antique store we came across, woke in the middle of the night to wildfire flames on a nearby hilltop, swam in Soap Lake (which feels like a Russian resort straight out of 1955--seriously, there were samovars on picnic tables, at the lake), and remembered what it felt like to be hot.  Genuinely toasty.

But most importantly, we only took photos with one Polaroid camera and one film camera.  My roll of film hasn't quite been used up, and now I don't remember what I photographed, but that's always the beauty of film, isn't it?  Surprise.  For now, I thought I would share with you a few Polaroids which were snapped by one of the two of us.