The first find I have is the work of a really wonderful Dutch designer, Christien Meindertsma. I have seen her work from time to time, but until recently had never really looked deeper into her design philosophy. The thing I found most interesting was the ongoing Flocks project. Taking a "slow design" approach, the focus of her work is the connection between the farmer and the final consumer. In projects like the One Sheep Cardigans and she worked with one farmer to create pieces from a single sheep. The finished garments include biographies of the animal, their eartags, and any prizes the animal has won.
My favorite of the projects is the Aran Rug, knit from the wool of 18 merino sheep, it is an interesting exploration of scale. A traditional Aran motif is magnified and repurposed into a cozy rug.
Absolutely beautiful work. More information about the designer is available at her website and more info about the Flocks project specifically is available here.
The thing that first brought Christien back into mind was my friend Amanda sent me a link to her Urchin Pouf's. These beautiful home accessories are available for $1,600 for the larger size at Design within Reach, but I knew I had seen a free pattern for them somewhere.
A quick Google search brought me to Pickle's blog, run byAnna and Heidi Pickles, for this wonderful version (also available on Ravelry):
I would love to have a couple of these for my living room. You hold a super bulky weight yarn triple stranded and then stuff them with an old duvet. I cannot stop day dreaming about doing these in Shibui Highland Wool Alpaca in Seaweed, ooohhh, and Mulberry.
I couldn't help but keep browsing the Pickles blog for a bit, and I came across this really cute vest:
The pattern for the XS-M size Wild Vest is available for purchase from their website, or the large size is available for free. It looks like its done with about a DK weight yarn held double. I'd love to see it in Rowan Wool Cotton or Felted Tweed. Ooohh, or the texture might be absolutely lovely in Shibui Merino Kid.
Anna and Heidi's blog is definitely worth checking out, its full of fun (and lots of free!) patterns and great ideas. Their Ravelry is also a good place to hunt. I'm finding I could do an entire months worth of blogs just with their stuff. I mean, just look at this beautiful crocheted lampshade (also a free pattern!):
And this gorgeous and simple wedding bolero!
I really suggest taking a peak at their stuff, it's really, really lovely.
Finally, just for funsies, I have found a really cute Etsy store with adorable patterns for the critter or science lover in your life. The Crafty Hedgehog is a really fun little shop with a range of things from patterns for these little guys...:
...to ready made hand knit lab rat disections:
(they also come in a frog version)
Shipping calls, so I must leave you with that for today. Have a great weekend, here's to hoping it won't be too dreary. As always, check back next week for another edition of Fashionknitsta. Until then, stay chic, blogfans!