So, I have found myself at my favourite blogging spot once again – Creekside Starbucks, at the base of Whistler mountain. And it just started to SNOW again!! There’s 15cms of snow in the forecast for this evening, so I figured today was a great day for studying…or blogging…or both…since tomorrow will be a total powder day where everything else in my life goes on hold!

I honestly came to Starbucks with the best of intentions to work away at studying the mineral Calcium – and yes, I do find it fascinating spending hours and hours learning about nutrition. But I forgot my headphones and therefore can’t listen to the lecture…boo! So I’ll do a quick blog instead!

It’s been a couple of weeks now since I finished my intarsia sweater – the one that I made out of pure jealousy of everyone in Whistler walking around in their expensive Aritzia sweaters. Yup…it didn’t stem from the “holy-of-holies” of my heart, but it has taught me a lot about perseverance, patience, and delayed gratification.

So here she is in all of her glory!

I’m going to do some changes to the neckline at some point – I was wanting a collar that would lay flat, and this once seems to enjoy standing upright. Also, I may be adding pockets because my theory is that EVERYTHING is better with pockets! – dresses, tops, skirts, scarves…you name it.

I made this sweater extra-long, and am glad I did.

Haha...I think it was 1am or something ridiculous like that! I just HAD to take pictures as soon as I was done.

I love the wood buttons...

And my favourite part - snowflakes on my back!!

Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with this project! As always, there’s lots to learn along the way, which just leads to better garments in the future.

I’ve mentioned this already, but the reason I was drawn to knitting in the first place was because I wanted to make a sweater. I have made a few over the years, but none have been as successful as this one. So it’s been a long road, but I think I have finally arrived and proven my ability to knit a sweater. What a ride…GO ME!!

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So there’s a reason that I’m a “Powder Hound,” and that reason is spelled D.A.D. Luckily I had the glorious opportunity to hang with my Dad in one of the most powderific places I know – Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah.

And it turned out to be one of the best powder weeks we’ve had at Snowbird. Here’s some proof in pictures. Not that anyone particularly cares, but heck, this is my blog and I want to re-live the magic…yet again!

My Dad - still ripping hard!

Sister Becki charging...

My husband Dan eating the pow...

Me in my happy place 🙂

Mmm…such great times.

But anyway, the reason for this post – being as this is a knitting blog – was to share with you what knitting project I was working on while in Utah.

Here’s the pattern I came across at lionbrand.com

Adorable right?! And it was extremely easy and fast to crochet – something that was MUCH needed for me since all I ever seem to do are long, tedious knitting projects like sweaters!

Me happily working away on my bunny blankie on route back to Canada...

Love this road trip...

I wasn’t exactly done the blankie by the time I got home. This was a 20 hour drive, so there was plenty of time, but apparently knitting in a car makes me car sick.

But here he is…

He’s obviously not exactly like the pattern…I tried to do the embroidered face, but it was a nightmare. So two button eyes it is! Kinda creepy…but kinda vintage-looking.

I guess this means it’s onto the next project…

I see them everywhere…I mean EVERYWHERE. Maybe it’s because I wanted one so badly, or maybe it’s because I live in Whistler where there’s not a lot of shopping options. But whatever the reason is, it seems that everyone has a knit Aritzia sweater.

I am jealous.

Not only have I wanted one for a couple of years now, but I am also on a shopping hiatus until April, which puts purchasing one completely out of the question. Isn’t that how it always works?!

Of course Megan Fox has one...figures...

Horses!!

Now I know it’s horrible to want something just because everyone else has it. That is a recipe for feeling constantly unfulfilled and can produce a fairly ugly heart – I don’t want an ugly heart! And quite honestly, the whole point of NOT buying clothes for five months is so that I can feel what it’s like to say “no” – something we are not necessarily that accustomed to.

My solution? Well…I am a knitter…and it is a knit sweater…so I’m making my own! Yup. Instead of spending $100 on the sweater that everyone else has, I dug through my yarn stash and found some acrylic yarn that I purchased from Walmart. I know…sounds cheap, but fyi, those Aritzia sweaters are made of the same cheap-o yarn, and that’s not really a bad thing. Acrylics can take abuse!

So here’s the pattern that inspired me to tap into my creativity and test my knitting endurance…

Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine Fall/Winter 2011

It’s been over two months now, and I’m ALMOST done! Here’s a peek at my progress. I have swapped the gray and white around since I had so much white yarn to use up. So stoked about how it’s going…just hope it fits!

Here's the back piece - I made the sweater a few inches longer than the pattern.

Snowflakes up close and personal...

Front panel without buttons at this point...

My husband Dan was so proud of me for sticking with my shopping hiatus, that he bought me an Aritzia sweater for my birthday a couple of weeks ago. He has bought me clothes in the past, but this one was special – his way of saying “Good job hun…”

Me in the sweater which I wear practically everyday (*Note the little white piece of knitting to my left - my sweater in progress!)

Once again, I have found myself surfing the web for knitwear – not in a shopping way (especially since I can’t buy clothes until April…just a personal challenge I’m doing), but in a inspiration way.  Now don’t let these big designer names fool you into thinking I have become some fashion obsessed snob – quite frankly, I have only heard of some of these designers and don’t generally give a hoot about brand names, but figured giving them some credit would be the courteous thing to do…you’re welcome!

C'est Moi!

C'est Moi!

Nope. I am still Tara – ski bumming, babysitting, knitting Tara. Just to remind you, this is how I looked this morning…and yes…I did leave the house in this outfit. I only went to Starbucks to study my Nutrition Course, but regardless, it’s casual at it’s finest. There are many perks to living in Whistler and the casual dress is definitely one of them!! At least I wasn’t wearing my ski boots…

So back to the point of this post.

These are some knitted items I came across on the web today while I was “studying” nutrition – oops…it’s hard to stay on track sometimes!

Moth-eaten sweaters by Alexander Wang Spring 2009

LOVE the sweater on the left. Anytime clothes look a little rattier than the average person would like, I am totally down.

Not sure who’s design this is, but I love it. Complete with the princess crown! I am totally a princess, but not your average kind…I have a feeling she isn’t either…

Milan DG - Fall/Winter 2010

Haha…YES! Awesome on so many levels. I would love to see her try to keep up with me on skis in that outfit. But if she’s wearing goggles, I won’t doubt her…she must be legit…

More Faire Isle Knits

ENOUGH WITH THE GOGGLES!

Stella McCartney, Sonia Rykiel, Celine

I really just wanted the McCartney over-sized cardigan on the left, but these pictures were already grouped together. ANYTHING over-sized in clothing is my best-friend. Now that orange melting concoction in the middle may be an exception to my rule…

Irina Shabayeva Fall 2010

So if any of you have watched Project Runway over the years, Irina Shabayeva was one of the designers who won. I was so excited when a KNITTER won! Obviously she doesn’t just knit, but if I remember correctly, she hand-knit this shrug herself. Now this may be a classic case of it takes a knitter to know a knitter, but I can only imagine how long that would have taken her! So much respect from this girl. Not only is it knitted, but it is knitted feathers! – I can’t get enough of feathers…My first tattoo?…quite possibly a feather (still to be determined).

Well that’s probably enough.

On a side note – I quite enjoyed the Blonde Roast coffee from Starbucks this morning. Give it a try if you haven’t already…

CHEERS.

Ok, so when I first meet someone, I generally don’t blurt out “I’m a knitter!” Let’s be honest…the cool factor just doesn’t warrant a lot of room for a hobby as “lame” as knitting.

So what would I say about myself? – I’m 28, live in Whistler BC (HUGE points for that one), am married (not so huge points for that one), and am obsessed with playing in the mountains via skis or by foot. And some further things about myself that may take more time to share are my desire to love like Jesus Christ and my obsession with knitting.

That being said, knitting IS a very central part of my life and I can hardly go a day without it! But don’t write me off as being the lamest person in Whistler. For one, I am a wicked skier who is dang proud of it thank you very much! But in order to fully understand knitting and how awesome it is, I have put together some pictures of breathtaking knits. I started knitting 5 years ago because I wanted to knit clothes and accessories that were this awesome and stylish – with my own two hands!

So I didn’t get into knitting because I’m boring and have no social life (although that has seemed to be the case since my favourite evening “activity” is knitting), but rather, I love to knit because I love to create garments and pieces that are beautiful and stunning.

Seriously, if you could knit this, wouldn’t you be knitting too? (Just for the record, none of these photos are my creations, but they are my current inspirations)

From Eurowoman Denmark January 2012.

From Eurowoman Denmark January 2012.

From Eurowoman Denmark January 2012.

From Eurowoman Denmark January 2012.

From Eurowoman Denmark January 2012.

From Eurowoman Denmark January 2012.

Designer: Etiketter

I have those tights!! - Designer: Etiketter

Ok, it's cheesy, but adoreable!

Not sure what I like more - the over-sized sweater or the crochet skulls one-piece!

By Snježana Rock

By Snježana Rock

So I FINALLY went to the Vancouver Art Gallery.  I know…I’ve been living in Whistler for over three years and I have just made it to the gallery, but at least I’ve seen it now.

I guess I was hoping for some inspiration at the gallery.  I’m not a painter (I have tried, but honestly, I could never decide if I like realism or impressionism and then just gave up on the whole thing), but I still found it refreshing to stare at paintings, sculptures and pictures for a while.

I knit. And sing, and write – but mostly knit. So I didn’t go to the gallery expecting to get a new-found appreciation for painting and turn into the next Emily Carr. I knew that would be a long shot, and quite frankly I don’t want to be famous or recognized.

I just want to create art – fibre art.

Now there was no fibre art at the VAG (honestly…what were they thinking with that acronym?), but as soon as I got home last night, I went straight to Google to check out some fibre artists.  I was completely blown away!  So here’s some of my favourite fibre artwork. Now, if only I could sell knitted art myself…

And of course, how could I not bring attention to fine artist and activist Ruth Marshall?  Ruth Marshall knits animal pelts to bring awareness to the ugly side of the fur industry.  Knitting and animal activism…two things WAY too close to this girl’s heart!

Leopard Pelt by Ruth Marshall

Leopard Pelt by Ruth Marshall