Making January Happen

31 January 2013

The first month of the year is a bit of a strange one.  Without the excitement and anticipation of December, it seems inevitably bleak outside and Spring feels like an intense cross-country run away.  Despite this dragging feeling, I've still been going about my business as usual and pretending that the concept of January isn't an issue.  It's a fresh outlook and full of excitement for the months ahead as you start to roughly plot out the year.  Let's make 2013 the best one yet and let me know of any plans and aims you have!

shopping fashion blog

Buying British - Print clash wallpaper in Frankfurt - Prada delights
I want to borrow this coat! - Finally invested in this tome - My new bag for Spring, hurry up!
One day an Orla Kiely purchase will happen - These illustrations by Joidi Labanda remind me of my mother

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Columbia Road flowers en masse - A Bigger Splash at the Tate is worth seeing, this room is very different to the rest of the exhibition
Gloomy Hyde Park - Diet Coke is 30 years old, a bit like the older sister I never had - I'm a little bit obsessed with the songs in this film (24601)
Granny squares - Trying to get organised - A riverside view
Art made from Polaroids - A rare sibling day out in London - My post office sells the most random things
My view from the air - Kitsch heaven in Blutsgeschwister - Snow in Germany seems like a bit of a fairytale

fashion bloggers to follow on instagram

Making the most of a 40% off deal - Pancakes! - My cake speaks German
A lone lunch at Vapiano - Korean fried chicken wings at Wishbone
A goodbye feast at Byron - Passing the time at the airport - The Breakfast Club at 3pm

uk fashion blog

Planning my outfit - Check out my nails - Making the most of my new scarf in the snow, learn how to knit one here!
Glittery nails - Waiting for transport, yet again - Getting my COS collar cost per wear right down
Wearing my Antipodium dress in Sketch - More glitter, I'm obsessed!

6 fashion instagrammers to follow
The font change is a hint of my new design, I'm so excited to share it with you!  Follow my Instagram @fashionknitsta to see a constant feed of nails, meals and my feet, it's a right barrel of laughs!

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The Breakfast Club

27 January 2013

Check nail art Monki deco ring

I remember feeling chilly when I took these photos by Columbia Road, little did I know that the temperatures were positively tropical in comparison to where I am now!  At the moment I'm with family in snow-covered Germany, but let's cast our minds back to a few Sundays ago when I traded laziness for a long-awaited trip to the legendary flower market  Carrie, Lucy, Olivia, Dunya and I risked looking like a photography club on tour once again, snapping everything from the pastel buildings to dogs on the street.  You'd be forgiven for thinking that I was in Notting Hill but this is East London through and through, with plenty of well-dressed hipster types and all of the usual trendy haunts nearby.

what to wear in winter cold weather
Mulberry Red Black Forest soft matte Bayswater Whistles make up bag
Proper Hot Chocolate sign on Columbia Road
uk fashion blog
cheap monday angle low suede ankle boot grey tights
A.P.C apc alpaca dolly coat mary katrantzou numbers t-shirt

Tights - Topshop
Boots - Cheap Monday
Ring - Monki

It's become a little tradition of mine to buy something from A.P.C whenever there's a sale on.  First it was a humble men's t-shirt, then six months later a sweatshirt and now I've finally graduated to a coat.  I had my eye on this retro number ever since the lookbook came out almost a year ago and made a mental note to pop in after Christmas to see if it had gone down.  Thanks to a combination of discounts and some monetary gifts, I was able to make this beauty more of a Hight Street price.  It's so nice to be able to wear a colour that lifts whatever I have on and it's beautifully soft due to being 100% alpaca.  I'll hopefully be showing you the rest of my sale finds soon, as I'm still in the process of acquiring some bits I like and stalking final reductions.  Even though I've had these Cheap Monday boots for a while, I've put off getting them fixed and finally got them mended after leaving it over a year.  Wearing them recently reminded me why I bought them in the first place, that angled heel!  You almost feel as if you're missing a vital part when you're walking but otherwise they're pretty comfy.

blue door on Columbia Road

uk fashion blog
Cake Hole cake shop Columbia Road
Lucy Shiny Thoughts What Olivia Did Wish Wish Wish Dearest Deer bloggers
breakfast club menus hoxton
floral lampshade in the breakfast club
Kate Spade initial animal ears fifi lapin iphone cases
Where to eat in Shoreditch
Places to eat in London

Of course with the title of this post, food had to be included somehow and we rewarded a few hours in the cold with a warm hearty meal at The Breakfast Club.  I debated and deliberated before deciding to order a whopper of a meal including much of the menu and every fried thing going.  The cosy sofas meant that we spent a good few hours chatting after eating and never felt rushed in the slightest, ideal for a lazy afternoon. 

I heart breakfast club red mug

How would you spend a perfect Sunday?

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A Very Urban Outfitters SS13

25 January 2013

tropical flatform trainers Urban Outfitters SS13 press day

Nothing gets me more excited for Summer than an Urban Outfitters press preview. There's always several things that I identify and love at first sight (hello A.P.C pinafore) and plenty of non-garment inspiration that makes me want to adorn my four walls with all manner of stuff.  The location this time around was The Gallery in Soho, so convincing in fact that I believe some passers by walked in expecting to buy works of art.  Everything was displayed in the usual imaginative manner, similar to the cosy way their stores are laid out and reminiscent of many a Pinterest arrangement.

london uk lifestyle blog
how to wear a contrast collar
flamingo plates crockery Urban Outfitters SS13 press day
brown heeled chelsea boots Urban Outfitters SS13 press day
spiked skull studded clutch bag Urban Outfitters SS13 press day
Raising unicorns book Urban Outfitters SS13 press day
how to wear dungarees ss13 trends

I'm seeing dungarees and pinafores all over the place now, which is great if you've been after one for a while though annoying if you're ahead of the curve and feel a bit hard done by.  I still haven't managed to find the right style to suit me, however I'm not giving up and want to try on a few of these styles in store.  The thing I love about Summer is the effect a simple dress in the perfect print or shape can have, and as per usual UO has delivered again with some scarf-print mixes that wouldn’t look out of place on Natalie or Dylana.  The sunglasses remind me of something you might find in a sweet shop and I’m excited to add that playful element to what I wear again.  It seems right when the sun's shining!

pantone 186 red chair Urban Outfitters SS13 press day
sunglasses and bikini top
flatforms ss13 trends
a.p.c pinafore heart print frill jumper sweater
IRO leather wallet Urban Outfitters SS13 press day
what are the ss13 trends
statement necklaces Urban Outfitters SS13 press day
retro trainers with lights Urban Outfitters SS13 press day
polaroids on a wall Urban Outfitters SS13 press day

Never one to shy away from a little interactivity, I was pleased to become a part of the wall of polaroids, displaying everyone who had attended that day (including cool cats such as Gem and Jazmine).  I'm popping to the new Marble Arch storeopening next week and I’m intrigued to see how they create that ‘lived-in’ feel in a brand spanking new building.  I’m preparing my bank balance for the worst.

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How to Knit a Circle Scarf

21 January 2013

how to knit a circle snood round infinity scarf

This post has been a long time coming, just over two years to be exact.  It's no secret that my most popular post doesn't include an outfit, day out or wishlist but is a tutorial on how to knit my favourite kind of scarf.  Infinity, circle, snood, whatever you may call it, I love a scarf without an end, that doesn't fly off your neck in high winds and makes you look a little bit like a sculpture.  I was first inspired to knit one back in 2009 after seeing them around the blogosphere and followed up with a shorter cowl a year later to test out a different stitch.  Ever since then I've wondered what to create next and how best to present it, so this time around I decided to take step-by-step photos of the process.  I started off with gusto at the beginning of December, experienced a lull in between and quickly wrapped things up once I saw that snow was on the horizon. 

1a choosing yarn for a circle scarf
1b choosing yarns
1. knitting needles and yarn

Choosing Yarns

I'm not a knitwear student any more but from looking at my room you wouldn't know it, there's still knit paraphernalia everywhere!  I decided to put the yarns lying around to good use and create a scarf with a random, multi-yarn effect.  By mixing in a combination of finer yarns with some thicker wool, numerous patterns are created as you knit and if you run out of a certain colour, you can just pop in something similar.  I decided on a comic-book colour palette of reds, blues and neutrals to contrast with the dark grey wool yarn.  If you want to achieve a similar effect I'd use a few extremely fine yarns or even threads along with a thicker yarn that is suitable for whatever needles you're using.  The amount you need depends on how long you'd like your scarf to be, 3-5 balls of 100g wool should be plenty.  Be prepared for your yarns to jiggle around on the floor when you're knitting, avoid tangles by keeping your yarns evenly grouped together and be prepared to wind back any that are loose.

1c knitting on cast on method
2. knitting on cast on method
4. take yarn around as if knitting
5. how to cast on stitches
6. making a loop
7. place loop on needle
8. cast on 30 stitches

Casting on

Create a slipknot and cast on 28 stitches using size 10mm needles.  I always use the 'knitting on' cast on method as it seems the most secure in my eyes, but choose whichever method you like

11. forming the knit stitch
8b forming the knit stitch
9. how to create double moss stitch
8a how to purl a stitch
11a how to form the purl stitch
10. how to purl

The Pattern

I liked the moss stitch in my last scarf so much, I decided to do it twice.  Double Moss Stitch is indeed a thing and creates a textured check pattern if done correctly.  Slip the first stitch of each row if you'd like a neater edge, but it's not necessary for an easier life.

Rows 1 and 2 - Knit 2, purl 2, repeat until the end of the row
Rows 3 and 4 - Purl 2, knit 2, repeat until the end of the row

After a while it should hopefully be clear which stitches are which and you can work out what comes next or whether you've made any mistakes.  Due to a few lapses in concentration I'd occasionally look down and realise that I'd messed up, luckily it was nothing a spot of unravelling couldn't fix.

16. double moss stitch circle scarf knit pattern
12. how to knit double moss stitch
double moss stitch scarf pattern
14. perfect length for a circle scarf snood tutorial
15. how long should a circle scarf be

The length your scarf can be is up to you. If you'd prefer a cowl, go for roughly 80cm and if you'd prefer a snood you can wrap around twice, try 160cm. Wrap the scarf around yourself every so often to see what feels comfortable and keep knitting until you can't take the cold any longer!

How to cast off two pieces together
16. how to join two ends of a scarf together
17. casting off a circle scarf
18. casting off two pieces
19. casting off knit two stitches and slip one
20. how to attach two ends of a circle scarf
22. how to finish a circle scarf
23. weave yarn ends in with a crochet hook

Casting Off & Finishing

To create a seamless finish it's best to join the ends of the scarf together by casting off.  It's like a typical cast off except you are treating the other end of the scarf the same as the stitches currently on the needle.  Arrange your scarf as if it were joined, bring your empty needle through the first stitch and then through the first hole you can see at the other end of the scarf (hopefully the picture explains this).  Knit this stitch, then the following stitch in the same way and then slip the first stitch over the second one on the right needle.  Knit another stitch, then slip again making sure you never have more than two stitches on your right needle.  Continue until one stitch remains, then cut your yarn, pull through and secure.  Weave in any loose threads with a crochet hook or latch tool then pop your scarf on and go about your business!

It seems that a lot of us are thinking about knitting lately, Cat's posted this handy video tutorial on her blog which should hopefully make things crystal clear.  If you're still stuck, feel free to comment, e-mail me or tweet me and I'll do my best to help out.

Let me know how you get on!  Now all I need is a matching hat...

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