Years ago, my roommate purchased a chunky knit cowl to get her through the winter months. When she told me it was called a snood my mind immediately went to the video game featured in AIM away messages from 1999-2002, but shockingly the two are unrelated. Now that I’ve dated myself quite a bit, let’s explore the history of this term a little. As early as the middle ages, a snood referenced a specific type of headwear similar to a hairnet that hangs off the back of the head like a hood. Female factory workers often sported snoods in the 1940s and some women still wear them today for religious purposes. How the term evolved from hairnet to hooded infinity scarf is unclear… regardless it still has nothing to do with a video game. Fortunately, I’m not here to investigate the etymology of the term. I’m here to tell you how incredibly easy they are to make! Let’s get into it:
Begin by casting on 60 stitches and work in a seed stitch pattern until you use 3 skeins or your material measures around 28 inches.
Seed Stitch Pattern:
Odd rows: K1P1
Even rows: P1K1
Bind off, use a mattress stitch to join your edges, weave in your ends and you’re done!
This piece is perfect for beginners and works up pretty quickly when using such large needles. I actually still make my snoods on the same needles I used to learn. In addition to being a quick and easy undertaking, they are super warm and extremely versatile for those surprise snow showers and strong wind gusts of winter. I use mine constantly throughout the season, some times even as a small lap blanket in frigid restaurants. It's an essential accessory when you are a prominent member of the Always Cold Club. I would love to see if anyone gives this pattern a try, but if not you can grab one for yourself from the Etsy shop there are two up for sale now!
During a trip home recently I was so crazy excited to visit some of my former students. It's the beginning of the second semester which is a particularly intense time for seniors. There's that end of high school buzz, college acceptances are rolling in, and prom planning has begun so I was looking forward to hearing how the year is going and about their future plans. My visit reminded me of all the fun stuff we accomplished in the year I was there so while perusing some old student work I thought I'd share another lesson. An intermediate project I really enjoyed focused on branding. One of my goals for the year was to discuss potential career paths for graphic designers. Most students took my class just to fulfill their art requirement, but I think it's important, whether you intend to pursue a career in the arts or not, to have an awareness of the opportunities available to creative individuals. People have questioned the validity of my career path for as long as I've been on it so hopefully exposing young people to the possibilities will help end that inane conversation once and for all. Anyway, here's what we did!
After previewing some examples of branding layouts, students completed an introspective worksheet identifying the core tenets of their personal brand (which in the age of social media is rapidly becoming relevant even for teenagers... it's weird, but it's there so why not turn it into a teaching moment?). Together we used Photoshop's shapes tools to compose a general template including tagline, business card, letterhead, cell phone case, logo, and app icon. Then it was their responsibility to transform the template into a branding layout specific to the personal brand outlined in their worksheet. This lesson provided students with a lot of freedom within the template to customize each piece and I enjoyed getting to know each student better just through grading their work. Most of the students ran with the idea and ended up with a thoughtful and cohesive design... something I'm still working on myself if you can't already tell from my erratic instagram feed and disjointed Etsy shop... it's probably time to take a cue from the teens!
In my last post I mentioned getting my life back in order, a task made particularly exciting with the help of the schnazzy 2018 planner I received for Christmas. I recognize that an analog day planner is a little archaic in the age of iPhones, but I've always been a really tactile person and there's something about having your schedule laid out in front of you and customizing it exactly how you like that can't be replicated with a digital screen. And I'm not alone in this, apparently there's an entire community of likeminded weirdos. With the help of monthly reviews, weekly goals, and plenty of customizable brainstorming space, the Passion Planner "helps people break down their long and short term goals into more actionable steps and gives them a place to incorporate these steps into their daily lives". For me, this planner is a way to hold myself accountable. For various reasons since grad school (usually work-related reasons), it became increasingly difficult to carve out time for creative pursuits. This blog was intended as a way to combat that and if you look at my shoddy posting past, it hasn't always been effective. So hopefully this planner will give me the kick in the pants necessary to dive back into the world of art making and blog posting. Time will tell!
It's the first week of January and we've already seen record breaking low temperatures and a Bomb Cyclone... I'm still not sure what that even means exactly, but I'm intimidated by it. So we're off to a frigid start, but now that we've transitioned from unthinkably mind numbing temps to run of the mill bone chilling temps I thought I would end my unannounced (and unplanned) hiatus. The cold weather tends to fuel my yarn habit so I had several projects in the works during my time away. Hot off the needles is what I consider a pretty notable knitter milestone, my first pair of gloves! Not only that, but cabled and fingerless with a mitten flap. This was no minor undertaking. Admittedly, I became a little obsessive with them. The pattern is broken down into small manageable sections which sounds nice, but the sense of accomplishment I felt from completing one section meant that when I sat down to "just finish the thumb" the next time I glanced at the clock six hours had passed. Probably not the healthiest way to approach this project. Once finished they were quickly shipped off to Philadelphia so the satisfaction was short lived anyway. Something very cool I picked up from this pattern was how to knit using two pairs of circular needles rather than four double pointed needles (a technique I have yet to attempt and probably never will now that dual circular needles are in my wheelhouse). You can find the London Eye Glittens pattern I used on Ravelry (my go to source for patterns) and a tutorial on knitting with two circular needles here (a game changer if you ever make gloves or socks and even great for decreasing stitches at the top of a hat). Now that these glittens are gone (and with the help of my fancy new planner) I can work on putting my life back together. It's a struggle, but I'm just taking it one day at a time.