Friday, January 30, 2015

"Casting On" a New Life Together: Our Yarn-Inspired Wedding

Of course it made sense to have a yarn-themed wedding, especially for a January wedding. Knit and crocheted flowers were especially meaningful because they were all handmade by loved ones: my mother-in law, my mom, my aunt, my bridesmaids, and me.  Wedding planning has a reputation for being highly stressful, so what better way to de-stress than to knit things for the wedding?  Plus, flowers made with wool will last forever.
The pastor even wrote the homily for our wedding based on metaphors for knitting and marriage. This part of the ceremony was a surprise to us on the day of the wedding and it was absolutely beautiful; I wish you all could have heard it.
My mother-in-law, who is an amazing knitter, actually bought a live calla lily to pull apart and construct her own pattern for felted calla lilies. These turned out to look exactly like real calla lilies, but much sturdier and heavier.

Pattern information for everything is at the end of the post!
Photo by Anne Brande, Ludwig Photograpy, Laramie, WY

The bridal bouquet is made with felted calla lilies and crocheted carnations

Photo by Anne Brande

Mason jar centerpieces with crocheted carnations

Wrist corsages with knit roses, pine, pearl beads, and berries for mother of the bride, mother of the groom, and grandmothers

Bridesmaids bouquets with knit flowers, crocheted carnations, pinecones, and wrapped in burlap

The ring bearer's pillow knit with Lamb's Pride Worsted
Felted flower girl baskets for the adorable flower girls
Arrangement of yarn flowers in a watering can, complete with pheasant feathers and pinecones
Yep, even the cake was decorated with knit flowers.
Good thing I took Floral Arrangement 101 in college! I had way too much fun arranging the flowers.
Here we are!
Photo by Anne Brande

Pattern Info:
The carnations used in the centerpieces and bouquets were made using this free pattern from Maggie's Crochet. Nature Spun Sport in Boysenberry was used for the smallest carnations, Nature Spun Worsted in Natural was used for the medium-sized carnations, and Lanaloft Bulky in Cottage White was used for the largest carnations.
The roses were knit using the Scallop Rose pattern from the book Nicky Epstein's Knitted Flowers. Here is the Scallop Rose pattern on Ravelry. These roses were made both in Nature Spun sport (Boysenberry) and Nature Spun Worsted (Natural).
The Ring Bearer's Pillow by Lorna Miser pattern information is on Ravelry. The pillow was made with Lamb's Pride Worsted in Amethyst.
The Felted Flower Girls' Baskets are made from a free Ravelry pattern for Easter baskets by Mary Lue. These were made using Nature Spun Chunky in True Blue Navy and a sparkly novelty yarn.

Coming soon: the exclusive pattern for beautiful felted calla lilies designed by Peggy Jo Wells!

Friday, January 23, 2015

What Knitting Means to Me

Hello knitters and friends! I'm Brittany (Bunker) Wells, your newest Brown Sheep Co. blogger. After you read this post, I would love to hear what knitting/crocheting/weaving/needlepoint means to YOU!
Knitting for me has been a solace, a way to bond with the people in my life, and. . . oh yeah, I met my soulmate because of knitting.
I was initiated into the world of knitting my freshman year of college, taught by my friend in the dorms. Although I struggled through my first not-so-pretty scarf, I was hook, line, and sinker-ed by my second scarf.  Before long, some friends had decided to start a student organization for knitting and crocheting called United by Yarn.  The girls in this group were sweet and smart, girls who would rather talk about books and bicycles than gossip.  I felt like I had found my tribe.  These lifelong friends would go on to be my roommates and bridesmaids.  It's truly amazing how getting together in a circle to play with yarn every week can form such bonds.
Of course, I had to share my new-found love of knitting with my mom over Christmas break.  Like me, it didn't take long for her to become a yarn addict. We would knit together for hours when I was home from college, and would constantly text each other pictures of our current projects. Mom and I began an annual trip to Chicago to visit my older brother and to check out the Vogue Knitting Live convention.
Curling up on the couch with knitting was one of my greatest comforts after a bicycle accident that left me with a fractured foot. On cold winter days, a hand-knit scaft was the closest thing to a warm hug from my mother or my good friend.  I wanted to share this feeling with everyone I loved--to wrap them in the warmth of something knit with my love. So I knit scarves and hats and mittens to show the people in my life how much I cared about them.
Now we get to the cutesy, romantic part of What Knitting Means to Me.  Mom and I traveled to the Scottsbluff Valley Fiber Arts Fair, expecting to buy some nice yarn and take a tour of the Brown Sheep Company wool mill.  The very last thing I expected was to meet the handsome, well-spoken young man who would become my husband there.  This young man, who was our tour guide through the mill, talked about yarn with such enthusiasm (if you are already a yarn fanatic, you will understand why this caught my attention!), and the more he talked about backpacking, biking, and adventures, it seemed that we had the same passions in common.  To make a long story short, after much teasing from my mom (who could tell I had a crush on him), I got in touch with this young man. A year and a half later we were married.
So, my journey with knitting has brought me here to Brown Sheep Company.  Stay tuned to our blog for pictures of the yarn-themed wedding. :)
I might be enjoying this job, just a little bit