Archive for the ‘fashion’ Category


Friday, September 7th, 2012


I’m excited to show you this, the Finnish language edition of my book. Even though I knew it was coming, I wasn’t expecting how thrilling it would be to see my words in another language, especially one as exotic as this.

Speaking of things Finnish, if you love textiles, you’ll love this book. Mekko is an old Finnish word meaning “little girls’ dress”, so Marimekko means Mary-dress. It’s an apt name for a company that became famous for a look which, although criticized by the mainstream fashion world for being too plain-jane and “folksy”, actually had wide appeal to young women who wanted to get away from the traditional image of “feminine woman” as brought to us by the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot. Their dresses, derided by some as “sacks”, were loved by young women who wanted to be seen but not ogled. Started by a woman in the 1950s, the company became well known for its fresh look, graphic prints and clothing designs in simple shapes. I suspect they might have influenced Mary Quant.

Here are a few images from the book, which inspires on many levels; it’s about design, pattern, architecture, fashion and the development of a brand.


I love this gigantic print, and the way it’s photographed.


classic Marimekko “sack” dress and accessories to match


 a lovely big, bold stripe

a 1966 print used in a 2003 dress

the Bo-Boo pattern designed in 1975 by Katsuji Wakisaka and still popular for kids’ rooms today

there’s yarn in her basket


KAL for paisley cuffs

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Hi Knitters,

I hope you’ve had an excellent week and enjoyed the Olympics opening ceremony as much as I did. My only quibble was the absence of Sir Elton. He wasn’t even in the music medley.

My Planet Purl event is up in the archives if you’d like to watch it. You’ll find it  here.

More fun: I’m hosting a knitalong over on my Ravelry group for these Paisley Cuffs from my book. Knitters are going to make them in some interesting combos, including stripes and multi-colors and they’ve inspired me to do the same. I think I’m going to use this or this with a harmonious color for the paisley shapes.

I’m excited to have finished my Sarah Lund-ish pullover. Oh, the joys of top down construction. No sewing or finishing other than weaving in the ends. I used yarn I’ve had for a proverbial seven years, doubling my pleasure. What a feeling of lightness to have diminished my considerable stash, while gaining a sweater I hope to wear often. I took some clothes to the recycle shop last week, so there is room for something new….

Have I ever mentioned the Naughty Shopper New Clothes Justification Method that I learned about via India and her high school friends? When you buy something new, credit yourself  an amount, like 50 cents or a dollar, every time you wear it. Think of it as renting it from yourself. If you end up wearing it so much that you’re in the black, the purchase was justified. You might even accumulate credit, which you can apply to some of your more reckless purchases that shout “spendthrift!” every time you open your closet door.

I use it for the tie-dyed velvet Collette Dinnigan coat I bought back in 1999 to wear to an imagined turn-of-the-millenniun party that didn’t eventuate. As always, I stayed in by the fire on New Years Eve and have never actually worn it. I will not supply you with a photo even though I have one, because I’m afraid of the raucous laughter that might ensue. It’s that bad. It has hung in my closet ever since, reminding me of my folly. It came with me on my perp walk to the recycle shop last week and guess what? They didn’t want it! No wonder I’ve never worn it. Fortunately my two beloved Commes Des Garcons cotton shirts easily make up for this carelessness because I’ve thrashed them til they’re now approaching tatty.

Here is my new Lundish pullover which I made using the Elizabeth Zimmerman proportions but diverging slightly because I like my necklines a bit lower and wider than hers. This top-down raglan style flatters everyone, even those of us who could do with a bit more exercise. I included a little shaping at the sides.

Now for a brisk walk….

xoxo Mel

knitalong and The Met

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Next week on Ravelry I’m hosting a knitalong for my July Gloves. You can make them with lace as seen in the book


or without, the instructions for which I’ll be posting as we go.  We’ll be using the book for the basic pattern.

If I wasn’t in the throes of pattern editing, I’d be tempted to get on a plane bound for New York, and go to see this.  I love Prada, and the opportunity to see a range of her work in one place is, perhaps, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

A ticket and long journey being out of the question for now, I settled in for the afternoon and got onto The Met’s website, which caters for those of is who must live vicariously. There’s the not-to-be-missed conversation between Iris Apfel, the 90 year old pistol, eccentric dresser and fashion maven, and Tavi Gevinson, the famous teen fashion blogger. Best of all, it’s moderated by Judith Thurman of the New Yorker, whose biography of Isak Dinesen (aka Karen Blixen) I adored reading and has put the Dinesen house in Denmark on my list of places to visit soon. The discussion is called Good Taste/Bad Taste and you’ll find the video here. Iris Apfel is a hoot, very intelligent and funny. It’s worth watching just for her riff on the subject of sleeves.

Also on The Met’s website for those of us deprived by geography are several imaginary conversations between the two designers, across the eras, directed by Baz Luhrman, with Miuccia Prada playing herself, and Judy Davis playing Schiaperelli. You’ll find them here.

I admit that I was at first intimated by the Prada brand. Something to do with the madness over those black nylon handbags in the 80s that were her first big hit and everyone except me was dying for. Since then I’ve grown to appreciate her demure style.

Here are some yes-pleases and want-wants from Prada’s recent Fall/Winter 2012 collection.

One can dream…..

Has anyone out there been to see the Met show? Reports, please!