MINI FIBER STUDIO by Katelyn Orlowski

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MINI is an adventure in modern knitting. Think more graffiti and less grandma, although all grandmas are welcome. Bold, playful knitted accessories make for a fashion statement of the Millennial sort. 

Mini is subverting outdated knitting stereotypes and sending a message that you can knit, wear and enjoy an age old handicraft without sacrificing any style. 

Each item is designed and knit in Chicago, Illinois by full-time marketer and part-time knitting revolutionary, Kate Orlowski, in her home studio space. 

The Graffiti Collection is just the beginning. Later this year we will be adding patterns, kits and notions so you can make all your favorite designs at home! Eventually we plan to expand, but its top secret. Shh.

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So donate those old, itchy sweaters, grab your grandma and head over to the shop to find one-of-a-kind accessories, funky style and a whole lot more. 

Follow along @shopminiknitbig

Online store coming soon! 

x kate

Elizabeth Suzann Diversity Campaign by Katelyn Orlowski

If you know me, you know I'm always talking about buying products that are made in the USA. From clothing to furniture and everything in between. Buying less and buying local isn't always easy. Elizabeth Suzann has always been a go-to brand for me and I am overjoyed to have been invited to take part in the ES Diversity Campain. Back in August I meet 12 other women of all shapes, sizes, and colors and got to be photographed in her Signature Collection and am still bursting with excitement!

While I was in Nashville I got a sneak peek of the making of an ES garment from fabric to fabrication to distribution and I got to meet the entire ES team, the women who are part of the diversity campaign, their darling family members. What was most striking was as the day wore on the women who represented a diverse slice of the ES customer all ended up being so familiar to me. I'm happy to say I made lifelong friends that day and had the opportunity to represent a brand and a community I am passionate about. Every purchase counts and we should all be doing our part to support each other! #elizabethsuzann

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From Liz:

DIFFERENT BUT ALSO THE SAME.

Each of these women is wildly different. They have different occupations, different family lives, different body types, different skin colors, different tastes in food, different stories. They became individuals in different parts of the world, in different decades, and under different circumstances. The motivation for this campaign was to highlight how different and varied our customer base is and to paint a more accurate picture of the incredible women who are the beating heart of ES. But ironically, the thing I can't stop thinking about now is how much each of these women had in common with each other. They are all fiercely intelligent - holding a meaningful conversation all weekend long. They were so welcoming and kind, lifting each other up and supporting each other continuously. Each one shared a deep appreciation for the things that matter in life - their families, friendships, and purpose. They were all full of laughter, good questions, and encouragement. I can't help but feel like these women - and all of our customers - are cut from a special cloth. Surrounded by such happy, radiant people, I truly felt overwhelmed by the goodness of humanity.

To the thirteen women that traveled here to shoot with us, and to every one of our customers and followers across the world that are a part of this community: Thank you for being yourselves, for being honest and kind, for being intelligent and witty, for embracing your own strength and beauty, for being part of something big, and for giving me something to believe in.

 

x Kate

 

Tricot Pour Bébé Lilou by Katelyn Orlowski

Knitting for babies is always the most rewarding kind of knitting. I met Julie while working alongside her at the Anthropologie in Oakbrook. When I found out Julie was pregnant, I knew right away I was going to make something special for her new little one. Oh, did I mention Julie is French? Parisian actually, which is all the more reason to love her.

Julie planned of doing this pregnancy thing the old fashioned way and decided not to find out the sex of the baby. This made it surprising and fun for her, but puzzling for someone trying to knit a baby gift. So I decided to go with a neutral beige gray in the sweetest seed stitch bonnet by pattern maker Hilary Frazier. 

Now, Hilary's patterns are beautiful, but challenging in the technical knitting department. After knitting one, ripping it out, knitting another, tinkering with the cast on and starting over one last time, I finally got it. The end result was a perfectly-pointed, pompom-adorned tiny bonnet, bébé Lilou was sure to enjoy.


x Kate

WATG Hold Tight Clutch by Katelyn Orlowski

The knitting revolution pioneers, Wool and the Gang, have been around for some time now. I can't quite remember how I first heard about them, but it was love at first sight. Since then I have been evermore enamored with their vibrant knits, killer branding and delightful social media. 

One of my more recent WATG projects was their Hold Tight Clutch in hot pink jersey be good cotton. The herringbone pattern in the thick cotton really makes you work for every stitch, but it is well worth the muscle. (Knitting is a workout too, right?)

Knitting at Lunch

Before I left Austin, my dear friend Samantha and I coordinated all of our lunch dates around knitting. By this time, I had her completely hooked on the sport and we knitting while we ate, drank, partied or all three at once. She was working on the WATG Zig Zag Shopper here.

Anyway, I couldn't be any happier with the way the Hold Tight Clutch came out and I highly recommend snagging a kit to knit one for yourself. If you can't knit you can still buy a clutch knitted up by a WATGang member in the color of your choice. 

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xKate

Donating Hats to the Hospital by Katelyn Orlowski

I was recently asked by my cousin Courtney if I would be interested in knitting up some baby hats to donate to the hospital in honor of the fourth anniversary of her dear friend's still birth. I was more than happy to whip up a quick hat or two and send them home along with my Mother's Day gift.

The pattern I used was the Purl Bee's Garter Ear Flap Hat which comes out to be this adorable little pointed elfish looking hat. What attracted me to the pattern was the simplicity and coverage of this hat on the ears.

Since I was asked to knit the hats so last minute I went ahead and used a cake of yarn I previously made a pair of booties out of. At the point where the hat starts to decrease, I didn't think I would have enough yarn so I went ahead and omitted the third and fourth rounds from the decrease portion of the pattern.

The hat during the blocking process and the finished piece.

The hat still turned out great and ended up looking more like a rounded cap than the elfish hat the Purl Bee made. I am really happy with the way it looks and look forward to giving it away for such an honorable cause.

xo