Saturday, September 12, 2015

Falling for Warm Colors and Chunky Knits

Hi there!
It's that Back-to-School time of year. Are you finding new inspiration in the change of season?
Here at Optimistic Craft mini DIY space and shop, we've stocked up on some great fall colors of Brown Sheep Nature Spun, Lamb's Pride and Burly Spun yarns. Here's a little sampling...

I'm loving the chunky yarn trends! Could spend hours looking at ideas over on Pinterest

We're continuing to be open on Saturdays only from 12-6 for Open Studio and classes. See tab for scheduled classes. You can schedule time for evenings and Sundays if you want to take a class on a certain day, just let us know. Or if you'd like to get a group together for a learning session party we can do that, too!

As for personal projects, starting A LOT and being very Optimistic about finishing -- especially sewing a new winter coat! More on that later, but now here's my first completed sewing pattern review. Contests are a great way to get things completed! Hopefully I make it to the 2nd Sewing Bee Round.
Enjoy your projects-in-progress!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

About Optimistic Crafts Studio

Hi Readers!

Back in November 2014 Optimistic Crafts' brick and mortar studio space softly opened with the goal of creating a crafty little haven on Saturdays here in Astoria, Queens, New York. Each Saturday is open studio - bring a handiwork project and work on it in our bright space. We've been a bit knitting-centric, but love all crafts. If you're in the neighborhood, bring something portable you are working on along and hang out with us.
You can also browse our mini shop that has a collection of yarn & notions for knitting and crochet as well as some fun embroidery kits and gifts and some garment care items. You can also look for project inspiration in our little library of resources we have for in store use.

A busy evening at the project table. 

March will hopefully bring some warmer weather and a new round of crafty goodness. We'll be starting Beginner Knitting classes every Saturday in March, so if you don't know how to knit yet, now's the time to learn! If you're in the New York City area, email to reserve a space for the 2 hour class starting at 12:30 pm. Your choice of Saturdays March 7,14, 21, and 28. Classes will be held to 6 person maximum. The fee of $45 gives you the skills to get going on a project and comes with yarn and needles. If you already knit, feel free spread the word to someone who wants to learn. We're cooking up some more fun events and classes, too. Stay tuned here and/or check out our Facebook page (the place with the most-posted details).
Stay warm and optimistic!


Saturday, January 31, 2015

Optimistic Crafty Resolutions

Welcome to February & belated Happy New Year!

I've been optimistically working on the agenda for 2015's projects. Since I  like to work on multiple things at once, and in multiple mediums, this is not an easy task! I do find the getting-ready-to-make- stage one of the most fun parts of making things though. It is not hard to come up with inspiration by looking at magazines, art exhibits, other people. I also find inspiration in material and patterns themselves. While some people have an organized process, I tend to just grab for what feels right. 
So far, tentative plans involve:
I don't think I sewed anything in 2014, except finishing The Oranges dress from 2013 which I still haven't posted a picture of. So [sew] that has got to change this year. I would like to start with a simple black practical skirt. I have the pattern. I have the material. Somewhere under some stuff. And my sewing machine is under there too. Another goal: carving out a dedicated sewing space at home.
I focused on a lot of knitting last year. This year will likely keep going. On the agenda, some small things to start: mittens, dish cloth, SOCKS - time to tackle my first pair! With knitting I will get out a bunch of yarn in my stash, lay it out and match it up to a pattern that calls for the yarn - or vice versa, starting with the pattern and then seeing what I already have to make it with.
Embroidery and/or Needlepoint - really want to do something in these mediums this year!
Crochet - a dust/sweeper cover, for sure. (No need for throw-away sweeper refills!)

What is on your to-make agenda? What are your sources of inspiration? ...Happy making, whatever you decide!

Well, this has been a long post. Finishing it with some actually FINISHED knit items!!!

Pastel Color Play Baby Blanket/Throw
Michelle Hunter's book ... is SO MUCH FUN!! I highly recommend it for easy skill advancement with colorwork.

Coffee cozy cutie! I made this up by using an Oblique Rib stitch pattern found in a knitting stitch dictionary and using the cardboard piece shown as a template. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

November News

Greetings Crafty Friends!
I've been a bit neglectful of the blog these days. Very busy working on Optimistic Crafts brick and mortar Saturday studio space! I am pleased to announce the grand opening next weekend, Small Business Saturday, November 29, 2014.
We will be in the new space with a fun holiday embroidery project at the craft table. Opt to work on that or bring something you are working on and show us! 
Our mission is to be a crafty oasis for sharing projects, project inspiration and how-tos. We will carry a small selection of supplies and materials--right now, an assortment of yarn, knitting and crochet notions, embroidery kits and garment care. 
Classes coming soon. Let us know your interests!
Optimistic Crafts is at 37-02 Astoria Boulevard, 3rd Floor. Here is a view from the balcony on a sunny day, and the space as work-in-progress. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Back to...

Hi readers!
Wow, I know I haven't been blogging much, but didn't realize it had been so long! Well, I'm back, at least for now, and Optimistically will begin posting some more. Despite the lack of writing, there has been no lack of crafting happening here. Mostly knitting these days, but some sewing on the horizon. Starting to think of fall. Inspiration is not hard to find! For example, the Calvin Klein collection for Fall 2014 is amazing! Yarn! Knitted, felted, and woven. Oh my! The silhouettes are great, and I love lace-up boots. 
You can see the whole collection here on

What are you loving for fall? ... and what are you working on? Feel free to leave a comment.
Until the next time!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Of Course Your Man Can Craft

Hope everyone's new year is off to a great start!
Lots in the craft-world news lately about men. I am wondering why it seems like such a novelty--after all, the urge to make something with one's own 2 hands is decidedly human. Societal norms have designated certain crafts as feminine or masculine, but I say, everyone just make whatever makes you happy! It's about the act and process of creating something, selecting the materials for it, building it and seeing the results! Here's a recent article about men knitting to de-stress in the UK. [an easy on the eyes example!]
Some very talented gentlemen who span a gamut of needlecraft talents, among other things, will be talking about it next weekend at Vogue Knitting LIVE! (the amazing yarn-o-philes dream of a show in New York) 
FREE PANEL: Sunday, January 19
12:30 PM-1:30 PM: Men at Work- How They Turned Their Passion into Their Careers
Project Runway's Suede, Steven Be, Josh Bennett, John Brinegar, and Franklin Habit discuss their creative work in a female dominated field. 
[Copied from Vogue Knitting LIVE! event page]It should prove to be interesting and inspiring--though I am a little biased... 
I will be in the Marketplace helping out at the SuedeSays booth on the 6th floor. Read here what Suede is up to, and come visit!
...and keep creating! Or at least try it!

K.Sutherland Knits (?)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy 2014

Happy New Year!
As usual the end of the year was met with a flurry of activity. Did you make any holiday gifts this year? I made: A chunky knit headband for my sister-in-law. A coffee cozy for my dad. A beer cozy (with skull and cross bones!) for my brother.
from Etsy Blog -Featuring Felted Dreams
Of course I forgot to take pics of all of them, but using your imagination and Ravelry, you, too, could make them yourself!
Now, time to sit down and think on the new year ahead! 
Vogue Knitting LIVE will be here in New York in a few weeks! Such a great place to get ideas and supplies for yarn projects. Knitting, after all, was the #5 thing in Google's "how-to" searches in 2013!
I did not do much sewing last year, so I'd like to get back in to that. Thinking a simple dress.
For something new, perhaps an embroidery tutorial? Urban Threads has such fresh, fun embroidery projects.
Kollabora has tons of inspiration in their Kollabora 'best of'...sewing, knitting and all kinds of fun!
In any case, I wanted to write before it got much further into January! I hope the year is off to a good start for all and that 2014 is a wonderful journey!
Tell me your crafty plans!