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!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Optimistic Crafts - Live!

EVENT CANCELED.. sorry for any inconvenience.

Hi all! 
Optimistic Crafts is setting up shop for a debut mini LYS (Local Yarn Shop) at the Bohemian Hall Holiday Market in Astoria Queens. Yes, the infamous "beer garden". Tab over to the "shop" page to see more details!
If you are in NYC stop by and say 'hi'. Bring a project (weather permitting) and hang out in the garden--they say the grill will be open and warm winter beverages will be available! 

Tree at Bohemian Hall Beer Garden

Wishing you all a very warm and happy holiday season!
Optimistic Crafts

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Autumn into Winter

Well, how did time fly by?! Hope you have been as busy as I have with life and events and crafting/sewing/knitting... etc! Me, I am catching up--or trying to!--and preparing for the holidays. More on that later, but for now...
Back in October, I attended the Craft Yarn Council's class to become Certified Instructor Program for knitting. It was so fun to go back to school for a weekend! 2 & 1/2 full days of knitting goodness! Interesting stuff and nice people, too. 

 Swatches were scrutinized and reviewed for what could be improved. I learned a lot about technique and teaching and gained confidence in my skills! Next step, logging teaching hours to get the official certificate. Anyone in the NYC area who'd like some help or a class in knitting, let me know. (if you mention you saw it here, I will give you an extra-reasonable session rate!)

Then, in November, I went to the Pattern Review anniversary celebration at Elliot Berman textiles. The theme was Little Black Dress, but the party was anything but boring black! Kyle at posted a great review here. Hey, and that's me on the "runway"! Pattern Review is such a great sewing resource and a room full of fun and talented people were there to celebrate. I loved that everyone was smiling through the whole evening! A few pics I took...

And then there are the projects! Lots in progress. Little finishing. Maybe more to show next time.What have you been working on? Stay warm and keep up the progress! 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Crawling Along - Brooklyn NYC Yarn Crawl Review

Hi Readers!
This past weekend there was a "yarn crawl" in NYC. Yarn stores gave discounts and had special events encouraging visitors to go to each one, like a pub crawl. I went with a group of knitters from my Astoria meet-up connections, organized by one creative pro knitter who wanted to check out the Brooklyn shops. There were 6 of us of various knitting backgrounds including a self-proclaimed "yarn snob", the previously mentioned creative pro and one totally new knitter who had never been to a yarn store (!!!). 
bench covering at La Casita

It was a fun day starting off with Kir Royales, yarn, brunch, yarn, yarn and a long train ride--knitting all the way--back to Astoria. 
dissections at La Casita Yarn Shop
La Casita has a wonderful vibe and packs A LOT into a small space including a cafe with drinks and coffee. They had this cool dissection diorama! Amazing work.

Brooklyn General is just an all out dream space. A little out of the way but HUGE! They also carry fabric and sewing supplies, including Colette patterns--I'm such a fan of theirs and I wrote about them back in May in this post.
Argyle Yarn Shop
Argyle is another inviting spot with great price points and a FABULOUS selection of books and pattern magazines. The owners and staff were amazingly friendly. We stayed there awhile.
All in all a great day full of inspiration! Did you find any inspiration last weekend?
Maybe you could try next weekend?...
Some ideas:
Friday is I love yarn day! Make something with yarn and enjoy the process! 
The King's County Fiber Festival will be going on in Park Slope.
Ok. Well that's all I've got for now. 
Happy Yarn Day a little early!
Optimistic Crafts