Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Holiday Gifting!

December 18, 2012

Until Dec 23rd, buy a gift certificate from White Lies Designs in a $25 to $100 denomination and receive 1 free pattern with the $25 purchase, 2 free patterns with the $50 purchase and so on.
Free patterns can be sent on to your certificate recipient as an extra gift or sent directly to you as a little holiday reward for getting through all that shopping/knitting/cooking/cleaning that comes with the holiday season! Just write the names of the free patterns and to whom you’d like them sent in the message box upon checkout.giftcertsale!

More Bleach Pen Art Upcycling!

September 10, 2012

Here’s another bleach pen tee hot off the dining room table!
I feel so smart rescuing my stained tees this way. And it’s so much fun, I’m kind of hoping I’ll drop something oily on my rack just so I can work on a new bleach design.
I’ve thought of doing some other things with the idea this fall such as drawing designs on yardage, then cutting and sewing a dress out of it. The possiblities are endless!

Knitting Magazine Giveaway!

July 11, 2012

I’ve been fortunate enough to have several of my designs featured in recent knitting magazines, and I have several copies of Knitters’, Creative knitting, and Knit-n-Style to give away!

Email me at Whitelies at and put “Knitting Magazine Giveaway” in the subject line before July 20th, 2012 and you’ll be entered to win.

Below, a dress pattern I designed for Creative Knitting. The bodice is knitted and I’ve attached a simple sewn skirt to make a cool and comfy summer sundress.

Whippin’ the Knits in Walnut Creek, Ca!

June 8, 2012

Joan giving Jill van Houten a quick measuring

I’ll be teaching the 3 hour rendtition of Whip Your Knits into Shape on June 16th at Fashion-Knit in Walnut Creek.

Here’s the info from their webpage:

Whip Your Knits Into Shape!
3 hour workshop
presented by
Joan McGowan-Michael

We are pleased to announce that fabulous knitwear designer and author Joan McGowan-Michael is coming to Fashion-Knit! Joan McGowan-Michael will be teaching a 3-hour workshop – Whip Your Knits into Shape!

Date: Saturday, June 16, 2012

Time: 11am to 2pm

Followed by a free book signing

Special Registration Discount

To register visit the store or call us at 925-943-3994.

As Joan has said, “Adding designer shaping touches to your knitted garments is easy once you know a few simple rules and how to apply them. Flatter your figure by shaping any garment as you knit it. Darts, ease, and short row shaping are all important elements for a custom fit. Learn which ones to use to play up your specific body type to it’s best advantage.”

Bizzarre Beauty

January 10, 2012

Ideals of beauty change the same as other fashions do, and it’s always interesting to see what other eras found beautiful.

Early 20th century beauty centered around an extreme hourglass figure helped along by corseting. Long thick hair and naturally rosy lips and cheeks were also quite desirable.

All that changed in the roaring 20′s, and the athletic boyish figure was suddenly “in”. Kewpie doll lips and kohl rimmed eyes helped along by cosmetics became the look that every girl wanted.

During this time, the cinema was born and with that came the phenomena of “movie stars”. The average young person going about their life would pretty much see the same people/relatives day in and day out, but through the magic of Hollywood that person was exposed to a variety of faces and fashion they would otherwise never see. With that exposure came the desire to emulate and the fashion and beauty industries picked up some serious steam.

Max Factor was a pioneer in the field of movie make-up. He invented the first make-up used in a motion picture (a greasepaint in a tube), and went on to create the first lip gloss, pancake make-up and false eyelashes. He also invented some rather strange beauty related items shown below.

The quest for beauty has moved into new arenas with the popular acceptance of cosmetic surgery, but it is still driven by the human desire to emulate. Max Factor found a way to package and sell the promise and power of Hollywood beauty and brought it to the average corner drugstore.

If you’re in or near Hollywood, California, the Hollywood Museum is the place to see some more of the Max Factor artifacts.

1930′s Prediction on Fashion

September 27, 2011

This video from the 1930′s predicted what the fashions in the year 2000 would encompass. It’s a hoot! Enjoy…

Bringing Back the Past

September 22, 2011

There was a time in my career when I was pressed upon to do some antique garment restoration work for the Frederick’s of Hollywood Lingerie Museum in Los Angeles, Ca.
This was long before the internet was a part of everyone’s daily life and I could find very little “how to” information on restoring antique garments in my local library.
I muddled through and did the best I could, tea staining and ageing fabrics by hand, using bridal tulle to support disintegrating lace, and essentially doing the most invisible stitchery that I was able.

In retrospect, I think I did a fine job. Below are some of the pieces that I either repaired or made from scratch for that project(click on the image to see the full photo).

True conservators of antique garments would likely look down their noses at the methods that I employed.
This fascinating article tells about the methods of restoration of the fabulous garment below, once worn by theatrical diva Ellen Terry in the late 1800′s. It was made of fine crochet, and was decorated with the iridescent wings of the Jewel Beetle. If you’re a fashion geek like I am, this is an article you’ll enjoy.

Here are a couple more photos of this amazing gown taken after the restoration was completed.

Book Signing Party-Workshop in Portland, OR Sept 16-17,2011

September 9, 2011

I am so happy for any excuse to go to Portland. The weather there suits me far better than points South and I love the knitterly atmosphere there.

So, I was delighted when Larissa Brown invited me to come to her book release party for “My Grandmother’s Knitting”.
I, along with several other designers like Chrissy Gardiner, Teva Durham, Jared Flood and Leigh Radford, contributed designs and stories to the book and it has turned out to be a beautiful, mouth watering production.

The book launch will take place at Anderson Fiber Works in Gresham, OR, Friday Sept 16th at 6:30 pm. There will be wine, food, Karaoke and a load of fun.

Since I can’t sing Karaoke and run, I’ve also set up a day of classes at Pico-Accuardi Dyeworks the next day, Sept 17th.

We’ll be doing my very popular Whip Your Knits Into Shape class and you’ll come away with a complete set of your very own measurements and the know-how to apply them to your knits.

Then we’ll use all our newfound knowledge to segue right into Konquering Krista, wherein we’ll begin a lovely lace tee that will also be a perfect fit.

Classes are $55 each and the whole day runs from 9:30 am to 4 pm. Call or email the dyeworks to register.

Pico Accuardi Dyeworks
14739 SE Arista Dr.
Portland, OR 97267
(503) 679-4634

Unraveling Short Rows

August 16, 2011

I was recently asked a question about adding short row shaping for the bust to allover patterns. I have three methods that I like to use to give the girls more room when normal short row techniques (like those used in plain stockinette stitch) just won’t work.

The first method is to simply knit your front longer than the back and ease the extra fabric in at the bust when joining the front to the back. Spread the easing out over a space of about 3” to keep the fabric from bunching too much. Any unavoidable bunching can be steamed out.

Another method which is particularly useful with cabled or Aran type sweaters, is to leave a panel of seed or stockinette stitch (sometimes as little as 5 sts will do) along the armhole edge of the front to facilitate the wrapping and turning of short rows.

Also, there are usually purl panels between cables to help the cables pop. I will wrap and turn in those panels. Even though the wraps won’t be right next to one another, you’re still lengthening the center of the fabric without adding length to the sides which is your overall goal when making room for a generous bosom.

In the photo of my Ruby cardigan below, you can see what I’m talking about. There are no side panels of stockinette at the underarms, but there are purl panels to work within even if they’re only 1 stitch wide. So as you can see, I’ve got at least 5 places to wrap and turn on Ruby which will yield at least 10 short rows per set. This may give me as much as 1 3/4” additional length in the front which is about enough for a C or small D cup. For a larger cup size, I’d simply work another set of the 10 short rows after the first set is completed.

Now, let me just say that this pattern was not written specifically for the addition of short rows but since I know what they are and what I’m trying to acheive with them, I can figure out how and where to squeak them in. Anyone with a bust size larger than a B cup should add this technique knowledge to their bag of tricks as something to keep in mind when choosing a pattern.

Ease on in to Fall….Please?

July 25, 2011

It has been a hellacious Summer for those of us in the US and the strange weather continues on.

Personally, I just melt in the heat. I like to park myself in front of the air conditioner with a new project and let my mind wander somewhere other than the thermometer.
Knitting up the model for Oletta was the perfect place for it to go.

She’s made in a cool, cotton and Modal blend so wasn’t hot in my lap. The bodice shaping gave me something to think about, but when I became tired of thinking the simple lace pattern was so easy to memorize I didn’t have to even look at the directions again until almost finished. Before I knew it she was done and I had this beautiful top to show for my time. Sometimes you just need the perfect blend of mindful and mindless knitting (a peach margarita doesn’t hurt either) and the promise of a cool evening yet to come. Oletta will be there for you to wear when it does.



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