This has been one of the busiest summers, travelling and visiting family.
A trip to Italy was definitely exciting - a whirlwind tour of Amalphi coast, Rome, Florence and Venice.
Both Rob and I have had the opportunity to experience Italy before - on our honeymoon, with friends and on business.
This tour was with Rob's brother and his wife and needless to say we had an incredible time seeing all kinds of places we missed on our trips before.
We ate and drank our way through these cities and I was lucky enough that in Rome I celebrated my birthday.
As far as fashion goes every big city now has all the big chains, Zara and H&M being the most prevalent.
Still there was fun in the markets and finding odd pieces that will remind me of this trip for some time to come.
The coolness of Fall will be coming upon us soon so I thought this shrug was perfect for keeping away the chilly weather.
The shrug is a long rectangle with a ribbed collar, fast and easy in a bulky weight yarn.
A satisfying project to make for yourself and thinking ahead for gifts that will definitely be appreciated!
Finding a hat that suits me has always been hard and at times hysterically funny.
Trying on hats in a department store with a friend becomes a comedy show with both of us giggling uncontrollably.
But you can never lose hope and it seems that my pixie cut looks great with this style of hat and stylish to boot.
Admittedly it has to be snowing heavily for me to wear one but at least I now wear one confidently.
Bound and determined I have crocheted several designing the perfect one for my head - I am no longer envious of my hat wearing friends.
There are many styles to consider, some are fuller and others a little more square.
One important element is the visor, not too small and enough rows to look substantial.
Read further and find the perfect hat for you, I'm delighted with mine.
All patterns and tutorials | click on links for free patterns and tutorials after the jump
All inspirational images | Pinterest
Inspirational image | Pinterest
A ruana by any other name is simply an open faced wrap, but let's face it, it sounds exotic and therefore trendy.
The style of this accessory is really a poncho that has been split up the front giving you more freedom and versatility (see the video at the end of the post showing you different to wear this wrap).
Ruana is a Spanish word, a poncho-like outer garment of heavy wool, worn especially in the mountains of Colombia.
Whether the garment is knit or crocheted in a heavier wool or sewn from a sequinned chiffon fabric, each serves a purpose in your wardrobe.
Much like the pashmina shawls which were popular for completing outfits, these wraps are definitely ones to have on hand.
Unless a shawl is very wide and long, the ruana gives you better coverage.
There is a style waiting to be made whether you knit, crochet sew or just want a quick DIY project without any particular skills.
Read further for helpful tutorials and videos as well as free patterns.
Even though we are in a continual spiral of humidity and heat waves, the stores are dribbling out the fall fashions.
The featured fashions in this post are essential to the easy wardrobe that both busy students and moms need - throw it on over jeans or leggings and you're good to go.
The crop top vest, great for layering over a shirt for added warmth but no fear of overheating in a cardigan.
All of these foundation pieces will serve you well this coming fall and winter.
The color block tunic offers you an opportunity to break up the color with simple garter, ideal for beginners or and easy rice or moss stitch .
The generous hooded cowl can become a poncho pulled down on the shoulders.
From classic worsted to super bulky yarn weights, there are five easy pieces to add to your fall wardrobe.
Click on images of past posts featuring easy sweater patterns for beginners
In a previous post I wrote about the privilege of attending Color Marketing Conferences as part of my job .
Participating members came armed with sample swatches, test cards and any other materials to present their stories about their proposed color choices. Politics, pop culture, sports, technology and social issues can influence the selection of colors as well.
Workshops consisting of teams worked on mood boards depicting their stories of what was happening in the world influencing color.
In the end, all the boards were presented and imagery discussed.
Amazingly most teams had similar imagery on their mood boards reflecting both world events and colors they evoked.
To this day I remember that collaborative experience and befriending people from every industry who were involved in making color choices for their company's products.
Depending how far in advance you are making your decisions it is vital that the colors will be popular and will translate into sales.