Celebrating the 5th anniversary of my blog at the Vogue Knit Live! show.

Celebrating the 5th anniversary of my blog at the Vogue Knit Live! show. We’re here with Japanese Amigurami artist, Mitsue Fujita. Amigurami is the Japanese art of crocheting stuffed creatures made of yarn. I am holding her “Octopus” back pack. Take a look at her beautiful work.

Happy 5th Anniversary to my blog, Pretty Cripple. Five years ago this week, I set out to blog about fashion as a creative outlet. Over time, my platform evolved in a few directions, covering my cultural and crazy adventures along with fashion. I realized my mission went a few steps beyond fashion- be unapologetic about doing crazy, creative things and rise above challenges be they physical, mental or emotional. Since proclaiming my mission statement, I’ve garnered media attention and encouragement and praise from my blog and social media followers. This groundswell of support encouraged me to continue blogging and nurture my creativity with the hopes of delving into uncharted territory.

For the first two years of my blog, I faithfully wrote a new post weekly, but my busy schedule didn’t allow me to maintain this pace. My volunteering and civic duties in the community have taken up most of my time and have become a priority. Friends try to persuade me to start vlogging on Youtube, but I’m resistant due to my current responsibilities. But who knows, you might see me one day sitting in a onesie, sans makeup, unloading a shopping haul for 15 minutes and sharing it with the online world. Or maybe I can think of something even more inane which will turn me into an internet sensation.

In these five years, I’ve witnessed inspiring trends in our culture regarding disability.  Disabled people are now represented in TV, movies, theater and even on the fashion runway. As a fashion lover, I’m so encouraged to see Adaptive Fashion come to the fore. This is fashion which has been adapted to fit the many needs of those with various disabilities. While in its nascence, I forecast that Adaptive Fashion will be a burgeoning channel within the fashion world in years to come.

I hope one day that I can serve as a voice within the world of Adaptive Fashion because fashion is democratic and should be available to all, especially those with disabilities. Fashion inspires and helps to serve as a visual statement about who we are. For me, most of all, it is the creative aspect that thrills me .

I seek out creative outlets on a daily basis. Recently my friend, collaborator, and knitting guru, Jamie Kreitman, invited me to attend the Vogue Knitting LIVE! event in NYC. This three day knitting extravaganza offers workshops, seminars and a “Marketplace” of yarn and craft vendors. These companies showcase the newest yarn styles, colors, design patterns and knitting accessories from around the world. You are guaranteed to meet quirky, creative, warm, engaging and humorous artistic people eager to share their love of knitting. They will entertain you with stories, fashion and techniques they incorporate into their one-of-a-kind pieces. The enthusiasm is infectious!

vogue knitting fiber

Nothing gets my bowels going faster than being greeted by an entrance sign referencing fiber and a healthy visit to the toilet. I guffawed when I saw this. Don’t you just love poop-related humor?

The moment we entered the Marriott Marquis Hotel on Broadway, we headed to the Fiber Art exhibit where we chatted non-stop with so many interesting artisans. We were overwhelmed by the breadth and depth of the artistic displays and handwork which took yarn bombing and crafting to a whole ‘nother level. Artists came from near and far (Japan) to display their fiber art.

When we planned to attend Vogue Knitting Live and saw the exhibitors, I was THRILLED to finally meet Gina Rose Gallina whom I befriended on Instagram last year. Gina, who hails from Arkansas, is an insanely gifted and creative crochet artist, who creates big elaborate and intricate installations using Red Heart yarn. I fell in love with her quirky and colorful posts and knew I had to meet her in person. She happens to be a fan of my Instagram posts, and messaged that she had a gift waiting for me. Truly, a mutual admiration fan club!

gina rose gallina vogue knitting

Feast your eyes. This entire picnic themed installation was entirely made from crochet.

crocheted picnic

If I had not met Gina before viewing this installation I would have asked myself “Holy shit how many tabs of acid does she take a day before crocheting?” The answer is none. This all comes from a beautiful artistic mind. Ok, so let’s analyze what’s here. To the top left you have a brawny hungry ant trying to run off with a drumstick. To the right there is a thermos and in front of it is an ant ready to scarf down some hard boiled eggs. To the top right we have a “king ant” who is eager to inhale a plate of hot dogs. And right below, a picnic can not be complete without a bowl of oily, chemically treated-toxic-orange-hand-staining Cheetohs. Dig right in.

As I figured, Gina’s personality was bigger than life to match her loud, hilarious and infectious laugh. In less than 2 minutes, we concurred that we had met in a previous lifetime. It is rare to meet someone you click with instantly. She presented me with a “Turd” crocheted in brown with a removable Marilyn Monroe “turd” red sun dress and matching hat. The entire skyscraper hotel heard my shrieks as I admired my new toy. You’re probably wondering why on earth Gina, who had never met me, would give me such a gift? I made this video on Instagram, in which I baked turd cupcakes and used my “poop plunger” as a metaphor to close out a “stinky” 2017. So Gina instantly knew that I would rejoice over crocheted poo—and a Marilyn Monroe reference couldn’t have been more sublime and welcome.

gina and magda at vogue knitting

Gina  presented me with a lovely crocheted “Marilyn Monroe” turd complete with matching hat and dress. I couldn’t have asked for a better gift.

crocheted marilyn monroe turd

Nothing like a crocheted turd gift to tell someone how much you care.

After our love fest, Jamie and I took off to peruse the actual Marketplace where we were greeted by sumptuous, luxurious, scrumptious and colorful yarns from vendors representing collections from the USA to Italy to Japan and a host of other worldwide sources.

The highlight of the show was visiting the Loopy Mango kiosk. Founded in NYC in 2004, Loopy Mango produces their own bulky 100% merino wool, each skein crafted by hand. We loved their wide range of colors and DIY kits, which make knitting easy, since they supply the design pattern, needles and yarn. I had no intention of purchasing anything but when my eyes locked with this bright pink cropped cardigan in “Spicy Hot Pink”, I HAD TO HAVE IT! Mind you I am a novice knitter, but Jamie is willing to hold my knitting hands and needles through the entire process.

loopy mango cropped cardio in spicy pink

My next project: To make this bright pink cropped cardie using Loopy Mango’s yarn and knit pattern. Is this pink a bit too subtle?

So many vendors to visit, so much fun!  With shopping bags in tow and a stack of business cards from our favorite vendors, we went to toast this latest adventure.

What will my next creative venture be in the next few years? Youtube videos? A podcast? A book? Star in a play? So many possibilities, much to look forward to in the year ahead. I tend to bore easily and need newness and stimulation, so reaching this 5 year anniversary is a true achievement.  In the meantime, while I contemplate my next steps, I will be focusing on my Knit 1 Purl 1, perhaps become a Yarn Ho and see where that takes me. Perhaps if I become adept at clicking my knitting needles, I can simultaneously memorize my lines for a play I’m set to headline later this year. More on that another time.

The only thing that matters is to stay creative, keep laughing and forge new relationships. I love the company of creative, smart and thoughtful people and feel very blessed to be able to make new connections.

crochet mural by pat ahern

How’s this for talent? This yarn mural which can be mistaken for painted brushstrokes is by Pat Ahern.

fuck off I am knitting socks

This says it all. I could kick myself for not having purchased these socks.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST! In honor of my 5th year blogging I have designed this custom blanket which you can purchase on ZAZZLE.COM. It measures 50×60 for only $43.

custom fleece blanket

pretty cripple 50x60 fleece blanket on zazzle

The selected images are some highlights from my wackiest, creative posts, which include: