30 August 2007

Tutorials R Us

Since I still don't have any knitting to show you (until the new Knitty comes out - squeeeee!), here's another tutorial. :)

This is the method I use to place beads in my knitting when the hole is too small for even the tiniest crochet hook. It is a variation of a method I saw in Sivia Harding's Angel Pearls scarf pattern. I didn't have the the little doohickey she called for, so I improvised and used wire to place the Swarovski crystal pearls. And I've used this method ever since.

First cut a length of fine gauge wire - such as 28-34 - whatever you feel comfortable working with. Mine is about 3.5 inches long. You can find wire in hardware stores or craft stores. I just happen to have fine galvanized steel wire around the house because it's so handy for wiring things together. It's also great for placing beads in knitting.

Next, at about two thirds of the way across the wire, make a sharp bend - your fingernail will work perfectly for this.

Use pliers to flatten the wire. I am using chain nose jewelry pliers here, but others will suffice, as long as you use the flat portion of the pliers.

One side will be longer; this helps when adding the bead.

Hold the wire apart and insert through the stitch to be beaded while the stitch is still on the needle. Remove the stitch from the needle.

Insert wire through bead.

Push bead down onto both thicknesses of wire.

Push bead over stitch.

Place stitch back on needle

and knit as usual.


The bead will not move around and it can be seen on both sides equally - great for reversible items!

Onward: anonymous said of the provisional cast-on tutorial "I used this crochet cast-on the one time I have tried a provisional cast-on and loved it...at first. When it came time to "unzip" and pick up the stitched to knit in the other direction, I found they were twisted every which way! Perhaps I did something wrong??? I know that I didn't make any extra stitches in the original crochet part; perhaps that was the problem?"

Hmmmm. My guess is that the crocheted chain became twisted on the knitting needle as you were knitting the first row. It needs to stay completely straight in order to be easily unzipped. I'll try mucking up my cast on and see what I can come up with. :)

In other news, Michelle is hosting a KAL for the talented Ruth Sorenson's
(click on Strikning and then patterns for sale) new Kauni design.

Go check it out!

Now it's back to the salt mines for me!


27 August 2007

Is It Monday Already?

Thank you all so much for the kind comments on my little cutie. He is an amazing person and I am learning so much from him. So now that he is the ex-Dr. Destructo, what nickname shall I give him here? Any ideas? Let me know, 'cause I am fresh out of cleverness, I'm afraid!

Onward. :)

This past weekend, I took a Busman's Holiday of sorts. I decided that I have had way too little lace knitting time lately. And definitely not enough kidsilk haze in my life. So instead of working on what I really should have been working on, I knit something else. But I can't show you yet. My decision to submit it for publication was an important one, because I really couldn't have taken my little knitting holiday any other way and not felt overcome with guilt for slacking! But I really really really needed a break, and I haven't had a day off in a very long time. So I fudged it. :)

What I can show you, however, is my favorite provisional cast on technique: crocheting onto a knitting needle. So today is Tutorial Day.

To begin, choose a smooth cotton yarn. I suggest a color that is fairly obvious against your knitting. In other words, don't use black cotton if your main yarn is black. I use mercerized cotton from the local craft supply store. Do not use dishcloth or non-mercerized cotton. The fibers catch on your main yarn and you can have big problems untangling it when you rip out the crochet chain.

With a crochet hook, chain two or three stitches. Use one that feels comfortable to you; don't worry about size of the the hook.

Next, lay a knitting needle alongside the hook and wrap the yarn over both needle and hook. I hold the yarn in my left hand while doing this, and the needle and hook are both in my right hand.

Pull the yarn through the loop on the crochet hook.

You are basically just making a chain, but with the needle held together with the hook. (In the next picture, everything is in my left hand so I can take a picture with my right hand!)

When you are finished, just knit into the stitches on the needle with your main yarn, and you're off to the races!

Can I just tell you how much easier this is than picking up stitches from a chain? I could never get the correct loop, and then I would have to cut pieces of the chain out when I tried to unzip it. This chain just comes straight out with no problems, and when I go back to pick up the stitches from the cast-on edge, I just unzip the chain one stitch at a time and stick the live stitches, one at a time, onto my needle.

So there you have it. :)

I may be a bit quiet this week, but I'll try to drop in a few times!

Have a great week, everyone!

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24 August 2007

Friday Eye Candy, Cute Kid Edition

Do you see this face?

That is the younger of my two sons. I have referred to him in the past as Dr. Destructo. But he is now in need of a new nickname.

This young man astonished me today in a way for which I was completely unprepared. I always knew that he was something special. He said his first word, crawled and walked early. He loves people and collects friends wherever he goes. Then he remembers all of their names and asks after them. He is brave and vulnerable at the same time. And he is smart. My gosh is he smart.

But back to today.

I won't go into details, except to say that this little man is capable of mountains of love and forgiveness, hugely out of proportion to his diminutive size. His elder brother apologized to him today (it was a serious apology, if you get my drift) and told him what he would do to make the situation up to his little brother. And from the little one? No gloating, no anger, no temper. He listened quietly while his big brother read a letter of apology, looked at him with all the love in the world, said "thank you; you're so nice!" and then gave him drawings and other little gifts to make him feel good.

All I can say is this: I have struggled throughout my life to become a better person. To be as positive and forgiving and non-judgmental as I can possibly be, sometimes with mixed results. But my four year old son? He has already surpassed me. And I am in awe of him.

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22 August 2007

Rip it, Rip it Good!

Well, I haven't done any recreational knitting lately, but I did do some recreational ripping! Does that count?

I just could no longer stand to look at this horrible mess of uneven stitches:

even though I know a lot of it would block out. I just wasn't enjoying knitting it.

It was going to be this:

Now why, I ask myself, when I am an absolute mo-ho and kidsilk haze addict, would I take a perfectly good KSH pattern and use alpaca?! Yeah. It completely escapes me, too. So I am going to use this instead:

Now that's what I call recreational knitting. :)

The alpaca, which really is beautiful (now that it is completely ripped out!), is going to be recycled into a new stole design. It's gonna be purdy.

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20 August 2007


It's all eye candy, all the time: Monday edition!

Look at what I got from my Secret Pal by way of Adagio Teas!

I love black tea, the stronger the better. And I love Adagio's packaging and marketing concept. Very cool! I've already broken into the Keemun. Yummy! Thank you Secret Pal! :)

And this also came in the mail.

It is an adorable little booklet from Crafty Eliza. Is it not the cutest thing?! She made it by hand and it has a little sock pattern in it.

I love it! Thank you, Eliza!

And this is to drool over. Yummy fuzzy stuff from Lisa Souza.

Mmmmmmmmmmmohair in Ruby.

This concludes the eye candy portion of today's episode. :)

Here are a few SP 11 extra questions and answers:

1. What is the one knitting accessory you could not live without?
Hmmmmmmm. Only one?! I guess my stitch/row and needle gauge measure.

2. If you're heading on vacation, do you take knitting with you? If so, how much and what type of project?
Vacation? What's that?

If I take car or social knitting, it's simple - usually stockinette in the round on US 7 or 8 needles. I don't have to look at it. :)

3. Where have you travelled to that you'd consider your favorite spot?

4. What is your favorite knitting book at the moment? Do you own it?
I think it's a tie between Aran Knitting and Stillwater, neither of which do I own. Way too expensive!

5. Do you listen to podcasts? Which is your favorite(s)?
No, I don't usually, but I've listened to some select interviews. It's a cool medium!

Happy Monday and have a great week!

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17 August 2007

Friday Eye Candy

First, I want to thank all of you so very very much for all of your kind comments about my Mystery Stole 3 swan and feather pins, and the ball of yarn earrings! And for your orders! You made me feel so great! And now I'd better change the subject before I get all mushy. :g:

Today, we have eye candy up the wazooooo!

Here is the Perfect Purple courtesy of Rowan.

Is it not divine?!

And here, for the traditionalist, we have some alpaca "moulinette" from Misti International.

Moving right along here, we have some gorgeous laceweight linen from Louet. I love this stuff. Absolutely. Love. It.

Here is the color card for Louet's spinning and felting fibers.

Also from Louet...just feast your eyes on this dyed Corriedale top! :swoon:

Look at those amazing colors. They are so incredibly bright and vibrant that it is difficult to capture them adequately. I am in color heaven.

Those who know me may recall that I am not a spinner. Angela tried to enable me with a drop spindle and some gorgeous fiber from Lisa Souza, but alas, to no avail. I love looking at it, but I am
trying really really hard not to be sucked into another addictive pursuit at the moment! :g: I'm sure it will happen one of these days, though. My husband has even threatened promised to make me a spinning wheel. Note: why are you all trying to get me hooked?! I know where this will end up.

Have a great weekend everyone! I'll be swatching. :)

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16 August 2007

Uh oh....

I just saw this:

in a Knitting Daily announcement.

Uh oh.

I must have it.

I absolutely must have it. But that means that there won't be any time for anything else while I am knitting every single project. It's a dilemma of serious proportions. My family may miss me. ;)


15 August 2007

Cool Sheep

Go! Take a look at these sheep!

Isn't that the coolest?!

Link courtesy of Elizabeth (who needs to blog more). :)

And answers to a couple of questions:

"Anonymous" asked if I am a Secret Pal vendor. No, the deadline passed me by while my head was full of other things. But if you would like to get something for your secret pal from me, email me and I will include something extra in the package (like some cool stitch markers).

Michelle said "
So how do we jump on the secret pal bandwagon?"

Signs-ups for SP11 are now closed, but watch the SP blog for the next one!

Note to Lorraine about the blackcurrant KSH: bwahahahahahaha! ::eg::


13 August 2007

Secret Pal 11

Can you believe I've never done one of these before? But it looks like so much fun every time I see one on some one's blog, that I just had to join in! So here goes on the questionnaire.

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I love Kidsilk haze and other laceweight silk mohair blends. I am a mo-ho. Love love love the fuzzy stuff. I don't like acrylic, and I don't like variegated yarns unless they are tone on tone and blend really really well.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
A flat plastic bin.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I've been knitting off and on for 30ish years. My mother taught me how to cast on, knit and purl and I went from there! I consider myself to be an advanced knitter. If I don't know how to do it, I'll work on it until I can. :)

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

5. What's your favorite scent?
I don't like fake scents. IOW, I like lavender, but only real lavender. I don't like the soap. I love the smell of tea tree oil. I love the smell of grapefruit and California Bay Laurel.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Yes, unfortunately. I love Godiva "open oyster" truffles.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I bead and make jewelry. I don't spin, and I don't want to get sucked into that vortex! (Nothing against spinning. I just have the feeling that if I learned, you wouldn't be hearing from me for a long long time).

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I like jazz, pop rock (particularly 80s music :g:) and baroque. Yes, my computer can play MP3s.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I love acid green, golden orange and plummy purple. I don't like pastels, particularly pink; pastels look terrible on me!

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I'm married and have two boys, a rabbit, a cat and fish.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Not really.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Lace! I love it. :) Next favorite: mindless sweaters. :)

13. What are you knitting right now?
A bunch of jewelry and a shawl.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Yes - I love it that some one would spend time making something just for me.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Circular: Addis and Inox.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Yes, both.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
Hmmmmmmm. About 2 years I think.

18. What is your favorite holiday?

19. Is there anything that you collect?

Knitting books, yarn and beads. Other than that, not really. I'm not much of a collector.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Hmmmmmmmmm. I'd like to see Joan McGowan Michael's book Knitting Lingerie and Annie Modesitt's Romantic Knits (is that the right title?) I love the new blackcurrant color of KSH and it will be mine, all mine! And one of these days I'm going to splurge and buy some of Sundara's laceweight silk yarn in Plum or Green Tea. I let all of my subscriptions lapse, but I used to have IK, Vogue and Knitter's.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I've never cut a steek, so I think I'll have to do that one of these days soon!

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
True confessions time: I hate knitting socks. Perhaps this is because I have only knit them for my husband, who wears size 13, likes densely knit socks, doesn't like patterning of any kind, and likes full ribbing on the leg.

My foot:
length: 9.25 inches
width: 3.5 inches

23. When is your birthday?
December 3.

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?
Yes! Romi.

So there you go. More than you ever wanted to know! ;)


10 August 2007

Unfinished Business

As Turtle kindly reminded me, I have unfinished business! In all of my rushing around, I neglected to tell you about the processing on that photo. And also, I didn't tell you who won. Oops!

Many of you were correct in that it is a Polaroid transfer (I love that process!) onto Arches watercolor paper! Polaroid transfers are lovely, but very muted, so I hand colored it to pop the colors. Two of you guessed Polaroid transfer (which is a different process from a plain Polaroid print) and color enhancement of some kind: Thursday and Sarah. I got a random number at random.org and Thursday was the winner! Congratulations Thursday! Please send me your address at romiATdesignsbyromiDOTcom and I will send off your pin! :) btw, those of you who would like an explanation of the process, just let me know in the comments and I will write about it!

Note to Susan: I am stuck in the 80s. I didn't even think about the Robert Palmer connection, but now that you mention it, I think I was channeling him. :g:

Now, I know I promised you all a feather yesterday, but there was something missing. I was not loving it. Then this morning, Denise from CT wrote and jogged my brain into functioning mode again. She asked about the possibility of a one piece pin with the stick portion incorporated into the pin, like a fibula pin. That was IT! That was exactly what the feather needed. So here it is, in sterling:

Sterling silver feather, one piece pin. Length 2.5 in.; width 1.25 in. - $42
Inspired by Melanie Gibbons' lovely Mystery Stole 3, Swan Lake.
Pre-order here.

and in copper.

Copper feather, one piece pin. Length 2.5 in.; width 1.25 in. - $30
Inspired by Melanie Gibbons' lovely Mystery Stole 3, Swan Lake.
Pre-order here.

It is a one piece pin (shown open), as you can see off the shawl.

And from the back (shown open again - it clips into the hook).

Allow two weeks for shipment of your order - a lot of people expressed interest!I am just charging a flat fee of $2.50 USPS first class shipping to US or Canada per order, regardless of how much you order. If you are interested in shipping any way other than USPS first class, please email me at romiATdesignsbyromiDOTcom. If you are in another country, please contact me and I will quote shipping! Thank you all for looking and thank you to all of you who have ordered swans! :)

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09 August 2007

Houston, We Have Lift-Off!

Okey doke, PayPal woes are fairly well dealt with, and we have a working shopping cart. Wooo! I know this will surprise all of you, but it turned out to be Bl*gger issues. So after wasting inordinate amounts of time, I just put up a pre-order page on my website!

Thank you again to all of you who have emailed me wanting to order a swan pin! Since there seems to be a fair amount of interest, I am doing a pre-order (before it goes up on my site for real) so I will know how much silver and copper I need to have on hand to get your pins to you as quickly as possible!

The pin is approximately 2 in. x 2 in., made in either hand formed and hammered sterling silver or copper. It is feather light (I'm bad, eh?). If you have any questions, please leave it in a comment!

For those of you who would like a feather, that will be coming tomorrow!

Allow two weeks for shipment of your order - a lot of people expressed interest! I am just charging a flat fee of $2.50 USPS first class shipping to US or Canada per order, regardless of how much you order. If you are interested in shipping any way other than USPS first class, please email me at romiATdesignsbyromiDOTcom. Thank you all! :)

Here are the goods. Silver:

Sterling silver swan shawl pin, inspired by Melanie Gibbons' lovely Mystery Stole 3.
Pre-order for $45 per pin, $2.50 flat shipping fee to US and Canada.
If you are in another country, please contact me for a shipping quote! :)
Order here.

And copper:

Copper swan pin, inspired by Melanie Gibbons' lovely Mystery Stole 3.
Pre-order for $30, $2.50 flat shipping fee to US and Canada.
If you are in another country, please contact me for a shipping quote! :)
Order here.

And while I'm at it, several people have contacted me about the sterling ball of yarn earrings that I made Steph and she had on her blog! I'm going to put them up on my site, but I wanted to give you a chance to pre order those, as well! Here's a pic:

and the requisite artsy shot.

Sterling Silver Balls of Yarn Earrings.
Pre-order for $45 per pair, $2.50 flat shipping fee to US and Canada.
If you are in another country, please contact me for a shipping quote! :)
Order here.

Now I'm off to do a feather! Coming soon: the bunny will by hopping onto my site.

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08 August 2007

Flying High!

Here she is! The swan inspired by Melanie Gibbons' lovely Swan Lake themed Mystery Stole 3!

And as soon as I finish throttling talking to PayPal about why my shopping cart won't work, I will have it up and available (in sterling and copper) for pre-order right here on this very blog! :)

Next up: a feather!


07 August 2007


Have you ever thought to yourself that you couldn't possibly get busier, only to have your beliefs disproved soon thereafter? Whew.

But look at what went out yesterday.

It's the first installment of finished pieces and patterns for my book! And that feels Very. Very. Good.

So today, just to celebrate, I'm going to take some fun time to respond to questions I've received over the past few posts or so while I've been running around like a madwoman without any time to respond! Then it's back to running around like a madwoman again. :)

Sereknity said "That yummy copper coloured one [hemp yarn] in the front reminds me of the yarn you chose to make the campanula? lace s/s cardigan ... what's the status on it?"
Shhhhhhhhhhh! I'm not working on it! I haven't even been able to start it. I sometimes catch it staring at me reproachfully. Especially when it sees me petting other yarn.

Lorraine said "Rosemary- and what exactly are we looking at? Do we have to wait for the book?"
Yes, I'm afraid you have to wait. But I can tell you that there will be wire, fiber and felt projects. And that I am really excited about the pieces!

Shannon said "Have you ever knit with hemp? I like the new Knitty surprise bag and then Eiffel as well, but I'm kinda uneasy since it's...hemp. The yarn is lovely though."
I haven't knit with hemp, but I have knit with linen, which seems to be very close in nature. At first, I tried to hold the linen too tightly, but after some hand pain, I relaxed my grip. And by the time I was finished with the piece (a stole in laceweight linen), I couldn't wait to knit with it again! I love the stuff. You just need to remember that it does not knit like wool, so you need to swatch carefully and relax your grip on the yarn. I knit continental, and I ended up wrapping the yarn an extra time around my pinky to tension it, because my grip was so relaxed. I work with cotton that way also.

Gudrun said "Fantastic colors..esp the orange/reds...is this 100% hemp? Haven't worked with it (or seen it) before but would like to."
Yes, it's 100% hemp from Lanaknits. I love the colors. I could not resist them! I thought your skirt was 100% hemp, but then I just checked and it's Hempathy! Duh! ;)

Tracey said "Must have silver swan shawl pin....cannot even speak in complete sentences because it would be so perfect......;) Hope you're working on a design for your fellow MS3 knitters;)"
Yes! I am! :) And I will announce the pin when it is designed and have a chance for you to pre-order so I can get an idea of how much silver (and copper) to order! Thank you for asking!

AlisonH asked "will you be at TKGA?"
I'm not sure yet! I may drop by and look around a bit. Will you be there?

Knitserland said "Habu items are fabulous! What do you have planned for it?" I love Habu!!! And Takako is wonderful. I just met her this summer at Knitterly in Petaluma. But I digress. I can't tell you exactly what I plan on doing with it, but it is going in my book (if Dr. Destructo doesn't do another repeat performance of this little escapade like he did yesterday, but that's all I'm going to say about what Dr. Destructo did yesterday).

Sarah said "I look forward to this book of yours, when is your publishing deadline?"
Thank you, Sarah! I just passed one deadline and I have two more, with everything due at the end of November 2007. Then there's editing, of course. :) It is slated for release in fall 2008. Somehow that's seeming really really soon!

Gammy aka Peggy said "Wow, that fiber is awesome. What you going to do with it?"
If it works like I think it will, it's going in the book! :)

Marianne said "Just love the Bunny Pin! In fact so much that if you have one for sale next time please let me know?"
Thank you and I will! So many people have asked about it that I think it will be going up on my site soon! :)

And lastly, Joanne said "I recognize the Rosemary Habu. I hope that's it! I hope I know what you're going to do with it, too! :)"
Yes, that's it! I love the color, the feel, the name (heehee). Habu rocks. :D

Thank you all so much for commenting and keeping me sane while I've been spooled up into crazy mode. You're totally the best!!! Mwah!

Oh! And don't forget the contest!

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03 August 2007

Friday Eye Candy Contest

It's time for another contest! Woooooooooo! ::g::

Here's the image.

It is a photograph of a small perfume bottle, taken by my husband and processed by both of us. By what process did it arrive at its current state? Here's a hint: there was nothing digital done other than scanning in the final image and adjusting the color to better reflect the original.

Give me your answer in a comment (emailing it to me doesn't count!) by Wednesday, August 8 at 12 midnight PST. I am looking for two specific things that were done to the photograph. I will enter whoever gets those processes into a drawing and pick a random winner. If no one gets both, I will enter whoever gets the one predominant process (there are telltale signs!) into a random drawing. If no one gets it, everyone who guesses will be entered into a random drawing. But someone will get it. There are photographers out there! I know it! :)

Wanna know what you're playing for?


A hammered copper shawl pin from my Designs by Romi site.

Good luck and have a great weekend!!!

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02 August 2007

Catch-up with Relish

I know I've been a baaaaad blogger lately. :hangs head: Sorry! I've been in deadline mode, doing stealth knitting, writing and a little stealth crochet too!

But I had to drop in and gush about Amy, Knitty maven and author extraordinaire. I finally met her face to face this past weekend, when I made the trek down to Purlescence Yarns in Sunnyvale (I love this shop!). She is, in a word, delightful!
Since I forgot my camera, I will merely show you her book and you will have to imagine the rest.

I had a wonderful time with her, Nathania, Chloe and Sandi (who I also finally got to meet in person - wooooo!), and their spouses. As a bonus, I also met CJ! I drove back with a huge smile on my face!

Speaking of no sheep, in a stroke of irony, Amy won my sheep shawl pin in Claudia's MS Ride raffle. Hee. So I offered her a bunny instead. I'm thinking he turned out ok, yes?

The trick is in having a live model. :g:

Now for a little eye candy! This gorgeousness is from Habu Textiles.

And this.

And just feast your eyes upon this!

Look at those colors!!!

This is Ashford's rainbow dyed English Leicester Fleece by way of Foxglove Fibers. It is absolutely stunning!

Off to run around like a madwoman! See you soon! :)

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