31 March 2008

Monday's Musing

I love this quote:

"Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned." ~Peter Marshall

It's a little like "think globally, act locally" don't you think?

Have a great week everyone!


29 March 2008

Don't forget!

Free first class shipping to the US and Canada through today, March 29 at Designs by Romi! Discounted shipping to other countries. Enter coupon code 6E8992E at checkout! For sterling ball of yarn earrings and pendants, leave a comment when you purchase and I will refund shipping! Thanks for stopping by! :)

(I think I just used my yearly exclamation point allotment).

Labels: ,

27 March 2008

Still in love...

The Faroese inspired Muir is progressing, albeit slowly. There are other projects going on, and I promise to let you all know as soon as I can what they are! I am very very excited. :) But of course, all of the other fun goings on are taking attention! And time. Lots of time.

Here we are after a repeat and a half. You can see that the leaves are growing out of the center panel in a more aesthetically pleasing way!

And here you can see a little closer.

I am liking this version way better! The frogging was a Good Thing.

And as those of you who have knit my lace designs know, I love those picot edges! Just a little bit of an ornament, but not too much. Not as plain as straight garter stitch, but so much simpler than a lace edging.

I love the beads in the picot. I used this method on Ice Queen, as well, and really like the weight it adds to the edges. It adds a wonderful drape!

I don't have much of an update on the mittens: just a couple more rows. So no pics! My progress is a bit like watching paint dry. And, of course, the stealth projects are, well, stealthy.

Happy Friday!

Labels: , ,

25 March 2008

A ripping good time

The weather has been froggy around here lately. First it was the mittens Dr. Steph made me knit; I saw hers and I could not resist them. I love them with a mad passion. You may wonder at me, and why not? I mean, after all, it isn't mitten weather here. But I could not resist. And since I don't have the time to knit a big thing like one of Anne's gorgeous creations, I figured I could take a little break with some mittens. But. Back to the frogginess. I am usually a very tight knitter, except when I have been knitting lace. So when I saw the needle size required, I figured no problem. I went stash diving for the yarn and the US 2 needles and I was off to the races. Because really. Who could resist these colors?

And then I realized that I was knitting mittens for King Kong.

So I ripped. And then I restarted, this time using white for the pattern:

and US 0 needles. I like it much better.

Okay. I am totally and madly in love. And so far it fits, which is always a bonus. :)

Then there is my new version of Muir. I decided to design it using the Faroese structure as a model because I wanted a leaf panel down the center back. I swatched on larger needles with bigger yarn. I thought I had this one down. I got this far,
and I realized that I hated the way the leaf motif was growing next to the center leaf here:

so I ripped.

almost down to nothing. (I love the way this shawl begins - I can't wait for you to see it!)

And then I reknit.

I am absolutely loving it now. I am so glad I ripped!

Gratuitous beauty and the bead shot:

and another.

I am almost back up to where I was before I ripped. Woo! I can't wait to finish. My lace projects look so horrible until I block them - it's always a pleasant surprise to me when I see that everything has turned out well in the end. I think that's why I generally finish lace so quickly!

Oh! And don't forget to get your free shipping!!!

Labels: ,

24 March 2008

Content! We've got content!

Can you believe it?! Actual knitting and spinning content. Right here on this very blog.

First off, just because I am so excited about this...do you know what this is?

How about now?

No? It is sumptuous Andrea laceweight silk by Shaefer yarns in the greenjeans colorway. And beads, of course. Because silk, lace and beads cannot be beat. I have to say that ever since I fondled a bit of Amy's silk in person, I've been coveting some. It's going to be a Faroese-inspired Muir! And it is beaded. Need I say more? I couldn't wait, I admit. I've already cast on. Progress pics tomorrow! I am loving it.

Next, I have a little shop update! Back in stock are small turquoise nuggets. And I have two new sticks! A sterling bee sweater and shawl closure inspired by Anne's Honeybee Stole

and a cool little silver rectangle with scrolls (scroll down on page)!

And you know what's coming next, right? Because whenever I introduce something new, you get free first class shipping to the US and Canada! And discounted shipping to other countries, don't forget! Enter coupon code 6E8992E at checkout - effective through Saturday March 29, 2008. For yarnball earrings and pendants, send me a note when you check out and shipping will be refunded!

Next, we have my latest spindle spun yarn from some Ashland Bay roving that Angela sent.

She is truly a master enabler! I really love the way the colors intermingle on this amazing stuff. It looks ghastly in the bag - not colors I would put together at all. But it spins into this incredibly gorgeous yarn! I've realized since I started playing with my spindle that roving colorways and yarn colorways are very very different animals. I love spinning roving that I would never in a million years knit up as a yarn dyed in the same way. But the colors look so amazing together when they are dyed in the wool and then spun!

I have more, but I will wait for tomorrow. :)

Meanwhile, I am enjoying spring! And I'm working on a very exciting project involving wood! I will come clean in a few days. Hee.

Labels: , ,

23 March 2008

Monday's Musing

Awake, thou wintry earth -
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!
- Thomas Blackburn, "An Easter Hymn"


21 March 2008

More Springiness

Spring! :)

To Sereknitty: the shoes are Keens, my favorites!!! (Although I think that style is no longer).


19 March 2008

If Only She Were Angora...

...I think I might be able to teach her to spin her own fur. :)

Lookin' cool.

"Oh hai!"

"Mmmmm. Smells like parsley."

"Dang! Hold. Still."


Labels: ,

16 March 2008

Monday's Musing & The Winner!

Well, first the winner of my contest! You all sent in such great titles that it was very very difficult. But in the end, the boys chose this title:

"My heart belongs to you. Maybe."

So, Ms. Yarnhog, step right up and claim your prize! Email me at romi (at) designsbyromi (dot) com with your address and I'll get that pin right off to you!

Thank you all so much for playing! :)


Off to my musing: a quote from our governor. And I think it's a great one.

"Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”

- Arnold Schwarzenegger

Have a great week everyone!


14 March 2008

Somehow, it seems more real

My book, that is. I have an ISBN and a real title, not just a working title! Even though I think the process has been going quicker than most, it has seemed long and drawn out for me, someone who has never done a project like this before. I first started talking with Interweave a little more than a year ago. It has gone by fast! But not, if you know what I mean.

So...my book. The real title is "Elements of Style" and it is officially due out in October. I absolutely lurve the title. Adore it. And am honored by it. And a little scared by it. :ulp: Now is the time - after everything is in and we have been editing for awhile - now is the time that I am starting to get really nervous.

But enough of that!

Thank you for all the great titles! I will announce the boys' pick this weekend. I had a much needed laugh. :)

And now I think I am going to go vegetate in front of a movie and maybe spin a little. :g: Have a great weekend!


11 March 2008

Creative Title Here

Yes, that's just how brain dead I am today! I cannot think, so insert your own title. ;)

In fact, I think I'll have a little contest. Leave a clever title for this post in the comments section (no emails!) and I'll enter you to win a...something. How about a nice heart penannular? Like this one?

Leave your title in the comments by midnight PST on Thursday March 13, 2008. Impress my husband and kids and win a Designs by Romi shawl pin! (hint: we all like puns and wordplay - ok, I do, but they put up with me, and maybe they even like it a little now too).

So...last Saturday I knit a couple of hats from my first handspun. Whadaya think of that?! My elder son thinks it's so cool that he brags about me. Is he a keeper or what?! And the smaller version (for whose birthday one of the hats was made) was suitably ecstatic to receive said hat. My kids are great. :)

So here we are, hats for me and son:

another view:

and another.

Nothing thrilling - a very simple pattern with a roll for me and a little ribbing for the little one, but we like 'em nonetheless. :) Next up: matching hats for elder son and Dad.

Labels: , ,

09 March 2008

Monday's Musing

I've been thinking about perspective a lot lately. It often doesn't come naturally, especially to children, and it's so easy to lose it. Sometimes it's so comforting that the world goes on in the same way whatever is happening in your life. Sometimes it's infuriating! And sometimes I need to remind myself of the following.

"If you do not raise your eyes you will think that you are the highest point."
~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

Have a great week, everyone!


05 March 2008

Further into the Vortex (and free shipping too)

First, a word from our sponsor! ;) It's a new penannular shawl and scarf pin!

Because I know not all of you like hearts. :) And in honor of Sheri of The Loopy Ewe (I love her sneak-ups!), I am surprising you all with free first class shipping in the US and to Canada through Friday, to celebrate my new penannular and...my new coral stick!

Enter coupon code 6DWBGG7 at check out for free first class shipping on my Designs by Romi site! If you are in a country other than Canada and the US, you will get discounted shipping with the code. If you are purchasing yarn ball earrings or pendants, just write me a note with the coupon code and shipping will be refunded.

We now return you to our previously scheduled spinning madness.

Thank you all so much (I think) for the enablement and (definitely for) the kind words! I am truly having a blast!

The big news? I tried Navajo plying! It is super cool. Here is a regularly plied (two ply) mini skein on the left and a Navajo plied (three ply from one single!) mini skein on the right.

Same roving, but vive la differénce! Amazing, isn't it? It was kind of curly, so I steamed it this morning over the tea kettle. My husband might have given me a few strange looks, but nothing compared to the look he gave me when he asked me what I was doing and I began waxing rhapsodic about Navajo plying. And then, when I just couldn't believe that he wasn't as thrilled as I, I tried to explain it more in depth. Heh. Um. That wasn't the issue after all. In fact, I mistook a bemused "how could anyone care that much about a pile of yarn?" look for a plain "huh?" look. What can I say? He's very enlightened in other ways. And he's going to make me a spinning wheel. :)

So there you go; I just keep getting in deeper and deeper! :sigh:

Labels: , ,

04 March 2008


Perhaps. But look at my pretty new yarn!

From another angle:

and yet another.

This is just too much fun. I did the above yarn yesterday. Today, I experimented with a lighter weight, but pictures will have to wait. I have a little of one of the plies left over. I think I'll try Navajo plying. Just because. :g:

My husband is looking for pattern specs for a spinning wheel. Uh-oh.


03 March 2008


That was the sound of me getting sucked into the spinning vortex. It's all Angela's fault. She acts so innocent, but really she's a shameless spinning enabler! She sent me a beautiful drop spindle a couple of years ago, along with some beautiful fiber from Lisa Souza. I made felt balls. I never tried the spindle. Until yesterday. Heh.

Enter Barbara. Do you see the evil look on her face?

She knows I am about to get sucked totally and completely in.

I really wasn't even going to go to her class. But I figured I really should try that spindle. So I went. First she showed us different spindles, including this funky one with beads around the edge.

Then we started spinning with pens. One person would hold the pen and twist and the other drew out the roving.

Here's my first handspun, it's the single I drew out while my friend Lynn twisted. Then I let it twist back on itself.

I may have been absurdly a bit proud of it.

It was all downhill from there. We tried the drop spindles. According to Barbara, I was apparently a spinner in another life. Perhaps it was that mad gleam she saw in my eye? I obviously liked spinning laceweight.

At that point, I had to rush home and feed the small hungry persons that inhabit my house. It's probably a good thing I had to leave. But I didn't let a small thing like that stop me. I wanted to try plying.

This was somewhat less successful. So I started on the dyed roving I have. Ooooooooooooooooooh. I think I may have eaten lunch, but I'm not sure. I found the dyed roving to be much more difficult to handle. But where there's a will, there's a way. Hee.

Somewhere around this point, I began taking the name "drop" spindle a little too literally, and broke the hook off my lovely cherry spindle.

But I was not to be denied, especially since my husband has wooden toy wheels (wait 'til I show you his train!!!) and dowel. So first up, I made one with a hook in the dowel

and a channel along the side of the dowel.

I notched it.

It is rough, but I was desperate to get my next fix.

Enter the my husband, the engineer. Here's a hook.

with a channel up the front

and through the middle of the dowel!

It spins like a dream. It is perfectly balanced. And, er, I will learn to do it justice soon. :)

I moved on to another barely successful plying experiment:

And really, I am absolutely pathetically hooked. :sigh: It really is zenlike.

Off to do some spinning! :whimper: