29 June 2009

Monday's Musing

Be like the bluebird who never is blue,
For he knows from his upbringing what singing can do.
- Cole Porter, Be Like the Bluebird, 1934

Have a happy, singing week! :)


25 June 2009


New! The Bluebird stole pattern and shawl pin! Read all the way to the bottom for a special offer!

Originally designed and knit for the Stitches West fashion show.

The shawl uses one large skein of Royale Hare Designs by Romi alpaca lace.

Then ends are beaded.

The shawl is begun using a provisional cast on and both ends are knit out from the center portion of the stole..

There's a pin to go with it. Isn't he cute? Shown here in nickel.

Looking quite at home on his perch, too. :)

Through Wednesday, July 1, when you buy a bluebird pin, I will send you a pdf file of the Bluebird shawl pattern! Free! The Designs by Romi shawl pin comes in copper, nickel and sterling! Enjoy. :)

Cue it here on Ravelry!

ETA: Tweet about my new shawl pattern and pin with a link to this post, and be entered in a drawing to win a Bluebird pattern and pin!

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24 June 2009

Better Late than Never?

Hmmm. As I was typing that title, I noticed that I've used it before. Heh. Running late again!!! So, I promised pics from the Spinners' Day on the Farm, and here they are! It was a lovely lovely day, at the edge of a vineyard in Healdsburg, under towering oak trees. And there was fiber. And yarn! What could be better?!

Here's Ba, the local fiber pusher spinning teacher.

Therese is planning her mohair purchase. I always smile like that when I buy mohair, too. :)

Karen of the Royale Hare. She's holding some of my designer colors!

A local knitter from Santa Rosa that I met for real and in person!

Brooke and wee one. :)

Maia looking happy about all the fibery goodness.

Yummy, sheepy fiber.

Some gorgeous wares.

Jan contemplating the amazing Tactile fiber I was trying to enable her into buying. I succeeded. Hee.

It was an amazing day. Too short, if anything. And I'm afraid this was probably the last year. They've had the property up for sale and it looks like it's going. Maybe the purchasers spin. ;)

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22 June 2009

Monday's Musing

"Count your smiles instead of your tears; Count your courage instead of your fears." - unknown

Have a great week everyone!

19 June 2009

Breaking News!

I'm on Lime & Violet's podcast (Episode 90)! Woot!! There's a great review of my shawl pins about halfway through. Thanks, girlz!

Oh, and don't forget that weekly special. :)


Weekly Special!

Time for my Designs by Romi weekly (weekend) special! Through Sunday, June 22, take 20% off my copper treble clef clip! Just enter coupon code MUSIC at checkout.

I love these clips. They are perfect for a heavier shawl (sock yarn or heavier) or a nice cardigan. I've even worn mine on laceweight, as well.

In this picture, you can see the corrugated back of the pin. The rib helps it to stay put!

In other news, I'm doing the charts for my newest sock, and I've started on another pattern.

This one is in Flaming June, a new colorway from Royale Hare! (The first commenter that tells me the origin of the colorway name gets a prize!)

I know I've been a bad blogger this week. Things have been crazy; I've been working on wholesale pin orders, knitting up swatches for a secret project, working on a website and dealing with all of those little day to day issues that suck up so much time! I haven't even gotten up my pictures from Spinners Day on the Farm last weekend. I'll try to do that this weekend if the swim meet allows! We'll be leaving at 6:30 am both days and getting back in the late afternoon.

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18 June 2009

Mmmmmm. Cake.

To compensate for my utter lack of time to blog in a meaningful and fibery way, I thought I would distract you with a cake I made.

Doesn't that look yummy?

The cake itself was made from scratch using an old recipe that my grandmother taught me. She called it 1-2-3-4 cake, because it has 1 cup shortening, 2 cups sugar, 3 cups flour and 4 eggs (among other things). I cheated on the icing though, because mine never comes out the way I want it to. I think I'm icing-impaired. It was for an auction, so I don't really know how it tasted; I can only surmise. But given the fact that this is my absolute favorite white cake recipe, I know I would have been happy to end up with it. :)

Hope everyone has had a great week! We're getting ready for a swim meet this weekend.


15 June 2009

New! + 15% Off Sneaky Sale

This past weekend, I went sailing in San Francisco Bay with friends and family. When we got through the Golden Gate, all of a sudden there were harbor porpoises all around us! Even though I forgot my camera (I know! It always happens!), I was reminded that I've been meaning to release my dolphin pin ever since someone special-ordered it! So here it is...

It's a two piece pin and is shown here in sterling. It's up on my site here. And you know what this means, right? Sneaky Sale!!! Through Friday, June 19th, take 15% off a $15 or more order when you enter DOLPHIN at checkout!

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Monday's Musing

"He who fears something gives it power over him." - Moorish Proverb

"Anything I've ever done that ultimately was worthwhile... initially scared me to death." - Betty Bender

I needed these today. I hope they come at the right time for you, too!

Have a great week, everyone!


12 June 2009


First blush, that is. :) It's a new color of Designs by Romi yarn from Royale Hare.

Isn't it gorgeous? And look what I've done with it.

Just a small sample of what's to come next week!

I can't believe how much fun I've been having with the lacy sock designs. Like Mel said, there's no one as fanatical as the recently converted! ;)

I've also decided to have a weekly special (each week!) on a single selected pin from Designs by Romi. So every Friday check here to see the weekend special! This week, it's my copper swirl penannular:

20% off through this Sunday, as many of them as you want, with coupon code COPPERY at checkout.

Hope you're having a great Friday! Have a fabulous weekend. :)

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11 June 2009

And furthermore...

Purchase the Verdigris Sock pattern for $6 here! Pattern includes both chart and line by line written instructions.

While knitting my Verdigris fingerless mitts for Knitty, I couldn’t help but see what a great sock the stitch pattern would make!

This was very uncharacteristic of me, because, you see, since being frightened early on by socks I knit on US 0s for my husband’s size 13 feet, I had completely lost my desire to knit socks. Sad, but true.

But this.

I credit this stitch pattern with the Great Sock Awakening. Well, Stephanie might have had something to do with it, too. :)

So far, I haven’t stopped knitting lacy socks.

This is a super fun knit.

It uses 2 skeins of the Royale Hare, Designs by Romi high twist sock yarn in Verdant. Have I mentioned how much I love this yarn?

You can purchase the Verdigris Sock pattern for $6 here! Pattern includes both chart and line by line written instructions.

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10 June 2009


The new Knitty is up! And my first spin to knit pattern is up with it. :)

Verdigris fingerless mitts come in a short version,

and a long version.

I used twisted stitches, cables and lace. I wanted to make sure I covered everything. ;)

Many thanks to the lovely Olivia Foppiano for her modeling!

I used some lovely merino/tencel fiber (in Gingko) from Tactile, and some gorgeous high twist sock yarn (in Verdant) that can be found here, at the Royale Hare.


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09 June 2009


About a year ago, my mail carrier decided to loan me her spinning wheel because she thought I needed to learn how to use one. :) So, the other day when I went into the PO, she said she had found a little spinning wheel at a garage sale for me. She's decided to take up spinning again, and she wanted me still to have a wheel. How sweet is that?!?! So today she brought it over. It's a cute little castle, but that's about as much as I know. Does anyone know what kind of wheel this is? Edited to add: Kerry and my friendly neighborhood fiber pusher have figured it out! It's a Thumbelina from NZ, made in the 70s! Now I need to find bobbins. They're fairly small....

What is this tab? Edited to add: moving the tab to the side allows the spindle to drop back so that the flyer can be removed to change bobbins. Assuming I can find other bobbins, that is!

It's a double drive.

The treadle is held in place with leather.

There's a screw in the wheel. To balance it?

Tension adjusts from the bottom

It has one leg in back and two in front.

And a cute little treadle.

It's a totally adorable wheel, and L oiled it up and played with it, but she said she couldn't get it to draw properly. I think this may be because the wheel shimmies a bit. The spokes are a bit loose (easy to fix).

It would be cool if anyone knows what it is! TIA! :)


07 June 2009

Monday's Musing

"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see." - Mark Twain

"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these." - George Washington Carver

Have a wonderful week, everyone!!


02 June 2009

Tutorial: Sewn Kitchener Rib Bind Off

Don't forget the Sneaky Sale is still on! Through Saturday, June 6, 2009, take 15% off your $15 or more purchase at Designs by Romi. Enter coupon code CLIP at checkout!

Meet my new favorite bind off! I've been meaning to try this bind off ever since seeing it in Katharina Buss' Big Book of Knitting. Once I had done it, I modified it to work in the round, and it is my new favorite bind off for an edge where you need extra stretch. (Think sock tops!) If you are using heavier than sock weight yarn, the bind off looks best on 1 x 1 rib. If you are using lighter yarn like a sock weight, it looks good on other ribs, as well. I've used it on 2 x 2 and 2 x 1 and it makes a neat and tidy stretchy edge.

1. There are two set up rounds. First set up round (with 1 x 1 ribbing: p, k) [sl1 st with yarn in front, k1] to end.

2. Second set up round: [p1, sl 1 st with yarn in back] to end.

3. Cut yarn, leaving a tail that is at least three times the width of your knitting (in this case, the circumference). Thread blunt tapestry needle with yarn.

We'll be starting with the first two stitches of the round.

4. Insert needle from left to right through first two stitches.

Pull yarn tight.

5. Pass the purl stitch (first stitch of the round) onto the last needle of the round.

The knit stitch is still on your first needle.

6. Drop the knit stitch off your needle.

7. (You'll be working stitches in pairs.) Insert needle from left to right through purl st (next stitch on the needle).

8. Insert needle from right to left through last knit st dropped from needle and knit st on other side of purl st.

9. Pull yarn tight and insert needle from right to left through purl st.

10. Slide both sts (purl and knit) off needle and pull yarn tight.

Continue repeating steps 7-10 as shown above until you reach the last st on the needle. This is the stitch moved from the first needle at the beginning of the process.

11. Insert needle from left to right.

12. Insert needle from right to left through knit stitches on either side of the last purl st.

13. Pull yarn tight and insert needle from right to left though purl st.

14. Pull st off needle.

15. Insert needle through knitting from front to back.

16. Weave in ends.

And there you have it! Super stretchy and neat as a pin.

Love this bind off. :)