25 February 2010

Stitches Bound!

Off to Stitches West. If you're going, come by and see me at the Royale Hare booth!!!


22 February 2010

Monday's Musing

"Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

Another quote from one of my very favorite sources!

Many thanks to all of you who have purchased my Brandywine Shawl pattern. Because of you, I'm about to send off another $500 to Doctors without Borders/Medicins sans Frontieres to bring the total donated up to $4,000! Wow. We have a great start on my goal of 10,000 patterns sold. It's still a long road ahead, but as you know:

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with one small step. " - Chinese proverb :)

Have a fabulous week, everyone!

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19 February 2010

dropping in

I know. I dropped off the face of the Earth. Sorry! I have been having terrible computer troubles ever since I visited the NBC Olympics website (and no, I'm not linking there!) the other day. My screen - an Apple cinema display - began having intermittent seizures. I'm not sure how to describe them, except that there were geometric patterns, lines, colors...chaos. It began in my browser window while I was in Firefox and I quickly shut the browser down and restarted. It was ok for awhile, but then got bad enough that I called the Apple Store and set up an appointment with a "Genius." Note: I'm fairly sure the designation has nothing to do with their IQs. :P While I was waiting at the store, some poor guy who had a power supply replaced on his iMac 4 months ago was back in for another $178 replacement, and the "Genius" said too bad. It was a month out of warranty. Nonplussed, I asked if he really wasn't going to help the poor guy. He said he couldn't if it was out of warranty. This is not actually true, as I found out later talking with the manager. Apple techs have "a lot of grey area - it's on a case by case basis." Hmmm.

Well, my turn came and I whipped out my monitor and my (PPC) Mac mini. The "Genius" couldn't find anything wrong by plugging in the monitor to his computer. This was good. He said that it could be the video card. This was bad, because the video card is soldered to the motherboard and is almost as expensive to replace as buying a new computer. So I left my life in his hands overnight so that a diagnostic could be run, and said I'd be back at 8 when the store opened. The next morning, a different "Genius" was there. A really nice sales guy tried to get the "Genius" interested in me, but it was some time before either of us could get him to actually go and take a look at my computer in the back, because it wasn't in the system yet. (!) When he came back with my computer, he said, among other things, that there was nothing wrong with it and the website was probably too graphics intensive for such an old computer, and I should buy a new one. Hello! This computer is 5 years old. Perhaps it's not the latest, but I have another Mac, this one 13 years old, running beautifully, thenkyewverymuch. I noted that I am on way more graphics intensive websites all the time and it's never ever done this. Well, says "Genius" man, "you should take it to someone on the street." Someone on the street? Yes, because "if you were going to get hip surgery, you'd want a second opinion, right?" Hip surgery?!

So I took it home and plugged it in. Same problem they were not able to replicate. And then it dawned on me. They didn't actually run the computer with the monitor plugged in. Because they were so sure that it wasn't what I suggested it might be: a software incompatibility. So I set to work tracking down whatever it was that might have been downloaded from the NBC site and then I threw it all out. All better. Then I called the manager at the Apple Store. I might have gloated a little. She apologized for the "Genius"'s behavior. Profusely.

Sadly, the gloating did turn out to be a bit premature (although enjoyable). I went online again and it seems there's something out there that isn't compatible with my system. I think it's something to do with Flash and Firefox. And since then, I've been running the computer off a "safe boot" which only allows Apple installed system software to load. This works for awhile and then I have to reboot. Meanwhile, I've been purging everything having been downloaded into my system in the past couple of days. Note that Firefox is supposed to ask permission to download anything, but it doesn't, and it also upgrades itself - grrrrr. After the last purge, I've been up and running for several hours, and have even been able to go back online (using Safari). I'm really hoping I've purged the bug finally.

So now back to your regularly schedule programming. Here's a lovely finished Brandywine by Helen. And another being knit by Therese. So far, I've sent $3,500 to Doctors without Borders, all thanks to generous knitters like you! Thank you!!! $5 of each Brandywine Shawl pattern purchase goes to Doctors without Borders (MSF) for their work in Haiti. There's a long way to go to reach my goal of 10,000 patterns sold, but I know we can do it together!

Have a great weekend! I'll be trying to get over the bug the kids shared with me before heading off to Stitches West next week.

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15 February 2010

Monday's Musing

This started my Monday with a great laugh!

“I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

Enjoy your week, everyone. :)


14 February 2010

Valentine's Day round-up

Happy V Day, everyone! Don't forget my sale. :)

I have sort of a thing for hearts. Which is kind of odd, since I've never been very girly in other ways. This heart is a painting from my days as an illustrator.

I haven't had time to paint for a long long time and I miss it. There's something about the paint and dirty hands that really appeals to me! :)

Yesterday, I got to spend time with my knit group (yay - no swim meet!), and almost everyone was knitting Brandywine. My group has been so amazing and supportive; between them, they bought over 20 patterns! Here are a few of us.

It's difficult to see, but there are several Brandywines on the table in different stages of completion. Overall, I've sold almost 500 patterns, and sent off $2,000 to Doctors Without Borders. When I hit 500 sales, another $500 will go to them! Brandywine is currently number 8 in the new and popular patterns on Ravelry.

Thank you all so much for your help. Knitters are the best!

I knit almost all day yesterday, which is unusual for me since I get really fidgety sitting still. This year, I'm participating in the Knitting Olympics, but I'm not really sure why I signed up since my Olympic project is a secret. Duh! That will make for some scintillating blog posts, no? But I absolutely have to get this project finished by the time I head off for Stitches West, and I'm hoping this will give me the needed push. The challenge will be getting all the shawl pins for Stitches made and the knitting finished in time. I'm kinda freaking out about it, actually. I'm taking lots of deep breaths. And still freaking. Off to knit some more!

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12 February 2010

Valentine's Sale

To celebrate Valentine's Day, Designs by Romi is having a sale!!! Through Tuesday, February 16, take 20% off your full order over $10 by entering coupon code BEMINE at checkout (patterns excluded). I have lots to tempt you, including hearts

and yarn ball earrings!

So please stop by and take advantage! :)

In other news, sales of my Brandywine Shawl pattern are great, thanks to all of you wonderful knitters out there! After releasing the pattern last Saturday night, I have been able to donate $2,000 to Doctors without Borders ($5 per pattern) and am halfway to another $500!

It's also number 8 on the Ravelry new and popular pattern list, and all because of you! Thank you all so very much for all of your purchases and kind notes to me. Knitters are the best. :)

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09 February 2010

harbinger of spring

It happened all of a sudden.

The sky is still grey and rainy.

But spring is coming!

In other news, did you hear the latest Knitmore Girls' latest podcast? Jasmin is knitting my Brandywine shawl! Go have a listen. The Girls are awesome as always. :) And how is Brandywine doing, you might ask? So far, with the help of all of you wonderful knitters out there, I'm at 266 patterns sold ($5 from each pattern goes to Haiti) and I've sent off $1,000 to Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)! I'm going in $500 increments so that I can keep track of everything more easily. My goal is still to sell 10,000 patterns, and if you can help, please blog, plurk, tweet or...whatever! Thank you! :) You can buy my shawl here on Ravelry, or if you're not a Ravelry member, you can purchase it here on my site.

Off to do a bit of knitting on my silk/cashmere....

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08 February 2010

Monday's Musing

"Bloom where you are planted." - proverb

My friend the Yarnhog sent this to me after another of my musings. I love it, and I've been trying to do just that! Hence the pattern for Haiti. It's definitely blooming thanks to all of you fabulous knitters out there!!!


help for Haiti

It's up! My Brandywine Shawl pattern for Haiti relief is here, thanks to my wonderful wonderful test knitters!

The pattern is knit using Tactile Fiber Arts sock yarn in colorway Tangerine (which name I suspect has been changed to Bark, but not sure), a simply gorgeous color, and perfect in the pattern. It was an inspiration. :)

I loaded the pattern into Ravelry on Saturday night, about 11 pm PST. And you know what? At this writing, I have sold 137 patterns! Knitters are just amazing and truly wonderful people. I am blown away by how cool everyone has been on Ravelry, passing on the word to people about the pattern and encouraging others to help out.

The pattern is priced at $6.50, with $5 going to Haiti. I've decided to send off donations $500 at a time, so this evening, I sent my first one to Doctors Without Borders! My goal is to sell 10,000 patterns. And I want to respectfully ask everyone's help to get the word out! The response so far has been so warm, that I am sure it can be done. Reach for the stars, I always say. :)


Yarn: 437 yard skein of fingering weight sock yarn from Tactile Fiber Arts
Needles: US 6 for body and US 8 to bind off
Construction: Knit from bottom tip to top, so it's very easy to change the size smaller or larger
Price: $6.50, $5 of which goes to Haiti relief
Where to purchase: On Ravelry or Designs by Romi
Goal: Sell 10,000 patterns!
Favorite geeky detail: The bind off used is a reverse stockinette i-cord that looks like the body of the shawl but creates a nice firm tube that you can thread blocking wires through for a perfectly straight edge.

Love the way that worked out. :)

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06 February 2010

quality time

I'm spending it with my yummy silk/cashmere. The more I knit with it, the better I like it! It's starting to look like something.

I'm working up a little shoulder shawlette.

And I'm enjoying every luxurious moment of it.

It's super soft.

And the more I knit with it, the more sheen it seems to have.

I'll miss knitting with the yarn when this little beauty is finished. But at least I'll still get to wear it. :)

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04 February 2010

traduction française

Bitterroot is now in French!

The wonderful Christine has posted it on her blog. She provides this amazing service free to French knitters. Fabulous, non?

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03 February 2010

400 yards of yum

It may seem mundane to those of you who have been petting mink and quiviut yarn lately, when I admit to you that I still fondle such run-of-the-mill fibers as cashmere/silk blends. But I do. And I have a lovely skein from Jade Sapphire. One 400 yard skein of cashmere/silk laceweight.

At TNNA, I met Mr. JadeSapphire and, since it was a fairly slow day, he gave me the whole talk on their operation. Amazing! According to him, several Italian mills have been relocated, including their Italian workers, to Mongolia. Can you imagine? This has helped to make many yarns spun in Mongolia some of the highest quality you can find today.

But back to my one skein. It has been marinating in stash for quite some time, and my talk with Mr. JadeSapphire reminded me of it. It has been calling to me ever since. It needs to be a shawlette, I think, and since designing this one, which is now being test knitted, I want to do another; they're like candy! And since I can't show you my secret knitting, I hope you'll be mollified with my cashmere/silk. We'll be spending some quality time together. :)

By the way, Valentine's Day is fast approaching (can you believe it's already February?!) and I have some mighty pretty hearts.

Just sayin'. :)

Have a great one!

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02 February 2010

testers are testing; editors are editing

Computers are crashing. Yes, the pattern was delayed getting out to my test knitters because I lost the charts in an epic crash. I was amazingly calm about it, though. I don't know what got into me.

But now it's out there being tested. Yay for wonderful test knitters! Wanna peek? Here's part of it blocking.

And here's my friend A wearing it at knitting last Saturday. I almost didn't get it back. :)

This was a super fun knit, and it only took about 4 days, not knitting continuously.

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01 February 2010

Monday's Musing

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” - Winston Churchill

This is one of my very very favorite quotes. Have an inspiring week!