23 February 2011

A little ketchup

I've been a bad blogger lately, but I'm hoping to make up for it a little bit at least. That is, before I jet off to Maryland on Friday where I'll be the featured designer at Eleganza Yarns' weekend Indie Artist Celebration. (Isn't that cool?!) But it doesn't make for lots of blog posts between now and then, I'm afraid!

Last Thursday, I left in the morning to drive down to Stitches West, and all the stormy weather that has not been happening all happened at once. On Thursday morning. While I was driving. And this is what was happening back home while I was in the rain.
The snow level was so low that it was about a five minute drive away.
And no one could resist.
By the way, this is what it looked like today.
But I hear that snow is due on Thursday and through the weekend. I hope my plane isn't delayed!

But I digress. The drive last Thursday took a little more than an hour longer than it should have, but really? I'm not complaining. I made it there in one piece, and so did my friend Anne, who came down with me a day early to help me set up (because she is a Goddess. Really. It's documented.)

Amazingly, even though we were late, we got set up in time for the show. We were all wearing tiaras (it being the Royale Hare booth and all.) I'm afraid I don't have a picture of me in my finery, but I can tell you that I felt quite resplendent with tiara and scepter. Every girl really needs a tiara, you know? I had a great little corner with my pins and patterns and samples all laid out.
I got to meet people from my Ravelry forum, which was incredibly cool. Pictured here are Caroline, Judy and Ali.
I also met up with tons of other people, but for the most part, no pictures were taken because everything was such a whirlwind of craziness! I shall punish myself severely for that. Um. Later.

This is Holly, and she gave me a home made scone shaped like a heart! :D
Here's Regina wearing her Bitterroot with a Romi shawl pin!
And this is a programmer with Square (and she knits!!!), who saw me using the cool little card reader with my iPhone and came to say hello and take a picture! So I had to get one of her, too.
Rick was dressed in fabulous shoes, as always.
Rachael gave me her new book that's coming out next week. (Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!)
And I can't put it down now! It is fabulous!!! A perfect feel good read.

And there was yarn.
Luminous yarn from Sunshine Yarns.
Stunning deep colors from Pigeon Roof Studios.
Gorgeous colors from Miss Babs. I love the Terra Cotta!
Sumptuous natural dyes from Sincere Sheep.
And deep golden loveliness from Royale Hare. (This was an accident. How many people want some more accidents to happen?!)
It was a fabulous and wonderful time. I got to meet so many people. And all I can say is wow. I loved every minute of it. Thank you everyone!

And tomorrow? Between working on three sekrit projects, I might just steal a few little moments with my pretties before I pack. See you all soon!

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21 February 2011

Monday's Musing

“Energy and persistence conquer all things." - Benjamin Franklin

I'm back from Stitches West and playing catch-up. What an absolutely fabulous show! Many thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hello. I loved meeting you all!

More to come.... :)


15 February 2011

Perfectly Plus Blog Tour

When I was asked to participate in this blog tour, I really wasn't sure at first. I hadn't seen the "Perfectly Plus" book before and couldn't find any pics of the contents! But then? I found the cover. I was completely sold. If it were just for this one design by Marlaina "Marly" Bird, I thought it was worthwhile read!

When I received the book, I was really very pleasantly surprised. I love simple lines, and this book is filled with wearable pieces that would look good on many different body types. My two favorites are Marly's cover sweater:
and Amy Polcyn's "Make Me Blush."
Both are simple and elegant, with clean lines. Definite wardrobe staples.

Moving on, there is a great section up front on sizing sweaters to fit, and whatever size you are, it's absolutely worth a read. This book is headed straight to my reference shelf. I know; I was going to give it away, but I find I can't part with it! How's that for an endorsement? ;)

My only complaint is that the smallest size is a 1x. I would have loved a greater size range, but that can be solved by using a different gauge. Because really? I must have these two sweaters. Must. Have. Them.

You can purchase the book at Annie's Attic.


14 February 2011

Monday's Musing

"All you need is love." - John Lennon

Happy Valentine's Day!


10 February 2011

clever title

Things are moving along while I'm getting ready for Stitches West. We have some fun in store for those of you coming! Meanwhile, I'll be teaching in Maryland at the end of the month, at the Indie Artist Celebration at Eleganza Yarns in Frederick. I'm so looking forward to it! If you're in the area (either place) please come by and see me! Also, in April, I'll be at Yarnover in Minneapolis. I'm not sure if there is any room left in my classes, but they did ask me if I could take more students and I gladly agreed! Hope to see you there. It's a really fun event, and Minnesota has no sales tax on yarn! :)

Meanwhile, back in my little corner of the world, the violets are blooming and it's lovely lovely lovely.
When we moved here, I planted three tiny plants and they've grown into a healthy patch. They're such pretty little things, aren't they? The rain is supposed to be back next week, so I'm enjoying the sun as much as possible!
In between making shawl pins and preparations, I've been winding up testing on Taygete. I've been testing my percentage system for re-sizing the shawl. And it's totally working!!! I'm so excited, I can't tell you! Here's the smaller version I'm working on right now.

My friend J from knitting group says that these are not colors that occur naturally.

I beg to differ. :)

I have definitely seen these colors in nature. Hee. At first I was thinking this might be a little much. But now? I'm loving it with the lace. I'll have it at Stitches and you can see for yourself. I may even be wearing it!

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07 February 2011

Monday's Musing

"What do you first do when you learn to swim? You make mistakes, do you not? And what happens? You make other mistakes, and when you have made all the mistakes you possibly can without drowning - and some of them many times over - what do you find? That you can swim? Well - life is just the same as learning to swim! Do not be afraid of making mistakes, for there is no other way of learning how to live!" - Alfred Adler

I'm off to make some mistakes. :) Have a great week everyone!


01 February 2011

...and so on, and so forth

First things first, eh?

A few people have expressed concern that the last of my
7 Small Shawls have not yet been released. To all of you waiting patiently, I wanted to let you know that I am, indeed, working on releasing everything, including the extra small patterns to be included in the eBook. I really am not writing this in a defensive mood, but sometimes it's difficult to write about things like this without sounding like one is, in fact, throwing out all sorts of excuses and defending one's self. So. If I do end up sounding defensive, please do forgive me and accept that it truly wasn't my intention.

First of all, I absolutely do understand people getting antsy. I can't say that I wouldn't be, were I in your position. And really, I am quite flattered that you all want to start knitting as soon as possible! I have loved the project and everyone's response to it, and I thank you all. That being said, I also want everyone to realize that this is a subscription and was a challenge to myself to design and knit ten shawls in 2010. I did not have the shawls designed before I offered the subscription and I tried to make it clear that I might, in fact, even fail in my attempt. In the end, I did succeed, and I think it was due in large part to your support! The whole thing was, and continues to be, a learning experience for me. One important thing I learned was that designing and knitting the shawls is, for me, the easy part. It actually takes more time to write a good pattern that people can follow and then to have that pattern checked and test knitted properly, than it does to design and knit the initial shawl. Surprising, isn't it? Because I have to admit, I still have difficulties reminding myself that a pattern isn't finished when I put the needles down.

Once in awhile, I run into problems, be they with a particular design or just in day to day life. This makes everything take longer. Even when things are taking longer than they ought, I do want you all to know that I work very very hard. I may not always work as smart as I could do, but I'm working on that too. Right now, I am having to learn to pace myself more, after a particularly difficult time. No - nothing horrible, but just basically what happens sometimes with kids, homeschooling, swimming, work and life. :) I know I'm sounding cryptic here, but often times things happen that I just am not at liberty to share, and also? I really hate making excuses. So in that vein, I'm going to stop here with this: I promise you all that I will have everything out to you as soon as I possibly can, and the patterns will be the highest quality that I can make them. I thank you all for hanging in there with me while I am working on finishing everything up, and I promise I won't start my next eBook until
this eBook is complete. My biggest resolutions this year? Not to say yes to everything, to schedule better, to take more time away from work, and to learn that I can't please everyone all at once all the time.

ok. If you have read this far, you really do deserve some yarn and pattern pr0n, don't you think? So let's start with the new pattern!
Released today to the general public, Sevillano was part of my 2010 Pins & Lace Club.
It's knit from the bottom tip to the top, and uses short rows at the top to shape the triangle.
It's named after a variety of olives that you often see growing in the wine country where I live.
I'm really fond of this pattern.
I love how the short rows are hidden in the pattern, and I adore the open mesh of the middle back.
It is very easily re-sized, and it includes both charts and written instructions.You can purchase it here for $8. I hope you enjoy it!!!

And now? The yarn! Yesterday, I began to wind that gorgeous String Theory yarn into a ball, and I must have put it on the swift the wrong away, because I have never had such a mess of yarn barf! After a couple of hours, I gave up and took it off the swift; I had this.
After watching "Princess Bride" (perfect for untangling) it was still not done. I finally finished it today on the way to the doctor (#1 Son sprained his ankle badly and he wanted the moral support of the whole family at the doc - he thought he had broken it; Dad and I were pretty sure he hadn't; he's ok now). I was utterly determined. I did ask Karen over at String Theory about the yarn, and she said it was a limited edition, but she thinks she can find her notes to dye some more up. I have my fingers crossed, because of course it has now become my obsession, but I don't want to make something out of it if you can't all find the same yarn!

Today was a little bit of a tough day with the kiddo, so I needed some nice yarn to fondle. You know what I mean? I pulled out the cashmere that Iris Schreier of Artyarns gave me at TNNA.
She was saying that knitting with it really spoils you for anything else, and I have to say that even petting it has spoiled me! I got two skeins of laceweight - the dark reddish black and the soft golden yellow. I thought when I picked it up that the green was a laceweight but it turned out to be a 5 ply yarn that is not twisted together.
Of course I had to have it. And at 100 yards, it's just about right for a sweet little neck warmer or wristlets. A perfect little green bonbon of a project. Then I had to try the cashmere sock yarn. Look at the interesting texture in it!
These are little areas of superwash merino to keep the cashmere from felting. Isn't that amazing?! I love the look it gives the yarn.
After petting, I started winding. Lo and behold. All the yarns I wound were green. I'm not sure how I do this without realizing it, but I always seem to surprise myself with the green love. In the first picture I took, manual focus was on accidentally (I'm a pointer and shooter), but it looked so cool that I thought I'd put it out there anyway!
The second and third were more to the point.
In this one you can see how the 5 plies of that cashmere stick together (top ball is cashmere; the bottom is the tamed String Theory yarn).
I can hardly wait to try it! Off to swatch. :)

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