26 September 2006


Sometimes I can't see ideas in anything, no matter how profound or beautiful. Sometimes every little thing inspires me. This has been one of those times. The other day, Alison asked me when I was going to make a treble clef pin. Duh! Why didn't I think of that?! I was a musician most of my life, even going to a conservatory and majoring in performance. Thank you for inspiring me, Alison. And here it is, just for you:

Another inspiration has been the amazingly talented Miriam. After I finished Icarus (shawl cheesecake pics to follow next episode), I was looking at her gorgeous shawl patterns the other day and it hit me. Boom. The Mountain Peaks pin:

And then, of course, there have been requests for a sheep pin. I know everyone does sheep pins, but I do think he's pretty cute. Here's my fluffy little ram. Doesn't he look like he wants to go home with you? *g*

These are all up on my website already and available in both sterling and copper.

And with that, I'll just give a big thank you to everyone who has made me feel so welcome in the blogosphere. You guys are the best!

See you soon!


20 September 2006

Fuzzy stuff

Hello, my name is Rosemary and I am an addict. I'm talking about the good stuff. Affectionately known to my fellow addicts and me as Kracksilk Haze. Once you try it, you will never go back to knitting with plain mohair and nylon. It only takes once and you're hooked, baby! And this woman is dangerous. Beware! She'll suck you in before you know it!

During my last bender, I finished Birch in "blushes" KSH, knit for a friend in need of a big hug. Here's the gratuitous cheesecake shot:

*happy sigh*

Now I want to draw your attention to the size of the above shawl as opposed to the size of my first Birch (in "majestic"):

Um. It might be a little bigger. Perhaps even a good foot or more. Gauge problem, ya think? Yikes! The blushes shawl took four balls, the majestic, only three. It's just as well. My friend is almost six feet. Perhaps it was my subconscious talking.

I blocked her shawl the night before I was to have lunch with her, left it to dry over night, and then took the pins and blocking wires out the next morning. I was going to give it to her unwrapped, but then I remembered a cool little article (perhaps it was in Knitty?), talking about how one should always wrap hand made gifts nicely so that people would appreciate them more. So I went foraging and found a nice bag. But no tissue paper. What to do what to do what to do?????? And then...inspiration! A sheet of gold paper lying about after mocking up a project:

became this:

Oooooh! Festive! as one of my local knitting buddies would say. *g* And here we have it:

And the funny thing is, when she saw the package, she gasped and said "you finished it!" She was all teary. She didn't care about the wrapping at all. She just loved the shawl. :)

Labels: ,

18 September 2006

A pin of a different kind

At the beginning of this year, right before Stitches West, I did a little project with a woman who has the most amazing amount of energy I think I have ever seen. I don't know how she does it. Truly. I'm talking about Ann Rubin of Afghans for Afghans. She is incredibly cool and dedicated to her cause, and when you are around her, it is well nigh impossible not to end up caring every bit as much as she does.

Well, Ann needed a pin for a4A's Invest for Peace Campaign, and I was honored to do the artwork (a painting) for it, as well as preparing it for print. Here's what we ended up with:

(posing on Birch). The pins and magnets are going out to knitters and crocheters who have sent in vests to the campaign. There's also a tote bag here, that is yours for a $45 donation to Afghans for Afghans. Thank you, Ann, for letting me be a part of this! I hope that more knitters and crocheters will join in and make this an even bigger success. It feels good to give a little something back. :)

13 September 2006


I'm in Knitty! Well, my pins are - scroll down. Woooo! And did you see what a great issue it is? I think Amy has outdone herself!

And look here! My pins are at Schoolhouse Press! Woooooo all over again! This is so exciting; I am such a huge fan of Meg Swansen's! And I adore Cheryl Oberle. I'm feeling all gushy about it. :)

So onward to the no graft toe up sock cast-on tutorial (seen on a soap sack). :) I've also seen this called the figure 8 cast-on on the Wiseneedle site here. The first time I used it, on a top down hoodie, I had to fiddle a lot with it, but now it's getting easier. The whole idea of this cast-on is to keep from having to graft or seam the bottom of the tube you are knitting. Because of this, take special care not to twist any stitches. Twisted stitches will show up as little lumps when you tighten up the bottom.

To start, select two dpns that are larger gauge than those you will be using. The bottom will be quite loose, but it will be tightened up in the last step, and it is easier to begin with more play in the yarn. In the following pictures, I am using US 9s to start a soap sack that will be worked on US 6 dpns.

First, wrap the yarn around the needles thus:

until you have the number of loops that you wish to cast on. I am casting on 36 stitches here:

When you have the desired number of stitches, you will be starting to knit on the needle closest to you, using the needles sized for your project, and you will continue to knit around the needles and join the piece for working in the round. It's easiest if you move the needles so that the stitches are at the tip of the working needle and in the middle of the non working needle. In this picture, I am knitting the first stitch with the US 6s:

Continue knitting down the needle until you come to the end:

At this point, it is important to make sure that you still have enough loops on the other needle. When you get to the end, it is easy to lose that last loop! Now you will be turning the corner around the needles, just as though you are working in the round (which, really, you are).

Make sure you do not twist stitches! The stitches on this needle will lay opposite the ones on the first needle, so if you knitted into the front of the loops on the other side, you will now be knitting into the back, and vice versa.

Work down the entire row to the end (first picture) and then continue to knit around (second picture):

As you do more rows, you will be able to divide the stitches on four dpns (first picture). The second picture shows the soap sack after one lace repeat. The loose thread at the bottom:

will be snugged at the last:

And there you have it: the no graft toe (or soap sack bottom, as the case may be). :)

If you have questions, please let me know! It's so easy to show in person and so difficult online! And don't despair if it doesn't work the first time. It took me quite a few tries to get right, and, admittedly, was rather frustrating at first. But on the other hand, that's how I learned some tricks to it!

Tune in next time for a tutorial on the modified belly-button start shown in the Sept 4 entry. It's been requested and I can't refuse!


11 September 2006

Has it really been 5 years?

Remember the ordinary people, the heroes, their families and loved ones.

09 September 2006

The latest...

I know I said cast-on tutorial today, but I just wanna show everyone something else. Forgive me? Pretty please? It'll be next time, honest. :)

So...my husband the furniture maker/cabinetry guru has been bugging asking me to do drawings of his new line of furniture, and I've been putting it off, because I thought it was silly. Not his furniture, mind you: the idea that his furniture would look cool drawn by me. But you know what? He was totally right! Isn't this cute?

His new line is called SA Fusion (Shaker Asian Fusion) (tm) and has a really clean line to it. I think the illustrations suit it perfectly. He's a genius! And here's my new logo for the line:

Now back to the "drawing board" for all the other pieces!

Tune in next time for *drumroll* the no graft toe-up sock cast-on (used on a soap sack). :)

Almost forgot!
Check out this very cool video. Vanessa told me about it.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.


06 September 2006

Perfect Picots

First things first. Thank you all for the incredibly kind welcome I received! I tried to respond to everyone, but some people's email addresses are not on their comments, so here I am waving hello and thank you! Hi Carol in Napa! It's very cool "meeting" more knitters in the area. :)

Hope asked about the picot cast-off, so here we go! Using the knitted cast-on, cast on two stitches. You have now made three stitches from the first stitch. Knit the first stitch through the front:

Knit the next stitch through the back of the loop (twist the stitch) and cast off the first stitch. Knit the third stitch through the back of the loop (twisted) and cast off the second stitch. One stitch is left on your right needle.

Cast off two stitches and place the stitch back on left hand needle:

Repeat for perfect little picots!

In other news, I've been working on my lys's website. I just {heart} Laura, the owner, and Dana, her friend who works there. They are really wonderful, and I feel incredibly lucky to have them locally!

When we talked about her design, Laura wanted her logo to be prominent on the home page
and I wanted to make it look very "wine country" to fit in with the fancy digs they have now in Windsor. So this is what I came up with:

Of course, this is just the mock-up. It needs to be coded and the links made to work, but she loved it! Yay! When I went to talk to Laura yesterday, I also picked up a map of downtown Windsor in the local real estate sales office. Laura is in the middle of this amazing little European shopping village that was recently created: sort of a Disneyland for shoppers. But since it is so new, Mapquest doesn't have the streets listed yet. So of course I suggested a map, she agreed, and I will be creating one in my favorite program of all time, Adobe Illustrator.

Nancy J asked about a sheep pin in her comment, so one is in the works! I have the fish and cat up on my website now, and they are also available in sterling.

And Lisa's comment about Ram Wools reminded me of my great news! I'm in the new Ram Wools catalog. Woo! They have some of my other pins (Elements), as well, so hopefully they will make it into the next one!

Next episode, tune in for the no graft toe-up sock (or soap sack in this case) cast-on!

Labels: , ,

04 September 2006

Helloooooo out there!

Well, here I am. Finally jumping into the blogging fray. WooHoo!

It was a sobering day here today. One of those days that makes you realize that maybe, just maybe, you aren't as smart as you think you are. There we were at lunch. My husband and I sitting at the table with our sons, 7 and 3. I was trying to think of a name for my new blog. "It has to be hip, trendy and cool" says husband, "perhaps something with the name Rosemint (my graphic design and illustration studio)." Silly names ensue
d, ending with one of my terrible puns (it's a sickness; I can't help myself). Son #1 says more silly things. I try to explain why they aren't puns. Son #2 then says merry-go-round. I joke a little with him. Then he says "rosemary-go-round!" Ulp. I've been upstaged, outsmarted and out-punned by a three year old. A. Three. Year. Old.


I think I'll begin with some knitting content today
, since it *is* Labor Day and I'm really not supposed to be working, right? Hee. I just finished a lace washcloth. Now, I have never really wanted to knit washcloths. I buy them, along with my socks (another story). But I am now duly chastened and singing the praises of knitted washcloths. It was a great little project and I learned a new cast-off, which I love. But most importantly, I think it will be a really perfect project to work on for the beginning lace class I'll be teaching at my lys. The first time I taught this class, I used the Diamond Fantasy Shawl by Sivia Harding. I love this shawl, but I think it's just too much for a beginning lace class, as it isn't likely that anyone will finish by the end of a two session class. (duh) Live and learn, eh? These little washcloths are just the perfect lace swatch size, they are quick (if you are paying attention, which I, sadly, was not), and they are usable. Most excellent. :)

So here was my progress yesterday morning before I fell asleep with my eyes open while knitting:

You may notice the funky little thing in the center. That's a modified "belly button" start, by Rosemarie, modified (I crochet it instead of knit it) by moi. It is the best way to start circular lace that I have ever seen. Translation: it is easy to do the first time you try it. I am lazy, you see.

Here's what it looks like up close and personal:

After you have gotten several rows in, or when
you finish, you thread the tail of yarn through the stitches in the center thus:

cut the stitches of the "belly button":

and you have a hole in the center:

which you then pull closed:

And there you have it. :) This is cotton, so when I have woven in the ends, I will sew them down with some sewing thread and a sewing needle. I haven't found a way I like better to keep the ends from un-weaving themselves with use.

And now, behold the picot cast-off:

Is it not wonderful? I completely {heart} this cast-off.

Next entry: the cast-on for the soap sack. I need to get some purple thread to finish tacking down the ends on the washcloth before I block it.

So now I'm going to bend my own labor day rule and show a couple of new shawl and sweater pins:

They aren't up on my site yet, but they will be soon. And I'll also be having a one year anniversary sale soon. I still can't believe it's been that long!

And now for the burning question: shall I sell shawl pin kits?

Tune in tomorrow (or the next day) for the continuing saga!

Labels: ,