27 July 2007

All Eye Candy, All the Time

Today's episode is brought to you by Lanaknits.

Just look at those colors! They are even better in person. Mmmmm...mmm good. :)

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25 July 2007

Popping in for a Moment

More delectable goodies have been coming my way for the book. Here's a little sample of what's in my studio.

Yes, I am drooling! Today I received packages from Cascade and Rowan, including color cards (my favorite!). Can I just say that Rowan has some gorgeous treats in store for fall? Mmmmmmmmmmm.

Back to work on my big fat deadline!


23 July 2007

Wild About Harry

Well, not much happened here this past weekend, because a little package came:

So, of course, my husband and I had to take turns reading to each other (and #1 Son - Dr. Destructo wasn't interested) until we had finished it. We are both huge Harry Potter fans. Now we can go back and digest it more slowly.

No spoilers. All I will say is that it was a very satisfying book. I think it is one of her best.

The rest of my week is wild and crazy. I may not see y'all for a little while!

But to answer Susan's question about why I was getting dyed top for my book when it is about beads....there's felted stuff in there, too! Woo!

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19 July 2007

Friday Eye Candy

Today was a Good Mail Day. A little square box arrived. And I saw it was from Mielke's Fiber Arts: the aptly named Bag of Candy! I thought it looked awfully small. And then I opened it.

WOW! Goodies for my book. :)

Look at those colors!

The Star Trek geek in me thinks they look like punk tribbles.


Who would have thought so much could fit in such a small box?

I think I'll go fondle it now. :)

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17 July 2007

A Little Randomness

Thank you all so much for your kind kudos! I passed them all on to #1 Son who is flying even higher, if that can be possible!

Not much interesting going on here today (that I can show you)! So I'll answer a few questions and make a few comments.

NH Knitting Mama asked "How is the book coming along?" Great! Thanks for asking! I totally love Interweave, and my editor is absolutely wonderful! I can't say enough about how great it is to work with her. All of the projects and colorways have been chosen and approved and I am working/knitting on the first section. I love doing these projects because they are fairly small and instant gratification and it really feels like I'm playing (except that I write it all down very very carefully)!

Kat commented that Dr. Destructo must be very good at hiding his alter ego. Yes and no. He is so blasted cute about destroying things that I find it very difficult to punish him. :sigh:

Susan asked if part of the Mystery Stole mystery was whether it was a stole or shawl. No - we all knew it was a stole. There were several Mystery Shawls, as well, but by woman named Renee. I don't know which came first. Renee has some really really gorgeous patterns though. You should check out her shawls! (I have no affiliation rather than having drooled at her site).

Valerie asked of Glad "where did that pattern come from? It's too cute!" It's from Rowan Magazine 39, designed by Sarah Hatton. I'm having second thoughts about my yarn choice though. It shows every uneven stitch (and there are many). I might give it a little block in a few rows to see how it's really working.

And I've finally taken some time to play a bit on Ravelry. Oy. It is so cool. If you're on, stop by and "friend" me! My user name is Romi. And if you're not on, you soon will be!

I'll leave you with one of #1 Son's drawings.

Note the name of the ship. :sigh: I just love my kids. :)

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15 July 2007

Whew! Or How to Make the Weekend Fly By!

It was the weekend of The Martial Arts Tournament and The Rabbit Show. Saturday brought the tournament. I had originally thought it was rabbit show day, but it's a good thing that my husband has more of a brain these days than I or I would have been up a little too early on Saturday. As it was, we were up at 6:30ish to get over to the tournament early, because, as #1 Son says "you have to be early to be on time." Hee. :)

A couple of days before he went through his summer ritual of head shaving (his request). So all was in readiness. And ready he was. He calmed himself down and did the absolute best we'd ever seen him perform. Here is the champion, himself:

Still flying high after winning first in his division for Kata!

So...guess what time we were up Sunday for the drive to Watsonville to the Rabbit Show? 4:00 a.m. ::shudder:: But it's all a blur to me anyway. I didn't actually become coherent until later when we were on the road. :)

Dart the bunny took one second place and one third place. #1 Son looks very proud, yes?

Since we had the long drive (3 hours each way), I wanted to do a bit of car knitting, and I decided to do Glad (GladWrap!) shown here:

and another view here:

I love this thing! And I thought the acres of stockinette would be perfect for the car. I didn't want to use KSH (for once in my life! what's wrong with me?!) so I swatched some gorgeous baby alpaca lace that Lisa Souza custom dyed for me. Yummy color. Perfect gauge. But which side to choose? The stockinette:

or the reverse stockinette?

In the end, I decided to try to go for reversible. And to do that, I eliminated the side seams and cast on for the entire wrap:

And do you know what I learned this weekend?

1. Casting on 463 stitches in the car is a booger.
2. Knitting laceweight, even in plain stockinette, in the car is well nigh impossible.
3. If you are going to forget something on your road trip, make sure it isn't your younger son's toys.

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13 July 2007

Friday Eye Candy

Slipping in under the wire with some eye candy! (Hey! Its still Friday in California!) :g: New on my Designs by Romi site! Sterling Silver balls of yarn on rosewood sticks. I couldn't resist the artsy shot:

These were part of a big wholesale order. They're stuck in a ball of yarn; I thought it fitting! :)

I'm also restocking items and will have most of it up later on this evening! A few things will be photographed later on this weekend. Maybe. If I have time. This is the weekend of #1 Son's Martial Arts Tournament and Rabbit Show. I'm going to need a vacation when I get back! Meanwhile I am auditioning patterns for car knitting!

And some not so great news: postal rate increases and the reclassification of my outgoing mail (no longer considered envelopes) have more than doubled my expense in sending mail first class. Because of this, I will need to begin charging for shipping. But it's not all bad. I will only charge $2.50 flat fee for addresses in the US and Canada. Can you believe that it is now less expensive to ship a pin to Canada than to ship to a US address?! ::sigh:: Metals have also increased in price and, unlike last year, show no signs of heading back down. So my Elements Collection pins will also be going up a bit in price. All of this will happen August 1st, so you all have some time to get in there with the old prices and free shipping!

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12 July 2007

In Waiting

Here she is...my Mystery Stole 3 awaits the 3rd clue tomorrow morning:

The bead shot:

Since I am using US 7 needles, my stole when gently blocked is about 23 inches in width.

And late, as always, to the party, I will now extol the virtues of The Grumpy One. While helping Susan with her Odessa, I became so completely hooked that I had to knit one myself. Since it is to be used as a chemo cap, I made it half an inch deeper. It was knit in a mystery yarn that I am pretty sure is Lavold Silky Wool. And here, because I couldn't resist this adorable little face, is Dr. Destructo modeling the finished cap.

Later, I added an i-cord with beads threaded through the bottom row of yarn overs.

Without the beads on the crown, it just needed something, you know what I mean? Plus, the silk content of the yarn made me wonder if it would hold any kind of shape at all.

Thank you, Kathy, for a great and addictive pattern!

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10 July 2007

I'm Loving This!

Thank you all *so much* for the kind words! Really, all credit rightfully belongs to Melanie, the brain behind the gorgeous Mystery Stole!

And speaking of which, can I just tell you how much fun I'm having with this KAL? I usually don't do mysteries (except of the literary or BBC kind) or KALs, but this one really has me hooked. First of all, it's lovely, and I got to see others' first clue before I began, so I knew I liked (at the very least) part of it! ::g:: And then there's the fact that it's lace, which I totally love! Next, and this is a huge surprise to me actually, I love the fact that the clues are given out at intervals! I have the tendency to whip through lace so I can see what it looks like blocked. This one, though, I am savoring like a fine port. I can't go any faster. And that is making me happy. :)

Here's clue 1 completed:

Here you can see the beads more clearly:

And another bead shot where you can see them standing up a bit from the fabric:

A few people on the MS3 list were asking about reading charts, so in case this is helpful to anyone out there, here's a picture of my chart:

I follow a chart like this one (no repeats) by highlighting the lines that I have knitted. By doing this, I can see where I have been and where I am going. It helps me to keep the pattern in my mind's eye and to "read" the lace as it is knitted.

Now, everyone, go tell Becky that she really really needs a shawl. 'Cause she totally does. Hee.

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08 July 2007

Wherein the Black Beast is Tamed

Look! Tame mohair!

Gratuitous arty shot:

I'm using US size 7 needles so that the Mystery Stole pattern shows through the halo. The beads are also a bit larger than specified: size 6 instead of 8. And they are plummy purple. I love the way they look - like a glinting purple highlight on the black.

I finally started yesterday after a trip to the bead store (which is next door to the yarn store!). :)

I will save the real gloating until I have actually finished the Mystery Stole. No need to anger the Mohair Gods yet while they still have power over me.

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06 July 2007

Friday Eye Candy

Just slipping in under the wire for Eye Candy Friday!

Today I got some resin beads from Judy at Natural Touch.

They are super light weight and come in an amazing rainbow of incredibly gorgeous colors.

I stuck to the blues and greens though.

Judy is the best.

And just feast your eyes on these colors! Yum!

Tomorrow: a trip to the bead store for Mystery Stole beads! Woooooo! :)

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05 July 2007

Wherein a myth is tested

I decided to use some black laceweight mohair for the Mystery Stole (which I have yet to start, btw, because I don't have the right beads in my stash and because I was too busy yesterday relaxing - I like that word - to be bothered with it). The only problem was that I had already started another shawl with it. It was languishing because I had already knit that particular shawl (the stunning Diamond Fantasy Shawl by Sivia Harding) several times and it was difficult to convince myself that either any of my friends or I needed another one.

Perhaps, if you knit or crochet with mohair, you have heard as I have that freezing said mohair will make it easier to rip out? Time for a test!

First the freezing: since I couldn't get to it for some time, the shawl spent a few days in our freezer. When it emerged, I began to rip:

The first few rows ripped out fairly easily and I was feeling pretty pleased with myself. That was a big mistake! Obviously, I had angered the Mohair Gods with my plucky attitude, and they immediately decided to mess with me. I began to run into giant knots at the end of rows. But I carried on with the steadfast refusal to give in to my mohair. I was determined to win rip it out successfully! After some time, I was at this point:

...and, in the end, I had the main ball of mohair and two other smaller bits which I will save until the end of the stole, in hopes that I can avoid using them at all.

What did I learn? That freezing does nothing except make you feel like you have taken steps to ease your mohair frustrations. On the other hand, I do now have a few tips on ripping mohair. First and foremost, when you rip, place the piece on a table or other flat surface and hold it down with one hand right below the stitches to be ripped. Then, with the other hand, pull the stitches straight out away from the hand holding the knitting. Don't ever rip side to side. (serious knots will occur!) And don't get in a hurry! Take it slowly. If you come to balls of fuzz, pick them out with a straight pin until you can tell the difference between the ball of fuzz and the actual yarn strand.

So now to figure out the beads. I may have to take a little trip to the bead store. (oh no!) :)

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03 July 2007

Happy Birthday, USA

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

From the Declaration of Independence


01 July 2007


Our little Saturday knit group is getting not so little! And that makes me Very Happy. So here, for your viewing pleasure, is my report.

First up is Barbara, because she was new to our group, and also because she had the first clue for the Mystery Stole and I forgot mine. Here are her swatches, done with the Royale
Hare's (locals and those who have attended Stitches West may recognize the name) new laceweight alpaca:

Gorgeous, no? And my photo doesn't even begin to do the colors justice. Here she is knitting with the winner:

This is the vintage tool she was using to place the beads:

It is a simply infinitesimal hook. Absolutely tiny.

And speaking of tiny, I have been emailing back and forth with the Tiny Tyrant (isn't that a great name? I mean really!) and she sent an emissary to our little group because she couldn't be there herself. (I don't know why, something called a vacation. Does anyone know what that is?) Here's Taunya waving to prove she was there!

(Can't be too careful with someone called the Tiny Tyrant, right? I want to make sure she knows Taunya actually *did* make it. No telling what a Tiny Tyrant might do when crossed.)

Here's Dana wearing her newly finished sweater and smiling gamely about it even though it was about 80 (F) in the shop:

And Susan, who is working on one of the strips for that lap blanket I was talking about earlier:

It's actually a gorgeous purple. Really gorgeous. Again, the picture doesn't do it justice.

Lynn, who I am very proud to say I enabled into lace knitting ::evilgrin:: is working on a lovely stole/scarf from Victorian Lace Today:

She finished an incredible baby alpaca stole which I will wait to show you until after it is blocked. It will be awhile, though, because she is in now in the throes of organizing the Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic (it is sooooo cool!).

Here's Kathleen working on a Jaywalker with some completely delicious sock yarn from the Sock Pixie (I am linking to her blog instead of her shop because she has some great free patterns there):

And hiding behind her new t-shirt:

She established a non profit to benefit hearing impaired kids in Sonoma County and is making cards with completely adorable little dinky socks.

And Carol is holding a pretty sweater she is making:

I think it is from a Knitter's, but now I don't remember which one! Carol always comes up with cool pattern/yarn combinations that I never would have imagined - and they always look great on her!

And then there's Laura (owner of A Good Yarn), who is taking a picture of me taking a picture of her. Hee.

In other news (and I think I left this for last because I am blown away and blushing!) Terri, of Selbuvotter fame, nominated me as a Rockin' Girl Blogger! ::blush::

Thank you, Terri! You totally rock! (me, I'm not so sure, but I am very grateful and touched, nonetheless) :)

Now I'm supposed to pass it on to a bunch of other bloggers, but you know what? I started to narrow down a list of blogs and it became quite the daunting task. So I'm only going to pass it on to one blog, because The Rainey Sisters,
my nomination, are so completely awe-inspiring (and because Susan would kick my butt if I nominated the others I know she is going to nominate). In the end, after messing around with my little lists for awhile, I came to the conclusion that all the bloggers I read rock, and that's why I read them! (duh!) ;)

Be well!

**Other People's Knitting.