30 March 2011

knit knit knit; test test test

First of all, I think a little sneak peek is in order, don't you?
Are you getting excited?
How about now?
I am loving how reversible the Sakaki pattern is!
And how nicely it drapes using the lovely Sunna yarn from Spirit Trail (Acadia colorway).
And now, just to make it as irresistible as possible (because I so want to maximize the funds going for Japan support!), I'm doing a red version.
And what a red!!! Alisha (who has a new etsy shop with lots of goodies!) gave this skein (On the Vine colorway) to me at TNNA, and it is sublime! A perfect ripe tomato red.
No leaves on this one, but plenty of beads.
I found some hexagonal bronze seed beads and they look amazing with the red.
I'm really enjoying the knit in the evening while watching my latest acquisition: the full Deep Space 9 series. (squeeeee!)

All should be tested and ready soon. :)

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28 March 2011

Monday's Musing

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” - Buddha

Have a great week, everyone! Share a smile with someone.

Breaking news: I just unpinned my blocked Sakaki shawlette and am in the midst of readying the pattern for my fastest test knitters!


25 March 2011

knit knit knit knit knit

I am knitting furiously away as I try to get my Japan aid shawl finished, written up, tested and released. And I'm enjoying every moment of it. The yarn is lovely; it's Sunna from Spirit Trail Fiberworks in a gorgeous deep green colorway called Acadia. Jennifer sent me a delectable, sumptuous incredible care package, and this one was included. And when I'm disturbed - and who among us is not disturbed at the news from Japan? - I always reach for green.

It calms and soothes me, and always makes me feel better.
This shawl is named Sakaki, after a scared sacred (sigh - thanks to the commenter who mentioned my hilarious typo!) tree of the Shinto religion. I wanted to make sure that I wasn't dishonoring the tree by naming a shawl after it, so I asked a dear friend from high school, whose mother is Japanese, if she could set me straight. She asked her mother and the verdict was a good one; the name would have nothing but good connotations used in this way.

So Sakaki, the shawl, became a tribute to the Japanese people and their incredible spirit. The pattern will be sold to benefit the relief effort in Japan (much like Brandywine for Haiti).

It is knit side to side, and features a small branch of Sakaki leaves up the spine.
The edging creates a ruffle.
But best of all....
One of my very very favorite parts of this shawl is that it is completely reversible.
Mr. Romi likes the first side best. And I like this side the best.
But we agree that they are both quite nice.
I am knitting away to finish this one as quickly as I can, but there will also be a plain (no leaves) beaded version. In red. :)

I will share the legend of the Sakaki tree with you soon. Back to knitting knitting knitting!

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21 March 2011

Monday's Musing

"Think globally; act locally." - unknown (because everyone has said it, haven't they?!) :)

I've been catching up on everything and with the little bit of time I've managed to put aside, I'm working on a shawl pattern to sell for Japan relief. I've asked a friend who lives in Tokyo to help me name it. She's made it here to the US with her kids, thank the FSM, but her husband is still in Tokyo.

Meanwhile, the fabulous Janel Laidman has a new shawl pattern out, Eiki (strength):
Eikipdfand, through April 30, she is donating all proceeds from sales to the Japanese Red Cross. Go Janel!

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

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14 March 2011

Monday's Musing

“Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.” - Voltaire

Have a wonderful week, everyone, moving forward....


11 March 2011

Back again!

I'm back! See? I told you I would blog again today! :)

So...onward after part one! After I taught my morning class, I headed over to the Indie Artist Celebration to see what Kristi and Paul had cooked up for the market! It was in a great space right across the street from Eleganza.
There was live music.
Lots of yarn.
Some super funky and cool alpaca roving wound around baling twine for rugs (from Angel's Kiss Yarn).
More yumminess.
Gorgeous roving from Wild Hare Fibers.
And more loveliness from Angel's Kiss.
Then it was off to do a trunk show! As I put my samples out and talked with people, Brandy hung out and worked on her Taygete. Aren't those colors gorgeous?! I'm hoping she blocks it soon, because I must see it on her!
Later, we all went out to an Ethiopian dinner. Here's Kim Dolce, who I first met on the floor at the celebration. (A friend of mine chose one of her designs for a first sweater, and I was excited to tell her I met the designer!) Can I just add that she is a fellow Dr Martens fan? Yes!
I knew it was time for me to leave when I woke up and it was raining. It's become sort of a tradition for me - travel days are always rainy! And this one had a tornado watch. I was a little nervous until everyone told me that nothing had actually been sighted. Whew.
I packed up my stuff, including this stunning skein of yarn from Alpacas of Windswept Farm. Isn't it absolutely gorgeous?! They had some lovely purple, as well, but I restrained myself.
And Kristi gave me two gorgeous skeins of her Shalimar Yarn for a shawl. Yes - I'm thinking of two colors! Mmmmmmmm.
When she drove me to the airport, Kristi told me that the yarn is named for her horse, who was a rescue animal. It's an amazing story, and I think I'm going to bug her until she puts it up on her site! Then I can link to it. ;) She's also got an adorable Chincoteague Pony that you can see on her blog here.

Then it was just sitting on the plane. And sitting. And sitting. I got a lot of knitting done!
Yes - that's Sevillano! I'm knitting it in Schaefer's Audrey. But it's going to be a smallish shawl/scarf. I was inspired by Diane at Stitches West who loved Sevillano, but doesn't want a shawl. She asked about making a scarf by omitting the mesh middle section. I was intrigued. So I started one. And I can't wait to see how it turns out! If I like it (and I think I will) there will be a pattern. :)

Speaking of patterns, I just finished a secret one. And there are two more secrets in store! I can't wait to show you.

And with that, I'm off to bed. See you all later!

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10 March 2011

tap tap tap

Is this thing on? I can't believe how long it's been since I've written!

I guess I should start at the beginning, eh? When I returned from Stitches West, I had four days to get ready to fly off to Maryland and the Indie Artist Celebration at
Eleganza Yarns in Frederick. I was the featured artist. How cool is that?! I felt very very honored.

The four days were and whirlwind and off to Maryland I went! By way of Charlotte. I know! It was a long day of traveling. (But isn't this row of rocking chairs at the Charlotte airport fabulous?)
The trip, though long, was absolutely worth it. Look at this adorable little shop!

Paul, who owns Eleganza Yarns with Kristi, told me that a family used to live here, and that their ancestors come back and visit as part of a family reunion. It's a log cabin! Now, being a Californian who did not grow up around this type of history, I was completely taken by the story. The history in Frederick is just awe inspiring to me, and I was lucky that Paul is a history buff and was able to tell me all sorts of little factoids while driving around. So cool.

Here's Kristi, sorting patterns.

She doesn't like to have her picture taken, so I had to catch her unawares. (She said it was ok, though!) Isn't her hair gorgeous? I've always envied red heads.

I had two days of classes, but I only took pictures the first day in my Shapely Shawls class. I plead brain death. But I did get some good pics. Here is Brandy, who is one of the moderators on my
Ravelry forum. She's wearing Sevillano and that's Elektra and Celaeno on her chair.
She is completely and totally awesome. I just wanted to get that on record. And, apparently, so is her boyfriend. He baked these cookies for me! And they're my very very favorite: oatmeal/chocolate chip. Let's just say that, although I knew Brandy was fabulous, I did not know the extent of her fabulosity.

Here's Brandy with Cindy from my forum. Note the gorgeous
Brandywine that Cindy is sporting! I got to knit a row on Cindy's Rayonnant sweater. Is that not cool?!

And while we're talking about Brandywine...today's donation brings me to $17,000 total donated to Doctors without Borders! Thank you knitters!!!

Here's a snap of everyone concentrating. (I've only given names where I am pretty sure people don't mind having them splashed around on my blog - from here on out, name tags are blurred if need be and names are not mentioned.)

Note the lovely Celaeno! It's so much fun seeing these in person after admiring them on Ravelry!

My class was filled with wonderful and friendly people.

I loved the way people were helping each other and we all had a great dialogue going on. I think this is my favorite class to teach! I so enjoy the different shapes that are possible with shawls; it's one of the most interesting things about designing them.

Tomorrow: pics of the yarnz and the celebration! (I really do mean it; I'm going to blog tomorrow too!) :)

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07 March 2011

Monday's Musing

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in, forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day, you shall begin it well and serenely...” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is kismet that led me to this particular quote today! Over the past weekend, I was at the boys' swim meet. Since they both had been sick, they didn't do as well as they wanted and there was much upset-ness. I kept saying "remember what you thought you did well; think about what you didn't like only as far as it helps you do better the next time; forget the rest and move on; it's all in the past now; stand up tall and proud like a champion no matter how well you think you did."

I should take my own advice more often. ;)

Many thanks for all the get well wishes! I am feeling much much better, albeit a little tired still. I think it was all the nice messages that helped me get over it so quickly! Have an absolutely fabulous week, everyone!


03 March 2011


Yep. That's me. Caught by the creeping crud the kids had. I know I've promised you travel pictures and I won't forget! But right now I'm not much good for anything except bed. And that's where I'm going.



01 March 2011

Monday's Musing - better late than never edition

“Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.” - Buddha

Sorry I'm late! Yesterday I was traveling back home from the fabulous Indie Artist Celebration in Frederick, Maryland (hosted by
Eleganza Yarns) and since I live out in the middle of nowhere, it took basically the whole day! I kinda forgot it was Monday. Oops. :/

Have a fabulous week, everyone! More on my travels tomorrow!