29 June 2011

All the pretty yarnz

When I posted the cover for my new eBook subscription the other day, several of you asked about the yarnz pictured. So I've put together a list of all the pretties! As I told a few of you: the fact that these yarns are on the cover does not necessarily mean they will be used in the book. I am playing with other yarns too. Hee. :)
1. Sunshine Yarns, Classic Sock, Everlast
2. Sunshine Yarns, Classic Sock, Ever After
3. Pigeonroof Studios, Super Sock, Poison
4. Alisha Goes Around, Stable of Horses DK, Seneca
5. Lorna's Laces, Solemate Sock, Manzanita
6. Alisha Goes Around, Richness of Martens Fingering, Rustic
7. Ripples Crafts, Merino/Silk Fingering, Au (Pale)
8. Alisha Goes Around, Tittering of Magpies Fingering, Persimmon
9. Miss Babs, Yummy Sock, Terra Cotta
10. Abstract Fiber, Mighty Sock, Gold
11. Saffron Dyeworks, Enya Sock, Harvest
12. Alpacas of Windswept Farm, Alpaca/Bamboo
13. Spirit Trail Fiberworks, Orihime Fingering, Eternity
14. Pigeonroof Studios, Super Sock, Dolma
15. Saffron Dyeworks, Enya Sock, Angel Island

I'm working on the first muse using the Sunshine Yarns, which look incredible in the skein but are even better when knit up. Wow!
Gorgeous stitch definition.
Incredible color.
Yummy texture.

I am enjoying this so much that I never want to stop knitting this one! And I love these two colorways together. Soooooooooooooo gorgeous.

Reminder: For those of you who subscribed to my first year of 7 Small Shawls, you will find a coupon code in the last update email and also on the last page of that completed eBook. The coupon, for $4 off the second year, is good through the end of June 2011. Which is now here! I hope you will join me. :) (PS: It doesn't work for some people; if you are one of them, just write to me and I will refund the $4!)


27 June 2011

Monday's Musing

"Intuition is the clear conception of the whole at once." - Johann Kaspar Lavater

I love this quote. It gave me ample food for thought. I don't think it had ever occurred to me before that, when designing, I always follow intuition; everything flows. But in my life, I have always made decisions by following a rational chain of events to their conclusion, like a geometric proof. I have worked really very hard on allowing my intuition a place in making day-to-day decisions and life decisions. It's a strange dichotomy. I have actually tried designing before using rules (like the rule of thirds) only, and I don't like it. I have to "see" a design and it needs to "sing" to me. Because of this, I often think I can't explain my process. In fact, it is extremely difficult for me to put my process into words that would allow someone to understand and follow it. On the other hand, my rational side controls my life outside of design. I have had to work very hard to let my intuition shine through a little, but I do continue to work at it because my first strong impressions are generally correct. Right now, my reasonable/rational side is celebrating having found the above quote and a quantifiable reason to allow intuition a place in decision-making. What about you? Are you intuition driven?

We are back from the 3 day swim meet (actually, make that two swim meets; we went to one Friday/Sunday and another on Saturday). Whew. We are recovering well, though! Sunday was such a nice little relaxing meet: kind of like a family picnic with swimming. I think we all needed that!

Have a fabulous week, everyone!


24 June 2011

To start with...

Wow. I am getting to posting this late. I do apologize for that, but I hope you will understand. After I returned form TNNA a week ago Monday night, I was home Tuesday and Wednesday before taking off Thursday morning for an out of state swim meet in Nevada. It didn't give me a lot of extra time to catch up, I'm afraid! I have all sorts of blog fodder, but I'm going to start here with some baby steps. :)

So.... On to my TNNA trip! It was my first time to the Columbus show and I flew into Canton, OH to drive in with Anne Hanson, who, in my opinion, is completely and utterly wonderful. I so enjoy spending time with her! I spent the night at Anne's and then, the next day we took off, with Anne's incredibly cool friend (and now assistant) Beckie driving. We had a great running joke that weekend, btw, since Beckie's name tag said Becie and people kept asking her about the spelling of her name. We all decided that it was her alter ego, and, as "BC", she could pretty much do whatever she wanted. :)

After the drive in, we met up with Paul and Kristi from Eleganza Yarns for dinner. Anne and I have both taught at their Indie Artist Celebration, and they are fabulous people! After dinner, we headed over to the Hyatt lobby, where much knitting and fun was happening. You have probably seen Alisha's (from Alisha Goes Around) knitted polar bear? Here she is finishing it up before the floor show opened the next day, while Sarah and Mary-Heather from Ravelry finished up the crocheted bunting for their booth.
I have to say that it was the most creative use of a taxidermy head that I've ever seen! Brilliant.

Here's Ysolda-Bear taking a little break. I almost fell over laughing when I saw that tongue sticking out.
The next day brought all sorts of wandering about the show floor. We stopped by Lorna's Laces to say hello and I got this gorgeous skein of sock yarn made with Outlast.
I want to know if it will control temperature as a shawl! We shall see. :)

Since we work from home without a lot of contact within the business, it was time to meet and greet and say hello to friends we are only able to see once or twice a year. Here's Vicki Stiefel, who is a dear dear friend, and who lives in California - Southern California - and who I never see except at TNNA.
She's wearing my small Taygete. What you don't see is that Norah Gaughan was sitting beside her and actually had arranged the shawl around Vicki's neck. Vicki asked me to snap a pic so she could see what it looked like. But did it occur to me to snap Norah as well? While sitting at a table eating lunch with her? (Well watching her eat - I had already eaten but wasn't about to miss this!) No. Of course I didn't! I was utterly overwhelmed by sitting so near such greatness. :sigh: It was a wonder I wasn't completely gibbering, so I thank the powers-that-be for small favors.

We wandered on and saw the finished polar bear looking natty in its nice blue scarf.
And Alisha gave us boxes and told us to fill them! I was tying to keep it to a minimum so I could get it all in my luggage, but I did walk away with some beauties! Just look at this mauve!
I was in a bit of a red mood that day, I guess, but Alisha does incredible reds!
And just look at this dark purple!
We stopped by Kollage Yarns (I used their Milky Whey yarn on my Taygete's Spring Ascot pattern - YUM) where I picked up some Creamy
and some new Riveting worsted weight (made from recycled jeans).
I met tons of people I had never met before, but did I snap pics of them? No! My head was not totally in the game, to put it kindly. I met Hannah Fettig, Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark, Angela Tong, Cecily Glowik MacDonald, and Bonne-Marie Burns, to name a few. (I also had long and interesting conversations with Teva Durham and Clara Parkes while I was there. It was a very inspiring show.)

Saturday evening, we headed over to a social media presentation with the Ravelry and XRX peeps, plus Gwen Bortner and a hilariously funny and talented cross stitcher whose name I have, by now, completely forgotten. Here's Kimberly Reynolds speaking while Benjamin Levisay, Gwen Bortner, Sarah Bible and Mary-Heather Cogar look on.
I thought it was appropriate to tweet it while listening, since we were, of course, listening to a talk about social media. Hee. It was a great talk, btw, and I know I walked away from that presentation having learned a lot.

Off to dinner went we. The convention center is in a bit of a gourmet ghetto of fabulous food. Laura Nelkin was pulling up reviews as we walked by places, and we were all taking turns asking if they had room for all of us. Nope! So we chose our favorite place (Lemongrass) and waited there. We might have been a little silly. Anne and I were snapping dueling pics of one another.
Laura and Sarah (Ysolda's super fabulous assistant) were deep in conversation.
It was totally worth the wait. Just look at that beautiful crunchy almond roll! Clara Parkes recommended it and it was delicious!
It was late when we finished and we hoped to get a little Jeni's Ice Cream, since Beckie and I had never had it. But the line was around the corner and we couldn't face it. Jeni's would have to wait!

Sunday morning, Anne had a trunk show at the Ravelry booth.
I, admittedly, slept in a bit. And then I wandered the show floor and came across this hilarious and wonderful display.
Isn't that cute?!

I took the requisite picture of Rick Mondragon's fabulous shoes (these are completely beaded).
I found Takako struggling to remove a safety pin from her lovely sweater, so I gave her a shawl pin. She turned around and told me to pick a skein of yarn. So I did!
This is her Bamboo lace weight. I love this grey!

I found a booth completely full of felt balls.
Now I just want to trim everything with felt balls! Someone please stop me.

I finally met Roxanne from Zen Yarn Garden and look at the perfect green yarn she gave me!
It wasn't named, so she's calling it "Romi's Garden." Is that not absolutely and completely cool?!

I stopped by Buffalo Gold and picked up a fun little skein of tencel and buffalo. In my favorite color too. :)
And then? Then Anne, Beckie and I decided to indulge. Big time. We had Jeni's Ice Cream and a Belgian waffle apiece for lunch. By the time I remembered to take a picture, this was all that was left.
I had always been skeptical about Jeni's, since it seemed to be so popular to find her ice cream incredible. But really? This was one of those times that the hype was absolutely totally and completely deserved. Wow. That's all I can really say. That and, while driving back to Canton that evening, I bought Jeni's new book on amazon.com.

We finished lunch and headed back to see a couple of other people at the show before leaving. We expected to be on the road fairly quickly, but when the announcement came that the show floor was closing, we were still talking to Iris Schreier in the ArtYarns booth. Oops. But her love of quality yarn and fiber is absolutely captivating! I have some samples from her to swatch.
And also some of her incredible Silk Pearl.
Neither Anne nor I could believe how beautifully it holds up to petting and being shown over and over. Her display pieces were still perfect, with not a bit of fuzz on them.

And off we went, back to Canton. I stayed the night with Anne and we petted her incredible yarn stash (not pictured here to protect the innocent). And that's that! I was off the next day back to California. Whew. It was a fabulous time; I just wish it happened more often. Though I don't know that my boys would be all that happy if it did. ;)


20 June 2011

Monday's Musing: Better Late than Never Edition

"Make the most of every situation, even -especially- if you are utterly miserable to be there." - moi (in Mom persona)

This past weekend was, erm, challenging, from a pre-teen angst point of view. But I'm happy to say we all survived. Some of us even flourished. :)

Have a great week!


19 June 2011

baked crunchy and draggin' my wagon

In other words: knackered after a three day swim meet. But I did get a little swatching action happening. (Pardon the iPhone photo please!)

I was having some fun with it. Unfortunately, this was one of those times when I couldn't get very much done in actual knitting and charting. It was more of a thinking through things kinda weekend. But I do have a cast-on plan and chart for the
First Muse. And I can't wait to cast on a little bit later. Woot!

More soon. Happy Father's Day!!!

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16 June 2011

Running as fast as I can

And still not quite making it to post here! I had such good intentions. I am doing the swim mom thing at the moment, but I promise to have a recap of TNNA and a little more info on 7 Small Shawls, Year Two: The Muses, my new eBook subscription! What do you think of the cover?
Don't you just want to jump into that yarn, throw it in the air, fill a bath tub with it and dive in? I do. :)

If you ordered the first eBook, you will find a coupon code for year two on the very past page. Good through the end of June for $4 off. Enjoy! I'll be back writing as soon as I can.


13 June 2011

Monday's Musing

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

Blogging from the Canton OH airport today! I know. TNNA is in Columbus, isn't it? But I spent a little time with the fabulous Anne Hanson. Did I mention she's fabulous? Well. She is. :)

More about my trip later! Have a great Monday everyone!


07 June 2011


(Heh. I began this post 2 days ago! I'm finally having a moment to finish it on the airporter going to SFO. On the way to TNNA! Yay for WiFi!)

I am feeling decidedly decadent. My last small project for the eBook is being tested and I am so excited! It is knit from the most incredibly soft yarn ever. OMG. When I met Iris Schreier of ArtYarns at TNNA Long Beach, I had no idea she would rock my world! But she, or rather her cashmere sock yarn, did. I can't even begin to tell you how soft this stuff is. It is a dream to work with and even better after it's been washed. Now it smells good too. It's my new blankie. :)

So. Wanna see?! Here is a sneak peek at the Merope cowl.
Up until yesterday, it was still cold enough to wear it!
It is the softest thing I have ever owned. It's perfectly decadent for that little extra warmth under a jacket.
I've been working on a second one along with my wonderful test knitters. This one is in Road to China Light. It has almost exactly the same yardage per gram, but is a thinner yarn. That's because most of this yarn is alpaca, which is a heavier fiber than cashmere. This is a lovely yarn as well. And, as you can see in the picture, we finally have sun! This makes me Very Happy. I was worried that we were getting too late a start on building an ark.
And speaking of eBooks....

I am planning a new eBook subscription! This past year was so much fun that I'm doing another. :) It will be available for purchase on June 15th. And even better? Those of you who purchased the 7 Small Shawls eBook will get a coupon in your next update (the one with the Merope Cowl and Taygete's Spring Ascot) good for $4 off the new subscription through the end of June.

Since last year's theme was the Pleiades sisters, I decided to keep going along in that same vein. So this year? It's the muses! There are nine muses, and I want to do another 7 Small Shawls in this eBook (because I'm going for designing and knitting 11 in 2011), so seven muses will get small shawls and the other two will get accessories. As in this past subscription, there will be three accessory patterns extra in the book, but unlike last year, they will also be sold separately. All of my designing and knitting will be finished in 2011. When you purchase the eBook subscription, you will receive all of the patterns by June 15, 2012. Some will come to you in 2011, but not all.

I announced my news the other day on my Ravelry group and was so super excited at the great response that I was walking on air! So of course, I promptly pulled out bags of yarn to sort through for the projects.
Yummy, isn't it? I think these two lovelies from Sunshine Yarns may be the first muse.
Yep, a two color project! Of course, as soon as I had decided the yarns, I had a Very Good Mail Day.
Didi from Little Red Bicycle sent me some absolutely gorgeous goodies. Oooooooh precioussssssssssss.
I know that one or two of those are going to end up in the new eBook!

Well, that's it for now! I am off for TNNA in Columbus with a stop at Anne Hanson's. She has promised me fresh strawberry shortcake. As if it wasn't already wonderful enough to get to spend time with her! I am so lucky. :)

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06 June 2011

Monday's Musing

In honor of the June 6th birthday of the 14th Dalai Lama:

“If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another." - Tenzin Gyatso

Have a fabulous week, everyone!