28 September 2011

This, that and the other

I have something embarrassing to admit. I have fallen out of love with Muse #2 and have put her aside for the moment while I work out her border again in my mind's eye. I need to love her again, and right now I'm not. Meanwhile, though, I have been working on Muse #3 and my sekrit project. I am nowhere close to being monogamous with my design projects these days, which is fairly unusual. Whereas I am not at all monogamous when I knit other designers' pieces, I rarely ever cheat on my own design. But there you go. I can't seem to do one thing at a time!

I'm also getting ready for the next Pins & Lace Club shipment. It might surprise you how much prep time goes into those! But I always have fun putting them together. :)

Also? I've gotten out some lovely mohair/silk from Habu. The color is one of my very very favorites.
A lovely mossy green. Yum. Wait until you see what I'm doing with it! :giggle:

Well, my Buttonwillow Wrap seems to have had a great time at Vogue Knitting Live, though it hasn't written lately. I did see a few pics of it hanging around the KnitCulture booth, though, and it's still visiting down there. KnitCulture plans to have Buttonwillow Kits up on their site Friday, by the way. So, if you are having a difficult time waiting, well...all I'm saying is...they'll be there for you. Meanwhile, since finishing my own Buttonwillow, I've missed knitting on it and I'm doing another out of some Mohair/Polwarth from Rovings, that I got at Yarnover in Minneapolis a couple of years ago. The color is stunnning.

Sort of a brilliant raspberry that is insanely difficult to capture on camera.
I've been trying to stretch it out a lot to see how the stitch definition is.
Not bad, eh? This is one of those yarns that needs to be blocked before it shows its full glory
But it is soft soft soft! I am going to love it around my shoulders this winter. :)

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26 September 2011

Monday's Musing

"Without dark, how would we ever see the light?" - Tuvok (Star Trek Yoyager)

Have a wonderful week, everyone!


24 September 2011

My shawl is traveling

...but I'm staying home!

Some months ago, Knit Culture Studio asked several designers if we wanted to debut a new design in their booth at Vogue Knitting Live in Los Angeles. Yes! What fun! So I designed the Buttonwillow Wrap, and then I had to keep quiet about it and not show anyone. That's always the most difficult part of what I do! But now that VKL is actually starting, I can show you all (even though I can't sell it online until October 11)!

Buttonwillow is knit in Road to China Light at a tighter gauge than I generally use for shawls.
The idea was to get the texture to pop. Usually my small shawls have some lace, but this one is all soft texture.
I think my favorite part is the spine. I love the little twist in there that keeps it interesting.
And there's the textured edging.
It is super easy to alter the size by changing the number of chart repeats.
So if you are at VKL this weekend, I hope you'll stop by the Knit Culture booth and see Buttonwillow in person! Now I'm off to my knitting group. I'll be working on my second Buttonwillow. :)


22 September 2011

Blog Tour: Contemporary Irish Knits

Last year (was it really only last year? it seems so long ago!), two of my local knitting friends flew off to spend time at the ill-fated UK Knitting Camp. Being them, they had a great time. (Honestly, I think they could have a great time shoveling manure.) They came back with all sorts of tales of the people they met and the fun they had. One of them mentioned meeting a designer from the area, who had been teaching at the camp. She said this designer reminded her a lot of me and that we would really hit it off. But she couldn't remember her name because she had met so many people that weekend!

Fast forward to TNNA in Columbus this year. We were all sitting around and knitting in the lobby of the hotel, and I was introduced to Carol Feller. She immediately said, "I met some of your friends!" Mystery solved. And after another 40 minutes, I realized my knit-buddies were absolutely right. Carol and I had a ton in common, and, barring jet lag, could have talked all night.

So, of course I needed to be a stop on her blog tour. Right?! (Check Carol's site for the other stops!)

Contemporary Irish Knits is great little book with something in it for everyone in the family, even the men! And since my family, in fact, consists of men, those were the knits that first drew my attention. It is almost unheard of that Mr. Romi would wear a sweater with any type of patterning on it. But I knew immediately that he would actually wear the two men's sweaters. Yay for Carol and her similarly male family! Our very favorite one is the aran hoodie: Straboy.
It's rugged and textured, with just the right amount of patterning and a generous sized hood.
I love that there is no ribbing or drawstring, and the hood flows out of the center textured panel.
It looks like a sweater you could wear day after day after day.
A favorite sweater for mucking around and then relaxing in front of the fire. I've almost convinced myself to knit it. Almost. Did I ever mention Mr. Romi played football in college? Yes. He's big.

Then there's the more dressy Knockmore, with just enough detail and stitch pattern to make it interesting to me from a knitting perspective and acceptable - even very much likable! - to Mr. Romi. Another winner.
I love the detail along the sides, under the sleeves.
It is elegant, understated, and classic.
I now know who to blame if I am unable to meet my other deadlines. Mr. Romi wants a sweater!

Thanks a lot, Carol! ;)

Photographs: © Joseph Feller


19 September 2011

Monday's Musing

"Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many." - Eric Hoffer

Amazing and thought-provoking guy. I always love reading Hoffer's quotes; they are a constant source of fuel for introspection.

Have a great week! I already need a nap. :yawn:


16 September 2011

It's in the Air

Have you noticed? Fall is here! My very very favorite time of year. Lovely blue skies, a hint of chill during sunny days, smells of dry grasses and dropping temperatures at night. And acorns.
They're such pretty little signs of autumn.

I can't get enough of fall colors now. There's the Persimmon yarn from Alisha that I absolutely had to hold, and once I picked it up I had to wind it and knit with it. I simply could not resist any longer. And I did try.
And the lovely skein of dk weight yarn that Wendee of Hazelknits sent me.
It's called Equinox.
Here's a more intimate view.
Sigh. Lovely!

The club sign-ups went well yesterday evening, and I hope you all were able to get the spot you wanted! The options including pins were sold out in the first 25 minutes or so, but there are still yarn/pattern options available on my site. If you didn't get what you wanted, do not fear! Sign-ups will open again October 15th when another 50 pins and 100 skeins of yarn will be available. This time, sign-ups will be in the morning (and I will announce the time). After those are sold out, I will open pattern only sales! I hope that you all will join me for club fun next year. :)

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14 September 2011

It's that time again!

The year has just flown by, hasn't it?! It's time again for Pins and Lace Club sign-ups! 2012. Can you believe it will be 2012 next year? Eep!

Well, this year, I am switching things up again. I know. It's a little different every year, but I've been in the process of learning what works best for everyone! I'm really excited about the latest iteration! It includes a pattern only option, and, for those of you with too many shawl pins, it also includes a yarn and pattern only option. :) In response to those of you who have had trouble getting to the computer on time due to work (really - work? It cuts into knitting time!), I am opening sign-ups in the evening this time and in the morning for the second period. Here's how it will work. There will be two sign up periods on my site beginning Thursday September 15 at 7 pm PST and another October 15 at a time to be determined. There will be 4 shipments of 100 shawl pins and 200 skeins of yarn available overall. (I had to limit the pins - I can only handle so much!) Half will go on sale in September and half in October. Those include a pattern, as well, of course. :) After all of those are sold, I will open pattern only club sales on Ravelry. Because of the different options and the need to plan in advance in ordering yarn, club sign-ups will be for the full year only - no half year options will be available. The 2012 patterns will all be delivered via Ravelry as an eBook - much like my subscriptions. Pattern only sales will close January 31, 2012. Clear as mud? Don't worry; if you don't quite get it ordered the way you want it, just write to me and we'll get it all sorted out! The idea is to make you happy, so no stress!

Note that this year, yarn weights will vary! It will not all be lace weight. For planning purposes, here are the options and prices! Please note that there will be a pattern fee of $20 added to your total in addition to the option price chosen below. The pattern only option will be priced at $40 for the year, and the patterns will not be released to the public until 2013. (There will be a fun little extra too, btw!) I will try to put up an option so that you are able to pay in two installments. If I fail (very possible!), I can do that by special arrangement. Just contact me!

Romi's Choice: $310
Each shipment includes yarn from a different indie dyer, a shawl pin (copper, sterling and 2 nickel for the year) and an original pattern.
Romi's Choice Fuzz-free: $330
Same as Romi's choice but targeted to those sensitive to animal fibers; this is not a vegan option, as silk will be included. Note that it may be impossible to match perfectly the weight of the Romi's Choice yarn option.

Pin and pattern only:
Romi's Choice of Metal: $150
Copper only: $135
Nickel only: $145
Sterling only: $200

Yarn and pattern only:
Romi's Choice - Yarn only: 4 shipments - $170
Romi's Choice Fuzz-free - Yarn only: 4 shipments - $190

Whichever option(s) you choose, please note that there will be a $20 pattern fee added to the total. Regular shipping to the US or Canada is included in prices. International shipping and priority mail shipping will cost extra.

Whew. I hope I've gotten everything. And I hope it all makes sense! If I am not making sense - it's a little late here, please let me know! And remember: you have another chance in October. :)


13 September 2011

Looking back

Before I get to reminiscing, look at the pretty yarnz that came in the mail today!
They're from String Theory, one of my very favorite dyers. Cookie A introduced them to me. Yum! They're for a fun little secret project that I hope you will love! We are also talking about a sweater's worth of yarny goodness for a Burnham Wood cardi. I think we have a winner here!

Onward. :) Today, as I was going through my stash - I like to pet and drool at intervals before choosing yarn for my next project - I came upon an old UFO. Not just any UFO, but a beaded shawl design in lace weight silk. I was about halfway through my Faroese-inspired Muir Triangle when I gave it up. It was unwieldy and the chart was different almost every row. Actually, looking back, I don't think any two rows - other than the purl rows - were the same. In this pre-charting software era of my designing, I had actually taped together sheets of graph paper into 20 x 30 size and written out the whole chart in pencil, not really considering how I was going to get the behemoth into pattern form for knitters!
At the time, I definitely wasn't anywhere near as experienced with lace knitting as I am now. My obsessive side stuck to a concrete plan of 4 increases every right side row for a triangle, no matter what the cost in chart misery. Now I can look back and laugh at myself. After having knit so much lace in the intervening time, I realize that lace is one of the most forgiving knitted fabrics. Two increases or 6 now and again, rather than 4 on every single right side row don't really make much of a difference after blocking. But for the ease of working the pattern? Rearranging increase rates on a chart can be the difference between pages and pages of charts that are difficult to memorize, and two or three charts that are repeated and so very memorable and simple to work. That's one of the big things I've learned over the past few years. Now when I design a pattern, I am constantly thinking of the ease of working it, and how it flows. That's why, even though this is a pretty pattern, I am going to rip it out. The yarn and beads are perfect, but the pattern? Not so much. I wouldn't perpetrate it on any of you poor unsuspecting lace knitters out there. At least not until it's been completely redesigned and rewritten. Yes, there will still be a Faroese-inspired Muir Triangle. But by the time it comes out, it will actually be enjoyable to knit!

Ooh! Before I forget - tomorrow I will be posting prices for 2012's Pins & Lace Club, and I will be opening the first round of sign-ups on the afternoon of September 15th. The options are changing and I think you'll like them! Stand by!!

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12 September 2011

Monday's Musing

"Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose.” - Tom Krause

Have a wonderful week, everyone! Be courageous. :)


07 September 2011

Credit where it's due

The other day, I collected a box from the post office, and then, in my hurry, I put it aside. Way led onto way and things were going kind of crazy. And I didn't open it until yesterday when I got back from a little road trip. And what do you think was there?! Jürgen, a very kind and generous spindler in my Ravelry forum had sent me a lovely little spindle!
Isn't it pretty? The wood is stunning.
It's absolutely perfect for lace weight spinning.
So of course I had to try it out with the little puff that came with it. What a joy! Thank you so much Jürgen! What a wonderful surprise.

There were a few packages waiting upon my return actually, including a fun little reprint that Franklin wrote about here. Here's the title page.
And the cover. Notice the problem?
Really?! I seriously doubt that Mr. George Cupples was a knitter. And I also really don't think that getting the author correct is too much to ask of the re-printer(s). Sharpie to the rescue.
I'm sure Mrs. George is resting easier now. :)

In other news, I recorded a very rough video the other day to assist people in my Ravelry forum with the Kleio braids. (btw, I have to show you what Jeanne posted the other day in the Ravelry forum:

Cute, eh? Woooooot!!)

I'll warn you ahead of time that this is not a production masterpiece, but it does get better as it goes along. And I think it might actually help those of you struggling with the braids.

I do still want to replace it with a better version, and I can't wait to show you the results of the cool video system Mr. Romi said he'd use on me!

And did I mention there's a little secret project to be debuted at KnitCulture's Vogue Knitting Live booth later this month? Here's their designer profile of me on the Knitculture blog. I'm looking forward to coming clean to you all and showing the pics. :)

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05 September 2011

Monday's Musing

“We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” - Albert Einstein

This one is inspired by Congress and the President, but it works in every day real life too. :->

Happy Labor Day and have a great week everyone!


02 September 2011

Speechless - in a good way

The other day, FedEx pulled up to the house with a completely unexpected package for me. And ever since, I've been trying to think of the words to express how incredibly touched I was, and still am.

A lot of you are on my Ravelry forum and know the fabulously kind, funny and friendly Jeanne, one of the moderators. (As an aside: we have the very very best moderators in the world. If they aren't in the Guinness Book, they should be.)

Jeanne decided that I needed my very own Live Oak Shawlette because I had to send mine away to Knitscene as a sample. She said she got the same yarn, but then decided that it was wrong for my coloring. (See what I mean by wonderful and kind!?) She then proceeded to dig out a special yarn that she had been saving (!), and, knowing how much I love green, she knit me a Live Oak shawl of my very own out of her special green yarn.
And looking at this lovely shawl made me realize something. This is the first time anyone has ever knit anything for me. And wow. It's an amazing feeling. :)
I am still speechless. Words tend to fail me at times like this, when I am overcome.
But I can say this: it is beautiful, and I will treasure it always and forever.

Thank you, Jeanne. You have no idea how much this shawl means to me.

Love you!

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