30 January 2012

Monday's Musing - better late than never edition

"The truth is found when men are free to pursue it." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Nose to the grindstone, shoulder to the wheel this week. ;)

Stay tuned for some muse news!


27 January 2012


I am inspired, but I'm not sure what I am inspired to do. At least not quite yet. You know when you get a really special skein of yarn and you want to do a project that will properly honor it? And if it's a fuzzy, yummy, soft skein of yarn, you want to wrap it around your neck and snuggle with it? I have a dilemma. Or two. One is a beautiful shade of gold.
And the other is a lovely shade of violet.
They are both soft, and I've been told by Craig at Great Northern Yarns that they become much softer as you knit them, plumping up to their full mink-y, cashmere-y fluffy, fuzzy goodness.

But now I have to decide what to make. I know which one I need to knit up first; it reminds me of my childhood. And here's a funny story for you. Most kids have a security blanket or two that they carry around with them, and I had two of them. Only they weren't quite blankets. My grandmother gave me two of her old cashmere sweaters, and I called them "Blue" and "Gold." I was obviously too young for creativity, but definitely not too young to appreciate some nice fiber! I carried them around with me until they literally fell apart, and the color memory is still strong today. This gold is exactly the same color as my old "Gold." I am so going to enjoy this!

25 January 2012


I am always always nervous when I do a club pattern and then send out the packages. I keep thinking "what if no one likes it?!"

Well, I am over-the-moon thrilled to say that when the pattern hit and the boxes started getting to their destinations, people reported love! I feel a little like Sally Field, but I am just super happy. :) I can't show you the pattern here, because there are still people who haven't gotten theirs yet and aren't peeking, and in case they read this, I mustn't post pictures just yet. But here's a blurry picture that caught my fancy. Don't worry! It's not the right color. :)

Now go look here and you can see the whole thing. And if you want to join my little club, the pattern only subscription is still available through the end of the month! You can find it on Ravelry or on my site! And then you can knit along with everyone in my Ravelry forum. It's party time over there!

Feeling good this evening. Planning for Stitches West (I'm sharing a booth with Kristine from A Verb for Keeping Warm!) and relaxing just a little teensy bit. But not too much. :)


23 January 2012

Monday's Musing

"Perfection is a trifle dull. It is not the least of life's ironies that this, which we all aim at, is better not quite achieved." -William Somerset Maugham

Here's to being interesting! :)


16 January 2012

Monday's Musing

“The ultimate measure of a [person] is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

In honor of MLK, Jr. Day....

Have a great week, everyone!


09 January 2012

Monday's Musing

“Pick the day. Enjoy it - to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come... The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present - and I don't want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future." - Audrey Hepburn

As I am trying to be calm in the face of impending craziness, this quote is so comforting! Me to myself: "Live for today. Do everything you can do today. Repeat until the craziness has been conquered."

Have a great week everyone!


03 January 2012

Rounding out the round-up

Whew! Where did the week go?! I think it was lost amid the thick pre-teen angst at Chez Romi these days. I started this post on the third and now it's the sixth already! I'm definitely needing those extra vitamins. But now, I'm finally back to do the rest of my 2011 round-up!

Other than the list of shawls I posted the other day, there were a few other projects I designed in 2011 (though nowhere near the number I did in 2010). I'm actually not sure how I managed to do all the designs I did in 2010. I think my family must have missed me!

First non-shawl project up in the year was the Heliosphere Tank for the first summer issue of Knitscene, my favorite knitting magazine (both because I love the aesthetic and because editor Lisa Shroyer is so fantastic to work with).
It was a super fun project to design, with a cowl neck...
and a racer back.
Next up was the Ileana Pullover, also for Knitscene.
It was knit from yummy aran weight Road to China.
I enjoyed every minute of knitting it!
And I about fainted in ecstasy when it made the cover!
At about the same time, my Gothic Tam came out in Interweave Knits Accessories. Knit out of Pico Accuardi Dyeworks aran weight merino/alpaca blend, it was a fun quick project. I made a few of them and gave them to friends, but I couldn't say anything because the pattern wasn't out yet. ;) I'm so sad to say that Pico Accuardi has now gone out of business. I will miss them.
Oooooh, sultry!
And last of all, I released the Poinsettia Tam.
It comes in the Canadian-style lined
and the California-style unlined versions.
The lined version calls for mohair/silk laceweight (here is the inside - we were wearing it both right-side and inside out at my knitting group).
And there's a bonus pattern for little mitts to use up extra yarn. They're layered with some lace on the outside and a liner of mohair/silk laceweight on the inside.
They look great under your coat, sort of peeking out.
My wonderful Canadian test knitter whose gorgeous head of hair is pictured above in the green tam wears them in addition to gloves and mittens, to keep cold air from blowing up her sleeves!

Well. That's it for the extra projects. 2011 was kind of a lean year, design-wise, but a very busy year family-wise. 2012 is already shaping up to be insane. Ulp!


02 January 2012

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

And now I am going to share that quote with my elder son. I sense he needs a little of that today to clear away some of the thick pre-teen angst hanging in the air! :)

Thank you all so much for your kind comments on my last post about my year in shawls. You inspire me!!!

Have a great week, everyone!


01 January 2012

11 & 12

Happy New Year! It's a bright and shiny one, full of possibilities, and I always feel wonderful on New Year's Day! I hope you do, too. :) Right now, I have a pot of Hoppin' John cooking and this evening we'll have our traditional New Year's feast: Hoppin' John for good luck, greens for prosperity, cornbread for gold, sparkling cider for celebration, and a salad (just because we love salad - tonight it's arugula and pear YUM).

But back to 11. By the skin of my teeth (as my grandmother would have said), I designed and knit 11 shawls in 2011! (eta: OMG! Jeanne, the most fabulously wonderful moderator, just reminded me that I actually forgot Sakaki! I am adding it into the post right now. That makes 12!!!) It's not as much as I wanted to accomplish. I wanted to be completely finished with the knitting on my Muses, instead of just the designing and part of the knitting. But, under the circumstances, I've become ok with it. 2011 was a year of stepping back for me. It was the year I really internalized that things in life don't last forever, and it's pretty important to enjoy what you have right now, at the moment you have it. Though I have to say, I'm not yet sure how to enjoy pre-teen angst. ;) But on to the shawls! (There were a few other projects, but I'll show those later this week.)

The year started with my first 2011 club offering, Spanish Moss (#1). Though I did most of the knitting in 2010, I technically finished it up in 2011. And since I've done basically the same thing this year with my first 2012 club offering (I am finishing the knitting up on that one in 2012), I think it balances out!
My next project was Live Oak (#2), though it didn't come out in Knitscene until the fall of 2011.
eta: Next - because it actually came out in April 2011 even though I forgot it in January 2012! - was Sakaki (and I am calling it #12 here because I am adding it after Jeanne's reminder) for Japan relief. There were two versions. One with a lace panel of a Sakaki tree,
and a plain beaded version. (ok - now I'm feeling a little better about the year's shawl count!)
I did a club offering for Kristine over at A Verb for Keeping Warm, Cáliz (#3).
Later, I re-released Cáliz (after the period of exclusivity) in an expanded format so that it could be knitted in both fingering and sport weight yarns.
Around the same time Cáliz went to Kristine's club members, Lisianthus (#4) went to my club.
July brought Katanya (#5) to my club.
And then I began the muses with Kleio (#6).
Buttonwillow (#7), released at Vogue Knitting Live in LA, was next up.
Melpomene (#8), another muse, went out to eBook subscribers
and Madroña (#9) went to my club.
The last two muses of the year are both unnamed and unreleased to those musing along with me. There is Muse #2 (#10 of the year overall),
and - finished and blocked yesterday - Muse #5 (#11 of the year overall)! (The knitting on #3 is not yet finished.)
The other two muses, while designed, are not knitted, so they don't count in 2011's total of 11. Whew. I do actually feel some accomplishment! And I am in love with Muse #5.

She has shoulder shaping,
and uses beautiful yarny goodness from Brooke over at Sincere Sheep: Tenacious Sock in Winter's Night and Ohlone colorways.

My class at Interweave Knitting Lab chose those colors as my second to next project to be done, and I started the other color combo (my next project to be done, according to vote), but this one wanted to be finished first! I couldn't argue with the muse. ;)
This one has it all!
Faroese shaping.
Mosaic knitting.
And you can expand the size, too. In fact, I knitted a few extra rows at the end and used up the rest of my second color. I bound off at my knitting group on Saturday, and everyone saw me freaking out for awhile, until I finally was left with this.
I love using up all my yarn, and I was "sure" when I started the last extra row that I would have enough, but I have to say, after about half the bind off row, I was every bit as "sure" that I was hosed! I was mentally going through my stash to find something that matched close enough to do the last ten or so stitches I was sure I would have left over. I almost ripped, but I'm glad I didn't! Whew! I lurve her.
Soon you will all be able to guess on the names for Muses 2 and 5 (and win prizes)! So stand by!

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