Now that's some love!

Wow, doing a give-away is fun... I'm going to make a habit of it, I promise!

I'm so glad I said that I was using a random number generator, I never could have chosen one of you over another. I loved reading everyone's reasons why they wanted to knit Entomology, from biologists weddings to the holidays, to a deep love of bugs, to ambitious first lace projects, all of your reasons were perfect!

And the winner is:

As a present to you all I got some help from some friendly raveler's and now have written directions for Entomology. Drop me a line if you'd like me to send them to you. I'll post them on my website once I've gotten the okay, but for now I know some people would prefer the written instructions to a chart. (I personally REALLY like reading charts!)


Why I haven't been knitting!

So, I got home from TNNA with a HUGE project to finish up! My amazing 9-year-old was awarded the part of Nana in Peter Pan, and I promised to make her costume. I had to squeeze it in between SQUAM and TNNA. There were a few late nights, alot of toxic fuzz, with my hubby blocking off the studio as the latest national superfund site, but it got done, just in time... phew. Fake fur is nasty stuff, but PERFECT for this kind of project!

I cannot tell you how thrilling it was to see her, a happy puppy in her element. It made up for how little I have been around, and how busy I've been, to see her glow of self accomplishment as she made it through the huge production her school put on! Congrats sweetie, we raised a really well-behaved, happy English sheepdog!

You yarny types out there will be wondering what I used for the grey spots... I am too embarrassed to tell you, let me just say that for the first time in a long while, it ain't Schaefer!


Share the Love!

I just got back from a whirlwind weekend at TNNA. Going to TNNA is a huge amount of fun (and work) for me! Schaefer has a booth there that I set-up and worked in all weekend (along with Cheryl and Jeremy), I taught (How to Teach Undulating Waves to a great group of store owners), AND I had an opportunity to chat, and hang out with some of the most amazing designers, authors, knitters, and manufacturers. I spent some time picking Cookie A's brain about authoring knit books, learned about great new things on the Knitty front from Amy and Jillian, and got to meet Mandy, Knitty's tech editor, who worked on my last two pieces with them. I also got a copy of Judith Durant's new book, Knit One Bead Too, which will be out in July. It is chock full of information, I can't wait until I have time to really sit down and read it through! I have NO pictures of my time there as there are no cameras allowed on the show floor and I forgot to take any I was having so much fun hanging out in the evenings. Sorry!

I am so thrilled with how many folks have cast-on for Entomology and to celebrate I want to share the love with a give away: A skein of Schaefer Yarn's Anne in Ashes of Roses with beads to match!
Leave me a comment and let me why you want to knit Entomology ..... I'll close commenting next Tuesday (June 23rd at high noon). I'll figure out how to use a random number generator by then so I can pick the winner!


Entomology in Knitty Summer '09

Entomology is released! My beading obsession continues.... I designed Entomology over the winter, when summer was a distant memory. I was happy to knit, bead, and think about warmer climes! There was much swatching alone in front of my computer late at night with graph paper, yarn, and beads to get everything to hang just right.

I chose Schaefer Yarn's Anne for this project. I love Anne for so many reasons...
1. It feels SO good to knit with.
2. There is major yardage on one skein (560 yards) so you can make reasonably sized shawls with one skein.
3. Worked on larger needles the mohair in the yarn blooms wonderfully.
4. The magic of blocking: this shawl looks like nothing when you are knitting it. I love smoothing it out in my lap as the pattern develops to see what it is gong to turn into. When it is finally time to submerse it in water and block it the transformation is unbelievable... it goes from a fabric blob into a flat gorgeous piece of lace in minutes.

I also had one of the FUNNIEST photo shoots ever for Entomology. We had each other cracking up!
Thanks so much to Caitlin (model), Roy (photographer), Chris (our entertainment), and Cathy (model knitter!). Oh, yes, and Amy and Mandy at Knitty.

Entomology Beading Tutorial

This tutorial will take you through the "steps" of Entomology pattern that are a bit tricky so you can do it on your own. Keep in mind that not every step of the stitch is done here, only the ones that I thought could use illustration. You can view the whole pattern here. Please let me know if there is anything you need explained further. I'm happy to help!

How to get your beads onto the yarn:
(you can click on any of these pictures to make them bigger!)

Using dental floss threader, thread end of yarn through large loop at bottom of threader leaving a tail. Pick up beads with threader and slide down onto the yarn. This is a great job to give a 9-year-old if you have one around!

Placing a Bead:

Slide bead up the yarn with your right hand until it touches the right hand needle, work next stitch locking bead in place.

Making a Yarn over with Beads:


Slide beads up the yarn with your right hand until they touch the right hand needle, bring yarn with beads on it up and over right hand needle. I use my right index finger to keep the beads in place until I work the next stitch.

Working into Yarn Over's with Beads:
You want your beads to "float" on the yarn over's on each side of the bug motif. This is easy to do and you will get the hang of it once you start to work with the beads. Important Note: This is referring to the beads on the yarn overs you made on the previous row, NOT the beads you are placing on the yarn overs, to do that, see the directions above.

Example: Row 9 (knitside)

pic 1

pic 2

pic 3
Pic 1: Knit into first yarn over with beads to the back of the left hand needle,then work center st(s).
Pics 2 and 3: Knit into second yarn over with beads to the front of the left hand needle, then continue across.

Example: Row 10 (purlside)

pic 1

pic 2

Pic 1: Purl into first yarn over with beads to the back of the left hand needle then work center st(s).
Pic 2: Purl into second yarn over with beads to the front of the left hand needle, then continue across.


What I learned at SQUAM:

I just got back from SQUAM and I'm a new girl, something in me is different, I spent the day alternating between laughing and crying it was such an amazing journey. I went to SQUAM to teach, and ended up learning more than in a long time. My classes went really well, all my students were amazing and managed to learn a ton while being at one of the most beautiful places I've ever spent time at. (more on this in another post) My cabin mates are all phenomenal women who I am honored to include as my new BFF'S: Alexandra, Andrea, Betz, Donna, Kellen, Kristin, Kimm, Lizzie, Maggie, Marisa, and Maya! Elizabeth (squam's mama) did the most wonderful work in bringing us all together, thankyou Elizabeth!
  • Nirvana is not just a state of mind. (it's the name of my new second home)
  • To quiet myself in class (those who have taken my classes know that I LOVE to crack jokes and chat alot, this is NOT conducive to all day lace classes, and I had to get myself under control) I achieved this by the Circulate cuff class on the third day and had great results see?
  • That a woman typically says 20,000 words a day, and when you are in a cabin with 11 other women that is ALOT (240,000 to be exact) of words! (Thanks Betz, for this enlightening fact, my man loved it!)
  • When a group of artists gather, whether they share the same medium or not, they will support each other in a way that will feed, inspire, and motivate them. Our discussions levitated our cabin off the ground and I haven't managed to land yet!
  • Jess and Casey the inspired folks behind Ravelry are REALLY fun late night!
  • Maya is someone I cannot live without and cherish more and more, my weekend with her only solidified how a strong friendship can only grow stronger when it's given time and energy to be nurtured and enjoyed. I love you sweetheart!
I miss you all and CANNOT wait for next June!



Another Side of My Work

Many of you might know that besides designing and knitting I am also the design director at Schaefer Yarn. I've been meaning to chat about my position there, but I'll save that for another day! Suffice it to say that for 20 or so hours a week I get to work in a old farmhouse surrounded by yarn and color. Cheryl Schaefer, the owner and original dyer behind Schaefer Yarn is an AMAZING colorist, who is a joy to be around. (esp. when she sings show tunes while bookkeeping!) Not only does Cheryl run her business and ship yarn around the world, she is also a phenomenal gardener who up until last year also ran an iris garden with 2,000 varieties of irises. Although they are no longer being sold to the public there are still gobs of them in her gardens, and this week they are all in bloom. I'll admit that I keep trying to find reasons to go outside and take a peak at them. Here's a look for you:

This is an Iris Cheryl gave me 2 years ago that has established beautifully in the peach tree burm: (my job has two great perks: yarn AND plants!)p.s. I am still knitting secrets.. sorry!
p.p.s. I am getting ready to pack for SAW, I am so looking forward to all that knitting in the car. I have a few projects lined up: a Capitan in Schaefer Esperanza (for work), some toe-up socks in Schaefer Nichole (for me for once!), finishing my Liesl, and swatching for a black Jamie Lee in SWTC bamboo for Caitlin (my oh so patient model who deserves sumthin' special).