5.30.2011

A Rust Lovers Dream

Rusty Truck
This weekend I had the last of the photoshoots for new designs I am previewing at TNNA next week.  Thanks to Maya, I learned about my NEW FAVORITE location.... a rust lovers dream filled with old cars, trucks and other ancient automotive wonders.  Everyday I fall more and more in love with this place I call home, how lucky that I have a location like this right around the corner!  (and that I have a model willing to put on MUCK BOOTS for our adventures!)
Rusty Car
Wednesday is June 1st, and I'll be releasing the next Adorn pattern, are you ready?  Want a hint?  You'll need size 6 and size 8 beads, and some fingering weight yarn but don't start stringing yet!

5.26.2011

If I Had More Hands.... II

Remember back last January I said I was starting a series entitled: If I Had More Hands?  Well, it's time for the next installment as I'm deep into multiple lace designs for a secret summer project, working on goodies for Adorn, gardening up a storm, and biking whenever the rain let's up.  So here are a few projects I wish I had more hands for:
Hooded Capelet by Linda Permann in Little Crochet
Alright, I going to admit, the yarn was on sale at Webs, and I might have just bought color 264 to make one for one of my favorite little rabbits, whoops?

Image Copyright Miriam Felton, used with permission!
This got added to the list last night when Miriam released her Chevron Collection.... LOVE it's size and drape, it's the perfect informal scarf!

Modern Tartan by Elizabeth Green Musselman
I just love the colorwork and fit of this man's sweater.  I've got plans to design my honey another sweater and this is certainly some inspiration!

What about you?  Anything you wish you could grow some additional appendages for?

5.23.2011

And the Winner is....

I ran the random number generator, and the winner of the Charts Made Simple Giveaway is #89 Ann F

Ann commented "I am somewhat intimidated by charts, but would love to learn to use them."  

Congratulations Ann!  I am so glad the winner is someone who is motivated to learn how to use charts... this book will be perfect for you!

My girl is on a 4-day school trip to this week and I plan to work (and play) HARD! I'm sure I'll be back at some point this week with a little tidbit for you, but I'm not sure what or when my to do list is LONG to be ready for TNNA in a few weeks.

5.18.2011

A Review and Giveaway- Charts Made Simple by JC Briar

One of the many fabulous things that happened at the Spring Fling was that I got to finally meet JC Briar.  I had heard about JC through the knitterly grapevine for quite some time, frankly I think she was a bit mythological to me... one of those west coast knitters I always hear about and never meet!  When we went to the Loopy Ewe the first night to go shopping the first thing that made it into my basket was a copy of JC's new self published book Charts Made Simple

I was interested in this book for a multitude of reasons...  
ONE because I teach chart reading often as part of my classes and would love to have a book I can recommend to my students that will help them explore the topic further and also offer support when they get confused.   
TWO because I have a weakness for knitting books of any kind and they all must come home with me, 
& THREE because maybe (just maybe) one day I want to publish my own book and I LOVE to see how other indie designer/authors take their concepts and get them to print!

And it did not disappoint....
The book is laid out in a clear concise manner that takes you through a step by step understanding of how charts work, why they work and how to use them.  Time is spent delving into using charts for cables, charts that show shaping, and reading your knitting.  This last step is so important, as understanding the relationship between what is on your needles and what is on the chart is KEY. JC clarifies this in such a way that you are way more than likely to become a successful chart reader.  It is truly obvious to me that JC put ALOT of energy into choosing her words, examples and diagrams to ensure that the end result was succinct and clear.  There is an economy to her writing style that ensures the books clarity, and therefor, comprehension.  I will not hesitate to recommend this book to my students! 

JC has generously offered to give a copy of Charts Made Simple to one of my readers... just leave a comment below by May 22 at midnight EST sharing with us how you feel about knitting charts.  Do you LOVE charts?  Do they make you break out in a cold sweat?  Do you run in the opposite direction when you see them? 

5.16.2011

Ennoble

Have you heard enough yet about the Mystery KAL?  Well, it's officially over (insert sad music here) and this will be your last post about it for a bit. It's time to give the pattern a name, and share some pics of my versions of it with you!  But, be warned: if you are behind on the clues and don't want to ruin the surprise, don't scroll down anymore.  Come back to this post when you are finished!

Drumroll please?  Introducing ENNOBLE....
Ennoble

I got this name from a post Mary Lou wrote in the Ravelry Forum where she said "and I hope that the pattern will “ennoble” the yarn."   When you see everyone's versions I hope you agree with me that it did!

Ennoble  

en·no·ble/enˈnōbəl/Verb

1. Give (someone) a noble rank or title.
2. Lend greater dignity or nobility of character to.

I think this is exactly what this pattern did for many of it's knitters.  Some of the clues (esp #2!) were not easy and everyone had to push themselves, think outside the box, (find a quiet place), and wrap their heads around the technique.  In the end with the help of the videos and Ravelry forum most people got it! 
Ennoble
  Ennoble

The pattern has been published in it's final form, with photos, charts, videos, and written instructions.  It's available for purchase here or on Ravelry here.

One thing I learned how to do for this KAL was embed video into pdf's so, there are two final versions of the pattern... one with embedded video, and one without.  The embedded video version will work for anyone who can run Adoble 9.0 or higher.  The simplified version has links to a private you tube channel so you still have access to the video.  These videos are VERY helpful for learning the techniques used in the pattern!

5.13.2011

Ribband

These last few weeks have been the culmination of lots of hard work all year for my girl.... NYSSMA performances, school concerts, dance recitals and an upcoming school trip! 

Miss B asked me for her own Ribband, to go with an outfit she had in development and I could not refuse. So, she picked out yarn and beads (yes, I let my girl stash dive) and she came up with her own spin on Ribband... striping.  This was done by threading the beads on two at a time of each color.  Of course I made her do the stringing... what kind of mother do you think I am?
Bella's Ribband

Bella's Ribband!
She can't decide if she likes it better as a necklace or a bracelet, luckily it's easy to change your mind and switch it up!
Bella's Ribband!

Many people have started making a posting their own Ribbands on Ravelry and how they like to wear them...  check out Becky's  post!  I love her version!  

When I was at Spring Fling we had a great time brainstorming about other uses for Ribband... one was that you could attach eyeglass holders (like these) to use it as an eyeglass chain, the other is to use it as a lanyard holder for your nametag.  Thinking I might have to try that for TNNA!

5.11.2011

A little bit of business... with a Giveaway!

When you are self employed you do it all... and if you don't feel like doing it, it doesn't get done... this week I decided to apply myself to a few things that have been on my list FOREVER!  The end result is this blog post where I share a few changes/updates I've made... you ready?

1.  I FINALLY set up a fan page on Facebook... this is a long time coming, I've had a personal account for quite some time but hadn't gotten around to a fan page.  Not everyone uses Ravelry all the time, and this is another great way to get the word out to you all about what I am up to!  Won't you join us?  I am doing a giveaway to get things going on there... first 300 people to join will be entered to win a copy of Adorn.  Doesn't that make you want to run over there and "like" me?

2. The workshop page on my website has been updated.  Check and see if I am going to be anywhere near you soon!  Want me to come teach at your LYS or guild?  I LOVE traveling to teach, and would be thrilled to share info on my workshops with you!

3.  Have you signed up for my mailing list?  I send out regular monthly chatty newsletters... and everytime I release a pattern FIVE random people from the list are chosen to recieve a copy for free, how's that for motivation?

And because every blog post needs a pic... here's a little sneak peak from a recent photoshoot from my Fall line... it's just not time for the big reveal on this one, but I LOVE how Noche (our GINORMOUS standard poodle) and Caitlin (my model) have the same look in their eyes!

5.06.2011

Our New Neighbors

Earlier this spring they cut down the brush in all the ditches on our country road... doing this exposed an active fox den with 8 kits!  We've been watching them mature over the last month, and finally yesterday, I had my camera with me when they were out. They were in a particularly brazen mood, and I was laughing out loud while they chewed, stepped on, and played with one another!
New Neighbors!
The Den
Look who I saw on my way home! New Neighbors! New Neighbors! New Neighbors!
Insanely cute, right? I've had foxes on the brain ever since I read about domesticated foxes this winter in National Geographic. Did anybody else read that article?  After reading it I found out that one can even buy a fox of their very own from Russia.  No worries, though, I am more than happy to watch these little guys grow from afar.... I think my cat would eat it if I brought one home : )!

Happy Mother's Day to those of you who celebrate... I have been really enjoying reading this website which explains the history of Mother's Day. If you have a moment check it out... truly enlightening!!!!

5.05.2011

Blog Tour: More Knitting in the Sun

Welcome! Thanks for coming by for the next stop of the More Knitting in the Sun Blog Tour by Kristi Porter.  I loved reading Talitha's post from yesterday... I got caught in a rabbit hole and spent quite a while reading her posts, I love her style of writing, so lyrical!
 
Carol Sulcoski did a wonderful overall review of the book on the first stop of the tour so I think I'll share with you a bit about the design I did for the book!

Introducing Frances.... 

Frances is a delicate lace poncho, built from two rectangles that are whip stitched together.  I used Schaefer Yarn Heather in apple green which has the perfect drape and durability for a project like this. 
In my experience, girls love wearing ponchos. There is something irresistible about being wrapped up in a lacy blanket that is designed to stay put while you play!
I have made them for my girl ever since she was small. She recently grew out of the latest one and is hoping we get Frances back soon so she can add it to her ever growing wardrobe of mama knits... this design is perfect for her!

All the patterns in this book are named for characters in well loved children's literature.  I'm not going to tell you who this Frances is just yet as there is a contest being announced on May 13th that you'll need the answer for... but you can start guessing!  I'll give you a hint, it's a series of books that was originally published in 1960 that are classics today.  The character was a favorite of mine, and my girl's!  Not only that but my paternal grandmother, who I loved dearly and passed on when I was 5, is also named Frances. This name means so much to me!

Continue on tomorrow for the next stop on the blog tour at Carol Feller's....

More Knitting in the Sun – Blog Tour 2011
May 2: Carol Sulcoski
May 4: Talitha Kuomi
May 5: Laura Nelkin
May 6: Carol Feller
May 7: Janine le Cras
May 8: Faina Goberstein
May 9: Katherine Vaughan
May 10: Stefanie Japel
May 12: Petite Purls (Brandy Fortune and Allegra Wermuth)

5.04.2011

Lolly Pod!

Thanks so much for all your help yesterday... with all your input it was no problem coming up with a name!
sack_full 
It seems this year that friends and family are breeding all around me... I decided it was time to design a new pattern to celebrate all the new wee babes!  As with most of my baby and toddler knitting I spend a fair amount of time bemoaning the fact that I didn't know how to knit when I had my girl, let's just say that if I knew how to knit my babe would have had one of these... Introducing Lolly Pod!
  sack2
Lolly Pod is super simple and fun knit. It starts from the top with an easy 9 stitch bobble pattern repeat. Then you just knit around until it's time for the bottom decreases. It doesn't get much simpler than this. The cap is knit just the same way, but from the bottom to the top.
flyingluke
Spud & Chloë generously donated the yarn to me for this design. The sack is made out of Spud & Chloë Sweater in Waterslide, the cap in Spud & Chloë  Fine in Pool. Thanks so much to Susan and Merri for saying "yes" to me when I asked for yarn! It was the perfect choice for this design and I absolutely loved working with it. I even did another version of the sack that is striped in three colors of Spud and Chloe Fine held double.. once that makes it to it's recipient I promise to share pics!
cap1
You can read more details about Lolly Pod and purchase it here or on Ravelry here.  There is more info on my projects here.

A huge welcome, congratulations and thankyou to Wendy and family for letting me introduce 2 week old Luke to the world of knitwear modeling, this boy can rock it, don't you think?

5.03.2011

The cuteness needs a name!

This hardly ever happens to me... I've got a pattern already to go, but it needs a name, can you help?

sack2
It's an adorable baby sack and cap with a easy (I promise) bobble border. Worked in Spud and Chloe Sweater, and Spud and Chloe Fine this is a fast and easy set to knit up for your expecting friends and family (which I seem to have ALOT of lately.)

Can't wait to hear your ideas and to share all the rest of the insanely cute pics I took last week with you....  if we can get this baby named today, I'll release it tomorrow!

5.02.2011

Loopy Ewe Spring Fling: A Photo Recap

Over the weekend I had the honor of teaching beaded lace at The Loopy Ewe Spring Fling and oh my, what a wonderful weekend!  The flingers are legendary and I have to admit I was a bit nervous heading out there all on my own. Of course as soon as I got there my fears dissolved... will I ever learn that there is absolutely no reason to be nervous around knitters?
Dinner on the first night
Adopted for the first night's dinner by Lisa, Jaci, Lisa, Angela and Mel... 
lucky me!
The Loopy Ewe!
Private shopping session at The Loopy Ewe... I did a little damage and left a few things behind I am pining after!  You can see Sheri heading to grab some yarn for a project she was itching to cast on for... love that!
The four teachers
The Teachers:  Kirsten Kapur, myself, Anne Hanson, and JC Briar
Wishing we had Sheri in this pic with us!  One of the parts I love about teaching at events like this is the time spent with other designers, Anne, JC, Kirsten and myself had some wonderful talks that really got me thinking (even more than usual)!
Kirsten and Anne!
Kirsten and Anne
Cuff in Progress
Beading 101 in Action
Beaded Cuff Morning
Beading 101 Morning Class holding up their cuffs in process!
Beaded Cuff  Afternoon
Beading 101 Afternoon Class!
Entomology in Progress
Working on Entomology, serious stuff!
Entomology Afternoon
Entomology Afternoon class 
(we totally forgot to take a pic in the am class, sorry everyone!)
My stash enhancement!
My Stash Enhancement (from left to right): 
Three Irish Girls Glenhaven Cashmerino Worsted in Carey; 
Sweet Georgia Cashsilk Lace in China Doll;  
Wollmeise Twin in GREEN;
String Theory Bluestocking in Didgeridoo
Both Kirsten and I got a skein of the Bluestocking and we might just be planning a little design challenge with them!
My new motto!
My new motto.... x100!
So, THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU Sheri and all the Loopy Elves and Flingers... what an wonderful weekend, I adored sharing my love of beads and knitting with you and I can't wait to see what you create with your new found skills!

And an fyi for those of you who are wondering:  The last clue of the Mystery KAL is going out today, check your e-mail soon!