Monday, June 29, 2009

Knitting In Public

This past Saturday I met my younger sister, Emily, for coffee and knitting at a local coffee shop. I was excited, it was finally an opportunity to sit down, relax, knit and chat.

So, there I am, knitting away and there is Em, knitting away, all was peachy. Except every time a cute guy came into the coffee shop Em's knitting dashed under the table to hide. It was hilarious!

"Em, what's up with the knitting?" I asked her. "I'm embarrassed to knit in public." OH MY! I nearly died laughing. I have never given it much thought. Of course I'm going to knit in public. Who cares what people think. If I have a chance to sit down, I'm going to knit - I've got a lot to knit.

Em ended up joining me in my laughter. I think she too saw how silly it is to be embarrassed about knitting in public. But, no matter, I love her anyway.

Do any of you have issues with knitting in public?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Isn't this yarn scrumptious? On Wednesday I noticed that the second shipment of Malabrigo Sockyarn, Color: 850 Archangel had arrived.

We haven't been able to keep this colorway in stock for very long. It really is extradinary in person.
I had to purchase one skein. Since then it has been adorning my "sweater bust" next to my desk. It is simply a work of art. The colors swirl together with such fluidity I am reminded of a watercolor painting.

I'm working on some really cute lace neck scarf patterns. Neck scarves have been the rage -- just look in the accessory department of Target, there are gobs of colors and styles to choose from. So far I have resisted buying one because, "Well, hello, shouldn't I be wearing a knitted one?" After all, I'm a knitter. We'll see if you all like them. The first one will debut soon!

happy knitting!

Circular Needle Cases

The Blackberry Tree has done it again! She has created a wonderful tool for us knitters, circular needle cases.

I've always wanted something pretty to carry my circular needles in and now I have a very pretty case. I'm so excited.

The Blackberry Tree does not have anymore for sale right now on her etsy site. However, I'm sure you could talk her into pre-orders. Send her an email at: theblackberrytreeATgmailDOTcom (change AT & DOT to symbols).

Honestly, isn't this wonderful? I think I'm going to need at least three!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Friday Night Storm

JK and I had great plans on Saturday to organize our garage in the morning and then in the afternoon to ... rest!

Ha! That did not happen. Friday night a nasty storm flew in and huffed and puffed and blew a third of our pear tree down in our back yard.

We don't have many tools but we did have two hand saws. So we attacked the tree with vengeance.

Yep, me too! And before you knew it, the tree was in bundles for the trash and we were moving on to organize the garage.

We didn't get our rest time in. But it really is nice to have an organized, clean garage.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How does your garden grow?

My garden is looking lush and green, thanks to all the wonderful rain we have been having and all the hard work we put in this past spring.

We have started to eat the green beans -- oh, they are so sweet and tender.

We have also been eating radishes and lettuce for quite a while now. I think it was definitely worth the effort, even though I questioned myself when we were digging out the clay.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cherry Picking

Cherries are in season! Monday morning Heather called me up and said they were going cherry picking. Well, of course I wanted in on the fun. So off we went.

Upon arriving at the cherry trees the three oldest swarmed the only ladder available.

Poor little David was left on the ground wondering how he was going to get any cherries.

He contented himself by "driving" the tractor nearby. You can barely see him over the steering wheel.

What a happy boy!

We didn't pick a ton of cherries -- the trees had been well picked already. However, we got enough for a pie or maybe some preserves.

This afternoon I'm headed over to Heather's to made strawberry freezer jam and decide the fate of the cherries we picked.

Don't worry, I'm knitting. However the project I'm trying to work on right now is a secret project only to be unveiled this fall....

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Knitter's Book of Wool

Clara Parkes was at the TNNA last weekend signing previews of her new book, "The Knitter's Book of Wool." The book is due to come out in October and is in the last stages of publishing.

OH, MY! I love it. Right now it is in my sun room for early morning reading with a big cup of tea. I love her preface - it is so inspiring. She makes you want to go and search out all the little CSA fiber farms and buy wool from them.

I haven't finished reading the book, but so far it has been an excellent introduction to understanding the structure of wool, plies, wollen vs worsted, and the different breeds of wool and how they differ. In the second section of the book she has lovely knitting patterns that showcase a certain wool's strength.

It is really an exciting book!

Happy Reading & Knitting and have a great weekend!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Baby John's Wedding Vest

Baby John's little gray vest for Bethany's wedding is finished. Bethany's wedding is 6 weeks after Baby John's due date so I really wanted to get this done and out of the way before any of the other knits I have planned for him.

I put a little opening in the back neck edge so that it would be easier to get over a baby's head. I need to look for a little gray button for this vest.

I used Wash Day Wool from Reynold's Kid's Collection and knit it on #2 needles. I have fallen in love with this wool. It was wonderful to work with and really soft after a soak in Eucalan.

I have plans to pick up more Wash Day Wool next week.

Well, back to the grind -- I have one more big design deadline before I officially can go on "maternity leave," and just concentrate on designs for Baby John.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

TNNA Market

The grand exibition of the TNNA is, "The Market." Vendors go all out decorating their booths and showing their wares. Unfortunately, I found out that you are not supposed to take pictures, except of people. So the above photo was the only picture I have of beautiful knitted things from "The Market."
Not allowed to take pictures of the garments, I asked Nicki Epstein -- there to sign her newest book, "Knitting in Tuscany" -- to pose for me. Isn't she adorable? And isn't her scarf stunning? It's in her newest book!

My sister and I love to read Susan B. Anderson's blog so I couldn't wait to meet her in person. She was signing copies of her book and sharing tidbits of her new book, "Itty Bitty Toys" which is going to be released soon.

Last but not least I stopped by Alpaca With A Twist and saw my designs on display. I must admit that was an amazing moment. I had not one but three designs at the TNNA. I still don't think I'm walking on the ground yet.

Around 5: 15 I could no longer stand up. My feet hurt, my legs hurt and I was exhausted. So I said my goodbyes to Lin and Holly and the wonderful "Market" and headed out. My dear husband was waiting in the car to drive me home. Oh, I was so happy to sit down! Another TNNA passes.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Saturday Morning at the TNNA

Saturday morning at the TNNA is usually characterized by waking up early, getting ready in a rush and heading out the door to find some sort of breakfast before you arrive at your 8 AM class. It's always a bit of a rush.

This time it was no different. Lin and I got up around 6:30 and were out the door by 7:15 to scrounge around for breakfast. For most people eating out is no problem. But for me, it's another story (I can't eat gluten).

We managed to find some yogurt and coffee at Einstein bagels. It just happened to be "THE" place to bump into people. Sally Melville was just passed us in line, coffee in hand. She stopped Lin and commented on her sweater (It was a Sally Melville sweater). I admit -- it's fun to bump into "Knitting Celebrities."

The class I took was on hand dying sock yarn. It was a ton of fun and well executed. I was inspired by our teacher's sense of color (the first picture) and amused by some of my fellow students' sense of color (below).

All in all it was a wonderful class.
As the last of the yarn I dyed steamed away I hurried off to the bathroom for a quick change. There was no way I would be caught dead wearing my grubbies to the TNNA Market.

Monday, June 15, 2009

TNNA - Friday

Despite two potty stops for the pregnant lady (me), Lin, Bonnie & I arrived in Columbus, OH. We were excited to say the least. The TNNA is always a time of inspiration for me. Although, it always, always, always goes by too fast. You really need to stay through Monday to see everything... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

We checked into our hotel, the lovely Hyatt, and changed from our travel clothes into something more suitable for a fashion show.

After browsing the "What's New" section we headed over to the fashion show. The fashion show was hysterical, complete with runway, lights and techno music! We found good seats -- approximately 4 rows from the front. We sat right behind Barry Klein & his mom Maria Klein (Barry Klein owns Trendsetter Yarns). Barry had two pieces in the fashion show.

Unfortunately I soon found out that it was REALLY difficult to take pictures of the models -- they were in constant motion. I laughed to myself several times as I watched them - depending on the fiber they were wearing, clouds of fluff would fly from their sweater and trail behind them in the air as they pranced down the runway.
Out of 103 pieces I saw three garments that made me think, "Wow!"
The Lagune Cardigan by Hanne Falkenberg
The Gothic Snowfall Sweater - by Robin Melanson (Couldn't find a link)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Off To The TNNA

Well, I'm off to the TNNA tomorrow. I'm almost packed and ready to go. The last thing I needed to do was -- figure out which knitting projects I'm going to take with me. I narrowed it down to two, Baby John's gray cable vest & a new design project.

What's on the agenda at the TNNA?
8 AM I'm taking a dying class. We're going to focus on dying sock yarn, which should be a ton of fun.
10 AM -- hurry back to the hotel to change out of dying clothes
10:15 AM -- hit "The Market" -- the gigantic room filled with so many yarn companies, vendors, designers, indie dyers and knitters you instantly overwhelmed. Molli has given us a list of things to look for and buy. So, don't worry, we'll find some goodies to bring back to the shop.
12:15 PM -- Clara Parkes of "The Knitter's Book Of Wool" fame is signing aforementioned book. I have to dash over and meet her. I'm so excited about the book. I think it's now available for preorder.
1:oo PM -- Susan B. Anderson is signing her book "Itty-Bitty Hats" -- love her blog. She's a wonderful knitter
And that's just a taste of the day. I'm really hoping to meet or at least "see" Ysolda!

Bobby know something is up. He's been sitting by my bags just hoping all of the packing doesn't mean I'm going away. Poor doggie, he'll survive.

I shall return, my friends! Meanwhile, Happy Knitting!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Queen Anne's Cardigan in French

This morning I received the nicest request in my email from Flora. The request was to publish my pattern in French for our fellow French knitters to enjoy. As a result, Queen Anne's Cardigan is now available in French! I can't wait to see some finished cardigans!

On another note, Flora did bring to my attention my failure to note in the pattern that the sleeves are worked in the round. The sleeves are worked in the round. You will want to pick up the sleeve stitches from the stitch holders on a 16" circular needle, place a marker and join in the round.

Also, on the edging: the pattern is a multiple of 10 stitches until Row 7, where you work an increase so that the BO edge is nice and stretchy!

I hope this helps everyone knit smoothly!
Happy Knitting!

What's In A Wool

Clara Parkes is coming out with a new book this fall (October '09). It looks like a must read and a must have. Not only does this book explain the characteristics of different wools, but she gives us 20 patterns that are specifically designed for particular wools! Doesn't that sound fascinating?
Potter Craft has a little blurb about the book and a link to pre-order the book. It also has a funny little quiz you can take to find out what Ewe you are most like! Ha! Guess what I am?

What Ewe are you?

Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Seaside

I have been dreaming of the seaside lately. It is a dream that befalls me every summer. The smell of the salt air, the cry of the gulls, the sound of the waves start playing over and over again in my mind as spring turns into summer.

We have no plans to visit the seaside this summer. But that doesn't mean I have to stop dreaming.

Last Friday my mom painted this picture for a wedding gift and I nearly died when I saw it. It was the seaside picture in my dreams. Can you just imagine sitting there and knitting? I almost begged her to keep it. But, alas, the picture was gifted away.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Absolutely Fried

I don't know if it is because I am entering the third trimester of my pregnancy or because I have been so busy lately, but I am absolutely fried -- tired, exhausted, out of energy....

So, a few days ago I set up my office outside. I made a tray of tea, used my favorite tea cup, and sat on the back deck. It was blissful! I felt like I was on vacation, although, in reality I was getting work done.

In fact, I got so much done, I mapped out several baby items I am designing for Baby John. Don't worry, you all will be able to get your hands on these delightful little knitting patterns. I am planning on putting the collection of baby patterns together and publishing them as a little booklet. I think you'll enjoy them.

So, the moral of the story -- if you're exhausted and need a bit of a rest, indulge yourself and take the time to rest. You'll be so much more productive and so much happier!

PS - there is a story behind this tea cup. When I was 5 or 6 and had experienced a terrible day and was terribly down and out, my mother would pull out a blue willow cup just like this and another one that was a quarter of its size and make tea. My older sister and I and my mom would all sit down and have tea. For some reason having a cup of tea had a calming and inspiring affect on me.

Last Christmas my mom found a cup exactly like her grown up blue willow tea cup and gave it to me. It's my go-to cup when I need a bit of cheering up.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Knitting In Boulder, CO

So, to continue with the Boulder, CO adventure.... here is the knitting side of the expedition.

JK and I were staying with JK's college buddy, still a bachelor and a hiking fanatic. I love to hike and walk but on the second day, being 6 months pregnant and still adjusting to the altitude, I was tired.

So I took the day off from hiking and walked around Boulder. It is a charming little town -- I adored Pearl Street -- who wouldn't? Unfortunately the knitting shop (Gypsy Wools) within walking distance to Pearl Street was closed. I was soooooo disappointed.

In the middle of my shopping spree it began to rain. I ducked into a coffee shop and spent the afternoon knitting and reading a really neat fashion article in the recent Atlantic Monthly.

The boys came back, eventually, from their hike and picked me up. When they heard about my Gypsy Wools misadventure they took pity on my and dropped me off at Shuttles, Spindles & Skeins -- I had 15 minutes to look around before it closed!

Can you believe it? 15 minutes? I nearly died, but I was thankful they had taken me there in the first place.

I found some sock yarn from Pagewood Farm that I had never seen before. This picture does not do it justice, there is a tinge of purple in the orange -- quite lovely. It is hand dyed in CA -- not from CO, unfortunately, but it would have to do in this circumstance.

On another note, I saw this bag while walking around Boulder the first morning we were there. I just adore it and am planning on making one for myself. It is a basket bag, embroidered in wool. Absolutely a stunner!

Happy Knitting!