Friday, July 27, 2012

Stormy Weather

I had the opportunity to take a couple of classes from Shirley Paden without having to go into NYC (although I love New York!).  The Wooly Monmouth in Red Bank, NJ had Shirley as a guest insturctor for a second time (you may remember another blog post I had) only this time I decided to take both classes, Cast Ons Class and Elements of Lace Knitting.  Ok, I have been knitting for a long time, I design and have even taught a class on cast ons but I love the hands on classes just like the next person.

Don't take one of Shirley Paden's class unless you are ready to think.  She will not just spoon feed you information you can read for yourself out of a book.  In fact, if you have seen her last book, Knitwear Design Workshop, A Comprehensive Guide to Handknits, you would know that she is extremely thorough with whatever she does.  She wants you to come away with a good understanding of what she is teaching, not just memorization of a few techniques.  I would definitely recommend her classes.  This time I convinced a friend to take the classes with me.

Now for some weather.....
The sunsets are not as spectacular this time of year.  However about a week ago I was admiring the setting sunlight on the boats that are docked outside our front windows.  There is a faint glimpse of a rainbow in the photo. 
This photo shows the sunset that was casting the orange glow to the sailboats.

Now for the sormy weather.......
Last night a storm came in quickly across the water and my son caught this photo.  This is close to the same view as the picture above. 
Do you love storm watching or do you hide?  I remember as a kid during summer rain storms sitting in the gutters while the water swooshed by.  Do kids do that anymore?

Saturday, July 21, 2012


I have been interviewed by one of my favorite podcasters.  She is Louise Hunt of  caithnesscraftcollective.  If you haven't tried listening to podcasts, give it a go.  It can be a little addicting but you can do something else at the same time, so if at the present time you are only doing one thing at a time, you can definitely listen to podcasts.  I usually listen to them in the car or while I am knitting.  I also watch video podcasts while I am on the treadmill, that really makes the time on the treadmill fly by.
Back to my interview, Louise Hunt and I discovered each other quite awhile ago, I was looking for podcasts and she found my reworked hooded baby sweater pattern.  She often has interviews with with designers and I always find them quite interesting.  When she asked me, of course I said yes.  I had the most fun with the question about designing my own shop, a design shop. 
If you are listening to podcasts, let me know who you like (even if it isn't knitting). 

Speaking of the Hooded Baby Sweater, I finally tried out the directions I had written out for size 2.  I gave it to my great niece for her 1st birthday, so I can't really verify if the finished size fits a size 2.  But at least at this point all of the numbers work and the finished size looks proportionate.  I wish recipients of my baby gifts would give me feedback, especially of the photographic variety.

I like to use the Plymouth Encore Colorspun in muted colors for toddlers.  The custom embroidered labels add a nice touch for gifts. 
I was going to knit something other than this sweater again, but it is just my go to baby sweater and moms love it.  Do you have a favorite pattern that you knit over and over?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Back to the Drawing Board.....

Wimbledon is over and the final lived up to the hype.  Even people who do not normally watch tennis, watched this final.  Both men were teary eyed at the end.  The Scotsman who had the hopes of the host country on his shoulders who hadn't had a finalist in the Championships since Bunny Austin in 1938, who by the way was the first player to ever wear shorts playing tennis in 1932.  And possibly the best player ever, the steady Swiss who had the opportunity to match a record for most Wimbledon singles wins (male), and win his first slam in 2 years at the ripe old age of 30.   Roger Federer and Andy Murray both played possibly their best tennis that day and Federer was the one who held up the trophy at the end.  But there is still time for Murray and a whole country now has to wait another year.

I did finish the 2 pieces I was designing for Plymouth Yarn during Wimbledon, sort of.

I designed a simple moebius in a beautiful new sock yarn called Sakkie.  It is 40% kid mohair, 40% superwash merino and 20% nylon and totally yummy.  Of course it doesn't hurt that the yarn they sent me was in shades of green.  Simple moebius may be a contradiction in terms, since to cast on a true moebius is not simple.  However, once you master the cast on it is smooth sailing.
Whereas Sakkie is subtle, Gina is spectacular, especially in entrelac.  Everywhere I took my knitting there were oohs and aahs, just like the fireworks.  The bad news is that the finished garment did not fit the way I had hoped, it was acceptable and could be photographed so that it looked like it fit properly, but that would not be fair to anyone knitting my pattern.  Fortunately I was not trying to meet a deadline for a magazine or a book (sour grapes?) and I can go back to the drawing board and tweak the design until I get it right.

Speaking of Plymouth, they just published a sweater I designed for them last year.  It is a very wearable unisex pullover out of their Worsted Merino Superwash.  It is pattern #2378.  It has an easy to remember repetitive pattern, just enough to break up the monotony of stockinette stitch. 
I first made a version of the sweater in the Plymouth's Chunky Merino Superwash for a quick Christmas knit.

Have you ever knit something that didn't come out just right, and after re-examing the photo realizing that perhaps it was hiding an inherent problem in the design itself?
Let me know if you have.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

I'm obsessed!

I'm deliquent and obsessed.  Knitting is my constant obsession, but fighting for my attention is Wimbledon.  I saw very little of the French Open so I decided for Wimbledon I would make watching it a priority.  Sorry no blogging until today, they never play Wimbledon on the first Sunday.  I had a lot to catch up on so I am just getting to this at 10 at night.

I do have some knitting news.  I finally got my latest pattern up for sale.  I blogged about it in March!  I don't know why this is taking me so long.  I don't have it up on my blog patterns page yet and I probably won't until after Wimbledon.  But it is available on Ravelry and Etsy.

Speaking of Wimbledon, even though I am watching it as much as I can I managed to miss the woman who they showed who was knitting!  She was wearing Citron and knitting what looked like another shawl.  The article and photos and video are here.
I always take my knitting when I go to a tennis match.  Maybe this year at the US Open they will show me.
I am working on 2 new designs for Plymouth Yarn Company while I am watching tennis.  I hope to get them both done by the end of the tournament.  One is a mobius in a beautiful new sockweight yarn and the other is another version of my circular type of vest/cardigan but the yarn screamed entrelac to me.  See you after Wimbledon (only one more week).