Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Felt like Thrumming....

It seems like everytime I finish up some knitting deadlines, I feel the need to just knit someone else's pattern.  Knit something that I can just follow directions instead of writing down everything I'm doing and adjusting numbers and ripping out and re-swatching.  It just sometimes is necessary to knit without having to think.  So this weekend I picked up a project that I've been dying to do for some time. I bought the yarn (http://www.allynknitshop.com/) for my Knit A Long sweater and actually had a skein left to do these boots.  Found some gorgeous Angora Roving on Etsy - last spring and then promptly put it away until all of my deadlines were met.

I'm really happy with the slippers.  As usual, there are things I would change.  Like I think I should have used thicker clumps of roving and I would have preferred a longer cuff.  The cuff shown on the cocoknits pattern seems longer and fuller.  Aside from that, it couldn't have been an easier pattern and you just can't beat the price - 1 skein (I think it cost me $9) is all it takes to make the pair!  The yarn is Lamb's Pride Bulky (http://www.brownsheep.com/) - milled in the US (bonus in my book!) and the color is Golden Mushroom which is absolutely gorgeous.  I may make a few pairs for my daughters for Xmas in Red with White fleece.  Wouldn't that be adorable! 


Thursday, August 26, 2010

I love this photo shoot....

My dear dear friend, who never turns me down, kindly allowed me to photograph her in the seamless short sweater that was custom knit for a shop.  Yes, this kind kind friend also sample knit this sweater.

 It was the spur of the moment kind of thing as are all of my photoshoots - like I gave her a 20 minute notice that I was headed over.  The craziest thing is that I took one look at her front door with her sitting chair and accessory pillows and I knew that I found the perfect location.  I literally took 4 shots of her and was done.  I couldn't believe that even her little dog matched perfectly with the sweater and setting.  It was like a June Clever moment.  I love my June Clever - oh, I mean, Sherri Hazen!

Going back to school...AGAIN!

After the stress and hiatus from last spring's Photoshop class at the not-so-local community college, I thought I might be done with this further education thing.  Now that I've had a break from school and forgot how much time this continued education took....I've signed up for yet another course!  This time though, I think I found the perfect class.  It's in Tacoma, every Wednesday from 6 - 7:30 at night (there goes dinner with family).  It's super super cheap (which worries me) - and it's a beginner course in Fashion Illustration, using Adobe Illustrator which I have and have not even tinkered with yet.

There is another class that caught my eye - although I'll have to wait a quarter (don't want to overload myself!).  It's Fashion Illustration - hand sketching.  Sounds like a fun class.  I hope they offer it next quarter.

The good news is it only runs for 1 month.  I pay my tech editor to do all of my schematics right now and will probably continue to have her do my schematics as she is so proficient  - but it's good for me to start dabbling in should I lose her to bigger and better opportunities - which I am sure will happen. 

I'm excited - I'll keep you posted

Saturday, August 14, 2010

90 degrees...must work with wool!

One of the first and few hots days that we have in Seattle should be enjoyed by water.  I live on a peninsula surrounded by salt water beaches - some as close as 2 miles away.  It's truly a gorgeous day but somehow I must have heat stroke because I thought I should spend the day working with just wool!  Not small wool projects - but sweater size wool projects.

I'm not proud of it, but here is what I got accomplished today.............................
2 sweatesrs being blocked at the same time - one being the Baby Doll Cardigan (left) in Cascade 128 and the other being the Seamless Short Sweater (right) in Frog Tree Meriboo machine washable.

I need to go and get a button for this one.

I added buttons to my Knit-A-Long sweater (http://www.sweaterbabe.com/  #85 wavy textured hood vest).  Loved knitting up the sweater - love the style, love the construction of it and can't wait to wear it this fall.
Buttons remind me of bamboo - and I love them!  Sweater was knit using Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky - mushroom color.  Will take better pictures on my next post.

Lastly, I worked on my jogless 3-striped hat using Frog Tree yarns - Meriboo in colors purple, lilac and grey.  Loving the hat but working on size 6 needles so taking longing then I'd like.  Love the 3 colors together, very rich hues.  Class will be taught this fall.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Me and my buddy....Nicky and my new sweater too!

Okay - so, I love love love this sweater....wanted the peacock feathers super bad until I saw what it looked like on me!  I'm going to have to forego the peacock feathers.  Isn't this the most fabulous sweater you've ever seen?  It's in the Nicky Epstein book:  Knitting on Top of the World

Here's the book it came out of.  She's a fabulous designer and you must own at least one of her books to be called a knitter (that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it!)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Another deadline....

Well I can't post any pictures - but I am finishing up 2 deadlines for an upcoming Winter knitting magazine. I'm very happy with both designs but I hate deadlines...they just un-nerve me.  And everytime I look over my instructions, I either start changing numbers around - because I don't trust myself or they don't look so good on paper, or they don't have rhythm.  Then I just start making mistakes by confusing myself!  I guess the worst part of the whole process is that I don't know how I compare to the other contributing designers. 

Do they just plug in numbers and stick to it without re-adjusting? 
Do they work and re-work their pattern - racking up the hours and diminishing the hourly pay from $1 to 10 cents an hour? 
Are they more careless than I - or am I more green?
Does the Tech Editor have more red ink stains on my pattern than anyone elses? 
Do they add unhappy faces to mine?

 I guess the only way to build confidence or at least know where you stand against the other designers would be to tech edit on the magazine end.  That way, you could see what the various designers have submitted and be re-assured that they make just as many mistakes as you do and that their numbers don't make any more sense.  This is my 2nd magazine, and my 7th book contribution.  It would be nice to get past the "I wish I knew my strengths and weaknesses".  Although there is no time for a feedback sheet - or a sliding point system like at school, it would definitely let us know if we need to improve our skills on the next batch of designs or if we are doing just fine as is.

I have to get them both off by tomorrow - so gotta go.  I'm thinking of going on a hyiatus (spelling???)...and knit a piece for myself using another designers design - yes, that being Nicky Epsteins Aran Gala sweater.  It would put me temporarily out of commission but I think I've had all the deadlines I can handle for 1 year. 

Oops - forgot, I still have a few more projects that need tending to!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Finally met Nicky Epstein!

I think one of my first knitting books was from my mom and it was a Nicky Epstein book.  Every time I get together with my mom, she always buys me a knitting book and 90 times out of a 100, it's a Nicky Epstein book.  In fact, for 10 years, that was the only designer name that I recognized and followed.  I take knitting classes where ever I can - and when ever I can but I haven't caught sight of any Nicky classes.  I haven't even seen her name on the TNNA or Madrona class schedules.  So when I heard she was giving a class at Yorkshire yarns of Lakewood (http://www.yorkshireyarns.com/) - I knew I had to take it.
It's amazing at the designers, authors, anchor women and calendar chicks that Sonya can convince to talk, teach and book sign at her shop.  Keep your radar on her calendar of events...

We had to bring 2 8x8 swatches with us.  The class was based on her upcoming book due out in November - color blocking.  Wasn't sure exactly what this class entailed, but I didn't care.  We learned how to make a turtle stuffed animal out of one of the squares and a hat out of the other.  I'm not a stuffed animal fan - but that wasn't the point of the class.  The point that I got from it is that you can take something as simple as a block and transform it into anything you can imagine.  She showed us how to create sweaters, gauntlets, shawls, hats, berets, purses and scarves out of 12x12 blocks.  It was fascinating how her mind works.

I bought this book - because I fell in love with one of her sweaters in it that I actually saw at TNNA 2 years ago and couldn't get it out of my mind.  Mind you, it's a little over the top - which I don't feel I am.  In this case, however, I feel like I may be coming out of my shell!  Get ready....

There are over 150 pearls on it with osterich feathers to ensure that I'll be noticed!   The picture doesn't show off the gorgeous cable stitches or the richness of the yarn (Cascade Dolce) - or even the 3 different sizes of pearls sewn on in and between and around the cables.

I'm thinking if I can get some of my many deadlines done, I might have time to get this sweater done in time for my nieces wedding this October.  Or will I look like the bride????  Mother of the bride????
I may also make it so that the Osterich feathers can be attached and detached as needed for the occasion.

Fun fun class....lastly...this sun shawl is spectacular up close.  I'm not a shawl fan but this was unbelievably gorgeous in person.  Knit with Art yarn - pure silk, the yarn alone cost $300 or so (according to Nicky).  Perhaps that's another reason that it's so spectacular, anything knit in cashmere, angora or silk is going to be stunning!  Interesting enough...is that it is knit in the garter stitch through out and short rows.....and I call myself a designer???  Now that's what a real designer creates!

I love taking classes....they inspire me to go further, think outside the paradigm and truly create a one of a kind master piece instead of the everyday dozen.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Everyone is on vacation

Pedicure on vacation

Scrumptious yarn on vacation
- the beginning of the 3-colored jogless hat (upcoming class this fall)
Frog Tree yarn "Meriboo MW" (machine washable) http://www.frogtreeyarns.com/

Hat on vacation
This is the 2-color jogless hat (upcoming class this fall)
Frog Tree yarn "Meriboo MW" - love this yarn....

Girls on vacation
Another great vacation.  This time to the Pacific ocean.  Each girl brought a friend - one being my darling niece and it was the absolute perfect vacation!  My husband had 5 of his college buddies stay at the house for 3 nights for their yearly golf tournament so we were forced to leave home.  I took 4 girls and 4 knitting projects and that's all I needed to be content.
Summer is about making memories......

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I'm a mother of 2 girl's, 12 and 15, a wife of 21 years and an obsessed knitter. I'm an avid gardener and cook.