Thursday, December 6, 2012

From sketch to finished piece

It still mystifies me when I can actually sketch my thoughts onto paper and then actually have those thoughts perfectly translate into a finished piece ----as I envisioned it!  I can not sketch, I have no idea how to show texture on a sketch pad and I am horrible with proportions and I don't even know how to show "variegated" color.
I'm not even sure how I even find the right colors with my limited colored pens collection.

Swatches and sketches


A snippet of my submission letter
Might I also add that this Chullo hat was submitted in September 2011, accepted and knit by November 2011 and was just released November 2012.  My last worry is that it may no longer be in style!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Knit Fit! Treasures!

Let me start by saying that I had a blast this weekend at Knit Fit! in Ballard -
I was there to teach on both days.  The classes were full, the students were great and I had a blast teaching.  What I didn't expect was to find the most scrumptious Angora yarn EVER!  After 15 years of knitting and going to LYS's, retreats and events, you would think that I have seen it all and bought it all.  Nope - I actually found 2 vendors with unique Angora blends.  Unfortunately, I didn't get the name of the other vendor I fell in love with - although she is from Lebanon, Oregon and has her own Angora rabbits, spins the fibers and dyes the fibers and personally, I think I want her life!  I should have bought from her - and if I do run into her again, I will buy from her.  She had these Angora fingerless mitts that you literally couldn't feel because they were so soft and light.  Unbelievable!
My other love is this Chubby Bunny yarn.  I first fell in love with the yarn then fell in love with the darling vendor from Pepperberry knits - Heidi.  She is from Idaho and sells 100% cashmere everything!  I should have bought some cashmere yarn too but I couldn't get past the Angora.  I know I will run into her again at another event.  Her neighbor has Angora rabbits so she sells her yarn.  It's 100% Angora - but they spin it with some sort of cotton band to hold it in place.  It is exquisite!  I am already dropping my other projects so I can start this one next.  I think I will design a cardigan with the rabbit fur around the collar.
A The Tea Cozy booth, I found these buttons that I fell head over heels for.  They are sprinkles set in resin buttons and they are way to cute to pass up.

Love when I find treasures!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Upcoming classes!

I have a few teach gigs coming up......

Jogless knitting

Colorwors in Norwegian Thimble style
Knit Fit!  Ballard, WA   11/03 - 11/04. 
2-handed Fair Isle (sold out with a waiting list)
Knit Different
North Central Washington Knitter's Guild
Wenatchee, WA
jogless knitting never looked so good
Norwegian thimble knitting

Be sure to introduce yourself!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Great classes, great time at TNNA

My trip began 3 days before the actual TNNA convention giving me plenty of time to adjust to East Coast time and to take a couple all day classes.The first class was Swing knitting which was a great class although a tad too long for my attention span.  Brigitte taught the class and Skacel supplied the 2 yarns and needles--I love goodie bags!

The pieces were gorgeous and the technique was simple yet fun.  Basically, it's a bunch of short rows created in a mathematical way.

The other fun thing about this class was that everything is done in the garter stitch.

Unfortuneately, I didn't get any pictures taken of my FAVORITE class - 2 color knitting Portuguese style!  Andrea Wong was the instructor and I loved loved loved this class!  It's just a shame that I never took any pictures.

One of my favorite booths at Market was Artyarns.  The entire booth was hanks of hand dyed Silks, Mohairs, Cashmeres and some Merino wool in both beaded, sequined or plain.  It was dazzling to the eyes and the pictures just don't do it justice.

I am not sure how the shop owners ever decide on which colors without going in debt~

Iris Schreier is the owner of Artyarns and author to several knitting books and her eye for color and style is impeccable.

I was fortuneate enough to have the opportunity to design with her Merino wool in one of her upcoming books - due out this October.  I am anxious to see the finished book and show off my design - which I love!


Sunday, June 10, 2012

A TNNA preview

TNNA preview design

 Here's a preview of the designs that I will have at the TNNA show in Columbus.  The 2 hat in 2 techniques for Him and Her will be on display at the Frog Tree Yarns Booth.  The yarn is brand new and is called Ewetopia.  It's a equal blend of superwash merino wool and wool with a subtle spin of 2 colors.  It's light worsted and made in Peru.

The ladies hat is knit in a simple Fair Isle pattern with the same hemmed trim as the man's version. 
 The man's version is Double Knit - making it a perfect reversible hat and double thick as well.  The darker hat is the right side where as the lighter hat is the inside of the hat.

The 2 hats use 4 skeins of Ewetopia and this pattern should be available by July 1st.

 I used two different crown shapings.  Both hats were divided into 4 sections.  The Fair Isle hat - or "her" hat has 2 knit sts in the center of each section with the decreases on each side of the knit sts. 
Whereas the Double Knit beanie or "his" hat is sectioned off the same way - but with no knits in between the decreases.  When working with double knitting, this crown shaping is clean and simple but when used in a Fair Isle version - there will be large holes and openness that would look better on a lace hat than a Fair Isle hat.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Knit Fit is coming to town!

Us Seattlelites just got a new Knitting retreat!  So it's a ways off.....4 months away to be exact - but this gives you plenty of time to save the date!

November 3rd - 4th at the Ballard Community Center

I will be teaching at this event along with a boat load of other great instructors.

Here's a quick blurb on Moi.  If you go to Facebook, you can like them.  Knitfit will be slowly releasing tid bits of information on each teacher - so it will be fun to see the questionaire and any fun photos of them.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Petting fibers

 Went to the Spring Fair over break on the hottest day of the year thus far.  First place we went to was the Sheeps Extravaganza!  There were spinners and roving all over the place.  In the back were the baby sheep and a few Angora rabbits to pet.  If you have the luxury of knitting with Angora - I highly reccommend it.  It feels just as soft as the bunny itself!  And let me re-iterate that no animals are killed for their fiber (I'm a vegetarian and worry about this stuff!)

I am seriously thinking that I need to learn how to spin......

Monday, April 16, 2012

Love of Knitting summer preview

Love of Knitting, Summer 2012 issue is about to hit the newsstands and I have 2 designs that I just love in this issue!
 Too cute for two is a twin set of cardigans using Tosh sock by Madelinetosh.  If you haven't had the chance to play with this yarn yet - YOU NEED TO!  And the colors are scrumptious! I used Rose and Demin colors. The twin cardigans are identical top down cardigans only the trim is different - a little more masculine for the boy and a little more dainty for the girl.  Sizes go up to 2T.  Visit for the full line of yarns.  Many of the LYS's also carry this yarn.

Another new yarn for me to dabble with is the Regal Silk by Artyarns.  Once again, it's a MUST TRY yarn and it is 100% silk!  Colors are Peacock variegated with Purple.  It's dreamy to wear too (duhhhh, it's silk!).  This top has inverted pleats for great movement and drape.  Visit for a viewing of their entire luxury line of fibers.

This magazine can be found at several grocery stores (I found it at Fred Meyers and Winco) and should be available through June.  Or visit
for a subscription.  I have been fortuneate enough to have several other designs in this magazine.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Working on my TNNA travel plans

I missed TNNA, Columbus last year and there is no way that I am missing it again!  Now that I have said that....TNNA couldn't have come at a worse time!  Every year the show hit around the 2nd weekend in June, which works for me.  This year, they changed it up a bit and delayed it until June 23 - 25th.
Drats - last day of school is the 21st (Education begins on the 21st and goes  through the 23rd) and then
Sunsplash (Younglife camp) is from June 25th - 28th.  That wouldn't be so bad if I weren't a leader!  It has also been a tradition that on the last night of school, my oldest girl has all of her friends over for a sleepover.  They get maybe 3 hours of sleep then get all dressed up for the last half day of school and between my husband and I, we haul all the girls to school in 2 cars.  It has been such a fun tradition and the girls look forward to this every year.  This year, however, it can't happen!  Then I will have to leave Sunday for home - giving me just one day at the exhibition so that I can be home by midnight - so I can depart the next morning for a camping trip with 75 kids!  Really????
The kicker of this entire trip is that the tickets have gone up a ton - a ton being about $125 from last year.  Damn - this recession is kicking my butt and so are the new dates!

Sometimes life just topples over itself.....

Thursday, March 15, 2012

From sketch to publication

I always love seeing "behind" the scenes of a photoshoot or a cooking show to see what happens behind the camera and out of view to get the project from its inception to its final cut.  So here is a quick time line of what a magazine design may look like from start to finish.
1 of 3 submission pages

Last March (2011), I submitted this design sketch along with a detailed page description which includes everything from the inspiration, the construction details to the suggested yarns and colors.  I actually sent 2 sketches of 2 designs, the other one being a sleeveless pullover with the star stitch pattern being on the bust and a St st on the bodice.  The sleeveless pullover was yellow and the sleeveless vest was in blue.  I suggested either yellow or blue for the garment.

I swatch out the stitch pattern and attached a jpeg of the swatch to the publication company.  In the olden days, this swatch would have been mailed in to the company - but nowadays, a good picture is all that you need.

Upon acceptance (I think this was accepted within a month of submission), I had 2 months to complete it from start to finish including all schematics and 5 sizes written using the magazines style sheet.  I take a picture of the sweater and send the sweater, the yarn label with a piece of yarn attached and the pattern itself to the editor - and then pray that the sweater safely arrives to its destination!  My biggest fear is that it gets lost or damaged in transit!  This garment was sent to Creative Knitting in June - maybe July (can't remember now).

Normally I don't get to see this part of it - but Creative Knitting has been posting pictures onto Facebook of the Photoshoots (love seeing this part!).   This is just part of the photoshoot and these pictures were just posted a few weeks ago.

Here is the final picture of the sweater and the cover of the magazine which just hit newsstands this past month.  The sweater was returned to me along with a copy of the magazine.

Yarn used was Frog Tree Meriboo (MW).

So from submission to final publication - you are looking at almost a year! 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Awesome 15 minute photo shoot

I just had an amazing 15 minute photo shoot with a not quite yet 2 year old.  She is unbelievably cute for starters but she also doesn't move, flinch or make funny faces --- a good thing!  I can't wait to show off my new pics but they are for a magazine due out sometime in Fall - or late Fall - which just kills me!  I can't wait that long!

I'm so happy with the bundle of designs for this magazine and the numerous pictures I shot as well.

I also hate posting without a photo-----

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Day 3 was another fab day at Madrona

The day began at 1:30, Madrona time.  I had a mini class with Nancy Merchant, author of Knitting Brioche.  Another awesome class!  Learned a new cast on and Brioche which I have played around with before but never got past the first few stitches without scrapping. 
Here is a swatch of my work.  I was just starting to work the Brioche in purl form - hence the reason for it all of a sudden looking wonky.

 Day gets even better when I find out that my knitting BFF is coming to meet with me for one last go round in the marketplace.  But before I can even respond to her text - I notice that my name has been drawn for a door prize!  I never, NEVER I tell you ever win anything!  I had quite a few to pick from but after help and guidance from my BFF, I chose the years subscription to Knitters Magazine.  Gotta love getting something in the mail every month!

We head back to the marketplace hoping to find some last minute treasure and low and behold, I found one!  The yarn is from Habu Textiles (NY) ( and it comes on a cone.  It is 100% silk and it vaguely reminds me of thin twine.

Color is a mix of brown and grey with off white flecks.
My intention is to knit this tunic dress (Scarpetta by Kirsten Johnstone).  I wish I had taken a picture of the one in the booth, it showed better than the images below.

So - I spent more money, gained more knowledge and truly had a great afternoon with a friend.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Day 2 of Madrona - and even better!

So day 2 of Madrona started out with a 9 am morning class.  Not only did both girls make the bus - but I also found great parking and had plenty of time to get a cup of coffee and get situated. 

The Instructor was Elise Duvekot and she lives in the Netherlands.  She was an excellent instructor who knew how to run a class! 

Here is a swatch of my work.  I should have photographed the wrongside as I loved the back side more than the front side.  The class was Columns of Cables, knit 1 below and it was a technique that is easy to do once you understand it.  I fell in love with the technique as well as her designs - a few were utterly gorgeous like the sweater that alternated between a lace weight mohair with a bulky wool (it was gorgeous without the weight) and the socks.

 The socks were beautiful and her workmanship is impeccably perfect.  Classes like this inspire me to improve my knitting and try new techniques.  The class was spendy but worth every penny!
I have a mini class tomorrow on Brioche knitting with Nancy Merchant (author of Brioche knitting) and I have high expectations that it will be just as good as my class was today.

Stay tuned....I'll be posting again tomorrow!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day 1 of Madrona and it was fabulous!

 Day 1 of Madrona is exactly what I expected ----tons of yarn, crowds of ladies wearing their favorite sweater, shawl or scarf and lots of oohhing and aahhing. 

My knitting gals and I love to carpool over and convince one another to buy buy buy whether we need it or not.  We're good at debating over which color looks best on who and what gadgets are a must.  We just like to spend each others money!  There is always one in our group that is easy to persuade and there is always the other one that needs a ton of convincing (that would be me!).  Then there is the one that knows exactly what she wants and she needs no help from anyone! Lastly - there is the one that doesn't think she's capable of knitting this or that and we spend the next hour convincing her that her knitting skills are much higher than she thinks they are!  Sadly - our 5th friend was busy volunteering at the elementary school and missed out on all of the fun!

So - my big purchase was this new yarn (or at least I have never seen it before).  The booth was Angora Vally Fibers & Fly Designs ( out of Tenino, WA.  They had a bunch of machine knit socks and fingerless gloves knit up in this up in this felted Possum yarn.  Supposedly, the more you machine wash it (lay out to dry) - the fuzzier and softer it gets.  The socks were amazing and I couldn't stop looking at them.  So here's the details:
30% New Zealand Possum
50% Merino Wool
20% Nylon
525 yds at 100 grams for $25.00.  Enough to make a pair of socks. 

My other purchase - (don't worry, I still have 1/2 day classes on Friday and Saturday with time to shop some more!) were these stunning buttons from Black Water Abbey (  Now - I wasn't the first to see them - my girlfriend was.  My girlfriend has great taste by the way so when she slipped them back onto the rack - I snatched them up!  It was the last set too!  They say that they are Vintage Vegetable Ivory - whatever that means.  As a vegetarian, that means to me that no elephant was killed during the making of these Ivory buttons!  They are just stunning and I'm sure that I can find the perfect cardigan to go with these buttons.

After a grueling couple of hours of shopping - we headed to the Murano restaurant for some lunch.  It was delicious but the company was even better and we all walked away with some fabulous treasures! 

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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.