Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Couple of Originals

This is a kimono style sweater I created 'by ear'. I started with 3 stitches and built the lower back in one piece, then knit the top from cuff to cuff in one piece. As soon as I could, I clipped it together and began trying it on to get the proportions right. It really looks a lot better on me than on my paper doll, but there is no one here to take my picture. Why can't my cat be more useful?

This one has 3/4 sleeves with slits - very nice if you always like your sleeves pushed up anyway.

For the front band, I used the crochet stitch that Ana taught me. Now she has me as crazy about that stitch as she is.

The yarn is Berroco Love It Colors, and I do (love it). I finished this entire sweater in about 4 days. Working on Size 8 needles seems like a walk in the park after spending so much time designing in sock yarn on nothing bigger than a 3.

I don't intend to publish this pattern but I do plan on developing the idea with different yarns and combinations of yarn. I really like the body shape. I'm not big on cardigans but love jackets.

I am calling this one Wild Fiber Scarf. It is made from some of the yarn I brought home with me after taking that Japanese pattern class at Wildfiber in Santa Monica. The scarf looks better than it feels but I love the pattern and will work with some alternative fibers before publishing the pattern.

Speaking of alternate fibers - my wholesale order from Claudia came last week and I am undertaking putting some of my patterns originally written for Koigu into kit form. I intend to attend Stitches West in February, offering my patterns (and kits) for the first time to the public. I hope I can get in.

Speaking of shows, the Contemporary Crafts Market looms close. I wake up in the middle of the night, worrying about display fixtures, lighting, credit cards, etc. At this very moment I am procrastinating from doing the postcard layout by writing in my blog. If it weren't for procrastination, I'd probably never get anything done!

Today is Eden's first football game. He had me cut off his year's growth of Afro (photos later) and he looks FORMIDABLE! His shoulders look 10" wider (he wears a size 56 men's jacket - the 54 was too tight in the shoulders!) You saw his shoes. His hair filled up an entire wastebasket. This morning when he came down for school, I had forgotten about the haircut and was startled for a minute. With the Afro, he looked like a goofy (big) hippie (not counting the sagged jeans and black t-shirt that hangs to his knees) With the short hair he looks like..."Please don't hurt me, Mr. Blackman"

Look out, Millkin (the opposing team)

Pacific Grove Pullover

Once again, I am in love with Jill Vosburg's pattern! After doing her Heartbeat Sweater and now this one, I have to say that I thinks she's one of the top designers in today's market.

I used Noro Silver Thaw that I bought from Astrid, and yes, I am obsessed.
This yarn was perfect for a winter version of this sweater - there is a little angora and a little nylon in the yarn, making it less scratchy than Kureyon, and I never tire of watching the colors change.

In July I made my first version of this pattern in Borroco Nostalgia I bought in closeout from Webs. I really love it and receive lots of compliments when I wear it, especially from knitters.

If you haven't tried one of Jill's patterns and enjoy modular knitting, I recommend you get on it!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Either a Pair of Socks or...All These

My Beaded Garden Party Scarf. The yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Black Pearl colorway. Not quite up to the Koigu, but the good thing is it is only $9.75 a skein and the skeins are larger. Instead of using 1.5, I made this scarf with just one skein. Saving nearly $20 on yarn now that Koigu is running $14 a skein!

These are the cutest booties - called Saartje's Bootie, they take about an hour to make. Even better, the pattern is free here.

And to go with it, one EZ Baby Surprise Jacket. I used a little bit of black fingering weight wool in the booties and sweater to make it more interesting, and I crocheted a beaded border on the sweater. Instead of closing with buttons (I only had 2 more like the ones I used on the booties) I crocheted ties that end in beaded flowers.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Friday Report

Today I took a little workshop at Wildfiber from the Habu Textile Lady on how to read Japanese knitting patterns. Francesca has a great report about the Habu Trunk Show on her blog.

Japanese knitting patterns are so intelligently written - just a schematic with measurements and little shorthand info in boxes that tell you where and when to increase and decrease. These patterns assume that you already know how to knit and that you will determine yourself what kind of increases and decreases you want to use. There are practically no written words at all, making the patterns universal, once you understand how they are written. Very cool. Too bad we can't write more patterns that way - I tell you, I'd write a heck of a lot more patterns if that was all that was required.

There are some amazing Japanese pattern books available. They are probably the most inventive and creative country of knitters in the world. I own a lot of Japanese stitch dictionaries and they are quite inspirational.

Since I showed you photos of the crack I mean stash I bought last week, I am not going to photograph what I bought today. Let's just say they had a 50% off room filled with things that kept jumping into my basket.

Next week my order from Claudia comes. I have been wanting to kit up some of my patterns with yarn. Since it is impossible for me to consider selling Koigu (how would I be able to part with any of it?) I have chosen Claudia Handpaints as my kitting yarn. They called me at 5:55 this morning to say it would go out today. I have no idea where I will put my HUGE order. Since I must take over the living room to begin inventorying my wearable art for the November show, I guess putting a "small" amount of yarn there, too, will hardly matter.

Maurice mentioned today that maybe I need a real studio. Like in a separate building. My business seems to be outgrowing our home. We'll see...

Other Breaking News!!! Knitpicks has new needles. They are totally gorgeous! Of course I will let you know how I like them as soon as they arrive.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Cotton Candy Sweater

Inspired by Ana!

The center panel of this was knit on the Brother 260, T5. It was a snap, just working 10 rows of color A, alternating 2 rows of B with 2 rows of A, then 10 rows of B, 2 rows C, 2 rows B...etc. For the neckline I bound off then cast on so there are no shoulder seams.

After blocking, I used alternating colors to crochet around the entire rectangle, linking the last round together to make side seams. Altogether, I think it took about 6 hours to make this entire sweater and I love wearing it.

BTW, I washed it in the machine on the delicate cycle and machine dried it, too, and there was no shrinkage!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Yarn Acquisition

Ever since Brandi called me from Stitches From the Heart to say they had some new yarn in she thought I would like, I have been resisting the urge to go over and take a look. The other day, I lost my will and was sucked into the vortex of yarn-a-liscious yarn acquisition.

This is the yarn she was talking about - Hacho by Mirasol. Spun and hand dyed in Peru. I can't wait to make something from it!
All of these skeins jumped into my bag!

Of course, I had to get a few other things, too. Like this grey and rainbow pastel collection.

And then I was waiting on a customer who wanted to make a scarf like my new Chevron Scarf (will post photo soon) And I discovered this sock yarn and couldn't make up my mind about the color so I took them all!

It is called Online Supersocke 100 and was only $10.75 for 100 grams - 75% wool, 25% polyamid. How could I resist?

By then, I was getting a little mind altered, so when Brandi insisted I needed these 2 magazines, once again...how could I resist?

And then my fifth order from the Loopy Ewe came. So I am now officially a Loopy Groupie! Honestly, I could place an order with the Loopy Ewe every other day. Those 2 beauties in the middle are hand painted cashmere, silk and merino. The Lorna's Laces on the right have already been transformed. I will post photos later.

Right now I NEED TO KNIT. See ya!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Another EW Vintage Dress on ebay!

It amazes me to see my old dresses listed on ebay! It doesn't happen often but when it does, it's like running into an old friend you completely forgot you knew. Listed as "from the 70's disco era" it was actually from the mid 80's. Probably written by someone who was so young in the 80's they have no idea how sizzling hot the fashions were back then.

This one was from the commercial line I designed from 1986-7 called "Climax".

Only the most outrageous, degenerates or outlaws had tattoos back in the 80's. But what a perfect dress to show one off!

If you want to place a bid, you can find it here.