Thursday, January 31, 2008

Alfie's Blankie Update

A good fit and a good color match. And isn't he the most bee-yoo-ti-ful kitty?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Other Projects From the Sickbed and a Contest!

I have been working through Sasha Kagan's Crochet Inspirations. I just love this book!

Playing around with little motifs made from some tapestry wool from my stash. I have big plans for these, once I am able to count past 10 again.

One of these is from my own mind, not the book. Let's make a contest. The first person who can tell me which one I made up will receive a nice selection of my tapestry yarn stash to make their own motif samples.

Here is the prize!

14 little skeins of wool tapestry yarn! No germs included!

Still Sick

But does that stop me from needing to create?

Nooooo!!! But what I'm creating is not too great! Well, maybe it will be considered great by one (now fully grown) rag doll kitty named Alfie, my catphew.

How could anyone not fall in love with this little face?

Or the little toe tufts?

I made him this blanket to set off his beautiful blue eyes. It is a section of the Lion Brand free pattern called Circles to Squares
from Vanna's Choice yarn. I admit to being a yarn snob and never work with acrylic yarn, but a kitty blanket needs to be washable and basically indestructible. I have been listening to Lion Brands' podcast and they interviewed Vanna White recently, and were so complimentary about her yarn that I slunk out of my flu-bed and took advantage of Michaels $2 a ball yarn sale.

I also really appreciate that she is donating a part of her share to a children's charity, although I am still foggy and can't remember which one.

The yarn was fine for the purpose, but if I were ever to make an afghan for myself (don't hold your breath on that one) I would want it to be made from something real, even if it had to go to the dry cleaner's. But that's just me.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Kitty Blanket

I have the fu and can't do math so all my new designs are on hold. I did manage to make this Kitty Blanket for my friend's cat, Dink, and it was like making a giant swatch. A new idea for a design is in my mind, but I need to wait till my brain isn't all stuffed up.

Figaro is testing the blankie for catibility. She a-purr-ooves.

Monday, January 14, 2008

TNNA Report

I had a wonderful time at TNNA this year!

The first thing that was great was meeting my friend, Mary Moran, in person! Mary is the brilliant developer of Sole Solution NeedleTrax, and Knitter's Desktop Companion. She also owns The Knitting Zone and most recently, she has added North American Distributer of Hiyahiya Needles to her empire.

Like a true idiot, I forgot to have someone take a picture of us to prove we have been on the planet in the same space and time, so you'll have to take my word for it.

But our story is that we 'met' at least 5 years ago on the internet and after discovering that we share a birthday (except she's much younger than I) we began a friendship that has developed over the years. She lives on a farm in Alabama and when she's not being a knitting mogel, milks cows, gathers eggs, nurses goats (and worse) and has a pet pig named Wilbur.

I so much enjoyed sharing a couple of dinners with her and her sidekick, Sue, who flew with her from Alabama to help with the show.

Their runaway best seller is the 9" circular sock needle. It seems everyone loves making socks and would prefer bypassing the dpn's!

What a thrill I received to answer the phone on Saturday morning and hear Margaret Hubert's voice! Years ago, I took a class with Margaret, just to get an opportunity to meet her and tell her how much I admire and appreciate her work. Margaret is very generous and gracious to provide aspiring knitter-designers with advice culled from her successful life-long knitting career. We developed a little e-mail friendship and although she was already booked for all meals, we were able to have a little sit down on Saturday while she got me caught up on her 18 (yes 18!) books!

And we were joined by the beautiful and multi-talented Myra Wood, who showed me a copy of her new book, Creative Crochet Lace. I have already pre-ordered a copy from Amazon, and if you love freeform or lace or both, you should, too! The sweater Magaret is wearing is actually featured in Myra's book!
And then I got to spend time with my newest knitting pal, Janice Rosema, who unveiled her newest creations for Ozark Handspun. I got to see Dave and Terri for the first time since becoming a customer of Ozark myself! Janice's work is just exquisite and Ozark supplies patterns FREE here.

This is my favorite Janice design.
If you haven't seen her creations, you must check them out, although her newest ones aren't up yet. But you can see them on ravelry here, and I know the patterns will eventually be on the Ozark site.

And then there was Claudia! Once again I am an idiot and didn't use the camera! I instantly felt a connection to this lovely woman whose hand dyed yarns have taken over my life and my upstairs hallway! How could I not love someone whose logo is a heart and who prints the words "Peace, Love, Comfort and Joy" on each label of her gorgeous yarn?

Claudia had a modular coat that she made and designed herself that showed how talented and patient she is, not just with the dye pots! I ordered more of her gorgeous yarn, this time in sport weight and her new linen, and plan on some new designs for Summer TNNA! Stay tuned!

The only thing that would have made my day better was getting to meet the woman who first inspired my imagination with her freeform book, Prudence Mapstone! And guess what?
I was so inspired I came home and worked all night. I knit so much that I got a boo boo on my finger. See the groove that runs around my finger? That is a permanent groove worn in from years of holding the yarn wrapped around right there. When I work with Noro, especially, over days, I sometimes start to bleed from that groove. Knitter's stigmata.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Embellished Clam Shell Bag

Remember that tease from a few entries ago? Well, I have decided not to write the pattern, so here is the entire bag.

It is made from Noro Kureyon and Claudia's Hand Paint Boucle', then felted and embellished by needle felting with Ozark Handspun, then beaded. It has beautiful handles from Labeana.

I just don't like it enough to write the pattern. Sometimes designs don't live up to my expectations. The bag itself is nice enough, but it doesn't knock me out to the degree that I want to keep working on it. Not with so many other ideas screaming to be released from my imagination into the world.

I Would Trade Half My Stash to Go to Morocco!

Well, maybe a quarter of my stash. Half if I can replace it while I'm there...

Jane Thornley is organizing a dream trip to Morocco, specifically for knitters, fiber artists, beaders, photographers, and artists of all types.

There will be sightseeing and fine dining and touring and knitting and shopping and knitting and shopping.

Here s a picture of a store that sells nothing but tassels!!!

I just LOVE tassels! This makes the tassel department at Michael Levine's look like chopped liver!

Here is the hotel.
I can't go but maybe YOU can! Read her delightful prose describing the trip here.

If you go, please bring me some tassels.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Shetland Lace Shell Scarf

Pattern is by Frances Goodman, who I 'met' on Ravelry and is free here.
The yarn is from Knit Picks, called Shimmer, and it was wonderful to work with, plus stood up to many froggings, as before Frances was good enough to post her pattern, I had been playing around with it, trying to figure it out myself.

Oh dear, I just went to Knit Picks to get the address to link for you and I see that there are a few color ways of Shimmer on sale for $4.99! I only used 1 skein for a nice length, once it was blocked.

My New Year's resolution is to not buy yarn in 2008! That's right - no yarn! Trades don't count - as in trading graphic services or patterns or .... a teenager? I am also considering making an exception for yarn I need to purchase wholesale to make up kits. That is a slippery slope, though, as I tend to make up more kits than I sell, and then the unsold yarn becomes more ... stash!

My strategy for handling the 'M U S T B U Y Y A R N' urges is to go through my stash when they get real strong. Before I click on the PayPal button, I will be calling my 'sponsor' or shopping in my own closet. (closets, hallway, under the bed, storage room)

Think I can do it? Even I don't think I can be that strong, but I will take it one day at a time.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Say It Loud! I Knit and I'm Proud!

Yes, I am so proud of myself today!

I actually accomplished the task I set for myself - to format the pattern for 'Hot Hands' for both hard copy and download, get them onto my website, including the kit, and format the ad for Ravelry!

I am hoping people will like the pattern and the price for the kit!

Although I have decided not to go to Stitches West after all, I am still hoping to sell kits for some of my patterns on my site.

I have so much yarn purchased for kits that I have spilled out of my workroom and am taking over the hallway.

If you want to see, go here.