Saturday, December 12, 2009

Twin Baby Sweaters

Some new members of my extended family have arrived!

My father's wife's older son and his wife just had twins! I loved making these tiny sweaters for them, and plan to write the pattern for Claudia for next season.

I would actually love one in my size!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Not Broken Anymore?

The security issues with the website have been fixed. In the mean time, I am working on the new website. It is, of course, taking longer and costing more than I originally imagined. I'm also working on a set of new patterns for spring to be presented at TNNA in January. I am totally in love with Claudia's Linen Lace and all the new patterns are in that yarn, although they translate into other yarns as well. I have a few skeins of discontinued colors on sale here.

Here is a little sneak peek at one of the new patterns, which will also be put up as a kit, to spare people from having to buy full skeins of 6 different colors:
I've also been working on gifts. There is an amazing designer named Frankie Brown who has several free patterns on Ravelry. She has created some clever patterns with only 10 stitches going at a time. Here is one I completed in Noro Kureyon Sock.

Also in the works - more kitteh bwankies for the Cat Sanctuary and a pile of catnip filled toys for all the felines in my family.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Good Timing!

My shopping cart is broken! (sad face)

It happened because my webhost was changed by Costco. I had, up until then, been extremely happy with the webhost provided by Costco, mainly because of the excellent customer service.

This new one has foreign customer service, what Leo Laport calls 'customer no service'. They couldn't help me, but took several hours on 3 separate occasions to tell me, and of course, blamed my shopping cart itself.

Excuse me - but you lost the file while transferring and now my shopping cart just loops around until it gives up.

I never liked my shopping cart, anyway. It was a program written by sadists who liked feeling superior to their users. Also had 'customer no service'.

So I'm having whole new website built by my favorite webmaster, Peter Eastwood, who will be putting in a new, user friendly shopping cart and will be hosting it himself. I took advantage of this opportunity to redesign the website and can hardly wait to be able to invite you (my 11 regular readers) to view it.

Stay tuned! And in the mean time, if you want to buy something from my site, contact me at info at ellenewarren dot com, please, and I will hand process your order.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Free Crochet Pattern

Meet Yarnartist's Granny!
Inspired by the scarf nurse Jackie has been wearing over the last few weeks, I got out all my Claudia scraps, a skein of her Mohair, and created this very easy scarf.

I am offering her for Free from the e-boutique - use coupon code GRANNY!


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Another Knitting Disaster Story

I just listened to Knitpicks Podcast #101, in which Kelley discusses knitting disasters with some other knitters. (BTW - it's the only knitting podcast I have stuck with - it's really very good!)

Anyway, it reminded me of one of my worst disasters, which occurred when I was 17 years old and working on my first fairisle project. Back then, I just called it a ski sweater. It was 3 colors - natural whitish-cream background with pink and black. It had overall patterning, but only used 2 colors at a time.

I quickly completed the front and back, not knowing that it was supposed to be hard and take forever. Then I had to go to the hospital for an extended stay. I brought the yarn and pattern with me, but left the completed pieces at home. I worked both sleeves at the same time - 6 balls of yarn all going at once!

By the time I went home, I had completed the sleeves to the armhole decreases. But to my horror, I had put the black where the pink had been on the front and back and the pink where the black had been. I decided it would be okay - a design element!!! I finished the sleeves and sewed the sweater together (with sewing thread! sigh!)

No matter how I tried, I could not live with the mistake. It bothered me so much that I knew I would never be able to wear it. So I took it all apart, frogged the sleeves, and remade them with the colors in the proper places.

It has taken me many, many more knitting disasters to learn that I am a person who can't live with a mistake in my knitting. no matter how determined I am to just keep going. I may as well start ripping the minute I discover a mistake because I will just be throwing good time after bad.

What amazes me now is that I still have this sweater - 42 years later! Agghhh!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Crazy Lace by Myra Wood

Myra's new book is ready for pre-order on Amazon!!!

It is an amazing new concept, dreamed up by the genius mind of one of the most talented fiber artists in the world!

I have been so inspired by her Crazy Lace concept - it has changed the way I design Lace and will blast open new creative channels of any lace-knitter's mind!

I can't wait to hold the finished book in my hands!

Pre-order yours here.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Want to ChaCha?

This baby was a difficult birth. Tech editing problems. Test knitting problems (due to errors left by tech editor and also operator error)

Sometimes it just be's that way. But I persevered and I am so happy with the results. Actually, it is an easy and fast knit.

This pattern is available as part of a kit only, with Claudia's gorgeous mohair and boucle. The nice thing about it from the retailer's standpoint is that it is interchangeable with the French Scarf Kit, so if a customer wants a certain color of yarn, the pattern can just be switched out.

The nice thing about it from the knitter's standpoint it that this lusciousness retails for under $40.

The nice thing about it from my standpoint is that IT IS DONE so I can move on to one of the 1,278,962 projects in my planner.

Want a ChaCha of your own? Order it here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hanne Falkenberg Blues 1 Kit For Sale

I totally love this design. I love a lot of Hanne Falkenberg's designs.

But I will never make any of them. What was I thinking when I bought this kit?

Anyway, my folly could be your good luck. Here are the details:

Blues 1 by Hanne Falkenberg
The kit contains sufficient yarn (50% cotton/50% lambswool) to knit one of the following sizes - S, M/L, XL. The finished garment measures 35", 39" and 43" around the chest.

Please note the pin is not included in the kit, but you will get an actual Hanne Falkenberg label to sew in your finished garment.

You will also need 2 x 3mm circular needles (80cm length) and a set of 3mm double pointed needles.

Regular retail price is about $85. I will sell it for $70 including priority mail postage in the US.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Cedarhill Animal Sanctuary

See this woman? Her name is Kay and I read about her amazing contribution to the world, rescuing wild cats, in More magazine. The way she described the tragic existence of these wonderful creatures and the transformation that came over them after they began to live with her moved me to tears. I checked out her website and immediately donated to her cause.

When I read that she also rescues senior domestic cats who have lost their owners or their homes, I began crocheting some blankies for the senior cats.

I need to always be making something - it keeps me from going out of my mind. Sometimes I need simple, mindless projects that do not contain any of my designer's ego. Kitty blankies fit the bill perfectly, with the added benefit of usefulness. Kitties really LOVE laying on little blankies.

I also have a ton of yarn!!! What better use is there for yarn I will never need? The kitties don't care about color, stitch pattern, or matching.

I finished 8 of them and will be sending them off to the senior kitties at Cedarhill.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Spring Lace

I think we are all ready for spring! This project was made from some gorgeous silk/wool yarn from Fleece Artist. I bought it to make this exquisite sleeveless jacket by Ilga Leja.

The problem was, every time I put it down I left it too long and forgot where I was in the pattern. The back was finished for over a year, but I kept having to rip the front piece to get started again. Why didn't I just finish it? I still adore the design. But I was seriously concerned there wouldn't be enough yarn and it made me very uncomfortable every time I worked on it. Also, I think the color was a little too bright to suit the design.

Anyway, after the 3rd ripping, I decided to just frog the whole thing and make up my own design with the yarn.

This is what I came up with:

It is just a simple top down, garter stitch bodice with a made-up lace skirt. The top is shaped with darts at the bust and sides. The garter stitch hides the shaping pretty well, I think.

I was experimenting with widening a lace skirt - see how the pattern is established with the first repeat (at the waist) and then splits off into 2 reps where there had just been one?

The cut away styling of the skirt is very slenderizing to the hips.

I crocheted a simple shell around the armholes and the hemline. I had about 12" of yarn left over, but wasn't as tense about running out of yarn as I had been when working on Ilga's pattern.

Although I love the yarn, I still wish the colors were a bit more muted - especially the green. I will probably never wear it - if you want to buy it - let me know. (size 6-8)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ms. Frizzle

For about 6 years I have had a spider plant in a pot that we call Ms. Frizzle. The plant finally succumbed to a mite problem and I decided to put it out of its misery, sterilize the pot, and buy a new spider plant.

This is Ms. Frizzle

This is what I pulled out of her head.

Cool, huh?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

If I Were in High School

I'd be a Goth.

Eden explained to me long ago about the different cliques at his school - the (Skate) Boarders, the Nerds, the Gangstas, the Emos and the Goths.

I like the costumes of the Goths. Course, I'd have to add a little pastel rainbow here and there and some glitter.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


TNNA _ January 2009, San Diego, CA

Monoyarnamous is a word I just coined during a communication with a Ravelry friend. It is what I am trying to be, but man, it's hard.

Just as when looking for that one partner who could keep me monogamous for the rest of my life, I had to try a lot of yarn first before marrying just one.

And I chose .... Claudia!
And here are the reasons why.
1) Love love love her colors. Claudia is not afraid of color. She's playful, serious, or sophisticated. She has A LOT of colorways and I find that the more I become intimate with each one, the more I like it.
2) She also has a lot of textures.
3) Claudia herself is such a nice person and creative spirit. We are on the same page in our approach to our businesses.
4) Inside each of her yarn labels it says "Peace, love, comfort and Joy."

But it is so hard to stay monoyarnamous. Every day I see yarns that set off beautiful designs on the screen of my imagination and start my fingers twitching to touch and shape them into my dreams. I can't tell you how many loaded shopping carts I have closed my browser on.

The thing that keeps me on track is the inconvenient truth that I stare at every day - my stash above and beyond life expectancy. Every ball and skein purchased with best of intentions and a flash (or flood) of creative vision of its potential possibilities. Put aside, mostly where I can't even see them.

Like a sperm bank - just shelf after shelf of possibilities.