Sunday, May 29, 2005

Finished another submission

I love long, nothing-to-do-in-particular weekends...especially after moving furniture all last weekend. I finished another design submission, this time for the May 2006 issue of Creative Knitting. Now I can say all those art classes were worth it in high school when my family thought I should be taking calculus and physics (I ended up taking them in college anyway.) I'm also getting packages in the mail from various yarn companies--on the advice of my PKDG mentor I've been contacting them to introduce myself and request color cards, swatching samples, etc. It's working! I'm really glad I joined the guild, though it was some work putting the application package together. I'm getting a lot of good advice and contacts out of it, and I'm more motivated submission-wise. Now to cross the fingers with the two I've sent out lately (the other was to Interweave Knits, if you missed that post). The new Spun should be coming out in a week or so, and I'll get to see my pattern (I think it's great that they knit the samples, I can't wait to see what it looks like!)

Saturday, May 28, 2005

The Big Show

Non-knitting related, I know (I have only gotten one row done all week on my Aran) but here's Emma's big debut, in her school's spring music/skit program.

Emma laughing hysterically during a skit

Emma during the "Funny Face" song, making one

Getting down-- because just singing the song would not be enough for my little ham

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Secret Pal Stuff

Since Secret Pal 5 stuff seems to be coming out, I thought I'd post my questionnaire answers. Here they are (I promise not to post for a few days so they don't get covered up!)
1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
I am a yarn snob! I prefer higher quality yarns, usually natural fibers (especially wool.)

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
I used to crochet, but I haven’t for years and really don’t want to. I have dabbled in spinning but feel that mainly it takes up too much time that could be put to better use knitting.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
Smoke is gross, other than that, no.

4. How long have you been knitting?
I have been knitting for 5 years, and am completely obsessed.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
No—I don’t usually let books I want pile up long enough to make a wish list (I’m a compulsive book-buyer.)

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
I’m not real big on scented things. Being a teacher, I get far too many candles, lotions, etc. for gifts. I have enough lotion to grease up every dry-skinned person east of the Rockies at this point. Please, no more.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
Yes, but only for ice cream. I’m on a diet (ha!) besides.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
I’m strictly a knitter at this point, but I do tap dance (not really a craft)

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I like most of the same music I’ve liked since I was a teenager—I’m pretty much stuck in the years 1986-1992 or so, mainly “alternative” type rock. My favorite band is The Pixies. I am MP3-able.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
Favorites are black, lavender, and pink (I’m finally able to admit that I like pink!)

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I am 31, married for 10 years with one daughter, age 5. I have two kitties.

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
Ideally I’d be able to leave teaching and do knitwear design all the time, rather than just when I can spare a minute.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
My favorite yarns are: Noro Kureyon, Koigu KPPPM, Karabella Aurora 8, Jamieson and Smith Shetland, and Opal.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I despise acrylic, especially the “Red Heart” variety. I don’t like Fun Fur or its variants. I’m not huge on cotton unless it’s Takhi Cotton Classic.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
I’ve been pretty into Fair Isle lately, beaded knitting, also socks, small projects, and anything colorful. I love to get new and interesting needles too, if that counts as an obsession.

16. What is/are your favorite items to knit?
Smaller projects, since sweaters take so long! I like to knit bags, socks, hats, but not scarves. I usually go for difficult projects, but always like to have something easy going for when I can’t/don’t want to concentrate on it.

17. What are you knitting right now?
Right now I am working on my TKGA Level III Aran, a pair of Opal Socks, and a evening top to wear at the Stitches Midwest banquet in August. I’m also working on some design submissions.
18. What do you think about ponchos?
I don’t have a problem with ponchos per se, except Martha’s. I made one for my daughter but not myself.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
I use circulars more often (especially Addi Turbos or my Denise set) but I love how straights look, especially the fancy ones.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Wood, plastic, casein, and the smooth glide of Addi Turbos. No Boye/Susan Bates-type aluminum.

21. Are you a sock knitter?
Yes, I am a sock knitter, though not a voracious one. I usually have one pair going that I work on little by little when I’m frustrated by other projects.

22. How did you learn to knit?
I am self taught. (Interesting sidenote that a high school boyfriend taught me to crochet!)

23. How old is your oldest UFO?
5 months, and that’s long for me (it’s the socks). I’m generally pretty productive.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
Hello Kitty is my favorite character.

25. What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas, even though I’m not religious. I love giving/getting gifts.

26. Is there anything that you collect?
Knitting needles, Hello Kitty stuff, unusual looking vintage tins, funky stuff with pictures of sushi on it (the cornier the better!) My favorite is my sushi knitting bag from Boogybags.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
(this is embarrassing) Knitter’s, Interweave Knits, Vogue, Cast On, InKnitter’s. I sometimes buy Family Circle Easy Knitting and I do buy Knit.1 when it comes out, even though it’s mostly acrylic stuff.

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?
Like I said, I tend to buy the books I want right away. I’m looking forward to the new Harry Potter and the new Knitting Experience books, but I’ve already pre-ordered them at Amazon.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

So very busy...

I haven't had any time to knit for days. I am so sad. Yet, I am so happy, because the reason I haven't had time is that a VERY generous benefactor has bought the little independent elementary school I teach for a HUGE new building(s) on 20-some acres that was formerly a small college. All weekend I have been hauling furniture out of the new place (the previous occupants left almost everything) to make room for the contractors who are coming in (also at benefactor's expense) to fix and improve everything for the upcoming school year. It's all so amazing. Lots of parents and students came out to help and we had a great (but exhausting) time!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

So much attention!

Big thanks to Snooze for the nice plug on her blog! She is a fellow Michigan gal, though from up closer to the top of the mitten than I am (see "map" below.) I love being from a state where you can use your hand for a map! Anyone who has read my article at Knitty knows how much I like attention, so this is great! Thanks again.

In knitting-related news, I am still hard at work on my Level III Aran, though finishing a single row seems to take forever. I need to have plenty of other things around to work on for when my brain isn't frisky enough to provide the necessary level of concentration. (Excuse for more yarn shopping?)

I got the editorial calendar from Creative Knitting magazine today on the advice of my PKDG mentor, who said it's a good place to try for a new designer. I wish I had more time to think of ideas now, but being the end of the school year I am swamped with work and tired from too many child antics. Can you say JUNE 16??? (I can't wait! Hours and hours of potential knitting and designing time!)

Handy map (lame joke, I know)

Aran progress....slow but thankfully accurate.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Found this picture lying around today...too cute not to share. (It's Emma when she was about 9 months old, in 2000. Apparently she liked the taste of foliage then.)

Great Wall o' Yarn, part 2

Last week the mailman brought my yarns to swatch for the TNNA show in June, to be displayed in the "Great Wall of Yarn." I got some not-yet-available yarns from Rowan and Moda Dea. I actually got done cleaning the house by 2, so I did have time to knit after all (yay!) though I probably should have been getting some things done for work. So, long story short, the swatches are done and ready to mail. (The work stuff isn't however...)
I'm not going to post a picture of the yarn, since I don't think I should. I guess you'll have to wait until fall to see them at the store!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

No knitting for the wicked (or sloppy)

Well, it's time I faced it. I have been avoiding housework for far too long, and it's gotten a little scary over here. The cats are on a mountaineering expedition on the laundry pile in the basement, I've forgotten what color my counters are, you need radar feet to navigate around the toys, and the bathroom, well, let's just not go there, okay? It's just that after a long day of wrangling spring-fevered six and seven year olds a girl needs to hide out with her yarn. And a drink. Is that so wrong? Ironically, the only clean room in the house is my knitting room--maybe that's why it took me so long to notice the squalor building around me.
So no knitting for me today. Really.
Off I go to locate the vacuum. (sniff)

Thursday, May 12, 2005

It's so cozy, and Spun stuff

Finished the little cozy that I feel lame about making, but I kind of like it. It fits over the front of the case that came with my mp3 player, so I still have use of the clippy part and all that. I decided to get fancy and add beaded embellishments--ooh!
In other news, I have a pattern coming out in the Summer issue of Spun. It's a little purse done in a mosaic pattern with Kureyon. Yes, I know they don't pay, but I still feel important. Shut up.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Jumping on the Bandwagon

I normally try to avoid the temptation to knit what everyone else seems to be knitting. I'd never knit Clapotis, for example (no offense!) because I'm sick of hearing about it. You get the picture. I have decided, however, after much trepidation, to knit a little cozy for my i-pod knockoff, even though I keep hearing mention of such objects, and that usually makes me ill. I'm using Koigu, because I love it and bought some last month at The Knitting Room, which is a really fabulous shop in Birmingham, Michigan if you ever get out my way. I am lucky to have many a yarn shop at my disposal, and that is one of my favorites! I have just written a lot of long sentences. Sorry.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

My Beloved Lair

Remember how I was complaining the other day about not having a digital camera? Joe bought me one for Mother's Day (which is very odd, normally I just get a meal out or something.) He had the needs of the blog in mind, which is sweet. To celebrate, I am subjecting you to a parade of photos about my favorite room in the house, my Knitting Room, otherwise known as The Reason I'm Done Having Children (the extra bedroom is MINE!) Enjoy!

My secret knitting lair (note the enormous schematic of my Aran on the wall- I still hadn't discovered 10X10 graph paper yet.

Yes, when it comes to knitting books I have a problem. A big problem.

My favorite knitting bags.

The needles (not including the dpns and circulars, which are in plastic containers near my chair) and my beloved Nifty Swift.

The stash, consuming most of the closet in my knitting room.

Pinecone II trying to steal my chair.

Photographic Evidence

The finished Baby Surprise, as modeled by Emma's doll. You can't really tell from the picture, but the buttons are clear with blue, green and pink swirls that match the yarn.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Sick of the dots, and how I spent my Saturday

I decided to get rid of the dots (since I hate those colors), and try a new design for the ol' blog. Hope you like it!
Knitting-wise, I have the Eveningwear of Mystery all figured out, I think. It's a pretty unusual construction, and it took some thinking to see if it would work. I still won't be entirely sure until I get farther along in the knitting. Cross your fingers!
In Designer Wannabe news, I have a submission all ready to send for the Spring 2006 issue of Interweave Knits. My first try at a real magazine--who knows what will happen???
Tomorrow is Mother's Day, and I'm planning to just lie around and be adored. Joe did a lot of laundry today, which was nice, and I'm hoping for more housework-related favors in the morning (he's pretty good about that kind of thing.)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Happy Blog-o-versary to me and other news

A whole month. That's all I'll say about that because who cares, right?
In yarn-related news, I have been doing some designing and swatching for the Eveningwear of Mystery. I'd tell you, but you know, it wouldn't be the Eveningwear of Mystery anymore if I did. So you have to wait until it's done. The yarn came yesterday (yay!) My daughter was really annoyed because there was a package on the porch and it wasn't addressed to her. I said, "Were you expecting a package? It isn't your birthday." She replied, "It isn't yours either, Mom." Apparently she doesn't realize how things work around here!

Sunday, May 01, 2005's finished

Well I finished the Baby Surprise. Since I don't know any babies, it's been given to Emma's baby doll, whom it fits nicely. I'll get a picture up soon (believe or not I still use film and have to wait to finish the roll. How 20th century of me. My mom didn't get us a color tv until 1987 or something so I think it fits.)