Sunday, August 28, 2005

EZ Stash Reduction

I don't think I've mentioned this yet, but I joined the Preemie Project since it's been a while since I did any charity knitting. Once upon a time I did some hats for Stitches From the Heart. (Interesting sidenote- at Stitches Midwest, in my Bohus class, I sat next to Kathy Silverton, the woman who started that organization.)
ANYWAY, I'm working on some preemie stuff, but since I have all these deadlines in the next month for Knitter's and SWTC it's going to take me awhile. To that end, I decided to clean out some stash and send a nice yarn donation in the meantime. So some appropriate yarny goodness (has to be washable and soft) is on its way.

Friday, August 26, 2005


Saw this on Lauren's blog and thought I'd give it a try, since I've never done one of these before, so here we go...
10 years ago
I was 21, almost done with college. I got married (eloped) to my high school sweetie in (scenic?) Toledo, Ohio. Our honeymoon consisted of having the breakfast bar at Big Boy's and going to the zoo. I worked in a toy store, substitute taught, and took way too many classes. My new hubby and I lived in a crazy little apartment on top of a travel agency in the very small town of South Lyon, Michigan, and parades went by our window all the time, always featuring this old nut showing off his antique tractor. Back then I didn't knit, I crocheted.
5 years ago
Emma was 6 months old, and I was enjoying my year and a half stint as a stay-at-home mom. By then we had long since moved away from South Lyon and were living in a different apartment in Northville. I was also a new knitter! (If you read this earlier- sorry I seemed to have forgotten how to subtract. 5 years ago was 2000, not 2001. So Emma wasn't 18 months and I wasn't going back to work or grad school yet. Oops. But I did knit then. At least I was right about that!) Here's a picture of Emma at that time:

1 year ago
We had just bought our first real house, in Livonia- in the same subdivision where I lived as a baby, oddly enough. I passed Level 2 of the Master Knitting program and bought two baby kittens, Rosalie and Pinecone II. Emma started "real" school (no more preschool for her!)
Spent the day getting ready for the new school year--planning units, cleaning my classroom, etc. Went out to lunch with the other teachers. Stayed late to get a bit more done to maximize weekend knitting time. Debated getting a class pet.
Went to work again. Suffered through a long boring workshop with the copier man who was showing us how to use our fancy new copier. Went out for sushi with the teachers but the sushi chef was on vacation. Had to have Chinese food instead. Was sad. Came home and found a check in the mailbox for the Creative Knitting project. Was happy.
Hubby is in Put-in-Bay for a volleyball tournament, so I can knit all day guilt-free. Want to finish both sleeves of the SWTC sweater. Emma plans to lay around and watch DVDs (she had a VERY active week this week at daycamp and is exhausted, so I don't blame her one bit!) Kitties plan to pester us both.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Better make some time for yarn- huge news!

I'm in total shock- I mean, getting those designs accepted for SWTC was big, having a design chosen for Creative Knitting was also big, but now- you may want to sit down for this- I have a design coming out in the Winter 2005 (yes, that soon) issue of Knitter's! I'm going to have to haul some major ass to get that done and the sweater, but it's doable. Luckily it's a baby sweater. Luckily I got the Creative Knitting one done in just a week. Luckily I still have another week and a half until school officially starts.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

No time for yarn

I went back to work yesterday, and am very busy getting ready for the start of the new school year. As much as I like getting the room ready and such, all the cleaning and furniture moving has left me too tired to knit so far this week. So sad, so very sad. I'm still determined to finish the SWTC sweater before Labor Day, even though I *technically* have a bit more time than that.
I joined Secret Pal 6, even after all the horror stories I heard about people not getting prizes from their pals in SP5. SP5 is almost over (duh)- I recently sent my last package and REVEALED myself- I'm looking forward to hearing from my pal and finding out who she is (she once mentioned a bizarre coincidence that I'm eager to get the details on!)

Friday, August 19, 2005

I finally got a...

issue of Keito Dama! I know very little Japanese but there's hardly any writing in it anyway. For some reason, I just wanted one. I had the hardest time (we have a Japanese bookstore but they did not have it) but finally found it here. I was also able to get Emma a stuffed Totoro (from her favorite movie).
In other news, I finished the item for Creative Knitting and sent it off! Now to finish the sweater for SWTC and hopefully my Level 3 Aran one of these days. I'm dying to start my Red Palm sweater that I got at Stitches, but I told myself I had to wait until I sent out Level 3- otherwise I'll never finish. I am playing with La Luz a bit though.
Today is my last "no work" weekday, so Emma and I are going to live it up! (For us, that means going to Olga's for lunch, having a swim and playing on the climber/knitting at the Rec Center, and topping it off with some Maggie Moo's, our new favorite ice cream).

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Scoop on Stitches, Part 2

The biggest knitting-related market I had been to before coming to Stitches was Knit Fest in Toledo, which was nice but MUCH smaller. I needed a plan. I arrived Friday at 1:00, checked in to the Hyatt, and went straight for the Market. I was hungry, but I didn't care. I spent a few hours just looking, figuring out what I was going to get. I needed some size 0's for my Bohus class, so I bought some Addis, and I also got a Kimmet Croft Fibers Bohus sweater kit- "The Red Palm." I think there's a picture of it on their site. I chose it because it's my colors and I would actually wear it and not look scary- my favorite is "The Wild Apple" but I just can't wear those autumny colors without looking ill. After that it was about 4:30, and I was starting to feel a bit faint. I wanted to flop for a bit, so I trudged down the LONG, ICY tunnel to the hotel, laid down, and ordered some room service (I know, very naughty!) After watching some TV and eating, I felt much better. I went for a swim and knitted before turning in early to be ready for Saturday.

Here's some stuff I bought- the Bohus kit (angora/merino blend- so soft!), lots of Kureyon (20% off, how could I resist?) and a skein of new Lily Chin yarn to play with and a much-coveted skein of La Luz silk, which I always pet but never buy at home- it was 30% off!

On Saturday, I got up early to pay way too much for a little plate of fruit and some coffee (iced mocha latte- my favorite!) and chatted with some nice older ladies. One of them thought I was in high school, which made me happy since I'm really 31 and have ever-increasing amounts of grey hair. They liked my sushi knitting bag.
I went to the Bohus class, where I ended up sitting next to Kathy Silverton whose charity I have knitted many a preemie hat for. Small world! At lunch break, of course my primary interest was shopping, so I grabbed a quick piece of pizza and got started. I bought more Addis, the Kureyon pictured above, and the La Luz. I talked to Lily Chin for a while and bought one skein of her new yarn to try since it looked and felt like Aurora 8, which I love. I saw Bonne Marie Burns and many a designer, which was fun. Someone actually recognized me from my Knitty article (my brief movie star moment).

More stuff I bought- a cute little Lantern Moon bag, a ball winder (been dying for this!) more turbos, and a gorgeous dichroic glass button for my Sitcom Chic, whenever I get to make it. Also, and not pictured, I renewed my subscription to Knitter's since you got a fun pink rubbery knitting bag with that.
After shopping, I finished up my class, ran back to the market for a few minutes, then to my room to change for the banquet. At the banquet I ended up sitting next to someone who used to live in my neighborhood! How weird- the usual "where are you from" conversation got down to street level. I had me some drinks, and enjoyed the student fashion show and copious amounts of prizes. Believe it or not, EVERYBODY ended up getting something. Here's what I got:

Yes, a big pile of Addi Turbo type stuff- needles, crochet hook, embroidery scissors, needle gauge, row counters, etc. etc. etc. How cool.
Sunday I went to my class with Maggie Jackson, took one last look around the market, checked out and sat at the airport for a couple of hours (O'Hare is so awful- cramped, grungy, and boring. I guess I'm spoiled- when I was waiting for my flight out from Detroit I window shopped in all the stores, everything is open and airy, it's almost fun to be there.) On the flight back the flight attendant actually threatened to pull over the airplane if some idiot didn't put away her laptop before take off and had to ask people to sit down more than once! There were some seriously obnoxious passengers, the likes of which I've never seen before.
Now to finish up these projects for other people so I can work on something for me- I'm itching to use my new yarn!

Monday, August 15, 2005

The Scoop on Stitches, Part 1

I had a great time at Stitches Midwest, needless to say. I've decided to break up my report so as to avoid it being huge. So today I present, Part 1- classes.
Bohus Stickning
The best class I took was Bohus Stickning. For those who are not familiar, Bohus was a group of women who designed, knit, and sold very complex and distinctive sweaters and accessories from the 30's to the 60's in Sweden. They are somewhat like Fair Isle, except can have as many as 5 colors in one row (stranded) and use purl stitches here and there on the right side to add texture and depth of color. The teacher was Susanna Hansson who knew what she was talking about. We had a great slide show, a lecture, and got to see and touch her collection of Bohus sweaters, hats, gloves, and scarves. These were knit in fine gauge yarn (usually angora/merino blend- yum!)with little (think size 0) needles. We made a swatch of one of the designs at 9.5 sts/in. Yes, my hands were cramped. I have pictures!

And finally, I present the Bohus swatch I knitted. The design is called "Scilla." For availability and cost's sake, we used regular old Shetland Jumper Wt. (very stiff at this gauge) and a bit of white angora.

Designer Irish Knits
The other class I took was with Maggie Jackson. Once I was able to understand her (being Irish and all, it took a minute!) it was great. We learned how to knit in her style, with the "splits and tubes" and had fun playing with her linen yarn and a variety of "fancies" (as she called them). Here's what I finished in class, bear in mind it hasn't been blocked or anything so it might seem a bit misshapen.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Hitting the road...

...well, in the morning. But I thought I'd sneak in a post mid-pack before I leave for Stitches Midwest first thing tomorrow. Knit-wise, I've been working away on the seamless cabled sweater I'm making for SWTC, and today my friendly neighborhood UPS man brought the yarn for the Creative Knitting project, some pretty variegated SWTC Karaoke (lavendery) and matching SWTC Fur Real (I don't use fur yarns, as a rule, but this is nicer than most-very soft and nice). I'm doing something entrelac-y with it. Hopefully I can crank it out next week, it would be nice to be done before I have to go back to work.
When next we meet I'll have the full report from Stitches- until then!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


I know. But I'm excited. Looks what's on Amazon! There's an essay and 5 poems in there from me (limericks, to be precise). I'm big on limericks.
Want to see what I designed for South West Trading? There's already a picture up on their blog.
Now that I'm done obnoxiously showing off, I'll go back to my knitting. :)

Monday, August 08, 2005

It's bigger than your head!

What is it you say? The yarn I'm using for my next project for SWTC- behold, the lovely Karaoke (this is one of the solid colors, mind you.)

Fun, yes, but all is not well. I got called for jury duty, in creepy old downtown Detroit, a place that creeps me out to drive in since I don't know where I'm going and am afraid I'll end up in a bad neighborhood, which isn't too hard to do. The worst part is it's the week before school starts, so if I get put on a jury I may lose out on my setting up my new classroom in our new building time, which could lead to a horrifying and panicked Labor Day weekend. Wish I could set up early, but they're not done remodeling yet. Sigh. The worst part is the list of things you CAN'T bring in to the court building is a mile long and eliminates pretty much anything but a book to amuse oneself during the inevitable long waits. Sigh again.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

First SWTC project done!

Well, I decided to stay up late last night to finish my first design for SWTC- the sample is all knitted and I'm putting the finishing touches on the instructions. I can't really say much about it since I've already given them the rights to it, but suffice to say it's a cute stuffed animal made of 2 of their new yarns, Bamboo Feather and Pagoda. Totally unbelievably soft! My daughter gave it the "hug test" and it passed. The yarn for the Creative Knitting project (coincidentally also from SWTC- I happened to do a few submissions with their yarns after I got some samples back in the spring) is on its way and I hope to get it started right after Stitches. In the meantime I am swatching and working out the math for the sweater I am doing for SWTC out of their new Karaoke yarn, which in the variegated colorways looks like Kureyon except it's SOFT!! (Half wool and half soysilk). Gorgeous, gorgeous stuff.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Additional bonus post- even more good news!

Okay, I'm going to freak out. I am going to have a design in the May 2006 issue of Creative Knitting!! I may ALSO have one in the July 2006 issue but won't know for sure until next week. I can't believe all of this- too cool!!


Until Stitches Midwest! I am so excited. I finished the little strange socks, which though potentially tacky, I had to make. I used an imperceptible amount of Koigu leavings from Charlotte. Here is Exhibit A, the right foot:

Why no left foot? I don't know. If you want the pattern, it's here. Anyway, I have an "issue" with the mail--if I think something interesting might come I check it constantly, assuming I'm not at work, which since it's early August I am not (the start of school looms ever closer though.) It's the same with the UPS man, who is supposed to come today, to bring the yarn for my first design for South West Trading Company. I keep looking out the window and listening for the siren sound of squeaky truck brakes.

Despite the time I am spending blogging, I have been productive today. I have not knit (believe it or not) but instead did some work on unit plans for the upcoming school year and had fun setting up my new lesson plan book. Trying to get something done now so I don't freak out later, I suppose.

Thanks for all the nice comments about my corset!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Corset finished

Ok- I really like this pattern. It turned out nice. It fits perfectly. If I weren't so godawfully boobular I might actually wear it out of the house. Behold! The Silk Corset.

I made it out of Debbie Bliss Cathay, which is such a wonderful yarn. With the exception of my WIPS and the stuff for South West Trading, though, it will be my last in non-Cotton Ease for a while. Got to do something about the size of that pile before buying more (except for what I'll buy at Stitches next week-shh!) I pointed out to my husband that the money I've earned (or will receive soon enough) for the patterns I've sold and the Knitty article and the Cheaper Than Therapy stuff more than pays for the classes, hotel, airfare, and food for Stitches--even some for shopping, so he shouldn't get bent out of shape if I go a little nuts. This was my goal, after all, to earn enough to support my habit. It's working out, fortunately.