Sunday, December 30, 2007

Et tout range, enfin

I'll admit it. I love arranging and tidying up things like my purse, knitting bag, bookshelves... just don't ask me about the dirty dishes or the laundry piled on the basement floor. Today (after another pile of tech editing was done) I decided to finally figure out what needles I have and enter them on Ravelry (hopefully to avoid any further unecessary repurchasing of existing materials). Case in point, I discovered that I own 8 (yes, eight) size H crochet hooks. And 4 sets of size 10.5 straight needles (and I almost never use straight needles since I realized that circulars work that way too). Yes, some of the doubles (triples?) are different materials, length, etc, but a lot of them aren't. As a bonus I found out the needles I actually do still need (well, maybe not need). Anyway, even though I don't use them, I found I have quite a few straight needles! A sampling is shown above (l-r): Pony Total (kind of cut off), Aero, Lantern Moon, Pony Pearl, Suzanne's Rosewood, Swallow Casein (my old favorites), Hobi (love the little red plastic yarn ball that holds them together), Lion Brand, Swallow Casein again, some old yellow ones, Brittany Birch, Crystal Palace Daisy, Brittany Walnut (the first thing I bought at a "real" yarn store, ever), more Swallow Casein, Suzanne's Ebony, more Hobi, Bryspun (the heaviest size 19's ever- you could kill someone with a knock to the head), Crystal Palace Bamboo, and some old ones that say "Dependon".
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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Guess I was on the good list

I don't know about you, but Santa brought me some nice goodies this year. I got a few good knitting books I've been wanting, plus a really pretty Golding spindle, with the fruit of it's first use shown above (note the hairpin lace loom being used as a niddy noddy). I'm still getting the hang of spinning, but one of these days I want to get enough spun to make something with (I can dream, can't I?)

Anyway, party's over, time to get back to work. I've got a big pile of patterns to edit for a book, sweater designs to knit up, and submissions that need to go out....
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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Noro Sock Yarn!

I got this other day from Have You Any Wool in Berkley. The color is S95 (same as Kureyon #95) and I'm making another pair of Jaywalkers out of it since I like that pattern, it's easy, and, well, you know. Of course the colors are pretty... the yarn is a little rough, but I'm hoping it will soften up a little with washing. Despite the fact it is a singles yarn (like Kureyon) I think it will wear pretty well since it's not a fine, delicate wool and also because of the 30% nylon content. As you can see (with the Chevron Scarf) I'm starting to take to using my Socks That Rock stash for things other than socks, since the three pairs I made out of it have worn significantly less well than my other pairs (same goes for Koigu, though it did hold up a bit better than the STR). Since I really hate handwashing socks (though I will continue to do so for the now-mended 2 pairs of Jaywalkers and 2 pairs of plain toe-ups that had holes, as well as my Monkeys made of Yarn Pirate that I wish to protect from harm) I think I'm going to try to stick more to yarn-what-has-some-nylon for socks, since my now 5 year old first pair in Opal look brand new, as do Emma's several pairs in Trekking which she is very hard on.
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Chevron Scarf

All finished, in Socks That Rock Lightweight- Mist and Downpour, from the pattern in Last Minute Knitted Gifts.
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Friday, December 21, 2007


All the gifts are finished (the last one is blocking) and the sweater I was racing to finish was shipped out on Wednesday. From now until the 26th (when I need to start the 2 sweater designs that are due by Feb), I am knitting whatever I want! First up, another pair of Jaywalkers from my new Noro Sock Yarn and some sparkly pink legwarmers for Emma (to wear to ballet) in SWTC Vegas-- she's been after me for those! Pictures later.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Messing around a bit before I get to work

Saw this one making the rounds, so....

Christmas Meme
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I like the bags, but I get outvoted on that one, usually.
2. Real or artificial tree? Fake, all the way. Vacuuming needles really sucks.
3. When do you put up the tree? Early in December, usually.
4. When do you take it down? Hopefully before New Year’s.
5. Do you like eggnog? No way. It's like a big glass of phlegm.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Fisher Price Weaving Loom, although I really liked the Snoopy Sno Cone Machine too.
7. Do you have a nativity scene? Absolutely not.
8. Hardest person to buy for? Hmmm…. In-laws, I think. Luckily Hubbo does most of the shopping.
9. Easiest person to buy for? Me? No, probably Hubbo.
10. Worst Christmas present you ever got? Not sure, I usually get nice things. When I was teaching I got an alarming amount of candles and body lotion (usually lavender, which I really can’t stand).
11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail, on years I actually do it.
12. Favorite Christmas movie? Probably Charlie Brown.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I prefer to wait, but Hubbo usually gets cracking in October.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I refuse to answer on the grounds it may incriminate me.
15. Favorite thing to eat on Christmas? Tasty appetizers. I like appetizers more than real food.
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear. The colored ones are too alarming.
17. Favorite Christmas song? Not really a song, per se: Santa Claus and His Old Lady (Cheech & Chong). I like Feliz Navidad too (hey, with Jose Feliciano, you’ve got no complaints, right?)
Travel at Christmas or stay home? Just visiting, not too far.
18. Can you name all of Santa’s Reindeer? No, sorry.
19. Angel or star on top of tree? Star.
10. Open presents Christmas Eve or morning? A little from column A and a little from column B.
11. Most annoying thing this time of year? Obnoxious and crabby shoppers-- shopping is supposed to be fun, right?
12. Do you decorate your tree in any theme or color? Unless “random crap” is a theme, no. Between the cats and Emma's frequent "redecorating", there's more on the floor than the tree anyway.
13. What do you leave for Santa? Cookies, hold the milk (Pinecone sticks his arm in any unattended glasses of the stuff).

Want to do it too? Have fun.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Knit Michigan and little update

First, yes, I'm still furiously working. I finished the little sweater and am up to my armpits in another, with yarn for 2 more on my shelf. Plus gifts to finish as well. Yes, I'm crazy.

But more importantly, once again I'm participating as a "marathoner" at Knit Michigan. Just like last year, I'm offering up a pile of yarny goodness to one lucky supporter. What kind of goodness, you ask? Well, I've put together a mighty pile of 20 skeins of nice stuff, including Yarn Pirate, SWTC, Louet, and more, enough for several pairs of socks and plenty of smaller 2-3 skein projects. Here's a little peek:

How can you get this, you ask? Well, it's simple. If you are interested in donating whatever you can to any of the cancer charities that Knit Michigan supports (list follows), simply email me at frottez AT att DOT net and I will tell you how to get your check (made out to the charity of your choice) to me and as a thank you I will put your name in the hat to win the goodies. Last year I managed to raise $350, and I'd love to beat that this year-- will you help? The charities are:
Barbara Ann Karamanos Cancer Institute, Beaumont Hospitals - Rose Cancer Treatment Center, Genesys Regional Medical Center, Gilda's Club, and University of Michigan
Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Apparently he's still got it

Hubbo and Emma got the tree up the other day (love the fake ones, sorry!) while I sat nearby and knitted furiously on the little boy's sweater for Aslan Trends (which is now done, glad to say, and all packed up and ready to ship!!) Apparently Pinecone still has it in him, because he's spent most of the past few days in the tree, knocking down ornaments and trying to take a nap in there. Emma made all these candy cane ornaments out of red and white pipe cleaners, and he's especially fond of those (which shouldn't surprise me since I've caught him opening Emma's desk drawers to get pipe cleaners before). Rosie, thankfully, is too busy sitting next to the humidifier (??) to bother with the tree (he's generally the "good natured idiot", while Pinecone is the criminal mastermind). Being home with the cats is entertaining, to say the least.

Anyway, of course I'm still buried in work, though now I'm down to only 2 more sweaters before the new year. (Hopefully I'll finish my unfinished gifts as well, we'll see-- the work knitting has to come first). I did get that other big tech editing job, so now I'm working on 2 books-- pretty cool. Hopefully I'll actually get out to knit with my knitting friends soon-- too many things have been conspiring to keep me away lately! :(

Saturday, December 01, 2007


I feel like I'm getting a bit boring, rambling on about how much I need to get done, but yet I continue. I've finished 4 design projects in 3 weeks, and this weekend I'm trying to get a little boy's sweater finished for Aslan Trends as well as continue on another one for SWTC. I also have a sweater to do for Shibui Knits, but the yarn was delayed and isn't here yet. There's a few patterns I need to tech edit too-- I think tomorrow. (Despite hanging out with my sister a fair bit the last week or so (she was in town), I've managed to keep up).

More good news, though-- I may have another big huge exciting tech editing job on the horizon (at least 1 book, maybe 2).

Impatient me, I bought a copy of the new Creative Knitting with my slipper sock pattern at Kroger's the other day rather than waiting for copies to come in the mail.

Oh, and bag ho update... Hubbo gave me an early gift, which I just adore. We have a bunny thing at our house, so it is really perfect. It holds all my junk, a medium Go Knit pouch, plenty of room left over, and yet it's light and doesn't look huge on your shoulder. Amazing!

And here's a little something for festive-ness sake (no, the tree isn't up yet, I doubt Pinecone could still get up that high-- this is from a few years ago!):

Monday, November 26, 2007

Would be nice to have today...

Just coming up for air (finished another design today) to share this from the new (January 08) issue of Creative Knitting!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Still here

Not much to say other than "how much can I knit today?" We'll soon see. Some exciting news, though-- I got a big big tech editing job (won't be for a few months though, but that's more than fine) and another design accepted! Happy turkey-related events and all, I should (read: better) have another garment finished by the end of the weekend.

Monday, November 12, 2007

My middle name is Unrealistic

I tend to prefer the drama and excitement of tight deadlines as far as a cure for procrastination goes, and at times I even inflict tighter ones than actually exist just to create it. Other times, (like now), it's real. So...

List of Lofty Goals for the Week (updated again as of Sunday night):
1. Finish subs for Cast On (this is done!!)
2. Finish subs for Classic Elite (done)
3. Finish all 3 projects for the VK On the Go books (done)
4. Tech edit at least 6 patterns, better if I get all 8 done that are in the pile (6 are done so far)
5. Think about subs for IK (thinking, still need to swatch)
6. Write patterns for aforementioned VK On the Go projects (done)
7. Wallow in the big pile of Tilli Tomas that came today for another design I'm doing for them (just got to admire from afar)
8. Start a design for SWTC that needs to be at one of the mags in 2 weeks (well underway)

Hopefully, I can make this all happen (note to self: Stop messing around on Ravelry!) so next week I can enjoy some more leisurely pursuits for Thanksgiving and such. The only potential wrench is that Emma has 3 half days this week, so I won't have as much alone time to work. Luckily 99% of the time she's really good at entertaining herself!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Is this weird?

You know how it is when you smell something you've smelled before? Like one time I was at a restaurant and the hostess smelled like my grandma (same perfume, sillies). Anyway, I've been knitting like a madwoman with the Malabrigo I got from Vogue the other day and, unlike other Malabrigo I've used, this batch smells like an old boyfriend's house. Not a bad smell, not sure what it is, but I don't think I've smelled it anywhere else, so it struck me odd. Weird, huh?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Remember that thing I said?

About how my "designs to be knit" yarn shelf was empty? And how I was knitting whatever I wanted for a few days? After 3 visits from the Fed Ex guy and 1 visit from the UPS man in the past couple days, here's how it's looking now. Plus I'm still waiting for (at least) 2 more shipments to arrive this week. Luckily some is crochet-- MUCH faster to work up (in fact I finished half of a design for the VK on the Go book yesterday). Guess I should stop messing around on the computer and get busy, eh?

Edited to add: The Fed Ex guy brought a big box of Malabrigo today!! Yum...

Monday, November 05, 2007

Shawl is finished!

The ridiculously basic shawl I was working on in SWTC Karaoke is finished. I'm undecided whether it will be for me or not-- a dent in my holiday knitting would be nice too. It took 7 skeins, just garter st with eyelet increases (and a little eyelet border to match). It grew about 6" with blocking, so now it's pretty cozy-looking. The color is Mermaid Mix, if you were wondering.
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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Quite the grand occasion

I just finished and sent off some freelance writing I was doing, plus I finished a design last night. This means, for the first time since I quit the day job, I have NOTHING I should be working on. The "yarn-for-designs" shelf is empty, the "to be tech edited" pile is all gone. Granted, there is yarn on its way for a number of new design projects, and some patterns to tech edit are forthcoming from various sources, and there's a bunch of other stuff I'm waiting to hear about....but RIGHT NOW, at this moment, there is nothing particular for me to do. Plus I already did the grocery shopping and the house is clean. ( I still need to go to the bank and the post office, but hey, close enough).

You know what time it is, right??

Yes, time to knit whatever I want (well, gifts, at least)... I'm trying out the chevron scarf in some STR I've got lying around. Funnily, the color names seem to go together (mist and downpour) so I'm hoping that bodes well for the colors themselves.

Monday, October 29, 2007


Here's Emma in her Halloween costume, for those who wanted a peek. Enjoy!
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Friday, October 26, 2007


The preview for the Winter issue of Cast On is up, with the little socks I designed in SWTC Tofutsies. Sonya liked them when I was knitting the sample pair back in April and has ever so patiently been waiting for the pattern ever since. (They're the blue socks, incidentally, there's more than one pair in the issue).

As for me? Yesterday I shipped out the design for Knit Simple, and I'm partway done with a design for SWTC. Besides that, I'm waiting on much yarn from Vogue for the Knitting on the Go books (Shawls 2 and Granny Squares, they're called) -- I'm hoping I can sneak in a little gift and charity knitting in between. Since I've been invited to a knitting get-together tomorrow, hopefully that will happen! Before then, I have like 8 yards of red and black satin cut out in the basement, waiting to be Hubbo's and Emma's Halloween costumes... since they're going to a party tomorrow I'd better get busy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Just what the doctor ordered

I have been Sick, with a capital S, for the past few days-- went to bed feeling fine on Friday and woke up totally befevered and sore of throat on Saturday. I had been planning to finish the design for Knit Simple over the weekend, but instead I slept and watched every single episode of Degrassi High from the DVD's I just got (I totally loved that show in high school). Right now I'm at the "almost better" stage, but still too tired and unwilling to get dressed (sorry Tuesday 'Bou ladies!)

Anyway, as a result I'm still on the last few inches of the Knit Simple project, but since I planned ahead I'll finish in time. The best cure seems to be the emails I got today informing me that SEVERAL of my design submissions for some upcoming Vogue Knitting on the Go books were accepted-- yay! If that's not enough, I also won a small prize in Emma's school raffle. Not a bad day at all.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A day of mourning

BOTH (yes both) of my pairs of Jaywalkers have developed big honking holes in them. Seeing as though they were my favorites, I'm pretty bummed about it. Needless to say, I'm rethinking my "throw everything in the washer" method (except for socks made from Opal and their ilk, I have a pair that has lasted years and years with no pilling, holes, worn spots, nothing). The victims were made of Koigu and STR, which I know need more gentle attentions but I was unwilling to provide it. Lesson learned.

(As for darning? Just can't bring myself to do it, not to mention I lack matching yarn anyway!)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Little Update

Super windy today, I went for a long walk and my headphones actually blew off my head. Anyway, yesterday some drama got resolved... some submissions I had sent out over 2 weeks ago (by Priority Mail, with delivery confirmation) NEVER showed up, even though it should have taken more like 2 days. When I realized the deadline was at hand and they weren't there (according to the handy tracking thing) I was really upset. Fortunately, lovely magazine people let me send scans of my sketches and swatches (yet another reason to ALWAYS do this) so they could still be considered. Anyway, the resolution... yesterday they emailed to say they had finally arrived. I'm happy for that, but still a bit annoyed at the Post Office.

The little project I'm working on for the Spring/Summer Knit Simple is coming along-- I should be done Sunday or Monday, yay.

Oh, and I found out the design I did for the Winter Knitter's has been moved to the Spring issue, so don't look for it just yet! :) I do have stuff in the next Creative Knitting and Cast On, though- can't wait!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Can't think of a title today

Lately I've been feeling the urge to making some knitty gifts, so last week I started (and today I finished) another Ruffles Scarf, this one in Diakeito Diamusee (3 balls) for someone who shall remain nameless, in case they're reading.

Besides that, Saturday I went to see Henry Rollins with Hubbo (always a treat). Somewhere in the audience Marj was enjoying the show as well, though I did not manage to spot her in the throng. Hubbo brought his knitted Henry along as well, which I thought was cute.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Since I can, and since some of us might want to knit that silk top I just designed but might not have access to a shop that carries Tilli Tomas, I've decided to put the pattern up on Etsy. Enjoy!

Monday, October 08, 2007

90 degrees

I never would've thought I'd need to send my kid to school in a sundress and sandals in October, but here we are. We're supposed to be enjoying that "no air conditioning, no furnace" time of year right now, you know. I want to wear sweaters and socks!!

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Emma loves Katamari Damacy, so much that she made a "museum" of the Prince and all the cousins in her room (she drew each one, it covers an entire wall!) So naturally, back in the early bits of the summer I thought it would be fun to make her a katamari. I started it (then got busy with other things) but since I decided to work on whatever I wanted this weekend (no "work" knitting), I finally managed to finish it. It's about 9" in diameter, crocheted in Caron Simply Soft with magnets in each of the little bumps so that she can roll it around and have stuff stick to it, just like in the game. She loves it!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Busy busy busy

Over the past few days I got 3 designs pattern-a-fied and out of here, so they can arrive at their destinations in time for Stitches East. First, we have a top in Tilli Tomas Plie, which I REALLY liked working with. It's plied silk, didn't get worn-looking at all despite lots of handling, and just feels like... words escape me. I'm sending an order of patterns to Tilli Tomas, so the pattern itself should be available soon through stores that carry their yarns. Pardon the less-than-great photo, a better one will be taken the next time Tilli Tomas does a proper photo shoot.

Also, I did a sock design for Hand Painted Knitting Yarns, a small company that sells, yes, Hand Painted Knitting Yarns. The sock yarn, a superwash merino, was nice to work with.

Lastly, I finished a top for SWTC in their new yarns Yin and Yang. I like how this one turned out-- just the right amount of sparkle.

On top of that, I did a couple of submissions and have a few more to do in the next week or so. I've finally whittled down the enormous pile of designs to knit to just a few, so I'm ready for more (cross your fingers!)

Monday, October 01, 2007

More wee socks

Last night I whipped up these, using size 0000 (oh, the pointiness!) needles and some scraps of Koigu left over from my first pair of Jaywalkers. I used the "Los Lobe Hose" pattern that I picked up a few years ago but hadn't used yet. Think I'll wear them to knitting tomorrow, just to be festive.

This morning I mailed off one of the finished tops, wrote some patterns, and started a new sock design. It's raining and gross, so I'm lucky I finished anything, frankly! I'm so good at getting sleepy and dragging around when it's grey outside.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Wee Little Sock

I got a lot done the past couple of days (editing patterns, finishing 2 sweater designs) so to celebrate I took a few minutes out of my day to knit this little sock (the one that goes with the sock blocker keychain). It called for size 0's, I probably should have used 1's since it came out a bit small (it is squeezed onto that blocker!!) But I knit tight, after all. I like the colors (ancient leftover Koigu) so I'm sticking with it for now, I may knit another when I want to change it up. I've been meaning to make some of those tiny sock earrings too, I may do that later, we'll see... (or I may just work on an old project, like my Touch Me scarf). Tomorrow I'm starting on 3 new designs that are due in October, but until then, I'm going to do whatever I want!!
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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

At last!

It feels like forever since I knit these (it was about a year and a half ago, I checked) but the slipper socks I did for Creative Knitting in SWTC Karaoke are finally coming out (they got rescheduled twice--it happens). I'm happy about that, but even happier that they picked them for the "preview of next issue". You can see them here. The actual pattern will be in the next issue, which is January.

I also enjoyed the editor's letter, which mentions Jonelle Raffino's book Purls Forever. Shameless self-promotion: I did two designs for that one and helped with the proofreading. If you haven't seen it, you might want to take a look. It has some nice patterns, but I think the best part is the interesting stories about Jonelle's grandmother, great-grandmother, etc. and the influence that knitting and crocheting have had through the generations. I don't come from a particularly "crafty" family myself so it's nice to think about having that sort of a legacy. Emma is a little "yarn averse" right now (I think for the same reason she wanted to do ballet instead of tap like me) but hopefully in time she'll get interested (someone has to inherit the stash, right??)

Monday, September 24, 2007


Today I'm mostly flaking out and knitting (it's one of the designs I'm working on, so not a total slacker). I tech edited 9 patterns over the past few days which meant countless hours checking math, re-formatting, and proofing, and other tedious tasks-- I enjoy it on a weird level, but I don't usually have so much to do at once (hence the fried part). Later is tap class-- yay!

Anyway, Sonya tagged me to tell 7 random things about myself, so here goes:
1. People have often gotten the wrong idea of me based on first impressions-- this has more to do with the fact that I'm really shy around people I don't know well.

2. I truly believe that Diet Coke is the nectar of the gods.

3. I work well under pressure, in fact so well that I often create unnecessary drama with deadlines. I wait until I have JUST enough time to finish, then crank it out in an (all-night, if necessary) marathon of work.

4. The best cure for stress is exercise, I believe; however, the one I usually go for is food. Especially stuff that's not good for you. Still working on that one.

5. I love complete sets of things, and will buy stuff just to complete the set (books in a series, all lengths/sizes of Addis, etc). Good thing I don't collect expensive figurines or anything.

6. I really don't care that much about decorating. Sometimes I feel guilty about this because I think I'm "supposed to". Clean/organized is enough for me, sorry.

7. I worry way too much about what other people think.

And tagging? Hey, anyone who wants to, consider yourself "it."

Thursday, September 20, 2007


This week I made a little vow to get caught up on some things, sorely needed after my too much fun weekend yarn shopping and hanging out with my knitty pals. So, with that in mind, behold some little peeks at what I've been up to (yes, these have both gone off to their new homes in the last 24 hours).

The frothy mohair delight, destined for a Nashua Handknits book next year. I normally don't love knitting mohair, but I found their Creative Focus Kid Mohair to be a lot less "sticky" and prickly than some of the others I've worked with. I enjoyed working with it and was shocked when I finished this (rather large project) in just 1 week. Yes, I love the buttons too. The whole thing turned out so gorgeous that I wish I could show it all.

Next up, something pink for a book called Knit on Down (all top-down patterns) that is coming out next year. This one is in SWTC Tofutsies, which I love. Yes, it can be a bit splitty if you're not careful, but it washes so beautifully and is so cool and soft when worn that I don't care. And it's not just for socks, you know.

Today it's down to tech editing land and both finishing the last edging on a top in Tilli Tomas Plie and working on another design for SWTC in their Yin and Yang yarns- in really pretty charcoal grey.

In other news, Emma started her new ballet class yesterday and really liked it-- I got in some knitting time while I waited, which was nice. I also squeezed in a few rows knitting at the blood drive at her school, but unfortunately it ended up being an "I tried" situation... apparently I'm a bit too anemic at the moment. Good excuse for a cheeseburger, though!

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Yesterday was our much-anticipated Knitterpalooza. Above we see the guests at the home of the ever-gracious Kristi. Many of the lovely ladies I knit with were there (let's not forget the lovely and blogless Angela and Beth), some I know only in blogland, some I've met before, plus some new (to me) faces. We started out the day with a shop crawl to Threadbear, Rae's, and an odd store called something like Little Red Schoolhouse (they had dolls that were really scary, like creepy-come-to-get-you-in-your-sleep dolls, but what do I know, I'm afraid of clowns!). We finished up with a super fun BBQ, door prizes, and lots of knitting. I got some super nice stitch markers from Mel for a prize- yay! I did buy some yarn, though I budgeted myself carefully... there was some crazy sales at Threadbear; I ended up with 2 big skeins of variegated bulky wool and 9 skeins of hot pink silk for just over $30!! At Rae's I got a skein of Socks That Rock (actually in person, imagine that), a medium size Go Knit bag (I've been wanting one), and a knitting magnet that goes on your car.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Hey wow!

I found out I'm going to have a design in the Spring/Summer issue of Knit Simple! :O

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Greetings from the Land o' Mohair

Glad it cooled off, because I'm on a tight mohair-related deadline this week. I put it off initially, choosing to work on other design projects because the prospect of knitting clouds of mohair in 90 degree heat is most unappealing, even with air conditioning.

Now, though, it's perfect.

Anyway, no time for love... got to finish the body of the sweater today....

Monday, September 10, 2007

Stitch n' Pitch

Yesterday was the Detroit Stitch n' Pitch game-- we had a lot of fun! I went with Hubbo, but left him to actually watch the game in peace while I knitted with my Tuesday night knitting friends Angela, Beth, and Sonya. Since our seats weren't together, we roamed from place to place, finally settling in at a nice shady picnic table with a decent view of the field. Here's the sock I brought to work on (didn't get as much done as I thought I would, but oh well!)
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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Take 2

About a week ago I ordered another spindle (a much lighter one, a little over 1 oz, since the nearly 3 oz ones I already have, the top whorl I got in a kit years ago and the Ashford Classic bottom whorl, are no good for finer/lighter yarns, I'm told). I got it from Spunky Eclectic, along with some pretty hand-dyed roving (superwash merino, I have a little fantasy about spinning sock yarn and making socks, a la Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook, a book that has been fueling that urge for several years now). We'll see.

The spindle is a Schacht Hi-Lo (right now I'm preferring bottom whorl, but this one can be used both ways in case I change my mind). Not fancy or anything but it spins nicely. The color of the roving is Bruised Ego (I wanted something different than the sock yarn I usually buy).

Anyway, the box arrived just as we were leaving for a bbq, but when I got home I spun a bit of the sample roving that Amy so lovingly wrapped around the spindle (it looked like a lollpop, I should have taken a picture!) It turned out a lot better than my first try the other day-- I'm encouraged!! Here it is with its twist setting in my shower:

What do you think?

(Yes, I'm knitting too-- I finished a sock for a book today at the bbq and the Tilli Tomas top is just in need of finishing. I just can't SHOW that stuff right now, so I'm showing you this).

Oh, and tomorrow is Stitch n' Pitch in Detroit-- for those who are going, see you there!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

First Day of School

Today was Emma's first day of school without me (new school, and mom is not teaching now). She woke up really early, got ready, and attempted to leave for the bus an hour early since she was so excited. (I did eventually manage to get her back in the house for awhile). Hubbo and I met her at school (her little face looked very cute on the bus) for a quick tour and then snuck out to breakfast. She had nothing but good things to report, so all is well in the new place.

As for me?

Tomorrow (first full day of school) I'm planning to get a lot done. Wow.

Monday, September 03, 2007

The dark side

I took a little break from "work" knitting the other day and deciding to try spinning. I bought a "Learn to Spin Kit" when I was in graduate school a few years ago, but never really used it- I found the spindle (it was top whorl) really hard to control and wobbly (it was not a very nice one). Recently I swapped someone for an Ashford Classic spindle, bottom whorl. I still had the fiber than came with the kit (really rough Swalesdale top, but easy to spin, they say). I found the bottom whorl much easier to spin with.

Though it was easier to use, that by NO means suggests that it was easy. My results were "variable" at best- some parts were super thin and broke (the Classic is a pretty heavy spindle, apparently) while others were totally superbulky. I managed to get a decent quantity going, and even plied it. The result is decidedly thick-n-thin.

Despite the frustrating parts, it was kind of fun!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

New Magknits is here!

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With my less-than-one-skein (and still full size) Seasilk shawl! Enjoy!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Just passing by

Finished the hempy goodness (both of them)-- they're headed out today.
I'm going to a birthday thing later, in the meantime I've got a submission to finish, some patterns to edit, and a house to clean up.

Emma's totally excited about the first day of school, in fact she just went to practice walking to the bus stop and back (it isn't the first time, either-- she's taking the whole thing VERY seriously.)

Till later!

Edited to add: I'm still in shock over the transformation of the hemp after washing (from twine to nice old linen-y feeling). I'd never used it before, but I think I will again- I'd even wear it!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I'm back!

Hubbo and I went to Put in Bay for a long weekend of camping (and a big volleyball tournament, in which his team finished 3rd- not bad!) We also got completely soaked by Saturday's big storm (at least no trees fell on us or anything-- my grandparents live in Fenton where they had those big tornadoes, but they're fine, luckily.)

Anyway, I've been working on some (secret, sorry) projects for an upcoming book by Shannon Okey, which is called How to Knit in the Woods. For an extra touch of authenticity, I actually knit them in the woods (the interesting smear is one of the projects, not going to give anything away!)

Here's Hubbo setting up the tent in the muddy ground, along with lots of tarps (which prevented even more horrible dampness, luckily):

Anyway, we had a good time, ate tons of really good lobster bisque and messed around in town a lot. Sunday was super gorgeous, which was a nice break from the rain and heat! Now that we're back I'm trying to finish up the last bits of these projects (I also shipped out another one just before we left) and then get on to the last few on my list. Lucky for me Emma goes back to school soon so I can get more done during the day.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Such an odd feeling, but nice

The weird thing is, yesterday was the day I would have gone back to work, as I have for the past 10 years or so, to get ready for the new school year. But instead, I'm home, knitting. Wow. Just. Wow. Hopefully we won't starve or anything because I'm really liking this. Emma says we're a "normal family" now because I've been cooking dinner.

Anyway, as far as not starving is concerned, I got 3 more design gigs in the past few days-- 2 for books and 1 for a yarn company-- 5 projects in all, plus some more that's hazily in the future (still being discussed). I've been furiously knitting a top for a book in Berroco Comfort, which is quite possibly the nicest acrylic ever invented. Coming from a big acrylic-hater, this means something! It's spun like Karabella Aurora 8, so all the little plies does make it a little splitty if you're not careful, but the effect is worth it.

To stay on top of things, I'm putting a temporary moratorium on personal knitting (hey, I let myself finish my Monkey socks!) until I finish 2 more design projects, which should be in a week or so. Then I can have 1 glorious day of knitting for me, I think, before it's on to the next project on the "to do" yarn shelf (that's helping too- just having a spot where all the design project yarn is rather than hunting around for which bin I stuck it in!)

I also made a big list and taped it to the yarn closet door with design due dates and upcoming submission deadlines. When I was working full-time I usually had only 1 design to keep track of at a time (and only submitted things once in a while), but since all summer I've had 6-10 to keep track of at a given time, I had to get organized somehow!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Monkey Socks are done!

At last. Finally. I decided to take some time to finish them-- officially, that was yesterday at the park while Emma played. Yarn is Yarn Pirate (Dogwood) and I think they turned out just fine. Once I finish a few other things I just might make another pair.
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Friday, August 17, 2007


Is something I'm not very good at. I've been stalking the mailman for a glimpse of my socks in the Fall issue of Cast On-- today I got a little note letting me know they've been bumped to the Winter issue. That's fine, of course, just means the mailman is in for another stalking in a few months! :) At least my Seasilk concoction is supposed to be in the next Magknits-- that should tide me over. (Note to self: It's absolutely ridiculous how excited you get about seeing your patterns in print. Really, control yourself. It's getting embarrassing.)

My sock pal returned from her trip and got her socks, they fit and everything. She's Meghann of Radiant Twist!

I just might have a date tonight with Hubbo, which would be nice! In the meantime, I'm hashing out the math on a couple of designs I'm doing for upcoming books so I can knit them. I'm not one of those "let's just dive in and figure it out as we go" kind of people-- I like to have all the numbers figured out before I cast on. Maybe that sucks some of the spontaneity and fun out of it, maybe it just makes it so I'm (at least usually) happy with the result without a lot of ripping back and reknitting. Either way.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

To Do List

First let me say that the buttonhole directions on these are the best I've ever seen-- not quite the usual one-row buttonhole. They come out really neat and with nice "corners" (can you tell I was knitting buttonholes yesterday?) Anyway, that's yesterday. The 1st sweater for Nashua is boxed and gone, yay! I treated myself to knitting on my Monkey socks the rest of the day, plus I found my enormous binders of crochet patterns that I thought were lost (they were buried in the basement). Just in case I feel like crocheting, you know?

For today:
1. Swatching and sketching for several upcoming deadlines. I have a pile of scribbly notes and messy sketches in my little notebook to translate and match with appropriate yarns. Then lots of breathless waiting, right?
2. Put on the tech editor hat and work on a few patterns for my lovely clients.
3. Laundry (down to emergency levels of clean clothes).
4. Tutor (I'm doing a bit of tutoring now, did you know?)
5. There must be something else, it will come to me.

Totally off-topic, Rosalie has decided it's fun to drag Emma's stuffed animals around the house at night. This morning there was a penguin in the hallway (normally he goes for her stuffed rat, but apparently she took that one to bed last night). He's a little odd, I think.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Since Thursday I have been frantically (and exclusively) knitting Sweater #1 for Nashua- it's almost done. Today has been the Great Day of Sewing Up, which is my least favorite part, but it's looking pretty good so at least there's that. We got Season 10 of the Simpsons on DVD, that's been my little companion. Hoping to get the pattern written up tomorrow and the whole deal up and out by Tuesday morning.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Attention lucky ones

If you're going to Stitches Midwest this weekend (I'm talking to you Jae!) I hear the little sweater in Vegas I recently finished for SWTC will be in the fashion show. Enjoy!

Friday, August 03, 2007

A bit under the weather...

I'm feeling less-than-great today, but I did manage to get a bit of knitting done (see the "to do" shelf below):

Believe it or not, I've already knit through 20 balls that were once on the shelf in the last month or so-- not too bad.

Rosalie decided to spend a good chunk of the afternoon rolling around on me, as you can see (Pinecone was sleeping elsewhere):

And my Sockapalooza socks arrived! Yay!

They come from Paige at Modern Yarn. They fit nicely and I LOVE the colors. Thanks Paige!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

All done!

Just finished another design for SWTC (well, last night). Emma was more than happy to model it for me! It's in their new Vickie Howell Collection yarn, Vegas -- thick-n-thin and just a little bit sparkly (matching metallic thread). It's Soysilk/wool, and very lightweight and warm. Now to ship it to its new home (Emma won't like that, I'm afraid!)

Now that this one is done, I'm going to work furiously on the 1st of 2 designs for Nashua Handknits, the next thing that's due. I love using their Cilantro yarn (so springy, cottony but not ropey) and try to finish Emma's Katamari (which she's asking me about!!) I've got just enough time to finish everything on my list-- fortunately all the due dates are staggered which makes it easier to prioritize.

Oh- and news! Hubbo's team won the 35-and-over men's division in the Volleygrass volleyball tournament (in Marysville, near Port Huron) last weekend. He even got quoted in the local paper. It was his first time playing in the "older guys" division, but since it went so well I don't think he minds anymore. Yay!
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Friday, July 27, 2007

And I thought the blue was pretty!

The UPS man just brought this batch of loveliness for another design for SWTC. It's Yin and Yang (Yang has the sequins, Yin is plain, both are wool/bamboo/silk) that I used for the tunic/hat/bag I did for the TNNA fashion show. I'm a sucker for grey, so I'm not surprised that I like it... what do you think?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

On a roll, apparently

I'm just getting ready to go knit with the girls, and who should call but the editor of Creative Knitting? A design I recently submitted for the magazine has been accepted instead for an upcoming book they're putting out. Yay!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sockapalooza socks, and stuff

I finished my Sockapalooza socks:

When the time is right I'll be packing up these babies with some little goodies and sending them off. Hope she likes them! Just right for summer with the cool Tofutsies yarn.

Remember how I said I got lots of yarn? Yes, new projects to design- see? Nashua Handknits picked another design of mine, plus some more from SWTC to do. I finished the one for the winter issue of Knitter's today, so that will be off tomorrow! (The bag of Phoenix is just for me, not a design).

I also started a couple of new non-design projects, though they'll probably take forever to finish with all the stuff I have to knit. First, a really cozy shawl, very plain and practical (in SWTC Karaoke):

And (yes, in acrylic even!) a Katamari (with magnetic bumps for realistic action) for Emma from her favorite video game. I hardly ever crochet anymore, so it should be fun. I saw a picture of a similar one online but no pattern, so I'm making it up as I go along. There's a paper clip stuck to one of the nubs (from the magnets, of course!) When it's finished there will be a lot more nubs on it.

All done!

Yes, I finished reading book 7. I fell asleep with it on my face last night so I had to finish this morning. I won't say anything in case anyone's still reading.

I did get a LOT of yarn yesterday from the FedEx guy (which was a tease while I was impatiently waiting for my book to arrive) -- more on that later. A few more design projects are in the works!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Just a few more days...

The sorting hat says that I belong in Ravenclaw!


Said Ravenclaw, "We'll teach those whose intelligence is surest."

Ravenclaw students tend to be clever, witty, intelligent, and knowledgeable.
Notable residents include Cho Chang and Padma Patil (objects of Harry and Ron's affections), and Luna Lovegood (daughter of The Quibbler magazine's editor).

Take the most scientific Harry Potter
ever created.

Get Sorted Now!