Monday, December 29, 2008

Handspun Goodness

Finished my scarf! 8 ounces of handspun Blue Faced Leicester put to good use.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Daily Chum Advent Calendar

Hey! My sushi pattern is featured today in the Lime and Violet Daily Chum Advent Calendar.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Socks a la Carte!

It must be "books I tech edited arrive at my house" week, because another just came today-- Socks a la Carte. It's funny that it should come out now, because last December I was busy talking to Jonelle and Kat at SWTC about the stitch patterns and working out the format, style, and checking them all for accuracy. The cool thing about this book is it allows you to mix and match sock cuff, leg, and foot designs (with numerous types of heels and toes) with fun split pages. Also, it's a spiral bound hardcover with a nice elastic strap to hold it closed (like the Handy Book of Patterns) which I LOVE. I could give myself a headache thinking about the possible combinations of sock patterns! It's a bigger book than I imagined, really a nice one. (Plus, as a bonus, the acknowledgments state that I rock. But we already knew that, right?)

Friday, December 12, 2008

10 lbs

Did a little swapping on Ravelry (unloaded some Lion Brand stuff I didn't want) and made that last purchase to achieve Loopy Groupie status, both of which resulted in more spinning fiber for me! A quick check on my stash page reveals I am up to 10 lbs of unspun fiber-- finally, worthy of the word "stash". I just started a new spinning project. I'm determined to turn one of the blobs of Lorna's Laces superwash merino top into a pair of socks.

In work news, I have many, many sweaters to knit! I was a good girl today though and finished a front (and did a pile of edits) so I'm off to spin until bedtime!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Jelly Yarns Book

I received this book in the mail today. This past summer I did the tech editing for the knitting patterns in it. I have to say, it's a really cute book! When I had the box of samples at home, my 8 year-old daughter went nuts for them, so I think the designers really have the market pegged-- the book is meant for girls to use to make the projects themselves and learn to knit and crochet. Since working with Jelly Yarn isn't quite the same as working with "regular" yarn, lots of helpful tips are included. The instructions are clear and the projects are fun-- my favorites are the dog collar and leash set and the jump rope. The best part? Jelly Yarn comes in glow in the dark and metallic colors which I think is too cool! Check it out here.
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Friday, December 05, 2008

Touch the spindle, touch it I say!

I got one of those quill spindle attachments for my Lendrum. It's got 3 ratios, and 2 of them are really high so I could spin some serious cotton on them, I think! I tested it out with some Corriedale, and I only poked myself once. I think it's a good thing I have the single treadle, because I could sit sideways and not have this huge stabby metal thing pointing right at me!
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Monday, December 01, 2008

Spinny goodness, and yes, I can still use my spindle

Finished plying a nice blob of Lorna's Laces merino top in Black Purl. It turned out soft and smooshy, and I love the colors!

After another nice trip to the Spinning Loft with Sonya (and this time Miranda and Nicole as well) I picked up some more fiber, plus a free sample of organic merino which I tried on my Golding spindle. (Much discussion had ensued regarding the wiseness of keeping up on spindling after news of Miranda's wheel breakage, so I was inspired to take heed).

(The other spindle has some purplish red bamboo/merino blend on it that's been lying around).

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Knit n' Style

The mailman brought the new issue of Knit n' Style today (February 2009) with my sweater design in Aslan Trends Artesanal, a yarn I've been working with a lot lately! I'm especially proud of this one because it's my first design in Knit n' Style to be under my own name, rather than under the yarn company with my name all little at the end of the pattern-- meaning, I did it directly for Knit n' Style, not for a yarn company who then placed it in the magazine (this was special in itself as I had to be invited to meet with the editor in person to submit). I have a design in 5 of the 6 issues for 2009-- right now I'm knitting the third one as it's due in a few weeks.

Here it is:

The collar is convertible-- if you unbutton it, it can be worn as a regular collar rather than a turtleneck.

Edited to add: link to magazine pic

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Silk Garden Socks

Finally finished these the other day! Now if I can manage to finish the other pair that's been on the needles for far too long, I'll be all set. Of course, I've got a mountain of design projects to work on, so we'll see how long it takes!

Yesterday I FINALLY got to go to The Spinning Loft, which I've been meaning to go to for AGES. Sonya, Miranda, Dana and I headed out and partook of some lovely fibers (Sonya is a recent but intense convert to spinning. I suspect it won't be long before she gives in and gets a wheel). I got a few different things (all small amounts, just to play with)-- mohair locks, silk, angora, and some really gorgeous Pygora that I already started spinning on my wheel. I also got 4 oz of undyed superwash merino fiber that will someday become socks.
One more lovely day of messing around, then tomorrow it's back to work-- I've got some edits to finish, new designs to start knitting, patterns to write up and submissions that need to be sketched up and swatched. (I know, what an awful job I have, right?)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Busy weekend

I could sum it up easily... Taco Bell, Halloween candy, Diet Coke, and lots and lots of tech editing for an upcoming Vickie Howell book. I've got some big deadlines coming up midweek, and since Emma will be home Tuesday (plus who knows how long it will take to vote) I wanted to get as much done over the weekend as I could. I'm feeling a bit sluggish from too much time in my favorite working chair (my big comfy chaise, just perfect for knitting or my little lap desk and laptop).

I did start a little project while waiting for Emma at ballet this week-- and it went so fast it's already done! The pattern is Bounce by John Brinegar, free on Ravelry.

It took a little over a half skein of Malabrigo-- not bad. I hadn't done brioche in a long time, and it was a nice break from "work" knitting.

And speaking of books, one I designed a pattern for is up on Amazon-- can't wait to see it! The listing tells what kind of projects are in it-- I did the smocked top.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Attack of the Giraffe Santa

So Emma's costume is done, per her very specific specifications. She was inspired by the fact that my brother was once a "Wolfman Detective" for Halloween (as in, at the last minute, he put on an old wolfman mask and my mom's trenchcoat) and wanted to come up with an unexpected combo of her own. And here it is... the Giraffe Santa (yes, there is a tail in back!)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Luxury Yarn One Skein Wonders

This is going to be my friend come knitting-for-holiday-gift time. Lots of cute ideas, and since I tend to buy one skein of fancy yarns (just for a taste) and then don't know what to do with them, this should help! My Blossom Shawl (in Seasilk) is one of the patterns, and I'm proud to say I tech edited the book as well (try not to lynch me if you find an error, we did our best!)
Edited to add: So far it just looks like a couple of the charts had mistakes made when they were redrawn for the book (hey, the people that do the illustrations are not necessarily knitters), but the Storey website has corrected charts you can print out.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Just saying

One of the books I tech edited (Vickie Howell's latest) is available for presale on Amazon now, and I'm just going to point this out because the book has some really cute designs (and I didn't even design any of them, I just think they're cool). Going through the box of projects while editing I wanted to keep a few, especially a little girl's dress so cute it's worth buying the book just to get that one! It's always a treat to find cute crochet projects, so check it out!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Harry Potter sock yarn

Had to get some-- I love Harry Potter! I wish the colorways were better though-- but this one was my favorite.

Back to work-- I'm nearly done with another sweater and well into another book edit (the projects in which are soooo cute I can hardly stand it!!)

Friday, October 03, 2008

The joys of messing around

After finishing one really big project on Wednesday (and in anticipation of the others I still need to take care of) I declared today to be a "saw sharpening" day as Hubbo would say (something from some work seminar he had to go to once). So, in the spirit of not working today, I...
1. Took a 3 mile walk (and it was sunny out- bonus!) Sidenote- I have been REALLY GOOD and worked out every day (except 2 when I was sick) for the past 6 weeks. Yes, I'd like a pat on the back for that one!
2. Had my guilty pleasure lunch, Taco Bell.
3. Knitted (of course!)
4. Went to the library used book sale and scored some bargains for Emma and me
5. Took a nap (oh the delight!) The cats were happy to assist.
6. Watched some Seinfeld episodes on DVD.
7. Looked at bellydancing costumes online to get some ideas for the one I have to make myself.
8. And now, to get out the spinning wheel and spin the last of that neapolitan-colored BFL.

So pretty good day, I'd say.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Cookie-related goodness

Sunday we had quite the day for Sonya's 40th birthday. She's got lots more pictures up on her blog, but I stole two of them to sum it up...

Yes, a healthy portion of the Detroit Area Knitters piled in (several) cars and drove out to Lansing for the Cookie A. workshops at Threadbear! (A few people are missing from the picture, unfortunately). We had a great day, with the added bonus of a big fancy cake, Chinese takeout, and shopping. I opted for some more spinning fiber (because as if I need yarn) and picked up some more Lorna's Laces:

Hopefully I'll get to spin that soon. I still need to finish plying the pink and brown stuff I got at Rae's to empty my bobbins.

As for today, I'm putting the final touches on a book I've been tech editing, plus a little more unrelated editing, and then I'm plowing on toward a sweater deadline. If I'm lucky I'll get to spend a little time thinking about how to fancy up the bellydancing costume I'm soon to be making...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Oh my yarny god.

What I wouldn't do for an unlimited yarn budget right about now.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Knitterpalooza the 2nd

We have yet to get the weather to fully cooperate (last year it was unseasonably cold, this year a constant deluge of rain) but hanging out with knitters is always a good time! Unlike some people I opted not to go on the yarn "swim" (can't call it a crawl in that weather!) since they were the shops I can visit any time I want (last year, since we drove all the way out to Lansing, it was a different story!) If the weather had been better I probably would have done a little shopping anyway, but I digress.
It was a great time again, even though I left part of my pattern at home and ended up with a lot of damp stuff (most of all me). Can't wait until next year!

I am so sick of rain!

Just sayin'.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Knit Simple Holiday Preview is up!

And I received my contributor copy today! You can see my sweater design here in the preview (the pink girl's sweater) or check out Emma modeling it before I sent it off:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Knitting and Shopping

Behold a sneak peek of this design, in Louet Bonnie-- I've been working on it in snatches when I need a break from tech editing. Emma approves of the way the yarn works up in "rainbow order" (she does EVERYTHING in rainbow order, and has since she was 3).

Shopping has been another break time activity. The other day I bought a noisy new hip scarf for the bellydancing class I'm starting next week...

And yesterday I got a new Namaste Malibu bag, which I've been coveting.

In the spirit of being less of a lazy slob, I've been making a good effort and getting more exercise lately. I started a power yoga class on Monday (silly me, it's not nearly as easy as regular yoga) and I'm STILL sore. It certainly qualified as a workout though! I've been going for a walk every morning the past few weeks too. Hopefully I can keep it up!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Casual, Elegant Knits

AP: Well, today the Casual, Elegant Knits Blog Tour makes its stop here. I'm talking with Faina Goberstein, one of the authors and the designer of all of the lovely skirts in the book. Since skirts are something not all of us have knit before, I thought I'd talk to Faina about them.

FG: Amy, I want to thank you for participating in the blog tour. I am thrilled to have this opportunity to tell you about our new book Casual, Elegant Knits.

AP: You're welcome! What inspired you to write this book?

FG: There are many different things that can give you a picture what inspired us. Dawn and I both love clothes that are fashionable and sophisticated. We love to knit and design practical things. Any time we get together, the conversation turns to knitting, new yarns, fashion, new knitting books. In other words, we inspire each other. The theme of the book comes from a reflection of people who live a busy life, care about style and color, like to wear knitted clothes and appreciate how unique they are. We are providing an example of a couple that fits into this profile. You can see they love what they are wearing and they are comfortable in their outfits.

AP: You have two skirts in your book. What do you like about knitting skirts?

FG: I love the flow and softness of a knitted skirt. I have millions of ideas for skirts. I also like to knit in the round and the skirt is one of the projects that can be worked this way. It can be a challenge as well and I love challenges.

AP: What advice can you give knitters who wish to make their own skirts? What types of yarns, stitches, and construction techniques give the best result?

FG: First of all, making a generous 6x6" swatch is hugely important for such a project. Let’s say you are using Stockinette stitch for a straight skirt. You want to take time to try different yarns with different needles until you like the look and the thickness of your fabric. The swatch must be treated in the same way you will be taking care of the finished skirt. After blocking the swatch, calculate your gauge accurately, counting stitches and rows in the middle of the swatch. Stitches at the edge are a bit distorted.
In terms of yarns, I would suggest using not very soft wool. For Little Flirt Skirt I used Cascade 220. This yarn has good enough memory to hold the shape. Good wool allows you to show off the chosen stitch pattern, which should not be overpowering. The pleats of this skirt are well pronounced. If I used a fuzzier yarn, you will not see them that well.

Photo courtesy of Martingale and Company, photographed by Brent Kane.

You can look for a yarn that has a springy characteristic, or some drape. My second skirt in this book is called the Tailored Skirt. My first version of this skirt was made out of Fauve by Louisa Harding. It contains nylon that makes it very stretchy. The skirt was looking great, but it was also on the heavy side. The version that you see in the book is much lighter and the skirt looks more feminine and romantic. So, your readers who are interested in making their own skirt need to become their own designer and find the yarn that works best for them. I would tell them to not be afraid to experiment and not to expect it to be an easy task. It is probably easier for most people to follow the existing pattern.

Photo courtesy of Martingale and Company, photographed by Brent Kane.

AP: What tips can you give for helping knitters end up with a perfect fitting skirt?
FG: I mentioned before about the importance of a correct gauge. Measure yourself carefully and be honest with yourself about the size you choose to knit. It needs to be your size if you want a good fit. Both skirts in the book can be made short or long. Do not try to wear a mini skirt, for example, just because it is in style. It could be that you look much better in a different length. If a skirt fits you well and has a perfect length, it is a winner. Another little secret is to wear an under slip. It prevents that bulging on the back. I hope it was helpful.

FG: Thank you, Amy for having me today on your blog. I hope that your readers will think about making these skirts. I am looking forward to see them on Ravelry.
Now, tell me about what is going on with you. Congratulations on your new job! This is very exciting. Are you going to have time to design?
AP: Don't worry about that! Doing both technical editing and designing are perfect compliments to each other. Right now I'm working on several designs for yarn companies and a couple of magazines too.

FG: Well, good luck to you and thank you again. I am inviting all of your readers to visit with Connie Chang of Physicsknits tomorrow. There is more to see.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Knit on Down!

I was just thinking about this book this afternoon (and wondering when I would get my copy) when the UPS man came to the door with it! The book is called Knit on Down and I did two designs for it (which I knit soooooo long ago it feels like forever).

Here's the first one, socks in SWTC Tofutsies...

and the other, a top in Berroco Comfort.

All the patterns in the book are top down (or in the case of socks, toe up), and there's stuff for kids and babies as well (though most are women's sweaters). OH- and when I turned the book over I saw both of my designs on the back cover! Yay!!

New magazine

I got a copy of a brand new knitting magazine today, called Fons & Porter's Love of Knitting. It will be coming out quarterly, and starting with the next issue I will be the technical editor (just got the call the other day)! Nice to have a regular gig, you know?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

First Day of School

And, now 3rd grade begins... click here to see how much she's grown since the first day of Kindergarten.

Casual, Elegant Knits Blog Tour

As it turns out, I'm a stop on the blog tour for Casual, Elegant Knits, a new book by Faina Goberstein and Dawn Leesman. My stop is this Sunday, here is the whole schedule:

9/4: Colorjoy

9/5: Go Knit in Your Hat

9/6: Fitter Knitter

9/7: frottez!

9/8: Physics Knits

9/9: Marie Grace Designs

9/10: I'm Knitting as Fast as I Can

9/11: Marnie

9/12: Made by Myself

9/13: Terry Ross Designs

9/14: Nephele

9/15: Sheep to Shawl

9/16: Pie Knits

9/17: Domestic Sphere

9/18: Joanne Seiff

9/19: Stylish Knits

Friday, August 29, 2008


I caught myself having my old annual "Ohnoit'salmostthefirstdayofschoolandmyclassroomisn'tready!" panic the other day, and I had to remind myself (again) you aren't a teacher anymore, remember? Oh yeah-- back to school is a GOOD thing now!

Anyway, most of this week was spent getting the kiddo ready for school (she had a back to school fun event thing, going back another day for her class assignment, buying supplies, school clothes, etc). Yesterday we went shopping for new ballet shoes (she's a little hard to fit due to her ski-like super narrow feet) and went in to the yarn store (hey, we were driving past anyway-- I couldn't help it!) It's not my usual place to shop, but they had something irresistable:

Yes, Silk Garden Sock. I'm sure I'll get more next time I get out to Berkley, so don't worry Bridget! (And yes, I bought it even though knitting the Kureyon Sock makes me mad. It's just so pretty that the constant yarn barf and less than soft feel is worth it!! Bonus- the Silk Garden Sock is much softer than the Kureyon (duh), and prettier than the picture reveals).

Design-wise, I started another sweater today (shipped out 2 others earlier this week, one on Monday and one on Wednesday) and continue to chip away at the tech editing pile, though I'm looking forward to being home alone starting after Labor Day-- then I can get so much more done in a day!

Edited to add: I am also a total lucky brat. Sonya, who loves me, gave me a gorgeous skein of Silk Garden Sock that she picked up for me at Have You Any Wool in a different, equally beautiful colorway. I'm not worthy!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ravelympic Recap

Well, my goal for the Ravelympics was to start and finish 2 sweater designs (of the many I have due in the near or immediate future). I almost made it... I finished the first sweater in a matter of days, and did finish the second, though not in time for the "official" cut off, in fact, just about an hour ago. Oh, and I accidentally did a different second sweater than I signed up for. Oops-- guess that means I have a lot going on!

Here's two little peeks, nice and vague so as to not give too much away. One is for the yarn company, the other for a book, and coincidentally they are in the same yarn, Nashua Handknits Cilantro.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Spinny Goodness

I'm still working on those designs and tech editing, with a little spinning sprinkled in for good measure (and-shock-going to the gym, which is much overdue).

Here's that Corriedale I was talking about (the sproingy stuff), spun and dyed (with food colors and I managed to deliberately get a semisolid color in the end). It's a 3-ply, spun on my wheel.

I ended up with a little less than 100 yds of about DK weight yarn (it was just a little sample o' fleece, after all) so I decided to whip up some really simple wristwarmers with it. I ended up with some yarn left over, so I could have made them a bit longer or made thumb gussets, but that's okay.

The color is a bit more accurate in this picture.

I've also been spinning the pretty BFL I got at Rae's when we went to Lansing a few weeks ago on a mini yarn-crawl. It's working up into more of a heavy worsted. I'm thinking it might end up being a scarf or something for me once I spin the rest-- I'm not sure yet.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Finally finished this sock-- I've been working on it a little each week while Emma looks for books in the library. Pinecone likes it, apparently.

I've embarked on my second Ravelympic sweater-- trying to crank out a few quickly to lighten the load on the "yarn to knit" shelf-- 3 sweaters down since July 28th, 2 to go by the end of the month.

As for today, though, I'm going to take care of some smaller editing projects now that the big one is done- then maybe a bit of spinning, perhaps? I got some gorgeous Corriedale from one of the ladies in my knitting group- soft, very springy, and for lack of a better word, fresh. Spins beautifully.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Yay for Mohair

Why would I say this in summer? Well, because I received my copy of the new pattern book from Nashua Handknits, Mohair 3, with my design in it! The funny thing is that I knit this sweater last summer (they did an early call for Fall designs last year, so I was working on Spring and Fall at the same time). As much as I didn't love knitting mohair with sweaty summer hands, I really love how this sweater turned out. As a bonus, it was featured in an ad, and in the pattern book itself it's on the inside front cover AND the back cover- yay!

In other news, I finished the sweater in Aslan Trends Artesanal for Knit n' Style (for the Feb 09 issue) AND a sweater for Spring 09 for Nashua in the past 11 days. The second was one of my Ravelympics projects and I received my medal last night (I feel like I deserve it-- an adult cardigan in 4 days?!?) Ah, deadlines.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Little peek

Nothing seems as far away as next spring, but I'm working on designs for it at the moment. Last week I finished my first of 2 for Nashua (little peek above) and I'm currently plowing through one for Knit n' Style, then on to the other Nashua design by the end of the week (plan to cast on Friday night in true Ravelympics style).

I've just about finished another big tech editing job-- just need to double check a few things before I send them off. What a relief!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Slightly deformed

I haven't spun in a while. The other day I tried finishing up the pink Blue Faced Leicester I bought from Beth at Knit Michigan (finished skein shown above). I'd lost my touch a bit, though, and the last bit I spun was pretty wonky, so the resulting skein is rather on the thick and thin side. The upside is my fingers remember what to do now, so when I dug into the pretty stuff I got at Rae's last weekend, it went much better. I'm going to use spinning that lovely stuff as a motivator to get me through the work I need to finish this weekend, let's see if it works!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Knitting Calendar 2009

As I mentioned a while back, I had sent in a few little patterns (one from my blog, a couple from Magknits) for consideration in the 2009 Knitting Pattern a Day Calendar. My beloved sushi won me first place and a big fat check, but another delight came today-- my copies of the calendar.

And what should I find on the box? My own little girl! Emma was very impressed with herself!

There's a picture of my sushi on the inside lid too. :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

And a good time was had by all

Yesterday a group of ladies from my Tuesday night knitting group and I headed out to Lansing for a much-needed yarn shopping adventure. Our first stop was Rae's, which had moved to much larger digs since our last visit in September. I was delighted to see all the spinning stuff that had been added, and bought another spindle (a bit lighter one) and a big wad of very cute Blue Faced Leicester top. After that we moved over to Threadbear, where since it was the dog's birthday we got a piece of cake as well. We stayed there for hours, since there's so much to see, and we all found something we "needed". As for me, I took advantage of the massive amounts of Garnstudio being cleared out at amazing prices (I got 6 balls of purple chunky wool for $2 each, my friend Beth filled a basket with the remaining skeins of pink). On a purple kick, I also picked up skein of Malabrigo Chunky and some Lorna's Laces top in a pretty purple and black color. Lastly I grabbed the Cat Bordhi sock book since I've been meaning to pick that up and try something new, sockwise.

Here's my loot:

Friday, July 18, 2008

Vogue Knitting on the Go

I received my contributor copies of the 2 upcoming Vogue Knitting on the Go books, Shawls 2 and Grannies today! They aren't quite on bookstore shelves yet, but it won't be too much longer-- you can preorder them on Amazon at least! Personally, I'm a total nut about these cute little books and I'm willing to admit that I own every single one--now 40 in all.

Here's what I did for the books:

Also, I picked up the Fall Knit Simple today too-- while I didn't do a design for this one (have to wait until Holiday for that) I did participate in a little article about what we learned about knitting from our mothers and grandmothers. It was nice to see my contribution followed by "Amy Polcyn, designer" just like it did for Lily Chin, Meg Swansen, and the rest. I'm not worthy!!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Noro Sock

Finally finished the toe on this long-suffering sock. Yes, it's a Jaywalker, in Noro Kureyon Sock. As far as the yarn goes, I love the colors (I'm a total nut for Noro colorways) but it's easily tangled and a bit frustrating at times to work with. Hopefully I'll get to its mate soon-- we'll see!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Teensy peek

Of the sweater I just finished for Aslan Trends in their "Artesanal" yarn. Although I hadn't had the pleasure of working with their yarns before I started designing for them back in December, I must say they are a delight (at least the 3 I've used so far-- Artesanal, Del Cerro, and Glaciar del Cielo). The thing I like most about the Artesanal is how light it is for the yarn weight. I think it would be very nice to wear!