Friday, January 30, 2015

Measuring the Needle?

A friend of mine recently overheard me telling a new knitter NOT to measure the needle when measuring her work's length. That's what I've always done. That makes this ribbing just under 1.75 inches long. 

If you include the needle in the measurement, it would be just over 1.75 inches long. 

Which way do you do it? It's a small difference in this case, but if you were using size 11 needles, it would not be a small difference!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Little Gidding Farm Suri Yarn

I will do a more thorough review of this yarn later, but I just wanted to take a moment to share this little gem with you. It's a 3ply fingering, 55% suri, 30% wool, 15% nylon yarn from Little Gidding Farm, right here in Minnesota.

It's gorgeous and the color is truly jewel-like, which I love in a sock yarn! I'll let you all know how it knits up.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Regia 6-Ply Self-Striping Sock Yarn for the WIN!

Say what you will, but you can't beat sport-weight yarn for instant sock gratification. Pair that with self-striping? Magic.

Those of you following me on Instagram saw this a little while ago. If you're not on it, you should check it out. It's an awesome way to see a LOT of knitting out in the wild.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

Natural Light

I may be in the basement, but at least I have good windows. There's nothing like sunshine to make you feel brighter about everything!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Quilt Slipcover

When choosing a quilt to cover your futon, always check with the cat to see if he approves. I think he does. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Have Case, But It Won't Travel

The top suitcase is one we bought months ago here in the Twin Cities. The bottom one came from Goodwill in Yankton, SD, over Christmas. I love them! They're going to be tucked under the futon in my office to hold yarn. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Knitting Needles, Anyone?

When I told the organizer that I could provide needles for my students to try (classes start tonight!), she said: Are you sure you'll have enough. 

Um, yes. Behold my 10-odd pairs of straight size 7 and 8 needles!!! The circs and dpns are already packed. 

Have you amassed a kind of obnoxious number of needles? I don't think I need that many, but I can't bring myself to part with any. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

What's In the Box?

It's just a box, right? 
Wrong, wrong, wrong, my friends. It's a camera from 1919!!!!!

The best part, besides the actual MANUAL? It's in perfect working order. If I wanted to invest in some 220 roll film, I could actually use it.

BTW, a correction is due from last week's blog post - the awesome jewelry tray was a gift from my sister, not my mom. Sorry, Gina!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Why Do I Dread It So?

I know I have to do it. After it is done, I will be very happy. Why don't I want to do it? 


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Unexpected Benefit of My Basement Office

My basement office was once an apartment of sorts, we think. It has a tiny powder room adjacent to it and an area with countertops and a sink that is a hot plate away from being a kitchenette.

So, that means that I have a dedicated space just to wash my knits. Very nice, if I do say so myself. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

We Interrupt This Blog to Move My Office

Remember the Basement of Boxes? Well, Dee and I spent a chunk of the last 3 days turning it into my office/studio!

It's not ready for public consumption. At least one more bookshelf is needed for that! But, so far, Boomer approves. The futon under the window makes it a perfect perch.

Home is where the goofy, orange kitty is.

Friday, January 09, 2015

2015 - Year of the Sheep

It's 2015. The Chinese New Year hasn't happened yet, but a lot of people are already talking about 2015 being the Year of the Sheep (or Goat). 

The sheep happens to be my birth year, which seems fortunate for someone who likes wool. :) I don't put a lot of stock in astrology, but it's nice to feel like things are aligning in my favor. 

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Beginning Knitting with St. Louis Park Community Education

Coming up in less than 2 weeks - I'm teaching a beginning knitting course! Space is limited, so sign up now if you want to be sure and have a spot.

I love teaching new knitters. There's nothing like watching someone go from "I could never do that!" to "look what I made!"

OK, off to work on my handouts...

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Enter to Win a Dream in Color Kit

The folks at Dream in Color yarn were generous enough to give me two skeins of their yarn to give away - twins to the exact skeins I used for my Paris Wallpaper Socks.

Here's how you enter to win the yarns and a free digital copy of my pattern. Click through the link above to the Ravelry page for the socks and select "add to queue" on the right side of the screen. ("Add to favorites" is nice, too, but it's harder for me, as the designer, to see a quick roundup of who has done that.) That's it. On 1/15/15 (next Thursday), I'll use a random number generator to choose one lucky person who added the pattern to their queue and send them their prize. 

Good luck!

Not a member of Ravelry yet? Why not? It's free and awesome!

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Chateau de Versailles Cowl

I was happy when Dream in Color said they wanted to publish one of my patterns, so imagine how excited I was when they took two!

The Chateau de Versailles Cowl is based, loosely, on some lovely tilework in the courtyard of, well, the palace at Versailles.

I'm saying "loosely" here because I think I can do better. I'm going to try to capture that sense of grandeur and order a little more closely next time. The grounds and the garden there made me feel like every other formal garden I'd ever seen was an imitation. 

I mean, really, the SCALE of the place is barely human. 

Here's my attempt at a slight imitation:

Very simple, symmetrical colorwork that's easy to memorize. If you are neat with your wrong side, you won't care that it shows a little. 

I can't overstate the incredible luxury I felt when knitting with these yarns. I don't normally go for really sparkly stuff, but I feel that Dream in Color really hit a good balance between pizazz and "where are my sunglasses?" And, well, cashmere is cashmere!

Monday, January 05, 2015

Paris Wallpaper Socks

I almost hate to say that I fell in love with Paris. It seems like such a cliche. Does every American who goes there have to follow in the footsteps of Thomas Jefferson, Gertrude Stein, Julia Child and Ernest Hemingway? Anthony Bourdain basically says you have to be a complete dunce not to fall in love with it, though, so I have even that curmudgeon on my side.

Well, I did fall in love. We did. In May of 2013. The first draft of Sock Architecture was done, and most of the patterns were drafted out, too. I took a break from obsessing about my book to obsess about Paris. Anyone who was following me on Twitter at that time got to see a pair of little socks roam around the streets. I couldn't tell you why I had those particular socks, then.

Some obligatory Paris photos:

Anyway, when you're looking at everything in the way that travel forces you to, as if the whole world was made all over again for you last night, you sometimes look a little more closely at little details than usual. 

This was the wallpaper in our little hotel. Very simple. Very elegant. 

Months later, I saw a design call from Dream in Color for designs using two colors and bases of yarns, I knew I wanted to take design cues from the wallpaper.