Malabrigo Blog Interview

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May 252012

The Malabrigo Yarn Blog presents a designer interview every now and again, and I was just the featured designer.

stockpileI do love Malabrigo yarns, and I have bins and bins of stash to prove it. FOs too; last October Amy asked me to whip up a banner for the Malabrigo Junkies on Ravelry during the October Stockpile event. No problem; pile of sweaters on the deck – check.


The banner pretty much said it all.

stockpile banner



Anyway, thanks to Alex for letting me talk about my favorite yarn and my designs. And now you know what that new headshot was all about!

May 212012

Roam Cowl

My moebius Roam Cowl was just published in Knitscene Accessories 2012, and I couldn’t be happier with the beautiful styling and photography.

It’s knit in String Theory Caper Sock, in the lovely Oban colorway which threatens to make an orange-lover out of me. The infinity scarf is cast on at the center using Cat Bordhi’s brilliant Moebius CO, then knit outward round and round to the bound off edge. As is typical with me, I planned it to use almost every last bit of one skein, because I’m all about maximizing value per yard. Originally I called my prototype Rome Around, because it uses the reversible Roman Stripe stitch pattern, and I like wordplay. I also like the Black Tulip colorway that I first used. But surprisingly, I find myself wanting to knit something else in the warm, mellow whiskey tones of the final sample.

Rome Around prototype The Knitting Vortex  Rome Around loop | The Knitting Vortex

Techniques & Skills Used: moebius CO, knitting in the round, lace.
Size: 46” circumference and 10” height.
Yarn: String Theory Hand Dyed Yarn & Fiber Caper Sock (80% Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon; 400 yards/113g); 1 skein, shown in Oban.
Other Materials: US 6 (4mm) 40” circular needle or size to match gauge; Stitch markers (1); Yarn needle.
Gauge: 14 st and 35 rows/4” in Roman Stripe stitch pattern. Gauge is not critical for this project, however a different gauge may result in a smaller or larger finished cowl, and different yardage requirements.

See it on Ravelry, to read more or purchase the pattern. 


Roam Cowl KnitsceneAccessories 2012


Knitscene Accessories 2012 is also available for digital download, or you can buy Roam as an individual pattern.

May 172012

I’ve been thinking for a while that I really need a decent head shot for published things and various avatars. My other half has recently been linking himself in and got all motivated to take a new self portrait – which lead to the discussion in which he expressed the opinion that my previous default picture was a hair shot, not a head shot.  He has a point.

my new headSo in a synergistic moment, the spousal ridicule, acknowledgement that I need to stop changing my Ravelry ravatar all the time, and my continuing exploration of Lightroom all came together in this.

Maybe the hair’s not as good, but the overall is nice PLUS I got to practice my photo editing mad skillz with my new Lightroom software. Ever since Picnik announced they would be shutting down, I’ve been stressing out about how to do my editing; not that I do tons of it, but a little bit of tone curving for lights and darks, some airbrush and color correction can make a huge difference. One of my being a serious designer goals is to improve my photography, which means not only staging and styling the pictures, but also the digital editing. Recently an art teacher friend told me she didn’t like digital pictures because it was like cheating on the artistry of taking photos; however, I think it makes more opportunity for creativity. Not that one can make a silk purse from a sow’s ear, of course; the initial picture has to be good at least. But then the possibility exists for it to become great, in so many ways.

Anyway, the abyss of Photoshop is something I prefer to avoid unless I need it for certain specific things; all that functionality is great (hey, I just painted out a distracting background on something yesterday), but for general editing and managing of photos, Lightroom is fabulous. It does everything I need to make publishable pictures AND its management and catalog features mean I never have to use iPhoto again, just sayin’.

So I like my software, and I like my new headshot, and now I know how to use vignette and split toning. I can have a headshot library.



May 042012

Sundry | The Knitting Vortex

An elongated, asymmetrical wrap that combines the warmth and style of a shawl with the wearability of a scarf; Sundry means various or diverse, and this wrap features two colors, two stitch patterns and endless styling options. Cast on at the long, pointed end, Sundry has shaping at each end of rows that grow ever wider. Two colors contrast yet harmonize in solid garter stitch and houndstooth slipstitch sections; the slipstitch is easily worked using just one color per row. A simple picot bind off finishes the long straight end.

Size: 24″ center depth and 112″ on longest side, after blocking.

Techniques & Skills Used: cable CO, knit, increasing/decreasing, slipstitch colorwork, picot BO; the slipstitch pattern is both written and charted, and a video tutorial is included for the picot BO.

Yarn: String Theory Hand Dyed Yarn Selku (50% Silk, 50% Merino; 375 yards/113g); 1 skein MC & 1 skein CC, shown in Pewter (MC) & Alexandrite (CC).

Other Materials: US 7 (4.5mm) 40″ circular needle; Yarn needle.

Gauge: 15 st and 30 rows/4″ in garter stitch, after blocking. Gauge is not critical for this project, however a different gauge may result in a smaller or larger finished wrap, and different yardage requirements.

See it on Ravelry, to read more or purchase the pattern.   

Sundry front view | The Knitting Vortex  Sundry | The Knitting Vortex  Sundry back view | The Knitting Vortex