Nine years of education in the making, and we now have a new elementary graduate in the house. My lovely daughter, whom I’ve been training up as my knitwear model, received her diploma at the ceremony last night. All the girls were beautiful, the boys I didn’t recognize at all, and now there’s a whirlwind weekend of parties, dinners and merriment. Congratulations!
It’s been so colorless and cold for so long in the mid-Atlantic; it was great to get away to the beach in south Florida. I’m a grey lover, but even I am tired of being surrounded by dry grasses and bare branches for 5 months. I’ve been embracing color lately – more about that in future posts – and I definitely see some cerulean, aqua and verdigris in my future. Maybe in combination with dolphin grey and sand beige. And lest all these lovely blues and greens proved too much for me, I brought along as my WIP the large version of my upcoming Cauldron shawl, knit in these brownish tones of Redwood Bark Silky Merino. Kind of coordinates nicely!
. . . and Stitches East, too, of course. October is a busy month for yarn acquisition in the northeast; the weather is just getting right for all that fall sweater knitting, and there are yarn events. Stitches East, the regional yarn expo put on by Knitting Universe, and the Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Festival, aka Rhinebeck, are always a week or two apart during cider season. This year my cronies and I were focusing on Rhinebeck, and we had a beautiful, wonderful time there. You cant beat this: I only went to Rhinebeck for the first time last year, and that was a quick one day trip by myself. This time I was with friends and stayed over, and we had time to visit every booth, rock the Ravelry meetup with friends old and new, and eat the Artichokes French as well as the Apple Crisp. About those snacks – all I know is that my weekly grocery run is tomorrow, and artichoke hearts are on the list, along with apples. But enough . . .
. . . Monica! Congratulations, the Random Number Generator has chosen your comment #16 to win a free copy of my Jilted pattern, from Holla Knits Fall/Winter 2012. I’ll be sending that out right away, and thank you to everyone who entered the Giveaway! Those are pretty fun, so I’ll have to see about giving away more swag in future!
Yesterday I posted about the release of my new sweater design Jilted. You may have noticed in pictures that Jilted appears styled differently around its various homes on the web. Part of that is thanks to the innovative approach of Holla Knits, which shows every published design in two versions – one knit up in a yarn from Knit Picks, and one from an independent dyer – and always in two different sizes. It’s so helpful to see how a sweater looks on different people and in different colors, to spark the imagination of how YOU would wear it. In the case of Jilted, there’s a bonus presentation of one size worn two very different ways based on fit. I knit the vibrant Fairy Tale magenta sample in Knit Picks Capretta; “Let’s go BOLD!” said Allyson from Holla Knits, when we were discussing yarn colors, and I loved the idea of this unapologetic color for a sweater conceived as a statement of girl power self-confidence. The original sketch shows the design concept of . . .
You’ve gotta love Target; they have makeup, electronics, paper products – and cute shoes. These are Elliana by Merona, the house brand. A chic cork wedge, comfy padded platform, and metallic cruelty-free straps – what’s not to love? They go with all those light, summery dresses AND look great with skinny or straight jeans too. Plus I could walk a mile in them since they feel so great, which is of high level importance; you never know when you might have to walk a mile, so better safe than sorry.
The Malabrigo Yarn Blog presents a designer interview every now and again, and I was just the featured designer. I 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. 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!
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. So 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 . . .
I’m a knitter, and I dont see that changing much anytime soon. I can crochet, if it’s simple, like chaining, or even sc or dc if I brush up with a quick tutorial. But for me, knitting is the main craft mode, and simple crochet is something I see as a technique available to enhance the knitted object, much like I-cord or grafting. I’m a project, as opposed to a process knitter; I want the FO. For me, knitting offers more possibilities in what can be made; you can shape garments, make intricate colorwork, employ endlessly variable textures. I’ve done a few crochet beanies, and even a shrug, but my indispensable hook is most often used to pick up stitches or place beads on my knitting. That being said, I love making these beaded crochet necklaces – so easy, and they look like chain if you use metallic thread. It’s enough to make me consider myself poly-craftual Are you a knitter or a crocheter, or are you a bit of both? If you are . . .
Although the sign is really just an example of Chinglish – the misuse of “steek” for “shut” in this case – the advice would be well suited for knitting. I’ve done alot of techniques, including short rows, fair isle, mosaic knitting, all kinds of sweater construction, and knitting back backwards.But steeking makes me nervous. Scissors? To cut my knitting? I’ve read plenty of tutorials, including Eunny Jang’s great Steeking Chronicles, but . . . yeah. It keeps coming back to: cutting my knitting?! My nervousness is abetted by the fact that I dont do much colorwork, for which steeking is ideal. But one day, I will make a fair isle cardi, probably with a round yoke, and use this technique. You betcha. How far down the road to learning your craft do you believe yourself to be? Are you comfortable with what you know or are you always striving to learn new skills and add to your knowledge base? Take a look at a few knitting or crochet books and have a look at . . .