Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Finishing My Mitt Business ...

So, my mitt problem...there seems to an end in sight. I finished the Olive pair I was last working on...


And I'm working on the Burgundy pair now...


When I finish this pair and I am going to make a second pair for my hair stylist. She commented on Moms the last time she was there and I think she'd really like a pair. So I think there is an end in sight to my mitt addiction. Then I'm going to write up the pattern and offer it for free in my Ravelry shop!

Monday night Stitch Group was at our house and when the ladies got here I had a chance to see the progress on Melanie's latest project. As you may or may not remember...the first shawl she did was my Effortless pattern and she did AN AMAZING job on it. It was so awesome I had to photographed it on Lucy...


Melanie is an impressive learner and is beginning to remind me of someone else....me! She is just diving head first into patterns with any regard for the difficulty level and I love it. The shawl she is making now is Unsinkable by the amazing Kirsten Kapur. Melanie loved the pattern so much she wanted to do it in the same yarn that Kirsten did it in. I am so stinkin' proud of her that I took a picture of it and threw it up on Kirsten Kapur's Facebook page which she responded to! Here's what it looks like now...


Its not the best lighting but the knitting is marvelous. And this is a pattern that is lace on both sides. I cant wait to see where she's at with it next week. Melanie is so excited to next be learning how to do short rowing which is how this particular shawl is shaped. Man, she's excited about those upcoming wrap and turns!

Sunday afternoon our friend Roxane came over to do a little spinning with Mom. She brought her newly finished Rondelay so that I could photograph it on Lucy. It turned out beautifully. I love the pattern and it photographed well...




Because of its shawl its a very wearable piece. My Mom has also made this although I don't have any pictures of it on Lucy. 

Kona is doing well. He went to the vet and spent all day there doing whats called a Glucose Curve. Its how we eventually find out what the best dose of insulin is for him to be on. For now we are increasing his dosage from 1 unit twice a day to 1.25 units twice a day. Then he'll go back next month and we do it all over again and do another all day stay and see how he's doing with his insulin. So he's doing well.

So far my week has been pretty quiet and non eventful. Lots of knitting time! Hope you are all doing well and getting lots of knitting done and are enjoying yourselves. See you back here later!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I Think I Have A Mitt Problem...

So I'm on this Fingerless Mitt kick from hell and I can't stop. I have a Fingerless Mitt Problem. They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. I have at least 3 more pairs to make then I'm quitting. Cold turkey. I may be a little irritable for a few days but I'm gonna do it. Before I show you my latest pair and yarn let me show you my friend Debbie. She worked up my Scottsdale Shawl in some killer yarn she got in Oakland CA...here she is modeling it outside of Village Wools, our LYS...


Doesn't she look fabulous?! She is so photogenic it kills me. I wish I were that photogenic. And the shawl is wonderful! The yarn had that perfect shade of blue that went with that shirt, it was awesome. 

OK, now onto my yarn. In this post I had taken a pic of the Malabrigo Worsted that had just arrived at my door, literally, and I was so excited to get going with the new shades. I was trying to decide which one to work with first. The Pale Khaki colorway was so awesome and was a new shade to me. I had never seen it before. It was awesome. The other shade, Stonechat, I was familiar with. I have it in fingering weight and love it. Can't wait to work with it. I figured I'd start with the Stonechat. Well, that didn't work out so well as I explained in this post. So, I went ahead and made the Khaki pair. I was crushed about it people, really crushed. So to soothe my aching heart over the Stonechat colorway which clearly didn't work out for me, I had to shop for some more yarn. I knew that whatever I shopped for they needed to be more tonal than variegated. So, what arrived the other day you ask? I got the colors Burgundy and Olive. I will show you the pic I took of them but I have to tell you, I have not been able to accurately photograph these colors at all. Their true tonality and shades don't come out in any of the pics I take. Here's the pic...


The colors are much, much richer than the pics can show. I love them both and cant wait to wear them when they are done. With this batch I started with the Olive. I really wanted to see it worked up. Folks, its gorgeous. Its a deep, deep and rich color that this pic doesn't even come close to. Its wonderful. Think Army green but very rich and tonal. Its awesome. I have a pair of Olive colored capris that I wear all the time. Now, I'll have mitts to match! When these are done I will move on to the Burgundy ones. So, side note here, Mom went and had her hair done by our stylist Mona who complimented Mom on the mitts she was wearing. She was wearing the pair I made her for Christmas out of the Knit Picks City Tweed. Mom came home and told me this which means I get to make a pair for Mona now too! Which also meant I get to shop for more yarn! Actually, with Mona's coloring I would make her the Burgundy ones so I just ordered another skein. They will look so good on her. She is a beautiful Latina with beautiful skin and dark brown hair. The deep, rich Burgundy color will be perfect for her. I will take them to her the next time I get my hair done which will be a week and a half or so. 

So, the day before yesterday my Mom was at our LYS and she called me to tell me about some new yarn they got in that I really needed to have. She said that I started out this Fingerless Mitt Gig with the intent to make a pair of mitts and a cowl for myself. Instead, it turned into fingerless mitts for everyone I know. She told me she was buying enough of this yarn for me to actually make a cowl and some mitts for myself....what I initially planned to do. The yarn is Ella Rae Classic Sport and she said it came in all kinds of wonderful heathery colors. She picked out the color for me and brought it home for me. I have the best Mom in the whole world! Here are a couple of pics...keep in mind that with the pics its hard to see just how heathery the color really is,..



I finished one of the Olive colored mitts last night...


 ...So I photographed the yarn next to the mitt. They really are very different in color yet in the same family, if you know what I mean...


See? Same but different. And through all this excitement was Kona...sleeping in a place he's never slept before. Cute but odd and I had to take a picture of it...


I love this little guy so much. He's so awesome. For those of you wondering, he is doing very well with his insulin injections that he gets twice a day. We pair up the process with some treats and he's fine. Just a little twitch with when the needle goes in but then he gets a treat and life is good.

Hope you are all doing well and knitting away wherever you are. If you're back east please, please, please stay safe and WARM. I watch the news every night and just cringe. I personally could not imagine being back there and having to deal with it and live in it. So to all those who are, please stay safe. And stay knitting!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Gifts and Beignets...

Now I can finally share this with you all!
It took me a while to finish the gifts for my Monday Night crew, Lisa, Melanie, Sidney and Lori, but I finished them and tonight they were finally gifted. I picked colors that were appropriate for each of the ladies. Lisa received hers earlier, at the end of last week, because she was going to Arizona for a visit to her folks place. I didn't get a pic of Lisa's mitts which were a beautiful blue green color. She appreciated them as she herself had made several pairs for others this Holiday season as well. For the other three, here they are...


All pairs were done with Malabrigo Worsted weight yarn. The green was for Sidney, the blue for Lori and the other pair (there is an explanation behind them) was for Melanie who screamed with excitement when she opened them! Sidney, for those of you who know her, is a 'green' person. In every sense of the word. From her love of everything in nature and sheer love of the color. This particular shade of green I choose to go with a shawl I knew she had that was made for her by our lovely friend Kathie. Here is a picture of the shawl that was made for Sidney...


The pattern itself is Kathie's and can be seen here on Ravelry. And next to the shawl, I think the mitts go very well with it...


Sidney also has a shirt this color that she wears often and I knew this would be the perfect shade for her. I was so happy when she opened them and saw her smile. I have a feeling that maybe, just maybe, Sidney knew right away every reason why I chose this shade.

The blue mitts were for Lori. Before she accidentally saw the skein in my purchase bag at Village Wools, I knew this was the color I wanted to get for her. When she happened to see the skein just after I bought it she lifted it out of my bag and said "ooooohhhh.....I LOVE this color!" I knew she did! How did I know? She just recently made the Dream Coat, a Patricia Werner pattern, in a class that she took at Village Wools a few months ago. And blue was one of the colors seen in her coat. This particular shade of blue. I knew it would go with her coat so well. Here are her mitts...


And here is Lori in her coat alongside Patricia Werner, the designer of this incredible coat...


See those wonderful shades of blue? Its a perfect match. I had this in mind when I chose her color of mitts!

I never packaged or wrapped (with the exception of the ones I made for Christmas) the mitts but I have made Mom three pairs of mitts. I made her a pair with Knit Picks City Tweed, an Angora pair, and a pair made with Wooly Wonka merino/cashmere. Mom is happy...

 


For Melanie... a story! Melanie is originally form Louisiana, just outside of Metairie if I remember correctly. She is a Saints fan and celebrates Mardi Gras every year with a party at her house which, if possible, we always attend. I have special colored strings of beads I wear just for her party! Back up a few months...I was house sitting for some friends back in October when they went to New Orleans for a family wedding. As they are fellow knitters they of course went to a few yarn shops in the area. One of them being the famed Quarter Stitch in the French Quarter. Unfortunately, they do not have their own website to link to or I'd send you there to look around via their site. Use your imagination. One of the things my friends brought back for me was a couple skeins of Malabrigo Worsted dyed by Malabrigo specifically for the Quarter Stitch in Mardi Gras colors...


When I knew I was going to make mitts for the ladies I knew that I would make Melanie Mardi Gras mitts and here they are close up...


She screamed with excitement when she opened these! She had just ordered a few skeins of this Malabrigo Worsted for herself and last week told me that maybe, just maybe, she would make a pair of mitts with one of the skeins. I told her I would bring her the pattern today. I lied. (smile)  One of the things I happened to mention in conversation last week was that I had never ever had a beignet before. Melanie thought this was terrible and just had to be fixed! Since Lisa was gone this week in Arizona and stitch group was at Melanie's house, she made jambalaya (Lisa doesn't really tolerate spicey hot foods very well) and would make beignets for dessert!


Folks, if you haven't had a beignet before, you too are missing out. I was glad I finally had them this evening. They.Were. Awesome! After we ate dinner and had dessert we all sat around knitting, Sidney was stitching, until it was time to go for the evening. It was a wonderful evening. 

I love these ladies like family. It had been a rough 2013 for me and to know I had the love and support of each and every one of these ladies meant a tremendous amount to me. I wanted to show each of them just how much it meant. 

I hope you all have a wonderful start to your week! Tomorrow is Tuesday Night Knitting so my week is starting out awesome. And the the Denver Broncos are going to the Superbowl. How much better can it get!?? Have a wonderful evening my friends!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Designer Day At Village Wools...

Yesterday was Designer Day at Village Wools here in Albuquerque! It was a wonderful day of celebration of a few local designers, myself included. It was awesome! This was the first time that I have done anything like this before...where I had, for lack of better terms...a booth where all of my designs could be showcased and all my patterns could be seen and viewed. I was celebrated yesterday and it was such a wonderful feeling. There were a few very talented people that were also there with me and I will share with who they are and what they've done. To be in their company is a bit intimidating! I took Lucy yesterday to help show off shawls. If you are not aware, Lucy is my dress form. She did a fabulous job! I modeled Betty's Persian Crescent shawl on it and it looked fabulous! If you haven't had a chance to see all of my shawls they can be viewed here. They were all with me yesterday. Even the ones that others had made were brought to show differences in size and yarn, etc. Here is Betty posing next to her shawl on Lucy...


Yesterday's post I included pics of this shawl on Lucy and you can see the details much better. Here they are again for your convenience...



Moving on. The festivities were all held in the the large classroom area in Village Wools. This is what my corner looked like...


All of my patterns were lined up on the table next to my business cards for people to see and purchase. That's my Mom talking to a patron. She and Betty came and spent the entire time with me yesterday and sat on either side of me the whole time. They talked to customers about me and my patterns and helped them shop for yarn, patterns, blocking wires, etc. They were such a wonderful support. Here's Betty and I...


And Mom and I...


Here is another angle of my area...

 On the right hand side, in the back corner, was Eda Weddington. Click on her name and you can view her patterns on Ravelry. She does garment work and market bags and felted wine bags. She is very talented too! This is Eda and I...


 Here is another view of all of my patterns and some shawls lined up for viewing...
 

Across the room was Patricia Werner. Meeting her was amazing! She is so unbelievably talented and to have shared the same room with her was a bit daunting. She is the author of the book "Dazzling Knits..."




She was wearing the jacket on the cover of this book and let me tell you...that is one amazing jacket. She had recently taught a class at Village Wools for this jacket and my dear friend Lori took the class and made the jacket. We watched her every week as she progressed along making her jacket and seeing the colors she choose to use. Ironically, Lori came yesterday too! Here is a picture of the Pat and Lori together...I love this pic!


Aren't they just amazing together! To learn more about Pat you can visit her website here. Also, you can visit Pat's Ravelry page here to see the rest of her amazing designs. Near the end of our event I asked to take a picture with her. I felt silly but I really wanted a pic of her with her work in the background...she was more than happy to oblige!


Talking with her...she was so nice. She had the nicest things to say to me about my work and designs and was very motivational for me. She was an absolute delight. When we first met me she said that she had been looking forward to meeting me for some time now. What? Me? My Mother brags...lol. I strongly encourage you...if you have a chance to meet and take a class from Pat, do. You will no doubt end up with a conversation piece of knitted art. 

On the other side of Pat was Ahza Moore. She along with Marion Edmonds authored the book "When Bad Things Happen To Good Knitters" and she was there knitting and signing books. She is so funny. I really like Ahza. I met her some time ago and the day we met, I wont forget it was a Tuesday because we talked and talked and talked and talked and took up all our time at Village Wools before heading over to Jason's Deli! I really need to get her book. I don't know why I didn't think of it yesterday honestly. I was too wrapped up in talking to other knitters and answering questions about my patterns I suppose. I did happen to get a pic of Ahza and I together though, one of my favs of the day.


All in all it was an awesome day. It was the first time that I had been asked to participate in an event like this where people could come out and see what I do and see my work. It was very rewarding and inspiring. Those 2 shawls I have on the needles now, I need to finish them so I can release the patterns! There was one woman who came in that I will not forget. Her name was Jeanette and she was a fairly new knitter. When she came in she was elated to find me there and said that she had been in the store the day before and saw one of my designs and just had to come back today to meet me. I was practically in shock. She was looking for a pattern that was not difficult to do but would look nice too. I directed her towards my Effortless pattern. Several of us explained to her that it was named Effortless for a reason. The body of the shawl is knit in garter with a simple and easily memorized border. Once you have it down after about 5 minutes you don't even need to refer to the pattern anymore. Its that simple. I designed it specifically to be this way. After much reassurance she took a copy of the pattern. I was so delighted to have met her. We invited her to Tuesday Night Knitting at Jason's Deli where she can come and knit and get help should she ever need it. Jeanette was wonderful, she was so full of energy and excitement for the craft. 

Before leaving I had to get a quick pic of me and Cathalena, one of the owners of Village Wools. I was so thankful for the day. The shop has always been so supportive of everything I've done and I am beyond thankful for that.


What was I knitting while I was there you ask? I was knitting a pair of fingerless mitts in Malabrigo Worsted in a colorway called Pale Khaki. I couldn't wait to work on these babies because the color was so amazing. I wanted a neutral mitt to go with all sorts of things. Along with this colorway I ordered Stonechat too. I LOVE this colorway and couldn't wait to get started on them but when I did I was crushed. The color repeat is exactly 20 stitches across which means half of my mitt was brownish green and the other half was red. I was crushed. I love this colorway but there was no way to make it work. I am going to ask a friend if she wants the skein because I know she uses worsted weight yarn for all sorts of things. She may have a use for it. I didn't think to take a pic of it I was so crushed. But I did take pics of the Pale Khaki which I LOVE. I finished the first one and am working on the second. I am making them slightly longer for a bit more of a slouchy effect...



I think I am going to write these mitts up and offer them as a free pattern on Ravelry from my shop. What do you think?

If you came by to see me, THANK YOU! I appreciate your support. Thank you for following my blog if you were not able to make it or are not local. I'm not sure what I would do without my little knitting community which actually...isn't really that little. Its worldwide and we all have this wonderful thing we do in common.
Support you local designers, dyers and fiber artists!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Yarning Around In Santa Fe...

Remember how I told you all that the rest of my week was going to be good because it involved yarn?! Well, it was! It was fantastic!

We started out at about 9am Friday morning. Mom and I went to the gas station for a fill up then it was on to meet Betty and Kristy to pick them up for the trip up to Santa Fe. On trips like this Mom usually drives, we have a nice roomy car, and Betty and Kristy meet us in the Lowe's parking lot where they park their cars the day. Kristy and I sat in the back and knitting the who way there and everywhere around town. Kristy is wonderful! She is a new friend and it seemed everything was just instant with her. I can tell it is going to be a wonderful friendship. She is so talented, and bubbly, and FUNNY! We had the most fun showing her around Santa Fe and introducing her to yarn shops there she was not familiar with. The first one we went to was Yarn & Coffee which Mom, Betty and I have loved since they opened their doors about a year ago. They have such a wonderful selection of stuff that isn't in our LYS. They have a lot of Dream in Color, Wooly Wonka, a rather large selection of Madelinetosh, etc. Here are some pics from the inside of the shop...



The owner of the store, Deborah, also supports and carries local yarns the newest one of which is called Crave. Folks, I am here to tell you this stuff is amazing. The bases are incredible and the color work done on the yarn is so beautiful. I think this lady who is doing the Crave line is going to go far. At least the potential is all there for her too. Its completely luxurious. As of yesterday her website was not yet up but it will be soon. Please keep an eye out for it and support her if you can. Her yarns are amazing! Deb also supports local designers. I was very surprised, and touched, to see that they did one of my Cornwall Coasts and had it on a dress form for display! The did a crochet edge on it because they wanted to see how far one skein of the yarn they used would go. They were unsure it would do the lace border so they just did a crochet border. I cannot remember the name of the yarn they used to do it with but here's the pic...


I thought this was ultra cool! They also had some, believe it or not, size 75 knitting needles. I had never seen needles like this before, only in pictures! 


And here's Mom shopping...and boy howdy did she shop yesterday...


And of course Kristy and I had to take a selfie...


We had a good time at Yarn & Coffee! I got a wonderful yarn bad made out of woven recycled material and I LOVE IT! I forgot to take a pic of it for you.

Next was lunch and we all went to Mucho Gusto and had a wonderful tasty lunch of traditional Mexican food. After lunch and getting refueled it was on to Miriam's Well. I didn't get any pics in Miriam's because it would've been impossible to get a good one. The yarn store is in an old house. Wonderful yarns around every little corner! After Miriam's it was on to Tutto's! Kristy was specifically looking for buttons and man...she was in the right place...


Almost a whole wall of buttons. That's Kristy crouched down looking for the perfect ones. Tutto is wonderful but small...


What you see here is what there was. But its a very nice shop. Every time I have been there I have been eyeing some Berroco Boboli Lace which my LYS does not carry. I finally got it this time...


After Tutto we went across the street to Savory Spices so Kristy could stock up on some spices and rubs that she and her husband use. And when you walk in this place...oh my God the smells! I think Kristy is right when she said there should be some Willy Wonka Wallpaper where you can just lick and taste everything! After this we climbed back in the car for the ride back to Albuquerque. It had been a full day. By the time we were headed home it was after 3 o'clock. It was a wonderful day and after the week I had I truly needed it!

Today is the Designer Day Expo at Village Wools and I truly need to be getting ready for that but I have to show you one more thing. Betty finished her Persian Crescent Shawl and it is gorgeous! i took pics of it on Lucy this morning and here they are...



It is spectacular. She did hers in Madelinetosh Sock in the colorway Nebula. It will be coming with me today to the Designer Expo so I can show her off to people! I will take pics of what goes on today and share it with you all tomorrow or Monday. I'm really excited about today, and a little nervous too. I wonder how many people will be there and who will come. I will take pics, trust me! 

Have a wonderful Saturday everyone and I'll see you back here in just a couple of days!