Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ferryn

This is just a short post to introduce Ferryn. It will be available on Ravelry and Craftsy alike in a short while. I hope you all love it as much as I did making it!


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Other Things ...

  They're have been other things I've wanted to write about but the other day when I wrote about Galina, there was so much that it just literally became its own post. I couldn't write about these other things on top of that high I had just come down from. And it was a high too. Why do people do drugs when they can just knit? And meet famous knitters? Not for me to understand I suppose...

One of the things I've wanted to write about is yarn. Yarn Yarn Yarn. It seems I have had a lot of yarn sent my way for design work and I truly appreciate that, I really do. And I've bought yarn. Oh, how I've bought yarn. Everything I buy is with the intention of designing something with it. There are so many beautiful and luscious yarns to work with that is boggles the mind when you stop to think about it. So, so much yarn. This yarn was the second batch sent to me by Crave Yarn out of Santa Fe. Amor, the incredible owner of Crave Yarn, has been terribly supportive of my work and I am forever thankful for everything she has done...


This is an amazing colorway called "Stargazing From The Mesa." Isn't that awesome?! I love it. And after doing Ferryn with her Summit line (Stargazing is also Summit) and knowing how incredible it is after washing and starching it during blocking I cannot wait to create again with this batch. Then there was some gift yarn from my Mom...


This is yarn that was gifted to me from my Mom after having a really rough day a week ago. This is Tosh Sock in the colorway "Badlands" which I actually have in lace weight. I am looking forward to using this though. The bronze, grey and golds in these skeins are amazing. And then there's this...


I LOVVVVEEE this! This is more yarn from Phydeaux Designs. Its DK weight, 2 skeins at 252 yds per skein in a colorway called "Patina" and its bee-you-tee-ful. It looks different in different light....


I love it and I already know what I want to do with it! This is what my yarn pile on the coffee table looks like...


There are 6 projects there. Including the gradient/transition set from Wooly Wonka Fibers. I cant wait to work with that. I'm pretty sure I know what I wanna do with that too. I haven't added this to my stash because I cannot forget about any of these. I think I will put them in the cedar chest close to me where a lot of my other stuff is. In that cedar chest is also a bunch of yarns from Cascade that were sent to me to play with. I'm dying to get back to working some real lace too. I have had an entire lace stole locked up in my head for 2 yrs now. I really would like to bring that to fruition.

A couple days ago was a very special baby shower. My friend Ariane who is about to give birth to my Fairy Godchild (they are not religious so they refer more to the fairy side of things but really wanted me to have that special place in their kids life) finally got her baby sweater that I made for her! Remember this sweater?


Well, it turned into this...


She was happy. My Mom made the cutest damn pair of baby pants I've ever seen....


 Which turned into...


There are other knitted things that will surely arrive for this child. Their theme for the baby has always been owls...nice and unisex. Check out the cake that ABC Cake Company did for the event....


 Fantastic, right?!?! It was awesome. This was the same cake company that did my parents 50th Anniversary cake that was huge. And Savannah posed with me for a selfie...


Savannah is so excited for her baby brother or sister to arrive! I cant wait to babysit.

I've decided to take a little minor break from my work to knit a commercial pattern. I am knitting Cinnamon Stone by VeryBusyMonkey. I am using Dream In Color Everlasting Sock in the colorway Naked Charm (I think that's the name of it) and I love it. Mom and I are knitting it together and Dilshani is going to join us!


What are you all working on??? I'd love to know. Leave me some comments. Tomorrow I will post a brief entry. Since Ferryn is being released I will put up all the photos I'm using of it. Also on my FB page. It should be released somewhere around 8pm. That's when I will start the process on my side. And Since I am having surgery Thursday morning, I will be taking a break from here for a while. Please bear with me if you don't hear from me for a while. Take care everyone and I will put up pics tomorrow when Ferryn is released. Until then....Knit On!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

"I feel like I've come home..."

It wasn't until last night when our beloved friend and the endlessly talented Galina Khmeleva spoke these words at dinner that I realized that all of the hard work, hours on the computer and a ton of emails sent back and forth was absolutely worth me taking on the position of our Knitting Guild's Program Director for a second year. Most of those who know me know that my health is not the greatest and quite frankly, I was really hoping someone else would step up and take the job. But no one did. So I reluctantly took it on for a second year knowing I was kinda already ahead in the game in that I had ideas for programs for the guild's previous year that never panned out. I still had places to go and people to talk to. We, as a guild, raised our annual dues in order to bring in more and better programs. And there was a collective understanding the the ladies also wanted a workshop. Already feeling overwhelmed at the job I decided to take on for another year, where was I to go for a good all day workshop? Who could we afford to bring in? We are a small guild of about 40 members. So I got to thinking...drumming my fingers...and then it occurred to me. Galina! Surely my good friend Galina would fit us into her busy schedule. She and her husband George live in Ft. Collins Colorado which, in terms of bringing in big names to do a workshop, is not that far. Its probably the best we could ask for. So I emailed her. She was delighted not only to hear from me but undoubtedly said yes. She would certainly fit us in. To them, the whole thing could be done in a weekend. We emailed back and forth for months putting this weekend together. Then there were the emails with the hotel that I was working with. Finally, workshop day was upon us. I was so excited to see Galina and George and yet nervous at the same time. It was going to be a very long day. 3 hours in the morning, a break for lunch, meet back up until 5:00pm and then we had dinner reservations at 6:00pm. One of the things I battle endlessly is being tired and fatigued. Its one of the side effects of my MCD. I was nervous because I was afraid I would just drop in the middle of it all. It was a real legitimate concern of mine. Before Mom and I went to the hotel we hit up a Starbucks. It was necessary, oh so necessary. A quad shot for me please, thank you. We got to the hotel and I saw Galina. We hugged and kissed each others cheek and said how good it was to see each other. I thanked her already for coming down. Most everyone else was there...and shopping! I emphasized early on to all the attendees that they would be bringing a ton of luscious yarns and sure enough, they were shopping! I came home with this...


It comes out looking a little like wine colored here but its a deep crimson red and I didn't have anything like this. And it was 800 yds of 50% cashmere and 50% silk. Its to die for. Its amazing! 
So the workshop began and went on with us all learning new things we hadn't known before, laughing in between and getting to know the people we were sitting next to if there was someone new there. Everyone there was in Guild with the exception of one person so everyone already new each other with the exception of a couple people. Sitting to my right was my best friend Dilshani. Sitting to her right was Laurie who she had not yet had the opportunity to really meet before so that was cool. They talked and told stories and......got in trouble! Like students in a class they almost needed to be separated! Made my heart smile. Then it was me and Dilshani later but no need to mention that. Yes, it was my fault. I have no shame. We have no shame...


 The classroom we were in was PERFECTLY sized for everyone. No one was squished or had too small a space. Galina had more than enough room to walk around in and could easily stop by and check our work...


 I was very happy with the meeting space and if we bring someone in like this again I would definitely go back there. Especially with the rates they gave us and Galina and George, but I digress. We broke for lunch and Mom and I and Auntie Betty and our friend Venetia took Galina to Flying Star for lunch. It was a wonderful lunch and we all sat around and talked and laughed and had a good time. We had just about enough time before we had to get back in the car and head back to the hotel for the afternoon portion of the workshop. During the afternoon we finished what we had all started in the morning and then we learned how to make our corners. Very exciting stuff indeed! If any of you have taken a class from Galina then you know exactly what I'm talk about. Before we knew it, it was 5:00pm. Everyone sort of lingered and did some more shopping and paid for what they had picked out earlier if they hadn't already. Mom and I and Galina and George had to get a move on as we had dinner reservations at 6:00pm at Nick & Jimmy's. Galina and I had margarita's after the long day...and I was having surgery in another 5 days so I felt a little justified! We all had wonderful dinners and spent the evening telling stories around the table and laughing. Then, in the middle of it all, Galina put her head on Betty's shoulder and giggled like a child and said "I feel like I've come home. I miss you guys so much." And that's when all of this hit me. Taking on the job of Program Director for our Knitting Guild was worth hearing Galina say that. Me having such a long day and being tired even before having dinner...was worth it. Everything was worth it to reunite with Galina and hear her speak those words...


So thank you Galina. Thank you for fitting us into your very busy schedule. I appreciate your friendship and you sharing your knowledge with us. I am so proud to be able to say that the first knitting class/workshop I ever took was from you. Who knows, maybe you'll see us in Estes Park this year since Taos seems to not only be pissing everyone off, they are losing all their decent vendors. We'll just have to wait and see. 
Thank you Thank you Thank you!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Almost there ...

Happy Easter on this, my 60th post! I cant believe its number 60 already, for me anyways. I can't tell you all how much I appreciate you spending just a bit of your time to read my posts and stay up with what's going on in my life and what I'm doing and creating. Not to be a sap but it really does mean so much to me. With this being Easter I thought I would share with you a couple of gifts I've received this week. When you get older, Easter Baskets tend to change, at least for me they do. With as much as I love chocolate I certainly don't need an entire basket full of it anymore. However, I did get one of these from my Mom...


It's my very first tablet. Its a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.0! I had been wanting a tablet for some time now...something that I can take with me here and there. I do still prefer to blog on the laptop though. My thoughts come to fast to try and type everything out on the tablet. So for blogging I think I'll stick with this that I've been working on. But I have been having fun figuring things out on it. It came with an Otterbox protective case which is really great. The other thing I got was this...


 I love the Yarn Harlot. As a knitter, everything she writes is something I can relate to. Especially when knitting is your life. I've followed her on her blog for years now and she is hilarious. As a writer I really look up to her although I think it would be nearly impossible for me to reach the kind of status she has with her blog. She is a wonderful writer. Year after year she wins the Canadians Best Blog of the year award. Now folks, that's saying something. People blog about everything under the sun and the fact that her knitting blog is continually voted the best blog is really saying something about her writing. She has hundreds of readers that don't even knit...they just love to read about it. If you check her out you'll see why. She can be found here and she blogs very regularly. She has a very busy schedule so she has lots of things to blog about. I have lots of knitting role models and The Yarn Harlot, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, is certainly one of them.

I also got a new phone which I had desperately needed for some time. The SIM card in my old phone keep going in an out which meant my phone often dropped calls which I HATED as anyone would. I was due for an upgrade on my contract anyway so I got the phone for free. Well, basically free. I am not am IPhone person but rather a Droid person. And I LOVE my new phone. Not much on it is that different from what I had before which I like. I loved what I had...it just didn't work. Now I have something that works that is very similar to what I had before. I don't have to learn a bunch of new shit which I like.

As you know, those of you who read regularly, I am about to release a new pattern. And we're almost there. If all goes as plans, Ferryn should release the evening of April 29th. Why the evening and why on the 29th? The original plans were to release it on May 1st but I am having surgery that day and will likely not be up to doing computer stuff, if I'm even home. And I generally always release my patterns on Ravelry and Craftsy at night. This way those across the globe can see them first in the early morning and when everyone wakes up here in the US they have a new pattern to look at. It has so far proven to be successful for me in the past so I'll stick to it. So the evening the night before my surgery it is. I will announce it here, in my Ravelry Group and on Facebook as well. My deadline to have it finished for preliminary photos is the 23rd. I should be able to meet this deadline with some solid days of knitting ahead of me. Here's where she's at right now...


I can finish the rest of the edging in 3 days....at least that's what I keep telling myself! But seriously, I should be able to. I have had the pattern memorized for quite some time so its a great help not constantly having to gaze back at a pattern. I am so pleased with this and excited about it I can hardly stand it! There were a lot of firsts with this pattern, you can read about those here. So, this one is especially close to my heart. The post that is referred to is also the same post that announced the fact the I finally, after a lot of thought, have my own Ravelry Group now too. I am happy to report that my group now has 100 members too! How exciting!

I wasn't feeling all to well yesterday, I was having a very bad head day (I have a condition called Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension which causes me to have daily migraines. They just wax and wane in intensity). Dilshani's youngest two children, Anika and Nate have been in town for Spring Break and it was their last full day before leaving to go back to their father. It was very important we all meet and I couldn't get over to their place so they came for a visit! And...Dilshani brought her camera! One of Dilshani's talents, in addition to being a fabulous knitter, she is a professional photographer. She took a couple pics just so we would have some of me and the kids. We didn't have a lot of time to work with so they were quick shots but it was important to all of us that we mark the moment. Dilshani's daughter Anika looks just like she does and she, at 14 is absolutely beautiful. Here is the pic she took of Anika and I...


In addition to being beautiful, she is a total natural in front of the camera. I think it would be impossible for her to take a bad picture. This is Nate and I...


Nate is such a handsome charmer! So sweet and kind. These two together? They had me laughing so hard my head was so bad. This was a good thing when it came to the pictures. Everything was so natural and not staged. The personalities of these two kids are so fantastic. They're so funny together and its so apparent how close they are. I love these kids. Meeting them was like when I met their mother. There was an instant connection. I cant wait until we can all spend a lot more time together this coming summer! Here is a picture that Dilshani took of me by myself and...for as much I don't like a lot of pictures of myself...I really like this. A lot. Dilshani can make even me look half way decent and for that I am thankful. I love this...


My Dad doesn't have an updated photo of me on his desk and I think this would be perfect. Thank you so much Dilshani. You are so talented. Thank you for making me look good, I appreciate that!

Miss Audrey Grace has been enjoying the fresh air and open windows during the evening hours just like all of us...


And I got a great picture with my new phone which is now the wallpaper on my new tablet...


I hope you are all having a wonderful Sunday however you are celebrating and whatever you are choosing to celebrate! We will be sitting down to a magnificent feast here shortly. The first bottle of wine has been opened and we are all enjoying Anasazi Field's Apricot from 1998, aged to absolute perfection. Enjoy each others company wherever you are. Love one another, be kind to one another...and I'll see you back here soon. Until then...Knit On!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Evolution To A Knitter ...

Hi Everyone! Hope you are all doing well and knitting away at whatever is on your needles! How come no one tells me what they're working on?! Come on folks! I wanna know!!!! Leave me some comments. If there is a cool pattern you're working on please let me know. Even though I design patterns I love to see new ones!

Today was an interesting day. It started out very early for me. At 6:15 early. I am not an early person at all but I was strangely awake for the appt Mom and I had at 8:30am. I had an appt with a general surgeon this morning for a problematic hernia. I know that I am looking at surgery to fix it. I know that I have a TON of scar tissue from previous surgeries, I know that even laparoscopic surgery is tough on my body but this thing...it must be fixed. Its an incisional hernia at the top of a big scar on my stomach right at the base of my breast bone. You see, I've had a lot of surgeries before. This will be number 17 for me. My last surgery was in April 2012. I have had a lot of health issues in the past and continue to do so now. I just have this...feeling. This feeling that this hernia is larger than what its thought to be. I have had incisional hernia repairs before and in the past that has always been the case. They have always been MUCH larger than originally thought. It is being scheduled as outpatient surgery and if I go home that same day I will be very pleasantly surprised. My surgery is scheduled for May 1st. I am hoping to not lose much time from here or from my knitting ventures. I have too much going on right now. This is the plan. Since May 1st was the original release date for Ferryn, I will release it the evening of the 29th, if all goes well, and everything will be underway for getting kits to people who order them and starting the KAL on Ravelry. This is the plan. But I also understand that plans can and have been known to change so we'll see. I'll keep you all informed if not here, on my Ravelry Group Page. It's easier to toss up an update there than it is here so keep an eye out. 

After the appt and getting scheduled this morning Mom had a nail appt. She dropped me off at Satellite Coffee where I knitted until she was done. After that we headed to Village Wools to pick up the "blending board" for Mom's Spinning Group this afternoon. Her group was working on color blending today and VW let them borrow the blending board for their fun. There was a ton of fiber here for everyone to play with. This is what one of the coffee tables looked like when they were all here today...

 
When Kate arrived she brought along her completed Cornwall Coast done in Wooly Wonka Nimue sock in the colorway Black Dahlia. I have this particular yarn in my stash and I couldn't wait to see what it was going to look like. I knew the drape would be incredible as my Petit Jardin is done in the same yarn. She allowed me to photograph it on Lucy and she looked gorgeous...


Doesn't it look great!??! I LOVE IT! But then again, I am very partial to this particular pattern. I emailed all the pics I took of it to her so she could have them for her Ravelry page! I need to check back there and she if she loaded them up there yet. As the ladies were here blending their color and spinning up their fiber the doorbell rang. I practically ran to the door because I knew it was for me. It was my new phone. My new, long awaited, highly anticipated phone. The phone I have had for a long time now has not been working well at all...dropping calls and cutting people off because the SIM card has not been working right. It has been replaced 3 or 4 times but as I understand it, this was a manufacturing problem with this particular device. So, I was really looking forward to a new phone. The best part of it so far is that I have set everything up and transferred everything, blah blah blah, all my myself....without David (my ex-husband who works for said phone carrier and has for many many years taken care of all of our phone needs and problems). I am very proud of myself for being able to have done this all on my own. I know it sounds silly but its one of those things. At the same time, getting a new phone means learning and navigating around having a new device. I think I have it down but I spent a better part of this entire afternoon taking care of things with it. Now that its done I can focus on blogging and knitting!

I finished the baby sweater for Stacey in record time. I am going to get it sent out here probably tomorrow. I got it done in four days. FOUR DAYS! Even I am surprised. 2 down, 2 more to go but I have a bit of time on them. Now that this is done I can focus on getting Ferryn finished and released. But for now...pictures! You see, evolution to knitter is a little different. It looks a little something like this...

 

...and at Satellite Coffee this morning I finished the other sleeve...


...and this afternoon while everyone here was color blending and spinning I put on the 2 buttons I picked out at Village Wools last night and finished it completely!


Oh My God, killing me with cuteness here! Lets get a better look at those buttons...


Aren't they adorable!? I cannot wait to get this in the hands of a dear friend of mine having a baby boy on May 7th. The baby was a surprise and I cannot wait for her to get this one. I know it will be completely unexpected which is what I'm going for! The evolution of this baby sweater was a good one. It took me back to school when I was young and hanging out with Stacey. It had me laughing and smiling all the way through. It had me remembering good times and even some rough ones when we all came together as friends to support each other through hard and difficult times. And now she is bringing another little one into the world that will likely share her crazy, twisted, lovable sense of humor. Stacey is one of those friends that no matter how far apart we may be geographically, the friendship will always be there. We can pick up the phone after not talking for years and we are right back where we left off. So, here's to Stacey and her little one. May you always know how much you are loved, appreciated and how different this world would be without you in it!

Keep knitting my friends, through hard times, difficult times, easy and fun times. Just keep knitting. Knitting will get us through almost anything and everything. I plan to get a lot of it done in the coming days. So, I'll see you all back here soon....until then, Knit On!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Second Verse, Same As The First ...

You'll remember when I wrote about making the wee sweater for a loved one that should be arriving any time soon in my post Its The Small Things That Matter, right? This one...


Remember, right? Well...I think I've gotten myself knee deep in baby sweater land and I love it. Two very dear friends of mine will be getting one just like this for their wee ones too! The second one I need to get done quick, snap and in a hurray because the baby is due the same time the one that will fill the above sweater! Stacey, if you read this blog than my cover is blown. But I kinda think maybe you don't, and that's okay. You don't knit and non-knitters usually could care less what knitters are doing. I suppose its a lot like watching paint dry. The 3rd one, I have a little time but is also for someone very special and I don't think she reads my blog either. If you do Heidi, than my cover is also blown with you. But I don't care. The 4th one was a request from a friend of mine who wants to gift something very special but she herself doesn't knit. I have agreed to do it for her. Why? Because I love Jana. Jana is a good person and has always been a good friend to me and a) who wouldn't want to knit another one of these? b) who wouldn't want to gift one of these? and c) who wouldn't want to receive one of these? So as you can see, I'm a little into baby knits at the moment. And I love every single stinkin' second of it. The second one that I need to get movin' on, like, yesterday...the yarn just arrived this afternoon. I opened it when I got back from Santa Fe. Oh yeah, we went to Santa Fe today. More about that later. Anyway, here's the yarn...


Man did I have a time trying to get a decent pic of this color. It was overcast outside when we got home. This shade of blue is so beautiful...it almost has some turquoise in it. I tried my best to capture it and couldn't really. But trust me when I say its a totally awesome color. So I will be starting on this as soon as I am finished with dinner!

Mom has been working to finish her La Fenice Shawl and This Thing Is Huge...


And Audrey loves it too!


See her paw? Its no mistake at all that it happens to be on one of the needles...

So today we took a trip up to Santa Fe for the day. I didn't realize it until we got there that Debbie had never been to Yarn & Coffee yet. We had a Yarn & Coffee Virgin! Oh, how fun it is to introduce new people to that yarn shoppe. We started the day by meeting Allison Jones-Lo at Mucho Gusto where we all had lunch and got to know each other a bit. She is an extremely talented crocheter and lace maker. By lace maker I mean tatted lace. That's amazing stuff folks. Once we were done at Mucho Gusto we wandered on over to Kakawa Chocolate House for a cup of chocolate as dessert. I was so excited to meet Alma at Kakawa! She is Amor's daughter and as soon as we arrived I asked if she was there so we could meet her. She was cute as a button and a spitting image of her Mom. Amor, you done good, girl. After Kakawa we headed to the Holy Grail of knitting stores in Santa Fe, Yarn & Coffee! Here's Debbie outside of Y & C....


And that vest she's wearing? Yup. She made it. Debbie is an extremely talented knitter. And this is Allison...


That tiny this she is working on is tatted lace. I don't understand it at all but I can tell you its beautiful. I couldn't help but to take this picture. Look at Allison's shirt. Then look at the upholstery on that chair. It was as if it was planned! We did some serious damage today. Here's a pic of everything we purchased today on one of their sofas there...


Now granted, there were six of us shopping but we did pretty good! I was looking for something in particular to knit this with. I only needed one skein of something and I searched long and hard before I made my decision. The reason I had to buy something new was because everything in my stash is in pairs so I have enough to do the size shawls I want to make. I didn't have a single skein of anything. So I was required to shop. This is what I chose...


Its a skein of Dream In Color Everlasting Sock in the colorway Naked Shame. I loved the name! Not to mention the color...I LOVE this color and cant wait to put it into a cake and start to work with and see the variations of color in the skein to come to life. And Mom got me this...

 
 Its one of Wooly Wonka's Transitional Skein Sets! The colorway is Into The Woods. Each of these small skeins is 100 yds for a total of 400 yds. I really, really would like to design something small using these! Next to all the packages of Transitional Sets was one of Stephen Wests Boneyard Shawls knit in a set like this...size 8 needles and it actually ended up a decent size shawl. Whatever I'll be doing I'll be doing it on size 8's. I see a small crescent shaped shawl in these colors....I'll have to work on the rest. Don't you just love them?! 


Here's Mom and Debbie relaxing after hitting the credit card pretty hard...and also Auntie Betty a very happy lady...


I had been hoping to get a good start on the Ferryn border before the baby yarn showed up and I was lucky enough to get more done on it than I thought I would. Here's how it looks now...

 
I was surprised at how well it showed up against the carpet of the same color! Audrey loves it too!

 
 So I'm going to break from Ferryn for about a week, long enough to get baby sweater #2 done. Then I will come back and finish this. I might start baby sweater #3 in there somewhere too, I'm not sure yet. It'll depend on the date. I'd like to have Ferryn released by May 1st or sooner. I'll be sure to keep you all posted. I appreciate your support with it and I also appreciate it if you've joined my Ravelry Group!

Last month I wrote a post titled The Generosity of Knitters and in that post was a picture of the catnip plant that Venetia gave us for Miss Audrey Grace. Now, that plant looks like this...


Absolutely flourishing! I couldn't believe it when I saw it yesterday. And Audrey loves to eat it up just like kitty salad. I don't know if its the catnip or that Miss Audrey has now been with us long enough to let go of some of her reservations but she has discovered that our working projects are connected to...ahem...balls of yarn. Whoopee!!!! Mom and I have had to rescue several lately and now we have to make sure that whatever is in our yarn bowl is covered and that little ball cannot be gotten to. Bless her little heart...


Hope all is well with everyone and you are all knitting along on whatever it is you are working on. I'd love to know what you're working on. Leave me some comments and let me know! I'll see you back here soon. Until then....Knit On!