Sunday, August 24, 2014

Block Party

 I want to talk a little bit about Facebook for a second. As good as Facebook is in bring people together it seems the sharing of information has become a little difficult in some instances. I belong to several of the knitting groups on Facebook, no need to mention any names, and follow new pattern releases, people looking for help and opinions, etc. I have been a regular contributor to these groups for some time now. When I complete a new pattern I post in these groups so that I can share with other knitters and people who may be interested in seeing what I'm doing. Judging by the number of likes and comments I get, my postings have been positively received. I also post in these groups when I make a new entry in my blog so that other knitters and interested parties can read it if they are interested in doing so. All of my posts have been well received with the exception of the other night. Two days before releasing Patina Crescent I made a post in one of these groups about my upcoming pattern and attached several pictures. I was contacted by one of the administrators and told that I could only make such postings in their secondary group, not the main group. She said that I was self promoting which was forbidden in the main group. I had questions for her about this such as what were the number of people belonging to the secondary group and whether or not I could suggest people join my group to get all the latest info on my stuff so that I don't post in the main group. She instantly got very rude and threatened to kick me out of the group all together! Then the next day she closed the comments section on my post all together. I messaged her privately a couple of times but she did not respond. I simply want to share with other knitters yet this is considered to be self promotion and is not allowed. I tried posting pictures of one of the shawls I blocked over the weekend, the pattern was mine, and I simply stated the pattern and the yarn used to make the pattern - a format used regularly by hundreds of other posters to the group - and it was left alone. When someone asks me what the pattern is (if they didn't catch it with the original post) I am unable to tell them. Please understand, if I don't respond to a comment asking me what the pattern is or where to find it its because I am not able to. I just hope someone else reading the comments goes to Ravelry and throws a link in the comments. This is done often, I just cant do it on my own stuff. It bugs me. It bugs me that I was threatened to be kicked out of the group. It bugs me that I can no longer share my stuff with an audience of over 14k. It bugs me that other people make and advertise that their items are for sale yet this is not considered self promotion to the same administrators. So please keep in mind, if you no longer see my presence in one particular group this is the reason why. I will continue to post patterns to their secondary page as I was told this is okay. But it still bugs me. As a means of keeping people connected and for sharing information its becoming more and more difficult to do just that. Okay, I'm done.

I am excited to be starting a new knitting adventure! I had been thinking about it quite some time but finally took the plunge. I am going to take, and have received the materials for, the Judges Correspondence Course through TKGA!! Currently there are only 6 certified TKGA knitting judges in the entire country. The instructor for this course is my friend Carol Singletary. She has been a knitting judge for many years and has judged many knitting fairs and events in New Mexico and Texas but is wanting to retire at some point in the future. While I could never fill her shoes, my goal is to take over her responsibilities for this area of the country. For starters, this would mean I would take over judging the knitting items at New Mexico State Fair and Albuquerque Fiber Arts Fiesta. Having read over the syllabus I have my work cut out for me for sure! I am looking forward to getting started. I'll let you know how things are coming along.

In my last post I talked about blocking and how much I love it. People bring me their things to block because, well...I open my mouth to tell people how much I love it and I'm good at it too. Its something I'm very particular about because the process does so much for our knitted things. A few friends of mine have brought their things over to me for blocking. And a couple weeks ago I offered to block a shawl for a friend that was concerned about whether or not she would be happy with the shape when it was all said and done. I was sure I could get it to a shape she would like so I offered to take it and do it for her. Between all the blocking and photographing, and finishing a new pattern, I have been busy lately! I still have 2 more shawls to block but I wanted to share with you what I've done.I cant show you everything because I cant access some of the pictures at the moment. But I have quite a few. 

This first one is a shawl that my friend Melanie knit. You have to understand, Melanie is from the New Orleans area and is a die hard fan of anything and everything originating from the city. Every year she holds a Mardi Gras party with all the bells and whistles. A few months ago she attended a conference which was held in New Orleans. She went to the knitting shop The Quarter Stitch in the French Quarter in search of the Mardi Gras yarn dyed specifically for the shop by Malabrigo. I was gifted this same yarn by other friends of mine who took a trip to New Orleans last year which is how Melanie learned about this yarn. She found it!


The next items were knit by my friend Lori. A few months ago she brought over a bag with several things that needed blocking. I've had them for a long time but hadn't done anything with them. I was sick in May and June and in the hospital for a long time. I finally got around to getting most of it done because truly, I'm sure she wanted her stuff back!


My Mom finished a shawl of her own design, called Slices. It didn't require blocking but I did photograph it on Lucy...


Isn't is fabulous?!?! I am so proud of her! She is modifying this for the final design which will also be spectacular for sure. I also finally finished Sidney's Cornwall Coast. She has wanted one since I originally released the design around March of last year. Sorry it took so long Sidney! I hope you think it was worth the wait. It came out beautifully and I added the pics to the pattern page on Ravelry...


I am very happy with how all of these pieces turned out. I am doing another shawl tonight and the last shawl sometime this week and then all the stuff for my friends is done. Aunt Betty completed a Tameron shawl....my very first design. We are all encouraging her to enter it in the State Fair. If she does we'll need to block that too. Tameron looks like this...


...with an edge that looks like this...


Still one of my favorites. It was my first design and it is the most difficult of all my patterns. It took Auntie a while to knit it. She is a known perfectionist so when it didn't look good to her she would pull out inches at a time and re-knit it. The shawl she is currently knitting, which is huge, she just yanked out 13 rows to re-knit it because she thought it looked like crap despite having followed the pattern to a tee. I think if she enters her Tameron she will take a blue ribbon on it for sure and it will be a contender for Best of Show. But that's just me and I am biased...my aunt and my pattern!

I hope you are all well and knitting away at something awesome! I would love to know what you are working on and if you're knitting anything for your local fairs this fall. I'll be back soon with more pictures and stories. Until then....Knit On!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Patina Crescent

Its been a few weeks since I've written...I've been knitting! I've been finishing up a few things and have been blocking. I have been blocking things for me and things for friends. I have this thing about blocking...I love it. Some people think I'm crazy for that (I'm looking at you Mom) but I do, I love it. I've always looked at it as this big "TAH DAH!!!" moment in knitting. Its where all of your hard work and countless hours pay off and I love not only seeing it but being in control of it. You can change the look of your knitting with blocking and even hide errors with it too. You can pull your points however you want to, or not pull them at all. You can create points where there aren't any too. I love the blocking process. Its my love of blocking that has my friends bringing stuff over in bags for the process!

Before showing pictures of my new pattern (yes I have a new pattern and I'm very excited about it! I'll tell you why in a bit...) I have the final two pictures to show you of my goddaughter Alia's new sweater. I decided that Alia and her older sister Savannah needed to be matchy matchy so I picked a pattern that would be good for the both of them and started to knit them up. I've finished Alia's and just need to cast on for Savannah's. 


...and a closeup of the buttons...


This has been The Year of The Baby Sweater for me. This is number 5 & 6 coming up. I have done them all in Knit Picks Shine Worsted on size 8 needles. When it comes to knitting anything for kids I will only use something that can go in the washer and dryer...it has to be easy for Mom. And because I'm a yarn snob I refuse to use acrylic anymore. I don't like the way it feels in my hands at all. Shine Worsted is a cotton and modal blend that works up so beautifully. It can go in the washer and dryer, it doesn't pill and is wonderfully soft. It also comes in a ton of different colors which is an added bonus!

So I've finished my latest pattern and as soon as I finish getting it written up it will be available on Ravelry and Craftsy. I designed this shawl specifically for hand dyed yarns and for beginning lace knitters. Experienced lace knitters will also like as it is less complicated than traditional lace patterns. You can also take this pattern anywhere to knit as the instructions are more of a guideline than anything else. Each element of the shawl can be adjusted without the need of following a specific stitch count. The shawl can be made smaller or bigger depending on what the knitter wants. I'm really excited to release this one! I named the shawl after the colorway of the yarn...here is Patina Crescent!


I knitted this with Phydeaux Designs Creme yarn in the colorway Patina. I loved every minute of working with this yarn, it was so soft! It is a single ply DK weight yarn and I used just under 500 yds. Remember, it can be made as big or small as you want it!

My folks are back from England but not after a little bit of drama. Four days prior to my parents departure back to the states my father decided to take a day trip to Paris...without his passport. Don't ask, I don't know. Needless to say, he was detained at the border trying to get back in to England. He spent the night in Paris and made his way to the American Embassy in France wherein he was issued a replacement passport and could get back in to England. There was a bit more to it on my Moms part but no need to go into that here! They are home safe and that's all that matters! While Dad was in Paris Mom went shopping at I Knit London! She had been in touch with the owners of the shop before leaving New Mexico so she knew exactly where to go and how to get there. She did a lot of shopping and brought me back some yarn! I am going to design a shawl with this yarn and I already know what I am going to name it...now I just need to put something together and get it done. Here it is....


Isn't it gorgeous?! One of the owners dyes yarn and this is the shops label. I'm a sucker for a really soft single ply! I love this colorway..such a soft green. I cant wait to work with it...but then again there are so many yarns I have that I can say that about. Like this...


This is some yarn I picked up last weekend from Anne Podlesak of Wooly Wonka Yarns. She was at Village Wools teaching a lace class and she hung around after she was done with some of her yarn. This is her new sock yarn base called Laysa Sock and its 60/20/20 merino/silk/yak and I cant wait to work with this either! And look at that twist! Isn't it beautiful?!?! After this past Tuesday and seeing Frankie start a new shawl with Malabrigo sock yarn in the colorway Piedras I want to work with that too. It is soooo pretty knitted up. I have love affairs with so much of my yarn but I cant knit with it all at the same time despite how much I'd like to try. While we were at Village Wools last weekend one of the owners, Cathalena, had just finished her Cornwall Coast and had it with her to show people. She said that it was the first lace she'd really knitted but you couldn't tell by looking at the shawl. It was gorgeous! She did a really beautiful job...


As a matter of fact, I will be blocking a Cornwall Coast tonight! I will post pics of it in my next post.  Tomorrow I will resume blocking for friends. There's a lot of it to do at the moment. I hope you all are having fun with whatever you are knitting right now! Until the next time...Knit On!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Absent Minded ...

My folks have been gone for over 2 weeks now and they're coming home tomorrow! Yay! I'm terribly excited about it. The days in the weeks they've been gone have just melted together. The house feels weird without them in it. Don't get me wrong, I have thoroughly enjoyed the quiet time all to myself. But the house feels strange. (I knit a lot while they were gone!) I haven't been sleeping well either. I am really looking forward to their arrival tomorrow!

Arriving just a day or two after they left was this...


I had totally forgotten I even ordered this. It was through Craftsy's Huge Sale! I ordered 5 skeins of this sport weight Cascade Venezia in Ruby. Its merino and silk and very nice. Dilshani has worked with it a lot and loves it so I thought I'd give it a try. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with it just yet.

While my folks were gone I accomplished a few things. I went to breakfast and lunch with friends, had BBQ's here and had dinner with my Fairy Goddaughter's family. It was all lovely. We also had the last Opera of the season which was a U.S. premiere. When I arrived to pick up Dilshani she was in PJ's. I immediately knew she must've been having a bad day. Anika was all dressed to take her place and was so excited because this was her very first opera! This being the final opera, our plan was to tailgate. I had all the goods and Anika was excited because now she would be tailgating too...




 The opera was "Dr. Sun Yat Sen" and it was a U.S. Premiere.. The staging was amazing! Bamboo set up on both sides and in the front, where it looks like a head and an arm are sticking out? That was a huge rock garden like area. I got closer to the stage I could see it. Fascinating. It was an amazing opera with music like I've never heard before in my life. I liked it. The vocals were all sung in either Cantonese or Mandarin Chinese. It was absolutely fascinating! 

While at the dinner I was invited to by my Fairy Goddaughter's family, I had one of these...


 When was the last time you had a s'more?? This one was AWESOME! They even make graham cracker sized marshmallows specifically for s'mores! I was amazed. 

While messaging with Mom the other morning on the portal, a roadrunner paid me a visit. He was thirsty and wanted a drink from our birdbath...


 I love those quiet moments outside when nature decides it's okay to spend a little time with you. He hung out for a while too, at least 15 minutes! 

Yesterday morning I met up with Betty and Dee for a  little bite of breakfast, some coffee and to pick up our annual shipment of Colorado peaches! Shining in the sun, they looked so bright and beautiful...


I finished Alia's new sweater and will be casting on for her older sister Savannah's matching sweater here very soon. From beginning to end here it is...





 It's an easy peasy pattern I picked up through Ravelry called "In-Threes" and I love it. I will pick out some buttons on Tuesday when I get back to Village Wools. By the way, when I went outside to take this final picture Audrey was here...


I've made some progress on my latest shawl design project, a DK weight shawl, although its a little hard to tell. It kind of just a pile now. If all goes well with my plans on this project anyone will be able to make it and you'll be able to make it however big or small you want and the total number of stitches on your needle never matters. That's if all goes as planned!


The colors are amazing!

 

After taking the pictures of the shawl project Audrey looked like this...


Ever since my folks left Audrey Grace has been very clingy. She hasn't really left my side at all. If she hasn't been in my lap shes next to it!



I think it will be easier to write when everyone is home safely! Normal life will resume and hopefully more normal blogging on my part. Until then...Knit On!!