Friday, October 16, 2015

Santa Fe Trunk Show and Columbus Fiber Haul

When I arrived back from Columbus late Thursday...more like Thursday evening...I had Friday to rest before turning right around to head to Santa Fe for my joint trunk show with Amor and Crave Yarn.You wouldn't have really known it though, I was pretty excited about this trunk show. We were a little late arriving because of all the Balloon Fiesta traffic but we made it before the store actually opened. I liked the space and the layout a lot better in Santa Fe. People had room to move about, my shawls had room to be shown and viewed, and people could still come and sit and knit if they wanted to. Here, let me show what things looked like....



One of the things I am thankful for is learning from the first trunk show. For example, Deborah, the owner of Yarn and Coffee, suggested that I bring copies of all my available patterns so people can see what they are purchasing. That never would have occurred to me to do so I did just that....


On the left are the three patterns in Sexy Spines Vol 1, on the right is Volume 2 and in the middle are all of my other patterns. And it was very useful, people looked at them and through them. I wish I had these for the Columbus show but like I said, I knew I would learn a few things! Everyone there was wearing a Claudia Donnelly Designs garment (with the exception of Amor, she was wearing her own design which was FABULOUS!). Deborah had on a Cornwall Coast and Leticia was wearing her Vintage Bordeaux that she made with lace weight. The last time I was there I saw it in progress so I was super excited to see it on her...


Isn't it fabulous?! I love it in lace weight! I had my supporters with me too..Mom and Aunt Betty came along. It was still in the middle of Spinzilla so Mom brought along her wheel so she could crank away on some yardage for her team. Aunt Betty is currently knitting Nocturna, the first shawl from my new series.


This is Deborah and I, she is the owner of the shop...


And this is Amor of Crave Yarn. She is amazing. I learned so much from her about really greeting people when they come into the shop, and presenting your product. These may sound like easy things but they aren't necessarily nor always easy. Some people that came into the shop were almost intimidated by my shawls so I had to be able to read that and talk to them about the easiest shawls I have, what makes them easy and why I think they could do them. I will get better as time goes by and I do more shows. It also has me thinking that I maybe need to develop a few more easy level, or beginner level shawls to add to my collection. We had such a good time talking to people though. I think I may have met my biggest fan, next to my mother. She came into the shop with all this energy and told me her name and her Ravelry name. She said that she reads my blog, follows me on Facebook and now Instagram, is in my Ravelry Group, etc. and when she read that I was doing a trunk show she immediately put it on her calendar as not to miss it. Thanks Lil, you helped make my day awesome!

Here is a pic of the yarn and fiber haul I brought back from Columbus...


Of what I brought home, this was mine....


This is Baah in the colorway Pecan. Its their MCN and I just fell in love with the colorway. I don't think I have anything in my pattern collection knitted up yet in this color. Its gorgeous. When I was looking for fiber I looked for either local stuff or stuff that I couldn't find at our Albuquerque shop before it closed and that isn't (yet) at Yarn & Coffee in Santa Fe.


And this is Anzula Dreamy, the blend is merino, cashmere and silk in the colorway Madam. I love it! I love this colorway and cannot wait to design with it again. I got Mom some Baah and Anzula, some Madelinetosh Unicorn Tails and Silk Hankies dyed by Frabjous Fibers. I got Dilshani a skein of Baah in the colorway Emerald Isle for socks and 3 skeins of yarn done by the folks that do Panda Silk, but its sport weight and I cannot for the life of me remember what its called.....Panda something. At any rate, it will be stunning with her coloring.


Here is a pic of the Frabjous Fibers my Mom spun in a gradient way and the colors are amazing. She beat her personal goal in Spinzilla of spinning over a mile and a half of yarn! Wow. That just blows me away. She says shes gonna knit Grass Harp with it! Cant wait to see that!

In addition to the Santa Fe trunk show being done as soon as I got back from Columbus, so did my duties as cat sitter begin. My friend Kim is on a Viking River Cruise in Switzerland, Germany, France, etc living it up! I am making sure her kitty Marley is not neglected. She has gotten close enough to me to allow me to take some photos. Shes a beautiful Burmese with bright blue eyes....


That brings me current! I am working on something special that I cannot share any pics of until it is completed and gifted away, then I will share a bunch of pics. I am also working on the Be Simple Shawl in Freia Hand Painted Yarn in the colorway Dusk. I knitted on it while I was away. When I released Sexy Spines Volume 2, I needed something easy for my brain to just relax for a while. This was it. Yarn & Coffee has a sample of it above all their Freia yarn. Seeing this I knew, as easy as it was, I wanted to make one. And the timing couldn't have been better....


I absolutely love the colors. A mustardy yellow and rust and grey will also get worked into this soon. I will post progress pics of the gradient colors as they change.

I would love to hear what you are working on, what you are working with, do you love it, where did you get it, etc. Until the next time.....Knit On!!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Back Home Part 4 - Friends

Part of the reason I went back to Columbus was to see some very dear friends to me that I hadn't seen in a very long time. Reunion or not, I was going to see them. You know that close group of friends you hung out with while you were in collage? That group of friends that you did stuff with, both legal (and in my case ) questionable? You had parties together, you knew the ins and outs to everyone's lives and nothing else seemed to matter except for you and your friends? I have 5 of those people in my life and we all love each other as much now as we did back in the day 20 some years ago. There was me, Julie, two Robs and two Michelle's. Mom, to this day, differentiates the two Michelle's by "Hair Michelle" and " Flower Michelle." Hair Michelle did just that. She went to cosmetology school and did hair for a living. She was the first person to ever cut my Moms hair short. Flower Michelle worked at a popular Florist Shop and thus was dubbed, Flower Michelle. That's how Mom told them apart. The Tuesday I was in Columbus I had a chance to have lunch with both of the Michelle's and it was a fabulous reunion! Dammit if I didn't get any pictures of Hair Michelle. I did get some pics the night we went to Rob and Michelle's for dinner Sunday evening after my trunk show. Back in the day, Flower Michelle dated Rob P....the Rob I went on my road trip with. At the same time, the other Rob, Rob A was dating Julie. Well, a few years after our road trip Rob came out to my parents as practice before coming out to his own. Everyone was always close with my folks. Still are. They're easy going, fun and very easy to talk to. They also wont blow smoke up your ass. I love them for it. I feel like I have always known Rob was gay, he just had his own process he had to go thru to get there, if you know what I mean. The irony is that Flower Michelle is now married to Rob A (who used to date our close friend Julie). I know it all sounds confusing! Bottom line, here we are 20 some years later and getting together was just like getting together years ago. There was no time, space or distance between us. Nothing felt funny. It all felt like it was supposed to...


This is me and Flower Michelle. I love her dearly. She has always been very funny, kind, and caring. She is an unbelievable mother. She has raised a wonderful and thoughtful and kind son who is now in his first year of college. That time when we were all hanging out back in the day. I love her with  my whole heart and always will. 


This is Rob A on the left to whom Flower Michelle is married. On the right you see Rob P, my road trip partner. Annnd, that's me in the foreground playing with my phone...


Rob, me and Michelle. Damn it was good to see them again! 

Another visit I made a point to make was to Heidi and her daughter Bentley. I wrote about my friend Heidi back when her pregnancy was announced and I knew I would be knitting for the wee babe. It took me a while to get there because I had been in the hospital almost all of last May, I finished the sweater sometime in July of 2014 I think. You can read the initial post here. There was no way I was making it to Ohio and NOT going to meet Bentley! She's an awesome handful already. But one thing I noticed, either she was showing off for me or she listens really well. I got a ton a cute photos, here are a few of them....


Heidi put the sweater I made her on her to show me that she can still get some wear out of it!


I brought my nearest and dearest gift bags filled with New Mexico things for them all to share. This is a perfect pic to see how Bentley systematically took apart the bags with the gifts I brought for them from New Mexico. Not only does Bentley still look great in her sweater, she must've known that right on top inside the bag was a new t shirt for her from Balloon Fiesta 2015! I was so stinkin' cute to watch her pull everything out of its wrapper! Love this kid, yes I do!


Strike a pose Bentley!

Julie and I grew up across the street from one another, I think I just wrote about this in the past couple posts, and I already knew I was going to go and visit her folks. Her folks are a lot like mine. Especially when it comes to blowing smoke up ones ass...they don't know how to do that and I rather like that about them. When we were kids growing up, we all knew each other on our street. All the kids knew each other and all the parents knew each other. Any time I forgot my house key I could always go to Bob and Carolyn's place and they would take me in until someone came home. It was like that though. It was a different time. I would've been able to go to anyone's house on my street and would be fine. The parents kept and eye on all the kids. Its just what we did back then. 


I cant be sure but its possible that this was Carolyn's very first selfie. She did great!


Rob and I took this one on one of the last nights we had together. I love this pic. It sums up about 20 years for us. After the visits I had with people I made a promise to myself. I don't care whats going on from year to year but either annually or every other year, I'm going back for visits. These friendships are too important not to nurture and maintain the very best way I can. 17 years was way too long for me to wait to go back to Ohio. I'm so glad that that's one of the things I got out of this. 

Come back tomorrow when I'll be sharing info and pics from my Santa Fe trunk show with Crave Yarn! Until then....Knit On!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Back Home Part 3 - Columbus Trunk Show

I was truly thrilled that my first trunk show was in my hometown of Columbus! Come Sunday morning, I had already been to the shop once and could GPS myself there and back since Rob was still asleep from the night before. I got there around 10:30, plenty of time to set up...


 I was nervous and excited all at the same time! I knew I would be having a captive audience, so to speak, as there was a Knit In schedule for that same morning. Soon after I arrived I met another helper in the shop, Claire. She was so fun and cheerful! She was working on a pair of fingerless mitts. I pointed out that I had a free pattern online. She looked at the mitts on the table and said "I'm making these!" She quickly went to the computer which was set up on my Ravelry page and said "yup, that's them!" I was tickled....


Like so many others who have made this pattern, She put her own twist on it and put a little pattern in it. I loved it! That's exactly what my base pattern was intended to be! So let  me show you the set up for the show. There was a rack that was all mine to hang my shawls from. There was one dress form available for me and the computer could be set up to my Ravelry Design Page.....


As the Knit In group began to file in one by one, they all looked at my work and said wonderfully nice things about them. They all sat in the front of the shop in the sitting area and began asking questions. I truly did have a captive audience. One of the ladies there was making a really cool Buckeye Scarf!


I was so thankful for the time there and that the owner, Esther, was just as interested in having me as I was in starting my trunk show life in Columbus! A very special friend stopped by and I was so excited to see him! Jerry used to be my mothers boss when they all worked at the library in Reynoldsburg together a very long time ago. Mom has stayed in touch with him via Facebook and he was test knitting one of my patterns, Cats Paw, for my latest eBook Sexy Spines Volume 2. It was so good to see him! He stayed the whole time with me and shopped around, sat and knitted and chatted. It was wonderful...


Jerry used to work at the Columbus based knitted shop Knitters Mercantile as a knitting teacher until Knitters Mercantile closed. It was nice to hear Esther talking about her need for a larger store as she is already outgrowing the space she is in now. That is good news. Certainly when knitting shops all over are closing. My own knit shop which had been in business for 44 yrs had to close. The shop in Old Towne Albuquerque, Fiber Chicks, has closed. In this day and age of internet shopping and online everything, some knitting shops are falling to the waist side. Every time I hear that another has closed I am sad for them and their community. But then you have shops like Knit It and Haberdashery that are looking for a bigger space. Such wonderful news! That means more knitters and more knitting space in the Columbus area! 

Check back with me tomorrow for a post about meeting with friends I haven't seen in a very long time. Until then...Knit On!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Back Home Part 2 - The Reunion

As you know, I hadn't been back to my hometown in 17 years. I had also never been to any previous High School Reunions. Honestly, I was a little nervous, anxious...but also excited. 25 years is a long time and people have changed, I'm sure. Our Reunion was being held at the restaurant La Scala, a nice Italian joint. The event was to start about 6pm. Rob and I got ready and went early to have a cocktail or two. It was cold and rainy as we headed out. We took a pic to mark the occasion...


We were so happy to be hanging out together again for the first time in so many years. We were off to the Reunion! 

I only have a few pics of the Reunion itself because the lighting inside the venue was low and most of the pics came out like shit. So, I'll share with you what I have. It wasn't the most important part anyway. Here I was thinking that because it had been so long people had changed and had lives of their own, etc. While this is true in many cases, the people I was closest to and had real friendships with hadn't changed a bit. Yes, they had lives and children and jobs and all that. But they hadn't changed at all. It was fantastic to reconnect with old friends. absolutely fantastic. My friend Heidi (you'll see more of Heidi later) brought her Senior Memories Book. In this book were pictures of us going to Kings Island for Senior Night. Me, Heidi, and Amy. I don't remember if Karrie was there or not. Heidi had pictures of us driving down to Kings Island which is in Cincinnati Ohio. We did things we weren't supposed to be doing, ought not to have been doing...and she had photographic evidence. She even told me, jokingly (I think) that she was going to make copies for my Mom so she could have a laugh. I think enough time has passed that she would laugh, I'm honestly not sure. At any rate, it was awesome to see those pictures and remember that awesome time we had together. Here's a pic of me and Heidi...


That trip down memory lane happened at the bar, we weren't even in the actual Reunion space yet! When we got into our area and had a look around, it was beautifully decorated....


The linens were all decorated with our school colors, purple and gold. It was very nice. So much mingling and picture taking went on. Most of those pictures all went onto the school's Facebook page. I just cannot convey enough how nice it was to see people again. There were a couple people that shared with me memories they had of me that really stayed with them their whole lives. I was touched by that. I would've never known. It seemed so insignificant to me...enough so that I don't even remember. But they did. It was cool. Seeing Julie at the reunion was wonderful. I cried when she showed up. Its been 20 yrs since I'd seen her. We grew up together, lived across the street from one another, and our Dads worked together. I have always tried to stay in touch by sending Christmas cards annually with a quick hello. I like snail mail. No one does it anymore. I like to send my nearest and dearest cards every once and a while. Julie hasn't changed at all. She is still the same Julie I have always known. Here's a pic of her and Rob....


A few more pictures of my friends....

 above is Michelle, Rob and Dennis...

 This is Chris and Heidi

This is Karrie and I...


And Stacey. Stacey and I go way back too. She's the only other one I know that has known Rob as long as I have. It was a delight to see her and meet her husband. I see all these people and know parts of their lives that they share on Facebook. It was so nice to actually see them again, hug them. Stacey wanted to do one of those photo booth pics with Rob and I so we did....


There was an after party as a bar almost next door to La Scala. Rob and I had made a pact that we wouldn't go. He said all along that he wouldn't want to. I knew all along that once he got comfortable and in his zone, he would be just fine. And he would want to go to the after party...LOL. I didn't care. I was wiped. I needed to go back to my room and put my feet up and get comfortable. All in all, it was awesome. I had a VERY good time and am SO glad I decided 9 months ago I wanted to do this. I'll definitely go back for the 30th!

I took this when I was back to my hotel room and had a while to reflect on the whole experience. The smile on my face sums it all up. I was so happy I went! I was thrilled to reconnect with old friends. I cant wait for the next one!

More coming tomorrow...my first trunk show and more! Until then....Knit On!