Milestones

I promise not to turn into one of those bloggers who posts more photos of their cat(s) than anything else, but Purl and Rosco (my adopted kittens) haven’t received much attention here. And yesterday, they both hit important milestones – Purl weighed in at 8 lbs and Rosco at 10 lbs.

Rosco

When I brought them home in November, they were teeny tiny little things that weighed in at around 2 lbs apiece. Since it was too painful to talk about Mowgli and explain the new arrivals, I didn’t post much about them online, but still documented their growth…

You have to admit, there were pretty darn adorable little scraps. Now they’re bona fide lap cats.

I spent a large chunk of this afternoon acting as a bed for Purl, who has come to the conclusion that any person’s lap is her immediate property and expresses her displease at any attempt at displacement quite emphatically.

Ignore her wishes at your own peril.

I just wanted to share that. Tomorrow, I’ll be back with other fun news – just received my copy of knit.wear Spring 2013!

I did that?

Imagine my surprise this evening when I logged into ravelry and saw a new design in my designer profile. This, of course, lead to some excitement because I’ve been eagerly awaiting the publication of this particular pattern, the Die Cut Vest in the Spring 2013 issue of knit.wear. I’m sure you can imagine my “squee!” before I clicked through to see the other photographs on Knitting Daily’s website.

None of the sounds of excitement I made previously compare to the absolute shriek I gave out when I clicked through to the magazine preview, and saw this…

knit.wear Spring 2013

My vest. On the cover.

Family members rushed downstairs, convinced I had injured myself.  After some explaining, they were quite excited, as well.  We’re going to celebrate this week.

Woot :)

This design is, admittedly, a personal favorite.  I can up with the idea after some brainstorming over a new way to use the popular Oriel lace pattern.  I just love the look of it, but it’s been used a lot by so many talented designers.  So, after some contemplation (and turning the stitch dictionary and swatches this way and that), I decided it looked pretty darn good sideways and has a wonderful knit+purl pattern that makes it nicely reversible.  From there, I tweaked a silhouette I love and came up with a design that I really want to reknit for myself.  The stitch pattern is so nice and crisp using Shibui Knits Linen.  Yumm.

I seriously want one of these to wear for summer.

But that’s my good news for this week.  And maybe even this month.

In other news, what do you think of my updated blog layout?  I like it!

Say what?

I haven’t blogged since July.  Which actually surprised me, but it’s not like I’ve been slacking.  The last 8 months have been kind of brutal.  I had been avoiding blogging over some legal concerns, but to that I officially say “F#ck it!”

The last 8 months in bullet points:

  • July: Dad had a stroke.  (no, really, but his right side is mostly fully functioning now)
  • August: Mom had surgery and was in the hospital for a week, then we got to care for her at home.
  • September: Mom had a sub-dermal staff (MRSA?) infection next to the bone, which required two additional surgeries and another week+ in the hospital – bringing her annual total up to 1 month residing at OHSU.  I then spent the next 6 weeks giving her daily infusions of super-duper-MEGA-antibiotics.
  • October: Mowgli died.  My heart broke.  Literally.  He was so much more than a cat, he was a little furry person with a wicked sense of humor and almost freakish intelligence.  My family cried with me for weeks.  
  • November: To pull me out of my deep depression, my parents convinced me to adopt a cat.  This turned into two kittens; which, mass-wise, I maintain was the same as an adult cat.  At the time.  Now they’re both huge and spoiled rotten.  Purl (the female) likes to sit in my lap when I knit, or read, or work on the computer.  I love them dearly, but still miss Mowgli and feel like there’s a giant hole in my heart.
  • December: I got sick.  Really sick.
  • January: Started having anaphylaxic reactions to we-know-not-what.  I now get to carry medication and an Epi-Pen on me everywhere.  Awesome.  Still haven’t figured out what it is.  More testing to come!
  • February: Preparations for the 2013 Rose City Yarn Crawl took over my life in a very real way.  The good news?  It was very, very successful.  Like, whoa.
  • March: here we are and I’m still trying to catch up.

I haven’t been designing too much lately.  It’s not that I don’t have ideas or inspiration (quite the opposite), it’s the lack of time.  There’ve been a few accomplishments here and there, but the queue for publication is quite long and far behind schedule.  Rhea Silvia would have been published months ago, if not for everything else.  Not to mention a dozen or so other patterns floating around my studio and living room.  So.  Frustrating.  I’m also months behind on my correspondence and feel like such a louse.

Before this gets too much more depressing, why not share something pretty?  I may not have knit or designed any of these, but I do claim credit for the photos:

Bridgetown preview (1)Bridgetown preview (2)Bridgetown preview (3)Bridgetown preview (4)Bridgetown preview (5)Bridgetown preview (6)

Bridgetown, the 2013 Rose City Yarn Crawl Pattern Collection.  I did the photoshoot with models Erin & Katrina at the just amazing Lonesomeville Pottery, and am currently working on the eBook for publication.  This has been an interesting learning experience – particularly discovering how much I enjoy it.  Who knew?

Well, it’s after midnight and I’ve dinked around with this darned blog enough. The new WP layout is throwing me off. Maybe I should post more frequently, eh? Let’s see what happens. Cheers :)

Delays

I know, I know, a post was promised for today on the expoits of Columbus.  Unfortunately, family cashed in that special chip they have and I’m going to spend all day today on the road to pick up a new family member.  First chance I get, though, updates will abound.

Until then, how about a picture of a rose?

Portland International Rose Test Garden-015

From the International Rose Test Gardens here in Portland. It’s better than nothing, neh?

Independent

After such a depressing post yesterday, I thought it would be a nice distraction to share something every citizen of the United States should read and understand.  [Fair warning: if you’re not a nerd, this post probably won’t appeal to you.   Check back on Friday for a TNNA recap and more.]

As a child our family would read the Declaration of Independence every July 4th in the afternoon before our traditional BBQ and fireworks trip.  Growing up in Silver Spring, MD, just a stone’s throw (quite literally) from the District of Columbia, we had ample opportunities to view the Declaration, the United States Constitution, and accompanying Bill of Rights in the National Archives during numerous field trips and family outings*.

After moving to Oregon in 2011, I found that many people out here had never read the Declaration in its entirety, nor the Constitution or Bill of Rights (which we had to memorize in 10th grade, up to the 20th Amendment, if you can believe!).  In light of that educational lapse, I’d like to share the text from the revolutionary document** that began this country over 200 years ago.

The Declaration of Independence.  

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts:
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut:
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware:
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland:
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia:
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia:
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

While I may not agree with many of our country’s policies or current political situation, as a student of history I know how priviledged we are as U.S. citizens and am grateful for the opportunities and rights I enjoy.  I just wish my fellow citizens would try and compromise a little more.

*My parents are nerdy so our family trips tended to be nerdy, too :)

**See Wikipedia & the National Archives for more information the history of the Declaration of Independence.

Goodbye, Charlie

Late last week we made the difficult decision to put Charlie, our rescued Border Collie mix, to sleep after a lasting battle with several health problems.  His thyroid had shut down, he was riddled with tumors, had gone completely blind, and was suffering severely from Canine Cognitive Dysfunction.  Still, it was very hard and both Mom & Dad were heartbroken; after all, Charlie had been with us for over 10 years.

Charlie stays out of the way

P1010012

The hardest thing, though, was watching him struggle for the past year. The last six months had been the worst, with a rapid rate of decline.  While it was devastating for the ‘rents (and I do miss the goofball), I have to admit that I’m relieved he’s no longer in pain or constantly confused and/ or frightened.

Goodbye, Charlie.  I hope Mom’s right and you get reincarnated as a cat.

Bring on the heat!

I’ve done my bit.  In an insane effort to bring about some warm weather (we’re have a low of 45F tonight, brrr), I’ve finished Caulking because Opus and I sincerely believe that publishing a Fall/ Winter pattern will make the weather change.  This theory only works if you subscribe to the “bring an umbrella to prevent rain” doctrine, but I’m willing to try anything at this point.

So, here it is!  Caulking.  So named (by Opus) for it’s primary function of protecting you against the elements – or, rather, your neck and upper torso.  Secondary function?  It just looks cool.

Caulking

Worn under a coat, it’ll un-expose your neck and collar-bone area…

Caulking-002

Knit from the bottom up, the piece is steadily increased in pattern and buttoned in the back.

Caulking-001

I’ve posted it on ravelry, but haven’t had a chance to add it to the RCK website yet. Sorry. I’ll get to that this weekend, honest – around the same time I finish up Rhea Silvia for my tech editor.

Here are the specs, in case you, too, are freezing right now:

Caulking Pattern Preview.5x11-FIN

GAUGE:

    • 24 sts & 28 rnds = 4”/ 10 cm in Stockinette st

MATERIALS:

    • Approximately 175 y/ 160 m sport weight yarn. Sample shown: Tactile: Fiber Arts Studio (225 yd/ 206 m per 3.5 oz/ 100g skein), in “Beach”
    • Two 1/2”/ 1.25mm buttons
    • Tapestry needle

NEEDLES:

    • One 24-inch/ 61 cm US 3 / 3.25mm circular needle

SIZING:

    • 18”/ 45.75 cm circumference, buttoned up
    • 18.5”/ 47 cm wide x 13.5”/ 34.25 cm from point to collar, laid flat

SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate
$6.00 US PDF DOWNLOAD

Now, let’s see some HEAT!*

*This is not to say that I don’t love this pattern and am not proud of it. I am. A lot. I’m also really, really cold and tired of wearing winter clothes in May.

Arashi unveiled

I truly meant to get this posted on Monday, but life being life, it just couldn’t happen. That said, I hope you’ll agree that it was worth the wait :)

May I present my latest design, Arashi?

Arashi (flat)

“Storm” in Japanese, (my use of) the name actually comes from the dyeing technique arashi shibori, in which cloth is wrapped on the diagonal around a pole (usually bamboo) and scrunched, then dyed.

Arashi (draped)

Maybe it’s crazy, but the name fits to me. (My mother disagrees.*) Either way, I’m quite pleased with the result.

Arashi (neck)

Available as the May kit in the 2012 Abstract Fiber One Skein/Two Skein Club, it can be knit with one or two skeins of Abstract Fiber Lima (shown in “Hibiscus”).

The concept and design was inspired by traditional Faroese shawls (which I am absolutely obsessed with!), but the stitch patterns came from Estonia, the Shetland Isles, and my own head. I had fun creating my own stitch patterns (the two edge designs) and making everything work together.

For more details about the design, see the Arashi on ravelry and the 2012 Abstract Fiber One Skein/Two Skein Club.**

*She thinks it looks Anglo-Saxon and should have been named something entirely unpronouncable, like Aelfgifu or Aethelfrith.

**The pattern is exclusive to Abstract Fiber for one year, please don’t ask me for a copy!

Booyah

There has been a shameful lapse in blogging here at Fyberduck HQ/ Rose City Knits, something I plan to remedy right now :)

For starters, remember the super-secret project I’ve mentioned a few times? Well, it is finished and the patterns are hot off the press and ready to be shipped out. If you’d like to get a sneak peek of the super-secret project (and you’re in the area), drop by Abstract Fiber’s booth at the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival. It’ll be there, though I will not :$

I would say “alas”, but it is hard to be mournful when I think about how I’ll be seeing my niece and nephew again for my nephew’s BAR MITZVAH. Can you believe it? D turned 13 in March and will be reading the Torah on Saturday. I’m not sure how or when he got so big, but it seems very sudden (he’s almost my height now!).

So, we fly down to the Bay Area tomorrow and will spend the weekend with family. Not exactly something I’d complain about! Though I will miss the Festival, which is a bummer…

Especially since I now have a loft for the stash! Yes, a loft! In my new studio! (Yep, studio.)

While it’s not finished (see below), it was built/ installed on Tuesday and has already been used for a mini photoshoot for the super-secret pattern:

Studio photoshoot

The studio is 14′ x 14′, which should make it quite large enough for my many tools, gizmos, and anything else design/ work related:

14x14

Particularly because of the loft (which measures 6′ x 14′) that is speficically intended for the stash…

Loft!  Skylights!

Which even I can’t fill up that fast.

Or so goes the theory.

Anyway. We have big plans which involve cool flooring (I’m thinking Pergo) and of course insulation, plus Dad suggested a rolling ladder for the loft, which would just be AWEsome. I covet. My books and bookcases (plus comfy reading chairs) will go under the loft, while the sunlight main area will have all my design and creative tools and supplies.  I may even have room for a loom again.  That would be amazing, since I really miss weaving.

So, much has been happening here, obviously.  I’d love to type more, but I really need to go pack, since we’re leaving at 7 am.  Ugh.  I’m dreading facing the TSA so early in the morning.  That should be just super-duper fun.  Maybe I can sleepwalk through it…

I’ll try and post some more updates this weekend – including some other very exciting news – but make no promises.  Photos of the super secret project will definitely be going up on Monday, though, so keep an eye for that!  Until then, wish me luck, I’m gonna need it :)

Wotcher

This one is short and sweet, but important.  I updated the Rose City Knits website, to include new information on classes and consulting.  What do you think?  Are there any classes you think I should add?

Also, how about the new blog template?  Yay or nay?

Oh, and this pattern is in progress (plus a super-secret special pattern that I can’t discuss – but looks A-MAZING!):

Rhea Silvia sneak peek 2

And Caulking is nearing the finish line, too. Slow and steady is better than not at all, amirite?