Purple mystery

Remember that purple thing from my last post? Yeah, it’s now blocking on the dining room table:

Purple mystery - corner

Came out MUCH bigger than I thought it would. Due to truly pathetic sun turn-out (the sun wusses out on us above the 45th parallel this time of year), I could only get a couple of detail shots. Maybe I’ll get a full photo tomorrow.

The pattern is my own and I have duly written it up. Now all I need is a tech editor… Hm. I think I might even knit it again, as I did go a little crazy and stock up on the Tosh Merino Light last week.

… I couldn’t help it – it was so sqooshy.

In other news, I wrote up two or three patterns today (brain… melting) and am beginning to wonder how I ever got patterns done without a full day a week devoted to designing. It’s so much easier now, and there are definitely fewer errors on my part.

Continuing on the News theme, we had a lovely Thanksgiving:

Simple Thanksgiving

And I can’t find my size 5 24″ addi Turbos. I KNOW they’re around here, I just can’t locate them. Little monsters.

Because I had time (between basting the turkey and mashing potatoes), I also knit a hat on Thanksgiving Day for our (the store’s) Handknits for Hard Knock Kids clothing drive:

Thankful hat

Knit with Shibui Knits Merino Worsted held together with Handmaiden Casbah Sock for a super-soft and cushy hat. Here’s hoping some little girl out there really LOVES the pink as much as I do :)

I also have collected quite a bit of machine washable yarn…

Yarn for hats

In the hopes of making at least a dozen hats this year. It just breaks my heart to hear how many children are in foster care. I might even make matching mittens, if I have the yarn/ time.

If you’d like to join me, you’d be very welcome, and there’s no denying that the kids deserve something warm and soft and made with love.  Feel free to email me at my work email saram(at)knit-purl(dot)com for details.

But now I must away.  Have to proof the pattern booklet for this yarn before it goes to the printers this week.  Why? you ask – because I have four patterns in it that I am quite proud of and have been slaving away on for months.  Maybe next time Shibui will have given me some spoiler photos.

Man, oh man.

Am I sick of swatching.  It seems like my life has been an endless series of small knit squares (and rectangles) for the past week…

Swatches

Swatches for a new Shibui booklet (with their new upcoming yarn, Heichi, a 100% silk tweed – yumm), swatches for a new line of yarns we’re going to be carrying, and swatches for swatches for swatches.  Or so it feels like.  I’ve also been working on some Top Secret projects, but can’t share them.  Lame, I know.

I can, however, share the Sock and Leverge (and new KnitPod):

Traveling Sock and Leverage

The Leverage crew have taken over our neighborhood (at work, downtown) again.  Is this the third or fourth time?  I really can’t keep track.  And as fascinating as it is to see them hustling about with giant spotlights and extras and all sorts of gadgets, it’s a pain in the tuckus.  It’d be nice to have our street back again.  Or, you know, one or two parking places.

Eh.  They’ll move on to their next location soon enough.  If they haven’t already.  This photo was from Friday.

In regards to work (aside from drowning in it), I’m developing my own version of Chaos theory:

Chaos breeds

And using my desk as the experiment.  A Nobel Prize is just around the corner.  I can feel it.

It sounds feasible, right?

Anyway.  You can see that I was proofing the upcoming Shibui Luxury booklet, which is gaining hearts all over ravelry.  Especially this cute little hat:

Elizabeth

Tessa (the model) rocked the heck outta that.  Of course, it is an awesome design.  Love the texture detail.  The hat is the most popular pattern in the booklet, which sorta makes sense to me… but my favorite is actually Eustacia:

Eustacia

It’s very, as we’ve been saying at work, ‘French Lieutenant’s Woman’.  I really want one.  Without the mohair, ’cause I just love things that give me hives.  Maybe with Suri alpaca, so I’d get the same halo… or with baby alpaca.  Hm.  Tempt-ing.

My bright spot on the horizon (amidst this endless sea of swatches*) is the imminent release of Shibui Socks.  I find it kind of hilarious (and a little disheartening) that the most popular pattern from the booklet on ravelry…

Brooklyn.  The rewrite of The Button-Up Socks, a Shibui pattern I wrote over three years ago.  We (Shibui and I) decided to include it in the booklet because sales were so low.  Hah.  Knitters are so funny.

Oh, well.  Maybe it just needed to be yellow.

It’s 10:30pm and I need to fold some more laundry.  Mom’s watching another episode of Criminal Minds, one of the worst FBI shows I’ve seen.  As likeable as the characters are, it’s just so inaccurate it makes me cringe.

At least I have my knitting.  Even if it is another d@mn swatch.

*How’s that for mixing my metaphors?

On the sunny side

Quite literally, this weekend.  Let’s see, positive-ness?

  1. Finished my Sev[en]circle scarf this afternoon, with three yards of yarn left (eek!)
  2. Am soaking big Sis’ b-day socks (admittedly late) to block in 15 mins (woot)
  3. Got five, count ’em, FIVE loads of laundry done today
  4. Figured out how to upsize and downsize several patterns that I have delayed releasing, since they were single sized.  Ha!  Of course, that means all new rounds of test knitting…
  5. Um… two days of sunlight in a row?  Love it!!
  6. Spent most of yesterday basking.

Here, at Tanner Springs Park:

Tanner Springs ParkLovely.

Wherein we saw a Black-chinned Hummingbird, a Song Sparrow, a Barn Swallow, and a Rough-legged Hawk.  All in the middle of the Pearl.  Crazy.  Anyway, Opus and I spent three or four hours there knitting (and designing, me) in the rarest of natural resources in Oregon, sunlight.

Which is why I am noticeably freckelly right now, as seen in Sev[en]circle FO shot:

Finished my sev[en]circle (obligatory cell shot)

Wow, right?  Project specs, just for the sake of ’em:

  • Pattern: Sev[en]circle by assemblage/ Kirsten Johnstone
  • Yarn: The Fibre Co.’s Canopy Fingering in “Macaw”
  • Modifications: Went with the knit cast on instead of the back-loop
  • Notes: I used almost all of the 200 yards per skein of my Canopy, so you might want to take the yardage on the pattern with a grain of salt.

And, if that isn’t enough knitting-ness for you, I have ANOTHER sneak peek inside my upcoming sock book! This time we’ve got the men’s sock pattern, Ankeny, based off of old Fishermen’s sweaters:

(I couldn’t resist… Captain Ankeny, get it?)

Lastly, before I run (must fold more laundry and do, ugh, ironing) remember Birdie?  We-ell, s/he might just have come back!  Last week,  a fledgling sparrow flew into the store when I opened the front door.

S/he didn’t want to leave either – we had to catch it with a towel (again) and release it outside.

After a silly informal poll on the Knit Purl blog, we have decided that the fledgling was Birdie (if only because we say so).  Feel free to disagree if you think otherwise :)

I’ll be back later (this week) with some interesting news.  Until then, what do you think of the new blog layout?  I was getting sick of the old one cutting off pictures and stuff…

Toodles!

Quickie

Waiting for a ride (just finished “No Mean Feet!” at the store), and thought I’d put up my newest wip:

Percy shawl wip

The Percy Shawl, knit with one 100g skein of Suri Blue in “Rose”. Love the pattern and the yarn, especially together.  If you’re a lace freak, I cannot recommend this pattern enough – the Estonian stitches are really, really cool.  And it’s proving to be a quick knit, too.  (It helps that all my commissioned knitting is done!)  I’m also going to cast on for the store’s Girasole KAL on Wednesday, so there’s going to be a lot of lace hanging around for the next few weeks (did I also mention that I found the yarn I bought for Icarus?!  I should probably wait to finish Percy before starting that, though…)

Anyway.  Ride should be here any minute, gotta run.

when overtime is too much time

It’s so weird to be sitting here at home on a Wednesday morning, not getting ready for work or even working from home (it happens).  Taking a weekday off is throwing me off-kilter.  And I’m bored already.

Doesn’t bode well for the rest of the day, does it?  I suppose I could clean or something, once I finish answering all the emails I can find that I’ve been waiting to respond to.  I should mention that, should I actually find all the emails I wanted to reply to, I might be sitting with my laptop until midnight.  So, if you (kindly knitter/ reader/ friend) have recently emailed me with a question about a pattern/ my social life/ invading space monkeys that I didn’t respond to immediately, it was because I was too brain-dead to answer it at the time and knew it.  Please be patient with me, I have some emails dating to late September that I still haven’t answered.

And, yes, I feel guilty about that.

Moving on to something less heavy and a lot prettier, I have Seraphim photos!  Admittedly, I didn’t take them and I’m certainly not the model, but I knit the darned thing, so I’m claiming some credit.  3M and Lindsay (both coworkers) and I all spent the better part of an hour yesterday taking artistic photos for the store.  My job was to hold the reflector, bodily reposition Lindsay (3M wouldn’t touch her), and arrange the knitwear.  Lots of fun, really.  I dragged them to Tanner Springs Park – my favorite public park in the Pearl and it’s only a 5 minute ride on the Streetcar from the store.   (Okay, the photos on that page don’t do the park justice, see these.)

I also showed Lindsay and 3M (while we were setting up the camera and reflector, honest) how to tickle the fish.  Always fun.

I have to say Lindsay was a very good sport about being constantly repositioned and rearranged,  but I think everyone at the store will agree the time was well-spent.  We’ll be using at least one of these below for publicizing Miriam Felton’s upcoming visit…

Seraphim wingspan

Seraphim sassy

Seraphim wrapped

Seraphim poised

Project specs?  Let’s see:

  • Pattern: Seraphim Shawl by Miriam L. Felton
  • Needles: US 5 / 3.75 mm (I used 24″, 32″ and 47″ Addi Turbo’s)
  • Yarn: just over 2 skeins of Knit Purl’s The Natural Collection (382 yards per 100g skein), hand-dyed with natural dyes by Abundant Yarn & Dyeworks.
  • Pattern mods: none.
  • Blocked it with blocking wires and foam board (definitely recommend this technique!)

And, if you’re really bored, there are more photos here.

Back to Miriam.  I’m really excited (and signed up for the Introduction to Lace Design workshop) about her coming to Portland and already have a sketch of the shawl I want to make.  It’s going to be awesome (the workshop, not necessarily the shawl – I know not to tempt the Fates).  All I have to do is choose the yarn from my stash, which is going to difficult, since half of it is meant for something else.  Er.  And because I really want to knit Icarus now (always have) and need to allot that some yarn, too.  My comfort room with the lace yarn in the stash is diminishing, since I have more projects queued than I have yarn.  Not a good ratio.

But entirely irrelevant, for the time being.  I still have to finish 3 sweaters, 2 cowls, 1 snood and Heaven knows what else.  Which means that I need to stop typing this, answer my emails and get knitting.  Maybe it’s time for another Lord of the Rings marathon, or something.

Oh, and if you’ve seen my camera, please let me know!

Just a little bad.

Barely at all, really.  I only went over my budget by $10.

Yesterday (and today, actually) was the 2008 Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival.  Every year I’ve been – this is my 4th? – it’s been larger than the last.  This year was no different.

Opus and I planned to meet up with Leslie around midday and drive down to Canby.  Before we got going, Opus and I grabbed coffee (& tea) at Peet’s.  Opus was working on a pair of socks that make my current WIPs look pitiful by comparison:

VOpus-socks

Well, not all of them. I CO Sarah Pope‘s Andamento Socks, the September Sock Club pattern at Peet’s and eventually noticed something was off…

CO-andamento

Sigh. I had grabbed the wrong size needles from the Sox Stix display. These 5’s were in the 2’s section. Yeah, I’m quick on the draw.

Just before meeting Leslie, we dashed over to Knit Purl and I got a set of 2’s. At least the cuff of the sock will be loose! I guess I’ll have to do the same with the other, so they’ll match. Otherwise, one’ll look funny.

Okay. One already looks funny. But at least they’ll look funny together. Anyway. I transferred the sock to the correct needles and we got on our way. Canby is pretty close to Portland, so we managed to get there right quick.

All around were tons of familiar faces. I was really evil and made several friends hold the traveling sock for… uh… posterity?

Maybe not. They didn’t argue this time (much), though. First were Kaaren and Dallas, friends from “No Mean Feet!” (Knit Purl’s sock knitting group), who we sat and chatted with for some time:

Kaaren-Dallas-sock

They were much more graceful about having a sock shoved at them than, say, Opus or Leslie – who wouldn’t hold the sock for a photo at all.

Next was Terrisa, former coworker, who we ran into at Carolina Homespun’s booth whilst looking for a spindle for Opus. She wasn’t too difficult, once I cornered her between a wall of lace yarn and baskets of spinning fiber:

Terrisa-sock

Mwahahaha. I was so glad to see her, but we didn’t get to kibitz much, as she was dragged off by her traveling companions. Maybe next time.

And, oh, did you catch that little slice of victory? Yes, indeedy, I finally brought Opus over to the Dark Side…

VOpus-spindling

Using the usual bribery: exquisite roving. Mmn mmn mmm. 70% Superfine Merino superwash/ 30% Alpaca. One of the strangest, yet most wonderful, blends I have ever found. Opus was staring longingly at it while I debated over color – the vendor had 4 solids, each $13 for ONE POUND of roving. I nearly fainted when she told me the price. Apparently a mill went out of business or something, and she bought up their wares.

Well. Opus waaanted some. Bad. I told her it would be perfect to learn to spin on (no lie) and she caved. One pound of yumminess followed her home. Along with a spindle and the beginnings of a true addiction. She started spinning lace-weight from the beginning and even the car trip back to Portland didn’t stop her.

Mwa. Ha. Ha.

Totally worth going over budget.  I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of the goodies, but I daresay we’ll be seeing them soon enough once they’re spun.

And, I’ve decided to be a bit more disciplined.  A blogging schedule might be just the thing to keep myself on track.  Whether I feel like it or not, whether I have pictures or not, there will be posts every Wednesday and Saturday night.

Though, the picture thing might become easier once I buy myself a new camera.  I’m dreadfully overdue (my stalwart Olympus is from 2004) and could use something a bit more conveniently-sized for carrying around.  But, that’s neither here nor there at the moment.

Until Wednesday, happy knitting!

shame shame shame

I’m beyond embarrassed at this point by how bad a blogger I’ve been (Emm’s eyes are doing MUCH better, btw). In my defense, I’ve been doing the work of 2 people and preparing for the departure of THREE more coworkers(!!!). One for Maternity Leave (dammit), one for a vacation in another state (waaaah!), and one for school – which I don’t begrudge (much). I’m just slightly panicking, is all.

To cope with all this added stress and confusion, I’ve been knitting every spare moment I can… in some mad, subconscious, effort to lower my blood-pressure or something. I’m even beginning to wonder if I’m knitting in my sleep, because random wip’s are showing large leaps of progress that I don’t remember making. Of course, it could be knitting blackouts…

Not good to think about, really. Moving on. I finished my first skif sweater. It took 3 broken needles (sewing machine ones, not knitting), since I was out of Ball Point needles and even the Denim ones I got weren’t up to the task! Eventually, though, persistance won out as it usually does and I can now add this to my list of 2008 FO’s:

skif-bb-front1

skif-bb-back

If you want actual specs for it, I’m gonna have to refer you to my ravelry notebook.

I also finished these, my Fortress of Solitude socks (c’mon, the name just fit):

P418-socks1

Again, gonna send ya to the ravelry notebook for the details. Sorry. It’s just easier that way. On top of finishing those, I have two sweaters, a baby hat, an adult hat, three pairs of socks (no, wait, four) and… well, a Renaissance costume… in the works. But that’s not knitting and is neither here nor there right now. In other news, I received some BEAUTIFUL yarn from Penny and immediately had a wicked plan for it that is already being implemented, mwahaha.

I also got my prize from Lorna’s Laces for winning 3rd Prize in their design competition. They also sent me three copies of the pattern, and I stole a pic from their site:

architect's sock

My Architect’s Sock. So weird to actually see it knit up by someone else in a completely different color on the actual pattern.

And, in slightly non-knitting news – I went to Patrick’s Commencement today. You’ll all remember Patrick as the model for my Columbia Fisherman’s Pullover. And for those of you females out there salivating (I know you are! I got emails last time), he doesn’t play for out team, girls.

Anyway. He text’d me on Thursday, I think it was, to make sure I was coming. I panicked, said I would and penciled it in (this is the state of my life now, sadly). I even brought a travelling sock, to commemorate the occasion:

Sock at PSU Commencement

And was ecstatic to get a picture of him just after he had ‘walked’:

Patrick at Commencement

(Terrisa and I screamed like banshees to get his attention for a couple of quick photos.)

It was great, even with 90F+ weather. The Interim President of PSU even (rather gallantly) offered to make no speech in exchange for a standing ovation. I liked him. Good man. The service was short, sweet and perfectly to the point. I heartily approved.

After that, we all went out to lunch (great fun that lasted for far longer than I had scheduled for, eep!) and had to rush home. I had planned to meet Laure in Beaverton at 3:30, but just barely made it home at 4:00. She agreed to come to my place instead and work with me here.

See, some months ago, Laura convinced me to join her Historical Recreation Guild and participate in this year’s Shrewsbury Renaissance Faire – because I spin and knit and would be a great asset or something. I (somewhat) foolishly agreed, thinking it would be fun and forgot about it almost immediately after.

With the Faire in less than a month, I need to make a costume very quickly and… well, not panic. I won’t panic. I’m not panicking. Honestly. Even though I’m 4 yards short of boning (guess how I found that out tonight?) and haven’t even started on my blouse or skirt.

I need to go and knit something.

things, they are a’changing

After a hellish day – catching up with 4 sick-days worth of work is never easy – I was nearly in tears when I found a parcel on my step. FluffyKnitterDeb, fellow admin and mod of Sock Knitters Anonymous, sent me a cheer-up gift:

Margarita Socks

A pair of socks knit using this month’s Mystery Pattern for Sockdown: Ravelry!

Where she gets the time to organize the group (I’m completely AWOL, I admit it) and knit mirco-gauge socks, I never will know. But I am deeply grateful for the thought and effort she put into them. Thank you, Debi! I might just wear these to work tomorrow.

Let’s see. We’re painfully overdue for an update, but… well, I’m in the midst of some crazy sh!t and don’t know where to start. I’ll just go over what’s taking up the most of my attention:

We’re officially another pair of hands short at work as of today. Details will be released later, when I can articulate fully.

We’re about to be another pair of hands short when J goes on Maternity Leave.

Now, those two things would be enough to make me panic were it also not for the fact that (deadline fast approaching) the Knit Purl Sock Club still hasn’t sold out. I’m beyond the panic stage. Admittedly, we’ve sold over half the spots, so that’s good. But, eep! If anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

Open application for Berkeley Business School begins on August 15 and I don’t have anything ready.  Now, even if I were to get accepted (not counting on anything), the term I’m applying for is Fall 09.  Time, at least here, is on my side.

I’m also behind on my New Designs schedule and can’t see the floor of the laundry room.

Someone, please, kidnap save me.

(I can even pay you in yarn.)

I have no title

Urg. Forgot what I was gonna post. Let’s see. Long week to sum up. Have to open the store tomorrow, which will be interesting since I’ve never opened by myself before :P

Anyway. Finally got Clue #4 up last night – it was causing me some difficulty because I couldn’t find a way to write out text instructions for the toe detail. Check it out and you’ll see why. Here’s what my progress on the socks was on Thursday night at the Sip’n’Stitch, when I actually remembered to take a photo:

sockedy

Little farther along now, but too lazy to find a camera. Next Thursday I’ll post the completed pattern for people who want all the clues in one place. And, err, maybe I can manage to do the same for the March Mystery Sock, which is still in bits and pieces. Bad me.

Um. Hrm. Working on several patterns right now. Need to get my stuff together to submit to different publications. See? I do listen to you guys who bug me incessantly. You’ll know who you are. I’m also looking into applying to Stanford Business School this October – matriculation wouldn’t be until more than a year away, so no panicking anytime soon. Trying to figure out all the pieces of that puzzle.

I dunno. Things are crazy right now. I worked 45 hours last week and am a little haggard. This whole “summer slowdown” doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

Of course, that might be due to the fact that it’s still bloody cold and wet outside. Arg. I packed away my winter clothing so, duh, immediately the average temperature dropped 30 degrees in a week. Stupid Oregon weather.

And even if all that’s not everything, it’s all I can remember.  Have a lovely Memorial Day and try to avoid the rain if you can :)

Further proof…

that I was never intended to be a professional photographer:

April 2008

Yeah, my mad skills are showing their crazy side.

Moving on. The socks above are my Sockdown: April! entry. Umm. They were knit with Knitted Wit’s Superwash Merino Fingering yarn, using Jean Townsend’s Pretty Petals Socks pattern. Not to be snarky, but I would really change the name of that pattern if I could. The stitch pattern makes me think of scales, honestly. I like the socks a lot and had to make a few pattern modifications, but nothing overwhelming.

And, while I can finally rejoice in the fact that the Sock Club is fully off the ground, I will only be able to sleep soundly once everyone (dyers and designers alike) have actually sent me their signed contracts back. Verbal consent still leaves me with some anxiety, oddly enough. D’you hear that, you guys? You’re affecting my sleep. Hint, hint.

Sadly, on this subject, Terrisa and I lost our bet with Sandy B at work. We bet her that we could sell out the Club by today. Er. Not so much. We have only 135 spots left, but that doesn’t offer us much consolation since we have to buy her much in the way of alcohol as the losers :P

Of course, the Bosses are so excited by the success of the Club that now they want me to organize a Lace Club for next year. I agreed to try, but have absolutely no idea how to go about it. Maybe it’ll come to me in a dream.

Hm. Time to work on Mum’s Mother’s Day Socks – yes, they weren’t done yesterday. I, uh, ruined the surprise by letting her see them in progress, though. No picture. I gave up on trying to make my camera work after the first 20 or so crap pictures. I guess you’ll just have the believe me when I tell you that I’m past the heels on ’em :)