Thursday, January 31, 2008

Crochet Answers and Copyright Questions

Hi Knitters,
Here is one quick knitting update, I finished one Vesper Knit and Tonic sock yesterday. It's a beauty. I have already started the second sock.

I tallied up the responses I received about crochet being added on a knitted project for trims or for embellishments. There were a good number of comments left and I received quite a few emails on the subject as well. I know this isn't a huge study but the results came out kind of how I thought they might. About 75% of the responses were positive to crochet being used in knitting projects. In fact many said they love to crochet and learned to crochet prior to knitting. The other 25% were mostly against ever using crochet for anything. There were a couple of maybe someday crocheters thrown in there, too. I find it all interesting. I had a couple of knitters suggest that if I use a crochet aspect in a pattern there could be a knit alternative as well. I also had quite a few people who are like me, if I like a pattern enough and it has a skill I don't know then I learn the technique needed to make the project. I work on a learn as needed basis a lot and it works well for me. This way I am always adding to my repertoire of skills which is good. Thanks for letting me know how you feel about crochet being combined with knitting.
I have one last topic that I have been thinking about mentioning for quite some time now. Every week I get a number emails from sweet and kind knitters who are requesting permission to knit my designs and sell them for profit. I also receive many emails from concerned knitters who are alerting me to sites, blogs and etsy sellers who are knitting and selling my designs.
I have been writing individually to the people who email me but it has become increasingly difficult for me to keep up with these requests. I think if I make a statement here it might help clear up some questions people have on this subject. I will be adding a copyright statement to my sidebar as well.
In general, I do not give permission to others to sell my designs in pattern (written) form or knitted form for online retail, retail shops, resale or for wholesale ventures. My designs in written and in knitted form are for personal use only, not to be used for commercial sales of any sort.
On the other hand, I have given and do give my permission for my designs in knitted form to be used for charity donations of any kind like school fundraisers, hospital fundraisers, shelters, silent auctions, etc. Any type of charity knitting is an absolute yes from me! I love that people knit baby hats and baby items for charities, nothing could be better than that. Yay for charity knitting.
best, susie
p.s. Dani of Sunshine Yarns just opened her new online shop and it is beautiful. I've already made a couple of purchases.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Do You Crochet? Elefante Ear Demo

Hi Knitters,
I have been surprised about the number of knitters I have talked to or read about on ravelry who don't want to crochet at all, not even a simple edging or an ear, in elefante's case. A lot of people are substituting the crochet ears for knitted ears. I really didn't know that people felt this way about simple crochet that is added on a knitted item. Then I was reading Wendy's blog about adding a crochet edge on a baby blanket. She stated the same thing I had been reading and hearing about. People groan about a crochet edging. Wendy knew people would complain but she went with the crochet edging anyway. It is a really cute, beautiful blanket she designed for the preemie project.

Let me know what you think of this topic. I would love to hear about it and it would help me when designing projects.

Anyway, with this in mind and a few requests from elefante knitters, I decided to make a video tutorial of how to crochet a circle. The ear for the elephant is a crochet circle folded in half and then slip stitched together with a contrasting color. I also used crochet circles in itty-bitty hats and itty bitty nursery. I used crochet circles for the tops and bottoms of the cupcakes and ears for the elephant pacifier clip. The cherries for the hat and scarf on the cupcake set are crocheted in a similar way.

I encourage you to try this simple crochet technique. It really is easy and you can whip up these circles in no time at all.

Hope you all had a good and peaceful weekend.
best, susie

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Je T'Adore, Giacomo

Hi Knitters,
If you missed this free pattern let me direct you to it. Run, don't walk! What a perfect baby hat. I happened to have all of the yarn in my stash leftover from the book pillow/sweater/slipper set I made for itty-bitty nursery. Also, let me recommend the purlbee, it is a terrific resource for sewing and knitting. I made this up yesterday, only working on it sporadically throughout the day. When I say this I am not trying to brag but rather I want to let you know how quickly you can knit up a tiny hat like this too. It is so d0-able!
The fair isle pattern is super easy and fun. If you are wanting to give fair isle a try this is the place to start. You only work in 2 colors at a time for 19 rounds, the rest of the hat is simple. Working with the Blue Sky Alpaca sportweight alpaca again only refreshed my love for this yarn. It is soft and clear and beautiful. I have to design more using the sportweight. It is too good for words. As you can see from the leftovers, you could make many hats from 4 skeins and my skeins were all partially used when I started.
The pattern calls for US size 4 and 5 sixteen inch circular needles and US size 5 dpns for the top decrease. Make sure you read the tips from the designer, Whitney, as she offers some great simplifying ideas. The size in the pattern suggests it will fit a 6-18 month-old. I knitted exactly to gauge and the finished hat is teeny, teeny tiny, it would not fit an 18-month-old by any stretch. I could barely fit it on my hat stand. I would say more like 0-6 months, maybe 12-months, that's just my opinion. I used my pom-tree on the 2-inch width and did more wraps than I could count, it is a thick pom-pom.
I know just the baby for Giacomo's Baby Hat! I can't wait...
On to other business, I had a lot of emails asking about the bunny hat I made my daughter. Here's what I did. I took the ear flap pattern from the Inca Snowflake Hat in itty-bitty hats and then I continued on with the pattern on the back inside cover from the book, which is a great pattern. I made up the random striping pattern.
Please take note that I made the largest size in the storybook that is suggested to fit a 3-year-old. My daughter is 8-years-old and she is average size. I keep repeating this about hat sizing because if you realize that a 2-3 year-old's head can sometimes be as big as an adult's head, it opens up the doors for so many patterns. Hat patterns for adults can be used for kids and the other way around! Measuring first is always the best, of course.
I have an exciting announcement! The samples from Itty-Bitty Nursery are going to be made available as a trunk show for yarn shops everywhere. Jaime, my publicist from Workman, is setting up the tour right now. If you are interested in having the fun baby items from the book in your store you should contact Jaime directly here. You can also email me (see sidebar) and I can send the message on to Jaime. I love this idea because seeing, touching and playing with the actual knitted items from a book is so much fun. The trunk show tour gives many more knitters a chance to enjoy the samples. By the way, I knitted every sample from the book myself which makes it fun, too.
Have a good Wednesday. Maybe you'll knit a Giacomo today...let me know!
best, susie

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Shall I Knit You a Hat?

Hi Knitters,
Have you ever been inspired to knit from a picture book? I am all of the time. My daughter and I share a serious love of picture books. Every week she brings home a variety of carefully selected books to read with me and I look forward to it every time. At the end of last week she introduced me to one of the sweetest picture books I have ever read. Shall I Knit You a Hat? is written and illustrated by sisters Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise. I love the sister connection. The text is wonderful and the illustrations transport you to the home of two bunnies, a mother and child.
The mother notes that a blizzard is coming their way and she offers to knit her little bunny a hat. The bunny loves his hat but then he gets concerned about his friends being cold as well. The mother agrees to knit them hats, too. They start off on an adventure to sneakily measure the heads of all of their friends. The friends consist of a horse, deer, squirrel, cat, goose and a dog. Each hat mother bunny knits is carefully designed to meet the various needs of that particular animal. For example, the goose's hat has a long scarf attached to keep her neck warm, the horse has a blanket attached for sleeping in the snow and the reindeer hat accommodates his antlers. This is my favorite hat as each antler has a pom-pom hanging off on a string. Love it!
The ending of the story is so tender and true. The story isn't so much about Christmas, it is about giving to others and spending time together and the wonderful feelings all of that brings. The last page of the book is a hat pattern for making little rabbit's hat with the wonderful long rabbit ears.
Just look at rabbit's fantastic stripey hat. The pattern offered in the book is a perfect pattern but it didn't include ear flaps and ties. My daughter had to have the flaps and ties just like the picture so certainly I added those on. We carefully selected the yarn and although it isn't exactly like the hat in the pictures, it is reminiscent of the hat in the book. We finally concluded that my stash of Blue Sky Alpaca cotton would suit us fine.
Of course I added a little fleece lining for that extra comfort. I made the ties about a foot long and just braided the strands together with an over-hand knot at the end.
I started it yesterday and today she is wearing it proudly. The extra-special treat about Shall I Knit You a Hat? is that it was her teacher's book. My daughter wanted to borrow the book for the weekend so I could see the pictures to knit up the hat. When she asked her teacher about borrowing it she told her she had bought the book with us in mind. Isn't that cute? She gave the book to my daughter to keep. The smile on my little girl's face when she was running out of school on Friday was priceless. She couldn't wait to tell me about our gift. I started knitting right away.
The littlest things can mean so much.
I hope your hats are keeping you warm on this bitter cold weekend.
best, susie
p.s. Thank you, Sylla, you are a wonderful teacher. We are lucky bunnies.
p.p.s. The book was published in 2004 and was just released in paperback in October 2007.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Don't Poke Your Eye Out

Hi Knitters,
I was looking at my unfinished socks this morning and all of a sudden all I could see was how many needles are involved. I have a mere 16 US size 2 dpns spinning around here. If a new knitter was looking at this mess I am sure she would run for the hills. To me it makes perfect sense and having four socks going doesn't bother me in the least. That's part of the problem, I assure you.
On the trip to Long Beach I started the Knitpicks sock with the yellow, light blue and gold stripes, for my daughter. She picked out the yarn for this pair. They are kind of cute. I hadn't knitted with this yarn before and it is fine but nothing to write home about. The yarn I should write home about is the Knit and Tonic Vesper, which is the blue/green striping sock. This colorway is spectacular and this yarn is so good. I started this on the trip to Long Beach, too. The other two I have written about before, the sKNITches breathmint and of course the pumpkin spice yarntini. Two great socks that I can't seem to focus on long enough to finish. I will triumph eventually.
Switching subjects here, I ran across this clay project I made in elementary school I had recently shoved onto a cluttered storage shelf in my studio. I remember making this so clearly, so much detail for my little fingers. Note the stripey hat with the large pom-pom on top. That should have been a sign. There was another person walking on the sidewalk but when the piece was fired he broke off. I remember being sad about that but then I made his foot into a snowball (you can tell the snowball further back was originally a shoe). Then I added a second snowball on the sidewalk to make it look like it was supposed to be there, good thinking, huh?
I was absolutely entranced in this project. I believe I was in the fourth grade, about 10-years-old. I also remember it was put in a glassed-in display case in the hallway of my school where it stayed for many months. I was very proud. I even made my mom walk by the case when she came to school for some event. When I finally brought it home my mom displayed my creation on a shelf next to her piano. There it sat for over 30 years. I used to look at it all of the time at her house. Today I set it out in my house. I'm still proud, I guess, but for other reasons.
This is how I feel this week. I am spinning around and not getting anything accomplished. Maybe next week will be more productive.
best, susie
p.s. That wooden marble construction toy is the best ever. It is called Quadrilla and we have the basic set. Since Christmas I think my kids have made about a dozen different constructions. It is awesome.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Lots of TNNA Stuff

Hi Knitters,
I am home and let me just say it is a messy one! Well, there were lots of adventures over the past days and I want to fill you all in a bit. First things first, you can't bring cameras onto the floor of the convention at tnna. I guess this is due to new products being introduced and maintaining some control by the companies. So although I don't have lots of pictures from the event I have some good stories to share and a few pictures of some of the goodies I collected. Pictured above are two mini-pears I took from the hotel breakfast buffet to bring home for my girls. Aren't they cute? They are less than 2-inches high, very petite. My girls were thrilled and loved eating them. That's an easy gift, right?

I flew into LAX around noon on Thursday and grabbed a taxi to my hotel in Long Beach. I really had no idea how long this ride would be and was pleasantly surprised to find out is was only about 20-30 minutes. I had to kill several hours because my room wasn't ready yet. The man at the front desk said my room was vacant but it would take 3 hours before it was cleaned. He even called for a rush job on the cleaning and I was hopeful it would be ready sooner. Nope, no luck, 3 hours. I checked my bags and took off walking. I found the convention center and as I walked around I started seeing a ton of women wearing knitted garments. It was a strange feeling being surrounded by knitters out on the street. I felt I was entering a whole new world, full of knitters, full of yarn and full of sweaters of every sort imaginable. Heaven.

I finally got into my room and by that time Regan Clancy of Workman had called to check in with me as she was in charge of the dinner that night with the Royal book distributors. I was so excited to go to dinner that night with a bunch of fun people and knitters. A few you will recognize like Kristin Nicholas, Judith Durant and newcomer, Melissa Morgan-Oakes. Regan picked me up and we walked over to Tequila Jack's. Everyone was pretty tired out from the travels, especially the knitters I mentioned before because they all flew from the East Coast. I sat especially close to Judith and Melissa, who are both lovely and fun. Judith is very interesting and has great stories and a long industrious career in the knitting world. She worked for Interweave Knits for awhile and she has done many beading books along with the popular 101 One Skein Wonder books, very impressive. I think she has about 3 or 4 more books currently in the works right now. How does she do it and remain so fun and calm? Melissa, who is a teacher for Webs, just released Two At a Time Socks. I paged through this and it looks fantastic. If you are interested in this technique you should definitely check this one out. I think it is great that she has taught this technique so many times because this helps for writing a technique book.
Kristin came in a little later and we were already seated so I really only briefly said hello that night. Not to despair, I knew I was dining with her again the next night. You know my admiration for her. Above is some specially selected hot sauce I got for my brother at a small shop called, Hot Licks. He enjoys a painful hot sauce and I just envision him sweating and gasping as he tries these selections out. What a thoughtful sister I am.

Later that night my beloved, and somewhat famous, Workman publicist, Jaime Harder made her way to Long Beach. She called in the morning and we quickly grabbed breakfast and headed straight over to the convention. I was so glad to have a buddy at this enormous show. I know the Workman people would have included me but Jaime is a friend and she is just good fun to be around. We got right in there and started going through the aisles. I loved all of the products but much more so I loved spotting the famous knitters. Really, it was almost too much.

I stood only a couple of feet away from Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably. Kaffe is taller than I thought. He looks just like his pictures. He is one of my knitting heroes from over 20 years ago. I also love his mosaic book, it is fabulous. That was fun for me. I tried to tell Jaime what a moment that was for me but it is hard to explain.

We walked by Soho Publishing (Vogue Knitting) and met Nicky Epstein. She now has her own book imprint and has a new scarf book coming out. I told her I had just met Tanis Gray and Faith Hale when I was in New York and she quickly took us over to meet Adina Klein (editor in chief of Vogue Knitting) and Carla Scott (executive editor of Vogue Knitting). They were very friendly and Adina commented how she has been knitting for a special baby in her life lately. If you have the latest Vogue Knitting be sure to look at Tanis' latest design (number 12 on page 77), it is a cashmere hat and scarf set in off-white. It is to die for. I looked up the yarn she used and the set would cost well over $200 but there is always substitution and a dream...

I met Luisa Harding at her signing. I introduced myself, she had no idea who I was but I didn't expect her to. She was very sweet and English looking and she was dressed just like her new book. I have long admired Luisa's designs for Rowan and on her own, she is a talent.

I met Mags Kandis very briefly as she was waiting for her signing. She was signing her newest book for Interweave Knits, Folk Style. She was so fantastic looking, so well traveled and stylish. She wore brown cowboy boots and textured tights and carried a bag from some far off travels she told us about (can't remember where exactly). She was friendly and wonderful and just how you'd hope.
We ran by the Koigu booth and the wonderful man working there, I believe he was the husband, gave us handfuls of these little skeins of Koigu. He wore this great sushi printed shirt and was super friendly and funny. Later that night Jaime and I ran into him and his wife on the elevator, he still in the sushi, she wearing a full-out mitered square koigu sweater, so cool.

I made sure I stopped by the knitting at knoon booth. Chris is a great designer and she has a new line of knitted dinosaur toys that are so fun. She came to see me in Grand Rapids and she made an impression on me. I ran into Craig Rosenfeld the proprietor of loop in Philadelphia. He is always fun to talk to. He was taking a break from his knitting class with Brandon Mably. It was great to see him again. As we were running down the stairs, I introduced myself to Melissa Leapman. I have many of her books and love them.
Kristin Spurkland walked by after teaching a class on top down hats. She had a signing in the Unicorn booth on Sunday for her new book. My friend Alison Barlow from The Wool Cabin in Salt Lake City was in her class and came out with a great start to a hat. Alison's book is coming out in paperback soon, that's exciting.
Jaime and I stopped by the Skacel booth to admire the addi turbos and we were given a free pair of the new lace needles. They have a gold plated needle with an extra-long point and a red cord. Mine are size three and they are excellent. While we were there we talked to a woman named Joanne. She told us about a huge yarn festival in Seattle in July and we talked to Rob who is in charge of the whole thing. If I can swing it, I may just go and teach there. I would love to go to the northwest, it would be fantastic. Joanne gave us a boatload of shops to visit. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
My tag, above, has the ravelry dog, Bob, pin. I was hoping to get one but the only way to get a bob pin was to meet the inventors of ravelry, Casey and Jess. Jaime and I finally tracked them down in the lobby of the convention. They are superstars and everyone wanted to meet them. How can we thank them enough for creating such a fantastic resource for knitters. They were kind and gracious.
Are you wondering what type of yarn you are? The Potter Books booth had the cutest quiz you could take to find out. I am an angora and Jaime is a mohair. I can't remember what either of those are exactly but it was all good things. It was a cute idea and everyone loved the pins. My favorite was the odd ball pin. I sometimes feel like an odd ball but I am kind of glad I am not officially odd.
We met the Soak inventor and her mother. This product is on fire. She has gotten coverage in every major magazine and she is now having guest soak fragrances. See the green sample? That's Amy Butler's signature fragrance of Soak. I can't wait to try out these samples. The notebook is a gift from Jaime. It is filled with funny patterned paper and I love it, everything from beans and rice holding hands to a tomato pin cushion and pins.
We did see Joelle and Jennifer Hoverson, from purl and Last Minute Knitted Gifts, picking out books at the Unicorn books booth. I wanted to say hi but they were so entranced in the books that I didn't want to interrupt. I was happy to just see them from afar, they are so wonderfully creative.
Diane, I tried spinning! This was the wheel I tried and I was really into it. However the sad news is that I wasn't very good at it and the wheel wasn't pulling the yarn onto the spool so the woman had to keep fixing it. But I really liked it and I think I could do it with a little practice. I kept looking for the Ashford booth but I never found it. Anyway, I was encouraged. This is something I would like to pursue a bit in the future.
Okay, Clara Parkes signed at the Unicorn booth. She is a delight and I was dying to meet her. Her new book is incredibly well-received, just as you'd imagine, and I am so glad to have a signed copy. This book is a solid investment as it is crammed with information about yarn. Plus there are about 40 terrific patterns included. This book must have been an enormous undertaking and I am glad for Clara that knitters everywhere are enjoying it.
I met the author of Mr. Funky's Super Crochet Wonderful, Narumi Ogawa, and let me tell you, she is as adorable as her creations. North Light Books handed out the cutest buttons to go along with their books and I collected a few.
My sweet friend, Betz White, was represented at tnna. Her new book, Warm Fuzzies, shows off her talents to the fullest. This is not a knitting book but more of a fulled sweater and sewing book. If that interests you please check this one out. There are the ever popular cupcake pin cushions in the book but there is so much more to Betz than cupcakes. She is a phenomena! There are all sorts of patterns in the book from kids clothes, home accessories and adult accessories. She did an excellent job with this book and I am glad I got a cupcake pin. I didn't get the book at tnna, that's my own copy.
We stopped by the O-Wool booth to say hi. I am using O-Wool Balance in my newest book and I plan on using more from their line for more projects. This is great yarn and the people are super nice.
Friday night we went out to dinner with the Unicorn Books group. This is the booth where I had my signing. What a great, hard working group of people. The Unicorn booth always had a buzz about it through the entire weekend. I was impressed by how knowledgeable th staff was about the books and it showed in the reaction they were receiving. I enjoyed them very much. At this dinner I sat next to Kristin Nicholas, she's a joy. Kristin made sure to come over and say hello since we didn't really get to chat the night before and then I got to sit right by her. She is just how you'd think she'd be, comfy and warm and smart and really funny. She's a gem. I loved hearing about her farm and sheep and her yarn adventures. This was a highlight of the trip for me. The next day she took me under her wing a bit and introduced me to the fine people at Westminster Fibers, the distributor of her yarn, Julia.
The other fun knitter at the table besides Melissa Morgan-Oakes and Judith Durant was Debbie Stoller, whom I've never met before. She had great stories and it was fun to meet her. Her new book is doing well and Debbie's been touring up a storm so be sure to check out her schedule if you are interested in meeting her in person.
Be Sweet was there with their full line of yarn and bags. You've got to check these out, they are all simply wonderful. Jaime got that black bag with the white spots.
The yarn, the yarn, the was fabulous. I loved the Shibui yarn people and they gave out balls of yarn and chocolates. The Potter booth gave out hand balm in cute tins. And my favorite was the Blue Sky Alpaca booth. I could use their yarns for every project I ever make it is so delicious. They gave out that crocheted bracelet which I wore all day on Saturday. This company is located in Minneapolis and the owner's parents live right down the street from me in Madison. I love that. I plan on using lots of blue sky in my next book and I got to check out all of their newest stuff, so fun.
Oh yeah, and then I had my signing at the Unicorn booth. Jaime snuck my camera out to get a few sneaky shots. It was great and I can never get over how fun it is to meet all of these knitters. Their enthusiasm touches me to no end. I will never tire of hearing about a baby or grandchild because there is nothing better than that. So keep the stories coming. We quickly went through all of the books and all was wonderful. Thank you to Unicorn for inviting me, I appreciate it.
I sure hope Brenda reads this blog because she was my favorite visitor of the event. She was an Itty-Bitty fan and she made me feel so good. Thank you so much Brenda for coming to see me. I loved meeting you.
Look at the basket in the picture. I just want to point out that Jaime, who I wish I had a picture of at this event, knitted all of those Itty-Bitty Nursery projects for a give-away for shop owners who ordered five or more copies of the book. They were entered in a raffle and I chose a shop out of Mississippi out of a bag for the win. She knitted the cupcake set, chickens, pacifier clips and the grumpy bear, all to give. I thought this was wonderful. All of the Workman people are the best, Regan and Kim, you are fantastic and I am glad to have spent time with you both.
Jaime and I ended our journey with a dinner with two of my all-time faves, Suzette and Alison, the owners of The Wool Cabin in SLC. These two women made me laugh so hard and that felt so good, you have no idea. You are fun and silly and two of the absolute best around. I can't thank you enough for taking the time to dine with us. I cherish the fact that I know you. And hi Kristi! I miss you!
One last thing, to Teruko, my new friend, thank you for driving to Long Beach. Your work is beyond beautiful and your daughter is spectacular. You inspire me. Thank you and let's keep in touch. There will be a next time, soon I hope!
If you are still here with me, and I am barely here, then I thank you for reading. I started this in the afternoon and now it is time for my kids (and me) to go to bed.
I missed you, knitters.
best, susie
p.s. Congratulations to Renee on her beautiful baby boy, William Tyler! He is a beauty.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

California Bound

Hi Knitters,
Well, it has come quickly. Tomorrow I am on my way to Long Beach for TNNA. This is my first time at this event. I have heard and read so much about it from other knitters and on blogs. It will be fun to see it for myself. I just want to soak in as much as possible. I will bring my trusty camera and I will try not to get my usual blurry travel shots but I can't promise.

I do have fun dinner plans with some very interesting knitters who you all know as well. That should be fun. I am lucky that my wonderful publicist, Jaime, is tagging along with me for the weekend and I love that. It will be great to have a friendly face by my side, plus she knits. What are the odds?

I will be at the Unicorn Books booth for a signing on Saturday at 3:30. Come on by to say hello if you get a chance. Just before me at the same booth is Wenlan Chia aka Twinkle, Louisa Harding, Clara Parkes and Mags Kandis to name a few. The booth is #2053.

I have to pack and most importantly I have to decide what knitting to bring along. I am leaning toward socks only, so small and easy. I have downloaded a couple of new audiobooks onto my ipod for the plane. Sometimes I download a book I have already read and liked. Then I can listen but if I zone out I still know what is going on. Smart thinking for a tired knitter, right? I think that may be a little weird but oh well it's true. You know the other thing is that for audiobooks, even if you love the book, you are at the mercy of the reader. The part that gets rough for me at times is when the reader tries to talk in different voices for the characters. It is especially awful when it is a woman reader trying to talk like a man. It doesn't always work well and when I find that I am cringing while listening it's over. I have learned to take a preview listen before I buy but it doesn't always help. If I enjoy what I hear I'll pass on the titles to you.

Have a good rest of the week.
best, susie
p.s. That's my Yarntini collection from last fall. It just looked so yummy and bright I thought I'd share it again. I am down to only 3 skeins left.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Rainbow Part Deux

Hi Knitters,
Now the rainbows are rolling in around me. Memories and past projects are coming to mind as I thoroughly think about my rainbow connection. Oh and my new scarf is the king of all rainbows. If you don't enjoy lots of photos look away. This project deserves many, many photos as there may not be a better scarf out there. Okay, maybe the clapotis but that's it. When I looked the clapotis pattern up I guess it is considered a wrap not a scarf, but still.
I first saw this on Brooklyn Tweed's beautiful knitting blog. I used his free guidelines. This design has been floating all over the knitting internet for some time. It is Noro Silk Garden, k1, p1 rib, US size 7 needles. I made mine about 5 inches wide and 72-inches long. Knitting this was so enjoyable, calming, interesting, plain old fun. The only reason for the pleasant experience is the yarn.
You alternate two different colorways of the silk garden, every two rows. The striped effect comes naturally, without any effort. I was always waiting to see what combination would come next.
Now I had a lot of small ends of silk garden from past projects so I used those up first. Then when those ran out I bought 4 skeins and just broke in to the last two. Basically I have almost two full skeins left. I was thinking a hat (not to wear with the scarf, that would be way too much) using the striping effect would be pretty cool. I will let you know what I come up with. Noro is good, good for my rainbow needs. Excellent scarf, you should try this one!
I know some of these photos didn't come out the best. It is a foggy slush fest around here. The fog and rain have closed in upon us and that's exactly how my camera worked today, kind of fuzzy. My husband and I went out walking yesterday and it seemed like we were walking in a dream.
Anyway, I have had my eye out for rainbow inspired knitted things and I have a few more to add. Remember this? I posted about my tubey a long while ago. I claimed at that point I was going to rip it out because of the poor fit. Well, as you can see, I haven't done that yet. A very funny coincidence occurred when I checked out Betz's blog this morning. See? Unbeknownst to me, Betz made a reference to my tubey experience right at the same time I had my tubey in my hands. I have not worn this sweater once. I said in the old post that I wore it once but I don't remember wearing it. Did I make that up or block it out? Lovin' the rainbow in middle but I will probably still rip this out eventually.
Here is my Noro Kureyon rainbow sweater. The yarn is too good for words andthis is one of the best sweaters ever as far as design goes. Simple rib with a turtleneck is always my favorite. (It is funny to look back at those old posts, I don't think anyone was reading, not a soul!)
My rainbow chevron scarf I made out of Koigu Kersti. I love this scarf and it was a fun knit.
This goofy rainbow sweater I made so long ago. Julia Robert's special! Now for a non-knitted rainbow, this zipper belongs to a "new" purse at my house. I have a crazy story about this purse but I am not sure how it is going to end up yet so I will wait to share it. I have never seen a zipper like this one before, pretty cute.
And last but not least, my beloved elefante is a rainbow to behold. The free pattern for elefante is on my sidebar if you are interested. On ravelry you can look up elefante in the pattern section and find 84 completed elefante photos and there are 543 elefantes in people's queues. That is fun. This project started as a complete whim. You never know what kind of rainbow will catch on.
Hope your day is going well.
best, susie

Friday, January 04, 2008

Rainbow Connection

Hi Knitters,
Do you have something in your life that pulls you in? I do, colors. Recently I have been sorting through boxes of stored items and memorabilia from my childhood and teen years and I have been surprised by some of the things I have found. One common thread that I guess I collected, although I have no conscious thought of collecting, is the rainbow. I loved rainbows growing up. Doesn't that kind of make sense now? I guess I forgot about my rainbow love, it totally left my mind.

Being a child of the 60's and 70's I had access to plenty of rainbows, free to be you and me all the way. I had rainbow hats, shirts, suspenders (oh yeah I did, Gallagher!), stickers, room decorations and more. I even painted a rainbow going across the cork bulletin board I had hanging in my bedroom, still have that, too. I found a decoration that hung from a hook on my ceiling that my dad bought me that was a needlepoint rainbow with ribbons hanging down with beads on the ends. It is so funny. I had a rainbow decal on my bedroom window that is still there.

The hat above was my favorite ski hat from the mid-70's. What a fantastic hat, I love everything about it. This is going to be my next design inspiration for sure. Look at the way the rainbow stripes are raised ridges, I know just the technique for that. I wore this everywhere, everyday for years and look at the great condition it is still in. And that pom-pom is on fire! Too good for words. Oh my goodness, the more I write about the rainbow hat, the more I can't stand how good and perfect it is. Look out, I have no control, it's a comin'. I am thoroughly obsessed again.
Now that I look with an awareness of my rainbow love, I see that I have a pure and simple attraction to colorful stripey patterns of all sorts. Trekking XXL rainbow socks? You bet. In fact, I must admit that these are my most favorite socks I have ever knit. I wear and wash them constantly. They are thin so I can wear them comfortably under shoes. They are the perfect length and the smooth stockinette stitch...also perfect. Rainbow perfection. Sing it with me, Kermit.
One last example of recent rainbow love is the Gap sweater I bought my daughter for Christmas. Guess what, she doesn't love it. I made her try it on yesterday and she put on a sad face while I rolled up the sleeves. I think this sweater is adorable, comfy, great, great colors and she is not thrilled. I rarely buy sweaters, almost never, but it was $29 and I couldn't resist. Oh well, maybe it will grow on her. If it was big enough I would wear it. I need to knit her a new sweater as she has outgrown all of her handknit creations at this point. I know she would love a sweater I made her. Lesson learned.
On another note about shopping, I hardly ever shop and I maybe head into the mall near my house once or twice a year and then it is only for a certain item, never to wander. I feel so weird and out of place in a shopping mall. I don't know what it is. I look at the other shoppers and all of the stores and the loud music and bright lights and I just don't get it. Even at the Gap I feel like I don't belong there. I need to just make my own rainbows I guess, not shop for them.
A couple exciting things happened yesterday. Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood posted the interview I did for her Craftsanity podcast. It is such a fun, short interview, about 25 minutes. Her 2 and 3-year-old daughters were with us at the Grand Rapids public library. The 3-year-old, Abby, chattered and chirped through the entire interview and I loved every minute of it! Her 2-year-old, Amelia, slept peacefully in the stroller as we talked. The sound isn't the best, but it is a fun talk. I truly enjoy Jennifer and she is the perfect example of a young working mother pursuing her dreams. She is the real deal.
The other thing is that I was interviewed for an associated press article along with Debbie Stoller. Here is the link for the short article if you are interested. It may show up in your local paper at some point down the road.
That's all for now, knitters. I am going to enjoy this last Friday and weekend with my kids off from school. I always feel sad when they head back to school and I am left with a quiet house. That means I have no excuse not to get work done.
Rainbow love to all.
best, susie