Friday, June 27, 2008

My swap partner is psychic!

I was involved in a swap at the 9-5 Multi-tasking group on Ravelry. They are nice enough to let me in the group even though I don't work in an office - they figure with all the crazy things that I do I am an expert at multi-tasking, and they are right!

Anyway, one of the themes of the swap was work related items, and since I lamented on my swap sheet that I was chronically disorganized, my fab buddy Nichole threw in some cool binder clips. How is that psychic?

Look at the colors of the binder clips... now look at the colors of the afghan I just finished for my Leisure Arts book. Creepy in a good way, no?

Now I know that she is home saying - "all the wonderful stuff I sent her and she is going on about the binder clips?? Nut bar!" and she does perhaps have a point. She also sent some lovely local yarns that I can't wait to play with, and she made me a beautiful pendant that I will wear at the Guilds conference in a few weeks. And there were some other fun and fabulous goodies, many of which have already been stolen by the Kid, so you know they were great. But I have to say, I get a kick out of the binder clips. Now my labels for that project are color coded - it might be the only organized thing on my desk right now!

Off to the Midwest tomorrow - Kid and I are going to King's Island on Sunday, then up to Muncie, IN so I can work a bit on the documentary I am writing, then to see our friends in Richmond, IN. On Saturday July 5th from 1 - 3 I will be doing a book signing and trunk show at UnWind - a cool new yarn shop that I can't wait to visit. If you are in the neighborhood, stop on by.

Getting Loopy will run on schedule - I will tape the show from my hotel room in Muncie - God I love technology! Kim Werker was fabulous this week - next week I will be talking to Robyn Chachula about the joys of symbol crochet. Check us out!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

On why you should never be without more yarn...

While I am generally allergic to going to a shopping mall on the weekend, here it was the night before Father's Day and I still hadn't taken the Kid to the store to pick up the shirt she had chosen for her dad on a previous outing So we had to go - we just had to.

She had a feis on Saturday (nice effort but no hardware, we aren't complaining though because she is having a good season overall this year), so we were dragging a bit by the time we got there. I never park in the indoor parking garage, preferring to park as far away from the other drivers as possible and getting a nice walk in out of the deal, but it looked like it was going to rain, and the poor Kid wasn't going to want to walk too far on her tired Irish dancer feet, so I parked on the 4th level of the garage. We went in, we shopped, we ate some salad, we came back to the car.

Where we sat for twenty minutes only moving about 20 feet. We were still on the fourth level of the garage, and hadn't even gotten to the down ramp yet. I made an executive decision that we were going back inside - the air conditioner isn't working right in the van and I was getting cranky sitting and not moving and being hot all at the same time. So I re-park the car just a few spots away from where we started, and we went back inside to hang around on the comfy chairs. Kid is exhausted but agrees it would be better to sit around in the AC than to sit outside and listen to me curse. I have some knitting, she does some window shopping, and an hour later we head out again.

The line isn't notably shorter, but since the rain has started it isn't so hot, so we decide to tough it out. I can't knit because the piece I have requires a few brain cells and I don't want to drop a stitch and curse some more, so I reach into the bag and come up with a giant hook and some thick yarn that I can't talk about yet (but will soon) and I decide to make a scarf. The photo shows you how much bulky scarf you can get done while in stop and barely start traffic in a mall garage - answer is: a lot. We first left the mall at 6, went back in at 6:20, went back out at 7:20, got out of the garage at 8:40 (which is when I put the crochet hook down :-), and got home a little after 9. Total escape from the mall time? Just over three hours. It didn't take us that long to eat dinner and buy the shirt! When will I park in a mall garage again? Never ever ever ever.

The moral is - always have a brainless project in your bag.

And look who came out to watch me take photos of the scarf! It is often like Disney gone wrong in my back yard with the critters everywhere - we have a ton of local bunnies, woodchucks, evil squirrels, birds, and I have even seen some wild turkeys perched on my shed roof.

But I love the bunnies best!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Fun from Valley Yarns!

Women's Striped Pullover is my newest pattern - this one is offered by WEBS and is in their Southwick yarn, a cotton/bamboo worsted weight.

I loved making this sweater - I am totally into the texture and feel of the yarn. It has a rolled hem, cuffs, and collar, and set-in sleeves, and is available in five sizes from S to 2X.

I had no idea the pattern had been released yet until folks starting giving it favorite hearts on Ravelry! The designer is always the last to know :-)

Getting Loopy! was a little wild last night - there were some technical difficulties that prevented me from starting the show on time so we went a bit over on the other end so as not to cut off the fabulous Dora Ohrenstein, from Crochet Insider. We were chatting away about a variety of things including the wonders of vertical crochet, and after the live stream went off, Dora hit me with her fabulous crochet rap - Stick It! Even if you don't listen to the whole show you should zip on over there to hear they rap song - there is nothing like it!

Just finished up another sweater, this time for Caron International. Now I am writing patterns and working on my book projects. School is out for the Kiddo next week and I am trying to blast through as much as I can until she is home for summer vacation.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Another June, another TNNA...

And another finished pattern from Hooked for Life, LLC

Just got back from TNNA (The National Needlearts Association - a trade show for the fiber industry). I go twice a year, in June and January, to see all my yarnie buddies, check out all the new products and colors, and basically suck up for more work. All of which I accomplished, amen.

This year I unveiled my very own pattern line - Hooked for Life - but in a smaller way than I had anticipated. Between the genius stabbing myself in the hand with a seam ripper move, and the weeks of lets see how many barely related illnesses Kiddo's father can fall prey too, I only had eight patterns ready - and frankly four of those were done in the 48 hours before my flight!

Anyway, I had a wonderful time as always - it's pretty cool to talk about yarn for four straight days with people who are at least as interested as you are. The best wrap up of the show I saw was Franklin's In fact it is so wonderful I am not even going to try to do a wrap up post! He was so much fun to meet. We talked a bit about falling in with a bad crowd (some of us perhaps do not pay as much attention at the fashion show as we might - they called us the Dirty Thirty because a whole troop of fun-lovers was lined up against the back wall instead of sitting politely in our seats...)
In addition to stalking wonderful yarn, I was also stalking wonderful guests for Getting Loopy! Booked up for the next four weeks now, and I got a stack of very cool gifts to give away on the show (many of which I would prefer to keep - that's how cool they are...)

Now that I am home I am hating the heat and humidity in a big way. Hard to believe that during the wonderful knitting class I took on Friday with lovely and talented Chris Bylsma that I had to borrow a shawl from her because I was freezing my rear off in the convention center!

I am also sounding a little gravely, voice-wise, but at least I fared better than Amy Singer who lost her voice entirely and had to exclaim over gorgeous yarn in sign language.

This pattern is called Field of Flowers, and it is crocheted in Noro Kureyon Sock, but would work in any fingering weight yarn. Even though it is a fine gauge, it worked up very quickly because the lace pattern is only a four row repeat, and two of those rows are pretty darned tall.

I am off to plow through business cards and figure out how many designs I promised to whom so I can rough out some sort of a calendar for the summer. Catch you all soon...

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Two down....

Ten to go!

This is Wrap Star , formerly known as the Silly Putty Shrug. It had a name change in the interest of not violating anyone's copyright. It is knitted, very stretchy, reversible, and one size fits many. I never say one size fits all - because I think that is not humanly possible...

Anyway I really like it and hope you will too. I wore it for my taping for the Knit and Crochet Today show on PBS so it will be seen on television sometime this fall!

In other news, I am still not sleeping, but boy am I productive! Or I could just be deluded because I am busy and sleep deprived at the same time. I am really hoping I won't wake up on Friday, look at all the work I did this week and say "Damn that's ugly!"

Speaking of a day late and a dollar short - Julie Armstrong Holetz was on Getting Loopy! last night, talking about crocheting with alternative materials (like leather and twine). It was very interesting - you should check out the archives if you haven't already. A quick reminder - no show next Monday because I will be homeward bound from TNNA. We get back on schedule on June 16th with Dora Ohrenstein of Crochet Insider We are going to talk about vertical garment construction among other things, and I am sure I will have some good dirt to share after TNNA.

The Kid saysm 17 more days of school. Not that she's counting or anything....

I have to go crochet a beret now....


Sunday, June 01, 2008

79 hours until TNNA....

And about 100 hours of work left to do. If I don't sleep.....

Anyway, I know I get the bad blogger of all time award but you would not believe the last few weeks if I told you. So I won't go on and on (which might make me a really bad blogger - am I supposed to go on and on?) but here are the highlights -

Step dancing season is in full tilt for the next few weeks. Today, the kid got a very nice plaque - we are greatly pleased, as she is a champion now, so hardware is hard to come by. Two more events before the July break.

Getting Loopy! cracked the 2,000th download this week with room to spare. The show is only 6 weeks old. I am delighted (and writing really short sentences, apparently). Thank you! This week's guest is Julie Armstrong Holetz, author of Uncommon Crochet. NO SHOW NEXT WEEK as I will be staggering home from TNNA that night. Back on schedule June16th, although I haven't scheduled a guest yet so who knows what will happen? ITunes finally works - it was me, not them, that was brainless.

Kid's dad is more or less back to work. Amen. I skipped over his several day hospital stay because it was icky. You may thank me later.

Speaking of icky, I start PT/OT for my thumb on Tuesday. The scar tissue has fused with the underlying whatever and needs to defuse. It sounds painful, so I am going to pretend it is not going to hurt until proved wrong.

Afghan parts are arriving on my doorstep - way cool. It will be a few more months before I can show you anything, but I think they are lovely and will be well worth the wait.

Hooked for Life, LLC , my new publishing endeavor, is making its debut.
There is only one pattern available for download at the moment (the 50/50 sock shown above), but more will be coming in the next week, and at TNNA your LYS can order printed versions. I am pretty excited by this endeavor, and hope you all will love what I am doing too. Those are the kid's feet. She says please buy patterns with her photo on them (it's nice to have an in-house model on call) because I have to put change in her bank whenever one sells. The dog will be in an upcoming pattern or two also, but she has not yet asked for a percentage. Thank God.

OK - going to try to finish crocheting a shawl, then stagger off to bed for a quick nap. Send your extra sleep this way!