Monday, February 27, 2012

Swirl, On!

Just about a month ago I wrote a post about knitting "In the Black".  I am making two sweater jackets from the book Knit Swirl!  One is black and the other is dark gray -- not the easiest to photograph.

I am teaching some classes at Gosh Yarn It! on knitting a swirl.  This past Saturday was the second of four classes.

I brought my Shades of Grey which I knit to the point that I suggested that the class be at for class number two.  ("Outer Circle/Oval" finished for centered swirls.  "Outer Circle/Oval" and "Inner Collar Edge" finished for off-center styles.)

I also brought my Silhouette in the Sun which I just finished (all of the) knitting on Wednesday.  This piece has not yet been blocked or seamed, but, was a perfect illustration, on and off the mannequin, to talk about the second chart, for every pattern, and to see its shape.

Another view on the mannequin that I took after class.  I think that this will be a great sweater jacket, and I think that the class went well.  My students are not afraid to "Swirl, On!"

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Midweek Meditation

Stairwell, Villa Savoye

"Space and light and order. Those are the things that men need just as much as they need bread or a place to sleep."        ~  Le Corbusier

Photo credit:

Sunday, February 19, 2012


February is American Heart MonthHeart disease is the number one killer of women, and more women than men die of heart disease each year.  Heart attacks alone, will claim the lives of more than 200,000 women -- nearly five times more than will die of breast cancer. 

I learned this from reading about the WomenHeart organization when I designed my "Love & Prayers" scarf last year.  My design won first place in the WomenHeart scarf design contest held by KNITCIRCUS magazine and appeared in KNITCIRCUS Issue #15, Fall 2011.  The pattern is available here, and it is free to encourage charity knitting.

What I did not know, until shortly after I finished knitting my first "Love and Prayers" scarf for the magazine, is that there is a very active WomenHeart organization in my area (Luzerne County, Northeastern Pennsylvania).  And that the woman at the center of it all, Sharon Hinchey, is also a national WomenHeart Champion.  (Here is a local newspaper article about her from November, 2009.)

One of the many things that Sharon and other community WomenHeart organizers do is to collect handmade red scarves and distribute them to women who are recovering from heart attacks.  My LYS (local yarn shop), Gosh Yarn It!, began a "Love & Prayers" WomenHeart KAL (knit along) in late August, shortly after the release of my pattern.  I am happy to say that six beautiful hand-knit scarves were donated to WomanHeart.  (Several other knitters gifted scarves to women that they knew personally.  Just one more sign of how prevalent heart disease is in affecting women's lives.)

I finally had the pleasure to meet Sharon this Thursday when she did a presentation at our regular "Stitch & Spin" at Gosh Yarn It!  Sharon is the survivor of two heart attacks.  Her talk was very dynamic, very inspiring, very moving and very informative.  I was totally impressed by this woman, and I will follow up on my blog with links and information about a USA Today Magazine article that will feature her on February 28th, as well as whatever I can learn about her upcoming visit to the White House representing WomenHeart.

This photo shows Sharon (first on the left) and all those who donated scarves to WomenHeart and were present Thursday night.  (I am next to Sharon and wearing the first "Love & Prayers" scarf.)

To all my readers:  Please learn if you are at risk for heart disease; take all preventative measures possible; and learn about heart attack warning signs.  Take care of your heart like your life depends on it.   

For more information see WomenHeart, or the National Heart Association, and talk to your doctor.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Midweek Meditation

This past Sunday was the 203rd birthday of our 16th president.

While checking my Abraham Lincoln quote from last week, I learned that Steven Spielberg had just finished shooting Lincoln, which will be released in theaters December 2012.

"You're asking me about 2011?  I've been living in the 19th century.  There are no comparisons between Lincoln and Obama.  No president has ever had to endure and resolve a civil war and abolish slavery within a four year period."  ~ Steven Spielberg, Rollingstone Magazine, 2011 In Review (Dec 22, 2011- Jan 5, 2012)

"A house divided against itself cannot stand. All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower wherever the flower would grow in thought and mind."  ~ Abraham Lincoln 

Lincoln Statue Photo Credit:
Thistle Photo Credit:

Monday, February 13, 2012

Look, look, a lookbook!

Please take another look at my Jonna Cowl.  I took this photo of my cowl before I sent it up to Quince & Co in Portland, ME.

I had one Raveler message me that she wondered if there was a place to see the Jonna stitch pattern spread out.  I directed her to my Ravelry project page, which includes this photo, and she replied that it was exactly what she wanted to see.

The eggplant colored swatch was the original one that I sent to Quince for the "Scarf Call."  They sent it back to me with the lovely 'Bird's Egg' blue Chickadee yarn.

After reading the comments to my last post (thanks!), I did move this next photo to the top of my Ravelry pattern page.  It does make a lot of sense, since this is also the photo that Quince & Co selected as their main image for Jonna on their website!

© Quince & Co

I found, and am in love with, the lookbook for the Quince & Co Scarf, etc. collection.  You can open it and page through all twelve of the designs.  There are alternate images for all of them.  And did I mention it is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l ! ?  Note (1): I have an ipad and the lookbook does not always come up as well on the ipad as it does on my laptop.  (It might just be me, but I am not really sure.)  Note (2): Jonna is the last design in the book, so please be patient.  You will enjoy looking at the others, too, I guarantee it!

Look, look, take a look...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Jonna Cowl Released!

My Jonna Cowl pattern has just been released by Quince & Co. as a part of their "Quince & Co. Scarves, etc." collection!

Photos are courtesy Quince & Co.  Aren't they beautiful?

© Quince & Co

© Quince & Co

© Quince & Co

© Quince & Co

I was given these photos to use in creating my pattern page on Ravelry.  Which one would you pick to be the first photo on the pattern page?  I had a hard time deciding, and I can re-order them anytime.

Initially, I had the second photo here as my first photo.  Now I have them in the order as above.  What do you think?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Which Was It?

What did Abe really say?

Was it this?
"The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who'll get me a book I ain't read."  ~ Abraham Lincoln, Finest Quotes

Or was it this?
“The things I want to know are in books. My best friend is the man who'll get me a book I haven't read.”  ~ Abraham Lincoln, goodreads

Maybe it really was this.
"Denny, the things I want to know is in books. My best friend’s the man who’ll get me one.”  ~Abraham Lincoln, evidenceanecdotal

This last link is to a blog that indicates that the quote comes as a recollection from Abraham Lincoln's older cousin, Dennis Friends Hank, when he was 90 years old.  They both loved books.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Midweek Meditation

"The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who'll get me a book I haven't read. "  
                                                                         ~ Abraham Lincoln

Monday, February 6, 2012

That Wasn't All

I must confess that there actually was one more color book to arrive in my home in January.  For quite a while, I had two Fair Isle pattern books in my shopping cart at Amazon.  They were Alice Staremore's Charts for Color Knitting and 200 Fair Isle Motifs by Mary Jane Mucklestone.

After I received my book order from Schoolhouse Press, I felt that it was time to take a leap and pick one or the other of these Fair Isle chart books.  I choose:
This is a great book.  It has nearly 40 pages on the fundamentals of working in Fair Isle, some of which overlaps my Knitting With Two Colors book, and yet, they are a compliment to each other.  The charts (200 of them) are shown in black and white, as well as in two suggested color palletes per each motif.  In addition, there are charts showing how each motif may be expanded into an allover design (as opposed to just a patterned band as shown on the cover).  So many choices.

And did I mention it is colorful!  Joyously colorful!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

All My New Color Books

I love color.  I found myself craving color at the start of the year.  When you can't have enough daylight, a little color can help.

I went on a mini book shopping spree in January.  I had been reading reviews of the book, Knitting with Two Colors by Meg Swanson and Amy Detjen.

At the Schoolhouse Press website, the book is described as, "a two-color knitting workshop for beginner to advanced knitters."

The book is only 64 pages, and has no actual patterns, but it is full of everything technical about colorwork.  Though I have been knitting for a very long time (and have always enjoyed working with color) I came across something in the first 10 pages that I had never heard of before.  I am trying to read it cover to cover; but there is also a great index and photo list (there at lots of photos), making this a fantastic reference book.

So, a funny thing happened while I was on the Schoolhouse Press website.  I found several books on sale at very good prices.  (You know they are good prices when they are less than at Amazon.)

I bought Poems of Color by Wendy Keele.  I do not know how long it will be on sale, but here is the link.

The book covers the history of Swedish Bohus Stickning.  Quoting Schoolhouse press, "Extraordinary designers were drawn to this cottage industry established by Austrian-born, Emma Jacobsen. Upon Emma's death, the collection of mesmerizing patterns were in danger of disappearing until Wendy Keele - making numerous trips to Sweden to meet with the remaining designers and with the founder's daughter - gathered together the original charts in this lovely book."

I also bought Marianne Isager's Inca Knits.  It, also, is still available at the sale price, here, but I do not know for how long.

Marianne Isager is a designer whom I have long admired.  In this book she embraces South American art and interprets it in some fantastic knitting patterns.  I am sure that I will be making the Inca Jacket for myself.  Whenever I might have a child to knit for in the future, I would love to make the Inca Child Pullover with the dancing girls and boys border.

So, another funny thing happened when I opened my package from Schoolhouse Press.  It was only then that I realized I had actually ordered three books that were essentially colorwork books.  I laughed at that.  I do love books.  I do love knitting.  I do love color.  I was very happy.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Peek

A sneak peek of a new design.

It will be coming soon.  Next week, maybe.
See this blog post for another photo.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Midweek Meditation
"If one says 'Red' (the name of a color) and there are 50 people listening, it can be expected that there will be 50 reds in their minds.  And one can be sure that all these reds will be very different."

"In visual perception a color is almost never seen as it really is - as it physically is. This fact makes color the most relative medium in art."  ~  Josef Albers

Josef Albers was the husband of Anni Albers, whom I quoted last week.  From Wikipedia (February 1, 2012):  "Josef Albers (March 19, 1888 – March 25, 1976) was a German-born American artist and educator whose work, both in Europe and in the United States, formed the basis of some of the most influential and far-reaching art education programs of the 20th century."

Photo of my old textbook, cropped and (almost) straightened.

I knew of Josef Albers long before I knew of his wife Anni.

He wrote one of the few textbooks that I saved from college. 

In the cover illustration (from my now 'old' edition, which is "The revised paperbound edition copyright 1975 by Yale University"), the small squares are the same color, but the lower one appears duller or darker.

From Amazon (February 1, 2012):  "Josef Albers’s Interaction of Color is a masterwork in twentieth-century art education. Conceived as a handbook and teaching aid for artists, instructors, and students, this timeless book presents Albers’s unique ideas of color experimentation in a way that is valuable to specialists as well as to a larger audience.
Originally published by Yale University Press in 1963 as a limited silkscreen edition with 150 color plates, Interaction of Color first appeared in paperback in 1971, featuring ten representative color studies chosen by Albers. The paperback has remained in print ever since and is one of the most influential resources on color for countless readers."