Monday, January 28, 2013

Minerals & Steel

While at Vogue Knitting Live I purchased minerals and stainless steel.  And then I came home and purchased more minerals.

I would say that the way that Art Yarns packages their kits for a "Shawl for All Seasons" totally adds to the appeal.

I have always been a sucker for attractive little kits of all kinds.  This one made me want to buy it just so that I could see the yarn outside of the (sealed and taped closed) box.  The kit came in five different color groupingsI liked this "Minerals" colorway much more than any of the others, and the vender at the VK Live market place had only one.  I was sure that if I walked away, it would not be there when I came back.  In spite of its price, I had to buy it.

The box has been opened.  The yarns are Silk Rhapsody Glitter Light and Beaded Silk and Sequins Light.

My other purchase at VK Live was at the Habu Textiles booth.  I have wanted to try knitting with some of their 69% silk, 31% stainless steel ever since I first learned that it existed.  I will use it with the (darker color) fine merino to make a "Kushu Kushu" or a "Hakusa".

While I look forward to working with these yarns in the future, I have started another, much larger, project.  I am now teaching a four session class in knitting a swirl sweater from the book Knit,Swirl! by Sandra McIver.  This is a repeat of a popular class that I taught last year.  If you have been reading my blog long enough, you might remember that I truly enjoyed working with a very enthusiastic group of swirl knitters, but I had some mixed feelings about the two finished swirls that I made.  Eventually I gave the one that I liked the least to my sister and she LOVES it!  I have decided this time around to make "Sheer Beauty".  I just bought the yarn at Gosh Yarn It! on Tuesday.  It is Shibui Staccato and Silk Cloud.

After I selected it, I noticed that the color is named "Mineral".

My BLOG GIVEAWAY (in honor of my two years in the design world) continues until February 5.  Please see this post and comment there if you would like a chance to win some yarn!

Friday, January 25, 2013

VK Live! New York

Last weekend I experienced Vogue Knitting Live in New York City 2013!

I took a two session class taught by Ysolda Teague:  "Approaching Design Patterns for Multiple Sizes".  It was mostly an introduction to using Excel spread sheet software to create tables and make calculations for all the different numbers used when writing a knitting pattern in many sizes.  Ysolda shared a great deal of design advice along the way.  She was lovely to meet in person and a very good teacher.  This was an excellent class for me to take at this time!  It is hard to believe, but I first heard of using spread sheet software in this way only a couple of months ago.

I attended a lecture "Thoughts on Design Development" with Norah Gaughan, and another lecture "Circle of Color Knitting" with Védís Jónsdóttir.  Both designers showed beautiful slides of their work and gorgeous images of their inspiration.

At the Market Place one of the first photos I took was of an appealing array of what some might call non-colorful yarn.

Of course there was every color in the world all over the Market Place.

I liked the hotel (right on Times Square) very much, with the possible exception of the carpeting.  I could see no reason for that carpeting, and it could be found (with several variations) everywhere.

The elevators in the hotel were very cool.

This knitted food -- fiber art -- was very popular and could be seen in the welcoming lobby from some of the glass elevators.  It was fun to explain what it actually was to some non-knitting elevator riders who remarked about how good it looked.

I will end with a couple of photos from Times Square, but we really did not spend too much time outdoors even though it was very warm.

My BLOG GIVEAWAY (in honor of my two years in the design world) continues until February 5.  Please see this post and comment there if you would like a chance to win some yarn!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

My Beginning -- A Blog Giveaway

I became a "Knitwear Designer" on February 5, 2011.

It was on that date that I first uploaded two of my knitting patterns to Ravelry to make them available to knitters everywhere.  Before that I spent a great deal of time reading all the Ravelry help pages about creating a Ravelry store and setting up a designer page.  I thought a lot about how I did not want there to be just one pattern (it had to be two from the start), and I fussed with my photography.

Ravelry requires that patterns be .pdf files for uploading.  I do not have Adobe software to create or edit .pdf files, but I found and downloaded "Cute PDF Writer" software.  It converts Microsoft Word documents into .pdf files.  It has worked very well for me ever since.

I chose two of my "teaching" patterns.  I have been professionally teaching knitting since 2006, and I always like to teach knitting projects from my own patterns whenever possible.  A tech editor reviewed these patterns, but she changed very little.

 Pattern: Both Sides Now
Yarn: 310 yds Patons Classic Wool Worsted,
100% Pure New Wool
Color: 00229 Natural Mix

This first pattern was from my earliest teaching days.  The Classic Wool Worsted by Patons was one of my favorites at Michael's where I taught from 2006-2008.  I had two partial skeins of this yarn in my stash, but they were not the same dye lot.  I went to Michael's this past weekend and bought two new ones.  I was glad to see that they still carry it.

The second pattern I uploaded to Ravelry on that same day in February was one that I originally designed in 2009 to teach toe-up sock knitting.

Yarn: 300 yd Zitron Trekking 6 fach 6 ply
75% Wool, 25% Nylon
Color: 1809 Green Variegated

This pattern was written for a class that I taught at an LYS, Cozy Cabin, which has since gone out of business.  I have an identical skein of this yarn that my mother bought at Cozy Cabin.  (It has been keep quite safely in a plastic bin for the last three years.)

These patterns have been offered as free downloads for almost two years now.  They have each been downloaded hundreds of times.  People like free patterns.

Now for my BLOG GIVEAWAY in honor of my two years in the design world:
The two prizes will be the yarn shown in this blog post.  There is more than enough of each yarn to make my designs as shown.  All that you have to do for a chance to win some yarn, is to leave a comment to this post.  (It can be about this post or any of my other designs... or really anything at all!)  On the evening of February 5, 2013 I will gather the commenter names (I do hope that I will have at least 2!) and use a random sequence generator to pick two winners.  The first name that I draw will get the sock yarn (as it has a higher retail value).  The second name I draw will get the worsted.  The winner's names will be announced in a blog post on February 6.  (I will provide an email address at that time, so that winners may contact me with their mailing addresses.)

Good Luck and I am looking forward to your comment!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Midweek Meditation

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”                                                              
                                        ~  Martin Luther King Jr., born January 15, 1929

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Positivistic Me


On a day last week when we had blue skies I went for a haircut.  My friend who cuts my hair was talking about how cold the weather had been.  I told her it was so much nicer of a day, on that day, because of the sun.  I also told her, "We have way too many white sky days this time of year."

Her reply took me by surprise.  "I like your attitude.  At least you say white skies, not gray skies."

Who would have thought?  Within my negativity there is positivism.