Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Progress made, progress lost

Here's the latest progress shot of my blanket...before I had to rip out 40 rows because of a cable that crossed the wrong direction.  Sigh.  I was so close to adding the third ball.  Meanwhile, my brother-in-law started to ask me some general fiber questions because a friend of his is going to start up an alpaca farm in Smithfield.  I must admit, I got really excited about the prospect of having that kind of connection!  I told him to pass along that I'd help him knit some samples with his alpaca yarn, (when he's had a chance to shear his alpacas).  I just love working with local fiber artists.  So, anyway, the conversation rolled around to his recent purchase of wool socks from L.L. Bean and I told him that what he really needed was a pair of hand knit socks!  I even had Dante come up and tell him about the pairs of socks I've knit for him (he said they were awesome).  Naturally, I came home and picked up a skein of superwash sock yarn from Plays At Life Fiber Arts, and started designing a pair of socks for him.  It's a fairly simple pattern that can be easily sized down for smaller feet (my BIL wears a 13), and looks good in handpainted and solid yarns.  When I get a little bit more work done on it, I'll post a progress photo.  I think you'll like it.  I like knitting it.  Hopefully he'll like wearing it.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

This Easter, I decided to keep the candy minimal and it was a good thing that I did because Alex was bouncing off the walls just from the excitement.  We got to church on time (for the third week in a row...yea new record!) and while I was there I knit two more of those little Mochimochi Land bunnies.  These things are quick and addictive.  They're great travel projects, and I've been using the yarn scraps from one bunny as stuffing for the others.  I've made six so far, but Alex has lost two and I gave one away today. 

In non-productive knitting news...I had to rip 40 rows out of my blanket for Cascade today because I made a mistake on the cable row.  Normally I could just drop those particular stitches and knit them back up in the correct order, but those wrapped stitches throw a monkey wrench into the system!  I tried to drop just what I needed, but I just couldn't do it.  It killed me!!  So I've lost two days worth of knitting and I'm back to school so I'm slower now.  Sigh.  I guess I'll go do some homework and see if I can free up a good block of knitting time to get back on track.  Normally I'd just burn the midnight oil until I'd made up my lost ground, but I'm working on the whole 'balance' thing and I'm living mostly caffeine free these days so lack of sleep is more of an issue now.  Don't worry though, I'll pull it together.  Now, off to sugar up on jelly beans and finish my reading for schoole.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Yarn Crawl Culmination! (with photos...yay photos!)

My total store from Fresh Purl's stuff-a-bag sale

All the goodies to choose from (minus what I took).

This is the front of the shop, and my buddy Heather at the register

Berroco Trunk show (the cover sweater for Norah's latest collection)

more samples from Berroco

I saw these coming up the stairs into the mill

Sereknitty Yarns booth

More from Berroco...I love the one on the right!

Beautiful hand-dyed yarns from a vendor who's card I totally forgot to grab (yikes!)

Ysolda!  She was totally sweet and agreed to pose for a blog photo, as well as autographing both copies of her Whimsical Little Knits series.

Mrs. McYarnpants!  Her trunk show was fabulous.  Heather bought her book, and I'm planning to steal it from her when she's not looking :)

The latest Berroco sample in Linsey.

Norah Gaughan's beautiful work for Berroco

A close up of Sereknity knits.  I purchased some roving in a shockingly beautiful blue/green/aqua, named after her daughter "Rebecca". 

The lovely proprietor of The Mermaid's Purl in North Kingstown, RI.  It's a beautiful little shop with equally beautiful yarns and really friendly, helpful staff.

Original designs by Lisa, made from upcycled clothing.

And here's the super talented Lisa with one of her original tops.  This photo doesn't do it justice.  It's much more fitted and pretty in person.

Reclaimed and recycled yarns by Lisa and friends

Plays at Life fibers by Chrystee.  I've got 6 skeins of her sock yarn right now and I'm test-knitting a sock pattern designed for her striping sock yarn.  I almost walked off with some of her sparkly batt. 
Tracy, Chrystee, and Bernadette did a wonderful job pulling all of this together!  I haven't had this much fun since I went to Rhinebeck.  Correction.  I had more fun because I could go home to my own bed.  In total, Heather and I hit seven different stores, most of which we'd never been to before.  We met awesome people, and we has one group of women who we kept hitting the same shops with all day.  It was hilarious!  We'd show up first, and they'd be about 20 minutes behind us. 

Most shops had something different for everyone.  There were unusual yarns, wild novelty yarns, hardy 'outerwear' yarns, slinky cottons and silks, richly dyed yarns in all fiber types, and great deals everywhere we went.  All the shop owners were great, and they seemed to be having the time of their life.  It was really neat to see how the shops were a reflection of the women who owned them.  Cute and spunky, earthy and homey, wild and eclectic.  And get this!  At the Knitting Corner, in Middletown RI, I met the owner who recognized me from my ravelry photo (which is funny because that photo isn't of me at all...it's of Cam Saroyan from Bones).  When I explained that I moderate the Bones Fan Group, and that each moderator was assigned a Bones avatar, and that I got Cam because my name is...Cam, everyone had a good laugh.  So as I was checking out I provided my name 'Cam' and she said "is that like 'Cambria'?" and I said 'yes...'.  Then she said "like the designer?", and I said "YES!!", lol.  It's the first time anyone has ever said that, and it felt amazing!  It also felt really cool when we popped into Bella Yarns in the morning and ladies were checking out my kits, and Naomi introduced them to 'the designer', lol.  Wow. 

Well, I'm off to go tell my poor buddy Denise all about the Crawl, as she had to work the entire weekend.  See ya tomorrow with the rest of the story!

Friday, April 15, 2011

a sneak peak

Today was the kick-off of the first annual Great Rhody Yarn Crawl, and it was fantastic!  We had knitters come from all over.  Knitters are such warm and friendly people and it's always fun to meet new knitters.  The Rhodes kits and Crescent Park kits were pretty popular, and I've got to say, it's validating.  It's tough to remind myself that my current patterns aren't selling well most likely because people just don't know I'm here yet.  So having people walk in and see my patterns right there at hand, and having people buy them, really makes me feel better about what I'm trying to do.  I'm looking forward to going in tomorrow to see how many are left.  I'm also planning to go out crawling tomorrow with my buddy Heather.  I'm not planning to buy any yarn, (because I honestly don't know where I'll put any more plus I'm moving into a new apartment in a few weeks), but you never know what I might come across.

By the way, this is a sneak peak at my latest design.  I've been knitting away at it for a while now, but I hope to be finished with it really soon.

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's all coming together

Finally, the Crescent Park duo is all finished!  I've got the pattern formatted and ready to go for both the handwarmer and the beret.  Both patterns will be in the kits, which I hand bagged myself tonight.  There are 13 kits in all, (although we can always make more by substituting the Heritage Silk in place of the Heritage if there's enough demand), so get 'em while they're hot.

lots and lots of kits

I also bagged up 33 Rhodes kits so there are plenty to be had, in a wide variety of colors.  So, I hope to see you all this weekend for the yarn crawl.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Crescent Park Beret- A Kit

Crescent Park Beret was inspired by Crescent Park, a little amusement park that used to be in Riverside RI. All that’s left now is a carousel (and a darn good one if I don’t say so myself…which I do), but it used to be a happening spot.
The beret is a chevron-striped hat with garter stitch accents and eyelet details. It’s knit with three colors of Cascade Heritage yarn worked at a sport weight gauge to make it light and airy. It is available as a kit from Bella Yarns starting April 15th, that includes three coordinating colors of Heritage and the pattern (which is included for free). You can choose from various color schemes.
Kits are priced at 41.97 plus tax (and shipping if you order by phone), and will include three skeins of Heritage, and the patterns for the beret and matching hand-warmers.

Rhodes- a sock pattern

Rhodes is a stranded sock pattern inspired by the Great Rhody Yarn Crawl. It is available in a kit from Bella Yarns starting April 15th while supplies last. The pattern will be available separately for download in mid-May.
 The pattern is written for the two-circular method, and includes charts and written instructions. It fits an 8” foot circumference but can easily be sized up an inch at a time by adding another pattern repeat.
 The sole is knit through the back loops to provide additional cushion and durability, and the toe is worked in a slip-stitch pattern to match the heel.
To knit the pattern, you will need to be comfortable with stranding, following a chart, and basic sock construction. You will also need:
  • two 50g skeins of Online Linie Supersocke Silk (included in the kit)
  • two sets of US 2 (2.75mm) circular needles (for knitting with two circulars at a time; or one set of US2 (2.75mm) DPN; or one US 2 (2.75mm) circular, at least 24” long, for using magic loop
  • stitch markers
  • darning needle
Kits are priced at $19.98 plus tax (and shipping if you order by phone), with the pattern included at no additional cost.

Update: individual PDF downloads are now available online and are priced at $5.99.

Blizzard- a 'Bones' inspired hat

 It's a blizzard in April!
For everyone who waited so patiently, I'm excited to announce that Blizzard has gone live on Ravelry.  It' a free pattern that uses aprox 150yds of chunky yarn, written in two sizes; Woman's xs/s and m/l.
The original hat has a pom pom, but the pattern features fully fashioned decreases on the crown to allow knitters the option to leave the pom pom off if it's not their thing.
Come on...click the link.  You know you want one of these :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Mad dash

I've been in a rush to finish a few repairs and put a sweater together that's been sitting on my coffee table for about two months.  I don't usually take longer than a week, but this piece required me to figure out what size the owner was making (because she couldn't remember) and finish knitting the sleeve.  Then when I started to put it together I noticed that she had failed to finish her sleeve, and that there was an error in the pattern.  After I fixed that, I had to graft it together at the shoulders and pick up and knit the collar.  Then I had to seam a garter-stitch sweater together and weave in dozens of little ends (because Prima only comes in 50gm balls which have short yardage).  Finally I was ready to be done but I was still waiting for her to pick out the buttons so I could sew them on.  Thankfully, she came down today while I was in the store and picked them out.  I attached them this evening and left the sweater in the shop for her to pick up whenever she feels like it (because it's paid for now). 

I also repaired a glove and an extremely fine store-bought black sweater for another customer.  The glove was cute in it's own way, with a ribbed cuff that was turned under and sewed down, but really...can someone explain the practicality of a pair of gloves made from cotton yarn?  Anyone?  Because this is New England and we do get snow. 

Finally, I have a beautiful little swing coat for a baby that needs to be put together.  The yoke needs to be knit, and it needs to be seamed, and all the ends need to be woven in...and all by Sunday.  This is Friday.  I can get it done, but because I'm on the clock, I can't help but notice how really inconvenient the construction is.  This could have been done so much more simply.  As a matter of fact, I've been thinking on it all day.  Thinking about how much I'd love to have a swing coat for myself and how I'm sure I could do it in seamless with a few details to make it pretty and grown-up, and long enough for a tall gal.  Taller is better.  :) 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Testing: continued...

Calling all hat knitters!  I'm looking for two test-knitters for the Crescent Park Beret.  One small (18 inches), and one Med/Large (20 inches).  The small is suitable for little girls (4 and up) as well, and it looked pretty sweet on Alex when he modeled it so it might not be too bad for a boy (unblocked and in a solid color), lol.  The patter is written with changes for the larger size in brackets throughout the pattern, except for two sections where I provide separate directions because it was simpler that way.  Please contact my by leaving a comment to this post, or you can message me on Ravelry or Facebook.

Stay tuned because the Blizzard hat inspired by Bones should be up shortly, so if you'd like to test-knit a hat but don't like fingering weight yarn, this may be just the thing for you.  (Think chunky!)


 I'm looking for a test knitter to knit the Rhodes sock pattern this week.  I only need to have one knit, but feel free to actually make the pair, lol.  I just need to make sure that the directions for the gusset and the toe make sense.  You will need to know how to knit a sock, how to read a chart, and it's helpful if you're comfortable with stranding (using two colors in the same row).  Please leave me a comment or post on the Facebook fan page if you're interested.

Aren't I pretty?  Just look at me.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hurray, finals are over!

To celebrate the culmination of my final projects, I'm posting a neat little questionnaire on the blog and I hope you'll participate.  I actually created this for my Personality Development class and I liked it so much that I decided to post it here as well (and naturally, it's knitting related).  Simply answer the questions at home, and reply to this post with the number of a's and b's in your score.  I'll do the rest!

1. I often try new things.
a. agree          b. disagree

2. I enjoy taking on new challenges.
a. agree          b. disagree

3. Working with more than one strand of yarn at one time is complicated.
a. agree          b. disagree

4. I prefer to make small projects.
a. agree          b. disagree

5. I consider the cost first when choosing my project.
a. agree          b. disagree

6. Knitting classes are a waste of time.
a. agree          b. disagree

7. I prefer not to go outside my comfort zone when I chose a knitting project.
a. agree          b. disagree

8. I only work with neutral colors.
a. agree          b. disagree

9. I could never knit lace.
a. agree          b. disagree

10. I am intimidated by most knitting patterns.
a. agree          b. disagree

11. I only knit with wool.
a. agree          b. disagree

12. I only knit sweaters without waist shaping.
a. agree          b. disagree

13. I love buying patterns online.
a. agree          b. disagree

14. I have a profile on Ravelry.
a. agree          b. disagree

15. I prefer to buy patterns at my local yarn shop.
a. agree          b. disagree

Again, if you choose to participate, please reply to this post with your score.  Thanks for playing!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Hey! That's me!!

Look at this!  It's my ad on Ravelry!!  There's nothing a cool as checking the boards on Ravelry and seeing my ad at the bottom of the page.  Now, I just need other people to see it, lol.

This process has been a real learning experience, as I've mentioned before.  I just learned how to take a screen shot with a Mac to post this photo.  This is going to be a very handy skill going forward.

I've got to get back to my final project, but before I do, I have an eta on when I can expect to hear from Interweave.  Turns out that their average turn-around time is about seven weeks so I won't know anything until May.  I should assume that Knitty works similarly, and not worry about that until mid-May.  That frees up some inbox-stalking time, and I can focus on knitting the blanket for Cascade.  I really miss working on that project.  Anyway, thanks for letting me gush about my 10 seconds of fame.  Back to my homework.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Got your passports yet?

In case you haven't heard, the Passports for the Great Rhody Yarn Crawl are now available for download on their website.  If you're planning on going (and why wouldn't ya be...) then remember to go print down your passport so you can get in on the raffle.  And while you're at it, remember to stop by and pick up one of our kits, an enter the raffles for our individual baskets (I put together a really great one).  See you in two weekends!