Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Done Deal!

Happy snow day! School has been cancelled in my little town just north of NYC, and I got to stay home! Isn't that nice? I finished the sample for one of my upcoming workshops and share a few pictures with you. Everyone, from teenagers to older adults, has loved them. As a matter of fact, I needed to pry them off a few hands thus far. The fact that they are cashmere might be contributing...
I used Jade Sapphire 2-ply Mongolian Cashmere in the Burnished Gold color, along with 08 Mill Hill beads in Old Gold metallic. With one 55 gram skein of yarn and 6 grams (one pack) of beads, there was enough to make the mitts 1.5 inches longer at the cuff then I did. With another pack of beads, you can go a few inches longer still.
I used a set of five US 0 double-pointed needles and a US 13 crochet hook to add the beads. The pattern comes with loads of variations. The mitts you see here have a real thumb gusset and fit very well. They have cables, lace work and beads. You can choose to make them longer at the cuff end. You can choose to omit the beads. There is an alternate chart that omits the cables. You can omit the thumb gusset and make long arm-warmers to peak out from your sleeves. You can make some pulse warmers with the smallest amount of special yarn.
The darling Godzilla was a gift from my dearest friend Janet and was something she had since she was a child. It has a "made in Japan" stamped on the bottom and looks like porcelain to me. I just love him. If you're in the area and want to make these mitts with me, sign up for the workshop! It is called "Burnished Gold Gauntlets."
Thanks to everyone for participating in my recent set of polls. I appreciate your suggestions. The Valentine's Day project is gestating! I'll be back with a material list for that soon. Until then, knit on!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Moving Forward!

Here is a preview of the Gauntlets I am working on for my up-coming workshop. Totally delicious yarn with nice beads. A bit of lace and a few cables...I am enjoying myself. Here are the socks I was working on over the weekend. More delicious yarn and I think the sock came out well too. This will be back...

The poll for our Valentine's Day project suggestions has closed and here are the result:

33 people wanted a lace sock design

37 people wanted lace mitts

89 people wanted a beaded lace scarf

101 people wanted a larger shawl project

I think everyone else just didn't care that much!

The numbers speak for themselves, so I am pondering. Time is the ultimate challenge, but I will design for a shawl. We might end up working on a scarf as a "swatch" for that shawl, but let's go forward thinking shawl, shall we? I put a new poll up to see what shawl concept the most people are interested in. If you select other, plan to leave a comment with what that means, or your vote will be without meaning to me! I am collecting materials and making charts. I make no promises to anyone, but I will consider all suggestions. Keep in mind that I never knit with any needles above a US 4 or 5 and sock weight yarn is about the heaviest I will likely enjoy using. More than that I can't yet predict. Vote on!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


The first new design I want to share is called Ojo De Dios. The design was inspired by two things; the "God's Eye" toys that kids in Mexico make with sticks and colorful yarn, and the Aztec floating gardens. This piece was made with Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere 2-ply in their Lagoon color, which is a beautiful combination of deep blue-greens and dark purples. I hope you can see the "eyes' and also the lovely movement of the colors in the yarn.
There is one bead at each point of the edging, which is worked continuously with the main piece.
The shawl is cast-on at the center neck and worked out and down, with a center corner expansion.
Here you can the see full piece blocking.
This pattern will be available as a printed pattern from Jade Sapphire. Please ask for it where Jade Sapphire yarns are sold!

The second new design I want to introduce is called Tallin Sunset. This design was inspired by photographs that a friend took while visiting Tallin, in Estonia. The vibrant colors of the sunset stayed with me. The yarn is Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace, in a new color called Satsuma. The colors are all shades of smokey oranges, with a lovely tone-on-tone quality.
You can see the full piece in the blocking picture. This design is worked from the center using a temporary cast-on. After two sections are worked, the edging is picked up all around and worked outward.
This next close-up shows the two "panels." One is an insert with flowing nupps and the second is a band with cable-like eyelets.
The next close-up shows you the edging points. Each has a small bead. Note the twist above the bead.
Tallin Sunset is available as a printed pattern from Lorna's Laces, so please ask for it at shops that stock their yarn!

I'll be back Monday with more about our Valentine's Day project. Until then, knit, knit, knit!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Workshop Announcements!

I will be doing a few workshops in February and March, and I thought I would share the information with all of you. If you go to the Knitting Nation website and click on the link for the Winter 2009 class schedule, you can scroll down to Workshops and see what there is to see. Under each of my workshops, there is a link to a PDF file with a flier. Check those out for details!

On Sunday February 8th, 2009, we are doing a Center Start Workshop, exploring different techniques to start a knit lace piece at the center. We will use the Little Flower doily pattern as our workshop project, and try different cast-ons. Everyone will leave with the confidence to finish the doily.
On Sunday March 8th, 2009, we will be doing a project based workshop called Burnish Gold Gauntlets. Techniques will include basic lace concepts and knitting lace on double-pointed needles. Adding beads to your lace will be an optional technique. The project is a pair of gorgeous lace mitts and picture are coming soon! This will be a fun class for beginners and experienced lace knitters alike.

The last workshop that is currently scheduled is a basic drop spinning workshop. Saturday February 22nd, 2009, BadKitten and I will be teaching Drop Spinning and if you want to learn how to spin or want to learn how to spin finer yarn, you will have a great time with us. See details on the flier (you have to scroll further down the workshop list to find the link.) We will supply all the materials for this workshop, so if you have always wanted to try spinning but never had an opportunity, this is it! Kids 13 and older with a serious interest in fiber-arts are welcome. Below is a selection of spindle-spun silk threads for embroidery, along with the spindle and fiber they were spun with. The scissors sheath is embroidered with similar hand-spun threads.

Aside with learning to use a top-whorl drop spindle, several types of spindles will be demonstrated and various yarns and projects will be available for inspection. We will discuss yarn structure and look critically at what yarn qualities work best in which projects. This promises to be an enjoyable afternoon.

On other topics:
Don't forget to cast your vote for our Valentine's Day project. As of right now, it is looking like a shawl. If that remains the case, as soon as this poll comes down I will be putting another up asking for you input on shawl shapes. If you have an opinion, please make it count!

I have another post coming soon which is very exciting to me. I have two new designs debuting at TNNA TODAY! I will post pictures and details of those projects tomorrow. Until then, keep knitting!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

What is on my needles?

Although I have been slow on my Blog, I have not really been slow on my needles. I am pleased to report that I have two new designs debuting at TNNA, January 17 - 19, 2009 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. I have one new piece at the Jade Sapphire booth and another at the Lorna's Laces booth. If you are lucky enough to be going, stop by and give them each a little cuddle for me! I'll be back with pictures of both soon... I am forever swatching, so this is nothing novel. I am swatching for a new design using fine white yarn and blue iridescent beads. I think I have it right and I was getting ready to cast-on, but was sidetracked by some sock-yarn prototype a friend asked me to test out. I put a little pattern together and I'm cranking out this littlesock. The yarn is in an undyed state. I think I like it and I can't wait to see what happens when I wash it. More can see my default sock construction. I am a very traditional knitter. Top-down, heel-flap and classic turned heel. It fits my foot perfectly every time. I have tried other construction techniques, but always return to this one.

I would show you a progress picture of my purple 2/48 Habu piece, but it doesn't look very different. It is bigger, I promise!

Finally, I put up a poll, so look at the left edge of the blog and vote for what project we should knit together next. I am thinking of starting something new for Valentine's Day (which is just about my birthday too!)

I'll be back with more socks and information about up-coming workshops soon. Until then, knit on!