A little bit of this and, a little bit of that, makes a little bit of me.

Posts tagged ‘Knit-Purl’

Parabola’s Sample


When Kristin Ford asked me to test knit a sample for a design wrote by Lidia Tsymbal (aka MadamButterfly) for Shibui Geometry, I was thrilled.  Seriously, I mean really.  How could I say anything but yes?   MadamButterfly+Silk Cloud+Staccato=Knitting nirvana.

The color Jumpsuit is so Tangerine Tango like, the official pantone color of 2012.  Just mouth-watering delicious.  Nearly four months, I had to keep this eye-catching Parabola under wrap…until now.  The wait was painful.

Shibui Geometrya modern collection of uniquely constructed fun knits–hit the stores last week.  Here I am, excited about showing off  Parabola–such a sexy, fitted design.

I love this little tank top and highly recommend it.  I’ll probably knit myself a keeper before the summer is over, but, in two separate pieces (for the price of 3–two tanks and a cowl.).

The trickiest part for me was blocking the two tops in front where it’s noticeable.   At the time of testing, there was no blocking diagram for the jointed upper bodies.

 My teen model wears normally between adult extra-small to small.  The sample was a medium.  I did the best to block the sample appropriately, with the thought that  it would smooth out on the right model (and it did.)

Parabola is miles and miles of stocking stitches, but, oh so worth it.  It’s a super-wearable, everyday piece.  And Silk Cloud and Staccato–in Jumpsuit–are  exquisite, gorgeous stuff to work with!  Silky yum.

I am glad the design team took my playful idea of wearing the sheer top layer alternately as a cowl.  Here is one of a few Shibui’s gorgeous modeled shots.

You should knit one!  Really.

The sample tank took 1.25 hanks of Silk Cloud and 3 in Staccato (with 14 grams left of the 3rd hank.)  Both the booklet and yarn are available at Knit-Purl.

This 5-day project was a great cure for the summertime blues.  So would my fashionable shoe-sense.  I got out the car in a hurry, meeting up with my friend Barbara and her family for dinner last week in Eugene…and this is what I brought to liven up the evening.

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)

Pat Myself on the Back Day


I indulged in a few acquisitions (excluding the magazines) even though I’ve sworn it off. Acknowledging these little lapses is an important thing to do so that I may move forward past them. I recognize, overall, my efforts and successes are more relevant than my slip-ups in the end. I move on.

Today, I declare an official Pat Myself on the Back Day.  It’s a day to acknowledge one thing I’m proud of me for doing this week and to give myself credit where it’s due. Just as important as it’s to acknowledge the little mistakes I make, it’s equally crucial to reflect on the things I’m doing right.

My pat on the back is for something pretty simple, really…for getting the secret knit off today, via USPS, to Knit-Purl.  It’s proven again. If I set my mind to it, that’s probably within my ability.  As said before, all I am able to show you is what it isn’t as designed, but, I thought it was a fun way to wear it.  Lets see if Shibui Knits‘ design team thinks it’s a great idea too.

Today, I flipped through last issue of Knitter’s Magazine and am completely amazed.

Out of 21 projects from Spring 2012 issue (K106,)

I would knit 13 in a heartbeat.

All for $5.95!

Money well spent.

It really hasn’t happened for a long time.

Star Treatment is another geometric design by my east coast friend Kirsten Hall, which I am dying to cast on…

Any of these strikes your fancy?

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)

Smiles


Profit and Loss statement completed.  Taxes filed.  Teen’s back from The Heritage Festival in Anaheim late afternoon, yesterday.  Congratulation, SUMMIT WINDS, for outscoring all 39 bands–in all size classifications! In addition to the Gold-Metal trophy and a plague for outstanding band, Summit Winds took home another trophy–that isn’t given out every year and quite rare–for earning the highest mark and outstanding critiques by all judges. You kids ROCK. Thank you Dan and Lorene Judd for your wonderful leadership, love, and care for these young musicians and making an epic impact on their lives!  It’s nice to have my teen home…after a long trip away.

I came up for a little breather

and started some swatching for my next project. It’s difficult to knit up the next project for Knit-Purl and not say anything about it.

Luckily, invisible knitting here won’t take long ‘cuz I have self-imposed a deadline to have it finished and shipped by this weekend. Then, I will be able to share a couple of publicly knitting next. ♡^.^♥

Today’s food-for-thought (a chicken and egg scenario): Does smiling lead to positive thinking or is positive thinking a precursor to smiling? I tend to think the latter…Be a superhero today and spread some smiles!

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)

Toying Around


I’ve suddenly developed an urge to do nothing but sweaters. After last knitted tee, I have been sketching and swatching.

Such a tease, right?  I pretty much have all the ducks in a row…desperately want to make #6 sweater of the year.  But, I couldn’t cast on last few days…not just yet.

Why?  You ask. I have been expecting two shipments from Portland…both arrived today, the same day.  Geez Louise.

First project (actually two projects in one) will be kept unwrapped during testing phase.  The design is utterly clever and gorgeous.  What I can show you are the luscious Staccato and Silk Cloud–heavenly soft, cloud-like–in the official Pantone color of 2012, Tangerine Tango (not sure that’s what Shuibui Knits name them…or maybe it’s Watermelon?)  I am deeply in love…

The high-achiever me scream to get the needles clicking so it maybe finished and sent back by Thursday to Knit-Purl.  I may just set a new knitting-marathon record this month–knit up seven full-size sweaters in a month. What do you think?  Can I do it?  Wanna bet?

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)

Swirly Love


Readers’ Choice for Knitwear Designer poll has been closed for a week.  Among the nominations were Cookie A, Jared Flood, Vickie Howell, Sandra McIver, Kristin Nichols…to name a few.  Final results was out yesterday.  Drum roll…Knit, Swirl and designer Sandra McIver–voted this year’s Best Book and Best Designer–is the winner.  Knit, Swirl won the Favorite Book of 2011 award by a landslide over Modern Vintage Knits.  Congratulation, Sandra!

Within the lavishly photographed pages of knit, Swirl!

Sandra presents 18 designs that flatter all figures

each based on the innovative one-piece, one-seam circular construction she calls a “Swirl”.

Using simple knitting techniques, she creates elegant sweater jackets in four dramatic silhouettes and three flexible sizes.

The trunk show has been at Knit-Purl since March.  Stop by and try them for size if you are in the area. While you’re at it, pick up some yarn for your own swirl.

WARNING: As mentioned before, knitting swirls can be additive! You can’t knit just one…

Not confident to tackle such knit? Sign up for Sandra’s 2-day workshop on May 5-6, 2012.

Added bonus? You may build up your spring stash with some gorgeous MadelineTosh

or ShibuiKnits Silk Cloud

and get sound advice from some affable staff at Knit-Purl 😀

Don’t delay. This is the last travel tour scheduled for the year according to Sandra’s website. I am going to see if I can get my schedule clear and money save up to take it myself.

I am dying to meet Sandra and pick her witty brain, in person 😀  Maybe she will take me on as an assistant?  Wishful thinking, I know.  Can’t blame a girl for dreaming…

Before I start my third swirl (here my first and second swirl knits,) I plan to separate 11+ skeins of Noro Silk Garden into individual balls by color hues. I know this is totally insane. But hey, the heart wants what it wants…and the heart gets.

It’s Knit Swirl time, again! Won’t you hop on board and join me for the swirly train ride? It’ll be fun, I promise!

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)

Rising Glory


Knitting is almost always better with friends.  The more the merrier.  Even one may be way more fun!   I heart my knitting group and count down the days of the week until it’s Thursday.  A couple of hours with good friends, yummy latte, and my knitting?

Ask me why I get so excited.  Love it.  It’s like therapy for me.  A stress release and a feeling of companionship being able to chat with others who are also as equally obsessed with crafty things as I am.  Heck, there’s even books and movies made solely about knit nights.  Women have been doing it for ages.  We can’t be that nutty, right?!  Feel free to hand me any pearls of wisdom.

I’m nearly at the finish line.  Actually…I did finish the draped collar vest on Monday while in the valley, but, was unable to wash and block it until I got home Tuesday morning.

I’m sad for it to end ‘cuz I’ve been having so much fun (from a pain…mountains of stockinette stitches.)  I should just knit myself one to keep 😀   Man, oh man.  Who would have thought I’d get emotionally attached?

Découverte \ day-ku-vɛʀt \ (french): discovered, discovery–designed by Julie Hoover–is a wonderful “very wearable” pattern.  Love this Swan Island Organic Merino, a super soft and squishy yarn!!  I felt like I was petting a soft little bunny the whole time I knit this sweater vest (yes, I know…there’s no angora content in it!)  Downright luscious and a joy to work with.   I’m thrilled for the opportunity to test out the yarn, available soon at Knit-Purl.  Seasmoke (as shown here) and Oatmeal are two of my favorite colorways, partially due to the added Alpaca fiber that are not in other colorways.

I’m in love with the yarn–not at all splitty–and the way how it knitted up.  Not a single knot was found in any of the hanks wound up. Sweet!

Julie’s pattern is very straightforward, nice, TV-watching knitting.  For the collar, I picked up 140 stitches instead of 164 as loosely instructed.   I also used a lot less yarn than the pattern calls for in the size I made (1056 yards versus 1375 yards for Size 35)…only 1 gram consumed off the 3rd hank.  Blocking is a breeze but it does take a few extra steps for the professional finish touch (which is provided in the pattern instruction.)

I have already worn the flattery sweater vest multiple times–before final wash and shaping–and have gotten lotsa compliments on it!  Now come to think of it, I should have shot one worn with a belt.  Don’t you think it’d be chic, completed with a pair of stylish black boots.  Believe it or not, the vest’s super super warm 😀  I’ll hopefully pick me up some in a couple of week.

Can we say LOVE!  What is your favorite sweater yarn and/or pattern?

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)

Fun Happenings


Doesn’t it seems as though I have almost completely disappeared off of the knitting radar.  I think I sighed a little too large sigh of relief at this week’s deadline.

Thankfully, Decouverte is finally off the needles and seamed. The final stage of washing, conditioning, blocking, shaping, drying, and photographing will have to wait until I return home to the high desert Monday night. For me, there will be no rest for the weary, but that’s okay. I am just glad to finally have dedicated time to devote to my web project.

And what better time is there to roller-blade than during a cold, gray rain–bits of ice bounce down like tiny grains of rice?

We haven’t seen Rachel for at least a year now.  Having her for a couple of hours was a really nice treat especially for my younger teen.  She is a real ham, charming, and a joy to have around–so full of life and always cheerful

Alwood is my 10-year-old’s buddy in the valley.  Each time we visit the in-laws, he loses sleep over how many days he and his friend will hook up.  Isn’t it nice to be a kid?!

Things are starting to wind down a little as Chinese New Year draws closer.  I may just knit up a dragon hat for my boy.  Today, I woke up desiring to paint the world, photograph the love, crochet hugs, write my heart out, and sing at the top of my lung. Art should be seen, heard, and experienced. Won’t you join me?

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)

Back into the Fold


of spinning. Each time I set foot inside Laura’s studio in Eugene, Oregon, I know instantly I will be in for a fiber-licious treat. I marvel at her hand-painted, hand-dyed, carded batts, handspun, knitted, woven, and crocheted garments…inspiration abounds right out the door of her fiber haven.  (I finally took my dreamy John Westlake to the valley for a spin…and met her peers–Liz‘s and Monica’s.)

I enjoy watching what every spinner was working on, how each drafting her cloud-like fluff, adjusting her wheel…something wonderful happens when we get together. Although our specialized interests differed, we would soon exchanging helpful ideas, oooh-ing/aaaah-ing over each other’s creation, cheering one another on…sharing our passion for spinning and knitting gives me great joy!

Then it was over and time to hop back on the van and return to in-law’s home. Time at Laura‘s always passes lightning fast. But, I have my silky, yummy goodness to work through next couple of weeks–filled with fond memories of my brief visit.

Only wish I could get away every week to hang out at Textile a Mano, a dyed studio and local yarn shop–with Laura and all the fabulous spinners and knitters! Where’s your favorite hang-out? What do you do when you get together?

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)

Inspiring Minds


…in Music. One of the great performances in high school wind ensemble took place earlier on the stage at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts, in Eugene, Oregon.

Summit High School’s 45-member band took first place in the State 5A Band Championships held at Oregon State University last May (right after performing at Carnegie Hall last April.) Today’s performance was thrilling. The band performed with such focus and clarity! Their dedication to preparation permitted them on stage to simply relax and “live in the musical moment.” I have enjoyed many wonderful moments with them in the last two years, but, today rates right there at the top. Hubby and I were glad we made it to the performance.

Music educators and adoring fans who were present in the room have been effusive in their praise of the performance by the Summit Winds. I hope the band members and my teen will treasure this memory as much as I will while I savor their accomplishment. (A professional recording of our performance will be available in February.) The kids are the talk of the band world in our state. I am very proud of their results and look forward, with great anticipation, to next performance.

Besides getting to an amazing performance, a long car-ride is wonderful to knitting a gazillion stitches–in plain stockinette–rows after rows.

It’s been months since I last visited the other hippie capitol of the world–and a college town, to boot! I can tell you I don’t miss the cold and wetness here…not one little bit. Most of us spend most of our time on daily routines, be it at work, studio, or school. Weekend becomes a precious time to enjoy with friends, family…or a me-time sounds nice too. What are you up to this weekend?

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)

Free, Joyous, Happy…


…and more liberated than I have ever been. I feel good, refresh, and replenished today after facing the giant…‘Titanic’ would have been a tortuous experience altogether. A heartfelt Thank-You to everyone for your beautiful comment and well wishes.  I reminded myself “Never lose your sense of wonder.” I won’t. I promise! The “trouble” has been zipped and tossed in the Deschutes river after strolling the riverfront this morning. I digress…now back to the normal programming here in Handstitch playland.

I decided to point my attention into color today. Why not? A good splash of color will spice up any day, gloomy or not.

Is picking colors intimidating? It can be. For me, it is more often than not. I recalled, as first-time gardener, I chose plants ‘cuz they looked pretty at the nursery. I bought plants, took them home, and put them somewhere in my first flower garden back when I lived in the Bay Area, not knowing much about what I planted, only that I liked what I saw.

As I became more and more proficient with plants and my garden, I started to become a bit more particular.

Some gardeners are attracted to one or two particular plants and may fill their landscape with their favorites.

Others may look more towards the overall shape of the landscape and textures, filling it with a conglomeration of trees, shrubs, and flowers.

Some may crowd anything and everything into whatever space is available.

But eventually, like all gardeners, I had to step back and look at the one thing that is most intimidating in the garden, yet so fascinating, that I couldn’t ignore it no matter how hard I tried, and, that one thing was color.

Whenever I talked about color, people started to bandy about terms like theory, primary, secondary, tertiary and neutral…cool colors, warm colors, contrasting colors in various tones, hues, values and intensity. My head would spin trying to take it all in at once. It is no wonder that color can be intimidating!

The experienced ones don’t pay much attention to all of the terms, however. They basically just know what they like. Their gardener’s eye tell them what they should, or could, be doing in their gardens for their constant improvement. A garden is never really complete, is it? Changes are inevitable year after year. There is never a point where I may simply stop and declare it finished. Color is an area I really can’t wrap my mind around. Here is something to consider. Find one thing that I like and decorate around it. It not only helped me in making choices in my home, my garden, but in my craft too.

Another interesting tool I recently stumbled on to is a color palette generator. To satisfy my curiosity, I delved in it today for some design work in the work…here are some promising examples.

What do you think? Helpful? Or a scratch? Do you use a generator?

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)