knitting blog archive: 2007

Dec 25, 2007

Merry Christmas.

I wish you the best, good friends and dear readers, on this holiday. To you: winter cheer and all the tidings of the season!

Merry Christmas. Elf slippers!
Merry Christmas. Elf slippers!

Have you read Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock KnittersNew Pathways for Sock Knitters link yet? Her novel sock architectures are fascinating! I like the way she thinks. Her open source approach explains all the logic going into each sock and her love for the craft runs richly through the text. If you are into socks, you owe it to yourself to buy this book.

Can you believe I've never knit a pair of socks?! Here's the closest I've come: this pair of Elf slippers, knit from the heel up. Really, you could put these toes on any pair of top down socks (bulky weight), they're just devil horns repurposed for an altogether different kind of mischief - the Elvish kind!

Dec 9, 2007

The craziest thing is happening to me this Christmas season. It's alarming, I know, but I have got the Christmas spirit! Usually I'm Grinchy McScrooge here, but I found myself giving away a scarf to a perfect stranger on a train platform last week. It was cold, I was warm and the perfect stranger was shivering. What a lovely feeling, to do something nice for someone you may never meet again.

Alpaca two-color brioche stitch scarf - a holiday gift!
Alpaca two-color brioche stitch scarf - a holiday gift!

Holiday knitting is a funny thing. I want to tell you all about it, dear readers, but if you are a relative or friend checking the site, I don't want to ruin your surprise (or get you thinking that I'm knitting for you if I'm not!). I suppose my need to share is greater than the need for surprise, so here is a photo of the brioche two-color scarf I just cast off last week. The alpaca yarns (KnitPicks Andean Silk is lovely!) and fluffy brioche stitch means this scarf is light as a cloud. And I'm going to give it away! Ho ho ho! Watch this site for another holiday treat coming this week!

Nov 27, 2007

This was my old 'studio' (click to see the new one!)
This was my OLD 'studio' where I wrote my first book (click the photo to see the new studio!)

I'm happy to report that our move to South City went well. We've been here two short weeks and I already feel my hard City shell falling away as I learn once again how to look people in the eye and smile.

I delayed this move for a couple of years, thinking that leaving the City would mean leaving cool behind. Well, yaknow, things out here in the 'burbs are pretty cool too, and I still know the City like the back of my hand, so win-win! Everyone is so friendly, it's making me friendly too.

I am ecstatic about finally having a room all to myself for my creative endeavors. Seeing all my yarn in one place together and sorted by weight was so inspiring, my needles have been clicking away fiendishly since I got unpacked. As I was wrapping up my book, I was told in no uncertain terms that I could not write another book in the living room. Well, no risk of that now!

Nov 14, 2007

I'll be offline for a day or two while we MOVE! We've finally succumbed to the siren song of the suburbs (South San Francisco, "the Industrial City" to be precise). Expect photos of my new studio in a day or two. Finally, a room of one's own.

Nov 5, 2007

Filatura di Crosa 127 Print scarf
Filatura di Crosa 127 Print scarf

I had a great time at the Tiger Army show last night. But my feet are sore after a little romp through the mosh pit. Am I getting too old for this? Hell no! It's liberating to no longer worry about losing my glasses, which almost happened at the Social Distortion show 2 years ago. WTF is up with the Fillmore no longer offering a poster after the show?! I was counting on a sexy Tiger Army poster for my collection. <pout>

Here's a super easy scarf I made from a few balls of 127 Print. That yarn just does all the work, but I did micromanage it to get the colors to move this consistently. If you let the yarn do its own thing, it moves more randomly than what you see here. I wrote up a pattern, though I'm not sure why. It's as easy as cast on 360 stitches with knitted cast on, knit in garter stitch, slipping first st of every row with yarn in back. Bind off loosely.

Oct 18, 2007 (edited 10/25)

If it's Autumn, you must need a hat!  My new cloche hat
If it's Autumn, you must need a hat!

I've been on a cloche hat knitting kick lately - I've cranked out 3 variations on this cloche in the last month. I'm plowing through my single skein stash and it's gratifying to finish projects so quickly! Here's the first and here's the last.

This simple hat is knit in garter stitch, very similar to how the Jughead Hat was made, but without the points at the crown. Instead a gradually widening band is folded up and anchored with an attractive button and ribbon accent that contrasts nicely with this simple yarn (Patons Wool Classic worsted). I selected this vintage brown leather button out of my Grandma Dona's button box on the day my family gathered to grieve her in 2001. The leather glows with warmth just like she did.

Remembering that day, we all shared at the podium about her, mostly family members and a few friends. We were all floored when a soft spoken woman named Geraldine took the podium. She was familiar to all of us, but no one really knew her. We had seen her at Grandma's parties over the years and they were good friends. Geraldine told us that she had met Dona 25 years ago when she was rooting around in her trash bins for cans.

Dona had said, "Well, who are you? Why don't you come in and have coffee with me?" They struck up a friendship that day and Grandma suggested that she would leave anything of value for Geraldine beside the trash so she wouldn't need to dig through it, and that she was welcome to take those things and sell them. Over the years they became very close and Geraldine lifted herself up out of poverty. Grandma was never one to give a hand out (even to her grand kids); we all worked for what she gave us. When I went to her for help in buying the fabric for my senior prom dress, she loaned me $200 that I repaid on the installment plan. At the time I thought it was selfish that she didn't just give it to me, but through the lens of time I seem more clearly that she taught me an important lesson that anything dear must be earned.

Sept 26, 2007

my brother in the snow devil hat
my brother in the snow devil hat

Pssst! Wanna buy a Snow devil hat? Click link at end of page to e-mail me. I've got 3 made of wool and one cotton poly blend. Just add a red unitard, optional cape and make-up and your Halloween devil costume is complete! I've also knit up a Gray devil which is based on the mohawk hat, but with horns instead of hair. It's less warm on the face than the snow devil flaps. Will post as soon as I find the pics. If you'd prefer to make your own devil, find the pattern here, or in your copy of the DomiKNITrix book.

Sept 10, 2007

Here's a quick note on the Big Bad Wolf pullover yarn requirements: The Wolf sample in the DomiKNITrix book was definitely knit from Lamb's pride bulky, NOT worsted, but the worsted yardage was included in error.   I revisited the yardage estimates and double checked all the math to confirm that the number of skeins is correct at 125 yards per skein, NOT the 190 yards per skein  given in the pattern.

Sorry about this. I'll get it into the errata file tonight. (done)

Sept 7, 2007

Yo! Update on the skull chart page, including new photos of reader knits. Check it! Please look for an update soon to include reader knits for Che Guevara and Bruce Lee, and an unexpected bonus: Rosie the Riveter in needlepoint! Find all these charts here.

August 30, 2007

The Zipper Slink in handpaint yarn
The Zipper Slink in handpaint yarn

This lovely handpainted 55% mohair/45% merino blend was aging in my stash (origin: Sheep City USA booth at Stitches West 2003!). I wanted to see how the colors would move if knit sideways, hoping the color changes would be more flattering than if knitting around the body.

So I made up this Slink in the longer length to illustrate the point, and modified my own pattern to add a zip front, making this into a versatile little vest that could be layered in colder weather. That's right, I live in San Francisco, so I even in summery August I am planning for the chill. After installing the metal zip, I said to my husband, "Isnt' that punk rock?" He gazed at it steadily for a moment and said gently, "I don't think there's anything you could do with that handpaint that would be punk rock, but it is a nice sweater." Diplomatic, eh?

If you want me to post the mods so you can put a zip in your own Slink, just e-mail me and I shall.

I find it freaky that no matter how much de-stashing I do, the stash never seems to get any smaller! I wonder if the yarn is breeding in there, but I haven't come across any odd colors or blends yet, so have concluded it's supernatural. It's been a banner year for de-stashing. For 2007, the stash has so far yielded: Zipper Slink above, burgundy Hepburn cardigan, avocado green Hoodie (from L'il Red Hoodie pattern in the book) with blue fleur de lys on the back, one red Elfin Bride and one pale green Gothlet, five nice long scarves, and two baby sweaters! By any measure, that should mean some empty drawers, but no!

August 16, 2007

I spent an awful lot of time with Eunny's first issue of Interweave Knits and the Knitting Daily site last weekend. This discussion forum about knitwear sizing was fascinating. I read 700+ posts on the topic and it got me thinking there's a market for a new magazine (or more patterns, for sure) targeted directly at plus sized knitters. One recurring theme was a desire to see designs shot on larger models. Having made a knitting book myself, I know making a single sample under deadlline pressure is stressful. Making a second would double the trouble.

Production challenges aside, if a large segment of the knitting audience is large, the industry should cater to it. Even the book samples I had made to fit 40" bust were pinned on size zero models against my wishes. When I protested, I was told "that's the size models come in." How infuriating! We all know you can hire a model of any size. In my publisher's defense, I understand that they will be using more real-sized models for Stefanie's future books, so they are coming around too.

When deciding which designs to include in my book and how to size them, I found myself challenged to scale up. For example, consider the Charlie Brown sweater: would you increase the number of peaks across the front, or would you make each peak wider? Now think about grading that pattern into 5 (or 10) sizes and you can imagine the challenges involved. As many posters pointed out on the forum, designs that work on flat-chested waifs are unlikely to scale up well for many reasons. Designing for larger sizes from the beginning could yield designs which are more flattering to the zaftig figure. However, those designs are unlikely to work for waifs. So why not two publications? Food for thought!

Last weekend I also read Amy Singer's No Sheep for YoudomiKNITrix book from cover to cover. I enjoyed her conversational tone and the book is packed with great info. I found it interesting that she glossed over the reasons knitters avoid wool (Amy's allergic, but many have ethical or environmental concerns). I often hear from vegan knitters looking for substitution yarns, and the fiber substitution info here is helpful. For example, one knitter wanting to make my Diva halter purchased GGH Goa instead of the Karabella Merino recommended. She could not get gauge swatching Goa, because there's hardly any elasticity in the cotton/poly blend. Amy's charts on pages 24 and 26 would have helped. I steered that knitter toward a synthetic yarn, since I knew Goa would never hug the curves like the Diva should. I think Amy is a little hard on polyester in the book. The old poly has its stretchy charms.

Exciting news! The first DomiKNITrix tattoo has been inked! For want of a printer, Fiddledee drew the logo by hand. Nah, I'm not going to go after her for trademark infringement! But if she were using my name or logo on her web site as her own, that would be quite a different story. ;-)

August 2, 2007

Often in the goth, emo, punk and deathmetal scenes, we glorify death and the iconography surrounding it. We wear skulls and daggers and make ourselves up to look like we're dead already. We mope.

When people kill themselves, they are gone forever, except for the scar left in a family, in a community, in a circle of friends. And the memories of their lives.

Death is forever. Tragically, my cousin Mark took his life a week ago today. I'll miss him. A lot. He was every bit as pierced and black-wearing and angsty as any of you, creative, funny, irreverent, and smart. Apparently he thought death was his only option.

Here's the thing about choosing death: When you think you are at the bottom, there really is nowhere to go but up. Please call for help and don't stop until you find it. You won't be there to see us weeping at your funeral and to hear the kind words we say. You won't be there to see how much you hurt everyone with this choice. Death means gone forever. There's no glory in that. Please don't go.

When you wear black from head to toe every day, no one knows when you are in mourning.

July 25, 2007

my new design - Irma La Douce
my new design - Irma La Douce

Once upon a time, I wished for a web site: a place to show off my original knitting projects. I so enjoyed making them and friends and family just didn't get it. Yet I wanted to share. I thought if I could show the world, someone would think they were special.

Well, that worked! I was asked to write a book and it's a success (hurrah!). But somewhere along the way, the pleasure I took in designing sweaters dissolved as my knitting became a product. I grew secretive and stopped showing my progress on new designs. I feared that others would run with my ideas before I could.

Well. I'm getting back to my roots. I have something new to show you!. Her name is Irma. Irma La Douce. I'd love to know what you think. E-mail me! (link at bottom of page)

July 16, 2007

my first baby sweater - the deco baby pullover
my first baby sweater!

Look! It's my first baby sweater! Hate to disappoint you kitten, but it's NOT for my baby (though there is a bit of fertility going around in knit-blog-land, as mentioned here). Motherhood's not a path I plan to take, but when my dear friends choose it, what's a girl to do but knit for their tots?!

This first one is for Gemma, the 6 month old daughter of my BFF from high school, Danielle and husband Frank. Though I began with someone else's pattern intent on not thinking too hard about the project, I was immediately bored and deviated into my own design. Frankly, my seed stitch texture is lost in the angora fluff, but at least I wasn't bored.

Is angora a good choice for a baby sweater? Hell no! It will felt like crazy in the washer. But there it was in my stash and the pink matched the baby announcement. I'm making a second now to finish up the pattern, but this time in a nice washable cotton. My favorite Provence shows the stitch work very nicely, and the remnant from the pale green Gothlet will accomplish a bit of de-stashing at the same time. Baby projects are good for that, no?

July 5, 2007

Don't let your eyes deceive you. This boat fits in this car.
Don't let your eyes deceive you. This boat fits in this car.

Hoowee! I love me some fireworks and grilling and a little trip out to the river! Here's proof of a well spent holiday. In this pic, Ethan is deflating our 16 foot long canoe so we can fold it up into our 12 foot (3.6m) long Mini Cooper S. I see more inflatable adventures in our future, for sure! We do live in the midst of an awful lot of bay and marshland, so there is much to be explored.

June 25, 2007

OMG! My Knitty Gritty episode aired today on HGTV. It will air again on both HGTV and DIY Network this summer. The DIY Network schedule will show the date for my episode 706, "Devilish Knits." [NOTE: One very cool viewer captured the show to DVD so that I could see it myself. Here's a shout out to the tech savvy Fixette!]

DomiKNITrix schwag! Get your DomiKNITrix t-shirts and hoodies here!

I've just finished the eyeball pattern, which is designed for a 22" inflatable ball. Get your free eyeball pattern here. Why eyeball? See below...

June 19, 2007

Knit me an Eyeball
the knitted eyeball: LASIK therapy
click for large

I am thrilled to now be seeing as clearly as I've ever seen in my life! I had the popular LASIK procedure done on Friday and I am very grateful that it worked perfectly. Even glasses and contact lenses have never given me the clarity of vision that I now posess. A few misplaced cells on my cornea have been fuzzing it up for me all these years. Well, I showed them, huh?!

I was standing in line at the grocery store last night, gazing off in the distance at the fish display. The cashier thought I was zoning out, but really, I was reading the price tags and names of the beautifully-arrayed fish from a whopping 20 feet away. There are all these other subtle differences I do not miss: the dust and reflections muddying my view, the lack of peripheral vision, reaching for lenses the moment I get out of bed. I left my sunglasses on the counter when I was fetching dinner the other night and just thought it was the most hilarious thing. You see, in the past I would never have removed my prescription sunglasses from my face or counting my cash would have been a challenge.

So what did I do the day after surgery? Well, I knit myself an eyeball! It just seemed like the thing to do: therapy, as it were. I used my small Pilates ball as the support inside, inflating it just before I knit the final rows to close it up. I even wrote down the pattern for you, since I know there is a huge demand out there for more knit eyeballs. So if you're dying to knit this eyeball, here is the pattern!

June 3, 2007

Rose Garden
at the rose garden
click picture for gallery

Woo! Happy Birthday to me!

I had a lovely walk in the Rose Garden at Golden Gate park and took a pile of photos for everyone's viewing pleasure. Click the photo to see them all.

The Rose Garden is in full bloom right now, so if you are just a walk or bike ride away, go check it out! The Rose Garden is just a few steps away from the de Young Museum (admission is FREE the first Tuesday of the month!), where the Vivienne Westwood show is closing on June 10.

If you haven't been to the Westwood show, it is absolutely worth the price of admission, the only US stop for this exhibit which was put together by the esteemed Victoria and Albert Museum in London. This is a comprehensive collection of her work; many pieces are on loan from the designer herself. Witness the intersection of fashion and pop culture: gorgeous, sexy and provocative, with plenty of innovative knitwear and corsetry galore!

While you're at the museum, be sure to pop up to the observation tower, which rises 9 stories above the surrounding park. Stellar views in 360 degrees!

May 31, 2007

Hepburn jacket
Hepburn jacket
click picture for large

I'm excited to finally post photos of the Hepburn jacket! I've been refining this design for awhile now and the pattern is 90% complete. It is knit from the top down with Classic Elite Montera, which I love for its drape.

Hepburn is an elegant fitted jacket with a double-faced shawl collar, pockets, zip-front and set-in sleeves. A few rib stitches define the princess lines of this classic jacket and faced cuffs and hem give it that couture finishing touch. Knitting the collar from contrast yarn Colorado by Muench hints at vintage Persian lamb, as you see in the blue sample. Check out how differently the design fits based on chosen size: the burgundy is size medium while the blue version is small.

Hepburn with contrast collar
Hepburn with contrast collar
click picture for large

Now I'm working on a variation with a 5 stitch cable in place of the ribbed stitches. It's worked wrong side out so that the cables stand out nicely on the purled background. Same pattern, fit and shape, very different look.

May 22, 2007

DomiKNITrix podcast interview now live on Craftsanity! Around the time of the DomiKNITrix book release, Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood and I chatted about many things, like meeting my man in Prague, rediscovering knitting during a long cold winter in Germany, and my oft-referred-to but rarely defined day job. If you don't have the book yet, be sure to check out the free Strings of Purls pattern. It'll be available on Craftsanity for a limited time only.

Jennifer's podcast was on brief hiatus while she reshaped her body for a series of fitness stories she wrote for her newspaper. Her success story about taking off over 21 pounds is empowering to read. Personally, I'm a slave to Pilates, the exercise discipline that keeps my pain at bay. Anytime I slack off, my shoulder pain creeps back and cracks the whip on me!

May 17, 2007

I am getting ready for LASIK vision correction treatment, just a few days after the above event. When I first started planning this, I was approaching it with all the gravity of scheduling a manicure. Duh! Now that it's getting close, I'm up to my myopic eyeballs in information and test results, head swimming with questions, and excited!

Do you wear glasses and notice your head dangling over your lap, tilted down so you can look through those lenses? Consider the impact hanging your ten-pound head vulture-style for hours on end is having on your neck, back, and shoulders. If you've never tried contact lenses, check them out and notice the difference it makes to your neck. I found I was able to look down with my eyes, not my neck. I think switching to contacts was one key to resolving the RSI I had developed in the prior year, leading me to the LASIK conclusion.

What's on my needles? I'm having fun swatching, evolving a lace pattern, seeking the perfect yarn for the Mermaidress, playing around with cables, and knitting a scarf. This is a scarf I'd knit once before, then left in a taxi on St. Paddy's day! That's the last time I wear an FO out of the house before it's been photographed.

May 5, 2007

Homegrown Purse step-by-step assembly gallery
Homegrown Purse step-by-step assembly gallery
click picture to launch

So would you know I'm still working out a spot of karma from the book? In the DomiKNITrix book, you’ll find a note on p 137 promising “more details on bag construction.”  Well, I wrote that after completing the Homegrown Purse right there in the F&W Publications photo studio with the photographer pointing her camera over my shoulder.  My editor and I had agreed that this chopstick thing was tricky and readers would need to see the step photography to get it.

So weeks later, I received a CD with purse photos and put it away all tidy-like, saving them for book launch and then completely forgetting them.  Then a reader contacted me about it, asking for clarification.  So I went to my files and found the CD, tucked it into the drive and found a mere 3 photos: two of me and the third was (horrors) the same image you see as figure one on p 137 and not clarifying bag construction at all.  So I contact the publisher asking for the rest of the photo set and am told, sorry, we only keep the photos that end up in the book; everything else gets tossed.  Jinkies!

Meanwhile, dear reader, who’s gone to some trouble to acquire the ingredients for the purse, chomps at the bit.  Apparently these elements are far-flung and spendy to acquire in the UK, though they add up to less than $30 here in San Francisco, where chopsticks come free with any take-out order and cheap bamboo placemats and purse handles* overflow from the storefronts of half the shops in Chinatown.

*OK, technically, I got the purse handles at Mendel’s Fabrics; they’re also available at Britex Fabrics in SF and online.  Don’t come to Chinatown just for purse handles, but do be sure to grab a year’s worth of cheap umbrellas, China Mary Janes and cheongsams while there.

What to do?  Well, there was little choice but to deconstruct the bag and then re-make it for the camera.  It was either that or break my word, which was right there printed in ink in tens of thousands of copies of a book with my name on the spine.

SO!  I painstakingly removed the grafting around one stick, then felt compelled to re-knit the back of the bag while I was at it, since a dye lot discrepancy was first unnoticed and then pointedly ignored since the bag would be photographed a few hours later (see p 132).  You think I can let that kind of thing slide once an FO is back on the needles?  No way!

Back flap re-knit, I then set to documenting the chopstick insertion process, which may seem needlessly complicated by this two inch circle of fabric.  Well, chopsticks are pointy (the better to eat you with, my dear) and can easily poke through the loose stitches at the ends of the casing. So please review the Homegrown Purse assembly gallery as a step-by-step guide. The purse pattern starts on p 133 and these instructions pick up at "Assembly" on p 136.

More to come very soon. Isn't that gallery sweet? You'll be seeing a lot more of those around here, so come back soon!

May 4, 2007

TONIGHT! -- trunk show and book signing
Where:  Stash, 1820 Solano Ave, Berkeley
Time:   7pm

See you there!

Check out the DomiKNITrix KAL. There's even a button! See Amanda's blog link for her finished Black Hoodie.

Over here on Punk Knitters, Jules rose to the challenge and has done a gorgeous job on her Elfin Bride. I was highly amused by the comment: "What did you find so difficult about it?" either asked by a new knitter, or one so experienced that she yawns at the thought of a sweater knit all in one piece on the diagonal with mostly short rows and only two seams. The gallery reveals just how challenging this knit will be.

I promise photos this weekend! The photo process and new gallery software are almost ready to fly. That means you'll see one new project this weekend, if I have any restraint, with more to follow. If you were thinking of adding a zipper to your Slink, I've done it and will be posting pattern mods so you can too.

May 2, 2007

This morning I was bummed to find an email in my box forwarding me the password and download link for the Elfin Bride pattern. This reader obviously meant to send this info to someone else. That's stealing. I spent more time on this single complex pattern than all of the others combined, and I'm disappointed that any knitter would give it away so thoughtlessly.

The pattern is available for free download to those who own the book. If you don't own the book and get the password from someone who does so you can download for free, you're a thief. If you see people requesting or posting password online, please smack them down. If you need the book, consider purchasing it first from your LYS, or online here. Yes, this single pattern is worth every penny you'll spend on the book.

April 24, 2007

Check out the awesome reader knits!

Finished Slink at Yarnmule with thoughtful commentary about the design. What a gorgeous yarn choice: Filatura Lanarota Summer Soft, 60% rayon 40% acrylic, color #221, 6 skeins for the short model in size Small.

Tia used the skull chart to knit this awesome blanket for her lucky nephew. Maybe if you're really nice to her, she'll share her crossbones chart with us all.

Keep 'em coming! With any luck my photo process will be back up soon and I can post the accumulation of photos. I have three new sweaters to show you and a few more reader knits. The NEW Hepburn jacket pattern is almost ready. I can't wait to reveal her. I've also made a new Slink with a zip-front, pattern to be made available shortly.

Friday (!) April 13, 2007

the Lucky 13
the Lucky 13 sweater
click for large

I love Fridays which fall on the thirteenth. Do you cringe, thinking they're bad luck? Try to think about it from a different perspective. I'm sure you know how self-fulfilling prophecies can be. You get what you expect. So if you expect bad things to happen to you, when they do, you grab onto that as evidence that they are indeed bad luck. So take a different tack today and see how the thirteenth treats you. Expect good things, and you will find them. All that good luck is just lying around waiting for you to find it, because the superstitious types (and I am one, my dears, just not about this) are leaving that good luck lying around for you because they aren't expecting to find any.

That's a vintage photo over there of an old sweater I made with a big 13 on the back of it (sorry, never shot the FO). Thirteen has always been my lucky number. When I was 13, I went down to the T-shirt shop and had a tee made up that said: "13 is my lucky number." As adolescence took over and 'the girls' began developing, the word lucky was ultimately hidden by the crease that formed under my new breasts. Lucky indeed!

Speaking of tee-shirts, I've gotten a spot of mail about the tee-shirt sizing available in my Spreadshirt shop. Spreadshirt has a funny way of showing their shirt measurements. They lay the shirt flat on a table and measure it flat. Many have looked at the flat measurement and pitched a fit over the puny sizing. Well, take that flat measurement and multiply by TWO! That is a width measurement, not the circumference. I've just added some Women's tees as well, but they only offer ONE tee in women's sizes! Feel free to share your feelings about this matter with Spreadshirt directly.

I'll get to some pattern errata questions this weekend. The day job has been ultra-demanding of late and I have been focusing my night job energy on a new pattern for you. The Knitty Gritty episode I taped in December could air in less than two weeks. It's episode 706! I am busting my ass to get the new Hepburn pattern posted before then. If you brought me errata and you used a lot of words to explain it, your extra words got me hopelessly confused. Succinct explanations which include how you think it should appear are most helpful.

April 2, 2007

Newsflash! Webs has Provence on sale for $9.25 a hank (and it was already a steal at $12.95 for 100 gm/ 205 yards)! Why should you care? Really, were you planning to knit the Elfin Bride from your stash? She deserves better than that!

[Important note: the Louisa Harding Grace wool silk was a BAD recommendation (unless you plan to hang your Goth up in a museum and never wear it). Single ply silk will fuzz up very quickly and not wear like iron as mercerized cotton will do. My personal apologies to Alma.]

March 28, 2007

First things first:

the patterns for Elfin Bride and Gothlet are available!

For more info, click here.

The first reader-knit Elfin Bride has been finished by Arlene in Germany! Lovely work! (Be sure to scroll down for English translation). Though Arlene lists two errata, I am only able to verify the missing SSK. Find all errata here.

Eleanor Gomez and I
Eleanor Gomez is a role model for health and well being.

Here's a shot of the Sweetheart, one of the most popular designs found in its pages. I asked my good friend Miriam Tegels (world's fastest knitter) to whip one up for my massage therapist, Pilates instructor and dear friend Eleanor (who was quite smitten with this sweater). Why on earth, you may ask, did I not knit it myself?

If you are a long time reader, you surely recall what a physical wreck I was upon wrapping up the book: the typing, the knitting, and the stress of working my full time job too took me to the limit. Well, after a year of weekly physical therapy, rigorous physical training, massage therapy, and tragically limiting my time with the sticks, I am finally on the mend! I plan to keep it that way by outsourcing as much of my knitting as possible. As you know, my design process is organic, so new designs will continue to busy my needles, but whenever I want to make something I already have a pattern for, I'll pay someone to knit for me.

Miriam cranked out Eleanor's Sweetheart in about a week's time, and in another week an avocado green Hoodie made from Debbie Bliss Cashmerino superchunky with a turquoise fleur de lys on its back. I'm eagerly awaiting this newest package from the Netherlands, my own new sweater. I wear the red one way too much. We wouldnt want people to think I only have one sweater now, would we?

On my own needles is a project (codename Hepburn) that I meant to put into the book, but the pattern was just not up to snuff. There was no time to edit that one into submission, so we simply cut it. This shawl collared jacket had been one of the designs the editors and my friends were most excited about, one of my most wearable. I hope to have news of its progress for you soon. It will be the first new pattern this site has seen in awhile!

March 18, 2007

Winged Heart Bralet
the Winged Heart Bralet, right side out
click picture to launch

I took a photo of the Winged Heart Bralet for you (above), with the right side out. Yes, that's right, the bralet was apparently so well finished that the photo team for the book thought the wrong side was the right side. I had used a cotton yarn for the bra band, both for comfort and to preserve the limited yarn. Alas, shooting it wrong side out obscured my fancy stitchwork. Please take note that ArtFibers has renamed this yarn as Zoe (formerly Zodiac) and it is still available.

February 21, 2007

Elfin Bride pattern awaits
the Elfin Bride pattern is ready for download
click to enlarge (and please don't hotlink)

It is with great joy that I finally give to you

The patterns for Elfin Bride and Gothlet!

Download the Elfin Bride and Gothlet pattern here
This is the schematic

This pattern is intended for those who own the book. The file password is the SECOND TO LAST word in the Acknowledgements of the DomiKNITrix book, found on p 253.

This is the project that couldn't have made it without these extra months. I've edited it from 27 pages down to 19! The process of making its prototype was something between rocket science and speaking in tongues. Documenting it for your pleasure was like pounding a square peg into a round hole. Nuff said.

Questions, concerns? Email me

For a sneak peek of what's in store, check out the new gallery page which shows the progression of knitting through both projects. I am so excited to share it with you! Please don't ask for advice on modifying this pattern. I finally got Pandora's box nailed shut and will not be reopening it. This pattern is like no other, and making even the smallest change has a ripple effect throughout the entire pattern. Modify this pattern at your peril! No, that's not a challenge. Trust me here.

Check out this interview with Marnie MacLean! I talk a bit about the development of this pattern and its challenges, among other things. More words than you've seen on this site in awhile.

Announcing -- Book Signing at Stitches West

Where:  Nine Rubies Knitting  - Booths 804, 806
When:  Friday, February 23rd
Time:    12 pm – 1 pm

February 11 , 2007

Kitty Catticus
Rest in Peace - Kitty Catticus

Sorry to drop off there. Our dear cat died rather suddenly last week. I never blogged about her because we live in a "no pets" apartment and I was afraid the landlord would find my blog. Well, there it is. Evict me now.

She had many names as far as the vets were concerned: from Schmitty to Kitty Catticus. But we called her Kitty or Stinker mostly. So when I was at the pet hospital, there I was in the waiting room praying for her life, and each time listing out all the names God might possibly know her by, so She would know which little cat to save. In the end, it was mercifully quick. If she had made it through the night, it would have been a long and painful decline from there. So perhaps mercy was the best She could do. <still weeping>

In the background I've been wrapping up the Goth pattern. I've also been putting together pattern errata for the book, and preparing a section of the site to house it. But organizing the info is a larger task than I'd imagined, and you need the pattern errata NOW. Mea culpa, Editrix culpa.

If you find any errata yourself, please email me about it ASAP so we can get it into the reprint. If it's not listed here, I don't know about it yet.

February 1 , 2007

at CHA
Stefanie Girard, Jennifer Stafford, Vickie Howell, and Stefanie Japel
click to enlarge

Phew! I've been in Anaheim the last few days at Craft and Hobby Association convention. I was of course there to promote the DomiKNITrix bookAmazon link, NOT to see Mickey and co. Disneyland was visible from my room and it just looked so tiny compared to my childhood memories of it.

I really enjoyed making friends with the Glampyre, Stefanie Japel, whose book Fitted KnitsAmazon link will also be released by North Light Books, due this March. I got a sneak peek at it and it's positively beautiful! Stefanie had brought every sweater in the book to show them off, and they were a riot of color and texture. Surely you're noticed that I cleave to the muted colors myself, but she got my gears turning that maybe I could brighten up my knits a bit!

The fabulous Vickie Howell and craftista/producer Stefanie Girard popped in at the F&W booth to visit and check out what Stefanie and I were up to, also proferred an invite to the Sterling Party, where we hobnobbed with other DIY'ers and checked out the upcoming Knitty Gritty knitsAmazon link

I also had the good fortune to meet Edith EigAmazon link and tease her with the notion of a DomiKNITrix event at her shop La Knitterie Parisienne. If you're in the region and would like to attend such an event, be sure and mention it to her! I was too busy to visit my Mom on this trip, so need to schedule another visit to the Southland ASAP!

January 23, 2007

City Coat
The City Coat, as depicted in DomiKNITrix book
click to enlarge

Here's a glamour shot of the City Coat. While you're knitting, it's a blanket, then one day, stitch a few seams,* et voila! Le sexy coat. Look for the City Coat's sister, the Mod Coat in KnitPicks' new catalog, hitting your mailbox any day now. You'll find the patterns for both in the DomiKNITrix bookAmazon link.

*The only seams in the City Coat project are inner sleeve, shoulder, and shoulder cap. Oh, and the zipper, of course. But you'll be superbadass at that zip once you're armed with the guidelines in my book.
And now, announcing: DomiKNITrix schwag! Get your DomiKNITrix t-shirts and hoodies here! You don't have to knit everything you wear, much as you might like to.

Be sure to check the backs of the hoodies for the simplified logo with no text. If you have any feedback on the types of items and designs you'd like to see, please feel free to email me (bottom of page). I'd love to know what you think.

Goth update

The XL Gothlet was recently completed by the World's Fastest Knitter. Hurrah! The XS I'm knitting is half done, other sample knitters are in various stages of knitting the final pattern.

Check out this interview I just did with Marnie MacLean! I talk a bit about the development of this pattern and its challenges, among other things.

Check here for sizing info and new yarn shopping recommendations for the Elfin Bride and Gothlet.

January 8, 2007

Mohawk hat
gallery with Marnie MacLean, Stitchy McYarnpants and Cat Bordhi
click to enlarge

Just wanted to show a photo of the Mohawk hat, one more good reason to buy my book. Like the City Coat and Elfin Bride alone aren't reason enough.

I'm getting all packed up for TNNA in San Diego this weekend! If you're going to be there, look for my big signing event in the Unicorn booth on (CORRECTION!) SUNDAY at noon.

Other times, you're likely to find me in the F&W booth. (North Light books is an imprint of F&W, who made my book every bit as fabulous as I'd imagined) Or just look for the tall redhead stalking the aisles in all that black leather. Hard to miss.

January 1, 2007 -- Happy New Year!

Knitting superstars
gallery with Marnie MacLean, Stitchy McYarnpants and Cat Bordhi
click picture to launch

Please permit me the indulgence of this last post about the Knitty Gritty experience. Meeting knitting superstars in the Knitty Gritty studios was a high point of my trip! On the day I arrived for rehearsal, I had dinner with Stitchy McYarnpants and Marnie MacLean, which was a total blast! We pondered our lives, Marnie's and my freakishly long fingers, the sign next to the bathroom sink which said "walk, don't run" but did not say "employees must wash hands." We discussed the making of books and the knitting biz into the night and not a stitch was knit!

When all the naan was gone, we made our way off to our respective rentals and I promptly got lost in mine. (I have been to the San Fernando Valley countless times, but it does look the same, mile after mile, so in-spite of my God-gven Viking instinct, I get lost.) Even with my mother on the other end of the cell with a Thomas GuideAmazon link (the only way to get found in LA), I still managed to miss my turn and burn a few extra gallons of gas.

On the day of my shoot, I was introduced to self-made publisher and knitter extraordinaire Cat Bordhi over lunch. I was so excited when she recognized my name and told me my book had hit #3 in the knitting category on Amazon that week! Then she proceeded to ooh and aah over it while paging through for the first time. That was so exciting!

While I was packing up my samples and step-outs on the way out, I met Jordana Paige, who's got great knitting bags AND knitwear designs too, and Scout, handpainter-of beautiful-yarns and yarn entrepreneur. I love to meet young women so driven and talented.