Whilst vacationing in Bellingham, Washington, I had a visit at the Breezy Meadow Cashmere Farm and bought some lovely cashmere and silk blend yarn from the proprietor. It's always exciting to understand how something is made from start to finish.
Doug Maier was kind enough to show us around and explain the industry. He's got about 150 goats on the farm, and they'll be sheared in the coming weeks. This close to shearing time, the brown goats are kept separate from the white goats so the fibers don't intermix. Though I'm against segregation, in this case it does seem wise. Once they're sheared, Doug assures us they'll be moved into a warmer space, what with being naked in the winter and all.
Regrettably, the folks who card and refine the wool for them started requiring a 500 pound minimum in order to process their spinning order. Because the fiber is incredibly light, some family farms had trouble meeting the minimum and banded together to find a more cooperative processor. Thus the Cashmere America collective was formed to pool resources and get the job done. My spinning friends would drool if they knew I laid my hands on raw cashmere fleece. It was like fondling a silken cloud.
Justine was planning to go snow-boarding this weekend, and demanded I wrap up the Snow Devil. Thank goodness she did! Now I've got the pattern in two sizes and finished her hat. I'm happy to hear the hat was a hit on the mountain.
The flaps keep your ears warm, and the ties keep the hat on your head during adventurous times. The horns? Well, they're just for fun.
I've updated the City Coat page this weekend, so please check out the new photos of the coat in motion. I love this knitted winter coat. Zips at both ends leave room for your stride. The sleeve is flared and over-long. A simple purled welt conceals a fabric pocket and maintains the clean line.
I'm excited to be using the NEW domiKNITrix branding on the City Coat photos. It's the first appearance of the new logo! Isn't it fantastic? We have so much more in store for you. New look and feel coming to this site around New Year's!
Happy Thanksgiving! National Overeating Day kicks off this annual holiday season (and National Hangover Day will end it come 1/1/2005). Let's remember to give thanks today. Whom you thank and how is entirely up to you.
I want to give credit to Brainy Lady, who found my skull chart and ran with it. She's finished up her denim pullover with red skull on the front and done a very nice job of it! It's here in her archives. Scroll down to her 11/13 journal entry for the skull raglan photos.
O happy day! I've finally found a tree with autumn color and shot the Autumn Argyles sweater properly. Here in San Francisco, most of our trees still have their leaves, or are evergreen. Luckily, I found this one at the beautiful Alamo Square park, a local landmark with a stunning City view.
My friend Stellah De Ville took these photos. We shot two other projects today as well. I'll add fresh pics of the City Coat soon, but I'm saving the stunning shots of Stellah in the Black & Blue Halter for the re-launch!
Have I mentioned how frustrated I have been with my 750 mHz PIII of late? Producing a web site with this computer is like making a terminally ill senior citizen work until he drops dead. My dear husband has ordered an advance Holiday gift: a new Toshiba tablet. So if you find some bugs on the site, it's because I don't have the patience to correct them with this wheezing, coughing, dying thing. I'll be training the young whippersnapper to do my bidding next week!
I've been working on a new project page for the Rounded Square Pillow page, so please check it out.
I'm offering a free pattern for this simple intarsia pillow when we re-launch the site. I will try to keep this site hopping until then, but I'm spending a good deal of energy on planning the redesign and re-launch. I think it's important to have some new patterns to offer when we re-launch, so I am diligently working on fresh designs. I'll be surprising you with at least two new top-secret projects.
I am sorry to report that I lost about a week of journal entries due to some foolish web publishing mistakes. Live and learn! I'm sorry you have to suffer though.
Here's a photo of me in the Venetian Butterfly Halloween 2002 costume I had posted. I typically dedicate several full-time weekends crafting a costume any year that I make one, so I only do it every few years. This year I was all about the Devil Hat, so I did not have the time for Halloween.
I am lucky to have taken the last 2 days off from my day job. As a result, you are lucky to have something fresh to rest your eyeballs on today. I found the time to take some fresh photos of my work.
I've been working on a new project page for Herringbones. Please start here if you haven't already seen my other projects.
This is the sweater, a cardigan made of Montera, 50% llama, and 50% wool. I strive to release the spirit in the yarn, and this one couldn't seem tell me clearly what it wanted to be. You'll have to go to the project page to read all the knitting drama.
No time for a journal entry right now. I feel like I've been working all weekend, trying to get the Devil Hat ready for sale. They weren't joking when they said the devil's in the details. Phew! I am finally done. I hope this will be the first of many patterns.
So get yours while it's hot, hot as Hades, that is!
The snow version below is not yet included in this pattern, just the Devil Hat pattern with smaller size horns.
I had fun in the Southland, working with Mom to transcribe my chicken scratch and test out the Devil Hat pattern, while putting the finishing touches on the snow version of the Devil Hat (which can't yet be included in the pattern for sale, but will be available soon).
My brother drove up from the O. C., which was a nice treat. Isn't he cute? And yes, that is a Wonder Woman t-shirt that goes with my Wonder Woman tattoo.
I hit the mother lode (heh) when asked if Mom had a spare tripod (there were 3 of good quality to choose from), so photos will be clearer and more consistently shot, once I get the hang of it. A big thank you to Grandma Hall and Dennis, the photography experts who left them to us when they departed this world.
We also came across the vintage Boye Needle Master kit Mom bought back in the 60's. These used to ship in two separate kits: the small needles had cables of a small diameter, while the larger set has larger cables. The new version contains all in one smaller case and uses the same very thin cables for all sizes. I strongly recommend the new kit for anyone who is serious about the craft. It's much neater and more complete than buying needles as you go.
We were digging for the remaining needles in the Boye Needle Master kit (they were attached to WIP's that hadn't been touched in 25 to 35 years) when we found the earliest sweaters I made, referred to in my post of 5/9/2004. I thought I'd demonstrate that we all have to start somewhere by posting them for you.
the second sweater I ever knitted, circa 1984 earliest known samples of domiKNITrix knitting the third sweater I ever knitted, the first I designed, circa 1986
Note the difference in color between the blue sweater and the ball of remnant yarn that was kept in Mom's knitting kit, away from the fading sun and laundry to which the sweater were subjected for decades. I was also charmed to see that I had knitted the ivory sweater with M1 decreases, which I haven't used in 20 odd years, and the decreases next to the YO eyelets don't match, because I hadn't learned how to SSK yet.
SSK= (slip as if to knit) slip, slip, knit these 2 sts together. SSK is the mirror of K2 Together. Try it out. I trust you'll thank me later.
Journal entry 10/7/2004
I'm off to visit my mother this weekend, in the beautiful San Fernando Valley. She and I will be testing the Devil Hat (scroll down for it) pattern so that I can have it ready for sale by Monday. We'll still have to get a PayPal link on the site somewhere. And I showed the hat to the staff at Imagiknit yesterday and they enthusiastically agreed to carry the pattern and even sell a completed hat or two!
I'm sorry I have been so quiet of late. I've been giving a lot of thought to the new domiKNITrix. I mentioned a while back that we were planning a redesign of this site, which is exciting! The longer we think about it, the more we think is needed. The other half of We is Ethan, who designed this site, and shall design its successor. We've picked a font for the logo and navigation, and are working on colorway right now.
I'm trying to figure out if a discussion forum is worth adding to the site. Do you want to post your own projects on domiKNITrix? Want to tell the world of freaky knitters what you are up to? And what about comments? I would love it if you would E-mail me and tell me what you think!
So here are the Devil Hats you've heard so much about. I'm working up the pattern in medium this week, having already done the small and large. On the large size, the horns are actually larger too, as well as the hat.
So what do you think? Just in time for Halloween. Will anyone buy the pattern? Would you?
I have been so busy at work this month, knitting has been a relief. but I haven't taken any photos for you yet. Please forgive me. I've been working on my second Devil Hat in orange, a large copy of the red Devil Hat, which is small. Next up, medium. This is not Debbie Stoller's Devil Hat - ahem, but one I designed on my own before I was told my idea was unoriginal. When you see the whole hat, you'll see just how original it is.
In the meantime, I am going to post a picture of a project I completed long ago, and it's not even a knitting project. My dear friend Danielle recently reminded me of this patchwork creation, which has been out of my sight for the last 2 years warming her marriage bed.
photo of the patchwork blanket I made for Danielle Maze and Frank McKane
It is rare that I give away something like this, but Danielle has been my friend through thick and thin. None truer. I do not pretend that it is quilted, just a simple patchwork blanket made of wool scraps and lined with cotton flannel. I even used fabric from our Catholic schoolgirl skirts to trim out the corners. I had a fear that this blanket would be the horrible white elephant gift that she would feel obligated to drag out of mothballs each time I would visit. I was pleased to see that it is well-loved (or at least that Danielle prefers cedar).
Happily, my finger has now healed. It's still a bit desensitized, but useful once again. So what would I choose to knit now? A new set of hands, of course!
Winging it as always, I've knit myself a new pair of gloves. I used Noro Kureyon color 115, of which I had 8 balls. I needed all 8 balls for this project, simply because I wanted all the fingers to be the same burgundy-into-brown color, and there's only a tidbit of that color in each ball. I have loads of leftovers, which will become other charming projects one day soon.
glove backs the right glove, finished gloves, palm up
My palms and fingers are long, and commercial gloves rarely fit. So it was a pleasure to fit these on my own hands as I went. I'm not done yet, and it's entirely possible I'll rip out the cast-on row and knit them longer, much longer, with some of the other beautiful colors left in the ball.
I think they will be sexy worn with the vintage bracelet-length beaver fur I inherited from Grandma Crosby. We'll just see about that, but first I've got to finish them.
I am sad to report that I have been on a knitting hiatus and typing slowdown because I sliced a digit badly and am letting it heal. I hope to be restored to full powers early next week, and most importantly, to regain the sensation in my injured finger some time after that.
A recent e-mail from Angela got me thinking to write a blurb on bias knitting, a topic near to my heart and hands:
I just happened upon your page, and I love reading it. You are an amazing knitter! (Jen sez: Awwwshucks. Thanks Angela!)
I noticed that you talk a lot about knitting on the bias. I'm not sure exactly what this means or how it is achieved. Could you give me a (very) brief explanation? You seem extremely knowledgeable, so I thought I'd go ahead and ask.
Well, brief explanations are not exactly my specialty, but I will try, Angela, since I don't get too much e-mail from the folks who visit.
So for Angela, the blurb is brief, and I promise beef it up and illustrate it soon. I also added a link to a great kitchener grafting article also found on the techniques page.