knitting blog archive: Spring/Summer 2006

August 27, 2006

In speed knitting news, we are eagerly awaiting the confirmation from the Guinness book jury regarding the world record attempt made by my dear friend Miriam Tegels, Holland's fastest knitter, who has clocked in at 118 stitches per minute! Wowee! Miriam has been training for this for years, and she is a sight to behold. She knits continental, which we both contend is the fastest way. Let's wish her God's grace on this world record.

I am also excited to announce that my book is pre-selling on Amazon (link at left). This is the enchanting lull I was waiting for, when I'm neither writing nor promoting my book. I've been enjoying some well-needed down time:

  1. reading a (non-knitting) book for the first time in a year
  2. listening to people more than I talk
  3. shopping in stores that cater to exotic dancers
  4. knitting a scarf ( I am embarrassed when people ask, that a knitter of my stature should be knitting a scarf)
  5. getting my groove back

I thought I'd have more of a chance to breathe after the herioc book effort, but if I want folks to show up at my events, I'm told I'd better get started planning them! So here's my best effort at a start.

My maiden book signing will be held Thanksgiving weekend at Nine Rubies Knitting in San Mateo, with more to follow in the Bay Area. I'll be attending CHA in San Diego January 13-14 and TNNA in Anaheim January 29-30. If you know of a local yarn store that would like to host a signing or domiKNITrix trunk show, including LYS within easy reach of the shows detailed above, please email me using the link at bottom of page. Ooh! I am so excited about doing trunk shows! <dancing a jig in a corset >

Also, please look forward to a major re-fresh here on the site in a month or so. Sometimes I just feel like sprucing things up around here, yaknow?

I'm still looking for two more Elfin Goth live knitalong participants who live in the Bay Area. Please email me directly if you are an expert knitter who loves this design.

August 13, 2006

I've restored the ever-popular skull chart to the site temporarily so those who have requested it can go print out their own copy. As you may know, hotlinks have been a serious problem with the skull, so I've been asking you to email me for it. Unfortunately, when I email it as an attachment, your junk mail and spam filters often catch it. So go print your own free copy now. I'll pull it down next week.

August 10, 2006

book teaser!
cashmere farm tour gallery
click picture to launch

Sorry for the interminable radio silence here. First I was crazy busy finishing up all of the last details of the book (2 weeks ago). Then I was just plain exhausted. When I finally became ready to update, zoinks: technical issues. Feh.

I'm still here! The smile has returned to my face and my body is healing. I'm finally giving it 110% at the office again, and boy did they miss me. I'm planning a vacation <sigh> at last. Oh, and I'm throwing a party on Friday! Woot!

Please check out the marketing materials for my book at left. This 8-page spread is used to sell the book to booksellers, and I just have this one lonely copy of it. Luckily, through the magic of the internet, I can share it with all of you. [Dial-uppers beware: the photos are huge to keep them purty, so they will load slowly. Get broadband, you'll love it.] The book will be out in NOVEMBER!

I am currently recruiting local knitters who live in the San Francisco Bay Area for an in person Elfin Goth knitalong. I am looking for 5 expert knitters who love this design and want to knit it with me, one in each size (XS-XL). If you are an experienced and amazing knitter who loves a challenge (this project is NOT for advanced beginners) please contact me using the email link at bottom of page. We'll meet once a week or every two weeks and move through this extremely challenging project together. Trust me when I say there are operations done in this pattern which you have never seen done before.

June 21, 2006

Miriam knit these shawls in 80 hours!
Miriam knit these shawls in 80 hours!

Joy! Summer is finally here. It's the longest day of the year, so be sure you make the most of it.

I know you think I'm a selfish knitter (it's alright; I am). Every once in awhile I do something nice for someone else, though. In this case, Dottie is one of my favorite people on this earth, and she's getting married in November. She had a mad plan to knit a lace shawl for each of her four bridesmaids. I thought it was a clever idea, since she's thoughtfully asking each maid to wear a little black dress (what, no foo-foo bridesmaid dress?!), and tying the look together with the shawls. I know she's certainly got other priorities that will suck up her time without knitting four shawls.

So I wrote to Miriam Tegels, my pinch knitter, and asked if she would be willing to take it on. She agreed to help happily, but suggested another shawl pattern by her friend Carla Meijsen, (who is a prominent member of Dutch S'nB) instead. This lovely pattern ran in a Dutch knitting magazine a few months ago. It is a much more beautiful shawl, in Dottie's and my opinion. So we shipped Miriam the yarn in mid-May and she's completed the shawls already. All four of them!

I would have loved to knit these myself, but as you know, my focus is on healing my body right now, so I've just picked up the needles again after (GASP!) almost a month, and am only permitting mindless knitting, though my mind immediately tries to make the tube scarf into a glove! Hah! Discipline, girl!

June 11 , 2006

Yes, a few weeks have passed since my trip to publisher's office and subsequent appearance at Book Expo America in Washington DC. Both were a huge success, unless you count the damage to my body. What damage? No, it wasn't the strait-laced leather corset I wore to the show, or the four inch stiletto boots. Just a simple case of working way too hard on 3-4 hours of sleep each night. No rest for the wicked!

Enough sniveling; I'll move on. No pain, no gain.

If I really meant to meet knit goddesses Stoller and Pearl-McPhee, a little note to them in advance might have helped, eh? Alas, I thought I would just "run into them" at the Expo which took up multiple football fields. I actually expected to holler "Hey Harlot!" across the great hall while I towered in my boots, ha! But Stitchy McYarnpants had obviously done her homework, made it to their talk AND visited me during my stint in the F&W PUblications booth. Clever girl. I'm looking forward to grabbing a copy of her book, since I've long been an admirer of her Museum of Kitschy Stitches, which recently moved here.

I've been waffling on whether to continue giving away the skull chart now that we're including it in the book, but recent photos of finished skull objects from readers have inspired me to continue sharing the love. I've updated the skull page accordingly, to show their fine work and (soon) to make it more like this home page, since it's the main entry point to this site for new readers.

With regret I pulled down the talk board in March, as a result of comment spam that became totally unmanageable. I'll be rolling out a discussion board in a couple months which requires registration. This should eliminate the spam quotient. I want to be sure the site is ready for the book, and host private discussions and knit-alongs for my readers. If you're looking for pattern tips, why not get them from the horse's mouth? I'll also be selling all but two of the book patterns here on the site available for PDF download, and probably a kit or two.

May 17 , 2006

Wow. It just keeps getting better!

So now I have turned in 20 projects, and the two I am still working on are gravy - but they are very cute and you're going to love them! We've been shooting the how-to-knit photography and my projects all week. Now that I've seen a model or two and a few of the shots, I am quite certain you are going to LOVE it!

packing for the trip... can't forget that corset! Sadly the riding crop with pink cable sweater didn't fit in my luggage.
packing for the trip... can't forget that corset! Sadly the riding crop with pink cable sweater didn't fit in my luggage.

Today was the domiKNITrix day of transformation. You know that scene from Batman Forever where Selina Kyle is transformed dramatically into Catwoman? Well, that's how I felt today, but the slash and gash was replaced by (fake eye) lash and (photographer's) flash. (And I currently prefer leather to the latex that attired Michelle.) I didn't realize the stylist had bought me a Narciso Rodriguez skirt and Costume National slinky top until I got home and noticed the labels -- and I get to keep them! I was so enamored of my glamorous hair and make-up that I want to keep them forever and ever too.

I've never felt so HOT in my life. Just wait until you see my jacket (er... corset) photo!

I'm also happy to report that a sea change at my publisher means the skull WILL be featured in the book!

Mwah! Life is good. Paint it black, bay-bee!

May 4 , 2006

It's all coming together now. All of it! WOOT!

Of the six new projects: two down, two in wrap up, and two half done. Oh, and a week and a half to go!

I know I mentioned the trip to the publisher coming right up. Well, get this: they're going to be having the fashion shoots for my projects while I'm there, so I get to watch that happen and influence it. O joy! O ecstasy!

Originally I had been adamant that we do the photography here in San Francisco with local talent and scenery. I spent a week coordinating a shoot: model, photographer, make-up, location, for Gothlet (no longer) seen here. Everyone involved did a wonderful job, and it was exciting to see one of my designs shot professionally.

Shouts out to the lovely model Samara Zibitt, photographer Michael Tweed, make-up artist and seamstress extraordinaire, Denise Pieracci, and the kind hosts who loaned their home for a day, the Sarins and Howard-Sarins, who recently opened the wonderful Nine Rubies Knitting shop.

But I didn't get much knitting done that week, that's fer sure, or writing. So I let go (imagine that!). What a liberating feeling. Now the publisher is going to do their job and rock my sweaters. I know this because I've seen the sales spread, and it is good. Not only are the photos beautiful, edgy and cool, but the book layout is too.

I also had a huge win today when I got the permission to use a certain very cool logo on one of the projects that is finished but for this logo.

Like I said, it's all coming together!

April 18, 2006

So I know you thought I was finished with all this book stuff, but wait … there’s more!

I did meet my deadline by turning in my manuscript back in the beginning of March. And they like the manuscript, hurrah! However, in the process of writing the text and coordinating all of those new samples being knit up, several projects just didn't work out. The project count dropped from 22 to 14.

My publisher was a little disappointed about that, which I totally understand; I was too! So they sweetly asked if I could make 6 more projects in 8 weeks time. Seriously.

Here’s the funny thing: I’m making 6 new projects and loving every minute of it! And they’ll be completed on time too, you’ll see.

What do I love most about knitting, my passion? Designing new things; developing new ideas. Now I have permission to do that for another month!

There's never been a better reason to e-mail my good friend Miriam Tegels, but I hope there will be, on the day she sets the world record for speed knitting! Forgive me for comparing one of my best knitting friends to a champion racehorse: She reaches the finish line while I’m still trying to focus my binoculars on the opening gate! So long as I keep her on the right track, everybody wins. I’m happy to hook her up with more delicious yarn donated by Karabella so that she can continue to set new records with her knitting speed. She tells me it takes her an hour to knit up a ball of Aurora 8. Dang! I wish her luck in her efforts to get her knitting speed documented by the folks at Guinness Book of World Records. I've seen her knit and it is quite a sight to behold!

Then, when I'm done with the new projects, I get to take a trip to my publisher’s office in the Midwest for photo shoots, and then on to Washington DC for Book Expo America, where I’ll be working the booth for my publisher, and hopefully catching a glimpse of the Yarn Harlot and Debbie Stoller. I wonder if there will be any other knit bloggers there thinking the same thing? Titter.

March 12, 2006

Boy, what a week I've had. I've done a horrible job managing the stress while submitting my first manuscript. I've concluded that surely it's more fun to be an author than it is to write a book.

Over the course of the last few months, as I've immersed myself more and more deeply in the text, I've come up for air less and less often. My family has grown accustomed to not hearing from me for weeks on end. My friends have bourne the lash of my whip aimed in the wrong direction, and those scars may never disappear, however I might salve them.

After submitting an unedited manuscript, I waited over a week to hear from the publisher. What does she think? Is it long enough? Is it good enough? Did she even receive the file?!

I was positively sick with a nasty case of the creator's curse. If you have a creative bone in your body (and you must, or you wouldn't be looking at this site), perhaps you've been cursed yourself at one time or another. Usually this happens to me when I 'm designing a sweater or a costume, but this time, I was writing a book: a wee bit more involved.

So how does this creator's curse work? In the beginning, when the idea is fresh, I'm a firecracker: exploding with enthusiasm for the project, incredibly productive, even sparking others to pick up their needles. I usually complete most of the project during this period and can't stop raving about it. I want to show it to and discuss it with everyone I see, sometimes with folks who couldn't care less about my knitting. But as the project draws to a close, suddenly, what I previously found so beautiful is revealed as hideous. My inner critic starts working overtime, finding every little flaw in the project, and ultimately, in myself. I fizzle out.

It's not a fun place to be, but I write about it here because misery loves company, and maybe you can quell your own anxieties by knowing that you're not alone. When I've talked to other creatives about the curse, they can usually relate. It applies equally to chefs and musicians, painters, designers ... it's a long list.

So, you may ask, how did it go? What did the editor think? Why did she keep me waiting so long? Well, it turns out she was hunkered down wrapping up someone else's book and just hadn't had the time to glance at what I'd sent. When we finally found the time to talk, she used the word GOOD to describe my manuscript, and what I'd thought was too little content was actually plenty.

So tonight I'll raise a glass to completion, which I believe is the only known antidote for the creator's curse. Cheers!