Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Local Magazine Story

Our local newspaper does a quarterly Magazine with stories that are not "hard" news.  Yesterday the editor of the paper came and spent about an hour discussing my knitting adventures for a story in the next magazine due out at the end of February.  I am very excited about seeing myself in print.  I am enjoying the fact that people are interested in my knitting and crochet and that it could become my Night job.  It is helping me keep dreaming about knitting as a 2nd career when I retire (or sooner if possible).  Lots of new projects are in the works.  I'll let you know if the story is on the newspaper's web site and link to it if possible.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What have I been up to, Up to now....

2 hour Wrap

more like 5 day wrap
 My wonderful wife gifted me with a weekend away this year for Christmas.  There are pictures of the place in which we stayed below.  It was secluded without the temptation of shopping (which we both love).   We did some yarn shopping on the way to the cabin.  I have included lots of pictures which I haven't shown before.  The two pics above are of my wife's Christmas present last year.  It is thick and glamorous and has a hint of pink in it.  She wears it well.
The next two pics are of a scarf I made for a co-worker
Bead It Scarf
 who retired in December.   I was unable to complete it by retirement date, but she came to visit last week and I gave it to her.  She was thrilled.
Retirement Gift
 She will have to hide it from her 3 daughters.
Bedroom at my Weekend Away

Cabin on the Horse Farm

Great Room in Cabin

Covered Bridge Red Ponchette

A very relaxed and happy Couple
Holey Mohair Shawl
Cabin Kitchen

Mobius Cowl wrapped twice

Here is the bedroom of the cabin from our weekend away.  (I still am having a hard time getting the hang of this blog for example arrangement of these pictures.  I'll keep practicing).

This is an outside view of the cabin.  It was on a working horse farm and we could view the horses from the windows as we knitted, crocheted, and watched movies all weekend.

My daughter is modeling lots of things for me.  See her in several items I have knitted over the past few months.  The ponchette was finished just before our trip.  The Holey Mohair shawl is small but was my first design (before I knew I could design, one day I will get around to remaking and writing up the pattern).  The mobius cowl to the right is an older piece, one of the first that I knit after learning.  It fits and looks good on my darling girl. 

The felted hat is only the second piece that I have ever felted (the first was a belt).  I accidentally felted
a little too much, but it will fit a pre teen girl.
Felted girl's hat

Shawl in Autumn colors
Another view of the hat, my daughter makes it look good.
This is my favorite shawl pattern.  It only takes me about a weekend to complete one.  And this one is in my favorite color, oranges. 
Shawl, tied in the front

Holey Mohair Shawl

Mini Waterfall Shawl

Sweetie Pie baby hat, for a friend

While we were at the cabin I quickly knitted up this Horseshoe lace cowl for the owner of the horse farm.  She was thrilled and called us on the way home to thank us.  It is going to be my next free pattern.  Look for it in February.

Finally I completed a baby hat from yarn I bought in Seattle, on the Men's Fall Knitting Retreat.  I gave it to a friend who had a baby this summer and she was thrilled.  I got to practice lace and try bobbles for the first time on this piece.  Well, now you know what I've been up to, up to now.  Next blog, finished pics of the Bernat Mosaic Shawl.

 Keep playing with sticks and string.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Big Box Store Help?

I am working on a crocheted shawl in Bernat Mosaic.
So, because of my rural living (which I do love until I want nice yarn), I find myself in Big Box stores quite often, trying to find "good" yarn for myself and acrylic for kid friendly and inexpensive projects.  Most of the people who wish to have something made by my wife or myself want "cheap and machine washable."  So on my weekend away I found myself in several big box stores looking over the yarn on sale.  A lady approaches my wife and asks "Do you knit, I need some help."  To which my wife replies, "We both do, and my husband is a published designer."  The lady seems very relieved and asks her question about fiber content, yarn weight, and suitable substitutions.  I answer as best as I can and show her a few yarn labels and offer a substitution to her fear of the wool content.  She was so pleased and said I am so glad I asked for help.  She commented that she could never find anyone in that store who knew anything about yarn, knitting, or crochet.  A few minutes later I am looking at a skein of wool which I have been wanting to make socks from.  A very nice English woman sees me looking over the skein and asks (in her wonderful accent) "Oh do you knit?"  And I reply "Yes."  She tell me that her brother learned to knit in school in England, but never learned more than knit and purl and could make a few items.  She asks, "Do you just knit and purl, like most men?"  So since my wife had already opened the bag, I replied "I am a designer."  She immediately comes back with a very English, "Oh, very well then!" smiling the whole time.  We continue our conversation and complete our yarn shopping.  On the way out of town to our vacation destination, we stop at one final Big Box Store.  In the store my wife and I are approached by a woman who is trying to match two different brands of yarn for a baby blanket she has started.  She holds the two up together and asks if we can tell a difference.  I tell the truth, as it is quite noticeable, and she seems disappointed.  She continues looking and so do we.  When we go to check out, I leave my wife at the register as I feel the "call of nature."  When I return from the restroom, I notice the lady is still comparing yarns trying to find something that will be close enough, when a tidbit of knowledge hits me.  I go to the lady and tell her to divide her large skein in half and use it at opposing ends of the blanket with the new yarn in the center.  I told her I read that somewhere or saw it on TV and it just occurred to me it may work for her.  She liked the idea and thanked me.  Later in the car my wife told me it was so nice to see me helping people with their yarn.  She said that I was in my "element" and the people knew I know what I am talking about.  So where am I going with this blog?  I think some big box stores owe me a discount for my customer service this weekend.  Why is it that these stores fully man a "custom frame counter", but never have anyone to man the needlework area?  Just a thought.  Coming soon, pictures of completed projects!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

I  am so thrilled at the fact that I have some followers.  I hope that you have been reading my blog to keep up with what is going on.  I have made some resolutions (not too many as I am terrible at keeping them).  The first is to start exercising again.  I have not been doing so since the weather turned cold and I need to get some weight off.  I hurt my back over the holiday so as soon as it is better I am going to try to start walking/running and lifting weights again.  The next resolution is to read a devotion each morning.  I have done so that past two mornings and plan to continue this each day.  The last resolution is to continue to design.  After the success of my first pattern I have been trying to design several items, two of which you can find here.  I have a stole pattern in my head at present and am working on writing up the pattern for my brother's cap which I had a picture of in my last entry.  I would love for this whole knitting/ designing /second career to take off and that is my dream for 2011!  I hope that everyone has a prosperous New Year.  Thanks for reading.