Monday, December 21, 2009

Tiny clothes, translated

You've heard that phrase, I'm sure--"When you're holding hammer, everything looks like a nail?" Well, when you're holding a pair of knitting needles, everything starts looking like a sweater. I think Pedro Almodovar's best work to date is Volver, mostly because of Penelope Cruz's absolutely mouthwatering...cardigans. The Matrix could just as aptly have been called The Latex, but the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar was certainly rocking some edgy deconstructed knitwear looks in there, too. And when we were watching The Road, I kept thinking I'd have an easier time of things than most in a post-apocalyptic cannibalistic society, because I could knit garments that would keep a person warm even in a nuclear winter.

So of course, during Fantastic Mr. Fox, what really held my attention was the meticulous set dressing and the puppet-sized costumery. Particularly the cute reverse-stockinette, broken-rib, long-sleeved shawl-collar cardigan Felicity Fox is wearing over her pajamas when the Fox family is driven underground. Someone else on Ravelry was asking about it, and I'd obsessed about it pretty much continuously since I saw the movie (making little sketches and even swatching with some merino-silk DK I didn't have a project in mind for yet). I felt like the pattern was practically written in my mind already, so I decided it was worth a quick detour from my other projects to finish it and post for the (at least) one other person who just hadda, hadda have it. I'm getting the Fastest Knitter In Town to rip out a prototype for me so I don't get hopelessly behind on the stuff that's hanging fire in the meantime. Pics coming soon! In the meantime, enjoy imagining what this charming garment will look like on the human variety of fox...

And it sure is a good thing FKIT can help me out on this right now. I just found out a dear friend back in CA is pregnant with twins (hooray for her and her own fantastic Mr.!), so I've got a whole passel of baby knitting on the docket, too! Ysolda Teague's Otto is my go-to for baby gifts, and I happen to have enough Baby Cashmerino in the stash to make a pair of 'em. On the other hand, I haven't made a blanket for a while, so I'm thinking maybe it's time to use that Serenity pattern I downloaded ages ago...who knows? Maybe both! Because you know I have so much free time...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy endings

Now, I am not one of those people who hated the Sopranos finale for being all postmodern and unresolved, and my favorite movie ending of all time is the one in The Italian Job. (The 1969 Michael Caine original, of course. Watch it, you'll die laughing when the credits roll.) All the same, I'm starting to realize that if things have to end, I'd rather they end happily. Call me old-fashioned, but I love it when the guy gets the girl. (And when the girl gets the girl, too--I heart Ellen and Portia! No on Prop 8!)

I also love it when I finally find my glasses/car keys/laptop charger after hunting all over the house, or when I get to the end of my workout and the sauna at the gym is NOT out of order anymore. Or the other day when it was cold and raining, and I was bummed about having to take the bus home, but then I found a soaking wet dollar bill on the sidewalk by the bus bench. Even little tiny happy endings like that can make my entire day.

My latest happy ending is Beverly. That was the project I frogged all the way from the hem to past the underarms when I realized it was all too small, and wrong, and just...bad. So discouraging. I put it aside for a while, then took a deep breath and started over a couple of weeks ago. Today, I put the very last finishing touches on it--and there were a LOT of finishing touches, let me tell you! Beverly is equal parts simple (top-down, seamless construction, all stockinette) and super-fancy (details like satin ribbon facing on the fronts, tiny hook-and-eye closures, tulip-hem sleeves, and beaded embroidery and appliques). Ravelry details are here. Between the silky alpaca yarn and the vintage-y style, it's like an instant heirloom.

The only little teensy thing I don't love about how this turned out: I wish I'd used more contrasty beads for the embroidery. These are too matchy-matchy, and they get kinda lost in the trim. But that's not enough to ruin it for me--not even close. I'm officially ending the Beverly saga with "and she lived happily ever after"!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Introducing Agatha!

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I went the entire day without knitting. On the other hand, I think I was eating or drinking (or both) for 18 straight hours, so the day wasn't a total loss. I co-hosted a big group dinner with a friend--I provided the turkey, she provided the house. A good time was had by all, mostly because there were three kinds of pie and the turkey, thank goodness, did not come out all dry. My thank-you note to my co-hostess will come in the form of the sample sweater I made for the Agatha ready for download from Knit Picks!

I've also created an addendum for working this design in lace weight yarn. That's what I used for the very first version of the Agatha design. I do love how it turned out, but, whew, that's a LOT of tiny little stitches on tiny little needles. I can't imagine doing that again, especially after having made two more with sport and light worsted weight yarns. Those seemed to fly off the needles after the lace weight version. BUT, if you have 1700-2400 yards of merino lace singles (or comparable yarn with which you can get 30 sts/48 rows to 4" in stockinette on US size 3 needles!) lying around, and you're a glutton for punishment, hey, have at it with my blessing! The addendum will be free for the first 100 Ravelers who download it, and then just $1.00 after that. (You will still need to get the original version from Knit Picks to get the instructions, charts, etc., but that won't break the bank.)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Doing the hard good thing

Vera - front view
Originally uploaded by snowdenbecker
First things first--Vera is finally ready for prime time! Like Adelaide, she has been tech-edited, and thereby much improved, by the wonderful Hadley (Ravelry: hadleygetscrafty) and some extremely patient test-knitters. So that wasn't too hard for me, and I hope it'll be good for you! This design was originally made for Rowan Calmer, a longtime favorite of mine, and between the chainette construction of the yarn and the ribbing, it's a great stretchy cardigan to wrap up in for autumn (which has FINALLY arrived here in Texas). It's a $3.00 PDF download from Ravelry; the pattern includes charted and written instructions for the leaf-and-vine insets, and it's worked bottom-up with seamless set-in sleeves--practically no finishing required.

Second things second: Today I had to frog out half a sleeve and the entire body of a sweater-in-progress. Everything was the right shape, but it was just too small--the fit wasn't right for the style, and I knew if I went ahead and finished it as an XXS, I'd be so frustrated at not getting it right. So, rip rip rip up past the armpits, wind wind wind the yarn back onto the ball, and start from square one. Maybe one and a half--the shoulders and upper back were fine, and I had a lovely swatch to start with...

This is only the latest in a string reminders about something my husband says: Anyone can do the easy thing. Most people can do the easy good thing, and everyone does the easy bad thing more often than they should...but sometimes you have to do the hard good thing. I've done a couple of projects now where doing the hard good thing--ripping out hours worth of work--became inevitable. I wouldn't say it's gotten easier, but I've never once regretted it, or felt it wasn't worth the extra effort in the end. And hey, any excuse to put off doing more work on my dissertation!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New pattern, new prices

I must be a grown-up now: My first professionally tech-edited pattern is up and ready for download from Ravelry. You can buy it right now for $3.00 with the button below, in fact! Adelaide took some extra effort, because the construction method is a little unusual (worked from the borders inward, and then up from the hem, with no seams). Having convinced myself I had the math right, I wanted to make absolutely sure.

Hadley (on Ravelry: hadleygetscrafty) came highly recommended, had reasonable rates, and was available when I contacted her, which might be the most important thing. She turned the job around quickly and did really terrific work. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship! Hopefully, you all will benefit from her efforts without ever being truly aware of it. You'll just think I'm an awesome pattern-writer who's naturally perfect with math stuff. Riiiiiiiight...

Some of my older patterns will get the professional tech-edit treatment in the near future; they'll also be updated to include suggestions and improvements from folks who have worked from them already (things like new charts and schematics, technique refinements, etc.). Rest assured that if you've bought a pattern from me in the past, revised versions will always be available to you AT NO CHARGE. The way I see it, I'm not giving anything away (after all, you already bought it), and I'd rather my best work was available to everyone--not just whoever wants to shell out twice for the same pattern.

Last but not least, after having a "back to school sale" in late August/early September, I've decided to drop all my pattern prices to $3.00--permanently. Go crazy!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Placid, and full disclosure

Here I am, starting the day off right: With my knitting, the New Yorker, and a cup of coffee on the deck of our cabin by the lake at the Sherwood Forest Motor Inn near Lake Placid, NY. There were ducks and herons, and we went canoeing every day while we were in town for a friend's wedding. (A certain quantity of maple-nut fudge was also consumed.) It was a timely break, falling as it did in between submission of my written qualifying exams and my oral defense, the last stage in the qualifying procedure for my PhD. I passed my orals last week, and am pleased and relieved to report that I have now advanced to candidacy. Yay, me!

So, that at least partially explains the long gap between posts. That, and the fact that it's STILL getting up into the 90s around here. Knitting must be done indoors, and even then anything bigger than a sock will give you a seriously sweaty lap. I have, however, been kind of cranking them out lately--I finished the Vera-scarf-inspired Adelaide in time for Amy Singer's visit to The Knitting Nest (OK, all except for two buttons. Which I finished day before yesterday--that still counts! Final FO pics coming soon for that.) I think that pattern's just about ready for posting now, too--we'll unveil it for the Hill Country Yarn Crawl. Maybe get a KAL going for it or something...

I also finished Myrtle 2.0, with improvements made to the all the little things that bugged me about the first one. I mirrored the lace panels on either side of the front and back, inserted more lattice panels where I had ad hoc stockinette sections before, simplified the shaping, and worked out a more reliable way to keep the stitch count right on the set-in sleeves, which was difficult originally because the stitch count for dayflower lace changes pretty much every row. I even worked up the chart for the lace pattern, so I'm about halfway done writing up the pattern for multiple sizes, too. Whew. But that's not all! I've also written up instructions for Agatha and charted THAT lace pattern, too (getting to be an expert at this here charting stuff). Which leads me to my most exciting update...

FULL DISCLOSURE: Agatha will quite likely be the next pattern I release--and the first one I release as a sponsored knitter, with yarn support from KnitPicks! I was approached by a representative of the company several weeks ago with this generous offer--and after I got over my initial conviction that they must have me confused with someone else, I was thrilled to accept. It's probably clear from my Ravelry project page that I'm already a KnitPicks fan (especially of the oh-so-soft Alpaca Cloud: there's the shawl I made for my MIL, and the Laverne sweater I just finished for my pal Lisa--plus a dozen or so hats for friends in the late, lamented, lovely Panache, which they don't sell anymore). So it's not like I'm compromising my values here. In fact, I think KP really helps me knit in harmony with my values--for instance, I chose Shine Sport as an alternative for Decimal because it was a way more affordable option than the Rowan Cotton Glace I worked the original in. Life's too short to knit with cruddy yarn, but when you're talking about shelling out $100 for materials just for size XS, you know you're going to be pricing a lot of people out across the entire size range. And they have organic cottons, too!

Not all my future patterns will feature KnitPicks yarns. I support my LYSes faithfully, and those who know me know I'm powerless to resist good fibers, whatever the source. When I do design with KnitPicks in mind, though, you can be sure of two things: 1) I truly think that it's the best yarn for the project, and 2) KnitPicks was generous enough to provide me, an independent designer, with the support I needed to make it. Thanks, KnitPicks!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Wishful knitting

Who wishes fall would hurry up and get here, already? I do...

And then winter should come, too. As soon as possible. Please. Is anyone up there listening? At least call it quits with the 100-plus temperatures for a while, OK? Pleeeeeeeeeezzze?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'm on TV!

OK, well, maybe it's not TV exactly. But I finally decided to support Ravelry by becoming an advertiser on their Patterns page--which means that my cobbled-together ad (pictured at right) for the Harriet sweater pops up in prime placement one out of every 11 times you load the page. It's unreasonably exciting for me to see it up there and I've been checking my click-through stats obsessively, of course.

In honor of the occasion, I'm having a "Back to School" sale on all my current patterns--they're 40% off for a limited time only, so if you've been wanting to buy one (or two or three), now's the time! I regret that back-to-school-sale pricing applies to the patterns only; I can't do anything about the cost of the yarn, kids. :-)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Is that your stash, or your furnace?

It's happening again...there's a WHOLE lotta yarn in the stash. Some of it is destined for projects that are already on the needles, some of it is for imaginary stuff that's yet to be...but it all reminds me of that thing we learned about in 8th grade science class: Potential energy.

You remember: The car that's barreling down the road while the driver texts her BFF has kinetic energy--probably more than enough to kill the li'l ol' pedestrian who's on her way to the bus stop, where she's planning to get a few rows of knitting done before the #5 comes.

The yarn in the pedestrian's project bag, on the other hand, has potential energy--to roll away into the grass clippings behind the bus-stop bench, or to bounce down the bus steps and under the seating reserved for seniors and mobility impairments. Or to become something that generates warmth, particularly in the area of the wearer's heart. (Awww...) Look at it that way, and the yarn cupboard in my home office has more BTU's than the closet with the water heater in it--potentially, anyway.

According to the one-for-you, one-for-me principle, having just finished that sample for the still-very-secret book project and my pal's Laverne, I'm due at least two sweaters of my very own. (Doesn't matter in the least that it's 105 degrees out every day here in Texas. Call it wishful knitting.) So I'm working up my new merino lace singles into a sweater pour moi. I've done the front edgings and worked down past the sleeve-separation point now...and the great thing is, this yarn is really living up to its potential energy. Because I spend my days working on my doctoral research--work that can be by nature a solitary, incremental, open-ended, and frustrating leap of faith in one's own intellectual abilities--knitting like this offers an extra comfort now.

It just feels good to have a vision for something, pick up my yarn and needles, cast on, and start working doggedly in that direction. I may not know just how I'll answer my research questions (yet), but I do know how to pick up and knit the right number of stitches to start working down from the back neck edge. I may waste time referring back to all my disorganized research notes during my qualifying exams a few days from now; nevertheless, just like referring to the chart for that lace pattern, eventually I'll know it well enough to wing it. I can tell as this new sweater takes shape that it really is turning out the way I want it to--that I finally have the knack of translating my mental picture into a physical object that matches it just so.

As each fat cake of yarn in my stash dwindles down to a nugget, I see myself as activating its potential energy, channeling it with great precision and accuracy (and pointy pointy needles) in the direction where I want it to go. And that, in turn, is reassuring me that I really can reach my own potential when it comes to the giant hoard of articles, books, case citations, and research materials piled up around my desk. Now all of that seems less like an unmanageable morass, and more like just another stash I'm working my way skein at a time.

Friday, July 31, 2009

So much more than meets the eye...

July's steaming toward the finish line, and I've spent more than half of it away from home--which means plane trips, which means some nice long uninterrupted stretches of knitting (and reading dreadful celebrity gossip magazines, thanks to which I now know who AnnaLynne McCord is and what chicken cutlets are). Yay, I've been productive!

I finally finished the Laverne sweater I started for one of my best gal pals, which worked up great in KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud--the finished fabric has a super-silky hand and gorgeous drape, but the laceweight yarn should stave off that pesky alpaca drooping problem...

I also handed over the finished sample for a book project I was honored to be invited to contribute to. It's a sweater, and it's in Knit One, Crochet Too BabyBoo in Lemon Ice--which is absolutely not a color I would have chosen if I were making something for myself, but it ended up surprising me. It showed texture beautifully and had a great shimmery depth, even in a pastel hue. It also looked terrific with these pretty periwinkle vintage buttons I picked up on one of my trips this month. Wish I could say more than that, but I've been sworn to secrecy--rest assured you'll hear about it when the book comes off the presses!

I also cranked out another Otto bear for a friend who's expecting, and made him a little sweater and pants out of stash yarn. That's fast becoming my go-to baby gift. Ysolda Teague's pattern is so fun to knit, it's cute as can be, and stuffed animals are conveniently gender-neutral...

My next big project, knitting division: I started on a duster-length sweater using the graphite-gray merino laceweight that Stephanie dyed up for me earlier this month. I decided to resist the Hannah Fettig trend (charming as the Featherweight sweater is, I think it's too short for my figure, and it would look too plain if I just extended it), so I am playing around with the Fernfrost lace pattern from an Anne Hansen shawl I liked as a border, and am going to see where that takes me. Next big project, rest-of-life division: Finishing my qualifying paper and taking my qualifying exams, which should be happening over the next few weeks. Expect even fewer posts than usual during that time!

(Oh, hey, if you like the sweater, you can score a copy of the pattern via the Ravelry pattern store by clicking here:

You need not be a Ravelry user to use it!)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The "mal" in Malabrigo

I won't be the first to say this: Malabrigo has enormous goodwill among knitters, because it's soft, offers great yardage for the money, and comes in such pretty, pretty colors. I've used it on more than one project and it's a pleasure to touch (um...just don't ever try to frog it).

However, Malabrigo seems not to be as well-liked by LYS owners and yarn buyers, because their supply chain seems to be a *wee* bit erratic. They're victims of their own success, apparently, and either can't (or don't bother to?) meet demand. People come into my local store on a daily basis wanting to buy Malabrigo laceweight--or any weight--and find that all they have left is a sad few hanks, and no word on when more will be coming. The order was put in months ago, and no one is answering the phone at Malabrigo, and the shop owner has thrown her hands up in despair.

Those of us who've had an eye on this summer's hottest pattern, the Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig, have started to feel this pain too. I want to make this sweater (or, OK, maybe something of my own design, but along these lines, and with this yarn) but not in pale yellow or bright pink Malabrigo--which was all my poor LYS could offer.

UNTIL NOW. Spinning Colors proprietor and crackerjack kettle-dyer Stephig has come to the rescue! She's offering a nearly indistinguishable laceweight 100% merino in some of her signature colorways, in a 950-yd. skein, for $20 (just one is enough to make the Featherweight in size Small). The color shown above is Jade; she's also got variegated Amethyst, Glacier, and Be Mine in stock. I have touched this stuff, and it's the real deal--downy-soft and superfine. Get your own before she stops answering her phone, y'all!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Well, that wasn't so hard after all.

Just 19 days later, Vera's done. And just as I'd hoped, working on something completely new helped me get back in the saddle on the old stuff, too--I'm making progress already and should be done with at least one of those projects by the end of the week, or maybe even sooner. I'm in a better groove with my "real" work, too. Things are looking up! (Including me, apparently, in this picture. Suggestions on how I could look ANY dorkier are always welcome, har har.) Thanks to those who made supportive and thoughtful suggestions on the whole feeling-bleh-about-working situation--it totally helped!

So, a word or two about Vera: This is a sort of remake, as I mentioned--same yarn, same stitch patterns, but with some structural changes/fixes and subtle improvements. It's worked with only two seams, one across each top shoulder, so finishing is really minimal. The body is in one piece up to the underarms, where the sleeves (worked separately) are joined, decreased on right-side rows up to the cap, and then the fronts and back are worked separately with the sleeve cap stitches decreased in seamlessly. The collar is squared off in the back, sort of like a sailor collar, and worked flat in one piece across the fronts and back neck after the body and sleeves are done. I've left the front open, but fastened it with a pin; it could be belted, snapped or buttoned if you feel you need closure. More pics and some additional pattern details are on Ravelry...

(If you are interested in test-knitting this for a larger size (44-54" bust), let me know! It'd take about 14 balls of Rowan Calmer, but there's no deadline.)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Setbacks, letdowns, doldrums...

Is it just that summer's starting? Or that I'm a better envisioner/ponderer/starter than a finisher? A preference for process over product? The lingering effects of end-of-term burnout? Or what?

The charting software I got is not *quite* what I wanted, and the dress form I finally allowed myself to buy is back-ordered until the middle of next month. I've got four projects either on the needles or waiting to start, and am just not that into any of them anymore. Ditto for the conference presentations, peer-reviewing and writing of journal articles, and qualifying paper that I'm supposed to be wrapping up. There's no shortage of deadlines and to-do list items, in other words; just a total lack of enthusiasm for the "do" part. That feeling of reluctance to stand up when your leg's asleep? I have it for my brain.

It would feel really good to Get Something Done, but instead of finishing an already-started thing, whee! I'm starting something new. Vera's an open-fronted, ribbed cardigan with a leaf-and-vine panel and squared-off collar, in Rowan Calmer, which is incredibly stretchy and soft. I made the original about six years ago, when I was just getting back into knitting after a long hiatus, and it's been my go-to for the slouchy pajama topper on a chilly night. The original was worked in pieces and seamed, but the updated version is worked flat in one piece to the underarms, with sleeves set in seamlessly.

Start the clock--we'll see how long it takes to finish this. Or anything.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The end of all-nighters is nigh.

I'm *thisclose* to finishing my projects and classwork. Hoo. Ray.

My end-of-semester treat to myself? Trip to Vegas and a new piece of knitting software. Either one could make me a millionaire--or cost me thousands! (Because I'll need to buy yarn to go with all those charts and graphs I'll be making once I learn how to use it, of course.) Mwah ha ha ha! Also, I get to knit instead of writing papers and doing research--for a few days, at least.

And when I get back, the now-traditional, semi-annual, complete and total overhaul of the ol' home office space to release all the pent-up mojo from the last four months. My new dress form should be coming soon, too. Can't wait.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Harriet pattern now available!

I'm sure no one was holding their breath, but in case you were, you can let it out now: I've just posted the pattern for the Harriet cardigan for sale in my Ravelry store. The published version covers a range of sizes from 30-54" bust, and includes instructions for making the sweater with or without the contrasting collar (without, it's a simple v-neck). What's of greater interest, perhaps, are the additional instructions for customizing the fit to avoid the giant-armholes problem that's frequently encountered in top-down raglan sweaters, especially in larger sizes. As you can (kind of) see from the image below (which is less nice than the image above, because the image above was taken by my more-talented friend Stephanie Gage, while I took the other one), it has a smooth, snug fit at the underarm in all sizes.

It's a simple enough trick--it just involves tweaking where and how often the increases are worked for the sleeves and front/back--but I think it gives great results, and might make the top-down raglan a much more successful style for people whose upper-arm and chest proportions differ from the so-called average. Since publishing Decimal, I've gotten a lot of comments indicating that this is a major area of concern--not just for larger knitters, but for anyone who has thinner arms/thicker torso or vice versa--so I want to emphasize that this pattern is designed with a great deal of care to maintain proportions and fit across the entire range of sizes. It's a classic silhouette that should be flattering and very wearable on everyone.

Hope y'all like it!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Another one is off the needles! This lace cardigan--named Myrtle for the usual reason, as well as for the crape myrtle trees that will start to blossom around here soon, and in honor of a friend's recently deceased cat--is worked from the bottom up in a fingering weight merino from Cherry Tree Hill, with set-in sleeves that are joined at the underarms and worked along with the upper body and shoulders for minimal finishing.

Unfortunately, the version shown here is most definitely a prototype. It's got about a million mistakes in it that will need to be corrected before a publishable version of the pattern will be ready. But I do love the color--Nantucket Red--and the dayflower lace pattern (which I first saw here, thanks to one of my professors)...

Friday, March 20, 2009


Named for the intrepid California State Librarian (1951-1972) Carma Russell (Zimmerman) Leigh, this is a delicate jacket worked in laceweight silk that was held doubled while knitting. I love the drape and hand of the finished fabric, but found working with a double strand to be kind of a pain, frankly; also, this particular ink-blue color bled onto my fingers and stained my nails while I worked it. I'm tring to find a fingering-weight silk or viscose blend I like, so I can achieve a similar drape and texture for the next one without all that mess.

Best thing about this project, I think, is that it was totally seamless--worked top-down from a provisional cast-on at the lower edge of the back neckline with set-in sleeves that are picked up and knit after the front and back shoulders have been worked about 1/3 of the way down. Barbara G. Walker's Knitting from the Top describes this technique, but I think the description and illustrations in French Girl Knits by Kristeen Griffith-Grimes are a bit better--and her book includes some nice projects knit this way, too. The pearly antique-white collar edging is picked up and knit in one piece with mitered decreases at the corners. I finished it off with matching Dorset buttons made following this tutorial. These ones were only 1/2" wide and extremely fiddly (not recommended, frankly, although I think they really look nice). And there's crocheted shell-stitch edging all the way around, which is a total case of "if you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail": shell stitch is the only thing I can do in crochet, and I only just learned it, so I kinda went to town on this one.

I like to think that the (extremely pretty) Carma might have worn something like this as a bed jacket around the time she got her degree from the UC Berkeley School of Librarianship in 1930. In this day and age, it'd be a perfect summer top over a sundress, or worn over a lacy cami and jeans.

Additional project details are in Ravelry...I'm currently working on a larger-size prototype, after which this pattern will be made available for test-knitting. Let me know if you're interested!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Welcome, Knitty readers!

Howdy to everyone who clicked over here from the just-now-live Spring issue of Knitty! That was awfully nice of you. And thanks to the truly stunning number of you who have already queued or faved the pattern on Ravelry, or written with kind words or comments on the Decimal sweater. Wow. I'm overwhelmed.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Would you look at that!

Some astute readers may have made the connection between my username on Ravelry--TT820--and the names of some of my sweaters--Laverne, Shirley, Harriet, Adelaide, the forthcoming Clara and Carma, etc. I admit the connection might have been a little harder to make when you consider the pop-cultural resonance of the first two names, though. And the image above, in which the sweaters worn by Laverne and Shirley respectively resemble their eponymous counterparts in my Ravelry store, will only make it harder to convince you that my designs weren't inspired by this very album cover...but they weren't.

Harriet, on the other hand, owes her name at least in part to this lady:

That's former Oregon State Librarian Harriet C. Long, for those who didn't recognize her right away. I think she looks like an awfully nice lady, don't you?

(Thanks to Frank's Vinyl Museum and The Oregon State Library for these images!)

Busy, not lazy

Aside from checking Knitty constantly to see whether the new issue is live yet (it's not), I've been writing up the pattern for Harriet, learning to crochet*, and making socks for the two newest members of the Center for Home Movies board of directors. Oh, I'm also enrolled for a full courseload, have a book review half-written for the AMIA journal, and am trying to get to the gym every once in a while. So I've been productive, if not vocal over here on the ol' blog...

*OK, I wouldn't say I have learned to crochet. I've just learned to crochet these. But that's not bad for a confirmed knitter!

Monday, February 2, 2009


In other news, I just found out the pattern I submitted to Knitty for their Spring issue was accepted. Needless to say, I'm excited to the point of constant shrillness about this. I can't even try to act cool about it...nor can I tell you anything about the item to be featured, as one of Knitty's requirements is that it be previously unpublished.

But I think it's not giving TOO much away to provide this picture of a finished version of it that I gave to a friend...

Let the countdown to early March begin!


I finally got those last few balls of yarn I needed and finished the latest design: Harriet, an allover cable cardigan with contrast collar. The fantastic photo below is by Stephanie Gage, who in addition to her mad skillz behind the lens is also a talented fiber artist.

I got so antsy waiting for the yarn to come in that I knitted a whole other Harriet for my pal Jene (b.k.a. "T-Bone"), which is collarless but, I think, equally pretty in this strawberry-ice-cream pink. They're both made with Sublime cashmere/merino/silk, which is absolutely delicious yarn to work with--highly recommended for cushiness, color, and shine.

I'm finishing up the math for all the in-between sizes now, and will probably have the pattern ready for sale in the next week or so. The final version of the pattern will include instructions for both neckline variations, in case you're wondering...