Saturday, December 15, 2012

Yes. Excited.

There is nothing left but to be excited.  Excited about the next Vogue Knitting LIVE! at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, excited about the news I'm going to share very very soon, excited excited excited.

Pretty much all of my classes are sold out for this upcoming event, and for that I am ETERNALLY grateful.  I know as consumers, people have a lot of choices, and I'm always very grateful when they chose to come hear what I have to say, learn what I have to teach, and spend and hour or three with me in the same room.  So, if you're reading this, and you've ever been one of those people, or you're about to be - THANK YOU.

So, this is where we're going to be:

Well, not actually in the elevators, but I thought this shot was pretty cool.  So, if you're staying in the hotel, chances are you'll ride in one of these bad boys.  They're like bullets shooting up into the sky.  I could stand there for hours and watch people in them.

And this is one of the eateries:

If you haven't signed up for one of my classes, there are only a couple spots left, so hurry!!

And stay tuned for my big news.....

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Healing Sweater

I think there comes a time when you realize what's important in life.

Yeah, I know. That's been said before. By, like, millions of people. But probably because it's true. I, too, have reached that point before. And then I go back to complaining and moaning and not focusing on what's important. And then I go back to realizing the important stuff. You know the game. The trick is to limit the time I spend in ungrateful land.

I've recently been blessed with some really good news. A project that I've been trying to squeeze out of the universe for quite some time, only to have it sucked away from me a couple times, has finally, it seems, come to fruition. I can't really say more than that for another week or two.

I've also heard some really bad news. Like, really bad. A guy I call my friend has recently found out he has cancer - again. I don't know how many bouts he's had to endure, but the way he describes it is here. I made him a red cashmere hat when he, like many cancer patients, found out he'd be losing his hair; it seemed like a no-brainer. He's got humor about the whole thing too, which to me, is like a lesson in living. I remember knitting that hat for him. Strangely enough, it brought ME comfort to craft something from my hands and dye it with a special energy that only we knitters know how to create. I feel so at peace when I'm knitting (this wasn't always the case). It is such a gift to feel the yarn, feel the fabric developing, and really understand that the wool came from somewhere. A grazing, beautiful creature that has no clue I'm now knitting with his or her fiber that was once matted with straw and manure. It's an indescribable connection, I tell you.

I've recently found that comfort again (from the yarn, not the manure) in this sweater:

Maddy Lane's Garden Paths

I promised this sweater to my sister for her 40th birthday.  I didn't deliver.  We went through a rough patch (which we continue to go through), and I put the sweater away.  But of all the unfinished projects and 'what was I thinking' moments, I knew not to unravel this.  I knew the time would come when I would need the reconnection.  

So I'm completing it.  And I'm praying into every stitch.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Just try to watch this without smiling....

Since 1955, Loes Veenstra has knitted over 550 sweaters and stored them in her home on the 2nd Carnissestraat in Rotterdam. The sweaters have never been worn. Until today.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


I've been really productive lately in the knitting department.  I am trying my best to catch up on unfinished projects.  Usually as knitters, we know what that means.  But it applies to other areas of my life, too.  Unfinished business, finishing what I start, follow's a common theme.

In March, 2010 I started the sock yarn blanket on Ravelry, but it's also here, in case you want to make your own.  I originally thought I must have been crazy to start something like this, but I was attracted to its beauty nonetheless.  I love the novelty of seeing something off the ground, kinda getting to know what it will look like, and once I have the gist, I get bored.  The rest of the time spent actually finishing the damn thing would just be, well, a lot of repetitive work.  I'm sure there's a psychological equivalent of all this.

I think the difference now is I see the solace in those moments (or hours).  For me, it's a meditation.  I didn't used to feel this way, but I think it's all part of one's journey.  I feel a lot more connected to tradition, history, and humanity as I get older - and knitting is as much a part of humanity as the need for warmth, food and shelter.

This is the sock yarn blanket as of right now:

I've also just finished up two cowls made from Madeline Tosh yarn, one of which is shown here:

I love the color, called "Cosmos".  It's a really deep rich purple with flecks of acid green.  I will be posting the pattern on Ravelry as soon as I get some good model-y shots of it.  

The other cowl will be kept a secret until I'm ready to publish them.  They will be available as a set or individually.  

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Post VK Live/Hurricane

In the aftermath of the hurricane, I hope that each of you are finding peace and hope and are making it through bit by bit.

Thank you to everyone I had the privilege of meeting over the weekend of Vogue Knitting Live! in Chicago, October 26-28.  I am deeply grateful that each of you chose one of my classes and helped make it the success it was for me and for the Vogue Knitting folks.  I know as consumers you have lots of choices, and I am very thankful you chose to take mine.  I hope you all learned something and took away things that will make you a better knitter, seamer, zipper sewer, or that you left at least feeling inspired to try something new.  I am blessed that Vogue Knitting trusts me to pass on the information I have, and I get to work with such fun, talented, passionate people.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


So another Vogue Knitting Live is upon us, and I couldn't be more nervous thrilled.  I am really looking forward to getting out of NYC, actually.

I mentioned an enormous project I finished for Vogue Knitting, so here it is:

It's from the upcoming Holiday, 2012 issue, the "Top Brass" story.  It's a really beautiful one, if you haven't checked out the patterns, the preview is online here.

I hope to see / meet some of you in Chicago - and don't be afraid to say hi!

Happy Knitting.....

Monday, October 15, 2012

New pattern: Noose

Sometimes I miss being able to just do my own designing, even though I LOVE working for Vogue Knitting as one of their designers.  It really is a great opportunity; I've met so many great people, been able to travel around the country teaching, and play with yarn.  What's not to love? 

I finally got some time to knit up some of my stash yarn into a new original design, Noose.

It really was the first time I just had fun experimenting with cables.  Now don't get me wrong, I've always knitted cables, (and in fact have a cabled beauty in the next issue of Vogue Knitting) but only exactly if I knew what i was doing, I knew how it would look, and I knew there would be no surprises.  I don't know why, but for some reason cables have always intimidated me.  There's just something so, I don't know...complicated-looking?  And if I had to rip them out?? Forget it.  But suddenly one night I just said, "Alright cables.  It's YOU AND ME."  So we had it out.  Now I'm not scared anymore.  I even got a little carried away and made a full scarf version of the scarflette above:

And you get them both with the pattern.  So download yours here and lose your fear of cables..  (if you had any).

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sometimes...on design process

I often get asked what my design process is like.  Well, here it is:

Sometimes my process is messy.  Sometimes it's very tidy and Martha Stewart-like.  And sometimes we just get in a big fight and I have to put it away for the night.  When I was in art school, my painting instructors would always advise walking away for a while.  The overnight time gives you perspective.  And then the next time the two of you meet, you will more than likely see things very differently.  I believe that.  I think that sometimes what is going on in your head with just the everyday stress can result in garment disaster.  So yeah.  All that.

Sometimes I will literally stare at the project after I've just ripped half of it out and wait for it to speak to me.  No really - I want it to speak to me.  It would more than likely just say "um..that hurt." 

Sometimes I have a clear driven idea in mind and we will walk hand in hand until the job is done.  That simple.

And sometimes I have no idea what to do and I hold the ball of yarn, staring, hoping for some sort of magical transfer from the fiber to my nerve endings.  That, for the record, has yet to happen.

But I would be nothing without my urge to explore, and my need to create from fiber that comes from animals.  Design missteps, stitch disasters, gauge imperfection aside, I hope I never lose the desire.

Happy knitting.....

Friday, August 17, 2012

Mysterious Content

I'll be presenting/teaching at The Mysterious Content of Softness, a future exhibit at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum in Winter Park, Florida.  I'm honored to be part of this show, and am looking forward to meeting all the great artists.  If you're in/around the area - stop by the show!

I just finished a MAMMOTH project for Vogue Knitting, which will be in their next issue.  I wish I could show you, but just keep your eyes peeled for my new design!

I am finishing up 2 new designs for Vogue Knitting Live, which will be in Chicago from October 26-28, 2012.  I've been working with the Long Island Livestock Company collaborating on the beginning of a series of one-two skein projects which will be available at the show.  I'm also putting the finishing touches on an exclusive for BagSmith using this yarn:

It is one of my favorite yarns, it's like braided squishy bread dough.  I was in the studio last night making final edits to the design and I'm very excited the way it has turned out.  Stay tuned, as I will post info about both designs here on the blog as they are ready to go.

Happy Knitting.....

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

No More Facebook

I have just deleted my Facebook account.  And it couldn't have felt better.  It was a long time coming, I think.  I was just one of those people that never could get behind it and never could commit to curating my past for someone like Mark what's-his-name.  I'd rather spend my time on my creative life and communicating the old-fashioned way.

So speaking of creation, these are my latest designs from Tahki Stacy Charles' FW 2012 Anthology collection:

Hemingway Cardigan

The yarn is new, called Juno.  It's really cool, actually.  It has a really fine springy caging around it, so it is really bouncy when knitted up. 

This is a new poncho design, made with Big Montana.  I love using that yarn, it's so bulky but so lightweight at the same time.

Hawthorne Hooded Poncho

In other news, 2 of my Seams Like Surgery classes have sold out for Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago, so if you're wanting to sign up, you'd better hurry!!  It'll be nice to be in Chicago again; I haven't been since I lived in Indianapolis.  The commute to Chicago is pretty short from Indy, so I would go as often as I could.

Happy Knitting....

Friday, July 6, 2012

New Knit Simple 2012

If your weather is anything like New York City right now, I'm sure the last thing you want to wear is a cozy wool/alpaca blend sweater.  Or cuddle up with your favorite afghan.  Alas, I have two new designs to share with you. 

Photos by Rose Callahan, 2012

It's like getting a birthday present every time Vogue Knitting sends me the latest photos of my designs for them.  This is the project information for both:

Bulky Crew Neck
For sizes: X-Small/Small, Medium, Large, X-Large/XX-Large

Yarn Information: Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky

Amounts: 12 (13, 14, 16) hanks in #1211 frost

Motif Afghan
For sizes: 38" x 53"
Yarn Information: Patons Classic Wool
Amounts: 5 skeins in #00202 aran, 2 skeins each in #77223 lemongrass and #77253 burnt orange, 1 skein each in #77531 currant and #77615 yellow
So as soon as it's cool enough in your area to break out the wool and needles/hooks again, hopefully these will be your favorite new projects. Happy knitting!

Friday, June 29, 2012

It's Just Yarn, Ladies.

First of all, I just want to start by sending thoughts and prayers to all those battling the fires in Colorado.  May all of you find relief and make it out of this peacefully and with hope.

It's that time again, believe it or not.  It's always very exciting to do Vogue Knitting Live, and this time it's in Chicago.  I'm very honored to be part of this event.  It's so well done, organized, and fun.  And they even used my photo for the front page of the class registration online:

What's not to love??  I will be teaching 2 classes, Seams Like Surgery (the crowd fave) and Zip It!, as well as giving a lecture It's Just Yarn, Ladies.  The lecture is more like a part lecture, part comedy skit (hopefully), and part gossip.  Not gossip in the snarky office-talk way, but more like "insider" gossip about what really goes on in yarn stores.  Most of which everyone probably already knows, and my jokes will all flop, but I'm doing it anyway. 

So, if you're in Chicago, or planning to be, you're in for a real treat with the Vogue Knitting family.  They are all class acts, and know how to please the knitters and the purlers.  And if you consider yourself a VIP (which I'm sure you are if you're reading this), then registration is now open! 

Hope to see you all there!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012


This is all about connection for me, I think.  I experience such joy whenever I see a sheep, I just can't explain it.  They're such marvelous creatures.  They eat grass, produce wool.  And it just keeps coming.  Simple as that.  Feel free to leave your comments, but this is a simple post. Just photos. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Shameful yarn dieting.

It's happened.  Something I used to scoff about when others said it.  I am officially bowing my head in shame, and admitting that I have finally experienced what it feels like to NEED to be on a yarn diet.

I was just casually reorganizing after turning in two projects and getting back from Sarasota last weekend when I came across so many "forgotten" skeins of yarn that have yet to have a go with me.  And these ain't no chump yarns, either.  We're talking Madeleine Tosh Chunky in the Boxwood colorway.  It's so funny how things change.  I remember being in the yarn store when I bought it, thinking, "OOOH! I can't wait to get home to make something!!"  And here it is months later, and the same yarn is no better off than candy that sits in a jar too long. I even went so far as to beg my partner to help me. I told him that anytime I'm in a yarn store and I proclaim, "I just HAVE to have this", to just look at me with a pouty lip and ask "what about the sweater you promised you'd finish a year ago?"  That should do it.

I recently updated my Ravelry page with correct PDF's, and here are two sock patterns I felt like re-posting from the dead-and-gone Yarn Ball Boogie blog.  (Thank God that's over).

1. Stalkers

2.  Seize Diamondbacks

As always, thanks for reading, and happy knitting!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Good Time, Sarasota

I just got back from teaching at A Good Yarn in Sarasota, Florida. Susan and her crew are a class act.  I was treated really well, and her yarn store is nothing short of a candy store for fiber folks.  Who knew a yarn store in 80 degree weather would be packed!  But I witnessed it myself. 

Who doesn't love exclusives?  Susan has teamed up with several talents in the dyeing yarn business and has developed many colorways that are uniquely their own.  You can check them out on their shop here.  I was lucky enough to score a skein of the Madeleine Tosh "Tosh Merino Light" in the Midnight Pass color.

I will be designing a shawl for Susan and it will be available exclusively through A Good Yarn, Sarasota.  The yarn itself is also available on their website.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Testing, Testing...

So now that the old blog is gone, and the new one is here, I find myself asking the question, "what was I so afraid of?" I don't miss it one bit. I'm actually welcoming a fresh start. I'm all grown up now, and I'm getting more serious about some things, so, well, it was time.

I dedicate this first blog post to all my students I had the pleasure of teaching this past weekend at Vogue Knitting Live. Once again, they really made the weekend for me. I had full classes, the market place was amazing, and the talented teachers and designers just sealed the deal. I couldn't have been more proud to be part of something so great.

I mistakenly thought I'd be able to rest a bit after the 18 hours of teaching. I'm back at it already. I was so inspired by the activity and electricity of teaching so many great people eager to learn, it just fortified me so much.

Bring on Vogue Knitting Live, Chicago - that's what I'll say.

Stay tuned...