Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Stitches West 2015

This was my 6th year at Stitches West.
It is such a comparison to my 1st Stitches West. The first was filled with classes everyday.
The 2nd was 5 days of working the Intwined booth.
This became the norm for Stitches West, Stitches East, Stitches South and Stitches Midwest for the next few years. Talking to any where from 2,000 to 10,000 people over 4 days, means that I met some amazing people over the years. I recognize the faces of those I have seen every year either in class or shopping the market.
Each event, my favourite thing has been "Vendor Dinner". I am not sure how it started, but everyone seems to blame me. I collect people, it's true. I gather together my favourite people, they add their favourites, we wind up at some amazing restaurants. The best way to sum it up was one year, we were all laughing so hard, about 30 of us. The man at the next table over told the waitress, "I'll have what they're drinking." The waitress smiled, "They are drinking water."
We were so dehydrated from working all day at the market! We were exhausted, loopy and totally enjoying each others company.

This year was a smaller group, many of our old friends were not in attendance. The Sharks game next to the convention center created parking and traffic issues. But they still was the most wonderful evenings.
And there was some very nice wine as well.

This year marks the 5th anniversary of Intwined Pattern Studio.
Which meant a $5 off coupon, good until March 31.Code: STSWXV

But lets get down to business, you want to see what was going on!

My friend Anne Berk was teaching Intarsia, Intarsia in the round, and several other mind blowing classes. ALSO this year Anne was doing book signings for her new book Annetarsia.

 My handiwork
 Love the seamless intarsia colours in this sock!

There were some great things going on in the market place as well.
Chicken Boots set up sewing machines for Design-Your-Own kits that were sewn on the spot.
This was awesome and I can not tell you how much I appreciate a straight seam!

Sheila and Michael Ernst were there with the most stunning glass needles and buttons.

Lisa Souza Dyeworks was my main hub for the weekend.

This was dangerous! As I stocked yarn, I found many lovelies that needed to come home with me.

There were several new bases introduced:
Big Timarou
Tibetan Jewels Merino,yak,silk blend!
Pyrenees Sport
and new for my needles Bouncy.

Kezziah and Zemeria brought home yarn and fiber from Lisa as well. Rod spoiled us with snacks and stories. It was so much fun just being with the Souza's.

They girls also worked at Slipped Stitch Studios and they brought home new bags.
They new Constellations fabric was easily my favourite this year, dreamimg of stars, coordinates with Doctor Who and it was just elegant.

I brought home some amazing colours.
But apparently I have a colour rut for this year.
I love the old Victorian Painted Lady house colourings.

So that was this year.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Knit The Year!

We have begun the second month of Knit From Stash. This is the last week to purchase the pattern collection for the whole year.

The pattern collection of 14 patterns will no longer be for Sale after Feb 16, 2015.
SOME of the patterns will be available individually in the future.

Use coupon code: KnitTheYear 
And receive 50% off Knit-From-Stash SOM KAL. $30 instead of $60

Use the same coupon code to get 50% off of I knit Socks Cuz Socks are Cool (Doctor Who knit socks ebook). $10 instead of $20 

Coupons expire 2/15/2015 

Saturday, January 31, 2015


Almost instant enchiladas!

Having 6 kids, a thyroid that sucks my brain power and trying to get everything ready for our trip to "the big city" for Jaden's surgery... Really it is amazing I didn't put a quart of ice cream in the microwave.
I did however grab a can of enchilada sauce rather than the organic vegetarian retries beans...and opened it before I realized it. I stood there staring at the sauce. I have to be gone a week for the surgery and hospital stay, so popping it in the fridge is the same as tossing it in the trash.

So I had a crazy idea. Can you turn tacquitos into enchiladas? I just picked up some frozen ones for an easy lunch snack while I am gone.
Desperation may be the mother of invention, it definitely helps this mother invent meals.

So here we go!

1 box of 40 tacquitos 
1 can red enchilada sauce
I bag of Mexican blend cheese
1 large baking dish

Pour half the enchilada sauce in the baking dish, line with tacquitos.
Pour the 2nd half of the sauce on top.
Spread cheese over the surface.

Toss in the oven at 400 degrees and bake for 30 min.

And AMAZINGLY, you have some fairly decent, no work involved, enchiladas!

I forgot to take a finished picture, so here it is with a bite missing.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Sock Knitters Anonymous January Mock

What is a Mock? It is a mystery Sock.
I am really blessed to be able to do this for January.

SKA2015 January Mock

The theme is Chagall's America windows in Chicago. Which of course have Chagall's amazing blues.
The first clue is finished, the second clue is up.

Clue 1 Cuff, Holiday Yarns Muse and Cascade Heritage Black

Tuesday, January 06, 2015


I have friends waiting for this day.
For some it is the day they pack their trees away, the day wisemen visit, Russian Christmas...

A friend is waiting for a visa today for traveling.

Today I had phone calls, project editor, mentorship, and medical tests.
There was a moment of epiphany, I may actually be on the right track for the year. I might actually have a workable plan for a few months.

Last year I went to a writing retreat, I signed up for classes, I bought journals and pens, paints and sketching materials and started doing things I LOVE again. I am really bad at accountability. So I have a person I have to report to on what I have done with my week. A check in of sorts, to keep my moving forward.

I took on a job or two against my better judgement and learned a valuable lesson. I did some work I really loved. My friend and I took ownership of our book and are hiring a crew to get it FINISHED.
I started a new work, and have new contracts.
In the midst of last year we lost several friends, I had heart issues which turned out to be a collapsed lung, my daughter went 2,000 miles away to college (after a Summer abroad including Israel and my own panic over rockets). Half of my children are officially taller than I am, some by 7-8 inches.
one of them is having an actually very painful surgery next month.

So this year of rest, Shmitah, has become a Year of Hope and a year of Focus.

This year I think things will be finished.
Projects will actually be completed, and I will be doing a lot less traveling.

Did you have any epiphany moments last year?
What are you planning on accomplishing this year?

I really like how Brandon Sanderson tracks his projects. I am soo not organized in comparison by thought I would do a monthly update on where I am at in each one.

 Books I am Reading: The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton 80%, Year of No Sugar by Eve Schaub 5%, Quiet by Susan Cain, Meet The Rabbis by Brad Young 5%, Crown of Midnight by Sarah Maas 95%

Knitting: SKA January Mock 60%, Knit-From-Stash SOM KAL half of 1/12th, Merle by Norah Gaughn 35%, Urban Cardi variation of Jared Flood's 40% ...obviously these are unfinished from last year

Book 1-95%
Book 2- 20%
Book 3- 35%
ebook- 70%
2 articles 80% one 1st, 20% on 2nd
2 contracted projects 85%

Monday, January 05, 2015

A year of Hope

Last year was so difficult on so many levels. So I have dubbed this to be The Year of Hope. 
So many amazing things are coming this year. But I have to tell you my most favourite.

For 17, almost 18 years, our friends wished for a baby. They were so blessed with an amazing child to adopt, about the  same age as our Zem. This kid is so talented and smart. Funny and plays piano beautifully.
And will soon be a big brother!!! After 18 yrs they are PREGNANT!
It is so exciting!

So, see a year of HOPE.

This means we have a lot of baby things to make! We have been choosing yarns and colours, and we are certain it is a girl, the doctor will confirm this...eventually... Haha. 

So if you have favourite baby patterns post them in the comments!

I already finished a February sweater.
I need ideas!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Knit-From-Stash KAL

I love sock clubs. I participate in several, but they can get expensive.
I have an abundance of Sock Yarn.  Abundance.
Abundance goes hand in hand with gratitude or it just becomes a hoard.
I love the knitting community.  I am so grateful for all I have learned and received from it.
So what better way to express gratitude than with something that is community and not monetary based.

Jacie found a wonderful idea for creating your own mystery sock of the month club.
For this you will need 12 months of yarn, enough to make a pair of socks each month, about 100g depending on your foot size.

Divide the yarn into 12 concealed packages, whether they are paper lunch sacks that you have decorated or containers of some sort. Have a friend pack the yarn into each month's package to help maintain the mystique. you can toss them all into a box and pull one out at random if you like.
There are some great "yarn in paint cans" and "yarn in jars" ideas, but it is about using what you have on hand, and not having to purchase anything. You will, of course, need knitting needles. :) Whatever you preferred method of sock knitting is, use it!

This is about having fun, being a community, and working from the abundance. If you NEED to go buy yarn, go ahead, no one will judge you. :)
Collect your mystery abundance (not hoard, remember) and post a picture to the group. (if you can, I know some people are not always able to post a picture.)

The last day of the previous month, starting Dec 31, a pattern will be released to the group. If it is a coupon code- DO NOT share it. Keep it in the group. Each month will have a different pattern, varying in difficulty. We are here to help each other, so ask questions , if you need some help or clarifictaion, some one will be able to help. It is for FUN, so you can modify the pattern if you want, for your own use.

Don't forget to post patterns to the group, and dont get discouraged by speedy knitters from Nordic countries who can knit a pair of socks in under 48 hrs. They have super powers. Knit at your own pace.

Thank you for Knitting along with us!
Post your photos in the Event page and on the FB group. At the end of the year all finished socks will be entered for a gift bast of knitting goodies.

1 sock = 1 point

Saturday, November 08, 2014

NaKnitSweMo progress

wow, I am not having good sweater luck this month!
The gorgeoous! Norah Gaughan I am making is massive. My daughter's is a size 36 and it fits me!
My larger size is so massive! So I have frogged back to the arm divide and I am decreasing there, no added underarm sts.
This UrbanCardi for NaKniSweMo is also way too big! I had to frog it completely.

THEN I realized I was 4 sts off, and the ribbing between cables on one side was completely off center, so it was frogged again.
I am now back on track!

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

NaKniSweMo part 2

National Knit a Sweater Month has begun!

The beginning of the month had me finishing my Fading Lines sweater by JojiKnits, and ripping 8" out of my Merle sweater by Norah Gaughan, so I got a late start to this sweater project. Merle is sitting in a corner til i recake the yarn.

This Summer when I went to JimmyBeans Wool Stitch Mountain Retreat, I bought some yarn- of course...At the JBW store. It was this crazy deal, and nice fat yarn, and I knew I either wanted to make the central park hoodie OR the Urban Cardi/Jared Flood version.

Europa Tweed by Plymouth

So I am doing the Urban Cardi, in one piece. (free pattern)
Which meant I needed to chart things out on IPS so I could see what was going on.
(BTW I did not switch from in the round to kit flat mod so yes the numbers are all on one side)
(OWN PERSONAL USE, NOT FOR RESALE, blah blah blah, it i s just so i can make it without a headache. Dont ask for copies, cuz that is illegal. ya'll know the drill.)

And make it a pdf so I can put it on the tablet and bring it with me this weekend.
(photo is Jared's and just for a visual reference.)

The original pattern HERE is for a pullover. Jared modified it into the cardi and the mods are on his blog.HERE

One of the great things about using Intwined Pattern Studio is I can pop the text in and make a chart. Also I hated the symbol on the original charts, so I could make it a friendlier one. And I could now knit it in the round if it was not going to go the cardigan route. OR if I want to make it a larger size, I can now see where to add stitch columns at. So in under an hour, I had new charts, and a workable pdf.
Now the hard part- How much yarn do I pack?!
51,308 sts so just over the 50,000 st requirement for NaKniSweMo

Saturday, November 01, 2014


What is it?
"Every year, readers knit alongside our writing pals over at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) again.
How it works with NaNoWriMo: write a 50,000-word novel in a month. As they say on that page: "This is not as scary as it sounds."

How it works with NaKniSweMo: knit a 50,000-stitch sweater in a month. Just about any full size sweater will meet this criteria! If you divide your chosen sweater pattern's rows or rounds by 30, you'll have an idea of how many rows you need to knit each day to make it. Yes, the stitch count thing is crazy, but I think I can say with confidence that most sweaters out there are at least that, or more."
Join the ravelry group:
So, what are you going to make?
I have 1.5 sleeves of my jojiknits Fading Lines sweater to finish, 

and my Merle Norah  Gaughan sweater is just about half way done.

But that doesn't mean I can't have a Nivember cast on, right?

Friday, October 31, 2014

Unexpected Joy

Hodu la'Adonai ki tov, ki l' olam chasdo.
Give thanks to the L-rd, for He is good. His mercy forever endures.

Every year for about. Decade, we go to a family retreat. This year, we knew there was no way we could possibly afford it. We did not even consider it.
Yesterday we got a phone call, paid rooms, come join us.
The kids' faces lit up! 
Waiting to hear about Jaden's surgery, all the stress of college and car bills, things have been hectic!
Although we had a chance to go away as adults last week, this is the whole family.
The kids get to go away and relax!
They get to see their friends. 

This is going to be great for Jaden because being post op next year, he won't be able to do camp. He can see his friends, get a little Santa Cruz time, and have fun!

They did not ask to go, they didn't complain about missing out this year. And an extra special blessing just shows up! 

Gratitude and Abundance.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Psalm 23

Each summer the kids go off to camp. They make new friends, deepen old friendships, learn more Hebrew and come home singing. Like all the way home, 5 hrs of driving, they sing. Their voices harmonize that familial way and they sing. The radio is off. They have their own music in their souls, waiting to burst forth.

One of their favourites is a rendition of Psalm 23. One of their camp directors even sang it at Zemy's Bat Mitzvah.

It became one of my songs as I traveled through Poland to Auschwitz, Treblinka, Sobibor, Jedwabne, Krakow, and Warsaw. Through Germany: Nuremburg, Dachau, Munich, Berlin... Through Austria: Vienna, Linz, Mauthausen. 
In places that felt dark, I would sing. Whenever fear, irrational old, past generational fear, came sneaking up, making my pulse quicken and my breathing slow, I would sing Psalm 23.

There is a line in both the scripture and the song: "You prepare a table in the presence of my foes." 

I admit it, I have thought about that table. A large stretched out table in a lush green field, covered with a feast that puts Thanksgiving banquets to shame. 
I thought about that table in a prideful and almost arrogant manner. "You, my enemy, you will see me lifted up and feasting at that table."

But, in those trips to death camps, with the voices of my children echoing in my heart, the meaning changed. The table stopped being a place to gloat. 

You, my G-d, prepare the table. It is Your bounty not mine.
You make this in the presence of those who are called my enemies, those who would hate and kill me. 
You do this because WE DO NOT HAVE TO BE ENEMIES ANY LONGER! in You we can find peace, hope, love, and forgiveness. We can stop seeing ourselves and our own hurt and see each other.
We can sit at the table together!

There is something about eating together.  Not formal banquets. Family meals. I told a room full of how many? 100, 200? German Christians this year, in Munich, that I was not very good at banquets, but we were very good at family meals, and invited them to feast with us at that Passover Seder meal. It was amazing. As we ate together and prayed together, we SAW each other. Walls crumbled. There were tears, they begged us to forgive what their families, their nation had done. Those in the room who were Jewish asked for forgiveness for only seeing he Jewish pain of the Holocaust, and we were able to sing with eachother in English, in German and in Hebrew. 

He prepared a table. Enemies were made friends and my cup overflowed, over flowed! There is no place for pride when love fills up the room.  

He prepares a table, in the presence if my foes, he anoints my head, and my cup it overflows, and surely I will dwell in the house of the L-rd, forever.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

“Abundance is grasped by infusing our souls with 

the intoxicatingly liberating fact that life is a privilege, not a right.” 

There are many things that are scarce around here, but love is not one of them.
My oldest is away at college so we are all on a tighter budget. I was blessed to hear her say "Growing up with out a big house and a lot of money has taught me that there are things I can live with out." I worry about if she has warm socks, enough tea, if she is eating....well, i worry about a lot of things. But I no longer worry about if she has "enough".
My 16 yr old son wrote to his "dear sister" about how much he loves and misses her. Her 12 yr old sister created images with Tirzah's favourite things to show that she misses and thinks of her. All of them love each other. This is the greatest blessing, to have children who love each other and do not see each other as competition.
This is our abundance. We get to be a family, we get to be in each other's lives.

What more do we need?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Centering Thoughts

Teshuvah (Return), Tefila (prayer), Tzedaka (charity).
All month these words have been in our conversation, in our community and are a part of the centering that comes with the new year.

Teshuvah is a type of  repentance, it is an act of returning to, going back to, and rediscovering.
I love this word. It is actually my son's middle name. When he was born, he ushered into our lives a time of returning and renewal, both spiritually and between my husband and I. We contemplated ending our marriage that year. We were sooo off kilter. We needed to be recentered, like pottery on a wheel. If the clay is off center, it spins wildly out of control.
My parents have a friend, Mike Rozell, he is a potter, he does this performance art thing with clay and wheels, while his wife sings. It is pretty cool. (many youtube videos). My favourite part of his routine is when the clay gets of center. It starts smal, and soon is wildly out of control, flailing about, can cause injury.

That was how we felt. We needed teshuvah, returning and repentance. 

How we got there? Tefillah, prayer and fasting. Tefillah is more than just prayer as well, it is attaching or clinging to. I hate fasting. But there is something holy and like a deeper giving, a sacred act of letting go, changing focus, that comes with fasting. I TRY to Fast 1 day a week. I did this more faithfully when we were praying for Sean and Sarah as they battled his cancer. Since his death, I feel a little lost in it. Sean's death did shake certain aspects of my faith. Were those days of fasting wasted? Nope, not one. So I am trying to recommit to fasting, because those days I pray with more focus and less distraction. Less focused on ME.

Tzedaka- Giving back, like the other hebrew words layers of meaning. Righteousness, Justice... So giving and also not focusing on...ME! 
This year we are not planting trees in Israel or doing some of the regular things, but as a family we try to give back, and I need to do more giving of myself. Not just the easy giving of things I don't want anymore. I read this article : America, stop giving your crap to the poor! Ok, it is funny and true! We do give the out of style, worn out and down right ugly stuff away to the "poor".
I want to give the good stuff away. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Shawl for October

Each of our girls, so far, have had a hand knit shawl for their Bat Mitzvahs.
I did not post Zemeira's as I sold the design. This week Tje Unique Sheep's Inspired by Art club shipped, and it is no longer secret.

Zem's version is smaller and heavily beaded. 100% silk from Tactile Fiber Arts in more of a fingering weight.

This is the amazing 100% silk lace weight version that is at SAFF this weekend. I did not have beads on this as it became an overwhelming amount of beads by the end. 

The yarn for this club shipment is gorgeous!

The subtle shifts in gradients really look rose like.

I had some amazing testers for this! Sharp eyes! So this should be one of the cleanest and have the fewest typos ever. :)
Blog Design byApril Showers