Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Scarf of Shadows

A few weeks ago, we went on a date to the movies and saw the ne Sherlock Holmes Game of Shadows. The first time we are reunited with Dr Watson, I gasp over the scarf. I am immediately figuring out the stitch count and as I count rows i hear a whisper "Can you make me that scarf? Didi you figure out how many rows of each colour?"
He Knows me so well. By the time the scarf is no longer around Watson's neck and adorns the gypsy, I have it down. I know exactly what yarn to use.

We came home and he immediately ordered the yarn!
Knit Picks City Tweed, in the perfect colours

The yarn arrived, along with a few other things to boost the cart to $50 and get free shipping....

So I Present to you "The Scarf of Shadows" a free download on ravelry.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The end of 2011 is nigh

Tomorrow Jaden will have his 12th birthday. Which means another intense year of hebrew and torah study. His bar mitzvah will be "christmas weekend" 2012. (mark your calendars).

This means crazy holidays are going to start, chanukah and christmas and new years and Kezzi's birthday and then Tirzah will be off to London. All in the next month.

So a blog post while I can :)
I can not show you much knitting as it has all been in secret but will be in print and online next year, so you will get to see it eventually :)

But working with all these wonderful yarns and playing and swatching has had me thinking. Have you seen the Knitter's Life List book? It has all these challenges on broadening your horizons, trying something new, meeting amazing knitters, and going to fiber festivals.

When I first began knitting i would scour the internet for anything knitting related. this was 8 yrs ago almost, we have a much richer knitting world now. (Thank you Ravelry!)
I would look at yarn like Lisa Souza's Gendarmes and Chameleon Colorworks, and I would say to myself, "one day I wil be good enough to knit with yarn like that", as i slide sts in red heart across my needles, squeak, squeak.

Also I collect PATTERNS, Ravelry is a horribly addictive place for pattern collectors! There are so many I was going to knit one day. Some I have definitely out grown now. Thankfully I never made a poncho for myself just for the display windows of an LYS. All that yarn!

My question for you today is what is the "one day I will be good enough for" project or yarn that you once dreamed of? Have you knit it? What is holding you back?

Next year be daring, buy the yummy yarn and actually use it!
I discovered a skein I have been hoarding has breaks in it. Gasp! I have no idea if a small child once cut it, if it was defective (doubtful) or if something munched on it while it sat in storage with lavenader and mothballs (my guess is a small child armed with safety scissors). But it should have been used.
We talk about using our existing stash, but we HAVE to keep yarnies in business and add to our stashes. Has any one actually made it a whole year without buying new yarn?!

I digress...

KNIT! Knit the sweater you are obsessing over, make baby booties cuz they are cute even if no one is expecting a baby (some one will eventually and you'll be ahead for once). Make Stuff! Create with string. Enjoy the new year by not sitting on your hands and waiting.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Santa Cruz

Every autumn, we go to Santa Cruz for some MISPOCHA TIME!!!
So After kNit Lab...unpack, wash and repack and pack everyone else...are you seeing a theme? for the last 6 wks it has been like this!

What did we do?

Hunted for Walnuts (note the double duty for the bag from slippedstitches)

Hung out with some crazy guys

Then went to the beach for a long hike (2 miles each way) to the elephant seals.

While out there, I made Kezzi model the latest design for the Austentatious Knitting ebook (on Ravelry).
Mrs. Bennet's Nite Cap

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Knitting Lab 2011

While we were at STS East we got a chance to go to KnitLab in San Mateo, which was great, but meant a quick turn around, unpack, wash clothes, repack....

check out the Knit Lab swag!

The Market was small and intimate compared to the 10 previous events of the last few years. It meant I got to see each booth! I always feel like I have missed half of the market when I leave a show.
Next to me was the fabulous Laura of Slipped Stitches. She had a new line of fabrics which HAD to come home with me.

A lil bit like a knitting Gorey picture isnt it?! Perfect for Super Sock Scarefest.

On the next aisle over was my friend Maia, and her amazing Tactile Fiber Arts.
Some of Maia's yarn across the top of the photo.

These are soo lovely. Not only are there beautifully commercially dyed yarns, but she has a line of wild crafted yarns. (dyed from leaves and plants)
While helping her with booth set-up (cuz laptops are pretty easy) I got to put up these amazing shawl pins!!!

they are textured and patina'd, the rose-like one i think is my favourite.

While at KnitLAb, I had a lovely time with Faina, Stefanie Japel, Romi, Donna Druchunas, Anne (with an "e") Berk. Eventually I ran into Leslie aka Chewy Knits who makes the most amazing versions of her sock designs on size 00000 needles!

dollar for scale.

While at lunch, I met Amy Detjen and Meg Swansen. Remember when I blogged YEARS ago about Meg calling my house? Well she is even more lovely in person!
Do I have Pictures? nope!

Alice Starmore was the special guest of the weekend. She personally went to each table and talk to everyone at the tea. On Romi's blog you can see my hand in the bottom left hand corner with Alice Starmore! heehee

This was the most fun I have ever had at a show. Oh and I got to talk to Eunny!
really it was lovely!

I was inspired to design a new sock. But you will have to wait for that, it is lower on the knitting que.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Stitches Eastcoast Style

Where is this sock off to? well this time its Hartford!

One of the perks of doing the Stitches East Market is that my best friend (24 yrs), lives a short drive away. Tirzah came with me this trip and helped out not just at my booth but at the Knit Princess booth as well. :)

We had a great time, and ofcourse where Tirzah went, so did MrTumnus (pattern from NoisyBrook. Tirzah made him all by herself. :)

We also celbrated her 16th bday with dinner at Tamarind,

with friends from the vendor market; Leslie Wind, Lisa and Rd Souza, the Richlin family, Allison the Knit Princess
DEEP FRIED cheesecake. crazy but good and beautifully decorated.

bought a couple cute bags... Erin Lane and AmyButler

After STS East was over we stayed with Lee a few more days, took Tirzah for fried dough in Mystic, had great dinners, I got to see my east coast parents, and my niece and nephew.
Fabulous trip!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Choose your yarn like you would choose your friends..

ok, the real quote is about books and authors.
However I was telling someone (mom) at knit nite that when I do a design, and I have to choose yarn, I feel like I am choosing between friends. "Who shall I play with today".
Over the last few years, and 10 events, I have met some of the most wonderful people.
The best part of any event is Saturday Nite dinner.

Sometimes dinner becomes a huge banquet of creativity. amazing food, creativity, solution solving, networking, and laughing. Lots of LAUGHING. One guy told the waitress "I'll have what they're drinking", her response..."They are drinking water."

I love what I get to do, travel, knit, meet amazing people, and share Intwined software with the world. Chicago was a hard show, it was my first product theft. alot of product. Some of the vendors I barely even know, were so kind, and sympathetic. I was really overwhelmed by the kind words.

So back to choosing yarn.
I tweeted that it was hard to choose betwix them all.
Holiday Yarns (genius! and bacon! seriously), Lisa Souza Dyeworks(when I first learned to knit I thought, someday I will be good enough at knitting to use THAT yarn) , Grinning Gargoyle (signature red and gold stellina sparkles!) Zen Yarn Garden (Japanese Red Maple!!!!), KnittingNotions (standing in her booth you feel at home), IndigoDragonfly (TARDIS yarn! you get sucked in and can not leave), Creatively Dyed (Calypso yarn, I am convinced Diane dances and has steel drums in the dye room, cuz this is yarn that can't sit still) TactileFiberArts (FiberDuck sent us to Maia, we love her! Wild Dyed with prehistoric plants, can you get much cooler than that?).

I collect people. It is true. Besides that they are wicked talented you should hear their stories. These are some amazing people.

And I havent told you about homemade toffee, speaking in estonian, knitting with glass, tears over cancer, joy over new babies,pajama parties and knitting, lots of knitting.

When you go to a knitting event it is one place you can walk into alone and find someone to have coffee with, a group for dinner, and people who understand you were completely over come by the fiber fumes.

Have you been to Stitches, Sock Summit, KnitLabs, FiberFrolic, Lambtown, BlackSheep, or any of the other amazing events? What is your favourite? Besides glancing at the yarn here or there, have you actually gone in and looked at the booths, the art?

Who is that you have to drive hrs to see at an event?

What makes you drool? Have you seen the bags? and shoes? Jewelry? did i mention the bags?

Have you tried the Stealth Needles or the GLASS needles or the scary pointed needles?

Right now some of my favourite people are at Rhinebeck this coming weekend, go find them.
In a few weeks some of us will be in Hartford, you'll hear the laughter and wonder why you can't get a table at a resturaunt.
Come join the fun, linger and talk a moment to talk to people. and buy some of the ART that is crafted.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Mathematical Knits

It develops math skills. A knitting project is geometric.
~ Maggie DeCuir

There are days when I hear my older girls complain about math. I had the some complaints and tears. I hated math. I hated especially algebra, getting an answer, having the answer be right, but not being able to figure out how I got the answer....

Having been bitten by the knitting bug, I can tell them "You want to knit, you want to create? You need math."

The hexipuff craze is one pattern that is full of geometry. Haved you seen it? You know you want to make one.
BeeKeepers Quilt by Tiny Owl Knits

"Crochet, knitting and other crafts allow people to visualize, recontextualize and develop new problems and answers," said Carolyn Yackel, a mathematician at Mercer University in Georgia.

There are even knitting math books "Making Mathematics with Needlework"

Is it a surprise that so many designers in their professional lives are physicists, scientists, mathematics professors, biochemistry and computer science majors...

They may know how all the numbers come together and work, and how to properly scale garments to fit any form... I appreciate that talent. It isn't a gift I have.

But there are these magical moments, when you chart and plan things on paper...or IPS, and then watch them take form in tactile ways. Textures and morphing patterns combine together to make beautiful garments.
This is one of those moments, where a bunch of my guesswork actually work because of the magic of math. Can I show it to you? nope...secret knitting projects.
Spoilers, sweetie...spoilers...

ok. maybe a lil picture.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Austentacious Knitting

Earlier this year the first Austen inspired pattern, Regency socks, was released.
These are part of a series of designs I am doing at the prompting, nagging, and begging from my girls.

Last Night I bound off the last st and blocked the second pattern, UpperCross.
I love Persuasion. It is probably my favourite Austen novel. It is at Uppercross that Anne Elliot sees Capt. Wentworth again after soo many years. The agony of waiting to see how he will respond to her presence, both of them trying so hard to not show the pain they feel over the loss of their love and trying to the depths of the same love still... Such tense moments filled with hope and heartache, eyes averted least the speak what is in their hearts. SIGH... I love this movie. My favourite is the 1995 version,

So the shawl...simple and uncomplicated,with a touch of lace.


need to watch a lil persuasion?

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Socktoberfest 2011

October is here! That means SOCKS!!!!

Unlike Oktoberfest, Socktoberfest actually takes place in October.
This has nothing to do with the sock monkey who shows up at beer festivals. It is about socks, handknit, yummy socks.

Lolly Knitting Around started Socktoberfest in 2005 on her blog.
The Socktoberfest Ravelry group has over 1500 members. The challeges are individual, knitting from stash yarn, knitting socks that are more challenging than what the knitter usually would choose, mystery sock KALs.

My goal is to finish some socks, free up the needles holding those stitches...some since last year! Some are designs that are half written, and yes, one is lace weight yarn on tiny, tiny needles.

Later this month my oldest and youngest have their birthdays, Shmuli and I will celebrate our anniversary, almost every High Holy day is crammed in this month and Tirzah and I will fly out to Hartford, visit LeeAnn, and attend Stitches East. Given how busy this month is, we will see how much knitting gets done.

If you are on the East Coast, come to Stitches East, drop by booth #908 and show off your Socks for Socktoberfest!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Integrated Circuits and Microprocessors

earlier this Spring, I was texting my friend Brenda, who has numerous patterns on Knitty, and I sent her a silly sock I was making. Brenda text'd back that I needed to submit it to Knitty. This was a frightening thought, especially since the submission deadline was that week. So even though Knitty rarely takes baby patterns, I thought I would have enough time to make baby socks before the deadline. So I modified the pattern, made baby socks and gathered up all the computer innards that my boys had around their room for "decor and ambiance". Once the socks were Photographed, I sent it off to Amy.

It takes forever to hear back when you have submitted a design. Now it is a lot faster with Knitty than with a paper printed Magazine, but every day, email HAD to be checked.
Amy finally wrote back that she liked it but would I mind redesigning for adult socks.
:0) Since this was what I had originally ofcourse I was happy to comply.

And then Summer craziness ensued. 2 different camps for kids and all the driving, funerals, and then me actually working 9-5 in an office for the first time while hubby's secretary took a much needed and well deserved vacation. oh and SOCK SUMMIT and then Stitches Midwest.

Somehow all the socks were knit up. Deadlines met. and then the waiting. It was totally Franklin's fault. :)

This being said the new Deep Fall Knitty 2011 came out this week.
I am so blessed to open the site and see those silly socks among such beautiful patterns. Many thanks to Amy for saying yes, Brenda for pushing me to do it, Jill for colour advice, and to Kate the wise, who wisely reminded me that Knitty has an international audience....and my instructions need to be REALLY CLEAR.

If you feel so inclined to make Microprocessor socks for the Geek in your life, or for your inner geek, here are some tips.

Swatch your colours.
just because they look lovely and give eachother nice compliments on the shelf, they may not want a lifelong commitment as socks.

Cast on 16 sts and join in the round. Work the corrugated ribbing for several rounds. If you are working with a striping yarn, especially one with long colour repeats or shifts, this may not work for showing all your colour changes.

and girls can be made happy with knitted rings.

Also, keep the stitches at a happy medium and not tightly bunched up.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Ode to Red Heart

I know, you are shocked, an Ode to Red Heart?!

YES! The wonders of Red Heart.

Having spent a decade of my life pregnant and surrounded by babies, there were VERY FEW cleaning products I could use in our home. Risk of miscarriage and birth defects are just not worth a sparkling bathroom.
and being that i have "morning sickness" all 9 mons, I spent alot of time in the bathroom. I got to know porcelain really well.
Hot white vinegar was and still is the best for wood floors, but cleaning bath tubs was a real challenge.

Then I became a knitter.

I started with Red Heart like alot of knitters, because if I messed up, it was only a few cents in yarn thrown into the trash.
But what to do with those swatches.

Let me tell you, Red Heart Dishcloths scrub soap scum off like nothing else! Not even alot of elbow grease. The petroleum by product, squeak when you knit with, plasticy dishcloths are one way to clean and not have to use tons of harmful chemicals.

So put the RedHeart to use. After making socks on size 0 needles, you will be shocked at how quickly a couple work up.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Sock Summit 2011

I missed the last Sock Summit. This year I was able to attend and represent Intwined Pattern Studio and also take some Classes.
Because I was taking classes, we had a team for the Intwined booth, my mom, Bobbie, my daughter Kezziah, and friends Maureen and Brenda and Jude were all there to lend a hand and demo the software.
I had some wonderful classes and learned alot in most of them. I feel very often that I don't know what I am doing as far as designing and had hoped for a great epiphany to come from the classes. I gained some insight, but needed beyond the basics.
Maybe I know more than I give myself credit for????

I met some wonderful people, and Spun for the Fleece to Foot competition

The skirting of the fleece was ...well... it should have been skirted, but i can not attest to it actually happening. Spinning in the grease is one thing, spinning in the wet pee was entirely another. not to mention the chunky bits. EW!

but we spun like mad!

In the end, the Canadian team one. They had more knitted pieces. BUT we had a more finished and kitchnered together sock. :0)

It was a great weekend, if I were to go again I would not take classes on the last day. (market closed before the last classes were even finished) and I would bring instant breakfast items breakfasts at the hotels and the market opened EARLY at 9 am.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Orion's Nebula Socks

As Stellar Sock Series 2 starts up, the patterns from the first Stellar sock clud will be available a little at a time...thru summer.

Orion's Nebula was a beautiful sock full of twisted stitches.

By Plim who helped test knit this sock in Holiday Yarns SilverSock yarn (sparkles)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

LYS Paradise Style

LYS- local yarn store.
for quite some time, my local yarn store has been anything but LOCAL.

This weekend a new yarn store opened, not just a place to "run in for an emergency needle that I some how need but do not own" kind of store. You can shop for ER knitting supplies as well, BUT this is a "stop and linger, feel the yarn, sit down and knit in the tea room" kind of store. Stop in and enjoy the shop, be prepared to linger.

With wonderfully friendly owners who ask how your current projects are going and can add expert advice. Aimee's Yarn Cafe is a wonderful addition to Paradise.

Only a fiber addict will truly understand, I have a new fiber home.

The garden outside is lovely and full of flowers for knitting and getting a lil sun. Talia whispered today "Miss Aimee, I love your garden". and she ofcourse had to bring home a vintage key, strung on a ribbon like Alice In Wonderland. She knows its a magical place too.

Best of Luck to Aimee and Mike!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Hearts of Gold and Rime and Reason

Early this year I designed 2 kits for Holiday Yarns.

The patterns are now available for purchase, and you can still get premeasured 2 colour kits for Couer D'Or or beaded kits for Rime at

Rime and Reason
a good wintery sock with an icy beaded cuff and beads thru out


Couer D'Or
was originally knit in gold and wine but kitted for valentines in cheeky and lavender
I cant wait to see the variations of this


Wednesday, June 01, 2011


These socks have been a secret for so long, I am relieved to get to speak about them!
Debuted at the Mass Sheep and Wool fest last weekend, is the new kit designed for Holiday Yarns.

I love these socks. I love that the idea and the finished product match.
I love the buttons.

Steampunkery Buttoned Up

Pictured in Vanilla but Jenn will let you switch out colourways...cuz she rocks...wait til you see them in Garnet! yum! The booth ones are in charcoal.

Jennifer will be at several fibery events, stop by and see them, tell her hi for me!
Upcoming show schedule:
June 4th-5th at the Maine Fiber Frolic!
June 9th-13th at the Summer TNNA show
July 28th-31st at Sock Summit in Vancouver, WA (I'll be here too)
Aug 25th-28th at Stitches Mid-West in Schaumburg, IL (near Chicago) – I am here as well
Sept 24th-25th at the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival in Greenwich NY.
Oct 15th-16th at Rhinebeck (aka NY sheep & wool festival)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Last year for my birthday, we bought a house. Ok, Sam bought a house b/c it turns out I have actually ZERO credit. Never had a loan, no college debt...nada.
So Last week our van was given a death notice...and with the tags soon to expire and 6 kids to drag around town with me, something had to be done. So this year I get a car for my birthday.

We searched for a vehichle to seat 8 people that didnt eat a ton of gas and was in our budget. not easy. BUT we found one. and got a loan, and they let my name be on the loan!!! which means i will have actual credit now. Being a grown up is scary!

In Celebration of the newly acquired debt and building up credit, all patterns are 25% off now thru June 22. Coupon Code NEWVAN

MY RAV Store

So between now and my Birthday, which is a significant one (Double Chai!!) all the patterns will be on sale.

after all, socks don't knit themselves...
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