Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I'm A Timelord

I haven't had a FO to show you guys in awhile. Not that I haven't finished things, but a fair number of finished things are for the book or other secret things. Anyways, I finally finished my own pair of TARDIS socks. The last pair I made was before I understood much about sock sizing and whatnot, so my Dad got them. But this pair is mine!

I did make some adjustments to the pattern. I put in a short row heel and did some extra decreasing. The specifics are on my ravelry project page. I might have to watch some Dr. Who now.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Stitches West Yarn Rationalization 2012

I don't have any pictures from Stitches West save one. I had my camera, but I was having too much fun to bring it out. The only picture I have is from Ysolda's nifty photo booth. She is such a sweetheart. Right as I was leaving Stitches, I had a sudden sense that I had to go to her booth and get a book. So I did. She signed it too. I also picked up a Drops magazine. I liked the menswear designs much better than the ladies designs. I may make myself a man sweater. (Not pictured, I got my copy of Coastal Knits signed by Alana. Go buy that book if you haven't already. Even if you don't knit. It is just pretty to look at.)

When I got home, Mum told me that her favorite part of me coming home from buying fiber is that I have a rationalization for each purchase. So I thought I might entertain all of you with this year's Stitches rationalizations. First off is the spindle. I went to Carolina Homespun to get it. I gave away my last one when I taught a buddy how to spin and I got a wheel. She passed it on when she got a wheel. So I thought it was high time to get another spindle to pass on if I teach someone again. The top three light blue Crazy Batts are from Faerie Mountain Fiber. I always try to stop by their booth and pick a little something up. I accidentally chose one from the sale bin. I was easily convinced to get a second batt... which turned into a third because it would only cost $6 more. The bottom bit of roving is 50% silk/ 50% superfine merino from Red Fish DyeWorks. It looked like a storm cloud, so I had to have it. I'm seriously thinking about hanging it up in my room on my wall. It is just so pretty.

Then there is the yarn. The two blue skeins on the left are Silk Sock which are also from Red Fish DyeWorks. I was going to get one, but it was pointed out to me that I would have more project options with two. The next two skeins are from Blue Moon Fiber, Socks That Rock. I had eyed the Farmhouse colorway a few years ago and have been kicking myself ever since for not buying it. Then I got the blue/brown/green skein because it was called Puck's Mischief... and what if I regretted not getting it? I didn't pick up Fire On The Mountain, so that might be my new thing to regret not getting. Or thing to look forward to. Above Socks That Rock is a worsted weight ball of Freia fine hand paints in the Denim colorway. It is an Ombre yarn and I remember someone asking me if ombre yarns existed. I felt compelled to get some. The next three skeins of subdued green are Windsor Hand Paint Sock Yarn from Miss Babs in the Beach Glass, Flourite, and Verdigris colorways. I couldn't decide which green to get, so I got them all. My justification: it's a possibility for a design. I have to try them out. And last is a O'Keefe skein from Abstract Fiber in the Alfalfa colorway. We had a skein at work and I didn't buy it. Then someone else did. I saw only one at the Abstract booth, so I had to get it.

A word of advice to anyone who decided to go to Stitches. If you don't have a list and plan on "just looking", you might end up with all the things that are in the above pictures. And if you plan on using only cash, don't bring a credit card along "just in case".

Friday, February 24, 2012

Snazzy Beads

Today I got a package from Artbeads. I've never ordered from there before, but I was happily surprised with how quickly my beads showed up. It's such a snazzy site, I wasn't expecting to have such a nicely wrapped package either. But there you have it. A lovingly hand wrapped package.

I ordered some silver lined beads for a design that I'm super stoked about. This is possibly one of the most complex designs I've ever done... or even thought up. It's taken me a year to figure out how to graph it out and write it in a way that is easy to knit. But it's a large project, so it'll be awhile before it's done.

I also wanted to share a few articles that I came across this week.
Here's one about what makes wool organic. It's much more complex than I thought.
My buddy Alina wrote a really amazing article about the value of a woman. It touched me a bit deeper than I expected.
And an article on Design Sponge about marketing that I found inspirational. Turns out the writer lives in the same area as me. I wonder if we'll ever run into each other.

Tomorrow I'll be at Stitches West. I think I'll wear my Elven Hero hat. So if anyone happens to be there who reads this blog, look for the person with overly curly hair who smiles a bit too much when she's near yarn.

Oh, and thanks to everyone for the kind words about the video!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sailboats The Video

The video is officially done and up on the youtube. If you like it and have a moment, hop on over to the video page and leave Nat a nice comment.

This was filmed with a Canon 60D and a 50mm f1.4 lens. All the lighting magic was done in camera and the film was edited in Final Cut Pro X. This video cost me a grand total of $10 for a floodlight. Everything else we used was random stuff that either Jackie or I had.

Boy does it feel good to be done!

Monday, February 20, 2012

And The Winner Is...

The winner is kiwipurler who left the 6th comment on the Manos post. Congrats! I'll be sending you your yarn shortly.

Thanks to everyone who shared their birthday memories. I really enjoyed reading all the stories.
As for me, I had a wonderful birthday. And I came away with some awesome birthday loot. Some things might not be pictured because I used or ate them already...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Velomeister Test Knit

Hey everyone! I'll be drawing a winner for the skein of Manos shortly and posting about it tomorrow. So if you'd like to join in on the fun, check out the Manos post.
In other news, it's been a few months since I've released a pattern. I've been super busy on the book work, which is all secret, but I do have a sock pattern that is ready to be tested. So if you are interested in testing my Velomeister pattern, have a peek at the test thread on ravelry. All going well, I hope to release the pattern by March 11th.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Video

I had posted up something about The Music Video earlier today, but took it down because, quite honestly, I'm not feeling super confident about it. I've spent a lot of time and effort on it, but it just isn't what I would like it to be. It's my very first try at doing any sort of film. I feel like it looks like my very first knitted object. My first knit was a scarf. It had some holes in it and some unevenness. But I learned so much from it, I was able to make a hat as my second knit. And that hat had absolutely no holes in it.

This video also has some holes and unevenness to it. I've had to do some creative editing in order to cover up some shots that I didn't get. And I now understand why some films have to go reshoot scenes, although this isn't a possibility for me. But I've learned so much while making this film. I know that if I chose to make another film, it would be much better. 

I have to admit, I'm still a little hesitant about releasing the film. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Yarn For Me, Yarn For You

Today is indeed my birthday. So far I've had lunch with one of my closest friends. And I'll be going to knit night in a little bit. It's been a quiet, but lovely day. But I've decided to make it a bit of a reverse birthday. So far I've given away my Coastal Cardi, but I'd like to give something to one of my lovely readers. I've been hanging onto a skein of Manos silk blend (30% Silk, 70% Merino Wool) in the 300S color and I'd like to give it away.

So to be a part of this give away, leave me a comment with one of your favorite birthday memories. (And a way to contact you if you win.) The giveaway will last from right now until 11:59PM Sunday the 19th PST. I'm happy to ship the skein anywhere, but won't take responsibility if customs decides to keep this yummy yarn for themselves. So if anyone else's birthday is today, Happy Birthday! And if it isn't your birthday, a very Happy Un-Birthday to you!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Craftsy And Pinterest

Another busy weekend has past. In between work and designing, I've been adding to my web presence. I'm happy to announce that I've got my patterns up at Craftsy now. 

A friend suggested that I join pinterest. I'll be doing my best to not be addicted to it. But I think I'll be able to improve my photography by studying images there. So if anyone is interested in following me, I'm bearears.

And while I was at it, I cleaned up my sidebar a bit. And by cleaned up, I mean alphabetized. It had bugged me for awhile, but since I needed to add craftsy and pinterest, I thought I'd go ahead and reorder everything. Now I'm off to knit a bit more.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Non Wish List

After finishing the Coastal Cardi, I realized I didn't have a good relaxing knit to work on anymore. Everything I have on the needles requires thinking. So I cast on a pair of Tardis socks. I've made them before, but now that I know more about sock sizing, I'm confidant that this pair will fit me.

In other news, my birthday is next week. In past years on the blog, I would post up a wish list. This year as I thought about what would be fun to put on the wish list, I came to two conclusions.
The first was that everything I could want would lead to me needing new things. (ie I'd like a new lens, but then I'd want to get a different camera body, which would lead to needing other bits) I was becoming unhappy over something imaginary. That seemed rather stupid to me.
The second conclusion is that I'm actually really happy with what I have. I have good health, plenty of yarn to knit with, friends (blog and real life) and Scooter. What more could a girl need? So this year there will be only one wish on the wish list. I wish to remember to be happy with what I have.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Rocky Coast Cardigan

It's done! I've finished the Rocky Coast Cardigan from Coastal Knits. It really is beautiful.

It was fun to knit and I love the color. The yarn is Malabrigo Worsted in Bobby Blue.

A bunch of people have had trouble getting the fit right. I did have to do some adjustments. Fortunately, the designer has added some notes on how to get the sweater to fit better. Unfortunately for me, this happened after I finished it. I've worn it around, and like several other people, it does slide off my shoulders. I plan on getting a shawl pin to pin the center. I think that will help out a bunch. If I were to make this again, I might cast on fewer stitches for the back. I have reasonable wide shoulders, but the back is a bit too wide, which contributes to the slipping.

If it stayed on my shoulders, I might be wearing it every day. But for now it has not displaced my favorite sweater. I still would recommend making this cardigan. But it is worth reading the designer's notes and following them for the smaller sizes.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Oh Dear, It's Colorwork Sock Sizing Time

I realized that I haven't really talked about my knitting in awhile. Probably because I hadn't much to show. But as usual, I have a bunch of things that all were finished around the same time. I also have some knitting disappointments to share too. We'll start with the bad news. The mitten is having some issues. I know this picture makes it look all dandy.

But in reality, my big worries about it being too big (which is was) has taken a complete 180. It is now too small! Usually I would just block something bigger, but in this case, the pattern is straining. It just isn't what I want. So this project is in time out until I decide whether I'm going to add 4, 6, or 8 more stitches back into the hand portion of the pattern. Of course the cuff threw me. The cuff fits just fine. Any feedback or encouragement would be very welcome at this point.

Now on to the good news. I finished my Rocky Coast cardi. As usual the shoulders are suspect, but the fit is really nice everywhere else. I wore it for a day deciding whether or not I'd block it, but in the end I thought the pattern might open up a bit. Of course SOMEBODY thought it would be a good place to sun himself. When I was taking pictures I told Scooter to sit. Usually he sits where he has been standing....

And last, but not least, some book news. I've finished design number five, which turned out pretty good. Actually, it's fantastic, but I'm a super picky person when it comes to my own designs, so I'm sure I'm just being overly critical. I've started work on design number six, which has been a tough one to work on. It is going to be a pair of socks with large amounts of colorwork and I'm having a little trouble deciding what gauge people might like to knit it in. Colorwork has less give, but I knit so loosely, it usually isn't an issue for me.

I'd like to ask all of you guys, what is the typical number of stitches you like in your socks. I typically cast on 60 stitches for mine. As a reference for these socks, I'm getting 8 stitches to the inch unstretched, but it stretches easily to 6 stitches to the inch. I know not everyone gets that kind of stretch with colorwork, so any advice or feedback on what you'd like to see in a colorwork sock would be super helpful. (or good websites to check out) I already know sizing is going to have to be done with gauge due to the nature of the design.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Project Yosemite

I've been watching lots of videos as I continue to work on editing The Music Video. This video in particular I find inspiring. It's a timelapse of various locations in Yosemite and it is just beautiful. These guys spent so much time getting all these shots. I am eager to try my hand at this style of filming.
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