Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A happy birthday, job, and knitting for fun

Last week I had a happy birthday. My family knows me well; the presents were primarily estate sale finds:

A fur collar made of little animals, with feet, heads, and tails still attached. I can't wait to rock this thing when cold weather comes.

Chris found this SCRIMSHAW RING. Click the picture for a bigger view. It's a ship! I think of it as a whaling ship, though I don't know that the details support that. It's perfect. This was serendipity.

Also in the whaling theme, I now own this and this (which was a present from Matt himself, the honor of which is still sinking in. I hope my book does his work justice). In situ photos as soon as we get a custom mat cut to frame the two side by side. If you're a fan of Matt's work, he's selling many of the original pieces from the book here. All of them are collected in one book, but seeing the originals is a very different experience. They're full of texture and detail that can't be communicated on a printed page.

My parents, knowing my fondness for Crows and my fear that they were discontinued, sent me a case of them. I've noticed that they're much softer and chewier than any I've purchased in the store, and attribute this to the fact that the Crows at the store have been sitting on the candy shelves for quite some time.

And yes, I'm knitting. Lots of secret designs, but also some shawls for a new workshop I'll be teaching this fall, Design Your Own Triangle Shawl. The shawl pictured on the right is one of the examples for the class; the yarns on the left will become a second example. The beauty and fun of these new designs is that they aren't designs at all; they're instructions and inspiration.

I'll be teaching the workshop at Fibre Space and right around the corner from my house at JP Knit & Stitch in November (along with Color Theory for Knitters in October, which will be great preparation for the shawl class). The class will include a booklet that illustrates the effects created by different types of increases, simple combinations of knit and purl, how to create different shapes, and how to achieve different striping effects, ruffles, flared edges, and so on. So if you're in the DC or Boston area, come participate! I'm working like crazy on this one!

Oh, and for those of you who know how crazy my job has become, and how near I was to running away from it, I got a raise and will have someone to help me with the next huge wave of my largest project. Whew!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Woody Guthrie has some words

Billy Bragg and Wilco recorded "Christ for President," written by Woody Guthrie. Let's see some of this in the U.S. Republican primary, shall we?

"With a job and a pension for young and old, we will make hallelujah ring!"

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Two skills I lack

1. Feeding myself. But I have Chris to help me with that. Tonight I came home to this note on the apartment door.

The pan on stove already had butter in it. The egg/vege mix in fridge already had salt and pepper in it.

2. Moderation. This upcoming design is BIG BIG BIG, worked in Canopy by The Fibre Company, with glass buttons made to look like beach glass by Shipyard Point Glassworks. You'll see this one pretty soon, and it will be FREE. Now, back to it!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I have done it. I have designed a triangle shawl. I've made a bunch of these, all improvised, and finally received enough requests for a pattern for this one that I reknit it, with a few changes, and wrote down the instructions. I even got my friend Amy's cute boyfriend David to wear it for photographs, because unisex triangle shawls seem to be all the rage lately.

The zig-zag yarnover pattern on this one is geometric rather than lacy, so I think it works.

The yarn is Studio Sock from Neighborhood Fiber Co., which is crisp and bright. The shawl takes about 300 yards of the main color and about 130 yards of the contrasting color, so you can make it with leftovers. Several test knitters are finishing up versions in other indie yarns, so I'll be posting photos of those, too. Though I generally prefer to design sweaters and more epic things, it's cool to make a pattern that will show off all the variously colored hand-dyed yarns out there.

Want to make one? The pdf is available for $5 right here. Summer knitting at its simplest.