Knitter’s Heaven. Yep, that’s where I’m living right now. If you had told me two years ago when I had the idea to start designing that I would be doing what I’m doing right now, I wouldn’t have believed you. Dreams really do come true. And when it happens because of a deep unwavering passion, well, amazing is the word that comes to mind. Amazing for sure.
I’m currently working on a couple of new designs for Shibui Knits. I’m working with the new line of yarn they will be launching next Fall. I can’t give you much information at this time, but just know they have outdone themselves again. This is truly a luxury yarn you will want to get your hands on. And I mean that literally. It is pure joy to knit with and when it’s washed and blocked, it blooms into an incredible buttery softness you definitely want to have next to your skin. I would like to knit a cocoon out of it and crawl right in .
I’m working on a couple of stranded colorwork designs and it’s perfect for this. I can’t wait to be able to show you. It also mixes beautifully with many of the other Shibui Knits yarns and I’m looking forward to doing some experimenting.
I was talking with my grandmother this morning, the one that taught me to knit, and she said, “I don’t think you’re going to get bored with this (knitting).” I told her I’m pretty sure I won’t. I’ve dabbled in a lot of other arts and crafts over the years and I guess I did get a bit bored with them. The thing I love about knitting (besides the fact that it feeds my soul and it’s a necessity like breathing) is that I will never know every technique, there is always a new idea for a new design and incredible yarn companies like Shibui Knits bring us amazing new yarns to create with.
Yep, I’m in knitter’s heaven and I plan to stay here. It’s a pretty amazing place to be.
Happy knitting to you,
Well it has been a pretty exciting week for me. My first design for Shibui Knits was released this week, along with five other beautiful designs created by Kristin Ford, Daniela Nii, Lidia Tsymbal and Annelena Mattison. Shibui Mix S/S 13
Along with the new design collection, they also released new colors for their existing yarn lines. Really beautiful. I’m working with four of the new colors right now (of course).
Click here to see the new colors added to the color palette. New Shibui colors
Here are some photos of my design:
As always, being on the cutting edge as they are, Shibui is constantly working on new designs, new colors and new yarns. I’m hoping to get my hands on something new this week to play with.
I’ve been working on a couple of fun new accessory designs. I’m working them in two different yarns, one of which is Shibui Knits Cima, which I’ve gushed about in previous posts. It’s the darker version in this photo and I’ve used four of the new colors.
That’s the latest update for you. As always, there’s lots of knitting and ideas flowing around here.
Wow. Time has really gotten away from me. It’s been two months since I’ve written. There has been a lot of things getting me sidetracked from my blog and my designing. The holidays and my year-end work for my bookkeeping business to name the main reasons. But things are getting back to normal and I’m consciously putting more focus on my knitwear business. I’ve decided I need to start scheduling blocks of time during the week to work on pattern writing, etc. Leaving it for “when I have time” isn’t working and I have a lot to get done.
Back to the theme of this post. I love color. One of my favorite knitting techniques is Faire Isle, or stranded colorwork. I’ve done quite a bit of it. A few years ago I took a class at Knit Purl from a talented knitter and designer named Ruth Sorensen. At the time, I was holding one strand of yarn in either hand when doing Faire Isle. It was a bit cumbersome for me and very slow. And I wasn’t getting a consistent tension. During the class, as she was teaching, Ruth was continually knitting. She was really fast and wasn’t even looking at what she was doing. Right then and there I decided I was going to teach myself to do that. I noticed she held both strands of yarn in her left hand and was knitting continental style. That was the first thing I had to learn. As with any new technique, it was quite awkward, but I stuck with it and now I only knit continental and I’m really fast working with two strands. The other reason why I like this technique is because you can get a really nice even tension. I’m going to try to make a little video showing the process, but for now I have a few photos. The key to keeping the two yarns separated enough in order to make it really easy to pick up the one you need, is to wrap both yarns together around your little finger for tension and then put your middle finger between the two yarns from top to bottom, then lay the two yarns over the top of your index finger. You’ll also notice I keep my fingers very close to my needles. That also make knitting much faster.
Here are some photos of some of the Faire Isle I’ve done.
And the Duck sweater
And the cowls the girls in my class made. They rock!
That’s it for now.
I don’t know about you, but time seems to be speeding up and I’m feeling like there aren’t enough hours in a day to get everything done that I want/need to. I’m having to set some priorities in order to get things done, especially where my knitting is concerned. The two top ones right now are my Dad’s christmas present, which is probably 3/4 done, and my project for Tangled magazine. That is moving along very nicely as well. It’s really easy to get sidetracked on my knitting projects as there are so many in the works. I just finished a really fun colorful scarf/wrap that I need to finalize the pattern for and get released. Here’s a sneak peek:
I have another pattern I need to get charts created for and sent off to my technical editor. That’s got to happen by the end of this week. There, I’ve set a deadline That’s my knitting update for you.
I’m doing some cooking this weekend too. Or my Crockpot is. I have a beef stew going. Very simple. I cubed a roast. Coated it in flour (gluten-free) and a spice mixture of salt, pepper, paprika, oregano, basil, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and a chipotle spice mix I had in the cupboard. Put that in the Crockpot and poured in a can of stewed tomatoes. It’s cooking on low for 8 hours. Starting to smell pretty good. Max thinks so too.
That’s why I can’t leave chairs near the counter
I hope you’re enjoying your weekend and as always, happy knitting!
When I first started this blog, I thought I would only be writing about knitting related things. But I like to cook. And I like to try different things. And I like to share my discoveries with others. So I guess this is turning into a bit of a cooking blog too. I don’t cook a lot during the week, but especially during the Fall and Winter months, I like to whip up something special. So this morning, while enjoying my coffee, and knitting of course, I was pondering what to cook. I was texting my friend Deb and she mentioned she was making spaghetti sauce. Bingo!
So here are the main ingredients:
Ground sirloin – 1 lb
Ground hot italian sausage 1/2 lb (I chickened out a little on this first go around)
Sweet onion – 1/2 of a large one
Garlic (of course) – 3 cloves
A jar of spaghetti sauce (yes, I cheated and this isn’t all from scratch)
A can of diced tomatoes in italian spices (to add some chunky tomatoeyness-that should really be a word)
A bit of cinnamon (to add a little sweetness)- a couple generous shakes
A bit of red pepper flakes (to add a little hotness) – several shakes
A three cheese italian blend
Rice spaghetti since I’m gluten free
I sautéed the onion, garlic and mushrooms in a bit of olive oil and set that aside. I browned the ground sirloin and italian sausage. I put the veggies back in along with the remaining ingredients except for the cheese and pasta. I then let it simmer and mingle for about an hour.
And the result: Holy cow, come to mama! I think we have a winner!
Let me know if you dare to try this concoction. I’d love to know if you agree.
Enjoy your weekend and as always, happy knitting!
I really love this yarn. And I’ve been doing quite a bit of knitting with it. It’s Shibui Cima Yarn and it is lovely. It’s a beautiful lace weight made from 70% superbaby alpaca and 30% fine merino wool with a generous 328 yards per skein. I’m currently knitting a golf vest for my dad for Christmas and I’m using two strands held together. I should be able to finish it before Christmas. Although I have been known to wrap an almost finished project still on the needles. Not this year though.
One of the really cool things about this yarn is how it comes alive when washed in a nice fiber wash and blocked. It really blooms and softens and the stitches relax and cozy up next to each other. It also pairs very well with some of the other Shibui yarns. Cima and Silk Cloud are one of my favorites and I may just be working on a few projects in that combination. Here are a couple before and after photos. Not the best photos, but hopefully you’ll get the idea.
Up until a couple years ago, I didn’t wash and block my knitting very much. But now I wash and block everything. It can really make a difference and can take your knitting from looking like a nice homemade piece to a beautiful handmade one.
On another Cima note, I’ve had the extreme good fortune to design a piece for Shibui Knits. It will be part of the collection they will be offering next spring/summer and will be released in March. Words can’t describe how happy this makes me. It was such a great experience working with the Shibui design team. Shibui is a very special company and I’m also very fortunate to be able to help them out with their bookkeeping. Can you imagine working while being surrounded by stacks of beautiful yarn? A dream come true for sure.
At this time of year I am truly counting my blessings. I hope this finds you happy and healthy and having a lot to be thankful for.
Until next time, happy knitting.
I just got word that a design I submitted to Tangled Magazine has been accepted for publication! Of course I’m very excited about this. They will be sending me yarn to knit it in. Can’t wait to see what it is. The deadline for the pattern and knitted piece is January 5, 2013, so I’ve got some time to work on it. I got permission from them to give you a little teaser and I can’t tell you what the item is, but here’s a sneak peek:
I’ll keep you posted on the progress and release date.
Happy knitting to you!