Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays and off to Michigan!


Live in the greater Grand Rapids area? Around for the holidays? I'll be leaving Boston on the morning of the 26th to come to Grand Rapids to visit my family for our traditional post-Christmas Christmas celebration. We wake up on the morning of the 27th and pretend it's Christmas, with stockings and everything. My mom pokes her head into my room and says, "Merry Christmas! Coffee is ready!" and then we talk about waking my sister up.

I have a special event this year, too. I'll be at Country Needleworks in Jenison, just outside Grand Rapids, from 10 to 2 on December 28. I'll have all the samples from White Whale Vol. 1, some of the samples from Craft Work Knit, and copies of both books. I'm looking forward to meeting a lot of knitters I know through email and knitters I know through my parents. Come see me!

I'll probably be wearing this:

Happy holidays to ME! Yesterday I made myself a Schmatta while watching Moby-Dick, the William Hurt as Ahab version (good TV but not really Moby-Dick, I think, with the exception of some of the whale chases and William Hurt brooding in his cabin), on TV. This pattern was my excuse to buy a skein of Malabrigo Rasta and elevate my army surplus fall and winter jackets (which are truly schmattas, but, like most of my clothes, I just keep wearing them because they're functional, comfortable, and because I like their aesthetic better than the other women's stuff out there).

If you need a gift for, say, tomorrow, and have some bulky yarn lying around, you can have one or more handknit presents in a matter of hours. Pick your Christmas Eve TV marathon (mine is Oddities), and have at it. This one, however, is MINE.

I also made a Moss and Ferns in some worsted weight oddballs. Here it is as worn:

And here's the full-on shawl view:

I had to cut the "fern" charts short because I ran out of the green/blue yarn, but it's big enough without them. I used size 13 needles. Like the pattern? You can buy it for $5 here:

So, happy holidays to all! If you live in western Michigan, I hope to see you on the 28th!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Baltimore and Connecticut

Pardon the photo-heavy post. I've had too much adventure over the past week and a half to write it up. Just thinking about it makes me both exhausted and delighted.

For those of you who didn't see me last weekend (and I saw a LOT of you), here's where I've been. I drove to Easton, MD last Thursday, about an 8-hour trip. As I entered Maryland, I caught a photo of the sunset from my car. It was lovely to drive, listen to the radio, let my mind wander, and NOT WORK.

On Friday, I drove in to Baltimore to meet Wendy, whom I met online when she was working on her Oranje, and the owners of Woolworks. I crossed the Bay Bridge on my way. Stunning!

The store is cozy; lots of wood and beautiful yarns. I did some Albers Cowl modeling.

Note Wendy's Oranje, the White Whale books, and the yarn behind us. I love this photo. After this, we all went out for sushi. I'll be returning to Woolworks in February to teach some workshops; details to come!

Saturday was the Sanguine Gryphon open house. This is the Easton studio, which is large and full of light. About half the space was filled with yarn for the event.

There was custom dyeing in the portion of the space that was not filled with yarn.

Of course I got some yarn. It was difficult to settle on a sweater's worth of any one color, so I got a lot of different things with plans for colorwork projects. The reds at the top and the red-violet on the right were for my sister, who is already turning them into a large scarf of her own design.

There were THREE Oranjes at the open house!

After I left Sanguine Gryphon, I stopped by the Neighborhood Fiber Company holiday party and open studio. Karida's live/work space is beautiful (note that Karida is on the couch finishing the last square of an Albers Cowl. To the right are kits for The Lamp shawl and the Albers Cowl in Karida's yarns--The Lamp was designed using her Maisonette DK yarn. Karida's color sense is a perfect match for mine!).

I came home with two yarns I haven't used before: Loft and Penthouse Silk Fingering. The Penthouse Silk Fingering is on the second shelf on the right. Even in this mediocre photo it glows. I'm excited about the possibilities; it's been a while since I've designed or even knit with anything other than wool or a wool blend.

After leaving Karida, I drove to Essex, CT for a book signing at the Griswold Inn store. I arrived around 1 am. Note: The power plant in Elizabeth, New Jersey is absolutely beautiful at night.

I was there with the fabulous Gail Zucker, of whom I did not manage to get a photo (I was pretty tired). She, however, got LOVELY photos of the event and the store, which you can see here.

In sum, thanks to all the generous, lovely people I met last weekend. If you missed all this, I'll be back in February, so get in touch: Happy, happy holidays!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Road Trip Agenda

Last weekend was a frenzy, and the only photo I managed to take was of a Starbucks right across the street from another Starbucks. Look closely. You might have to click to make it big. It's there. It's absurd.

I spent some time in my cubicle this week. Note the nameplate. It appeared while I was in Germany last summer. Because I don't do any editorial assistant work but do just about everything else involved in publishing, I edited it to accurately reflect my job duties.

Tomorrow I leave for Baltimore in the early morning. I'll be hanging out in Baltimore on Friday, visiting the Neighborhood Fiber Company open studio and the Sanguine Gryphon open studio on Saturday, and driving up to Essex, CT Saturday night for the Griswold Inn Holiday Showcase, where I'll have books, patterns, kits including Neighborhood Fiber Company and KnitinK yarns, and even some handknits for sale, like the Albers Cowl shown below. I've started knitting Albers squares to wind down after long days of editing and working on complex designs. I use them as examples in my color theory workshops, but perhaps this one will find a new home with a non-knitter.

One important note: Because the Sanguine Gryphon is disbanding into two companies, there will be a period during which the patterns I have designed for them will not be available. Ambergris will continue to be sold by one of the two new companies, but I'm not sure how soon it will be available. It will also be included in White Whale Vol. 2, which will come out sometime in late spring/early summer 2012.

I will be offering Possum Belly Hobo and A Tea Tray in the Sky as individual pdfs, but I need to take new photos and revise the instructions and layout so the patterns are consistent with my self-published style. I'm ridiculously overwhelmed right now, so I don't know when this will happen. If you've been thinking seriously about making any of these three designs, I recommend purchasing the pattern from Sanguine Gryphon before December 29.

Thank you in advance for your understanding. I don't want anyone to be waiting, impatient and disappointed, to make one of these garments.

So, onward and upward!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Places I will be (lots of them)

In addition to organizing space for next year, I've been working out the logistics of many events taking place over the next two weekends. If you're in any of the following areas, here's where you can find me and my stuff!

Saturday, Dec. 3: I'm having a trunk show with garments from both my books at The Black Sheep Knitting Company in Needham from 11 to 2. It's shocking, I know, but I've never been to The Black Sheep before but have heard great things. I mean, check out the site--it looks gorgeous!

Sunday, Dec. 4: I'll be teaching a Color Theory workshop at Snow Goose Yarns in Milton from 11 to 12:30. I think there are still a few spaces in the class if you'd like to join. The cost e $35 and I'll be providing color wheels for everyone! If you're interested, call Snow Goose at 617-698-1190.

On Sunday my things will also be available at the KnitinK booth at the Boston Bazaar Bizarre. Adrian will have copies of both my books and kits in many colors for a pattern I just finished using her vibrant, soft, amazing She-Hulk bulky yarn. Here's a photo of the new design, which will soon also be available as an individual download:

It's based on a chapter in Moby-Dick called "The Hat," and I'll be playing with the design and offering a few versions in White Whale Vol. 2. Unlike my usual super labor-intensive designs, you can make this project in two nights for about $24!

Friday, Dec. 9: I'll be in Baltimore hanging out. Yep, I'm taking a road trip. In the area? Contact me!

Saturday, Dec. 10: I'll be stopping in at the Neighborhood Fiber Company Holiday Party + Studio Open House. I love Karida's yarn and can't wait to shop from the huge selection at this event. Karida will have kits for The Lamp shawl, which are a REALLY good deal, and for the Albers Cowl! Her color sense is amazing, and I'm honored that she's using my patterns to showcase her yarns.

Sunday, Dec. 11: I'm part of a very cool Holiday Showcase at The Griswold Inn in Essex, CT. Old-time coastal New England and Moby-Dick knits are a perfect match. I'll have copies of my books, kits for The Hat (see photo above) in KnitinK yarns and for the Albers Cowl in Neighborhood Fiber Company yarns, and even a few finished items for sale, including at least one Albers Cowl and a few hats. Gale Zucker will be there, too, with copies of her books, including Craft Activism.

Finally, I'll be visiting my family in Grand Rapids, Michigan for the holidays, and am planning a visit to Country Needleworks in Jenison. More details soon!

Now it's time to attack all the copyediting and knitting that I need to complete in the time I'm not going to all these places!