How can I not post this photo? New yarn, courtesy of LYDIA, drying all the way down in South Carolina, soon to be heading to Rhode Island for a new design! If I were a type/color of yarn, what would I be? Hmmmmm.
Let's start this Thursday morning with some lovely yarns form LYDIA.
The owner, Angela, and I are collaborating on a couple of projects.
Here are some of my LYDIA yarns that are either going into the projects or are serving as inspiration (or giveaways on Ravelry in my group, so have a look.) Lucky me, right?
A Knitalong (KAL) for Loop will be starting at Love 2 Knit in East Greenwich, RI this Thursday, November 6 from 10-12. Get your yarn and come join us if you're in the area. I know a lot of readers live in various places around the globe but you can still join in online in the Casapinka group. You can get your patterh here. And the yarn is from Julie Spins, a dyer by night and scientist by day. I know she has lots of fans - go check her out.
"What is this?" you ask. It's Junior's requested new hair color, of course. It's actually what I bought at stitches in the form of roving to transform a lovely Julia Hilbrandt bag. Sorry, you'll have to wait to see it because the pictures aren't great.
I've finally started a Ravelry group! I've wanted to for ages but after several negative knitting experiences over the past year I just shied away from it. I'm trying to chalk them up to experience, as they say, but jeez they really made me realize how awful seemingly "good" people can be. Luckily, I have solid friends who are supportive. Anyway, last night when I woke at 2am and couldn't fall back asleep, I created a couple of banners, one for my group and one for an advertisement for Loop that I've studiosly been "not doing."
I finally decided to create the Ravelry group because I was so surprised and gratified at Stitches and Rhinebeck when I discovered that I have fans! I couldn't believe that people were showing me their projects (that I designed!) I had my picture taken, complete with 2 big zits which I had inadequeately disguised and met all sorts of people who recognized Loop and Dot which I wore, and they talked to me about my designs. What a buzz! So, please come join the Casapinka group. No trolls, no jerky buttheads, just color, fun projects, yarn discussions, KAL's and giveaways.
These are two of my favorite photos from Rhinebeck. The Miss Babs booth was so crowded and the line so long, I grabbed several skeins and decided to "shop" while in line. On top is Deep Sea Jellyfish and the very bottom is Perfectly Wreckless, which was used in the original Loop shawl, but I just couldn't pass it up, so great is the love.
And this handsome chap was in the back building awaiting his haircut. I would imagine he's looking forward to being able to acutally see again!
The sweater, below, started out a bit differently than it ended up. I don't even remember what sort of pattern I was originally knitting but I clearly changed it. I never actually wrote up the pattern, much as I like the cardigan. It's in an unusual color (Gilded, on Tosh Pashmina) but it's so pretty to have around. It serves as a neutral, meaning it goes with everything that I own. No surprise that I also call pink a neutral!
I'm off to Rhinebeck today with my good friend, Meg, where a weekend of yarn, sheep auctions and fellow fiberophiles (apologies, William Safir) awaits us. I think I'll pick up some more yarn to make this sweater again with the idea of actually publishing the design rather than making notes on Bubble Yum wrappers and stuffing them in my bedside table. So often my swatches end up being full garments and I need to do Round 2 to work out all the kinks.
Today is the perfect knitting day. It's raining and the fall colors are out and I'm working on my steeked coat design in Verdant Gryphon Purple Hibiscus on Traveller. I haven't been going to the studio to work since Junior is precarious on his crutches and I feel I should stay close to home. In reality, per reports from his school, he's doing the equivalent of donuts at the landfill while driving a Chevette. I keep expecting a call from school involving the word "faceplant."
Although our yard needs some TLC (Husband insists on doing everything himself which means it gets done, uh, on occasion) it looks so pretty with the bright red, undoubtedly poisonous, things growing on the wall. Perfect backdrop to working on an endless stockinette project. I just love endless stockinette, particularly on gorgeous yarn. If you've done one of my designs you know this! It simply means Junior can faceplant without me dropping any stitches or, worse yet, having to tink back 8 rows of lace while being called "Potty Mouth" by the same kids who got me into the forgotten yo lace predicament.
Angela, the owner of Indie yarn company LYDIA (an acronym for Luxury Yarns Dyed in America) gifted me some beautiful yarn at Stitches East last weekend. I really enjoyed meeting her, as well as Lynn, her associate, who happened to be knitting my Dot Shaw! I am in love with this color way called "Confetti." I'm making a Loop Hat here just to see what it looks like. I also made a Dot hat but it looked like I was preparing for electroconvulsive therapy which isn't generally the look I go for while waltzing through Target with Junior dragging his massive cast behind him.
You thought I was kidding.
It was very exciting to open up the Miss Babs newsletter this morning to read about their Rhinebeck booth and to see my Loop shawl right in front of me! I hd such a good time making it, watching the contrast skein of Perfectly Wreckless dole out its intense colors.
Loop has been done for a while but I had to get a new computer - and the new computer likes to turn "STS" into "STD" (great abbreviation to have in one's knitting patterns) and various other small nuisances, so it took a while to publish. Then Junior was using it as a cape for a while and when we were trying to photograph it, we got kicked off of a (non) private beach near our home! I kind of wondered if it was doomed but it looks like it's still kicking. It's knitted from the top down and the loop sts (STDs) are just slipped with k2togs. Yarn is carried up the side.
Right now I have this gorgeous Malabrigo Mecha on my needles. I'm trying to finish a pullover with lace arms on size 10 needles in time for Stitches East this weekend.
It was supposed to be a long cabled vest (last year) but I lost interest. I ended up frogging it last weekend, winding it into large skeins and washing out the kinks so it could be reworked. People don't have a true understanding of how much time goes into designing knitting patterns. Of the ones that do work, many have been pulled out and reknit mutliple times. Luckily, I think this sweater is going to be a good one - my 11 year old has already requested one for herself which is preferable to "Ew - who's going to wear THAT?"
I just put up a new pattern for sale, the Ranelagh Cowl. These cool crisp days remind me of the several years I lived in Ireland. I had some friends who lived in Ranelagh and I remember some cold days, visiting them after walking through wind and raindrops, burrowing down in my scarf.
Many of those days in Dublin I would have appreciated a snuggly cowl like this. It's unisex, reversible, and requires 2 skeins of Juniper Moon Moonshine or Cascade Eco Duo, or similar yarn. A good "first" colorwork pattern since only one color is carried at a time.
I've had a number of requests over the years for a pattern for this coat:
Shortly after designing it the yarn was discontinued so I never reknit it and published the pattern. I just finished knitting another one in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter and now want to do it in something with some more depth, hence The Verdant Gryphon. I'm considering the top two colors, Purple Hibiscus and The Cathouse. I love Gryphon's yarns and I probably can't go wrong with either of the colors. Trying to decide on yarn colors is such a fun endeavor that I really need to string it out a few days, although Rhinebeck is fast approaching.
I could do it in Love Bug, but it's another bright pink. Do I really need another pink coat? Well, yeah...
River in Paradise would make a nice contrast with The Cathouse, the deep blue, above.
I was under the weather today so I spent some time binge watching Netflix and making crochet flowers to hang at the Wilson Collective in Portsmouth, RI, to help out my friend, Rhonda Fargnoli. It is opening this week and will be a makery, where Rhonda will sell her own yarns (and no other yarns) and host workshops for knitting, crochet, sewing, dyeing etc. There will also be a tea bar and I'm not sure, but it's rumored you can get your dog washed there as well!
There's a nip in the air this morning. A simple and quick knit with some pink pompons is a great idea about now, from Hus & Hem. Love them.
When it gets cool I'm always reminded of the five years we spent in New Mexico where every day was like a beautiful New England fall day with gorgeous blue skies. Photo from sfss' Flickr.
I saw this reclaimed wood piece, part of some machinery from a factory in Atholl, MA, at my studio. The creators of Silver Hippopotamus, who also work out of Mad Dog Studios, were selling it at their show, and this vision of organized circular needles came into my head, so I bought it. It's difficult to describe Silver Hippopotamus, but this sister team takes industrial machinery or junked out pieces of farm equipment, maybe an old tractor part of child's tobaggan, and sculpts them into a new life. A piece of lucite here or there, something rethought into a light fixture, legs added to make a table. It is more than upcyclling because they transform these abandoned "things" into something that imprints in one's brain after the show is over. This was the simplest of their pieces - one day I'll have to take some pictures and show you more.
My find was marketed as a colored pencil holder and I loved how that looked so I combined the needles and the pencils. Now, it sits in front of our fireplace, where kids grab colored pencils at whim (and actually put them back) and I have my circular needles organized by size (and sometimes I put them back, too.)
I just joined the studio - a haven of space and sun, with individual areas and a huge common room with floor to ceiling windows and a hammock. A hammock! Great for knitting, as you can imgaine. There are kilns and equipment for metalsmithing, easels and saws. Artists can have a 2 or 3 day per week membership or their own small studio and work in the common space at will.
Junior brought his sister a little bouquet of zinnia when we picked her up from the bus, her first time riding it. She is at a new school this year and has to take the bus a fair distance. Cute, this sibling stuff because within 2 minutes the bouquet was incorporated into the Dead Chicken game and everything went awry, which, is to say, became normal. Today will be spent at my studio and two new patterns will be released soon!
A while back I had lunch with a writer friend who lives at the very end of Ballygobackwards, as Husband would say. "What? She has to drive 4 miles to reach a store?!" Typical city kid. So good was the food I voluntarily ate cheese. It was served with crusty bread and tomatoes that defy all adjectives. The cheese just seemed at home on the plate and I ate it without reservation. I knew her husband grew the tomatoes but twenty varieties? He is tomato royalty and I had no idea. So, thank you Harold for growing them (and for stuffing so many Jerusalem artichockes into my larder.)
We then had vegetable stew and it practically melted the bowl, it was so good. I still can't believe she got me to eat cheese, though.
My new kitchen is coming along smashingly. I'm so glad I decided to do fake marble countertops and tile over the nasty backsplash. I painted over it first (below) but decided it wasn't a good enough fix. The kitchen seems open and bright now. I still have some finishing touches to do such as grouting the backsplash and sanding down the gloss on the countertops, painting a bit more cabinetry, reupholstering some chairs. I think you can see a small difference in the before and nearly after. The wallpaper on the end wall really pulls it together but you'll have to wait to see that!
I love this pink light. It is immeasurably difficult to find such a thing on this side of the puddle. I know: In between tracking the Malaysian Airlines second crash investigation I was looking for kitchen lights. You might remember after all these years that I have an absolute obsession with planes. All night long I read about it and looked for kitchen lights - no sleep. Now, there is another plane missing over Mali. Unbelievable times we live in - very stressful and it's difficult to believe the propaganda from any country.
Bedtime, however, was pretty fun, when you consider the kids I have. They're like little Penns and Tellers. Comments heard during a chaotic settling down of children who still insist on sharing one room divided by a curtain ("I can keep a better eye on him and his diabolical ways,") claims the one with the scenic view from her loft bed:
"We're going to Sephora tomorrow for FOUR HOURS." (daughter, taunting Junior)
"Yeah?" You'll have to get permission from my FIST first!" (Junior) - and 5 minutes later while the tough guy is getting snuggles:
"You'd better think very carefully before you lick my arm again." (Me - to you know who.)
I was beyond happy with Name Day which Bubbles and I celebrated last Friday. After watching the documentary, "Stolen", about this we went to the museum which contains her name, followed by dinner at My Restaurant. The food was delicious and the hostess presented me with my first ever personalized bag as we were leaving! When I paid they didn't even ask me which was my first vs. last name. That typically happens at least once a week.
In between, we managed to find parking on Newbury Street where I was led around to a giant Forever 21 and every store that dared put a rhinestone in the window. We found a mint green cat shaped shelf buried on a dusty clearance rack and had lunch at the Trident Cafe where we looked at books and magazines. No yarn stores this time...I was very good. In between caring for a severely hyperthyroid cat, a constantly streaking 7 year old and painting the countertops, it was a fun girl's day! Today, the stealth painting of the cabinets begins, as does the final layer for the countertops.
I just discovered I can use upholstery paint to change the color of my couch. Husband is on call, it's a beautiful day, the weeding can wait. The countertops are drying from coat #4 of Paint Over Your Ugly Laminate Paint...If Ce Ce Caldwell's paint is available in Rhode Island, it's going to be a mighty enjoyable day!
While working on my countertops (and oh boy, does the initial "sponging" look gross) I'm awaiting the arrival of wallpaper for the end wall in the kitchen, pictured above.
Currently, there are two basic schoolhouse ceiling lights. I must admit to being tempted to replace them with something like this from Dot & Bo. Right now, however, I'm getting ready to meet the RISD knitting bunch for breakfast in Providence. Then a trip to Boston with Bubbles who just turned 11. The "Boys" had a night out last night so the girls watched the movie, "Stolen" on the theft at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston (while painting countertops) , so now she wants to visit it. The two of us are heading up after breafast and then a trip to this restaurant which shares my first name. I'm hoping there is a special "Name" discount since I never run into anyone with the same moniker, and definitely never get personalized pencils or "Keep out of my bedroom!" signs when visiting high end gift shops at Disney World and such. They were raving about the restaurant on the radio the other day, despite it not being the type of cuisine to which I normally gravitate.
The other day I decided that I was done with black faux granite laminate counters. I want a bright, happy kitchen. I had it painted white last year which helped. Photo.
And I got a couple of doors painted pink which also helped. Photo. But it's still dark from those counters and awful oak cabinets.
I'd like them to look more marble than granite but I doubt that will happen. I bought a Giani Counter Kit and I'll be sure to post the finished product (if tts passable.) I like the irony of painted laminate, especially if it fools people. I also took a paintbrush and white primer to the faux Tuscan backsplash but quickly realized I could tile over it rather than just paint it. The quest for colorful tiles has begun and believe me they are few and far between, unless you go, as I think I will, to New Jersey. World of Tile is apparently where Tilophiles go to get their groove on, especially if they want something that is not earth toned. Faux Tuscan is to Rhode Island as cigars are to Cuba so I'm up against a lot here.
I'm giving a lecture on Knitting Design this week. I always wonder if people expect me to show up in a fair isle unitard. Unfortunately, I don't have a fair isle unitard although I did sit down by our mailbox yesterday with my knitting bag and hope of sewing my fair isle swatches to its pole. Some were too small so adjustments are needed.
Back to my business attire for the Knitting lecture. Truth be told, I do find the black ones less stripperish, and i just love that ankle strap but the pink look less stripperish than the white boots, so all it's relative and moot since all are sold out. There's just no accounting for excellent taste. Without them I'm unsure how I'll deliver the best lecture I can, but dang it, I'll sure try.
Dot is now available. Search your stash for a skein of that sock yarn you just couldn't resist, it's colors spoke to you, imploring you to make an immediate purpse. Choose a background color and go to work! Available here.
The dots don't require turning of the shawl, unlike bobbles. You'll catch on quickly and look forward to each dot row to see how your yarn separates out into its individual colors. I used Quaere Sparkle Sock in Blue Bird here. Janel is also from Rhode Island and has a beautiful array of variegated yarns in her Etsy store.