Every month I change the flowers in the flagpole that is attached to the front of Casapinka. Sadly, I think it's time to put away the fuchsia daisies and go for something more seasonal like hot pink sunflowers. The sun is usually wrong for me to photograph them in situ which is why you never see my seasonal collection of fake flowers.
It's actually turning into a sunny day here in RI and we're getting some fall leaves which you can see in the photo, taken from my bedroom. I also have to give you more design news! Lion Brand contacted me again yesterday. They now want me to make a cowl, hat AND sweater in the same theme. It will all be done in Fisherman's Wool, what my friend Gayle calls "real wool." To be honest, this has caused me a bit of a problem. I was so excited yesterday when they asked me to do it, I promptly hit a curb and blew out my tire. This is a big thing for me because I'm a nerd driver with an impeccable record. That should tell you how over the moon I was! Anyway, my car is all wheel drive so it needs a matching tire. Luckily, I was far from home but just outside Love 2 Knit, my fabulous local yarn store and our mechanic is right around the corner. He ordered a replacement tire which will arrive later today and came over with the tow truck, with only a couple of snarky knitting comments. Fortunately, I was able to sit at Love2Knit all afternoon and evening since their Yarntasters was going on, until Husband could sneak out and collect the kids and come get me. Unfortunately, Husband is now without a car, all because Lion Brand had to go and give me such a cool design assignment! I will have to christen my front right tire the Lion Tire. Maybe I'll paint it orange.
I always feel like such a chump by not sharing ongoing desgins with you so I'm going to ease up a bit on that. They look so bright and happy sitting by the window in my bedroom/bathroom/kitchen/playroom/staircase/trash can. You know how knitters are, ahem. This one is nearing finished. BUT MY REAL NEWS IS NOT THIS SLEEVE! I presented a couple of designs to my RISD class the other night and Lion Brand is buying at least one of them!
I need to balance what I sell on my own with what I sell to another company but it feels good to work with a company like Lion Brand, who gives a lot to charity, tries to arm the masses who don't have local yarn stores with affordable yarn, and has a dynamite design team (Adina Klein is Creative Director.) I was so thrilled to meet Margery Winter the other night. I got some real Project Runway type critiqueing which is good for me, and got to pick her brain for a couple of hours. What a week!
To make matters even better there was no fighting in the backseat on the way to school. I suddenly realized Junior had been quiet for ages. "What's he doing?" I asked his sister, figuring he was disemmbling the reading light or removing stuffing from the back of my seat with a fork. "Bratticus Finch is READING." she informed me. Bratticus Finch. And so another nickname is born. It's going to be very difficult to call him by his actual name now, I just know it.
My knitting room saw a fair amount of action over the holiday weekend, as I madly knit up a couple of garments for Lion Brand Creative Director, Margery Winter. She gave yarn to our instructor at RISD with the suggestion that we "See what we can come up with." I made a sleeveless charcoal boucle top and a skater skirt. The skirt is blocking and I have no idea at all if it will look ok or not. Margery Winter is kind of a knitting hero of mine. I believe I called her the Jimi Hendrix of knitting a few years ago when I met her daughter-in-law in the park.
And because barely a week ever goes by without some drama here at Casapinka, Bubbles decided to go and fracture her orbital bone, or so we think. Cue the typical argument that goes on between us when someone is injured. Husband: I think she has a fracture. Pink: No way, it's a bruise. PLEASE. People get beat up all the time in bars and don't get broken bones. "Husband: Well, it's very tender all around her eye. Pink: Right. Bruises are tender! They won't bother x-raying it so it doesn't really matter. Hubs: They'll go right to CT. Pink: And I don't want her to have all that radiation for no reason. Husband: It won't change anything, will it? She's not entrapped, she doesn't have diplopia." Juniorette, waking us in the middle of the night: "I feel aaaaawful. I'm hot and cold, and dizzy and my eye huuuuurts (wailing.) Husband, semi-jubilant, elbows me. "Told ya...its'a fracture fever." So, my kid runs through the backyard at Casapinka while chasing KitKat, steps on a rake and BLAM. Gets a black eye. Luky, Husband brought home Georgetown Cupcakes on Thursday when he returned from Washington. They cure a lot of ills, even broken faces.
It seems like life has been rather banal at Casapinka lately. Well, trust Husband to mess it up by legging it to Washington DC while our government is taken over by a few people drinking tea. As soon as he leaves, we wake up to BEES in the living room. Jun'ette came flying up the stairs at 6am screaming "Bees bees bees!" (because really, had she raced up screaming "Skunk!" "Robber!" or "Evil Tea Partiers!" the story wouldn't be the same.) I was so brave. I really was. I realized today that I'm just great in a crisis. The day to day mundane of getting Junior to school with his fly zipped and wearing matching shoes, I fall short. If I didn't let Jun'ette secretly sit on 4 telephone books and drive the car, we'd never make it. If you report me, I'll deny it. Send me a crisis, though, and I'm on FIRE. A useful trait in a knitting designer." OMG, I DROPPED A STITCH!!!!!" some people might scream. Not me. "Oh my, I dropped a stitch. Time to pop the pizza in the oven," is what you get here. Sorry, I'm boasting.
Which has nothing to do with my illegally driving at age 10 year old's room decor, but I easily digress.Above is her collection of Swarovski crystal figurines that my MIL got her into collecting. I found the display thingy at a flea market where it was all yellowish and mildewy (see below), but I cleaned it up (Calmly! Without freaking out about toxic black mold!) and gave it some paint, and now it's great in a kiddo room. The rabbit print is by Kari Herer as is the horse print. I learned about her from Frankie Magazine, a fantastic read from Oz and Bubbles' really likes her prints, too. Otherwise, they wouldn't be in her room, right?
After I'd saved us all from Killer Rhode Island bees and picked up the kids later that day, we went to the park. It's all done up by a RISD artist with interactive playground equipment that feeds your kid kale while electromagnetically implanting phrases into their brains like, "GMOs are bad" and "Ted Cruise is screwing America". In all of this is a seat that looks like a giant red cup on a stem. One sits in it and then, from centripetal force or something, it spins, spins and just continues to spin from your body weight, unless you hurl yourself out of it like a seizing fish. Junior took his turn in the cup but he's not so good at getting out of it and 30 minutes later, on the way home, placidly rolled down the window in my car, quiet as a mouse, and BARF. Sadly, the window is one of those kid windows that doesn't roll all the way down. HELLO, great design! Do car designers not have kids who puke in the backseat?! Do car designers not have have lazy days where they make their kid in the back pay tolls, necessitating a window that rolls down fully?
Gawd. I did manage to clean out the backseat and then sew a curtain for the kitchen window which will delight Husband. Anymore driving by while the kitchen light is on and someone is getting a midnight snack in his/her underwear is no longer going to get a free show. But really. Husband leaves town and we get bees and throw up - it always happens. Last year it was Hurricane Sandy. Well, I'll close with some more of Bubbles' bedroom decor. This is a painting that Margaret Owen gave to her. It sits on top of her bookcase in a place of honor.
We have Margaret's paintings scattered throughout our home because they are so pretty and happy. And finally, I know you've already seen the hanging pillow case from Designer's Guild but hey, if I type it again I get more hits from people searching for DESIGNERS GUILD BED LINEN and Tricia Guild is liable to just send me an entire line of her wallpaper to wallpaper my fridge and every fridge in the neighborhood of Casapinka.
I can't remember if I ever shared this dress that I made with you guys, or if I just put it up for sale, hoping to make enough for one kid to attend the college of her/his choice. Yes, I do have a bit of that optimistic characteristic within! It's a fairly speedy knit, with little set in sleeves, a good skill for a knitter, and easy to do whne one follows any of myriad Youtube videos. It's called the Littleheart Baby Dress.
I have my garment drawing class tonight at RISD, having had my Adobe Illustrator last night. So much fun stuff to learn! But dang if I'm not supposed to make Giant Snot cupcakes for Junior's birthday tomorrow while trying to finish my - ack! - homework. I love this kind of homework!
I guess the title of this post says it all. I just love using color in my knitting. I'm hoping to do some videos to spread my love of colorwork and teach y'all how to feel as great as I do about knitting squirrels, jars of foie gras or flowers into your sweaters. It's addictive!
You can see that I'm not the only one who loves it. Kit Kat is happy enough to curl into it, although it might be the Sleeping With Squirrels factor.
I love intarsia knitting as well. Intarsia is a single color knitted back and foth like the mustaches in the Mustache Cuffs I posted yesterday. Fair Isle, named after a man-made island in Orlando, Florida (just seeing if you're awake - it's a lie, by the way) is usually knitted in the round while carrying the colors behind. See the pale pink trees, above? Aren't they great? I think everyone should be fair isling, even if you love only gray and ivory. They look beautiful together, even better if one adds a tiny splash of pink.
I am designing a sweater right now that is knitted in the round then cut up the middle to make a cardigan, a process known as steeking. It saves the knitter from having to carry colors while purling, which isn't that hard, really, but not as fast as zipping around. Knitters seem to abhore purling with colorwork! If you guys like the design, we'll do a knitalong with it!
This was a design sample I did while thinking of ideas for a little boy sweater for Junior. Unfortunately, he now begs me to knit this into a huge wallpaper for his wall. Fat chance, man! I don't like it so much but I still show you things that didn't turn out well. I want you to realize that you need to stick with it, that not everything is great the first time around.
In other news, today we are off to Boston to see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the Museum of Science. I'm also hoping to bribe the kidoodles to stop at the John Fluevog store on Newbury Street so Mommy can enjoy her own kind of musuem! Costs nothing to look and they always treat you like a queen. Just like at Casapinka, right (ha!) Lovely weekend, everyone.
I just published a pattern on Ravelry for these quick to knit Mustache Cuffs. Great for Christmas presents or for a quick to knit warmer for all those hours you spend on the computer.
My kids love mustaches which is why I designed them but now I'm kind of falling in love with them, too!
This week I'm going to talk about what's inspiring me right now. I'll start with yarn since it kept me up pretty late last night. This is one of the new colorways that Dream in Color is selling, here in Crystal Storm on Smooshy with cashmere. I stayed awake way too late last night going over all the colorways, looking in Raverly to see what people had made, and thinking about what I'd like to make. Do you have a favorite colorway?
This pink kitchen is so sweet, isn't it? I have left my kitchen fairly untouched until I decide what to do with the cheap wooden cabinets. This is a kitchen for baking sweet smelling treats while little people do homework and drop dark colored messes on that white floor, and for moms who don't care about that (not me!)
Bright and happy bedding. This is from Accessorize but I think H&M Home has one that is similar. Just in time for winter when the gray days can be fought with an injection of warmth - must do this!
This H&M kitty dress which Erika, 23, a fashion lover from Kobe Japan, also deems inspirational. She even has the shoes to knock it out of the park. Yes, I bought it, yes it's a bit short, but hey, I'm a RISD student at the moment. It's imperative I wear short dresses and kick ass boots. Meow.
It's rainy, Junior has had hives for 3 days and I haven't finished my homework for my Adobe Illustrator class tonight. I do, however, have a cardboard birdhouse that I've neglected to show you. Remember, I mentioned how neat its design was? To change the subject, Juniorette got her ears pierced. It was meant to be just J and Husband but I was nervous because the little girl before was freaking OUT. They finally got 2 people to do it - one on each side - and the right earring was noticeably off (I was peaking around from the Lego Store, completely illegally.) I declare that mighty brave of me that I let her go ahead despite that other kid, who practically has a nose ring now. Unfortunately, the piercer (is there are barista-like word for ear piercers at Claires?) saw me peaking ever so surreptitiously through the neon mustache covered window, and announced, "I think you should let your wife check the markings before I start." Busted, I slunk off to the Lego store, Junior in tow and stoned on Benadryl that I'd given him at Logan Airport in Boston, with the help of an Irish lady who gave us water and later nougat to help get the pill down his gullet, like one does with puppy dogs. The lot of people waiting in the Aer Lingus area had actually been watching the whole thing and clapped when he finally got it down, calling out for him to take a bow, covered in hives, after accidentally spitting out the pill twice onto the airport floor. The secret, of course, was the pack of Tic Tacs in my pocket, presented to Junior on ingestion -i.e. Bribery. My poor brother-in-law - he was probably happy to be flying away from the circus that is Casapinka.