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Packing

A suitcase just for my yarn

Tomorrow I leave fair NY for Quito, Ecuador where I will spend the next 4 months. Today I spent a small fortune at USPS. I’ve been participating in a traveling scarf and since I’m leaving I asked that scarves be sent to me early. So I sent on 3 scarves today. Also last year I agreed to participate in Pay It Forward (PIF). This is where you offer to handmake something for 5 people and each of those people handmake for 5 others and so on. I had intended to have all my PIFs sent by the end of 2009 but that was not to be. Luckily, handmade goods seem to come with a long statute from promise to delivery. Anyhow, I sent out my PIFs today as well. In addition, I’m participating in the Anthropologie Knits ravelry group swap. And though it’s a bit early to send packages, I sent mine out. I was a bit shocked at the final cost for shipping all the above plus a couple of other items. One of those were these Circuitry socks. I ran the NYC marathon last year and in fundraising I promised knitted items. This person will finally receive her item.

To raffle winner Archergal5219

Above I added a photo of one of my suitcases. I’m only going to be in Ecuador for four months but with designing and just project knitting, it was hard deciding on what yarns to take. Receiving mail in Ecuador is extremely sketchy so I want to have all I need. A friend told me that I should take one suitcase for my knitting because I’m a “professional designer.” I’m still not completely comfortable with that term though I do call myself a “fledgling designer.” Nonetheless, I’m taking one suitcase just for my knitting.

Now to start packing clothes… Should be a lot easier than deciding on yarns. I so hope that I have all I need. My worst nightmare is that I’ll be totally inspired to design some knit item and then not have the correct yarn to execute my vision.

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I can’t believe I won!

I just got a call from Jeremy? at Purl Soho saying that I won one of the door raffles.

Jeremy? reading out the prize winners

I went to Purl Soho yesterday for the Customer Appreciation Day. I got there around 1:30. I entered the 2pm door raffle, got nothing. I entered the 3pm raffle. Did the beginners embroidery class for 30 min.

Waited till 3pm and again won nothing. I decided I’d head home. I entered the 4pm raffle since you didn’t have to be there to get the prize. So I’m lolly gagging in bed on this wet Sunday and I get a call. I won a prize!!! 4 STC craft books. One of them I actually already own – Reversible Knitting by Lynne Barr – it’s a great book! I also got Weekend Knitting and Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I forget what the fourth book was.

Here are a couple more pics from the day. There were some snacks. Some taster classes. And you got a goody bag with your purchase. A fun day was had! An especially fun day since I won a prize. 🙂

Sewing and Sit and Craft area

The Classroom in back of store

Hoping your name will be called

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Circuitry

I’ve just published my new sock pattern. They’re called Circuitry and are available here or on ravelry. Pattern details are available on the pattern page.

These socks are knit using slip stitches to create the colorwork pattern. The pattern has been tech edited by Kate Vanover, k2togkate. Also, thank you to all my test knitters for your invaluable input.

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Nine Days

It’s hard to believe that I fly in nine days. I really feel like I should have a lot more to do before I travel but I really don’t. I have my visa and plane ticket and all I really need to do is pack. Last time I worked in Ecuador I brought way too much stuff I thought I’d need, especially medications and the like. But now I know it’s actually easier to get meds over there. Just go to the pharmacy and ask for your drug of choice and you get it.

I think the only thing I’m a bit worried about is having sufficient yarn for the next four months. Having lived in Ecuador before I know that getting decent yarn over there is not easy so I pretty much have to bring all my own supplies. Also receiving mail isn’t very reliable either. So I pretty much need to have a goodly amount of yarn for projects and designing. The latter is the more difficult. Who knows how life in Quito will inspire me?!? I’m thinking I’ll bring lots of sock and lace yarn. I also have some designs in my journal that I can work on. Overall I’m taking this as the opportunity to work on my stash and queue. I also would like to reduce my number of WIPs. I’ll most likely take way more than I need but one needs to have choices…

So what to do before I leave? Well pretty much it’s taking care of knitting obligations. I owe pay it forwards and knits to winners of my marathon raffle. I should also knit an early Mother’s Day present.

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Taking a break

My mind has been so caught up in designing of late which has been cool but I knit because I love it and while I enjoy designing, I’m always thinking. Thinking of sizing, a different edging, what my next design might be, what other colors I should try, etc etc. I haven’t gone to that meditative knitting place in a while. And so I’m taking a wee designing break (like a week or two) and I’m just going to knit. The project: Little Birds by Ysolda Teague.

There’s something really cool about doing this project; I feel like a knitting purist. I’m using Jamieson Shetland Spindrift which adds to that knitting purist feeling. I’m also knitting on the tiniest needles; the bottom ribbing I did using 2mm (US 0) needles. And now I’ve moved to the larger needles 2.75mm (not sure on this size in US and too lazy to look it up). There were times when the ribbing was too tedious to take but in some ways I enjoyed that. Probably helped that I traveled to and from Philadelphia by bus last Saturday and plain knitting seems to work really well for travel knitting.

Now I’m on the colorwork and it’s fun. I’m still having problems getting into the flow of throwing. I’m a continental knitter but for the purposes of stranding I’m holding one color with my left and the other with the right. So I’m picking for one color while throwing the other. It’s very slow work which I’m so not used to. But then as you see the little birds form, it is pretty fantastic.

As with any color knitting, I’m getting a bit unsure of my color choices. I wish that instead of the Isager yarn which I chose for the leaves, I’d stuck with the Jamieson Spindrift. The Isager is just a bit thinner than the Spindrift which I thought wouldn’t be such a big deal but the knitting perfectionist in me isn’t loving it. However I’m not changing at this point. I also wish I’d chosen a different color for the leaves – maybe white? It would have been more dramatic. And maybe a less heathery blue for the birds. Does anyone ever do their colorwork with complete confidence? You know… Not constantly questioning their choices and other colors that might have worked better. Pretty much the fact that each row takes nearly an hour and I’ve gone so far keep me from ripping out and trying different colors. It also helps that I don’t know any local yarn shops that carry Jamieson Spindrift. At this point it would just be too much work to try to change colors so I’m going ahead with my initial choices.

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Pausing at Purl

Us NY knitters have been chatting about Purl Soho moving to new premises for a while. And me being a yarny groupie with time on her hands made my way over to Purl for its opening day. And I must say: Love the new place!!! It’s huge (especially compared to the old digs). Now the knitting and fabric stores are combined which is great.

I met up with my friend, Rae (she’s in the middle of the above pic in white jacket and aqua top), and we hung around the store for a while. She ended up buying a cone of some Habu while I got some Koigu which was on sale (I’m unemployed!). I actually wanted to get a couple of colors to test knit the small size of my new Circuitry pattern. While Rae and I were contemplating colors, another lovely woman, Cathy, joined in and made some great suggestions. It was especially great because I wouldn’t even look at the variegated skeins (a bit difficult when judging Koigu) but she brought a new eye to my way of thinking which is always refreshing.

(Forgive the finger shadowing the left side of this photo)

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Biggest Loser

Last Wed, the NY Marathon Lottery winners were announced and I was not accepted. Big bummer as I really wanted to do the marathon again this year. I contemplated running for a charity again like I did last year but I really couldn’t face having to raise $3,000 again. That reminded me that I needed to work on my 9 events plus 1 volunteering so that I can get guaranteed entry into the 2011 marathon. I’ve already completed the volunteering but as of then no races yet. As I’ll be gone from May to end of Aug (primary race season), I’m really going to have to push it. So I entered the Run as One event for Lung Cancer. You could either run 4mi or walk 1.3 mi. I opted to walk 1.3 mi cause I’m so out of shape lately.

While at the event, the first person I see is Miggy of Biggest Loser fame. I watch the show and though they cry way too much, I enjoy it. I actually went over and said hi. She said that she did all the New York Road Runner events and that she was still working on it. She looked great but obviously still has a ways to go.

Here are a couple of crap cell phone pics:

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Oh Caryl (Carol)

Yesterday, the Creative Director, Joe, started singing this song called “Oh Carol” when he introduced me to Nicky Epstein. I asked him who sang that since I’d wanted a song with Caryl (Carol) in it forever. I bogarted Sweet Caroline as my song calling it Sweet Carol – ine. Today, when he introduced me to the photographer, he again started singing the song. This led to us wanting to know who sang it.

Here is my new theme song. By Neil Sedaka.

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Meeting Nicky

Today I worked (interned) at a Soho Publishing photo shoot. First thing I had to do was put all the clothes from a trunk on hangers onto a rack. Then I had to steam iron all of them. I got a few steam burns – steam hurts!

Then during breakfast, a woman showed up and I was introduced to her as Nicky, the designer. I was like “Hmmm… I only know one knit designer named Nicky.” So I asked the assistant to the Creative Director what Nicky’s last name was and as you can guess it was Epstein. I was a bit thrilled. We were shooting a Fall booklet of Nicky’s latest designs.

Nicky was awesome. During some quiet times, I sat knitting so she came and talked to me about it. I told her I was trying to be a designer and happened to have my Paluk snood on me. She looked at it and I could tell she wasn’t impressed. Then she was like, if I want to get noticed as a designer, I need my work to stand out. So when we would shoot a new sweater, she’d take me to the side and ask me what made that sweater stand out and give me advice on the kind of things I could do to get my work to pop. It was a great learning experience for me and I wrote down some notes of what she said.

The Creative Director was also really cool and genuinely chatted with me. I found his assistant less than cool. I’m finding (and I don’t know if it’s a NY thing) but people don’t seem to really care much about you. When I first got back and saw my family at our first family get together, you’d think after years of not seeing me they might be interested in what I’d been up to. Nope, they were like hi, nice to see you again and just went on discussing hum drum life things. I’m finding the same interning at Vogue Knitting. Being the new person around, I thought people would be a bit curious about me and ask questions but they’re not. I think most of them assume I’m a college student interning at the place and that’s that. It’s a bit annoying but what can you do. It’s weird to be 30 years old, having had a fairly interesting life and no one caring at all. Overall I’m having a tough time finding my place in this city. I don’t want to go around putting myself forward, that’s just not my style, but it seems the only way to even get noticed.

Here are a few pics from my day. Lots more on Flickr. Sadly I only had my crappy point and shoot on me so the pics aren’t amazing.

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What a day!

Today has been a harrowing day. It started out well. I’d been working on a sock design for a while. While I love knitting socks, I hadn’t really thought of designing any. Then I saw information about this sock revived design contest and decided I had to enter the fray. I knew I wanted to design something using colorwork since I’ve been on a color kick lately. From my library I was able to get Vogue’s Color Knitting Stitionary and found a stitch pattern I really loved. I was able to then visualize the pattern and needed yarn to make it happen. I had a trip to Madison, WI and at the Madison Knitter’s Guild knit-in I found the two perfect skeins. It actually wasn’t that difficult as most skeins of fingering weight yarn there were variegated and I wanted solid. Those two colors called to me and I liked the idea of knitting from a small, local Madison vendor.

My two skeins of yarn:

I then started knitting and taking notes as I went along. After the heel flap I knew I wouldn’t want to attempt to try to decrease in that pattern so I thought, stripes! why not stripes?!? I kept going and the last couple of days I photographed my finished prototype and wrote up the pattern.


I named these socks: Electric Boogaloo because for some reason I thought disco. I discussed the naming with a friend and I’ve now decided the final name will be ‘Circuitry’ (friend’s suggestion).


Then today, April Fool’s, I decided to solicit test knitters. Knowing that socks aren’t to everyone’s tastes I decided to ask for test knitters on one of the sock forums on ravelry. I got lots of volunteers and lots of compliments and was feeling good.

As you can imagine, a great fall was to come. Someone pointed out these socks to me. I’d never seen them before and now I looked like I copied her design. I was pretty distraught because a lot of work had gone into my sock design and I couldn’t believe that I’d have to scrap the whole thing. I sought advice from other rav friends and just kept thinking “this was all for nothing”. I then decided I’d message the other designer and ask her thoughts on the matter. She was absolutely lovely and told me I should go ahead and publish my design. She also posted on the thread to let people know that we had discussed the situation privately and that she believed me to have designed mine independently and that she thought I should publish my socks as well. I was really happy for that. It just took a huge load off.

So now I’m going to go ahead with those socks. I do try to do some research before publishing a design but it’s tough with so many patterns out there. And really, I don’t know how I could have searched to find another sock with that similar stitch design.

What a day!

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