May 2009 Archives

And the winner is...


Thanks to all of you who voted on my plaids. The winner was B by a small margin, but I wanted just a wee bit more pink so I went with C.



I plan on combining this with some knitting and I hope it ends up working out. I'm used to combining knit and crochet gauges or different knit stitches together, but weaving and knitting is a whole nother ball of wax.

I'm also working on a possible self publish knitting project. I frogged Freudian stitch. I couldn't get past it's crotchiness. I went with something a little less reproductive. It's now something that doesn't make me laugh like a 6 year old telling potty jokes, every time I see it. Always a plus.

I can't decide


I want to use some black white and either pink or orange linen yarn that I have and weave up a bit of lovely plaid, but I can't decide what permutation I like.

I asked around on twitter/facebook and got a different answer from everyone who replied. Ha! The only thing left to try is a poll. Help me be decisive, my loom is calling to me.

In a previous tutorial, I have covered making colorwork charts in Excel. Excel is a wonderful option for simple charts because most people have access to and a comfort level with it or to a similar opensource alternative. However, for the persnickety designer, Excel lacks a certain level of precision and flexibility. Illustrator has a steeper learning curve but gives you unlimited freedom in designing your charts and many more options for file formats.

For this tutorial, I'm experimenting with doing videos instead of my usual written out method. I would love your feedback on which you prefer. You'll have to excuse my crummy editing, I'm still finding my way around iMovie.

I'm embedding the tutorials below, but I think you'll find them easier to view in High Quality [HQ] and in full screen, so you may want to watch the videos over in YouTube by clicking these links: Part I, Part II, Part III. If there's a good response to these video tutorials, I'll continue to create them, otherwise, I can go back to my old method.

As always, my standard caveats:

  • There are oodles of ways to create charts. This is one way, not necessarily the right or best way. Play around with the tools you have and adjust as you see fit.
  • I work on a mac and am using Adobe Illustrator CS3. Other versions of Illustrator, on other platforms may work differently. Consult your users manual if needed
  • I love hearing your ideas. If you have suggestions, leave them in the comments.

Download the Illustrator file here. Note: I've converted this file to be compatible with Illustrator 10 and higher.


Knitting in the Sun Blog Tour


I lived most of my life in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, experiencing the full range of seasonal changes from hot and muggy to sub zero, covered in ice, I think my eyes just froze shut cold. But it wasn't until I moved to Los Angeles that I suddenly rediscovered knitting and took to it in earnest. Five years in a climate that rarely dips below 55 degrees Fahrenheit and often blasts right past 90, gave me a keen appreciation for versatile and light knits. As any of you living in warmer climates know, balancing comfort in the hottest temperatures with the over zealous application of climate control in various offices, restaurants, theaters and stores, is not as easy as one might assume.

Enter Kristi Porter's newest book, Knitting In The Sun. This collection of 32 projects is sure to please almost anyone who lives somewhere with at least a few months of warm weather.

For my stop on Kristi's blog tour, I'm doing a brief interview with several of the contributing designers from the book. A huge thank you to the following designers for their contribution (in alphabetical order).

I think you'll all agree that their answers are really interesting and their designs are simply lovely.

Images from Knitting in the Sun
1. Quimper, 2. Anna Maria Tank, 3. Cinnamon Bay, 4. Blacksea, 5. Alishan, 6. Yehliu, 7. Bordeaux, 8. Cover, 9. Provence, 10. Bardini, 11. Vernazza, 12. Cabrillo, 13. Puget Sound, 14. Coronado, 15. Windansea, 16. Aviara
Ravelry Link to the projects in this book here
Most images Copyright Wiley Publication, all rights reserved. One image copyright Julia Trice, all rights reserved.



All day at the Oregon coast. It couldn't have been more beautiful, mild and lovely.

May 16, 2009
1. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 2. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 3. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 4. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 5. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 6. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 7. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 8. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 9. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 10. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 11. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 12. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009, 13. Oregon Coast Day Trip -- May 16, 2009
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

We played soccer and fetch with the pups then pulled out our bikes and ran them until they seemed to be almost something resembling tired.

The soccer ball is now Thea's passion. It irks her to no end that she can't get her mouth around it and still she can't stop chasing it. Panda can't be bothered, it's the squirrel all the way.

Any other Wallace and Gromit fans out there? And if so, did you know that Shaun has spun off his own series?

How is this even remotely related to my ostensibly craft themed site? Here's how:

Wennsleydale - Perfect Storm

4 ounces of Spunky Eclectic Wennsleydale Longwool in colorway, Perfect Storm. That's right, Wennsleydale, as in Wallace's favo[u]rite cheese and the one thing that keeps him from true love. I get it, Wallace: cheese is full of the awesome.

This fiber was a gift from my dear friend, Julia, and it's my first interaction with Wennsleydale Longwool. Wow, what a delight to spin. It's a little courser than the types of wools I usually choose but not unpleasantly so. It'd certainly make for a great layering piece and it's a dream to spin. I spun it semi-worsted, but man alive does it have some loft going for it. I bet this stuff would keep you mighty warm in the winter.

This is about 170 yards of 3-ply using a chain ply method to maintain the color shifts. After washing, this poofed up to nearly a worsted weight.

But this is only my most recently finished yarn. I also spindle spun another 130 yards of the merino blend, I posted about before.

Merino/Silk - spindle spun

And I spun 2 ounces and 150 yards of Mongolian Cashmere/Silk in a three ply as well.

Cashmere Silk

Let me tell you, silk is soft, cashmere is softer, but the two are just naughty when combined. I don't think there's another word to describe how soft they are. It's a warm glassy smoothness with a bit of sheen. Heavenly.

And just because I can, more of all three yarns.

My handspun yarn
1. All my recent handspun yarns, 2. All my recent handspun yarns, 3. All my recent handspun yarns, 4. All my recent handspun yarns
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Loved by the sun


It was a nice dry weekend, after many months of wet weather which means we could no longer put off domesticating our somewhat feral back yard. See here's the thing, in most climates, your lawn requires a delicate touch. You cut the grass long enough to hold in the water it seems to eternally thirst for, and you gently tread across it, being careful not uproot it's slender blades.

Portland grass grows like Homer Simpson's scruff. Seconds after a you've cut it down to the dirt, it's already shaggy again. Leave it for a few *cough-months-couch* and you've got yourself a jungle.

Mowin' the Lawn
1. Overgrown Yard, 2. Dorkus maximus, 3. New Mower, 4. Crazy Thea, 5. Rude little scamp, 6. Thea in front of flowers, 7. What did you say?, 8. Can we come out NOW?, 9. Fetch on a freshly mowed lawn
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

But everyone deserves a break from manual labor and we took ours on our front steps, basking in the warm midday sun. I assure you, in those shots with Panda on the floor, she was getting belly rubs just before. She wasn't being left out.

Lovefest on the front steps
1. Sweeties in the sun, 2. Sweeties in the sun, 3. Sweeties in the sun, 4. Sweeties in the sun, 5. Sweeties in the sun, 6. Sweeties in the sun, 7. Sweeties in the sun, 8. Sweeties in the sun, 9. Sweeties in the sun
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Paw Pile


Thanks to Ravelry's own Frecklgirl for the name of this post.

This is pretty much what our weekends look like when we aren't out doing stuff.


Personal space, schmersonal space.

Taken with Leo's laptop camera.

Knitting in the Sun


Kristi Porter's new book, Knitting in the Sun is now available through Amazon and should be in your bookstores this weekend.

I have a piece in there called Aviara


I snapped this photo of it with a clashy skirt before I sent it to Kristi, last year. This garment is offered in 8 sizes from 30"-58" bust sizes. See more specs for Aviara over on Ravelry.

I also knit the sample for Julia's lovely linen cloche and took this shot of it lounging at the beach.

Linen Cloche

Make sure you drop by Julia's page to see her gorgeous sleep set.

Piece by piece, patterns from the book are being added to the ravelry page so keep your eyes peeled. From the looks of it, it's going to be a great collection of lovely knits from a whole slew of great designers. I'm glad to be a part of it.

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