I'll be back.

Hello old and new friends. My blog has been inactive but I am still around. I loom-knit, weave and have picked up the sticks to needle knit, too! My patterns page links to Ravelry and I will answer questions about those. Maybe someday I will be back to write more. We will see where life takes me.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Friendly Scarf Project, Square 5/10

California was amazing but I couldn't wait to get home to this guy.

Stocking closeup

Coincidentally, the stitch pattern above/below his name is this week's scarf stitch. OK, so I've been working on my square for two weeks.

Seersucker stitch
On the loom

I think the pattern popped a little more on Tyler's stocking. Do you see the subtle diamond pattern? Since it's a knit/purl combo, it makes for a nice substitute ribbing that won't roll.

Seersucker stitch

Seersucker stitch
(Worked flat, multiple of 4 sts plus edging)
Row 1: *(K1 P1 K1 P1), rep from *
Row 2: *(P1 K1 P1 K1), rep from *
Row 3: *(P1 K3), rep from *
Row 4: *(K3 P1), rep from *
Row 5: *(K1 P1 K1 P1), rep from *
Row 6: *(P1 K1 P1 K1), rep from *
Row 7: *(K2 P1 K1), rep from *
Row 8: *(K1 P1 K2), rep from *

Seersucker stitch
Off the loom

Monday, February 21, 2011

Stitches West weekend

What I learned at Stitches:

When you take a group photo at the end of the show ...

Stitches West
Em, Kimberly (XRX's social media extraordinaire), Zoe, me and Tracey

Try not to knock over your boss.

Stitches West
(photos from Em's camera)

We had a busy busy weekend and you know what, the trip is not over! With a snowstorm hitting our Minneapolis layover and home of Green Bay, we're not flying out of California until Wednesday. But first, let's see some more goodies from the show.

Urban Booth Fauna

I think I spent my preconceived yarn budget at Urban Fauna on Saturday. The shop stocked some handspun yarn candy and cute gadgets. I splurged on three skeins of San Diego-based Darling Bud Designs yarn in what we call muskmelon.

Darling Bud Designs handspun

I have a bad habit of only buying one of handspun yarn and then I'm stumped for a project that isn't a hat. So I brought two to cool dude at the register. He talked me into the third who would have been a lonely widow on the rack. I also found a nice wooden multi-needle for felting and a sock monkey gauge ruler.

Stitches West haul so far
The sheep WPI gauge and nail file are from Friday's previously mentioned haul. Then Zoe surprised me with some pretty beaded split-ring stitch holders.

But it was mostly work with just short bursts of yarn play. Back to the booth ... where Zoe welcomes me back with grace on Sunday.

Interlacements booth

Interlacements booth

And then sneaking away for a bit to pick up some smelly soap from Sanguine Gryphon. They decorated their booth with a medieval flair.

Sanguine Gryphon booth
Yes, I do believe those are handknit undies on the table.

And then run down the aisle to get a quick pic with "somebunnyslove" Kimberly and Rowan the bun. My heart goes out to her since her real bun Sweet Pea hopped across the rainbow bridge while she was away. May he be munching lots of bananas and carrots on the other side with his bunny friends.

somebunnyslove and I
Deanna, our partner in beady crime — and lady in purple, sneaks into the photo on the left.

I also returned to Ellen's to buy the rest of her sharp loom picks. They work wonderfully!

And then the show was over. We tore it all down in an hour. We headed over to our much more snazzy hotel, The Avatar. (We got poor service and little sleep at the Hilton.) This is what I imagine when I think of Silicon Valley.

Staying at the Avatar

We will be bunking here for the next two nights as we recover from the show and wait for an airplane that wants to fly to the snowy Midwest. We'll be treated to wine-and-cheese happy hours and mod living arrangements.

Avatar lobby
Jetson furniture!

Avatar lobby


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Stitches West: Day 2

We're back at Stitches West in rainy Santa Clara, California. Good thing we get to spend most of Friday inside playing with yarn, right? Check out this nifty machine!

Addi knitting machine

During a break from the Interlacements booth, I got to crank the Addi Express King Size Knitting Machine a couple aisles away. I've toyed with the children's toy version of these before and I was much more impressed with this one. It was well-built and the yarn fed in smoothly. You do need to pull on the project to get even tension as you crank it out. You can use stoppers to knit flat. This one has 46 needles for hats while a smaller one has 24 for smaller projects.

Then Tracey led me to an awesome find on the other side of the exhibit hall. 

Ellen's Wooly Wonders knitting looms

Ellen crafts these loom and knitting boards in 3/4, 3/8 and 1/4 gauges. She knit sock yarn on the 1/4-gauge 56-peg loom above and it creates an adult sock for a narrow foot. She recommended DK/baby weight for a larger sock on the same loom. The loom costs $25 and I'm sleeping on it. I do like the idea of loom-knitting a sock in between chunky and fine-yarn. 

Ellen's Wooly Wonders knitting looms

Ellen's Wooly Wonders doesn't have the looms posted online but you can contact her for more information. She will handcraft custom sizes. And check out the furry critter (needleknit) patterns while you're there.

Before the market opened, I snuck over to Purrfectly Catchy Designs. I bought another handy sock blocker — Lambsy Diva the sheep — to live with my bunny blocker at home. Zoe adopted Max the dog.

Purrfectly Catchy Designs

And then the market opened its doors for one of our busiest days! The yarny crowds were much more civilized than those Black Friday mobs though. 

Early morning rush

Early morning rush

Later in the afternoon when these crowds died down, Zoe directed me to another market gem. A long woven banner made from 24-karat gold thread hangs high. It was made to honor a man 150 years ago. 

Gold yarn booth

The booth guy sells this thread and a slightly thicker thread that can be combined with another yarn while you knit, weave, crochet, etc.

Gold thread booth

At the Interlacements booth, it isn't gold but the Mamboo Bamboo yarn shines, too, on shelf and in sales.

Mamboo Bamboo display

I've been remiss in posting a photo of these pretty button badges, too. I made up a limited number for prizes and they have been quite popular. They feature Interlacements yarn and the Celtic-esque logo. Tracey plans to borrow a real button maker after the show and we're going to "mass-produce" these babies.

Interlacements buttons

The market closed at 6 and after getting some food, it was time to put up our slipper feet at the pajama party.

Pajama Party

We modeled for the contests and then did our own little photoshoot to cap off the day.

Pajama party girls

Pajama Party  Pajama Party

We're up again and getting ready for Day 3. And it looks like the blue skies are trying to overpower those gray clouds!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Stitches West: Day 1

Welcome to Stitches Market Preview ... vicariously, that is.

Interlacements booth

We greeted early shoppers to the Interlacements booth Thursday. The line to the doors snaked through several hallways of the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. I missed the initial rush photo but I'll have three more chances this weekend.

Interlacements booth

Interlacments booth

Interlacements booth
Rhode Island and Mamboo Bamboo yarns

Interlacements booth
Rick Rack topper and the corresponding yarn

I made my first market purchase from Girl on the Rocks, who shared a booth with Pigeonroof Studios. She has the cutest sheep WPI gauges and bobbins. I first learned about her from Franklin Habit's blog post. I made sure to buy a few and took note of her equally wonderful yarns.

Girl on the Rocks gauges

Girl on the Rocks yarn

The day wasn't over when the market closed. We sat back for a bit at the Ravelry meetup. And soon enough, in rolled Em straight from the airport. Our Interlacements team is now complete! ... And then we got to meet the team behind Ravelry.

Meeting the Ravelry team

But let's rewind to the afternoon to wrap up today's mostly yarny blog post. Zoe and I trekked (in the rain, what's up sunny California, huh?) to the bus and wound our way south to the Winchester Mystery House. We toured a house that was continuously being built — and rebuilt — at the turn of the 20th century.

Winchester House

Sarah Winchester was widowed and worried about spirits. She believed a house built like a maze would confused the ghosts and guarantee her a long life. A staircase would lead to ceiling, cupboards would open to walls and a door opened to "nowhere".

Winchester House

We got a quick glance of the gardens (and a taste of what our Wisconsin spring will be like) on our way out. The rain even gave us a little reprieve.

Winchester House

Winchester House

Winchester House

Good night until tomorrow, our first full day of Stitches West!

Outside the convention center
Outside the Santa Clara Convention Center

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


It was windy but beautiful outside in Santa Clara, California.

Santa Clara convention center

But we stayed inside most of the day, setting up the equally beautiful Interlacements booth for Stitches West knitting expo.

Interlacements booth setup

Interlacements booth setup
Owner Tracey Schuh

Interlacements booth setup
Setting up the grid walls

Interlacements booth setup
Zoe trapped in a grid cube

Interlacements booth setup
Hanging the Rick Rack yarn

Interlacements booth setup
Clara's Shell pattern and Irish Linen yarn

Now it's time to knit a bit and get some sleep. See you tomorrow!