Okay, I'm better now.
First, I finally got the shaping figured out on the Mag Knits project. I had to rip it out about 10 times, but I think it's finally to my liking. Whew!
Second, I got some design proposals finished and sent out last night. I got an e-mail from the design coordinator this morning saying she loved them and how many would I be able to do if she wanted more than one? Since I've got my test knitter pool in place, I can do as many as she wants! Yay!
Third, I spent yesterday at my third Joan Schrouder class - Ethnic Color Stitch Patterns. I think this was my favorite of the three. She spent the first part of the day talking about the different types of colorwork, including what the difference is between stranding and Fair Isle. These two terms are often used interchangeably, but Fair Isle is really a very small slice of the stranding pie that is based on patterns developed in the Shetland Islands. Then we talked about Cowichan patterns, which is what we focused on when we did the Pacific NW Indian Sweater class. Finally, we talked about Bohus colorwork, which was developed by the Bohus knitting collective in Sweden during one of the world wars (can't remember the details off the top of my head anymore). She had an actual Bohus sweater, which she passed around. It was really neat to examine a little slice of knitting history! It was quite funny to hear the gasps of amazement she elicited from the group when she pulled it out of her suitcase.
Here is a little colorwork swatch that I knitted up during the day:
Isn't it pretty? I practiced knitting with one color in each hand and was actually getting pretty good at it by the end. The bottom part is stranded using six different colors. The middle is Cowichan-style with the floats woven in every other stitch. The top is Bohus-style which uses both knits and purls to make different color patterns. So cool! And check out the right-hand side of the swatch (if you can see it) - yup, that's a steek! We learned how to put in a crochet slip-stitch edging and then sliced away. My first steek. How sweet! Although I'd definitely feel better with a machine-sewn steek. The crochet just doesn't feel heavy-duty enough since it doesn't actually go through the yarn like machine stitches would. But, it's handy if you don't have a sewing machine on hand.
I have to say, Joan is Da Bomb! She is such a font of knitting knowledge. I was really wishing during class yesterday that I could do a Vulcan mind meld with her and get some of her wisdom for myself. She is coming back in the fall to do a toe-up sock/finger-up glove class and also an Orenburg shawl class. I immediately put my name on the waiting list. I also signed up for a sock anatomy class with Cat Bordhi (author of Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles), who will be here in June. I am so lucky to live in this knitterly town!
I'm also thinking of branching out and submitting some (gasp!) crochet designs. I just got two different calls for crochet submissions, so I think I'll give it a whirl. Apparently Vogue Knitting is going to be putting out a crochet magazine in the vein of Knit Simple, and the editor of the online mag Crochet Me! is putting out another book. I used to prefer crocheting to knitting, and I'd like to start mixing a little back into my repertoire. (Okay, this is pathetic. I didn't know how to spell repertoire off the top of my head, so I ran Blogger spell check. Two of the words it didn't know? "Knitters" and "purl". How sad is that?)
I went a little nuts in the Yarn Garden's book section before class. Oh, the perils of getting to the LYS a half hour before your class starts! I picked up One Skein, the Harlot's new book Knitting Rules! and The Essential Book of Crochet Techniques (this is by Nancie Wiseman, the author of the awesome Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques).
Since we're on the subject of books, I picked these two beauties up at a little side-trip I made to Fabric Depot last week:
I have to say, Sensational Knitted Socks is truly sensational. I love her format, which combines a bunch of different stitches and sizes with a basic sock structure so you can mix and match to create your perfect sock. If you haven't checked it out yet, do.
Now for some sock updates, followed by some more family news. Yes, Mom, I'm going to make you go all the way to the very bottom!
First, my update for both the SYAC and Sockapaloooza. I am knitting my sock pal's socks toe-up in the Twisted Socks ribbing pattern (this is the one I got from Knit Picks for the catalog sample I made for them last month). I am totally loving toe-up socks right now! Here is a little progress pic:
Two weeks into April, and no sock yarn purchased yet! I've got two huge temptations coming up. I managed to miss out on Knit/Purl's one year anniversary sale (where all Blue Moon yarn, including Socks That Rock, was on sale), so there's one bullet dodged. However, I still have the Shop Hop at the end of the month and my little LA yarn crawl with Jen and Jillian in a couple weeks. Good thing I have that huge bag of sock yarn to keep me honest!
Now for the big Sunday list of sock-a-monthers:
Choomon finished the last pair of samples for her super secret socks, which she's submitting for publication this month (all fingers crossed!). She's also started a little cottage yarn dyeing industry - check out her lovely stuff on her Etsy shop. Love that chocolate covered cherries colorway - good thing I'm on a sock yarn diet!
Kristy in NC gets a brownie point for a pair of socks designed by her daughter - these are also super secret socks since her daughter is submitting them for publication (all fingers crossed here, also!).
Karen finished three more pairs of baby socks for three more brownie points.
Now, I know that the brownie point prize is going to go to one of these baby sock knitters, but they're knitting for charity, so don't they deserve a prize for keeping little baby-feet-in-need warm? I think so!
Ann finished a pair of springy Parade socks for her sister-in-law:
Karen, while dispelling pregnancy rumors brought on by a short bout of dizziness/nausea, gave birth to her Bestus Buddy socks!
Monica finished some long-suffering Fixation socks.
Amy's got two pairs of socks to show off, and a couple more on the way once she can get over her second sock syndrome!
Susan polished off a pair of Plain Old Stockinette Socks out of LL Shepherd Sport.
That's all for this week! I think I'm going to like this once-a-week update thing. I bet I'll be blogging a lot more often when I don't feel like I have to list socks every single time. Now you all can stop reading except on Sundays (um, just kidding!).
Yesterday (which, yes, I spent at a knitting class all day) was Bill & my 6th wedding anniversary. Hard to believe I've been married for six years! Although supposedly next year is supposed to be the tough one - we'll see if we survive the 7 year itch. Seriously, though, I am so lucky to have found my true soul mate. Even if he yells at the kids a little too often for my liking, he's a great dad and wonderful husband and willing to put up with all my knitting/finding myself BS. He got me through a horrible year of post-partum depression and never gave up on me even when I was practically catatonic. I love you, hunny bunny! I can't imagine life without you! Today we are going out to celebrate over sushi and a movie.
This morning, Bill ran a half marathon. Here he is with his medal:
Actually, he got home looking and feeling great (more like this):
He ran faster than he thought he would, and he's feeling better than ever about his chances of running a decent time in the Portland Marathon this October. I am so proud of him!
Sydney used her father's absence this morning to make use of her face as an artist's tableau:
Um, yeah, I'm proud of her, too. At least she didn't draw on her brother!