Thursday, January 31, 2008

We've got yarn!

I spent much of yesterday sleeping. I stupidly sent Sydney to school, even though she wasn't well enough, so now she's suffering a bit of a relapse (and we may have ruined our sweet carpool setup in the process by exposing them all to Sydney's old-man hacking cough...). I took her to the doctor this morning and he ruled out mumps and pneumonia - apparently there is a nasty strain of flu going around, which confirms what I suspected we've had. Although I haven't yet developed the chest congestion - I've just been dead tired all week. Perhaps I'm developing sudden-onset narcolepsy. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop since I haven't felt right for days but it could be that I'm just suffering a post-TNNA nervous breakdown!

Now that all the TNNA orders are (pretty much) mailed off, the website is updated and I don't have any immediate deadlines looming, I'm not quite sure what to do with myself. I've been trying to knit a hat out of a single skein of Tilli Tomas Rock Star (which is a gorgeous beaded silk), but it's just not cooperating. First it was too tight. Then it was too short. I'm right on the edge of not having enough yarn to finish, so I keep ripping it out and knitting it just a little bit bigger. I'm about to embark on the third iteration, and if this one doesn't work, it may end up being a scarf instead.

But enough about me...let's finally take a look at the yarn I picked up at TNNA! One of the many benefits of exhibiting at TNNA is that on the last day, when everyone is packing up and not wanting to cart everything home, there's a lot of free yarn to be had (particularly for designers promising pattern support). Here are some samples given to tempt me into designing with them.

First up, I got four balls of Frog Tree (one of my faves - such a great company, and such great yarn) in different weights and fibers:

We've got fingering-weight alpaca and brushed suri, worsted-weight alpaca and chunky alpaca. Yum!

Next is a small sampling of my haul from Lorna's Laces. I could've taken more, too, if only I would've had room - they are so generous!

The multicolor skein is Shepherd Bulky in the Edgewater colorway. The pink skein is their new Green Line DK organic wool. It is so lovely! They've got a Green Line worsted-weight yarn as well. It's not superwash, but boy is it nice!

I got two awesome sock yarn samples, the first from Cascade who's coming out with a new line of sock yarn called Heritage:

Isn't it pretty? I'm going to be working on some exclusive patterns for this yarn over the summer.

I also got a nice little sample of this amazing yarn from Neighborhood Fiber Co, a little outfit based in DC:

Those are just my colors, aren't they? Karida, the color genius behind this line, stopped by to chat on Sunday afternoon after she'd sold out all of her slots (she can only take so many orders since it takes a set amount of time to dye each one). Lucky duck! The yarn is posing nicely on top of my autographed copy of The Secret Language of Knitters by my friend Mary Beth Temple.

I got a couple of samples from other folks stuck down in the half-booth boonies - these two lovely skeins are North American Shetland from Elemental Affects:

She has a ton of lovely colors that just scream colorwork. I also got this gigantic hank of sport-weight, hand-dyed cotton from Caya Colour Yarn, a small outfit in Colorado run by a chicken-owning mommy much like myself (check out the awesome picture of the chick wearing legwarmers on the front page of her website). It is the best-smelling skein of yarn I've ever owned!

I don't know what she put on it, but boy does it smell yummy! I also snagged a gorgeous skein of Pear Tree merino, beautifully colored yarn from the land of Oz, again in my favorite color:

When paging through my most recent catalog, I noticed that I have a definite bias towards orange. I know I tend to gravitate towards purple, so I tried not to design too many purple things. Turns out when I don't use purple, I gravitate towards orange! I'm also in the process of learning which colors photograph well (greens and blues) and which ones not so well (reds and oranges).

We got to talk to lots of yarn companies (and there were plenty we didn't talk to), and there were a few who were particularly open to providing yarn for my pattern line - you'll be seeing lots of future designs using Frog Tree, Malabrigo, Mission Falls, Cascade and of course Lorna's Laces. I know there are more companies who are very supportive of indie designers, but I had to stop there because I only have so much time to design!

Now that this post has totally drained me (maybe I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?), I'm going to wrap it up with the little contest I promised you. Comment on this post and include a) how long you've been reading the blog and b) what things you especially enjoy reading about. I'll draw randomly from all the respondents who ANSWER BOTH QUESTIONS (this is also a test of your reading comprehension and ability to follow directions, you know) on Sunday. The winner will receive a brand spankin' new copy of each of my new Spring/Summer '08 patterns. Time for all you lurkers (and I know you're out there) to come out of hiding!!! And I wanted to thank all of you who bother to read what I come up with on a regular basis (and who managed to read to the bottom of the post). So thank you!


Blogger yarn addict said...

I have been reading your blog for about a year I think. I love hearing about your adventures parenting as I have some of the same experienceds and i love your honesty when you write about them. I also enjoy seeing your projects and as I am in nursing school and not pursuing a fiber career I am enjoying hearing all that goes into making it work. Thanks for your blog!

3:12 PM  
Blogger Connie said...

Hi Chrissy,
I think I"ve been reading your blog for about a year and a half. And I most like to read about your design work. In fact, (and I've mentioned this before) your blog is part of what pushed me to start designing. It's very inspirational. Thank you :)

Love that yarn haul. Wow. I think my senses would have imploded from the strain!

I hope you and your family feels better soon.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Shelley said...

Hi1 I've been reading your blog for a grand total of... 40 minutes! But all spent on your blog :)
I really enjoy hearing about the parenting challenges too - I have a two year old monster and I'm just in awe of how you get so much done with TWO kids running around, especially since it looks like you are an AP parent too. Your designs are beautiful, I look forward to reading your blog regularly in the future!

3:30 PM  
Blogger Chrispy said...

I have been reading your blog since this summer when we started the PDX knit bloggers.

I love reading about your transition from retail to wholesale. I am taking the ideas to heart for when I am ready to take that leap.


4:14 PM  
Blogger greetingarts said...

Wow, what a great haul! Can't wait to see what you come up with for all that yarn. I've heard so much about Malabrigo, but have yet to actually meet a skein in person...

I don't know exactly how long I've been reading your blog, since the first SAM I suppose, so, what, like two years? Wow. I like hearing about your honest, day-to-day experiences with your kiddos, so much like my own. I'm always nodding along, or shaking my head in sympathy.

4:43 PM  
Blogger Yarnhog said...

Nothing like a contest to bring out the lurkers!

I've been reading you almost a year, I think. I particularly like hearing about the trials and tribulations of trying to build a design business--although I'm quite fond of the chickens, too, and would love to hear more about them!

4:44 PM  
Blogger Shannon H. said...

Wow! Nice haul from TNNA. You will love the Neigborhood Fiber Co. yarn (gotta support my local fiber dyers).

I've only been reading your blog for a few months, but I love hearing about all the fun stuff regarding your design work. Your designs are encouraging me to try to design my own patterns, so maybe I can move some of my handspun yarn out of my stash.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

First of all, a belated congratulations on such success at TNNA! (Nice yarn souvenirs, too!)

I've been reading your blog for about a year, I think. Could be longer since I'm notorious for underestimating such things. :)

I most enjoy seeing posts about your design process and the growth of your business. And of course I love seeing the pics of samples I knit for you show up, too! :)

5:17 PM  
Blogger Stariel said...

I've been reading your blog for well over a year, maybe two? Really not sure exactly how long.

I really like reading about your kids (and the cute pictures!) and of course the knitting content.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Hi Chrissy,

I have been reading your blog since I joined the SAM - I think it was the second one - so, how long has that been year and a half? I love reading about your designs and your adventures in parenting (as I am on a parenting adventure of my own!)

Beautiful yarns you got at TNNA - can't wait to see what you do with them!

Hope you are all feeling better soon!

5:30 PM  
Blogger Christy said...

I've been reading a long least since Oct 2005 (I remember the baby uggs). My favorite posts have been all about your entrepreneurship. I like hearing about how you've been designing and getting your name out there.

5:58 PM  
Anonymous sprite said...

Ooh! I just bought a skein of Karida's yarn on Friday!

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knit my first pair of Karen's Sugar-Free Diabetes Walk socks in October 2006, so I think I started reading your blog about the same time.

I love seeing your current adventures as a knitter and a mom.

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Maria said...

a. I think I started reading your blog about the time you did the sock cruise. b. It's been interesting to see the whole process of publishing your own patterns. What a ton of work. Go back to sleep!

8:24 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

I "think" I've been reading your blog for a year plus. I am positive it was some time in 2006, because I remember reading about the shop hop and missing it, then got on the ball for it last year.

I love seeing everything you do, whether it has to do with your kids, your knitting and designing or the chickens! I loved reading about your TNNA experience.

9:24 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

HI Chrissy! I know I've been reading your blog since sometime in 2005 - my bloglines says 2006, but I had to resubscribe.....I know you were one of the first I started reading.
I love hearing all about the design process, as it is something that both intrigues and terrifies me. And the chickens! We want more chickens!

4:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A) I've been reading your blog off and on for about a year, daily for about 6 months.
B) I enjoy everything. The kids, the chicks, everyday life, the yarn, the patterns, I love it all. You're a lovely designer that is down-to-earth and just like the rest of us at home. :)


10:08 AM  
Blogger AnaMarie said...

I just saw the Auburn Camp Shirt in the IWK Spring preview, and WOW, I LOVE IT! I just had to stop by and say so! And lucky me, there's a contest going on.

I read your blog randomly when I think about it, since I'm too lazy to set up an actual list of links of blogs I like to read. I started because I love test knitting your designs. I love reading about the challenges of the chickens and your designwork, since I think a lot of your designs are gorgeous!

11:11 AM  
Blogger leah said...

I've been reading for a month (guess that makes me a newbee) I like see what you design (it inspired me to think about trying) and seeing what you knit, not to mention hearing yarn others like using. Okay that a lot, but well....thanks for blogging!

12:09 PM  
Blogger Lavendersheep said...

I have been reading your blog for a little over 2 years, since halfway through the first Sock - a - month.

I love pretty much everything you write about. I have learned a lot about being a designer that I never knew before. I also like your posts about your life, like about your chickens and gardening and children, because I think it makes you more of a real person who deals with life things much like the rest of us!

Thank you for having such an awesome blog!

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Ebony said...

I'm coming out of lurkdom to answer your questions. I've been reading the blog for about a year now, and really enjoy reading about the trials and tribulations of being a designer. I find it fascinating and can't wait to hear more. Thanks for sharing so much with us all!

2:06 PM  
Blogger Bitterknitter said...

I've been reading since December 2005. I most like to read about your process in launching your design career. It makes me feel like I've got a friend in "the biz."


2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for at least two years. It is one of the very first blogs I started reading on a regular maybe it's been more like three years. Wow! :) I enjoy reading about your design work. I want to learn more and design some day and reading your posts really help.

3:38 PM  
Blogger Jordana said...

I've been reading your blog since last fall, after I took your socks on two circulars class as Twisted. It was great and now I am totally addicted to socks!

I really like reading about your design process and of course, about your knitting!

6:40 PM  
Blogger lexa said...

I have been reading your blog since you started the Sock-A-Month KAL, way back when! I had recently started blogging around that time, too, I think. I like the stories about the kids (makes me feel better that I'm not the only one!). I also like hearing about your designing adventures and seeing all of your new neat stuff. I like the rest of it, too, but these would be my favorites. And the chickies, of course!

8:40 AM  
Blogger Sharon Hurlbut said...

I've been reading since the summer of 2006, shortly before I stood in line behind you at the Yarn Harlot's book signing in the incredibly crowded Powell's on Hawthorne.

I love it when you write about your kids (I have two little ones of my own), but I also get a real kick from hearing about the chickens, and of course all your design adventures are simply fascinating and awe-inspiring. I really don't know how you manage it all.

Hope you all feel better soon!

9:08 AM  
Blogger Sharon said...

I have been reading regularly since I met you in person, which would be last fall. I especially enjoy seeing what designs you have coming out.

8:03 PM  
Blogger Ginny said...

I have been reading since I knitted-a-long with SAM2 (or was it 3?) and I have really enjoyed your blog.

I particularly like hearing about the yarn and the pattern designing. It inspires me to see what you have going on while raising two small kids (like myself, though I am not doing any designing).

Good luck with all you are doing! It's so wonderful to be along for the ride and seeing the successes keep happening for you. It might get discouraging on a day to day basis, but you've come a long way!

5:03 AM  

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