We're currently ensconced at my mom's house in beautiful Duluth. She and my stepdad live in a house on the hill with an incredible view of the harbor and Lake Superior. The front of their house is a wall of glass windows, which is wonderful to sit and look out of, but it also heats the house like a greenhouse and is almost unbearable in the summer. It's very nice in the middle of winter, though.
We've spent the past few days enjoying the lake and all its benefits. Mom & Mark have a new boat and we took it on its first sail around Park Point. The kids alternated between loving it and climbing all over the boat, and whining about how bored they were and how they wanted to go back to the marina. I was quite happy to sit on the nice padded seat and work on some submission swatches while enjoying the feel of the wind in my hair and the occasional cold spray of water from the lake.
We also threw rocks into the lake from the beach, watched a couple of big ships come into the harbor, took a scenic train ride up the St. Louis River, pedaled the Lakewalk in a 4-person Surrey and, of course, visited the local yarn shops. My mom is celebrating her 60th birthday on Wednesday and I'm going to be knitting her a pair of socks. I took her to Yarn Harbor to pick out a few skeins of Wildfoote. The pattern will be submitted to Knitty (hopefully, if I can swing it by September, otherwise it will be relegated to the book).
I've had a very busy week, knitting-wise. In addition to a bunch of submission swatches (even though Bill keep shaking his head at me and reminding me that I can't do everything and I should stop submitting until after I finish the book), I am on the verge of finishing the pair of socks I'm designing for the Knit-Purl sock club. I'm not sure how much secrecy I'm sworn to, but I will say that I absolutely adore the yarn they gave me to work with. I've never worked with it before, but it is now on my list of winners. I also love the colorway it's coming in and I'm very happy with the pattern I came up with.
I'm also knitting up a few Owls from Katie Park's pattern - I'm teaching a class on these little gems at Twisted this fall sometime. It is such a fun, quick little pattern! Mom and I went to Michael's today to find some felt, and we ended up getting a bunch of crafty stuff for the kids. We got them beads, pipe cleaners, pompoms and a potholder weaving kit (the kind with those stretchy polyester loops). I keep hoping my kids will turn out crafty and they've got the projects to prove it! I haven't been to Michael's in ages, and even though their yarn section is seriously lacking they've got tons of really cool craft stuff. If I had the time...boy could I go nuts in there. For now, I'll have to live vicariously through my kids. Sydney was really excited about the potholders and managed to warp her loom but only got about three weft loops woven before she moved on to bigger and better things (her V-Smile portable video game). I tried!
Tomorrow I think we are going to head up the North Shore to check out some waterfalls. I'm going to try to stop at Playing With Yarn (if the family will let me) and of course we'll have to stop and feed the deer at Tom's Logging Camp. We were originally planning to spend a few days in the Twin Cities, but it's so nice up here in Duluth that we're going to just stay here instead. It's hard on the kids to keep dragging them around, and I think they'll be much happier here. We're going to be back in the Cities in October and can see all our friends then.
I've also meant to tell you about a couple new designs I've had come out lately - first is the Knotty or Nice Socks in the Fall issue of Interweave Knits. These are my first published toe-up socks (other than the ones in my pattern line) and I was also delighted to be able to include a little tutorial on Judy's Magic Cast-On. Interweave also released a preview of the new Color Style book and I have a pair of socks in there as well. And, in yet another Interweave book, I've got some socks in Carol Sulcoski's upcoming book Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn. Go to the preview and you can see my design pictured on the right-hand side of the back cover.
The book is coming along nicely - I've got my section on toes almost done, and heels are up next! I found a wonderful photographer, a friend of Emily & Shannon from Twisted, who shows off her glorious goods at her blog, We Heart Yarn. I'm getting my team slowly lined up, and I can't wait to see what happens!