September 30, 2014

My In House "Model"

As you may have noticed from the side bar with my patterns - I tend to use the same model.  It's our 17 year old daughter who basically inspired me to get into designing knitting patterns.  It started a while back when I asked her to model my fingerless mitts pattern and went from there.  When she modeled my "Just One More Cowl" pattern I knew we had a good thing going.

I often joke that "my in house model" wasn't ready for a shoot or had a zit on her nose or didn't feel like modeling.  The last few "shoots" I had to take to bribery and told her she'd get the proceeds from the first pattern sale.  The funny thing was the first time I did that I sold a pattern within an hour of its going live on Ravelry (usually it takes a few days/weeks).

I have a new pattern which will be coming out soon that turns my Railroad Track Mitts into mittens.  We had the "photo shoot" the other day and it always amazes me how she knows how to pose and look at the camera...hardly any direction from the world class photographer (aka me).

However, when I caught this one it made me laugh!  I had just asked for a few more shots...

I love my "in house model" and am thankful for her inspiration to design and her ability to make my designs shine.

September 22, 2014

Bay Head Hat

When I was asked to design a hat for the Greater Boston Yarn Crawl, we chose a lovely blue called Summer Sky in Cascade 220 Superwash.  With it we paired a gray and I also had some aran white at home.  I took these skeins on my week long vacation to Bay Head, NJ.  While sitting on the beach I came up with a hat that I've named Bay Head Hat.

I showed the finished hat to my neighbor and friend, Peggy, who is also a knitter...she came up with the idea of adding a tassel.  Perfect!

I even used some Noro Kureyon for a version that has a little more color variation.

Presenting the Bay Head Hat - now on sale on Ravelry.  If you were part of the Greater Boston Yarn Crawl, you received it for free when you visited Iron Horse in Natick, MA.

I must admit - I love this hat.  I love Bay Head so it only makes sense I love the hat too.

September 16, 2014

The Universal Language of Knitting

When I moved to MA, I was introduced to a knitting group that meets every Monday at a local church.  It is a small group with quite an international flare.  Two members don't have English as their first language but they both understand the language of knitting.

Chen moved here from China a few years ago - I think she's in her late 70's.  When I first met her two years ago she had a small vocabulary but insisted on learning the vocabulary of knitting when we were all together.  She wrote down everything in a little book.  Chen knits on long, long DPNs and rarely follows a pattern.  She is a prolific, proficient knitter.  She's taken to reading patterns and always wants to know that the abbreviations mean...she knows how to do them intuitively but has never read them.

Parthena's native tongue is Greek.  She usually crochets but recently showed me a knit pair of slippers/footies and asked how to re-create them.  She too doesn't read patterns but has an intuitive flare for creating or recreating.

Yesterday, Parthena was showing Chen how to make the slippers...I caught this moment of three native tongues working together - Chinese, Greek, and Knitting with the new tongue of English tying them all together.  It was a joy to listen to them communicate and share this passion - this universal language we share.

September 14, 2014

Another Variegated Yarn

I got to knit up another store sample for a yarn I've never used before - Noro Cyochin.  We chose the Berroco pattern, Dizzy.  I rather like how it turned out.  When knitting store samples we follow the pattern as written and use the yarn as is.  With Noro I often take out the brown sections but not for the store sample. What would I have done differently?  I would have made it longer so it it had a bit of slouch.  Otherwise it looks great.

September 12, 2014

Crazy Crochet

This past weekend we were at a wedding in Minneapolis.  With a whole day to spend before the wedding at 5pm, we went to the Minneapolis Institute of Art with two other wedding goers.  It is an amazing collection and well worth the visit.

This piece cracked me up - what crazy crochet!  Just had to share.

September 5, 2014

A Variety of Variegated Yarns

One of the advantages of working in a yarn store is that you get to work with yarns you might not ordinarily choose to buy.

Case and point - Tangier by Cascade Yarns.  When this yarn walked in the door I fell in love with the colors.  However, I had no need to knit with it right now.  When the store owner suggested we knit up a sample, I happily agreed.  We found this free cowl pattern that only uses one skein.

What did I think of the yarn?  Loved it softness and the fact it knits up quickly.  The cowl would be a perfect fall or spring accessory as there is silk and cotton in it.

Another variegated yarn I got to knit with was Noro Taiyo Aran.  We had an excess of one color way so I knit up a hat called Guinan.

Lesson learned - knit a sample and you will sell product!   This yarn also has silk and cotton - loved the feel of it.  My only complaint about Noro is there are knots AND there is always a brown section. That being said, you can always cut out the brown.  This too only needed one skein.

I'll have another Noro yarn to review as soon as I get photos.