Forecast knitalong

Here I go! This is only the third time I’ve ripped out all the way to the collar…I wasn’t liking the bobbles for me. (On Stefanie they look cute, on me, not so much). I’m also changing the cable itself, and doing some crazy provisional cast on + applied i-cord stuff and…well, I just can’t leave good enough alone, can I? I think this is probably the hallmark of a knit designer.

Currently resting around my neck like a very tiny garter snake: a new set of 29″ US #2 circular needles, warming up to ease the packaging kinks out of them. The only problem with this method is that I tend to forget they’re there, and then my boyfriend laughs at my strange “jewelry.” They’re meant for a very fine shawl-y thing with a rather cuddly and thick border. It’s living in my head right now, too, just waiting to spring forward from the needles. On #2s, though? It’s going to take a while.

Also on the drawing board: (graph paper?) a 15-sweater themed series that will probably be patterns long before they’re FOs. They could end up a book or a pattern set, it just depends how long they take to chart out and test-knit. The cool thing is that the planned basic shape for most of them is the same, it’s the decorative elements that are utterly different.

I promised photos, and here they are:

TKGA show, Oakland, CA — Friday 21 April — here
Bazaar Bizarre SF (inside Maker Faire) — Saturday 22 April and Sunday 23 April — here

I left my (Red Heart) in San Francisco…

Sorry for the bad joke, Tony Bennett…what I learned this weekend in San Francisco made me think of Red Heart yarn for a second. I had the best time. As soon as I arrived, I went to Petaluma to deliver a sweater design for Lana Grossa in person. (It’s called Stella Maris — I might post a photo of it and its sibling sweater Noemi soon). Unicorn’s warehouse staff told me they ship lots of my books, which was blushingly flattering, and I got to poke and prod all the boxes of yarn for future design consideration…yarn petting being an integral part of any visit to a warehouse full of the stuff!

I signed books at Stitch Diva Jennifer Hansen’s TKGA booth. Jennifer is a great big flaming ball o’ energy — my favorite kind of person. Her booth looked awesome, by the way. I love those mannequin busts of hers, and she’s a consummate salesperson without being car salesman-y about it. You couldn’t help but want to learn how to do Tunisian crochet after watching her do it with three different textures and colors of yarn. That green hairpin lace skirt she designed? Oh, I need it…and in that colorway, too. It’s so heavy and drape-y and fabulous it hurts. Guess what I bought from her, though? A massive handmade Tunisian crochet hook. Yes, crochet. More on that in a sec. She also has these massive hand-turned knitting needles, one of which resembled Mr. Pointy on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (I think I need one just so I can name it Mr. Pointy).

I also talked to the wonderful Suss Cousins, who reminds me of all my beautiful blonde Swedish relatives…we’re going to do some events at her NY store this year, which will be great. And finally, I’m negotiating to teach on some fiber-related cruises/tours put on by an amazing travel agency based in California. And this was just in the first 24 hours!

Next, Cecily flew up from Los Angeles to check out Maker Faire and…uh-huh…teach me crochet. I have, at various times over the years, tried to learn how to crochet properly. With the exception of steeking and the kinds of crochet-onto-the-edge-of-things crocheting, I’ve never been very good at it. My grandmother was a great crocheter when she wasn’t braiding massive rag rugs out of wool or making stuff for her (my) dollhouse…two big granny square afghans prove it. Kim tried for a few minutes last summer, but at last, I made that mental breakthrough and now have a very bizarre swatch to show for it. Thanks, Cecily! (After you left I figured out how to decrease and drew all the edges together into a weird cat-toy shape).

I taught two classes at Maker Faire (yes, Julie’s mom came to one of them, which was super-cool — she’s clearly awesome, just like my mom), and sold my hand-dyed yarn / fiber / etc. Photographer extraordinaire Heather Champ bought an orange Erica Weiner scarf kit after previously attempting to decide between green and beige. Champ is just plain gorgeous. I wish she’d model for my next book…and I’m hoping she’ll send a photo of whatever she makes with the kit!

I’m going to upload all my photos from this weekend in one big Flickr set, which I’ll post as soon as I find my cardreader.

(Comics + knitting) + (San Francisco) = fun this week

My friend Kathleen, who illustrated the Knitgrrl books, also has a webcomic. So does Bex (comic is here) of Free to Stitch… fame. Do comics + knitting just naturally go together? I think so.

Diesel Sweeties has started a story arc where Indie Rock Pete learns to knit (see here and here) — can’t wait to see what comes next! I’ve discussed knitting Clango iPod cozies to sell with the creator of DS, but there hasn’t been much action on that front…too many other things happening. He had this to say about the response to comic #1466:

I awoke this morning to an inbox stuffed with requests for knitting needle (AKA YARNCORE) shirts. I am not gonna argue because it’s rare that people want the drawings that *I* also want to wear. For some reason, my tastes are very similar to that of a monster that is half 30-year-old geek, half 13-year-old girl. Let’s shoot for Monday or Tuesday on this one, I need to eat some Cadbury Mini-Eggs and rework the star in the drawing.

Natalie Dee has done some of my all-time favorite knitting-related comics, though, such as this one, this one, and this one. I never can find the yarn end, either!

I started knitting Forecast last night to relax…so far so good, with the exception of two frogged rows (that’ll teach me to try to watch TV while setting up a cable row).

Speaking of R&R: don’t forget this weekend is Bazaar Bizarre in San Francisco (inside the Maker Faire)! I’ll be teaching 2 workshops and selling as well. I’ll also be signing books in Stitch Diva’s booth at TKGA in Oakland on Friday. Come say hello!

This weekend: Pittsburgh

Don’t forget, western PA knitters, to stop by the Pittsburgh Knitting Festival this weekend! I understand my classes are pretty much sold out, but if you really want to come, email me and I’ll see what I can do.

I’ll be signing copies of Knitgrrl and selling hand-dyed yarn + fiber, as well as knitting stuff from the Knitgrrl shop. (The shop’s looking decidedly wonky at the moment; my apologies! It hasn’t been fully transitioned to the new site layout yet. But it does work, if you want to order anything).

We’re in deep edit mode on the spinning book right now and finishing up the felting book. Apologies for the lack of posts! But I have new equipment, books and more to review and will post those soon…see you in Pennsylvania?

The long-promised Debbie Stoller pics

There are more photos stored at this link, if you want to check them out.

Here’s one of my latest yarns.

It’s spun from the roving I dyed a few months ago. (Large photo of that roving available here). So far, I’ve made a hat from it. The yarn is a very tightly spun single, what I’ve heard called an “energized single” (although that always makes me laugh, because I envision a highly-motivated Type A person browsing the online personals in search of The Perfect Someone when I read it).

Here is an interesting example of what those kinds of singles will do when knit with circular needles on a small scale. The stitches twist and turn, looking like some kind of fancy schmancy stitch, but it’s really just yarn squirminess. You have to keep a little more tension on the yarn when you knit with extra-twisty stuff like mine, but it’s worth it for the cool effect.