Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sylvia's fabulous shruglet

Wow, Saturday turned out to be such a great day. There was a very relaxed mitts with fingers workshop with lots of laughter and playing with color as we all decided multi-color mitts were the order of the day. Christine (owner of shop) made her wonderfully delicious tuna salad for lunch for everyone. In the afternoon, everyone decided to work on continuing projects and so it was an interesting mix of techniques and things which makes it fun.

In addition, there were two wonderful additions to the day, my friend JoShell Koliva came in with these incredible rug punched bags she is making. Holy mackerel! The designs (her own) and workmanship is amazing. I couldn't take pics because they are being readied for market and kits but let me tell you they are absolutely delightful, whimsical, colorful and functional! She hit the trifecta!

Another wonderful surprise for the day was Sylvia coming in with her finished shrug from the class on March 16, 2008 (see photos in that blog entry.) She did her version of the shrug using three skeins of Ozark, two skeins of Noro Kureyon and one skein of a Schaefer yarn with a fine mohair held with it. She added a crochet edge to the front of the shrug as well. This created a really different look as she was able to wear the shrug upside down and right side up. Both look great. Of course, Sylvia is a beautiful woman and that just adds to the look. She only wanted to highlight the jacket so the photos shown here reflect that.

Over the past month or two, I have been creating artsy-fartsy carded batts for spinning and am showing a couple here so you can get an idea of what they are looking like. I'll be posting them for sale in my Etsy shop. Also, Unraveled is going to begin carrying some spinning and needle felting fibers including these batts. Also, she may begin carrying the Mach 1 spinning wheel and lazy Kates in the store. She is starting to feature other kinds of fiber arts besides just knitting and crocheting in the shop which is so exciting and creatively stimulating.

Well, back to the fiber factory for now, have a great week!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Knit mitts and freeform workshops

Last Saturday, I taught a workshop on fiber-wrapped accessories at The Shepherdess in San Diego. It was a class full of wonderfully talented women who were focused on the project at hand and were also a fun group. We had a great time and accomplished a lot during the time together including a lunch break for a short time. Everyone demonstrated such wonderful creativity and each interpretation of the fiber-wrapping was unique and fabulous! It was a beautiful day as usual in San Diego so we had the door open with the ocean breeze coming in. Just exceptional day!

Tomorrow, I will be at Unraveled in Monrovia, CA and will be doing two workshops. The first one will cover knitting mitts with fingers. This is a lot of fun and opens up all kinds of possibilities. In the afternoon, I will be covering more advanced freeform techniques and working with ongoing students. It sounds like it is going to be a great day as this is a favorite shop of mine. Great atmosphere, great staff and great yarns. Who could ask for more? Come join us if you are in the area.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Another oldie but goodie

This is a design I created in 2007 using handspun yarns and cotted wool fleece which had been hand-dyed. I did this for Ozark Handspun company. The pattern is available in my etsy shop and on Ravelry for members.

The colors in this version are wild and exciting but this would also be wonderful in naturals or other combos. Just thought you all might like to see some photos of this as it is a great look for a lot of people and is quick and easy to make.

Monday, July 14, 2008

First Lazy Kate for Mach1

Well, here she is, the first lazy Kate made for the Mach1 spinning wheel by Michael Pauly! Notice it holds four bobbins! It also has little brakes for the bobbins so you can control the amount of drag as you are plying. This is the coolest Kate since Katherine Hepburn! While using the device, lay flat on the floor. When finished, it can be stored in the upright position, taking up less space. All I have to do at this point is put a finish on her.

Now, my Mach1 family is complete as it has a place for bobbins to do their work and be stored away when not in use.

I have been a spinning maniac all week and will be putting up some photos of what I have been doing in a few days. I love this wheel!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Summer hat

Since I have been going through my old archives of class samples and patterns, this is another one I have re-done in a PDF format for sale. I have dubbed her Emmaline - a crochet hat for a lady. She is obviously feminine but not frilly and has an outstanding flower embellishment as every lady should have on her summer hat. I created this pattern in 2005 and at that time made it out of hemp with hand-dyed hemp flowers. This incarnation is crocheted using Louet Euroflax worsted weight 100% wet spun linen in a lovely terra cotta color. I am offering this pattern for sale on Ravelry and in my Etsy shop. It is a nice addition to that summer wardrobe of accessories. It certainly would be beautiful worn with a nice linen dress or even a pair of jeans and a t-shirt.

My ruffle adventures continue as you can see. These little wristwarmers are just too cute and have been receiving a great reception from my customers. I offer a pattern for these as well as finished items. What a great gift for the holidays!

As I resurrect more items out of my workroom, I will be posting them as well. There are some great shawls and other designs still lurking. Additionally, I am working on lots of new handspun yarns and projects. Just yesterday, I received a box of gorgeous yarns from Ozark Handspun which are designated for some exciting new items for TNNA January 2009! The new colors and yardage open up a lot of design possibilities. I can't wait to start working with it!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Freeform class and Belle Armoire

What fun teaching a freeform class at The Shepherdess in San Diego.  The students were delightful and we covered a lot of techniques and creative approaches to freeform knitting and crochet.  Of course, I found all kinds of glorious hand-dyed and handspun yarns and fibers.  Don't even talk about the beads!  I might as well just admit that I would work for fiber, yarn and beads.  There was quite a bit that just HAD to come home with me.  The colors were just glorious!  Additionally, the weather was in the 70s and with the lovely sea breeze, it was quite a relief from the 100+ degrees in Hemet. 

Over the past few days, I have been getting messages from people congratulating me on my article in Belle Armoire July/August issue saying that I had made the cover!  Imagine my surprise when I finally saw the magazine.  I do have an article in the issue on some of my knitted and crocheted flowers.  However, when I saw the cover, I was surprised.  It was a design which I had created in January 2005 and have been teaching over the years.  In looking at all the photos of the garment it became even more clear that this was my design.  The person who was credited with designing it was not me but I had taught at her shop and she had access to my patterns and samples during that time.  I have posted some photos of an old class sample from 2005 that has been packed away in my workroom.  Compare them and make up your own mind.  I apologize for the quality of these photos as I couldn't quite get the colors right.  The colorway is actually very subtle. 

Belle Armoire has submission guidelines which are very clear and this person obviously felt they did not apply to her.  It is sad as all the person had to do was say "...inspired by..." or words to that effect and it would have been a different story. I have substantial written, photographic and other documentation to support my copyright to this design. In addition, I have many students who have taken this class from me in many shops (including hers) and still have their written instructions for this pattern as well as the shrugs they created from it. One way to look at all this is that my work is good enough that people seem to want it no matter what they have to do to get it. However, the people who matter to me know the truth.

It is really coincidental that I have been transferring a lot of my old patterns to PDF formatting lately and this pattern happened to be one of them. The ORIGINAL pattern is available for sale at and also on Ravelry for $5.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

July 4th weekend

Tomorrow is the glorious 4th of July and a day to celebrate our freedoms. It is a day of family, fireworks and festive occasions with picnics and barbecues. Take a moment to reflect and honor those who have sacrificed so that these freedoms may be ours to enjoy. May I wish all of you a blessed and fabulous 4Th!!!

Over this weekend, I am going to be teaching a freeform knitting and crocheting workshop at The Shepherdess in San Diego. It is located in the Old Town area and near a place called Bazaar del Mundo. Over 30 years ago, I used to sell handspun to that wonderful marketplace. It still is going strong with exciting goods by artisans from around the world. San Diego is a delightful place to visit and there is so much to see. It is certainly worth the trip.

The workshop should be lots of fun as this shop is a little gem of a place with a beautifully edited collection of gorgeous handspuns and hand-painted fibers. There are wonderful felting and beading workshops held here as well and the owner is a lovely woman and she has a friendly and helpful staff. I am anticipating a great time and plan to take some photos of the workshop. I have posted a freeform sample to give an idea of what we are going to be exploring.