Sunday, September 28, 2008


Finally, a FO

Cap Karma Hat from Smariek, using 1 ball of Crystal Palace Creme (60% merino, 40% silk) and size 7 needles. I made this as a chemo cap for my friend--I hope it will be soft enough. When I washed it, it grew to about the size of a toaster cover. Yikes! It didn't look like it would shrink down enough as it dried, so I tossed it in the dryer on low heat for about 30 minutes. Ahhh, much better. I do like the cable crosses and will definitely make this design again. However, the gauge was a little loose--probably should have knit the bigger size on US 6 needles. Live 'n' learn.
Costco Sucks (rant)
Yeah, I finally bought a membership to "MegaLo-Mart". I wanted to be able to get at least some of my business supplies, including display equipment for the fiber shows I want to do next year, and spend less dinero. But criminy! Talk about your uncomfortable shopping experiences--all the wasteful packaging and excesses of our materialist society staring me right in the face. Ick. Here I am trying to navigate this huge ass cart while craning my neck looking at All. That. Stuff. and realizing there's no way I need that much of anything!
I just really don't like shopping anywhere "big box", although doing some shopping at those types of places is a necessity these days for a lot of families, including ours. All I could think of was that movie "Idiocracy"--if you haven't seen it, do! It's a scream. A completely dumbed down future in which one of the characters gets his law degree from Costco. At the entrance there's a greeter dude chanting in a monotone, "Welcome to Costco. I love you."
OK, so we've had a hat and a rant, and I'm all in! Next week should be a doozie, what with working on two wholesale orders while visiting potential and existing customers. The baseball season ended today, which means it's playoff time--Go Red Sox!! They won the wild card in the American League. And it's almost October, my favorite, busiest, most unfocused-feeling month of the year. My daughter turns 18 on the 20th, and my birthday is six days after hers, but we don't need to talk about that. So I think I'll take it easy tonight, do some knitting, and gear up for whatever there is to gear up for!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Sometimes I surprise myself

I keep plugging away at projects I have cast on in the past couple of months, such as the Sugarcubes wrap for Annette, whose birthday is Nov. 5 but she may get it for Christmas; my Silk Garden Clapotis, which is about 3/4 of the way done; and I'm chugging along at the widest part of the yoke of a Bombshell sweater--it seems like I'm never gonna get done with the increases! And all the while I'm thinking that I never seem to finish anything substantial. However, with it now officially being fall, it's finally cool enough to where I put away my sandals and bring out my clogs that I like to wear with handknit socks. And what did I find in the drawer, the first day I decided to wear socks?

No less than five pairs of brand-new, never-been-worn handknit socks, that I made for myself last spring and summer. Here's a little pictorial trip down memory lane.

Didn't seem like it at the time, but all those socks represent a lot of knitting. Sweeet!


Thank you for the kind words about my friend and my dad. Bev loved the Clementine Shawlette, and I did make her the chemo cap, although I haven't yet photographed it. Next time, for definite.


Did you guys hear about Sock Summit '09? Holy poop on a stick! I signed up right away to be a vendor. I know there are lots of indie yarn dyers out there, many of whom make far more gorgeous yarn than I ever will. But I ask you, how many are bass players?...or would be bass players, if they actually practiced their instrument instead of trying to play two octaves of A like Gene Simmons while pretending to look badass? (Like this plump middle-aged matron has any hope of ever looking like anything except what she is! Ah well, being delusional isn't as bad as they make it out to be.) Anyhoo, Sock Summit should be a hell of a party. I already gave the Yarn Harlot fair warning that I was gonna be there.

My homegirls the PDX KnitBloggers and I were a lot for her to contend with last time she spoke in Portland, but since she was one of the ones who dreamed up Sock Summit, I don't think we scared her off.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


not pretty

Two people I love are battling cancer.

My friend Bev, a lively lady who is a mom, grandma, CPA and poet, recently moved back to the metro area with her husband, after spending a few years in Eastern Oregon. Bev helped with tribal accounting issues at the Paiute reservation. For as long as I've known her, I've admired her energy, her work on behalf of her church (Unitarian Universalist), participation in many groups and activities, and her love of family and friends. Living as busy a life as she does, she missed her annual mammogram last year. The most recent one revealed a malignant tumor close to the breastbone.

Having made it to the five-year mark this year as a breast cancer survivor, I know some of what Bev is experiencing, however, I didn't have to undergo chemo. She is almost to the end of her chemo treatments to shrink the tumor, then she'll have surgery and radiation. The chemo robbed her of her hair--we didn't even realize her hair was gone until she took off her wig!--but it hasn't diminished her great laugh or her capacity for enjoying life.

Although I know she is surrounded by people who love her, I wanted to do something special for her. I finished the Clementine Shawlette and gave it to her.

It blocked out nicely.

While at All About Yarn the other day, I found some nice merino & silk yarn for a chemo cap. Then I found just the right pattern, the Cap Karma hat from Smariek Knits. I can't wait for a chance to knit it--but Stitchjones orders have 'sploded. Which is great, I know, life could be worse! But I still want to make a chemo cap for my friend.


The other person battling cancer is my dad. Just a few months ago, he had malignant tumors in his bladder, and underwent 5 or 6 localized chemo treatments--not fun. Poor guy! But Dad was feeling better, at least good enough to get out and play golf. My brother and I both know that if Dad's out golfing, things are as good as it gets health-wise. Dad will be 77 in December, which is hard to believe. Anyway, we thought everything was in the clear, now tumors have showed up in the prostate and his PSA count is way up. So next Monday, he's got a biopsy scheduled--another one. He's had to endure several already. While I'm of course hoping it's something that's easily treatable, another part of me is worrying about him having to be in the hospital and thinking about knitting some socks.

"Knit on with confidence through all crises". Wise words. There isn't anything I'd rather do (except dye, and I'm doing plenty of that)!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Show's almost over

Yesterday I had me a time at the Knit and Crochet Guild of America show! Of course I forgot my camera, so you'll just have to take my word for it that I chatted with knitting luminaries Joan McGowan-Michael and Annie Modesitt. I'll have to wait a few days to find out how much of my consignment yarns and fiber sold, but I had the opportunity to chat with several more yarn shop owners in the metro area, and it was nice to find out that a) three more shop owners are interested in my products, and b) YSO's talk to one another, because one I talked to had heard of Stitchjones, and she told me I was very highly recommended! Woo! It was a blast--I saw so many of my friends and customers all wandering around, looking at all the beautiful yarns and having a great time.

Now the burning question on everyone's lips (yah right) is of course "how much yarn did she buy"? I behaved myself and was a good girl. Seriously. I got two small bags of undyed fiber to try. Some superwash merino & silk, and some brown wool, which should be fun to dye up and see how it comes out. I bought Annie Modesitt's book "Romantic Hand Knits", which has some gorgeous patterns and Annie signed it for me. I did indulge in one luxury skein of yarn, and for what I paid for just this one skein I could probably have bought enough Patons Classic merino, Knitpicks or what have you, for a sweater. Yet I have a hard time passing up the good stuff when everything's all in one place. It's ArtYarns Silk Rhapsody in a deep, shimmering, almost-red pink. Should make a pretty lace scarf.

I also wanted to let everybody who reads the blog, (all 3 of youse) ;) know that I'm having a destash sale in my Etsy shop! Check it out, there's some beautifully dyed Lobster Pot yarn, Peruvian alpaca, and even some Noro. Did she say Noro?! Yep, that's right, Noro 4 less! Since I had a stashing frenzy last month, there will undoubtedly be more yarn added later this month.

This afternoon was a dye session, and tomorrow not only will I be finishing up another 3 dozen kids sock kit yarns, but also going to the convention center to help with booth tear-down! So it's off to bed for me. I'll have a pretty FO to show ya next post.

Monday, September 08, 2008


Deep within the bowels of the Stitchjones warehouse

Ewww, she said "bowels". Hope I didn't lose any of you there. But I do have a warehouse. Once upon a time, it used to be a living room, however things change, as we all know. Without further ado, may I present three dozen Stitchjones Little Feet Kids' Sock Kits, assembled for delivery to the Gardiner Yarn Works booth at TKGA.

More kit yarn is being dyed up today, and I expect to be able to offer them in my Etsy shop as early as next week.

Here are a few more "warehouse" photos. I've been a dyeing fool in preparation for TKGA.

PowerTrios sock kits (more are in progress)

Assorted kettle dyed worsted, sport and chunky

Waiting for labeling

And when I'm not dyeing, I'm knitting. No FO's to blog, sorry. The Clementine Shawlette is closest to done. I have no business whatsoever buying more yarn, but as we all know, that has never stopped me. Look what found its way into my stash.

Yup, I scored Wollmeise! I really had to resist the temptation to write "neener neener neener". Many thanks to my friend Cindy, who bought an armload of Wollmeise in the last sneak-up at Loopy Ewe, and gave her knitting buddies first dibs on several skeins. What can I say, sometimes it's who ya know. Thank you Cindy, for making it possible for this not-so-quick-on-the-draw knitter to own some of this coveted, beautiful yarn!

OK, break's over--back to the dye studio-slash-kitchen! Hey, where else can you get hand dyed yarn and a BLT at the same time? And what are those purple spots on the bread? Um...never mind.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008



I'm in the newspaper!

No pics in the online version of the story, but I got a whole frickin page, complete with pics of me playing with yarn in my kitchen. The reporter is a super nice lady who happens to be a knitter. I'm stoked about the whole thing. Free ink?! Hell yeah! And extra kudos for the photography, which cleverly concealed my horrendous housekeeping.

Thank you for your nice comments last post about my beautiful baby girl--who's almost a head taller than I am. She started school today. I think I did an admirable job yesterday of concealing my happiness about the last day of summer vacation! Now, of course, I'm watching my favorite DVD, Season 2 of Rome, which my daughter hates. Later I plan to get buck nekkid and eat Haggen Dasz chocolate ice cream, but for right now I'm knitting on this.

Yes, I've been stricken, and surrendered to the power of the Clapotis. What a great pattern. I just can't stop knitting it. I'm clap happy! I tried to knit it a couple of years ago, but couldn't figure out what "pf&b" meant. When I came back to the pattern, I didn't have a problem with it at all, and I'm just whizzing along. I love it when I find just the right design for stash yarn, in this case Noro Silk Garden.

Another problem solved: how to package my fiber for sale. (Spinners beware: scrolling down will reveal fiber pr0n.) Since I'm intensely lazy, I didn't feel like doing the fancy braid thing, so I was coiling up the fiber and putting it into Ziploc gallon bags with a sticky label on the front and my business card inside the bag. Well, those are cumbersome to tote around, and burping the air out of the bags made them look like nondescript lumps. Plus it made it more difficult for customers to see and feel the fiber, and it isn't earth-friendly packaging. So I came up with a solution: I made the fiber into a loose skein and wound it into an artful (for me) knot. Then with some pretty yarn, I can attach my business card, and I found some blank inkjet business cards in my desk on which I can hand-write the fiber type and colorway.

And here are a couple of Corriedale tops, recently dyed. "Land & Sea" above, and "Wild Planet" below. I was painting yarn with neon shades, and decided to try it on fiber.

Shoot, the kid'll be home soon. Party's over!

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