Swatch Organization

I don’t know how many of you other crafters swatch, but I find them extremely important in my design making, especially when it comes to design submissions.  After I’ve knit up the piece at least once, changed needle sizes or stitch counts to suit the fabric, etc, I’ve got all these little pieces of fabric lying around.IMG_8272

They’re textured, colored, simple, small, big, rectangle, oblong, and sorts of useful and kind of pretty.  I keep most of my swatches in this white basket except for the ones I’m currently using.  IMG_8269

If I go back to a swatch from ages ago (or even a week, heck, let’s be honest) I may not remember exactly what size needles I used, or the fiber content of the yarn.  I use these little white tags to keep track of this information so I can refer back to it later.IMG_8268

Do you swatch?  What do you do with them after they’ve served their initial purpose?

Practice

Along with knitting, and among other things, photography is a passion of mine.  Animals are a passion of mine.  IMG_8208

I’ve been practicing at all of the above for years – learning new knitting techniques, designing new shapes, textures, etc, photographing new material, trying different techniques, testing different settings, learning how to teach new tricks to my canines, improving upon my ability to communicate with them.IMG_8199

If you follow this blog, you know that little miss Mona Lisa has been my constant companion for years, and recently we decided to bring in a foster to join us.  IMG_20121111_081629_651

His name is Duncan, he’s about a year old, a lab mix who had no structure or lessons in his previous home.  He’s come a long way and while trying to teach him how to be a good family member, he’s teaching me how to show his true personality through pictures.IMG_8202

Obviously, I still have a long way to go, but these are shots from a quick little session we had the other day, on a whim.  IMG_8204

What are your passions? Creative or not, we all have interests and things that we study in our off time, things that we pursue and work towards.

WIP Wednesday: Plans

Happy Hump Day!  The weekend is closer, the work never stops, and my cold seems to dissipating some, thank goodness!IMG_8236

This week I’m working on a long-standing project that needs to be kept seekrit:IMG_8239

And working on planning some fun things for later this month!IMG_8237

And don’t forget, if you haven’t signed up for the KAL yet, it starts on Monday!!  I’m pretty excited for that 😀IMG_8018

Linking up with Tami, as usual!  What are you working on this week?

Natural Colors

We  love roasted artichokes in my house.  I enjoy prepping them, eating them, and just looking at them.  They have some of the prettiest colors, and it’s all natural!IMG_8189

Very spring-y and pretty, I think I need to knit with some of these colors.IMG_8213

Oh wait, I kind already am….

Braided Slouch Class at Yarn & Coffee

The past two Saturdays I’ve spent at the cutest yarn store teaching some awesome knitters how to work cables!IMG_8077

We used my Braided Slouch Pattern as the foundation for the class so that in addition to learning how to work cables and clever decreases, the students also had a finished piece.IMG_8085

I love teaching in this store, the front sun room is perfect – there is enough space, a big table, perfect natural lighting and plenty of pretty things to look at.  Not to mention the coffee, pastries and yarn in the next room.IMG_8067

And all of the knitters learned how to cable, fix common mistakes and decrease in pattern!  I think that learning how to fix mistakes in a new technique is almost more important than learning the technique itself sometimes.IMG_8074

I had a really great time and I hope that the students did too, I could teach everyday and still be excited about it!  I love meeting new people and sharing what I’m passionate about, and I always learn something new too – new ways to explain different techniques, new ways to teach, new ways that different knitters think about or “see” the knitting – it’s so much fun!IMG_8147

Interested in taking my next class on stranded colorwork with my Fresh Chroma Slouch?  It’ll take place at Yarn & Coffee the first two weekends of May – I’ll have another post with more details soon!

Views From My Office

I know, I know, I haven’t shared too many actual pictures of the office itself, but that’ll come soon! Mostly I just need to get off my lazy bum and take some pictures, and probably clean first…But! That’s not the point of today.  I just want to share some of the awesome reasons I love working in here, because I can see all sorts of cool things from here.

Like these paper crane shadows:IMG_8063

And the way the sunset lights up this tree:IMG_7645

Plenty of colorful yarns:IMG_20130220_120556_203

This cute dog who doesn’t like having her picture taken and who has her own space underneath my desk: IMG_7561

And this one who doesn’t seem to mind having his picture taken and who is prone to stealing the above dog’s space underneath my desk:IMG_20130327_110216_661

Do you try to keep pretty things around you office to keep you motivated?

Happy April Fools!  Don’t get tricked (that means you Mom, you’re too gullible!)