Doppleganger Patterns!

As you may know, in knitting, nothing is new.  Patterns may look alike whether or not the designer intended for them to do so, and usually there is no foul play involved – great minds think alike!

When Melissa of dandiliongirl contacted me about a pattern that she’d recently written, she had been browsing Ravelry and found my Scholarly Cardigan which looks like the sister of her Homegrown!

I’m so lucky to be working in an industry where we can cooperate rather than compete – Melissa touched base with me prior to releasing her pattern to check if I was ok with her publishing such a similar design.  Both sweater designs can now be found on Ravelry – have you had a chance to make either of them?

Cute New Addition to the Studio

Not too long ago I was volunteering with the Luvin’ Labs rescue group with one of their fundraising events and stumbled upon this adorable little bowl in the wealth of donated items to be sold to benefit the local canine rescues.  IMG_9009

I knew that it absolutely had to come home with me, so I waited two more days and hoped that no one else saw the bowl first when the sale opened it’s gates.  IMG_9025

I love the colors that are used and the little sheep figures.  The bottom of the bowl says “Exclusively designed handmade and painted in Italy” which just adds to the unique charm.  IMG_9011

Have you found any awesome gems in unexpected places lately?

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?

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!)

When Life Gives You 10 Pounds of Limes

You make lime curd.  Or at least, that’s what I did.  I’ve still got 5 pounds of limes to do something with…they’re going to go bad soon.IMG_7902

I squeezed all the juices out, combined it with sugar, butter and zest in my homemade double broiler, then added some eggs, cooked it for a bit and poured it in a pie shell.IMG_7901

No pictures were taken of the finished pie…it was demolished pretty quickly.  IMG_7905

I have the best kitchen help, always underfoot, never apologetic and cute as she was when she was a pup (maybe I’m biased.  A little).

Craftsy – Lessons at Your Convenience!

I’ve been on Craftsy for a few years now and although I use it to browse patterns and sell my own, I hadn’t explored the classes until recently.

There are so many different classes in a multitude of genres – naturally I drifted toward the knitting classes!  For my first paid class I chose How to Say It – Pattern Writing for Knitters taught by Edie Eckman.  I took a similar class from Edie at Stitches South in 2011 and loved it and I figured I could always learn better ways to write my patterns!Craftsy  Profile

Craftsy organizes all of your classes on your profile page and it shows when they were last accessed.  You can go back and start exactly where you left off, you can re-watch any and all of the classes, you can take notes, you can ask questions to the instructor and the other class members, there are class handouts, homework, all sorts of awesome things!

The classes have homerooms where you can find everything you need, past and future lessons, class announcements, instructor bios, class questions – everything you’d find in a conventional classroom or university but it’s *all* at your convenience and a fraction of the price.Craftsy Homeroom

I can’t say enough about how awesome this service is and I love all of the classes I’ve taken and am taking!

Have you joined Craftsy yet?  If you have, are you an affiliate?  It’s a fun program and I really like being able to promote something that I feel strongly enhances our niche.

Christmas Gift Round Up 4: Handdyed Yarn

Remember all that time ago when I was dying things? And I couldn’t tell you what things? (I’m good with secrets in that I have a lot of them…I apologize). Some of those things were two skeins of 100% wool for my Momma.yellow and blue dye

She likes green so I decided to experiment with my yellow and blue Jacquard Dyes to come up with two different shades that I think would look nice together if she chooses to knit them into the same project.in the dye pot

After they spent some time in the pot, they went into the green house to dry.  Because having a green house attached to the front, south-facing wall of your house is awesome. two green skeins

They got re-skeined and wrapped up, I think she likes them 🙂

Even more gift round ups to come!  What did you make for your loved ones this season?

Christmas Gift Round Up 3: Seasoned Salt

My older brother has been the recipient of many hats so this year I wanted to make him something different.  I wanted it to remain functional but something unique.

I settled on Southwestern Seasoned Salt.  They live in Albuquerque, love delicious food and this seemed like the perfect gift.IMG_7017

There are a lot of recipes online for making seasoned salt but I just made up my own…hopefully they like it!

More gift round ups coming, a lot of gifts were made this year.