Monthly Archives: February 2007

Learning at Stitches

I took the pattern charting class with Melissa Leapman, and I have to publicly thank Annette for convincing me to take the class. It was chock full of great information on how to chart my own traditional drop shoulder sweater with yarn of my own choosing. Melissa was a superb instructor with extreme attention to detail (just how I like it!), clear explanations, especially with the math, and a keen ability to keep things light at just the right place. When I had heard about the maths, I wasn’t worried because I do fine with numbers. My brain on maths at 8a is a *bit* squeakier than I remember, but we did just fine after a cup of coffee.

Melissa focused on how to knit a swatch, measure gauge, take measurements on a person, translate the measurements to the pattern and garment, and make minor modifications to create a modern garment. I hear tell that in past years there was a second part to the class, and surprisingly, I hope it will be offered in the future. I say surprisingly because I have never felt the allure of wanting to design my own garments. With the plethora of seasoned and up and coming designers, I like being neanderthal with the patterns: Me like looky pictures. Me point picture. Me knit.

However, I would certainly enjoy the extra bit of confidence boost in knowing I could create a modern well-shaped garment with feminine shaping on my own. You know the kind of garment I mean, the kind that enhances what we really look like underneath. Okay, maybe I’m just speaking for myself. If Melissa comes to your town to teach a class, I strongly suggest it. You’ll learn a ton.

Here’s a smidge of the yarn I promised you pictures of:

(center) 100% wool from Ireland, worsted weight in Butter, (l and r) same yarn in Pink Heathers. The Pink Heathers is for the Central Park Hoodie from KnitScene, and the Butter is just to have it because I have been drooling over this color for months. This was my number one target yarn purchase and I was ecstatic they were at Stitches. Marilyn was super friendly, helpful, remembered all of us throughout the long days of Stitches, and extremely open to new ideas and patterns on how to create more appeal and awareness with her yarn. She reinforces the good name that knitters have.
(l) Solana, superwash wool, worsted weight, (r) Primero, 100% mohair, can’t remember the weight. OMG, this stuff is heaven. I bought Solana, intended for a clapotis perhaps?, because it was super soft and squishy. I went back and bought the Primero because of the color play in the light and the incredibly softness and drape, especially for mohair.

Stitched Back Together

I’m back from my gal pal weekend at Stitches West with my Knitsisters. We had a fibery, yarny, patterny, foody, and winey good time. There’s too much to post all in one entry, so I’ll spread it out. As for the wonderful array of yarn I got, and by array, I do mean a lot, I’ll show you the mountain of it at the bottom, and spread it out… maybe feature a new yarn a day.

Jillian and I high-tailed it up to Santa Clara and made it a speedy drive. After our first stop at the registration desk, we immediately found our knit gals at the bar! Here we are:

(l to r) Jillian, Madge, Marie, Annette (seated), friend Gwen, and me
Special thanks to Jillian for the pic. I had so much fun that I didn’t take very many pics there. Better to enjoy the moment than miss it while I’m trying to take the picture, that’s my motto. I finally met Ellen Bloom of LA is My Beat and had a blast hanging with her. What a hoot! She attributed buying more yarn to me, and I was honored that I could impact such a yarn guru veteran as she.

We got to preview the marketplace on Thursday evening for two hours, but unfortunately weren’t supposed to snap any photos while in there. I’ll start with the jewelry portion of my take home booty:

zero stitchmarkers from the Bay Area Knit Coop. I have been eyeing her etsy shop for weeks, but haven’t found exactly what I’ve wanted so far. I was lucky to snap these up while I could. I met Cookie and Kristi there but more on that later. Suffice it to say, they were uber cool and so fun. At the risk of appearing to be a stalker, it made me want to keep going back and back and back again for yarn, patterns and more yarn.

Creative Designs Unlimited had this beautiful mother of pearl dragon pendant on a silk cord. Even better, she put it in a Chinese red envelope as her packaging. Loved it!

The black and white pendant on the left was made by Harlan Designs. I was drawn to the ying-yang look of it. Debbie’s Gardens had these mahjong tiles as stitchmarkers. They were a bit too big for stitchmarkers for my tastes, but she was kind enough to split up her set and sell them to Jillian and me individually as pendants. It caught on, because later I met a couple of other ladies who also bought some. I got lucky number 8 and fat choy, the good luck character, because a gal’s gotta get all the luck she can.
Blue Moon was the second booth I hit that first night, and I scored three skeins of STR (after waiting in a very long line).

Heavyweight Jasper on the left, Lightweight Lemongrass in the middle, and Heavyweight Sun Stone on the right. Here’s the Lemongrass cake, ready for partaking.

Witness the mountain of yarny goodness. Ahhhhh….
Next post, read about the inherent kindness of knitters, and Cookie A.


I’m heading off to Stitches West with Jillian and meeting up with Madge, TC Marie, Annette, and Carolyn. I’m hoping to connect with a few others too. See you when I get back. Hopefully, I’ll have lots of pictures for you. Oh yeah, and a big bag of yarn too. 🙂


It started out with my prize pack from Chrissy for the Sockamonth 2 kal, and now this. It must be because of Chinese New Year. Gung Hay Fat Choy by the way. A little late, but better than nuttin’. This is the Year of the Golden Pig. It only happens once every 60 years. Legend says that babies born this year are extremely lucky. (If you’re thinking of having a baby, hurry up, for god’s sake!) I’m a snake, not a golden pig, but I still got my fair share of luck. Look at what Adam, the Yarn Nerd, sent me.

420 yards of sock weight heaven called Project 86. The Yarn Pirate sent us over to Adam’s shop, which he just opened and was having a contest to celebrate. I guess I got lucky and he randomly pulled my name out of a hat. It was that, or else he has access to my credit card history and figured if he threw me a bone, I’d come back and spend a *lot* at his shop. I will definitely pick some more yarn up from Adam, and the next time, I’ll even pay for it. I hope you do too! Thanks, Adam!

I’m still chugging away on Wicked. I leave on Thursday morning for a four day weekend up at Stitches West. It’ll probably be my project du jour up there. That and my socks for SAM3 and my shawl/scarf for Project Spectrum and …

Santa Cruz Again

Here’s the second Santa Cruz cap, this time made in Malabrigo. I used the skein of Malabrigo that Rachelle, my one skein secret pal, gifted me, and I think it’s perfect for this cap. (Thanks Rachelle!) The yarn was pure heaven to work with, and Sweetie Hubby agreed. I always like to make him fondle the yarn or project as I’m knitting to appreciate super soft yarn. The cap? Gorgeous, in my opinion, although a bit small on me. Fits Sweetie Girl perfectly though. This is definitely high on the redo list, although I might have to lengthen it if I made another one for myself.

Project: Santa Cruz cap
Yarn: Malabrigo in Tortuga, half of a hank
Needles: Denise US size 8s
Start: Feb 16
Finish: Feb 17
Thoughts: I love the color variegation on this skein of
Tortuga. Recently, the lys got a bunch of Malabrigo in, and that lot of Tortuga is mostly greys, not much greens at all. The vinegary smell is almost all gone, and that’s without any washing. I followed the directions for the worsted weight yarn, and it was interesting enough without being too challenging. I tried to work on it in between soccer games at Sweetie Boy’s soccer tourney this weekend, but it was a bit more than I could handle. I ended up finishing it at home Saturday evening instead. I definitely recommend this yarn and this pattern. Two thumbs up!


I took a detour from Wicked to show you this array of miscellany. First of all, in honor of Project Spectrum’s color du jour blue for February and March, I offer you this.

That’s one of the hats I was asked to make. Sweetie Kids’ piano teacher asked me to knit up a few caps for a former student who is experiencing some medical challenges right now. After I calmed my giddy self down, we chose three basic styles and three different yarns from my stash. This is what ensued:

(L to R) Sweetie Girl is wearing the 4×4 rib beanie made with Blue Sky Organic Cotton in bone. Piano Teacher’s Sweetie Girl is wearing the Santa Cruz cap made from some malabrigo-like yarn. I really enjoyed this new pattern from Magknits, so much so that I had to cast on another one right away! Piano Teacher’s Sweetie Girl is also modeling a basic beanie with a 2×2 rib at the brim made from Noro Kureyon color #150. They’ve been washed and are drying. Then they’ll be ready to go! It was such a pleasure to knit caps for someone you know (or someone they know) who really needs them. Great yarn, great patterns, quick knits, good cause… as a knitter, I couldn’t ask for more.

At the lys, we’re having a Malabrigo sale. Simply put, I love this yarn. So much so that I set aside four more hanks of different colors. However, I figured I should actually knit something with it before adding to my already copious stash, so I wound it up. See how quickly the yarn cake sidled up to the new Piddleloops project bag!

Not a close enough picture of the yarn? How’s this?

Lastly, here’s the sock pr0n picture of the prize pack I won from Chrissy’s SAM2 kal.

(L to R, top) KnitPicks Sock Memories, Simple Stripes, Sock Garden; (bottom) Sweet Socks from the sweet sheep, Koigu KPPPM, and Chewy Spaghetti

Thanks, Chrissy! I am a truly lucky gal!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I almost missed this. Sign ups for Secret Pal 10 are open. I had such a great time with SP9. Annie, my up line Secret Pal, and Michelle, my down line Secret Pal, were so fun to get to know. If you haven’t done this before, you simply must. Go now. It’s a special way to make our world a little bit smaller.

Just in case you’re wonderin’, I have been knitting. I was “commissioned” (sounds fancy, like I know what I’m doing, doesn’t it?) to make some caps for a friend, and am just about to cast off the last. Show and tell in the next post.

Wishing you all a love-filled Valentine’s Day.