24 February 2014

Fake-it-'til-you Make It Monday

Can you tell what's fake in this photo? I hope not or I did a bad job! It's the hair. "Naturally", I've got a lot of greys, but almost all hard dyes these days seem to have propylene glycol in their formulas now, even ones that didn't previously. Sigh. I don't want to look like an old lady (even if I act as crotchety as one), but I don't want to break out in a rash on a regular basis. So, I finally found a brand (Revlon Colorsilk, which also surprisingly cheap yet inexpensive) that hasn't yet bunged up its formula as far as I'm concerned. What do you think?

With spring coming it seemed like the time was ripe to start sprucing things up, especially since I have to snap some beauty shots in the next week for a pattern. I'm even contemplating a haircut (crazy, I know)! 

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed that I'm getting a little tired of winter:
There is a car under there!

Footwear option for when it's not absolutely frigid but still cold and messy. I love my Hunter boots but would like to reacquaint myself with my shoes. 

There is nothing better than these llbean boots in the winter. The shearling lining almost makes you think you can go sockless. But it's time for these beauties to go away!

The good thing about the cold is all my sweaters. Some of these beauties haven't been written up yet, so you have something to look forward to. Eventually :)

Alright, back to the grindstone. Lots of time with spreadsheets and layout software. I will fake it 'til I make it in regards to enjoying the pattern writing portion of my job, too. I love having written a pattern and love knitting but sometimes the number wrangling is hard. 

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!

07 February 2014

So much non-bloggable work! Plus my FOs for my sister

Sigh. I finished a project I'm very excited about. All its ends are woven in, the numbers crunched, and even a few pictures snapped. It is handsome and modern with some clever moves that make its seamless construction pretty fun to work. But I can't show it to you. You'll just have to wait until Fall to see it in its glory. I promise it will be worth the wait, and I'm dying to see what else will join it in its publication.

And now I'm on to another non-bloggable item, wrestling with numbers so I can reknit the yoke. I think you'll like this one, too. Then I have to start sketching and swatching for some of the great submission calls that are out there right now. But I also want to work on some of my longer-term collection ideas. And a nascent book proposal.

But it's cold and sunny today, so I kind of just want to sit and knit and move the laundry along, recovering from the busy-ness of Thursdays when I teach my young friends to knit (we have two additional knitters this semester, so I really feel like that nun in the Madeline books leading home her charges, except they don't walk sedately two-by-two).

We are now at the point where all my young knitters are fairly comfortable with the basics, so my challenge is to help them find projects that will keep their interest and allow them to expand their skills, especially since most of them don't knit between classes. They are all capable of knitting, purling, casting on, binding off, increasing, and decreasing. Most of them have even done some work in the round. I think the next step is DPNs before they get too set in their ways. I'm thinking i-cord to start, just so they get comfortable with holding pointy-at-both-ends sticks.

In bloggable projects I can finally share the things I made for my sister a couple of months ago! First up a super-cozy blanket in Reynolds Andean Alpaca Regal, a bulky alpaca-wool blend that obviates the need for electric blankets. Due to the discontinuation of the yarn, this could only serve as a one-of-a-kind prototype for a future design. I'm trying to figure out what yarn I would like to use in its stead that is cozy, reasonably priced, will stand up to the rigors of blankie-dom (i.e., machine washable since there are two constantly shedding cats in my house), and won't be discontinued in the near future. Oh, and it might need to be the same silver-ed lavender/twilit sky colorway, if that's possible.

My sister has always wanted an Old English Sheepdog, probably as a result of watching Please Don't Eat the Daisies during childhood. Since she needs to spend this year smacking down breast cancer, she doesn't really have time to care for a live dog, I thought she might enjoy a small, non-shedding, low-maintenance version. I used some Kidsilk Haze and Cascade 220, which I had lying around, with the pattern from Best in Show, where my dad's scottie came from. It only became clear to me that my gauge was off once I sewed the pieces up - this one seems taller and slimmer than the version in the book (and than real life exemplars of the breed I have known). It's still cuddly and hopefully makes her smile, which is its intent.

And I have to tell a tale on myself. You know that saying "If you want to make god laugh, make a plan"? Well, right after I shared my chore chart with you, I realized that the apartment needed some serious cleaning to prepare for my stepson's non-party birthday party, especially since his mom and her fiancé would be stopping by. Why is it that women are judged on the cleanliess of their homes? It's one of those sexist tropes that I can't escape - it's so firmly ingrained. I don't really care what other people's homes are like, but I get kind of worked up about my own, beyond even my own desires for order and cleanliness, when other people come over. I guess I need to just embrace it as something important to *me*, taking it off the gender peg. Anyway, the tasks and the days went right out the window! I cleaned and tidied and organized for much of the weekend. At least it cleared the decks of most chores (laundry being the ever-necessary exception) for the week, which allowed me to finish all the work on the first project mentioned in this post and send it off to Loveland a day early.

With all that said, I'm thinking of knitting something fun just for me this weekend. What do you have planned?

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen