Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Denise

Some of you may recognize this nifty tool. What's that Jen's knitting up that lovely O-Wool Classic with?
That's right! The Denise Interchangeable Needle Set. That's it poking out of my new Denise Organizer with two removable storage pockets and two pockets inside the front and back cover. It all fits inside!
Over the summer I had the pleasure of working with the folks at Denise on their new book that'll come out next year. They needed a men's sweater design for the book, and I happily complied! I have never had a more wonderful experience on a freelance job. Emily at Denise was a complete joy--upbeat and positive the entire time. Not only that, but they gave me a whole needle set so that I could use it to knit the sweater. (The book shows how to use the set and gives great tips with each project.) Once I worked with the set on this sweater, I found out that I needed a companion set. It has more cords and end buttons and extenders.
Emily sent me the set and the Organizer and some extra needle heads and in exchange I donated the price of a new set to the SD Ireland Cancer Research Fund, the Denise charity of choice. If you buy a pink set, a portion of the price goes to the fund.
Oh, the knitting gymnastics you can do with all these lovely bits! I heartily recommend buying this set. At first I thought I would be put off by the plastic needles. I usually work with wooden-tipped circulars or Addi Turbos. All of my dpn's are wooden, too. I'm even trying to slowly change out all my crochet hooks to wood. I was happily surprised by how much I liked these plastic needle heads. It's not a hard plastic, but a kind, soft material that plays well with yarn. The O-Wool certainly liked it, and it's the purest wool there is. Delightful, in fact.



Not satisfied with having such a cool knitting tool, the folks at Denise decided to go another step by adding crochet. This summer, Denise introduced the Interchangeable Crochet Hooks. Love it! What a great motivation to learn Tunisian crochet. I've been crocheting for about 40 years, so I think it's finally time. I've been experimenting with that this very morning, and next post, I'll show you how it came out.

Thank you Denise and thank you O-Wool for helping make my summer such a happy one!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

We're in Boston!

Well, not our physical selves, unless you count the part of myself (and Bonnie, Sue, Andrea, and Betsy) that were put into these knits you see. This is my "Naturals" trunk show and right now it's at Stitch House in Dorchester, Mass.

If you are in the area, please go and visit the knits and say hi to them. Also wish the Stitch House gang a Happy Second Anniversary!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Quartercenturian

Last month we finally got to spend my daughter Natalie's birthday with her. This is the first time in seven years I've been with her on her day. She's a Washington girl now, as of August 1. She bravely packed away and/or gave away everything she owned except what could fit in a medium-large suitcase and one carry-on bag and moved here from Atlanta. We had her car shipped and she's redesigned our basement apartment for herself for the time being. Soon she'll be on her own again, but for now we are thrilled to have her here.
We started the big day with a champagne breakfast (whooper breakfast as it is known around here) and Natalie filling Fred in on the whole Sudoku phenom. Those boxes you see in the corner are the result of her efforts helping me get seven Figheadh trunk shows ready. She's a huge help around here. I'm gonna hate when she gets a real job and can't help me as much.

The big 25th birthday ended after a yummy sushi dinner and with a curious little so-called Red Velvet cake of Nat's choosing from a local bakery. I say curious because it was unlike any Red Velvet cake I've ever had. You see, in the South our Red Velvet cakes are only made with hearty cream cheese frosting and NO coconut, thanks. This one had a very Criscoey frosting with clearly no cream cheese and (what?) coconut in it. Good thing we opted for the small size! Needless to say, there's still some in the freezer. We were wishing for my sister's champion version. It's so good that my oldest daughter Emily chose it for her wedding cake.

I'll tell ya who else can make some real Red Velvet lusciousness--Sweet Things, a new cupcake shop right here in Tacoma. They opened last Saturday, and we had the good fortune to hop by and try out their Red Velvet cupcakes. Ah, at last. The real thing. You have to try it! Like little teasers of my sister's mastery. A taste of home.
Happy 25th to Natalie! We can't wait to see what the future holds for you!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The monthlies

No, not that. Posting on my blog. It seems I only get to it once a month. Not good. Must figure this out. How to write more about what I'm doing while trying to get it all done? Hmmmm.
Okay, while I'm trying to figure that out, I may as well post something worthy, huh?
That's very worthy. That's one of the delicious tarts that Mike made for us this past weekend. We had Mike and Will over for some grilled salmon and tons of conversation (as usual) and he brought us this gorgeous thing, which we devoured in high fashion.
That's not all! There were a couple of these, too! See, we just had Peach-o-Rama here in WA. Yep, peaches aren't just in GA. We've got 'em here, too. Big and lovely and fuzzy. Yum. Thanks Mike!!
I hear you asking. Has there been any knitting going on? Oh boy! We are having a kind of Hat-o-Rama, too. Me and Nat and Shirley and Stormy and Terri and Meredith are testing out a new Fundamental pattern. It's great fun. You just take some leftover yarn and a super-easy stitch pattern and whip out a hat in no time. I love hats that way. They go fast and Boom, you've got something lovely and functional. Here's a stack for proof.
Want syrup with that? Maybe next time...