Sunday, February 28, 2010


I can't believe we're down to the last day of the yarn giveaway. And thank goodness you got a little more chatty and clicky--enough for two more winners!
Betsy wins the Manos and Lou wins the Claudia! Yea! I'll bring both of you your sweeties next Saturday at the party.
What party, you say? Why the launch party we're having at The Yarn Stash in Burien. If you think you'd like to join us, give Bonnie and Beth a call or an e-mail. We're trying to get a head count.

Now for my last gift, here is one of the best of the bunch. If you've never tried Schaefer's Miss Priss, then you're in for a super treat. This yarn is fat and soft. The pullover I made with it is soft enough to wear right next to the skin--no scratching. This skein is the Georgia O'Keefe colorway--rosey beige and soft blue and green. Who wants to give it a try? Be careful. Once you try it you'll have to have more!
For the last time (of this giveaway, that is) check out the rules and claim this yarn! And just a reminder that I still have day 4's yarn left.
I also can't believe I've come to the end of 28 days of consecutive daily posts. When I first got the idea, Fred said, "Will you be able to write something every day?" I knew I wouldn't be at a loss for words (not one of my weaknesses) but I didn't know how much I would enjoy it. It has definitely gotten me in the habit of posting more often. You won't even notice a change at first, because I will be back tomorrow to give you the links (woohoo!) and finally tell you what I've been aluding to all this month, and then I'll be back again Tuesday to start telling you all the other things going on that I've had to keep quiet about as well.
Yes, figgy friends, when it rains it pours. Many things to tell.
See you tomorrow!

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Uh oh. It's gone all quiet again around here. Where are all you yarn addicts?
I've got some Manos here! Like a lot of the other yarn, I cannot believe I'm giving this away. I just found it a few weeks ago and already had plans for it. But, no! I have to give it to one of you guys!
Play along and win this yarn (and yesterday's and the day before's).

Okay, while I'm waiting, I'll tell you one of the things that came in the mail yesterday. Actually, a little dream of mine came true.

An entire set of ChiaoGoo bamboo-handled crochet hooks!

And you know what was weird? I dug out this needle case that I made a few years ago, and there were exactly enough pockets. I'm not kidding. It's like I knew it was going to happen and I made it just for my pretties. See them all rolled up like a Little Debbie Swiss Roll, but even sweeter.

Life is good.

Friday, February 26, 2010


Whoops! I almost forgot to come and show you todays' freebie! It's Claudia Hand Painted Yarns Worsted in Copper Pennies (in case you can't read the label in the picture) and she's already caked up and ready to go. I was working with this on a project (which you are shortly to see) and thought I would need two of these beauties. I love it so much that I wanted you to try it. The color is deep and yummy and the yarn is soft and gives excellent stitch definition. I can't wait to see who gets this one.
If you are just jumping into our little yarn party read the rules in this post.
I almost forgot because I've been tweaking your free pattern for Monday. You are going to love this--if you like color, that is. You'll see.
I wish I had time to tell you what all came in the mail today--man, oh, man. It'll have to wait, though, because it's fish taco time!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Folks! Guess what! We have two more winners! Now you guys are really playing nicely.
Kelli wins the Malabrigo from Sunday, and Sue wins the Silkie from yesterday!
Thanks so much!

Today it's good old Cascade 220 Superwash! Not just any but one of my favorite colors. I don't think you can see it in this picture, but it's a beautiful brown with rust flecks. This'll make some great mitts! I used this yarn to make three different pairs of the Treehuggers--red, spring green, and rust.

Let me know if you want it to be your own by commenting thusly, clicking on the "buy now" over in the right sidebar to purchase the Cableology Headband, all the profits of which will go to the Red Cross for Haiti relief, and by showing me your knitting on Ravelry or some such.

Whew! What a day we've had. Shipping out patterns, taking photographs, tasting yummies at The Old House Cafe, making Excel charts, making pricing spreadsheets, packaging up free yarn, etc.

Here's a peek at some of Natalie's lovely photography from today.

See you tomorrow with more free yarn!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


We have winners! I guess my threats worked.

Rebecca won the Cascade 220.

Lena won the Jo Sharp.

Mom won the Brown Sheep (Lots of bits, Mom, or get Linda to make you sumpin').

Lindsay won the Eco Alpaca.
Thanks so much for playing along, all of you!

Only one skein of Malabrigo (Is it the color? I love the color!) left to give...

...and today, it's this Beauty Queen yarn--Butternut Woolens Silkie. Truly, you can only get this at Stitches West (this next weekend) at the moment. Those of you that got it at Madrona a couple of weeks ago know what I mean when I say, "Yum!" Go for it!

I just got the second sock bound off, and now it's afternoon coffee time. Maybe it'll rev up my brain for pattern drafts.
Thanks for checking in--I'll write more tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


This is getting fancier! I know one of you wants this luxurious natural-color 100% alpaca from Cascade. It pains me to part with it, and truly I wouldn't if it were my only skein. Thank goodness, I have more. This is so soft you won't believe it. I knit a Lauren with it and whenever I wear it, I'm constantly hugging myself! Self-love, or alpaca love? You decide.

Comment. Click. Knit. Them's the steps.

Also, folks, don't let me down by getting through all the steps and then not giving me a place to send the yarn. Pure frustration. I'm not trolling for addresses, here. I've got enough to do without that. I just want to share some stash and celebrate my new venture. Just play nice, okay?

Progress: I did get the yard cut and the beds a little tidy. I did get the sock designs fleshed out. I got the yarn order completed. I did not get the test sent, but will today. I have two more pattern reps and the cuff to do on the sock--surely I'll get that done today. We did get the new Figheadh released! Have a look. I'll tell you more about those next week.
Have a great day everyone!

Monday, February 22, 2010


Day Four and I've yet to get any of this yarn sent away. I guess you guys don't want. Or else it's as I feared and really only my family reads my blog and only a couple of them are yarn people. I'll tell ya what I'm gonna do. I'll wait until tomorrow morning, and then I'm gonna open this deal up to more folks, like my Ravelry group, etc. I wanted this giveaway to be just for you, bloggies, but we can share, right? It's either that or I'll just keep all my lovelies, which would not be bad at all.

Today's yarn up for grabbers is a solid Monday yarn--one of my favorites for years now, Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted in this lovely heathery brown. You know the rules. Please follow them and let me give this yarn away!

Today I have to cut the grass and do a little yard work, because all our flora seems to think it's spring already and it's all just getting out of hand. I also have to get the three Figheadh spring patterns finally ready for release--hopefully they'll be up on the site tomorrow. I need to order more kit yarn, send out a pattern test, and finish those socks already!

Gotta get busy, because the launch is a week away now!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Happy Sunday to you all! I'm back for the third day in my quest to give away yarn. At this point, I have one qualifier who needs to complete one more part of the bargain (download a headband) and another who has completed all the steps except to tell me which yarn she wanted--day 10's or day 9's. Let me know, folks!

To clarify, I need for you yarn-wishers to 1. comment accordingly, 2. purchase a Cableology II Headband, proceeds going to Red Cross for Haiti relief (buy button in my sidebar->>>>), and 3. be a knitter, as evidenced by your Ravelry page or otherwise. One skein per wisher, please.

Today's yarn offering is a Sunday kind of yarn, for sure. Malabrigo Worsted in Applewood. Yes, a part of my most recent Malabrigo acquisition! It hurts me to let it go, but that's how much I like you guys.

Who wants it?

Today we are going for a walk, making a frittata, working on new Web sites, working on sock designs (well, that's just me), photographing some pattern samples, trying to finish a second sock (just me again), crocheting with some giant thick-n-thin yarn (me), and enjoying some record mid-winter sunshine that's predicted to stay with us until Wednesday.

Shining boldly on our crocuses.
Have a wonderful day and I'll be back tomorrow with more yarny goodness!

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Happy Saturday! Well, the skein of Cascade 220 in the previous post remains ungiven. Remember, folks, I need for you to satisfy all the conditions. Not only do you need to be the first commenter, but the first commenter who's a knitter and who has helped us out with the Headbands for Haiti by buying a PDF download of the Cableology II Headband. The link is right over in my right sidebar. If you click the link, it will take you to PayPal via Ravelry. You pay through PayPal (which is quick, painless, and safe) and Ravelry will give you the download--all for a mere $2. Correction--we have now raised a whoppin' $12. (Help...please...embarrassed.)

So let's try this again. Today I offer up to you another of my favorite worsted weight yarns, which would also make some lovely mitts (um, er, I mean mystery March 1 giveaway pattern thingy). This is none other than Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed in navy. I'm giving away two skeins of this one to make sure you have enough for the project. Please refer to this post for conditions.

Got anything to say??

(P.S. Thanks Julie and thanks Mom. You guys keep me going.)

Friday, February 19, 2010


We're down to the final 10 days of the countdown! I want to make this more interesting.
I have never done a giveaway on my blog, although I've been pondering it for quite some time. What better time than now? Here are the details. As I've been hinting, I've got a present coming for you on March 1. It will be announced along with showing you our new site on that day. The giveaway I'm about to kick off necessitates telling you just a bit more about the March 1 gift. It's a fun little knitting pattern, it's got cables, and you wear it on your hands. What I thought would be neat is to reward all you folks (hopefully at least 10 of you) who've been kinda following along with me this month. I want to give you some yarn to make the freebie coming at ya in 10 days! Starting today, I will post a skein of yarn from my personal stash (some of my most favorites--no slouches) every day for the next ten days and it will go to one of you!
Of course, there are conditions.
  • You must be a knitter, as evidenced by giving me your Ravelry name or some other way to see your work.
  • You must be the first commenter on the post and just tell us why you want the particular yarn du jour. And please use the yarn for the pattern I'm giving you on March 1. I want pictures! Oh, and one skein per person, please--let's share the love.
  • This is only fair. You must help me donate to Red Cross for Haiti relief by clicking on the button in my sidebar and purchasing a Cableology Headband pattern for only $2! We have thus far only raised $10 and that's just dismal. Come on, people, you gotta help me! (Thanks.)

Yes, I think all that is only fair. I'm offering up some of my most precious yarn babies (you'll see), so it'll definitely be worth it!

Okay, let's get started!

I have here one of my most favorite yarns of all time--Cascade 220 Heathers. This is a lovely oatmeal color, and it's twice as much yarn as you need for the project.
Comment away!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

11 & Yarn Heaven

Prepare yourself. Yarn beauty coming!
Part of the plan I'm working on involves making up some knitting and crochet kits, so I've been amassing some of my favorite yarns to pair with my patterns. I got a box of Pagewood Farm yesterday from Chuck and Robin.

I know! It's almost more than the eyes can take. Like trying to look at a newborn puppy without wellin' up. (And yes, that is sunshine peeking between the blinds and shining onto the table. It's not raining here--POW--sound of myth exploding.)

Here be Chugiak in (clockwise from upper right) Maple Leaf, Denim, Purple, and Teal.

The much-too-lovely Aleyeska in Misty, River Rock, Daffodils, and Pretty Pastels. It has a bit of cashmere. Funny how little cashmere it takes to completely change the texture of a yarn. Kinda like adding milk to coffee.

Glacier Bay in Really Red, Mocha, Seabreeze, and Lilac.
I hope you've enjoyed today's yarn show. Soon I'll show you some of that Aleyeska knitted up. Making it into a cake momentarily!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Dozen More

Yes, a dozen more days until the soft launch of my new venture. The hard launch will be a bit later, but don't worry--you'll hardly notice. We've got some fun for you in the interim, especially for those of you who've bookmarked March 6 for the party. Wait'll you see (and taste!) the cake Betsy and I have dreamed up. Another part of the fun involves mitts, and the picture above is a stack of the equivalent of ten pairs of mitts out of the dozen or so I've knit and crocheted in the past year. I was quite surprised myself when I started collecting them up from around the house. Emily has one pair, and we never even got a picture of them before she took them back with her to Georgia. They were some red Grace Note Mitts.

The twelfth pair were also Grace Note Mitts but made with Pure Alpaca and for my buddy Cynthia. Here's a shot of them in progress. Pardon the bad lighting--I took these in the wee hours of one morning, afraid I'd forget entirely. I'm very often sending off FO's without remembering to photograph the evidence.

Obviously, I love making fingerless mitts and gloves and I've whipped up a pattern for some that I think you're going to love. On March 1, our new site will be complete and I'll send you there to give you the pattern in PDF to try out. For any of you that have knit up any Figheadh patterns, prepare to be surprised, because I'm going for a different format entirely.

I had a flash of synchronicity the other night. As I opened The Time Traveler's Wife to begin reading, I was greeted by a Derek Walcott poem (a very intriguing one titled "Love After Love"). I thought, "Wait a minute. Wasn't I just reading something about Derek Walcott recently?" I looked back at Lives of the Poets, and sure enough, he was one of the poets discussed in the first chapter of Michael Schmidt's book. I wish I could tell you that it meant I was supposed to read this book (the Wife one). I wish I could, but I can't. I thought the movie was better. I didn't get very far into the book before I was let down. I thought Bruce Joel Rubin did a better job writing the screenplay than the author did writing the book.

So I'm still looking for a good book to read. I started Keats by Andrew Motion. Good so far! It's a very long book, especially for one that starts by stating that little is known about Keats' childhood. We'll see how it goes.

Tomorrow I'll show some shots from a gorgeous box of yarn that arrived today. The colors are too pretty!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

13 is lucky!

Because...drum roll....I slept all night! (Nothing to take lightly these days.)
Watch out! I'm high on wakefulness!
I had to put away the Lives of the Poets for now. Michael Schmidt's book is wonderful--kinda like a grad poetry course, and while I enjoyed those, it's not the kind of thing to read while trying to drift off to (precious) sleep. Now this is more like it. Good stuff. Yep, I'm a lightweight right now. Reading things inspired by movie watching. I am a confirmed movie nut, though, so there ya go. Guess who is the Queen of movie nuts, though. My oldest, twin-preggy daughter. And her friends know her so well. Guess when they are throwing her a baby shower. Yep, on Oscar night. How perfect. (Me, I stopped watching the Oscars the year they didn't give Cate Blanchett the gold statuette for Elizabeth.) I just hope the babies love movies or they'll be disappointed (or Emily will, who knows?) My mom and I made our girls movie nuts, though. It's our fault. It's our fault they played Little Mermaid incessantly while swimming in my mom's hot tub. It's my fault they (we) all spoke (speak) in movie quotes too much. It's our fault we have all these videotapes and can't seem to get rid of them, keeping a VCR just so we can watch Merlin and Howard's End. We'll replace them someday with DVD's, I guess.
Progress: Up almost to the heel on the second sock with Audrey.
Finished the mitts with Silkie.
Gotta get Figheadh pattern orders processed today, edit a pattern, write another pattern, and finish that sock up there! We are now at the point of having two patterns tested and ready to send to the editors, two patterns waiting for the final edit, three patterns in test, two patterns to get written (testers for those are standing by), and one pattern that has been sketched and swatched. My plan is to have the three Figheadh patterns out before the month is done, one pattern for the new line out by March 1, and six others for the new line out by April 1.
Watch us do it.

BO 14, 14 rem

Mark your calendars! On March 6 we're having a launch party for the new stuff at The Yarn Stash in Burien from 11 til 3. There'll be cake and freebies and knitting, of course! On March 1 you'll be able to get one of the free things and I'll tell you how in about a week. Hold tight!

For those of you who cannot be there, you'll still be able to join in. More details to come!

Now, off to bed I go. (Mr. Insomnia, you are not my friend.)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

16 & on location

We interrupt this countdown to bring you a report from Madrona market in rainy downtown Tacoma at the glass-art-filled Hotel Murano. Natalie went with me to visit with some friends and to hunt for some goodies. (Just to prepare you--the reason I look inebriated in all of the following pictures is because I was up from 2-4 A.M. not sleeping again. Be kind--no finger pointing nor laughing, please.)
First we stopped at the NW Handspun Yarns booth to say hi to the very nice Nancy Bjerke. Her booth is always filled with the most beautiful spinning and weaving supplies. Nancy is a treasure. Go by her store next time you're in Bellingham--it's in the cool, old part of town.
We actually went round and round the market floor several times and bugged Shelly of (oft-mentioned here at figknits) Butternut Woolens too many times. She was very gracious and patient, however.

I also got to meet Ialiuxh (pronounced Aleah) of Lollipop Cabin. She let me try out a couple of her beautiful skeins. She had a never-before-seen 9-ply I had to scoop up and I also got some of her Organic merino.

See below? There they are on the right posing with some Black Water Abbey sport weight and worsted given to me the lovely Marilyn King. She was much too busy to pose for a picture but we had a very nice chat! I also had a chance to get some advice from Fontelle in the Great Yarns booth.

At the Carolina Homespun booth, I found far too many tools that I needed. I was actually on the hunt for some of those ChiaoGoo crochet hooks (everyone I asked just said, "spell it" and acted confused) and some of the Knitifacts rubber bumpers. I found the latter at the CH booth, but came away with no ChiaoGoo. Sad. Also sad was that it was so crazy in that booth (there were 5-6 people behind me in line!) that a pink aluminum Wanda (see below) and a green needle gauge charm did not make their way into my bag even though the price of them did make its way onto my credit card. They'll be getting a call from me!)
Not sad is the rest of this loot. More cable needles! Now I think I have every kind in existence. I also brought home some HiyaHiya tiny size 1 short dpn's, a set of Wandas (hook on one end and pick on the other) in rosewood, some hugeriffic Lacis crochet hooks, also in rosewood, and a square wooden handled crochet hook made by Kollage. Kind of a substitute for the ChiaoGoo (You wish I'd hush about those, doncha? I'm not gonna.)

Score! It was a good morning.

Friday, February 12, 2010

17 til what?

What is this countdown about anyway? Well, two weeks from Monday, I'll tell you a whole lot more. Just know for now that there will be prizes, and new stuff, and a freebie, and general celebration.

Progress update: Two more edits away from three new Figheadh patterns; five tests, six edits, three drafts, and two-and-a-half sample knits away from seven other new patterns. I'm also working on four other patterns. It's a good thing most of these are accessories. If they were all sweaters I'd be in tears right now!

I just got my second cup of coffee (of the afternoon coffees, that is), it's coming down quite a shower outside, and I'm about to delve into the second sock of a pair and the second mitt of a pair. Here's to seconds!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

18 remaining!

Finally watched Bright Star last night with Fred and Natalie, and I am smitten. I'll be buying this movie. It's simply beautiful. I was already sure I wanted to see it, because I have a painfully sweet connection with John Keats' poetry and biography, having done a grad school paper on Ode to a Nightingale. Never mind that the paper was ill-received by the rude professor giving the Romantic Lit course, as he was hell-bent on making us all look like fools. I still enjoyed studying the torturingly tragic story of Mr. Keats' life. This movie made me weep, even though, as Natalie said, I knew how it would end.
So, last night I had to take this old friend to bed. I just might read it all.

And, hey! I'm knitting lace weight yarn! Something I have told people I would not do. I am also on a hunt. See the tiny stitch marker? It's a little rubber ring, my favorite type of stitch marker, and you cannot find ones this small. I needed something to mark off a rib insert I am working into this ostrich plumes lace, and I remembered a little sample package I was given at a trade show a couple of years ago by Laura Crowley of Knitifacts. The little package had 4-5 onesies of different size rubber bumpers, as she calls them. I need a pack of the "bitty bumpers" she makes. I see on her site that she is supposedly in three online shops, but checking those got me nowhere. I plan to query a couple of folks with booths at Madrona market.
And now I need to get out of the jammies and be ready for Shirley to come by for her sock draft and yarn, and to process a couple of pattern orders, get those sent off (as well as Stormy's yarn and test draft), and to complete a cashmere mitt.
I am also brainstorming about goodies and fun to offer up for you guys starting March 1. More details to come. Stick with me--you'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

19 & a Fix

Was this...
...and now is this. Better, no?
(That's Schaefer Audrey yarn, by the way.)

Just a quickie today. I've got swatching to finish for some accessory patterns for a very special yarn producer. Right now, I'm going for a walk to clear the lungs and headcobwebs--the forecasted rain hasn't arrived yet, so I'd best take advantage!

Then when I return, maybe I'll be able to proofread some lace charts for Stormy's test. Wish me good brains!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

20 days left

I'm here later than ever yet for my daily post in this foolhardy quest to lead you up to what's gonna happen March 1. At least I think it's gonna happen by then. Will you kill me if I push it out? Okay, never mind that right now. My brain feels like it got duct-taped to a pogo stick driven by a 6-year old high on Jolly Ranchers. Yeah. I got seven orders out today and I hope I got 'em right.
I've been meaning to show you this. Look what Natalie and I figured out when she was testing some mitts for me. I was looking around for two sets of 16" circular needles to loan her for the test and I remembered my two sets of Denise needles. I have a set of the pink and the blue cords and two sets of needle tips, so I was able to grab one 9" cord from each set and make two identical 17" circulars. Because they are different colors, Nat was able to easily keep the halves separate. Both halves of the mitt are the same, except that the first half houses the thumb hole--important detail! I'm doing them this way, too.
Later today we had a little photo shoot here at Chez Hagan. Kelli and Natalie helped me photograph some new ankle socks for the Figheadh line. Aren't we girly?
Then I coerced Natalie to model the new cable and lace shawl.
Wait'll you see the really good pictures! I'll tell you more about those new patterns next week. I'm just waiting for the final edits and for one more test to be done and they'll be ready to roll out.
I tried the sock cuff, it was whack, and so I am about to try something different. This time I took a picture of the bad one, so I'll show you what I mean tomorrow. I am also doing some swatches with a very very special yarn from Eastern Washington. I am about to burst to tell you all about that, but for now I have to keep quiet.
I hope I made sense today. I can't tell. I'll get some Ginkgo Biloba tea before I post tomorrow, okay?

Monday, February 08, 2010


That's three weeks! Okay, I can do this. Breathe.....
I know what'll help. A Malabrigo fix!

I couldn't help it. Little Knits is having a sale and it's hard to get this stuff. Believe me, there is no softer yarn. There couldn't be. If it were any softer it would be air, and you can't knit with air, now, can ya? As you can see, I found three beautiful colors of the worsted (Applewood, Vetiver, and Blue Surf), a hank of the Twist in Tuareg to try, a hank of the Silky Merino in Redwood Bark, also to try, and a sweet Creamy Natural in the Sock. That last one will be a pair of lace socks soon, I betcha.
Go and get some if you're a Malabrigo fan like I am. Unbelievably, Sue at Little Knits actually has some left! (Well, I guess that wasn't very smart--I just lost most of my readers. Maybe they'll come back after some yarn shopping.)
I haven't just been buying yarn, but also organizing it. A while ago I started keeping a lot of my yarn supply in these cubes. I wanted the yarn to be able to breathe and I wanted to be able to see what I had.

See how there's some space in the cubies now? Well, because in addition to what you see here, I had a bunch of plastic bins (like the ones you can see in the foreground above holding inventory) in the closet crammed with yarn. That's before I finally thought to try some sweater organizers. I love them! I was actually able to make some room in the cubes by moving some to the closet.

The boxes underneath are trunk show samples, and the yarn in the sweater thingys is all earmarked for upcoming projects for samples of future designs. You see lots of Cascade and some Schaefer, and some Pagewood Farm. So much lovely work to do. I love my job, folks.
And what have you gotten done in the way of jobness, Jen? Well, today I finished the crochet hat and mitt sample and now I can write that one up, I got past the toe on the lace sock design (ya know, the one I messed up the heel on the first go 'round), I had a great phone convo with Diane and did some networking, I finally made it over to the tax lady's office and picked up my 1096/1099 forms and paid the bill for filing 4th quarter 2009, and I answered a few e-mails, mostly about Figheadh orders. Now I am about to get busy finishing up the line-by-line instruction on the lace and cable wrap so I can get it to Stormy to test. After that I'll work on the lace sock more, because I have to figure out a really great cuff for it (hang on, Shirley!), and then it'll be time for dinner (split pea soup with ham) after which I'll be knitting on the second sample of the new Lo Shu wrap made with Cascade Indulgence until bedtime.
Sounds like a good Monday. I hope yours is going well, too!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

22 More & a Request

This will be a very quick post because I really just have one topic today. Last month I decided to put my Cableology II Headband up for sale on Ravelry. I was getting requests for it, and since I very seldom teach classes, it seemed the pattern was just languishing. I wanted more folks to enjoy it. Almost immediately afterward, the Haiti disaster occurred and a beautiful thing happened on Ravelry. Tons of designers put their patterns up and pledged to send the proceeds to the earthquake recovery efforts. Yea Ravelry folks for doing this!!

My Cableology II Headband pattern is up for sale on Ravelry and I am pledging to send all the proceeds to the Red Cross for Haiti through the month of March. After that, I will send it all to Habitat for Humanity to be used in Haiti.

Please help us out by clicking on the "buy now" link in the sidebar (right over there>>>). You'll be donating a mere $2.00 and getting a cool little headband to knit. If you don't knit, give the pattern to someone who does. You do not have to be a Ravelry member to buy the PDF download of the pattern, nor do you have to have a PayPal account. PayPal will just ask for your payment information. That's it--easy peasy.

Thank you for your help! I'll be back tomorrow with more knitting and crocheting news.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

23 Skidoo!

I don't know if that expression has anything to do with today's post--I just like it. According to Wikipedia, it means "to get out while the getting's good." The only thing I'm trying to get out of this morning is the house, to take a walk with Fred. It's shaping up to be a bright, clear morning. A little chilly, but great for a trek down and back up the 29th Street hill.
I've emerged from the week of doctor visits (4 in all!) finding out that my spine is straight (take that, you lying chiropractors), my cholesterol is a bit high, but that I have no evil growths threatening my plan to live to 98.
Life is good!

I spent a couple of hours this morning re-researching short-row heels for socks, which was a continuation of last night's study while waiting for our Garlic Jim's pizza to arrive (our first try and it was yum!). I have a big three-ring binder of notes on sock heels and plenty of sock pattern and technique books. You could get a graduate degree in this subject, I believe. That's how much information there is out there on the subject.
After a little more reading this morning, I was persuaded by Janet Rehfeldt in her book Toe-Up Techniques for Toe-Up Socks to try the Japanese method. I tried it, but I must have done something wrong. You see the result above (but not super-closely, because I don't want you to see the wonkiness). Yep--I will have to rip it and try again. It's not the book's fault. It's a great little book with very clear illustrations of the techniques.
I might go back to Antje Gillingham's method in her book Knitting More Circles Around Socks, which I used on the Coralee Ankle Socks you see in the picture above (a Figheadh pattern about to be released). I liked that one. Thanks, Antje!
Yesterday I did get the crochet cap crown figured out, once I did a refresher course on how to work a 3dctog, thanks to one of my very favorite books, Crocheting School (love the Knitting School one, too!) I also got the last new Figheadh pattern sent to the editors and then I saw Kelli's e-mail that I had a cable correct in the charts but wrong in the line-by-line. Whoops! I also heard from Sue that her Coralee test #2 is done and she learned two new techniques while doing it (I love that!) I did a little more work on the yarn inventorying. I did not, however, get any pattern writing done on the new patterns. That's waiting for me today.

I leave you with this shot of a beautiful cable, made so by this Butternut Silkie yarn, which you can get in many fabulous colors next weekend right here in Tacoma at the Madrona Fiber Arts Retreat. Can't make it? She'll have it for sale on her site by March. As for the Madrona, well, you know I'll tell you about that, and I'll show pictures!

Gotta go! Fred's ready and waiting for our walk. Have a great Saturday, folks!

24 to go

I have a good excuse for not posting early today. Had to go at 7:30 A.M. for a recheck at the mammagram joint. That's not giving it good props at all, though, because the Carol Milgard Breast Center here in Tacoma is too fabulous. I mean that place is fancy. No worries. We're good. Doc said, "See you in a year," so I am thrilled!
Directly afterwards Nat and I had a date for oil changes. Pulled in to Jiffy Lube, told them we were together but going Dutch, each got offers for extra services (as always) and I only accepted two and Nat shunned them all! Go girl! For a little back pat we went for bagels and hot drinks (she, coffee; me, chai) and then went our separate work ways.
On to the P.O. for me to check the box for checks (two, thanks) and to try my darnedest to ignore the LaRouche people set up outside who have the nerve to heckle you as you're just minding your own business. I want to rip down the poster they display of our president with a Hitler mustache, but it's a free country. Just stop yelling your stuff at me, please.
Back home to do some Quickbooks updates and read e-mail and finally here I am, ready to do some pattern tweaking and try to send the last spring Figheadh pattern draft to my illustrious editors, Meredith and Tracey (love them!)
The main gist of my post today was to be a confession. I am a two-timer. No, I am true to one man (the Fred), but I am in love with two crafts. When I'm knitting I love it best, and when I'm crocheting, I love it best. Happily, I'm getting to crochet and knit these days.

These are bits of designs I'm working on with Claudia Hand Painted Yarns Fingering (top two pieces) and Schaefer Esperanza. The fingering yarn has the sweetest twist of any yarn I know and the bulky yarn is 70/30 wool/alpaca and luscious.
When I'm crocheting with fingering weight yarn, it's usually with this ChiaoGoo (which means "crafty lady") hook. The very nice ChiaoGoo folks gave it to me at a trade show a couple of years ago and I can't find any more to buy! It feels dangerous, because I love this little bamboo-handled thing too much and it's the only one I have. What happens if it gets lost or broken? I want every size! I see they just added larger sizes. I'm getting behind, folks.
Okay, today's list includes doing the pattern tweaks, putting a heel in the sock design in progress, figuring out the crown decrease on the crochet hat design, writing up a couple of the new patterns for the March 1 release so I can hand them off to the testers, and figuring out how much more yarn I have to buy for our big April event. More on that later!
Talk to you tomorrow!