Thursday, July 28, 2011

I Blame Pinterest

Are you on Pinterest yet? Well, be careful, because it's highly addictive. Since I have been "pinning" I have learned so many tricks and crafty bits I can't keep up with it all, except that Pinterest helps me to do just that. It has inspired me to be more domestic, and I already have strong tendencies in that direction.
For instance, Natalie (daughter 3) and I got together a couple of weeks ago and made flower pins out of old T-shirts. They are awesome!
 When we returned from our trip Saturday, there were raspberries on the table. Nat and Jesse kept a check on things around here while we were gone and left us goodies. So I turned around and made us all raspberry tarts. Just some sweet pastry crust, vanilla pudding and raspberries with honey-raspberry-strawberry glaze. Too yummy.
At Tacoma Boys Tuesday I found a beautiful bunch of kale, so last night I just had to make Massaged Kale Salad, one of my very favorite things, to go with another of my favorite things, Vietnamese Salad Rolls. I cannot show you the salad rolls. I am lousy at rolling them. Must find a tutorial. They look bad, but taste so good!

And then today I am doing a little baking. What does this look like it's going to turn into? Something for a little road trip with Kelli tomorrow...to Portland! Can you guess why? Well, it has something to do with knitting for your feet. Hint, hint.

So there's a little taste of Pinterest for you. Put in your request for an invitation if you're not already on. You'll love it!
And I have been working, believe me. This is one reason I needed Pinterest and cooking and crafting and baking so much. After being gone last week I had to jump on the work Monday and Tuesday and whipped up and sent out four different design submissions along with my regular work. One of the regular work things has been this Fundamental Top-Down Women's Cardigan. In the picture you see what must be about the fourth draft of this pattern. Natalie and I are working on it before I send it to Tracey who will beat the bugs right out of it. I am so glad Nat helped me catch some of the most embarrassing of them. I don't mind being stupid in front of my kids--they've seen it before. I like to keep other people a little sheltered from that information, thanks.

In the picture are two new samples I started from the pattern, because the first three did not work. I was winging it before I officially did ALL the math and wrote up the pattern (very dangerous, indeed) and they were ALL destined to turn out about four sizes too big for me. Yes, these two are both for me, me, me. The hand dyed yarn is Schaefer Sandra in Florence Nightingale and the solid is Cascade Ultra Pima. These are two gorgeous yarns so I'm havng fun. On we go!

Now I'm off to wax the car and then bake! Have a terrific weekend--I'll be back Monday with a report on that Portland trip.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Norway

I took this picture for you to show my take of goodies from our trip last week. We were waiting for the ferry to take us back to Anacortes from Lopez Island on Saturday morning.

Then I found out about the Norway tragedy.

I had turned on my phone to do a quick check, saw one of my peeps on Instagram post a picture with the caption "thinking about Norway" and then did a search and found out about the horrible thing that happened just the previous day. On Friday while this was all happening Fred and I were lolligagging about in shops at Lopez Village on the island just enjoying a fine day and a sweet life. I found this great yarn spun from the fiber of sheep raised on the island at the Lopez Co-op of Fine Craft Artisans, we grabbed up a loaf of rye bread from Holly B's Bakery, and I found these two cool old books about Norwegian at Maud's Used Books. While waiting for a restaurant to open so we could get some dinner, I perused the books and enjoyed learning a bit of the language and culture of Norway. The cabin we stayed in for four sweet days at Blue Fjord was called the Norway Cabin, complete with wind sock flag of Norway flying out front and a "Velkommen" sign beside the front door. I had no idea how much I needed to be thinking about Norway like all of this had me doing...until Saturday.

Those who lost loved ones in the bomb and the shootings on Friday, July 22, are heavy on my heart. What a senseless waste. It makes me appreciate my life ever more.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ten Years

This picture of me and Fred was taken just a couple of days after we were married ten years ago. We were at Mt. Rainier and I was in love--with Fred, with the mountains, with my new life. I still am.

We will be gone for a few days celebrating by pretending we live on one of the San Juan Islands in a little cabin in the woods.

I'll be back next week with more knitting hijinks!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Crew Neck or V-neck?

Howdy all! Sorry to be so vacant* lately, but I've been trying to crank out the next cardigan pattern and it's taking a whole lotta thought...and math!

Meanwhile, it's been super birthday time around here, as evidenced by the tell-tale mantel chocked with cards. Well, in years past there've been more, but with the advent of this thing called the internets and "social networking," we all have let slip the snail mail greetings of bygone days. I mean to help keep it alive! After not sending my own mom a birthday card this year (in deference to her own preference for e-cards...huh...I said deference to preference...) I made sure to send one to both my sister this past week and to my mother-in-law this week. I also have on my to-do list, get this--writing letters. Yes, the kind with real paper and pen and a postage stamp. I know...how quaint!

Also on my list is learning all these things: How to play the recorder (both the plastic one and this cool bamboo one Fred bought me at Second Saturday Vendors at Freighthouse Square this past weekend--it has a llama etched on it), how to speak some German, how to eat more raw foods, how to become a better gardener, and how to make peach pit rings. That last one was found in my Dangerous Book for Girls. First I need to get my mitts on some peaches.
Now, where was I? Oh, yeah, I was asking you a very important question.

To my esteemed blog readers, when you choose a cardigan for yourself as one you will most likely wear and love, does this cardigan have a crew neck or a V neck?

I need to hear from you all, so please leave a comment indicating your personal choice. I am in the throes of cardigan configuration and need your valued opinions!

Thank you.

*Disclaimer: Author takes no responsibility for anything said or done during the airing of this blog post. She was awake from midnight until 3:00 A.M. the previous night and is running on at least 57% less brain power.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Fundamental Junior Cardigan

I can't believe it's been a week since we released the new Fundamental Top-Down Junior Cardigan pattern and I haven't even blogged about it yet! That's what kind of week it's been. It all got eaten up with holiday and birthday celebrations (which are still going on). One week ago we had a fun photo shoot with Keith, Nate and June Rose and they wore the cardigans while they played around at our house.

Here's Nate flipping some Syzygy tiles while wearing a cardigan made with Schaefer Elaine in the Dian Fossey colorway. This yarn is delightfully lumpy-bumpy and fun to knit. The Fundamental Cardigan can accommodate such a lively art yarn because of its blank-slate style.


And here we have little June Rose investigating our bird bath gargoyle and enjoying some cranberry juice while wearing another Fun Card made with Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky in Supreme Purple.

Here's all three kids wearing cardigans--Nate even donned the crazy orange one that was too small for him. What a trouper! That one was made with Cascade Cotton Rich. Thank goodness we were having one of our PNW coolish summer days so these lovelies wouldn't mind playing in mostly wool sweaters for us. They were good models! Thank you Brooke and Jonathan for loaning us your sweeties for a little while. Thanks to Natalie for scampering around after them and getting some great shots!

The benefit of the Fundamental patterns is not their unique design. In fact, they are all very basic, timeless garments. Their appeal lies in the fact that each pattern has directions for at least four yarn gauges and plenty of sizes. You can use virtually any yarn in your stash with these patterns. The Top-Down Fundamental Cardigan patterns are like getting four patterns in one and each comes with a worksheet for plugging in numbers for each individual project so you don't have to highlight and navigate all the numbers at once. Each of these patterns is also written for either crew neck or V-neck.

Another perk is that working top-down makes it easy to customize lengths. This is especially great for growing kids and babies. I love , love, love top-down sweaters! They are also seamless, so when you're done with the body all you need do is add the button/buttonhole bands and collar. With the V-neck style, this is all done in one step. 

I have really enjoyed working up the 9-10 baby and junior cardigans (see numerous previous posts) to get this pattern ready and with these I focused on options for button placements. Next up I am working on the Fundamental Top-Down Women's Cardigan and will be highlighting some other options here on the blog. Stay tuned for this. I know you are just like me--you can never have enough cardigans! By fall I will have this next one finished for you so you can make some for yourself to keep warm this fall and winter.

Thanks always to Tracey and Meredith for helping me get the edits done, to Stormy for the testing, and to Natalie for taking such great pictures of everything. I couldn't do it without you all!


Friday, July 01, 2011

Mosey Kit Winner!

Woohoo! This is so exciting!

Just as I did with the very first Junebug Giveaway, I'll let the Random Name Generator tell you who wins the Mosey Cable Lace Wrap kit...
...and it's Katherine, known as GardeningKate on Ravelry! Get this. On my mom's birthday way back on June 5, Katherine bought the Iain, Jr. PDF download and little did she know it would win her this bunch of lovelies. I have messaged Katherine on Ravelry, so let's see if she can come and have a look and pick her yarn color. I'll keep you posted about that.

Thank you so much everyone for such a fun month! I am so glad that it brought us some new friends. I hope you all will check in regularly because I want to do more fun stuff. In between more games and fun I will always keep you abreast of new patterns being released (in fact, later today we have another new one!) and designs in the works. Of course there'll always be the personal antics, ruminations, and general craftiness that is figknits.

I'll be back later today with the new pattern release!