My secret projects are coming to a close (whew!) and soon I'll be working on more designs I can show, but in the meantime I've started two relaxing comfort knits to help me through all the brain boggling designing. I've started yet another striped Noro scarf and a second Eiki.
For the Noro scarf I decided to make something that even Mr. Bonnet might enjoy wearing so I chose 3 manly colored skeins of Noro Silk Garden. Silk Garden is my favorite Noro yarn, and when it's washed and blocked I find it's quite soft enough for round the neck wear.
And then, of course I had to start in right away! Already I love how this is coming out. These scarves are like knitting crack, they are so easy to do and yet endlessly entertaining watching the colors interact in the stripes. And they are perfect for knit night when I'm chitchatting so much I often have to come home and rip out whatever I've knitted.
Another good project for chitchatting is Eiki! Because so much of it is garter stitch you can easily begin and work mindlessly away on it. My first Eiki was knit in a color that I love, a deep, rich, russet with overtones of copper and brown.
I love, love, love this color but, unfortunately it doesn't look that great on me. I think, because I already have copper coloring. It just washes me out. So I decided to make myself an Eiki in a color that does look good on someone with my coloring, moss green.
The yarn I've chosen is some skinny Bugga that's been marinating in the stash for a good while now, waiting for the perfect project to come along. I think the leafy edge in the Eiki pattern is going to look terrific in this color. And it turns out I have some beads that match perfectly, so I think I'll try adding a few beads to the lace border as well!
The tally for Eiki is now up to $4086! thanks everyone for contributing to relief efforts in Japan. 100% of profits from this pattern will continue to go to relief efforts for Japan through the end of April, so spread the word!
The Rivendell pattern has been updated! The new version now has sizing information and charts for 3 different sizes. It's also been moved to my Ravelry pattern store so that when you purchase the pattern it will be in your Ravelry library, I love the way Casey has so thoughtfully constructed the Ravelry library/store. If you're not a member of Ravelry, you can still purchase it through my website, but really, what are you waiting for? Ravelry is free! Those who have purchased the individual pattern from me, have gotten an update notice giving them access to Rivendell on Ravelry - hmmmm... say that 10 times fast... rivendell on ravelry rivendell on ravelry rivendell...
Yesterday was the spring equinox, which means that Spring is now officially here! I celebrated the equinox by making the first donation to the Japanese Red Cross from the sales of the eiki pattern. Thank you to all the knitters who have purchased the pattern, together we have raised $3126 for relief efforts in Japan!
Since it is cherry blossom season, I thought I would leave you with a picture of the cherry blossoms behind our house. They're blooming all over Eugene, a beautiful springy sign of hope.
Are you ready for the supermoon? Tonight the moon will be fullest very close to the time when it passes closest to the earth in its orbit, making it appear larger, particularly when you view it at the horizon (moonrise and moonset). I'm hoping we'll get a clearing of the cloudcover - enough to at least glimpse the supermoon!
Secret projects are simmering along, although I've had quite a few setbacks with the most urgent one (of course! since it's the most urgent). But no worries here. Knowing that people elsewhere are dealing with nuclear scares, and disaster recovery puts my puny problems right into perspective! Thanks to everyone who has participated in the donation drive by purchasing Eiki. I will be announcing the first donation tomorrow.
Since I've mostly been working on secret things, I can't show you what's on the needles right now, but I can show you something that came off the needles a while ago. This is Charleston. The first installment in the Art & Sole sock pattern club. The inspiration for this sock comes from the 1920's - the jazz age and art deco. Art deco is characterized by geometric elements and decorative style. This sock features chevrons, stairsteps, linear elements, and, of course, sunbursts. It's one of my favorite periods in art and design. Although the pattern looks complex, it's actually fairly easy, and all the ribbing elements help to make a sock that fits as well as it looks!
Thank you to all the knitters who have purchased the Eiki shawlette pattern. Thanks to you, the donation tally so far is $1300! I'll be making a donation to the Japanese Red Cross in a few days and I'll post here when I do. Meanwhile, I've added a tally to the top of the right sidebar if you want to know how much is being donated.
I've been keeping an eye on the news of the nuclear reactors in Japan, and sending positive thoughts to the people of Japan. I am so impressed with how calm and caring people have been in the face of this multi-disaster.
In knitting news, I'm currently working away like a hamster in a hamster ball on something unbloggable, so I think I'll take a moment to show off some previous items.
This is Lani! I met her recently at Madrona, and I was thrilled that she introduced herself and showed off her colorwork mittens! These are the mittens from my colorwork club/online class, made with Jared Flood's Shelter yarn which is a really cushy, warm woolen yarn. She chose the pinwheel quilt pattern from among the two quilt-inspired choices.
And here's a picture of her Chullo from the same club. This was an exercise in design, she chose the elements and how to place them on the hat. I love the turtles and the rabbit together on this hat. The yarn is Classic Elite's Fresco which is wool/baby alpaca/angora. It comes in lots of bright colors so it's perfect for this style of hat and it's so warm and luscious, just what you want on a cold wintery day. In fact I wish I were wearing mine right now!
Beautiful work Lani!!!
And now on to some showing off from my other colorwork club, the Illuminations colorwork sock club. The yarn for this club was Shibui Staccato, a terrific superwash/silk blend that has a nice body and shine. This is the first pattern from the club, Dawnsinger, and I just love the way Meghan photographed it!
And here is Marion's version, she chose to do one of each pattern for her pair. Dawnsinger and Habitat.
Brava Meghan and Marion!!!!
One of the most wonderful things about what I do is seeing what other people do with it. It really makes my job worthwhile.
OK, it's time to go back to the secret knitting, but I'll have some more not-so-secret stuff to report very soon. Another shawlette is on the way and a new pair of socks too!
The last few days the news from Japan of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster has touched me deeply. Growing up in Southern California, a seismically active region, I have experienced several large earthquakes in my lifetime, but nothing as devastating as what is going on in Japan right now. Sometimes we are shaken (literally) out of our complacency, our comfort zone where the worst thing we have to deal with doesn't even begin to touch the heartbreak others are dealing with. This is just such a time for me.
I am very pleased to be showing off my new shawlette pattern - Eiki (strength)
$6 through Ravelry - all profits through April 30, 2011 go to relief efforts in Japan. Donations will be made through
Eiki means great wisdom, strength, willpower, and energy in Japanese, all things I wish for the Japanese people at this time - and from now through April 30, 2011, all profits from sales of this pattern will be donated to relief efforts in Japan. So if you've got a skein of fingering weight yarn and would like to make a quick shawlette, while also donating to the Japanese relief efforts, Eiki might be just the shawl for you. And if Eiki is not your cup of tea, I hope you'll consider donating to the relief efforts in Japan through some other means.
3.21.2011 ETA: You can follow the progress of the donations in the top of the right hand sidebar.
This weekend was my spinning group's spring spinning retreat. Unfortunately I missed the beginning of it because I was feeling a bit lousy, but Saturday dawned with no more lousiness so off I went, and boy was it fun!
They hold the retreat at the Silver Falls conference center in Silver Falls State Park. It's a great place for a retreat like this, rustic cabins, a nice clearing, beautiful forest and 3 squares a day, all for a low price, and they're friendly to boot!
Indoors the retreat looked like this. Those are some happy campers spinning away with the gentle rain falling out the window and the cozy atmosphere inside. On the left is Andrea, who just learned to wheel spin (she's a veteran spindle spinner) on my Ashford Joy.
There were lots of tempting goodies around... chocolate, cookies and fiber of course! These beauties were brought by Janis of Dyelots. She always has gorgeous fibers, and she's funny and sweet. Her fibers can tempt even a die-hard stash budgeteer like me!
Right outside our meeting room this pretty little stream was burbling merrily along.
This beautiful old moss covered tree greets you just as you enter the conference grounds. It's spectacular in the misty light of an overcast day.
The State Park is called Silver Falls and it's definitely true to the name. There are 10 waterfalls in the park, many that you can actually walk behind. This is the beautiful North Falls roaring down the canyon. When I wasn't eating, or walking about looking at trees and water, I was playing with this - my new Hansen mini spinner. A review of this spinner is coming soon on Spindlicity. I got this puppy at Madrona a few weeks ago and already I love it. It's so compact and easy to spin on! And of course it needed a house so I got it a Zuca bag to live in. I was in a very citrusy mood the day I ordered that one!
Now that I'm home it's back to knitting, knitting, knitting! See you all around the water cooler...
I've been feeling a little under the weather today, but the actual weather hasn't! I looked out the window to find sunbeams and blossoms had returned to my world. So I saddled up the doglet and went out for a slow little stroll.
Right off the bat, I ran into this on the ground
and this, and this, and this, and this!
After all that happiness smiling up at me, I went back home and began rooting through my stash. I just felt in the mood to start another shawl... a spring-y shawl.
The first pattern pages for the Art & Sole sock club have gone up on Ravelry, and I'm pleased to introduce the Lotus Garden scarf. This is the first non-sock pattern from the club. The club features a sock and a non-sock pattern each shipment.
This pattern's stitch motif resembles a half open lotus on the ornate ends of the scarf, paired with quiet leaves running the length of the scarf.
The pattern is exclusive to the club for now, but the good news is there are a few spots left in the club if you're interested, and, as usual, the pattern-only option for the club is always open.