work


So it’s been a rough start to 2011 for me and for the ones I love – too much personal stuff to go into here.  I’ve try to stay positive and I’m usually pretty good but sometimes I just get really down – early last week was a good example of that, just days of  hopelessness.  But then something happened that made it all better.

I have a new love

Rorschach

Meet Rorschach, our new kitty!  I’ve been working at Pixie Project, as I mentioned before and when I saw her on Friday morning, I fell in love.  She’s a tiny friendly kitty, between 9 months & a year old and just the cutest, sweetest cat I’ve ever met.  CB took a little convincing but once he met her, I don’t think he could resist.  He named her in fact.  I usually call her Rory though.

Picture 680

With her favorite toy, a little foam ball

She came home with me on Saturday and has fit right in.

I wish all my pictures weren’t so blurry, but she is constantly moving and I really should get a better camera.  We just absolutely adore her.  She has a very different personality than Mina, which I think is a good thing – I miss Mina so much – but I’m not constantly comparing them.  Anyway, she’s just making us both so happy and that’s a good thing.

And to be honest, it hasn’t been all gloom & doom since my last post, thought it feels like it sometimes.  So here are some more Good Things.

I had 2 “patterns” published

Semplice Fingerless Mitts

A  really simple fingerless mitts pattern – it’s so simple I feel silly calling it a pattern, I didn’t even add my name to it.  Anyway, I just wrote it up & knit up the sample in a weekend – it’s the one I use all the time.  And the nice thing about working for a yarn company, I have access to good photography – that’s my coworker Jenny – not to mention an outlet to publish it.

Put a Birdie On it Dishcloth

Once again another silly free pattern – several of us at work did them for our release of our new yarn.  This one was fun, thought I honestly don’t like to knit dishcloths – I crochet them now – but how could I resist not putting a bit of Portlandia on it?

As for my own projects, I finished a pair of sunny socks

Just basic top down socks out of Felici Sport Sunny Day. It’s been such a crappy grey spring again this year so I wanted a bit of sunshine on my feet.

I picked up this old project…and I’m finally almost done!

body done

Yep – this is Cables & Os that I started 4 years ago! I wrote a more extensive blog post on it here, but  now I’m done with the sleeves! Just need to sew it up & had the button band (and find buttons for it)

Oh and one more thing…I”m going to TNNA in June!  I’m so excited and I get to meet several of the designers I work with.

So that’s the happy things update – hope you all are well!

So the somewhat uncomfortable thing about my work life & hobby being so closely linked is wondering how much to talk about it on my personal blog without it sounding like advertising or something.  Obviously I love the company I work for (and have before I even started working for them, pretty much since I became serious about knitting) but I don’t want to sound like a walking advert.  Either you like KP or you think they are the “Big Bad” (which cracks me up, if those who think KP is a huge company, they should see our office). In any case, mostly I try to keep this nonwork related but I had some really awesome things to show.

So part of my job is doing photoshoots once a month. It’s really fun (correction, outdoor shoots are really fun, indoor shoots get mindnumbingly boring.) I’ve done a bunch of them since I started in this position – I obviously don’t do the photography, mainly I just help with the styling to make sure the knitted or crochet item looks good.  We hire a model for a few hours for the main part, but when it comes to children, we use relatives of our employees.

Last time I had a sweater that didn’t fit any of our office kids, so I asked my sister if my niece would be able to do it.  She was really excited, so they made the 2 hour drive up.

And seriously, my youngest niece was perfect.

And my older niece came along too, and I actually had some things that she could model as well, since she was even more excited about it.

I can’t get over how grown up she is getting – I mean, I was present at her birth, the only birth of my 4 nieces & nephews I actually got to witness.

One of my favorites shots was this one of them together, mainly because it was my idea for it.

I wish I had the other shots of this (there was one that was more active that I really liked), but this one is still really cute.

The nice thing is my sister got a disc of all the shots we took (usually between 25-40 of each item), though of course I forgot to get some copies after I gave it to her.  Sigh.

Anyway, I just wanted to share some fun things from my job.  Knitting wise, I’m working on the Greenfield Cardigan still.  I’m hoping to finish it by my Seattle trip (yes, with CoffeeBoy, looks like it’s a sure thing he’ll be back here for good in a little over a week, fingers crossed).  I had to take a break though – I’m on the sleeves and wow, sleeves are boring enough, but garter stitch in the round makes me want to stab my eyeballs.  So I started a crochet hat.  My favorite crochet designer is Linda Permann (not only talented, but a fantastic person to work with) so when she put her Blackberry Beret up, I immediately bought it and decided it would be a nice quick project to do.  And it is!  I finished it pretty quickly (even after 4 restarts, due to my own stupidity rather than the pattern) and I’ll have take some photos when it’s dry.

And maybe actually do another post here.

Not long after I started in my new position at Knit Picks , my new boss mentioned they were thinking about doing an event in the spring since the previous event with an author went over pretty well & we had a lot of new yarns coming out. And they wanted me to work on it.   I was excited – I’ve done event coordinating before, my last job was as a conference & speaker coordinator (which pretty much was just one BIG event actually) and in my bookstore life, I was pretty involved in all the Harry Potter release parties.  And this was with yarn!

I decided that little sample balls would be really cute & once we got the okay, I started working on winding them up (with big help from the Customer Service dept & other coworkers).  But I wondered what on earth would knitters do with these little balls?  So I made a couple of examples 🙂

When we started doing promotion for the event, I got nervous.  It’s sometimes awkward working where I do – walking the fine line between wanting to promote our own products & not stepping on LYS toes – I’m well aware of the feelings toward KP. (Luckily we are friendly with my favorite LYS – Twisted – a couple of the designers in my program are even employees there.)  I was worried no one would show up & I would fail at putting together an event – I mean, the Facebook & Ravelry event pages only had a half dozen names other than employees.  In addition to the yarn samples, we planned a fun raffle & a designer panel with our in-house designers & 2 of my IDP designers so I didn’t want to be a waste for them!

Our very empty event space during setup

But we showed up at our event space at Ecotrust (a great place to hold an event by the way, they are awesome to work with) anyway & hoped for the best.  If I do say so myself, our yarn sample  display looked awesome.

I was particularly happy with how the Stroll Tonals looked.

Once the doors opened, my nervousness disappeared – well except we would run out of chairs.  I got no pictures of when our guests started getting the yarns – I was too busy chatting with them all (and trying not to sound like I was gushing, especially about the Tonals, Stroll & Shadow)

I did however get a shot of just how many people were there during the raffle:

Yeah, I was being really silly, being nervous.  I wish I got more pictures though – that’s pretty much the extent of them.

I’m so happy how it turned out – it was a lot of fun meeting a lot of people I only knew through the IDP program or Ravelry (shout out the LSGers/Rubberneckers!  Nope, still not shipping to Scotland.).  I’m so excited for future events – we’re already planning a possible one for our new fall yarns that will be even bigger. 🙂

You know as a knitter, I consider myself so lucky to live in the PNW that would be the (Pacific Northwest for those not familiar with that term).  We have great yarnies & festivals here and the knitters/crocheters/spinners/weavers to support them.  We were playing around with Google Analytics the other day at work & the term knitting is searched by people in Portland more than anywhere else. (Seattle was number 2). Casey at Ravelry said something similar a few weeks ago on twitter as well.  It just makes me so happy.

Not only that, we have fantastic designers as well!  I realized both major projects I finished in the past week were by designers here in the Portland/Vancouver metro area (and, actually, now that I think about it, another project I started & finished in the past couple of weeks – Bunny Nuggets – is by Rebecca Danger, who lives up near Seattle.)

First, a purchase from Sock Summit that I finally finished.

Rita Prairie House Shawl

Started: February 6

Completed: April 11

Yarn: Lotus Yarns Chakra in Pinup colorway Rita

Pattern: Prairie House Shawl by Star Athena

Needles: size 4 Harmony

Notes: I actually started this with a different Lotus Yarn quite awhile ago but I didn’t like how it was looking.  Since I fell in love with this yarn while helping out Melanie at Sock Summit, it made sense to work it up in Star’s pattern that I got there.

This pattern was wonderful, though I had to fudge the last couple of inches because I ran short – in fact when I finished I had about yard left.  Whew!  Luckily, it’s not noticeable since I will pretty much wear as a scarf anyway.

And in my last post I said I was giving myself a goal of finishing a sweater in 2 weeks. Well, that didn’t really happen, but I did finish it in a little over 3 weeks & finished it just in time for our Knit Picks event (more on that in a later post)

My Vest

Started: March 13

Completed: April 4

Yarn: City Tweed DK in Lemon Curd

Pattern: Adagio Tunic Vest by Suzanne Frary

Needles: Size 4,5,6 Harmony

Notes: Who knew that I would love a yellow vest.

But I do.

It took me awhile to pick the color actually – I love City Tweed & really wanted to try the DK weight.  Finally I settled on Lemon Curd & I’m glad I did.

When Suzanne posted this on her blog, I was in love.  Cables!  In the round! So I decided to actually make my first vest.  I still don’t think vests are all that flattering on me, but oh well. It’s comfy & good for our crazy weather at the moment.

Another thing that’s new for me – a cowl neck.  I hate turtlenecks on me (plus I don’t like things tight on my neck) but a cowl…hmm, I figured I’d try it.  And yep, love it.

I’ll be wearing this a lot.

So I was going to write about the Knit Picks event that I coordinated but this is a bit long for a post already.  I have a post here on my other blog but I’ll put up a more detailed post here in a couple of days.

So, um, hi.

I took a bit of an unintentional break from this blog – I think between blogging for work, Project 365, and Twitter/Ravelry/etc, I just didn’t have the energy.  I’ve also been keeping to myself a lot lately in my personal life – I’ve been in a funk for the past couple of months – and since this is my personal blog, I just didn’t feel like writing about myself.  I almost thought about giving it up completely but I do really miss having a space of my own to write – it feels more private than something like Facebook – even though it’s really not.

So I thought I’d finally resurrect the blog to show off a FO that I have been working on since July.  How sad is that?  But finally, it’s done & my first sweater in over a year

Tabby Calluna

Started: July 25 2009

Finished: March 13 2010

Yarn: Knit Picks City Tweed HW in Tabby

Pattern: Calluna, with major mods.

Needles: Size 7US

Notes:  Of course I didn’t work on this nonstop since July – I may be a slow knitter but I’m not that slow.  First it was the horrible heat that went on at that time last year.   Then after working on it for awhile, it was time for holiday knitting.  Then I did a bunch of small things for myself because of all that holiday knitting.  Finally in February I picked it back up & worked pretty much nonstop on it because I was worried I would never finish it if I didn’t & I did really want this sweater.

Twirling!

It was worth it – I’m so in love with this.

I did a tons of mods – pretty much I decided halfway through that I really just wanted another Amelia on the top, so this sweater is a combination of both.

  • I followed the pattern for Calluna to the armholes. I made two inadvertent changes because I wasn’t paying attention – did seed stitch for the back panel instead of moss & made the top cable smaller (I also added a an inch to the length but that was on purpose)
  • I set it aside and started the sleeves. Cast on 45 stitches each, knit in garter for 3 inches, then started st stitch – I wasn’t going to moss or seed for the entire sleeves. eek. Increased 2 stitches every inch & knit for 19 inches because I wanted long sleeves & I have monkey arms.
  • Attached sleeves just like Amelia. Decreased on arms every row to the end.

  • I started the button holes sooner & made more than either pattern. I wish I had just started at the bottom though.

  • I did not want a shawl collar but I did want it higher than Amelia. I pretty much followed Calluna again & tried on the sweater until I figured out how high I wanted it, then put the band on holders & decreased like Calluna.

I love this yarn – honestly it’s my favorite sweater yarn.  It’s so so so soft & cuddly – it did grow, as expected with an alpaca blend but I don’t care.  I love tweedy yarn & I love how the cables look in it

Granted, I won’t get as  much wear out this sweater as I’d want to – spring is on the way! But still I plan on putting it on as much as possible.

I felt so embarrassed how long it too me to finish this that I’ve set a challenge for myself – knit a garment  within two weeks.  See, while I did participate in the Ravelrylmpics, I don’t feel I challenged myself as much as should have.

While I love them (it’s the Temple Cats pattern & I adapted it for some matching mitts) I finished them in like 5 days.  So now it’s time to step up in my own little knitalong

Okay, so it’s sleeveless, but it is in DK weight – it’s still a challenge for me.  Funny enough, I didn’t plan it this way but it’s the same designer as my Olympics project – Suzanne Frary, who is awesome.  And yes, it’s City Tweed again.  I’m not normally a vest wearer or a color yellow wearer but I really like this pattern.  So we’ll see how it goes.  I’m planning on combining it with my Project 365 too – only taking photos of myself is a little boring (there are a lot of pictures of my feet) so I figure this with reinvigorate me with it.

So that’s all the knitting news!  Hopefully I won’t go as long between posts again.

I always feel bad for December birthdays – people are spending so much time trying to find that perfect gift for someone…and then they have to do it twice in the same month. (I will say January birthdays, for me, are worse – there are 4 very close members of my family – including CoffeeBoy – who celebrate birthdays within one week in January. )  So I really wanted to make the 2 close members of the family feel special on their birthday this year.

Mom is one December baby and she’s had a rough year.  I decided she deserved mink – not some crappy fur jacket, but a mink/cashmere blend scarf.

Mom Deserves Mink Scarflet

Started: November 19th

Completed: December 1

Yarn: Great Northern Yarn Mink/Cashmere

Pattern: My own

Needles: Size 5

Notes:  I really wish I got a better shot of this, it was a lovely little scarf.  It took me forever to figure out a pattern for this yarn – it’s a very light yarn and it feels so fragile, when I’m used to more a tough wool.  I had a bunch of ideas, none worked so I went with just a garter stitch scarf with a twist –  I started with one stitch & just YO on each end until it was wide enough, then did YO K2tog & YO SSK on each end until it was long enough.  Then YO K3tog & YO SSSK on each end until back down to 1 stitch. I bought the shawl pin on etsy from AmericanCarver – it ended up a bit wide for it, but my mom loved it, plus she has a bunch of funky pins that she can switch it off with.  She was very happy with it – and timing couldn’t have been better since we are in the middle of a very cold snap here – cold even for me, after 2 MA winters.

The other December baby in my family is my youngest nephew.  And when I saw this pattern, I knew I had to make it for him.

Bruce the Mittens

Started: November 30th

Completed: December 3

Yarn: KnitPicks Swish Bulky in Squirrel Heather (way less than one hank) and some random Wool of the Andes held doubled for the mouth

PatternDeep Blue Sea Shark Mittens

Needles: Size 8

Notes: These were a big hit.  Again, I really wish I got better pictures of them, but it’s hard to get him to sit still to pose.

These were super quick to make, especially  in his size – my only issue was with the sewing up (I’m not so great on that).  There were a couple of issues in the pattern with sizing (without the person nearby) but they were minor.  I’m even tempted to make a pair for myself!  He was really excited about them – my sister told me he wore them bike riding and every time they stopped, the sharks “attacked” each other.

I’m still slowly getting through the rest of my holiday gifts but it’s been a busy couple of weeks – the past 2 weekends I’ve been out of town & my job has been pretty crazy busy at work.  I know I’ve hinted at what I do, but I can talk about it now since my project is now live – I’m working with outside knitwear designers on the Independent Designer Program – we put the first wave of patterns up last week.  It is a fun job – all of these patterns are fantastic! (one downfall to my job – I look at cute patterns all day long, which makes my knitting queue longer and longer).  We’ll put out more information out in January, but if you’re looking for a great pattern, check out what we have! 🙂

My job rules, by the way.  I’ve been very very lucky this year in my job opportunities. 🙂

I have seriously been slacking on the photographing projects & yarn both for here & for Ravelry. Not quite sure why – I have way better areas to photograph stuff outside (um, my neighbors can’t see me when I haul yarn or do goofy poses in front of my camera) and it’s not like I’ve stopped buying yarn or anything.  I try to pretend I don’t by working through my stash but yeah, I’m still obtaining yarn either from work or because I just need something from Twisted.  I also try to pretend it’s because the weather hasn’t been great when for me to take pictures of them outside but since it was hailing when I took these photos, that’s not really holding up. (Yes I have a covered porch)

So enough of the non excuses.  A couple of weeks back, I was on the Knit Picks podcast again (always fun) talking about Impractical Knits.  Well, that fits these, at least for me at the moment.

Glossy Grove

Started: Oct 4th

Completed:  Oct 10

Yarn: Knit Pick Gloss HW in Aegean

Pattern: Grove by Jared Flood

Needles: 6US

Notes:  I fell in love with this pattern the minute I saw it.  It’s the reason I bought Made In Brooklyn actually.

And while these would have been perfect when I lived in MA & taking public transit in the freezing cold, I don’t think they will get much use here.  I drive to work and, baring some freak storm, it doesn’t get that cold here.

But they were very fun to make – the pattern is excellent.  And I used my favorite KP yarn at the moment, Gloss HW, which made it even better.   It is larger than the yarn called for but I have big hands anyway.  And how gorgeous is this color?

It matches the My Wave Cowl I made & I have about a ball left that might be enough to do a matching Ripley (rav link).

So that’s one project done & photographed at least – I have a couple more goofy things (more DangerCrafts toys) that I’ll post about later.  I’m currently working on Christmas gifts – I think I’m doing okay on that front, but ask me again in a month & I’ll probably be freaking out, like always.

One last note – I got some fantastic news last week in regards to work.  I got a promotion!  No longer will you hear my sexy voice (heh) on the customer service line (sorry J.P., you’ve missed the boat 😉 ) I will now be working directly with Knit Picks on a very exciting new project.  I am so happy, it’s going to be so much fun!  Not too many details yet – I can’t for a bit yet plus the one downside is I don’t get to start until mid November.   I am so very lucky – I couldn’t get anyone to call me back for a job when I started applying here & now I’m working for a company I already really loved and I get to work with a kick ass bunch people.  Plus – it’s all about knitting & yarn! 😀  What could be better?

 

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