Sunday, April 24, 2005


This is what late April in Michigan looks like this year. Keep in mind that a mere 4 days ago it was 84 degrees. I just took my trusty ruler outside and measured the snow that piled up on our table outside and there is 4.75" of the white stuff. (Later in the closer to 7" and still coming down....)


Yes, I know. This is Michigan. Yes, I know. I have lived here my entire life. I am quite familiar with the ol' saying....

This is don't like the weather? Hang around 5 will change.

I have seen snow flurries in May. I have seen some of our biggest snow storms come through in April. But each year when the 80 degree weather hits and stays around for a few days, the grass is green and people are mowing it, the flowers are blooming, the trees are budding, you tend to think that maybe JUST MAYBE this year will be different. But no. Reality hits. And stinks.

At least I can wear my wool socks a few more times.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Lots going on

Just a quick post to catch up a bit. Time and energy are in short supply at this moment. My MIL was taken to the hospital Wednesday morning and we have been back and forth (45 minute drive each way) several times since then. I'm emotionally exhausted, as well as lacking enough sleep. However, she is improving so that's a good thing.

On the knitting front:

My 4 pieces of socks have become a pair of completed socks. It took me 2 hours to graft them, but it was well worth it. They are divine.

The Green Cotton Fleece Cable purse is done, sewn together, and in need of a lining. Photos to follow. It's cute!

I'm working on the last of the facecloths for Kim's shower. I am going to need a few more bars of soap to go with them, and I am looking for some appropriate little soap dishes.

I have a couple new designs in the works, which is really fun. Sales of the Panes Bag are more than I anticipated and I'm having a ball with this whole idea of being a designer. In the past week I have emailed PDF versions of Panes to Australia and Norway. They are now for sale in 3 LYS, with more to come. I'm actually going to have to get more copies printed. Who knew?

Our Thursday night knitting group (we've named ourselves the BeeGees.... BGs... Borders Girls)continues to be a source of great entertainment, comraderie, etc. I so look forward to it each week.

That's all for now. I'll try to get some photos posted soon.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Saturday, April 09, 2005

This is cool!

I'm excited! I'm geeked! I'm a designer!

After about 3 months of knitting, composing, arranging for test knitters, tweeking the pattern, etc, I finally got my pattern printed, copies made of the photo, inserted them into the sheet protectors, and it's official! My first pattern design is for sale!!

Here is a better photo of the bag, as the pattern is now written. It has a round bottom and a drawstring top. I'm calling it the "Panes" Bag because as I started knitting it, the pattern looked like window panes to me.

My test knitters did a slightly different version...a little bit shorter with slightly different pattern repeats and a slight change to the bottom circle. They are all really different from each other and all came out really great. You can see Jane's version on her blog. Also seen there are my first version (the one with purple as its main color) and the one my sister Diane did (the black/Kool-Aid colors one with the cool handles!) I also have photos of one that my friend Deb did, and will be posting them all together in a gallery.

Anyway, this morning I took a handful of the patterns up to the yarn store where I work, priced them, and put them in the binder with the other patterns. I feel so special :-)

I am going to set up a separate page to sell them online, where you can buy the pattern with a paypal payment and I will email you a .PDF file containing the pattern and photo. In the email will also be the other photos from my test knitters, before and after felting photos, etc. I hope to do this in the next day or two (or three). If you prefer to buy a hard copy version rather than downloading it and printing it yourself, I can certainly do that too. Email me if you'd like one.

I am currently working on a shawl pattern done in Noro Blossom. Hopefully it will not take me as long to work out the kinks this time, now that I have a little tiny bit of experience.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Catching Up

Wow, lots to catch up on! Things have been pretty crazy since I got back from my trip to visit Diane, but now the kids have gone back to school and I have a minute to breathe!

First of all, the trip was SO much fun. Unfortunately it went by much too quickly, but boy, did we cram in some fun!

I got in about 10 am on Friday in Omaha. We quickly started moving around the city trying to get to all the places on our list. We hit several yarn stores, Mangelsen's craft store, a couple bead stores, etc. At String of Purls I found some Noro Blossom #5 that I had been looking everywhere for! I was so happy....all day I kept saying (in a little sing-song voice) "I got Blossom #5!" to the point where I'm sure I was getting pretty annoying. Anyway, they said they had been waiting a year and a half to get more of that in, so I guess I was in the right place at the right time. I started another shawl like the one I gave mom for her birthday, adjusting my design a bit from the first one. I really LOVE the Noro Blossom. It's so fun to knit with....seeing what color is going to show up next in the skein, and all the colorful little slubs that are spun in too.

We shopped so much that it was 9:30 by the time we finally got to have dinner (which was at HuHot in Sioux City, IA on the way "home" to Vermillion, SD). I love Mongolian Barbecue, and I was so hungry so it really hit the spot. By the time we got to Diane's house it was about 11 pm. They are in the Central Time Zone so to my body it felt like midnight. I had gotten up at 4:30 am to get to the airport on time, so that was quite a long day, but VERY much fun!

Oh, I should mention that when I landed in Omaha the pilot announced that it was 36 degrees, drizzly rain, and the high that day was going to be 40. Oh grand, the same crap I left at home....

However, Saturday dawned a brighter and warmer day...Easter Sunday was glorious, Monday and Tuesday got better and better and were in the 70s. LOVED that weather. We've had an especially snowy winter this year so I was really needing to experience some spring weather. But, all good things must come to an end. Tuesday night a line of thunderstorms blew in and the rain stuck around for my departure. It was in the low 40s as Diane drove me back to the airport.

While I was at Diane's we did a lot of knitting. She was working on test-knitting my first soon-to-be-printed pattern, and we put our heads together with Queen Kahuna's Crazy Heels and Toes book and taught ourselves how to do Toe-Up Socks. The funny thing was that I had brought along my Trekking XXL socks that I started months ago, Cuff-Down, and had frogged the heel area about 3 times. Instead of continuing down those socks, I broke the yarn, and started Toe Up and here they are ready to be joined together. I wonder if this is the only pair of socks out there that has been knit CD/TU on the same pair. I do tend to do things my own way LOL!

Cuff Down Meets Toe Up

We both decided we love Queen Kahuna's methods and sock knitting will be much more enjoyable now. I'm glad to have gotten Diane off the DPNs and onto the Magic Loop method, doing BOTH socks at once. There's no going back now, Diane. Toss those porcupines!!!!

Another thing we did that was so much fun was get together with Diane's Stitch 'N Bitch group on Monday night at the home of one of the members (THANKS SANDY!) for pot luck dinner, dessert (and wine). I was teaching the ladies how to do the knit/beaded bracelets, so the wine mixing with bitty little beads and #0000 knitting needles...well you get the picture. They did really well though, and I think everyone enjoyed learning how to do the bracelets. You can see a few pictures on Jen's blog by clicking on the links in the paragraph next to the bead tray photo. I wish someone had grabbed her camera and gotten her in one of the pictures! Sorry Jen!

It was really nice meeting all the ladies in Diane's knitting group. I had heard a lot about them and was glad to put faces with the names. I know she really enjoys getting together with them.

All in all it was a wonderful trip. Lots of knitting, lots of good food, lots of good fun. I just wish we didn't live so far apart and could do this all the time. Sniff....