Happy Thanksgiving and Black Friday Sale

Just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving! I thank all of you for following this blog and supporting my design efforts.

Tomorrow is Black Friday and so all my patterns will be 20% from now until 11:59pm Friday EST.
Coupon code: BlackFriday

Toronto and Purple Rain

Right now I’m sitting on the airport express bus heading from Toronto Pearson Int’l airport to downtown. I’m meeting up with Ravelry friend, Adriennec, and on Sunday we’re running the Toronto Waterfront Marathon (the two of us are doing the half). It’s my first time in Canada and I’m pretty excited. I think once I arrive downtown we’re going someplace to try poutine which I’d never hear of until two days ago. It’s fries with cheese curd and gravy which sounds pretty disgusting but I’m here with an open mind and I’m looking to score some Canadian points. :-)

Additionally today my Purple Rain collection is being featured on the Knit Freedom blog. Last week, Liat, who runs the blog, asked in the designing group on ravelry if anyone had interesting tutorials that we could share on her blog. As a huge fan of adding bling to my knitting, I offered up the tutorial I did on beading with a crochet hook. Liat liked it and have now shared it on her blog. Thanks Liat! I’m a huge proponent of everyone blinging up their knitting. :-)

Price: US$10.00

Alternatively patterns can be purchased individually.

I have now arrived in downtown Toronto and should be arriving at my stop soon. Yay Canada!

Long Time…New Pattern…Running

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. The summer seems to have flown by. As I’ve written before I decided to get into the movie biz and it actually worked. I ended up working on three feature films this summer. The last one required that I work on location in CT for 6 weeks and that was pretty crazy. In this industry the hours are so long that you literally sleep and you’re back at work. Since you pretty much eat all meals on set, you never get away. I’ve enjoyed the challenge and the craziness of it all and hope it continues. I’m currently between films so I’ve been knitting and designing which is a happy thing.

Like many I’ve become enamored with tinyowlknit’s pattern beekeeper’s quilt and I’ve now knitted 77 hexipuffs.

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I’m also working away on a granny square afghan using my numerous skeins of Cascade 220. I’m just making one giant granny square and seeing what happens. The rounds are getting quite long now and I barely have a lap blanket. Maybe making squares and seaming together wouldn’t have been a horrendous idea. :-)

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Designing

I’ve also been designing. I managed to send in two submissions in the past month so fingers crossed. I also released a new design yesterday and have another one planned for release next week. I also have one of my ebook designs complete so I guess I’ve been somewhat productive the past few weeks.

Here is the new design: Sabine.

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It’s a shawl using two colors of fingering weight yarn. I used approx. 375 yards of Color A (blue) – Dream In Color Smooshy (Colorway: Beach Fog) and approx. 220 yards of color B (light brown) – Black Bunny Fibers CashSock (Colorway: Pilsner).

This pattern is available for $5.50.

Running

Finally, I’ve been training for a half marathon all year. Sadly because of the movie work I’ve had some big interruptions to my training regime but I plan to run nonetheless though I won’t be winning any prizes for speed. I ran 10 miles on Sunday and it wasn’t half bad. I’ll be running the Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon with a ravelry friend. Recently this friend lost a very good friend to cancer and so she has decided to run to raise money for the cancer society in memory of her friend. I think we’ve all experienced the loss of someone to cancer and so I’d encourage those who are able to help support such a worthy cause. Feel free to donate to the cancer society here.

Thanks for reading and sorry for the very long absence.

The Heat is On – Summer Sale

According to the news we’re experiencing record breaking temperatures. I’m currently hiding indoors with air conditioning. I thought what better time to have a sale than while we’re all trying to escape the stifling heat. So right now get 15% off all my patterns/ebooks either here or on ravelry. No coupon code needed; discount will automatically apply. Sale lasts until end of day Aug 12, 2011 (EST).

 

 

These patterns include:

Ruffle My Feathers


Chandra

Bergen Street Tuque
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The Wool Dispensary

Hey guys.

I just wanted to take a moment to talk about the project of a couple of knitter friends. They’re in the initial stages of releasing a new line of yarn and they’re hoping to do this at YarnCon, a yarn-centric exhibition in Chicago. In order to do this, they’re hoping to get some help from the knitting community and have launched a kickstarter project. If you’d like to know more about this project, please click here. You’ll find out more about the line of yarn and how the project works.

Pictures and Progress

In my Ravelry group, we’ve spent the month of June wrestling WIPs (works in progress) and I’ve been pretty successful. I still have a couple of goals yet to meet but overall I feel I did well, especially with the crazy hours I’ve worked during the month. We’re likely going to continue to wrestle WIPs during July as well if anyone wants to join in the fun. Here are some some pics of the FOs. Lots more pics on individual project pages if you ravel and on flickr.

1. Stripe Study by Veera Välimäki.
As blog readers will remember, I was suffering from lack of knitting mojo for a while there. A friend decided to send me two skeins of yarn (red and grey) and the Stripe Study pattern to help get my mojo back. Great friend, eh? It definitely helped me get working on reviving that mojo. Thanks Adrienne for my Stripe Study kit.

Taking the picture on the beach and a wave came up. The water was ultra cold.

2. Entrelac Scarf by Lisa Shroyer
I took a class at Vogue Knitte Live with Rosemary Drysdale to learn to Entrelac. It’s a lot easier than I expected and quite fun. I finished this project a while back but just never got around to photographing it.

3. Akimbo designed by Stephen West

Quality Cousin Time

I got my cousin to take pics of me today with my many finished objects. He’s visiting from Syracuse for the week and we’ve been hanging which is kind of cool since I barely ever see him. He’s 15 and I guess I get along well with the teenagers. Probably to do with my general immaturity. Anyhow, turns out that my cousin, Kory, had learned to crochet (just the very basics) in a home ec class. He saw this purse that I’d crocheted and decided that he wanted to knit one for his girlfriend. So with my help we actually turned out a decent purse. He sewed in the lining and everything himself and I was impressed as I couldn’t sew at 15. I can barely sew now.

Here’s my clutch:

Here’s my cousin’s; his girlfriend loves pink. You can see some beginner errors but overall a very good job. And fun for us both.
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Here are some fun pictures of said cousin as after he finished shooting me, I took over and took a bunch of pictures of him. He enjoyed posing.

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Summer brings out the crazies…

I’ve noticed more and more on the subway this summer that the crazy folks are coming out. There were those proclaiming the rapture but more than that there are just random people going nuts around the city. I’ll recount a funny tale momentarily but I thought I’d share the first verse of one of my favorite poems by Yeats – The Second Coming. This poem for me seems to describe so many situations perfectly…from the state of politics to just the crazies out for summer:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Now to the funny story. I’m currently working on a movie and I was walking from our holding area to set to run some errand or other. I’m walking pass an office building and this man in business wear just strips off all his clothes, I mean everything and starts walking down the block. I was so shocked I just stared. Luckily/unluckily for us, there were cops driving down that same street at that moment and so they were quickly able to deal with the situation. Here are some photos I took with my phone during the goings ons:

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After a few moments, I left and went on to run my errand. On my way back to holding, I saw that the cops were not just going to arrest this man that had lost it but had call in for the medics. Points to NYPD.

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My Mugging

So last week Monday, it was the end of day 6 of filming which meant we would finally get one day off. Many of us went out for a couple of drinks and then I went on home. Filming is crazy. 12-15 hour days and 6 in a row. Yowsers! My cousin who had come to join me and the crew tried to convince me to head back to his place but I told him that I desperately wanted to head home as I had to go shopping for the next day for my trip to Bonnaroo (I’ll blog about this in the next couple of days). Anyhow, I fell asleep on the train and instead of getting off and taking a shuttle to Rockaway Park where I live, I ended up going all the way out to Far Rockaway. My mother always tells me to avoid Far Rockaway and I’ve always dismissed these warnings. So I wake up to look up to this guy hovering over me trying to rob me. I startled him by waking up and he startled me by robbing me. He ended up taking my backpack and ran off the train. I ran after him but the doors closed with him on the outside and me stuck inside. I was in shock that this had occurred and it took me the next two stops to get off the train and go tell the ticket booth clerk what had occurred. When I told the clerk, he told me there was a cop on the platform so I told the cop who then called all cops in the area. I gave a description of the perp and pretty much every black male wearing black a T-shirt that night was stopped and I was driven to them to make an identification (from the car so that my identity was safe). None of the guys they stopped was the perp. I feel bad being responsible for racial profiling that night.

I had joked to the cops that this guy would be the only robber carrying knitting. We then get a call from some other cops that they had found something. Turns out the guy went through my bag and decided he liked my laptop, wallet which was replenished with cash (I had quite a bit of petty cash from this movie job in my wallet), etc but that he had no use for my knitting and so had dumped it. I was fairly happy to get that back as it was a 2/3 complete design that I had been working on. I then had to go to the precinct to make a statement, then the cops drove me home where I had to wake up my poor mother and tell her what had happened. At this point it was around 3am. Luckily I keep spare keys for my place at her house so I got those and went home. My ID has my mother’s address on it and so the next day she changed her locks as I had a copy of her keys with mine. What a hassle… It was especially a hassle for me as I had to travel 2 days later and had no credit/debit cards, etc. Luckily I have a passport and Discover Card overnighted a new card to me. I have to give props to the cops who were great and who have taken my case very seriously. After getting back from my trip I went in and looked at mugshots and they had called all my credit card companies to see if there were charges that they could trace.

I have since bought a new laptop as it’s integral to my work – both knit design and freelance – and I’m trying to get everything back to normal again. I find I’m super hypersensitive on the trains now though. It’s not helping that we’re working some crazy schedules on the movie at the moment: noon – 1 or 2am. It’s nearly 2am and I’m still at work.

I’m going to end on this funny pic. It’s a Dunkin Donuts ad that got pulled because Far Rockaway folks were unhappy but it’s so funny and so true in my situation.

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Catch Up

I’ve been a bit digitally silent the last while. Life’s gotten a bit busier. I’ve now started interning on a small, independent film and it’s fun to see the process. Filming hasn’t begun yet but I’ve been assisting one of the producers and there’s a lot to get done before we actually start shooting. I’m really looking forward to that aspect.

In some random news, I was interviewed on the Malabrigo blog and so if you’d like to find out a little bit more about my story, especially as related to Malabrigo, check it out.

I also just finished up my FIT class – yay! Our final project was to choose some vintage Coco Chanel inspiration (no Karl allowed) and use that to design our own collection. It was a pretty tough project and despite a lot of procrastination, I had it done and turned in on time. I think I spent more time procrastinating than I actually did doing the project. :-)

Here’s my inspiration board for the project:

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Then here’s the clothing I designed based on my mood board:

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I must say I fell in love with coloring tweed. It seemed like it would be so difficult but it was actually fun. You’ll notice on the inspiration board that I had to choose fabrics to use for my collection most of which I got at Mood or B & J fabrics. So then with the coloring I had to replicate the fabric which was a challenge but fun. Chiffon was definitely one of the harder things to replicate.

Finally, we had to do front and back flats of the clothing.

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My flats definitely need a lot of improving. My hand isn’t the most steady and so my flats don’t look as precise as they should. Nonetheless, I think they came out ok.

Here’s the full project:

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And then since I shared Asaka’s work on the swim project, I’ll show her awesome Chanel project as well.

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New Pattern: Rosalynde Shawl

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A couple of days ago I released a new pattern called Rosalynde Shawl. This pattern was commissioned by Nestucca Bay Yarns for its 2011 Madelinetosh Yarn Club for which the theme is Spring Lambs. As I was considering what to knit within that theme, my great Shakespeare love came to the fore. I thought of his great pastoral play “As You Like It” and I wanted to design a shawl for Rosalind. In naming the shawl I chose to use the spelling from the Thomas Lodge work “Rosalynde” on which Shakespeare based his play.

The pattern is both written and charted. Feel free to ask questions or knit along in my ravelry group.

Tech Editor: Lauren Cross (crazyl)

Stitches of note in the pattern: s2kp and inc 1-to-7 (full instructions provided)

Skill Level: Intermediate

Measurements: 59” wide x 26.5” long (150cm X 67.5cm)

Gauge: 24 sts and 36 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch (unblocked)

Materials:
- Size US 5/3.75mm circular needles (at least 32”/80cm long) or size needed to obtain gauge
- Crochet hook (size G/4mm) for cast-on only
- Scrap yarn
- Stitch markers (6)
- Tapestry needle
- Blocking aids: T-pins and/or wires

Yarn: approx. 420 yards light fingering weight yarn. Used in photos: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (Colorway: Bloomsbury)

Price: $5 US
add to cart

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My Body Project

Lately I’ve been really undermotivated in many aspects of my life. One place however that I seem to be completely motivated is my body. First goal was really about getting myself to a point where I could run 3 miles on the treadmill without thinking about stopping all the time. I started my exercise journey back in September. I should probably add that I love to exercise. I love pushing myself and training for events. For some reason though, I couldn’t really get into working out. Around mid October to mid November I started to get into working out and was having fun and getting closer to my running goal. However, soon after my birthday I got a bit of the sads and then it was Thanksgiving and then Christmas. While I kept going to the gym, I felt more like I was going through the motions. I was exercising but then around midnight I’d get the most monstrous cravings and snack on the worst things. Since this is NY, there’s always a 24-hour bodega available to fill those unhealthy cravings. I kept going to the gym despite not really losing any weight. It probably balanced out my late night binges. I also hit a spot of sleep trouble. I just couldn’t fall asleep and had to resort to Tylenol PM for quite a while.

Last month though something miraculous started to happen. I started to not just go to the gym and go through the motions but really enjoy working out. Also, the cravings stopped or at least I simply ignored them. I joined dailymile which has been pretty awesome. I love logging my runs and being able to see my pace increase little by little. I don’t know, after nearly 8 months of going to the gym at least 4-6 times a week, things have finally clicked. I’ve now done two 4-mile races with the NY Road Runners and I feel like my training for a half-marathon in October is well on course. Except for my designing and some freelance work, I’m not employed so I often go to the gym mid afternoon and I consider it a bit like my Cheers. I go because I see the same people and if I don’t show up for a couple of days, when I return they all ask if something was wrong and worry about me. Now when I go to the gym, I go not only to hang out with my ‘friends’ but also because I want to run faster and push harder. Pushing myself has slowly made me think that I need to look at my eating as well.

I tend to stay up really late every night – till around 1-2am. A couple of weeks ago I was watching Chelsea Lately on E! and she interviewed Mark Macdonald about his book Body Confidence. I don’t know why but that five minute interview seemed to resonate with me and I decided I wanted that book. I added it to my Amazon cart but did not checkout. Then this pass weekend I wanted to read something (no knitting mojo and all) and decided to download the kindle version of Body Confidence. I now seem to view books the way I do music – I need them instantly :-) . Anyhow, I spent Saturday and Sunday reading Body Confidence and Mark Macdonald’s approach to eating that focuses on blood stabilization. For me that is very important as I seem to often suffer from low blood sugar. Today I then went and ‘cut the fat’ from certain areas of my life (I put my audible account on hold and canceled a couple of other subscriptions) and joined the Venice Nutrition online program – that’s the online tool that goes with the book. I’m not sure that I’m in love with the online interface, I’ve seen more user friendly. But I think I’ll use it for at least a month to get into the habit of this program and have access to recipes and webinars.

It’s weird that while I feel so undermotivated in other areas of my life that I can feel so inspired by my body project. Summer is acoming and I really want to look good :-) ; shallow I know. In addition to joining the Venice Nutrition Program I also went grocery shopping. I live less than a block away from my mother and generally just go there to eat. That’s been pretty bad because I just eat dinner there and a bit of cereal at my place in the morning. I usually have no food in my apartment and I’ve just been unhealthy. It was nice to buy groceries and cook today. I forgot how much I like my own cooking. Another struggle I’ve had with food is getting used to American grocery stores. I lived in the UK for years and I love Tesco’s and Sainbury’s and Marks and Spencers and I just find that grocery stores here are really different. There aren’t as many organic options, you’re required to go to a health food store or Trader Joes for that whereas most UK stores have it all integrated. Rather than force myself to learn the American grocery store, I just opted to eat cereal or whatever was available at my mother’s house. By having these recipes suggested in the Body Confidence book as well as the website I feel like maybe I can finally get into the groove of living in the states again.

Anyhow I’m just blabbing on… Feel free to join me in my body project anyone. I’m uber psyched and really looking forward to the changes.