March Madness

This has been the busiest late Winter of my life, the craziest March so far, and I’m not seeing any signs that Spring will be any less of a Payday bar than the rest of the year (payday = nutty? Get it?)

Entrelac On A Bike

Entrelac In My Blue Tulip Bike Pannier Bag

I’m tired. Mentally I’m tired, and physically I’m just now catching up on rest I missed in January and February.

I can sometimes ‘create’ energy for myself by exercising wisely. For me that means Yoga (when I can get my sorry butt into downward facing dog) or cycling (which I’ve been able to do quite a bit this week – YAY for a warm spell in MN!)

I’ve learned, though, that with an energy-draining condition like fibromyalgia it is difficult to catch up on rest and impossible to store it up for hard times ahead. I can only try to build up my stamina. Ride, fat girl, ride!

However, the excellent thing about working on one’s own business is that hours are fluid. Except for scheduled events like teaching engagements and fiber shows (of which I’ve had many this Winter) I can choose to rest when I need to, and work when my body is rested.

This works well for me as far as dyeing goes – I get up early and dye while I have physical strength.  Then as the day passes and my body becomes tired, and pain sets in, I withdraw to the most comfortable chair in the house and get ‘paperwork’ – computer stuff, pattern writing, emails, etc. – done.

The work I do is hard, physically and mentally, but I’m so fortunate that I’m able to compartmentalize it and work on each piece with the best part of my working self.

The Nut of an Idea

The Nut of an Idea

Right now I’m working on two new online classes for Interweave Press, Knitting With Wire and Charted Entrelac. They’re two of my favorite classes, two techniques that I return to over and over when I just want to unwind with some FUN knitting, and I’m excited to be able to offer them as online classes.

This means, however, a butt load (technical term) of previously unplanned work before Yarn Fest in Colorado April 14-16 (we’ll be recording the classes the day before Yarn Fest opens)

Step Outs for Entrelac

Step Outs for Entrelac, worked in ModeWerk Bulky

There is a lot of planning, writing scripts, and working up “Step Outs” (step by step samples of the project to be covered in the class)

I enjoy this kind of work. It’s perfect for a Virgo, a chance to try to organize what could be a chaotic TV shoot into comprehensible steps.

Today is devoted to step outs and script writing and physical resting.

Tomorrow, the world!

Congratulations, Kim!

The needles have been won – yay!  The happy winner is Kim, and as soon as I hear from her with an address they’ll be on their way to her hot little hands along with the Greenwich yarn.

Thank you to everyone who commented, I love reading how individual we all are as knitters, and how our hands react differently to wood, metal, plastic…

I don’t use wood needles often, but I do love small wooden dpns for some types of fine and sock knitting.  Generally, though, I’m a metal loving woman.

I know I’m in the minority, but I have a need – a need for SPEED!

Magnets in the Interweave Women’s Room

I’m blogging from a beautiful apartment in Loveland, CO where I’m relaxing after a day of travel and settling in.

I’ll be taping a workshop for Interweave Knits over the next few days, then returning home.  While I’m here, though, I’m in heaven!

IK keeps an apartment because they have so many folks who come in from out of town for tapings, editing sessions, photo shoots, etc.

It’s kind of brilliant of them, and it certainly makes my time here much more enjoyable!

View of CO From a Plane

Add to that the air conditioning (CENTRAL AC!!) and I feel like throwing myself on the floor (CARPET) and rolling around on my back like Atticus does when he’s happy.

The best part?  Amazing editor-and-kindly-human-being Marcy Smith (IK Crochet) has lent me her bicycle so I can get a few rides in while I’m here.

I don’t have to be at the studio until after noon tomorrow, so I’ll do some exploring and may ride around the lake.

I know one thing I have to do is get a MANICURE tomorrow…

LOVE the wheat harvesting pattern!

Mostly I’m taking it easy because I know from experience that it takes me a day or so to get acclimated to the higher altitude.

I only rode for about 2 miles, but I had the same level of exhaustion I’d have back in MN after riding 8 miles or so.

Oh, by the way, when I get home I plan on having another giveaway, so stay tuned!


Crochet Like You Knit It

When Robyn Chachula asked me to be part of her book, Unexpected Afghans, I jumped at the chance.

For the record, WHENEVER Robyn asks me to do anything I jump
– I love her that much!

I love working both with Interweave AND with Robyn, so this project was a no-brainer for me!

My own contribution to the book is called “Croises” – a nod to the fact that the design element I chose was cables that resembled the knit version, but are worked using long post stitches in crochet.

It’s a much easier technique than one would think, and simply involves leaping down several rows with your hook to grab onto an existing stitch and working from there.  Think of it as rappelling with yarn.

Anyway, I loved working up this project, I loved making the cables and even more I LOVED working with the lovely, simple greenish-grey Brown Sheep yarn (Lamb’s Pride Superwash) that showed the texture so beautifully!

The design is both charted and written out (but try the charts, you’ll surprise yourself at how simple they actually are!) and here’s what I wrote in the pattern for a good tip to consider while working up the piece:

It may not be popular, but the best tip I can give is to create a SWATCH and practice the front post stitch. If you’re not used to it, it can be a hard technique to handle over a large number of stitches. By chaining 20–30 stitches and playing with the technique, it will make sense much more quickly.

My idea of photographing it with folks’ feet sticking out, as if the afghan was in use in someone’s house, was nixed.  Dang.

The photo below was one I took in my own house before sending the piece off to be photographed by Interweave.  That USPS Priority Mail box in the background is placed there to lend authenticity.