Feeling happy at CloseKnit

April 29, 2008

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Ever since I started to work at the yarnshop CloseKnit on Alberta Street last Summer, I have been contemplating writing about it. I decided not to, but Frank’s death made me come out of the “CloseKnit closet”. On a much lighter note, more and more I feel the need to write about snippets of my working days at CloseKnit.

So from now on, every once in a while, I will write about the beautiful people and beautiful yarn I have the pleasure to interact with at CloseKnit.

A Friday at CloseKnit

I was so happy to be going to work again after being ill for several days! Last Friday was my first day back and allthough I had a slight headache during the day, I thoroughly enjoyed being back at the shop and being surrounded by an abundance of yarn.

It was a steady day at the shop, customers browsing and petting yarn, a knitting question here, and crochet question there.

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I was pleased to see one of our regular customers called Gail, with who I always have inspirational conversations. Every now and then, Gail treats us with a cup of tea from the Teashop and so she did last Friday.

While I was enjoying my tea, I watched Gail and some other ladies browsing through all kinds of yarn. Every single one of them was enchanted by all the soft and squishy yarns and they all were in their own little space, dreaming about future projects, I bet.

Then, suddenly, one of the ladies made a loud sighing sound as if she just fell in love with an adorable little skein of yarn. All ladies looked up from their own thoughts in recognition; don’t we all sigh like that once we find that perfect one little skein?

Whereas just a minute ago, everyone was in their own little space, now everybody started to talk to each other, showing eachother this and that yarn, this and that book and sharing yarn stories.

Me? I was still sipping my tea, and as I watched these ladies bond with eachother against the backdrop of an abundance of yarn, I truly felt happy and smiled.

As for knitting

I haven’t been knitting much due to having been not well this past week! My brains are still a bit of a mess, so patternwriting is still on hold.

Instead, I managed to knit another Portia hat. This Portia hat is for a young lady named Kassandra who first came into the shop several months ago.

After helping her at the shop several times, we started to chat and I soon found out that Kassandra is a hairstylist.

As soon as Kassandra saw me wearing my Portia hat, she fell in love with it! She wanted the same hat, but is too busy at the moment to knit one. I on my turn, need a haircut so bad…

FO Portia2

Tomorrow is my hair appointment and I am going to ask Kassandra if I can take a picture of her wearing her Portia hat!

Thank you so much for reading and untill the next entry…


Brains Entangled

April 23, 2008

Entangled

My brains are entangled. I first noticed the shape it was in when I couldn’t understand what I had written: k1, p1, k1, b.o., p1, sl 1 st, psso.

My handwriting started to make no sense to me, and even worse, I messed up my knitting. This paired with a sudden heavy headache, itchy eyes, coughing, runny nose and sore muscles…oi, methinks hayfever and the flu have gotten the better part of me.

When one’s brains are entangled, one cannot patternwrite, nor knit.
Just some blogging will do.

Cute top

Lately, I have been seeing some pretty cute tops walking around in the Bubblehood. When I see a lady wearing a cute top, I so want to walk up to her and ask if I can please shoot a picture but I am a bit shy and afraid she will think I am some freak.

However, when I was having breakfast at a restaurant, my waitress was wearing such an adorably cute top! I just had to push my shyness aside and bust out my camera. Luckily, my waitress did not mind:

Inspiring top

Excuse the blurry picture, we will have to do with it I am afraid. See how knitting crochet and sewing are incorporated in this piece?

Inspiring top2

And the cute flowers… just look at the knitted leaves. Cute. Very cute.

Inspiring top3

See, I want to learn how to make something like that. Knitting, crochet, sewing, yarn, fabrics, garments. I want it all! But where to start..?

Some more Sewing links

Yesterday, I listened to a back episode of the podcast called CraftyPod by Sister Diane. In episode #55 called: “Sew your own clothes with Amy Karol“, Sister Diane interviews Amy, writer of a sewing blog called Angry Chicken.

To me, little knitter wannabe sewer sometime soon in the near future, it was a very interesting interview. Of course as soon as the interview ended, I had to head on over to Amy’s blog. While perusing her blog Angry Chicken, I found yet another blog and people, I fell in love over there with an apron pattern called Emmeline.

emmeline_demo1

( Thank you Meg, for your permission to use your picture!)

I so want to try this pattern. I have no clue where to start and what to do but I guess, being encaptured by a design is the first step, eh?

By the way, make sure to check out Meg’s wonderful blog called Sew Liberated. She designed that adorable apron Emmeline and over there you can find a link where and how to purchase the pattern.

Out of my hands

I want to knit so badly but I am afraid I am not feeling well at all. This makes me realize how much I need to do something with my hands. Create with my hands, feel the movement of creation. Isn’t it wonderful how we can create so beautifully?

We can think about creation, dream about it, get inspired, make a plan, get tools and materials and simply create…I love it.

But for now…it’s out of my hands… I just got to chill and take it easy.

Flower in Buddhahand

Thanks for reading and untill the next entry!


Knitting in Solitude

April 20, 2008

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After I posted “a Day in the Bubblehood” a few days ago, I received comments from 2 knitters (Vanessa and Marianne) who told me that often times they knit in solitude.

Their comments made me pause and transported me to a lonely time in my recent past. I realized that loneliness and solitude where my two best friends just around the time I learned how to knit. In fact, in my loneliest moments, I picked up my knitting needles for the first time. This was only 2 years ago.

In one of my very first blog posts, I tried to convey how I felt during that time…

I chose to knit back then, because I was lonely and needed something to kill time with. And oh, what a sweet sweet choice it was. More over, I would have never imagined that knitting would bring me so many friends and even a job in a yarnstore!

Anyways, today I would like to share some links with you. Links to blogs and a podcast which have kept me company during my loneliest knitting moments.

Podcast Cast On by Brenda Dayne
This wonderful production by knitter Brenda Dayne is done so professionally! From the very first moment I heard her show, I was simply hooked.
I very much enjoy her beautifully written essays, her sweater stories, the music that she plays and just… just… well everything!
Click here to visit her!

See Eunny Knit
This is one of my all time favorite knitting blogs! I would go and see what Eunny was up to every week. With her work, Eunny encouraged and inspired me to knit lace. I love her elegant style and feminine touch.

Eunny does not blog anymore though. She became the editor of Interweave Knits! But her blog is chockfull of good information and tutorials.
To visit her blog, click here.

Knitspot by Anne Hanson
I found Anne Hanson’s blog called Knitspot way back when I asked for help in the forum of KnittersReview. I found that Anne is a wonderful knit designer and she is so incredibly nice. Every time I would leave her a comment, she would write me back. I really became very fond of her. I think she’s a very classy lady.
To visit her blog Knitspot, click here.

Knittinghelp.com
When I was a very newbie knitter, I would go to Amy Finlay’s website knittinghelp.com all the time! With her tutorial videos, Amy demistifies all kinds of techniques! I learned so much from her and I ocassionally would ask questions in the forums.
Go give knittinghelp.com a try by clicking here.

Knitter’s Review
I got so many nice tips and great help in this website called Knitter’s Review by Clara H. Parkes. I would especially hang out in the Lace Forum and everybody treated me so well. Not once was I laughed at by my silly questions. Every single knitter in that forum has been extremely kind and helpfull to me.
Click here, to visit Knitter’s Review!

Other wonderful blogs

Ever since I have started my own blog, I have had the pleasure to meet many other bloggers. To name a few: Blackbunny is Knitting, Knittoo, Languidly Knitting, The Bag Lady and the Pro, Westerly Whimsies, Finding my Knitch, Wild Hare and so much more!!!

Also, I have been frequenting blogs in the realm of sewing… Check these ladies out:

Life Happens Be Positive by Toya, Real Life: Live & Unscripted by Adrienne and Couture and Tricot by Tany.

And last but certainly not least, lately I have been listening to Sister Diane’s Podcast called “CraftyPod”. Sister Diane shows me that there is a whole lot more than knitting out there in the crafty world. I simply love her shows.

Isn’t internet the best..?

As for knitting in solitude, I still do that often and I kind of like it. I love hanging out and share ideas with other crafters but I very much appreciate my time alone too. I guess I have always been that way.

Thanks for reading and untill the next entry!


A day in the Bubblehood

April 18, 2008

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In a world where everything goes so incredible fast, I like to take my moments of slow pace. What better way to start my day off with an early morning walk? As the sun is climbing I slowly get ready for a peaceful stroll in my neighborhood which I lovingly nicknamed “the Bubblehood”.

At the slow pace of walking I am able to enjoy certain visuals, and I find little treasures which on a fast pace, would have been hidden from me.

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One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, in this case a vintage crochet magazine called “Pineapple Fan Fair”, oh goodies!

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I love it when people place a “free box” on the sidewalk!

I soak up the early morning energy and glowing like a little kid who just found a treasure, I make my way to the Teahouse to do some patternwriting for a little bit. I always enjoy the serenity at the Teahouse but what I also very much enjoy are all kinds of different art that is displayed against the walls.

Meet the Urban Princess by photographer Keith Buckley… I think she’s beautiful and so very colorful. Under her watchfull eyes, I start working and hope she approves this knitter’s creations.

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My Bubblehood Homies

No planning, no fast pace, no deadlines, no workschedules, just waiting for the day to unfold itself before me is so special. Before I know it, I find myself visiting my friend Chayo and we have inspirational conversations about arts and craft, the medium clay, knitting, notions and blogging.

When Chayo busts out her latest creations I find myself drooling over her work. I am especially taken by her cute cute buttons…

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Bursting of inspirational energy that Chayo and me created around us, I float my way to the next friend, Meli, who invited me to come on over and be crafty. Now that is an invitation I simply cannot pass and soon enough in find myself on a magical Persian carpet, enjoy classical north African music while the purr purring of Meli’s spinning wheel sets me in a buzzy trance…

While I work on patternwriting, I see how the sun casts a shadow of my friend’s spinning wheel on the magical Persian carpet. I pause from patternwriting and stare at this beautiful visual. As Meli stops her wheel to check if the plying of her yarn is going well, I feel the sun on my cheek and feel so very thankful.

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“Aren’t we fortunate, Nancy?”, she asks me and I wonder if she picked up on my thankfull mood. I nod and she continues: “It’s a soft and squishy world we live in. A bubble… we live in our bubble over here.”

I smile and reply: ” The Bubblehood, Meli… we live in the Bubblehood.”

As for knitting

I am making some good progress on patternwriting the choli. I am enjoying it still, all thanks to the yarn (Sirino by Great Adirondack) I am working with. I write everything I do meticulously in my little black book, come take a little peek!

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Other than the choli, I am finally writing out my Seattle glove in the round. Several knitters have told me that they so would love to knit up Seattle, but they simply hate the seaming part. I on my part, dislike working with double pointed needles, but my geeky love for patternwriting and figuring out how things work, made me do this:

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What can I say..? I am a slave to knitting.

Thank you for reading and untill the next entry…


Looking up from my knitting needles

April 15, 2008

First-bought-yarn

It has been a little over 2 years since I first picked up knitting. I vividly remember my very first yarn I bought and I wrote about it way back when I just had started this blog.

I was so captivated by yarn and knitting and soon enough I decided that I wanted to demistify this mesmerizing craft. And so I did…

Over the past 2 years I have absorbed knitting knowledge like a thirsty sponge. I found myself buying all kinds of yarns, needles, notions, patterns and books… so many books!

I have been extremely focused on knitting and all there was to learn about knitting and yarn. Sure enough, several months after I learned how to knit I even knitted my own little fingerless gloves. And soon after that, I started to write out my little glove patterns.

books glove plethora BW3

I have explored lace knitting, sock knitting, sweater knitting, intarsia and cables.

firstbookmodernlace easy cruising heelflap1 Lana Grossa Royal Tweed

Heck, I even started to design and write my own sweater patterns…

Finished Choli Choosing Venezia Cascade Worsted

Allthough knitting still is my passion and absolutely #1 craft, I find myself pulled towards some other beautiful crafts out there. You may have noticed that at times, I buy fabrics and sewing patterns:

Vintage Patterns1 Dogwood Japanese Fabric

And as of late, I am very much drawn to paper… that looks like fabric.

Inspiring Paper Cutting out Shapes2

Uh-oh… I am in deep deep trouble… I can already see a paper stash and a fabric stash growing in my yarnroom! What is a crafty gal to do, eh?

Without exactly knowing where this all is leading to, I can say this with certainty: all of these mediums, yarn, fiber, fabric and paper make me happy. It truly lifts my spirits when I set eyes on these wonderful, wonderful materials.

And I am going to focus on that what makes me happy and I am going to pursue that what ignites passion within me.

One last thing: Knitting still is my number one passion and always will be. It is just, that lately, I have been looking up from my knitting needles and I have noticed that there is so much more out there…

camelia

Thank you for reading and untill the next entry!


Heavenly Bliss

April 11, 2008

Heavenly Bliss Tulip

A few days ago, oh lucky me, I had a facial over at Ruby Violet’s on Alberta street. I had been looking forward to this treat for weeks and literally ran to this cute little tucked away spa.

Sarah, the owner of Ruby Violet, took good care of me and my face! The best part of it all was a good massage and I felt so invigorated. And then it happened…

I had a hard time getting up from the massage table…I stumbled to the hallway and told Sarah I needed a few minutes to get myself together. I sat down on the bench for a few, had a glass of water and then… oh my word… I felt how my whole being was lifted like a hot air balloon.

As I walked out the door, my feet barely touched the ground and I got lifted higher and higher. I floated my way to the Teahouse, planted myself in a comfy chair, took off my sandals and just sat with my eyes closed in Lotus position.

About an hour later, when I finally was able to open my eyes again and return to earth, this girl smiled at me on her way out and said: “I was watching you meditate in your chair and said to myself now that lady is in a place of bliss”.

“Yes, yes”, I replied… Heavenly Bliss…

As for Knitting

During an early morning walk, I stumbled upon this beautiful pink tulip. She was covered in dewdrops and her presence stopped me in my tracks.

Heavenly Bliss Tulip Heavenly Bliss DewDrops

More than anything I was encaptured by the dewdrops which reminded me of glass beads. Immediately, a luxurious little skein of Artyarn’s beaded silk in my stash came to mind and I hurried home to fetch it!

As soon as I arrived at the Teahouse, I promised to work hard on the choli pattern and as a reward I then could work on my beautiful beaded silk!

Beaded Silk Feather and Fan

Also, I finished my little Koigu Crepe Seattle glove… I just love the colorway.

Seattle Koigu

And the choli is doing well too! Pattern writing is hard work but also one of the things in knitting that really sets me in a trippy/geeky technical mood. All the knitting codes and little drawings… so geeky… LOVE THAT!

Patternwriting Choli Progress

I think the “reward” incentive is working quite well. For every 2 hours of patternwriting, I would pet myself on the back with knitting with the beaded silk. It helps me to take a little break from the larger project, you see. And in the end, I have a gorgeous little scarf:

Beaded Silk F&F

Yup, you guessed it right: it’s again the old Feather and Fan stitch!

Other Stuff I have been up to

Lately, I have been frequenting a crafty store called “Collage” on Alberta street. I am especially taken by this kind of paper they are selling over there:

Inspiring Paper

I had been staring at this beautiful paper for the past few days. It just makes me happy… Then all of a sudden, I knew what to do with it! I took out my very fine and sharp little scissors and started cutting out these fine shapes:

Cutting out Shapes3 Cutting out Shapes2 Cutting out Shapes

I am excited… very excited… about this. What I am going to do with it?

Dunno yet. I am sure something will come up. For now, I will just let it mesmerize me.

Thanks for reading and untill the next entry!


Knitting Sunday!

April 6, 2008

KS swatch Classic Elite Wool Bamboo

Swatching and scouting magazines for patterns that interest me is what I have been doing last week… other than that, work and being a social butterfly has totally consumed me! Allthough I am busy, I can honestly say, life is good.

I have been swatching with some Classic Elite Wool Bamboo (see picture above). Delicious, nice stretchy yarn with a wonderful sheen to it. I am thinking a cute tanktop for spring or some nice lounge top to wear just at home.

I also have been swatching with some Karabella Breeze:

KS swatch Karabella Breeze

This luxurious blend of cashmere and silk makes me think of a light lace shawl. Ooooh, so nice for a night out, or to dress up my look when I am wearing jeans and a nice top. Sigh… I just LOVE yarn…

Other than these swatches I have been too busy to knit anything else. But not too busy to scout the magazines for some nice patterns. I am especially taken by these:

This very elegant and simple design in Noro’s latest magazine called “Joy” makes me want to knit it right now:

KS Noro Joy Pattern book

And this sexy summery top in the latest Interweave Knits makes me swoon:
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This design I found in Debbie Bliss’ Alpaca Silk Patternbook. Now that makes me heart go pitter patter!

KS Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk

Holy Choli

Finally, finally, finally, I thought it would never arrive this beautiful Sunday! I went to the Teahouse and did nothing else but knitting, knitting, knitting.

I know I have lots of unfinished objects lying around, but really, this is not the time to focus on that. This is the time to cast on new projects, oh heavenly bliss, and enjoy the beautiful colors of the yarns I am working with.

Today I casted on with some Koigu Kersti to make a pair of Seattle Fingerless Gloves. The colorway is stunningly beautiful in my opinion. I love it:

KS Koigu Kersti KS Koigu Kersti2 KS Koigu Kersti3

And last but certainly not least I have been casting on with some Great Adirondack Sirino in colorway Amazon:

KS patternwriting the choli3 KS swatch Great Adirondack Sirino colorway Amazon

What I am making with it? A choli… Those of you who have been bugging me for my choli pattern may be happy to hear that I am finally going to write out the pattern.

Say what..? Come again..? Are you asking me if I will issue my choli pattern for free?

I don’t think so.

This pattern took me a long time to make. And the whole process of pattern writing is a lenghty one and takes a whole lot of energy, not to mention the many hours of knitting, ripping, and re-knitting.

KS patternwriting the choli2

The company Sarisafari has expressed their interest in this pattern and I have decided to work with them. Hopefully, in the future, this choli pattern will be sold through them.

Wish me luck…

KS patternwriting the choli

Thanks for reading and untill the next entry!


So Frenchy

April 2, 2008

 

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It looks so frenchy, my skinny scarf made out of Cashmere 5 by Artyarns.
The beret, the scarf, my black fitted top… all that is missing is a Gauloise cigarette, et voila, je suis une femme parisienne.

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This was a sweet little project, I just adore working with cashmere! The pattern that I used is just the feather and fan lace stitch on a needle size 8. I kept on going untill I ran out of yarn. Sweet and simple.

Remember this one?

Those of you who have been frequenting my knitting blog must remember this project:

Rip rip rip

Remember how I miserably failed with the increases at the middle section of my top? Here is a picture to remind you… I still shake my head and roll my eyes over it:

Too much pleads

After I ripped it back to start anew, I just was so sick of it that I tossed this sweater project in a corner. It took me several months to finally look at it again and to make amends.

Let me tell ya, this sweater is giving me some SERIOUS ATTITUDE. She is slappin’ me around. But… I persevered and this is how she looks now:

improved

I cut back the number of increase stitches considerably as you can see. The pleads are much subtler now and the thing does not look like some pregnancy outfit.

I will be working some more on this one in the next few weeks! I so want to be done with it!

Look at this cute design

Araucania Hat

I want to knit this hat so badly… designed by Jean Moss and featured in a Auracania pattern book/mag called Wandering Spirits.

SALLY WILL YOU PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ORDER THIS FOR ME???

Pretty please… like… yesterday?

 

brave little mushrooms

Thanks for reading and untill the next entry!


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