Finalizing things in Portland

April 29, 2010

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Last Tuesday, we arrived in Portland to finalize everything here and put up our house for sale.

As soon as we got off the highway and before we even arrived at the house I said to my husband: “Drop me off at the yarnshop!”

He wasn’t even surprised. He too knows that my real home in Portland was my precious yarn shop Closeknit on Alberta Street.

Still a little bit of me in the shop!

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It was so good to see my friends Jenni and Sharon at the shop as soon as I walked in,  and it felt so good to be surrounded by gorgeous colorful skeins of yarn! All the vibrant colors made me so happy!

I was also happy to see that some of my creations were still present at the shop and so beautifully displayed:

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It was as if I had never left.

Packing and really leaving

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It is funny how packing and moving out of our house, coincides with me moving from this blog to my website.

In the tangible world, I am packing our stuff into boxes and know that I will unpack and arrange everything neatly in our new house.

Moving from this blog to my new website is exactly the same. My web developer is importing all my old blog post to my new website, and once all those old blog posts arrive there, I have to rearrange and make everything tidy.

That is a lot of work, but all so worth it. Also we are fine tuning at the moment and really getting into details!

Needless to say that I am very busy at the moment… No time for knitting.

We plan to leave Portland for good coming Tuesday. I shed no tears for selling the house.

I shed tears for leaving my dear friends and yarnshop Closeknit behind…

Thanks for reading and until the next entry.


I broke through!

April 25, 2010

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I did it! I broke through!

For the past few days, I wrapped my head around my website, figured out stuff, explored, played and got things done.

This morning, me and web developer Andy Bottman have had some e-mail correspondence in which I gave him my feedback and together we are going to make it happen.

We still have to get down to the nitty-gritty, and you know how the devil is in the detail, but I stepped away from the preconceived notion that everything has to be perfect.

I feel so relieved and free now… the only one that keeps you from doing great things, is yourself, so I have noticed.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR ENCOURAGEMENT!!!

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You know, all the encouraging comments I have received over the past few days were so needed to pick me up and give me a push in the back.

Sometimes, when something bothers you, it is good to speak up and put it in words.

It is almost as if you break a binding spell by doing that. You set it free and let it go.

This also made me realize that it is okay to ask for help. And you all have been so generous to provide for such encouraging words. I needed that, and I am so incredibly grateful for you…

So… what’s next?

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First of all, I feel so liberated, all I want to do is be happy and celebrate that I overcame this strange hurdle.

I truly feel like a flower has blossomed in my heart and I want to enjoy that feeling as much as I can today. Thank you my dear friend for helping me feel this way.

Next, I am going to dive in some more website things, which I am not going to bother you with. Unless you get excited about me talking about “Categories”, “Tags” and “Taxonomy”?

In the next couple of days, Andy Bottman will give me feedback and then it will be my turn again to take action.

I will report to you here what is going on so you can hold me accountable and keep me from slacking!

I am really really really so excited to show you what we worked on… see, my website is going to be an inspirational vehicle and I cannot wait for you to jump on with me.

Cannot wait for us all to buckle up, because it going to be a FUN RIDE.

Thanks for reading and until the next entry. Enjoy your Sunday!


Procrastination..? What is that?

April 22, 2010

I have been very productive over the past month. Very productive.

I finished 3 shawls:

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Next up was the Hilde hat, and then several Nettie hats:

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Aside from the knitting, I have been blogging regularly and even published two patterns with picture tutorials.

If you think I am taking it easy now, you are mistaken. Over the past few days I have been working on another hat pattern of which I have finished two prototypes, and a third prototype is laying flat to dry as I type this.

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When it comes to knitting, designing and writing patterns, I am highly productive. I have no explanation how come.

Am I fully focussed, my goal is to finish a project as quickly as possible and move on to the next project without missing a beat.

Procrastination..? What the hell is that???

What is holding me back?

As productive as I am in knitting, there is one area where I am procrastinating like there is no tomorrow.

Not a day goes by and I am thinking about it.

Not a day goes by and I am asking myself why I didn’t work on it yet again.

And that my dear knitter is a project I have been stalling for the past 4 months: my website “gettingpurlywithit.com“.

Web designers and web developers have been working on my website and now I have to take action. But I haven’t been taking action at all.

AND I DON”T KNOW WHY!!!

Reasons for my procrastination

Am I afraid that you all won’t like it?
Am I setting the bar too high for myself?
Am I too much of a perfectionist?
Am I afraid to fail?

Oh, Lordy… I need your help on this one, my dear friends…

As from today, I need to work on my website so that it finally can be launched.

By coming Sunday, I must at least have given my web developer something to work on. Please, please, please hold me accountable for that.

I really need your encouragement in this one.

There. I asked for your encouragement. See, I am not perfect.

I have insecurities that plague me, and I am afraid of failing.

But didn’t I promise that I would reach for my highest potential?

I can reach it, I know it. But sometimes, I too need just a little bit of help and encouragement…

Thanks for reading and until the next entry! Wish me luck, I need it!


Free Pattern: Nettie Hat

April 18, 2010

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Inspired by the Felicity Hat designed by Brooklyn based crafty queen Wanett Clyde, I am presenting to you the Nettie Hat.

Special thanks to Wanett Clyde for granting me permission to publish the Nettie Hat for free here on Getting Purly With It. Wannet’s Ravelry name is “Nettie” and to honor her I named this hat after her!

The Nettie Hat is an easy stockinette stitch based hat which I offer you in two different versions. (Scroll all the way down to get to PDF files.)

Nettie Hat Version 1 is knit in the round using US5 and US7 circular 16″ (yarn used in this picture Malabrigo Silk/Merino):

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And Nettie Hat Version 2 is knitted flat using US7 circular 24″. This version has a fun element to it: ruching which bunches up at the base of the hat (yarn used in this picture Madeline Tosch DK):

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How to create the ruches

I think the Nettie Hat version 1 is pretty straightforward; in the round, decreasing for top, and there you have your hat.

Nettie Hat version 2 might need a mini picture tutorial, so here we go!

Version 2 is knitted flat and after you are done with decreasing for the top, and you have threaded the remaining stitches and fastened it off, your piece should look like this:

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In the above picture my piece is laying flat to dry because I wet blocked it. I always wet block my pieces, you don’t have to if you don’t want to.

Wet blocking is optional but I have to say, it does eliminate somewhat the curling of the edges since this piece is knitted in stockinette stitch.

Seam the sides of hat together using the mattress stitch aka invisible seam stitch:

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If you don’t know how to do the mattress stitch, go to Knittinghelp.com, click on their “tips” tab, scroll down until you hit “mattress stitch” and watch the video.

Once it is seamed, bunch up your hat by pushing the end up along the your seamed tail:

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How far to bunch it up is all up to you. Do a little bit, see how you like it and if you want some more ruching, go ahead and bunch it up some more.

I like the outcome of Nettie Hat version 2:

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The many different yarns I used for the Nettie Hat

This hats needs 140 yards of  light worsted weight or heavy DK weight yarn.

So far I have used the following yarns:

Venezia worsted by Cascade, Malabrigo Silk Merino, Madeline Tosh DK, and Cotton/Bamboo by Classic Elite.

I think it is especially nice when you use somewhat slouchy fiber such as silks, cotton, bamboo mercerized cotton, rayon. Great since we are heading into warmer weather!

And now for the PDF files!

Click on the links below to get the PDF files of your Nettie Hat:

Nettie Hat Version 1

Nettie Hat Version 2

I am leaving you with a slide show of all the yarns I used to make the Nettie Hat.

Have fun with your Nettie Hat! Wheeeeee!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


How I celebrate

April 16, 2010

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A few days ago, when I was strolling down 18th in the Castro district in San Francisco on my way to Imagiknits, it suddenly occurred to me that I started this blog 3 years ago.

I also realized that I had never celebrated any blog anniversary!

While any excuse to buy yarn is a good one, a third year celebration is a pretty legitimate one too… So I got me some Madeline Tosh in Scarlet, and to stay in color, I treated myself on some delicious strawberries.

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Happy 3rd anniversary to Getting Purly With It, and here’s to many more years!

A learning experience

When I started “Getting Purly With It” back in April 2007, the sole purpose was to write about yarn and knitting simply because I could not shut up about it.

Being a fairly newbie knitter at that time, I could not stop thinking about knitting and desperately needed an outlet to get it out of my system. Otherwise, my head would explode.

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Soon enough, I had the urge to not only write about yarn and knitting but to also produce picture tutorials and issue free patterns.

This pushed me into digital photography and I wanted to be a better photographer. I went from working with a point and shoot camera, to exploring an entry level DSLR.

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Then in 2008 I decided to work with models to showcase my knitted items, and although it was quite scary to me at the time, I did it.

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Finally, I had enough confidence to publish patterns for sale!

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Step by step, little by little, I have learned so much from blogging. It has been such a great learning experience for me, and I am very curious what more knowledge I can obtain, and how to broaden my horizon.

The purpose of this blog

Back then, the purpose of this blog was only to write about my knitting progress and that was basically it.

Nowadays I define the purpose of this blog differently:

The purpose of this blog is to inspire, encourage and to help everybody who is interested in knitting. With my passion for knitting and the fire that I feel in my heart and soul, I hope to reach out to you and inspire you to knit.

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This wonderful thing that we knitters do, with just two sticks and some strand, still grips me with much wonderment and I am in awe of the capacity that we have to create.

Knowing that there are knitters out there who have made items from my patterns and who have gifted these items to loved ones, fills my being with warmth and gratitude.

Knowing that there are newbie knitters out there that felt encouraged to take their knitting to the next level by choosing one of my patterns with picture tutorials, gives me infinite joy.

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This little light of mine…

I would like to thank you personally for reading this knitting blog of mine.

I am having lots of fun around here and I hope you do too!

Ever since April 2007 I have gotten over 110,000 views and I am very grateful for that…

Thank you for letting me shine my light!

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Reminiscing my Favorite Yarn Shop

April 13, 2010

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My husband’s job allowed us to travel all over the USA, and oh lucky lucky me, I therefore visited many different yarn shops.

I have visited  yarn shops in Philly, Manhattan, Boston, San Francisco, Orange County, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and many more places I have long forgotten.

Of all the yarn shops I have visited, my absolute one and only  favorite one is Closeknit on Alberta Street in Portland, Oregon.

Closeknit’s charisma and friendliness

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I still remember how I was warmly welcomed when I first set foot in Closeknit back in November 2006. Sally, the owner, was so incredibly friendly and I felt at home immediately.

Sally’s entire staff embraced me with friendliness, always asking with genuine interest what I was working on, and always quick to help when I would run into a problem with my knitting.

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Closeknit soon became my favorite place to hangout, to find inspiration and to connect with other knitters. Within Closeknit, I found and built my community and made many friends.

And the yarn selection…OH MY GOD…it simply swept me off of my feet!

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Literally all of my designs have been inspired by Closeknit’s incredible yarn selection.

I started as a customer at Closeknit’s and soon came to be an employee.

Needless to say that I miss Closeknit terribly.

What makes you frequent a yarn shop?

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Closeknit is all I desire in a yarnshop. In that cute little shop I have found:

  • Friendliness and warm welcome
  • Charismatic, helpful and very knowledgeable staff
  • Community
  • A cozy place to sit and knit comfortably
  • Killer selection of yarn, notions, books and patterns

I am so curious to hear what you look for in a yarnshop.

This morning, I asked this very same question on Twitter, and several knitters responded. But I want to hear more stories…

Make me happy and make me smile… tell me, dear knitter, what is your favorite yarn shop and why?

I would LOVE to hear your stories…

As for knitting: progress on the Nettie Hat

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Today I have been working on a third prototype of the upcoming Nettie hat.

I have decided that I want to publish two versions.

The first version will be in the round and is pretty straight forward.

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The second version, however, will have an interesting twist to it.

It will be knitted flat:

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Then seamed up the side with the mattress stitch technique:

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Finally,  I will have you bunch up the lower part of the hat:

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I like how it comes out:

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If this is too much fuzz for you, no worries.

Nettie Hat Version 1 will be knitted in the round, but will not have those gathers in the back.

Patience, my pretties! Nettie will soon be ready for publication!

Thank you for reading and until the next entry!


Chasing away the Gray

April 11, 2010

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It is a gray and dreary Sunday here in downtown San Francisco…

The sun is nowhere to be found, dark clouds are hanging gloomy over the city and raindrops are telling me to stay put in our little apartment studio on the 28th floor.

For just a split second, my spirits are leaning over to the gray side, but quickly lift when I look at all of my beautiful and colorful yarn.

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All the vibrant colors make me smile! But wait, it even gets better when I touch and feel my soft balls of yarn… it takes me to that happy place where I drift away in delight and everything is all right.

Coloring my world

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Color plays an important role in my creative process.

It is often times that I am completely taken by a color and I just have to work with it because it simply soothes my soul.

Choosing a color for a particular project is therefore an important and dare I say delicate part of my knitting process!

The more I love the color, the more excited I will be to touch and work with it.

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Surround yourself with gorgeous colors that speak to your soul, and I guarantee you, it will make you smile!

As for knitting

I finished my Hilde Hat designed by Kristin Alexandra from the blog Voolenvineknits and I simply love it!

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I used a silk/bamboo blend by Ella Rae in a deep Fuchsia color and am happy with the result!

In this hat pattern, twisted knit stitches create defined lines and end up in cute willow buds. I was entranced by the symmetry of these lines and willow buds and had a hard time putting my knitting down.

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Only in the last part of the hat did I make a slight adjustments. Right at the decrease rows, Kristin will have you make about 9 willow buds that gracefully come together at the very top.

Instead of 9 willow buds touching each other at the very top, I knitted only 5:

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Also, to get gauge, I used needle size US 7 instead of US 5.

I am happy with the outcome…

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I wore my Hilde Hat all day today.

It chased away the gray..!

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Thank you for reading and until the next entry.