September 25, 2007

MOVING THROUGH SEPTEMBER AT WARP SPEED

When I arrived at the Nihon Vogue class that first weekend of September, there were these adorable twin angels waiting to greet me:

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Yes, both Melinda and Naomi had finished their Angel Lace shawls! I just loved seeing them wearing their finished shawls that day.

And speaking of finishing things, I managed to finish these:

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Well, finished the knitting, anyway -- still have yet to felt them. These slippers have garter stitch short-row heels, same as their garter stitch short row toes -- hence their name, Short-Row Slippers. And all four of these little moments in these slippers made for O/C knitting. I would get started and not be able to stop!

Malcolm was my knit-bud for this project, and boy, does he like to keep me in practice on my spit-splicing! Actually, I think he has a future career as a spit splicer, all on his own.

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The Feral Knitters have met every Monday this month. And one of our members has been hitting the books -- the New Pathways for Sock Knitters book, to be specific. June has been seriously studying the book, and has made two of the sample socks -- you see them at the right in this photo:

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At the bottom of the photo, you see the life-sized sock that June started, following the book. Author Cat Bordhi makes liberal use of stitch markers in her directions. You'll work between Markers A and B, for example. June very cleverly went to Michael's craft store and bought alphabet beads, put these on coilless safety pins, and made her own alphabet markers very inexpensively. I pass this tip on to you, Dear Readers.

And speaking of new books, my dear friend Anne has been too busy to blog because she's been the test knitter for many, many of the garments in Kristin Spurkland's new book, The Knitting Man(ual).

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I know that Anne test knit the vest that appears in the upper left corner of the book's cover; I hope she'll leave a mention in the comments about which of the other garments she test knit.

Yesterday, I met for the first time Jeane deCoster. Jeane owns a company called Elemental Affects that produces a fingering weight Shetland yarn right here in the United States! Jeane came over for lunch and we talked about garment design, a subject that she majored in, in college. Then Jeane showed me her garments, patterns, and irresistible yarns.

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Of course I bought the complete range of the fingering weight of yarns for Two Swans to carry, as well as the patterns. I'm in the process of photographing the colors and uploading to the website; you can sneak a peek, by clicking here. There are 14 colors and 7 natural shades in all, so you can see that the uploading is still in progress.

Jeane was our visiting dignitary at Feral Knitting last night.

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Her sample garments are laid out on the table; Jeane's at the left in the photo, and Lizabeth is at the right.

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Left to right: Evelyn, Devorah, Janine, Melinda, Jeane.

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Jeane posed a question of semantics: Do you want to call this Fair Isle knitting? It's two-color stranded knitting, but not traditional Fair Isle peeries and OXO patterns; it *is* knitted in the round, but the sleeves are sewn in as separate pieces later. Whatever you want to call it, Jeane's jacket is a gorgeous design and I cannot wait until the pattern is published so that I can knit it for myself! She's done it in two natural shades, Shetland Black and Fawn.

Jeane has plans to expand the range of her color palette from 14. She asked the Ferals what they might like to see, in terms of colors. Our answer was resounding and unequivocal: The more colors, the better! We can't get enough colors, and the value range that should go along with them. She listened to our requests for purples, blue-greens, reds, golds . . . and we're excited to see what she pulls out of the next dye bath.

While at Ferals, Ryan showed off her finished prototype hat and was working on the new-and-improved version, pattern coming soon:

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Left to right: Rebecca, Michale, Ryan, Andrea, Wendi.

My transitions today are not so very writerly, so here I go again: And speaking of golds . . . I got in the first part of my shipment of the fateful backordered Old Gold, so I can -- at long last! -- begin to fill orders for the Autumn Rose sweater. Let me explain that the mill shipped the yarn to Simply Shetland in two different shipments, and these did not arrive at the same time; consequently, Simply Shetland split my shipment, too. (Don't be rolling your eyes -- as farfetched as this might sound, it is the truth.) So yesterday I received the first part of what Two Swans had on backorder, and the rest will come later this week. If you're reading this and you're one of my customers with this yarn on backorder, please know that I'm filling orders as fast as I can -- and know that I thank you sooo much for your patience!

Posted by Karen at September 25, 2007 02:22 PM
Comments

Great photos, love that jacket. The slippers are terrific, too. Let us know how comfy they are, and if they are too slippery for hard-wood floors.

Kristin's book is amazing, and I really liked the patterns that I knit, personally. I did three versions of the slip-stitch vest - two in differing colorways, and one with just a single color, and also the Organic cotton sweater with the small cable motif on the front. Kristin has a way of making practical, unfussy garments with just a little something special about them. I like that. I think the book will be very popular. Kristin is the nicest person you will ever meet, and a very conscientious knitter and designer.

Posted by: Anne at September 25, 2007 04:05 PM

I loved all the knitting content. Your slippers are fab and I hope you'll post pre-felt and after felt photos. I'm glad you are always on the ball adding great new Shetland yarns to The Swans. It keeps knitting fun and fresh!

Of course, I can't help but make a comment about Malcolm. Look at those little kitty ears. I just want to snuggle him! He's going to make a great knitting companion.

Posted by: Jewel at September 25, 2007 04:30 PM

That Shetland yarn looks great! And, one of these days, I need to get that new Cat Bordhi book...

Posted by: --Deb at September 25, 2007 06:05 PM

Sorry I missed out on all the fun last night! Way cool. More options for us all! Thank you for bringing this into the shop for us!

The slippers are adorable! Can't wait to see them all felted and fuzzy!

Posted by: Naomi at September 25, 2007 08:25 PM