coiled: August 2007

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

pirate kitty

My days this week are spent playing with Felix, running errands and making a new toy, Pirate kitty for our little friend who has a birthday this coming Saturday with a pirate theme.
Nights are spent working furiously towards my fast approaching deadline for Interweave Knits next spring issue. I don't like knitting on work projects with Felix around because I tend to make a lot of mistakes that have to be ripped out. So, I've been knitting from 9 pm until 3 or 4 in the morning. After one in the morning I usually get a second wind, and as long as I don't have to think too hard I can knit without falling asleep in my chair. The pattern writing part has to happen much earlier in the night.

Pirate kitty without her hat and eye patch, you can see her earring made from an I-cord in two shades of gold crochet cotton.
Felix and I looked at Jack Sparrow’s costume for some sash and jewelry inspiration. Her eyes and nose are from my vintage button collection.

Pirate kitty with her hat and eye patch, Johnny pitched in and built the hat with felt fused to a plastic form. He painted the skull and crossbones.
While digging through my drawers looking for scraps to use for the costume I realized that I have A LOT of knit swatches that will make fantastic doll clothes. I’m excited about making more dolls and dressing them up in knitted skirts. Most of my finished skirts have swatches that are miniature versions of their grown up selves.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


My concentration is not very focused these days. I think the Internet has my brain hungry for more and more instant images and I'm feeling mentally restless and lazy at the same time. Or at least that's the excuse I'm using today. Felix and I stepped outside the house for a short walk and I noticed that the cactus garden is in bloom. Usually, I don't pay attention to this area because of the harsh sun and the wasps. But, today I took notice and the view captured my attention.
The organic action of blossoms on spiny dry cactus against the curvilinear rusted security bars is our version of Arts and Crafts. Not as refined or lush but not without its charm.

Outside on the sidewalk I took a second look at what I usually regard as ugly, the fence, and another welcome security feature. Maybe the rose offset its ugliness but for a second I saw the diamonds of the fence and thought how much I love diamond patterns in lace knitting.

The diagonal movements of the yarn overs and decreases never cease to amuse me while I'm knitting.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

book crush

Knitprovisation by Cilla Ramnek
I'm crazy in love with this book I picked up Monday at a local bookstore. Felix and I were wandering around town looking for air-conditioned rooms trying to pass the day as cool as possible. Anyway, I found this gem and it's the kind of book that feels like home. The mixing of old and new in creative ways is how I naturally work and maybe I’m missing that freedom of improvisation right now as I am writing patterns.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

scarf hat

The Nomad Hat in its original form:

Cooked up in 2003...I think. The yarn is Mondial Prestigio, (lace weight mohair) and the stripe on the hat is an old dk Rowan wool.
And, the swatch I sent in to IK.

The swatch looks so dreary today. I must have been going through a grey phase. I do like grey a lot. The swatch yarn is Knit One Crochet Too Douceur et Soie and the stripe is Classic Elite Inca Marl.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

nomad hat

The new Interweave Knits is available, and it's a good fall issue filled with lots of interesting sweaters. I really want to make the Tangled Yoke cardigan. I'm pleased to be a part of the issue. My scarf hat pattern renamed more poetically Nomad Hat is featured in the Minimalist Knits section.

Just for fun, I thought I'd show you the sketch for the design submission. Occassionally, I get asked about what goes into a submission. I'm not sure if this is the right way to do it, but so far it's been working out. This particular design changed a bit from the original idea because the weight of yarn went from dk to bulky and from two colored stripes to one color textural stripes. I think the garter/stockinet stripes on the hat look great (oops if I do say so myself). Blogging is funny that way, I find myself feeling like such a show-off.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

busy hands

Keeping my hands busy in this summer heat.
Last week I sent off a design for Classic Elite and I'm waiting for yarn for a project for Interweave Knits. That's my business report: in between projects for spring 2008.

Here is a finished pair of socks for a friend's birthday.
It is so hot outside I decided to hold the socks in my hands, for fear my feet might melt if I modeled them. The yarn is pretty cool though, it's Tofutsies from SWTC. And the pattern is obviously just a basic one; cast on 60 sts on US size 1 needles. Okay by me to keep it simple, it's knitting to pass the nervous moments away and bad moods too. I wait for everyone to sleep at night then I make small paintings as a way to climb out of the ordinary.

It works for me.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

pink kitty

Here is another version of Cat from Sock and Glove by Miyako Kanamori; this one went to a friend who just had her fourth birthday princess party. I had so much fun embellishing the kitty with vintage buttons and ribbon and of course sewing the pants with a hole cut out for the tail was just too cute. I love how different boots kitty and pink kitty are even though they came from the same pattern.

Monday, August 06, 2007

boots kitty

The pattern for this little stuffie is from the delightful book Sock and Glove by Miyako Kanamori. I can't recommend it enough. The photography is lovely, the styling simple and charming and the instructions clear and easy to execute. Maybe because I've been knitting so much and knitting is so slow and involved this was a fun diversion (when I should have been working...oops).

I had my sewing machine serviced recently and have been dreaming up projects but decided to break myself back into the sewing game gently with a sock toy. I have to admit that there was a tense moment where I said aloud "now I remember why I hate sewing!" but it passed quickly.
Felix was very sweet and I have to tell this short story. He was yelling for me in his usual manner "MOM I NEED YOU". I ignored him as I was busy sewing. After the third or fourth time of him screaming MOM I NEED YOU, he finished his sentence with MOM I NEED YOU TO BE HAPPY, and then he ran into the room I was in and said "Mommy, I love the kitty you're making".

Friday, August 03, 2007


I've been tagged by Carlene at knitsquirrel, to list 8 random facts...

1) As a kid I would spend all day in the summertime barefoot, running around town on the hot asphalt. My goal was to have feet with soles like leather. Now, I hate to be barefoot. Sometimes, I wonder if I’ve lost my courage and am too squeamish. Granted, in my mid-twenties I stepped on a bee and discovered I was allergic, so maybe I’m just wiser.

2) I cry very easily while watching movies. It’s embarrassing and I try not to. I also cry at parades, sports events, and the opera. Parades aren’t so bad because my eyes are hidden behind sunglasses and I’m not sad just overwhelmed; the same goes for sports (which I hate), it’s just the hugeness of the crowd that moves me to tears. I’m easily embarrassed.

3) I used to love the flavor of orange juice and toothpaste together, not anymore.

4) When I’m working a lot and am very tired I sleep in my clothes.

5) In writing this list I’m aware that the only things I can think of about myself is stuff from my past. I’m drawing a complete blank about myself in the present, which makes me think that I don’t know who I am in the present. I’m just me.

6) One of my chores as a kid was to pick up the mail from the post office box, a walk of about 6 blocks. I would often drop letters during my walk home, and not notice, because I was too busy daydreaming. I had to train myself to hold the letters in both hands in front of me while telling myself over and over to not let go. I’ve had the same type of experience as an adult with all sorts of tasks, like leaving the house with my keys in both hands so that I wouldn’t lock myself out of the house or the car.

7) My hair is very long, like 3 feet long.

8) I’m not very organized. I don’t think I’m lazy but I do have a lazy streak when it comes to housework. Luckily, my boyfriend is the exact opposite. He also likes to cook which I do not. This reminds me of one of the reasons why I knew my boyfriend and I would stick it out for the long haul (ten years now). About twenty years ago I had a kind of vision, anyway I was standing in my then backyard and imagined carved totem like sculptures. It was like I knew that one day I would meet a man who could carve like this. And I did. On the other hand I also believed that I would live in a castle in Spain, and I don’t.

I'm tagging: Edna, Connie, Beth, Mary-Heather, Gudrun, Janet, Diane, Marnie