Tigard Knitting Guild, the sequel

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The Tigard Knitting Guild has kindly asked me back to do another Twist Collective trunk show and I have about a gabillion pieces to show.

If any of you are in the area, please stop by tonight at 7pm. I'll even be giving away a couple of gift certificates while I'm there.

Mata Hari


The Winter 2010 edition of Twist Collective is live and it features 31 patterns, along with some fantastic articles.

I'm pleased and flattered to have been asked to contributed to the Designer's Choice section. We were asked to come up with a design we would love to wear and model it for the section. My design is called, Mata Hari and features a plunging v-neck in back and a wide scoop neck in front. The garment looks just as good worn backwards and an optional bow adds just a touch of fun to the piece.

Mata Hari Mosaic
1. Mata_Hari0716, 2. Mata_Hari2011, 3. Mata_Hari1762, 4. Mata_Hari1421

I plan to write more about this piece later. For now, I hope you'll take a few moments to check out this beautiful edition.

Picture Yourself

Every time I work on this pattern, I get Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds stuck in my head for a few days. I guess we can all be thankful I didn't call it, Achy Breaky.

This was a really fun pattern for me to knit and write. It just all happened pretty easily and I've already worn the piece out a couple of times. With all the rain and fog we have in Oregon right now, the bright orange stripes just seem so cheery.

The pattern is now available, thanks in no small part to Laura Chau's hard work tech editing it. You can get all the details about the pattern here on my site, or over in ravelry.

As an added bonus, until the end of the year, anyone who buys 3 or more patterns from me, will receive a 20% discount. No coupon required and past purchases through ravelry will apply! Applicable to all purchases except the Manzanita collection. The economy is still dragging. It seems like a great time to offer a discount.

Works in progress


I'm giving my main site a bit of a facelift, which I think is long overdue. I unveiled the previous redesign about a year after I started blogging, and its been almost 6 years since then.

I'm still playing with the colors and the fonts and the little bits and pieces, but I've cleaned out a lot of the clutter, both visually and in the content.

I can't bring myself to get rid of the doggy themed blog format (yet) because Thea's face makes me laugh every time I see it but the rest of the site should reflect the new design.

I'm also working on a little self published piece, Marmalade Skies*.

The pattern is fully written and I'm working on scheduling someone to tech edit the piece. It's was a really fast knit for me, taking just 10 days and the only seams are under the arms and sewing down the neck facing. Loads more pictures here.

As a reward for all this productivity, I might need to make another batch of these.

Apple Butter Fingerprint Cookies

A big "thank you" to Rebeca Velasquez for suggesting the name. I love it.

Tolovana: the making of


I put a lot more time into planning my wedding shawl than I did my actual wedding and to be honest, that's not saying much because my wedding planning amounted to sending an email to my closest family, booking a hotel room, getting a license and hoping for the best. If only knitwear design were so easy. Though, to be fair, I find designing pretty fun but would be entirely content to never plan another wedding.

So to start, I pulled out my entire collection of stitch dictionaries looking for motifs to pair together. I didn't have a strong sense for what I wanted but I knew I wanted to take what I learned from designing La Cumparsita and expand on it, making a project that had more details, and a strongly scalloped hem. I ended up choosing only a single motif and scaling it up and down to form three versions, a border and transitions between each.

At the same time, I started to think about yarn. I wasn't sure what I was going to be wearing but I thought red might be pretty so I ordered three Grafton Batts from Amy.

sweet batts are sweeter with candy

It was a little challenging but I did my best to work all three batts as one to maintaining the color transitions these batts are so well known for.

I ended up with about 1100 yards of rich glorious fingering/sport weight singles and began the swatching and knitting and charting and calculating. I was cranking along and doing great until I actually decided to start looking at dresses.

I suppose this my have been an acceptable reason to consider a white or ivory dress, but as I am already a brilliant shade of "fish belly" and since *ahem* the symbolism associated with wearing white most certainly wouldn't apply to me, I was determined to wear some other color and some other color I found. It just turns out that blue-green doesn't actually go terribly well with red and burgundy.

so sad, don't let the door hit you on the way out

At this point, spinning another 1000 yards or so of fiber just wasn't going to be an option, but I had some purple Handmaiden Seasilk burning a hole in my stash that was more than up to the task.

The final shawl is incredibly delicate and actually snagged quite dramatically right before the wedding. But really, what's a wedding without at least one moment of panic? The fibers smoothed out as easily as they snagged, but it was clear to me that this would always be a special occasion sort of wrap, not one to to throw around my neck before heading out to the city.

When Kate asked me if I'd like to publish the pattern in Twist Collective, I jumped at the chance. Instead of the delicate seasilk we decided to go for two uniquely different yarns and offer two variations of the pattern.

The green version is worked in Sundara Sock. The lace has larger expanses of stockinette for a warmer, denser feel. This is the version I'd use as my all purpose, scarf/wrap on chilly winter days. It's washable, strong, tightly spun and the colors are rich, yet it unfurls into a beautiful shawl that looks great wrapped around your shoulders while you are out on a dinner date.

The violet version is more true to the original, and worked in Sundara Silky Merino which offers the drape and sheen of the prototype with a little of that merino resiliency I love so much. The more delicate and open version of the lace pattern makes it a great option to wear for more formal occasions, but it's not so delicate that you'd be afraid to put it to good use.

It was really a fun design to come up with and as someone who knit the pattern twice (I did hire a sample knitter to knit the third one) I found it really enjoyable too. This may have something to do with my fond feelings for the whole project but I do hope that others will find it equally enjoyable. If you are interested in knitting Tolovana, you can get it here. And of course, don't forget to check out all the other beautiful patterns available at Twist Collective.

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