Friday, February 25, 2011

A New Pattern - Available for a Limited Time Only

I know I have talked about doing some design work for my favorite Florida yarn store, A Good Yarn, in Sarasota Florida.  I am so excited to show you the latest design that I just finished for them.  

It will be sold exclusively by the shop, so it will not be part of the KalamazooKnits collection.  However, I am so excited to tell you that I have permission to sell the pattern on my blog, for blog readers only, for a limited time, before it is available at A Good Yarn.

I am calling it Spring Lace Sock - but I don't know what the clever ladies at A Good Yarn will name it. 

It has a unique construction where the back of the sock and the heel is knit flat, then worked in the round for the foot.   The lace pattern is only knit on the top needle, when you are working in the round.  It takes about 200 yards of fingering weight yarn - and it is oh, so, sweet.

I wear them around the condo here in Florida, to keep my feet warm in the morning and evening.  They look great worn with Birkenstock sandals too.  

I'm not sure how long I will have it for sale on my blog - but I am thinking about a week or so.  So if you are interested in knitting this little gem, buy it now, because it is the only time I am allowed to sell the pattern.

Let me know what you think of this feminine little knit!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Special Day

Today is a special day for me.  It is the birthday for both of my sons, one is age 23 and the other is age 27.   Totally unplanned, natural childbirths - just very special that they occurred on the same day!  They are both in Michigan, going to college, so I can't see them on this special day - but they did each receive a voice mail with me singing the Happy Birthday song (in my very off-tune voice).

Happy Birthday to my wonderful sons!

My Magic Loop class went great on Monday.  There were five VERY SMART students, and I think they all learned the technique.  I enjoyed teaching the classs too - makes me contemplate teaching another class in the future.

While I was at the shop, I looked for yarn for (another) shawl.   This is what I found - a cotton/cashmere blend - that will show off the knit details of this Jared Flood pattern.  I am excited to start it, but am trying to finish up a few projects first.

I will be heading to A Good Yarn in a little bit, for their Knitting Therapy.  It is really an evening session, but I like to get their mid afternoon for some shopping time, when it is a little quieter, before the evening crowd arrives.  It is quite the event, and I look forward to going every week.

Today I am also bringing some stitch marker sets, that we have custom made for the shop.  One is in teals, the shop "color" and the other set coordinates with one of their custom yarn colorways, Octopus Garden.  I hope Susan likes them.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunny with a chance of Umbrellas

It was a beautiful day on Manasota Key today, with lots of umbrellas dotting our beach. I think the "rolling spring break" has started, there are lots of kids around, and how about this??? A blimp?

And that's not all. Look what I spotted on my patio. My wonderful husband, who is enjoying the sun too. I have finally decided on a nickname for him, how about the TanMan? Between our winters in Florida and summers on the shores of Lake Michigan, he seems to be tan 365 days a year.

Time for me to finish getting ready for a Magic Loop technique class I am teaching at A Good Yarn tomorrow. I am thinking about starting the Bermuda Scarf by Ilga Leja, so I might need to buy some yarn while I am there!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

More Angry Birds

I am afraid this is starting to look like an obsession...  First there was the crazy game Angry Birds, and now I love crocheting these cute little guys.   Next on my list is the Goldfinch.    My son has wondered about the "bomb bird", but there isn't a pattern on Ravelry yet.  Could this be the next KalamazooKnits pattern? (actually, I don't think so).  

I think I will be looking at amigurumi patterns a little more closely and see what other designs are out there for me to try. It gets in the way of my knitting, but isn't okay to take a break from the needles now and then? 

Do you worry about starting another hobby that will cause you to be unfaithful to your main love, knitting?  I will admit that it crosses my mind.  What if spinning (or sewing, crochet, etc. etc) replace my one true love?

But just when I started to worry,  I picked up my needles again, and knit up another Childs' Better Basic Mitten, and my world is in balance again.  Whew, close call.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Happy Valentines Day - just a little late

 I guess I am running a few days late - hope you had a good valentine's day. 

We have had company for the last 11 days, and I had trouble getting to the computer to even post this picture. 

Yes, those are all shells collected on the beach!   A woman creates these designs every week, only to see them washed away when there is a combination of high tide and high waves.    

The changing shoreline continues to amaze me.  After some big waves, look how part of the beach is carved out and washed away.

 And then further down the beach, you can see where layers of shells are deposited by the waves.  It makes for some great collecting - or just enjoying them as you walk by.   I'm thinking I need to start doing some crafts with shells - any ideas? 

Many thanks to all of you who purchased our new pattern - Child's Better Basic Mitten - I hope you enjoy knitting the pattern.

I am busy finalizing two new patterns - one for KalamazooKnits, and another exclusive design for A Good Yarn in Sarasota.   I think you will like then!  I gave a sample pair (hint, hint) to my BFF who stayed a few days recently with us, and she loved them. 

I've got sheets to wash, mail to open, and then I am off to Sarasota for an afternoon of shopping and knitting!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Kitchen Redo

When hubby and I bought our beach condo, we loved it just the way it was.  Once we arrived, several of our neighbors showed us a modification they had done to the kitchen, that radically changed the look and function.

So, we hired the same builder, who had done this job before, and three weeks later we are done.

Half-way done (and half a wall removed)

Three short weeks later- here is the finished product.   Major change, right?

 Does this mean we need to start fixing dinner at home now?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

That last step is a doozy!

Part of my daily routine in Florida is a walk down the beach.  It amazes me how different it looks and feels each day.  Although I am a bit of a "fair weather" friend, in that I don't walk in the cold mist or rain.  

As I walk north up the gulf coast, the water level has been so high that much of the beach is missing.  This is my end of the walk in that direction.   Those owners have to watch their last step, don't they!

Then I turn around and walk south, where I could go for several miles.  Once I get about a mile in that direction, I hit the public beach, and then the sand is all churned up from the people and it makes the walking a little more difficult.  Plus there are people everywhere - not the solitude that I like.  So I turn around and go back home.

I don't do a lot of "collecting" on these walks, they are more for exercise and meditation.   I feel so close to God when I make this journey, his miracle of life is all around me.  I do run into some odd finds - here is the crab I found!  He looks kind of creepy, but I think he was harmless.

Then there was this guy!   He was walking along the beach with me - a nice companion, but he didn't say very much.  

All in all, this is the kind of exercise I like!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Off the Needles

Wow, thanks for the great response to the introduction of our new pattern, Child's Better Basic Mittens!

Tell your fellow knitters to stop by the blog to get this pattern at the "on sale" price.

Here is the pair of mittens I just finished using the pattern.  They are the medium size, using Ty-Dye's worsted weight super wash wool.  Remember when you first started knitting and someone told you to "Always save the label or ball band from the yarn!",  uh huh, well, I can't find my label to the yarn to give you any more specifics.   But it is a good rule to follow...

I hope my grandson Mason will enjoy wearing these!

Then on the lighter side - this project isn't "off my needles", it is more like "off the hook". 

I am a total knitting freak, and only do the occasional crochet project, so it must be a pure love of the game "Angry Birds", that caused me to crochet this project.    Have you played Angry Birds yet - on the iPhone or iPad?   My grandson Mason loves that game and we had a great time with it over the Christmas holidays, when each day before Christmas, Angry Birds - Holiday edition, launched a new level, kind of like an advent calendar, only more high tech.  Every morning when he came down the steps, he wanted to know if the "new map" was there.  

So this is the first of several Angry Bird characters that I plan to make. 
Here you can meet the Angry Cardinal!!  This is a free pattern on Ravelry.  It is a nice introduction to amigurumi.  It looks difficult, but it is fun and doesn't take too much time.

Next up - the naughty pig!

What are you working on?  If you are getting bogged down with a large project, start a smaller project to knit when you need a break.  It really is okay to have more than one project going - it makes sense to have a detailed project for "quiet knitting time", something a little less complicated for TV time, and then an easy "on the road" project - likes socks or a dish cloth.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A New Pattern!

I am so excited to show you the latest KalamazooKnits pattern designed by Kelly Jensen!  

After the release of her Better Basic Mitten pattern, we immediately began to have requests for a child's version.  Kelly's husband Mike did the photos - aren't they adorable!

So what makes this pattern so great?   Well... it is very very easy to knit.  A clever variation with the thumb eliminates the need to pick up stitches that often sends knitters into a panic.  I knit up one mitten last night, for grandson Mason.  (hmm... he has two hands, so I guess I should knit the other one tonight??)

So here is the deal.  I am trying something new with my blog.  For you, my faithful blog readers, I have placed a "buy now" button on the right of the blog.   For one week only,  you will be able to purchase the pattern for 1/3 off the normal retail price!  
A Sale?? 
Yes - you can purchase it for $4.00 - thru Feb 12 on my blog only!
(My Etsy shop will sell it for $6.00)

I have it set up as a digital download, so you will get immediate gratification.   

Really, don't you have 125 yards of worsted weight yarn, just calling to become the cutest pair of mittens you have ever seen?   Make a little person happy - and warm!  Get knitting.