2013 in review

The QFA’s WP annual report came in and is rather interesting.  And a little embarrassing – I posted less than an average of 1 post per month.  Improving that average will definitely be part of my 2014 Resolution!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog…

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,800 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Staying afloat

Admittedly, I’m not doing too well at treading water right now, but I haven’t given up yet. So, the final verdict on the kidney infection(s) was that we don’t know why or how I got infected, but the bacteria was amazingly antibiotic resistant. Fourth try was the charm, and now I’m on a fifth antibiotic for the next year to prevent subsequent infections.  Could be worse :)

Of course, with that and my own clumsiness – I threw out my back/hip last week and was horizontal (seriously, had to roll out of bed and couldn’t sit upright for a week) – I am dreadfully behind on, like, everything.  Especially blogging, correspondence (my inbox scares me), and design work.

I promised to do an interview of Knitwise Design for the Indie Designer Giftalong before the end of the month and am determined to do so.  Keep an eye out!

Until then, here’s a sneak peek from the very same photoshoot that screwed up my back…

I totally think it was worth it.  34F weather and all.  Expect new releases soon!

… And replies to emails, too, because that’s also on my list.  Really.

Trying to stay positive

The past two months have been difficult, to be perfectly honest. What started out as a UTI has progressed into a full-blown kidney infection that is still not responding to antibiotics. I even ended up at the ER on IV antibiotics, which I gotta say was not a pleasant experience.

To add to the misery, one of the RX I was taking seems to have set off an autoimmune disorder that is just compounding the problem delightfully.

So, staying positive? Kind of hard right now. I feel like crap all the time, have little to no energy, and am so far behind on everything it’s reaching critical mass.

In order to facilitate a better frame of mind, I’ve compiled a list of good things:

  1. It’s pretty outside.  No, I don’t feel up to actually going anywhere, but it’s pretty to look at through the window.  At least it’s not raining.
  2. I have yarn.  A lot of it.  I’ve been cuddling a baby camel/ silk blend for happy thoughts.
  3. The Republicans didn’t succeed, hah!
  4. The ACA is looking awesome for someone like me.
  5. Light the Night Walk 2013 is this Saturday.  I’m supposed to walk, but that’s looking very iffy.  Still, if you have a moment, please consider joining us, donating, or posting a flyer:
  6. I am slowly, oh-so-slowly, making my way through my inbox.  You might just receive an email from me sometime this, oh, year.
  7. I have all my fingers and toes.  That’s good, right?

And that’s all I got for now.  Further happy thoughts are always welcome.

Mini Update: Rocket Pop Socks

While a longer, more in-depth update is long overdue, I am a little overwhelmed right now with the sheer quantity of work that piled up as I was being treated for an ass-kicking* kidney infection. So, just so’s to prove that I ain’t dead yet, I present a new pattern:


And that’s about all I got for now. If I haven’t responded to your message(s), I swear by the stash it’s on the To-Do List of Doom. Really.

*Posterior: mine

It’s summer somewhere

What with viruses (does anyone use the plural viri?) and near-constant migraines for the past week, I’ve been a little out of the loop. Maybe more than a little, if we’re being honest. Well, logged into ravelry and noticed another design had been added to my designer profile:

Buttoned Up in Lace Shrug
The Buttoned Up in Lace Shrug from Creative Knitting, Summer 2013.  This design was a source of pride at the time (not that I could talk about it), because it utilizes three traditional reversible lace patterns (two are Madeira and one is Shetland), worked on a garter ground with two sets of knitted-on button bands so the “shrug” can be worn in several ways as different garments.  Which is why I was a little disappointed to see it only modeled as a shrug (love the photos, though, they did a fantastic job styling!).

Good thing I snapped some pictures on Gertrude before sending it in, eh?

as a wrap, to the side
as a cowl

For other ideas, see my ravelry notebook listing.  The yarn was Imperial Yarn’s Tracie in 114 Dusty Rose.  Loved the color and the yarn – and currently have quite a bit stashed.  The buttons are antique shell lovelies from my grandmother’s stash.

In other news, several patterns are imminently forthcoming from Rose City Knits.   Keep an eye out!

I’ve never been to Coxsackie

But I already hate it.  This Spring marks my second experience with Coxsackie Virus in the past year.  Ugh.  The entire family has been laid low and I’ve fallen so far behind on everything that I’m almost ahead.  Oy.

But, focusing on the positive, I have gotten some stuff done – including a pattern and the samples for a sock club, and finally (oh, finally!) organizing my knitting needles. Or, rather (more honestly), beginning the extensive process of organizing my needles…

Needle storage solution

Opus and I had been discussing for months various methods of containing and orgazing the needles, and had narrowed the options to a tool chest or an old-fashioned library card catalog.  After months of frustrated searches for a reasonable option, I threw my hands up in the air and went onto other crazy ideas.  Which is when, of course, Mum found a tool chest at Goodwill (you wouldn’t believe the things she finds thrifting) and brought it home for me for a grand total of $14.99.  I should give up on stuff more often.

Once it had been cleaned and measure, I went on to make labels and drawer dividers out of milk board (easier said than done, btw) for needle sizes 0 – 19.

And needle organization

This afternoon, I went through and sorted all the loose needles in various containers.  First thoughts?

  • I have way to many 3.00mm/ US 2.5 needles
  • Why do I have two dozen 2.25mm/ US 1 dpns?
  • Where the heck are my 7’s and 9’s?

Also, what am I going to do with all these needle organizers I’ve collected over the years?

Well, it’s something and that’s not nothing ;)  Next time, I have more news!  A new design and other fun stuff in the works.

Girl Rising

The past week has been kind of crummy – nothing working the way it should, etc. – but it was all put into perspective last night when I went to see Girl Rising.  Featured on both OPB and Jezebel, Mom and I decided that we had to see it (trailer below).

So, I reserved tickets through Gathr and waited to see if our screening would go through.  It did, and I went last night without Mum (who got sick at the last minute).  Opus stepped in valiantly.

As expected, it was heartbreaking and uplifting.  Tragic and beautiful.  If you’re able, I strongly recommend seeing it.  Portland-area residents are blessed with a variety of options for seeing Girl Rising in a theater.  I’d also recommend that you bring tissues.  Narrated by numerous big name actors and musicians, the stories are intense; but, it was absolutely heartclenching to listen to Liam Neeson recite abysmal statistics (such as 50% of the deaths of girls 15 – 18 in the undeveloped world are due to childbirth complications) in his lush brogue.

After, Opus and I sat quietly in a Starbucks.  She broke the silence with “I’m so American.”  It was a funny, enlightening response… and so true.

Late to the party

Currently recovering from an allergic reaction to heaven only knows what (really, I have no idea), and feeling a little woozy from the Benadryl and stuff. So, I figured, “why not update the blog?” – from my couch with the iPad. We’ll see how is goes…

So. I finally caved (after much annoyance with my phone’s camera) and downloaded the Instagram app (I’m fyberduck, if you’re interested in connecting). After a couple of days, I’ve decided I’m probably developing an addiction.

It’s just a little too easy to take a photo with phone and make it pretty without having to export and edit it on my computer. Here are a few of the snapshots from my first week.


In other news, as I struggle to stay awake, Purl weighed in at 8.6 lbs and Rosco at 11.6 lbs today. My kittens is getting BIG and they’ve still got some more growing to do. They’ll be a year old in August.

And that’s about all for now. It’s getting really hard to focus on anything. It might be time to have a lie down.

Sakura and stitch patterns

I love this time of year, the pale pink petals from cherry and plum trees shiver on branches and flutter on the wind. Usually against an overcast sky.

It’s perfect.

Every year I promise myself I’m going to go out and take pictures with the Nikon and it never happens, following the Japanese tradition of Hanami, sakura (cherry blossom) blossom viewing*.  Still hasn’t. Though, I almost achieved my goal with my cell phone:

Cherry blossoms at Westmoreland Park

Admittedly, that’s after some serious photo editing. Cell camera photos never look as good as we’d hope.

Anyway.  Maybe next time!

In other news, I continue to wage war on my pile of uncompleted designs.  The big hold up is the charts and exporting the legend in a sensible manner.  I use KnitVisualizer and invariably spend hours upon hours reformatting the legend (and sometimes the charts) with Photoshop, so they’re all consistent.  Does anyone out there have a better way?  So far, no one’s come forth.  I wish I knew a programmer I could bribe to create a more intuitive and flexible charting program :(

Well, maybe next time I’ll have some finished patterns to share.  Getting closer!

*Doesn’t that just sound like a wonderful way to spend a spring day?  (Provided it isn’t pouring down rain, of course!)

Delayed “Woot, woot!”

My original intention was to blog about this sooner, but life got in the way. Oh, well. Last week I received my designer’s copy of knit.wear Spring 2013:

knit.wear cover

Plus, funnily enough, four additional covers and extra copies of my pattern (the Die Cut Vest) and article (On Design: Handkerchief Hems). For those of you who haven’t seen the magazine yet, the article is on the construction of handkerchief hems – both traditional and modern adaptations – and how to insert them into knitwear.  I hope people find it useful!

Also, I’d like to give a big shout-out to Opus, who helped me complete the article by the deadline by knitting the swatches while I freaked out about sketches, schematics, and everything in between. Big thanks to her for helping me stay sane.

Next time will be easier, now that I’ve run the gauntlet.

Or so I tell myself.

In other {BIG} news, Bridgetown is now officially available.

It’s been killing me not to talk about it.  Working on it was an epic project, what with 27 patterns to photograph and format (94 pages, all told!).  But it all got done and I’m supremely pleased with myself and the Crawl.  I feel like we did a fantastic job and am not ashamed to say it :)

Lastly, I’m currently working on catching up on Rose City Knits designs, the website, and couple of other projects.  Expect to see some self-published pieces in the coming weeks.  Opus (among others, though she’s the most vocal) has been on my case, so I’m trying very, very hard to get caught up.  I have over a dozen designs that just need to be written up and sent to my tech editor.  Oy.  Wish me luck!