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!

Arashi unveiled

I truly meant to get this posted on Monday, but life being life, it just couldn’t happen. That said, I hope you’ll agree that it was worth the wait :)

May I present my latest design, Arashi?

Arashi (flat)

“Storm” in Japanese, (my use of) the name actually comes from the dyeing technique arashi shibori, in which cloth is wrapped on the diagonal around a pole (usually bamboo) and scrunched, then dyed.

Arashi (draped)

Maybe it’s crazy, but the name fits to me. (My mother disagrees.*) Either way, I’m quite pleased with the result.

Arashi (neck)

Available as the May kit in the 2012 Abstract Fiber One Skein/Two Skein Club, it can be knit with one or two skeins of Abstract Fiber Lima (shown in “Hibiscus”).

The concept and design was inspired by traditional Faroese shawls (which I am absolutely obsessed with!), but the stitch patterns came from Estonia, the Shetland Isles, and my own head. I had fun creating my own stitch patterns (the two edge designs) and making everything work together.

For more details about the design, see the Arashi on ravelry and the 2012 Abstract Fiber One Skein/Two Skein Club.**

*She thinks it looks Anglo-Saxon and should have been named something entirely unpronouncable, like Aelfgifu or Aethelfrith.

**The pattern is exclusive to Abstract Fiber for one year, please don’t ask me for a copy!


I was going to  blog, really, I was.  But then WordPress ate my post and I had to make dinner and fold, like, five million t-shirts and I’m just tired.  So, instead, I bring you a photo-journal of things that have been happening ’round here.

First and foremost, I finished and blocked the Green Mystery:

Which I knit to test the Purple Mystery pattern.  Then I bought yarn for a large Beige Mystery (sounds so exciting, eh?) and a couple other surprises:

Then Shibui released another pattern I wrote.  See Ondula:

Ondula (scarf)

See Ondula drape:

Ondula (scarf)

Now, see Ondula hang artfully next to a streetlight:

Ondula (scarf)

Lastly, see one weary blogger (last week was soooo long) go to bed early.  Toods.

In the pink

The Crew have gone off to TNNA, leaving me in charge.  We can discuss the flaws of that plan later.*

Taking a break (late lunch) and thought I’d share my latest wip – a Draper shawl just for me.  Shown with the lovely silk dupioni bag Sandy Kay made for me.  In pink, of course.


The yarn is Staccato in “Poodle Skirt“.  Love it – both the yarn itself and the color.  Yum.  (eta: please pardon the crappy washed-out cell pic)

Uh oh.  Gotta go.  I promise I’ll write a thorough post soon.  Honest.

*Leaving an admitted yarn whore in charge of an LYS is like leaving an alcoholic in charge of a bar.  Baaad idea.

Popularity contest

It’s a little weird to me, the randomness of which patterns are instant favorites and which ones aren’t.  I added three new designs to my ravelry journal, Draper, Element, and Ondula, and it was fascinating to see which one skyrocketed to the top.

The immediate winner was Draper, a triangular shawl (or scarf, I included instructions for two sizes, booyah) I designed for Shibui while really taking their design aesthetic into consideration – i.e. modern, clean lines, simple yet sophisticated.  The result with a nontraditional bit of lace that is designed using the traditional top-down construction of the Shetland islands:

Draper (shawl)

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love this design. I am so proud of it that I could burst. Lindsay (our cover girl) came to me many months ago with a pretty simple request – to design a triangular shawl that could be knit with two+ skeins of Staccato and look amazing in one of the handpainted colorways.

The idea I had was ‘gradient’.  It seemed very modern and, well, different.  Start with a little stockinette and then one repeat of the lace pattern – a geometric motif with a slight chevron, perfect for variegates- then follow it with an even larger section of stockinette and two repeats of the lace, etc etc.  Strangely enough, the idea totally worked.

Draper (shawl)

In fact, the result was nothing short of miraculous, considering I’d never designed a triangular lace shawl before (this did feel a little like jumping in the deep end at first) and that the design actually came out the right size and looked, to me, beautiful.

I mean, wow. How the heck did that happen?

I think I’m going to have to go with magic, since the odds were so far against the first try coming out perfectly.  And, let me tell you, that sample was knit from a pattern I wrote from a swatch and it was the test knitting portion of this experiment.  Talk about blind faith and a little bit of crazy.

I’m not bragging; really, I’m not.  I’m just surprised that this was the favorite of the three on ravelry.  I mean, if the average person had to pick between a tunic/ dress, a scarf, and a lace shawl for wearability, I’d have thought the tunic/ dress would be a shoo-in.

Apparently not.  Of course, I have to admit that Draper is my favorite of the three, too.  But I’m a lace fiend and probably ‘tetched’ in the head.  Especially since I’ve promised myself that I can knit another one out of Staccato in ‘Poodle Skirt’ for me and me alone… once I’ve finished the other samples I have OTN (sigh).

This is all a very long and rambling way of telling you that people are surprising – and that I appreciate it.  It’s nice to know that all that effort wasn’t in vain.  Tomorrow I’ll try and blog a bit about the other designs; which, although not favorites, are still very much beloved by me :)



Okay, not really.  Knitting away on two commissions and another sample using the Purple Mystery pattern.  And, yes, incidentally, the Purple Mystery pattern will be available soon.  It goes to the tech editor tomorrow.

Would explain more, but have to go and get an early dinner (before an early movie).  Above is one commission and the second Purple Mystery (only this time it’s green). 

Gtg.  Pasta time!

Purple mystery

Remember that purple thing from my last post? Yeah, it’s now blocking on the dining room table:

Purple mystery - corner

Came out MUCH bigger than I thought it would. Due to truly pathetic sun turn-out (the sun wusses out on us above the 45th parallel this time of year), I could only get a couple of detail shots. Maybe I’ll get a full photo tomorrow.

The pattern is my own and I have duly written it up. Now all I need is a tech editor… Hm. I think I might even knit it again, as I did go a little crazy and stock up on the Tosh Merino Light last week.

… I couldn’t help it – it was so sqooshy.

In other news, I wrote up two or three patterns today (brain… melting) and am beginning to wonder how I ever got patterns done without a full day a week devoted to designing. It’s so much easier now, and there are definitely fewer errors on my part.

Continuing on the News theme, we had a lovely Thanksgiving:

Simple Thanksgiving

And I can’t find my size 5 24″ addi Turbos. I KNOW they’re around here, I just can’t locate them. Little monsters.

Because I had time (between basting the turkey and mashing potatoes), I also knit a hat on Thanksgiving Day for our (the store’s) Handknits for Hard Knock Kids clothing drive:

Thankful hat

Knit with Shibui Knits Merino Worsted held together with Handmaiden Casbah Sock for a super-soft and cushy hat. Here’s hoping some little girl out there really LOVES the pink as much as I do :)

I also have collected quite a bit of machine washable yarn…

Yarn for hats

In the hopes of making at least a dozen hats this year. It just breaks my heart to hear how many children are in foster care. I might even make matching mittens, if I have the yarn/ time.

If you’d like to join me, you’d be very welcome, and there’s no denying that the kids deserve something warm and soft and made with love.  Feel free to email me at my work email saram(at)knit-purl(dot)com for details.

But now I must away.  Have to proof the pattern booklet for this yarn before it goes to the printers this week.  Why? you ask – because I have four patterns in it that I am quite proud of and have been slaving away on for months.  Maybe next time Shibui will have given me some spoiler photos.

Like Nina sings.

I’m feeling good.

The booklet is out and is actually selling. I know that Knit Purl sold over 20 copies in the past three days, so I’m not as down and worried as I was.  You try being not being down and worried after being told over and over again that there are numerous sock book(let)s out there and that knitters probably won’t notice another one.

Not so good.  But, hah, Socks is only 4 booklets behind Shibui Luxury (well, where I work), and Luxury is knitter’s eye candy in every sense of the phrase.

Anyway.  Deep breath.  Vacation is commencing nicely.  I spent most of the weekend (barring some time at Ikea, g-d help me) relaxing, lounging, and just catching my breath.  The last eight months have been brutal.  Mostly I worked on two things (but don’t tell Shibui):

Sparkly pink Ishbel


Trapezoid experiment

Tegan’s Ishbel was obviously numero uno on my list, because she’s arriving tomorrow!!  Squee.  My sister and niece are arriving sometime around 2:3o and I am just beside myself.  My inner Girl Scout has planned all sorts of activities and cool treats.  It’s going to be awesome.  And I’m going to take copious photographs.

Expect to see some.  Or, rather, lots.

Including (hopefully) Tegan actually wearing her Ishbel.  I really hope she likes it!

I feel I must issue a friendly knitterly advisory.  And maybe alert the DEA.  I just cast on my first project using Lima (last night) and could barely make myself put it down long enough to finish the Ishbel.  Sparkly.  Pink.  Ishbel.  Looking at my template, that should express volumes.  This stuff is THE crack.  I’m kind of afraid of what will happen when I run out…  Will I DT?


Maybe this is a sign that I need to stash some more…

The fact that I’m even thinking that is probably not a good sign.

And I thought Malabrigo was bad.

Wait.  Can you hear that?  It‘s calling to me.  I gotta go.


Waiting for a ride (just finished “No Mean Feet!” at the store), and thought I’d put up my newest wip:

Percy shawl wip

The Percy Shawl, knit with one 100g skein of Suri Blue in “Rose”. Love the pattern and the yarn, especially together.  If you’re a lace freak, I cannot recommend this pattern enough – the Estonian stitches are really, really cool.  And it’s proving to be a quick knit, too.  (It helps that all my commissioned knitting is done!)  I’m also going to cast on for the store’s Girasole KAL on Wednesday, so there’s going to be a lot of lace hanging around for the next few weeks (did I also mention that I found the yarn I bought for Icarus?!  I should probably wait to finish Percy before starting that, though…)

Anyway.  Ride should be here any minute, gotta run.