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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Why am I so constantly tired?!

Hercules, the neighbor's cat in my garden
I feel like this guy!  I'm so tired all the time.  I know this is starting to sound like a broken record, but I just can't figure out why I'm so tired all the time.  It's probably a combo of not eating all that well in the summer (cause it's too hot to cook...or eat), and staying up late with school work and knitting, and then getting up early with Alex (who isn't sleeping well again).  I just need a serious nap.  And this supposed break from school, where I'm only taking one class instead of two...that's crap.  This class is as much work as two classes, and my only solace is that I don't have another one to try to fit in to my day.

Complaining aside, I did manage to get my pattern typed up this morning and out to the testers.  Now I just have to find the time to knit the mate, and then it's off to Cascade (assuming there are not huge errors in the pattern).  I'm looking forward to working with them again.  My only regret is that I don't get to keep the samples...which means that if I knit something I particularly love...I have to knit it twice.  I sort of have a 'thing' about that.  There's just too much to knit and not enough time to do it in, so I almost never knit anything twice.  It's got to be a really special pattern for me to knit it multiple times (like the Baudelaire socks by Cookie A, or the Natalya hand warmers by Savannah Chik).  And to be honest, even after going through my Ravelry que and weeding out three solid pages, I still wouldn't be able to knit everything in there if I started today and did nothing but knit from now to the day I died.  So my blanket that I love so much...well, the likelihood of my ever having one of my own isn't good because I just can't spend that kind of time reknitting something that I've already done.  Besides, I have at least three other blanket ideas in my head right now and those need to get out!  Plus I have  few sweater ideas and I think I might be ready to take that leap finally, after all, I did just design something with some lace in it and that was pretty intimidating at first.  I'm honestly feeling like I can do this, and there's a lot of help out there to make it happen. 

So, that being said, I'm going to quit fooling around and get back to my homework.  I still have to read 40 more pages, write a 3-4 page paper on schedules of reinforcement, and post to two discussion board questions plus respond to at least four of my classmates...all by Tuesday at 11:59pm EST.  Oh, and in case you were wondering, I've knit the Baudelaire socks twice (and will have to knit them at least once more to replace a pair I wore out), and the Natalya hand warmers in some version or other at least five times.

Friday, July 29, 2011

sneak peak: heritage silk lace mittens

What you see here, is a sneak peak at my latest design for Cascade Yarns.  I was almost done when we had the Yarn Tasting, so the customers had a chance to check it out and feel it, but I finished it last night and you've just got to see the finished mitten to believe it!  I sent photos to my contact at Cascade, and to the test knitters (so they'll have some sort of idea what it's supposed to look like when they knit it), but other than this little glimpse here...photos are going to stay off the web until it's all done. 

I did find one little flaw in the concept that require an adjustment of some numbers in the inner mitten, before the pattern is released, but that's sort of what this process is about right?  I can definitely say this: it's super cool to have something I saw in my mind make it's way out and off the end of my needles.  Oh, and I also understand how much it sucks for the designer to have this super cool project to talk about, only they can't talk about it or show photos of it, but they still have a blog and a group and a facebook page to update.  What the heck does one talk about when one has to hide their best current project?!  And I also understand how boring that is for a reader, because I read lots and lots of blogs and everytime I come across a designer's blog where they're in the same situation, I always feel like they're holding back the goods.  So I understand how you probably feel and I promise to try to find something worth talking about while this is going on.

Meanwhile, I started physical therapy for my knee yesterday.  I don't have an injury or anything.  I just have femurs that point inward so if my feet are pointing straight ahead, my knees are pointing toward each other.  That causes soreness over time.  Combine that with the scoliosis, which raises my right leg higher off the ground that my left leg (so when I work out my left leg carries more of the weight), and that means that my already sore knees are being aggravated by super tight muscles in the legs (and the muscles are tighter on the left side).  I have a handful of stretches to do daily (for right now) and I have to see her twice a week for the next three weeks at least.  Then we'll add some strengthening exercises to help keep the knee strong, and to help keep my back aligned longer so I can limit some of the daily pain I've had to endure.  I'm just too young to be this sore all the time, so I'm really excited to do something about it.

Now then.  I just talked about something other than the mystery-project :)  Time for me to get ready for class, and then to go do some homework.  I have a paper due this week, so I won't be able to get the pattern fully written until next week.  I also have to knit the other mitten, but after that's done and the testers report back, the pattern will go straight off to Cascade and should be available shortly after.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bella Yarn's Yarn Tasting and Silent Auction event! (photo heavy)

 Yesterday was our first ever Yarn Tasting and Sample Silent Auction event!  It was a ton of work, and a huge success thanks to all of the generous sponsors (Dill buttons, Berroco, Mountain Colors, Brown Sheep, just to name a few) and the fantastic people from Cascade Yarns.
 
 We had our favorite reps in from Cascade, Warren and Marina, and we had balls of Cascade Yarns all over the store!  I didn't actually get to pick any up and knit because I was busy helping customers, but I got to mingle with everyone and help them find what they were looking for.

 I also got to show off my latest design for Cascade in Heritage Silk...the lace mitten!  It was really well received so I'm feeling encouraged to hurry and finish it so the pattern will be available.

 I got to hand out some of my new cards to people I knew (and a few I just met, lol) so that they can check in and get word of new pattern releases. 


 I also got to show off the Quilt and Cable blanket, and help ladies pick out the perfect color combination for Naomi's Inside Out Blanket (also a free Cascade download).  You should have seen the back room after we were done for the night!



We had over 80 people come in and knit with us, and we sold over half of the samples so we have a nice donation for the new Warren animal shelter.
 There were three cheese trays with dried fruit and bread from the Cheese Plate in Warren.  I didn't know they were even there, which was probably for the best because I'm allergic to milk...and I love cheese...and they had a huge assortment.  I stayed away as much as possible, but I had to try the caramel cheese!  I brought home a good amount for the boys as a peace offering for being out for 13 hours :)



 I got to meet a local actress from the Trenity Rep.  I got her name but after 11 straight hours at work, I'm lucky to remember my own.  It'll have to be enough to say that she was a really lovely lady and I had a great time chatting with her.  I love how knitting brings all sorts of people from different professional backgrounds together!


 I also got to see my buddies from the knit-a-holics group last night.  It was really good to see Tracy and Lisa, and I'm sure there were others who stopped in but I was running back and forth so much that I missed some people coming and going.
 We also had all five members of the Bella staff in one place at one time!  That has never happened before, and to mark the occasion, we asked Amy to snap a photo of us at the end of the night.


 Ann did a beautiful job of getting all the current samples down, the samples for auction out on display, and tagged for auction.  She has a real talent for making things look pretty!


 I spent my day sweeping,  making room in the storage room, restocking the Cascade 128 superwash, and stuffing yarn descriptions into the doggie-bags.



 We had samples donated by some of our yarn distributors, and one of our reps, Andra Asars donated samples that she knit herself!



 This purple sweater is one of Andra's pieces!





 These baby samples went like hot cakes!





 The pink scarf was donated by one of our talented customers.  It's Rayon Metalic yarn with Sugar Rush as the warp (I believe...don't quote me), and it was one of her first projects!  Unbelievable.  And it didn't last long :)





bid sheets
 These were the cute plates that the yarn was displayed on, with the type of yarn listed on the plate.  I ended up tossing my mitten into the pile as a sample of the Heritage Silk yarn (it's the orange ball).















shop mascot :)
There was one lonely door prize that somehow didn't go home with a customer...so I got to bring it home!  Yay!  It's five skeins of Brown Sheep's Lambs Pride in a pretty blue-lilac variegated colorway.  I'm thinking about a simple pullover.












This is how we looked at the end of the day, lol.  I didn't get out of there until quarter to 10 last night.  It was a crazy long day, but it was fun and I can't wait to do it again :)