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Thursday, August 23, 2012

And the winner of the first ever blog giveaway is...

Kendraja!  You were the 7th commenter (which just happened to be the exact number chosen by the random number generator, lol).  Please send me an email to CambriaWashington(at)gmail(dot)com with your physical address so that I can send this baby your way.  Oh, and remember to replace the words with the actual @ and . or I won't get it. 
I have to say, this really is a cute little book with great patterns for kids, and I AM a little sad to be parting with it.  However, my youngest is now 6-years old (this book only goes up to size 6), and he's extremely picky about his sweaters.  He won't wear any of the great pullovers in this book, so it doesn't make any sense for this awesome book to be taking up valuable real estate on my bookshelf.  I sure hope Kendraja can put it to good use.

As a matter of fact, Alex asked me for a purple sweater this week.  He already has a purple sweater but he said "my sweater itches my neck when I wear it".  Right.  It's not as though he hasn't worn this very same sweater for two winters or anything (and not complained about it once).  I think he just wants another one and thinks that I won't make another unless he says that (clearly he doesn't know me very well).  Now we don't have very many machine-washable purple yarns in the shop, in a price range that I'm willing to pay to make a sweater for a child.  I chose the only one we had (other than the one I'd already used) and he didn't like that shade of purple.  So we'll have to wait until the fall yarn shipment comes in.

On the same subject, I was supposed to start the Rockaway sweater for my husband.  Last year we spent hours looking over the Cascade Yarns color card for Eco Wool and Eco +.  He selected a slate blue.  I bought the yarn and showed it to him (and he approved said yarn).  This week I finally swatched and measured my husband to make sure I chose the correct size.  Yesterday I took out one of the blue skeins and opened it.  I was just about to put it on the winder when I had a feeling I should have him look at it again.  He didn't recognize the color (yes...the color HE HIMSELF carefully selected).  He didn't like that blue.  He couldn't imagine why he would have chosen that blue.  So I had to put it all on hold (again) and reskein the yarn.  When he dropped me off at work, we discovered that we didn't have any light gray in stock (he decided he wanted light gray), and now I've got to hold off until the fall Cascade order comes in.

So what's a sweater junky to do when she can't knit sweaters for her guys?  Knit for a baby of course!  My visiting teaching companion is having a baby any day now.  She may have actually had the baby already for all I know (she's not replying to emails and she's pretty good about that).  I knit another Yoked Cardigan, this time in my favorite heathered gray Cascade 220 superwash.  It went lightening fast!  I finished it in two sittings.  I decided to channel Hannah Fettig herself, and use bright red buttons on my gray cardigan.  It's cuter than I hoped and I can't wait to give it to her.  I love this little pattern so much that I may have cast on immediately for another one, using Comfort DK stripes.  I'm modifying that one so that it will be appropriate for a little boy (because a former coworker just had a baby boy and I only need a paper thin excuse to knit a baby sweater). 

Monday, August 20, 2012

I must be doing something right...

Copyright Interweave Knits
Today I received an email announcing the sneak peak at the new Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts 2012 issue...and this photo to the left is one of three mittens that I designed for this issue.  These are the super-secret project I'd hinted to in April.  I couldn't be happier with them and I'm honored that they were chosen as one of the featured patterns for the sneak peak email.  I've been riding on cloud nine all day.  Twitter and Facebook responses have all been quite positive.  It was going to be my biggest design day yet (you know, because it's my first print publication...).  And then I uploaded the pattern and pics on Ravelry.

There are a few things to consider here.  1) I don't control the photography or staging of photos.  Once these samples leave my apartment, I lose all control.  2) Knitters (and people in general) are intelligent people with a basic sense of self preservation, both for themselves and for their offspring...generally.  That being said, as soon as I put up this pattern I found two angry messages sitting in my inbox with complaints about the buttons on the mittens.  I understand that buttons are a choking hazard (and I guess my mistake was thinking that other knitters understood that too).  So here is the photo in question:

The mitten is right next to this baby's mouth (which is unfortunate, but not my doing).  However, if you look closely, you can see that he's eating something that he's holding in his little mitten hand, and that he's sitting on the lap of a supervising adult.  He is quite safe.  That being said, I would not have placed buttons on the smaller sizes but they were necessary to show the motif.  There are actually three different mitten patterns, with two different versions of each pattern, and several of those can be done without buttons.  The mittens in the above photo have no buttons.  My intention was for the knitter and parent of the child to do what most people do...use their common sense and best judgment when deciding on whether or not to place buttons.  I guess what I "needed to do" was to place a clear warning on the pattern. 

I have to say, I'm disappointed.  I really love these little mittens.  Interweave loved these mittens.  My friends and family love these mittens.  I thought that everyone else would love them as well.  I've read about other designer's getting nasty-grams from knitters about something they didn't like, but I'd never received one.  It feels really personal.  But rather than argue about how I'm not the mother-of-the-internet, and that people are smart enough to figure out when it is and is not safe to put buttons on baby things, I decided that instead of fielding more and more of these types of messages, I would state the obvious.

So now I need to mentally shake it off, and to help me do that...I've got a book giveaway.  Hold on while I go upstairs and reach into the Box O' Knitting Books. (Jeopardy theme song plays...).   Okay, I'm back.  And fittingly, I have a copy of Debbie Bliss' Classic Knits for Kids!  How that for a coincidence?  If you want to win this baby, leave me a comment before Wednesday night at Midnight EST and I'll use the random number generator to chose the winner (you must be a US residence...pesky shipping rates).

Copyright Amazon.com
P.S.  They say you haven't really made it until someone hates your work ;)

Update: after taking a minute to get over myself, I realize that in retrospect, this commenter was correct.  Unfortunately, people do things all the time that do not line up with the common-sense approach, and I would feel horrible if a child choked on a button from my mittens because it didn't occur to anyone that small parts and small children don't mix.  So thank you, Commenter for pushing me to do something simple that might make a real difference to a little one :)