It’s Friday

I’m sure for most, Friday is the day in which things are beginning to slow down. Not for me! I seem to get my mojo going into the weekend. I mean, I just spouted off a list of to-do’s to my husband while we were driving home from breakfast. His comment, “Why don’t you write them down in jotter (a cool app). That way you don’t have to remember them all. And, you don’t feel like you have to do them all.


Really?! Ms. I-Need-To-Check-Everything-Off-My-List-Almost-Immediately. Well, (almost that is). 

Let’s create the list right here:

1) Pics for new dishcloth designs (done)
2) Pics of new baby blanket – find a place I can take them
3) Write up the all three designs
(Ummm…maybe he’s right.)
4) Knit a new set of crochet dishcloths for my Etsy shop
5) Do book review for Interweave
6) Create one more design (to make a set of three dishcloths)
7) Submit dishcloth set to Knitpicks for possible approval
8) Create first-ever BLOGcast post and get ready to launch MONDAY! *squeee*
9) Edit pics for new designs
10) List new designs on Ravelry, Etsy, Craftsy, and Pinterest


Sneak peak into the book review

Sigh…that’s enough, Deb, Right?

So one of the 10 is DONE!

I’m sure you have a to-do list. Let’s commit to getting them checked off. 

I need to find some time to knit some fun stuff too. What will that be?

So, as I always say,

Knit On!
Deb

Enabling You

I am a huge fan of podcasts. HUGE!

I recently listened to Diane, from Knitabulls Podcast. I usually am knitting and drinking coffee or tea while I tune in. She lives in Colorado, as I do. She’s very personable and one you could quickly call a “friend.”

She has a ravelry group that is over 4000 members.

Diane Rocks! She is the best enabler I know. Seriously. She also loves to knit socks and always seems to have them on her needle(s). The yarns she chooses are fun, self stripey, and colorful.

I heard her talk about Lollipop yarns, so I quickly sent a message to Joan on Etsy to ask when more would be available. Here’s what she told me:  

PILLOW TALK Self-striping sock yarn
Hi deb,

Thanks so much for your kind words! Who wouldn’t want to get a message that starts with “Your Yarn Rocks!” Lol!
The shop updates are every other Sunday at 7pm Eastern, with the next one being December 1st.

However, I do random, sneak updates called Covert Yarn Affairs. They are posted in the Lollipop Yarn group in Ravelry and most people don’t even know about it, though, word is starting to spread.

The next one is tomorrow (Thursday) at 3pm Eastern.

Thanks again!

Joan
Lollipop Yarn

Just so you have an idea of what I’m talking about, here’s a link to her SOLD skeins. You will want to bookmark this shop and check back like I will. 

I will continue to enable you with patterns, yarns, podcasts, cute project bags I run into, and much more. 

So, as I always say,

Knit On!

Deb


Book Review: Scarf Style 2 by Ann Budd

I often run across some pretty cool books. Scarf Style 2 is one of them.

Paperback: 26 Fresh Designs
Publisher: Interweave (2013)
Language: English 
Author: Ann Budd

It sells for $24.95 US

This book has nothing but scarves, hence the title. Who doesn’t love a scarf?  *raising hand* 

They appear as elegant and sophisticated, a fashion accessory that we all need in our closet, and can be knit in every direction imaginable. 

The patterns are well-written. Some contain charts due to the complexity, and some patterns are written as row-by-row instructions. The illustrations are spot on. Clear and concise. If you know me at all, this is very important to me as a photographer/designer. I appreciate a well thought out photo. The models show off these beautiful designs. 

I was able to ask Ann a few questions:

Deb: Your book, Scarf Style 2 seems to be a big hit my LYS. I was instantly intrigued with the cover photo. In fact, I’ve just bought the yarn for the project. It consists of 26 designs (1 of which is yours), to knit by different designers. What inspired you to write a book in this manner?

Ann: The original Scarf Style remains popular, yet neckwear has evolved in the past 10 years so it made sense to do a sequel. The whole premise of the Style-series books is to gather different designers for a common theme. The result is much more varied projects and approaches than a single designer could come up with. 

Deb: I’m also curious how the collaboration of the designers came about?

Ann: Again, because it was to be in the Style series, I knew that it would include multiple designers. I first contacted those that I knew would come up with innovative and interesting designs. Then the editorial director and I surfed Ravelry to identify other designers who could fill in gaps.

Deb: Scarf Style 2 is a fantastic book. Who was your target audience when putting this book together?

Ann: I wanted to reach a wide range of knitters, from relatively beginning to advanced, which explains the variety of simple to involved patterns.


As I paged through this beautiful book, I quickly marked the pages I would return to. There were, well…Lots!

I love the design on the front cover, Eufaula by Alexis Winslow, and the one I intend to cast on (tonight).

I highly recommend this book, Scarf Style 2. If you’re a scarf knitter of any kind, please do yourself (and Ann & myself) a favor by clicking on any of the highlighted links and checking it out!

You won’t be disappointed. I promise!

So, as I always say,

Knit On!

Deb




Checking In…

Well, we’re here again. 

The time I get to share with you, and hopefully enable you, with what’s on my needles, on my Nook, what music has been my go-to, and maybe a bit about my sewing…

WIP’S

 I’m currently working on a couple new designs, and a pair of socks (for me). 

Cookie A, “Monkey” Socks. It’s a free pattern on Knitty.com – Oh So Fun Pattern!

A new design for a special collection from Mai-Deb Buckingham…stay tuned!

A new design to be sold in my Etsy shop…stay tuned!

 

FinishedObject

I’ve had so much fun creating. I mean, really! 

This is the Gris de lin, on Ravelry. Fantastic FREE Pattern. Well written. Will knit again! Soon!

 
Artist’s Music I’m currently listening to (most every day)

I have my favorites, as we all do. But, I’m really enjoying, and always downloading, Sara Bareilles. She’s a bit of soul, a bit of (soft) rock, and a lot of fun! I knit in the morning while listening to her and sipping on my coffee. They say she’s like a Nora Jones or Colbie Calait. I would agree.

 
Book I’m currently reading

I can have multiple books going at any given time, but the one that has my attention right now is “A Single Thread” by Marie Bostwick. 

Marie Bostwick weaves the unforgettable story of four very different women whose paths cross, changing their lives forever . . . It’s a long way from Fort Worth, Texas, to New Bern, Connecticut, yet it only takes a day in the charming Yankee town to make Evelyn Dixon realize she’s found her new home. The abrupt end of her marriage was Evelyn’s wake-up call to get busy chasing her dream of opening a quilt shop. Finding a storefront is easy enough; starting a new life isn’t.”

A fun enchanting read…

I can Sew…Yes! I can 

Having been asked to teach classes at a new fantastic fabric AND yarn shop, I decided to try my hand at making PJ pants. Pajama Pants. They are cute, fun, sassy, and oh-so-addicting…

And did I mention, the tote? Vera Brandley eat your heart out! (Yet, another addicting project)

 
Well, how’s that for Checking in…

So, as I always say,

Knit On! (or sew on! if that’s what you love to do)

Deb

 

And The Thunder Rolls…

…and has never sounded so good. Though, coupled with lightening, well, that wouldn’t be such a good thing right now for us. 

We’ve experienced yet another fire here in our beautiful Colorado. Almost to the day, a year ago, we had fled from the Waldo Canyon fire. The Black Forest Fire, as they are calling it, had people evacuating from their homes. Some lost their homes, others ran just in case. I can’t say I blame them. I think what we all learned from the Waldo Canyon fire was you can never be sure where it will go next, or when it will strike too close for comfort. Voluntary evacuation to me would mean, go. Just go.

I have sat here, clear on the other side of the city, watching, listening to others cry out on Facebook, hear the news crew when they would make their next briefing. Such a sad thing. For those that have lost everything, I can’t imagine how that feels. For those having to pack up, and get ready because they are on pre-evacuation status, I do know how that feels.  Running around, gathering stuff. 

Wait. It IS just stuff. I understand the heirlooms, the buckets of expensive cashmere yarns, but honestly, nothing is as important as you getting out. You can’t be replaced.

I guess for me, having lived that, I think back to what I could have done differently. Nothing. The fact that we all got out safe and our home was untouched, we can only breathe a sigh of relief. Some can’t do that today. And for that, I can only say, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that happened. And for what reason this fire had started, we may never know. They have begun an investigation into the point of origin, and as to why it got started. I do hope they find out. It would offer comfort, at least to know.

I’m looking out my loft window as I write this. It’s raining. And hard. It’s what we have all prayed for to end this horrible beast. As of 11:30am, the fire is 75% contained. Good news!

The one fun thing positive to have learned, was that my favorite yarn shop, Table Rock Llamas, that was located in the heart of Black Forest, was spared. Yay! We have a knitting group called Bitch ‘n Knit girls that meet every Tuesday morning there. I think we will rename our group, “Smokin’ Hot Knit Bitches”. The shop owners love it. 

Table Rock Llamas Knit Shop

Well, my friends, I didn’t mean to give this post such a negative feel, but just know, it’s part of life right now for many. Take comfort today in knitting something special, whether it be a new hat for someone in need, or a pair of socks for yourself.

So, as I always say,

Knit On!

Deb 

 (p.s. the yarn pics are to add a bit of brightness to this post.)

Knitting. Coffee. Snowing.

Knitting. Coffee. and well, maybe not snow. For us in Colorado, it’s a welcoming visitor, though. Fires surrounded our community last summer, so the snow can hang around, but not for very long.

I mean, it’s April 23rd, for goodness sake.

What does that mean for my day? 

I’m in.

For anyone that knows me, it means I will be in my cozy home knitting, designing, drinking more coffee than a person should consume, and watching the flakes fly. Though, here in Colorado, what that (really) means is by noon the sun will be out, the roads will have begun their thaw, and I will be out and about.

That’s my hope anyway.

So, grab a cup of coffee, or your beverage of choice, and settle in with me for a virtual knit-together. I’d love the company. Even a few comments would be nice.

What is on your needles today?

So, as I always say,

Knit On!

Deb 

Divas Vogue Knitting Live experience

Having had the opportunity to hang with my peeps was something that was new and exciting for me. 

Vogue Knitting Live is an event everyone should experience, designer, knitter, yarn-a-holic, etc. The style shows, the fiber vendors, new friends, and more… I had the time of my life. It was something, as a new author, I was thrilled to have experienced. It gave me fodder for upcoming blog posts, new friends to keep up with, and new design ideas for classes and future books.

You walk into the Marketplace and these are hanging from the ceiling. Knitted artwork. 
 



















 

Every elevator in the Convention Center was adorned with these…






The one thing I enjoyed the most was meeting my publisher. She’s a hoot. Shannon Okey is so much like me…quirky, fun, smiles a lot, loves the industry, and has more fun talking with people than the average person. The display at the table was fun and colorful. The pile containing my books kept getting smaller and smaller. Sweet! I signed the last 5 books before I jetted off back home. 
 

 

Let’s not forget to mention how much fun I had buying new fibers. StevenBe was one person that inspired my creativity to the point of no return. Chunky fabrics created with larger needles, blingy yarns, coupled with simple fingering weight yarns. Oh my! I came home with yarn. I know, you’re not surprised. I do love yarn. In fact, it’s the part of me that has no control. Probably, no budget either. With that said, I did yield to caution and only buy fibers that would be a bit different from the ones that already live at my house.

I feel fortunate, as an author, to have attended this event. But, let me tell you, it won’t be my last. In fact, my future plans will take me to Stitches Midwest, where more of the same will occur, I’m sure…

So, as I always say,

Knit On!

Deb

Interview with Martina Behm – Knitting Designer

I’m so excited to introduce you to a woman who designed the most amazing asymmetrically shaped triangle Hitchhiker Shawlette, Martina Behm. I fell in love with the way this pattern worked. The saw-tooth border evolves throughout the pattern giving it an unnatural shaping. I attend a lot of knitting groups, and I found I could carry on a conversation while knitting this brilliant piece.

She used a fingering-weight yarn called, Wollmeise Pure 100% Merino Superwash. I’ve not tried that yarn, but it receives great reviews. I definitely will, though. 

I personally used Liberty Wool Light, a fingering-weight yarn as well. I think what I love most is when you follow her directions exactly, it turns out the exact length she said it would. Gauge was right on. This is my Hitchhiker Shawlette below. I. Love. This. Will definitely make another…and perhaps another.


 

So, as always, I dug a bit deeper into her designs, and discovered ALL the lovely designs Ms. Martina had. You may want to jump over to her website and see what else she’s been up to. She’s an accomplished designer from Hamburg, Germany, with an original idea.


Let’s chat with her…

Thanks for joining me, Martina. How long have you been knitting?

Since I have been about 8 years old. That’s 30 years ago!

8 years old? That makes you…well, we won’t go there. *smiling* Moving right along…What inspired you to design the ever-so-popular Hitchhiker?

  I was very fond of the long and narrow triangular shape that my free design 22.5 Degrees featured (to the right). I was just playing around with a little drawing and a ruler trying to find other ways to knit such a triangle, and found the “Hitchhiker way.” And then, just to add a little spice, I thought, well, I could do the decreases like little teeth.

And little teeth they are. And “22.5 Degrees” is in my que next, by the way. When did you become a designer, Martina?


I think it was just a couple of months ago. I used to work as a freelance jounalist and designed a bit on the side, but now designing, answering knitters’ questions and handling my pattern business is taking up all of my workday. So now, I consider myself lucky enough to call myself a part-time knitwear designer (the other part of the day, I take care of my two kids.)


 I’m interested in knowing what got you started?

Since I learned how to knit, I modified designs and made up my own patterns. At some point I thought, well, I should try to write that down. I published a couple of free patterns which was a great way to learn (because people will forgive your mistakes more easily if the pattern is free). A very useful resource for aspiring designers is Shannon Okey’s book, “The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design.”

It’s funny you mention Shannon, she’s my publisher. An amazing artist herself. So, do you draw out your design first or does your yarn lead you?

I usually make drawings for my shawlettes, because they are easy to do and they give me an idea of what I want to achieve. I also do calculations before I knit the sample. Usually, I have to knit several samples and start over multiple times before something works out as I planned. Currently, I am trying to learn how to make fashion sketches for sweaters, which is hard.

Designing is a very strategic thing, I do know. Martina, who are some of your favorite knitting designers?

Ysolda Teague, Nora Gaughan, Fiona Ellis. They design great, inspired garments, and I admire that.

I, too, have always admired garment designers. Something I have yet to try. When you’re not knitting, what else do you like to fill your time with?

I love to play the piano and I asked Santa to bring me a guitar this year. It is my favorite thing to play music and sing with my children.   

Oh, I love that! I hope Santa is good to you this year. What advice do you have for a new knitter?

Use all the cool knitting innovations like Magic Loop, Judy’s magic cast-on, knitting sweaters seamlessly top-down in the round and toe-up socks. Don’t be afraid, they really make life so much easier than the classic, old-fashioned style of knitting that your grandma taught you. Also, be on Ravelry. But that’s obvious, isn’t it?

You know, Martina, that is good stuff! Great advice. Do you have a favorite type of yarn you like to use?

Fingering-weight yarn in bright and variegated colors. But, I am learning to appreciate thicker yarn as well.

Nice! Bright and variegated, my favorite too. One last question, Has knitting changed your life in any way?

Yes! No matter what is going on in my life, knitting always provides comfort. It is challenging and rewarding when everything else is boring and dull, and it can be soothing when the rest of my life is stressful. Also, being a knitwear designer means I can work from home and have no deadlines such that any kind of child-related emergency is manageable. I am really grateful for that opportunity, and I know I owe it all to you wonderful knitters out there – and the guys at Ravelry. Thank you so much!

This was an amazing interview with Martina Behm. Seriously, she is an inspiration to all of us designers, as well as a go-to for us knitters. Her patterns are a delight to knit. 

Dear Readers, I’d be honored (and I’m sure she would too), if you’d check out her other patterns.
 
 
Many, many thanks to Martina for joining us today. Please join me here monthly to find out my next greatest designer/have-to-knit. Or if you find a pattern that you have fallen head-over-heals in love with, please write me, or comment below. I’d love to hear about it (and maybe even blog about it).


So, as I always say,

Knit On!

Deb

Top 10 Reasons I Love to Decorate with Color

I’m all about COLOR. Anyone who know me, knows COLOR  is what gets me in a good mood and keeps me there. I’m decorating my loft/work space to reflect me.  COLOR inspiration is something that tickles me to the core. This is the COLOR  palette I’m aiming for. 

 

Wall COLOR, and accent pieces all working together to create a cohesive look. Whether it’s monochromatic or pastel, neutral or complimentary, everyone has their thing. I love to go down into my fabric stash and choose COLORs that work well together. Like this. I love to have one COLOR that just pops. In this case, It’s the pink.

 

Now…what are the top 10 reasons I love to decorate with COLOR?

1 –  Decorating with  COLOR makes me feel like a designer.

2 –  Decorating with COLOR gives me permission to go buy things that I normally wouldn’t buy.

3 –  Because when studying about COLOR, I ran across what it says about someone who likes purple, for example…artistic and unique. Someone who likes pink is happy, blissful, content, artistic (there’s that word again), and quirky. Probably. A person who likes green is balanced, relaxed, humble. (well, not sure about the humble part, in my case anyway) *smiling* How about brown…solid, dependable, stable, realistic, mature. Definitely me, well, unless you want to take mature out of there. I’m definitely a kid at heart. *smiling again*

4 –  COLOR provides the creative inspiration in everything I design from dishcloths to accessories.

5   COLOR gives me that happy feeling. 

6 –  COLOR is something that can change a room or change the look of a whole house. For example, I painted one living room wall a rich red/burgundy COLOR, and yes, it changed the room instantly.
7 –    COLOR is always the first thing my friends comment on when they walk in one of my color inspired rooms.
8 –   COLOR gives me the satisfaction in my decorating than even placing a new accessory on a table would.
9 –  Loving COLOR so much, allows me to decorate “Diva” style. 

10 –   Because I get to highlight the word  COLOR every time it comes up in a sentence. 
What about you? Why do you love to decorate with COLOR? This is where you can share all of your secrets, good or bad. A place to (maybe) learn from someone else. 
Please leave a comment. I would LOVE to hear.
This wasn’t a fiber related top ten list, because I got a little diverted due to my current WIP. Not knitting wise, design wise.
So, as I always say, 
Knit On!
Deb
 

Knitting Help is Here

Ask Deb
Deb is the author of Dishcloth Diva. She teaches beginning knitter classes at her local yarn shop. Her specialty is helping the beginner knitter feel confident in their craft. Not one person does it the same, so she tailors the lesson to fit the student. Her designs can be found on Ravelry and Etsy in her pattern stores. You can also find her as an independent designer on Knitpicks. Deb takes great pride in her confidence with the craft.
Reasons you would need Deb’s help:
  • I don’t understand a specific term
  • I don’t have the yarn recommended for the pattern and want to use different one
  • I need help understanding the pattern details
  • I don’t understand gauge and why it’s important to my project
  • I want to make it larger and don’t know how to convert the needle size
  • I don’t understand the different yarns and what projects they would be good for
Whatever the question, Deb will have the answer. (or help you figure out how to get it)
How to get a hold of her:
 
  1. Email her at theartfulyarn@gmail.com
  2. Leave a comment on this post

Knitting help = a happy knitter. Don’t get discouraged and give up before asking that all important question.

Happy Knitting!