LA County Yarn Crawl

The 3rd annual LA County Yarn Crawl begins tomorrow! Are you ready? Last year I visited each and every shop. There were over 30 (I can’t quite remember how many). I believe I forgot to blog about it last year. I did make some voice recordings after most of the stops to tell my impression of each store. (I didn’t listen to them either…) So sad. Anyway, this year I will not be crawling. I tell you that was one heck of a schlep! From Santa Clarita to Claremont, through Whittier and Redondo Beach, up through Long Beach and LA, to Santa Monica and through the San Fernando Valley… Well, you can see the map here.Yarn Crawl 2013 Map

This year I will be working at my LYS, Unwind in Burbank. We hope you will join us. 

There will be a book signing, custom swatch & wear consultations, lots of great yarn and free patterns. We have Colinton in all colors, Shibui and many special yarns. I hope to see you there!

Bookmark your Yarn Crawl Map or use KnitMap.

Vogue Knitting Day Three

Vogue Knitting Live was great. On Sunday, I was asked for in the fashion show again! I worked there all morning until I had to leave at noon. The three shows I worked on were Rowan, Plymouth Yarns and Deborah Newton. They all went well. I got a little braver and ran around front to take photos. No one seemed to mind, as long as I was backstage when I needed to be.

VK Live Fashion Show

Fashion Show

Here’s a real reporter’s take on the event. I know exactly how she feels. You know in the movie Up when the dogs get distracted and they say “Squirrel!”? That’s just what I felt like during the fashion show when I spotted a lovely garment. It was a good kind of distraction.

Knitting Tools

New Toys - I mean tools...

I ran down to the marketplace during a break and quickly picked up some items that I’d been needing wanting. A needle gauge, some pretty yarn, (It’s hard to resist pretty yarn.) another needle gauge just because I thought it looked cool, some shawl pins and a cute little lampwork sheep stitch marker. He’s watching over my Khotan socks which are currently on the needles and 85% finished.


More Yarn for the Stash! Interesting color choices, don't you think?

I told you on day one that I’d talk about my class. I took Custom Knit Design with Josh Bennet.  I know, I hadn’t heard of him either. Oh, you had? I guess I don’t get out much. Anyway, his website is He designs for Rowan and some of his menswear will be featured in the January 2012 Rowan Magazine. Watch for it! He was very informative about design. He has his opinions of course and I couldn’t help but agree with some of them, like mitered squares. I think they look really busy, especially when done in a handpainted yarn and on something like a sweater. Maybe they should be reserved for potholders or scarves. Something small. I don’t really agree with his theory that knitting a sweater in the round skews the garment. I made my Oriel Lace Blouse in the round and it has held up nicely. His reasons made a lot of sense though, in a theoretical sort of way. Maybe it makes a difference depending on the yarn used.  Josh took us through his formula for measuring for a basic sweater. I had taken a similar class before at Unwind, but I had arrived late and frazzled, so I didn’t really get it. Everyone was already in the middle of taking their measurements so it was a bust for me. Then when I was designing my sweater for the Classic Elite contest, I really needed the info. Luckily, I had Shirley Paden’s Knitters Design Workshop. That really helped get me through the sleeve measurements. My poor sweater still could have used more proper fitting techniques, but I chalked the whole thing up to a learning experience. I did have fun designing it and I want to do more.


More fun in the Marketplace

On Saturday, I sat in on a lecture given by Nancy Soriano called Turning Your Passion Into A Business. I’d love to turn knitting into a business, but it seems like a long road. Is it crazy that I want to turn knitting into my primary business and web design into a hobby? Neither are a business at this point, but you can see where there is more potential to make money. Ahh, well. Let me know your thoughts.

Knitter Ditter

Another cool benefit of being a volunteer is that we got this book at the end:

Finishing School by Deborah Newton

Vogue Knitting Day Two

I’m here again at VK LA and this morning’s tasks have been interesting. I’m working the info booth, helping people find their way around. We’re also called to float, so I’ve delivered things to classrooms and a couple of us were asked to help clean up a room that some teachers had a party in. Apparently knitters party like rock stars.


Backstage at VK Live Fashion Show

I just got called to fill in as a dresser at the fashion show. So cool! I jumped right back into my former role as costumer from BHS Show Choir! The knitwear is fabulous, the models are beautiful and the energy is fun. I’m going to request this job for next year!

I just dressed a model for the Koigu fashion show. She had 4 changes. First was a crop top in seed stitch, double stranded. Second was a ski sweater. Next was a long dress in mitered squares. Then came a coat done in cubes put together with 3 needle bind off. The pieces are all gorgeous, but I was struck by the weight of them. They might be good in very cold weather, but not here in So Cal. Also, you’d build up
Your muscles wearing them around. I swear some of the pieces weighed about 10 lbs!

Next up, Hand Painted yarns. Lorna’s Laces, Prism, Mountain Colors, Claudia & Twisted Sisters.


Inside out sweater?

Ok, so I just got caught thinking out loud. I’m gonna have to shut up. Beth Casey heard me say, “Is this mistake?” she said, “What’s wrong?!” I suddenly realized that I’d panicked one of the designers. I quickly mumbled , “Oh, nothing. I just have to cut this tag off.” What I thought was a mistake was the underarm seam on the sweater I was getting ready to put on my model seemed to be on the outside. Could be a design feature, but this garment was knit in the round. These were the only seams and they were prominent, as if done with a three needle bind off. I decided I’d go with it as is because that’s how it came out of the bag, but really, it could have been reversed. I wonder if it should have been… Maybe I should have been brave and asked her.

The garments in this show:
Lorna’s sweater, Entrelac jacket, hat, cowl & fingerless Mitsubishi with fur edging. Denali Plume I think they said. It was so soft, like rabbit fur.


Cute hat, cowl & fingerless mitts

Sorry the photos aren’t great. They were from my iphone and taken from the reverse of the screeen.


Last night was Unwind Yarn’s anniversary party and what a party it was! The place was packed with Ravelers and revelers. Ravelry came, and I always enjoy talking to Casey about the site and techie stuff. Jess is pregnant and so cute! I met Mary Heather and Sarah.Ravelry @ Unwind They brought Ysolda Teague. She is very sweet. She was wearing a sweater that she designed for her new book, Little Red In The City, which will be available in March. I love her design sensibility. A couple of us were examining the side seams on her sweater. I think she’s a knitting genius.

Shannon Okey was there signing her new book, The Knitgrrl Guide To Professional Knitwear Design. It looks like a great resource. She has provided tons of information and advice for a budding knitwear designer.  It was her birthday yesterday, so the shop got her a cake from Porto’s.

Michelle Miller from Fickle Knitter was there displaying her designs and patterns. I talked to her for quite a while about design and publishing patterns. She was very open and willing to give advice too. She designed the shawl I just completed as a display piece for the party and to show off the Silky Alpaca Lace from Classic Elite. Here’s a link to her blog post on the party.

Bar-Maids was there demoing their scrub and moisturizer. I had to get some for my Very. Dry. Hands. I think it’s just what I’ve been looking for. Smells divine too!

Classic Elite had their trunk show (is that what you call it? ) with the new Spring 2011 designs and yarns. It seems like we were the first to see them. The patterns are not even published yet, but I have my eye on a cute little cardigan in Cricket. It’s so new I can’t even find it on their website. They are releasing the new yarns at TNNA today, so I expect it will be there soon. Of course I forgot to take a picture. :(

By the way, my picture taking sux. I’m too shy about asking people to take their picture so I get very candid shots and bad angles and forget to take some important stuff. Then I get home and go, “Why didn’t I get that picture?!?” Sigh. The cardi I’m talking about is the second from the right. Next to the green sweater. Sorry, I only got the back. Ugghhh.

Ok, I have a confession. I think I’m addicted to yarn. It’s like a drug. I mean really. When Stephanie announced that there were a few seats left in Shanon Okey’s Hand Dyeing class on Sunday, I jumped right on it. I know I’ve seen emails about this, but being there I got all caught up in the excitement. How silly I am. Earlier in the evening I was telling Jim, the Classic Elite rep, that I was afraid to get into dyeing because I might become obsessed. Am I weird? Yah, a little yarn obsessed.

I’ll be back there tonight to hang with some of my new friends and get to know them better over some wine and knitting.

Next time I’ll show you pictures of the Not-So-Alpaca Baby Shawl. I stand corrected. I’m making it in a superwash merino. Duh! I kept insisting that it was Alpaca because that’s the title of the pattern I’m making. Sheesh!

I’ll let you know how the dyeing class goes and whether I’ve got a new obsession.

See you next Friday!

Knitter Ditter

How To Fix A Too Short Sweater

Here’s a great article from Interweave’s Knitting Daily Website. Have you ever knit a sweater and it turned out to be too short? I know I have! This seems like a good technique for fixing that problem. It comes from [amazon-product text=”Knit Fix: Problem Solving for Knitters” type=”text”]1596680113[/amazon-product]

I wish I had known of this technique before I “fixed” my too short sweater. What I did was knit a “skirt” of about 3″ onto the bottom of my sweater, but it doesn’t look quite right. The problem is that the front of the sweater has some shaping on the hem. I don’t have a picture of the actual sweater, but here is what it looks like on the model.

What I wish I looked like in my Tratto Sweater!

Not me, not even a reasonable facsimile...

(I don’t look anything like this model, but I must have thought that if I knit that sweater I would! 😉 ) I love the rest of the sweater, the little rolled neckline and sleeveless shaping. The top is great. It’s just the bottom that bothers me. The other problem is that it was knit with Lana Grossa Tratto which has little flags that will make it very hard to frog. I love the yarn, just not redoing it. Uggghhh. It will stay on the pile of  “to do someday.”

Wait, Wait, It Doesn't Itch!

Mo Rocca Gets a New Sweater.

Ravelry members presented Mo with a sweater designed by Norah Gaughan and hand knit by Ravelry members. In February he made a comment that all home made sweaters itch. Franklin Habit and various Chicago knitters proved him wrong.
Unfortunately there’s no embed on the NPR player, but you’ve got to see this!

Mo Rocca vs. Knitters.  Click Here to Watch.

Here’s a follow up video as Mo now loves hand knitting so much he wanted to learn to knit himself.