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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Domestic Me

I think if you have a creative gene, you are not restricting yourself to one medium. I do love to create through knitting, but I also love photography (I am planning to learn more about it), cooking and house decorating among other things. This is a prelude to what I am going to share with you. Normally I cook very simple dishes. Who has the time, right? When we have someone over for a nice dinner, I am using this opportunity to create something that I will be happy about. Most of the time, I am not following any recipes, I just do it. When it comes to baking, I have learned my lessons (note: plural) and I am not experimenting almost ever (I cannot help myself sometimes). When we were in Australia, I learned to do this airy cake called Pavlova. Almost every restaurant has it there. It is named after a Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. It has no fat, just egg whites and sugar with the topping of non-fat cool-whip mixed with Amarreto liqueur. Let me know, if you want the recipe.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Knitting In The Sun

There is a new book around the corner.
"Knitting In The Sun" by Kristi Porter is promising to be a wonderful book with 32 projects suited for warm weather. You can read about it here. I am proud to be one of the contributors whose design was included in this book. I did not see the inside of the book yet, but I am in love with the cover. It will be hard to wait until the release day in April. Looking at the names of the designers, I am sure we are in for a treat.

Thanksgiving 2008

I love Thanksgiving. Kids come home. I do not have to go to work. We cook, we talk, we laugh, we watch movies, my daughter and I knit. There is much to be thankful for. I am lucky to have a great family and many friends. My designing is continuing to be great fun for me. This year I also realized that my cyber friends on Ravelry are real.
My daughter made beautiful pies for our meal. This is her apple pie.
A birch tree is very symbolic in Russian literature. When I was leaving Russia almost 30 years ago, my boss was trying to reason with me and said that if I leave, I will never see another birch in my life. He meant to say that I will see very different nature around me and be very nostalgic. In fact, I do not see much of a difference in plants if I compare where I grew up and where I live now. And talking about birches… I have quite a few of them around my block. No nostalgia here. I do love them though.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monique's New Hat

Since Monique is a big part of my designing and knitting life, I thought it is only fair to make her a newly published hat. She took it with poise and did not fuss about the yarn or the color. After all, she knows that everything looks good on her. I followed the pattern exactly and the only change I have made is in the flower. The yarn for the base is too thick, so I had to modify the pattern a little.

I am going to move to Palo Alto for about 6-7 months and I have a big decision to make what to take with me there. I cannot live without my knitting books and tools. I guess it won't be that hard. I will just take everything. Oh, yes, Monique is coming with us. Even my husband thinks that she belongs to our family.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sweet Honey Beret is unveiled

One of my secret projects is out for the world to see. Last Friday in the Knitting Daily we were given a link to the Preview of the Winter 2008 of Interweave Knits magazine.

It will show up on the stands on December 2. This means that those of us who are subscribers will get it even sooner.
I was very anxious to see the photos of a model wearing my hat. I knew that I should not have worried. IK is so great with photography. I have to say that what I saw has topped my expectations. The model is sweet and beautiful and she looks great in my beret. Here are the pictures.

I have a few more secrets coming out at the beginning of next year. It is so much fun!!
And now I need to concentrate on the end of the semester. It is a hard time for me always. Not much knitting, a lot of grading and paperwork, many conversations with students concerning their grades...
Oh, wait. We are not exactly there yet. My favorite holiday is coming first! I love Thanksgiving for many reasons. The biggest of them though is that my son and daughter come home. I am looking forward to our family time. After that I can take on the end of the semester.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My favorite time of the year

I had a very relaxing day today. Do you want to know what I was up to? ... I was driving around and taking pictures to the point that my camera was out of breath. You see, for a few weeks now we have the most beautiful fall weather. Imagine that you actually could ask for a certain weather and get your wish granted. Well, it does feel that we got our wish come true. All the plants and trees are celebrating. Every tree has its own color set. We live in the valley and many trees that you see in town are not native here. It is very amusing to see a palm tree, a birch, a maple, a walnut tree, a pomegranate, and an orange tree on one street or on the same property. Although it is unheard of to have them side-by-side, they make a great tree bouquet. I let you enjoy it now.

This was the tree next to some house. While I was taking a picture a woman who lives in that house came home. I do not want even to know what she was thinking when she saw me...

Some trees lost most of the leaves and look like a drama queen.

This group of beauties is on my campus. I always drive by and hope to find the time to stop and take a picture. Today I did.

Do you see what I mean? I almost missed the opportunity. Since it is very warm (we are still in T-shirts here), this part of fall is very short in Northern CA. Next will be rain and all the leaves end up on the ground. Right now the evenings are cool. I love to knit during this weather.
I am working on some projects that I can not share, but I started something for my daughter out of my stash!!! I am so happy that I can use some of my yarn. It was the yarn that I bought for the Elongated Neck Tunic from the Casual, Elegant
, but it was not right for it.

This is the new project from stash.

I did finish the Red Waves beret.
Well, back to knitting.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


You never know when and how you can be inspired. It comes as a sudden wave from a place that is unknown to you at the moment. And when it comes, it takes you as a storm and you are there. I felt that way when we took my cousin and his wife, who came to visit us from Ukraine for the first time, to China Beach in San Francisco last weekend. It was rainy all day on Saturday and we could show very little of what SF offers. We were very sad that this beautiful city will not be in their memory as it could be. Next day they were leaving and we had two hours to spare. Suddenly the sun was out and the rain stopped. We had to show them the Golden Gate Bridge. Here is what we saw.

I could stay there for hours. I was in awe of what I saw. I was inspired. I saw so many possibilities of colors, textures, shapes, and lines. Our guests were overwhelmed and we were very happy that we could share with them this beauty.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Is Fall Coming?

California is not in a hurry to say goodbye to summer. We still see about 80 degrees during the day. Trees are slowly turning color and loosing some leaves, but it is not feeling like a fall yet. I am torn between wanting a nice cool weather and enjoying the weather we have now. I know, I know. People who live on the East coast and in the Midwest already have their chilly days and miss the warm weather. Actually, our fall here is short and beautiful. I love all the colors of fall. I grew up in Russia in a city called Samara with four distinct seasons that took turns and had time to show all the assets. It is hard to find a good website with pictures of Samara. Most of people who post about it are missioners, so they are taking pictures of many churches. Here are some pictures of the city and the river called Volga. Some day I will tell you more about it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What are you knitting?

I am always curious to see what other people are working on . I am known to ask "What are you knitting?" once I know that I am talking to a knitter. Many people are also asking me the same question. Since I am knitting every day, I have many things planned and started and I have a hard time to answer this question. Some of my projects are for publications and some for me or my family. I cannot talk about the publications, so I will talk about some of the things I am working on. Here is one of them. I am almost done with the brown sweater for myself. I loved to work with Louisa Harding's silk and the color of dark chocolate.

Since this is the time of my "show and tell", or more likely my "confession" about the projects that are still on the needles for some time now, here is my silky cardigan that I started in April. It is one of the projects that I keep for the times like my Knitting Circle that I lead on Wednesdays. I do not need to concentrate on it, just a "non-brainer" kind of knitting.

It will have short sleeves and the opening in the front. I cannot wait to finish it. I think it will be very nice and it will go with so many colors in my wardrobe.
The Red Waves Beret is from the "Casual, Elegant Knits". I had to start it to check the pattern. I do not mind doing it. I will be so happy to wear it. It is my color and I am very proud of this design. I have many other projects in my plans. They need to wait a little bit. There is one more thing I am working on. It is my old pattern called "Slippers with Aura" I need to have a better photo for them, so I have decided to redo the slippers. They are very fuzzy and fun to knit. I will post it when I am done with it.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Book Signing at Barnes & Noble

I was so busy with some deadlines and the blog tour that I had no time to post this. I also waited for the pictures. Kimberlee Wheeler, the wonderful Community Relations Manager of our B&N, took these pictures of us. She did such a great job on organizing the event! We had many people attending and it felt like a big party.
I made a Power Point presentation about the book and Kimberlee asked next-door neighbors, The Circut City, for a flat TV. We were so pleased to see 72" TV rolled in by two guys who actually knew how to connect my laptop to it.

The atmosphere was very informal and people were asking many questions. Here is Dawn talking about our projects.

All the projects were displayed on mannequins, but some had to rest on the book stands.

This sweater had to lean on the magazines. It had a big support from Vogue Knitting and Interweave Knits along with other craft and fashion magazines. It would be very lonely otherwise.

Some people came very prepared and did not waste any time.

There was a little girl of 8 years old who was knitting away. It was very symbolic for me since I started to knit at her age. Too bad I have no pictures of her. She was so cute.

Nobody wanted to leave, so they were looking at the projects, talking to each other and to us. We were signing books at the table covered with stuff. You hardly see Dawn who is signing the book behind the poster.

It is a memorable day for us and we are glad that so many people came to celebrate with us the launch of our book. Do you want to know what did we do after that? Well, Dawn had her family visiting from Sacramento and Arizona. My husband and I joined them for a nice early dinner at our local Sierra Nevada Brewery. So, cheers!!

(from the beer blog.)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Taking a deep breath

After being on a blog tour and doing the Power Point for our book signing at Barnes & Noble in addition to many other things like a full time job, I am taking a deep breath and try to enjoy this moment. No, I did not stop working. I continue my knitting, of course. I am just taking a deep breath. There is so much to see when I am looking back at the year behind me. I am very thankful for everything that happened. And now I am looking forward and try to relax.
I had the time to finish my latest small pattern, the Neck Dresser. I took the picture of Monique wearing it and here she is.
On the background is the needlepoint that my mom made when I was little.

My original Neck dresser was this one.

I am also working on a design that will be published in Kara Gott Warner's book. I am more than half done. So, no rush there.
I do not think I mentioned that Claudia's Hand Painted Yarns is going to have patterns published on their website. I love her yarns. During this summer I made something for her. I think it will be published soon.
Tomorrow I am going to San Francisco. There is one thing that is different from my normal trip there. I am going by myself. You do not get it? I am driving..., so I cannot knit in the car!! That is 3 hours of no knitting. I hope I survive this.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Day 16: The Grand Finale with Simona Merchant-Dest

The last day of the blog tour. I am talking to Simona Merchant-Dest. She is one of my favorite designers. I love her style: elegant and classy even when she is making a hat. Simona's designs are published in Vogue Knitting, Interweave Crochet, Knit 1, Knit Simple, Knitter's Magazine. She contributed to books Vogue Knitting on the GO series and Anova Books: Stitch Style: Socks. Simona also designs for a yarn company Mission Falls. If you look through her designs, you will see that she is equally great in designing for knitting and crocheting. When Simona was talking to me, I had a chance to ask her about her future plans. It seams that we will see her beautiful designs in many places.
Since this is our last stop on the blog tour, I want to use the opportunity to thank all 16 incredibly talented designers for taking their time from their very busy schedules to help us to introduce our book to the knitting world. I hope you all had as much fun as I did going from blog to blog and seeing such different design styles. There is much to learn from each one of them. I wish them all great success in their work and I hope that you, my readers, will follow these designers and enjoy their new patterns.
As I was working on these interviews for the blog tour, I came up with some ideas for my next posts. I hope you will check with me once in a while to see what I am up to. Both Dawn and I have some publications of our designs coming in books and magazines. I will keep you posted on that.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Day 15: A book review by Joanne Seiff

I do not even know where to start talking about Joanne Seiff of the Yarn Spinner. This summer I was in Nashville and met with Joanne for cup of coffee. I have not met her before. I knew her blog and knew about her upcoming book Fiber Gathering published by Wiley. I cannot wait to read this book. Yes, I mean read. Joanne is a superb writer and a good researcher. I am sure I will learn a lot from her book. She told me that she has been a spinner since her childhood and she still finds it relaxing and fascinating. Joanne is also a designer, so there will be projects designed by her and some other designers in her book. While working on this book, she was offered another contract for a second book. So, she is very busy right now and I am very grateful that Joanne took time to write a book review about Casual, Elegant Knits.
Thank you, Joanne. Do you want to know more about Joanne? You can look at her website and you would know what I am talking about. Here is what written about Joanne on the website of The Association of Knitwear Designers:
Joanne Seiff is a freelance writer, knitwear designer, educator, and fiber artist. Her writing about fiber arts and knitting designs have appeared in Interweave Knits, Spin-Off, Belle Armoire, and Wild Fibers magazines, in the KnitLit books, the Knit Picks Catalog, and online on Her handspun yarn is sold at The Berea College Gallery in Kentucky and is available, along with self-published patterns, on her website. This year, Seiff’s fiber art won an award at the 2006 Celebration of the Arts show at The Kentucky Museum and two of her pieces appeared in a juried exhibition at the Kiana Malekzadeh Gallery in New York City.
I want to wish Joanne all the best in her work and thank her for the book review.

Well, today is day 15 on our tour. That means tomorrow is the last day. We are visiting with another fabulous designer Simona Merchant-Dest. I hope you are still with us.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Day 14: Visiting with Kristi Porter

We are talking with Kristi Porter of the Domestic Sphere today. Kristi wanted to hear from both Dawn and me about our collaboration on the book. What roles did we play? How did we influenced each other? There were many other questions along the way. I thought Kristi's questions were very insightful. I would think it is because Kristi Porter is a designer and the author herself. Many of Kristi's designs are published by You also can see her designs in her books. Kristi has a few such as Knitting for Dogs and Knitting Patterns for Dummies. She contributed her patterns for other publications such as More Big Girl Knits and No Sheep For You.
Like Kristi mentioned in her post, she has another book in the works called Knitting In The Sun. Both Dawn and I are privileged to be part of this book. I cannot wait to see the final result.
I want to thank Kristi for being a part of our blog tour. It was great visiting with her.
Our next stop is with Joanne Seiff. I hope you are caught up with us. We are moving fast.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Day 13: Techniques and finishing

Visiting with Jennifer Tallapaneni of PieKnits is very stimulating. She is full of energy and innovative ideas. Do you know anyone who is making pies? Well, I do not mean baking pies. I mean...knitting them.

That is what Jennifer is doing for fun. When it comes to serious designing she is fabulous. She is published in Interweave Knits, Knitter's Magazine, and she has her own line of patterns called pieKnits. If you are a Raveler, you can find her and see all her designs here. One of Jennifer's designs that was published in IK is Celtic Tote.
I am sure you will find it interesting to brows through her website. Have fun!
Jennifer was curious about some of the techniques we used in the book. I was so happy to talk about this. Dawn and I both are very particular about knitting techniques and finishing. It is our belief that you can knit your garment in a plain Stockinette stitch, but take care of all the techniques and correct finishing, and you got yourself a well-made piece of clothing.
There are more things to say. Maybe after the blog tour is over, I will start posting more on techniques. You can start reading now the beginning of this series at pieKnits.

Our next stop will be at Kristi Porter's The Domestic Sphere. Dawn and I both are going to be there.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Day 12: Conversation with Donna Druchunas

Dawn and I are talking with Donna Druchunas of the Sheep to Shawl today. She is the author of many books and a great designer with many adventures in the knitting world. Here are some of her books: Arctic Lace and The Knitted Rug. Donna co-authored her newly published book Skein for Skein with two other authors. I am looking forward to seeing what she came up with there. Donna is very active in her knitting career. She just spent a summer in Lithuania. We already see some of her notes from that period. I am sure it will be more. Just let her settle a little. Since Donna just came back from Europe, she saw in our book some of the designs that are reminding her of people she met there. Some of her questions to us are reflecting that. We are talking about our backgrounds and men's wear. I was so interested to hear what Donna plans to do next. What do you know, she has another book coming soon called Ethnic Knitting Exploration: Lithuania, Iceland, and Ireland. Go read our conversation with Donna and see you tomorrow at Jennifer Tallapaneni of the Pie Knits.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Day 11: Making the Little Flirt Skirt for a larger size

Ahh, nice and relaxing Sunday morning. Dawn and I are in CA with Liz Moreno. We are talking about some techniques that were used in the book, differences in our knitting styles, men's projects, and how to use our skirt pattern and knit it for a size larger than described in the pattern.
Both the Tailored Skirt and the Little Flirt Skirt can be flattering for many body types. We could write these patterns for 7 and 6 sizes respectively, but there are more sizes in the range. We are talking with Liz how the pattern can be modified for the size you need.
I know Liz for more than four years now. She used to be a part of one of my favorite yarn shops in Menlo Park, CA. Liz always impressed me with the wealth of knowledge in knitting. If you need to know about the yarns, books, patterns, techniques... you name it... go and ask Liz. She is an incredible knitter and a patient teacher. Liz is also a designer. Her patterns are free on her website.
If you look her up in Ravelry, you will see how popular her Sunshine String Bag is. I hope to see more of her designs. She is always up to something. Thank you, Liz for hosting us.

Tomorrow you are coming with us (I hope:) ) to see Donna Druchunas. I am sure you know about Donna's work.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Day 10: Felting tips with Dawn and Terry Ross

I am so late with this post. We just came back from our Barnes&Noble book signing. It was a lot of fun. I will do a separate post with pictures about it after the tour is over.
Our stop on the tour is at Terry Ross of Terry Ross Designs. Terry is a queen of felting and socks. She has beautiful and very usable designs. You actually can have so much fun knitting her patterns. It will never be boring. Just take a look at her catalog . I am sure you have seen, and maybe even knitted, Terry's patterns before. She also has a book called Twelve Bags Fulled. That bag on the cover is to die for! It is just a brilliant design.
Terry and Dawn are designing for the same yarn company Crystal Palace Yarns and to read their exchange of ideas about felting is fascinating.

Tomorrow we will be with Liz Moreno of ADKD
We will talk about sizing the skirt for a larger size among other topics.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Day 9: We are in beautiful Finland with Tikru

Have you ever been to Finland? This is my first time (and it is a virtual one for now). I am talking with an amazing designer Tikru of Made By Myself.
Two of her designs were published in the last issue of Vogue Knitting. She gave us a tour of Finland first. It made me wanting to go there even more. What a beautiful country! I lived in Russia before, so we were practically neighbors :), but I did not have chance to travel at that time. Now, I live in America and love to travel. There is so much to see. Scandinavia is on the top of my list for the next trip to Europe. Tikru lives so far away from us, that she did not have a chance to see our book yet. Her interview with me was directed to getting to know about the book. She asked me questions like:"Tell me why your book is different from other books and why would I be interested to buy it?" We had a good chat. I hope I convinced her that our book is worth having in a knitter's library. I would love to continue our conversation. I see that Tikru is a wonderful knitter. I bet she has some different techniques under her belt. I am always learning.
Tikru's website is telling about her artistic talents. It is beautiful. You can see many of her patterns there. Some are free, some are for sale. I am looking forward to many more of her designs in the near future.
Tomorrow Dawn is talking to Terry Ross of Terry Ross Designs about her felting projects in the book. It will be very interesting.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Day 8: Design Talk With Marnie

Dawn and I are with Marnie MacLean today. Either you are a designer or not, you probably want to know what goes into design process. How people come up with ideas and why do they want to publish their designs, not just knit from someone's pattern? What difficulties one has while designing knitwear? What goes first: yarn or sketch, color or shape? There are millions of questions that I can ask a designer. Today, Marnie is asking us about our work together and how the book came about. You can read our answers here.
I have to tell you that Marnie herself is a very interesting designer. Her designs are very feminine. Take a look at the lovely Deciduous Cami and you will see what I mean. You can see Marnie's patterns in books such as Boho Baby Knits and Museum of Kitschy Stitches: A Gallery of Notorious Knits.
Marnie has a great number of very well done and very helpful tutorials for knitters, spinners, and designers. I bookmarked her website and go there often. Marnie is so generous with her time. Thank you, Marnie for that and for hosting us today.
There are 16 very talented designers who participate on this tour. Do not miss the opportunity to visit their websites to find out more about them, admire their collection of patterns, and find out where they are publishing their designs.
Tomorrow we are going to be in Finland with Mari Muinonen (Tikru), another talented designer. I am looking forward to it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Day 7: Who did win that book?

I was so anxious about this. I really wanted to know who will win the copy of our book on Susan Lawrence's blog I Knit As Fast As I can. It was such a fun idea. She showed some photos from the book and people asked questions. There were 86 responses and Dawn chose (it was hard to do, she said) a few to answer. The big winner is....Cayli. Here is Cayli wearing Dawn's design from the last issue of Interweave Knits. I do not know, if she has realized that it was the same designer who talked to her. This hat is so cute. And now Susan. Did you see her lacy shawls? I love Susan's work. She has a great blog, if you do not know it yet. I feel lucky to see our book on her blog. Thank you, Susan, very much. I was happy to read so many good comments on the patterns from the book. It feels good to know that knitters are looking forward to knit our designs.
Next stop is the blog of Marnie MacLean. You will love to roam around her blog. So much to read.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Day 6: Brioche talk

Dawn and I stopped by this morning at Marie Grace Smith of Marie Grace Designs.
The more you look around her blog, the more lovely and gentle designs pop out. I also adore her kids (her wonderful models:)). I can see where her inspiration comes from... Her patterns can be purchased online and she has all kinds of useful things there. Here is one- a tutorial on blocking with photos and explanations. Dawn and I had a wonderful time with Marie Grace and we want to say thank you, Marie Grace for your hospitality.
What did we talk about? There was some conversation about our design process and we got into one of my favorite topics: brioche stitches. I love brioche family of stitches and love to have an excuse for telling someone about them. You might enjoy to hear about these unique stitch patterns this time on the Marie Grace's blog. I have more to say about them, so stay tuned. There will be more.

I will talk to you tomorrow. We have a different and exciting day on the Susan Lawrence's blog.
You might remember about the contest she did? Well, tomorrow she is giving away the copy of our book. Who gets it? I cannot wait to find out.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Day 5: Visiting at PhysicsKnits

My apologies for the late post. I am busy visiting with the amazing Connie Chang Chinchio of Physicsknits. If you for some reason do not remember her name, I assure you that you know her designs. Remember her Riding to Avalon hoodie from the last Knitscene? This is just one of her many beautiful designs you see everywhere you turn.
Connie was asking me about two of my designs in the book Vintage Hat and the Funnel-Neck Top. I do not want to repeat my answers here, so please read it on Connie's blog. We also talked about how Dawn and I worked together on this book. How did we manage the whole process and who did what. It is so interesting for me to go back in time and see what we did as almost an outsider. As you work on something, you are not evaluating the way you do it. You just do it. As I said before, when you start working with a person for the first time, you do not know what to expect . It was our first project together of such volume. Well, to our huge satisfaction, it turned out to be a wonderful thing that we both enjoyed.
You can read more on Physicsknits. I wanted to hear all about Connie's plans and I asked her some questions as well. She is a very productive designer with a great imagination and taste that is combined with the perfect knitting skills. Thank you, Connie, for having me over. It was wonderful.
Tomorrow is another stop on a blog tour. It will be with Marie Grace Smith of MarieGraceDesigns. Do not miss it.
One more thing. I just made a video on a Decorative Cast-On that you can follow as you cast-on for the Vintage Hat. Give me some feed back, please. Oh, it is on the right side on my blog. You will find it.
Talk to you tomorrow.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Day 4: Skirts part II with Amy Polcyn

I am delighted to visit with Amy Polcyn of Frottez today. We are continuing the conversation about knitted skirts that we started with Cindy Moore yesterday. It seems that a skirt is one of the types of knitted projects that was not popular for a while and is making a come back. At the same time many people do have a fear of wearing a knitted skirt. There is a myth that you must have a perfect figure for that. In reality, practically everyone can do it. Like any part of your wardrobe, skirts must flatter your particular figure. Take a good look in the mirror at YOU and try to analyze what length is making the best fit for your body. Do you look best in a skirt that is a loose fit or a close fit? Do you look best in a straight skirt or in an A-shaped skirt? Once you learn what is the best for you, you will know what to look for. I will not repeat myself on the other points of our conversation with Amy. Please go to her blog to read it.
While you are there reading the interview, look around. You will see that Amy lives in Michigan and designs for yarn companies, magazines, books, and has her patterns for sale. Her designs are lovely. Some of them are for knitting, some for felting, some for crocheting. I noticed that she did a design for Knitting in The Sun by Kristi Porter. Both Dawn and I also have our designs there. So, we meet again:)
Amy Polcyn is someone to watch. She will delight us with many interesting designs in the future.
I want to thank Amy for hosting me today and invite all of you for the next stop tomorrow at Connie Chang of Physicsknits

Day 3: Exploring skirts with Cindy Moore

Today I am discussing skirts with Cindy Moore of Fitter Knitter. I love knitted skirts and always wear them. At the same time, I hear from many people that they have certain fears about wearing a knitted skirt. I am happy to give my point of view on knitted skirt and address some concerns of knitters. Actually, I am going to talk about skirts tomorrow as well, so I guess, it is "skirts, part I" with Cindy.
Cindy Moore is a picture of a talented multitasker. Just go to her website to see all the things she is doing professionally. I am in awe of her web-design skills, illustrations. I am totally jealous of how she can retouch a photo. I want to learn more about it. On top of this she is a designer, knitter, spinner, technical editor. You name it - she does it. Here is her latest project, which I think is remarkable. She makes Knitting Note Cards which are based on her rewriting and charting lace patterns from The Art of Knitting 1897. Go and visit Cindy's web pages. You will have a lot of fun.

As for me, I am going to be doing "skirts, part II" with Amy Polcyn of Frottez, another talended designer. Amy just got a job of the technical editor for a new magazine called Fons & Porter's Love of Knitting. Congratulations, Amy. See you tomorrow:)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Day 2: Visit with Carol Sulcoski

Today we are chatting with Carol Sulcoski of Go Knit In Your Hat. Maybe you remember Carol from my June 4th post when I was part of her blog tour for Knit So Fine. Carol is talking to Dawn and me about Watercolor Shawl, Lacy scarf, and some men's garments. Go there to read our stories about these projects.
Carol is always working on something . I asked her: "Is there something new written by you that we have to be on a look out?" Here is her answer:" The Knitting Socks With Handpainted Yarns will be out in December. It's a compilation of over 20 patterns specifically designed to work with handpainted yarns and giving the knitter some ideas of how to handle pooling, striping and some of the other common effects one sees with handpaints. A lot of terrific designers contributed, including Ann Budd, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, Nancy Bush, and also some newer names with some creative designs." I am so glad I asked her this question. It looks like a terrific book. I will be looking forward to it.

Well, I better go and prepare for the next interview with Cindy Moore of Fitterknitter. We will be talking about skirts. Interested? We will see you at Cindy's.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Day 1 of the blog tour for Casual, Elegant Knits

Today is the beginning of our tour. I hope you are as excited about this as I am . I always love to peek into some artist's or designer's studio and learn about their way to create, their use of different techniques, and what do they like to do with the craft.
Our host today is the wonderful Lynn Hershberger of Color Joy. Lynn lives in Lansing, MI, but you can see her in many places. She loves knitting passionately and makes sure to spread this love widely. She loves color (just look at the name of her blog!) and makes beautiful things. Lynn teaches knitting, travels to research about different styles and color techniques, designs, name it. I highly recommend to visit her shop to see the famous ZigBagZ and other designs. As you a browsing through Lynn's blog, do not forget to check this out. Are you surprised she loves music and dance also? It is also a color, after all.
Thank you Lynn for hosting us. It was a lot of fun.

Tomorrow we are going to be at Go Knit In Your Hat . Come along! Carol Sulcoski is a very interesting person and a wonderful designer. Remember her from the time I hosted her on my blog?

Until tomorrow.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Coming soon: Casual, Elegant Knits Blog Tour.

I hope you will not miss this opportunity to get on a Blog Tour for our new book "Casual, Elegant Knits". The book was released by Martingale & Co. in July and Dawn and I are having much fun with all the things happening around it. We would like nothing more than you sharing with us our excitement.
What should you expect on the tour? Well, let me tell you. We approached 16 incredibly talented designers with different design styles and interests and asked them to open their doors on their own blog for us for a day. We were overwhelmed with their responses. We want to say thank you to all of them.
As you go from day to day to a different blog, you will find out many things about us: our design approach, our inspirations, our goals for the designs in the book, our collaboration with each other, our knitting techniques and their applications, and many more. We will be asked questions by the designers and also by knitters. You will be able to communicate with us in the comments on each visited blog or directly on my or Dawn's blog. We promise to keep in touch with you.

In your travels with us do not forget that you are visiting a blog of a wonderful designer, whose designs are published in books and magazines. Check out what do they have in the plans and feel free to peek on their previous posts. You will have a privilege to visit their virtual studios. I guarantee you will put their blogs on the list of your favorites.

So, without further ado, I give you our tour schedule.

Sept 4th: Lynn Hershberger

Sept 5th: Carol Sulcoski

Sept 6th: Cindy Moore

Sept 7th: Amy Polcyn

Sept 8th: Connie Chang

Sept 9th: Marie Grace Smith

Sept 10th: Susan Lawrence

Sept 11th: Marnie MacLean

Sept 12th: Tikru

Sept 13th: Terry Ross

Sept 14th: Liz Moreno

Sept 15th: Donna Druchunas

Sept 16th: Jennifer Tallapaneni

Sept 17th: Kristi Porter

Sept 18th: Joanne Seiff

Sept 19th: Simona Merchant-Dest

I will keep you posted on what is going on. Keep in touch.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Last weekend before school starts

I am trying to treasure each minute of this weekend like never before. It helps that my daughter comes home for 24 hours:) to rest a bit from her new job and celebrate her dad's birthday. I am very happy about it. It is nice to have at least one of my kids home. My pile of many projects will have to wait. I am taking a deep breath.

Too bad that many of you either do not read Russian or are not on Ravelry. In our Russian group there we have a wonderful treat. Faina Letouchaia, a famous designer and a very knowledgeable spinner, is posting about the fiber and the process of spinning from scratch. It is most interesting and we all hope that she is going to write a book in English, of course, on this topic. I had no idea that it is so much to learn there. One of the ladies in the group jokingly said:"And I always thought that the yarn comes from the ball!" Thank you, Faina very much!! is a great place for knitters with so much information that I am not even going to try to describe it. Dawn and I put 7 of our projects from the book there and people can put a project in their favorites. That gives a pink heart to a project. Each one of our designs are "loved". Little Flirt Skirt has 107 hearts at this point!! It feels good after all this work, that people enjoy looking at it and maybe making it eventually. Red beret is already made by one person. I hope to see many more.

My knitting circle is starting next Wednesday. We took a break for a few weeks and now we are going to meet every Wednesday again. I cannot wait to see all of my knitting friends.
Back to the rest thought...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Win a book by asking good questions

Casual, Elegant Knits blog tour is in the planning stage. Keep in touch for updates and information. It will start on Sept 4th. It is going to be a treat. We have 16 very talented people who are graciously open their doors on their blogs for us during the tour. There are many different approaches to the tour. Here is one. Susan Lawrence makes an offer for you to win this book if... go here to see what you need to do.
Meanwhile, my school is starting next Monday (I teach math at a community college) and this week is very tough. Meetings, meetings, meetings. Paperwork. Catching up on e-mails after my trip. Meetings, meetings. Polishing some patterns that have a close deadline. Meetings. Finishing second project for Knitscene magazine. Well, you get the drift...

I am sorry, no pictures of my projects for Knitscene are allowed. I only can say that the first one is a hat (I think it is very cute) and the second one is a short-sleeved hoodie. I cannot wait until I finish this one. It is looking good to my taste so far.

Dawn had her Zig-Zag hat in the last issue of IK. It is so adorable! You have to check this one out. I am so proud of her.

Oh, and my husband has his birthday today. If you ask what I am doing to celebrate his b-d, I have to say: "I work all day until 9 pm today" :(( Isn't it awful? Well, C'est la vie.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

So lucky

If you ever were in VA and Nashville TN, you know what their summer looks like . Hot and humid. Since I teach and can travel ONLY during my breaks from school, I always end up in VA in July or August to visit my family. I was dreading to go this time. And... we had a wonderful weather all throughout our trip. How lucky are we? Right now I am in Nashville. We came here to visit our friend who was diagnosed with cancer last month.
Between visits with the family and friends I managed to get some knitting done, go to lunch with Edie Eckman in Charlottesville. We had a very good time. Edie had her newest book with her. It is a great source of crochet motifs and the information that allows you to use them creatively. It was very nice to get to know her. In Nashville, I also was able to sneak out and meet up with Joanne Seiff for coffee. Joanne is a very interesting person. We talked so much that we did not noticed that it was time for her appointment. Joanne has a book coming soon as well.
I am so glad that everywhere you go you can meet with knitters. They are wonderful people and do understand my passion. It also saved my relatives and friends from listening to my knitting stories.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Off to VA

I am leaving today to VA and Nashville. I need to rest before school starts. Changing the scenery is always good and relaxing. I do not know about dealing with Delta new requirements on luggage... I am not a light packer, if you know what I mean. Besides my clothes, I am taking all the scarves and hats from our book. It should be interesting.
I will report from my trip. Need to pack.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Should I pinch myself?

I have this weird feeling that I am dreaming. If I pinch myself, I might see a completely different scene from my life. How could it be true that so many people came to our book-signing party and actually wanted us to sign the book? Whatever it is, I tell you, it felt great. So many people came to support us and celebrate with us the launch of the book.

I told you it was a party...Here we are at the signing table.

Joanne, Dawn and I. I think this is our first official photo together. Joanne is a dear friend, the owner of the HeartStrings Yarn Studio, and also the one who is totally responsible for introducing us to each other.

We did not catch everyone, but this is a small part of my wonderful group of friends and knitting buddies.

I am so grateful that it is not a dream. (I did pinch myself, so I know).