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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).

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Our interview by Andrea Lyn Van Benschoten

We were officially interviewed by Andrea. I have to tell you that Andrea is a very talented person. She knits, crochets, spins, and... she makes crochet sculptures. She is so good, that her sculpture was at the Peter's Valley Museum. Wow! Well, take a look at this. You also can see her sculpture here. Isn't she great?
Today Andrea talked to Dawn and me about our new book on her blog. This is the interview link.

Thank you Andrea for a well done interview.

Dawn's shawl and a purse.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Two days before the first book-signing party

I am seriously tired of being excited about the book. Now it is almost a scary stage. The work on the book is very personal. Dawn and I have lived and breathed our patterns for two years. And now... someone else is going to look at them. I have never thought about this when I was perusing through some other author's work. When you buy a book, it becomes yours. In other words, the author is now sharing with you what is written.
Does it mean that I have to share my work with other people now? I had to think about it for a while and I came to the decision that I would be happy to share my patterns with my fellow knitters. Enjoy and use it creatively by choosing your colors, different yarns, and whatever else it will motivate you to do. I am letting it go.

On Wednesday, there will be our first book-signing for Casual, Elegant Knits. Friends and relatives will come to celebrate with us. So many of them were very supportive throughout and kept us assured that it was worthwhile to write this book. Now it is the time to make a toast to all of them. Thank you all!!

Monique will be at the party, so come and meet her in person.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Experimenting with styles

I left Monique for just a few minutes with the box of our projects from CEK and, when I came back, she was wearing the Driver's Cap. She does look good in it, but in the book it is a project for a man. She has a point, though. Women can wear this hat as well. Why not? She made me want to make one for myself. Autunno from DiVe has a nice selection of colors. I might do some burgundy shades. Or, I could stay with the brown. I do like how she looks in it. Very chic!
Since Monique was into hats, I pulled out the Vintage Hat and asked her to model it. I explained to her that in the book we suggest three different ways how she can tie it. Well, you know her by now. She came up with the fourth one and said there are more... What can I say.

She is an interesting creature, all right.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Meet Monique

We have a new member of our family. Her name is Monique. She came from Paris via The Knitter's Studio in Menlo Park to model for me. So far she is doing a very good job. See for yourself.

Here is a close-up of brioche scarf and a hat from CEK. It was Monique's idea to wear this scarf with the beret. I agree with her, though. It looks good together.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Brioche in the round

One of my favorite knitting stitches is called brioche. Europeans know this stitch very well and it is one of the first stitches I have learned at the early age in Russia. When you make a scarf, you want it to look good on both sides. What can be better than brioche, then. It is completely reversible, very attractive, gives you a nice-body fabric that is very soft and light. is just one row repeat. Do you see why I like it? It is interesting for me that I have never got tired of brioche.

In fact, there is a whole family of brioche stitches. They vary in many different ways, but one thing they have in common - the use of yarnovers. In my opinion, they are all beautiful. Some of them have 2, 3, or 4-row repeat. If you are not familiar with this family of stitches, I strongly recommend to check it out.

Our book Casual Elegant Knits is coming to the stores next week. In that book you will find two hats which are done in brioche in the round (very unusual) and two scarves. All four projects are knitted in brioche stitch, but they are all different.

It was fun and not very easy to design these hats, but it is not hard at all to follow the pattern.
Dawn and I both want to encourage you to try these patterns, so you can fall in love with brioche as well.

I just finished another project in a different yet brioche stitch for the Winter 08 issue of Interweave Knits. While I was working on that design, Dawn have found for me the old issue Spring 2005 of IK where Nancy Marchant gave very nice stitch abbreviations for Bi-Color Brioche sweater. Later, I also have found her website, which she started in 2007, called The Brioche Stitch . There she gives much information on brioche.
Well, did I convince you to try this stitch? I hope so.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Midsummer Night Knitting

This summer is a bit different for me. I am glad to have all the time devoted to knitting while I am on a break from work. What is different, that I actually have almost no time to knit for myself. That is not good, right? I love designing with all the elements that go into it. I have finished my project for IK about a week ago. It is too bad I cannot show you the photo of it. My very tired daughter (she was moving to her new apartment that week) had to allow her very excited mother to photograph this project on her. Today I finished another design for a book that Kristi Porter is writing. It will be called "Knitting in the Sun". I understand it will be a very interesting book with many projects for (but not only) a warmer climate.
I have about a week or two when I can knit for myself. I do not have to think what I should do. As every knitting veteran, I have a line of unfinished projects waiting in my room giving me that certain look: "Really? You do want to continue knitting me? I thought you do not remember that I was started and what needles you were using for me. ..."
I just hope that when I choose one, all others will not be so offended that I cannot get close to them. In my heart I want to finish all of them, but you know...
There are two more designs accepted to Knitscene. I will need to start working on them as soon as I get the yarn. I just got the last issue of Knitscene magazine. There are some interesting things that I want to knit. Here we go again with more started projects. That is my life and it is what I love, so I am not complaining at all.