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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Knitscene Winter 2008/Spring 2009

Today the website of Knitscene magazine posted a preview of their new issue. I was not very anxious this time, because I was lucky enough to pick up a copy at the TNNA. I am always excited to see photos of my designs. I have two of them in this issue. The photos are a courtesy of Knitscene. The talented photographer is Amanda Stevenson Lupke.
Here is the Broad Street Hoodie. I was planning to make it from the Mission Falls boucle´, but the editor suggested a different yarn: Halcyon Yarn, Casco Bay Worsted. For me it was the first time working with this yarn. I loved it. It was just right for the look I wanted to achieve. The pictures in the magazine are excellent , but do not show my buttons on the left edge of the hoodie because of the frame around the page.Here
you can see them clearly. I thought they nicely finished the look.










My Monique never misses the opportunity to try something on before anyone sees it. She has to be the first model. I do not argue with her. After all I want to see how it looks on her also. So this is Monique modeling my Broad Street Hoodie.

I made the second hoodie using wool from Filatura di Crossa 501. Of course, I had to recalculate a bit, but it was not bad. It is not a rugged look anymore and it goes with nice jeans or a skirt. My daughter got this one. She did not want the buttons on the bottom, so there are no buttons there. I think that the next one will be for me☺
It is a very easy pattern. You work in the round for most of the project and it goes fast.
















The second design is the Patchwork Hat. To be totally honest I was upset when I saw the yarn that was chosen by the magazine. I thought it will not complement the stitch patterns. But now I know that I should trust the taste of people whose job is in the fashion industry. This was also a new yarn for me. It is Merino Alpaca (can’t go wrong there) from ShibuiKnits.









I loved to work with this yarn and loved how the yarn showed the stitch patterns. It looks so yummy in the end product. I am very happy with the model for both of my patterns. It is the same young woman who modeled my Sweet Honey Beret in the last Interweave Knits.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Back From TNNA

I do not know where to start. It was so much more fun than I expected. I made many new friends, saw people I new through e-mail only, was able to touch and see so many new and exciting yarns, books, and designs. Too bad we were not allowed to take pictures of the show, but I have some that I took outside. First of all San Diego is as beautiful as ever. The temperature was 77-79 degrees. Many people came from the East Coast and the Midwest, so for them it was especially enjoyable. None of us could really enjoy it for much of the time. I was staying at the hotel Sofia. It is about 10 min walk from the Convention Center. Here is what I saw on my way.


















I had to take a picture of this beautiful old hotel. The lady stopped and said: "They say the ghosts are still there..." I guess there is a story I was not aware of.
















The TNNA show was at the Convention Center at the shore.














At the show I had a book signing in the booth of our publishing company Martingale. I was happy to do this and see that people really liked our book. I just wished Dawn was with me to share it.
































Before and after my book signing I switched the roles with people in line and got some books signed by authors. One of them is the fabulous “Glam Knits” by Stefanie Japel.













The other one is called “Knit One Below” by Elise Duvekot.












Edie Eckman’s “Beyond The Square Crochet Motifs” was a special treat for me since Edie was showing me that book in July in her hometown in VA.
This time we had great conversations in the mornings on the way to the show. You can learn so much from Edie. You talk to her and know that she is a great teacher. Her books are very clear and approachable.

Margaret Radcliffe's new book The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques is another one I wanted, but missed her book signing time. I already ordered it on Amazon. She is a very warm person and very helpful. We talked for a good half-hour with her while resting. I am happy to make this contact.

I also took a class from Stefanie Japel and got tons of ideas for my new designs. She is smart, fun, and very friendly. I am so glad that I met her.

I had a chat with the editor of Interweave Knits a lovely and fun Eunny Jang, Norah Gaughan who is the director of the design team at Berroco yarns and is my idol as a knitwear designer, Jess and Casey the Ravelry "parents", Little London and his mom Kara Gott Warner who is the author of two books (one of them is Tops & Toes: A Whimsical Collection To Delight Hat and Sock Knitters.) to which I contributed my designs, Kristi Porter whose book "Knitting in the Sun" is coming out in May with one of my designs in it, and many other people.

Very talented designer Simona Merchant-Dest was one of the people I knew through the e-mail. We went to the designer/teacher meeting at 8 am on Saturday and walked the show together for the rest of our stay there. It was great to meet her face to face and we quickly became good friends.

First night I went to dinner with my other new friend Olga, the owner of T-SPOT Yarn, Teas and Chocolates in Manzanita, OR. On Saturday night Simona and I went to my favorite SD restaurant called Bandar. Next night we had no time to eat and went for drinks to the "Meet & Greet" organized by Kara at the Top of the Hyatt. We had such a great time with the designers from Kara's book. Laura Nelkin, designer of Nelkin Designs, and design director of Schaefer Yarn was there. I was very happy to meet her. We ordered drinks. Simona saved me with her Zone bar (that was my dinner) before I got drunk on an empty stomach.

Monday was much more relaxing. I left the show at 1 pm to catch my flight. When I came home I could not stop talking. Next day I took a four-hour walk to unwind. I think I am calm now.
Back to work and my real life. It is impossible to say how valuable it was for me to go to TNNA in terms of a business of designing, but it is priceless for me in terms of new friendships...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

TNNA and more

Tomorrow I am flying to one of my favorite places - San Diego. Every winter The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA) hosts its trade show there. It will take place at the Convention Center and will last for nearly a week. My plan is to be there for 3 days and I am now trying to connect with so many people because I do not want to waste my time while there. I am ready to be overwhelmed with seeing so much yarn, books, and different patterns; meeting many people with whom I correspond but never met, meeting new people and who knows what else.
Here is what in schedule so far:

A meeting with people from Martingale & Co on Sunday. I will be at their booth signing Casual Elegant Knits at 1 pm. If you are planning to be there, please come and say hi.

A meeting with Kara Gott Warner who is the author of the book Tops & Toes and she just informed me that it is already for sale. I will be able to put the photos of the cover and my design very soon. I was part of another book that Kara put together, but it is too early to talk about.

A meeting with Kristi Porter who is the author of Knitting in the Sun.

A meeting with Claudia from Claudia's hand painted yarns (I love her yarns) and Edie Eckman who has so many talents which she shares with people through her books, teaching, and workshops.

This is just a little portion of what I am planning to do in San Diego.

I am also waiting very impatiently when the new Knitscene magazine shows up on the stands. I have heard it will be on January 27. I have two designs there, so you can understand why I am so anxious.

Wish me luck. I am off to TNNA now.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Our Move to Stanford

I was not blogging for a while not because there was nothing to say. Oh no! I had no time and my hands were so sore that I could not type or knit. It is hard to believe, but it is true. After packing, cleaning, tying the ties on thousands of plastic bags and unpacking in our new place in Stanford, my hands were asking for a break. So, here is the update.
We moved to Stanford, CA for 6 months. My husband is a mathematician and he has a visiting professor position at Stanford university. He is teaching one upper-division class to 20 very advanced and eager students. The students ask him questions and ask for more material to read... You understand that this is a music to a professor's ear. He is doing his research on top of it and he is as happy as he can be. Here is the building of the math department where he "lives" these days from 8am-6pm.
The history of this place is as fascinating as its legacy in our civilization. In this building alone the history of modern mathematics is present and alive. Most prominent mathematicians of our time either visited, worked or still working here. If you would like to read about the history of this university, go to this page. This interesting note is from the Stanford archives and Wikipedia:
" For what it is worth, there was a book written by the then Harvard president's son that may have started the twist on actual events. Leland Stanford Junior was just short of his 16th birthday when he died of typhoid fever in Florence, Italy on March 13, 1884. He had not spent a year at Harvard before his death, nor was he "accidentally killed." Following Leland Junior's death, the Stanfords determined to found an institution in his name that would serve the "children of California." Detained on the East Coast following their return from Europe, the Stanfords visited a number of universities and consulted with the presidents of each. The account of their visit with Charles W. Eliot at Harvard is actually recounted by Eliot himself in a letter sent to David Starr Jordan (Stanford's first president) in 1919. At the point the Stanfords met with Eliot, they apparently had not yet decided about whether to establish a university, a technical school or a museum. Eliot recommended a university and told them the endowment should be $5 million. Accepted accounts indicate that Jane and Leland looked at each other and agreed they could manage that amount. The thought of Leland and Jane, by this time quite wealthy, arriving at Harvard in a faded gingham dress and homespun threadbare suit is quite entertaining. And, as a former governor of California and well-known railroad baron, they likely were not knowingly kept waiting for too long outside Eliot's office. The Stanfords also visited Cornell, MIT and Johns Hopkins. The Stanfords established two institutions in Leland Junior's name -- the University and the Museum, which was originally planned for San Francisco, but moved to adjoin the university."

And what about me? I am having such a good time walking everywhere and enjoying my time off work. On my daily two-hour walk I pass this Rodin sculptures. There are many of them in the Stanford museum. By the way it is a great little museum and it is free. As I continue walking, this is what I see through the ark - the famous Oval.
And as I come out of this court yard, I am facing the Palm Drive that leads to the center of Palo Alto. The weather is beautiful and I am planning to enjoy every moment of my stay here. Come and visit me.
There are many exciting knitting news that I want to share with you, but I want to talk about them in the next post.



Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy 2009!

Happy New Year to all! Let it bring peace and happiness to you and your loved ones!
I am moving to Stanford for 6-7 months and trying to be reasonable about what should I take with me. As you understand, I can be reasonable about everything, but my knitting books and supplies. For example, do I take Monique with me? The place we rent there is small and furnished. I will have to make this decision soon. We are moving in two days. I feel excited and sad at the same time. I know I will have a great time in Palo Alto. We love to be so near San Francisco. We actually will be able to go to the theater or a concert in the middle of the week without driving for 3 hours one way. Sometimes our daughter will visit us on the way from work or on a weekend. In terms of knitting it is a very big community there and I know some people there already.
In January I am going to attend TNNA in San Diego. This is my first time to be there and I am trying to arrange as many meetings as possible before I go, so I am using all the opportunities I can. I am expecting it to be even more exciting than a math conference ;) If you will be there, please come to see me on Sunday, January 18 at 1pm at Martingale and Co booth. I will be signing books there.
There are a few projects and videos that I need to finish before I go. I will let you know when I am done.