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Monday, June 28, 2010

New pattern : Caprice Tank Top

This is my first design for Bijou Basin Ranch yarn company. Carl and Eileen Koop, the owners, are the nicest people to work with. Their primary yarn fiber is yak. Here is the quote about yak down from their website: "Yarn made from yak down is one of the most luxurious fibers found. Warmer than wool and as soft as cashmere, yak yarn makes wonderful garments and accessories. It is an extremely durable and lightweight fiber that preserves heat in the winter yet breathes for comfort in warmer weather. Yak yarn is completely odorless, does not shed and maintains warmth, even when wet. The yarn is non-allergenic and non-irritating as it contains no animal oils or residue. It can be hand washed with a gentle detergent."
Some information:
Finished Size:
32 1/4 (35 1/2, 39, 42 1/4, 45 3/4, 49, 52 1/2)” bust/chest circumference.

Bijou Spun Fingering weight (100% yak down; 100 yd/28g): white (MC), 5 (6, 6, 8, 8, 9, 9) skeins; brown (CC), 2 (2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3) skeins.

US 4 (3.5mm): 24-32” circular (cir).
D-3 (3.25mm) crochet hook.

26 sts and 36 rnds = 4” (10cm) in Lace Cable on size 4 (3.5 mm) needle.

Here is my Monique wearing Caprice over the Black Sea skirt.

Carl, Eileen, and Marly Bird liked my design and, when they chose 3 out of 20 new designs to include in the TNNA Fashion Show, my Caprice was one of them. I am humbled and honored by their decision. This is the first time that my design was in the Fashion Show. I loved the video and I am posting it here, so you can see it as well. (By the way, I am not as calm about all this as it seems from my post:)). Enjoy the show.

Interview with Kristin Omdahl

Kristin Omdahl is a well-established crochet and knitwear designer. Kristin is best known for her crochet designs, which reflect her fascination with geometry that she is masterfully combines with her skillful and very interesting techniques.
Read the interview in full here.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My short TNNA visit

Every six months there is a big to do in the world of needlework and fiber. It's called TNNA show. TNNA stands for The National NeedleArts Association, the professional organization that unites yarn producers and dyers, designers, publishers, retailers, and companies that produce all kinds of tools and gadgets. At this show you can place a wholesale order, make great contacts, take wonderful classes, touch, pet, hug, and admire all kinds of new yarns that are not available yet to the general public, attend a fabulous fashion show with real models and huge audience eager to see new designs, see an author signing her or his new book, go to a dinner with a memorable crowd, go to the Ice Cream Social hosted by Ravelry, or just have a sit at the lounge and talk. Here is the overview in pictures, if you are interested.
You would think that 6 months is not much, but everyone is surprisingly productive in between the shows and it is always exciting to be there to see what the new trends are and what new inventions and designs are coming. In January TNNA takes place on our coast in Long Beach or San Diego and in June it is in Columbus, OH.
I have never been to a Fall/ Winter show which is in Columbus until this summer. I was on the East Coast anyway, so I left my family for two days and made a trip to TNNA. At first I thought that it is probably silly to come there for a very short time, but I knew how much fun it is, so the decision was: yes, I am going.
The show is very well organized and there is a schedule of events that attendees know ahead of time. For example, on Friday there was a fashion show and the Ravelry Ice Cream Social, on Saturday the market was opened for the first day to all who came with all kinds of goodies in the booths of vendors. On Saturday night there was a great party with Stitch Cooperative that I was invited to attend. I missed all this because I came on Sunday.
So I do not have many photos to show.Some of the photos here are from Marly Bird's photo stream. I hope she does not mind.
This is a great shot of Simona Merchant-Dest and Marly Bird.

These photos show the booth of Bijou Basin Ranch which is a great yarn company. Their primary fiber is yak in two natural colors. During this TNNA they unveiled new yarn Gobi which is a limited edition yarn 70 % yak and 30% camel.
On the right side of this picture you can see a little bit of my Caprice tank that I designed for this company. There is also a new colorway is coming and it is wonderful! Here is their announcement on Ravelry. com.

On the next photo the owner of BBR Carl Koop, Marly Bird, a designer and the creative director of BBR, and Kristin Omdahl are in the process of taping the Knitting Daily episode featuring BBR yarns and designs. Here you have another chance of a glance at a little part of my Caprice on the left of Carl.
The group of wonderful crochet designers left to right:
Ellen Gormley, Linda Permann, Kristin Omdahl, Marly Bird, and Simona Merchant-Dest.
The dinner on Friday night. Same crowd as above plus Eillen Koop and Marly's mom. I love these guys.

When I came on Sunday, my dear friend Simona was waiting for me at the hotel and we went to the show. So many nice and interesting people in one place! I went to talk to Claudia from Claudia Hand Painted yarns. I design for her and love her yarn. She has such beautiful colors and it is a luxurious yarn, so soft and pleasant to work with. When you come to her booth, you are immersed in gentle combination of colors. I am very grateful to Claudia that she is using my designs for her ads in Vogue and other places with my name mentioned. I did not take pictures in her booth, but these are my designs that were there.

Later we went to the booth of Cascade Yarns and Simona and I had a nice chat with Shannon Dunbabin. Her adorable Cascade sheep "have found" me at their booth and Shannon took a picture of me with it. I was very pleased to see my La Bella Tunica in the center of their display of designs made out of Cascade yarns. La Bella Tunica is made in Soft Spun and I loved to work with it.

And then the Sunday dinner organized by most energetic Marly. We had 43 people there and we had to split into a few groups because there was no table big enough for all of us. We were in the same room and could interact, though. So here are the dinner pictures.Brandy Fortune, Kristi Porter, Ellen Gormley, Robyn Chachula, Alegra Wermuth

Amy Polcyn, Kristin Omdahl, Mary Beth Temple, Julia Grunau, Linda Permann, Simona Merchant-Dest.

Ann Kuo Lukito, Kristen TenDyke, Cecily Glowik MacDonald , Melissa LaBarre

The Ravelry crew.

Stefanie Japel with her husband and little Olive.

And the highlight of Monday morning for me was meeting Nancy Marchant.
Before we came there she told me where she is going to be, but we tangled up on the way there and I was sad that I did not meet her on Sunday. So, on Monday morning Simona and I were in line waiting for our breakfast order and right next to us stood Nancy. We were happy to see each other and had a nice long talk. Later we bumped into each other again at the booth of a new for an American market yarn company Abuelita Yarns. The owner of the company, Alejandro Balian, Simona, Stella Balian, Nancy Marchant, and I.

I am sorry for such a long post, but I was late with all this as it is, so there.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Vogue Knitting continues its wonderful series of Stitchionary books. This volume is number 5 and is devoted to lace knitting. I love the design and the color scheme of this volume. The colors are shades of blue and gray as you see on the cover and the photography is so incredible, that you see every stitch and feel that you almost can touch each swatch.
To read this review in full please follow this link.

Monday, June 21, 2010


I just got back from a trip to NY, VA, OH, and back to NY before I crossed the country horizontally to come back home. In every destination I had a lot of fun and met with wonderful people. I am going to start with NY city. What can I say. I love New York unconditionally with its noises, smells, masses of people on the streets, subways, parks, museums, incredible architecture, great restaurants, theaters, fashion, and so on. For the first few days my husband and I walked the streets for hours and did not even noticed the time. One day he stayed home and I had a very nice "date" with Dora Ohrenstein at the Metropolitan museum. There is an exhibit called American Woman where we see the transformation of fashion from 1890 to 1940. Here is the video from the Met.

After the exhibit we had lunch and just wanted to talk forever. Dora is such an interesting and talented person! I wish I lived closer to her. After I said goodbye to Dora, I went to see the School Products. It is a yarn shop which is owned by Berta and Rafael Karapetyan. Berta is the knitwear designer and the author of Runway Knits as well as the original owner of Karabella yarns. I had a nice visit with Rafael and was sorry that I did not meet Berta. She was working the next day but I could not come. There is a blog post by the designer Sinje Ollen about this store.
Here are some pictures of NY for you.

We stayed at our son's place in Hoboken, so we had this night view of Manhattan from the other bank of Hudson river. Isn't it beautiful? When I came back from TNNA we had one more day in NY and the weather was very kind to us. It was a beautiful day and we spent it well. We went to Frick Collection the first day and to the Picasso exhibit the last day. So, I have my dose of NY energy that I will treasure.
In between our city visits we went to VA where we celebrated my brother's big birthday. It was great to see our small family together and enjoy the kids. One of them, Andrew (4 years old), was very interested in my knitting. He asked what I was doing and could not believe that I was actually making a sweater for myself. After thinking about my answer for a minute or two he asked:"But do you know how to do it?" I still remember his face at that moment.
It was very nice to see my brother happy and content.
Next day in the early morning I took off for Columbus, OH for a day and a half at TNNA.