Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last UFO of 2008

This one is called the "Not Square" Jacket. It is made from an assortment of yarns I purchased from A Mano Yarn Center is a feast of creative inspiration, and was sitting, nearly finished, under my table for about a year. I needed the perfect button.

I finally found it online the other day and it just arrived in today's mail!

New Pattern Up - SweeTee

This little SweeTee has been driving me nuts and I am so glad I finally achieved what I wanted with it.
It's not the yarn, which is delicious, Silk Lace by Claudia in the color Cherries, 2 strands held together throughout.

If you know me at all, you know I love the details.

I love the stitch pattern, too, which gives a nice, slimming vertical stripe.

It guessed it...the math!!!!

I had the hardest time grading this - the 14 st pattern repeat offset with an extra 5 sts and wanting to keep the center intact. Grrrr.

I even tried to hire someone to grade it for me. She told me some things just can't be graded. No kidding!

Finally I conceived of an alternative - knit the same exact thing on different sized needles and you end up with a different sized garment. So I was finally able to finish it.

And just in time for TNNA!

Use coupon code HAPPY NEW YEAR and get the pattern for free from my website when purchasing 2 skeins of Claudia's Silk Lace yarn in your choice of 108 different colors! Plus, of course Free Shipping!

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

How I Spent Christmas

I spent Christmas in bed all day, watching movies and knitting!

Scarf With Striped Border, page 80, Victorian Lace Today.
Yarn - Malabrigo Lace Weight from A Mano Yarn Center. Been in my stash for over a year! My favorite color and the yarn is sososososos soft!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Name is Ellene and I am a Procrastinator

I am a productive procrastinator, but still...
Unless you count all those hours playing Guitar Hero. Thank you, Mr. Bear, for finally hooking me into the madness.

At least my other procrastination activities yield a product at the end.

Hot Hands in Claudia Hand Painted Yarn, Short Sport, colorway Circus Dancer

Kitty Bwankie for Charlie with catnip Meeses to match

Monday, December 15, 2008

Granny Takes a Trip

It always amazes me when I complete a pattern and publish it - all the details of math, format, layout, schematics, tech editing, more math, and still more math.

Designing is the easy part. Making the sample is the fun part. The rest is just work, work, work. Lots of stress.

But I am so happy when I am finished and have another pattern to add to my collection.

Many years ago, when I first moved to California, there were a few shops that blew my mind. One was the Pleasure Dome on Sunset Blvd. I had never seen such a collection of yummy colors and fabrics and hip styles.

There was also Holly Harp on Sunset - the rich and elegant hippy fashion paradise.

And then along came Granny Takes a Trip on Melrose. I heard it was owned by some wives of the group, Chicago. It was named after a hip boutique in London, at that time the epicenter of all that was hot in music and fashion. Pleasure Dome inspired me but Granny got me wanting a store someday - just like that one! Only with all my designs.

Flash forward about 8 years. My boutique on Santa Monica Blvd. had just been robbed - cleaned out, actually, and I had a big chunk of money from the insurance (those were the days when you could actually afford to insure your inventory) I was faced with the choice of starting an entirely new career or building a new boutique.

And guess what was available? Granny Takes a Trip had gone out of business and the store was for lease! Right across from the Bodhi Tree, LA's famous metaphysical bookstore, I had my name in shocking pink neon for the next 10 years! So many stories to tell, if I could only figure out how to write and knit at the same time.

Really, no knitting for me today. I am working on the final drafts of some other patterns. Stay tuned!

Kits will be coming soon in these colorways. Pattern is available here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

New Yarn Section in my e-boutique Now Open!

For the past 2 months I have been working overtime adding a new Yarn Section to my e-boutique and it's finally ready for visitors!

I am happy to announce that I am the only resource in the world with the entire line of Claudia Hand Painted Yarn! That means 15 different types (14 really, but Sport Merino comes in 50 or 100 gram skeins) in 108 different color ways!

Claudia's yarns are exquisite! Her colorways are fresh and beautiful and as I was working with the photos, color correcting them to the best of my ability while holding each skein up to my monitor, I fell in love with nearly every single colorway!

Another thing I love about Claudia's yarn is the wonderful scent that wafts up to your nose as you wind the skeins and as you work. She has some secret ingredients she adds to the last rinse. I have been encouraging her to package and market her wool wash because it is so nice!

I think the best part about designing in and selling Claudia's yarn (besides having an enourmous stash of her yarn around me at all times) has been getting to know Claudia, herself. The inside of her ball bands carries a hidden message: Peace, Love, Comfort and Joy! And Claudia is every bit of the Rainbow Goddess I expected would go to the trouble of sharing a blessing in every skein.

In January, Claudia will be at TNNA in San Diego and will be featuring several of my new patterns, which I will preview for you here on my blog in the weeks to come. She has promised to sit down with me for an extended time and fill me in on all the details of how she came to own one of the most exciting hand-dyed yarn companies in the world, and I will share what I learn about her with all of you (with her permission).

I am so curious about how she got started, what she did before, what she dreams of for her future. Enquiring minds want to know!!!

Visit my website and let me know what you think of the new Yarn Section!