Posts Tagged ‘shawls/capes’

I didn’t realize it until just now, that I have 2 new pattern releases that are water-themed.  I guess subconsciously I was gearing for some warmer weather and ligher knits!  First there was Orinoco, and now Pacifica.

Pacifica is one of 5 designs that I’ve been working on for Southwest Trading Company (SWTC) for its official release and display at the TNNA (needlearts) trade show in Columbus, OH.

It all started when I met with Jonelle Raffino, head honcho of SWTC when I went to the needlearts trade show in San Diego this past January. I chatted with her about some projects ideas that I had for SWTC and showed her my portfolio and some of my conceptual sketches.

After I got home, I formally submitted the sketches to Jonelle, who  gave me the green light on all of them and sent me the yarns I requested for support for the projects.

The yarn used for Pacifica is SWTC Vespera, a sport weight hand-dyed yarn.  The colors are fantastic and the yarn is spoingy (don’t know if that’s a real word, but it does describe the yarn well).  I absolutely loved the ligher blue used in the sample and wanted to keep the extras, but alas, I was honest and sent back all the extra skeins.

Pacifica is a great project for knitters of any level. It’s easy but not boring for more seasoned knitters, and for beginners, it’s a great pattern to practice and learn a simple yarn over lace pattern, color changes, and simple shaping.

Needless to say, with all the projects for a couple of magazines, Orinoco for Frog Tree Yarns, and the projects for SWTC, I’ve been quite busy.  I would’ve liked to knit some of the items myself, but I really had to employ sample knitters for most of my projects, since there was no way that I could write, knit, tweak, photograph, edit, chart and illustrate all those patterns in such a short period of time.  So for Pacifica, I do have to give kudos to Amanda Black, a new sample knitter who did a great job on her first sample knit.  🙂


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Remember my CATastrophe? Okay, nothing really horrible has happened, but Whitey Coyote, aka Mohair Ripper, aka Yarn Thief has been stealing yarn and then giving it to me as presents for a few months now. She struck again tonight, and with some pretty funny results.

First of all, some background info: the Thief has expensive taste in yarn (kind of like her mommy). She likes the good stuff, the ones with higher price tags. She’s so discernible that I have baited her with cotton and cheaper wool yarns with little success.

Damned Thieving Cat! She looks so innocent and cute in the picture above, but if you look closely, she’s sitting on 2 hats made of a blend of merino/silk/cashmere.

Anyway, her new “surprise mommy with yarh presents” thing started a few months ago, when she dug up a small ball of handspun that I purposefully buried under handcarders, bobbins and a rubber mat, away from her. She somehow dug out the yarn, and dragged it from the family room, all the way upstairs to my bedroom.

Granted, I have to admit that I sometimes I miss a ball or two when cleaning up, but the cat has gotten so clever as to open my purses/bags. (Like any proper knitter, I usually have at least 1 project and some random yarns and needles in all my bags, just in case.) If there are 2 balls of yarn in my purse or around the house, she will take the more expensive of the two. Luckily, I take extra care with my projects and keep them better protected than the balls in my purse, although once, she did “gift” me a test sock with all the dpns still attached.

As her thieving skills improve, I take more care to hide the good yarns. But now, I think in her desperation to bring me yarn-gifts and the seemingly rare occurrence of good yarn accidentally laying around now, she has resorted to snatching yarns she does not like, but she still knows yarn values.

Once, though there were smaller remnant yarns in my knitting bag, she somehow opened it and stole a whole unused skein of Lamb’s Pride Bulky and dragged the whole thing upstairs. The skein is almost half her size! She left the entire thing intact, because I guess she wasn’t that interested in playing with it. She’s even resorted to picking up large balls of cotton yarn, which she has ignored for the past 3-4 years, and drags them all the way upstairs. And last week, she even attacked some Knit Picks Cadena, which she does not like, and has ignored for a very long time — I left that yarn for her as something she could play with when she started stealing my yarns, but she wasn’t interested and it sat on a coffee table in plain sight for at least 3 months!

Tonight, she struck again — this time she stole 2 skeins of yarn I handpainted and put on top of a TV on a narrow counter in the kitchen because I was about to mail it out. I thought my yarn was safe, because it has been kitty-free and really out of the reach of paws, but apparently I was wrong. After finding my “present” in the bedroom, I was just going to put it away as I do with all my yarn presents. But then I got a closer look:
At first I just thought she lost her collar. Then upon closer inspection, it was clear that her collar got stuck to the loosened hank that she dragged from the kitchen up to the master bedroom. And in the midst of trying to get herself untangled in the yarn, the yarn wedged into the split ring that holds her tag. When the safety release finally snapped, she got away, but not without leaving a chunk of fluffy evidence from her neck, which also managed to get caught in the split ring.
Silly cat.

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I’ve been doing some back-breaking cleaning everyday for the past 2 weeks. You see, I have many visitors: my in-laws from Southeast Asia, my dad and stepmother from Texas and my godmother from Taiwan. All my visitors are very nice people, but still…there is some stress and anxiety from having out-of-town visitors. I worry about making sure that my house is clean and meticulously orderly (I’m not horrible, but this area is not my forte), and I worry about places to take them. Needless to say, I haven’t been crafting or knitting much.

Lace Stole

For the last several weeks I have been working on this stole. It’s my own design. I custom hand-painted it in shades of navy and blue from my stepmother. The larger center panel is a modified snowshoe lace, but it reminds me of butterfly cocoons. The photo is a little overexposed and it will be much better after I finish and block it. I’m not sure when I will be able to finish it — I certainly won’t be working on it much this month. Also, I’ve had to rip many parts of it out already. That’s what I get for trying to knit lace at knitting group.

Several days ago, I took some of my visitors to the San Juan Capistrano Mission, where we took in the splendor of the building and the beautiful garden. We were lucky enough to see lots of monarch butterflies fluttering happily with the wind. We even spotted some cocoons, and I managed to get some macro shots of the monarchs.


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Okay, so I did finish a few things since May/June, but I have been TERRIBLE about posting and documenting all my crafty endeavors. I am now going to try and catch up a little before it gets worse.

Remember my Rude Awakening to the Catastrophe I had with Whitey Coyote, aka Mohair Ripper? Well, I finally finished that beaded mohair/silk capelet I was knitting for my godmother sometime in June. I did make the deadline and actually submitted the pattern to Debbie Stoller for her next book. I also submitted a drawing and graph of a Chinese Lantern bag for which I knit a prototype, and a drawing and graph of another pattern idea that I did not have time to knit.

This is my first attempt at submission to any publication online or otherwise, and I am eager to hear back from her. In the call for submission, she said that she’d make the decision in 2-3 weeks. About 1-2 weeks ago, I got an email saying that she’s still reviewing. I doubt my chances are good, but hey, I tried. .

Anyway, I finished the capelet when I went up to San Franciso and Big Sur to scatter the rest of my mom’s ashes. My sister is the model.

Chic Front View

Back View

As A Skirt Over Jeans


A close-up showing the beads randomly scattered throughout.

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