Friday, July 28, 2006

The evils of coffee

" I never knew a shot of espresso could be so good. I think I see dead people."

This is the text message I got from my sister this morning. At the moment she is driving from Chicago to Cleveland. This comes after a long night of cancelled flights at O'Hare. She was there over 8 hours before she gave up and decided to drive. It seems there were over 50 cancelled flights. Some say it was weather, a few pilots blamed air traffic control. In any event, this shows why I hate going to O'Hare airport.

Now for an update. I'm splitting time between Urban Aran and my Magknits submission. The Dress is going to have to wait until Sunday when I have some uninterrupted time. I really need to concentrate on that one.

Here are the front and back of Urban Aran blocking. I'm going to start working on the sleeves tonight. We have rain in the forecast all weekend so it looks like knitting time will be unavoidable.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Scatter Errata

The best laid plans of mice and men......

Yup! There's pattern errata for Scatter in the side panel ------>

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Classic clothing

One of the best things my mother taught me about fashion is the concept of "classic clothing". There are pieces that you will always need in your wardrobe. These are the things you invest in.

Not that I have one but take for instance, a St.John suit. They can run upwards of $1500 but you know what?.... you can wear that suit from your 20s to your 70s if you wanted to.

Then there is the "fad clothing". The things you like but won't be wearing next season.

For example. a Coach purse. There is the classic and the trendy.

Classic will always be around ( I have quite a few of them). Trendy may not be in style next season

She told me that trendy is fun but don't invest tons of money into something you won't be wearing next year (That bag is about $498 US)

This brings me to my review of the upcoming Vogue Knitting. I reserved my comments yesterday but a few of you asked so here it is. All of the stuff has it's merits. Nothing is too atricious. But the question lies in whether I would really invest the time and money into a sweater that I will be out of style by the time I finish.

The deconstruct-o sweater is one. Another is the large contrast cable sweater.

Both are decent sweaters(okay maybe not so much the destruct-o -sorry!) but would they be worth the time and effort?

I do like the Big cable v-neck and this one

We won't even go into my hatred of anything that starts with "Hobo". You might as well say "homeless" and "hobo clown" because that's what I think when I hear/read it. The designs may be good but the thought of something that is intended to look "hobo-esque" doesn't place high on my list.

As for socks...You all know how I feel about socks.

I'll probably still buy the issue.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

VK Preview.... You make the call

The Vogue Knitting preview is up. You tell me what you think. I will say this though, I'm loving Michael Kors sweater on the main VK website page.

Monday, July 24, 2006


"Ehhhh" pretty much sums up how I feel about the conference I went to this weekend. I went, I saw, I won't be doing it again. I won't even bore you with the details.

What I will show you is what I accomplished over the weekend. Thanks to the driving time and my avoidance of conference events I finished Cherries.
I still need to find buttons and a ribbon for the waistband but I'll do that this weekend. This was an excellent pattern. The only thing I would change is my choice of yarn. I would pick a smoother , less nubby, yarn so that you could see the stitch detail more.

Later this week I'm going to focus on finishing The Dress. I want to be done before the beginning of August. I'm also going to focus on Urban Aran. It's been a while since I touched it.

The Welcome Wagon

There's a new kid on the blog block and she need comments. Stop by and say hello to Kelly Knits Too!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Saun's got a brand new bag....


I'm heading to Atlanta tomorrow for a conference and I needed a new bag to serve as a purse/carryall. I found this at NY & Company for $7. I'm quite pleased with my purchase.

Thanks to everyone for all the great book recommendations.I'll be set for the next year. I put them all on my list of future reads on my library account. I was quite impressed that the library even had a feature where I could keep track of the things I want to read.

I'm not driving to Atlanta so I hope to get in some good knitting time on Cherries. Maybe I'll have to pics Monday.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Summer Outings

Even though I have a deep love for television (I was able to see ProjRun tonight. Yeah!) I try to make sure it's not the only thing I do. I'm trying to get out and enjoy the summer weather but with the intense heat it's hard to stay outside for too long.

It seems that leaving my house nowadays leads me two places. The mall or the library. I don't really go to the mall much but I did make it last Friday for Nordstrom's anniversary sale. I've been eyeing these shoes since they sent the sale magazine and the sale started Friday. They were the only thing I bought.

I'm also trying to read a little more. It's kind of hard to read and knit at the same time. I've tried and I even bought that little bookstand do-hickey but I just can't seem to do it. Instead I'm just balancing my free-time between knitting and reading. I no longer desire to buy books unless absolutely necessary so the library is my new hangout. I'm working on S is for Silence by Sue Grafton. My mother got me started listening to these on tape and this will be only the third one I've actually read. Next up will be Kindred by Octavia Butler.

Anyone have any other book suggestions? I'm not really into the whole chick-lit books unless they are really good. I also don't really want anything off Oprah's list. I don't like 1000 page books that make me feel like I'm in high school working on my summer reading list.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


Named for it's seemingly scattered stitch pattern.

Berroco Touche
89 yds (82 m)
5[5,6,6,7,7,7] skeins

Yarn Substitutions:
Any worsted weight yarn

Needles: US 8 ( 5 mm) circular needles - 24 inches

Supplies: Stitch markers, stitch holder, waste yarn, extra needle

Gauge: 18sts-24 rows per 4 inch(10cm)

Sizes: XS [ S, M, L, XL, 2X, 3X]
Bust: 32[34,36,38,40,42,44]

Skill Level:
Advanced Beginner

Price: $3.50

Buy Now

(you will receive a email from Payloadz with a link to the PDF file)


Friday, July 14, 2006

The best package EVER!

As you can recall the only exemption to my Summer of Stash membership is that I can make purchases for pattern submissions. I've been trying to hold true to this and not use this as an excuse to keep buying.

I have two pattern ideas in the works. One for a Magknits submission and another as a personal release.

Finding the yarn for the Magknits release was easier. Want to see what I'm making? Here's a peek.

It's Cascade 220. Of course I can't tell you what it is but at least you know there's cables involved. There's going to be alot of cables this year. I had been planning to expand to cable work but now that I know it's in the Fall/Winter forecast according to I have even more things planned.

Which brings me to my other idea. I was searching and searching for the right yarn. I wanted a worsted weight and something more in the merinos and less of a pure wool. If you didn't know, I can tell you that there isn't much in the way of worsted weight merinos. I had been on quite a few of the online stores and my LYS's but wasn't finding much. As of last Friday the decision was between Rowan Cashcotton (which I love) or KnitPicks Merino Style. Both are DKs. I decided to check one more place, pureknits because I've been eyeballing the Fable baby alpaca . Then I saw it. The link to the Malabrigo. It was as if the cloud had parted and the sunlight hit directly on it. Worsted weight merino!

Ordered Saturday, shipped Monday, received Wednesday. And when I opened it let me tell you. It was like getting a gift except I paid for it.

By far the prettiest yarn shipment I've ever recieved. It was wrapped with brown and pink tissue paper (just love this color scheme) and different brown and pink grosgrain ribbons.

Also inside was a note and small samples of the Fable baby alpaca (soooo soft) and some Hipknits pure silk (I heart the silks).

(Thanks again Yahaira !)

I'm off to finish work and start my weekend with my new fibers friends. Everyone enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

It's my drug of choice

This isn't really about knitting, sewing, or anything crafty, so read on if you like. It's just me ramblin about one of my favorite things.

It used to be back in the day that summer television programming sucked. It forced you to get out and enjoy the good weather. For me it seems that, at times, the good weather is a little too good (as in too hot and humid) and I need stay indoors with the A/C. Thank goodness that summer television has improved.

You all know I'm a TV addict so I must share with you some of the latest and greatest.

First off, we don't get the Bravo network in my area so I won't be seeing Project Runway again this season. Hopefully someone will post the episodes on YouTube.

And let's talk about YouTube for a minute and how I have a growing addiction to it. You can find almost anything on there. It's the greatest. Where else can you see things like this and this and this.

Now moving on...

VH1 is showing the World Series of Pop Culture this week. I consider myself a bit of a Pop Culture whore so this is right up my alley. I'm DVR'ing this for some weekend viewing.

Tonite I was watching some work from my favorite crazy, Stephen King. The first episode of Nightmares & Dreamscapes was quite interesting. The most interesting part of the entire episode is that no one spoken an actual syllable the entire hour. There were some grunts and groans but no words. It reminded me of the movie Cat's Eye .

Of course there is Entourage on Sunday night. I heart Adrian Grenier. Which reminds me about the Devil Wears Prada. More on that in a sec.

My new favorite by far is the show Psych on the USA network. It features the oh-so-cute Dule Hill . I first saw him tap-dancing on an episode of Sesame Street and I've liked him ever since. Last Friday's episode was one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time.

If you are into fashion then you definitely should see The Devil Wears Prada. It had a good story but I loved it more for the great fashion and glimpse at the fashion world. Anne Hathaway was great and Adrian was a dream. Meryl Streep was ...well...Meryl Streep. She never disappoints.

I think I've bored you enough. Now I'm off to knit and watch some more television.

Cause there's just too many.....

Okay, try as I did to hold my tongue, I can no longer do it. I must make this statement....

Enough with the sock yarn!

Okay, I said it. It's not that I don't like sock yarn but I haven't had the itch to make a pair of socks since March. It's just too darn hot. Then add the fact there is just too much of the stuff floating around. I love the colors, I do, but I can't make that many socks and definitely not at $22-24 a pair. I even tried to imagine making a sweater with fingering weight yarn. The thought of another sweater on size 1 or 2's made my head explode.

You want to know what I would really like? For all those people that dye beautifully colored sock yarn to expand to other weights like dk or worsted. Now that would make me happy. I could support all the independent dyers and still get yarn I can use.

Stitches East

Now that I've registered I can mention what class I signed up for. I signed up for "Desiging Knitwear on the Computer" and "Reversible Cables" (w/Lily Chin) as my second choice. I really wanted the Lily Chin class but decided that the designing class was more important. This is a big deal for me because I've never paid for a lesson and only hope that this class is worth my money otherwise you will see a mean-faced Saun walking around the Baltimore Convention Center on Nov. 4. I haven't signed up for any banquets because I want to see who else is going first. At $65 a pop, I want to make sure someone I know will be there.


Here is the back piece done. I'm working on the front now. I hope to have this done by next week. I'm going to try and focus only on this for awhile. Hopefully I can keep my ADCD in check.

Pattern Errata

There is new pattern errata for the Jems patterns. It's over in the sidebar ----->.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Babies R Us

It's getting to point where I need to start getting serious about my upcoming duties as a godmother. The baby is due in October and the baby shower is Labor Day weekend.

I made these postcards last weekend. The shower will be Virginia so I needed to give everybody a reminder. It's possible that no one will travel for a baby shower but the way I see it, they can just take the money they would use to travel and buy gifts instead. My godchild needs as many gifts as possible.

And speaking of gifts, I need to get cracking on my intended gifts. I plan to make a few things and buy one major thing (stroller or something like that).

I've been planning a knitted blanket and I've finally found a use for some of that Cotton-Ease in my stash. I'm knitting it up on US 8's. I started with a square with a contrasting initial and then picked up stitches around the square. It's about 14"x14" right now.

I also have some Rowan Handknit DK which I plan to use for a version of this sweater. I'm not big on the pirate's head so I'll be changing that part.

This is from the Zoe Moeller Adorable Knits For Tots book.
I'm also plan on making a few baby hats and sewing a babyquilt.

As for all the other things I'm working on. I should have the back piece of Cherries done tonite. This project has been slow going but should get faster since I don't have much else on my plate.

Thanks to the Summer of Stash I won't be doing much for Project Spectrum. I definitely need some more purple/lavender in my life but I don't have any in my stash.

And I'll be working on the Scatter pattern this week. I've been a little distracted with my newest toy.

It was a slightly implusive, but not so impulsive, purchase. I've been comtemplating getting a new laptop for awhile and decided that there is no perfect time to make this type of purchase, so I went ahead and did it. I didn't have any day-after regret so it must be a good thing.

Friday, July 07, 2006

It's okay. Really!

Okay y'all, I need to clarify. Yesterday's post was not in anger or upset. No one's comments have offended me. I just figured I needed to be different and own up to my mistakes upfront. A lot of people won't do that and I don't want to be one of those folks.

Often times I've seen designers get upset because someone has pointed out a mistake. I'm not going to get upset like that. If I'm angry with anyone, trust me when I say, it's not you. What I do want is for someone to tell me when I've made an error. I want people to know that I'm open to critism because that is the only way I can improve.

The way I see it, I've only been doing this about a year. There are about 4 published books that I can think of that have a team of editors,etc that are jacked up to oblivion. I'm doing pretty good but I can always do better.

Now onto some good stuff...

A finished Ruby

Knitting Pinki of SaturdayNightSheep just let me know about her finished Ruby tank. She used a nice variegated merino and you have to check out her pose. A sexy "come and get it boys" pose. I may have to borrow that one.

And now the status of "The Dress". I've done one front piece and I'm finishing up the other side. I'll have to build up the sash more to make a point/triangle and then I'll sew on the front pieces. I still haven't decided how I'll work the back. I may save that till next week. I think I'm putting this off because I'm dreading all of the end weaving I'll have to do. Blah!

That's all for now. Everybody have a good weekend.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

F&$k ups!

Rarely do I post twice in one day but I feel the need to speak on something real quick.

Let it be known that sometimes...... I f&$k up !

There. I don't deny it. I own it. I claim it.

I have read some comments recently about mistakes,errors, and typos in my patterns and you know what... I appreciate it. Writing patterns is something that I just started doing in the past year. I'm new to it and working to get better at it. Sometimes I mess things up. Sometimes I read and read and still miss typos. Sometimes my pattern style is a little unclear. Truth be told, that is why some of my patterns are free. Because I know they aren't perfect.

I'm a work in progress. I don't have a team of proofreaders or technical editors to help me so I must work these things out myself. And I promise to work on them. I don't take offense to critism and wish more people would give me some. I always hear the good things but no one ever emails with the bad. Send them all to me. Please. I welcome it. How else will I improve?

Honestly, I want people to feel like they are getting their money's worth and I have no intentions of putting out crappy product. But if I do, call me on it.

(comments are closed for this post)

Stitches East 2006

Thank you for the nice comments on my dresses. I noticed a few of you mentioned how it takes you a long time to pin and cut out a pattern. Well, I'm gonna share a little time-saving tip with you.

Thanks to these, I haven't pinned a pattern in years. These are just common 2" washers from the hardware store. I bought around 25 or so. I just vacuum my carpet, lay out my fabric and pattern pieces on the floor, using the washers as weights at the corners and various places. It takes a lot less time and effort, plus I don't have to worry about losing and stepping on pins. I don't really use pins while I sew either. One at each end of a piece, and one at the notches to make sure everything matches up.

Stitches East 2006

I got my Stitches East brochure in the mail yesterday and I think I'm going to go. Have any of you ever been before? I spoke with Pinky yesterday at SnB about her past experiences. She says it's usually good but there are some instructors that are good and others that are horrible. Any advice for me? Is it worth it to go to the Student Banquest, or the Fashion Show & Dinner? It's starting to look a little pricey. I have a few classes in mind but I don't want to mention them for fear I talk about them and then everyone signs up and I don't get in.

Let me know if you think you're going. I think I may need a roommate or 3 to lessen the cost.

A finished Regine
If you get a chance, stop over and see Maxmom's finished Regine sweater. She changed the sleeves to 3/4 length and made it in a pretty blue. I'm lovin it!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July.

Happy Independence Day to all my U.S. folks.

Long before there was knitting I spent most of my time sewing. I've actually been sewing since I was 11 years old when I got my first sewing machine. I learned by watching my mother and never took a lesson. Well actually, at age 13 I signed up for a class through the community services because I wanted to learn buttonholes and zippers. I finished my first dress in a week and when I asked the teacher about putting in a zipper she said she didn't know how to teach me and didn't think anyone would get that far. I never went back after that.
With my height and long arms, sewing has been my saving grace. And we won't even get into the cost-effectiveness of it all. Every dance, prom, party, I made my dress. I even remember when my mother refused to buy me this $250 Ralph Lauren Wool Toggle coat with a green tarten plaid lined hood, she took me out to this warehouse bought me $50 worth of wool and $10 dollars worth of green tarten plaid flannel. Everyone thought I bought that coat. I loved it.

All of this flooded back to me as I sat at my machine the past day or so. I need to sew more.

Yesterday I used the black/white cotton to make a halter dress. I used some black egyptian cotton stitched in white thread for a sash. This is McCall's M5040 pattern. This is no pattern for the sash,I just came up with it.

This morning I made this dress with my pink "windowpane" fabric. The pattern is Simplicity 4531.

I also finished this skirt which I had started a while ago. I'll probably wear this one today when I head out to see the Devil Wears Prada. I'm quite excited because Adrian Grenier is in it. Cute boys. New clothes. Plus it's my father's birthday. It's a good day.

Monday, July 03, 2006

I don't like it

I set out last night to make this dress using my butter yellow linen material.

Right now I'm slightly disappointed I used my good fabric on this dress. I don't like it. I'm not a big fan of halter dresses but this pattern seemed to appeal to me. The problem is that I was paying attention to the drawn pictures and not the actual. The halter didn't fit the way the drawn pictures look and the actual hides the improper fit by using that busy print material.

The halter sides had big gaps and made the girls look too droppy. After a lot of alterations, I've gotten to this point. I'm satisfied although not overly excited. I t still doesn't fit the way it should. It's kind of bunchy on the sides and it doesn't lay nice and flat like I would want it to. I guess I'll get used to it.

Today I'm going to work on a dress using my black and white cotton print. I'm more optimistic about that one.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Sunday dresses

I'm not sure if many of you can relate but when I was little we had the whole concept of "Sunday clothes". Sunday clothes were your special clothes. They had special instructions. You couldn't play in them or lie around in them. They were the pretty clothes. On special holidays like Christmas and Easter, my sister and I would get extra frilly dresses and sometimes my mother would even make them. I thought about this as I started my day of dressmaking. Somewhere along the way in life I fell out of love with dresses but I'm reuniting myself with them this summer.

Here is "The Dress". I originally started with a seperate sash waistband but later decide to try picking up stitches directly from the skirt. I'm using a chevron pattern on it for a little contrast to the straight lines of the larger chevron in the skirt. It's almost done. Just 3-4 more rounds and it will be ready for the bodice/straps.

I'm setting this aside and getting started on some sewing.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Happy Canada Day!

Thanks to the bloggin world, I learn something new everyday. Today is Canada Day. It's the celebration of the formation of provinces under the name Canada. It's good to learn about cultures other than your own. Thanks Dorothy .

So it's Saturday and I have an update! The day started with some quick errands and then I decided to make a peach cobbler. This will be the last of the goodies I will make for awhile. I need to take a break from sugar.

And here is the debut of Scatter. As modeled by me and by Athena (that's the name of my dressform).

Since I'm already in a knitting mode I'm going to work on "The Dress". Since I planned to make dresses this weekend this fits into the theme. More progress shots tomorrow hopefully.