Friday, April 28, 2006

For your entertainment

A conversation between me and my sister

Bill: What are you doing?
Me: I'm getting my mail.
Bill: Oh, I wanted you to see something on tv. Hurry up and get home.
Me & Bill: Blah blah blah ( a few minutes pass)
Bill: What are you doing?
Me: I'm still getting my mail.
Bill: It doesn't take that long to get the mail.
Me: Actually I'm getting the coupons out of the trash.
Bill: What!?!
Me: People through away the AC Moore and Michael's coupons and I'm getting them out of the trash.
Bill: EWW!
Me: It's not like I'm digging. I'm just getting the ones on top.
Bill: You're a trashdigger.
Me: Like you wouldn't go in the trash if someone was throwing away 50% off coupons to some clothing store.
Bill: Well,....
Me: Yeah, that's what I thought.

Above is the yarn I got in the mail today from and the needles I bought from Michael's and AC Moore with my zillion coupons.

Have a great weekend. I'll have some progress pics on the dress Monday.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The thing about designing....

The thing about designing clothing is that it can really throw you off. In the fashion world, you have to work one or two seasons ahead. That's why there have been so many tank tops coming out of Chez Saun. I've actually been working on summer tanks since December and I'm all tanked-out. No more tanks for me right now. I've overdosed.

So what am I going to knit? Well of course I'm working on the "Miss dVa" dress. And baby items will now make their way in. But here is the thing. I need some sleeves in my life which is odd since I won't want to wear a sleeve for the next 5 months.

Everyone is finishing up their winter gear and it's really got me wanting. It seems that the New Yorkers are really on to something. Check out Carrie's Forecast sweater. Isn't it cute? She altered the pattern which has changed my perspective on the whole thing because originally I wasn't feeling it. I'm really liking her version. I still have to get over the whole top-down thing but I think I'll try.

And then there is Jared's Urban Aran Cardigan . I can't tell you how much I lust for that sweater right now. Don't believe me? Go look at it and remember to wipe the drool from your mouth when you are finished. I think that is the sexiest sweater I have ever seen. That might sound crazy but that's how I feel. Jared doesn't think I'll have time to make it but what he doesn't know is that thanks to those sexy sweater poses I now have 17 balls of Peruvian Highland Chunky on it's way right now. I need to clear the decks because next week, it's all about the Urban Aran.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Calla Corrections.

It would seem that I either can't add or I can't type correctly. Maybe I just didn't proofread well enough. In any case here is an update to the Calla pattern which effect the size SMALL and XXL. Other corrections have already been posted to the magknits website. Sorry for the inconvienence.

Next RS row: Bind-off 5[ 5, 6, 8, 8, 8, 8] sts at beginning of the next 2 rows. 76[80, 82, 82, 90, 94, 102] sts. From this point forward, you will knit the first 2 and last 2 on every RS & WS row. This will create a garter stitch edging. Any decreases should be worked after/before these 2 stitches.

Next RS row: Keeping in pattern, dec 1 st at each end of the next 5 rows. 66[70,72,72,80,84,92]. Then dec 1 sts at each end every alt row 4[4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 6] times. 58[62, 64,64,72, 76, 80] sts. Then dec 1 sts at each end every 4th row 2[ 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3] times. 54[58, 60, 60,68, 70, 74] sts. Continue working in pattern until armhole measure 3[3, 3, 3.5, 3.5,4, 4] inches.

Monday, April 24, 2006


Finally! Finally! Finally!

My best friends have been really selfish. Only thinking about themselves. Both of them got married last year and when I ask for godchildren they want to get all selfish. Me. Me. Me. "We don't want children yet" Waaa, waaa,waaa. Don't they know it's not about them, it's all about me. I'm nowhere close to having children and they are supposed to spit out the babies so I can play with them, spoil them, and then send them back to their parents.

Well, finally, one of them has come through. After I sent an email staking my claim as godmother, I started planning. I finally have a reason to make baby stuff. It's going to be soooooo ridiculous!

And thanks for all your complements on my tank.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The story

Here is how it went:

At about 4pm I went to the girls club to volunteer. I started to park in the side lot but opted for the front since it was empty. The knitting club decided to sit outside in front of the building to knit. A parent decided to join us to learn to knit and we had several younger girls sitting and watching. Other girls were outside trying out for the track team. I remembered I had some blankets in the trunk so I went to get them for the girls to sit on. The girls asked "Is that your car?", "What type of car is that?". You know, the typical kid stuff.

As I sat and tried to knit I heard this noise. As I looked I saw Jay-etta shaking from side to side and I heard "Ms. Saun, Ms.Saun, she hit your car!" followed by "Sue! Sue! Sue! Sue!" When you are trying not to curse in front of children, it doesn't help to hear children chanting the word "sue". All I could think was "I am only 2 payments away from the car being paid off and this is what I get. F*%$!". I went to the car, pulled out a notebook and camera and proceeded to get the proper info. The damage isn't too bad and I'm glad no one was hurt but it's still a pain. Insurance is going to contact the driver before they can fix my car but I'm not too concerned with her changing her story. I have about 40 witnesses.

To calm my nerves I opted for some retail therapy. I headed to the LYS in Wake Forest and took part in their 20% off sale.

I purchased some Kelly yarn and made this tank. I wasn't in the mood to make a pattern or follow one. I just calculated the cast on and went from them. Mindless stockinette. Knitting therapy. The perfect part is that this classifies as my item for April's Project Spectrum.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

No good news

Jay-etta has sustained some injuries so knitting progress will be delayed while I deal with all this mess. When I'm feeling a little calmer I'll tell you the story. The one day I carry my camera I actually have to use it for this crap.

Hopefully you'll have a better weekend then I will.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Getting to the point: Take one

Here's a glimpse at my first attempt at "The Dress". I'm looking for a good name for "The Dress" because I hate to keep calling it the Missoni "knock-off".

Aww.... the chevrons. See the points. Love the points. Become one with the points. This is my new mantra because once the skirt is finished I will need to figure out a bodice that works with the points.

I wasn't satisfied with my striping and color joins so I frogged this. Hopefully I'll have another progress shot soon.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Why it do what it do

Howdy everybody. My apologizes if my WWE style copyright smackdown came off a little intense. PMS and a sighting of a new "Jems-like" pattern on the internets made me a little touchy.

Nevertheless, on to good things. Glimmer made her debut just in time for 6am sunrise church service. Her is a pic just before I steam blocked and added the buttons Saturday night.

To recap:
* Summer Tweed - yum!
* Short rows - big pain in my arse!
* Kim Hargreaves - still love her designs.

Wendy and Nik both posed the question of why the Schachenmayr tank bulges due to the chevron. I figured I should try to explore the subject since I plan to use chevrons in the design of my dress. I frogged that shirt so I'll have to reuse the previous pics for examples. I like to call this segment....

Why it do what it do*

The essence of any chevron is the use of a double decrease. This would be a sk2p (slip 1, knit 2 together, pass slipped over), or a k3tog. This type of decrease pulls in the fabric from both sides creating the slanted rows, and in turn, the downward point. You can see this in the infamous Jaywalker socks.

If you look at this picture, this pattern uses a combination of a k3tog and sk2p. That is 2 more decreases than the standard chevron and creates a steeper chevron. The few inches of stockinette before the start of chevron is what causes the fabric to buckle and bulge. Without it the chevron would at least lay flat. After a couple test swatches I've come to conclusion there is no way to eliminate this problem.

As for the armhole bulges, this can be fixed. Originally after the end of the chevron pattern, the top is worked straight before armhole decreases begin. Working straight allows the fabric to follow the v-angle set by the chevron. Instead, side decreases should done to offset this and draw the side back inward.

I'm not sure how this relates directly the VK pattern. I'd have to really read it and see. I may tackle that another day but this study of the chevron has proven useful in my dress pattern. More on that tomorrow.

* You can thank Ray Charles and Jamie Foxx for that.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Happy Easter/Passover

Everyone have a good holiday. See you next week!

Let's talk copyrights

A nice woman sent me an email asking about the copyright on my needlecase design. In answering her question I decided it would be good to post a little something here on the matter. In the future this will serve as my copyright disclaimer.

Let's start with the basics:
Every single pattern and design in my sidebar has been filed for copyright through the United States Copyright Office.

I don't just slap the little copyright symbol in there for the fun of it. That being said, it should go without saying that all patterns and designs are for personal use and not for profit. This means:
1. You do not sell my designs anywhere (school fairs, church bizarres, stores,etc).
2. You do not sell my patterns anywhere without my expressed written consent (blogs, yarn shops, etc).
3. You do not post or sell my patterns as if they were your own.

The only one to profit from my work is me. If I find out you are doing it, then guess what? I want my money!

I know that people can have similar ideas but if you buy my pattern, study it, then produce a pattern or design for sale, I won't be a happy camper.
I give out free patterns as a gift and I would hope that no one would try to take advantage of that either. I can definitely say that I've given more patterns away then I've sold so it's obviously not about the profits but once someone takes it down that road then I'll be forced to go down that road with them.

I know I can't police the world, but info has a funny way of finding its way back to people that need it.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

A cautionary tale

I'm trying to concentrate on finishing my last sleeve for the Glimmer cardigan so I don't have any interesting progress to show. (I have to finish before I can start the dress guilt-free). Instead I will share with you a cautionary tale which came to mind when leafing through the new Vogue Knitting.

Do you see this little number.

I first saw it in the Spring/Summer 2004 issue of Vogue Knitting and fell in love. I was living in Minnesota at the time and I drove an hour and a half to a shop northwest of Minneapolis to find this pattern. It's a Schachenmayer (Nr.75 S4). It took me over a year to finish it due to the cryptic description of a half fisherman's rib. The rib is what made the top so I was determined to finish. This was the final result.

Now let's focus in on the horrors of this top. See the bulges at the armholes created by the rib.

Notice the terrifyingly pointy bulges at the base of the ribbing.

I followed this pattern to the letter! Disappointment does not express how I felt when I tried this thing on. I was heated! (pissed!,irate!,or what ever you want to call it.) This was the first thing I ever worked on size 3 needles and all that work was for nothing.

Why am I sharing this with you? Because I saw that same deceptive bulge on this sweater.

Proceed with caution my friends. Proceed with caution.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Lookie lookie!

Look what came in the mail!

It's taking every fiber of my being not to cast on. When I picked up the package I was slightly scared by the lack of weight and size. It's 12 balls at 186yds each. That's 2232 yds. The Koigu skirt in the new Vogue Knitting claims to only need about 1300 yds, so by comparision I should have enough for my dress.

I stopped into Great Yarns today and had the pleasure of seeing Gray LaGran's Noro Butterfly sweater. It's a really cute sweater. I may have to re-evaluate my dislike of Noro yarns. She put the sweater in some wool wash it is a lot softer than in it's original state. I would still have to get over the high price though.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Cara is keeping a list of everyone going to the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival . Be sure to get your name on the list if you're going.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


Some of you make get where this is coming from, some may not.....

Remember back in high school and college when there was that boy or girl that you had a crush on but they didn't like you back and you were kind of hurt. Then one day you saw the hideous types of trolls they were used to dating and you instantly felt better. You would say to yourself, "If that's their type then I'm glad that they didn't like me after all, cause I sure as hell don't look like that". That's how I feel today.

Fortunes and Fears

This is a fortune that I got a few weeks ago that really made me think.

In high school I wanted to be a fashion designer and a computer animator. Mamacita told me about the fickleness of the fashion industry and how I needed to get a "real" job first and then go into fashion on my own dime. She had no desire to support me into my 30s. I could see her rationale at the time so I majored in engineering instead.

For the last few years I've wanted to get back into fashion but I was without a clear direction and kind of afraid. As I sat in church today, the pastor talked about growth. He said that with growth comes challenges and fears and that in order to grow you have to face the challenges and overcome the fears. It was a timely message because this weekend I decided to face one of my fears. In this past year, I have really come to enjoy knitting and knitwear design and I have been toying with the idea of submitting to a major knitting mag. Despite praise from others, self-doubt can sometimes creep in. I could come up with a dozen reasons why I shouldn't do it until something clicked. I realized,"What do I have to lose?" If fashion design is the life I want, then I have to start somewhere. And as the fortune says... So I spent this weekend working on a few designs and swatches to submit by the end of this month. I won't say the name but would it really be that hard to guess?

That should explain the lack of actual progress on any of my other projects. I did get a change to do a few little upgrades to the look on this here blog. What do you think? It's nothing too high tech but I just needed a change of pace.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Oh The Pain

Yesterday before I went to the Girls Club, I stopped at AC Moore to get the girls some yarn for their next project (purses). I buy all of their supplies out of my own pocket so I try to be cost-effective in my purchases. I decided on some Caron's Simply Soft. Cheap, decent colors, and soft. One girl tried to use the yarn but didn't like how it split. What the girls said next was like a blow to the heart. "Can we use that other yarn for our purses?" "What other yarn?", I ask. "The one like I have at home", said one girl. " With all the colors in it", said the other. "Like this", said another as she pulled yarn out of her bookbag. She pulls out RED HEART YARN! The steel wool of all yarns.

It hurts me to say that I will be going back to the store to exchange what I have for Red Heart yarn. I want them to enjoy what they make and they want Red Heart. They like the colors.

I've been working on the Glimmer Cardigan.

This weekend it's all about the sleeves.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Sweet Tees

Like the favorite southern drink, these tees are perfect for the summer heat!

Tee #1

Yarn: Pakucho Cotton 88 yds (81 m) 5[5,6,6,7,7] skeins
Needles: US 7 ( 4 mm) needles
Sizes: XS [ S, M, L, XL, XXL]
Bust: 32[34,36,38,40,42]
Skill Level: Advanced*

Tee #2

Yarn: Blue Sky Alpaca Cotton 150 yds (135 m) 2[3,3,3,3,4] skeins
Needles: US 7 ( 4 mm) needles
Sizes: XS [ S, M, L, XL, XXL]
Bust: 32[34,36,38,40,42]
Skill Level: Advanced*

Tee #3

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease 207 yds (188 m) 2[2,2,2,3,3] skeins
Needles: US 7 ( 4 mm) needles
Sizes: XS [ S, M, L, XL, XXL]
Bust: 31[33,35,37,39,41]
Skill Level: Advanced*

*Require chart reading.

Price: $6.00
Buy Now

After purchase, you will receive an email with the link to a pdf file.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Better Late Than Never

I know we are in the midst of Project Spectrum: April

but I'm still trying to overcome my ADD mishap from March. I need to get it under control. I've written a list of things I want to accomplish and the first thing is to clear all my March projects off my list.

I started by finishing these on Monday.

Next I'm going to knock-out that Glimmer cardigan. I need to finish before it gets to hot to wear it. We're up to consistent 60 degree weather now.

After that I'm going to work on the yellow top I started in March. Perfect for PS:April. I also want to make an orange skirt of some kind so I'm going fabric stash diving this week to see if I have anything that works. Before there was a yarn stash there was a fabric stash and it needs to be reduced too. Plus April is Use What You Have month.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Love At First Sight

Thanks to everyone for their wonderful complements on Calla . You all are too kind.

My trip to Chicago was great. I had a chance to spend some time with my sister and see her new digs. She lives in the Hyde Park section of Chicago which is a nice little neighborhood. The "Chi" is a real city, complete with all the bells, whistles, and traffic. (Gotta love that traffic.) But can someone tell me what is the metereological explanation for that wind !?!? It's ridiculous!

We did a whole lot of shopping. I've come to the realization that I'm not a "tourist-y, take picture of the monuments" type of person. I'm a "show me the shopping" type. Thus the reason I have no real pictures of Chicago.

We went to Magnificent Mile and Woodfield Mall . We also ate a really good southern style meal at the Dixie Kitchen & Bait Shop. It's so sad that I had to go to Chicago to get a southern style meal when I technically live in the south.

But the best part of Chicago, besides seeing my sister, is that I fell in love at first sight with this......

We happened by Scoop NYC Thursday night and decided to stop in. When I saw it I knew I had to have it. Then I saw the $1895 price tag.

Not one to deal well with rejection, at 3am Sunday morning, I delirously ordered 12 balls of Rowan 4-ply cotton (I'll probably need more) off of Ebay to recreate this dress. I shall not be denied!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Magknits: Calla

My latest pattern, Calla , is available on MagKnits.

Check it out.

Flashing the Crowd

April 1st is Flash Your Stash Day.

Here is a the pic I took back in January.

I think about 8 skeins are gone from that pile of 220.

Here is a pic of all the yarn I have acquired since January.

Yeah I know, I have the self-restraint of a 2 year old. I did do pretty well though. All of this yarn is for specific projects and not just wild impulsive purchases without a purpose. (Ha ha ha, did you believe that?)