Monday, November 17, 2014

Announcing the New Me

I am very excited to announce I have launched a totally new look to my website.  You will still find me in the same place at but it's a very different look with a new secure shopping cart.  New products are still being added, but you will be able to find Knitter's Journey Knit with Wire Jewelry Kits, Blue Heron and 3 Irish Girls yarn, and gifts for knitters. 

To my many fans of my Knitting Vacations Link List, I am very sorry, but the page did not fit into the online store format, so I had to let it go.  I will do my best to recreate it here, perhaps in bits and pieces at first.  Watch for more news and coming events in the near future.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Well, now that summer is over and I am back to school,  I thought perhaps I should write an essay about how I spent my summer vacation.  Although I love to travel, I did not set off on exotic knitting adventure this summer. I prefer to stay close to home in the summer because summers here are so pleasant. The Lakefront, bike paths, festivals, and free concerts in the parks make it easy to entertain oneself or out of town guests.  I spent much of my time knitting, making jewelry, designing new patterns, working on Knitter's Journey -- activities that are all my idea of fun. I spent a lot of my time this summer vending at our downtown artist's market-- a new venue for me, and very fun! I was surprised to see how many tourists we have in my hometown, but that is as it should be, because we really do have a great place on a Great Lake!

I am very pleased with my summer design project, the Evening Paseo Shawl. This shawl was inspired by my past travels in Spain, where there is a tradition of going for an evening stroll or "paseo."  Whether you are in Barcelona or Madrid, you will find the sidewalks teaming with people in the early evening. Families stroll with young children, lovers walk hand in hand, and young people flirt with each other as everyone is walking and talking, trying to see each other and be seen.  Even though it is just an evening stroll, one tries to look one's best.

This little shawlette would be the perfect accessory for a paseo.  It is knit from a single skein of Blue Heron Rayon Metallic, one of my favorite yarns because of its beautiful colors and lovely drape.  The shawl will be making its debut at Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend, and you will soon find the pattern on Ravelry.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

New Orleans Jazz and Jazzy Cables

French Quarter Architecture
My husband and I enjoyed a recent vacation to New Orleans.  There is so much to see and do there! We explored the city's unique history with an architectural tour of the French Quarter and a fascinating tour of one of the city's old cemeteries.  We took a riverboat cruise, visited the Aquarium and the National World War II Museum, and toured a nearby plantation.
St. Louis Cemetery

Oak Alley Plantation

But we both agreed that our favorite part was the multicultural ambiance and jazz heritage that we found everywhere.
Second Line on St. Anne Street
Street musicians in Jackson Square 

Battle of the Mardi Gras Indians in Congo Square
Of course, I never go on vacation without somehow making it a knitting vacation, so I
sought out a yarn shop and very easily found The Quarter Stitch, just off Jackson Square.
Outside The Quarter Stitch
And of course, I brought a knitting project with me.  I wanted to design a cowl using 3 Irish Girls Springvale Worsted, which I just started carrying in my online store.  I swatched several stitches from one of my stitch dictionaries, but I wasn't satisfied.  Finally, inspired by the jazz musicians that I saw on the streets, I decided to improvise.  I played with a basic rhythm of knits and purls, bending and twisting until I arrived at something new and original.
Jazzy Cables Cowl
The cable construction is a bit different - more of a twist than a true cable, it creates a totally reversible fabric, which was my goal at the outset.  I'm excited about the technique I devised; it opens up possibilities for endless variation. Sort of jazzy, don't you think?