Freia and the Knitwhit

A Blog about a Dog with some Knitting thrown in here and there

Oddballs.. random ramblings January 31, 2007

Filed under: Chesapeake Bay Retriever,Knitting,knitwhits,Walking the Dog — knitwhits @ 8:31 pm

Earplugs are divine. One of my cats howls desperately at night for a few days after I return from a trip away from home (such as my recent visits to Portland and San Diego). She doesn’t actually howl, what she does is scream. At the top of her lungs. You would never think it possible for such a small creature to make such a racket. It’s my punishment for going away. She yowls until about 3 am, then figures she’s bugged me enough and goes to sleep, remaining quiet as a mouse until midgnight the following day. I have considered all sorts of evil deeds and uses for a dead cat when she’s in full throttle, but have found earplugs to be the kindest solution – for the both of us. Heavenly.

sheep shop yarnI’m a bit over-knitted these days, it’s the usual post-tradeshow collapse. Last night however, I started on a pair of fingerless gloves using yarn that Sheep Shop Yarn Co has given to me to try out. It’s a really lovely silk and wool mix (30% silk, 70% wool) that is crazy soft. The yarn is new, called Sheep 3, not yet up on the website. The colorway I’m working with is a pretty mix of what I would call “rhubarb” colors – G43 on the color card of the page linked above. OK.. so I started this post a few days ago, and I’ve now undone and redone these gloves what feels like a ridiculous number of times. So if I was over-knitted before, I have no idea what that makes me now. Thank goodness for determination and stubbornness or I’d be nowhere in this world. What you see here will be ripped off the needles once again tonight. Ah.. the joy of designing. Gotta add, I love the yarn though, and it’s holding up extremely well to this relentless abuse I’m subjecting it to.

To add a little funk to the gloves I think I’m going to trim them with part of a fleece from Ozark Handspun that picks up the pinks and greys of the yarn. The fleece is different from what is shown on their site too, you can see a picture at the end of this post. It’s so lovely it deserved a spot all it’s own. You attach the fleece to your work by pulling off what you need and stabbing through it as you knit with regular yarn. Or at least, that’s what I’ve been told. I’m yet to try it. Here’s the wonderful thing. I don’t know what he does, but there is no nasty fleece smell. The fleece is odorless, or maybe a little floral, but not stinky in the least. It’s hot pink and, well, sheep-colored, and I think it could look pretty cool trimming the cuffs of the gloves.

Is it just me? Home Depot is never a one-stop-shop. I buy what I need, then get home and can’t find something I need to do the project, or find out I need something else I don’t have, so end up having to make a return trip to get other stuff to complete the project. Case in point: I don’t want to spend a fortune taking Freia to the dog wash every time she rolls in something nasty, which is more often than not. Yesterday, I stop at HD and find a clever shower attachment, basically a valved, detachable second hose to wash the dog with. But to attach this, I need to remove the shower head and my wrench is nowhere to be found. So today I go back and get a set of wrenches (not bad at $13) and some pipe tape. The story is not over until the new sprayer is attached, but things are looking good.. Sprayer is now attached, dog is washed, all is well.

hat standWhy can you never find tennis balls or tweezers when you need them – yet when you don’t need them, they are everywhere? The two aren’t connected other than the disappearing act syndrome. I guess keys have a tendency to suffer the same problem.

A good find… A store near me had its last day in business yesterday and I picked up a great compact hat stand that holds about 20 or so hats. It will be perfect for trade shows and can sort of be dismantled. I was willing to pay up to $25 and that was what they wanted for it, couldn’t be better! Freia is investigating the new hat stand here.

This dog is driving me round the bend these days on a barking frenzy.. I certainly don’t need to worry about intruders, in fact, I don’t believe anyone within a 1/4 mile radius does either, she’s protecting the world from all threats, real and imagined. Maybe I should just start using those earplugs 24/7? Better yet, I could knit up some pink fleece earmuffs.

Ozark Fleece


Please allow me to introduce myself… January 20, 2007

Filed under: Knitting,knitwhits — knitwhits @ 9:13 pm

Well, I met him. I met Kaffe Fassett. Very cool. The chat he gave was good, it wasSan Diego 07_2 interesting to hear more of where he’s coming from and heading to in his design process. After the slide show I went to front of the hall to introduce myself, thank him for being him and beg him to stop by my booth.. ok, yes, I grovelled a bit.. But he’s way cool! I saw him again later that night and gave my my postcard with the picture of Freia on it to see if that would work to get him to stop by. As it happened, I don’t know if he ever did or not. I saw him walking the show floor a few times, I’ve no idea if he ever peeked into my space though as I wasn’t in the booth 100% of the time.

San Diego 07_1So, here is what my booth looked like this time. Quite a change from previous shows, I brought in more color and reduced the amount of samples and kits on show to the new stuff and the best sellers. The idea was to also keep it all bright and colorful. The best aspect of this is that customers could actually enter the space! Last year, when I took a single corner booth, I brought and displayed everything.. too much stuff. You couldn’t even turn around to catch your breath! This was more shoppable and customer friendly. I think people liked it. I got a few “nice booth” compliments.. always a good thing.

The show itself was not as busy as previous shows, but also better for me than the last one in Indianapolis, so I was glad. Apart from the inevitable stomach ache that I get from nerves and eating too rich or spicy restaurant food , I greatly enjoy these shows. And they get better each time as I become more comfortable with what I’m doing and more used to the whole rigmarole of setup, selling and teardown.

Other people that I was excited to meet this go around were Teva Durham, who designed one of my alltime favorite sweaters (the fairisle sweater in Loop-D-Loop) and also Melanie Falick, who wrote one of my alltime favorite and inspirational knitting books, Knitting in America – reprinted as “America Knits”), Nancie Wiseman (too many books to mention..) and Nancy Bush (of Folk Socks fame). I said hello to the usual suspects, Clara Parkes of Knitter’s Review, Vickie Howell (Hostess of Knitty Gritty and yarn entrepreneur), Shay Pendray, Stacy Charles, Darlene Hayes and designer Kim Dolce, and many more knitting celebs.. lots of knitting blog stars, names I remember and some I don’t… I got a signed copies of Brandon Mably’s Knitting Colour, and Vickie’s Knitty Gritty Knits, which happens to have my backgammon set on the cover!

One thing I musn’t forget is to thank the lovely Erin for joining me at the show, helping out in my booth and being a hard working gal and great company to boot. I’ve been fortunate to have found really great people to help me out at the shows, and Erin was no exception.

And a very honourable mention goes to my hotel and meal partner, Larisa of Offhand Designs. She’s the one to see if you are looking for a great knitting bag or a stylish baby bag. She also makes the perfect bowl of oatmeal:larisa’s oatmeal


Lush with a capital L January 10, 2007

Filed under: Knitting,knitwhits — knitwhits @ 7:34 pm

Oh, I’m not a good blogger. Or maybe there really is just not enough time in the day. I’ve been prepping for TNNA in San Diego for most of the last two weeks and there is now less than 24 hours before I head down there, and I still have about a week’s worth of stuff to do. How does this happen?

Trying to decide on priorities is the hardest, so I figured I’d blow it all off and write in the blog!

Grace BeanieI have some cool news though. It looks like I may be doing another stint on Shay Pendray’s Needle Arts Studio (which has just been purchased by Interweave) on PBS. Just have to wrangle up sponsorship for the slots. Also found out that I made the cover (sort of) of the Knitty Gritty Knits Book (backgammon set that I designed). Can’t get much cooler than that! I’m also in this years Stitch N’ Bitch Calendar sorry, don’t remember the date offhand.. it’s the Grace Beanie (also available as a freebie on my website – look for Other Stuff, then, Free Pattern).

I have some new ideas for how to decorate my booth this time. I bought some pretty shelving from Ikea and will tie it all in with my “Bright Ideas” theme that I used for the ad I ran in Yarn Market News. I’m also trying to bring less stuff with me this time. I always used to bring one of every single kit I offer. Now that I offer so very many styles, it’s just not practical in such a small space. I’m looking forward to setting it all up.

Another reason to bring less stuff this time, so that I have more time – is that I will be going to a Kaffe Fasset lecture on set-up day. This man is a genius with color – scratch that, he’s a genius, full stop. He’s an amazing painter, beautiful sense of color and a great eye for design. He’s one of the most prolific people out there, dipping his hand in knitting, needlepoint, quilting, mosaics, textile design, painting and a lot more.. I’m really looking forward to this. I’d love to see if I could get him to swing by my booth to show him what I do. Years ago, I called his studio in London when I was there visiting family and I was shocked when he was the one who answered the phone! I called him to ask him if I could work for him somehow, from the US. I told him I had stitched numerous of his needlepoint designs, including the Rose Trellis Rug, the Artichoke, the Cat in the Ruffle Collar and more. We had a lovely conversation and I ended up stitching up some sample pillows for his parent’s shop in Big Sur (Nepenthe). If you are ever in the area, the attached Phoenix Shop and Restaurant are must-sees.

Sorry, no pictures for you this time, but click on the Kaffe Fassett link above to get a real feast for the eyes.. This is needlepoint like you’ve never seen it! Can you say “LUSH!”


A good start January 1, 2007

Filed under: Chesapeake Bay Retriever,knitwhits,Walking the Dog — knitwhits @ 1:31 pm

SD PostcardHad a lovely walk this morning at the Berkeley Marina. It was weirdly foggy, really thick soupy fog and crisp and cool. I couldn’t see much more than 100 feet in front of me. First off, met a friend from the Every Dog Day Care and Freia was respectfully goofy to Guido, a funny looking Italian Pointer type dog, called a Spumoni or something.. not really spumoni, but something like that. Then we saw Bella (Border Collie) and shortly thereafter came across Bella (Leonburger) , Mitzie (choc Lab), Ruby (Schnauzer) and Babette (Toy Rat Terrier), we all walked together for a bit in the fog, then we met up with Henry (Borzoi) and Ivy (Belgian Malinois? or Black German Sheperd Dog) What a pack we all were! What a weird mix of dogs, from the tall, skinny Borzoi who is waist high to most of us, down to the shivering Babette, who can’t be more than 7 inches tall with 3″ legs! And the 150 lb Bella who leans against me for pets and lets me keep my hands warm in her soft thick coat.

Before this weekend’s holiday started I decided to whip up a postcard for the upcoming TNNA show, to hopefully send out to stores by Wednesday. Cutting it a bit close as the show is the following week, but I think it’s always good to keep the name out there. Plus I want to show off how pretty my dog is with the Diamond In The Square Knitted Quilt.