In My Etsy Shop

On the Needles

 

Saturday
Oct232010

A Hell of a Year, or A Short Break from Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

How the heck is it almost NOVEMBER?! 

This year... I swear. It's been kinda crazy.

I have a big post coming up about my recent trip to NYC and Rhinebeck -- such an incredibly fun trip! But first, I want to talk about some other stuff. 

I've never really posted about "personal" stuff here. I've just never been sure if it's appropriate or not, or if you even want to hear about personal things, since it's supposed to be a blog about knitting, and yarn and fun, happy stuff. But heck, Wool Candy isn't just my business; it's inextricably bound up with the rest of my life. I can't separate "my life" from "my blog," That's just silly: I am Wool Candy and Wool Candy is me. 

And now, it's almost November, and, having gone through this crazy year without really mentioning it here, is making me feel like there's a wall standing between me and the rest of the world. Like, there are projects and trips and events that I want to talk about, but since I haven't really talked about anything that's happened this year, it would be weird. 

So, I hope you don't mind me telling you that 2010 has been kind of a doozie. When I look back over this year, I can hardly believe what a different place I am in now, compared to this time last year. 

First of all, I'm fine, happy and everyone in my family is healthy.

It's just, well, in a nutshell... last year I was married, this year I'm divorced. 

I don't need to go too deep into it. Suffice it to say that the end of one thing was the beginning of something else. Ending a long relationship was a hard slog full of pain and crappiness, but was ultimately and absolutely the right choice for me. Absolutely.

Because the end of that long, hard slog of a relationship was the beginning of something new and real and wonderful.

I'm happy. And now, I'm with a man who is really and truly my partner, someone with whom I'm so well matched. Something I didn't realize was missing until I met George. 

I've mentioned him in passing, but it's long overdue time for a proper introduction.

Here we are, at Brighton Beach last week:

NYC & Rhinebeck, October 2010

He'll be mentioned a lot here. :) So, things are good. Great, even. 

Of course, with the end of a marriage comes a LOT of change. I moved from my ex-husband's house in Santa Clara back into my mom's house in San Carlos, high up in the hills above the San Francisco Bay, and set up my studio in her backyard. My dog's name changed -- he's just MY dog now, and the name he was given when we got him was never one that I liked. So, he's Stewie, and he's my buddy. He loves his grandma and his new, big backyard.

Stewart 

Oh, and his ball.

And things are continuing to change. Wool Candy is growing, and it's so exciting. George and I are moving in together next spring, back to my favorite town in the Bay Area, my home, to Oakland. I can't wait! 

Thanks for listening... I feel like a big weight has been lifted, and now I can share all the cool, fun, crazy stuff I've been doing, and share my excitement about the cool, fun, crazy stuff coming up.

And now... back to our regularly scheduled programming. Next up? Rhinebeck Recap!

 

Sunday
Oct102010

Rhinebeck! and Idlewood

I'm going to Rhinebeck! Those of you who follow me on Twitter already know, and I've been meaning to blog about it, but man, the time. It has flown. 

I seriously can't believe Rhinebeck is next weekend.

This trip was totally spur-of-the-moment. In about mid-September, I saw someone mention something on the aforementioned Twitter about Rhinebeck coming up, and I had this thought: "When the hell is that? October, right? I could totally go to Rhinebeck!"

It made complete sense in my head. See, so, my good friend from high school, Mari, has been living in NYC with her husband for the last five years. They had moved there from Japan for Yutaka's work, and were only going to be there for five years, and Mari has been inviting me to come and visit them and I just haven't. And now, they're moving back to Tokyo at the end of the year. 

So I had this thought: why not go hang out with Mari for a few days, then take the train up to Rhinebeck and check it out?

See? Totally makes sense! 

A luckily, everything totally worked out. Including the fact that Mari isn't mad at me for waiting until the absolute last possible minute to visit her before she goes back to Tokyo. :) My mom even gave me her leftover United miles, so my flight was taken care of. I'm crashing on Mari's couch and we're taking the train up to Rhinebeck on Saturday for the day. And I'm meeting up with Sylvia at Knitty City to hang out and look at yarn and buttons. It's going to be awesome! 

So, according to tradition, you're supposed to knit a sweater to wear to Rhinebeck, right? I found the perfect pattern: Idlewood (Ravelry), by Cecily Glowik McDonald. It has a ridiculously, outrageously, wonderfully gigantic cowl that can double as a hood. The sweater is a long-ish tunic, with two very sweet patch pockets in the front.

Idlewood, in progress

Seriously, the cowl is as big around as the body. It's fantastic.

Idlewood, in progress

I'm using some Knit Picks City Tweed Heavy Worsted that's been sitting around in my stash for a couple of years. It's a pretty nice yarn: soft and cuddly, with lovely flecks of donegal tweediness blended in. 

Idlewood, in progress

I knit the pockets as swatches. They're just the perfect little swatch size. And, of course, my swatch gauge was right on. But as I cast-on for the actualy sweater, the weight of the yarn pulled my gauge a teensy bit large, so I had to make a couple of adjustments to size. I only cast-on 2 stitches under each arm instead of 6, and that seems to have done the trick. 

Idlewood, in progress

It still looks like a giant pile of wool right now... I have to knit one more sleeve (the tiny cap sleeves are only about 3 rounds each. hooray!), then weave in all the ends, block and sew on the pockets. I have two days until I hope on a plane for the East Coast. Plenty of time, right? :)

 

 

 

Friday
Oct012010

Alice's Sweet Heart Hat

George's sister, Tanya, had a baby girl recently. She lives in Russia, so it will be awhile before (if ever) I meet her and little Alice. But I knit Alice a hat. 

A Heart Hat for Alice

This is the Heart Hat (Ravelry) from Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop. Such a wonderful book, as all of EZ's books are. I used some Rowan Wool Cotton from my stash, in "Rich" and "Hiss." The colors remind me of those funny little Valentine's chocolates, that always taste like chalk but have pretty red and pink foil wrappers. Do you remember those? Do they still make them?

A Heart Hat for Alice

The garter stitch heart is an ingenious adaptation of a mitered square. You turn a mitered corner for the tip, and do some fancy short-row magic (not really. if it were "fancy," it wouldn't be EZ, but it is genius!) to create the two little heart "bumps," et VOILA! A sweet heart! Then, pick up stitches in the garter "ridges" all the way around the heart to knit the bonnet part. 

A Heart Hat for Alice

I love the texture of garter stitch. Nubbly and squishy and stretchy. Such a sweet hat. I should pop it in the mail so it gets to Alice before she's too big to wear it. 

In shop news: I have a big update of Fondant Merino DK coming up next week. The new colors, in sweater quantities. Isn't mustard big this season? How about Roasted Garlic? ;) 

Fondant Merino DK in Roasted Garlic

Monday
Sep062010

Eclair Silk Sock, and New Fall Colors

I'm really excited to introduce a new base to my line-up. 

Eclair Silk Sock in "Capsicum"

Each skein of Eclair Silk Sock is 437 yards of shimmery, silky deliciousness.

Eclair Silk Sock in "Plum Cake'

50% superwash merino, 50% silk. 

Eclair Silk Sock in "Roasted Garlic"

I've shown you the Pogona I knit with this scrumptious yarn.

Eclair Silk Sock in "Icicle"

I've also started a pair of knee socks  that I'll share with you soon.

Eclair Silk Sock in "Fog City"

The point, though, is that Eclair is knitting up a treat at a variety of gauges. 

Eclair Silk Sock in "Wisteria"

In 10 new fall colorways. 

Eclair Silk Sock in "Red Velvet Cake"

Available in my Etsy shop tomorrow, September 7th. 

Eclair Silk Sock in "Evening" 

Yum!

Eclair Silk Sock in "Verdant"

Oh... and don't forget that the Wool Candy Labor Day Weekend Sale continues through midnight tonight, PDT. :)

 

 

 

Friday
Sep032010

Labor Day Weekend Sale!

It's on NOW! 

What is it they say? Shop early for the best selection!

September 2nd through Monday, September 6th, all in stock yarn and fiber is 15% off. There's SO MUCH YARN AND FIBER, people! 

 

Additionally, Discontinued colorways are 25% off. Get them before they're gone forever. 

 

Candy Floss is going. As are Blueberry Buckle, Blood Orange, Brulee and Swamp Monster.  If you've been thinking about one of these colorways... now is your last chance. :)