I designed the Modern Motif Pillow for Universal Yarn's new book: Nazeli Garden 5: Bring Your Garden Inside. The book contains 18 designs for the home. One side is covered in a floral motif and the opposite side uses a geometric design created after studying Georgian era garden plans.
Before sending the samples out to the publisher I took a few photos, and Dewey wanted to join the fun! He's so adorable I had to share one of those too.
The entire piece is worked in the round, and is finished with applied i-cord and sealed with a zipper.
The project is worked in the round and requires basic knitting knowledge, including knit/purl, i-cord, and finishing, including the installation of a zipper.
Learn more about the project HERE or visit the Ravelry page HERE.
San Francisco has mild (but unpredictable) weather. Traveling across the city folks who live here know it's wise to always carry a jacket. In the cooler times of year, a finely knit cowl or scarf also comes in handy. Inspired by architectural detail in San Francisco's War Memorial Opera House, Cabaletta is a fine knit that uses two different yarns from Crystal Palace to create a lightweight (but warm) cowl.
The name “Cabaletta” is a term in Italian opera defining a brisk aria that usually follows a more contemplative one. The word was derived from the Italian “Cavallo” (horse) and often the music accompanying the cabaletta can be reminiscent of a horse’s gallop.
I love the way this cowl feels. It's the perfect weight... I also think that for colder climates this design would be nice if the height was doubled.
The pattern is available on Ravelry (via the link below).
(or Why, Oh Why Do I Have All This Yarn?!)
Back in 2007, when I lived in Southern California I did a blog post HERE detailing my quite vast and large yarn stash.
Over 1,000 balls/hanks/skeins of yarn.
Looking back, (will I be sorry for saying this?) I believe that's too much yarn for one person to have. And when I moved to San Francisco, I sold or gave away almost all of it.
Here it is, seven years later (2014), I still have way too much yarn, but nowhere near the astronomical amount I had before. Today, I still hold onto sweater quantities that quietly wait for me to find the right pattern so it can be knit up.
I have a few bags of random skeins that I like for one reason or another, and a few small bins with special types of yarn that are destined for certain types of projects (like felting).
I have a bin of yarn for swatching, and a big bag of spinning fiber (think big suitcase and you'll get the picture).
Of course, I also have the yarn and fiber and materials for my dyeing projects that I sell in my SHOP.
There's a part of me that finds comfort in knowing that I have yarn "Just In Case"... but the reality is I rarely knit projects with it. I wonder if others do this same thing:
1. Decide I must knit something "new"
2. Find a pattern after much sorting and ruffling of papers, and digging online and Ravelry
3. Feeling happy that I just purchased 2 or 3 new patterns on Ravelry that I LOVE but am not quite ready to knit.
4. Go to stash.
5. Dig through stash and make a giant mess of the studio, looking for a certain yarn that HAS to be in here. Somewhere.
6. Find yarn I love but have no pattern to match with it.
7. Get frustrated and decide I really want to knit one of the patterns I bought, but have trouble finding the right yarn in my stash
8. Head out to my LYS and look at their yarn
8(a). Try not to be distracted by other yarns calling my name.. or needle felting... or quilting... or needlepoint... or... (you get the picture)
9. Find the PERFECT yarn (but not for the pattern I had decided to knit) - now I want to knit a different pattern but of course I didn't bring that one with me
10. Stand in the middle of the yarn shop with my iPhone logging onto Ravelry or searching for yardage and yarn details for said pattern.
11. Find (or not) the details, settle on yarn, support the yarn shop by making a purchase, and head home.
12. Get home, and cast on.
See? A big dig through the yarn hoard and nothing found. I STILL ended up going out to buy yarn (and of course, the yarn that's in my stash was also purchased... meant for a project, someday...)
The stash that never gets used is sort of like having a refrigerator full of food but not finding anything appealing to eat. (It's a lovely problem to have, I suppose!) -and sometimes the yarn bought for a project in the above scenario ends up in the stash because the pattern didn't work out, or for one reason or another the project got frogged.
I don't really know what I want to do with my stash yarn. Chances are it'll just sit right where it is until I need to do this ritual of digging through it only to find what I want isn't there.
So here's my question: What do you do with your stash yarn? Do you buy yarn in anticipation of finding the "right" pattern? Do you like "The Matching Game"? Or are you someone who likes to mix it up and work freeform projects? I'm curious how much yarn is in your stash, and what causes you to buy yarn or fiber when you have plenty at home. Waiting. In your stash.
It feels good to see an idea come full circle. My very first published knitting pattern was designed with plans to raise money for a nonprofit focused on helping people facing breast cancer. A few years later, I was able to collaborate with other designers to create the first volume of the Good Deeds series in an effort to boost the visibility of the nonprofit benefiting from the project by offering an entire collection of patterns!
Folks who work in fiber (knitters, crocheters, spinners, weavers, etc.) are amazing. We use our talents and devote our time to help those in need by not only making hats, scarves, blankets, and sweaters, but also by talking about the issues that impact our lives.
Good Deeds, Volume One: Hats was launched in October, 2013. All proceeds from the purchase of this collection benefit the wonderful and worthwhile works of Breast Cancer Connections in Palo Alto, CA.
At the beginning of each new year, I will post the sales and donation totals for the previous year. Now that the production costs are covered, each new purchase creates a donation of $14.25 (less the cost of any ads). A total of 40 copies of the collection were sold October - December, 2013, and after expenses, that makes for a donation in the amount of $425.03 going to Breast Cancer Connections.
It's a treat to be able to make this first annual donation to this great nonprofit. They provide support for people facing cancer, and even opportunities such as talks on how to be an effective caregiver for those providing assistance to others. Recently, they expanded their mission to include support for women facing ovarian cancer as well. They offer writing workshops, mindfulness meditation, and even Tai Chi / Qi Gong to their clients, and even a boutique where clients can select hats and wigs that might help them to be more comfortable as they face the rigors of chemotherapy.
Projects like this thrive on the energy that comes from folks talking about and sharing the news. Thank you to the designers who donated their talents, the models that donated their time, and to everyone who has blogged and posted about the project. Here's to more good deeds in 2014!