Saturday, September 17, 2011
Patterns that are completed and ready for download are: Granite Cowl, Limestone Scarf, Mica Gloves, Shale Beret, Sandstone Throw. The other two small projects, the Nickel & Gold Device Wallet and Sand Pillow, should be available Monday or Tuesday. Printing is in process.
Garment patterns will be available in the next week to 10 days. They are still in process or at the tech editor now. I'm sure even if you are quite anxious for these you would rather that they be correct when they are released, and that process seems to take longer than I ever expect.
Again, your patience (and even more, your desire for the patterns!) is really appreciated. I want the patterns to be as fabulous as they should be.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
The colors reminded me of Powder River yarn, which seems to capture all the common mineral colors. Blush tones. So beautiful.
While I would have liked to be wearing the Granite Cowl while on a windy bluff on Monday morning, the nature around me reminded me of the gentle swirl created by this moebius. There's something so organic about the moebius. Practical too! An ideal travel piece as it dresses up a simple outfit and can be worn fashionably and for a little extra warmth.
Friday, August 19, 2011
As I was mentally cataloging the Powder River Collection and what I'd put up here I realized I'd missed the Granite Cowl. It is such a beautiful piece that I couldn't imagine why I had forgotten it, but when I went to grab a photo to put here there wasn't one! When I finally found one it was misnamed--and there were only two photos. Sometimes the good stuff doesn't get its due.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
This was the greeting that was heard all over the town of Buffalo the last part of July. Over 5,000 colorful, lively people from all over the United States and Europe gathered to celebrate the culture of the Basque people.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Who says you can't do it all? In the Flint pullover you can look casual but elegant and multi-task by keeping your smart device close at hand in the left arm pocket!
Monday, August 15, 2011
When we were in Buffalo, WY last September we walked by a display of garments in the hallway every day. Mostly from the original owner's wife, their daintiness was a complete contrast to the stories about women living in the West.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Here's a perfect way to stay warm and look great. Heidi models our Sandstone Throw in Powder River. The blend of merino and alpaca is just perfect for staying cosy whether you're watching TV, reading, or snuggling in with a smart device. This throw is knit in squares, then joined at the end, which makes it a wonderful project that while large, never gets too big to comfortably work on. The squares are 16" so it folds up into a nice pillow-size square when not being used.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
The photo shoot occurred on a perfect summer day in San Francisco. If you think California is all sunny skies you will be very cool when you come to visit. August is usually foggy at least part of the time. We can tell tourists because they are always wearing new fleece or sweatshirt pullovers. This is a pretty clear afternoon.
Monday, August 8, 2011
Friday, August 5, 2011
This photo is of Dolly at TNNA. Read on to see why. The other is of Clay Tank (full size) pre-fix.
This is the easiest of the PR garments to knit. It has all the eyelet and rib detailing in the Cardigan and Vest, but is worked in the round and has knitted in neckline and armhole trim.
Everything seems to have a story. The instructions didn't make sense to the knitter (who was experiencing a difficult pregnancy) and what I got back was very close but there had clearly been a problem once the neckline shaping commenced. Because we're always on deadlines I had to just use the garment as it was and I am just now fixing it. I think I've created a really nice but very easy piece--and I'm working on clarifying those instructions before the pattern gets published.
Don't be dissuaded by the relative simplicity of the Clay tank as it is a great way to explore Powder River. This piece works up from 3 or 4 skeins of Powder River so it is a very affordable piece as well.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Everyone seems to have a memory of an afghan knit by a grandma or aunt that was on their bed or on a sofa. These are great projects when you don't want to create a garment, but let's face it--they have a lot of stitches.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Slight pause in the posts while I went to Minneapolis to be a vendor at the TKGA Knit and Crochet show.
This was the first retail exposure of the design samples of the garments and accessories (I still don’t have the home decor pieces in my possession). Attendance wasn’t huge at this show, but I was really pleased at how positively knitter’s reacted to both the yarn and the projects.
There were almost unanimously positive reactions to the yarn itself. A few people didn’t like the neutral color, but everyone loved the touch of it –squishy and soft! Some were surprised by the actual look of the plied yarn when they saw it up close after seeing it in the fashion shows, but again, this wasn’t a negative –just a surprise.
As is almost always the case the model wore her hair down over my back neckline detail. My back waist detail and the sleeve cap detail got some attention and brought knitters to the booth to see them up close. Lots of positive responses.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Susan wrote about how great this garment is. This picture captures the back detailing nicely, although it is a little bunchy at the waist which doesn't happen on the body.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
The photo was supposed to be clear. I remain challenged as a photographer!
Monday, July 25, 2011
I realize that this is just the beginning for everyone else, but for me this is the end game. From here on it is all clean up. I have designed, knitted, written patterns, made changes, sewn on snaps, done drawings, etc. for the past six or seven months.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Thursday, July 7, 2011
In all the designs, the detail of the stitch pattern is intriguing, but it's the way Jill placed the patterning in the design that truly makes it wonderful: vertical lines to flatter as well as smaller bits at the lower back, neckline, shoulder. It draws the eye and engages the brain. To the knitter, it suggests that careful thought went into this design, that it's more than just the stitch pattern. It certainly has caught my attention and caused me to think about how stitch patterning can be used in a subtle way.
Hmmm, great metaphor there. I can always get the obvious, even quicker than most. I'm much slower (like a slug) on getting the nuance and subtle hints. Now there's some fodder for thought while knitting!
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Whenever someone touched Powder River they got that look on their face: ooohh, aaaah. this is nice. The designs were well received as well--everyone agreed they are fabulous and there's something for everyone in the collection. More on these very soon once Jill is back from vacation.
What everyone really liked was our aprons. Joel from Lantern Moon wanted one and Jill traded him one for something from his product line. While they hardly were a fashion statement, they were great to wear as they had pockets in the front - great place to keep a pen, business card, etc. We just need to design one that is a bit more flattering!
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
I learn a lot with every new creative endeavor I undertake. The thing that has been brought home to me the most during this process is how interior my design process is.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Then it has to be wound into skeins from the factory-size cones. Those are tied and twisted - all by hand (unless Gary finished his hank-making machine). Labels are applied.
Then we have to sell it. We'll be showing the yarn and taking orders at TNNA (needlearts trade show) in a couple of weeks. We're going to wear the aprons, because we're still cooking.
Patterns have to be completed after the knitters are all done with their knitting. Jill and Kristen get them into format, *draft, edit; rep from *, finalize, then the tech editor, then more editing and formatting. Charts and schematics have been created. Pictures need to be taken. More formatting and editing. Make PDFs for download. Print some copies. And so it goes. This takes months.
Oh yeah, we have to sell all of this. Emails, ads, Ravelry, Facebook, Tweets, blog posts, more emails, paper to hand out at TNNA, signs for the booth, aprons, ads, talk it up, dream about it, and so on. We think you'll like it. Off to knit. I still have a pattern to finish and the sample to knit. Knit like the wind, like a tornado.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
I love this picture of the sheep migrating up to the higher elevations. That's them along the ridge. This picture may have been taken in the summer as the grass is dry. Right now I imagine the meadow flowers are getting ready to bloom.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Most of us have some connection to railroad tracks. I remember walking the tracks as a child. Now I live near the "hub" city, an old railroad town. I have a grandson that loves trains, so our outings involve visiting the train museum.
Pictures of tracks, like in this picture, make a wonderful metaphor for our life stages. There's the proverbial light at the end, though in this case I think that's a jackalope running down the tracks off into the distance, his future full of surprise.
Artistically, the horizontal and vertical lines can be interpreted in so many ways. The weft and warp of life. A knitting design (bit hint right there). I love that there's a sense of going somewhere, even though it's not clear. I feel like that many days!
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
This is something I think we all struggle with. How do we justify spending that extra money when we can get [pretty much fill in the blank] so much cheaper? We have somehow traded the concept of "really great pieces" for "lots of pieces".
Friday, May 6, 2011
Although I am on the phone with Susan and Karen and Valerie every week, and we always check in on the weather in our various locations, I have to admit that I live in a climate that doesn't require a lot of thought to actually staying warm. San Francisco is mild, and we don't have huge temperature fluctuations for the most part. Once you figure out the quirks of the weather (it is always windy between 4 and 8 p.m. and it is possible to round a corner and be in a different microclimate--literally around a corner) it is pretty easy. I don't have to change what's in my closet much over the year--I do layers and might go from a wool tank to a cotton tank.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Non-designers are always curious about where ideas come from. Does it come from the yarn, from something I see, or where? It is a bit of a chicken and egg thing. A great idea without the right yarn is just an idea, and a great yarn without the right design is just yarn. So it is a convergence of the right idea and the right yarn, combined with stitch pattern and details that make it all work. Like all things creative, it is probably 10% serendipity and 90% hard work.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
So we make yarn. Lots of yarn. Beautiful yarn. Yarn with color, with personallity, with spunk! "Lively" as it has been called. So as much as I love to sit and stare at it, and would love to just drape it as is around my neck, it longs to be made into something. But not just anything. SOMETHING.
That is where Jill and Susan of Y2Knit enter the scene. Their background in art and design, and their technical expertise translate items created first in their imaginations onto paper. BRAVO!
So while this blog is called "A Yarn is Born" it would be just as well to call it: "A Yarn is Born and Adorned with Design"!
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
This photo has nothing to do with pattern collections. I did have a nice memory of the Basque dance performance put on for us at Mountain Meadow Wool though. My favorite memory was of the boys behind the scenes. They didn't know we could all see them, but there was an elbowing thing going on, which of course kept escalating, but when their turn to dance came, out they would come all innocence and concentration.
We asked what you thought was the inspiration for the new yarn and pattern collection.
Mountain range: most of you chose this
River basin: a few of you were on target here in selecting this one. Powder River is a river basin in Wyoming and the name of the yarn and pattern collection.
Local lore around Crazy Woman: Ok, you were right not to choose this one!
Fiber content: too easy and common and no one liked this one. We don't either.
Pictured here: Crazy Woman Canyon, near Buffalo, Wyoming. Awesome, eerie and not a good name for a yarn! Fabulous colors found here.
Friday, April 15, 2011
I love this name that Jill chose and the image of the train tracks. As travel lovers, we have fun looking at maps to choose locations or inspiration for names. This one needed to connect to Wyoming, where the yarn is being made (and where we love to visit--we've learned so much there!).
Powder suggests soft and we'll talk more about the other connections we see when we reveal more about the yarn. Enough for now to have the name.
Sign up at the right to get preview info and a free pattern. Tell your friends and yarn shop owners that you want Powder River when it releases on September 10!
Thursday, April 14, 2011
As we've been talking and planning this week we all started to feel like this is kind of real. It is odd to be working on something that you can't talk about and that no one else knows what it is. I am so familiar with this yarn because I knit on it all the time. As I work out designs, I've knit some of it so much that I had to block the kinks out of it to knit it again. In doing that, I came up with a cool technique for doing this. It goes very quickly for me because I have a vacuum table on my ironing board and can suck the steam out in seconds meaning I don't have to wait for the yarn to dry.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Saturday, April 9, 2011
This week has been super busy here at the wool mill, and as always a learning experience! We started out the week with a visit from friends from Kyrgyzstan. Aizada Imports brought a trunk show to our little berg. Gorgeous stuff and our minds were awhirl with the possibilities. I particularly love to see a strong young woman in business. Especially from one of the "Stans" (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan) where women do not traditionally hold positions of power.
So excuse me for a brief side trek into an exotic land. The glue that holds us all together the world over is fiber. Hooray for Wool!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
I search the web for photos that won't give anything away. These two fleece balls seemed like a nice representation of the natural colors of some of the sheep contributing wool this (ad)venture. See how similar the colors in this photo are to the new background image?