TNNA Phoenix Recap

The weekend before last was the Phoenix TNNA. Now I don’t know why, but the 2 hour time difference seems to have sucked the life out of me. Maybe it’s because Phoenix also sucked every last bit of moisture out of my body. I can’t imagine what the dryness is like in the summer when it’s actually hot. I swear I drank a gallon of water every day and I still was constantly parched.

But now I’m home, and not napping every day and slightly recovered. I have a nagging cough from the show crud I caught, but I’m trying to get back to work and keep the boys on task and send them out of town… see? There goes that eye twitch again. I’m tired of being so busy. I need to figure out how to schedule my life so I can fool myself into thinking I’m not swamped lol!

Anyhow, show recap. That’s why we are here. So Phoenix is like a strange plateau completely surrounded by mountains. And we were up at the buttcrack of dawn on Friday to start set-up!

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All Friday morning we did booth set-up.
The tutu of doom deposited glitter all over everything in sight!

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But my little corner of the Stitch Sprouts world turned out pretty nice!

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Then Heather and I sold Stitch Sprouts fabulous new class kits at Sample It!

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And it was fashion show time! My Lareina was featured on the runway.
And run they did. Those were the fastest walking models I had ever seen.
The audience was yelling at them to slow down.

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Lareina even got a nice big button to wear in the booth!

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I got to see a Vittorio in the wild! That always makes me happy!

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And I got to see the Interweave spring catalog. Featuring my Junius
shawl design from my upcoming book on the cover. I felt kind of like a rockstar!
And yes you can pre-order my book Warm Days, Cool Knits!

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I decided that all my future trade show outfits will feature tights from We Love Colors. So comfy and I felt so cute!

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My shawl skirt was quite the conversation starter!
It turned out to be a gorgeous way to showcase some of my older shawl designs.

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And then excitement! We were evacuated from the convention center when the show was nearly done! Fortunately all was well and none of the yarn was harmed in any way!

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And just like that another TNNA was over. Fortunately in the course of this one I got to spend some time with a new friend, Jen Lucas, and we will definitely be hanging out in Columbus! And then the booth was kaput and the crate was ready to go.

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And there was much rejoicing.

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Tips 4 Designers – Trade Show Etiquette

Are you thinking about attending your first TNNA trade show this year in Columbus? I’ve been going for a while and now I exhibit at the shows – you can see my little corner of the Stitch Sprouts world on the right below. But when I first went I had no idea what to expect!

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Today on the Stitch Sprouts blog I’m talking about Trade Show Etiquette. If you are going to an industry trade show such as the TNNA show in late May you don’t want to be that designer. You know that one. The one that the other companies and designers talk about and use as a cautionary tale.  So read up on my etiquette tips over at the Stitch Sprouts blog and check out all of my Tips For Designers.

Lareina

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Lareina is finally live! I swear life has been conspiring against me – but I am getting things back under control. Lareina is the 2nd of the Perfectly Placed shawls – Loradee was the first. Perfectly Placed is a collection of striped shawls in Yellowstone – an 80/20 wool/silk by Stitch Sprouts. Yellowstone is a sport-weight yarn with a generous 285 yards per skein. And it’s buttery soft!

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Lareina begins with a lovely lace border – and then you pick up stitches to work the Latvian braid. Once you work the braid and the body set-up the body is a simple 6 row repeat. And it goes fast, because your rows get shorter and shorter. I love that kind of fast!

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The wool/silk blend makes for a really sumptuous next to the skin soft wrap that works in any season. The slip stitch patterning mimics a lovely plaid and the creamsicle colors make this a dreamy project. What colors of Yellowstone would you work this shawl up in?

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Lareina is available on Ravelry individually for $6.00 USD or as part of the Perfectly Placed collection for only $11.95. Two more Perfectly Placed shawls are coming soon to use up all the Yellowstone colors!

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Needles: Size 7 needles (4.5 mm)

Yarn: Stitch Sprouts Yellowstone in Natural and Forest Fire – 285 yards to 100g

Gauge: 18 stitches and 26 rows = 4 inches in blocked slip stitch pattern

Size: 50″ wide and 24″ deep after blocking

Lareina is available on Ravelry individually for $6.00 USD
or as part of the Perfectly Placed e-book for $11.95 USD

Artistic Differences Blog Tour

I am the second to last stop on the Artistic Differences Blog Tour. This is an amazing new collection by Talitha Kuomi in collaboration with Classic Elite Yarns.  If you don’t know Talitha’s work from her fabulous portfolio or from The Fiber Factor, you should definitely check her out! Talitha has come up with a fascinating set of projects – each being shown in a Rocker version and a Bohemian version. It’s a really neat way of showing the way that a few simple changes to a project can totally change the vibe!

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The book overall is a lovely volume, and the photography is perfect for the showing off the two different musical styles. I kept wanting to be a rocker, but I definitely found out I’m a Bohemian girl! But even though the rocker pieces surely have an edge to them, the entire collection is very wearable.

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Today’s featured pattern is Tensity. It’s a bag with two personalities! Worked up in the green as a shoulder sling it has Rocker sensibilities. But as a shoulder bag in the wine it’s Bohemian and go anywhere! The bag is worked up in Wynter – a bulky 50/50 superfine alpaca wool blend – on size 10 needles for a sweet instant gratification project! And for today only the pattern is 10% off if you purchase it on Ravelry.

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This bag was on my mind this weekend as I traveled to Phoenix for TNNA. I totally need a nice knitted bag for my airplane carry on.  The beautiful hardware for this bag is available from Jul Designs. You can purchase either the Rocker hardware set or the Bohemian hardware set on their set.

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Classic Elite is giving away the entire Artistic Differences collection in print – it’s a beautiful booklet. So head on over to their blog tomorrow to enter that giveaway. They are the last stop on the blog tour naturally! And if you comment on this blog post you will be entered to win a copy of the Tensity pattern. You must comment by January 21st, as I will choose my winner on January 22nd. And you can choose who you want to be and knit up the version of your choice!

 

Tips 4 Designers – Photography Models

Are you an aspiring knitting designer? Did you know I write a blog series on the Stitch Sprouts Blog called “Tips 4 Designers”? Each week or so I blog about some things that might help you as a beginning designer. I’m always looking for blog post ideas, so if you have any suggestions – head on over to the Stitch Sprouts Blog and leave me a comment.

Today’s post is about using models for knitting designs and how much of a difference it just makes to use a model.

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And look for this lovely design Lareina to be released soon after I finish editing all these pretty pictures!

Happy New Year!

This year one of my resolutions is to not be so scarce around these parts. Among lots and lots of other things! I am going to be one of those annoying people who proclaims 2015 to by MY YEAR – a lot because 2014 sucked big time. I was going to use another colorful phrase, but I’m trying to be couth here.

Today my husband decided that the thing that we must do today is plant a tree. So we did. We headed up to home depot to see what they had in stock for winter planting and the pickings were slim. Most of the options were citrus trees. And while I would love to have a lime or lemon tree, that’s a backyard tree. I don’t want the neighbors or the HOA complaining if my harvest gets out of hand. And today I wanted a front yard tree.

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So we chose this lovely magnolia tree. And of course now I feel like I need to be all gentile and possibly sit on the porch with a hat or something. But then I remember that I don’t have a porch on my house that is quite possibly the bain of the neighborhood with it’s Hershey chocolate exterior. And the only hat I own that isn’t knitted is a ginormous lime green beach hat that clashes with said house.  I adore living in the South, but I don’t have any illusions about actually being Southern!

There are lots of things in store with my business and my life and I hope y’all will come along for the ride this year. My year.

Miasuli

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Sometimes you need a little something. Not too simple, not too hard. Miasuli fits the bill. It’s perfect for last minute Christmas knitting, or just as a break from the crazy holiday runaround. The lace is unusual and fun to knit, and the garter short row  sections go crazy fast.

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The yarn is the sumptuous Ella Rae Lace Merino Chunky, and it’s a dream to work with. Silky and soft, with amazing stitch definition. Worked on big needles it makes a cozy but not too dense fabric with an open geometric lace pattern.

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Needles: Size 10.5 needles (6.5 mm)

Yarn: Ella Rae Lace Merino Chunky, 121 yards to 100g, 2 skeins – sample in color #10 – Teal Green

Gauge: 12stitches and 20 rows = 4 inches in blocked garter pattern

Size: 64″ wide and 12″ deep after blocking

Miasuli is available on Ravelry individually for $6.00 USD

 

Cyber Monday 2014

The Thanksgiving holiday passed in a blur of cooking and cleaning and being with good friends. It was lovely, but exhausting. It’s times like these that I am reminded that I am still “the woman of the house” and all the assumed responsibilities that entails. I will say my teenage sons were very helpful in getting the house ready for company, but when it comes to the cooking… well sometimes it just takes longer to instruct someone on how to do it than it would take to just do it yourself.

But on this Cyber Monday I am reminded of just how many of the good things in my life have come from or happened on line. I’ve made so many good friends and fashioned a career out of what was the hobby to fill my free time after I stopped working and both my babies were in school. I manage my life online – so much! So on this Cyber Monday I am having a little BOGO (buy one get one free) sale. Use the code cyber on anything in my store and it’s all BOGO – including the ebooks.

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Happy Cyber Monday! And yay for shopping online and not dealing with all the crazy people!

Last Day of the Gift-A-Long Sale!

Today is the last day of the gift-a-long sale but not the last day of the gift-a-long. It’s just getting started. There are knitalongs and crochetalongs and all sorts of other fun going on. There are designer interviews on blogs – including mine with the awesome Kris Carlson this week. You can still get 25% off my bundle until midnight EST.

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Here’s some important links that will help you keep on gifting along long after today passes:

The Indie Design Gift-A-Long group on Ravelry is the home for all things gift-a-long. There you can find all the knit along and crochet along threads and participating designers. Did you know you can use any paid pattern from my store or any other gift-a-long designer to enter the knitalongs? Ayup. So even after the sale is over you can pick one of our patterns and still enter for prizes!

This important thread in that group is rules and eligibility requirements. Weave in those ends and win some prizes people!

And you can still peruse all the gift-a-long sale patterns on the Pinterest Gift-A-Long boards.

So head on over to the group and make sure you get in on all the goodness that is running until the end of the year! You have weeks people!!!

OPP – Other People’s Patterns

I want to knit other people’s patterns. I really do. I see so many lovely things and I swoon and I think how simple it would be to grab yarn and needles and just knit. Without thinking, without designing, without doing complicated math and excel spreadsheets to make sure we can size it for everyone and everybody.

But knit design is how I make my living so I must resist the siren call of OPP – aka other people’s patterns. Yes, I do think I’m clever. Thanks for asking!

But this morning I went for a walk and it was 39 degrees y’all. Thirty-nine. As in less than 40. And not anywhere near the high 50’s low 60’s one might expect on a chilly November morning here in sunny Florida. And my head was cold! My hoodie was of no help whatsoever. None!

So instead of checking things off my to-do list I got sidetracked by this nifty pinterest board – 2014 Giftalong Hats & Heads! All kinds of gorgeous hats for the giftalong that I could choose from. I could print, grab some yarn from my stash and just go and be happy. Right? Right?!?!?

And y’all if I do – I’m thinking it might really be a hat like this one, Themisto by Tori Gurbisz. Because this is gorgeous and I don’t have to figure it out!

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So go check out this stunner of a hat and Tori’s other lovely patterns. And don’t forget the 2014 Giftalong sale only runs until Friday at midnight EST. So check out my 20 shawl bundle to make sure there is a pretty you need from me!

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