Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Sense of Accomplishment

Before I get into why I have such a sense of accomplishment this week-

I had the random number generator pick again, as I have not heard from the original randomly chosen person, and have no way to contact her...

So, Nimrodita, get ready to knit! :D I will email you.

I finished the big sweater. Completely. Pockets in. Zippers in. All the ends woven in. Washed. Blocked. Photographed (but unfortunately, I can't share them yet), and given to recipient.

I love the feeling of completely finishing a big (or even small) knitting project. It's so much better than the feeling of accomplishment I get when I finish the dishes or clean the floors because it lasts so very very much longer.

You know what I mean. I have kids. I usually don't get ALL the dishes clean. At least not for very long. As for the floors....there's no way they stay clean long enough even to get them mopped. Oh, I can keep one room clean long enough to mop- and then when I start on the next one, the one I finished suddenly has stuff on it.

I'm ok with that. I have kids. I like having kids. I like having them around. Obviously, or I wouldn't homeschool, right?

But I like finishing something that will stay finished, too. And when it's a big something, it's a bigger sense of accomplishment. Especially when it's a bigger something that was really really hard to finish correctly- and the person it was intended for really really likes it. A lot. Enough that he wants more handknits.....Now that is an accomplishment. Not only did I finish the 7 week monster (ok, 6. I took a week off to make a knitting bag because the steeking was so traumatic), but I spread the love of handknits.

That is a wonderful sense of accomplishment. :D
I wrote this last week, but have been having computer problems, so you're getting it now. Sorry for the long delay. Nimrodita is enjoying her ebook. :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

And the Winner.....

the random number generator picked #3.

Janice, please email me at lobugdesigns AT gmail DOT com and I will give you the code for the CSI ebook!!!

Thank you to all who commented. It is a difficult choice, isn't it? Remember if you purchase the pattern or the ebook before mid-June, you will save!

Thank you again, Heather, for the interview and the giveaway.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

An Interview and a Giveaway!

I am very happy to introduce you to Heather Zoppetti, of Digitalnabi, who has just published:

How did you get into designing?
I started designing on a whim. I had this great entry idea for a contest being held on called Spin Control, at least I thought it was a great idea. I submitted both an article and a pattern and won second place. My dream of starting a design career on Knitty was waylaid, but my hunger for designing was just getting started.

How did Crafty Detour come into existence?
I met Ida online and we quickly became friends. We spent quite a bit of time chatting over Plurk and both of us had such varied interests that extended beyond knitting. I thought it would be fun to have a place where we could be diverted from our normal blogs and share other crafty conversations. So, one day I flat out asked her if she thought it would be a good idea to start a joint blog, and would she consider starting one with me. The brainstorming began, and now we have Crafty Detour.

As a designer, I am so interested in other designers’ inspirations- why CSI?
CSI was actually going to be something else on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. However, that idea didn't pan out and so Ida and I started throwing about some other ideas. We wanted a collection of socks - something that would work together as a theme. Other ideas came and went but knitting criminals won out in the end.

I love the names of the CSI patterns- Would you describe your design process for the patterns in this book?
Thank you - the names are subtle hints at the story of the sock.The early designs started with a pattern followed by name and story. Later, I had a more defined list of crimes/themes, and so I was able to work in the opposite direction. Usually I designed on the fly, meaning I did my designing as I was knitting the sample. This was both good and bad. Good because when the pattern was complete, so was the sample. And bad because if something went wrong, I had to rip out quite a bit of work.

What considerations went into the process of choosing yarns for this project?
Um, mostly the yarns came from my stash. I have a huge stash. HUGE. I sometimes have nightmares that it all comes crashing down on me, burying me alive. I'm not kidding; I have pictures; I could open a yarn shop in my home. Other than that, I tried to keep a varied color pallet. Each sock needed it's own personality and one of the easiest ways to accomplish that was to make each one a different color and use different yarn brands. Occasionally I would start a sock only to find the yarn too twisted, not twisted enough etc. and so I would have to switch it up.

Of course, I have to ask the obvious- Why socks?
I love knitting socks! There are so many different combinations to play with. Cuff down, toe up, various heels and toe styles, the possibilities are vast.

Which pattern was your favorite to put together and why? Your least favorite and why?
My favorite pattern was Mae Finch; my least favorite was Typsi Miovre. Mae Finch because it was my first - I really had fun putting all the pieces together while establishing the layout, style, and mood that would be used for the entire series. Typsi Miovre gave me a terrible time during the testing phase. I couldn't get the charts correct and the photo tutorial didn't come out as nicely as I had hoped.

Where is the book available? Are the individual patterns available also? Where?
The book and individual patterns are available from Ravelry (no account needed) both directly and via Crafty Detour.

At this time the book is $20 and each pattern individually is $3. However, mid June prices will go up to $28 for the book and $4 per individual pattern.

Thank you so much, Heather. I love the book. My personal favorite would have to be:

Heather has graciously offered a copy of her ebook to for me to give away. Check out her Ravelry store or Crafty Detour and then leave me a comment telling me which is your favorite CSI pattern, and the random number generator will help me choose the winner. You have until 8am, Monday, May 23th to enter.

On the Wildness that is My Life....

I fully intended to blog last week. I had all the best intentions. In fact, I even had a blog tour stop planned; but when I went to post it, Blogger was down. So the one time I had time to think about blogging- it was impossible.

All that to say, the wildness that is my life is getting out of control. Not that I ever had control, really, but I like to pretend sometimes. I'm good at pretend, actually. The thing is- once again- I'm wildly busy to the point that I can't think straight 3/4 of the time, but I can't really figure out what I do all day to be that busy.

I can tell you that I'm busy in a few additional way because my sister has moved in with us for the summer. It's great really, because she actually likes to cook and bake, so she's been testing gluten-free recipes for me. I'll cook, but I only really enjoy cooking/baking when the mood hits me once every 3rd Tuesday of the 6th week of the 14th month in the 7th year after the buffalo migrate across the prairie. (ok, so it's not really that bad, I enjoy hyperbole a little more than cooking, though, obviously)

The gluten free thing has been adding an amazing amount of internal noise to my head. I think I may have reached a crisis point with the internal noise over the weekend- and yesterday. It seems to be calming down now, and I'm hoping that the confusion and stress about it is over. I have been GF before and it wasn't this big of a deal. I'm really not sure why I've been so worried about it. But hopefully, the stress bit is over. And my sis tested a recipe for hamburger buns for us yesterday- and even my picky eaters liked it, so that was very very encouraging. :)

The knitting thing has been wild over the last week and a half. I did finish off the big sweater- the knitting part anyway.... I hope. Yes, hope. I'm not sure the sleeves really work. And I discovered yesterday as I was grading sizes for the pattern that I may have made more mistakes on them than I realized. Which is not cool. I'm not interested in ripping out 2 weeks worth of work. And I don't intend to if I don't have to. I'm going to have the person it is for try it on sometime in the next week or so and make sure. If it works, hooray; all I need to do is sew in the waterproof fabric pockets. I'm 16" away from finishing sewing in all the zippers; I have the pattern written, but I haven't finished the sizing yet(mostly b/c I need to know if I messed up on the sleeves). So if it works on the body, I'm stoked. If not? Well, I'll make it so I am.

While I wait for the fitting, I have been working out my next 3 designs. I have one OTN for my purse project, but it is not a high priority just yet. It's going well, and I work on it when out somewhere, but I have some big projects that aren't portable that I need to work on more consistently.

Yesterday, I finally had a breakthrough in a design idea, and I'm really excited about it. That one, I'm waiting for yarn for, but when it comes, it's the most urgent. The one I'm working on while waiting for yarn is one I've been playing around with in my mind for literally 2 years. I'm still not fully settled on what I want to do with it, which is odd, but I hope to get some time today to sketch and look at stitch patterns. I'm hoping that does the trick. I'm at least going to start the basic calculations so I can cast on tonight. I've been sewing zippers for the last 2 days, and my hands are begging to knit. My calluses are starting to peel off. (sorry, was that more information than you wanted? oops. ;))

Last week, Daisy took her State Assessment test. I'm pretty sure she did great. She finished 45minutes early, so that's either really good, or really not so good. I'm going with the glass half full on this one. She's pretty awesome and smart.

We're about 3-4 weeks away from finishing school. I haven't told the kids that yet, because I want them to stay focused. I also haven't told them yet that we are studying insects for the next 2 weeks or so. I admit, I am totally not looking forward to that one. I don't like bugs. But they do, and I think they are going to love this. I got some rubbing alcohol yesterday so we can start an insect collection. Joel is going to make us a bug box that we can pin the creatures to. This should be an interesting couple of weeks!! I will try to be good and take pictures....

Friday, May 6, 2011

Random Friday

Because that's all I have time for....

1. We've spent more time at the Dr's office over the last 2 months than we usually spend in a year. It's eating up a lot of my time- and I don't get to knit during those visits anymore because Roo is so active and requires my hands all the time. I've tried knitting- but spend more time getting my yarn tangled up in him while I catch him falling off the tables than anything else. I've given up.

2. I think we are finally coming out of the sickness hole. Fingers crossed. If we can get Roo's ear infections taken care of- and my crazy allergic reactions- we should be golden for the summer.

3. My sister moved in with us this week. She'll be here probably for most of the summer if not all depending on the job situation. It's pretty cool. Free babysitting rocks. Especially with all the Dr. visits.

4.Thanks to my crazy allergic reactions, we are going gluten free. Not a big deal- it's mostly just me, and I've done it before, but the transition time is kinda wild. So are the start up costs. Wow. But there are so many more options out there for GF than there used to be, it's easier than ever. I think I found a couple recipe books that will work really really well for us-this is my favorite so far, especially as I also am dairy-free due to allergies.

5. I'm intriqued that diet helps Autism so much. I want to learn more, but not sure I can find the time to do that right now.

6. I love my library. Being able to check out cookbooks for free is really cool.

7. I haven't had much time for knitting this week, and it's really on my mind. It has taken me 4 days just to knit a sleeve cap, and that is really frustrating me. I need to make progress and I am getting desperate to finish this big sweater. I'm hoping that it will go faster now, as I'm back to working in the round, and decreasing which always speeds things up.

8. It might not have taken me so long to do the sleeve cap if it hadn't involved steeking and picking up sts. Both of which I have discovered I am very slow at.

9. I'm also very slow at purling, apparently. It seems to take me twice to three times as long to do a purl row as a knit row. Not sure why, and not sure how to fix that.

10. The weight of this thing is not helping with the speed knitting either. It's a good thing we are having a very cool spring, or this would have been thrown in a corner to wait for next winter a long time ago. I might as well be working on a wool afghan. Same weight and heat production!!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


A new sock club featuring my designs!!!

ilLOOMinated Yarns has opened sign-ups for a sock club celebrating the Royal Wedding. Sign-ups are open here.

Club starts in October. 4 bi-monthly shipments featuring yarn(hand-dyed gorgeousness by Karen B) and patterns(by me) inspired by the flowers of the 4 members of the United Kingdom.

More sock fun!!!

(Yes, I know I said 6 months off of socks. I also said I have a big mouth. Go sign up. ;D)