Saturday, June 30, 2007

What a Trip!

It's been a couple of weeks since I last blogged. It hasn't been because I didn't want to . . . it's just been. . . well . . . . frenetic.

June 20 through 25, we were in San Francisco where I had meetings with both Bare Escentuals and with Crystal Palace Yarns. You can read all about the Bare Escentuals part of the trip in my post at BE Addicts Forum in this posting. It was an amazing trip and we were treated like royalty.

The CPY part of the trip was just as productive. As many of you know, I've been designing projects for Crystal Palace since the spring of 2006. The week before we went out there, I found out about a huge new project for which they want me to design some bags. So, I got busy and ended up taking 12 completed projects out to Susan. Some of them are the regular projects for free download on their website, and the rest were for the new project. I'll tell more about that when there's more definite information on the final details.

While we were there, we got a chance to go to Fisherman's Wharf/Pier 39. We took the kids to the aquarium there and they got to pet some fish. They had a great time, and we also got to see some sea lions, ride the carousel, and just enjoy the fantastic weather.

It was a hectic 5 days, but the travel went as well as it can when you are traveling with 3 kids (2 of whom are smack in the middle of potty training). We're glad to be home, and I'm still trying to catch up and make the house look like the luggage didn't throw up all over it.

On my knitting needles, or should I say just off the needles, is a new sock design that I think I'm going to offer for sale. Be watching for more particulars about how to order either a download or a hard copy of my new design called "Flambeau" using Crystal Palace Yarns Panda Cotton sock yarn.

Next for the needles? I'm not sure yet. I'm waiting for a box of yarn to arrive from CPY, and that'll give me all the raw materials I need to do several more bag projects for them. I guess I'd better get myself down to business sketching them out, huh?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

What a week . . .

Man alive, what a week! The small church we've attended since it started up 3 years ago imploded. What a mess. We chose to remove ourselves from the fray and asked to have our names erased from the member roster. On to something new now and hopefully less volatile.

Duncan's kindergarten graduation was on Tuesday. Look how handsome he is in his little cap and gown!

And then I got a lot of work done on my Crystal Palace projects. I finished up the third of three and it's blocking dry, and all that is left to do on the projects is the finishing work. I also worked up another that's in the machine felting right now. It's part of a special new project I'm doing with CPY that'll launch this fall. More about that when I have more details and can release the information.

Book sales seemed to pick up a bit this month so far, maybe as a result of TNNA in Columbus. CPY took several of my bags with them to display in their booth, and they also are promoting my books. They have them available to sell to local yarn shops and online stores that purchase their yarns, and so they give the books a great boost whenever they set up a booth at one of these conventions.

CPY has some luscious new colors coming out in their Fjord and Iceland yarns, and a new bulky weight yarn called Kaya which is like their Taos yarn, only double in weight. I'm working up something with it now in a gorgeous colorway.

It's good to be back in the CPY saddle again after having several months off while I was getting my book launched and getting some other things caught up. I think having my yarns and stuff organized, visible, and easy to access has been a big motivator for me to start designing some new things to make with all those yarns.

So, here we are at the beginning of a new week. It has to be calmer than last week . . . . right?

Saturday, June 02, 2007

I've been busy, oh so busy . . .

It's been a busy couple of days since my last blog entry. Yesterday was Abby's birthday, and so we celebrated last night with cake and presents, just the five of us at home. Here's birthday girl blowing out her candles. She was having a "Shirt Optional" kind of day.

The last several days, I've been working on getting my new yarn studio in shape, and I'm almost done with that. There are still a few of Art's things in there, but they are slowly but surely being moved down to his shop in the basement. I still need to put another couple of smaller shelving units in the room (after he gets his stuff out), put the stuff on them and then I'll be done.

I've been spending time reorganizing my yarn and stuff as well. Here are a few photos of the work in progress. This photo shows 8 feet of shelving along one of the walls. The yarn supplies are there, as well as some laser paper, envelopes, and other miscellaneous office and mailing supplies. I totally love these mesh baskets. I just can't get enough of them. Also, I'd love to find just the right size bookcase so I could put it in the room as well to hold my collection of knitting books.

The next photo shows the view as you enter the area. The desk, computer,and printers will stay, but you can see I've commandeered the file cabinets and drawer storage for my knitting goods. The former owners used this room as a guest bedroom, and it has an attached half bath. We've always used this room as a home office. The space is about 12' x 12'.

This shot shows the cedar closet. At first, I thought I'd use it for yarn storage, but I decided I'd rather have my yarn in plain sight than any more office supplies.

Next, you see how I've sorted and labeled my yarns. If you can't see it clearly, this tag, which I tied onto the mesh with yarn (appropriately enough) says, "CPY" in the blue section, with "Fjord" in the top orange block and "Solid and Print" in the bottom orange block. Aren't those yarn balls pretty?

Here's another shot of some miscellaneous felting wools.

So, I'm pleased with how this is all shaping up.

On my needles, I'm an inch or so away from beginning the heel on my newest sock design, which is toe up. Still working on the Candle Flame shawl as well.

I haven't managed to knit very much the last couple of days. But I did manage to get a glorious nap in this afternoon. Art took all the kids out today for several hours, and so I hunkered down for a 2 hour nap. After that, I plugged into my Ipod for some knitting podcasts and worked some more on my knitting studio organization. It was a great and productive day.

To cap off the day, I fried up a bunch of chicken . . . some for us for dinner, and some for tomorrow for a wedding shower/potluck luncheon for a friend. Art picked up breasts and thighs while he was out (both boneless). Very, very tasty!

So, that's the news from here. Stay tuned for more adventures!