Monday, March 22, 2010

Poetry in Stitches

Poetry in Stitches

The long awaited reprint of Norway's Solveig Hisdal's Poetry in Stitches has arrived. If you're a knitter in love with Solveig Hisdal's stunning colorwork...this book is a must for your knitting library!

Fans of Poetry in Stitches are so grateful for this reprint. Last year I checked online and the original hard back edition was selling for around $400.00. The new soft back reprint is a steal at only $45.00!

A Colorful Cardigan

I discovered the beautiful work of Solveig Hisdal at the hip yarn store Knit Purl in Portland last year. Knit Purl carries pattern/yarn kits from Solveig and Oleana which is the Norwegian knitwear line that Solvieg is the designer for.

Solveig's inspiration for her designs in the book came from visiting Norwegian museums and studying textiles and costumes. She has translated textile history into art with her beautiful designs in Poetry in Stitches.

Scarf & Wristlets

I'm a huge fan of Solveig's floral and brocade designs. I am not sure if I will ever get up the courage to knit one of her colorful sweaters. I can tell you though, that I am happy just to look at the beautiful photos in her book. They are so inspiring!

Solveig was the photographer for her book and photographs the Oleana knit-wear line.

Last year I splurged and treated myself to an Oleana scarf and wristlets set mail-ordered from Knit Purl. Turns out First Lady Michelle Obama became an Oleana fan last year, too. She brought home four Oleana sweaters from her trip to Norway last year. I read her favorite Oleana color was green, too!

Oleana at Knit Purl

The reprint of Poetry in Stitches is already selling out. I highly recommend purchasing the book from a local yarn store verses a big online company. If you can't find the book locally...I think Knit Purl may have a few copies left!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Stitches West 2010!

Welcome to Stitches West!
(My knitting pals Daniella & Lorna)
I finally made it to Stitches West!

If you're a knitter, you know that every February knitters across the West (and America) head to the Santa Clara Convention Center for Stitches West. I had no idea how huge this event was until I arrived and checked in to the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara. The check-in clerk told me to expect 2,200 knitters for this event...and wow I was one of them!
I always thought Stitches West was just for buying yarn. Boy, was I wrong! Stitches West is a wonderful way to "keep in the loop" with the fiber industry, keep up to date with the latest trends and designs and best of all you get to "mingle" and "chat" with the designers!

Let's Meet Some Designers!
Rosemary Hill

Perhaps one of the neatest things about attending Stitches West is that you get to meet designers up close and personal.
I have long admired Sonoma's Rosemary Hill's knit wear designs and her Designs by Romi shawl pins for quite some time. She is not only a talented knit-wear designer but a jewlery artisan, too. She was so nice and took time to have a nice long chat with me!
Now if I can just get up the courage to knit her gorgeous lace Muir shawl! She named it after Muir Woods just north of San Francisco. It's rated Piquant (for a seasoned knitter) on so I'm just waiting to perfect my lace knitting skills!

Pick Up Sticks
Maggie & Kathleen

My vote for the "best booth" at Stitches West was the Pick Up Sticks booth. These girls are adorable and so was their booth! I loved meeting and chatting with Bay Area girls Maggie Pace and Kathleen Lussier-West. They just so happen to be best friends from high school and Maggie's Mom Joan also works behind the scenes.
Maggie started Pick Up Sticks back in 2003. She became hooked on felting and her business grew from there. Maggie's an author,too! She has written two books on felting: Felt It and Felt Forward. I loved the clever packaging of the Pick Up Sticks kits and their small balls of yarn! I did not leave this booth empty handed!

Joan McGowan-Michael
I love the feminine designs of Joan McGowan-Michael. Joan is a local Sacamento designer so I had the chance to meet her last year at a knitting guild meeting. Her "girly girl" designs can be found at her website White Lies Designs.

Seeing Joan at Stitches gave me the chance to have a personal chat with her. As I was admiring her booth I had a chance to tell her that I love her Bed Jacket design from her book Knitting Lingerie Style. Joan gave me a personal recommendation that this would be a great garment for me to knit for my body shape. I've got the "green light" now from the designer herself to knit up her pretty Bed Jacket. How lucky is that?

Lorna Miser

It's always a thrill to meet a designer in person. 
Designer Lorna Miser is not just a designer but also my friend. 
I had a great time hanging out with Lorna at Stitches West. Lorna really "lights up" a place so I know everyone was thrilled to meet her in person at and get their books signed by her.

As you can see, I had a great time at Stitches West. 
I've already marked my calendar for Stitches West 2011. 
I'll never miss this show again!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Clapotis Deux is a winner!

Congratulations Flitter Knitter!

Claptois Deux

Team USA weren't the only Olympians to set records during the 2010 Winter Olympics. I did, too! I went for the gold in the Ravelympics Short Track Shawl Event. I crossed the finish line in record time setting a "personal best" for me!

My Ravelympics record:

Team: Yarn Sac Near & Far

Event: Short Track Shawl

Project: Clapotis Deux

Yarn: Lorna's Laces Lion & Lamb, color Tahoe

Finish Time: February 17, 2010 1:00 AM PST

Lorna's Laces
Lion & Lamb color "Tahoe"

The Clapotis, Designer Kate Gilbert's fabulous Parisian inspired scarf shawl. In researching whether to soak and block my finished Clapotis, I discovered this information:

Clapotis: In my vintage French dictionary it means rippling.

The Pattern: Published on in the fall 2004 issue. To date over 14,000 Clapotis projects are posted on Ravelry.

The Yarn: Kate Gilbert specified Lorna's Laces hand dyed Lion & Lamb yarn for the Clapotis. I chose this yarn for my second Clapotis. It is so lovely to knit with since it's a yummy blend of 50% silk & 50% wool. Everyone should knit a Clapotis in Lion & Lamb!

To Block or Not to Block: Kate Gilbert says "block if desired" but does not really recommend blocking. When the Clapotis is not blocked it has a much more rippled effect. I went ahead and soaked, pinned and then rolled mine to dry to keep it's drape. I must admit, it did loose that Clapotis (rippling) effect but I still love it!

I love my Clapotis Deux! My next goal now, is to get back to Paris and wear my Clapotis in Paris. I can't wait to take a photo wearing my Clapotis at a charming Parisian Cafe...just like the photographs from Kate Gilbert's Clapotis pattern!