Hmm...I'm sorry, I didn't mean to just disappear like that, but you know how life goes Sometimes you have lots of time and then you hardly have any, but it's nice to be back for a visit or two.
There was a time when I was going to create a separate Blythe doll page because I realize that it is not everyone's thing, but then I thought...it's a part of who I am, just like my family, knitting, spinning, quilting and dogs.
So in saying that, I am introducing a doll that I had custom made for me. Now mind you, I have learned how to customize (not nearly as well as this), and I could have knit the hat made by Andie or the Jacket made by Abi, but I have made some wonderful Blythe friends along the way and am happy to support their endeavors too.
(Almond Doll photo)
A year or so ago when I first discovered Blythe dolls (thanks a lot Betzie!), I discovered Almond Doll. Fiona makes the most lovely dolls, and I fell in love with the girl that she called Brownie. The resemblance to my middle daughter Ashley was uncanny, even she, who hates dolls, had to admit it. We all had a good laugh that day.
So I thought on it a bit and asked Fiona if she could make me a version of this doll if I sent her the head. I have another girl from Fiona and knew that her work is exquisite in person as well as in pictures. She agreed thankfully. I have to admit that I had the head sitting around for a few months, just not finding time to squeeze in the work of putting it all together, that was until I saw my friend Andie's sweet little hats and a particular girl that she once owned named Jet. Andie's photography skills are wonderful, so with all of that, I was determined to get back at it, and get back to working at photography again. (read...too.many.hobbies, says Ken)
I named this little one Cinder, as we frequently refer to Ashley as just Ash... You won't see them too often here....but I am happy that I have new challenges everyday to keep my brain engaged and hopefully young. It's what keeps life interesting, right?
A few weeks ago, I received a note on Ravelry from Elizabeth, who I had never met before, but remembered that she had ordered from me not too long back. What a delight when I opened that link and saw this beautiful sweater. One of the things that makes me the happiest in my work is when I see beautiful designs worked in my yarn and this sweater is no exception...it is stunning!
When I first saw it, I thought...who is this designer, her work is lovely. I followed the link to her web site and looked at all of her designs there and then again on Ravelry. Such beautifully classic lines that I love. I love them so much that I asked Elizabeth to be a designer for our 2014 yarn club.
Elizabeth is from the west coast, but was making a trip out to attend the New York Sheep and Wool festival in Rhinebeck, NY and then on to Maine, so we made a luncheon date to meet and talk about the club while she was in Maine. When I first walked into the restaurant, I wondered how I would know her as it was pretty busy, but she was easy to spot in her lovely sweater.
I brought some yarns for her to see and she brought me samples of some of her work. I had a wonderful time chatting with her. It was like talking with an old friend instead of a new one.
One of the things I really enjoy when talking with designers is their approach in creating their designs. I can knit any pattern you give me, but ask me to create that pattern...oy vey..it feels too much like the math word problems I hated as a child.
Last month I spoke about the retreat that I attended where Amy Herzog was teaching and her preferred method of knitting is from the bottom up. Elizabeth prefers top down with a set in sleeve. Both are accomplished designers and I learned so much from both women.
Now...if I could just find a bit more time to spend knitting!
Heavens imbrace the horizon. No matter how jaggad the profile, The sky faithfully conforms. Deng Ming~Dao
I mentioned a little while back that I attended Amy Herzog's retreat, "Wear.Make.Love" in which she taught how to make a sweater that really fits. At the end of the class, she made her new software, CustomFit, available to the class members to try. (It is now open to everyone...go take a look)
The software is still in it's early process and there have been some minor glitches, but the concept of being able to plug in your personal measurements, plug in your swatch size and have the program spit out a custom designed sweater exactly just for you is nothing short of amazing.
Amy created a sweater using my Frolic yarn, as I mention before and I decided that my first CustomFit sweater would be the same sweater, Birch Bark. So far it's been easy to follow the pattern and the part that I love the most is that in addition to giving measurements just for my size, is the continuous row counts throughout the entire pattern which has been a tremendous help to me.
Now to the title of my post. As you look at the picture of the lovely cable on the cuff of my bell shaped sleeve there is an imperfection. I am pretty good at reading charts, but for some reason I could not understand some portions of this particular chart and my cable is not exactly the way it should be. Instead of the cable being surrounded by a rectangle of garter stitch, that garter should have rounded around the cable, but at the end of the day, it will not bother me. I will just have to remember to make the exact same way so they will match.
I will be working on my sweater this weekend and enjoying the late fall weather. What will you be doing?
Now that title should get some interesting hits, right? LOL! I have finally found my quilting mojo again, whew! It's been a while for sure, but I'm happy it's back. Last year I saw this quilt and just fell in love with it. I loved the bright cheery fabric and the geometric look to it, so after reading through Andy's tutorial, I bought the same jelly roll fabric and purchased a strip ruler, for no other reason than I knew that someday I wanted to make one just like it.
I also watched this video which showed how user friendly this ruler is in making blocks for this quilt. Love it!
So....I knew that someday the right occasion would present itself for this cheerful fabric and sure enough it has. We have a new little boy who will be making his appearance very soon, and what better way to help welcome him than with a warm, happy quilt. :)
It's no secret that Autumn is my favorite time of year. The humidity of the dog days of summer have all but disappeared, the biting bugs have stopped biting and the days are almost always warm and sunny with the nights turning cool and crisp....so wonderful! I wait all year long for the short 2 months that we get to enjoy the amazing display of color that Mother Nature blesses us with up here in the North Country.
Ken and I took a ride last Sunday around Lake Winnepesaukee winding through the small towns of Moultonborough, Melvin Village and Tuftonboro to take in the beautiful scenery. I love the reflection of the trees in the water here reminding boat owners that it's almost time to dock the boats for the winter.
As a child I used to love walking through the piles of leaves that accumulated as they fall off the trees. Even still when I hear those leaves crunch under my feet and smell the leaves as they are getting ready to crumble, I remember those days of raking huge piles of leaves to jump in with my friends. Smells of warm apple crisp and hot spiced cider.....and Halloween! So many wonderful things to love about Autumn in New England.
Many of the colors that I create in the dye-pot are inspired from the colors that surround me come this time of year. The deep reds that are never a true red, but a combination of reds, greens or reds and orange or purply reds tinged with brown. Truly beautiful colors, don't you think?
...and the colors on my knitting needles are some of the colors that Autumn inspires.