Sunday, September 15, 2019

I wish I could be silent

But as I can't...and as...what ever I have to say will fall on deaf ears...

I guess we are back to...


Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
'Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
No one dared
Disturb the sound of silence
"Fools" said I, "You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you"
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, "The words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls"
And whispered in the sounds of silence

Friday, September 6, 2019

A WIP Friday

While it has been a short work week in my neck of the woods, time is still getting away from me!

It hit me that it is September already and nearly time to do my own quarterly check in on how I am progressing on the goals I set for myself way back in January, and revisited and tweaked in both April and June!

Each year there is one "big" goal on my list.  Like that scrappy, mitered sock yarn blanket that you pick up every now and then, or every Sunday, and put a few more yards into; that goal lurks in the corner, nudging me every now and then to do a little towards it, then it gets shoved back in the corner until the next time I start feeling a bit guilty about it!

I should feel a lot more guilty about it because this goal has been on my list every year for a couple of years now.

So this week I pulled out my camera...

Wait!  You thought my goal was about knitting?


About improving my photography!

I have taken a couple of webinar style classes and read lots of blogs and tips/tricks, even subscribed to some "improve your photography in 7 steps" type email lists.  I got a few tips and tricks from each one but none of them really covered what I wanted/ to take good photos of my knitting!

Luckily for me, and soon for you if you want to take really nice finished object photos to share with your family/friends or on Ravelry...someone came to my rescue!

In January, AbbyeKnits on Ravelry invited me to give input into a course she was developing about taking exactly the kind of pictures I wanted to be better at taking!  With tips and tricks for capturing the texture of cables, the airiness of lace and the true color of my pieces.

Recently Abbye contacted me to say that the course she was developing is ready to be published and offered to let me get a preview before its release on September 10th, 2019.  I jumped at the chance, wouldn't you?

The fully developed course is much more than I expected and includes a members only area that has 6 behind the scenes videos showing how to capture those images and 5 demonstrating how to edit your photos in PhotoShop, Lightroom and Instagram in addition to the superbly written pdf!

Want a preview?

While I am still working on my photography, and I am sure that continuing to improve will be on my goal list again next year...this course has given me lots of techniques to apply to my next photoshoot. (And now I know where the light should be coming from to make those cables pop, the texture stand out and the picture show off what I want it to show off...the knitwear!)

You can sign up now for Abbye's newsletter and  be among the first to know when the course is available for purchase!

Now I am off to take some pictures!

What are your weekend plans?


Thursday, August 29, 2019

It's All About the Technique

I've always been very interested in the how and the why things work in knitting the way they do.  Why stitch mount matters, how a change in the fiber content of your yarn can drastically change the look of your finished piece.

Last year I became really curious about how directional decreases really do warp the fabric you are creating, pulling it one way or the other and in the case of a series of single decreases (knit 2 together) for example could result in a diagonal line or series of "dashes" in the shoulder shaping of a garment.

How could you avoid that line if it interrupted the design?

After much experimentation and running around asking knitters of different styles to test my directions I came up with a "nearly, almost, completely vertical, single decrease".  I won't say I invented it though.  Knitting has been around far too long for someone else not to have come up with it, but in all my searching through books and the internet  I didn't find anyone doing anything like this.

So of course I used it in a pattern. Sent the pattern off to my tech editor and waited.  What would she make of it?  Unfortunately she had some health problems and kept putting off editing the pattern and I then moved on to other things while I waited for her to recover.  In the end she decided that she wasn't going to get back into tech editing so I had to look for a new place for this pattern to get the editing it deserved and other projects took priority.

Finally, well over a year in the making, the editing and test knitting is wrapping up and I am releasing that pattern!

Including detailed written instructions for how to do that special "vertical single decrease" for both Eastern and Western Mount knitters. (And how to tell which you are!)

The pattern will soon be available on LoveCrafts and Patternvine.

In other news, so much going on in my neck of the woods, but...that will wait for another day!

Until then,

Happy Knitting!


Sunday, August 18, 2019

We're Still Standing...

I blinked and another couple of weeks vanished into thin air!

Summer is starting to wind down at Chez Yarn Diet...after a long search and working some jobs the either didn't pay or weren't in industry, TDQ got a new job that boths pays and is in her industry!  She was very excited to start and exhausted by the end of the week!

We have started looking around for a few things she can use to personalize her office/desk area.

She talked me into letting her have one of the Gnomes I knit during the GAL this past year.

So new routines to be learned with her change in schedule...we'll get those down just in time for the Fall Semester to start for the others in college!  My friends laugh when they see I really do have a whiteboard on the fridge that details who needs to be where/when and when they are done.

In other news I am slowly uploading patterns to a new platform...PatternVine .  This is a brand new venture and will eventually incorporate more than just knitting and crochet patterns...TDQ is excited to see which sewing designers will use it, too!

Of course, while I have been pretty silent here there has been a ton of knitting, writing, gardening and diy projects going on..hopefully I will catch my breath enough in the next few days to show you some of them!

In the meantime...what do you think...should I frog this and go with higher contrast beads?

I have dinner to cook, sheets to fold and a cat sitting on my foot mewling for his own until next time...

Knit Happy!


Sunday, August 4, 2019


No Silent Sunday this week...apart from the horrors of the latest news stories...that came a little too close to home today...the past week is a bit blurry!


I played a part (albeit small) in GISH this year!  (I linked to the list of challenges and I'll share one of the ones I did with you, because it is actually knitting relevant!)

Task 200...knit or crochet a doily of the solar system.

Obviously not to scale...and Jupiter is a hot mess but I included all 8 planets that we currently know of, 5 dwarf planets, as knitted in items (so no cheating and knitting them separately and sewing them on later) and  the asteroid belt and kuiper belt in lace.

I used a mix of various Knit Picks lace weight yarns, some pearle cotton and some sock weight scraps that were hanging around my desk.

I even gave Pluto a little heart!

 In addition to silly things like this...which took way more time than it probably should have (I think there are about 30,000 stitches in that piece!) there were fundraising efforts, random donations to shelters...learning new was certainly a busy week!

Now I am off to eat the last of the cake that looked like an antique steam train!


Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Two Years in the Making

It's hard to believe, but it really did take me two years to get one design from an initial chart to a finished pattern!

But let's start at the beginning!

About three years ago the family and I went to see a movie and when everyone else was gushing about the songs and the animation on the way home, all I was thinking was "that would make a great shawl design!"

The idea got left on the back burner for a while as I had other commitments to make, but kept coming to the front of my mind when I would finish another project up.

I always knew I wanted to be able to offer it in "Mommy and Me" sizing so it could be used as a "dress up" piece for a special girl and a statement piece for the adult as well.

Last year I finished the pattern writing and reached out to Melody of Arrowhead Fibers about collaborating on shawl kits...and real life struck! Floods and illnesses, time needed for family emergencies and trying to coordinate timing meant, well...the project went back to being a "someday" pattern.

Some today!

About the pattern:

Inspired by the magical ray that appeared in an animated movie, this shawl starts at the very tip of the tail and grows through the fins with inserts and short row shaping to create fins that hug your shoulders, allowing for this piece to stay on, with or without a shawl pin!

The Manta Ray, in real life, which can reach sizes in excess of 20 feet wide, is the largest ray and one of the largest fish in the world. The smaller Sting Ray can be as small as 10 inches [25cm] in width.

Manta Ray:

Size: 26 inch drop/ 60 inch wingspan (66 cm by 153 cm)
MC: Knit Picks Stroll Glimmer 70% Merino Wool, 25% Nylon, 5% Metallic, 231 yards {211 meters}/50 gms {1.76 ounces} 3 balls, shown in Blush
CC: Knit Picks Stroll 75% Merino Wool, 25% Nylon, 231 yards {211 meters} 50 gms {1.76 ounces} 3 balls, shown in Ash

Sting Ray:

Size: 24 inch drop/ 44 inch wingspan (60 by 112 cm)
MC: Arrow Head Fibers Basic Sock 75 Merino Wool, 25% Nylon 463 yd {423 meters}/100 gms {3.53 ounces} Shown in Silver Fox, 1 skein
CC: Arrow Head Fibers Sparkle Sock 75% SuperwashMerino, 20% Nylon, 5% Silver Toned Stellina 438 yds {400 meters} 100 gms {3.53 ounces}

US Size 6 {4mm} circular needle at least 40 inches {100 cm} long
Cable needle.
Large eyed tapestry needle for weaving in ends.

Gauge: 22 sts and 32 rows to 4 inches {10 cm} in lace/cable pattern

Pattern includes both charts and fully written line by line instructions.

Kits, including yarn and a  pdf of the pattern, can be purchased through Arrowhead Fibers.

Or...the pattern alone can be purchased in my Ravelry Store and soon on Love Crafts and Etsy.