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June 10, 2009
Summer Time

So the school days are drawing to a close and the days seem remarkably long and light. So nice to have the sun up, or nearly so, when I get out of bed... Another thing I'm looking forward to this summer, potentially sleeping past 5:30, or at least only getting up that early of my own volition!

I'm excited to be heading to TNNA on Friday for a weekend full of of yarn related hijinks. Details from Columbus upon my return.

The blog tour for Knitting in the Sun is wrapping up. If you haven't been keeping up, you can read all sorts of behind the scenes stuff. Check out Tonya Wagner at theshizknit.com, Julia Trice at mindofwinter.prettyposies.com, Stefanie Japel at glampyre.com, Beth Casey at lornaslaces.blogspot.com, Faina Goberstein at fainasknittingmode.blogspot.com, and Katherine Vaughn at knitwithkt.blogspot.com. Many thanks for being part of the tour, ladies!

Also, I'm pleased to announce that Windansea, my sun hat pattern from Knitting in the Sun, is now available as a free download on Amazon.com. So if you're curious to get a sneak peek of the book, do check it out!

09:16 PM
May 22, 2009
The Book Tour Continues!

I've really been enjoying reading what our tour guides have had to say about Knitting in the Sun! Lots of behind the scenes stuff from the designers (and me!) and I'm always interested to hear which patterns reviewers are most attracted to!

We had a party to celebrate the book this last weekend at Knitting in La Jolla. Eileen Adler, Heather Broadhurst, Lisa Limber, and Anne Kuo Lukito, all of whom have designs in the book, were there along with many knitting friends, old and new -- and some even brought snacks! It was really a great afternoon and it was wonderful to be celebrated by such a lovely group. So thanks for coming out! {I'm ruing the day that I declared the signature obsolete. I should have spent more time honing it in middle school, I guess! I think I have perfectly decent penmanship, but I even got busted on loan documents because my signature was inconsistent. Anyway, the sentiments are true, even if you can't read my name!]

Anne has posted a couple of pictures of the event, along with a couple great blog posts about her designs and the book, so check them out! After Anne on the blog tour, comes Amy O'Neill Houck, writing from the wilds of Cordova, Alaska, who'll be thankful this summer for every single moment she has to knit (or crochet) in the sun! There'll be plenty of other tour stops in the coming weeks, so, as they say in Chicago, click early, click often!

12:49 AM | Comments (2)
May 15, 2009
blog tour

Just an update on the blog tour for Knitting in the Sun. Here are the stops so far:

Kim Werker, former editor of Interweave Crochet and founder of CrochetMe.com, thinker, mover, shaker.

Shannon Okey, the original knit grrl, author of many fibery books, instigator, and now, editor of Yarn Forward magazine.

Coming soon: Wannietta Prescod, fastest knitter in the West. Some would quibble, but I will insist it's true. Chances are, she's knit many of the things you've drooled over in books and magazines.

And early next week: Marnie MacLean, who designed the gorgeous Aviara featured in Knitting in the Sun and many other beautiful, feminine pieces. Plus her blog often features some very cute dogs.

02:47 PM
May 11, 2009
Knitting in the Sun on shelves and on tour!

Knitting in the Sun officially hits the store shelves today! We're kicking off the release with a virtual tour. Many bloggers as well as some of the designers from the book have agreed to take part. First stop will be over at Kim Werker's blog, where she may be knitting, but apparently NOT in the sun.

For those in San Diego, join us at a real party to celebrate the book this weekend! I'll be signing books and showing off all the beautiful samples from the book at Knitting in La Jolla (909 Prospect Street, 92037) from 4:30 - 6:00 on Saturday, May 16.

09:32 PM
May 4, 2009
blog book tour

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Knitting in the Sun is due on store shelves next week! I'd like to celebrate it's arrival with a virtual book tour. If you'd like to be part of the blog tour with a review of the book, or an interview with me or one of the designers who contributed to the book, please let me know with a comment or email. I'll arrange for you to get a copy of the book for review!

06:08 PM | Comments (4)
April 27, 2009
Circus girl, part deux

Here's Zoe's trapeze performance at the March of Dimes walk in Balboa Park this weekend. She trains with Aerial Revolution Acadamie . I uploaded some other videos on YouTube, if you want more...

02:48 PM | Comments (3)
April 16, 2009
more on shoes

I've had some questions on the shoe painting process. You can look for advice on the web, that's what I did. And do follow the shoe link below, because they are all totally inspiring. But here's the Reader's Digest Condensed version:

1. CHOOSE SHOES: Painting canvas sneakers is like, uh, painting on canvas. Leather or pleather shoes is what we're using here. Choose shoes that are stiff, rather than soft, or work with the natural places the shoe moves. The paint WILL crack there. Smooth shoes are going to be easier to manage than those with lots of gee-gaws.

CLEAN: Remove dirt, oils, polish from shoes. Give them a wipe down with acetone (finger nail polish remover, which isn't really acetone anymore...).

2: SCUFF: Paint adheres better when the surface has some "tooth". Go over the shoes with fine grade sand paper. Then wipe them off again.

3: PRIME: I simply used watered down white paint. A couple of layers. Gesso is another possibility. Like anything else, taking time with the prep work pays off later.

4: PAINT: I used run-of-the-mill acrylic paints. Quality probably makes a difference. We'll see. Build up layers of paint rather than glopping it all on at one go.

5: DRY: If you're me, you stick them in the oven to speed things up (it's not ON).

6: SHELLAC: I used clear acrylic spray, but there may be sturdier choices. The paint's waterproof, but something to protect the surface from scuffing and such.

02:40 PM
new things

feblady.jpg
So I'm waiting for the book to arrive... sometime in the next month, clearly, I'll see it, and so will all of you. Since Wiley prints in the U.S. of A., there isn't that "advance copy" business where a couple of boxes of books arrive way ahead of things and the rest travel on that proverbial slow boat from China. They'll print it, and then it'll ship out, pretty much to all of us at once.

In the meantime, I've been knitting a lot. Surprisingly so. I haven't had so much time to knit whatever I was moved to in a while. I've got a couple of projects that I'm finishing up for release -- a project for Julie Turjoman's Brave New Knits. This was actually a pattern in a holding pattern, all it needed, literally, was finishing. So yesterday I wuve in a bunch of ends. Today I finished off a knit for a Stitch Cooperative project. Still needs to be blocked and finished, but still, nice to be checking things off. In totally extra-curricular knitting, I've been working on several things, just for fun . Leo's slippers still need to be finished up and felted. There have been a couple of funny hats and scarves in there... And I decided to really do some self indulgent knitting over Spring Break. I succumbed to peer pressure and cast on a February Lady sweater. In Malabrigo, seen above. Very wearable, I think, and even for adventurous beginners, I think, a pleasant knit.

And, oh, yeah... I finished painting my shoes.


clownshoes.jpg

12:51 AM | Comments (3)
April 1, 2009
my shoes are primed

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So after seeing some hand-painted shoes, I've been thinking for a long time that this is something to try... and today, I primed. These are some old shoes that I love, but they're really scuffed up. Still going strong.

These will definitely end up a beginner project... simple color blocks, likely. Like Willie Wonka's saddle shoes, I'm thinking.

But if you want to be totally inspired, look at these. Lane, by the way, will custom paint your shoes for you...

07:07 PM | Comments (3)
put on your thinking slipper

slipper.jpg

Leo's finally worn through the bottom of his first pair of felted slippers, and it's getting to be awkward for me to, you know, BE a knitter with those holey things on his feet. So after dragging my feet for longer than I should have, I finally cast on... and bound off the first slipper less than 24 hours later, without trying to hard. Why did I put it off for so long? Anyway, I got the second one on the needles immediately... Hopefully, I'll manage to keep the blinders on long enough to finish.

07:01 PM