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A non-knitting adventure: Stella & Dot

Since my move to SF I've tried to answer the question of "what are you doing now?" I would love to tell people that I'm knitting and blogging and that's paying ALL the bills but that's just not possible (yet!). So as I began looking for a new job I knew I wanted it to be something fun but not tied to an office or a school.  

Enter my friend Jen and  Stella & Dot.

Stelladot1

At first, I wasn't sure if it was for me but after learning more about the company and seeing all the jewelry I really fell in love with it. It would be a great way to meet people & I could set my own schedule (a.k.a more knitting time!) The bonus: the jewelry is gorgeous!

I will be launching my new business this Thursday, June 30th and I would love it if you would help me kick it off!

Here's How:

Go to: stelladot.com/margaux

Click on Find Your Hostess

Enter the hostess "with the mostess": Margaux Hufnagel 

Shop! Check out the Sale Page too!! SO many great pieces at 20% off.

You'll get half off your shipping if you order by Thursday midnight! (ETA: comments will close at that time too!!)

I know you'll love what you find. 

As an added incentive, shop and I'll put you in a drawing for two skeins of Madeline Tosh DK, your color choice! Please leave a comment here once you've done any purchasing so I know who you are!

Go get yourself some BLING and look hot while you knit! 

xoxo,

PS. Live in the SF area and want to host a trunk show? Email me at margaux dot pena at gmail dot com!

(ETA: COMMENTS CLOSED! Will be choosing the lucky winner this weekend! GOOD LUCK and Thank you for ALL Your Support!)

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Movie Knits: Melanie’s Wrap

So there I was hanging out with my mother on a lazy Sunday afternoon watching one of my favorite movies, Sweet Home Alabama, when I first noticed it. Sure I had watched this movie a dozen times always thinking, "Imagine if I left my husband for seven years and then happened to pop back into his life? What was I even Doing seven years ago? That's a pretty long time isn't it… like that's 40 doggie years… or wait, is it more… and like zero contact? like before Facebook and Twitter and iphones? …seriously Margaux lay off the caffeine." Once my thought bubble had popped I saw that Reese aka Melanie Smooter was wearing a very cute, simple knitted wrap.

Wrap from Sweet Home Alabama

…and of course, I decided right then and there that I had to have it. While she only wears wears it in one scene but its left quite an impression on me.  Basketweave on the bias, a little i-cord edging, a tie to help it stay put. I've even gauged with some spare yarn my mom had laying around!

I have so many posts in the "draft" status and so much knitting going on here that one can only wonder when this would get done. But you can be sure it will not take me 7 years! (famous last words, anyone?)

Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday

Leaf Lace Pullover

Made in January 2007
Leaf Lace Pullover by Teva Duhram (from Loop-D-Loop)
Sheep Shop 2 (now discontinued!)
US 11 (8.0mm)
Ravelry Link 

In reviewing Teva's new Loop-d-Loop book I started thinking about other things I've knit from her. Perfect for Flashback Friday, this was the sweater that made me fall in love with Teva Durham! It was also one of the quickest sweaters I've ever done.

What's so cool about this sweater is it's construction. You work the top and then the bottom seperately and graft them together in the middle. I was pretty proud that you couldn't *quite* see where it was seamed unless you really were looking for it. It amazed me so much how Teva could think outside of the box like that. Again, the pure artist in her.

leaflace2

The yarn I made it in was Sheep Shop 2. When Patricia got her first shipment of Sheep Shop, I had immediately connected the yarn to this project. It's too bad that since then the yarn and company are now defunct.

I am excited to knit something from her new book, which is chock full of great designs like this one.

Happy Knitting!

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TNNA – Recap!

The Needle Arts Trade Show was all in all a fabulous time. I always love going to shows like this because you truly come back so energized and full of ideas. 

TNNA

The question that Patricia and I were asked numerous times at TNNA was "what has excited you the most of all that you've seen?"  So after mulling it over on the flight home here is my list:

1. Barbara Walker!!!! (ETA: added the pic from Patricia!)

With an Icon

What a fabulous surprise! The legendary knitter was there in the flesh in a very nondescript booth promoting her new DVD. She was so gracious with her crazy fangirls which she told me her son calls "Squee!" While I think I did a good job "keeping my cool", Squee I did!! She even signed autographs and posed for pictures. It seems so sureal to have met her. Can't wait to see her again in Nov. in San Mateo!

2. Little Red in the City

In the short time I had to review the sample copy it was obvious that I was holding something that would change the knit world! Chock full of amazing knitting information and patterns this book is a MUST for every knitter's library. I have a feeling we'll be talking about Ysolda the way we talk about Zimmermann and Walker. She truly is such an influential knitter and mind of our generation. 

3. Swans Island

Definitely the biggest BUZZ yarn of the show and perhaps the Yarn "Rookie of the Year". A gorgeous organic yarn developed out of Maine, it is a dream to knit with. It's Patricia's new 'crack yarn'. I cannot wait to get a skein.

4. Rowan

Rowan is picking up it's game a bit and it shows. There are several new yarns for the fall from the British Giant – one of which is their new alpaca silk which I managed to get a few samples of. I think they're realizing they need to compete more with the other yarn companies and it shows.

5. New Knitting Books! 

We had the chance to preview a few knit books including Anna Teeny Tiny Mochimochi and Teva Durham's Loop-d-Loop Lace. Reviews of both are in the works!

6. Meeting other Bloggers and Designers!

I loved being able to put a face to the blogs and designers I admire and follow!  Allegra of Fiddlestix Knitting, Hannah of Knitbot, Melissa of Knitting School Dropout, Melynda of Frenchpressknits, Pam of Flint Knits, Jill of Knitterella, Amy pf StashKnitRepeat, Elinor of Exercise before Knitting, Stitchy McYarnpants and Jenn of Nipperknits (to name a few)! You all rock and I love that we got to meet face to face!

Of course it goes without question that seeing some familiar faces was equally as fantastic: Ann of Purlingswine and now co-owner of The Village Knitter (Cara I know you're jealous), Courtney & Kate of Kelbourne Woolens, Craig of Loop Philly, the fab Rep Antonia (who is siteless but AMAZING), and of course my With Out Her None of this would be Possible – Patricia of Patricia's Yarns.

I truly feel so bless to be a part of a great community and industry. There's nothing in the world like us Knitters!

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Knit Love

Wallaby

I'm off to TNNA tomorrow with Patricia from Patricia's Yarns in Hoboken, NJ. I cannot wait to see some familiar faces as well as meet some new! I'll be walking the floor with Trish and will have my nametag and "tentenknits" Ravelry button prominant. Please stop me because I will SO be stopping you! 😉

Will share all the knitting fun when I return!

xoxo,

PS. How much do you love the Striped Wallaby! A perfect pattern with a bit of an upgrade. Thanks for inspiring me, Erin (Blondie!).

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Not everything is smooth.

Wurm Fail.

This is my June Project Spectrum knit – Wurm.  FAIL.

I have no idea what happened. It must have been my calculations. My gauge swatch returned a slightly bigger gauge than normal. Fine, but then I measured my head and looked up how big the hat should be.

My head is a good 22 inches around (it's the curly hair, I swear!). The largest size CO is 110 – divided by 5.5sts to the inch is 20inches. Right? So my mind says, "Two inches of negative ease… good right?".  NOT. 

Just when I think I've figured out design I am thrown for a loop. (pun not intended) How much negative ease do you give for a hat?

Rrrriiiip! 

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Legen- wait for it- dary!

Sincere Sheep

Yesterday I happened to remember that a little BIG thing called the Interweave Knit Lab was happening here in Northern California in the fall.

I first heard about it though twitter and at the time couldn't afford the whole weekend price tag. I had to wait for those that could to sign up before they opened the individual classes to the gen public.

To be honest, I really wanted to do just one thing – the keynote.  But the keynote is the great Barbara G. Walker and I thought for sure that would be sold out lickity split.

So you can imagine my sheer excitement and frantic fumble for my wallet last night when I saw that tickets to her keynote were still available! I was going to be able to see her – in person!

I tried to explain to my husband the significance of this was like going to see Babe Ruth (for you baseball fans) or John Wooden (for you basketball fans) or Vince Lombardi (for all you football fans). If Elizabeth Zimmerman is the Godmother of knitting, Walker's the Consigliari. (for those of you who are Godfather fans). She's flat out legendary.

The woman has developed from scratch thousands of stitch patterns. She even created the "SSK", one of the basic knitting techniques… she MADE IT.  That's like seeing someone who made the first left turn in a car.  Like "Oh why not turn the wheel THIS Way instead."

This year is shaping up to be one epic knit year. Next week I'm off to TNNA with Patricia from Patricia's Yarns, I'm scheming a rediculous road trip with my friend Erin to go up to the Sock Summit in July (10 hr road trip, heck ya!) and will cap things off with Barbara Walker in Nov!

Someone pinch me!

PS – Since I can't seem to write a post without a photo – above is my newly aquired yarn, Sincere Sheep, which I bought at the cutest LYS in St. Helena called Muse.  It's an all natural, hand dyed yarn from the Napa Valley. I plan on using it for my green Project Spectrum knit for this month! It's technically part of the stash now anyway, right?? right.

Aidez

Making Aidez

Beginnings of Aidez

Hello! I am back home after a few wonderful days in my home state of NJ! It was the first time back since we moved to SF. Jersey still looks good albet a bit HOT. Amongst my fun times there was a workout at the Local Barre (thanks for getting my butt there Dane!), a knit night at Patricia's Yarns, a wedding and of course quality family time. I didn't get much knitting done but can you blame me?

Before I left, I actually started a new cardigan – Aidez. I remember when it first came out thinking what a gorgeous pattern it was and I was shocked it was free. Since then so many gorgeous versions started popping up and well I couldn't deny myself any longer. Thank you to Cirilia and Berroco for being so generous with this great design.

I finished the back which lies half done in the above picture and am almost done with the fronts. In a moment of full disclosure, it took me a few tries to get things going. I had all sorts of trouble keeping track of all the different cable patterns. Yes me, the one who doesn't write things down and didn't start here either. I blame the wine.

May simply came and went and I suspect June has plans to do the same. I'm going to try to take things slow and enjoy the next color of Project Spectrum – Green. Stash Dive!!

(Oh and I'll also be at TNNA with Patricia of Patricia's Yarns in two weeks! Cannot wait to share some of what inspires me there with you! And see some of you too!!! :-))