Aug 16, 2012

Six weeks later...

Phew! I have had a very busy six weeks!

It all started on Canada Day (July 1st for those of you who aren't lucky enough to live here). We picked up our newest family member, Rebel.
Rebel Boy
He is a very goofy boy, and is still very much a puppy despite his large size. He is much bigger than our other greyhound, Sally, but will not have his second birthday for another few weeks!

He loves to snuggle on the couch with us, and he loves his puppy sister. His sister loves him too, and he is fitting well into our family. He is 99.9% house trained now, though he still can't be trusted outside of the kitchen when we are gone as he likes to chew our son's toys.
Monkey and Rebel watching cartoons
At the very end of June I found out that one of my designs ideas was selected to be in a new eBook for a very well known online knitting retailer, so I have spend the last six weeks designing like crazy to get the pattern just perfect. While the construction in the end is very easy, it was like figuring out a 5000 piece puzzle without a photo. Only this puzzle not only had no photo, it was also only in one color, and not rectangle! I love how it turned out, and after I finally finish my Lady's Bumbershoot, I will cast on my own copy of it. I have the yarn that the retailer sent me, and I have some 100% cashmere from Colourmart, so I have to decide which one I am going to use first! The design itself is due to be published in February, so you will all have to wait 'till then to find out more about it. Trust me, I can't wait either.

In July we went on our family vacation (by family, I mean family - 17 people this year!) and had a great time. The weather was better than last year, and not stupid hot like the Columbia Valley usually gets this time of year. Lots of pool time, and, of course, knitting and spinning.  This was Renee's second trip, and she loves the view ;-)
I also finished my second Drop Leaf Shawlette, and I am very happy with it. I love how the colors turned out!
So there you go. Between work, WCOBBS stuff, visiting Heritage Park with the kids and everything else, that has been my last six weeks!

Happy knitting!

Jul 9, 2012

Drop Leaf Shawlette

About a month ago I released my Drop Leaf Shawlette pattern, and I have been pleasantly surprised about how well it is being received.

I don't remember what originally inspired this shawlette, but I have had a sketch of it in my notebook for at least a year.

Being part of the JulieSpins Handspun Swap group, I received an amazing fingering weight skein of handspun (along with some other yummy stuff) from , who was my swap partner. It was the most beautiful arrangement of colors and I knew I had to use it right away. I thought of the shawlette that was still picking away inside my brain and decided this was the perfect project for it.

So, I started working out the details at the beginning of May, and finally finished my trial by fire sample not too long after. It turned out beyond perfect, this handspun and this pattern were born for each other.

Anyway, here is my Drop Leaf Shawlette:

It is available both on Ravelry and Etsy.

Happy Knitting!

Jun 11, 2012

Happy Margaritaville to me!

Another birthday has come and gone, and now I have a Margaritaville! This puppy is soooo coming to Radium with me this year! I spent both Saturday and Sunday evenings 'perfecting' my concoctions... ok, not perfect yet, but working on it! Besides, the more you have, the better they taste, right? Right!

The best thing, is I was able to make the 'virgin' versions in plastic margarita glasses for the kids. They were really happy to be part of the party too :-)

I had lots of laughs with family all weekend, and I was glad to have people to celebrate with. Hopefully this year will be full of new adventures. 

Jun 7, 2012

Moving On

Now that Knit Magazine (formerly YarnForward) is no longer in the hands of All Craft Media, I am able to re-release the three patterns that were published with them independently.

I am bitter about my Commuter going missing. It would take quite a lot to convinced me that it was not stolen by a member of the senior staff of ACM. I think that part of that bitterness is because I don't believe, based on past actions of this person, that she feels the slightest bit of remorse about it. It is pretty, and now it is hers. I hope she is allergic to alpaca. and deceit. I am very sad with the whole thing, not only because of what happened to me, but to everyone else too.

The massive amount of negativity surrounding this magazine publisher for the last six months (failure to pay designers, failure to return samples, failure to mail out purchased yarn, failure to pay their bills, rent etc.), tainted my all three patterns. I am hoping that more people have the opportunity to make these items now that they are no longer associated with the magazine.

That said, I am optimistic that re-releasing these patterns will also help me move on. So, without further adieu, here they are:

Commuter Caplet

(c) Michael Ritz 2012
Photo courtesy Michael Ritz

As most ladies dress coats have a ‘V’ neck collared front and no hood, commuter protects you where the coat stops. It covers the gap between the coat’s collar, so no more scrunching up your scarf to try to fill the void. Its turtleneck keeps your neck warm without falling off your shoulders like a scarf would, and by flipping up the turtleneck it will protect your face when the wind is really howling. The hood is generous enough to keep the wind off your ears and the snow off your curls, without squashing that up-do you spent half your morning creating. You will still look fabulous at the big meeting no matter what Mother Nature throws at you. When the sun comes out to play on the weekend, its simple style also serves double duty over a sweater and jeans.

The model is my Sister-in-Law, Aimee. Isn't it a great shot?

Available on my Ravelry store or at my Etsy shop.

Commander-In-Chief Handbag

This bag was inspired by a military-style pea coat, and can be made with or without pockets. Mix it up with different colors, handles, and embellishment to suit your style!

Available on my Ravelry store or at my Etsy shop.



Playa del Cardi

Playa del Cardi is a seamless, hooded cardigan that is incredibly light and airy. Perfect for those warm summer nights, or wear it with jeans for a day of shopping.

Available on my Ravelry store or at my Etsy shop.

So there you have it. Moving on, or trying to anyway.

Jun 4, 2012

Meet Sally

As I said in a previous post, we lost our amazing girl, Limbo, to cancer. It took us a long time to come to the conclusion that we really needed to have a greyhound in our lives at all times. They are the perfect dogs for us.

Back in January, we went back to the society that we got Limbo from (SAGAA) and, lo and behold, they had a little girl that was looking for her forever home. We decided to go down to the meet and greet the next Saturday to meet her... but she wasn't there! We were a little worried that she was already gone. Luckily she wasn't, but it really solidified in our minds that we really did want her.

So, even though many of you have met this lovely girl in person, here is Sally.

This was the first night. She had a new toy, and I think she liked it... she still likes it.

This is her most famous position. She can be found begging for bellies on a regular basis.

Find the hound!

Sally has her own couch, spoiled girl.

So there you have it. You have officially met Sally.

We expect her brother to arrive in a few weeks!

Jun 1, 2012

M.I.A. in the U.K.

Have you seen me? My name is Commuter Capelet.

(c) All Craft Media
 Here is the back story. In early 2011, submitted my design for a hooded cape to Knit Magazine, which was owned by a company called KAL Media.

A few months later my design was accepted. The company had changed hands and was now owned by All Craft Media (ACM). I signed the contract, knit up the sample and worked on the pattern, sending it off in September.

While I was waiting for the publication date to roll around, I was commissioned for two other pieces to be published in the new year.

It was about a month after I signed my additional contracts that some rumblings started on Ravelry about ACM having issues with payments to their designers. There was nothing I could do, I thought, I had already signed my contracts.

In November, my hood was published, and I was very pleased to find that it had made the cover of the issue! Yay!

Then the rumblings got louder. More and more designers were not getting paid. Huh.

I sent in my second design, Commander-in-Chief Felted Handbag in December. More rumblings. Ok....

I submitted my third design, Playa del Cardi. The rumblings were no longer rumblings. They were roars. They were so loud, that no one could dismiss this as a coincidence. Something was really wrong here. Dozens of designers were speaking up about not being paid by KAL. OK, I thought, I was paid for Commuter by ACM, so perhaps they had straightened up their act after the liquidation?

In March, Commander-in-Chief was published. I submitted my invoice for it, and was assured that there would be no problems with it.

At the end of March, Playa del Cardi was published. I submitted my invoice for it, and inquired about the payment of Commander, which hadn't been paid in the 30 days that the contract stipulated.

No response.

Three weeks later, on April 26th I re-issued both invoices, and was told to forward them on to the accounting manager. Uh oh. This doesn't seem right at all.

On 4th May, All Craft Media was placed in Administration. Sigh.

Ok, so it looks like I won't get my money for the last two designs. Bummer. At least I knew that all three of my samples are under my editor's desk, waiting to come home. At least I would get those back, right? Keep reading.

As part of the Administration, I had to register as a Creditor of ACM. Done. Then I found out that all the samples would be available for the owner to pick up on Monday, May 21. Glitch! I live on another continent!

I was able to get two wonderful, amazing women (who happened to be the aforementioned editor as well as the tech editor of my patterns) to go pick up them up for me. After all, they knew exactly where they were. Monday came, and I received news that they had been able to retrieve two of the three samples, but Commuter was gone. It was there the day the staff (except for Kerrie Allman, from what I understand) were locked out, and was gone the day that everyone was allowed back in. My heart sank. I knew that two people had expressed interest in keeping my hood, but because I had purchased the yarn on my own, it was not allowed to be given away (which sometimes happens when the designer doesn't want the sample back).

I guess that someone then decided it needed to be stolen.

So there we are. My Commuter Capelet is stolen.

The last photographic evidence I have of it is a photo of Kerrie Allman herself WEARING MY CAPELET.

So, if you find yourself out and about in the UK this winter, keep your eyes open for a very sad, abducted orphan of a hood. She wants to come home where people have morals. I miss her very much, and I would ask that the thief understand that what was done was wrong, and in the end, this wrong must be righted. I will understand.

ETA: thanks for asking about the pattern Cyndi! Here are the links for my Ravelry and Etsy shops in case anyone is looking for the pattern!

May 31, 2012

Remember Me?

Today's post officially marks two years that this blog has been sitting idle. I think it is a sign to get back to it!

So, what is new with me? Well, the mittens that I designed earlier in this blog have opened up a whole new world for me. I have started designing knitwear for over a year now, and have somehow managed to publish a few of them, but that is a whole other story. One that I will brooch soon.

Right now I am planning on a very busy upcoming month. Munchkin is in his last month of Kindergarten, and is participating in swimming, hip hop, soccer and golf lessons in June. I can't wait for the crazyness to end!

Our amazing greyhound, Limbo, passed away December of 2012 of cancer. We found another greyhound in January of this year, named Sally (or Silly Sally, or Sally Bally). She is just about to get a new grey-brother in a few weeks, so I am sure you will hear a lot about that. He is fresh off the track (which we haven't had before, all our greys were fostered first) so there will be a lot of growing pains, methinks.

So, not bad for a first crack in 2 years :-) TTYL!