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January 23, 2007
three cool things

Okay, so mostly things are mundane but three cool things this week:

During my usual knitting class on Wednesday, the shop's phone rings. It's one of my students calling from Bangkok to get talked through the shoulders of the sweater we've been working on -- her idea, her knitting, my design. Holy three-ring bind-offs, Batman!

I've heard from my editorial team at Wiley that Knitting Patterns for Dummies will feature a black and white photograph of each main project accompanying the pattern. This is great news because while the color insert was going to showcase samples of all the patterns, there's nothing like actually seeing what you want to make on the same page as the pattern.

And finally, imagine my surprise when I finally got a chance to look over the recent issue of Yarn Market News (the yarn industry's trade magazine). I was combing through the book reviews and read this by Cheryl Krementz:

NO SHEEP FOR YOU by Amy R. Singer
Singer's a glass-half-full kind of gal. As devoted as she is to knitting, she hasn't let a cruel allergy to wool get her down: she's simply done her research, opening up a whole world of wool-free fibers for the rest of us.... Oh, and the patterns -- accommmodating to larger bust sizes, in fine
Big Girl Knits fashion -- are to die for, especially Kristi Porter's intoxicating mosaic-bodiced lace-sleeved sweater in silk. Don't feel so sorry for Amy now, huh?"

09:39 AM
January 18, 2007
rock star week redux

So Rock Star Week is over and I'm back to cutting crusts off of toast and cleaning the cat box and generally catching up where I left off.

Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably came to my local, Knitting in La Jolla, for tea on Tuesday, but, frankly, my rich fantasies on the subject were much more exciting than the actual event. Not because they were not fabulous, but, as it turns out, I had to go downtown and show Marilyn Murphy, president of Interweave (and TNNA), my underwear. "Hi, wonderful to meet you... let me slip into something a little more comfortable... like this see-through Lily Chin mini-skirt? Sure, okay." Really it did not seem so strange at the time, the folks from Interweave were absolutely lovely and Kim Werker did tell us about her meeting with the bra lady, so, you know, not only my undergarments were discussed.

So then I jumped back into the station wagon and raced uptown to pick up my children at school, grabbed them and had a short and persuasive talk about the honor of meeting such a legend and that it was far better a way to spend the afternoon than watching back episodes of "Zack and Cody" and, well, yes, okay, I had ice cream money burning a hole in my pocket and they could try to run down the up escalator as much as they wanted because I would turn a blind eye. That bit of parenting done, I turned my attentions to the honored guests. Who, had, of course, been hanging out already for a couple of hours and were mostly ready to sit there and knit (they are both wrappers, I will note!) Likewise, I, who had already had a frenetic and unusual day, was more or less willing to do the same rather than force someone into conversation. Brandon said I had lovely hair. That was about as exciting as it got. I did get invited to dinner, but felt that I was already worming out of so many parental obligations this week that I shouldn't... not to mention my 6:30 AM call for hair and make-up the next morning. I hear it was a good dinner...

Next day, hair and make-up before dawn, then off to Balboa Park to shoot some photographs for Interweave Crochet. I had made complex plans for childcare, but, as it turns out, things went so smoothly I was done by 10:30. Here I am being jeujed (zhoozhed?) at a convenient fountain between takes. We shot again the next day near my house at the beach. And also ended up taking some of the photographs at my house. So, in all likelihood, you'll see not only me, but also my house and my cat in the magazine. As those of you in Southern California know, we've been having cold weather, and Thursday was probably the worst day weatherwise we've had. It was grey all day and chilly and windy. Not a beach day. Still, everyone involved was great at what they did and it was a pleasure to be a part of it. I still find myself longing for someone to choose the appropriate earrings or fix my collar or offer me lipgloss as needed.

Here's Kim Werker, editor of Interweave Crochet, holding the magic reflector dish... and likely pining for a hot beverage.

Then it was Friday, Amy Singer day. I fetched her at the airport, took her to experience the joy of the fish burrito at Wahoo's, and then off to Knitting in La Jolla to meet some folks.

Here she is with her books, and also, if you look, her hard-to-find Susan Todd bag, and her new yarn that will become a Spanish Dancer. You'd think that Amy would have all the stuff she could ever want, but I tell you she knows how to rack up a tab at a yarn shop! Sandi Luck actually showed up at the yarn shop, so it was all one big lovely vortex of coincidence.

Here's Amy with the wonderful Kate Perry.

And Suzanne Pineau, proprietor of Knitting in La Jolla, teaching Amy a provisional cast on. Isn't that cool?

We finished there and went down for the start of TNNA's convention. The weekend was busy and full. Full of hijinks too.

Here's Cecily Keim, Stefanie Japel and Robin Chachula.

Tara Jon Manning, Amy Singer and Clara Parkes.

A crop of Interweave authors outside the Interweave party.

Lily Chin, Natalie Zee from Craft magazine, and Shannon Okey.

And Amy and Tara inhabiting the bodies of Mary Kay high priestesses. "My next car is a pink cadillac."

09:40 AM
January 9, 2007
another way knitting will make you feel good

I love my knitting classes. I could go on and on about the myriad ways they are so wonderful, but it's the start of rockstar week and time is short. I've been teaching at Knitting in La Jolla for 2 years. Beth, who attends our sessions regularly, was there on day 1. Wow. Many others have been with me nearly as long, and it is truly something I look forward to each week.

So, here's something that can make you feel even better about knitting: All the money I receive for knitting classes in January will be donated to Heifer does good in the world by giving animals to poor families and teaching them to raise them. In this case, I'm going for the "knitting basket" of fleece bearing animals. The families will use the wool to bring in income, and they, in turn, pass the offspring of their animals on to other families, so the gift continues to give.

So come in and knit: do something good for yourself and for others!

06:45 AM
January 8, 2007

There's so much news it's hard to fit it all in here! This week is my "rock star" week, so please indulge me!

Today is the day to cross things off the to-do list. I have to confess that looking at the calendar made me realize there's a lot to be done this month, but all that's not done today will have to wait until later. Still, I finished a project that I've been working on for far too long. It's a project for the Dummies book, and am waiting for it and it's companion piece to dry so that I can try them on. I've also writing for the book. Quarter 2 deadline is closer than it should be. Plus I've got two projects for the girls' school fundraiser to get done by the end of the month. So while all that gnaws at my stomach lining, here's why I still feel like a rock star:

Tomorrow, Tuesday, Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably will be at Knitting in La Jolla having a tea party! A chance to meet such brilliant designers would really be pretty much enough to make a week fabulous, but wait...

I will have to divide my attentions because I must also meet tomorrow with the photostylist for Interweave Crochet. As you may have heard by now, Kim Werker, editor and founder of, has been tapped as the new editor of Interweave Crochet. Further, it will be published quarterly now, and available by subscription. This is fabulous news for Kim, and for crocheters. Anyway, they are doing the photoshoot for the spring issue of IC here in San Diego this week and in one of those wacky spins of the world, I will be modeling in the issue! So if you come to knitting class on Wednesday evening, chances are you will see me all dolled up.

This brings us to Friday, when I will pick up the lovely Amy Singer, founder and editor of and all around fabulous person at the airport. I will feed her lunch and then bring her back to Knitting in La Jolla for more tasty snacks and knitting. I will no doubt spend the first hour or so making Amy talk and being fascinated by her voice. Amy and I have known one another for 4 or 5 years now and worked together on lots of things, but I hardly ever get to hear her talk.

After that, we'll head downtown for the start of TNNA with a fashion show and reception. At some point, I'll rendezvous with Shannon Okey -- she's staying at my house again this year -- and lots of other wonderful people I am so excited to see. The world of the needle arts is filled with so many wonderful people and it's great to be surrounded by them. People who get giddy at the sight of new yarn, or classic yarns worked in new ways. The whole week is bound to inspire me in a thousand ways. Definitely reason to feel giddy.

12:38 PM
January 2, 2007
happy new year!

A brief photo essay of our winter break:

In my hometown, Olympia.

Three generations of knitters.

Enjoying Ring-Pops with cousin Claire.

Experiencing snow at Snoqualmie pass. The fact that snow is both cold and wet was a bit of an affront to my California girls.

Eating greasy food at the diner featured in Twin Peaks. No log lady. No Kyle MacLachlan. Eerily long time waiting for food.

And back home to celebrate the new year and Ella's 6th birthday at the beach.

11:41 AM