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I wanted to show you some pics of my Rainbow Backpack made by knitters who bought my pattern. BTW anyone who would like to send me pics of their Phoenix Bess garments please do! I would love to see them.

I found Kim’s backpack photos on Ravelry. Kim made this out of Cascade 220 wool in colors Rust, Turquoise, Yellow, and Lime, and I think that they are great for this backpack. She got her yarn from WEBS.

I’m happy that she likes my design/pattern so much. You can read her comments here. : )

After Kim made the tube, she put off grafting it to the base because she was not sure that it would really work (I don’t blame her, when I was in the process of designing it, I had my doubts too) but after a year of it sitting around, she finally went ahead and grafted the two pieces (she said it did work out the way I designed it, and I’m very glad it did) and felted it.

Cute, huh? Way to go, Kim!

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The Knitting Basket in Richmond will be hosting a book signing for my book on October 25th. The Knitting Basket is a great yarn shop run by very nice people. You should come by and see us.

Some pics of the photo shoot for It Girl Knits:

This is the photographer, Dan Howell. He did an excellent job of making the garments and all of us look great. He sometimes had to roll around on the ground to get the perfect shot. This shot was taken late in the day, so Jessica and I were pretty cold. It was late October and very drizzly, too.

Jessica is wearing the Flirty Short Skirt, and I’m wearing the Baby Doll Top, both of which are from the book. The Flirty Short Skirt is made with South West Trading Company’s Bamboo, and it is unbelievably soft and drapey. I can’t wait for you to see it. The Baby Doll Top is also featured on the cover of the book.

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The Yarn Lover’s Guide to Hand Dyeing: Beautiful Color and Simple Knits

Linda La Belle

Potter Craft, 30.00

When I started working on my holiday Knotions submission (which involves a bit of dyeing) I was at first a bit worried about dyeing the project because until then I hadn’t ever dyed anything. But The Yarn Lover’s Guide to Hand Dyeing made it easy for my mom and I to figure out exactly how to do it. This book tells you almost everything you need to know to do your own dyeing.

It’s written instructions are interesting and detailed and the pictures are colorful and bright. It is obvious that the author, Linda La Belle, put a lot of time and attention into this book, making a pleasure to read. She gives you several different ways to dye, ranging from Kool-aid to acid dyes. And on so many varieties of fibers! With this book you can create your own unique and exciting colorway on almost any yarn.

There are also interviews with many hand dyers, spinners, and designers expounding on the joys of dyeing your own yarn and/or projects, making you feel as thought you are getting a lot more out of this book than just dyeing instructions and patterns. All of the designs have a very earthy, easy feeling and most of them are quite pretty. And, in case you don’t want to dye the designs in the book, there are directions on each pattern telling you where you can buy yarn that will looks similar to the hand dyed yarn.

As for my Knotions Holiday submission, I’m very pleased to say it was accepted! I can’t tell you much about it other than the fact that this book was a huge help as I worked it out, and I think you’ll love it. Can’t wait for you to see it.

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Simply Sublime Bags: 30 No-Sew, Low-Sew Projects

By Jodi Kahn

Potter Craft

$19.95

With the exception of a few of the somewhat strange bags made out of caution tape and packing tape, I have to say that the bags in this book are practical and innovative. I don’t remember ever seeing a craft book that is this interesting. I do think, however, that the author got a bit carried away with duct tape, hardware supplies, and staple guns, and I’m almost certain that see-through clutches with Wonder Woman decals went out a long time ago. But all of these little oddities just add to the easy feeling of this book.

I made one of the bags (I’ll post pics later), and I’m starting on another. They really are as easy to make as Jodi says. She gives enough instruction to know how to do it and still be able to create your own version using her technical guidelines. Cute copy and and a lot of colorful photos makes it a pleasure to read. Most of the bags can be made in a day or less. The materials used are all unique, ranging from shower curtains to pillow cases… and almost all of them resulting in stylish, different and all together fun bags.

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I’m kind of excited about a new online pattern store and a new online knitting magazine. Thought I’d tell you a bit about them in case you haven’t seen them yet.

PATTERNFISH is an online pattern store that has over 939 patterns. The patterns range from old to new with a lot in between. They sell patterns from all over the world. Usually when I look for patterns online I can’t really see the designs because the photo is too small or whatever but on PATTERNFISH each garment that you click on comes up big enough to see detail and if that isn’t good enough there is a link that will bring the image up closer and clearer. PATTERNFISH has managed to give an extremely broad spectrum of variety on one site. My patterns are available for sale on PATTERNFISH now, so check it out! I’ve added photos you’ve never seen to some of the pattern descriptions, too.

The other new one that I wanted to tell you about is Knotions. An online magazine, it’s set to launch August 1st with the Fall ’08 Inaugural issue.

Knotions is about explaining knitting techniques, and it’s also about knitwear designs that are less about funky, interesting looking stitches and more about comfortable garments that look and feel great to wear. The editor’s goal is to give you all the information needed to make you a “smarter knitter.”

When submitting designs to Knotions you can send a proposal for the design instead of sending a complete submission so that the editor can then tell you if she would like to consider it for Knotions… saving the designer a lot of time and energy making a submission/making a garment when it might be rejected. I really like that feature since I make a lot of submissions and it’s helpful to know the design is in the right ballpark before I knit up the sample.

Knotions is also very interactive, readers can blog on Knotions about what they would like to see in a garment/what they would like to see more of. I can’t tell you everything about Knotions so you’re just gonna have to read it yourself. I have designed a garment that will be in the fall issue. My mom will also have an article that will accompany it. Can’t wait for you to see it!

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Here is another new pattern for you. The Diamante Clutch.

I originally designed it to go with the Glamour Girl Ensemble, but I had to instead make it a pattern by itself. The clutch is made out of Tilli Tomas Mogul, a beaded feltable wool (you can use almost any feltable wool to substitute). A single crochet trim around the top edge and a zippered closer finishes it nicely. It holds just the essentials with style and class.

I did a lot of experimenting when making this clutch. I tried a lot of different sts at the top edge to finish it off but it seemed that a crochet trim was what it was wanting. In the end, after a lot of failed attempts, I achieved the look I was going for. I’m actually quite happy with it. It’s one of my easiest patterns and it looks really great with a cocktail dress, evening gown, or the perfect little black dress. It’s such a simple pattern that telling you the construction and how it’s made would defeat the purpose of selling it: )

And of course it’s available for download on my website (all my downloads are Ravelry downloads – but you don’t have to be a Ravelry member to buy).

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This morning I got up and found Rosie and Lavie on the kitchen counter asleep in a cast iron pot (I couldn’t get pictures because they don’t stay put long enough). Cats have a weird idea of what is a comfortable place to sleep. Until these new cats joined the family I never really understood the whole “cat chasing a ball of yarn” thing ’cause my other cats never really seemed to be interested in yarn all that much… I get it now. It seems like they can’t control themselves when they see yarn (honestly, I don’t think they really try very hard). They play with/attack it until they get tired and fall asleep. Lazy little babies.

We were in the studio a couple of days ago working on something when I heard the printer making strange noises. Rosie was apparently trying to scan something. The monitor had several windows open and was asking if she wanted to scan anything else, meanwhile she ran to the kitchen to hide with a somewhat guilty look on her face. I now call her my little secretary. And then a while later Panda (my brother’s cat) got on the key board of another computer where my mom had been working on my website, and started making changes to the page she had up. The computer was asking him if he would like to save the changes he had made.

Apparently he wants to be a graphic designer. He’s trying to put my mom out of job: )

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