the spotted cat can take a flying leap

Posted on Posted in designing, lace/shawls, projects

ok, before i give you my technology sob story of the week, you might want to go to interweave knits and take a look at the spring preview. scroll down to the bottom and there just might be something there you’ll enjoy . . . .
i’d give you a link but i can’t. you’ll have to read about that after you’ve been.

i think i mentioned last week that i got a new computer.
which we love.

the new OS though—leopard—well that’s a a different story. it is not playing nice with the computer OR with a lot of essential software. heh. like the printer driver. and mail.

ok, now i know i have had my own issues with the printer, but really, i do depend on it a lot and most of the time we get along fine. but leopard?? no way.
leopard is NOT going to get along with it. or with photoshop, acrobat, or even my document folders. sigh.

for instance, right now, i cannot copy and paste, which means that for this post i cannot make links (sorry dudes, i’ll try to put them in later if i can). that’s sort-of important, wouldn’t you say? i also can’t drag icons anywhere or open files a lot of the time.

poor david has spent an inordinate amount of time assessing, diagnosing, and tinkering with things to get it all up and running smoothly.
and i (not being worth a hoot in this department) helpfully stand there saying periodically, “can’t we just reinstall tiger?”

all that to say that i don’t have many photos for today; i managed to edit a few last night and load them to the server, but then today i can’t seem to export from photoshop (even though i could yesterday??).

so, ok, let’s talk about knitting . . . it’s so much more fun.

i spent some time on sunday swatching for gale which is the stole spawn of the newest little nothing scarf, gust.

the cormo/angora laceweight that anne sent is a lot different form the silk/alpaca blend that judy furnished for the scarf. it’s a bouncy, higher-twist laceweight that wants to knit up more like a fingering weight, even though it is the diameter of most laceweights.

i had already decided that the motif for the stole should be enlarged from the one i used in the scarf, to improve the impact of the overall fabric.
then, i tried the yarn on several different needles sizes to get just the right amount of sheerness, which i would like to maintain, even with the yarn being a bit denser.

this is the first swatch of the enlarged motif on size 8 needles. the fabric is sheer and weightless, which i like, but the motif seems gigantic. so i tried the same motif on size 7 needles to see how much that would reduce the size, and what effect it would have on the density of the fabric

the size was more to my liking and the fabric, though more compact, is still sheer, though not as sheer. interestingly, the increased consistency of the tighter fabric is also suddenly jumping out as a factor in my decision, which i hadn’t expected.

the devil on one shoulder adores the wavering stitches in the looser fabric, while the angel on the other shoulder feels most smitten with the sharply defined curves in the tighter fabric.

(i don’t know what possessed me to think that i’d have two inner voices that agree.)

knowing that the looser swatch was not an option in that large of a motif, i did a third swatch with size 8 needles, this time reducing the motif size a bit.

i like this one very much . . the motif is not too huge, the fabric is very sheer, and the combination results in an overall delicacy that calls to me.
it will require rewriting the instructions which michelle is already testing for me, but that’s ok; michelle can keep going on hers.

i have to say though, that the definition of the tighter swatch keeps catching my eye. here you can see the size 7 and the new size 8 one side by side.

which one will it be?
i decided to throw it on the table in class last evening to see what the concensus might be.
HAHAHA! consensus. WHAT was i thinking??

actually, while last night i was very undecided, as i look at the swatches again for the first time today, along with the photos, i know my answer.

thank you for all the lovely compliments on my new sweater. for those that asked, i swear, i am working toward patterns for the sweaters.

it’s a funny thing . . . i was telling katinka today in email that when i first started thinking about “coming out” as a designer, it was mostly my arsenal of sweater patterns that i planned on marketing, with a little dabble here and there in lace designs. then i fell into the lace deisgn niche so quickly, and the demand has been so overwhelmingly positive, that lace design has come to dominate my workload. for now, at least.

but sweaters are the backbone of the functional knitting i do for myself and our families; it is a rare year that goes by without several sweaters getting completed. and it’s been that way since the year one i was in college.

so really, really i am trying to balance everything, get a system down, and get the ball rolling on that. thanks for being patient and encouraging my sweater design in all ways.

since the tangled ropes crew is done now, i decided to pull another sweateer out that has been patiently awaiting my attention for too long. this is a lighter-weight sweater that will be great in spring and fall.

it’s knit with a discontinued rowan fingering weight yarn, and i have a sweater like it that i used to wear constantly, til it got shrunk in the wash by mistake.

once i pulled it out i could immediately see why this keeps getting put on the back burner, and i don’t know why this didn’t occur to me earlier.
it’s too dark and fuzzy.
normally i work on my personal knitting very late at night, in the TV room. and i just plain can’t see what i’m doing on this piece in there. every row takes forever.

so i’m going to try shifting things around a bit in my workload to see if i can manage some daytime hours for the sweater, while keeping the snow shawl a priority.
because i really like the way the sweater is turning out. it has this crazy-interesting texture stitch and cables, both of which i like a lot.

i did finish my lady cardigan socks, and am thrilled to have them done.

i have one last sock that’s been in limbo for a while, and then i can start a new pair.
in fact, i can start looking at stitch pattern now i think . . . .

46 thoughts on “the spotted cat can take a flying leap

  1. Love the IK stole, love both of the final contestants in the swatch-off, and really love the chestnut color of the latest socks.

    Mmmm. Knitting.

    So sorry that Leopard is eating your homework. It’s taken me a bit to get used to it (and Mail has taken to crashing on me, but since I usually use the web interface for gmail, that hasn’t been a killer for me).

  2. Lovely! I just cast-on Morning Glory yesterday.

    Anne, sent you a message yesterday through ‘Contact Us’ and wanted to make sure it worked…I never trust those links!

  3. Personally…I love the third swatch best.

    I am so glad you decided to concentrate on lace patterns because it was your lace designs that made me long to knit lace. I have bought quite a few of your patterns but have only done Hypoteneuse – one more repeat to go – and then maybe I’ll try one of the more complicated lace patterns. Hypoteneuse was such a fun pattern to knit since it was easy to take off with the knitting once you did the first row of the repeat. It gave me the confidence to realize I can read a pattern – plus I love the fact that your patterns have both charts and are written out.

    My problem is what to knit next – another shawl or maybe the Totally Autumn throw or some zig zag mitts…too many wonderful choices and not enough hours in the day…….plus there’s that little thing called work.

  4. Bummer about the computer woes! It’s that love/hate thing. LOL The knitting? You already know how I feel about your knitting projects: I love them all!

  5. Congrats on the publication in IK! The stole is gorgeous!
    I’m wondering which one of the two swatches you’ve chosen… they’re both lovely, but I think I have a favorite, and I’m curious to see if we have the same one!
    I hope your troubles with the computer will soon be sorted out.

  6. I like the pattern of the sweater you dug out to finish. The size 7 swatch gets my vote, even if my vote doesn’t count for much.

  7. Oh I saw the IK preview a few days ago and forgot to says congrats! Or félicitations, if you prefer. 🙂

    I must admit that I like the size 7 swatch the best…

  8. Woo! Yay for the IWK pattern! I’ll have to wait a couple of weeks later than everyone else, as my subscription has to come all the way to England.

    Can’t wait to see it!

    Also, I love the smaller swatch motif. Just my two cents. Which did you pick in the end?

  9. My husband has just come over from the dark side, and he LOVES his new MacBookPro. I’m trying not to be jealous, since it won’t be my turn for new hardware for a while. 😉 Leopard does such awesome things when it runs correctly… I hope David can figure out what’s wrong with yours.

    I noticed your little surprise on the Interweave website! Very exciting. I’m so pleased about the exposure you’re going to get from that. 🙂

    p.s. Size 8 swatch for me.

  10. So? Which did you decide on? I look at one and think, yes! Then I look at the other right next to it and thing, yes! Hmmm… As a friend of mine used to say, indecision killed the cat — I’m just glad I’m not the decider 🙂 I love that sweater too – the texture is absolutely yummy.

  11. Ugh…so sorry on your OS woes, tho I seriously think that printer of yours has a vendetta and has been plotting against you since the day it arrived. I’m not sure if it needs positive attention and wooing or a good swift kick.

  12. Yes, the third swatch has to be the one you chose, although the others are nice too. I love the sweater you’re working on now. Don’t you have an OTT Lite??! I could not knit without mine. No one could pry it away from me; I love it that much. I wouldn’t be able to knit dark yarns without it. If you don’t have one, go get one now. You’ll never regret it. Now, about Leopard, I don’t know how long it’s been out, but it’s always a good idea to wait awhile, let the powers that be work out the bugs, and then install it. I will talk to my Spousal Unit, and see if he can offer assistance. He is a technical director. Yeah, good luck with that! I’m convinced that now, I have to knit the Cardigan Socks. I’m still trying to finish the Smokin’ Socks, because as soon as I got to the part where you hide your wraps, I put the sock down, and I haven’t gone back! I’m glad you posted–pictures or not!

  13. Anne-Your lace designs got me hooked on lace and SHAWLS! I never wore shawls until this year-your designs are gorgeous. (I finished Irt’fa a couple of weeks ago-I’ll send a pic. I just LOVE it!!)

    P.S. I’m drawn to the third swatch

  14. I have Leopard too, having no real problems with it being disagreeable to my Adobe products or Mail. It may be specific to your laptop’s innards. I am not completely crazy about Leopard (who needs a 3d dock anyway) but it isn’t giving me that kind of trouble at all on my new iMac. Sounds like a call or two might be in order. So don’t blame the kitty just yet (she says as she cusses at her own living ones).

    Regarding knitting, I stand by my previous words: You taunt me, Anne.

  15. Huh. I’ve had Leopard magically fix our printer woes. (Or maybe that was just the new-computer bit.) I wish you luck with yours.

    (I like the tighter-knit swatches.)

  16. Bleeding Hearts is gorgeous! I love the way Gust is evolving too. I can’t wait to see which swatch you’ve chosen. It’ll be interesting to see if you’ve chosen the one I like most.

    As for Leopard, I really hope its finicky feline nature calms down soon. I did wonder about naming an OS after a cat.

  17. I love the IK stole!

    We haven’t upgraded to leopard yet, I’m not sure if I’m ready for any trauma that may come with upgrading.

  18. Beautful shawl in IK – congratulations! (I do admit that although I knew I was heading toward one of your patterns I just *had* to stop and look at the extra photos of that cobweb lace shawl). Oh, and I’ve pre-ordered my yarn for the snowflake shawl, I’d um, love to see how it’s going… 😉
    P.S. I Understand completely (been there a thousand times) trying to be helpful while DH is trying to fix something – usually car or computer – I know nothing about. I’ve learned not to make “helpful” suggestions.

  19. Congrats on the Bleeding Hearts stole in IK. It, like all of your lace projects is amazing. Just love your cabled sweater as well and if I wasn’t already fluffy enough I would make one as well.

    Hank in there with the tech issues it will work out.

  20. Have only noticed one glitch so far in Quickbooks pro 2005(lucky it works at all) I can’t select between meals and entertainment. GRRRR…
    You may just need the current updates and then unplug and re plug your printer.

  21. Someone pointed me to your shawl on the IK preview page earlier today and I was so pleased to see it. Although, it looks a wee bit wrong modeled by a stranger. LOL

    I hope you can get everything sorted out soon computer-wise. That always happens when you upgrade though. And I expect the new computer will turn out to be much faster and worth it in the end.

  22. All that keeps running through my head now is cables and lace, lace and cables, oooh!!! It must be all about the texture for me. Just beautiful, all of it!

  23. Congratulations on having your pattern in Interweave! Does it feel different to have a pattern published in a glossy magazine?

    I’m so pressed for time, I only skim your blog these days, but I’m glad I got a chance to catch up with you tonight.

  24. Ahh-I really enjoyed the “how I worked and reworked the swatches to come up with it just right.” Your work is beautiful-and your sharing the painstaking details of your process to create them is spectacular.

  25. I’m torn between the last two swatches. Both of them definitely are appealing. What a wonderfully tough choice to make, eh? Congrats on the IK piece. I saw the link last week, but then it disappeared the next day.

    Good for you for getting back to work on the sweater and finishing the socks.

  26. I can soooo relate to the computer issues. I say if you have any way possible to go to the OS version that worked before, do it now before you lose more time and wish you had.

    I am a Windows user, have taught others to use software (DOS, then Windows) since 1994 in a classroom setting. So I have a love/disgust relationship with my Microsoft stuff (love Word 97 anyway). It has paid a lot of bills for me, over the years, for which I am grateful.

    So I got a laptop with VISTA on it last spring. I have learned a lot of new computer things in my life but this is beating me up.I’m still not used to it, wish I’d wiped out the hard drive and put XP on.

    Now I have a new Palm device, new softwares, and because the networking would flip out while copying files from my old machine to the new one… some photos are on the new machine in 4 different places (not on purpose).

    At least my old printer works with VISTA. Sort of. It won’t collate in Acrobat so I still have to use my old laptop to print large pattern orders. Sigh…

    I told you… I totally understand.

    Whatever you do, I’m on your team… so sorry for the lost time and productivity. At least knitting needles don’t mess us up like this! There’s something wonderful about something that basic.

  27. oh my. Every time I think I have chosen just ONE lace pattern from all the ones that you are creating, you go and make another that I adore… this newest pattern is fabulous. I really like the more dense size 7 image – the waves curves seem to flow like the clouds that blew in with our snow storm today.
    It’s fabulous, and I cannot wait until my hand is better enough to make it.

    and as far as computers go… I’m in the same boat as you – every time that my system does an update on the main operating system, I hold my breath for what seems like hours until everything ‘works’.

  28. The stole for IK is beautiful, but really, all you design is beautiful, so that’s no surprise 😉

    I loove the swatches, but the 7 best (something about the more defined lines). Will stalk you to see what it will be.

    Good luck with the leopard!

  29. good luck with the technology issues! usually it’s us PC users who have all the problems! you rarely hear about Apple users having issues!

    for the swatches, I agree and like the new size 7 swatch. just airy enough….

  30. Congratulations on the IK stole. Will just put into my pile of Annie’s patterns to knit! Though where I’m going to find the time to knit them all I don’t know. Perhaps I could learn to knit while doing housework, that would be good!
    I prefer the size 7 too, it has more flow I think.

  31. Not a comment about this post but rather your spinach pie–I made it last night using my variation of a grated potato crust, from the very first Moosewood cookbook: grated potato, onion, carrot, mixed with beaten egg and lightly prebaked. Thanks for the pie recipe. It’s delicious and has been added to my repertoire, as have your oven-dried tomatoes. I adapted it for plum tomatoes; concerned about spoilage because they were still so moist, even after a LONG time in the oven, I bagged and froze them. They are wonderful. Now, how about that black bean stew?

    Don’t know what you picked for the stole, but I prefer the size 7 swatch–I love the clean lines of the curves.

  32. Hi Anne!!!! Four more days!!!! hahaha Okay, I pick the size 7….. I love how defined it is and distinct. It looks more like a ‘gale’ to me….. Which did you choose???

  33. I love that gray sweater. Will you please publish a pattern for that when it is done? I love how the cables incorporate themselves into the basket rib design.

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