Friday, November 9, 2007

My baby has her license!

Okay, I told her i wouldn't phrase it quite like that, but she IS my baby, all 16.5 years old! Well, she just passed her road test and is now a licensed California driver.

Probably a good thing that I am almost totally gray so it won't be much different when more grays pop out as she starts driving by herself.

Overall, I am really very happy for her, as this is one of the many rites of passage into adulthood and I am happy for her. She is a good driver so far - and she has a good head on her shoulders, so I am proud of who she is and confident of her growing up to be a valuable citizen of the world.

Still.... she is my baby! :-)

my yarn addiction

okay, i have a serious yarn addiction... i am trying to organize my stash and i have so much yarn i almost can't cope... and then yesterday, i bought even more! my sock yarn stash alone is frightening. I went to Target and got this HUGE storage container. Got home and filled it with sock yarn left over! I am now on a MAJOR sock knitting effoprt for Christmas. I am not even planning it -- just closing my eyes, reaching in my sock yarn bucket and picking a yarn. Then I decide who it could be for and start knitting. I now have something going for DH and DD... in addition to everything else!

At least I was smart enough to cancel out of a purse felting class that started tomorrow. it was when i realized that i needed more yarn that i decided i had to STOP! :-)

some other stuff... had a great time at the knitting retreat in Carmel- can't believe it's been three weeks ... time just flies by too quickly.

i also did the "Shop Hop" that weekend -- had a blast, even though I missed the beginning of the retreat. On the way down to Carmel, I started at Nine Rubies and then hit 11 more shops as I drove south... it was so much fun. I then hit the Carmel shop and the Pacific Grove shop on Saturday. On the way home on Sunday, I went over to Morgan Hill and then the 2 shops in San Jose, to have hit all 16 shops! As a symbolic gesture, I then drove "home" to Nine Rubies!

Needless to say, I bought a LOT of yarn during the shop hop... more than I realized until I got home and assessed my purchases! (also spent WAY too much money!)

Friday, October 19, 2007

where does the time go?

gosh, sometimes it's really hard to get time to post here... i feel like i am constantly juggling everything... GKD business, outside teaching, school volunteer work, parenting, wife-ing, the whole thing. my house is a mess - my UFOs are a mess. even taking photos of stuff seems like such a major task at times.
of course, october sucks big-time for me - being the month I lost Matthew (2o years now!). it seems especially hard this year - i expect next year will be as well. this brings to mind the time when i was volunteering at HAND -- an elderly woman came into our meeting one night at the church and i was sure she was in the wrong place until she asked if our meeting was the HAND group. During the meeting, we learned that the day would have been her son's 50th birthday. He had died at birth and she had never been able to talk to anyone about it. She had a daughter subsequently, but she had moved to the East Coast with her husband. The woman was in her 70s and a widow and alone. when she saw our meetings listed in her church bulletin, and feeling sad about this "milestone" birthday, she decided to come to the meeting.
it was good for all of us... she cried and thanked us over and over again for listening to her and letting her pour out everything she had held in for 50 years. it made us all appreciate how fortunate we were to have the group to help us through our grief.
At the end of the meeting, i also realized for myself that the sorrow will always be there, but sometimes it hurts so much, i wish it would go away.
well, on a bright note, i am about to embark on a 16-shop yarn crawl today as I work my way down to Carmel for a weekend knitting retreat put together by Full Thread Ahead. I need the time for myself - even hope to finish 1 or 2 UFOs. I'm hitting 13 shops on the way down, and 3 on the way back home on Sunday, ending up at Nine Rubies where I'll be demonstrating Knitware. anyone who hits all 16 shops is eligible for a drawing for $500 gift certificate from their chop of choice. Gee, wonder where I'll get it?

will tell you more about all of this next week..

Monday, October 8, 2007

How to get to Ravelry

Originally uploaded by GreatKnitDesigns
well... trying to see if i can get a link to Ravelry to work on my blog...

learning about blogs

it must be an age "thing" -- i just can't get into the regular blogging routine. of course, it helps that i barely have time to do everything else i need to do.

however, DH and I were discussing this and he helped me realize the trick is not to write a book for every post.

so here is a long-overdue post... catching up: exhibited at Knit & Crochet Show in Oakland last week - not happy about the financial end result at all. need to reconsider if i continue doing shows - definitely going to give up on non-local shows, that's for sure.

tried to design a sock for NR... turned out to be a major disaster. the original lace pattern was a pain to knit and difficult to size. my "homage to coriolis" turned out okay in principle, but the yarn was too dark in color and the design did not stand out and photographed poorly. Lesson learned by me and Saloni: before working a sample in a particular yarn, photgraph the yarn first and see how it turns out. for me - textured stitches need lighter yarns - only lace patts can have a chance with darker yarns.

have joined up at LibraryThing and Ravelry - time suckers, but lots of fun.

today is anniversary of Matthew's death... hard to believe it's been 20 years. how different life would have been for all of us if he had lived. BUT....

My DD Alex is my gift of life who has been the shining light in my life for 16+ years now. I am amazed that she will have her license soon - she's growing up so fast!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Time flies when...

Well, I certainly didn't think it would be two weeks between posts. The last few weeks of August just consumed my time and flew by. The best part was that a lot of the time was spent with Alex, my DD. We had some fun adventures and she completed a lot of her required 50 hours of permit driving time , so it looks like she may be able to go for her license sometime at the end of September.
Business was super slow all month - not unusual for August, but hard not to get anxious after the financial losses I took in July from a disappointing trade show. However, sales are now picking up - was interesting to see the noticeable increase in orders once schools started this past week. Obviously, many families were now home from vacation and getting back into the groove.
Besides spending time with Alex, I also got a little more time to spend in my favorite LYS -- Nine Rubies Knitting ( . There are a number of other great stores on the "Peninsula", but the gals who run Nine Rubies - and those who shop and knit there - are my dearest friends, and walking into that shop is like walking into my own home, but better (because all I "need" to do there is sit and knit and talk).
Last year, I put together a class on knitting socks (top-down) on two circulars, but when I started up GKD, and started doing shows, I couldn't keep up with the teaching, so Sudha - one of the Nine Rubies owners - took over the class. It has been an ongoing success ever since we started it and I think that Sudha and I have helped create at least 50 or 60 sock knitters in San Mateo in this past year. :-)
However, I realized that I missed the teaching and with my show schedule winding down, I resumed teaching there again. I am so happy I have done so, as it is really a joy to teach and it's fun having an "excuse" to focus on sock knitting again.
Hey! all you sock knitters out there! have you seen Cat Bordhi's new book, "New Pathways for Sock Knitters:Book One"? It is amazing.... Cat has created whole new sock architectures and they are just incredible. My new dream is to make every sock in that book! The book is listed on Amazon but is not discounted and is not shipping for another 2 to 4 weeks. HOWEVER, almost all of the good LYSs have the book ... Nine Rubies sold out their first shipment within 1 or 2 days, and was able to get another shipment very quickly. Last week, Cat Bordhi came to the Bay Area to Purlescence Yarns in Sunnyvale, CA ( for a book signing. She is such a genuinely nice person, and she truly enjoys hearing everyone rave about her designs.
Another fun thing that just came up is that I may have an opportunity to design a sock exclusively for the sockweight hand-dyed Baywood Yarns produced by my knitting friend, Joanne. Check out her blog at Can't say more right now, but I am excited to have my first design opportunity in the works.
The one thing I love about Baywood Yarns is the amazing collection of colorways that Joanne produces. A good example is the shawl I designed with Knitware and crocheted from her sock yarn held double-stranded throughout:

This color is called Ollalieberries! When Alex was little, we'd go picking ollalieberries and she'e eat almost as many as she picked. When we were finished, the various berry stains on the shirt would be the same shades that Joanne reproduced in the yarn!

So, our long Labor Day weekend is coming up and I am installing Windows XP on a new computer that will replace my current desktop computer with, hopefully, more speed and reliability. I am hoping the install goes nice and smoothly and that I can get the new system quickly set up to resume "proper" business operation on Tuesday.
I am going to "announce" my blog to the KnitwareUsers list tonight... and post a link to it on the GKD website tomorrow. Also tomorrow: my upgrades go up in price - some people are not happy about it, but it's over 2 years since the last official release and I think it's been enough time for people to take advantage of the formerly low (VERY low) price that Janet had established.
Okay... off to cook dinner!

Friday, August 17, 2007

second post

I started a new project on Wednesday night --- a black shawl from Berrocco Suede - just a simple triangle in garter stitch with fringe. I want to see if I can finish it by Sunday.

I know that I should have stayed focused on one of my current projects, but here's how it happened:

On Tuesday, Alex (my DD) and I took a spur-of-the-moment run into San Francisco to check out some of the small art galleries. One was closed, but we did get to SF Electric Works ( it was featuring a one-man show called "Out of the Grapevine" by Paul Madonna. Residents of the SF area who read the Chronicle's Date Book on Sundays know his strip called "All Over Coffee" ( Madonna's art is amazing - it really appeals to Alex & me both. Once you see his drawings of San Francisco, you can never look at the buildings again without noticing the glorious details of the unique architecture... it's amazing (sort of like having a child help you see the world with a new perspective).

Anyway, after spending time at the gallery, I pulled out my shop directory from Knitters Magazine ( and looked up the address for Noe Knit ( I had wanted to check out their shop for a while, and finally got a chance to do so since they were open late that evening.

The shawl was hanging in their window and it just appealed to me instantly, so I decided a black version would be a very useful accessory to have in the coming months, and I bought the yarn. It's a quick knit and mindless, so I took it to a meeting with me on Wednesday night and got a good start to it. I've finished one of the 5 balls of yarn required for it, and working top down so it should go quickly.

One frustration for me with SF: I love the city so much and I want to spend more time exploring it, especially now with Alex since we share the love of art and adventure and such, but it is such a PAIN to park in SF. If you are lucky enough to find a parking space, it costs a fortune to feed the meters, and the maximum parking times are very limited. It wouldn't be so bad if the city had a decent public transit system. I have been spoiled by NYC and other big cities with decent subway and bus systems that are easy to figure out and utilize. SF really lacks in that regard -- it's a shame. Maybe if I make an effort, I can figure out the bus system so we can use it - I am also thinking that even taxicabs are easier than trying to drive to the various neighborhoods of the city and find parking. It may even be cheaper! Hmmm... maybe we'll try that next time we go into the city!

By the way, if you are a parent with school-aged kids and you have to go to a lot of parent meetings at school, it's a great way to get a lot of knitting done. As the school year starts, I will often set up and "package" a number of "no-brainer" knitting projects to take to meetings with me. They allow me to knit almost mindlessly while listening.

Another thing I set up for school meetings is new/stashed yarn with appropriate needles to work swatches at the meetings. The best part is that I will have the time to knit good-sized (and, thus, more accurate) swatches because I basically have nothing better to do than knit and listen. My goal is to eventually swatch all of my stashed yarn and document it in Ravelry. (I can dream, can't I?)

I actually "hear" better when I knit - it's not just me being weird - they have proved that there is a connection between your level of comprehension and the simultaneous performance of a repetitive act. They've even shown that school kids understand and retain more information in a class if they are allowed to chew gum - interesting, eh? See as one of many sources of information on this subject.

Okay, I have to get back to work. My big project for August is to finish updating my customer database to ensure that all of the information in it is accurate (and useful!). It is really amazing how much work one has to do when taking over someone else's business - even one year after the acquisition!

Hugs to everyone!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I did it!!!!!

Ohmigosh!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've done it - I've started a blog. I resisted for a while - kept telling myself that i had no time. but i spend all my time emailing my thoughts to my friends and such - so i figured i may as well spend that time on the blog.

so, here i am.... people who know me will not be surprised with the orange template... I love orange and yellow and peach and purple and all warm colors.

all of a sudden, i am "speechless"... LOL... who woulda thunk that I could be speechless!!

however, to start, let me say that I am a fanatic knitter - focusing more on process rather than product, but that is changing gradually.

In addition, I am a fanatic new beta-member/tester of the new .... if you haven't seen it, you HAVE to go there and check it out, then sign up for an eventual "invitation" to join the group of beta users. It looks intimidating, but you will eventually get into the site/group/network (what DO you call it?)

It is absolutely amazing, and I admit that it is motivating me to finish many, many projects.

I am also the owner of Great Knit Designs ( I formed the company last year when I acquired the Knitware software product and business from its creator, Janet Tombu. Janet decided to retire after running the business for 15 years and i was one of a small group of customers to whom she issued the invitation to consider taking it over from her.

In case you don't know, Knitware is a very powerful and amazing pattern design program that allows you to create patterns for hand knitting, machine knitting, and crochet. I had been a customer for many years and really love the product -- I'll tell you more about it in my upcoming posts.

Well, it's getting a bit late and I have some work to do for the business and I also want to get some knitting in before i head to bed. I also have to watch the new episode of "Burn Notice" on A&E - a great program if you haven't seen it...exciting without violence, funny without being stupid (or sitcom), and intriguing but not stressful or overplayed plots.