Thursday, March 08, 2018

3 things: Camurac Cardi/Drop Dead Easy Knits

When we first dreamt up Drop Dead Easy Knits, our rather fab book of stylish but not too difficult projects, we had to provide a sample or two in order to nail down our contract with the publisher. The cushy, squooooshy Camurac Cardigan by Kirsten Kapur was the first garment designed for the book. It truly deserves the spotlight.
 It's knit on size 10US needles, so it knits up quickly.  Cast  on now and without too much fuss you'll have a  dreamy pick-me-up of a wardrobe addition while it is still March.  I don't know about you but I could use a wardrobe pick-me-up about now.

In the above photos, you're seeing it knit in Quince Osprey which is delicious (plus, whoa, check out the colors in that link).  You can sub any aran/heavy worsted.  Kirsten made one in Jill Draper Makes Stuff Empire  and Mary Lou knit one in Neighborhood Fiber Company . Somehow this little pic of the three of us is the only image I can find of Kirsten in can peek the lapel texture. Below is a sweater-size bump of Empire. A Camurac waiting to emerge.

I guess that's already Three Things about the Camurac Cardi . This Three Things on Thursday format* really  helps me squeeze out a blogpost. This week I'm going for a bonus round ! Three MORE things:
1) Initially, this wonderful throw-it-on anytime cardi and the Westerloe dog sweater were to appear in the same chapter,  so they were designed with coordinating stitch detailing. Sweet!
whooooshhh! Is that the sound of you rushing out to get yarn for a Camurac PLUS a Westerloe so you can match your furry friends? I hope so.

2) Camurac is a skiing resort area in the French Pyrenees.  This pattern appears in our chapter "Cold Hands, Warm hearts"-- warm pieces,  lovely to have in your lap as you knit in cool weather.  Mary Lou did some heavy lifting for pattern naming, finding chilly locations around the globe. They had to be pronounceable and not already overly represented as pattern names.  Seriously, go search Aspen or Chamonix or whatever popped into your mind first as a cold weather locale, on Ravelry, and see the number of designs that got there before you.

3) This pattern is knit flat and pieced together. That's right, on good old straight needles. No overdeveloped biceps needed to work that stockinette in one weighty piece. The seams provide structure. No Saggy Sweater Syndrome, a problem striking so many of us who adore big slouchy cardis.

If you've knit a Camurac cardi--or any pattern from Drop Dead Easy Knits-- could you do us a solid and post it on Ravelry? We adore seeing what knitters do with the book!

* Carole Knits and AsKatKnits  are the brains behind the Three Things on Thursday, the beauty of it is, you can choose any topic you wish for your three things. Controlled anarchy!  If you feel like joining in any Thursday inspiration strikes, post the link from Carole's blog, near the bottom.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

3 things :about Las Vegas

Last month I was in Las Vegas. My reason was so weird that Uber drivers laughed at me.
I was teaching photography (for social media,  and Iphone-ography)  to yarn shop and yarn industry folks at the winter  TNNA tradeshow.  I was thrilled to be there! But you know how  it sounds. Keep in mind another trade show in town that same week was the Adult Entertainment Awards (ie PORN STAR OSCARS!) just one hotel over.  Ha! After telling us that, the same chortling uber driver offered to make a stop at a weed store straight from the airport. I guess we looked like we needed to loosen up?
I had a grand time talking about photography and yarn together, as I always do, given the opportunity. We had really wonderful students, it was two full days of good classes.

Three things (and more) from my trip to Las Vegas
1) After spending the day coaching our students to be fabulous on Instagram,  I cozy up with Elvis
I was co-teaching with writer/writing professor BeverlyArmy Williams, left, we have become excellent travel buddies as we've been taking our workshops on the road.

2) Wandered around the Strip , joking that we looked like the Sister Wives On Vacay in the Bright Lights.  You know the general population just doesn't wear hand knit shawls that much, do they?  Blown away by the conservatory gardens  in the Bellagio , theme was Year of the Dog Chinese New Year.

This was my first time  realizing how many creative people must have tons of work here--this had to take days and days to create.  The people figures are all made of flowers and are easily 20 feet high. The big husky was animated and a story high.

A highlight was joining Beverly in seeing an old friend of hers, Johnny Miles, perform a central character  in Cirque de Soleil,  Mystere. What a show! We had fabulous seats.

Johnny Miles in character, magenta tux,  at the Mystere finale
Beverly and Johnny Miles, sans makeup, after the show. Who'd know?

It was a spectacular show, truly. We got a tour of behind the scenes afterwards, on all the levels of the stage and backstage. This theater was built specifically for the show. It has live music and people who fly through the air playing drums and doing artful acrobatics and so much staging and costuming. Again I was blown away by the creative work opportunities in town.
Quick peek at the costume shop backstage for Mystere. There are full time salaried artists and costumers (plural) working there. Yes, I DID want to touch everything but mostly restrained myself.

3) Got out to the desert!
Another freind who's a frequent accomplice in travel and work, designer Mary Lou Egan, was also teaching at TNNA. We had to do  a quick hike. Las Vegas is densely developed --but after the last ring of new neighborhoods it is all desert. It was only a 15 minute drive to Red Rock Canyon.
 The start of our trail. Definitely not in New England here.

 Mary Lou showing off her just-off-the-needles September House sweater.

We were so happy to be out in the sun and seeing the odd-to-us plants and landscape.

I know this is a long post but I can't end without sharing some things I loved  at the trade show.
First,  I sampled the  new Addi Flexi Flips needles. 
Three short needles with a bendy center section. Each needle has one super pointy and one more rounded tip. You keep your small circular knitting on two of the needles and knit with the third.  I loved it! They are a little pricey, but for me, worth it. Awesome for sleeves, socks and hats. Haven't yet decided which size to get though.
I did purchase an Atenti  bag, mine is bucket style.  I can roll down the top inch or so and it stands up on it's own, holding a whole sweater (almost done! btw)  easily.  I have been wanting one every time I see them, they are beautifully made in the US . I love the fabrics they use - mine is a brocade, with an olive green suede lining and straps.  Its a family business. I had to visit their showroom space at TNNA.  (Check them out at your LYS, they make a lot of styles). 

phew that's a lot! It's nice to be back to blogging, I'll try to at least do the Three on Thursday (more linked from Carole's blog page).