Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Knitpicks and I, a new relationship

On December 18th the Wirtsweiher Loop pattern went live on
I am past ecstatic, thrilled, overjoyed!
I remember well the day back in 2012, when I've decided to 'share' my knitting enthusiasm, and started this blog. When I began to write down my ideas and published my first pattern. Back then, I was hoping just a little that my designs would be good enough to get the attention of other knitters and the design community.
That my wish has come true is beyond AMAZING.

My life is an adventure, it really is.
The things I am able to be involved in during the day at work at General Atomics and the yarn related things I am able to be involved in when I am not at work both make me feel proud, fulfilled, and happy.
Contributing factors, such as the Ravelry community where crafty people can share projects and publish patterns, and my home knitting group "Knitting in the Heights" deserve some credit. I could not have done it without them.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

newly found energy

You know sometimes the right emotion is missing and progress in one area is not achieved. This was happening with my brioche project, the See Me Shawl
Even though the shawl was finished back in July, there was never a right time to photograph it. This year San Diego decided to delay the end of the summer into the winter. Only last week it was finally cold.
The scramble began:
1. get the camera man on notice for Sunday
2. keep checking the weather map to make sure it will be cold, but not raining.
3. try different outfits and decide "WHAT TO WEAR" this is so hard!
4. get up early.
5. pick up the camera man (we are trying a new guy).
6. drive to the park where I was hoping for just the right background.
7. practice posing
8. OK, this is it...............

What do think?
The story is not over yet, though. With having pictures, finally, comes another whole set of activities:
1. finish the pattern words, abbreviations, and tech details.
2. select and size the pictures.
3. decide how much to charge for the pattern and the finished shawl ( i am not keeping it, you know San Diego is not cold enough for cashmere).
4. set-up the ravelry site for the new pattern.
5. publish it on ravelry and loveknitting.
6. set-up an add for the shawl on  the shawl for sale on etsy
7. set-up a few adds on ravelry forums for the pattern.


The result is my enjoyment with the actual knitting activity, the process of creating, and now the process of sharing.
Some might think: She is just doing in it for the money.
I would counter: If I can sell enough patterns to by more yarn, to design more knitwear, than I am truly happy.
So, I have only a few more sales to go on this one. An hour after the pattern went live I sold one already. $3.99 chaching....

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The A-Team

I have a young Best Friend. Her Name is Julie. Everyone who knows me knows about me and Julie. It is a long story because we have spent many many years of our daytime work life in the same companies. Not once, but twice! From starting a company to getting laid-off together, getting hired on at the next company together, working on the same team, and eventually finding the jobs disappearing. All the jobs are squashed by Microsquash (microsoft).

Now, there is always a good side, right? Right.

I got to Baby sit last night. Julie now has 2 (did I say it loud enough) 2 beautiful little girls and I get to baby sit. Both their names start with A, so to me they are the A-Team.

A year back when the Big A was 2 years old I made her the yellow coat/dress. And then came Little A. I made her the pink coat/dress when she was just 1 year old.
I love them to pieces.

The pattern for this coat/dress April April can be found on my ravelry store oberpfalzerin. I just had to name it with 2 major As in it since it was created for my A-team.
The yarn is basic cotton from Lion Brand and the buttons are from a local button on-line store as cute as a button

Sunday, July 12, 2015

My First Brioche Project

Trying to be a knitter that creates current styles with a vintage feel is my goal. To achieve that goal is a constant journey. My never-ending story!
This year I had a definite plan... (wait a minute, my dog Maxy wants a treat, ok, done)
As a knitwear designer Vogue Knitting is a must read. 

Usually the Vogue Knitting Live events are in cold weather states, but this year Vogue Knitting decided to come to Pasadena, CA. Close enough for me to travel there. I did more than that though. I signed-up for some knitting classes. The event was well organized, and not too busy to be lost in the crowd.
 I could see that my designs can stand up to the professionals. I am wearing my newest design "Valace" and it is just as current and relevant.

My main learning objective for that convention was to master the Brioche stitch. I was so excited to have the opportunity to attend a class from THE master brioche knitter, Nancy Marchant. I was prepared and spent a few weeks before the event testing out some one color brioche knitting. Then graduated to some 2-color brioche knitting. Tried some color reversals and also read as many articles as I could find about the brioche stitch in other knitting magazines. Some articles presented comparisons to the Fisherman's stitch. They referred to 1-row, 2-row or even 3-row increases and decreases. 
By the time the convention began I was pretty much confused and sort of disillusioned. 

Nancy Marchant, you are my brioche idol. Not only did your one class "Fresh Brioche" teach me enough basics to venture out and design my first shawl. You also made the entire experience fun.
I have searched for a while now and finally found the yarn for my first Brioche design. When all else fails, Rowan usually has what I need. Rowan finest is a mix of extra fine merino, cashmere, and royal alpaca. It is so unbelievably soft, truly a luxurious experience. It also knits well.

Today my shawl knitting project reached the 1/2 way point and I was shooting the first pictures.

Blocking this shawl will hopefully bring out the depth of the geometric pattern on both sides. Since it is fully reversible, the shawl can be worn as light colored or dark colored accessory. The yarns fiber combination will make it a warm choice for cool outdoors, or a dress-up accessory for evening attire. It could even be used wrapping your head in to provide the warm final touch for keeping the ice cold winter wind away.  Now I can't wait to finish it. I will have to find a perfect shawl pin for it. This design deserves a statement-making piece of jewelry, Right?
The name for this pattern is also decided:

See Me

Sunday, June 21, 2015

First day of Summer 2015

This year I have started and finished my summer vacation before the summer officially arrived.
I am not sure what the reason was, but I am sure that it was the right decision. The order of events 'before today' was as follows:

May 13, performance review at work. It is always a good review, I always exceed expectations. That's just the good little girl I am. He he he he

May 14, fly to Germany
May 15, arrive in Germany
I was born in Sulzbach-Rosenberg. The town has been polished since the year when I was born. It looks very pretty and clean now.
I have been looking for old photos of the Windschnur, but the black houses have been demolished long ago. I did find an image that shows Rosenberg with the steel factory in the background. To imagine where I was growing up, you need to imagine what it was like to live behind the the steel factory inside these exhaust clouds. The life then was not colorful and rosy. In my memory most images are black and white.
Only the summers have color. The times away from the black and white. Summer camp in the Alps, or in Sulzbach with Opa and Oma. They used to live in a small house in the back of a store, a main street store. Only steps from the the red brick building shown in the first image.
When I go home now I concentrate on the colorful memories and make new ones. The main reason this time was to visit my mother in her new home. She lives in a senior center since last July and she raves about the place.
She lives on the second floor in her own room, with some of her own furniture pieces. Since she moved in she was unable to ever leave. It was my goal to get her outside and experience something different everyday. I think I did my job well. She still remembers the time we visited her newest great-grand child Bastian, or the time we eat a Lox-sandwich at an Imbissstube. We played cards, sang songs, and went for small afternoon trips. It was not easy to rent the perfect car, a Jeep Renegade. The rental agency gave me grief, but I insisted. This car had the perfect heights for a person that could not walk. All I had to do was guide the wheelchair to the passenger door, get my mother to stand up, turn her a quarter turn so she could let herself fall onto the seat. The way out of the car was just as easy. Guide both feet outside the car and slide her forward, just a little so she can stand, make that quarter turn the other way and she could let herself fall into the wheelchair.

 Some of these trip memories got captured on these pictures.

May 16:
I know my blog is about knitting intertwined with life. So her it is. On my visit this time there was a special occasion. My sister Rita turned 65 earlier this year and I knitted her something. Luckily I was able to also deliver the present in person. My newest  design 'Wirtsweiher Loop' is named after a small pond behind Rita's farm house. I gave her the finished loop and the knitting instructions. You can buy the instructions in german and in english at

May 19:
I also knitted while traveling. Every knitter will tell you that it is extremely relaxing and lends itself to knitting away some empty moments, some evening hours, or hours on the plane. My project was aimed at a special group of knitters. Since I grew-up and was taught knitting in same place they were, I've guessed that my method was new to them. I choose some self-striping sock yarn and cast on two socks to knit at the same time from the toes up. My mother used to meet with this group of very experienced knitters near her home, when she was still living on her own. One of our day trips was to visit this knitting group. I showed the ladies my recently learned method of knitting 2 socks at the same time using a circular needle. It got lots of attention.
This is a picture of the finished socks today. I thought it was a strange coincidence that my living room flowers match the color of the socks!

May 20 was spent in the senior home - they had a May day celebration planned but the rain came and the outdoor event was moved indoor. No pictures from the singing and Bavarian Tracht wearing band.
May 21, and 23, playing cards, going shopping. My mother has not been to a supermarket for at least a year. Oh boy did we do some shopping. I wheeled her through every isle twice. We ended up with bags of goodies.
May 22 was Dinner with Brothers and Sisters.

good times 
Saying good buy was hard, but after many years of living away from everyone it has become easier. I don't leave Germany though without visiting my BFF. 
Rita and I spent the day dining at a country restaurant and afterwards walking around in Rosenheim. Naturally I found a knitting store. The name was Woll Lust and deserved to be photographed.

 May 25: time to fly away.......but not without Currywurst.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Rueckblick auf den Herbst - Teil 2

Wie versprochen, hier sind die Bilder mit den anderen Muetzen die ich im Herbst gestrickt (gehaekelt) habe.
Paula hatte ich genau in Erinnerung. Die Farben stehen ihr besonders gut.

Pia ist so richtig typisch 3.

Nein, die Muetze ist nicht zo klein, der Kopf vom Opa Sepp ist zu gross.
Die Muetze war ja fuer den Roman gedacht.