Sunday, March 22, 2009

Uptown Stitches - New yarn company

This week some of the new yarn started to arrive for Uptown Stitches, the new website. Bright colors from PolarKnit arrived yesterday, and I can see why folks like to make ski hats out of this yarn! You cannot be missed in one of these colors! Have already had inquiries about this yarn, and am glad to see it in person. If you do not recognize this name, it is the copyrighted name of Polar Knit Fleece, that wonderul warm fabric, but cut into yarn for us knitters.

Speaking of the website, it looks as though WebGuy is on the move, and there are definite changes at Uptown Stitches! He uploaded the new program (from, if anyone is looking for a fantastic eCommerce program that does what the seller really needs doing), and has now uploaded the new logo and color scheme, and he has just deleted all the extraneous stuff I asked to have removed. It is looking good, and I am hopeful.

Operating under the assumption that The Squeaky Wheel Gets The Grease, I admit to calling him three or four times last week. Boy, I do feel sorry for him when I am in one of these must-have moods! BUT, it's all about getting business done, and he is a good sport about my persistance... probably a better sport than I am while I wait for him to get to my work. Unimaginable that he actually has other things to do in life, like move to a new house, for example. Here is a picture of the new logo and colorway.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Barb Brown's pattern in Multi and White

At the beginning of the year, I mentioned that I wanted to knit my own samples for the new website, and so I launched into Barb Brown's pattern, Blue Willow, with enthusiasm. Using Necessary Sock, a lovely dyed yarn from Handwerks Textiles (Laura Schickli), my sock has a complete different look than the original in classic blue-and-white. Laura's yarn, used alternately with white BFL Ultra!, almost has the look of Fair Isle.

For ages folks have been doing this trick, but I'm doing it now, and am here to say that it works! And, it is so much fun to knit. Remember, I consider myself an intermediate knitter with slight prejudices against cable needles, picking up stitches from the row below, double yarn-overs ... hmmm. What else? I know, I know that it sounds like I am eliminating lots of knitting fun, but there are so many other stitches out there, aren't there? For instance, my idea of a good time -- and I mean a really good time! -- is the double increase. Whew! I love that stuff.

Here is my version of Barb Brown's lovely pattern ...

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Working with Designer Barb Brown

Blue Willow Socks by Barb Brown
I thought that I would start to write about the progress of the new website, as there actually does seem to be a little light on the horizon. As usual, I am waiting for web work. That is the very worst part of having an Internet business, for me, and I mean waiting for the WebGuy to do his thing. BUT, that seems to be a part of how I am doing this website work, and I depend on him, and that means I have to wait sometimes. Too often. Too long ...

Today, though, I want to share some of the work of a delightful designer I have been working with. Actually, just as I start to work with the new designers for Uptown Stitches, I immediately cast on one of their patterns to see if I can do it easily. I suppose I will classify myself as an intermediate knitter, and may be a little generous in this compliment to myself, but I am fairly competent. Anyway, this lady has struck my imagination and my attention. We've been writing back and forth, almost like immediate friends and find that we share the same sort of aesthetic. I love her designs! They are bold and use color in ways which make a knitted fabric seem more complicated than it actually is.
Her name is Barb Brown, and her website is Wild Geese Fibers. She is a Canadian and a prolific knitter as well as designer. I first met her work in Carol Jean Sulcoski's new book Kniting Socks with Handpainted Yarn. She has a pattern in this wonderful book. (Hey! handdyers, here is a book written just for us! Do you have it yet?) I will post here a picture of an example of one design, which I happen to be knitting now. It's called Blue Willow, named after the china patterns, a pattern which reminds me of my mother's sense of taste and summertime meals outside as a child.
Here is the address of her website. Go and check out her sense of color and design. She told a wonderful story about helping her mother decorate Ukranian eggs, as a child, and in her work I can see the influence of that early color theory. Be sure to take a look at the Pieces of Eight Socks, and Digeridoo, and Magic Triangle Socks.