knitting blog archive: Fall/Winter 2006

December 14, 2006

On the set
on the set of Knitty Gritty
click picture to launch

Well, I sure had a fantastic time taping an episode of Knitty Gritty on Monday! My Knitsters were too cool! San Diego Craft Mafia members Nicole and Teresa were selected special for my episode. Teresa has been teaching her man Ross to knit and he's enjoying it.

I loved how the crew dressed the set with my projects. The Slink, Sweetheart, and Elfin Goth were put on the mannequins while the 10 foot long black and red variation on the Thin Mint scarf swagged between the Skull and Bob Dobbs vests.

Vickie Howell was sweet and professional, and a good thing too since I was new at this. Look at the cute shoes she wore in my honor! It was hilarious watching the director and other behind-the-scenes management types dance around making sure that nothing raunchy or wild snuck into the episode. I had made a cute little cable sweater for my riding crop but they had a conniption when picked up the crop and flexed it. So we shot that again without the crop. Too bad!

Halfway around the world, a new world record has been set. Miriam Tegels is the world's fastest knitter. Guinness has finally announced that it is official! So there's much celebrating in Netherlands. I love it that she was wearing the Gothlet when she went for the gold. Miriam has been a huge help in test knitting the Goths, which leads me to my next subject.

NEWSFLASH: GOTHLET and ELFIN BRIDE patterns are almost complete

I've spent much of my holiday season editing the Elfin Bride and Gothlet patterns for you and I'm super-duper close to releasing this pattern!!!

Please tackle some of the easier projects in the book first to warm up for what may be the most challenging piece you ever knit. For more about the history of the Elfin Goth, the original prototype jacket that started it all, find it here.

To register for this pattern, click my name at bottom of this page and e-mail me with 'goth' in the subject line. I will alert you when the pattern is available and also update when errata and new design variations become available. I’ll be hosting a discussion forum on knitting this pattern so that you can all learn from each other, and from me as you knit this design yourselves. On this forum you’ll find photos of the project every step of the way, to help you stay oriented to this unusual piece of directional knitting.

December 1, 2006

First let me say the book signing last weekend went just great. Nine Rubies is such a warm friendly place for any event. I just love it there. It was great to meet knitters who enjoy the sensibility of the DomiKNITrix book, and my sexy, tailored designs. I enjoyed doing the trunk show and letting the pieces do the talking. They have so much to say.

I am working to set up another local signing, as well as another while I'm in SoCal in two weeks shooting my Knitty Gritty episode, though it may be too last minute for that. Knitting for Knitty Gritty has been like deja vu all over again. I've begun the project 8 times, but only finished one! But that's the point of the exercise, so we can shoot the demo for you in a few short hours. I'm dying to get back to the Goth knitting!

If you are here looking for information about the Elfin Bride and Gothlet patterns, please see blog post below from 11/19. I urge you to tackle some of the easier projects in the book to warm up for what may be the most challenging piece you may ever knit. For more about the history of the Elfin Goth, the original prototype jacket that started it all, find it here.

My book is now in stores too! There is supposed to be a special promotion at Borders for December, so I am going to go down there and check it out. It will be exciting to see my book on their shelves for the first time.

November 22, 2006

Don't forget! The premiere DomiKNITrix book signing event is coming up this weekend! Come to my first ever trunk show featuring the pieces from the DomiKNITrix book, and hang out with like minded spirits at San Mateo's best yarn shop.

WHAT: DomiKNITrix trunk show and book signing
WHEN: Saturday, November 25, from 3 to 7 PM
WHERE: Nine Rubies Knitting in San Mateo

I look forward to meeting you there!

November 19, 2006

So let me ask and then answer the question on everyone's lips:

WTF is up with the Gothlet and Elfin Bride patterns promised in the DomiKNITrix book?

Long story short: I am spending every moment I can editing and test-knitting this pattern with my team of knitting vixens. I hope to have it ready for you within the next two to four weeks. I would promise it to you sooner, but I've got all this Knitty Gritty knitting to do and my full time job too.

Goth knitting gallery
Goth knitting gallery
click picture to launch

I consider the Elfin Goth design to be my most exciting project ever, and the complexity of the design will surprise even you, I am sure. Here's your opportunity to see the back of it for the first time (click pic at left). This was sadly left out of the book pics. It is knit completely on the diagonal with even more lace!

I want to insure that this pattern is as free of errors and as well-fitted as possible before any of you set out to knit it. I’m also re-writing the pattern so it is more logical and approachable, much more clear. Because it is set on the diagonal, every change to stitch count has a ripple effect throughout the pattern, making the edit an odyssey of stitches.

I am requesting that you register with me via email for this pattern so that I can alert you to errata and new design variations as they come up. This way, I can keep you in the loop on corrections and share innovations as this organic design evolves. I’ll be hosting a discussion forum on knitting this pattern so that you can all learn from each other, and from me as you knit this design yourselves. On this forum you’ll find photos of the project every step of the way, to help you stay oriented to this unusual piece of directional knitting.

I was going to promise to flog myself nightly as penance for the delay with this pattern, but I think you’d rather have me test knitting and editing so you can have it that much sooner. Errrrr, you would prefer that, wouldn’t you?

November 10, 2006

The day has arrived! DomiKNITrix: Whip Your Knitting into Shape is finally shipping! You can order from my ad at right, or find on the shelf at your local book or craft store within the next two weeks. Distribution is an imprecise art, they tell me, so some outlets will receive the book ahead of others. I really hope you enjoy the book!

the materials for Leslie's bridal handbag
the materials for Leslie's bridal handbag

So what have I been knitting?

Well, this Dayflower panel is fresh off the needles and into my finishing studio. The lace is from the Barbara Walker classic Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns knit from Colinette yarns Tao luxury silk. Try as I might, I could not commit this 16 row repeat to heart. It now adorns a tiny shantung handbag for the bride at an upcoming wedding that is sure to be the event of the season. I won't show it to you before the bride sees it herself, so stay tuned.

Meanwhile, of course there's my red Goth in Progress. Now that the book is shipping, the pressure's on to finish debugging this pattern so readers can download it from the site. I'm not releasing it until all 5 sizes are complete, so please cool your heels while playing around with the other patterns in the book. I just want to be sure this complicated pattern is as correct and well sized as possible, no small feat with a design that is knit on the diagonal and worked seamlessly.

November 2, 2006

So remember that little DVD I made for the folks at Knitty Gritty? Well, it worked, zombie props in the corner and all. So I am working happily with Crystal Palace on needles and Brown Sheep on yarn. As I'm sure you've read on other blogs or maybe guessed from seeing the show, I need to make the project at several different stages to demonstrate the techniques. Luckily, mine is a small piece, but with lots of interesting techniques to show, so this should be fun.

Meanwhile, the Goth knitalong has begun. I handed off the pattern and yarn to each delightful knitter last week. Three out of four are very quiet with no questions, which either means they are that good, or more likely are procrastinators. The questions from the fourth are good ones, so not a bad thing either. Photos soon, I hope!

And my book is going to be out any day now. It's different, you'll see.

Heaven help me, did I fail to edit out "not your mother's knitting book?" or did my editor put that back in? That's apparently the same phrase used to describe 90% of the new knit books coming out this season. And I love my momma's knitting books! Knitting Without TearsAmazon link rocks and I strove to produce a book as useful and witty. It was Elizabeth Zimmerman who wrote in those pages that "You are the absolute boss of your knitting." Words to live by, my friend.

October 25, 2006

Yarn update: Personal Threads performed flawlessly on their order, as did Patternworks. So we are on track for Gothalong to begin after the yarn mountain arrives today and I coordinate 5 schedules. I initially accepted some remote knitters for this KAL and am now on the fence about when and how I'll involve them. I think we'll get the in-person thing off the ground and see. What with the day job keeping me so busy, more knitters involved might just clog up the works and make me totally ineffective. Or perhaps I'll stagger the remote knitters once the in-person knitters have made significant headway.

October 23, 2006

It's ike drawing the cutting line on the patient's body before surgery.
Drawing the cut line on the patient's body before surgery.

Hurrah! I've found the final local Goth knitter: Brooke and Sudha, then Anh, and now Mary! On to fretting about the yarn.

Let's hope this small mountain of Provence arrives as promised with 2-day shipping: three orders from three different online yarn shops, each indicating they had stock of the colors chosen. Let's see how they all do, shall we? I must say, Royal Yarns was most on top of their game, sending me a same-day note that my yarn had shipped (on a Sunday), followed within 24 hours by tracking information. The other two? Well, nothing yet, despite my note that this was for an urgent project and request to please advise of any delay. Lucky for this team effort that 3 of the 5 colors have already shipped. There's an order I had cancelled because it wasn't shipping fast enough. I suppose I just might have to keep it if these others fall through.

What are the colors? English Lilac, Clear Bue Sky, Herbal Sage, Citrine, Parchment. Won't they be lovely together? I know this selection literally pales next to my usual palette, but I want to see every beautiful stitch and make sure that you will too.

Also, it looks like I've set myself up for more Goth surgery. Got a little carried away and knit Medium shoulders when I am Small. See above. And I was so happy with my pick-up...

October 15, 2006

Goth in progress
new Goth in progress
click picture to launch

Let the Goth Knitalong begin! Ummm, pretty please? I've been trying to enlist 5 local (San Francisco) knitters who want to knit this fun and challenging project with me, meeting weekly so I can step you through the tricky bits. But only one local knitter has stepped up. Would you step up too if I gave you the yarn to make the project? I need an expert, and if you've got the mad skills, but were somehow shy about calling yourself an expert, please email me!

Perhaps it's unfair to call this a knitalong; this is more like final pattern debugging, so hmmm... debugalong? At least 5 of these have been knit, but not in every size. So we need to test the remaining sizes so this pattern is ready for release when the book hits the stands. The Elfin Goth will be available for download from this site to those who can prove they have purchased the book. It was either that, or cut it entirely, and I couldn't bear the heartbreak. It is a sentimental favorite - fascinating to knit, but not for the faint hearted. Will you join me?

The gallery pics above show my current Goth in progress, plus shots of a surgery I did this time last year on her cousin, the burgundy Gothlet that's in the book. Much better to avoid surgeries, but check out the distant lace in the background I would have had to rip out if I hadn't opened her up. I reknit the center triangle in corrected proportion and grafted stitches on the diagonal. And that was after I realized I'd picked up and knit the center back onto the center front, then had to pick it apart, then pick up and graft. That little maneuver saved 15 hours of knitting. Wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

Oh, and be sure to check out my updated links page. I've done a complete refresh and reorganization, adding many new links. Enjoy!

October 8, 2006

I have finally got my hands on an advance copy of the DomiKNITrix book, and it is just beautiful. I am delighted! The final book design is so "me!" The aggressively shiny vinyl cover and sewn binding still show no signs of wear despite fierce passing around; the magenta end papers are printed with chains. Beautiful models are fashionably accessorized, and fabulous photography highlights my designs just as they were meant to be. The pages are framed with more chains and Gothic filigree, and you'll find a few photos of me in there, looking like the DomiKNITrix I am. The ebony needles do look great with black leather, but I knew they would! Charmingly naughty drawings by Rachell Sumpter give it a perfectly cheeky touch. And I do mean tongue-in-cheek. Huge thanks to book designer Karla Baker, who took my vision to the limit. Kudos to North Light for having the balls to put out this book. Happy Jen!

Devil Hat in red on Cathy (Sal's orange hat not available)
Devil Hat in red on Cathy (Sal's orange hat not available)

Turns out this enthusiasm was just what I needed to inspire my knitting demo DVD for Knitty Gritty, a TV show about knitting that airs on the DIY Network. My demo was hastily shot, edited and sent last week, to be received in the studio offices today. Cross your fingers for me! I was so focused on demonstrating how to knit that devil horn, I didn't notice the pile of Halloween props in the corner behind me until it was too late. We are planning to be zombie pirates this year, (note to Hollywood: why hasn't there been a zombie pirate movie yet?) so we got some fun props from the Costumer, including some dismembered limbs and ghoulish make-up. So let's hope the folks at Knitty Gritty don't think I'm an axe murderer. That's just not my style!

Don't forget, it's devil hat season! I love this fun little project, and it will certainly keep your head warm on a chilly October night. Get yours here. You can find detail shots of the Snow Devil with earflaps and ties here.

September 22, 2006

the bitch boots
my bitch boots
my tallest boots

You know you have big feet when your favorite drag queen repeatedly asks to borrow your boots.  That’s right, I have the size 11 feet and a collection of badass boots in which to enshrine them.  When I took the name Domiknitrix and founded the company, suddenly I had license to buy boots and call them tax deductible.

But it wasn’t always so, Kitten.  When I was a child, shoe salespersons (who really ought to kneel before those they serve) would humiliate the big-footed customers by dismissing any cute shoe that was presented and sadistically offering to fetch that we-only-get-one-pair of Naturalizers or Clarks instead.  Shaming is still common in many stores, whether willful or automatic I cannot tell you.  I guess we big-footed gals really make the shoe clerks work.  But really, isn’t it so much easier for them to bring me the two styles of 11 in stock than infinite styles available to that fickle size 7 two seats away?

Happily, the selection of shoes for the large-of-foot has increased in the intervening years, with even size 13 being offered on the sales rack at Nordstrom and large sizes in a broad range of styles easily found on the internet.  Personally, I prefer to try on those thigh-high boots away from other shoppers where I can accessorize them properly and know if they’re really ‘working’ - and where no one will laugh but me when I accidentally turn a somersault in the 5" platforms.

I credit the drag queens, cross dressers, and male to female transsexuals with this shoe boon.  Any merchant will stock your size once they see dollar signs, oblivious to the sequins and marabou trimming out the sleeve that holds that men’s tri-fold wallet. The boots are on loan to my dear friend who will be volunteering for the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence this weekend at the Folsom Street Faire in San Francisco. The Faire is an excellent opportunity to ogle a lot of (mostly) hot (mostly) men wearing (mostly) leather and not much else. I love this town!

No, I’m not turning into a shoe blogger;I just wanted to show you my boots. My camera is starting to hold me back on the site. It’s so huge I never seem to take it with me anymore! I guess that means it’s time for a new camera. Ka-CHING!