My preparations for the Madrona Winter Retreat have included finishing the Catkins Cardigan for its big debut:

I can't believe the enthusiasm you've shown for this design, Gentle Readers, as I've been working on the pattern and traveling around meeting knitters.  Knowing you were looking forward to seeing it really inspired me; Thank you so very, very much dear friends. 

It's not often that I still love my designs right when I'm done with them.  I usually require a time out before I can play nicely with them again.  Catkins is a notable exception.  It's going on tour with Toots LeBlanc & Co.; coming soon to a town near you!  I'll miss it.  Give it my love if you happen to see it.  Or better still, make your own...Imagine a knitterly Catkin Explosion to herald the spring!  Pattern in four sizes, to fit 36-46 inch busts.  Get it here on my pattern page, on Ravelry, or a real live printed copy at the Toots LeBlanc booth, wherever they appear.

PS:  A little bird told me that the artist who makes the Fine Silver Catkins Buttons will be at Madrona, with a few sets on hand to sell.  Interested parties (did I mention each button is signed, like jewelry?) should e-mail me for her contact info.

Thoughts of Spring

The Catkins project is careening toward the finish line, as I prepare for a teaching trip to Billings, MT this Friday.  I found the perfect ribbons for trimming Catkins over the weekend, so now I'm really ready to hurry up and finish it, already.  And then in my e-mail this morning, I got THIS:

That's right, my friends;  My fondest Catkins button dreams have just come true.  These have been created just for the sweater I am making.  I ask you: What could be better than this?  Can't find the perfect buttons for your pussy willow sweater?  Just call up the most talented jeweler you know and she'll whip up a little something that totally exceeds you wildest imagination.  Oh, and they'll be made of fine silver, too, if you can stand it. 

So now you won't get to see the Catkins again until I have it all done - you know the direction it's going, but I still want have it completely finished for the big reveal.

In the meantime, enjoy the view from my desk this afternoon:

Man, I love my new office.  The boss is a little squirrelly, but you really can't beat the atmosphere.


A Little Off-Shoulder Number

Catkins progresses...Sleeves are joined and yoke has begun.  Looks a bit Flashdancy at the moment, no?

I'm alternating between Catkins and the swatch project this week, which has been nice for the needle size variation (3 vs 8).  Allows me to alternate which muscles I'm clinching from time to time. 

This week I achieved 2 Full-Time-Mommy Milestones:  I successfully roasted a turkey breast (okay, dinner may have been at 9PM that night, but still), and I scrubbed the kitchen floor.  Well, I actully sloshed water on it creating mud, but I think it's still a win because I got lots of exercise, and the smallies were really impressed.  Not like you should lick the baseboards or anything, but baby steps.

And then I got bronchitis.  Coincidence?  I think not:  One cannot expect to wallow on the floor in the mud without contracting something nasty.  I consider this proof that housework is not only the domain of the uncreative mind, it's also toxic.  Fortunately, it's never too late to swear off.  Good thing I got that lesson out of the way.

This weekend the Snohomish Knitters Guild Yarn Train rolls into town, with my pals Lisa and KT aboard.  I'm meeting them at the yarn shop, and then doing lunch.  If that won't cure what ails me, then nothing will.