Adventures in Wine Country

If anybody had told me when I decided to turn serious with my knitting, that I would need also to become a photo stylist, talent scout, logistics manager and graphic artist, I would have laughed myself stupid.  But, there it is. Over the weekend we finally held our much-delayed photo shoot for the Sommelier project.  The weather was perfect, everybody was healthy, and best of all, we really had fun.  My special thanks go to my devoted husband, Phillip, who managed the many aspects of scheduling and execution, right down to keeping the glasses filled and the talent happy.  If the three lovely and talented friends who helped us were Charlie's Angels, then Phillip was definitely Bosley.  Behind the scenes, quietly making it all happen.
 

Phillip is crouching at the base of the wine cask on the right, making sure it doesn't roll down the hill, model and all. Whadda Guy.  

Phillip is crouching at the base of the wine cask on the right, making sure it doesn't roll down the hill, model and all. Whadda Guy.
 

The "Angels" gamely climb onto teetering wine casks while I hold the wine and make smartass remarks.

The "Angels" gamely climb onto teetering wine casks while I hold the wine and make smartass remarks.

Phillip keeps us laughing during a break in shooting.

Phillip keeps us laughing during a break in shooting.

The photo shoot crew, kindly photographed by our actual Sommelier at  Cooper Mountain .  He even stayed late so we could borrow some wine glasses.  Clockwise, from top left:  Model Amy, Photographer Jen, Facilitator and Clown Phillip, Model Kerin, and Me.

The photo shoot crew, kindly photographed by our actual Sommelier at Cooper Mountain.  He even stayed late so we could borrow some wine glasses.  Clockwise, from top left:  Model Amy, Photographer Jen, Facilitator and Clown Phillip, Model Kerin, and Me.

True to my promise, I paid everybody in wine, and we feasted at the pub afterwords.  It was so much fun I can't believe it.  Man, I love my job.

And if all that weren't enough, There is now, finally, a real-live pattern for sale.  You can find it on Ravelry now, and later today on my newly-added Patterns page.  For all who have promised to love this design, thank you for your patience and support:  Today's the day!

The Dog Ate It

There isn't much in the world that I dislike more than excuses.  Excuses are the crutch of the weak imagination, and at best, a poor substitute for a well-crafted lie.  Of course, I do believe that if one makes a mistake, one had best fess' up, fix it if possible and move on.  Excuses, in my view, are a complete waste of energy.  After all, they don't change anything, and they rarely make anybody feel better.  That said, I am now going to offer you a whole pile of them.  

Remember when I told you, my beloved blog, that I was going to post the Sommelier pattern this week?  Remember how I raved on about its virtues, waxed poetic on its beauty, and promised you that it would be yours in practically no time at all?  Yeah, that turned out to be pretty much wrong.  The photo shoot was rescheduled, after a series of unfortunate events:

1.    My photographer was called out of town.  This lady is the absolute bomb, where picture-taking is concerned, so taking her out of the photo-shoot equation was like removing the gin from a gin and tonic: you'd have to be pretty thirsty to drink what's left over.  Nonetheless, since the models were all ready and the sweaters had been expressed back from tech editing  in Maryland in time to make it, I thought it best to press on.  I planned to take the pictures myself, and cross my fingers. 

2.  The Desert Rain sweater, which was also supposed to be photographed at the same time, decided of its own accord to take a surprise detour to Ohio for TNNA.  Okay, no problem.  We'll arrange a separate date to shoot that one.  It will be fine.  Really.

3.  It's raining.  Of course it's raining.  June in Portland = Monsoon.  It's a mathematical fact.  So what, I thought - wine cellars are indoors!  We'll use a flash.  This development will not deter us in the least.  After all, I still have beautiful sweaters (2 out of 3) and beautiful models.

4.  One of my models is sick.  To her credit, she bravely offered to push through the wall, and come along anyway.  But she didn't feel pretty.  In fact, she felt crappy.  And because she is also my friend, I just couldn't do it to her.  Plus, she might get snot on a sweater. (Just kidding, K - get well soon!)

And suddenly I realized that the universe was no longer whispering a subtle message to me.  It was bludgeoning me with a club made of DUH!  It  was time to admit defeat and abort the mission. 

I have no idea why the universe doesn't want you to have the Sommelier yet, but it clearly does not, and we are all just going to have to get used to it.  My apologies are both deep and sincere.  To all of you would-be Sommeliers, I offer this final shred of hope:  
 

I engaged the services of some stand-in models, so that I can prove that the Sommelier sweaters really do exist.  Yeah, they're cute, but as models go, let's just say These Aren't The Droids You're Looking For.

I will reschedule the photo shoot, and there will be a pattern on offer.  When, I dare not predict, the universe being as it is. 

I know I promised you a new pattern, but What can I say?  The Dog Ate It.

Hole-y Sleeves, Batman! and Other Things,Too

The beautiful thing (one of many beautiful things) about lace is that it requires us as knitters to pay attention to negative space.  The finished product is nothing but a lot of holes, framed by yarn.  It also looks (and measures!) nothing like the finished product while you are making it, so there is the element of surprise, too.  Case in point:

Ah, the enchanted forest of pins.  No, it doesn't really require this many for one little sleeve.  I just don't know when to stop.
 

Here's the sleeve, in all it's non-puffy glory.  It was supposed to be a short, gathered sleeve, until it redesigned itself as a longer, slimmer one.  I will confess that I historically have disliked to wear 3/4 length sleeves.  You know:  Neither long, nor short; neither fish, nor foul.  Pick a side already!   But I am pretty much enchanted by these sleeves, and I can't wait to try them out.  Who knows; maybe I just haven't met the right 3/4 sleeve yet.  Today should be cardigan finishing day, and then its only a matter of time until you can make one too!

News You Can Use:  This pattern will be the next thing I publish, and you should have it in time for summer knitting (and wearing!).  Stay Tuned, because it rocks out loud.

And speaking of Rocking Out Loud, I would like to thank especially my friend and supporter, Marilyn King of BlackWater Abbey Yarns for including me in her gorgeous newsletter this month.  Many new visitors have stopped by the blog:  To all of you, welcome, and thank you for your readership!  We have gobs o'fun here, (well I know I do), blathering on about whatever's on my mind and on my needles.  Clever reader Susan, of NY wrote to ask if there is a Faery Ring knitalong in the works, which I can't believe I never thought of myself.  Whaddya think?  If you are interested in such, drop me a line, and let's see if we can't organize a little something.

To my local pals, I want to remind you that I'm teaching at the TKGA Knit and Crochet show next week, here in Portland, and there are still a few spots available in my Mad Hatters class.  Please come and join us if you're able!

And finally, a Cunning Plan is hatching between me and the Smallies:  

We are learning about plying, and wondering why plying Kates only hold 3 bobbins, usually.  We have decided to perform an Experiment in Invention this weekend, in honor of Mother's Day:  We are going to construct our very own "Kate-Inator", conceived as a 6-bobbin Kate!  Check back to view the ensuing carnage/hilarity.

Same thing we do every day, kids:  Try to take over the world, one fiber at a time...