A Break in Watkins Glen

Posted on | September 20, 2009 | 4 Comments

After our yummy brunch with Laura on Saturday, Maurizio and I (with our friend Ivan in tow), headed to Watkins Glen for an afternoon. The series of canyons and waterfalls in the small park were carved out by glaciers and streams over many many years and are breathtakingly beautiful – a natural geological wonder on a small scale – and the number of visitors toting cameras were a testament to that. Although we’ve been to Watkins Glen several times during our years in Ithaca, it never fails to impress. The gorge trail hews close to the chain of pools and waterfalls that make up the most visually arresting part of the park, but the Indian Trail, which lies on higher ground just several feet above the gorges, offers a different view – one shaded by the many species of endemic trees in the area.

I’m most enchanted, however, by the pools that the waterfalls empty into. Here’s one that’s evocative (to me anyway) of buried treasure. The afternoon light hitting the water’s surface transforms it somehow; and the eerie green glow distorts the rocks and whatever else might be lurking beneath the surface.

Just to show you that I haven’t been entirely lax in my knitting duties. Here’s a deadline project languishing against the Glen’s backdrop.

Fun in Ithaca (er, Trumansburg)

Posted on | September 19, 2009 | 3 Comments

Maurizio took one of his precious vacation days on Friday and we made the drive up to Ithaca early in the morning. So early, in fact, that we made it into town by Friday noon-ish and went straight to my favorite yarn shop in the world, Knitting Etc Ithaca. Hickory was working, but she had time to take a little break and grab some lunch with us at Hope’s Way, the cafe located conveniently across the way from her shop.

It seems like every time I come to Knitting Etc, there are more samples up. Hickory likes having lots of examples of patterns, yarns, etc knitted up to help spur the imagination of knitters. I know I always get excited about new yarns and projects whenever I come visit. I made Maurizio try on the Hero Pullover made out of Berroco Pure Merino that Hickory’s husband, Steven, knit. It was perfectly finished. Steven is an amazingly accomplished knitter, especially given that knitting is a relatively new hobby for him. But I guess he got bitten bad by the bug. He’s turned out some very cute baby pullovers too.

Although Steven is a tad shorter than Maurizio, the pullover fit him beautifully and it’s a gorgeous pattern — sparse enough that a man would feel comfortable wearing it, yet detailed enough to keep the knitter interested. Since it was designed by the esteemed Ann Budd (whose Cambridge Jacket I’ve had on my needles for 2 years), I’m not surprised. I think there may be a Hero Pullover in Maurizio’s future.

This morning (Saturday), Maurizio and I made the trek out to nearby Trumansburg to have brunch with my friend Laura, the creative director of Schaefer Yarns, and her daughter, Bella. In fact, true to form, Laura was working on something delicious in Susan and wearing a lovely shawl she had designed out of Heather. The weather is turning crisp and cool here. Fall, my favorite season, is on its way.

After brunch, Bella wanted to go across the street to look at the children’s wooden playhouses. Laura and I posed in one:
connie and laura in trumansburg

And Maurizio is peeking out of the Firehouse here:

Laura and I may have wandered into a clothing shop nearby and we may have bought matching shawl collared knit dresses. In our defense, the dress is perfect for the chillier weather and really complements both of our styles well. I can’t wait to wear it!

My New Home

Posted on | September 11, 2009 | 17 Comments

Welcome to my new home on the internet!

Totally copying Kat, I worked with Tad, whose other half I already knew and admired. Getting my own domain name and changing to Wordpress are things I’ve wanted to do for a while, but the learning curve seemed so steep and I always found excuses to put it off. I finally decided it was time to take the plunge; and Tad made the entire process so pleasant and easy. I highly recommend him. Sixty or so emails later, I’m happy to unveil my new blog/website.

I hope to post more regularly and put together some tutorials (any requests?) on knitting and designing.

To subscribe to my new blog, click on the RSS feed icon just under my Flickr gallery image in the sidebar or go here.

For now, I’ll leave you with a photo of some gorgeous yarn from a recent trip to Purl. What’s its connection to me (other than my reluctance to have a completely photoless post)? One of them might be featured in an upcoming design.


The Mountain View Cardigan

Posted on | August 31, 2009 | 23 Comments

The Mountain View Cardigan is a long cardigan that skims past the hips and can be worked in a light weight fiber (green sample is knit in Euroflax sportweight linen) for a crisp, drapey cover-all for those warm summer nights. Alternatively, a wooly sock weight yarn (smoke grey sample worked in Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock) worked in a looser gauge than called for on the ball band can make the perfect fall or winter layering garment. Generous lace cuffs grace the long sleeves. The lace in the sleeves is echoed in the wide lace panel in the back which flows into ribbing that cinches in the waist. If you’re new to lace, this is the perfect beginning project. No shaping in lace is required. All the shaping is done in the stockinette portions of the design. Gentle princess line shaping, doubled hems, and delicate shell buttons complete the tailored look. Mountain View, CA is the birthplace of my younger brother, Brian, who also does the graphic layouts of my independent designs. I thought the name particularly apt since this is just the type of cardigan one might wear in the relatively mild climate of the Bay Area. The days are warm, but the lack of humidity tends to generate cool nights; making this cardigan a perfect transition piece that takes you from day to night. The model is my friend, Jess, and photographs are by her husband, Vitaly Fomin.

Finished Size: 31¾ (34¼, 37½, 41¼, 45¼, 48½, 52¼)”/ 80½ (87, 95, 105, 115, 123, 132½)cm bust circumference. Sample measures 34¼”/87cm. Suggested ease: 0”/0 cm to 3”/7½cm positive ease.
Yarn: Euroflax Sportweight Linen (100% linen) 100 grams/270 yards in Willow – 5 (5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8) skeins; or Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock 50 grams/215 yards in Echo – 6 (6, 7, 7, 8, 9, 10) skeins
Needles: Body – Size 4 circular needles. Neck Band and Hems – Size 3 circular needles. Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions: Tapestry needle; stitch holders; stitch markers.
Gauge: 25 sts and 32 rows = 4”/10cm in St st using larger needles.

You can purchase the pattern here via the Ravelry:


Or to purchase the pattern through e-junkie, click on the button below. After payment, an email will be sent to you with a link to the pdf.
Buy Now

Note: You don’t need to be a Ravelry member to purchase downloads via the Ravelry shopping cart. Please email me at changcon_14850@yahoo-dot-com with any questions.

To see more pictures, check out the cardigan’s Flickr album.

Edited: Corrected the yarn amounts. Also, check out Ysolda’s post about my knitting the linen version when she was visiting NYC :)

Contest Winners

Posted on | August 31, 2009 | No Comments

I drew two contest winners using my trusty random number generator in octave.

rachael redrabbit8584-at-aol-dotcom

and amanda kisforknitter-at-gmail-dot-com

I’ll be emailing you both now for your pattern choices. Congratulations and thank you everyone for commenting.

Almost there….

Posted on | August 30, 2009 | 1 Comment

I think I’m on track to release the new design by tomorrow; so if you’re interested in the contest, please leave your email on this post. And thanks so much for your supportive and lovely comments.

Sneak peek of new design

Posted on | August 24, 2009 | 116 Comments

I just got the photos back for my newest independent design from my lovely model, Jess, and her photographer and husband, Vitaly Fomin. More details to follow, but for now, here’s a sneak peek.

To celebrate my newest design, I’m going to hold a contest. Comment and I’ll draw a name out of a hat. Prize will be two of my independent designs, winner’s choice. The possibilities are Versailles Shell, Varese Hoodie, Kowloon Cardigan, Victoria, Garbo, Broderie, and the new design. The contest will be open from now to when I release the design which I anticipate will be in 3 weeks.

Edited to add: If you’d like to be included in the drawing, please leave your email in your comment putting -AT- and -DOT- in the appropriate places to avoid spam trollers.

Twist Collective – Anniversary Issue

Posted on | August 16, 2009 | 8 Comments

The new Twist Collective went up last night and I have a little cardigan in it – Peyton.

It uses Kollage Creamy yarn which, when I opened up the box last spring, I looked at with a healthy dose of skepticism — yarn made out of milk protein? But I’m officially converted. Creamy has a really soft and lovely hand. And it’s extremely comfortable to wear. Although the ball band calls for a fingering gauge, I knit this sweater up in a larger, sport gauge; and the result is a drapey fabric that looks equally great in smooth stockinette and lace.

Peyton is one of those examples of a happy accident. What I originally envisioned for this sweater was a series of half circles on the fronts of a cardigan that, when closed, would form full circles. But I hadn’t anticipated that the increases and decreases involved in making the lace half spirals would distort the shape of the outer edge of the lace. The result is a gently scalloped edge and when I showed the swatches to Kate, I apologetically explained that I had meant the edges to be even and vertical. But she liked the scalloped edges and we decided that putting a few hook and eye closures at the widest point of the half circles would be a cute closure to the cardigan and emphasize the shape of the scallops.

As usual, I love how they styled and photographed Peyton.

Peyton is worked in one piece up to the armholes, where the fronts and back divide and are worked separately. Sleeves are worked flat and then seamed into the armholes. The front bands and collar are picked up and knit and then cast off using the tubular bind off method, leaving a nice rounded, elastic edge.

This issue also marks the one year anniversary of the Twist Collective. Happy anniversary, Twist! Thanks for providing both designers and knitters a great new venue for knitwear design.


Posted on | August 14, 2009 | 5 Comments

I’m super behind posting about my Summer Twist project, Uhura.

For this camisole, I got to use SWTC’s Terra yarn. I had used it for Broderie and I loved it. I find Bamboo too drapey and heavy to use on its own, but paired with cotton (and at a finer gauge), it makes a beautiful fabric; and somehow the blend influences the way the yarn takes up dye, resulting in a delightful tweedy color.

The wonderfully funny Julia named it Uhura (I had rather unimaginatively called it Lace Camisole) and I think it’s so appropriate. There’s something about the bodice band, the keyhole, the notched hem, and of course the color, that is reminiscent of Starfleet uniforms to me.

Here’s a shot of the back:

I made it a modified racerback because I love tanks that cut in a bit more at the armholes at the back. I just find them more flattering and comfortable.

As usual, the folks at Twist photographed and styled the garment perfectly — with a sense of fun and yet showing the details of the garment. It’s obvious that they love knits and have put a lot of thought into how to showcase them. I’m enjoying seeing the first FOs of Uhura crop up on Ravelry.

A new issue of Twist will be out on Sunday. The creative forces behind Twist have put up some great teaser videos here and here. Sunday can’t get here quickly enough!

Breaking out a new Bag

Posted on | August 9, 2009 | 5 Comments

I just picked up this adorable Namaste Zuma bag on Friday from Marie and I’ve already busted it out on Sunday. Usually it takes me a long time between when I purchase something and when I actually use it. Don’t ask me why; it’s a really strange quirk of mine. But my old bag had definitely seen better days and I was excited to use both the Zooma and its coordinating Buddy Case (which has a magnetized interior to help keep darning needles in place – genius!). In my bag, I have some design projects marinating. I’ll be able to share in 6 months or so :)

My husband and I went to brunch with Melissa. It’s always fun to chat with her and to Maurizio’s credit, his eyes didn’t glaze over too much while Melissa and I talked about knitwear design. He even managed to ask a few questions here and there. I have him trained pretty well. After brunch, Melissa and I retired to the T lounge in Chelsea Market for some more knitting (we both have deadlines bearing down on us) while Maurizio went to the Met with a friend of ours from Ithaca. All in all a great Sunday!

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