Friday, April 26, 2013

Catching Up

The last few weeks that lead up to Maryland Sheep & Wool always have me trying to keep up with everything that needs to be done.  There is a lot of behind the scenes work for Shalimar that gets done ahead of time, then getting everything here at home ready to go is a whole nuther issue.  Our dog is getting older and requires medication three times a day now.  Plus we have a house rabbit.  We have a wonderful pet sitter who comes and stays here.  I don't know what we would do without her!  This year she rearranged her annual camping trip to take care of our critters.  Thank you Lea, you rock!

There are two secret projects that Ive been working on and Beth has test knitted.  One of them will be released sometime next month.  The other one won't be until later in the year.  It's all very exciting and rather 007ish.  So while I can't really talk about what Ive been designing, I can talk about what we have been up to and what Ive been knitting for fun.

Last weekend we went fishing on Sunday.  It was freezing cold and very windy.  It was so cold that my fingers went numb.  I know your thinking, why would you go fishing when it's nice and warm at the house and there are things to knit?  I enjoy fishing and especially getting to spend time with Andy.  He's a trooper and comes to all my fiber and knitting things and is wonderfully supportive.  So Im not going to complain about nearly freezing to death being a little chilly.  Plus for the second weekend in a row, I outfished him.  Yes that's right, I outfished Fishing Yoda.  I have a feeling that may change this weekend, but for now I am the 2013 Fishing Champion of our house.  I need to be careful with that though.  I lost a serious bet to Andy a few years ago and wound up making him a pie all from scratch.

Ive been knitting away on my Audrey in Unst.  Love the pattern and the fit.  The yarn is Breathless DK in Copper Pennies and I can't say enough about how much I'm enjoying knitting with it.  Im hoping to have it done in the next day or so.  All that is left is the neck band and button bands. 

Ive also been working on the everlasting hexipuff project.  Earlier this year Kyle Kunnecke was kind enough to share the hexi's he made with me.  They are the cute ones at the top in gray, turquoise and lime.  I love them and someday before the end of time the quilt will finally be done.  I have 219 of them total.  384 of them will make a small quilt.  It's good to know that it's halfway done.  We have a few road trips planned this year and I plan to work on the hexis then. 

My very good friend Stephanie and her family recently adopted a Doberman from a rescue after their older Dobie passed away.  This guys name is Zeus and he's a whole bunch of fun in a giant puppy body.

They had only had him a short time and had to rush him in for emergency stomach surgery.  Something they hadn't been prepared for, and it was astronomically expensive.  Anyone that has pet's knows that vet bills can be expensive, but this vet bill was over and beyond expensive.

The Doberman Rescue is helping out by having a raffle this weekend.  If you are in the area and can help out by purchasing a ticket here they will be at:

DAR&E Spring BBQ
Bennett Cerf Park
544 Manchester Rd
Westminster, Md
April 27, 2013
noon until 4 pm
There are some great things that people have donated for the raffle including yarn and there is a gift certificate to my pattern shop as well. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

There are some weeks when time just seems to fly by and I kind of wonder where it went.  Andy and I have been working out in the yard and garden almost every night this week.  We have been debating on what to do with the flower garden that quickly became a jungle last year.  It's nearly impossible for me to work on it in the warmer months when the bee's are out.  I'm extremely allergic to bee stings as well as several other biting and stinging insects which makes gardening a bit tricky.  We have decided to take out most of the flowering plants and just leave a few of our favorites.  One of my personal favorites is our Columbine.  It never fails to produce beautiful flowers and has made a few babies.  We are also keeping all of our herb plants since we both enjoy cooking with them. I'm hoping by the end of next week that the garden looks good enough to take some full pictures of to post here.

I'm so excited to announce that Candy Necklace is now available on Ravelry!  It's a really fun and easy pattern.  If you have wanted to try knitting lace or get started in shawl knitting, this patten is a great way to start.  It's both charted and written and comes with diagrams and a schematic.  A HUGE thank you goes out to Beth, Linda and Debbie for test knitting.

Linda's Candy Necklace in 

 Beth's Candy Necklace
 Sorry, I can't remember the yarn she used.  I think it's a Rowan Cotton.  It was quite lovely when  saw it in   person.

The original Candy Necklace in Cephalopod Bugga Mantis Shrimp

 I've started a page on Facebook for Lara Smoot Designs. I will be posting specials, coupons and other goodies (like free pattern give aways!) on there from time to time.  I hope you will come find me there.  I would love to see what you are making!

PS We went fishing last Sunday.  So far this year I have caught the most fish!  I caught one tiny bass, about the size of my hand.  So small that Andy had to remove the hook so I wouldn't get stuck in the finger.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Spring Has Sprung

It seems that spring is finally here.  It began with fits and starts of warm weather mixed with freezing cold days and snow.  Normally we have a bit of a grace period where it's warm enough to open the windows during the day and the heat or air conditioning doesn't need to run.  This year the heat was on one day and literally the next day it was in the 80's.  So much for getting to wear those fun in-between season knit sweaters!

Ive been working on Ardelise.  It's a fun and easy pattern. I wound up going a needle size to get gauge.  I think knitting all those socks recently has tightened me up a bit!

Audrey in Unst is also coming along nicely.  Breathless DK is really a dream to knit with!  Im going to try to grab all I can laughing like a lunatic get some more while we are MDSW next month. Im thinking of Oyster or Black Truffle which are two of my all time favorite colors, but haven't made my mind up yet.  I guess it would help if I had a pattern in mind!  The fronts are almost done.

  Ug! My camera is not cooperating with me today. The color is really stunning in person.

Candy Necklace should be released next week.  I am super excited about it!  Here is a sneak peek from our photo shoot:

 It's a really fun and quick knit and perfect for spring.

Ive also started a test knit for the Shalimar Indulge Me! Club.  It's from Tabetha Hedrick and a lovely pattern.  As soon as I saw the picture for it, I knew I would love knitting it!  I can't show any details right now, but as soon as the club members receive their yarn and pattern I will post the test knit.

I also have two secret patterns in the works.  One will be coming out within the next few weeks and the other one may not be out until later this summer.  Im so excited about both of them!  Beth is test knitting both of them, but I doubt you will be able to get any info out of her.  She is really good at keeping a secret!  And her model, Daisy won't tell either.

That's the Tuesday Night Cowl that Beth knitted for her sister for Christmas.  I wonder if she knows that Daisy modeled it first?

Ive created a page for my designs on Facebook: Lara Smoot Designs  I will be posting new promotions and coupons there throughout the year.  If you are on Facebook, I would love it if you would like my page!

Friday, April 5, 2013

On Stranger Tides

I have had so much fun designing On Stranger Tides.  Not only was it a blast to knit (I'm casting on for a second pair), but there were so many fun ideas that I had for the pattern layout.  I don't want to give anything away, but it's full of intriguing graphics and definitely ocean themed!  Ive always loved sea creatures and the mysteries of the deep.  When I was a kid and got to go to Disney World one of my favorite rides was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  Towards the end of the ride a giant squid would wrap it's tentacles around the submarine we were riding in.  That was my inspiration for the pattern logo.

 Shown in Sanguine Gryphon Bugga Satin Green Forester

The pattern design was inspired by the lacy plants and tentacled creatures that live in the tropical waters of the warm Caribbean.

 Shannon did a fantastic job test knitting and should have her socks up on Ravelry in a few days.  She's on a much needed long weekend with her hubby.  I managed to coerce her into a quick photo shoot after knitting the other day at the library. I think they look great in this lovely blue yarn too.  It's Dream in Color in the Superhero colorway.

Use coupon code: Tentacle on Ravelry for $1.00 off of On Stranger Tides.  The coupon is good through Sunday April 7.  

Ive been very honored to have my Ferry Beach pattern nominated in the Socks that Rawk group for their Q2 KAL.

Saturday update!  Ferry Beach made it to the finals for the Q2 KAL!