Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I've moved to Wordpress

I have been evaluating my blogging needs and sadly blogger cannot support all my needs at this time. So I've decided to migrate this blog to WordPress. Check it out here: http://karako17.wordpress.com.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Oh Caryl (Carol)

Yesterday, the Creative Director, Joe, started singing this song called "Oh Carol" when he introduced me to Nicky Epstein. I asked him who sang that since I'd wanted a song with Caryl (Carol) in it forever. I bogarted Sweet Caroline as my song calling it Sweet Carol - ine. Today, when he introduced me to the photographer, he again started singing the song. This led to us wanting to know who sang it.

Here is my new theme song. By Neil Sedaka.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Meeting Nicky

Today I worked (interned) at a Soho Publishing photo shoot. First thing I had to do was put all the clothes from a trunk on hangers onto a rack. Then I had to steam iron all of them. I got a few steam burns - steam hurts!

Then during breakfast, a woman showed up and I was introduced to her as Nicky, the designer. I was like "Hmmm... I only know one knit designer named Nicky." So I asked the assistant to the Creative Director what Nicky's last name was and as you can guess it was Epstein. I was a bit thrilled. We were shooting a Fall booklet of Nicky's latest designs.

Nicky was awesome. During some quiet times, I sat knitting so she came and talked to me about it. I told her I was trying to be a designer and happened to have my Paluk snood on me. She looked at it and I could tell she wasn't impressed. Then she was like, if I want to get noticed as a designer, I need my work to stand out. So when we would shoot a new sweater, she'd take me to the side and ask me what made that sweater stand out and give me advice on the kind of things I could do to get my work to pop. It was a great learning experience for me and I wrote down some notes of what she said.

The Creative Director was also really cool and genuinely chatted with me. I found his assistant less than cool. I'm finding (and I don't know if it's a NY thing) but people don't seem to really care much about you. When I first got back and saw my family at our first family get together, you'd think after years of not seeing me they might be interested in what I'd been up to. Nope, they were like hi, nice to see you again and just went on discussing hum drum life things. I'm finding the same interning at Vogue Knitting. Being the new person around, I thought people would be a bit curious about me and ask questions but they're not. I think most of them assume I'm a college student interning at the place and that's that. It's a bit annoying but what can you do. It's weird to be 30 years old, having had a fairly interesting life and no one caring at all. Overall I'm having a tough time finding my place in this city. I don't want to go around putting myself forward, that's just not my style, but it seems the only way to even get noticed.

Here are a few pics from my day. Lots more on Flickr. Sadly I only had my crappy point and shoot on me so the pics aren't amazing.

Friday, April 2, 2010

What a day!

Today has been a harrowing day. It started out well. I'd been working on a sock design for a while. While I love knitting socks, I hadn't really thought of designing any. Then I saw information about this sock revived design contest and decided I had to enter the fray. I knew I wanted to design something using colorwork since I've been on a color kick lately. From my library I was able to get Vogue's Color Knitting Stitionary and found a stitch pattern I really loved. I was able to then visualize the pattern and needed yarn to make it happen. I had a trip to Madison, WI and at the Madison Knitter's Guild knit-in I found the two perfect skeins. It actually wasn't that difficult as most skeins of fingering weight yarn there were variegated and I wanted solid. Those two colors called to me and I liked the idea of knitting from a small, local Madison vendor.

My two skeins of yarn:

I then started knitting and taking notes as I went along. After the heel flap I knew I wouldn't want to attempt to try to decrease in that pattern so I thought, stripes! why not stripes?!? I kept going and the last couple of days I photographed my finished prototype and wrote up the pattern.

I named these socks: Electric Boogaloo because for some reason I thought disco. I discussed the naming with a friend and I've now decided the final name will be 'Circuitry' (friend's suggestion).

Then today, April Fool's, I decided to solicit test knitters. Knowing that socks aren't to everyone's tastes I decided to ask for test knitters on one of the sock forums on ravelry. I got lots of volunteers and lots of compliments and was feeling good.

As you can imagine, a great fall was to come. Someone pointed out these socks to me. I'd never seen them before and now I looked like I copied her design. I was pretty distraught because a lot of work had gone into my sock design and I couldn't believe that I'd have to scrap the whole thing. I sought advice from other rav friends and just kept thinking "this was all for nothing". I then decided I'd message the other designer and ask her thoughts on the matter. She was absolutely lovely and told me I should go ahead and publish my design. She also posted on the thread to let people know that we had discussed the situation privately and that she believed me to have designed mine independently and that she thought I should publish my socks as well. I was really happy for that. It just took a huge load off.

So now I'm going to go ahead with those socks. I do try to do some research before publishing a design but it's tough with so many patterns out there. And really, I don't know how I could have searched to find another sock with that similar stitch design.

What a day!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Stop the Presses...

Well yesterday was a crazy day. Back on Feb 22 I applied for a job with World Teach, a volunteer organization, as the Summer Program Coordinator for their Ecuador program. After a few weeks had passed and I hadn't heard back from them I assumed that they weren't interested in me for the position. Anyhow, yesterday I heard from them. They said that due to the Chile earthquake and the program over there the job hiring process had been sidelined. So interviews were scheduled for today: one with the hiring person in Cambridge, Mass and another with the Field Director in Ecuador. Last night I was watching the Spanish-speaking station (the second interview was partly in Spanish) to try to get used to listening to Spanish and just trying to prep for it.

The interviews went well but they were phone interviews so you can't really be sure that it all went as you might interpret. So I was happily surprised when at 6pm I received the following in an email: "It is my pleasure to offer you the position of Ecuador Summer Program Coordinator." Then mid-reading the email my phone rang and it was them saying that I'd gotten the job. Yippee!!!

Now they'd like me to start (meaning fly to Ecuador) on April 19th. It's all so soon but so exciting as well.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Roku means six in Japanese. With the changing weather and my love for color, I've wanted to design items using colorwork. These mitts have been knocking around my mind for a while and they put me in mind of technology, futuristic, words like that. I kept trying to come up with a name for the design and then 'Roku' came to mind. These mitts will be my sixth pattern published since I began publishing patterns. It also has the right sound for what I'm hoping to achieve with this pattern.

It's interesting knitting what you have in your head. The colorwork bit came from a Vogue Colorwork Stitchionary. I saw that stitch pattern and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. I was also happy that it used slip stitches rather than stranding colorwork. I call it color without the work. :-) But through the knitting process, I found that my vision didn't completely translate the way I'd seen it. I'd planned on having the colorwork cuff, then knit the body of the mitt in blue as is and then do a ribbed border for the top and the thumb using the contrast color. As I knit it, it was just terrible looking. And so instead I decided to incorporate the cuff design into the top border.
Then I was of two minds on the thumb and I'm still of two minds.

I thought stripes would be fierce (as Tyra Banks would say):

But then I thought it would be nice to incorporate the Tweed colorwork from the cuff.

So I did both and in the end decided to include the instructions on how to do each as part of the pattern. That way the knitter can decide which she prefers or like me, might do one of each.

Pattern: Roku
Yarn: Any DK weight yarn; in the photo Malabrigo Silky Merino MC: Teal Feather, CC: Topaz

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Madison Trip

Andrea and I casting on for Little Birds

This is way late for posting this but I spent the last half of last week in Madison, WI. It was a pretty great knitstravaganza time. Andrea (ravname: Selkie), co-Mod on the Anthropologie Knits group on ravelry, hosted me in Madison and she was definitely the hostess with the mostest. Her husband Jason was lovely and while Kaiser wasn't too happy with me, he was such a cutie that I didn't mind.

The lovely Kaiser [ganked from Andrea's flickr]


Andrea was lovely and took the day off on Friday for us to go yarn crawling. We started at Off the Beaten Path but it was not a happy place. It was a yarn shop caught in a time warp - like going back into the 80s. The yarn choices were sad and the colors were worse. It just wasn't a shop to inspire.

We then headed to The Knitting Tree which was a huge improvement on Off the Beaten Path. I was hoping to buy some Malabrigo there but they had about four skeins in the store. They were waiting for a new shipment. They had tons of pattern booklets, magazines and books there. I bought Made in Brooklyn which I'd really wanted but couldn't get at any of the yarn stores I frequent in NYC. Ironic, I know.

After that was Lakeside Fibers. That store was just sad. They had so little stock and the shop just seemed like it was weeks away from closing. The cafe was great and busy. The baristas engaged us in some convo about zodiac signs. I mentioned I was Scorpio and the guy working there stared me deeply in the eyes and asked if we scorpions had piercing? seductive? eyes. That's the problem with waiting too late to post, you forget the exact words. I also met up with my ex. He lives about a 5 min walk from Lakeside Fibers. Had plans gone accordingly, I too would have been living around 5 min from Lakeside Fibers but plans changed.

Our final stop was The Sow's Ear in Verona. That was a much better stop. The Sows Ear was friendly and warm and I enjoyed my Chicken Salad sandwich. I also got the yarn for my Little Birds cardigan. I got Jamieson Shetland Spindrift in maroon as the main color. Then a lovely aqua blue for the birds and for the leaves, Isager yarn in gold.
That evening we went to Tex Tubbs which was yummy. I haven't found any good Mexican food in NYC so it was nice to have some good food (even if it may be deemed TexMex). The wet burrito was delish and the Frito pie was strange but tasty. It was an open bag of Fritos covered in cheese, beans and other yummy nacho toppings.

After that we headed to the movies to see Alice in Wonderland. It was good fun. It was especially great when Andrea burst out laughing during the scene between the red queen and the frogs. No one else was laughing and she was losing it. It was great. It got quite a lot of people in the theater laughing to (including me) just because she couldn't stop the laughter.

Later on that evening, I was not feeling well. I'm allergic to dogs and my breathing was really, really bad. I was starting to panic a bit because I felt like something was very wrong. Jason drove me to Walgreens where the surly pharmacist suggested that I go to the ER for an epinephrine shot and some prednizone. Due to my recent return to the US and being unemployed, I'm also without insurance so I wasn't too thrilled at that prospect. Jason and Andrea called their friend Carla who we'd run into at the restaurant earlier to see if she'd let me use her inhaler. Thank goodness for that. Ventolin was my savior.


Me admiring this rug knit by Ann. She just happened to be signing some books next to me and was roped into taking a photo with me. Also, I'm wearing my Ulmus which was a huge hit with the Madison knitters.

On Saturday we went to the Madison Knitter's Guild Knit-in. There we listened to a presentation by the two women of Mason-Dixon knitting. They were very folksy and funny. I especially loved their clip "Grey Garments". It's hilarious!

Here's Andrea checking out some of Ann's and Kay's knitted blankets:

We then hit the vendors. I bought some yarn from Sun Valley Fibers, a local Madison vendor, for a sock design that I'm hoping to enter in the Sock Revived contest. I also got a gorgeous shawl pin seen here in my Elysium photo. I finished knitting this cardigan while in Madison. It was my traveling project.

I also got a lovely project bag and some lovely, soft Peruvian Tweed from Ewetopian Fibers.

After fun at the knit-in, we headed to the UW Memorial Union to wait for my bus to Chicago. Jason showed up. During breakfast I bragged about what a great scrabble player I was and Jay, a competitive spirit, wanted to show me. :-) Andrea is also very competitive and we got to playing. I'm going to sound a bit conceited but I schooled them both. (I'm super competitive and pretty much only watch competitive TV - sports, game shows and reality shows like Project Runway and America's Next Top Model). Andrea and I also managed to cast on our Little Birds cardigans.

It was an awesome trip and Andrea and Jason were awesome hosts and I def want to visit again.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

On the road...

I've been lamenting the lack of travel in my life lately and so I'm happy to be off on a short trip to the Midwest. I'm really looking forward to hanging out with Andrea (AKA Selkie) in Madison. Yarn crawl, Madison Knitting Guild event with the Mason-Dixon peeps, I can't wait! A lovely knitstravaganza long weekend. :-)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Goal Attained: Paluk Snood

One of my New Years goals was to publish at least 4 patterns this year. I had no clue that I would manage to accomplish that by March 8th but I have. Today I uploaded another pattern to my ravelry store. This pattern is: Paluk Snood It's downloadable from ravelry or non-ravelry users can use the link in the sidebar of this blog.

It's knit using Malabrigo Silky Merino but would work in any DK weight drapey yarn. It can be worn as a cowl or a snood.

Here are some photos:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fame! (15 min of Italian fame)

A few weeks ago, a fellow raveler messaged me and asked if she could feature my pattern for Sweet November Shawl in the knit/crochet section of an Italian online mag called Leiweb. Obviously I said yes. Anyhow, the post featuring the Sweet November pattern was published today. It's about how film inspires knitting. I quite like this section:

"La talentuosa Caryl Pierre (qui il suo blog e qui il suo Etsy shop) ha da poco rilasciato, infatti, lo Sweet November Knit Shawl, per cui ho giĆ  chiesto e ricevuto dall’autrice l’autorizzazione a realizzare una traduzione in italiano."

I don't understand much of it but I like "La talentuosa Caryl Pierre". Maybe a movie title, a psycho knitting woman who befriends a couple and finds ways to eliminate the guy because of a Sappho-like love of the female member of the couple. :-)

In other news, I knit a tweed version of my Jay Street Slouch. I just wanted to see it in tweed. I thought the tweed would really lend itself to the seed stitch.

Pattern: Jay Street Slouch by Caryl Pierre
Yarn: Peace Fleece Worsted (0.8 skein) Siberian Midnight

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hot off the presses...

I've released a new pattern. It's the Jay Street Slouch.

This hat is knit in worsted weight yarn. It's photographed in Malabrigo Merino Worsted (colorwary: Rhodesian).

The pattern can be downloaded from ravelry (click link above) or from the sidebar of this blog (both ravelry and non-ravelry users can use that link).

Snowpocalype - The Sequel

It seems that winter is in no mood to let go. There were a few sunny days, then very rainy and then snowpocalype. My brother's school was closed today which I think made him very happy as he would have had to take a test otherwise.

Life lately had been up and down - almost manic depressive I'd say. I had a decent job interview and was told there would be a second one. I waited, checked in with my agency, waited and waited, checked in with my agency again and they told me, oops, the Company had called to say they'd found someone else. Sorry for not letting me know. Sucky, eh?

Then I had a dream job, working one day a week at a yarn shop. This led to meeting a lovely woman who provided me with some freelance work. Just as I started the freelance, the yarn shop said that she didn't really need me. So now no yarn shop job. I can still teach classes at the shop but I feel like I'm moving backwards.

It's kind of the same with my Etsy shop. A couple of days will go by with decent sales and then nothing for weeks. It's really hard trying to run an online business.

I sound really down, don't I? I'm a bit upset at the moment and kicking myself for accidentally repeating a mistake. I guess I'm on the depressive spectrum of this manic depressive life that's going on right now.

I did manage to go outside for a little while to take some snow pics.

Friday, February 19, 2010

And the medal goes to...


I completed my first Ravelympics event, the Designer Original Dance, and so won a medal for the following design.

Jay Street Slouch

I named it the Jay Street Slouch as the inspiration for this hat came as I was standing on the Jay St-Borough Hall platform waiting for the F train.

When I write up this pattern it will be sized for the S/M head and the M/L head. It uses approx. 80 grams of Malabrigo Worsted yarn (colorway Rhodesian in photo) or any other worsted weight yarn.

Back view

Other views

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Twist and Shout

Yesterday, I had day 2 of work at Gotham Fine Yarn. It was a busy day. We're looking to change the yarns carried by the shop so I spent a lot of the day on the phone talking to yarn suppliers to find out their policies and buy-ins. I suggested String Theory yarns to Rebecca. I saw their stuff at Stitches East and it's beautiful stuff. Rebecca loves it to so we're going to order a bit of the Caper sock and some of the silk laceweight. I can't wait!

I also managed to leave work at a deficit. The box of Malabrigo Twist arrived and I was like a kid in a candy store. OMG! The colors were so beautiful. I totally ended up leaving the store with a few new Malabrigo buddies in my Argyle Land's End tote. I love that tote so had to give it a bit of a big up (pic stolen from Land's End site). A skein of MadTosh also desperately needed a new home and I couldn't say no.

I arrived home and a new camera I ordered had arrived. I'm really excited about this. It's a Canon Rebel XS. My first DSLR.

It's pretty much a DSLR for beginners which is me to the T. I got mine from PrimoCameras which I must say is a disappointing online shop. The prices are a bit cheaper but the service is pretty horrible. I was a bit annoyed when they called to upsell me and tried to convince me I needed stuff which I didn't. Then I assumed the item had been shipped once I saw it was charged to my card. A week passed with no delivery so the next week I called and asked about it. They told me it had shipped from their warehouse the Monday before. They sent no email with shipping confirmation. I gave it another week. Then this past Monday I got a it's been shipped email. That's nearly 3 weeks after I placed the order. I recognize the camera isn't a life and death situation but the lack of communication etc was totally uncool. Also, their website states that when you buy a camera you receive free: tripod, camera case, lens cleaning kit, etc. Guess whose order arrived with none of that stuff. I just called them and it will be sent to me via USPS.

Well I'm a bit inspired to knit this hat so going to work on it now. I also want to work on my Ravelympics project.

Arsenal is playing Porto in the Champions League.

Go Arsenal!!! And its Arsenal,Arsenal FC !
We're by far the greatest team the world has ever seen!"

Friday, February 12, 2010

Paluk Mitts Pattern

Yesterday I released another pattern. These are my Paluk Mitts. These lace mitts are knit using the Lingonberry pattern (pohlamarjakiri) from Haapsalu Ratik, New York 1972 (republished in Nancy Bush’s Knitted Lace of Estonia). Paluk is a common name for Lingonberry in Estonia. These mitts are inspired by the Regency period in England; I’m a great Jane Austen fan and I could see Elizabeth Bennett or many other Jane Austen characters wearing these feminine mitts.

The mitts pattern can be downloaded from Ravelry or from the sidebar (raverly and non-ravelry users).

Skill Level: Intermediate or adventurous beginner

Yarn: approx. 110-140 yards fingering weight yarn for main color (MC) and 35-40 yards fingering weight yarn for contrast color.
Used in photo: Louet Gems Fingering Yarn (MC: Aqua, CC: Paisley)

These mitts provide both written and charted instructions of the lace repeat.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snowpocalype Now

It's snowing outside and they're expecting a snowpocalype overnight (some are saying snowmageddon). Many companies have told workers to stay home and most skills have closed so my brother will be home all tomorrow. I have no outside obligations tomorrow so it will be hot chocolate, movies/TV and knitting. I have a crap load of knitting I need to get done. I'll be teaching a lace class at Gotham Fine Yarn from Feb 23 and I want to knit up some samples of the Swallowtail Shawl for my students to look at. If you're in NYC and want to do some lace knitting, please do sign up. Should be good fun.

In addition to my lace class, I've also managed to snag some part-time work at Gotham Fine Yarn. Today was my first day and it was good fun. I love knitting, I love yarn so it's a dream job really. The only downside is that I can't see myself making much money. I'm pretty much going to spend my pay immediately on the fine yarns :-).

Tomorrow I'll head out to take some fun pics in the snow. I do like a good snowstorm. :-)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Easy Money

I’ve just made the easiest money I’ve ever made (or potentially will make). Being unemployed, I’ve signed up to do focus groups and the like and finally got invited to do one. It was for L’Oreal (though handled by a focus group company) and I was going to be paid $150 for 2 hours of focus grouping. I thought that was super easy money. I did have to do homework however. As a non-regular L’Oreal user (I tend to be buy whatever is on sale kind of girl), I had to buy something L’Oreal, use it for a few days, write a diary of how I felt using it and fill out a questionnaire. Nothing too too painful. Anyhow, I arrive 15 min early to the center as requested and sign in and wait. They then call all our names and ask if we did our homework. Then they started calling people’s names to enter the focus group room. At the end they called my name and another woman, Jennifer, and asked us to wait in the lobby. We were then informed that they always overbook these sessions just in case people don’t show up. We were asked to wait another 15 min in case someone was asked to leave from the group. Then we were called to the front desk, asked to initial the sign in sheet, and handed our checks for $150. I’m thinking that’s pretty easy money… :-)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sweet November Shawl

For 2010, I plan to release at least 4 patterns and here's the first one. This one isn't original in that I didn't come up with the look; however, I saw this shawl/scarf in the movie "Sweet November" and had to make it. Charlize Theron wore this shawl/scarf in various colors throughout the movie and while the movie was not really my cup of tea, I couldn’t take my eyes off the scarf. As soon as the movie ended, I wanted to knit the shawl but considered that others had probably thought the same. I googled ‘sweet november scarf’ and found a number of crocheted versions of the shawl. While I can crochet, I thought it would be cool to work out how to knit it. Thus, the ‘Sweet November Knit Shawl’.

Here's Charlize Theron in the shawl:

My Version:

A copy of the pattern is available from my sidebar or can be downloaded from ravelry (for those that want to be able to save the pattern to their rav library). It's a free pattern: download now

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sun and Wind

After a day of storming yesterday, today has been absolutely beautiful. I woke up and went for a run. Then I convinced a friend to come out to take photos of my new FOs. It was so great outside. The wind was blowing furiously but the sun was shining and it was a great day to catch up on my vitamin D.

Anyhow here are some photos from my day out:

First, a new shawl I designed based on the shawl Charlize Theron wore throughout the movie Sweet November.

Then here's Damson designed by Ysolda Teague:

A Hat Fit for my Brother designed by Stephanie Nicole

And lots of mitten photos:

1. Original design which will be released soon: Paluk Mitts

2. Zephyr Mittens designed by Tracey Grzegorczyk

3. Spiraluscious Mitts by Anne Hanson