Monday, August 2, 2010

What a crazy year!! And new designs!! :)

WHEW!! May I just say that this year has been CRAZY so far! I have very much failed at keeping my blog up to date but you can hardly blame me with what's been going on. In February I got engaged, and in March I found out I was pregnant! Yay!! Bryan's workbase changed from Kansas City to Columbia, Missouri as well, so in March we moved. So we have been crazy with planning a wedding, visiting relatives, cooking a baby, finding an apartment in Wisconsin to use as our homebase, and preparing for parenthood! What an incredibly blessed year we've had. :)
You know what was bizarre about the beginning of the pregnancy? As soon as the hormones kicked in I lost all interest in knitting and playing piano for quite awhile! It was the strangest thing! Usually knitting is a pregnant woman's best friend! Well, from March through May all was quiet on the knitting front. Then in June I dusted off the needles and out they came again. Now, just like always, I can't stop! I have so many design ideas too!
And speaking of designs, I finally finished my first ever design that I am actually going to sell on Ravelry. It's very exciting! They're called "Slither Socks," and I used Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in the colorway "Jade" to make them. They're beautiful socks! I'm really pleased at how they turned out! They feature two snakes slithering and weaving their way down your leg and foot with their heads at your toes. There are also growing diamonds created with twisted stitches that fit between the weaving coils of the snakes. I love them! And apparently so do many others! I just posted them for sale two days ago and have already received one sale and many people have marked them as favorites on the website. I'm so happy with how they've done so far! If you are a Ravelry enthusiast, you can check them out or buy them at my Ravelry designer page: Trudy Barrett Designs.
I'd better go now. It's late! But I will tell you that I am 22 weeks along, we're having a girl, and her name will be Matilda. Tilly for short. :) I'm actually designing and knitting her a baby blanket right now out of Madelinetosh Merino Worsted. She gets the good stuff! It's superwash, thankfully, which means it can go in the washing machine. I may be a fiber enthusiast but I am not stupid! I'm not a mother yet but I know enough to know that the washing machine is your best friend for baby items!! lol :) Our wedding is also coming up in 26 days too! So much going on!!
Take care out there, and happy knitting everyone. :) I will try to update more often!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New designs on the needles...


     I haven't posted much lately because I busted the power cord for my laptop and am relying on my Palm Pre for internet access. Luckily it has great internet! It just takes longer to type...
     Well, I did get my sock yarn in the mail and am currently knitting up a design that I came up with. It does need some tweaking though. Designing involves quite a bit of frogging, apparently.
      Meanwhile, I knit up a request from a friend for a little stuffed owl. The design is on Ravelry by Amy Gaines, and is simply called Knit Owl Pattern. It's hopelessly cute. I modified the colors because it's for a baby boy. This was the first toy I  ever knit and I was amazed that it only took two days! I thought it might take a week with all the seaming involved. My favorite part about him was stuffing him. That was so fun! I will definitely be making more stuffed animals! I will add a picture back at home today. My phone won't cooperate right now with the uploading screen.
      And may I just say, check out! They are so wonderful, and I love to send them more business. I am very excited because I have a prize packet coming in the mail soon from them for having ordered over 1700 yards of yarn so far this year. They have an awesome prize system!
       Well, that's all for now. I will add more pictures soon!

Keep on knitting!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

First Sweater Design!

Today was a very long day, and even though it's super late I thought I would post briefly before going to bed because two very important things happened today. At least, shall we say, important in a knitter's universe. The first thing is that I found out why my sock yarn isn't here yet. The post office messed up! AAGH! Every knitter's worst nightmare. Tomorrow is a crazy busy day AND it's the last day I'm in town before heading out for my next roadtrip, but I am determined to track down my yarn and have it in hand before day's end or so help me the post office will rue the day they got between a knitter and her MadTosh sock yarn!! *sNoRt* .........

Okay, sorry. I've calmed down a bit now. In lieu of the delicious sock designing that I could be doing right now, I decided to go a bit further on another design I've had on the needles for a bit: my very first sweater design! I had gotten through the easy bit and was ready to begin the complicated stuff tonight. So after a couple hours of planning and crazy amounts of math and speculation, I began the dreaded decrease and cable rows, which while simple to do when presented with them in a pattern, when confronted with them freestyle it was enough to make my brain hurt! See, the issue isn't so much the pattern itself as it is the sizing. Seeing as this is my very first sweater design, naturally I would want to start with something that is perfectly snug and form-fitting and includes three different types of cables/traveling stitches placed in precise areas on the front of the sweater...... *cough cough*

Well, so far so good. And every way I check it, my math and measurements seem to check out. So here's hoping that it will be enough to help me succeed! Having only ever actually made two tops before this, and those both from given patterns, and having only worked cables once... on a SCARF.... and having never worked traveling stitches before.... I think I'm being a bit ambitious here. But I'll do it! I'm a very determined person, so not figuring it out isn't an option. How much time it takes me? ...Well, that's a very different thing. Ha! We shall see...

For now, it is SO past time for sleeeep! I have some serious sock yarn hunting to do tomorrow! Let alone playing piano for the choir, making a recording, going to the dentist, teaching two students, running to the store, and packing. *sigh* No rest for the weary.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Blankets, babies, and waiting patiently... or not so patiently

Well, I returned home from my trip to visit friends in Champaign, Illinois. It was a VERY fun trip as it involved not only elementary and high school friends, but also BABIES! My high school friend Lauren had her first baby, John, about six weeks ago now, and I got to see his Royal Cuteness for the very first time on Saturday. I presented Lauren with the blanket that I made for her "Little Johnny" - yes, the original shown in the pictures from my new design "Little Johnny's Patchwork Blankie" - and they loved it very much! On my way home yesterday, she texted me this picture:

Isn't that adorable? :) Look at all that spiky hair! He's gellin! the hair sort of way. That or he's a mad scientist. We'll have to wait and find out as he gets older.

Well, now I've got just two more days before I set out once again! This time it's to Marengo, Illinois where my friend Cassandra and many more music friends live. I'm going to be recording backup vocals for the new professional CD she's producing, and I'm very excited to work on it! I'll also be performing at their open mic in Woodstock and meeting up with a few other friends while I'm there. I might even be teaching Cassandra to knit while I'm there!

I'm still waiting on my yarn to get here for my next designing project, so that's on hold for the moment but I should have the yarn before I leave on my trip. Hope so! I'm getting very impatient because I can't wait to start on it! Meanwhile, it's snowing, snowing, snowing here in Kansas City. Lightly, compared to the snow I grew up with in Chicago. But snowing nonetheless. I'm hoping maybe the high school I play piano for will cancel school tomorrow so I can stay home and work on the music I'm going to perform this weekend and the other knitting design that I've been working on for a little while already. No harm in wishful thinking! A girl can dream, right??


Friday, February 5, 2010

New Adventures on Ravelry!

This is just a quick post, as I am about to leave town in about an hour, but I just had to say that I am very excited! Yesterday I opened my Ravelry Pattern Store and officially became a knitting designer! I posted my first pattern for free on Ravelry last night, Little Johnny's Patchwork Blankie, and it has met with what I consider rousing success so far! In just 10 hours my pattern has been downloaded 67 times, which is a very exciting and rewarding feeling. It makes me that much more motivated on the current designs I'm developing! Here is a picture of the finished blanket:

Once I return from my weekend trip, I should have my new order of sock yarn from waiting for me, which is going to become a new sock design that I've been planning out over the past week. It's going to take some trial and error to create it, but as soon as I get it going in a good direction I'll post some pictures as I knit it up. The yarn I chose for this pattern is MadelineTosh's Tosh Sock, which is a lovely soft yarn to knit with. Can't wait to get my hands on it and start putting my idea on the needles!

If you would like to visit my designer store on Ravelry, you can search my name, Trudy Barrett, and it will come up. Have a great weekend and I will see you when I've got new sock yarn on my needles!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Getting this party started....


It's been a while since I posted last. I'm going to try to post more often now. Things have been pretty rocky trying to adjust to my new lifestyle and get things up and running for myself. We've also been traveling quite often. Things are great now. :) I'm starting to feel really great about things.

Our trip to California was EXCELLENT. We crammed a ton of stuff into one week!! We visited with Bryan's relatives in Napa, checked out the town, as well as the surrounding towns of Sonoma, Petaluma, and Sebastopol. We drove through San Fransisco on our way from the airport and walked on the Golden Gate Bridge. We briefly checked out a winery before deciding that the 4th of July weekend was a really bad time to do that. lol We drove up the coastal highway all the way to Crescent City up by the border of Oregon! Along the way we stopped to check out all the towns in Humboldt County, we drove the Avenue of the Giants and got out to explore and climb on fallen redwoods, we stopped at Bodega Bay for an AMAZING seafood dinner and some salt water taffy, stopped at a reservation to get some smoked salmon (WOW!! Can't wait to taste that again!!!), and we went to the Trees of Mystery in Klamath, CA and rode the skytram through the tops of the redwoods! .....WHEW! What a crazy week! It was awesome. I can't wait to go there again in a couple weeks. Of course this time will just be for a few days. You can check out our pictures from the trip at

I've also got my teaching studio up and running now with a small handful of students, and I'm adding more students every week, so that's good. I'm knitting and designing and waiting for more money to come my way so I can buy a ton of yarn to make more awesome things!! :) I'm designing a sweater that will be made out of Malabrigo Silky Merino. SOO pretty and shiny and soft. :) And I'm going to make the Mystic Earth stole (finally) out of Dream In Color Baby in the color Tea Party (a rich brown shade).... For now, I'm working on my Waving Lace socks, and waiting impatiently for the Peacock Feather Shawl pattern to get to me in the mail so I can make it with my Claudia Hand Painted Silk Lace in a bright red color. Woohoo! :)

On another exciting note, I'm starting to write. And this time I think it's the start of something more permanent for me. The other day I had this great idea for a book, and I decided to make a short story out of it first. Kind of like a synopsis. Something I've never done before. And I think that will really help me so that I don't start keep on starting a big long book, getting a few chapters in and not know where to go from there in the storyline, and giving up. If I know the whole story already, then the book length version is simply expanding on that original story. So yeah! I'll let you know how it goes. :) Ever since I was 7, I've wanted to be an author. And that is the one longing that has always been there and never changed or left. I'm going to start following it, damnit!

Well, I'm going to get going now. I have a hot date with some great books next door at Barnes & Noble. :-P ........I like this lifestyle. hahaha.... Oh, oh!! And also I'm going through the background check process to become a volunteer at Crittenton Children's Center, a place for traumatized children. They have a dire need for tutors, so I'm going to be tutoring some young children in math and other subjects. Yay!!

Have a great sunny day!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Woohoo!! The fun times are here!

Well here we finally go. Bryan is officially done with his 3 month probation, and now he gets every other weekend off and a trip home to Napa Valley, CA once a month! We leave for Napa in two days and I CANNOT WAIT!! I've never been to northern California at all, and I've always wanted to go. This is going to be so much fun! I will have my camera and video camera and will be posting a bunch of stuff as soon as we get back I'm sure. Today is all about doing laundry and other things to get ready to go.

So when we fly into Oakland, the first thing we're going to do is pick up our rental car and cruise the long way home via the Golden Gate Bridge because I've always wanted to see it. Bryan said we can walk around on it. That would be awesome. :) Then we're going to his Grandma's house, which is where we'll be staying for a few days. That's in Napa. We'll be exploring the town he grew up in, and doing a little bit of wine tasting probably. We're also going to do a lot of walking/driving around exploring the beautiful countryside. Then we're going to head down Highway 101 along the coast either north to stay by Humboldt and the redwoods at the Avenue of the Giants and everything, or we'll head south to stay by Big Sur and the Monterey Bay Aquarium and stuff. Oh, decisions.... :) My cameras are ready and waiting!!

In other good news, I believe I've chosen a studio! It's called the Rogers Foundation of Music, and I'll have a good-sized studio there as well as gaining access to free private lessons in jazz/improv and recording. I'll also have free unlimited access to a recording studio for me and my students, and might even have an opportunity to do some paid-to-sing type gigs recording on various recording projects they do there. I'm excited! It's going to be very nice.

We've been exploring the city a little more lately, and we went to the World War 1 Museum last weekend. That was pretty neat. I have some favorite restaurants and hangouts now, and I can even go to the Kansas City Conservatory to play the uprights and grands in their practice rooms. So that's nice too. One place I know I want to revisit is the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum, which is free all day every day. There's some rooms I haven't seen yet. And I want to go to The Yarn Barn in Lawrence, Kansas about an hour away from here!! It's an incredible warehouse-sized mecca of yarn and spinning and all things fiber. :-P Mmmmm..... yarn, needles, drop spindles....

Speaking of knitting, I've been taking a break lately but not by choice!! I just realized that the yarn I bought for this amazing shawl was completely wrong for the project. Not even close to thick enough! :( And we're short on cash at the moment but all that will change in a month. However, I did a yarn swap recently through Ravelry, and my partner sent me the coolest yarns. :) I've decided to use a really cool sock pattern I've been wanting to try in this fingering-weight hand-painted sock yarn that she got me. It's these gorgeous colors of maroon and emerald with a touch of cream. It's going to be really pretty! I hope I can modify the gauge enough to be small enough for my feet! The trouble is that the yarn is heavier than the pattern calls for, and the pattern itself is already too big for my feet. lol But I went down a needle size, and I think I'm going to change the pattern a bit too. It's an easy one to modify, so that's why I picked it. Right now I'm fighting with the tangly mess I made of the skein trying to wind it into a ball, but as soon as that fiasco is over I'll be making pretty things with string again before you can say, "Bob's your uncle." lol :)

Well I'd better go. Mountains of laundry await.....