River Colors Studio Yarns

River Colors Journal

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

July Neighborhood Teaser by Rachel
As you all can probably tell by now, I love Cleveland's beautiful skyline and I'm continually obsessed with finding different points in the city from which I can see it.  So I was thrilled when I found a new spot with a front row seat while out and about on my adventures in the neighborhoods.  Thanks to the summer collaboration between Inner Bliss Yoga and the Tremont Athletic Club, I've had the fortunate opportunity to practice rooftop yoga at the historic Creamery building in Tremont.  Not only is this fabulous Sunday morning class free of charge, but it offers the chance to see a beautiful Cleveland landmark and best of all, when I stepped out onto the roof, I was facing straight ahead into downtown!

So along those same lines, my July teaser is also of a view of our city skyline.  Some of you may easily recognize this point depending on how much time you spent there over past years.  This section of Cleveland has definitely seen its thriving times and its slower times, but it is in the midst of a huge revitalization at present and I cannot wait to revisit and spend some time back here in this place along the water. "Summer Nights" is a perfect way to describe what I think of  when I think of this neighborhood.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Discussions around the table-"on the needles"
Recently a discussion arose around the table at River Colors Studio.  A customer came in looking for the right yarn for a new project, found it, happily purchased it and then sat down at the table and pulled out a different work in progress.  She had been so excited about the yarn for the new project that I was surprised she wasn’t already beginning to cast it on.  Oh, no, she said.  She had to finish what she was currently working on before she started a new project.

I admire that attitude and said so.  It is, however, not at all how I knit, and I said that, too.  Well, it would be okay to have two or three projects on the needles, so that you could alternate between them.  Sometimes you have to rest your wrists or your eyes, and some projects are just not good for social knitting occasions.  Everyone around the table agreed that a little variety was a good thing.

Just a minute, I said.  What constitutes “on the needles?” I asked.  Because there’s the stuff that I consider current projects, which the people with whom I live consider the clutter around my favorite knitting chair.  But I have far more projects than that actually “on needles.”

Gretchen made a good point: And if it’s more than just knitting, well, around my chair I have crochet projects, plus my drop spindle and the yarn I’m currently plying.  It’s all work in progress.  There were some nods of recognition around the table.  

But the stuff that’s in a project bag which has been relegated to the chest or the closet—it’s on the needles, but it’s not exactly in progress at the moment.  Or possibly for many moments in the past.  Yet I may still believe it has a future, so I am not yet willing to frog it.  There are a lot of projects like that in my craft area.  I think of them as gratification in waiting.  A hat that really just needs one more repeat of the lace pattern and then the crown decreases?  That’s a weekend of my time that will result in a gift ready for some occasion.  The sweater that’s in the middle of the boring stockinette part?  I might be waiting for a bad cold or a sprained ankle, but eventually that project will be exactly what I want in my hands.  So it stays on the needles, waiting for its moment.

That I am more than okay with these projects lying in a state of unfinished rest, neither ready to re-purpose the yarn nor finish the garment, clearly marks me as a “process knitter.”  I am captivated by the “how” of the stitch, the pattern, the construction—it’s a puzzle I want to solve.  Very rarely do I knit something because I want the object.  If I’m doing that, I have a deadline and those who have followed the progress of the pink chevron shawl have actually seen me work at one project steadily until it was done.  Well, there might have been some breaks for a pair of socks and a square for my Noro blanket, both projects that pre-date the pink chevron shawl by months, if not years.
Pictured above are the projects I consider currently "on the needles" on my favorite chair (and ottoman).  Clockwise from the Limited bag, I have Outlier  (shawlish), The Vampyre (shawl), Kirsten's Mittens, Chevron Shawl, bag of Noro squares for the Paintbox blanket, Mo Nighean Donn (shawl) and in the middle, a pair of socks.

The fact of the matter is that I am the master of my knitting.  There are no Knitting Police, and since it’s a hobby that brings me a great deal of pleasure, I do it the way I am moved to do it.  There’s no wrong way to enjoy knitting, except by turning it into an obligation.


Thursday, June 04, 2015

June Colors of Cleveland Teaser

June's neighborhood is one of the newest named neighborhoods in Cleveland, but has some of the oldest roots. (Doesn't that pretty much characterize our whole city--new energy revitalizing many layers of tradition and history?)

This neighborhood is a daily drive-by for many; it requires getting off the highways and main roads to find the treasures hidden within it.   Neighborhood life spills out into the street as the weather warms with a Sunday Market, Wednesday concerts and weekend events.   Small businesses dedicated to doing one thing perfectly complement each other along its commercial district.

This month's palette is inspired by the fresh colors of the local florist and the juice bar; the great views from the upper stories of building in the area and the sunshine that I associate with a fun and energizing day in June's Colors of Cleveland neighborhood.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Setting Realistic Knitting Goals
My Drift is done.  I love it. The short sleeves are perfect and required so little time.  The yarn is Donita.  As you can see in the picture, I am now venturing back to my Churchmouse Turkish Bed Socks done in Koigu ppm.  I started that project just before I launched into Drift.  I have a funny little story to share with you about realistic knitting goal setting.  I am not good at it!  I thought I was going to wear my Drift sweater while I was on my trip to Italy.  Wrong!  I knitted like crazy the Monday before we were leaving and then came to my senses.  My sweater was not growing as fast as it needed to.  I had to work on Tuesday and leave on Wednesday, and somewhere in between needed to pack.  Sadly, Drift was packed into my bag to finish on the plane.  HA!  Drift arrived in Rome an inch longer, not 11 inches longer. I started carrying Drift everywhere hoping to add an inch  here or there.  Then as we left Rome to tour elsewhere it became clear to me that this was going to be a knitting project for the whole trip.  I decided it was time to start having fun and show Drift the landscape!  Sooo here we go.
Of course everyone knits,drinks and watches sunsets in Sorrento

Drift wanted to see how the Iris looked with its colorings in Capri
Drift also got to see the top of Mount Vesuvius,, not a claim many knitting projects can make.
Finally, we reached Taormina and Drift started to grow.  We enjoyed the landscape, enjoyed each other and relaxed(for me that was kntting).

 On the plane ride home, Drift became a finished project; what a great traveling partner.  

Friday, April 17, 2015

Swatching Spring Yarns
I laugh to myself when our customers come in and say "I don't know how you work here, I would buy all the yarns if I were here all day".  The reason it is funny is because we are all in the same boat.  The best example is pictured at left.  I have totally fallen for the new spring yarns(or you might want to think of them as 3 season yarns).  Because I need to knit spring/summer samples for the store  I stashed away my woolen projects. Right now I want to work up something in cotton, linen or silk; just not wool.  The beauty of knitting/crocheting garments for this time of year is that usually the garments have short or no sleeves and therefore get done quicker.  I zeroed in on these 4 yarns;  On Line Donita, Berroco Indigo, Berroco Remix and Juniper Moon Farm Zooey.  I love the colors, and the textures of these four in particuliar.  In contrast to my usual style I decided to swatch first and then pick out patterns based on the final swatches.  The silk and the cotton in these blends will cause the knitted fabric to change after washing so I made myself wash and dry the swatches before measuring.  I decided to start with the bright orange Donita.  Once I found the fabric I liked I was able to determine the gauge.  The gauge helped me narrow down my garment choices and I finally decided on the pattern Drift
knowing that I will make it a short sleeve.  The last part of the swatching journey required that I knit in the round and narrow down my needle size because I knit differently in the round.  Watch for the finished piece! Erika

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Time for an April Tease by Rachel
It's time for a teaser for the Colors of Cleveland again, and for the April colorway I decided to go back to my photo clues, inspired of course by some of the sunshine and warmer temperatures we've been having.  I have to say that out of all of the neighborhoods I've covered thus far, this was the one that I discovered  the most about, so that was exciting. Sometimes we think we know an area or something in it, but with enough exploration there's so much more to find!  For me there was a little air of mystery and intrigue while meandering through this area, which will be leading me back to try some more of the cuisine and hunt through some of the little shops and galleries scattered throughout.
Floral Sculpture
A peek at the Cleveland skyline
Cozy interior space
Do any of these spaces look at all familiar?  I know for me I could of never guessed! We would love to hear back from anyone wishing to take a guess at this!  And also, what Colors of Cleveland neighborhood have you learned the most about through this color journey?  What have you done and experienced there?  Or perhaps you have an interesting adventure in another part of the city.  Either way, we'd love to hear your feedback!  See you next month, but in the meantime, enjoy the weather and explore our growing city!

Fun and colors!