Monday, July 31, 2006

My First Writing Payment

Today I received a PayPal payment for the Knitting Podcast article I wrote for the Summer 2006 issue of

I've done a lot of self-publishing myself on various websites over the years. But this is the first time I've been paid to have my writing appear on another site. And not just any site, but


Sunday, July 30, 2006

SWTC V-Neck Shell Front Done

I finished the front of the SWTC V-Neck Shell this afternoon. It looks pretty good. It is supposed to be 25 inches long but mine is only 23 inches.

The pattern says to knit until the front is 16 inches long which I did. Then the armhole shaping and shoulder shaping along with the v-neck is knitted. When I finished all that and bound off, I came up short. I will have to check to see if I somehow misread the instructions.

I like how the front looks though. I can't wait to do the back and get is all seamed up. I may have to find one of my friends who actually wears a medium to try it on so I can see what it looks like on a person. Posted by Picasa

South West Trading Company Basic Shell

I have about 1/2 of the front side done of the South West Trading Company test knit I’m doing. I have already used one ball of the three balls that Kat sent and I’m hoping it is enough. Of course the top half won't take as much yarn as the bottom have due to shaping. So the third ball may be all I need. Kat did say to let her know if I need another ball.

I'm having a great time knitting the shell up. The drape of the Phoenix Soy Silk yarn is wonderful. I wish I were making the shell in a size I could wear and that I was getting to keep it. I will have to use this yarn again and make myself a tank/shell. And out of this colorway because it is just beautiful.

I have to have the shell knit up by the end of August and sent off to SWTC so that they can have it for an upcoming show. I do like the idea that something I've knit will be seen by lots of people. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Yarn Harlot Coming To Austin

On Saturday I'm going to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's appearance in Austin at Hill Country Weavers. I wasn't sure I would be able to attend because I'm going to Dallas tomorrow to meet up with some women from an online paper craft list I'm on. We are going to be rubberstamping and making books. I'm bringing a piece I felted for a cover for one of my books.

But I decided to leave Dallas on Friday night so I can get back home and then get up on Saturday morning and make the drive into Austin.

Stephanie's publicist suggested that I record some of Stephanie's "stand up" routine and I may be able to get an interview too. I'd love to include some of that on my next podcast.

Gotta run. I've got laundry to finish and I need to get my clothes, art supplies and knitting together for my trip.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Test Knit - Phoenix 100% Soy Silk Yarn and Pattern Received

Today I received the package from South West Trading Company for the test knit I am doing. Inside was a pattern for a Soysilk V-Neck Shell designed by Annette Casoglos. The yarn that they sent is Phoenix 100% Soy Silk Yarn.
Phoenix is a tube style yarn that lays flat like ribbon yarn. Isn't this a beautiful colorway? It is color number 99.
Here is the swatch I knitted up. Doesn't it look great? It has great stitch definition and is easy to knit with. I was worried I'd have a hard time knitting with it because I had read where other knitters using tape or ribbon style yarns kept spliting the yarn. I have not had that problem at all even when I poke the yarn in the middle while knitting.

I did have to go down two needle sizes to get the guage the pattern calls for so I guess I'm a loose knitter. The fabric feels soft and cool. I think this shell is going to be a dream and should knit up quickly. Posted by Picasa

Re-Knitting My Podcast and Blogs

Darren over at has started a writing project, “what I’d do differently if I had to start my blog again?”. This post is my response to that question.

Since one of my goals of starting my knitting podcast, Knitting News Cast, was to give me one of several revenue streams in order to be self-employed while enjoying my hobby of knitting, I've recently been thinking about how I could do this. I really have enjoyed doing the podcast and finding the knitting news content for my website and podcast, but it takes up a lot of time. I spend an hour or so a day reading blogs and doing other research for the show. Then every other weekend I spend all day Sunday doing the podcast. I'm usually happy with the final result. I feel like each podcast gets better then the last one and I feel more and more comfortable doing them.

The first thing I'd do differently is I would have created my blogs on WordPad hosted on my own domain rather then use Blogger. With Blogger, I can't label my posts with different categories like knitting, crochet, yarn, podcast, news, knitting book reviews, free knitting patterns, etc. Also, since the blogs reside on Blogger, I don't get the benefit of all my visitors and pages views being reflected together. So there isn't a complete total picture of how I'm doing.

The second thing I'd do differently is I would have combined all my different blogs together. I have Rhonda's Knitting which is a personal knitting blog, Knitting News Cast, which is my podcast blog, KNC News, which is my knitting news feed, and my Knitting News Cast website. If I had combined all of these different blogs I'd have had a much richer base of content that would have satisfied many more types of knitters. I'd at least would have each on my website. Maybe I'd keep the personal blog separate and combine the podcast and news feed on the website.

Finally, the last thing I'd do differently, is I'd have a game plan on how to best use these blogs and my podcast to inform and entertain knitters, while being able to earn enough money to at least cover my costs (domain name, hosting, knitting magazines, knitting books, yarn, etc.) and at best make a decent living so I could quit my day job and get other opportunities like writing knitting books and patterns. And, of course, I’d get more knitting time!

Now back to our regularly schedule knitting adventures!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Double Cable Scarf

Here is another double cable scarf I made from One Skein by Leigh Radford. This one is done with Cascade Yarns Pima Silk Yarn in Pink - Color Number 6915. I used only one skein so it is rather short. Will make a great tuck in scarf to wear during October during breast cancer awareness month.
I really like the way that cables look. They are a little twitchy though with the cotton yarn. Knitting the stitches that are held on the cable needle is a little hard. I've tried both knitting off the cable needle as well as moving the stitches back onto the left-hand needle. I like knitting off the cable needle best.

I'm hoping that with a less stiff yarn it will be easier. Not that this yarn is stiff. It is really soft. I was surprised since before knitting with pima cotton yarn all I had used was Peaches and Cream which is scratchy.
Close up of cables. Pink and cables. My new favorite! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 20, 2006

My One Skein Secret Pal Rocks

Today I received my July package from my one skein secret pal. And she went way over board!!

Instead of sending me just one skein, she sent me a whole box of great stuff that she picked up on her trip to Cape Cod earlier this month. Sounds like she had a lot of fun with her friends on their yarn store expedition up and down the cape. What a great way to spend a summer afternoon.
My skein is Manos del Uruguay yarn. This is a lovely yarn that I've admired several times at my LYS. Its in blues and greens. The picture makes it look more blue than it is. She got the yarn at Blue Heron Yarn Studio. You can see the bag in the background of the large picture above. I am going to have to find some special pattern to use this for. Will have to see if the One Skein book has something worthy enough for this yarn!
Also included in the box where these great stitch markers. They are lovely enough for a charm bracelet. They will look great while I'm knitting.
Aren't these sock shaped point protectors and sweater shaped needle holders too cute!

An extra ball of yarn was included in my package. It is blue and red metallic yarn called glitterlash. It does look like fireworks. My secret pal said it was okay if I didn't like this yarn. But I think it is fun and would make a great accent on a bag or purse.

My secret pal also sent a couple of postcards from her Cape Cod adventure. One has a great recipe for clam chowder. Yummy!

And finally, she sent me a pattern for felted fish. What a great idea and they are so cute. I think these would be cute additions for gifts in gift bags I put together at the holidays.

My secret pal has given me so many options that it will be hard to know where to start. For now I'm going to fondle my new yarn and play with all the notions.

Thank you secret pal!! You've really made my day! Posted by Picasa

South West Trading Company Test Knit

I'm so excited, I've been chosen to do a test knit of a tank top pattern using South West Trading Company's Phoenix yarn.

This should be fun. The Phoenix yarn is 100% Soy Silk tape style yarn. Can't wait to get started!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

To Sick To Podcast or Knit

I hate when I have to cancel a podcast. This last weekend I was supposed to record episode 16 of the Knitting News Cast. I usually do this on Sunday morning. Then I have all day to get it edited, write the show notes, and upload it on our very sloooooow connection.

But Sunday I felt like crap. So much so that I didn't even feel like knitting until the evening while I was watching the 4400 and The Dead Zone on the USA network. Most of the day I just sat on the recliner, read Knitting Rules! : The Yarn Harlot's Bag of Knitting Tricks by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (highly recommend and to be reviewed on my next episode) and slept.

I'm working on a double-cable scarf. In pink cotton yarn. For October Breast Cancer awareness month. The pattern is from One Skein : 30 Quick Projects to Knit and Crochet by Leigh Radford. Hopefully, now that I'm feeling better I'll finish it this week and post a picture.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Secret Pal Goodies

I was feeling a little bummed today because of a misunderstanding with another knitting blogger. She took an e-mail I sent the wrong way and even though I tried to be nice and clarify what I was asking from her, she ended up being upset.

Why is it that I've let a misunderstanding with someone I don't even know and will probably never meet in person bother me? I guess I'm taking it too personally. Time to let it go. "Put that woman down" as A and I say to each other when we are stuck on some person or incident. You do know the story about the two monks don't you?!?

Anyway, I spent the day putting the final touches on a felted clutch from the One Skein book by Leigh Radford today. I added a flower button with a beaded loop as a closure. I think it turned out cute if I don't say so myself. :)

Somehow the package I've put together kept getting bigger and bigger. I'd see something here or see something there and I'd set it aside for my secret pal. And then all of sudden I had a very full box!

Too cool. I'm mailing it on Monday.

I hope she enjoys it as much as I enjoyed putting it together. Posted by Picasa

First Turned Heel Sock

Here is a pair of my first knitted turned heel socks, or short-row heel socks. They aren't perfect, but I like them nonetheless. I don't really like the toe part of the socks. You can see my metalic nail polish through them. But Faith told me about wooly nylon thread which is a reinforcing thread. I'm going to look for some and try them out in my next pair of knitted socks.

My secret pal for the secret pal 8 exchange gave me the yarn. It is Lorna's Lace Shephard Sport Yarn #12, Iris Garden. I love the colors and it knitted up beautifully. And I only used one skein of the two skeins she sent me.

So now I can't wait to knit another pair. I think they would make a great Christmas gift or holdiay gift for my mother, SIL, or MIL.

They don't take nearly as long as a knitted garment like a sweater. The satisfaction of completing a project comes much more quickly.

I need to get back to the cardigan I was working on. And I've already started another project. I'm playing around with felting and seeing if I can't bring an idea I have to life. More later on that....

I have some more sock yarn that I bought last year from Knit Picks. I'm sure I'll be starting another sock really soon. I may use this same pattern or try another one.

Happy Knitting! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 05, 2006 Article Published

Today the Summer issue of was released and so is my article on Knitting Podcasts.

I'm so excited. This is my first published article.

It is one thing to produce your own podcast or websites or articles and publish them on your own. You never know if people will like them or not.

But at least one person (Amy Singer) thought my article was good enough to publish.

The only thing I wish was different about the article is that I wrote it before a lot of the current knitting podcasts came out and they are not included in the article.

I'm think I will write an article on the Knitting News Cast site that includes a list of the current knitting podcasts.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Knitting News Cast Episode 15 Up

I just got done recording, editing, and uploading the latest episode of the Knitting News Cast.

I can't believe I'm on episode 15 already. When I started this back in December, I wasn't sure how long I'd stick with it. And there has been a few times that I've felt overwhelmed about getting an episode out.

But there is always a feeling of satisfaction when an episode is finished and uploaded and ready for the world.

I feel like I'm getting better at recording them. I've loosened up and I think that you can hear that when you listen. Before, I'd stop and re-record if I messed up something. But now I just start over with what I was saying and keep on going.

It has increased the amount of time I have to edit each episode and sometimes I just can't get it to sound exactly right, but overall it has decreased the amount of time I spend on episode.

Also, since I'm writing up knitting news stories a few times a week and posting them to the Knitting News Cast website, it is much easier to pull my show notes together.

I still don't get a lot of feedback from my listeners. I know that people are listening because my stats on Feedburner show that I have a lot of listeners. I guess since my show is a news program rather then an entertainment show, people feel less inclined to interact.

Oh well, as long as I continue to enjoy doing it, I'll keep doing it. I love the fact that I keep up to date on the latest news and happenings in the knitting world. It has really enriched my knitting hobby.

And I've met some great knitters online who do send me e-mails and leave me comments. I try to reply to each e-mail I get and it really makes my day when I get one, well at least the nice ones!

I've learned a lot though from the constructive criticisms too. Although, it all hasn't been kindly said. I guess the anonymity of the web lets some people be harsher or at least sound harsher then they would in real life. Not too many people will correct the way you say something while you are on stage giving a talk but I've had several people do so publicly in my comments.

Ah, I didn't mean to sound so negative. I really do enjoy doing the podcast and mostly look forward to doing it every two weeks.

I hope you take a listen and if you like it leave me some feedback in the comments or send me an e-mail.

Happy Knitting!

Monday, July 03, 2006

First Turned Heel Sock

I finally finished my first turned heel sock today. It took me several tries before I found a pattern that I liked and that knitted up nicely.

I got the pattern for this sock from the Knitting Pattern-A-Day: 2006 Day-To-Day Calendar. It is from Friday, October 20th (okay, so I cheated and looked ahead!) and is called "Classic Socks on Circular Needles". I substituted the circular needles for double pointed needles.

I had to redo turning the heel several times and every time I worked the heel to the instep, I kept getting big holes. So I redid that too. I figured I wanted it to look right if I plan on wearing the socks.

I used the Kitchener Stitch to close the toe, but like my first pair of knitted socks which were just a tube without a turned heel, the top of my toes are visible through the top stitching. So I may have to redo that part.

The pattern calls for reinforcing yarn which is optional. I'm not sure if this is a special kind of yarn or just any ole yarn. I will have to research this. You use it at the heel and the toe. Which seems like a good idea since these areas get the most wear. Posted by Picasa