Friday, September 29, 2006

Orders, please

I am thrilled to report that orders are pouring in for Novelty Yarn. Novelty Yarn celebrates knitting through prose and poetry. The readings are knit together with beautiful instrumentals. I am told that it will make a wonderful Christmas present. Early orders may be placed by emailing Or in mid-October, through

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

They are only ideas

Yes, but they are my ideas. They are born in my brain. They blossom in my mind, until they leak out through yarn or ink.
They are only ideas but they are part of me. That's why it's so scary to send them away to be validated or rejected. This act takes courage especially when you are new to the whole process - as I am.
Yesterday I worked hard trying to present two of my ideas in the best light possible. This morning I sent them away. What will be their fate? I must wait and see.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


You may recall that I participated in a couple of art shows a few weeks back. This is my humble but beautiful display.
The display was artfully arranged by a fellow artist.
Notice Islandia was on display. Well, you are not the only one to notice. A twenty something guy noticed as well. He offered to buy it despite the fact that it was clearly marked NFS (not for sale). I told him that I would be happy to sell him the pattern. All he would then have to do is find a knitter. He agreed and set out immediately to track down a knitter. His partner reported on his progress. Unfortunately, he didn't make any. But how he searched. Finally I took pity on him. He wears his new purchase with pride. It looks good on him. So good in fact that I now have a long list of would-be purchasers. My wrists ache just thinking about it. : )

Monday, September 25, 2006

Knitting class: shaping

My menitor is currently encouraging me to design more challenging patterns. I will heed her advice. I value her input. However, my passion is to excite/encourage new knitters. So I will never forget the beginner and advanced beginner knitter. This is why I have shied away from designing elements such as circular needles and shaping. Sure I have a hand full of designs that call for decreasing.
Fair Wind, Sailor's Delight, Show Your Colours, and Safe Harbour have decreasing in the sleeves.
The September's Promise Vest has shaped armholes.
Gwenhwyfar is shaped all over the place.
The 40 below hat and the Barefootin' foot thong also have shaping.
All these designs use decreasing none use increasing.
Words of advice regarding decreasing: for best results decrease in the same spot each time. I usually decrease the first two stitches and last two stitches of each row. Some knitters may read this with alarm. They would never decrease in this spot. Whatever! It has never caused me any trouble and I have been doing this for over thirty years. If you are one of these knitters I would love to hear your reasons.
Words of advice regarding increasing: for best results increase in the same spot each time. It has been my experience that it is easier not to increase the beginning of each row. So I would advice you to increase two stitches from the beginning and two stitches from the end of each row.
Happy knitting

Sunday, September 24, 2006

new pattern

Celebrate fall by knitting Pumpkin. "Pumpkin" features rolled waist and cuffs. The pocket is a perfect "home" for the finger puppet. The pattern includes directions to make the finger puppet.
"Pumpkin" is soon to be added to

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Do you like roller coasters?

Hope so.
Because my web site designer and I are gearing up to take you on a wild ride.
Changes…changes…everywhere changes.
So be alert. Be aware. Don’t be caught off guard.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Merry Christmas Craft Show preparation. I know I am loosing friends right now even hinting at Ho Ho. Believe me I am not playing Christmas carols. I am, however, working on knitting kits. My clay is....
beautiful Mayne Island hand spun. No, I did not create it. As my friends warren Hubby, "Someday".
My plan: either create small one skein knitting kits or dye the wool.
I have never dyed yarn. I long to try. I do have dye. So it is possible.
I think I will see what kind of wonders I will be able to create with one skein. Then proceed with dying. It could be tons of fun.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Novelty Yarn moved in

Novelty Yarn, my audio book on CD, can now be signed out at Mayne Island library. I donated a copy yesterday. The head volunteer librarian showed me exactly where it would go. Imagine a book of mine in a library. This experience is still so very new to me. Excitement awaits at every corner.
Keep reading. : )

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Blogged down

After careful thought it has become clear to me that I need two blogs.
One blog that reports on my professional activities: simply put, what is happening at Olavia’s hand knitting patterns. To read about new patterns, books and events: please log on to ‘Designer’s Notes’. Any and all business related information would be found there. This blog will continue to be located on ‘s homepage. The other blog ‘Leanneism’ will allow you to glimpse inside my head. Goodness knows what you will find there. So please proceed with caution. This blog will eventually be located on ‘s blog page.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

New pattern

There's a chill in the air and I am wearing Jeans so it must be fall. If it's fall where are Olavia's new fall sweaters? No worries they are arriving. Sneak a peek. Let's start with Snow
It’s frustrating to invest time, effort and money to knit a baby sweater only for the intended wearer to seemingly instantaneously out-grow it. I hit on the perfect solution to this dilemma while reading Deborah Newton’s book Designing Knitwear. Deborah encouraged her readers to design a sweater using the traditional tennis sweater design. This sweater style features a rolled up ribbed waist. Employing this feature allows the baby sweater to “grow” along with your baby. While small your baby can wear the sweater with the waist rolled up. When your baby grows simply unroll the waist.
More sweaters coming soon.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Knitting class: pen and notepad

I have heard knitters say, "Have sticky notes on hand while knitting. This way you can stick reminder notes on your knitting."
This sounds like a wise idea.
However, what happens if the notes fall off.
Admittedly I am careless. If you are more cautious than I this method may work fine for you.
However, if not you may find my tragedy useful.
I always ensure that I have a pen and notepad in my knitting bag. This way I can take notes while I am knitting.
Exactly where am I in the pattern? I just flip to that page.
You will no doubt find a hundred reasons you are happy to have pen and notepad at hand.
Happy knitting

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The traveling knitter

Due to the rave reviews I received for my reading, I now feel that I am ready to implement my grand plan. The grand plan: travel from knitting guild to fibre festival with Novelty Yarn. Those interested in featuring Novelty Yarn at their knitting event should contact me:
Thank you.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

That's entertainment

Our cherished Agricultural Hall was built in 1900. Located in Miners Bay, it has proudly housed many island happenings.
The inside.
The beehive of activity. Artists know how to transform a space.
6:45 pm: The doors are open we wait patiently for the hordes to descend upon us.
The stage: a promise of many delights. We had live music and spoken word. Mine turned out to be a performance piece. We had so much fun.

I wish I could write more but I am opening the doors today. So can't be late.

Log on tomorrow for the continuing saga.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Today's the day - my book is launched

Tonight at 7 pm my book will be launched.
Am I excited?
Am I nervous?
to make matters worse in the nervous department: yesterday I got a brilliant idea. This brilliant idea resulted in one and a half minutes worth of dialogue being added to my piece. The words are necessary. They have to be said. I just wish I had realized this last week. Oh, well, I'm sure everything will be fine. Strangely this introvert enjoys public speaking. Besides I won't be the only one presenting pieces tonight. In fact, it should be a very enjoyable, entertaining night. Your best wishes are warmly received.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The good with the bad

Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad.
The bad: Hubby's sweater. This is my second attempt at this sweater and its still not perfect. The set-in sleeves worked beautifully. It's not that. It fits nicely. It's not that. One of the designs features is in the wrong place. What if I could just simply cut it out and move it? ...but of course it's not like writing on the computer there is no cut and paste in knitting. The real downer in this situation is that Hubby's sweater was suppose to be one of the things I showed this week-end. Serves me right for counting my chickens before they are hatched. Maybe I can simply show the 'Hatake toque'. By the number of hits I received that day you really seemed to like it. It is another example of my writing maybe it will work.
The sweater is not unwearable. Hubby says he will take it with him on his trip. So I guess he will get two hand knit sweaters. Lucky, lucky man.
The good: 'A night by the fire at Bear Creek'. I am in the process of sewing it. I have already tried it on and it is so beautiful. I simply love it. I can't wait to wear it. This is what makes everything so very enjoyable. I will post a picture as soon as I am done.
Sometimes you win - sometimes you lose. I must be gentle with myself. I'm only human after all.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

If you build it...they will come

It is a wonderful idea that if you create a product people will be instinctively be drawn to it. They will know that it is available and will know that they want it. Nice idea. I have found that it is a myth. Your tasks do not stop at creating. Especially if you are an indy artist. You have to employee a marketing plan. If you have the backing of say a publisher they will do this for you. I have read with interest of the Yarn Harlot's adventures marketing her books. The publisher sets up a marketing plan and she travels to exciting places to meet and greet. As an indy artist, I have chosen a different route. I am in the process of seeking out places to send my book. Places that will review it if I simply send it to them. So far I have found three places. A friend of mine has a background in marketing. Upon reviewing my actions she applauded me. It's nice to think that little old me has some talent in this area. "Talent" I shouldn't be throwing that word around so loosely.
So maybe the title for today's post should read: create it, advertise it, have it reviewed, wait, and they will find and buy it.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Knitting class: puzzle solvers

If you require pattern clarification the best person to contact is the knitwear designer. Most will be happy to help you. I value this communication as it helps sharpen my design skills.

My contact information appears on the top of each of my patterns. If you encounter one of my designs in a publication which does not include my contact information simply "google" or "yahoo" my business name: Olavia's.

Knitwear designers are busy people so please allow a couple of days for the response. We also tend to receive tons of emails. Help your email avoid the delete key by choosing subject lines carefully. I respond best to "oknitting".

Please remember the only stupid question is the one that remains unasked.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Hatake toque

Monday, September 11th my blog will be silent to honour the victims of 9/11. Yesterday I attempted to post but my attempt failed miserably.

“Hatake” Toque

Once upon a time there was a little island. On this island there lived islanders. All loved the island way of life. The islanders became neighbours then became friends. They embraced each other’s differences and similarities.
Then “off-islanders” saw the island.
They said to some of the islanders, “You are dangerous. You are not one of us. You must leave the island.”
The “other” islanders said, “No! They are our neighbours. They are our friends. They are islanders.”
The “off-islanders” did not hear the naïve islanders. They made the “dangerous” islanders leave.

In 1942 the government of Canada bowed to public pressure and began interning both Japanese nationals and Japanese Canadian citizens. Nationals and citizens were stripped of their rights, homes, possessions and way of life.
In 1944, Japanese Canadians were ordered to leave BC or face deportation to Japan.
It was not until 1988 that Japanese-Canadians received compensation for the wrongs done to them during the Second World War.

Mayne Islanders have never forgotten their friends. The Japanese gardens were established to honour their memory.

“Hatake” is “farm” in Japanese.

A Japanese family originally owned the land that Helen and John O’Brian farm. To honour the memory of the original owners, Helen and John named their farm “Hatake”.

I used mohair from Hatake farm in this design.

In Canada, this type of hat is called a “toque”.

Copyright by Leanne Dyck on September 10th, 2006

A friend has just started a blog. Please log on to:

Saturday, September 09, 2006

An event

I am continually amazed at the seer talent that resides on this island. This talent was beautifully showcased in Once in a Blue Moon. An art show that opened last night. If you missed opening night don't worry it continues to run on Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 3 at the Mayne Island Agricultural Society Hall.
A friend of mine has just started a blog. Please log on to:

Friday, September 08, 2006

The voices inside my head

Would you like to listen in on the voices inside my head.
Warning: It's scary in there.

"I say we yell at the top of our lungs: Go to your favourite yarn / book shop and demand they carry Novelty Yarn."
"Are you crazy we could never do that."
"And why not?"
"It's way too push."
"So what's wrong with that? We are indy artists for goodness sake. If we don't market ourselves who will?"
"Yes, but there is a tasteful way to attain the same goal. Bottom line always treat potential customers with respect."

There you have it: the voices inside my head.
Novelty Yarn CD
Approximate running time: 80 minutes
$15.00 Canadian/ $14.00 American
Available today

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Busy September

September will no doubt zoom past fast.
This week-end is the first of two art shows I will be participating in.
The second show is, of course, my book launch. I am planning something special for that. Last night I meet with my friends who will be helping me with my surprise. We had a ball.
This week-end's show is more prime and proper. The show kicks off on Friday with Opening night from 7 - 10 pm at Mayne Island's Agricultural Hall.
Last night I finished a sweater for which I hope to find a home. Wish me luck with that. I will keep you posted as to my success.
Today I will be zooming down to the printers to finish some work on the CD cover. Things are going along very nicely with Novelty Yarn. I will take a picture of the cover so you will be able recognize it in stores. Of course, there will be tons more information on it posted here on my blog as well as on my web site.
So you see I'm busy, happy and healthy.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Picturing my trip

Around 7 am on Friday, September 1st we waited in line to board the ferry. The thing about living on a ferry is that everyone knows when you will leave and when you will come back. It is clearly printed in the ferry schedule. Two ferries left Mayne Island headed for the mainland on Friday one at 7:45 am and one at 6:oo pm.
While Hubby calmly reads, I worry.
What lurks behind this sign?
Our Ocean cruise took about an hour and a half. Then, of course, we had to drive to Chilliwack. All told I would say it took us about two hours to arrive. Was it worth it?
Yup, as well as great music we were treated to a corn roast each and every night. Mouth watering corn only made better with addition of butter and salt. No, I haven't touch the scales lately.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I'm back - it's back: knitting class

Travel back in time with me to August 31st. I am packing for my long week-end. I am working on the last sleeve of Hubby's sweater. I consider packing an additional ball of yarn. I reject this idea immediately, "Surely I have sufficient yarn."

September 1st: The sleeve is 3/4 complete when I run out of yarn. Further, I have just found the prefect yarn for my next design. I can't buy more yarn for Hubby's sweater because I do not have the dye lot number. I refuse to buy additional needles or stitch holders because I have both in abundance at home.

September 2nd: I run through options. I hit on the perfect solution: I will use a piece of yarn to hold the stitches. I carefully wrap the stitches completely around the yarn. Think: casting off each stitch.
I then cheerfully cast on my next project: a baby sweater.

September 3rd: I work quickly and complete two sleeves and half of the back of the baby sweater.
I examine Hubby's sleeve and realize that I can't remember which piece of yarn is holding the stitches. I attempt to determine which yarn it is by giving a tug. This results in the stitches grasping the yarn very tightly. Too tightly. Will I be able to retrieve the stitches? Stay tuned.

September 4th: I work merrily on the baby sweater and complete the back. I then begin working on the front.
I flatly refuse to even look at Hubby's sweater.

Lessons learnt:
always bring a stitch holder as well as extra yarn and needles.
when desperate, use a constrating colour yarn as a stitch holder.

Tomorrow: more on my trip to Chilliwack.