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Archive for the 'ZigBagZ' Category

Last Day for Pattern Sale: Buy 3 get 1 Free

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Tonight at midnight (Eastern Daylight Savings Time), my Buy 3 – Get 1 Free PDF pattern sale will end. If you have been inclined to buy a few of my patterns, this is a great time.

Thanks to those who have already taken advantage of this, and helped me handle the extra car repair bills I’ve had recently. My JoyBug (Bright Blue 1998 New Beetle) just took us out of town this weekend in fine shape. She’s worth my efforts to keep her on the road.

As soon as you put a third pattern in your shopping cart, the system will tell you how to get the free pattern. It’s easy.

Thanks again!

(Images: ZigBagZ Maxi Collection, Chippy Socks for Kids, Colorama Crescent Shawl.)

Thank You

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

I feel a need to thank every single person who has ever purchased a pattern of mine, who has read this blog, who has taken a class from me. I want to thank every shop, every guild, every fiber festival, every library who has hired me. Thanks to the galleries who have allowed me to display my work.

Last night I was doing bookkeeping before bedtime. I allowed myself to worry a bit. I like to say that “worry is not action,” but sometimes it sneaks up on me when I am not paying attention.

This morning I woke up, and I’d sold several patterns and a Fabulous Heftones CD on my shopping cart while I had slept.

I am very sure I am doing work I was meant to do. I get thank you notes frequently. I can feel the magic in the air when I teach. I see the proverbial “light  bulb” go off over folks heads while I explain new concepts to them.

And people I don’t know, continue to knit my patterns, order my patterns, support me on the merits of a web page’s presentation alone. I am grateful. I am humbled.

Back to my life’s work. Thanks, again.

We must do what we conceive to be right and not bother our heads or burden our souls  with whether we’ll be successful. Because if we don’t do the right thing, we’ll do the wrong thing and we’ll be part of the disease and not part of the cure. ~ E. F. Schumacher

(Photos are Kim’s 2nd Maxi ZigBag, Mary’s Chippy Sock and Gwen’s polymer clay beads. All students in my classes. They inspire me to continue doing what I love.)

Another Maxi ZigBag from Carol

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Carol has been cranking out BiggieZigs since spring. She has knit at least 5 of them. Here is the latest:


She used two yarns. The dark brown is a solid, and the multi is not self-striping but has many colors that blip in and out. It creates a tweedy fabric which is very different than those I knit myself, but very appealing. Love.

Thanks for the boost, Carol. Your bag makes me smile.

Many, Many ZigBagZ!

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

The other day I was at Rae’s shop, and it turned out that there were many ZigBagZ in the shop at one time. I stopped my plans and decided to do an impromptu photo session. How could I resist? I spent over a year “birthing” the ZigBagZ into pattern instructions, and it just thrills me every single time I see a new one!

A Zillion ZigBagZ

The Burly bag at top left (rust) was knit by Carol. The burly brown/green top right was knit by Diana/Otterwise and is owned by Rae’s shop.

The bottom row of larger bags, left to right, is my own prototype MaxiZig (turquoise handles, no surprise) which I use as my daily purse. The next larger bag, green handles, is a MaxiZig knit by Carol, and then there is a navy-handled MaxiZig knit by Diana for me which I use as my knitting bag.

The very front row is a BottleZig and MiniZig, both knit by me as samples for Rae’s shop. The only model missing is the SportZig, a larger bottle version (I have one for my Sigg bottle).

I just love Carol’s bags. Here is a closeup of the stitch pattern for the bag at center front:


I think it is absolutely splendid. Nice job, Carol!

Jan’s Maxi ZigBagZ

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

You know, I design patterns because I have a picture in my mind of something that does not exist yet, and I want it to be real. I make a sample of that something, I test it a bunch, and knit samples or have wonderful folks knit them for me. At the end I write it up in pattern format, and my job (as a designer) is theoretically done.


My patterns then go out “into the wild” and I never know what will happen. In Lansing, Eileen (may she rest in peace) got all excited about my Maxi ZigBagZ pattern last year. She made a Biggie bag (large purse/medium knitting tote).

Her bag was wonderful. She carried it with her to every knitting gathering, every shop, and showed people how wonderful it was. Eileen’s bag was a true success. I’m very happy she got so much joy out of it.

The next thing I knew, I had a ZigBagZ class with five people in it (I attribute this primarily to Eileen’s enthusiasm). Jan was one of those people.


Jan made the first bag shown here in that class. After she finished it, she was not done yet. She started, and finished this pictured second bag. She says she made it mostly with leftovers from other projects. I think it looks great!

Both are planned as gifts. I think that is a really wonderful sort of gift, don’t you??? Jan, the bags are great. Congratulations.

Kim’s Maxi ZigBag Progress

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

In an earlier post, I showed you this assortment of yarn that Kim chose for her BiggieZig (from my Maxi ZigBagZ pattern):

Kim has been knitting like there is no tomorrow. This is not her only project. Yet she came to see me just over a week ago, to learn how to make the double-I-cord handles for the bag.

When her handles are done, she will be able to shrink/felt it. I am amazed at her progress.

So here is how the sides of her bag look now:


She wanted a bag that reminded her of a garden. I think she has succeeded.

Terrific job, Kim! It is looking just gorgeous.

ZigBagZ A-Blooming!

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

eileenzigsides400.jpgWhile we wait for the bulbs to blossom in Lansing, there has been a not-so-quiet explosion of my Maxi ZigBagZ here instead. I taught 5 people in a class not long ago. Eileen started it, her first bag is at right. She’s knitting a second.

I hope you can imagine what it feels like for me to see these bags materialize. I had the idea for this bag for a long time. It took me a lot of planning, several “draft” mini-bagz, and a serious team effort to get the pattern out into the world.

(A thousand thanks to Diana who knit many sample bags, from tiny swatches to Burly/Afghan sized models, and helped me iron out technicalities on this pattern. It may never have happened without her hands-on assistance, and emotional support.)

In my recent class of 5 people, at least one (Carol) has knit 3 of them, and at least one more (Tamsyn) has knit two. I think that maybe someone else did two, but I can not remember.

kimzigyarns25.jpgAnd then a Study Hall student, Kim, is knitting a ZigBag also. (Study hall is a semi-private lesson time, one to four people sharing me for an hour on self-determined projects, at Rae’s Yarn Boutique.)

The second photo (left) is Kim’s selection of yarns, before she started. She has finished the base and is knitting the sides, but I forgot to get photos last Thursday when I saw her.

The pattern calls for two solid-colored yarns (Main Color 1, which includes the handles and base, and Main Color 2). Then, it calls for two slowly-self-striping yarns to contrast. Contrast Color 1 contrasts with Main Color 1, though it may nearly match Main Color 2. Contrast Color 2 contrasts with Main Color 1.

Often, the colors available on the store shelves influence which yarns we can pick. If there are only 2 skeins of one color, it needs to be a color 2 rather than 1.

In Kim’s plan above, the turquoise/blue Noro Kureyon bottom left is being used as contrast with the light purple solid. It may look as though they match on this screen, but the purples in the Noro are blue-tinged and the solid lavender has a distinct reddish tinge to it. Even though they are close, the two worked together do contrast enough to show the colorwork, more than it appears in this photo. She may have liked to switch the multicolors around but there was not enough of the yellow/green/pink to do it that way. Her bag is knitting up very well with this combination.

maxizigm1-16.jpgIn some of the photos you see a checkerboard pattern, too. This is the design on the bottom of the bag. It does not show to anyone but the knitter, but it makes the base stronger and is a source of joy for me when I see it. I assume other knitters will enjoy it, too.

The photos here are before felting/shrinking. More photos later on that!

Above is M’s start of a bag with Main Color in a deep green Ella Rae Classic (she didn’t want her name here, it’s not the same M as in my kid class).

Below is a view of Jan’s bag. Her Main Color 1 (MC1) is an Araucania vat-dyed raspberry. It has many subtle differences in the color throughout the skein. She contrasted that with a light neutral Noro Kureyon. Very pretty. Her Main Color 2 (Solid) is a soft neutral. Her Contrast Color 2 knit along with it, is a Noro Kureyon in cool tones… greens, blues, turquoise. I find this combination very relaxing.


Here is Carol’s first bag. She used a Solid green with a contrast of many flower-toned colors (pink, orange, etc.). The second set of colors are a solid bold magenta-pink with Noro Kureyon in cool tones.


For the next two (yes, you heard me) of Carol’s “Biggie” ZigBagZ, she saved on the amount of yarn needed and the decision factor, by using only one solid and one self-striping. In fact, it can show the contrast differently (more boldly) that way. You perhaps lose a little depth of color, but you gain clarity in the vertical zig zag pattern. I have a photo of bag #2 below, which uses a solid dark purple for the Main Color. (Carol’s bag #3, for which I have no photo, uses a chocolate brown for the solid and a neutral cream/beige for the multi, it is sophisticated and rich.)


Tamsyn did two bags using one solid color throughout. One bag was for her to use up many colors of leftover yarn as the contrast color (rather than a self-striping yarn. Here that one is. Spectacular!


Here is another bag she made. It really looks like she used Noro Kureyon for her contrast, but perhaps she just has a spectacular gift for changing solid colors so that they look like a self-striper. It looks so much like something I might carry myself, I asked her if perhaps this really was *my* bag. She assured me it was not. (I tried!)


Eileen’s Biggie ZigBag

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

Eileen R. has knit the most spectacular BiggieZigBag I have seen, even better than mine I think. She is on the last strap straps (she corrected me on this Thursday night) and then needs to felt it, she’s on the last stretch. And you know what? She’s planning to knit a second one. I’m honored.

Eileen has been showing her Zig around town a lot lately (thanks, friend). In great part because of her, my ZigBagZ class tonight at Rae’s has a healthy number of people in it.

I’m sure you’d like to see her work. Here is a shot of the sides:


Here is the base:


Wonderful job, Eileen. See you tonight! (Anyone else want to join us?)

A Very Special Gift

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

At Holiday time, the Habibi Dancers choose one name for a gift at the holiday party. This year, Sally/Sara chose Arlyn/Mahtaab’s name. Sally knits, Arlyn crochets. Handworkers appreciate handwork.


Sally got the pattern for my Maxi Zigbag, and made the largest size (I call it the BurlyZig) for the gift of the year. She made a little graph to put Mahtaab, Arlyn’s dance name, on the bag.

I am always honored when people knit my patterns. I have not gotten over that thrill, and I hope I never do. But this one is extra special, because three of us in the same troupe are involved.


Knitting Kidz Once More

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

My young teen knitters are cranking out finished objects these days. First, I must show you three projects by one young lady, M. She knit my ZigBagZ Mini Collection/Baby Zig, at top left. At right, she knit a variation on my Wristwarmers/Handwarmers pattern, using two yarns.


You may not see it, but the yarn for the light green thin stripe is a luxe single-ply silk with sequins attached. Someone last year donated two very small balls (or one that the girls divided up, I don’t remember) of this lovely, extra-special yarn. This young lady has been trying to figure out a good way to use it for months. I think she made an excellent choice!

M’s project at center in the same photo is a pair of First-Time Toe-Up socks knit in a worsted-weight wool, for her mother. She started these at age 13 and proceeded to knit them in fits and starts for a number of months. This young lady is so busy with so many projects that she can (and should) rotate between them. Her mom really appreciates these socks now that it’s chilly here.


This next photo is a gift from the 2nd young teen who comes regularly to my program. About a year ago, I discovered Anna Hrachovec’s Heart pattern and introduced the kids I had then, to the pattern. This young lady has knit a good number of the originals. I am guessing what she did here was to knit something like Anna H’s pattern but on super huge needles (she told me they were size 32) with many, many strands of yarn.

You can not tell the size from this photo, but it is probably about 9″ (22cm?) tall. I pinned it to my sweater as a motif/decoration the day she gave it to me, it’s big enough to cover much of the front of a short top.

She knows me well. She picked colors she knew I would like. I’m relatively easy to figure out, but she did a better than average job of getting it right on! Notice in the last photo here, I show a huge ball of yarn and a swatch of knitting (two or three sections of a prototype “Perfect Hug Shawl” from a few years back) which I handspun myself. The wool was dyed and gifted to me by my friend Traci Bunkers of Bonkers Fiber.

Check out how similar my own yarn color is, to the heart gifted to me by A. Right on, wouldn’t you say?


A Calendar Miracle

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

I have been struggling with my new Palm Pilot since I got Windows VISTA (it would not work with my Handspring Visor NEO and Lotus Organizer, sigh… I loved them). I was learning bad words every time I brought the thing out. Finally I went looking for something else to handle my calendar.isavelhchippysox.jpg

Another issue I’ve been fighting is that I’d schedule all my classes on my Palm/Desktop, for my own use, but then I had a Google Calendar that Rae, Brian, Mom, Diana and a few others would check, and it was never updated. I could not find a way to synchronize my palm to Google Calendar (and I really really tried) so I had to re-type every class into Google after entering them into my private program.

There are a few things I wish had gone better, but in the end I am happy to announce that my own calendar on my computer now talks to the Google Calendar. This means that my entire teaching schedule is on my toeupmitten10percent.jpgwebsite right now, and as I add new classes they will be updated the same day on my site. Woohoo!

You can find the calendar any time you want, by going to any page on the ColorJoy website and clicking the link at the top of the page which says “Schedule.” Or if you make bookmarks/favorites in your browser to get places more quickly, the page address is this:


Rita/Yarnhollow just wrote me to say she wanted to join in on the Polymer Clay Buttons class but can not make it this weekend. Now she can just go and check that calendar and see if she can find something else that works for her.

The down side here is that Google will only synchronize one calendar per person. This means my pridoubletripeflat16feathered.jpgvate appointments (doctor visits, lunch with friends) are on the same system. I have marked those “private” and that means they show up to you as “busy.” This is a bit of a hassle since I am a person with many appointments sometimes.

However, just scan your eyes past anything that says busy and try to be as happy as I am that the calendar typed in all those class entries automatically for your benefit. I think the compromise is worthwhile. (That is, until I have the funds to hire a secretary or webmaster to update things manually for me, right?)

It is in “agenda” format when you first get there. That lets you see the nearest events at the top, and you can read more words about the event that way.

However, if you want to look at a month style so you can find a weekend class, for example, you can go to the top right corner of the calendar display section and click the “Month” tab. Once you find the day you want, it will be hard to read much about any appointment but you can just click on the words and it will pop up a little box with all the text in a readable size.

I hope this will help you find what you wantfeltbetsyanderin.jpg. If there is a class you want to take and you can not find it, let me know and I’ll see if it can be worked into my schedule at some time. My email is Lynn AT ColorJoy DOTcom

Oh, and as always, if you know a place I should be teaching (or you want them to carry my patterns), let them know, let me know. Yes, I travel.

Images, all fun classes coming up in the Lansing area.:

  • ZigBagZ Bottle. (Sun. 9/28, Rae’s.)
  • Chippy Socks worn by the incredible Isabel (one each from two sets knit in different colorways). (Choose 3 Friday nights starting Nov., 7 at Rae’s, or a one-day workshop Nov. 8 at Yarn Garden.)
  • Toe Up Mittens (no gauge swatch necessary). (2 sessions start Thurs. Nov. 13, Rae’s)
  • Rainbow Double-Stripe Socks (Starts Thurs. 10/2, three sessions, Rae’s.)
  • Needlefelted Embellishments. (9/25, Rae’s.)
  • Wet Felting (just examples, will do soaps also). (Friday October 3, Threadbear.)

Whirlwind Speed

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Can you hear the whirring of my wheels???
I have been running around so fast lately that no maintenance had been accomplished at home. I worked Fri/Sat/Sun of the holiday (though I did go to gatherings for a few hours Sat. and Sun.). Monday was a day with Brian.

We did some “parallel play” (like contented toddlers) where he rode his bicycle and I rode mine, but not on the same roads. (I had not been on my bike at all last year, I just felt low-energy and it did not sound fun; I need to build up to this again slowly.) When we were not riding bicycles, we came together to work in the garden a bit. (Photo of my bike from a few years ago.)

Digging and Dreaming

A yard can never be finished, so I do not even start to try… I make a point to pull out seedling trees anytime I see them, because I remember digging one out that had missed my eye years ago. I had to dig down a foot before I got the real root out, it was a terrible day. And I was young, then, too!

I also pull out goldenrod somewhat obsessively. Brian is the one who digs out dandelions, but even for a small yard such as ours there is no winning that battle. He gives it a valiant try at times, however.

This weekend we moved some plants that were unhappy, pruned back some others drastically, and took out one “weed” tree that had grown taller than me… we both thought the other was fond of that one (it is a different tree than we usually see coming up wild).

I planted Morning Glory seeds a few days ago. Then today Brian dug out a little semi-circle around our mailbox/back step, where I planted nasturtium seeds. I love nasturtiums, and my friend Marlene suggests we harvest a few of their flowers and put them on salad, which sounds intriguing.

My flowers will never fit any color scheme, but I already have orange tiger lilies and hot pink roses, so there is no way to make a scheme work with my perennial bloomers anyway. I just bought what makes me smile. They say nature always “goes” together fine, any natural colors can work. We will see how they do.

I left the herb and vegetable seeds for another day, but Brian dug out an area for those. We made our food garden bigger, I think it was maybe a yard/meter wide and half that deep for the last few years. It worked for parsley, dill, and one small experimental veggie each year (I have tried carrots, peppers and chard before).

I have not even purchased my tomato plant yet (photo is from 2004), nor flowers for front/back doors. I’ll probably put in chard seeds and herbs Tuesday. The beans and tomato may need to wait, I’m working one day at a time here.

Why? Because: I could not spend all day in the yard. I can think of it while doing other things, but the other things had to happen.

Routines Delayed = Many Tasks in One Day (& Good Food)

The boring stuff, including four loads of laundry, had to be done. Yawn.

Then, since my food allergies mean I cook most of my own meals, I always spend time on days off cooking ahead. Even a holiday qualifies as a cooking day. Brian and I collaborated on a crockpot for freezeable meals for 3 days, and I made some experimental (merely adequate) pumpkin muffins.

For dinner, I made a very nice potato salad, a big treat since I could not have potatoes for 5 years and because I have to make my own mayonaise-substitute (can not have raw eggs or corn oil or citric acid or vinegar, all very common ingredients even in health-food-store mayo brands). Lynn-mayo is really time consuming and messy, and I rarely have patience for it. With no appointments Monday, I dove in.

I also could not eat eggs for 5 years, though now I can have one every once in a while if it is totally cooked through. This means I got to put boiled eggs on my potato salad! Gourmet, I’d say. You can’t know what it’s like to “get a food back” if you have not gone through this yourself. Trust me, it’s a big deal.


The salad contained baby gold potatoes, lightly steamed asparagus, red bell pepper, and “mayo” made with avocados, fresh-squeezed lime juice and a few flavorings. Not too bad, though Brian thought it could use some Tobasco ™ sauce. I’m not a fan.

I have not had potato salad in a very long time. It was really a treat. I particularly loved the bits of steamed asparagus in the salad. Yum!!!

I made some pudding to eat as snacks for the next few days, and a cherry not-quite-jell-o (tapioca to thicken and dark cherries, mostly… it happens to be vegan/vegetarian, too). Those are also cooling in the refrigerator to get me through a few days. There is nothing like having a bit of abundance in the refrigerator, you know?

Big News: A New Baby!

Rachael who works weekends at Rae’s Yarn Boutique had her baby last week. He is happy and healthy. Big Sister is no doubt getting used to her new partner.

I am eager to meet our new sweetheart, probably next weekend. Maybe he should get a pair of Chippy Socks (in my spare time)?

And there is Always More Knitting

zigbabythreadbear20.jpgSo believe it or not, I did a little work on the knitting business as well. I have a sample ready to felt for Threadbear (the one they already have is shown here), and am working on these swatches for the impending pattern proposals due June 1.

I am scheduling all sorts of classes. However, I’m having a rough time getting them up on my Google Calendar on this site.

If you are interested in taking any classes from me (near Lansing, Michigan USA), I teach at the following shops. The first 3 have schedules up on their websites… click below to go to their class pages. Once there, if you click Edit/Find and then type in Lynn, you should go directly to the next class I’m teaching, then the next.

The last shop listed has classes scheduled but not on her site yet. When you click on her link you should be able to send an email to her, and ask for a schedule.

(I’m probably adding another yarn shop and maybe something a little different, this summer. However, nothing firm is set yet.)

Rae’s Yarn Boutique, Lansing’s East Side, Michigan Ave.

Threadbear Fiberarts, 496 Waverly Road Exit/West Side

Little Red Schoolhouse Yarn, not far from Lansing Mall/West Side

Yarn Garden, Charlotte Michigan (30 minutes southwest of Lansing)

Update on Chippy Socks

My Chippy Socks’ test knitters have been hard at work this weekend, writing me for clarification on different things I wrote (or left out, or put in the chart funny). I really really really love my test knitters. I just can not do my job well without them.

OK… off to run in circles again for a bit more. Then knitting like the wind, tomorrow. My “regular schedule” (such as it is) commences again on Wednesday…

Cyndi’s SportZigBag

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

I ran into Cyndi on Saturday at Threadbear as I was finishing up a class. She had to show me her finished SportZig. I was thrilled, of course.


Then she continued to flatter me (I eat it up). She had taken this project on a ski weekend (early March) and knit it in one day. In the end, she was able to get two bagz out of the yarn she purchased for one.

Way cool!

Here is a photo of my SportZig and hers. Guess which is whose? (Hint… purple is my neutral, or as Brian says, it’s my beige. Never mind I like turquoise, wild hot colors and rainbows… Cyndi looks wonderful in red. Hers looks more like cinnabar in person than in this photo, I just could not get the colors true. You can see the bags turned out well.

Cathy’s ZigBag

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Cathy wrote me a few weeks ago to say she had photos of her ZigBag progress, on her blog. I just love seeing everyone’s color choices. Hers looks like a spring garden, fresh and lovely.

Cathy, thanks for writing. You make my day.

Mary’s bag is beautiful, too. I have photos if I can only get time to put them on my laptop and develop them. One day at a time, right?