Inside every oyster, there's a purl...

Friday, January 26, 2007

Moderne Log Cabin Baby Blanket...

...or when Hill discovers the joy of AC Moore. In December, we were out at our house in PA for a couple of weeks. Now, I'd brought a number of projects with me, but one day, as we were taking the boys to see this (which they LOVED, by the way!) I noticed an AC Moore in the mall. In NYC, we don't have stores like that or Michael's, so with visions of MDK bibs dancing in my head, I left hubby and the boys in the car "just 5 minutes" and dashed in. Now, I have to admit, I am a total yarn snob. But with a couple of babies on the way, I saw the Caron Simply Soft, and thought, hey, not bad. 4 skeins, Dark Country Blue, Country Blue, Light Country Blue (gotta love those creative names), and Bone. Total cost around $10. Instead of binding off each square, I left the stitches live. For the border, I picked up (or just knit the live stitches) and bound off, then did 2 rows of single crochet and 1 row of backward crochet (shrimp stitch). I think I'm going line the back with fabric to give it a little more polish, then save it for a new nephew due very shortly. By the way, W saw it on the couch, petted it and said, "This is SO soft, Mommy, I want a sweater like this!" This, from the kid with several Cashmerino sweaters in his drawer. Go figure.

If You Knew Sushi...

Is this the cutest or what? I finally cleared this out of the UFO pile. I'd finished the bag and 3 sushi back in the fall, and then for unknown reasons, it sat. And sat. But I'm on a mission to clear out the pile, so here it is. This little cutie, a kit from here, took no time at all to make (if you forget about the months I let it languish). I even did my first zipper installation without too much heartache. I have lots of sushi yarn left over, so with some extra Cascade 220 and a zipper from here, I can whip up a few more! I'm thinking adorable Valentine's Day gifts.

I have to say, I'm in love with these Pick Up Sticks patterns. They're well-written and so cute. I made this last year, for my Grandmother's birthay, in charcoal gray and fuschia (unfortunately forget to photograph), and in the last 2 days whipped up this out of some stash Cascade 220 (hopefully I'll finish and felt this weekend).

On another note, I just want to thank the people who've taken the time to comment on the blog this week. When I started this, I really just thought of it as a way to record and document the projects I've worked on (since I'm notoriously bad at taking notes). I'm sort of in a little knitting cocoon here, since none of my friends knit (although I think I've gotten my sister to swallow the Kool-Aid). Since I'm such a terrible photographer, I haven't really done a lot of "in progress" posts, but instead focused on the finished projects. I still am working on finding my "blog voice," but the fact that other people have checked it out and left me such lovely messages just really blows my mind. Thank you, thank you.

PS. If you have kids, here's a related idea. It combines 3 of the (I think) most revolting food items ever (twizzlers, rice krispie treats and fruit roll-ups) but it's ridiculously cute and the kids scarfed them down. I'm thinking it's a must to bring to school on April Fool's Day!

Monday, January 22, 2007

10 minutes did the trick

You may recall that last time I made Vintage Velvet from Scarf Style, I had a little, shall we say, CRS moment (as my grandmother used to call it..."Can't remember sh*t") and left it in the washer the entire wash cycle (18 minutes). It wasn't ruined, but it's definitely worn looking and fragile. This time, for my sister Dub's birthday, I paid attention, and 10 minutes was the charm (might even go for 8 next time around). The terracotta color looked even more beautiful (less orangey) felted and she seemed to love it. Here she is, modelling and holding up her Lorna's Laces socks.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The nicest compliment

Today was the boys' first day back at school. Since I gave their teachers their gifts the last day before vacation, I was curious to see what, if anything, they'd say. B came running up to me, gave me a big hug, and said "The scarf was ME!" She went on to say that they opened them all together and couldn't get over how each one was perfect for that individual. Since I put a lot of thought into what each teacher would like, I was really thrilled. It was the nicest compliment she could have given me.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Conwy Socks

Over the holidays, I finished up my second pair of Conwy socks from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road. This second pair went much more smoothly than the first, which was my first time ever doing twisted stitches, and it took me quite a while to learn to "read" them. This time was a breeze. I made a couple of modifications, first, casting on 6 more stitches, as the first pair I did was really too narrow. Then on the second sock, I traded the matched decreases that shape the calf for a double decrease (slip 2 tog,K1, P2sso) that was easier to place and made the decrease V look a lot neater. The colorway, Lorna's Laces in Motherlode, was beautiful...a subtle mix of wine, plum, gold, purple and slate. Really really pretty. I'm going to give them to my sis as part of her bday pressie -- hope she likes!

Pattern: Conwy from Knitting on the Road
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Motherlode
Needles: Size 1 dpns
Mods: Added 6 st to cast on, changed decrease in calf shaping

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Whatever you do, DON'T walk away from the washer!

When it comes to scarves, or anything around my neck for that matter, I'm like the princess and the pea. Can't wear turtlenecks, even the softest merino is too irritating for me. So when I saw the Vintage Velvet scarf in Scarf Style, I knew it was for me. I've been drooling over Touch Me for years, and then a sign from here -- oops, I mean a sale. Quick knit (maybe 5 days), then into the washer, where, even though I was sitting at the computer RIGHT NEXT TO THE MACHINE, I somehow lost track of what I was doing, and left it in the entire wash cycle. Bits of lavender fluff all over the washer. Not a complete tragedy, but it is definitely over-felted and fragile. But I still love it, and wear it all the time. Next time (like now that I'm making another for my sister's bday), I will pay attention.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

2006--The Year of the Accessories

2006 will probably be remembered as the year of the accessories. After years of mostly sweaters, including many sitting unworn because I never like the fit, I changed my focus. First up: learn to knit socks. As I've said previously, I didn't understand this whole sock knitting obsession. But for me, they are addictive, for 2 reasons. 1. Very portable -- can throw it in my bag when I take the boys to gymnastics or another activity. 2. Lot o' bang for the knitting buck. And for a knitter like me, who's more about process than end-product, that's very satisfying! Knit my first one ever in March, and just kept going. Haven't worn any of them yet! But for the record:

Cherry Tree Hill for me

Lorna's Laces Mineshaft for Dad

Regia some color for R

Koigu for ?

Lorna's Laces Amethyst Stripe for ?

Lisa Souza garnet Conwy Sock from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road

Lorna's Laces Conwy sock in Motherlode for Dub? I'll have to do a separate post about these since the colorway is really beautiful and I made some mods to the pattern

2 pr. Baby socks with Cherry Tree Hill and LL Amethyst Stripe leftovers (these gifted to a friend's new baby girl)

Should also note that I knit 2 half-Jaywalkers, once with the Koigu, and another with some other Lisa Souza that's in the stash. First pair was way too small, second, bigger size and needles, was pooling the yarn rather unattractively. And since the colorway is very beautiful (turquoise, blue purple), I felt another pattern would show it off better.

Sock resolutions for 2007? Make some more for R and my Dad, one for my mom, and maybe actually wear one of the pair myself. Also, move beyond the 2x2 ribbed leg (Conwy was my first start at that) and attempt some other patterns (Jaywalker 3.0?).

2006 was also the year of the scarf, here inspired by this terrific book

Finished scarves in 2006 include:
R's Leftover Cashmerino Striped Birthday Scarf

Leftover Cashmerino Striped Keyhole Muffler (can you tell I had a lot of leftover cashmerino?)

Mom's Lady Eleanor

Vintage Velvet (See an upcoming post for more)

Itchy's Superman Sweater
Forbes Forest Scarf
Malabrigo My So-Called Scarf and Fetchings
RYC Cashsoft DK
Shifting Sands Scarf
Jo Sharp Rosehip Misty Garden

Other knits:
Cashmerino Baby Hat and socks
Linen Handtowels from MDK
Cashmerino Gift Exchange Fetchings
Aiden's Baby Bib o'Love

Started but not quite finished:
Baby Afghan inspired by this in Knit Picks Swish. Review of the yarn so far? Eh. I'll get back to you.

Moderne Log Cabin Baby Blanket in (shhh! don't tell anyone!) Caron Simply Soft. So far? Verrrry nice for the price, indeed.

Started and not finished (and staring up at me with little guilt-inducing eyes):
Kid-sized Ribby for Ella the Magnificent from some pink and orange Cascade quattro, scored on a closeout.

Another EtheM attempt, this, in Tahki Cotton Classic Color. I even got the perfect finish for it here.

A Ribby"> for me in Elann's Peruvian Highland Wool in a very pretty plum and lavender heather.

One little unfinished sushi on this, an adorable kit and would have made a great teacher gift. Don't ask why I still haven't finished this. I. am. lame.

I actually did finish this great bag in chocolate with orange trim, but somehow was trying to finish it so fast I messed up the strap attachment, then felted it. I've never liked how it looked, so I didn't give it to the intended recipient, but I need to figure out how to cut the strap off, reattach, and then re-felt. I made one last year for my grandmother in charcoal gray with fuschia trim, and it was adorable, so I really do need to figure out a way to fix this.

Knitting Resolutions for 2007?
Clear out the UFOs
Project monogamy (within reason, of course)
Try an Elizabeth Zimmerman sweater (maybe experiment with Scratchy's batman sweater)
A Little Lace
Learn how to take a decent picture

That's all for now. Happy and Healthy New Year, all!