22 December 2008

sew confused!

a local film production company has created a Girls of DC Theatre pinup calender as a fundraiser. i am somewhat confused by the product as featured on their website because..

um.
Miss November is not a costume designer. i know her. she is an awesome lady and super foxy, but she is an actor, not a costume designer.

throw us a bone, folks. not all designers are dumpy and hard on the eyes. i can think of a few that are distinctly hot. heck, i even know one petite busty redhead (no relation) who is like... Bettie Page 2.0. let's not even get int the hot asians and a few costume designer milfs.

puh-leeze.

20 December 2008

intarsia

berryinstarsia is also known as "picture knitting". it is most often seen in the wild in the following 4 forms:

1. teacher sweaters.

2. reindeer sweaters.

3. big 1980s flower sweaters.

4. kiddo sweaters.

it is a very challenging means to creating an incredibly tacky end product. unless it is a cute kiddo sweater. i like to think this strawberry, my first foray into this form, falls under heading #4.

19 December 2008

being green

puffy vestmost of my recent knitting is of the stealth variety. i will be able to share it all next week, but for now i need to reach back to provide content.

i have been hanging on to this one for a modeled photo. it is really cute when worn, but i have not been able to take a good picture of myself wearing it. i think it is the sort of odd garment that requires seeing the whole person to not have a "whoa. what the...?"

PUFF-n-STUFF!

Himalayan Vest
designed by Katie Himmelberg.
published in Knitscene, Fall 2008.

knit in approx. 6 skeins of Manos Del Urguay Wool (#68 citric, 100% wool) purcased at K+S=B on size US 11 and US 8 circular needles and stuffed with 100% wool roving purchased at Just for Ewe in Marblehead, OH.

started: november 4, 2008.
finished: november 17, 2008.


i started this while watching the election returns. i needed something pretty straightforward because i was obviously distracted.


detailyou knit this with a double strand of yarn on very large needles. this was a little tough on my hands, so while the knitting itself went quickly, i could not work on it for long periods of time. despite being knit almost entirely in one piece, this has a lot of finishing. there are only two seams (shoulders) but because of the construction method with the "chambers" that need to be stuffed to make a puffy vest. there are just a ton of ends that must be woven way.
i wear it with the front open, and you would not think the vest would be that warm, but when you take it off, you really notice a big difference. i like it because it keeps me warm, but i don't get too hot when i have it on.

i have some more vests in my sights for 2009. i want to get back to some sweater knitting for myself, but i plan to go into it slowly because i don't think i can have more sweater disappointment.

we shall see!

17 December 2008

i made polenta

and you can make it too. go to Eating Cleveland and enjoy some step by step photos!

this was my first try.
it will be better next time because i have learned a few things.

1. i am short. this makes it hard to stir a pot on the stove. i need a shorter pot and a step stool. seriously, this stuff gets difficult to stir at the end.

2. 5 more minutes on the stove would have done a world of good. (see logic for stopping in item #1)

3. rWs oven sucks, and it needs to be dialed up to bajillion if i want to brown anything. i need to get him an oven thermometer before i try this again.

still, it was pretty good, and i plan to fry the leftovers per another EC suggestion. confession: i will make rW do it. i am bad a frying things. the closest i get to frying is sauteed veggies or the sizzle of pancakes. actual oil frying is a no go for me.

16 December 2008

the most beautiful thing i have ever made

baptism shawli don't even know where to begin on this one. i mean, some projects are just so intense and wonderful that you can't regard them in the same way you do say... a hat. or even a sweater for yourself.

that is more or less how i feel about this one. my Dad tried to ask me how much i would sell Collin's christening shawl for (of course. he sees most things in $.), and he didn't believe me when i said i could never sell this one. and i think that is true. i could be paid thousands of dollars to knit another one, but i could never ave sold the one right off my needles.

it means too much.
it has in it all my hopes for him, and his family. all the happy thoughts i had while making it, and all the frustration too. (all the sweeter for being a little bitter!) i think about the project and i think about all the great things that happened while i was working on it--my cousin's trip out to visit me on the spur of the moment, the oohs and ahhs from other knitters when i pulled out the piece in progress, how thrilled my cousin's husband sounded on the phone when he told me Collin had arrived, the compare and contrast my mum and i had with our various projects for the baby to be, the trip out for the shower.

probably best of all was the reaction from the proud parents when i handed it over. i love when i can make something that makes people happy.

Collin's Christening Shawl

based on the Celtic Knot Stole
designed by Sarah Kendra Hughs
published in I Dream of the Sea

knit in 5 skeins of Rowan 4-ply Soft (#376 "Nippy", 100% merino wool) purchased at K+S=B and knit on size US 4 addi Lace circular needles.

started: april 17, 2008.
finished: november 27, 2008.


if you want the complete glamour shots and work in progress photos, they can be viewed in the picasa album posted below. there are 2 mistakes that are visible in the final project, but they are relatively small. if you want to stay on my good side, you will keep them to yourself.

finally, here is the link to my ravelry page for the project. other ravelry members can read all about the knitting trials there.

Collin's Christening Shawl

15 December 2008

"neck" is a funny word

cowlthere are some words that the more you say them, the funnier they sound and the more they seem to lose meaning as a word and just become a sound. rW and i were saying one of these words over and over again yesterday--'pointy'.

'neck' is one of this words.

obviously our shopping trip went poorly yesterday if the thing i am reporting is funny words we said, not gifts bought. gah!

SO!
things that go on necks.....

Serenade Cowl
designed by kittything
offered as a free pattern with yarn purchase at K+S=B.

knit in 2 skeins of Artful Yarns 'Serenade' (#6011 "Against All Odds" 70% pima cotton, 30% angora) on size US 7 needles.

started: october 22, 2008.
finished: october 24, 2008.


i whipped this up for the shop as a store model. we started carrying this odd cotton/angora yarn for scarves and needed something to show it. turns out, it is not that great as a scarf yarn
and it is mostly used as a very basic sweater yarn.

so i made a simple cowl. i like to think it as a scarf one cannot lose. pretty.

swirlafter i knit the cowl for the shop, i wanted one for myself.

Spiral Cowl

designed by Keri McKiernan
published at Knitty Gritty Thoughts

knit in 1.5 skeins of Malabrigo Silky Merino (#430 "smoke" 50% merino wool, 50% silk) purchased at Now and Then in Takoma Park, Md and knit on size US 5 circular needles.

started: december 1, 2008.
finished: december 5, 2008.


i started and then had to entirely rip out this project on the ride home from thanksgiving. i twisted the join and would have had a yucky mobius.

after i overcame the initial stumbling block, it went fairly well. i knit it at a first read for a play and then on the metro when rW had to borrow my car for a few days. i think it is excellent train (or bus, or tv) knitting.

were i to knit this again, i wold cast on fewer stitches because i think it is a little larger than i would like for keeping warm. i will say it works very well with a brooch or stick pin holding the extra fabric in place. and it looks nice!

the best things: the yarn and the edging. this is the extra yarn i did not use to knit the cabled tam. i loved it for the tam and i still love it for this. also, the edges are very pretty. i used sewn down picot "hemmed" edges. this was my first go at this technique and i think ti is very pretty, but i want more practice.

diagonaland finally, a scarf.

Go Diagonal! Scarf
designed by Sophia Kessinger.
published at Yarn-over Manhattan.

knit in 3 skeins of Plymouth Expression (#3326, 55% wool, 45% acrylic) purchased at K+S=B and knit on size US 11 needles.

started: december 2, 2008.
finished: december 6, 2008.


i am not a big fan of scarf knitting, but every so often, i will turn one out. this one is for rW's mother. i decided that she needed something happy and colorful for christmas, and i think this just about fits that bill.

this yarn knits up very fast and reminds me a lot of Berroco Foliage, which has been discontinued.


more holiday gifts revealed after the big day. i can't believe how quickly it is coming!

11 December 2008

hop hop hop

angora bootiesi have a new favourite fiber: angora. it is warm, fuzzy, and comes from the cutest creature possible... a long haired bunny. i have recently knit two projects in this delightful stuff.

Bunny Toes
aka Angora Baby Booties
designed by Joelle Hoverson
published in Last-Minute Knitted Gifts

knit in 1.25 skeins of Spinnerin "Ballerina" (lipstick red, 100% angora) purchased at A Yarn Shop Marblehead, OH on size US 5 DPNs.

started: november 6, 2008.
finished: december 1, 2008.


these are incredibly cute, easy to knit, and take no time at all. i would have finished them the same evening i started them had i not run out of yarn. my gauge was correct, but i still ended up needing a little more yarn to finish

my mum was kind enough to get me a second ball at one of her local yarn shops. unfortunately the dye lots were different and the one cuff is a little off in color. i doubt the future baby who wears these will notice. if they do, then i have decided i don't like that kid or their parents who let their kid criticize a gift.

so there.

floppy
Bunny Flop
aka Floppy Toque.
designed by Cathy Carron.
published in Vogue Knitting, Holiday 2008.

knit in 12 skeins of ACA Supreme Pure Angora (ink black, 100% angora) purchased on Ebay and knit on size US 6 DPNs and circs.

started: december 5, 2008.
finished: december 7, 2008.


this hat is super warm. i love how fuzzy and soft it is, and i enjoyed knitting it as well. you work it from the top down and knit with two strands of angora held together. it is very dense and even thicker because the deep ribbing folds back on another layer of hat. delightful!

i really like the look of this hat, and i may make another one, but i would probably switch to brushed alpaca because angora is just a little too rich for my bank account. at least it would be if i tried to use it all the time!

10 December 2008

proper topper: hats part II

the hat chronicles continue. i noticed something as i thought about my hat knitting some more. i tend to make hats in the last quarter of the year and there are very few that fall outside that period. funny, huh.

blue twist
Unoriginal Hat
designed by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
published in the Yarn Harlot

knit in 1 skein of Malabrigo Chunky ("bobby blue", 100% kettle dyed merino wool) purchased at Now and Then on size US 10 DPNs.

started: november 13, 2008.
finished: november 13, 2008.


i bought this skein to be the pom pom and i-cord on the earflap hat i never knit out of the other skein of darker blue malabrigo. i had this pattern kicking around my queue for awhile and i thought it would be a good back-up gift to have on hand in case i can't find something better for the person i have in mind.

it is a fun and simple pattern. cables rock.

gold star
Gold Star Beret
aka "Aspen Beret".
designed by Pam Allen.
published in CEY #9092 Autumn, Book One.

knit in one skein of Lion Brand Woolease Thick & Quick (#189 "Butterscotch" 80% acrylic, 20% wool) on size 13 DPNs.

started: november 18, 2008.
finished: november 19, 2008.

the star stitch was very fun!
i started this when i was in dress rehearsals for Lord of the Flies. there was enough light spill from the stage that i could see the star stitches, but the pattern was easy enough that i didn't have to pay much attention.

the student actors thought i was a super star because they saw me knitting the hat on tuesday night and i wore it on wednesday.

were i to knit this again i would have gone down a needle size for the ribbing because it loosened up with wear and i have had to thread a drawstring through the ribbing and tie it in a bow at the back to keep the hat on my head. eek!

smoke cables
#09 Cabled Tam
designed by Jennifer Hagan.
published in Vogue Knitting, Holiday 2008.

knit in 1.25 skein of Malabrigo Silky Merino (#430 "smoke" 50% silk, 50% merino wool) purchased at Now and Then and knit on size US 5 DPNs and size US 4 & 5 circs.

started: november 14, 2008.
finished: december 4, 2008.

this project started with the yarn. i had. to. have. the smoke silky merino, and i bought enough for the bobbed tam also published in this issue of Vogue Knitting. then i decided the color was not good for the bobbles and switched to the cabled tam. the pattern calls for more yarn so i bought a third skein.

it turned out that i barely needed the second!

this hat is really beautiful, and the pattern is very good, although there is a small mistake in the last couple of rows of the chart. as enjoyable as it was to knit the tam, i will say it had a few tedious moments. most of those were centered around the rows in which every single stitch is cabled and you are working over 240 stitches in the round. those rows were blessedly few, which means on the balance, this was extremely enjoyable and gratifying to knit.

i call the project done, but i am pretty sure i am going to tear back the bind-off and ribbing and reknit it on size US 3 needles and for a few more rows to make a snugger band. this hat has a problem similar to the Aspen Beret.

one more hat to go!

09 December 2008

put a lid on it: hats, part I

while i have been primarily devoting myself to complex gift projects that are running on deadlines, i have managed to squeeze in some other projects. almost all of these have been hats because they are very fast to make, and some of these have been skill builders to boot.

hats! hats! hats!

foliage
Foliage
design by Emilee Mooney
published at knitty.com

knit in 1 skein of Malabrigo Chunky (#98 "tuareg", 100% kettle dyed merino wool) purchased at Now and Then on size US 10 DPNs.

started: october 31, 2008.
finished: october 31, 2008.


i originally bought this yarn to knit an ear flap hat with a pom pom top and ties. as i started the hat, i discovered it looked awful in this yarn because it is too springy (texture, not season). i bought all of this color at the shop, so i couldn't get more to make something bigger than a hat, so i was on a search. i don't knit a lot of lace, so i decided to try this hat and see how lace in a chunky yarn looks. i like it. this is going to be a holiday gift to match the blue mittens i posted about a few weeks ago.

the construction was really cool for Foliage. you knit the hat from the top down increasing in the leaf lace repeat. fun.

beanieFIN beanie
designed by Mari Muinonen
published in Made by Myself

knit in 1 ball of Jo Sharp Silkroad DK tweed (#409 "night" 85% wool, 10% silk, 5% cashmere) purchased at K+S=B on size US 5 DPNs.

started: october 21, 2008
finished: october 22, 2008.


i love this yarn, and i am a big fan of this hat because it has an awesome star decrease pattern on top. pretty straightforward hat that really shows off the tweed yarn.

yum!


rufflesSweet Girl
design by kittything
available free with yarn purchase at K+S=B

knit in 1 skein of Schoeller + Stahl "Sweet Girls" (100% acrylic with silly ruffles!) on size US 10.5 needles.

started: october 4, 2008.
finished: october 21, 2008.


this is a store model to show this funny yarn we are carrying this fall. i am not into novelty yarns, so this is not my thing, but the hat design itself is cute. the top has an eyelet row and ribbon drawstring to close it up so a little girl can wear her ponytail through the top of the hat.

i know, adorable. speaking of adorable...

browns
The Littlest Brown
designed by kittything
unpublished improvisation

crocheted in scraps of Frog Tree Merino (100% merino wool) with a size I hook.

started: november 6, 2008.
finished: november 6, 2008.


this is a hat for Collin to match the browns hat i gave his father last year for christmas. i made it from the scraps of the bigger hat. you can see father and son sporting their tasteful sports themed hats together on Collin's blog. this kid is amazing. he is cute, quiet, and already a prolific blogger!

05 December 2008

goodbye fall, hello 300!

fall wreathguess what folks? this blog has officially reached 300 posts! thanks for hanging in there with me through work, play, knitting floods, and work related droughts. onward, 300 ho!

this week it has officially become cold in the greater DC metro area. it has been hanging out in the 30s more than the 50s (surprisingly low for this month) it was fitting to take down the fall bittersweet wreath and haul out the christmas tree.

i'm glad i knit.

speaking of knitting, i have been doing more of that then blogging. the most notable accomplishment on the knitting front is the completion of Collin's christening shawl. it rocks. it is done. the knit-on edging made me near suicidal.

(not really. sort of knitterly suicidal. not the real kind.)

i still owe a post on all the hats i have been turning out, and i plan to do one of all the glamour shots of the shawl. i hope to get together a photo album of the trip rW and i took to ohio for thanksgiving.

promises, promises!