Thursday, October 16, 2008

hiatus


Hello kids! Nothing new here on the knitting front, but that's because I've been way too busy getting ready to move. That's right, I'm leaving the big bad city to return to my home state of North Carolina.

See, when my roommates decided to give up our Brooklyn apartment, the thought of finding yet another temporary living situation here was rather unappealing. I've been batting around the idea of returning to NC for quite a long while, and things just seemed to fall into place for it to happen now. It just feels like the right time. My company has even allowed me to keep my job and telecommute! How awesome is that?!

Anyways, I'm still trying to keep up with my blog reading, but I'm behind on commenting and responding to emails. Please forgive me. I hope to be back and on the bandwagon in just a couple of weeks.

'Till then!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Drops Design :: Autumn Favorites

In the spirit of Autumn, here are my favorite picks from the Drops Design for Autumn/Winter 2008/09. I always keep an eye on their website, and it's always fun to see the pattern options and vote on them before the seasonal catalogs are released. And this fall, I love the color palatte of greys and neutrals. I have so much queued up that I doubt I'll make it to any of them, but I like to keep them on hand for reference, although everytime I visit the catalog online, other patterns come to my attention (though some make me go screaming for the hills!).

In any case, clockwise from top, here are the patterns:
110-23 -- Jacket in moss st with raglan sleeve.
109-47 -- Jacket in garter st with curved front pieces.
109-52 -- Jacket in ”Alpaca” with stripy yoke in ”Fabel."
108-20 -- Jumper/jacket in with raglan sleeve and yoke in multi colored pattern.
Socks (they don't seem to have the English translation of this pattern, so no link).
109-1 -- Jumper with hood.

While you're there, check out the GarnStudio matching game... with socks!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Henry VIII & Wives.... Knit!

Caffaknitted knitted versions of Henry VIII and each of his wives, complete with behead-able versons of Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard. This past year I've become really intrigued with Tudor history, so I've been watching out for the completed set. Click a link above to visit -- they're amazing!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Finally!

I've been waiting almost a year to post this.

Around this time last year, I assisted at a couple Twinkle Knit nights at the Anthropologie flagship store, which were set up to promote the Big City Knits book. Shortly after, I got an email asking if I'd be interested in test knitting a couple of patterns for an upcoming book. "WOULD I?!" I shouted whilst doing cartwheels, "SEND IT ON OVER!" I should probably mention that Twinkle was one of my favorite designers to watch long before I was an avid knitter. I always loved her mixes of color, texture and sizes that she used in her lines. So as a fan, you can imagine how excited I was to see and knit some of the patterns before they were published. Kind of like interning for your favorite record label.

Test knitters were sent 1 or 2 patterns plus the yarn required to knit the project. We had a little over 1 month to complete our projects, and then had to send them back to the Twinkle office to be checked over, along with any notes, etc. After another month or so, I was able to pick up my projects to take home to keep.

Now that Twinkle's Town and Country Knits has been published, I can show the two sweaters I knit.
This is the Mistral Cardigan. I love the large collar and the puffed sleeves. I like it. Granted, it could use some blocking... my bad. This is done in the Soft Chunky yarn.
Details:
Pattern: Mistral Cardigan , from Town and Country Knits
Yarn
: Twinkle Soft Chunky, in Rain
Ravelry project link

This one is the Pacifica Jacket. This was a fun sweater to knit, but the style isn't really for me. I found that the shoulder seams want to sit on my upper arms unless I adjust them back up to where they belong on the shoulders. I've never been a fan of a cropped length for tops, so I think I might re-knit this into another pattern from the book. This used 4 strands of the Cruise yarn held together.
It looks cuter on the model in the book. I think that they have it sized to be more fitted in those photos, and in my opinion, that seems to work better as a more close-fit sweater.

This sweater requires crochet to finish the bottom edging. Luckily, I was visiting my parents for my Dad's birthday at the time so I was able to get a lesson from my Mom, who is an expert crocheter.

Details:
Pattern: Pacifica Jacket, from Town and Country Knits
Yarn: Twinkle Cruise, in Capri
Ravelry project link


All in all, I like the patterns in the new book. I have already picked out a couple that I'd like to work up this fall.

Monday, September 15, 2008

As IF

anyone in America HASN'T seen, or at least heard, about this already. Fantastic.



If it's not showing up right here, you can try this link (thanks Veronique!).

Friday, September 12, 2008

FO :: February Lady Sweater (Ravelympics)

Better late than never! I made it just under the wire for the Ravelympics, though I haven't been motivated had a chance to take some decent photos yet. The weekend that I finished I had left my camera at work, so I used my computer camera. More details to come!

See all that fine detail?!?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Newspaper yarn (+ Tutorial)

I think this made some of the internet rounds sometime last year, but it's popping up again. Handspun recycled newspaper yarn by Dutch artist (yay!) Greetje van Tiem. Personally, I like how it looks just on the spools there. Check out the tutorial on Greenupgrader.

Thanks to Whip Up for the reminder!

Monday, August 18, 2008

FO :: Gloria Cowl (Ravelympics)

I was was starting to think that there was no way I'd have the chance to get through both projects I had committed to for the Ravelympics this year, especial after I remembered that I had planned a trip to Philadelphia during this past weekend. I decided that instead of doing the Ridged Lace Cowl, I would switch my pattern choice and work on a Gloria Cowl, which is primarily stocking stitch (and in the round--easy peasy!). That way, I could easily pick it up at any point we had some down time, converse, and still be social, without being rude and poking my nose into a pattern every two seconds (I'm notoriously bad at following lace patterns -- it takes every bit of concentration I can muster. Which often isn't much. And that is a problem). I cast on on the train down to Philly after work on Friday, and cast off on the train back to Manhattan. (Rather impressed with myself, and encouraged about the upcoming week of knitting!)

Details:
Pattern: Gloria Cowl , from Orinda
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece,
Driftwood (CW115)
Modifications: None needed
Ravelry LinkOn another note, my trip to Philly was fantastic. I got the chance to visit two of my high school friends who are now married. They showed me around some parts of the city and led me to some great places to eat. They knew me in my formative and awkward years and don't seem to hold it against me. I still get tickled seeing us all as adults.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Other People's Cool Ideas :: Conceptual Knitting Patterns


Here is a great set of conceptual knitting patterns from artist Lea Redmond. Check out all of her great and creative project ideas, many which focus on the use of color in an interesting way. I also have to admit that I find the design of her little cards really fantastic, too!

Found via Whip Up.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Foodie Friday :: Apple Butter edition

Last weekend I had a couple apples that were a bit overripe, so I decided to try my hand at Apple butter. Since I happened to have some plums around, I tossed them into the mix. I researched a few recipes and combined a couple to come up with the following recipe--it is delicious. I brought in the jar to work and have been enjoying it as my breakfast every day this week.

Apple-Plum Butter
3 Apples
4 plums
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. allspice

Boil apples and plums in the water and cider vinegar for 20 minutes. Let cool.
Blend using an immersion or regular blender until smooth. Add the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, and return to heat.
Boil the puree for about 30 minutes until dark and thickened. As it thickens, the boiling mixture will cause spattering, so I just perched the lid of the pot covering most of the pan with a large enough space for the majority of the steam to escape.
Fill a jar and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks (as if it'll last that long!). I had a bit extra on top of this jar, so I put it into a plastic container to freeze. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Ravelympics

I decided last-minute to sign up for the Ravelympics (Ravelry link). For anyone not signed up with Ravelry, it's basically projects you attempt to complete during the 2008 Summer Olympics coming up this week.

I am going to attempt to do both a February Lady Sweater and a Ridged Lace Cowl, though my emphasis is on the sweater. It looks complete-able in 2 weeks, right?

Wish me luck, this yarn seems to be cursed...

Edited to add: I wasn't planning on joining any teams or events, but I ended up doing both. The cardi event is the Sweater Sprint and the Cowl will be entered in the Cowl Jump. I'm battling for Team Brooklyn!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Frogged (again!)

I had to frog the Drops cardigan I was working on. After messing up a button hole, I had to frog back a couple of rows, at which time I realized that the thing was 50" wide. And I'm not. I love positive ease, but that 's a bit much for me. Adventures in gauge-land, once again!

This is my second time frogging a project with this yarn. I like it in therory, but it's bad chemistry--just like my dating life (ha! sorry...).
Bye bye Drops 105-5. It was good while it lasted...

Monday, August 04, 2008

FO :: Jaywalker Socks

Well, I have to say that this was the most anti-climactic end to a knitting project if ever there was one. I started these for Soctoberfest 2007, and only just finished them this week. I thought I'd be thrilled to be done, but well, I just don't think they're cute.

When I started these socks, I was cat-sitting for a bunch of wool-eating cats, though at the time I didn't realize just what that meant, exactly. I turned my attention away for one moment, and my ball of Trekking XXL went missing, hijacked by Bart, the most wool-eating cat of all. I was able to rescue most of the yarn, but a few yards were tangled and unsalvageable, but I thought I'd still have plenty of yarn to finish.

As I neared the foot of the second sock, I realized that I was going to run out about halfway through the foot, so figured of I unravelled the toes of the first sock, so I could continue striping , and then use a different yarn on the toes for both. In the meantime I was sidetracked by other projects, but finally went back to them about a week ago.

It's a patchy job. You can see how they match until the middle of the feet, and then have different striping patterns. Then, after I finally kitchnered off my second toe and tried them on, only to find that my gauge is visually very different between the two socks! So no photos of them on because that looks even worse. Maybe after a few wears and a few trips through the washer they'll even out. And if not, mostly people will only see the cutest part anyway:

Friday, August 01, 2008

Twist Collective launch

I almost forgot that today was the lauch of the Twist Collective online magazine.


Seems like a great concept. Some great info, great designers, clear photographs, and a lovely format. The magazine is free to browse, but the you have to purchase the patterns--seems fair enough.

My favorites are:
Ysolda Teague's Little Birds cardigan,
Anne Hanson's Gnarled Oakwoods wrap, and
Adrian Bizilia's Faux Bois scarf.

Congrats to the Twist Collective team on a great first issue!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Foodie Friday :: portrait edition

A simple and paired-down post for this week's Foodie Friday...

A couple of weeks ago, the New York Times published a lovely article about some women farmers from the Northeast United States. I was enamored with the accompanying photographs, and have since returned to the article a number of times to read it again--I think these women are beautiful, and the commitment to their own kind of craft is inspiring and so full of dedication. Anybody who knows me is probably tired of my yapping about my desire to one day own some land and do a different kind of work, away from an office and the computer... In any case, it's good to learn about people who do just that.

Click photo for article. All photos from the New York Times.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

FO :: Monkey Socks

In the works since April, I've FINALLY finished my Monkey socks. I love them. No wonder 6051 people on Ravelry have made them.


I certainly had a case of second sock syndrome. I was avoiding finding out if I was going to run out of yarn like I did with my (still unfinished Jaywalkers. Yes, that post is from 2007).

Details:
Pattern: Monkey Socks , from Knitty
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino in Wild Berry (1 hank = 1 pair)
Modifications: Nada, baby!
Confessions: I cheated on the toe by turning the sock inside out and doing a three needle bind off. Surprisingly, it worked out quite well, and doesn't feel too bulky.
More Details: Ravelry

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Family Shout-out :: Jo Ellen Designs

I just found this post in my list of posts that I never finished writing! Usually no big deal, except for that I was excited to write about my family. Better late than never though, right?

Last winter, I was invited by my aunt and cousin to be their guest at the International Gift Fair. Together, they have started a rug company, named Jo Ellen Designs in Camden, Maine. The rugs are 100% wool and are hand hooked, and they do pillows as well.

Here are Jess and I in their booth. It's hard to see here, but the blue and beige rug we are standing directly in front of has some hidden animals (see the design better here. Also in two other colorways.) and is one of my favorite rugs (along with this design).
Jo Ellen Designs

And here are Jo Ellen and Jess, and a good view of two of the rugs:

DSC01735.JPG

Their business has been growing by leaps and bounds in the past year, and it was great to see what they are doing in person. And even better, for every item purchased, they make a donation through their own program, Designs for Good, in which each design is partnered to a specific organization).

I had a great time browsing through the fair and had the chance to see in-person a lot of the design companies I keep track of via various design blogs. Best of all I had the chance to spend time with, and be inspired by, family that I see all too rarely.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Foodie Friday

Just some photos of things I've been making and enjoying this week...Clockwise from top left: Eggplant Salad from Amateur Gourmet; Light Pesto from Everyday Foods via Teamsugar; Iced Coffee (from a French Press = yum); Cold(ish) Peanut Sesame Noodles from The Kitchen.

Monday, July 07, 2008

The Walker Treasury Project

Am I the last person on earth to know about the Walker Treasury Project? I followed a link through Ravelry to this site, which is especially interesting to me now that I've acquired a set of her Treasuries.


The project asks participants to knit up a swatch in color, photograph it (nicely) and upload to the site which has a few different functions for users for searching for patterns. The site only posts photos along with swatch info and the page numbers of the book that they come from.

What a fantastic resource!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

house-sitting

So I am a week into a 2-week house-sitting stint. Last weekend I was happily working on my Drops jacket until I came to the band at the bust line where I have to switch back down to US 4 needles, which I hadn't brought along with me. So off I trek back home to pick up my Options set. I got back to the project and opened the set and lo! The number 4s were missing from it. Of course I hadn't checked first. I couldn't imagine what I had used them for, until I remembered that I took them to Ireland to use for the Lace Ribbon Scarf (project = fail, btw. Wasn't a fan of the yarn).

Instead of returning to my apartment, I decided to switch over to the other project I brought along -- my lapsed Monkey Sock. I've now FINALLY finished the first one. I'm heading to Philadelphia this weekend by train, so that should give ample time to start on the second one. I'm not sure if I just am not that into knitting socks or what, but they always take me forever to complete a pair.

On another note, I just traded in a very generous gift certificate from my friend Chris for Schoolhouse Press. Lucky girl me, I ordered the Barbara Walker's, and they just came yesterday!

They're really fantastic, and I'm sure they're going to be indispensable for as long as I knit. My only minor wish is for an updated palette of colors for the covers, so they looked more handsome as a collection on my shelves -- picky of me, no?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Foodie Friday: Hydration edition

Saving Lives: Coconut Water
Last weekend my friend Melanie and I headed to Madison Square Park for NYC's annual Big Apple BBQ Festival. We made the mistake of hitting up the Salt Lick's line in prime time (we wanted brisket! And Mel is a Salt Lick fan), which was by far the longest line at the festival. I think it took us near an hour to get through. The insane heat, lack of much shade, and my stupid non-breathable dress left me dizzy and miserable and on the brink of heat stroke.

Mel rescued me. She introduced me to coconut water as a way to hydrate and refresh quickly.I was ready to call it quits, but after having a bottle and sitting in some AC for a few minutes, I was ready to re-tackle the festival before it wound down. Now I've stocked my fridge with a couple of the tetra paks (above - you can find them in many stores' refrigerators) to grab easily the next time I need a quick refreshment.

After researching, I found some interesting facts about coconut water, from the Living and Raw Foods website:

• Coconut Water is More Nutritious than whole milk - Less fat and NO cholesterol!
• Coconut Water is More Healthy than Orange Juice - Much lower calories.
• Coconut Water is Better than processed baby milk- It contains lauric acid, which is present in human mother's milk.
• Coconut water is naturally sterile - Water permeates though the filtering husk!
• Coconut water is a universal donor - Its identical to human blood plasma.
• Coconut Water is a Natural Isotonic Beverage - The same level we have in our blood.
• Coconut water has saved lives in 3rd world countries thru Coconut IV.

Oh, and if you want a real review of the BBQ fest, check out Mintyfresh's take. She totally knows how to rock a barbecue fest for reals.

Doing Math:
It only takes a few ounces of coconut water to hydrate, but if you're like me and have some trouble calculating for larger amounts of volume, try this handy tool, found at The Kitchn.

By looking at this visual representation, you can see that there are 2 Cups in a Pint, 2 Pints in a Quart, and 4 Quarts in a Gallon. Now I know that there are 16 cups in a gallon--Brilliant! Not to mention that the diagram combines my to faves: Cooking and Typography.

Recipe Link Library:
Sushi Bowl - 101 Cookbooks
Coconut Sticky Rice w. Mango - Baking Bites
Whole Wheat Skillet Flatbread - Bitchincamero
Saag Paneer - Coconut & Lime
Capellini w. Fresh Ricotta, Roasted Garlic, Corn & Herbs - Epicurious Healthy Dinner
Tomato Jam - Gothamist
Cold Peanut Sesame Noodles - The Kitchn
Easy Peasy Curried Chicken Salad - Not Martha

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ireland, 2008

I can't believe I've already been back a whole week. It's taken me this long to organize my photos so I could do this post. Ireland was wonderful, and a really great vacation. I loved staying in a small town with people who work and live there, who can tell me where to go and suggest great walks to take. I managed to hit some amazing weather, where it was sunny and warm (but not too hot)--I even came back with a sunburn!

Here's a sampling of my photos, but click here for the full set. Lots of green, of course!
Baltimore is a seafaring town right on the water, separated from the Atlantic by a few islands (many of which you can ferry to or hire a boat). There are a few pubs along the harbor, in which I became a massive fan of Bulmers hard cider. It's far less sweet than anything I've gotten stateside (FYI in the states, Bulmers is called Magners, but it is the same thing). A lot of the residences there are vacation homes for the well-to-do, so a lot of the businesses have only a few months in the summer's tourist season to make their living.

I had the good fortune of staying with my friends' Liz and Tessa's family at The Glebe Gardens, which is a lovely set of gardens overlooking the sea, and where they grow everything from flowers to herbs, and vegetables that are served fresh in their cafe.
I did A TON of walking, Such is rewarded with views like this:
On my second day there, we took a car ride over to Bantry, where Liz and I had lunch and wandered about and explored. We happened across a woolshop! I was hoping to find a place to get some Irish yarn, but I wasn't so set on it that I was going to go out of my way to find it. Liz helped me put out vibes for one to appear to us, and needless to say I was thrilled to find Knitwell Wools (I can't find a website to them, but the link is a review and the address). We walked in and with just a couple words from my mouth, the woman immediately knew I was in search of "typically Irish yarn." Must be the accent (mine, not hers!) She pulled out a couple Aran yarns, and I just loved this color of Kilcarra Aran Tweed from Donegal (I can only find the Ravelry link, but browsing through stashes proves that this yarn comes in an wide array of beautiful colors). Truth be told, that "Natural Feeling" listed on the label, means it's actually pretty scratchy. I love how they turned that into a selling point.
Unfortunately, not much progress was made on actual knitting -- although for some reason I really have a terrible track record with vacation knitting. I did a start on the Lace Ribbon Scarf from the spring 2008 Knitty, but I didn't end up liking it in the Knit Picks Essential. It was just too fiddly and splitty to do those lacy stitches.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Going green...

I'm leaving for Ireland in just a few hours. Can't wait for a break from New York. I'll be staying in the village of Baltimore, West Cork, on the rocky shores and I have no idea what is in store. Photos when I get back.

As for knitting, I'm taking 2 skeins of Knit Picks Essential to make Veronik Avery's Lace Ribbon Scarf from the spring 2008 Knitty. I'm taking the monkey sock along with me as a back up project, but plan to focus on the scarf unless I run out of yarn.

After watching the first disc of Into the West, here is the current progress on the Drops cardi:

Friday, May 23, 2008

Foodie Friday: Belated Cinco de Mayo Editon

Recipe: Fish Tacos
I made these delicious fish tacos a couple of weeks ago for Cinco de Mayo (and another time since then). The fresh, crunchy ingredients are perfect for a non-heavy meal in the warmer weather.
I got the recipe from Serious Eats, but it was adapted from Everyday Food: Great Food Fast. I included the additions that I made. In this case, I used frozen Sole from Whole Foods. I like the spicyness of the recipe, but I'm not a huge fan of tons of jalapeno flavor, so I reduced the original amount of jalapeno and added cayenne for some extra heat.

Fish Tacos
-serves 4-

Ingredients

1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream or plain yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
1/4 small red cabbage, thinly shredded (about 2 1/2 cups)
2 scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cu)
1 jalapeno chile, halved lengthwise, one quarter finely minced
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound tilapia fillets (or other firm white fish), cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup flour
8 flour tortillas (6-inch)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 ripe avocados

Procedure

1). In a large bowl, combine the sour cream and lime juice; season with salt and pepper. Transfer half the mixture to another container; set aside for serving. Toss the cabbage, scallions, cayenne, and minced jalapeno with the remaining sour-cream mixture. Season again with salt and pepper.

2). Warm the tortillas. I do this in the oven between 2 heat-safe plates.

3). In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil and remaining jalapeno half over medium-high heat; swirl to coat the bottom of the pan and allow the jalapeno to infuse the oil. Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge each piece of fish in the flour. Cook the fish until golden brown on all sides, 5 to 6 minutes. Discard the jalapeno.

4). Fill the tortillas with slaw, fish, fresh cilantro leaves, and avocado. Drizzle with the reserved sour-cream mixture and serve immediately.

Recipe Library
In A Hurry Green Curry, Heather's Farro- 101 Cookbooks
Chocolate-Filled Double Delight Peanut Butter Cookies (a homemade take on the Pillsbury Bake-off grand prize recipe) - Baking Bites
Curried Tofu with Soy Sauce; Pasta with Butter, Sage, & Tarragon; Fast Tandoori Chicken - Mark Bittman/NYT
Green Beans with Walnut-Miso Sauce - The Kitchen
Dan Barber's Brussels Sprouts; Fish Tacos - Serious Eats

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

what to do?

What to do when you don’t know what to do?

Decor8 had a series of posts a few weeks ago of interviews with some entrepreneurs who have managed to find their way and carve out niches in the wide world of design and craft. For me it’s encouraging to read about the different ways people end up where they are – some who tried out different things, and some fell into their creative endeavors after a long time spent in a completely different field, and some who subsidize their day-to-day jobs with creative endeavors in their “off-hours.”

There are 7 interviews:

Marcia Zia-Priven (Zia-Priven Design); lighting designer

Lisa Congdon (Lisa Congdon); artist/illustrator

Irene Hoofs (Bloesem, Bloesem Kids); professional blogger, on things crafty and creative

Thorsten Becker (Thorsten’s Flickr); a guy’s perspective from someone who does a bit of everything

Fernanda Bourlot (Simplemente Blanco); interior designer, product designer, and boutique co-owner

Paola Thomas (MirrorMirror); blogger and online shop owner

Heather Moore (SkinnyLaMinx); surface pattern designer and writer

I love the design world, and I’ve been trying to hone in on what it is that I like the best about it, and in which aspects I might have (or could develop) some talent. I like pattern, paper, textiles, and printing, and am trying to figure out where I can be unique within those boundaries. At the same time, though, I have some guilt about waste and promoting consumerism, so how to rectify that? Would I be happy to just do it as a side hobby, or would I start to hate ANYTHING once it becomes something I HAVE to do? I feel like I’ve been batting around these questions forever (don’t most of us?) -- the answer is there somewhere…

Or maybe this is the answer: on a different note, and also a topic I find intriguing, Ethan Brook over at the Epicurious blog has started writing a series on How to Become a Farmer . I'm enjoying these articles. The preconceived notion is that farming is a simpler life, although it’s clear this isn’t the case. Besides the fact that farming itself takes a lot of work, a lot of people also maintain full-time jobs outside of their farm life. Okay, so I’m pretty darn sure I’m not going to all-out go and start a farm anyways, but I do hope one day to have some property where I can raise a few animals, grow some vegetables, and maybe even have a hammock (all it takes it TWO trees.).

We'll now return to our regularly scheduled pondering... now.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

oh, alas...

I spoke too soon! Misti Pima Cotton/Silk = bad yarn for Barbarella. Look:

Not cute. It just doesn't have the polished feel that the sweater really needs. I love the yarn, I love the pattern, but the yarn and pattern do not love each other. I tried out some various swatching with different needle sizes, and it's just not coming together. I'll keep an eye on the pattern, but since I have all this yarn so it's to the internet to search for patterns.

I found and cast on for another Drops sweater. This time it is Drops 105-5.


I've liked these little flared swing jackets that have been popping up, and in cotton it will be a nice cover up for the office and chilly evenings. Also, it's worked in once piece starting with the moss stitch band in the middle. Hardly any seaming! Sounds like a plan.

Back to what to do about Barbarella... I have this Turquoise Tunic which was one of the first sweaters I ever knit. I don't wear it and am thinking about reclaiming the yarn and trying to overdye some of it for a main color. It's Knit Picks Shine (sport weight, I think), and I want to turn it darker and probably more blue. I'm not real picky about how the color comes out, I just don't care for the teal color. Anyone have experience dying Cotton yarn? It also has some Modal in it. I hear that Procion MX will be a good type of dye to test out -- anyone have experience with it? Procion MX is for cellulose fibers and should work on cotton...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hello, pretty pretty

Images from Knit on the Net, Issue 5.

I've made a start on Barbarella, (Ravelry link) from Just Call Me Ruby via Knit on the Net. Her original uses a beautiful silk from the UK. I decided to go for something I could get domestically, and ordered some Misti Alpaca Pima Cotton/Silk and some Blue Sky Alpaca Dyed Cotton from Webs. I'm starting on the lace pattern at the hem and I've tried out a few needle sizes and settled on something I like (US 6 and US 7). I'm worried that the yarn might become a bit fuzzy, but the cotton and silk is a nice, soft combination and will feel good to wear.

The main color will be the burgundy on the left, and the contrasting color will be the gunmetal color in the middle. The cream I bought as a safety color in case I didn't like the grey, so I'll just save it for another project.

Oh my gosh - Barbarella pretty much has the best memorable quotes ever. Just prepare for some cheezball references in the upcoming weeks... I mean, what can you expect from a movie with a character named Dildano?

Telephone Sheep


I saw these on the Craft blog last week, and kept them marked because I thought they were so great. The link goes to some sort of photo hosting (I think) site in Spanish, so I couldn't really figure out where they came from. I searched around today and the artist is Jean-Luc (I can't find an artist's website), and the exhibit is up at the Museum of Telecommunication in Frankfurt, Germany.


These guys are fantastic! They have so much personality and it seems like if you wait long enough, one of them will move. And the way that the cord is wound to suggest the muscular structure is really well done. They are so clever, I just can't stop looking at them! I do wish I could find some more info out about the artist.

More images from Flickr.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

jaywalkin' to monkeyville

Thanks everyone for the lovely comments on the Gathered Pullover. It's two weeks later and I'm still really happy with it, so that's a milestone. Have I turned a corner in my knitting and finishing skills? Let's hope so. Now I'm working on deciding what large project to tackle next.

In the meantime, while waiting for some yarn to come in to finish on my languishing Jaywalkers, I started on the other most-popular-sock-pattern-in-the-universe, the Monkey Socks from Knitty.

Monkey-in-progress

I'm using this absolutely gorgeous Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino that I purchased from the Hillsborough Yarn Shop last year.

Cherry Tree Hill - "Wild Berry"

I'm not huge on the Summer knitting. I haven't even bothered to peek into my Interweave Knits that arrived last week, as I saw the preview online and none of the projects really spoke to me this time around. I plan to try to tackle some summer knits though, since we're only just skimming the surface of the warm weather to come in the next couple of months.