November 30, 2009

The Problem with Red!

What is it with red???? It just doesn't photograph true. This shawl/scarflet is made with Knit Picks Merino Style in the colorway Hollyberry. It is a deep, dark rich red...not the Santa Suit red you see here. Oh well, I tried.

This pattern is the Textured Shawl Recipe which I found on Ravelry. I adapted it a bit and added textured stitch rows in the stockinette section. It is lovely, soft and I'm sure I'll wear it a lot....or it might be a gift. Hmmm...

You can see we're ready for Advent...the mittens are stuffed with Hershey's kisses and Lindt chocolate as per #1 Son's request. I was flipping through Garnet Hill's catalog - I love their stuff but never can afford it. Anyway, I saw they had their own advent calendar that looked so much like this fact it was just like the pattern I purchased for $5 or so and they charge $78 for the finished item. Now I know with labor mine probably is worth more than $78 but I call it the best odds and ends stashbuster I've ever knit.
It looks lovely and has me ready to decorate the Christmas wreath next!

November 25, 2009

What The Heck Is It?

What is this thing? An alien, a blob?

Here's another view.

It's Bastille's Ball (Ravelry link) from One More Skein.

My mother in law has a new kitten...poor thing was named "Kitty" in spite of all the names Miss America offered up. So I figured if you can't have a real name, you get a real toy. This one is a felted ball with funky i-cords all over it. I put catnip inside. Poor thing has an unimaginative name so she gets an imaginative toy...delivered on Thanksgiving tomorrow so she can be thankful for the toy not her name.

Apologies to anyone who has a cat named "Kitty" me though it is like naming your dog "Doggy" or your child "Baby". Poor thing deserves a name in my estimation. End of rant.
Also, some things just can't be photographed - today's lesson learned.

November 24, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

I was reading Carole's blog and liked her Ten on Tuesday adapatation - 10 People I'd Like (Living or Dead) to Invite to Thanksgiving Dinner. I can do this.

1. My grandmother, Mimi. She was a wonderful, spunky lady who loved to cook and I miss her most every day. She wasn't my knitting grandmother but she was my special grandmother.

2. My grandfather, Pappy (Mimi's husband). He loved to cook too and loved the theater of carving the turkey and serving the meal. We spent most Thanksgivings at their home so I guess that is why I'd have them both at this imaginary meal.

3. My godmother, Robin. She lost her battle to cancer 13 years ago. There isn't a day I miss her. When I moved to NYC and couldn't take the long trip home for T-giving, it was her home where I spent my turkey days. We had a memorable meal where some Russian friends were visiting for Thanksgiving and we made a spinach dish with buttered bread crumbs on top. She only had dark rye bread for the bread crumbs and it looked like coffee grounds - we laughed at it for years. She also had the BEST cranberry recipe which I'll post at the end of this list.

4. Amelia Earhart - she's always just fascinated me and I'd like to hear about where she ended up. I've always wanted to get my pilot's license and she's been a childhood hero.

5. Leonardo Da Vinci - I majored in art history - this man would be a fascinating person to talk to. If he were busy, I'd ask Michelangelo.

6. Thomas Jefferson - I went to the University of Virginia. This man is fascinating on many levels and I have a bunch of questions for him.

7. Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird speaks for itself - I'd like Gregory Peck to join her.

8. Eric Clapton - just for the music.

9. My husband's grandparents - I never got to meet my husband's paternal grandparents...just as he never met my maternal grandparents listed above. They were so important in his life and we both wish we had met each other's grandparents.

10. My parents and sisters - okay this is more than one person. I haven't had a Thanksgiving with them in years. I always am with my husband's family and I guess at this time of year I just miss mine.

I could add a knitter to this list...Wendy Bernard would be fun, Elizabeth Zimmerman would be enlightening, Yarn Harlot could be a hoot, oh there are so many knitters I could add.

Now, for Robin's Cranberries - try them, you'll never go back.

1 bag of fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Combine all these put in an ovenproof dish and bake at 350 until bubbling...around 30-40 minutes. This can bubble up so make sure you don't overstuff the dish. Can be served warm or at room temperature.

Happy Thanksgiving.

November 23, 2009

I really think I have Knitting ADD

Currently, I have more WIP's than I usually do. Here's the start for my Farmer's Market Cardigan which I'm using Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride. I've finished the body of the sweater and had fun with adapting the directions so I could knit both the left and right fronts at the same time.

The beauty of this sweater is there is little seaming - they make it look like it is seamed as you do a purl stitch at the sides for the "effect" of a seam.

Next is the sleeves which I'll do both at the same time but I've put it down - sleeves are the bane of my knitting existence.

I also am working on Inca Marle Ruffle Coat which I've stalled on the collar which has tons of short rows. I also have stalled on a sweater I'm designing for Miss America - I'm to the sleeves portion and have lost my mojo on it.

I have another project in the works which is a test knit I'm not allowed to discuss. I was excited to be chosen to test knit something.

So, with all this going on what do I do? Cast on another project. I wanted something portable to have for the Thanksgiving Day trip to my mother in laws...I also needed something to knit while waiting for "Twilight New Moon" to start.

The color is totally off but I've started my first shawl/wrap/scarflet. The pattern is Textured Shawl Recipe (Ravelry link) and I'm adapting it a bit. I love the textured stitch and it is a little addicting adding on the extra stitches and watching it grow. I'm using leftover Merino Style from Knit Picks that I made the Twisted V Pullover with. This might be a gift for someone or it might just be for me.

Yup, I'd call casting on a new project right now a bit of Knitting ADD.

Oh, I forgot, to make things worse I knit up today a small toy for my mother in law's cat - it's felting as I type. ADD again.

November 20, 2009

Eight is Enough

Here are 8 little sweater ornaments - I have yet to put the "hangers" in them. I whipped these up while subbing this week. Easy, quick and now I have enough between these ones and ones I've made in the past to decorate our Christmas wreath when we get it.

I used the Minutia patterns as inspiration but really just created these from my own head. It's fun to play with cables and yarn overs to make the sweaters more interesting.

I'm working on the Farmer's Market Cardigan right now but it is only stockinette so not worth photographing at this point.

Have a great weekend!

November 18, 2009

Doing as I'm told

The library got Kate Jacob's newest book "Knit the Season" in and I scurried to get as I enjoyed reading "The Friday Night Knitting Club". It inspired me so I pulled out some extra bits of yarn and did as the book suggested - I Knit the Season. Here are 5 little sweaters I whipped up while reading the book. The blue one isn't seamed and the red one isn't quite done.

Here they are looking a little bit closer to their true colors. I think this year I'm going to take all my mini-sweaters and put them on the Christmas wreath on the front door. It will be festive, unusual and will certainly tell all visitors that a knitter lives in the house!

As for the book...can't say I loved it. It was predictable and a bit trite. I think she's played the theme out and needs to move on. There are a few patterns and recipes in the back of the book.

November 17, 2009

One More Skein

Our fantastic local library comes through again with a winner book. I read about this in a magazine and immediately requested that the library purchase it. Sure enough the day it was put into circulation I had an email saying my requested book was in.
Of course, I rushed to the library and picked it up. Another gem of a book by Leigh Radford...this one gives you quick projects that might need more than one skein. There's a baby sweater I'm itching to make. There's also a fun felted toy for a cat/kitten which I'm going to whip up for my mother in law's new kitten.
Check it out - it's worth a look.

November 15, 2009

A Time Capsule

The other day my friend, Melissa, handed me a bag with a project I had started helping her knit almost 14 years ago. She never finished it and her son is now too big for the sweater she had in mind.

What she didn't realize is what a time capsule this was for me. In the bag was a 1988 issue of Vogue Knitting. Look it has my maiden name and is from when I lived and worked in NYC.

Check out the wild patterns back then.

I think the reason I saved this 1988 issue up to 1996 (when we started the sweater) was for this one photo (the one of the guy and girl in blue and white)...the male model is a family friend who briefly modeled quite a bit in NYC. I thought it was so cool to see him in my knitting magazine.

Now the wonderful thing about this issue which I didn't appreciate in my 20's is an article written by Elizabeth Zimmerman. It was for this cute modular tomtem jacket. The very pattern Melissa was making for her son.

Here's how far she got on the jacket. Part of me thinks I should finish it but part of me knows that my gauge and hers will be 2 different things.

I also had loaned her my "Learn to Knit" book which was my far knitting has come since then!
What a fun blast to the past!
PS. I apologize for the awful spacing of the paragraphs - I've been trying to fix it but this stupid blogger software won't work that way for me today.

November 12, 2009

Eighteen Days Until Advent

Here it is...all completed with 18 days to go until Advent. My own Adventskalendar! I started this back in January with scraps of yarn in my stash...I decided to repeat the white mitten in a certain pattern with the other mitten colors. I don't know if you can catch the order of how I worked it but it does flow in a certain way.

I was able to finish the embroidery and make the chain while Miss America was sick on Monday. I hung it up by the fireplace as soon as it was done.

#1 Son was impressed and I told him I'd put chocolate in each mitten to help countdown advent. We've always had chocolate advent calendars as I married a chocoholic and gave birth to 2 chocoholics...they literally have to eat it every day.

So, I asked #1 Son what kind of chocolate he wanted in the mittens...he responded in all seriousness "Lindt, please". Did I mention they are discriminating chocoholics?

I won't be hanging this by this particular fireplace as the heat it pumps out during a fire would melt the chocolate...we'll move it to a fireplace we don't use.

November 11, 2009

Professional Knitter?

I had to share this with you all as it made my day...I got a message on Facebook from a high school friend who I haven't seen since my 20's. She is a good friend of the woman who taught me how to read patterns. The note said this:

"Hey Estella, I was wanting to ask do you knit as a profession now? your pictures of your creations were amazing! I can remember sitting in your family room watching you knit but didn't realize at the time just how talented you were."

To think my work looks professional and to realize how much it as progressed since she saw my early attempts totally gave me a big smile! Just had to share.

November 10, 2009

Quick Knits

Knowing I had some car time ahead of me this past Saturday, I cast on some smaller knits to take along. After 4 1/2 hours in the car on Saturday, 3 hours of football on Sunday, and a sick child all day yesterday, I have 2 new FO's for you.

First is a pair of Dashing fingerless's hard to photograph your own hand I've decided. I used leftover Cascade 220 from my Annikki sweater. These are wonderful and long and warm and I know they will be a great layering piece to keep me warm.

I had 2 skeins of Queensland Collection Uraguay Chunky which I picked up for $5 from Little Knits. I whipped up this Quickie Cowl pattern and will gift it to my sister for Christmas. The yarn is merino with a bit of silk and is perfectly soft for around the neck.

I did finish one more project in those 3 days but that will have to wait for another day!

November 7, 2009

Look What I Scored

As my loyal readers know, I adore our local library and feel so fortunate to be in a community with such an amazing resource.

Anyway, they have a book sale 3-4 times a year and I tend to get there on the 2nd day and find books for the kids, me and I always check the knitting section. A while back I scored a Christmas Stocking book which had some good ornament patterns.

Miss America and I were there when the sale started on Friday afternoon and while she rushed to the young adult books I rushed to the knitting section...look what I scored! Debbie Bliss Baby Knits for $1 (originally $25) and EZ's Knitting without Tears in hardback for only 50 cents!

The shelves weren't very organized and I had to rummage to find these. On my way out I noticed a woman had a mitten shaped knitting book and I waited to see if she kept it or not - almost hovering ready to grab it (scary isn't it). She kept it and I realized that mittens aren't my favorite knit and I can find plenty online (like how I justify that one?).

Thank you dear library!

November 6, 2009

Just In Time

Presenting my third Ingenue...finished just in time for Finishing Friday!

It's still a little damp from blocking but I'm wearing it today. I'm amazed that using the same yarn, same needles, same everything that the fit in this one is a bit looser and different. I made it longer and the sleeves longer than my last one. I know I will wear it a lot as I love my other one.

What's next? I'm going to embroider my advent calendar mittens and I might cast on for a scarf or can never have too many cowls. I'm also waiting for my yarn for the Farmer's Market Cardigan...maybe it will be here by tomorrow???

Have a great weekend! I should have more to show on Monday as there is 4 hours of car time in store this weekend.

November 4, 2009

By the Hair of My Chinny Chin Chin

So on Saturday I panicked and ordered one more skein of Ella Rae Classic from Little Knits. After a productive few days and knitting this morning with Jennifer, I cast off on my 2nd Ingenue sleeve...this was how close it was to the end of the the hair of my chinny chin chin.

Then I realized I didn't need that extra skein so I called Little Knits...they really are the best...they rock! The order hadn't been sent out (as I confused thins on Monday and asked them to add 2 more skeins of the grey Lamb's Pride which they gladly did). So, they could pull the skein of Ella Rae Classic and all is well.

Okay, time to weave in a few ends, give the sweater a bath and I'll be wearing it soon!

November 2, 2009

In The Home Stretch

A weekend which included DVD's, Yankees game (go Yankees!), Giants game (we won't talk about that one) put me in the home stretch on my Ingenue. I realized however, that I made the sleeves longer than my first one and I added some short row shaping in the bust and made the torso a bit longer...all this led to the aha moment that I will be short on yarn.

Thank God for Little Knits - a quick email confirmed they had more of the same dye lot I need so I ordered one more skein to finish the second sleeve.

Now, while ordering one more skein I got into a bit of trouble...Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride was on deep discount sale ($3.99/skein). I then saw this version (Ravelry Link) of the Farmer's Market Cardigan. I realized that the sale price made this a do-able sweater for me. So, I got into a little trouble and ordered some more yarn....who can turn down such a bargain?