January 27, 2011

More Snow=More Knitting

More of this leads to...

More knitting! These are Susie's Reading Mitts done in Mirasol Qina which I got at Webs on sale. I'm in love with this yarn and want to get more to make something...I don't know what but something.

January 22, 2011

"In Like" with this FO, Not "In Love"

I purchased some Berroco Pure Merino a while back hoping to knit up Collins by Thea Coleman. When the yarn was in my hand it had too much drape to it and wasn't "crunchy" or "crisp" enough for the pattern. So I opened up New England Knits and selected the cover pattern called Middlefield Pullover. It is an easy knit and kept my hands busy. I tried it on a lot and made quite a few adjustments to the pattern which are on my Ravelry project page.

I should have realized the ribbing might not be the greatest with "the girls"...I think I'll be futzing with this whenever I wear it. I like the FO I don't love it.

January 20, 2011

Snow Day Stitching

Tuesday morning we awoke to a little snow and enough ice to make it a snow day. The kids were thrilled and I took it as a chance to get some knitting related work done. I had made a Coraline way back in the spring but never got to putting on the buttons. It required a bit of clever work creating a loop from embroidery floss. I had all the materials but no desire to make them. So, I stitched up my button loops this past Tuesday and now my sweater is wearable again. I really see this as a March/April sweater as it is a spring color to me.

I have another FO which I haven't photographed yet - later this week hopefully I can get Miss America to be my photographer. Anyway, it had some buttons. So I dug through my button jar and recycled these buttons for the shoulder of the sweater. It felt good to get all this stitching out of the way so I can perhaps cast on another project.

January 18, 2011

Halftime Hat

This past Sunday there were two playoff games which we sat down and watched. I was working on finishing a sweater hem and put it aside and decided I needed to cast on another project RIGHT NOW. I had 3 skeins of Classic Elite Duchess in my stash (on sale at Webs right now) and I had found this pattern on Ravelry.

I cast on with size 10 needles and did the seed stitch band...then no size 10 dpns but I had size 9 16" circulars and also longer circulars for magic loop at the top. I kept on going and by halftime I had a hat! It calls for a fun large button and I've had this one for over 20 years - it was one I found in my grandmother's collection. It goes perfectly.

Here is Miss America modeling it...she wants it but it is MINE! Okay, I'll share.

January 16, 2011

First FO of 2011

I cast on for Stephen West's Pogona on January 4th and finished it on January 12th - what can I say it was an addictive pattern to knit. I used Auraucania Itata which I got on sale at Webs and found this slightly variegated yarn to be perfect for this pattern. The pattern itself is brilliantly written with 20 stitch markers placed through it to let you know when to go to the next section...it became an almost rythmic knit.

I've included a photo below of the shawl in blocking - it gives you an idea of the construction. I might just have to make another one!

January 15, 2011

It's a Small, Small World!

The other day I received my Classic Elite Newsletter email - the usually have a wonderful pattern and I always make sure to look through it. This time I saw this wonderful scarf called Daniel's Kumara Scarf. Then I read through the article and they talked about the designer, Heather McVickar. Now until I was 12 I lived in a small town about 45 minutes away from NY City. All the kids went to the same private school and everyone knew everyone. I knew a Heather McVickar and the coincidence was enough to make me go on Facebook and see if she was there as Ravelry didn't have any more info on her.

So, I sent Heather a message and asked if she was the same person as I remembered from years ago - she's a few years older than me so I mentioned I was a year younger than her brother. Sure enough she's the same person (we are now friends on FB and Ravelry) AND get this...she works for Classic Elite Yarns. Oh, wouldn't you love to have that job?

Anyway, here's how beautiful her scarf is - it's one I'm going to make one day. I think it would be wonderful to make for a college bound kid and use the school colors (if they are good colors).

Had to share my small, small world story.

January 11, 2011

What Else Is In My Ears

Okay, now that I've admitted my addiction to The Knit Wits podcast (and I hope those of you who checked it out enjoyed it as much as I do), I thought I'd fill you in on what other podcasts I listen to while running my errands or walking the dog.

I heard on one podcast that you should give a podcast at least 3 episodes before you decide if you like it or not. These are the ones that have made it past the 3 episode criteria - in no particular order they are:

The Savvy Girls Podcast features two sisters - Melanie and Deborah. Melanie is living in NYC right now and has an amazing singing voice...she's a bit of a knitter but not as much as her sister. Deborah is living in Bogata and knits quite a bit. They have some wacky adventures when they are together and their banter back and forth with their Canadian accents is wonderful.

Never Not Knitting is hosted by knitwear designer Alana Dakos. She has a very calm voice and she tells of her designing efforts. She often has great contests (not that I've won yet) and sometimes has special promotions where you can buy patterns at a discount (that I've done). She has interviews with other designers and sometimes has "essays" where other designers tell their back story.
The Knitmore Girls is a mother/daughter podcast featuring Gigi (mother) and Jasmin(daughter). These ladies knit a lot and they have great input and advice about patterns, yarns, etc. It was the Knitmore Girls that put me onto The Knit Wits (very funny bit about Gigi describing Rick's voice and comparing it to dark chocolate and Rick's response in one of their podcasts).
I've also listened to Knit Knit Cafe which is a mother/son podcast and is relatively new. It has potential and I'm sticking with it for now. I do check out the Webs podcast - Ready Set Knit. They discuss yarn sales at Webs and I've found some good ones this way - they have good interviews too.
That's it for now...next post I promise I'll show knitting. I almost have 2 FOs to show.

January 7, 2011

My Latest Addiction

About a year ago I started listening to knitting podcasts...and about 3 months ago I became addicted to a few of them and one in particular. But first let me backtrack...I was at our weekly knitting group organized by Jennifer when Lisa (warning a lot of these links are going to be Ravelry links) mentioned a few more to me and sent them to me in an email with a few notes about each one. Now sometimes these podcasts have sponsors/advertisers and sometimes they share promos from each others podcasts...and that is how I discovered my latest addiction.

The Knit Wits Podcast!

I missed the first few ones - I started with Episode 6 - The Dread Stocking Robert - and I was hooked. The podcast is done by Carin and Rick Reilly (sp?). She's the Knit and he's the Wit...he worked in radio for years and does voiceovers now and it really adds to the quality of the podcasts. Their rapport, banter, conversations...everything is wonderful. Sometimes I've laughed so hard I almost have to pull over the car. The conversation ranges from knitting to their lives to what is in their wineglass...it is funny, it is HYSTERICAL, it is touching and moving at times too.

I can't do this podcast justice here - go listen to it (it is on iTunes and they have a Ravelry group too). I suggest you start with Episode 1 - lucky you as you have 17 episodes to listen to. As I mentioned I started with Episode 6 and listened through 10 or so then went back to the beginning when I had a long drive ahead of me (imagine a 7 hour drive and it flew by as I listened to these podcasts).

January 2, 2011

New Year's Eve Dreaming and Scheming

Every year my DH and I spend our New Year's Eve with a fire in the fireplace, some lovely appetizers and a bottle of champagne. We dream and we plan things for the future. It is the perfect way for us to spend the evening. When the kids came along, they became part of the evening here and there - this year while #1 son chose to play on the Xbox for a while Miss America joined us and started looking through a book I had picked up at the library - Nicky Epstein's Block By Block. The book as a series of blocks which you can knit up and then make blankets or sweaters - while it wasn't my cup of tea, Miss America saw a block with three ruffles and got inspired.

Here's her New Year's Eve dreaming and scheming...first she sketched up some of the blocks and how they could work in a sweater. Then she broke it into good ideas and rejects.

Once she settled on the ruffles, she sketched up the sweater she wants me to make. We had a discussion of color (the DDP is her signature color of Deep Dark Purple). Notice in the top right corner she signed the sketch with her fancy designer signature. We also discussed yarns...first she asked for cashmere. After I got over choking on my champagne, I told her the sweater with ruffles which EATS UP yarn would cost $400-500 in cashmere. I told her we might find a blend with cashmere (she noted it as crappy cashmere - very funny child). I also suggested bamboo which was in the sweater I knit for my sister and came out soft and ruffly.

I guess I have my work cut out for me for 2011! I've already tried to figure out how to do the ruffles and knit it in one piece. This is going to be a fun challenge and so will finding an affordable yarn.
I love that she dreamed and schemed on New Year's Eve in the tradition her parents have for years.