Tuesday, July 31, 2007


The talk of the town recently has been Ravelry. I am a little ashamed to admit it, please no rotten tomatoes, but I've had my invite for over a month and I just signed in today for the first time. I didn't sign in earlier because all I heard was what a time-suck it was, and my oh my the truth of those that came before me. I had to cut myself off. The time-suck is all things good in the world, and at least more productive than the hours I spent playing Snood in college, but food must be eaten and showers taken despite the joy of Ravelry. Anyway, I'm excited about Ravelry and I'll definitely be using it in the future, I don't know if I'll muster the energy to bring it up to date with old projects though. For those still waiting, totally worth it, but make sure you eat and get sunlight occasionally.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Dilly Dilly

Lavender Sachet

Pattern: Lace Chart from A Gathering Of Lace. It's one of the Pair of Pillows towards the end.

Yarn: Misti Alpaca Lace

Needles: size 0

Notes: I don't usually go for cats on things, I like moose better, but I thought this cat was actually pretty cute and if I made it in cotton candy pink it would up the gag-me factor just enough to make the perfect lavender sachet. This one is for a gift, but rest assured that I'll be making another one for myself.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Lavender Blue

Awhile ago I harvested lavender (right after I spied a suspicious moth in the studio) from our 'garden' out back and now I need something to put it in. Enter the sachet.

Pattern: The lace chart is from the Magickal Earth Shawl from A Gathering of Lace. The rest is my own devising.

Yarn: Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud in Sunlight Heater leftover from a shawl I knit awhile back.

Needles: Size 0

Notes: I knit the lace flat, then turned and knit the back onto the front. I blocked it, filled it with lavender from the garden, and grafted it shut. Doing this in the round would make much more sense and the sides wouldn't look nearly so wonky. As it was I was just trying something out and I'm very pleased with the results. I will definitely be making more with other bits of leftover lace weight. With the size 0 needles the yo holes are small enough that the lavender doesn't fall out.

In other news the Odysseus sweater is making some hefty progress. It's been awhile since 9th grade English and I'm out of Odyssey metaphors, in knitting mythology I'm at the bottom of the armholes, I just need to knit some sleeves and join them for a raglan top. Also think of something to make it all a little more interesting.

Monday, July 16, 2007

It's a still life watercolor

Pattern: Syncopated Caps by Kate Gilbert from Interweave Knits Summer 2007.
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Silkie Socks that Rock in Walking on the Wild Tide and Lovers Leap, 81% Merino Superwash 19% Silk.
Needles: size 2
Notes: I only changed a few minor things. Firstly I'm not much of one for skinny baby ribbing on hats, so I did a nice big lining and a hem. This makes for a neat edge and an extra layer of warmth right around the ears. This is the first hem I've ever done and while I always knew the principal it is exciting to see it actually work like everyone says it will. To make up for the lost length ribbing would have given me I added a pattern repeat, otherwise everything is as written.
The hat could still be just a hair longer, maybe if I'd added another row between each pattern repeat, but it doesn't need to a be whole repeat longer. It is also a little too tight at the top and a little too loose at the bottom. The whole thing could use a good blocking so that should take care of the top, I don't know about the bottom though. It would have been ideal if my lining was smaller and hugged my head more, alas hindsight is 20/20.
Other than that the pattern is easy to read and the decreasing cleverly fits into the pattern. I like when designers either hide the decreases or accent them in some way, you can't avoid them so you should own them. This one does in the just the right way.
I worked from both ends of the Wild Tide to break up the huge pooling problems I was having in my first incarnation. This worked quite well and I think the Wild Tide looks really good on this hat. It will be the perfect bright springy hat for the dead of winter when its damn cold out.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I've said it before...

...and I'll say it again, Cat Bordhi is a genius, unrivaled in her time. She says you won't be able to get enough of these baskets in her book and she is 100% correct. I've made 4 and that just isn't enough. I'm not generally one for making projects multiple times but this one is so quick, easy and delightful that it is hard to resist. I want to have one for every step of my staircase, just like Cat does in the picture in her book. This one, however, is for a gift. I love gifts like this because people think you slaved hours and hours and did some very tricky knitting to make them this, when really it took a total of about 4 hours and I can't get enough of this basket anyway.

Pattern: Moebius Basket from the Second Treasury Of Magical Knitting by Cat Bordhi.

Yarn: Cascade Eco Wool for the base and bits of random leftovers for the handle. All held double. _

Needles: size 13
You may have noticed that one side has a row of brown at the top and the other has a row of purple. This was completely intentional. (read: I ran out of brown halfway through a row and switched to purple.) I do like how it looks though, adds just a little interest to an already fabulous pattern.
The handle is also a little longer than it really should be, but that's because the yarns felted at different rates. I do all my felting by hand and I simply couldn't stand over a bucket of hot water on a hot day churning a plunger anymore. The size of the handle doesn't really detract any, and you would only notice if you compared to the basket already on your desk.
Because everyone loves a before and after shot:

Sunday, July 8, 2007

So I've got this brother. He actually came first so I suppose it's more accurate to say he's got me. At any rate, his birthday was last month, the day before his wedding to be exact. Since there was all kinds of wedding stuff going on I didn't get a chance to make him anything for his birthday and I didn't want to just buy him something off their registry and call it a birthday gift. Instead I wrote him a card saying I would make anything he wanted for his birthday, hat, gloves, a sweater if he would wear it, etc. I have told my whole family I will make them sweaters if I thought they would wear them, most of them concede that they would not, in fact, wear a fabulous handknit sweater. My brother, much to my dismay (and secret pleasure) does not fall into this category.

He comes up to me the other day and says he's been thinking about what he wants me to make him, and he will wear a pullover sweater. Maybe Norwegian, or perhaps like the one I made myself last winter.

Now I love my sweater and I wear it all the time. My brother and I, however, are different people. Our entire childhood together and the boy only wore blue, generally navy blue. It is his fault that I don't like the color blue to this day. Navy Blue Boy says to me he wants a sweater like mine.

My jaw almost hit the floor. I stipulated in my offer that I wouldn't knit him anything blue, but I thought for sure he would choose something plain and dark red instead. Maybe a hat, perhaps another pair of socks. Never did I imagine that my brother who so religiously wore Navy blue until well after he moved out of the house would want a Fair Isle sweater like mine. I told him he can't have my sweater, but I will knit him a sweater similar to mine. I'm sure I will live to regret this offer, mostly because my brother is 6'3" and all his height is in his torso.

I'm still coming to terms with the fact that my brother, Patron Saint of Navy Blue, wants a brightly colored Fair Isle sweater, but I did say I would make him whatever he wanted for his birthday. Then he has the gall to say that the socks I made him for Christmas are a little too brown.

I made him faux Fair Isle socks using this in cocoa, and knit picks simple stripes in the Crayon colorway (apparently this has been discontinued). I was all worried he wouldn't wear them because they had too many colors and he thinks they are too brown. When did my brother shed the navy blue and realize there are others colors in the world? The upside is that if my brother, Grand Poomba of the Sacred Order of Navy Blue, can think the socks I made him are a little too brown there truly is a chance for world peace.