Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I'm almost done. A little farther than when you saw this last time, but probably not so much as you'd have thought. We've had some home improvement going on around here and all the painting and spackling just doesn't leave knitting time like I'd prefer.

The paint thing has been fun though, and I am loving my brand new 6 foot long CLOSET. (for those of you who don't live in old victorian houses, this is a Big Deal for me.)

With all that new room, I can knit a whole batch of new sweaters.

So, this one is good. It fits great, feels nice. I like the 3/4 sleeves, and the length is a little longer so it covers the top of my jeans (enough said?) I need to do a little button hole embroidery to pretty things up and I also need to make a neckline decision. Soon.

Also ironically enough, I just bought what? 1,000 buttons? yeah. None of them work on this sweater - can you believe it!? Must also find 7 little gray buttons.

EDITED: I did find 7 white buttons.
They don't match, but are all the same size and look. What do you think???

For now, the circs I need to get going on the neckline are involved in another project, so we wait.

Here's the other project.

This overexposed shot is of the Diamond Vest - who knew the back had diamonds on it? No pics in the magazine showing the back, I had assumed it was plain. But no. The pattern is fun, it's going fast - and I'm getting a good feel for lace. No wonder you guys use those little markers everywhere! So helpful.

Anyways, that's it for now. No drink recipe today. We're out of tonic after a long weekend, and honestly, seltzer is NOT the same. I'm having a disappointing gin and lemon flavored seltzer with a splash of OJ. Skip it and open a beer.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Read through and there's a cocktail at the end..... I figure I'd better do it before i forget. So, what's seven things about me that you all don't know - and would maybe care enough to read about?

1. My Grandma Pearl was the first knitter I ever knew. She never taught me how to knit, but she did teach me how to play mah jong, which was probably way more important around the clubhouse in 1970s Ft Lauderdale.

2. I have a collection of fabulous high heeled shoes which I never wear because it seems crazy to put them on and go to elementary school pickup or the food store, but i really want to.

3. I have always had fuzzy dice on my rearview mirror and still do. My first pair was a joke in high school. To this day, I don't like driving a car without them.

4. I collect kitschy salt and pepper shakers.
5. I can swear and insult people in Tagalog.

6. I was kicked out of Brownies for talking too much.

7. I was dumped by my 8th grade boyfriend for cutting my hair short.

Hope you are all entertained (or at least, still reading)... Now, I need to tag 7 of you. So... lucky for me, the knitsmiths provied a handy list of names and blog URLs. sorry guys, my blogging world is small!

Dana (or Not Dana...)

And since it has been hot out, a new cocktail. Pictured above. A berry tonic.

Tonic water
cranberry juice
and sliced strawberries.

It's not bad - I've realized I'm a big gin fan, so expect more gin drinks as the summer goes on. there's been knitting too, but I don't have a good pic. Diamond lace vest coming along.

Monday, May 21, 2007

My collection of various glassware - some of these are passed on from family or wedding gifts from years ago, but most of them are cool things I've found at flea markets and garage sales. It's almost as fun as hoarding yarn. And way cheaper.

Yesterday at Knitsmiths, it was brought to my attention that I haven't shared with you what I've been making in these guys lately. So I checked --- My last drink recipe was on Feb 6. Wow. Many apologies - the bar is stocked and has been in use. Really. Anyways, I was planning to to the tagging thing today, but instead, I figure I should give the people what they want, yes?
I guess the most interesting cocktails around here lately were the ones with The New Pear Vodka. Any of you who have cooking magazines will know what I mean. The ads were everywhere for months! And being a former ad guru, I had to cave to the highly visible campaign, didn't I? (But, being a stay at home Mom for the past 7 years, I can't recall the product's name - pathetic)
Anyways, I got the bottle of pear vodka and we did many experiments.
The best was an Apricot Pear Fizz -
Italian Pear Soda - from Trader Joes or Whole Foods - 1/2
Apricot Nectar - a little less than a 1/4
Pear Vodka - you figure how strong you like it!
Lime - slice and squeeze
It's a gorgeous day - go make one!

Later this week, I have tentative a Mojito Date with Dani. Maybe another recipe will come out of it, so stay tuned. The sun's back out and soon my deck chairs will be dry enough to sit on, so cocktail hour can return.....

Lastly, the knitting.

Jo Sharp's Summer Vest in Debbie Bliss Merino DK. Much better. When I began this in cotton, I realized it needed a little elasticity for fit. I love this stuff - but will need to purchase a skein or two before I finish - I have 5. I should need 6. We'll see how far I get. I also have heard I need to do some additional shoulder shaping, so we'll see how it goes when I get farther.

Jo Sharp cardigan is on the seaming list. will have a FO to show soon.....

Friday, May 18, 2007

So I'm apparently tagged, thanks to Lulu . I've never done one of these blog activity things ( If you watch the office, a funtivity) before, but since I've had so much fun reading Lulu's blog, and because she lives in the middle of nowhere - a short drive from Dubai - and must amuse herself somehow, I'm going to do this thing. I need to dig up 7 facts about myself and I need to tag 7 of you out there to do the same --- Am not in the mood to think about it now, but promise to do so in the next few days.
In the meantime, although much knitting is happenining, the gray sweater looks generally the same. I've been playing with the neckline and shoulders. I'll spare you the details, and hopefully post a finished sweater later this week - maybe it will even fit me...

One final note regarding the Sublime yarn. In the end, Kudos to both them and Wild and Wooly for standing behind their products. They sent me a very nice email, have made good on the money spent on the original batch and are even sending me my Arwen back. They also informed me the problem was with a small batch only. So don't avoid the yarn based on my experiences - apparently i'm just the lucky one! Above, on my keyboard are the two yarns I picked to replace the original Arwen batch.

So, you can see I am going to give the Sublime Yarn another try - it feels so amazing and it comes in such gorgeous colors, I am glad to knit with it again and have high hopes for a new fave sweater.. Above is their deep, almost silvery gray Merino.
And as Sarah Hope commented, the grays and taupes that get overlooked so often are really gorgeous colors when knit and things I can wear a ton. This gray batch is going to be the hourglass sweater from Jo Sharp 2 - I think it could be one of my most worn sweaters if I sub the merino for the cotton - I barely have the need for a long sleeved summer sweater. Like "jumbo shrimp", isn't that really an oxymoron anyways?
And the amazing green Cashmerino DK will be a new hoodie, to take Arwen's place.
I'm thinking the BPT from Knitty. Haven't run across any of those finished. anyone knit one?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

So, here's what I've been playing with. It's my "design as you go" cardigan. I used baby cables and ribs and am planning on putting some of my new vintage buttons to good use. Just the sleeves left, and one big question. Maybe some of you will have an opinion?

I know I want a crew neck, and on the left side, have already made one. It's a little lower on the chest than all the way up. It hits below my collarbones. I'm liking it. BUT, I have no idea what kind of neck ribbing to add here. I don't think a whole bunch of ribs will look good all the way around. Too busy. But maybe one long baby cable horizontally that I sew on? Any thoughts? A plain crochet edge? I have no idea. What do you guys think?

Here's my take from NH S&W. See, I completely controlled myself. The blue on the left is a slik and alpaca mix with shades of purple and burgundy in it. Much like the Cambridge Cardigan I made a while back, but way way way softer. (and more expensive!) Craig is going to get a zig zag pattern scarf out of it - He informed me he had no blue in his winter accessory knits! I decided to control the smirk at that one and use it as an excuse to buy something.

The other is 450 yds of a merino blend. I love it. Am thinking a shrug . This one has a cool lacy back I like, and I can make it with shorter arms to save yarn. Of course, I'll need to adapt the whole thing to a new gauge. Let's see what kind of quagmire i can create....

And if all the above goes bust, I'm about to cast on for Juno from Rowan 40!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

to the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival for Mother's Day. I'd never been to one of these before, so I wasn't sure if they'd even like it, but it was great. A beautiful day and activities for all. No rides and no toys to win (unless you count the yarn....), which was a great break from our usual type of summer fair.
Lots of kids and their sheep and llamas on display. Maya wants one now, but we've shut her down. A sheep in our house would not exactly be a good thing... But it was great to see all the 4H type kids with their animals - the alpaca obstacle course was a favorite. Below are some highlights of the day...
Maya spoke up during a shearing demonstration and ended up part of the show.
This guy was great. He had them "spin" a little of the fiber right off the sheep. The sheep, which by the way, he sheared in about 2 minutes flat.
We all had soft serve ice cream. Who knew it came in blue?

I think Maya's caught the bug. Is she actually smelling the yarn here? I think so. Actually, it's fiber. She saw a needle felting demonstration and is dying to try it, so we bought a little bag of mixed colors of roving and a couple of needles for her.

In my hand is some gorgeous silk alpaca that's going to be a manly scarf for Craig (see, even he managed to enjoy himself....) I managed to control myself pretty well. I bought the scarf yarn and another big skein of handdyed merino in the most gorgeous colors. More to follow on that later. In the meantime, i just might drag my family to another festival soon.....

Sunday, May 13, 2007

So here's the finished log cabin blanket. Mixed cottons from the stash. And a couple bought halfway through....

It's about 4 feet by 4 feet - am guessing, based on my wingspan....

one final beefcake shot.

And on the 1,000 Ebay buttons? They arrived afterschool on Wednesday and were a big hit. Here are a few. The rest have provided hours of entertainment.

The first pic is of our "dressy" collection - pearls and rhinestones...
the purple ones I already owned. The ones on the far top left are really cool - a ring of rhinestones and a iridescent center.

These are more serious buttons - I love the big ones. The tortiseshell and black circles would be great on a heavy jacket or sweater. The dark greens have a cool retro pattern in the plastic. Some good basics too.

And these are probably hard to see in a photo, but lots of little ones with details and edgings and stuff. Some great colors. Now if only I liked making button holes.....

Friday, May 11, 2007

so, my camera has returned home after her long trip to Dubai.
here's the view from the hotel balcony.

And some local shopping. Note the smoking incense thingy in the spice shop. So cool.

I particularly like the mannequins below....

Accessories make the outift, don't they?

And look - even in Dubai, a local Bostonian can feel right at home.....

I'll spare you guys the rest of the shots. Suffice to say, no yarn stores and few knitters in the 100 degree desert. But back at home here in rainy New England, here's someone who appreciates a good blanket.

I asked her if I could spread it out for a better shot and she gave me a withering look, so maybe later. It turned out beautiful. The colors are amazing and it was so easy. Despite the boredom, I definitely recommend making your own Log Cabin Blanket with your stray skeins.

I also recommend curling up with it on your bean bag chair to watch TV.

And here is my next project.

I'm making it up as I go along (which ALWAYS turns out so well....) but we'll see what it turns into. The fit is half based on a sweater I own, half on the cardigan from Jo Sharp Summer. And this is the Summer Soho yarn.

So far, I'm thinking cardigan. This is the back, which is a few rows away from being complete. The baby cables will also appear on the front, and may travel up farther than the ribbing. 3/4 length sleeves and little gray buttons. Crew neck.

At least that's what I'm saying today, maybe tomorrow it will be a tank...

Monday, May 07, 2007

So sorry. My camera is on vacation in Dubai. Apparently it wanted to see some desert and ride a camel. I promise more photos when it returns.

But, some photoless updates:

1. No mice for two weeks. I think we're done. I owe it all to the Line of Death.

2. The Log Cabin blanket is done and it really does look great. I think the tedium is worth it and highly recommend one to anyone else looking to get rid of all the singles in their stash.

3. The buttons are on their way - I am a little horrified that I spent $17 on buttons, but I'm also kind of excited that they could be cool and kind of fun. i' don't think I've ever SEEN 1,000 buttons at once. (and really, who has?)

4. I am officially irate at the Sublime Yarn people. I went to Wild and Wooly today and had the same conversation I've had about 10 times already. Yeah they plan on making good (exactly what that means....?), but no we have no new info. Once they decided the yarn was to blame and they plan on giving me cash back, how long SHOULD it take?

I told them I don't only want my money back anymore, i also want some extra compensation for time knit and time waiting. i've been nice and I've been patient, but people, this is ridiculous! Turns out the rep is also the rep for Debbie Bliss and Noro... I'm thinking 14 new skeins of another yarn PLUS my money back is getting to be what I want. And if it goes much longer, I also want a pattern book....

so, without imagery, that's all I got. Have begun new things, but I can't show you yet... promise I will after thursday. till then.


Only because I wrote this today and also because I got impatient and sent Knitting Fever a mad email did I get an answer from Wild and Wooly about my sweater. Doesn't the universe always conspire to make you look like an idiot? Someone will read my email in a few hours and contact the rep, who will say, "But I DID do it!". ugh

Anyways, I get two bags of yarn of my choice from the company, who reps Noro and Debbie Bliss, in addition to Sublime. About that part, I am very pleased. I am a big Debbie Bliss fan. One bag to replace what I bought, and one for my trouble. Perfect. But... I don't get my sweater back. That part came as a surprise. Not that I love it or would wear it often, but still... I did make it, and who else would want it? Apparently, I'll have to comfort myself in my bags of new yarn. That might not be so tough....

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I've just spent almost my entire hour between dropoffs bidding on Ebay. The Log Cabin Blanket is right here, waiting to be picked up, but I can't tear myself away from the computer. I better finish this blanket soon and get going on something smaller or I'll be in the poorhouse reading my 1950s knitting mags and playing with vintage buttons.
Would that really be so bad?
If I win any of my auctions, I'll show you later on today.
(I'm going for the instant grafitication Log Cabin Lacks, so all my auctions will end in a few hours.)
I'm the proud owner of 1,000 vintage buttons (and two tins)