Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Zoe and I saw her yesterday, when she called to ask if I had any yarn to make a baby hat out of. We do and we did, so we got it and we made it. One simple hat out of fluffy baby yarn, in colors Zoe specifically picked for said Baby, who is due any sec, soooo... now that the hat is finished and the Sox are done messing with our traffic, Cassie's all set for a quick drive down to Brigham & Womens...
Baby Price's hat is perched on one of my Favorite Things About Halloween. If Cassie has her baby this week, I'll be bringing a few of these over to the hospital room!

Here's another Favorite Thing About Halloween.

On the knitting front, I'm about ready to frog Clapotis. I know it's a great pattern (2,000 knitters can't be wrong!), and the finished Claps are gorgeous, but I'm bored with all the knit knit knit. Am thinking I'll give Ella a shot instead. Not too much detail to get lost in the colors, but enough to keep it a little more interesting. I've been thinking of this patten ever since Wendy Wonacott posted it a while back, but never had the right yarn. Perhaps this stuff is it?
I'm also making one more Cabled - for a friend - out of my leftover Cascade. The math translates easily, so I will add a note to the pattern when I'm done for a new yarn weight.
Happy Halloween - get yourself a pumpkin beer!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Those have been the high points of this weekend. After almost a week of social quarantine, I wasn't doing so hot. I'm not exactly a sit at home kind of gal. (Craig calls me a shark, actually. Something happens to them when they stop swimming - they die? they can't breathe? Not sure)

But really, there are very few places you can take your vermin infested kids - so when Sat AM rolled around. we finished up our olive oil wraps and did a nit FREE check on both of 'em, so we decided it was time for dim sum.

I told Craig to go get me something potent, with cherries or pineapple, in a groovy cup. (Our dim sum place is attached to the coolest, kitchiest bar with a giant golden dragon, so I had high hopes. He did not disappoint.

He returned with a Zombie. And a little while later, he got me another. I wish i could tell you the recipe, but I have no idea what was in those babies. He said "a lot of stuff". All I know is they were exactly what I needed - and fun to have on the table -since two heads can talk to each other, can't they? According to my kids, they can.

The cup above is really similar to yesterday's, but I did not steal it yesterday. Bad example for the kids. Can't anymore. I stole this one from a place called Kowloon years ago - along with his mate. They live on my kitchen counter. I was much younger, childless and drunk at the time, and I did have a little penchant for chinese and polynesian restaurant tokens..
(everyone's got a dirty little secret)

The pumpkins behind him we carved today. One of my favorite things to do. It's a perfect fall day - sunny, breezy, leafy. When we were done carving, we went out for cider, donuts and a haunted hay ride. Also exactly what we needed.

Draped over my tikis and pumpkins and above, over Maya is my Green Split Leaf Scarf. It's from Interweave's little scarf book - they called it Knits Hits, 11 favorite scarves. In the book, this pattern was one of a trio of laceweight scarves, but I've learned I'm not currently a lace fan, so I subbed Cascade 220.

The texture is awesome, and I can't wait to wear this puppy for the rest of the fall and winter! The only change I made to the pattern is that I began with 3 rows of seed stitch, and I didn't do the middle graft. Just went through 2+ skeins of Cascade, and did 3 more rows of seed for the bind off edge too. Then I draped it over Maya for a photo - see, she MUST be nit free for me to throw my scarf under the bus like that...

am hoping she (they) stays that way for school tomorrow and Halloween Weds.

cross your fingers for me!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Yep, that's where I've been. Not knit picking, like all of you at Rhinebeck (lucky ones...), but nit picking. Becomes very clear why it's an appropriate phrase for "crazy making attention to detail". I think they're all gone now, but shit, that's one ginormus pain in the ass. (Chews into the knitting time too - have you seen Maya's head of hair? it takes TWO hours.... )

Got a call from Zoe's school on Monday morning and been nuts ever since. I'll spare you the details, but lets just say my environmental footprint has grown a bit this week. I don't think the dryer and washing machine rested for 3 days straight. All said and done I'm considering myself lucky because although I know the lice were there (someone laid the nits) I never saw one.

So, am I done with the icky animals now? First the mice and then, eeew, the lice. Also, last week, there was a possum in our garbage can that loved the box of liquor filled chocolate in there so much he spent the day hanging out and tossing back boozy bon bons. (Maya does a good Drunken Possum impersonation) Then he took a big shit and apparently grossed himself out enough to leave the can. We tossed the lid on the thing and dragged it to the curb with a note for the garbage men to take it.

On a brighter note, the same universe sending me nasty animals also sent me a cool magazine.

Seems someone in the marketing dept has their potential target audience right! This little surprise arrived in the mail a few days back. It's a preview issue for a new magazine.

A magazine full of cocktail recipes and anything liquid!
Will give this old fashioned a shot tonight - it seems like a good rainy day drink.

And for anyone wondering if there's real yarn in my house this week, there is. (the aforementioned Good Knit ) I'm completely distracted by this scarf. It began as an Obi, from Veronik Avery's new book, but soon frogged out. Obi's gorgeous, but I think it really needs the right yarn - something subtly vareigated. Probably the one thing I don't have in my stash. (must go fix that problem soon)

So, Obi's on hold, and this Cascade 220 Heathers is knitting up into a Split Leaf scarf. I love it so much I can't put it down. Everything else has taken a back seat, and I'm about 1.25 into a 3 skein scarf. This is a bad, bad photo for color, but you can see the texture.

Such a fun little pattern! Not sure if I'll block it or leave it bumpy. We'll see.
When it stops raining I'll take a better shot -

I'm off to take the last hundred stuffed animals out of the dryer.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

It's that time of year when every weekend there's a new activity - the leaves are turning, the weather has begun to feel like fall and there's so many amazing things to do in New England. We're taking full advantage. Last weekend it was King Richard's Faire (which we remember from San Francisco as the Renaissance Festival) Sooooo much fun. Shows, shopping, snacks, activities and weird costumes.

Bonus for the grownups - it's got booze. And the big bonus is that you can WANDER THE FAIR, BEER (champagne, mead, or wine) IN HAND! And just look at the pretty carts you get to buy it at. The whole fair is in the woods, no coke logos, merchandising tie ins or anything. A nice break from the cheesy age of commercialism & advertising.
(although I am aware it pays the bills around here..)

(maybe that pilgrim guy should lay off the sauce?)

It's hilarious with all the crazy costumes and the grownups acting like they live in 15th Century England. Princesses, knights, peasants, etc. A buzz is a good thing. Especially when you run into stuff like this.

It's a giant stuffed one eye tongue monster. He spoke and moved. The girls loved him. Zoe was more partial to a red troll with a giant hammer who eluded my camera. Maya, always the ham, dressed the part.

It's a great day for everyone - if you haven't gone, check it out next year. Honestly, I'm surprised there isn't a knitting contingent there in the little shops - it's just begging for a spinner selling her wares.... wheels, yarn, etc. Would be very appropriate. I saw lots of handknits in the crowd so I know the Knitters are There.

And speaking of spun wares, my NH S&W yarn was too busy for Veronik Avery's Obi. Couldn't see the cables and lace through all these colors. So, I guess I'm jumping on the Clapotis bandwagon. This part is a little underwhelming, but soon I start dropping stitches. I've seen what all yours look like, so I'm keeping the faith and stifling a yawn for now.

Instead, I'm using Obi as an excuse to knit with this shade of Cascade heathers that I've always wanted to use. I love it - it's a light green with hints of light blue and yellow in it. Midwinter, it might make me look like Death with my pasty white skin and the deep dull undyed blond hair I usually sport as we hit January, but on the needles, it sure is purty.

One more thing to show here --- I am apparently unable to walk away from the design bug all together. This here's destined to be a Jackie O-esque cardigan. I'm playing with seed stitch and a gorgeous Rowan Yorkshire Aran in Plum. It'll be a while before I write this baby up, but it might be done in a week or so - all I have left are the two fronts!

That's about it for now, but as long as I've got you reading (or IF I've got you reading), you deserve a fall cocktail!

Now that the leaves are changing and we're downing our share of cider donuts, there's nothing like an Apple Pie. I'm making these later this afternoon for a friend who's stopping by.

My Version
warm cider
light rum
allspice - a pinch
nutmeg - a pinch
lemon - a couple of squirts
and a teensy pour of Grand Marniner

Mr Boston's Version
light rum 3/4 oz
sweet vermouth 3/4 oz
apple brandy 1 tsp
Grenadine 1/2 tsp
lemon juice 1 tsp

Mr. Boston is so much more specific, but he does get paid to be.

oooo crap. phone just rang. I'm apparently too busy looking up cocktail recipes to remember it's an early dismissal day! confused child in the playground, bad mom on the blog. Must go before DSS beats me to the punch. (no pun intended)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

This is the original idea and these are the buttons that sent me on my hat pattern binge. Those who know me well always mock my OCD tendencies, and once again, I've stopped denying and am left looking sheepish.
(But sheepish with a clean house, organized desk and alphabetized sock drawer, right?)

I am also sheepish and happy because I have the perfect hat to wear this winter. I love the Sublime Merino, I love these vintage buttons, and I have something simple, classy and appropriate to match my two new vintage 1950s coats!
(Another obsession we won't delve into here, but they are so cool. One has a fur collar...)

Here I am, once again in Maya's room, sqatting among the groovy girls and borrowing her mirror. It appears to be smudged with strawberry glitter lip gloss. Lovely. And Neptune is balanced exactly on my head like a giant space pom pom, also lovely.
I must buy my own mirror....

Any of my longtime blog fans (my Mom - or maybe Annie?), might recognize an old knit in here with the planets - the Jo Sharp Diamond Vest. (I wore it for the first time yesterday and love love love it. Make one out of Debbie Bliss DK Merino and you won't be sad.)
So there you are, three hats in a series. I'm moving onto a scarf now, and a few sweaters, and a couple of baby gifts. I'm also eyeing the green yarn. Turns out it's DK weight. Must rethink the pattern. I thought it would be a Tree Jacket, but that's not going to work now. I do have the right yarn, but it's deep purple again, so I may hold off and take a color break first.
In the meantime, I'm eagerly awaiting some finished hats! I see a few queues in Ravelry and know a few copies have walked out of the Knitting Room. Who's got 'em? I never knew designing patterns would keep me on the edge of my seat..

Monday, October 08, 2007

One Juliet. All done with the knitting and the weaving. Just the button loops left. Nope, done them. See?

Besides burning the cookies because I was way to distracted with the whole button selection process, it's been a pretty productive day. Found these crystal toggles in the tin, but took a long time to make the jump and actually finish the sweater with em. Life's easier with less choices, and my thousand buttons don't really help in the efficiency dept.

Yes, No.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with this - due to the double stranded yarn, it weighs as much as a large dog, but it'll serve the same purpose as a down vest in terms of warmth, and it is way prettier, yes? Unfortunately it won't really be an indoor sweater, unless the heat's out.

But I do love the color. I'm on quite a roll with the burgundies and purples - it's because I'm knitting out of the stash, and the stash does tend to be slanted in that direction - but there's green in there too, and that's getting near the top.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

One of my favorite things about living in SF (and there were many...) was KFOG's acoustic Sunday morning show. Some coffee, the back deck, the paper and some cool, low key music.

These days, Sunday mornings are a lot different. But not today, because Boston's 92.9 has a similar program on. And today, Craig took the girls to Target to run a bunch of errands.
I've got my coffee, my music, my PJs and my woofy socks on. Guests just left after a few nights stay. Laundry going and the dishwasher's on. Life is good, yes?
So here's Juliet, who's about to get some love. She's eating yarn up at an alarming rate. Am hoping I'll have enough so she's not a halter. We'll see how it goes. Guess that's the risk when you use unlabled stash yarn from a while back, right?
So...later blogfolk , I'm not gonna waste another minute of my serene little morning on the computer. The chaos will start again soon enough. (Especially since we have a big Oktoberfest party to attend this afternoon with about 40 little kids running around.)

Monday, October 01, 2007

This one, designed by Sarah Hope of whatifknits. I made it for Maya.
She's quite the hippie child and this crochet like texture was soooo up her alley. I've actually been eyeing the pattern for a while, but I always imagined I'd be making it for me. Soon. Or, maybe I'll make another for that Barbie in the background, she could use some serious hair taming.
All my other knitting seems have been swallowed by my new tendency towards
obsessive pattern design.
Above is my latest creative endeavor, fueled yesterday afternoon by wheat thins and - yes, a cocktail! (I've hidden all the detail. I promise it's not a plain white thing) It was a gorgeous day on the patio for humans and barbies alike. I wasn't sure I'd get myself to go to the Booksmith in the first place, but when Craig brought out two rum and cokes with lime, I was in for the afternoon! What a day it was - what, in the 60s?

I promise this is the last hat for now - I have a scarf going next. Staying with accessories for now avoids all that heavy sizing math. However, I'm thinking I'll finish and post these three little lovelies and let them sit for a while.

I have some existing sweaters that I've been wanting to get to, and this new OCD behavior (three weeks = three pattterns here, one out in the world being rejected or accepted, and another in the works) is getting in the way, so the next design project is going on hold for now.

Instead, Juliet, here I come!

PS. Look on the sidebar. Two PDFs!