Thursday, February 28, 2008

Jo Sharp Cardigan
Originally uploaded by theacolman

You've asked and I've ignored. Or, maybe I was just drinking and forgot?

anyways, I've put off the writing up of this one for a year now - but, for the faithful, the patient, the vaguely annoyed few of you that have been wondering if you'll ever get the pattern -- Why yes, you will. And in plenty of time so you can use this as your In Between Sweater before summer. Or your Nighttime Sweater in summer.

However, I'm going to do a little yarn research before I post the final pattern.

I know there have been some mixed reviews on the Soho yarn. It does separate easy, and it definitely grows a little over time. But it's lovely and soft and drapey. So I'm looking for any feedback on what you might think are good subs - also soft and drapey. My gauge is 4.5 sts per inch. On #6 needles. I can adapt the pattern for a 4 or 5 sts per inch sub pretty easily.

I'm a big fan of Cotton Fleece, but not sure on the drape. I haven't used Bamboo yarn yet, but if it's on gauge, that might also work well. I know Rowan has a ton of gorgeous cottons, but have to work through the gauges and see what's the best choice.

So that's my week ahead. My other design project is a fall number, so I'll get this puppy out first, while you're all perhaps in the mind to knit it.

As for booze, I saw an article in the paper today all about Pink Ladies and it's got me thinking about trying one of those. . Tomorrow just happens to be a Ladies Big Birthday Dinner at No 9 Park - and hey, it's one of the two specific restaurants they mention you should go to if you want to get that exact drink. Who am I to argue?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Craig is home today, so I don't have to take pics in Maya's room. Here's the finished sweater.

I'll need to find some new crack, I guess.

I'm pretty happy how this turned out. The yarn is awesome - and I still have 500 yds left!

After worrying about the sizing, it's just perfect. I made the sleeves a little long because I like them that way, and think the sweater looks best with a longer shirt under it to balance out the shortness and boxiness. In the photo below, I think I'm pulling, it's actually better fitted.

But maybe these jeans are a little baggy? Could be, this is day 3 wearing 'em.

Anyways, next something I found on Ravelry - digging back into the stash to make it!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I didn't knit it, but it's still a bloggable FO.

We found this on the clearance rack at TJ Maxx this week. After a whole week of kid stuff, we decided to do some shopping. In Feb, the racks are marked all the way down - and the girls love looking through the weird shit that's left there. So really, something for everyone...
It's a gorgeous heavy alpaca & wool mix cardigan, thigh length, with a heavy, snuggly feel, and the most heinous buttons ever to be sewn on. Marked down from something with three digits to $10, I couldn't leave it there.
Can you see these buttons??
They're huge, made of gray plastic, with little dark lines drawn on. For what? So you think it's actual wood grain? Granite? A vintage plastic feel?

They make a good Stonehenge. Or a Caveman necklace.

Instead, the Barbies used em for Modern Art and then they hit the trash.

Next, a conference with the girls in the button tins, and here we are an hour later.

After much debate, we decided to go simple.

Except for the cute square ones at the neck.

All day yesterday it snowed, so it's the perfect thing to be wearing.

Ta Da! Best $10 spent in a while....


Sunrise Circle is blocked, half hemmed and about to be seamed. It's driving me crazy, as I still can't tell if it's going to fit right. The back seems so small, even though it's measuring at the right dimensions. Hmmm. Check back in a few days and I'll let you know how it comes out.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I'm thinking Kate Gilbert slipped a little mickey into her Sunrise Circle pattern because I cannot put it down. No blogging, no designing, and no further on my sweet little scarf out of Amber's yarn. This thing is crack for knitters - no wonder over 300 of you have done it.
So easy, and yet...

So cool. Look how the little circles appear. Wicked cool.

Maybe I'm not putting it down because it's school vacation and my kids are hellbent on driving me crazy. They don't want to play apart, yet they can't be together for ten minutes without someone making someone else miserable. (yeah, that someone's me..)

I think I made it worse by chucking them down at my Mom's for 4 days of togetherness first, then coming back here for 3 days of school - before another whopping 9 days of Sisterfest '08.

It's got me browsing through the camp catalogs early. We're just back from a morning out and I'm trying something new. They're now in separate timeouts - one downstairs, one upstairs. We'll see if distance makes the heart grow fonder or not. So far, the little one's about to fall asleep and the big one's got Hannah Montana on the radio.

Nothing new to report on the cocktail front. By 4pm, I've got a glass, that's for sure. but it's been red wine - and a little white. Although -- since I ate everything in sight down in New Orleans and am trying to starve myself since it's too icy to go running up here --- I've also been having a little Baileys and Milk after dinner. I kid myself it's less fattening than actual dessert. Isn't it? It's so small and chocolatey.

anyways, I'm off to take advantage of the 30 mins left of Silence.
The Sunrise sleeve #2 is in my sight, and I can't ignore its siren song much longer.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Thanks to you guys, I've made my first $100 for FINCA, and am sending off the first donation!
And on a personal note, that means that 20 of you liked my pattern enough to buy it, which is pretty cool too. Keep it going, and if anyone gets knitting on the wrap, I'd love to hear what you think - or see pics!
Seems I'm not the only one who's trying to use her talents for good. The link below goes to a very cool sock pattern, also benefitting charity.
Emily came up with this gorgeous diamond lace sock pattern for her Aunt Pearl and is donating the proceeds to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The socks are gorgeous, and her blog is also fun to browse through, since she has the inside scoop over at Lorna's Laces.
.... and she's sweetened the pot with some prizes. Check it out.
Really, can any of you turn down a chance for free yarn??

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Here's what you see everywhere post Mardi Gras. The decorations are still up! Beads on the fences and wires, banners and Christmas balls in shiny purple, green and yellow on the balconies.

as if the French Quarter isn't pretty enough.... Really it's amazing. We had a great time - and since it's what everyone asks --- YES, you can go and visit and the city itself is back. You'll have a great time. The restaurants, the music, the shops, the galleries. It's all there and they're so happy to have you come. As you walk, there's music all over the Quarter. Jazz, blues, acoustic - you just keep going till you hear what you like and you stop. And have a drink. Drinks to go, even. So you walk around, look at the architecture, have a drink, and listen to music. A great, low key weekend.

I've honestly never felt more appreciated as a tourist. Let's be honest, taking a vacation? It's really a selfish kind of thing, isn't it? Should I be appreciated? I didn't pick up a hammer. The big checks I wrote were in exchange for lodging, food, drinks and a ton of CDs. But all weekend, I felt like I was helping in some way. Really, the musicians, the waiters, the shopkeepers - they're all so glad you're there. They thank you for being there. Everywhere you go.

We stayed in a small B&B out of the quarter, in an area called the Marginy. So we did see a little more of the real city than some and heard the local point of view. Things are far from being OK if you're a local. Far. I won't get on a soapbox, but suffice to say that large parts of the city still need help. Help beyond what you and I can probably even fathom. People are being screwed. The politicians do not care. Nor the insurance companies. People are not being taken care of.

Don't get complacent, so if you have the chance to help in any way, don't let it pass you by.

And if you have the opportunity to visit, Go. Go. Go. They really do need you.

But enough. I did manage a bit of airplane knitting - the first lace scarf is done.

And the second one is about half way.....

Instead of the knitting, there was the drinking. New Orleans makes the best Bloody Marys (Maries?) I've ever had! There's some cajun spice in 'em and always pickled okra on top. The one at Commander's Palace came with a stick of sugar cane in it too. Tasty.

And there was the coffee - chicory coffee. Here at Cafe du Monde, with beignets. Mmmm.
I brought three cans home.

And just before I left, I did do a little work on the latest design project.... stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I'm not officially cutting myself off from the LYS, or making actual goals or anything, but I am going to try and knit down some of the sweater batches I have in my stash this year.
And it's rainy today, so it seems like a good time to think about this.
Around 2000 yds of a really pretty cream colored worsted wt wool. I have something in mind. It's based on a sweater I saw in a maternity store this fall. Yes, a maternity store, but I have a different vision than they did - it was just the nugget for my idea. Long chunky sweater, cream yarn, big black buttons and and a lace pattern. Mmmmm.

Here's sweater #2. The Sunrise Circle. I planned to use some Rowan Yorkshire Tweed I have upstairs, but forgot I already began a cardigan out of the Rowan. I like that sweater idea too much to frog it, and this green Arcuania Nature Wool turns out to be on gauge if I knit it on #5s.
Sooo.... Sunrise Circle in Green.
In case you're wondering about the scarves, I'm ignoring them only because they're coming to New Orleans with me. Can't finish ahead of time or I'll have to resort to socks. And I am not in a sock mood these days.
PS Thanks for the birthday wishes! xo

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Today's mine - I'm 40!

But, I had much unfinished birthday business still to tend to, before I could celebrate.

First, Melissa's Tree Jacket had to be finished. We had our last "fitting" this week and now it's ready to be given. Her birthday was 12/9. Oops.

Then, Maya had to finally finish my Mom's birthday mittens. They're her latest sewing project, begun way back in Dec. Unfortunately there were many steps and details to tend to - and Harry Potter 3 to read - so they've been delayed from their due date of 1/22.

(Please note that my Mom is NOT a Giant, but this sewing business does result in some variation when I let Maya do her own pattern making. It's cute. )

And yesterday, we had Zoe's 4th birthday party at Build A Bear with a few of her little buddies - notice the scarves.....

Maya, always willing to pose, holding a few more of the Bears....

Now I'm all done.

Next weekend, Craig and I are off to New Orleans for a little trip - so don't waste any time feeling sorry for me.

And in a few hours, I'm off to Boston to spend the afternoon with some buddies before the big kickoff.

Should I say 'Go Pats' or just be honest that I could really care less and am looking forward to an entire night of uninterrupted knitting while Craig and Maya are off watching the game?

guess I'll say Go Pats!
(but you know the truth....)

Friday, February 01, 2008

Really, no matter what kind of pattern I picked for these guys, it couldn't go wrong. But of course, I agonized and swatched and flipped through the books trying to find the perfect pattern to showcase the colors in each.

And maybe if I was being totally honest with myself, I might even admit a little of that is because I have so little else to do some days.

But why go there? So I'll tell you I devoted myself this past week - between long stretches of Tree Jacket - I devoted myself to finding the perfect patterns for each of these lovely skeins. Since it's a very important task.

This one is going to be cables with dropped stitches between. A great little pattern by Briar Rose Fibers, called Hattie's Rose Garden. I'm about 8" into it now, and happy with the results of all that important work. The swatch here definitely needs a little blocking, but I am confident the finished scarf will be amazing.

Yep, WIN. An entire Swallowtail Shawl.

Go to Sarah Hope's blog and see what she's doing for her One Year Blogiversary!

She's the genius behind the Santa Cruz hat Maya wears every waking moment. And for her 1 year benchmark, she decided to do something cool - using her blog, her knits and her audience to help a cause she believes in. (Such a good idea..wink.) Every $2 you donate to one of the animal friendly charities she's listed gets you an entry to win an amazing prize - the Shawl is one of 'em, but there's more, too.

Check it out. I know I'm pining for a knit like that!