Friday, March 28, 2008

It's kind of fun to do things a few ways, and as a mama, it's a way of life. Dinner most nights consists of me making the kid rendition with some simple seasonings, and then a grownup version with the spices or sauces the grownups want.

Here's cocktail hour from a few days back. I had Apricot Mango spritzer, mixed up with a little pear vodka. Maya insisted on her own snazzy drink - I gave her one of the B-list wine glasses and she came up with an OJ, apple juice and spritzer concoction. Pretty tasty, in fact. And the pineapple spears? Her idea.

Honestly, it usually turns out pretty good both ways.

So -- in this spirit of experimentation, the Vintage Golden Cardigan is off being test knit! Two of my old buddies from Knitsmiths are giving it a shot, and one fellow Raveler. It looks like we may even see a version in an alternate yarn. As a knitter who's always altering things, I'm looking forward to seeing what they work up. Tune back in later on and see how it's going!

On MY needles, for a little while longer - is the Stardust Cardigan. This is a cool knit. I love the construction, the details and of course, the alpaca. Plus, it's a knit you can really whip through since it's small and cropped.

As soon as I'm done with it, I'll be tackling Maya's tank. Which, with any luck, could turn out to be another free pattern to hang out with my hats.

The thing that's tripping me up is the idea of knitting a border of circles along the bottom edge. I don't want to crochet them, but she wants a row of big different colored circles along the bottom making a non-lacy scalloped edge.

I have to do some stitch dictionary and pattern research and see what the best technique's gonna be for this... anyone know?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I know it's still about 25 degrees in the morning when we leave for school, but by midday it's hovering around the 40s - and honestly, that's springy in New England. Springy enough for me anyways. I've begun my running routine again, started clearing out the yard for some planting and we're all spending a lot of afternoons outdoors around here.
On yesterday's run, I saw the pair of swans that live on the Resevoir near my house - and on the walk home from school, we saw more than one group of crocuses. woo hoo
However, I'm enough of a New Englander to know I can still knit another alpaca project before it's all over. This is Stardust from Knitty. It's a deep greenish gray and sooooo soft - Inca Alpaca. I figure it'll go with jeans and a tank on those remaining 40-50 degree days we have left. So far, it's a great knit. I'm done with the back and have begun on the two ties.

And here's my New Hampshire Fiber Festival Merino one more time -- I'm afraid to say that this is the third project I'be begun with it -- (Luckily it frogs well.) I figure I should get it knit before I go to the same festival this year, dont you think?

I loved the Hattie's Rose Garden pattern so much (and since that scarf was gifted away) I decided to do another. I have about 500 yds here and I'm working on 9s, so I'm thinking this will be more of a wrap - but we're looking at about 5 inches so far and I haven't ripped it yet - there might be hope.

Although I keep thinking about this too ....

Thursday, March 20, 2008


In the interest of not adding to the stash, Zo got a matching hat!

all that's left now are some bits for the Bits Bag.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

It's that time again. Zoe picked her yarn and put in her request for this year's sweater.

She's all about the purple flower buttons with the yellow centers, so we found sparkly purple yarn to go with the hot pink Cascade she picked out.

And so I didn't get bored, I played with some stripes and some textures with a few other yarn bits I had lying around. Also sparkly, but you can't see it here.

Chuck in some polka dots and matching flowers too.

What you can't see in the pics is the random teddy bear button she also insisted I sew onto the front, under the flowers. So, we've got it all. Polkas, flowers, buttons and bears. Sparkles, pinks and purples. She'll wear it till it's falling apart, she loves it so much.

Next onto Maya's design for a light pink, dark pink polka dot summer tank.

She drew the design out for me to work from - a professional in the making...

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Two FOs!

I like how this has turned out. The sweater has a few really delicate details, but it has a little substance to it, so it's not too fragile feeling. The Provence is great - it didn't have a splitting problem, like some cottons, and the finished sweater doesn't feel heavy at all - it may grow a little as I wear it often, but that's just cotton, right? Drapey.

What I really love is the color and the little bit of sheen - it's going to look great with a delicate white top and some gold jewlery this summer.

Or on my pasty skin right now. In a too bright room.

You can see - it fits me perfectly - I'm thinking I should check it out on a few more bodies before I put it out there for anyone else. So yes, I will be writing it up, but after the test knitting.

Here's the second FO - Hattie's Rose Garden Scarf out of Amber's handspun. I love this too.

The pattern was cool - like a clapotis, but not so boring because of the little cables. I'm thinking I may do one more of these out of the handspun I picked up in NH last year.... A bigger wrappy type one. The fun part is dropping those stitches - crazy.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

We're supposed to be off on Cape Cod right now for a pre-spring fling of seafood, beers, beach and cute little town exploration. Our friends have an adorable cottage without TV, computer or phone. Right near the water and a sweet little town - and they gave us the keys while they are away. But here's what's happening in Boston today.

Torrential. Sandbags. Guys in Camo. It doesn't bode well, does it?

So, we've decided to stay put and save the Cape house for another weekend.

The big winner in the decision is the little golden cardigan,
who's looking like she'll be finished later on today. I found some buttons in my stash that look good -- am leaning towards the yellower pearls on top.

I fully seamed up one side already just to be sure the sleeves were working before I knit the second one. And to make sure the fit's working. Which it is!! So, off to the final details and some test knitting. (Yes, I learned my lesson. Anyone a lg who wants a new project?)

And - given a long rainy day at home, maybe some cocktail experiments in the afternoon -
Craig will need a break from the taxes, won't he?

On the back burner but not forgotten is the cabley scarf. It will have Clapotis-y bars between the cables when it's done.
As the cardigan has grown , this is traveling around in my bag -- you can see the little skeiny-ball that's left. All I need is a good car trip - like to the Cape... oh well.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

There's a mistake in the Alene's Wrap pattern.
I had originally played with smaller cables and when I created the final PDF, apparently I cut and pasted the first page from the first version. Not so good.

A new PDF is going to be emailed out to all of you tonight - but since it's a problem you'd notice in the first cable repeat, and I've only just been told about it. I'm going to guess that most of you have not begun and will be able to toss the old and just use the new when you cast on.
I'm so sorry for the mistake.

Anyways, the error is in the cast on amt and the & the set up rows.

CAST ON 72 sts.

Set up Row 1 --
k3, pm, k8, pm p1, K8, p1, pm, K8, pm, P2, K10, P2, pm, K8, pm, p1, K8, p1, pm, K8, pm, K3
Set up Row 2 --
P3, sm, K8, sm, K1, P8, K1, sm, K2, P10 ,K2, sm, K8, sm, K1, P8, K1, sm, K8, sm, P3
I'm about to revise the PDF and since I have all your email addresses from Paypal,
I'll email the new one out to you tonight (before Lost....)
So Sorry! Chalk it up to being a newbie - or the cocktails.
I've already lined up one test knitter for the cardigan pattern, and I know she's really good with details. Waaaaay better than me. As has been proven now.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

So the universe conspired against me last night and I didn't get to go to No. 9 Park. But that didn't mean I didn't get my Pink Lady. Dinner with a friend across the street turned into reason enough to find and make 'em myself. And, damn they're tasty. It looks all pink and frothy, but it isn't sweet or sugary. It's tangy and ginny.
2 oz gin
1/2 oz apricot brandy
dash of grenadine
1 oz lemon juice
white of one egg
crushed ice
Shake up in a jigger and pour. The real recipe calls for apple brandy, but i didn't have any.
The brandy is just to cut the alchohol anyways, so I don't think it matters too much. You don't taste the apricot flavor at all. So go nuts and toss whatever fruity brandy you got in there and see how it goes. It's the lemon and gin you really taste...

In knitting news, (sounding like the Weekend Update here)... I'm plugging away at the Soho Pattern. I took some good photos the first time around, but they hid the major flaws I'd made when I knit the thing. Instead of reworking the pattern in theory, I figured I'd actually rework and reknit it at the same time, so I could be sure my yarn sub was a good one. Being my own test knitter has it's rewards too - I'll get a new sweater out of it - a better than before version too.
The yarn I chose is Classic Elite Provence - I was hooked by the amazing mustardy-buttery-gold color. And it's a little sheeny -not exactly metallic, but very cool. The other colors the Provence comes in are also amazing - deep reds, a dusty violet, and a really lovely blue - among others. And it comes in hanks of 205 yds for $12.00. Thinking about your wallets, I am. I got 5 skeins, but am usure if I'll need all of them. I might also include directions for different sleeve lengths -- it could be cute with cap sleeves. Anyways, stay tuned and see.
And lastly, something for all you textile fiends out there. My friend gave me a lovely birthday present last night - placemats and napkins from her sister's company. I have always coveted the amazing fabrics and designs by India Rose - and now I have some! yay.

Aren't they awesome? Check out her website, the stuff is so cool .