Saturday, August 30, 2008

I know I acted like I might be ready to knit and blog again, but we took last week to squeeze in one more bit of summer before school starts and our attention turns back to fall type stuff.

A few days on the Cape.
I did bring the mittens. They enjoyed their day on the beach.

We also brought our friend Phillipine from Paris, who's spending a couple of weeks with us. She learned to knit on her visit here last summer - and look in her hands one year later!

A Phildar hoodie - her first sweater. She's been working dilligently the second sleeve and hood while hanging out. A true knitter, she keeps the project in her bag and whips it out wherever we stop. She's going to owe me big since this year, I introduced her to Ravelry.
She was amazed, soooo amazed! I'm also about to show her the beauty of circular needles, since hers are very long and metal - a pain to tote around.

Anywhow, finished mittens soon and the final Drops.
I've also begun a baby project for a new girl who's on her way....

Monday, August 25, 2008

There are just a few drops of whiskey left in this bottle now, much to the dismay of my DH.

I never thought I was much of a burbon fan, but this is one tasty summer drink. Craig was just a little bitter, since this is apparently not your average mixing burbon. I guess it does look a little fancy, if I wanted to take the time to consider things. However, it's not a bottle that got drank often to begin with, so I'm finding uses for the materials at hand.

And as you can see here, we're both drinking them, aren't we?

In case you want to give it a shot:
Ginger ale, burbon, lime and a bit of seltzer. Lots of ice.

And here, more Drops.

This time knit out of Rowan Yorkshire Tweed in Plum. I had to fudge a lot of the sizing and shaping since the yarn falls exactly between the gauges given in the pattern. Or maybe the yarn could have been fine, but my gauge was funky. Either way, it worked out after a second shot at the cap shaping on the sleeves and a little added length on the shoulders.

This yarn is lovely and it lasts for ages at 186 yds per skein! ( Puff, I'll email you later on today or tomorrow) I still have to put the buttons and hidden snaps on since I forgot the button holes while knitting - rookie mistake, I know. But I'm glad to have the knitting piece done, since this puppy is a little too heavy to have on your lap in summertime.

Next will be the blue lace number from IK, knit out of Cashmerino. I'm craving something solid and soft -- I think I may have gotten tweeded out a little here. Never to fear though, I love tweed way to much to stay jaded and I have a bag of really lovely Queensland Aran in my plan.

On the needles first is Maya's back to school hoodie - front and back is done, and the sleeves are underway. I'm knitting it without a pattern and without notes (completely tempting the knitting fates like an idiot)

So far so good, surprisingly. It's extra boring, since she groaned (really, she did)
at any and all attempts I made to spice it up a bit - a cute neckline? a stitch patttern? a border? Some color? Nope.

Mo-oh-om. Brown and plain! Why is that so hard to do?????
(if she was a knitter she'd know why.....)

Monday, August 18, 2008

As the fall approaches and my knitting/blogging desires return, I figure it's high time to take a little inventory. For any of you who read here regularly, you know I've made a little promise to myself to knit down the stash -- so with that in mind:

I give you Batch A.

Things I Have About Enough For A Sweater Of.

Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in jade green - the lace pullover from the new IK
Sublime Merino DK in deep gray - a February lady sweater
(no link necessary since the whole world has already knit one)
Queensland Aran Tweed in gray - this asymetrical tweed number
A gorgeous alpaca in purple with blue heather - Ysolda's Coraline
Rowan Harris Tweed in purple - ?????

and a ginormous batch of UFO cream colored worsted/aran weight wool already begun.

It was going to be a chunky cardigan with a lace motif.
I have to revisit it and see what to do here. I do love this, but will it be waist or hip or thigh length or short or long sleeved or not sleeved?
And what kind of neck, collar? Belt? Buttons?

As you can tell, I'm still thinking it out.
It's fun to knit the lace, but I'm at a Shit or Get off the Pot point - armholes if it's short, no if it's going to be long. Since I can't decide, it's been living here in limbo.
At least it's pretty, huh?

These two batches of laceweight mystery fiber might just become the darted cardigan from IK - I am going to try and swatch with them knit together - I have about 1000 yds of each. If this works out, I'll be able to eat up TWO stash bits with one project.
(Ooooo, watch me go...I'm on fiyah)

And these -- the A list from my 200-600 yd piles.
Still undetermined. Some more gloves or mittens, maybe a scarf, a shrug, a cowl... we'll see.

So baby steps, right?

(PS - there's still lots more in the stash - this just represents the favorites,
the first knits, so to speak...)

At least I've culled the cream from the crap, and whether I stick to the plan or not, I finally have a plan to start from - or to scrap and revise as I go..

I must deserve another drink after all this hard work - the latest thing we just tried:

Burbon, Ginger Ale, a little seltzer and lime juice.

(Congrats to Sarah on guessing Jordan's first! Still waiting on a tale for the second button batch. If I don't get one, I'll pick from the other commenters tomorrow and send the second prize to one of the other 6)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

If you're from Boston, you'll know this one, so I'm asking the out of towners.

Where can you find:

a life sized garden built out of jelly beans

a giant mechanized Green Monster who eats a baseball player

a model of the state house - again built of jelly beans - that sells candy,

an enourmous ice cream sundae and store -built out of, you guessed it, jelly beans

a light and water show every 15 minutes

and a trapeeze school?

(there's Maya. Instead of a party, she and a buddy got lessons for her 9th birthday)

There's also an IMAX theatre and a Fudruckers restaurant.

It's not Charlie and the Chocolate factory, but it's looking a lot like it.

(I had a stash inventory and plan all ready to post, but these pics were too cool not to post first) -- and in the spirit of stash reduction, I'll give a prize - two.

1. for whoever NOT from Boston guesses where we were
2. for anyone with a funny story about this place or another over the top place like it

Friday, August 15, 2008

At first, it didn't seem like any knitting was going to happen. My sad little pile sat neglected in the sun. (That VK, if you haven't flipped through yet, is a good one. Many things you can actually wear - and lots of cables - I love the cables. And again, I can actually imagine wearing the designs.) Between this and the new IK, I even have a plan for the stash. I'll post that soon.

But then the kids all arrived and some big plan was agreed upon! (Don't they look industrious?)

As was I.
I"m all ready to begin some sleeves now- maybe I should have joined some olympic team for this puppy? I was just too lazy to think about it last week.
All is not a perfect 10 here though - can you believe I forgot the button holes? Guess I was just chugging along. I think I'll use snaps or hooks and eyes on the back and just sew 'em on the fronts for show. They photographed better here - a cloudy day is much better for a little photography. You can see the real color of the yarn here too.

With all the little flecks. Green, hot pink and orange. This is why I love tweed.
It's always a little more interesting than you think...

By the end of the day, I even had time to whip up a little concoction.
Something citrusy w/ gin - but I wanted a little splash of sweet in it too. I may leave out the cassis next time and call it a Lime Martini. Not sure it added any more than color to the whole thing. Anyways....

Post Knitting Martini

2 oz Gin
3/4 oz vermouth
Splash of cassis liqueur (any sweet red fruit might do it here)
4 oz limeade

Shake up in a jigger with ice and pour.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Are the days of summer.

And apparently, the skeins of Yorkshire Tweed in my stash.

Plugging through this second Drops here and realizing it's only going to take up half my bag of 10. This stuff's like bunnies. You think you've gotten rid of some,
but the numbers don't go down.

Seems the kind folks at Rowan give you 175 yards in each skein. How can an entire cardigan take less than 6 skeins?? Am thinking I don't need two sweaters of the same yarn - so will post the extras up on Rav when I'm done - or am open to any offers if you guys want to swap -- it's Plum. All the same dyelot. Am guessing I'll have 4, maybe 4.5 skeins left when the fat lady sings. (or puts her needles away)

I do love it - the deep purple is that perfect eggplant shade, and the flecks of hot pink and green are awesome and keep it kind of funky. Got some buttons all picked out to coordinate (surprise) - but they're kind of iridescent, so they don't photograph. Or maybe they would if only I could photograph them the right way? Whatever.

So if :
A. anyone's actually reading
B. anyone wants to swap something for about 700 yds of Aran weight Rowan Tweed

give me a shout.

Since Drops is Ginormous to carry around, I've been able to get going on the sock yarn mittens too. This yarn is a superwash merino - in shades of lavender, gray and light blue. So spongy and soft - knitting it up on #3s, and making the pattern as I go. Not always a good idea, but this isn't rocket science. They'll be simple mittens with a rounded kitchner top. --
that is, if I don't screw it up.

Of course, my favorite part. More buttons.
(Really, I have two stashes to tackle)

And, for later on today.

It's looking like some kind of tropical cocktail.

To remind me of the beach I'm apparently not getting to -- My kids are down in the yards with the neighbors' kids and they don't want to leave. Something about magic spells and hunting for lost things. I tried - I even offered beach AND ice cream hut on the way back.

No dice. So around 4, I'll just pretend I was in Mexico for the day with a pina colada.
And a heavy sweater.

Something wrong with that picture, huh?

Friday, August 08, 2008

I'm way too cheap to set the girls up all summer - and we've had a ton of stuff to do anyways, but this week is my only week ALL vacation that I'm alone. Blissfully, quietly alone.

With my yarn, apparently.

They both leave at 9. Zoe's gone till 3, and we get Maya at 4. The only thing is that I forgot to set ME up with activites too, and most my buddies are with their kids or working. Except for one day at the MFA with my sister and a little visit yesterday from Carol, I've had a rainy week of "taking it easy". And honestly, I don't do lazy so good - there seems to be confusion if you invite someone over for a late morning cocktail...

Luckily I have the knitting - and no qualms about having a drink alone.
So look what my boredom has spawned...

My fall magazines came and I'm really liking this idea.

It's a long loose sleeveless number. Midweight with a little texture. I'm thinking I may lose the belt and add a couple of buttons along the top to the Underboob line (you know what that is, right? ) and I may also change the arms a little, but this is my new obsession/design project. Really, who can't use some Instant Style? I'm thinking I can.

And as an added bonus, my favorite inexpensive yarn seems to do the trick here - it has the right heathered neutral look and a great weight with a a little drape, no bulk. Again with the Ultra Alpaca. We'll see how it turns out - today I do play with textured stitch patterns.

Let me know your thoughts - it's from InStyle, if you want to see it in person at the local supermarket and annoy the impatient shoppers behind you.

For those times I'm not in the mood for math, I also reaquainted myself with some Rowan Yorkshire Tweed from the stash. It's a lovely deep purple with funky green flecks in it. Since I gave my Drops Jacket away last year, I figured I could use a new one. And this is a big bag in the trunk - if I can knit it up, I'll almost deserve those new skeins of the alpaca.

Lastly on the new front, my next traveling project. I'm currently obsessed with these little headbands of extra cotton, but after making a couple, I'm thinking I don't need soooo many. Instead, I dove back into the trunk again and found this yarn. Another pair of sockyarn mittens. This time, a button closure at the wrist and simple stockinette.

Also in the background (but not new) is Maya's 4th Grade Sweater. It's brown and simple, so I'm not going to waste an hour trying to get a good photo of flat brown squares. She'll love it, but it's waaaay boring to knit and not so attractive to post.

11:37. 3.5 hours left before I'm done. Must go swatch.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Some of the summer travels have ended for now - can you tell?

This first week back has put is at the beach in three different states on three different days, but then, here I am, relaxing on the patio where we started in June. With a drink.

The Rose is still a big favorite around here - I also have a bottle of Pink Truck in the fridge (as recommended by Sarah), but this is the one we opened for a little family birthday on Thursday.

And speaking of family birthdays....

Here's a little number I've been working on for my little cousin Ailee's first birthday. She's already gotten a few hats and a dress from me in her short lifetime, but her Mom loves the knits, so I'm a sucker when it comes to projects for her.

I was a little afraid I was shooting the whole button wad at once, but now that it's done, I can't imagine a better use for all my little white flowers (and yes, i still do have a bunch left).

I tried to take shots of all the different flowers, so excuse the obvious photo overload.

Can't wait to give it to Ailee tomorrow at her party!

Friday, August 01, 2008

I'm hooked.

And you'll be too. These designs are awesome. How did I not know about this?? I'm totally torn about what to knit first -- the orange v neck, the swingy cabled number, the green cable pullover, or Wisteria? Pam Allen's ribbed A line number? (yeah, can't remember titles - too overwhelmed just yet...)

Wow -- it made my day!