Monday, September 29, 2008

hmm this pic's a little fuzzier than I thought in the camera...

oh well.

Turns out this is the perfect car pattern - keeps you occupied but not bored.

I got this much lace done on the trips to and from NJ. It might have cost me a few dollars in crappy toys for the kids in the back seat, but the investment was totally worth it. (I also have a few lovely new plastic bracelets and a matching necklace to show for my investment.)

Now back to this.

All I have left to do is the neckline - the body and sleeves have both turned out about perfect (for my size anyways), so I can see the carrot at the end of that stick. I may also add a little more finishing in the form of cuffs to the sleeve caps, but we'll see how it looks with a neck first and go from there - designing in steps here.

It's a rainy yucky afternoon, so perhaps glass of a little something and I might finish today?

Friday, September 26, 2008

OK, I usually wait a few days between posts so I can get a couple comments before moving on, but this was too good not to post and since I'm away for a few days, I figure I'll chuck it in now.

But -- still waiting for someone to identify the hot dudes from my last post, so check em out.

Anyways, a great trade = you're happy to be rid of it and they're happy to have it, right?

I dropped off a stroller and a few bags of things for a charity drive yesterday - Cradles to Crayons - lots of things for babies and school age kids. It's just the stuff I've been dying to get out of the house, so I happily loaded up the car and toted it all over to the house of another parent at our school.

Turns out her Grandma was a knitter and she had a few things she's been dying to get rid of too.

How cool is this batch of vintage needles???

All those colors! And the flowered needle case thing?

There was also a big batch of crochet hooks, DPNs and various plastic thingys.

I know the donut shaped pom pom makers - but I have no idea what the other thingys are.

Anyone ever use them? They are cool looking - Do you wrap yarn around them when you do colorwork? One of them had a tangled yarn batch on it and I'm thinking that could be it.

Or these needles below? They have metal tips - I'm thinking they might have a specific job?

Anyways, it was fun to go through all of it. I also was given a big bag of yarn - but most of it was Red Heart and acrylics, so M's elementary school's getting that. There was one batch of a soft alpaca which I think I'll be knitting into a scarf or cowl on my car trip -- and giving back to the woman who gave me all this stuff - bet she'd like a little something out of Grandma's yarn.

In other knittng, I decided to pull out the Feb Lady Sweater - am past the sleeves and into the body, so I'll be able to get going on that in the car too -- that Gull pattern is addictive - I cannot put it down....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Who wouldn't be distracted by these guys?

Anyone recognize them? My favorite is the dude with the cutoffs, sport socks and tee shirt that says Vegetarian. The guy behind him's pretty awesome too - with the gray pimp hat - and his shirt tells us his Grass is Blue. Yep, it is.

Hint: It's not a photo from my latest family reunion -
and nope, not a group of old boyfriends either.

However, i just might be running into some old boyfriends this weekend - we're about to go down to NJ for a big 40th birthday shindig. Thrown by friends who know me from both high school AND college. That's the real distraction this week - what to wear? It did require a couple fruitless shopping trips - and a sidebar at Sephora for some miracle wrinkle cream samples.
(Ever do that? They're great with the free samples)

I'm gonna look amazing for about 12 hours on Sat and by Sunday my whole face will collapse again, since I'm not about to fork out $100 for the actual bottles of magic cream)

In knitting, I'm plugging away. The back is done and I'm working on the neckline here. Some old sweaters I'm using for sizing are in the pile. There's still some stuff I haven't decided on and I do need to be in a more focused place, so it's sat a bit.

I'll get back to it next week. More immediately is the problem that I've planned poorly - 10 hours in a car and both my February Lady Sweater and this puppy are too big and complex for car knitting!! I'm at the sleeve piece on Feb Lady, so that's not about to happen in a car. If only I had gotten down to the regular lace repeats. Spilt milk, must move on.

So. I have an hour and a half left before I pick up Zoe -- I'm off upstairs to figure out some NEW project to tide me over as we zoom down 84 with my groovy buddies in the photo above

that's a big hint.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

It's almost over, so we've polished off the Rose just in time. See the pink in those glasses? I'm gonna bet the days of Red are just around the corner. (I love red wine on cool days...)

Anyways, my husband had plans today that dealt with HIS hobby (hmmm) and our (me and the girls') big plans to get out of town fell through, so I was stuck with the kids and looking forward to an afternoon hanging out alone on the deck.

So I decided a knitting playdate was just the thing to pass the time. Fun for me, fun for them. Zoe and Grace agreed. (As did Carol, who owns both the pink child and the second glass of pink wine.)

I used the time wisely and finished up a little baby gift for a friend's first girl. I've been knitting this in the background for a few days while I ignore the math on my other top. I gotta get back to that soon....

The little set will be coming down to Atlanta with me in a few weeks. I love it! I also have to get a copy of Where the Sidewalk Ends. Every baby needs one of those. The book is from the girls, not me - it's their fave. The dress set is from me.

Cassie, if you're reading, don't tell!

I used up three skeins of Manos Stria from my stash and had a little fun with embroidery. I'm not so good with the exact nature of sewing, but on Ravelry I've found Cosymakes, who inspired me to try these little flowers. She does the coolest funky embroidery on her stuff and it always looks amazing. So I gave it a shot -- I like the stem here. It trails over the hem edge.

This little dress started as a Minnowknits pattern and I got a little bored, decided I didn't like the top and kind of made things up as I knit. It was a little experiment - and it did have to be ripped back twice when i changed my mind mid stream.

You can see where I ended up. I thought the hat was a nice touch - and an excuse to finish up the pink. These pics don't show the colors so well - it's a deep purple and a mauvey rosy pink.

And I managed to slap a vintage button on too, not that you'd be surprised.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Here's a little preview of what's been keeping me busy lately.

Unblocked, my new sweater child has a border that looks a little familiar, yes?

But it's not. I promise. It's a simple lace pattern, and once blocked, it will look like lace.

It's actually a very simple design, so far -- worked in the round, a few inches of border and a few fun details in the top half (which I'm getting to now). Time to do some math.

Any thoughts from the peanut gallery? (that's you guys..)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Soooo... I've been playing with lace and chunky yarn lately.

Here's a cowl I began out of some chunky cashmere (never mind that the 60 yards is turning out to be woefully inadequate and I'll have to frog the whole thing or call it a doll blanket).

It's got ribs and simple alternating lace. I love that each side is different, but both could be worn if you want. The yarn is soft and cozy and the project is taking all of about 2 hours. I also love that the pattern is a simple 4 row repeat and can be done anywhere at anytime without screwing it up.

Cool huh? This side got me thinking.

And this yarn got me thinking even more. It's a heathered alpaca merino mix, and yep, this puppy is a swatch for a new idea I had. It's all sketched out and ready to be knit, so tune back in soon. I'm hoping to have a flattering layering tee sweater - with a few cool details - in about 2 weeks (ha, but it's a goal, right?).

I would have gotten farther on this yesterday, but my old subwayknitting friend Colleen was in town, so I took off for the afternoon to meet up for a drink and a snack in downtown Boston. You don't have to ask me twice...

She had her finished Golden Vintage Cardigan with her, and it's gorgeous! She picked the most amazing color blue in the lovely drapey Provence yarn, and it suits her perfectly. I passed on a packet of buttons which may or may not end up working out.

In fact, it was on the subway to meet her that I got the swatch to where I wanted it to be, so maybe I have Colleen to thank for the progress, not to blame for the lack thereof? Honestly, I was so POd at the small cowl that I didn't want to knit it on the T, but since I was meeting my subwayknitter friend, I felt I had to grab something to work on and the blue skein was the right size, so yep, thanks C.

Either way, poor February will have to wait. I'm obsessed with my new muse.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

So I'm beginning a February Lady Sweater too!

I'm making mine out of Sublime Merino DK in a really lovely deep gray, but I'm sooooo off gauge that I'm making a size XL. We'll see how this works out. So far, so good. The yarn is lovely to work with and really soft.

I'm a few inches down the garter ribs and one buttonhole down, am hoping I can get it done by Oct. It does seem to go fast on everyone else's blog, but maybe that's because they're knitting with Worsted weight yarn on 8s?

Also on the needles is a baby dress for a friend who's expecting her first girly. I started making a Minnowknits pattern, but it's quickly evolved into something new that uses buttons and will hopefully take up my entire little stash of Manos Stria that's been lying about. I like it so far, but am not sure if I want to do short sleeves or make it a jumper. Decisions, decisions.

One last pic on the back deck - Zoe off to her first day of school this year! (like the socks?)

Now they're both set for the mornings and I can get moving on that painting project, the resume prep, some informational interviews, and of course...the knit down my stash plan.

Or I'll abandon those ideas all together and start drinking much earlier in the day.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

I realized about halfway through this that it was going to be a long haul. Usually the kids's sweaters kind of fly by and I can get on with the next project. But not this one.
Fine yarn, small needles, long length and long sleeves, and then -
The Hood.

The hood technique was fun though. I found it in a Sirdrar booklet and it allowed me to avoid the elfin pointy look.

You cast on left side sts, pick up the back ones, and cast on again on the right side. The numbers are roughly even thirds. I went a little farther so there would be an overlap at the chin. Then, knit up the whole panel and cast off the sides at about the top of the head. Continue to knit the middle section till it meets up at the forehead with the others and seam.

And then, ta da.

You might notice the COLOR at the hood edge - once the sweater was done and she tried it on, she cried "Its itchy! Around my neck!". ugh. But I had some leftover Lorna's Worsted from a previous project that's soft as can be, so we made a little buffer - and now all that plain brown has a pretty detail :-)

hopefully she'll wear it.

Monday, September 01, 2008

A finished Drops cardigan. In the end, I bailed on the buttons and snaps combo. I have this vintage silver pin I used to wear on my blazers back in the 90s , and the silver looked so nice on the purple yarn, I decided to go with it. not sure I'd ever have reconciled the whole button/snap thing properly anyways, so this is a good solution!

A completed pair of sock yarn mittens with vintage buttons.

And two pies. Which we're taking to a barbeque in about 20 mins.

And since Craig pointed out they're not cocktails, but pies, so they have no place on my blog, I feel compelled to tell you they both have a little booze in em.

There's some sweet white wine in the peach/nectarine number and there's some baileys in the chocolate pudding guy. Couldn't help myself, i guess.