Saturday, January 31, 2009

I finished last night. She loves him. She's playing with his arms (wings? flippers?) here. She's doing that a lot, so I'm wondering how long it'll be until they need to be sewn on again. Honestly, cutesy knits are not my thing (sometimes it's a little like putting antlers on a dog, the indignities of the Baby Knits) but this was fun to make and she's loving him.

The pattern was from Knit Simple magazine, Winter 2007/2008. The original was a little 80s for me - all black and white, and no feminine details. I found it a little stark, but the penguin was exactly what I needed, so I just revised a little. I added picot edging, the purple and the snowflake. I changed the neck and bottom edge and made my stripes thicker than they did. I also think making the penguin's belly, eyes, and wings cream instead of the white softened it a little too. Guess I don't use a lot of bright white - it seemed soooo bright.

I only used a little stash for this one - for the off white in his belly, but since it was a specific birthday request, I figure it was OK to purchase a few skeins. The remainder of the black yarn is going to be another Peace Man hat (yes, Christopher - your Peace Man hat!) and I have a little train ride today, so it might even get done this weekend.

Some more penguiny shots, since he's cute.

Here he is in the sunshine.

We finished the wine last night, so there will cocktails later.
I'll let you know what we have!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Sounds like a children's book that won't exactly sell. A one armed Penguin dreaming about some liquor. Sounds like a Nam flashback tale for kids. But it's not. I'm kinda hoping there aren't any nam flasback stories for kids. Really.

Anyways, here's Partial Pengiun. He's not even connected to the wine fairy. That's down below with a different photo.

He is missing an arm, but that's because I'm still working on sleeve #2. Sometimes I like to seam and do a fitting before I finish the knitting, just in case I'm off on sizing. I wasn't. She's balled up her hand in the sleeve, it's not too long. And it's just wide enough. I still need to make the little 3-D beak and wings as well, but we're well on our way here.

I'm liking how it's turning out. Here's the snowflake on back. Kept me from getting bored.

But then I got bored anyways and cut Zoe's hair. She likes it.

I should manage to finish up the penguin and take some good shots of both the sweater and her new do in the next couple of days. She wasn't in the mood here. The cookies were way more interesting than me with the digital camera again. Even Maya couldn't be bothered to look up - and she's never met a mirror or camera she didnt' love.

So onto the Wine Fairy.
You've heard of the tooth fairy, but this is even better.
And he's real.

This is what he leaves under the pillow - or more sensibly, in the entryway.

Sometimes I come home to bottles in the mudroom and sometimes we just get a knock on the door and a delivery! It's awesome. Our good friend is a wine salesman who occasionally finds himself with way too many open bottles after a day's tasting. They're usually half full. Sometimes even more. It was perfect last night as we had good friends over for dinner and the impromptu wine tasting was a welcome addition to a little chicken and mole sauce.

Don't worry, cocktails will return soon - but we'll need another day to get through these.
(with help, of course - that's too much booze for even a fan like myself)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

So although I haven't been on the computer so much, I have been happily parked on my keester knitting away in front of the fire. It's amazing how our entire family won't leave the room. Games, puzzles, books, and pretty much everything else is scattered around the smallest space in the entire downstairs just for a little warmth. It's getting a little tough to walk through, but we're managing. Good thing we mostly sit.

Here's what I've been doing while sitting.

First, I finally frogged my unfortunate tee shirt sweater design idea and am using the gorgeous Merino Suri to make a big long scarf. I love this ribs and cable combo. Once blocked, it'll be a bit wider - and I'm debating about a fringe.

Second, it's Zoe's 5th birthday soon and she's requesting knits again. This time it's a Penguin Sweater. Really, I wasn't even going to try, but a magazine I happened to flip through at the yarn store had a penguin on it, AND was an old magazine on sale. Hard to ignore kismet when it chucks responsibility upon you, huh?

I mean, she's 5 and she loves loves loves penguins. She has been watching me like a hawk while I work on this guy. We added the purple and the snowflake, and we're ignoring the stripey sleeves in the pattern - in fact, we've modified a bit. I'm thinking some picot sleeve edges and he'll have a 3-D beak and wings soon. Wait and see. She can barely contain herself.

Me, I'm ready to finish my gray cabled Rowan vest. Got more Kathmandu Aran yarn on Ebay in my discontinued colorway for only $6 a skein, so I'm good when I finish up these.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I have been here these past few days.

I've also been here.

But the computer's been far away from both.

I'll be back with knits to show soon.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Maya informed me she needed another brown hat with a little embroidery. Really, she didn't "inform" me, she asked very nicely. This time it was a peace sign she'd been thinking about.

I know this isn't a peace sign exactly, and I've since fixed my mistake, We added the extra little bar on the bottom, but I didn't manage another photo shoot. You get the idea. I used leftovers from the stash again - a skein of Cascade 220 for the hat, and a little leftover blue variegated for the peace sign. She's digging it.

As for me, I had a whole day to kill in a hospital waiting room while my sister got her ACL replaced. I had bought a skein special, and decided the amazing Rowan tweed needed something textural. This is the Trinity Stitch Hat.

The tweed is actually the most gorgeous deep green, with hints of gold and blue in it. It's amazing. Rowan does amazing things with yarn, huh? I wasn't sure I'd be able to pull off the oh so jaunty slouch, but so far I'm wearing this thing around as if I can - and attitude's 90% of the outfit, isn't it? I haven't exactly figured out where to put my hair in it, but my sister assures me I don't look too stupid. I'm not so sure. But the hat's amazing. Came out perfect.

So if it does look goofy, it's not the hat, it's me. My Oh So Jaunty might be off.

Now I'm in a rut, so I'm reading. Anyone remember Escape to Witch Mountain? I just reread that so me and Maya can discuss before the new movie comes out this summer. Next it's Inkheart. Then I'll figure out a new project.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

the yarn was free.

I'm loving this sweater. Wore it out to run errands this morning already and pretty much never want to take it off. Here I am in Zoe's room - the light's better than Maya's but still I'm photo challenged.

This is the embodiment of a jones I've had for about a year now - ever since I saw a chunky, white lace sweater with black buttons in the now-defunct Babystyle at the Burlington Mall. Never mind that the original was a maternity sweater - if it wasn't made of cheapo acrylic, I'd have owned it. The plastic model paired hers with a black tee and jeans, so here I've done the same. I left off the fake maternity pillow belly, since post-holidays, I'm sporting my own.

The blue and yellow spot you see in the above photo? A cupcake sticker on Zoe's mirror.
(you're not surprised, are you?)

I tried to get more funky with the buttons, but in the end, these basic blacks gave me the look I wanted.

Below, me in my usual mirror, diagonal.

The changes from the Rebecca pattern that inspired this are too many to mention. I think in the end, the only thing I used from the book was the lace leaf pattern and the K1P1 rib for the button band. It's exactly what I wanted, and it fits like a dream.

oh yeah, and it was FREE.

Monday, January 05, 2009

I'm feeling a little Deja Vu here, but ta da.

I didn't really mind reknitting the back piece, except that it's put my other projects on hold for a few days. The big lace diamonds are addictive and the yarn is big enough that it's pretty quick knitting. The real holdup was that we had houseguests for a few days, and I was doing other things besides knitting. Drinking mostly, so notice the water here on the table. ;-)

But this was the scene yesterday, as I spread out and reblocked the entire puppy. Notice the big clean blue towel below the sweater this time!

Which was a good thing, since I saw a few bits of sauce on the table from the nights before. You can see the cleaning gets done AFTER the knitting around here.

It's seamed up now and I'm working on the collar. A few more inches to go. Amazingly, the sizing and gauge seems to have worked out perfectly, and hopefully I'll have no new surprises. Just buttons to pick out...

This was a good stashbuster - I had a ginormous amount of this cream wool, and after this is done, I'm betting on two skeins left. Not bad for a freebie. I think I've had it three years now. Perhaps a hat or some big cabled mittens for that NaNitMo thingy Carol started?

Waiting in the wings here is Kingscot, out of a stash batch of jade green cashmerino. I have my doubts about the durabiltity of the yarn, but the color is so gorgeous and it feels amazing. Anyone have tips for stretching the life of your cashmerino before the crazy pilling?


I know I should be doing some kind of 2008 wrap up here, and making some big statements for 2009, but honestly, I have some mental block about creating the list. Instead I'll just say I think I've been doing pretty well at knitting down the stash. I'm hoping to continue with it. I will be trying to publish more patterns this spring, and I might try smaller projects in the interest of time for test knitting. I also have to begin looking for part time work, with the goal of a job by fall. Beginning with the dusty resume. Later on.

More immediately, my LYS has the big winter clearance this week, and I'm not going to promise anything - the siren call is already pretty loud in my head.

I even bought a couple gorgeous single skeins this weekend which I'll share later this week. I have a long day in the Faulkner hospital on Thursday (as the driver and babysitter for someone having a sports injury repaired - nothing scary) and have set myself up with a few fun distractions :-)

You'll see.