Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I'm hugely impatient. (readily admitting here - funny that I'm a knitter, since we're all supposed to be incredibly patient - all that one stitch at a time stuff). But I'm also boooooored.

My mind's wandering as I knit and then I'm even more impatient. More bored. It's the current project, which I'll love when done, but am bored by this week. I'm more than halfway up the stockinette back of my gray long vest, and apparently I'm only too happy to be distracted. Repeatedly, I've been distracted by two things.

1. How many of you are downloading that stashy hat! Wow!
2. How much I love this rib rib cable scarf, which I've been wearing around everywhere.

So hey, I'm going to combine them and entertain myself at the same time.

kind of a bonus - not exactly a contest.

Anyone who posts a finished or in the works stashy hat on Ravelry, either ravelry comment or blog comment me your real life email and I'll send you the pattern to make your very own Rib Rib Cable scarf.

See, this way I get to see pics of your hats, which I'm dying to see -- and I've taken the morning away from my gray back knitting to write up a pattern and play on the web. Not to mention the next few days, when I will most likely get up from my knitting 100 times to check if any of you are taking my bait.

Fun for everyone. Win win.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The first Monday morning after school vacation is pretty sweet. I've got my coffee, my new CDs playing loudly (Adele and Corrine Ray Bailey, who if you haven't heard of them are great knitting music), and a new design in the works.

Every once in a while, this Stay At Home thing rocks.


Tonight I'll try Pink Flamingo #2 from the little book.

1.5 oz vodka
1.5 oz Cointreau
3/4 glass of OJ
a dash of gin (we'll have to play with how much that is...)

Fill shaker with ice and ingredients, shake and pour into Collins glass.
I don't think this one will be pink. Orange Flamingo? Hmmm.

Alright, back to my AM.

Friday, February 20, 2009

These are my new pets - a gift for my birthday recently from an old friend who knows I've always had a pair on my front lawn - but here in Boston, my little friends spend a lot of the winter covered up or only peeking out from a snowy mound. She thought I could use a few for inside during the winter - so they're awesome and living on the kitchen shelf - and they came with this nifty little book. Full of facts.

Did you know that the first plastic flamingo was made in 1957 by a MA company named Union Products? And that they made white ones called Snomingos? And the flamingo is the only bird that eats with its head upside down, and standing up? Well you do now.

It's also full of cocktail recipes.

Pink Flamingo #1

1.5 ozs light rum
1 oz dark rum
.5 oz vodka
splash of cherry juice
top off with lemon lime soda
cherry (of course)

Shake in jigger of ice and add to ice filled Collins glass.

It's full of more drinks, so stay tuned. I meant to blog about them a few weeks back but they were forgotten until today - when, as one of the only people who go to the zoo in the snow - we saw actual flamingos and I remembered.

In addition to flamingo activities, I've picked up my Cabled Waistcoat from Rowan Studio 8 and managed to finish up the second front in the past day or so.

The going has been slow on this project - a short bout with the plague (which was fun), school vacation, girl scout cookie duty, overnight visitors and Dickens' Tale of Two Cities have kept me from the needles.

The Dickens was amazing. There's a reason it's one of the best known novels ever. I was completely sucked in. Lucky for me, Maya was finishing up Harry Potter 7, so we could both sit on the sofa together for hours. Zoe was a little pissed, but she colored her way through the boredom.

Here's a good shot of the waistcoat - I've decided to make the back without the cables in the interest of time - if I'm planning to wear it this winter, the rest of this puppy needs to fly. The belt and loops are still to be added, and the sleeve ribbing too. It's a little daunting.

And, I'm ready to think about spring already!

With that in mind, Maya's already given me a drawing, we've worked out sizing and evne some details. Swatching has begun. Anyone hoping for a cabled spring cardigan for their 8-12 ish year old will be happy to know it's on the way.

Friday, February 13, 2009

It's been a long week over here, and the knitting has been sparse. Both Zoe and I have the plague and have been totally out of comission. She's better today - I'm still marginal, but being the Mom, have to function. Hate how that works. Anyways...

A couple of days ago I picked up this long forgotten scarf and gave it a few hours - It's the yarn I frogged out of my unfortunate tee shirt design idea - soft and beautiful, but apparently way too drapey for an actual garment. However, knit up in a bunch of 3x3 ribs with a 4/4 cable on one side, it makes a gorgeous scarf, don't you think? It's extra long, so it can loop around the neck and hang down on both sides - or toss over a shoulder.

Before the plague really hit, I had posted my Stashy hat pattern and was completely amazed - in one afternoon, 56 people dowloaded the PDF off Ravelry! And the next day 30 something more followed suit. Don't know what the total is today, but I'm guessing it's nearing 100.

I can't wait to see who actually knits it up and out of what stash, but it's amazing fun to click on the download manager and see a ginormous pink line of new downloads in the graph! It pays to post a super easy, free pattern, huh? I actually have a skein of tweed I'm thinking might work as one, we'll see how it looks.

Anyways, off to find some Tylenol.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I posted that stashy hat pattern on Ravelry - if any of you guys do knit it, tell me how it goes. :-)

Monday, February 09, 2009

Being my own test knitter, I made the Stashy Hat again. I've run out of Ultra Alpaca in any one colorway, so this time I decided to give some Cashmerino DK a shot.

Having never knit with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK, I'm a new convert. I looooove this stuff. But back to the two hats - you'd think such different yarns would have knit up more differently from each other, but honestly the fit on both hats is surprising similar. And the soft feel. The yarns aren't exactly the same weight, but they both worked up the same in this pattern. Go figure.

Anyways, now that I've knit it twice and am happy with the results, I've almost finished the pattern. Honestly it's wicked easy - I don't know if I can even count it as a "design" since it's basically a stitch pattern converted into a hat - but, it's a pretty stitch pattern, and I'm happy with the hats - so maybe some of you will be as well!

Am guessing I'll post the pattern in the next few days.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Remember the jean leisure suit? When you wear a denim jacket and jeans of the same shade at the same time?

After taking these photos of my new favorite hat, I realize I'm sporting the Ultra Alpaca Leisure Suit. Two clothing items of the same yarn in the same shot. Lovely, huh?

I so dig this hat, but after noting the leisure suit and raising the question "How may knitted items should I own out of the same yarn?", I gave it to my good friend Laura last night. I'm thinking this is a valid question though - if you love the yarn, where do you draw the line? We all have those packs with a number of skeins in them. Do you make one item or a bunch, and if you make a bunch, can you keep them all? I feel pretty strongly that I can't walk around in an entire pumpkin alpaca wardrobe, but it sure would be nice..

Anyways, regardless of the fiber, I do sooo dig this hat - Super soft, way simple, and textural. Took one day to whip up. So, I'm casting on for another. In a different yarn :-).

It was very easy, but a pattern didn't exist that I could find - I might write it up, since there's gotta be a need. Everyone craves a super simple, extra soft hat they can knit up on a pair of 7s and 8s in a night, yes?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

work well for the knitting and the cocktails.

I'd love to say this week's post was a concious effort to help the planet, waste less, save money or something more inspiring. But honestly, I found myself obsessed with the idea that the leftovers from Zoe's Penguino didn't fit in my Bits Bag, and I physically couldn't knit another thing until I had used up some strays to make room in there. Never mind that our kitchen is full of brand new gallon size Ziplocs. It's really just OCD gone wild.

Here's what I got so far. And we're back down into one bag.
I think my inner OCD has grasped the fact that victory is in sight in terms of knitting down the stash (holy shit, I did write those words - it's true. We're almost there...) and that little (or not so little) type A portion of my psyche would NOT allow any backsliding as it glimpsed the finish line a few projects down the road.

So honestly, whenever I picked up my cabled sweater or Maya's new design project, I'd get huge Attention Deficit Disorder. I couldn't sit still for more than a few moments to knit. Instead, I'd have an urge to look at the colorwork stitchionary or the stitch dictionary, cruise Ravelry for hat ideas, flip through old magazines.

And yep, if I picked up one of those stash hats, I could go for hours. Uninterrupted.

So I figured, fuck it. Obviously I wasn't going to win here. And here are a few hats. I'm digging thow this fair isle one looks, but fair isle is quite the pain in the tush. All those strands. Makes me really appreciate the gorgeous mittens I'd been admiring on Rav. You guys have the patience of saints. Me, I had my eye on the end of this project about halfway through.

I think my stash possessed hands will be fine after one more - I can't seem to shake the idea of one in cashmerino aran - and yep, I have a skein waiting from the bag.

And as I said in the beginning of this post, the whole leftover thing works just fine for cocktails too. I could have gone down the basement to the stock shelves (kind of a liquid stash we keep down there for EMERGENCIES..) but instead, I figured Maya and I would try and see if anything in the fridge went together. Going through the fridge was oh so hilarious. Would have been more so if I'd already had the drink.

She's quite the kidder, but I decided to pass on the A-1 and the months old Teriaki sauce.
However, the fridge was just full of possibilities. Here were the A list contenders.

Maya Mix

And here's what we came up with. We figured the seltzer was only a leeeetle flat. We were right.
Calling the pomegranate martini mix "pomegranate juice", we mixed it with lots of lime juice and a bit of OJ. These were a little too orange for our tastes, so we poured and added more pomegranate juice. Then more lime. Then a little Apricot brandy into mine - and a little more lime. They weren't bad - maybe a little summery for a winter's afternoon and the fire, but hey.

so I'm guessing one more hat and I can get on with my life.

And I'm thinking about hot chocolate with butterscotch schnapps ever since Sunday,
Sara! I see a few of those in my future.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Christopher, it's all yours. Manly colors, covers the ears.

And on another note, if any of you readers are in the Boston area and saw the paper yesterday, Maya and I are doing the 28 Days One Goal drive.

Her school had other things going on, so we're collecting gently used kids boots and canned protein (tuna, chicken, salmon, beans) at our house. I've sent emails to the locals through the usual channels, but I'm an old Advertising Gal, and this blog is just another medium, so I'm putting it out here too.

If you live near Arlington in the Boston area - we're looking for gently used boots and canned protein rich foods. I've set up a dropoff point in our entryway - (email me and I'll give you a real address or directions). Spread the word.

Peace, right?