Sunday, November 22, 2009

You know the point in a sweater where you knit and knit, but don't seem to be getting anywhere? It's like time stands still, but the needles and the yarn don't. It's a little past halfway in the project -- that yarn eating, time sucking middle -- and it gets me every time.

So that's where I am on Maya's new sweater.

Just above the butt. Two skeins in, and one to go, but until I start to see the progress, it's seriously slogging along. I'm thinking that the 5 hour car ride in my near future will address the problem soon enough.

At least I love the yarn. It's a new shade of Cascade 220 Heathers - a deep royal blue with flecks of hot pink and teal in it. Soft to work with and gorgeous to look at. I might even miss it once I finish up.


In the meantime, we also seem to be stuck in the middle of our big jug of Jim Beam Burbon. Which is crazy, since I spent about a month with the Hot Toddies earlier this fall, and really there should have been a dent in the stuff. But this is that crazy middle of the bottle and it's not going anywhere. So, in the interest of getting past the middle on that baby, we made a few more burbon cocktails over the weekend.

We started out with a jones for Mint Juleps (While raking, we noticed how ginourmous our mint bush had gotten...) But, reading the recipe for Mint Juleps, we were unimpressed. Mint, sugar, water and burbon. Not really a drinking drink, it seemed more of a sippy thing. And we were a little thirsty after all the raking. (All 15 minutes of it. We gave up to make the drinks and are now paying the neighborhood kids $2 a bag for whatever they get done over the holiday. We left 80 bags with two kids. They have dollar signs in their eyes.)

So for $160 in laziness, here's the winning recipe. It's kind of a Not Hot Toddy.

Which might come in useful if you feel a little sniffy after being on planes, trains and automobiles with the general flu-ridden population this weekend. If you're feeling just fine, the burbon will still make an entire holiday celebration with relatives that much more fun. Either way, I'm thinking this is a perfect Thanksgiving Weekend Drink.

handful of fresh mint leaves
teaspoon of water
1.5 oz burbon
lemon slice
half can of ginger ale
ice cubes

Muddle the mint leaves and water well in the bottom of a tall glass.
Add the burbon and ginger ale.
Slice lemon and squeeze into the glass.
Stir. Add ice cubes.

If your throat's feeling sore, add a little honey. The tea version was awesome when I was feeling crappy earlier this fall, so this might just do the trick too. Or make the tea. Because burbon's good and good for you.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Because I've been working on another project for Maya the past few days. Not only is the teal J Crew scarf in the WIP basket, but this little tunic project from the newspaper circular wormed its way into my head and I couldn't shake it. So I went over to Lexington and got a couple of skeins of Cascade 220 and spent a while working out the particulars.

I'm having so much fun watching this evolve that it's become my project of choice, and the poor Owl hat continues to slide down the list for another day.

And slide it did because...

I'm now way distracted. Gathering for winter perhaps?

New button batches were delivered this week. (yay!) Not that I meant to purchase more, but it just happened. See, I periodically check in on ebay and toss a lowball bid on some pounds of vintage buttons in a tin. I go for three at a time. And I lose a lot. My limit is $10, so as said above, I'm usually losing. But pre Thanksgiving, it seems my co bidders have slacked off and I had a winning streak. Three tins I won. All 3.

And I love how I "won" them. Pure marketing genius. Since I not so much as "win", but pay. And in fact, pay more than anyone else is willing to for the crap I "win". But I'm good here with $5 each for 3 good hauls. Really good hauls..

And then, on Thursday, I was given the karma batch below.

These were given to me by one of the teachers at school, when I brought my rejects in and offered them up for art projects. She didn't need em, she told me, since she has the GrandDaddy tin of vintage buttons already. (oh really?) And then she did the most amazing thing - for which I now love her more than I even did before - and I did love this woman before.

She said since the kids don't care what's in there, I can just go through and take what I want. They'll never miss the good ones, she said. Never.

She then put one of those GIANT Charles Chips tins on the table. It's full.

And I only had 15 mins. 15 fucking minutes!!! Hence the small pile. It was like one of those game shows where the people grab all the stuff they can and get to keep it. Dammit. But I'll be back. I volunteer every Thursday, all morning. Every Thursday. I have all year to hit that tin. With permission from the teacher :-)

(And if any of you Monday ladies are reading, I have a bag ready to bring. Feel free to make a color or type request below in the comments and I'll try to accomodate.)

Next up, I'll be looking for project ideas that use buttons again. Got any?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Here's what happened around here yesterday.

Maya (ever the opportunist) realized that although, yes, I did have some cashmerino that would work just fine, well... I also had bought a skein of Cascade in her favorite jade green to make her some sort of accessory to match those stripey mitts. Fine by me. I figured out the pattern and got going.

And then this little note got dropped on the table next to my project.

She's pissed because I haven't started her Owls hat.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

For this great scarf idea. I have three aimless skeins of DK Cashmerino that just found a purpose in life. And really, how perfect for an upcoming Thanksgiving car ride?

In other knitting news, the seed stitch cardigan grows.

It looks just as I'd hoped. The deep purple is perfect, the look is delicate, and I know it'll be an awesome sweater to wear, but the knitting is teeeeeedious. DK Seed Stitch. I'm already over it and here's where I am. The freeing part is that I'm so bored making it that I've decided not to even try and keep notes on it anymore.

Because, really - I can't be responsible for others having to slog through it as well.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

She'll find the sale fashion circulars.

And if she finds the circulars, she'll look at the kids clothes.

And if she looks at the kids clothes she'll have an idea.

And if she has an idea, she'll draw it

And if she draws it

I'll have to knit it.

Sounds like a new project for me.

Sorry, I haven't posted in a bit. We had a really good but very busy weekend around here. My Short Lucky tester is all done and ready to put up her pics, and I've had emails from the White Russian testers who are working their ways down the fronts. Photos will be getting posted and Lucky should be going up very soon.

I should have a lot more to say and show you during the week.

Also -- the new Twist is up! Check it out if you haven't. It's looking good.....

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fireside was finished this morning. Buttons and all. It's perfect for wearing outside on the deck here, but I decided I loved it so much I wore it all day today. To the Mall.

On the bright side, every other sweater just looks like shit next to it, so you save a ton of money on shopping. On the flip side, not a good idea. It's just too hot to wear a bulky, cabley wool sweater in a crowded indoor space full of idiots (and that's what a mall is, yes?).

Even with the hot sweater and the idiots, we had a great day. Hilarious really. We did the lunch and girl thing and we brought an extra girl for even more fun. Really, few things are more entertaining than preteens at the mall. The shit they say to each other, the comments on what's on the rack, and of course, the crap they say about the idiots. Because even at 10, you can recognize the idiots. Who are out in spades on a holiday, lemme tell you.

The other bonus of shopping with the 10 year olds is the excuse to buy stuff at Claires. I got a few new pairs of earrings - for like $3. And at Blue Mercury I had to justify our makeup trying out session with another little present for me as well. New Laura Mercier. I love Laura Mercier. Mmmmm. And yes, all three girls look like streetwalking clowns after 20 minutes with the samples in the shop. See? More fun. Hope the other Mom doesn't mind when she picks up her child.

Anyways, you're probably wondering more about Fireside than them.

So, buttons. You'd think that with my batch of vintage buttons, I'd have added something amazing, but instead I opted for the classics. I tried a whole bunch of different things, but with this sweater, funky buttons just add distraction. There's already a lot going on here. I ended up with small, black woven leather ones. They suit it just fine.

And the pattern? It's awesome. Makes a complicated looking garment seem easy to knit. The directions are straightforward and simple. It goes fast. Knitting the sleeves on DPNs sucks, but it's worth it. And not hard, just annoying.

I thought the back seemed very small - so I blocked it a little extra, and all was fine. Perhaps it's meant to be a little more fitted than I'd have worn it. I also think the shoulders are big on me. But I think my shoulders are small, so that's not the pattern, that's probably me. I used Louet Riverstone Bulky and love it. I have about a skein and a quarter left over and am hoping I'll find something to make out if it, since it's great stuff.

But a big cozy sweater and a long day with 3 gals at the mall calls for a drink, dontcha think? So here's something new. I'll even call it a Fireside since it seems cozy.

(see those iron spider candle holders? Zoe and I found them on sale at Pottery Barn. She felt sorry for the big guy with 7 legs, so we bought them. Kind of like animal rescue, but without the commitment of actual feeding and care.)


1 of those half cans of ginger ale
1/2 oz of Cabin Fever (maple liqueur)
1 oz vodka
splash of vermouth

It's pretty good - and cold, since I'm still feeling a little hot. Because, no I haven't taken the sweater off yet. I like it THAT much.

Friday, November 06, 2009


At least I have something to show. One sleeve left and Fireside will be done. Turns out I Do Not like working these sleeves in the round, nice as they look.

What a pain in the ass. But, seeing the benefit - and the other FOs out there, I'm in.

It's been nice to take a break and knit from a pattern these past two weeks, but the urge to make something up is pushing me to do this already.

Seed stitch. It's going to be a replacement cardigan for my all time favorite sweater. The ATF sweater was bought at a thrift sale a few years back, and honestly it was a little long in the tooth then. But I loved it so. Basic, a little feminine and fitted. Not too fussy.

I'm hoping it'll last thru till January, but the crappy yarn it's made of is so thin in spots that you can see through it. Not just at the elbows either.

Who knew a DK weight gray seed stitch cardigan could go a little slutty?

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

For all the test knitting offers! I'm all set and thanks to you, will have a few sizes in the works over the next few weeks. My goal is to get this out in the world in a month. Pending any huge mistakes.

And look -- my friend Amy was nice enough to pose for some better pics. I'm trying to take the visuals up a notch, as continually promised. And in the spirit of Up a Notch, what's the purpose of having a blog about knitting and cocktails if I'm not using the slant properly?

So, with that in mind, this is my White Russian.
Yep, get it? From now on, each design gets a cocktail and a proper drink name. I'll test around for the best recipe and post it with the pattern. (That part'll be fun.) And the recipes will be on the pattern sheet and on the blog. That way, you don't have to buy a pattern to have a drink, right?

Since my Short Lucky is sooooo close to being published, I'll add a proper cocktail to that one as well. But must think first. The green stuff is nasty - sweet shit or margaritas, which taste better but don't fit. I'm going a different direction.


(It's not like this whole angle hadn't crossed my mind before - It's just a case of Doing It.)

Monday, November 02, 2009

My tweedy tunic. And my fuzzy picture. Below you can see the details, but here you can see the fit. (I know, I'll take better pics soon!) But it's written - and you're all imaginative, so you get the idea.

I'll proof it again on Wednesday and then I'm looking to see if any of you are dying to knit up a top down, simple lace tunic to wear for the holidays? Use up some DK tweed in your stash? I'm needing knitters and some feedback as you go. If you're game. I'll load you up with vintage buttons as a thank you :-)

I have one volunteer for the medium. Would take another, but I'd rather get a large or small going and see how the sizes are working out. It has a little ease in it - is meant to fit loosely throughout the body.

(X Small (32/34), Small (34/36), Med (36/38), L (38/40,) and XL (40/42))

Oops, I cut and pasted off the document so ignore the weird font and space there. Anyways, it's knit out of Jo Sharp DK Tweed - My gauge is 5 st =1" on #6 needles - in stocking stitch. I used all of 6 skeins for the x small - You'd need 7 for the small and med, 8 for the lg and xl. (147 yds each skein)

As always, I'm open to sub yarn, since you'll all do it anyways -- as long as it's on gauge and has the right feel to it. Am thinking it could work in a light worsted or tweed. Something a little wooly would be nice. Not too itchy or sheepy. Nothing too drapey or it won't work. A little texture is probably the most attractive way to go for the pattern. Tweed is lovely, perhaps a wool heather might work too.

And for a start date, I'm thinking, well, nowish? of course.