Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Finishing up things on Calvados and Cherry Vanilla has left me with a clean-ish knitting slate, so I started to fill it in. With this. It's a replacement for my all time favorite cardigan, who's been getting nastier and nastier by the year. (Keep in mind it was a thrift shop find to begin with!) It was time to upgrade, apparently. I wanted a dark color, DK weight, and to be playing with seed stitch elements.

It's being worked in crap yarn from my stash, so imagine it in a deep, subtly vareigated DK. Smoother and prettier. That's how it'll eventually make its way to you. I'm working things out as I go, as there are proportional elements that I need to see in person in order to figure out how they'll all look together. Can't do it from the chart or the notebook. Hence the crap yarn.

In contrast to the knitting lull, this is one of those weeks where everything else is happening at once. The week after, we've got nothing, but the next few days until Sunday are crazy. And Craig is going out of town tomorrow too, which figures. So, a little stockinette and seed stitch are just about right, don't you think? For that 9pm knitting time I'm going to get.

These were from last weekend -- big giant gin and tonics. With a splash -oops, more than a splash - of OJ. Kind of screwdriveresque gin and tonics. We did the gardens and the grass, so we deserved the supersize kind. Dug big holes. Moved shrubs. Planted blueberries for Zoe. Strawberries for Maya. A cherry tree for me. And the drinks went down easy afterwards.

In booze news this weekend, when Saturday is over and Sunday arrives, a few friends are coming over to hang out and help me relax. I've already bought a few giant bottles of cheap white wine, and they're sitting patiently a top the fridge - waiting for the White Wine Sangria Pots. And I think that'll go down easy too.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

But apparently do not iron - look at that skirt!

You all know I may be a little iron-skittish these days though, right?

Anyways, I can't sew. I know this. I have little patience for straight lines, small needles, and measurements that must be spot on. But Maya's in a play and I am on the costume committee and things must be made. Lucky for me, I can go to yard sales, buy a big silver bathrobe and CUT. Cutting I can do. Doesn't require too much exact-ness.

I needed to make some kind of silver jacket or cape to cover the gold top on this dress for the White Witch's costume. So I used those scissors to the best of my ability and made a crazy Kabuki like number for the witch. Cut up bathrobe, giant bow-crest thing at the waist, and an evil giant black gem on the button. (evil says Maya)

The girl playing the witch is a little bigger than Maya, so use your imagination -- It's very weird making a costume for a kid you don't know, and she's just swimming in the jacket here.

I'm also in charge of beards and goatees.
(Or as I see it: fur fabric, scissors and two sided tape.)

The play's next weekend. And someone else is in charge of Maya's costume. Can't wait to see if they can sew and make something better than I did...

The bright side of this project was hitting a few yard sales on Sat AM. Look at the very cool set of teacups and dessert plates I scored! Not sure if I can work a cocktail angle with these, as tea and booze isn't my bag, but I do have a Southern Comfort Cake recipe I love. Super tasty.


(I leave out the nuts)

On the knitting front, the Lilas has grown. I'm almost down the sides, and will just need to finish up and make short sleeves. It's lovely and easy knitting, but I'm itching to do a little design work again after the week off!

So, yesterday after the costume was done, I picked up this guy - and ended up rethinking things and frogging back a ways. Not exactly progress, but things will be prettier for it.

Off to the nursery to get plants for the porch now -- drinks later.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

We drove the whole way back up the Eastern Seaboard from Virginia in one shot - that's 9 states and DC - in one day. This blows my husband's mind, since he's from CA and he almost never crossed state lines to go anyplace when he was young. We had planned an overnight on the way back, but in the end, the call of our own beds was too loud, and the straight shot at 80 mph seemed too good a gift to turn down. (Then we hit NYC and it all went to hell, but hey...)

Those of you from Boston (well, Charlestown) will nod when I say the Washington Monument, at first, wasn't so impressive to my girls. Been there, done that, seen it. Until we got up close and personal and they could see how much bigger it was than the one we have. Then the coolness totally sunk in.

I'll spare you the rest of the tourist pics and trip details. Suffice to say it was great. We need to go back in a few years, because there's just no way to get it all in on one trip. Although we did our best -- both indoors and out. Lucky for us, it was a gorgeous few days for walking around.

On the drive up and down (and in short spurts on the double decker sightseeing bus), I managed to crank out some of Lilas. This is the perfect mindless travel knit! Long stretches of stockinette, and someone else's directions to follow. It has a big floppy collar, so although it doesn't look like I'm super far here, being through the collar and the sleeves is a big chunk of yarn. I think I'm three skeins in. (And again, how nice is it not to have to keep track?)

Not sure how well you can see this yarn, but it's a deep navy blue Jo Sharp Tweed with pink and teal flecks. I had a few skeins left over from my Hourglass, which I knit years ago. I loved the yarn, but didn't have enough to make another sweater.

Then, last year I was in a small yarn shop in Kennebunkport ME and I saw more skeins (!!!), on clearance (even more !!!), so I scooped them up and brought them home. Perfect match. I shoved them all in one big zipper bag for the perfect sweater. Enter Lilas.

So, imagine my surprise (knitting this week) when I realized my perfect match yarn was actually Kathmandu DK Tweed! Two completely different (albeit Australian, right?) companies, yarn bought years apart- and in different states - and the colorways are spot on.

It's almost as good a gift as that speedy drive.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Time for a well-deserved break for everyone around here.

Since you might be in the same boat, you'll need a drink to see you through, right? This is one of my all-time warm weather faves. I made them yesterday when a friend came to pick up her daughter from our house, so I even have a brand new photo of them for you!

It's called a Susie Taylor (Not sure why, but it is - according to Mr. Boston.)

Susie Taylor
2 oz dark rum
ginger ale
one lime - sliced and squeezed in
ice cubes

It's simple and perfect. Trust me on this.

I'll be checking out for a few days, back later next week. I may or may not have computer access after Saturday, so if you are looking for me in regards to a pattern question, it could be a few days before you hear back.

While I'm gone, I'm plan to take a knitting break as well. Of sorts.

I'm going to follow directions for a change! One of the biggest problems with all this design stuff is that I never get to knit the other amazing patterns out there. But I have a queue, yes I do. And on it are a number of things I'm dying to get to. Two of those things are now packed up and ready to hop in the car with us.

The first is Gudrun Johnston's Aestlight Shawl. I love this pattern and have been coveting it for some time now. See Jess's in green? It's amazing. I started one back at SPA, out of a deep purple vareigated yarn, and I plan on finishing it now. It should be done by New Jersey.

The second is really exciting -and it'll keep me busy the rest of the trip. It's a gorgeous slouchy, wear-everywhere pattern designed by my talented internet friend Hilary.

It's called the Lilas Cardigan. and I had to have it the minute I saw it. So I used my wiley charms on her and managed to get an early copy of the pattern for my trip. Yep, now I'm the test knitter for a change. Well, kinda. She knows better than to rely on me and also has a tech editor who will not be drinking and also not be on vacation. Smart girl, that Yarniad.


Upon my return, I'm going to get right back to work. I plan to finish up the pattern on Cherry Vanilla and get it up on Ravelry. ASAP. Promise.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

You guys already have the cocktail, now here's the finished cowl. And, thanks to Caro's photographic magic, once again I have amazing pics to share!

As promised, the ribs are gone. Well, most of them anyways. (I did keep a few.)

But mostly, they've been smocked away.

I love how cowls work - cozied up and folded over, or down in a big cowly loop. Both good. Amazing. We also did the babushka, but I couldn't pull it off. The cowl could, just I couldn't.

If only it wasn't about to be summer and I could wear it around for a while longer -- instead, both my fave coat and my lovely little cowl will have to wait till fall for some real airtime.

But you guys probably want the details now.

It's all on Ravelry, but I'll tell you here too. You'll need about 400 yards of the Plucky Knitter's handdyed merino superwash. It's worsted weight, knit up on US #8s/5mm needles here. My gauge was 4 st, 5.5 rows per inch.

And although cozy accessories aren't the thing to wear in late spring, they are the perfect thing to knit - smaller than a sweater, easy to cart around, and low maintenance. So this guy will be available on Ravelry just as soon as I can get over there to post it!

and don't forget to make your blue drink :-)

(All pics here are Copyright 2010 Splityarn)

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Here's a resume filler I didn't count on.

I can coordinate cocktails to match my yarn choice! Sort of like the guy at Home Depot that can give you the right can of paint from some piece of fruit or Barbie clothing you bring in - I apparently can mix a drink to match the yarn on a given project. Who knew?

I'm not so sure this will help me land a corporate job when I go back to work someday, but it sure can make the afternoons fly by in the meantime.


I had checked my deck of drink cards for blue options, but nothing was right.
Two of these three options are way too gross to drink anyways. That shark thing has tequila, vodka and curacao (scary) and the columbus thingy is just weird. The champagne punch recipe doesn't suck, so it might get some airtime in the future - but Craig says it's a headache in a bowl, and I'm afraid he's right. See that long ingredient list? Champagne, white wine AND the curacao, plus all kinds of other stuff - I could chuck Tylenol in there too and head it off at the pass, maybe.

Or, I could drink my color coordinated concoction instead. I'm sure it was much better. And although the color was a little weird for a food item, it was very tasty. Given the gorgeous 85 degree day out there on the deck, it was gone in a flash.

Plucky Curacao Cowl Drink

2 oz curacao
1 oz triple sec
quick splash of OJ
club soda and ice cubes
slice of lemon


As for the Plucky cowl that inspired the drink and my subsequent self-discovery, I should have it done in a day or so and will be ready to post all about it next week.

It won't be ribbed when you see it finished!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Just like the table.

Thanks for all your stories! It's good to know I'm not alone out there in the screwup department and your stories made me laugh too! Seems we burn a lot of stuff, huh?

In the end, I went with the steak, wine and full disclosure. Could not find the damn hooker twins in my little New England world (although I know they exist in the seamy underbelly of town). That was OK, however -- as I've married a man who doesn't see this as a ruined table. He looks at the big black mark and sees a lifetime of future chances to mock me -- kind of a plus in his book. And, if you read his comment on the post, you know I'm even getting a present out of it.

Mockery and an ironing board. Appropriate penance to pay, as I deserve both.

I'll finish up the writing on this next week and get good photos of both versions on a real body. I put a few more pics on my Ravelry page as well.

In the meantime, check out the new Twist!