Sunday, May 30, 2010

is what? The Sleeve Express? I spent a total of about 30 minutes knitting yesterday, and I'm already past the elbows on this cardigan. It's a nice break after my stay on the Island.

I did, however, get caught taking photos of yarn and drinks on the front porch and had to explain myself at a barbeque last night. But I think my friends are catching on, since the question was posed as "Were you taking pictures of yarn for your online thing?".

And my friends remember some things about the whole blog world, since someone then brought up the porn site, which led to much explaining on my part and a suggestion that I link to it on the sidebar in the future. I'm going to pass on that, but am still soooo amused whenever that little ditty comes up. Who knew?

And of course, we came home at some ungodly hour and googled and clicked through just to see (really, I still can't believe that other woman didn't) if it was still around. It is. But it seems the other Thea's cleaned things up a bit over there - toned it all down, so to speak. Or more likely, maybe she put all the good pics to a space that isn't free.

Anyways, I digress. And, since it's a holiday weekend, you'll want a little drink to go with your porn. I'm still using my fancy new glasses.

Thanks to Sarah and the girls in the discussion group over there on Ravelry, I've gotten myself a big old bottle of Peach Vodka. And I'm not afraid to use it!

2 oz peach vodka
splash of pear nectar
sliced 1/2 lemon - squeeze the juice in here
ice cubes
Pour sprite over the top

That was goood. I'm being told to call it the Porn Star. Not sure I am going to.

But notice, I've left the name off for now.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I am not. I love the part of knitting that's all creative and flexible.

I hate the part where things need to add up. Properly. Sizing is not creative and flexible. But I've had my head in the calculator for the past three days and finally think I'm done with the niggly bits and details on this guy. It's my fave cardigan redux (to replace the one that's dying) out of Berroco Vintage and I'm thinking it's going to be a good one. As long as I've gotten more than half the math right, that is.

For tonight, it'll stew in my computer, and tomorrow it'll go off to the tech editor and test knitters. And although I hate the math part, on a 1100000 degree day like today, it was probably good to be dealing with "paper knitting" over the actual wooly kind. Especially a Top Down at Almost Done Stage kind of knitting - that's like having a sheepdog on your lap.

It is waaay too hot for actual sweater progress.

But it's kind of perfect for swatching, don't you think?

I'm not sure what I'm allowed to say on this yet, so let's just say it's going to be swatched.
And it's a lot of The Plucky Knitter's deep gray worsted weight merino. And that my photo doesn't do the deep color justice, but I've put those little skeins all over my damn house and I can't get it right. So if you really want to see the gorgeous color, click on the link. I think I got me some Sammy Samerson.

And, mmmm, before I can really get started, a little something to keep me cool.

I'll say this is a GINgerale.

(I still don't have the peach vodka and Fresca I need to be drinking with this project - and I won't even TRY to find the Vernor's stuff you are all chatting up, so I improvised.) And I know it's not ALL of you who even know what I'm yapping about. So, some of you are scratching your head, but apparently Vernor's is a kind of really amazing ginger ale locally available in the upper midwest and it's really not going to appear in my Stop and Shop.

SO, I used to make gingerpear sauce instead of applesauce and it was pretty good, and when I noticed the pear nectar on the shelf next to the gin, well...

2 oz gin
2 oz peach nectar
ginger ale almost to the top
ice cubes

Let's just say it goes down really easy on a hot afternoon. Verner's or no.

I think it'll help with the creative swatching process.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I have no knitting to show, since I swam off the island, only to be carried back to its shores. When these sleeves are done, I'd better love em.

I also have no knitting to show since Craig and I spent the weekend away on the coast up North.
It was a nice break, and on the meander-y drive back, we detoured to our favorite flea market.

I came away with this set of highball glasses from the 1940s. Aren't they awesome??

I'll fill them up later this afternoon.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Someone a while ago used that phrase, and I can't get it out of my head this week. I am sooo stranded on Sleeve Island. It's bad enough that sleeves go on forever, but when you reknit one 3x, they reeeeaaaaalllllly go on forever.

First, I had this big brainfart about a fitted cardigan with long sleeves that flared out at the end. Nope. Not in this lifetime, not on this body. I think I got that idea out of my system for any future designs too. Trust me when I say everyone's better off this way.

Then 3/4 ones. Nope, not as catastrophic, but not happening either. And now, back to the original plan. Basic wrist length sleeves that keep all the attention elsewhere and balance things out nicely. Fortunately, the Berroco frogs out OK and reknits without fuzzing up. Unfortunately, I tend to fuzz up instead.

And once I'm was all fuzzed up and stranded, I had my friend Sarah over for a little drink.
(which should not surprise any of you)

Sleeve Island Cooler

2 oz dark rum
splash of pineapple juice
fill glass with ginger ale
add ice cubes
add sliced half lime and squirt lots of the juice in

(and we added pineapple slices too)


The test knitting for this guy will start up in a week or so, and thanks for all the volunteers! I'm all set now, and getting ready to move on to the brown guy up in the corner there.

A few of you noticed Jess sporting it in Amy's Fit to Flatter series, and I also have a saved folder of messages from when I first knit it last year, so it's feeling like it's about time I got moving along with it. Because everyone wants to knit a woofy cabled cardigan in summer, right?


To begin, I'll answer some of the questions I got:

1. It was knit in a Debbie Bliss Merino Aran. I'm planning to publish it in an aran tweed with the same gauge. This one needs a wooly tweed with a little "body" to it, so not Kathmandu. :-(

2. To make a 34, I used almost 1400 yds. (Those ties and collar take up some yarn!)

3. I already have some test knitting volunteers, and will let you know what sizes I may still need later on.

4. And yes, I'm at a loss for brown drinks that I think sound good. (I couldn't find a good chocolate brown tweed that I loved, and I did look, so I have a green in the wings instead.)


Now back to the island. Am hoping to get off it this morning!

Monday, May 17, 2010

get kind of mixed up, don't you think? We are having our first few gorgeous weekends outside, planting the plants and mixing the rum drinks - and all the while I"m thinking about worsteds and tweeds. Very screwy.


The good news about my lack of seasonal appropriateness is that my first Fall design is almost done being knit twice (as is my way...) and about to get written up (as soon as I finish posting on the old blog this morning).

Next is the testing. A couple of you have already volunteered so I'll be covered in the 32-38 range, but if any 40+ size knitters out there might want to test up a new top down cardigan design and have a batch of solid, semi solid or heathered worsted lying about, shoot me a Rav message or comment below with your email so we can chat.

Once this one's off my plate, I'm waiting for a very exciting package from the Plucky Knitter with a batch of gorgeous gray merino, for which we have plans. More on that later, once the yarn comes here to live. Mmmmm. Any day now.

In the meantime, I have this tweed lying about with nowhere to go.

And last week while I was helping out in the Kindergarten Writer's Workshop, next year's parents came in with the new batch of kids. And it was a cold morning - because we live in New England and it can be 30 degrees in the middle of May.

Anyways, this one woman had a big woofy cardigan on that I simply cannot get out of my head. It was pretty distinctive, and I'm thinking I can wrap my head around it with a little effort. I never did speak to her and I didn't have my camera, but I still have a pretty good mental image of the thing. Which I must own.

And I have a stitch pattern in mind, that'll repeat nicely in a top down textured sweatercoat.

or so I think.

Won't she be surprised when she gets to school next year and I'm sporting her sweater?


Before I get writing, there's that drink up top - I have no idea what to name it and I'm ready to get to the cardigan pattern, so I"ll just leave it up to you to call it what you will.

1 oz (since it was a small glass - use 2 if you have a tall glass) dark rum
3 oz pineapple juice
ice cubes
shot of lime juice
fill remainder of glass with black cherry seltzer.

I know it sounds weird - but the cherry kept the pineapple from being too sweet, and it added bubbles, which I like on a hot day. If you rather keep it simple, use lime flavored seltzer.
We did that for one of them and it was fine too. But I liked this one better - :-)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I think it's my fave. Of all the commercial yarns out there. Gorgeous, consistent, reasonably priced, and great yardage. Really, who needs anything more? Apparently, I don't, and even though my eye has wandered to other manufacturers at times, I always feel good about buying the Berroco.

I already have a little Ultra Alpaca addiction, documented in Alene's Wrap and Lucky , and now I'm afraid I might have a new problem.

When I needed a go-to heathery worsted for this guy, I bypassed the Cascade 220 shelves and gave the new Vintage Wool a shot. (I'd been dying for an excuse, really, ever since I saw it at my LYS.) And am I glad I did - It's soft, even a little squooshy. Knits up beautifully - no splitting, no knots. The colors were amazing, and it was a buck cheaper per skein, which - hey - adds up.

7 skeins and you could grab a six pack of summer beer on the way home, right?

This is a very dangerous and fun way to justify purchases and I do it all the time. Save $50 on jeans, and you deserve a shirt. Shoes on sale means a pair of socks. Buy the apples on sale and grab a pineapple for dessert... Try it, it's fun - and self serving, which we all deserve sometimes.

Anyways, I went for this deep purply-burgundy with flecks of navy in it. I spent $30 (5 skeins - not enough for the beer, but a batch of tulips did get bought at Trader Joes for $4.99) and I have a whole sweater's worth, with maybe about 100 yds extra.

So far, I keep thinking "Shiraz" while knitting, but we'll see what kind of name sticks when it's done. Could be something with berries or maybe sangria.
Summer's around the corner.

Monday, May 10, 2010

It's up and available for purchase.

A little treat for those of you on the other side of the globe who are getting ready for winter.


And I owe you the drink recipe, don't I?

1 oz pear vodka
1 oz calvodos
ginger ale
ice cubes
slice of lime

If you don't have pear vodka, 2 oz of calvados and a little shot of apple juice will also do the trick. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 09, 2010


Happy Mother's Day!


It's been a great weekend - kicked off by this, which totally made my day (my weekend? my week? All of the above) I've been following her blog forever, and was sooo flattered to be a little feature in her world!

Then yesterday, I took my Mom to New Hampshire Sheep and Wool in the pouring rain. We brought boots and umbrellas and had a blast. (I left the burbon at home this time, Carol, but promise to bring it to Rhinebeck again.) Although the animals looked a little wet and dreary, the yarn vendors were snug and happy in the buildings, and even the line at the lamb burgers was short! A bonus for the brave wet souls who ventured out.

It was my Mom's first fiber festival and I don't think she'll ever buy yarn in a store again. (remember your first time??) She was totally wowed by the fab fibers and sniffed out the bargains like a pro. We were on a quest to find yarn for two of these hoodies (the kid on the skateboard) which, she's planned for my nephews. After much yarn debate and squeezing and discussion, we found amazing stuff from Bartlett Farms to fit the bill.

For her present, I made her a few more of those stitch markers (don't tell Maya!).

I also gave her my original Golden Vintage Cardigan. She was so happy wearing it at the festival, I figured she needed to own it! Besides, I can always make another.

Now off for a family hike - since it's not raining anymore.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

This is an amazing, amazing beer. It's called Quelque Chose and according to the friend who gave it to me (thanks, thanks, thanks again!) it's only brewed once every 4 years. It's amazing. Seriously so. They take dark Belgian beer and brown ale and brew it with cherries.

IAnd look, they even have a cocktail recipe for it on the website. But seriously, it doesn't need any extras. Straight over ice. On the deck, while knitting.

So there I was, happily working away on a project, when I noticed a few bees. (let's say a few) Flying into a hole in the wood siding on our house about 2 feet from my favorite spot here. Now, we've had this problem before and I stuck a Vacu Vin thing in that hole, duck taped it in, and fixed the problem. Fixed it till they found a new hole apparently. Little fuckers.

This hole was bigger, and the bees were busy. So, I went downstairs to see what kind of caulk we had on the Man Shelves. We have NO caulk on the Man Shelves! None. And I've been forbidden from doing the Vacu Vin thing again, since we need those for the wine bottles, and they're expensive, and yadda yaddah.

I could have walked over to the hardware store, yes. But that would have cut into my cocktail and knitting time, so I looked around a bit more.

And look what I've got plenty of-- - Play Doh!! Jammed that in there and got back to my Quelque Chose and cardigan combination. Yep, I was pretty proud of myself.

Until I noticed this:

Seriously? The bastards ate right through it! Too bad it's non toxic. Am hoping they at least had bee stomachaches or green goo stuck in their bee teeth and between their little bee toes. I hope it's everywhere in their hidey hole and drives them nuts. Either way, must now add caulk to the beer trip and do this properly. Ugh.

But, just to prove my resourcefulness works out sometimes, see below:

I raided Maya's jewelry making stash as I was completely out of stitch markers. These took about 5 minutes total. I am sure the old markers are around here someplace-- in the sofa cushions, bottom of my purse, under the carseat, etc.

However, I'm also pretty sure it took less time to twist these up than it would have to find the old ones. I picked totally plain beads so Maya will never make the connection, even if she sees the markers. Crafty, huh?

It's a little Mother's Day gift she doesn't even know she gave me.

Monday, May 03, 2010

This one's all about options! Not that I planned it that way, but after knitting this summery version, I realized I definitely needed to make another that could be worn after the weather cools back down.

And so I did.

And now you can knit the cardigan to suit your exact needs. Summer or fall, cropped or not, long or short sleeved. Cotton or merino. All about the options.

I played a little with the shapes between the two as well. The cropped one falls nice and straight down from the bustline, but I made my longer one more fitted by nipping in for some waist shaping down the body.

All the specs are on Ravelry - as well as more photos, but I'll include a few details for you here as well in case you're wondering about them...

Sizes: X Small 32/24 - XLarge 40/42. (And yes, larger sizes are coming)

Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Cotton 4-6 skeins (600-900 yds) or Debbie Bliss Rialto DK 7-9 skeins (700-1050 yds)

Gauge: 5 sts, 7 rows = 1" on 6s.

I think the back is my favorite part. Can't wait to see what you guys do with this one!

And - of course, I owe you the drink. This one's GOOOOOOD.

Cherry Vanilla

2 oz vanilla vodka
4 oz black cherry soda
1 oz cointreau
club soda
ice cubes and (of course) a cherry.


(And those photos? Copyright 2010 Splityarn! The amazing Caro)