Monday, March 28, 2011

I always love when other people do a little behind the scenes blurb, so how about a little peek at what's behind the summer tank I have on the needles? These pics were the first piece of the plan. I keep a big collage of things I like on the wall above the knitting desk, and occasionally a theme pops out at me, causing me to collage a few together. I had put these guys on a page and kept going back to it - I think it was the linear lace patterns - simple but so pretty.

I was thinking kind of a hippy vibe - 70s, creamy, cottony, focused on the lace, but with a structured element, and a few sketches started to take shape. Tunic, cardigan, maybe a pullover. (Sorry ladies, skirt wasn't part of the mix this time -- but it IS part of the fall plan). The problem was how to add the lace detail to a top - without showing off bras and boobs and straps. Trust me, the spots you want the lace are also the EXACT spots where you don't want them. Especially if you are trying to add lines for tailoring.

And then I saw this dress. Pretty, right?

More importantly, it gave me just the nudge I needed to solve my problem. The new sketch seemed possible. So I got my hands on this Blue Sky Cotton in the perfect creamy white, plied just so to create a smooth, but not perfect fabric. The teeny bit of texture keeps it smooth and tailored feeling, but a bit "natural" as well, if that makes sense.

It's absolutely perfect for what I'm going with.

So the knitting began, and as a few of you know, I managed to knit almost the whole thing before realizing I had made it too tight. A knit summer tank should not be tight, and more importantly, I should not look like Jessica Rabbit in it. Nor should you.

So know that I am not being coy when I show you this photo again. Really, it's about as far as I've knit on version #2, but the fit is working out just fine this time. And I just have a few decisions to make on shoulder and neckline detail before finishing up.

This week, I have two days of math ahead of me on my secret project and it goes out the door.

Next week, I finish up the Moody Broody/Naragansett edits, and Sarah and I are working towards a 2nd week of April release for that one.

I'll need just a few more Gin Fizzes, and I'll shoot to get this guy out before April is over.

That's the plan, anyways ;-)

And about that Gin Fizz, if I leave the grenadine out, the it may even be the right drink name for the summer tank. But I need to think about that a bit more and perhaps play with the recipe a bit too. For some reason, it feels like it could be a tad too sophisticated for summer. Or maybe that's the idea? Big sunglasses, high heels and a bathing suit sophisticated?

Here's the currrent version - make one and tell me what you think - summery and light? A little Too? Needs something else? Or do you have a better idea for a drink that matches the jist of the sweater?

This recipe makes a jigger for two people

4 oz gin
3 oz fresh squeezed lemon and lime juice
whites of two eggs
1 oz simple syrup or 1/2 tsp powdered sugar

shake in a jigger with ice cubes

Strain into two glasses and add soda water.


(And ladies, sorry to tease you with the skirt pic! For fall.....)

edited to add: Patty's onto something. You could just make this a dress with a few mods!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

In both real estate and knitting.

First the knitting. Since most of the current projects are not ready for any kind of debut, I've been spending a little time with a few of my old patterns and my amazing tech editor, so my past designs can benefit from the lessons I learned on my more recent projects.

Today I posted a new and improved version of Calvados, pictured above. An updated PDF was sent to past buyers, but anyone purchasing this guy in the future will get the fabulously revised version, with less background chatter and some extra-double checked instructions.

If you're wondering, Short Lucky is next on the list, and will follow in a few days.


We were at our new house yesterday, so the other Old/New bits are related to the real estate. Feel free to sign off if you're only interested in the knitting.


This might be my favorite thing of all in the kitchen.

It's a TOASTMASTER. (I'd have called it that anyways, but really, it is the toastmaster - you can read it on the side there!) Blackened from years of use, and done up in super attractive 70s brown and orange, this undermounted cabinet toaster handles 4 slices at once. I cannot wait to give it a shot. I should have taken a picture of it shut too, so you could see the cover, but I'm guessing you can imagine it. Shiny, brown, a little orange and tan highlight design, and oh-so very Sanford and Son.

Craig says we can't keep it, but I told the contractor not to throw it out, because it's too perfect. Maya agrees; this is not to be tossed. Just look at the brown rainbow dial - all we need is an 8 track player to go next to it, right?

Another keeper is the house eagle.

He's looking kind of old and worn now, and maybe some of you think it needs to go. But they make Rustoleum in so many amazing colors, and I'm thinking he's kind of cool. He might move down to the porch as a wall decoration -- I'm not so sure I want him nesting up here on the "forehead" of the house - but either way, he's going to get a makeover and continue to live with us. We don't have a real pet, so this is exciting and the girls are figuring out names.

And one more "old" bit that's going to change. See this little paneled man-room, with two sets of french doors - one leading out to the deck? Well, this is going to be my new office. A big bulletin board, some yarn shelves, a desk and a paint job. The hard part is waiting the few months to get there. But I think a little more knitting will help pass the time... and yes, a drink too. I have been making them, just not getting around to blogging about it!

tonight a friend is coming by and I've promised to whip up gin fizzes.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

So, the trunk show was fun. It was hard to fit everything on here, but I eventually managed, and we had a separate table for the drinks. It's always so cool (and yes, a little bit weird) to watch other women playing with and trying on my actual clothes. But I love seeing them on different shapes and types of people, and I also love hearing the comments and suggestions from you guys. Food for thought on the next batch! So thanks to everyone who stopped by :-)

My favorite knitter was the woman who, after looking at a few of the sweaters on the table, studied me for a sec, and asked me if I didn't think my knits looked just a bit like that "cocktails girl's stuff on Ravelry?" I assured her that I was that cocktails girl on Ravelry, and got the most awesome reaction ever. Also fun.


But, most my time has been spent on moving. With a new house picked, it's time to figure out what we plan to do with it! So far, we plan a bit of construction.

And in the interest of contributing towards said house and construction, I'd better keep designing. I have been squeezing the knitting in. Naragansett went off to testing a few days ago, and I've been splitting my time between the sweater below and my secret assignment, which has a pending due date and cannot be ignored.

This is the summer top I am reknitting in the hopes that a less fitted shape will mean a less slutty sweater. So far, so good. And it shouldn't surprise me that in the resizing, a few details are getting a makeover as well. I love the deeper seed edge here and the spacing out of the eyelets which spontaneously replaced the original version (underneath). Will see what else changes.


I leave you with a few awesome photos from a book my sister sent me.

One guy got a ski and the other got a golf club. Who's the prop guy who thought a wooden duck would be the perfect thing to go with those two?

If you look closely at what's going on, here, I don't think what she's suggesting has anything to do with tennis or sweaters.

Could they not find a baby model and had to use a stuffed duck?

And Maya swears this bunny is evil.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Just a quick reminder!

I'm doing a trunk show at Seed Stitch Fine Yarns in Salem MA at 3:30, as part of the 2011 North Shore Yarn Crawl.

I'm bringing most of my designs with me so you can take a peek and try em on. Minus the missing mittens, which have not turned up yet. Grrrr. I'm afraid it may be time to knit another pair.

Also, I may even have a drink or two with me. If you're in the mood yourself, I always love company! :-)

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The dryer sock elves have found my mitten and hat bin. I was gathering mittens today for a trunk show this weekend (more on that below), only to find I have ONE of each mitten or glove in my collection. One. WTF??? See, two the lonely mittens below.

And NO Sidecars. Which is baffling, since I had them in there just a few weeks ago. All my hats and scarves and cowls are still there. But the mittens, they be missing. I shall have no pie.

I'm wondering if a child related to me thinks this is amusing and has hidden them. Or maybe it's time to look under the seats in the car and check all the recyclable bags to see if I shoved them in there at the supermarket.... I know they aren't lying anywhere in the house, because the whole damn joint has been cleaned, painted, spackled, sanded and generally gone through, in preparation for house selling. Bad news.

The good news is that we're almost done on the house buying end. Our P&S is about to be signed in a few hours. I know Phase Two of the New House is just about to begin, and there will be a crapton more of shit to do, but I'll have a week or two lull ahead, where I can either knit new mittens or work on the next couple of designs before that hits. In the meantime, I'll need to keep things clean and clear out. Which leaves knitting time. I am soooo leaning towards the new designs. Secret yarn should be in the mail, and Plucky is in the works.

On that note, see below - Moody Broody #2, Naragansett. I'm about to do the math and get a test pattern out the door by next week. Here's a hinty shot in the meantime.

For those of you in the Boston area, the actual Naragansett sweater in the photo might be joining me in Salem on Saturday. I've been asked to participate in the North Shore Yarn Crawl this year, and will be at Seed Stitch Fine Yarns in Salem, MA from about 3:30-5 on Saturday afternoon (3/12). I'll have all my sweater and accessory samples with me (minus the missing mittens, if they don't turn up....), and maybe some cocktail fixings if Courtney says OK. Must remember to ask Courtney about bringing booze.......

Seed Stitch is a really charming shop, right in downtown Salem, by the Peabody Essex Museum and the main walking street. I've been there before and am excited to go back and visit as part of the afternoon's entertainment. I'd love to meet some of you in person, so do come by if you have some free time and are nearby on Saturday afternoon.

In the meantime, happy knitting, and if I disappear blogwise, know it's only because I'm kicked out of my house while prospective buyers go through my drawers. Trust that I'm knitting away at the local coffeeshop.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

And I specifically took the photo for blog purposes! One of the beautiful things about an all inclusive resort is that you can get your drinks custom made.

Remember my deck of cocktail recipe cards? Well, we brought them on the trip and kept finding ones we needed the bartenders to make for us. How's that for family fun? Maya's a big fan of the virgin blended anything. And look how good they were at matching the pictures!

Besides that, I have very little yarn related to share. We're in the midst of the inspection/P&S portion of our move, and we're doing the mad paint-clean-throw away portion of our sell. It's a little nutty, and I realize I've knit maybe one row since returning, but I did manage to check the boards today and answer some questions, and I've sent out two more of my old patterns for some retroactive tech editing, so I hope nobody feels forgotten or frustrated if you've needed me. I'm a little scattered! But it'll smooth out again in a week or two.

I've also put out the info on my next Test Knit for Plucky. If you are interested, check it out in the BabyCocktails Rav group. I've gotten volunteers up to size 40. So if there's any 42+ size knitters out there who are interested, I'd love to have you.

Otherwise, I'll check in again when I have a sec, and if I manage a few more rows, I'll have a photo to show you of the new thing. If not, I'll share more beautiful wallpaper --or maybe if you're lucky, I'll show you my "Before" kitchen! It's way cool.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Is it wrong that this is one of my favorite photos from the whole trip?

I didn't realize that these were Actual Cocktails that you could order until we'd already left the bar and were too far away to go back. That's when I saw two people carrying Pineapple Drink Heads around with crazy straws sticking out of the tops.

I guess I'll just have to go back sometime. And that wouldn't suck at all.

It was an amazingly beautiful week. Blue water, soft sand, happy children and warm weather.
And a little progress photo on Moody Broody 2. This bluish gray color is really lovely, and the sweater is chugging along, but I didn't get as much knitting done as I'd hoped. The beach and the pool and the rest of it beckoned a little too much. However, I did manage to knit the yoke twice (yep, twice. Blame the whole all inclusive bar concept. ooops.) and get down into the body.

And now that I'm home, we have a bunch of things going on, so it's good that I'm in the stockinette/body portion! I promise to tell All soon, but for now, I'm still a bit distracted and won't be checking into the boards as much as I usually do.

Wallpaper removal might get in the way.

Two stories worth of Ginourmous Hallway-Stairway Flowers are in my future.
Scary, huh? But the stairway underneath is kind of amazing and might be worth it.

And I do promise knitting is happening and patterns for spring will arrive.
But maybe not until April. Along with the real live flowers, right?

Is it wrong that