Sunday, May 29, 2011

This appeared on the Blue Sky Alpacas website!

It's a design I did a few months back for their new Techno Yarn.

Which is a super soft, light and lofty, bulky baby alpaca which Blue Sky is releasing very soon. I loooooved knitting with it, and decided to make some chunky lace out of this gorgeous cream color called Fame.

Now that it's actually published, below is the pattern information from Blue Sky:

a link to the Thea's Pullover page is here, and some basic information is below.
(They decided against a name in the cocktail family!)

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This mod pullover features a deep scoop neck, a fitted shape and a chic lacy detail. Top down construction provides the opportunity to modify the fit to flatter any shape.

SKILL LEVEL
Intermediate

MATERIALS
• Blue Sky Techno (50g/120yds):
5 (6, 7, 7, 8) hanks
• Size 10½ (6.5 mm) 32" circular needle
or size needed to obtain gauge
• Size 10½ (6.5 mm) double pointed needles, or size needed to obtain gauge
• Stitch markers
• Stitch holders and/or scrap yarn
Photo Shown: Fame #1970

SIZES
S (M, L, XL, 2XL)
Instructions are for smallest size, with larger sizes in parentheses. When one number is given, it applies to all sizes.

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS
Bust
: 34 (38, 42, 46, 50)"
Length: 24 (25, 26, 26¾, 27¼)"

GAUGE
In St st, 12 sts and 20 rnds = 4"
Needle size required may vary depending on color of Techno chosen, please check your gauge.

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I can't believe I missed the photo posting, but since my head's been buried in house buying, faucet purchasing and wallpaper/carpet removal this past week, I guess it isn't too surprising.

See it below?


Gone. Two whole stories of big honking flowers - in trash bags.

I don't have any pics of the thousand year-old, used-to-be-green, carpet but that's also gone -- piled up in the driveway for the dumpster. And next week, the contractors arrive to add the kitchen and baths to the very same dumpster.

I also trimmed the hell out of an azalea, a rhodedendron and a rose bush which were taking over various parts of the yard, washed all the baseboards, cleaned up the basement, ripped off the ugly fireplace front, and de-dog furred whatever I could manage upstairs. Don't worry - the toastmaster is still there.

Craig just informed me that we're frogging the house. Which we are, really.

Think he's privy to some knitting jargon in his daily rounds?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Every action has a reaction, right?

And never has that been clearer than in my house right now. There are a few things I've put in motion over the last few months, and as I wander around here today, I'm seeing them all coming to fruition. At once. Because that's how it always happens.

(which might call for a drink, but that's for later in the day)

First, this pile of yarn wrappers which I am putting into the yarn trunk. Yep, that's 9-10ish skeins of Shelter. And although I'm not going to be able to share what came out of this bag, let's just say it was a few months in the planning. And it's kind of fun when you look at the empty bag and realize that the little drawing became something and is about to fly the coop.

You guys will see it in a few months.
(because nobody wants 1,000 yards of tweed on their lap in July, right?


Already flown out of the coop is another pattern, which I began in winter and sent out a few months back. I'm also not allowed to talk about it yet, but I'm pretty sure I can say you should keep your eyes out for Blue Sky Alpacas' Techno yarn at TNNA!

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About to fly out the coop is all the stuff you see below.

More specifically, All Our Stuff. This whole new house thing is about to happen, and soon. Like tomorrow, in fact. We do have a month between one house and the other, so it's not all going to be out of here tomorrow, but let's just say that I've put tons of crap in boxes. And I can't find anything I need anymore.


I'll find it all after the construction in a few months.

But please know that I'm not stupid - and I do have my priorities. Some things aren't getting packed until the End. This week's drinks have been made on a "is there a bottle with only a few ounces left in here?" basis. A few gin and tonics, and some burbon with ginger ales.

So there's two more bottles we don't have to pack. And thanks to Gabriella for helping in the effort. I know it was tough.


Lastly, a more creative task is underway. The new house is getting 2.5 new bathrooms and I'm picking all kinds of stuff out. I find I'm a little obsessed with the hexagon floor in dark gray slate, which I completely cannot afford. But it turns out the ceramic one comes in gray too.

Good thing, right?

Anyways, I promise more knitting soon. For now, I can't seem to find my yarn.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Something for spring and summer this time.


I hinted at this project a few posts back, and it's finally done and ready to share. I wanted to play with lace - the kind of eyelet columns that used to adorn the skirt on my favorite Gunne Sax dress or the kind you'd find separating the sections on a loose flowy top that Ali McGraw would have worn with her flare jeans in 1976.

It had to be creamy and white, and it had to contain little flowers.

My final take on it became a bit less flowy as the project evolved, but I think the structure makes it a bit more wearable. I was loving the idea of the slipped stitch seams, and using them sealed the deal on the switch from free form to structured. Less 70s, but maybe more flattering.


I went with a fitted bodice and a looser "skirt" section, for a nice long A line shape that would be comfortable to wear on a summer day or evening.

The shell is knit from the bottom up, so it can be easily modified. I have added instructions for how to move the floral band up or down, how to change the length or width of the bottom section, exactly where to put the slipped stitch seams on your bust, and how to add add a bit of ease to the top for anyone with a larger chest.

The yarn is Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Dyed Cotton; one of my favorite DK cottons out there. It's nice and soft, with a hint of rustic texture, and this Birch was the perfect cream color for the design. All the other details and such can be found here. The pattern is $6.50 US and can be bought on Ravelry or on the sidebar above.

A bit of info for those of you who like to have it here:

Sizes: 32-50
Yardage: 600-1050
Gauge: 5 st, 7 rows per1" on #5s, after a light blocking


Again, the photos are thanks to the ever patient and lovely Caro of Splityarn. It was ridiculously cold the day we shot this, and I had the bright idea that my girls would love an afternoon on the beach, so what you don't see in these shots are the freezing children huddled under a beach blanket, hiding from the wind and flying sand, begging us to leave since they'd already sat patiently through the Narragansett shoot and the bribery cookies were gone. You don't notice the goosebumps on my arms the size of small bats, and you can't tell I have my jeans and boots under the skirt, because there was no way in Hell I was taking them off.

But, that's me. On Reveah Beach in what? March?

You'd be wearing this on a beach or a porch on a beautiful warm day, sipping a lovely and refreshingly cold glass of White Sangria.


White Sangria

1 bottle of white wine (the cheap stuff in the big bottles for this. Anything BUT chardonnay)
2-3 cups of sprite or ginger ale
8 oz cointreau
1 cup apple juice or white grape juice
8 oz of vodka
cut up fruit: You can use almost anything - I like apples, pears, nectarines, peaches, cantaloupe, strawberries, other berries, pineapple.
a handful of mint leaves

Combine the wine, vodka, cointreau, and fruit in a bowl and let sit overnight.
When ready to serve, add the sprite or ginger ale. Taste and then add juice. If it seems sweet, add a bit of seltzer or soda water (or more wine) or leave off the juice.

Add ice cubes and mint leaves once you like the balance, and pour into a pretty pitcher.

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And, in the spirit of full disclosure, I took this photo off the internet because I didn't win my punch bowl on Ebay and have packed all my glass pitchers away in boxes already!

But it looks just like the recipe I made this weekend in a red plastic beach cooler. Just Like It.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I'm playing with SHELTER again - this time in the lovely colorway known as "Nest", which is totally appropriate, since every minute I'm not knitting right now, I'm working on all the steps to settle into life in our new house. We get the keys in about 2 weeks, which is getting crazy close.

Last Saturday, we dragged our kids to two kitchen showrooms to pick out new cabinets. They loved every minute of it, as you can imagine. We walked away with our heads a little spinny, but with a cool plan for the new digs that includes a big 6 burner stove, and lots of shelves - which, FYI - are cheaper than actual cabinets. And the actual cabinets we picked will be a cool dark yellow color, about which I'm kind of excited.

Plans for the new abode also include an entire sweater closet, full of shelves and cedar, because this old house has Extra Closets (I never knew those even existed!!) So, yes, that sweater closet is going to be in addition to my OWN 6'x4' clothing closet, which will be in my actual bedroom. I've never had a master bedroom before, so this is a whole new world for me. Very exciting.

In order to pay for some of it (like maybe the sweater shelves), I'll have a new pattern out next week for summer (see the little hint on the sidebar), and another warm weather number coming in June. In order to pay for the rest of it, I may have to sell my children out as day laborers this summer, but am thinking the closet could be worth it, and since they won't have any friends in the new town, they might be bored anyways.

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For drinks this week, we've hit Trader Joe's and are sampling our way through a batch of under $10 wines. So far, so good. And I will be making the sangria with one of those bottles this weekend. Stay tuned for the recipe and thanks for all the tips - there were some good ones, and I've taken notes down...

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Time has really gotten away from me this week, and I'm sure you're all staring at your liquor cabinets blankly, unsure what to drink next, after polishing off your flavored vodkas and running out of tonic and pear nectar. My apologies, but we've been working our way through ours, and haven't had a new cocktail all week. I still have a teeeny bit of pear left, but thanks to a few friends and my back deck, we polished off the grapefruit (and a half bottle of Smirnoff) yesterday afternoon, so, yes, it's time to move on to the next drink.



The next pattern is White Sangria, and I'm playing with recipes now. Caro's pics are much better and I will share them next week, but for now, you get the idea with this one. My test knitters are almost through, and the actual pattern is in the works.

Although I do have some opinions on sangria recipes, I'm taking any suggestions for favorite ingredients you guys like in them, as your commentary makes the recipe making/experimenting that much more fun. So, any fun sangria ideas?

Your punch bowl commentary was awesome and I'm on ebay, waiting to see if I've won my auction for the punch bowl I liked best, and if so, the final sangria will be served in same. If not, I'll have to get back to the drawing board and find another that fits the bill.

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After Sangria, it's going to be something that goes with purple. It may not BE purple, but the drink has to go with this kind of sweater. So, I'm thinking something maybe a little retro, and something served in a short glass. I don't why, but the short glass seems very portrait neckline/1960s to me - what Christina Hendricks pours herself after a tough day of being harrassed at the office. And this puppy is exactly what she'd wear with her pencil skirt and heels, so maybe that's why it kind of fits.


The rest of the month of May might be a little spotty, so I'm warning you now. Our current house has all its papers signed, and we get the new house in a few weeks. There is a large garage sale to organize, many boxes to pack, a contractor to get situated, the Middle School spring concert on the horizon, summer to plan, and a little visit from a much loved and faraway friend (Hi Jen!!) in the next couple of weeks.

AND, my favorite mellow little yarn festival the weekend after next.

New Hampshire Sheep and Wool - anyone else going to be there??