Monday, April 30, 2012

Sorry to drop off with the design progress like that.   I've been doing a lot of writing and charting this past week, and very little actual knitting took place after All The Math.  Sometimes my brain is just done, and a particular bit of neckline logic had me pissed at the entire craft for a day or so.

 However, the good news about figuring it out is that the things that were on my needles might someday find their way to your needles.   Bad thing is that I have barely knit a stitch in days. But today, both of the writing projects have slid to the side of the desk that means I don't have to touch them today, and some lovely cormo cables are about to be cast on.

So, in lieu of actual knitting, I figure it's time to share one of my favorite things about my new town.   Faux Working.  

I don't know about the rest of you out there who work from home, but the thing I miss the most about my old career is having co-workers.  A buddy to talk to and an excuse not to be wearing pajamas. And honestly, having another person in the room makes me work more, not less.   I tend to stay off Twitter and Facebook, and that noontime What Not to Wear doesn't taunt me at all if there's somebody nearby.  

Here's where I was last Thursday, and most of Planters Punch was written at this lovely dining room table, which is totally not mine.  It's Jenna's. And it's conveniently located about a half block from my house.

Do you see that fireplace right there?  It's cozy.  I might like her dining room better than mine, in fact.

But we trade off, so here's Jenna at my dining room table.  (She's cold since our fireplace doesn't work.)  

You only see her hands, since I promised not to blog any pictures of her. She's in publishing, and has no desire to become part of the knitting blog world.   As you can tell by the crap on both our tables, coffee and lunch are definitely part of the deal, as is conversation and some background music. It's pretty awesome.  We may be in the midst of recruiting a third faux worker, too.  She works in finance, but is also computer-contained, geographically desireable (you can see both the other houses from mine!), and fun to be with.  Not sure what her fireplace situation is, but I'm thinking there is one in the living room...
The only downside is that this is a 9-2 workday.

Cocktail hour has to be scheduled separately.

We've been playing with gin and tonics this week.   

My husband's new thing is to add a little pickle juice and lime to his. I think that's all kinds of gross.
Mine gets muddled cucumber, lime, and a few drops of Peychaud's bitters, which is obviously much tastier. 


Monday, April 23, 2012

Brooklyn isn't the usual spring break destination around here, but that's where we were last week. 

A day in Coney Island meant beach time and hot dogs.

We took a walk under the bridge in the morning, and another walk over it in the afternoon.

We explored lots of charming neighborhoods.

With very cool brownstones and shops that don't appear in malls nationwide.

There were bagels and brunches and barbeque and old school pizza. 

And a few of these every afternoon.
(If I remember correctly, the left was a dark and stormy and the right was a romero sour.)

 But we're home now and the knitting will resume!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Cotton in Cherry.    

I'm off for a few days, spending time with my family over Spring Break.  This sweater will be coming with me, as will its tweed cousin below.  All I have left are the sleeves and the bottom hem.

The Tweed cousin is also an amazing reddish-orange.  It's  A Rowan Yorkshire color that I couldn't leave in the shop.

Together, the two of these yarns will become a Planters Punch pattern.  Which may seem a little weird, having very different yarns in one design.  But one version is for summer, and the other will be for fall.  Really, if you think about it -- I'm just taking the pressure off of you guys.  Knit it whenever you want, right?  No rush.  Now, later, whenever.  DK is easy to find.  Both yarns needed to be involved in the name - because they are just so perfect for the drink - and I do think this pattern will lend itself to a little variation.  We'll see how it goes...

In the background, the knitting calendar has me on Fall.   Rhinebeck begins next week.  It's actually already begun and is pretty far underway, but the knitting will start.  Which is crazy, since I went to the beach today.  In APRIL.  And it was hot enough to get sunburned.  The water however, was cold enough to hurt like a motherfucker (sorry).  But I know that for a fact because the bathrooms aren't open yet and the only way to pee at this particular beach was to actually venture IN the waves.  You have to go far out to get that deep in Massachusetts.  It took about a half hour before I felt my shins again.  No car coffee for me next time.

But do you know how weird it is to be on the beach when the leaves aren't even on the trees yet??  Crazypants.  So it's Summer in Spring, and Fall is already underway even though we're just hitting April Break.   Which makes me need a drink.

Tonight was a gin and tonic.  Leaving tomorrow, so no fancy ingredients are getting opened.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

 Blue Monday is a quick and easy, worsted weight hat and mitten set, designed in Spud and Chloe's super cozy Sweater Yarn.  This pattern's a great way to play with colors and a little texture, without getting too complex.  Instead of stranded colorwork, an alternating slipped stitch pattern gives the effect below. 

 The PDF is free and downloadable on the Spud and Chloe site:

It's a great way to play with color combinations.  I had a little pink S&C floating around in my stash, so when I was done with the blue version,  I whipped off a second hat, which you can see in the pics below.  There's something delicate about the pink/brown that I just love.  The Waterslide (blue) against the Chocolate Milk (brown) is also great together, and I am dying to mix the Cider (orange) and Grape (purple) as well - some deep, gorgeous shades!  But Spud and Chloe has a ton of amazing colors, so you can choose your own.
(I think my pink is Watermelon, FYI). 

Anyways, I digress!   Color combinations are a little addictive. 

 It's a perfect spring and summer project - easy to carry, quick to make, free - and you'll be set way before fall comes.

BTW,  A Blue Monday is an actual drink - according to Mr Boston's.  (p. 132)

1.5 oz vodka
.75 oz triple sec
1 dash of blue food coloring

Stir with ice and strain into cocktail glass.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My new sweater storage system. 

 It wasn't really Ted, but that was the phrase that came to mind when the dude who posted this on Craigslist answered the door.  He was a big guy, with some big hair.  Camo pants, combat boots, an army green tank top,and an Obama Sucks baseball hat. 

He was actually a perfectly nice guy who helped me get this thing down the steps AND into my car, so hey.   We discussed neither politics nor religion, and I gave him $100 for this cabinet, which is lined entirely in cedar and will repel any moths who dare come near my stuff.  Lucky for me, only he smelled like cigarettes and engine parts, or my sweaters could never live in this thing. 

It just needs a little love, some new knobs, and a good sanding to get the cedar going.  I love Craigslist.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The color of this yarn determined the name of the pattern the moment I saw it on the shelf.  If you have been to Jamaica or had a spring break down in the islands, you know what I'm talking about.  That crazy sweet red/orange rum punch, and lots of it.  

It's what makes you think those braids are going to look good on your head. 
(Dark roots and a sunburned scalp isn't as attractive as you think it's going to be.  I know, because the photos don't lie, but the punch sure does.)

Apparently, this tweed has the same logic dampening properties as the punch.  Although it's April and I absolutely know I should not be designing in tweed, I find myself knitting along.  However, the difference between tweed and booze is that the effects aren't compounded with more skeins.  I still have my wits about me, and have come up with a plan that allows for both tweed AND cotton.   That perfect red is in the photo below is Blue Sky Alpaca's Skinny Dyed Cotton and it should be the same gauge as the tweed.

As a little experiment, I'm going to design for both yarns, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the pattern translates to each.   Both yarns seem to fit the Planters Punch theme, don't they?   Anyone in New Zealand can knit for winter, and anyone in Boston can make one for summer.  Everyone will be happy.  Or so the plan goes.

  Tune in next week and we'll see how it pans out.

In the meantime, I'm making spring break plans that include Brooklyn.  Which made me want a Manhattan. 

Will happily take any suggestions of things to eat and do in Brooklyn!