Friday, August 24, 2012

  Seems we're pretty evenly split between orange and lemon, but it was pointed out to me that with the burgundy cords I plan to wear with this, lemon wins out in the end.  I may save the orange buttons for some kind of a pattern launch giveaway - I do have 6 of 'em, so that's three sets to send.   And if you guys get the bleu yarn, you can wear some other color jeans and look more awesome than I would have in this exact combo.

But Bombay Sapphire here isn't the only fall sweater that's finally starting to look like something around here.

Between trips to the beach (3 this week) and taking the kayaks out nearby (car still not noticeably dented),  finding out  class lists (Who's on Gold??? Oh My God!!!  We're on the SAME team!!!), and starting a little back to school shopping (orange Vans, with cordorouy and flowers on them),  I've gotten things underway (phew, cause it wasn't looking good for a while there)

There are two things in the works for Rhinebeck - one is inspired by my friend Gabriella's shoulder here, and must be worked on when having a clear drink only.   I can't show you the actual sweater, but I'm having fun with a fisherman style theme.

However, I can only work on a white sweater when having a clear drink (or no drink at all!) so a second option was necessary.

 This will be  Bloody Mary.  (The perfect October name, right??)  It is a bit more done than the photo here shows, since ribbing is great beach knitting, but you get the idea.  The yarn is Harrisville Tweed's Garnet colorway, which I found last spring when on my quest for the perfect red.   I love it and I'm not afraid to drink around it. 

Since those two are already pretty far along, there's one more thing I am excited about.   Another BabyCocktails/ Plucky project  -- Dark and Stormy 2.   In fact, I am a little too excited about this one and may be driving poor Sarah crazy.    But I've been wanting to do a different version of the original for ages, and when I scored this yarn on an update, I realized only one thing could be done with this color.   With a cozy shawl collar.

It will be knit in Plucky's  Rustic yarn, and it's going to perfect with jeans and a pair of leather boots.  Right? 

Anyways, that's about it for the update.  Two teenagers are eating cupcakes in the kitchen and a bag of beach snacks needs to be packed.  Of course, they won't be packing it.   But I'll make 'em load the car.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Yep, in a row.   A bit of driving, but the second two weekends were worth it.   

The first one kind of sucked, and I have no photos.  It was pretty uneventful, since I had food poisoning Saturday and only spent two hours in the state on Sunday.   I drove up to drop Maya off at sleepaway camp.  She requested I drive, since I like her music and my husband won't sing along at the top of his lungs.  It was a quick up and down trip, and I did the required singing, gave the required hugs and bid her adieu for two weeks.  All without throwing up, which was a bonus.   And we dodged the traffic.

As the trips go on, the stories and photos get a bit better., I promise.

The second weekend was way more fun.  A few of the New England designer folk decided it was time to have a little get together up in Portland.   Since we work alone most days in our respective homes and offices,  the chance to meet, compare notes, and talk with each other in person is a real treat, and we may have had a few ciders while there.   

We stayed overnight for a little more knitting and child free girltime, and were introduced to Bintliff's the next morning by our lovely hostesses.  Bintliff's is worth a trip based on the lobster frittata alone.  It definitely beat the previous weekend.


 And this weekend, we went BACK up towards Augusta to retrieve the child who was dropped off on the first weekend.  Instead of doing the trip in one day, we found a little hotel in Belgrade Lakes and spent the day on a mini vacation.  Lakeside ice cream, a swim, and a few hours in a canoe were all beat by the best Beer Thirty Ever.   Right here on this dock.

  From far away, it looked like this.   (see below)

The docks were behind our hotel, on a little river that connected two bigger lakes.  Kinda perfect, right?   We were already sold, but while docking the canoe, the waitress sealed the deal by coming out to take the order for two gin and tonics and a shirley temple.  By the time we put the boat back on the rack, the drinks were waiting.

I am so so so comng back HERE.   It may look a little funky on the outside, but that's all part of the charm.

And, oh yeah, I made a quick stop back in Portland at Bintliff's again.  Because we were SO close when my husband said he was maybe hungry enough to stop somewhere on the way home.   The BLT and corned beef hash were about as good as the lobster fritatta. 


Plus, with all the driving time and the hanging out at the bar, my new Plucky sweater got finished.  
I just need to decide on buttons.  

What do you think, yellow or orange?  Maya says yellow (actually, she keeps calling these "lemon" for some reason.  She actually told me, "Mom, lemon is so in this season.")  I didn't know.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

So, Champagne was for those of you who aren't yet ready to put a pile of wool on your lap yet and admit that Fall is just around the corner.    But I realize there a quite a few of you are wrapping up your Ravellenic sweaters with visions of tweed in your heads, and I just spent a lovely weekend up in Maine with some very inspirational knitting folk, so it's time to take another look at  Planters Punch. 

This time, with Fall in mind.

  Because no matter what I tell myself, it's almost here.  Soon I'll be folding up my little red version and putting this one on instead.

It's amazing what a few small changes can do to the feel of a sweater!  A DK tweed replaces the cotton, 3/4 sleeves are added instead of capped ones, a deep ribbing goes where the rolled edge was and.... voila!  Planters Punch becomes a cozy and feminine pullover that's perfect with jeans and boots on a crisp day.  Just like its summer cousin, its knit seamlessly from the top down, and modifications couldn't be easier for your shape.

 I love the delicate cables in the brightly colored tweed, but in a neutral gray or pale brown, this would be a great wardrobe staple.  A classic shape, a little ease for layering, and some lovely detail.   I know I'll be wearing this one a lot.  

The pattern is for sale on the sidebar to the left or on Ravelry for $6.50.


Details for the winter version are below, and the rest of the information is on Ravelry:

Sizing:  32(34,36,28,40,42,44,46,48,50)
Gauge:  5.5 sts and 7.5 rows per 1"' in stockinette, lightly blocked
Needles:   #6/4mm or size to get gauge.  One needle size up for neckline bind off.
Yarn: Winter Version: Rowan Scottish Tweed DK in #011 900(950,1000,1050,1100,1150,1200,1250,1300,1350) yds

The photos are by my lovely friend and photographer Caro Sheridan, (as always) who steered me to this amazing POLKA DOT BUILDING for the photos.  Really, it's a brown building covered in yellow, blue and orange polka dots.  She knows the best places, I tell you.  I'm particularly proud that my ring matched the polka dots, which entertained me enough to keep my mind off the fact that it was about 105 degrees out when we shot these.


In addition to Caro, I have to shout out a little recognition to my friend Jessica (TanteJ if you know her on Ravelry)  who knit this up for me.   She's always been a great test knitter and a helpful voice on the Ravelry boards, so I was happy to have her hands for hire this summer.  The tweed sweater is her handiwork!   Thanks Jessica. 

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Let's just ease our way into Fall, shall we?  Summer's not quite gone yet!

Champagne is the perfect project to take you from late August into the cooler days of September and October.  It's a feminine vest that can be worn right now with a tank and shorts, and can be paired with longer sleeves and pants once the weather turns.

Champagne's details are delicate, and designed specifically to flatter your body.   The entire design began with this lace motif, which I thought  would be beautiful in a slightly rustic yarn.  I've used it on both the front and back,  slightly tapering  the width as you go from the bottom up. 

As the lace moves up the front of the sweater,  it slants to one side, creating a bias across your natural curves, and skimming over the midsection.  By the time you reach your V neck, it's lined up perfectly to edge the center.


 A-line shaping keeps the sweater loose around the hips, but brings it in for a nice fit in the bust.  I felt this would be more comfortable on a hot day, and more flattering once you wanted to layer underneath.

The Cotton Comfort is a beautiful lightweight yarn from Green Mountain Spinnery.   The mix of soft Organic Cotton and delicate fine wool creates a lovely, delicate fiber that's a joy to work with and easy to wear.  The 19 (yes, 19!) available colors  are beautiful, and it's got a little texture to it, which I love.   Plus, you can feel good about your knitting when you use it, since it's made without chemicals or petroleum based products up at the Spinnery in Putney, Vermont. 

If you are noticing the new model around here, she's my sister Melissa!  She's way cuter than I am and recently moved back to Boston from the West Coast, so Caro and I decided to spice things up by popping her in here for the sleeved pics.

I was able to play stylist for a change.

You may see her again.  Especially since her new place is directly between Caro's and mine.


Champagne is available on the sidebar to the left and on Ravelry for $6.50.  All the details are here, but a few are below.

Yarn:  Green Mountain Spinnery Cotton Comfort,  in Winter Beech.  180 yds per skein
Sizes:  32(34,36,38,40,42,44,46,48,50)
Project Yardage per Size:  750(800,850,900,950,1000,1050,1100,1150,1200)
Needles:   US #4/3.5mm or size to obtain gauge
Gauge:  5.5 stitches and 7 rows per 1", after blocking in stockinette.  Note that row gauge is very important in this design.

The sweater is knit in the round from the bottom up, with minimal seaming.  As always, I have included instructions in the pattern about adjusting things for your body.  Shaping along the sides can easily be altered if you prefer a different width through the body.  Length can be altered as well, but row gauge is important when planning vertically, as it affects the lace movement.   Take a look at the great sweaters my test knitters did on this one - it really did flatter everyone!  In planning your mods, do note that this is an intermediate to advanced level pattern. 


As for a drink,  we had a little fun with Champagne around here.  My neighbor brought over some blueberries, and we have mint all over the backyard, so the combination of the two seemed perfect for a hot summer night.   The key with a champagne cocktail is to have it cold, so make sure the champagne is really chilled, and put your glasses in the fridge for a few minutes before serving.

 (This seemd like the right name -  for the folks at Green Mt Spinnery)

Put 4-5 blueberries in the bottom of a champagne glass and poke them a few times to release some juice.
Add 3-4 shakes of lemon bitters.
Pour ice cold champagne into glass -slowly.
Garnish with mint leaf (smush lightly before tossing in) and lemon peel.   



Sunday, August 05, 2012

Temps around here hit the 90s this weekend, and our central AC decided to die on Friday.  (Because that's always how things go when you live an an old house.)  
Lucky for me,  I'm on a "call anytime" plan with my friend Diana, who has a backyard pool.  So I called and she saved all our hides by inviting Zoe, me, and Craig over for the afternoon.  Not only did Diana let us crash her day and swim, but she also made me a drink in a jar and then took this picture of it on her phone so I could share.  Because she's that awesome.  Gin and Squirt grapefruit soda.  With a hefty does of lemon juice, because that Squirt is super sweet stuff.   I'd never had it before, but it seems very 1970s to me.

Next to the Squirt N Gin is a little Plucky project I've just begun.  MCN in Bleu. 

Thursday, August 02, 2012


 Here's why you haven't heard from me in a while.


 A little while ago, we hopped the back fence to our new neighbors' house for drinks.   A conversation about a sketchy guy in who always seemed to have things for sale that maybe fell off the back of the truck led me to say  "Hey, if he ever has kayaks, let me know."  And although the sketchy guy didn't have kayaks for sale, another of the guests at the house had these three in her garage, where they had sat unused and taking up space for years.   In a margarita-fueled urge to clean out the garage, she told me I could just  come over and get 'em.  

Turns out my sister had a U Haul the following Saturday, and the woman who offered didn't take back the offer when sober.   

So instead of knitting,  we spent Saturday afternoon cleaning these (critters had set up house in the ends - enough said), Sunday getting paddles and life vests, and Monday figuring out what kind of rack would fit on the car and hold 3 kayaks.  Tuesday, we drove over to LL Bean and watched the very capable guys who work there put this sporty looking rack up on my Honda roof.  

Yesterday Maya and I did this ( thanks to stepstools), without dropping a kayak, killing one another OR noticeably denting the car.  


We drove 5 minutes away from our driveway and got them off the car (again without the killing, dropping or denting) and carried them into the water right here:

After an hour or so, we came home where I poured half a glass of beer, half a glass of pear cider into my polka dot glass and picked up my knitting for the first time in about a week. 

When the drink was done, I turned to the knitting and did a little button band.  
The sweater  matches my new red boat, which makes me happy.

In already-knit news, I hope to post my late summer/early fall pattern sometime next week.  It's called Champagne, and if I was really thinking, I'd have christened one of the kayaks and took a photo!  (but not sure the bottle wouldn't bounce off the whatever-kayaks-are-made-of plasticy hull)