Saturday, October 27, 2012


 

 Introducing Bloody Mary, a long, cabled cardigan in deep red tweed.  This design began with my desire for a cozy red sweater, but quickly morphed into an experiment all about the "belt".  I wanted to design it with one of those 1960s belted dresses (think Andy Warhol and Twiggy) in mind, but the question was how to mix the polyester look from Laugh In with a cozy, cabled feel.  Once these bold cables came into the mix, it all worked out.  The belt adds a great faux structural line to the sweater, and plays off the cables and ribs nicely.   It all works to create a strong, bold cabled silhouette. 


I love how the vertical and diagonal lines play off each other in the back. 


Cables on each front echo the motif on back, and the 1x1 ribbing of the belt contrasts nicely with the 2x2 ribbing on the edges.

  
A nice, wide collar is always flattering, and wide ribbings and chunky buttons are cozy.


 The pattern is written so you can make a long sweater with a hip belt, as shown here, OR you can shorten the whole thing for a shorter version with a higher belt.   On the project page, you can see photos of both versions (once the testers post 'em!).
 
The yarn is Harrisville Tweed's Highland Tweed in Garnet.   It's a great tweed that comes in a ton of gorgeous colors, and this red is the Perfect Red.   Really it is.  Some of you may remember the blog post and bought the yarn this spring.   The mill is a lovely place, and the company is one you can feel good about.  (How's that for a batch of links?)

Some details are below, and the rest of the info is here.  The pattern is available on the sidebar above or on Ravelry for $6.50. 

Details

Yarn Harrisville New England Highland Tweed, in Garnet.  200 yds per skein 5(6,6,7,7,8,8,9,9,10) skeins.  1000(1100,1200,1300,1400,1500,1600,1700,1800,1900)yards. Shorter version, assume 100 yds less.  

Needles - US #7/4.5mm needles (or size to get gauge).  I suggest working this on long circulars.  

Notions - Darning needle, stitch markers and cable needle.  Sewing needle, thread, and 5-6  1” wide buttons

Sizing – 32(34,36,38,40,42,44,46,48,50) Pick your bust size for the fit shown. 

Gauge – 4.5 stitches, 7 rows per 1” in a stockinette swatch, blocked.  Be sure to swatch.


 

I bought some great spooky Bloody Mary glasses yesterday to make drinks in, but since it's 10am and my husband is out getting a haircut, I'll add the recipe and photos when we whip them up later today!    

Thanks again to the lovely Erin for modeling without coffee in the graveyard, and to Diana for help and patience, and only a little mockery, which I suppose was pretty well deserved.  XO

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Here are the afternoon Bloody Marys, in my sweet Halloween-theme skull glasses.


  • 1.5 oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 3-4 oz tomato juice
  • 1 dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • celery salt
  • ground pepper
  • hot pepper sauce to taste
  • celery stalk and/or pickle spear for garnish
  • lemon and/or lime wedge for garnish
  1. Pour the liquid ingredients in glass over ice cubes.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Add the seasonings to taste.
  4. Garnish with lemon  & celery stalk.  Olives  make great eyeballs in these glasses when positioned right.
  
 

We are off to a costume party tonight, so here's my Betty Draper costume.  A vintage shell and jacket set with some rhinestone buttons and awesome fur trim.  $8.49 at the thrift shop.  Craig's going to be Don, with his suit, a fedora and a whiskey glass. 

 

I also found the pointy toe shoes.  For an extra $4.99.  I kind of love them.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

But I'll try to boil the weekend down to a few.   Drinks first, since there weren't a lot of knitterly things to photograph on Friday and this is the order in which the photos appear. 

The drive included  tons of rain, and then a stop at the Eveready Diner in Hyde Park, which is a great spot to stop at on the way up Route 9.    The Bloody Marys were a little out of proportion this year.   However, they were still tasty and I never did run out of celery.  


We had to get to the fairgrounds early for an exciting photoshoot with that white sweater.   Post-rainstorm and pre-festival, the fairgrounds were kind of cool - animals being unloaded, yarn being hung, and booths being setup.  I felt like such an insider.   We wandered around with cameras and bags and were very happy the rain had ended.  


Friday also included a stop in town for some shops, a little browsing, some snacks, and flight of cider.   


Proper pajamas were brought.   I won't name any names, but know that these are not mine.  

 
One of the great parts about the festival is seeing my knits in the wild!  These guys were awesome in their matching Alleghenies.   I also met Jen, who had just finished her lovely Naragansett, Dorothy in her Irish Coffee, and many others.  An elusive blue Cranberry Capelet kept hovering around just a little out of reach, and I missed another Allegheny in person that I was shown on Twitter.  Early on Saturday, I tried to Kinnear an Irish Coffee chatting up another Naragansett, but the llamas-on-a-leash  kept ruining my photo.  
To everyone who did come up and say hi, thanks so much! 
 

Here's Eric in her Champagne at the Green Mt Spinnery Booth.  I love them and their yarns, and have gotten another skein of something to play with from the show.   It's going to be cozy....


 I was really surprised to see a few of my designs knit up as samples in the booths.  That was a first.


Of course, the BEST part of the whole show is a big bunch of time with  favorite people who live far away.   I spent a lot of Saturday with Amy here, who is a good buddy but geographically challenging in real life.  We even had enough time to come up with a design project we're going to do together, so stay tuned for that.  Yarn has been purchased.


 Amy's my kind of girl.   Proven in the photo below by both the flask AND her Stonecutter's cardigan, which I would steal off her back in an instant, it's so pretty.


I also met Yarny Old Kim, is badass enough to skate in a roller derby league.


  And I got to do a Nips with Steven.


 Throughout the weekend, the Peruvian guys belted out all your easy listening favorites, such as "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and "Time of My Life" from Dirty Dancing - in addition to the traditional Peruvian Guy repetoire.


And we stayed on a beautiful farm with real goats, a gorgeous barn, a silo and a lake --- in a house with strange and uncomfortable and expensive furniture that in no way belonged on a farm.   It reminded us of  the Beetlejuice House, and I picture the owners wearing expensive eyeglasses and black turtlenecks , seated at their black lacquer dining room table with the weirdly modern chairs, eating very tall fusion food and not walking outside to visit any of the animals, ever.   We did go through the rooms and sat on every weird chair we found,  like Goldilocks did. 


Lastly, I tortured poor Erin when we drove past the coolest little graveyard on our way to the fairgrounds Saturday AM.   I insisted we stop and do a quick few photos of Bloody Mary next to the beautiful old gravestones.   The photos were neither quick, nor few and she hadn't even had her coffee yet, but she was a great sport and  I think there's a big Starbucks card in her future from me, as it only seems a fitting payback, given the no coffee thing. 

 

However, the pics were amazing and worth it (I think) and you will see the rest of them very soon.    Am just finalizing a couple of details and will release this in plenty of time for spooky Halloween knitting!  That about sums up my weekend - I hope yours was great too, Rhinebeck or not.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

 October really is my favorite month - the weather turns, the leaves are gorgeous, Halloween's coming, my all time every-year favorite rummage sale is next week, AND it's Rhinebeck.  Plus, I  begin to move away from gin and vodka to the brown drinks of winter, which I love.  Everything just gets cozier.


The weeks leading up to Rhinebeck have been a little busy, but I can now fold these three sweaters up and put them into my bag.  The white one will be in a plastic bag, then added to my  LLBean duffle, since The Box is poorly suited for travel and I learned the bag lesson back in elementary school when I used to bring yogurt to school for lunch.   Yogurt is not always a good idea.   

Anyways,  the white sweater will be properly protected.  It needs to remain secret, so that's all you get to see of it, but I can give you a little preview of the other two cardigans I'll be wearing at the Festival, which will be available as BabyCocktail designs soon.


The red tweed cardigan is Bloody Mary, and the plan is to release this one before Halloween.   The yarn is Harrisville Tweed and the cardigan can be knit long or shorter, depending on your preference.  All I'm waiting on are my photos from Caro and a bit of finishing from the test knitters.
 

The brown cardigan is Chocolate Stout, and you'll have to wait just a bit longer before this one is ready to go around the holidays.  

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With everybody blocked and buttoned, all that remains for today is to organize what I want to knit on the road and make sure my husband knows were everybody needs to be and when.   I'd rather work on the yarn part.   So, two projects are coming.  The pink is my Black Cherry Lambic scarf, which I've always wanted to add a few inches to, and the second is something I've been working on in the background for a while - It's Dani's Sunshine Yarn in a gorgeous, gorgeous orange called Heirloom Tomato, and that project is just beginning.   After putting all of these sweaters under my belt, I need a little accessory knitting.   No sizes, no seams.

 

  Since I did mention the switch to dark spirits,  a recipe before signing off. 


This was courtesy of my husband, who occasionally proves his status as a Keeper by whipping me up a little something while I'm knitting.   He put about 2 fingers of Rye in a glass, gave it a quick shot of water (Rye's not always as smooth as bourbon), a touch of dry vermouth, and a bit of grenadine.  (He's not big on measurements)  It's a slow sipping drink for  sitting next to the fire, which I was doing, but you can't see the fireplace from this angle. 

And, he brought it to me in my chair.   If that doesn't make him a Keeper, then just add the fact that Rhinebeck is on our anniversary every year and there's never even been a question of me going?   

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:Lastly - button winners, round 2:

Cathy DB - I
Dianne - Silver ones
Katherine - Flowers
Tiffanie - Gold Etched ones

do send me your addresses via email (theacolman@yahoo.com) and buttons will be in the mail next week!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


 A few of you may remember that I've been hinting about a second version of Dark and Stormy in the last few months.  



 How about this?

 It's a different take on the grandpa sweater, but still deep and dark and a little more interesting than your basic cardigan, just like the original.   I'm thinking of Chocolate Stout as I work on it.   As you can imagine,  I didn't want to create exactly the same sweater, so I'm playing with texture and a different shape this time.   I'm also working bottom up, instead of top down,  and I thought pockets would be kind of fun.   I still have a few sleeve decisions to make, but things are chugging along.

I'm really excited about it, and imagine wearing it to death.   You know that feeling when you knit something you Cannot Wait to put on your body?  That's me this week, and it feels good.   I think sometimes in designing, the knitting turns into a balance between what will sell and what I want to wear.   I do love all the designs I end up publishing, but some are more likely to be worn, and in all honesty, some are designed with people who are Not Me in mind.  Designing for profit has all these other parameters - using a certain yarn,  dictated elements for the sweater, deadlines, and making sure it's easy enough to write up in different sizes.   Not that the designs aren't fun to create, but some  end up spending more of their post knitting lives in my closet.   Not this baby.  

 Today's goal is to add some sleeves and get these pockets finished.    If I get done in time, I could have it done for Rhinebeck!  Or maybe even next week....

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Before I get back to the pockets, though, I need to get sum up the first button contest, and post the second set.   So..... winners from the first set are below.  I see that the yellow knots (A) and the gold etched (F) were not claimed, so if someone loved those, please do ask and I'd be happy to send them to their new homes.  

Set B - Kristen
Set C - Carol
Set D - Turtle
Set E - Jess
Set G- Deeden

Winners:  Congrats!  I'm using the names you gave on your comments, so if you see yourself on that list, please send me an email at theacolman@yahoo.com with your mailing address, and I'll get your buttons out in the mail.    



Contest Set #2

Silvers and Whites

1. etched silver
2, 3. swirly white (two sets)
4. white flowers

(They didn't show up against the paper!)


And below is the green/teal set:



 Just like last time, leave a comment with the color of your sweater and what button set you would like to win!  Be sure to leave either a name, email or Ravelry name so I can find you. 

  Thanks! 

Friday, October 05, 2012

 So, you've picked your yarn color for Bombay Sapphire!  Now it's time to think about the buttons for it -- and, as promised, I'm here to help.  I do have more buttons than I'll ever use up in a lifetime and they're easy to ship off in an envelope, so this'll be fun and easy, right?  


 There are a lot of them, so I have split these up into color sets for you guys, and will post each separately over the next week or two.  I'll have two more sets:  Greens/Blues/Whites  and Pinks/Purples/Reds.

So, take a look at these guys - A and B are bright yellow.  C is a little paler.  D is a peach, and E is bright orange.   You may recognize B from my sweater, or D from my original button post.  F is gold with detail, and G is a pearly thing with a gold edge.


 One more view.   (Ignore those purples!)

 
And, here's a good closeup of  F and G. (Ignore that silver guy for now, too!)


Alright, if you think any of these buttons might look lovely on your sweater, feel free to enter the contest!  You can enter for more than one set of buttons if you like, but each person can only win once.  I'll randomly pick winners after the weekend.

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Just comment below with the colorway you are using and what button set you'd like to use with it!   It does not matter if it's not a Plucky colorway - you can tell me the color of any yarn that you happen to be using.  


And if you'd rather hold out and see what else I have to offer in the other color families, check back next week!

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Plus a cocktail.  After all, it's a holiday weekend.  So, to go with the yellows and oranges,  I thought I'd also give you a recipe for a Beer Cocktail, which falls into the correct color family.  (I promise no blue or green drinks for those buttons)

This one is called a Frank Booth, and it's better than I thought it would be!

One can/bottle of light American Lager (PBR, Bud, Miller) 
2 oz whiskey
1 oz fresh lime juice
lime slices and ice cubes

Put whiskey and lime juice in jigger and shake well with ice cubes. 
Strain the mixture into two glasses  and top each with half the beer.
Garnish each with the lime slices
Serve and drink while it's still cold! 
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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

 White yarn is gorgeous.  Really, it is.  This is locally sheared and spun cormo, which is extra creamy and smooshy and just beautiful to work with.  I can't even tell you how much I am going to love wearing this sweater when it's done.  

(This is all I can show you.   It's my secret knitting.)


But let's take a moment to discuss what knitting with white yarn has been like.   I have two children, and we are the house closest to both the elementary AND middle schools, so this place is crawling with friends most days.  Kids who want to pick up the knitting and ask what I am working on, while they rub it on their cheeks or noses -  or while smushing their faces into the sleeve, saying "It's so FLUFFY!".  Kids who had art a few hours ago and have the magic marker stains covering their fingers to prove it.  Kids who have touched Cheetos or chocolate from CVS on their way home.

So, measures have had to be taken.  I've actually hidden this between the hours of 2 and 5pm and put out a brown project, which can take a little lovin'.   But missing the afternoon chunk of time has slowed progress down a bit, so that wasn't always possible.   I also stayed away from all things Cheeto, which was tough.  And I have not been able to sit and sip my coffee while knitting.  In fact, I made a point of keeping this out of the kitchen all together, -- again, hard since I tend to wander in there a lot.

   I know some of you are very careful and can't imagine why I'd worry.  But that's because you don't know me.  Things around here might be  neat, but they are probably sticky or dusty.   My scarf right now has a little unidentified stuff -  icing? butter? -  on it, and I've rewound it so the crispy part is invisible to the world.

I'm the girl who had to buy a new tee shirt on the way to my last knitting meetup because I spilled coffee all over the one I was wearing in the car.   I just tend to spill stuff - it happens, right?  ( Lucky for me, during the coffee incident we were driving right past Kittery ME and the J.Crew outlet was about 500 yards away from the on ramp, so I didn't show up drenched and stained.  Just coffee-scented, but nobody noticed) 


So, for the last few weeks of knitting, I have banned all red wine and snacks, have worked on this NOT in the kitchen, have used Clorox wipes on tables and counters that had no idea what it felt like to be wiped oftten, and have actually bought a tupperware-esque box to keep the project in. (Actually, I got 3)  This thing is the perfect size for a pattern AND sweater pieces.  I am pretty proud of myself and think the new system is going to get used again, because it worked.  I even got a little extra room on the sofa.  Hence, I have to share it with you.

The Box was given a big buffer zone, all have respected its boundaries, and today is the last day the sweater needs protection around the house.   So, tonight I will finish up the neckline, place the white sweater back in the safety of the box until Rhinebeck, and pour myself a big glass of something red.  Like this one.


This was called the White Trash Wine Cocktail.  We had trendy lunch (see Craig's beer in a jar and that appetizer plate of pickled things?) last week on Yom Kippur, since Craig had the day off.   It was kind of amazing.   Prosecco and red wine, with a whole whack of fruits on the edge.  Tasted very 1976.

If you're wondering where to get a Box of your own -- Staples or Target has 'em!