Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Plucky Sweater, in Karat Stix has been on the drawing board this week, and I'm messing around with images and swatches, trying to figure out what feels right for the yarn and the color and the season that's about to change.   

After a few hours of playing with my photos and my stitch dictionaries, I realized that I hadn't properly noted what I was looking at.

This photo had been in front of me for hours, I tell you  -- without ridicule!   (I was looking at the white eyelet number on the right, in my defense.)  But, seriously, a cropped Mickey Mouse sweater on a grown woman -- actually a, 99 lb model with a washboard stomach -- titled "Gut Feeling" and I hadn't as much as furrowed my brow at it yet?   Tells you I was engrossed, doesn't it? 

But my gut feeling after multiple yarnovers was that the Plucky Sweater needs some cables, and that's what it's getting today.  These little eyelets need to be on a drapier, more summery yarn, and that Mickey Mouse needs to be ironed on a full length tee shirt.  In my opinion, anyways.


And.... look what arrived in the mail yesterday.

A really lovely batch of  Shalimar Breathless that's going to become another Baileys.  When Kristi saw that Melissa had claimed the original, she offered me the chance to reknit my own.   In this gorgeous, deep purple called Byzantine.  I may have gasped when I opened the package.   Bailey's with Cassis?

Monday, February 25, 2013

This is one of my favorite combos ever, especially on a snowy weekend.
If you thought Oreos in milk are good, try these guys dipped in a nice bourbon or a good dark rum, like Ron Zacapa.   
This was the perfect way to re-enter the snowy Northeast after a few days on the beach.   


While in the sunshine, I took a break from most things BabyCocktails, and cast on for a stash-busting Color Affection. 

Perfect travel knitting, I tell you.  A bit addicting, but fully brainless, rhythmic, and rewarding.  I have just a bit more to do and think there could be another of these in my future.  Because sometimes knitting a pattern just once isn't enough.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

 Surprisingly enough, this one comes to you via the Southwest Airline inflight magazine!  I always flip through after we peruse the SkyMall for giant ugly yard scultpure, the magic helmet that makes your hair grow in, and ways to potty train your cat. 

However, when I saw this, I thought it looked good enough to rip out and bring  home:

Kentucky Flower

1.5 oz bourbon
.5 oz St Germain
1 oz cranberry juice
1 egg white
splash of lemon and a slice

Combine all but lemon slice in jigger and shake till frothy.   Add ice and shake again.  Double strain into glass.  Add lemon slice. 


And if you don't mind - before you sip, take a sec to toast Micheal.
You don't need to have known him, but give him a nod anyways, because you'd have liked him if you did.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

 Somehow doesn't this seem just perfect for Valentine's Day? 


Baileys is a lace cardigan that's just waiting for the beginning of spring.   The design is a balance of simple and detailed elements, featuring a lace motif that does this wonderfully - pairing strong cables with elegant lines of eyelets.

Details like pearly buttons, an open neckline, and a narrow lace collar add to the feminine nature of the sweater and play off the intricate front panels.

While a strongly cabled button band and a folded hem bring it back and balance the airy detail.

The back and sleeves are worked in stockinette, so there is plenty of soothing TV knitting involved.  I also placed the waist shaping on the back panel, so you still have the ability to make modifications for your body in either width or sleeve fit without affecting the lace design at all.   I know how you guys love that.

 One last detail, seen in the photo above, is the subtle slant that the lace bias gives at the hips.  The pattern is written so both of the fronts will slant down from the center and towards the back.  

Thanks to my sister Melissa who was a willing and lovely model during last weekend's snowstorm, when the light in her kitchen was absolutely perfect for taking knitting pictures.

Maybe it didn't hurt that the sweater will be hers soon (it just suits her kind of perfectly, doesn't it?) -  but regardless, she was awesome - a total trooper with poses, ridiculous requests,  outfit changes and button options.
Options such as:   Open..

Bottom up, 

All the way, 

And top down.  

The yarn used for Baileys is Shalimar Yarns Breathless DK.   The Breathless is gorgeous - delicate and smooth with just the tiniest, subtlest bit of silken sheen in it.  The mix of merino, cashmere and silk is a dream to work with, and it was this color (Oyster) that had to become a delicate lace something.    It was my first time working with Shalimar's fiber and I don't think it will be my last.


The Baileys PDF is available on the sidebar to the left or here, on Ravelry.  
Some information is below and the rest is on the pattern page.

Yarn:  Shalimar Yarns Breathless DK, shown in Oyster.  
 950(1050,1200,1350,1500,1600)(1750,1900,2050,2100) yds or 4(4,5,5,6,6)(7,8,8,8) skeins

Sizes:  33(36,39,42,45,48)(51,54,57,60)"  Finished measurement around bust. 
Pick size that gives you 2-3" positive ease, based on your usual bust measurement. 

Needle/Notions:  US#5/3.75mm needles (or size to get gauge)  long circs for sweater and collar, DPNs for sleeves
Stitch markers, darning needle, stitch holders or waste yarn, 6-7 .5" small buttons.  Needle and thread for sewing buttons.

Gauge:  5.5 sts/7 rows per 1" in stockinette.   Pattern contains information and  lace pattern for lace gauge.


And, to drink?  I'm actually loving this stuff.   

My favorite recipe so far is the Raspberry Kiss:

1.5 oz Baileys
1 oz Chambord
1 oz Creme de Cacao 

Pour those three over ice in a small glass and add about 3 oz of milk.  Or more if you want to dilute. 

It's like a chocolate raspberry truffle in a glass.

Other good ways to enjoy Baileys are:  in hot chocolate, in coffee, with amaretto, with any other berry liquor, mixed with Kahluha and milk, straight up with vodka and milk, or just on the rocks.  Have heard it mixed with root beer too, but am skeptical, and have no root beer in house to test yet.    As always, if you  have a favorite Bailey's recipe, let me know!

Enjoy :)  And Happy Valentine's Day!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Of all the extreme weather options out there, I'm going to stick with my fave as a good old blizzard.   

We know it's coming, so there's time to stock up on things like red wine, DVDs and chili fixings.  We have an excuse to home early, light the fire and walk back and forth to the neighbors' houses for dinners while all our kids run around the street with sleds and beach digging stuff.   There IS a bit of shoveling, but after all that chili and wine and sitting, I kind of welcome the exercise.  Overall it's kind of cozy and lots of fun as long as the snow stays outside and the power stays on. 

Snow is also a great excuse to start and finish something cozy, like knit colorwork mitts in Plucky's Primo Sport.    Was loving this mix of Rapunzel, Princess Phone and Wintry Mix.

And it's a great time to throw all the plastic things that dig or slide outside so they can be played with.  

 And -- not always, but this time -- it's super fun to host 16 third grade girls for a snowy owl party and make the Pinterest cupcakes. 

Plus, if you are lucky enough to have a sister that lives super close and also has nothing to do, a snowstorm means amazing light that can be taken advantage of to shoot photos of a new sweater pattern in the works. 

Thursday, February 07, 2013

The pale gray background color is Plucky's Wintry Mix.  Seems only fitting, right?

A drink or two will follow once the storm begins.