Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I'm still going with September Morn, because I kind of love the name with for this new sweater design of mine.  The photos are all leafy and the light near the lake was hazy that morning, and the sweater is the prettiest pale green and it all just goes together in my head.

And since I'm the sweater knitter and the sweater namer and the blog writer around here, and nobody else gets to say "No, it's October", the name is staying. 

September Morn is a simple, versatile pullover with a generous cowl neck, a great deal of stockinette, and a few fun details.  In designing this one, I was really thinking about all the Vodka Lemonade knitters out there who have told me that they really appreciate a classic sweater shape with a little bit of unexpected detail.

With that in mind, I made sure that September Morn would feature lots of stockinette for easy knitting, but I have added a few spots where attention could be paid and a few new techniques can be learned.   Nothing intimidating, just enough to keep you thinking ;)  Like the detail on the sleeve - that ribbing that goes to just above the elbows was the starting point for the whole design this time.   Easy, but kinda different, right?

And it looks pretty with the ribbing along the raglan seams and sleeves.

I also added a little delicate texture down around the cuffs and hem.

And I made sure that September Morn would feature top down construction since that's the other thing that you guys love about your Vodka Lemonades.  So any shaping or modifications for your size are a piece of cake, and instructions are included in the pattern, as always.  You can play with the depth and width of the cowl, adjust the fit at any part of your body, or alter the length of sleeves and body as you please.

The yarn is Shalimar Yarn's Enzo Worsted, a soft and delicate merino-cashmere-nylon mix that the lovely Kristi dyes up and offers in a rainbow of colors.  I loved this pale greenish gray, which is called Silver Sage - it's a little unexpected, and still works like a versatile neutral with jeans or cords or a skirt.


The pattern alone is available HERE for $6.50 on my blog patterns page and all the details and test knits are on Ravelry.    You can purchase a kit with both pattern and yarn through Shalimar HERE.  Kits will go on sale on Wednesday, Oct 30 at 12 noon EST  and be available as long as supplies last -- and that link will be live when the kits are up.

A few details on the sweater are below and the rest of the information is on the Ravelry page:

Yarn:  Shalimar Yarns Enzo Worsted  (235 yds per skein)  Shown in Silver Sage
Needles:  US#7/4.5 mm and US#8/5mm needles - or size to get gauge
Gauge:  5 st, 7 rows per 1" in stockinette.  Based on blocked fabric.
Sizing:  32.5(35.5,37.25,39.5,42.5)(44.75,48,52,54.5) finished width at bust.  Melissa is wearing my sweater with 2.5" of ease.
Yardage:  1050(1150,1250,1350,1450)(1550,1650,1850,1950) 


The cocktail for this one is easy too.

Fresh juice from a half lemon (lime works too)
1 tsp grenadine
1 egg white
1.5 oz light rum
ice cubes

Shake all ingredients in a shaker and strain into glass.


Monday, October 28, 2013

September Morn.  Later this week.

Monday, October 21, 2013

As always, an amazing time with some of my favorite people ever. 

More favorite people.   I didn't take enough photos of the people.  There are so many more.

We've come to call this Ravelry Hill.  Best sweater watching ever.   I see Emily's orange Beekman Tavern in the distance here, and it looks like the crowd is gathering for the big noon meetup.

One of my favorite parts of the weekend is meeting all of you.  It's amazing. This is Lynne, in her lovely Cape Cod.  Seeing my designs in person, on the actual knitters who made then, is just such a thrill.  Sometimes I know immediately who the Raveler is, like with Lynne here - she looks JUST like she does in her avatar (pookiebb).  And sometimes it's just a total surprise and the sweater is a new gorgeous knit I didn't even know existed and I gasp - like when I ran up to the woman in the crazy beautiful yellow Chocolate Stout because I just HAD to.  That yellow.   I don't have a photo, but trust me.  That yellow.  I may have scared her a little.

The flask came in handy, and this turned into a round of cider instead of a photoshoot - sitting where the rainbow wall used to be.  I loved that wall.  But even without it, the 4H booth is still manned by adorable teenagers and the cider is great.  Especially when you toss a little something into it.

Back to the favorite people .  There was a Plucky moment with my buddy Amy Miller.

And my amazing group of housemates.  Such a great combination of women.  

The weekend started off nice and mellow, with a little Thursday down time on our peaceful porch. 

with this view across the street.   And like, one car every hour.  Maybe.  So peaceful.

However, in the country, you must check your feet.  We had an episode.

Coming in early also means a day in town and some boot shopping. 

And when you bring in the city - a little attitude from the badass city folk.   (I know this one's a tangent, but I like the photo so much I had to post it)

Lastly, both of my Rhinebeck Sweaters in one shot!  Emily was a test knitter for Ysolda and did a gorgeous version of my  Beekman Tavern,  I am wearing Brandied Cherry, which the rest of you will see in about a month. 

Of course, a few things came home with me - like my Beekman Tavern (yay!!), a sweater's worth of Bartlett Farms in a really unusual pinky gray shade, a few skeins of a gorgeous plum O-Wool, a single skein of Fox Hill Farm Cormo (I may be hooked now), some Jennie the Potter stitch markers and buttons.... and THE BOOK.  

There is something really special about being a part of this project and it's only partially summed up by the photos above.  Already planning for next year.  Thanks to everybody for an amazing weekend and a reminder of how incredibly lucky I am to get to do what I do and to go where I go and call it my career.   Best job ever.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Introducing my newest pattern, Silver Gin Fizz.   If you are going off to Rhinebeck, it's something to shop for and if you aren't, then it's a knitty treat you definitely deserve - and you can probably start today and finish before most of us pull back into our driveways on Sunday night.

This one came to be because I was in the mood for some cozy texture. I was in the mood for a big, squooshy cowl without any sleeves or shaping to worry about.   After three sweater projects - one lace, one cabled, and one ribbed - my fingers wanted something rhythmic and quick, so this was my reward - a little instant gratification.   For that, a cowl is perfect.  No shaping, no fit to worry about, and no seams.  It was exactly what I needed!

The Plucky Knitter's Traveler Aran is thick and soft and begs to be used in bold texture or wrapped around a neck, and I had two skeins of the perfect gray in stash already.  (It's called Flannel.)  Barbara Walker's Drop Stitch Pattern had been stickied in my bookshelf for a few months and when I swatched one with the other, my hands wanted to keep going.

So they did.  

I love how the yarn takes this motif - slipped stitches give the fiber a little extra density and squooshiness, but the silk in the yarn keeps it light and fluffy.  On the back side, the gathers create ribbed lines of of square-ish pillows (there's a photo below showing the reverse), and on the front, the gathered stitches create this:

The pattern is for sale here on the patterns page of the blog, but for now, it's on Ravelry for $5.00.  Some of the details are below and the rest are on the Ravelry page, where you'll see the test knitter projects pop up in the next few days.  The pattern is easy to modify for different lengths or widths by changing the amount of repeats.

Yarn:  2 skeins Plucky Knitter Traveler  Aran in Flannel (220 yards ea) If subbing, I recommend a soft aran fiber with a nice drape to it. 

Needles:  US#9/5.5 mm or size to get gauge

Gauge:   In pattern, you want 3 sts per 1"/7.5 rows.   The motif uses slipped stitches and puckers up, so a gauge swatch in pattern is necessary.  

Finished Size:  12" wide, 48" long

As for the drink, a  Silver Gin Fizz is one of my favorites - simple, refreshing and fun to make.  And it's kind of light and puffy, like the cowl.

Silver Gin Fizz

Juice of  a half lemon
1 tsp sugar
1.5 oz gin
1 egg white

Shake the above with ice in a jigger and srain into highball glass.  Fill with soda water.  (I also like these with grapefruit or orange juice)

So happy weekend everybody, I'll be back on Sunday with a Rhinebeck recap.   If you are going and you see me there, be sure to say hi!  I'll either have my Beekman Tavern on, or an upcoming cabled number called Brandied Cherry.....

Saturday, October 12, 2013

did I manage to forget about an entire sweater?  No, really, you know you have a problem when, right?  I was going through my office and found this sweater in a flat plastic container under my desk.  I think it's like the knitter's version of discovering a $20 bill in your jacket pocket after you switch your closet over for the winter.  And for me, it's an office-cleaning bonus!

Once I saw it, I totally remembered, but how could I have forgotten that it existed for almost a year?  As I recall,  I was hitting a wall about the collar, so I had put it aside for a few days to think - and must have been distracted by another design (Chocolate Stout? Baileys?).  Way distracted, right?   Lucky for me, the sweater was folded neatly in the box with a bunch of buttons, an extra skein of Quince and Co. Lark (which is really lovely stuff), and all the notes I'd taken. Thank you, past self, for being so uncharacteristically organized.  Now I just need to finish up that collar and weave those ends, and think about sewing on the buttons. 

I even like it :)

In other news, it may seem like there's been a lull around here, but I promise you it's just on the publishing end.  My chair is full and there are a few things in testing, so get your needles ready.  Late October and November should see a few new patterns hitting the road.   And that dark burgundy one?  It may be my favorite sweater EVER.  Yep, ever.

For now though, Rhinebeck is looming in the distance (this time next week, house of awesome friends, weekend of fibery goodness, I can barely wait!!!).

However, this weekend is less knitty - Yesterday I met my good friend Erin's NEW BABY, which was awesome and she is the cutest little thing you've ever seen.  Instead of knitting, there was snuggling.  And today I am off to meet a few old college friends for the day.  They do not knit, but they do drink.  :)   Tomorrow, my cousins come in from Denmark for the rest of the weekend.  They leave Tuesday, and I go to Rhinebeck on Thursday.   fun, fun, fun.

Once I get back from NY, you will be hearing lots more from over here.   Starting with that gray textured number on top.

It's a smooshy, cozy cowl. 

2 skeins of Plucky Aran Traveler, since I know you'll ask.  She's even having an update -- Monday, 9am Eastern on the Plucky Blog!   Details are here.

Happy weekend everybody!!

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

It's totally time for cozy things, right?  Like, big, soft, yarn in deep texture.

You're going to ask, so I'll tell you.  Plucky's Traveler Aran, in Flannel.  2 skeins. 

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

No - really, 1,000!!  Somebody pointed the tally out to me last week when it hit 994.  I can't even tell you how crazy this seems.  I went on Ravelry to try and create a little collage of the FOs, but there are just too many that I love and instead, I lost an hour of my life trying to fit them all into one image.  Ooops.  But it was fun :)  

And the only reason it didn't work is because way too many of you have done an amazing job with your knits.  I love seeing the colors you choose, the mods you make, the awesome places and poses you use for your photo shoots and the charming names you pick for your projects.  You guys are the best, and you have no idea how happy your sweaters make me.  All 1,000 of them!

Given my collage issues, I'll use Caro's lovely photo of my sweater, taken in my basement right after we moved into this house, with the boxes piled high about two feet from the space we cleared out.  

Now, in celebration of all your sweaters, how about a Vodka Lemonade? 

This time it's a Ginger-Mint version.  My friend Cristina introduced me to this liqueur recently and I may be a little hooked.  (It's also good in a shot of bourbon with a twist of orange, btw)

2 oz vodka
1 oz Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur
3 oz lemonade
lemon flavored seltzer
shot of lemon bitters  
mint leaves

Pour the vodka, bitters and ginger liquor over ice in a tall glass and stir.  Add the lemonade and seltzer to fill the glass.   Gently smush two mint leaves between your fingers and add.  Stir and toast yourselves. 

Thank you so much for liking this enough to make it.  Now I just need to figure out what all 1,000 of you want to knit next :)