Monday, August 25, 2014

This one has been a long time in the making, but I'm so very happy with the end result and even happier to finally take the orange folder off of my inbox and share the sweater with all of you!

Dirty Martini began as my vision of a modern, chunky lace cardigan.  Something that would be feminine but not delicate.  It began with a photo of a beige sweater with nice heavy ribbings and detailed lace, but then I wanted to play with two colors, and give it a bit of a Chanel Jacket vibe.   There were a few stops and starts, three diffferent yarn combinations (and the unending patience of Sarah Dimond, aka Plucky).  There was another design born out of the ashes of one of those combos, a few months where I just put the whole thing down, three different necklines, umpteen Excel spreadsheets, more than a few collar options, and finally a version of this thing that I kind of love.  This design also reflects the efforts of eleven amazing test knitters and two fabulous tech editors.  So when you see those exclamation points up there, know that I mean it.  Finally!!!

As I said above, this was meant to be a feminine but not girly - so it's knit in The Plucky Knitter's Primo Aran.  This soft and round MCN mix makes a gorgeous lace - perfectly cozy, with a just the littlest bit of heft to it.  The deep ribbed cuffs, bands, and hem in a darker color balance the lighter lace fabric, and add that touch of Chanel jacket I was going for. The color choices have been such fun - I was going for lighter body, darker contrast.  With Plucky's gorgeous gradients, and the way she uses her undertones, you can really mix and match some amazing shades.   There has been much discussion in the Plucktember Planning forum, and so many gorgeous combinations are planned.  I can't wait to see them...

The collar may be my favorite part - with a deep rounded back and Peter Pan tabs in front that are designed to appear only in the front and then disappear around the back. 

 It just adds a cool, unexpected touch to a familiar collar shape.

It's knit seamlessly, from the bottom up - and designed to be worn open, with a bit of ease. Some information is below.  More details, test knits, and any almost anything else you'd need is on the Ravelry page, here.  The pattern is available for purchase for $7.00 on Ravelry and in the patterns section of my blog.

And a dirty martini is much easier to make than the cardigan!  Just take 4-6 oz of vodka, a shot of vermouth, a few stuffed olives and a bit of the olive brine from the jar.  Shake in a jigger with ice and pour.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

We spent last week at a lake in New Hampshire and it was awesome. The four of us.  It's been a crazy summer, as the New Job has turned out to be pretty demanding for the husband and the girls have been going from camp to camp.

But not last week.  That was our backyard.  It was pretty perfect.  Below is beer thirty in the middle of the lake.  Also pretty perfect. 

For the first time all summer, the girls were not away, and Craig was not cavorting with football players on the West Coast and shooting or editing commercials with same. (When you see those Bose commercials this season know that they were his doing!)  Plus, in an amazing twist of fate, our awesome lakehouse was kind of off the grid.  If you wanted the wifi, you really had to be inside, at the desk, on the computer.  It made for a nice break in the online world for all of us.   

Maya brought her guitar, we stuck an extra kayak on the car, we all brought books and games, plus we purchased new floaties.  The lake was about 100 feet from the back porch.  And it was very quiet - almost our own private Idaho.

I also took a little knitting.  As stated before, Zoe did not sit by last year and watch Maya get her Mango Smoothie without any ideas of her own.  So this is what I did on the screened in porch when I was not kayaking.  She had a request, and it's been honored.  

 Shirley Temple - better photos and an actual pattern sometime later this Fall.  Craig is next...

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Any of you who know my younger daughter, Zoe are fully aware she didn't sit idly by while I worked on Mango Smoothie for Maya.  You know that I was given sketches and outfit ideas and directions and color thoughts and drink thoughts.  Maybe a few times.

Thanks to the lovely Sandra of Duck Duck Wool and her sw merino worsted in this gorgeous color called September Issue, Zoe will have the fruit of her labors by the time 5th grade begins next month.  I'm still playing with how best to capture the subtle oranges and reds and yellows in this, so forgive me for the stripe that shows up on film but not in real life - plus the three different exposures in my photos here.  I'll figure the photography end out by the time I finish. 

And I will be finished pretty soon.   It does not take long to knit for an 11 year old kid -- 
plus, she's kind of a taskmaster...