Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The cutest mushroom you'll ever see

Last week I told you about my discovery of the purlbee blog. Their Toadstool Baby Rattle was too cute for me to resist and seemed to be an excellent use for leftover sock yarn.

I was able to finish this cute little thing with a few hours of knitting. Being at that age when everyone I know is procreating, it's great to have a fast baby project in my repertoire. I already know which adorable little lady will be receiving this gift.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

. . . And We're Back

So many things have been happening in my life lately. I recently moved from Cleveland to San Jose. I will be starting a new job next week. I'm trying to make new friends and enjoying seeing old ones.

Instead of putting up pictures of all the things I have knit in the last year, I'm just going to talk about my latest finished object. If you really care about the other stuff, just head over to Ravelry.

For some reason, I have been feeling like knitting for other people lately. I decided to knit this shawl for my aunt whose birthday is this month.

Pattern: Angel Lace Shawl by Evelyn Clark
Yarn: Knitpicks Gloss in Burgundy
Needles: size 5
Modifications: I knit only 11 repeats of the lace pattern before the edging because I only had 440 yards of yarn
Finished Size: 57 inches across and 26 inches long

I apologize for the bathroom shots. My photographer recently started law school, which means I hardly see him anymore.

I love Evelyn Clark's shawls. Her construction methods are very satisfying and the end result is beautiful. Previously, I knit the Shetland Triangle shawl from Wrap Style and I recently got the patterns for the Angel Lace Shawl and the Leaf Lace Shawl. I then got Evelyn's book Knitting Lace Triangles. It's a great resource for combining lace patterns to create your own shawl. I'm really excited about trying this book out soon.

I recently discovered the Purl Soho blog. They have some really cute patterns and great tuorials on their site. I definitely want to make the Mary Jane Slippers and the Toadstool Baby Rattle. They are both adorable!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Where'd you go?

I know the banner above says "infrequent updates", but this Lost-like hiatus has been kind of ridiculous. What can I say? Life and work got in the way. This post is just to say that I will be back to blogging soon and I have a lot to talk about.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I Knew I Loved You

I usually am not the sort of person who runs out to buy the latest book as soon as it comes out. Quite the contrary, I'm usually the one who flips through the book at the bookstore, borrows my friend's copy and checks out finished projects on the web before I hand over my hard earned money to own a book. However, as soon as I heard that Veronik Avery had a book coming out, I had to have it. I have only knit one of her patterns before (Polka Purl Dots from Interweave Knits Spring 2004), but I love every design of hers that I have seen. I got Knitting Classic Style a couple of weeks ago, but here is the review.

This book is beautifully produced. It has gorgeous pictures that display the knits beautifully. It was edited by Melanie Falick and is beautifully organized like Interweave Knits (my favorite mag!). You can see the layout of the pages in the picture above.

The pattern above is for the warm shawl pictured to the right. It is knit in my favorite yarn: Blue Sky Alpaca and Silk. It is easy to knit, but the results are stunning.

The three patterns below are among my favorites. From top to bottom: Bias Shell, Latvian Fingerless Mitts, and Layered Skater's Top. These patterns are classic, but modern at the same time.

I really like that there are patterns for men that come in smaller sizes. DNA is a small man and in this sexy vest below actually comes in a 34" size that would fit him perfectly. The men's patterns in this book are also masculine and in styles that a real man would wear.

I am really impressed with this book. It was worth every penny!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Come Undone

This week my favorite podcasters and I were on the same track. There are times when, despite high hopes, knitting just does not work out. Maybe you looked at the cute blonde 90-pound model and thought, “It looks cute on her. I bet it’ll look cute on me, even though I’m not blonde, 90 pounds or six feet tall.” Please, tell me this has happened to you before and that I’m not the only one. Jenny and Nicole offer several good suggestions for these disappointing projects including giving them away and felting them.

Early on in my knitting career, I knit several projects like this and they sort of lay around while I waited to grow a foot taller and lose 30 pounds. Somehow, these two things have not happened. So, I’ve decided to accept my body and knit sweaters that are more flattering on ME. This decision has lead to quite a bit of ripping lately.

Back in 2003, I knit this lovely number called Cleo from Knitty magazine in Tahki Cotton Classic. It looks great on Amy (the designer), but really didn’t work out so well for me. So, this yarn has been repurposed and will become a lacy yoga mat bag for my friend Katarina with whom I did yoga in grad school.

I also have ripped the first sweater that I knit without a pattern. It’s not fancy and it probably wasn’t too smart to knit a summer tank in aran weight cotton, but at the time I thought it was so cute. Then it got stretched out and I never wore it. I’m still deciding what to do with this Rowan’s All Season’s Cotton.

I gave away a top knit from Rowan's R2 Paper to Laura (Sorry, no pic!). The next project to be ripped is Pia from Rowan 35.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Perfect Little Secret

Today, there will be three confessions.

Confession #1: Every time I'm about to finish a project, I have a little panic attack. These are the thoughts that run through my head: "Oh no! It's going to be too small!"; "No, no! It's going to be too big!"; "What if I didn't notice that I completely messed up the stitch pattern one inch into it and find out I have to rip the whole thing back?"; "What if it makes me look seven months pregnant?"(I wouldn't want my mother-in-law to get her hopes up!). This scenario is exactly what happened when I was about to finish the Retro Redux Shrug from Lace Style. (OK, not the pregnant part of it!) It turns out that I didn't need to worry. It fits me perfectly. I love this pattern. The collar is knit with short rows to bring up the neck so that you can fold it back. How cool!

Vital Stats:
Pattern: Retro Redux Shrug by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark from Lace Style
Yarn: GGH Bali, 2 balls
Needles: 7, 8, 9, and 10
Modifications: I cast on for the medium size, but knit the length for the small size.

Confession #2: Even though I have been knitting for almost 8 years, I have never knit intarsia. To be honest, I was a little scared. All that twisting of yarns and keeping them from tangling! Well, my oldest friend just told me she's having a baby and I decided to knit a baby version of the Mod-on-Mod Afghan from Yarnplay for her. So, now I have finally conquered intarsia. It really isn't that bad. I think the two squares I have so far look pretty good!

Confession #3: When I started a blog, I was terrified that I would never be able to come up with creative titles for my posts. So, I copied the producers of one of my favorite TV shows, Grey's Anatomy. Every episode is named after a song title. This strategy seemed like a brilliant idea at the time (although not ALL of my titles have been from songs). Recently on the Grey's Anatomy podcast, the producers admitted that it was really difficult to come up with song titles after a while. I have noticed a similar problem. I know that eventually I will fall off the wagon. So, I'm going to have a little contest. The first person to e-mail me after the next time I fail to use a song title for a blog post will receive a prize that is yet to be determined. Yes, this a ploy to get you to read my blog regularly!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Enough is Enough

I have felt really bad that my mother's shawl, which was supposed to be finished for her birthday on June 26th, has been lying around in a shameful unblocked state. First I completely underestimated how long it would take me to finish this shawl. Just because I finished a Shetland Triangle in sport weight yarn on size 6 needles in two weeks, does not mean I can finish and Icarus in lace weight yarn on size 3 needles in four weeks! Sheesh! Then I spent a while trying to figure out how I was going to block it in my impaired state. Luckily, my mother is one of those kind, generous and patient mothers who is thrilled that I am knitting her something, no matter when she gets it. I'm so fortunate!

I'm still hobbling around because of my ankle, so I got DNA to help me soak the shawl in Eucalan and squeeze out the excess water. Then we pinned it to the bed and let it dry.

Vital stats:
Pattern: Icarus by Miriam Felton from Interweave Knits Summer 2006
Yarn: JaggerSpun Zephyr, 2-1 oz. balls
Color: Basil
Needles: size 3
Modifications: I'll pretend that I intentionally substituted purls for the knits between the yarnovers on the "feather" part of the shawl.

This shawl should be flying it's way to my mother in NC tomorrow.

I have to admit that I like it so much I was almost tempted to keep it. I guess I'll just have to knit one for myself next year.