Friday, December 30, 2005

Decisions, Decisions

As I have mentioned several times now, my lovely cousins Ashley & Scott gave me a kpixie gift certificate for Christmas, and I am determined to spend it on some Karabella Aurora 8, my all-time favorite yarn.

The original plan was to use the Aurora 8 to make Tubey (see also my knit-along).

However, I'm not so sure. Here's why:

- I have some gorgeous yarns in my stash that would make lovely Tubeys, although not striped. I could use:

my lovely Andean Silk in Cranberry. I was going to use this for a design project.

this gorgeous silk/merino handpaint I bought from Over-the-Rainbow Yarns. I was going to make a turtleneck out of this, since it's so soft (and completely prickle-free).

- I ran across this fabulous cardigan, which also would be great in Aurora 8:

What to do, what to do? Opinions?

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Tubey knit-along

I'm hosting a knit-along for the very first time! If you're interesting in making the Tubey sweater from the Winter 05 issue of Knitty, join us! It'll be a place to ask questions, help each other out, and cheer each other on.

You can find the knit-along here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Whew! I did so much gift knitting, I didn't get to do much blogging. You know how that is, when you've finished everything you've committed to with two weeks to spare, and then you think "oh, I can manage another item or two, or FIVE". Anyway, here are pictures of the things I finished, photographed, and uploaded. More will come soon.

The Chicken Viking Hat, Adult Version:
(modelled by Ryan, brother-in-law-to-be)

GQ pose



Feline Dim Sum:
(modelled by my step-aunt Selena)

Shown as-served in a steamer basket with chopsticks. You can just see the menu I included.

Close-up. The far one on the lower level of the basket is a steamed bun, which I made up myself. I'll post the pattern soon.

Also coming soon: a picture of my dad's cat attacking the steamer basket. What better compliment is there than that?

Felted Flowers from Pick-Up Sticks:

Cala Lilies for my grandmother

Not-yet shown:
- a pair of felted irises for my great-aunts.
I'm not sure if I got a picture of the finished product. I do have a picture of them hanging up to dry somewhere, however...
- My So-Called Scarf
- Lelah top (in progress). I did half of this on the drive to Buffalo, and half of it on the way back.
- iPod cozy
- probably three other things

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Flowers, Dim Sum Redux

I'm approaching the end of my Christmas knitting (except for the Lelah Top I've barely made any progress on for my sister). Here are some pics:

Felted Irises and Cala Lillies from Pick Up Sticks:

These are old pictures. I've got two Irises and two Cala Lilies done, and one more Iris with only one petal. That's one each for my grandmother, two great aunts, and my mother-in-law. I'm working on the optional leaves, but they're going SLOWLY, so I may punt them. I really want to get the felting done tonight, since we're leaving for Buffalo on Thursday.

Feline Dim Sum from an old issue of Knitty:

Shown here are spring roll and wonton wrappers. I plan to add the "filling" (batting & catnip) tonight.

My own variation on Feline Dim Sum: a steamed bun! Halfway done, in a mid-knitting blocking step:

If this turns out well, I'll publish the pattern here.

These are for my crazy-cat-lady of a step aunt. I'm also putting together a cute little dim sum menu with pictures and the characters for those foods.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

A moment of fame

Dude. I completely forgot about this, but I have knitted before an audience of hundreds (actually 3 or 4 audiences of hundreds).

My babysitter taught me to knit when I was 6 or 7, but I didn't really connect with it until I was 20. I would occasionally knit a couple inches of rectangle (I use that term loosely), but never worked on an actual project. The one exception was this:

In 1994, I played the role of Beth in Little Women with the Ghostlight Theater Company in North Tonawanda, New York (just outside of Buffalo). I spent an entire scene knitting. I don't remember if it was in the script, or if I thought my character wasn't the type to just sit around doing nothing.

I knit the front of a kid's sweater in a variegated dusty rose acrylic, with black intarsia bunnies on it.

Yes, you read that correctly: my first actual project was INTARSIA!!!

It was a pattern from The Beatrix Potter Knitting Book by Pat Menchini, a collection of very traditional (and in some cases stodgy) English designs.

Some were inspired by Beatrix Potter's books, and some depicted their characters. This was a simple pull-over with the Flopsy Bunnies on it.

And, no, I didn't think that dusty rose acrylic and black bunnies went together. They were what I had on hand, and I wanted to knit. I had only one pair of needles, and the gauge was completely inappropriate. I had also relaxed quite a bit as a knitter. Between the two, the fabric was so loose it was almost see-through, and a toddler-sized sweater would have fit an eight-year-old. That is, it would have fit if I had made the back and sleeves and found an eight-year-old willing to wear a dusty pink acrylic sweater with black intarsia bunnies on it.

As hideous as it turned out, it was an important experience because:
- I was a process knitter even then. I knew from the beginning that what I was making would never be a wearable garment, and I didn't care. I just wanted to knit.
- I learned a tricky technique before I knew enough to be afraid of it. And if I'm not a completely fearless knitter, I am a pretty low-fear one.
- I knitted before hundreds of people, AND I CAN PROVE IT (I have it on tape somewhere; probably at my mom's house)

And while I'm at it:
You are interchangeable.
Fun, free, and into everything, you've got every
eventuality covered and every opportunity just
has to be taken. Every fiber is wonderful, and
every day is a new beginning. You are good at
so many things, it's amazing, but you can
easily lose your place and forget to show up.
They have row counters for people like you!

What kind of knitting needles are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Chicken Viking Hat!

They're both done, minus weaving in the ends (which makes a difference for the drumstick toes)!


Adult version:

(pattern coming soon; I'll need some pattern testers, though!)

Baby version:

Plus, some yarn I bought at Windsor Button for last-minute xmas additions:

Specifically, those are:

- Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Grey Dawn for Knitting for Boozehag's Lelah Top

- Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride in Periwinkle and Lemon Drop, to use in conjuntion with Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in Grass and Natural to make Pick-Up Sticks felted flowers, in Iris and Cala Lilly.

- Lion Brand Lion Wool in Sage for Feline Dim Sum by Julie Falatko. I'll be using this for the eggroll pattern, plus the wonton pattern in Wool of the Andes in Ivory, plus a self-designed pattern (coming soon!) for a sweet bean steamed bun in Ivory Wool of the Andes with Cranberry Alpaca Silk for the "dot" from the red bean paste.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Heh. I'm a Fairy Princess!

The Fairy Princess

You are youthful, cheery, and exuberant with a
sunny disposition and a mischievous sense of
humor. You are very lively and are always up
for a good bit of fun. You have a deep love of
nature and animals.

Role Model: Titania

You are most likely to: Convert a pumpkin into a
useful mode of transportation.

What Kind of Princess are You? - Beautiful Artwork (Original Music is BACK!!!)
brought to you by Quizilla

How odd. I always thought I was the lizard queen!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Photo Essay

I replaced the batteries in my camera, so here are some pictures of progress I've described but not photographed:

1- Chicken Viking Hat, baby version:

2- Chicken Viking Hat, adult version (adapted pattern to be published once it's done):

(as of about 5pm today)

(not color-accurate, but shows the texture well)

(main hat finished, as of 2:30am. unfortunately crack-headed look with dark circles, etc.)

3- Grumperina's iPod cozies:

4- Hopeful by Jenna Adorno:

5- Blocking Soleil and Momvoli:

6- Una, sleeping on a blanket I made out of Red Heart Light & Lofty (the only acrylic yarn I ever loved) about a year ago:

7- Yarns from Over The Rainbow

Also, my lovely cousin-in-law Ashley and my cousin-in-law-in-law Scott:

gave me my Chrismas present early: a gift certificate to Kpixie. I'm going to use it to buy some Karabella Aurora 8 to make Tubey. Whee!!!

Friday, December 09, 2005

There are no words

for what a lucky, lucky girl I am.

I have yarn.
I have new yarn.
I have beautiful new yarn.
I have lots of beautiful new yarn.
I have lots of beautiful, different new yarn.
I have lots of ideas for my beautiful different new yarn.

Unfortunately, my camera batteries died. So here are the vendor's pictures:

1- Karabella Aurora 8 in peach (color 32, I think):

(picture shamelessly stolen from the wonderful people at Kpixie, who have a great price on this yarn and quick turn-around times to boot.)

I'm using this for the baby version of the Chicken Viking Hat The color is just a touch brighter than I had in mind, but it still says "flesh" to me.

This is a fabulous yarn: stretchy and warm merino that's softer than cotton. There is no such thing as The Best Yarn, only the right yarn for your project and tastes, but this has to be one of my all-time favorites, and it's so VERSATILE!

Oh yeah, I've done some work on that project:

I didn't like the top shaping (my own fault, not the pattern: I resized for 0-6 mos), so I frogged back to the start of the decrease section and reworked it since taking this picture. I've also done one of the two drumsticks (picking up in a circle is HARD!), but not the toes yet.

2- Karabella Aurora Bulky in color 9:

This is for the adult version of the Chicken Viking Hat that I'll be adapting for Ryan. I decided to go bulky to keep the goosebumps in proportion, but I think it will be warmer (and faster to knit) than the worsted version. Plus, I like this color better. While the worsted's color 32 has a nice peachy flesh tone to it, this one really reminds me of drained-of-all-blood raw chicken in the butcher case.

3- Over the Rainbow Yarns Silk/Rayon handpaint:

This colorway is called Aztec 2. I have this in mind for a summer-weight Clapotis, maybe for my animal-hair-sensitive mom. Or maybe I'll keep it. :)

4- Over the Rainbow Yarns" Silk/Merino handpaint (called Gemini, I think):

This colorway is called Winter Blues. It's a little less electric in color, but just lovely. I'm thinking of a fitted turtleneck with 3/4 sleeves, like this. This is an incredibly soft yarn that gave me NO PRICKLES at the neck, so it's a wonderful choice for a t-neck. It's a light worsted weight, and may also be a good choice for Clapotis, although it's a "twisty" 2-ply, rather than a single, so it will have a slightly different texture than a more cylindrical yarn.

5- AND, I have some Rowan Soft Baby in Cozy (fleshy, peachy ivory) and Buttercup (yellow) that was my first selection for the Chicken Viking Hat, but it's fuzzy, which doesn't say raw chicken to me. Unless I think of something else I want to make with it before I make it to the post office, I'll be returning it.

6- AND I have some Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed coming for the Blissful Jacket from Interweave Knits (Fall 05):

I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that I'm making this in the exact yarn and exact color shown. In my defense, that blue is very much my color, and was part of what attracted me to the pattern in the first place. Plus, I've always wanted to knit a jacket. I got a great price on this yarn from, but it was special order, so it took a very long time.

7, 8 - AND I have some KnitPicks Merino Style in Tidepool and Panache in Cloud coming in the mail any day now. The Panache is for The Little Wrap:

I want to make this to wear to a holiday party, over my Karen Millen cherries dress:

(looking at this dress, can't you see why Tubey is my sweater?)
The dress was a gift from my mother-in-law, to wear to the rehearsal dinner.
Then again, maybe I'll hoard the Panache for a while and stick with my black shrug. Opinions?

Wow. I don't want to think about how much I've spent on yarn in the last couple of months. But at least some of it was for xmas presents!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Tubey! Tubey! Tubey!

My lord. It's my sweater:

It's Tubey from The winter issue of Knitty

Ok, it's not MY sweater. I didn't design it or anything. However, that is totally my neckline and my fit. Graceful, body-skimming-but-not-tight, face-framing, sexy-without-cleavage, long-waisted enough. Plus, it's got clever but simple construction. Woohoo! I will probably make it with 3/4 fitted sleeves, instead of the bells.

Need to source yarn NOW. Some ideas:
- cute stripey version, similar to as shown, but probably different colors. I would LOVE to use Aurora 8 on this (so soft!) but it's a little pricey.
- solid version in something luxurious-looking, with a halo or sheen, and maybe in ivory or red for holiday wear. KnitPicks Andean Treasure has a nice sheen to it, but I'm not sure if it's springy enough.

Other patterns I like from the winter issue of Knitty: Kate, Forecast, Tempting II, Blanche-Neige (without the fun fur, please!), Bristow, Mrs. Beeton.

And, oh yeah, an FO:

This is My So-Called Scarf in lovely Manos del Uruguay (colorway Granite) for my sister's boyfriend David. I just love it. It's soft and springy, warm and not in the least bit girly-looking. I cast on 40 stitches instead of the recommended 30, so it would be a little over 7" wide (rather than the very girly 5" the pattern produces). It took about 2.5 skeins, done on size 11 needles.

And, oh yeah, I cast on and knit a good chunk of Hopeful by Jenna Adorno. I've just started the waist increases, and have used 2 balls of Knitpicks Ambrosia, out of an estimated 6 or 7. No pictures yet, but I'll add those soon.

And, oh yeah, I blocked not one but THREE items since my last post:
- Soleil (steam-blocked with a wet pillowcase)
- Momvoli (ditto)
- Blackberry (soak-and-shaped. Instead of knitting on another 1" on the sleeves, I decided to see if I could block it out. It was still damp this morning, so we'll have to see!)