Friday, October 19, 2007

Sheepin' & Woolin'

This time tomorrow, I'll be laying down my (probably already weary) head in a hotel full of friends somewhere in upstate New York. It's Rhinebeck weekend and we've been planning since Spring. There is much celebrating to be done, promoting Melissa's book, a margarita dinner and memosa breakfast (tailgate style in the parking lot before the festival opens - look for us near the gate. We'll have balloons. Join us.), many many inspiring (and famous) knitters to meet and friends to catch up with. Our little group has plans to go to two parties on Saturday night (Ravelry!). The internets are buzzing about this festival and people are coming from all over the country, so it could be crazy. It will definitely be exhausting. And I will come home with too much luverly yarn. And, hopefully, there will not be a repeat of last year's indiscretion. But, if there is, well... what happens at Rhinebeck stays at Rhinebeck. (And, in my defense, it was Cashmere....)

In other news, I finished the surprise project - a Tomten for the ragamuffin next door. She turns 3 on Sunday, but I couldn't wait that long. I ran over there as soon as I got home and her folks got her out of bed to try it on. I love this little coat!


It's done in Valley Yarns' Northampton - two strands held together on US 8s. It's a little big, but that means she can wear it for a long time.

Speaking of Valley Yarns I found this on the Webs website today. I know the holiday catalog is due out soon, but I hadn't seen the photos yet. This is the 'Hers' of the Housatonic His and Hers Reversible Cable Scarves I designed. These are done in Valley Yarns' Lenox (the poor man's cashmere).


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Some knitting

I've been very busy keeping my Ravelry notebook up to date and I've completely neglected the blog. All my recent knits have been photographed and posted there. Traci and I spent most of a Sunday taking photos and uploading them. We found the perfect place for photographing hats:

I wonder if all fire hydrants in France wear berets?

Here's a few samples of recent stuff:

I made two of Elizabeth Zimmerman's February Baby Sweaters. The green one is on it's way to Nora Frances (poor Amy will have to accept that she's getting a baby sweater for her 35th birthday....).

green february baby

february baby1

The blue one was a gift for Haley Sienna's baptism. Haley is doing well. She recently had another MRI that showed the tumor has not grown since her surgery in August. At the luncheon after the baptism (where this photo was taken) she seemed happy and alert.


I also recently finished this shrug from the book Lace Style. It's a simple almost mindless project:

I'm working on the "Back to School Vest" from Fitted Knits. This is yarn I bought at the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival in 2006 from the Decadent Fibers people. It's been burning a hole in my stash waiting for the perfect project. The Fitted Knits book is fabulous - Glampyre is a genius - and I plan to make several other things from the book (when I can find some free time when I am not working on stuff for a class or the store or Christmas....).
Back to school vest.JPG

Speaking of class things, I'm teaching Lace for All Levels in November and using Victorian Lace Today as a textbook. I had hoped to get a few samples from the book done before the class, but I kept putting it off. I'm working on one now that is flying along, so there's a chance I might have a couple of things done (assuming the knit on lace boarder on this one doesn't kill me). This is the Shoulder Shawl in Cherry Leaf Pattern. I'm using Blue Sky Alpaca's Alpaca Silk. The photo does not do justice to the color.
Shoulder Shawl

I also made these His and Hers scarves for the Webs Holiday Catalog. The pattern will be available from them soon. I believe they are calling them the Housatonic Reversible Cable Scarves. They are done in Valley Yarn's Lenox - a merino/baby alpaca blend that I've been known to call 'the poor man's cashmere'.

reversible cable scarves.JPG

There is also a secret project going on that I cannot discuss yet. It involves these colors:
surprise yarn.JPG

And, finally, in non-knitting news, it's a Steven Colberty kind of week. I bought his new book on Wednesday when it came out (I am a dork) and have been listening to the Audio book at the same time. He was on Fresh Air on Tuesday night and it was strange to hear him out of character. You kind of forget that he's not that guy all the time. At BookExpo back in June he was signing copies of the first 5 chapters. Here's a bad camera phone photo of him with my copy (gotta love the scruff....).

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Audrey's Hat

Audrey's Hat.JPG
I finally typed up the instructions for this toddler hat and posted them on Ravelry. Thought I'd put them here too. The Stockbridge is on sale this month at Webs for $2.99 a skein and the hat (in toddler size) only takes one skein...

Audrey's Hat 2.JPG


1 skein Valley Yarns Stockbridge (50% Wool, 50% Alpaca, 109 yds)
or, any worsted weight yarn will do

US 7 16” circular needles
Crochet Hook

CO 90 sts Join for working in the round and place marker to mark start of round.

knit 6 rows

Start pattern:

Row 1: Purl Row 2: [K1, YO] 6 times, K2Tog 6 times repeat to end

Row 3 & 4: Knit

Repeat rows 1-4 a total of 7 times. Knit one row even.

Crown: Row 1: K8, K2Tog repeat to end

Row 2 and all even rows: Knit

Row 3: K7, K2Tog repeat to end

Row 5: K5, K2Tog repeat to end

Row 7: K4, K2Tog repeat to end

Row 9: K3, K2Tog repeat to end

Row 11: K2, K2Tog repeat to end

Row 13: K1, K2Tog repeat to end

Row 15: K2Tog repeat to end

Break yarn (leaving long tail) and use darning needle to run tail through remaining 9 stitches. Pull tight and leave tail on outside.

Add ‘sprigs’: With Crochet hook, tightly chain stitch tail starting at the crown of the hat. Attach 5-6 more long pieces of yarn at center crown and chain stitch those.

For infant size, use DK or sport weight yarn. For larger sizes add stitches to the cast on in multiples of 18.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Mixing it up for fall

Have you seen the 2007 Holiday stamps designed by a knitter? I was in line at the post office this morning (with a stack of paperbackswap books) and saw them on the poster of 2007 stamp designs. From a distance they looked like icky trying to be cool bitmaped illustrations, but then I realized they were knitted. I may have made some sort of excited noise out loud. The guy in front of me turned around and looked nonplussed when I said, 'The holiday stamps? They're knitted!' Craftless heathen.

Last night I went to the hairdressers where they have new sinks with MASSAGING recliners. Absolute heaven. My favorite shampoo girl (you know you pay too much for your hairdresser when you have a favorite shampoo girl...) massaged conditioning treatment in my head while the chair back rolled around under me. I could have stayed there forever. Tiffany, my hairdresser, looks different every time I see her. Her hair yesterday was cut in a cool, longer in the front, stringy rocker chick style with fuchsia chunks through it. It looked amazing on her. I was jealous and inspired. I want the guts to have pink rock star hair. But pink would clash with my wardrobe... Tiffany is good though. She knew I was inspired and suggested we 'mix things up for fall'. She knows pink isn't for me so I acquiesced.

While I was waiting for my new bright copper streaks to set, I flipped through the biggest issue of Vogue ever (seriously it's over 800 pages). I stumbled across this picture which was LOLed so well by Grrleigh knits last month. I swear every time I look at that LOL I start snorting. So there I was in the hairdressers, under the heat lamps, with crazy alien satellite head trying not to snort. Tears were forming. There may have been snot. (Who's the crazy girl over there having a conniption over last month's Vogue?) There was also a crazy giant knit coat (styled as a dress in the photo) by the same designer, but I cannot find a photo of it. I went to the website listed in Vogue, but no luck. I did find some lovely inspiring designer knits though...

I love this coat:

And this sweater:The construction on this one is very cool (though the cable looks a little funky on the inside where it flips open a the top. I would have to make it more 'reversible'):Love this little $1650 number:

But seriously, Burburry, I think you can do better than this. It's called the Waffle knit cardigan, but anyone can see that it's not a waffle stitch. It's garter stitch. Should I choose to, I could crank this thing out so fast for a tiny fraction of the $650.