Sunday, March 29, 2009

snow day

March came in like a lion; apparently it's going out like a lion, too.
Yesterday's rain turned into snow overnight. I awoke to a wintry wonderland. My poor daffodils were all set to bloom!
Oh well, a few good things to keep our spirits up:
  • The rain put no damper on a fabulous show by the Fruit Bats at Schubas last night. I expected a more mellow show, but they really rocked. Highly recommended! The older woman (seriously, 60+, how great is that) standing next to me waved a fruit bat finger puppet during her favorite songs.
  • Ysolda's Whimsical Little Knits book arrived on my doorstep over the weekend, and it's just precious. As much as I love the convenience of pattern PDFs, there's something wonderfully tangible about leafing through a real book.
  • My second Ishbel is nearly complete! The yarn is Malabrigo Silky Merino in Teal Feather. [I'm still seriously behind on blocking and photographing FOs -- the other Ishbel is first in the queue.]
  • Capricha in another one of her trademark "cat yoga" poses. See those little paws peeking out?
  • I made it to the Bohus exhibit at the American Swedish Institute while I was in Minneapolis last week. It was neat to see all the sweaters, but my expectations were a bit too high. I wish I had made it to the kick-off event with all the classes and lectures.
The Turnblad mansion, home of the American Swedish Institute

Monday, March 23, 2009

spring break

So far spring break has been filled with a play at the Steppenwolf (Art -- highly recommended), tapas at Cafe Ba-ba-reeba, shopping, traveling to Minneapolis to visit my family, lots of reading, and plenty of knitting. Yet another feather and fan shawl is in the works:Yep, that's number 4 for me. This time I'm using Noro Silk Garden in a luscious combination of neutrals. I used size 8 needles by accident; 9 or 10 would be better. There's something so comforting and perfect about this pattern. Does anyone else have a pattern that they just love to knit and continue to revisit? I'd love to hear recommendations!

P.S. I have another Ishbel on the needles already, in teal Malabrigo Silky Merino.
Kylie has been hampering my progress in finishing off my Ariosa Cardi. Apparently it makes a great cat bed.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

spring fever

Off the needles and back from a lovely weekend in Michigan...
Pattern: Opera Scarf, by Deb Peterson
Yarn: The Plucky Knitter, merino/cashmere/nylon sport weight, Grace Kelly / Rear Window (Plucky Classics), 1 skein (250 yards)
Needles: Clover US 9 bamboo straights

Once again, this is the perfect knit night pattern -- just one pattern row that's easy to remember, with great results. I perhaps could have used just a titch more yarn, but that's the way it goes.
I'm disappointed that I didn't make it to Madison to see the Yarn Harlot and meet Sarah of Plucky Knitter fame (look at Peaknit's gorgeous pics!), but I had my own weekend of knitting fun. My knitting circle headed to Michigan, rented a gorgeous inn, drank plenty of sangria and mimosas, went for long walks, and knit our hearts out.

Here's a photo of a few of us on the beach, including my Just Enough Ruffles scarf and Anemoi mittens in action:
I finished up my textured shawl quite a while back (I'm woefully behind on FO blocking, photos, and posts). It now lives on the back of my desk chair, and I wrap up in it while I'm typing away at ye olde dissertation.
Pattern: Textured Shawl recipe, by Orlane
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, Golden (#44), 5.5 skeins
Needles: Clover US 6 bamboo circs
Finished Measurements: 74" wingspan, 36" length
I substituted YO for M1L and M1R since I hate doing make-1s. I cast on 7 stitches.

Row 1: K2, YO, K1, YO, K1, YO, K1, YO K2.
I don’t love the edge this produces, but I can live with it.

The textured pattern is a 2 st repeat. Since there’s an odd number of sts on each side of the center st, I fudged this a bit:

Row 1 of textured pattern (with edge):
K2, YO, K1, textured pattern to center st, YO, K1, YO, K1, textured pattern to last 2 sts, YO, K2.

I added a lot of extra rows and pattern repeats:

20 rows st st

20 rows textured pattern

20 rows st st

16 rows textured pattern

20 rows stst

6 rows textured pattern

20 rows stst

16 rows textured pattern

20 rows stst

4 rows textured pattern

28 rows garter

Kylie's butt apparently makes the perfect pillow for Capricha.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


Just when I should be seaming the now-blocked pieces of my Ariosa Wrap Cardi or blocking my completed Opera Scarf, I instead cast on for a new project:
Ysolda's Ishbel, which is springing up all over the knitting blogosphere right now. I'm using the Plucky Knitter's MCN fingering in Nicholas & Alexandra and knitting the small (scarf) size. In a word, addicting. The stockinette portion knit up quickly while Paul and I watched the latest Indiana Jones movie. Wow, did it seem like a parody of Indy, almost on par with good ol' "Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold." I did enjoy Indy's advice to his archaeology student to "get out of the library," though. :-)

Also, I'm scouring Targets across WI and IL for specific goodies from the Orla Kiely line. Paul has even volunteered to help, as he works way out in the 'burbs where apparently Orla Kiely isn't as hot a commodity as in the city.
The latest issue of Midwest Living arrived in my mailbox today. Isn't the cover unusually cruel? Green grass and spring flowers with the tag "Spring Starts Now!"? Now?!?! I wish. Sigh..