Thursday, April 26, 2012

thing one and thing two

Baby knits are my favorite. They're such a fantastic and low-risk way to try new techniques, stitch patterns, and yarns. Plus I've now reached the age where my friends are constantly having babies, so it's wonderful to give something handmade at baby showers.
 pattern: morpheus, by YarnMadness
yarn: Knit Picks Swish Worsted, Cornmeal, 2 skeins
needles: Clover US 7 bamboo circs (16")
size: 6 months (at a slightly larger gauge)

Quick, easy knit! I like the button detail on one shoulder. I skipped the mesh pattern, as I wanted to knit something simple and classic. Also, I knit a few rounds before beginning the sleeve ribbing. The twisted-stitch ribbing looks great! Must use this ribbing more often.
This pattern was, in fact, so quick and easy that I knit another one right away:
Same details, aside from using a darker shade -- "gold" instead of "cornmeal."
This photo has a teeny sneak preview of my study re-do (so much painting and reorganizing). More pictures soon!
That Etsy is a crazy place... I didn't realize just how controversial it was  until I read about this insane cease-and-desist letter, and this awesome lawyer's response. You rock, lawyer Ken!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

therapeutic Sunday

On Sunday I woke up early feeling awfully crummy. A therapeutic day of tea, knitting, and Hugh Grant movies was most definitely quite welcome and very restorative.  After a warm-ish winter with a decidedly low level of tea consumption, a rather chilly April has reawakened my love of the tea leaves.
Not only did I finish the second Crazy Zauberball sock (well, the tube part -- I'm still working up the courage to snip the yarn for the afterthought heels), I put the finishing touches on some baby knits.

First, a long-neglected baby cardigan:
pattern: Little Garter Cardi by Ragnheiður Eiríksdóttir
yarn: Beaverslide Dry Goods Fisherman Weight
1 skein of prairie aster + small amount of arrowleaf balsamroot
needles: Clover US 10 bamboo circs
size: 3-6 months

I started this last summer, but ran out of steam when I ran out of yarn (one of my usual knitting "tricks"). The yarn is Beaverslide's older version, with the 210-yard put-up, and there was no hope of getting more (even after some Ravelry correspondence), so I dug out another skein and went for some contrast. The yarn is terrific -- very natural, soft, lofty, and tweedy! The buttons are ones I cut off an old favorite cardigan when it finally had to be retired. (Note to self: do this more often!)
I love how the i-cord edge is incorporated as you knit the body. The pattern is very clever; it would be easy, however, to miss the instructions for buttonholes.  I used a crochet provisional cast-on at the neck, and it worked great (see instructions here).

a Doctor Who shawlette pattern from the latest Knitty
IKEA's urban-planning scheme
-  I'm not sure if I love this or loathe it:
Cute kitten, even if this guy isn't using fresh-squeezed limes for his margaritas.
P.S. Did you realize that one can watch all four of these in a row?
- Notting Hill
- Bridget Jones's Diary
- Music & Lyrics
- Love Actually

If only I'd had the stamina to muscle through Sense and Sensibility, too!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

fraternal twins

The 9" circular needles are just the ticket for speeding up my sock knitting!
One sock is off the needles and the second is well on its way. That said, I haven't embarked upon the afterthought heel yet, which may be my undoing. The yarn is Schoppel Wolle Crazy Zauberball in color #2092 (I think, but the ballband is MIA). I fell in love with the colorway because of Melissa's September Circle pattern in this post. The yarn is a little wild for socks, as the stripes are broad and, more importantly, the colors don't repeat!  So my socks are fraternal twins, which I'm choosing to describe as "fun" rather than "eccentric."

I'm on a reading kick again!  Just started The Distant Hours (not far along enough to have an opinion), and recently finished The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake for my book club. This was an interesting premise with beautiful writing at the beginning, but it didn't really deliver as the book went on. The main character, Rose, discovers on her ninth birthday that she can taste emotions in all the foods she eats -- her mother's cake tastes like depression, packaged foods taste like a factory, etc. In the vein of Like Water for Chocolate, but with the dark side of magical realism. The book explores this "talent," as well as the odd dynamics of her family, their secrets, and their other talents. There's an NPR review here.

Still in a cross-stitch frenzy, too. I'm now working on Alicia's Winterwoods sampler, and it's a lot of fun. I invested in the needles and hoop she recommends, and they really are a step up!  The heavier needle seems to help keep the floss from getting as twisted.
A few pictures from my bithday weekend:

 Chagall's America Windows back on display at the Art Institute

the Art Institute's new Modern Wing

afternoon tea at the Peninsula

All in all, a terrific time filled with my favorite things. We came home from tea and started painting my study!  A big reveal is in the works.