Monday, April 27, 2015

strikes and gutters

The morning after I last posted we woke up to a light dusting of snow. The winter that never ends! The sun is shining again, my spring flowers survived the frost, and 70-degree temperatures are in the forecast, so things are looking up. Catching up with my knitting...

pattern: northern loop, by tante ehm
yarn: bernat roving, gardenia, 3 skeins
needles: clover US 10.5 (6.5 mm) bamboo straights

A few bad choices from the get-go on this one. The yarn is deep stash -- it's super bulky, almost too warm to be worn doubled, plus I didn't really have enough yarn to make it long enough to double comfortably. I should have used larger needles, as the resulting fabric is pretty stiff and doesn't have much drape. I did my 3-needle bind-off on the wrong side, to boot. Ugh! Well, you win some, you lose some. At least it didn't take long to knit, and the colors are pretty -- reminiscent of jelly beans.
handknits in action:
 Here's Erik keeping busy at the park in his little coffee bean cardigan.
When I knit this (way back before he was born), I thought that the proportions seemed a little off, though I hadn't swatched for it, so it may be entirely my fault!
I knit the 3 month size, and here he is still wearing it at 18 months. It's pretty wide on him, and it’s sort of a crop-top look, with sleeves on the short side, too. On the plus side, the yarn (Lion Brand Cotton Ease) is holding up very nicely, and I love the color combination (lake + almond).

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

springtime in the Upper Midwest

Spring's arrival has been hard-fought in the Upper Midwest this year. Brrr... Today's another hustery, blustery, chilly day, but at least the tulips and hyacinths' much-anticipated blooms make it look like spring around here.

I knit something spring-y during the doldrums of March and April, and the cheery color makes me think of baby chicks and daffodils and other lovely things:

pattern: in threes, by kelly herdrich
yarn: three irish girls springvale dk, creamsicle
needles: clover us 5 (3.75 mm) bamboo circs
size: 0-6 months

Quick, easy pattern! I'll definitely revisit it. I cast on for the smallest size, but made it even smaller by using DK yarn and size 5 needles. Jennie the Potter made the whimsical bicycle buttons, which I found at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival last fall. Happy to find a good use for them!
I've seen that some parts of the country are reveling in rhubarb already, and I'm envious! Yesterday I tried Leslie Land's easy fruit and jam crostata recipe. Pretty much amazing. Even better than my usual jam tart recipe. Leslie gives all kinds of suggestions for fruit and jam pairings -- the perfect way to clean out your freezer (I used rhubarb, blackberries, and strawberries, with raspberry jam). 
Other signs of spring in our backyard: