Nov 21 2010

As Seen On The Internet

Published by under FOs,wips

So you might have heard of my friend Glenna. I knit a lot of her stuff, because her aesthetic and mine have a lot of overlap, and also she’s made of brilliant and awesome and win and whatever else you can think of.

As are these gloves.

NOUVEAU GLOVES
Nouveau Gloves
Pattern: Nouveau, by Glenna C [ravelry link]
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, in one of those numbered colorways that don’t tell you anything but I am going to name Pewter
Needles: US 2 & 3 DPNs
Notes: Glenna released this pattern earlier this year, and I promptly went out and picked out yarn with a Christmas gift card and forced my mom and sister to help me pick out just the right color and knit them up over the summer…except for three fingers, and then I ran out of steam for a bit. (It’s always the fingers where that happens, because you have to do them ten times and it just gets to be a little much.) But finally I finished them up this month, and then I needed to have another little break before I tackled weaving in the ends. (Glenna advised me that sometimes she cheats and doesn’t tack everything down on the inside since nobody sees it, but I’m a Virgo and something in me will just not permit that to stand, so every. last. end. was woven in before I could call these finished.)

Nouveau Gloves

As you can see, these are lovely lovely lovely. The pattern has a very Jugendstil/Art Nouveau air (the pattern name makes sense now, ja?), and I really love that time period and its style, part of the reason they jumped to the top of my queue as soon as I saw them. The pattern relies on twisted stitches, which is one of Glenna’s trademarks, and they really do pop beautifully, as you can see on the palm here. The motif on the hands is spectacular and I love how it turned out in the Silky Wool:

Nouveau Gloves

Between the color and the yarn’s tweediness and matte appearance, I feel like these gloves could have come out of somebody’s trunk, hidden in piles of vintage dresses and hats. In fact, I have lots of yarn still and plans for a cloche to match, because how much fun will it be to wear these with a matching hat?

Before I can start that, however, I have Vestvember to get through. We are making progress, would you like to see?

Briony Vest

That is the back, and it’s done. I’m halfway through the front, and I am thinking that we’ll get some progress made on Thanksgiving, since I can’t work on Christmas knitting when the recipients are sitting right in front of me. That would ruin the surprise, and we cannot have that.

But once the vest is done, and the Christmas knitting is done? Oh yes, hats. I am excited, guys.

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Nov 08 2010

Socktacular

Published by under FOs,wips

I HAVE DONE IT.

I have finished the Herringbone Socks.

I even have photographic evidence.

HERRINGBONE SOCKS
Herringbone Socks
pattern: Herringbone Socks by Kristi Schueler, from Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn.
yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label Fingering in Harvest
needles: US 1.5 (2.5mm)
notes: FINALLY. Part of why these took so long was that I’d get frustrated, put them down, and go work on something else (like the pile of Christmas presents I am slowly accumulating). The other part is that this is not a pattern you can do mindlessly. Unlike stockinette sock, which I can work on while I browse Ravelry or read something on my computer or my Nook, these babies demand your complete and absolute attention. So there was no picking these up and idly knitting a few rows whenever I sat down at the keyboard like I usually do.

But you know what? That’s OK. They were a great challenge, and I’m always going to feel badass when I put these on, because they did take a lot of work, and they came out spectacular.

Herringbone Socks

See? They’re beautiful. They fit great, and they are so, so lovely with this yarn (and how much do I love this yarn? It’s squishy and wonderful, and I have been happily contemplating what to do with the other two skeins in my stash, both also gifts from my wonderful friend Jennifer, who is my hookup for all the awesome Canadian stuff). If you have a chance to try Tanis Fiber Arts, incidentally — grab it and do not let go.

I would absolutely do this pattern again, but I am thinking it would be best saved for a long trip. The repeat is only two lines and once you have it memorized you are good to go. When you’re stuck on a train or plane or in a car for a long stretch of time, this is the perfect sort of thing to keep your brain occupied. So the next time I’m planning a long trip if I start taking polls on what to knit, remind me I sad this, will you?

I am still working on Christmas knitting (five down, one in progress, two to go, maybe three if I’m feeling really generous…) but November started and I realized I’ve never done NaKniSwiMo or however it’s abbreviated (National Knit a Sweater Month, a takeoff of NaNoWriMo) but I also realized that with all this holiday knitting…that might be overreaching.

NaNoVeMo

So instead I cast on for a vest. This is Bryony, and she’s being knit up in some Cherry Tree Hill Soft Angora, a bag of which I found in a sale bin at Maryland a few years ago. (It really is soft. Trust me.) I might be playing roulette with my yardage. I might also not necessarily finish this in a month with ALL THE KNITTING there is to do.

But there might also be a really, really awesome cable in this pattern.

NaNoVeMo

Mmm, look at that beautiful cable. Soft, squishy cables, just what chilly November days need. If you need me, I’ll be surrounded by yarn.

2 responses so far

Oct 31 2010

Boo!

Published by under things-that-are-not-knitting

Fur Le Blog

Let’s just say it’s a good thing I only have to carve jack’o’lanterns once a year.

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Oct 23 2010

Sock Rut.

Published by under wips

I have been in a sock rut. I will admit it.

I knit Jaywalkers, and 3×1 broken rib socks, and stockinette socks. It gets a little boring sometimes. So when Jen gave me a spectacular skein of Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label Fingering Weight in Harvest for my birthday, I decided maybe I should shake it up a little.

Birthday yarn!

This is a pretty intense yarn, and it deserves a pattern to show it off. So I went with the Herringbone Rib Socks, which was published in the Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn book that came out about a year ago (and was also released as a freebie through Knitting Daily). I cast on for the small size, knit the leg and heel, and tried it on… and discovered it was too small. To the frog pond it went, and we cast on again for the large side.

A whole month later, I finally have a finished sock.

Herringbone Rib Socks

Now that I have got a sock (and a half) of this pattern done, I finally feel like it’s clicked. There was a lot of tinking involved, which makes me feel kind of ridiculous, because it’s only a two-row pattern, for Bob’s sake, but it took a long time for me to feel comfortable with it. I think I’m finally there, though:

Herringbone Rib Socks

I have already cast on the next sock and it’s going so much faster now that I finally know what I’m doing, but I keep stopping to put on the first sock and admire it.

Perhaps I should stop doing that and knit faster, so I can wear both socks at once? That would be too easy, wouldn’t it?

4 responses so far

Oct 19 2010

Rhinebeck

Published by under festivals

Guys, this was the best Rhinebeck ever. Let me show you.

Anne Hanson!  And me!

This? This is me with Anne Hanson. We were waiting on line Saturday morning to get our passes and I realized that a) Anne was standing about 20 feet in front of us, and b) I was wearing my Honeybee shawlette, which she designed. So one of my roommates (thanks, Gingy!) marched me over to show off, and Anne pointed out I had it on upside down and promptly proceeded to take it off for me, put it on the right way, and tuck the ends in nicely. (I swear to Bob I can dress myself, really. I was putting on my coat and knits in the parking field and I had no mirror and it was windy. STOP LAUGHING.) Anyway, she kindly let Melissa take a picture of us, and was so gracious and wonderful that I am a fan for life. I already admired her prolific design skills, but now, more importantly, I admire her for being awesome. Thank you for making my weekend, Anne.

Anyway!
Rhinebeck 2010

Here’s Jennifer, Gingy, and Melissa, showing off their October Leaves! (Gingy’s also wearing her hat, which I might just have ready to go by the end of the month…I think.) They threw up some knitta signs for you all. Not pictured is Melissa’s husband Doug and Liz, our last roommate. We spent so much time laughing this weekend that my sides ached by the time I went home. It was awesome.

I saw lots of famous knitting people, like in this fine example of kinnearing:

Rhinebeck 2010

(Can you spot Jess from Ravelry and Vicki Howell?) I did not kinnear Kate Gilbert, but I did actually stand with her in a conversation while I got to pet the sample for Cityscape, which I’m going to make because it’s just glorious. And I got to see lots of friends old and new, like Sandi Wiseheart and Jennifer in the Holiday Yarns booth (two of my favorite people) and Rebecca and Glenna and Melanie, and gals from the LSG in NY gang, like Cleo and Liz. (And lots of people I never managed to find at all, or who couldn’t make it. Next year!) So much socializing.

And posing with nightgowns.

Rhinebeck 2010

That’s Gingy and Liz, our fourth roommate. They are both awesome.

My shopping was…well, let’s just say that every year I claim I am going to be restrained and come back under budget, and every year it’s a vicious lie.

Rhinebeck Loot

This pile includes sockweight from Holiday Yarns, some STR mill ends, more laceweight from Sliver Moon and A Touch of Twist, a mystery skein from the sale bin at Briar Rose in a beautiful teal, some BUGGA and Gaia Fingering from Sanguine Gryphon (so excited!) and fiber from Cloverleaf Farms, Ellen’s 1/2 Pint (another sale bin find) and an Abby Batt. (Since I too am an Abbie it seemed only appropriate.) As happens when you practice a thing, I am feeling more and more comfortable with my drop spindle, so getting more fiber to play with seemed like a good idea. There’s also a Nine Tailors sock kit from the Tsarina of Tsocks hiding in there, an early Christmas present from Jennifer, who loves me and is my favorite person. (Except for when Liz fetches up coffee for the room from the hotel’s breakfast buffet, at which point she becomes my favorite person.) It’s a really lovely little stash, and maybe by this time next year I’ll have even knit most of it up. I am really excited about that.

Spending a weekend surrounded by good friends, under clear blue skies and surrounded by beautiful colors and sheep and llamas and alpacas, will make anybody feel at peace with the world. I plan to hold onto my Rhinebeck zen as long as possible, because it’s the best feeling in the world.

Rhinebeck 2010

If you’d like to see all of the pictures, I present this handy slideshow:

Thanks, Melissa & Doug for driving and all your delicious acer & mead, and Gingy & Liz & Jennifer for being excellent roommates and all of you for being so much fun. I haven’t had such a good time in a long time.

Next year I’ll stick to my shopping list. Really. STOP LAUGHING.

4 responses so far

Oct 01 2010

Dark and Stormy

Published by under FOs

I have been doing lots of blocking this week, but there are no pictures of those things yet, because the last few days have been very dark and stormy and that means the light has been awful, and taking my knits out into this blindingly ridiculous rain would undo all my blocking anyhow.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t have something to share with you! Please behold
FRIGHTFUL:

Peregrine
Pattern: Peregrine by Kate Gilbert, from the Fall 2010 Twist Collective
Yarn: Stashed Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in Candy Blue (which colorway has been discontinued for about five years; that is also almost as long as it’s been in my stash)
Needles: US7/4.5mm
Notes: Oh love, love, love. This is about the most complicated top I have knit yet, and that’s not saying much, because aside from picking up the ribbed collar and working the short rows there, it’s a pretty standard top. I tend towards socks and lace and I don’t branch out as often as perhaps I should, but when I saw the pictures in the newest Twist Collective I was just captivated and dove right in. The original calls for a wool yarn, but I had Cotton Ease in my stash, and I hit gauge spot on so I figured I’d take the risk. It came out glorious. Here, have some closeups:

Peregrine
The ribbing on the collar uses short rows, and you can see where I totally mucked up picking up the wraps on the right side. I really don’t care. I figured out what I did wrong far enough in that I didn’t want to rip back. Next time I will do better. And it’s not like it impedes wearability.
The pattern called for a picot bindoff on the collar, but I made an executive decision not to do so. I didn’t think it would work as well in a cotton blend, and I find I prefer the clean line anyhow.

Peregrine
The hem and the sleeves are edged with this delightful little lace, which was easy to work up and looks marvelous. Kate Gilbert’s got a really deft hand with little touches like this and I love it.

And look, guys! An action shot!
Peregrine
I wore the finished object to a knit night to show off and Kristin kindly humored me and took a few shots while I knit away on a hat. (A hat which the test knitters are working on and I should have ready to release soon, by the way… and thanks, Kristin!) You can see that the V-neck on this is extreeeeeeemely low, but I expected this would require a camisole underneath it and was not surprised. I really love how it looks and fits, and I’m so so happy with the final product. I’m seriously considering a second one in another color; maybe I’ll try a wool yarn this time!

In sum: this pattern is excellent, I love the FO, and if anybody can figure out why I’d call a pattern named Peregrine “Frightful,” I will give you an internet. (Somebody’s got to get the joke. Somebody? Anybody? Bueller?)

ALSO. You guys, my cousin had a baby girl on Monday and she’s beautiful. So I made her stuff.
Heads and Toes

The booties are my favorite bootie pattern, and I improvised the hat. I really kind of love it and I think I will write it up. I used the leftovers from my Lorna’s Laces Gold Hill Jaywalkers, because it’s such a pretty color and perfect for an autumn baby, don’t you think? And I stretched it with some pale pink Dalegarn Baby Ull from the stash. Every baby should start life with something handmade to call their own and I think this little set will do quite nicely. Do you think her mother will let me put needles in her hands to see what will happen?

Rhinebeck is coming, by the way. Who will I be seeing there?

4 responses so far

Sep 14 2010

Buzz buzz

Published by under wips

Four days…
Les Abeilles Shawlette

…and I have cast off. Fastest shawlette ever, overlooking the part where I knit the mini version and I had a lot of time to knit in the car so of course I’d finish it so quickly. It’s not blocked yet, but I figured I would show it off anyway, because HOMG IT’S SO PRETTY.

To explain from my last post: Les Abeilles is french for “bees,” and the motif on the bottom is exactly that:

Les Abeilles Shawlette

See? Bees. Bees, knit up in a colorway called Wild Flower Honey, which was spun for me by Melissa, which name comes from the Greek for… bee. See what I did there?

I have a fair amount of yarn left, so I am making up some mitts to match. Epic Rhinebeck yarn accessories are epic, folks.

One response so far

Sep 11 2010

Road trip

Published by under Blather,wips

So I am in Vermont, because that is where my sister is. Visiting her is such a trial:

sept 2010 053

This is where we went apple picking. The orchard overlooks Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains.

fresh

I ate one right off the tree. It was delicious.

In the car on the drive up, I started a shawlette:

honeybees

This is Les Abeilles by Anne Hanson, which I am knitting up in the magnificent “Wild Flower Honey” yarn spun up for me by Melissa. There’s a bit of a joke in those choices, and I will give you a virtual cookie if you can figure it out. (Pipe down, Missy, I know you know it already.) I think it will make a wonderful Rhinebeck shawl.

Can I just say, knitting with Melissa’s handspun is so much fun? Can I? Good. Because it is, bouncy and soft and I’m having too much fun with the colors. I can’t wait to see how this shawl looks when I’m done.

8 responses so far

Sep 04 2010

Success!

Published by under Stash

So among the things I have been working on this summer is my spinning. I have a really adorable little Golding spindle that I picked up two Marylands ago that I have been getting more and more comfortable with, and ages and ages ago I started spinning up this bagful of fiber I got from a kind fellow Raveler who RAK’d it to me so I could have something to practice with.

This is what it looked like when I started:

Handspun

Now, I’ve been messing around with my spindles for a while — I have this big generic one that I got cheap at Rhinebeck years ago, and it was just too heavy for me to spin comfortably with. It wasn’t until I picked up my Golding that things finally started falling into place.

And how.

Honest to goodness HANDSPUN

Say hello to 91 yards of roughly sport-weight, chain-plied YARN. Yarn that I spun, all by myself.

Honest to goodness HANDSPUN

The skein is sitting next to me right now, because I can’t stop patting it and touching it. Guys, I can make yarn! This changes everything!

In fact, I’ve already started spinning more. As the internet would put it, MUST SPIN ALL THE FIBER. If you’ll excuse me, my spindle awaits.

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Sep 02 2010

See you in September

Published by under Blather

I would ask where the summer went, except that it’s September 2nd and for the last few days the temperatures have been pushing three digits again, which is not…pleasant.

I have been off doing summery things. Would you like to see? Never mind. That’s a silly question.

I had a houseguest in July, my best friend J, and we played tourist at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens:

Brooklyn Botanic Gardens
Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

I’d never been before, but I will absolutely be going back. There’s something very satisfying about knowing just a few hundred feet away there’s a whole city outside you, but you can’t even hear it, surrounded by so many beautiful trees and flowers. Even if we did get rained on. And by rained, I mean poured. It was still fun!

And then we went to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. There were some very long lines involved (protip: the “flex ticket” is not the same thing as the “reserved ticket.” See also: things I know now I wish I’d known in July) as well as some sunburn and some surprisingly decent if overpriced cafeteria food. And of course gift shops, because nothing says National Site of Historical Significance like a snow globe.

I brought the traveling sock with me that day:

Ellis Island

We enjoyed the view from Ellis Island, and then we went and found my great-grandfather’s name on the Wall of Immigrants. He and I share a birthday, which is one of those random facts about me you will probably never need to know again.

Ellis Island

I did other stuff this summer, too. My little brother’s baseball team made the championships, so I spent a lot of time on bleacher seats drinking ice cream sodas while I cheered him on:

Badass
(I have titled this picture “Badass.”)

And my friend Melanie and I went to see our favorite artists Vienna Teng and Alex Wong perform in the city:

Vienna Teng concert

I love Vienna Teng‘s music so much I cannot even tell you, and if you do not know who she is I suggest you scoot over to her website and check her out. Or you can listen to the short video I managed during one of her encores. (Bonus points if you can pick out where I’m singing along.) It was a marvelous concert, and an entirely suitable birthday present for myself.

Oh, yeah. And, uh, I had a birthday. They keep cropping up every year. My family gave into my begging and gave me the best thing ever.

BIRTHDAY

Oh yes. Red velvet birthday cake, and a Nook. Now, I know there’s people out there who think e-books are the sign of the apocalypse, but I am not one of them. I grew up reading sff and watching Star Trek (part of the reason my Nook is named Tiberius) and all of my reading in grad school was done through pdf files I read on my laptop. So reading a book on a screen is second nature to me, and the fact that I have so many books squeezed onto that little delight makes me giddy. Also? I can read and knit at the same time now, since I don’t have to worry about holding the pages down. This isn’t to say I’m giving up my hard copies of Pride & Prejudice or any of my Zimmermans, but I really love having the choice. And (geek alert) it’s like my very own PADD. I even have a bunch of knitting patterns uploaded to it.

At the moment, I have the Hunger Games trilogy waiting for my attention, but as there is a hurricane barreling up the East Coast threatening to soak my weekend, I am going to save them for when the power goes out. That, and my new yarn:

handspun; mine, all mine!

Melissa spun this for me, out of BFL roving from the Painted Sheep, in a colorway called “Wild Flower Honey.” I’m thinking a Rhinebeck shawlette, but I haven’t settled on a pattern yet. It’s got to be something worthy of such a gift, you see. (Suggestions welcome!)

Here, have a closeup:
birthday handspun

I KNOW, I’m such a lucky girl. Also, how talented is my friend?

Clearly, I will not be lacking for amusements if our power does get knocked out. I’m almost kind of hoping it does, for the excuse to sit around and read and knit and not have anything more pressing to steal my attention.

And…now we’re caught up. Hi, internet, how have you all been?

6 responses so far

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