Thursday, August 5, 2010

Movin' on Up

I've decided to renovate my life this year and I'm afraid this blog is part of that upheaval. Anyone who is interested can find me over here. It will be a bit of a shaky process moving things over there and I doubt I will delete this blog for a very long time, but any new knitting will be popping up at the other address. Hope to reconnect!

Monday, November 2, 2009

FO: 1 Shawl, 4 Mittens, and a Facehugger

More FOs!

First off...mmmmmmalabrigo.

Rusty Aestlight
Pattern: Aestlight by Gudrun Johnston (Rav link)
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock Yarn, 1 skein in Botticelli Red
Needles: US 6 circ
Modifications: Just that I bound off the garter triangle before moving along with the borders.

Um...ohmygodthisisthebestyarnever. It was SO SOFT! SO SQUISHY! SO DRAPEY! I get so many compliments when I wear this. I made the smaller size b/c I only had one skein and I wear it like a kerchief with the point in front. My friends keep telling me it looks like something I purchased b/c the bird's-eye lace is so unique and the colors are so rich. I want maybe 700 more of these. Plus, the pattern is pretty fun to knit up.

Next up, we have some fluorescent mittens...

Blinding Birds in Hand
Pattern: Bird in Hand Mittens by Kate Gilbert
Yarn: Filatura di Crosa Zara, 2 skeins each in 1727 and 1783
Needles: US 2 circs
Modifications: None

Holy cow are these awesome. I tried to make these with some Mountain Colors yarn I had last year, but it was really hard on my hands to knit worsted weight yarn on such small needles and with stranding, no less. I finally cast on for them again with sport/dk yarn and it worked out so much easier this time. I did mix up the left/right cuff charts, so I just switched to the mirror image on the second mitten. I'm going to make these again for a friend of mine, but I'll make sure to use a provisional cast-on b/c I'd like to get the picot hem out of the way right off the bat.

Little birds! I embroidered them with some leftover Cascade 220 in yellow and Drops Alpaca in black. Don't ask me exactly how...I really suck at embroidery and I was lucky that these stitches didn't migrate.

I also finished these little things in August:

Pattern: Bella's Mittens by Marielle Henault
Yarn: Laines du Nord Dolly Maxi, 2 skeins
Needles: US 8 dpns
Mods: None

Sigh. This is an example of me being an idiot. I totally didn't even think about what kind of yarn the original yarn was and just went on my worsted weight yarn is not knit tightly enough to provide serious insulation. Alas, these are merely decorative. I'll have to knit them again in bulky weight yarn b/c these mittens are pretty fabulous. I haven't even read or seen Twilight and I still love them.

Last, but not least:

Alien Facehugger
Pattern: Alien Face Hugger by Meghan Munro
Needles: US 9 dpns
Mods: None, except I held yarn double and used bigger needles.

My buddy Carys wanted to be Ripley from Alien for Halloween. She was concerned that people wouldn't really get it b/c A) she's blonde and hates wigs and wasn't going to wear a brown curly wig and B) her "flight suit" could refer to anything from Top Gun to Independence Day. So I told her I'd make her a Facehugger so that she wouldn't have to explain her costume all night. Thankfully, someone else had already done the work of making a pattern. I just bought some cheap acrylic yarn and went to town. I cut up some hardware wire and threaded it through the legs, but we ended up taking it out b/c it was poking through and exposed sharp wires + people imbibing at a Halloween party = no good. But she'll eventually get pipe cleaners and make it moldable and safe.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

FOs: Socks and Shawl's been super long since I posted. I'm wondering if I'm just a terrible blogger or if I just had the summer from Crazyland.

First off, I subletted my place for the summer so that I could stay with my parents in the 'burbs without distraction so that I could finish my novel. Check. Sort of. I have a very rough draft that is all kinds of messy and it's not even ready to send to friends for feedback, but there are 380 pages of something written down on the page.

I also wanted to finish my final revision of my screenplay. Check. No more adjustments will be made to it in the immediate future.

I wanted to get healthy. Check. Lost five pounds and cut sugar substitutes and soda out of my diet. Sort of. I cheat with Diet Coke. I'm sorry, nutrition gods, but Diet Coke is my crack. Mostly I now try to limit my intake to a gargantuan cup of it when I go to the movies.

Wanted to get my mother to enjoy knitting. Check. She made two pairs of socks, a scarf for my dad, and a garter stitch shawl for herself. Now she wants to make a Clapotis. I think I created a monster...especially b/c she just wants to steal my yarn.

Wanted to post about my continued love affair with knitting. Um, not check. I did plenty of knitting, but I forgot (?) to update my blog with my goings-on. But it's always better late than never, no?

Here's the first round of a veritable FO parade:

Fireworks Socks
Pattern: Waving Lace Socks by Evelyn Clark
Yarn: Jojoland Melody, 2 balls
Needles: US 1.5 circular

I. Love. This. Pattern. This pair went by so quickly. I had one and a half socks finished when 4th of July came around. My family and I went up to Tanglewood to see Diana Krall sing (and to drink wine on lawn chairs, of course) and it got very, very chilly as the night went on. I forgot about those pesky Berkshires.

Anyway, my mother put on one of the socks and begged me to hurry up with the other one so that her feet could be warm. I ended up letting her wear a 90% completed sock with a stitch holder around the toe. It was too dark to knit by then anyway.

And this, my friends, is Marlene:

Sea Blue Marlene Socks
Pattern: Marlene Socks by Cookie A.
Yarn: Shibui Sock Yarn, 2 skeins
Needles: US 1.5 circular
Mods: Did one less repeat of pattern on leg

Another lovely, lovely pattern that creates a really elegant sock. I want to make another pair in something richer. Maybe red. Like femme fatale lipstick. But for my feet.

And finally, this is Ishbel:

My cousin is sick in the hospital in Korea. He's lived here since he was little and he was about to head into grad school in New York this fall. Unfortunately, his limbs suddenly swelled and went numb and tingly a few months ago and his parents packed him off to our uncle's clinic in Korea. (A swell example of what lengths people have to go through without universal health care.) Since then, he's been confined to bed and dealing with the unbelievable diagnosis of dermatomyositis, an autoimmune disorder I had never heard of that affects the joints and connective tissue of the body. It's treatable, but incurable. So as my cousin goes through his healing process, my aunt is at his bedside while my uncle runs their restaurant by himself. She needed a shawl. Ishbel was just the ticket.

...and the FO parade shall continue in the next installment.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

FO: Jaywalkers and Clapotees...Like Pringles, Once You Pop, You Can't Stop

Yep, I finished off that vacation clapotis:

Sandy, Oceany Clapotis
Pattern: Clapotis by Kate Gilbert
Yarn: Jojoland Harmony, 2 skeins
Needles: US 5 (I think) circs
Mods: None, unless you count extending the increase section.

I think I could quite possibly make a zillion more of these. It's the perfect travel knitting as long as it's not made with a lightweight yarn. Plus, a bunch of my friends covet mine so who knows. Maybe the birthday fairy will be kind to them this year.

Doesn't it look like a waterfall? Argh, now I have that song stuck in my head. "Don't go chasing waterfalls...Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to..." Oh, the nineties.

I also whipped these up faster than I even had time to post details on Ravelry:

Candy Jaywalkers
Pattern: Jaywalkers by Grumperina
Yarn: Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock in Maureen, 1 skein
Needles: US 1 Addi circs

I'd only ever made one pair before (if you don't count the aborted attempt that I did when I was first venturing beyond rectangles and did not think gauge was important at all) and that pair was kind of a ho-hum result b/c the Colinette Jitterbug I'd purchased wasn't enough and I ended up doing one sock cuff down, one toe up. And the toe up one was still about an inch shorter than the first one. Rather than ripping, I use them as house socks.

I thought it was about time for another pair and this yarn, while pretty, looks nothing like I thought it would when knit up.

I thought it would be a pretty, variegated affair, but it turned into crazy one-row color shifts between lilac, pink, and chocolate. I ripped out a bunch of different patterns before I decided not to fight it. Yarn: 1 point; Sway: 2 socks.

I actually like them like this. There's something very juicy and delicious about them. But I doubt I'll be buying more of this yarn b/c I don't want a drawerful of crazy striped Jaywalkers. I think one pair is enough.

Plus, at long last, I've rediscovered my knitting mojo and I started on a cardi for my dad:

It's the famous Jarrett from Rowan Vintage Knits. I'm not going to do the shoulder and elbow patches b/c this will just make the sweater unwearable for my dad. He likes plain. Except for when he joins the pick-up soccer game for the baby boomers at his church. Then he will wear whatever my mother packs for him to sweat in.

Also, I saw this pattern and decided right then and there that I must have them:

They're Marlene Socks, designed by Cookie A. That Cookie A. I sometimes wish she had never thunk to design socks, because I love almost every design she's ever made. Grar. These are addictive and I'm already on the heel of the second sock. Go knitting mojo!

Nicole's Wedding aka "Break Out the Kleenex"

Well, we did it. On June 13, 2009, we plumb got my best friend Nicole married off.

This is her in all her wedding finery (that's me in the black shawl--this may be the only post ever with my face in it, though, b/c I dislike having my photo taken). She made quite the gorgeous bride and her new hubby was just about busting when she walked down the aisle. I'm not a huge wedding person, but Nicole is the first of my best friends to get married and I couldn't help but start bawling as soon as I saw her on her dad's arm. And people, we are talking bawling. I was soooooo relieved I'd had the foresight to wear waterproof mascara and stick a couple of Kleenex in my bouquet. Because seriously, I bawled when she walked down the aisle, I bawled when she said her vows, I bawled when he said his vows, and I bawled when she walked back down the aisle. And then I bawled some more at the reception.

The night before the sedate Catholic wedding, Nicole and Rohit dragged all the groomsmen and all the bridesmaids (and a few other friends) out for a night of likker after the rehearsal dinner:

That's me, Nicole, and Rachel, a good friend of hers who's moving to NYC by the end of the month and with whom I'm sure I'll be hanging out again.

The funny thing is that this wedding was in Detroit and this pre-wedding night party happened the same night that the Detroit Redwings were playing for the Stanley Cup. I'm not a huge sports fan and I tell you, I was SCARED. I'd never seen that much red in my life. At least, not until the next day, when there were seven bridesmaids, six junior bridesmaids, and three flower girls in red satin.

Well, like I said, we plumb got her married off. Now she heads to India to repeat the whole process for Rohit's side of the family, only multiplied by three hundred or so. Durn it, I'm tearing up again.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Burgers, Pooh, Yarn and Sand

My trip to LA and Vegas went swimmingly. I don't think I've eaten that much red meat in that short a time in about fifteen years.

Part of the problem was this place:

It's this lovely little bar in LA that serves a gajillion kinds of beer and locally-made wines and they also happen to make the most delicious burger. EVER. There's crazy goodness in it, like caramelized onions and then the fries come with some ridiculous garlic-flavored mayonnaise that tries to kill you with its tastiness. My friend Viv goes there a lot. If I lived in LA, I think I would, too.

On the way to Vegas, I did have to partake of this:

In and Out. I hate to say it, but I really don't get the hype. It was good, but it wasn't life-changing, man.

We also went to Disneyland:

Where I stalked and got a paparazzi shot of Pooh:

And then I stole him and brought him home:

Also, this is Viv's dog, Baron:

He did not want me to knit in the car. And so he sat on my knitting and fell asleep.

We also looked around Santa Monica. Of course, before we even hit the beach, I had to go here:

Where I bought these:

And these:

I know I'm all about using stash right now, but my aunt is going through a hard time (my cousin has just been diagnosed with some crazy autoimmune disorder) so I will make her a nice shawl out of this lovely Auracania fingering cotton.

There are my feet, touching California beach for the first time in my life:

And my first glance at its water:

And my travel knitting, which turned out to be a perfect match for the beachiness of my trip:

It's a lightweight clapotis using two strands of Jojoland Harmony laceweight together. I got a lot done over two six-hour flights and two four-hour drives.

I'm almost tempted to move out there.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Operation: Stasheroo

I realize the title of this post could make you think I am stashing more stuff. But no, I am all about the using up my stash right now. I figure it's a win-win situation. I am being green and also not feeling guilty about spending money I can ill-afford right now.

Like a lot of people, I'm tightening my belt b/c A) my freelancing always goes down in the summer and B) I have a lot of traveling/wedding-going to do over the next couple months and I need to economize.

The wedding stuff in particular is driving me a little batty. I'm a bridesmaid (this is my first really good friend who's getting married) and it's very strange for me b/c I'm the kind of girl who never really wanted a huge wedding. My idea of a perfect wedding (for me) is to run off and elope on a beach somewhere and then come back and throw a huge party. However, my friend N is a total girly-girl who is having a giant wedding in Michigan and then traveling to India (her fiance is Indian) to do it all over again a week later. Just thinking about it makes me tired. But she's getting married and next week, I will be visiting my friend Viv in LA and then hitting up Vegas with all us girls for a bachelorette get-together. With any luck, I may actually post a photo of my face on this blog. Only for comedic purposes, you understand.

...OK...back to knitting:

I don't know where this came from. It crept up on me and then told me to stop denying that I had started another project and just admit that I am terrible. I admit, I'm terrible.

It's Delphine (Rav link), from French Girl Knits. Only I didn't get the pattern from the book, I got it from the Spring Interweave. I was trying to figure out what to make with some of the Vintage Cotton I had lying around, and this little tank seemed to fit the bill. I really hope that it fits. My bust falls in between the 2nd and 3rd sizes, but the pattern states that it stretches. Otherwise, I'll have to give it away.

And since I'll be on a plane for six hours at a time, I figured I should really plan ahead for some mile-high knitting. So I rolled this up to do a swatch:

This here is a skein of Blue Sky Alpaca. It's purdy. I have a lot more in beige. I'm thinking of buckling down and using my stash to make my dad an argyle cardi.

And remember how I gave my Ene and North Roe shawls to my friend C's mum and auntie? Well, they took us all out for dinner:

It was quite delicious. I think I am still full.