Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Luck Be A Lady

Hi! I will have a post on my weekend in New York soon but that requires uploading pictures and more thought than I am currently capable of right now. In other news, my luck seems to be holding out because last week I won another blog contest!

Embroidered Effects: Projects and Patterns to Inspire Your Stitching (Sublime Stitching)

The wonderful folks at Feeling Stitchy gave away copies of Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching's new book Embroidered Effects and I was lucky enough to win one. I have always been a big fan of Jenny's work and own many, many of her patterns so I was really excited to get this book and get re-inspired to get back into doing some embroidery. The book has lots of cool new stitches for me to try so keep an eye out for some fancy embroidery in the new year.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Odd Luck

Hi all. I have been knitting away but since they are gifts for people who may (or should be) reading this blog I can't talk about it just yet.

The fates seem to have a strange sense of humor recently. I am officially unemployed now and had a pretty awful last day of work but then the very next day, whamo! I check my email and it turns out I won tickets to Saturday Night Live! Last summer Non-Crafty Meg send a whole bunch of her friends the link to sign up for tickets and it turns out several of us won! I will be heading to NYC next weekend to see James Franco host and to partake of some dim sum in Chinatown. I am excited for a fun weekend with friends and New York at Christmas time is so pretty. So stay tuned for some pics of Rockefeller Center and the big tree.

Then this week I entered a contest over on shelterrific and won! Soon I will be receiving this Doodle Dog apron designed with a William Wegman doodle from Crypton Fabrics. I love winning stuff. I think I may have to have a giveaway soon to balance my karma or something. I'll have to start thinking about it, it may involve googly eyes.

I hope folks are having a Happy Hanukkah, I am will be enjoying my mom's tasty potato latkes tonight - yum!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Oh, Now I Get It

I always heard people talk about Malabrigo yarn and I've touched it but I never really got it before now. I was shopping at my LYS and I figured it was about time I knit with it. While I was holding the gorgeous Worsted in Indigo, I looked up at a sample knit of Wavy. I knew that it was the perfect meeting of the right yarn and the right pattern.

Wavy Scarf

The yarn is so soft and such a dream to knit up. I suddenly got it, ah, malabrigo. Then there is the color. I would be knitting this scarf up and would just stop to stare at it, the mixtures of colors from the kettle dying that just is such a feast for the eyes. Even at work, people (non-knitters) would comment on it as they walked by me knitting away at lunch. The photo doesn't do it justice but it is just wonderful.

Here it is being modeled by the lovely Glenda at my folks house on Thanksgiving. Yeah, you see the whole mannequin thing runs in the family.

Wavy Scarf

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sock It To Me

Those of you reading this blog for a while know that I don't knit socks. And if you read the comments you know that Ariel has made it her mission to wear me down and like Darth Vader tried do to Luke, turn me to the dark side of knitting socks. While I have followed other advice of hers: like buying yarn for no specific project in mind and watching Battlestar Gallactica because it's awesome (and because Apollo is hot); I have still held my ground with the "no socks" thing. But I may have been dealt a serious blow to my resolve this week.

She sent me socks for my birthday.

My Birthday Socks

These are my first hand-knit socks. They are gorgeous and stripy and fit my freaky, "I have feet issues", feet. My feet are truly not worthy of these beautiful socks. I tried them on and they were warm and comfy and made my feet look good – really they are magic socks. That whole "why would anyone want to knit something just to put it on their feet?" argument that I've held onto for so long took a major hit. I'm not saying that I am going to start knitting up all of the beautiful sock yarn in my stash into socks; really that's just crazy talk. But maybe just maybe there is one skein in there just waiting to be socks or maybe I have to go buy more yarn.

There is a part of me that wants to keep the magic socks in my drawer in pristine condition rather than wear them and subject them to the inevitable wear and tear that I will ultimately subject them to. That is very like me and very wrong. I have a tendency to save things for rainy days instead of enjoying them in the here and now. Good intention, bad habit. I was going to wear them on my birthday this weekend but looking at the weather forecast it looks like it may be approaching 60 degrees and that's a bit too warm for wool socks for me. But Thanksgiving looks to be a bit chilly and my parents' house is always cold so I think they may make their debut there.

If you want to see more pics of the socks check out this post over at Ariel's blog where she also happens to say nice things about me. **blush** Really who doesn't want the blogosphere to read when people write nice things about them?

Ariel, thank you again for socks they are wonderful and they make up for the fact that you send me links to photos of bats.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I admit it, I cheated on my knitting.

I have this project I'm working on with gorgeous yarn that I simply adore and yet over the weekend I set it aside. I wanted something quick and easy so I just feel the satisfaction of having completed a project. Having more than one project on the needles - people do it all the time, right? Really, it's no big deal. But you don't understand, there were no needles, it was crochet! Gasp!

It started so innocently I was surfing around on ravelry and accidentally had crochet checked instead of knitting when doing a pattern search. Suddenly all these cute patterns popped up. I started digging around in my stash and found some random sock yarn leftovers that someone had given me. And I had these little bone ring thingies in my sewing supplies that I bought for some project. Although for the life of me I have no clue what it was. I decided to make this cute bracelet using the instructions here at CraftStylish. I changed the yarn type, hook size and the layout of the rings and I got rid of the clasp and made it just a bit bigger so it can slide on and off but the basic how-to's are all the same.

Here's a detail shot of it before I decided to forget the clasp and make it slip on.
Crochet Bracelet

I like the way it turned out. Since it's kinda flat and made of yarn it doesn't clank against the keyboard which is what I spend a huge portion of my day doing.

And here's a pic of it in action.

Crochet Bracelet

Knitting is my first love but I can't say I won't stray again.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Good Riddance October

Went a bit MIA again, sorry about that! October was ...well how do I say this? October sucked. Big time. People were sick and cranky, it snowed and oh yeah, I got laid off. Well, technically my last day is a few weeks away but come Dec 1st I am unemployed. I have been awash in all sorts of emotions: stress, fear, anger, relief (I really was never happy there anyway). I had one official weekend of moping complete with chinese takeout and catching up on last season's Project Runway. And since then I have been really okay which means I am due for a complete freak out some time soon. So it will be either on my birthday or Thanksgiving weekend. Stay tuned for all the wacky freak out fun!

The good thing all that came out of all this is I realized just how awesome the people around me are. They have been so amazingly supportive and wonderful that I get a little mushy just thinking about it.

So hopefully I will get a new job right away and if not I may be churning out projects left and right and blogging so much y'all will get sick of me. Handmade presents for everyone! Seriously I've already told my dad who wants no hand knit wear (blasphemy!) that he is just getting a handful of yarn scraps. I think that's the knitter's version of "I got a rock". Those of you who partook in their annual viewing of "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" know what I'm talking about.

I hope everyone out there's October was much better than mine. Happier, yarn-filled posts to come!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Good Eats

Last week, before it snowed….yeah, you read that right, it snowed here yesterday, big white fluffy flakes coming from the sky for a good part of the day… in October. October!!! It forced me to stay inside and knit and nap and watch Gilmore Girls reruns and Netflix movies. Tragic! Luckily, the snow was all gone when I left for work this morning and by the end of the week it is supposed to be back to more seasonable temperature. Really, I may have some cute cold-weather knits to wear but I am really not ready to bust them out just yet.

Anyway as I was saying before I rudely interrupted myself, last week I got the chance to see
Alton Brown host of cooking/food science/ pop culture skewering TV show Good Eats It was a family outing, as I went with my mom and brother-in-law. My sister was supposed to come too but was feeling a bit under the weather.

Since it is kind of hard to do a reading from a cooking/ behind the scenes book he just took questions from the crowd. Both Charley and I got to ask him questions. Mine was about his favorite food writers. His favorite is John Thorne, if I remember the name correctly. I instantly forgot it after he said it then remembered it again and forgot it again and finally had to do a wikipedia search today of all food writers until I recognized the name. Seriously I am getting old. I will have to check out his work at the library. Charley’s question which was “If you could switch shows with anyone else on The Food Network who would it be?” was much funnier than mine since it led to some gentle mocking of Semi -Homemade Host Sandra Lee. Alton Brown is very funny and quick and it was much more like seeing a comedian than a chef.

Here's a some of him signing books after the reading. I tried but I just could not get a good photo of him during the reading; the theatre it was held in was way too dimly lit for my puny camera to get a good shot.

I'm excited there seem to be a whole bunch of authors I like coming to town in the next few weeks and this Saturday is the Boston Book Festival with a whole slew of signings, readings and other events.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Preparing for an Early Winter...

It has become cold awfully early this year, seriously it was in the 30s this morning! It's a good thing I finished up my latest project so my head will stay toasty warm.

My sister had given me some of her leftover weaving yarn cones and they've been hanging out in my stash for a while. It seemed to be fingering weight-ish and the red and cream colors were really similar to the yarn I had used in my Anatolian Mittens. I decided I needed a matching but not really matching hat. It's stranded and red and white but otherwise a completely different design.

So here is my Selbu Modern, a wonderful free pattern that can be located right here at Kelbourne Woolens. It's a really well-written pattern and the only modifications I made were to go up in needle size because I have both a big head with lots of hair and seem to knit my stranded work pretty tight and it all always seems to run a bit small. This time it came out just the right size and I am really thrilled with it.

This picture is of the side design.


And I was delightfully surprised by how the top comes together in a giant star/snowflake thingie.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Columbus Day!!

I don't get Columbus Day off from work. I don't know about celebrating the "discovery" of a country that clearly had been already discovered by the people who lived here. But there is one tradition of Columbus Day weekend that I love. Windsor Button, my LYS, has their annual sale every Columbus Day weekend and that means all yarn is 20% off! I also had a couple of gift certificates hanging out on my fridge waiting for just the right day.

After lots of yarn fonding, I came home with these lovelies. Apparently I am in my blue period.


On the top is Cherry Hill Supersock Merino. Then clockwise is Malabrigo Worsted in Indigo and Malabrigo Silky Merino in Indiecita. The Silky Merino just called to me. I have no idea what I am going to make with it but I just had to have it. Really- I had to have it.

Enjoy your Columbus Day, I hope it involves soft gorgeous yarn.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October Already?

Hello everyone out there!

I seem to have fallen off the face of the blog for the past few weeks. Sorry 'bout that. For over a week I was in a truly crappy mood and seem to hate everyone. The mood has since passed and I am again my sweet and charming self. (That noise you hear right there- is my sister choking on something.) Anyway...while in that foul mood I also came down with some weird Knitter's Block. I couldn't figure out what to cast on next and everything I started was frogged soon after. I did managed to knit a few squares for the Pine Street Inn Knit-A-Thon so at least something got accomplished.

Good news - remember the Endpaper Mitts that I finished and wasn't really thrilled about? I brought them to Stitch n Bitch and I had my friend Laurel try them on. They looked great on her - truly great, like they were made just for her. Maybe they were? Maybe the knits knew more than then knitter? Hmmmm...

A few weeks back I went to the first meeting of the season of the Common Cod Fiber Guild, where the speaker was Kristin Nicholas discussing The Joy of Color. It was really a great talk. Kristin does great things with color (duh!) but also combining knitting and embroidery. I have in my craft book library, her embroidery book and I really should get around to do a project from it. The photos in her slide show were just gorgeous and she brought samples from her new book coming out (next person I know who has a baby is getting a sweet baby blanket from that book) and Kristin hung out and chatted afterwards and answered all sorts questions.

The CSA windfall continues....the early season greens have now given way to an abundance of eggplants, potatoes, butternut squash, melon, peppers and kale yes the kale is back...I am roasting a bunch of eggplants and peppers as I type.

My cousin, future magazine editor and style maven has taken my theory, Bacon, it's the new Cupcake, and run with it in this post on her blog. Yeah, there's a bacon bra, which makes me feel good since no matter how weird I am there will always be weirder out there.

I have cast on a new project, I'm back to my stranded ways so hopefully I will have some photos in the next post. Happy October! Or Socktober for those who are into such things.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Endpaper Mitts

I was working on a project that I had to put aside to knit up Scarfy, another popular pattern the Endpaper Mitts. I used Valley Yarns Huntington yarn from WEBS. I am of mixed feelings on this project - I don't think the colors I used contrasted enough to make it "pop" enough for my taste. I may have to try again with another color combo. I may also go up a needle size since they are supposed to be on the tight-ish side but I want them a wee bit bigger. But it was a good project since it taught me a new technique the Italian Tubular Cast On which I can see myself using on many mittens in the future.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Phiaro for Paris

Remember a few posts back I said how I bought that beautiful Tilli Tomas red silk yarn for a gift for someone else? It is an early birthday present for my sister. She is turning a BIG birthday this year (ya know the kind that ends with a "0" or a "5"?) So for this big birthday she decided she wanted to go to Paris. I started thinking about it and decided she needed a chic scarf for this trip.

We looked at patterns on ravelry and narrowed it down to a few. This was not going to be a surprise gift, I figured she deserved to get exactly what she wanted and it was a good thing because she chose the Phiaro Scarf which I probably wouldn't have picked myself. A simple pattern with an interesting construction made it knit up pretty quick. The only strange part is that you end up dropping more than half the stitches you knit. It came out beautifully and has a such a great drape and my sister loved it.

I didn't get a chance to take any good photos of the scarf before my sister left so I made her promise to take some pictures of it in Paris. In fact, being the younger sister that I am I bugged the crap out of her that I wanted to see the Scarf at the Louvre, the Scarf at the Arch de Triomphe etc... and oh, she could be in the pictures too if she wanted.

Well, she is in Paris at this very moment and with the wonders of modern technology I have learned that Scarfy is enjoying itself and my niece is planning to write a story detailing its adventures in Paris.

Phiaro Scarf2
Scarfy with a view of The Eiffel Tower

Phiaro Scarf3
Scarfy at The Louvre

Phiaro Scarf1
M & M & Scarfy

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fresh from the Farm and Feeling Googly

I could take normal photos of this week's haul from the CSA but I am feeling a bit goofy today (ah hell, I'm pretty goofy most days). It's in the 90s and I have no air-conditioning so I am pleading temporary insanity based on melted brains.

So here is just some of what I got today.

DSCN1504 DSCN1505 DSCN1513
DSCN1506 DSCN1511

Don't worry no fruits or vegetables were harmed during this filming. Although the tomato and cucumber are headed for the food processor for a yummy asian gazpacho and I may be a total masochist and turn on the oven to make an a small eggplant parmigiana.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Post #111 aka I am blanking on a cute title

My sister and I were talking today about how we're not really good with change. There's a lot of change in the works around us; new schools, friends moving away etc...I told her how I was heading to Haymarket after work to pickup ingredients for some weekend cooking and I that I never want Haymarket to change. I want it to stay it's slightly grungy self with guys yelling "Two fer a dollah!, two fer a dollah", who get pissed when you manhandle the fruit and how some days you need to push your way through the crowd in the bottle necked, narrow section. It's not farmers market pretty, it's Haymarket and some things shouldn't change.

So after work I got a bit sidetracked by walking a co-worker to South Station. He was about to take a bus and a subway instead of the 10 minute walk from our office since he didn't know that "route" (he kept calling it a "route") and didn't trust my directions (walk down street, turn right, see bus station, walk to it) without consulting Google Maps and already had shut down his PC. (Right now Non-Crafty Meg is shouting "That's why you, meaning everyone, should have an iphone!") So I offered to walk him there since it was such a nice evening.

Since I was now at South Station my walk to Haymarket was now different and I found myself walking along the
Rose Kennedy Greenway. And that's where I suddenly saw it. A carousel. A carousel in downtown Boston. It was strange and wonderful and made stop dead in my tracks with a silly smile on my face. I will admit I do tend to steer away from the Fanueil Hall area when it is high tourist season but how did I miss this for so long? And why was it not there when I was a kid? I could imagine myself looking back fondly "remember when we got to ride the carousel whenever we got dragged to Haymarket and Mom made us carry heavy melons?"

Maybe a little change isn't so bad.

I had almost reached my destination when two women, tourists, asked me where to find, as they put it, "the italian area". I took this to mean
The North End. And as I motioned to them where to go I looked over at where the ugly Expressway had been prior to The Big Dig and I was surprised as I always am that it's not there. Instead you are actually able to see the sky and there are parks and it's pretty. Hmmm....more non-evil change.

So I wish there was a moral here, like I am now embracing change, when life hands you lemons and yada yada yada. But really? Me? I am just a complex gal who likes her city cleaned up, some, but not so much that it loses its charm and becomes a giant mall. I want outdoor cafes but am frightened by the sheer number of Panera's that seem to have sprouted up overnight. I embrace technology and wallow in nostalgia. And I will always, always love a merry-go-round.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

American Beauty and a Pizza

I mentioned in my last post that I bought some gorgeous yarn while visiting New York. I stopped in at Purl Soho which is such a delightful store. Something about the way the yarn is arranged is so visually pleasing. It just bursts with color and I only wish I could have stayed longer, but alas I was with Non-Crafty Meg and could only subject her to so such much fawning over yarn.

I went to Purl with a mission. I was looking for bamboo or silk in red. The staff at the store was amazingly helpful and soon I was fondling this gorgeous Tilli Tomas 100% silk in American Beauty colorway. I have never seen this yarn before it is just lovely. I just love it and it's mine all mine!!! (Insert cackling laugh here.) Oh wait, actually it's not really mine for long, I bought it for a gift for someone. I guess now that I have stated that here I guess I can't even keep it for myself.

American Beauty

Now for a "what I've been cooking from my CSA haul update". This week saw the return of the beet risotto, a bacon, squash and chard quiche and this white pizza with artichoke and chard. The pizza was yummy but the taste of the veggies kind of got lost in the cheese and dough. But that's really okay because it's cheese and dough!! Yummy!!

Artichoke and Chard Pizza

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hot Time in the City

It's a warm Friday night in the city and what am I up to? Laundry! And I am just fine with that. I was away the past few weekends and now my naturally homebody-self is happily sitting at home catching up on shows on the DVR and my Netflix.

I spent the 4Th of July weekend up in Maine where we picked strawberries, made strawberry daiquiris, strawberry and sponge cake and strawberry pancakes. All wonderful until I realized by the end of the weekend I have developed a strawberry allergy and had to hit the store for antihistamine and calamine lotion. I like to think that maybe my body couldn't handle the strawberry overload and I am really not allergic. I do love my denial.

This past weekend I went to New York City to visit Non-Crafty Meg for her birthday. We packed a whole lot into one weekend. We saw
The Hangover (hilarious - but not for those who dislike profanity and ribald humor) then over to Serendipity for a late dinner and their famous frozen hot chocolate.

Frozen Hot Chocolate


We had lunch at Justin Timberlake's bar-b-q restaurant with my cousin who is interning at a magazine in NYC for the summer. A loooooot of walking around and much drinking of iced coffee, a quick visit to the
Museum of Arts and Design, where the current exhibit The Art of Industrial Ceramics was very cool and is there until Sept 13 so check it out if you're in the city.

Columbus Circle (photo taken from outside the Museum of Arts and Design)
Columbus Circle

That night we went to see "The Tempermentals" starring
Michael Urie from Ugly Betty. He and the entire cast were just wonderful! A really great and interesting play. Another must see if you're visiting the city. And who was in the audience just a few rows away - Joan Rivers!

The celeb spotting continued all weekend as saw one of the kids from Gossip Girl and an actress from One Life to Live on the street. The next night we went to Rock of Ages (fabulously cheesetastic in an 80s music kind of way) I won the ticket lottery and got a sweet seat in the 2nd row! and who was there but Phil Collins! The play stared one of the folks from American Idol but since I have never watched it (yeah I am one of those 10 people) I don't count him in my celeb sightings. Meg says she saw Pierce Brosnan at a cafe in Soho the next day but I missed it so I can't corroborate that sighting.

I did squeeze in a visit to a yarn store but the yarn I bought there is soooo pretty that it may deserve a post of its own and I haven't taken pictures of it yet.

Besides the yarn I picked up these super cute appetizer plates at
CB2 that were recently mentioned at decor8. I bought them before Meg pointed out the decor8 post to me. I am just soooo trendy, ha! (Hear that Marsy I'm hip!)

CB2 plates

Whew, by the end of the weekend I was exhausted and my feet were a wee bit sore but we had a great time and I think Meg's birthday was celebrated in style. But now I am happily loafing on the sofa watching summer tv.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Everyone Gets The Clap Sooner or Later

Stop being so dirty you know I mean The Clapotis.

The amazingly popular pattern that is one of the most knit patterns out there. As I write this there are 11,847 projects on ravelry. I finally know why. I really enjoyed knitting it. East to memorize, with just enough detail to keep the miles of stockinette from getting too tedious. Plus, you get to drop stitches - on purpose!!
The only drawback was the yarn I used. Berroco Softwist is a wee bit splitty. I love the shine the rayon gives but it took a whole lot more concentration while knitting to keep it from splitting.

Now I am already thinking about knitting another...maybe some variegated sock yarn.

I asked my favorite model, to pose for the photos of the project. I may have to knit her a kid-sized version.



Sunday, June 28, 2009

Knit Your Bit

As long time readers may remember I was given a poster by my folks a while ago of Knitting Girl, a vintage poster for a french store. I wasn't so sure how I felt about her then but soon after I came to love her, she's my avatar, my knitting alter-ego and even design inspiration for my front entry room (I picked up the red of her chair for rugs etc....)

So I was searching around for other knitting related posters a few weeks back and I came across this one that really caught my eye. It's a reproduction of a Red Cross poster used during World War I around 1918. I like the irony in the fact that I don't knit socks and this poster is telling me, no ordering me to so. We'll see, I'd hate to be unpatriotic. Oh, and the fact that the yellow background of the poster is the exact same color as the walls of my office/craft room is just the icing on top. I am pretty impressed with myself in the fact that I got the poster in the mail and bought a frame and hung it up within days. I am usually a horrible procrastinator and let things sit unframed and unhung for months at a time.

Knit Your Bit poster

And just for fun here is a glamour shot of this week's CSA goodies. I am all about the greens now. Or it could just be that I love anything sauteed with olive oil and garlic. I off to start looking for some radish recipes and I'll check out Ariel's blog who is linking to recipes she may use for our veggie haul. It's good to have friends who read foodie blogs.


Monday, June 22, 2009

We Got the Beet

I have been MIA from the blog again. I got all thrown when I caught pneumonia the end of May/beginning of June. I am all better now and I feel like I got better pretty quickly for pneumonia but all in all not a fun experience. I was so tired while I was sick that I couldn't even knit. I do have one project that I need to post about but Boston has been in the middle of this icky, rainy cycle that seems to appear anytime I think about taking photos.
Just to give you a clue what I knit I can say that it is probably one of the most popular patterns out there and there are over 11,000 projects on ravelry. I do have one picture of it - an action shot taken from the Paw Sox Stitch n Pitch last month (amazing what I forget is on the camera)


I am also really excited about the farm CSA that I joined with my knitta Ariel. We had our first pick up yesterday and I now swimming in greens; kale, chard, arugula, lettuce, beets, curly cress and strawberries (well, the strawberries are actually gone already - they were so wonderfully tasty and sweet that I gobbled them up.

Ariel took some gorgeous veggie eye candy photos so check them out here. I found a yummy sounding recipe for beet risotto with greens and goat cheese and since I was spending Father's Day with my family last night, Ariel beet me to it (oh, bad pun!) and let me know that it good so I made it tonight.


Saturday, May 16, 2009


I took Friday off and joined my sister and brother-in-law at the monster antique-fest know as Brimfield. It is just fields and fields of antiques and junk.

We started off with clearly our most important purchase of the day. Amazingly silly matching rings for my sister and I, which gave us amazing Wonder Twin powers. Luckily my brother-in-law is a patient man 'cause my sis and I are together since we can be a wee bit goofy.


I had a few things I was looking for, for some DIY project ideas that are bumping around in my head. I got some vintage hooks, an old key and this great and amazingly heavy rotary phone.

My sister and hubby scored some great art pieces that are sure to look amazing in their already well-decorated home.

Marsy shows off her new Colman's Mustard poster.

While Charley's new game board will be a welcome addition to his collection.

I kept an eye out for knitting and fiber related items, but the $200 sterling silver knitting needles and the $700 whale bone swift from the 1800's were a bit out of my budget.

I did spot this spinning wheel....

I just love the amazing colors of these weaving bobbins.



Then literally moments after commenting on the lack of fiber goodness I stumble across - Yarn!!! A woman was selling some of her friend's yarn from Ragtime Farm in New Hampshire. Her friend does it all - raises sheep and goats cards the wool, spins, dyes etc...ya know I just had to support that. So I picked up this lovely hand-painted sportweight merino. The photo does not do it justice but it is just a gorgeous mix of blues and greens.


By the end of the day, my feet were sore, my arms a bit sunburnt and I was beyond exhausted but it was all totally worth it for such a great time.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Just a quick pop-in to finally post some knitting! I finished this scarf for my mom a few weeks back for but of course blocked it at the last possible moment to give it to her today for Mother's Day. Here's my version of Liesel, knit in Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool. I love the way lace looks when it's done but too bad it is so not my style to wear. I guess I'll just have to keep knitting it for gifts.


Friday, April 24, 2009

I'm Still Alive

I have been a bad, bad blogger. At first I didn't blog because I hadn't taken any photos of my knitting in progress. Then I realized that my next post, this post, would be my 100th. That's a cause for celebration, a momentous moment. There should be balloons, confetti, something. But alas I have nothing special prepared. Maybe I'll do something for my 111th post, I like repeating numbers.

So what have I been up to in this past month? Not too much knitting. I am working on a lace-y scarf for my mom for mother's day but I have to say I am not enthralled by it. But the good thing is that I have gotten back in gear what it comes to going to the gym. A few of my knittas have joined my gym and we've actually been meeting up and going! That really is the hard part for me - going, I am the queen of excuses but I would never bail on someone else (only myself, hmmmm.)

I promise to get back into the blogging spirit for the month of May.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Is this Another Chicken Joke?

Dear Yarn Stash,

I am sorry for being so bitchy this week. Really I don't hate you. I don't think you are ugly. I don't want to get new yarn to replace you (well....we won't talk about that) I was just having a hard time figuring out what to cast on next. I grabbed that nice skein of Silky Wool and really I tried to start that cowl but it just wasn't happening. So I scoured and scoured ravelry until I found something completely silly that made me smile. And I did use some of your lovely stash. So I think the knitting funk that I was in for a few days has passed. Thank you for putting up with me.


So what knocked me out of this short-lived funk, as I approached the first day of Spring with grey dreary days and temps that kept hovering in the 30s? A Spring Chicken!

Spring Chicken Close-Up

He is just adorable, I love him and he brings out the truly silly in me. As I knit him up I could not stop the chicken jokes. I finished his body, I nibbled on him and said "Mmmm...tastes just like chicken". Then I knit up his feet and played imaginary dim sum cart, "Chicken Feet? No thanks, are the pork buns coming around?" I knit up his tail feathers and of course he did a little dance shaking his tail feathers. There were quite a few crossings of the road or in this case the ottoman.

Yeah, there's a chance I may have lost it a little bit but don't worry I am not going to be that crazy lady totally surrounded by stuffed animals. Spring Chicken has an adventure planned for him so stay tuned.

To be continued.....

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Year of Fiber

Did you know that 2009 has been designated International Year of Natural Fibres by the UN? I didn't think so. I learned all about it from my very own fiber farm (I am a shareholder after all) the Martha's Vineyard/Hudson Valley Fiber Farm.

Susan also has some cool links to events going on in conjunction with The Year. Or if you just need a pick-me-up check out the link for one of the cutest lamb faces I've ever seen. Or is it a goat? Reason # 104 why I am not a shepherd I can't tell if it's a goat or a sheep! So I better support those who can......

Monday, March 9, 2009

Birthday Fairies

As is my tradition, I make my niece's birthday presents. Except for when she turned 3. But hell, with 4 out of 5 I am at an 80% handmade gift percentage, not bad. Did I mention I am a bit of a number dork? Anyway...my niece has moved out of the princess phase and into the fairy phase. Really, princesses are so last year.

The girl does not need anymore stuffed animals but since they just re-painted her room I figured she could use some room decor. Growing up I had all sorts of stuff hanging from my ceiling; origami birds, model planes, mobiles and a bunch of other stuff. So I decided to make some fairies to hang from her ceiling. I thought I gave myself a lot of time but A) I never give myself enough time and B) I got sick. So sick in fact that I didn't even have the energy to craft. I had knit up a bunch of small knitted dolls using this pattern.

But at the point I got sick all I had were a bunch of naked dolls. So I pulled an almost all-nighter to sew some outfits and wings for them. No this is not the first time I have seen the wee-hours in order to finish one of her gifts. Adults can handle a late gift but really try explaining to someone under 2 feet tall without feeling horrible.

Naked Dolls
Before They Were Fairies

The outfits came out okay, some are cuter than others but they were bald. Really do you realize how frakkin' long it takes to sew hair on a doll? The hair does look like it was done at 3am by someone a bit whacked on decongestant. They are a bit weird looking but I like to think of them as sort of Monet-ish and there are meant to look better from farther away then up close. But most importantly, they were received well and hopefully will keep good watch over her as she sleeps.

Blue and Green Fairies
The Blue and Green Fairies hang out with my plants.

Pink Fairy

The Funky Fuschia Fairy gets into my vintage knitting needles.

Purple Fairy
The Purple Fairy says "Auntie Sarah you really ought to clean your house a bit more...."

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Treat for My Feet

I decided I needed some quick stash-busting knitting after my mittens. I had some leftover yarn from the Icewine Mittens and figured a cute pair of slippers would be just the thing to use it up. So I cast on for this cute Mary Jane slippers, no problems. I knit a whole slipper, no problems. Finish the sole of the second and then, yup, I run out of yarn.

I check the Knitpicks site and of course the color was not going to be back in stock until mid-March. Well that seems like an awful long wait for a quick knit. So I check out ravelry to see if anyone has that colorway to trade. Nope. I post a note on the destash boards, no luck. Then I look at Knitpicks again and surprise! the color is back in stock. But we're talking about a $2 ball of yarn and it seems silly to pay more for shipping than stuff so clearly I need to buy more stuff! I start throwing things into my shopping cart; yarn, cables for my interchangables...

Wait! This is crazy I am trying to thin out the leftovers from my stash not add just to save on shipping with things I don't love or need! So I revisit the stash, find some Mission Falls 1824, also in purple, from the time I frogged that poncho. Really I should have left my knit poncho wearing days to the ones my grandma made me when I was a kid. Ah, the 70's......

So now do I frog the slipper and a half I already made or just throw them into the abyss of Knitting Projects Gone Wrong? Neither, I did the blasphemous and threw them away. Gasp! Throw yarn away!?! Yes, I did. In my quest for order and simplicity in my home I could see no point in holding on to them. They were not worth the effort or the end-results to salvage the yarn so they had an "unfortunate accident" and met their maker. "Unfortunate accident" is the euphemism I use to describe the fate of items that end up in the dumpster. I have been given enough random stuff from my folks that needed trashing over the years that I needed a euphemism. Before you go thinking I am ungrateful brat it was more like "We don't care what you do with it but we want it out of our house" type stuff.

So with first slippers gone, I restarted and whipped out these super-cute slippers. I just love applied i-cord it makes edges look so finished. I may have to make another set in cotton for the summer. Let me go look at the stash to see if I have enough....

Mary Janes 2

Mary Janes