Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Matching Hands and Feet

Stripey Chevron MittsAutumn in New England is ever-changing; crisp days, cool nights, a freak snow storm (seriously that was not cool - I am not ready for snow). I thought before I had to bust out the serious hand knits that I would be able to use these new mitts at least a little. Actually I have been wearing them more indoors than out. I have one of those apartments with steam radiator heat and if it's not cold outside then the heat doesn't kick in and the apartment is just a bit nippy. These mitts do the trick, keep my hands warm but fingers free for typing, fast-forwarding thru commercials on the DVR etc....
The pattern is Elphaba knit in Knitpicks Felici. I am such a sucker for self-striping yarn. Super straight-forward pattern and the only mod I made was to add an additional 12 stitches since I have big hands. They fit great. I would show you in a picture but it is freakishly hard to take a photo of your own hands.

They took just about a skein to knit and then I was left with another skein just sitting there mocking me. So I decided to make a pair of anklets. While I was pretty precise in getting the mitts to match I didn't really care on the socks. I knit these toe-up because I wasn't sure how far my yarn would go and since the anklets were going to be pretty easy I figured I may as well try out an afterthought heel for the first time to up my degree of difficulty as it were. It was not hard to do at all really and it keeps the striping going unlike a big heel flap.

Check out my brand spanking new sock blockers I picked up on my recent trip to Webs.

Abracadabra Anklets

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I Was a Knitting Moron

I present  my Coralicious Socks knit in the Piedmont Wildsocks yarn I bought while in California. They really should not have taken as long as they did but I had a touch of the moron that slowed down their creation. I tried knitting them as Artichoke socks and after knitting over 4 inches there was no denying it they looked like crap. Maybe the yarn was meant to be toe-up socks so I tried Victory Socks - about 3 inches knit, again crap. Seriously what was going wrong?   Was I screwing up when doing a yarn over between a knit and purl stitch? So I hit the you tube videos and the truth was enlightening and embarrassing. Somehow I had forgotten how to do a simple yarn over. I had been doing them in the wrong direction. I have done yarn overs before, lots of them. No problems. Honestly!

So I started fresh with the frogged yarn rewound and a new pattern picked out. And lo and behold - not crap!

Coralicious Socks

Coralicious Socks 2
I know I've mentioned before how freaky my feet are but seriously check out how much wider my right foot is!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


They are organizing... by Sarahland
They are organizing..., a photo by Sarahland on Flickr.

I am a bit overwhelmed by all the zucchini and squash I am getting in my CSA.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Toe-Up Stripey Goodness

Yay! A finished project. These are my Toe-Up Stripey Noro Socks and I love them. I even kept knitting them higher than I normally wear my socks because I loved seeing the colors change and contrast with the black.

They are far from perfect. there some serious color jag issues in spots and yet, still love them. I love them because they fit just right and because they are my first toe-up socks and because I figured out Judy's Magic Cast-On (which is freakin' brilliant, by the way) and because I knit them while I was visiting Ariel and because the second sock flew off my needles within days and because it was cool that flight attendants would stop by my seat and ask about them and compliment the socks (and therefore me) and because Noro is just so damn pretty. 

The details: Wendy's Fingering Weight Toe-Up Socks with Gusset Heel in Noro Kureyon Sock (left over from my sister's socks) and Valley Yarns Huntington.

Stripey Socks

Stripey Socks at Rest

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sights of San Francisco

I took a whole slew of photos of San Francisco and I thought I'd share a few. If you want to see them all head to my flickr stream here.


Rodin's Thinker at Legion of Honor




Sundae from Fenton's




Friday, June 17, 2011

Knitting Out West

Greetings! I am back from my trip to West Coast to visit the fabulous Ariel. It was my first time to the San Francisco/Oakland area and it was great. A wonderful mix of sight-seeing, eating, imbibing and knitting. Since this is a knitting blog,I figured this first post will focus on the knitting bits.
My first day there we popped into Article Pract in Oakland.  A wonderful store with a large variety of yarn, really helpful staff and they were having a sale. A sale on ALL yarn. Really, it would have been simply rude to not buy anything. (I am all about the good manners.) As much as I love stripey and variegated sock yarns, I realized that for certain patterns I really need to have some nice solid tonal yarns in my stash.  This madelinetosh sock is so soft and the color just so heavenly.

tosh sock

A trip to the Mission had to include a stop at ImagiKnit. A big store with a huge variety of yarns, where I think I was so overwhelmed I walked away empty-handed. But being the good friend that I am, I did find perfect green yarn that she simply I knew Ariel would be unable to resist. I can spot Ariel green's and orange's from a good 15 feet away.

I really wanted "souvenir yarn" something either spun or dyed local so we hit up  Piedmont Yarn for some of their hand-dyed Piedmont Wildsocks. I am pretty certain I already have the pattern chosen for this yarn. Stay tuned...

Piedmont Yarn Hand-Dyed

Even better than the new yarn, it was so wonderful just to hang out with Ariel and knit. It reminded me how much I miss knitting with others.   Our weekly group kind of faded away a while back and while I have seen some of my knittah's socially we haven't sat and knit together for a long time. Ariel and I would pull out our socks and knit all over the place. We scoured projects on ravelry together when we discovered a shawl pattern we loved from someone we met at Article Pract. I may have even have been molested by some of her stash. (I am working hard to repress that memory).   We chatted with one sweet woman on BART whose husband was very well-trained to feign interest in the difference between DPN's and circulars.  Nearly any time we stopped to rest our weary feet out came the knitting. A fellow knitter understands that we are not leaving the cafe in North Beach until I have finished turning the heel.  I loved when one of her friends asked us how we knew each other and Ariel said simply "knitting". The look on his face was one of such confusion, it was priceless.  One evening after a lot of walking, Ariel said "How 'bout wine, knitting and Firefly?" and I could not imagine anything better. 

Sock and A Beer
My sock in progress while enjoying an afternoon beer.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Fabric Napkins with Freezer Paper Stencils

I kept meaning to whip up some cloth napkins but it was one of those fleeting thoughts that never occurred to me when I was someplace that sold fabric. But I actually remembered when I visited Gather Here on their opening day. Gather Here is just adorable; fabric and sewing patterns that makes me wish I was a better sewer, pretty yarn, inviting space to sit and stitch, just a really lovely store. If you're in the Cambridge, Mass area - go there. I was so overwhelmed by all the pretty that it was hard to restrain myself to only buy some fabric that I had an immediate use for.  But I was good and only bought some Kona Cotton in a gorgeous shade that matches the blues in my kitchen just wonderfully.

I can manage to sew a straight line (sort of) so sewing up the napkins wasn't that hard. I think the ironing and pinning took longer than the actual sewing They needed a bit of something so I decided to try freezer paper stencils for the first time.  I made two of a silverware place setting and two of artichokes.  Oddly enough, the artichokes with far more cuts and chances for things to go wrong came out better than the relatively simple silverware. Who knew? 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Gifts for My Niece that Aren't Zoobles

Have you ever seen a Zooble? They are these little round plastic balls that pop out into animals and they were the hip toy for the 6 year-old set this winter. My niece pointed them out to me at a toy store when I asked what she wanted and I took one look at them and said "Yeah, someone else will get you those." And they did. At no point, was the small child deprived of  Zoobles. But to be honest, they creep me out. I am pretty sure if you look at them too long they will try to steal your soul, just sayin'.

So I got her something that I always liked, a kaleidoscope. Actually a  make your own nature kaleidoscope kit. It came with rocks and dried flowers and glass gems but you can change what's in it whenever you want. We put it together over the holidays and it made really pretty views. I wanted to see if I could get a few pics by sticking my camera to the eye hole and it worked.  Here are a few of my favorite shots just because I think they look neat.

Kaleidoscope 4

Kaleidoscope 3

Kaleidoscope 1

Kaleidoscope 2

I also wanted to make something for my niece so she said she wanted a new hat, as long as it had a pompom. I made the Norwegian Star Earflap Hat (a free ravelry download ). It's got a little bit of colorwork but it's a real quick knit that I naturally did not finish in time for the holidays and now I just need to get it to her. I mostly knit the pattern as-is and just made mods on the detail work. I added a single crochet edging, made the ties braids instead of i-cords and added a pompom of course.

Norwegian Star Earflap Hat

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Holy crap, it's been how long?

Whoops, guess who hasn't blogged for a long while? Truth is I didn't have a whole lot to say (insert sister's snickering here) and most of my knitting was for the holidays so I couldn't show anything. But I have re-emerged and hope to blog more often in the new year. I would like to take more photos and cook more in the new year so you may see some fancy pics of beet risotto or at least more veggies with googly eyes.

So now let's do some knitting project catch-up.  A few years back, I knit my brother a scarf. It was a really nice scarf, it had cables and it was the first thing I had ever knit for him. So last year I noticed on a cold day that he wasn't wearing it or any scarf. I mentioned it casually to my mom and she said, "He lost it and he's afraid to tell you". While striking fear into my brother's heart would have at one point given me a sick thrill I guess we both must have matured at some point by not wanting to inflict pain on each other. The scarf was lost on one of those odd Boston days when you walk out of the house and it's cold only to have the temperature swing by 25 degrees in a few hours and having a super long wool scarf wrapped around your neck while on the T (Boston's subway) is torture. So the scarf somehow disappeared and joined the ranks of other things gone missing on the T, I myself must have contributed half a dozen umbrellas to the T lost & found over the years. So my brother got a new scarf, the Shale Pleated Scarf knit in Ultra Alpaca.  It has a really nice texture when knit up and the only mods I made were to knit it on needles one size down to make it a bit denser to block out the winter winds. The color is a much darker navy than what appears in the photo.

Shale Pleated Scarf

For my brother-in-law, I knit a pair of the Pirate Mittens (it's a free download on ravelry) to go with last year's pirate hat. I followed the pattern to go up in yarn size and I went up in needles and they still won't fit him unless we cut off his fingers down a knuckle or two. So I officially owe him a project of his choosing. Maybe a nice scarf perhaps? They tend to fit well. Something silly and geek related?  So here are photos of the too-small mittens which I am sure someone will wear...someday. 
Pirate Mittens 
Pirate Mittens Back

I decided my sister would appreciate the gift of hand-knit socks. There was a bit of a false start, it's amazing how a nice yarn and a good pattern can result in something that gives you motion sickness while knitting it. I knit about an itch into the pattern saying "she'll either love it or hate it but I sure as hell hate it" and had to stop. So putting that yarn aside for another day, I went back to one of those basic yarn facts, my sister loves her some Noro and she loves stripey socks. So off to Mind's Eye Yarn I went to pick up Noro Sock yarn. While there Lucy reminded me why LYS' are so awesome by helping me split my skein into halves. What was likely to have been stressful and frustrating at home (Noro sock yarn twists onto itself a lot)  was a much more pleasant experience in her cozy shop chatting with other knitters . (Note to self: a scale for yarn would be awful handy to have).  The socks don't match each other at all but luckily for me I know that my sister probably prefers totally mismatched stripes. 

Stripey Socks