Saturday, January 22, 2011

Radio Silence

I couldn't help but notice you haven't posted anything in a while.
Yes, very astute observation, person who speaks in italics.  Such is the curse of a  s.e.c.r.e.t  p.r.o.j.e.c.t  -- by definition, I can't talk about it with any frequency, and the soon-ish nature of the deadline means that I've been going great guns on the knitting front.  With any luck I'll be done by, well, tonight.  :)

I submit to you, as proof, a border:
The addition of white, apropos of nothing

Funny, the camera thought the background baby toy should definitely be the focus of this shot.  Oh well.  Adds to the mystery, donnit!

The border, incidentally, is being accomplished on five circular needles, round-robin dpn style.  Because it's 2011, mofo.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

By request: Italian bolero

So this pattern isn't Italian -- neither is the yarn -- nor the knitter!  I call it the Italian Bolero because I made it specifically to coordinate with a dress I was bringing on an extended visit to Italy in mid-fall 2009. We walked about in Venice and Rome and drove the winding mountain roads in Tuscany... sooooo beautiful.

My intention with the bolero was coverage without suggesting austerity; I also didn't want something that would take five million years to knit.

Bamboo Bolero by Lincraft
knit with 4 skeins Crystal Palace Yarns Panda Silk Solid in 3012 Spruce

I didn't quite follow the pattern on the edging.  That is, I would have followed the pattern if I wasn't so flippin ready to be done with the thing.  The fingering weight yarn and the size US3 needles were, at the time, the tiniest, fiddliest materials I had used.  So there is the matter of "Rep last 5 rounds twice"... yeah, completely ignored that.  And I bound off too tightly.  Whatev.  It's done.  I wore it in Florence -- BOOYAH.

And I still wear it!
Jewel tones win all the prizes.

Oooh, sleeve detail
The color in these photos are much truer, thanks to natural light.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The promise of progress

The Ballad of Alexandra Brinck's Fishtail Wristwarmers (Rav link)

Wednesday morning: size US2 double pointed needles; Rowan RYC Cashsoft 4 Ply in 430 Loganberry

Wednesday night

Thursday night

Friday night

Today... finished the first one!  Pictures will need to wait until I'm done with the second because, well, I'm too lazy to break out the camera again.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Look what I just got!

First and last new yarn of the year!!!
 Imma make Alexandra Brinck's Fishtail Wristwarmers (Rav link)!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Shameless bragging about presents

Present 1: to me
I have three brothers, and I now offer you evidence that my brother M knows me very well:
Yay for Christmas!

Wacky? Definitely.
Baby? Hey, I have one of those!
Knits? Yes, please.

This is way too fun.  Some of the patterns are not my cuppa tea, but others... fuzzy Monster Booties, with red claws?  I'm so there!  And I'm making a pair in my size next!

Present 2: from me
Like any late-20-something Midwesterner worth her salt, I am friends with many women named Sarah; my oldest Sarah friend (she's not the oldest age-wise, but I've known her the longest) is moving back there from here this weekend.  She is off to start a new career (-ahem- LIBRARIANSHIP!!) and I wish her nothing but the best.  In the 20+ years I've known her, I can't remember that we've ever fought about anything, which is saying a lot for two strong-willed women!

So in honor of my friend, I've knit a shawlette that, unfortunately, is now doing quintuple duty as a double-birthday/double-Christmas/going-away present, since (I'm ashamed to say) the actual knitting on Little Fox in the Leaves has been done for over a year (most knit while unwittingly pregnant in Italy).  BUT I couldn't truly call a piece of lacework "finished" until it had been -gulp- blocked.  And now comes the reason for my stalling, because... you see...  I've never blocked anything.

I mean, not really, no.  I haven't.  I've run superwash merino through the washer and dryer.  But I've never blocked anything for reals, yo, with the measuring and the pinning and Sammy can't take a nap because there's a wet afghan tacked to the bedspread.  And even now...  not really.  But baby steps were taken!  I properly wet the piece, properly squished the water out without wringing the fabric, properly smoothed the shawl flat on a towel on my workroom floor... but it's no particular size and I didn't definitely pin it at all.  Reprehensible!

But I think it still looks gorram fabulous:
Woodland Shawl by Nikol Lohr
knit with 1 skein of Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball in 1702 Kleiner Fuchs (Google translates as "Small Tortoiseshell," but my skein said "Little Fox," so it's more righter) from LYS A Tangled Skein

I will miss you, my dear friend; it's been so great to reconnect with you on this side of the country.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bamboo-tiful: a love list

Bamboo is awesome and here's why:

1) Bamboo and bamboo blend yarn is genius.
Renewable, soft, smooth, itch-free, hypo-allergenic, anti-bacterial, breathable, shiny!
I need this in my hands right now

2) Bamboo is the best material for knitting needles.
Durable, but not as loud, cold, or slippery as metal; flexible and lightweight, but not as slow as wood; prettier and more warp-resistant than plastic

3) Pandas eat it.  Cute.
Having a nosh

4) People eat it.  Yum.
Hungry now?

Photo credits to the following Flickr users: allie in stitches, David Schroeter, Piper K, and puamelia -- thank you for allowing reuse (with attribution, noncommercial, no derivatives)!  It makes my librarian heart happy!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Opinions needed!!

OK.  So.  I've been working on a  s.e.c.r.e.t  p.r.o.j.e.c.t  since mid-October and it's been going... but not nearly fast enough.  It's not "due" until late February and I had thought I would have the time to shift focus to other, more Decemberly knitting.  But no, I am not yet halfway finished and it's reeeeeally boring me (for those unfamiliar with the joys of garterlac, you can read about my project research here... but even that is boring).

I'm a little at-a-loss regarding my next move; please help me via the poll at the top of the page:
Let's say you = me.  What would you do?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Bonne Année, ever'body!

Let's get started on the obligatory holiday recap, shall we?  I have arrived back home from whence I grew up; it's been called America's breadbasket, Middle America, and more unfortunately, The Heartland or the flyover.  Yes, I'm one of those statistics who grew up in the middle of the country and moved to an edge to "make it big" in the star-studded world of libraries.  Anyway, taking an infant on a train ride overnight across half the U.S. was both more and less difficult than I thought it would be.  She slept well... when she slept.  And when she was awake, she was in a great mood, prior to hour 13 of each 16+ hour ride.  Everyone loved her and agreed she was the most adorable baby on the planet.

The trip afforded much less knitting time than I had anticipated, and I just barely finished my semi-secret impulse project, a Seamless Baby Kimono sweater (design by Jacki Kelly), knit with Lion Brand LB Collection Superwash Merino (100% Superwash Merino) in Sky.  I hope the super-new baby's mama will take a picture of him in it when it fits (he's so tiny!), but until then, here's Punkin in her green version:
crying baby, lovely sweater
Three months later, it still technically fits!

The day after Christmas was the debut of Punkin's baptismal duds; she was dressed, and promptly fell asleep:
comfiness makes for zonking out

The FOs are the Lacy Scallops Christening Gown designed by Judy Lamb and the DROPS bonnet in ”Alpaca."  Both are knit with KnitPicks Comfy Sport in white.  The gown fit perfectly -- which was super lucky, since she wasn't patient enough to try it on beforehand!  I decided not to block the gown, for fear of a major change in shape, so she got white fuzz on everyone who held her:

I've cropped my mother's face out on her request: no makeup on!  I didn't make the booties -- no tiny dpns to be found -- no great loss, since one can't see her feet anyway.

The completion of the holiday season marks my return to  s.e.c.r.e.t  p.r.o.j.e.c.t  knitting in earnest; the deadline approaches faster than the knitting progresses, soooo that's a problem.  Wish me luck!