Saturday, March 31, 2012

Yeah, It's Been a Bit

...but I assure you, I have been busy.  After all, I did knit more than 2.5 shawls this month.  Soooo while the last in the Spring Shawl Trifecta is blocking, I'm using this evening to have a big ol' glass of red wine and take advantage of my new digital scale (not so new, but new enough that I haven't mentioned it on here.  I think).  It will be quite satisfying to have correct yardage totals logged into my Rav stash...  which is why I'm a librarian, I guess. Information!!

And just so I don't leave you photo-less:
This terrifying plastic creature was spotted on the lawn at my place of employment and I gotta say: it scared me terrif.  So many questions.  Why does the tail look not-plastic?  Is he about to pounce?  Is he pooping?  Is the poop also plastic?  Seriously, what is the purpose of this monstrosity?  Initial guesses include "to scare the geese away" and "to keep lunch breaks short."

Saturday, March 24, 2012

KATM + PR: Love and Other Drugs

Anne Hathaway + Jake Gyllenhaal + Viagra + Parkinson's + comfy sweaters = Love and Other Drugs.  Let's begin, shall we?

Maggie's Black and White Toque
Full disclosure: chicken before the egg.  I found the pattern for this hat serendipitously, which prompted me to add LAOD to the KATM queue ASAP.  Me FTW?
Sometimes a picture of a hat is enough to change the course of your afternoon, what can I say.  Also: I want this hair on my head now.
free!  Love and Other Drugs movie Hat [Rav link] by Nancy Fry

Maggie's Black and White Cardi
Where is this movie set?  Pittsburgh.  And Maggie is an artsy photog type.  That combo assures sweaters and I wasn't disappointed.
If you must wear overalls (and I'm definitely not saying you must), it helps to pair them with a sweet cardigan and mussed ringlets.
free! French  743 - Veste couture [Rav link] by Bergère de France
Parkham [Rav link] by Martin Storey; Rowan Classic Coast, Book 17 

Maggie's Aran Turtleneck
I mean, look at this gorgeous thing!  I'm talking about the sweater, not the hairstyle.  Have I mentioned that I covet the hair?
Wee pocket flaps!  The cables look squishy and warm -- there's more than enough time to complete this pullover before next winter.
#12 Cabled Pullover [Rav link] by Shiri Mor; $6.00 USD

Maggie's Oatmeal Cardigan
Usually when I refer to an "oatmeal" cardigan, I mean the color alone, but this time the texture is along for the ride.
detail shot
It looks comfy, but boring...  the cables on the pockets save me from falling asleep in a pile of porridge.
Oh yeah, and both of these kinda remindy pattern are free!
knit A Serviceable Sweater [Rav link] by Needlecraft Publishing
crochet New Beginnings Bulky Sweater [Rav link] by Agnes Russell

Rando Senior's Bus Hat
Joke for you: how is this pom pom stocking cap like a newspaper?
Ready to laugh?  It's black and white and red all over!!  GET IT?  Whatevs.  I'm a librarian, not a comedienne.  You're welcome.
This motif would be simple enough to replicate, so here's a kinda remindy free! pattern to start you off.
135-6 Hat with Norwegian pattern [Rav link] by DROPS design

BONUS PATTERNS: Annie's Boobs (not the monkey)
In honor of the realistic shocking nudity in this film (sorry, forgot I was American for a second; movie sex is so much worse than movie violence, amirite? /sarcasm), here are some free! chesticle patterns.
Stand-alone breasts for mastectomy recovery, breastfeeding training, or just having a fiber breast around the house...
Tit Bits [Rav link] by Beryl Tsang
Knitted Breast [Rav link] by Carolyn Westcott
Knitted boob [Rav link] by Marte Fagervik
+ Portuguese Customisable breast [Rav link] Crafts From The Cwtch 
+ Dutch Golden Boob Award [Rav link] by Storm in the Attic
Crochet Breast [Rav link] by Gillian Barclay
Crochet Breast Prosthesis [Rav link] by Jenny King
Faux Boob [Rav link] by Cris Porter
Crochet la Ta-ta [Rav link] by American Girl in Italy
Boob [Rav link] by Jamin Chenault
Crochet Boob [Rav link] by Smeddley
Boob baby beanies for breastfeeding mamas...
+ Danish The Breast Beanie or Boob Hat?! [Rav link] by Irene Birk
Boobie Hat! [Rav link] by Emily Wolf
Newborn Boob Beanie [Rav link] by Scotti Oxford
Adult hat for breast cancer awareness...
knit  Boob Hat [Rav link] by Keena Lindsay
And finally, a knit bra!

Thank you to Jill Factotum for this idea!  :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012


sooooo excited i cant even use capital letters or punctuation

WHOOOO!!!!  OK, I'm back to normal now, after all that.  This is my first custom dye order from Duluth's Three Irish Girls artisan yarn studio, and I have no words to describe the happy dance that took place upon receiving the mail yesterday.

Yarn base? Springvale Sock.  Colorway?  McNamara.  It is exactly as I had hoped, and my hopes were sky high.  Now to find a shawl pattern worthy of this yarn and my Irish grandmother -- I keep changing my mind!  AND a Boye Count 10 Plus knitting gauge.  Spoiled.

So no knitting last night, only winding...

Oh yeah, and Shawls One and Two of the Spring Shawl Trifecta are bound off, blocked, and packed to ship... but that's another story.  :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring is for Growing Things

I think the yarn has outlasted my creativity on the gray shawl, as I'm thisclose to calling myself finished and to binding off "prematurely."

In the pankity pank shawl, the vine section has grown considerably...
as of 3/13/2012
as of 3/17/2012
Can I just block this thing now?  The anticipation -- not to mention the increasing row length -- is killing me!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

FO: Birthday Schmirthday Cowl

Never did blog about this one, sooooo yeah, here it is!

It's the Birthday Schmirthday Cowl, AKA Let’s Do Some Stranded Colorwork Flat in a Cotton/Tencel Blend… open eye, insert fork. I’d write down my notes on this improvisation, but no one’s going to want to repeat this. Trust me.

You see, every purled colorwork row demanded some chiropractic adjustment when completed, lots of tugging excess yarn across each float to remove the slack created.

Messy, tedious, fiddly? Yes.  But it was designed specifically for the needs of my mother-in-law and she's worth it.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Knitwear at the Movies: Never Let Me Go

Sometimes I use books to subtly test my compatibility with people: do we have similar tastes, and will we be friends?  Never Let Me Go, the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, was not one of those books.

Is the book well-written? Absolutely.  Is is a good book?  Well...  I'm not enthusiastic about it, but it's for sure not bad; I can't seem to figure out how I feel about it as a whole.  Would I recommend it to you?  Not without the caveats I just mentioned.

I'm similarly ambivalent after watching the movie.  Is is well cast? Definitely.  Well acted? Undoubtedly.  Do I like it? Well... I don't know?  Evidently I like it enough to watch it twice.  But I've also seen Dumb and Dumber more than once, so that's not saying much.

So: you wanna see a bunch of gray sweaters?

Grrraaaaayyyyyyy.  These poor kids.

The adults in the movie -- teachers and present-day main characters -- get much more interesting knits, thankyouverymuch.

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It's obvious the audience is supposed to identify with Miss Lucy, played by Sally Hawkins, because she has the best sweaters.
Light, bright, alright!  It stands out as airy and comfortable in a world awash with gloom and rigidness.
Kinda Remindy Patterns:
Snowcloud Cardigan [Rav link] by Dorothy Jane; $4.00 USD
Babette [Rav link] by Sarah Hatton; from Rowan's Cocoon Collection

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When Miss Lucy partakes of the gray trend surrounding her, she does so with some fun details, even as she expounds on not-so-fun lectures.
detail shot
There's a honeycomb brick pattern on the shoulders? And a herringbone/chevron pattern down each cardigan front?  I'm not very good at description today, sorry.
Killybegs [Rav link] by Carol Feller; in book Contemporary Irish Knits

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I was very nearly dissuaded by the sea of gray, but these cuffs on Kathy's sweater convinced me that this post was possible.
detail shot
I hope the colorwork (snowflakes!) and the gull eyelet pattern will distract you from poor Carey Mulligan's horrible haircut.

Did you know that if you're generally looking for a cardigan with stranded colorwork, you will find approximately 800 patterns that include stranding at the yoke and/or all-over fair isle and/or simple striping and/or large intarsia motifs, and approximately 15 patterns patterns with stranded colorwork at the wrists and lower hem only?
True story.  (and then I found twenty dollars.)
Not-Even-Slightly-Remindy-but-Kathy-Might-Like-Them Patterns
free!  116-44 Jacket [Rav link] by DROPS design
free!  61-18 Cardigan in Paris with zipper [Rav link] by DROPS design

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Random Girl at The Cottages (seriously, does her character have a name?) knows that her comfy green sweater is perfect for learning how to laugh at sitcoms.
Hanging out in an English farmhouse with some tea and a rope-cabled mock turtleneck pullover sounds like a perfect weekend plan.
I'll get right on that? --no.  But I can dream.
Cable Cascade Pullover [Rav link] by Jennifer L. Appleby; $5.50 USD

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Awww, Grumpy Guy (character name Keffers, real name David Sterne), you didn't think I'd forget about you, did you?
This quick glimpse of his traditional aran pullover is the best shot I could get; the man likes his outerwear.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Entering Uncharted Territory

A couple of days ago, I took this picture of the gray shawl in progress:
At the time, I was all triumphant about finishing Chart 2 (as in two times I ripped it out).

Then this happened last night, fueled by the end of Daniel Deronda and the beginning of The Forsyte Saga:
It's a totally different picture, I promise.  Chart 3 is done!  The pattern says I am now finished with the smaller size and that I should bind off forthwith.

BUT.  Look at all that yarn I still have.  I would like to use it up and make a non-wimpy approaching-shawl-sized shawl, rather than the shawlette to which I was supposedly limited.  It's a 400 yd vs 800 yd split, making it impossible to follow the full shawl pattern.

SO: Imma make some stuff up.  I hope it won't look too awful.