April 26, 2008

Full Circle

As promised, here is the completed Circle of Friends Baby Blanket. I have always wanted to knit this blanket, and as luck would have it, Maudie's stepmother -- a lovely person -- is expecting a baby girl at the end of May. I had some of the Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, added a few extra colorways, and got to it. So, as Timmy would say, opportunity met preparedness.

A huge thanks to the add knitter, who happily jumped on board, along with her Peeper-lou, to get the job done. And, yes, both of us have ex-husbands who have remarried and are having baby daughters. I don't know if our parallel lives came first or our friendship, but no matter. She's the best!

The lion's share of credit goes to my mom, knitter extraordinaire, who knitted three of the strips, did all the sewing and blocking, straightened out any mismatched gauges, and crocheted the picot edge!!

And finally, to Maudie, who diligently knitted her strip, counted all her ridges correctly, and wanted everything to be just perfect for her new sister.

April 17, 2008

So Big, So Tiny

I don't remember why, but a few Christmases ago, my niece Colleen repeated the phrase "so big, so tiny" about 20 times a minute. She was maybe a year and a half old, and for some reason it just took hold of her. I get it now. Big and tiny just go together.

I've been working on a second Juliet, for myself this time, and I love it. I've been dying to get my hands on this yarn for a while, and having knit a Juliet for Maudie I just had to have my own. But it's so big. The needles are big, the Cashmerino Superchunky is big; the whole endeavor just started to seem big. And heavy.

Enter the Lace Ribbon Scarf, currently the most popular project on Ravelry, and rightly so. It's gorgeous, springy, so light, and those stitches are so tiny! A 3 needle? After the 10.5, that 3 is light as air! I saw that scarf and thought it's just so tiny -- I could take it with me anywhere, keep it in my car, on my nightstand.

Yes, this scarf is now my constant companion. I'm using the rest of the Colinette Jitterbug I have left from the Soba Noodle Bainbridge and love it. When the yarn is gone, the scarf is done. And then back to Juliet...

And speaking of tiny, the Circle of Friends Blanket is finished and has been gifted! Pix to follow soon.

April 2, 2008

Spring Mittens

With everything that's been going on around here -- the return of Spring, school play, talent show, 6th grade graduation frenzy, scrambling to finish the Circle of Friends blanket strips and Snuffy's emergency toenail-ectomy (don't ask), I found myself yearning for a quick and simple knit, one that I could finish in a day or so.

I've been dreaming of white-ish mittens for a while, and had a false start with an EZ Mitered Mitten and Noro Silk Garden.

I love the yarn, love the pattern, but the long cuff modification, while practical, just isn't right for me. I'll be frogging and starting over with a standard cuff. Besides, Timmy told me it looked like an oven mitt, and I have to admit, he's right.

In the meantime, through the magic of Ravelry trades, I found myself with three skeins of Wool-Ease Chunky in Fisherman. These are Super Mittens, from Weekend Knitting, and they're exactly what I had in mind -- finished in two days, and perfect for cool Spring mornings. Next up: a chunky cowl like these to match? Yes, I'm a bandwagon knitter, and proud of it!

March 23, 2008


And then some days, it's just the opposite and you have so much time and energy that it seems like a really good idea to alphabetize cookbooks and iron handkerchiefs. It's feast or famine....

I've got big plans for these two yarns: more to come on that, but the colors of these two are to die for!!

Soon to be a Green Gable and a Juliet, both patterns I've knitted before and loved. All hail the Zephyr Girls!! Here's to Spring and renewed energy!!

March 7, 2008


What is it about starting a big project that kick-starts the little project?

For months, Timmy has been asking for a vest. What? A man's garment without sleeves? Every knitter's dream, right? So finally, finally I cast it on, only to realize that it would fit Jackie Gleason. I rip, re-cast and get going. Then, the doorbell rings -- it's my neighbor, with her new baby, and I realize I must immediately make a gift, as the kid is already three months old. I start a little hat and in comes Timmy, with a defeated look. "You're not knitting my vest," he says.

So I'm caught -- a knit-slacker. And, if the truth is known, a multi-slacker. Timmy accused me of this recently, and he's right. For me, a day of multi-slacking involves shirking laundry duties, wheeling and dealing on Ravelry, eating potato chips and watching HGTV, with a little knitting thrown in. I have a strict rule that I'm out of my robe by lunchtime. The time flies, the kids come home from school. For them, it's all about texting, Drake and Josh and pizza snacks. Do we do this every day? No. Would we like to? Maybe.

Anyway, here's the hat. It's from LMKG, one of my favorite books of all time. It's Mission Falls 1824 Cotton in Pebble, done on size 7 dpns for Baby Katie.

February 17, 2008

Wintry Mix

That's what we had all last week. Snow, sleet, freezing rain and a couple of snow days thrown in for good measure. The latter, which often induce cabin fever and general bugging out, were actually two very nice days with Maudie. Once the novelty of tv wore off, we cozied up on the couch, knitting and taking turns reading to one another. She is hard at work on her strip for the blanket, and I am working on a Juliet for her.

This photo is from my friend Jane in Chicago, who has made a kind of long-term installment/photo project with several mannequins. I thought they were gone, but she sent me this gorgeous photo of her newest model, and that granny-square scarf caught my eye. She told me she's granny-square mad, and can't stop making them -- and has been crocheting granny-square belts out of embroidery thread! That is some serious granny-square dedication, and I can't wait to see them.

Also, I've decided what to do with all that Manos. I'm donating it to the Mother Bear Project, which provides hand-knitted teddy bears to children with lives affected by HIV/AIDS in emerging nations. I realized that it would just languish here (with a lot of other languishing yarn) so off it goes.

January 20, 2008

My Circle of Friends

I think maybe the world is getting smaller. This occurred to me the other day when I saw Sylvester Stallone on The View. He was totally pumped, sitting between Barbara Walters and Joy Behar, talking up the new Rambo movie. He's smart and funny, but there just seemed to be a disconnect. Or just an odd mix of people. Maybe it's just me. I prefer Rocky to Rambo anyway, and really only the first Rocky at that.

Then yesterday, I took Maudie and her friend to Hot Topic at the mall, where you can buy a Ramones t-shirt and a Sex Pistols t-shirt and a plethora of t-shirts with other images, old and new. Looking at Sid Vicious over the bobby-pinned heads of two 11 year old girls kinda felt like I had just passed myself in a narrow hallway. But the girls weren't interested; they wanted Save the Planet and Hello Kitty. Bollocks.

Sid, Rocky, Sly, Dee Dee, Hello Kitty -- it's all okay with me. Old friends who, wierdly, turned up in the same 24 hour period.

I got started on the first strip of the Circle of Friends baby blanket from LMKG last week. It's row upon row of lovely garter stitch, which is just right for showing off the neat squares of color. We've got six knitters lined up, three of whom are kids, to crank it out by the end of February. It's seven colorways of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. We recently replaced a caramel color with a cotton candy pink, since the recipient is most definitely a girl.

This is definitely tv knitting, so tonight I'll start the second strip, act my age and watch the next Jane Austen on "Masterpiece".

January 14, 2008

Manos Madness!!!

The thing I love about knitting is that all knitters, known and unknown, are friends. Once we find each other, the connection is instant. You can have a new best friend three sentences into a conversation. I think that Ravelry - in my opinion, the greatest thing since sliced bread, demonstrates this phenomenon.

Yesterday I received a box containing 22 skeins of black Manos del Uruguay, all wound neatly into cakes, with the ball bands neatly tucked in each one. My mother's friend Muriel has had this yarn for who knows how long, offered it to my mother, and when she didn't want it, suggested she send it on to me. If she had sent me a box of money I would not be happier than I am with this lovely and unexpected gift!

What will I do with this windfall? The mind reels. The possibilities seem endless...an enormous black afghan? Several felted bags? How about a giant felted dog bed for Snuffy? Matching sweaters for my tweens? Our boy would like it, our girl might deem it too emo.

But, before all that, I've got a few UFOs that are crying for attention. To that end, I entered this contest to spur me along. I've got a Clapotis, a Wicked and a felted kitty toy (don't ask) to choose from.

Oh, and no pajama sightings this week.

January 9, 2008

First FO of 2008!

Is this Bainbridge Scarf, a belated Christmas present for my mother. I can't say enough about this pattern; it's ingenious, looks fabulous and way cool all at once. I'd like to make another, but I almost never make the same thing twice. My only mods to the pattern: I couldn't bring myself to do the ties in seed stitch, so they're just garter. Seed stitch is such a condundrum -- I love the way it looks, but I really can't handle all that switching. I want to lay down just thinking of it. I have the utmost respect for Debbie Bliss -- how does she do all that seed stitch? Anyway, it's Colinette Jitterbug in Oyster Blush, held double on 6 needles.

Having recently destashed a few dust-gatherers, my stash was looking a little thin. I was surprised and delighted to receive two fabulous yarns for Christmas: Sundara Sport Merino in Meridian, complete with the Tatami pattern, and Noro's Cashmere Island, colorway 10. I don't know what either of these will become, but right now I just sit staring at them, which is weirdly satisfying.

I did have a few pajamas-in-public spottings over the holidays, two in airports, one in a Starbucks, although that was a toddler, so it doesn't count. The latest was actually today at the post office. This woman was wearing Pittsburgh Steelers PJs, which makes me think maybe she's still asleep.