Sunday, July 29, 2007


The view from our back porch.
It was hard to leave.

So, vacation was great, except for a few spats with my brother (always to be expected).

This is the back and half of the front of Leo's Christmas sweater, which I finished before we left for vacation (he and my aunt and uncle were in the cabin with us, so I couldn't exactly bring it with me).

This was completed during vacation. I picked up the yarn just before I stopped working at Patternworks after I saw a shop model that Susan had made. And yes, it's crocheted. I finished it in one afternoon and took it out to dinner at the Danbury Inn.
Pattern: Easy Crocheted Bag (or something like that) from One-Skein Wonders
Yarn: Ty-Dy, one ball
Source: Patternworks
Hook: US Size F
Modifications: I crocheted the body 8" long (rather than 7") and made the straps longer as well. I'm also planning on sewing a lining for it, even though the pattern doesn't say to do so.
I also managed to finish three Christmas/birthday presents for friends, but I can't post them because they may or may not read this blog. I will post after Christmas. I had a very productive vacation (I realize that I am a type-A personality, the only kind of person who would be proud of being productive while on vacation). I also started this:

The Sleeveless Tuxedo Shirt from the Summer '07 Interweave Knits. I know it doesn't look like much now, but I have a very good feeling about this. And it is stash-busting, so I don't feel guilty. I got most of this done at the awesome Open Mic/NH Poetry Slam Team fundraiser on Friday night. The team, the first one from NH to ever compete at nationals, leaves in two weeks to compete against 75 other teams in Austin, TX. Go Team!
I still have three more days of Christmas in July to bust out more presents, so wish me luck on that. Hopefully I'll have a lot more to show on Friday.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Woohoo! Vacation

Completed: the Elisa Nest Tote (with a close up of the stitch pattern)
Pattern: Elisa Nest Tote from the Purl Bee
Yarn: Butterfly 10 mercerized cotton 1 skein
Source: Pearl's Yarn Shop
Needles: Crystal Palace bamboo U.S. size 9 straight needles, aluminum dpns U.S. size 6, Clover size F crochet hook
Modifications: Yarn substitution, added two inches to the length of the bag
A great pattern and a great bag. It's very stretchy and will hold a lot, but the holes in the lace are small enough that most things won't slip or poke through. Excellent summer knitting and really quick to knit.

I only made a couple of purchases at the Knitting Guild of America's and Crocheting Guild of America's big exhibition/market thingy they held here last weekend. A beautiful sweater pattern from Tess Designer Yarns and these two skeins of yarn from the Irish Ewe. They are going to be a worsted weight Landscape Shawl. They are from organically raised sheep in Ireland, and they were spun at one of Ireland's three remaining woollen mills (no wonder I couldn't find any yarn when I was there last summer).

The glorious KnitPicks order arrived. It is intended for two pairs of felted clogs, one pair of socks, a baby sweater, and a lace wimple.

Completed: Retro Rib Socks (and a somewhat blurry closeup of the pattern)
Pattern: Retro Rib Socks by Evelyn A. Clark (from Favorite Socks)
Yarn: Regia 4-Ply Tweed, 2 balls
Source: Patternworks Yarn Shop
Needles: Crystal Palace bamboo dpns, U.S. size 2
Modifications: My gauge was a little off, so I followed the woman's size instead of the men's even though their for my uncle. It should be all right, since his feet are just a little bigger than mine and these are just a little big for me (that is my very exact scientific measuring system for the people I knit socks for: a little bigger for the men, the same size for the women except my mom, who is a little smaller)

And, a little sewing:

This is the sun hat from Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing book (simple, except for the part where I wanted to throw my sewing machine out the window). The outside fabric was leftover from a tote bag I made my mom for her birthday, and the lining is from an old pillowcase. I'm very proud of myself for figuring out the problems, and I managed to get it done just in time for our vacation at the lake this week.

So, I still have more Christmas in July projects (and July is rapidly approaching its end). I figured out a couple that I can take to the lake with me (tricky, since I'll be in close quarters with most of the people I have to make presents for) and I am starting the Tuxedo shirt from the Summer 2007 Interweave Knits for myself in an extra cone of Brown Sheep's Cotton Fine I found in the stash.
But before we head out, I have lots of packing. Including figuring out just how many projects and books I can fit in my suitcase.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Merry Christmas in July

Woot. Christmas in July is in full swing. Progress: I finished my dad's birthday socks (his birthday is in November), my grandpa's birthday socks (July), and my brother's birthday beanie (September). I have one sock done for my uncle's birthday (also September) and the second one is in progress (luckily it's going faster than the first one). Also, I've started my mom's Christmas socks.
Grampy's birthday socks
Pattern: Classic Socks by the Yankee Knitter
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Charcoal and Green, one ball each
Source: Michael's
Needles: Aluminum dpns, US size 5
Modifications: --
Dad's Birthday Socks
Pattern: my own combination of the Yankee Knitter Classic Socks and Cat Bordhi's basic socks from Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles
Yarn: Step, color Hunter, one ball
Source: Patternworks Yarn Shop
Needles: Two Addi Turbo 24" circular, US size 1
Modifications: Combining two patterns, using circular needles instead of dpns
Bro's Birthday Beanie
Pattern: Striped Stocking Cap from Hip to Knit
Yarn: Sirdar Legend DK, one ball each of black, grey, and chartreuse
Needles: Susan Bates 16" circular, US size 6, and one set of aluminum dpns, US size 6

I'm using Regia 4-ply Tweed for my uncle's socks, and the pattern is the Retro Rib socks from Favorite Socks. I love the way they are coming out. My mom's socks are made out of the Step yarn as well (it's wonderful--great colors, and it has jojoba oil and aloe in it to make your hands soft as you knit and to make the wearer's feet soft), and the pattern for those is from Favorite Socks as well, the Cable Rib pattern. I made myself one Cable Rib sock last year while I was in Ireland, most of it knit on buses while traveling around (I don't usually suffer from Second Sock Syndrome, but for some reason I haven't gotten around to the other one this time).
Hopefully my large KnitPicks order, entirely of yarn for Christmas/birthday presents, makes its way here before I finish these two pairs--these are the last two presents I have yarn for.
The last picture is a work-in-progress shot of the Elisa Nest Tote from the Purl Bee. I'm using Butterfly Super 10 cotton and size 9 needles, and it is flying along. It's perfect summer knitting: cotton, an easy but elegant stitch pattern, and going quick. I'm hoping to finish it tonight so I can bring it to the TKGA and TCGA conference tomorrow (well, not the conference itself, but the market....should be dangerous!) which is being held in Manchester this weekend. Susan is coming down and we are going to see all there is to see (and probably buy a lot of it...) But first, finishing the tote, and then bringing one of the socks to the Bridge Cafe's Open Mic tonight.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Baby Love, Take Two

The gifts were a big hit. From the top, the Tiny Treasures hooded cardigan pattern from Family Circle Baby Knits, a close up of the pattern, the Be-Ribboned Bonnet from One Skein Wonders and baby booties from Knitting Pretty, and the Estonian Lullaby Baby Blanket from Fiber Trends. The sweater is made out of Encore DK and the main modification was a huge reworking of the gauge (I used size 2 and 3 needles as recommended, but I had a wildly different gauge so I did the math for the gauge I was getting and it worked out fine. I think I would have had to go down to size 000 needles to get their gauge, which would have made the knitted fabric much too stiff).
Christmas in July progress: my grandfather's birthday socks are complete (pictures tomorrow), I'm hoping to finish my dad's birthday socks today as well as my brother's birthday hat. I also cast on for my uncle's birthday socks and those should be done by this weekend. I'm figuring out more presents and placing my Knitpicks order today as well. However, I've been thinking about making more presents that aren't necessarily knit. Partly because knitting with wool in July is uncomfortable and partly because I can't find good presents for people (thinking specifically about that person, what they would wear or use and what they need or want) that are knit. I would rather give a good present that they will appreciate and enjoy than something that I enjoyed making but will sit around, sad and unused.
I have also changed my mind about my reward: I am going to buy the pattern and hardware to make the backpack tote from Liesl at disdressed. I realized (because I spend a lot of time thinking about my stash, and how to use it, and how to use it in the patterns that I love in the books and magazines that I collect like it's going out of style) that I have the yarn to make the floaty tank with the crocheted yoke from the Summer '07 Interweave Knits. Woot. (Also, the bag will be really useful and flattering, as opposed to a tank top I might not wear and am not sure would look good on me so I should not spend the money on the yarn--I'm thinking of a different pattern in the same issue, not the one I'm planning on making as a stash-buster).
Lastly, and this may sound as though I have fallen off the wagon but I haven't, I cast on for the Lace Rib Cowl from the Purl Bee last weekend. As explanation for why I cast on for a new project when I promised I wasn't going to do that, only for Christmas presents, I needed a break from the Treeline Striped Cardigan. I finished the cardigan last weekend, but it is a little wonky in places and needs to be blocked (and it needs some sort of closure--I'm thinking cotton snap tape like they suggest). Anyway, at first I wasn't sure that it was going to fit well, and the only other project I had was my dad's socks and he was home (how dare he? haha). So, I needed a project, and there was the remainder of my Jade Sapphire silk and cashmere from my Rose and Wine mitts (from the Winter '07 Interweave Knits), looking all beautiful with its soft shades of light, dark, and medium pink, and there was the free pattern on the Purl Bee. What's a girl to do? Cast on, of course. It's lovely, and it's taking awhile, so it will be my at-home-when-other-people-are-home-too-and-I-can't-work-on-their-presents project. And it's the last one, I promise.