Friday, April 29, 2005
Yesterday evening we found that our wild blackberries were ripe.
The berries grow wild all along the fence row on the edge of our property. Anna was particularly excited and decided she was going to eat all the ripe berries:
To add to the great joy, I finished up the back part of my tank. Love, Love, Love, this fast and nice knit. I can't wait to finish the front and get on to that dreaded crochet...
Do you like my stitch holders? And the ducky pin that marks the right side? I knew those diaper pins would be useful...
Thursday, April 28, 2005Janis' positive take on this--better too big than too small...
In the meantime I am just chugging along on my super easy swing top. I am so happy that I've joined the Summer knit along. Thinking about summer knits has revitalized my knitting. I really want to wear this top--it is made of Blue Sky Alpaca that is so amazingly soft! Amanda asked where I got the pattern from. I found the pattern at Jimmy Bean's Wool and it is indeed a Blue Sky Alpaca pattern. Just yummy!
The color is a little darker than this looks in the sunshine, but I don't really think you can see that the yarn is of two different dye lots in person. It does look striped in the picture, but you have to look really carefully. Must be the camera (she says...)
While I was at my LYS finding the final gift for my SP, I saw this cotton South West Trading Company Beyond on sale. Now, I am never one to turn down a sale, loved the green color and had this pattern in mind:
Cute and interesting! It is from the Spring 05 Knitter's Magazine. Check out the pretty green color.
And since I took a break from the office for an afternoon, I was able to do some shopping at my local shoestore. Look what they had!
Crocs! Aren't they the cutest, squishiest shoes! Perfect for the beech and for gardening. Love, love, love them (don't look at what a mess my office is...It was a tough week last week...)
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
The Blue Sky Alpaca that my Secret Pal sent to me just feels like butter. It has been tempting me, so I decided to start making my summer swing top. And, a KAL wouldn't help me get going. I joined the Summer Knit Along 2005 for a little support... I am hoping that this project is a quick and easy top, but I fear the crochet border. Remember the picture?:
The little loops at the bottom are actually the crochet part. Hmm.
I have knitted about 3 inches of the front piece.
Of course I need to get moving on my niece's baby gifts, so I joined a baby KAL as well. Maybe the KALs will keep me on track...
Monday, April 25, 2005
The last speaker left on Sunday morning, so things have calmed down. And, I was pleased with how well everything went off. The best part of the entire conference was that the participants were so kind and professional. You never know!
And, the best story of the conference involved a phone call that I received on Thursday, in my office. "Hello?" "Hello, this is the entertainment writer at the Philadelphia Inquirer." "Uh. Yes?" "You are the one who is doing this Alcott Conference?"
Ok. Now, I am in academia. Entertainment sections of the paper pay no attention to the goings on of scholars, generally. What in the world does this guy want? It turns out that, while it would have been great if this guy was actually interested in our small academic conference, he really wanted to see if I was any relation to a film star who shares my name (she is from Texas... so perhaps he thought that might be the connection as well?). Sorry, but no. Oh well. I guess that was my 30 second call of fame....
I'm still trying to recover from my daughter's dress turning out too large. I will try to get it on her for a picture this week. Sob.
In defense, I am not only working on my sock (sock 1 worked, so sock 2 should as well), but I started a summer top. Picture tomorrow!
Thursday, April 21, 2005
I did finish seaming my daughter's dress, I stuck it on her and it seems a bit too broad in the chest. Argh. She is really skinny and gangly, so I suppose I should have seen that coming. I have to think of ways that I can narrow just that one area.... Thoughts?
And, I am making a tiny bit of progress on my other two projects--Coquette and sock 2.
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Now, if I can get my paper written (to presented Friday) and keep all of the conference folks on track, life will be good.
All I can think of is:
I want to sit and knit and not deal with the stress of the week, even though this entire thing will be great fun.
Of course, I still have to seam the sides of my daughter's dress. It doesn't look too bad since it was blocked:
Monday, April 18, 2005
Today, however, was tough because I have tons of work to complete, a child who had an absessed tooth (fixed), and a big work event tonight. So, no Knitting. But maybe tomorrow?
Thursday, April 14, 2005
">Katt's comment about picking up stitches with a crochet hook? I'm going to try it on the armholes to see if that goes faster. Thanks Katt!
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
I really dislike picking up stitches (120 around this neckline). Probably dislike picking up stiches even more than most knitters hate sewing up the finished pieces. But, I will push on.
This week has been incredibly light on knitting since my husband is away and the work is piling up at home. I haven't had much time to myself at all, but that's ok--the end of the semester is in sight and a short beach trip (Prime Knitting time, I think) awaits!
Monday, April 11, 2005
The front is very near completion:
This was my first attempt at intarsia. I don't think mercerized cotton is the easiest to work with--probably wool would hide the intarsia twists a little better. But, I am fairly happy with the front flower:
Want to see the back?
I think some of those little holes will tighten up once I give the yarn a tug and sew it in. I noticed that even the pattern picture looked a little bit holey around the flower. The bad part is that I will have to sew in a bajillion little ends...
I did notice one area that I think I should have stopped and used separate yarns, rather than carry it across:
But, I suppose for a first try it isn't too bad. Next time I will be a bit wiser!
I didn't get a lot of knitting time in this weekend since I went shopping at Ikea for a big girl bed and furniture for my daughter's room. We are attempting to impose some sort of order on the destructive toys... My husband just wants to toss them all out in the search for order. I'm thinking nice Ikea storage bins...
I love Ikea and we found everything we wanted. Looking through the catalogue is always fun--and look what Ikea thinks is cool:
Yeah, we are hip and we knit....
Friday, April 08, 2005
Two Sleeves finished for Coquette
Anna's dress has made it to the intarsia flower
Updates on Monday!
Diversions? Well, there was this fun package from Scotland for Anna. I blogged about the last package from Scotland way back inSeptember 04 . And, once more, This Little Piggy shoe store comes through!
Pam, the owner of the store, is just the nicest person to work with. I located these great kid's shoes when we were visting Denmark last summer. They are a Danish shoe--Bundgaard--and are soft glove leather and wide enough to fit the huge blocks of my child's feet. They aren't sold in the US, but Pam has been kind enough to send them across the pond.
There is a reason that Pam's store has won multiple awards over the past few years. She offers the most amazing service. The shoes came super fast and there were tons of little extras for my daughter:
Anna loved the little cell phone with lip gloss, ate all of the little candies, scribbled with the crayons, and decided to wear her pink t shirt as soon as possible.
Can you tell she was excited?
She decided to whirl and dance around the room--
Thanks so much Pam!
Thursday, April 07, 2005
I poked around my patterns trying to figure out what I wanted to make for the baby. I came up with a little set, all done in the same yarn. Here's the plan: baby booties, a hat, and a sweater.
Baby Slippers from Zoe Mellor's Adorable Knits for Tots:
And then a nice little hat (without earflaps)--the Miss Dashwood from Knitty:
And, from Weekend Knitting, a baby sweater:
Both the sweater and the hat use the same gauge yarn, and I think I can modify the booties to get gauge and use the identical yarn. I wanted something that a Cali baby could wear into the fall--a cotton. My sister in law, however, would appreciate a yarn that could be washed easily, so a blend was perfect.
I found what I wanted on Webs. I chose Dive/Lana Borgesesia Cotton Club 706(6-% cotton/40% Acrylic--very soft blend!). Isn't it a pretty rose?
Hmm. Now I just have to finish the projects on the needles before I can move on to the next list...
Tuesday, April 05, 2005Blue Sky Alpaca yarn that my SP sent to me.
Isn't this cute? I bought an additional two skeins of the grey sport weight alpaca that my SP picked out, so I have enough yarn. The yarns are of different dye lots, but I think if I mix them every couple of rows like you do with other hand dyed yarn like Colinette they should probably blend in. Thoughts?
Monday, April 04, 2005
Daphne reminded me that I forgot to explain one of my little purchases at our LYS. In the picture you see something called a place holder--it is a little metal piece that holds your book open so that you can read while you knit. It is perfect for those like myself that try to read, scan blogs, watch my kid, and knit all at the same time!
I'm glad to hear that others, like Maureen, have liked Opal sock yarn. It isn't the cheapest, but I was hoping it would prove to be really nice yarn.
I did receive a package in the mail that I bought on ebay: 4 nostepinder! How exciting!
So, what is this noste or nystepinne or nostepinne thing? I read about the Nostepinde in the Fall 97 Interweave Knits and really wanted to try one. They are basically an old fashioned ball winder (cheap too!). Here's a good written definition that explains what a nostepinne is and how to use it: Hatchtown Farm. And for those you who, like me, need a picture: Grafton Fibers.
I didn't really love the ball winders that I have used--they always made ugly noises and whipped along so fast that I didn't get a feel for the yarn--which tells me about how it will knit up. The Nostepinde solves that. It produces a great center pull ball, will never break, and lets me really know about how the yarn will perform.
Here's my first attempt:
This is a Jaeger mercerized cotton, so I figured if it works (slippy!) then wool will be easy to wind.
Not too bad for a first try. I went ahead and wound two other balls:
Notice that I am half finished my second Coquette sleeve? I really liked the third ball that I wound--it was a skein of Rowan that felt very sheepy. It was a little knotty to wind, so I am thrilled to have a tight ball that won't unwind, which wouldn't have happened with my handwound ball.
Ok. Sorry for geeking out on you. This was a fun diversion.
Friday, April 01, 2005
Who can leave the YS without buying some yarn?
I am so excited to see that the Hook and Needle is starting to carry Opal sock yarns. I've never worked with Opal, but everyone just raves about the yarn. Plus, this is the 6 Ply-DK weight, which will knit on size 4mm--pretty fast. The colors are just so pretty. I picked up some birch double points, a (green) Chibi with nice needles, and the new Vogue. I actually like a large number of the patterns in this Vogue. Is it just me or do these designs look like the new Rowan designs?