22 February 2009

Simple Pleasures

I spent a little time recently figuring out how to knit a ribbed beanie from the top down. You know me, fit is everything, and swatchless is even better. I wrote up the directions to share. See the right sidebar for a link to the free pattern.

Sticking with what works, I knit this with two color ways, alternating colorway every two rows.

1x1 ribbed beanie

1x1 ribbing top of hat

1x1rib hat side view

Pattern: built on my Lifestyle Hats Top Down Method, available for free here.
Yarn: Armytage by Sierra Crafts (bulky, single ply with gradient colorways, 1 blue, 1 green)
Needles: US 7
The hat took less than 1/3rd of each ball.

Seems like lots of folk like the simple things in life. Within hours of placing this pattern on Ravelry, 68 people had favorited the pattern, and 79 people downloaded it. I have this hat on my head right now, and it feels like it's destined to become a favorite.

20 February 2009

Lace: Grade A-

Finished my lace project. With all my "training wheels", it flowed pretty well. Just two little errors in the making. The end result works and looks great on the recipient.



Pattern: Spiralucious by Anne Hanson
Needles: US 3
Yarn: Frogtree Alpaca, fingering weight


Recently off the wheel - alpaca/wool blend, dyed by Allspunup (Kristin). Spun as singles, and plied with black (left) and gold (right) silk thread. Plying with very different weights results in a spiral yarn. You see that the yarn on the left has more "spiral" effect, as it was a bigger single than the yarn on the right.

(I thought I'd show you some spiral work, since that's what I seem to be in using blogger -- a downward spiral -- blogspot doesn't seem happy with my images on my photo site, smugmug, so I'm trying linking to a few flickr images. Can you see me now?)

15 February 2009

I <3 You

She has my heart

We set out to play yesterday, Valentine's day. Photo assignment: shoot all the hearts we could find, and use only a point-and-shoot camera. Post-edit processing ok. It was sunny and beautiful, and we spent most of the day laughing. To see the heart-themed project, view the photos here. Oh we did play. Videos even.

Heart Heart
Pink Heart
Metal Heart

08 February 2009

Baby, baby, baby, baby

All this inspiration in my knitting library...

stack of baby books

And I still find myself combing through the "Webs" (as my friend Tuulia likes to refer to the Internet) and finding baby jacket inspiration elsewhere. I'm up to my neck in babies-on-the-way -- and mostly twins, if you can believe it. Thank you to the modern miracle of in-vitro fertilization and baby-planning saved for mid-life. I have to hurry, four are due in the time it takes to knit four sweaters!

Currently, I'm testing this Drops sweater pattern using mandarin Petit cotton
yarn from SandnesGarn
. If I love the result, I'll be making a slew of them.

partially complete sideways knit garter stitch baby cardigan

Oh? Did you notice that all the books on the bedside table were not about babies? Well, spinning seems to slip it's way into the task list, the reading list, and every list.

01 February 2009

Seattle-to-Portland Yarn Train Report!

This was my second year to pull together a Yarn Crawl that starts in Seattle at 7am, crawls via train to several wonderful yarn stores in Portland, and then pulls the 59+ knitters back to Seattle by 10pm. All in a day!

Prepping for the Crawl, Uh Oh.
The cabinet below is a new acquisition to my studio. Four hours of putting it together the week prior to the crawl, and several more hours placing my best yarn in it made it abundantly clear that I did not need to buy yarn. (Notice, I did not say all my yarn...there is more in the yarn closet. OMG, I have to incorporate my yarn into my will, I'll never outlive it.) So, the yarn crawl had to serve other purposes than stash enhancement.

Read about the Yarn Crawl, See Photos, Blogs, and More. Be inspired.
Read about the crawl here. See photos from the day from many of the participants here (on Flickr). Follow the rabble on Ravelry here

The Day Did Not Disappoint.
Here are photos of my loot from the day. (With my everpresent Ben, overseeing the photoshoot. Kinda.)

Yarn gift bags prepped for the Seattle-to-Portland Yarn Crawlers. The bag had two skeins of Knit Picks Swish yarn and chocolates in each bag. We had a hat knitalong on the train with the yarn. By the way, purple was the first and foremost pick of this knit crowd.

My hat made with the knitalong yarn. I love this shape.

Gifts from Portland Indie Dyers Abstract Fiber, and Stitchjones

The "boobie prize" yarn (top) from last year came back to haunt me as a scarf. (The winner of the "dud" yarn last year, Ialiuxh, knit it and brought it to me.) Ben doesn't seem that wild about it either. The remains for the day (bottom): baby colors were not so popular - the only leftover gift bag.

Book acquisitions from Dublin Bay (top), Knit/Purl (bottom)

And one more, too intriguing to pass up: a Knitter's Graphic Novel, whoo hoo! (Also from Knit/Purl)

ShiBui (created by Darcy, owner of Knit/Purl) offers the coolest knit totes and needle cases too:

Knit Knot is famous for carrying local artist's jewelry - so I made a beeline there first. (top) Shawl pin and earrings. Last but not least, a knitter needs to see the stitches! Knit/Purl comes to the rescue with eyebobs reading glasses (bottom).

All in all, an amazing day. I can't wait for next year!

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