17 April 2014

Button Hunt

Yesterday I went on a button hunt!

If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter (I post most Instagram pictures to Twitter, too, in case you're not interested in joining Instagram), or Facebook (all tweets get posted to FB, if that's more your social media speed), you already saw my adventures, but I thought I'd share some pictures (and a little video) of how the button hunt went. I had grand plans to visit both M&J Trimming and Mood Fabrics but ended up finding some beauties at M&J first. Don't worry, Mood, I'll always need more buttons and come visit you soon. (And there are even more little shops with buttons and other findings in the area that I had "in my pocket" just in case.)

Beautiful Springtime in New York


M&J Trimming's fabulous window display


Choices, choices!


A little something I picked up for myself at Kinokuniya NYC, which is up the street from M&J and across from Bryant Park. I've been to five of the Old Time places on the list, so I have a fair bit of work to do!

Since I was so button-obsessed yesterday, I also did some hunting on Etsy, creating two treasuries in the process: Handmade and Vintage. Though I have yet to shop with the vendors in the treasuries, many of them have thousands of sales and five-star reviews, and even the new vendors seem highly regarded by their customers. I may start designing sweaters just to go with some of those handmade buttons!!!

I hope Spring is treating you well (even if you got some snow like we did here in NYC) and that all your projects are clicking along. I'm working on magazine sample #3 (of 4, if you're keeping track) so am keeping very busy.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

10 April 2014

Pattern: Upon the Spanish Main

Whew! This one has been in the works for a long time. But a beautiful Spring day seems like the perfect time to release a lovely, lacy shawl, don't you think?

Upon the Spanish Main
Wrap yourself in a luscious shawl dripping with Spanish Lace before heading out onto the deck of your galleon.  A little stockinette over your shoulders, and then the written and charted Spanish Lace flows down your back. This worked-on-both-sides lace is so spectacular, it doesn’t need a separate edging, though it will require your concentration. You will have pride of place on the treasure fleet in this extra-wide triangle shawl!

Knit with one skein of Jill Draper Makes Stuff Splendor sock yarn (or any luscious fingering weight yarn). Two-sided lace pattern provided in both charted and written formats.

Size/Finished Measurements
Width: 64 inches Depth: 19 inches

Jill Draper Makes Stuff Splendor Sock Yarn [80% Merino, 10% Nylon, 10% Cashmere; 435 yards/398 meters per 100 gram skein]; color: Glacier; 1 skein
US6/4.0mm 29-inch circular needle
Stitch markers
Tapestry needle

20 stitches x 30 rows = 4 inches in Stockinette Stitch

Skills Needed
Casting on
Binding off
Reading charts(written instructions also provided)

09 April 2014

What I'm watching (while I'm knitting)

At the moment I seem to have gotten myself into a big sample production cycle (three of six done for the first half of the year, and I'm about 2/3 of the way through the fourth). All this means a lot of knitting, which for me means a lot of TV watching, and I can only watch my 30 Rock DVDs so many times before I become insufferable (I may already be there).

Thanks to my Entertainment Weekly subscription, I checked out Vikings - a scripted drama on the History channel. It is probably safe to say that I have never watched anything on the History channel before. No offense! Up to this point it hasn't really aired my kind of stuff. But Vikings is quite good, if you can get past the really bloody axe battles. The women are strong (and beautiful, of course), the men handsome (and burly - duh, vikings!), there are even a few handknits (check out Ragnar and his blanket below), and I've been intrigued by the Pagan vs. Christian thread that runs through it. I was able to watch the first season on Amazon Prime and the second on my cable provider's On Demand service, though it looks like you can watch all the episodes via the Vikings link above.

Ragnar in his blanket
The funny thing about Vikings is that it clarified a little something for me and Nick. We have similar taste in comedies, but when it comes to drama we diverge quite strongly. Give him something slow-moving, preferably European, and he's a happy camper, and I will take a nap. Give me action, adventure, pirates or aliens, and I'm sold while he finds something else to do. Pretty funny.

For a little whiplash I DVRed all the Alien movies, since IFC decided to run them last week. It's amazing how good Alien and Aliens are (super scary and gory but sooooo good, and I don't even like scary movies - plus, Alien passes the Bechdel Test), and how bad Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection are (unless you are some sort of crazy complete-ist like me, don't bother)! Again there is a fair bit of gore, but Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley kicks so much butt that I don't mind. She is an amazingly strong character without ever pretending to be a man. It was interesting in reading the trivia and critics's reviews (mostly Roger Ebert) that Weaver was the only female action hero who could "open a movie". I really wish there were more female heroes and superheroes in the movies these days. There was an interesting article about this problem over on The Week's website:

If you watched Girls but didn't think it was funny enough, be sure to catch up on Broad City (only the final episode of the season is on Comedy Central's website, but maybe your provider's On Demand has it). Totally raunchy and heavy on the smoke, it is so funny that it made me (and Nick) cry with laughter, particularly The Lockout (the bit on the subway). Again, this definitely comes with a warning and will certainly not be everyone's cup of tea, but Amy Poehler exec produces and the friendship between the two young women (man, I'm old) is great.

Ooh, were you alive in the 80s? Have you watched The Americans? It's really engrossing. We may have started watching it because they filmed quite a bit in our neighborhood, but Nick and I were totally sucked in. Russian spies in the 80s - sexy and suspenseful without going, well, I guess you would say "full monty", since it's on FX, not premium cable. Generally, I'm not a big fan of the hourlong drama (I just say "No" to procedurals and soapy hospital dramas), but this is good. Just wish they could have kept up the musical intensity that they created in the first episode with Fleetwood Mac's Tusk.

There's more, like I occasionally watch an episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show with the girls, which they love and has inspired the kids to play "newscast", but I'd better get back to my knitting.

Do you watch movies and shows while knitting? What's your favorite? I have two more samples to go after this one, so I could use some suggestions :)

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

01 April 2014


We spent the last weekend of the kids' two-week Spring Break up in Cambridge, which was such a treat for me. To make it a treat for the girls we stayed at the Hyatt, which has a pool. And the real fun was that we got to see some of my dear friends and their kids: a playground with one family, and Drumlin Farms' Woolapalooza with the other.

Though I did not acquire any yarn, we got to see some shorn, spun, and dyed (before it started to rain). I did do a fair bit of knitting, but it's for Jane Austen Knits, so you will have to wait a bit to see it. I hope you will find it worth the wait! And then you will have to wait a bit longer for a couple more of my designs, which have been accepted for Interweave Knits Winter 2015. Whoohoo!

I posted a few of these photos on Instagram throughout the weekend, but I'm getting to know my 50mm lens (and working on editing RAW files) on my Nikon, so the other pictures are from there.

The Charles River with Fenway (the Citgo sign) and
Back Bay (the Prudential Building) across the way

The Charles River looking at Boston University

Swan on the Charles

Have you any wool?

Shorn and unshorn


Watching the shearing

The Shearing

Sheepdog doing its job

Harvard Square's Out of Town News in the rain

Adieu, Citgo