18 June 2008

FO: Celtic Cardigan

The kit of deliciousness

The pre-washed product

Et voila!

Pattern: Celtic Cardigan (Ravelry link) by Fleece Artist (the lovely people who brought us the Yarn Harlot's Garter Stitch Jacket)
Yarn: Scotian Silk in Seashore (I think - unlabeled as to colorway - gorgeous blue mixed with silver, gold, and bronze); kit purchased at Purl Diva
Needle: US10
Size: S/M
Mods: None.

This was a super quick knit, especially post-Dad's vest (sport weight yarn for a man who's 6'4"), thanks to large-ish needles and an interesting construction technique. It's all in one piece. You start at one side "seam", knit around the back, then the front on one side, then you go back, pick up and knit the other front. And then you pick up for each sleeve and knit down. I'm still unsure of the sleeve length - it's bracelet-y, which I like now, but Summer starts this weekend, so I may feel differently come December. I have enough yarn left to make another sweater, so I can certainly add to the sleeves, especially as they are knit down to the cuff.

Again, apologies for the lack of model shot. I will rectify that someday. I included the image with my Cubs cap to give a sense of scale pre-blocking. This one grows a bit, as has been mentioned on Ravelry. And apologies that some of the pics are a little blurry - you can see the cool stitch pattern nicely in the last one, though.

This yarn is awesome! I loved watching the color progression with each stitch and row. You have to use a circular or swing needle with this project as you knit each row twice, which added to the construction interest. And, of course, this yarn has silk in it, which just makes it even better. I should probably rename the blog "Silky" instead of "Purly".

FO: Tulips

Pattern: Tulips (Ravelry link) by Kat Coyle, Knitscene, Fall 2006 (the one with the famed Central Park Hoodie
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca Silk in Blush, just under six skeins
Needle: US6
Size: small/38" bust
Mods: I decided to go with rolled stockinette for the hems both on the bottom and sleeves rather than garter borders (and I didn't start off on a smaller needle) - somehow seemed to go better with the i-cord neckline, which I did via a pick up and knit/i-cord bindoff rather than knitting up sufficient i-cord and sewing it on; I also did short rows for the shoulders and a three-needle bindoff, just to see if I could do it, and ... I can!

Love love love this sweater! I've worn it four (five?) times since finishing it ten days ago. J'adore the yarn, as we already knew from Mermaid Hourglass experience and a number of Kat's berets from Greetings from Knit Cafe. Apologies for lack of a model shot, but my photographer is at work, and if I didn't write this up now while Isobel is supposed to be napping*, it might not happen for a while.

Though it looks like this took me a month from my Ravelry page, it was actually a very quick knit - Mother's Day and my father's birthday popped up in there and took away a bit of knitting time.

*Sadly, she's not, so I'd better go settle her down.

06 June 2008

FO: Hemlock Ring Blanket

This one's for Isobel, and, as you can see, she's pretty happy with it.

A pose with the new knit.

'Bel as monster.

In all it's glory.

This was a super-quick knit. I started on the 1st and finished on the 4th - gotta love worsted yarn and a US10 needle after working on Dad's vest on US4s. I used Misti Pima Silk in this glorious cornflower blue color and switched to an Addi Turbo needle for sanity. And I started off with Susan Reishus's circular beginning on a crochet hook. It ended up being 36", so more of a cuddle blanket than a real one. I'll do a proper post later with links and everything, but we've got a date at the park with Isobel and her tricycle before the weather turns beastly tomorrow.

04 June 2008

Isobel at Knit Night

There has been a lot of separation anxiety around here the last couple of months. Isobel is very keen to have me with her every second of every day. During the semester Nick had an evening seminar on Tuesdays, so we found a very nice baby sitter (named Kathleen) who came on Tuesday nights so I could go to Knit Night at Yarntopia. All went swimmingly, leaving was no big deal, until we came back from our visit to the Chicago area, and suddenly Isobel was weeping whenever I left. Then it got to the point where she would talk much of the day on Tuesdays about how much she was going to miss me. Needless to say there were more tears and she was always awake when I got home (after nine).

Now that the semester is over, Nick and Isobel can have a little quality time together on Tuesday evenings, and I can have some quality time with knitting grownups. It really is lovely to spend a couple of hours with people who understand when you suddenly go quiet and finger your stitches intently (counting) or who have a pair of scissors handy or who have an opinion on the editors of Interweave Knits. To help Isobel with her separation anxiety, yesterday we decided I would have an escort to Knit Night, so she could see just where I would be (a place without significant allure for a 3.5 year old). Things went very well, though she was still awake when I got home. Progress, if not perfection.

This morning Isobel crawled into bed and informed us that last night "I was feeling a little shy." Which was met with hoots of laughter, as she is not a shy person. But that's what she thought, and I'm intrigued by this articulation of feelings. My little girl is growing up. Pretty soon she'll want to come to Knit Night with her own projects.

I did make some progress on the Hemlock Ring, having acquired an Addi Turbo. The yarn just dragged maddeningly on my Bryspun. While it is 30% silk and 70% silky cotton, I think the inelasticity of both fibers makes it slow to move on plastic. So, if I could just count correctly on the "action" rows, I'd be sailing. At least there are four plain knit rounds between the lace rows in the feather and fan border. Still have to decide which border to do when it's big enough.

03 June 2008

Animal Adventures

We met this cutie Memorial Day Weekend in Maine at the Winter's Gone Alpaca Farm in Wiscasset. Unfortunately, we missed shearing, which was this past weekend. But we had a good time, and the weather was perfect.

I thought it was very cool that Isobel was so fearless around them. Of course, they are very gentle, so that helps.

As does living with Riley. He doesn't go up there every day, so it's always a fun event when he does.

I'm busy knitting a Hemlock Ring blanket with that lovely Misti Pima Silk. Hopefully have pictures of that soon, but it just looks like a bag of yarn right now. And the Celtic Cardigan is complete, though I'm undecided as to whether the sleeves are long enough.

30 May 2008

Political girl

I've been fairly apolitical this primary season, as I have mixed feelings about both democratic candidates. I'm a liberal through and through. As a third-wave feminist I should be stumping for Clinton, especially as I was a Bill believer back in the day. And I love Tina Fey, who said "Bitch is the new black." (In high school I was stage manager for a few theatrical productions and proudly wore a button that said "I don't have PMS, I'm always a bitch" - there is no other way to corral a bunch of teenagers when you are a teenager than to be a tough cookie.) But I really like Obama's message of hope.

Anyway, just now I put our copy of The Week down on the table, and Isobel asked "Who is that man?" in regards to an illustration of Obama on the cover. I told her that it's a man who wants to be in charge of our country and did she think he would do a good job. She said "Yes". And then I found a picture of Clinton online and asked if she thought the lady would do a better job. Isobel seemed to think she would do a good job, apparently in part because I'm a lady and Isobel is a lady.

There has been knitting around these parts. I finished my Dad's vest, washed (and dried for 15 minutes) it in the machine - eek! (it's Louet Gems Sport, so it says to do that right on the label) - and sent it to him for his birthday. The report is that it's a bit short, as Dad is very long-waisted, so I'll bring more yarn and needles to Wisconsin for the Fourth and fix him up.

And here is the kit I bought from the wonderful Purl Diva, which is a wonderful yarn store. If you find yourself in Midcoast Maine, be sure to visit! I'll do a full IMOndays report on the shop next time we go up to Maine, so I can include pictures. So, all that luscious yarn is Fleece Artist Scotian Silk to make a Celtic Cardigan. I believe the colorway is Seashore (appropriate for my interests and where I bought it). And I'm almost done with it. Super quick knit, interesting construction (knit sideways with two strands, not double-stranded), and I love seeing what happens with the colors. As you can see we have a gorgeous sky blue, then there are golds, bronzes, silvers, and platinums, thanks to the sheen of the silk. I'm making somewhere between a small and medium (knitting the medium numbers on US10s - pattern calls for something between US10.5 and US11), I think though blocking will be the magic trick on this one according to other Ravelers who have knit this project. I should have an FO picture of this very soon, as I'm on the second sleeve already.

I'm sure there's more to report, but the park is calling (at least to Isobel).

28 May 2008


Bridget tagged me with this meme last week (and Sandy did an open tag which reminded me to answer the questions). And now that we're back from a lovely long weekend in Maine, I'm ready to answer questions!

The rules: Posted at the beginning. At the end of the post, the player then tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blog and leaves a comment, letting them know they've been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you've posted your answer. Play nice, children.

1. What was I doing 10 years ago? I think Peter and I had just found a place for his parents to stay for a month in Newport, Rhode Island, that summer. It was a condo in an antique house in The Point district, which I fell in love with. Funny where life takes you, isn't it.

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list today - I wrote this yesterday but had to go to the park before I could decide who to tag... I did get a start on everything but made more progress on my Celtic Cardigan kit from Ellen at Purl Diva - LOVE!
  • Take Isobel to the park for some much-needed exercise. Whenever we stopped on the drive home yesterday (from Bath to NYC in six hours with a stop for lunch and numerous potty stops thanks to our newly potty-trained girl), she ran everywhere, so she definitely needs some activity, and we can't just send her out the back door like we do in Maine.
  • Make a grocery list and start restocking the kitchen. We did a good job of eating things down before going up to Maine, so the cupboards are pretty bare.
  • Clean. At the very least this place needs to be vacuumed. Amazing how Riley-fur tumbleweeds accumulate even when he came with us to Maine (and tried to make a break for it on the last night there - luckily, I cornered him under someone's trellised deck and was able to get him back in the house - silly, indoor, city cat). And some clean clothes might help.
  • Devote some mental time to packing up/disposing of the last of the stuff in Gloucester, as our potential buyers found a buyer for their house. YESSSS! Well, they still have to do the inspection, and we know how that went (egregiously) last time. But I will continue to hope that this last burden will soon be lifted.
  • Organize the stash, inspired by Stephanie.

    3. Snacks I enjoy - Chubby Hubby ice cream, honey roasted cashews, blondies, cider donuts from the farmer's market, just about anything with dried cranberries

    4. Places I've lived - Evanston and Wilmette, Illinois; Washington, D.C.; St. Louis, Missouri; Boston, Brighton, Somerville, Cambridge, Chelsea, and Gloucester, Massachusetts; Wilmette (again) and Bailey's Harbor, Wisconsin; New York City, New York, and Bath, Maine. I also spent every summer of my childhood in Lake Mills, Wisconsin.

    5. Things I would do if I were a billionaire - Wow, what a question. I'm going to stick with selfish answers today, but know that I would do philanthropic things, too, just not sure exactly what they'd be, but probably things to do with children, the arts, the environment, and such. So, I'd pay off our debts and plan a lovely little wedding. I'd put enough aside for the childrens' educations. I'd buy a Lexus 400h - the hybrid - billionaire's need a little style, you know. I'd do a historic renovation of our little Bath cottage or maybe just sell it and buy a larger but still antique house on the water in Maine. I'd travel to Venice (again) and all over Japan (for the first time). I'd start a foundation that would employ my sister here in the States but allow her to continue her amazing work in Afghanistan - she works for Care International setting up schools in rural areas that have had no education system. Amazing work, but we'd all like her to be State-side. (Hey, there's some philanthropy, albeit with selfish motives.) Buy yarn (duh). Give Nick a generous antique book-buying allowance. Get Riley an amazing self-cleaning litter box (hehe). Furnish the apartment from top to bottom. Upgrade my wardrobe (and Isobel's) - it's tough living in NYC without a job yet: so much style, so much out of my non-existent price range.

    6. Peeps I want to know more about - Jenn, because she needs a distraction while waiting to go into labor; Tanya, because she hasn't posted anything to her blog in a while; Annie, just because; and Keri, because I'm curious to know where all she's lived.