27 August 2008

FO: Lace Gloves

Pattern: Women's Lace Gloves [Ravel it.]
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Lace in red (yarn doubled, almost the entire skein)
Needle: US0

I think I had more fun making these than is, strictly speaking, allowed. They were a birthday present for my friend and former roomie Annie who loves red. I much preferred knitting with the laceweight alpaca held double than I had working with it in its single form on last month's shawl. So, no mods, no complaints, and I really liked the little picot edge at the base of the lace (back of hand) section, as well as the YOs for the thumb gusset increases - very ladylike. I highly recommend this pattern. And I heard from Annie that they fit!

19 August 2008

FO: Baby Surprise

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman
Yarn: BMFA Socks That Rock Lightweight in Firebird (2007 Sock Club)
Needle: US4
Notions: Red Flower Buttons from MJ Trimming
Model: Penelope, born 11 August 2008, 7:07pm

Surprise! Part of the thinness on the ground of posting chez Purly for the last few months has been due to pregnancy. There was a lot going on for us. Luckily, the pregnancy was uneventful, and Penelope's debut to the world was quick and tidy thanks to being induced by my wonderful OB. But our lives have been eventful, which led to us keeping my pregnancy pretty quiet. Plus, the second time around things aren't that different from the first, but you suddenly remember the heartburn and annoyance of sleeping only on your left side all over again. The excitement of pregnancy isn't there and you just want to have your baby.

And now we do. She is a wonderful little one so far, and Isobel just adores her. Stephen is interested, though not as much, and that's pretty much what we expected. Nick is a wonderful father (and deserves a post of his own on that subject). We feel very blessed with our little "Birdie" (she pecks at my shoulder if I'm holding her in the classic burp position and she's still hungry).

We had hoped to announce a marriage here first, but Penelope (and the divorce courts of Massachusetts and New York) had other plans. Soon enough, and this way I won't have to wear a tent at our wedding.

And, of course, knitting up a BSJ was fun as was Isobel's and my adventure to acquire buttons down at MJ Trimming. When I have a chance I'll knit up the other Saartje's Bootie to complete the outfit.

08 August 2008

Spouse Meme

I first saw this one on Carol's blog yesterday; Ellen and Margene posted entries today, so I had to jump on the bandwagon.

Me: What is your favorite thing about my knitting?
Nick: [Laughs.] I'm in favor of any and all solitary pastimes and love the notion of craft. Plus it's fun to watch you make stuff.

Me: What is your least favorite thing about my knitting?
N: When you knit in the car and make me carsick just thinking about it. [N.B. He's driving.]

Me: What is something I have knitted, that you recall as good?
N: The scarf you made me for Christmas.

Me: Do you think knitters have an expensive hobby?
N: What, are you kidding? Of course not.

Me: Do you have a stash of any kind?
N: Oh, yes. [Books everywhere!]

Me: Have I ever embarrassed you, knitting in public?
N: No.

Me: Do you know my favorite kind of yarn?
N: Absolutely not. My mind is a blank when it comes to fabric.

Me: Can you name another blog?
N: Well, there's Ravelry.

Me: Ravelry's not a blog.
N: Ellen has a blog, right? [Purl Diva's shop blog]

Me: Do you mind my wanting to stop at knit shops wherever we go?
N: No.

Me: Do you understand the importance of a swatch?
N: I think so. [Sort of.]

Me: Do you read my blog?
N: Yes, I do. Check it every day. I don't understand it most of the time...

Me: Have you ever left a comment?
N: No. Not being a knitter, that would be inappropriate. [Silly, no?]

Me: Do you think the house would be cleaner if I didn't knit?
N: No, it would be much dirtier. What would you do with your time? You'd find a hobby that took up much more time, like sculpture or painting.

Me: Anything you'd like to add?
N: I consider myself a fan of knitting from a distance. A well-wisher, as it were. [I keep trying to convince him to start knitting socks, since I love the idea of handknitted socks but have yet to knit any for me.]

In knitting content, I finished my grandmother's first glove and cast on the second. A good blocking will tidy things up, so you won't see the orange cabled wonder(s) until I finish the second. FOs are much more fun to photograph than UFOs.

04 August 2008


Yes, for those of you who have followed the saga, my house has sold. Last Wednesday, in fact, but there have been snarls with distributing the meagre proceeds amongst my ex-relatives and me. Today that finally seems to have been sorted out, so I feel like I can talk about it.

This was, literally, my dream house. I saw a painting of it in Antique Homes Magazine (that's the painting at the top of this post - apologies for the flash) soon after Peter and I started dating (1998). We even drove up to Gloucester and tried to find it one Saturday, but, as I would learn later, it was hidden in plain sight on Grant Circle. From 1998 until 2005 it was my ideal: a big yellow antique house with half an acre of land, stone walls, multiple fireplaces including a beehive oven, and distant water views. What wasn't to love or daydream over.

When we went to see it, I asked the realtor if it had been up for sale earlier and learned that it had. This was it! My actual dream house. It needed lots of work (and still does, though we did all the unglamourous stuff like replacing the almost-hundred-year-old wiring and such) but was within our price range and where we wanted to live.

Anyway, things didn't turn out as planned. I saw a woman on 3rd (or was it Lex? doesn't really matter) yesterday riding a Vespa knockoff, which reminded me that the little cherry on top of my dream house was to open a yarn shop in Gloucester and drive to work on my Vespa.

My life has turned in a different direction, and I feel so blessed with where I am now. Well, with where we are now. Isobel is a happy girl, despite having to say goodbye to her last binky yesterday (she chewed on it like an old man with a stogie and had all but severed it from the base). There have been tears. There have been woeful tales on the telephone: "Grandpa, I had to throw out my binky and I'm sad", and sleep was elusive last night. But she's growing up, though when I told her how proud I was of her being a big girl about saying farewell to the binky, she reminded me that she's not big, that she's three.

I'd have some knitting content if I didn't have to frog everything I start these days. I'm working on some gloves for my Grandmother, but once I started the fingers I realized they were going to be too big, and I don't have the next needle size down in DPNs so have to get to the LYS, and the cowl I want to match my two-needle gloves keeps pooling, which I don't want in this instance, so I have to mess around with cast on numbers and such to get something that will be more variegated.

27 July 2008

Knitted Dolls

As my little lady gets bigger, we get more interested in dolls. Or maybe I just get more interested in dolls. Or maybe I've been interested in dolls since I was a little girl and finally have a safe outlet for my interest, since I don't want to be one of those creepy doll ladies.

Anyway, this morning I discovered some awesome dolls on Ravelry that combine my appreciation of dolls with my interest in historical fiction, particularly the Tudor period. Check out Anne Boleyn with detachable head! The doll is gorgeous, and I love the details. She makes the Jean Greenhow Topsy-Turvy Cinderella in my faves pattern list look pretty blah. No offense to Jean Greenhowe, whatsoever. Her dolls are very sweet, and I have a fondness for topsy-turvy dolls.

And it looks like Ms. Caffaknitted's dolls are going to be in a show here in NYC in December! So, I'll be able to give an in-person report on them then.

22 July 2008

FO: Razor Shell Cowl

Pattern: Razor Shell Cowl (my own pattern)
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Lace, colorway 7120 (sea foam)
Needle: US4 16"

Apologies for the dismal photographs. I'll have to work on my self-portrait setup some more, perhaps get the tripod out.

Anyway, here is a birthday gift for a dear friend, capitalizing on the current cowl craze sweeping the knitblogosphere (is that how you spell it?). This was such a quick knit, despite using laceweight yarn. Even doubling leaves you with a thin-ish yarn, perhaps closer to fingering weight, but it's so light. Having just complained about this yarn used single, I'm happy to report such a pleasant experience with it doubled. I'll have to weigh this item to see just how much yarn was used, as I had two skeins to pull from (the next project OTN uses doubled Misti Alpaca Lace as well, but I only have one skein, so the experience there is a little different).

I used one of the Razor Shell variations from one of Barbara Walker's Treasuries and just knit away for twelve inches and used the k2tog tbl bindoff method I've found so nice and stretchy for shawls. No one wants to struggle to get a cowl over their heads!

Another birthday alpaca FO to come shortly...

14 July 2008

FO: Old Shale Shawl

Pattern: Old Shale Shawl by Evelyn Clark in Piecework, January/February 2005 [Ravel It]
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Lace, colorway 8105 (an almost indescribable shade of grey/periwinkle/lavender)
Needle: Bryspun 29" US6
Mods: None
Recipient: BFF Karen

I'm still shocked that I used the yarn called for in this pattern. Last time I made one of these it was in sock yarn, and this yarn is sooo thin in comparison. Apparently, I have trouble counting to, like, five these days, so there was a bit of tinking, which is a challenge with this yarn, though it held up nicely. Very happy with the final outcome, but I've come to realize this is not my favorite pattern, as I seem to recall having similar counting problems when I knit this for my mom last spring. Oddly, I seem to do better with a slightly more complicated lace pattern.

It is interesting to go back and knit a pattern you've done before after some time, to realize what you've learned about knitting. So, I'm glad I did this one, and maybe I'll knit another one in a few years to see if I can finally count to five!