29 April 2009

Oh, I love that dirty water...

Boston, you're my home.

Well, not any more, but I do still feel very much "at home" there. It helps that Boston is such a manageable size. And it didn't hurt that we had a beautiful weekend! Nick's talk went well. Isobel had a good time with Peter (I was so anxious that something would go wrong because "going to visit Peter in Boston" was all she talked about all last week, which could have been a setup for grave disappointment). We went to the Aquarium (along with everyone else on their last day of April Vacation Week) and had dinner at Wagamama.

Saturday, we went to the Gore Place Sheep Shearing Festival with dear friends. Boy, was it hot! But we saw sheep being shorn, with shears, no less; dogs herding sheep and goats (so cool to watch them work); and checked out the fiber tent. I only acquired one skein of yarn: 880 yards of handpainted laceweight merino in the Deep Sea colorway from traveling rhinos (the site is being renovated, but they have a link to their nicely stocked Etsy shop). We dined in the Heights (of Arlington, that is) with the same dear friends (super-yummy pasta salad, properly boiled-in-beer-then-grilled brats, home-made hummus - dear but crazy, hehe), and Isobel told us she wanted to live there or at least sleep over. Added bonus of a pop-in from another dear friend. Then a quick dash to Windsor Button, where the choice was too overwhelming and the button "sandbox" not inspiring after a busy day. But some red yarn that might be enough for a ... thing for some dear people who make lunch from scratch might have been acquired. Time will tell.

Herding sheep

The shorn and the fluffy

Sunday we visited the Yahd and got Hahvahd t-shirts for the family before heading into Boston to visit the Public Garden. I got to take Isobel on the Swan Boats, which is one of those things I always imagined doing with my kid(s). I'm so glad we had a chance to come up and do it, on a perfect day, no less.
With the Ducklings in the Public Garden

Enjoying the Swan Boat

And I'm wearing my Tempest as I type - FO post tomorrow!

23 April 2009

Better, Thanks

Thanks for the well wishes - I'm feeling pretty human! We're off to Boston early tomorrow morning - looking forward to seeing some dear friends. I have buttons to sew on my Tempest now from Mood Fabrics (yes, that Mood, for Project Runway fans), which I'll do on our way up there. I find car rides conducive to finishing work for some reason. Maybe it's being trapped in the car. I'm sure I'll have much to share on my return - in addition to the Sheep Shearing at Gore Place on Saturday, I hope to visit Emma's Pizza (yum!), Windsor Button, Yarns in the Farms, and Woolcott and Co. Have a great weekend!

17 April 2009


What's a post without a picture?
Isobels' shrug in action, along with her mittens for this winter.

Man, am I sick and tired of being sick (and tired). I have a Sassymetrical to show you, all finished for my sister knit from Romney Ridge Farm's merino/mohair blend. And I just need buttons for my beautiful, blue Tempest, but that would involve hauling myself somewhere other than Isobel's school, and I'm just not quite up to that. Luckily, Penelope only woke up once last night. I'll be back when my lungs and sinuses clear up with pictures of lovely FOs. Maybe there will be a few more by then!
P.S. We're coming up to Boston next weekend (someone is giving a talk at Harvard on Friday) and are probably going to the Shearing Festival at Gore Place on Saturday. Want to join us?

13 April 2009

FO: EZ as Pi Beret

Pattern: Mine with help from the über-clever Elizabeth Zimmerman (July's Pi Shawl from Knitter's Almanac -- if you don't have it go get it, now!) and the indefatigable Barbara Walker (Miniature Leaf II from A Treasury of Knitting Patterns -- another indispensable book for knitters) [Ravelry link]
Yarn: Bliss in Periwinkle from Blue Moon Fiber Arts (sadly discontinued), a sport-weight blend of 70% angora and 30% wool; 100 yards, and I used pretty much all of it
Needles: US6 DPNs and US10 DPNs and 24" circular (I'm a loose knitter, so you might need to go up to a US10 1/2 or US11, if you knit tightly)

Isn't it pretty? It's like a cloud. In fact I'm considering sewing a little comb into it to keep it in place when it's windy. I've been wearing it on the crown of my head, like all the hip, young girls here in NYC, rather than down on my forehead like a beret. Or I might weave some elastic into the headband.

This is a beret from the top down, starting with an i-cord "tail" and increasing based upon π (Pi) as explained by Elizabeth Zimmermann in July of Knitter's Almanac. With this fuzzy yarn I wanted a lacy pattern (a solid hat in angora would be a little oven!). This is how I made mine:
With smaller needles CO 3 stitches. Work i-cord for 1".
Round 1: Kfb 3x as for i-cord (6 st.).
Rd 2: Knitting onto three larger DPNs, [kfb, k1] 3x (9 st.). Join to work in the round.
Rd 3: Knit all stitches.
Rd 4: [K1, yo] 9x (18 st.).
Rds 5-7: Knit all stitches.
Rd 8: [K1, yo] 18x (36 st.).
Rds 9-12: Work Miniature Leaf pattern 1x. (See table below.)
Rds 13-14: Knit all stitches.
Rd 15: [K1, yo] 36x (72 st.)
Rds 16-28: Work Miniature Leaf pattern 3x.
Rd 29: Knit all stitches.
Rd 30: [K1 yo] 72x (144 st.)
Rds 31-38: Work Miniature Leaf pattern 2x.
Rd 39: Knit all stitches.
Rd 40: K2tog around.
Rds 41-end: K1P1 around until ribbing measures 1". Bind off in rib. Weave in ends. Block firmly to open up lacework.

Miniature Leaf
In the round, knit rows 1 and 3.
0=Yarn over
^=Slip 1, knit 2 together, pass slipped stitch over

0^0row 4
0^0 row 2

31 March 2009

FO: Little Girl's Shrug

Pattern: Little Girl's Shrug from Knitting Pure and Simple Ravelry link
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash in Horizon (less than one skein)
Needle: US6
Size: 6 year old
Mods: I did the optional lace border at the bottom but am not sure how I like it (curls a little), but Isobel seems happy
Notions: Sparkly button from a blazer of mine that had lost the other one, but we may need to find a slightly smaller button
Yarn and pattern from Purl Diva.

This was my first Knitting Pure and Simple pattern, and it sure was pure and simple. I knit this up in two days. As you can see Isobel is quite pleased with it. And I have enough yarn left to knit up a little something for Penelope to match; yarn requirements were 250 yards for the six, but I used less than 220. So, should I do the same again only smaller for Penelope? There are smaller buttons on the sleeves of the blazer...

27 March 2009

For the Love of Ravelry

As some of you may know, Ravelry is looking to hire a new Email Fairy. It's part-time, off-site, and perfect for me! I mean, come on, it's Ravelry! And I need something to do! Besides, we Virgos like to be helpful.

So, if you know Jess, Casey, and/or MH, please put in a good word for me. Mwah!

25 March 2009

THE Joan Schrouder

Yesterday Nick gave me a parenting reprieve for the afternoon so I could attend a shawl knitting class with Joan Schrouder at Knitty City. Yes, THE Joan Schrouder (I always think of the bandito Juan in Romancing the Stone who says "Joan Wilder? Zee Joan Wilder?"). The guru of the Knitlist, designer of the Lotus Blossom Lace shawl on the cover of Shawls and Scarves: The Best of Knitter's Magazine, and general all-around clever lady. Of course, I forgot to bring my camera (blame it on sleep-deprivation, Penelope seems to have gotten a variant of my last cold) but had a really nice time.

It was all about triangular and trapezoidal shawls. Really fun to get a more thorough grasp on the different construction options, rates of increase, top-down vs. bottom-up, etc. And I learned how to do a long-tail cast-on without a slip knot. Clever and useful bit of knowledge.

I have been knitting but, as I posted on Facebook the other day, every project seems to be at a stuck point, so I've cast on something new - a little shrug (Knitting Pure & Simple - I've always heard good things about their patterns but had never knit one before) for Isobel in Cascade 220 Superwash Horizon (a delicious sky blue). Nice, simple knitting. Thanks, Ellen! (P.S. Ellen, Sydney Fox says "hi!".)

The pile of stuck projects include:
  • a vest-y thing for my sister that I'm designing as I go with one skein of Romney Ridge Farm Hand-dyed yarn (64% wool, 36% mohair) - I'm kind of stuck up at the top: bustier? halter? cami?
  • Tempest by Ann Weaver in "Impressionist Sky" Malabrigo sock yarn - delicious yarn - at the making up part where I've discovered that, despite all my careful hash marks, I seem to have not knit the same number of rows for the fronts as for the backs. Very odd, as I knit each piece separately, not both fronts at the same time. I think I may sew up the side seams from the top-down and then snip and frog the longer portion and bind off the bottom. Sigh.
  • the clever, shaped Aran I mentioned in my Shaping post - I messed up the cable repeat and am now not sure I like where I placed the shaping so it's having a little time-out
  • the angora tam theory project - I messed up the lace repeat and am not sure I like the lace now

    You probably want pictures. I don't show many WIP pics these days, but maybe I'll snap some soon, since there aren't any exciting FOs to show. But Isobel's shrug will probably be ready soon - nothing like a little time with a well-written pattern and some worsted-weight yarn when your own theoretical projects (and ones knit in sock yarn) aren't cooperating.