Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Loop and Lupe's

Strangely, I have not been knitting socks much lately. I have also been very good and have not added to my sock yarn stash either (except if you count the 3 skeins of Sundara Fingering I got recently, but that will be slated for a shawl). I guess hats are the new socks for me now. But I did finish these a few weeks ago, and forgot to share them:
Lion Brand Wool
Size 7 addis - 63" cables I think - Magic Loop

The pattern is from the amazing sock guru Kristen at That woman can teach anyone how to knit a pair of socks, and in a variety of ways. I learned my first cuff down on 4 dpns from her very informative tutorial, and now I picked up 2 socks done toe-up on one long circ, aka Magic Loop Method.
1. 2 socks done at the same time (as my 16 year old would say, "Duh!")

1. I wasn't sure where to start the heel (with the cuff-down method I start the heel when the sock is long enough on my leg, I then start the toe when it reaches my toe cleavage...)
2. Picking up my heel stitches created gaps. I tried it three times before I gave up and hoped it would shift and redistribute itself after the first wash, which it has done somewhat.
I didn't use a stretchy enough bindoff. Fortunately my feet are skinny.
3. I started the ribbing too soon. I only had one skein of Lion Wool, and I was afraid of running out. I almost did, and they're not much more than an inch over my ankle.

But did I mention, both socks are done at the same time? Yes of course I did. It kind of outshines the negatives. And wow, that worsted weight wool made it quick and WARM. I don't need another pair of worsted weight socks, but this was a good weight to learn on - quick results. Oh and another thing. They're black. That's a staple color in my wardrobe, but murder on my eyes while knitting.
And now I leave you with my favorite Mexican restaurant - Lupe's on Watts and Sixth, NYC. Great everything, especially the guacamole and margaritas.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Of Amaryllis and Fan and Feather

Yarnstorm inspired me to share my Amaryllis with you today. Even though we haven't had much winter here on Long Island (I know poo poo poo, knock on wood, etc.) but I still yearn for Spring. The daffodils are peaking out, the crocuses are saying "hi" and things are doing a general budding-up around here lately. But while it was gray and cold in January, this beautiful addition graced my dining room table.

This little bag flew off the needles and under the radar:

Koigu KPPM, forgot the colorway, almost a skein
Needles: size 7 Crystal Palace Bamboo (love the points!)
Pattern: Little Lace Bag from Australian Yarn magazine
Made for: my friend Cynthia

I love the description written by the designer, Barbara Coddington: "I love teeny handbags but since having kids haven't been able to get away with carrying anything smaller than a backpacker's delight. (Need room for toys and hats and packets of emergency biscuits!) This little lace bag, a bit of wishful thinking on my part, is for times when all you need are keys, a credit card and a wee mobile phone...but you could probably fit a little box of sultanas, in case you or someone you know gets a little peckish." Yes, you could definitely say that there are a few people around here who are getting more than a bit "peckish". But what are "sultanas"? I need to get some quick.

It was a quick and enjoyable knit. It was my first time with the Koigu, and I must say I would prefer using this yarn on projects like this bag because the tightness of the twist seems to take away from its smooshiness, which is a necessary ingredient in my sock knitting. All you Koigu sock knitters out there, give me a shout out and let me know that I'm talking out of my little lace bag.

Please excuse the scary close-up. That camera was "so 2 months ago".

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I Love Buttons

Yes - I am the keeper of the buttons. The older the better. Here's my collection. I keep them in old candy tins.
I make a half-hearted attempt to keep them sorted. Here are some of the lesser whites:
Many cut from old shirts. Many saved just for me. Read below...
Little baggies with special reds and pinks, little pill bottles with all sorts of brass, stones and teddy bears.
Many still on cardboard, or in little packages.
Most are my grandmother's buttons, given to me by my mom. Grandma would buy a lot of her clothes at the thrift store, and when she was done wearing them, she would cut the buttons off. Nothing went to waste back in those days. They were the original recyclers. This one came from a great 3/4 length sleeve suit she scored at the Salvation Army and wore one Easter. I have fond memories of her in it.
I love seeing the handwriting of my mom and grandma. It instantly transports me to them. (Although mom is living with me now, but I still think of her thinking of me as she wrote it.)
I had a hard time deciding which buttons to choose for dd's jacket. But I didn't have a hard time choosing the right vintage rhinestone one for my Anthropologie Inspired Capelet:
Yarn: Grignasco Rapsodia 1 1/2 skeins
Needles: Addi Turbo #11s
Mods: Added about 6 more rows to length, otherwise, nuthin.

So when I die, save the urn for some really cool, old buttons.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

It' Getting Cold Here

And here's some mittens to keep dh#1's hands warm:
I REALLY enjoyed making them. They're from Elliphantom. I enjoyed making them so much that I now want to try the "Poetry Mittens" from the new issue of Piecework. These were my first stranded project (being careful here not to call them "fairisle") and the first one went slowly but the second was lightening quick. I had to add the pompons because they were in the pattern and I am a purist but dh took them off right away. Oh well, maybe they'll become barrettes for dh#2.

I kept track of the rows with a highlighter and I was too lazy to print out a second copy so I used my Knitpicks pattern holder for the second mitten. It was a great tool.
I saw Martha the other day, I think she'd like these mittens.

Dear Martha,
If you like my mittens and want a pair, I'll make you some.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Two Cowpies

Or that's how they are affectionately referred to over at Craftster. There's a wonderful pattern written by Catherine of Skeins and Steins called Springtime Beret. She originally referred to it as a cowpie or cowpat on her blog, wich made me want to knit it even more. The big one below was originally for dd#1 but had too much slouch for her (Cascade 128 and #7 dpns) so I made the second one (shown above) in a lighter version with Lion Brand Woolease and # 5 addis and dpns. I kept the grande because

I can work the slouch, my dears...

Friday, February 01, 2008

Circle Jacket... Hmmm...

Here's a little circle jacket I finished a while back. After having made this, I've decided that people are basically rectangular in nature, and trying to put a circle on a rectangle is a lot like putting a square peg in a round hole. The jacket is for dd#2, and it is too big presently, which makes perfect sense since I buy her clothes a size up as well, and roll and hem away. She's a fast grower, and I have a pet peeve about kids in clothes that are too tight. I did enjoy the hours of stockinette in the round. It came in very handy at dad's bedside.
Specs: Berroco Polkadot
Yarn: Moda Dea Cartwheel -18 skeins
Needles: Addi Turbo #7s, Clover dpns #7s
Buttons: Grandma's vintage, in my coveted stash

WhatIfKnits is hosting a Blogiversary Raffle. Make a donation to one of the animal charities on her site and she will put you in for a chance to win some great prizes which I'm sure have everything to do with yarn and such. Even a small ($2) donation gets you in the running, which is good, since my kids are tapping my funds lately.