Friday, March 30, 2007

Philly Love Friday.

FARMiCiA, Old City, Philadelphia.
Old City Coffee, Old City Philadelphia.
Metal Kangaroo Sculptures, Old City, Philadelphia.

Happy Friday, everyone!
I'm off to meet iSeL in the city I love!


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

My Precious Cottontail.

Laura has one. And now I have one, too. My Precious. My Precious Cottontail. Soon to be my Precious Cottontail Cardigan. We all need a Precious, a project that is sheer and utter joy to knit. Not one that you want a whole lot and so work, work, knit, knit, toil, toil to finish so that you can have it (ah, product knitting!), but rather one that you take pleasure in, every stitch, every moment you spend knitting it. Wait... I've become a process knitter?? So long as I have my Precious, I have.

Did I happen to mention that I love this yarn? I should clarify that the Cottontail is more wheaty-tan than smokey-gray. I might just be the biggest gray yarn lover ever, and, I must admit that when I purchased the Cottontail, I was expecting more gray than brown. But it turns out that I love this wheaty-tan. It's nice and subtle.

My Precious will soon be this fabulous Norah Gaughan cardigan. The thing I love most about this cardigan is that it is so full of different textures without being all full of cables. And it has some ingenious shaping in it: instead of decreasing through the waist, you knit sections through the middle with smaller sized needles. Interesting concept, I think. I'm not exactly sure whether or not the Cottontail is a perfect match for this cardigan--it may actually be a tad too thick--but I'm convinced that it will be a beautiful match in the end.

The first section of the back panel is already finished. The lace ribbing is so pretty. I start the next section, a K3, P3 ribbing, on smaller needles.

Off to follow the fiber trail to happy, contented process knitting...

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Monday, March 26, 2007

The Daily Purl Temptation.

Hi. Does this look familiar to you at all? This gorgeous, gorgeous fibery goodness? Do you read Brooke's blog? If you don't, you should. Go now and add her to your blogroll. You won't regret it. Though I must warn you, there's a very good reason that I've taken it upon myself to re-name her blog The Daily Temptation. Because that's what it is for me. Daily. Temptation.

Let's get back to the fiber at hand. If you DO read her blog, you'll surely recognize the fibery goodness above. Let me refresh your memory: this. Look familiar now? And how about this? Perhaps after the first glimpse, I could have gotten over seeing it. The Beaverslide 2-ply mule-spun yarn in Cottontail. But she just had to keep posting about it. Who could blame her? Not me, certainly. This must easily be the most beautiful yarn I've seen or felt in a good long while.

And so I caved. Big time. I am now the very, very VERY happy owner and coveter of six glorious skeins of Beaverslide cottontail. That's 65% fine Beaverslide merino and 35% of the finest kid mohair. Oh, it is heavenly. I've never had such a crush on any yarn before. And my next-sweater-dilemma is officially over. I've been floundering about trying to find my next big project. (Don't worry, Mom! Your Saffron Aud is progressing just fine! Okay, maybe be a *smidge* worried). I swatched a few things and researched and pondered a few more, but nothing congealed to anything even near certainty or excitement. Until this loveliness showed up on Brooke's blog. And then it appeared in my mailbox. Eurkea and eureka some more! The Cottontail Cardigan, it shall be. The Norah Gaughan v-neck number from the Fall 2006 Vogue Knitting magazine, to be exact. Very excited.

Speaking of thrilling crafty gorgeousness, did you happen to notice the amazing little minaudière from which the cottontail has been peeking? That, my friends, is my new Zakka pouch, designed and made by none other than the amazing Nora. You know, of Good Yarn Karma fame. (If you don't read Nora's blog, you should. Go, now, and add her to your blogroll. Then come back, of course, and read the rest of my post.)

This pouch is absolutely beautiful. So well designed. So well constructed. So full of amazing details. So perfect for my new perfect project. And just look at that fabric!

Any and all of you who are able to operate a sewing machine, you can find Nora's Zakka pouch tutorial here. It's a very good thing I *can't* work one of those whirring things with a big plying needle-tooth, 'cause otherwise I wouldn't be able to stop myself from making a million of these bags. Love.

Gorgeous details aplenty!

This is me full of contentment. Beautiful project imminently on the needles, perfect project pouch to keep it tucked safely into. Really, does it get any better than this? Heaven. I'm experiencing it. Thank you for the inspiration, Brooke. And THANK YOU for the stitchy-sewy magic, Nora!

And, wow, thanks so much to everyone who commented on my chevron scarf!! I heart it, and I'm glad you all are in agreement! (I have a feeling this scarf will show up again on my blog... Can't. Stop. Photographing. It.)

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Finished: Lucy Loves Schroeder Chevron Scarf

Finished: Lucy Loves Schroeder Chevron Scarf
Pattern: By the talented Joelle Hoverson in Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Fiber: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock mediumweight; one skein of "Lucy" and one skein of "Foofaraw"
Needles: size 5 straight needles
Date Started: 08 March 2007
Date Completed: 24 March 2007
Modifications: Just some random tinkering here and there with gauge and starting some rows with different ends of the balls of yarn to obtain maximum color variation. Quite a bit of effort went into controlling where the red portions of the yarn appeared.

Lucy loves Schroeder! Well, we always knew that, but, more importantly: this time Schroeder loves her back! Okay, before I truly confuse any readers who are not regulars around these parts, an explanation: Lucy, of course, is the STR colorway name of the blues and tans yarn, but, for the purposes of my own keeping my own palette of colorway names pleased, I took it upon myself to rename Foofaraw (the reds, oranges, greens, and pinks colorway) Schroeder. Foofaraw, as much as I understand that it is an authentic, verifiable, perfectly correct word, is just not a word to be used by the likes of me to describe anything likable. And this scarf? It's very, very, VERY likable! That Lucy and that Schroeder, they do make a great pair!

As much as I claim not to be a bandwagon-eer, I'm glad that, deep down, I just want to be like everyone else. I really love this scarf and it was such fun to make! Scarves usually feel like a hassle to make, what with the über-repetitiveness and über-ÜBER-length, but this scarf just flew by. I can definitely imagine making another one of these babies. And SUCH a productive way to use STR without wanting to gouge your eyes out to deliver yourself from pooling horrors. And, on that subject, the STR mediumweight is, in this case and ONLY this case, a better choice than Koigu. You will likely never hear me say that again, but I mean it. The mediumweight STR is just a tad thicker than Koigu, and for the purposes of making this scarf, the STR is definitely more suitable. More variegated colors are also better for making this scarf, too.

Now, did anyone happen to notice my oh-so-very swell ensemble? I'm referring to the awesome, awesome red t-shirt I'm wearing. The one with the badass swallow freezer paper stenciled on in black ink. Did I mention that it's my new favorite t-shirt? Because it is. Did I mention that the very talented and very generous Christy made it for me? Because she did. And it is my favorite. Heart! Thanks again, Christy, for being talented in a way that I am not and being willing to share those talents. And look! It goes perfectly with the chevron scarf.

Thus concludes the saga of the longest scarf I ever knit (thus far). This sucker ended up being over six feet long... close to seven, I think. I love the scarf and I think the color choices--though I was very dubious in the beginning-turned out fantastically. This bandwagon was well worth the ride, indeed. Now, where are those Fetchings and Jaywalkers I've been meaning to knit??

And now that I have a completed chevron scarf to flaunt, won't some knitbloggers come visit me so I can flaunt, too?

Have a wondrous weekend, all!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Not just for drinking, anymore.

Bath tea! Try soaking in it. Try splashing around in it! It's a lovely experience. But don't take my word for it... it's now available in the soap shop.

And ::thank you:: to everyone who left cheery notes and personal flood stories during the Leaky, Spurty Kitchen Pipes Crisis '07, which, I am happy to report, has been swifty repaired. Commence washing dishes. And not having sink sewage everywhere. Hurrah!


Monday, March 19, 2007

Good day, Sunshine.

I'm taking a stab at being cheery, even though the spring break is officially over and the kitchen pipes are busted and leaky. And hey! I updated the soap shop with a few springtime goodies. Because who doesn't want a little springtime in their showers these days?

Happy Monday, all, and here's hoping your kitchen sink isn't flooded right now like mine is--oh, right, being cheery...BEING. CHEERY.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy Day to Flaunt Your Green Yarn Stash!

I got this Green Sock KAL in the bag. Hearting the green sock yarn.

A Piece of Vermont
Real Vermonter sock yarn
70% mohair/30% Romney and Corriedale

Yarn Pirate
Bluefaced Leicester sock yarn
100% wool

Yarn Botanika
Radiance merino/tencel sock yarn
100% wool fortified with tencel
Spring Greens

The beer selection for this Paddy's day. I like my beer like I like my yarn: indie-style and mixed up in small batches.

Lucy and Schroeder continue to mingle together harmoniously.
(click the photo for a better, slightly less dark view).

Happy Day of Leprechauns, Shamrocks, and All Things Green!

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Edwin Claudius Cat Candy Friday.

Warning: Self-indulgent, cat-heavy post ahead: those with kitty allergies or those who are easily bored with non-knitting pet content, this post is not for you.

This is a Special Edition post, dedicated to Edwin Claudius Cat. I am making up for his rare appearances on le blog, though he is an integral part of my daily life.

Edwin spends the greatest part of his existence doing this
and this,

a little of this, and a whole lot of that.

On occasion, he does other things. Like this,

and this and this.

What a guy.

Edwin: he's one bad muthua. No, really he is. He can definitely defend himself against the towel of doom, which he gets wrapped in when he has his claws clipped. (That's poor M's mangled hand--it happened once, and now there is some serious dual-person cat-wrangling during claw-clipping).

Who knew that I'd get so little knitting done during spring break?? Oh, the irony. When you have the leisure to do it, you don't; all other times, you want to do nothing but. Go figure.

Have a terrific Friday! (As sleet tinks against my windows on a mid-March morning).


Monday, March 12, 2007

Lapping that kool-aid up.

Lookie here: turns out Schroeder hearts Lucy, after all!

And I HEART my Lucy Loves Schroeder scarf. If I weren't entirely opposed to using the word "squee," I would certainly use it here. Effusively. What the hell, SQUEE! And, while we're at it, LURVE!

And the progress continues... what an addictive knit. Perhaps everyone I know just might need one of these.

It is now...

this long. And growing.

Back-up plan entirely unnecessary. Off to squee and lurve all over my new scarf, now.

Happy Monday to you all!

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Finished: Mossy Monkey Socks

Finished: Mossy Monkey Socks
Pattern: An amazing sock creation by Cookie A.
Fiber: Sundara Somewhat Solid sock yarn in "Burgundy over Moss"
Needles: size 1 DPNs
Date Started: 22 December 2006
Date Completed: 10 March 2006
Modifications: I worked seven lace pattern repeats, rather than six.

What a joy these babies were to knit. Upon finishing these socks, my third pair of knit socks, I realized that I have somewhat of a fetish for Cookie A. sock patterns. The Monkeys are my second Cookie A. sock pattern, and they fit just as perfectly as the Hederas.

Cookie's patterns really are ingenious. Patterns that are rather easy to memorize (um, except for, perhaps, the Pomatomus) with tremendously fantastic payoff results. Her socks look complicated to knit, what with all of the texture and lace, but they aren't at all. Easy peasy. And did I mention lovely? Yes, lovely.

You can image how disappointed I was that I couldn't go to Stitches West, where Cookie was going to be selling the myriad of unbelievably, mind-blogglingly AMAZING sock patterns of hers. There are like twenty. Each of them more awesome than the first. Is Cookie a robot? How is a single woman capable of such things?? (oh, right). The latest news is that Cookie will be selling her most recent sock patterns online through her blog site on Tuesday.

I'm sure you all can guess where I'll be on Tuesday.

The Monkeys turned out fabulously. And, as per usual, the Sundara sock yarn certainly worked its customary (but not to be overlooked or taken for granted) magic.

Number two of my set of 4 things to finish is done. Next mateless WIP up: this guy's other. Long overdue, I'm afraid. Now, I'm off to gambol with my chevron scarf and gear myself up for grading the stack of midterm exams that must be dealt with.

Have a super-terrific weekend, all!
And WOOT! for Knittin'-n-Sleepin' Fest 2007*!!

* more common appellation: Spring Break

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