Wednesday, March 26, 2008

WIP-Something Red and Yellow


After losing some steam on this project in the last week, I got through several rows of ribbing before taking this picture last night. I'm really liking the fit so far. I've been debating about how to do the short-row collar, as well as the increases in the ribbing.
Here's some of my thoughts on the matter:
-If I make the collar as wide as it is in the pattern, it will overlap in the front (this tells me I probably could have made a smaller size), which I don't want, so I will definitely make the collar more narrow.
-I think the fit is loose enough without adding ribbing increases. I do like the sway the increases provide, and I"m wondering if I could create the same effect with some decreases instead, or if it will look alright with just straight ribbing.
-I'm also considering doing the short rows in yellow for emphasis, or maybe yellow with a thin red border.
Anyone have thoughts on these modifications?
I'd like to crank this out in the next week or so. I've got to get started on the Square Cake for Terra's wedding. It's almost April!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

All kinds of ridiculous

When one is purchasing yarn, one should consider their capabilities as a knitter. If one has yet to learn, for example, how to knit socks, one should not buy sock yarn like it's going out of style. One should especially not do this if they already have enough sock yarn to sock their closest friends. Resisting the beauty of the sock yarn is mighty difficult, but one should.


Or one could not listen to itself. Whatever.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Little baby skeins

Ravelry has some fantastic ads, and while they usually are at least worth a glance, two in the last few weeks have been so tempting that I couldn't resist clicking them. The first was for Zen Yarn Garden on etsy, and they had an amazing offer of five baby skeins, each of a different sock yarn, for just $5.00 including shipping. While I'm not yet a sock knitter, and I have plenty of yarn, I couldn't resist trying out their lovely yarns for this low price. So, click! Yarn is on it's way. I got it this week, and it's been fun practicing with the baby needles.

It's nice that they give you all yarn in one colorway, so you actually could conjure up a little FO using all of them. Another bonus is that they give you a discount on your first purchase if you first get the sampler. Pretty awesome in my book.
Today I got suckered in AGAIN, this time with Wool Girl, and again, with sock yarn! Geez. I really need to start knitting some socks! I ended up buying two different types of sock yarn in colorways I could not live without. I'm not at all opposed to using it for non-socks, but we'll see-maybe this will be the motivation I need to learn.
Here's another example of baby skeins I came across in New Mexico. While at the Fiesta Outlet in Albuquerque, I scored some beautiful baby skeins for just a buck a piece. Amazing, right?

I got six skeins, in semi-coordinating colors (paired off, I mean). There are 3 skeins of 100% silk (La Luz), some 100% cashmere, and a wool blend.
Ah, they make me happy.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I never thought I would like Brussels sprouts


Posting about food so close to lunchtime is probably not my best idea, but I've been wanting to share a recipe for Brussels sprouts for quite some time now. Not once in my childhood was I subjected to eat these little green guys, but my boyfriend remembered loving them, so we bought some to try. I had an idea of the flavors I wanted to use, and while I don't have exact measurements, here's a general recipe:

brussels sprouts (at my grocery, they come in a mesh bag, but get whatever you can find fresh)
2-4 cloves of garlic, chopped or minced (I think I added more, but I'm a garlic fiend)
Olive oil, just a splash
1 tablespoon butter
lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
salt and pepper
Balsamic vinegar (optional)

Wash the sprouts and cut off the stem ends. Then, cut each sprout in half. (I do this, so that each piece can cook more quickly and absorb more flavor)
Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat and then throw in the garlic and sprouts. Hit them with lemon juice, a few splashes is all you really need. Season with pepper and just a sprinkle of salt (I use kosher). Let the sprouts cook for 5-10 minutes. The sprouts will soften around the edges, and then I like to add just a bit more lemon juice as well as a splash of olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar.
That's it! Simple and delicious.

Monday, March 17, 2008

More NM yarn


Fiesta yarns, based in Albuequerque, makes some really interesting stuff. We went to their outlet store, and I got several baby skeins of cashmere and silk (only $1.00 each!), but I didn't find anything else that I had to have. However, at Village Wools, that same day, this Fiesta Ballet (tencel/alpaca mix) was too soft and gorgeous to pass up.
In Santa Fe, I scored big time at Needle's Eye, purchasing the following:

Austermann Mosaico (cotton blend)

SWTC Karaoke, 2 skeins

Cherry Tree Hill, Serengeti

Universal Yarns Classic Shades

We also visited La Lana Wools in Taos, which was awesome. They do all-natural processing and dyeing in-house, and have some really unique fibers. It was hard making choices in such a luxurious setting, but I finally settled on these:
Streakers

This yarn is comparable to Malabrigo or any other thick and thin worsted weight. It's really nice, and the color is so fun!

Tussah Silk, worsted weight, 2 skeins

I think the moral of this story is that I probably don't need to buy any more yarn for a year or so. That doesn't mean I WON'T, but I don't have to. I also got some neat pattern books and magazines, some of which I've never seen in person. Every shop had lovely people, and we even sat down with a group in Needle's Eye to knit for awhile.
I've never felt so relaxed coming home from a vacation.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Home

Sarah and I had a blast in New Mexico. We hit seven yarn shops in four days. It was amazing. I have lots to say about the trip, but let's just let this picture speak for itself. This is after four of the seven shops:

Enough said. I will give more details on my stash additions soon, but I also have my something red (and yellow) to show you. I made lots of progress on the trip, so here's me with the sleeves on scrap yarn this morning:

Yep-very exciting. I'm debating doing little cables instead of ribbing at the bottom, as you can see Fancie Pants did here. I'm not sure yet. I will be adding another yellow stripe just above the ribbing/cables, or near the bottom of the garment, as well as on the sleeves.
That's all for now. More stash and trip pictures to come.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Santa Fe: stash and WIP update

Good morning! Sarah and I are in Santa Fe. We arrived Sunday and we've had such a wonderful trip so far. We've had amazing food, met lots of nice people and of course, purchased stash enhancements. Yesterday, we visited 2 local yarn stores, Miriam's Well and Needle's Eye. Each one had great selection and very knowledgeable owners. At Needle's Eye, I bought some patterns and this:

Araucania Nature Wool, 4 skeins, Rust
I'm not sure what it will be, but the color is gorgeous with slight variations.
At Miriam's Well, I bought two types of yarn: Crystal Palace Taos in Sedona, 2 skeins

and Elsebeth Lavold Cotton Patine, 8 skeins, 4 each of honey and faded blue

I've been working on my SOmething Red and Yellow, although the progress seems slow as the rows get longer and longer.

We've had fantastic luck with restaurant choices. I've eaten some green chile chicken stew, blue corn cheese enchiladas, potato crusted salmon with leeks, and a wonderful calzone. Mmm. I've also tried a couple of local beers, always a plus. :)
Today, we're driving to Taos and tomorrow, we head to Albuquerque.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Travel and such

This afternoon, my mom leaves for a 17-day trip to Turkey and Paris. She's never been out of North America, and she's excited/nervous/scared. I'm jealous/envious/excited for her. :) She asked me what type of souvenir I'd like, and after some serious thought, I requested some yarn, if she comes across any. I imagine that especially in Turkey, wool is plentiful and easy to find. I was going to write down for her specifications for yarn I'd like, but this morning, I told her to just look and feel, and that she is perfectly capable of picking something good. Also, of course, I told her not to spend more than she wanted to, because, as we know, you can easily throw down an arm and a leg for some yarn.

Sunday, I leave for New Mexico (just one state over, so not quite as exciting as Turkey and Paris) with Sarah. I'm really excited to be off work for a week, go to yarn shops, knit, eat good food, and just have some girl time with Sarah.
I still haven't figured out what I'm going to take to work on, but I started Something Red and even though it will be a large project, it would be good for a trip like this, where I'll have lots of time over the week to work on it. Whether I bring it or not, I will also be bringing some sock yarn to start practicing. I think this trip is the perfect time to learn, and not just because Sarah will be there to help me. ;)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

FO: Stella's Mariposa Hat

Another FO to post! Already!
Stella's Mariposa Hat
Details:
Stella's Hat, by Knitting School Dropout
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in Mariposa, less than 1 skein
Size 7 dpns
Time:about 2 weeks
Made for me!

The yarn is so yummy, and this pattern was perfect for it. It wasn't my idea, though. I saw mraow's version on ravelry and knew it was the perfect choice for my lone skein of this colorway. I love it.

In non-knitting news, if a tree falls on your patio, does it make a sound?

The answer is yes. It makes a loud crack, and scares the bejeezus out of you. Then it makes you run to the local hardware store for a bow saw and makes you and your boyfriend cut it into manageable pieces, so you can move it off your patio.
Although we were stressed about it at the time, we're amazed that nothing was damaged.

The only possible problem is that the gutter bows out a bit, but it's nothing that can't be fixed if necessary.

Monday, March 3, 2008

For Jill

I only have one sister.

Growing up, there were times I wished for a brother, or for a different sister, but most of the time, I liked her, and we got along fairly well. More than anything, I've always tried to protect my little sister. Now, as adults, we're good friends, despite our very different lifestyles. Jill turns 24 this Saturday, and I've been working furiously to finish her present, Twiggy Tweed.

Details:
Twiggy Tweed, by Missa Hills
Yarn: Paton's Classic Wool Merino (dark brown)-.5 skein, RYC Cashsoft DK in Kingfisher, 1 skein
Size 7 straight needles
Time: A little over one month
for Jill
Mods: I striped the strap for extra funk, and I lined the inside with a neat fabric I found, rather than a t-shirt, as the pattern suggests.

The fabric gives it the right amount of fun.
Also, I used velcro to fasten the middle of the opening, and sewed the edges together, to make the opening a little smaller (so Jill's stuff doesn't fall out).

So, happy birthday, sister. I love you.
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