Thursday, January 28, 2010

Little baby gift

My boy's sister is having a baby in March. She's an awesome chick, and I'm excited for her growing family. I'm knitting up a quick and cute gift to send her way; she lives in Washington, D.C., so it may be awhile before I get to see her and the baby.

Progress: Beth's Baby Gift

I'm working through the first sleeve, as you can see. I'm using Cotton Patine in Honey and blue Cotton-Ease, and I may use some chocolate Cotton Patine for the button band. Depending on how quickly I finish, I may knit a second sweater at the next size, for a longer lasting gift.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Stash Enhancement: Always a good thing

Okay, okay, so I've bought a little yarn in the last few months. I've also destashed quite a bit on ravelry, so that makes up for it, right? Up first, from Weezalana's destash, two skeins (purchased at different times) of sock yarn:

Stash Enhancement: Hazel Knits

Some Hazel Knits Artisan Sock, which I've been dying to try

Stash: Yarntini Sock Yarn

and some Yarntini in Peaknit.

I've actually been contemplating using these yarns together, maybe for a Daybreak Shawl(?).

I also scored some Sundara Sock Yarn, in the Delphiniums colorway.

Sundara Sock Yarn Delphiniums

My biggest purchase in the last few months was seven skeins of Silky Wool, purchased from Twisted Yarns in Spring.

Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool

I love this yarn. It's so soft.

Finally, I had a girls weekend in Austin a couple of weeks ago.

Robincat Handspun Dino Lace

Sarah, Rhonda and I checked out Gauge, and I found this Robincat Handspun lace. It's a gorgeous, silk/wool blend.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My current obsession

Over the holiday break, I cast on for this sweater.

Progress: Muddy Maroon Cardigan

Even though I've committed to 10 shawls this year, among other things, this is all I want to knit right now. The pattern is the super awesome Garter Yoke Cardigan, by Melissa LaBarre. I finished the handspun portion (just knit until I ran out), which is Mud Creek yarn I got as a gift from my good friend, Sarah. Now I'm using maroon Northampton for the body. I tried it on, and so far everything fits very well. I'm almost finished with the first sleeve, then I'll do the second, and finally, finish the body.

Thoughts on a button color? I don't want to distract from the handspun, which is definitely the highlight of the sweater. Hmmm. At least I have some time to figure that out.

I love a seamless sweater!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tilly meets Aries

I don't believe I've introduced you to Tilly, my sister's pup. She's adorable and sweet (and so is my sister, come to think of it!).

Tilly and Jilly

Jill adopted her a little over a year ago, and they've been best friends ever since.

Jill, Tilly and I went to visit the grandparents over New Year's weekend, and Tilly got to meet her dog cousin, Aries. Aries belongs to my one and only first cousin, Maclaine, who is getting married next month. Aries is a border collie, bred by my uncle (got all that?). I think I've mentioned before that my uncle breeds Border Collies and Great Pyrenees.

Tilly and Aries

Tilly and Aries had so much fun playing together.

Tilly and Aries

For about a full second, I wished I had a dog, but Bella and Olias keep me plenty busy.

A hug for Aries

Tilly and Aries

I love how Aries' eyes don't match. Cute!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Food Friday: Blueberries on the wall

About a month ago, I took my very first business trip. It was only to Dallas (about an hour plane trip from Houston), but it was fun! I spent one night in the very lovely Hotel Indigo, had a decadent smoked salmon platter and wine for dinner, and went to sleep with blueberries behind my head.

Wall of blueberries

Pretty awesome, yes?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2010 Goals

I've enjoyed reading everyone's recaps and resolutions the past few weeks. To be honest, even though 2009 has been a tough year, I wouldn't change it. I'm happy in my right-now life, and would only like to change a few things. Because of this, I'm not really making a resolution list; I've just got some guidelines, reminders, if you will, for myself in the new year.

Knitting Goals

I've already posted about my commitment to 10 shawls in 2010, and I'm hoping I can stick to that. I've already started my Swallowtail Shawl, and am about 1/3 of the way through the repeating Budding Lace. Next up on the shawl queue are: Clothilde (by Knitting Kninja, author of Pauline, which I just knit and will be sharing soon!), Herbivore, Feministy's Traveling Woman, Percy and La Cumparsita.

Additionally, I have hopes to finish my CPH this year, as it's been on the needles, since, oh, July 25, 2008?? Yeah. So, let's wrap that one up this year, Jacey.

I'd also like to knit more socks, and I've got a few queued items that I'm dying to get to, at some point.

I'd like to finally do a colorwork project as well.

Sewing Goals

I've decided this is the year that I will finally make a quilt. Oh Frannson's got a quilt-along tutorial going on now, so I am trying to get situated so I can participate, but I'm probably overdoing it. We'll see!

I'd also like to sew some skirts this year. I'm rather intimidated by garment sewing (although I've got the used object sewing down pat!), so I want to overcome this.

Misc. Crafting Goals

Also, sometime in there, I'd like to find enough money to buy a spinning wheel and get to practice more spinning.

I'd like to do more embroidery. I love it, have a lot of patterns and materials, but just never find the time.

Cooking Goals

I've never made ice cream on my own, and know it won't be hard, but I'd like to do that.

I'd also like to make bread. Never done that, either.

And caramels. My sister made some over Christmas and they were insanely good. I didn't even think I liked caramels, but holy. They were good.

After reviewing the above list, I've realized, there's always 2011, right?

Monday, January 11, 2010

FO: Betty's Blue Ishbel

Ysolda's Ishbel is such a fun pattern. This was my second attempt, and my first laceweight shawl.

Betty's Blue Ishbel

I really love the end result, and I knit it for a special woman, my grandmother, Betty. Betty is hilarious and kind, and I owe my original sewing education, and probably some of my crafty desires, to her. Knitting for my grandmother is rewarding. It makes me feel good, and I know she'll treasure this shawl.

Modeling the FO

The color is demure and will be a perfect addition to her Sunday wardrobe. She even told me she's planning to wear it to my cousin's wedding next month.

Betty's Blue Ishbel

The shawl seemed to flow more organically for me this time around, even though I was a bit intimidated about working with laceweight.

Pattern: The ever popular Ishbel, by Ysolda.

Betty's Blue Ishbel

Yarn: Malabrigo Lace, Stone Blue, less than 1 skein (probably approx. 450 yards)
Needles: KnitPicks Circular, Size 2
Time: Six weeks (I set this aside to work on other Christmas gifts, for a few weeks)


Recipient: My grandmother (and by the way, that's what I call her: grandmother)
Thoughts/mods/notes: No mods. I knit the large stockinette and small lace. I don't think I could have squeezed out the large lace.

Betty's Blue Ishbel

Blocked lightly. It was a straightforward and gratifying project.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Food Friday: Cookies!


This post is a bit overdue, but I made cookies over the winter break. I, of course, had to make some delicious, soft and chewy Snickerdoodles, and I also made a batch of Cooking Light's Brown Sugar and Pecan Shortbread.


This was my first shortbread experience (making it, at least), and it was easy. I've got a bunch of pecans right now, as my grandparents' trees were abundant with them this year, so I may make these again in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

For the love of lace

After finishing my second Ishbel, which I'll be sharing with you shortly, I'm feeling more confident in my lace abilities. I was already thinking of knitting more of them this year, and I came across this group on Ravelry, so I joined up! Knitting ten shawls in a year seems like a possible goal, so that's the plan. I've got plenty of shawls in my queue; the only problem will be picking which one to knit first. Of course, I may have to have a little bit of stash enhancement to help me accomplish my goal, but I'm willing to make that sacrifice! I'm leaning towards starting my challenge with the classic Swallowtail Shawl from Interweave Knits, Fall 2006.

Knit Picks Gloss Lace

The Sterling KnitPicks Gloss I have stashed seems like just the thing for Swallowtail.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

FO: Vaa Cabled Hat for Nancy

I love this FO so much, I almost kept it for myself and knit something else for Nancy. Nancy is my dear cousin, and I wanted to make her something special; something she could use for the approximately one month of cold weather we get here in Houston. Her only requests were: a dark and rich color, and no stripes. Other than that, I was free to knit what I wanted.


And so I did.

Pattern: Swirl Cable Hat, by SmarieK
Yarn: Malabrigo in Vaa, less than one skein (probably a little more than 120 yards used)
Needles: KnitPicks Circular, Size 7
Time: Five days.
Recipient: Nancy

Completion: Vaa Cabled Hat

Thoughts/mods/notes: No mods. The pattern was well written and easy to follow. I do have to say, this went much faster cabling without a needle, so if you're going to knit this, check out Grumperina's helpful guide.
You already know I love Malabrigo, but this colorway is so gorgeous. Love it!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Food Friday

How many weeks has it been since I posted a food Friday? Too many, that's how many. Being as it's a new year, a new decade, and a chance to start anew, here I am with a new Food Friday. Here's to many more!

Food Friday: Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

I made this Smitten Kitchen Grapefruit Yogurt Cake over a month ago, and have been raving about it ever since. I actually got some more grapefruit over the break, and will be making more of this, pronto.

Food Friday: Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

There is grapefruit zest in the cake itself, and juice in the two glaze mixtures on top. It's fantastic and tastes very clean/citrus-y. If grapefruit's not your thing, or it's not readily available, make it with orange, lemon, lime, or any other juicy fruit.

I wish you all a very HAPPY New Year!!

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