Monday, April 10, 2006

This Week in Pictures

Full Disclosure: This post does not include any pictures of the work-in-progress Daisy sweater for Courtney's baby. It is progressing but I'm not showing it to you today. (To be perfectly frank, I was planning to show you pictures of it today but the camera batteries died before I got any sweater pictures taken. Stupid camera.)

Knitting News: Look! Does anyone know what this is?Yep, it's a log cabin. I haven't woven in the ends yet but that's ok. I wanted to photograph it while I had the camera out. My very first knitting inspired by the fabu Mason-Dixon Knitting book. This is my own personal take on the "Courthouse Steps" version of a log cabin. And that super happenin' backdrop is my favorite squish pillow.

From the Department of Yarn Procurement: Sometimes, a knitter simply needs to buy yarn. You get that tingling in your fingertips. You want to touch and feel and, well, possess. Most of the following items were purchased with gift certificates I've been holding on to since Christmas and birthday. First up, my first ever Noro purchase:

Two skeins of the Kureyon in colorway 95. You would think that this would soothe that savage yarn horder beast. But no. No, no, no. So next came

A single skein of Mango Moon recycled Tibetan sari silk. Which would have photographed better in the hank than in this carefully wound ball. Alas, hindsight and all that. Any thoughts on what I should do with this single skein?

Still not enough. So Wednesday brought a visit to Elegant Stitch.

If you will refer back to the ABC's presented here last week, please take special note of Q wherein I introduced you to my quilt project. The rest of the recent yarn acquisitions are brought to you by the letter Q:

This five little bundles of joy are Tahki Cotton Classic. Of course. These partial skeins are from a kit that was on clearance. I am not sure exactly how much yarn is in each of these balls but they will do quite nicely for the quilt project. And I got a great deal. The kit was for a (forgive me for saying so) horrible baby hat. This yarn will now go to a better cause.

Then yesterday, my mother and I made a run to Sonora to investigate By Hand Yarn. A lovely little store, in fact, with a diverse selection. Only a moderate selection of Cotton Classic, though. Not one single skein of red. I'll have to order those online, I suppose. Tragic. We did find something worth bringing home with us. (Imagine that!)

The solids:

The multi-colors:

So, not obscene yarn shopping or anything but alot of purchases for me in such a short window. I did discover tonight while doing a little online browsing that Webs is having their annual sale. I guess that answers the question of where I'll be getting the red for the quilt.

A Call for help: In creating this knit-quilt, I'm going for that true old-fashioned patchwork/scrap quilt feel. Kay very graciously sent me some Tahki CC leftovers she had lying around. If anyone out there has any partial skeins or scraps of Cotton Classic on hand, I would be very eager to work out a purchase or a trade or something.

So there we have it. Another post. And only one week since the last one. Maybe I've got the hang of this blogging thing after all. :)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Now I Know My ABCs....

After many, many weeks of not posting, I’ve put together this (rather lengthy) little 411.

The ABCs of Ok! What Next?

A: Angora. The yarn and the rabbits. (I mean, really? How can you resist? Look at this English Angora baby.) One day soon (I know, I know) I am going to make this bunny. So cute! So fluffy and fuzzy. And I’m a sucker for a felting project.

B: Baby Alpaca. Specifically, Debbie Bliss, Alpaca Silk, which is 80% baby alpaca, 20% silk 100% soul sucking. From this yarn, I learned several very important, very pricey, lessons, including but not limited to: 1) do not “wing it” when it comes to picking up 76 stitches. 2) Some yarn will felt even when washed eversosuperduperverygenlty in cold water…by hand…under constant supervision. 3) If you have only 24 hours before you plan to give a handknit as a gift, use a pattern. 4) Alpaca yarn gives me a rash if I touch it to my face.

C: Crazy Aunt Purl. ‘Nuff said.

D: Double-knitting. As I’ve said before, this technique is knitting magic.

E: Elann. Ahh the joy of affordable, quality on-line yarn shopping. And the myriad of tools and accessories at reasonable prices. I am not by nature a window shopper but I have in recent years become a Windows shopper.

F: Fuzzy Feet. My very first Knit-Along. And my participation in that knit-along inspired me to start this blog. How can I not feel an endless affection for the feet?

G: Grecian Plait. Another fantastic pattern from Knitty. Another item on my knitting to do (eventually) list.

H: Ham Delight. One of my favorite recipes. Not much to speak of by itself. Ya’ll should try it, though. Mix together very well: ½ lb. butter or margarine (softened), 3 T. mustard, 3 T. poppy seeds, 1 medium white onion, finely chopped, 1 T Worcestershire sauce. Refrigerate. You’ll also need some: sandwich rolls, thinly sliced ham, deli Swiss. Spread some of the mixture on the sandwich roll. Add some ham and swiss. Microwave for 30-45 seconds until cheese is melting. Eat and enjoy. Yum.

I: Incognito. Last week, my 8 year old nephew (who wants to be a chaplain in the Marines so he can “save people’s souls and shoot bad guys”) asked me if I would teach him to knit. I said yes, of course. Yesterday he told me that his dad said he is not allowed to learn to knit because “Knitting is for girls.” I told him that knitting is not just for girls and I would just teach him when his dad wasn’t looking. He said, in that precious 8 year old conspiratorial tone, “OK! Then I will knit incognito.” He also told me that knitting would be good for his Marine skills because, “Knitting needles would make good weapons.” In the interest of knitters everywhere, I asked him not to say that within earshot of anyone from the TSA.

J: Jaeger. I am particularly font of the Albany. What can I say - I'm a sucker for the cottons. At least I'm consistent. I also like Jaeger for their patterns. I like several in this particular issue.

K: Klaus Koch Clip. My favorite yarn I’ve never made anything from. I’ve only used it once, at a friend’s and I had to give it back because she was hording it for a specific project. I have yet to breakdown and buy some. I can’t get it at my LYS and I have been trying to curb my online yarn buying. But I need some of this yarn. It is a yarn longing that I cannot even articulate. Probably the red. Of course.

L: Law & Order. Law & Order: SVU. Law & Order: Criminal Intent. My favorite shows. And fabulous knitting TV. It makes my HP a little nuts that I can’t just sit and watch a program or a movie but I just can’t. That’s how it is. And luckily, the tivo allows me to rewind if I get busy counting stitches and miss a detail.

M: Mason-Dixon Knitting. The website. Ann and Kay. The new Book. All equally fabulous. And as I’m sure I’ve said here before, if it wasn’t for the excitement and enthusiasm and knitting community I found there, way back then, I probably would have quit knitting.

N: Neglectful. I’ve heard people say that they worry about having pets because they don’t have time to spend with them and yet, when they do have time to spend with them, Muffin and Fluffy give them so much joy, they can’t imagine not having them around. That is how I feel about this blog. I check in on it every day but I seldom have time (make time) to throw it a bone or take it for a walk in the park. I feel guilt about not updating more but I wouldn’t not have it.

O: Oddball Knitting. For all of us and our little promises to use up stash, this book is a treasure.

P: Pedicure. There is nothing quite so wonderful in this world as a pedicure. I have a dream: to one day have one of these in my home and have a fabulous somebody on call to give me a pedicure whenever I feel a need for one. Oh what a beautiful concept.

Q: Quilt. Specifically, this quilt, which I first encountered in the Found Objects at MDK last April and fell in love. Subsequently, I've created a pattern (an unnecessarily complicated pattern, but a pattern nonetheless) and I've started it. But it keeps getting put on the back burner. Up until now, only Kay knew about my knitting of this quilt. I guess now ya'll all know so I'll have to get busy on it.

R: Rowan. It is no secret that Rowan Calmer is my favorite yarn. But there is so much else to love about Rowan. So many beautiful yarns. And the patterns. A new favorite is the Biggy Print.

S: Sweater. Actually, Daisy. My current project. It is coming right along. Slowly but surely. It reminds me of why I love to knit. The thrill of seeing the repetitive little stitches dance and jump and tumble into something recognizable. And so cute – who can resist knitting for little ones?

T: Tahki/Staci Charles Cotton Classic. Have you ever looked at the color opportunities with the Cotton Classic? The options are fascinating. The price is reasonable. The results are gorgeous every single time.

U: Unikat. Before I knit with this yarn, I’d never heard of it. It was given to me as a gift and I had no idea what I was getting. Now I do know. This is really fabulous stuff. I haven’t come across it again since but I’ve considered ordering some online. Right after I sell a kidney to fund the purchase.

V: Virgin Wool. Like these virgin wool blankets.

W: Wine. Wine. Wine. Wine. They say that, as a general rule, white wines go well with chicken or fish and red wines with red meat or spicy dishes. I am particularly font of the viognier/cotton blend combination, the chardonnay/cotton combination, zinfandel or merlot/alpaca-silk combination and, most deliciously, the tawny port/wool combination. Wine is an excellent accompaniment to most any knitting project. Though the intarsia really lends itself to something a little stiffer…like Jack Daniels or Tequila. But just a little.

X: X Marks the spot. One of these days, I really am going to knit from a chart. Really. I am. I mean it.

Y: Yarn, of course. Yarn. Oh the beautiful wonderful fabulous deliciousness of yarn of all stripes . . . and solids. But ya’ll don’t need me to tell you about the yarn's endless virtues.

Z: Zimmerman, Elizabeth. All of her books (at least the 3 I’ve seen) are brilliant and a wealth of information. I especially Knitting Without Tears and The Opinionated Knitter.

So there you have it. Hope all is well with all of you.