Saturday, March 27, 2010

Off the Needles!

I love when I can honestly say I finished a project. No ends to weave in, no lingering adjustments. It's done and I've already worn it. Out.Of.The.House. In Public. For everyone to see! This was a quick knit. Fun, too. I downloaded the pattern for Creature Comforts Cardigan as soon as I knew it was available. I had been waiting for Amy of Madelinetosh to release this pattern after I saw a preview on Ravelry. Luckily, I had the Madelinetosh Vintage in my stash, because I had just purchased some at Stitches West. So glad I decided to buy it, because I was able to cast on immediately. Here's it is. Creature Comforts Cardigan in Celadon Vintage by Madelinetosh. Lovely yarn and lovely pattern.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Creature Comforts

Since the time leading up to Stitches West and the time since, I have been overwhelmed with possibilities. So much yarn and patterns and so little time. Why is that always the case? Are there people out there that are so enamored with their current project that they don't even think of straying? If so, hats off to them! I am constantly being tested and tempted.

So, prior to Stitches West, I had such grand plans. I ordered the yarn for Sabbatical and had every intention of knitting that one up right away. In the meantime, I agreed to knit a sample of Citron for Lisa at Wabi Sabi Yarns. That project took up a lot of my knitting time, since it had to be done on a deadline. It was really fun and a great success, but it did lead me off my Sabbatical track. Seeing all that fabulous yarn and project possibilities at Stitches West muddled up my brain and now, I am all over the place. Let's recap what I have started since returning:

Drops 103 Cardigan with The Fibre Co.'s Terra in Walnut (purchased at Stitches West)

Manu with Madelinetosh Pashmina in Stovepipe (another Stitches West purchase)

This last pattern is what did me in. Amy, the owner of Madelinetosh and designer of Creature Comforts Cardi, had been posting teaser photos of this beautiful pattern over the past couple of weeks. Of course, I kept checking to see when it would be available. Lo and behold, I saw this posting on Ravelry and, like a bee to honey, I was hooked. Who can blame me? Look at this! It's perfect. I casted on March 12, 2010 and have been working on this exclusively ever since.
I would love to finish this and maybe wear it for Easter/Passover. The color is a pale, soft green with hints of grey. Kind of a color that is half way in Winter, half way in Spring. Perfect for the season.

Poor, abandoned Manu:
My new love: Creature Comforts Cardi

Monday, March 1, 2010

Stitches Overload or..........

How I went to Stitches West, bought a ton of yarn and now will be eating ramen for a month!
Not really, but close. Whew! That was one, crazy, yarn-filled weekend. Lots of fun, but who would have ever thought that being surrounded by yarn, taking knitting classes and attending fashion shows would render you totally useless on this Monday morning? All that fun can be exhausting. I can't believe I have to go to work this morning. I am going to try to be productive, but I think I will be dreaming of all the beautiful yarn I was surrounded by this weekend. I will update later with more info on the fabulous weekend. It was a blast and I am really glad I decided to go this year. For now, here are a couple of teaser pics of some yarn I picked up. Definitely much more to come.....

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Help for Haiti - Brandywine

Just a quickie post. I casted on the Brandywine Shawl last night. The pattern is lovely, but the purpose behind it is even more so. Rosemary Hill, the designer, is hoping to sell 10,000 copies of this pattern and send $5.00 of each pattern purchase to Haiti Relief. I encourage everyone to purchase a pattern, even if it's not something you plan on knitting right away (although, I can't imagine why not...this pattern is beautiful!). It's for a great cause and every little bit will help.

Here's the beginning of my Brandywine Shawl. I am using Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in the Figue Colorway. I LOVE this color and wish I could get my hands on a sweaters worth of this color.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mushroom Citron

I've been busy. I've been working, almost exclusively, on Citron. As I mentioned in my previous post, I am knitting this for Lisa from Wabi Sabi Yarns for her to display in her booth at Stitches West. It's been a challenging project, because it's made with very thin laceweight yarn. It's fun, though. The yarn is very soft and lovely to work with. I definitely plan on using it again for another project. Here's a pic of my progress. It's kind of smooshed up on the needles, but I can't pull it out to show you more, because I am afraid all those tiny stitches are going to slide of of those needles! Hopefully, I will be done with this very soon. I may even try to make another one. It's a very simple pattern. Really nice. I can see making this pattern multiple times in different colors. It's a great shawl/scarf that can be worn a multitude of ways.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Better late than never, right?

Maybe it's the rain. The photo above is the view from my living room window. It's been very rainy here in Southern California. I think it's making me a bit lazy. Maybe that is why I haven't updated this blog. I have already broke my promise to myself that I would not create this blog and then let it languish for over a week. I hate when I find a blog or podcast that I like, I start following it and then I go back and it hasn't been updated for an extended period of time. I know that it's silly, because a blogger or podcaster does not owe anyone a post or an episode at regular intervals, but it's fun to look forward to seeing/hearing what's next. I was at our local Knit Night at Panera Bakery, hanging out with a few of my knitting friends and one of them told me she had read my blog. I said, "I need to update it" and she said, "Yeah, you do." I guess I didn't realize anyone was really reading it. So.....even if it's just to prove it to myself that I can follow through on this promise, I'm going to really make the effort to post something, anything, once a week. Maybe more, if I'm feeling kind of wild!

I do have some knitting news. I discovered some new yarn. W
abi Sabi yarns...gorgeous! I hadn't seen them in person, but you can tell from the photos that this yarn is something special. Lisa, the owner of Wabi Sabi Yarns, will be exhibiting at Stitches West this year and I am so excited to see her yarn in person. I bet I will be coming home with some. I'm also knitting a sample for her booth. There was a call for test knitters on her Ravelry group and I responded. I am knitting up a Citron shawl out of her new 50/50 silk merino blend laceweight yarn. It is so pretty. The color is named Taupe Blend, but it's a very complex taupe/lavender with hints of some olive tones. It is really lovely. I am on a deadline, so I will be spending most of February knitting this. I am really nervous about knit
ting this, because I want to do a great job. I know I can do
it, it's just kind of scary. Stay tuned!

Work has progressed on Tea Leaves Cardigan. I'm almost done. Just one more sleeve and one button band and it will be finished. Other than blocking, of course. The Madelinetosh Merino is a dream to work with. It's so buttery soft. I love it. The only drawback, well two drawbacks, is that 1) it tends to pill, but every non-plied merino will do that and 2) the yarn is so hard to find right now. I heard that the supplier of the merino is backordered, so a lot of online stores are also backordered on the product. Hopefully, the issue will get resolved and we can all get our fair share of this gorgeous yarn. I think I may want to make somewith with the Parchment colorway. I made a hat for my daughter with one skein of that colo
r and it is really beautiful.
This has been a really easy, low stress knit. I can see myself making another one in Tosh Dk or something similar.

And, just for your viewing pleasure, Tosh Merino Light in the M
olly Ringwald colorway. Don't you just love the name? I was in my heyday when The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles were showing at the cineplex. I love Molly Ringwald and when I saw this yarn, it had to be mine. Currently it's not in the regular lineup of Madelinetosh colors, but I am hoping it will make its way into the permanent collection. I think this would be a really cute Peasy or, how about a Molly Ringwald made out of Molly Ringwald??

Okay, have to run. It's Winter Formal tonight and I have been enlisted to expertly apply makeup to a group of 17 year old girls. It kind of reminds me of Pretty in Pink. All that's missing is Ducky.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Don't get used to this. It's my second post in two days and, although I'd like to think I can keep up this pace, I probably won't be posting every day. You never know, though. I do tend to think a lot about knitting and love to talk and write about it. Since my family members aren't too keen on listening intently to me discuss every detail of my current and upcoming projects, I may have to use this blog as my imaginary friend. You know, the friend you can talk to and they won't think you've gone off the deep end.

Speaking of imaginary friends, all of my children have had imaginary friends and they were active members of our household. My daughters (I have 3) used to have an imaginary friend that they called "Nut" (aptly named, don't you think?) Last I heard, nut was travelling in China. I wonder what he's up to.

It's raining here in Los Angeles. It's kind of nice. It puts me in a knitting mood and I have been working on the Tea Leaves Cardigan. I just hit the point where you separate the sleeves. I love when you get to that part of the pattern. It really starts moving along from there and you start to see the garment take shape. Although I am loving knitting this pattern and know it will be something I am going to really enjoy wearing, I can't help looking forward. I'm always looking forward. There are so many great patterns out there and, it seems, not enough time to knit them. Of course, I will probably never knit all of the patterns that I want to, but there are some you just can't pass up. So, next up is Sabbatical by the uber-talented Connie Chang Chinchio. Connie is amazing. She has so many gorgeous patterns that she has written and she keeps cranking them out. Sabbatical is one of those designs that are both beautiful and truly functional. It looks so comfortable. Something that you can throw on over jeans (would be fab with long pearls and funky boots) and, also, wear to work and look really polished. I'll be knitting it using The Fiber Co.'s Road to China Light in Autumn Jasper that I purchased from The Backwards Loop, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite online stores.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The beginning...

(2) Stitches. That's the response I always give when someone says, "Knitting? I could never do that.", "I can't make THAT. It's too complicated." "I've never tried (insert knitting technique of your choice here). I can only make simple scarves." (2) Stitches. That's all that is between you and this, this, this or even this.

It has always amazed me that, with a bit of yarn and some needles, you can make, with just (2) Stitches, something fabulous. It's like
magic, really. I am constantly inspired by all of designs that are available for modern knitters. It's so empowering to know that, no matter what the technique, I know the basics that can get me there. It just takes a little bravery, a sense of adventure and a willingness
to learn from your mistakes.

I am in no way an expert knitter. I have a lot to learn, that is for sure. I just don't want to be afraid to learn something new. I don't want to see something I love and be stopped in my tracks, thinking that there is no way I can knit it. So, that is what this blog is going to be. Me, knitting, trying new things. Successes and failures. Learning from my mistakes.

So, is this one going to be a success or failure? When I see a pattern I like, I really try to determine whether or not the style would work well for me. I think this pattern is one that would look good on just about anyone. Tea Leaves Cardigan by Melissa LaBarre is perfect. I love cardigans and this one, with it's subtle styling is exactly what I like to wear. Add to that some fabulous yarn and it's almost a no-fail project.

I am using Madelinetosh Merino in the stunning Tannehill colorway. Tannehill is so complex. Dark greens, purples, browns, reds and a bit of blue. Lovely. I found out that Madelinetosh only makes this color in this specific base. Maybe that is why it is so hard to find. I had to buy
some from a Ravelry member and the rest from The Backwards Loop (great online shop, by the way) in order to have enough for the size I am knitting.

Here are some progress shots: