Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Knit-tastic Christmas

I just have to share some photos and info about all of my exciting knit-related holiday gifts :)

First, the yarn:

I picked out these beauties from  My husband bought me the red ball (on the right) from Glass Moon Designs and Woolpops.  Its a worsted weight merino that I can't wait to swatch so I can see what the color does.
My parents bought me the other skein from Lola Doodles.  Its dk weight and so soft.  Both are hand-painted.  I need to find just the right pattern to display the beautful colors in both these yarns :)

And then, the books:

My Mom picked up a copy of Katharina Buss's Big Book of Knitting at a library book sale.  Knowing my Mom, I bet she paid less than a buck for it :)  It seems to have a lot of basic information and illustrations, along with a good selection of stitch patterns.  I find these types of books are good to have on your shelf when you have questions or are looking for some ideas for a pattern.  Thanks, Mom!!

My brother-in-law gave me a copy of Teva Durham's Loop-d-Loop Lace book, which I've wanted since it came out.  (He's great about getting exactly what I want).  This book has absolutely gorgeous lace patterns in it.  I wish I could make each and every pattern in this book and wear them someplace wonderful, but I'm happy just flipping through the designs.  There is a simple funky eyelet tee that I think I will make soon.  I'm sure I would get a lot of wear out of this versatile top.  Thank you, Robert :)

And then my hubby gave me Knit Extraordinaire, a new book from Leisure Arts (its cheaper through Amazon, though).  I saw this book advertised in some knitting magazine a few months ago.  I don't think the patterns are on Ravelry, but I love the skirts in this book (Leisure Arts website has some photos posted of some of the patterns).   

Thanks to everyone for these great gifts!  I'm excited to dig in to some new projects!!  Hope this holiday season brought you exactly what you wanted too!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Recent Convert to Fingerless Gloves

I must admit, I never really understood the point of fingerless gloves.  I mean, the name says it all - finger-LESS gloves.  It doesn't make any sense.  Then I saw Gwyneth Paltrow on Who Do You Think You Are? and I kind of changed my mind.  She was wearing a pair during the show (and I've looked for a clip of this - the best I can do is here on HULU), and the gloves looked funky and cool on her.  Now granted, anything and everything would probably look cool on Gwyneth Paltrow, but I found myself really appreciating and wanting a pair of fingerless gloves.

So, I found this cool free pattern on Ravelry, Sweet Life, and I really liked the honeycomb pattern on them.  I had this Tahki Designer Homespun Tweed in my stash from my Mom.  The yarn is really rough and not very comfortable to use for anything that will touch soft skin.  But it has this wonderful varigation in color and texture that I thought would be great for these gloves. 

The pattern takes a little bit of figuring on your own, but I love how the gloves came out.  My hands seem to be able to handle the roughness of the fiber and I hope they might last longer for it.  The color is a soft neutral that will go with both my cool weather coats.  I'm happy :)

And I've started creating my own pattern for a pair of fingerless gloves (see, I'm completely converted).  I hope to have it posted in a few weeks!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New Fall Cowl Pattern

Modern English Cowl

I hope to get this pattern up, either here on this blog or on Ravelry, in the next few days.  In the meantime, here are some more photos (and yes, I felt stupid and hot modelling a wool cowl on a humid August afternoon):

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

'Tis the Season

Sorry I haven't posted in a while.  To be honest, I don't really have that much to blog about.  I've been spending these early summer months getting a head start on my Christmas knitting (early bird and all that).  I thought I would leisurely work on my holiday gifts while working on other projects, and enjoy the summer months.  But I find that once I start a project, I become obsessed with finishing it quickly to move on to the next big project (no just enjoying the journey for me!).

Right now, I'm finishing up a Xmas gift for my mother-in-law, a cardigan with a decorative yoke.  (An aside - believe it or not, I can't find the right buttons for this sweater!  Everything I look at is the wrong color red, or the wrong size or style).

I find the decision to give handmade gifts a hard one.  I worry that the person receiving the gift won't like it, or doesn't really care for handmade items.  After the decision to make a gift is made, I still wrestle with picking the right pattern - and with the cardigan - the right size.

I knitted gifts for my family last year, with mixed results.  I made my mother-in-law a lap blanket or afghan.  She always complains of being cold, so I thought it would be a pretty safe choice.  Even if she didn't really like the pattern or color, she could just use it around the house while watching tv and such.  But I really don't know if she ever uses it.

And I made everyone on my side of the family scarves.   The one person I thought might not care for the gift was my sister, who has been known to simply throw out gifts she doesn't want. 
I made her a gray scarf with a simple, but I think, feminine cable pattern to it.  Surprisingly, she took to wearing it right away.  Although I didn't know the color of her coat, the gray was an easy choice.  My sister only wears gray, black, red, white and blue (?!?)

And I made scarves for my folks. 

This beautiful Misty Garden for my Mom.  She wears a bunch of different coats throughout the winter months, depending on the weather.  I thought this striping Noro yarn, in its many colors, would go with a lot of different outfits.

And a more conservative gansey pattern for my Dad.  My Dad never wore his, but in his defense, I've never seen him wear a scarf.

  Lastly, I made this blue neckwarmer for my wonderful husband.
He happily wore his handmade scarf, but then, he didn't have much of a choice in the matter :) 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Some new buttons, a new sweater, and a surprise

This past week I've been busy buying things and I'm very excited with my haul so far.

I bought some (more) vintage buttons, and I really love these.  I can't seem to get a good photo of them, but they are black cut glass with a purpley-blue iridescent glaze.  I bought some purple variegated dk yarn at Stitches South to make a lace cardigan with and I think these buttons will be really beautiful on it  - when I actually start knitting the sweater :)

And I started a knitted tank top using the variegated bamboo dk I blogged about previously (see here).  I chose the broken rib pattern because I think the variegated yarn might do something really interesting at the neckline, but I'm still not sure I like what the yarn is doing through the body.

Lastly, I just preordered A Stitch in Time, Volume 2, which features vintage knitting patterns from 1930 to 1959.  I have Volume 1, and although I haven't made any of the patterns, I can spend hours look through this book.  And the preorder comes with a bunch of other goodies!!  I can't wait to receive this package!!!

Well, I have to get back to my knitting.  I want to finish this broken rib tank in time for my wedding anniversary next week!

Monday, May 2, 2011

For the Love of Vintage Buttons

My latest obsession is vintage buttons.  They come in such wonderful shapes, patterns, and colors.  Why don't they make buttons like this anymore?

It started a few years ago.  I went into a notions shop in Pittsburgh to replace some buttons on a jacket I had bought.  I left the store with the buttons I needed, plus about 20 more vintage buttons that I just had to have.
My favorite from this trip is a large brown and green deco button.  I have yet to use it, because I want the perfect piece for it.

I'm lucky to have both my grandmother's and my aunt's button boxes and the boxes are filled with wonderful treasures.  (I love that women had the good sense to save buttons back in the day.)  And I've put these buttons to good use.

Now I have started buying vintage buttons on the internet and its getting out of hand (ssh, don't tell my husband).  I often go searching for the right buttons to go on sweaters I'm knitting, but to be honest, I buy multiple styles of buttons for most projects. 

Some of my recent purchases are these embroidered linen buttons.  I actually found 5 of them.  I'm not sure I'll ever find something to put them on, but they're great and I love them.

And I also love these little pink flower buttons.  I bought them to put on a baby sweater, but I ended up changing my yarn and they no longer worked for the project.  Maybe next time :)

My next sweater is going to be a purple lace cardigan and I'm on the search for just the right vintage buttons (even though I haven't started the sweater yet).  Wish me luck!

P.S.  I am working on another knitting pattern and should have it posted in a couple of weeks.

Monday, April 25, 2011

An Explanation and a New Project

I started this blog yesterday as a way to post my first knitting pattern on Ravelry (hurrah for me!).  I'll work more on the appearance and design of this page when I find some inspiration.  I'm also going to try to post somewhat regularly, as I recently watched Julie & Julia for a second time and feel motivated to move into the blogosphere. 

In the meantime, I also want to slow down on my knitting projects and get back to other activities, like reading and painting. 

Having said that, I recently purchased this variegated bamboo dk at Stitches South and am trying to decide between making a tee/tank or summer scarf.  I don't really have enough yardage to do both, so its decision time.  I'm a bit worried that the color change might be a bit busy for a top, but I do like how the colors blend when this yarn knits up.  I think I might try a top - and if I don't like it, I can frog it and make a scarf instead :)