« January 2008 | | March 2008 »

Posts from February 2008

Thank Heavens for the Sunday Times

The "Giraffe and a Half" was lovingly painted.


And photographed in a natural habitat.



Discussions and negotiations are underway for another, larger giraffe.  Much larger.
I guess the recycling will be lighter this week.

In knitting news, I now have a completed pair of Ode To Eames.  The first sock was sent to me by Pam in November.  It was up to me to finish the pair.  Isn't Pam's choice of colors fantastic!   I love these socks!!


Yup, I'm a lucky girl.


What All the Cool Kids are Doing on Saturday Night

. . . they are making paper mache giraffes.


Or is it a Giraffe and a Half?
(don't'cha just love Shel Silverstein?)


DH and I went out to dinner with some friends on Saturday night.  When I got home DD#1 showed us how she had spent her time while we were gone.  Nope, it's not a school project.  For some reason she just got the urge to make a giraffe.

Perhaps it was the circus tent her sister made a few evenings before.


The circus tent is for their art class.  The teacher caught wind of the fact that there is some sewing going on in our house and asked DD#2 to make a tent to house all of the circus animals that the class is making.  DD#2 begged me for help, but frankly I was way too caught up in which color stripe should be next.  So the poor neglected child was left on her own to "figure it out".  (One of my favorite "Mom Sayings", BTW.  It works equally well when they fight or are have minor homework issues.)  Of course left to her own devices, figure it out she did.  She used an old umbrella, sketched out some pattern pieces and spent the evening sewing.  She's pretty darn proud of the results and so am I!

And since we are on an animal theme today, I give you Owly who was made as a stocking stuffer way back in December.  I found the pattern here.  Super cute, super quick!  Perfect for last minute crocheting.


I used alpaca left over from the mitts you see embracing him.  "What's the brand of the alpaca?  What's the weight?", you ask.  I've got no idea.  It was just something I had laying around.   No mitts pattern either.  I made them up as I went along.  DD#1 wanted some that were really long at the fingers so that she could leave them up or roll them down as needed.

Now that my darling son has discovered the joy of handknit socks, I'm in a bit of a pickle.  He's only got two pair and refuses to  wear anything else.  They stay on his feet until I tear them off to be washed.  Poor lad.  Both pairs were still wet this morning.  Perhaps I need to teach the boy to knit socks.  Hey mom, Aunty Lisa? If you are reading this, Anders would like a pair of socks.  Size?  BIG.

New Freebie! Dante's Purse


I wrote up the "recipe" for Dante's Purse.   Both of the project bags pictured in this post were made in the same basic way.  This recipe is flexible enough for you to play with dimensions, color, texture, pattern, fabrication, etc.  One of my favorite things about designing is seeing all of the unique ideas knitters come up with for my patterns.  This one has even more variables than most.  So I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with.  If you make one, I'd love to see yours!


This has not been test knit/sewn, so if you find any mistakes or have any comments about how to make the text clearer,  I'd love it if you'd let me know.  Now, I know there has been a lot of grumbling about my 4 stitch cast on on Thorpe and the One Day Beret.  Sorry to say that I've done it again here.  A number of folks have started those hats with 8 stitches and have found it easier.  I chose not to write this pattern up that way since I haven't tried it myself.  But how you start is up to you.  This is after all just a "recipe" and most good cooks add their own seasonings and ingredients to recipes.  Right?

You can download the pattern from the sidebar.


New Pattern: Sigrid

Thanks to the hard work of some talented test knitters, Sigrid is finally ready.


Stacey over at On and Off the Needles is so experienced with color work socks.  I couldn't have asked for a better test knitter for this pattern.  Scout dyed two beautiful colors for her,  Sage and Hunker Down.  Check it out, Scout even made a calendar out of a photo of the colors. 

I love to see different color combinations of stranded patterns.  Stacey's looks so different than mine.  Its muted colors are really beautiful.


My good friend (blogless) Bev used much brighter colors when she test knit the pattern. 


I don't think I know a faster knitter than Bev.  She made the pair in under a week.  We need to enter her in one of those fastest knitter contests!

2098174599_f2c9696edd       2098954240_165d6a924c


Two pairs US size 0 (2mm) 24” Circular needles (or size to obtain gauge)
Double pointed needle in the same size.
Tapestry needle

Scout’s Swag, Fingering Weight Superwash Merino, 400  yards per skein.
Main Color (MC):  “Loops”, 1 skein
Contrast Color (CC):  “Kona”, 1 skein

Sizes: S, M, L

Gauge: 19 stitches = 2” in medallion stitch pattern

Finished Measurements: 7.5(8.75, 10”) / 19(22, 25.5 cm) relaxed, circumference at leg and foot.

Price:  $6.00 US

Hopefully These Will Hold Him Over Until the Hoodie is Done


New socks for the lad in STR lightweight, Atomic #6.


Yup that is a Ukulele.  The boy loves music.  What can I say?  A friend left this little toy at our house a few days ago and he's hardly put it down since. 


No, I didn't make the hat.  His girlfriend gave it to him.  It seems her mom owns a knitwear company.  I know, I know!!  Would you believe they tried to hide it from both of us for the longest time.  I started to figure something was up when the girlfriend was wearing the most amazing handknit dress.   I later discovered GF Mom designed and made it.  GF Mom of course is cool, creative and very, very fun.

But you're here for the knitting, not photos of my kid playing tiny, tiny instruments.  (At least it's tiny to a family who has an upright bass occupying the better part of the family room.)


I made the stitch pattern up as I went along.  It's all about improv, baby.  I started them one night when I was at the station waiting for his train to get in.


It didn't take nearly as long as I'd expected to make them to fit his size 11's.

For those of you who asked, I'm in the process of writing up a "recipe" for "Dante's Purse".  It should be ready in a few days.

I Made a Gift for a Friend






Dante's Purse
Made For:  ?
Pattern:  My Own
Yarn:  Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Chunky in color #557 for base, Knit Picks Telemark in color Brass Heather for the i-cord.
Needles:  US 9 - I knit the base tightly to give it more stability
Fabric:  Fat Quarters from Joann Fabrics

I'm calling it Dante's Purse as nod to Project Spectrum.  The interior, after all is red and the color combo is fiery.

Make Me a Hoodie. . .

. . . in wild colors, and give it a zipper.


How am I to resist, when a son, who formerly did not care if I knit for him or not, starts to really appreciate the beauty and originality of the handcrafted?  Of course there is the little fact that I love, love, love to work with color.  Choosing which color will come next propels this top-down raglan along at a rapid pace.  All other projects have been cast aside.


These stripes do not repeat, to keep some order to the 8 colors I only work the stripes for 2, 4 or 6 rows.


This is not a kid who fears wearing colors that are less than traditional for teen aged boys.  He marches to his own tune - and there is always a new tune in the head of my musical son.  I spent yesterday afternoon listening as he and a friend wrote a new song.  They worked out lyrics and melody, each improvising and inventing off of what the other had just contributed.  Two acoustic guitars, two baritones their voices going in and out of key in just the way that some of my favorite folk singers are known to do.  This act of collaboration was for the joy of the music.  Isn't that what music, and for that matter all creative acts should be about?  Joy and inspiration.


I love reverse stockinette stripes.  The extra stripe of the old color mixing into the new, and the new into the old gives a lovely added touch and seems to tie the colors together.  I haven't decided if the finished piece will be reverse or plain stockinette.  I will let the lad choose.

For those who asked, the Japanese pattern book that I used for the aqua cable in my last post is pictured below.  The ISBN is 4-529-04172-7.  This book is filled with beautiful stitch patterns.