Conjoined

My little sister got engaged! (Insert obligatory “I am Old” exclamation.) Best wishes to you, Pam and Jon; may you grow old and lumpy together like these squashes.

Interweave Knits and knitscene Fall 2009

Yay, I can share some secret knitting!

First up, the Felicity Hat from Fall Interweave Knits. I love love love this hat.  Even Derrick said “That’s a nice design!”.  The yarn, Berrocco Ultra Alpaca Light, is warm and beautiful; the heathery colors were perfect for this project.

I snapped a few photos before sending the hat away for the photoshoot.

The best thing about this hat is that it was a fun challenge to design.  It’s knit flat; the rows go from the brim to the crown and the hat is shaped into wedges using short rows.  I like the crisp look of the 1×1 rib which was picked up after the hat was sewn together (I grafted the live stitches to the cast-on stitches for a virtually invisible seam).  I don’t often think that I look good in hats but I think this one is super flattering and I would love to knit another just for me!

The colors and stripes remins me of the snow/skateboarder’s sweaters from the late 90’s; the ones with the stripes down the sleeves and across the chest.  So I named it “Felicity” for the TV show that just screams late 90’s.

Next, the Maximum Stripe Pullover from the Fall issue of knitscene!

I loved knitting this stitch pattern; it’s a modified sailor rib worked mostly in the round. The result is a cushy and stretchy sweater that is easy to knit and cute to wear!

Summer Craftiness

Well, I’ve been feeling a little more like knitting but I’m not pushing it at the moment.  I’ve been sewing; finishing up some curtains I started a long time ago and now the three big windows in our living room are covered. 

It’s been pretty hot here and I really like drawing the curtains and hanging out in a darker room during the day.

 

And then there’s this dress.  The darts are done, the zipper’s in, but I am having some trouble with the curved yoke seam.  It’s crazy and I haven’t felt up to tackling easing it in.  The pattern looked easy enough, but yuck on the yoke!  Stripes also may not have been the best fabric choice, but I like it and it came from my overflowing stash.

This is the Trellis and Keyhole Tank by Connie Chang Chinchiofrom Summer 09 Knits–the Hempathy I pulled from my stash is a little different gaugewise so I’ve fiddled with the numbers and changed the shaping a little too.  Stockinette in the round is some of my favorite knitting and easy to do at the end of the day while almost asleep.  We’ve been watching Conan on the Tonight Show recently and I miss the wackiness they had at Late Night but I do appreciate the earlier time; I knit and watch as much of the show as I can before totally crashing out.  Everyone hears it from parents, but gah, so tired!  Once they get mobile, man, it’s all over.

Out of the loop

Someone really likes to swing!

Someone really likes to swing!

My lack of posting here reflects my recent inability to keep up with what’s happening in the knitting world-online, in print, everywhere.  I feel such a disconnect due to the fact that I’ve been finishing up a deluge of contract knitting; I haven’t even been able to take the time to get inspired and submit new ideas.  Finding balance between motherhood and being me is continuing to be a challenge and though I have a feeling that will always be the case, I also think we will be able to find something that works for us.  We’re just not quite there yet.

So what’s been happening?  What have I missed?  Have you seen anything awesome recently? I would love to hear about it; link it or mention it in the comments and I’d really appreciate it!

To fall back in love with knitting, I think a personal and seasonal project is in order, and most importantly a pre-written pattern! I’m thinking a cute, flowy, summery tank or tunic.  I’ll have to poke around the stash tonight and see what I can come up with; I know I have some linen, hempathy, bamboo, and even soy up there…hmmmm.  I’m excited by the possibilities!

Learning

I used to think that whole pineapple was way too hard to cut up yourself, so when I wanted fresh pineapple I’d buy it in a tub at the store.  Then one day pineapples were on sale for a buck each at the store, so I brought one home.  And I did the most logical thing that anyone would do–let it sit on the counter almost too long and then make your husband cut it up, duh.  So I was still afraid of trying it myself. 

In the last week or two, I got a little obsessed with a delicious stir-fry recipe involving cashews, quinoa, and pineapple (from Veganomicon, the greatest cookbook I’ve ever had) and there were no tubs of precut goodness at the store so I brought home another whole pineapple and guess what?  It is not hard at all to chop up! I am no longer a slave to the precut pineapple! Aren’t we “afraid” of the dumbest things sometimes?  And then you just try it and wonder what the problem was all along? (See also: short-rows.)

Now I’m out of quinoa and that means I need to make a trip to Whole Foods but that would require a shower and that all sounds like too much for today.  I was telling myself that I could go there as a treat after I finished up my submissions for Twist, but little Dax is taking another long nap and I don’t think we’ll make it. 

I don’t think Dax is feeling well; he grabbed his ear a few times and has been awfully sleepy.  I also just learned that ear infections are typically not treated with any medications? Of course if he is acting sick I will take him to the doctor, but I just assumed that ear infections were treated with antibiotics.  The More You Know!

As I mentioned, I just finished up some submissions for Twist Collective.  I was so nervous working on them!  I really want to get into the Fall issue and swatching didn’t seem to be going too great, but maybe I’m just being to hard on myself.  I had to dump one idea I had because the yarn just wasn’t right, but it was a felted skirt that I definitely want to come back to.  I also need to get Illustrator or something to put together a more polished pdf.  (PDF and chart design is something I know little to nothing about and need to investigate for self-publishing too.)

This weekend I’ve got to finish up the crochet knitscene project, then it’s on to starting a knit knitscene project which should go pretty fast.  Right now, someone is waking from their nap and probably ready to play!

fun

Oh, hai!

What’s that, Widget? You found something interesting to read?

Oh!  That looks familiar!  In fact, you saw me knitting that about a year ago, and now it’s on the back cover of Simple Style! It’s always a thrill to see my work in print and it was a nice surprise to see one of my projects on the back cover, and the other on the table of contents page:

Simple Style is the latest in the “style” series from Interweave Press.  I was so flattered when Ann Budd asked me to submit some ideas for the book; it’s a real treat to work with her and I’m so glad I could be a part of the book.  There are some really cute and innovative yet simple designs from great designers (if I have the time someday, I’d love to knit the Offset Raglan by Veronik Avery and the Guernsey Skirt by Kat Coyle) and I’m sure it’ll be another popular book. 

I also got my hands on this:

And it is so awesome!* I have only recently realized how fun sock knitting can be, and Cookie creates some fab designs.  As I mentioned before, I plan on knitting Monkey when my Scout’s Swag arrives, but I have some ShiBui semi-solid sock in the stash that may be the perfect yarn for these (I love the lace pattern and the unconventional placement):

Sock Innovation is a solid, informative book; I was totally surprised and delighted with the extensive design information in the front of the book.  Cookie covers topics from the basics of heel and toe construction choices to adjusting stitch pattern repeats for designing and customizing your own socks.  I know I’ll be going back to that section for reference and insight when I’m working. 

In other knitting news, I may have accidentally started a teeny tiny new project.  Oops!  I’m knitting Hansigurimi’s  Loch Ness Monster (rav link) for Dax. 

So far the pattern is fun but requires a lot of attention (as I expected).  Hansi Singh’s patterns are so smart!  Yesterday was my birthday and I decided I wasn’t going to do work, so I knit on this guy a little instead.  And I got a massage that I needed badly!  Hopefully I can do that more often.  My shoulders and hips are a mess and  I should also be doing yoga, but it’s hard to fit it in and classes are expensive.  Back to design work today!

*I feel like I just need to say that Interweave didn’t ask me to review or blog about any of this stuff; I do (obviously) have a good relationship with Interweave and do enjoy their publications.  I will talk about any good, interesting, cool stuff no matter the source; it just happened that these things are from Interweave.  (/end disclaimer)

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