Friday, August 31, 2007

Fiendish Finds of the Week

Some of my favorite knitbloggers are doing most excellent things, and today is the perfect day to talk 'em up. Random order, all fun.

1. Liz, via a contest Stash and Burn is running from now until September 21, is having a Single Skein September. I'm in, too. Hey, I might actually make a pair of Fetchings finally. The mind boggles. Won't you join us?

2. Robbie seriously has a way with orange and lime green. And hedgehogs.

3. Lyndsey-Jane is hand dying yarn and roving in bright, happy colors. Grab her goodies at her etsy shop, the Yarn Bar. (Right now it's cleaned out due to a Lime n Violet mention, but she's restocking next week.)

4. Kgirl has just finished a ruby-licious Rowena.

5. Melanie is hand dying semi-solids now. Is it appropriate to say that my heart filled with lust when I saw her first colorway? Probably not, but I will anyway.

6. Marie is putting the word out about Secret of the Stole KAL. I'm so easy. I've joined this one, too. Sign ups close on October 4th, with the first clue releasing the next day.

Marie also sent me a prize for finishing my CPH and breaking the Great Sweater Curse. A skein of Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Bitterroot Rainbow and a dolly made out of Marie's own hand spun. The dolly is a good luck poppet to keep further sweater curses at bay, which warms the cockles of my heart. Thanks, amigo.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Purple Haze

It's unprecedented, but I've been knitting with aubergine like a madwoman lately. Check it out:

Felted Bag

Pattern: Felted Bag from Home by Debbie Bliss
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk in color 12 - 6 and a smidge balls
Needles: US 8 24" Addi circs
Mods: None
Rating: 5 out of 5 atomic starbursts

I'm a big fan of 1950s moderne design. The clean lines, the organic shapes, the sense of whimsy - whether in a Richard Neutra house or a Russel Wright dish - delight me. I find the same enjoyment with this simple felted bag.

These little handles, dainty in comparison to the bulk of the bag below, give it that extra something, turning it into a whimsical, practical creation. And I don't know if you can see it in the photos, but the silk gives the bag an understated, proto-boucle texture. Nifty.

Gothic Leaf

After taking a little break, I need to get back to this enjoyable knit. I've begun my second skein of Euroflax, and she's roughly 24" long. This project is really hard to photograph well, but here's a close up showing the silly linen stitches.

Chevron Scarf aka The Bruiser

Thanks for all your comments about this here color combination. Everyone was in favor of it, so I've kept knitting. However. I think it looks like a bruise. Which is perfect, because I can give it to my BFF Laura. (Hi, Laura!) A few years ago I wanted to make her a scarf, so I asked what color she wanted it to be. Ever the smarty, she responded, "Bruise." Amazingly enough, I found some Colinette Point 5 that looked exactly like a bruise - mustard, rust, purple, red and turquoise - and knit her this funky long scarf we nicknamed The Bruise. Well, a few months ago some loser at her work stole The Bruise, which was totally lame.

But, now I've got The Bruiser a quarter of the way finished! This is a fun, quick knit, and I can see why people are so gaga over this pattern; already I'm thinking up different color combos to try once The Bruiser is living with Laura.

Friday, August 17, 2007

La Petite Knitterie

Thanks for all your well wishes! I'm on the mend, though still fuzzy brained, and before any more time passes I want to post about last Saturday's road trip to La Petite Knitterie, one of my favorite LYS.

They were celebrating their three-year anniversary with a sale, so Marie, Patty and I went to check it out.

Spun confectionery

An exquisite gem of a store, LPK's shelves are full of lovely yarns, some of which are hand-spun and hand-dyed by the talented Lori Lawson. (Who graciously remembered me from when Jillian, Barbara and I stalked her Capistrano Fibers Arts Studio booth at the Southern California Hand Weaver's Fiber Show last fall. I was honored and felt not worthy.)

Lori spinning her magic

I came away with four skeins of her variegated LPK Handpaints superwash merino fingering weight, with which I'm thinking about making a Chevron Scarf.

LPK Handpaints in baskets, along with adorable baby sweaters

Now, I need your opinion. Do you like these colors together? Hate 'em? Is the purple too dark?

The subtle coloration really is beautiful, and I want to make sure I use this yarn to its full advantage.

It was a fun outing, and for sure we'll be attending the 2007 SoCal Handweaver's show, too. It will be on Sunday, November 4th; more details here. See you there?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Second Purse, Same As the First

I've got the flu. It's 100 degrees F. I'm cranky. But not cranky enough not to sew on this cool vintage Lucite button and finish up my second Triangle bag.

This Triangle might not be as cute as the first, but I love it just as much for its practicality and retro look. Whipped up with some well marinated stash Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Coal, I can hardly wait for cooler days to use it (and its sister when I'm feeling more flamboyant) when I'm out and about.

As far as other knitting goes, I'm still chugging away on my linen Gothic Leaf. I've started a stealth project out of Sea Silk. (My first Sea Silk. *swoon*) I need to swatch again for Ariann. Just to make sure. And Mystery Stole 3? Cast aside when I learned what the final shape is. (Edited version of what ran through my head at the theme reveal: WTF? A wing? With a table runner point on the other end? I'm so confused.) I was going to frog it, but my pique has cooled, and some day I might make the symmetrical version. Maybe. I'm finishing up another felted purse, the one on page 48 of Debbie Bliss's Home, using some of the super cheap Alpaca Silk I scored at one of my Black Sheep Knittery forays this summer. More photos when I'm not hot and cranky, I promise. And now, back to bed for me. Stay cool!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Screaming Meme

Beth has tagged me for the 8 Random Facts meme. While my list shan't top hers (go go dancer! cigarette girl!), I'll give it my best.

1. I once drank next to Joe Strummer in an Edinburgh pub. Post-Clash, pre-Mescaleros, he was busking around the UK, playing impromptu gigs wherever and whenever he felt like it. I was at the pub, waiting for my friends to arrive for the show, drinking a pint of cider. Three guys in flashy leathers walked in, and I remember thinking, What poseurs. They stood next to me, and one tried to talk to me. I ignored him, thinking, This overdressed lame-o is trying to chat me up? Puhleeze. My friends arrived, and I moved away from the bar; only when someone asked me what Joe said to me did I realize who it was. (I never recognize celebrities in Los Angeles, either.)

2. I've studied and read tarot cards since I was 17.

3. I can quote many lines from Zorro the Gay Blade, Grosse Point Blank and Repo Man. And The Big Liebowski. I'm not sure what this says about me.

4. My love for Johnny Cash is pure and true.

5. Three friends and I once drove from Denver, Colorado, to Lawrence, Kansas, to see our friends and favorite local band, the Fluid, play. This was immediately after seeing them play a record-release gig for a new album. After the Lawrence show the three of us talked the other friend out of trying to find William S. Burroughs' house, piled back in the car and drove home. Roughly 1,100 miles round trip, I have no memory of if we ate anything, but I do remember the show was held in a converted bomb shelter.

6. Georges Jacques Danton was a childhood hero.

7. I learned to knit for the first time when I was six. My maternal grandmother taught me.

8. I love cilantro.

Tag free zone, but if you wanna, go for it.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Central Park Hoodie

Pattern: Central Park Hoodie from Fall 2006 Knitscene
Yarn: Black Water Abbey 2-ply worsted weight in Pippin - 7 skeins
Needles: US 7 and 8
Size: 48"
Mods: Knit the band as one piece, omitted buttons
Cast on: March '07 Finished: August '07
Rating: 3 out of 5 frogs

Waaaay back in January '06, the members of my knitting group gave their resolutions for the year. Mine was to knit six sweaters. (6 in '06 - catchy, isn't it?) Hearing my grandiose plans, the knitting goddess smacked me down and good; each of the six patterns I attempted led to naught. Proclaiming that I was under a Great Sweater Curse (GSC), I finally gave up mid-year and knit a bunch of other stuff.

2007 rolled around, and I wondered if maybe it was safe to try another sweater. I bought some BWA at Stitches West, and cast on for CPH in March. And today, today I broke the Great Sweater Curse. Whew. It's been a long time coming.

+ Cute, simple pattern.
+ CPH is the second adult sweater I've knit in my life.
+ As the breaker of the GSC, it's a success.
+ It fits. Kinda.
+ Love the color.
+ I'm satisfied with my finishing job.

+ The yarn. It hurt my hands. A lot. (I still have a yarn burn scar from it on my index finger.) The BWA is so tightly wound that I couldn't manipulate it well; the loose purls in and wonky stitches to the right of each cable panel horrify me. If I hadn't been so stubborn about breaking the GSC, I would have frogged and used a different yarn. But I was, and I didn't, making this an excellent lesson on how yarn can make or break a project.
+ The sleeves are super long. I'd read about this problem on the KAL, but blithely didn't modify mine. Now I have gorilla sleeves. Whatever.
+ The pattern does run small. I'm a big girl, and wanted it a little roomy, so went with the largest size. It fits, but is still very open in front.

Thanks to Liz for her killer cable advice; to Seattle Marie, Marie and Mary for knitting along with me; and to all our fellow CPH KALers.