Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Holiday Knitting, aka One for You, One for Me

For many, "holiday knitting" focuses on those wintry celebrations of light - Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule - where gifts are exchanged, nog is imbibed, and good cheer is felt by all. I, however, come from a background where "handmade" equates with "cheap," "regifted," and "ugly." My sister and I were scarred by inappropriate gifts throughout our childhood; we joke about it annually as we exchange our Xmas Amazon gift certificates and breathe our sighs of relief. With this background, I'm very sensitive to my own gift giving, and, except for a few select -and hopefully worthy - December presents, prefer to gift handmades throughout the year.

This year, my select gifts will be accessories. Right now I'm concentrating on cowls. Yep, I somehow am part of an online knitting trend. (Dunno how; usually I'm two years behind the eight ball, if not out of it entirely. I still haven't knit a Clapotis or a pair of Fetchings.)

Pattern: Tamarind Cowl by Kristen Hanley Cardozo
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Merino Worsted in Bijou Blue - 1 skein
Needles: US 8 16" circs
Mods: None
Rating: Five stars

What a great one skein project. It knits up lickety split, and gives bang for the buck with its ruched construction. Y'know I'm not a big Malabrigo fan (I know, I know), but I admit the yarn works perfectly for the pattern. It is soft, supple, and the subtle variegation provides a little interest. I'm currently working on a second.

I'm also having a blast knitting for mememe. Some of you have seen it on Ravelry, but for those who haven't, I'm knitting myself a Batgrrl Shawl for Halloween.

I'm currently on the third repeat, which means three bats are flying off my needles. Har. Any batty puns you'd like to share? This is the simplest lace shawl ever. Ever. The yarn is Elann's Baby Silk. Fuzzier than expected, but cheap enough for this silliness.

In other Halloween randomness: The AntiCraft's Samhain issue shall be devoted to Los Dias de los Muertos. Hold me back. And Herschnerr's has a Halloween yarn special. Ack!rylic. With metallic thread. $12.99 for 10 balls (in orange, black, yellow, white, green and orange/black/white variegated). Oh, the kitsch that could ensue.

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On the turntable: The Cramps ~ Songs the Lord Taught Us

Friday, August 22, 2008


The cherry blossoms
scatter and we watch and the
more cherry blossoms blow
~ Onitsura (1660-1738)

Mary was over yesterday morning. We were felting some stuff for her, and in between doing that we snapped a few shots of Hanami. She kindly agreed to model. Thanks, Mary, for strikin' a great pose!

Pattern: Hanami Stole by Melanie Gibbons (my Ravelry page here)
Yarn: Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud - 2 skeins in Peppermint Heather
Needles: US 2 1/2 (3 mm) 24" circular
Size: 15" x 54" (basketweave portion is 29" long and cherry blossom portion is 25" long)
Mods: Omitted beads on cast on; long tail cast on; slipped first stitch of each row purlwise with yarn in front; only knit 16 rows on chart G
Rating: It's pink and fluffy and has a great theme...what's not to love?

As I mentioned waaaay back when, my knitting group is doing a Summer of Lace KAL. For it I decided to finally do Hanami; this pattern has been a back burner on my queue since Melanie published it. What to say that hasn't been said already about it? Uh, not much. The pattern is straightforward and, while it became monotonous somewhere in the middle, provides a great impact when finished. What else? I love a good theme, and this shawl delivers. Though at 54" in length it really should be called a scarf, shouldn't it? Yes, indeed, which just adds to its versatility. Oh, and I love the ruffle. I wasn't going to do it, but at the last minute decided what the heck. Heck was right, because it's a perfect foil for all those falling blossoms.

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In other news, I'm knitting lots. I've even begun *gasp* holiday knitting. More on that later, taters.

On the turntable: Cal Tjader's Several Shades of Jade

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Fiendish Find of the Week

*Tap, tap, tap* this thing on? *feedback* Why, hello, ladies and gents. I bring to you the following public service announcement:

La's been busy with the dye pots. She's come up with some great colorways, and will be launching them in her new etsy store, Dizzy Blonde Yarns, tomorrow. You can find her colorways - including a wonderfully moody Lac Noir that's oh so mine - here.

Best of luck in your new endeavor, La! See ya tomorrow!

Friday, August 01, 2008


Hanami is off the needles and on the blocking board. Specs to follow once she's dry, but here's a peek:

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On the turntable: The Undertones ~ True Confessions (Singles = A's + B's) - The A side is possibly the best music to block to. Ever.