Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Years!

Just wanted to take this opportunity to say "Happy New Years!" It's been a LONG time! New job responsibilities have left me with absolutely no time for blogging. I couldn't be happier about my situation, though, so it's all good.

I'm still pretty active on Ravelry and have managed to make time for knitting most weeks. And of course, Frisky is as high-maintenance as ever ;)

Wishing you all the very best that 2010 has to bring.

"Peace, love, and chewbones."

Friday, August 07, 2009

Time Flies!

Can't believe it's already August! I have been immersed in an intensive online course development seminar and have totally lost track of time.

The seminar was fabulous! And though I'll still be working to get ready for the fall semester, the next two weeks are mostly about vacation. That means lot and lots and LOTS of desperate, pre-semester knitting ;)

So...I've been working on another Bonne Marie Burns pattern: the Eyelet Cardi in Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool.

I've been looking for an excuse to try the Silky Wool and so far it has lived up to expectations - lightweight, gorgeous color, and soft to the touch. (I am a little bit worried about pilling and/or snags, but only time will tell.) I'm past the sleeve divide and getting close to the waist shaping. Love the pattern so far, but omg - that was a WHOLE lot of stitches there before that divide!

Unfortunately, this baby is being moved to the back burner because I am off to San Francisco for a conference. Fortunately, though, the trip gives me time to work on a smaller project: Aestlight in Araucania Ranco Multy in a luscious palette of blues and purples, because I am a sheep who could not resist the lure of the bandwagon. I'm really hoping to finish this one up during the trip - fingers crossed!

Another project that's on hold for the time being is my Behrnardt cardi. I guess I should be happy to report that it is finally too hot to knit with worsted-weight wool.... It will keep for a couple more months, though ;)

And - despite my already-heftily-laden plate of WIPS - I am already coveting my next project: The Mondo Cable Pulli by Bonne Marie Burns. It's not available in pdf just yet, but rest assured that I am stalking the Chic Knits discussion board on a daily basis and will be poised to pounce on that bad boy the instant it hits the streets. you think I maybe have an issue with startitis?

I will leave you with today's gratutious chihuahua shots, which today feature Frisky being rewarded for his bad behavior. (Will we ever learn?)

The hubs and I were up early trying to squeeze in a few early-morning moments of work before the tweens emerged from their sleep-dens seeking large quantities of food and parental engagement and asking the question every parent loves to hear: "Why are you wearing that?"

Frisky was scratching my legs (in the desperate, attention-craving way that only a chihuahua can) and after 10 minutes of listening to me complain, hubs picked the dog up and deposited him into his polo shirt.

By all accounts, this seemed to do the trick. Maybe too well:

I can't help but be reminded of that old movie, Alien. ;)

Happy August - wil try to post an update when I get back.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Summer of Knit

My, this certainly has been a wool-friendly summer. I'm aware that in some places in the US the heat has reached record highs, but here in New England? We are all about the chilly.

This is driving some people nuts, but, honestly, I kind of like it. Sunny and 70 degrees in July? I'll take it, thank you very much. Not only have I saved bundles on my electricity costs, my knitting output has never been better. That's a win-win situation as far as I'm concerned.

Baktus Update
Turns out that the lure of the Baktus was too much for me to resist. As soon as I got my hands on another skein of lovely Brooks Farm Acero I cast on again.

Because I am a sheep (and because the lure of everything Terhi makes is also too much for me to resist - am I becoming a Ravstalker?) this one is the lacy version. The pattern is such a peach - the ultimate travel knitting project.

I got the yarn from a fellow Raveler who was doing a major destash. She gave me such a good price on it that I almost felt guilty. Almost. It really is gorgeous. (Details rav'ed here.) Oddly, I am in no hurry to finish this. I just like looking at it.

Both pictures are from atop the breakers at Hampton Beach, NH. It was our first sunny day here in some time, and we stuck it out for as long as possible by moving our gear up onto the rocks. The sky was absolutely gorgeous:

Acer Update
The lesson from my first Acer button disaster is that looks aren't everything, *sigh*. I needed something really feather-weight. (Details rav'ed here.) After checking out the project pages for Acer I ended up going with the same style of button used by a few others, and the shape is just right, I think.

I would have liked an even lighter-colored maple on this pale yarn, but these will do for now. And, since I plan to make it again in Peace Fleece...

Mondo Cable
But first, I need to finish this little bippy:

Honestly, I liked this pattern in its first incarnation, but the more recent top-down version is a real winner. The provisional cast-on gave me a few headaches (you can read all about the agony here) but did make for a lovely seamless shoulder. I hope to have this done in another day or two.

Next Up
So, what bandwagon to jump on next? I've been thinking about breaking into my luscious Silken Mohair (a worsted-weight silk with a mohair haze, yum) to do a Mara or a November Ruffle. Or maybe I'll get back to Bernhardt. Or..or...or...

Gratuitous Chihuahua Shots
Clearly I could go on and on, but that wouldn't do either of us any good. There is work to be done besides the knitting, after all. And you may even be asleep by now. So I'll bid you adieu with some parting shots of you-know-who:

I'm not afraid of fireworks, no siree, are you afraid of fireworks? because I'm not, no, no way, not me.

Well, someone has to prop this kid up, right?

Friday, July 03, 2009

Stick a Fork in It...

...because Acer is officially done. In exactly two weeks, including blocking and buttons. Woot!

Speaking of buttons, I am gradually coming to the realization that the ones I just sewed on, though gorgeous, are really just too heavy for this light and lofty yarn. Hence, I can't get a decent, non-gappy picture of me wearing it :(

So, eventually I will need to swap these buttons out, but for now I'm going to just sit here in a pleasant state of denial and enjoy my finished sweater. And have a cocktail.

Obviously this plan gets the official Frisky TM seal of approval.

Tomorrow I'll be watching fireworks, the Pops, and Neil Diamond (that's right, Miss abby) and working on my Lacy Baktus. Hope you enjoy your 4th too!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Cold Weather Sweater Frenzy!

Still knitting with bulky wool in June, you ask?

Why yes, as a matter of fact, I am. One advantage of being a knitter is the ability to find some small measure of enjoyment in a crappy, cold, wet summer. I am doing my best - but it ain't easy.

Finished the body and started the first sleeve on Acer. Love it!

Btw, the Cascade Eco+ is much softer than the regular Eco - much less rustic as well.

And, speaking of Eco, I finally found a button (at Ewe'll Love It) for the Eco Vest:

I lurve this pattern - the shaping is really, really nice. It will be very wearable come fall and I definitely see another one in my future.

Now, for my next project, I'm finding myself torn between two great patterns: Bernhardt (see below), which I've already begun, but barely, and the Mondo Cable Vest/Shell from Bonnie Marie Burns, which I would do up in DIC Classy as a vest, like this. Oh, decisions, decisions...

Is your head also spinning from all the new patterns out there?? I think maybe I just need to stop looking.

So, what are you working this summer? Do you keep knitting or take a break for the heat? Or do you change the things you knit?

And PS More sexy Baktus to come. (Take it to the bridge!)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Escape from Manville, and a Tale of Two Sweaters

Right now I have a bit of downtime between two action-packed semesters and it seems like a good opportunity to crank out a sweater or two. My picks: Acer from the totally awesome Kirsten of Through the Loops, and Bernhardt, the totally awesome cardi from Twist Collective Summer 09.

I just had to run and cast on for Bernhardt as soon as I bought it (lurve that lace rib), but have decided to put in on the back burner and see if I can finish Acer before it gets to hot too knit with bulky yarn. (Assuming it ever actually gets hot around here, that is.)

Pattern: Acer
Yarn: Cascade Eco+ in Lavender
Needle: Size 9 29" circ (size 8 for cast on and row 1)

Though I’d LOVE an excuse to pick up some Peace Fleece, I’m going to be a good little recessionista and knit this one from my stash. After reading the comments on others’ projects, I casted on and knit the first row with a size 8 needle, then went up to a size 9.

This is going to be a quickie, I think. I got a nice jumpstart on it this weekend during some unexpected girl time. My mom had planned to spend the weekend in Ogunquit, and I decided at the last minute to tag along to escape the red meat/baseball/Golf Channel-saturated manfest that is Fathers Day at my house.

It was heavenly to get away, and we even managed to take advantage of the few sunny hours on Saturday to soak up some rays at the beach. Thanks, Mom :)

The only one who wasn't entirely thrilled about the weekend was Frisky, because in his heart, he really is a Ladies Man.

"ohhh, aren't they back yet?"

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I'm Bringing Sexy Bak(tus)*

What do you know? I actually finished something.

Pattern: Baktus
Yarn: Brooks Farm Acero (from Rhinebeck. I just like saying that.)
Needles: Size 2 Addi Lace

I think the reason this got finished is because I didn't waste time blabbing about it all over my Ravelry project page like I usually do, updating the Progess-o-meter every 5% just to pump up my ego. No, this was hardcore, monogamous - and mostly public - knitting. Also, it was the kind of knitting that can be combined with cocktails (hi Lynne and abby!)

And now it's done, yay! This is a terrific, easy-but-satisfying pattern. I would love to make another, but in stripes like Terhi's adorable version.

I can see this baby getting some serious wear come fall. I love, love, love the shape - very versatile.

And the yarn...seriously. Now that I have had my initiation knit with Brooks Farm, I can see myself doing some serious damage to the ol' bank account come October (Rhinebeck!) I'll be the one causing an avalanche at the BF booth.

In Frisky news...doesn't he look like the figurehead on a ship?

He was, hands down, the absolutely, most horrendous, badly-behaved dog at the entire soccer field. And, high maintenance too:

Good thing he's cute.

*Now, go listen to the song. You know you want to.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Caught in the Act

For some time now I've been noticing that, for no apparent reason, one certain corner of the dining room tablecloth has been mussed up. Here's why:

"Oh she comes. Act natural."

Apparently, it all begins here in the chair by the window:

Stand up, and then it's just a short leap across to the table. Thinking about what would happen to those spindly little legs of his if he missed makes me a bit lightheaded. Luckily, he doesn't miss.

So, now that I know how, I have to wonder, "Why? Why does a chihuahua want to be on a dining room table?"

Some things are maybe not meant to be known.

In knitting news, here's my Buttercup still in progress.

I should be done by now, and I would be, if I hadn't had to rip the front lace section out THREE TIMES.

(I want to make clear that this is not the pattern's fault - it is entirely my fault for not paying attention. It is partly Frisky's fault for leaping around onto furniture in a dangerous and distracting way. It is partly my family's fault for expecting me to produce meals and know things and answer complicated questions like, "I left my ipod on your desk and now it's gone and where did you put it?" at times when I am trying to knit. But it is definitely not Heidi the designer's fault.)

But, no matter now, it's almost done. Really a cute pattern. Easy, too, if you can avoid being distracted by flying chihuahuas...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Spring Cleaning

The only downside of Mother's Day this year was that I didn't get to spend it with my mom as she was out of town on Nana duty. However, this did give me some time to whip up an extra Mother's Day gift:

It's the Sundance bag from the Classic Elite Web-Letter. A great, quick pattern, details rav'ed here.

Now that the semester is over I've finally had a little time to get myself organized. (Actually, by "myself" I really mean "my knitting stuff." Organizing myself - now there's a project, heh heh.)

Although I've never been keen on adding my stash into Ravelry - I wasn't sure it would be worth the time and effort - I finally spent a little time doing it this weekend. I have to admit that when queueing projects it is a huge help to see what I already have available. It also made me very aware that I do not need any more yarn.

I also finished adding my needles into the needle database. I do not need any more needles. Then I went through a bunch of half-heartedly-begun projects, frogged them, and put the yarn back into the yarn bins, the circs back into the circs bag, and organized all the other needles. It feels great to be organized!

This should last about a let's have a look at it before the system falls apart again, shall we?

The "Upstairs Stash" (let's not even speak of the "Downstairs Stash")

Straight needles, crochet hooks, and dpns:

Wood needles

At least I can walk through my office without tripping. And now I'm off to cast on for something new. Hope you are enjoying your own rites of spring!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

I don't know about you, but my idea of the perfect Mother's Day involves knitting, not having to cook, yarn, being outside, spending quality time with my family, and knitting. I was able to squeeze all of that in yesterday, because, after breakfast in bed, the menfolk chez Yawnover indulged me with a jaunt up to the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival.

Obligatory animal pics. Aren't these two just beautiful together?

omg - babies!

I was impressed at how well the local kids handled the alpacas, some of whom were not being very accomodating (this guy wasn't too difficult, though.)

While we all enjoy the sheepdog trials and alpaca demonstrations, my guys share a curiously strong aversion to anything that looks like a yarn vendor. (I can't imagine why...) Luckily, they have developed a appreciation for other aspects of the Sheep and Wool phenomenon: Buffalo burgers, fried dough, and apple crisp. Together, these create a powerful distraction that allows me time to cruise multiple shopping venues without interruption.

Since I had just spent some serious time on Saturday re-organizing my yarn and needle stash and planning new projects, I found I wasn't actually too tempted to buy. The was one deal, though, that I simply could not pass up - a bin of laceweight marked $2 per ounce. I have never purchased laceweight yarn and after the yarn-ventory started thinking I really should venture into this territory. The colors in the bin were a bit wild, but I noticed a copper that I really liked:

When the owner whispered in my ear that he would take two bucks for the whole skein, how could I refuse?

Back at home, Frisky, who was sad that non-working dogs are not allowed at the festival, enjoyed some quality time out in the sun:

He also approved of my bargain.

"Plenty of money left over to buy more turkey jerky."

BTW, that is dh sacked out on the lawn behind Frisky, too full to move :) A good time was had by all.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Crunch Time

Thanks so much to all who left comments on my last post. I'm especially grateful to those who validated my self-pity - now that was awesome ;) In all seriousness, your kind words and thoughts really cheered me. It certainly is nice to be part of this little community, isn't it?

Frisky also thanks you - see the sincerity in his eyes? (Or is he just begging for that piece of cheese on the counter?)

I am in week 2 of Feeling Much Better. So, now it's the end of another semester and I'm up to my ears in papers and exams that still need to be graded. This is an improvement over yesterday, when I was up to my forehead in papers and exams. Just two more exams to administer and then I can hang up my hat for a week or two before summer session begins. Woo!

Now, on to the really important issue: knitting. I am ready to divide for the front and back of the Sleeveless Drops Top and thought I would share some pics of its turquoise yumminess:

This colorway (Dream in Color Blue Lagoon) is really fabulous. I'm so glad to have found a project for this yarn, especially a sleeveless one as I tend to wear a lot of this kind of top layered over blouses and tees. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a good fit - so far, it's right on.

After this I am looking forward to dipping into some DK cotton and cotton/bamboo stash I've had lying around. There are some terrific summery top patterns - now, how to choose? Any ideas? What are you knitting this summer?