Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hoppy Easter

Happy Easter!!

All is good here in Florida...sun in shining, the pool is sparkling (and warming up!), the house is clean and ready for Mary Lou and Al's visit on Tuesday. Yeah!! The Easter Egg Hunt is on hold while Mike and Veronica wash my car (God love them.). Mike and I stuffed, oh um...the Easter Bunny stuffed 124 eggs last night with candy. One egg had three dollars in it, we're curious to see who finds it and if they decide to share a dollar each with their siblings. Hummm...

The vegetable garden is thriving, many blooms in anticipation of veggies to come. We have 4 different pepper plants, two tomatoes, green beans and one crooked neck squash (a nod to Nana-Reba). I would love to say the green beans are contender beans, and make a double-nod to Nana-Reba, but they're just normal bush beans bought from the store, not imported from the great state of Texas. Veronica insisted we plant green beans (she always does), because she loves to pick them right off the plant and eat them. And all the kids love to stick the beans to their shirts, too (the little "hairs" on the beans work like Velcro and stick to your shirt...very fun).

Gotta go and hide eggs...

Hope your Easter is a hoppy one!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Going Camping

As usual, I fell in love with a sweater pattern and am using yarn from the stash that was originally intended for another pattern. My new love is Corinne. Knit from side to side all in garter with short rows (no wrapping) for shaping. I couldn't resist the interesting construction, cute style and come on, it's all in garter stitch! I'm trying to channel my inner Jared Flood so my garter stitch is awesome like his. He's a big-time knit designer and I just love his patterns and style...check him out on Ravelry as Brooklyntweed.

I'm making Corinne out of Knitpicks Shine Sport in a deep royal blue, it's a cotton/nylon blend so should be good for Florida weather. I've just finished one front and am about an inch into the first sleeve. This picture is the one from Knitty (free pattern btw) and is knit with Madeline Tosh DK. WAY, WAY out of my price range, unfortunately. MadTosh is one of my favorite yarns...the ToshSock is to die for...and the DK is gorgeous, colors that make you drool. Sigh...someday.

Here's a sock pic I promised. It's Shur'tugal by Alice Yu. I knit it with ToshSock in the color way called Espadrilles...kinda pinky-salmony color. Mike bought it for me for Valentine's Day. Does that man know how to shop for yarn or what?! It was a great pattern to knit, easy enough but interesting...check out that heel! The pattern has a great fit, nice and stretchy. I am so grateful to Ravelry and designers like Alice who offer such quality patterns at no cost.

Here's my Alaskan Honey Bee! I do tend to think of this yarn as the "watermelon" yarn, but it is indeed from Alaska. Imported by my mom on one of her cruises. It is amazingly soft, a blend of merino and silk. I tried three other patterns before finding Honeybee Cardigan by Laura Chau. Why so many patterns? Because of the darn pooling of the colors! This pattern is working out great...I just finished the body portion last night and as you can see from the pic, the colors pool rather nicely. It's a seamless knit, casting on at the lower edge, knitting the body in one piece. Then you make the sleeves (next for me...there may be some interesting pooling because they're knit in stockinette, but with the small circumference, I'm hoping it won't look weird). You join all three pieces (one body, two sleeves) and knit the bodice with set-in sleeves to the neck. Fun construction!

I'm knitting this on my Addi Lace size 4 needle. The grip of the lace needle helps so much with the slickness of the merino/silk blend. Last week at knitting I got a couple of "'s so soft!" comments. Thanks again mom for the yarn!

Can you see how the pattern resembles the shape of bees? It looks difficult and hard to do, but truthfully, it's SO easy...I even have it memorized, which I usually never do with even the simplest of patterns.

So there's a knitting update for ya'll. I have socks I'm working on too. Like four pairs. I'm nuts, I know. I really need to finish my Bridgewater shawl...OH! Want to see my Pi shawl?
I love how it turned out! Yarn is Pagewood Farms Willow, a lace weight wool in pretty fall colors. Another yarny gift from my wonderful mom (she's got good taste, huh?). One skein is all it took to make this beauty...ok, one BIG skein of 1350 yards!

There's another Pi shawl I'm thinking about's called Pi Shawl: Camping. It's one of six free Pi Shawl patterns that Mwaa Knit released in honor of Elizabeth Zimmerman's 100th Anniversary. The pattern I did was one of them...Gull Wings (I love this pattern.). You can find all six here.

There's something about knitting a circular shawl the EZ way. It's simple yet the "wow" factor is off the charts. You have to pay attention (or use tons of markers), but usually the patterns are simple enough that it's hard to get lost. Elizabeth does recommend doing a pi shawl in July in her book The Knitters Almanac. It's self contained (just throw your ball of yarn into the pouch the shawl creates) and easy to travel with, too. A group of gals on Ravelry are going to start up a Pi Camping Trip KAL in July and knit this lovely shawl:

I have yarn in the stash for this, too. It's Shadow by Knitpicks (merino wool) in a colorway called Deep Waters Tonal. Deep to mid tones of blues and purples. Yummy!
I may just join them.