Monday, December 27, 2010

Orchid Thief Encore

I rarely make the same project twice. Unless of course it's a pair of socks or something like requires that you knit two. I subscribe to the "so many projects, so little time" school of thought.

I also rarely knit Christmas presents. This is a Christmas present and the second Orchid Thief that I've made in as many months.

So, what's going on?

Because I had some trouble with the transition from chart three to chart four, I had some sort of visceral need to conquer it. It is now conquered and I feel better. Silly? Of course. But that doesn't change the fact that I needed to dominate a knitting pattern. Maybe I should be embarrassed by the victory dance, but I'm not.

As far as the Christmas thing goes, it was a gift for my sister. The one that lives near my mom and does way more than her fair share of the heavy lifting when it comes to mom's care. She deserved more than a gift card for her new Kindle. I wanted to give her something that came from my heart and hands. She's a knitter too, so she gets it.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Circa 1967

My sister just finished up an afghan for a co-worker who is getting married and moving to China. It's from Columbia-Minerva book 765 circa 1967. She bought the book new and has made several different things from it over the years. I'm surprised she still has it. It's survived eight or nine moves, veterinary school, four kids and countless dogs, cats and birds.

The pattern is called Reverie and she made it in our Shepherd Worsted in 0ns Natural. It took 8 skeins.

Lucky bride!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Now We're Talking Socks!

Vogue Knitting's Winter issue will hit the news stands on January 4th. They sent over a couple pictures of a pair of socks using Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock that will be featured in it.

Lisa Whiting designed them, they take one skein of 36ns Chocolate and 2 skeins of 16ns Charcoal plus random bits to do the embroidery. Or maybe you'd want to use embroidery floss. I'm not sure what would work best.

Wow. Just. Wow.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

On The First Day of Birthday.....

My husband's birthday is December 25th. Yep, I'm married to a Christmas baby. He's pretty much become resigned to the fact that he kind of gets cheated. He says it doesn't matter but I think deep down the 8 year old boy in him is still a little crabby about it.

I do my best to mark the day as his, to make it special somehow for him. Once I threw him a surprise half-past-birthday party on June 25th. That was about the easiest surprise to pull off ever! The hardest part of the whole thing was twisting his arm to get him out of the house to the fund raiser I told him we were committed to attending. He wanted to bag the whole evening and stay home.

We decided early in our marriage that Christmas would be for us and not about making some preconceived required pilgrimage to visit one family or the other. We certainly celebrate Christmas with family, but not every year. We've spent Christmas in Paris and London. We've gone to the beach. Wherever we are, I make sure that his birthday doesn't get lost in the shuffle.

One of my favorite birthday celebrations is what I like to call "The 12 Days of Birthday". Starting on December 14th, he gets to open one gift every day for twelve days. And just like an eight year old, as soon as he wakes up, he rushes to pick a present to unwrap. It's very cute.

Let the games begin!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Aspenglow Jacket

The Winter issue of Interweave Crochet hits today. This is Hannah Cuviello's Aspenglow Jakcet. She designed it using Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted in 710 Robot Overlord and 8ns Harvest. It looks nice and cozy dontcha think?

I did a double take when this photo hit my desk. My initial reaction was that there was some mistake, this is knit, not crocheted. Then I took a closer look. Color me impressed.

There is some seriously cute crochet work out in the world these days.I'm seeing lots of inspiration to become bi-craftual.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Don't Let Your Wine Go Naked

All of the sudden our holiday season has gotten even more busy. A week ago, we had one party to go to. Now we have five!

I decided to dress the wine we'll be bringing as hostess gifts.

I saw something like them in the Sundance Catalog and decided I could whip up a few for my friends. I used Shepherd Sport for both of these.

Here's a quick rundown of what I did. Calling this a pattern would be too strong but you should be able to get the idea.

For the scarf, I cast on 10 stitches on size three needles. I did the first couple of rows in garter stitch. Then I switched to stockinette and worked for about 17 inches. I finished with a couple of rows in garter again before I bound off. I also worked the first and last stitch of each row in garter stitch in order to keep it from rolling too much.

For the hats, I cast on 30 stitches on size 3 DPN's. I divided them on three needles and joined for working in the round. For the one on the right, I worked in stockinette for about an inch. Then K2TOG on the first stitch of every needle until three stitches remain. Pull the working yarn through those stitches.

For the one on the left, work three rows in K1P1 rib. Switch to stockinette until the work measures about an inch. Decrease as with the first hat. When there are three stitches remaining, work 3-stitch i-cord for about 2 inches. Bind off and make a little knot in the i-cord.

It only took this very slow knitter a couple of hours to make a set. And you could get a few of them out of a single skein of yarn. And this is a much cuter outfit for the wine than a regular gift bag.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Knit Simple Winter

My Winter Knit Simple just arrived! I get mine a little's not due to hit the newsstand until December 14th.

The stuff for kids in this issue was really cute. There was a bunch of great striped designs for child's sizes 2-8 or 10 along with accessories too. With the exception of one garment that had a bow at the neckline, all of them could go for a boy or girl depending on your choice of color.

Then there was a section they called Back to School. These are going to work for your 'tweens through teenagers. These were all modeled on girls, but I think that many of the designs would work for the boys in your life too. That's certainly true of this cute hat/scarf combo by Faith Hale. It's knit from our Shepherd Worsted and shown here in 104 Uptown and 16ns Charcoal. But if you grabbed a more gender neutral color, your little boy could rock this look.

I know we've all got tunnel vision right now with holiday knitting lined up as far as the eye can see, but we'll all need something to work on come January too!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I mentioned the other day that my gauge on the Favorite Sweater (on the first try) called for size 2's. Which means I was going to need a pair of 1's for the ribbing. I had 2's, 3's and 4's but the only 1's I had were DPNs and I was at 35,000 feet somewhere above the Pacific Ocean.

I looked over and saw my husband had his sketchpad out and a kneaded eraser in his hand. The light bulb went on. I made two balls with the eraser and stuck one on the end of each needle. Voila! I had created a pair of single pointed size 1's. I was pretty darn pleased with myself, even if I did end up having to rip out the knitting later.

I think knitters are a resourceful bunch. We create makeshift stitch markers and figure out ways to get around needing a measuring tape.

What's your favorite trick?