Monday, April 29, 2013

My Sock Drawer

A few weeks ago, Susan B Anderson took a photo of her hand knit sock drawer and put it up on her blog. This is one of two drawers that are double layered.

Not to be outdone, I though you might enjoy a peek into mine. It is not quite so lovely as Susan's. It's clear that Susan goes for brighter colors and stripes. I work more with texture.

What does you sock drawer look like? Do you have a special one set aside for your hand knit socks? 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Vogue's Crochet Issue

There's a new issue of Vogue Knitting's Crochet coming your way!

We're featured in two different handbags and I love them both. This one seems retro to me. Like something Megan Draper from Mad Men would have carried to the beach on their trip to Hawaii. It's hooked from Shepherd Sock in Cummerbund and designed by Robin Chachula.

I think Megan could have taken this Wei Wilkins bag to Hawaii too, but she would have probably carried it to the luau rather than the beach. It's also Shepherd Sock, this time in Bold Red.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A couple of reviews

I'm a little behind on reviews of the books and magazines that invariably come across my desk. Most of the time there is a project using Lorna's Laces and I get a copy of the book for free. Other times, it's a copy of a magazine that we advertise in. Still others times we get copies of books just because someone thinks we should. So, over the next week or so I'm going to try and work through some of the things that have been piling up.

The first magazine I'm going to talk about today is knit.wear. It is part of the Interweave stable of publications. It's billed as "simple hand knits for the thoughtful knitter".  I have to say, it's a beautiful magazine. But I've always been a sucker for simple, clean lines. 

All of the photos are taken with a plain backdrop. You can see from this collage that there are no props. Nothing to get in the way of the design. This format suits this magazine really well. I wouldn't like it as much in Vogue Knitting, but it works here. Probably because the designs feel clean and crisp. Even the lace.

In this issue, our Bullfrogs and Butterflies is part of a feature about single ply yarns. It wasn't so much an article where they talked about the pros and cons of single plies as much as it was a showcase of seven different single plies on the market. I would have liked it better if they're had been more of a discussion about the yarns but I'm probably splitting hairs. Ours is 85% wool and 15% mohair. It has a nice firm hand that really shows of stitch patterns nicely. It doesn't get as much love as it should really. It's a workhorse of a yarn.

This is a pretty new magazine. I think this is the third or fourth issue. Clearly, it hits a niche in the market that hasn't been addressed and they're doing a great job!

Next up is Spring/Summer Knit Simple. This is a super cute issue. The Lorna's Laces garment is called the Eyelet Lace Shawl. 

It's knit using just 2 hanks of Sportmate. Because of the Outlast fiber, Sportmate is going to be a great warm weather yarn. Especially for those of us who hate knitting with cotton. (Raises hand.)

The other item that caught my eye wasn't in our yarn, but I thought I point it out anyway. 

I think the reason I'm so attracted to it is that it reminds me of one my mom had when I was growing up. I think hers might have been sailing flags or something like that. Either way, it makes me happy. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

100 Things About Me Redux

I posted the original 100 Things About Me list just a little more than three year ago. I decided to revisit it and see what had changed and what hadn't. Here's a revised and annotated version. 

1) I am 6'0".  

2) I have three brothers and two sisters. They are all much older than I. 

3) I don't have children.

4) My made up name is Cynthia Dawson. 

5) I'm a vegetarian

6) I've been married since 1996. 

7) I was born a brunette, but have been a redhead and blond too. Right now I'm blonde. 

8) I used to be a sales rep for Prentice Hall.

9) I tended bar when I was in college.

10) My father died of cancer when I was 25.

11) I learned to knit when I was 28.

12) I've broken the 5th metatarsal in my right foot twice.

13) I hold grudges.

14) I keep my fingernails short and buffed.

15) I wear a size 11 shoe.

16) My favorite color of yarn is Vera. That could change at any minute. And it has. Now, I'm all about Daley today. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? 

17) I make a mean red sauce.

18) I've run two marathons.

19) I use reading glasses. I've moved on to progressives. I should wear them all the time, but don't.

20) I share my life with a Great Dane named Pearl. Pearl is gone. Now I have a boxer mix named Sam

21) I prefer baths to showers.

22) I read every night before I go to sleep. And in the bathtub.

23) I have never flown first class. We got upgraded to first class on our trip to Turkey last winter. It was dreamy. 

24) I don't like to ski.

25) I like red wine.

26) Left to my own devices, I'd eat popcorn for dinner too often.

27) I sleep with lots of (7) pillows.

28) If I find a piece of clothing I like and fits well, I'll buy more than one.

29) I perpetually wish I was ten pounds lighter. Sadly, still true. 

30) I walk to work most days.

31) The homepage on my computer is The New York Times.

32) I go to theatre at least once a month.

33) I need a vacation. Perpetually

34) I have a red couch. With cowboys on it. It desperately needs to be recovered but I can't find fabric I love. 

35) I like stained glass.

36) I don't like summer.

37) I am learning not to be jealous. Without much luck. 

38) I can't keep peanut butter in the house.

39) I drive a Honda Element.

40) I belong to a book club.

41) My mom has dementia. 

42) I am afraid I will go blind.

43) I am even more afraid of burning. 

44) I love to go to tea at the Drake.

45) I hope I never want to have plastic surgery.

46) Too many of my clothes are from the Gap. Still are. 

47) I listen to podcasts, not music, on my ipod.

48) I wish I could draw.

49) I have 10 nieces and nephews. The oldest is 44, the youngest is 8 months. They are older now. 

50) I almost always have dye stains on my arms.

51) I wore a uniform in grade school. I kind of still do. See #46. 

55) I was an all-state basketball player.

56) I prefer the caramel dessert, not the chocolate one.

57) I am afraid of failing. 

58) I don't think I'll ever have another puppy. Puppies are hard work. Messed that up. Sam was 5 months old when we brought him home.  See #20

60) My spelling skills have deteriorated because of spellcheck. Getting worser every day. 

61) I have a bachelor's degree in Business Administration.

62) I hate interviewing people. 

63) I started smoking cigarettes in junior high. Quit about 10 years ago. More than that now. Yay! 

64) I studied bread baking at the French Culinary Institute. 

65) I'd like to go to Egypt. 

66) I don't have any allergies. 

67) I'd rather have art than jewelry.

68) On weekends, I schedule a 3 o'clock nap.

69) My husband is bald.

70) I like to knit simple things.  I've knit some killer lace in the past couple of years. 

71) I never wore braces.

72) I have a dinner party at least once a month. 

73) I overthink things.

74) I'd like to live in Europe at some point.

75) I'm not a big fan of perfume. 

76) My mom was a nurse.

77) My dad was and engineer. And a lawyer. I could never get anything past him. 

78) I wish I had more time.

79) I try not to have regrets.

80) My dream house has a turret and a wrap around porch.

81) I love fountain pens.

82) I am impatient.

83) I will walk out of movie if don't like it.  A play too. 

84) You couldn't pay me enough to to revisit my teen years.  That means I am not going to the high school reunion. Really. Quit calling. 

85) My handwriting is awful.

86) I grew up in St. Louis

87) I listen to NPR more than any other radio station.

88) I love to wear a hat when I get dressed up.

89) I'd rather read than watch TV.

90) I hate taking a cab.

91) I spend too much time at the computer.

92) I require fresh flowers.

93) My favorite color is orange.

94) I wear my grandmother's wedding band.

95) My right foot is bigger than my left foot.

96) I drink decaf coffee.

97) I like cardigans better than pullovers.

98) I have 6 pairs of Chuck Taylor's. At least. 

99) I have been knitting more small projects lately. This is changing. I just finished a sweater over the weekend. It was the first one in a long time and I think I'm on a roll. 

100) My mac and cheese recipe is the best. Ask anybody.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happily Ever Aftur

Alright-y then. It is officially OK with me if the weather warms up. My Aftur is finished and I got to wear it today. I just wanted to be able to take it out for one day in the world before I have to store it for the season. 

I've had it almost finished for several days. All I needed to do was graft the underarms and weave in a few ends. Yesterday was the day. I got up extra early and took care of that. Here's the obligatory pre-blocking shot. 

 Then it got a nice dunk in the Soak Wash.

And I laid it out to dry overnight.

Oops,  I don't have a picture of the blocking. I did have a minute or two of panic when I wondered whether it was going to stretch out and become something unrecognizable. I sat down next to it and we had a nice talk about keeping its shape and it promised me it would behave beautifully. And you know what, it did.

I had a super time making it. It's been a really long time since I've made a sweater. I've been happily knitting socks and shawls and kid's stuff and accessories for the past couple of years. I forgot how much I like knitting garments. Sure, they take a little more time but it was so worth it when I pulled it over my head this morning and looked at it in the mirror for the first time.

There isn't a whole lot of contrast in the colors, but I'm okay with that for my first  lopapeysa. Next time around I'll do more than dip my toe into the color pool though. The main color here is Dusk. Also, Natural, Cookie's Deep Dark Secret, Grand Street Ink and Chocolate. 

For some reason I feel the need to show the back of my work. Look how nice and neat it is! I suppose I'm looking for someone to pat me on the head and tell me that this shows something besides the fact that I have a obsessive compulsive nature.

Next up is a lopapeysa cardigan of some sort. I haven't figured out which one. I'm leaning towards taking a Craftsy class in steeking and altering Ridarri but I'm open to suggestions.