Friday, September 14, 2007

...The Conclusion (of my Knitty review)

There 7 more things that I want to make from this Fall's Knitty.

Patch Pocket Raglan by Nathan Plante - This sweater would be great for my son. I am pretty excited about the psuedonym that Nathan uses, i.e. Kilgore Trout, at I happen to be reading my hubby's library book, "Timequake", which is an eery novel from our mutual highly favored author, Kurt Vonnegut. Wanna hear the wierdest detail? Vonnegut wrote that his alter ego, Trout, dies at 84 - the age that the author left this mortal coil. It is a strange novel, quick and engaging, but very strange. Anyway, I have never seen the yarn used here. Anybody knit with it or touched it. Little jealous right now of the Californian living somewhere cold enought to require a good woolen sweater.

Cherie Amour by Ashley Adams Moncrief - This sweater is quite lovely and it falls into the category of my lace knitting experience. I really like how she broke up the pattern stitches to be very flatter figuring. It reminds me of a Twinkle tank that I made from last spring's IK (you know, the really good one with the light green sweater on the front). I am left wondering about yarn substitutions because most ladies, namely me, try to avoid bulky yarns (remember the rule of common sense: bulky yarn makes bulky sweaters that add evil bulk; booo on excess bulk). Of course, as I ponder the substitution task, it occurs to me that it would be a great chance to use some Manos or some Bunny.

Flower Power by Ann Squire - I can hardly wait to cast on this adorable hat. In fact, I can hardly wait to cast on, rinse and reapeat abut 15 times (or at least five for the five babies that have both arrived and are incoming from some of my favorite new mommies). I was recently contemplating the Umbilical Cord hat from the first SNB but was feeling a little wishy washy about the task. This adorable topper inspires nothing but the desire to act and then place on the round head of a little cherub. It doesn't hurt that I like her website name - would that be considered name nepitism?

Foliage by Emilee Mooney - Could I be more excited? Another incredible hat pattern!!! And a lace pattern!!! It seems that this issue yields an embarrassment of riches for opportunities to use Manos, as well. The one thing that holds me back on having tons of Manos in the house is that it smells like hot dogs with sauerkraut. This food combo is certainly a favorite for me to injest but, as an aroma, it isn't something that I would bury my nose into and breath in deeply. (Yes, I am sure that it is the vinegar used in the dyeing process of the glorious color ways.) I also really like her the header on her blog. It reminds me of a UFO hiding in my knitting stash though.

Urchin by Ysolda Teague - I have been stalking this designer's blog for a couple of weeks now because I really want to make her beret pattern, Gretel. This should appease me for a minute or two. The thing with berets is that I worry that they may turn out to be like shawls where I feel awkward wearing them. I should have the genetic information required for carrying it off considering my high content of French heritage. Dare I say that I lighty considered the use of Manos on this project as well. I put it out of my head and have decided to wait out for a good drastically thick thin yarn. It is actually tempting to use my shabby spinning skills to my advantage here and create some for myself.

Q by aija goto - Right now, I am a little bit fixated by stranded knitting and have caught the sock fever that is ever present in the air molecules at AFY (I have about 5 pairs of socks on the needles - all two at a time - yup that is ten socks cast on). One time I left an accomplished sock kniter a questioning commentary in which I asked how one would wear such warm tall socks since my climate doesn't really allow or call for such feet/leg heat. I never heard I don't think that I will launch the same query to this designer. I may simply make mine shorter but it really would be a shame to skip thst attractive calf detailing.

Cinderella by Katheryn Beckerdite - Have I ever mentioned the Cinerella is my very favorite fairytale? Every incarnation of it has delighted me - the classic Disney version, the next Disney live action with Brandy, and Ever After. I am actually pretty excited about Amanda Bynes upcoming take on it. I will be making a conscious effort to skip the Julia Stiles and Hillary Duff attempts, though. These socks might end up being the first sock pair that I complete, weighing in both the needle size and and needle count (just two). Plus, three cheers for cables!!! Check out her blog for some witty banter.

The End.

I Feel Like Reviewing Fall 2007 Knitty...

...if anyone is listening.

This issue of is one of the best in sometime. My basis for judgement is highly scientific - it contains the most things that I want to knit.

I'll start at the beginning:

Muir by Rosemary Hill - I have not really done much delicate lace work but this pattern looks like just the thing I am looking for in a very satisfying lace expedition. Ever since I read that chapter in Yarn Harlot in which she discusses a shawl that reveals sheep as the lace is blocked, I have wanted that thrill of blocking discovery. Rosemary's explanation of her inspiration from Muir Woods also adds on to my list of things I want to visit the next time that I go to the Bay Area. Rosemary also rocks out loud in my book because she has a great tutorial on how to get beads onto you knitting without prestringing which can really save your yarn from added wear during the process. I wish that I had seen this before I made my Odessa cap sans beads because I had to cast it on at an hour that prevented me from running to the store and picking up some sparkle.

Henry by Mareike Sattler - Last night, at AFY late night knit night, one attendee was raving about this gorgeous scarf. Upon checking it out, I agree about its rave worthiness. I really appreciate the designer's source of inspiration since I have also been greeted by the same huffing and puffing when I have thrown out a knitting offer. I don't know that I would give this finely knit item away upon completion, being that it is so gorgeous and knit on #1's.

There are a ton more patterns that I want to comment on but the clock tells me that I must get ready for work! So, I will taunt you with my least favorite ending to X-files and Heroes (of course, on Heroes it is redundant) be continued...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sally Melville Fan Girl

This weekend was amazing! At Anacapa Fine Yarns, Sally Mellville spent the weekend hard at work. I had no idea that this was going to be such a terrific experience. She began the weekend with a lecture on fostering creativity in which she plucked thoughts about the creative experience right from deep in my head. My neck was sore from nodding in agreement with all that she had to say. She is one well rounded knitter - she hopped from Winston Churchill to Quantum physics.

The next two days, she plowed through four more courses - two a day. When she comes to your town, sign up for at least one if not everything that she is offering. I went to Stripes and Stripes that aren't which is mostly based on the content of her third book about Color. Much to play with and tremendously inspiring. We learned how to stripe one at a time not in the round, lampshade, half linen stitch, mock houndstooth and two color ladder stitch. The best thing that we learned is how to keep stripes flattering, which I felt such a freedom by learning because I adore making stripes but fear the power of horizontal things. There are three things that all have to be present to make something striped hideous. Not gonna be a spoiler though - check out the book or take a one of her classes. Worth every moment!

As soon as I got my toosh home, I could hardly get myself in the door before putting my hands on one of my most current WIPs - a pullover for my son. About a month ago, I cast on with some yarn that I have had for awhile waiting to be a pullover for the young man. I haven't really felt moved to start the sleeves because I never feel moved to work on sleeves, especially when not in top down modas opporandi. However, this class showed such great ways to use varigated yarns to their fullest potential and I was in hyperdrive to get a pair of sleeves cast on. Now, please note, that regardless of my fury to get sleeves on the needles, I did swatch ;).
I introduced some purple from my stash using the lampshade stitch. I am going to keep the raglan shaping and carry the lampshade stripes that aren't through the yoke. Instead of a simple crewneck, I am going to do a split front crewneck. Last night, I doubled the lenght that you see in the picture - a whopping 8 inches with 10 more to go. I can't wait to get to the yoke. Any day now...I would just stay up and knit straight through but one of the most important things that Sally discussed this weekend was the importance of letting your mind get enough rest. You are actually cheating your brain from doing the bulk of its creative work and problem solving if you skimp on your sleep cycle. I have been following her advice since Friday night and I certainly appreciate the permission to sleep well. It makes it easier to get to bed with my early bird, teacher spouse.


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