Friday, January 26, 2007

The Croc Hunter Scarf

This one is the last manly scarf that I am going to make for some time. Sadly, not the last scarf, because I still have to make the Mango Moon commision and the a blue, tan, and brown long ways for my own enjoyment and use.

I cast on 16 and did two mirrored cable twists. Perhaps this thought was inspired by watching a Croc Hunter marathon last weekend, but it began to look like a a crocodile back. Do you see it?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Black & White and Red all Over

I made another boy scarf. Or Unisex - since it is one of my top five favorite color combos. It is another long ways wonder. I cast on 120 and changed colors every row, leaving the ends to become the fringe at el fin. I had exactly enough to bind off with the black and be done. This one also took 3 skeins of Blue Sky Alpaca; I still had a touch of red and cream left.

As for my favorite color combinations (no real order):
1. Pink and Green
2. Blue or Turquoise and Brown
3. Blue, Green, Pink, and Purple
4. Red, Black, and White
5. Red, Black, White, and Green
Honorarable mention: Pink, Black, and White

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Successful Donation

I am in a masuline scarfing fury. In the spirit of this fury I decided to post the scarf/hat sets that I included in the presents that my mom and I put together for a couple of 6yr old boys. Every year, we get a couple of kids the same age as my boy from the our church's present drive and then go almost as overboard with present collecting as we do for our own 6yr old. We usually make them some cool clothes and get some cool toys. It is much easier to give at the same age as your own child. Last year, I accidently picked up some 8 or 9 yr old boys when I meant to get a couple of 8 or 9 yr old girls to recieve some new Barbie dolls that we had in our closet (let'snot get into where the dolls came from). Still without a new home for Barbie, I had no idea what to give them - I didn't want to choose something too young or too old or not cool at all. I had to stop a kid who looked 9 - ish and get his guidance. This year was easy again with a couple of properly aged children. I made the same hat that I made for my son and for my nephew and then made muffler length scarves with cool buttons to keep them secure (muffler length was all the more length that I could stand on US8). The light blue in the hat and on the scarf have the same rib + cable pattern. Fun and simple. So far, this is the only charity knitting that I cast on that was finished in time to actually send to its intended destination.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Better to See than to Eat

Licorice - that is how I feel about licorice. Not the chewy Red Vine type. I mean the anise flavored, shiny black ropes and bits. They look so scrumptious, but have never done it for me flavor wise. Even the good stuff - my mom just brought home some gourmet brand and it still didn't satisfy me. It sure was pretty though. After photographing this scarf, worked in a reversible cable fashion and bordered with garter stitch, I decided that it reminded me of those shining, gourmet licorice morsels.

My knitting it was inspired by two elements. First, I had guided two people to this scarf style - one just on Friday night - and I had begun to feel my fingers itch to make one as well. Second, on two consecutive Friday nights, men have come in looking to make a quick scarf purchase after facing the cold air for a little bit.

I cast this on at about 10:30 on Saturday morning and cast off at about 4:30 with a few short breaks in between. It took 3 hanks of Blue Skuy Bulky (50 alpaca/ 50 wool, 45 yds each) and measures 70" at completion. Hopefully, next Friday night will also be brisk and a stylish gentleman will come in to snatch it up.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Jody's Yummy Scarf

I will have an FO today but I am saving it to show you tomorrow because my Jody has finished a bragable scarf. We have all been playing with the long ways scarf since Tiffany made a really neat, 12 footer this past December. We have all agreed that 200 CO is a bit excessisive but something between 120 and 150 CO is just right depending on the taste and gauge of the knitter. We have also agreed that 30 to 40 rows of a lot of stitches is way more palatable than oh who knows how many rows of 15 to 20 stitches.

Miss Jody had made a long ways scarf out her stash has a holiday present that was so gorgeous that it was hard to give away. Her consolation was that she was now entitled to put together another wonderful confection for her own neck.

The name of the this delicious scarf is "Dark Chocolate Cherry Bling" and if that title did not make you lust after some cherry cordials then the sight of it should create that desire within you. So tasty.

Is anyone else amused that I poopoo scarf only knitters and yet I sure seem to talk about scarfing just as much as anything? I guess it some sorta karma. ;)

Friday, January 19, 2007

So I lied.

I couldn't face posting on a dial up connection when I could just wait a day and use the wireless. 3 cheers for speedy. (That is my other excuse for not posting.

Since, we last met I worked very little on the Mango Moon Scarf.

Instead, I played more with Double Knitting. I wanted to make a hat with a varrigated yarn as on side. The swatches worked ok because the colors were not pooling. The gauge was hard to gauge though. ;( SO, I cast on what would work out for the polka dot chart. Sadly, the colors began to pool and the browns in the solid and the vari were too close and had no contrast action. Plus, it was huge-ish. Note for next time: MAJOR CONTRAST!!!!

I tore it out and began again - which was not without its speed bumps. I started this hat with four segments - two chocolate brown and two varrigated - attached via intarsia faushion. But, intarsia in the round doesn't work out so well for me. Luckily, I was able to unlink the round and carry on in the straight. I am really pleased with how it is turning out. (A little sad that I have to do a little sewing at the end, but it is just as annoying as weaving in ends at the end of anything. Also sad that I still want to make a double knit hat - luvin the look of the tubular cast on.)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


It has been about 20 years since the last time that snow fell on our lawn. I was sitting on the couch, trying to warm up after a brisk walk to my son's school, thinking that it was getting pretty dark outside the window. My mom went to take a peek out the front door to discover sweet little puffs of snow drifting onto our front yard. This discovery was pretty exciting since I was in first or second grade the last time that snow fell on Valencia. It is rather strange that snow came along for my son in the same spot that it hit on my personal timeline as well. It didn't last long though. The fluffy puffs quickly changed to raindrops and ice, washing away the white powder. It could snow more later, because it is still brrrrrr cold and there are plenty of threatening clouds above.

Last thoughts - please check out the brand spanking new blog of one of my bold and beautiful knitting students - loopykat. She is a fearless knitter who quickly progressed past scarves and is soon finishing a sweater as her third or fourth FO. Of course, I delight in her not making scarves and what am I going to be needling during this rarest of rare snowkissed so-Cal day - this Mango Moon Sari silk scarf. I did not pick it for myself; I am making it for a client. It is bearable because, upon her request for irregular stripes, I got to play with the Random Stripe Generator. If you haven't played with this program, then I think you should get your toosh over there and have some fun.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

knitty gritty search

Here's a note from our friends at the famed "Knitty Gritty"-

Screen Door Entertainment and "Knitty Gritty" are looking for unique
knitting groups for a one-hour special. We are looking in the Los Angeles

It may be a formal group or informal, but we're searching for groups with a
"story" or extra-special quality. Maybe a sports team/league who knits
together on the bus rides, a group of Harley bikers who knit together, a
group who hit various pubs and knit while they visit, OR people who knit for
a purpose/cause (whether a charity or simply to keep their community
beautiful by decorating trees, stop signs, etc.)

If you are a member of such an intriguing group, know of a group (locally or
in any city,) OR even if you know of other online knitting groups in other
cities we can contact - send me an e-mail ASAP. We'd love to hear more!

Joy Wingard
"Knitty Gritty"

Monday, January 15, 2007

more from my estudiantes

More from the Tuesday Night Sweater Girls. This first green and rose number was completed by Angelica. Inspired by the famed shrugs that often appear at the Yarn Garden, Angelica combined Fiori, DB baby cashmerino, Tartelette, and DB Cashmerino Astrakhan. Forming this shrug is a simple concept, but it has some fun surprises along the way like Kitchener stitch and my favorite decrease - slip one, knit two together, and psso. So much fun to be had! The best part is how it drapes across the back in a really graceful, warm air catching way. I can't wait to see the cute summer dresses that Angelica will be pairing with this cutie.

This one is another beauty from Amy's needles. The main green is Cotton Chenille; two rows away from the sweet, sweet bind off, Amy ran into a major knitting necessity - the need for another hank of yarn. Sadly, this shade of green chenille had become popular and we had no more. I love when necessity is the mother of invention; Amy came up with the gorgeous gold chenille collar. It looks so perfect with the incredible buttons that she found at a special button shop (I must go there soon!).

I love buttons - as a wee girl, we used to get those big buckets of mixed buttons from the fabric store and spend Saturday nights sorting them out to see what treasures were hidden. The cool buttons were worth digging through all of beige and white shirt buttons.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Pink Camoflauge

This gorgeous girl is my new niece. I made this sweater as a quickie with only touch of pink so that her papa (my big bro) had another mostly not pink item to wear out and about.
The adventure began with a making quick and cute t-bar baby booties from 50 Baby Bootees to Knit. Sadly, I made each one at a time only to end up with two differently sized foot coverings. So, I re-cast on a fresh set that was whipped out two at a time. Then, came the sweater which was followed by finding the exact buttons I had been imagining (but had never seen before) and the perfect cotton flannel for lining the booties and the button band. The last touch was choosing between the light pink or the hot pink astrakhan. A wise and tasteful voice piped in that hot pink is always best with camo.
The funny thing is that I hate sewing up pieces of a sweater or other knitted item; I like them to be as connected as possible which is why nearly every sweater you see me make up is raglan of some sort. The part that is amusing -ish is that I love to add the finishing details; I will sew on an item longer than it took to knit it to add just the right extra details.
Anywho, isn't she lovely? And the baby too? ;) I am working on a boy version next. I have found some good flannel, but I am wishy washy on the button and border yarn choices. I am sure that it will come together. Stay tuned.

Friday, January 12, 2007


Is that a mirror or two fierce pirates? Yar.

The answer is (in case you couldn't guess and if you couldn't guess then maybe you should consider a job at David's Bridal - more on that later) that these are my two gorgeous, world peace making friends - Melanie (left) and Melissa (right). They took these patches with them back to Thailand for noble pursuits - respectively, for laser eye surgery recovery and for scaring away (or pleasing) future boyfriends (hehe, TMI moment). The pattern came from an amazing new book, Naughty Needles by Nikol Lohr. Everyone should by this book asap - it fulfills every promise that the title holds and more. Thank you, Nikol, thank you.

As for David's Bridal, three different worker bee's asked if these girls were twins when we went to play with dresses last week. Harmless question, but maybe one that you ask in your head because the answer is pretty obvious. HMMM, do you think that grown women might be tired of explaining their twin-ness when it is perfectly clear? Or, if they are not twins and are simply sisters close in age that look very similar, then they are probably tired of explaining their non-twin-ness despite their similar apearances. So, next time you see twin like individuals, make a mental note of its novelty and move on. ;)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Welcome to the New Year

Here is a hint about my personality. I set my watch 15 minutes ahead. I never forget that I am set ahead - it is really a game that I play with myself to define a safety barrier of how much time I have left in a day. So, I tried another mind trick of setting goals and standards rather than pledging resolutions. It has been working about as well as the watch mind trick. This action of renaming my resolutions has really proven to provide a buffer zone for what the minimum achievement level needs to be to stave off the end of the year disappointment that threatens every December. I guess every little step counts toward something - i.e. something is better than nothing.

One of my goals for this year is to blog daily and to show you some FO each day - something wee or the end of a big project. The last week and a half has been spent saving up a cache of FOs to get started with (another safety net in case of falter...I am putting together a wedding this year...I may skip a few days as a result).

I think that I will begin with a parade of Christmas presents. I made this cloche fairly early in my present making rush. It is lovely and cheerful and the best hat for my mom. It will hopefully be worn when I renew our walking my son to school in the chilly mornings. The hat is a simple ribbed ruffle attached to your basic beanie shape. I pulled the yarn from the stash - a combo of two favorite cheapies: Lion's Brand Woolease (the white one with the metallic thread) and their fake mohair-ish yarn. #11 needlas and about an hour and a half for the hat - the flower may have taken nearly as long as the hat. I may actually like the photos of this hat better than the actual hat - best knitted item photos ever.

I think that these sets were a hit. I made hats and mittens for my soon to be parents-in-law in the colors of their favorite hockey team - The San Jose Sharks. When the plan was originally hatched, I thought I would make his mom the mittens and his dad the hat, despite suggestion that they neither used these clothing articles though they live in shivery, damp Portland. Proudly I showed off my creations to Mr. K, thinking that he would be so impressed with the spirit of his team vibrating from them that he too would desire useless knitted things. Knowing that this was dreaming, I was set to be defensive when he started " know, hun, to be honest..."- feeling certain that he was going to shake his head at the fiber frivolity, I cut him off with a string of nonsense to the tune of "ya I know you think that knitted stuff is nonsense." What he really wanted to put at the end of his sentence was that the hat and mittens looked good but should be kept together as set rather than gifted together. This was good news and bad at the same time - I was glad he liked them but was equally sad that I really had one present finished rather than two.
The mitten project was inspired by the request of an adventurous and talented student to make some USC themed mittens for a dear friend and devoted Trojan Alumna. My student, Debra, learned a lot and finished the set in time for the intended recipient to wear them to the Rose Bowl and pronounce them "lucky" upon the Trojan's kick ass victory (sorry, I am the spawn of a long line of Trojans). They are a ton of fun to whip out. Let me know what you think.


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