Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!!

Aren't you glad you're not in St. Louis today! We got about 7" of snow over the last two days and Tiki doesn't like it. He said the new hat doesn't match his outfit and he would like to return to the tropics. Meanwhile, I got a snow day so I'm not too sad. My car is sitting on the city streets buried so I can't even tell it has tires and I just wasn't into the idea of digging it out. So, vacation day spent and snow day achieved!

So, on to the blog. And Mom, if you are checking my blog today, you might want to wait a couple of days since I'm not sure the package I shipped has made it to you yet. If you keep going, you'll spoil the surprise. :)So, what to give your Mother who can buy herself what ever she needs. Well, hand made Dishtowels of course! There are several great things about dishtowels:

  • They look awesome

  • They work great

  • Everyone needs them

  • They use up yarn in your stash

  • You can practice stitch patterns and have something useful when you're finished

  • And did I mention, they look great?!?!?

So these are Mom's new dishtowels on their way, if not already there. As you may have guessed from my list of reasons I love Dishtowels and I was looking to try out some new stitch patterns with this set to kind of "kick the tires" on some different patterns.

First up is the Ball Band Dishtowel. This can be found on the ball band for Peaches and Cream yarn or you can find it in the first Mason Dixon book. I absolutely LOVE this color combo! I bought a number of cones of Peaches and Cream cotton and I've been slowly working my way through them. And I decided it was time to finish up the cone of Fiesta so you will see a considerable "theme" in next several projects. The next one is a sample of the Diagonal Slip Stitch Rib from Barbara Walker's A Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns I got as a gift for Christmas. This was a fun stitch pattern to try and I like the way the yarn colors highlight the diagonal. I think this would be a fun pattern to try with some hand painted yarn and make some socks. I might give it a try. The other two towels were just a classic dishtowel knit on the diagonal and a Bastketweave pattern I made up. Both were simple and make nice little additions to the set. To finish up the last of the Fiesta, an eco-friendly Market Bag. I modified the handle to be a single one going from one side of the bag to the other. I really like this version and I think I will use it going forward. The handle is wide enough to distribute the weight of what ever is in the bag and big enough to slide easily on my shoulder. I'm pleased.

Oh, and that cone of Fiesta....
Lookin' good!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Dash of Poison

I finally did it. I lost my "V" card in regards to cables. I wanted to try out cable knitting and I wanted to find a project for this beautiful 100% wool hand dyed yarn I bought on Etsy at 100PureWool. I bought this deep purple/pink/nearly black yarn called Poison and it just had to be something special. I was thinking about making a pair of fingerless gloves with it and I ran across the pattern for Dashing by Cheryl Niamath from Knitty, Spring 2007. I liked the simplicity of the cable pattern and I hoped they would be big enough to show up with this multi-color yarn. Well, I think they turned out pretty darn cute. The recipient has larger hands and arms than I do so the cables look even better on her. This was also the first time I've done anything mitten or glove like. Adding the thumb after knitting the hand was interesting and went pretty well. I managed to avoid any too large holes and I hid the little ones when I did the weaving in of the ends.

I also finished up my Knock-Off Noro scarf and Wow! am I happy with it.I love the way the colors move through this scarf and everyone who sees it thinks it is really cool. The simplicity of it appeals to both men and women too so this would be a good future gift idea if the right yarn was available. Maybe next time I'll even use the name brand yarn.

As I mentioned in my last post, this is Debbie Mumm "Traditions" and it is an acrylic/wool blend with a solid black core and a colored wrap around the outside. Well, the challenge is the outside and inside wraps don't always match and the black core occasionally pops out in a hernia like bulge. If you look at the photo below and look right around 1 o'clock, you'll see a dark spot. That's not a fly, it's the black core bulging out of the stitch. This takes place in about 4 spots along the scarf and I just couldn't figure out a way to stop it. I still love the end result though. The scarf has great colors and is soft and warm. What more can I ask for?
Lastly, I've been spending my time scheming my next sweater. "Have I finished the first?" you ask. Well, no. I mean, it's going ok. I've got the entire yoke and one whole sleeve finished and I've kind of stalled. Why? I don't know. I think it's because I'm not really inspired by the yarn. Enter my next sweater....
For Christmas, I received a Gift Certificate to my LYS, Knitorious, I by going to their After Christmas Sale, I was able to get an entire sweater's worth of Malabrigo for only $7 out of my pocket! Malabrigo!! I have heard so much about how amazing this yarn is and I want to find out for myself. Well, I've knit a gauge swatch and I am convinced. Malabrigo is sent from heaven. It is 100% wool but it is the softest wool I have ever felt. It is kettle dyed which means the colors move around in the skein and they are just beautiful in the swatch. After searching for days on Ravelry, I've decided to knit Wicked. I like the simplicity of the pattern, the small cable details, and the variety of looks the pattern allows. Yummy!
Tiki likes my scarf too. :)