Tuesday, June 29, 2010

FO: blue milk flapper hat

Good things come in twos, in knitting anyway. I've made this hat before in a different yarn, and loved it so much I made it again, during completely inappropriate weather. Indeed, it is too hot to model this hat myself, so Bone Flap Man was forced to volunteer. He is called Bone Flap Man because he has a big bone flap.

It has always struck me as very odd that people who have had craniectomies (had a piece of skull cut out) are said to "have a bone flap," when in fact they are missing said bone flap. I suppose they do have a bone flap, in a freezer or sometime in their abdomens (seriously), whereas the rest of us don't have a bone flap at all--just bone, no flap. Anyway, semantics aside, BFM was happy to model a hat, since he is usually a brain model for his day job. In fact, I used to call him Mr. brain model, but he found that demeaning, because he is so much more. Like a hat model, and sometimes a book-end.

He is always serene, even wearing this roarin' flapper hat! The hat is made out of Ella Rae Latte, a blend of milk (!), alpaca, and microfiber. Two balls (164 yards of a bulky yarn), less a few feet, were used up. I love the slight sheen of this yarn, and the fact that it is made out of milk (!!). Unfortunately, however, it was very, very splitty, and tiny microfiber (or maybe milk) fibers broke off into my "throwing finger" and made little bumps under the skin. So I'd recommend this yarn for a small project only, like an awesome flapper hat! This is going in the drawer of "things ostensibly made as early holiday gifts, but which actually will keep for self"....
The pattern is Side Slip Cloche, from the book Boutique Knits, by Laura Irwin. I've made 3 patterns from this book (and one of them twice now), and all are fabulous.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

FO: Peacock shawl

Finally! This one took a while, mainly because of all the beading. The pattern is Snow Peacock by Tonks, which is pretty much the same thing as Panache by Lankakomero. It is essentially a big doily based on feather-and-fan lace principles. Here it is pre-block--look at how the decreases mushed together for the feather-and-fan-iness makes lots of lumpy bumpies.

Cammy was most helpful during the blocking process. With her assistance, the shawl grew from 16" radius to 19" radius.

I made a whole bunch of mods, including making 12 rather than 16 sections, making symmetric decreases (ie an ssk opposite each k2tog), changing some of the rows for symmetry, and oh yeah, adding beads. I ended up charting out the whole thing on the computer like a big dork, and still made mods after that! Details about the yarn, needles, etc are on the Ravelry project page.

There are three bead colorways, an opalescent green to pick up the green in the yarn, a bright blue, and some yellow. I tried to make it sort of a stylized but not exactly like a peacock feather. Here is one "feather."

I like how the beading turned out from a knitting standpoint, but I'm not quite sure whether the whole shawl is something that suits me... This may end up being an extravagant give-away!

PS: just cause she's so cute!

Monday, June 21, 2010

FO: Poofy bath mat

Voila! This is secret project #1, which I am excited to finally be able to show! It's a poofy bath mat, designed by Silvana (aka Rosalia) in my knit group. Here is the pattern,  free on Ravelry!

It is very poofy and soft indeed, and Cammy loved it so much that I had to sticky-roller the mat to remove any cat hairs a few times before taking  pictures. The leaves protrude upwards and cushion any feet that might dare step on such a piece of art.

The yarn is Plymouth Fantasy Naturale Solid, a cotton worsted-aran weight, held double. The pattern calls for Sugar & Cream, but the nearest place that carries that is too much gas mileage away. I ended up using 497 yards (~3.5 skeins) of the main color and 58.5 yards (~0.5 skein) of the contrast color...so basically half a skein of each was leftover to make a matching scrubbie.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Finally, schedules and weather cooperated, and DH took me to get a belated birthday prezzie:

Yay! Not only is it orange, it has argyle patterns! I have grand plans to bike to work every day--not that grand really, since work is 4 blocks away. Also, I'm already gearing up (heh) for all the free beignets I'm going to get at knit night; we knit at Cafe Ventana, where anyone who bikes there can get a free beignet!

My next project is going to be a lace edging for the top of the basket (sort of like these shelf-liners that mooncalf made), and a cozy for the bell (the plainest one at the shop still has a big sticker saying "I heart my bike," which although I agree, seems a bit much). Fortunately, there's some orange yarn leftover from this shawl, just enough for some bicycle-bling.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

San Antonio

Whew, sorry for the unintended blog hiatus. It's been a whirlwind couple weeks. A birthday went by, old friends came to visit, much work was done, and I visited San Antonio for another conference. What an odd city! It seems like a giant tourist/conventioneer attraction, and it's depressing to me that all the "normal" people must live in sprawl/burbs. There were no nearby yarn shops, which is probably fortunate because it was hotter and humider than anything. The funniest thing was this sign, which I saw several times at a market. For a while I thought the vendors were worried that photo-quality would be ruined by the shadow from the hat brim over the camera.

So I made sure I did not have a hat on before taking any pictures. Ha! Someone had to explain it to me. Otherwise, I saw the outside of the Alamo, spent too much time inside  a convention center, and ate tex-mex food of variable quality. At least the hotel where I stayed is a converted old bank and has gorgeous architectural details, in addition to serving free snacks and cocktails!

Meanwhile, I've been slogging away at the peacock shawl, but now it's at a point where the progress isn't very visible. If you squint your eyes, you may be able to see the "eye" of the peacock pattern forming.

Cammy approves, and also enjoys sitting on any clothing left on the bed. It's good to be home!