Sunday, July 18, 2010

FO: Cucumber Annis

It thundered and stormed all morning, then suddenly it's bright blue like nothing happened. So Cucumber Annis had some pictures taken.

The pattern is Annis, by Susanna IC.  Ravelry pointed out that she also designed the Swirling Gauntlets from almost 2 years ago! I'm officially a fan. This shawl has a clever design--the center stockinette portion is done with short rows to create the crescent shape. (The shape in the picture is how it is even on a flat surface.) The short rows are done with ssk and p2tog, but I'd recommend changing these to wrapped stitches, because there's a big ugly stretched stitch at the end of each short row. Otherwise, this is a great pattern, and the only change I made was using two needles (a double-pointed needle held next to the circular) to cast on the stitches, rather than a larger size needle.

I'm calling this one Cucumber because of the color, and also because cucumbers are my favorite food. Don't the nupps look like cucumber seeds? The colorway is actually Eucalyptus, in Knitpicks Shimmer. I'm tempted to get lots more of this yarn!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

FO: Bike bunting

Notice anything different from last time?

Here's a hint:

The lace pattern is Trefoil, from 150 Knitted Trims, by Lesley Stanfield. This is a good lace pattern for this purpose because it's a garter stitch pattern and looks the same from both sides. Also, it looks like teeny weeny bunting! I measured the perimeter of the basket,  knit up to that plus an extra inch, then blocked. I attached it to the basket by doing single crochet around the top, but if you have a non-holey basket, sewing or hot-glue-gunning would work just as well. Since the lace stretched out a bit after blocking, there's a 2-repeat overlap at the back, which worked just as well because it's a good place to hide the woven-in ends. Including the crochet, this used up 5 grams, or 44 yards, of laceweight Knitpicks Shadow, leftover from the Deep Orange Shawl.

A bike bell cozy was also in the planning stages, then I realized that the ringing mechanism couldn't work if the cozy was going to stay on. So for now, only the basket has bling. I am planning on getting a rack behind the seat (there's a special name for this but can't remember), then I'll make some Norah Gaughn knitted panniers to match!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Mile High Knitting

I tagged along with DH on a business-cum-pleasure long-weekend trip to Denver this past weekend. After all the recent seemingly neverending shawls, I was determined to take a shawl break. But, when one is packing light (After the luggage incident, I refuse to check baggage), a shawl really does make the most sense. So I ended up casting on for Annis, from the last Knitty. Thanks to a prolonged "engine indicator light" snafu before the plane's taking off, I am done with the lace part and am on the stockinette.

Oh Denver! The climate was heavenly. Having grown up at very high altitudes (this mile-high business is nothing!), I literally feel de-compressed when I get out of low-lying areas. And it was a delight to get out of the hideous humidity that St Louis has in such abundance. The main destinations, as always, were yarn stores and book stores. I took the bus to Fancy Tiger, along with not one, but three vets who required oxygen tanks (the funny part was that they all got on at different stops, but apparently knew each other).

What a great shop! Actually, shops, since there is a clothing/accessories boutique across the street with the same name, owned by the other half of a married couple. The crafty store had not only knitting materials focusing on organic/local/all-round-good-and-smug yarn,

but also lots of pretty roving (in fact a whole roomful--I thanked the stars I'm not a spinner),

sewing stuff including lots of non-grandma patterns and fabrics,

and lots of needlecraft books.

Many sighs and hems and haws later, I left with no books (again, the luggage issue) but did get some Spud and Chloe yarn, which I've been craving but is not yet available in St Louis.

Nearby was the Denver Book Fair, which is more of a shop than a fair.

So much fun! I did cave a get a few books. I did not venture into the inexplicably large adult section behind the curtain--seriously people, used adult magazines? Grody! Even so, there were too many books to choose from.

After dropping off the loot, I headed to the Tattered Cover Book Store.

Holy guacamole! This is book heaven! It's an independent bookstore in a HUGE building, with lots of comfy chairs, people *reading*, and general awesomeness. Anyone remotely interested in indie bookshops should visit Denver just to check out this place--it'll put a smile on your face. This is a tiny part of one of the floors.

We stayed at the Magnolia Hotel, which was great and I'd recommend to anyone. Our suite had a full kitchen, which was fully equipped, including a dishwasher, pots/pans, utensils, etc and I was very disappointed I didn't have the time to use. Not only is there free yummy hot breakfast, there's free cocktail hour in the afternoon and cookies/milk at night. Yum! They have clearly caught onto the fact that much will be forgiven/overlooked if there's free food and drink, even if there is nothing to forgive/overlook.

I did peek in at the Denver Art Museum, which is very accessible (aka not boring for people who usually don't like art museums). There's a great room of quilts, of which this pineapple design was the most dizzyingly amazing. (Sorry for the bad pic, no flash allowed.)

All in all, it was a fun weekend, a fine opportunity to visit the recipient of (and parents of )  Little Liza Jane, and a nice little celebration of the new year (the year ends on June 30 and starts on July 1 in medicine). While Denver is mainly senseless suburban sprawl, the downtown has a lot of fun attractions packed into a small space, and it's worth a visit!