Sunday, August 29, 2010

FO: Emily

Wow, this this is really warm on a 93 degree day! This is another Ysolda Teague design, Emily, a cute capelet/shawl with short rows to create a half-round shape. The sizing is done by doing more or less repeats of the same pattern, and I did 15, which is all I could get out of the yarn. I wanted to do one more, to decrease the amount of splay in the front, but oh well.

The yarn is Indigo Dragonfly in My Name is Indigo Montoya, and I used up all but ~5 of the 375 yards. It's a tightly spun, squishy sock yarn, pretty different from the yarn called for in the pattern (something with more fuzzy halo), but it knitted up into a nice loose fabric with a larger needles (US 7).

The buttohs are from Paste, a fairly new craft store in St Louis. (I call buttons "buttohs" in my head, kind of like how lolcats say "kitteh" instead of kitten.) It's super cute and has a great selection of all sort of different craft supplies (beading, scrapbooks, clay, roving, some yarn, etc), as well as goodies made by local artists. Oh, and there's a giant bowl of buttohs! I am partial to plain shank buttohs, so I fished them all out, and used three for this capelet.

The edging is a cable and lace combo--always a good idea!
Hopefully the worst of the summer is over--the heat has been terrible for the knitting mojo. Now I'm on the lookout for the perfect autumn cardi pattern, to help me get the mojo back!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

State Fair, 2010

I can't believe it's been a year since the last trip to the fair! I was psyched up to enter something to the fair, but in the end, I didn't submit anything, because I thought I had to put my social security number at the top of the entry form. It turns out that's only if I really want the prize money, so next year I'll enter, although I'm still not sure about one's name and home address being displayed on the tags. I have tried to blur all names/addresses out of the pics, so no worries, Missouri knitters!

Again, like last year, quilting was top dog. Here is one incredible hand-quilted quilt.

The lights fortunately didn't go out, but it was still pretty dark, so sorry about the wonky photos. The knitting was better quality than last year, and there was a lot more lace, and nupp-i-tude. First prize for  shawl went to this white nuppy lace.

Third prize to this tan nuppy lace.

This one won second, even without nupps. All were gorgeous! The tatted lace doily to the right is  impressive too, but didn't get a ribbon. There is a lot of fancy-looking tatting at this fair!

There were 2 colorwork items, both lovely, but neither won.


Here is an entry from Rosalia, which should have won!

Alas, this, and most of the knitting in general was not displayed in a way to appreciate the items--they were scattered throughout the home ec building, and were folded up, obscuring all the best bits.

Except for the inexplicably purple-ribbon-winning (like the grand poobah of home ec) crocheted blanket. Ho-lee-effing-mo-lee! Donny Darko in fun fur!

Other notable crafts included felting, like this hat,

and various preserved foods. Look at these dried tomatoes, like yummy chips!

(The judges agree.)

Bonus points to anyone who can guess what this green stuff is!

After last year's heartbreaking visit to the children's animal barn, we didn't look at any animals this time. We did peek in at the fine art, where this super-cool "fiber" sculpture made out of pine needles was on display.

Nothing I saw at this fair was remotely as funny as this blue-ribbon-winning booth on signs of a doe in heat (scroll down a bit) from the fair that Erika (Redshirt Knitting) attended (and won ribbons!) Maybe next year I should check out some of the 4H booths?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

WIPs, wearable and edible

It's an impossibly perfect day, good for a trip to the farmer's market. Finally, plums! Hooray!

It's become a weekly Saturday ritual to get a bundle of cherry tomatoes and leave them in the orange colander seemingly made expressly for this purpose.

By the end of the day they are always all gone.

It'd be a great day to work in the garden, and harvest some of my own tomatoes. Sadly, despite a dozen tomato plants growing taller than me (you can see the top of the fence in the picture), not a single one has borne fruit, even a little pea-sized baby one! Does anyone have any suggestions? Some are growing in the ground and some are in containers (which get moved around to get sun), and they are all similarly tall and barren. At least they are green and alive, so for now we'll still consider them  edible works in progress.

As for wearable WIPs, this is Emily, by Ysolda Teague. It's a little capelet knit side-to-side in garter stitch with short rows, with a cable/lace/picot combo at the edge. I'm loving knitting with this yarn (Indigo Dragonfly), which is super squishy and sproingy! The colorway is great, isn't pooling much, and the cables are turning out very pretty in it. It's definitely one of those "sock" yarns that are too pretty for socks; thank goodness for capelets that need just one skein of yarn.

It's still a small enough project that I can knit it outside and not get it all sweaty. I'll take advantage of the weather and sit outside with it and some iced tea. I picked up this glass pitcher at the thrift shop today. Things used to be made with so much care and artistry--the lip curves perfectly to catch ice, and the handle is stable even while the top end of it doesn't connect to the body of the pitcher.


Organic chamomile lavender, from Traveling Tea, yum.


Cammy is enjoying the gorgeous weather too. Now her favorite spot under the patio table is shaded by the bike/bike cover. It's a tough life!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Little FO's

It's been a rather unproductive last couple weeks. A mini-break got cancelled at the last minute, most of my garden is either dead or nonproductive, and it's too hot to cook. Knittingwise, I accidentally knitted the two sleeves for a cardi in two different sizes, and haven't the gumption to frog one back right now. Since all other ongoing projects are secret ones, here are a couple lil' FO's.

The leftover cotton yarn from the poofy bathmat were used to knit and crochet two little tawashi, or dish scrubbies. The diagonal pattern I actually learned from a patient's octo- or non-agenerian girlfriend (there are a surprising number of elderly people with girl/boyfriends and fiance(e)s, good for them!), who was knitting bedside a few years back. I just added a crochet border, and while I had the crochet hook out and the wee bit of brown leftovers in hand, made the little spiral crochet round tawashi. They look a bit too nice for scrubbing dishes, don't you think?

I was inspired by mooncalf's ipod/iphone cozy and decided to make my own. I got the requisite purse hardware, in fact enough purse thingmajigs for a few purses/cozies, to get to the minimum for shipping. I started out using the free pattern from Cotton and Cloud, except had to adjust the number of stitches for smaller gauge. After a couple inches, the pooling became so horrendous that I had to rip it out.
Besides, the cozy as written in the pattern is absolutely huge, I would estimate enough to hold an ipod, headphones, a small knitting project, and a family of squirrels. So I ended up knitting a pouch about 1/4" wider than my ipod, went along until it was tall enough, then made hems to hold the hardware. I left out the lining and the pocket, although the seamless-ness in the pattern is pretty clever and pleasing. I love these internal flexi frames! They open easily, then snap shut with a nostalgic slap-bracelet thowp.

The plan had been to add two shank buttons to the outside, to wrap headphones around them, like the closure on interdepartmental mail envelopes. Then I realized that it's pretty impossible to sew on a button with the flexi frame in place holding the cozy shut. So for now the plan is to stuff the headphones into the same cozy, since there's still plenty of room.
 No pooling this time!

I striped the remnants of some navy Louet Gems (from when the Urbane sweater was frogged down to a vest), and Socks that Rock in the carbon dating colorway (from these socks, which also had bad pooling), and used up very little of each. There's still a lot of remnant yarn, which suspiciously looks like it's going to become another iteration of the same pattern, perhaps for camera or glasses.