Monday, December 28, 2009

christmas and post-christmas knitting!

i've been so busy knitting, i haven't had time to update! so here goes - this post will likely be photo-heavy and text-light. probably. maybe. well, we'll see.

first, my nephew, ben, loved his knitted baby blocks. and he can grab them! and put them in his mouth! he got his first tooth on christmas day, so i'm guessing he'll continue wanting to put everything and anything in his drooly little mug. this was over thanksgiving - ben's FIRST first christmas celebration!
091127. blocks.

here they are, minus the adorable, drooly little guy.
091117. plushy blocks for benjamin.

here's me singing ben the charlie brown christmas song.
091127. i think i was singing him the charlie brown christmas song here.

true to form, when faced with all sorts of craft-related deadlines (finish a sweater, make 40+ christmas cards, finish dad's golf club covers, etc.), i decided to start a million other projects. like these legwarmers. i pretty much just did a cabled pattern, knit flat (because all my circulars were taken up with other projects), increased evenly up the calf. also? my cat is a camera whore.
091127. legwarmers and boombox.

this was another side project, made while i should have been finishing other projects. and i wonder why i felt so rushed the week before leaving for christmas? i started knitting this in seattle over thanksgiving - with a small baby, we ended up having a decent amount of downtime around my brother and sis-in-law's house, which is just fine by me. that's how i like my vacations - knitting, movies, some mellow sightseeing, maybe a candy apple and hot donuts from pike place market thrown in for good measure. i used the pattern from the leaf t-shirt, and then just kind of made up the rest on my own. i love the fit. this is one of my favorite finished objects to date.
091201. new sweater, yo.

and one more ridiculous/awesome project - i decided this orange and hot pink leftover yarn i had were screaming to become hot pants. again, i was procrastinating finishing all of my other projects. i finished these this morning, and i am seriously, seriously in love with them. i predict a hot pants dance-off in the streets of bloomington. i also plan to wear these under a dress soon just so i can flash people all day long. i made these using seasha's studio shorts pattern - it took a little work to eliminate wrap and turn-related holes, but in the end, it worked like a charm.
091228. knitted hot pants.

on christmas morning, i was also thrilled to learn my mom's christmas sweater fits her like a glove! i think she likes it. i used the cabled pattern and sizing from rosamund's cardigan, but i centered the front cabled panels and, obviously, made it long-sleeved.
091225. it fits! a christmas miracle!

i was shooting for this sweater from j. jill, which my mom saw and loved back in september or so. i think it looks somewhat, kind of, sort of similar. right?
sweater i plan to copy for mom's christmas present.

and to round this whole picture-laden post out, here's a sampling of photos from the last month. merry christmas, happy holidays, happy new year! here's ben and i over thanksgiving playing the "eat the baby" game, which he loved.
091127. he loved the "eating the ben" game.

me and mom on the underground seattle tour.
091127. the underground tour!

the proper way to handle a baby. this picture slays me.
091127. the proper way to handle a baby.

mt. rainier caused a traffic jam on the bridge back to redmond.
091127. mt. rainier caused a traffic jam.

me pretending to be a ballerina in the nutcracker ballet. ah, christmas...
091216. i pretend to do ballet when i'm all alone.

christmas time for real! the girl cousins at our family christmas party:
091219. brenda, me, erin, and jenna - the lady cousins.

the museum of contemporary art in chicago. i need more plexiglas ceilings in my life, i think.
091220. i want a ceiling like this. the mca.

more plexiglas love.
091220. creep.

trent con plexiglas and steel.
091220. trent con plexiglas and steel! good times.

mom and dad at the macy's tree in chicago. aren't they adorable?
091223. mom, dad, tree.

ah, christmas morning. one of my consistently favorite days of the year. maybe my only.
091225. the tree. santa came!

one of my christmas gifts - a page in the best book ever of all time. ever.
091225. the most awesome book in the world.

normally, i would be at work on a monday morning. instead? this was me at, oh, 11:00 this morning. i woke up, did yoga (rodney yee kicks all butt), drank coffee, and finished knitting a pair of hot pants. lovely. i love vacation.
091228. knitted hot pants. because, you know, why not?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

the prolific knitter...

things for which i am currently thankful: bagels (one side with cream cheese, one side with peanut butter - crunchy, of course); open windows in november; football; coffee; laundry machines; my cat, boombox; super-ridiculous-fun weekends with friends; and perrier citron.

i have been crazy prolific with the knitting lately. like, it's a little frightening. i think really what it is is that i'm working on two sweaters right now. due to the sweater knitting, i have had the intense need to be able to start and finish a project in one night. add to that the fact that i have nearly countless single skeins or half-skeins of yarn, and the result is that i have a whole slew of hats and neck warmers marching off the needles lately. marching two by two.

first, though, i did manage to finish the farmer's market cardigan for my sister-in-law. christmas will come early this year since we will be flying out to seattle for thanksgiving, and the bro, sil, and newphew will be headed to maine for christmas proper. so yeah... had to get the thing done! it is so ridiculously cozy, and now i want one of my own. excuse the crappy photo - my house has no good lighting in it.
091102. farmers market cardigan.

on to the small things. i've started getting pretty good at making neck warmers and hats from my own head. this one didn't even make it to my etsy shop - i'm selling it to my friend, susanne, instead! i used a stitch pattern from my grandma's ancient knitting book, then did a split bottom and a split, foldover top. i kinda love it.
091107. polar ice caps neck warmer.

the main stitch pattern - sort of a fake cable waffle thing going on. mmm, waffles.
091107. polar ice caps neck warmer. unfolded.

i also did up a slightly bulky, slightly lacy simple tube neck warmer. available at!
091107. winter sunset skies neck warmer.

and last, but certainly not least, my friend, ian, has been clamoring for a handknit hat for ages. AGES. geez, will he just shut up already? in order to shut him up, i went for it. again, this is knit up with yarn from my ridiculous stash. the unfolded, slouchier version of ian's windy city hat:
091107. ian's windy city hat! unfolded.

the folded version. i thought i'd like the slouchier version better, but i think this is my fave way of wearing it. plus, the foldover brim gives those little ears some extra wooly coverage when the wind is whipping off the lake.
091107. ian's windy city hat! folded.

happy weekend!
091107.self-portrait day! yeah, i pretty much live in these slippers on the weekends. how i roll.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

shameless self-promotion: famous the cat designs LIVES!

this is my totally self-serving way of saying i finally got off my butt and listed some items for sale on my brand new etsy site! so far, i've got four fabulous neck warmers and a bag that i am kind of in love with. take a look if you'd like: i will be adding more soon, i'm sure - i realized just how much extra yarn i actually have right now lying around, and i figure i might as well make a little cash off my knitting addiction. for instance, we have the "living in a coniferous world" neck warmer:
091025. living in a coniferous world neck warmer.

in other news, i went to a sock puppet party on friday night (at which the birthday girl was not at all surprised after her husband gave it away earlier that day), which also involved the making of sock puppets. hey, we have to make our own fun here. this is my dino tube sock, which i adore.
091023. my dino puppet.

my green tights are already pilling because i love them so much.
091023. oh, hi!

i also have gotten a LOT closer to finishing my sister-in-law's christmas sweater (needs to be done by thanksgiving, dammit). i've been fully enjoying fall, mostly because i can't stand the thought of gray... everything for the next 5 months. this was the crazy sky from my office on friday.
091023. sky from my office.

walking through the leaves.
091023. self-portrait day. walking through the leaves.

i love this one - it looks like some weird, smeary oil painting.
091023. leaves in motion. i love this one.

sunshine in leaf form.
091023. sunshine in leaf form.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

a forgotten skein of malabrigo + my grandma's pattern book = love...

i was going through the many half-finished projects hanging on the back of my front door (that's where current and not-so-current projects go to get finished or languish) the other day, and i realized i had a gorgeous skein of highly saturated, blue-purple malabrigo yarn. just sitting there! how could i?! i discovered the magic of malabrigo when i took a trip to several yarn stores in philadelphia this past may. what a dream that yarn is.

so yesterday, feeling rather tired of working on my mom's christmas sweater, i decided to do up a quickie cowl from my own head. i wanted something with a fun pattern for the main part, but with a split extended bottom edge for extra warmth without having to worry about increases to make it fan out. i decided, in the end, to do a split foldover top, as well. currently, it's blocking, but i might even add a button along the top neckline to cinch it in even more (this was after walking around town in the bright sunshine and cold, cold air... i forgot that it gets COLD here).

the central pattern was from a knitting book my grandmother gave me years ago. the book is from 1971, and it is literally hundreds of pages of nothing but knitting stitch patterns. there's a cabled section, a ribbing section, a reversible stitch pattern section, etc. etc. it is truly amazing. strangely, i also just received the book "reversible knitting" by lynne barr - it, too, is amazing in almost exactly the same way. i look at all of the stitch patterns, and my mind immediately begins thinking of all of the amazing garments i could work up in each stitch. so. cool.

so anyway... enough about me. here's the grandma's knitting book cowl!
091018. so i decided yesterday to putz around the house and start a cowl.

091018. totally from my own head and a pattern book my grandma gave me years ago.

better detail of the lacy pattern:
091018. (i know, that's really bad. i have too much yarn).

for my own future record (please only use these notes for personal use, not for sale)

- co 103 (or any multiple of 4, +3), do not join.
- work in 2x1 ribbing back and forth for 3”, maintaining a 3 st garter stitch edge at beginning and end of each row.
- join to knit in the round, place marker, k 1 row, decreasing 8 stitches evenly.
- start main pattern (i used “baby variegated ribbing” from an ancient knitting book my grandmother gave me years ago).

baby variegated ribbing:
r1 - p1, k3, p1 - rep from, end k2.
r2 - k2, p1, k3 - rep from, end p1.
r3 - same as r1.
r4 - k2tog, yo, p1, yo, k3tog - rep from, end yo, p1.
r5 - k2, p1, k3 - rep from, end p1.
r6 - p1, k3, p1 - repeat from, end k2.
r7 - same as r5.
r8 - p1, yo, k3tog, yo, p1, yo - rep from, end k2tog.

- continue with pattern to desired length, ending with either row 2 or row 6.
- k 1 row, decreasing 8 sts evenly.
- work 2 rows in 1x2 ribbing, then split. continue knitting back and forth in established rib for 3” or desired length of neck foldover section.
- bind off all stitches loosely.
- block with neck folded down. attach button to foldover extra fabric if desired.

in other news, since it was not only NOT raining but also sunny as heck the past two mornings for the first time in i-can't-even-tell-you-how-long, i went for walks both days. and, of course, took pictures. apparently, someone is looking out for me (my initials are cw, for any who don't know), and this is on the corner right by my house:
091018. thanks for looking out for me, bloomington.

my favorite trees are the ones that change from the outside in - little flashes of red on all of the edges. this one is right next door to me, so i get to watch it transform.
091017. my favorite trees - the ones with the red edges.

a different tree, more color.
091018. more color.

i also realized this morning, while walking past a church with these beautiful mums, that i have been dressing lately in the colors of mums. seriously. this was my outfit yesterday, and today the color scheme is basically exactly the same.
091017. self-portrait day. fall.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

self-portrait recap....

i realized it's been a really long time since i've posted my weekly self-portraits. yeah, i've kept up with it. i tried to do the 365 project a few years back... it went well until, oh, about march (starting the first of the year). i just don't have the wherewithal to think that i can take an interesting picture EVERY SINGLE DAY. one each week? now that i can do.

not to say these are at all interesting. but whatever. deal with it.

7.18.09. my messy, messy house, post-market.
090718. self-portrait day. me and my messy hizzy, post-market.

7.24.09. i maintain every girl needs a pair of hot pink tights.
090724. self-portrait day.

7.30.09. prettifying?
090730. self-portrait day. prettifying?

8.6.09. boombox gives you the sultry eyes, i give you the scary eyes.
090806. self-portrait day. boombox gives you the bedroom eyes, i give you the scary eyes.

8.12.09. i got my cello out of hock.
090812. self-portrait day.

8.15.09. look! i stole a benjamin! we took a walk through the park during my august trip to seattle.
090815. i stole a baby! also, self-portrait day.

8.22.09. perched at my desk.
090822. perched at my desk. self-portrait day.

8.28.09. still my favorite belt buckle of all time. i can't remember where i was going... out somewhere.
090828. self-portrait day.

9.5.09. feeling decidedly lackluster.
090905. me. self-portrait day. whatever.

9.10.09. testing out the width of my bed in nashville (it was a good foot wider than i am tall).
090910. self-portrait day. bed.

9.15.09. a caricature made of me during our work trip to nashville. what's up with my picasso-esque boob area?!
090915. self-portrait day. i am super sassy as a caricature.

9.27.09. i spent way too much money (on a pair of boots i adore).
090927. self-portrait day. new boot love.

10.4.09. what being sick looks like. there was theraflu in that mug. i'm only now starting to feel better, and my mom likes to boast that i survived swine flu.
091004. self-portrait day. drinking theraflu out of my puerto rico mug.

10.8.09. me. looking awkward. in my living room.
091008. self and knitting bags. self-portrait day.

10.15.09. i thought the self-timer was on. it wasn't. i kind of like this picture, though. why do i always put my hand in my mouth?
091015. thinking the camera was on its self-timer when it wasn't. i like this photo.