I’ve updated the shop with spinning fiber inspired by spring flowers (Hyacinth Bouquet in South African Fine, Cranberry Bog in BFL) and spring break (Cocktail Umbrella in BFL). This is my favorite time of year as the plants and trees burst back into life, and I can’t help but try to reproduce that whenever I’m in the dye studio.
In honor of the changing seasons, I’m also having a sale! Use code SPRINGFEVER in my Etsy Shop to save 10% off your order until 3/31. It’s even easier in my Bigcartel Shop: the prices have been changed to reflect the sale until the end of March!
While I work on some secret knitting, I’ll be going back through the archives to write about my favorite knits from the past couple of years.
I test-knitted the Moody Kerchief by Kirsten Kapur of Through The Loops. It’s a semi-circular shawl with a lace panel and a contrasting border for extra visual and knitting interest. Bands of garter stitch add texture and help the shawlette lay flat (such a practical design feature!). Because the pattern is written for worsted weight yarn, it’s a very fast knit that’s a very wearable accessory.
The yarn is Border Leicester from Meadowbrook Farm, a vendor at Rhinebeck. Border Leicester is a longwool with a beautiful luster, but it isn’t really soft enough for next-to-the-skin wear. I tend to wear this shawlette over my winter coat, so the coarseness of the fiber doesn’t bother me at all. The sheen and rich, glowing colors are more than worth it, at any rate.
The pattern for the Moody Kerchief is available on Ravelry.
I’ve added some new spinning fiber to the etsy shop. The colorways include I Never Promised You an Herb Garden, Blue Hour, Rhodolite, Antique Preppy, Jewel Box and Malachite, and the fibers are shetland, targhee and oatmeal blue faced leicester. Thanks for looking!
One of my favorite projects of 2010-2011 has to be the Camber Cardigan by Jessamyn Leib of jeshknits
I’m a huge fan of top-down sweaters because when you’re done knitting, all you have to do is a tiny bit of grafting, weave in some ends, and you’ve got a finished sweater! The pattern was very easy to follow, too. The lace pattern and shaping at the yoke require some attention, but once you hit the stockinette part of the body, it’s smooth sailing. The spaces that Jesh provided to write in key numbers were really helpful in terms of keeping track of what size you’re knitting (the pattern comes in a range of sizes from 32″ to 52″, so filling in the blanks makes the numbers less overwhelming). I made two minor modifications to the pattern. The first was to lengthen the sleeves to 3/4-length, which hit me in a more flattering location than half-length sleeves do. I also only sewed on one button, because I was very eager to wear the sweater, and then I decided that I liked the look of it as a flutter cardigan.
It took just under 1100 yards of Valley Yarns Colrain Lace from Webs to knit the sweater in my size, and a cone of the yarn will be enough to knit all of the sizes. The merino in the yarn can have a tendency to pill, but I find that the sweater has held up well over the last year.
This sweater has become one of the go-to pieces in my handknit wardrobe. Its light weight makes it perfect for three-season wear (or even four-season wear, when the air conditioning gets turned way up in the summer), and the lace pattern and waist shaping make it very easy to dress up or down.
The Camber Cardigan pattern is available on Ravelry.
Here’s a quick preview of the update to my Bigcartel Shop at noon eastern on 2/21. The fibers include bfl, superwash bfl, and merino. Thanks for looking!
Lately, some of my favorite (and most frequently worn) accessories have been cowls and fingerless mitts–both are just a little something to provide a flash of color and a touch of extra warmth on a chilly day. Over the years, I’ve developed quite a stitch dictionary habit, and will often turn to them for inspiration. In the Outerbridge Cowl and Mitts set, cabled diamonds on a seed stitch ground yield a plush, almost quilted texture. A seed stitch border on the cowl also makes for a great place to showcase some dramatic buttons!
Malabrigo Rios combines the squishy softness of merino with the additional durability of a plied structure to make the textured stitches really “pop.” The Teal Feather colorway has enough variegation to provide depth and visual interest without overwhelming the stitch pattern. The cowl and mitts together use up almost a complete skein of Malabrigo Rios. If longer mitts are desired, I recommend purchasing additional yarn.
The cowl is knit flat, and the mitts are knit mostly in the round (the thumb opening is knit back and forth). Other required skills are reading charts and cabling with or without a cable needle.
The title of this pattern was inspired by the Outerbridge Crossing which itself was not named that because it is the outermost bridge connecting New Jersey with New York, but in honor of Eugenius Harvey Outerbridge, the first chairman of the Port Authority.
Outerbridge is available for sale on Ravelry:
The pattern can also be found in my Craftsy Pattern Store
I can’t say that I’m sad to see 2008 go, but it did have its high points. Crafts-wise, 2008 was the year I officially became a “joiner.” I started going to Sit ‘n’ Knit New York City meetups, met a crew of really great knitters, and had a blast going to parties, sock and cowl exchanges, WWKIP Day and other events (like Rhinebeck!). I also participated in both the Summer of Socks and the Ravelympics, which led to some crazy deadline knitting, but managed to meet my goal of 5 pairs of socks, and learning stranded knitting. I published my first-ever knitting pattern here, handmade two wedding gifts, and started to try to teach myself spinning.
It was also something of a rough season on the baseball front, but the season did have its high points for me. Between the Yankees, Mets, and Brooklyn Cyclones, I went to 15 baseball games this season, according to my scorebook, and got to say goodbye to Yankee Stadium by taking a nostalgia subway train from the 1920s from Grand Central up to the Bronx. It was great to catch so many games, and to spend time with my friends, family and my favorite team. Getting to see the inside of the clubhouse and walk the field on the Yankee Stadium tour was pretty nifty too, as was Ford’s sending this nondriver a game-used Derek Jeter batting glove in a sweepstakes they ran. I didn’t manage to finish my pinstriped socks, but it’ll be sort of fitting to knit one in the old Stadium and one in the new. And since I’m thrilled with 3/4 of the Yankees acquisitions so far this winter, I’m optimistic that 2009 will be much better than 2008.
And what’s a new year without some resolutions? My goals for 2009 include getting back to blogging on a more regular basis, improving the quality of my spinning, designing another pattern, and taking a picture a day for a year. Oh, and graduating. It’s going to be a busy year, but I’ve decided that it’s going to be awesome.
It’s been kind of quiet around the blog lately, because I’ve been working on yet another secret knitting project. Anne-Marie, the fearless leader of our knitting group organized a cowl or neck warmer exchange.
I was matched up with Shameka, and based on her preferences, I decided to make a neck warmer with buttons, instead of a cowl, and to make something in a nice bright color. I had the perfect yarn in my stash–Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport in Island Blue, so the next step was to pick my pattern: the Celtic Cable Neck Warmer by Lindsay Henricks:
It’s a very well written pattern, with a very clear chart, and it is absolutely adorable. I’ll definitely knit this again in the future.
I held the yarn doubled to get gauge on US #8 needles, and I purchased the buttons at Tender Button on E. 62nd Street. The yarn has very good stitch definition, so the cables show up nicely, but it’s still so soft and not at all scratchy on the neck. The only problem that I had was that when I wet-blocked it, I had to rinse it out about 15 times until the dye stopped bleeding. The color is still very vibrant, though, so it seems like there was just some excess dye on the yarn. On the bright side, the yarn got even softer with all that washing and rinsing.
I’m so glad that Shamkea liked the finished product!
As for me, I was the happy recipient of not one, but two cowls. The lovely and talented Tawana went above and beyond the call of duty for me–when the first neckwarmer turned out too big, she made me a different cowl. I just love the yarn and the color–it’s so soft, and it keeps the autumnal chill off my neck perfectly. Thanks so much!
Mike Mussina pitched the first major league game that I ever went to. It was early in September 2001, at Fenway, and he came within one strike of throwing a perfect game (I’ll stop myself right there, before I get upset again). It was after that that I learned that his nickname was “Mr. Almost.”
Ever since then, he’s been my favorite pitcher who is not named Mariano Rivera on the Yankees. Not only was he talented, but he gave some of the most dryly funny interviews that I’ve ever heard from a ballplayer. And he further endeared himself to me with his amazingly clutch relief performance in 2003 (especially significant when coming from a player with a bit of a reputation for being a hothouse flower).
So I extend my heartiest congratulations to Moose for becoming the oldest player (at 39) to win 20 games in a season for the first time. He gave us fans something to root for in a season where there wasn’t a lot to be happy about, and kept us on the edge of our seats. J and I had the privilege of getting to watch one of those 20 wins in person on July 5th (although J might argue whether it was a privilege or not), and it was a pleasure (for me) to watch him shut down the Sox. I can understand why he’d want to retire after this season, after a long career, but the fan in me wants to get to make the Moose call for a couple more years. 20 wins is a huge accomplishment, and I’m so glad that Moose finally reached that goal.
If you’re in the NYC area, there’s a slight, slight, slight chance that I’ll be on CBS 2 news at 11 (on Sunday the 21st), talking about the Nostalgia Train ride to the last game at Yankee Stadium.
I tried not to come off as too much of a train geek on camera, but it was such a fun ride from Grand central to the Bronx.
I’ll see if I make the final cut!
Edit 12:12 AM I didn’t make the cut, but the train itself did: video here. Many thanks to Ben at River Ave. Blues and Second Ave. Sagas for writing about this event.