Friday, January 30, 2015

What a HO...

Damn. Someone had a wild Friday night.

Ok, ok. Actually it was really tame. I stayed in and finished that bathing suit pattern I was raving about! I know what you're thinking. My goodness, that's not much fabric. And you're absolutely right. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Knitting for your butt

So I'm still editing my sock masterpost, but I thought I'd drop by and let you know that I've cast on the third knitted bikini of my career. It's gonna be a doozy!

If you're a relatively young knitter like me and especially if you've been knitting for a long time you've probably stumbled on a knitted bikini pattern and been taken in. Every Summer Vogue Knitting that I can think of has had at least one, and they all end up the same way. Worthless.

Swimwear is a separate category of fashion, just like outerwear, because it takes special skill in the elastic properties of fabric to make a good one. I once had the privilege of reading the blog on, a now defunct website* dedicated to the discussion and practice of designing, drafting and improving swimwear construction. It was absolutely fascinating, and it was obviously information that no person ever dreaming up a knitkini has had access to. Essentially, none of these patterns have enough negative ease and lazily offer side ties to call it a 'one size' garment. This means that even before a knitted suit gets wet it's bunching thick knitted fabric in your crotch. Shenanigans I call!

I was just about to design one myself when I stopped by Ravelry to see if anyone had done the work for me since my last effort in the '00s. Sure enough.  It was three pages back in the search results for 'knitted bikini' with no comments and 15 projects, most of which don't have pictures. Oh, but those that do. Here before me was a gorgeously fitted, side seam having, beautifully simple and incredibly sexy suit with no traffic jam in the crotch and the perfect amount of butt-showing that I seek now that I'm in possession of the kind of body I want to show off. Check it out.

I'm two inches into the front and I can already tell by stretching the piece over my hips that it's going to fit absolutely perfectly. The yarn I'm using is a discontinued Bernat called Baby Stretch. I have no idea why babies would desire elasticated yarn, but I don't care because I got it for $1.97 a ball and it's going to be absolutely perfect for this. It's 46% acrylic, 46% cotton, 3% nylon and 3% polyester, bound with an elastic ply which I assume accounts for the missing 2%. The color is a beautiful lavender, saturated enough to look like a design choice instead of clearance baby yarn. I mean, I am a unicorn after all.

*available on the wayback machine if you care to indulge.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Return to the madness

You know, there was a time when I was great about taking pictures of everything. I made stuff, and then the pictures that I took of it were my reward and my way of sharing about the work. But now for some reason it's become a chore that I avoid. It's such a pity because I love to show what I know, and I gain so much enrichment from looking at other people's pictures of their accomplishments. So at any rate, I'm going to try to blog and to do better.

Way back in October, I went on an impromptu trip to Oahu to visit my husband and brought along a cake of handspun that I'd prepared out of a Dorset/ Texel fleece cross. The fleece came from my friend Katy who had gone to sheep shearing school and sent me her best work. I combed it, spun it worsted and made a 3 ply sport weight, perfect for socks. I dyed the finished yarn and worked it toe up using the idea from Wendy Johnson's toe up socks (Trilobyte, to be precise) converted to work with my yarn weight. I love them, and I knitted a good portion of them on military cargo planes and all of them in two kinds of paradise. And I never even made a project page for them... LOL

This hat was spun and knit ages ago. I don't even remember what kind of wool it is or what I was thinking when I dyed it but I do know that I'd like to rip it out and make slippers...
 I love this hat so much. It's the leftovers from my handspun socks mixed with some chain plied rainbow yarn that I made out of my dye tester wool.
 This hat is impossible to photograph on anything but my head. Gwystyl gave it a try but I daresay she hasn't the chin to pull it off. Sorry girl.
Up next- a diatribe on why I love toe up socks. ;)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Mitts, Pups and Bits

I'm on a trickle of an internet connection right now, tethering on a phone with a very sickly battery. My computer is about to have the same problem and I've been hating it for other failures lately as well. It still technically works, but not particularly well. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Because I'm thinking it's time for a new laptop, and maybe a dedicated video camera.

Speaking of video, I promise to have the next podcast episode out... soon. As I'm stranded in the beautiful woods with minimal internet, I've done a lot of knitting and other activities but not so much the writing and podcast prep. It could happen today, who knows?

So since I'm an incoherent happy mess right now, I thought I'd show you a picture of a pup who I think is the most gorgeous thing in the world. His name is Cassius but we always just called him daddy man because he's figuratively and literally a stud. *ahem*
He's gone back to live with a brother in law, but for several years he lived with my bestie and her husband and I got to know and love him quite well. Having a 90 lb. manatee dog snoring in one's lap is unforgettable, if you're into that sort of thing.

In the meantime, I finally knit the second mitt of the pair and wrote up the pattern. Actually, I completely changed the original pattern because I found out that my verbosity is not pithy and charming when translated into knitting symbols. So it was deleted, re-written and much improved I think. I can't update the google doc until I'm on real internet unfortunately, but it will be alive (and perhaps have charts?) later today. I really love these, btw, and had knit them as a gift but now I need a pair myself and might have a little texture change version soon.

I also totally forgot that I knit a cowl the day before I left to come here to Katy's. It's a a Cat Bordhi Moebius and I will also replace this blather with a link to her video and my choice of textures written out in a semi-sane little blurb with gauge and a picture.

That's Katy, my bestie and her husband Tom. Their friend just got a new Polaris RZR XP which is apparently a very nice little 4WD vehicle in which one *could* hunt or do farm work, but what it's really for is going crazy damn fast over meadows and screwing around on/ in the mud. I must say, it's an ungodly amount of fun. Naturally high from the adrenaline and the cold (um, hello? Wasn't the tropical weather supposed to follow me?) I marched everyone out to take pictures, and I rather like them. I did a crappy job of fixing the reflector glare for Kate but she forgives me.

So this is a picture of Katy and Mimi. Katy is an esthetician who doesn't like doing makeup, working at a spa that didn't have a free makeup person at the moment. So when Mimi came in and needed a little foundation and blush for some kind of video, Katy had me do it and I'm super proud of the results. Mimi was perfectly happy about having it done too, and that was a very nice surprise because she can be a little unpredictable.

We ended up having dinner with Mimi on Saturday at the golf course and my hair was clearly a topic of open conversation and staring but fortunately no outrage. You never can tell with those country club people.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Episode 11 is live!

Happy Belated Easter! I'm pleased to announce that Episode 11- Bunnypunk went live yesterday.


Vanilla Socks-
Crochet Blanket-
Black wool watchcap-
Fingerless mitts-

Also, the first half of this pattern is available here-

But only if you're a ravelry member.
Blog shoutouts-

I also hope you'll join the group page there as well-

It's a shorter episode but heavy on the jibber jabber.

I'm also pleased to have more photos and bloggy stuff, though I warn there's a lot of overlap with the podcast, so without further ado...

This week's LYS haul, less some boring black sock yarn, a pair of US9 Cubics and a pair of US5 Red Lace.  And there at the bottom we have my latest creative endeavor, a pair of Malabrigo Rios fingerless mitts for my brother's girlfriend. So if you didn't see it in the above notes, I finally made a Rav group for this shindig and you can find a draft version for the left half of the set. I knit up the right side this afternoon and should have a fully test-knittable version ready by tomorrow, which I will also announce in the group:

Easter dinner last night was just precious and my mom made it gorgeous as she always does. We had sirloin steaks, broccoli, asparagus /w hollandaise, mashed potatoes and a bottle of malbec.  I love it so much when we eat from the pretty china and silverware.

I just have to interject that I'm so happy to be reunited with my car. She is a tiny blue panther and I'm so sad I have to go back to driving a big old boring sedan when I get home. But for now I'm in driving heaven.

Random beam of light in the grocery store was perfect for the drinks with texture elements suspended in them.

And then there's this amusing little story. I was really anxious to see how my dorset/ texel fleece would spin up so I combed it up on a hair comb. Much to my surprise, it worked! I wouldn't do a fine fleece or any quantity this way, but I did successfully prepare something like a sliver and spin it up. 

 Oh, and my spindle was a little unconventional as well, HA! Yes, that's a small crochet hook and an irrigation bulb. What?
So that's what's new and weird in my world. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Stashy McStashington

I explain this post in advance by saying I want to catch up on my stash pictures when I get stuff and I'm also needy so I'm going to post them for you to see. I know, I'm like an evil genius.

First up, we have my hand washed, hand carded, woolen spun 3 ply moorit merino yarn, being knitted into I don't know what yet.

My mom's peach tree is in bloom (how Georgian, no?) and I got some pics of yarn in the blooms. Fils en Fleurs.

I will not hate these socks and I will finish them tonight.

Blue Mountain Targhee Top in Lupine purchased at Sheepish in Decatur on Mar. 17th. If you shop there, Carrie will email you your receipt which is good unless  you don't want it...

 Ecological Wool by Cascade in Natural
My Russian spindle in Zebrawood with some merino that I got in a destash a while ago. I'm trying to copy some lovely sock yarn that I made gorgeous blue socks out of a while ago. Have I said I miss my wheel yet? Oh yes, and husband. I miss him too.

Lamb's Pride Superwash Sport in  Charcoal Heather, from Sheepish.
 I can't believe I didn't have pictures of this hat already. I wear it absolutely every day here because it's so cold.

 I.. bought yarn at Walmart. 3 in Mauna Loa and 3 in Pink Sands.
 Gift from bestie, Patons Classic Wool in Lemongrass, 2 skeins.
 Fishermen's Wool! 25% off total purchase at Jo-Anns, 4 skeins.
 Transcribed: "Why did I buy this? Do you remember? You should've stopped me I'm not going to use it!"
Answer: She bought this for me to make a hat for her and I asked her about it *multiple* times. I ended up using another roving style yarn to make her a pretty pink and grey two color brioche hat (that I totally forgot to take pictures of) with the other skein that she bought at the same time. Crazy dame.
 My art was getting a little weird at this point. This is Bernat Handicrafts crochet cotton in Pewter.

 Same in Orchid.
 A sweater swatch that I'm now reconsidering.
 JoAnn's clearance, $2 a ball with the discount. I think I might make my dad an absurd hat.
 $2. 50g skein of bamboo and wool sock yarn.

So now I need to go be a good little girl and populate a bunch of fields with a bunch of words and numbers. Does this feel a little like work to anyone else?

P.S.- I'm trying to figure out how to transfer the blog to my current email address so it might look like I'm posting as someone else for a while. I plan on fixing it or just changing my username to 'betsysomething'