Thursday, December 29, 2011

FO: Portland Rain

I love to knit for those I love. I makes me feel good to know that something I made with my hands will brighten their day.


This year I gave my step-mom the gift of hand knits for her birthday and sent her a card telling her I would be happy to knit something of her choice.


 Imagine my surprise when she picked one of my very own designs!


I sent her some photos of yarn I had in my stash and she happened to pick the one I had been dying to knit with the most!


The scarf came out better than I had imagined and I hope that every time my step-mom wraps it around her shoulders she'll remember of just how much she means to me.

Pattern Details

Pattern: Desert Rain 
Yarn: Grinning Gargoyle Dedo in Garnet
Needles: US Size 4
Mods: I used smaller needles than the pattern calls for to get a fabric I liked. I also made the body of the scarf larger and did a few extra rows on the lace boarder as well.




Friday, December 9, 2011

FO: Courtenay

My dear friend Preeti designed this beautiful tam hat and I couldn't wait to get it on and then off the needles.



It's a beautiful hat that just flies off the needles. 


 And it's perfect for keeping your head warm during all your travels. 





Especially Paris!



If you want a quick, beautiful hat with an easy to read pattern the look no further

Pattern Notes:


Pattern: Courtenay by Preeti Verghese
Yarn: Malabrigo Rios in Sunset
Needles: US 6 & 8
Mods: None made 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Paris!

We went to paris!


It was beautiful


There just wasn't enough time to see everything




If I lived in Paris, I would get a pass so I could go to the Louvre everyday


We went to the top of the Arch De Triumph


The view was worth the hike






Champs Elysees


We even visited Euro Disney! 


At the store the juices had little knit hats. I call that a WIN


One week was not enough time to see everything! I loved it there and can't wait to go back! (someday)


Monday, October 24, 2011

Find A Penny

I designed this shawl, Find A Penny, because we knitters all have that one skein of yarn in our stash that we couldn't resist buying but now don't know what to make with it. These beautiful skeins call for a pattern that will enhance and showcase their beauty not hide it. 



This skein of Seda DK by Grinning Gargoyle was just that skein for me. The color was so bright and rich and the fiber so shinny that it begged to be knit in something I could wrap around my neck on a crisp fall day in Chicago.



That the colorway of the yarn is called Shinny Penny makes it even more perfect. I felt like a little girl who happens upon a penny while walking down the street when I saw this yarn across the room. 



I hope you enjoy knitting Find A Penny with your special skein of yarn as much as I did


Ravelry pageFind A Penny




Yarn - Grinning Gargoyle Seda DK in Shiny Penny (225 yds) - 1 skein
Needles - US size 7 (4.5 mm) circulars
Gauge41 stitches and 39 rows = 4 inches in stockinette Stitch
Finished Size50 inch span and is 7.5 inches deep
Designer Notes  
This shawlett is constructed like most triangle shawls however I did it without the middle bit (standard cast on point) and started a few rows down to maximize the yardage while also giving it a more natural shape for around the neck. 


I have also provided two cast-off methods for Find A Penny the first being the standard rolled edge pictured above and the second being a picot edging which you can see pictured over here at Rambling Roses' blog.


The size of Find A Penny is easy to adjust for more or less yardage and I'm always happy to answer any questions!




Photos by Colid FitzGerald
www.ColinFitzGeraldPhotography.com
www.AtlasCaptures.com

Thursday, September 15, 2011

FROGGED

Remember these knitted half-socks?






Where I talked about being stuck on the heel here?

Well it didn't end well



Nope. Not. At. All.

They weren't fitting right, there were too many mistakes and I was just plain mad at them.

So now they look like this again. 


Maybe next time they will remember who the boss is around here.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

FO: Ducky Feets!

In the middle of my travels I had loads of knits to work on…


One being the cutest pair of little socks for the cutest little baby girl. My good friend and her husband are both fellow Ducks and graduated with me at the University of Oregon. She was expecting her first little baby - a girl! and I was hoping she would deliver before I made my scheduled trip to Portland so that I could meet her little duckling - I know, I'm so clever!




I knew I wanted to make something special for her baby as she is a very good friend to me and one of my  oldest friends to boot (not in age but in length of friendship)! So as I was browsing patterns looking for something to jump out at me when I saw it.


Duck by Jenny Stainman


Serisouly can you get any more perfect than that? I immediately started daydreaming of their little girl going to her first Duck game wearing her little duck sockies


So I got out some yummy malabrigo in the perfect duckie feet color and got to knitting - in fact you might notice them in progress here


I was really impressed with how clever the construction of this pattern is and I learned a new technique! The turkish cast on. I LOVE IT. simple easy peasy cast on that looks fabulous once the knitting starts.



Pattern: Duck by Jeny Staiman
Needles: US size 2
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in Ochre - less than half a skein

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

San Francisco

A few weeks ago the hubs and I met up LA and decided to drive up the coast to San Francisco to take in the California coast and meet up with my brother in San Francisco.


The sky was blue, the waves were crashing and the palm trees were swaying. I love Southern California!


We had dinner in Santa Barbara on the pier. I even walked in the sand! 



We had a blast in San Francisco and saw as much of the city as we could...

…like the Golden Gate Bridge - that is one impressive bridge but boy was it crowded!



And I'm here to tell you it's true! those streets are very hilly. Wouldn't need to use a stair-master if you lived around there, that's for sure


The city was so much fun to see and wander around and the food! oooh the food!! It's as yummy and diverse as here in Chicago. Yum.


I just love how beautiful the west coast is

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I'm Back!

I have been embarrassingly bad at posting lately…. I don't have much excuse except that I have been traveling loads and have had lots of exciting and fun weekends. I'm hoping to fill you in on all of my adventures over the next week or so now that it looks like I'll finally have some down time.


But for now I will show you something about my knitting that I found interesting. It's not normal for me to work on multiple projects at a time. I usually like to dedicate my self to one project at a time and either make progress or put it down/finish it. But lately for one reason or another I have found my self with LOADS of WIPs - But I'll get to all those stories


But the other day my main WIPs were sitting on the couch together and I noticed a theme. I'll admit that I get into ruts or themes or just seem to favor one style or color but it has never been so apparent as it was in this photo.






Do you see what I see?

That's right; it's all shades of yellow to orange. I'm really diggin' the warmer colors right now and the dark penny copper color is something special for me that will really brighten up the dear winter days! I almost can't wait for winter! wait! no. I did not just say that. Winter is far far away. It will not snow for a long long time. No winter. No snow. Nope. 

Anyhoo, two of these are finished now and the third is well on it's way to completion. Can't wait to show them too you!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sock Saga

Or should I say heel saga.

I signed up with a bunch of my friends to try to knit six pairs of socks during the year 2011. So far I have completed one pair. Considering we are on almost half way through that year that means I should be nearing the end of my third pair!

Here is the state of my other two pairs. Sigh.



The tan ones (Nutkins) are cuff down (oh and should have been finished back in APRIL!!!)  The purple ones are toe up (Leyburns). Together they make a full pair of socks!

Absent the heels of course


I'm stuck on these dang heels. See, what happened is friends started saying they were having problems with the heels one the Nutkins. There were holes, it was too tight, etc. and I froze. Just sorta put the socks to the side and quietly worked on other things figuring (I guess, but really who knows!) that the heels would sort them selves out.


It wasn't long before it was time to cast on the third pair of socks, the Leyburns. I thought "oooh goody fresh start!" And got to knitting. It wasn't long before once again I heard back that the heels are too loose! So again there they sit, in a heap, right next to my Nutkins.


Obviously them sitting around isn't actually fixing the problem of how to knit the heels. I tried this theory thoroughly and let me tell you SO NOT WORKING!

And seeing these perfectly beautiful socks sitting half done has finally gotten to me. I must finish them! I must persevere through the heels!



Wish me luck!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Leni's 1st birthday!

My niece had her first birthday not long ago. You may remember my over joyed excitement when she arrived just one short year ago.

To celebrate her first year I knew that she would need something special.

Special like cashmere and ruffles. Hey, you don't turn 1 every day!




I decided to knit Baby Kina again. I'm not always such a fan of knitting patterns twice only because I would rather try something new but Baby Kina is just too cute. I could imagine it on my niece perfectly.

So now that I knew the pattern I went to Loopy and told them I was looking for something special. I was quickly shown to the back of the store. I felt like I was being let in on a secret. Maybe it is a secret!!! If so disregard this post. But when I got there I found the most amazing blend of DK yarn in the most gorgeous colors.


Azula Cricket MCN.
That's 80% merino (the bulk because it's durable, warm, soft make it's easy to care for) , 10% cashmere (plenty to feel the softness) and 10% Nylon (helps it keep it's shape)

For those of you thinking to your selves "Cashmere for a 1 year old?" Well let me tell you I don't knit for anyone - at any age (unless specifically requested) with yarn that is hand wash only. This yarn can handle the gentle cold cycle (80% merino) and then dry flat. Cool huh?

The depth of color in these yarns is just gorgeous and as soon as I saw them I wanted to pull them off the wall, put them in a huge pile and roll around in them (I pretty sure it's some basic instinct for yarnies).

I gazed at the colors, trying to decide which was best. The pattern I chose was already pretty girly and with buttons I could even up that a little so I wanted a color that was a little different. I went with orange. Persimmon to be exact.

It seemed to be insanely hard to capture the true beauty of this color (The color in the pics with Leni are very close) so you'll just have to trust me it's not too bright and it's not too creamy. Not too yellow and not too red. It's just right. In fact I recommend you just buy some to cuddle, drool over and of course get an accurate idea of the color.

It took all my will power (and a lack of needles and pattern) not to cast on on the train ride home but I managed to wait. When I did finally get home I cast on right away and this little sweater seemed to fly off the needles (except for the part where I forgot a crucial increase row and had to to start over. That may have been due to knitter error but I blame the intoxicating softness of the yarn).

When the little sweater was done I gazed at it and thought it's a good thing that 1. it's WAY too small to fit me and that 2. it was going to my niece, otherwise I don't think I could have parted with it.

And after seeing this photo I would gladly knit her a dozen more.

There's something about seeing my family wear my hand knits that warms me from the inside. I would knit miles of yarn (especially cashmere!) just to see them surrounded in my knits.


Pattern Details:

Yarn: Azula Cricket MCN in persimmon and incase you haven't heard it has cashmere in it! YUM!
Needles: US 5
Modifications: I added two extra buttons and button holes. The buttons are from Loopy as well.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kentucky Derby Day!



I thought it was a bit funny that after living in Dubai for so long that it wasn't until I moved back to the US that I went to my first horse race.

As you may or may not know Dubai host the world's most expensive race (surprise surprise) which happens to be the Dubai World Cup for Horse Racing. They have some impressive camel races too but I digress.

My husband called me from work one day and said something along the lines of "Hey we're going to the Kentucky Derby in a couple weeks!"

My reply was something like "Ok cool!"

I'm use to these phone calls out of the blue from my husband. He is a bit spontaneous and I am always willing to go along for the ride.


so of course I got a hat

and I had to check out the paddocks...


...and the steeples!


There were a lot of statues of famous horses...


We could see the finish line! (at least until there were taller people than me in front)


The horses seemed to enjoy parading around and showing off almost as much as racing. But they should because they sure are beautiful


The horses are fast and really exciting to watch. Who knew there were so many races in the day!?!

The whole event is steeped in tradition from the dressed up ladies in their hats to the Mint Juleps being offered every few feet. The horses also have a whole set of events to do. They don't just run around a track but first they show off at the paddock then they parade in front of the spectators, they then race, then parade again and I think they go back to the paddocks.

Overall it was a fantastic way to spend the day and I would love to go again next year.

Good luck Animal kingdom on your next two races... Here's hoping you get the triple crown!!!

photo from here