Thursday, July 21, 2011

Faster!

This week is all about knitting at top speed. Super-duper deadline time.

This was Tuesday...

Yarn



Wound



Swatched (pocket linings make excellent swatches)



And yesterday



And today. I think I will actually be done in time.



Oh, and it's called Kira, by Cecily Glowik MacDonald, and the yarn is Miss Babs Yowza. For those of you keeping score at home, this all means that I'm trying to knit a 37" seamless raglan cardigan on US#6 needles and dk-weight yarn in about a week. I wish I had a cheering section or something.

Now back to knitting.

P.S. Word to the wise: writing a blog post with photos, using the iPhone, is kind of hard. The good news behind this is that I have sold my old MacBook and a new MacBook Air will be winging it's way to me very soon. Lucky me!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hiking the Appalachian Trail

And no, that's not some euphemism for "visiting Argentina with questionable company". Over the weekend we flew out to New Jersey to attend a big family reunion and surprise birthday party with my husband's big extended family.

We stayed in a lodge near the Delaware Water Gap. There was hiking, and swimming, and lots of food and good company. I met lots of new people, all of whom were universally welcoming and generous. I also got to meet my new nephew, who is my favorite age at 10 months (meaning they can laugh and play, but can't talk back or run away).

The hiking was a bit more vigorous than I'd imagined it would be. The trails were hilly and liberally littered with rocks, forcing me to watch my feet with every step so I didn't twist an ankle. But we saw big snakes and a deer - other people saw a bear - and climbed up to the top of an observation tower to see the ridges and valleys, climbed down to the Delaware River, passing a waterfall and going for a pleasant swim. There were wild blueberries and raspberries to eat along the way. Some of the rhododendrons were still blooming and ferns were everywhere. I had no phone service and didn't want any. I wish I'd gotten to talk with some people doing the whole hike of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, but we didn't meet any.

Of course now I am covered in bug bites and my legs are still a little tired. But it was well worth it.

Did you do anything unusual this weekend?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Apron Happiness

Apron


Let's start off by saying I don't sew often. Yes, I sewed my prom dresses and I've made a couple of quilts, but I don't think of myself as a sewer or a seamstress - or now apparently the word is "sewist" which, irritatingly, isn't a word but does solve the homograph problem with "sewer".

Linguistic complaints aside, I have been doing a little sewing. I decided it was time for a craft apron, because in a little less than two weeks, I'm headed to Sock Summit in Portland to join Miss Babs and her crew in a vendor booth. I'm excited!

Back when I worked at fibre space, craft aprons were part of our uniform. The lovely Kel (sorry Kel, I forgot and thought Becky had made the first ones because Becky does so much sewing! Oops!) made them for us out of funky Ikea fabric (yes, Ikea carries fabric!) and each one was different and fun. They're great to stash a calculator, measuring tape, notepad, pen, phone, or whatever else you need, keeping your hands free and setting you apart from customers. Check out the new aprons Becky has made for the yarnista crew here. She's a pro.

I asked Becky if she had a rough pattern for them, but she said it was just drawing and math. So I drafted my own measurements, measured twice, cut once, ironed a lot, and sewed the whole thing together. I don't spend a lot of time on my sewing, so it's never going to be the most precise thing you've ever seen... but it's surprisingly functional. The fabric I used is shown here and I got it because it was so obnoxiously bright and cheery.

Anybody reading headed to Sock Summit? Sound off in the comments, and drop by Miss Babs' booth - 822 and 824 - and say hi to me and my funky apron in person! You can't miss me!

Apron

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Leaflet

Let me start by saying I love Knitty. Funky free patterns from big name designers AND people like you and me - what's not to love? Imagine my surprise, then, when I was in a yarn shop the other day and I overheard that the new girl there had never heard of it. Thankfully it sounded like she was excited to discover it.

Knitty's First Fall issue went live a few weeks ago. I fell in love with Cecily Glowik MacDonald's Leaflet, which is a sweet little sleeveless cardigan with a fresh leaf detail right down the back. Bonus: it's knit in big yarn on US #10 needles!

So I made a phone call to my good friends at fibre space, and soon thereafter there was a nice package of yarn on my doorstep. I'm trying out the new-for-fall Berroco Voyage, which is a knitted tube of alpaca and polyester. It's soft, lofty, warm, and knits up so fast.

Leaflet


It's been nice to zip along on a little something for me. And seeing as I went up to San Francisco over the weekend and froze my butt off... and went out last night and had to wear a hat and a jacket... yes, I can use a little alpaca cardigan in California, even in July.

And why did I go out last night? There just might have been a midnight launch party at the friendly local bookstore that I felt compelled to attend. Yes, I feel a little dorky, but I didn't stay up all night reading it. I'm looking forward to it, though.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tiny Tomatoes

Finally.

Tiny tomatoes


For what seemed like the longest time, my tomato plants were flowering but not setting fruit. Today I went out to visit them and discovered that tiny tomatoes have finally started to grow.

A vendor at the farmer's market had many unusual types of tomato seedlings, so this year I am trying new (old) varieties. I love Green Zebras, with their beautiful green and yellow stripes and good flavor - so I chose a Green Zebra hybrid called Copia (which will be yellow and red striped). I also got a Rose de Berne, which is another medium-sized tomato that should be pink and very productive - or so the tomato websites tell me.

Now for more waiting, but I know that delicious tomatoes will be well worth it.