Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Afghans for Afghans

Back in May, the very kind folks over at Cephalopod Yarns started up a collection of wooly things to benefit Afghans for Afghans. They promised a $32 store credit to anyone who sent in something for a4A's current campaign (a hat, mittens, socks). I had been hoping to send in some items to a4A anyway (because my gosh there's a lot of worsted weight wool just laying around) so I took the opportunity.

I knit up two hats - one with a geometric color pattern, one with stripes - and promptly forgot to photograph them. Good job, me! You'll just have to use your imagination instead of looking at a picture.

In return, my store credit turned into this lovely skein of Bugga!

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Bugga! in Ivory Cone Snail
Even for two hats, I feel like I got far more than I deserved here. I love the color (yellow and cream and pinky-tan and brown spots! - a very unusual choice for me) and of course MCN is just lovely stuff. So - a big thank you to Sarah and the crew at Cephalopod for drawing attention to this good cause and so generously rewarding everyone who gave.

Now... to decide what to make with it... hmmm.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Afflicted

I have been affected. Afflicted. Infected.

Whatever you want to call it, I've now officially joined the 5,000+ people who've knit Color Affection. I think half my knitting group has made one, for starters.

Color Affection
Into the three-color section!
I thought, "ugh, all that garter stitch." I thought, "ugh, all those long rows." I thought, "haven't I been doing enough boring knitting already?"

And then I spent Sunday at Stitches Midwest wearing one and it was snuggly and pretty and had curly little tails and - well, ok, let's be honest, I had already set aside three skeins of yarn just in case. So without a major deadline currently over my head, I am cranking away at endless garter stitch. [Details on yarn are on my Ravelry page here.]

The brown and linen-grey aren't that exciting, but I love the pink added in at the end. And instead of transitioning directly from the three-stripe section to the final color, I am considering working some stripes in taupe and pink only before the pink border. We'll see. There's lots of yarn to knit up yet.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Stitches Midwest

I spent the past week in Chicago to join forces with Miss Babs and work Stitches Midwest (and, also very importantly, to see my mom).

Stitches is always a ton of hard work - and an equal amount of fun. Babs has put together a great team of people to work with. We hustle like crazy and haul giant heavy boxes around like they're nothing. And of course it's great to be surrounded by all the beautiful colors and happy yarn people all week!

Stitches Midwest 2012
Part of the booth at Stitches

Color Affection has been an incredibly popular pattern and why not? it's easy to knit, snuggly, and eats up three skeins of sock yarn! Miss Babs and the crew put together sets of three colors... picking two colors that go together is pretty easy, but adding that third color to bring it all together can be pretty tough. No one person loves all these sets... but as the weekend went on I became convinced that there was one for everyone. 
Stitches Midwest 2012
Color Affection sets
At first I thought "oh my gosh all that garter stitch surely I'll die of boredom" but then I wore one for a couple of days and... now I need a Color Affection of my own. I have picked out my colors: espresso brown, cream, and peony pink.

I didn't do too much shopping at the show, but I had to pick up some Hiya Hiya Sharps needles. [I can't use Addi Turbo Lace needles because the finish on them reacts really horribly with my body chemistry, so it's so nice to have an economical and non-reactive option.] I also couldn't resist this skein of Windsor sock yarn or this lovely sock project bag from Erin.Lane

Stitches Midwest goodies
Can you tell I have a thing for green with purple?
I also showed off Brighton all weekend in the booth and I was super tickled by all the people who said they loved it, bought the pattern, and even asked me to autograph it! All in all, I had a great time - I was totally exhausted by the end, but it's well worth it.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Introducing Brighton

Brighton is a long infinity cowl that’s perfect for that skein of variegated sock yarn you just couldn’t live without.
Brighton
Brighton cowl
It seems to happen to everyone. I fall in love with variegated sock yarn at the drop of a hat. It’s even worse when I learn the color will never be dyed again. And some of it is just too pretty to put on my feet! A cowl is the perfect way to show it off.

Brighton features an open, easy-to-work star stitch that breaks up color pooling, and the cowl gains structure from blocks of garter stitch and a faux i-cord edging.

Don’t like the cowl thing? Work an extra section of garter stitch at the end and make it into a long scarf.

Brighton
Wrapped once
And the stats:
Finished measurements:  8” wide and 58” long after blocking.
Yarn: Miss Babs Yummy 2-ply, (400 yds per 4 oz; 100% Superwash Merino wool, shown in Malachite), 1 skein.
Needles:  Size 6 US (4mm) straight or circular.
Notions: Tapestry needle.
Gauge: 21 sts and 28 rows = 4” in Star Stitch Pattern after blocking (gauge is not critical to this project) 
Brighton
Wrapped twice
If you're planning to come to Stitches Midwest, please come say hi at Miss Babs' booth! We'll be in booth numbers 317, 319, and 418 with tons and tons of beautiful yarn. I'll have copies of this pattern available as well as some others - and Babs will have lots of Babettes - gorgeous colors that will never be dyed again.

Get the pattern here for $6: 


Brighton

As always, happy knitting!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Summer Knitting

I don't know why I feel compelled to knit summer sweaters, but I just finished a couple. Maybe I'll even wear them. Here's some photos from a silly photo shoot we had.

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Buttercup
Back when I was at the yarn shop, I saw a lot of nice Buttercups come and go. So I picked up some Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy (seriously, this is the best warm-weather yarn out there, and a bargain at the same time) and got started. It's actually not as flattering as I would have hoped, but whatever. It's green! And airy! And super-duper fast. I probably should have bought another ball of yarn and made it longer, but... it's all done now.

Big thanks go out to Abigail for putting some of the last rows on it at knitting one night when she ran out of knitting and I (as usual) had three projects in my bag.

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Homa
This is Homa (yeah, there may have been a lot of laughing going on when the photos were taken) which is surprisingly way more flattering than Buttercup. It's a top-down sweater with some clever arm shaping and an easy lace pattern all the way around the body. I knit it in just three balls of Berroco Remix in this awesome tangerine color. Not so sure about a worsted-weight short-sleeved thing, but it's cool enough here that I should be able to wear it with a long-sleeved tee in the fall.

Any fun summer knitting going on out there?

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Introducing Marquise

This post has been a long time coming.

Last year I knit a reversible baby blanket for my friend Amanda's little baby Hazel. The first blanket was screaming hot pink (perfect for Amanda) but I had a terrible time photographing it.

So Miss Babs and I teamed up to make another sample, this time in a beautiful spring green. The yarn is  Yowza, a lovely superwash merino in big 8 oz. skeins, and the color is called Spring Lettuce. It seems like everything I make is in this shade of green, but ... I can't help it, I love it so much.

Marquise baby blanket
Marquise baby blanket

The blanket is called Marquise because of diamond pattern reminds me of a marquise-cut diamond. It's just knits and purls, is completely reversible, and works up quickly into a thick and cushy blanket on big needles. (The pattern is given both as written directions and as a chart). You can get your copy here on Ravelry for $6...

Marquise baby blanket
All snuggled up!
Next week I'll be heading to the Chicago area for Stitches Midwest, where once again I'll be wrangling yarn with Babs and her crew. We have a triple booth: 317, 319, and 418! This year I've roped my mom into the mix, too. We're going to have one heck of a good time... and I'll have another pattern debuting at Stitches - perfect for using that skein of variegated sock yarn you just couldn't live without.