Friday, January 29, 2010

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Sophy O'Donnell
Blog: sophy's knits, notes, etc...
Rav ID: sophytodonnell
Some Great Designs: sophytodonnell's Rav Designer Page

With temperatures promising to return to seasonal, my thoughts roam to keeping my head warm. The Lace-leaf Hat (pictured) by sophytodonnell is one such sweet wee garment. Knit it with wool for the cold times, and as she mentions on the pattern page, cotton for the summer times!

Another purty hat is her Herringbone Tweed Hat. I'm always a fan of herringbone, and it's put rather to good use in this pattern. With winds that whip like they do this morning, I'm sure I'd really appreciate the extra warmth provided by the fair isle patterning.

Her most recent piece, the Garden of Silk Socks, are a clever wee design that utilizes a lace leaf design to create one of the most pretty and useful stash busting projects I've ever seen. Though these cute socks aren't available as a pattern, I hope I can encourage sophytodonnell to give up some precious knitting time and write one up!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Raucous Bacchus

Pattern: Bacchus Socks, by Alice Bell, from Interweave Knits Fall 2008
Yarn: 2 hanks of Koigu KPPPM, dye code 180099

This is my debut into sock knitting territory, and I have to say I'm rather pleased.
It's nice to follow a pattern that's so well-written and understandable - even to an uninitiated sockmaker like me!

These sweeties appeal to me on a few levels, not the least of which being the grapey/wine vibe I get from the yarn and the bobbles n' "vines". I've long been a sock yarn purchaser, and now have the confidence to use the yarn for what it's maker originally intended.

My rebellious sock yarn purchasing days are (almost, and sort of partially) over!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Indie Designer Day

Designer: verybusymonkey
Rav ID: verybusymonkey
Some Great Designs: verybusymonkey's Rav Designer Page

I love it when designers employ fantastic stories.
Witness the quirkily titled Irate Squirrel Socks (pictured). In a wee excerpt from the pattern page,
"When you see a squirrel on the side of the road, [the designer's roommate] feels you should shake your fist in the air and yell, “I see you squirrel!”"
I whole-heartedly agree, but must add that instead of squirrel-fist-shaking (which, if I were to do, would take up all my time), I use this one on deer.
The pattern's totally sweet too. I have a newfound "thing" for cabley socks.

And speaking of cabley socks... here comes another lovely, mood setting story manifest in verybusymonkey's Aliso Creek Socks. I (and according to my boyfriend, all other women) loved horses as a little girl, and the picturesque and adventurous image painted by her pattern's backstory leaves me wanting to be twelve again.

But it's not only the enchanting backstory that verybusymonkey has utilized in her designing. She's also come up with a wicked cool idea in her Adventure Sock (1). Here's the idea behind it, in the designer's own words:

"Remember those “Choose your own adventure books” from years ago? Perhaps I’m dating myself, but I thought they were great and I thought, what if I can design a sock with that in mind? This pattern is the result. This pattern is for a top-down sock that comes with four different charted stitch patterns... You can use one stitch pattern four times around the sock, or you can work all four charts one time each... You can make symmetrical socks or completely unsymmetrical ones - the end result is entirely up to you!!! Depending on the kind of sock “adventure” you’d like to have!"

How cool is that? She also has plans to create more "Adventure Socks", so stay tuned! And look out for her work on the Solidsocks Ravelry group.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sawks; Or, the Evidence is Mounting...

First off, thanks to everyone who's given advice on my poor bud Bob. I've been turning him round on alternate days so his bald side gets some sunny D too.
Also, thanks over again for all the wonderful points re: my wedding coif. I think I've come to a decision, which I'll share soon.

Woot! The mail brought me a Knit Picks delivery!

Along with a fancypants pattern keeper, I got a colourful collection of sock dpns.

And now, I have quite a colourful collection of sock yarn whose fate has been altered from "perhaps a pretty wee shawlette" into "socks and all their derivatives".

And, (fingers crossed), I'm just over half way through a second sock of a lovely pair.

Hope to have them to show you in a couple days!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Jonik
Rav ID: Jonik
Some Great Designs: Jonik's Rav Projects Page

This week's designer, Jonik, caught my eye because of her interesting dress designs. I've taken a fancy to this garment, and have a couple of hers to point out to you all.

First is the pictured Grey Dress. With minimal detail, great interest is added to this piece. The converging vertical rib-line create a visual base for the intricate horizontal, belt-like cable across the hips.
Without the vertical rib detail, I believe the cable-belt would lose its beauty, and render the dress much less wearable/flattering. I love when a clever visual trick solves a problem :)

Next is her Missioni Dress. In this piece she's displaying her canny use of colour, where a unique palette combination harmonizes wonderfully to create a skirt that appears to have delicate movement, layers, and lacey-interest.

She designs garments besides dresses! Witness her Blue Corset - a pretty addition to a dressy, as well as a more casual, outfit. This would be a very pretty way to use up a couple extra hanks you have lying around and aren't sure what to do with (especially if you want lace, but have reconciled yourself to the fact that lace shawls just aren't for you...)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Knot Tying 101; Or, How Wedding Planning Comes Along

...wherein I continue to chat about my wedding, and this time it's about the hair...

Since the last time I talked about my impending nuptials was way back in September, I thought I'd give both a wee update as well as ask some input.

Update: I've got (most of) the biggies nailed down, and now have to tackle the hiring of a DJ, as well as begin the leap into crafting that will be my life for the next few months (and I'm really looking forward to it!)

Asking for Input:

Before I can do work on a particular wedding craft (which I just might share with you all when it's done soon...ish...) I have to figure out what I'm doing with my hair.

For reference, this is what my dress looks like, as worn by a statuesque Spanish model:

From what I gather, there's three basic ways one can choose to wear their hair:
1) Updo
2) Half-Updo
3) Down-do

Each has their attractions and drawbacks.

The Updo

As you can see from this photo, I'm thinking along the lines of a "messy" updo. I don't want anything sleek-to-my-head.

-likely the formality will match the style of dress more than others
-can wear that flower pin I've already bought!
-keeps hair off neck in yucky late-July heat

-generally, I'm not comfortable showing much of my face, and this style might emphasize certain facial features I'd really rather not emphasize
-I have (what might be an unfounded) fear that an updo will shake loose with what I imagine will be all my move-busting and general hub-bub of the day

The Half-Updo

This would be along the same "messy"/wavy lines as the updo.

-compromise between up and down, both in formality and face-covering-ness
-can still wear that flower in my hair

-still have the problem of hair-on-neck in July heat
-might be even worse in emphasizing what my heart-shaped face doesn't need to have emphasized


Once again, I'm thinking wavy and loose.

-works with my hair's natural tendency to be wavy
-covers more face
-I have the long hair, have been purposefully growing the long hair, and want to show the length of the long hair!

-might make me feel too hot, and I hate sweating to begin with :p
-might be too informal a look for the gown
-probably can't wear that flower in my hair!

So, what'd you think?
I'm still pretty undecided.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Nom de Plume Goes Up

Well, I've finally gathered up the time to post Nom de Plume, which I finished in October.

You can download it now by clicking here.

Hope it keeps your limbs as warm and whimsically feathery as it's done for mine!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

The Sad Tale of Bob the Tree

Ways back whens in September, I bought a sweet wee tree who told me to call him Bob.
I live in a north-facing apartment, and so was concerned for Bob's well being and ability to thrive under such circumstances. I asked the employee at the nursery, and was assured that Bob would survive the winter on the balcony, and be able to take the lack of sunshine with nary a problem.

This is apparently not the case.
I felt sorry and fearful for Bob out on the balcony, where he would have to reckon with whipping winds as well as shelter-seeking pigeons.
Bob came inside.

A few weeks ago, just as I was decorating my arborious friend for the festive season, I noticed his inward-facing side was dropping needles.
Now, his backside is almost entirely bare.

He's retaining needles on the side facing the window, so my theory is that it's the lack of sunshine that's making him go prematurely bald.

Now, I wonder: is this needle loss permanent, and should I be preparing for an impending coniferous funeral?
I need to find a tree doctor.
They aren't that easy to find in the yellow pages :p

Friday, January 08, 2010

Indie Designer Day

Designers: Emma Haigh and Lousie Sisson
Blog: Loumms
Blog: Emma's quelle erqsome...
Rav ID: erqsome and loutheperson
Some Great Designs: erqsome's Rav Designer Page (scroll down to see their joint work), and loutheperson's Rav Designer Page

Inspired by all the recent knit-year-in-reviews I've been reading, I thought I'd present a duo that are not only very talented individually, they're also commendable and demonstrably ambitious with their recently (and successfully) completed Year of Socks.

Design a pair of socks for every month of the year? How awesomesauce is that!
It might be a form of punishment to make me choose which is my favourite, but the most recent Dawn of the Dead socks (pictured) really rock my socks. (heh)

Both these designers have a great understanding of structure and texture.

Erqsome's Euonia Tunic shows this off wonderfully; the shape and simple detail harmonize wonderfully with the pretty attention-grabbing cowl perched at the top of the sweater. Ruching, buttons, tunic and cowl all work together to create a lovely, wearable garment.

While technically this season has passed, it's also technically never too early to start thinking about holiday gifts (or just treat yourself to a mid-winter treat!) with loutheperson's German Christmas Market Gloves and Scarf Set. The yarn looks cozily scrumptious with this basketweave and seed stitch texture.

Clearly I, too, am being ambitious in taking on two talented designers for one post! Make sure to check out both their pages (and their joint designs as well). There's much more to see that I haven't touched on here.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Skating Socks Rocks

I proclaimed wide and proud that I wasn't a sock knitter.
Lies! Lies! (well, sort of).
I might not be a sock knitter1, but I seem to, indeed, be a knitter who knits socks.

Witness my Log Cabin Socks, or, The Skating Socks.

Pattern: Log Cabin Socks, from Handknit Holidays
Yarn: 1 and a teeny bit of a second hank of the ever lovely Cascade 220

I let loose a bit here and chose a colour I would certainly never do for a sweater. Generally blue isn't for me, but my skate-clad feet are another story.

The fancy took me to have a pair of these for the first go-round I had on the brand new skates, and so I whipped these off in just a few days.

Me and the family went skating at my dad's farm, the pond having frozen over quite nicely.

While I didn't get to see any of the fish or muskrats who were purportedly swimming below the icy surface a few days ago, I did catch a Mr. and Ms. Cardinal feeding in the backyard.

1This be a footnote because I believe true sock knitters are those whose main passion is the creation of said garment. I'm still a very far way off from that. I still love me my sweaters mostest.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Gift for Cat; Or, Not All Care For Catnip

Aaaand I'm back from the holidays.

There's more to tell and show, but the first bit I'd like to share is the wee catnip mousie I made for my parent's cat, Dante.
Here you see him in his resplendent feline glory, being very co-operative and posing with his new gift. Being used to photographing flightly canaries, Dante's sleepy, apathetic attitude towards having a camera stuck in his face was both surprising and refreshing for his human photographer.

As this post title suggests, the prezzie didn't really go over so great.
That's ok - there was other, more successful knitting, over the break.

FO Archives: 2009

In an attempt to speed the front-page download time, here I present the FO Gallery of 2009

Completed 2009
Click on picture and title - some include links to original pattern

Nom de Plume
Nom de Plume
Stag Avatar
October Glory
Bonfire Briar

Aeolian Avatar

Lady Warmer Avatar
Lady Warmer
70s Sweater Avatar
That 70s Sweater
Dolce far Niente Due
Herringbone Slouch Avatar
Herringbone Slouch
Arethusa Avatar