Saturday, October 30, 2010

Hug A Pumpkin; Or, Amie Mitts


Pattern: Amie Mitts
Yarn: Mini Mochi, 2 hanks, colour 102 ("Flame Rainbow")

A good friend, who knew I was feeling down and out, gifted me this lovely yarn. The thoughtful, unexpected gift made me really want to make something cute and highly usable, so a pair of long-cuffed mitts it was!
I decided to christen these pretties "Amie" Mitts. It makes me smile whenever I put them on :)

If you've never knit a pair of long-cuffed mitts, let me tell you, they're super fun, nice and warm, and offer so many luscious possibilities for modding and creative design.
Ya'll may be seeing more long-cuffed mitts in the near future!

Now, obviously, I've already run out and bought two more hanks of Mini Mochi (colour 123 this time, "Brandied Apricots"!)
Oh my, this yarn. It's soft, and the colour transitions are so much fun. Mini Mochi would make a lovely (if very delicate) pair of socks!
I'm already slightly concerned about certain wear-points on the mitts (namely, the tip of the thumb). I hope it'll stand up to many winters' worth of use.

PhotobucketThis isn't the last you'll see of my October-loving posts. I can't wait to share my costume!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Indie Designer Day

PhotobucketDesigner: Thea Eschliman
Blog: Lick the Light Switch
Rav ID: wonderfallz
Some Great Designs: wonderfallz's Rav Designer Page

I'm so in the mood for Halloween. Without a doubt, my favourite holiday of the year.
And, while I have funstuff to share in regards to my very own Happy Halloween Haberdashery Handicrafts, I thought it might be cool to kick off this best of weekends with a spookily-themed project!

See wonderfallz's Hocus Pocus Trick-or-Treat Bag. Her Hocus Pocus eBook contains not only this nifty, topical, and very useful item, it also contains the matching Hocus Pocus Cowl.

A recent publication of the Sanguine Gryphon saw wonderfallz's pretty Gotham Skies socks released. This cool knit is part of the SG's Steampunk Fall Pattern collection.

Then there's her adorably pom-pomed Pollen and Bubbles toque. I love comparing her colourwork on this piece to her Industrial Skies cowl. Both are fantastic, demonstrating a good understanding of texture, space, colour and repetition, but in such fundamentally different ways!

The Hera Mountain Ridge Shawl is an attractive knit, perfect for that lovely hank (or two... three?) of yarn that needs to be shown off.

Finally, I'll direct you to her Strands, yet another lovely example of wonderfallz's skill with texture, rhythm and colourwork.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Indie Designer Day

PhotobucketDesigner: Abby Frelich
Blog: reluctantMANGO Knits
Rav ID: reluctantMANGO
Some Great Designs: reluctantMANGO's Rav Designer Page

This designer's first published pattern are the beautiful Dionysus Socks (photograph © Dan Jackson).

I don't think I can describe these beauties better than her quote here:
"Wild vines start at the cuff and wind down the leg to spill over the heel, paired with lush leaf panels that weave themselves together in a riot of lace to create a sock fit to wear to any party."

As is well established, I like me a good back story. Creatively named and imaginatively described knits show extra thought and effort the designer has put into her/his work.
And, I'm hard pressed to suggest any better flight of foot-covering whimsy than a vino-soaked loll-about with Greek gods and "riots" of lace.
Srsly. I think that's my favourite line.

Keep a look out for more of her work!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Enter New Colour Crush; And, A Cute Dog

You've strolled with me through my dedication to yellow, my collection of orange, my hankering for green, and even my surprising attraction to blue.

Now my rainbow is almost complete with The Perfect Red.
I've been looking for years for this colour. A wondrous scarlet, with a hint of sheen. Something that screams hawt.

Finally I've found it, in madelinetosh's worsted weight merino. Colourway? TART. Oh yes indeed.


Here you see me with my Tarty new sweater, and my parent's new pup, Ellie.

Well, she's not really a pup (the vet estimates her age at around nine). I got her from the SPCA - the poor sweetie was a stray.
Photobucket Being a "senior" dog, I was immediately drawn to the name Ellie (ie: Elliot, as in, Anne Elliot!) Miss Elliot was an old maid at 27, but the magnificent mutt that is Ellie resembles no such moniker. She's as rocking and rollicking as any young one. Loves the belly rubs and playing fetch (well, half fetch. Mainly "grab-thrown-stick-and-pretend-to-kill-it").

She kindly agreed to pose with me in these photos taken this past weekend at a lovely park near my parent's house.

My Tart sweater was whipped off in about three days, in as many hanks of yarn. The yarn is beautiful and perfect and soft and I want more.

It's a simple bottom-up construction, with cables running along the sides of the body and underside of the sleeves. The neckline didn't come out as I was hoping, but c'est la vie.

Contrived as this photo above appears, it is good for illustrating those side-running cables.

The day was perfect, with no jacket required for the hiking and picnicking we enjoyed. I love me some October!!

Though grey-in-the-muzzle, Ellie Joe (for that is her full name)1, is full of energy and hard to keep up with. She proved to be a rather co-operative photography partner. I hope she'll agree to pose for future projects :)


1Elliot as in Anne Elliot of course. And Joe? She's named after my dad. He had several pups growing up, being a farm boy. And one of them was a pretty little German Shepherd cross named Judy. She reminded me a lot of Ellie.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Indie Designer Day

PhotobucketDesigner: Karin Crelling
Blog: The popcorn thoughts of a knitter
Etsy Shop: dyeforsocks1965
Rav ID: dyeforsocks1965
Some Great Designs: dyeforsocks1965's Rav Designer Page

A quick perusal of this knitter's designs shows her expertise in lovely hand-warming patterns!

First up is the pictured Loopy Leaves Gloves. Her use of cables is very effective in these practical yet pretty gloves.

Her Heart Lace Gauntlets have a great little description on their pattern page, which makes me love them even more:

"Fashioned after medieval metal gauntlets worn by the knights to protect their hands, these gloves allow you to wear them over your coat sleeves, giving you extra warmth and you can show off your stitchery, of course."

The classic Diamond Trellis Gloves makes use of a wonderfully simple all-over texture, and the Swirled Cables Mitts show off a bit of a funky twist on the basic cabled mitt.

Don't miss dyeforsocks1965's etsy shop, chock-full of beautiful hand-dyed yarns, knit mitts, patterns and other great yarnny items.

And, check out her latest blog post here. Look at those delicate wedding gloves!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Classic Books and Why You'll Like Them

PhotobucketRecently, Dover Publishing approached me with a request for some book reviews.
Yes indeed! I exclaimed. And shortly thereafter, I had two lovely new knitting books in my hands.

I'm very appreciative for the opportunity to review these publications, because they're both classic knitting books which, shockingly, I've not had the chance to peruse.

First up is the commemorative edition of Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac. Yes, I can hear your collective jaws drop. I have actually never flipped through this seminal work.
To mark the centenary of Zimmermann's birth, this edition of her month-by-month pattern book includes a fabulous introduction by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.
This may be my favourite snippet from her writing:

"It was recognition. I was a skinny, weird, bookish Canadian teenager who knit all the time, and there I was, felling better about myself because I had finally found another person on earth who seemed to feel as I did... [s]he said things I thought but didn't say. Things like that knitting made her feel clever, that solving knitting problems was like solving real problems, that it was challenging, exciting, fun, engaging and even funny".1

There's also the wildly popular adult version of the February Baby Sweater by Pamela Wynne.
It's tucked away back there, near the end of the book :)

PhotobucketThe second lovely that I was sent is the new and expanded edition of Alice Starmore's Aran Knitting.

As an art history/museum nerd, the first thing that made me gasp was the beautifully illustrated history of aran knitting. Really, who could resist a book that makes the tie between the Book of Kells and knitting?

With information about the how tos, the wherefores and whys regarding this style of knitting, Aran Knitting is an attractive and incredibly useful book. Definitely a classic must-have for the cable-loving knitter.

I'm sorry, I must go: I have cables to drool over.

1 Introduction to Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac; Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, pg. xiv

Friday, October 08, 2010

Indie Designer Day

PhotobucketDesigner: Crystal Adame
Blog: Crystal Knits
Rav ID: cadame
Some Great Designs: cadame's Rav Designer Page and Rav Projects Page

As a new designer, cadame shows great adeptness with pattern and texture in her pieces.

Take Morning Dew (pictured) for example. The softly flowing waves of knit stitch are complemented by the more aggressive peaks, complete with delicate lines of yarn overs. All elements work together to create an interesting scarf (which, as we all know, are the best kinds to knit!)

Ripples of Grey demonstrates this skill as well. This knit's texture looks so soft, squishy, warm and inviting! I hope cadame does post the pattern for this classic-looking piece.

And, I love to point out something a little different from designers: a very fantastic crocheted Cookie Monster.
I think that might be the perfect Cookie Monster blue!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Noro's On My Mind

Greetings from a rainy October morning!
I'm getting warmed from the chill in the air by just thinking about this post :)

Way back in the summer, there was the always fabulous (and sadly, only annual) tent sale at my LYS, The Needle Emporium.

Being the keener yarnnies that we are, three friends and I all arranged to be there at the very start. We were almost the very first people in line.
Evidence: see photo below.

That's us there, two people in from the front!

We all made out like bandits. I had a dangerously full bag of Noro Silk Garden.
See my pretties below.


I'll take this opportunity to ask a wee poll:
How many of you have a LYS? Or, for those lucky ducks, more than one LYS?
What's your favourite yarn shop? Or, even better, your best experience in a shop?

Saturday, October 02, 2010

The Knitters Go Camping - To Great Success!

PhotobucketAs mentioned ages ago, five knitter friends and I all trooped up to a nearby campsite on a rainy Labour Day weekend.

No matter for the rain, since we all had a RAWKIN time. Quickly falling into skill-based roles, we had a campfire cook extrodinairre (see Mousewife's bloggy here!), a wood chopper par excellence (see her bloggy here!), and a couple great fire starters.

I, dear reader, along with a blogless bud, was part of the tarp-stringing team. It's a bloomin good thing for those tarps. We stayed snug and dry all weekend long :)
Pictured right, you see the genius that is Rainbow Fire. A night's worth of entertainment in a tiny packet. I always knew I loved colour; to combine my love for fire as well made me a happy camper indeed.
Hardy har.

Some knitting did go down, as did a fair amount of spinning (from a very talented friend!)

This may be the inaugural year for an annual event!

If you can wrangle together a bunch of knitters, and ya'll like camping, you need to go. It's so much fun.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Indie Designer Day

PhotobucketDesigner: Elizabeth Wolden
Blog: Messy Beasts
Rav ID: BethWolden
Some Great Designs: BethWolden's Rav Designer Page

Ok. I love October. So, I'm already in an awesome mood this morning.
And now, I get to talk about this designer!
I love love love (times three, that is. To the factor of awesome!) the whimsy in her designs.

It was really difficult choosing which pattern would have its photo slapped up on this profile; in the end, I chose the first one that caught my eye, Susie's Long Stockings.
I'm sure, dear readers, you can get why these are so excellent. I think I want to do nothing but knit myself a pair of these right now.
(Incidentally, I think I need to invest in the perfect pair of cute shoes to wear with handknit socks/stockings. Would you put your vote in for some black Mary Janes? That seems to be one of the most popular choices).

Then there's Meta Mittens, a pair of sweet wee fair isle mitts, with a pair of sweet wee sheepies happily emblazoned upon them. So adorable!

And OMG, her Lady Jane Gloves. Ok, is it wrong to say I'm so way mondo jealous that she designed these beauties first? They're perfectly up my alley. I LOVE THEM. /End gushing.

Can't wait to see what she designs next!!