Monday, November 28, 2011

YearLong YarnSong: November

And now it's finally time for the third installment of my year-long ebook project!

Here's November.

Spiced Heads and Dead Leaves
Spiced Heads and Dead Leaves is a slouchy lace toque. Worked entirely in a Fir Cone Lace pattern, this hat has a subtle loveliness that’ll make a breezy November day just that bit warmer!
one size

Spiced Heads and Dead Leaves - on rav

To The Ground

To the Ground are a pair of over-the-knee legwarmers with a delightful bit of slouch at the bottom.
Beautiful yarn is shown off wonderfully with this simple 2-stripe repeat.

Sizing: there aren’t any standard sizes for legs/legwarmers, so this pattern contains two sizes. Everyone has different legs! I’m very happy to help anyone change up sizing if necessary.

To the Ground - on rav

Garden Cover
Garden Cover is a warm, simple shift dress that is universally flattering and available in a varying size range.
Listed are sizes S-XL; this in fact covers the CYC standards for sizing from XS up to XXXL. Due to the oversized fit of the dress, each size range is covered under these four sizes.

Garden Cover - on Rav

Season's End
Season’s End is a colourwork yoked mini sweater. This piece is just the right size to use up some extra, lovely yarn you have left from another project. For an adding bit of warmth on an increasingly chilly November, Season’s End will serve the purpose well!

XS(28-30") to XXXL (52-54")

Season's End - on rav

Friday, November 25, 2011

Indie Designer Revisited

PhotobucketDesigner: Lauren Osborne
Blog: Hungry Knitter
Rav ID: lauren0
Some Great Designs: lauren0's Rav Designer Page
Original Indie Designer Post: March 13, 2009

When I first profiled laurenO, she had one design published. It was such a great piece I knew I wanted to share it with all you readers.

Fast forward about 2.5 years, and she now has more, and even more fantastic, patterns posted.

As both a knitter and crocheter, laurenO displays great design talent in each craft.

I chose to include a photo of her
Brocade Socks for several reasons. First off, they're beautiful! But also, something about that colourwork is getting me in the seasonal mood. Possible suggestion for a knit gift to a much beloved recipient?

Her first pattern was self published, as is the pretty Macro Mitts. A pair of knit mitts in great graphic colourwork, these are a wonderful, traditional-looking project that can suit a very wide range of people: men, women, children, young, old, and all!

She's also been published and featured in a variety of other arenas, including this Knit Picks design, Frank. Frank is a pair of mitts with yet another example of great colourwork. This time, it's architecturally inspired and wonderfully geometrical.

Crochet Today has also published her work: the Stuffable Stockings (which are defo time appropriate!) would make a fantastic wee gifty for many. I think I just might make one for my (as yet un-stockinged) lovebird Elbie.1

Keep a look out for laurenO designs - they're always bound to impress.
1 It's just occurred to me: ya'll haven't met my young, and rather naughty, lovebird Elbie. Hmm... that's for another post!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesday Musings: Or, What To Do With This Nook?

As you may (or may not) know, I've recently moved house.
Specifically, from an apartment building to a real, actual, detached house.

This is a fantastic house with wonderful family history. I love this house.
I had some great help getting this place to look more "me", and so have had house-nesting and room decorating on my mind for the past few months.

After all was said and done on the September 30th move, I somehow fit all my copious amounts of crap into this (really rather small) abode. (yes, that's right. The abode is small. This has nothing to do with the aforementioned crap of copious amounts).

Many of the little details have been tended to; I've discovered a bit of a routine, things have their places, nooks have their nooklets.

But, along with all that framed art and photo hanging that I have to do, there's also the question of this interesting kitchen feature.


My mother tells me this once was a nook for an ironing board (that's right - in the kitchen).
At the moment I have my calendar hanging in this space, but that sort of seems to be a wasted opportunity.

I've had spice rack suggested as a possible use for the once-ironing-board-bed, which would be very cute.
But I thought I'd poll ya'll and see: What would you do with this space?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Indie Designer Day

PhotobucketDesigner: Leah Coccari-Swift
Blog: ruby submarine
Etsy Shop: RubySubmarine
Rav ID: RubySubmarine
Some Great Designs: RubySubmarine's Rav Designer Page

It seems even earlier this year that the stores have become holiday-shopping-busy: decorations are up, and I've even heard the music of the season being played/blasted from various and sundry shops in the mall.

I can't say it's gotten me in a bad mood at all, I really like this time of year! It's certainly got me primed for gift-planning, and this week's designer has a great selection of cool knits for those cool people on your list.

The pictured Kitefish Shawl is a fantastic stand out piece. I love her colour combinations. A great way to utilize some lovely hand-dyed yarn, create an interesting shape, and have a finished product that you certainly won't want to give away!

Another cute suggestion for a quick gift-knit is her whimsical Realistic Octopus. This little crocheted masterpiece in yarn really does look like it might come to life and start scuttling across the floor! (I'm a little creeped out by octopi, and it's a testament to the realism of this wee creation that it puts me on edge. Just a bit.)

I'm also a fan of her pretty Scallop Lace Hat. I really dig the shape the lace gives to the hat, and the slouch it's got as well. I'd really, really have to like someone mucho to knit this and actually gift it away!

In one of the most uniquely fashionable, interesting and wearable pieces I've seen, the Medusa Look Scarf is an eye-catching knit. Please click on the link and you'll see. This is the sort of versatile piece that could dress up a plain outfit; a fantastic accessory that would showcase shape, drape, and the beauty of your yarn.

I'm really keen on RubySubmarine's aesthetic in designs. Really looking forward to any other patterns she publishes!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

One Last Bit o'Halloween: The Sweet Stuff

I've just located some last little pics from Halloween.

For the party, I wanted to give people a special bit of something sweet in their goody bag.
Of course, I looked to Martha for some great ideas.

These are some yummy and cool looking skull cookies, seen here.
I switched up the recipe, and just made a basic sugar cookie with some cocoa thrown in for colour.

Incidentally, you never realize just how stick marshmallows are until you try to cut them up with scissors. Nightmare! After just 2 cuts, they gum up the blades and you've got to either slog though the mess, or spend the time cleaning up and wiping dry the scissors between each couple of cookies!

So worth it, though. They looked cool and were defo yummy.

Now, on to the next holiday!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Halloween: Oh How I Love Thee. Party Time!

I thought perhaps before it gets too late, I should post about my Halloween party!

Here's me costume. It turned out mostly alright. I was quite happy with the belt, but still didn't get the hang of sewn in sleeves (thanks to my blogless friend Krista for taking these pics!)


Some of the mucho sugar that populated the party.
After that evening I was like a desperate soul, begging people to take some food! So much food. Food that lasted for days and days!
Note: next year, invite more people. Threaten them if they don't take lots of munchies away with them.


Which pumpkin would you vote for? I had a few prizes and draws: best carved pumpkin was one of them.
FYI, the winning pumpkin was the one at the bottom right. It was actually tied with the pumpkin on the upper right.
I carved the one that looks like windows, sitting on the ground there. It actually wasn't finished. It was supposed to have a carved vulture sitting inside it, à la Martha here.

Just flame, no heat: this was a part of the backyard. The plan had been to have my patio heater there all set up and good to warm all the becostumed partygoers as they enjoyed the clear October evening. Didn't work out quite like that. The heater looked awfully cool, but didn't really heat so well.

So very much looking forward to next year. What should I be? Hmmm.....

Friday, November 11, 2011

Indie Designer Day

PhotobucketDesigner: fallmasche
Rav ID: fallmasche
Some Great Designs: fallmache's Rav Designer Page

Simple shapes; subtle colours.

This week's designer has a graceful, understated style that translates beautifully into a variety of knits.

Versio (pictured) is a comfy-lovely seamless knit. There's something very fashionable yet casual about this piece. It's the whole aesthetic, methinks: just the right amount of ease, the wide stripes, the colour choices.

Rotation also uses stripes to great effect, this time both wide and narrow. The combination of these two stripe sizes and negative ease gives this comfy-lovely pullover a very attractive look and inviting feel (and bonus: it's a free pattern!)

It's really great to me when designers put in those extra details that show they're really thinking about their pieces. The Strandlaeufer (sandpiper) cowl was fallmache's first pattern, but she demonstrates her thoughtfulness with this colour suggestion:
"For the darkest color...maybe choose the color of your (or the one who will wear the cowl) eyes."

And finally I'll point you to April in Berlin. This elegantly simple tunic top is the sort of thing that makes my heart go thump. Now, if only I could gather together more time in the day to knit one for me!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Adventures in Apple Butter

My dad has a farm out in the boonies. Beautiful, beautiful boonies. (funfact: it's the location for the photos for the September YearLong YarnSong).

This farm has a great little orchard, from which he's kindly collected some apples and pears for me this year.

Once again, I'm on a mission to make my house smell amazing, and make some apple butter!

Since these are organically raised apples (read: not sprayed, and basically left to fend for themselves...) many of them were, let's say, less-than-photogenic. Under the surface peel, though, lay delicious, delicious apple meat :)

My dad tends to do things thoroughly, and when I asked for "some apples", he brought be about 4 barrels full.
So merrily I went on, peeling and slicing away.

I love the hours of cooking involved with making apple butter. That might sound a bit off, but really, I like tending to the simmer pot of sweetness, watching it thicken and darken, always amazed at how much it reduces, and pleasantly soothed by the wonderful scent in the house.


This was, of course, only a fraction of the many, many apples I had waiting to be cooked. Let me tell you, I have apple butter to last a life time now.

Anyone want some?


Friday, November 04, 2011

Indie Designer Day

PhotobucketDesigner: MMario
Website Group: MMario KKnits
Rav ID: MMario
Some Great Designs: MMario's Rav Designer Page

I gasped and gasped again when I came upon MMario's wonderful designs.

Unbelievably, there are quite a number of beautiful pieces that are free!

First I'll point out the Uhura shawl (pictured). This intricate triangle shawl looks like the lace is dancing, the alignment of yarn overs and solid areas make for a vibrating and eye-catching knit.

Out of Cheese is another free shawl; a different shape this time, the large hexagon with its central detail and intricate wide edging looks fantastic draped over one's shoulders.

A cape: St. Jacques demonstrates MMario's great skill in lace design. I'm really quite amazed at the range of shapes he's able to skillfully create. He has over 80 designs. It's unreal.

And finally, a bit of whimsy, the Lobster Quadrille shawl. How cool is that? A lobster in lace!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

October's Haunting Air: New YearLong YarnSong

YLYS October Cover - on rav
What with one thing and another, I've finally been able to publish October's edition of YearLong YarnSong.

This issue contains three patterns.


Sizes XS - XXXL
A long sleeved, historically inspired gothic fancy, this sweater has unique details such as a peplum, buttoned lace cuffs, ruffled neckline and three-button keyhole closure at the back of the neck.

Peat, Ghosts and Hurricane Lanterns

Sizes S - XL (note: this covers the CYC standards sizng from XS up to XXXL)
This knit (which has made it's way into my regular rotation!) is a pretty and practical piece to add to your wardrobe. A shrug with style, this garment includes a deep hood with gathers along the upper edges, a picot hem, short sleeves and a front closure clasp.
Peat, Ghosts and Hurricane Lanterns - on rav

Cemetery Whispers

Sizes S - XL (note: this covers the CYC standards sizng from XS up to XXXL)
A quick knit with bulky yarn, this shrug has a large ruffled collar and sleeves.
Cemetery Whispers - on rav