Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I wish I was taking some time off to write a book, or because I had just written a book, or because I was going on a cruise, or camping in the mountains, or because I was moving across the country to set up a new life, but sadly, there's nothing close to that exciting on my horizon.

I need to take some time to take care of some family issues and also to deal with some stressful time at work. A lot has been happening in my life recently (though none of it interesting, amusing, or knitting related enough to blog about), and blogging (or at least thinking about and planning for blogging) has become a chore like so much of the rest of my life. I need to get some work done and recharge my batteries a bit.

I think knitting will play a big part in me getting back on track, so I hope to be back in a week or two with some knitting progress and joy to share. In the meantime, enjoy the summer! The cool fall will be here before we know it.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Tomorrow (though technically Saturday) marks the midnight release of the 7th and supposed final book in the Harry Potter series, and I for one will be glad when it's over. Not only because of the extra work and grumpy customers I've come across in the past few days, but because I'd love to return to a world where everyone is interested in, and reading, different books. Here's a great article written by someone much more articulate than me.

I will say, though, that I've never seen a series of books or movies do so much for knitting. Both incarnations treat knitting as an integral part of life that represents domesticity and love, and while the knitted objects themselves weren't always treasured, they were recognized for what they meant, and I think that's really great. I hope everyone can appreciate the knitters in their lives, maybe not for the finished products, but for what all those yarn loops mean: great affection.

And if you need some Harry Potter inspired affection, there's no better place than this book.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


As they say, you can never have too many bags. I've always loved containers of any kind - boxes, baskets, pockets, jars, and bags. Of course, I've never been very good at fashion or wearing the latest style, but in a bit of research I've done, there aren't that many great knitted bags out there. I think we have the nature of the fabric against us - crochet can produce a much less stretchy fabric great for bags - but still. Knitting is so amazing and beautiful that it must be able to create some great bags.

I'm trying to whip up a little clutch pattern, something I'd definitely carry around and something I think is pretty cute and fun. It's in the picture there, the little purple thing.

I'm also working on one of the handbag patterns from Amy Karol's new book Bend-the-Rules Sewing, and I'm loving how it's turning out. I'm using some linen and batik leftovers, so it's also great for the budget.

Pretty soon I'll be off and running with some cool new accessories. What are your favorite bag patterns? I'm always up for knitting a few more.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I Told You it Was Coming

A little friend visited today:

It's amazing how much happier and lighter you can feel after seeing a butterfly. Maybe that's a little girly, but I was in a bad mood when I saw this guy and then instantly I felt better, like there really is beauty in the world.

Speaking of beauty, I have something to show you:

Let me introduce the Honeymoon Cami, something that had layed in my works in progress basket for almost a year before I got off my butt and finished it. I'm so glad I did. The pattern description warns that you will bare a lot of skin wearing this, but I think I made the straps on mine a little too long, making it show way too much off. Of course, I could have ripped back and fixed the strap length, but I like how long it is and how it looks over another tank.

Pattern: Honeymoon Cami, from the Spring 2004 issue of Knitty.

Yarn: KnitPicks' Main Line, in Dusty Purple. I believe I used 8 skeins to make the 36" chest size.

Needles: Denise interchangables, US size 8.

Modifications: Virtually none. I lengthened the body (between the hip decreases and bust increases) some, but I wish I had done more. I also wish I had used short rows in the bust area because I think it would have fit me better, but overall, I'm very happy with how this turned out.

Here's a detail shot of the eyelet rib at the bottom of the cami. I love this little detail to the simple design. I would definitely recommend this pattern, especially since it can be such a quick summer knit. The Main Line yarn was also great, and better than I expected. It still gave me that little cotton ache in my hands if I worked on this for too long in one sitting, but the finished fabric is nice and soft. It is pilling slightly, but so far not too much and I've been able to pick it off easily.

I think I might try this again, or at least a modification of it to give myself some practice with short row busts, but I've really enjoyed wearing this so far. Plus, it makes me feel young, as I've been noticing all the tweens and super skinny teenagers are layering their tanks now. Huh, I'm actually on time with a trend this time. Go figure.

P.S. It was really sunny when my wonderful sister took these pictures of me, but I was still shocked to see how white I came out. Still, my only colors seem to be white and red, so I'll try to be thankful that I don't look like a lobster.

Monday, July 9, 2007

An Exploration

Goodness, this weekend was hot. So hot it was all I could do to hide in the air conditioning at work, swim, and convince myself that knitting with mostly cotton yarn isn't that hot.

The Rusted Root is coming along nicely. I had to do a few adjustments so it could fit over my ample bosom, and then miscalculated and made too many increases, leading to a bit of frogging. I think I'm back on track now, helped along by the continuing discussion on Knitting Daily (if you haven't already signed up for the newsletter, you should because it's really great and the free pattern section is awesome). Sandi is knitting Wendy Bernard's cute little tee Tomato (featured in No Sheep for You, as well as a free pattern for those who sign up with the site), and as a curvy gal, she's making some modifications to fit her better. With her help, I'm trying to do some bust darts in addition to the written waist shaping for the Rusted Root. I'm not really a plus size girl, but I definitely have a pair of plus size girls, as in, the girls. You know what I mean. So we'll see how that goes. I sort of guess on where to put the darts based on Sandi's pictures, but the beauty of top down patterns like Rusted Root is that you can try them on to make sure they're perfect. And let me tell you, I love that. How else would I know that the top didn't fit me as written? It sure saves a lot of heartache and re-knitting later on.

They say it's going to rain tomorrow and then should cool off. Let's see if I can work out those darts during the storm. Ah... perfect knitting weather. There's isn't anything much better than a summer thunderstorm.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Fourth!

In the midst of summer busy-ness, the 4th stands almost as a beacon of sanity, or at least it does for me, mostly because it's so predictable. This year I worked in the morning (with some not-so-happy customers, let me add: if you're going to insist on shopping on a major holiday for something that isn't neccessary to have, at least be nice to the people stuck waiting on you), but then went to a barbeque at Guy's house, another one at my house, and then to see some fireworks. Here I am sitting by the river the fireworks were near, in broad daylight because we wanted a good viewing spot, and passing the time happily with the Rusted Root.

Though, looking again, my photographer missed the knitting almost entirely in that shot. Ah well. It's not nearly as bit as I'd hoped. I realized soon after my last post that I had completely messed up the number of stitches I had allotted for the lace panel. I've always found it a little confusing to adjust for sizing in a pattern (doing the medium size, with numbers in parentheses, for example, rather than the first number I see), and that's probably where I went wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with row 5 as written: it's my brain that hasn't adjusted to working a lace pattern without a chart. I now have the correct number of stitches and I think the lace is going better. We'll see more when there's a more substantial amount of fabric.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions about stitch markers. Angelika reminded me of the yarn loop method (just a bit of yarn tied into a circle), which I've used in the past. I think I'll try that or the rubber circles soon.

Anyway, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, full of the things and people you love. I know mine was, and made especially nice with a nice fireworks display:

And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.