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January 29, 2009


Guess who got the day off of work yesterday? I love living in a town with two snow plows*.

First off, thanks for all the opera glove love! I personally hope that opera gloves stick around for a while. I love me a little drama in the accessory department. Now I just need to get around to making a pair for myself...

Time for an update on the Lily of the Valley** cardigan knitting, I think. I'm officially done with the back and have cast on for the fronts. You all know the number one rule of cardi knitting, right? Do both fronts at the same time!

Back? Check!

I realize that it's been a really long time since I've knitted great swathes of stockinette. It's nice! And it goes ridiculously fast even on the size two needles. V. theraputic and soothing. So soothing in fact, that I cast on for another pair of Plain Old Socks just to get some portable stockinette into the rotation. Never underestimate the amount of brainless knitting you can get done when you sneak in a minute here and there.

alien landscape

Just to head any questions off at the pass, I'm knitting this with some thrifted Pingouin Corrida 3 that has been loitering in the stash for a bit. I'm pretty sure the yarn is discontinued, but it seems to be a fantastic sub for the the Rowan Fine Milk Cotton the pattern calls for...very light and sturdy.

Go do yourself a favor and veg out with a little stockinette!

*Ok, so we may have more than two, but you wouldn't know it judging from the speed at which they clear the streets around here.

**I looked up the name. See how I slipped it in so casually?

January 21, 2009

Snow Maiden Gloves

Hello there lovelies! I've been dying to introduce you to the last of my Summer design work. Meet the Snow Maiden Gloves (aka #23 Opera Gloves...gotta love those names)! This one is in the new Vogue Knitting Winter 2008/2009.

cheer up sweetie; I'll let you take them off in a minute. (photo courtesy of SoHo Publishing)

The Skinny:

My first pair of proper gloves! If you don't think you have any need for opera-length gloves, just take a peek in the closet and think about how nicely they'd go with that 3/4 sleeve coat. See? Everybody needs a pair! Seriously, they're not as difficult to knit as you might think.

I designed these to be knit from fingertip to elbow because it's so much more fun to try them on as you go. It's the glove equivalent of the toe-up sock...you get the finger-knitting out of the way at the beginning and the rest is just twisted stitchy goodness! If you run out of steam (or yarn) you can always make them a tad shorter.

The inspiration came from flipping through the Barbara Walker treasuries and seeing the pattern for Exploded Ribbing, a great twisted-stitch cable that reminds me of Russian onion domes. And to take the Russian thing a little further...since these are opera gloves...the name "Snow Maiden" seemed appropriate.

A Note on Sizing: The pattern lists the hand circumference as 7.25," which is true, but they are intended to be worn with a little negative ease. The gloves were designed for someone with a hand circumference of 7.5." Finger-length, of course, can be easily modified.

So this design wraps up the 2008-09 mitten/glove designing season for me! I hope you like them!

{Ravelink here}

January 15, 2009


I interrupt this FO parade to show off my new crush:


From the new Rowan 45. I don't remember the name of the design.

January 12, 2009

Finished: The Bethie Scarf

by now you should recognize my mum, yes?

The Specs:
Pattern: An Elliphantom original
Yarn: about 70g of hand-dyed, recycled cashmere {details here}
Needles: Size 7
Start to finish: Sometime in November - sometime in December, 2008 (I know...my memory for detail is breathtaking, right?)
For: My favorite matriarch, for Christmas

This autumn Mum hinted that she might need a scarf (not too long) for Christmas and mentioned the word "stripes." I don't really think of my mum as a stripe wearer...she's more of subtle elegance-y sort of person. So I thought I'd compromise and do a more refined version of the standard-issue striped scarf.

The pattern itself is a four row slip-stitch pattern. Originally I intended the front to be the back (it's less stripey and more garter-nubby), but everybody else in the universe likes the back side best. And who am I to argue with the rest of the universe?

front or back? you be the judge

The working name for this scarf was the "mummy scarf" but since, out of context, it can evoke images of dingy old strips of linen...I rechristened it "Bethie" after my mum. Nobody has called her that since she was little, but I think it's cute (and truth be told, if I weren't her daughter I would totally try to get away with calling her that).

choosy moms choose cashmere

Mum gave me a little review of the scarf last night when I spoke with her on the phone. She says it looks great with her extensive collection of white and off-white turtleneck sweaters, and that it keeps the chill off nicely while walking in the Pacific Northwest mists. So I think we can safely say...

Final Verdict: We have a winner. Woo with a side of hoo!

January 9, 2009

Finished: Elliot's Snowy Tomten

Gah! January is getting away from me! It's time to get this crazy parade of FOs started.

I'm dreaming of a white Tomten

The Specs:
Pattern: Tomten, by Elizabeth Zimmermann {ravelink}
Yarn: Jo-Ann Sensations Dolcetto (54% wool, 24% nylon, 22% cotton)
Needles: Size 9
Start to finish: February 25 - December 24, 2008
For: My nephew, Elliot (who I like to pretend is named after me)

Hello, I am impossibly blonde


There isn't anything particularly remarkable about this Tomten except that I, a convicted color-abuser, chose to forgo all garish-striping opportunities and knit a plain white sweater. All I can say is that I found the buttons first and it just seemed like the thing to do. Plus Rae is the sort of nutty mom who dresses her toddler in white, so I never questioned the decision for a minute.

As with all EZ patterns, this one was light on the specifics, so I just cast on 88 stitches and hoped for the best. In retrospect I could have made the body a bit wider, but I did run out of yarn so it all worked out.

On the bright side, this is a fabulous pattern to run out of yarn on! I realized in the middle of sleeve #1 that the yarn well was going to dry up so I assessed what I had left (button bands, and sleeve #2), cut corners (scrapped the button bands for a simpler applied I-cord) and then knit both sleeves until the yarn ran out. I suppose that If things had been exceptionally dire I could have ripped out the hood, but it didn't come to that.

bonus sulky toddler shot! (because sulky toddlers are hilarious)

Final Verdict:
We have a winner! Hopefully it'll fit him for more than two weeks...he's growing like a weed!

January 4, 2009

In 2009 I resolve...

...to blog all my FOs before January is out.