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July 31, 2009

New Design: Bird on a Wire Hat

It's that time of year again...it's hot as blazes out, but the preview for Vogue Knitting 2009 is up! I've got a pattern in this issue. It's a bit of a departure for me: a) you don't wear it on your hands, and b) it's double knit (and therefore reversible)!

BOW_blue.jpg
the outards. also, what is up with the model's arm?*

The design
I had a lot of fun with the colorwork on this one...the little buildings and the "wire" ring the entire hat and are punctuated with a little bird at the front. If you're a guy, or if birds are just a little cutesy for you, I think it would also look great birdless and knit in slightly more urban colors. Here's a little thumbnail showing just the buildings:

BOW_tiny_flat.jpg

Double knit eh?
I know that double knit isn't one of those techniques that everyone has used, but it's fantastic for colorwork! I taught myself how to double knit way back when I was a new knitter and I couldn't figure out either intarsia or stranded knitting. I also wanted to knit a scarf with an octopus on it...not exactly a beginner colorwork project...but double-knit saved the day!

Double knit is amazing for intricate designs in the middle of blank spaces...no floats! No ten-million bobbins! Plus, extra-snuggly-double-layer warmth! Have I made it sound appealing yet?

BOW_yellow.jpg
the innards*

I should also point out that only the colorwork section is double knit. Once you get past the bird, you knit the lining separately from the outside of the hat. Easy, peasy!

Go forth and start your Fall knitting!

ETA: Ravelink!


*all photos courtesy of SoHo Publishing

July 29, 2009

Homework

One week until I leave for the Sock Summit! I'm getting my class supplies together, which sounds simple enough, but it's actually a process fraught with uncertainties.

I find myself asking weighty questions such as "what two colors of smooth worsted wool would really impress Barbara Walker?" [who knows? all her stitch dictionaries are in black and white...] and "Does Meg Swansen approve of semi-solids?" [probably not, since Schoolhouse Press doesn't carry any...] Also, "Bohus knitting: traditional colors, or something quirky and original?" [I can't even begin to guess]. It's enough to make my head explode.

One thing I know for sure: I'll thank Nancy Bush for requiring us to buy a class pack instead of bringing our own yarn. Easy, peasy.

WASS.jpg
Yarn chosen specifically to convey the fact that I am a serious yet playful knitter who enjoys windy days at the beach and chasing fireflies.

Thankfully, only one of my classes requires actual homework, and small, fun homework at that. That there is the beginning of my wee-bitty child-sized arch-shaped stocking for Meg Swansen's class. We have to work it down to the heel flap so we can get straight to the juicy arch-shaped bits in class.

Now if I can get over the fact that I'm sacrificing my beautiful discontinued Fleece Artist 100% Washable Merino (which MS will probably not approve of) for a pair of small socks that won't fit anybody I know, I can move on and worry about the fact that I do not have time to finish my Snickets before the Sock Hop.

July 26, 2009

Now with 100% more progress bar!

Hey lookie! Thunky gave me progress bars! So now you all know a) how many UFOs I've got cluttering up the joint, and b) how many finished projects I haven't blogged about yet! :)

For the few non-knitters who read the blog, you have to have Ravelry login before you can click through to see the individual project links. But if you don't knit, you probably don't care about that anyway, right?

And speaking of FOs...

toast.jpg
Homemade bread with wildflower honey. Mmmm...

July 17, 2009

Mid-July Update

Summer is in full swing here at Chez Elliphantom. The morning glories are large and in charge and my summertime pets, the praying mantises, are hanging around and making me happy. There's a new laptop in residence, which pleases me no end (I started this post from the exotic location also known as "outside"). Not much earth-shattering on the knitting front...just lots of bite-sized projects for my short attention span.

ddscarf.jpg
hallo! I'm scarftastic!

You've probably already forgotten about this scarf (last seen in April), but I took somebody's advice and checked out the Daisy stitch. It looked pretty awesome on the right side...just the thing to break up the color patterns in the hand-dyed sock yarn...but I wasn't particularly smitten with the wrong side. Sortof unremarkably reverse-stockinetty. So I changed the stitch a bit and got something that pleases me more. It still looks about the same from the front. I didn't get a picture of the back. Oopsie!


rdfgs.jpg
I glove you

In other knitting news, I pulled my Rainy Day Fingerless Gloves out the other day and knocked out most of the second glove. Why don't I do more large-gauge colorwork? It knits up so quickly! I should do something to remedy that.

The most exciting news in these parts is that, in few weeks, I'm packing my suitcase and heading off to the Sock Summit in Portland! I'm registered for classes with Nancy Bush, Chrissy Gardiner, Meg Swansen, and Barbara Walker, and a lecture with Priscilla Gibson-Roberts. I have to pinch myself every time I look at that list!


A couple other project photos from earlier in the summer that never made it to the blog:

Rae_Sock_No2.jpg
Rae's plain old socks. Now finished, but not photographed.

Snicket_1.jpg
The Snickets. Oh the loveliness...

July 8, 2009

Way more than you ever wanted to know

So a certain person (who will remain Tanis) has noticed that it's been a while and has been pestering me to update. Since I'm just coming off a week-long LEGO jag, in which there was very little knitting, I did what any sane blogger would do and offered her a guest-blogging position.

Now it may be the journalist in her (do you have journalist in you, T?) or perhaps because her mother dropped her on her head when she was a baby, Tanis thought it would be fun to play 20 questions. And while Tanis is smart as paint, and talented to boot, she overlooked the fact that I'm not nearly as interesting as knitting. So proceed at your own peril. If you make it to the end, you get a cookie.

Tanis: ok, i have my 20 questions
Elli: Wait! I have to get a snack first!
Tanis: surprise surprise. i'll go wash my apple
Elli: Ok, I have foodstuffs
Tanis: as do i
Elli: Don't get all foul-mouthed on me, or I'll have to bleep you
Tanis: s**t, really?

Tanis: ok, shall we? we'll start off easy.
Elli: Fire away!

Tanis: cats or dogs?
Elli: Definitely dogs. Cats make my nose itch. They also seem way too interested in yarn. I don't want the competition.
Tanis: so i should return that cat i'm fedexing you? i poked holes in the box and everything
Elli: I suppose I could just leave it out on the porch and feed it kitty kibble through the air holes

Tanis: Most beautiful place you've ever been (and I hope you brought your knitting with you!)?
Elli: Ooooh...lemme think. What kind of pretty are we talking?
Tanis: Interpret as you see fit
Elli: Ok, I haven't been many places outside of North America, so I'm going to have to be incredibly tame and say California. I love the green rolly hills and they have fabulously diverse geology and lots of huge pretty trees. Plus there is water. I love water.

Tanis: favorite snack?
Elli: Are all food groups available?
Tanis: yes. unless you eat dirt or trash. i don't want to know about that.
Elli: CHOCOLATE MILK

Tanis: best place you've knit?
Elli: Everywhere, all over London last year.
Tanis: cheater. narrow it down
Elli: I felt particularly smug while knitting in a crypt.
Tanis: as in "ha, ha, you're dead but i'm here knitting?"
Elli: pretty much

Tanis: Favorite book/movie (yes, I'm cheating by asking 2 questions in one)?
Elli: I'll cheat by giving multiple answers
Tanis: fair enough
Elli: Book: Anything by John Irving or Stephen Fry. Don't make me pick
Tanis: cheater again
Elli: Movie: Truly, Madly, Deeply; Christmas movie: Mixed Nuts (there is knitting!); Old movie: Roman Holiday

Tanis: and a follow up: what are you reading right now?
Elli: I'm reading "Tears of the Giraffe," "All Creatures Great and Small" and listening to "When you are Engulfed in Flames"

Tanis: Desert, forest, ocean or city and why?
Elli: Ocean! Because I love everything about water. Except, perhaps, drowning. Though I hear that it's not so bad as ways to die go.
Tanis: i've heard it's the 2nd worst. But then again, how do you rate that sort of thing? Do you even love the creepy fish that live in the deepest darkest part and have electricity running through them?
Elli: YES! I have a creepy fish print in my living room.

Tanis: Email or hand written letter?
Elli: Definitely E-mail. I have the worst penmanship known to man. Also, I constantly edit myself, which is hard to do on paper. Oh, and I can't spell.

Tanis: Pullover or cardigan?
Elli: Cardigan! For some reason, it's ok to wear the same cardigan day after day but pullovers can only be worn once every couple of weeks. It's a great mystery of the universe.
Tanis: solve that one and we're all set

Tanis: Lucky number and why?
Elli: Not really a luck-oriented person, but 17 has always been my favorite. Because I was born on the 17th. Plus it has a pleasing look. Nice and angular.

Tanis: Day or night and why?
Elli: Night! I feel very creative when I'm supposed to be in bed.

Tanis: Last concert you attended?
Elli: Ack...it's been a while. Lemme think. Does the opera count?
Tanis: indeed
Elli: lemme look up which one it was. brb.
Tanis: memory isn't what it used to be, eh old bean?
Elli: I think it might have been Massenet's "Cendrillon" last February. I don't get out much, it seems. I did just buy my first tickets EVER to a pop concert this week though
Tanis: which one?
Elli: Regina Spektor...in Ann Arbor in September
Tanis: i know you harbor a deep love of all things backstreet boys
Elli: uh huh

Tanis: Subway, car, bus, walking or teleportation and why?
Elli: I like subways. They make me feel urban and sophisticated. Also, they're windy! I love wind. That said I hardly ever use subways, so I probably over-romanticize them.
Tanis: yes you do. a lot.

Tanis: What are you afraid of? (that sounds like a threat!)
Elli: I harbor a great fear of nuts, and by extension, anaphylaxis.
Tanis: so the cashews i stashed in the box with the kitty were a bad idea?
Elli: I also fear cutting my eyeballs.
Tanis: yikes. i can't imagine that being high up on the "to do" list for many people?
Elli: on a meat slicer or on a nail
Tanis: that's specific
Elli: I can't explain it.
Tanis: no need. Cut eyeballs are icky. enough said.

Hidden talents?
Elli: Um, I can touch my nose with my tongue?
Tanis: that's more like genetics, no?
Elli: Also, I can ALWAYS GET THAT JAR OPEN
Tanis: heh
Elli: my hands are quite magnificent
Tanis: if you do say so yourself
Elli: I am nothing, if not modest. Oh, and I'm always right. Does that count as a talent?
Tanis: always eh? I'm sure Thunk can back that one up.

Tanis: Favorite saying?
Elli: I can't say I've got a favorite saying. Should I make one up?
Tanis: naturally.
Elli: Oh wait...I remember..."the Merganser duck has very little commercial value, due to the distinctly fishy flavor of its meat"
Tanis: why do i feel like you just Google "favorite saying" and that's what popped up first?
Elli: Actually, I read that in the encyclopedia when I was a wee small thing. That fact has never abandoned me in a crisis.
Tanis: while avoiding cats and eating dirt?
Elli: Well, that was before the cats, but after the dirt.
Tanis: silly me. ok, moving on...

Tanis: what's your worst habit?
Elli: Thunk says that it's either picking at my thumbs, OCD cleaning, or shoe shopping
Tanis: those are bad habits?
Elli: I know, right?
Tanis: sounds to me you just like clean thumbs/house/feet?
Elli: truly

Optimist or pessimist?
Elli: Optimist! Except when I'm pessimistic.
Tanis: except for that
Elli: I'd like to think I'm realistically optimistic.

Tanis: Would you rather be stuck in a crowded room or be by yourself?
Elli: Definitely by myself. I like people but they exhaust me.

Tanis: If you were told you had one day left to live, how would you spend it?
Elli: alone, in a room, by myself.
Well, honestly I'd probably just get all weepy and maudlin and call everyone I've ever known, and spend the whole day saying "this is the last time I'll ever ___" and bursting into tears.
Tanis: remind me to not come over that day. Or at least bring you some tissues and pretty yarn
Elli: I'll just call you

Where do you want to travel to the most that you haven't been?
Elli: Oh wait! I remembered where the prettiest place I've ever been is!
Tanis: no turning back now!
Elli: Carlsbad Caverns, in New Mexico!
Tanis: just kidding
Elli: YOU CAN'T STOP MEEEEEEE!
Tanis: apparently!
Elli: ok, place I want to go?
Tanis: focus Stu, focus. yes.

Elli: I really want to go to Savannah right now.
Tanis: like the desert or the city?
Elli: I don't know if it's the ULTIMATE vacation, but I'd like to go. City.
Also, any island would be good. Scotland would be fun. I'm not horribly adventurous, actually. mostly I stay at home
in a room
by myself
Tanis: and knit
Elli: that's implied

Tanis: ok, last questions, #21! ready?
Elli: yes
Tanis: If you and I were in a knitting battle to the death, who would win and why?
Elli: You would win, because I would eventually have to sleep.
Tanis: ha!
Elli: Also, you have wrists that never get tired
Tanis: best answer ever. how do you know i'm not animatronic? It would make a lot of sense
Elli: are you like the plug-in grandma? will you serve me hot chocolate out of your finger?
Tanis: creepy
ok and we're done! exhausted?
Elli: yes! Also, still hungry.

If you're still reading, mad cookies for you!