Friday, November 23, 2007

Father, Kim and the Holy Post

There are just some situations that defy logic. Sometimes you get what you really want in spite of your best efforts to sabotage yourself. Such is my quest for a recent Kim Hargreaves project.

Last September 12, I mentioned in a post that I admired the design Evie from Kim's Fall collection called "Thrown Together". I loved the styling, the colour and most of all - the fact it bore the same name as my mom who passed away several years ago. It's also the name of my little 3 year old niece (insert gratuitous picture of cute child). I wrote "Don't you think the Universe want me to have this sweater?"
After humming and hawing for a few days - I decided to order it but since I *always* make things in the same colour they're shown in, I tried to think of different shades...just to be different. None - other than the Loganberry shade which most closely represented the colour shown on the model - appealed to me. In the end, I opted for a dove grey called Weather. The colour is great and very popular this season but I did kind of kick myself for not getting the deep purple.

What I didn't know was that my father (who reads my blog) had read the post and decided to surprise me by ordering the kit. He stalked knitting guilds and stores in his area in an attempt to locate Kim Hargreaves' designs. He didn't realize she sells via the Internet only. He got in touch with my knitting buddy Dr. Steph who not only showed him how to find the Kim Hargreaves website but also advised him on size and colour. He called Kim in England and says he had a delightful chat with her. He ordered the kit for me (without knowing that I'd already bought it). A week later while dad was visiting the kit arrived..........

in all of its deep purple glory. Yessssssss! It's the colour I really wanted all along.

So, since the universe definitely wants me to have this project - there's only one thing for a girl to do.

Cast on baby.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Stash Flow
I attended a trendy agency party a few years ago where I met a fellow knitter. I had car-pooled in with a male colleague who was chatting in another part of the room with an executive from another company. When she mentioned that she was a knitter my co-worker said "I should introduce you to Michelle. She knits". Of course, we knitters hear that all the time and we know all knitters are not cut from the same cloth and my colleague confessed in the car later on that she had asked a few qualifying questions of him before crossing the room to meet me as another knitter. He'd been able to field them fairly well (because I blather on about knitting whenever possible) but admitted to me that he'd been stumped by what appeared to be the most important question of all to her. She'd asked him if I "had a stash". He said "Michelle - what the hell is a stash?"

A stash to a knitter is what a basement full of chick-peas is to someone preparing for Armageddon. It gives us options should our oxygen (yarn) supply be cut off. My stash constantly ebbs and flows with my knitting fantasy life. Since the last week has been filled with article deadlines and family activities - not much real knitting has been accomplished so I thought I'd share a few projects that have caught my eye and as a bonus - are stash friendly.

From the new Kim Hargreaves book Heart Felt - Armory. It's made from RYC Bamboo soft of which I had almost enough in my stash. My supply is a pale lilac colour and fortunately Julie had the few extras in the same dye lot to complete the picture. BTW - the book is amazing and well worth the price. Only available on Kim Hargreaves' website.

I love the way the back dips down - this will be the perfect Feb. project.

I'm pleased to report that I have one skein of Kid Classic and one of the Kid Silk Haze (violet) to make this little hat also from Kim Hargreaves. It's crochet but on a 6mm hook should be a fast project. The brim is beaded.

An old supply of Adrienne Vittadini Mimi seems to be around the right gauge to make this pretty jacket. I applaud Ms. Hargreaves' ability to make chunky yarn look delicate somehow. My colour is called chambray.

I was initially not thrilled with the Winter IK. It felt a bit too "missy" for my tastes. I do however understand Eunny Jang's argument that classic designs are great for times when we don't get to projects as quickly as we think we will. At least these stand the test of time. My picks from this issue include:

Henley for which I have some Peacock coloured Blue Sky Alpaca Silk. This yarn has lived in about 4 designs already in my dreams so it's been a good investment even still skeined up.

I also really like this Louisa Harding tunic. The cable sweeping from shoulder across the body is quiet unique yet I think this would be very wearable. It would be great with a turtleneck, long skirt and boots. I have some Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran that just might work.

Last but not least - the Gathered Pullover made from Browns Sheep Top of the Lamb. I love how this is layered and the intricate yet simple detail in the middle. This one doesn't have a stash-mate that jumps out at me. I'll have to think about that....and peruse the shade cards at Browns Sheep.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Little Reminders

I have a confession to make. I don't feel guilty about having lots of WIPs and UFOs. New knitters and non knitters often ask how many projects I work on at a time or how long it will take me to finish something but I dodge the question. I figure that life is full of deadlines and obligations - my hobby is the one place I can be irresponsible. I'll pick up projects here and there depending on what I need creatively at any given moment.

Roam with Lisa Souza baby alpaca has afforded me the opportunity to learn how to purl continental. I'm finding the seed stitch very theraputic and the yarn is like butter.

Autumn Rose is the project I reach for when I want to enjoy the colour play of stranded knitting. These shades are so regal - perfect for working on whilst watching The Tudors.

Manhattan is the perfect "on the go" project. Stockinette, simple shaping and those amazing Noro colour changes. The yarn is Cashmere Island. Yeah, that's an island I want t be stranded on.

I pull out my husband's Cobble Stone pullover when I know there's another package of yarn about to arrive at the door. "See honey, I'm making you a sweater. Cast your eyes away from the fibery deliveries."

Sometimes a project will slip through the cracks. It drifts to the bottom of the knitting bag in favour of shiney new projects. The Tulip Cardigan was such a project. Often life will provide some sort of cosmic tap on the shoulder to remind us that we really need to turn a UFO into an FO.

Say hello to my new niece. A 7lb 2 oz tap on the shoulder. With that flaming red hair I'm gonna guess that she won't be accepting an of my excuses. I best get knitting.