Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Knitting Narcisism

This post will be a brief one because I'm preparing to leave for B.C. early Friday morning. I have of course packed every project I own barely leaving room for a tooth brush. I seem to envision finishing them all. I'm converting Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitting Workshop video to my iPod using PQ DVD to iPod so I can take advantage of quiet time on the plane to truly enjoy seeing this for the first time. This is a great program to convert your DVDs to an iTunes friendly format. I may just take along one of her books to complement the video.

I have been working away on Evie and this is a front-burner project! I'm dying to wear it this fall. I'm also eager to see the new Rowan-Kim Hargreaves colours in person (instead of tiny swatches). There are some lovely felted tweed shades she's developed and a couple of books rumoured.

I'll write a proper review of Rowan 44 when I have more time but for now I'm plugging away on my Diamond Fantasy shawl. Here's where I'm at so far. I'm really pleased with how the clear beads are sparkling like diamonds in the centre of the diamond design. This will be entered into the Five Counties guild display in September. With August being almost here, I'd better get knitting. I must admit - the fact that this is yarn I spun myself means that I'm drawn to it more than many other projects right now. Even though it's still not technically perfect yarn (being over spun in many spots) - the fact that I made the yarn makes me a wee bit fonder of the project. I guess it's my ego showing. Heaven help me if I'd actually shorn the sheep!

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Understudy Makes Good

I've got to admit that I've got a real soft spot for Knit Scene magazine. Launched about 2 years ago, this little publication has flown a bit under the radar. It positions itself as Interweave Knit's younger, hipper sister but the designs still manage to be beautiful, fashion forward and totally wearable at the same time. If IK were Jennifer Aniston then Knit Scene is Ellen Page.

The Fall 2008 issue landed in my mail box this week and has been thumbed to death already. Editor Lisa Shroyer (she of Road to Golden fame) points out in her editorial that it's the simpler, classic knits she tends to wear more often though the artist in us might be drawn to the extreme designs. She reminds us that our projects are meant to be worn. I do find my tastes have changed as I've aged and I'm drawn to the simpler lines - the beautifully tailored pieces. In this issue are many projects I'm drawn to for various reasons.

Big Ivy Scarf

This scarf on the cover rocks! The lacy pattern kissed by bands of fair isle mix two of my favourite techniques. Though I love the tweedy nub of the yarn used here - I think left over shades of Rowan Calmer would be perfect too. O Wool Balance also would give a nice effect.

Big Thaw Pullover

Every project name seems to start with "Big". This one is shaping up to be this year's Cobblestone Pullover which is great because clearly there's a need for handsome, simple guy sweaters. Make this one for your own Mr. Big.

Riding to Avalon:
Connie Chang Chinchio has a talent for striking that perfect balance between classic and trendy. This is my favourite design in the magazine and today's Knitting Daily Gallery shows it on several different models. Her designs also tend to look great on all kinds of body shapes which is the hallmark of true design talent. I'll admit it - I've ordered the Lorna's Laces Swirl DK from Julie in Pewter to make this one. Be forewarned that the colour listed in the magazine (as Tahoe) appears to be incorrect. Tahoe which is a brighter blue but the website now says Pewter which makes more sense based on the photograph.

Matryoshka Stole

Another Beautiful stole adorned with painted wooden beads. Its to mimic those Russian Dolls. I won't put this on the short list to make soon (simply due to queue overload) but it's very distinctive and an exciting submission from another emerging young designer.

Inari Skirt
I was ambivalent about the red/green colour combo at first. I thought "too Christmassy". Then the latest e newsletter from Anthropologie dropped and this outfit reminded me of this skirt. It might be fun to pair it with a pink blouse and red jewelry to mimic the Anthropologie look. Hmmmmmm -

I could go on, waxing poetic about several other designs from this issue but these are the favs for now. If you're trying to get a copy yourself - don't wait. I hear they're selling like hot cakes.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Finding Bliss

Once upon a time - I wanted to make this (Ravelry link).

So, I went to my LYS who had just announced they were closing to retire to Northern Ontario.
I scored 10 balls of yummy Debbie Bliss Cathay in peacock blue.
I still do want to make it. It seems to look vunderbar on everyone who knits it.
The problem is that when the spring/summer Debbie Bliss book came out I fell in love with this.

Upon quick reference to the pattern it became clear that I needed 12 balls of the Cathay.
DANG - 2 short. No problem, I happen to know that all of the inventory from the yarn store is still sitting in the locked up store. So, I called their sister store (which sells beads) and asked. Very nicely
"please oh yarn prison matron - may I have more?"

I was told politely that they didn't know what the owners wanted to do with the left over yarn. On another occasion (I'm not stupid I went back several times hoping my stalking would wear them down) that the owner was taking all the left over inventory to her new home up North to weave with. Apparently she's making a blanket that would cover Timbuk Three cause there was a motherload of stuff left!

After checking several other area stores (sometimes they get the same dye lots) - I was still at a loss. I was dying - knowing that those extra balls in my dye lot were sitting in the dark shuttered store.
I considered this

I considered this

I even considered this.

Then, a year later - the newsletter message I yearned for. Come to the bead store, we're clearing out the rest of the yarn.
I went.

It wasn't there. There was a lady with 5 boxes of eye lash yarn ...with sparkles. I don't even want to think about what she's making.
Finally, the owner came in.
I "splained"

She went to see if it was there.

It WAS there!!!!

5 balls for $10 and the same dye lot.

Of course, this all transpires just before the much awaited fall Debbie Bliss magazine which is dropping soon apparently. Judging from the cover - it looks good.

Please tell me there's not a design in there calling for 16 balls of Debbie Bliss Cathay!