Friday, December 30, 2011
Sunday, December 11, 2011
The next time I chirpily announce that I am going to knit the children matchy-matchy outfits for Christmas, ask if me it is July. If it is past July, tell me it is too late for this year. The plan was to make coordinating vests (the Pembroke pattern from Petite Purls) in Christmas colors.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
This month, I finished two garments for Michael, a Beau by Cosy out of Malabrigo Worsted, and a Baby T-Shirt Vest out of Madelinetosh DK. The first is totally whimsical; the second is a project I made to fill a hole in his wardrobe. I love vests on babies: they add warmth without adding bulk and there are no sleeves to get sodden when babies stuff them in their mouths.
The problem is, of course, that babies outgrow these things quickly. I have a bunch of knits that I've already had to put away, and I think Michael may have reached capacity on his knitted wardrobe for now. I think it's time to focus on projects for bigger people...like myself! It's almost the time of year when we set knitting goals, and it will be interesting to see how mine shake out for 2012.
Monday, November 28, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
I had intended for both kids to wear handknit vests to Thanksgiving, but they both had other plans. Henry has been experimenting with layered looks and ended up in this ensemble, which looked surprisingly hip.
Henry sang the "grace" for dinner that he'd learned that week in school:
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Patchett opened her store to fill a gap left by the closure of two major chains in Nashville. Like Pittsburgh, like towns all over, the major chains had come in, decimated the smaller stores, and then collapsed when they couldn't match Amazon. Certainly, that has been the case for me. When I first moved to Pittsburgh, Squirrel Hill had an independent bookstore. Then Barnes and Noble came in and the bookstore closed. Then Borders came to Shadyside. And now both that particular B&N and Borders are gone.
So I've filled that gap with Amazon and my Kindle. Is it ideal? In many ways, yes. It's instant gratification. It's lower prices. Patchett offered a list of books that she's recommending to her customers, and I ended up getting them on my Kindle, because I have no local bookstore. Have I contributed to this problem because I use Amazon? Sure.
But, what Patchett pointed out is that while she has nothing against e-readers and reports that her husband actually reads more on his e-reader than he ever has before (something that is proving to be true with my husband as well), her sales of State of Wonder have been split evenly between Kindle sales and hardback sales. And the people who don't want to read on e-readers deserve a bookstore, a place to go. The book is not dead. The bookstore is a community.
(And I can't help but point out that the same is true of the Local Yarn Store. You can buy all the Knitpicks you want, but if you want help, if you want to meet fellow knitters, if you want community, the best place to get it is your local yarn store. And since I see so many of our customers at the Arts and Lectures series, I know that knitters and readers are of the same tribe and can understand this.)
So where is my book community? For now, in my neighborhood, it's my library, which deserves all the help and money we can give. When we go to Jackson, I am delighted to spend my time and money at Valley Books, an excellent, well-curated independent shop.
I don't know if we'll ever get an independent shop back in our neighborhood, but the ultimate message of Patchett's lecture is to READ, to support authors, and support communities of readers.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
"I actually think that this is really going to work. The day of the small independent bookstore has returned. It's the giant bookstore that can't be sustained," she said.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Look! It's his Tomten, and it still fits!
These pictures are terribly over-exposed. I can't figure out how to set my camera on portrait AND turn off the flash. I need to suck it up and figure out how to shoot manually. I pinned some tutorials on Pinterest. If you know of any others that have helped you, I'd love to see them!
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
Really, the knitting can get out of hand. The adorable hat was made by my friend Karen. It's chilly this morning, so I stuffed Michael into his Baby Sophisticate as well, and tried to cover his kicking feet with his Zig Zag Pram Blanket.
Part One, in case you've forgotten, is his big brother five years ago:
Thursday, November 17, 2011
We are to the point in NaPoBlMo that I feel a little like I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel, but here goes anyway. Butterbean sported Tubey by Wooly Wormhead while waiting for his brother at the bus stop yesterday. The weather has turned cold for real today after a strangely warm period, so it is hat time in earnest now.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Last winter, my mom decided she wanted to brush up on her in knitting, so we chose a project to make together, the Baby Albert (Einstein) coat from Sally Melville's The Knit Stitch.
I decided to liven up the plain garter stitch by using Noro Chirimen. Because the sweater is king of wild in color and made of a silk blend, I thought this was going to be a fun sweater to put on every once and awhile, but not very utilitarian. In reality, it has become Michael's fall jacket. He has worn it everywhere!
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
But now I've realized that it is a useful tool for helping me pull it together, particularly as I'm trying to get out of the cooking rut I'm in. I can use Pinterest to bookmark recipes! When I'm at the store, I can pull up the Pinterest app on my phone, click on my cooking board, and see if I have the ingredients I need! Brilliant!
Are you on Pinterest?
Monday, November 14, 2011
I finally blocked the sweater yesterday! The body is knit in Steadfast Fibers Wonderful Wool in Copper. I love this yarn a lot, and I'm sorry the store doesn't carry it any more (but I'm glad I have a sweater's worth in green in my stash!). The stripes are Cosy's Rainbow Chard. In retrospect, I think the top two stripes aren't contrasting enough, but the colors overall are fun, and I loved working with Cosy's hand-dyed yarn. Go see her this weekend at the Indie Knit and Spin!
Sunday, November 13, 2011
And honestly? The news coming out of Penn State is enough to put me off of football for life. As the mother of two little boys, it is really difficult for me to form any articulate thoughts at all, other than wanting to throw up. I love Pittsburgh. I love the Steelers. But I think it's time we question the culture of football, because, Penn State aside, we live in a city where we cheer on a rapist every Sunday. I thought I was okay with that if I focused on the rest of it, but I'm finding out that I'm not. I'm really not.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
I have been reading too many Mommy Blogs with photo tutorials, because on my walk this morning, I saw these lovely piles of leaves in the park, and my first thought was, "Oh! I'll stick my kid in the leaves and get a charming picture!"
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Monday, November 07, 2011
Sunday, November 06, 2011
Saturday, November 05, 2011
Friday, November 04, 2011
I finally cast on for this sweater at the beginning of October and decided to try my luck with chunky yarn. I cast on for the 0-3 month size in Dream in Color Groovy in Cloud Jungle (one of my all-time favorite colorways), using 10.5 needles and 10.75 needles for the sleeves in the round.
After several false starts (I blame the sleep deprivation -- we're going through a really rough patch right now), this was a quick knit, and a well-written pattern. The only downside to using heavier yarn is that this will function more as a coat than a sweater.
Thursday, November 03, 2011
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
It will take time to learn all the bells and whistles, and I want to learn how to work it manually, but for now, I'm having fun and getting decent results with the automatic portrait and macro settings.
|Michael models his Baby Albert|
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
So with all that frustration swirling in my head, I thought I'd blog two patterns that were both well written and a joy to knit.
The Sock Yarn Sweater, by Hannah Fettig, knit in Malabrigo Sock in Indicita:
The Gift Wrap Romper, by Carina Spencer, knit in 1824 Cotton. If you remember, this was supposed to be the baby's coming home outfit, but the newborn size came out way too big in the cotton. It fit very nicely at the two month mark!
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
I always have been simultaneously fascinated and horrified, and okay, jealous, by the way Steven barges up to knitting celebrities and then manages to make friends with them. Jokingly, the last time he took a class with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, I repeatedly texted him "Tell the Yarn Harlot my name!" And so "Tell [insert name of famous knitter here]" has become our running gag.
Clara Parkes' The Knitters Book of Socks.
Clara Parkes knows my name!
Thank you, Steven. I miss you lots, Work Brother.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
I've been trying to get "after" shots, pictures of Michael wearing the things I knit for him while I was pregnant. Between his, um, "mercurial" temperament, the cloudy weather, and the limitations of my old point and shoot camera, it's been difficult. But I keep trying.
Here's the Baby Eggplant by Cosy I knit in Malabrigo Rios in Glazed Carrot and Lettuce.
Sunday, October 09, 2011
I should not have given myself the out of being able to cast on for hexipuffs. I got distracted by puffs, and I also have been in some serious denial about how little time I have to knit (and to blog). The month of no casting on was not really a great success.
I did finish two pairs of socks in my pile.
Cotty in madelinetosh tosh sock in the Foxglove color way, part of the Year of Stash Socks on Ravelry:
Breaking Hearts in Socks that Rock in Cozy Fierce Scummy Girl, part of the Socks that Rawk KAL on Ravelry: