Sunday, April 29, 2007

Knitty Gritty

Is it okay to confess I usually hate all the projects featured on the DIY show Knitty Gritty? As a knitter, I feel I am obligated to watch and support a tv show about knitting, but really, if this is the best we can do, I'm sad. I do not want to knit fuzzy dice for my car. I do not want to make a rasta hat. I do not want to knit a monitor cover. And I most certainly do not want to "knit on."

I will grudgingly admit that though obviously I am not the target audience for this show (as I will not be knitting bikini tops anytime soon) sometimes the show is excellent for showing techniques. This show on the double knitting technique was fabulous, for example, even though the project itself was beyond lame.

And the improvements continue: last week Cat Bordhi demonstrated her amazing Coriolis Sock. And how cute is this vintage inspired apron by Jordana Paige? It makes me want to actually knit something from the show. So I guess I won't delete Knitty Gritty from my dvr just yet.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Is there a Mason Dixon 12-Step Program?

Because I really need an intervention.

If you haven't picked up Mason Dixon Knitting yet, I really urge you to do so. This book of patterns for seeming everyday objects is the most fun and inspirational knitting book I've seen. The possibilities for things to do with cheap dishcloth cotton are endless. And keep in mind, I once managed a yarn store and wouldn't dream of using yarn from a Big Box store. If this book can convert a yarn snob like me, surely it has some power.

My latest obsession is the simple Baby Bib O' Love pattern. Cast on 40 stitches. Knit. Make some straps by binding off in the middle. Here's my Product Tester surveying my initial attempts, made with Sugar and Cream yarn.

But wait! It turns out that the good people at Elmore-Pisgah provide the Crack to feed the Mason Dixon craving. Amanda turned me on to the Mason Dixon pack, and the addiction really began. The customer service, by the way, at Elmore-Pisgah is outstanding. The shipping is a bit nuts, but the box of yarn arrives in two days, which is almost, but not quite, instant gratification. They also called me at home about my order and are just generally nice. I'll be ordering from them a lot.

Here are my latest efforts, in various states of finishing work (minus two I sent off for baby shower gifts). I started with the basic pattern, but found that the slip stitch pattern used for the Baby Genius Burp Cloths is much more pleasing. I also adapted the Ballband Dishcloth pattern for a bib after seeing one on the very inspirational Mason Dixon Knitalong Blog. Overall, I'd recommend making the effort to order the Peaches and Creme from Elmore Pisgah rather than settling for the Sugar and Cream from the Big Box stores: it wears better, feels softer, and the ombres are a million times more interesting.

It's been a lot of fun. I have a lot more bibs left in me, and luckily, a messy baby of my own as well as several new babies on the way to knit for. When I'm tired of that, I can move on to Ballband warshcloths and linen handtowels.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Okay, I really mean to do it this time...

...really, I do. Here's what's (or rather, who's) been keeping me busy and hence a Very Bad Blogger indeed lately. Henry Joseph was born June 4, 2006. Here he is at ten months modeling his aunt's choice of Easter headgear. I imagine this photo will be something that will interest his prom date sixteen years from now, no?

As for the books, cats, yarn, etc: I am still plugging away at Ye Olde Dissertation. The cats are wary of the new addition to the family, despite being the object of their adoration. The yarn I'll save for another post.