Thursday, August 23, 2007

Look at that cute bunny!

A picture of my sweet bun-bun:

But I'd like to state for the record that it is NOT EASY to photograph a rabbit, and its especially not easy to photograph a black rabbit. He always comes out looking sort of shapeless. Which makes this photo a pretty darn good attempt.

Is there anything cuter than a bunny? Maybe my nephew. He's pretty darn cute:

Okay, my nephew wins. I really love this photo taken by my sister-in-law.

And may I present a BONUS BUNNY PICTURE:

The bonus is this one contains actual knitting! That is my Rossnyev cardigan on the new couch, so I guess that makes it a triple bonus: new couch, bunny, and project. Oh wait! Quadruple bonus because it also has a yarn cake from my new ball winder on it (I had hand-wound the balls and then rewound them on the ballwinder. Just for fun. Its my new toy!). Before I go into blogging overload, I'll just say the cardigan is seamed and I'm knitting on the sleeves in the round as per the pattern. I think I might finish in time to wear it before it gets nasty out! More Rossnyev in the days to come...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Holiday swatching - exhibit A

Sorry for the bad photo. It isn't too easy to photograph, actually, and here in NY the light today is really ugly and crappy. Its humid and they're expecting storms.

In any case, this is one of the yarns that is brighter than I had expected. Almost like a cookie-monster blue:

But not in a bad way! This is for my mom's sweater, and I wanted to make her something she could just throw on with jeans. Plus, she has red hair so I know this color will be good on her.

The pattern I'm using is the most prominent one. I swatched a bunch of ideas over and over on the same cast-on. The stitch pattern is from one of Barbara Walker's Treasuries (I'd link to their page at Schoolhouse Press, but they're on a page with a bunch of other stitch pattern books. If you have been thinking about buying them, do it - they rock! And, buy them from Schoolhouse, not a huge company that doesn't need your support). The pattern is from volume one and I can't even remember the exact name of this particular pattern, "fossilized rib" or something?

Its a 28 row repeat, but very easy to do and it adds length very quickly, thanks, I suppose, to the angles of the twisted stitches. I like the subtlety of it - my mom is rather subtle herself. And when I looked at the Elsbeth Lavold pattern books at the yarn store the other day, the Silky Wool sweaters were knitted in similar patterns. This yarn likes to be knit into texture.

So, what do you think?
And what of the sweater style - I know I'm going cardigan, but drop shoulder or set in sleeve? What would happen if I do a raglan? And what of the neck? Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Monday vs. Tuesday

Which would you rather knit with?

The ball on the left I hand-wound with the assistance of my co-worker - it took a long time! That EcoWool likes to stick together! And look at that lop-sided, ugly form.

The cake on the right, I wound in just minutes with my fabulous new swift and ball winder. Look at that beautiful criss-cross action! Look at that center-pull! And, it won't roll clear across the subway car and land in a puddle of who-knows-what under the seats. Joy!!!!

And she didn't buy me the cheap plastic swift, either - she went for the wood. My mom is the greatest!

Oh, and P.S. - crappy birthday to me...who wants to spend their birthday at work? Ugh.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My knitting day just got BETTER!

Did you see, Kathy Elkins from Webs left a comment and explained the name Webs! My amazing knitting day just got even better. Kathy, if you visit again -- I LOVE WEBS!!!! I'd go to a tent sale, but that would be hazardous to my bank account and to my limited storage space. Keep up the great work, and I'll keep up the hefty orders!

Holy Amazing Knitting Day!!!!!

Could this be the greatest knitting day EVER????

First, I went to The Yarn Connection at lunch to buy a needle for one of the Christmas projects and to buy some Rowan Denim for baby jeans for my expecting co-worker (they didn't have the yarn - but it didn't even matter, every thing else more than made up for it!). Anyway, I asked if they had the new issue of Vogue Knitting. And did they have it! Have you seen this thing? Holy mackrel, I am in knitting heaven. It rivals the infamous September Vogue in heft (well, relatively speaking) and I spent a lovely lunch in the park, barely even getting through the nicely done yarn company profiles that comprise the first several pages of the issue.

So, the plan was to come back to the office and delve into it more deeply. But when I got back, my birthday present from my mom had been delivered! My birthday is tomorrow actually, so its a bit of an early present. Anyway, what should I receive from my totally fantastic mom but:

A SWIFT AND BALL WINDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And I said no one would get me one. She didn't even know I wanted one, just that I didn't have one! So how totally excited am I. Despite the fact that I'm at work, I rigged it up (which makes it sound more difficult than it is - it goes up pretty quick) and wound a ball of Araucania EcoWool into a gorgeous little yarny cake faster than you can say "tangle". Which is what I had yesterday when I wound a skein of it by hand. Pictures tomorrow, so I can email them to my mom and show her the astonishing difference between the hand wound ball and the yarny cake.

Thank goodness I hand-wound only one of the skeins of Elsbeth Lavold Silky Wool that I am using for her Christmas sweater!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Christmas swatching is in the air!

So after my sad, self-pitying Collins eulogy, life has continued. We have a sort-of new Collins in our neighborhood. Its not as good, and the bartenders are nowhere near as wonderful, but its a fun place to have a beer and it has the same capability to make people talk to one another. We've met interesting people on every visit, and best of all - they're neighbors!

Enough fooling around. Back to knitting! I placed a gigantic order with Webs (where did that bizarre name come from, anyway?) and it arrived last week, so I have been in yarny delight. I've also been winding a lot of skeins into balls...I really gotta get a ball winder and swift. My birthday is this week, but I highly doubt anyone giving me gifts even knows what a ball winder and swift is, much less would know that I need one! Except my mom, but I don't think she got me that.

So, my Christmas knitting list:
1. sweater for mom in Elsbeth Lavold Silky Wool. Swatched all weekend, think I have settled on my stitch pattern. Now must decide sweater styling and details. Will post a photo soon (you've heard that one before! But really, I will, because I need input).
2. felted tote bag for my aunt
3. like 6 pairs of socks for assorted girls in the family - bought Tofutsies (silly name, right?), Shibui sock, Great Adirondack Silky sock (for a person whose taste is, lets say, different than mine. This makes it ironically easy to chose yarn for her, though, because I just pick what I personally like the least!), some Regia and something else I don't remember.
4. spiral scarf for another person I don't like. Using this weird sparkly yarn - but very excited to work this pattern. It will be good TV knitting, because mom's sweater stitch pattern is going to require some attention. Plus, it won't take too long and I don't like her enough to spend a lot of time on her gift. Am I awful????
5. Monkey cardigan for my nephew. Will this ever happen?
6. Hat to accompany scarf given last year - out of a bamboo yarn. Nice and soft, but splits like the dickens while knitting, and really looks bad if not taken care of.

But in the meantime, I'm working on baby gifts for my co-worker expecting in November. I will definitely post a photo of the darling booties I'm working up now. And I'm working on the Rossnyev cardigan for myself. Its been great, but since the sleeves are knitted in the round, not such transportable knitting anymore. Plus, I still don't have any place to block the completed pieces. I totally LOVE Koigu, though. Isn't it great when a yarn lives up to its hype?