Thursday, February 28, 2008

things that are cool...

first of all, me. I'm cool.

haha I kid, but how cool is this: there's this uber-cool artist named Jenn Ski whose work I've long admired and whose giclee prints on etsy I've LONG been meaning to buy (it's just so hard to decide that every time I go to chose one I get option paralysis...)

like this one,

or this one,

or this one,

plus, her stuff is so fun and inspiring that it always makes me want to get off my ass and make my own art. (Yes, there was a time, but these days I am purely a slave to the knitting overlords...)

Jenn has her own fun retro blog that I also subscribe to, so I was pretty chuffed to discover that she had blogged about little 'ol me! How cool is that?

If you're interested, you can see her giving me some love HERE.

And now I'm about to go off on another tangent (still mildly in the realm of "things that are cool") ok wait, more like: "things that are cool via something that I know is a way-lame addiction for me".

By which I say to you, OK who's watching the latest cycle of Top model?! God, this really is the week of "here's what Cara is watching" isn't it? But indulge me because the photo shoot last night was kind of cool wasn't it? Ok, glamorizing "homelessness" not so much (tho they like to refer to that as "bringing attention to the problem of being homeless" uh, sure whatever antm) but it was worth it for the cool knit headwear.

LOVE this one, think I need to take a stab at it:

(plus she's the "plus-sized" model so she's immediately my fave)--and yes, I'm aware that her "plus-size" is like a floor-thudding size 8 or something.

This hat, also kinda cool. Like a giant over-sized newsboy from SNB. And man, they RAVED about this photo, but I dunno, I find this chick a bit creepy here,

or this one, (very easy, very twinkle--love the purple):


and ok, there were a couple of dorkier ones too,

(like, what's up with the gnome-y point? EZ Ganomy rip-off perhaps?)

and while I know this one is likely a scarf,

It's lighting a fire under me to get back on the "cowl" train. Cuz sweet, merciful crap it seems like I wear a cowl every day of the week.

Anyway, it's nice to know that knitwear is alive and well in fashion right now. Do you think that it's knitters who influence fashion, or vice versa?

Gosh Tyra, you're just so real.

(thank you ohnotheydidnt for the photos)

Tomorrow I plan to strike one of the "knit-o-lutions" off my list! Take that 2008!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ms. Stewart if you're nasty

Anyone see Martha yesterday? (yeah, that's right: I tape it --whatup?)

She pretty much devoted the whole episode to knitting, and it was totally cool to see everyone in the audience knitting when they'd pan over that way.

She had Lauren Ulm on from Vegan Yum Yum who had made those incredible Marzipan cupcakes awhile back (I think images of her yummy things made some serious knitting blog rounds...).

Her knit night cupcakes are just so adorably amazing,

I think you can see the whole clip of how to make these Marzipan sweaters on her blog. And there are also some tutorials right on the Martha Stewart website.

Also, SO adorable on that show yesterday:

I think I need to make ALL of those they are just so friggin' cute.

You can watch the entire episode of Martha's Homemade Knitwear day


It was also totally cute to a see a few audience members showing off their knitwear creations ...a couple of which have been in my own ravelry queue for some time now.

aren't they great?! I think I may have to step up this one called ninja bun:

These amazing designs (and there are SO many more) are all by Anna Hrachovecclose. Yopu can buy them all in her Mochimochi shop.

Ok, well how many times can I use the word adorable in one post?

Everyone needs more adorable in their lives I think.

Monday, February 25, 2008


yup,'s a black cowl-neck sweater.

pattern: Borealis sweater from Twinkle's Weekend Knits
yarn: LionBrand Woolease thick n quick in black (3.5 balls for the medium size)
needles: US #19

On the plus side: cheap yarn, super-duper-uber fast knit, and it appears that these new Twinkle patterns are written A LOT better than in Big City Knits.

On the down side (and this is mainly due to *my* choices...): it's a totally boring black sweater. But in my defence, I am finally at a point in my life where I KNOW to avoid horizontal stripes. Horizontal stripes or no though, I'm still a big blob in. But it's comfy and plain (like me!) and will no doubt get some wear.

Sorry 'bout the crap photos. Even the pictures I took of the sweater on it's own were essentially unusable---just a big black garter-stitched blob of yarn. Ta-da!

Here's a question for all of you though: what is the freakin' secret to weaving in ends on a sweater like this? Big yarn and a loose gauge equals yarn ends that keep poking through (and are therefore visible) or that leave me constantly having to push them back in. I'm starting to think that I should just leave a long tail hanging lose on the inside for each yarn end. (well ok not really, but still).

Also in the realm of chunky knits, I cast on for another Mercy beret from Rowan's Ribbon Twist, and this time with much better (see: smaller) and more wearable results.

This was made with Rowan Big Wool in "Bohemian" (red). Again, yarn purchased when I was still a brunette. You will probably be seeing more greens from me from here on in, rather than the usual cranberries and raspberries. (Though even as a brunette, was definitely starting to get a bit sick of those colours anyway).

Also this weekend I finally managed to cast on for the Iceland sweater. This is one reapeat of the pattern (which took up almost an entire ball of Rowan Cocoon).

I think it's going to be a real yarn monster. By my calculations I'm looking at about 8 pattern repeats in total, and I've only got nine balls for the whole sweater. You may seriously see me sobbing at some point in the next couple of months.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine involved rushing my cat to the "pet emergency" (and subsequent crazy-costs incurred), stepping in shit, and now currently nursing a concussion/tailbone injury due to some deadly toboganning at Greens creek. Major moguls, major ice, and an apparent inability to not go down the hill backwards, has left me way bruised and sore this morning. And even though one other person there chipped her tooth and BROKE her tailbone...I still managed to claim the award for "wipeout of the night". I am SO proud.

Ok, think I hear more Advil calling my name...

Monday, February 18, 2008

let the sunrise in

pattern: Sunrise circle by Kate Gilbert
yarn: Patons classic merino in dark olive
needles: 5mm

Phewph! finally done. It's been a while since I've had a project linger for quite this long --I think it was November when I started it. It's a great pattern, and I've remarked before that I think Kate Gilbert is a genius, but it was still a bit of a boring knit for me. Which you can do doubt surmise just by looking at the simplicity of it. This is the third of her patterns that I've tried now...the others being the clapotis and Anouk.

The yarn I did this in definitley makes for a warm cardi, and I can almost get away with wearing it as a jacket.

And uh yes, my hair is kinda a lot redder than usual. Or de-browned as I like to think of it. It's definitely making me re-think all those raspberries and cranberries that I usually go for. Those will pretty much all look like ass on me from here on in.

Speaking of cranberry, we did indeed lace-up for Winterlude on the weekend, and my original clapotis made another appearance:

I actually really do wear that thing a lot, and will no doubt get an equal amount of wear out of Sunrise Circle as well.

Though I'm worried I may have blocked it a little too aggressively and already feel like it's too big for me. (I did a medium, but my gauge was a bit loose I think), the arms definitely are about 6 inches too long, so for now I am just kind of tucking them under, but think I should probably just steek them and be done with it.

With Sunrise Circle out of the way this weekend, I was finally able to allow myself room to begin Iceland. But I didn't. I started Twinkle's Borealis sweater instead. And it was going up SO FAST that I just couldn't stop. And now it's done. SO, hot on the heels of one sweater F.O post I should have another one for you as soon as I get around to taking the pictures. THEN: Iceland. Ummm, or maybe I should finish one of these scarves first. Gah. I feel like when I was in University, and it was time to sit down and write an essay, or study for an exam---the second I sat down I would decide that I couldn't possibly begin until I had cleaned the house first. That's kind of what I'm experiencing right now. Not so much a procrastination as a compulsive need to have my environment perfectly "ordered" before I can begin. Organization for me is a borderline sickness.

So here's another super-scrumptious loaf for you. I am WAY into asian baked goods (another of my MANY weaknesses...) and I cannot for the life of me remember which blog I got this recipe off of, but it does rival the green tea pound cake at Panya bakery in NYC.

Just LOOK at that green. My suggestion for this is definitely go to a health food store and buy actual Matcha (which is a powdered green tea) as opposed to regular green tea (or sencha) which is just not the same. It is pretty expensive (I paid about $23 for a bag like this) but you'll only use a couple tablespoons and it will go a long way. And think of all the other delish green tea recipes you can make with it afterwards...

Green tea cake

4 eggs
1 3/4 c flour
1 1/2 c sugar
3/4 c butter (softened)
2 T green tea powder
1 T chocolate chips (optional)

In a bowl, mix well sugar and butter. Add eggs. In seperate bowl sift together flour and green tea powder. Blend dry ingredients into butter mixture, then stir in chocolate chips.

Greased loaf pan, 360 degrees for about 35 minutes.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

it's raining projects!

Thanks Amy!

(image deleted)

What a doll! Amy dropped off a 'lil prezzie for me at work last week--and my kinda hassle-free present to digging for the needles or right yarn--blam-o! It's all there--and her very own hat pattern as well! She's a dynamo. I promise to tuck into that baby as soon as possible! You're the best :)

The sea of knitting related things arriving at my desk of late is starting to become a problem for me at work. As in: people at work think I have a problem. When last week's books arrived from Amazon one woman was heard to remark "boy, when you take on an interest, you really take it on." Compliment? no, dig more like. The knitting equivalent of someone saying about your new haircut "do you like it?"

bah. Whatever, haters. But seriously, there is some truth to that. My cyclic obsession with collecting and purging knows no bounds (it is the museumy preservationist in me) and sometimes it's records, sometimes it design-related stuff like furniture or housewares, or CLOTHES ( yesterday I seriously purged TWO garbage bags full of clothes and my closet is still completely crammed) and these days it is knitting books.

To wit, Rowan 38 also arriving at my desk this week:

(image deleted)

I had originally ordered it because i was planning on making Wallis, but now that I've comitted to Iceland, I've kinda scrapped the idea since the two are kind of similar. Nevertheless, all is not lost, as there are quite a few things in Rowan 38 that I'm interested in:

(image deleted)
Though what, if any, I will ever get around to is another story.

I do have an F.O on the way --Sunrise Circle is finally done, and I hope to take pictures of it today...possibly while out and about enjoying what's left of Winterlude!

And I've decided to scrap all plans for doing Twinkle's skating sweater as well, and use that yarn to put towards one of her newer designs from Weekend Knits, the borealis sweater:

And at the rate it's going so far, it should be done lickety split!

I'm sure I've commented before that my mom is also a knitter, and in that realm we have very different styles and interests...her: using her incredible knitting prowess for good and charity work and toys for children in daycare, me: using my half-assed skills for strictly selfish, fashion-related personal goals.

Her latest obsession is purchasing kids books (itsy bitsy spider, snow white and the seven dwarves etc.) that daycare workers can read aloud to their kids, and KNITTING THE ACCOMPANYING TOYS TO MATCH. Can you believe this woman? Examples here and here. She's nuts, I know.

So I thought I'd share her latest dinosaur creations,

(image deleted)

and the more recent additions:

(image deleted)

Like Jimmie Walker, she is truly: Dino-mite!
(sorry couldn't resist that double-pun.)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


pattern: Urchin beret from Twinkle's Weekend Knits
yarn: Twinkle Soft Chunky in "Raspberry"
needles: US #19

Ok, first off, I did NOT check my gauge---even AFTER I lambasted myself for not doing it last week. What is it about the chunky yarn (and hats) where I'm all "yeah, gauge, pffft, whatever". I would never do that with a sweater!

Anyway, it's not crazy huge like the Mercy beret I purged it's yarn from, but I could still have stood to use size 17 needles instead I think. I am finally cluing in that for the most part, I am a "loose" knitter. I think that also may be why I find the yarn-overs in this pattern to look really obvious when I'm wearing it. Not so much "hey, cute pattern in that hat!", but more like "hey, did you know there was a hole in your hat?"

I'm actually tempted to attach the leftover pom-pom from the mercy beret to it, as after the Poncho-man "helped" me frog it,

this was what I had left:

(image deleted)

Ah, this giant wool...felt like it took about 10 seconds to ball up by hand!

I do however feel like I'm off to a winning start with this new Twinkle book, and am tempted to nix my skating sweater idea in favour of one of the sweaters in Weekend Knits instead.

decisions, decisions...

Either way, I am seriously ready to chunk things up some more. Hurray for enormo things! Further proving my theory that things are often better when they are really, really huge (Voice of Fire, anyone?) or conversely, totally minature.

Monday, February 11, 2008

secret knitting reveal!

The jig is up! Well no, the birthday is up, so I can finally post the mystery knitting for the fabulous miss Julia:

good lord she is so CUTE!

...princess for a day.

So here it is, some of you may have guessed already, but it was the fake-a-gamo:

pattern: Fake-a-gamo by Kate Sonnick
yarn: Patons Classic merino in "Evergreen mix"
needles: 5mm (I think...sorry I can't remember!)

Love this pattern. Knit lit Kate essentially based the pattern for this bag on a $1600 Salvatore Feragamo bag from a of couple seasons ago --seen here --too cute! And I can be such a dunce when it comes to "continue in pattern"-type instructions that I hounded her until she dumbed down row #13 of the pattern for me. She took it all in stride though, and once I got rolling I was completely hooked on it. I'm thinking that I need to make another bigger one for myself even, and I am totally eyeing a version like this one that I found in the Fake-a-gamo Flickr pool.

Oooooooh, aaaaaaah---I love that red one! (sorry I can't seem to post it directly here for some reason...) But my main issue is finding the handles...anyone with a good source for purse handles, by all means let me know, so far I'm really only managing to find the circular ones.

Anyway, I think she liked went great with her outfit that night:

Not to mention a night of gambling, and uh "rocking out".

I wrapped it into a nice phallus for her too, so as to be extra confusing!

(image deleted)


Hopefully she doesn't kill me for posting all these photos of her here, but really the girl is incapable of a bad shot anyway.

(image deleted)

Though I do anticipate some form of unflattering-photo retribution for myself one of these days (not that hers are unflattering, mind).

more pictures? oh, ok:

happy birthday, lady!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The giant cowl

pattern: XO UO Cowl from knitlit kate --pattern here
yarn: Berroco hip hop in "Tonio" (2 skeins)
needles: US #17

Another great pattern from Kate over at Knit Lit, and an uber-quick knit to boot.
We did our usual weekend-at-bar-to-see-a-band schtick Saturday night and when we got home around 12:30am I was still feeling kind of wired, so I decided to cast on for it before going to bed. I guess I knit about 5 rows before I couldn't hold my head up any longer and then dragged myself off to bed. The next morning I got up for our usual breakfast-on-the-chesterfield-in-front-of-Coronation-street (yes we are clearly creatures of habit...) and voila--it was done lickety split and I was able to wear it out that afternoon!

It definitely is gigantic, and not really a colourway that I'd normally choose for myself (though I am trying to branch out...) but it's kind of growing on me. Plus it's easy enough to loop and still have it be a giant cowl. I've already gotten lots of compliments on it.

And I'm thinking I might do one with some of the new yarn I bought on the weekend,

Right now I'm kinda feeling like I may never get back to any "old" projects.

And speaking of new projects and yarn I just picked up(she says as ANOTHER box of yarn from Elann arrives at her desk THIS MORNING --for the Twinkle Biker Vest) --god help me! I figured I'd give still another Twinkle pattern a whirl, the Skating Sweater since other people appear to be having success just using the lionbrand thick n quick.

But enough of that for now. My other latest obsession is baked goods made of tea! Everytime we're in New York I insist on going to Panya which is a great Japanese bakery in St. Mark's. Lots of good stuff there, but my favourite by far is the "green tea cake" which is kind of like a green tea flavoured pound cake. I've been on the hunt for the perfect recipe, which has *also* led me down the path of trying other tea-related baked goods, one of which I just made this weekend.

Earl Grey tea cake

If you like loaf-type cakes, give this one a whirl. I got the recipe here from Super Eggplant and it was de-lish. The glaze is kinda runny, but after a day of soaking it up in the fridge it was just that much better--also, don't be afraid to use 6 or 7 bags of Twinnings Earl Grey.

Two post in two days?! bet you just died of shock!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Disaster Weekend

Now, you would think that being on "storm watch" all weekend would allow for a significant amount of bunkered-in knitting time, and well, it kinda did.

Big-waste-of-time-pointless knitting.

Awhile back I had run out of yarn for my Spiral Scarf. I was using two strands of Sirdar Denim Tweed DK held together for it. When I finally got back to my LYS for more, there was NONE. And it was a cheap enough yarn that I wasn't about to go hunting for it online somewhere.
Across the store I spied the exact same brand of yarn, in the exact same colour --but in a sport weight. I paused to wonder aloud: "can I make this work?" "maybe one-stranded instead with bigger needles?" Due to the nature of the design I thought I could be forgiven the subtlties of an altogether different dye lot, and would it really matter if the heaxgons were slightly different sizes?

Should I check my gauge? Nah, I'm going for it.

Colour-wise it seemed promising at first:

(image deleted)

I was patting myself on the back for being such a genius.

And then:

WTF? You know, it's kind of one of those patterns that you don't really know how it'll look until the whole hex is done. Clearly a subltle change in size with ever shrinking hexagons was not to be. It's like the two bigger ones are just now wearing a jaunty little hat off to the side.

Bah. I tossed it aside in anguish and in favour of some more gratifying "instant knitting":

Yes, what is up with all the raspberry I'm doing lately?

pattern: Mercy beret by Kim Hargreaves (from Rowan Ribbon Twist)
yarn: Twinkle soft Chunky in Raspberry (1 skein)
needles: US #17

Cute huh?

There comes a time in every knitters life when their confidence level starts to go up. You become cocky and think to yourself "Gauge is for suckers, all chunky yarns are the same, right?--I don't need to check no stinking gauge".

(image deleted)

Apparently Twinkle yarn is like the hugest of the huge. I even struggled to be able to only use one skein of the stuff...omitting rows just to make it work. But what I really should have done was check my freakin' gauge, used smaller needles and saved myself the anguish. Want some more perspective shots? This hat was essentially the size of sofa cushion.

Thick and cushy!

For a fleeting second there I thought I *might* be able to make it work, but I'm sorry, there's just no way.

(image deleted)

The weekend was also kind of a disaster for this reason as well,

Though kind of a beautiful disaster. I don't even want to tell you what I spent, but I guess that's what happens when you avoid a certain store for months on end in an effort to be frugal and de-stash. When you finally get back there for a ten dollar item (which they didn't even have...) you just go mental making up for all that lost time!

I seriously splurged on 9 balls of Rowan Cocoon (and believe me in Canada that's a major splurge...) and the accompanying Rowan #42 so that I can make Iceland.

Which marks the first time that I'm doing a full-fledged garment not on the cheap, not to mention in the same yarn and colour prescribed.

Phewph! Did I actually say I wasn't going to cast on anything new? More on that to come...

And finally--thanks for my two awards, miss Muffy and miss Whistlepea, I am honoured!

Allow me to return the favour to these fine folks:

Whistlepea knits
Skrilla Knits
Knit lit
Lolly Knitting Around
Crimson Purl
Craft Pirate
Knitting is kneat-o
My aim is true

I could go on and bloglines these days is pretty jam-packed (which is probably why I'm doing more reading than actual updating of late...)