Friday, August 22, 2008

Fall Phildar

Fall Fashion--always an exciting time --fall clothing really is the best of the lot isn't it? Tights, coats, hats, scarves, boots! Bring it on.

Phildar has a new Autumn catalogue up (not sure if the English translations are available yet though...) and once again they do not fail to disappoint. Ok seriously, who is this team of awesome knitters they have cranking this stuff out for them all the time? And where do I apply to be a test knitter?! Surely there would be an AGM I'd be paid to attend in Paris every year. Ok, you know I would volunteer if that were the case.

Some of my favs:

This one really reminds me of Knitty's Abotanicity which I've long wanted to do but have seriously been scared off by the prospect of knitting a tunic in SOCK yarn (shudder). I'm loving the Phildar one though and it'd probably knit up a lot faster.

And this one also reminds me a bit of another one that had been in my queue for a while--possibly a Nora Gaughn with those pleats --it totally escapes me right now, but it was more of a cardi/flared jacket.

Cute, cute, cute! Still feelin' me a lil' puffed sleeve. Puffed sleeves were SO my thing in about grade six, and you know my love for them never really left me. This one again, kind of a less rigid version of the puffed sleeve cardi from Fitted Knits. I liked all the patterns in that book, but was not so much a fan of all the banding it seemed like everything had at the waist. I mean I guess that was the whole idea, but it didn't grow on me the way I hoped it would have.

And finally in light of Iceland's completion, and Wallis coming along swimmingly, Phildar gives me some batwing validation.

If the Fashion Forward French (was that aliteration?) are still onboard with batwings then I think I'm still safe.

Batwing vindication --Halleluiah. Let's all fly away together!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

more cowbell, er ketchup, er catsup, er catch-up

I'm trying desperately with this post to play some catch-up. I've been off the last week on "vacation". Normally that might be a good excuse for a general lack of posting, but the reality is that I didn't *really* go away, and my time off has mostly been about packing. (yes, we still have not moved...soon, soon). I'm going to state the obvious here and say that packing totally sucks. Yarn, however does make good box-fill for fragile items.

We managed to get away a bit and do some fun stuff, but i'll save the deets on that for the non-knitting blog and leave you with a pseudo montage of some of the stuff I got up to over the course of that week.

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Some of you who regularly pop in over here might also recognize Miss Muffy up there. We managed to get ourselves up to their cottage for a 'lil sunshine. Not nearly long enough, unfortunately.

How many projects did I bring for one lowly day? Yeah you guessed it:

Too many. I knit about three rows of the green stuff that became this, and has already been finished, blogged about, and now borders on the verge of destruction. No other knitting got done that day by me, no siree. I did how ever bring a boatload of snacks with me...

Green tea cookies-- not super sweet, but me and the matcha flavouring are pretty much inseperable these days. The recipe for those can be found here if anyone's interested.

And still more cottage snacks,

The recipe for those cinammon biscuits can only be found in my brain right now, but if anyone does want it I'd be happy to type it up.

Some knitting DID finally get finished...Elisa's Nest tote from the Purl Bee.

I think I learned my lesson from the last (frogged) tote I made --Emerald String and made this one way, WAY smaller. These things are unbelievably stretchy.

And actually even since these photos I've torn back on the handles again and made them about 5 inches shorter. This was originally supposed to be a stash-busting project for one lowly skein of Lionbrand Cottonease I had kicking around. Naturally I still didn't have enough, had to go out and buy another ball to finish off the handles, and now basically find myself in the exact same situation I originally was in with the exact same yarn in my stash. Isn't that always the way? Anyway, it's for a co-worker, so I hope she likes it.

And finally, speaking of things I've torn apart of late...Flair is no more. Flair was pretty much my first sweater project and was a real learning experience for me. What I mostly learned was not-to-eff-with-the-pattern-too-much. Especially when it's your first sweater. But anyway, there's no love lost there. I never liked it, it was enormous on me, and I needed the buttons to finish off those Prairie Boots that have been hibernating.

I'm hoping she'll provide me with enough yarn to make Wallis:

(sorry, best picture I could find on the internerd for some reason)

I suppose a smarter person would have soaked all the curly-ass yarn that came out of that sweater BEFORE actually knitting with it...

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But a smarter person I am not. Naturally it is knitting up a bit lumpy, but I'm sure it'll all come out smooth in the final blocking (fingers crossed).

I'm actually a fair bit further along than this picture would indicate, so with any luck I'll post progress pics soon. I'm really enjoying knitting it...the pattern is keeping it interesting so far. And I know, I know --more batwings!

Baby likes her batwings. (well, for now...)

Sunday, August 03, 2008


My alternate title for this post was almost "dolt" as well. I feel like the summertime heat is getting to my brain a bit lately. This might explain why I haven't posted in 2+ weeks. How can it be August already? In my last post about the Iceland sweater I was complaining about not quite having enough yarn to finish, not wanting to buy more, and having to cast off early and just "make it work" (I think I was channeling Tim Gunn there. Maybe I should have actually channeled my own brain for once, because low and behold:

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Reaching into the stash for something unrelated procurred another ball of Cocoon. Duh. I shouldn't even say "the stash". It was the small bag of stuff by the sofa where materials for current projects are kept. Duh. I mean if I'm being honest here, when I "ran out" of yarn on that sweater, I didn't even bother looking for more and just assumed I was out. Duh. Clearly I cannot count.

SO, that said (and lest I beat a dead horse further), that sweater took me 8 balls exactly, and not 9 if any of you were thinking about doing it.

But it IS summertime, so one must take lemons and make lemonade (or in my case, balls of mohair into wooly sweaters and fuzzy cowls!)

Yeah, that's right, ANOTHER cowl. I wasn't about to let that gorgeous yarn go to waste or languish unloved in the stash, so I just knit it up jiffy quick during a two hour meeting last week. It's kind of like the xo uo cowl by Kate Sonnick (which in turn is based on a cowl from Urban Outfitters). I think I cast on 70 stitches, joined in the round on 13mm circulars and just knit in garter stitch until I ran out, so it was one ball, but more would have been better. Or maybe less cast on stitches --but i'll also be wearing it doubled up so it pretty much amounts to the same thing anyway.

Also in the "duh" category for me this week --

This hideous hat. Already frogged.

Now I've seen some cute versions of this hat on Ravelry, but this ain't one of 'em. See how cute these ones are!:

(taken from Nonnahs & Broadwayknits respectively...)

I like the forties flapper vibe it has going on --the pattern is Amber Daniel's just like a peasant cap.

I think the ones I've liked have been knit with sock yarn even. My version--knit with Manos, just too thick and too lumpy.

I also knit another hat unsucessfully with this exact same Manos, Julia's Jenny cloche. Clearly it is not the patterns here, it is definitely the thick & lumpy Manos. What's more annoying is that I even had to buy a THIRD ball to complete the band that goes around the hat.

So with these two precedents in mind, here is the most shocking thing I'm about to tell you: My love affair with Manos del Uruguay is over. It's OVER. Naturally I still appreciate and support this company and everything it stands for, but sadly we must part ways in terms of my ability to actually "make it work". Unless I find something that these three skeins of Emerald green Manos can really mesh with, I will never knit with it again.

Ok, this post is getting loooong. But I'm on vacation this week (i.e PACKING) so there's plenty more to come (like it or lump it, heh)