Archive for September, 2009

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Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

circussox1There’s nothing like the flu to stop me in my tracks. Once I’m on the mend, I feel very lucky. The only good thing about my recent sickness is having to stop and rest. This meant reading a lot, the best of which was devouring the book The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. So beautifully written and bittersweet. I guess there’s a movie in the works from Peter Jackson. I also got to knit! Imagine that? Unfortunately, I messed up my Dandy Neckerchief and had to rip it back (ARGH!). I did work on completing those crazy Cascade Fixation socks I had done, then stopped in very stages for demonstration purposes, for my sock knitting class. They are a riot of color (see above), let me tell you. Anyways, it’s good to be able to breathe again. Hope you all are well.

Out Sick

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

I’ve got the flu. Be back in a few days. Until then, happy knitting.

Knitting Tweed

Friday, September 25th, 2009

tahki-donegaltweedSorry to abandon you yesterday, duty called in a big way. I’m back, and I think I’ve gotten the memo from the yarn companies that tweed is the “it” yarn of Fall 2009. KnitPicks has been running ads for their City Tweed, which comes in a DK and Heavy Worsted weight. (By the way, their current catalog is filled with great gift ideas.) The Patternworks catalog was also full of tweedy options: Tahki Yarns’ Donegal Tweed, Berroco’s Blackstone Tweed(above), Reynolds’ Andean Tweed, Highlander from Alpaca With A Twist, and Patternworks’ own Rocky (sorry, can’t link to Patternworks!). Rowan’s Felted Tweed is pretty and Paton’s Chunky Tweed is cheap. Maybe you want to knit up something tweed-ish? Nancy  J. Thomas has a book, Tweed, devoted to rustic and lovely tweed patterns.

Knitted Superheroes

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

marknewportI love the knit and crochet boys. Mark Newport, who is artist-in-residence and head of the fiber department at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, is one of those guys, and he’s taking the knitting to new and interesting places. By the way, Cranbrook has also spawned some of the most influential graphic designers in the U.S., but I digress. Anyways, Newport is the creator of the image, “Self-Made,” of Spiderman knitting himself— one no doubt very familiar to knitters. He’s part of the exhibition, “Staged Stories,” at the Smithsonian on view until January. Newport’s work examines masculine identity and strength through knitted superhero costumes in a mashup of adolescent boy fantasy and traditional feminine craft technique. The costume in the center back (above) is called “The Patriot,” but it should be “The Flash.” Check out “BobbleBoy.”

Cast On: A Dandy Neckerchief

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

dandyneckerchiefAfter much searching, I decided to make the Dandy Neckerchief as my first triangular scarf. This FREE pattern was designed by Ariane Caron-Lacoste and is available at her site: Tricotage, Action De Trictoer. I am doing it in a lovely Cascade Heritage Paints sock yarn and have only just begun. I’m stealing an hour here and there to knit. I just have to. However, now I have to go back to my deadlines.

Wear That Crochet Granny

Monday, September 21st, 2009

cushmantop-caronFor all of you who secretly love Cate Blanchett’s red carpet one-shouldered Nanna-inspired couture, here’s a new FREE pattern from Caron you might like. The Cushman Top (left) designed by Kim Biddix has all that Granny goodness done up in Caron Country, which is an acrylic/merino blend. Want more? You are not going to want to miss this wild bathing suit spotted at the Granny-Along website. This one too. Or Patchwork Underground’s pattern for Asymmetrical Granny Square Top. Check out Anna’s Jacket on Craftystylish. How about slippers? Julie Greene doesn’t forget our little canine friends who want to be wrapped up in Granny Squares. By the way, here’s the purse that goes with Cate’s dress. The Australian press covered the Romance Was Born, designers of Cate’s dress, response to all that negative feedback on their idea of  Nanna glamour.

Traveling With Your Knitting

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

tsabannerWhy do I hate to fly? Oh, so many reasons: hassle, long waits, sitting squeezed into seats with no legroom (and I’m 5’4″), being trapped in a germ tube, bad food, and boredom. And that was before 9/11 and the TSA— I swear what they do best is to annoy good citizens. The only two things that make flying OK with me are: listening to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan on my iPod (I don’t know why the devotional music of the Sufis calms me down, it just does). The other thing that works is knitting. The TSA has no problem with iPods, but knitting needles have been “up to the discretion of the agents.” The same people who pawed through my eyeshadow looking for a bomb? Well, I am happy to report that TSA now officially lets us knit. Since I must fly next month to a design conference, I’ve printed out this page to show those TSA people at the checkpoint.

More Knitting In Norway

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

pickles1A while back I posted about the talented Norwegian duo, Heidi and Anna, and their great site, Pickles. It’s full of fun and interesting FREE patterns. Now they have their own line of yarns that look wonderful. They are offering several merino blends, including Baby Merino, a Cashmerino Silk and Extra Fine Merino. Nice colors too.

Crochet Fashion Victim

Friday, September 18th, 2009

cateblanchet-tmzIts not often that I find myself agreeing with TMZ.com, but Cate Blanchett’s dress is pure FUG (left). TMZ is one of those guilty pleasures for me, I’ll admit it. I just didn’t expect a yarn-related story there. I do like Granny Squares though. I’m into the small  hexagon ones, like Attic24’s. Crochet Me’s spirals are interesting. I keep thinking that a traditional square afghan would even look nice in the right colors. Check out Little Purl Of The Orient blog for some really nice granny stuff.  I don’t know about Cate, but I’m sure you’ll see this dress made fun of a lot. Usually she is so spectacular looking. Oh well.

Macho Knits

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

charlesbukowski-watchcapYesterday, I had two random references to the American poet laureate of the lowlife, Charles Bukowski. Synchronicity. Of course, I went looking online for his poems, and a knitting story. I’ve always liked the writing of this boozy skirt chasing rough guy who lived such a taboo macho life. I like his Los Angeles, so different from mine. I also like his hat (above). Maybe the macho in your life needs a Classic Watch Cap? That, and a book of Bukowski poems, would make a great gift. Here are a few patterns: at Canadian Living, also from Yarn Smackdown, and there’s this one too.