Lizard Ridge Leftovers Vest

The minute I saw the Lizard Ridge blanket on Knitty – long before I was part of the team – I knew I had to knit it.  I’m a big fan of Kureyon, and the idea that I could buy and play with 24 different colors – well, how could I say no?

I worked on it over the winter and spring of 2007, and finished it up June 19th, 2007.  It’s a fabulous piece, and I adore my blanket. It sits proudly on the couch – often being rested upon by an animal.

Warm, comfy and gorgeous.

In the 3 years since I’ve finished it, I’ve held onto the bag of leftovers – 48 golf-ball sized balls of Kureyon.

From the depths of my stash

I knew I was going to do something with them, but I didn’t know what.  I tried some crochet, but it didn’t really work.  I knew I had about 400g (about 400m), so whatever I made wasn’t going to be big.

In the last few months, I’ve been playing with top-down vest construction.  I was reworking a pattern I had originally written for a worsted weight yarn, to convert it to aran weight.  And I needed some aran weight yarn to use.  And the lightbulb went on: Kureyon is an aran weight.

And so began the insanity vest project.  When each of the tiny balls of yarn ran out, I’d try to choose something that was contrasting, but otherwise I tried not to overthink the color changes.

Early on, I got a bit worried – I had chosen very different colors for the upper fronts, and it wasn’t looking good.

Too much?

And about halfway through, I had a huge crisis of faith because the stripes in the upper sections were much wider than in the body – this had to happen, since there are significantly more stitches in the body than in the upper portions.

Uneven stripes

Last week, I finished it.  I edged it in plain black, just as I had done for my blanket.  And I love it! I goes with everything and nothing and it’s my current favorite thing in my wardrobe.

Stripey!

Memorable!

WWW: An important date, wool bones and rubber balls

A very big Happy Birthday to Amy, our Editor-in-Chief. Lift a cupcake in her honor today!

With sugar on top


Seasonal, and utterly inspired.

This knitted skeleton is an absolute masterpiece.   Ben Cuevas, an artist based in California, created it as part of a mixed media piece for Wassaic Project (an arts collective and residency program located in New York state).  The skeleton sits in the lotus position atop a stack of cans of  condensed milk, with a cloud of screen prints on Flexi glass suspended above it. look and be amazed.

The artist uses a lot of fiber – specifically  knitting and crochet – in his work.  In his bio, he states that he enjoys “the rich cultural and social history that surrounds fiber arts, as well as blending the distinctions between art and craft.” A man with the soul of a knitter, he understands that the “time-intensive and repetitive nature of knitting allows me to meditate on a piece as it comes into being, further revealing the nature of the work as part of the process.”


Cat Bordhi blows our minds with yet another wonderful “unvention” – Spinning and Plying with Balls. Rubber balls, that is.  Just watch it.


The Tricksy Knitter has recently launched an online color chart-making tool. It’s free, and is designed to help you create your own charts for colorwork without having to resort to graph paper and pencil crayons. There are sample charts you can use as inspiration, or create your own from scratch. It’s like coloring, but for grown-ups.


The Lion Brand Yarn Studio store in New York has announced that they are accepting donations of knit and crochet blocks for the Warm Up America! program. Blocks can be dropped off at the studio and will be displayed in the window until November 30th, when the blocks will be assembled into afghans to be donated to shelters, hospitals and social service agencies. Info about the program here, about the studio here. December 12th, the studio is hosting a finishing party to put them together.


A few great events this weekend: the Knitting & Stitching Show in Dublin, Stitches East in Hartford, Connecticut, the Southwest Fiber Festival in Tuscon, Arizona, and the Seattle Weavers’ Guild Show and Sale.

Fiber Expo: I May Have Shopped

This is the fourth year that there has been a Fiber Expo in my town. Now, it’s not Rhinebeck, but with 77 vendors, I was still able to make my spinning heart cheer and credit card cry.

All the vendors I bought from are local to Michigan, but sell online. I’ve got a bunch of spinning to do.

Here’s what I got:

BFL fleece, all raw and crunchy

A BFL fleece from Cross Wind Farm.

cormo, warm and inviting

Two 8oz bumps of BFL/Cormo from Cross Wind Farm in colors to chase away the gray Michigan winter

sexy batt packaging

I may have gone a bit of  batt binge at this show. This one is from Hands and Notions. Her packaging is great isn’t it?

so pretty, it changed the way I look at yellow and pink

Yellow and pink are two colors I typically steer away from, but this batt from Bricolage Studios lept into my hands.

can't pick? get them all.

I couldn’t choose between these batts from Frankielove Fiber, so I bought all three. I’m going to randomly spin them together.

sigh.

From Yarn Hollow, two new colorways: Crimson and Chai.

Fiberstory won me and my friends over, 100%

Every single person in the fiber gang I shopped with bought something from Fiberstory Our favorite new fiber supplier, can you blame us?

both happy AND fuzzy

Two from Happy Fuzzy Yarn. She does the best blues.

Contest winner!

Congratulations to Kelly S of Michigan, the winner in our Namaste Hip Holster giveaway! And thanks to Namaste for the awesome prize!

You could be our next winner…just watch this space!

Obsessing about travel

foreground dude is suspicious. background dude is dapper.

I love to travel. I love the planning to go, when anything is possible and your adventures have yet to start.

I love the part when you’re right IN IT and enjoying what you came for [whether it turns out as you planned or not, and it’s often not].

And I love the part when you’re finally ready to go home and turn the trip you’re on into a juicy memory that you can chaw on for a long while. And unpack the cool stuff you collected on your trip to help you remember.

I’ve had all of those moments in the last 2 weeks. The hub and I just got back from Heather Ordover of Craftlit‘s London, Bath & Wales adventure. A week of UK overload, focused on literature and crafting. The picture above right kind of sums it up: new UK vs old UK — always contrasting. Heather has been a friend since I went to SOAR in 2007, and this time we got to spend time with her hub, who is awesome. Our boys got along exceedingly well, which made for warm fuzzies on our part. And thoughts of future trips together. But I digress. We started in London:

proof I was actually there

dramatic skies as seen from our moving tour bus, driving through London

i can assure you it is NOT falling down.

v. v. v. old socks at the V&A. a museum that I fell in love with. and I emphatically do NOT like museums.

i Knit London is licensed, and clearly i took advantage of that. i loved this strawberry/pear cider. never got another bottle. whimper.

We also saw the play Oliver!, which was slightly traumatic for me since my sister [very musical, she is] was one of the orphans when she was a kid and spent an entire summer singing the songs in the house every waking hour. Talk about flashbacks.

Heather getting Stephen Moore's autograph

Most excitingly that night, besides being in the famous Royal Drury Lane Theatre, and enjoying the performance, it turned out that the grandfather was played by Stephen Moore. Heather is shown at right, getting his autograph and sharing a charming, heartwarming anecdote. I am standing to Mr Moore’s right, trying not to pee my pants. He was lovely and charming and a little surprised by our enthusiasm.

Who is this lovely man? Why, he is the original voice of Marvin, the Paranoid Android. And now I have his signature on my bagel-fabric knitting bag. Because that was all I had with me. Yay to Heather and Andrew for reading the program and getting us the geeky scoop of the trip!

our beloved blue-badge guide, Peter Ffrench, in his customary road-warrior position

the Crescent in Bath. If you've watched a Jane Austen movie, you've likely seen it. wish the cars weren't there, but I just squinted and imagined carriages and women in Regency dress instead.

i didn't expect to care about the Tinturn Abbey visit. i was an idiot. it was one of the most beautiful places I've ever been.

see?

taking a trip (not up to but somewhere near) Abergavenny! who remembers this from Captain Kangaroo?

i love this man. our tour guide, Peter, was the heart & life of the trip. did you know that?

yarn just-bought being wound on the tour bus before we even left Hay-On-Wye. Sharon is the windOR, Dianne is the helpful windEE (and the professional vacation planner that made this trip happen).

Tenby, beautiful little town in west Wales, where the tide was WAY out.

At this point, the tour continued for one more day, but the hub and I stayed behind in Wales to spend some time with our friends Brenda and Tonia. So now’s a good time to stop. There’s another post left to go, and if you want to see any more of the photos between the ones in this post, you’ll find them in my Flickr stream. You’re welcome to poke about.

WWW: Spoooooky! + a contest!

the Hip Holster, by Namaste

Our next ninja-bonus giveaway is the Hip Holster from Namaste, which we reviewed in our Deep Fall issue.

Our reviewer said this: “A great little bag, when you want to take along the bare minimum…The quality is exactly what you expect from Namaste, bombproof. The nylon is tough and stiff enough to stuff the bag beyond full if you want, and it stands up by itself. There are two adjustable straps that come with the bag, one to wear it as a hip bag and one to wear it as a shoulder bag. This is a great little bag for days you want to take along just a bit of knitting.”

One lucky winner will receive a Hip Holster in blue, prize value: $45.00

Want to win? Leave a comment to this post by midnight eastern time Thursday, October 21st. We’ll pick one winner, ask them a skill-testing question, and if they get it right, announce them as the lucky winner on our Knitty Friday post the next day.

Good luck, everyone!


Halloween approaches! The young and young-at-heart are thinking thoughts of costumes and candy and spooky knitting…

So here are a few suggestions from our Library to get you in a frightful mood.

Felted pumpkins

Perfect

The Frankensocks

Stitchy!

My Vampire Boyfriend Socks

Bitey!

And a couple of wigs to help with your costume…

the classic Hallowig

Chic!

and Desperate Hausfrau.

Domestic!

And of course, the Allete wings – angel or devil variants, as you wish.

Devilish!

We are also rather fond of the full-on Pumpkin costume for the little ones, courtesy of Berroco.

All the candy in the world to those wearing this costume...

I was on a trip

There’s much more to the story than this video of our favorite tacky tourist souvenir, but I’m still recovering from it all. Watch for an update on Thursday. With pictures. And everything.

KnittySpotting: Deep Fall WIPs and FOs

Coop Knits has a terrific Brambles beret, worked in a silk and lambswool blend.

Lovely

And a truly fab interpretation of Scare Isle in pinks from elizabethso!

Spooky yet feminine

Gwennyfhar‘s stunning Pretty Maids shawl.

Beautiful

Sapphire2001 finished a pair of Ringwood gloves in record time – only a couple of days!

Elegant and speedy!

Jellyfish Knits is working madly away on a Lia pullover to have it ready for Rhinebeck.

Almost there!

And Jen‘s excellent Carnaby in progress…

Swinging!

Obsession Thursday: The S

The Backnobber II, affectionately know as the S

When I knit or spin for long periods of time, I get knotted muscles in my back in a particular spot – between spine and shoulder blade, just below my shoulder. You know the spot?

Many years ago a co-worker introduced me to this funny looking S, officially called the Backnobber II.   You hook one end  over your shoulder, centering one of the knobs on your knotted muscle then pull down. It puts deep, concentrated pressure on your muscle and releases the knot.

It breaks down into two pieces, so I take it along to spinning and knitting classes, where I tend to be tense from the learning, sitting and working of little muscles.

It can’t compare to a full body professional massage, but for me it’s magic.

WWW: Sheep & Dogs

warm and woolly

This week is the kickoff of HRH The Prince of Wales’ Campaign for Wool, which aims to educate the world about the versatility and sustainability of wool in fashion and household uses. Many events are scheduled – lots of opportunities to ‘meet the sheep’ all around the UK. Even if you’re not in the UK, or a sheepy knitter, the website is worth a visit for its beautiful photography.


The Guardian hosts a slide show and free Jack Russell pattern preview for the book “Best in Show: Knit Your Own Dog”, by Sally Muir and Jo Osborne. The designs are all great, but the Old English Sheepdog is particularly good.


The 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee has organized the “Super Scarves” program. They are encouraging local knitters to create scarves to be given to the over 8,000 volunteers who help staff the Superbowl activities. Pattern and info on materials at the link above. Many stores in the Indianapolis area are selling the materials at cost.


Our very own Judy Becker, the creator of the world-changing Judy’s Magic Cast On has the coolest iPhone case in the world. Picture from Judy’s Twitter stream.


Something for every head

For those of us in the northern hemisphere – especially those of us with dogs or sheep to walk – we’re starting to think about hats.  Annie Modesitt’s recently published “1,000 Knit Hats” should provide some inspiration.  The book contains many phenomenal hats, and a well-chosen collection of patterns.