Sunday, July 31, 2011

Just Because You Can....

First, an update:  My friend, Nell from Atlanta, sent me the link to the scarf from Project Runway that I mentioned in yesterday's blog.  Thanks, Nell!  Click here if you want to knit a rat scarf for yourself.

There is a category of knits that I refer to as "just because you can knit it, doesn't mean you should."

I was reading some posts on a knitting group that I belong to and a reference was made to a hat pattern that I'd forgotten about - or maybe I'd just blocked it from my memory.  It's the Champagne Fizz Hat from Kniting Daily, September 15th, 2009.  

Around the same time, Diane von Furstenberg had a runway show and had similar hats with even bigger pompoms. 

I was thinking of the poor girls who are wearing them.  They are now a professional models, ready to walk the runways of New York, Paris and Milan, and what are they given to wear?  Knitted hats with giant pompoms!

Okay, so some people may like them.  That's fine.  Different strokes for different folks (music link) as the old song used to say.  They just aren't for me.  I'll stick to making an afghan out of sock yarn!  hahahahahaha

The pattern is still available, click here.  You know you want it!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Knits On Project Runway

Did you watch the first episode of Project Runway on Thursday night?  Did you see the knits on the show?

Excuse the slightly blurry pictures.  They are screen shots and the people were moving. 

There was Anthony Ryan Auld wearing this knitted scarf:

Heidi loved the scarf, repeatedly saying, "I want that scarf.".  I know that I've see this scarf as a pattern somewhere.  I wonder if any knitters were watching and decided to knit one and send it to her?

Olivier Green was wearing this fairisle sweater:

It's probably a machine knit and purchased in a store, but gorgeous just the same. 

I wonder if we'll see more knits on the show in the future.  I'll be watching.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Random Friday

Just a bit of randomness for today:
- Thanks to everyone who made suggestions and comments about my Romany Vest.  I'm going to follow up on them and see if I can save this project,

- Project Runway is back.  Season 9.  There's not a lot that I like on TV these days, but this is a show that I'm totally taken with and glad to see that it has returned.  (My other guilty pleasures are "Breaking Bad" on AMC and the British soap "Eastenders".) 

This season there is another contestent from Denver, and how can you not love Tim Gunn?  He's a great part of the reason that I like this show. "See you on the runway!"

- I haven't blogged much lately, especially about knitting, since I've been working on only one project, the sock yarn afghan.  I'm enjoying the project as much as ever and my latest total is 348 small blocks and 6 large ones.  The banket is approximately 60 - 65% complete.  As much as I'm enjoying it, I'm really looking forward to working on other things as well, especially anything that needs finishing.  The list of UFOs (UnFinished Objects) is too long for me to feel comfortable about.  Now, I think I'll dig out my Queensland #10 book so that one of the projects can continue.  I'm doing Design #28 (right).  Only the left front piece is finished.  More on that project soon.

- A friend has just started a blog.  The main focus will be political commentary, but there will be other topics as well.  Check out "A Seasoned View" if you get a chance.  I doubt that there will be any knitting content, but I think that I see a knitter in one of the pictures on the wall!

- I hope that this link works for a while.  Check out Prince Charles and Camilla looking at the Knitted Royal Family during their visit to the Norfolk Flower Show.  Click here.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rowan 50

Recently my copy of Rowan 50 magazine showed up in my mailbox and it's a winner!  I was lucky enough to receive the hardcover version as I subscribe to Rowan International, something I've done since it began.  

The scan shows the cover to be black and silver.
The colors are actually brown and gold.
Rowan yarns is my all-time favorite, if-I-had-to-choose-only-one, yarn company.  I admit that I like the earlier yarns and patterns better than some of the recent offerings.  With Rowan 50 there is a return to some of the more classic designs.  After spending time and money, I like to think that the resulting garment is something that I'll still want to wear in the future.  There are several in this magazine that fall into that category.

I particularly like "Maple" by Marie Wallin, knitted in Felted Tweed (page 12).  I love color and this design blends ten shades beautifully.  You have to see all the pictures in the book to fully appreicate the design.  If I didn't have so many other sweaters already planned and sitting, waiting patiently, in my stash, I think I'd probably be casting on for this one soon.  However, given that Rowan discontinues their yarns and colors so often (a pet peeve of mine), maybe I should stash the yarn for this one, too.

Rowan magazines are also for reading and there are articles about designers, Shetland Lace, a Travel Journal, and more.  Of course, there are also some designs that make me ask "what were they thinking?"

Do you have a knitting "bucket list"?  I do, and near the top of the list is the wish to have a design in a Rowan magazine.  I don't know if it will ever happen, but you never know.  Check out the future Rowan 100 and see if you can find my name in it!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011


From my earliest memories, I've always been interested in the wide world.  As a small child I would draw maps of the world and see how many countries I could locate, I would draw the borders and label the maps.  I could draw a map of South America or Africa, for example, including all the countries.  I couldn't do that any more, but my passion for all things global continues.

I love to travel and wish I could do more.  I'm interested in the people, food, culture, history... and, of course, the knitting.  I've purchased DVDs about Portugese knitting, the Sweden's Bohus industry, knitting in Britain and more, and I watch them often.  So, knowing that, when I discovered the DVD "knit your own lopapeysa", I wasn't able to resist. 

A lopapeysa is a traditional Icelandic sweater.  The video is in Icelandic and English.  While I watched it in English, I did enjoy listening to the Icelandic language in the background, which I'd never heard before. I may never visit Iceland, so it was nice to see the scenery in the program.  The DVD 82 minutes in length.

The DVD starts out with the Lopi sweaters and scenes of Iceland, then goes to the shearing of the sheep.  From there, you're taken to a factory where the washing, dyeing, carding, spinning and winding into skeins, cakes or balls for the stores takes place.  So much beautiful yarn!  It reminded me a little of the tour I took a number of years ago at The Brown Sheep Company in Mitchell, Nebraska.

After leaving the factory, the charming hostess goes to her great grandmother's house to talk about the sweaters and the techniques to make them.  I was particularly interested in the cast off/bind off methods used at the neck as I'd never seen them before, especially the one where you split the knit and purl stitches onto separate needles and then graft them together.  I'm definitely going to have to give it a try.

I made a number of Lopi sweaters in the early 1980s, using whatever yarns I could find that fit the gauge.  On a trip to the Eastern Townships of Quebec I found a shop that sold the authentic Lopi yarn.  I bought enough for a sweater and quickly knit it up into a gorgeous design.  Unfortunately, while I loved the pattern, I really didn't care for the yarn.  Even with a blouse or turtleneck top underneath the sweater I found the yarn to be itchy, picky and irritating.  I'm guessing that it's just me, however.  I know that others like this authentic yarn and I did like the look of it, just not the feel.  In the video the suggestion is made to rinse a sweater with hair conditioner.  Perhaps I'll try again as I love sweaters to be as authentic as possible.

If I ever make a dent in my stash and knit up all the sweaters that I already have the yarn for, then I will have to knit another lopapeysa.  Perhaps the wool is softer these days, or I can substitute.  These sweaters are just too strikingly beautiful to ignore.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Major Bummer

This is one of the favorite things that I've knit long ago, about 15 to 20 years ago.  It's the Romany Vest by J & J Seaton.  How I miss those designers, who have moved on to another venture.  I used to wear this vest quite a lot.

I purchased this design as a kit, which included the yarn and the pattern.  The yarn is Rowan 4-ply Botany, now discontinued.  The main color is "metropolitan grey".  It was a design that was well worth knitting intarsia on small needles with thin yarn.  By the way, I like intarsia.  Yes, I'm one of those people!

I say that I used to wear it a lot.  One day, I took it out of my cupboard to find that it had little holes all over the vest.  Some were the size of about 1 or 2 stitches, some larger.  My first thought is that moths got to it, but the odd thing is that no other wool sweaters were touched at all.... and I had cedar chips in the closet, so I'm not totally sure what has happened.  Whatever it is, the vest is unwearable as it is now.

Now, the dilemma:  I'd love to be able to wear this sweater again.  I *think* I could do a decent job of fixing the holes, but I don't have this yarn anymore.  Even if I could find a skein, the dye lot would surely be too different to do an acceptable job.

Better yet, I could reknit it, but I can't find the pattern.  I can't imagine that I'd throw it out, but it's picked a very good hiding place, if I still have it. 

I could substitute another fingering-weight yarn, but I need a pattern.  If anyone has this pattern, I'd love to hear from you.  Obviously, since I purchased the kit, I did buy the pattern, so I'm not breaking any rules of copyright, I'm quite sure.

I'll continue my search and, hopefully, one of these days, I'll be able to reknit this favorite. 

I'd also like to knit most of the sweaters in the one book that the Seatons published, "Sweaters From The Seaton Collection."  So many beautiful designs, more than I could knit in one lifetime!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Eye Candy Friday - The Rainbows

Last Friday I was in a restaurant, sitting by the window, with a couple of friends.  Then, looking through the glass we saw this most amazing rainbow.  But wait, there were two rainbows.  I went outside to have a better look and saw two absolutely perfect half circles.  One was brilliant in color, the other was softer.  I had my camera and snapped some pictures while I stood under the roof in front of the restaurant.  Here is one of them:

Friday, July 8th, 2011 - Centennial, Colorado

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Blue Cable Pullover Finished

I've finished the raglan cabled sweater for my Grandson, Braydon.  The yarn is machine washable and dryable, excellent for an 18-month-old toddler.  The yarn is very soft and can be worn next to the skin.  I chose this color to match his blue eyes.

(Click to enlarge - use your Back button to return here.)


Pattern: From Peter Pan, #P901
Purchased at

Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Dreambaby DK
50% Acrylic, 50% Nylon
Color #0309 - Denim Spot
4 balls, 50gm./183 yards each

Needles: Size 3:00mm & 3.75mm

Size: 3 years

Note:  Didn't add the button placket on the back raglan seam - unnecessary for a size 3 pullover.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Knitting With Julia

My friend, Sheila, gave me the heads-up about this video.  It's hilarious!  It was shot on the set of the movie, "Larry Crowne".

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sock Yarn Blanket Update

Just popping in to give you an update on my Sock Yarn Blanket.  When I last posted about it, on May 10th, I had completed 53 small blocks and 2 large ones and was loving the project.

In this picture, taken a few days ago, I was at 202 small blocks and 4 large ones:

Today I'm up to 214 small blocks and 4 large ones and I'm still feeling the love. This is a very addictive and fun project.  The downside is that I don't get much done on other projects that I have on the needles.

By the way, all internal blocks (I call them "landlocked") have their ends woven in.  I didn't want to leave all the ends until I was finished.  That would have been a huge project in itself.

I hope all of you are having a good summer.  Thanks for visiting.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Hello ...

What-cha doin'?

I'm taking a break from my "blogcation" and thinking about what to post this weekend.

Y'all come back now, hear?