Friday, February 25, 2011

Ptarmigan in Pneu Mexico

My travel was rescheduled, but here I am, finally, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Guess what I brought along to work on?

The Kirman fair isle sweater.  The bottom hem was done in a scheme I have never encountered before.  Cast on, knit 4 rows, reduce the number of stitches by 10%, knit 4 rows, purl a row, knit 4 more rows, add the 10% back in, knit 4 more rows and then start the pattern.  It will be interesting to see if, when blocked, this method cures the flip-up tendency of your average foldover sweater hem.  Bottom border is done and I'm most of the way through the first pattern repeat. Really pleased so far. The yarn is softer than your usual Shetland, the pattern has enough challenge to keep it interesting without making a knitter want to chuck the whole works into the nearest cactus patch (except for beautiful photographs, of course).

I also brought along the silver scarf for those times when I want to do something simpler. The pattern is easy to memorize and I can keep one eye on the tv.  Wish I had put more beads on the cast-on edge, though, but I guess I could add them later.

Anyway, it's a lovely vacation from the Alaska snow, and great fun to sit outside in the sunshine knitting on the warmer days.

A propos of nothing whatsoever, here is a batch of vegan cupcakes I'm very proud of.  The cake part is marble, frosting is ganache with a dab of vegan "cream cheese" frosting topped with heart sprinkles.  Recipes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World .  Made for Grandboy's day care valentine party so that the coolest goodie there would be something that he could eat.  Loved the amazement on the teacher's face after a bite.  "This is actually GOOD!"

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Packing Up

Sorry I haven't been around here for a while.  Yeah, it's the old story--busy, busy, busy.  But still knitting.  I've got a bunch of things in progress, but not much in the way of Finished Objects.  Something of a bout of startitis and no finishupitis. And now I am packing up for a 2-week trip in which I anticipate having a lot of knitting time.  What to take? Here's the menu:

Winter Flame, a free scarf pattern from Knit Picks (also downloadable from Ravelry) in a cheap silvery yarn, Vanna's Glamour, bought on super sale at Joanne's.  And a few beads for trim.  Intended as a prize for my H2O class promotion next fall.  Just goes to show, I will knit with acrylic if I really fall in love with the look of it.

More of Vanna's Glamour, this time in Ruby Red, a simple long K1P1 scarf to donate to the Red Scarf Project next fall. For some reason the sparkles show up better in the silver than the red, but trust me, they both have a beautiful subtle twinkle.

The big project is Kirman, by Nancy Shroyer for Nancy's Knit Knacks LLC. The pattern is not on Nancy's site.  The copyright is dated 2002, and I think she's forgotten all about it and moved on to hats and ball winders.  It was a kit I bought long, long ago that has mouldered away in the stash until recently resurrected.  It's a fair isle pullover "inspired by the Symmetry and Colors of Oriental Carpets".  I changed a couple of the colors from the original--just couldn't stand the crayon yellow and green.  They've become a light blue and a light teal respectively.  I guess if I take that one, I need nothing else.

Last are Ringo and Elwood.  Well, just Ringo so far.  These mittens are soooo darn cute, but less fun than I thought to actually make.  The long carries call for careful tension.  Yarn is Knitpicks Stroll  sock yarn in Agate Heather and Fedora.  The plan is to make Ringo for one hand and Elwood for the other.  The Grandboy is not very impressed by Ringo, so it's hard to get motivated to polish it off and go on to Elwood.  Still, once I have two mittens I intend to connect them with an i-cord and string them up in his coat and to heck with the child safety mavens.  I seriously cannot recall
a single child back in the "bad old days" who was garrotted with his/her mitten string.  Not even cautionary tales from moms or grandmoms.  I wonder how many of those mavens have spent hours hunting lost mittens or being harangued by daycare providers who can't find them either.