Two incredibly disparate ideas

I believe I forgot to mention that I recently had the pleasure of meeting Ann Budd. Yes, The Ann Budd, prolific knitwear author and editor at Interweave Press. We didn’t have a chance to speak much, but I feel this is incredibly noteworthy for two reasons: One, it’s Ann Budd; two, we met at the Denver Roller Derby. Ann Budd. Roller Derby. Wrap your head around that. I’m still having trouble with it myself.

But speaking of Ann Budd (who I am happy to report was wearing knitwear to the roller derby!), she recently blogged about the photo shoot for Lisa Shroyer’s upcoming plus-size sweater book. I’m a fan of Lisa as a person and as a knitwear designer, so I’m super excited to see how this book turns out.


Temperatures are starting to seriously warm up here in northern Colorado. I walked outside at the end of the work day yesterday and exclaimed, “Ugh, it’s warm.” Now, the “ugh” part of that was mostly shock—when I left my house yesterday morning, my car told me it was approximately 42 degrees. When we left the office, it was very close to 80. I just wasn’t expecting that much of a difference (though obviously, everyone else does, since they kind of laughed at me and told me I was crazy). At least it’s not humid, though!

Warmer temperatures bring about an adjustment in knitting choices, too. I’m so close to finishing my Vivian (just have to do the hood!), and I’m both excited and downtrodden. Excited because I’ll have finished my Vivian! Downtrodden because the next few months won’t afford many opportunities to wear a heavy, handknit, bulky cardigan.

Enter the new Spring+Summer Knitty! As usual, with any Knitty issue, there’s a veritable gobsmacking of wonderful patterns. There’s Torreyana, the gorgeous shawl that can be knit in what seems like a million different sizes (a slight exaggeration); Wanderer socks, with their delightfully unexpected sole construction; Miriam Felton’s Anthemion shawl with it’s delicate lace (and how cute is Miriam’s dress?); and the Que Sera cardigan which is just absolutely darling.

But my heart, and indeed my knitting brain (which is different from and takes up more headspace than my regular brain; you know what I mean), has been captured and held hostage by Petrie. I have not been able to get this tank out of my mind since I first saw it.

It’s simple. It’s drape-y. It has just enough visual chutzpah to grab your attention but clean lines and breezy fit to flatter pretty much any body shape. And don’t even get me started on the boatneck hem—I will swoon!

Ever since I first saw this pattern, I knew I had to make it. So I started looking around online for yarn options, thinking “Oh, the Berroco Pure Pima that was used in the sample has lovely drape, and would be a perfect choice for these warmer temperatures, and would look wonderful on me in a blue shade and could be worn with a cardigan or over my new blue and white dress” and on, and on. There was no reason to not knit this sweater, I mean, aside from not having the yarn, wanting to finish my Vivian, and wanting to knit my Whisper Cardigan, for which I do have the yarn. No reason at all.

Today, I asked a coworker if the yarn shop down the street carried Pure Pima. I hadn’t thought about this before, but I should have: I wouldn’t have to pay for shipping and I assumed the yarn in stock would be about the same price as any I found online. She said that yes, in fact, they did. So now I have 9 skeins of Berroco Pure Pima in the Caneel Bay color (it’s a lovely, lovely blue) and a desperate urge to cast on right now.

It’s going to be a long afternoon, working on that Vivian hood. But things must be done in their proper order. Or so I’m going to keep telling myself.

(Ann Budd! Roller derby!)

Stranded!

I have been completely obsessed with stranded colorwork lately. I can’t get it off of my mind.

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I love unexpected color combinations, and updated takes on traditional stranded knitting, especially Fair Isle and Norwegian styles.

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And I love how people use stranded colorwork to embrace and display their creative, and sometimes nerdy, sides.

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I haven’t done a lot of stranded knitting, but as I said, I can’t get it off my mind at the moment. I just picked up Alice Starmore’s Book of Fair Isle Knitting and I can’t wait to have some time to myself to sit and absorb all of the delectable information that it has, as well as attempt to put together some of her Fair Isle stitch patterns into… something. I should probably start small.

I also very much want Ann Feitelson’s Art of Fair Isle Knitting. This book keeps catching my eye whenever I stop into the bookstore. Much like Alice’s book, Ann’s shares a lot of the history of Fair Isle knitting, as well as including patterns and instructions on choosing colors and colorwork patterns.

I don’t think I’ve seen this book in person yet, but Janine Kosel’s Norwegian Handknits also appeals to my stranded senses. As does Traditional Scandinavian Knitting by Sheila MacGregor.

Of course, I’m all about pairing crazy colors. I really love the yellow and purple (maybe brown? I can’t tell) Norwegian socks, and the orange and blue cowl and sweater. But I also have a crazy hankering for monochrome schemes. For instance, Lisa Shroyer’s Bandelier Socks are positively SCREAMING to be knit in shades of purple. Maybe you can’t hear them, but they’ve been yelling in my head for weeks.

I realize this is a common cry on my blog (and many other knitters’ blogs) but sigh. So much knitting to do; so little time.

1. Minder’s Paper Dolls; 2. MariannAn’s Red Delicious; 3. elf518′s Stem and Leaf Cowl; 4. Pinneguri’s Womens’ Stockings; 5. tsigknit’s Fair Isle Pullover; 6. ssailorss’ Norwegian Stockings; 7. elf518′s Robot Fair Isle Sweater; 8. Courtney Kelley’s Tulip Cardigan; 9. Prelapsaria’s Kids Space Invaders Hoodie

I do know better, really

I know better than to think that I can go to a fiber event and not buy anything. I must have gone a bit batty when I thought that I could.

Allow me to explain. Last week, I discovered via one of the LYS’s Twitters that the 4th Annual KnitWear Extravaganza was happening this past Sunday. (There’s no actual website, but that should give you the gist.) I gathered up some of my knitting pals from my knitting group and we hit the ground running. The rule for me was to look, touch, but don’t buy.

Things started off so well. There were knitters and vendors…

KnitWear Extravaganza 2009

Vendors and knitters…

KnitWear Extravaganza 2009

There were fish-head hats.

KnitWear Extravaganza 2009

There were GIANT knitting needles. These suckers are at least US 50s.

KnitWear Extravaganza 2009

There was a help desk, where people could ask a very knowledgeable woman questions related to knitting and fiber-crafting. This was the same desk where the woman in question was giving away old pattern magazines and books FOR FREE.

Craft books

One of those is an Italian stitch pattern book. I don’t know any Italian, but I’m going to learn.

Italian Stitch Pattern book

Vera approves of Italian knitting.

Vera's interested in Italian

All in all, everything was going very, very well, and then it all came tumbling down. Or the inevitable happened. Whatever.

Brown Sheep

We got to the Brown Sheep booth, and well… it’s really hard to pass up quality yarn at a really cheap price. Those two skeins of Wildfoote there? I paid three whole dollars for both.

Brown Sheep

This Lamb’s Pride Worsted took a whopping $6.50 of my hard-earned money. I’ve been wanting yellow yarn to make a yellow scarf. Best $6.50 I ever spent, I tell you.

Mirasol

The gal from Woolen Treasures, the LYS just down the street from the office (believe me… I know) was there, and she had that lovely Mirasol Chirapa for sale, and I decided that I HAD TO HAVE Halloween socks. Too bad I can’t just will into existence the time to make said socks.

Lonesome Stone

And of course I have to support smaller, independent yarnies, so I had to pick up this LoneSome Stone Mountain Feat sock yarn. They’re located in Granby, Colorado, but I bought the yarn from the woman who runs Ewe Count in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I’m thinking two field trips are in order, one to Granby and another to Cheyenne.

This is why setting rules for myself in regards to buying yarn at fiber fairs is just a little ridiculous.

Random news: I did some spinning last night, when I should have been cleaning in preparation for my parents’ visit. You know how that goes. I started spinning up some fiber I recently bought from Gherkin’s Bucket on a lighter, faster drop spindle that I bought a month and a half ago. I don’t mind using a drop spindle, but since I prefer lighter yarns (I don’t use a lot of worsted weight), I’ve got to get thinner plies so I can end up with thinner yarns, which required a lighter spindle. So far so good! We’ll have to see how long I can keep it up.

Also, I’m now on Twitter! I don’t post frequently to my Twitter, but I try to post interesting knitting news or random observations or just links to yarn I want, so if you want to follow me, please do!

Secret knitting revealed!

Okay so it’s not really “secret” knitting. Remember the Hedera I knit a few months ago?

I mentioned that I didn’t model them on my feet, as usual, because they were going to someone else. That someone else just happens to be the brilliant mastermind herself, Cookie A. as a “sample knit” for her new book, Knit.Sock.Love (self-published, February 2010).

Bottom right corner = my Hedera!

I’m so excited to be able to show this to you and to be able to point you in the direction of the Knit.Sock.Love website. There, you can see a larger PDF of the above photo (obviously without my edits) and ooh and aah over the sock patterns Cookie’s. including new and old alike. Hedera is there (duh) as well as Monkey, I think I spot Django and Thelonius, I’m keeping various appendages crossed that Ornette has made it in as well. I don’t know the exact ratio of new to republished patterns, but who cares? Twenty Cookie A patterns all in one place, to sit next to Sock Innovation on my knitting reference bookshelf.

Is it February yet?