Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spring Break Bandit

Spring BREAK Bandit

A few months ago I got super committed to KNITTING WITH MY STASH YARN, and I pulled out a bunch of old yarn and matched it to patterns in my Ravelry queue. You know, like you do after completing a big design and craving the simplicity of just following someone else's pattern for a bit. 

I'm one of those knitters who enjoys picking out yarn, and enjoys knitting, and enjoys wearing their finished hand knits. Those are all pretty common attributes of "the knitter." 

Springtime Bandit

But I'm also one of those knitters who hates having a stash of yarn sitting around, taking up room, just being yarn. I'd rather have socks, or a scarf, or a hat, than yarn. Maybe this is because I live in a one bedroom apartment, so my yarn has to live tucked away, taking up valuable space that could be used for something else, like old tax returns or VHS tapes or something. 

Now I've used the word "yarn" so much it's lost all meaning.

Springtime Shawl

ANYway, I got really excited about this using-up-of-yarn for a minute, until I was distracted by those Downton Abbey towels, and in that minute, I made this shawl.

I'm usually not so into shawls, but this one is more like a big scarf, less like a poncho. 

I'm soooo pleased with myself.
I was pretty proud of myself in this picture.
Look! If you use the nails already in the wall, you can hang up your shawl!

The pattern is Springtime Bandit by Kate Osborn, and I made it just as written using a little less than two skeins of leftover Cascade 220 from my Beatnik sweater. I knit it while on vacation in Captiva Island, and I made one mistake in the lace. I accidentally did two extra YO's, which I later just stitched closed and wove in the ends. Such is life. 

Thanks to Ravelry, I know that this yarn has been sitting around, just being yarn since the spring of 2011. So I'm pleased that it will now sit around as a shawl until December or so, when it cools down enough to wear this, or I go home to Michigan for Christmas. And yes, this is somehow better. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Holla Knits KAL - Nachtfalter

Nachtfalter Swatch

Just looking at that lacy swatch makes me happy. 

This summer I'm leading a knit-along for Holla Knits, for my favorite sweater from the Spring/Summer 2013 issue: Nachtfalter.

I'm using CotLin in Gosling and Wallaby, and we start next Monday. Care to join us?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Works in Progress - Blankets & Lettuce

Blanket in Progress

A few weeks ago, I went home for my Mom's graduation from college. She graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a degree in Art after about 30 years of taking classes on and off. She has 4 kids, 3 grandkids, paints professionally (that links to her sweet art blog), and is very involved in the community and at church. So basically, she's amazing and her commitment to education has finally paid off. Other people would have given up 25 years ago - but not Jean Canavan!

She also reads this blog - I love you, Mom! -  so if she's blushing right now, she'll let me know.

So for her graduation, I wanted to make her something big. When my little sister, Meghan, graduated, I made her a crochet blanket, and I knew that Mom deserved the same. 

But where to get the amount of yarn that a great blanket requires? Ah yes, my old WORK+SHELTER yarn line

Closeup on the Blanket

I still have a bunch of this yarn and held double, it's perfect for a blanket. Seriously, this is what this yarn was MADE for. I searched around for a good pattern, and landed on the Starburst Flower crochet motif. 

I'm only about a third done, but I presented the blanket to my mom in April. It fit over about half her body, but she loved where it was going! She has vision, my mom. 

Windowsill Lettuce Farm

What else? I've been re-growing my romaine lettuce heads on my windowsill. Sarah from Knit York City posted a picture of her lettuce on Instagram, and I was intrigued. The bunnies go through about 5 heads of lettuce a week, so we definitely have lettuce leftovers to spare around here. After I cut the leaves off, I popped the stems in water, and voila! New lettuce!

And really GREEN lettuce, too. It's funny how such bland grocery store lettuce can look so healthy when grown somewhat naturally. And by funny, I mean a bit creepy.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Adventures: Seattle & Port Townsend, WA

Typical Seattle Picture

This past weekend I went on a little trip to Seattle to get this guy (Chris. My boyfriend.) and see the show he's been working on Port Townsend, WA. Chris is a stage manager, and lately he's taken a few more jobs out of town, which is always a fun excuse to travel!

Me & Andi, for the first time!

We spent early Saturday in Seattle, and I got to meet up with my long-time blog-friend, Andi, from Untangling Knots! It's so fun meeting up with people, but with Andi it was especially awesome, since we've "known" each other online for so long. And she was wearing a super cute hand knit sweater, too! 

Chris sits on the Iron Throne (Uncomfortably)

Chris and I went to the EMP Museum to see all the nerdy stuff like props and costumes from our favorite SciFi/Fantasy/Horror movies and TV. Which, to be honest, there was less than I thought. But the stuff they DID have was pretty cool, including this Iron Throne to sit on and take pictures. Chris was just begging to be thrown off... (throne.. off?!!? ehhh??)

I sit on the Iron Throne

Clearly I'm more devious.

Crossing a Bridge

Then we got in the car and drove around the bay to Port Townsend, WA, where Chris was working at the Key City Public Theater

So. Charming.

Port Townsend is an adorable little town, and I was kinda jealous that Chris got to spend the last month and half there. 

On Top of a Huge Hill

The Bay

The Swan B&B

Beautiful Port!

Artsy Log

We ate a lot of delicious seafood, drank some yummy drinks, and of course I had to visit the local yarn store and purchase something. 

Very soft, hand-dyed, French Crewel Thread

I got these super soft, hand dyed, French crewel threads at Bazaar Girls! Finding crewel supplies is hard enough, so I knew I had to get a few of these high quality threads. I wanted to buy all the colors! 

So if you're in Seattle and want to take a little day trip - Port Townsend is highly recommended! Very cute and cozy town with lots to see, do, and eat. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Little More Downton Abbey and some other nerd things...

Lady Rose Downton Abbey Embroidery Dreamy Branson

I've been busy this week stitching up new Downton Abbey embroidery patterns for Kitschy Digitals. After the warm reception for the first 15 characters, Heather Davulcu designed 6 more, and I've been stitching while watching season two of Game of Thrones. 


Speaking of Game of Thrones and other such nerd things, I went to the local Renaissance Faire last weekend. Surprisingly, I had never been to a Ren Faire before, despite my love of the Tudors, dressing up, and drinking mead. 

It was quite the experience. WHY did my parents never take my to a Ren Faire when I was a kid!? I spent hours playing dress up as Laura Ingalls or Felicity (the American Girl, not the character played by Keri Russel), and would have loved something like this. Maybe Ren Faires weren't as cool in the 80's as they are now... right?

Renaissance Women
Me with Lizzie and Joey, aka my wenches

Now, those of you who come here strictly for knitting and sewing posts may be shocked at my nerdy social life. I know, you are surprised that someone who knits and plays the accordion would also partake in something as geeky as dressing up in historical garb. 

Stick Me in the Stocks!
... obligatory

But it's really not that far off, is it? I've always been interested in history and fashion, which lead to a major in costume design, and learning to knit. I mean - what's more historical than knitting!? Or embroidery - the hobby of the upper class in Medieval and Renaissance times. 

Captain Joe - I'm Skeptical
Captain Joe (a Jack Sparrow wanna be) - I am highly skeptical

And if you're wondering about my costume - it's handmade, but not by me. I found the green dress almost a decade ago at a thrift store, back when I used to actively keep a stash of costumes on hand for design purposes. The shirt was found at a thrift store the day before - it's from Target - along with the leather belt. My necklace was a gift from my Grandma this past Christmas - she used to wear it in the 60's. 

Gettin' some cash in my maiden costume

And I can't help but include this photo, Instagrammed by Joey - Renaissance lady in a modern world! 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A little crochet cozy

Plant Cozy Again

When Alycia from Habitual Homebody posted the newest crochet along pattern, I was totally into it. A cute cozy that also uses up scraps of yarn? Yup. 

Striped Plant Cozy

And then on top of that, it was my friend Katy's birthday on Saturday, and I knew she'd love her own little aloe plant wrapped in a sweater. Although, wow, this aloe plant is sad. Thanks for nothin', Lowe's.

Plant Cozy

The "pattern" is here at Hopscotch Lane, but I didn't do any of the increases, because as you can see, my pot was a little galvanized tub, not the ceramic kind. It still turned out pretty cute, though, so I think the pattern works for pots of all shapes and sizes. It's inclusive like that.