Archives for posts with tag: 2010

It’s been months since I posted (things have been hectic in my non-knitting life!) and I’m almost a month late with posting about this… but better late than never, right?

I’m pleased to announce that I have a pattern published in the Winter 2010-2011 issue of Knitcircus, a Madison-based online knitting magazine. (My pattern is on page 84, but take the time to flip through the whole issue–there are some really great patterns. The layout may look similar to Twist Collective, but unlike Twist, you can purchase the entire pattern collection at once and get ALL the patterns for $8, instead of $8 apiece… my favorites this time are probably Beckett, Treccia, and Sweet Georgia.)

My pattern is called Bel Canto–the design reminded me of a hair-braiding scene in Ann Patchett’s book of the same name. It’s a simple design, all stockinette, flared at the base of the cowl to fit the body where neck meets shoulders, with simple rolled edges at the cast-on and bind-off–the one focal point of the design is a dramatic three-strand plaited cable framed with lace eyelets and sweeping diagonally across the cowl.

The sample was worked in Rios, the new plied, worsted-weight, superwash merino yarn from Malabrigo. I was afraid the color (Azul Profundo) might be too dark to photograph well, but it came out fine. It’s a lovely yarn, a bit thinner, shinier, and more slippery than the normal worsted weight singles yarn. I think you could substitute normal Malabrigo Worsted Merino in this pattern pretty easily, but I might go up a needle size for improved drape.

This was my first magazine publication, and it was exciting seeing my design professionally modeled and photographed! How cute is this photo?

This would make a nice quick Christmas present if you are so inclined–it uses less than one skein (210 yards) of Rios. In fact, the original prototype for this cowl was knit in just a few hours, and used only 98 yards of yarn (the La Lana Phat Silk Phat I picked up in Taos last summer)–it didn’t have the flared shaping at the base, though, so I don’t think you could pull off that low yardage with the current version of the pattern.

Anyway, if you’re interested, I have one copy of the Knitcircus Winter 2010-2011 Pattern Collection to give away! Leave a comment by midnight on Saturday December 4 telling me what yarn you’d use to make this, and I’ll do a random drawing on Sunday. I’m on the East Coast (Boston and NY) for the whole month of December, so I’m hoping that since I won’t have my normal life and domestic responsibilities to distract me, I’ll get a little more time to catch up on updating my blog. And finish my Christmas knitting and shopping in the next two weeks. It might be too ambitious a plan, but hope springs eternal.

The new knitty is up! While this warrants some general excitement in and of itself, I’m feeling lukewarm about this particular issue.

My faves:

Mythos and Purlieu are OK, but I can’t really get too worked up about either of them. I like the novelty yarns used in Purlieu.

Victoria and Iced feel like almost the same sweater to me, and it’s a sweater that conjures up either old pipe-smoking men or sturdy farm women in waders in my mind. I’m not big on the boxy cardigan silhouette + shawl (or shawl-ish) collar.

I admit this issue has a lot of clever little projects for handspun, and maybe I’ll be more excited when I see a few versions of, say, Purlieu or Jewels worked up in unique handspun yarns…

The new Twist Collective was posted recently. As usual, it felt like a big treat to leaf through it, but at the end of the day there was nothing that felt like a must-knit or even a must-queue for me. I liked:

  • Wallflower, which is gorgeous but the hell if I’m ever going to make stranded fingering-weight socks on size 0 needles and pay $6 for the privilege
  • Timpani, which reminds me of Rebel but more wearable,
  • Celandine, with its beautiful yoke/shoulder details. I would probably wear it if someone gave it to me, but I can’t see myself ever getting excited enough about it to knit it.
  • A lot of the shawls in the Arabesque section seem like they would be really beautiful, but I hit lace shawl overload after a certain point and they all started looking the same.

Did you see the women/men comparison chart? I was following a vitriolic thread in a feminist group on Rav about how sexist and unfunny this was, with a series of angry letters written to Twist Collective about how they were boycotting them due to this story, but I lost interest when someone from Twist came into the thread and explained that one of their other stories had fallen through last-minute and they were offered this book excerpt to fill the hole by one of their sponsors. How rational–how boring!

Also, of more interest, I finally picked up a copy of the latest Knitscene, which is not actually so new, and was actually really hard to find. I had browsed through it a month or two ago when it first came back, didn’t buy it, and then when I went back to the yarn shop to get it, they said they were all sold out and it was out of print, no more copies available. I had to check a few different bookstores around here before I found it (they still have a couple of copies at the West Towne Barnes and Noble, if anyone else in Madison is looking). The Conifer Shawl , Geodesic Cardigan, and Helleborus Yoke cardigan are my favorite patterns from this issue. Also, I like the Surf Stripes raglan but look at that picture where it’s shown from the back–there’s something really weird going on with those stripes. I hope that’s not part of the pattern.

I do not understand the art direction in the “Au Printemps” story, though. It’s like the backdrop for my junior high school photos, or maybe Glamour Shots. Except with maybe even weirder fashion choices than junior high, if that’s possible. Really? What are these layers?

That is not really so bad though. Compare this: the uber-hip boutique did their latest photoshoot in the dilapidated and smelly Central library in downtown Madison and it epitomizes weird fashion against a weird backdrop. (At least, it’s weird for me; I park my bike right by where she’s standing with the polka dot shorts and teal satin bustier, and the table where she’s poring over a book is usually full of homeless people carrying bags full of stuff.) Check it out.

The new knitty is up!

I was so excited to see Kalani‘s design, the Know It All bag, in it. Not just because she’s my pal but because this bag is AMAZING. Computational textiles! Felting! It counts your rows and shows you the next line on the chart! I have always admired the computational textiles I’ve seen popping up now and then (oops, typed “pooping” at first) on the CRAFT magazine blog, but nothing has seemed really worth the effort until this totally functional bag.

My other favorites from the issue:
The Duck socks. So cute!

The Summit shawl. It looks mind-bending, along the lines of a Lynne Barr pattern, and I might need to make a scarf version of it soon just to understand how it’s constructed.

Emmaline. I love the silhouette, not so crazy about the lumpy-bumpy yarn it’s knit in (even if it is organic–sorry). It’s totally cute and knit on size 10.75/7.0 mm needles, though, so it seems like a nice instant gratification summer project (if one’s climate allows for wearing a chunky gauge sweater, albeit short-sleeved, in the summertime).

Petrie is lovely, though I have the feeling the shape might be better suited to sewn fabric–thinner, drapier.

Que Sera looks amazing in the photos, but I suspect this might just be my total love of the styling and photography. It probably would not be as appealing without the crazy-colored skirt and door and ukelele, but man, does it ever look great with those accessories. I probably won’t actually end up ever knitting it, unless I start a ukelele band that only plays shows in housepaint showrooms.

Gams. OK, this is not one of my favorites, but I thought I’d mention it because this is sort of the polar opposite of Que Sera. The shorts have the potential to be cute, but this photo shoot is really distracting. The first photo is like a punch in the aesthetic face after 20 minutes of browsing pretty, conventional, Anthropologie-esque knitwear photos. The hiked-up rear and camel toe in front! The Scowls! The green eyeshadow up to the eyebrows! The black socks! Wham! Pow!

You scroll down a bit for a reasonable photo of a smiling model with the shorts worn low enough to eliminate the camel toe… then BAM! Close-up of a man-butt clad in tight green knitted hot pants, with legs spread! OK, this photo shoot is probably really avant-garde and high fashion, but it doesn’t sell me on the knitting at all.

Here is how I think they could be kind of cute–knit with a bit more ease (please) and a folded waistband casing with elastic threaded in to hold them up. Knit in cream or white yarn without the contrasting edging, to evoke traditional Aran sweaters. But I could be wrong. Knitted shorts! It’s so risky.

(Speaking of risky: I went to the designer’s website and found this knitted bathing costume. Wow.)

I spent a couple of weeks in February in California, visiting friends and family. In addition to this, I got a chance to meet up with a lot of knitting friends and do a bit of yarn shopping! Possibly even too much yarn shopping, if you can believe it–I got back to Madison with no particular desire to attend this year’s Knit-In (guests of honor: the Mason-Dixon Knitting ladies).

I stopped in at A Verb for Keeping Warm‘s physical space in Berkeley for a couple of hours one afternoon. It is really small, but a beautiful space, jam-packed with gorgeous, natural-dyed fiber. The bin of silk roving! The new camel-silk yarn! Amazing stuff. I had a great time chatting with proprietors Adrienne and Kristine and meeting shop Dachshund Cleo and her best friend, who had come to visit the shop–I forgot his name, but he is another Dachshund, and there is nothing quite like multiple tiny dogs running around a tiny space to lift one’s spirits.

My friend Molly has recently gotten into crochet, much to my delight, and we took a trip to Article Pract in Oakland. It’s a lovely LYS with a great selection (mmm, Fibre Company) and sales room–my only complaint is that it’s too dark to see the yarns very well.

I met up with Prachi from Adventures of a Desi Knitter and Kristen from Knitting Kninja at Stash Yarns in Berkeley. I had met Prachi before, when she came to Madison for a conference last year, but it was my first time meeting Kristen in person. It was great seeing Prachi again and meeting Kristen for the first time and chatting with them both–first over a gleaming pile of MadTosh sock yarn (a new shipment had just come in and GOOD LORD is this stuff gorgeous, the pictures online are good but don’t do it justice!) and then over warm drinks at the Starbucks next door. It was a cold and rainy day–nothing better than warm drinks and yarn-ogling in good company.

Oh, and there was a little thing called Stitches West. I accidentally (really accidentally!) timed my visit so I’d be there during Stitches. My mom and stepdad live about 15 minutes from the venue, so I girded my loins and headed out there Friday morning. I have a good amount of practice going to wool festivals by now, but it was really utterly overwhelming. From the Midwestern festivals I’ve been to, I’m used to a more low-key mixture of yarn and livestock, but this was gigantic, completely indoors, and with no alpacas to mix it up. The experience had more in common with E3 than with Wisconsin Sheep and Wool. I waited in line for about 15 minutes to even buy my ticket and get into the expo, and then I kept walking and walking and it kept going and going. I felt incapable of buying anything for the first two hours I was there–finally developed a game plan and went back for a few things.

I got in trouble because I completely missed the sign at the front about not taking photos. Oops. This is the only photo I have that was taken with permission, and I deleted the rest:
california 025
…ah, Malabrigo. Being a Malabrigo Junkie, I walked away with a free sample of navy blue Dos, and also purchased some Twist that will be making an appearance here soon–by the end of the month, with any luck.

The Dos:

I had lunch that day with Hilary from The Yarniad . Hilary works nearby, so she couldn’t come yarn shopping with me, but was able to take off her lunch hour to meet up. I spotted multiple Citrons up as samples on the show floor and was excited to tell her where to look out for them!

And last but not least, I met up with my favorite podcasters, Nicole and Jenny from Stash and Burn, and Jenny’s sister Alma. We didn’t get to talk for too long in the madness of the show floor, but it was nice to at least meet them in person, and check out their Stitches haul. Nicole and John welcomed a new member to their family shortly thereafter and Nicole said the long walk at Stitches was probably what got things started…

Highlights of Stitches West:

So, at Stitches, aside from the Malabrigo I mentioned before, I also bought this baby alpaca/silk/cashmere blend yarn, 400 yards fingering weight for $28, from Pigeonroof Studios. The color is Greenstone and it is luscious.

And that was the fibery portion of my trip to California.
california 014

Now I’m back to the Planet of the Apes Madison, where Spring is finally springing–I took this photo a few days ago, but the ice has since melted too much to go out on the lakes anymore:
latlong 101

Oh, and I’ve just put up a pattern on Ravelry that I’m really excited about–you can just about spot the hat and cowl I’m wearing in the photo above–but will save the post about it for later–but right now I have to get off the computer and start baking some pies. I’m having a Pi Day party (it’s 3/14 today!) Blueberry, Key lime, and savory corn pies. Yum.