Thursday, January 29, 2009



sometimes i need to carry a little bit of my family with me, and that's it: my worry-stone, a drop of family history that means so much to me. i'm okay and will still have an office to go to in the morning, but i can't say the same for some of my friends, colleagues, and mentors. the state of the world - i finally feel it pressing in. keep rubbing that talisman.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

silly me

i don't know why i'm so stubborn about seaming; it's really ridiculous. because this sweater? awesome.

minimalist cardi

minimalist cardi

last autumn, malaraky noticed that we both had the minimalist cardigan by ruthie nussbaum in our ravelry queues, and wouldn't it be nice if we had another cross-coastal KAL? i promptly biked to my LYS, picked up five skeins of cascade 220 heathers, and cast on. i knit the sweater in the course of a few weeks, picked up that darning needle, and put it back down. after all, why would i seam when i could knit instead? i'll trade the meditative click of the needles for pretty much anything else, any day.

when malaraky came for a visit in december - sporting her finished cardi - i found a bit of motivation to get 'er done. but the holidays disrupted any productivity on this front. last weekend i finally bit the bullet, put my headphones on with my favorite podcasts queued up, and got to it.

and know what? i love this sweater. i already know it's going to become my most-worn cardigan - hand-knit or otherwise. it's really comfy, fits incredibly well, and toes the line between dressy and casual. the cascade 220 is gorgeous - a nice blue-green with gold hues - and softened up tremendously with a good soak. if you can knit, knit this. i promise you won't regret it!

(the yarn for my kilronan? i decided to order a color card. i'm determined to get this one right, too!)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

things i learned today

1. it is possible to get local heirloom tomatoes at the farmer's market in southern california in january.*

farmer's market

2. cats make great swatch models.


3. there is no such thing as too many episodes of my so-called life in a row, and this fact leads to very productive knitting, even on #4 needles.


4. as much as i hate it, seaming is often a necessary evil and totally worthwhile.

mini cardi

*they smell wonderful; we'll see how they taste. also, ignore the sprouting garlic there. we'll pretend it's a science experiment.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

odds & ends

i spent the morning going through my stash and weeding out all of the random half-skeins and balls i know i'm probably not going to use any time soon... when i came upon 650 beautiful yards of artfibers valparaiso. artfibers is a fantastic little boutique yarn shop in san francisco that only carries its own line of yarns - that is, until they closed down a few months ago. they do still sell their yarns online, although it looks like valparaiso has been discontinued.


it's an alpaca merino blend with a bit of sheen, lovely hand, and heathered look. i've swatched for honeycomb by sarah castor. i don't own any knit vests so i think it's time i make myself one.


why, what's this? oh, yeah. (rav link)

so now, i need your help. i'm about to embark on the knitting project of a lifetime:


b's family gave me alice starmore's the celtic collection for christmas and i am in love with this sweater. and the horse, but that's beside the point. anyway, with all the cables, it's going to be a yarn-eater so i'm looking at knitpick's telemark. but what color? i'd like this to be something that'll match with almost any pair of pants. if i'm going to put that much work into a sweater, i'm going to wear it. a lot. charcoal heather? grey wolf? lichen? what do you think?

(and not to be remiss - many thanks to boxwish and i09 for the mentions!)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

it's a good one.


not very grand, i know, but at least i have ryan here to celebrate with me. (thanks, mom, for the awesome balloon!) everyone in the office seems to have their televisions on and i can't believe the networks have superceded soaps for all-day coverage of the inauguration. it's just wonderful. also wonderful?

mrs darcy button

these buttons i found at the button store, my favorite source for buttons in los angeles. the woman who runs the place is fabulous - super helpful, even offering tips about modifying buttonholes post-knit to work with specific buttons. so yes, that means...

mrs darcy complete!

she's done!* although the mrs darcy cardi wasn't the super-easy stockinette sweater i was hoping for, i really love her and recommend this knit to more advanced knitters who've made sweaters in the past. there are a number of errors in the instructions, but the fixes are pretty intuitive, and i found that knitting the body in the round really helped. if i were to knit it again, i'd increase the length of the armscythes and sleeve caps by a couple of rows - the arm holes are a bit snug, but not uncomfortable. also, the yarn (knit picks shine worsted)? super sheddy. but so soft and kinda shiny.

finally - many many thanks to lindsay soll from entertainment weekly for the link-back! i am all a-flutter!:

bella's mittens

*sorry for the bleary-eyed weird-pose wet-hair photo. early AM, first day of the work week and all. also, michelle, hope you don't mind i stole your photo of me.

Monday, January 19, 2009


yesterday we annualized (is that a word?) our expedition to mount baldy. this time, b and i took two new los angeles transplants with us - we don't believe in best-kept secrets.

mount baldy expedition

mount baldy expedition

the trail up to the ski lodge wasn't as snowy as last year - i blame a bout of 80 degree weather we've been having here in the city - but there was still plenty of the white stuff and we had a grand time! the $2.50 packets of swiss miss at the lodge tasted extra chocolaty, but that was probably all the fresh, clean air playing mind games.

on the knitting front, mrs darcy is almost done; just need to find the right buttons. i'll be on a mission later today!

mrs darcy cardi

Friday, January 16, 2009

one fine day

yesterday my favorite LYS held an anniversary party. but this was no ordinary party -

unwind anniversary party

- this was a huge crazy mob of awesome knitters party! complete with...

rose city knitters with jess from ravelry!

- jess and casey and mary heather from ravelry! we had a rose city knitters reunion as you can see above (my lovely ladies from the pasadena knitting group formed via ravelry - how i miss you so!) -

i finally meet michelle!

- AND, a wonderful surprise, i finally met fickleknitter! fickleknitter and i have been blog buddies for years now (i think? anyway it feels like years) and i honestly can't remember how we found each other - she says she was intrigued by my blog name, and i think she's the funniest writer, so anyway - we kept up with each other. and had no idea we would both be at the party. how fun! fickleknitter is an incredibly talented up-and-coming designer and just you wait to see what she has in the works - so inspiring!

of course, i bought yarn.

ella rae lace merino

because how can you go to a yarn store party and not buy yarn? this is ella rae lace merino, and it is SO soft. i want to knit it up right. now. but i'm not sure what it's meant to be yet - a shawl, i think. but which one? do i finally knit a clapotis? maybe. i'm intrigued by the construction of faroese shawls too. i've got about 900 yards - any suggestions?

happy friday, and before i forget - a HUGE thanks to the stash and burn ladies for their discussion of bella's mittens on their podcast this week! you gals rock - i'm so flattered!

(hi to laura, thuy, and kimberly! knit lunch soon!)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

unexpected guests

edward models mrs darcy

"why, thank you edward for being such a dear and modeling my mrs darcy cardi WIP. what? what's that?"

ryan models mrs darcy

ryan wants to help too.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

a good place to be

i've never been so happy for the weekend in my life. my week was filled with turmoil of all sorts, both work and personal, and i was ready for it to be over on monday night. but i've survived and can only hope that next week will be a bit easier and relatively drama-free. step one on that road is an ankle x-ray tomorrow - blah.

i've been recuperating with a lot of knitting, reading, and bunny petting. it's difficult to be stressed out during a gorgeous weekend in venice!

mrs darcy at the beach

yep, that's the cuff of a sleeve! i've finished the body of my mrs darcy cardi, knit all in one piece up to the arm scythes because i. hate. seaming. (no, the minimalist cardi is still NOT sewn up.) i can do it, but i don't like it. due to my fragile already-stressed state right now, as seamless as possible is the way to go - the sleeves will be knit in the round up to the caps too.

i also went to ikea this weekend and bought mr b his very own pillow; he's been borrowing one from the couch (he likes to sit on it at the foot of the couch and watch tv with us; it also helps him gain foothold and jump up to sit with us). i covered it with a nice soft piece of (washable) fleece velcroed together on the bottom and he's enjoying trying to pull that off!


just because it's been a week, i'm going to post gratuitous pet photos. we all need a little cute sometimes, right?



sleepy sunny kitty

(don't worry, cole's still with us - he just won't pose for me this morning!)

finally, before i sign off, i wanted to thank the lovely folk at craftster and lime & violet for featuring bella's mittens this week!

happy sunday 'yall!

Monday, January 05, 2009

facing the music

sad knitting needles

well, it finally happened: the third of my three longest needle cords finally gave out. one, i was okay. two, i could manage. three? can't handle. good thing denise interchangeable knitting needle kits have lifetime warranties!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

new year, new knitting

so one of my resolutions this year is to find projects for yarn destined to my stash through no fault of its own. i'm not talking pure stash yarn, bought with no purpose in mind. i'm talking about yarn purchased for a specific project that turned out to be completely and utterly unsuited for that knit - or yarn purchased for a project with which i too quickly became bored. i've already made some headway this week.

swatching & lil b pendant

this is nashua handknits creative worsted, a single-ply with a very, very light twist that began as some lacy cape thing from an old issue of vogue knitting, purchased maybe three years ago. because it's single-ply and loosely spun, it's no good for ribbing or high-relief texture stitches; it kind of just droops. so i'm swatching up some lace-based ideas. (also check out the little b pendant - aww!)

mrs darcy cardi

i've also cast on the mrs darcy cardigan using knit picks shine worsted originally intended for snow white. i bought this yarn a couple of years ago and realized - again - that the slick cotton just would not be appropriate for all of the ribbing that basically is snow white. the mrs darci cardi is stockinette-based and my version will be nice and drapey and soft!

also, for the holidays i received a skein of lovely lismore sheep farm wool from a dear friend. it's gorgeous, don't you agree?

linsmore wool

it's also very, very "sheepy": slick with the sheep's natural oils and such. i have some ideas for this gorgeous yarn and our couch is a light cream color, so i decided to wash it up a bit.

washing wool

that second photo? wash #4. oh yeah. i didn't wash out all of the natural oils - just enough to keep my hands and couch clean!

off to sunday brunch - happy knitting!