Sunday, July 24, 2011

FO: Slightly Carnivorous Herbivore

Pattern: Herbivore by Stephen West

I've never really been a shawl person. Then I discovered Stephen West and his unisex designs. Nothing grandmotherly about them.

First up was the Pagona I knit a few months ago. Now the Herbivore. I love the texture of the twisted stitches, but must confess there were times I didn't enjoy the knitting. It's too intricate given the fingering weight yarn to be good TV/movie knitting. Yet, it's just mindless/tedious enough to not be fun to knit for long stretches. If it weren't for several sessions of "Knit Group of 2" with Jane while the girls were ice skating/hanging out in the pool, I might not have finished it for quite awhile. It proved perfect for rambling chats where you know the other person well enough that you don't feel rude making infrequent eye contact.

Also of huge help was the KPPPM yarn: so soft, so squishy, such interesting color combinations that it was fun to watch the rows take shape. I was so worried after coming up short on yardage with the Pagona that I bought 3 skeins at the outset. I ended up using just shy of two. Now what to do with the other skein? It's too lovely to return.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Hats, Hats, CIF Hats

I'm happy to report that I'm done with my Craft It Forward projects, not that I didn't have fun with all of them. It was a great chance to knit some items I'd had my eye on, and the last one gave me a chance to do some basic colorwork before I launch into the Fiddlehead Mitts I chose as one of my 2011 knitting goals.

The happiness comes more from being able to cross something off my master to-do list (the one that lives in my mind mostly, and is always more ambitious than time and life warrant). First up was a sweet little hat I loved the moment I saw it. But I also knew that it would not be flattering on me. I do think it will suit Jessi, but if not, she need never tell me. And since we no longer work together (she's in MN) she doesn't even have to pretend to wear it this coming winter.

Pattern: gwynedd hat by Cecily Glowik MacDonald
Yarn: KnitPicks Merino Style (silver)

Not being a Dr. Who fan, I don't fully appreciate the allure of this hat. However, I do know that Kristin has been talking about my teaching her to knit for about two years now just so that she could own one. That's fangirl dedication. Realistically, it's hardly a starter project, but it was a good starter colorwork project for me.

Pattern:  (re)TARDIS Hat by Jen Bruck
Yarn: KnitPicks Shine Worsted (French blue, white, black)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Happy Harry Potter Friday!

Here's a quick post I've been meaning to write all week... We're big Harry Potter fans in this house. While I read the first book not so long after it came out — and saw the first movie with some friends, including Brenda and her kids, the oldest of which is now a sophomore in college — I decided to wait to read the series with Izzy.

We started when Izzy was in kindergarten, and had just finished Sorcerer's Stone when we set off to visit my sister in England over Thanksgiving. Karen, for those who don't know her, is the biggest HP fan I know. She actually did all the paperwork and jumped through all the hoops so she could be selected to take a group of her college art students to Oxford for a semester. So there was no need for us to hire a tour guide, we had the best one all to ourselves. Here she is with Izzy in the Christ Church dining hall that inspired the Great Hall.

Izzy and I finished the Harry Potter series, starting Deathly Hallows just weeks after it was published. But the love affair hardly ended there. At this point, I've lost count of the number of times Izzy has checked out the books and audio books. As for the movies, let's just say our DVR queue holds space for little else...

Two summers ago, right after we'd moved to ABQ, we went to Chicago to see the Harry Potter exhibit, meeting up with Karen and her husband, Dean. Luckily the Weasley's car was located outside of the exhibit, giving us at least one good photo op from the visit. And tucked under Izzy's arm is the Hermione poster that's now the focal point of her room.

Given this history, it seemed absolutely necessary to take today as a vacation day from work. Izzy and I are now headed out for a celebratory breakfast, then off to the theater early to wait in line with our pre-purchased tickets. And (I buried the lead), I've packed a knitting project along for the wait outside and inside the theater. Dumbledore, himself, said it best, "I do love knitting patterns!"