Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ice Princess "Hatband"

Ice Princess Hatband (my own pattern!)
Note: I think this is really called a headband or an earwarmer, but apparently LP calls it a hatband, and it was designed for her. So, hatband it is. Also, while the construction is my pattern, the stitch is the Daisy Stitch from The Pattern Library's Traditional Knitting book.

Yarn: Lion Brand Jiffy in White (or any mohair-esque worsted weight)
Needles: 4mm (I used Inox 4mm straight aluminum)

CO 17 stitches (I used the standard cast on, a provisional cast on would probably work better)
Rows 1 & 3: (RS) Knit
Row 2: K1 *p3tog, yo, purl same 3 sts tog again, k1; rep from *
Row 4: K1, p1, k1 *p3tog, yo, purl same 3 sts tog again, k1; rep from *
Repeat rows 1 - 4 until headband is 2" shorter than the width of your head.
Decreases, row 1: (RS) K1, ssk, k11, k2tog, k1
Row 2 and all WS rows: K1, p to last st, k1
Row 3: K1, ssk, k9, k2tog, k1
Row 5: K1, ssk, k7, k2tog, k1
Row 7: K1, ssk, k5, k2tog, k1
Row 9: K1, ssk, k3, k2tog, k1
Row 11, create buttonhole: K1, ssk four times, k2tog, k1
Row 12: K1, p1, add two stitches, p1, k1
Row 13: K1, ssk, k2tog, k1
Row 14: purl all stitches
Row 15: K1, k2tog, k1
Row 16: purl all stitches
Row 17: cast off stitches
Decreases, beginning edge: Pick up 17 stitches from the cast on edge (or take out your provisional cast on and use those stitches). Follow pattern above for decreases, omitting buttonhole.

Sew on button of your choosing on the decreased end without the buttonhole.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Sweater!

I finished the Buttony Sweater!

Pattern: Buttony Sweater from (via Knitting Pattern Central)

Yarn: several skeins of Dazzleaire Mocha and one skein of Lion Brand Wool Ease in Chestnut Heather

Notes (and a close up of the buttons): I didn't swatch, and I didn't use bulky yarn, and I didn't use the size needles the pattern listed. Therefore, my sweater is pretty much completely different from the one in the pattern. Theirs is loosely knit with cotton and mine is more tightly knit with acrylic & wool. As we all know, I ran out of yarn when I went to knit the sleeves. There was a disaster with trying to get matching yarn off of eBay, but LP and I made a trip to Michael's to get some alternative yarn, and I think I like the results even better than if I had knit the whole sweater out of Dazzleaire. It looks like a varsity sweater from the 50s, a little. I've been toying with the idea of embroidering something on the right-breast area... perhaps an E. But I really love the buttons, which Mike and I bought this morning. I think they match the sleeves perfectly. There's a lot of fabric at the shoulders, which is often good in a sweater when you want to wear shirts under it, but the sleeves are too tight for many layers.

All in all, I like this sweater a lot. I've been pining for a pullover (I'm not going to wear it as a cardigan. The offset buttons would look strange open.), and this is perfect. In fact, I'm wearing it right now.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Yesterday was (almost) the perfect day.

We started with German pancakes for brunch- a wonderful breakfast my mom used to make on Saturdays or some Sundays before church. My best friend from high school is the only other person I've ever heard of who makes panckaes like these. They're a little like popovers, baked in the oven so they get nice a pouffy, and served with lemon butter and powdered sugar. Mmm-mmm, perfection.

After breakfast, I started knitting on the Buttony-sweater with the not-quite-matching new yarn, on the advice of my (color-blind) friend that the two colors looked the same! However, this was not the case. This necessitated a trip to Emeryville (aka the town that is actually a mall built on a landfill), which is never fun. I spent a long time looking at the yarns and finally settled on a lovely maroon color. I also bought yarn to start the long socks for Mike and I. I think both choices will turn out just wonderfully.

The red-tweed is for me and the brown/blue variegated is for Mike.

Then it rained, and we got a surprise visit from friends from the North Bay! They brought pastries and a bottle of wine the got for free off Craig's List (they actually got a whole case for free, but only brought one bottle).

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The continuing saga...

I finally received the yarn in the mail for my Buttony sweater.

Even though the colors are ostensibly the same, the new skein is such a dramatically different hue that the yarn I had been using that I don't think I can use it.

If only I were more like my room mates and could either wear capsleeves like LP or make the sleeves a different color like SS.


In other news, I started a scarf for LP in Daisy stitch. However, after consultation, we decided to make it a headband with a cute button.

The stitch comes from The Pattern Library's Traditional Knitting, which I inherited from a friend of my mom's. It's a great book- full of different stitch patterns, insets, and fair isle designs!

I'm not yet advanced enough in my knitting to take a stitch pattern and make a project out of it- but I would like to make a sweater out of this stitch I'm using for LP. It's just beautiful.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Sorry about the lack of posts this last week. Luckily, out of most of the people who read this, I either live with them or went to visit them this last week, so no one should abandon me for this blog-neglect.

I went to eastern CA to visit Mike's parents for a 50th birthday luau and our 1-year anniversary dinner. Both were a lot of fun- the luau was my second ever pig roast, and it was quite an event! The anniversary dinner was fun- it fell on Mardi Gras, so we (unexpectedly) got a special creole menu at the restaurant we went to. It was good, but who ever heard of a duck and sausage jumbalaya? At least the rice was good and the chocolate dessert wine was fantastic.

Even with all the driving and down time I knew would happen, I didn't take any knitting with me! I'm sort of between projects, taking a rest from cupcakes and waiting for the rest of the yarn from Ebay to arrive for my Buttony Sweater. So, I'll end with a picture of Strawberry Shortcakes beautiful shawland promise some of my own knitting for next time!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Rules for my blog. (And a near-FO)

Strawberry Shortcake and I read our fair share of blogs. And there are some things we just don't get. The "meme" is one of them. And the use of the word "teh". Is it "the" purposefully mis-typed? And why is it always used improperly (as in, something was "teh awesome")?

Because we don't understand these blog conundrums, I hereby promise:

1. Never to post, discuss, or in anyway acknowledge the existence of, memes. I doubt any of you actually care what the last thin I ate was, or when I last cried. Plus, everyone who reads this knows me and doesn't need to know supposedly "secret" stuff about me.
2. Never to purposefully mis-type or mis-use the word "the". I can't promise no typos (I consistently type "copmuter" and "Elixabeth"), but purposeful grammatical errors? Never.

(Oh, and by the way- the mittens are done! I just have to find that darned crochet hook and fix those ends)

Here they are blocking... And, a note about blocking. I've never blocked anything. Not a sweater, not a mitten, not a scarf. I read a post extoling the virtues of blocking (albeit, she was discussing lace), and decided to go ahead and block these mittens, since they were a bit small. I don't really think it did anything. The cuffs are a bit bigger, I think, but that's it... hopefully they'll stretch with wear I guess. (And I'm still not sold on the wonders of blocking)

The front!

The back! (Or is this the front? Who knows, with mittens.) Note: The pattern gives instructions for putting the year "2006" at the fingertips. Since a) it's now 2007 and b) that's pretty lame, I decided (inspired by the mittens Dogged Knits) to use the year SS was born. Plus, aren't orange and brown perfect early 80s colors?

And so ends my very first commissioned piece, and first foray into color-work. It wasn't so hard, but now I want to learn continental, so I can hold one color yarn in each hand.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Greatest Day of the Year

Happy Valentine's Day

I love Valentine's Day. Everything pink and cute and all about love.

When we woke up this morning, Mike and I exchanged gifts...

I got him chocolates from the candy store in New Hampshire where I worked during high school (in the traditional red heart chocolate box) and he got me a miniature rose grown at Half Moon Bay in California.

The card in the picture is my present to Strawberry Shortcake and an example of the postcards I wrote to my friends. (I used a typewriter on the front and rubber stamps for the back- a movie quote or song lyrics. Examples include: "Here's looking at you, kid", "Nobody puts Baby in a corner", "Just a small town girl, living in a lonely world", and "We are the champions, no time for losing".)

Total Cupcake count: 6 knitted, 120 frosted, 1 eaten by a shark.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

I worked on the squirrel mittens!!!

If you'll remember, as of the beginning of this blog, the second squirrel mitten looked like this:

Now it's a real squirrel with a whole body! Maybe Strawberry Shortcake will get to wear them before it's springtime!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Socks and Mittens

I promise that I will work on the second squirrel mitten. I promise that I will work on the second squirrel mitten. I promise that I will work on the second squirrel mitten.

I seem to have lost knitting steam. I made five cupcakes- enough for Valentine's Day, I hope. I've already given one (another white one) to a friend for her birthday. She loved it so much that she just kept squeezing it the whole time we were eating dinner. It was a wonderful response. Another, I made into a pincushion. This one lives with a jar I got for SS for Christmas, and her cyborg ponies. (Notice that one is a unicorn).

The other three live in a pyramid, courtesy of LP. I think that these will be enough for the friends a) who I will see on Valentine's Day and b) who will appreciate them.

So, I can stop knitting cupcakes. For now anyway. I still have tons of crazy sparkly pink yarn and fiberfill, and who knows what else I can do with that! (Maybe some crazy stuffed animals are in my future...)

Also, I never thought I would ever want to knit socks. But then I just thought about them and thought about them.... and I want to make me some socks!

Mike likes the long socks, so maybe we'll go yarn shopping soon and those will be a Valentine for him. That he'll get in say, June, when I finish them! Also, I love that it's a vintage pattern, and it says "Men in the forces prefer extra long socks, which dispense of knee caps" as an added incentive to make them!

I also like these ones, because the pattern says that they are easy, beginner socks, and I have never made socks! Plus, the design isn't that ugly. I would definitely choose a different color though.

But for now, I will make use of these rainy days and watch movies and finish the mittens I started for SS at Christmastime. We have some great movies in the house right now- The Way We Were, Fraggle Rock : The Beginning, Kiko's Delivery Service (Miyazaki- so great!), as well as An Inconvenient Truth and many teen-dramas for LP & SS.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Barbie Art

I am in love with making Valentine's. I don't consider myself an artist or a crafty person at all (a weird admission on a knitting blog, I suppose), but the past few years I have gotten fairly crafty with my Valentines. I stopped giving Valentines once I grew out of the Scooby-Doo variety, but have recently started up again. I think it's because Christmas seems to always sneak up on me, and I don't have time to make everyone something unique (hence all the scarves), but it gets my (limited) craftyness itching, and then I have the entire month of January to funnel that energy into Valentines Day.

Last year, it was cut up paper cards, and this year hand-stamped / typewritten postcards. I'll post pictures after Valentine's Day since I think there are some card-recipients-to-be that read this blog and I wouldn't want to give anything away.

In the meantime, though, drool over this collection of magnificent art/jewelry

The only type of jewelry I really go crazy for is earrings, and I love big circular and dangly ones. I particularly like the long earrings of mismatched face-parts. And several of the Ken pieces I could easily see proudly worn in the Castro.

And, on the long continuing Dazzleaire / button sweater saga: I am now in contact with the guy who outbid me (in order to use the yarn to make trout fishing flies! A whole new world of yarn use I never knew about!)- he is open to me buying the whole lot (4 skeins- 3 mocha and 1 autumn) or just 1 or 2 skeins of mocha, which is all I think I'll need... I can't really afford the bid he made for the whole lot, but don't want to not have enough AGAIN! I also don't want to use just one skein and end up with more of this crazy brown acrylic yarn! Advice?

Monday, February 5, 2007

A Wonderful Day

Several amazing things happened today:

1. I woke up with a wonderful man
2. I got the yarn for my button-sweater after all (see post below)
3. At work, a wonderful customer gave me a rose for no reason! (Not a creepy man, but a sweet, lovely British woman, a professor at Mills)
4. I decorated cupcakes
5. I was accepted to Lewis & Clark University Law School
5a. They gave me a $16,000 annual Public Interest Scholarship, narrowly beating out the $15,000 merit scholarship I was given by Vermont Law!
5b. They also offered me a $500 travel reimbursement so I can afford to visit them
6. I bought plane tickets for Mike and I to travel to the East Coast to visit VT Law (as well as Philadelphia, my friends still in college, my mother's house, and friends in Boston)

The Affinity Between Knitters

Here's to the kindness of strangers!

I emailed the winner of my mocha Dazzleaire yarn and explained my situation. Much to my pleasure, here is the response I got:

"Since you are in the middle of knitting a sweater, you may have the the yarn."

How wonderful! I do have to pay the higher price that HE bid ($3 more than I wanted!! 50 cents each for the first six skeins and $17.50 for the last three!!) But at least I won't have a crazy-multi colored sweater. (I'm not as color-courageous as Strawberry Shortcake- see comments to the last post).

Now I just have to find the right buttons...

Saturday, February 3, 2007

The devil named Ebay.

The only skeins of the yarn I need to finish the buttony sweater (Dazzleaire Mocha) were on eBay today. LP and I were watching like hawks to make sure I won. I had it until there were 7 seconds left, and then someone swooped in to outbid me. I can't believe it. Now I have to either a) connive to get the winning bidder to sell me the yarn or b) take out my sweater and make something smaller or c) wait, who knows how long, until some more of this discontinued yarn appears and then go through the crazy headache of eBay bidding again.

UPDATE: Does anyone know where to buy discontinued yarn? Any secret online yarn stores...? Please keep your eyes open for skeins of this yarn at thrift stores!!