kniterary club goes public!

Great news! Kniterary Club is coming to a shop near you...my private knitting madness put on display. Uh oh. But really, come check it out-- I am so excited to be involved with a knit shop (regularly) again and can't wait to see what everybody brings to the group. See you Sunday!
Check Old Village Yarn Shop's website for more details.



I have returned from my wonderful trip to Minnesota...got to see all the great people there, laugh hysterically, and surround myself with yarn, of course! This might be a long post, as I have many exciting things to share.

Okay, so while I was working at Needlework Unlimited on Saturday, I decided that I was going to learn how to crochet. I've always floundered through crochet, but I had never cultivated any proficiency. I bought Sasha Kagan's Crochet Inspiration for, well, inspiration; I thought it would be smart to get a crochet how-to guide as well so I picked up The Crocheter's Companion by Nancy Brown to guide me through technical skills. In addition to knitting/crocheting, NU carries needlepoint supplies so I bought a bunch of Perle 3 cotton to crochet little flowers with. In no time I had a whole bouquet! Crochet is fun! Wooo!

So of course I had lots of travel time to knit, and I got the body of the baby sweater done! In my re-working of the pattern, I might have included a few too many buttonholes...but I'll find cute buttons and nobody will realize they're just a little too close together. It had been my plan all along to come up with a cute edging for the sweater, but THEN I realized I could CROCHET one!!! So I tested a couple hook sizes and the blue sleeve turned out better. This weekend I'll go out and find a nice edging color and buttons and get this sucker done. Just in time to make another....

Kitty loves baby sweaters, balls of yarn, and everything
in general...

And finally, as a Christmas present I was given Charmed Knits by Alison Hansel. It's such a silly book- Harry Potter inspired knits! I'm going to knit the Clock Blanket...you know, the clock that tells where all the family members are...only m
ine will always be resting on "mortal peril". Now I have to pick a project to knit from it!



This weekend is going to be great: I'm traveling to Minneapolis! I'll get to visit friends, be nostalgic about the city, and work at the yarn shop I miss very much: Needlework Unlimited. I'm sure I'll return with some great ideas (and great yarn, of course) and will go on and on about it here when I get back. I've missed the shop, the customers, and the city in my (temporary) exile.

While I'm gone: what should I do with this? This yarn traveled to me all the way from Ireland, brought from a wonderful friend. I'm guessing I have about 300 yards of aran weight Irish wool here. I have found the knitting community to be a largely warm, welcoming place...knitting undoubtedly creates amazing friends and companions. So, on that note: my love to all my fabulous, inspirational friends and fellow knitters!


i lied, i am sorry...no, actually, not sorry

Okay, so I lied when I said I was giving up sock knitting. Because I found a poor, lonely sock in my stash and felt compelled (partly by guilt, desperation for a knitting project, and obsessive organization/completion of items) to finish the partially completed mate. They're so lovely I can hardly stand it...these ones I'm keeping! They're made using Interlacements "Tiny Toes" sock yarn, which comes in gorgeous colors. The pattern is "Friday Harbor" from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road.


hats hats hats hats hats

I was set loose with a camera! It was warm outside! I couldn't help myself. My neighbors are probably convinced I'm berserk, taking pictures of hats and hanging them in trees...but I'm okay with that.

I seem to ha
ve amassed quite a collection of hats recently...silly photograph below. Aaand here's a short summary of each (clockwise from top):

1) Classic Elite Gatsby, a chunky wool tweed. I walk to work and needed a hat, I had a skein in my stash, I felt creative and I knit a hat in a day. It's a little big for me and I might give it away, but it's a cute shape and is nice and warm.

2) Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted, wool, not quite solid color. I have a few hats I've knitted for myself, but they're all loose-fitting (I walk to work, try to prevent hat hair, etc) and fall off when I go running. So this hat absolutely destroys my hair, but for running, who cares?

3 and 5) Zitron Yarns Unikat, chunky felted wool. I was working at Old Village Yarn Shop when we ordered this yarn. It was pretty spendy for a skein, but the colors were SO beautiful we (wait...I) couldn't resist. I created this hat as a shop model and also made one for my brother to wear that winter. Luckily, a skein makes two hats! When I left the store I got my sample hat back, so now my brother Paul has a spare.

4) Schafer Yarns Elaine, chunky wool hand dyed. Like most knitters, I'm a sucker for beautiful colors. I also love anything ridiculous, so a bright pink hat seemed totally logical. Right? I rarely wear it, but it's silly and makes me laugh.

baby gifts!

I started working at the UM Hospital in September, and since then it seems like everyone is pregnant! So I need baby gifts. As per usual, my production is waaayyy behind what it should be, so I have to knit these up in a hurry. Here's baby gift #1, a really simple top-down sweater. What that means is: minimal sewing! You start knitting from the neck down, and increases create the sleeves and raglan shaping. You can see the sleeve shaping on the left.

I'm being super good and using yarn I've had stashed away in my closet. It's Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, a cotton/merino wool blend that's actually been great to knit with. Usually I try to stay away from cotton, but this feels so nice and knits so well I might have to use it more often. Good thing I have nearly 10 skeins hidden away...

Of course, what fun would a project be if you followed the rules? This is a worsted weight yarn, I'm basing this on a pattern that uses DK weight; the pattern itself is supposed to have a collar but I decided I didn't want it and will just crochet or pick up/knit a really cute edging when the body is all done. I have grand plans.


so i'm apparently trite AND ridiculous

So this lovely ironing board is currently functioning as my knitting table of sorts...I know, classy, right? Sitting on it: two knit purses, both of my own design. The one on the right (with purple stripes) was inspired by a handbag I saw at a little boutique called Design Collective in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Sidenote: Design Collective features Mpls-designed fashion and it's definitely worth the trip if you're visiting the Twin Cities!) My purse, sadly, has been sitting in pieces since at least December of 2007 and I just couldn't bring myself to sew a lining! Now I have a sewing machine, so the lining will be that much easier to do!

The second purse is the Quail Purse of previous posts, finally done! It also needs lining and assembly. I'll take some close-ups of the detail while I'm finishing. The handles are braided strips of knitting!

Also sitting on the ironing board / temporary knitting studio: The Little Prince, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Alchemist, and Knitalong. Some literary inspiration and a book about knitting with friends. I don't know which I love more, yarn or books...


sunday knitting and progress report

The sun has recently made a reappearance in Michigan, and we're all suffering a bit of spring fever. Most of all my very bad cat Bob, shown here sitting on my knitting. So far the knitting has fared better than my brother's laptop...which is permanently missing its underscore key. Sunshine makes us all a little hyper and euphoric.

I have resolved to stop knitting socks for a bit after this. I found an orphaned sock in my stash and decided to give it a mate; the pattern is Friday Harbor from Knitting on the Road. Nancy Bush is a fabulous pattern writer and designer, so the socks have been great fun to knit...but I'm feeling a bit one-dimensional so I'm putting a stop to sock knitting temporarily. I give it two weeks.

Also finished: both ankle socks made of Schaefer Yarns' Anne. They have already been given away and were enjoyed greatly through the week of zero degree weather we had. Today, though, we have sun AND warmth: perfection!

Lastly, progress on the quail purse continues, I'm designing as I go (dangerous and often discouraging) so we'll see. I have a few ideas but I'm just not sure how to implement them! My advice for a Sunday afternoon? Curl up in a spot of sun, make a cup of coffee, and knit furiously. I know that's what I'll be doing. :-)


how much I love buttons

This project is inspired by buttons. I should admit that I have an unhealthy obsession with buttons. Someday I will have a large tub of buttons which I can run my hands through and admire...for now, I have a small jar and that's going to have to do. These buttons were a fabulous find that I've stashed away for a long time...until I could find an appropriate project for quail buttons.

So my solution? Knit a purse! I have serious doubts about whet
her or not I'll carry it, but then again it's hardly done. The yarn is a sport weight wool that I had lying around in my yarn collection for a year or so...actually not quite that long. Anyway, I had originally intended it for another purpose, but it's been lovely for this project and the colors were perfect. The pattern is a simple slip-stitch design that I hope vaguely resembles what I imagine quail feathers to be.

And just in case you were wondering...here's a real quail. And you should read the book That Quail Robert.