Low country knitting

I was off for a few days and was knitting faithfully on my Nordic yoke Drops-esque sweater.  But I ripped it all out when I measured the work and found it was huge.  Huge!

Don’t worry, I recast on using this interesting cast on.  I recalculated and my knitting now looks like the last picture I posted of the body of a grey stockinette sweater.  Interesting it is not.

My travel project is a tad more interesting, at least to me.  I am a huge Romi fan, so it was time to cast on for the third small shawl in her ebook (I’m a tad behind the pace).  Celaeno is a lovely scarf (I actually have a problem calling something a shawl because I usually don’t like those patterns).  I really like the simple garter paired with the lacy bits.  So pretty, but not in your face “I’m lace”.  Subtle and pretty.  My yarn is from the most recent Rhinebeck and is Ellen’s Half Pint Farm 100% Merino Sock.  It’s dyed a super pretty midnight purple with very slight variegation.  Perfect in fact for Celaeno.  But no beads.  I don’t bead thank you.

What you see is the easy start of Celaeno, making it perfect for a travel project, namely Savannah World Series watching (go Giants!).  The start is just garter and increases.  Easy to remember, even if you’re super tired (like now).

I’m still working on Romi’s second project Maia.  That scarf is almost done, but it’s not at a travel project stage, too many details to get right.  Fear not, it’s close :)

Saturday night live

Today’s hotel room layover eye candy is courtesy of Columbus, OH.  I really have no idea what the building out my window is, but it sure is pretty with the uplights and moonglow.  It’s even a bit Halloween-y…kind of Disneyland Haunted Mansion if you squint.  Are you squinting yet?

If the yellow submarine had a uniform

A while back I got a hankering to make some basic long-sleeved T-shirts.  I’ve got some knit fabrics stashed and I wear a lot of T-shirts, so that seemed like a good idea.  I looked through my backlog of patterns and didn’t find a basic top among them.  There were pleats and seams and geegaws and such.

It was time to bust out my basic slopers and pattern making book and get to it.  Drafting the pattern wasn’t hard, in fact I rather enjoy pattern making.  I sewed up a quick “muslin” making sure my seams matched and the sleeves went into the armholes.  Check!

Now it was time to customize the pattern a bit, change the neckline and do a bit of tweaking.  So this yellow submarine tee is the first effort of many more iterations to come.  As you can see in the photo, it’s not terribly well made and the neckline gave me fits and still has puckers but it’s wearable.  My first neck was so bad I cut it off and used this tutorial with much more success.  I also found this good article from Threads about customizing a T-shirt pattern.

My next T-shirt should be an improvement on this one, plus I get faster each time I make one.  That will be a good thing to reduce the stash size.

The good and the bad

Rhinebeck in the fall is a seriously beautiful place.  The leaves are dramatic, especially viewed with these California eyes.  Our leaves just aren’t THAT dramatic.  We saw many friends and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Then there is the food.  I make a point to get the CIA for a fab dinner.  The students are wonderful and the food and wine are top notch.  This year I had foie gras (no emails please – it is damn delicious), warm spinach salad and duck.  Our table ordered four desserts so we could taste a variety.  My fave was the pumpkin bread pudding with cinnamon ice cream.

Claudia made me work out twice over the weekend. Note:  I brought workout clothes with me, so it wasn’t really that much of an arm twisting situation.  I just want to nudge her like a little sister does.

Then there is the New York Sheep and Wool Festival.  This year was not as butt-ass freezing as last year, but there was no way you were getting that down coat off me on Saturday.  Hells to the no.  The fairgrounds are lovely, the vendors had tons of great stuff and there is warm apple cider.  I love warm apple cider and the festival is the only place I drink it.  I bought a few great skeins of sock yarn and a bit of alplaca blend fingering for small projects.  I don’t really need much yarn, but I do always take a small project along when I travel.

I also bought a bunch of soap, this is the only soap I use and drag it all over the world – truly.  I forgot when packing yesterday that a mass of soap in your suitcase must look a tad suspicious to the TSA.  I got tagged for a check (my fault for not pulling it out).  When the TSA guy opened my bag he couldn’t help but say “oooh, it smells good in there”.  I guess c4 doesn’t have natural herbal essences.  The soap passed the recheck with flying colors and made the xray machine smell like heaven.

Silhouette / proportion / fit.  What does that refer to?  A fiber gathering pasttime is seeing knits in person that you’ve only seen online/in print.  Many are lovely, even the ones not your own personal taste.  You can admire the skill, even if you wouldn’t wear them.  Then there are the “head scratchers”.  Truly what-the-fuck creations that leave you blinking.  Hence Mr. Gunn’s mantra.  He also advises that your outfit not cut you in half visually, and a 2/3 – 1/3 proportion is more flattering to the eye.  That is a good guideline no matter your taste level.  A subset of the what-the-fuck is the knitter who appears to be wearing everything they’ve ever knit – all at once.  Most of us have a mental line in the sand of the number of knits we’ll don, it’s situational and a bit fluid depending upon weather conditions, but there is a line which we will not cross.  Clearly that notion is lacking in some and we’ll just assume you ran naked through your clothesline and wore everything that stuck to you.  That’s my mental picture and I’m sticking with it.

So a good trip to Rhinebeck, a lovely time with family and friends and a bit of fiber on top.  I love vacation.

I didn’t take many photos, but I’ll get the few up the flickr pole labelled Rhinebeck 2010 if you’re bored at work soonish.

Peepers

Here’s a look at the right coast foliage for my neighbor Cookie.  Enjoy the view!

Tomorrow is the drive to Rhinebeck…in the rain.

Q: Why are you licking your yarn?

A: Clearly I’m not licking my yarn.  I’m spitting on it.

I realized while performing a spitsplice that this is rather odd behavior to the general public.  Unravel, squish bits, spit and rub hands together.

Just a thought.

Even though it may not sound like it, I got a full night sleep after working yet another all night flight.  Those sure are killers and I can’t figure out why people buy tickets on them.  Yes, they’re efficient but you feel like ass for the next 24 hours.  Oh well, done and dusted.  Now I’m on VACATION!

Rhinebeck is next weekend and it looks like the temperature won’t be below freezing like last year.  I overstate, but I’m still bringing a down coat so my bippies aren’t in danger of frostbite.  My Rhinebeck sweater will be my Cormo Villane finished in April.  Hey I’m a Californian, we only have two seasons (perfect and slightly less perfect) so wool sweater making is never a necessity, nor will it consequently have a season.  Anything goes dude!

So here it is October and the weather will mid 80s today, and 90+ tomorrow,  and I’m working on my all wool version of Drops 116-9.  My plan is to make a regular length pullover and use the yoke pattern and colorway from the Drops pattern.  I love that punch of pink in the yoke, so 80s inspired and dang cute.  I don’t have a “pattern” for the pullover part, but I’ll just fudge through that using my measurements and gauge.  It’s not rocket science after all.

Handschuhe

Gnome mittens done just in time for…uh…winter…well not so much.  It’s still kinda (alot warm), but they’re done anyway.

I followed the pattern and even used the yarn and colors called for.  I figure SpillyJane’s got it all worked out, so why mess with that.  I still have enough yarn to make about two more pairs of these mittens.  Don’t all run for the exits at once.  I really like these cute gnomes, and if I do make another pair (for me too) I’d make more ribbing and omit a set of gnomes.  That way they’d be really tight for those super cold days waiting for the hotel shuttle in Detroit/Chicago/Buffalo in January.  But as they are, they fit well and are very warm.  I hope blocking will make the gnomes look less, well, lumpy.

Project evaluation:  Success and good fair isle practice.

Rainy Sunday

What could be nicer after working a transatlantic flight than a rainy Sunday to catch up on sleep and relax?

Really, I don’t know.

So today’s layover eye candy is courtesy of my hotel window in Manchester, England.  Rainy day and a nice dry night.  Don’t worry, rain didn’t stop me from walking up to my fave store (M&S) for yummy food.  There’s even NFL football on Sky Sport, where they amusingly cut back to Sky’s commentary with kinda awful sport guys now and then!  Yay for jetlag and 2am football :)