Thanks for…


It is a holiday.  I am working.  So are many others.

I am fortunate to have a job (that I like) and will hopefully (fingers crossed) even have time to fly to Boston and eat some of Igor's turkey on Thanksgiving afternoon between my back to back to back trips.  Of course the next day I fly to Kuwait, but who doesn't <insert wary laughter>.  So it could be worse, and it has been in years past.

So, for those celebrating Thanksgiving, Happy Thanksgiving.  Remember all those folks in your travels who are working to keep you safe, fed, comfortable and gassed up.  Some work holidays by choice, some don't.  Make them smile by thanking them when you see them.  Trust me on that one.

Enough soap boxing.  We got into Orange County, CA late last night.  It was pouring rain and that is very odd here.  These poor folks had to sandbag to try to avert mudslides in all the fire damaged areas.  This morning it's beautiful and clear.  The photo is the courtyard of my hotel.  It's the perfect metaphor for the OC.  The courtyard is a lovely faux scene, ornate and just a touch Disney-esque.  That is the OC in a nutshell to me.  Love it!  This afternoon we go somewhere not sunny and rather cold, so I'm enjoying those blue skies.

I am thankful for all my blog friends and wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving or Thursday as the case may be!

Dresses are the new pants

Burda-dress I was inspired to sew up a dress the other day after seeing the cute stuff over at Joy's wonderful blog.  I especially loved her purple pullover empire dress aka Burda 7808.

So there I was, inspired and with a few days off work.  Hmmm.  Luckily I found some mystery gunmetal gray fabric in my garage stash that would work with Burda 7808.  I think it must be some sort of wool/rayon blend.  I didn't know if it was washable, but that uncertainty never stops me from shoving the fabric into the washer.  I hate dry cleaning so I pretty much always prewash fabric to make washable garments.  The gray fabric came out great, it had a slight wrinkle to it that I really liked.  BTW, the fabric is in no way shiny as suggested by the photos, it's just that my photos suck.

I think this dress has a slight Japanese aesthetic.  I love those Japanese patterns and books but am too lazy to decipher the Japanese directions and pattern.  I made many of the same mods that Joy did.  I skipped the sleeve plackets, made the giant collar smaller and skipped the side zipper.  I should have made the next size up since it's not exactly easy getting this up and over the melon, but it works well enough.  I also opted to add the slightly rounded gathered front pockets to hold my little trinkets and trifles.  Added later:  I also shortened the pattern about 2.5" as I wanted it to land in the knee area.

Another good thing about this dress, I took these pictures after wearing this on a cross country flight and it looks just fine.  Yay!  Good travel dress.  I've got alot of work flying starting now since holidays mean work for me.

Now some knitting!

Fair-isle-comp I've been intrigued by fair isle knitting and love Elizabeth Zimmermann's style of creating sweaters.  I thought I'd try a fair isle sweater ala Elizabeth using some not so precious yarn to give me the courage to steek the front for a cardigan.

I picked up some Cascade 220 in a pretty wasabi heather green color for the body and my favorite pink/green combination yarns for the fair isle.  I've been auditioning fair isle motifs and the one pictured above is a chart from Rowan #36 Helga (rav link).  I like the motif, but maybe rejigger the color placements.  Maybe I'll pick something else entirely, maybe one of Elizabeth's traditional motifs.

Luckily, knitting a cardigan in the round from the bottom up, I have time to experiment.  My swatch gauge is proofed in the sleeve, so that's a good thing.  I'm planning a slightly fitted cardie with garter stitch borders.  Easy!?  Hopefully.  Any fair isle motifs I should look at?

No knit content at all

Statues I just came back from a nice week of work, and I'm one tired cookie.  During the week my farthest destination west was Denver and my farthest east was Dusseldorf.

I sometimes have a time remembering if I've been somewhere before.  If it's a domestic city I pretty much assume I've been there, and honestly I probably have.  Internationally I'm a bit better on details.  I don't think I'd ever been to Dusseldorf before, but it looked really familiar. Wurst Maybe it was the time change?!

Anywho, I only took a couple pictures in Dusseldorf (though the sunset in my header on this page was taken in Denver – that counts right?).  It was a bit dark and gloomy when I woke up from my nap in Dusseldorf.  It was also Sunday, which in Germany means pretty much everything is closed.  I know this practice is rapidly changing all over Europe, but not so much in Germany.

Candy Therefore, my shopping opportunities were limited (read no wool), but I found candy and sausages.  Success!  The fabulous statue was directly under my window of my hotel room in Neuss.  How wonderful to happen upon this art piece tucked away on the side of the hotel.  Nice thinking!

Now I've got napping and laundry to finish before Friday!

Playing charades

Charade I'm leaving on another trip this afternoon after getting back from one yesterday.  Luckily I did have time for a bit of hotel room knitting.

Carolyn and I thought that the Oak Leaf Sock pattern wasn't working with our yarn and gauge.  Carolyn started Charade and liked the pairing so I ripped out the Oak and started my own little Charade too.  I think this works much better.

The variegation looks very pretty with the little herringbone texture.  Plus this stitch pattern is super easy to memorize which is perfect for the a tired girl.

Oaks from little acorns

Orange-socks I did finish one Noro Kuryeon sock and washed it.  It's softened up some, but still.  Meh.


Carolyn and I have some orange and pink sock yarn that we're contemplating various socks to make as Wonder Twins.  The latest idea is the Oak Leaf sock pattern and it's hard to capture the oak leaves, but I'll post a crappy pic for your enjoyment.

Other than that, I'm at work all week so a sock is really the best I can hope for.  That, and a nap.

Don’t flannel me buddy!


If I could wear flannel pajama pants in public or to work I would.  Honestly people, if you wear those pjs out in public we all judge you.  And it’s not pretty.  Luckily (for the world) I feel compelled to wear some sort of outwear in which to run about.

What makes me want to risk public humiliation is the yummy comfort of my flannel pj pants.  I’ve been making these for donkey’s years, so many of those who know me have a pair.  Male, female, animal, vegetable – I’ve made lots of them.  I only drafted one pattern, so all the people in the world have no choice of size.  Well really, they have no choice of fabric or print either, but whatev.

Today’s batch of pj pants are cotton flannel (of course).  The bottom pair is covered with cowboys and cowboy paraphanelia and has the words “Giddy Up!” hither and tither.  The second pair is covered in squirrels, wait for it, holding nuts.  Positive and negative space squirrels and nuts.  Serious freaking comedy.

See what happens when it gets cold in my world?  Scary time!

Sharing is caring

Cormo mosaic 

I'm all voted up and got my fingers crossed.

Not so crossed I can't knit.

I took a break from Itchy Kureyon Noro Sock Yarn and turned to my Rhinebeck cormo.  Yummy stuff that.  No need to soak this stuff in Garnier Fructis or Euclan or nothin'.  I swatched my brown cormo and found I didn't like any of the cables or stitch patterns I tried.  This yarn is very subtly variegated brown.  In fact when it's knit up it looks like gingerbread to me.  Extra yummy.

After all the swatching I decided to make this a plain stockinette cardigan.  I'm planning to knit it in the round and steek the fronts.  I'm using Elizabeth Zimmermann's Seamless Hybrid Sweater as the blueprint (rav link).  I love EZ.  The stockinette looks so pretty with this subtle yarn.  I am pleased so far.  Of course I've only knit a sleeve, so things could change a bit yet.  If I find it's too boring, my gingerbread sweater can always look extra special with little gingerbread men duplicate stitched hither and yon.  Maybe like these


That idea was so hot I baked those yummy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins.  See how beautifully they coordinate with the sleeve?  Extra hot!

Who’s there?

Striped-sock <ring ring - ring ring>


"Scratchiest, most annoying sock yarn calling for Silvia."

Silvia:  "Awesome.  Sold!"

This may not be exactly how I came to buy a skein of Noro The World of Nature sock yarn, but buy it I did.  I love the colors of the Noro yarns and saw some pretty socks made from striping the color sequences on the RAV.  Here's a nice review of this yarn found long after I bought it.

I can do that!

Uh, yeah.  I can do it, but WTF!  OK, I knew the yarn wasn't the softest when I bought it but the yarn itself is a single that is overspun and kinks back on itself when you're knitting.  I am constantly untangling the yarn from itself.  This annoying tendency is compounded by my having rolled the skein into four equal balls for the striping of the two socks.  I'm have trouble keeping my balls straight! (There's a google hit if ever I wrote one.)

Are you now thinking, but they're very cute and autumnal?  Yes, they are.  But if I have to scrub any pots or pans, I can wear the completed socks, step into the pot and dance a merenge.  Awesome indeed.

Because I am not a quitter and refuse to be bested by these socks, I WILL complete them.  I may not WEAR them, but complete they shall be.  I will also use up every darn inch of this yarn so I don't have to see it sticking to itself anymore.  Hah!

In case you're wondering, I used a crochet provisional cast on, made short row toes and heels and my stripe sequence is 4 rows long.