Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Fast FO

I firmly believe that in the cold Wisconsin winter it's a good idea to have an emergency hat and gloves in your vehicle just in case. Just in case you have car trouble and have to sit there a while. Just in case it's bitter cold when you're out shopping and you forgot to put one on. Just in case it's freezing in your car after work and you need to warm up on the drive home. That sort of thing. I looked through the hat tote on the front closet shelf and found a cool hat and mittens for my car but there wasn't one for Durwood's car. He's got lots of gloves that'll do the trick, but there wasn't a good warm hat for him. So I made him one. It's called a Tasseled Earflap Hat and it's from Knit Simple Fall 2007. It's supposed to be out of super-bulky yarn but I used two skeins of Lamb's Pride Bulky, one in Wild Oak and one in Cafe au Lait. I cast it on Tuesday after supper and finished it at work yesterday afternoon. Very quick. Durwood didn't want a tassel so it's bare on top. Ah well, it's still a good warm hat.

Friday, October 24, 2008

More Scarf & Other Stuff

Yesterday I thought of a clever line to begin this blog entry. Think I can remember it? No. Well, I'll let my gorgeous knitting speak for itself. (Although if it comes to me later, I will come back and do a little edit. It really was clever, at least as far as I can remember.)

First, we have Special Scarf #4. It's crocheted rather than knitted but I still used a great big weapon to make it. I'm all about the US 50 needles or US S hook when it comes to making scarves. It goes fast and you can use a mitt full of cool yarns. I don't think I violated the parameters of the Scarf project, I just took their yarn & color requirements and ran with them. Deep down inside each scarf is the Red Heart Super Saver yarn they specified. Cross my heart. And each and every yarn is 100% acrylic or nylon so the scarves are totally washable. I play by the rules, I just have my own individual interpretation of them.

Next, I decided to knit convertible
mittens again, this time picking up stitches and knitting the flap (condom?) right on instead of sewing it on. My only complaint is that it's knit flat instead of in the round, but it's going well.

Last, you can tell that winter is approaching with it's chilly breezes, pots of soup, and falling snow. What with souvenir and sale yarn from Missoula and picking up the odd skein of Cascade 220 or Lamb's Pride for stealth knitting purposes, I've made a pile o'yarn next to the coffee table. I like it. It makes me feel happy. I want to pick it up and snuggle it or burrow into it. I heart yarn.

Now I'm going into the kitchen to toast a couple slices of cocodrillo which I will top with strawberry jam, all made by David & Abby. Mmm, bread and jam. Thanks, guys. Love you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Scarf Mania!

I couldn't stop making Special Olympics scarves last Sunday. By breakfast yesterday I had three finished. I need more fuzzy or hairy or ribbon-y stuff to put with the yarn I have left (at least enough for one more). I thought I'd crochet the next/last one, with a big hook of course. That Red Heart Super Saver yarn is just too... too plastic to use all by itself. I know I shouldn't complain about it since that's all some people can afford but it just doesn't slide through my fingers as nicely as even the Red Heart Soft yarn does. Maybe I'll stop at Hobby Lobby tonight to see if they've got a Soft color that's close to the Delft Blue.

I also picked out a couple of the scarves I made last winter to donate to the Red Scarf Project for college kids who have aged out of the foster care system. If you're interested, go here for all the particulars, the deadline's December 15.

(As you can see, I appear to be genetically unable to make plain scarves. I cast one on last night, really I did, but I had to frog it after four rows, it was just... wrong with only one color and strand of yarn. Wrong, I tell you, just wrong. Looking at it made me feel all ooky.)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Are You Special?

I think you are. I think we all are and that's why I'm blogging this special opportunity for you. I was reading knitsimple magazine, the Holiday 2008 issue (the pink one), last night and saw their article asking for scarves for the 2009 Winter Special Olympics in Boise. They had a practice run early this year and solicited blue & white scarves for all participants. It worked out so well they want to do it for the actual games. Next year the Special Olympics Winter Games will be held in Boise and they want scarves for all those people too. Wouldn't it be cool to knit or crochet a scarf to be worn by a real Olympian? You must use Red Heart Yarn in Delft Blue and Soft White but after that the sky's the limit. The scarf you make can be simple or complex, plain or fancy. I combined the worsted yarns with variegated blue ribbon and white eyelash knitted on size 50 needles (kinda like a pointed closet rod) and made this one in 3 Bones episodes on DVD, or about 2 1/4 hours. Get all the info you need to play along here. Let's make sure each and every one of the athletes and helpers has a scarf! You can do it! I know because yarn crafters are special too.

P.S. The deadline for submission of scarves is January 15, 2009 so get stitching.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

More About Missoula, But No Knitting

I don't know if you go over to David & Abby's Napa/Missoula blog (there's a link in the left column) but they've got a recurring feature they call "Happy Eating" about the delicious meals they make. Well, last weekend Durwood and I got to take part in the production and destruction of a couple episodes, and let me tell you, it's totally worth the trip to their kitchen to be on the show. I only took photos of the chicken episode. Sorry I forgot to snap the pork chop episode but I was too busy salivating.

On the menu was roast chicken stuffed with lemon and onion chunks with butter, rosemary and thyme rubbed under the skin and morel sauce, fingerling Yukon gold potatoes rubbed with bacon grease, sprinkled with salt and rosemary, and roasted alongside the chicken, fresh broccoli steamed with butter, slices of the bread Abby made at work the night before, with a nice pinot on the side. Fresh seckle pears and black plums rounded out the meal.

Here's the Chef,

the Chef's Assistant,

and one of the Happy

I highly recommend catching an episode of the show, in person if you can manage it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Home From Montana *Warning! Picture Heavy Post*

Hi! We got home Tuesday night and our flight was 10 minutes early arriving. Ten minutes! Thanks, Northwest Airlines.

Our lovely DIL found me a yarn shop in Missoula and, you know what?, it was right next door to a bookstore. Oh, happy day! The yarn shop, Joseph's Coat, was satisfyingly full of yarn and crazy yarn women of various ages, which made Abby very glad not to be a knitter, I'm sure. I picked up 3 single skeins of Cascade 220 on sale in beige, heather gray, and tomato red, then I broke my budget and bought 2 skeins of Rowan Colourscape chunky in colors that blew me away. See?

David and I went to all 3
farmer's markets on Saturday morning. How cool is it that Missoula has three of them on one day? The Clark Fork Market has fruits, veggies, and meat, along with pastries and coffee, jam, and wool. Yay, wool. One booth sells wool for spinning and also pillows and comforters filled with wool.

Then around the corner from that booth I saw this. And this. And this.

They call the gray and red hats Grizz hats after the U of Montana Grizzlies sports teams. I love the pattern and think they look like the old fashioned leather football helmets.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Cooler Weather = Warm Mitts

I am coming to the conclusion that I'm not really a "garment" knitter or crocheter. I'm more of a knitter of quick projects using interesting yarn or construction. I like to make hats and gloves and mittens; things that are fun and fast and that I can personalize with my own quirky tastes. I'm going to try my hand at a vest or two to see if that's something I can get behind. Plus my darling Durwood gets cold really easy so I want to keep him warm without my having to swelter at the same time.

Now that I've outlined my latest manifesto, we can move on to FOs and WIPs.

In the FO department, we have the Twisted Harvest Wristwarmers the pattern of which was such a trial (see last Sunday's post). I persevered and finished them. Pretty, aren't they?

Durwood has been checking the Weather Channel.
com to see the predicted temps for our trip to Missoula, MT next weekend to visit David & Abby. He's called me to the monitor more than once, pointing at the screen and saying, "46 degrees! 46!" So, knowing how cold he gets I decided to knit him some convertible fingerless gloves/mittens for the trip. Thursday night I bought 4 skeins of Cascade 220, intending to make each little fingerlet a different color. He nixed that idea, the stick in the mud, and chose the beautiful heathered dark brown. Friday after supper I cast on and knit while watching TV, getting to the place where you start knitting the fingers. Too big. Dang it. Frogged to the top of the cuff and tried again with smaller needles. Better but not perfect. By then it was midnight and bedtime. In the morning, he convinced me that it was okay and to keep going (I think his hands were already cold and he liked the warmth having to try it on over and over.) I zipped through the fingers, 1, 2, 3, 4, no problem, then came the thumb. It's supposed to have a 3-stitch hole in the pad side so the wearer can poke his thumb out when the top flap's open, to grip things. The first 2 times the hole was on the knuckle side--rrrip and reknit, rrrip and reknit--the third time was the charm, so the thumb is done, now for the flap (condom?).

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A. Mazing.

Durwood called me at work to say he'd taken pictures of the hawk that hunts in our backyard. I was jealous. Then I saw the pictures. Now I'm impressed. They are amazing.