30 November 2009


Back in the day, I remember my dad, Dennis, sporting a cool knit tie like this for casual wear. Now everyone seems to be getting in on the action. Quick to knit from luxurious alpaca and silk, this tie has an elegant texture that makes it stand out (quietly) from the crowd and would make a great gift for the man (or woman) in your life.
I used the entire skein of Blue Sky Alpaca's Alpaca Silk for the small tie, so if you want to knit a gauge swatch, be sure to buy a second skein or be prepared to frog your swatch. The men’s tie will leave you with plenty of yarn for a swatch and the tab, to keep the tail of the tie under control (men like that kind of thing; ladies usually wear their ties with a little more insouciance).
The Spot Stitch gives interest for knitter and wearer while being easy to remember. It is also a good lesson in “seeing” your knitting with purl bumps every other stitch every other row.

Columns of purl stitches up both sides help it to lie flat in the front, while the back, knit flat, helps the yarn go further, keeps the around-the-neck area slim, and the front lie smoothly over the back.

The pattern is available here on Ravelry or you can buy it directly using the button below.

24 November 2009

Online and knitting

Whew! I'm back online on my own laptop, thanks to freshbattery. I've been busy job-hunting, kid wrangling, and knitting a bunch of items to sell at the School's Craft Fair next month. I have a big ol' cone of School Products Cashmere Merino Bulky yarn in charcoal grey. I was saving it up for a swashbuckling cabled sweater coat design that I have in mind, but it will be put to better use at the moment as gloves, mittens, scarves, and hats, perhaps even a cowl or pair of wrist warmers for good measure. I'm going to work up a couple of Infinites, too, as well as sell printed copies of the pattern.

Isobel and her new guitar from Baba and Papou

I've also been pretty busy because my girl turned five last week. How did that happen?! There were dark chocolate cupcakes with white chocolate frosting to bake for school, which were very tasty, from the back of the E. Guittard Bittersweet Chocolate box. Then the cake to bake for the all-girl party (Cook's Illustrated's chocolate layer cake with milk chocolate frosting), complete with make-your-own-tutus, crustless grilled cheese and PB&J triangles, and hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows, which were pretty easy to do, if you have a stand mixer.

As you can see she really likes her new guitar. And she likes the Leapster from Grandma and Grandpa so much that she tried to hide it under her pillow Sunday afternoon when we insisted she take a nap. Once that was removed, she was out in two minutes. Birthdays are exhausting! I didn't knit her a thing this year but may work up a sweater for her soon. Still have to put the button bands on Penelope's birthday sweater, which probably means I should give it to her cousin who would actually be able to get some wear out of it.

We're off to Chicago tomorrow with all three kids (wish us luck) to see both families and attend my high school reunion. How could twenty years have passed since my graduation? I'm also going to get a chance to go out and see my grandmother who, after getting out of the hospital, will be spending a few more weeks in a nursing home regaining her strength before getting back to her place in her assisted living community. I'm so glad I'll have a chance to see her - she is an amazing lady, and I'm so grateful that she is still around. So, my sister and I are going to take the girls out on Saturday and perhaps stop by The Fold on the way back. Talk about gilding the lily!

09 November 2009

Please don't call it a "snood"

Check out this article in the WSJ about "snoods" or what normal people call a cowl or circular scarf, and hip people call an infinity or eternity scarf. We already have something in the world called a snood, folks, and it is meant to corral all your long, beautiful hair in a sort of netted bag. Think '40s beauties or Scarlett O'Hara working at the hospital in Atlanta. Fashion marketeers seem to view "snood" as some sort of brilliant, Brit-inflected mash-up of scarf and hood. Now, I'm no genius, but wouldn't that be a "scood"? Grumble grumble.

Of course, I call it an infinity scarf. Or just Infinite.

Anyway, the weekend was not great, chez Purly. Penelope picked up some bug and (Warning: mildly gross Mom oversharing ahead) had diarrhea all weekend, with special added vomiting all day Saturday. Now, normally, with three kids I end up doing a fair amount of laundry, but this weekend it was all laundry, all the time. And then we have the dead computer (battery, hopefully). Luckily, Nick is busy grading papers, so I can borrow his computer for a mo'. But all my pics and the half-written pattern for a little vest/camisole thing (how do you decide when something is one or the other?) are trapped on the dead laptop. A replacement battery has been ordered (my 'top is almost five years old, so no popping down to the Apple Store, unfortunately), so I hope to be back up and running in a few days. Until then I'll be knitting hats and mittens for the kids' school Holiday Fair next month.

And the cherry on top is that my darling, ever-shrinking grandmother is in the hospital. Her bones are crumbling, and she's in a lot of pain. She is a smart, tough lady, and if she says she can't take it, it must be bad. I just wish there was something I could do for her.

04 November 2009


You know how those infinity scarves, like this one from American Apparel, are all the rage? Well, I decided I could do better than that, and here it is in all its silky-mohair glory: Infinite.

And there are, if not an infinite number of ways to wear it, at least three ways to wear it. Doubled up as a cuddly neck scarf (above), with the second wrap pulled up over your head like a smoke ring (below), or as a long, drapey scarf (far below).

This lovely used just one skein of Rowan's Kidsilk Haze. I had this ball of Majestic, purchased at Yarns in the Farms moons ago, that I wanted to work up into something special. I know I'm going to get a lot of use out of this one, and a few folks on the holiday list may find themselves opening up a little bit of infinity on Christmas morning. Pattern is available for $2.00 on Ravelry here. Or you can buy it now.

ETA: Infinite will increase in price to $4.00 on 15 November.

03 November 2009

News and whatnot

I won! Veronik had a little contest for some mini skeins of her new St Denis yarn for those of us who couldn't mob her at Rhinebeck, and I am a winner. Can't wait for that little package to arrive.

You may have seen that Susan B. Anderson has a new book of knitted toy patterns, including a set of Matryoshka nesting dolls. Clever construction to make them nest, but I'm still partial to my Matryoshka Japonais :)

If 98% of those polled think that driving while texting should be illegal, do we really need a law? And while we're at it, people, make up your minds. Does everything need to be legislated, or do you think you can use a little common sense and act like adults? Just don't do it, people.

Sorry, the day off for the kids seems to have gotten to me already, and I started this post at 9am.

I've finished my Vines Vest with the yummy Madeline Tosh Worsted and have to write it out properly before I can settle down to grading the pattern. I'm quite happy with it, though the armbands may need a little reinforcement (crochet? pick up and bind off?). I'm working away on my Selbuvotter and realized that the initials chart is quite a few rows taller than the original. I'm on to the rosemaling portion now and will see how this first one comes out. I was so careful about the width when creating the charts that I forgot about height! Another lesson learned.