Thursday, April 30, 2015

Into Every Knitting Life a Little Math Must Fall!

Amy Herzog, creator of Custom Fit, has just come out with a knit app tool box that helps calculate gauge, button hole spacing, armhole shaping, etc.!  It's brand new so there are no ratings yet.  It's $4.99 on iTunes. May be worth a try!  And don't you love the title of this post which I found on the app page?! It's so true!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My Best Friend Thelma

Knitting Thelma has been an exercise in patience!  For all the time I spend on her, she should be my best friend.  Don't get me wrong. I love this pattern because it's the ultimate summer knitting project.  You can do it blind-folded on the beach since it's all garter stitch and there's no shaping.  And I love Mixer.  It's a fun, fun yarn to knit with.   However, I'm going to tell you right up front that it is a time-consuming knit.  I think that's because of the variation in textures.  Even in garter stitch, it's hard to get any momentum going.

Now, before I owned a yarn shop, this would have been a perfect project for me.  But I'm not a leisure knitter anymore. I'm always cranking out samples and one season ahead in terms of projects.  So if I spend more than a few nights on a project, it seems as if it's taking me forever to knit.  It looks like I started this April 5th!  Being the fast knitter that I am, over 3 weeks is an eternity for me.  But the end is in sight  and I totally believe that this design is going to be well worth the time.  And by god, I am going to finish this before I launch into the Fall projects I've been dying to knit!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

DIY Window Treatment

Dare I say I almost like Pinterest better than Ravelry? I'm always poking around there looking for trends in knitwear and Fall 2015 designs.  And while I'm at it, I stumble on some other very cool things like this window pelmet box.  A 20 minute job and all you need is a foam core board, fabric, batting, duck tape and a stapler.  A regular old stapler.  I had this beautiful judipatuti fabric left over from a quilting project.  Turns out it was exactly the size I needed for my kitchen window.  I love how tailored this look is.  It's neat.  No frills, no gathers, no curtain rod.  It's just so pleasing and it's amazing what a difference it makes to soften up the kitchen.  So if you've got 20 minutes and the inclination, think about giving your window(s) a new outfit for Spring.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Tomato Sighting!!!

Oh my.  I've got some! The rain has brought fruit to bear and I am beside myself with joy.  I try not to count my chickens before they hatch but I have 5 tomato plants and 4 of them already have tomatoes and plenty of flowers.  I want very much to can tomato sauce this year and make tomato jam. Last year I didn't pick the best tomato varieties but this year, I think I've nailed it. Fingers crossed and thanks to the rain gods.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Dark Dive on a Rainy Day

I'm a very poor sport about rain.  Yes, I know we need it desperately.  I just wish it didn't happen during the day. Yesterday, it was cozy though snuggled in bed with 10 good books and my dog Purl at my feet but I was restless. Ya know, I just want to put a flannel shirt on and comfy old jeans and sit in a dark dive bar in the afternoon.  Is that weird of me?  Whatever.  So we went to Filippe's in Little Italy where it is always dark inside and kitchy Chianti bottles hang from the ceiling with names handwritten on their straw jackets. Oh the table clothes are red and white check and the walls are panelled circa 1958.  They serve full carafes of cheap Chianti for under $12.  We call it grape juice since it doesn't pack much of a punch or taste like much.  And my dear husband, indulged me.  We ate anti pasta and meatball sandwiches with melted provolone on sub rolls. And it was the perfect thing to do.  I came home heartened and sat and knitted for hours thinking...the rain isn't that bad after all.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Blue Sky Worsted Cotton is back!

Blue Sky Worsted Cotton is an organic worsted weight cotton that is softer than baby cheeks.  It's machine washable and the color palette is outstanding!  We're starting to beef up our supply since this yarn makes the best summer binkies.  We have a free garter stitch pattern with an eyelet border for beginning knitters who want to knit their first baby blanket.  You can do it!!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

House of Belonging

As I was cleaning off my desk this morning, I came across this beloved poem by David Whyte, perhaps my all time favorite.  I am so fond of it that years ago, I printed it on this Pillow of Sei Shonagon, that I knit in Eurofax.  These words also appear on the header in my blog.  Perhaps I've shared it with you before but it is worth repeating.  The pillow still sits on an antique rocking chair in my living room.  And it's one of the things I'd grab if I had to vacate my house quickly taking only my favorite things with me. It puts everything in perspective.  
House of Belonging
by David Whyte

I woke this morning in the gold light
turning this way and that
thinking for one moment
it was a day like any other.

But the veil had gone from my darkened heart.
I thought it must have been the quiet candlelight
that filled my room.

It must have been the first easy rhythm
with which I breathed myself to sleep.
It must have been the prayer I said
speaking to the otherness of the night.

And I thought this is the good day 
you could meet your love.  
This is the black day someone close to you could die.

This is the day you realize how easily
the thread is broken between this world
and the next 
and I found myself sitting up
in the quiet pathway of the night.

The tawny close grained cedar
burning around me like fire
and all the angels of this housely heaven
ascending through the first roof of light
this sun has made.

This is the bright home in which I live.
This is where I ask my friend to come.
This is where I want to love all the things it
has taken me so long to learn to love.

This is the temple of my adult aloneness
and I belong to that aloneness
as I belong to my life.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Underappreciated Garter Stitch

I'm not afraid to say it.  I love garter stitch.  Yep, that simple 'knit every row" stitch where we all start out.  We all know it's lays flat (versus stockinette), it's reversible, and so easy you can knit it in the dark.  This picture is a photo of Berroco's Mixer which is a fusion of different fibers.  Some are like thin silk ribbons, some are like cotton fun! And the pattern is Thelma, an over sized tee with drop shoulders.  Easy, easy, easy.  A perfect knit for the Spring.  Knitting is rather slow with this highly textured yarn but an absolute pleasure.  It causes me to slow down and really enjoy the steady rhythm of it all. If you're up for a drapey, shimmery (but not too) knit, check out Thelma.  Looks like this design would flatter all body types.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Jenome Sewing Machine Missing from the Grove

We don't know whether it was during the busy Spring Walkabout or when but Judipatuti's Janome sewing machine that she teaches students to sew with has gone missing. It hurts, ya know?  The foot pedal and electric chord were not with the machine so whoever took it won't even be able to use it.  While I doubt whoever took it reads my blog (!) I can't help but put out a plea for it's return.  We want it back.  No questions asked.