Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fancy Mitts

Fueled by the need for instant gratification and faced with a burgeoning stash, I have been highly motivated lately to make quick projects that allow me to clear away some of this yarn.  It helps that there are MANY birthdays in my family during the winter.  One sister with a January birthday was recently the happy recipient of these:
  She called them fancy mitts, so that's their name.  The glass beads are strung on before knitting.  The pattern is very simple--the beads do the shaping along the cuff.  The bead pattern is inspired by Beads of Earth scarf by Jane Davis.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Some Progress

The new year brings a new knitting scheme for Oogy and myself.  Each month this year we will challenge each other/ourselves to learn a new skill, or tackle a project we've long wanted to do.  We've called this scheme Thing-a-Month. (see Oogy's post, too).
The project for January is the BFF Cowl from the Deep Fall issue of Knitty.  Oogy is making 2 links in  dark grey, while I am making 2 in light grey.  After considering a number of yarn options, we settled on the yarn that the pattern calls for--Scrumptious Aran by Fiberspates.  It is scrumptious, indeed.  We decided to choose our own pattern and to keep it secret until the pieces are sent, so I'm only showing a tiny bit of what I'm working on.  We are aiming for pieces that measure 6 inches wide and 26 inches long.  As you can see, my first piece has worked out nicely.  A great way to begin the year!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The blogs I like

I recently added a few favorite blogs and would like to take this opportunity to explain the whole list.

Oogyknitter.  Oogy is a dear friend who I met in college.  We actually lived a few doors from each other on the same floor in the same dorm during our junior year, but we weren’t really friends then.  I often marvel at the missed opportunity to share what was then my new obsession with knitting.  Oogy could often be seen knitting in class or at meetings, though she was not featured at all in a recent article in our alumnae magazine about the prominent role of knitting at Mount Holyoke.   They missed a big part of knitting history at MHC, in my view!  I got to know Oogy very well when we spent time together in the trenches of honors thesis research as seniors, and we’ve stayed good friends since then.  Over the years she has become my knitting/dyeing/spinning/weaving guru.  Come to think of it, she is my blog guru also!

Knitting New England.  Here’s the other blog written by a knitter I know personally.  SMW is a writer and musician (and knitter, of course) who lives nearby.  Our paths crossed several times in the past few years and we’ve become good friends.  Her blog chronicles knitting-related events and places in this corner of the country.  We’ve developed a favorite pastime of visiting yarn stores together. 

Kate Davies Designs.  I have a long-standing fascination with Fair Isle knitting, so I found this blog of great interest.  It was even more interesting to discover that Davies also writes about her experience recovering from a stroke.  Davies offers a great example of how knitting can be therapeutic, and in her case, may have contributed to or has served as a gauge for her continuing recovery.  Plus, she takes the most spectacular pictures of Scotland and her dog Bruce.

The Yarn Harlot.  Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s blog is perhaps the most popular knitting blog.  She sometimes writes and does talks about knitting and the brain, and her chronicles of life as a knitter/writer are hilarious.  I highly recommend her books. She posts 3-4 times a week, so there’s always something new and entertaining to read. 

The Purl Bee.  This blog is associated with Purl Soho, a shop in Manhattan that is owned by fellow MHC alum Joelle Hoverson.  Another missed opportunity: we were at MHC together, though I don’t believe I ever met Joelle.  Her shop is on our list to visit soon.

The Panopticon.  I’m not sure how I found this blog, but it has quickly become a favorite.   Franklin Habit is very entertaining, in a somewhat cynical and sometimes irreverent manner. I find it refreshing to read about knitting from the male perspective.

Mason-Dixon Knitting.  I’ve just started reading this blog recently.  It is another very popular blog for knitters, with a unique format in which Kay, from Manhattan, writes to Ann, who lives in Nashville.  Each post is in the form of a letter from one to the other.     

I’m open to suggestions for additional worthy blogs.  I’m especially interested in ones that also relate to science.  

Can’t have a post without pictures, so here is one:
I have just sent this to a grad school buddy.  Fourteen years ago I made her a hat and she made me a pottery vessel that now holds my spare change.  She emailed me 8 months ago, requesting a new hat. 

You’ll likely recognize a modified version of Debbie Stoller’s Cabled Chapeau.  This one is made with yarn I found while SMW and I were visiting Rhode Island yarn stores. It's 100% alpaca, made from the fleece of Penny, who lives at Shadow Pines Farm in Exeter, RI.