Ravelry · Readathon · stuff I read

Knitting 24/7 and Brave New Knits

Readathon reading took a left turn due to my being waaay too tired to concentrate and I decided to soldier on with two new knitting books.

Veronik Avery’s new book Knitting 24/7: 30 Projects to Knit, Wear, and Enjoy, On the Go and Around the Clock has a variety of garments and accessories with clean lines.  They are each eye-catching in simplicity.  An ostrich plume-patterned stole is easily knitted up as a rectangle using a repeated lace pattern but it is truly a statement accessory.  A sturdy triangle shawl is designed for warmth and versatile functionality.  A cloche-like hat uses a fleur-de-lys Fair Isle pattern to catch the eye.  Many projects can easily be toted around while in-progress so you can either wear knitted items or work on knitted items 24/7.  Veronik’s style is timeless so the beautiful yoked “Elemental Pullover” will go with everything in your closet for year.

Brave New Knits is the brainchild of Julie Turjoman, a collection of interviews and projects from knitters who got a major boost from the blogosphere.  Knitwear designers like Stephanie Japel, Jordana Paige, Grumperina, Jared Flood, Shannon Okey, Ysolda Teague, and Melissa Wehrle all share their path to knitwer design careers as well as a signature project designed for the book.  Their styles are all over the map – classic to funky, functional to delicate – and a variety of patterns to match.  The book is divided into garments – sweaters, jackets, blouses – and accessories – scarves, hats, socks, shawls.  I’ve already fixated on Melissa Wehrle’s “Origami Shrug” for myself and Ysolda’s “Orchid Thief Shawlette” as a present for someone (I might make one for myself, too, who knows).  Jared Flood photographed all the projects in Brave New Knits and that makes for a very pretty book to look at as you are inspired to go out and knit something and then blog about it.  Right.  Now.  I also did some Twitter/Ravelry/blog-stalking and added all the designer to my feeds and friends.

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Knitting goddess · Ravelry · start-itis

Eureka!

While searching Ravelry’s pattern, project, and yarn databases for ways to get rid of all that fugly Bernat Boa Fur yarn I acquired from the boss, it hit me…..CAT BED! I noticed a number of Ravelers had made Kitty Pi beds using a pattern from WendyKnits. Turns out the pattern is free online – wow. While Wendy’s pattern calls for Noro Big Kureyon and felting it, the yarn I’m going to use won’t felt (I’ll just follow the directions for increases, using the needles called for by my yarn, and quit when the bed reaches as appropriate size). I will instead attempt to dump not only the Bernat but also other large amounts of fugly yarn that I have acquired.

Like four big balls of Lion Brand cotton craft yarn in bright red, gifted to me by my mom who bought it all for Raggedy Ann and Andy doll hair and then decided she needed a different kind. And couldn’t find the receipt. And realised she’d already wound up one of the skeins into a ball and lost the ball band…so she gave it all to me.

I don’t think the cats would mind a bright red bed with brown fur on the edges as long as it padded their perch. I think I might put this one on the rocking chair when I’m done with it (the cats first bed, my second knitting project, is on top of the bureau so they don’t scratch the finish with their kitty claws).

new books (yay) · new yarn · random · Ravelry · start-itis

Yarny Saturday

I made a trip to the LYS to return a left-over skein of Cashmerino from the beret project and came home with two more skeins of sock yarn (another each of Kureyon and Bearfoot) and a yarn swift/reeling machine, depending on how you classify that. It was a little more expensive than I thought it would be ($58) but Edyie swears by that brand and I’ve been promising I would buy myself one after the last yarn-winding debacle. So, yay.

The purchase of more yarn also prompted an afternoon of cleaning out my office/spare-room closet. Talk about scary, over-stuffed, and disorganized. Eeek. I decided to take the remainder of my binders to work (they’re full of class notes which might see more action in my work office than at home in the closet), decided I really don’t need the extra sewing machine that Mom thought I should keep “just in case your grandmother’s breaks” (ha!, maybe Mom can ask if there’s a charity through the church that could use one), and pitched about three garbage bags full of old boxes, packaging, obsolete computer stuff, and a manual for my twelve-year-old graphing calculator (which, if I could find it, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work anymore). I also made a side-project of cleaning out the bottom of the linen/hall closet (packed with about 800 disposable razors from some idiot company who thought the AXS house in town was a sorority – oops – and left us about 4,000 promotional razors; the girls in the Fraternity divvied up the boxes); the room I gained in there allowed me to relocate the Spot-Bot from the front closet along with all the steam cleaning products from the office closet (and the pet stain-fighting spray bottle which was buried under the pile of razors). As a result of the de-packratting process I actually have empty space on the shelf in my closet and I was able to re-arrange the storage containers to actually make better use of them.

I then sat down to attempt an update to my Ravelry account. Now, Flickr and I still have an ongoing disagreement about whether or not it will upload my photos, but I was able to get most of my open projects into my Ravelry queue, updated my stash of yarn with all my sock yarn (at least the yarn I’ll admit to – I gained back a storage box while cleaning and promptly filled it with the cheap yarn I’m too ashamed to admit I own and can’t find a use for), linked up my projects with my stashed yarn, linked my projects with my blog posts, and updated my knitting book library.

That took a whole pot of Earl Grey. What shall I do with the remainder of the afternoon before I go to work at 6pm (it’s now 4pm)? With a headache….guess I’ll pop a Tylenol, make a salad for dinner, put my reading glasses on and knit. I have several projects I should finish.

Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. I’ll be wallowing in my date with my knitting.

Current book-in-progress: I bought a new book last night – Sex with Queens (hey, the same author wrote Sex with Kings and that was very interesting)
Current knitted item: Hmmmm, what shall I pick – I have red socks, that dratted scarf that I managed to finally make some headway on, a linen evening clutch, and a lacy top….
Current movie obsession: I need to finish John Adams (which is awesome, btw) but I’ve been watching the ITV Sense and Sensibility again
Current iTunes loop: My Chill Tracks Playlist on Shuffle (lots of John Mayer, Amy Winehouse, and Sara Bareilles)

Ravelry

Ravelry?

So I’d been hearing about this Ravelry site. And then there was an article in the new issue of Interweave Knits magazine (pretty much my most favorite knitting rag, ever – I even caught my boss snooping through my knitting bag looking for it) that had some shots of Eunny Jang’s page. At least I think it’s hers. So I went to check this site out.

And holy crap. From what little I can see of the site it is awesome. So awesome that there’s a waiting list of almost 7,000 people waiting to join (!!!!!!!).

Which includes me now, so I must be patient. I would go knit something but I must go to bed. I’ll read my magazine instead. Stupid work that requires me to sleep so I can function in the morning.