Friday, October 24, 2014

New eBook, Stormy Knits

After months of knitting, designing, pulling up older, unpublished designs, re-knitting them into my desired palette, working with my saintly testers, photo-dates with my friend Teri Jo and my husband Doug, plus days upon days on my computer, I have finally published this collection of 6 designs!  

First, an art-deco inspired, asymmetrical hat with wayward, bouncing zig-zags and bobbles that drip both up and down, Altgeld.  I love this hat because it's fun, interesting to knit, and works for both men and women.  

Next, in the sportweight Arroyo yarn by Malabrigo, are the Torrential Mitts.  These are knit sideways, with a provisional cast-on and grafted together on the palm side, with short-row gussets and a nice picot detail.

With the rest of the yarn in the skein, I made Ainslie Street, a lacy beret with a swirling vortex on the back.  (Don't wear this hat during a vortex of the Polar variety; save that job for the other hats.)

Using a thicker yarn, I made a lacy cowl that actually might keep you toasty.  This, I call Thunder Cowl.

Veering away from an exclusively-Malabrigo book, I diversified by using this amazing skein of Madelinetosh Vintage in the colorway Black Velvet.  Ship Bay Beret utilizes a broken, or "mistake" rib pattern that looks deceptively like brioche.  Very sneaky.

Last, but definitely not least, is Stricken, knit with Dream In Color's new base, Jilly.  I named it because it looks like bolts of lightning, ones that might strike.  I had no idea (and this makes me a bad Waldorfian) that Stricken auf Deutsch means "to knit."  This is equally embarrassing because Dream In Color was created by two Waldorf moms.  Ah well, I took Spanish in school.

Thanks for perusing these new designs!  You can, of course, buy the patterns individually, but if you buy the book, you'll get all the patterns for $20 (a savings of $13.50)!  Each pattern, as well as the book, comes with a printable, text-and-chart-only black-and-white version so you don't end up wasting your precious ink on all the black I'm wearing in these photos!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Minnesota Nice

Last week, Doug and I drove up to Minnesota with his mom to see his brother's sweet family in Wayzata, an unabashedly charming little town on Lake Minnetonka. It had everything from gorgeous foliage, a sparkling lake, and still-blooming roses. There was even a miniature electric train set outside the train station!
Did I mention the foliage?
After many pleasant turns around the small town, Doug and I went over to Minneapolis to see my friend Leslie. I'd heard about Steven Be's store, so I asked if it would be cool to meet there. Leslie doesn't knit very much, but she accommodated my request. Obviously, I got distracted:
Then, I met the man himself, Steven Be! We posed in front of both the chandalier...
And also by the "Red Carpet" area!
What's in the bag, you ask? Well, only a couple yarns that one can only buy at this shop! On the left is MadelineTosh in the colorway Dead Sexy, and on the right is an amazing, sparkly yarn by Three Irish Girls in the colorway Trust Me, I'm The Doctor. They had almost an entire merch island devoted to Doctor Who. My kind of store!
Upstairs there's a fantastic workspace:
In this workspace there is some Loopy Mango yarn, and I kid you not, just lying around. Even Leslie was impressed! Or at least I asked her to look impressed, and she complied!
After this lovely trip, we went to Modern Times, which had such delicious food (and a friend I had nearly ignored for several minutes while I was fawning over yarn) that I did not take any pictures. Then we headed to Electric Fetus Records, which had a very impressive selection. Doug found a record by the De Zurik Sisters, and we had to buy it. They grew up on a farm in Minnesota and developed the most uncanny yodeling-in-harmony we've ever heard:
The rest of our time involved pancakes, bacon, and a pumpkin patch with our baby nephews. They were so cute, the weather was so perfect, and it was so amazingly autumnal that I couldn't help but wonder if maybe Doug and I should move there. I decided to make a pros and cons list:
  • It's as pretty as New England this time of year. That means super pretty.
  • People stun you with their niceness, kind of like in the South. Apparently this is called Minnesota Nice.
  • There are Meat Raffles. At bars, probably on game nights, you can enter a Meat Raffle and come home with meat.
  • This is Choir Country. I love choirs.
  • In the wintertime, people leave parkas and sleeping bags in parks so the homeless can try to keep warm. This warms the cockles of my heart.
  • A Prairie Home Companion.
  • The Walker Museum of Modern Art is impressive, but unpretentious. There's a big spoon and a cherry!
  • I am susceptible to Frost Bite.
I'm sure there are other cons, but that last one is kind of the end of the conversation (for now...let's see if I survive one more winter in Chicago, and then we'll see if I can handle a steady 10 degrees lower). Anyway, the point of this post is that I was charmed off my feet by Minneapolis!
Also, on our way out, we stopped for breakfast in St. Paul. I had a bacon caramel roll at Swede Hollow:
It was as yummy as it looks.