Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Channeling our Inner Gatsby

After spending a large portion of the summer at the height of biker chic fashion, I jumped at the opportunity to get gussied up and be seen sans helmet hair at the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor's Island this past weekend.

Jazz Age Weekend

Jazz Age Weekend
Michael Arnella and his Dreamland Orchestra provided the music.

Jazz Age Weekend

Jazz Age Weekend

Jazz Age Weekend

Jazz Age Weekend

Jazz Age Weekend

Jazz Age Weekend

Jazz Age Weekend

Jazz Age Weekend

Jazz Age Weekend

It was the perfect day for wool bathing costumes.

Jazz Age Weekend

Jazz Age Weekend

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Did I mention that there were Champagne cocktails as well?

I found all the vintage fashions so inspiring. Delicate little crocheted gloves, felted wool cloches, beads and ribbons and lace and feathers. T-strap shoes and knee-high stockings with tiny flasks tucked in the top. The women looked stunning and the men looked dapper and dashing.

Back to reality this week. Ah well.

Monday, 30 August 2010

FO- In Season Socks

I love me some good summer tomatoes. I've gotten to the point where I abstain from anything but the best ones that are in season so fleetingly this time of year. Once you've grown your own, you will never again be able to have one of those mealy, flavorless red bombs you get at the grocery store in January.

Being in the city, you have to be a little ingenious with your gardening.

Spring 2007

These thrived on our fire escape in the East Village one summer.

East 4th St Apt

Well, that is until the landlord made us move them.


Apparently, fire escapes are some sort of safety feature to a building. We couldn't convince the landlord otherwise and they found a new home in the back yard. Still, for a time, it was really nice to reach out the window and voila! have a handful of ripe red tomatoes that were 10x better then those shelf-stable grocery store kind.

So last summer, when I got my Socks that Rock selection for the sock club, I pretty much squealed like an 8 year old who is given a kitten.

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Behold: it's all the colors of heirloom tomatoes in one skein of sock yarn. Or jellybeans. Take your pick. The color is called "Garden Daze".

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I didn't get a chance to use it right away, but when this summer rolled around, I dug it back out. The sock pattern that went with the yarn was called "In Season", and I thought it was a lovely way to show off such great yarn.

From Astle camp 2010

I cast them on while we were camping overnight in New Hampshire. They came up to Maine with me for summer vacation and I finished them up in about a week. Lots of sunshine and beach time this year.

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The rolled cuff has a cable detail, and then it goes into 1x1 rib for the rest of the sock.

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I made them slightly longer then the pattern called for (they were supposed to be anklets) and that was my only modification.

Yarn (30)

They came out a bit big: they will either be slipper-socks or be gifted to someone with bigger feet than I.

The specs:

I used 2.25mm needles and 1 skein of Socks That Rock lightweight in the "Garden Daze". I didn't have a whole lot of yarn leftover out of the 360 yard skein. The 1x1 ribbing really ate up a lot of yardage. It made for a dense, cushy sock.

These are part of my A-Z stashdown challenge. I'm actually getting through my Socks that Rock stash...I have 2 more skeins of lightweight sock yarn to go. I made good on my promise to sell anything that I couldn't find a pattern for:

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The "Watermelon Tourmaline" colorway is gorgeous (plus, I love tourmaline stones). Yet I couldn't bear to make yet another pair of loud, stripey socks that overwhlem the pattern. The skein found a new home.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Etsy Shop Update

Ah, Etsy. You're so high maintenance. You require so much attention and love in order to thrive. Yet in abandoning you, I'm only hurting myself.

I just updated the shop with some hand dyed yarn- I have added some nice, squishy merino sock yarn and enormous 880 yard skeins of laceweight merino.

Etsy Yarn
This is some sock yarn I dyed with Madder Root. It's such a delicate and girly-girl pink. I think it needs to be socks with ruffles or something else outrageous.

Etsy Yarn
This one is "Kelp"- it's super soft laceweight merino.

I have a few other new colors up as well. Check them out!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

FO- Liesl

Oh, cotton. How I love/loathe you.

I acquired 4 skeins of the prettiest light green cotton yarn when the Suss store went out of business back in 2006. They were $1 a skein, and although I had no plans for in the works, I couldn't resist. This is what happens when I get yarn with no master plan for it...it sits around in a bin for a half a decade before I can muster up the will to make something out of it.

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In my vicious stash policy of "be used or begone", I knew I had to dig this up and turn this into something.

It was tricky to find a project that would make do with 470 yards of Aran-weight cotton yarn. I finally settled on the Liesl. Pretty much everyone I know had made one. Its top-down design meant I could knit until I ran out of yarn. The feather-and-fan stitch pattern is easy as can be, and it just flew along and was done in no time.


Not exactly high fashion, but it's a cute functional layering piece.


A couple of vintage buttons from my button bin and voila! My yarn stash is 4 skeins less of ropey slubby cotton.

I gifted this as soon as it was blocked. It wasn't enough that I turned it into something nice. I couldn't have that yarn in my house any longer in any shape or form.

The specs:

I used nearly all 4 skeins of Suss Cotton, which comes in 118 yards a piece. It's Aran weight and hard to work with- it's like knitting with rope and can really tire your hands out. The color is "Stone".
I didn't modify the Leisl pattern at all except for only making two button holes. I made the medium size.

I can't decide if this counts as a sweater or not. If it does, then it's number 12 of my 12 Sweaters project. I still have 3 months, and I finished another sweater this week (it's blocking and in need of buttons). I'll go pop the cork on some bubbly.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

FO- Kai-Mei Socks

I'm back for a little bit and I have some FO's to catch up on. I am keeping up with my A-Z stashdown challenge.

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Yet another skein of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock in lightweight. The color is "Downpour". This is a really thick, cushy sock yarn. I thought the color combination was gorgeous.

I'm on a bit of a Cookie A. kick and chose the Kai-Mei socks from her wonderful "Sock Innovation" book.

I cast these on when I was in France. The 3x3 rib went on forever, and made them good candidates for making both socks at once.

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Here they are, looking longingly out at the mountains and Lake Geneva and vineyards near Lausanne, Switzerland. It's amazingly gorgeous there. Plus, you pretty consistently need socks year-round up in those mountains.

I shoved them into my carry-on bag when I flew to Chicago and immediately regretted it as one of the teeny tiny needles snapped en route. So just in time to turn the heel I switched to doing these the old-fashioned one-at-a-time way. Anyway, with all that plane time and delays, I got these done really quickly. It's amazing how much I can get done when the handheld electronic devices must be put away.

Wanida Socks

I only have pictures of the one sock done, but I assure you, the other one was made and in a perfect mirror image. As I was Kitchener-ing the toe shut on the second toe, I bumped into a friend of mine whose birthday weekend was coming up, and being the dunce that I am, I had gotten her nothing. A hasty sewing in of the ends and voila! She had a birthday present. I knew these would be a gift, but I didn't know to who. The timing was perfect.

Wanida Socks

I looks like I'm tip-toeing through the poison ivy. Sometimes, the only thing that grows in Brooklyn is noxious weeds.

Wanida Socks

The specs-
I used one skein of Socks that Rock lightweight in the Downpour colorway and size 2.25 mm needles. The 3x3 rib takes up a lot of yarn, so I used up almost the full 360 yard skein. The "butterflies" that travel across the foot were a little difficult to get consistent tension, but after a little stretching I could get them fairly even. These would be hard to wear with a pair of shoes on- the butterflies have a bit of a bulge in the center where all the stitches are gathered, and the ribbing makes them kind of lumpy as well. A good pair of pretty house socks these are.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Vacation. Again.

I have some catching up to do methinks. I'm on vacation this week and knitting up a storm- a good way to spend a day at the beach. Or, um, several days at the beach. One thing that never ceases is that I never, ever get sick of just sitting on the beach. If I have an ocean to stare at, I probably wouldn't get any real work done at all.

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I'm so relaxed I don't even know how I can be sitting upright right now.