If only …

… this could be a poster for my daughter’s room.


(Source: http://bit.ly/1FHVSXr)

The ultimate bromance!

In knitting news, back in 2012, Knitty published Bigger on the Inside by Kate Atherley, a lovely, TARDIS-y shawl.  In November of this year (2014 for those not keeping track), Coryna Blasko of Heathcote Road published a pattern based on that shawl.  Her “14 Daleks and the TARDIS” shawl is a bit bigger on the outside and has a much much larger Dalek : TARDIS ratio and I’m knitting one as we speak with some stash yarn from Maryland Sheep & Wool that was purchased a couple years ago.  Why don’t you knit one as well?  The world can always use more Doctor Who knitwear!

Knitty: Part Deux

What, you expected a post some time between August and November?  Pshaw!  No one tells me what to do when I’m procrastinating!

Actually, I was waiting for some good news, and now I have it.  One of my patterns will be published in the upcoming Winter 2014 issue of Knitty!  It’s not so much one pattern as two patterns in one.  I can’t give away too much information at the moment but I can say the yarn is SweetGeorgia Superwash DK and that the colors are perfect for brightening up a dreary winter day.  That issue should be coming out sometime in early December so keep your eyes peeled!

In other news, this August, my husband and I, along with our daughter, went on a belated honeymoon to London and Paris.  As I’m not a travel writer, I won’t go into much detail.  Suffice it to say, we will be visiting both places again, especially since we spent such a short time in London.  When asked what her favorite part of the trip was, my daughter replied: “Feeding the pigeons.”  It wasn’t seeing amazing things like the Tower of London or skull mosaics in the Paris Catacombs or eating barbe à papa under the Eiffel Tower (or having breakfast at Café des Deux Moulins from Amélie, but that was more exciting for me!); it was feeding the pigeons.  At least she’s very easy to please.

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Naturally, I had to buy yarn while we were on vacation and went to Cat’Laine at 19 rue Saint-Marc – 75002, Paris.  With its screamingly bright pink exterior, it’s hard to miss.  Just be sure to bring cash if you go as they don’t accept credit cards.  I wanted to find yarn that was actually produced in France, which wasn’t that easy.  I ended up with four small balls of pale pink fonty BB Mérinos and one ball of Lanas Stop Reina, which is made in Spain.


I also got five beautiful buttons from Dam Boutons at 46, rue d’Orsel – 75018, Paris.  It was only once I got back to the US that I noticed the color of one of the five didn’t match the others.  Oh well, it was still an amazing store to browse and the proprietor was extremely friendly and helpful (and mistook me for an Australian).

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So now it’s back to real life and we’re enjoying the new family members we adopted once we got back from the trip.  I haven’t really tried knitting around them yet.  Kinda scared.

Here’s Mac and Charlie (cat names courtesy of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia):


I promise to post again much sooner!

Cake or Death? Ooh, Cake Please.

To say the past few weeks have been busy for me is an understatement akin to saying the plague was just a bunch of people who felt a little under the weather.  I have a tendency to procrastinate, which sometimes serves me well as I do decent work under pressure.  Some things can’t be left to the last minute, though.  Like boning up on my French immediately before a trip to France.  In my head, I speak excellent French, I can even speak it out loud with some skill.  Actually speaking to a native French speaker has not yet happened so I’m fairly certain I will sound like an idiot.

To help me procrastinate on the French, I offered to make cake decorations for the birthday of a friend’s daughter.  She’s turning six and couldn’t be any cuter with her massive head of curly red hair, much like Merida from Brave.  And what did she want on her cake you might ask?  Robot princesses!  *swoon*  I love a non-traditional girl.  Somehow I didn’t get a single shot of the whole cake in focus because of course I didn’t.  But I took a couple close-ups with more detail.  I’ll never be great at this sort of stuff but it’s still pretty fun and I can eat the mistakes.


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No, I didn’t make the flowers.  I wish.

Earlier this year, I made a T-Rex skeleton cake for my own daughter’s birthday.  That was way easier as fossils are supposed to be kind of lumpy and the “dirt” (crushed graham crackers and Oreos) covered any mistakes.



Here’s the skeleton prior to being in situ.

photo 2

Now for the knitting-related stuff, since this is primarily a knitting blog: if nothing goes wrong, I’ll have a pattern in the Winter 2014 issue of Knitty!  This really feels like lightning striking twice and I’m happy since that’s only an analogy.  The photo shoot was today, featuring a gorgeous friend who kindly modeled my designs.  The photos are amazing so it’s killing me that I can’t share them here but they will be published (again, barring catastrophes) this December.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the passing of Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall this week.  I remember watching Mork & Mindy when I was a kid and being so excited that he was in the Popeye movie.  And Lauren Bacall … what a loss.

And now for some Eddie Izzard:

KAL Part One? Check.

I’d posted previously about the Meryl Streep Chevron Lace Cardigan KAL currently going on over at the Silver Screen Knits Ravelry group, and in a fit of madness I committed to knitting two of them. That would be two Streeps on top of the two I’ve already knitted as samples. There’s probably something wrong with me.

Yesterday, I finished the first one – a scaled down version to fit my 6 year-old daughter. You can read about my mods to the pattern here but, basically, I used a DK weight yarn (SweetGeorgia Superwash DK) and size US 7 needles, cast on fewer sts, shortened the length (obviously) and gave it long sleeves. Here it is:

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And here’s a close-up of the lace detail and one with the sweater unbuttoned because I am being that mom who posts more photos of her kid than strictly necessary.  I should mention that the daylilies are my husband’s doing.  He’s the one that keeps our yard gorgeous and continuously reminds me that plants need water in order to not die.  That’s why the garden is his job and I take care of the things that can verbalize their needs.

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I have one more Streep to go before I officially call it quits on knitting that pattern; however, I plan to wait a week or two before casting on in order to make some more progress on this giant pile of gorgeousness.  Fortunately, it’s unseasonably cool for summer so I can handle being completely covered up with this thing as I knit it.


This next bit isn’t knitting-related but it fills me up with nerdy grammar-loving warm tingly feelings. Also, it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who doesn’t care for Oxford commas.

KAL Cast On! and … Il était un bon anniversaire

It may be stating the obvious but I love my husband.  One of his many wonderful attributes is that he is very thoughtful.  The latest manifestation of his thoughtfulness is this birthday gift – the LEGO Architecture Eiffel Tower.  His knows how much I love all things LEGO and French, so this was brilliant.  Also, the building next to it?  That’s the LEGO Parisian Restaurant he got me for Valentine’s Day.  One of my life’s goals is to become as good a gift-giver as he is.  There are only so many Karl Pilkington books in print and only so many orchids he can find time to care for.


As for the KAL cast-on part of this post – tomorrow (July 1) marks the start of the Meryl Streep Chevron Lace Cardigan Knit-a-long on the Silver Screen Knits Ravelry group.  There’s just one more day to start your project page in time to receive a coupon for the pattern.

From Kathleen Lawton-Trask’s blog: “Between now and July 1, if you create a Streep project on Ravelry, add a photo of the yarn you plan to use, and tag it “StreepSummer2014,” you will receive two coupons: one for $1.00 off of the single Streep pattern, and one for $4.00 off of the ebook of Silver Screen Knits: Volume One.”

I’m not sure why, but lately I’ve gotten into the habit of photographing LEGO themed yarn pictures as place holders for my project pages and this time is no different.  Here’s the photo for my first KAL Streep, which I’ll be sizing down to fit my 6 year old daughter:


The yarn is SweetGeorgia Superwash DK in Slate.  I’ve used this yarn for three other projects so far and love it to pieces.

Just for fun, here are some of my previous LEGO/yarn photos.  And before you ask – no, I don’t have anything better to do.


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The Monstrous Blanket

Have you seen Umaro by Jared Flood?  it’s beautiful.  Dramatic.  Gorgeous.  Just look at it:


Photo © Jared Flood/Brooklyn Tweed

I made one as a baby gift a couple years ago and always knew that I would eventually make another as a sofa blanket sorta thing.  As an early birthday present, my husband financed the yarn and, in a fit of conformity, I chose the exact same yarn and color as the sample, which is Cascade Yarns Lana Grande in color 6010 (Cream).  This yarn is nuts.  It’s a super bulky weight that yields 2 sts/in!  For someone who typically knits with DK weight (plus or minus a yarn weight), this is like knitting with climbing rope.  For scale, here are a couple bits of my daughter shown with the yarn.  Huge, right?  The yarn, not my daughter.

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The pattern calls for 1100-1150 yds or about 13 skeins for a 4′ x 5′ blanket.  I have 20 skeins and 60″ US 15 circs.  This will truly be a monstrous blanket.

Meryl Streep Cardigan Knit-A-Long

Kathleen Lawton-Trask (who I’ve blogged about lots of times, obviously!) has had the brilliant idea of starting a KAL for the Meryl Streep Chevron Lace Cardigan by Ann Weaver, which was published in Kathleen’s book Silver Screen Knits: Volume One.  This pattern proved to be so popular that Kathleen decided to offer it as a standalone pattern on Ravelry. The KAL will run from July through September and Kathleen and I will participate on the Silver Screen Knits Ravelry group.  We’ll be available to answer questions, provide advice as needed, and post tips from the designer.  As an added bonus, Kathleen is offering a discount on the single pattern and the entire ebook for this KAL!  Also, free yarn!  From her blog:

  • There will be discounts. Between now and July 1, if you create a Streep project on Ravelry, add a photo of the yarn you plan to use, and tag it “StreepSummer2014,” you will receive two coupons: one for $1.00 off of the single Streep pattern, and one for $4.00 off of the ebook of Volume One.
  • There will be a giveaway. Likely not enough yarn to knit the sweater, but around August 1 we will select one person who has posted about their progress in the Ravelry Group and send them some pretty yarn. Details about this, with pretty yarn photos, will be posted on my blog in the next week or so.

Seriously, visit her blog for the rest of the details.  She’s a way better blogger than I am! I’ve knitted this cardigan twice before.  Once as a test knit for Kathleen using The Fibre Company Organik (left photo) and again as a sample for Karida Collins in her Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio Worsted (right photo).  Pardon the sweater pose.  It’s the only one I have.

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As my contribution to the KAL, I’ll be knitting two more Streeps.  One will be for me, finally.  At last I get to keep one of these gorgeous sweaters.  The slight (and really only slight) downside is that I can’t justify buying any more yarn without lots of passive-aggressive gesturing at my already large stash by that other person who lives in my house.  You know, the person who doesn’t understand that just because I have scads of yarn, that doesn’t mean I have the right yarn.  Sooooo, I’m repurposing some yarn from the TARDIS blanket that I started a few years ago.  I really had every intention of knitting it.  Look – I even had all the yarn (not pictured, blue Cascade 220): Image So that’s a ton of KnitPicks Wool of the Andes.  Not a bad yarn at all, just kinda sorta nothing to write home (or blog) about.  But because everyone can use a black sweater, I’m planning to use the black for my Streep. It’ll be fine.  I’ll wear it lots and there’s the added bonus that it’s made of stash yarn.

The second Streep (which I will knit first!) will be for my kid (see below) as I haven’t knitted a sweater for her in way too long.  Five years ago, I scaled down the Dollar and a Half Cardigan by Veronik Avery for her so I’m going to do the same thing with Streep.  Kathleen has very generously allowed me to hang onto a couple skeins of SweetGeorgia Superwash DK leftover from my Sophia Loren Riverside Cardigan design (as well as two other not yet released designs).  I thought I only had one skein and figured I might alternate it with a skein of madelinetosh tosh sport (my all time favorite yarn) as the two yarns are very similar in size but the color differences were too great.  Luckily, I found an extra skein of SweetGeorgia.  The dye lot doesn’t completely match the other skein but I doubt my kiddo will care.

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If you aren’t already part of the Silver Screen Knits Ravelry group, join now, start your project page, tag it “StreepSummer2014,” and cast on July 1!  I look forward to knitting with you!

My Pattern Is In Knitty!

Today is the moment I’ve been waiting for since March, when I found out my design had been accepted by Knitty.  The Knitty First Fall 2014 issue is live!  The only way I could be happier is if I won the lottery and half of it was paid in chocolate.

Voilà Jasseron:


The sweater model is someone for whom the word “friend” is inadequate.  Mandy (madgeface on Ravelry) is a fellow knitter, someone who shares my love of fabulous food and wine, a designer in her own right, a confidant, a roller derby champ, a repository of obscure movies and grammar rules, a person who knows how to gently point out when I’m being an ass (she gets lots of practice at it), and my Maid of Honor last year (see below).  I’m lucky to know her.


Now back to the design!

I named the sweater Jasseron for the song by French chanteuse Emily Loizeau.  And because she’s one of my favorite musicians, I’m also linking to her incredibly creative video for Je suis jalouse.

I’m a sucker for wide necklines – ballet, bateau, you name it – as they give the illusion of wider shoulders and draw the eyes up and away from the waist.  It’s a much more subtle distraction than doing jazz hands or making weird faces.  I may or may not have done this before.  A lot of my designs feature twisted ribbing as opposed to regular 1×1 ribbing.  I find that it looks neater and the stitches wind up more uniform than in regular ribbing.  The yarn is Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio Sport in Lauraville (MC) and Remington (CC).  As you can see in the sleeve detail photo, it has great stitch definition and the colors are very rich with a lot of depth.  A big thank you to Karida Collins of Neighborhood Fiber Co. for providing the yarn!


The hardest part of designing this sweater was reworking the short row shaping across all the different sizes.  The hem wasn’t so bad but the short rows in lace at the upper part of the sleeves were a monster.  In the future, I’ll continue to use that method of shaping, but in lace?  Not so much.

Fingers crossed that lots of people will knit Jasseron.  I can’t wait to see how it looks in different colors and sizes!