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Second Knitty Pattern is Live

I repeat, my second Knitty Pattern is live!  I’d write more but I’m too busy busting open the wine!

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If only …

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

Bill-Nye-and-Neil-deGrasse-Tyson

(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.

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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):

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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.

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Here’s the skeleton prior to being in situ.

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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 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.

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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:

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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:

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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.

Maryland Sheep & Wool 2014

MDS&W happened a week and a half ago.  I’m just now getting around to writing about it as I’ve been lazy procrastinating working hard on getting Silver Screen Knits, Volume Two over the finish line.  Good news: it’s being released the day after tomorrow!

Once again, I went with my good friend Mandy (who was also my maid of honor, who is also my Knitty model, who is also awesome at roller derby and whose husband did some of the photo shoots for the book).  I managed to get out of there without a single skein of yarn – a true feat for me – but I did get some other very neat stuff, mainly food.  They have some fabulous food vendors.  I realize that 90% of what I tweet and blog about is food related, but I like food, so yeah.  What was I talking about?  Oh, food.  Justamere Tree Farm was there again with their maple candy.  And maple cream.  I’d never had maple cream before but they give you a little taste of it just like a crack dealer.  I think my daughter has since eaten half the jar, so I may have to hide it.  Then there was the cinnamon nuts (pecans, cashews, almonds) booth with a smell that wafts through the entire fairgrounds.  Pure evil.  And finally a new vendor I hadn’t seen before – Artichokes French.  Apparently they had been at Rhinebeck previously and were overwhelmingling popular.  I can see why.  They’re one of the few vegetarian hot food vendors, half of their menu is gluten free and you can smell the garlic from 100 yards away.  I couldn’t find a website for them but a recipe for the artichokes is here.  Great stuff.

Now for the non-food related stuff.  Last year, I got a gorgeous green yarn bowl (the left one below) from Greenbridge Pottery and found that I use it constantly.  Aside from being very handy, it’s also a rather nice decorative piece so I headed to MDS&W intending to get another one.  It was a challenge to settle on one as they have an enormous selection and they’re all lovely.  I ended up with the one on the right.  It’s a nice neutral color that will work well anywhere I leave it in my house.

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I also picked up some roving to make a bird nest material thing to hang outside.  It’s been hanging out there for a week with no takers.  Ingrates.

Finally, the pièce de résistance: another yarn bowl.  But not just any yarn bowl.  A monster yarn bowl!  Check this guy out!

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That could not be any cooler, right?  It was made by Claymonster Pottery in Baltimore, MD.  The potters were kind enough to inform me that this yarn bowl is microwave and dishwasher safe.  Can you imagine eating cereal or soup out of this?  I can and I most likely will.

Other than that, I wound up with a few more sets of circs, which puts me at about a thousand of them now but somehow I never have the size/length combo I need and I have far too many of them to chuck them all for interchangeables.  At least I have an excuse to keep buying Namaste Circular Cases!