the color is red

Posted on 19 CommentsPosted in designing, food and garden, lace/shawls, projects

while i was out in the garden today, i noticed how much red there is right now—sugar production is at an all-time high for growing things, as the last energy of the season is shunted into the fruit of each plant.

in general, red is not my favorite color for knitting yarn—i’m not saying i hate it, it’s just not the first thing i gravitate to (that would be green or gray, haha, right kim?). but i do enjoy seeing it in the outdoors—reds in nature seems better than in yarn and fabric; maybe because of the way they interact with sunlight . . .

september is a wonderful time for vegetables; i dunno what it is about the fall sun and air, but they like it—i’m picking a big basket of tomatoes every two days and the vines are filled with green ones that will turn soon.

and then there are the bowlfuls of cherry tomatoes, too—since we can’t use them all for salad, i’ve been drying them into candy-sized tidbits for snacking (better than candy, i swear).

my porch table, where i let them fully ripen after picking, is loaded down with enough tomatoes to make a big batch of sauce or a batch of ketchup.

hopefully, i’ll have time for that before i leave on friday for miami, but if not, the weather is not all that hot and they should be able to hold for a few extra days while i’m gone (plus, it’s always nice to spend my first day back by puttering around in the kitchen, instead of diving right away into work).

the flowers are somewhat revived from that awful hot spell we had in august, now that the temps have come down and some rain has quenched their thirst. i would grow nasturtiums just for the their leaves; i’m completely smitten by their round, cheerful shapes. and then there are the flowers, on top of that; how lucky can you get?

when not attending to produce, i’ve been digging myself out of a black hole of photography for the last week (i think i mentioned it, but it bears repeating). finally, i think i’m caught up—i think i sorted and edited something close to 2500 photos over the last week, just to get the next few patterns into publication. the price of beauty, eh?

i’ve been trying to catch up on writing patterns, too, so there isn’t a drought while i’m traveling next month.

the knitting i can show you is still a bit thin—i finished one secret project, but i still have one on the needles. i thought it would be ok, though to show you the yarn for it, because i like it WAY too much to hide it.

once again i’m knitting with kollage creamy, this time in the incredibly delicate canopy green colorway. i can’t help but sigh every time i pick it up; i just adore this color and it’s absolutely PERFECT for the project i’m designing. i picked it from an online photo and when it arrived, i was worried that it didn’t have enough color. but once i got some fabric on the needles, i saw it was right after all—it has a lot more color impact when knit up. in fact, any more would be too much.

you won’t see the outcome of this piece for some time, but i’ll be sure to let you know when you can have a look.

i did not finish my big swatch—i will admit that i got distracted. i knit a few more rows and was almost done, when decided to take a look at my charts on the computer. before i knew it, it was two hours later and i had charts all made up for the first three shawl sections. so i have a pattern to get started on, but no finished swatch. i promise i’ll finalize that last section it very soon so you can see the plan. meanwhile, i’m all set to start the real thing whenever i want (maybe tonight?).

the last section is still not as good as i’d like it to be; i might just need to step away and not look at it for a few days. heh.
no matter; i can still start the shawl and work on the hem section whenever i need a break from the knitting (in fact, i should have done this two months ago).

i keep thinking about my next big project, too; i want to get another sweater on the needles soon. much as it would be appropriate, i’m not ready to start the coat; i don’t have a firm idea what design would be most useful or comfortable for me. i think i do have the yarn picked though—i’ll share that another time.

instead, i wandered off to look at yarn and the old, hand-written pattern for my bathrobe sweater (it’s kind of a mess, but it’s all there with lots of detail, thank goodness). once i have a chance to weed through the instructions i wrote nearly twenty years ago and make sense of them for how i work today, i should be able to cast on a sleeve at least, when i get home from my trip.

i finished my second wristlets, this time making it a bit shorter—i like it WAY better than the first one. because it is shorter in length, the lace flares more prettily in relation to the gathering.
since i have enough yarn, i cast on a third one instead of ripping the first one out (i’d have to go pretty far back).

as fall advances, i’m starting to see the colors in the yarn all around me—burnished orange and gold, deep plum, tan . . . i just love the combination in this outback colorway (the yarn is miss babs merino/silk yet lace)

these will come with me to debby’s house for a little knitting tonight with friends. i can’t wait.

what’s cookin’, good lookin’?

Posted on 23 CommentsPosted in designing, food and garden, lace/shawls, projects

yesterday was a bright, beautiful fall day, just perfect for a photo shoot—which was good, because we got rained out on thursday. beckie, kian, and i convened early for a quick trip to the farmer’s market downtown, then headed back to my house to take some pictures, once the sun was up a little higher (even on a clear day, the mornings are markedly darker now).

more results of that session in a few days—i need to do the editing on the pictures before i’ll be ready, but we will definitely have this pattern out to later this week.

i’m afraid we overindulged at the market once again, considering how much we also have coming in from our gardens. i was looking for specific ingredients to go with the ones i had home; i wanted to make soups this weekend with some of my fall harvest.

i have parsnips, parsley, celery, leeks, celeriac, scallions, peppers, and tomatoes. i bought bread, cantaloupe (for david), freshly-dug potatoes, and corn, but then beckie bought a gigantic cabbage, so i took half to help her out (thanks beckie!). i’ve never made cabbage soup, but have been wanting to try it, so this was a good opportunity.

but of course, it meant i’d be in the kitchen all of saturday afternoon. no matter; i like cooking and with a book to listen to while i work, it’s really relaxing and nice to be away from the computer for a while.

first, i got some tomatoes in the oven to prepare a batch of paste for the freezer

this is the second big batch this week and i think i probably have enough now for winter; i’ll have to think of something else to do with tomatoes from now on. i still haven’t tried the ketchup, but i think that might be next; all the cooking it requires is a good way to compact the tomatoes so they take up less space.

next i prepped for the potato soup—i just used a basic recipe from a friend, adding in the celeriac, leeks, and celery to initial sauté. once the potatoes had cooked through, i pureed it, then added a scant amount of cream, scallions, fresh corn, and some grated carrot for color and texture.

YUM. we had it for dinner with cheese melts; it was really good.

the cabbage soup had a similar list of ingredients, plus a few more—tomatoes, cabbage, parsnips, barley, vinegar. it’s amazing how changing just a few things in a soup makes it a whole different dish. i’m glad i finally made this—it’s delicious in a whole different way from the other soup and i think it made about three gallons, haha. we have plenty put away in the freezer for a while . . .

now that the evenings are chilly, it’s good to be eating soup again. besides tasting great and being good company for bread, it’s full of vitamins and minerals and so easy to heat up for a quick supper. making it now when all the ingredients are so fresh, is another good way to capture and preserve the fullest flavor of the vegetables.

i never did get to make that other batch of stuffed peppers i planned, but maybe this evening; it’s supposed to rain later, so it might be a good time to do it.

i have to confess, i have little knitting i can show you today—i’m working on two secret projects and that leaves just my writ warmers to share. one is done now

but not even blocked yet; i should have the other one done very soon and once it is, i’ll soak them both together. i think the lace portion of these should actually be a little shorter; that would make them seem a little fuller without adding to the actual diameter (which seems big enough).

i spent a lot of time swatching this week to get started on one of the secret projects, so that of course took a bit away form actual project knitting. but that’s on the needles now and will probably travel with me on my next couple of trips, to knit on while i relax at night.

i also worked on this big swatch i’ve been knitting and reknitting all summer. and finally, finally, it’s all worked out. i’ll finish it tonight and block it so we can talk about it next time. it’s a plan for a bigger lace project i thought i’d have on the needles long before now, but sometimes, project just need that gestation time and there’s nothing i can do to push it. i have to say though, i’m glad it’s finally pulled together; i’m tired of this swatch, haha.

i also played around with some ideas for my coat; i think i’ve settled on what yarn i should use (an oldie, but goodie, from my personal stash), but i’m not at all certain what shape it should be or what fabric and texture i’d like. i’m pondering . . .

now i think it’s time i got out on my bike for a spin—don’t want to get rained out . . .

rosebuddie

Posted on 48 CommentsPosted in patterns

is it raining where you are too? ready for a little cheery color and some super-cute baby pictures? two days ago i visited my friend janet and her granddaughter addison while the weather was glorious and we photographed some baby items. so today, i bring you rosebuddie, a square baby blanket (or shawl) splashed all over with rosebuds and sunshine.

this easy-to-work piece is comprised entirely of simple eyelet patterns with all-knit rest rows, but the final result is much more than the sum of its parts—even the baby knows.

(she was completely entranced by the textures here, hee-hee!)
worked in a soft, machine washable fingering or sock yarn, this piece is as lightweight and practical as it is pretty—sure to be appreciated by any young family, at home or on the go.

shown above, the small size in fearless fibers MCN luxury, a merino/cashmere/nylon fingering yarn, in colorway meadow.

shown below, the large size, also in MCN luxury, colorway chastity.

this yarn was the perfect choice for this piece—soft and snuggly to the touch, lovely to knit with, and just the right weight for baby. it can be easily wrapped to swaddle a child in warm folds of softness or spread wide to provide a nice play space—the baby thinks it’s perfect.

(what do you think—do we have a future yarn appreciator here, or what?)

deb at fearless fibers wants everyone to know that she is happy to dye up any of her MCN colorways in the yardage needed of this project; if you don’t see what you want in the quantity you need, please contact her and she will dye a batch for you.

to purchase pattern or view complete pattern information, please click here to visit the product page in the knitspot pattern shop.

deb kessler, who collaborated with me on this project is a long-time friend and “fearless” supporter of knitspot projects and once again, she supplied just the right thing. you can view all of her lovely yarns and colorways in the fearless fibers shop on etsy (you won’t be sorry!)

as with many, many of my projects, our dear friend karolyn pitched in by test knitting the beautiful green/yellow sample you see on this page. it’s not just that she knits (and so fast and so beautifully)—it’s how joyfully she does it; i think she likes taking part in these projects even more than i do, and that’s a LOT.

a word of appreciation too, for our friend carol, who also helped out with test knitting and providing her usual stellar feedback; she seems to have enjoyed her knit immensely.

and last but not least, thank you to janet and addison for giving me a couple of hours of their time and being such great sports for the camera.

the weather was fine, but the air here is full of ragweed right now, so we did have a few tears—but nothing that grandma (and a nice soft blankie) couldn’t fix.

(it’s like watching a fire, isn’t it?)

finishing

Posted on 64 CommentsPosted in designing, food and garden, lace/shawls, projects

i don’t have much today and i need to make it quick, because i have a bunch of very ripe tomatoes that need attention—you can’t stop mother nature when she’s ready to give. these red, ripe tomatoes will be perfect for paste, now that i’m pretty well stocked up on puree for the winter.

but i do have a couple of quick finished items to show you that i’m excited about.

first, the pea shoots stole arrived from karolyn yesterday and it’s a beauty (that’s the working name; i’ve yet to settle on a good title for the pattern, so if you have any ideas, let me know. short and sweet is best!).

isn’t it just beautiful in this rose color? like the pea vines triangle, this is knit in woolen rabbit pandora, a bamboo/merino blend, in a colorway kim revived recently, called sweetheart (i don’t see it on her site at the moment, but i’m sure she’s offering it).

this turned out beautifully i think; now we just need to take some photos and it’ll be ready for release. i’m aiming for friday . . .

finishing work takes hours and hours, but it’s worth it—i’ve been so focused on the finishing of my bel air sweater that i haven’t knit much on my other projects, but focus is good

because now, i have a new finished sweater—i can wear it to rhinebeck . . .
i just love it! my dress form is a little bigger than i am in the shoulders and bust, so the fit is a bit distorted here, but you get the idea. and i had the right buttons after all; dark gray shell with hints of blue and green.

i’m VERY pleased with how it feels on—it’s fitted, but not snug and very comfy. the fabric, knit in spirit trail sunna colorway green velvet, is luxurious against the skin. another piece to add to the pile for photography (i’m working as fast as i can to catch up, i swear).

and that, as they say, is that—time to think about the next projects. i have a couple pieces of secret knitting i’m working on, plus the wristlets, but i’m definitely starting a new shawl in the next couple of days that’s more complex and lacy. something to sink my teeth into. and i think another sweater is in order, but i’m not sure what—should i finally make the sweater coat i’ve been yakking about for three years (it would come in handy for my winter travels), or should i finally reknit my bathrobe sweater (i have the yarn and i know i’ll wear that a lot).