"Learning to knit was a snap. It was learning how to stop that nearly destroyed me."
Erma Bombeck

Friday, April 30, 2010

Express your personal style: Necklines

I enjoy analyzing knitting patterns, and a collar or a pretty neckline is my favorite designer feature. The Buttercream Jacket is from the newest issue of Interweave Knits; Deborah Newton has expertly combined three textures in a shawl collar which frames the face and neck beautifully. In the photograph below the Essential Cardigan (from the same issue) is a classic design which would flatter any figure; the neckline and asymmetric closure are couture touches, yet this is the kind of practical design once offered by Chanel as a contrast to the exaggerated femininity of Dior. I'm thrilled to see some alternatives to the current "baby doll" styles that have been popular for a while.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I've fallen and I can't get up - the Venita Shawl.

As I've said before, I may not be the Yarn Harlot, but I am a yarn harlot. Who else shops for yarn when my stash contains yarns of countless colors in all weights and every fiber? But Elann had Noro sock yarn at a 40% discount (sold out in minutes), and I found myself sitting in front of the library computer at 11 o'clock sharp this morning. My heart sank when I realized that I didn't have my credit card with me, but miraculously I realized I had memorized it! My first choice, Jade Garden, was not yet sold out....I plan to knit a lacey shawl from the Venita pattern ( a smaller version--shoulder shawl), a free pattern from Lorna Pearman. http://peargirlknits.blogspot.com/ This simple pattern has shoulder shaping for a better drape. It would be a great stash-buster too.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lemonade Baby Blanket

If you are a fan of the Blossom Street novels, Debbie Macomber has a new book in that series coming out this month. I signed up for her mailing list and I got this free pattern for this quick and easy baby blanket. Designed to be knit with large needles, you'll be finished in time for the shower. Lion Brand has just introduced a new yarn called Baby's First (a chunky version of Cotton-Ease) which would work beautifully with this pattern. LEMONADE BABY BLANKET
(approx. 36" x 45")
855 yards bulky weight yarn
29" circular needles, sizes 10 1/2 and 11 (or sizes to get gauge)
Gauge: In pattern with larger needle 13sts and 19 rows = 4"

With smaller needle cast on 118 sts.
Rows 1-5: Knit across.
Change to larger size needle.
Row 6 (rs): K4, *yo, ssk, k4; repeat from* across
Row 7: K4, purl across to last 4 sts, k4.
Row 8: K4, *k2tog, yo, k4; repeat across.
Row 9: Repeat row 7.
Repeat rows 6-9 until blanket measures approximately 44", end by working a right side row.
Change to the smaller size needle.
Knit 5 rows.
Bind off all sts.

Spring Knitting

Just as I am compelled to work in my garden in the spring, I also feel I must start a project (or two) to celebrate the season of renewal, something light and airy. I shopped my stash for yarn, selected Provence in creme and downloaded the pattern for the Sorelle Lace-Edged Pullover, a Knititude pattern. I love the Knititude patterns, they are beautiful, well written and come in a wide range of sizes. I also plan to knit this shoulder shawl, Cascata, from the latest issue of the Twist Collective. The lace pattern is one of easiest I've ever seen, and isn't it pretty?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

"Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming ...."

This is 'Constance Spry', I purchased it many years ago from the Antique Rose Emporium. A vigorous climber, the flowers of ‘Constance Spry’ are perfectly gorgeous. Large, cupped, and cabbagey, the double flowers are perfectly pink and have a potent and unique scent of myrrh. The vigorous canes can be pruned to form a large shrub. This rose has survived some extreme neglect in my back yard.

The exquisite 'Ballerina' rose.

I planted a pair of these on either side of our gate after we got our picket fence two years ago. Ballerina’ produces clouds of small, single, pink roses with white eyes on a compact arching bush with thick foliage. When the leaves begin to thin in the late fall, the entire bush is lit up with tiny orange-red hips like bright Christmas lights.

There is no vaccine for Farmville Mania.

There was a time in my life when the time I spent on the computer was strictly utilitarian. I had recently gone back to school to get an education degree, and my family wanted an Apple PC for Christmas. I remember saying something like, "Okay, but I hope y'all use it, because I'll be busy with school, " etc. We were the second family, of all our aquaintances, to have a home computer (not counting my engineer brother who built his own!) Even though I had a new typewriter (w/ word processor!), that big Apple dinosaur was a workhorse---term papers and essays made easy, footnotes - no problem, abstracts combining class notes and textbook notes - simple. I copied a knitting gauge conversion program from Knitter's Magazine, and soon after that I wrote a comsumer survey program for a class project. However we resisted internet acess for a year or two, but when we relented I fell into the net that is the worldwide web. It has been wonderful to able to have access all kinds of information about my hobbies and special interests, but I never really experienced to obsessessive nature of computer games until I played Farmville! Which is partly why I haven't blogged for almost two months; the other reason being the fabulous April weather we've had this year.