Archive for March, 2008|Monthly archive page

I made a vest, and I really like it. Who knew?

True confessions: in junior high, I loved vests. I wore them often, and I did not, I now realize, wear them well. I had a store-bought crocheted one, one that looked like a carpet bag (but it zipped so that was cool, cough, cough), a green suede one that was my mom’s, and really might have been spectacular had it not stood out a few inches from my shoulders. And those are the highlights. Since then, I’ve been a bit leery of the vest. But when I made DH’s vest last fall and he totally rocked the look, I decided that I would give it a try too. Plus, wow do sweaters go fast when there are no sleeves involved.

This, then, is Mona Schmidt’s Tweedy Vest (Rav link). A nifty rib that is quite textured and fun to knit. I highly recommend this pattern, if for nothing more than the short row neckline that makes for a great fit. And just in case anyone has a fantastically scary memory, I did cast on for the Stephanie Japel Fitted Knits vest last fall, but after a little Ravelry browsing decided I didn’t really like the shape.

Zippity-do-dah for the tubular bind off! And my secret–for some reason, it’s much better if I do it with the wrong side facing.


PS Even think the words “sexy librarian” and I will cry! Or throw one of the c. 100 library books in my office in your general direction… this means you, DH 😉

PPS I’ve been awful about responding to comments. I’m sorry. Fresh slate from here on out, ok? Or you can throw books at me too. Hardcover, even.


It’s red, it’s warm, what’s not to love?

Let’s see, I had a few unclaimed skeins of red Homespun (the Lion Brand sort), a living room in need of a little voom (the va-va sort), and a lot of reading to do (the for-school-but-still-good sort). By now surely you’ve recognized the recipe for a new blanket in my house.
firewood blanket
I give you the “Firewood” blanket. The name is from a saying of my dad’s, that says firewood keeps you warm twice: once when you cut it, and once when you burn it. And since I knit this blanket in one piece, I was warmed by the process as well as the product (note: I did not and do not plan to burn this, let’s not take our metaphors too seriously!).

blanket in progress

Homespun is a good blanket yarn, or so say the cats. I agree, but like so many other yarns it can go limp and lifeless when knit in one big piece. This blanket counteracts that tendency by the many bound-off edges and a deep rib pattern. My goal was that it would have some presence even when casually tossed on the couch.

firewood blanket
But then again, the kittehs of the house prefer a more stylized look (can you believe this? I promise I had no part in arranging this except laying the blanket on the floor and then walking away to get my camera.  Any suggestions for what statement they are trying to make?).

firewood blanket

And for the music lovers in our midst, especially those of an indie rock persuasion, have you seen the CD cover meme yet? Fun times.

I saw, I sought, I sewed.

Friday I had a moment of weakness at Joann’s and ALMOST bought fabric to make Amy Butler’s Frenchy Bag (the pattern for which I’ve had since the moment I laid eyes on these–careful folks, she’s dangerous!). Then in an unexpected moment of maturity I walked away without that fabric, but not without feeling just a bit sorry for myself. Once home, however, I got to digging in the fabric stash, such as it is, and realized that if I raided some unused cotton duck and the leftovers from the SAMDSE*, with a little creativity I could have my Frenchy bag for the mere cost of the magnetic snap!
I can’t believe how much fun I had cutting and sewing this bag. My stitching is not straight, especially on the multiple passes, but I am so inordinately proud of myself for making this work that I don’t care. (I also made curtains that aren’t much to look at but do sufficiently darken the bedroom, a project I’d been stalled on for a few months. Can I just say that clip-on curtain rings have revolutionized my world?)

what a great “work” station for a Sunday afternoon

pattern: Amy Butler Frenchy shoulder bag
exterior fabric: Amy Butler’s Lotus “Faded China” collection
lining: cotton duck

inside- two pockets, improvised trim with scraps on cotton duck.


*Second Annual Mother/Daughter Sewing Extravaganza: My mom is great at sewing, very creative and efficient, so a few years ago we had the First Annual Mother/Daughter Sewing Extravaganza (why, no, I don’t have a flair for the dramatic, why do you ask?) and made Amy Butler’s Weekender Bag. We both had so much fun that last year–SAMDSE–we made Amy Butler robes & matching pajama pants. Mine were from this fabric.

Now it’s my turn to pick out a pattern again this year, and I don’t know what to suggest. Please leave me a pattern idea, if you have one. I was thinking a Denyse Schmidt quilt, maybe this one (Drunk love–if you like quilts and assymetry, I suggest you check it out)? Looks like straight sewing isn’t hip anymore anyway. I knew it!

PS Your regularly scheduled knitting content will resume shortly. Can you believe I’m four FO’s and many, many cute cat pics behind??

I need 20 g of CC, STAT!

DH is the one with the know-how, but I find that, should the need arise, I am quite capable of slicing and dicing.


Both patients prepped on the operating table.  Handspun yarn means I love every stitch, in part because of its unpredictability. “Unpredictability” is also a euphemism for not having enough yarn.


(I apologize for the graphic nature of this picture.)

The original toe is removed. The next step is implantation of the Louet Gems Pearl implant.


Recovery bay. Looking a bit pale, but we are optimistically hoping for regaining full range of motion.


And we have success! How appropriate that this sock, having triumphed over so much adversity already in its short life, blends in so well with its peer. The wounds have healed, and even though the procedure required permanent stitches (ha ha ha!), this young buck will go on to grace the feet of another fine surgeon for years to come.



The end!


Thwart- verb; passive constuction, to be thwarted

see also balk, baffle, frustrate


March, 2006: This Veronique Avery’s “Shocking” skirt. I began in a white heat over spring break and quickly realized that knitting with this acrylic yarn hurt my hands. So I stopped.

March, 2008: This Veronique Avery’s “Shocking” skirt. I began in a white heat over spring break and quickly realized that knitting with this acrylic yarn hurt my hands. So I stopped.

The difference between these two statements is that this time I’m done for good!

But I did want to show you how great this pattern is before it’s gone forever…


Um, excuse me?


Well, where’d you come from?DSC06373.JPG
Fine, battle it out between yourselves.
So since the picture-taking endeavor went so poorly, I thought I’d head out to the ‘Merc and pick up some wool for this skirt at their annual 25-40% off wool sale.