Thursday, December 29, 2011

Outgrowing Manava

Unlike his brother Adrian, Edward is a very large baby.

I made the mistake of making my Manava Cardigan [blog post here] [Ravelry] in a 6-12 month size. Well, Edward (b. 4/18/11), who is only 8.5 months old, has thoroughly outgrown the garment.

And it's only now cold enough to wear it.

I squeezed it on him anyway, for one last photo shoot. It looks a little silly. (By the way, the 100% wool giraffe rug is courtesy of Everyone always asks. That's what's on the floor in the boys' room.)

Yes, that's pureed carrots on his face. Yum. (Yes he's a complete tow-head. NO idea where that comes from. No, he's not wearing pants. I know EXACTLY where that comes from.)

Good-bye, Manava. We will miss you.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Holiday WIP

I thought I'd share a few photos of my latest project, which is going to be either a wrap cardigan or more of a short-sleeved vest type thing, although I have a few store-bought items like that and find them awkward to wear, for some reason.

Who would wear a sweater like this with summer whites and flip flops?

At any rate, here's a nice wintery tableau featuring my project.

I'm actually making the same one in beige. I think the waffle stitch works better in this ivory wool than this ill-fated sweater (soon to be frogged so I can finish this one). If it works out, this may be my first original pattern in a while.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fiber Facts (sort of): The Scrimshaw Swift

I was watching Antiques Roadshow with my parents yesterday, and a woman brought in an object she had inherited from her family, who were whalers somewhere in the Northeast. She had no idea that her object, made of whalebone, was an antique swift valued at $15,000-20,000.

Here's another one (which is for sale at Christies for $8,750). I like how this one has a carved hand at the bottom "holding" the swift:

On the show, they explained that whalers would pass their time making swifts and other items out of whale bone. This art form was called scrimshaw, and its practitioners were called scrimshanders (love that word)! In addition to swifts, they would make objects ranging from "simple clothespins and rolling pins to yarn baskets, walking sticks, dolls, rings, bracelets, and spool rack" (according to this article).

Apparently, scrimshaw swifts are highly collectible, and can be found on various auctions websites:

Apparently, these were made by whalers primarily for their loved ones at home, although they may have sold some of their scrimshaw items.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Can we say "monotonous"?

Here's a screenshot of my current Ravelry project page.

Screen Shot 2011-12-25 at 5.05.10 PM.png

Can we just say that I need to stopping knitting blue things?

It's just my favorite color, and I have so much blue-ish yarn. The rest of my projects are more of the same, it seems. Monotonous and predictable shades of blue.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Some Christmas Knitting

These sweaters have been finished for a while, but North Carolina has been so warm that I haven't had much chance to wear them. So I took them home to Canada where they could get some use--although it has not been a white Christmas here, either.

The first one is based on a Verana pattern, Kate (Verena website)--it's here on Ravelry.

The Verena version included lace and bobbles surrounding the cable, but I was frankly too lazy to bother with those. The original is also quite oversized:

So my version just has a basic cable:

I think this one is a keeper--I like the fit. I used worsted weight yarn instead of bulky, so I had to kind of fudge the numbers. But it turned out. Actually, it doesn't look much like Kate at all, does it!

The second one is based on my Tenley pattern, without the cables. I wanted a basic off-white turtleneck sweater. Unfortunately, though, this one will go the way of the frog:

It's okay, but I wish I would have used some sort of pattern stitch, not stockinette. And the sleeves are just too big--blocking didn't fix it.

But I thought I'd post something about it to document my hard work:

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Funny Sign and a Question for Folks

Here's the funniest sign I've ever seen, and it was at my local Hancock Fabrics:

I just wish the fest was for the OTHER kind of fleece. Not the kind made of petrochemicals.

And now here's my question for you guys.

My father-in-law has a tree that drops fruit that looks an awful lot like tennis balls with warts. Here's a picture of one:

Does anyone know what this fruit is? Is it edible? We have a bazillion of them every summer. Please tell me they're "the super-delicious avocados of the South."


Friday, December 2, 2011

I Stand Corrected: Crocheted Olek

I recently received this comment on an earlier post on this blog:

Strickbombe said...

it's all the work of one ARTIST called crocheted olek. don't let her hear that you called her a yarn-bomber though!
November 22, 2011 4:34 AM

I do apologize for the misnomer! The crocheter is indeed an artist.

My sister sees C. Olek's work as she walks to work and snaps pictures of it for me using her phone. I post the pictures here because the cozied items are completely cool.

Here are some of the pictures:

[a cozy stepladder in the snow]

and this one:

[cozied ten-speed]

Crochet on.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Knitted Eames Chair

Two of my favorite things: Mid-century furniture and knitting. Combined in one awesome item:

The details:

knitting work: plainliving
styling: Akira Ishikawa
photo: Osamu Koizumi [Q's planning&management]

Originally posted on Flickr.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

FO: Hospice Sweater, 1 Year Later

One year ago, while Mary was dying of cancer, I began knitting a sweater. Often, at the time, there wasn't much to do but sit and wait. Knitting helped fill the time. The project was Ginevra's Pullover [Ravelry], and since I already had the yarn in my stash, I just started knitting.

And then Mary died, and then it was Christmas, and then I was on the job market, and then I had a baby, and then our au pair Anna arrived, and so I had to make some room by packing up my knitting studio, and then, one day, I realized that I had just stopped knitting.

Then last week, I decided I wanted a new pair of handwarmers. And then, in just one day, I finished the Hospice Sweater.

“Hospice,” according to the OED, used to mean a welcoming home for travelers on their journey. It kind of still does.

So, more or less on the anniversary of Mary's death, I finished the sweater. Miraculously, it looks good on my post-baby bod, even the belly.

Here are the details:

Project: Ginevra's Pullover [Ravelry], by Amy Polcyn, in Intervweave Knits.

Materials: Cascade 220 and Jaggerspun Superfine Merino 2/18 Skein.

Size Made: 38 inch bust.

Modifications: I kept the sleeves the same length---which means short on me---because I like 3/4 or bracelet sleeves. But I definitely lengthened the torso. I also added more garter stitch detail to the bust area.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Peaceful Travels, Sweet Deco

Last week, our 8 year old cat was hit by a car on our quiet street and died almost instantly. It was horrible---this is the pet that Michael and I had before we were married, and she was, as I now know, central to our existence. (At our first rental house:)

My friend S. reassured me that my deep sadness was normal, saying, "Pets give context to our lives." Icouldn't agree more. (S. is one of those people who always says the right thing.) Those of you who are long-time readers know that I, as a rule, think that knit-bloggers post way too many posts about their cats.

In the leaf-pile:

Exposing the "white fur of death" to unwise passers-by:

Sleeping with Michael on a Mimi-Quilt:

I'm breaking my no-cat-posts rule today, in honor of my eternally traveling Deco-Kitty. Her final napping-spot:

--Katie Rose

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Photoblogging with Instagram

My favorite app on my iPhone is Instagram.

Instagram a photoblogging software that allows you to share your photos on Facebook, Twitter, and by email. It also creates a feed of your photos and the photos of your friends---viewable on your phone. (A variety of support sites have popped up around the web, including Here's my Instagram feed on Inkstagram.)

I've really taken to photoblogging recently. There are three main reasons for this:

(1) I used to be a photographer, and I miss it.

(2) I have two small children and like to post their pictures all over the place.

(3) I have two small children and therefore little time; posting a picture is a heckofalot easier than composing a text-heavy post like this one.

So--I'm going to try an experiment: I'm going to post my Instagram photoblog entries to my blog, here. They are heavy on two topics: nature (plants, etc.) and my kids. Perhaps I'll keep the "my kids" posts off of the blog. We'll see.

But really, this blog is about knitting and fiber arts, but also about Jordynn and Katie.

Here's a few shots from the past few weeks, as a preview of what's to come:

Morning sunlight in the UNC Arboretum---this is how I walk to work in the mornings:

A quilt my mother made that is now installed at the UNC School of Law---I'm so proud:

And Edward nestled in the trunk of a tree:

As you can see, Instagram allows you to apply fun filters and borders to photographs, giving them an old-fashioned feel.


-Katie Rose

Knitting Again

With the two kids and the new job, I took a hiatus from knitting. The hiatus wasn't intentional; I just sort stopped knitting. I had a few things that were mid-project that sort of fizzled out, and I had no desire to make another shawl or pair of mitts or sweater. The love was gone.

But I had a feeling this mood was temporary---brought on by a mix of exhaustion and lack of creative juices. The mood is over.

Here's what I knit over the last three days, in what could honestly be called a "flurry":

This is another pair of my Chopin Handwarmers. I used sock yarn and a smaller gauge needle than the pattern calls for. I post more details in the coming days about the mods, which include a cute picot edge at the cuff:

I'm baaa-aack.

-Katie Rose

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Guerrilla Momma Fashion Mods

This post just brushes the surface of a much larger topic: women, weight, postpartum body changes, and fashion.

Really, it seems that if you want to wear cool clothes after having a baby, you are SOL. Because cool clothes do not EVER take into account the subtle (or not-so-subtle) body changes that most of us go through after schlepping a watermelon around in our midsections for months/weeks on end. Let alone two of them.

So, this state of fashion affairs pissed me off.

Here are a few mods that I made to my own clothes so that I could wear them again. The clothes fit great everywhere EXCEPT in the waist area. This is a life-change consequence, not a diet-and-exercise consequence. My body--gasp--has changed since I had my 2 boys.

But too many clothes are still made for women who are built like 12 year olds. I can surrender to the mom jean, or I can attack.

Guerrilla Momma Mod #1
Add another jean button to my Citizens for Humanity jeans.

Supplies: Package of dungaree buttons from any craft store. Make sure the diameter matches the other button. Hammer it in place, gives you 1 extra inch.


Guerrilla Momma Mod #2
Add another set of eye-closures to my Gap Real Skinny trousers.

Supplies: Package of hook-and-eye closures from any craft store. Try to match the color to your pants.

A little trickier, but makes all the difference.

What else have folks out there done?

Remember--you can have fashion, and this is as well:

(Yes, my Edward is dressed as a cow. Costco had 2 costume choices: gray rat (okay, mouse) or black and white cow. One for boys, one for girls. I liked the cow better. Because the other one looked like a rat. Why do people get all freaked out about a six month old dressed as a cow???)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Too Cute Not to Share

This may not be a cute baby wearing adorable booties, but it comes close: