Thursday, November 18, 2010

Harvest Basket Shawlette

The Harvest Basket Shawlette and I have a long and somewhat agonized history.  You see, Harvest Basket is one of the first shawls I designed (somewhere in the first five for sure).  And while I loved it and thought it would be beautiful, every time I tried to knit it, things went badly.

There was nothing wrong with the pattern, as a matter of fact, TK said that it was one of the simplest ones she'd knit for me.

But it didn't work for me.  The first time I tried to knit it, I didn't like the yarn I'd chosen.  The second time, I didn't like the yarn/pattern combination.  So about that time I decided maybe it wasn't the yarn, maybe it was the pattern.  Thus, the next time I tried to knit it, I tried to redesign the pattern, failing miserably.  So I put the pattern on the shelf for a while.  And then forgot about the poor thing.

Until about 6 months later.  I was browsing through my old patterns (there are a surprising amount of those. Sadly, for most of them, it was love at the time they were designed, and now it's meh) and came across Harvest Basket and thought I'd give it another shot at redesign.  But when I opened the file, I realized that it really was great as is.  However, given our checkered past, I was reluctant to give it another try.  Then I remembered...

I have a test knitter!  TK! So I gave her a call and much to my joy and happiness, she agreed to take on the knitting of the Harvest Basket Shawlette.  And she finished it in less than two weeks!  (Did I mention that TK rocks?)  In Malabrigo Sock in Terracota, the shawlette is soft and warm.

Best of all, Harvest Basket is free!

And that's really the best price for anything,

Note: I originally designed Harvest Basket to be knit with variegated yarn.  I feel that the simple lace won't get lost in the variegation.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Deja Vu Shawlette

I originally knit the Deja Vu Shawlette with Malabrigo worsted, in the colorway Deja Vu.  (Hmmm, I wonder where the name came from.)

Then I realized that I still had yarn left from Butterfly Bush- Knit Picks Gloss DK.  While the first Deja Vu was knit with a worsted, Gloss DK is nearly heavy enough for this knitter to consider it a near worsted.

I had a full skein of the Gloss DK and a bunch of scraps that, when taken all together, gave me about 185 yards.  So I decided to knit up a solid version of Deja Vu and it turned out lovely.  Most of the scraps were about 5 yards apiece (they came from the ends of the skeins I had used for Butterfly Bush.) By the time I got to the bind off row I was running on yarn fumes.  I had to rip out and reknit the bind off three times to have enough yarn left over to weave in the end.  It was... um... challenging.  I had a blast!

It was even more exciting when Knit Picks contacted me and told me that they wanted to include Deja Vu in the November Catalog!  I'm not ashamed to say that I squeed!  (Hubbie's ear drums may never be the same.)

Imagine my excitement when I received the pictures from Knit Picks. There was one of their models wearing my shawl (although it had been reknit for that particular purpose, so really it was someone else's version of my shawl, but whatever, totally my pattern!)... backwards. Yes, you heard me right.  The photographer (or knitwear stylist) had placed the shawl on the model purl side out.  I may have laughed like a loon or cried. I'm not sure.  I kinda blacked out a little there.

I later realized that there's precedent for this.  The same thing happened with Miriam Felton's Icarus Shawl when the pattern was published in Interweave Knits.  So, I don't feel so bad.

There are worse people I could be grouped with,

Monday, November 8, 2010

Apple Review - Intermission

This Honey Crisp is bigger than my hand!  Awesome sauce!

It's nearly bigger than Hubbie's hand too, and that's saying something,

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Weekend knitting

I spent most of Sunday knitting and watching Netflix.  Netflix watch instantly has transformed my world.  I rarely watch tv.  That's not to say that I don't watch any tv, but with the joy that is dvr technology, I (like much of the country, I suspect) don't watch my tv shows when they're on regular tv.  I'm much too distracted for that! (Plus one comes on while I'm at work and another comes on the night of knitting group. What was CBS thinking?!?!)

But, I only watch three shows regularly.  Which means that when I want to knit a project that is somewhat complicated, I have to search for something to watch.  Netflix has come to my rescue.  They have tons of tv shows and movies that I can stream to my computer.  I will admit that I mostly watch the PBS and History Channel shows that they have available, but Hubbie and I have recently begun watching Futurama together.

Given that it has been the spooky time of year, I've been watching a lot of shows on ghosts.  I love this time of year because I get to gorge myself of ghost stories.  Reading them, listening to them, watching tv shows on them.  So much fun.  I don't actually believe in ghosts (I think), but I grew up in a family with a tradition of telling ghost stories at get togethers.  I used to love to sit next to my mom as she told stories of the house that she lived in that she thought was haunted.  I'd get chills and goosebumps.  It was awesome!

Sadly, my family is now spread over a good portion of the country, so the tradition hasn't continued.  Instead I turn to the internet and Netflix and the ghost stories of others to give me my Halloween chills.

My glut of weekend tv watching go me through a garter stitch scarf and 70% of the shawlette version of Mercia.

Winnie the wonderdog was kind enough to model the scarf for me.  He's such a cutie (but also a total spaz. The only reason he sat still long enough to take this picture was Hubbie standing behind me holding a treat.)

It's knit in an angora wool Handspun by Jamie Harmon.  It's really quite soft and lovely.

I'm knitting the shawlette version of Mercia in the Knit Picks Stroll Tonal sock that was left over from the shawlette version of Butterfly Bush.  It is the perfect amount and the yellow shows off the stitch pattern really well.

It's about time Mother Nature realized it was Autumn,

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


The sign was really quite insistent.  So I did.

Should I be concerned that I let inanimate objects push me around?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Apple review- Gala

The Gala apple variety is sweet with a hint of tartness.  The flesh is firm, but not very crisp.  The skin is fairly thin and detatches easily from the flesh.  I suspect that this and it's graininess (around a 3) were due to the age of the apple.  It may have been sitting the apple bin for a while. 

Darn, this means I have to do more research.  ;-D.  The flavor was quite lovely and I would definitely eat this variety again.