Tiara Scarf (free pattern)


When we were seven years old, my friends and I spent countless hours playing “Princesses.” We’d spend most of the time describing to each other the details of our gossamer dresses and dainty slippers.

This scarf’s tiers and ruffles remind me of those days, and of the costume tiaras we would wear like the Crown Jewels, feeling regal as…well, princesses.


Tiara Scarf Pattern (PDF)

Enjoy!

PS. As always, please let me know if you have a problem with the pattern–I promise I’ll get on it ASAP!

Spicy Podcast and Mild Socks

More lovely 18th century Chinese porcelains to inspire you…
Aren’t they gorgeous? There are more photos below, but this is my favorite. That red looks as transluscent and luscious as a candy apple.

Isn’t it funny how candy apples always look much better than they taste? Caramel apples, too. Unless the apple is cut into wedges and dipped in a bowl of melted caramel. I had it that way in Lancaster County, PA one time. Leave it to those Pennsylvania Dutch to come up with a new sugar delivery system.

Sorry I was so grouchy last post! To be honest, I probably will hold true to my vow, but I thought Kristen made some good points in her comment. So, to follow up on my “when in Rome” title, here’s a new cliche for you: Variety is the spice of life…(Really, it is!)

So I guess my knitting life hasn’t been very spicy lately. No variety, at any rate. I’m still working on the slipped-stitch Koigu socks for my step father. One is finished and the other is about halfway done. When both socks are finished and blocked, I’ll post some more photos, but for now there’s nothing interesting to post about them. And that’s the extent of this week’s knitting! I’m on a mindless knitting kick, just wanting to relax and not have to think about pattern repeats, so that’s OK.

On the spicier side, however, is one of my new favorite podcasts: Knitters Uncensored. From the very first podcast I was drawn in by these three expats…funny (they always make me laugh out loud), friendly, interesting, crazy, sometimes a bit on the…um…”adult” side (which is very OK by me), and definitely about knitting.

Another plus, in my opinion, is that the podcast isn’t chock-full of music. I have my own music on my pod, and tend to avoid podcasts that include more than a couple of songs. (I prefer none, actually, but one or two are fine.) Also, Knitters Uncensored tends to run on the long side (an hour or more).

For some reason, podcasters worry about running too long. But I happen to enjoy long casts if they’re good: Like being in the middle of a great book and knowing you have a couple hundred pages yet to go. It’s satisfying, and gives me lots of guilt-free knitting time. Not that I ever feel guilty about it…but you know.

So give Knitters Uncensored a try…I think you’ll like them :-)

I also want to mention that Neighborhood Fiber Co. had a really successful trip to TNNA and The Knitter’s Connection in June. Karida got several orders from stores across the country, so you may see some great D.C. yarn turning up in your LYS. If not, you should go check out the Web site where you can drool over her pretty colors.

Until next time, then. Thanks for coming back, and happy knitting!

Just Fiddling Around…

Inspired by this, I decided to knit a little “camera cozy” for my Olympus Stylus point-and-shoot, which I like to just toss in my purse sans case, to keep things light. The yarn is Neighborhood Fiber Co. fingering weight in Brightwood. Really gorgeous colors: chocolate, cream, duck’s egg blue, and vivid turquoise.

(Here it is without the camera inside, photographed on Nancy Crow’sbeautiful book)

The pattern is my own, from start to finish, designed on the needles. I’ll post it one of these days. But just so you know, I cast on 44 stitches for the ribbing using US# 0 DPNs, then increased to 48 stitches for the body. Fits like a glove! And it only took two days to complete.

Also, here’s a preview of the gorgeous laceweight Neighborhood Fiber Co. yarn Karida’s bringing to The Knitter’s Connection next week.

The fiery color is Capitol Hill, and the Purple/Teal color is called Brookland. It’s the softest mohair/silk laceweight yarn I’ve felt…no itchiness at all! If you’re planning on going to TKC, do be sure to stop by the Neighborhood Fiber Co. booth and say “Hi” to Karida!

Feeling Pretty

Mmmmmm. Pretty colors…


I promise to talk about something else after this, but I just had to share my recent sock yarn madness. This is the stash accumulated, mostly, during the past month…Largely rewards for meeting a goal I set for myself :-)

The two “cakes” are Lorna’s Laces Watercolors and Neighborhood Fiber Co. (NFC) Brightwood. The skeins, clockwise from the top are: Claudia Hand Painted Chocolate Cherry; Sundara Yarns’ Cherry Blossoms; NFC’s Brookland (teal and purple); a gorgeous cranberry-colored semi-solid from NFC (I forget the color’s name!); and Claudia’s Pink Dot.

And, to quote Basie, “once more once,” before they head to the post office today–the oh-so-pretty Orchid Socks (AKA Simply Lovely Lace Socks in Koigu KPPPM)…complete with sewn-down picot edge.

Please be advised: These socks are meant for far smaller feet than mine! (As you can tell.)

Finally, because Maggie’s been getting all the attention lately…

This is Katja, looking pretty and pensive. Despite her precious “Fancy Feast” appearance, she’s actually a hellion–a wannabe barn cat. We love that about her.

Sock Yarn Love!

OK, you just have to see this gorgeous hank of Neighborhood Fiber Company yarn that Karida delivered a week ago…I can’t get enough of these colors:
It’s named “Brookland.” Teal-green and purple sock yarn–lovely, stretchy, puffy superwash merino sock yarn! (Yes, it’s Gems Fingering, my utter favorite.) Thanks, Karida!

And, speaking of sock yarn, I received my Cherry Blossom yarn from Sundara yesterday!!! It is SO luscious, I could absolutely EAT it! No photos yet, but soon, I promise. (Since every hank is a little different, I think a picture is in order, just to celebrate the pink prettiness sitting on my coffee table, don’t you?)

All of which leads me to socks…
This is about 10 rows short of where I currently am on Waving Lace (first sock), from Favorite Socks. (For more, check out the Favorite Socks KAL…)

The Lorna’s Laces is working out nicely with this pattern, though the yarn’s natural stretchiness may be exaggerated by the stretchiness of this particular lace. At any rate, I tightened up my knitting a little bit, and was happy with the results.

Have I mentioned that It’s hard to find a true US #1 circular needle these days? (I haven’t been feeling so great, and so can’t remember what I’ve said lately.) Well, most #1 needles are actually US #1.5, but are not labelled that way–kind of irritating, actually. I wish we could get needles in UK sizes.

Measuring needles in millimetres instead of random numbers allows a broader range of sizes. I know I can go to DPNs, and I have many #1 sets, but I wanted to do magic loop so I could carry these in my purse without losing needles. Plus, I was craving the mindlessness of it.

So here you have it: Yummy new yarn and a new pair of socks in a really fun pattern.

Life is good.

Ode on a (Non)Grecian Yarn

Why is Louet Gems fingering weight yarn so lovely to work with?

This is Koigu KPPPM in the colourway I think of as “Orchid.” (Gorgeously hand painted on Gems fingering weight)

I love the delicate sheen, the tiny little pillows of puffy merino, the yarn’s gentle stretch and “steel magnolia” strength. I love the texture of Gems Pearl when it’s knitted up, whether in stockinette, cable, or lace. The slight pebbly nature that adds interest to anything I knit…And, of course, I love the way it takes up colour. (I’m suffering from Anglophilia today.)

Is it weird to love a yarn that much? To take it out and gaze at it because the way it’s spun makes me (oddly?) happy? Or am I not alone? Do all knitters feel that kind of passion for one yarn or another?

Neighborhood Fiber Co. uses Louet yarns, including my favorite. In fact, Karida dropped off a little cake of Brightwood the other day. Hand-painted yarn house calls…Now THAT’S luxury! I can’t wait to use it. I’ll be casting on for my chevron scarf as soon as I finish the second Orchid Sock.
Here’s my yummy little Brightwood “yarn muffin” (blue), waiting with its friends to be knit into something wonderful. (BTW: I also adore her Brookland colourway…Uh oh. I feel another purchase coming on.)

Looking at my “I-can’t-wait-to-start-these-projects” stash, I see that nearly all of my current and future projects involve Louet Gems fingering weight yarn in one way or another. Socks, of course. And the soon-to-be-mine Chevron Scarf. And the edging on Tahoe (sadly pushed aside while I complete the Orchid Socks, but I’ll be back to work on it soon!).

And Gems is not just sock yarn–it can be used for almost anything. Check out Melissa’s lovely Annabelle design (scroll down a bit, on the right-hand side). She made it in sock-weight cashmere. But wouldn’t Gems make a great substitution?

(My small collection of Claudia Hand Painted yarn, also based on Gems.)

At last year’s Maryland Meat and Wool Festival, I saw dozens of knitters crammed like sardines into the very small Koigu booth, grabbing armloads of skeins out of baskets marked “Sale.” I was shocked…

To me, some of the colours were a bit–how do I say this–garish? But my fellow fiber-holics didn’t seem to notice the colours. They just pushed, grabbed, and bought. I attributed this to the sock-knitting craze that pre-dated today’s lace knitting craze. But maybe I was wrong. Maybe it was the yarn itself, and the mostly-fabulous colourways were the icing on the cake…

I really would like to know what you think. Do you feel the same way? Or are you true to another? Tell me: What yarn makes YOU lapse rhapsodic?

Go ahead, I know you want to comment…and I promise not to let the cat out of the bag ;-)

Special news!

A Nor’Easter in April???
Beh.He’s the Nor’Easter Bunny…You’ll surely see him again. But I hope it’s not until next winter. It’s time for spring to arrive…for real this time!

Anyway, the real reason I’m online is that I wanted to mention that these…

And this…
(The BAG, not the cat, silly.)

…will be making an appearance at the Knitters Connection June 6 – 10, 2007, at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus, Ohio. Just look for the Neighborhood Fiber Company booth at the Knitters Connection. Along with her awesome yarn, Karida’s going to be selling Knit*Six knitting bags and stitch markers. (She’s also offering some great pattern support at our favorite price: Free!)

I’ve been making these bags and markers for a while–and using them, too. I know they work, they last, and most of all that people like them (even non-knitters have asked about them). So, after about a year’s worth of back-and-forthing, I finally decided to listen to my friends, get off the fence, and start selling some of my creations. Look for my Etsy shop soon!

Well, now you know how I’m going to be spending my rainy, cold weekend. Sewing, knitting, beading, knitting, and–ugh–having a little rendevouz with TurboTax. (Wish me luck!)

How about you? What will you be doing during our last (hopefully) taste of winter? Cool patterns? Shopping online? Vicarious shopping is always a thrill ;-) Do share!