Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Wishing you and yours a wonderful Holiday Season. We're away in Philadelphia right now, be back soon with more projects to share with you! Since I think it's worth a repeat and because I'm away, here's Sydney's Santa photo from last year.



Tuesday, November 18, 2008

5 Minutes of Fame....

My Green Man Beret got a mention on Lime & Violet's blog!! Squee!! If you don't know Lime & Violet, they are a hilarious podcasting duo, (often joined by friend Karin), that talk about knitting, yarn, life and just anything that happens to them. Be warned, listening to them is addictive! You can download their podcast here.

Thanks, ladies!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Green Man Beret

At long last, I present you with the Green Man Beret! This one was a while in its' creation, but it was a very enjoyable process. As I've mentioned, he seems to be all over here in Asheville, in many incarnations. I'm sure most designers are inspired by nature, it's rather hard to not be here in the gorgeous Blue Ridge mountains.

Here's a bit on the inspiration, as adapted from Jack of the Wood's website, a local bar and overall good time hangout.
The face of the Green Man, or Jack of the Wood can be found adorning churches over much of Europe. Very little is known of the Green Man. It is said that he represents the male counterpart to the Goddess of the early European pagans. Fertility, nature, death and rebirth are strong themes of the Green Man.
The Green Man stares down on us from the boughs of trees and the spires of cathedrals reminding us that nature is ever present and we are always at its mercy.
This is my knitted interpretation, to bring a little green into your life.


Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Tweed (192 yds.), a dk weight wool/silk yarn - 1 skein each of colors #45 Forest (MC) and #54 Coffee Bean Brown (CC)
Needles: US size 4, 16” circular needle and US size 4 dpns, or size needed to get gauge
Gauge: 24 sts x 36 rows = 4” Please note I’ve used a smaller needle size than recommended for this yarn, since I liked the slightly denser fabric it produced. If you substitute yarns, keep this in mind.

This is an intermediate pattern, you will need to be able to follow chart, as well as create basic cables. You can purchase this pattern from my website, following this link: Green Man Beret at Counting Sheep Studio, or as a Ravelry download: Green Man Beret on Ravelry.

Thank-you for your support and comments, they mean so much!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Attack of the Hungry Geese....

You know…deadline knitting is just not fun. I’ve decided. The owner of Purl’s and I are trying to finish up something really neat for the store window, for the Holiday contest. The problem, it needs to be done by this Saturday!! Yikes! I’ll leave you a little teaser…it’s more of a ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe’ kind of holiday theme we are going for…..

In spite of that, since my poor hands were hurting from all that cotton yarn on teeny dpns, I decided to start my future SIL’s shawl. (Yes, I know I’m insane, thank-you very much.) I had wanted to have this finished my Christmas, since that’s when the shower is, after several hours yesterday, I only have, ahem….8 rows done. Wow, this is going to take a little bit, huh? On top of that, there are BEADS, about 500 of them, throughout the shawl. Sorry, I know I shouldn’t be doing all this chatting about projects with no pictures! Soon, I promise. You can see the shawl pattern here: Sivia Harding Moonshadow. Plus, the yarn that I’m already in love with is here: Little Knits Indie II.

I will give you a couple shots here of a super quick cabley hat you can finish lickety-split for someone special over the holidays. It’s called Twisted Lattice Cabled Hat, by d-made. She has several other nice, free patterns on her site, go check them out!

Sydney was off from school yesterday, we went over to Lake Tomahawk, over in Black Mountain. This is a beautiful small lake with a playground, only about 5 minutes down the road from our house. Well, we got there and it was!! I let her play for nearly an hour, then we tried to walk around the lake but it was just too cold. We were accosted by hoards of geese and ducks, of every kind it seemed, and all I had were some measly crackers and bread crusts from my lunch.

This bunch started running at me when I whipped out my camera, and would have eaten that if I let them, I'm sure.

The duck families showed up too to see if I had anything for them.

Sorry guys! Next time I'll bring you a whole loaf of bread, I promise.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Day Tripper Bag - Free Pattern!

This is a simple knit bag meant to hold just those few things for a fun time out on the town; it also works well as a nice small project bag. I wanted to showcase some of that fun ribbon yarn you see at your LYS, it’s also perfect for using those bits of precious handspun yarn we all tend to accumulate.

An easy knit, the main body is a knit in the round, the pattern is created with dropped stitches. The shaping happens when you add a drawstring at the end. The bottom of the bag is picked up and knitted with dpns.

Ribbon Bag
-2 skeins Louisa Harding Sari Ribbon yarn, Color #16 – 66 yds. per skein
(Note: I used very little of the 2nd skein, you could use an alternate yarn for the bottom of bag/handles if desired.)
-Size US 8 (5 mm) 16” circular needle, size US 7 (4.5 mm) dpns
Handspun Bag
-130 yds. of an aran weight/bulky handspun yarn, my yarn was approx. 9 WPI
-50 yds. of matching yarn for bottom of bag and handles, if desired
(I used Urban Silk, an aran weight 80% silk/20% cotton yarn, 92 yds. per ball.)
-Size US 10 (6 mm) 16” circular needle; size US 8 (5 mm) dpns
-Stitch marker
-Optional decorative button

You can follow this link to Ravelry download: Day Tripper Bag - Ravelry

Or you can follow this link to my website and I'll e-mail you the pdf:
Thanks for looking, I hope you enjoy it!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Twistin' & Shoutin' on Abbey Road

It's finished!

Pattern: Twist & Shout by Robynn Weldon; published in Knitty, Fall 2008

Yarn: Classic Elite Waterlily, color #1925, Abbey Road (this is the same yarn I made David's Koolhaas out of, see last post)

Needles used: size US 7's

This was one sweater I just had to cast-on for as soon as I saw it. My LYS owner kindly said I could make one 'for the store', and I quickly agreed. She let me use this amazing Waterlily yarn, it is an incredibly soft and plush wool yarn that has these subtle color variations that I adore. The color is like a soft rose, a bit closer to red than pink. It definitely had a much 'woolier' smell to it after washing, which I like.

The actual knitting was fun and relatively straighforward, you just need to pay attention to where you are with all the shaping that is going on throughout the pattern. I decided I would get more use out of it with full length sleeves. The tops close with two buttons, one inside, held with a button loop, and a more decorative one outside. Robynn includes a link to a very smart technique using crochet to stabilize the inside neck area, to help hold up the jacket a bit. Which I needed, because this jacket got quite heavy with all 20 balls of yarn that I used!!

Overall, I'm thrilled and I think I will wear this a lot once it does it's trip to my LYS. It also looks very lovely with the fronts open, and it will never go out of style!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

And a Good Time was had by all....

I got to visit SAFF this year and it was great! We made it a family event, so the hubbs and the kiddo came along with. I could have easily spent the whole day there if they weren’t with me, but it was probably better for my pocketbook that hubbs was there!

Some highlights:
This absolutely *adorable* little pygmy goat that was but a foot off the ground, prancing and hopping about outside the front doors. Her name is Star, go figure!

Petting the angora bunnies, and seeing and petting some of the sheep. I was particularly impressed with the Jacob sheep, they are all very unique.

There was WAY too much beautiful yarn to take it all in with the limited time I was there. I did manage to snag a couple skeins from Brooks Farm, and it is quite lovely.

I also found these cool free-form pottery buttons from Annie’s Sweet Handspun; I loved these and had a hard time picking just 3!

I stared and admired all the spinning wheels; I have to say I think the Kromski wheels are the best looking…someday! Though as far as what people were actually spinning with, the Lendrums seemed to outnumber any others.

Overall, it was a lot of fun. I met some super nice people and my only hope is I’ll have another day to go next year!

Closing in on my Twist & Shout jacket, look for the photo shoot this weekend!

Here's a couple of fall shots from our hike.

Then this morning, we woke up to an early greeting from Old Man Winter…..

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Chocolate Covered Pear aka The February Lady Sweater

Hi! Yes, I know, all these sweaters lately. Well, I suppose that's one good thing about being a non-monogamous knitter, is all these projects get DONE, eventually. I started this one a while ago, after Flint Knits so kindly posted her 'grown-ass woman' version of the beloved February Baby Sweater by knitting icon Elizabeth Zimmerman. I hopped, jumped, leap-frogged right onto that bandwagon with this amazing hand-dyed merino wool I'd had in the stash for a little while, just waiting for the right pattern. This was it, baby.

For anyone contemplating this sweater, I think it's possibly my favorite thing I've knitted yet. I....Love....It. After a false start, (yes you really DO need those stitch markers to tell you where the increases go at the top), it was pretty smooth sailing. I also think I'm in love with top down sweaters. A note about making it, go for smaller than you would normally, since this will grow on you when you block it. Mine grew a LOT. About 3" in length. Luckily, I had made it a wee bit too short, and I was thrilled when it grew all on its own.

Once you hit the lace bit, all zombie knitting from there. Really, you just need to remember two rows, the WS rows are all purl. If you're wondering where I purchased this lovely yarn, visit Knitted Wit. She's wonderful, I'm looking forward to a future sweater colloboration with her amazing dying talent!

I highly recommend you go out & buy some yarn and make this sweater!