Friday, January 30, 2009

The Gifts that I'm loving

I shared {almost} all of the gifts I made and gave at Christmas, and now, finally, it's time to share some of the awesomeness I received.

{Mushroom Pillowcases}
artist ~ my sister Sarah
medium ~ freezer paper stencil, tie-dye, awesomeness

{Dyed Hoodie}
artist ~ my sister Kris
medium ~ sweat, shirt, tie-dye, awesomeness

artist ~ my almost sister Nik
medium ~ Shrub {made from apple cider vinegar & fresh fruit}, Organic Vanilla Sugar, Vanilla Extract, Teas!, and awesomeness

artist ~ Flossie
medium ~ fresh roasted beans, and a cinnamon stick, oh, and awesomeness

What am I doing right now, on this Friday evening? Well, of course I'm grinding coffee beans for the morning, at which point my coffee will be sweetened with some vanilla sugar, sipping a shrub, while dawning my hoodie. oh, wait, now I'm resting my head on a bed of mushrooms.

ps ~ I'm a night owl and I have a picture to prove it. coming soon.

Happy Weekend*

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Forever Catching Up! or not...

Again, I feel behind in the blogging! But then... I sat down to blog and realized that I need to shake that feeling, I'm not catching up, I'm just filling you in, hopefully sooner rather than later ;-)

Word on the street is we're expecting more snow this week. I took advantage of the slight warm front to take a long walk Friday afternoon, walking from downtown Boston to Harvard Square. The whole trip was along the frozen Charles::

A while back I posted a picture of graffiti on a bridge over the Charles, it said "Do Work Boston". I can't find that picture right now, but it's in the archives somewhere...Anywho, on Friday I noticed that someone updated the message::huh? don't worry, I'll give you an update if any more details appear...

Once in Harvard Square, I stopped by one of my favorite little shops, Black Ink::
{sorry for the blurry picture, sometimes I feel a little funny taking random pictures}

And the rest of the weekend? It was either spent studying or preparing for the impending doom that is mid-winter. I finished a new pair of mitered mittens for myself::These are knit with Noro Kochoran, a lovely wool, silk, angora blend. I knit these tightly, and they've definitely passed the wind test, not letting any cool breezes between the stitches!

Next, I dug an old project out of my closet::
This scarf is a mohair *wrap* that I finished three years ago and n-e-v-e-r wore. Somehow I didn't appreciate it's cozy warmth until I was confronted by the single digits this year. It's just three skeins of kidsilk haze mohair knit in stockinette in the round. As I mentioned, this is supposed to be a wrap, and it still could be, but I think I'll get much more use out of it by wrapping it around my neck like a scarf. It's fun feature is that whether worn as a wrap or as a scarf, I can slide a colorful silk scarf up the middle to add some fun.

And now, some new bloggity-blog goodness!::
~After a few requests, I've finally posted the second Double Knitting Tutorial! You can easily find it by clicking on the link to the right {or you can just scroll down| it's the post right before this one}
~AND, there's another Schu blog out there, check out my sister's photography work on her blog schubox.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Double Knitting Tutorial - Part II {Finally!}

And it's finally here, the moment where we take double-knitting to the next level. This session is all about switching up the colors. I just add a stripe, but once you see how it's done, you'll have the ability to add any sort of color work design to your double knitting project.

I'm going to use the colors I'm already knitting with to add a vertical stripe to my project.

When we left off, we were knitting a panel with one blue side and one wheat side.
With each pass of the needles, we are actually adding a row to both sides. When the blue side is facing us, we're knitting the blue stitches and purling the wheat ones. And, as you'd expect, when the wheat side is facing us, we're knitting the wheat stitches and purling the blue stitches. Before knitting a stitch, we have to remember to move both yarns to the back of our work, and before purling we move both yarns to the front of the work. And lastly, you want to remember to wrap the yarns at the end of each row/before starting the next row {take a look at the first tutorial if you have any trouble with this}.

--Set-up Row--
As you can see in the following picture, we have just knit three blue stitches and purled two wheat stitches. If we were knitting a typical row, our next step would be to purl the next wheat stitch. I decided to make a vertical stripe that is two inches wide on both sides, so in total I will purl two of the wheat stitches with the blue yarn and knit two of the blue stitches with the wheat yarn. After these stitches, I go back to my original pattern.

As you can see, when I'm purling the stitch with the blue yarn, the wheat yarn is just hanging out in the front.

If you look at the first picture in this post {before I started the stripe}, you'll notice that the stitches on the needle are: At this point you can see the two blue stitches next to each other::

I then knit the next stitch with the wheat yarn {again, if this were a typical row, I would be knitting all stitches with the blue yarn}

Once you've completed the row, you can see the change in the pattern:

Since this is a simple vertical stripe, we can now follow the color pattern ~ using blue whenever we come upon a blue stitch and using wheat whenever we come upon a wheat stitch ~ ALTHOUGH, you now have to remember to stay in the knit.purl.knit.purl rhythm ~ knitting the stitches that are facing you and purling the stitches on the other side.

Once you've completed the second row, you can start to see the stripe::

The next picture is a bit blurry, but you can see what the strip looks like after a few more rows::

And finally, if you want to go back to stop the stripe, all you have to do is to go back to the original pattern. I've knit one row back in the original pattern, and you can tell by looking at the live stitches on the needle {they are now}::

You can do a lot more than this simple vertical stripe. If you want to do a simple horizontal stripe, all you have to do is go back to the "set-up" row in this tutorial, and from the start knit all of the blue stitches with wheat and purl all of the wheat stitches with the blue yarn. This is just the beginning of adding some color-work to your double knitting, and I'm sure once you practice it, you'll have no trouble increasing the complexity of your patterns!

I'm truly sorry that it took me so long to finally post the second phase of the tutorial. As always, if you have any questions, just send me an email! Good luck!

Monday, January 19, 2009

cozy weekend

Some snippets of my weekend ~

[night skyline]


[winter bum]

[winter warmth]

Friday, January 16, 2009

On with it then...

It's time to get back to some regular posting!

I love the December rush of gift preparation, and the giving that lightens my knitting basket, but this year I've noticed that I still have a pile of work in progress. Lucky you ~ that means there's plenty of material to keep me posting for a while {if my fingers don't freeze from this cold front first!}.

But, to keep up with the flow of my recent posts, I'll do some catching up before moving on to the new material.

Before leaving the west coast, I spent a fab day in San Francisco* with an old friend. Our first stop of the morning was Bluebottle Coffee. As has been the norm in the Bay Area, it's yet another great coffee shop. With each order you can choose your method of brewing {french press, drip, Mokka Pot, espresso}. The Mokka Pot::

We rode the street cars all over town, stopping at Rare Device and Doe along with a few other little shops. I did all of the window shopping and my friend did all of the real shopping.

Our evening started with crepes and ciders at Ti-Couz. yum.

All of that was followed by a crazy showing of Beowulf:A Thousand Years of Baggage (a 'songplay'). This was a special showing in a warehouse where a couple of our friends live. The house was packed, so we hid away on the second floor and watched through the railing while sipping some G&Ts. yum again.

Around two in the morning, we were leaving the warehouse and came upon this site::
A ginourmous fire. so gigantic that C called the fire department. Then poof, it was out as quickly as it started. Little did we know someone lit two Christmas trees on fire. Someone was having fun with fire, unfortunately the firemen weren't quite as amused when they showed up to just a pile of smoldering pine needles.

*I highly recommend all of the links for a nice and easy jaunt through the city.*

And between all of this there was some knitting as I showed C's sister how to make a hat! My hat turned out a bit large, but it was such a fast project that I should have no trouble re-knitting a smaller version.

And I'll leave you with a lovely little picture of C's corner as I left it::
Next up, some February sweaters just in time for February... who would have thought?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

A day late

I meant to write about this yesterday, but it's still winter break, so deadlines are hard to keep.

Yesterday was Russian Christmas, so in honor of my Russian mom, here's the cowl that she received for Christmas::

*Maybe I'll get some shots of her modeling it next week!

The pattern is the Shale Cowl by Leila Raabe. It's really well written and an easy knit! My mom used to own a big squishy cowl that could fit over her shoulders, but could also be pulled up around her head like a hood. It's that fit that I wanted to imitate for this gift. As is, the pattern produces a small item that just fits around your neck, so I made some simple modifications::

~I used some bulky yarn, rather than lace weight. I used Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky, and Manos Del Uraguay ~ switching yarns for every other row or so.
~ Cast on 10 extra stitches for one more pattern repeat.
~ And used larger needles, size 11 rather than size 6.

If anyone's looking for a nice, comfy cowl that's also a quick knit, this is a great option.

*Merry Christmas*

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Since my last post, I ~

~ left the Philly airport with its beautiful artwork::

~ packed up the car, turned around and left California for Colorado::

~ skied::

~ gifted these mittens::

~ mastered the art of French cooking::

~ admired this knitting::

~ enjoyed the results from a good snow storm::

~ worked on my February Lady Sweater::

~ practiced my Christmas gift::

~ piled in the car again::

~ stopped in Wells for breakfast::

And here I am, back in California! I'm catching up on work and getting ready for the start of another semester {soon, the bags will be packed, and I'll be on my way to Boston}.

Thursday, January 01, 2009