Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hoodie of Narcissitic Investment

Heather in Heather Hoodie in Rowan Cocoon
I was that kid in the 70s who could never find her name at Wall Drug on the souvenir license plate display, nor could I ever seem to locate any 'Heather' swag at Pedro's South of the Border or any of the other tacky tourist traps my parents would never take me and my brother to (though I begged, LORD how I begged. Principles. Pfft.). If only I had been born like 12 years later, I would've had my pick of the vanity name plates, but that was just about the time Morgan and Kaitlin were setting up shop and Heather and Ashley (you know it Ashley, I know you're feeling me here) were relegated to last year's news. Oh well. At least I now have knitting to fulfill the narcissistic desire to see my name projected everywhere...
Heather in Heather Hoodie in Rowan Cocoon
Pattern: Heather Hoodie Vest from Knitscene, Fall 09
Yarn: Rowan Cocoon, 7.25 skeins of #818 'Quarry Tile' FTW!
Needles: Size 7 mm, because I'm special.
Mods: None, except for messing up the cable repeat at several points. Also,this garment is boxy, like FLINTSTONE boxy, so if you are looking for a pattern with some waist shaping? Umm, please to keep walking.
Heather in Heather Hoodie in Rowan Cocoon
This garment is exactly what I wanted it to be: fast, comfy and warm. The Cocoon is a silky dream, although the splittiness takes a little getting used to. I would definitely buy this again--oh wait, I did! A sweater's quantity! Nevermind...
Heather in Heather Hoodie in Rowan Cocoon
This pattern represents a series of firsts for me: not only is it my first time using Rowan Cocoon and first time knitting a hood (not hard, as it turns out. But it takes foreeeveeer), it's also the first time I learned a knitting technique from someone under 12 on Youtube. Yes, I couldn't recall how to do the three-needle bind off, so luckily weird child labor laws have not prevented kids from posting diy videos. Yay kids!

Next up? The Rowan love fest juggernaut is ready to keep rolling. Next stop: Honeycomb Vest in Felted Tweed. We're gonna drive this mother til the wheels fall off!

Friday, October 23, 2009

That knitting festival...

One week ago Babs and I had the pleasure of attending what her husband referred to as "...that knitting festival". It was the first time we'd ever crossed state lines together! While calling it a Thelma and Louise typa getaway deal would be somewhat of an overstatement, we did manage to have a bit of a blast at Rhinebeck.

We got to meet lots and lots of new knitting pals:
Maryse and Regina
As well as see some old friends, too.
Babs and Yarny Old Kim
There was also some yarn purchasing because I mean, HELLO it is a knitting festival, for Chrissakes:

Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair
STR: Spinel, Tanzanite, Tree Hugger, Bleeding Heart & Sun Stone
I got the requisite STR because, well, I'm nothing if not 100% predictable. I also picked up some much needed Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair and Sylvan Sprite for a hat pattern that I saw and had to cast on right away [more on that next time]. The yarn I was the most hoping to encounter for my next tam project is interestingly enough the plainest yarn around, Jamieson & Smith Jumper weight. Don't the three colors below just seem desperate to become a Dollheid?
Jamieson and Smith Jumper Weight
I was also fortunate enough to nab the last O W L mug from Jennie the Potter. Scoring the last one of anything will always have a special place in this mad consumer's heart...
Jennie the Potter O W L mug!
There was grub at Rhinebeck, and while I am perhaps excessively proud of the fact that the fried dough wasn't part of my equation, the 12 year old me is absolutely stunned that the in-my-40s-me waited in a long, tedious line for. . . artichokes? Huh? But oh they were so delicious. Plus it's not like we had to be anywhere, right? There were also apples, because we were in New York state after all, and let me just say that the Honeycrisp is the king of apples--get one while you still can!
DID NOT HAVE ANY! But I love the sign
Insanely long line but so tasty
Apples, my friends
I am working on finishing a big project that I hope to have the stones to complete this weekend. As it will involve picking up 279 sts around a neck and collar, the self-defeatist gears in my mind are already wildly spinning, desperately trying to find a way to get out of it. Maybe a new project...

Monday, October 12, 2009


Acornheid in Rowan Yorkshire 4-Ply
My love of the tam has already been well-documented. I love everything about this garment: the flying saucer shape, the fine gauge yarn that is usually something tweedy and therefore perfect for such a small job, the quick turn around time, the old-fashioned girlish appeal, the kaleidiscope of colors that is really only appropriate for such a small project (Kaffe I love you, but...) and most especially, the name. Tam. Who can resist the joy of this word? Not me, I buy the onion flavored Manischewitz Tam Tam crackers like it's my job and I'm sure the name has something to do with it. But I digress...
Acornheid in Rowan Yorkshire 4-Ply
Kate's visit earlier this month afforded me the chance to see her most recent tam project in person. Yes, the Neepheid in all its understated glory...Realizing that the farm show deadline was drawing near, I instantly knew that I'd found THE project for the occasion. How appropriate! I went home and found that ye olde personal yarn stash indeed contained four small balls of the perfect raw material for this project, and off I went.
Acornheid in Rowan Yorkshire 4-Ply
The Specs
Pattern: Needheid by Kate Davies
Yarn: Four little precious balls of Rowan Yorkshire 4-ply in 'Graze', 'Glory' 'Bristle' & 'Cheerful'. I used every last bit of 'Cheerful', the main color. By every last bit I mean that I had less that a yard left. Nail biter! Sadly this yarn has been discontinued and for the life of me I can't figure out what they've replaced it with.
Needles: Size 3 addi turbos
Time: Only a week of distracted knitting, which was sadly not enough for me to make the Farm Show deadline. Nuts!
Mods: None. Great pattern, none required. This was the first time that I'd ever done the incredibly time consuming yet thoroughly satisfying I-Cord cast on. There's a really helpful tutorial here, in case you're as addicted to tutorials as yours truly.
Acornheid in Rowan Yorkshire 4-Ply
I really enjoyed this pattern quite a bit. I was quite lucky to have the perfect yarn in my stash for this project, which although not quite neep worthy allowed me to rearrange the colors a bit and call this an acorn motif, which makes me really happy and is quite seasonally appropriate. I bought this yarn a-g-e-s ago and am glad to have put it to good use.
Rowan Yorkshire Tweed 4ply
My need for finished tam for the farm show deadline combined with the new chill in the air led me to search for my December Lights Tam, and then discover that much to my horror it is nowhere to be found. I have searched high and low, and it is gone. How could I lose this beloved project? Not finding it is so uncool. Not only was it guaranteed to bring home the bacon from the show, it was, if I do say so myself, flippin' stupendous. As my Grandma would've said: criminy!
Acornheid in Rowan Yorkshire 4-Ply
Rather than stew about it, I've decided to make another and also have my eye on the Dollheid pattern, because I might be in Kate withdrawal if I don't do it. This means that I actually have a reason to go to Rhineback, right? I'll be there on Saturday with my bestie
Babs and hope to see some of you there.

Sunday, October 04, 2009


tiny owl badge, made by Madame O W L S herself!
The above pictured little badge was given to me by Madame O W L S herself when she visited this part of Pennsylvania last week. She gave a lecture on campus and was kind enough to make some time so we could get together. Let me just say that Kate is just as ___________ (insert superlative adjective connoting kind/hilarious/smart/lovely) as you would imagine. We had a gas together and I can't wait to coax her back here for more Central PA. hi-jinx.
Tea from Kate!
As I mentioned, she gave me the tiny owl pal, some Yorkshire tea (which she knew I loved & sadly tastes somewhat not fresh over here) as well as one of her famous bee bags (no picture because it is being used at the moment, woo hoo!). I in turn offered her the meager shawl that I made last week, and she did me proud by wearing it at her lecture. Did I mention that she's incredibly sweet?
An afternoon with Kate
I was able to don my new favorite sweater for her visit, a little doozy you might have heard of? Yes people, I am that person, the person who wears the pattern of the famous sweater when she meets its creator. O W L S...
The Specs:
Pattern: O W L S by Kate Davies
Yarn: Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds
, #953, Dark Grey Welsh, 6.25 skeins
Needles: Size 7.00 mm, addi turbo bamboos
Size: Large
Mods: Well, there were a few, starting with the no waist shaping because ohai I don't have one--but I'm getting there. I went up a needle size from the recommended 6.5 and also bound off in pattern with a size 13 needle. I also seem to somehow have made it more of a boat neck than a regular crew neck--I think I got a tad excited and bound off like three rows too early. Whoops.
This was such a clear pattern--Kate is a wizard. The knitting took less than a week and the eyes took me several nights of distracted sewing to complete. The yarn is pricey but there is no surprise there, right? This particular Rowan seems at first like it might be scratchy but because of the lanolin, I found it to be nice and oily, just the way I like it. Heh.
I have already gotten a ton of compliments on this sweater and can't wait to wear it at Rhinebeck. I'll be the one wearing the mom jeans, please say hi if you see me with Babs...