Monday, December 31, 2012

...and a Happy New Year

Happy New Year, my friends.   
May you all be blessed with love and laughter, peace and joy.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Nameless Comfort knitting…

Soon after discussion of a Comfort Shawl Group began at our church, an interested party emailed me asking for a recommendation for a shawl pattern that could be worked on straight needles.  I had been planning to hand out copies of my Simple Joys Shawl which absolutely positively cannot be done on straight needles (36” circs at a minimum).   After some Ravelry research I recommended the Very Easy Ripple Shawl Since then, I have given it a lot of thought and decided to come up my own wrap pattern to pass out to the group (Members are welcome to make any shawl or small blanket that they like.  It just helps to have something on hand).

I tried a couple of ideas that I did not care for.   The simple garter rectangle was boring.   I tried garter with a stockinette ruffle on either end which showed more promise but I could not bring myself to finish the sample (Even so, I may recommend this as a “get started” shawl if I get someone who is really daunted by the prospect of more than plain knitting).   What you see above is actually my third attempt to come up with something with enough interest to keep me engaged but still simple enough for a beginner’s comfort level.   It is only about a third of the way done but I am really pleased with  it.   It is heavily inspired by the One Row Lace Scarf.  I love the look of it but found the pattern hard to keep track of (given it has a four stitch repeat, the problem is obviously mine).     So, in addition to widening and lengthening the pattern, I also changed the order of the stitches so that the repeat lends itself better to a count of three.   I love the texture created by centering the decreases, which also creates a really nice slight scallop at the beginning (and hopefully the end).  So far, so good.  

Once finished, and before it is given to its intended recipient, I will get full photos and make the pattern available on Ravelry as a free download.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Are we there yet...

Is it time to discuss gun control, to talk about healthcare, to find a way to protect our children, to stop arming the unhinged?  Are we going to continue to wring our hands while accomplishing nothing or are we finally going to step up and demand substantive changes.   Just wondering.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Newtown, CT.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Some days I don't knit at all...

So here it is, my new haircut (blown out and not).   It is not exactly what I wanted but I do like it better than the long hair I have been sporting for the last couple of years.   I had a much loved (literally since she is a family friend) hair stylist up North and was lucky enough to connect with someone down here whose work I admire.   The only hitch being that she is very hesitant to cut my hair as short as I would like it.   I am not looking for pixie short, just a shorter bob than this one.   I am trying to tell myself that I should wait a couple of weeks before getting it cut again but am feeling anxious to have exactly what I want.

The last time was up North, I asked my niece about an unusual menu format that we were seeing a lot of.   She told me that it was trendy but that since I had moved to Florida, I would not know about that.   This was said, not in a snarky or nasty way, but in a very matter of fact way.   The very ease and truth of the comment hit this Jersey girl right where it hurts, my NY metro sense of superiority.   I had been saying for some time that we had moved to the provinces but, OMG, was it showing?   Horrors L.

With that in mind, I have been putting more effort into keeping up, which has had the added benefit of helping me feel less isolated from my past life.   I read the NYTimes every day, and try to add the Washington Post & Times of London on Sundays (I do LOVE my Kindle).    I have followed the The Sartorialistfor years but have started paying attention to more than the scarves. After some trial and error (there really is a difference between trendy & stylish), I settled on My Style Pill as my other favorite style blog.   

Christine has a passion for all things style that makes her blog just plain fun.   Added to that, her style choices are more real world than some of the others.   What I really love about her blog is that as well as her clothing (& accessory) choices suit her, they also suit me without making me feel like one of those women of a certain age whose attempts to look “young” make them ridiculous.   Mostly, I have ended up combining things I already own and feeling pretty darn good.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Why yes, I have been knitting

Recently Kay Gardiner featured the Hampstead Wreath on her blog (Kay is half of the creative team that brings us Mason-Dixon Knitting).   This pattern, created by Wendy Baker and Belinda Boaden of True-Brit Knits, is offered as a fund raiser for those hit by the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.  Until 1Jan13, all proceeds will go to to Citymeals NY  to help support the services they offer elderly New Yorkers.

How could I resist?   The original pattern calls for  Sirdar's Big Softie  but this one (found here)  was made with two strands of worsted wt. instead.   I liked that idea so I ran out to my nearest big box yarn store and grabbed a skein of blue and one of white (my favorite Christmas color combination) of Martha Stewart's Extra Soft Wool Blend.   Stranded together they were perfect.   The cabled wreath was easy peasy (a great beginner cable pattern).   The fact that it took me a whole week was due to a combination of laziness and distraction since the first half was done before I went to bed on the day I cast on.   As for the embellishments, I am waffling.   PomPoms are not really my thing.   I do love the leaves and berries here and may just go that way. I am also considering knitting/crocheting a poinsettia (lots of choices on Ravelry) or Lucy’s Triple Layered Flower and leaves or her leaves with her Little Balls.  Aren’t choices wonderful J.