Saturday, January 27, 2007
I started this sock yesterday and literally could not put it down. This is the first time I have knitted with yarntini (www.yarntini.net) self-striping sock yarn and I am in heaven. I can't wait to finish the second sock which I will cast on right after I post. I am using US size 2 dpns and a simple stockinette stitch, the gauge is 7 stitches per inch. The colorway is called Vintage.
I feel like Will Ferrill in Elf. I'm in love and I don't care who knows!
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Briefly, did you see Knitty Gritty today? Annie Modesitt was on, so exciting to see her in action, and she actually did a demo of the cable without a cable needle technique. You can tell she is a seasoned teacher. She did a great job. I actually watched the entire show today while I was on the elliptical. What a great way to pass some time while working out! I finished off the workout with a little Martha Stewart who had Jennifer Garner on as a guest. Is she cute or what?
Knitty Gritty + Martha + elliptical = one great workout!
On to The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. I am loving this book. I would say I am about 2/3 the way through it. I have been reading it a little at a time, mainly in the early, early morning hours with a quick cup of coffee before my kids get up. Then I have to put it down to move on with the day. It is a very quick read, easy to jump into, easy to envision as it takes place in a New York yarn shop. The characters are comfortable and understandable. The main character, Georgia, owns a knit shop and is the mother to a 12 year old daughter. The absentee father of the daughter shows up out of the blue expecting to be included in the girl's life. This is the main story, but much of the time is spent getting to know several other members of the knitting group. Georgia also has a friend from high school who did her wrong show up suddenly. I highly recommend this book for a fun-filled story set in knitting shop.
The Knitting Circle is next in line in my novel stack. I will fill you in on this one as soon as I get going on it.
While on the elliptical I always look through knitting books. I especially like to pull out older books that I haven't visited for awhile. This is only a 2004 release, but I do pull out books from over ten years ago on a regular basis. Vogue Knitting Accessorize is an excellent book. There are so many patterns I am going to knit from this book. Do you see my post-its sticking out of the top? Here are a few I am planning on knitting in the near future: leaf scarf by Veronica Manno, muti-pink scarf by Jill Gutman Schoenfuss, seed stitch cap by Lipp Holmfeld, and the tea cozy hat by Gayle Bunn. I have yarn for all of these projects sitting in my stash right now! It has to be done. Check out this book, many of the patterns are timeless. Even though I don't like ponchos, these photos actually make me like them a little bit. What a great book!
I am almost done with these cute little ribbed socks. Only a bit of the foot and the toe left to go. I don't care what anyone says, I love my dpns. I have no problem with dpns and for beginners I think it is such an important skill to acquire. So many projects use dpns and if you don't learn how to use them, you limit yourself greatly in future project choice. This yarn is Lana Grossa Meilenweit. It has some cotton in it and they are wonderful light socks. I have another pair already finished and I wear them all the time. I have one more ball of this in fall colors, too. I ordered the three colors from Kpixie, one of my favorite online shops.
One last thing, these are the yarns I am using for a current book-related project. Can you guess the topic of the project?
p.s. That is Kaffe Fassett fabric I bought years ago. When I redesigned my kitchen I knocked out the centers of my top cabinet doors to put glass in. In two of the cabinet doors, instead of glass I was going to put this fabric in the knocked out spaces. Instead I ended up using two stripey rugs I ordered from Pottery Barn. I cut the rugs to fit, used fray-check on the edges, and then I used a staple gun to the backside of the doors to attach the rugs. It turned out very cute. I never used Kaffe's fabric but I still think it is wonderful. Sorry I didn't iron for you!
Saturday, January 20, 2007
I knitted a quick hat and scarf set for my dear publicist, Danielle. She's gone and left me for a different job at Workman but I still love her anyway. She took good care of me and I want to share a little knitted love with her for her upcoming birthday.
I used 3 skeins of Manos in the Wildflower colorway #113 and size 11 needles for the scarf. I used Stephanie Pearl-Mcphee's One Row Scarf pattern, it's awesome and easy! I used my hat pattern in itty-bitty for the Simple Baby Cap 3, only I cast on 80 stitches to start with. This makes a 20 inch hat, which is perfect for an average size woman's head. I knitted to 7 inches before I started the decrease sequence. Oh yeah, I used size 9 sixteen inch circular and dpns for the hat and I used the one row scarf pattern modified for working in the round for about 4 rounds to start the hat off.
For the edge of the scarf I used 2 size 7 dpns to make 3 inch i-cords, 5 for each edge. Next I sewed the ends of the i-cord together to form little rings. I stitched these onto the ends to add a finishing touch. I am so over fringe lately, it just doesn't appeal to me right now. It may come back, who knows.
To add a bit of flare to the simple cap, I made 3 more rings and sewed them to the front side of the hat. This makes a swingy, warm set for a cute, young New York girl running to catch the train at the end of the day! I can just see it.
I had to include a shot of the beautiful amaryllis flowers that have taken bloom in my kitchen. There are 8 enormous candy cane blossoms that are enough to make your heart stop. It's the best in the dead of winter to have these flowers in my house.
Quickly I have to mention a blog that is driving me crazy with happiness. It is a very popular blog known as the blue blog and it is at www.alison.knitsmiths.us. Alison is a joyous mother of two boys who is expecting her first girl very soon. She is knitting itty bitty hats like mad and is loving every minute of it. So far she has knitted cherry-o!, upside down daisy, cotton stria stripes (check out the matching sock yarn) and best of all her knitting group knitted all of the roses for the rosebud wreath hat for her. She may have done more hats I am not sure. Her fun outlook on knitting and excitement for this new baby girl are so contagious.
Alison's knitting group, the knitsmiths, gave her the knittiest baby shower I have ever seen. They strung up a clothesline and filled it up by hanging knitted booties in all different styles and colors across the room. So cute! Anyway, Alison is a fantastic knitter, check out her finished projects and you will be impressed. Hats off to Alison who makes even me, the overworked mother of four, want to have another baby!
Last and probably least, I picked up this fun artist's model at barnes and noble. I keep thinking about dressing it up in knitted goods, at least a hat. I plan on using this for some sketching and painting! I'll keep you posted.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
I don't get the knitted underwear thing...
I have an open mind and a sense of humor toward new ideas, new practicalities, new designs, but this thing with the naughty needles and so forth is funny to me. You know how Faith Hill said, "Whaaaaat?" into the camera at that awards show? That's how I feel about the knitted underwear and other weird knitted accessories that are in a couple of new books out there. Just plain old, really? Even books with patterns for knitted bikinis puzzle me. This is making me laugh.
I totally get the whole punk movement and knitting. Punk is a lifestyle of expression through clothing and style. Punk means to take something and make it your own, different from anyone else. Knitting is the perfect means to creating your own style however you see it. I get it.
I know that there is a following for knitted underwear or lingerie because these books are doing pretty well in the rankings. There is such a broad spectrum of knitters out there. It is pretty fascinating, really.
Go figure and to each his or her knitted own! There is room for everyone in my knitting world, so knit on.
Peace, Love and Knit (even underwear)!
Monday, January 15, 2007
I have been trying to catch Knitty Gritty on HGTV if I am thinking about it during the week and I am home. I think the set is great. One of the best decor ideas is that huge bowl of yarn balls on the coffee table in front of the knitsters. I have had my eye on that for awhile. I decided this morning to create my own bowl of yarn balls. I took some of my Manos and Blue Sky Alpaca bulky and wound it into large, squishy balls. I tossed them into my giant green bowl and I have a quick and awesome centerpiece! I will move the bowl from this table to put on my family room coffee table. Everything is oversized and overstuffed in that room, the bowl will fit right in. I think it looks like candy!
Well, that's my yarn related fun for the morning. I am off to relish in our new fluffy white snowfall! It's really only about 4 inches, but it is better than nothing.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Summer Tweed by Rowan is a favorite yarn of mine. I am currently knitting a simple stockinette, slightly set-in sleeves, oversized turtleneck sweater, for me, in this beautiful silk, cotton tweed. The color is a pale blush with flecks of blues and pinks. No matter how many sweaters in how many styles I have knitted over the years I always come back to the most simple silhouettes because these are the sweaters I tend to wear over and over. I whipped out the back over the last couple of days of very sporadic knitting. It is fun, mindless and fast on a size 8 needle. I am using my Addi Turbos because my Options are on other projects. I have a lot of projects going on right now and I'm having so much fun. It should be illegal.
This trio of snowmen are on my mantel right now. These are some of my favorite pieces of art in my house. I picked them up at a holiday art fair quite a few years ago. They were a bit pricey, but I had to have them. The artist's name is Gregg Trollop and his snowmen are exquisitely carved creations. They have such movement and personality. He told me about how he searched and searched for the perfect little twigs to create the arms for each character. They look like they are dancing. Of course I love the hats, too. I went back to the same art fair the next year to buy some more and he wasn't there. I am certainly glad I got these little treasures when I did. Every year they are a treat to set out. J'adore!
This morning we woke to a dusting of snow. It is just a tiny covering, but later today we are supposed to get another 3-6 inches. We are keeping our fingers crossed. The kids have off for MLK day on Monday, so the sledding hill may be calling our name! Yippee! Every year all of my kids and I make paper snowflakes to hang on our windows. I love these lacey creations. Beautiful.
Last week was a productive work week for me. I had a meeting about an interesting business venture which will hopefully work out. I can't discuss too much yet, but it looks exciting!
I got an excellent book direction idea from my publisher, who I just love by the way. She is smart, savvy, and fun all at the same time. My brain is racing with ideas for book #3. It is time to get cracking on that while my second book is in the editing phase. I have sketches, lists and ideas spread everywhere. Yesterday I picked up a brand-new sketch book to devote strictly to this new book concept. This is where I will start listing, consolidating ideas and sketching out the book. It will start taking shape. When I get a new sketch book I literally feel the excitement of the possibilites that wait for me on those blank pages.
I have stoked the fires with a few weeks of non-work related knitting and I am ready to get back to work again. I think it is funny how when I get a break in work-related knitting I immediately race to my needles for more knitting.
Passion is passion.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
I was thrilled to be included in a two page Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article about knitting that came out in the Entree section of the Sunday edition. It is an excellent article that is about quick innovative projects that use up stash yarn in a hurry. The writer, who is a knitter originally from Canada, loved Itty-Bitty and selected the vertical stripes hat to knit up for the article. You can check out the article here at www.jsonline.com/entree and the writer's name is Mary-Liz Shaw.
She completed the hat and she did a nice job with it. The picture makes it look a little tubey, but with a head in there it will round out nicely. Other knitters she interviewed are Leigh Radford, Mel Clark, Jaime Guthals from Interweave, and Melanie Falick.
I love to see knitting get such great publicity. She selected a flower washcloth, a felted recycled sweater bag, a dog sweater, a knitted mouse, a tea cozy, a felted bag, and the baby hat to include in the article. All of these projects have a fun twist somehow worked in the pattern.
When I was being interviewed over the phone, we talked for quite awhile about many topics. One of the main topics we discussed is toy knitting. She was in the middle of knitting Tracy Chapman's mouse from Toys to Knit. This is a sweet book that I own and am familiar with.
I gave Mary-Liz a couple of tips for toy knitting, which she hadn't tried before, and I see that her mouse turned out really cute. While discussing toy knitting I said that knitting toys is a perfect small project. It packs a lot of learning into a small amount of knitting. Toys often have tons of shaping and usually there is some seaming required. I added that when knitting toys you don't have to worry about gauge as much because you are not making something to be worn. She wrote that I said, "I like knitting for babies. You don't need a large amount of yarn and gauge isn't an issue." That's not exactly what I said.
Let me just say, gauge is an issue for baby knitting! Any time you are knitting a garment to be worn by a baby or anyone, any size, you have to knit to gauge to get a good fit! it doesn't matter how large a hat, mitten, sweater or bootie is, it has to match the recommended gauge in order to get the look and fit you are hoping for.
The context for me saying gauge isn't an issue was taken out of toy knitting and placed into baby knitting in general. When knitting toys, it isn't going to be a big deal if you are slightly off gauge. However, I wouldn't recommend being off gauge for any project. You may be disappointed with the look of your finished product. When you are knitting an item that isn't going to be worn gauge isn't as important as when knitting a garment that needs to fit.
Still with that being said, it is a good article, and I am honored to have been included with these other fantastic knitters. These things happen. I have been quoted in other articles and I have had to laugh at times because your words can get switched around in a way that you wouldn't say them. This can be kind of funny. This time though, I thought some clarification was necessary.
In both of my books I address gauge constantly, so I would never dismiss this important element to successful baby knitting.
One more time: Gauge is an issue for baby knitting!!!
best, susie (gauge lover) anderson
Thursday, January 04, 2007
I walked around my house this morning and took the following shots. Please ignore the dust where applicable.
Look closely for some of my current projects and a few of my favorite things.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Happy 2007! Where is time going and how can I slow it down? Yikes. When I was young I would calculate how old I would be in the year 2000. When I looked ahead it seemed so far away and I would turn 36 years old in 2000. That sounded so old to me and now it seems so young looking back. New Year's has never been my favorite holiday, there is something kind of melancholy about the whole thing. I spent a quiet evening at home with my husband and kids. That's the best night to me anyway.
On to knitting, I have some projects going right now. I have a couple of original designs that I can't share yet, so I'll save those for a later date. I also have some projects that I can share. One of them is the beautiful entrelac shawl from Scarf Style by the talented Pam Allen. The shawl is called the Lady Eleanor Entrelac Stole by Kathleen Power Johnson. I am using up left over Noro Kureyon that I have gathered from various projects, and then I am filling in with some new skeins in 3 different colorways that will blend nicely together. I love the unblocked look of Kureyon, it is so alive. This is a great book and I have done many scarves from here already, and have been inspired be several others.
The entrelac is a fun way to knit if you don't mind turning back and forth across a row. It is mindless knitting once you have the pattern down. You can memorize it quickly. Did you see Eunny Jang's entrelac socks out of Trekking? These are at www.eunnyjang.com, click on October. Stunning! That I may try next. I need to start plowing through some of that sock yarn I am accumulating. The problem is that I really like fancy socks to knit, but I only wear the simple stockinette or rib socks. What to do...what to do... such a dilemma. I am kidding, it is silly. I may make a resolution to only knit stockinette stitch socks for 2007.
Do you make resolutions? I don't. I think having a goal is a good thing, but I do that anyway throughout the year. I have never given resolutions much thought at all. Maybe my lifelong resolution should just be to knit more in the new year than in the past year. Yeah, that should be achieveable. Ok, that's what it is every year from now on.
Have you seen Stupid Sock Creatures? My 15 year-old son got this book for Christmas and we spent new year's day making the larger creature together with my 13 year-old son. It was a joint effort from start to finish. What a fun way to pass the time while the football game was on tv. My younger son basically made the red creature on his own, I just helped with the mouth a bit. I love crafty boys. There is something so sweet about boys big and small making a craft project together.
This book is wonderful, I highly recommend it on many levels. The projects are great, but are meant as jumping off points which is my kind of instruction! The author, John Murphy, is super smart and talented. He puts his sketches and illustrations and doodles throughout the book. This is probably my favorite part of the book. I have wanted to do this kind of thing in my books, but it hasn't worked out yet. I still have hopes to publish my sketches, illustrations, watercolors and the like in a knitting book. I love that aspect of design and Stupid Sock Creatures is inspiring in this way. Socks off to John Murphy and Lark books!
The kids are still out of school this entire week and I love it.
I tried to do links in my text for this post, but obviously they didn't work. I'll get it next time or at least I will try again.