Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Cup O' Tea

Originally uploaded by littlekidd.
Clapotis. It's a FAB free pattern from Knitty.com It has inspired blogs of its own for like-minded knitters. ("Clapotiers?")

This is my third, in process, with Lorna's Laces Fisherman Worsted.

I only JUST learned how to pronounce clapotis. Do you know? Clap-oh-TEE. Zut alors! And I even took French in high school.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Grandma Cindy's Scarf

Midwest Moonlight Scarf
Originally uploaded by littlekidd.
Grandma Cindy came for a visit last week from Colorado! You can't imagine how it made my heart sing to see her wearing her Christmas scarf as she came off the plane. This periwinkle is HER color! This one is from Scarf Style too, made with Lavold's "Silky Wool." I'd use this yarn again and again.

Personal Best

Almost finished!
Originally uploaded by littlekidd.
Is 8th Place OK? My goal was to complete the dragon-y back of this vest by the end of the Olympics. With just a couple of inches to go, I know I'll make it. And I'm very pleased with the results. But I'm a little sad I didn't get the WHOLE vest done. I feel a little like an Olympic skier who finishes in 8th place. It's definitely a thrill and a personal best. But fantasies of a gold medal still linger.

Technically I didn't "complete" this project. I set out to get this much done and I did it. I learned a lot of new knitting skills for which I am thrilled. As far as I'm concerned, my Olympics continues untill I get the front of this made. Stay tuned!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Originally uploaded by littlekidd.
This pattern belongs in the Olympics. Completing it will be a Herculean feat for me. Scroll down a few blog entries to see the completed picture as published in the book where I found the pattern. The pattern calls for a GREEN dragon, but I made mine red and purple, in keeping with a running storyline we have in our house.

No time to write more. Must knit!!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Got Intarsia?

The Progress
Originally uploaded by littlekidd.
OK, this is my first crack at intarsia, and I'm pretty stoked. This is the first 10 rows or so of the dragon, completed during opening ceremonies last night. I forged my way through another eight rows or so tonight, but will spare you the incremental pictures.

This is REALLY fun. I'm already looking forward to a romp through my Kaffe Fassett Pattern Library book after I finish this (and the six other projects I have lying around the house, and the three I need to finish for the shop...)

The Pile

The Pile
Originally uploaded by littlekidd.
Here's the pile of yarn that will become my Olympic vest!

Gingerbread Castle

Gingerbread Castle
Originally uploaded by littlekidd.
At the risk of getting in big trouble with the copyright police, here's a photo of the "Gingerbread Castle" that will go on the front of Zack's Olympic vest. Nicky Epstein's "Nasty Dog Dragon" from the "Scarf Style" book is going on the back.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Pirate as a Verb

Originally uploaded by littlekidd.
No, I did not knit this scarf... yet. I signed up to make a pirate vest for the Knitting Olympics (logo now front and center in the sidebar, thanks to help from Aimee.)

I am reconsidering my choice. Imagine a 4-year-old with a skull and crossbones plastered across his sweater. Now fast foward and see that same kid, now 16 and motivated subconsciously by the fashion choices his mother made for him as a tyke, dressed in severe, painful looking clothing no parent in her right mind would approve. I figured my original plan for a pirate vest was really just a recipe for disaster, so I've altered my plans slightly.

For the Olympics, I'm going to make a vest for my son. I'm going to PIRATE motifs from two different knitting books. The first is Nicky Epstein's Nasty Dog Dragon from Scarf Style, which will be plastered across the vest's back. I'm going to make up a tail which curls around the front a bit, and shares belly real estate with the "Gingerbread Castle" from Barbara Walker's "Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns."

This is all theory so far, but I think it will work. I've never done intarsia before (Go Jamaican Bobsled Team!) so I'm going be proud of myself if I finish the dragon before the flame goes out, let alone the whole vest. I'm going to gather the colors in Elsbeth Lavold's Silky Wool tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Knitting Olympics

Knitting Olympics
Originally uploaded by littlekidd.
I used to be pretty adept at uploading to a server and manipulating HTML code. But I have no idea how to get this graphic into the right-hand margin of my page. It's stored on Flickr and I can't seem to get a filename to reference as an image in my page.

The point being... I'm in on the Olympics. The plan is to make a vest for Zack with some sort of pirate theme. I'm struggling a bit with the obvious skull and crossbones. I don't want him to look like Sid from Toy Story.

Just pinched off the sleeve holes on a cardigan for me! Yay! Of course, the Sweater From Hell is still not seamed. Tomorrow. Maybe.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Poem for Gracie and the Groundhog

I just found out about this great suggestion by Gracie's Poppies to post a favorite poem anytime on Feb 2. Well, I've got 35 minutes left, so I'm posting the first one that came to mind. I saw it while riding on a city bus about six months ago. Here in Portland the buses have poems on the walls above the seats in the place where most city transit authorities would sell advertising. It's reason #847 to love Portland.

Anyway, this poem reminded me of my mother-in-law and I remember racing home to find it online and send it to her. She's coming to visit in a few weeks, and we can't wait. So, Cindy, this is for you. And as for the Groundhog... I don't know what that Pennsylvania critter saw. I can assure you that groundhogs here in Portland saw no shadows. You see, sunlight is a key ingredient in shadow-making, and it's in short supply around here these days.

OK - here's my favorite poem of late:

I Confess
by Alison Luterman

I stalked her in the grocery store:
her crown of snowy braids held in place by a great silver clip,
her erect bearing, radiating tenderness,
the way she placed yogurt and avacados in her basket,
beaming peace like the North Star.
I wanted to ask, "What aisle did you find your serenity in,
do you know how to be married for 50 years, or how to live alone,
excuse me for interrupting, but you seem to possess
some knowledge that makes the earth burn and turn on its axis"
but we don't request such things from strangers nowadays.
So I said, "I love your hair."

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Go Fingerless

Favorite Fingerless
Originally uploaded by littlekidd.
I love cotton. I just noticed that everything I've posted here so far is some sort of cotton blend. (Hat in Cascade "Arcadia," lacy square in Vittadini "Marissa," baby sweater in Paton's "Fantasy Naturale," big sweater in Brown Sheep "Cotton Fleece.)

These gloves are made with Cascade "Fixation," which is mostly cotton with a little elastic thrown just to make getting tension fun.

There are several groups of people here in Portland who especially love these gloves. Among them are outdoor baristas, supermarket checkers who work close to constantly opening automatic doors, skateboarders, and parking lot attendants.

Cotton gets a bum rap from knitters. Everybody says wool is so "forgiving," and that cotton isn't stretchy enough or warm enough, etc. etc. Here are my top ten (well, maybe five) reasons why I like cotton.

1. Cotton is smooth, doesn't split, and doesn't pill.

2. I throw cotton in the washing machine -- even if it says hand wash (blasphemy!) -- and lay it flat to dry. I've never had a problem.

3. Cotton blocks and reshapes beautifully with nothing but a little soak in water and some pinning. No iron torture needed.

4. My fingers and hands are in terrible shape. My skin is dry and cracked, and I bite my nails so I always have little snaggy nails and hangnails. Every time I knit with wool it pulls on those little uneven places in my hands, which is majorly frustrating.

5. I live in Portland. It rarely dips below 40 degrees here. We don't need wool sweaters OR fingertips on our gloves, dammit!

Knitters may be one of the few people who lament, in some small way, the coming of spring. Warmer weather means a drop in the knitting ranks. Wool in August just seems so... well... HOT. But cotton... hmm....