Hear that cracking sound?

That was the sound of my Western Washington amphibian-like skin cracking in the heat of the southern California sun over the weekend. Ahh, that felt nice….

20110624-051431.jpg

I’m back home today, but I was in LA for an extended weekend for a cousin’s wedding. I felt sorry for the souls I’d left behind back home, drowning in the cool, wet, soggy weather of the Pacific Northwest. Not really.

The newlyweds had a photo booth at the reception for guests to use as a memory book of their big day. Great idea.
20110626-090818.jpg
My mom was my traveling companion.

We met-up with Fluffbuff Francesca at Le Pain Quotidien in Manhattan Beach, and Ben was there too. I got to drool over Francesca’s latest swatch, done on really tiny needles. I wonder what my mother thinks of my curious life as a knit-blogger?

Of course, while there, I loaded-up on Le Pain’s answer to Nutella to take home.
20110624-051442.jpg

I did almost no knitting the entire trip, save for the continuing, long, drawn-out process of binding-off Bird’s Eye of domesticshorthair lore (I started it 4 years ago), and that was only worked on in flight, coming and going. If it weren’t for my visit with Francesca, I could have said that I did nothing knitting-related; I didn’t visit a yarn store, I didn’t fondle a random skein of yarn, and I didn’t even buy a Japanese knitting book at Sanseido Books during a stop at Mitsuwa in Torrance. However, I did finish Wandering The Moor before I left home.
20110625-093610.jpg
(sorry for the bad, away-from-home photo)

I like it, and I love the un-scalloped edge for being different. When I finished it, I thought I’d messed-up because it was so small, it looked like something for my 6-year old, but once I blocked it, it opened-up and became adult-size.

Details
Pattern: Wandering the Moor Shawl by Celeste Glassel
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine (just over a skein)
Needles: US 6/4.0 mm

Today I actually had really really good answer for a change when a cashier at the market asked me if I did anything fun over the weekend.
20110627-033102.jpg

Make it big.

On one of my expeditions into the deep, dark jungle of my stash, I came across a skein of Tahki Baby Print.  Hmm, what’s this I have? I don’t remember this. Three skeins? Wow, that much, eh?  And then, having other projects on priority, I’d put it back, and forget about it until the next expedition. Now that I have discovered that I have, unfortunately, become sensitive to the itchiness of most wool, I have re-discovered this soft, cozy, merino.

It was a fun and fast knit and with such a big gauge I averaged almost a skein a day of progress.  It’s huge, at 175 cm or 69 inches, and chunky.

I’m going to get some enjoyment out of the heads that will turn at the sight of the scarf that swallowed the woman.  Just perfect for cold morning walks.

Details
Pattern: My So-Called Scarf by Allison Isaacs
Yarn: Tahki Baby Print
Needles: 12.75 cm / U.S. 17

Scarfed that one down!

I started and finished One Row Lace Scarf by Turvid lightening-fast and, really, it’s not too surprising because it’s definitely one of those quick and easy projects, especially when using DK-weight yarn vs. the fingering-weight called for in the pattern. This was one of those plain and simple stash-busting projects to utilize the one skein of light blue DROPS Muskat I was given at a knitter’s guild holiday party a few years ago, and at a very short 100 meters (109 yards) I had no idea what to do with it. Thankfully, Ravelry is the wonderful pattern source that it is and I was able to find this scarf in a pattern search. I knew that with so little yarn to use that it wouldn’t go far, so instead of 5 pattern repeats, I did 4 repeats across and was able to produce a scarf 12 cm x 96 cm (5” x 38”) in size; just enough for one wrap around the neck and a simple tie. Perfect for a mild weather scarf.

Details
Pattern: One Row Lace Scarf by Turvid
Yarn: DROPS Muskat (100% mercerized cotton), one skein
Needles: 5.0 mm (US 8 )

Cornflower Tudora

My first finished object of the new year is Tudora.

I like Tudora’s design because it provides good neck coverage and doesn’t have long, scarf ends getting in the way when bending over.  Bending over may not seem like a big deal, but when you’re in a public bathroom helping your young child do what he needs to do, bending over and having scarf ends dangling precariously over a toilet is something you just don’t want.  Am I right?

Tudora is an easy pattern, and I made it while watching, appropriately enough, the movie Elizabeth I starring the fabulous Dame Helen Mirren in installments.  Speaking of Helen Mirren, I hope I look that amazing in a bikini at 62.  Anyway, back to my knitting:  it’s a good thing that I made it in installments because it’s meant to be tightly knit, and using Manos del Uruguay probably made it even tighter, so I knit it in mostly 2-row increments at a time, and then gave my fingers, hands and wrists a good shake and stretch afterward. Manos is probably not the best-suited yarn for Tudora, perhaps just a tad too thick and lumpy.

Brass button from the collection of vintage buttons I inherited from my grandmother.

Details
Pattern:  Tudora by Cheryl Marling, from Knitty, Winter 2007
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay in Cornflower (stash collection)
Needles: 2.75 mm / US 2 circular
Button: personal vintage button collection
Modification: instead of the garter stitch buttonhole band, I added one more stitch and made it a seed stitch buttonhole band.

The yarn, by the way, was another skein of the four skeins of stashed Manos from a few years ago, and that leaves me with enough to make mittens with. I’m thinking Yellow Harvest Mittens (Ravelry link) from Vogue Knitting, Fall 2008.  I’m a bit excited, because if I make the mittens out of the remaining Manos, then combined with the Esme hat I made at the end of December and Tudora, I’ll have a full matching set to wear for those rare times when it actually gets cold enough to wear a full set!  I know it sounds rather silly coming from a knitter, but I’ve never had a full matching set of hat, scarf and mittens, just bits and pieces, so whenever I needed to bundle up, I looked rather mismatched: red scarf, blue hat and dark brown driving gloves.  It’s the little things in life.  You know?

Along with my first finished object of the new year, and refusing to be out-done, Zephyr, went out and caught his first mouse of the new year, and delightfully decapitated it on the deck off of the dining room (at least he knows where to dine), leaving the body for our, er, enjoyment.  As much as I would love to share the object of my revulsion, I’ll spare you the picture.

Zephyr looking too logy to look up after his New Year kill.

Why they don’t make canned food for cats out of mice, rats and goldfish?  You laugh, I know you are, but I’m serious!  Okay, it wouldn’t be that bad, I mean they already kill something to make canned cat food.  Right?  So why not have a whole farm of these little rodents instead?  The kitties would thank us for it.  I really don’t think kitties have a taste for something out of their food chain.  Can you see a kitty taking down a cow?  Think about it:  Mouse & Oat Grass Buffet with Catnip Coulis in a can, coming to a pet grocer near you.