Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kilts and Celtic Knits

I took a trip to the Celtic Classic Festival in Bethlehem, PA this past weekend.  I thoroughly enjoyed hearing bagpipes often throughout the day, even when they were only practicing before their turn in the competitions.

I brought along some knitting and garnered a few stares, knitting practically nonstop.  I also enjoyed meeting other knitters, although I must admit that there ought to have been more.  

I got to model my latest hat, made with Beata's handdyed yarn from Cork, Ireland.  It's a very simple pattern, most of which I knit the week before while at the beach.

After getting our fill of great music and vendors, my friend and I wandered up into town for a bite to eat at the local brewery and browsed the celtic store, where I came upon some handknit aran sweaters direct from Ireland.  Not the best picture, but I was trying to be discreet.  I loved how some of the tags on the sweaters gave pictures and descriptions of each of the aran stitches used within the sweater.

What I'm knitting:
I'm currently working on a couple of Stephen West's designs (yet again!).  I started his Akimbo shawl at the beach when I realized I had forgotten the needles needed for the crown decreases on my hat.  I'm hoping to incorporate the Noro yarn I had been so angry with last year...keep your fingers crossed!

The Akimbo has been hijacked by a test knit for Stephen's second book, scheduled to come out probably in the winter.  Soon, very soon, his first book will come out, and I will be able to show you a few things I knitted from it.  Yay!  I hafta say, as many patterns of his as I've made, I really enjoy the inherent simplicity in his designs, without being boring.  And he keeps coming up with interesting shapes and lines...what can I say?  I love his stuff.  

Oh, and I started two versions of his Flamboyan shawl, but they're in meditation/consideration right now, rather than active knitting.  But at least one of them will get knit.  I have a goal, after all. 

As for the socks with the Fleegle heels...well,  they're in the doghouse.

Fish of a thousand faces

I had the privilege to do a bit of travel during the past month, and I have a few pics to share.  Igor made an appearance at the beaches and dunes of Margate and Ocean City.

He had a bit of a crisis, and I had to talk him down from throwing himself into the watery depths.  I hadn't realized how nice the ocean feels in September!

While he stirred things up among the natives, he also stirred up the wrath of Lucy the Elephant.  

Fun was had by all; what a great way to spend the last couple days of summer! 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Food Chain Bites

Meet Igor.  
Not "ee-gor."  It's "I-gor."

And don't you dare call him cute.  He's one nasty bugger.  

I thought I was gonna get me some fish down by the lake, 
and apparently he was thinking along similar lines.

Well, he followed me all the way home, and started finding another playmate.

Yeah.  Another cat watching the incident was smart enough to run away.

Soon, I found that Igor had made other friends.

What can I say?  He kinda got under my skin.  So I named him.
(Yes, it's a reference to Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein.)

I guess you're allowed to like him...

... just don't get too close.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lace, Love.

I like to watch Project Runway, and while I'm in no way a fashion guru, as my wardrobe would quickly reveal, I'd say this is the closest I've gotten in my lace knitting to sportswear (looks, not function).

It's a rather heavy worsted weight yarn--Lamb's Pride Worsted, to be exact. I've been itching for some time to knit this color up into lace.  (It's very greeeen.)  Well, as I neared the border, I realized I probably wouldn't have enough yardage to finish, so I striped it with a couple other bits of yarn I have. The result? I'm completely delighted. I think for such a heavy yarn, it really benefits from a bold finish to make it pop.

It's kinda big.  Almost 62" across the wingspan.
Oh, and speaking of itch, I think the mohair in the yarn is a wee bit itchy, but I think I can get used to it. Heck, people used to wear much worse stuff back in the day. I'm really surprised at how nicely the Lambs Pride blocked out. I only knit this on size 8 needles; I would have expected to use larger. But it blocked out fine. I love lace blocking. Love it. And this one was one of the easiest projects for blocking, due to the points on two sides and eyelets on the straight edge. I just stuck my blocking wires through the eyelets and through the tips of the points, and voila! Lace!

I'm also including a few pics of hats I've made for Kyle's Operation Gratitude Handmade drive. It's not too late to jump on the wagon, you knitters out there!