25 December 2008

Happy Holidays!

Happy holidays! I love love love the Melanie Falick book Handknit Holidays. I look through it kind of a lot--I just love the photography, the patterns, the styling. Oddly, though, I don't know if I'd knit a single thing from the book until this year. As you know I've been trying to do a lot of stash busting this year, so this pom pom garland was a great stash buster to knit up during one of the many snow storms last week. It's hard to photograph, but hopefully you can see it. It's basically just several i-cords braided with a few pom poms. It's really sweet, though. Anyway, I hope everyone has a lovely holiday and may 2009 bring us all much health, love, happiness and knitting!

Stripey Stripe

After a fit of frustration over my colossal gauge issues with the Sideways Grande Cloche from Boutique Knits I picked up this super easy Noro stripey scarf. Nothing special, nothing challenging--but, that's sort of what I needed during the crazy hectic December anyway. I think it'll end up being a Christmas gift for my brother.

I've since re-started that cloche and had to go down 4 needle sizes! It's bananas, but I've noticed that on Ravelry lots of people have had the same issue. It's strange because I've actually gotten a lot closer to knitting normally, and to gauge in the last few years, but with not that pattern. I'm hoping to be able to finish it before we leave for Switzerland. I always like to travel with super simple, interruptable projects. Though, the big Woolcott sale is coming up--I might have to treat myself to some wooly treats.

22 December 2008

Noro Sweater

Well, I knit at least one big, adult project this year. My mom was at a party in October and commented on her friend's sweater. The friend informed her that it was a handknit sweater and my mom promptly emailed me the pattern with a note that said something like, "Maybe for my birthday or Christmas?" Since I'm always wanting to knit for everyone (but trying to be mindful that not everyone loves a handknit garment or item), I was thrilled to get the request.

The yarn (Noro Silk Garden 217A) looks really lovely. Unlike my disastrous shawl, this Noro is really beautiful--dark, moody with pops of color.

The sweater really doesn't look like much on the hanger, but the yarn is lovely and hopefully my mom will enjoy it. The constant snow storms have made for poor lighting for photos, so these aren't great. I'll take a better photo of her in it--let's hope it doesn't look quite so boxy!

14 December 2008

Cowl Crazy

Who would've thought that my cowl mania would've rubbed off on Scott, but it did! Upon request I knit up a cycling cowl for him to wear on his daily commute. It was a simple, improvised pattern.
Cast on 100, did 1" of 2X2 ribbing on either side and knit about 15" or so. Scott wore it yesterday during a sunny, but cold cold day and said that it worked well. Now there are two cowl maniacs in our house!

08 December 2008

Not knitting, but tasty nonetheless

This is totally unrelated to knitting, but I thought I'd post since well, it's the holidays after all. I took a buche de noel class at the Cambridge Culinary Institute.

When I was growing up, holidays were a truly international affair. My mom's Spanish, Dad's German, had Swedish au pairs, French friends. . . so we adopted many different holiday traditions including the buche de noel (aka yule log). Of course, I can't recall that anyone in my household actually undertook the elaborate cake (and trust me, it is elaborate), but we almost always had one.

It's a multi-part undertaking:
-genoise cake
-chocolate butter cream filling and icing
-meringue mushrooms
-marzipan moss, leaves, berries
-chocolate plants and fences

Whew! Anyway, this was partly the reason I decided to take the class. This way I'd have someone to walk through all the components. The class was SO much fun, taught by a very charistmatic Frenchman. He kept saying, "Now zeez ees a sexy butter cream!"

It was a 4 hour plus class and we went so fast. I suspect that if I ever made it by myself it would take about 8 hours to complete. A long time and lots of effort for a fleeting cake. . . but I sort of love projects like that. Ephemeral and lovely.

02 December 2008

Tea for Two

I finally finished the sweater I'm knitting for my Mum for the holidays. Stacie's going to help me out with the (loads!) of seaming and blocking that's required. As soon as it's complete, I'll definitely post pics.

In the meantime, I'm continuing my quest to bust stash. This little tea cozy (or, is it cosy?) pattern is from the second "Stitch n' Bitch" book. It actually fits our teapot perfectly and was a good use of scraps I had in my vast yarn collection. I think, though, my cozy/cosy might look a tad sporty with these stripes.

I'm in desperate need of another yarn review with you ladies. I've been diligently knitting from stash (for the most part) this year, but still. . .SO. . . MUCH. . . YARN.