Friday, December 20, 2013

"Merry Doomsday" Giveaway

I do have two FO's this week, but, first, a giveaway.

I have one digital (pdf) copy of Alex Tinsley's about to be released Doomsday Knits: Projects for the Apocalypse and After to give away.

I love all things dystopic, but these knitting patterns are completely modern and wearable well before things get to the point of zombies in the streets and the total breakdown of civilization. Patterns include both garments and accessories, and many designers are represented. I've got my eye on Forager (vest and cowl) and, since I am determined to figure out color work in 2014, Circuit (mittens).

Chakra Powered
Foraging for Yarn?

The book is published by the estimable Cooperative Press which specializes in independent designers with fresh ideas. 

Just leave a comment and a week from now I'll fire up the random number generator and choose one person to receive the pdf (either through ravelry or via email.)

As for my Finished Objects, one is a gift, and the other was purely selfish knitting for me because no one is going to knit anything for me in this or any other year.

Tamatori Cowl (mine, mine, mine)
 I know it seems like it's all cowls all the time around here, but I promise more variety for 2014. 

The Tamatori cowl knit up quickly in chunky yarn, and the stitch pattern is reversible.

The No-Purl cowl was also a quick knit in an aran weight.

Both were knit in yarns from Quince & Co. which is one of my very favorite yarn companies.

No-Purl Garter Stitch in the Round (gift)

Leave a comment that indicates some way to get in touch with you to be in the pool for the giveaway. I'll leave the comments open until December 26.  Visit Tami's Amis FO Friday to see what else is entered in the finished column this week.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

One More for . . .

Me. Since I finished everything I wanted to knit for gifts, I cast on for something for myself.

Tamatori Cowl (True Brit Knits pattern) knit in Quince & Co. Puffin in Sabine colorway. Photo is  a bit deceptive--this will actually be long enough to double and will be quite wide. The worse the weather gets, the bigger and chunkier the knitting.

Share more progress over on Tami's blog.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Straight to Finished

It's not even Christmas Eve and here I am finishing gifts.

1. Hat: This one worked up so fast it leapt right over WIP Wednesday and landed here. The pattern is Alex Tinsley's Catacombs which makes a nice warm beanie with a hint of slouch.

2. Mitts: Another quick knit. This is Susan Lawrence's Ragtop, a warm mitt with a fold over cuff at the top. I modified it to use the stitch patterns from Catacombs.

3. Potholders: The companions for the green ones. Topflappen pattern. Highly recommended for a cute quick gift or for your own kitchen update.

One more gift to go and then it's back to sweaters and socks for the long haul.

Take a look at Tami's Amis to see what other projects were finished this week.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Vegan WIP

Sounds like some kind of dairy-free dessert topping, doesn't it? But no, it's the mitts I am knitting for the vegan niece. She started out as just a dietary vegan, and now it is full-bore veganism.  She's given away her UGG boots and is wearing pleather shoes. I fear the alpaca infinity scarf is on the way to another home as well.

While there are many lovely plant-based yarns for summer, the winter yarns all seem to be spun petrochemicals.

These mitts are being knit with Vanna's Choice (100% acrylic). I think you'll be seeing the finished mitts on Friday. The pattern is Susan Lawrence's Ragtop, a great basic winter mitt.  It has an extra long ribbing section at the top which can be folded back or left long for a bit of extra warmth, and a roomy thumb.

The color is a much darker color in real life, but these days I take what I can get for natural light. Today is the first sun we've seen in a while.

I haven't much recent experience with synthetics, although I still have some of the afghans I crocheted back in the day. I have single skeins of Berroco Comfort (50% Nylon, 50% acrylic) and of Caron Simply Soft (100%a acrylic)to try. If anyone has any opinions on these or any other non-animal fiber yarns that are suitable for cold weather gear, I'd love to hear them. 

Visit Tami's Amis to see a lot more progress.

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Storm of Finishing

Many things have come off the hooks and needles in the last couple of weeks in a holiday frenzy.  Here are some of them:

1.  Vertiginous (San Juan Bautista Shawl KAL)

Interesting construction and a nice birthday gift for my sister.

2.  Erica (Woolly Wormhead Mystery KAL Hat)

This is a wonderful hat; be sure to check out the many finished hats on ravelry to see how cute the version with the peaked brim is.

4.  Beetle Hill (Infinity Scarf)

Gift for my niece, it is a chunky version of the Fisher Hill Cowl I made for myself. I used two yarns held together, a worsted weight plus a sock yarn.

Now go on over to Tami's Amis and see what else has come off the hooks and needles this week.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Pantone Pandemonium

Pantone's 2014 color pick is Radiant Orchid.

I keep wanting to hate this color, but the more I look at it the more I like it, especially when I tell myself it is not really the color of candy eggs or the dreadful corsage orchids I remember from way back when. It remains to be seen whether or not the cosmetics mavens at Sephora are right: looks great with all skin tones.

Today I stoppped in at a small exhibition of 20th century art at the Boston Athaneum and was taken by this painting by Polly Thayer, "Shopping for Furs."

Those stripes look a lot like Radiant Orchid, don't they? And I love the jaded and exhausted look on this woman's face. That's how I look after I've been shopping for almost anything.

I predict we'll be seeing a lot of knitting and crocheting using this color as an accent with neutrals, like the palette of this painting.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Flurry of Progress

What's that?  Only three weeks until Christmas? That means it time once again to play Beat the Christmas Clock.

I seem to find myself playing that game every year. Currently in progress:

1. Infinity Scarf for niece.

It's great when they get old enough to be specific: this item, this size, this color.

2. Potholders for hostess gifts:

Why, yes, they do look finished. They are, but my plan is to make a pair of red ones as well and the yarn is en route. Topflappen nach Oma's Muster is a terrific pattern for a last minute hostess gift or when you want to perk up your own supply without spending much in the way of time or money. The pattern is in German, but has lots of photos so it is very easy to decipher.

3. Hat for other niece. Since she is now a vegan I had to order some vegan-friendly acrylic yarn, since I didn't think a hat made from  the tough, scratchy tawashi acrylic I had on hand would be very nice to wear. She wants a beanie, so it should be quick to knit.

4. Striped Cowl for teacher. The only process that has occurred is that I have moved the yarn from the cabinet to the desk where the ball-winder is set up. 

Visit Tami's Amis WIP Wednesday post to see what else is in progress this week.