Meet the Mantis

Now that the Knit Picks catalog for March has arrived, I can show you all my favorite recent knit for them, the Praying Mantis, from Amigurumi Knits.

Closer Shot of Mantis on a Wall

Clearly deep in contemplation, she’s a thoughtful one.

Also, being an outdoorsy sort, she can’t resist climbing a nice tree.

Mantis in a Tree

But she didn’t mind hanging out at work with me, either.

Checking out my Cubicle

She found that Piggie, who regularly appears as my Ravatar image, is a very good listener.

Mantis and Piggy

But then she seemed to be getting just a little bit too close for comfort, so it was time to send her off to Washington for her professional photo shoot.

Mantis and Piggy

Knit from Wool of the Andes in Green Tea Heather and Fairy Tale (which is a really nice shade of purple) with two sets of bamboo DPNs.  Chenille stems down the legs and in the thorax keep her upright, and fiberfill in her abdomen and head round her out (so to speak).

I really, really like knitting toys. I’m going to have to knit a Mantis for myself.  With the right colors, I could totally make myself a little N’Grath.

Related Posts:

Scarf Weather

When my first installment of the Loopy Ewe Sock Club arrived, I knew there was no way that beautiful skein of cashmere blend was going to become socks.  It was so soft and lovely that I just kept the hank on my desk for weeks, regularly gazing at it and every now and then giving it just a little squeeze.

Handmaiden Casbah

Gorgeous blue and green, and so very squooshy. I decided right away that it was going to be a scarf of some sort, but I needed to find the perfect pattern.

And then came an email from Chrissy, looking for a few testers for upcoming patterns. I was assigned a scarf with lace and cables, designed for Handmaiden’s Swiss Mountain Cashmere & Silk. And I knew exactly what my Casbah was destined to become.

Midnight Lace Scarf

Project Specs:
Pattern: Midnight Lace Scarf, by Chrissy Gardiner. Available at many retailers.
Yarn: Handmaiden Casbah, “Ocean Currents” Colorway. Used as much of the skein as possible.
Needles: Size US 6
Dimensions: 6″ x 64″ – about an inch narrower and shorter than the pattern.
Notes: I blocked this really aggressively, because I knew I had less yardage than the pattern called for. While this works for the lace, the cables are a little bit more stretched out than I would like. Still, the scarf is incredibly soft and cozy. I found the pattern easy to follow and easy to memorize, but with just enough action to keep me interested.

I finished the scarf in early May, just in time for temperatures to hit the 90s around here. This autumn, I’m going to be hard-pressed to decide between this and my green Bugga! Clapotis. I can hardly wait.

Related Posts:

Hey, Look, Knitting!

In my long blog silence, there has been knitting. Last night, I finished off a blankie for Little Miss.

Alphabet Blanket

Specs:
Pattern: Alphabet Blanket
Designer: Debbie Bliss
Source: The Baby Knits Book, courtesy of my library system
Yarn: Patons Grace, hot pink, 9 skeins
Needles: Addi Turbo Lace, sizes US 2 & 3
Comments: Bliss suggests her own (now discontinued) Wool/Cotton Blend for this pattern.  I had this Patons Grace (originally intended for a pair of matching Reid sweaters for my niece and Little Miss) in my stash. Of course, using mercerized cotton for a lace blanket was not the best idea I ever had, but I think it turned out rather pretty, and I’m sure the various joints in my hands will stop aching really soon. I used Russian joins throughout, which are a little bit bulky in the DK weight cotton, but not noticeable unless you’re really looking for them. And since the Patons Grace had at least one knot in almost every skein, I did a LOT of joining.

I really need to make a second blocking board. I had to block the blanket folded in half.

Clearly, I Need A Bigger Blocking Board

I left it overnight and took it off this morning, spreading it over our coffee table, still slightly damp.

To celebrate completing the blanket, I cast on a new blankie, this time an illusion-knit one in Sanguine Gryphon Traveller. I’ve never done illusion knitting before.

Speaking of new-to-me techniques and finished objects, my most recent contribution to Knit Picks was in the May catalog.

Bibs for Knit Picks

The Fruity Bibs were my first go at intarsia in cotton. The Knit Picks Comfy, by the way, is incredibly soft. Just lovely, lovely stuff. The buttons are sweet little shell buttons I bought at Unwind, my fantastic LYS.

And speaking of Knit Picks, I ordered a batch of CotLin for Miss Honeychurch, about which I’ll have more to say on Monday.

Related Posts:

One Stitch at a Time

Last week, I knit something.  I can’t show you (yet), but I can tell you this: It’s a test knit for Chrissy Gardiner’s forthcoming book, it was fun and fast, and I think it’s an excellent pattern for people who’ve been wanting to try toe-up socks but have been a little intimidated.

Okay, that’s all I’m going to say about that for today.  In other Secret Knitting News, the Knit Picks sample I knit back in July appeared in the latest catalog and on the Knit Picks site.

I haven’t been doing much knitting of late, since I’ve been trying to make some progress on “Santa’s Journey”, my Christmas stocking.  Here’s what it looks like so far:

Stocking in Progress

Santa is slowly materializing, right before my very eyes. I have realized that by working from the bottom up, I’m going to have a headless Santa at some point. I promise to take a picture.

Not knitting has not stopped me from increasing my stash, though.  I resisted all the new stuff in the latest Loopy Ewe sneak-up, but bought the first three skeins of Sanguine Gryphon’s Kypria series:

Sanguine Gryphon

Left to right, that’s “The Deep-Bosomed Earth” (#1), “Momos” (#2), and “A Fateful Plan” (#3). The three tags with paragraphs of the story are tacked up on the corkboard in my office.

I also scored some Yarntini at long last, courtesy of Sonny & Shear:

Yarntini

Those are “Designated Driver” and “4-8-15-16-23-42”. There are still a few skeins of each (and some others) available for sale, if you’d like a Yarntini fix, too. I’m pondering buying some more of the “Designated Driver” and making a shawl. If I ever get to actually knit again.

Related Posts:

Now with Even Less Knitting!

The last several months have been interesting around here. We decided to try to sell our house and move a couple of miles eastward. We found a house we liked, and we had an offer on our house, and then one day into the escrow, the buyer pulled out. Our contract with our realtor expired, we waited a while, and then we went back on the market with a new realtor. We found a house we liked, and we got an offer on our house with a promise that there would be no problem finishing the escrow in 30 days.

Sixty-four days later, we closed the sale. Week after week, we thought we’d be moving in another week or two.  My knitting stuff was among the first stuff packed up (in an effort to keep myself from procrastinating on packing up the rest of the stuff, you see).

Since then, just about the only knitting I’ve been doing has been a sample knit for Knit Picks, which I can’t share until it appears in their catalog.

And, since it’s high summer, what else would I be thinking about but Christmas?  Last week, I started work on another cross-stitch stocking, this time one for me.  It’s a little more complicated than the one I did for Little Miss, with metallic threads and beads and something called couching that I may have done once before… in junior high Home Ec class.

A while back, I signed up for Summer of Socks.  Have I done any socks this summer?  No.  I started one, but I haven’t made much progress.

Soon to come: pictures of that cross-stitch and maybe some progress on the sock.

Related Posts:

The Yarn Harlot Does LA

Yesterday was my first Saturday off in a few weeks, and I was busybusybusy. Little Miss and I got a late start on going to our church’s Yard Sale, then walked by another yard sale (with a not so much accurate sign that said “Estate Sale”) where I bought a bunch of buttons. After picking up a cinnamon roll for K, we headed home, and Little Miss went down for a nap.

Then, it was out the door again, this time all by myself, to drive downtown for the Yarn Harlot. It was odd being in the Central Library in a non-work-related situation. I had to borrow K’s library card in order to get my parking validated, since I can’t find my card. (I memorized the number some time ago. The sad thing is that this is the second card I’ve lost. I’d be more concerned about it if I weren’t checking my own account activity on a very regular basis, so I know no one else is using it.) Stephanie was highly entertaining, even while being (unknowingly) threatened by the Giant DPNs of Doom:

 

harlot

She’s not nearly so blurry in real life, but I was three rows from the back of the auditorium. “Get there 10 minutes early,” said K. Yeah. Sure. I was in line 20 minutes before the start time, and I was still nearly in the back row. In fact, I was in just about the same seat I usually occupy during the monthly Book Order meetings. And, yes, that’s a sock she’s knitting during the Q&A time.  My knitting is not so blurry in real life, either, but it’s a test project, so I won’t be putting up a real picture of that until the pattern goes live.

I found out about the test knitting gig through (where else?) Ravelry, where I also found out that the Yarn Pirate Booty Club is open for enrollment. With all of these new opportunities to spend money, I am in search of new financial planning software. I am not loving the Quicken 2004 I’ve been using. Any recommendations for a Mac-OS-X-Tiger-friendly program?

Related Posts: