Luscious Gracious! Look What We Made Today!

A blog devoted to the art of the Luscious Gracious clan.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Finished Wonder, First Cable, & Gift Giving Tips

Lucy finished her One Skein Wonder this weekend! It was during a knitting marathon with Mom & Dad that lasted past 4 am Saturday morning.

Lucy used Cascade 220 yarn. She added some green for the border.

Lucy made sleeves a little longer than the pattern called for, making it her own in true LusciousGracious style. Great job Lucy!

Where was Lily during the All-night knitting marathon? At a slumber party, where as part of her gift she gave this wristband.

This was Lily's first cable project (Seems all the LG girls are knitting cables lately. It may be time for Dad to learn). Lily, your cabled wristband is lovely!

Speaking of gifts, here is a little holiday gift giving guide from Kiki. The rest of this post will be picture-free, as we are busily working on gifts that can't be shown here yet.

Kiki's Gift Giving Tips For Knitters
Suddenly, that time of year is upon us, and we realize that only a few short weeks remain until January 1....and that most of us are expected to provide gifts for at least 20,000 people between now and then. Enough pressure? Oh, no.......people know who you are; YOU are a KNITTER. And, the holiday season in the Northern Hemisphere just happens to fall during the time of year in which heads are full of sugarplums and visions of warm scarves (Note to Self: Move to Australia by next Halloween).

If you aren't in full-blown panic mode yet, you soon will be, as you start matching names to projects. Will this year finally be the one when you finish that lace tablecloth for your mother-in-law? Would your brother wear felted clogs? Mittens? Who doesn't like mittens? Isn't it convenient that your sister has developed a wool allergy, but can still mysteriously wear cashmere? And Dad...has he come to expect a pair or two of your special hand-knit socks every holiday? Does he brag about them, and refuse to wear anything else?

Ahhhh, don't you feel loved? They depend on you, don't they? And, you always come through with the perfect, handmade gifts. It's just expected. Just like YOU are expected to wear a new sweater of your own design, or at least a sparkly wrap, when you attend all of those mid-winter parties. You are a knitter, and you must look the part. Don't forget to add all of this year's babies to last year's list. And what about decorations? A lacey dresser scarf to line the shelf under the menorah? Tiny, expertly-wrought sweaters to dress up the tree? Your best friend is getting married...she'll need an heirloom...

What else? Angora for Mom? Rustic tweed for your significant other? Your cousin just adopted another dog. How many yards would it take to make a Great Dane sweater?

CALM DOWN!!!

Take a deep breath. Follow these tips when considering what to knit this holiday season.

1). DON'T.
2). If #1 fails, reconsider.
3). If you still cannot help yourself, commit your knitting resources/budget/holiday sanity to ONLY knitting for those who can really, really appreciate it. By that, of course, I mean other knitters. If you feel that you must absolutely expand your list, you may include those who crochet. But that's it. Really.
4). I am not kidding.

What do you think? Afraid that some non-knitting loved one will be put out or otherwise angered? Remind him or her that the Great Knitter in the Sky helps those who help themselves. Instead of knitting for them this year, present them with a nice kit. Include some soft, thick, wool yarn (stretchy, forgiving, and quick), big needles, and a good book. Melanie Falick's Kid's Knitting: Projects for Kids of All Ages (Artisan), with its clear pattern instructions, easy-to-follow diagrams, and irresistible projects has helped my family and many of our friends learn the knitting basics, as well as some more advanced techniques.

If you do this, one of two things will happen. The recipient will fail miserably, retreat to a corner, and never want to look at a knitted garment again. Or, he/she will become a master of the art and start making heirlooms for you out of sheer gratitude. Either way, you are off the hook.

Now that your knitting list is severely pruned, what are some good gift ideas for the knitters (and crocheters) you love? You could always give them yarn - you know that they love yarn. Then you could spend all of your knitting time on your own holiday finery.

Or, you could take some time to think about what each knitter means to you, and design accordingly. For that special person who taught you to knit, make a mini-replica of that first item. This is an especially charming gift if you can make it out of any yarn scraps remaining from the original.

Has your best knitting partner helped you over a stitching hump? Did she show you how to turn a heel? Socks are the natural choice. Did he share his technique for cables without an extra needle? Make him a cabled hat or belt.

Did your weekly stitching group watch you struggle for months with the same sweater, only to dissolve into laughter when you finally tried it on (in front of them, you fool) and the sleeves drug the ground while the collar wouldn't fit over your head? Unravel the beast, in private, and make them each a hat or small bag from the yarn. They will laugh every time they use their new gift.

Are you famous for a project or a technique? Incorporate a bit of what you are known for - lace making, felting luxury fibers, recycling thrift store pieces, beading bags, etc - into each gift. Do you spin and/or dye your own yarn? Use some of that, or just give the yarn itself as a unique and sure-to-be-treasured present.

Remember - these people GET you!! Knitting something for them is bound to be a creative act for you, not just a productive one. And these items, because of that, will be true gifts: small parts of your heart and soul.

Please, my stitching friends, consider my words. I am trying to be funny a little bit, but also trying to make a point. And it isn't just because I want to give you more time to knit for ME. Have a great holiday season, and relax a little. Remember why you started knitting in the first place.

knit on,
kikiluscious

p.s. Stephen thinks that we should also include babies to our lists, as they cannot yet knit, and shouldn't be punished for that. I say fine, as long as you each have a knitting partner to do the baby knitting. Have fun, Steve!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

Pen & Ink with Watercolor by Lily Hall Hartley

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Free Knitting Pattern - Friday

The last of our free pattern week patterns is what I like to call the Cali (steve remix).

I started with the basic Cali pattern.

Then I added this Fair Isle grid I designed, made a few pattern changes, and the Cali (steve remix) was born.
Here is what I did.

1. Pick 2 yarns & make a gauge swatch, in the round, in pattern. My gauge was smaller, but rather than changing needles or yarn, I changed the pattern.

2. Instead of casting on 84 sts, I did 120. This gave me a nice number for my 20 st repeat design, and got my gauge at about the right place to keep the sweater the same size. Knit the first six rounds as indicated, using just 1 color[MC].

3. On round 7 I started the Fair Isle design, doing 6 repeats to make 120 stitches. I followed the design repeating it twice, which made 40 rows in pattern. Then I knit one round in just MC. for a total of 41 rounds.

4. I followed the Front & Back sections of the pattern as is (using the MC), with 1 small change. Rather than a seed stitch for rows 61-66 I used a k2 p2 rib.

5. I added sleeves. To do this, I picked up 40 sts around each arm hole, knit 6 rounds with the MC. Then I did the next 20 rounds using 2 repeats of the same Fair Isle design. Then I knit 1 round with MC only & followed the seed stitch pattern for rows 1-6 for the rest of the sleeve.

Finishing, same as pattern.

There you go, a pattern remix in 5 easy steps. Feel free to use my design, or make your own remix. Send us pics & steps used if you do.

A couple more hints:

The flared sleeves and bottom just come natural to me, because I knit Fair Isle much tighter than normal. Use a smaller needle when knitting in 1 color if you knit like me, but don't want this look.

I switched the hands I was holding the yarns in when knitting the sleeves. It might be hard to tell here, but this gave the sleeves a slightly lighter look since the lighter colored yarn was moved to the front.

For longer sleeves or sweater, simply add more rounds either in pattern, using the MC, or use the other color and add a stripe.

To make it bigger around, just add more sts to the cast on. This pattern is the perfect pattern to experiment with & learn to make patterns your own.

Don't be intimidated by Fair Isle. This was only my 3rd FI project. If you don't know how, try Kiki's Kate pattern. That's how I learned to knit Fair Isle, Illanna too. Now my right hand feels naked if I don't have that second color wrapped around my finger.

I hope you enjoyed the Free Pattern Week. Sorry for the short pause in the middle. Don't forget to check out the others. They all will make great holiday gifts.

Winchester Toboggan


Click-It!


Tie It On


Strap

Happy Knitting!

Steve

Monday, November 21, 2005

Free Knitting Pattern - Thursday (sorry it's late)

Half of the LG clan was struck with a flu bug that prevented us from posting Thursday's & Friday's pattern. Luckily this flu didn't stop Kiki from knitting this great sweater. Yet another beautiful Mission Falls 1824 sweater.

It has these cool little designs along the left of Kiki's heart and other organs.


It is called "Pump-Organ Heart", named after an amazing song by the fantastic David Garza.

Luckily the flu didn't keep us from City Bakery, our usual weekend haunt, where we enjoyed this cupcake that was almost too pretty to eat. It was chocolate, so pretty lost out. Sorry the flu kept this next pattern from you for a few days. So here it is with Kiki's introduction.

Presenting the Winchester Toboggan

I learned so much when I went to college. I'm not talking here about what I had to know in order to pass my classes, but what I learned in dorm rooms, over lunch tables and in hallways. For instance, I was shocked that other people knew the Cajun folk songs that I was sure that my father had made up on the spot to entertain my siblings and myself when we were children. I did know that it was a little odd for my mother to live in an old school, complete with a basketball court-sized gymnasium in the basement, but I was surprised to learn that my new friends washed dishes, walked the family dog, and ran the vacuum as their after-school chores. Part of growing up in the Hall household meant "doing hinges" in the afternoon or evening. There were six children in my family (I am daughter number four, after me is one brother and another sister), and we must have made millions of these hinges over the course of about 25 years.

We had to make three boxes every night, a few hundred individual hinges at a time. Lining them up perfectly, counting and recounting, was a lot like the rhythm of knitting, now that I think about it. When I was in high school, Stephen used to come over and help me to finish my share so that we could go out and join friends for a video or pizza. Later, I guess, we must have used the time to kiss and exchange love letters, but that seems a little far-fetched these days. {Completely off subject: I watched Zeffirelli's version of the classic Romeo and Juliet the other night, and for the first time, I saw not a tale of love and passion, but one of utmost stupidity. Stupid kids. Should have listened to their parents. Or at least they could have waited five minutes and asked someone what was going on....I suddenly had this image of poor Shakespeare, tearing his hair out and later turning in his grave that so many people misinterpreted his work. The nightmare of every artist blown into a cultural archetype.} Steve may have found the hinges a little weird, but he grew up on a farm, and one of his jobs was to hold the male hogs as they were castrated, so he couldn't really say anything.

Anyway, these weren't regular hinges; the kind used for doors or furniture. No, not in our family. Our greasy silver hinges adorn thousands of caskets. That's right. Coffins. The kind that people choose as their final resting place. Casket making is the family business. My grandfather got into it when my father was young, and nearly everyone in the family has participated in some way. For a long time, Stephen was the only son-in-law who didn't work there. My father and one of my sisters still work there now, and as empty-nesters at long last, my dad and stepmom have to make the hinges alone now. As children, my brother and I would go to the deserted casket factory with our father on Saturdays. We would poke around the darkened, oily rooms while Dad sat in the office catching up on paperwork. Dad would use the intercom and spooky voices to try to scare us. We just laughed, and then join him to raid the soda machine in the breakroom (where my dad would try to avert our eyes from the sexy calendars on the walls). There were even times when we painted our bicycles in the big vats of glittery casket paint.

These stories amazed my college classmates, but to me they were just part of every day life. Other "ordinary" aspects of this life include using the tops of slightly irregular caskets for sleds in the winter (three children fit perfectly), and the tiny coffin that served as a beer cooler at the company softball games.

Like Stephen and his farm chores, it is amazing what humans can grow used to over time, or accept as a fact of life simply because they have never experienced a different perspective. Discovering, experiencing, and celebrating that diversity is what made me decide to switch from a journalism degree to a double major of anthropology and sociology. I have never been sorry. Later, that same line of thinking (shared, fortunately, by my husband) was what led us to enroll our little four-year-old children in a French school with no English spoken until they reached first grade. Again, no regrets.

It is not unusual for people who are first experiencing life outside of their birthplace to encounter shock and confusion as they realize just how far the safe confines of their upbringing have been stretched. I am often reminded of the words of Czeslaw Milosz, who said, "Language is the only homeland". I love that. Taken out of your native environment, you may have to get used to new foods, strange customs, and a different climate, but one of the things that stays with you is your language. Even as you acquire the necessary linguistic skills to get along in your new home, the words you first learned as representative symbols of objects and emotions stick with you like the voice of your grandmother (or like her cooking), and these words can soothe you even in the most alien of environments.

It is not as though Stephen and I went to a foreign country to study. We just went to Butler University in Indianapolis, which is only about 100 miles from where we lived in Randolph County. We grew up in Winchester, a small Indiana town very near the Ohio border. Most of the people we met at college were from other towns, small and large, in the Midwest, but there were still many, many differences between us. Of course we met students and professors from all over the world, but with them we looked for common ground. Part of that anthropological training involved learning just how much every segment of humanity shares with every other.

Still, what amazed me most was how different seemingly similar people could be. My new girlfriends said "stockings" instead of "hose", and "rolls" instead of "buns" (I'm talking about pastry here). That was funny to me, but nothing compared to the events of the first cold days during my freshman year.

I have, throughout my entire life, never been able to stand the wind blowing in my ears. Now, faced with long walks across an open campus between the dorm, library, dining hall, and labs, I decided to shirk fashion. I pulled out the warmest hat I could find and smothered my huge hair with it (it was the early 90's, and big bangs were never big enough).

Stephen laughed at me, but I was used to that, and at least he wasn't embarrassed to walk me to lunch. There, in the overheated dining hall, I found my usual seat. Micah (from Madison, Wisconsin) and Becca (from Chicago), both asked why I was wearing a "stocking cap". What? Stephen and I looked at each other. What was that? We asked other friends, from New York and Ohio. They all said either "stocking cap" or "ski cap". We were perplexed. Hadn't anyone heard of a "toboggan"? "You mean the sled?" Jeff asked. What did he know? He was from Indianapolis, the Big City. But then we realized that even other small-town Hoosiers had no idea what we were saying.

How could that be? EVERYONE we knew said "toboggan": our families, our friends, our old school teachers. No one used any other term for a knitted hat, not ever. Steve and I asked hundreds of people over the course of the next ten years. We discovered that the word "toboggan" used as phrasing to describe a hat was particular to Randolph County and seemed to be a uniquely Winchesterian term.

Our children, both born and reared in that big city of Indianapolis, switch back and forth between "toboggan" and "knit cap" to just plain old "hat", and it all means the same thing to them; something to warm the head. But my girls are bilingual and probably think of the word "chapeaux" first when they see hats anyway...

Steve and I had not thought of the toboggan conflict for quite a while. We used the word "toboggan" at home, but would say "knit hat" or "knit cap" in public to spare confusion. Then, we moved to Phoenix a year ago and thought that the whole thing was a non-issue when the temperatures rarely plunge low enough to warrant wearing a hat of any kind, unless it is a straw hat to keep the sun from frying you. Never underestimate the dictates of fashion. One day last fall we met up with a new friend at our favorite knitting store. She was relatively new to knitting, and was excited about making her first "beanie". WHAT?!?!?! Stephen looked at me and we both started to laugh. How in the world could THAT word mean a knitted hat? Honestly. A "beanie" is something a cartoon character would wear - a short cap striped like half of a beachball, the kind with a propellor (or "propeller", if you prefer the modern spelling) on top. We thought we had discovered another anomaly in the world of hatwear. We just thought that her family, Arizona natives, came up with the word as a joke.

But then, our daughters started coming home with the SAME story, over and over again. Kids on the playground were wearing "beanies", even when it was warm outside. Stephen and I would quiz the girls as to the birthplace of these strange-talkers (we are WAAAAAAAY too interested in this subject, let me tell you). Who would say "beanie"? "I think they are from" at this point the girls would pause and whisper, "Ar-i-zon-a!"

Soon, every knitter we met was knitting up a quick "beanie" or two, and these knitters were not only from Arizona. Some were native Californians. At first, we were sure the term must only apply to cute baby hats, but nooooo. Even manly husbands who would wear no other handknits were willing, even eager, to don something called a BEANIE!!!

Well. Stephen and I have decided to embrace our roots, however obscure, and Take Back the Toboggan! After all, we may have learned to say "eye-ther" instead of "ee-ther", and to drink "soda" instead of "pop", but the line must be drawn. In the name of cultural diversity and Linguistic Anthropologists everywhere, we humbly submit our attempt at infiltrating the language of headgear.

Here it is, in all of its glory: The Winchester Toboggan.

cjh16nov05


And don't forget to
Tie It,

Click It,

Or Strap It!

And tomorrow's preview...


Steve

p.s. thanks Kiki for making our blog bigger than the sidebar again.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Free Knitting Pattern - Wednesday

It is day 3 of The Free Pattern Extravaganza here at LusciousGracious! Today Lucy presents Tie It On. This quick & simple pattern is an ideal starter pattern for kids of all ages. Beginning knitters, or those looking for a fast, fun project will both enjoy Tie It On. This is also Lucy's first written pattern. I'm sure it won't be her last, as she loves to knit things her own way.


You know how much we crave feedback here at LusciousGracious. Often resorting to bribery and promises of prizes just to get comments. Recently, we received some messages (no bribes required) from knitters who have used our patterns.

Andrea recently finished this beautiful bag using the tear version of my Tears 4 Spheres pattern. You can see more of her projects here, lots of great stuff.

Local knitting buddy, Letoya made this sphere version of Tears 4 Spheres , and this one. Thanks for sharing your great work, see you Saturday!

Fannie recently made this great bag using Kiki's colorwork tip/pattern. Fannie's blog is in French, which means the kids can read it, but not Mom & Dad. We just enjoy the pictures. I think Fannie may become Lily's favorite knitter. Not only does she blog in french (wonder how you say "blog" in French?), I just saw what appears to be a knitted platypus. I'll confirm the translation with Lily in the morning.

Anyone else have a finished LusciousGracious project to share? Please send us any comments, feedback, photos of finished projects, questions, or just a simple hello. Feel free to leave comments on the blog, even though there is no prize right now, or use our fancy form if you don't want to share with the whole world.

Tomorrow's preview:

And don't forget to click here, and Tie It On.

Or click here to Click-It!


Or get your Strap here.
Steve

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Free Knitting Pattern - Tuesday

Day two of Free Knitting Pattern Week at LusciousGracious brings us Lily's Click-It! This is the first pattern Lily has written. The Click-It! camera bag is a great beginning Fair Isle pattern. Lily is the Fair Isle queen. We figure she was from the Fair Isles in another life. If you aren't born knowing how to knit Fair Isle, like Lily, we recommend Kiki's Kate pattern. Illanna & I both learned Fair Isle from that pattern's instructions.


Lily's pattern can easily be adapted to be a bag for any small camera, cell phone, mp3 player, etc. So click here to get Click-It!

Tomorrow Lucy will give us her pattern. Here's a preview.

And don't forget yesterday's Strap.

Steve

Monday, November 14, 2005

Free Knitting Pattern - Monday

Today we start our week of free patterns! Sure we are just a family of Knitty rejects (Kiki excluded, but only 'cause she didn't try). So just because Amy doesn't like them, doesn't mean we shouldn't share these designs with the rest of the world.

I'm up first with Strap. It's a belt.


It's a muffler.

Heck, it's even a Strap.

Make it yours & make it whatever you want. It is so fast and easy you can probably make it multiple times. Enjoy!

Here is a preview for tomorrow, Lily's turn.

Steve

p.s. In case you're thinking it, I started Strap waaaaay before seeing Teva's Chain-Link scarf. Don't make me list the differences (free, flat, felted, etc.).

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Tinkle Bell & A Dozen Roses


Meet Tinkle Bell. This fantastic Bladder Doll was a gift to Kiki from our good friend & favorite crochet queen, Pam! Kiki loves it. Tinkle Bell has made friends with her Toilet Paper Doll that I gave her for her birthday. Don't you just love the cute little kidneys coming out the top of Tinkle Bell?

Pam made me this awesome hyperbolic plane. Isn't it beautiful? Math, & yarn come together to make art, my favorite things.

Tonight I added a sale section for rose notecards. You can buy a dozen for $20 (a $10 dollar savings). There are 6 dozen to mix and match, plus another dozen Yarn cards. Click here for more info or to pick your roses.

One more preview shot of the first free pattern. Tomorrow we will start with a free pattern a day, all week long.

Steve

Saturday, November 12, 2005

We Have A Winner

Today we held the official drawing for the Rose contest. The winner is Anna! Congratulations Anna, I will send your print soon. Anna picked Rose #6, which was a favorite of many.

However, Rose #10 was picked as the most favorite rose. Thanks for all the nice comments. I don't think I'll make a rose calendar this year, but stay tuned for a special holiday sale on notecards. I haven't forgotten those Free Knitting Patterns. We plan to post one a day over the next few days. Here is a sneak preview.


Steve

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Kids Take Over (#2)

Hi again! As you probably guessed from the title, we kids took over. (For the second time!) So we’re “gonna” post about “what ever we feel like gosh!” By the way “Napoleon Dynamite” is a great movie, you should see it one of these days. Anyways, here’s Lucy with her knitting news!

Well, today I’m knitting a doll that was ready to be sewn up, but half of it mysteriously disappeared. I’m also knitting a pair of purple striped socks. Here’s Lily with the knitting weather.

It’s starting to cool off, so you should start knitting your clothes with wool. Now back to Lucy with the cool crafts.


For today’s cool craft we have the ultimate thanksgiving hats! (gobble gobble)




We’ll blog soon! See ya!
Lucy & Lily

p.s. Lily's favorite rose is funky #24 below. Pick your favorite if you haven't yet. Tomorrow we pick a winner! Also coming soon Free Knitting Patterns from the whole LG gang.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Matching Sweaters

Since I don't count Illanna's multiple votes for #10, #6 is still the favorite. Surprisingly, between the comments & e-mails, half of the roses have been named as favorites. Today Lucy told me her favorite was this one, #17. Thanks Lucy, poor #17 was feeling left out. No votes and the only black & white shot.

Kiki has finished a few sweaters lately. Some are gifts, so they can't be shown yet. But here are some for now.

This one isn't new. Kiki finished this one for me nearly a year ago. It was actually cool enough to wear it in San Diego. The sweater is made of some discontinued yarn. We hadn't shown it yet & I thought I'd get the two pictures of me out of the way in one post.

Here is the other picture of me. Thanks Lily, for filling in as photographer. This sweater is fresh off the needles. Kiki finished it up a few days ago. It is made from Mission Falls yarn, also discontinued.

Kiki made this matching sweater for our dear friend Cute-David. He is in Ohio, so Kiki modeled it before we shipped it. This is also made from Mission Falls wool. I can't wait for Cute-David to visit this winter so we can go to the mountains to take pictures in our matching sweaters!

By the way, David is a great photographer. He takes some awesome photos. You can see them here. Apes are one of his favorite subjects, so I took this shot in his honor, while at the San Diego Zoo.


The girls have the day off from school, so they are in charge of tomorrow's post. Should be fun! Also, let's make tomorrow the last day to name your favorite rose. That way we can have the drawing this weekend. Remember you can have more than one favorite. Also, don't forget the free knitting patterns, coming soon, I promise.

Steve

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Sketches

We have a new leader. # 6 shown here is now the most favorite.

Some day I will add to our gallery section Lucy & Lily's sketchbooks. In the meantime, here are some of their sketches from San Diego.

First from the rose garden.

Lucy's Color Magic Rose

Lucy's The Solo Rose

One of Lily's roses

Lily's Royal Highness

We also visited Birch Aquarium. A fantastic aquarium.

Lily was fascinated by all the hermit crabs in the aquarium, since she has 2 of her own. This is the lifesize drawing of the smallest crab she ever saw.

Lily's Longhorn Cowfish, Starfish, & Sea Cucumber

Some more of Lily's fish sketches

Lucy's aquarium drawings, see below to identify the fish.

Kiki also took out her sketchpad and created these fantastic drawings of the girls at the beach.

Lucy
Lily

Tomorrow sweaters, maybe. And don't forget, coming soon more free knitting patterns. Oh, and the big contest winner. What a week! Almost too much excitement for one blog.

Steve

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Socks!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MEL!!!!!

Rose #10 seems to be the fan favorite so far. If you missed yesterday's post then check it out and then go pick your favorite rose.

Kiki has been making lots of socks lately (between the 3 or 4 sweaters that we will post about later).

She made these green & purple bulky ones the other night. The green yarn came from Illanna. I think the purple is Brown Sheep Bulky.

Kiki made these fantastic socks for me! I love them! Aren't they great?

Here is the mini version of the Steve socks.

Another pair of baby socks. These were made from the leftovers of Kiki's below.

The yarn for these also came from Illanna. These socks are so special, they even have an essay to go with them. Read it here.

Here is the bottom part, of which Kiki was not fond.

But she saved them and made them great socks with this fancy pattern at the top.

In case you are wondering if she liked them when she finished, just look at her happy feet.

So Kiki has made a bunch of socks and at least 3 sweaters in the last month or so, what have I been doing? I've been starting more projects without finishing anything! I am almost done with 2 baby items. One didn't make it before the baby & the other is not likely to be finished for the birthday coming soon. Maybe they want to be Christmas presents?

Her is one of the projects I recently started. It is a super secret gift for a dear friend. I figured it was safe to post in this form. Who knows what that will end up being?

The other project I started is selfishly a sweater for me! It will be put on hold while I finish the rest, but I couldn't resist the yarn Jessica just got in. It is malabrigo and is my new favorite yarn in the whole world. It even felts nicely. The color pictured here is Pearl Ten. Jessica is sold out of that color, but I hear she can always order you anything you want.

Steve

Monday, November 07, 2005

A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose Contest

Today is day two in my attempt to post something every day. We have a lot to catch up on, so let's hope I can make this happen. Also, one of the posts will include FREE KNITTING PATTERNS, so be sure to stay tuned.

Kiki says thanks for the kind words on yesterday's post about her handspun shawl. We posted a while back about the actual spinning process. You can get to it here.

As all you faithful readers know, we recently went to San Diego for vacation. So today I am going to post some more vacation pictures! I know looking at vacation photos of someone else's vacation is about as much fun as reading one of those really "bloggy" blogs. Hopefully my photos aren't that bad.
I love to photograph roses. So much in fact that under the images section of our website roses warrant their own section along with people, places, things, floral, and what's new (circa 2003). Anyway, the best place that I have found to photograph roses is the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden in Balboa Park in San Diego. The best time of the year must be late October. The light was just about perfect & there were hundreds of roses in bloom. Unfortunately this was the last stop on our trip, which means I ran out of film (Agfa Ultra) & digital storage (Nikon Coolpix 2500). Of course, without running out, how else would I have known I was finished.

I have posted a few of my favorites, but there is an expanded selection here. You can also get here by clicking on any of the roses pictured in this post. Hope you enjoy.

By the way, photographs and cards make great holiday gifts. I'm thinking of making a rose calendar if anyone would be interested.

Leave a comment, let me know which rose is your favorite (they are numbered here). I am such a sucker for comments, let's make this a contest. At the end of the week I will randomly select a winner from all the commenters and send them a print of their favorite rose. Can't decide which you like best, leave a comment for each one you like.

Steve


p.s. Knitting content tomorrow, I promise.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Autumn

We sure miss Autumn back in Indiana. It is pretty nice to sit outside in November, knitting in the mid-80s, but we sure don't get Fall colors like these in Arizona. These pictures are from the reflection pond in Eagle Creek Park, just minutes from our old house (sold!) in Indianapolis.

Our friend Angie felt sorry for us and sent us these Fall objects along with some Indiana leaves.

Kiki made this "indyautumn" shawl in memory of Falls past.

This was made from her own pattern with the first yarn she spun herself. The roving came in a spindle kit from Hello Yarn, a great place for hand spun yarns & supplies. Looking for other sources of handspun? Stephanie at Spritely Goods recently added handspun yarn to her shop.

Keeping with the Fall theme, Kiki also made this super-cute pumpkin socks & hat combo.

These are made from Cascade Fixation in Kiki's own pattern. They are gifts for brand-new baby Ezra, who was just born today! Welcome baby Ezra! Enjoy your first Midwest Autumn.


Steve