Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Half a Fork is Better Than None

I'm moving towards my goal---------- finishing projects and settling in to L.A.C., that is Life After Cabled-Cardi! Stick a fork in me, I may not be DONE but I think the juices are running clear! :) The sleeves just came off the needles, next up will be some assembly and the knitting of the bands. Have I mentioned I'm really excited about this?

Nimbus is DONE and assembled, blocked, steamed and yummy. Photos to come soon!

Lexical has been swatched (perfection) and the back is cast on. With only 4 rows on her, it's hard to see a sweater emerging but the happiness of no seed stitch and the fiddliness of the cardigan is enchanting!

The studio is pretty crazy this week so knitting time will be precious----- but I'm knitting with the ladies this evening, I feel more zen already!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Lexical it is

The question was What Would Norah Do?

Norah said...

Hi Tina,
I am not feeling particularly long winded, but here goes. I would make Lexical for myself. It's more modern - and the no work at the end, knit in front finishing is an extra plus.

If however, you can't shake your retro mood (how can I ignore all of those cherries?!), ignore me and go for Lexeme. As you point out, we did write both of them specifically for Lustra. :)

tina said...

You're right Norah, I am feeling VERY retro these days--------

I would NEVER ignore, THE Norah Gaughan after all! Thanks for weighing in........

Lexical it is! Thanks! I have swatched and fiddled and am ready to go. The quandary is finishing the cabled cardi first. Self control, self control, self control.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

She Knits? Knits Not?

Does she or doesn't she? The answer is a firm 'not sure'! This bride talks a good game but I think the way she wields wooly power belies her statements.

Regardless it was a great gown wasn't it? Simple and elegant gown, simple hair, simple makeup---- combines in the uber heat for a great look. And yes, why those ARE the sleeves to the cabled cardi 8 days ago. There is a bit more to them at the moment, I'm nearing one inch of double sleeved goodness before casting them off and preparing to stitch the cardi together enough to pick up and knit the fiddly bits.

Today's bride is gorgeous, and sweet as proverbial pie, can't wait to have her rock the sticks, it has become something of a contest among them!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Bistro Food

I adore all things Paris (is it time to go for a visit, please?).

At Border's yesterday (picking up two new British knit-mags that Silvana turned me on to), as is my habit I walked down the clearance aisle. Score! A gorgeous book------- "Paris Bistro Cooking". Gorgeous photography, delicious recipes (in English s'il vous plait!), a totally fabulous book. $3.99 what can I say, it came home with me. A visit to several fab Parisian bistros, all mouthwatering.

Cassoulet anyone? Maybe a wonderful glass of vin? Comment pourrait-il ĂȘtre plus parfait?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

One Hot Dog

Little Girl Dog's dress is finished! I have to say it was a completely FUN project! Not to mention that sewing for a tiny dog is the sewing equivalent of immediate gratification.

Front closure a la v*elcro............. cute little Peter Pan collar....... little puffy sleeves.....

cute little pleat in the back............ adorable.............

Sleeves and collar in coordinating fabric................sweet.................

Do you like it Hana? You bet!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Girl Dog Couture

So (don't laugh) I'm making the new frock for Girl Dog.......... going to be impossibly cute and she does love her puppy couture! I'd love to tell you what the fabric is, but I took it out of the happy little Fat Quarter-y sleeve and don't remember.

There is an added degree of difficulty as the directions are written in Japanese. This happens to be a language that I am not particularly savvy with--------- past ordering sushi or a Kirin that is. It's a good thing I never look at the directions anyway. The patterns are compiled on two sides of a sheet of paper, juxtaposed on themselves willy and nilly. If I knew the Japanese phrase for willy or nilly I would have used them to such good advantage there!!!

Anyway, cutting out the pattern pieces was slightly complicated and I had to readjust twice. I think I'm on the right track now.

Work always intervenes in the good stuff.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sweater Battle- What would NORAH do?

I've enjoyed the comments and emails about what sweater should go with the yummy black Lustra. The early lead seems to be for Lexical and it's Chanel inspired deliciousness. That was my first choice and I Listeme turned my head (as patterns do)! I'm still mulling as I do want to make the right decision so please weigh in if you haven't!!!!

This pattern, perhaps more than others, leads me to say "WHAT WOULD NORAH DO?????" I know that THE Norah Gaughan would have much to say on the subject. What think you Norah?

Web Knitter said: "I think you're second guessing because you know deep down that the yarn isn't right for Listeme. You'll just have to buy more yarn. "

Well I don't know about the yarn not being right----- since the pattern was written for Lustra, but maybe it is that the color wouldn't really set it off to it's best advantage with that lovely little knitted ribbon run through eyelets on the front. On the other hand, black looks great in almost everything! With the fabulous price of Lustra I think that whichever sweater I go with will have a sister sweater coming soon. (Think Ba*chelorette......... that little chickaroo got a second chance after being dumped)!

Web Knitter also confessed "You inspired me to knit a Nimbus while on vacation this year. Just waiting for the yarn to arrive. " Hee.............. why is it that we all so love to know that we have inspired (led astray) another knitter! For the record, I still love my Nimbus!

I'll close on this miserably hot day with the cutest dogs in the world after their new summer haircuts. Hana (below) always knows to smile for the camera, so funny that girl dog! She's waiting for her new dress, she saw me cut it out yesterday after I got home from the studio.

And there they are, sitting (impatiently) for the camera when they'd much rather have dinner!

Get knittin'!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Knitting as Surgery....... sort of

Okay, so you can tell that darling bride Angie does not knit by the way she wields the sticks! Perhaps you can tell that by day she is in the medical profession and appears to be holding the needles like a scalpel.

She's holding what was on my needles last Saturday, the last bit of the Immediate Gratification Project, Nimbus, the little shawl collary bit.

Is she cute as pie or what? LOVE this bride, we had a blast and she and her new hubby were the best of the best. Can I have more like her?

Get knittin'!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Vote for your fave sweater......

So............. the sweater still isn't put together. With the heat index it is 105 here today, I am really in no hurry! I did however receive my new yarn lust........... Lustra from Berroco.

the Tencel in the mix makes it shiny, uber soft and just yummy! LOVE this yarn and can't wait to knit with it. As Cirilia says, this yarn may well be overshadowed with the other fabulous fall yarns but I think it will come out strong with many knitterly fans.

Also received the fabric I couldn't resist. Fat quarters of really fun fabric (Alexander Henry of course, who else does such tongue in cheek novelties?)---- in pink and black. Skulls impaled with knitting needles and scissors......... and sewing and knitting 'storyboards' as it were.

Knitmare on Elm is above---- check out the knitting needles as chopsticks, the kid in the too small sweater, the dog eating the yarn, and the skeleton giving up on the sweater. LOVE this fabric----- now what will it grow up to be??? I think maybe the pink skulls and needles will have to be a little frock for the newly groomed little girl dog!

Lastly, I can't decide what sweater the Lustra will evolve into, your help please???? The pattern is still a couple weeks from printing so I have a little time to make up my mind. (Not to mention finish the ongoing cabled cardi!) The choices follow........

My first choice is above, Listeme. Gorgeous! But I'm second guessing myself because I love

----- Lexical. Sort of Channelly, but so much more updated and (dare I say it) hip!

I have enough delicious Lustra to knit either............. but which one????

I know you are hanging out waiting for last week's knitting bride. Catch her tomorrow before I head out to wrangle tomorrows bride!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Jackie (of KIPing it real) and her First Bag

What a GREAT night last night was... I do love to sew and love me some great bags so when friend and fellow knitter Jackie sent a photo of a bag she liked and asked it I would help her make one sort of like it, I said a hasty YES!

She came by after work and we ordered Chinese (always a great start to any occasion)==== and got down to work. After she described what she wanted, we sketched and noodled. And measured and puttered. I showed her how to draft a pattern, and make a mock up in the non-perfect fabric. She worked diligently and the mock up was great with few changes. Moving on to her choice of fabric (which I have to say was VERY Jackie)------- we had a finished bag by 11 p.m.!!!!!

Didn't she do a GREAT job? Cute fabric--------- and just what she wanted! Her sewing skills were amazing. I was bragging on her today saying that it has been a very long time since I had someone at the machine who was such a natural, and so enthusiastic!

All of the pockets inside are great, and customized to her needs------ I told her that this style of bag with the pockets around and then room in the middle for other larger things has revolutionized my bag life.

Yup, fully loaded and you can see her KNITTING on the top.

Jackie took the photo above (and all of the others) and I particularly like the one above with her stylin' her bag as you can see her adorable doggie Paisley saying "hi Mom, fab bag!"

You can find Jackie's blog over on Vox where it seems I am unable to comment or even sign up. I'm trying not to take it personally.

She is also one of the newest podcasters and you really have to check her out! Find all about KIPing it real HERE!

Such fun................ now back to work!

Monday, June 15, 2009


There is nothing happier than a finished sweater! Well, not much anyway!

Nimbus, the Immediate Gratification sweater has left me gratified with some immediacy! She is done and 90% dry from the blocking. (The onslaught of yet more unwanted rain does make drying that wooly loveliness a bit slower!) Maybe the only thing better than finished, blocked an dry would be assembled--------- that is next.

And I did return to the cabled cardi with a smile on my face when the smell of damp wool was in the air. Another couple of inches added to the sleeves, I'm about half way done with them.

My new goal is to have the cardigan DONE by the time the pattern booklets have arrived. They're not even to the printer for a couple of weeks so when they have arrived here I think I might get Alexi done. With luck I might get the ever-going intarsia bag finished as well.

While that would feel GREAT I am not so crazy as to believe that it is a slam dunk.

Optomism springs forth regardless!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Done Deal

I am still working on the sleeves of the lovely IG sweater, studio life has kept me away from the needles when in fact it would be short order to get the sleeves off the sticks.

Instead I feel the need to make a confession. I bought yarn today.

For a sweater.

Black yarn.

Yummy yarn.

wool and tencel yarn.

Did I mention for a sweater?

A delicious collection of patterns all more delightful than the next, including my next project!

I shall NOT open the box until the cabled cardi is done.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Bag, The Bride

Yes, the bag and the bride. Bag first because I actually like it better! (wink wink)

How cute is she? So nice and sturdy, large enough and not too large..........

nice comfy padded fabric handles long enough and not too long as well as a matching stretch of nice leather handle on swivel hooks, detachable of course!

Loaded on the inside.......... heaven! Nothing gets lost, nothing can't be found in a hurry. Room for everything, sheer bliss. The white patch on the front is where the velcro attaches the little doohickey that comes across, you don't see it when the bag is closed.

See the great pockets? This may be the last time this bag is empty, I plan on using and loving her a LOT! I know I've mentioned it before but the fabric is from Fig Tree, their Patisserie line, see the map of France as part of the pockets?

Onto the bride---Last weeks bride was, hmmmmmm........ for lack of a better word she was retroesque. Old fashioned, nothing super stylish or edgy. A nice quiet (maybe too quiet) bride.

You can tell that although she was quite the sport about modeling with my knitting, she does not knit and doesn't even know how to hold the sticks. It was kind of scary. She was not a B*%ch, this is all that matters. I have hopes for this weeks bride as well. She is holding the oh so fun IG Sweater--- "Nimbus".

Knitting? Yeah buddy, immediate gratification lives on! Despite a no-notice visit from my Mother and the ManToy, I am half-way through the sleeves with just them to finish and then the little shawl collary piece. I am SO excited you have no idea.

Look how pretty they all are hanging out together! I can't wait until they are ONE! :) I'm fretting a bit about a big fabulous button for closure, I've searched high and low and really can't come up with anything. As a result I knit her without the buttonhole and will attach with a snap when found. I need to hurry!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Hyphenation can be Dangerous

I got an email from a friend that made me laugh. Now mind you, I laugh easily! It's been a gorgeous day with the weather in the low 70's, no humidity, sunny and gorgeous. Better yet, I had studio errands to run most of the day so was able to be out in the yummy weather and enjoyed every second. If the truth be told I stopped for lunch (outside of course) and really hated to get back to work. I dawdled irresponsibly and even knit a few lovely rows while waiting for my fish tacos. (They were delicious!)

Regardless, because you just might need a little laugh I'll share these with you. I'm assuming they are the real deal, I mean who could make this stuff up?

I won't include the funny running comments in the email for fear of pushing the envelope. Use your imagination or make up your own!

'nuff said.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Weekend Baking- Blueberry Crumb-Cake

Home from the Farmer's Market with fresh blueberries, the options are nearly endless.

A late go on Saturday for an afternoon wedding with a slower start than most means a bit of time to putter in the kitchen and create something special.

Blueberry Crumb-Cake:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Pop the rinsed blueberries into a saucepan with 1/4 cup of water and simmer for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the mixture of sugar and cornstarch and stir well. Turn off the heat and let sit for a couple of minutes while you prepare the cake.
  • 1 3/4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tbs. buttermilk powder (replacing buttermilk in the recipe--- OR add buttermilk for the water in the recipe)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of cold butter, in small cube
stir up the dry ingredients and add the cold butter cubes. Working quickly with your fingers, rub the butter and flour together until it looks like small peas.

  • 1 egg and 3/4 cup water (or buttermilk).
Add to the dry mixture and stir quickly. Batter will look lumpy-- it is okay!

Pour half of the batter into a greased 8x8 pan and smooth out. The blueberry filling goes on the next layer, even it out as well. Plop on the last of the batter by spoonfuls over the top of the cake.

  • 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup of white sugar with 3 tbs. of cold, cubed butter. Add a smidge of cinnamon and work together with your fingers until it makes a nice crumble.
Sprinkle the topping evenly over the cake.

Bake 45 minutes or so. Let it cool if you can and serve.


Friday, June 5, 2009


The beauty, the downright happy dancin' joy bringin upliftin yeah baby knitterly mojo bringin good thing is anything labeled IG. Immediate Gratification. I know that my loooooooong cabled cardi project is enjoying my diverted affections as surely I will return to my old love with new enthusiasm. So are the hopes of the day.

LOVIN' "Nimbus"! Grab and go, fast, cute............ fabulous.

Sitting there all proud and soon to be sassy is the back (gotta love the leopard rug as well!)

And the first front is (now) ready for the armscye decreases and will be done soon. (throwing the knitters equivalent of salt over the shoulders so as not to hex the whole thing. Would that be tossing a stitch marker over my left shoulder?)

The ottoman it is sitting on is a tomato soupy red, you can see the color of the sweater is a winey thing. When viewed closely you see some bits of an orangey shade------ the whole thing is reminiscent of Sangria. (Hence the name I suppose.)

My next weekend bride (who promises NOT to be a b*tch) will be rockin' Nimbus before it comes off the needles for sure!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Happy Blogversary to ME!

The blogversary always sneaks up on me----- this year was no exception. I can't believe it has been TWO years that I have met so many great friends, shared some laughs and some tears, celebrated and lamented projects and kibbitzed over brides good and bad.

Thanks for being here!

Happy Blogversary to me indeed!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

All Lincoln, All the Time

Last Weekend (before the flurry of working on projects) was a no wedding weekend. Just about perfect especially as brides have been difficult lately. We took the day off on Friday as well (just splurge I say) and took a Road Trip to nearby S*pringfield I*llinois. Home of A*braham L*incoln, his home, tomb, museum and Presidential Library. Just under 2 hours on the road, a glorious finally sunny day, some knitting in tow and we're off.

Not only is this town all about Abe but as the state capitol is a very nice town. I'm not sure if they'd make as big of a splash without the tourism but it was nice regardless.

The Old Capital looks familiar if you have followed the news in the past year. Our current President gave speeches (acceptance and otherwise) from here.

A life-sized statue of L*incoln in front of the old train station. What a great area with beautiful flowers and lots of interesting things to look at.

These "hats" are all over town featuring different designs. We just loved this one! O*bama and L*incoln all the way around it!

Not enough time to go through the museum today, next time for sure! It was enormous!

There are lots of great life-sized statues around S*pringfield, this one of the family.

When it was time for lunch we walked around looking for something to eat at any number of great looking places. While the sign was amusing, I did not have the Recession Sandwich but opted for the chicken salad which seems to be near cultish in this town for some reason.

The area where the L*incoln home is a short walk from the main area of town. Four blocks that are not open to traffic and where all of the homes are restored to the time of Abe and his family.

That is one of the tour guides in period costume walking through the historic district.

A recognizable shot to history buffs, the family home of A*braham L*incoln, one of the largest in the area and very nice as well as beautifully restored.

I loved the wagon inside the historic area, it really made you feel as if you'd landed back in time.

Hey! I'd know that hat anywhere! Not the "real" stovepipe so they say but looked cool anyway.

The living room was........................... loud and energetic! ;)

The 'valances' were absolutely over the top. Kind of surprised me if the truth be told!

Just when I started thinking that Mr. L*incoln might not be as down to earth as I'd believed there was something that kind of turned my mind around!

LOVED that carpetbag, you could tote some great knitting in there!

The fact that Mrs. L*incoln was a seamstress was all over the house, I loved it! The photo shows some of her sewing supplies next to an actual bonnet she was working on. There were several vignettes of sewing throughout the house and in her bedroom. I rather loved the fact that they had separate bedrooms as well!

The tomb, about 10 minutes drive from the center of town, was AMAZING! I have never seen a presidential burial place quite so wow! All of the family are buried here except a son buried at Arlington. You can go inside the tomb where there are a number of L*incoln statues displayed.

It was a great trip, very enjoyable. I do love the summer road trips! Next time I might knit more than my obligatory 4 rows!