Wednesday, May 13, 2015

FO: Twinkle Twinkle Baby Blanket

I'm not much of a blanket knitter. Blankets don't lure me to knitting like sweaters or socks do so I usually eschew them for smaller projects and garments. But when your friend gives you a bag of Tosh Dk in a bright cheery color and your kiddo keeps stealing your lap blanket right from your lap it's like the universe is telling you to knit a blanket. The universe talks and I listen.

Bright, right?

Pattern: Twinkle Twinkle Baby Blanket by Helen Stewart 
Yarn: Tosh DK in Grapefruit
Needles: US #7 (4.5mm) Hiya Hiya Sharp Interchangeables
Mods: None! I may have lost track of the repeats on this since I took it to my knitting group's retreat to Port Townsend and I wasn't doing things like counting stitches and repeats. It came out slightly larger than the 34" square that the pattern lists and I didn't bother blocking it with pins or anything; just patted it flat and did a bit of straightening. This pattern also has instructions for a fingering weight version which I think would make a lovely nursing shawl for a new mom and, like a mentioned above, is excellent social knitting since the pattern repeat is easily memorizable and most of the knitting is straight stockinette. Love it!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

This & That

I'm having a pretty difficult time getting back into my routine after the two knitting retreats I attended. Back to work, back to housework, back to...everything. I've had a busy few weeks including finally throwing a birthday party for Little A (her birthday is Christmas Eve) and a small group of her friends. Our apartment is too small for entertaining so I booked a sprinkle party at our local cupcake shop and crafted some party favors. 

Unicorn headbands!!! I used this tutorial for the horns and the flowers and they were a smashing success. Each kid also got a sparkly pinwheel to take home since decorating and eating cupcakes was sugar enough for a group of six year old kids.

I've also spent a little bit of time sewing some of my recent fabric purchases. 

This is Butterick 5526 and it's my first time sewing a button up shirt in a loooong time.  I have yet to purchase buttons but the fabric is from my trip to the sewing expo in Puyallup a couple months back. It's a cotton gauze which was kind of a pain to sew with since it's got a bit of stretch to it but on the plus side I don't really have to press it due to the crinkle texture.

Today I wound my skein of Reliquary II from A Verb for Keeping Warm to cast on a new project that will (hopefully) be a pattern at some point. I've got a rough sketch and some stitch counts and need to do a little swatching. 

In other news, I'm taking part in Me Made May this year so if you're participating you should let me know your Instagram name! Mine is erinbirnel.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Music Monday

"Didn't Want to Have to Do It" by Cass Elliot & the Lovin Spoonfull, released in 1965.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Northern California Knitting Retreat

It's true, I went on another knitting retreat the weekend after my knitting group's retreat and it was amazing! This time I flew down to San Francisco with my good friend, Monica, and spent the night before driving to the East Bay for a mini yarn and fabric crawl and driving to the retreat center in San Juan Bautista. First off, the weather was superb.

Straight off the plane, we grabbed our rental car and headed to the Legion of Honor for the High Style exhibit. Let me tell you, it's amazing and you should totally see it if you live in the area. 

I think this was my favorite piece in the exhibit because TIGER PRINT and I love that it drew inspiration from 17th century gowns and Marie Antoinette - this little number even featured panniers. The rest of our time in SF was spent eating, knitting, and watching Murder She Wrote and reality tv.

Friday morning we drove over to Berkeley to meet up with the ladies from the Stash & Burn podcast and do a mini yarn and fabric crawl featuring Philz Coffee (not fabric or yarn but very, very important), Claddagh Yarns, Stonemountain & Daughter, and A Verb for Keeping Warm.

It was incredibly difficult to show restraint. But I came away with three cuts of fabric for myself and a remnant of some polka dot knit jersey for a tank for Little A. I'm super jealous of folks that live near this store because it has an excellent selection of apparel fabric.

Left to right and top to bottom: polka dot jersey for Little A, Cotton & Steel rayon, Pendleton wool suiting (at half off!) and a woven cotton and lycra plaid. Project wise this will be a tank for A, probably another sorbetto top for me, a pleated pencil skirt, and a summer dress. 

At VFKW I picked up a skein of Reliquary II in Vermillion for some kind of around-the-neck accessory. We said good-bye to the East Bay and drove in some crazy Friday afternoon traffic to San Juan Bautista and didn't leave for almost two days. It was glorious. 

And you know what? I didn't take a single picture the entire time. I left my phone in my room except for calling the kiddo at bedtime each night. If you want to see pictures taken by more responsible instagram knitters than myself you can find them here. I'll just say that I laughed so hard my face hurt for a couple of days and I'll never see White Rhinos and animal crackers the same way again. I can't wait until next year!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

2015 Purlygirl Retreat

This last weekend was my knitting group's annual retreat to Fort Worden. We go every Spring and spend the weekend eating, laughing, talking, and knitting. 

Fort Worden is a beautiful place to walk and I enjoyed some time on the beach (I also took the opportunity to stretch since marathon knitting is hard on my hands). The weather was a bit brisk but warm enough that I didn't need my coat, just a handknit sweater. 

There was knitting on the porch, knitting in the living room, knitting at the dining room table, and knitting in the car. Basically, lots and lots of knitting all of the time and it was wonderful.

It was great to spend time with ladies I don't see very often as well as those that I do see often and spend some time relaxing and catching up. The retreat gets better every year and I can't wait until the next one.