Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Reading rainbow

Ah, Reading Rainbow. What a great showis it still on? Anyway, my living room is a different kind of reading rainbow. Inspired by this photo, this one, and the observation that I have a lot of yellow books (thanks to Nancy Drew and National Geographic), I decided to create my own book spectrum. It was a perfect after-work unwinding activity. I realize the complete impracticality of having my library organized by hue, but I figured this arrangement would be no less practical than the completely haphazard arrangement I had beforehand. Plus it looks so pretty. For an even lovelier sight, take a look at my beautiful rocks on top of the bookcases!

Monday, January 21, 2008

My life just got 1000 times easier

I can't believe I lived this long without these:

Lights, camera, action!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

La buona sorella

So I made it a week before I broke my resolution. But it's not entirely my fault. I had grand plans of posting this weekend, but when I went to upload new photos to flickr, I got this message:

"flickr is having a massage."

Go figure.

Anyhow, I haven't started the Turkish cape yet because of a small mishap with needle sizes. But after some begging and pleading at my LYS for an exchange, that's all taken care of. I should be casting on sometime soon. In the meantime, I've been working on a present I promised my brother. He was the only one in my family who didn't get a true handmade item for Christmas, so I told him he could choose his own present for an after-Christmas treat. He decided he wanted some socks he could wear with his work shoes (read: business cas...) So I went to my LYS, and after begging and pleading to exchange my Turkish cape needles, I purchased my first Koigu. Four hanks of Premium Merinothese are going to be some expensive socks!

They're coming along fine so far. These pictures were taken last Friday when I had just barely started, and flickr was "having a massage," but I've turned the first heel (not nearly as stressful as anticipated), and am well into the foot now. The first one should be finished in the next day or so. Then I hope I can keep myself motivated to finish the second one sometime before next Christmas! (The pattern is Nancy Bush's "Gentleman's Half Hose in Ringwood Pattern" from Knitting Vintage Socks.)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

"What is this that morning sunshine gilds with golden beams?"

My little sister recently "hired"and by "hired," I mean our mom will be reimbursing me for suppliesme to do my first commissioned knitting project. She wanted me to make two more of the Amy Gaines owls to give to her sorority little sisters as initiation gifts this weekend at their super-secret Chi Omega initiation (yes, there will be a dead owl in the coffin, girls). For those not up on their srattiness, the owl is one of the symbols of Chi O. I had made one of the owls for my sister's birthday back in the fall. Anyway, here are a few photos of the finished product. I switched the colors from my previous effort just to keep them distinct. And I embroidered their names, Xavier Roberts-style, on the back as well.

Shameless branding:

Friday, January 4, 2008

Winter doldrums

Every year after Christmas, I get into a knitting funk where I'm just not motivated to start anything new or pick up any WIPs. Does anyone else have this problem? My guess is that it's burn-out after the rush to get Christmas gifts finished on time. And this year is no different. I have one sock finished, one Fetching fingerless mitt finished, and one Little Gems Mitt finishedall of which need a pair. But I don't want to do them. I'm at a knitting loss. So I've been trying to decide on a new, challenging project to pique my interest and get me motivated. And here's what I've come up with:


It's the Turkish Cape from Fall 2005 Vogue Knitting. I loved the pattern when I first saw it and have been itching to start it ever since my Turkey trip last spring. I ordered the yarn, and it came in not long ago. It's so luxurious and soft! I can't believe I've never used Blue Sky Alpacas before.

It was also quite fun explaining to my brother that "baby alpaca" does not literally mean that the yarn comes from *baby* alpacas.

Here's my brother modeling his Christmas cap from last year—this is an equal opportunity blog. Everyone gets their picture on here at some point or another; those are my mom's hands modeling the Little Gems Mitts in the last post. (We just got around to taking the FO picture of the cap this Christmas!)

Now I'm off to go cast on the cape!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


In 2008, I resolve to post new blog entries at least twice a week.

OK, now it's in writing, and you've read it, so you can help me stick to it!

And now, for Subtropical Paradise's inaugural 2008 posting, I give you more Christmas crafts! Drumroll please...

I made a small lap quilt for each of my parents. The pattern is slightly modified from Amy Karol's "Easy Lap Quilt." The first photo is of my dad's quilt with my sister modeling. And the second photo is my mom's.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had decided to make a bulky beret for myself over Christmas break. I had grand plans of being responsible and doing all my freelance work before my vacation, but two days before I was scheduled to leave, I needed a break from working and instead knitted while watching a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie. I popped out this easy knit in just a couple hours and got to enjoy using it over Christmas. Unfortunately, now I have piles of work and three rapidly approaching deadlines. Oh well, c'est la vie.

I used Rowan Big Wool in a two-tone chocolate brown and a size 13 circular needle. I didn't want to buy size 13 double points for the few stitches in the center. So I improvised by using two sets of skinnier needles together at the same time (5s and 7s, I think).

And lastly, but certainly not least. I've been plugging away at my Little Gems Mitts. The colorwork has taken a little longer than expected, but I've finished the first one and love it! I have about a million ends to weave in, blocking, and of course the notorious second mitt to do, but then they'll be finished. I wish they were already done, however. It's bizarrely cold in New Orleans today. And one of my Fetchings has mysteriously disappeared.