Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy VD

As a Valentine's Day present to you, dear reader, I'm inundating your Bloglines or Google Reader with lots of posts (OK, just two). In this post, I wanted to showcase a recently finished object and the progress being made on a couple of WIPs.

First up: the Little Gems Mitts. I finished these while traveling to visit my friend, Kate, in St. Louis a few weekends ago. These were my sixth pair of fingerless mitts to knit, according to Ravelry, but they are the seventh pair to be a part of my life. I bought my very first pair of fingerless mitts during a school trip to St. Louis many moons ago. In honor of that seemingly life-changing event, Kate and I took a drive-by pilgrimage to Union Station, location of the historic sale. Here's the camera-phone picture to prove it. But while that original pair are buried deep in a closet at my parents' house, my new Little Gems Mitts are out and about in full force. We've even had a couple of unseasonably cool days here in Nola, so I've been enjoying them.

I used the Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift called for in the pattern and really loved it. I'm glad I have so many lovely shades of green left over to make something else.

The first WIP is my brother's work sock. I've finished the first one and have started the second one. Here's a couple of shots of the first one. I'm using Nancy Bush's "Gentleman's Half Hose" pattern from the Knitting Vintage Socks book and Koigu Premium Merino in brown.

Finally, I've been plodding along on the Turkish cape. Stranding five colors while purling is definitely a challenge but not as difficult as I originally anticipated. I'm actually coming along pretty quickly with this knitbut maybe that's also because I love the pattern and the bright, bold colors.

Sparkle flair, part 2

As alluded to in an earlier post, there is another obnoxious blinging garment to share. This one is all for me, and I wore it for the firstand most likely onlytime during Mardi Gras last week. I used this pattern and some multi-colored green, purple, and gold sequined fabric to come up with this:

I somehow accidentally altered the length or else the Burda model is the world's shortest human being, because I was going for a dress but ended up with this tunic-esque length! But it wasn't a problem. The shininess still attracted lots of bead throwers' attentions.

Here's an "action" shot with my friend Hilary.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Rock star

Many of you already know this but for those who don't: I love rocks. Yep. It's true. Rocks make me happy, and I have lots of thempretty rocks, dirty rocks, shiny rocks, ugly rocks, contraband rocks (e.g., did you know the penalty for taking rocks out of Turkey is prison? And I've seen "Midnight Express," so the lovely piece of calcite I discovered near Denizli stayed where I found it, and I have this picture to remember it by instead. I could not comment, however, on how various other chunks of granite, pieces of basalt, or piles of green sand have mysteriously left their respective outcrops and ended up in my living room. OK, I'll admit it, the green sand is all thanks to my sister's sacrificing her tennis shoes!).

Long asides aside, what self-respecting rock lover doesn't have a favorite rock? Mine happens to be my first favorite rockit has stood the test of time. I first discovered unakite during a geology field trip in college, and despite intensive one-on-one time during several research papers, some geochemical analyses, and a thesis, it's still my favorite. I guess I will always hold a special place in my heart for unakite. And now, thanks to my good friend Kate, it has a special place near my heartliterally.

Kate discovered these unakite beads during a recent trip to Costa Rica, and knowing my love for the epidote-and-feldspar metamorphic beauty, she decided to whip me up this necklace! I love it so much that I wanted to share it with all of you. Thanks Kate!

Monday, February 4, 2008

'Every time I come around yo' city, bling bling'

Who doesn't love a little bling? I wanted to make my friend, Kate, some sparkle flair for her 26th birthday last week. So, with a little of this:

and a bit of this for inspiration:


I came up with this:

Doesn't she look fabulous?

Coming to a blog post soon: Kate's crafty endeavors plus more obnoxious sparkly garments!

Friday, February 1, 2008

I found my thrill on blueberry hill

I took a quick trip upriver last weekend for a friend's birthday celebration in St. Louis. And while I didn't visit Chuck Berry's famous Blueberry Hill on this trip (or Stan Musial's for that matter), it was a fun-filled, action-packed weekend. And I saw an amazing sight: icein the Mississippi River.

Who knew?!? I mean, I've seen ice in rivers before (Kennebec River in Maine, Maury and Potomac Rivers in Virginia), but the mighty Mississip? I was amazed. Imagine what it looks like at Lake Itasca in Januaryprobably just a solid trickle of ice.

And amidst all my excitement about ice in the Mississippi, I made another amazing discovery. I discovered the perfect way to kill two proverbial birds with one stone: antsy airplane time and ever-so-tedious weaving in ends of (almost) finished objects. With all the airline travel restrictions and my desire to travel with as little bulk as possible, I decided not to bring any ongoing knitting projects. Instead, I brought my Little Gems Mitts that were finished other than the weaving in of the (dozens of) ends. It was the perfect airplane activity, filling a two-hour flying block of time and eliminating all the distractions that normally keep me from completely finishing projects when I'm on the ground. The Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift I used in the project was easy to break with my teeth, and I got only a few odd looks from my seat neighbor. And when I landed, I had a nice warm pair of new fingerless mitts to wear. I plan on spending future flying time doing all the boring finishing activities on otherwise finished objects. I apologize for the blurry phone pictures in this post. Stay tuned for pictures from a real camera of the superbly obnoxious sequined bubble skirt I made for my friend for her birthday. Coming soon to a blog near you!