Friday, September 28, 2007

happy blog-a-versary!

Yarnbee is a year old today! I've really enjoyed my first year of blogging and getting to meet some of the great crafters and knitters out there. I'm continually amazed by the internet crafting community, seeing what you all are making and hearing your thoughts and encouragements. I'm so excited that I going to have a contest to celebrate. With prizes!

prize no. 1:
a yarnbee handmade japanese bound journal with kotsuzumi paper covers, and a kozo paper bookblock

blogaversary prize

book corner detail

book insides.jpg

prize no. 2
A tin of Green Thai Chili spice blend and recipe suggestions made by Elliott - also on sale at his etsy store. This is so delicious you need to have some in the kitchen, although you may get addicted!

Green Thai box

How to win you ask? Just leave me a comment with your email so I can contact you, I won't use your email for any other purpose. I'll pull the lucky winners out of a hat next Friday, Oct 5th at noon. Good luck!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

so much to report...

typical philly rowhouses

I just got back from a whirlwind tour of Philadelphia which luckily included both work and play. I started off last week with three days of meetings, although I did get to seek off to visit Loop, a great yarn store on South and 19th. I may have purchased The Opinionated Knitter there, but I managed not to have a lot of yarn following me home. I had a wonderful weekend with some old friends, and then on Monday I spent the day with Lucy from ZebraKnits. It was such a treat to meet her in person and meet little and big T! She completely spoiled me with a delicious lunch, a beautiful hand crafted necklace, a hilarious vintage 1960's knitting magazine and a pile of fabric from her incredible collection of african textiles. I'm completely embarrassed to admit that I made so many purchases and got so many gifts, that I had to ship stuff home! So when my package arrives I'll have picts of the treats.

Then I spent the rest of this week going to a conference. The best thing about the convention center in Philadelphia is that it's right smack dab next to Reading Terminal Market, which is a historic farmer's market that started in 1892. They have everything from Amish baked goods and pretzels to sushi and smoothies. I got to have breakfast and lunch at all of my favorite delicious haunts.

reading terminal sign

reading terminal

And before I left I managed to finish the mitered square blanket. It was raining and sad outside, so I was finally able to photograph it this morning. I'm so glad it's done, mainly because it is the most terribly belated wedding gift for my sister - Hi sister! It's on its way!

mitered square blanket entire

mitered square blanket detail

mitered square blanket corner

mitered square blanket closeup

More photos here:

Here are the specs:
pattern: a modifed version of the mitered square blanket from the Mason Dixon Knitting book
yarn: various worsted weights of cotton yarn, mainly Sugar n' Cream and Debbie Bliss; about half of the colors were hand-dyed
needles: 8's and 6's for the borders
finished size: approx 36" x 54"
border: 20 rows of garter stitch with mitered corners
started: November 2006
finished: September 2007
notes: While I decided to use cotton yarn since I had a lot in the stash (don't ask), I find that worsted weight cotton is really hard on my hands and makes them ache. I could basically only knit about one square a day, which is part of the reason this took so freaking long. Were I ever to knit a huge blanket again it would be in wool, for sure.

And since you've made it this far through the long post you get a reward. In the category of where are they now, here is gratuitous booty shot of Ella in her baby blu jeans. Hi B + L, I swiped this off of your flickr account - hope that okay!

ella in baby blu jeans

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

fair isle bunnies

Hey - here is a quick update on the Oilily-inspired cardigan for you all before I go to Philadelphia. I had been planning to knit a fair isle design on the yoke, but I wasn't sure what. I wanted something that looked a bit traditional from afar and then when you looked closely you would realize it was something a bit saucy.
So I opted for bunnies. Big fair isle bunnies sitting around the yoke of the sweater. I've got them half knit up and hopefully I can finish their ears tonight. tee hee - bunnies!

oilily inspired sweater yoke progress

fair isle bunny yoke progress

Friday, September 07, 2007

progress report

Happy Friday blogland peeps!
I thought I'd share my current progress on a growing pile of knitting . Hopefully this weekend I can finish at least one, probably two of these projects. I don't usually have this many piles of half knits that I'm willing to own up to, all lying around crying out for attention like baby birds. We'll start off with the most finished:

96% - mitered square blanket
mitered square border sneak peak

I've got three out of four borders done, the two short sides and one long one. That long 60" border is deceptively narrow looking, it eats yarn and time up like nobody's business. Also, knitting cheap worsted weight cotton yarn makes my hands ache, so I can only do two or three rows at a time. If this happens again (doubtful!) I'll make one out of wool.

47% - green monkey socks
green monkey progress

I'm almost done with the first sock here. Your basic monkey sock with an added picot edge for cuteness. Word on the street is that this colorway by the Kangaroo Dyer will be available at WEBS this fall. So many happy shades of pickle green together. This is my on-the-go project, because that blanket is huge and heavy!

38% - Oilily-inspired cardigan
I've been pouring over old Oilily catalogs in search for some sweater inspiration. I'm a big fan of their bold color and pattern combinations, like this, or this or this. Their clothes are waaaaay out of my price range, but I've been working on some ideas for creating a cardigan out of stash Cascade 220 with an Oilily-inspired color palette. Here is my latest sketchy sketch:

oilily sweater sketches

I didn't want to lose momentum on this one, so I cast on last week to get the more tedious parts out of the way. I'm doing a seamless yoke cardigan knit in the round with a center steek, knit from the bottom up. It's all rolly at the bottom because I did a provisional cast on so that I can pick up those bottom stitches later when I figure out what kind of hem I want to do. I could knit it back and forth since I'm making a cardigan, but I want to put some fun stranded color work in the yoke and I'm so much slower at purling that the steek makes the most sense for me. Here's where it stands so far:

oilily sweater progress

I'm off to Philadelphia next week for work, then a fun weekend, then more work. I will have some time to visit some local yarn shops, if anyone knows of anywhere I should go please let me know! I used to live in Center City ages ago, so visiting Philly always feels like going home. It's a sweet city and I miss it. I think I'll have my computer so limited blogging will probably happen.

Happy weekend!

Monday, September 03, 2007

shop update

Hi all,
Happy Labor Day! Just wanted you all to know that I've added some new stamp quilt cards in the etsy shop.

stamp quilt card 6

stamp quilt card 3

stamp quilt card 11