Friday, April 26, 2013

Favorite Things Seven

Hello to the handful of you that visit my blog! I appreciate each and every one of you for stopping by. I'm going to attempt to address this week's theme carefully, since one is easy and the other is not.

1. ecological sin (being things that are deleterious to our planet’s resources but that you enjoy anyway): Pass. Or electricity. Or pass. No wait, LIVING!

Do I get to have a favorite of this one? Having a car is nice. Computers are useful. I enjoy electricity. A lot of my clothes are produced unethically. If I ate meat I would probably go with that, but I don't. Does my mere existence count? Then I choose being alive. It's really unlikely that any of us are, and yet here we go, depleting the planet. I choose being alive as my favorite ecological sin.

2. bogus swear word (when in mixed company): Bonkers/Bananas/Loony Tunes

I use these three a lot to suggest something here is crazy. I love all three and they can be used interchangeably.

Runner ups:

Rats! (self explanatory)

Jack Monkey Doodle - as in, "I don't know jack monkey doodle about pleasurable ecological sins!"

Dog Business - as in, "I feel like dog business today." I love this one because my business is knitwear and dog business is you know what.

(I also like "You Know What")

{Part of a Friday series with AlexVivian and Lee that celebrates our power to discern, discriminate, decide and declare. Please join us in the comments or on your own site if you have a few favorites, too.}

Monday, April 22, 2013

Favorite Things Six

Hi blog readers! This week we have two difficult themes again. I finally got it all sorted and my computer crashed, saving nothing. I can't help but feel this version will not be quite as good as the last one but please bear with me... Let's jump in!

1. Favorite Movie Pre-1965: I considered the Marx Brothers, Screwball Comedies, and Historical Dramas. I then narrowed it down to The Sound of Music and the Wizard of Oz. Today's choice: Wizard of Oz.

It was in you all along

The movie made me want to read the book, which made me want to read all 14 official books. Despite outdated cultural insensitivities, there is also a great deal of magic and imagination created generations before Harry Potter hit the scene. My favorite thing about the film is the underlying message that if you want to improve yourself, you can. A wizard can't fix you, only you can do that. You'll probably have to walk through some scary places to get there, but if you are willing to face your demons, you'll be rewarded with great power. It's a great message and just rings true.

2. Favorite Children's Book: This time I have to mention a few faves, but will ultimately settle on one. Probably.

First runner up - any of the soothing Ant and Bee books by Angela Banner. I used to get these at the library when I was little and studied them very carefully. As an adult I tried to hunt them down, only to discover they are considered "collectible" and go for hundreds of dollars apiece. Oh well.

Ant and Bee and the Rainbow... A Story About Colours by Angela Banner

I also loved The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. Oh what a crazy story, full of puns, which seemed meaningful to my young mind. Reading this book as a child was like an acid trip, in the good way.

Map from The Phantom Tollbooth
Map illustration by Jules Feiffer

...and let us not forget From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg. In short, what kid doesn't want to live in a museum, collect coins out of the fountain and sleep in important beds? I did.

I don't know what this picture is

Okay, enough honorable mentions. It's time to make a real choice here. Favorite book? The Best Story Book Ever by Richard Scarry. Also the Best Word Book Ever. Pick one? Why?! Richard Scarry is the best. That is the point.

don't you want to play with paint now?

He doesn't eat the toaster

I used to think a lot about Kenny's Breakfast and how huge it was. Anyone else?

{Part of a Friday series with AlexVivian and Lee that celebrates our power to discern, discriminate, decide and declare. Please join us in the comments or on your own site if you have a few favorites, too.}

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Favorite Things Friday Five

Hi Friday Friends! Perhaps you have noticed that it is Saturday? More importantly, so what? This week we have two new favorites to explore: school subject and board games. I'm going to jump in with the easy one first...

1. Favorite Subject in School: Art

"Christina's World" by Andrew Wyeth
Christina's World by Andrew Wyeth - photo by goldberg via flickr

For a long time not much else mattered to me. What can I say about art in a brief yet meaningful way? I dunno. I'll turn to Picasso:

Everything you can imagine is real

OR maybe Nietzsche?

You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star

That kinda sums it up succinctly I think.

2. Board Game: Arkham Horror

Believe it or not this one is way harder for me. I am a total board game nerd and do not wish to commit myself to one game. That said, Arkham Horror is amazing. This is the game that got me into complicated, cooperative games. This means players work together and you either all win or you all lose. In this case, that could mean a gruesome, gory, Lovecraft-inspired demise. Yes, the board is ridiculously huge and you need a big table to play it. Set-up is long, as is putting it away. I once spent six hours playing this game. You can feel sorry for me if you want but I loved it. I don't play it much anymore but it will always hold a dear place in my heart.

Thanks for stopping by, pals!

{Part of a Friday series with AlexVivian and Lee that celebrates our power to discern, discriminate, decide and declare. Please join us in the comments or on your own site if you have a few favorites, too.}

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Pollination Collection

Hello fiber friends! Check it out - I have some patterns to show you. The Pollination Collection is a Malabrigo ebook of four accessories. 

Plum Creek Mitts and Honey Orchard Shawl
Plum Creek Mitts and Honey Orchard Shawl

First up, a nice little shawl... Honey Orchard is a made-up place with dancing lambs and bees with no stingers. The sunlight tastes sweet and always comes paired with a gentle breeze. This asymmetrical shawl pattern is inspired by a dreamy little fictitious place like Honey Orchard.

Honey Orchard Shawl (large)
Lee rocks the large Honey Orchard shawl


Finished Measurements: (blocked): 58 (72)” 147 (183) cm wingspan, 21 (27)” 53 (69) cm deep

Gauge: 22 sts/28 rows = 4” in Stockinette Stitch (Not blocked) 18 sts/22 rows = 4” in Stockinette Stitch (Blocked) Exact gauge is not critical

Yarn: Any dk-weight yarn. Samples shown: Malabrigo Silky Merino [51% Silk, 49% merino wool; 150yd per 50g skein]; colors: Cape Cod Gray (small - 2 skeins) and Sand (large - 3 skeins)

Needles: 1 set of US 8 (5 mm) 24” or desired length circular needles or size to get gauge.

Pattern is $4.99

buy now

Conestoga Bonnets and Honey Orchard Shawls
Conestoga Bonnets and Honey Orchard Shawls

Next up, Conestoga Bonnet. Before the development of the railroad, people relied on covered wagons like the Conestoga to travel the Appalachian Valley. The Conestoga Bonnet revives old time carriage dress into the modern era.

Conestoga Bonnet
Lee is so cute in the Conestoga Bonnet


Bonnet Sizes: (3) Child [Adult Small, Adult Medium]

Bonnet Measurements: 18” [20,” 22”] OR 46 [51, 56] cm

Gauge: 13 sts/18 rows = 4” in stockinette stitch

Yarn: Chunky-weight yarn. Samples shown: Malabrigo Chunky [100% Merino wool; 100yd per 3.5oz skein]; color: Pearl (child), Pink Frost (small) Geranio (medium): 1 skein.

Needles: 1 set US #10/6mm 16” or larger circular needle and double pointed needles OR size needed to obtain gauge.

Conestoga Bonnet
Anaiah is oh so adorable in her Conestoga Bonnet

Pattern is $4.99

buy now

Next up, Plum Creek Mitts. On the banks of Plum Creek, “She heard pa shouting,’Jiminy crickets! It's raining fish- hooks and hammer handles!’” (Laura Ingalls Wilder) Plum Creek is a place where country gals ride horses and picnic in the grass. It is the inspiration for a set of armwarmers that integrate delicate lace onto a sturdy structure. These mitts are a little feminine and a little bit practical too, right at home in Plum Creek.

Plum Creek Mitts
all three sizes of Plum Creek Mitts


Sizes: (3) Adult Small [Adult Medium, Adult Large]

Measurements: Wrist Circumference: 6 [7, 8]” OR 15 [18, 20] cm. Mid-Arm Circumference: 8

[9, 10]” OR 20 [23, 25.5] cm. Length: 7.5” [19] cm.

Gauge: 16 sts/28 rows = 4” in stockinette stitch using Worsted-weight yarn and larger needle.

Yarn: Worsted-weight yarn AND Lace-weight yarn. Samples shown: Malabrigo Worsted [100% Merino wool; 210yd (192m) per 3.5oz (100g) skein]; color: Sealing Wax (small), Pearl Ten (medium), Pearl Ten (large): 1 skein. Malabrigo Lace [100% Merino wool; 470yd (430m) per 1.75oz (50g) skein]; color: Pink Frost (small), SimplyTaupe (medium), Dusty (large): 1skein.

Needles: Cuff: 1 set US #9/5.5mm 32” or longer circular needle (magic loop method) OR 2 sets of 24” or longer (2 circular method), OR double pointed needles OR size needed to obtain gauge. Lace Panel: 1 set US #3/3.25mm straight or circular needles.

Plum Creek Mitts
Plum Creek Mitts

Pattern is $4.99

buy now

Finally, Tree Rings. Every tree has a secret inner life. You can guess the age by the height but the real data is locked within the core -- growth rings. Tree Ring Socks show your knitting growth on the outside. This project is an easy way to use two colors in your knitting without having to carry more than one strand at a time.

Tree Rings Socks
Tree Rings Socks


Sizes: This pattern is written for 5 sizes: XS (Small, Medium, Large, XL)

Foot Circumference: 7 (7.5, 8, 8.5, 9) inches 17.5 (19, 20, 21.5, 23 cm) unstretched.

Gauge: 32 sts/48 rows = 4” in Stockinette Stitch.

Yarn: Fingering-weight sock yarn in two colors that gives you proper gauge, 350 - 400 yards; Sample Shown: Malabrigo Sock [100% SUPERWASH Merino; 440yd per 100 gram skein]; colors: Natural [MC] , Alcaucil [CC]: less than 1 skein each.

Needles: 1 set of US 1 (2.25 mm) 32” circular needles (magic loop), 2 sets of 24” circulars or double pointed needles OR size to get gauge.

Tree Rings Socks
Details, details

Pattern is $4.99

buy now

Polination Collection
Bonnet, shawl, mitts, daydreaming

Like them all? You can get the ebook for only $14.99 - all four patterns at a great price.

buy now

Thanks to Vivian Aubrey for the photos and Lee Meredith and Anaiah Aubrey for modeling. Thanks to Laurelhurst Park for being such a lovely place to do things like this. Thanks to you for stopping by and looking at the collection.

Favorite Things Four

I didn't post my favorite things last Friday because the topic was favorite food and drink. Let's just say I'm in a phase where food is kind of gross right now.

Please forgive me. I will update this Friday, as scheduled.