Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mrs. Applebomb

When I was a kid we'd often go over to one of my aunt's house and sometimes when the stars aligned for a collaborative occasion, my cousin's cousins would be at the same party.   (You follow?  It's a big Italian famiglia)   When this would happen my brothers and cousins and I would be super excited for an evening spent with "Mrs. Applebomb".    My cousin's cousin would put on such an amazing rendition of a school teacher that we, her little students, would sit obediently on the front door wooden bench and raise our hands proudly if we knew an answer and ask permission to go to the washroom.    I was just on the cusp of starting school and I was wonderstruck about becoming a *real-live* student at a *real-live* school.   I couldn't wait.   I loved the nights with Mrs. Applebomb**.

Now that my little miss is starting her own school career at a school with a uniform no less, I knew I had to knit her a few things (especially before she's too cool to wear mom's knits).   So I trudged over to Walmarto and pick up a giant watermelon sized ball of dark blue yarn and started sketching.    Usually my designs have a name before they even hit the needles, but I was stumped with this little vest which had the drab moniker of "School's In Vest" until a little nostalgia took over.

And to celebrate my little girl's latest milestone I offer Mrs. Applebomb as a free pattern for all!   Knit her up!!

** Fittingly Mrs. Applebomb later became a *real-live* teacher

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Push present

Way back when, what seems like a lifetime ago now, I was sitting in the hospital room with my little 6 hour old newborn and I received the best push present.   No, it wasn't a diamond tennis bracelet or a spa gift certificate.   It was from my yarnie sister-in-law and it was a skein of Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Tortuga.  It brought tears to my eyes.   My non-yarnie cousin thought I was a lunatic.

Instantly I saw this rich, dark charcoal grey and espresso stained beauty and thought it would make a lovely man a lovely accessory.   So I poured through ravelry like an idiot the generous soul I am and tried to hunt down a pattern for my hubby.   Then I had a moment of sanity and remembered that this was MY push present.   He didn't push a baby out of his privates without drugs, that was me, ALL ME.   And this fabulous, squishy yarn belongs nowhere else but on my body.

So I knit myself up the Star Crossed Slouchy Beret with a little extra slouch and wore it every day throughout  the winter.  

I never understood the whole push present thing, I thought it was a silly frivolity, but being able to look at something and give yourself a little jolt with your sense of pride and accomplishment is surely what it's intended to do.   And mine cost way less than diamonds.

(Modelled by the most photogenic little girl I know....) 

Thursday, July 7, 2011


FINALLY, I'm back.  I must admit that knitting has been one of the last things on my mind for the past few months.   I have been uninspired and too tired at the end of the night to even knit a stitch.   I did get on a crochet kick in my attempt to design the perfect "fashionable" baby drool bib.  Conclusion:  I suck at crochet.

But here I am again, my hands twitching in the evening ready to knit.    As for the inspiration, I looked to the most tangible of sources - beautiful yarn.   I bought this yarn ages ago, before I could rhyme off luxury yarn makers and before I meticulously saved every yarn label I've used in my scrapbook.   All I know is that it's silk, it cost me $36 for the skein and, most importantly, that it's beeeeeautiful.

I have been "inspired" by this yarn for years and years now, although at this point I could almost refer to it as being haunted by it.   I bought it with the intentions to knit the Diamond Fantasy Shawl by Sivia Harding and I swear I started and frogged that thing 12 times before I gave up.   Last summer I designed a rectangular wrap with a shield lace pattern but it didn't really get my juices flowing.  After nine or ten repeats, I abolished it to the "meh" drawer.   This time around I wanted something somewhat mindless with a little bit of fun.  Something I would bind off and be so excited about that I would run out and cast on my next project pronto.    Enter the Oaklet Shawl.   I resurrected this luscious yarn once again and went at it.   The stockinette at the beginning with the promise of some simple lace at the end kept me going.    I love it AND I have cast on my next project (Owl baby vest).    Only one little problem.   I knit the pattern exactly as written (rare for me) and I've got a substantial little ball of this yarn left.   Kill me now, but I'm really, really going to rip this baby back to the end of the stockinette section and use up the rest of the yarn.   Ripping back slippery silk....I can see the dropped stitches now.  (Do I really have the patience/good sense for a lifeline?)  Good luck to me. It may be another 6 months before the next post.....

(extended and blocked version to be posted soon!  ...there, I said it out loud, now I HAVE to do it...)

Thursday, January 27, 2011


My favourite thing to do is design a pattern with someone in mind.   This particular somebody is a stylish woman on the go.  I wanted a design that was practical - that could go from thrown on casually with a jean jacket to more formal with a great wool coat.  

"Dolce" hits all those marks with great pleats all along one side creating an asymmetrical funkiness that I love and a slipped stitch pattern that makes a channel on the wrong side that an i-cord can be fished through.

As with Emma, I have taken to naming my patterns after my recipients and it's fitting that this pattern name technically means "sweet".   So here it is, a sweet pattern for the sweetest of persons, who happens to be named Dolce.  

(modelled begrudgingly by yours truly)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Short on time, Big on Heart

What do you do if you have limited time and limited yarn to knit something?   Easy.  Knit less of it.   Thank the knit gods for cowls.  Being a pre-Christmas baby myself, I suppose I should be acutely sympathetic to the post-Christmas birthday "overlook" and plan ahead a bit better.  At any rate, January 2nd snuck up on me again and it struck me the day before mom's birthday that I should knit her a little something special.   Luckily, I had one ball of this great sparkly yarn in my mom's favourite fuscia colour (she's a sparkly kind of mom) and I knew I could knit something up real quick for her. 

  I hate that "real quick" usually equates to a lot of stockinette stitch or a lot of mindless "yo, k2tog" repeats.   I'm not above them, don't get me wrong, but my hands were looking for a bit more of a challenge.   Julie's Stockholm Scarf pattern suddenly hit me, and I literally ran to the computer and was off to the races.  The scarf in its entirety is fabulous, but the mini cowl is a pretty fabulous second.   One and a half movies later I was long a little birthday gift and got a model shot out of it too.  (She's a good sport)