Sunday, November 29, 2009

REVIEW: Pure Knits

Pure Knits: Sophisticated Designs In Shades of White
by Yahaira Ferreira

Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Lark Books (November 3, 2009)

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As a knitter, you know that the details really need to shine when you are knitting in white. That is exactly what the 25 designs in Pure Knits: Sophisticated Designs In Shades of White do... they shine!

Pure Knits is a collection of projects for intermediate to advanced knitters, using luxurious yarns, all in shades of white. From delicate women's sweaters to adorable baby outfits to beautiful children's dresses to rugged men's sweaters, these garments take "plain white" to a whole new level of creative excitement. You’ll find that using white yarns only draws attention to the gorgeous textural details of each piece—the complex combinations of knits and purls, show-stopping lace, and sophisticated cables.

As someone who tends to stay away from white in my knitting, I have to admit that I am truly intrigued with the turn of each page. The designs are absolutely beautiful and while some may very well be beauties in color as well, they really do make a statement in white. Textures, cables, lace - the designs have a little something for everyone and the attention to detail is amazing! Each pattern was photographed in stunning natural settings, only adding to the beauty of the design. I just might have to invest in some white yarn... and extra large ziplock bags!


About The Author: Yahaira Ferreira is the author of Sensual Knits. She received her MFA in Photography from Savannah College of Art & Design, a background that gives her a sophisticated eye for colors and shapes. A passionate knitter, she saw the need for luxurious and hard-to-find yarns, and so launched her retail website, PureKnits in April 2006.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Its Beginning to Look a lot Like...

Happy Thanksgiving-eve and happy Wordless Wednesday! As much as I'd hate to admit it, Christmas is nearing... quickly!

For today's WW, I'll share some shots from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra show on November 15. TSO is a must-see anual event for us now - if you haven't gone, by all means... go check them out! I may be biased, but I truly believe that the East Coast gets the best touring group... after all, we have just about all of the Savatage members... and the best narrator ever!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

One Down...

... so many to go! Are there really only 30 days left?

I know there will be at least one handmade Christmas gift this year! I finished the Chunky Ribs & Ruffles scarf for someone-who-might-or-might-not-read-my-blog over the weekend.

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I love this scarf.... just long enough, with just enough style and oooh sooo soft! For this one I used Lamb's Pride bulky. When I made the same scarf for myself a couple of years ago I used Misti Chunky Alpaca and it is still one of my favorites.

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So when I finished the scarf, one might've guessed that I cast on another Christmas gift, right? Um, yeah... not so much. I worked on my alpaca mitts...

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For those of you who aren't on Ravlery and couldn't click the link above, the lighter color is alpaca silk and the darker is "first shearing" alpaca, both from a local alpaca farm. I'm holding the darker yarn double and must say, as I've reached the thumb gusset increases, its rather difficult to see. These might not be the best late-night knitting... but I can't wait to finish them because they are soooooooooo soft!

Now to cast on something for Emma for Christmas...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Always in My Heart

I start off Thanksgiving week with a heavy heart. Six years ago today I lost one of the most important people in my life... Nana, I miss you and love you always.

Still one of my most favorite pictures with her... Christmas Eve, 1999.

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Shortly after she passed, I purchased these remembrance pendants for my Mom and myself.

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Simple and sweet, it is one of my favorite pieces of jewelry... and I wear it often.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

REVIEW: Color by Kristin: How to Design Your Own Beautiful Knits

Color by Kristin: How to Design Your Own Beautiful Knits
by Kristin Nicholas
Hardcover: 172 pages
Publisher: Sixth&Spring Books (November 3, 2009)

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Color by Kristin: How to Design Your Own Beautiful Knits is, well to sum it up quite simply, a very beautiful book! The examples and patterns are simply stunning and the gorgeous photography only adds to the appeal. Talk about a coffee table book for knitters - this is it!

The photos are what caught my eye from the moment I opened Color by Kristin. As the title would suggest, they are full of color... beautiful color. Ooohs and Aaahs all around!

After you get past the oohing and aahing, you'll become engrossed in reading about color. Kristin's introduction gives a great background on her adventures with color, right up to how this book came about. She goes on to teach The Joy of Color and how to use a color wheel, as well as the importance of swatching when working with color. The easy to follow Fair Isle tutortial is a must read if, like me, you are interested in adding some color work into your knitting repertoire. Kristin even writes about - gasp! - The Steek and continues with a chapter on designing your own Fair Isle knits..

Two practice projects are given to get you started with Fair Isle - a draft stopping pillow and a child's sampler scarf. After you're on your way working with color, you'll become addicted to the fabulous patterns... each one more stunning than the next. Mittens, wraps, afghans, sweaters, scarves, pillows and more - there's plenty to keep your needles clicking!

Kristin also provided a wonderful Designer Sourcebook, which includes multiple edgings and a colorwork chart glossary.

If you're interested in color, Color by Kristin is definitely a must-add to your bookshelf (and did I mention what a perfect coffee table book this one makes? Even non-knitters will ooh and aah over the photographs).

About the Author: Kristin Nicholas is a renowned knitwear designer, decorative artist, and author who was named one of Vogue Knitting’s Master Knitters of the 1990s. Her designs have been featured in Vogue Knitting, Family Circle, and other publications. She has her own line of yarn called Julia from Nashua Handknits. Kristin lives with her family in rural western Massachusetts in a very colorful farmhouse. Be sure to check our
Kristin's blog.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sleepy Doggy Day

Happy Doggy Day! Is it really just one week until Thanksgiving? Where has the time flown?

I found myself searching for Christmas card templates for photoshop yesterday and wound up buying one on Etsy. Have I mentioned lately how much I heart Etsy? Have I also mentioned how I need to update my shop? I created a bunch of new marker sets last month and just haven't had time to photo and list them.

We've been rather busy at the Lapdog house the past couple of weeks and its showing... with four very cuddly, clingy, whiney doggies! Of course, there's nothing better on a cool fall night than cuddling up with one or two or three them... hopefully not all at once. Last week Sophie and I feel asleep while Fringe was on (and I wasn't taping it either) - GASP! - I can not let that happen again tonight!

Sophie... "its not my fault you fells asleeps Mommy... I wuz schleping tooooooooo"

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Lola... "hey wakey!!! Wanna play?? Huh, Huh?? Wanna, Wanna??"

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Tut... "can you get off the couch so I can sleep with Mommy? Oh nevermind... I'll just lay on top of everyone..."

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Zeus... "do. not. lay. on. top. of. me. ... or within three feet of me for that matter...this is my space..."

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Congrats to My Champion!

Happy Wordless Wednesday - and one step closer to the weekend!

Congrats to my other half for winning his karting class championship for 2009! The banquet was this past weekend and we had a great time...

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The BSH Class...

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2009 SHS Track Champions ...

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It was a great season with lots of wins... way to go honey!!

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

FO Socks!

Hey look, she really does knit! I actually have a FO to show you!

My Trekking to Charlotte socks are finally done!!!

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These puppies have been on the needles - and repeatedly tossed aside - for an eternity so long that Zeus even had to come over and check them out... see his most adorable nose?

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Woo hoo for me... mama's got a new pair of socks to keep my feet warm this winter! Now to get working on my other socks-in-progress and get some new ones cast on as well. Not that I don't have enough yarn in my stash to cover casting on for the next ten twenty thirty lifetime, but... I just bought a gorgeous skein of Alabama Fiber Dreams' Get Ewe Done sport in the Winter Sunrise colorway and must find a great pattern... any suggestions? Look how purty it is...

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I also used up a Loopy Ewe birthday gift certificate (thanks Cyd!) to grab a skein of Madelinetosh Worsted in the Crumble colorway... again, pattern ideas are appreciated...

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Noses off the Prize!

Happy Doggy Day... its been one heck of a long week, so I'm extra glad to say its almost Friday!

As you know, Zeus won the Cloud Star Halloween photo contest over on Facebook. His winnings showed up on our doorstep on Monday...

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Isn't he such a handsome little devil (no pun intended... lol)? While he was posing so nicely for me, this happened... I just love the look he's giving to Lola and Tut!

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I'm not sure if the look is more to say "get your noses off my prize" or "hey stupids... you're interrupting my photo shoot!"

Zeus managed to be first in line (with a little help from Mommy) when we opened the box...

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But it quickly drew lots of attention. He received 1 box of each flavor of Muttos and a sweatshirt for Mommy...

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So what do you think... Zeus the spokesdoggy?

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So long as he doesn't eat the props, right?

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless B'sDay

Happy Wordless Wednesday! A few shots from the Bruins vs Oilers game on Halloween...

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We won ... 2 - 0!

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Happy Veteran's Day... check out Seats for Soliders! The Bruins are honoring our heros with a Military Appreciation Night at tomorrow's game!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lost...

... my knitting mojo! Have you seen it? I really need to get it back and get those needles clicking on a regular basis.

My last FO was a rather uneventful, but quick-knit item for Chan's little friend Hope. It got Zeus' approval before heading off... hopefully it brings some comfort to Hope.

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My Colonnade should be finished, but about half way through the lace section, I realized I had been forgetting to knit the 2 stitches at the end of the purl rows. After unsuccessfully trying to tink back those 2 stitches (note: end stitches do not tink well), I wound up ripping the entire lace section out. Here's where I'm at now...

Colonnade

The holiday shopping days are zooming by way too fast, but at least I know I'll have one gift done this year... the Chunky Ribs & Ruffles is almost finished. I think I'm going to end it with just one skein... I had considered doing two, but think it would be too long for such a thin scarf.

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My Trekking to Charlotte socks are nearly complete... are you amazed? These poor things have been repeatedly tossed aside so many times... it'll be nice to finally get them on my feet!

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As you can clearly see (especially if you Ravel-stalk me), I should be finishing stuff off, right? I have absolutely no right to cast on anything new, right? Especially if its something for me... right?

Wrong.

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Although hardly anything to see at the moment, that is the start of my Nalu Mitts.

So... back to my knitting mojo? I think its coming back... hope...