Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I just started this one, which I'm aiming to give to Schuyler, should it fit (I've been having challenges lately about who fits what, what fits whom). A summer robin's egg blue vest, in cotton with a touch of rayon for drape (Berroco Touché). It's a free Berroco pattern with the regional name "Luella." When I noticed pretty much everything I've knitted this past month has been in tones of brown, I thought it advisable to lighten up color wise.

I'm now mother of Doctor Elizabeth, while she, just back from Africa, without even her internal clock readjusted during graduation rituals in Boston, has taken wing to Paris, to hike in the French Alps with a dear high school friend, before returning to NY and MA, and driving west to Seattle. But she's clothed, should it be intemperate, in new sweaters from moi.

That's Connie's design, and isn't it a beauty! Fleece Artist Woolie Silk 3-ply.

So now, onward to Spring colors, and armless fast-knits.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Zebra Pakuna

Four-fifths of this sweater is a rush, a dash, a few evenings’ stockinette. Then, as though I’d come to the great jungle river, there’s the cautious slowing down, the tediousness of wrapping each strand over the other, the switch-ups, the sleep-inducing slog of the corrugated ribbing. But, having finished that and so feeling sassy, I’ll not complain, except to say I’m not complaining. Quite a bit of satisfying edge and collar work to do, which pulls the sweater together.

Thanks to Pat Ocelet, top, and Dori Betjeman for modeling this sweater at WEBS. (Dori is the knitter's guru, the fearless leader of my Advanced Fearless Finishing Class; Pat O is a knitting pal in several weekly drop-in-knit-alongs, also at WEBS.) It was excellent to fit the sweater onto actual bodies, since the asymmetry made it challenging to envision how it would suit a person, and where to put the single button.

We opted for no button, so the recipient could place the --what's it called?--where the lines fell right.

As you can see from the two bottom pictures, after photographing friends at WEBS this afternoon, I added a braid at the left neckline, to cover the awkward transition from corrugated ribbing to stand-up collar: a successful little trick.

I modified the pattern--Berocco, #277 Pakuna--to fight boredom, by putting in the various lines of contrasting color all about. I didn't use Peruvia (though it's very nice), but kept plugging away at the Cascade Eco Wool I'd bought much of during WEBS' April sale.

And I thought of this as being, in an abstract sort of way, an homage to zebras, and a present to Elizabeth on her return from South African Safari (zebra...). I still believe in the zebra allusion, but don't think the sweater's going to fit Doctor Liz, think it will be a bit small.

If that's the case, Schuyler will get a Zebra Pakuna (and if it doesn't fit or suit her, on to my next smallest friend...).

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Knitting Notes from Abroad

Here's Elizabeth and Camille, a woman she met this week while on budget safari through Kruger National Park, in South Africa. On their way to the Park, before the sights became lions eating Water Buffalo kill, and thirty passing elephants, and one hundred tree-grazing giraffes, and impatient hyenas, on their way, they got to know each other while they knitted. E's been doing row after row of her baby blanket (due date for little Mizrahi is 5 June), and Camille was doing socks, with yarn she'd found hand-dyed in Scotland.

What brings us together and where: the contest winner of the week.

(And Camille, who works in London, is a 2002 Cornell graduate, an English and Classics major: small world, small stitches.)

Tonight Elizabeth will be home, in Boston, after two months in Africa, and will be DOCTOR LIZ on Sunday. Party time in Beantown for everyone who can make it.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Icelandic Improv and Fearless Finishing sampler

I whipped this Icelandic goodie up, after mis-gauging my gauge. That is, I’d started to make a (Lopi) patterned Icelandic sweater for my full-grown son, but soon noticed I’d miscalculated the gauge swatch. So, I took off boldly to make a sweater that fit the gauge. Added lots of Balkan braids, left the neck opening large, so, even though this (Cascade0 Eco wool is quite soft, no neck would be scratched for this project. At the finish, the arms were longer that the body, proportionately speaking. So, I cut the body (with two lines of live stitches on needles), and added a few inches and another braid (to hide the 3-needle bind-off), and VOILA. For some lucky seven-year-old. About four nights of knitting pleasure. And I’m on to another Eco wool project, a Nora Gaughan sweater, having bought mucho at WEBS’ sale, one of the bargains of the world, even when it’s not on sale. Yogi with a summer buzz cut labors to absorb the sun, unimpressed with the sweater.

Here's a first photo of one of the two sampler sweaters, knitted during Dori Betjeman’s “Advanced Fearless Finishing” class at WEBS. I haven’t even finished the zipper, but someone loaned me a bear yesterday at WEBS, so I snapped this picture.