Pics or it didn’t happen

I’ve been busy neglecting my blog knitting up a storm lately. The fall weather is starting to sneak in here and there in Portland and it’s giving me the itch to stitch big time. So far, the Alpenwald shawl is nearly complete, though I’m still trying to decide how I’d like to finish it and since I’m charting as I go the project is too cumbersome to go anywhere but my couch. But this is it in all it’s glory:

Alpenwald Shawl

Then there is another design that I haven’t decided what to do with yet. It’s Svartifoss—a series of lovely blackish-teal hexagons that could either be a cowl or an infinity scarf; inspired by the Icelandic waterfall of the same name. I’m not through the skein far enough to tell how many motifs I will have. You could remind me to use a kitchen scale, but that requires owning one. I keep fixin’ to, but it keeps not happening. So I get to savor the excitement that is knitting until I run out of yarn and hoping there is enough to do what I want with it. The yarn is Madeline Tosh Light in colorway “Georgia O’Keefe.”

Svartifoss

A while back (around 2 years ago, I’d guess) I started a faux fox stole, and I’m so close to finishing finally! It just needs its back feet and a tail. It will be lined with some nice flannel I bought on clearance at the Pendleton Woolen Mill store in Milwaukie, OR:

Faux Fox Stole

And of course, I had to cast on for something new (a sweater of my own design with gobs of embroidery added after, to boot) because I’m just a glutton for punishment. Here it is in progress with a sketch of what I hope the finished item looks like next to it:

As yet unnamed sweater from my line of German/Austrian-themed patterns

Posted in Alpenwald Shawl, Alpine Collection, Faux Fox Stole, Gemütlichkeit Cardigan, Knitting, Patterns, Svartifoss, WIPs, teasers | Leave a comment

Pipeline (and not the Ventures kind)

The other day I wrote a list of all the designs awaiting publishing and good gravy was it ever overwhelming! I’ve got two in the test knitting phase right now and so many more on the way, I can’t wait to share them all here—there are also dozens more that need to be typed up if I can find my notes, forlorn swatches that need to be reverse-engineered so I can have notes to even work from—the mind boggles.

One of the ones I’m particularly keen to figure out is a little baby hat I made some years back. It has a really interesting texture pattern and I am going to have to dig out some yarn and needles to figure it out again. Here’s a peek:

I hope to update more often with all the stuff waiting in the wings. Until then, happy knitting!

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Just published: Mayrhofen Fingerless Mitts

The pattern for these was a long time coming, but it’s finally here, yay! I hope you enjoy stashbusting your worsted weight yarns with this quick and simple pattern as much as I have for the past year. The embroidery is also a great way to use up odds and ends of yarn, though it’s entirely optional. The mitts look great without it.

The pair that started it all

These ones were my favorite, and I’m so sad they’re gone, but I guess I can just reknit them since I’ve made about 15 pairs already. The yarn is Quince and Co. Owl:

Wish I'd snapped a photo with the ends woven in

Buy it here!

Posted in Knitting, Mayrhofen Fingerless Mitts | 3 Comments

A long hiatus comes to a satisfying close

Welp, it appears an apology is in order. You see, I was terribly busy for a while, and have neglected my blog. While my lear jet is grounded for repairs, I’m back to post about random Portland stuff, knitting (and crocheting!), cooking, and very likely the odd cat photo or three.

For now, I’ve been making dozens of pairs of fingerless mitts.

Another pair of fingerless mitts in Cascade 220 with misc. yarns for embroidery.

More Cascade 220 mitts. I like the stripe on these, but weaving in ends is going to be an unholy nightmare.

And, good grief, more mitts in Cascade 220. I swear I’ve knitted these in other yarns. Want proof?

I can’t find the ballband for this, but I bought it years ago at my friend’s shop (Knit Knot Studio in the Pearl District of Portland) before it closed. I think the yarn is Schulana Cashmere Tweed.

Lang yak/merino blend; this was heavenly to knit with.

Myak Baby Yak medium (this stuff was like a dream wrapped in kittens stuffed with whispers of greatness).

Another one in a beautifully-colored yarn that shall remain nameless since I don’t want to help market it. It’s the most easily broken yarn of all time. Oh, and it’s expensive. Dislike!

This one is knit in the fingering weight version of tMEBYoaT. So pretty. So much swearing while I was knitting with it.

Still another pair in Cascade EcoWool:

And there are many more that have yet to be completed or photographed.

Posted in Knitting, teasers | 2 Comments

Oh the things you see in Portland…

Look, it’s that Darth Vader-helmeted / unicycle-riding / bagpipe-playing / utilikilt-wearing guy!

He was really booking it on that unicycle, so the pic is a little crooked because I had to act fast to snap it!

Also, if the word fast describes how one acted, why do we not say “I had to act fastly?” Stupid question is stupid, grammar monger mongers grammar, etc.

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Wie gut geschmeckt

My love for German/Austrian foods is so great it borders on disturbing and unnatural. It’s so good, so satisfying, and makes me feel full of joy and 100 lbs. of lead simultaneously. Mmmm, lead…or more precisely: Kirschmarrn, Käsespätzle mit Speck und Pilze, and last but not least, a dish I had at a tiny bar in Münich and haven’t seen anywhere else: Münchner Gröstl.

First off, the Kirschmarrn. It’s shredded German pancakes (I sweeten mine a bit with agave nectar) with a sauce I made from dried cherries and apple cider this time around. Last time it was some strawberries and Bing cherries that I rescued from the freezer and reduced with a bit of sugar, balsamic vinegar, and black pepper (just a tad of the last two). Last time > this time, but I didn’t get a picture of it then. Oh well, for now this should convey what it is:

Then we have the Käsespätzle mit Speck und Pilze: the simplest way to describe this is German macaroni & cheese. Speck=bacon and Pilze=mushrooms. Hand-rolled and cut spätzle with bacon and sauteéd mushrooms (the onions are always implied when I’m in the kitchen). Topped with a scratch-made cheese sauce. I used cheddar because it’s what I had on-hand, but next time I will probably use a more authentic one. With this dish, one must portion carefully; a little goes a *very* long way. Here is what it looks like:

Last, but never least, is the Münchner Gröstl! The original is potatoes, leeks, bacon, cheese, and a soft-poached egg on top. Mine doesn’t use leeks because they are on the expensive side and most importantly, it’s hard to get all the sand out of them. Call me crazy, but I dislike having sand in my teeth. Aaaand here is what it looks like:

So basically what I’m saying is I’m really full right now.

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Welcome to the jungle

So the new apartment is pretty much my favorite place I’ve ever lived. This is what I get to see every time I open my front door, and yet I’m roughly 2-3 minutes from downtown:

As promised, I was unpacking some more last night and decided to lay out all the records I bought over Labor Day weekend. They took up about 8′ x 12′ on the floor, even when overlapping a bit. I’ve noticed some don’t play very well at all, so their covers will definitely end up as artwork, but I’m not sure how to put them up without making tons of holes in the walls. I want to be able to rearrange wall art on a whim without having to spackle/repaint, so will have to figure that out. Okay, enough blabbing, here they are in all their retrolicious [albeit blurry] glory:

And between all the Hawaiian records I scored and the lush paradise I get to view each day, I guess I was just in the mood to hit Roxy’s Island Grill while out running errands this weekend because…well, because shoyu chicken and macaroni salad, why not? My mouth is watering just thinking about it. It’s a huge portion for $7 too, so I had tons left over. Here is what it looked like before half of it magically disappeared:

While listening to all those sweet new grooves I’ve been plugging away on David Sedaris’ When You Are Engulfed In Flames. It’s one of his best, I think, as his books run the gamut from just plain silly to humorous-but-also-very-insightful. This is more toward the humorous/insightful end of the spectrum, so heavier reading than, say, Barrel Fever. I am putting major air quotes around the word “heavier.”

Almost 100% moved. Will be nice to not have to spend a decent portion of my evenings unpacking and organizing. I have a rather decent cache of C-D grade (and that is if I’m being generous) vintage sci-fi flicks to wade through and MST3K (can I use that as a verb?) mercilessly from my couch. Still waffling on whether or not to install cable. I probably will have to break down eventually, but Comcast is so awful. I just hate giving my money to businesses that don’t treat their employees well and provide terrible service at exorbitant prices. That is like some Anti-Charlie-Sheen “LOSING!” right there. *shrug*

Knitting/crocheting to come when I finish all the home improvement projects on my to do list (repainting a bunch of furniture, making some art for the *very* blank walls, and making some cushions for my dining area seating).

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Forward progress

Apparently I didn’t have enough hobbies because I fell off the deep end with a new one over Labor Day weekend: records. Found tons of old jazz, weird 50′s music that defies classification and would be fun to play at a party, and some really fantastic Hawaiian tiki-esque music. Of course, I couldn’t play the records without a record player and speakers, so I tracked those down as well, and now I’m desperate to load up on more albums. I made sure to buy ones I liked for the cover as much as the music so that if any of the records don’t play I can still use them for art work at the new place I’m moving to this weekend, yay! It has a really wonderful view/balcony that beg to be enjoyed ASAP while the weather is still nice here in Portland. Its super-funky, late-1950s style is just the change of scenery that I needed to really get inspired and finish up all the designs languishing in various craft bins around my place. Can’t wait to listen to all my new music while I unpack this weekend! Pics to come…

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^d8 knit & crochet

Have been finishing things like *crazy* lately. Am on my 10th pair of the fingerless mitts from the previous post. Pair 10 is being worked with Lang Yarns YAK (in a very pretty ivory shade), and they are super-soft. It will be fun to see all the mitts side by side after they are embroidered, and this pale color should show off embroidery pretty nicely.

I also finished this cowl about a week and a half ago:

The whole time I was working on this I went from love to hate and back again because it was hard to get a sense of how it would turn out. I think the end result is pretty good. It looks a lot better on because the stripes “smoosh” together and they seem less blocky. Will there be a pattern? Of course there will! I hope to have it ready to test knit within the next couple of weeks…note the use of the word “hope” instead of “promise” and the lack of “definitely”s and “totally”s. *fingers crossed*

Also working on these again after an embarrassingly loooong hiatus:

Can’t wait for cooler weather so I can wear all my new goodies! :)

Posted in Crocheting, Finished, Knitting, teasers | Leave a comment

Winter is coming.

It’s hot outside, but in Portland, Oregon hot weather doesn’t last too long. (Thankfully!) I’ve been making a bunch of fingerless mitts (to sell) and plan on publishing the pattern(s) soon also. They are worked in 3 weights: fingering, sport/dk, and worsted. Some pics below:

I’ve since woven in the ends on these, but was apparently too lazy to resnap them for my ravelry projects page. Whoops. The pair shown above was knitted with the delicious Quince & Company Owl in color Abyssinian. They are incredibly warm and soft! I love Q&Co’s yarns; they are extremely, expertly spun and plied, made in the USA with American fiber, and their price points are really great. I’ve paid much more and gotten much less, so while I wouldn’t say they are “cheap” or “inexpensive,” I would say they are worth every single penny. On that note, should [we] Americans even acknowledge the existence of the penny anymore? I could insert a long I-am-old, walked-to-school-uphill-in-the-snow-both-ways, we-didn’t-have-air-back-then-and-we-were-happy story here, but suffice to say, it’s been a while since I’ve been able to buy anything with a single, solitary penny. :)

These are the first pair of mitts I made that set me on a fingerless mitt-knitting bonanza (After starting at the beginning of June, I’m 8 pairs in, with plenty more on the way). The yarn used was Tahki Tara Tweed in color 009 (a mustard-y yellow shade). I like this yarn ok, but it’s not my favorite blend as it has a lot of synthetic content (for me, a lot of synthetic is anything over 10%).

Am currently stashbusting like crazy and have some patterns in the works hopefully for early fall release. I need to take more pictures as I’ve gotten a shocking amount of knitting done this year, and want to show it off after being such a slacker the last couple of years.

Posted in Knitting, Mayrhofen Fingerless Mitts, teasers | Leave a comment