Proof of life

I’ve been getting a lot of knitting done lately! Some pics…

© Bethany Hendrickson Portland, Oregon

This is a scarf looks different on both sides (only one side shown for now) due to the way the brioche stitch pattern encourages each yarn to “choose a side” as it were. Don’t be afraid of the word “brioche,” it’s actually a very simple stitch pattern repeat that is easy to do and memorize. Yarns used are Fibre Company Road to China Light in Smokey Quartz (the darker one), and Schulana Luxair in 44 Gold Brown (the sparkly one). What I also liked about this is that it’s a great stashbuster; who knew you could combine a fingering weight and a bulky weight with such wonderful results? Pattern for this one is to come.

© Bethany Hendrickson Portland, Oregon

These are some sweet little fingerless mitts I designed that are knit in a rather unusual (but simple!) way. To finish, just add a button and they hook together when you aren’t wearing them, eliminating that infurating purse/bag hunt for the one that seems to have gotten away. Pattern for these is also to come.

© Bethany Hendrickson Portland, Oregon

Please note: The ends on this scarf are not woven in yet, but they will be…someday, I promise! Used up some Malabrigo Lace (polar morn and frank ochre, i.e. the light gray and yellow) remnants and some Caress Luxury Yarn (the darker gray) from forever ago to make this. CLY held double, ML held quadruple throughout. I’ve been experimenting with texture as I work my way through my ever-expanding yarn stash, and I’ve found that holding two yarns together gives a much fluffier and more interesting texture than just using a thicker yarn. This is great as most of my stash is lace-sport weight, and I often want to make things that are worsted-chunky weight. Pattern for this one to come soon as well.

More knit and crochet goodies are piling up over here, but I thought it best to spread them out a bit on the blog. Am reworking a couple of older designs of mine and have a completely new one that I’m besotted with. Stay tuned…

And, it has to be noted that I nodded, “mm-hmm’d” and “SO TRUE’d!!” a lot when I saw this on Buzzfeed: 25 Frustrating Things About Being An Extrovert

Posted in Finished, Knitting, Luxesse Scarf, Mrs. Hughes Fingerless Mitts, Patterns, Springtime in Portland Scarf, random, teasers | Leave a comment

New Pattern: Ederne Shawl

Ederne Shawl

Ederne is a sideways knit shawl with Shetland lace along the edge. The garter stitch basis of the shawl means both sides look the exact same and it knits up quickly! Worked in the wonderful Mountain Meadow Wool Kaycee, it has both bounce and drape, and is delightfully warm.

Click to its ravelry page to buy or for more details…

Posted in random | Leave a comment

Falling for autumn

There has been a lot of what you might call hubbub in Chez Hendrickson, some of which is of the knit and crochet variety. There has also been some cooking going on as well. Will have to post the latest batch of recipes for udon (Japanese noodle soup), potato soup, roast pumpkin (and how to repurpose it afterward into a breakfast item), and Italian wedding so—hey, I think I’m seeing a theme here. Well, soup goes well with nasty weather, which Portland has been getting in spades. I am jealous of the cats’ 18-hour naps hibernation warmup routines.

Posted in random | Leave a comment

Dear Portland…

Walking down Yamhill Street yesterday on my way to Pearl Fiber Arts, and what do I see? Something almost Portlandia-ish in it’s “Portlandness.”

Poems while you wait. By this guy:

Being the crazy cat lady that I am, I asked him to write one about one of my cats, who used to be my brother’s cat, but now is my cat’s pet (or my cat is his pet, I can’t be sure). After we chatted about him for a few minutes, Bill pecked out an awesome poem, and I hope I can get another one from him today about my cat. The other cat will probably have to wait.

I loved the little poem books on the table, the typewriter, Bill himself…the whole thing felt like one of those quaint experiences that, if you are fortunate enough to have enough of them, make your life feel very rich, full, and interesting. As I headed to the yarn store after Bill gave me my poem, I read through the accompanying booklet of his poetry, and couldn’t wipe that big cheesy smile off my face for anything.

Even if your day isn’t particularly bad, having something like this happen can absolutely brighten it up a bit.

Posted in Ilovesmekitties, Oregon, Portland, random | Leave a comment

Waiting in the wings…

I have a few patterns that will be released soon. One is Usoa, which is being rereleased with tech-edited, test-knitted written-out directions included, for those who are averse to charts. There are also some designs which are going into the test knitting phase soon. Having to sit on all of this until it released is pretty tough, but I hope to have more goodies to share soon!

Until then, I will share a couple neat photos of what I see when I am knitting and working on patterns…

This is where I spend my lunch breaks:

And I often have one of these on my lap when working on one of the myriad designs in my pipeline:

For the last 3 months, I’ve been proudly owned by no less than FIVE cats, of which these are two. The big one with the mouth full of squishy cat toy is Gweek and his little orange friend (I should type “fiend” as she is a world of trouble) is Pumpkin. Will snap pics of the other 3 doing their respective adorable things and upload soon.

Just finished knitting my Serac recently as well, but now need to add the tassels. I also have some beautiful merino silk dyed by A Verb For Keeping Warm in a soft mauve shade that has been spun to 120 yards of 2-ply laceweight. It needs a sunnier day for a photo that will do it justice. I can’t wait to finish spinning the rest of it…it just might necessitate still another design! About time, too, considering I bought it at the first Sock Summit back in *gulp* 2009…

There will be a knit-along for Usoa coming up in the fall. If you would like to be notified when this is taking place, please post in the comments for this blog post, or send me a message on ravelry (my ID is ilovesmekitty).

Posted in Ilovesmekitties, a few of my favorite things | Leave a comment

New Pattern: Violet Crawley Scarf

Violet Crawley Scarf

I could totally see Violet Crawley wearing a prim and proper little scarf like this. The luxurious yarns are also very fitting for such an aristocratic lady. Because the scarf is so short, it buttons onto the rosette to keep everything in place—the bonus is, this will take a lot less time to knit than the usual-length scarf, so you can wear it a lot sooner. See the pattern page for details, or check it out on ravelry.

Posted in Knitting, Violet Crawley | Leave a comment

Try to detect it, it’s not too late…

This post was going to be a little photo-heavy, but I’ve been so remiss in posting photos for at least the last year that I think I will have to do it in a series. Based on my posts from that time frame, you’d probably never guess that I actually do still knit and crochet. Well, I do, and sometimes I finish things—scouts’ honor! *makes hand gesture from my brownie days*

The problem is that I’ve been starting so many projects it takes a while to finish everything. To shame myself into completing things in a more timely fashion, I’ve snapped some glamour shots of my current works-in-progress (and what follows is by no means a comprehensive list). In this way, I can refer back to my own blog from time to time and cringe quietly at how many things I have left to complete. Hopefully this will keep me from starting any other projects. Without further ado, here we go…

current-wips_07-07-13In this picture we have quite a few items. I think it’s interesting to see it all side by side, though there is quite a bit of garter stitch. That’s okay though because I think most people like garter stitch. Starting from the top left, we have the following:

  • A beret crocheted with Berroco Comfort Worsted in a deep loden green. This is part of a Bavarian collection of patterns, the title of which is a play on words: Gemütlichknit. Gemütlichkeit is 1. probably my favorite word of all time, and 2. a German word describing a culmination of things (sometimes spurred by an event or an activity) that creates a feeling of soul-warming coziness and pure joy…it has no English equivalent, which I find interesting.
  • Two small flowers from my new Hana Ami flower loom—this is fantastic for being productive (and stashbusting) when I can’t focus on a pattern, i.e. writing one of my own or working from someone else’s, which due to being so busy and therefore more than a little frazzled most of the time, is more often than I care to admit.
  • Progress on my second set of Kaleidoscope Fingerless Mitts worked in Fibre Company Canopy fingering weight (colorways: Blue Quandons, Macaw, & Palm Bud).
  • The as yet tentatively-titled “Blumen Mitts” from my Gemütlichknit collection. Did I mention I’m obsessed with Trachtenmode? These are worked in Cascade 220 and embroidered with scrap yarns from my stash. If I was smarter I would have done them entirely in Cascade 220 so that I could sell them as kits down the road, but I think this yarn is too heavy anyway, so will likely make them again in 220 sport once I get these done. Am thinking that will make them easier to embroider on as well.
  • From my [new!] line of Downton Abbey patterns, these butter-yellow mitts are a design for Caress Luxury Yarns that uses their Royal Baby Alpaca 3ply. They are so soft and warm I am pretty breathless for freezing weather to come along so I can wear them. (One mitt needs to be seamed and have a special detail added to it.)
  • The big white thing on the right is my Serac in progress. It’s shameful how long this has taken, but I had to hunt down the second skein of Mountain Meadow Wool Kaycee in my stash.
  • Another design from Gemütlichknit, this is knit with Malabrigo Lace in the Verde Adriana colorway. It is knit in my own “hypotenuse” style (I don’t think I’m the only person to have ever done this, but I consider it my own “unvention” as I haven’t seen any other shawls done this way), which starts at the long edge, i.e. the hypotenuse of the triangle, and decreases down to the point. This makes the shawl go exponentially faster than the usual neck-down method where the rows get longer as you go.
  • Last but not least, another Downton Abbey themed knit and also a hypotenuse shawl. This one is going to have a lace design going down to the point. It is knit with one strand each of Habu Textiles 2/17 Tsumugi in color 12 (a beautifully complex ecru), and 20/1 Copper Bamboo in color 53 (a deep beige that flashes tawny-peach from the 33% copper in it).

Whew—I think I need a nap after all this typing. I took a lot of pictures today, so will try to post one photo a day with closeups of each project. Just looking at all those WIPs makes me feel bashful enough to want to get dinner over with (lettuce wraps à la PF Changs) so I can get back to stitching! Will have to remember to blog about Saturday’s dinner of scratchmade tacos al pastor with chicken in lieu of the usual porcine suspect. Yum yum yum yum.

Posted in WIPs | Leave a comment

*exhaling deeply* Ahhhh…

I have been internet-free since FEBRUARY. I’ve enjoyed saving money by not having a cable bill, but I’ve missed a lot of Grimm episodes, Food Network shows, and have sorely neglected my blog and pattern-writing duties. There are some fun things in the pipeline and I hope to be sharing them with you shortly.

As a minimialist/Henry David Thoreau devotee I have failed, but hopefully I can make up for it with more blog content and new patterns for all the things I’ve been working on the last few months. :)

Posted in random | Leave a comment

Oh, *do* go on…and on…ok, that’s enough.

It’s been quite a busy weekend, even being off work an extra day. It’s been great, and I’ve managed to be incredibly productive…while avoiding doing laundry. I’ve always said, if there’s something you don’t want to do, find something else you don’t want to do more and do the first one to dodge dealing with the second—though I usually phrase it more pithily: I’m never more productive than when avoiding _____, or something like that.

We got some primroses for the front window ledge on Saturday, and they look about as pretty as a crocheted afghan. The bonus is that they were only 99¢ a piece! I was quite pleased…it balanced out the bajillion dollars I had to spend on actual groceries.

My goal for the day is to get caught up on laundry, Downtown Abbey, finish the neck and shoulder shaping of the Sydney Soft sweater, begin a newborn hat for a co-worker that is set to pop (I know, I swore off commission knits and she doesn’t realize the yarn cost half what she was going to pay, but I’ll never have to do it again), and maybe start the second half of my latest design for Ingrid Reimers / Caress Luxury Yarns. Naturally, all of this is after dental appointments for myself and the kiddo.

Am trying to think of some interesting ideas for dinner, too. Maybe little towers of sweet potato cooked until soft, then smashed and browned on both sides. And we have a ton of salad to go through…from there it gets muddy. We had mac ‘n’ cheese from scratch last night and I remembered why I never make it: it’s like eating a whole bottle of Ambien that was neatly tucked inside of a lead bowling ball. The other problem with it is that the cheese (that melts so magically and invisibly into the bêchamel sauce) sticks to the pot like crazy, which is funny because that’s how I feel trying to scour it off with a rough scrubby, my own tears, and some very choice words.

Speaking of choice, I’ve discovered my new favorite breakfast: Bob’s Red Mill 7 Grain Hot Cereal. The stuff is textured more like steel cut oats than grits or oatmeal, is healthier, and best of all, can be doctored to taste just like rice pudding for the greatest, most indulgent (seeming) breakfast since Louis XIV first strutted around in velvet breeches and man-heels. It’s also about 90% less than the packaged version that sits on the grocery store shelf (89¢/lb. vs. $9.53/1 lb. 9 oz.), that is, if you get it from the bulk aisle, or as I like to call it, the “I-should-have-gone-to-MIT-with-this-mathematically-inclined-sharp-as-a-tack-brain aisle”—yeah, it’s kind of long. I’ll probably go back to just “bulk aisle” at some point.

…And because people really only “read” blogs for the photographs. (I can prove it, too—this blog is actually written in an obscure Bantu click language, but you don’t know that because you’re just looking at the pictures!)

Valentine's Day Flowers

Valentine's Day Flowers

Swedish "-eatball" plate (My own vegetarian version)

Swedish "-eatball" plate (My own vegetarian version)

From scratch macaroni and cheese

From scratch macaroni and cheese

Feeling a little off lately...

Feeling a little off lately...

Primroses on the ledge...of glory...and I'm han—oh, nevermind.

Primroses on the ledge...of glory...and I'm han—oh, nevermind.

Heath L as The Joker meme: not sure if on purpose?

Heath L as The Joker meme: not sure if (variegated) on purpose?

Pretty in pink primroses

Pretty in pink primroses

Aren't these the cutest fairy-ish shade of pale purple?

Aren't these the cutest fairy-ish shade of pale purple?

Just peachy! Land sakes, these captions are hokey.

Just peachy! Land sakes, these captions are hokey.

The best ones. Kiddo picked 'em out, natch.

The best ones. Kiddo picked 'em out, natch.

There you got some pictures. Now get off my lawn! *shakes cane grumpily and goes back inside*

Posted in Cooking, a few of my favorite things, random | Leave a comment

Depeche mode

new motif

I’ve been remiss in making too many more of these, but thought it was high time I updated the blog. Just to show that I have quite a few other projects in the works:

  • Svartifoss motifs…haven’t decided if this will be a scarf or a cowl
  • new design for Caress Luxury Yarns in a buttery yellow
  • seaweed green half-finger gloves for a friend w/US-made Cestari wool
  • grape-colored fingerless mitts w/embroidery in Cascade 220
  • cream puff stitch crochet flapperish beanie in Brown Sheep Lanaloft
  • loden green crochet beret in Berroco Comfort
  • ecru angora-blend cardi (Sydney Soft by Finnish designer Meiju K-P)
  • pattern for my Isabelline scarf (Orkney Angora + Schulana Kid Seta Luxe yarn)
  • pattern for my Ederne Shawlette (Mountain Meadow Wool yarn)

And on top of all that I’m doing regular life stuff like working and eating and sleeping, so it’s slow going on all fronts. Time to finish some stuff, I think, before it gets too warm to wear any of it!

Posted in random | Leave a comment