House a little warmer


When I think of Julia, I think of clean and flattering designs with thoughtful feminine details. There's never anything fussy or kitschy, and her materials are top notch. Even in a time of pom-pom and sequined yarns, Julia's taste was merino and silk, which is why I never expected her to pick up a few yards of this fabric, when she started sewing again.

Topless Cowboy Apron

Pinup girls be damned, I'm looking at some shirtless cowboys!

But the thing is, I love this fabric. As I mentioned in the comments of her post about this fabric, a couple years ago, it reminds me of an art project I made in the 7th grade, using Jockey underwear ads. I'll leave it at that.

But that was something like 2 years ago. I'd forgotten those handsome devils and their pickup trucks. I'd forgotten, that is, until I opened my mailbox yesterday and found this:

Topless Cowboy Apron

Great googily moogily! It's topless cowboys in apron form! Do you see this? Check out those sweet little sage green pockets and long ties. There's even a little loop, perfect for holstering one's tongs or, even a hammer, were one so inclined.

Well, I loved it so much that I thought it deserved a proper photo shoot, including vintage dress, rolling pin and a bit of hamming it up for the camera.

Topless Cowboy Apron Topless Cowboy Apron

What can I say but, thank you, Julia, this apron is the best.

Memories of Mumbai


The Tour de Fleece pushed me to do a lot of spinning and now I feel compelled to knit my new skeins.

The thing, though, with knitting your own handspun is that the quantity you have is it, especially if you buy handpainted fibers produced in small quantities. Mostly, my skeins run 2-4 ounces which may vary in yardage depending on fiber type, ply and weight. Ideally, I want to avoid projects where I'll come up short on yardage, but I still want to use as much of the yarn up as possible so as not to waste any of my hard work spinning it. A challenge!

My very last skein from the tour was a merino/bamboo blend from Freckle Face Fibers that I spun up into a little more than 600 yards of fingering weight singles. It seemed like plenty of yardage for a rectangular wrap, so I got to looking through some stitch dictionaries to find something that was lacy but simple enough to stand up to the highly variegated rainbow colorway.

Making use of my kitchen scale and a center pull ball, I managed to achieve my goal of using the entire skein, with no waste.

I call this, "burning the skein at both ends."

I trimmed the shawl with a little Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud in a light beige shade, blocked and voila.

Handspun and Alpaca shawl

The colors make me think of the lovely silk saris I admired on my brief trips to India and the simple scarf shape and ruffle remind me of one of my favorite shawls that I bought there.

Handspun and Alpaca shawl
Do you see anyone peeking around the corner.

The main motif is out of one of the Barbara Walker treasuries, and then I scaled it down near each end and finished it off with a simple ruffle.

Handspun and Alpaca shawl

The cast on edge is actually the center back and to use up as much yarn as possible I used the tail from the cast on and felted it to the start of the yarn that I used to pickup and knit down from the other end. So the only ends were at each end.

And lastly, my dogs are cute.

Manzanita 09/06/09

In the works


Well, your collective response to my inquiry about that slouchy cowl in my last post was so great that I got right to writing the pattern. My beta reviewers are looking over the very rough draft and then it's off to the tech editor early next week. As per most of my for sale patterns, it'll be offered in 12 sizes and have plenty of tips for getting a good fit. I hope it'll be well received.

It took a while to get the charts, calculations, schematic and text together, and I still need to get some detail shots and start the layout, but I've taken the summer off from classes, I don't have any design deadlines, and the most time consuming parts of the move are done so I actually had some *gasp* free time! I'm trying not to get used to it.

I've even had a little time for some more knitting

Prism lace transition

The yarn is some of the singles I spun during the Tour de Fleece. It started off looking like this.

Prism as hat

It's going to be a rectangular wrap but I think it'll be coming up a little shorter than I'd like so I've set aside some possible yarn with which to trim it.

And, since I've been doing cable charts for this project, I'm thinking about doing another illustrator chart tutorial. I just need to find the box the microphone.

Total slouch


Sometimes being a slouch is just fine. Normally, I love knitting fitted, figure hugging designs that appreciate all the fantastic curves we women have to offer but occasionally, all I want is something comfy and slouchy and relaxed while still being appropriate for human interaction. (I've heard it's frowned upon to go out in public in your robe. Go figure.)

Remember Freudian Stitch? Long since ripped, it's now become this.

Slouchy Silky Wool Pullover w/Fireplace Slouchy Silky Wool Pullover w/Fireplace

It's a simple design with plenty of ease and a huge scoop neck that can be worn on or off the shoulders. The cowl is gently flared to allow it to drape loosely at the neck or be worn across the shoulders, as desired.

The simple cable running up the front and back has been scaled down to run along the sleeves as well.

As I've noted in the past, I just love working with Silky Wool. The tweedy color, subtle texture and crisp hand, make for a lovely fabric and the light weight doesn't add bulk and is suitable for most seasons.

I'm not sure if I'll offer a pattern or not, that'll depend on time and customer interest. It's not a complicated piece but I would be offering several different cable charts to ensure that the scale of the cables fits the larger sizes so the cost in time and tech editing would be a little higher than usual.

But hey, this is my first official knitting photoshoot in the new home. It's silly but it feels a little momentous to me. Even the girls got in on the fun.

Slouchy Silky Wool Pullover in Yard



I've never been a morning person, but this new house might just change that about me.

From the bed, the other morning, this is what I saw.


Look closer and you can see Mt Hood rising up through the clouds.


We may not have much furniture, but things are pretty smiley all around.

Thea during sunrise View from the

Also, I finally broke El Matchador out this weekend for a spin on the deck.

Lazy Sunday on the deck

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