Side projects

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I just got back from a quick business trip down to LA. It was so short, it hardly seemed worth mentioning, because I knew I wouldn't have time to see all the people I wanted to. In the process, I did manage to catch myself a little cold. I suspect I got it in the airport or in one of the many meetings I attended. Leo may have another cold all together, which means in the next few days, we may be in a mountain of tissues and in a cold medicine haze. This is my lead in to saying that, for the time being, if it isn't cozy and snuggly warm, I won't be modeling it here on my blog, which means there are no progress posts of the silky wool piece.

So while I eat my chicken noodle soup (with a splash of lemon juice,) I've been sticking to less taxing projects, like, spinning some beautiful Chameleon Colorworks fiber.

This is approximately 4 ounces of peachy colored singles. It's an unnamed colorway, in a Merino/Viscose blend, spun at a fairly fine weight. I'll be making a 2-ply with it sometime soon. It's definitely not as exciting to spin a monochromatic colorway, as it is to spin something vary variegated, but I love the subtle shading that is produced. The colorway is mostly very soft and muted shades of orange, with touches of gray throughout. The best way to describe it would be "cream of pumpkin." I've actually been spinning this fiber for several weeks, but finally finished the last little bit of it last night.

I started this other project last Wednesday night.

It'll eventually be a pair of socks for Leo -- he of the arches so high you could fit Donald Trumps ego under them.
The yarn is Blue Moon Sock Candy in Pecan. The fiber is 96% cotton and 4% elite. The pattern is a variation of one of the patterns from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks. Normally, I prefer to knit socks toe-up, but I've heard those aren't so good for the sky high arches that Leo was blessed with, so it seemed as good a time as any to start acquainting myself with the more traditional cuff-down variety of sock. Leo is particularly concerned that there be no seams, which I have assured him will be the case. I've also made it clear that he should not get used to wearing handmade socks. Luckily, he's always been very appreciative of hand knits.

All images in this post are from the book and are reproduced here with permission from the author.

When last I blogged, I posted an interview with Jennifer Stafford, the author of the book DomiKNITrix: Whip Your Knitting Into Shape. I hope you'll take the time to read through the interview because it's chock full of great tidbits and suggestions, for the knitter and pattern designer alike.

In this post, I'll be discussing the book itself and my review of it. I am a tough reviewer so expect to hear the good and the bad, as I see it. Take it for what it's worth and take into account your own preference for both learning and knitting, since my taste may differ from yours. The review is rather long, so if you are a skimmer, I suggest jumping ahead to the Conclusion section of this post.

Find the full review, after the jump.

One of the perks of being a guest on Knitty Gritty, is the opportunity to meet those knitters and bloggers whose work you've admired but whom you've never met. Getting to meet the DomiKNITrix herself, Jennifer Stafford, was no exception. To know her work is to appreciate it, even if her style is not to your taste. From the sculptural horns of her Devil Hat to the, thoughtful detailing in her Little Red Riding Hoodie, you see her flair for shaping. With her, now ubiquitous, skull chart, or the variations of her Elfin Goth, you can appreciate her attention to detail. So when Jennifer asked if I'd review her new book, there was simply no hesitation.

The review will appear over two blog posts. Today, I have a the results of a questionnaire I sent Jennifer. The next post will be my review of the book.

Part I, in its entirety is after the jump.

Remember this piece?

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Back before I moved to Portland and before I took on a plethora of non-bloggable design projects, I was working on a piece knit from Silky Wool.

I'm a little further than the last time I posted about it, though there has been a great deal of ripping, knitting, ripping, crocheting, ripping and, well, you get the idea.

I had planned the body of the piece really well, but had left the details such as the sleeves and bands much looser. This is primarily because I wasn't sure how much of the main color yarn I'd have after I completed the body. It turns out I had just a little more than needed to knit the body. So now it's a matter of finding a way to use the other two yarns (of which I had a single skein, each) in the most aesthetically pleasing way. Hopefully, the end result is a piece that will look like it was designed intentionally as opposed to a design driven by a lack of yarn.

While I really love the deep mahogany shade, and considered using it as the trim, I didn't feel it popped enough against the main color, so I used the gold instead. In order to make the sleeves seem more cohesive with the rest of the piece, I threw in a little pleat with the main color, to bring it all together.

I snapped a few very unflattering pictures of me wearing the piece in its current state. You can check them out after the jump.

Haystack Rock

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We've driven to Cannon Beach on several occasions in the past, but have always entered on the northern side at Ecola Park.

Here's a little Google Map satellite view of our normal route. The water line has been really high lately so there's normally not this much sand, but you get the idea.

Sunday, we went this route in hopes of finally getting to see that rock we're always taking pictures of.

Well, the day could not have been more beautiful and we have the pictures to prove it.

See them all here.

And if you want a little laugh, check out Panda's diversion, en route to the beach, after the bump.

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