Chained to crochet…

In between finishing off the February Lady Sweater for my Mum (which only needs the sleeves!), I’ve been working on a lot of tiny work crochet for jewelery, pin cushions, and what not.

I’ve always adored crocheted; I learned how to hook before knitting and for some projects (like afghans), I like the results of crochet better.

I do, however, hate to chain, which is depicted above in all its glory. This chaining was practice for a necklace I recently made–which came out incredible. Snaps to come…

Thank you for being my little kids!

I have the best students!

Thank you cards and gift cards for crafting stores and coffee shops have been dropping through my mail slot all week from various little knitters expressing thanks for teaching them and of course, notes on their summer work.

I adore those little knitters and am happy they are keeping at it this summer. I’ll save the crafting gift card to use on supplies for them–but the coffee…oh, that coffee, its mine!

It’s not February, but it is a sweater for the ages…

I have been working on a February Lady Sweater for my Mum since late May; with the weather so great and the romping around constant, I haven’t had much time to actually work on this sweater.

But I did have a student wear it while in progress before school was out and she was certainly the perfect model for making this sweater look gorgeous; since then, the sweater is nearing the finish line on the body–I have about 2 inches left to knit of the lace before I begin the bottom garter stitch band. So basically, there isn’t much left but to pick up and knit the sleeves and add buttons (which I still haven’t picked out).

The February Lady Sweater is really simple and fun to knit up. The Gully Lace pattern repeat is easy to memorize and not overly complex, so I’ve only had to rip a couple of times to fix errors when my mind lapsed.

I’m making mine in the smallest size because my Mum is small and the negative ease will stretch over time. I hate when all that work on a sweater becomes moot because the yarn has stretched so much with wearing that it looks like an ugly bag that can’t keep its shape.

I would suggest anyone who has never made a sweater should start here; even though its tempting to just do a stockinette stitch raglan sweater, this is a great pattern for the newbie to sweater knitting. What’s more, there is a great set of resources to help you along where you have questions or want to make modifications.

I adore it. The yarn I’m using is a peacock color (my Mum’s favorite) with slight variegation in a darker blue and yellow. It’s gorgeous when you really look at it in person–unfortunately these snaps don’t do the slight color changes justice. But just you wait.

Expect this sweater to be finished in the coming days. While its been a pleasure, I’m ready for it to be finished.

Snaps of the February Lady Sweater, as always, at its flickr set. Of course, special thanks to C. for modeling; she’ll get a small prize in the mail.

Books, nooks, look!

Yesterday, I spent some quality time at the New England Mobile Book Fair.

If you’re a book slut and you’ve never spent any time here, please, do go. If you live in Boston, its a quick, and well worth, trip out to Newton Center for their warehouses of books. And once you familiarize yourself with how its organized (by publisher), you’ll be lost in the stacks for hours.

I scooped up a couple reads (to be blogged later), including my latest infatuation with crime mystery (think Agatha Christie and Orson Welles since I’ve exhausted all Sherlock Holmes) and horror, as well as a classic for good measure.

Look at that beautiful wall of Penguin classics. Drool. Faint. Adore. Bow. You know.

Someone buy me this entire wall (sans one’s I already own, which unfortunately for my wallet, is many…).

More, eats local…

Summer is officially here, and if you live in New England like me, it means gorging on copious amounts of seafood (not that we, and I, don’t do that all year round mind you).

But in summer, there are steamers. Hands down, my favorite food, I try and eat as many pounds of these in summer as possible. With melted butter and tons of Tabasco. If you’ve never tried them covered in spicy, you must.

I’ve had this tradition since I was little–gorge on steamers all summer, culminating in one epic session on my brithday (which falls in September just after labor day) as a last hurrah to steamers. My mum usually makes me 2-3 batches, loads them onto a platter, and sits me on the porch to go wild.

I must say, its gotten increasingly better since I hit 21; she also plunks down a six pack of my favorite summer beer still in its cardboard case (I’m not kidding) and a bottle opener. Of course, a pile of napkins, but no plates needed or anything. It’s the greatest time ever, and I look forward to that birthday tradition every year. Screw the cake, I hate it anyways. Bring on the clams!

Have I done anything but eat this summer?

Eating local…

If you’ve never had cheese from a local farm, I don’t know what you’re waiting on… it’s the greatest enjoyment your mouth will ever have, that is, of course, if you like cheese.

Actually, no. Even if you hate cheese, you’ll love this.

I recently gorged on some Sharp Cheddar and Horshradish Cheddar from two farms: one called Camelot, and one called Sandwich Creamery, both located in New Hampshire near my Mum’s.

Wow. That’s all I have to say.

Gee, tea…

This summer, I’ve been tasting and gulping a lot of different kinds of teas, thanks in part (or entirely), to this downright adorable little pop my Mum bought me.

Not only is it mustard yellow, but the teapot sits nicely atop a little tea cup–just perfect for one, and one cup. I adore it.

What’s more, there’s this little shop near my Mum’s house that has little kitchening items (where she bought this), as well as teas, spreads, chocolates, dishtowels, coffees, you name–all the good stuff.

So, whenever I’m there, I’ve been gobbling up these little tasters from Asiago Teas. It’s just enough that if you don’t quite love it, the tea won’t be around forever or go to waste. Plus, they tell you the exact temperature you should steep at. And the tins could be saved and used for any manner of other cute things.


(…my favorite bedfellow still is the coffee, no the matter how cute these little teapots are, though…)

Reworking an old hobby…

With school out, I’ve been fortunate to be gifted some serious time to dedicate to my hobbies. I used to take art classes at the institute after a regular day of high school; and I definitely got turned off by constantly having to draw boxes.

I’m more free form, you know?

The best class I took was in college; it was in using gouaches. So, I’ve been escaping the city a lot to spend time at my sister’s studio, painting with gouaches.

It’s great to be back handling brushes…art, to come.