I’ve been hard at work on some secret projects lately. For quite a while actually, which (only in part) explains my extended silence. I cannot fully disclose the details of them (they’re secret). But here’s a teaser.

So my cousin Hilary is pregnant. When I first heard this news, I was very excited. My thoughts ranged from OHMYGODNEWBABYCUTENESSHOWEXCITING, to OHMYGODIMGOINGTOBABYSIT, to OHMYGODTHETHINGSIMGOINGTOKNIT. You know, the important things in life.

I decided to knit a sweater (I found an adorable pattern for a baby kimono on Ravelry) and, of course, a bunny. Being the person I am, I left everything to the last. possible. minute. I was knitting the kimono-sweater until three in the morning before the baby shower (which was last weekend) and the bunny until a half hour before I had to leave. I didn’t have time to knit the poor thing a sweater. Not wanting him to go naked, I took the sweater off of my first bunny (devoted readers will recall that his name is Henry), and no one was the wiser.

The baby’s sweater was knitted in Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima 100 percent pima cotton, garter stitch with size four circular needles. The pattern was easy, but slightly vague.

I was sad to part with the sweater. It’s just so cute. But I was very happy to see that Hilary loved it. And I’ll be even happier to see the baby in it!

The thing about having a blog is that your friends read it, which means you can’t post about the presents you’re making for them until they have them. So… here’s one of the projects I’ve been working on: a cowl for my friend Hanna’s birthday. Which is today!

She loves bold colors, so I knitted it in a really pretty turquoise (I realized after I had bought the yarn that it was a very similar color to the fingerless gloves I had made her a couple of years ago). It’s a long cowl, in a k2 p2 rib. I’m happy with the way it turned out, I hope she is too.

Happy birthday, Hanna!

Well, hello! Yes, I’ve been noticeably absent. My apologies. While I have been busy lately, I’ve made time to knit. I’ve also been making pom poms! For my birthday my future sister-in-law and her husband got me pom pom makers and they’re just too fun. There is no limit to how many pom poms you can make… in any color. (Though my yarn stash is pretty mono-chromatic these days. Green and purple, anyone?)

There is, however, a limit to what you can do with pom poms. I’m not making any hats – it’s way too hot to even think about wool hats. I thought maybe I could make a necklace with a pom pendant. That looked weird. What I wound up doing was crocheting a chain and tying three poms onto it. It’s hanging on a doorknob in our living room, looking cute and fuzzy. Maybe they could make cute purse ornaments? Anyone have any ideas?

So if you haven’t guessed, I’ve been going through a bit of a lull lately. Even though I went shopping! But sometimes the juices just aren’t flowing. So, cliché of all clichés, here are some pictures from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Cherry Blossom Festival – and the Garden in general – which we went to yesterday. The colors were so beautiful, I just had to share. It’s really spring. And I want to knit something in orangey/yellow after seeing the flower in the bottom photo.

Last weekend Giancarlo and I met his sister Mary and her husband Robin in Manhattan for a day of shopping. While the boys went to shop for beer, Mary and I went to Purl Soho for yarn and fabric.

I picked up a few skeins of Cascade Yarns baby alpaca chunky in ivy to make a scarf for Giancarlo. He definitely needs a go-to warm scarf for winter, and I’m ashamed to say that I’ve only ever knitted him a pair of mittens (they more closely resembled oven mitts). But he lost them, so no wonder why I haven’t made him anything since (ahem).

I also got this gorgeous Madelinetosh yarn, tosh merino light in lepidoptra. And some crochet hooks. I can’t crochet, but I’m dying to make a granny square blanket. So Mary has promised to teach me.

While we were at Purl, Giancarlo and Robin came across another crocheted bike. Turns out, these crocheted art installations are made by the artist Olek.

The scarf is looking pretty good so far, I’m making it with the herringbone stitch, which I’ve never worked with before. It looks cool and masculine enough for my honey.

I’ve made this adorable necklace three times now (designed by my favorite knitting blogger, Olga Buraya-Kefelian. She lives in Japan, my heart goes out to her). One for myself, one for my friend Hanna and one for my friend Caitlin.

I used Lion Brand LB Collection Baby Alpaca in natural with size four needles for mine and Hanna’s, and silvery pink Lana Grossa yarn (from the subway project) with the same needles for Caitlin’s.

The two pieces to the necklaces knit up quickly.  It’s really fun to weave them together and watch the projects take shape.

When I wear mine I love pairing it with my favorite silver pendant.

Last night my future sister-in-law Mary and I went to a “Night of Knitting on the Rocks” at the City Bakery on 18th Street. There was food (mac and cheese, Brussels sprouts, fried chicken, corn bread…) drinks and delicious desserts (cookies, pear tarts and ohmygosh homemade marshmallows).

And of course there was knitting. People brought their own knitting, but local knitting shops were also on hand to host workshops. Purl Soho and Wool and the Gang were doing Beginning Knitting, Brooklyn General and Mochimochi Land were doing “Doughknit” (yes! knitting doughnuts! we got a free pattern!), Downtown Yarns was spinning and Knitty City was knitting charity blankets.

Also there was a “ponathon” table where people were making pon pons (I was and still am under the impression that they’re called pom poms. A Google search came back “Did you mean ‘pom poms?'” Either way.)

Mary and I ate, drank, made pon pons (pom poms) and knitted for charity. And we didn’t buy anything! Mostly because when we went to go buy the pon pon (pom pom) makers at the Purl table they were sold out.

It was so much fun. We’re going back next year.

 

Entries in a contest to knit your favorite food or drink from the City Bakery

Our favorite entry (but not the winner): Fuseli with Sauce

Mary knitting for charity

So I finished the kerchief like, a week and a half ago. But I’ve been super distracted lately and blogging took a backseat. But it’s done! And finished within two weeks. I used the same shawl starter the Mara Shawl called for and then knitted in the stockinette stitch, seed stitch, knit-two-purl-two rib and finished it off with the garter stitch. It looks exactly how I imagined it would look except that the seed stitch and the garter stitch are a little similar, but that’s alright. I totally made it up as I went, which I have never done before, so I’m pretty happy about that. It’s soft, comfortable and perfect for the coming (current) season. As I’ve said before, the inspiration for this kerchief was a textured shawl pattern I found on Ravelry.

This is the first pattern I’ve ever written down (if anyone actually looks through this and sees a problem, don’t hesitate to let me know immediately, in the comment section if necessary!). I wasn’t paying attention as I was knitting, so I had to really sit and think back to what I did. Which is why it’s kind of haphazard. If anyone reading this has any questions (I’m really reaching now) you know, ask.

PATTERN

2 skeins of Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light
1 pair of circular needles, size 5
Tapestry needle

CO 5 sts
Knit 2 rows
Row 1 (RS): k2, yo, pm, k1, yo, k2
Row 2 (WS): k2, p to marker, slip marker, p to last 2 sts, k2
Row 3 (RS): k2, yo, k to marker, yo, slip marker, k1, yo, k to last 2 sts, yo, k2

Rep rows 2 and 3 for two inches (stockinette stitch segment)

Row 4 (WS): p to end
Row 5 (RS): k2, yo, *k1, p1, rep from * to marker, yo, slip marker, k1, yo, *k1, p1 rep from * to last 2 sts, yo, k2
Row 6 (WS): k2, *purl all knits and knit all purls, rep from * to marker, slip marker, p1, *purl all knits and knit all purls, rep from * to last 2 sts, k2
Row 7 (RS): k2, yo, *knit all purls and purl all knits, rep from * to marker, yo, slip marker, k1, yo, *knit all purls and purl all knits, rep from * to last 2 sts, yo, k2

Rep rows 6 and 7 for two inches (seed stitch segment)

Rep stockinette segment and seed segment, then stockinette again so there are 5 segments.

Row 8 (RS): k2, yo, *k2, p2, rep from * to marker, yo, slip marker, k1, yo, *k2, p2 rep from * to last 2 sts, yo, k2
Row 9 (WS): k2, *knit all knits and purl all purls, rep from * to marker, slip marker, p1, *knit all knits and purl all purls, rep from * to last 2 sts, k2
Row 10 (RS): k2, yo, *purl all purls and knit all knits, rep from * to marker, yo, slip marker, k1, yo, *purl all purls and knit all knits, rep from * to last 2 sts, yo, k2
Row 11 (WS): k2, *knit all knits and purl all purls, rep from * to marker, slip marker, p1, *knit all knits and purl all purls, rep from * to last 2 sts, k2

Row 12 (RS): k2, yo, k to marker, yo, slip marker, k1, yo k to last 2 sts, yo, k2
Row 13 (WS):  k2, k to marker, slip marker, p1, k to last 2 sts, k2

Continue in garter stitch for desired length (in my case, 3 inches).

BO loosely in suspended bind off. Weave in ends.

At the corner of Front Street in DUMBO over the weekend, Giancarlo and I saw this sweet bike (in all fairness, he spotted it first. I was about to breeze right by until he drew my attention to it). Totally crocheted, totally impractical and totally awesome.