Wednesday, June 18, 2008

hello from taiwan!

well i have been doing quite a bit of knitting while in taiwan!  i spend a fair amount of time sitting around, so i've had a great opportunity to catch up on movies that i've wanted to see and knitting i've been meaning to do.  i brought my peacock feather patterned lace shawl, the green baby sweater for emma's baby, and some knitpicks yarn we bought for baby blankets (i'm making a baby blanket in the shell/star pattern which i've made before).  for a pattern, see here.

speaking on knitpicks, i wanted to rave a little in praise of their yarns and website.  i have recently become a fan of their yarns, as has shreya.  i'm currently working all three projects just mentioned in their yarns.  the lace is worked in alpaca cloud lace yarn, in stream heather.  it's a beautiful yarn that works very well for the peacock lace i'm working on.  the other two projects are worked in swish dk; the baby sweater is a cable pattern in asparagus, and the baby blanket is in storm and white.  i should mention that i'm not the only one who's working in this yarn.  shreya's mom, theresa, is working on an amazing blanket pattern, twice to make two identical blankets, that is worked square by square, each in a different color with a different pattern.  she's using the wool of the andes in a variety of colors.  i can't wait to see the result!  shreya has also worked on a variety of projects using yarns from knitpicks, as has joyce, our resident crocheter.  last i heard, she was working on a couple of different baby blankets.

knitpicks also has a great section of tutorials in their blog section.  one of them has proved to be very informative and helpful for my shawl (yet to be finished).  it's a pdf on how to block lace.  another one i'm fond of is the kool-aid dying tutorial.  this is one of the pictures from the pdf.
i'm very interested in trying this out...guess i've got to buy some bare blanks from knitpicks to dye.  alternatively, i could buy some wool-silk from sarah's yarns, which took the color very well from the natural dyes we used in anne's dying workshops.  

well i've rambled on enough and it's time for me to run to lunch.  

best stitches and happy knitting!!

Monday, June 2, 2008


it turns out that my job, working at MIT in the hemann lab, isn't the kind of job that functions nonstop.  there are moments of down time, where i can surf the web or just relax and talk to people.  my bay-mate, a grad student, usually has music playing (and so i've learned a lot more about bands i like and bands i didn't know).  sometimes it just sounds like noise to me, literally!  the other day, i was looking through blogs and patterns of knit and crochet items.  if you need something to waste are some blogs and pattern sites that i like to browse through.  

first and foremost, the inspiration for the upcoming crocheted cotton bag project (see future post for updates!), future girl!  you can also try craftster, which has a variety of other kinds on crafts besides knitting and crocheting, but it's still really fun to browse through.  for knitting patterns, knitty is a great source of patterns and advice.  they have a large archive and also release patterns on a regular basis.  another site that has nothing to do with knitting or crocheting or crafts of any kind, but is still worth checking out, postsecret.  people mail in postcards with a secret on it to this man, who then scans them and posts them on his website.  you'd be amazed what kind of secrets you can find out.

it turns out that blogging is a complete and separate world that you really don't appreciate until you start to read some of these.  first of all, there are blogs about just about everything...a friend of mine reads blogs about babies and children!  second, there's this sense of friendship between people who may have never met, but feel a sense of connection with someone who makes a form of art they can appreciate.  they do "exchanges" where each person makes something for the other person and then they mail them to each other.  some people will have random drawings for a set of random things that they've cleaned out of their stash (what a great way to clean out your own things!  or to be randomly inspired by someone else's things!!)

anyway, instead of rambling on, let me share the pattern i found.  it comes with a story.  my mother and one of her younger sisters both attended MIT, married MIT men, and ended up living in neighboring towns.  as it happened, they both had a girl, then a boy, resulting in a set of four children who grew up near each other, occasionally sharing the same house.  my older cousin, sarah, me, my cousin pete (my age), and my younger brother ted form this little group and we're more than cousins but less than siblings.  anyway, sarah had just moved into her own house in worcester, so we decided to make thanksgiving dinner, just the four kids.  after we had prepped the night before, we watched ratatouille.  i fell asleep somewhere near the end and missed a substantial portion of the ending.  the next day, after the family came over and we had consumed far too much food, we all watched ratatouille again, since our parents hadn't seen it.  i fell asleep again.  in the same place!  so there is still a chunk i haven't seen.  maybe this wasn't a great story, but my point is that i found this online and thought he was adorable and wanted to share him, so maybe he'll get made!

the pattern for his construction can be found here.  i hope that someone makes him!  and if you do, please post your pictures so we can all see him.  as another reminder, if you'd like to share what you've been creating or patterns you've made up or found, please don't hesitate to email me or shreya or post comments here!

best stitches and happy knitting!