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Thursday, November 19, 2009

epstein-kiss-250This is the time of year when warm thoughts of friends and family come gathering round the knitting table. Along with all the changes in weather, there’s usually changes in what we’re knitting: Gifts.

Just in time for holiday knitting is something new by Nicky Epstein: Knitting A Kiss in Every Stitch — a savvy new book filled with lots of ideas for projects for everyone on your gift list.

Nicky’s lovely and thoughtful touches are evident throughout with a wide range of garments for infants, teens and yes, your man.

Picture 2Baby’s First Hat (pg. 10) is a quick gift for the new dumpling in your neighborhood (they’re everywhere! Hi Gianna! Hi Daniel!) and this cap has what is Nicky’s signature: a clean style with some whimsical touches made with easy embellishments.

Your teen might just be thrilled to the moon and back by her vampire/werewolf caps (on pg. 33). Nicky writes: “For the “Plain Janes,” simply knit the hat and leave off the vampire bite.”

guy-socks-7228For your man, a great pair of socks, (pg. 77) with a not-so-secret message, sure to tickle you every time you see them. I’d like to say thanks for this picture alone, so naughty…

wrap-7227The ladies are not forgotten here. There’s lots of really pretty ideas for us, including a stunning bride’s purse (pg. 44) and great wrap called the Diamond Rib that I’m hoping Santa’s Elves are working on for me right now! I wish I had it right now to snuggle in with my morning tea…

And since we’ve stumbled into MY holiday wish list, I need those Pampering Spa Cloths (pg. 100 ) and the Jet Set Travel Tags (pg. 114), which show Nicky’s great eye for decorative touches that raise the bland to the irresistible. The Spa Cloths would pair up so nicely with a great bar of fancy soap for a guick gift for anyone on your list; the form and function of those tags sure would’ve saved me some time at La Guardia awhile back when I about collapsed from the dizzy watching the luggage go round and round the carousel…

(Closed: If you’d like a copy of this book, just leave a comment and your email below and we will randomly draw a winner on Tuesday, the 24th.)


Monday Morning Mirth November 16, 2009

  Monday Morning Mirth  

NYTimes: “In the 1990s, there was the “Rachel,” named after Jennifer Aniston’s character on the TV show “Friends.” Before the Rachel it was the “Farrah” — the flipped out, flouncy hairstyle worn by Farrah Fawcett. Now, it’s Ms. Lively, the 22-year-old actress who plays Serena van der Woodsen on “Gossip Girl,” whose tresses are coveted: extra long, ultra-shiny blond with a mussed-up tussle frolicking through the ends.

I’m posting this because there’s no way in hella that I’ll ever be able to have it and I want it, my precious…

Search count: “blake lively hair” = 916,000
(search count “blake lively and penn badgley” = 525,000!)

b-lively

How to get it? Well, Ms. Lively’s stylist says to just twist
the LONG hair into a loose chignon (extra points here for
knowing WTF a chignon is!) and let it dry naturally. Whatever.

Don’t forget, extensions are your friend! I went into a local corner store the other day and there they were: bags of hair. (Ditto points for the ubiquitous.)


Happy Hem Thursday November 12, 2009

One of the very best things about knitting in the round is binding off.

If everything’s on track, you’ve hit a keystone point where completion rings in with a capital C.

Finito.

My Mondo Cable Pulli, or Big Puffy as I’ve been calling it lately is recently celebrating the big BO.

mcp-7213

This intriguing yarn (Jeager PERSIA – discontinued) is not only very lightweight, it is very dimensional. The boucle (?) / chenille-like (?) construction of the fiber strand itself doesn’t need blocking and in fact I think looks really fab all dimensional and round without any blocking at all.

People are always talking about how a yarn POPS the cables but I’ve seen nothing like this. They aren’t bulky, just shapely.

I tried the sweater on and it doesn’t make me look all beefed up like a big-gauge yarn. There’s a subtley here — and I like.

The gauge however, really gave me fits. After the knitting is done, the fabric wants not to relax but contract. So my gauge, which was not to spec to begin with either lengthwise or widthwise, was in flux.

Don’t you hate that when that happens…

So while I compensated by making my cable crosses with less rows, the contraction (and the fact I wanted it a little longer) ultimately made me add a complete repeat at the bottom of the pullover. Life not imitating art indeed.

But it’s onward and upward with the sleeves. Won’t be compensating for the row gauge this time though; just knitting to spec. I predict it will be almost spot on. hee.

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