Monday, August 27, 2012

My Affection For Color

Yeah I know, enough already with the damn Color Affection! I promise that this is the last post about it. That's a lie, it's the second to last post because I have one I'm working on that I will share with you when it's done.

Although the shawl name is in the title of this post it really isn't about the shawl per se but about how the shawl changed some things for me.

So you know I knit a Color Affection. I wanted to knit another because I really liked it so much. I had gotten a gift certificate for Miss Babs yarn and put in an order for four skeins of yarn for socks determined that I wasn't going to buy another Color Affection kit and I'd put my own colors together. I got an email from Miss Babs telling me one of the colors wasn't available so I switched my whole order and purchased another kit for the Color Affection. I'm so unsure of my color choices I decided to let Miss Babs do it for me. I even asked you guys to help me pick colors for the Derecho!

Reading the comments got me thinking and I realized something. I'd always thought that matching colors and making color combinations was something you either knew or didn't know. I came to realize it was something I could learn! This was a shock to me. I have a couple of friends who have an amazing sense of color so they're who I turned to. Rich recommended two books to me which I purchased right away. One was Exploring Color in Knitting: Techniques, Swatches, and Projects to Expand Your Knit Horizons by Sarah Hazell & Emma King which I got at Barnes & Noble for under eight bucks, shipped. The other book is The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques by Margaret Radcliffe which is also on the Barnes & Noble site but can be downloaded to your Nook!

I'm really excited by the idea of learning how to do this. I've always been a tshirt and jeans kind of girl who just made sure there was no pasta sauce stains on the boobs. Now I'm actually developing an interest in colors and putting them together so they're pleasing to the eye. I won't go so far as to say I'm interested in fashion but I'd love to have a few things that will make my unstained tshirts pop. Ha!

By the way, if you want to see some kick ass color matching, check out the link to Rich's blog and take a look at his Fair Isle work. To. Die. For.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Lovin Summer

Ha! See what I did there? Here are my Summer Lovin socks!

So cute! I've made these before and really liked them. I think the yarn I did it in last time was a sport weight so the stitch design wasn't seen as clearly as it is here. The yarn is Neighborhood Fiber Company and is wonderful. It was a gift from my dear friend Rich and I really wanted to do the yarn justice. I love that it's striped but the colors are so close it doesn't really look striped but variegated. I think this was a lovely & thoughtful gift. These are one of these pair of socks that make me wish I had a pair of clear shoes to wear so I could show them off. I hope you're reading this people at Dansko!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Miss Babs Color Affection Birthday Love

Did I get it all in? I think I did!

My dearest friend in the world, Megan, sent me a gift certificate for Miss Babs Yarn and it was the perfect gift. I'm not one of those people who doesn't like gift cards. I love them! It shows me that you're thinking about me and want me to get what makes me happy and I am very happy after my package arrived!

At first I was just going to order several skeins of yarn and either make socks or make some lace shawls. I really was going to do this! Until I looked at the Color Affection kits. They had me at hello. The hardest part was choosing which one but I managed.

The colors are Cool Beans, Roasted Pumpkin & Squash Blossom. I really liked the idea of one of the yarns being a variegated yarn. Now I'm just trying to decide what order to put them in. Most people go from light to dark but I think the Roasted Pumpkin may make my skin look too pasty so I'm thinking of using the variegated yarn, Squash Blossom, first, the Roasted Pumpkin second and finishing up with the Cool Beans.

I also got a gorgeous skein of French Marigold Yummy Monochrome Sock and Baby Yarn. Whew is that a mouthful! Here's a photo of that yarn:

Love this! It's a little more orange than I thought it would be but it's really beautiful and I can't wait to see what I make with it. As you can probably tell by the colors I've chosen, I'm ready for fall!

As for the colors in my previous post, I decided to make a change. You all came up with great color combinations and great instruction on what to choose and why. I decided to go with the Ruddy Daggerwing but changed out the Rhino Beetle and replaced it with Bess Beetle which is more brown. The black just looked too harsh for my liking. Here are the colors:

They're all in the same color family but I think the Ruddy will really pop against the other colors. Between the beautiful yarn and the incredible Derecho design I think this shawl is gonna be fantastic.

After putting that last post together I realized that I really need to learn more about colors and putting them together. I actually didn't know that this was something you could learn. I thought it was a talent you were born with. Or not. Someone suggested The Yarnista's blog posts about color mixing and matching. It's a four part series and a great starting point to understand about colors. My friend, Rich, also suggested a couple of books for me to read. Now if you go check out Rich's blog and see the vests he's done you'll know why I value his opinion and jumped on these books.

The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques by Margaret Radcliffe was available for download on the Barnes & Noble site. It's now on my Nook Color. The other book, Exploring Color in Knitting: Techniques, Swatches, and Projects to Expand Your Knit Horizons by Sarah Hazell & Emma King, I purchased used for about three dollars and it should be here any day. I'm so excited about learning about color and the prospect of doing so much more color work without having to ask for help. Which is greatly appreciated by the way!

Our son is leaving for school on Thursday so knitting will be a bit limited this week but the tears will be flowing.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Color Help!

Since knitting my Color Affection, I've been looking a lot more at color shawls. I came across the Derecho and fell in love with it. It doesn't appear too difficult so I figured I'd give it a go. Now the problem.

I suck at putting together colors. I think I've mentioned this before. The only thing I know is that stripes and plaids don't go together, which I have to remind Glenn of when he goes out golfing, but that's about it. Now I know a lot of knitters and I know most of you have great taste and are of an opinionated nature so my weakness needs your strength. In other words, please help a knitter sister out.

I went stash diving and came up with a few options. First I had to get past my misconception of the idea that you have to knit a project with only one brand of yarn. I decided I'd go out on a limb, for me, and mix Sanguine Gryphon, Verdant Gryphon and MadelineTosh yarns. Sacrilege! It's taken me the morning to get over it, but over it I am. Now I need help. I picked out several colors and don't know which I want. I do know I want the Rhinoceros Beetle by Sanguine Gryphon and the Antler by MadelineTosh as my dark and light yarns. Here they are:

Now the problem. Which do I use as my medium color? I've picked a few colors that I think would work and I'd love your opinion as to which yarn you think would work best.

First we have Blue Lobster from The Sanguine Gryphon:

Next is Dragon King's Daughter from The Verdant Gryphon:

And last we have Ruddy Daggerwing from The Sanguine Gryphon:

They're all rich, vibrant colors and I'm sure any one of them would go together well with the Antler and Rhino Beetle but I'd love to hear from you what you think. Maybe there's even a different trio from the yarns above that would work? I'm not sure but I want see what other knitters would choose. It may make a difference if you look at the shawl to see how the colors go together so I've included the link to the pattern above.

I really appreciate any input I can get on this. Thanks for taking the time to help a knitter out.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Color Affection

I finished my Color Affection last night! Wanna see?

Isn't it gorgeous? I love love love it. Oh that pink thing? You wanna know what it is? Well...I dropped a stitch and didn't see it till after I finished the shawl.

I grabbed it up real quick and secured it with a stitch marker then I went to my favorite place to get quick answers for knitting, Twitter, and got a bunch of ways to fix it. And now here's what we have!

If you look really close you can see it but mostly you can't see it. All you see is gorgeous Color Affection Miss Babs gorgeousness. I loved the color, the yarn and the pattern. This is something I'd definitely do again.

If you're in NYC and see a crazy lady wearing a gorgeous shawl in ninety degree weather please stop and say hi.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Monster Mash

I've always loved movies. Especially old movies. Years ago PBS used to show the original old monster movies on Friday nights at midnight. Frankenstein, The Mummy, Dracula, The Wolfman were a few of them. I'd always make sure I was home on time to watch these. This was way before Netflix and the internet where you can probably find these anytime. I've instilled this love of movies in my boys. We go to the movies they love on opening day and we will have movie nights at home with them. So when Patrick got me this gift it was just perfect.

Patrick wanted to get me something fun and useful I think this really fits the bill.

How cute is this bag? It's sold on Etsy at Zoe's Bag Boutique. Not only is it adorable and whimsical but it's beautifully made. It's sewn beautifully and fully lined.

It's got pockets and clips. You can put everything you need in this little bag and not need to schlep a whole knitting bag. Not only does she have project bags but a whole line of different things from messenger bags to iPad bags. I think I may be spoiled for any other project bags. Good thing Karen's got a lot of different designs!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Yeah I jumped on it. The bandwagon of Color Affection. You really can't blame me, can you? It's a gorgeous shawl and when I show you what I got, you'll see why I had to jump on this.

I really really love these colors and they're just as soft and smooshy as they are beautiful. It's a Miss Babs Affection Setand the colors are Black Watch, Forever & Rainforest. I was going to get a trio of colors at MDSW but Miss Babs was nice enough to put colors together and sell them as a set. Good thing too or mine would have been a lovely, but plain, white/gray/black shawl. I'm not good at putting colors together and I know that trio would have been safe. So now, instead of safe I got gorgeous, exciting and fun!

I just cast on last night but I understand this is a quick knit so hopefully I'll have a shawl to show you soon.

Oh by the way my birthday was wonderful thanks to friends and family. Megan got me a very generous Miss Babs gift certificate, my girl knows me well, and my guys got me a whole bunch of things from project bags to a kick ass hot air corn popper. I'm so very lucky to have such great friends and family.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Big Month

August has always been a big month for our family. Three of my mother's daughters were born in August, my mother was born in August and a bunch of our nieces and nephews also have August birthdays. Just shows that my family was getting busy in November!

First is my birthday, which is tomorrow. I'll be forty nine. It's the last year of my forties which is a bitter pill to swallow. This past year has been a great one and I have no reason to believe that this next year won't be better yet. I'm feeling so much better since my surgery. I've considered this past year a year of transition and am thinking this next year will be the first year of change and I'm really looking forward to it.

Next, Glenn leaves for college. This is a kid who hasn't had it so easy but he's persevered and come up roses. He's going to a school that's not so far away, good for all of us, and he's majoring in something he's talked about for a few years, engineering. The road has been a hard one but it's been worth it. He's a smart, kind, funny, caring, handsome young man. Letting him go won't be as easy as I thought it would be but let go we will and hope he comes to visit occasionally.

Last on the agenda of this month is my wedding anniversary. It'll be our twenty fifth anniversary on the twenty eighth of the month. Glenn & I got married after knowing each other five months. We were both in a place of a lot of movement in our family lives and I think we anchored one another. We've had ups and downs, as most do, but it's been wicked fun. He's still the rock who makes me laugh every day till my eyes run over with tears who can do anything from hang a picture to rebuild a computer. If my sons grow up to be half the man their father is, we'll have done a great job raising them. It hasn't been perfect but it sure as hell has been fun and I''m looking forward to another twenty five years together.

Dunno how much knitting will get done this month but I'm sure I'll manage a shawl or a pair of socks amidst all the celebration!