Dove Knits

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Anniversary roses

The roses my husband got me for our anniversary. I have a weakness for sunset-colored roses.


Monday, July 23, 2007

Eye candy Monday?

Honestly, these were my only creative accomplishment this weekend:

They're almond chocolate sandwich cookies, and they were dang good, if very time consuming. The recipe is from Mary Engelbreit's Cookie Cookbook.

Partly because these actually took quite a bit of time to make, and partly because I was busy re-reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, not alot of knitting got done this weekend, though I did finish about a third of this week's Mystery Stole clue.

See? It's longer.

Everything else is kind of on hold. I haven't touched Lucky in a few days.

Don't expect this to change this week -- I still have all of Deathly Hallows to read!

Friday, July 20, 2007


But otherwise completed:

Here's Mary holding baby Jesus. The way I caught her sleeve on her gown, she can't actually hold him, but he'll be in a manger anyway (which is what I'm knitting now).

I think I'll be ok for finishing the nativities. These two figures only took a couple of hours, and they really don't have that many pieces. Mary consisted of the body and head, which I knit in one piece; two sleeves; two hands; and the headpiece. So a total of six pieces, and making her up was record-fast -- maybe half an hour. The Baby was a body and head knitted in one piece, and the headdress (those are not arms. That's just the headdress.). As always, everything I can knit in the round, I do. You have no idea how much seaming that saves!

I need to find my black yarn and embroider the faces, obviously.

I've also been busy baking:

Deliciously sandy sugar cookies decorated with colored sugars by me and a friend. The recipe is pretty basic, but I got it from Mary Engelbreit's Cookie Recipes, which I can't seem to find a link to. This weekend, I'm takling almond-chocolate sandwich cookies from the same book.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Three times as strong as the rope that you buy domestically

I got hemp yarn:

Isn't it purdy? It's Hemp for Knitting's allhemp3.

Unfortunately, it has to go back. It's not pure white, which is what my mom wanted for her jacket. And thinking about it, I think it's a bit too rustic for Mom's tastes, anyway. Maybe I'll keep a skein to play around with, but the rest are going back (there are 11).

Instead, I think I'll order some Lara (a sportsweight, mercerized cotton) for my mom's jacket. The weight and color are right, and it's inexpensive. I'd still love to do bamboo or soysilk, but I just can't afford it right now, esp. if Mom ends up not being crazy about it. I know she likes cotton, so I don't think I can go wrong with that...

Kudos to Kpixie, though. I ordered this yarn at around noon last Saturday. An hour later, it was shipped to me, and it came this morning! How's that for awesome service?

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Monday, July 16, 2007

There once was a Mary

Who looked like a shoe:

This is how far I got with the Nativity scene I'm making for the in-laws. I figured I'd start with Mary, just in case I only get that far. Oddly enough, she's halfway done here! Only the Baby/manger, Joseph, wise men, shepherds, and sheep to go! And the Husband says that his grandparents will want one, too. Oh well. I still have time before December!

(Guess what yarn I'm using. Just guess.)

The Lucky cardigan is progressing nicely. Nothing really to say or show - it basically looks the same. I'm almost up to the sleeve shaping on the back.

And the third clue for the Mystery Stole came out Friday. By 2am Saturday, I was done with it. It's coming out so pretty!

Sadly, no new clue this Friday because of Harry Potter 7! Yes, I am a HP fan, and have the book ordered, so there may or may not be an update next Monday.

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Friday, July 13, 2007


No pictures today, just writing out what I need/want to make by Christmas.

For me:

1. Finish Lucky.

2. Finish the Mystery Stole (third clue out today! Eeee!).

3. Finish the Circle Cardi.

For others:

1. My mom wants a lacy summer jacket/shrug-type thing. She's pretty specific with what she wants -- not too short; lacy, but not too open; comes together at the front, even if it doesn't button; three-quarter sleeves; WHITE; not wool or synthetic. I was thinking of designing this myself in crochet, and of using a yarn I've never tried before. I'm deciding between bamboo, soy silk, and hemp. Hemp is the most affordable of these options, so, given that this will be crocheted, I might need to resort to that. Plus I know hemp will be cool and durable, whereas I'm not sure about bamboo or soysilk.

2. I want to make the Jean Greenhowe nativity (you can view it by flipping through the 28-Page Christmas Special book over here) for my in-laws and/or for my husband's grandparents. I should get started now and make a toy a week or something.

3. My in-laws just got new living room furniture, and I'd like to make them a throw to go with it.

4. My brother-in-law just moved into his first grown-up apartment, and I think he'd like a throw, too!

But two throws might be a bit overly ambitious at this point, given how little time I have to knit these days. Ah well. My projects can *sniff* wait.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Eye candy cupcake Wednesday

What better way to celebrate eye-candy Wednesday than with a plate of cupcakes?

You can read the whole story behind the cupcakes here.

For those curious, I used this cupcake recipe, which had a pleasing texture but was very bland. I "frosted" these with whipped cream that I whipped, and overwhipped because of the heat, and filled these (using the cone method such as described here) with fresh strawberries. A few hours before filling, I diced the berries and sprinkled them with sugar, letting them macerate in the fridge.

As I've said, though, the cupcakes were disappointing -- too bland, and the strawberry filling didn't help the "lid" to stay on. But I had some uniced ones left over that we just spread Betty Crocker chocolate icing on, and that worked a bit better. And the strawberry burst in the middle was very refreshing and nice.

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Monday, July 09, 2007


Warning: this is long and picture-heavy.

Well, it keeps me humble, huh? I just finished what I thought was a lovely FO -- Rona -- and thought I was pretty hot stuff. "Hey," I thought, "I can do lace! And lots of it! And in a circle! Go me! I can do anything!"

Um, yeah. Not so much.

Enter sweaters:

1. This is an oldie bot goody. The Sweet Mary-Jane, the pattern for which is now off the Knitpicks website. I swatched and everything, and decided that the medium size would fit me well. I cast on, and dilligently knit about, oh, six inches. It was coming out quite pretty!

Then something possessed me to take it off the needles and measure it.

See that? That's the body of the cardigan folded over. That's 22 inches, you're reading it right. That means that I'd end up with a 44 inch chest to fit my 36 inch frame. And ease is good and all, but not THAT much!


I wanted to cast on for a smaller size, but lost the pattern, so, instead, this became the Mystery Stole 3 stole. More on that later, but it's going much better. The yarn, btw, is Knitpicks Shadow in Lost Lake, a really gorgeous mossy green.

But that's not why we're here. We're here to talk about FAILURES, so let's move onto

2. I've been dying to make the Rambling Rose Cardigan by Laura Zukaite (scroll down). I even had the what I thought was perfect yarn for it -- Paton's Classic Merino in Regency for the background and Petal Pink for the lacy parts. I swatched, carelessly (in my defense, what do I ever make that requires precise swatching? Not shawls. Not socks, really, especially since I know the yarns I work with now. Not baby things, since I knit loosely and the babe WILL eventually grow into them. And definitely not toys.), and discovered that my gauge was a bit loose -- 16 st/4in rather than the 18 (I think?) called for in the pattern.

Not to worry. I sat down and cranked out the chest measurements that my gauge would give, and decided that the resulting 36 inches (I think) would fit me better than the 30 inch chest the pattern was written for. So I boldly cast on, omitting the shell pattern which, I think, really detracts from the crisp lines of the cardigan. And, of course, I was knitting the back and fronts in one piece.

Everything was going great -- I was even digging the way the variegated yarn was working out for the pattern -- and then I remembered that my waist is NOT 36 inches, and the cardigan had no shaping. And part of why I loved this pattern was the sleek fit. So I decided to give the pattern some shaping. By just throwing in some decreases:

See that buckling? Yeah. I could fix that by placing the decreases differently, but that would make the lace panels all wonky. Maybe if I made it tight enough, the stretch would even the lace out, but I'm not sure I want to knit an entire cardigan only to find out I hate it, so I think this will get put aside.

On the positive, though, I love intarsia. The way it creates a seamless, tidy fabric from two colors is just magical to me.

But I do not love this about intarsia -- the tangles.

Now that we're back on a sour note, let's continue with

3. Having found the thorns of the Rambling Rose (har, har...), and having danced my last dance with Mary Jane (har...har...), I scrambled around looking for any sweater (because I HAD to make an adult sweater, dangit) pattern I could find, and stumbled across Lucky wrap cardigan from Stitch'n'Bitch Nation. Perfect, thought I. I even have the yarn for it -- the Aunt Lydia's Fashion Crochet thread in Natural, that I got last year with birthday money. I had 8 skeins of it, and have worked with it before, and thought it would work nicely.

I went back to the original gauge I made back in January and measured it, and with size 3 needles, as the pattern called for, got dead-on gauge. Dead. On. So I cast on for the small size in the car on our way to Cleveland. That seemed too big, so I frogged and restarted with the XS. By the time I finished the back during the ride back, however, it was obvious that it was too big and too loose.

Yes, I know, I know. Always swatch meticulously. Lesson learned. You got me.

This one has a happier ending than the rest, though (although the Mystery Stole is quite happy, too), since I discovered that I get great gauge with size 2 needles, and the fabric looks much better:

The old back is on the left, the newly reworked front is on the right.

I'm still making the XS size, because it is a little bit too loose still. It measures like it would fit so far. I have, so far, made the fronts and started the back. I'm hopeful.

A note on the pattern: it's going smoothly so far. I altered shaping to account for my different row gauge, but that's it. It's also not as boring as I feared -- there's enough going on in there to keep me interested. The cotton is a bit hard to knit, though.

And now, of course, the positive: the Mystery Stole. Please forgive the poor pictures--it's an awful color to photograph, and it was already dark out.

I'm having so much fun with this! I've never done a KAL before, and was reluctant to join this one. I only joined because I figured, hey, free shawl pattern. Then I saw everyone's pictures! And then I went back and looked at Melanie's other patterns, and they are just gorgeous! So I had to start right away, and, despite being a week behind, finished both clues in one weekend. I'm so hooked! I hate having to wait until Friday for the next set of directions, but I love reading the chart and seeing this nifty pattern emerge.

(BTW, I've found a good way of keeping my place in the pattern. I took a four-pack of hi-liters and went through and colored every other row with a different color. That way, I know I'm following just the yellow, and my eyes don't wander all over the place, losing my spot. And I've found that knitting the chart for the right side backwards works better for me than reading the right side chart and then the left side chart. Which is nice, because I don't have to worry about piecing together the two sides. Someone warn me, though, when it stops being symmetrical.)

And, FINALLY: Happy anniversary to the most wonderful man in the world. I love you so much, Darling.

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Friday, July 06, 2007


Yes, I, too, have succumbed and joined the Mystery Stole 3 KAL . I haven't started knitting it yet, of course, but I'm excited to begin.

And also, a manifesto:

(Somebody hum "America the Beautiful." Or "O Canada." Or "Old McDonald.")

My dear readers, I have been remiss in blogging, and I feel that this must change. The blogosphere has suffered greatly without my adding regular knitting blather to its ranks. And we can't have thinning in the blogosphere, now, can we?

With this in mind, I would like to introduce to you A Format. A structure, if you will, for my future blog posts. This will allow you, dear readers, to count on several weekly posts from yours truly, as well as to allow you to skip material you may not find interesting.

So, the following format will henceforth be followed, unless there is a Good Reason not to:

1. WIP Mondays: this is self-explanatory. The status of my current projects will be discussed, with pictures when possible. The weekend will allow me to take pictures, so this is why WIP day is placed on Mondays.

1. Eye Candy Wednesdays: This will include, well, anything that I feel like showing you that is also aesthetically pleasing. It will usually pertain to knitting -- pretty yarn skeins or books, pictures of old FOs finally modeled by their recepients, etc. In particular, this will include the Cute Kid edition, with pictures of all the Cute Kids I knit for showing off their knits. But this may also include things like the botanical garden shots from my last post. Just anything pretty, because there's just not much blogging time during the week!

3. Free Speech Fridays: This can be anything -- anything craft-related, that is. FOs, future projects, stash-flashes (that didn't make it to Eye Candy Wednesday), book-coveting, more WIPs, whatever. If it's craft (and usually, craft = knitting in my case), it'll be here.

Of course, this doesn't mean that I'll never post on a Tuesday. But this is the format I'd like to try sticking to, just to discipline myself to blog and document my work. It's for my own good, really. Of course, there will also be Mondays when I just have nothing to show, or Fridays when I'm out of town. But, in general, this format will be observed.

Thank you for your attention.

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