Sunday, January 28, 2018

Favorite Store-Bought Sweater and The Color Pink

Back in late 2007, my mom and I were shopping at the Galleria in St. Louis, and we happened upon this sweater in Brooks Brothers. I had never actually bought anything in Brooks Brothers, and it seemed at little bit "out of my league," to be entirely honest. I thought the pink and brown Fair Isle sweater was the bee's knees, and my mom purchased it for me as my Christmas present that year.

While it was my first thing from Brooks Brothers, it wasn't the last. They usually have a few Fair Isle sweaters each year, and I keep an eye on them. It is one of the few stores where I've seen wool Fair Isle sweaters, ready-made. Fair Isle is usually hard to find, often only in two colors, and typically not wool. The wool yarn, to knit it yourself, is generally more expensive than a store-bought sweater (even at Brooks Brothers), and a store-bought sweater is instant gratification! One of the benefits, also, of a store-bought sweater is that they are machine-knit, which allows them to use finer yarn than most of us are willing to use in hand knitting.

Another sweater I picked up at Brooks Brothers is actually one in cotton yarn, a spring sweater in short sleeves.

The short-sleeved sweater looks really cute over a long-sleeved cotton shirt, and I have one in green gingham that looks great with the little green squares in the sweater. The reason I showed this sweater, though, is because it has the 1818 worked into the shoulder. That's when Brooks Brothers was founded. I find this particularly amusing because Illinois became a state in 1818. I just saw a whole table of Illinois sweatshirts in Sam's that had 1818 on the chest and sleeve. :)

Even with the various sweaters I've collected over the years, the original pink and brown one is my favorite. I have a thing for pink. When I was a sophomore in college, some of the people in my dorm gave me a hard time about wearing pink so much, and I took it as a challenge to wear pink as much as possible, after that. I also painted my room pink and put down a pink carpet. It was odd because there seemed to be a "rebellion" theme on our floor (4th West, East Campus), and folks there tended to wear a lot of black and motorcycle boots and things like that. Meanwhile, there were those on the floor that didn't appreciate my lack of assimilation. It was fine and dandy to be rebellious, but only if I was rebellious like them. (Ironic, huh?) The more I was frowned-upon, the more pink I became. Stubborn. Long story short, after sophomore year, I moved to another floor!

My pink streak cooled off after sophomore year, though I've always had a soft place in my heart for it. In late 2016, when I was shopping for a car to replace my VW diesel (because VW was about to "buy back" my diesel Jetta), I spent several months hemming and hawing about what I might want to get, and I just wasn't moved by any particular thing. Then, I happened to be in the VW dealership and saw a #PinkBeetle in the showroom. The model was a "special edition," only 500 of them made as a breast-cancer awareness promotion. They were a 2017 model, and they flew out of showrooms rather quickly. Well, I don't have breast cancer, but I took one look at that car and thought Karma had led me to it... and such perfect timing, too. It had my name on it.

After buying the #PinkBeetle (the official model name, and the first car to be named with a hash tag), the pink in my wardrobe had a resurgence. (I also delivered a proposal at work with pink separator sheets between the sections! Hah!) For Christmas this year (2017), my soul-sister, Babs, made me a beaded picture of the car. So cute! (I guess I'm making a nuisance of the pink thing, kind of "sophomoric," I suppose...)

Thanks, Babs! You're the best!!!

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

2017 Sweater Catch-Up Post

I've been trying to figure out a problem with my camera (and trying to lose weight), and I haven't gotten any pictures of anything I made in the last year or so. Now that I've worked through both of those things to various degrees, I figured I'd better catch up on statusing my knitting.

My latest sweater is Norah Gaughan's Joyella, an interesting knit out of joined hexagons.

I finished another Einstein Coat, this one using alternating colors of Lite Lopi. My first Einstein Coat is posted here and here.

I made a simple top-down V-neck cardigan using two colors of Creatively-Dyed Woodbrook, alternating colors for a bit of a transition. I used the "Pink" pattern from Wendy Bernard's "Custom Knits" book, a pattern I've used before, here.

I made a Debbie Bliss "Drop Collar Cable Cardigan" with several mods, including changing out the cable, adding a 3-stitch slip stitch edge to the front (a feature I learned on Nanook), and adding a hood.

I also have finished pictures of socks #68-#71.

#68 (I showed the start of these socks here):

#69 (another pair of BFF's like Sock #48, using a different color of Gradiance from The Unique Sheep):

#70 (in a matching Opalite colored yarn to the worsted yarn I used for Nanook, both from Hedgehog Fibres, and starting with the same Bear Claw pattern as used around the collar of Nanook):

#71 (a simple ribbed sock in Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball Crazy, great mindless knitting pattern for airplane travel):

I had a couple of other "Uggh" projects I won't post here... :)

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Florida Vacation

I see it has been almost a year since my last blog. I've knitted a few things in the interim, which I should get photographed and posted. I'm also doing a bunch of wool applique and embroidery. Still, this is more of a family post, the latest vacation adventure. I finally coerced Chris and Mitchell into airline travel with me, which was a first for both of them in their lifetimes. Perhaps not so surprising for an 11-year-old, but a pretty big deal for the 48-year-old.

FL-First Flight

We went to Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, and stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn, which was right on the beach and had a boardwalk/stair exit from the pool area to the sand.

FL - Hotel 1

FL - Ocean 1

FL - Beach 4

FL - Beach 2

FL - Beach 3

FL - Beach 1

I spent some time under an umbrella, sewing. These are the borders for the 2016 Sue Spargo Block of the Month, "Cuppa."

FL - Sewing

And this is my view from under the umbrella.

FL - Beach 5

We went out to Pensacola to see the National Naval Aviation Museum.


We played miniature golf one evening.

FL - Golf

But we mostly hung out at the pool and the beach. The pool was set up as a "lazy river" with a current that would carry folks around a loop. It was a gorgeous pool area, and note the ocean in the background.

FL - Pool 2

FL - Pool 1

It was clearly a tough week for everybody!

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Friday, July 22, 2016

Garden Peculiarities

When tomatoes tell lies.

Lying Tomato

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Quilted Book Cover

I took a detour from butterflies and other projects-in progress-to make a quick gift. My sister-in-law's mom is going through some challenges, and I saw a coloring book that made me think of her. (I have no idea whether or not she will actually like a coloring book.) I also found some clever "twist up" coloring pencils. While I hadn't thought about sewing anything, it struck me to make a little pouch for the book and pencils, and the project kind of took on a life of its own over the weekend.

I had started sewing little hexagons on papers while I was on travel last week, thinking to start a "box of hexagons" using scraps. I didn't have a specific project in mind, just to start collecting scrap hexagons. However, I took them out and thought about using some of them. I had 35, which was exactly enough to make five flowers. That seemed kismet, so that's what I did. I sewed them on some fabric charms I had in my stash, added some sashing to make it tall enough for the book, and put a zipper in the side.

It occurred to me to embroider around the flowers, and then I added some French knots in the middle. (It's DMC pearl cotton in "variations" colorways.) A little tag, and it was done!

Sharons Gift - Front

Sharons Gift - Back

Sharons Gift - Blue Flower

Sharons Gift - Green Flower

Sharons Gift - Orange Flower

Sharons Gift - Purple Flower

Sharons Gift - Red Flower

Sharons Gift - Label

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Monday, January 25, 2016

Butterfly Applique'

I appliqued the butterflies to the background. The rows get further apart going down.

Butterflies Appliqued

I put on the bodies and about three quarters of the antennae. The antennae are two strands of embroidery floss using "whipped reverse chain stitch." Basically, just do a chain stitch (or reverse chain, depending on which direction you like to chain), and then whip through each chain in the link. In this case, I used the same thread for both, but I'm sure you could whip it with a different color for an interesting effect. In the end, it looks like a stem stitch, only thicker.
Butterfly Antennae - 1

Butterfly Antennae - 2

The area at the side where the stacked fabric shows will likely be covered after the embellishing embroidery goes on. In the class example version, the brown bodies were smaller than the base, and the colored base showed all around the brown body piece. However, using the templates in the pattern, the edges were even.

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Previous Butterfly / Sue Spargo post, here.