Will wonders never cease: A new finished object!

When we last left our heroine, she was blathering on about skincare. And why not? When there hasn't been anything knit-worthy to report in low these many months.

But there's been knitting. Slow, desultory knitting that even a 2,900-mile road trip couldn't nudge to completion. Sweaters. There's a reason folks don't knit them. Gah! I wanted it done!

Well here it is. Martin Storey's Boulevard (cropped by moi) from the Rowan City Retreat book.Knit up in that all-domestic wonder-worsted Peace Fleece in Porterfield Plum.

I adored this yarn which combined Native American wool with wool from Ohio all leavened with a bit of Texas mohair. If you don't like the whiff of the barn about your yarn, steer clear. But if you appreciate a little vegetable matter and that gorgeous, sheepy lanolin scent, this string is heavenly. Like my mother says, "real yarn."

Thinking about pairing this number with black culottes. Like these. Or these--perfection! (But where in the world did that word come from? Culottes?) Cuter than they sound. Really. With ankle boots.

Though the journey seemed epic, the finish couldn't have come at a better time. Here's the the advent of sweater weather!

Bebes!

There's been a small baby boom in our extended circle recently, resulting in a scramble for something fun to knit. Went over the moon for the Garter Ear Flap Hat published in the Purl Bee and immediately cast on. They did it up in these tasteful alpaca neutrals, which is lovely and baby friendly but not so much for mom. How many times is that frantic mamacita going to handwash that exotic fiber hat?

Also, given that subtlty and nuance aren't a strong suit at Nake-id Knits, we're of the opinion that bold colors and big tassels are, if not more tasteful, more amusing on les infants.

The yarns are Lily Sugar 'N Cream in black and Classic Elite Pebbles in Schapp pink (only they didin't call it that; shoot me, I threw away the ballband).

Anyway, the Garter Ear Flap pattern is a dream and whips up in a trice. Plan to make many more.

Free knitting pattern: Zip-It Clutch

These Clare Vivier Foldover Clutches have been all over the fashion blogs. She must have one munificent publicity budget, is all I can say. That, and, would that yours truly was on the list. (I know, the leopard one, so cute, pass the smelling salts so we can get back to work.)

Back in the day, I carried a handsome leather envelope (no doubt stuffed into a backpack with a Norton anthology or two, a Russian dictionary, and three or four early 20th century American novels), thinking it was the height of chic. Still do, as a matter of fact, which is why I got busy using that good old Nake-id can-do spunk to knit up some cute right here at home.

And, because Polyvore is like playing with paper dolls (but a lot more work), we styled it using items normal ladies can afford. (OK, the bracelet is aspirational. But stunning, no?)


Zip-It Clutch

(Here's the scoop on the stuff: 1969 Destructed Sexy Boyfriend Jeans, Silver Bass Weejuns (similar here), Grey Silk Scarf, Women's Ultimate V Tee (on clearance!), Zoya Nail Polish in Blyss and that fabulous bracelet!)

Zip It Clutch

Transform one long stockinette rectangle into a classic clutch that will carry you from day to night. Play with color or add all-over fringe to amp up the coolness.
 

Size: One 
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted; 2 skeins of Charcoal Heather
Needles: Size US 13
Notions: Tapestry needle, 12-inch zipper, 2 size 10 Dritz Sew-On Snaps
  
Directions:
 
CO 60, loosely, double-stranded.

Knit straight in stockinette stitch until piece measures 22 inches.

BO.

Finishing:

Fold piece lengthwise in two. Sew both side seams.

Weave in all ends.

Felt.

Insert zipper. (I used this tutorial here.)

Sew in snaps being sure to match “innies” with “outies”.


Wild and Wooly Boots

It's been a wild and wooly time here at Nake-id Knits, what with life surprises, deadlines for new-to-me pubs (requiring best-foot-forward work), birthdays (you wouldn't believe the number of Scorpios in our lot) and the time change. Who else has wanted to curl up on a down cushion and sleep for a week?

These were accomplished, the fabulous Moonkoosa Boots by Tiny Owl Knits. Ours are more "dready" than the originals. Having a congenital predisposition for impatience, I couldn't bear the hand felting. In order to shrink the boots to fit me and not Sasquatch, I let the 21-year-old Maytag do its job.

I'll be teaching a class in making these wild things in January at Wild Yarns. Come play!

Eighties Sweaters: The Reveal

Bernat Book 582. Bernat Sweater Classics - knit

I'll let you be the judge. Do they stand the test of time?

I knit this when I was about 22. The bobbles have flattened out and there are a few pills here and there. But check out that smocking! Should you want to knit your very own, it's available in Bernat Book 582 Sweater Classics to Knit.

This was either a Phildar or Pingouin pattern, the yarn and pattern purchased at the late, great Skyloom Fibers in Denver, if memory serves. I use to rock this little number with grey, pegged jeans and grey pleahter heels. So no provenance on the sweater, but we definitely know from whence the incipient bunyon derives.

That's it from my knitting archives. What do you have to show for your salad days of knitting?

Le Hobble Skirt--Premiere

Yes, it's been a while since anything has come out of the atelier.

Publishing this pattern reminds me to thank every knitwear designer everywhere. For the labor and care and attention you put into your patterns. Boy, do y'all work hard!

Let me introduce you to Le Hobble Skirt, a handknit pencil skirt with sexy striations of twisted rib.

Many thanks to the lovely Christine for modeling; doesn't she look fab?

And to Cheryl Oberle, whose Organic Merino yarn makes this piece.

Dying to knit one yourself. The pattern is available on Ravelry. Happy hobbling!

Spring gleaning

Yesterday I was listening to the second installment of the Oprah & Deepak 21-Day Meditation Challenge (yes, I should already be listening to the 11th, no judging!) and Deepak was going on about life balance and activities about we're passionate and I don't know what all because I was like...meditating, and this snuck through: Find something to be passionate about...it is a deep form of healing.

Not sure I've ever thought about it that way before; that taking a passionate interest in work, knitting, cooking, bees or the cats is healing.That health could be associated with engagement. But it makes intrinsic sense. The more connected we are to this world and the things that give us joy...the less likely we are to chuck it for the next. Metaphorically.

Spring is here officially, which means in Colorado it snows. We get to cling to the cozy parts of winter just a bit longer. Like the scarf pictured above. Or new projects yet to be imagined.

New is the operative word, though. Try something new, whether it's a new skill, recipe or area of interest. It's that time of the year.

Le Hobble Skirt--Preview

This isn't quite ready for its close up--note the orange fur and unfinished waist band. But it's almost there. Now to write and design the pattern. (And procure the right shoes for the shoot!)

Finished Object: A hat was made

There are very few models in the house. So unless I catch Mr. Nake-id in the mood to pose in a girly beret, I'm left with the other men in the house.

The beret is Hannah Fettig's Simple Beret in multiple gauges. Because of the bulky nature of the handspun I was using (and my pin head and limited yardage), I adjusted the pattern beyond the gauges the designer offered. Cast on 52, multiply and divide accordingly. (The yarn: Herie7 Natural Fiber Treasures black-white Norwegian handspun wool purchased at Wild Yarns.)

Knitting with handspun is a joy, like knitting with yarn someone breathed life into. An absolute joy. (For me, if not Antone.)

 

Teaching blocking

Most of the time when teaching, the blocking conversation goes like this: Euclan. Washer. Soak. Spin out. Dry flat. Done.

If we get to blocking in a project class--and often we don't--it's given short shrift in the rush to teach mattress stitch, weave in ends or kitchener. For the Color Affection class, because of the timing on my shawl, I'm going to haul the blocking wires, pins, towels and wool wash to class and demonstrate that in spite of the dreary process that is pinning out a shawl, you get amply rewarded with a beautiful finished project.

Oh, yes. And for your viewing pleasure another amateur photo of shawl and cat feet.