Sunday, November 30, 2008

wine in wisconsin

Above: Last Sunday; Below: Five years ago (Five years?!)
Last week Matthew and I drove out to the Wollersheim Winery in Prarie du Sac, WI  (just west of Madison) to meet the Vedras (aka Mom and T-Bone) to do some wine tasting. It was our first trip there since January of 2004. Both the winery and we have changed quite a bit. The Wollersheim's have put on a huge new addition and really fancied up the place, and we, well we seem to have gotten older but cuter. The winery actually makes some really nice wines, including several estate wines. Apparently the Sauk river valley creates this perfect environment for certain varietals. It's no Napa or Sanoma or even a Temecula, but it's nice. 

Saturday, November 22, 2008

random and assorted

First, my new IK came in the mail this week. I must say I am very happy with it. There's a feature on Norah Gaughan, and I've decided I just love her, maybe even enough to try set in sleeves. Besides, the yarn shop that is just minutes from my house has a knit clinic of sorts to help with that kind of thing. I was a bit disappointed in the man sweater, it's constructed strangely (i.e. not in the round) and has unfinished edges, making it far less appealing that I originally thought. But, the welt and rib raglan is even more fabulous than I imagined. It too has sort of a strange construction, but one that I'm actually excited to try. I found the yarn over at Jimmy Beans Wool and added it to my wish list in a gorgeous grey color called Pewter (pictured above). It's delicious. I recognize that the yarn will cost $80 - that's why it's a wish list. I also decided I really like the Sweet Honey Beret (pictured below - I will be going sans fleur), and would like to knit it for my winter hat (because Wisconsin is a cold bitch). The yarn for the hat is on sale over at webs and so I added two balls in this pretty grayish blue called "chalky" to my webs wish list. I must say I am a big fan of the wish list.

I've also gotten started on the holiday knitting. With the economy in the crapper and money tight, I'm thankful that I can turn something I love to do into something nice for the people I love. As it is holiday knitting time, that means fewer pictures of WIPs and FOs on the blog, because I don't want to ruin any surprises.

Finally, I had a brain storm this morning. I figured out a logo for my blog and possible future knitwear design stuff. I am envisioning a ball of yarn with two knitting needles sticking straight up and down in it such that it makes the greek letter phi (pictured above, the one on the left is the capital letter, which is what I had in mind), which is the symbol for philosophy. Clever right? Now, I need someone with mad graphic design skills to bring it to life, hmm graphic designer friends? Who wants a nice new knit hat and gloves set?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Francis Phenomenon

When I decided to wing it and make my own cowl neck sweater out of the Frances (Francis) alpaca yarn my mom got me for my birthday a couple of years ago, I could never have guessed what an amazing experience I was in for. Today, thanks to a beautiful green version of Francis by Lolly for National Knit a Sweater Month 2008 (NaNoSweMo), Francis Revisited is now in over 1000 queues over on ravelry, and has been downloaded 139 times and counting today. That's a new one day record by quite a few (like 80 or so). Watching other people knit Francis and love it as much as I do has been an amazing experience. The support and feedback over on ravelry warms my heart. I'm hoping to find the time to add a few more designs this year, but time is limited with teaching, writing my dissertation, and holiday knitting, but the success of Francis inspires me to want to make more sweaters and write more patterns.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Go Pack Go!

I'm off to Lambeau. Hopefully my handknits will keep me warm and the team will win.

Friday, November 14, 2008

IK winter 2008

I have been nervously awaiting the winter 2008 Interweave Knits preview and today I got the call (or email, whatever). I was a bit frightened at first because Sandi over at knitting daily had picked out some real fuggy grandma items to show off in the email, but I hurried over to the website and checked out all of the designs, and I am happy to report at least two items that I really like and an assortment of cute hat patterns! Yay.

The first awesome pattern is this man sweater that is knit with Cascade Ecological Wool, which is so inexpensive! Hana Jason's Woven Bands Pullover is definitely going on "the things I want to knit for my husband" list (along with the "Hana Jason designs" list - gathered pullover I did not forget about you!)

And for myself, how about the Welt and Rib Raglan (yay raglan!) made in Manos del Uraguay silk blend (oh joy of joys! No yarn substituting here)

So Interweave Knits, you redeem yourself, for now.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I have been lusting after the Kim Hargreaves' Heartfelt: The Darkhouse Collection pattern book for forever or at least since I saw my friend Anna's Haven. Even the name is sexy. I probably would have gotten it long ago if it weren't so hard to find and spendy. The only way I know of getting it is to order it at the link above, and it is wicked expensive (17 pounds = almost $40! and that's before shipping it all the way from jolly old England). I have another Kim Hargreaves Rowan book that I got for my birthday, and I'm thinking I could maybe figure out how to make some of these on my own without the pattern, so I can make do for now. But the book just looks so inspiring, and a girl can dream....

Wait! I just found it at an american distributor for only $30! Maybe dreams can come true.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Pattern: Eastlake by Norah Gaughan from Berroco: Norah Gaughan Vol. 3
So purty. Knit in a merino/silk blend. Yummy. Of course, I'll probably never knit it because I don't believe in set-in sleeves, but an exception may have to be made.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Can... get a puppy

Now that we know that Barack Obama will be our 44th president, only one questions remains, what kind of puppy are Malia and Sasha getting? And what will they name him/her? I only hope their puppy is as sweet as ours and is allowed to sleep on the pillows on the bed in the Lincoln Bedroom.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


but either way
just vote!