Monday, February 23, 2009

Vests Galore

I will post the little stories behind these vests, but enjoy the visuals till then -



Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Express

Based on the true story of Ernie Davis (Rob Brown), this movie actually hits an unexpected end.

The story is set in the 40s & 50s. The super-talented football player recognizes his talent at a very early age mostly due to the hard decisions he's forced to make. He makes his mark through the local winnings. He gets the attention of coach Ben Schwartzwalder (Dennis Quaid) which brings the turning point to his life. Coach helps him to get admission in Syracuse University where he is well received albeit gradually and after a few more wins.

After some very demading games he finally gets chosen for the NFL. This is where the end begins. Spoiler alert - stop reading if you want to watch the movie.

Movie has hints about the racial lines - how deep or dark those were then. And to a moment it seems as if he's going to leave Football and join NAACP but that's not what happens. What happens is, Leukemia. At 23. And that takes Ernie away right before he's set to hit the pinnacle.

As a movie, it was nicely done. Some twists and turns and great momentum. Only thing that I didn't like was the sad ending. But what can you do? Movie imitated the life, however sad that was.

Star rating: 3/5

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Calling

I just heard my calling and it's name is Patty Baker! She is just so talented that I cannot take my eyes off of her work. Stunningly beautiful pieces and lovely presentation. I will have to write to her to get her blessings for my next arts project.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rosemary Petal - Pattern & Chart

Pattern for the Lavender Pullover (Rosemary Petal)

Yarn: Lavender Jazz of Chunky USA
Swatch info: 12 x 16
Needle size: US 10 and US 11

Front

1. Cast on 48 st using either methods(I used thumb method).
2. Make a ribbing of 2k2p for 13 rows
3. Divide the stitches in three parts. Prepare central panel for the cable pattern 1.
(See below for the chart)
4. Rest of the stitches are worked in stockinette st.
5. Knit even until the armhole shaping.
6. Shape the neck for a turtleneck.
7. Shape shoulder at 76th row and BO at 78th row.

Chart for Cable Pattern 1



Back

1. Cast on 48 st (same as front)using either methods(I used thumb method).
2. Make a ribbing of 2k2p for 13 rows (as for the front)
3. Pick the central panel of 44 + 4 extra st.
4. Work Cable pattern 2 (Bubbles) on the central panel.
5. No shaping for the armholes needed in the back.
6. Shape shoulders at 76th row and BO at 78th.

Chart for cable Pattern 2



Sleeves (Make two)

1. CO 48 st.
2. Divide the st in three parts and worked cable patt 2 on central.
3. Decrease 1 st at either side every 4th row.
4. Make ribbing when desired 26 st reached.

Neck

1. Join shoulders and pick up st using tp needles
2. Work in rounds for 12 rows in 2k2p ribbing.
3. BO, break the yarn and darn it in neatly.

Finishing

1. Sew front and back using invisible stitch.
2. Sew the inside of sleeves.
3. Darn any loose strands.


Some Pics for fun

This is the swatch of the 'Bubbles'


Here is my swatch


Swatch for Cable Pattern 1


And this is how it turned out on the sweater.


Disclaimer

Just to make sure there are no copyright issues with the patterns I adopted for this sweater let me report the sources for both cables. These are taken from "Vogue Knitting Stitchionary, Volumes 2".

If you are interested my review is available at http://knitting.about.com/od/reviews/fr/stitchionary.htm#bvmr

Here are other details on the project with more pictures.


Enjoy!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Rosemary Petal

Yes, that's what I call this pullover. I have to pinch myself and remind that it's over. It's actually done. I had so many retakes on this project that I am kind of exhausted (hand then to machine, mistake in pattern, again back to machine, finally landing on needles). And so very glad to get it done, finally!

I kept a day-by-day picture record of the project. When you see the pics, you'd know what I mean.

Day 1


Day 2
I know! It was quite a progress in the second day. And not to mention the coziness the handknitting had brought to the piece.

Day 3
I had finished the front and started the back.

Day 4
The back is nearly complete.

Day 5

I worked on the sleeves. The initial idea was to make the sleeves upside down because I started to have the feeling that I will run short of yarn if I stick to initially planned long sleeves. So I started sleeves using circular needles with an estimate of 66 st. It was very obvious that this count was way more than what I could handle, secondly, I didn't really enjoy knitting in circle for the sleeves. So, here I was, unraveled the sleeves entirely and redid it using sp needle.

Day 6
Okay, by now I had serious doubts about the remaining skeins and I chose to make the neck first and use the leftover for the sleeves. I was sincerely hoping for some sleeves!

Day 7

The sleeves are worked and I kept thinking to myself, when would I know to stop to start the ribbing. Guess what, I managed to make a decent 3/4 sleeve and correct amount of ribbing before exhausting all of the yarn.

Day 8

No work - I had a bad case of upset stomach.

Day 9

I joined all the parts together. Yum yum! My first formal sweater is ready to wear!





Final Word

The best part about this sweater was the use of my statsh! It was there in the original brown bag since I bought it last year. I knew that 4 skeins are just not sufficient for my own pullover but finally I put my creative self to work and the result was a completed piece! I am just so proud of myself that I want to make another sweater for me! I am sure my HD would be little horrified at the idea but hey, he is the biggest fan of my work :-)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Valentine's Day

It's that time of the year again! So much fun reminding yourself what a blessed life you have and not to mention the 'heartfelt' (read heart shaped)gifts you get. It can't get any better if your favorite colors are red and/or pink. Or black or white!

Guess what my last year's gift was - roomba, a vacuuming robot! It's a nice gift, but hey what this has got to do with Valentine's. But you know what, after being married for double-digit number of years, things evolve to a completely different level.

Many of the things come so very naturally that you cannot feel more grateful for the wonderful life you have as an individual and as a couple. Ok, so where was I? At the gift - right! I am not so sure about this year's surprise but I guess something sparkling and wearable would make a great gift *hint, hint*

What do I want to give

I am one of those people who celebrate, just because! What's there not to cherish anyway. I wanna give a collection of 'our' songs to DH, selected, burnt, and well-wrapped. Let's see if that works out. To my little angel, I wanna make a heart-in-the-middle sweater (don't tell me you already guessed that one!) but then again, that means another trip to the local yarnstore and with my broken car I have to rethink on that one. But something valentinish definitely would pop out of this mommy.