Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sometimes you just want simple.

Here's a new Autumn Freebie for you: "I Fought the Lawn," a garter stitch headband pattern. Everyone needs a headband or two for yardwork or exercise. This is a practical and quick project to make for yourself or as a gift. Since each headband uses only a small amount of yarn, it's great for using up those partial skeins in your stash. Instructions for both solid and easy intarsia-striped versions are included.

Gauge isn't extremely important. Finished length is more important than finished width. Since you will most likely want to machine-wash the headband, it may be a good idea to make it a bit longer than necessary so it will still be wearable if (when!) shrinking occurs. The stretchiness of the garter-stitch will keep it usable despite slight changes in size. Mozart is a little less than life-sized, so the width of the band will appear normal on a human head. :)

Ravelry | Download PDF

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Return of Inverboy

So I was looking for something on my bookshelf the other day and I came across this:

Remember Inverboy, Hero o' the Hielands? These were sketches for three more strips which never got into a more finished form. The page is dated January 3, 2003. I had completely forgotten about them. Reading through them gave me a smile, and I hope it will do the same for you.

In honor of the friends who went to Scottish Day at the RenFaire yesterday (sorry I couldn't go with you, but I hope you had fun!), I present them here for your enjoyment. Click to embiggen.

Inverboy Leaves the Hielands for a visit to (Tantallon Castle) the Southeast


1. Tantallon Castle, ancient stronghold of the Douglas Clan.
(Morag: I think we should paint a moo-ral.)

2. The name is easy to remember if ye keep in mind ...

3. ... it's the same as what birds of prey get when they go to the beach.
[sign reads: Seachill Beach]

Adventures at Tantallon Castle, continued

1. Across the Close, ye'll see Bass Rock.
(Morag: There were birds on the rock, but I never saw them flapping...)

2. Once a fortress, it's now a sanctuary housing 21,000 pairs of birds.
(Morag: No I never saw them at all...)

3. And a coo.
(Inverboy: Morag, come back!)
[caption: Morag swimming]
(Morag: ... Till there was Mooooo.)

South into England to visit the Chillingham White cattle

1. Inverboy: See the cattle, Morag - their website says the current number of "Total Beasts" is 42.
Morag: A moo-ving sight.

2. No relatives of the Hielan' Coo - they're natural clones who've lived in this park for over 700 years.

3. They look good for their age.
(Morag: Send in the clones.)

Maybe I should re-organize those bookshelves more often.

Monday, September 10, 2012

An age and a half, and 6(!) new designs

Well, hello! It's been an age and a half since I last blogged, hasn't it? It's not for lack of things to post, either. Thank you for sticking with me, and I hope to have some interesting things for you today. 
I used to have a pair like this with the
colors reversed and earwires instead
of posts. Have you seen any for sale?
Please let me know!

Since you last heard from me, I've discovered the Vintage Mexican / Latin American Jewelry section of Ebay.  I <3 silver, turquoise and llamas! I used to have a pair like the sunbursts at right, but with the colors reversed and fish-hook earwires instead of posts. One got lost, and I now wear the remaining one as a pendant. I'd love to have another pair like the originals. If you see any for sale, please let me know! (There is a pair with rainbow enamel available, but they're just not the same.)

Oddly, the alloy used in much of the jewelry is called alpaca silver. It is also known as nickel silver, German silver, new silver and paktong, and contains copper, nickel and occasionally other metals such as zinc, tin, lead or cadmium. I'm sure the jewelry wouldn't use lead, but it is used for other applications. I clean mine in jewelry cleaner, but apparently you can also use lemon juice or a mild soap to remove tarnish. (I learned that at wisegeek.com.)

Shepherdess with llamas
You'll find a large number of jewelry pieces I like on my Pinterest Jewelry board. That Margot de Taxco - what a designer!  Fair warning: if I intend to buy an item, I won't pin it until the sale is over. :) Others which may show up at any time. There are some interesting combinations, such as sterling with amethyst, turquoise and coral. Some of them would make great shapes or colors for a knitted piece, don't you think? I particularly like the quetzal birds and, of course, the llamas.

Meanwhile, there's always knitting going on in this neck of the woods. I have released some new designs. Here's a heads-up that if you want to be notified immediately (or ASAP) when I have a new pattern for sale, it's best to follow me on Twitter or Pinterest. Designs will show up there before they show up here. But now, for your inspection: three shawls, a top, a scarf, and a pair of ankle-warmers. Enjoy, and happy knitting!

~ Caroline :)

Flight of Peacocks
Flight of Peacocks is a wide, curved lace fichu with optional beads in the edging. This is my favorite shawl shape because it sits so well on the shoulders without bunching at the neck.
$6.95 at Ravelry | Patternfish

Phasianinae are one-skein wrist or ankle warmers which match the Flight of Peacocks shawl. The name comes from the subfamily in the Latin name for peacocks.
$4.95 at Ravelry | Patternfish

Ivory Palace Fichu
Carmencita Scarf
Ivory Palace Fichu is another wide, curved wrap with delicate lace, is named for the "Ivory Palace" rose.
$5.95 at Ravelry | Patternfish 

Carmencita is a quick-knit, bulky lace scarf which will keep you warm on the coldest days. The scarf in the photo used one skein of Schaefer Yarns Esperanza, colorway "Clara Barton." $5.95 at Ravelry | Patternfish

Cueva de los Cristales, Naica, Mexico
Selenite is a modern asymmetrical capelet with knit-purl texture with seed beads throughout for a little sparkle. It's named for the crystals its patterning resembles. This is one of my favorites to wear - so cozy! Have you ever seen photos of the Cueva de los Cristales (Cave of the Crystals) in Naica, Mexico? Here's a Google image search if you want to see more. Those are Selenite crystals. Pretty fantastic, eh? 
$5.95 at Ravelry | Patternfish 

Tulipa Clusiana
Tulipa Clusiana is a pullover peasant blouse with Bavarian twisted-stitch ribbing for a shapely fit. Sizes XS-5XL, bust 30-62" (76-157.5 cm). It's worked from the top down and almost entirely in the round.
$6.95 at Ravelry | Patternfish