January 14, 2009

alice thelma has left the building

Hi loyal followers. I'm over at WordPress now so if you have stumbled upon this blog, please hightail it over to alicethelma.com. See you over there!

January 11, 2009

My second Cobblestone Pullover

On New Year’s Eve, we had a rare dry day around here so I packed up the kids with their xmas knits and we headed to Reed College for a photo shoot. I’m a little late in blogging about these FOs but I’m very proud of them, especially the Cobblestone Sweater designed by the oh so talented Jared Flood. It’s my second. I knit the first one about a year ago (see it here on Roland) and I have to say, the second one was just as much fun to knit. If you haven’t made one yet, find a guy, your brother, father, son, nephew, friend – anyone! – And knit one today.

I did stress out a little bit thinking it might be a bit short but Max insisted is was just fine (he’s so easy to please) and I think the sweater will stretch or drape with wear. I didn’t even block it before I gave it to him. The Cobblestone is so much fun to knit because while you’re working away on the yoke, you get to the neck and all of a sudden it’s finished and all that’s left to do is kitchener the underarms. That’s it! Oh how I love seamless sweaters.

Along with the Cobblestone sweater, Max got a Noro Striped scarf (also a Jared Flood design) to replace one he lost (I had no idea), two pairs of gloves and a hat, which he requested. I love the way the all work together. Browns and grays are my favorites but I never thought of putting them together. The bright fuchsia of his shirts and the stripes of the Noro Scarf pull it all together wonderfully. *sigh* I should be a stylist.

It was fun to get outside and wander around Reed and have Hot Lips pizza after. BTW Max is at Indiana University now. Say “Hi” if you happen to run into him.

I knit this sweater from Paton’s Classic Wool Merino and it cost me under $20 – one 40% coupon at a time. It’s a great sweater project for hard times.

January 8, 2009

Only twelve days to go - but who's counting?

obama-rama pillow progress, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

January 7, 2009

A quick hat to knit for these gray winter days

an unoriginal hat designed by the yarn harlot
an unoriginal hat, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

People who follow this blog regularly are familiar with my fondness for the color gray. Or is it grey? I suppose it depends on what country you live in.

I do indeed like gray but even more so when punctuated by a brightly colored (coloured?) accessory. And yellow is my most recent bright color of choice.

The hat modeled is the unoriginal hat pattern designed by the yarn harlot, which I knit up on 10.5US needles with Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick&Quick. The hat has a lovely sculptural quality and though quite dense, it's very comfortable.

an unoriginal hat by the yarn harlot

What can I say about this hat that hasn’t already been said? With only 56 stitches and 36 rows it knits up in a breeze. Don't be frightened by the cables. As a matter of fact, this is my first official FO for 2009. Have you finished anything yet? Do tell.

January 5, 2009

Recipe for a perfect blueberry pie

perfect blueberry pie
blueberry pie, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

It’s the dead of winter but as chance would have it, I had a couple of bags of frozen blueberries in the freezer from last summer’s harvest. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve made three pies and I’ve been experimenting with just the right ratio of tapioca to sugar and the optimum oven temps to produce the perfect pie. Here is my results:

Perfect Blueberry Pie

4 cups frozen blueberries
¼ cup tapioca
¼ cup sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons butter

Pie Crust for 9 ½ inch pie


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees (Fahrenheit).

Mix together the blueberries, tapioca, sugar and lemon juice and let stand for about 15 minutes. Assemble pie, dotting the filling with pats of butter sealing the pie with the top curst and place in oven on bottom rack. Bake for one hour.

perfect blueberry pie
Yep, that’s all there is to it. The secret was baking the pie on the bottom rack. That technique produced a lovely brown, crispy bottom crust and perfectly formed pie wedges. Wish I could show you, but we ate it!

January 3, 2009

Still making 24 hour sweaters - actually they're only taking about an hour now

knitting t-shirt
alice and her finger puppet, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

We had a break in the weather so I took the gang out to our old stomping grounds at Reed College for a photo shoot. The gang now includes a new member who is nameless – I guess I’ll call him Mr. Sweater. 

As you can see, my mini-sweater mania has not let up and I have actually found this recent mini-sweater pattern (it's called Cheers!) a little easier and a little quicker than the one I showed you last week. I guess it helps to be using bigger needles (size 4US dpns) and a DK weight yarn. The little green guy knit up in about an hour.

knitting t-shirt

In addition to the tiny sweaters (I’ve made six so far) I did get around to finishing another project, the fetching fingerless gloves which are now on their way to Indiana. Shhhhhh! Don’t they look lovely on Alice? She accessorized quite nicely with the friendship bracelet she made. I guess she is quite crafty after all.

knitting t-shirt

The irony is that both projects have not only the same yarn (Lana Grossa Cool Wool Merino 2000) in common, they are both designed by the same person, Cheryl Niamath of Fetching Knits. Both patterns are free so go download fetching and cheers! today.

knitting t-shirt

More FOs from the Reed College photo shoot are coming. Stay tuned!

January 1, 2009

Quicker toe up socks

magic loop toe up socks
quicker toe-up socks, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

Here is the first pair of socks for 2009 and here is their story:

I have a friend who has been hinting around for some hand knit socks and for the longest time I’ve been staring at two balls of Lion Sock EaseMagic Stripes thinking that they would be perfect for dear friend and also to continue my mastery of toe up socks on magic loop.

After a bit of research and encouraged by this pattern, I dove into these socks using the Turkish cast on method. Wow! I don’t know why I haven’t used this cast on before because it’s so simple and quick. Not the least bit fussy. In no time at all, I had two socks cast on and ready to go.

I feel like I'm finally starting to get the hang of toe up socks and not struggling with it so much. It's coming easier and that makes me happy. :-)

After I had sixty stitches for each sock, I continued in a K2, P2 rib which I discovered from Cat Bordhi’s Sock Soar book. These socks have literally ZOOMED in two days but I need to stop knitting them at home. Home is where I knit the complex projects with charts and instructions, etc. These socks are great for traveling and are going to be the socks I take with me EVERYWHERE and especially whenever I have to wait. You see, I’m notoriously impatient and anyone who knows me well can tell you that. So I always try to have a pair of socks with me AT ALL TIMES.

Oh and I’ve given up coffee for 2009 so hopefully that will help as well – with my impatience. What is your New Year’s resolution?

December 29, 2008

Knitting highlights of 2008

Knitting highlights of 2008, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

My main knitting goal for 2008 was to knit twelve pairs of socks, one for each month of the year. Even though I started out rather slowly, fearing that I had bit off more than I could chew, I met that goal back in September (with a burst of sock knitting energy during the summer) and I recently surpassed it by completing pair #13 for Alice on xmas day (it’s pair #30 overall).

This mosaic does not represent every pair of socks or completed project of 2008. There are many more. For 2009, I hope to fill a 6x6 mosaic with completed projects…although at this time I have no particular knitting goals in mind. Perhaps I have decided to go a little easier on myself during 2009…or to shoot more night shots…or to sell more t-shirts.

Please let me know if you have any questions about a specific project pictured. Feel free to contact me at anytime (heavydutydesign AT gmail DOT com).

Happy New Year!

December 26, 2008

I made a sweater in one day and you can too!

knitting t-shirts
raglan sweater tree ornament, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

Over the years, I have been gradually converting the xmas tree into a showcase for hand knit ornaments. Two years ago my obsession was mini-socks and mittens. Last year I went cuckoo for mini felted oven mitts. This year, I have discovered doll-sized sweaters.

I’d been looking for a way to use leftover sock yarn and also commemorate and remember the beloved socks I have knit from the beloved sock yarn. So I researched free mini sweater patterns on Ravelry and discovered this lovely pattern.

knitting t-shirt

It seemed easy enough and the greatest thing about the pattern is the fact that it’s a TOP DOWN sweater – knit from the neck down. I haven’t attempted that method for knitting a sweater (although I have wanted to) and this was a great chance to familiarize myself with the technique in a miniature way. Sort of like a top-down sweater sampler.

Well the pattern is fun and easy and a great way to use up those bits of leftover sock yarn, beloved or not. I’ve been churning them out at a rate of about one per day. So what are you waiting for? If you start now, you too can knit a sweater in a day!

knitting t-shirts

[BTW If anyone has any advice about making the tiny hangers, from wire I think, I would love to hear your advice/tips.]

December 24, 2008

Happy Holidaze

Happy Holidaze, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

All of us here at alice thelma, as well as the staff of our partner blog, Portland at night, wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas.