Saturday, July 26, 2008

I was...

...burnt out, to put it simply...

I must admit, knitting and blogging just slipped away from me for a while. I feel bad that I let it get there, but with all the work and the auditions and the fact that I was crazy enough to take a Japanese class on top of everything else, I just needed a break.

I went on a vacation to Puerto Rico for a week:


Much revived and refreshed, the knitting mojo started flowing again:

Vine Flower Dress
by Anne Hanson of Knitspot

Yarn: Knitpicks Cotlin in "Moroccan Red"
Very soft yarn, except for little pokey wiry bits sticking out of the yarn. They softened with washing, but gave me a scare initially.

Circle Socks
by Anne Campbell

One of the few WIP's I've got going. I'm using yarn from Twisted. It stripes, but at different intervals, so no matching (took me a while to get over that). I like the yarn very much, but ever since Twisted started its own site, buying yarn from them has become a bit more challenging. They do a pre-order thing (which I'm not into), and an occasional "instant gratification" thing. Honestly, I have better luck scoring fabled Wollmeise.

Dream in Color Shrug

I'm using the colorway "Giant Peach" for this (like in the pattern pic), because I happened to have some in my stash. It's very soft, squishy, bouncy yarn that smells really nice. I'm knitting this shrug because the air conditioner keeps things at arctic temperatures where I work.

Lawrence of Arabia?/Fun with Earflaps
Maltese Fisheraman's Hat
by Elizabeth Zimmerman

I am obsessed with this hat. There is lots of potential for variation, it's ergonomic, and weird enough that I keep wanting to tweak the design. Yarn is a combo of some colorful Insubordiknit and Morehouse Bulky in colorway "Oatmeal".

Mods: I switched to the contrast color when you start the shaping for the earflaps, and switched back after knitting the "one full row". When you start the row that ends with CO 14 sts for the forehead, that should be back in the main color. I added more rounds of garter ridges for symmetry and hat depth, and slip stitched along the head for that "ridge". Also crocheted one row around the hat opening. I also decreased at a faster rate for a rounder top: when it should be K2tog (or P2tog), K10 around, I changed to K2tog, K4 around.

Chullo inspired Maltese

Here's another one, but this time I tried for some patterning at the top. It was improvised from some Peruvian wave designs I've seen. Earflaps were knit with some bulky hand dyed that I lost the label to, and the top was Misti Alpaca worsted that I used quadrupled. If I ever visit Minnesota, I'm taking this hat - it's that thick and warm.

Some kitchenalia knitting mojo kicked in as well. Here are some variations on the:

Mods: I cast on 41sts for a larger potholder, and lined them with felt for more heat protection.

These were pretty cute too, and super fast to crochet:

Yeah, I know, this is a totally photo-heavy post. But if you've made it this far, here's the...


It's Mozart season again! To enter, leave a comment telling me what your favorite piece by Mozart is! It can be an opera, symphony, chamber piece, concerto, whatever!

Prize#1: Kaalund Lace yarn hand dyed in Australia
100% kid mohair 460m colorway "Pawpaw"

Prize#2: Regia 4ply Crazy Color in colorway #5402

Prize#3: a huge skein of Opal 6ply in color #1714

Contest ends on Midnight, August 2nd, and the winners' names will be posted the next day. Good Luck!!!


  1. For the yarn, my favorite Mozart piece is Ave Verum Corpus.

  2. First, let me say thanks for stopping by my blog! :o)
    And - wow, so many beautiful things to look at. Even without the knitting mojo, you finishe all those wonderful pieces? The dress is VERY cute! I like the red color for it. The socks look interesting, I'm glad you got over it, that they will not exactly match. The hats look warm and cozy. I'm also thinking of starting my winter knitting. Even the pot holders are beautiful. I especially like the blue/green ones with the flower, very elegant. :o)
    Even if you have only one week for vacation, it's better than nothing. The picuture looks great!

    I know many pieces of Mozart, or should I say, I used to. One piece which comes to mind at once is "Eine kleine Nachtmusik", I like it very much.

  3. I'm so glad to see you back!! You always find the best patterns and your work is truly inspirational. My word, you've been very busy! I LOVE LOVE that cute little jumper. It really is exquisite!! I also love the circle socks...I've been looking for a pattern for self striping yarn and I can see that you are doing it toe up...ever since I knit my first toe up...I'm hooked :) Those fisherman's hats are awesome. I bet they keep ears very warm on cold blustery days. I wonder if my boys would wear a hat like that? They're very picky.
    Your pot holders are all wonderful. I tried that pattern but the results were too small. I'll have to try the 41 stitches next time. The diagonal design is very nice. I have always admired the flower hot pads, but never tried the pattern. Beautiful. Almost too pretty to use :)

    I love "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik"...always very uplifting :)

  4. I'm not especially familiar with Mozart, and I have some trouble remembering which number goes with which piece, but I really like most of his piano sonatas (if I have to pick one, I think #11 was one I liked).

    I love that little dress!

  5. I'm glad to hear you were able to get a nice break from things.

    The dress is adorable. I've thought of trying the knitpicks cotlin but haven't yet. It was nice to see what you thought of it.
    I really love your Maltese Fisherman's hat. The potholders and flower hot pads are great to.

    Hmm, Mozart, I wish my daughter was awake so I could ask her opinion. I don't know much about Mozart. But since it is summer, no school, and she is 13, she will not wake up till probably noon. So I grabbed some of her cds and listened to a few. I'd say I really liked listening to A Little Night Music (Allegro).

  6. Welcome back! I completely understand "burnt out".

    First... I love that little dress, those socks are adorable, and those crochet flower hot pads are REALLY funky! Oh, and thanks for reminding me that I had wanted a Dream in Colour Shrug... I have the worst case of summer startitis, KADD, yarn hoarding over here I've had in a while!

    My favourite Mozart... the first piece the pops into my head is the Sinfonia Concertante, K.364. One of the first pieces of "real" classical music I heard when I was a kid, and I've always wanted to play it. I've worked on both the violin and viola solo parts, but not yet had the opportunity. I think I'll go listen to it again now...

    The Requiem is pretty powerful for me too.

    Also, the man wrote brilliant opera, no?

    Ooo! And what about the opening to the C+ quartet, K.465! That was another piece I discovered really genuinely as a kid -- my childhood string quartet started to play it, and we stopped, unable to figure out how Mozart's name got on top of this crazy contemporary bit of writing.

    Oh, Mozart... crazy genius. Now I have to go do some listening. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Marsha12:37 PM

    Love the Vine Flower dress. Beautiful work. :)

    Lotsa Mozart faves; today I'll take the Clarinet Concerto, K. 622.

  8. You've been busy! All of your projects are beautiful.

    I'd have to say "Alla Turka", the piano piece. Of course, now I'll be singing it for the rest of my day...!

  9. I love those hats! (Followed you from Zimmermania.) That's giving me ideas for my kids' hats this winter.

    Is it shallow if I say that I loved the entire soundtrack from Amadeus? I can't actually name any of the songs, but I used to play the entire cassette over and over again in my car.

  10. Oh - great mods on the Maltese hats. I can't wait to try multi-colored version/earflaps.

    I found you through Zimmermania and had to check out the yarn subs for the hats. (Thanks for the deets!) I'm hoping to make a few this fall.

    As for Mozart, I too loved the soundtrack from Amadeus. My mother is a violinist but I'm a fan of his piano concertos -- I'll take "Jeunnehomme" for my favorite.

  11. The Requiem Mass is my favorite piece. Although I suppose one can argue that it wasn't Mozart since he almost certainly didn't finish it.

  12. I love the little dress!

    My favorite is the Piano Concerto #20 - the melody is so lovely, and the mood that it sets is very evocative of a Mozart we rarely see.

    teabird / ravelry

  13. Beautiful dress.

    My favorite Mozart is Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Yes he did write it, the music at least. I'm not sure where the words come from.

  14. OK - I'll confess, I'm more of an Arrowsmith type. However, I DO have one Mozart CD (and a dozen other classical types.) I really like this one - with three violin sonatas.

    I LUV knitting to classical music on rainy days (we have had a lot of them this year.)

    SO... my favorite off my Mozart CD would be: Violin Sonata in G, K379.

  15. It's hard to narrow down my favourite Mozart composition, but I guess I'd have to say Eine Kleine Nachtsmusik.
    It's the ringtone on my cell phone.

  16. I love the clarinet concerto. I used to play the clarinet, but that was a really long time ago.

    Love the dress - absolutely fabulous

  17. Right now I'd have to say Don Giovani. :-)

  18. Best Regards from the city where Mozart lived and died (Vienna/Austria).
    I like Allaturka (which I could play on the piano) and even more his clarinet concert (to be heard in the film"Our of Africa").

  19. wow! no blogging makes you a very proficient knitter. makes me want to knit a maltese hat too. the dress is beautiful!

    i will admit that i do not listen to classical music very much. although, there are some pieces i do adore.

    so, mozart. i will pick violin concerto no. 3 in g major. lovely prizes.

  20. My favorite Mozart piece is the Concerto for Bassoon. I heard it when I was in junior high or high school, and my band director gave it to me to practice on. I couldn't play much of it, but my band director said I should use the beginning as a warm-up when I was around other bassoonists so that I could impress them and make them think it was in my repertoire because it's such a complex piece!

    I never actually pulled his trick, but it's always been my favorite Mozart. It's such a delightful piece!

  21. I love the red dress! I wish I had a little girl for whom to knit one. I appreciate classical music but I don't always recognize composers since I tend to just listen for meditative purposes. But Eine Kline Nachmusik is so universal. I really enjoy that one.

  22. my fave mozart piece, Requiem in D minor. I sang this in high school and i still love singing it!

  23. Wow lots of great knitting pics! And a beach vacation to boot! sweet! I admit to being braindead when it comes to remember ing many classical music pieces as much as i enjoy them and have grown up around them with classical musicians in the family (and heck i grew up playing both the flute and violin) Requiem Mass in D minor has always been one i enjoy though.

  24. Rondo Alla Turca is among my faves, because you can't really have just one. Here is a great jazz version by singer Cleo Laine.

  25. Samantha3:29 PM

    I cannot seem to make a Maltese to fit my head. Don't want to use super bulky so have tried to size it up for a chunky yarn and always end up with something for a kid...sigh I lOVE the pattern, guess I will just have to keep trying.

    When I was a kid my mother would play the Jupiter symphony endlessly, feel a little like it was my soundtrack for a few years. But my absolute favorite Mozart is the Clarinet concerto 622. I will forever associate it with one of the most beautiful and poignant pieces of choreography I have ever seen, a duet by Lars Lubovitch from the mid 80s. It still makes me tear up to think of it... A perfect celebration of music and movement.

  26. Marsha5:03 PM

    Oh, my, how weird is that? My name is Marsha. I love the little red dress. I adore the Clarinet Concerto. But I am not 'marsha at 12:37 p.m.' Well, I'll have to pick another Mozart. Let's say the Symphony No. 40 in g minor (my favourite key.)

    Your knitting is lovely, Sophia. Isn't it interesting how many musicians are also knitters? There are at least 5 fairly serious knitters in my immediate musical circle!

  27. I think Requiem is a beautiful piece!

  28. I've got to go with Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. I'm probably butchering the spelling but it's so beautiful!

  29. Anonymous11:25 PM

    Cosi Fan Tutte - oh, yes! And La Nozze de Figaro, and the Magic Flute, and...well...everything else. O.K, I like the tragedies, too...

  30. it seems that if you are talented in one area, you will often be in more. i think your knitting is most talented. love it all. i have followed you at zimmermania and always liked it.
    my favourite mozart? should i say the chocolate with mozarts face on the wrapper. i know mozart of course, but i don't know which piece i like better, and i don't know their names in english. so excuse me for being so profane.

  31. Debbie9:19 PM

    I love the red dress - I got some of the cotlin yarn and started a scarf - but I'm not sure if I like it yet - it may be frogged. I'm not one for classical music much, but I like the piano concertos. This one is good - Piano Concerto No.12. thanks for the contest. debbie

  32. You always feed us such lovely eye candy in the form of your yummy knitting! I also love the beach scene - I could almost imagine myself there.
    I have loved Wolfie with a passion since I was a little girl, when my mother took me to see The Magic Flute. In fact, I named my last foster puppy Wolfgang.
    I have a large CD collection of Mozart, but if I had to choose my favorite, it would be a tie. The first movement of the Symphony No. 25 in G Minor is the most exhilarating piece of music ever and my heart literally starts racing to keep up with the violins - it's like auditory speed! And the Lacrimosa, from the Requiem is so bittersweet and lovely that it often moves me to tears.

  33. wow! you've been a busy knitter! all i have to show for my blog absences are a few dishcloths. it all looks great!

  34. Anonymous7:39 AM

    For Mozart at his fun best you can't pass up Abduction from the Seraglio.
    "No one fools Osmon!"

    It was written when all things Turkish were in fad. Maybe not such a P.C. choice now, eh?

  35. Rosi G.1:04 PM

    Hi! I came over from the Zimmermaniacs blog to see more info on your hats which I LOVE!! Your vine dress looks GREAT! I see you made a larger size. I did the same for my 10 year old. :o)

    I dunno any pieces by mozart. I have too much salsa and reggaeton and bachata on the brain. :o)

  36. I guess it would be concerto since I don't know any other pieces by Mozart. Can you tell I am not a music person? You are very talented with all you make! I am glad you got a chuckle from my bottle tree. They are easiest trees and give year round color with no demands-even in NY.

  37. I feel so boring saying Eine kleine Nachtmusik, but that's it. I've loved that since I was a kid just learning to play the clarinet.

  38. Teri E.7:32 PM

    Hi - I came here to view your fabulous Maltese hats, fell in love with other things on your blog and have bookmarked you in my favs. And since you're having a contest I will say my favorite Mozart music is Concerto for flute, harp & orchestra in C major. It is the only music he wrote for harp. It was my study piece while I was studying harp at the Conservatoire de musique de Genève, and performed by the
    Suisse Romande Orchestra.

  39. I really love the clarinet concerto. Wonderful.

  40. The red dress is beautiful! And I really like those hot pads, I'm going to have to go look up the pattern info on these!

    Since I'm so lame at connecting composer to music, I went browsing for Mozart and found one that I really enjoyed: Quintet for piano, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon in E flat major, K452. Especially since I played the oboe in High School!

  41. I'm going to have to be just like everyone else and say that my favorite Mozart piece is Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, which I probably spelled completely wrong.

    Oh, and the red dress is lovely!

  42. Anonymous2:08 PM

    Too late for the drawing but must add the Grand Partita to the list. I am a cellist so a bit of a betrayal since this is a wind piece but the slow movement with Oboe is goose-bump-making!

    And because I am a cellist - The Dissonance String Quartet - can't remember the key off the top of my head.