Friday, November 30, 2012

On the build up

Tomorrow promises to be a great day. Not only do I have my baby shower to look forward to, but I'll be releasing that pattern I keep chattering about. Are you excited yet?

I mentioned a giveaway, right?

It'll be one of those standard deals: leave a comment, you're entered to win. But you'll earn extra entries by sharing on Facebook and/or Twitter, so get those increasingly-burdensome social media accounts ready!

You might even want to follow me over on Twitter (mediaperuana) or "like" MediaPeruana Designs over on Facebook. Just in case it proves useful.

The contest will only run for about a week, so I can get the yarn and pattern to the big winner well before Christmas.

Did I say it's mittens?

It's mittens!

Who doesn't need mittens in December?

Well, ok, probably not people in Florida. Or Texas. Or California either.

But most of us are going to be cold from now until April, and we need mittens.


Ok, enough of that.

In the meantime, I've been working on other, less secretive, projects.

I originally intended to design a hat for CP for the winter, but swiftly ran out of designing mojo, so I knit this one instead:


This is the Brattleboro hat from New England Knits, knit in Dragonfly Fibers Super Djinni, colorway That Ole Chestnut. Loved this yarn, so squishy. I have quite a bit leftover, so I think our little bichito might just get a hat to match his Papi's.

(It only occurred to me very recently--like last month--that the baby would call CP Papi rather than Daddy.)

The pattern is very straightforward, so reworking the numbers for a baby hat should be relatively easy.

Famous last words.

I also whipped up a pair of felted slippers for a swap, Duffers:


Slippers, particularly felted ones, are hard to photograph, due to their inherently boring, lumpy shape. Nevertheless, I enjoyed most of this project: it was a quick knit, worked in Cascade 220 (held double). I would've preferred to knit in the round, directions for which are provided in the pattern, but I don't have 2 sets of size 11 needle tips (nor do I intend to buy a 2nd set, as I rarely use them). Still, seaming was fairly painless (and since they're felted, you don't have to worry about the seams being flawless, which is always a plus in my book).

What wasn't painless was the felting. Up and down, up and down, back and forth, back and forth to the washing machine to check their progress. I'm too pregnant for that. Once they were done, though, I stuffed them with newspaper to hold their shape and set them in front a window fan. They were dry in 24 hours.

If I can stomach more felting, I'll surely knit up more of these. I bet they'd make great holiday gifts.

Ok, I can't resist. Preview photo of tomorrow's pattern release:


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesdays with Dory

First, I think it's important to tell you guys that I've discovered a delicious treat. Kristen claims it's not really for kittehs, but I think I'm entitled to whatever might be left in any glasses I find around the house.


Apparently it's called egg nog. It's like milk, but yummier. Unfortunately, my wee little head doesn't quite fit in the glasses, so I'm forced to use my paws (and then track egg nog footprints all over the house).


This will be my favorite thing, until the Christmas tree goes up, at which point I'll resume my usual holiday tradition: drinking water out of the tree stand. 

And speaking of Christmas, this week I'm here to give you some gift ideas for the kittehs in your life!

 We have this toy, and Nelly likes it a lot. It's a bit noisy, but keeps us busy for at least a few minutes.

This looks pretty fun, but it's always hard to predict whether your cat will use a toy, or prefer the box it came in. 
(Which is why we take Amazon cat toy reviews with a grain of salt--just because someone's cat didn't like something doesn't mean it's a bad product. Cats are just . . . cats.)

This is another hit-or-miss toy, but it looks fun! And it's only $12. 
We enjoy this catnip squirrel, when we don't lose it under furniture.

This scratcher is pricey, but if kittehs actually use it, it's probably worth the money--it costs less than your couch, right?

I think this looks like a torture device, but Kristen thinks it's a brilliant idea!

Those are things you could buy your kitteh, but maybe you want to knit something? I'd steer clear of sweaters, but here are two other ideas:

Bunnies! We love these.

These whales are also quick and simple to knit up with scraps.

Stuff with fiber fill and catnip, and your kitteh will have the best Christmas ever!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Sneak Peek

I don't want you to panic, but Christmas is exactly ONE MONTH from today! 

For me, this is good news. I love the holiday season, and couldn't be more excited for all the festivities. 

(Though I will acknowledge that I am less than 100% prepared, knitting-wise, for the holiday.)

And to kick off the most Christmas-y of months, I have a little treat prepared: I'll be releasing a new pattern on December 1!

Here's a little sneak peek:


Here's what I can tell you about it:

You'll need 3 shades of fingering weight yarn to complete it--I used Knit Picks Palette for the sample.

There's some colorwork. 

There's plenty of stockinette.

You could absolutely knit it before Christmas, and it would make a lovely gift.

And, I'll be doing a giveaway!

Be sure to check back on December 1 for the pattern release, and the holiday booty--you could win a copy of the pattern AND the yarn to complete it!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saturday Sampler: Knitter's Wishlist

As you rush around purchasing holiday gifts for others, have you thought about what you might like Santa to put under the tree for you (other than yarn!)? Here are a few ideas, for yourself, or the knitters in your life.

I'm desperate to get my hands on a set of these Chiaogoo Interchangeables!

Tricksy Knitter's notebooks come in lots of fun designs, and feature either lined or graph paper!

Jordana Paige's tool butler will keep you organized in the new year.

I wouldn't mind an L.J. Kaelms bag either.

The Loopy Ewe sells these yarn caddies from George Sichterman. They should keep yarn off the floor and out of the cat fur (well, hopefully).

I can't get over how adorable this owl/Christmas-themed fabric basket is. Project bag! Etsy seller bedesisters.
 This one's a little pricey, but darling too! Etsy seller lavenderhillknits.

Perfect storage solution for needle tips! Etsy seller karatstix.

So, what are you hoping Santa will bring? Other than, you know . . . 

Friday, November 23, 2012

On being thankful

Ah, Thanksgiving.

No gift-giving pressure, just lots of eating and family togetherness.

My sister came over to make dinner with me, and spent most of the day taking poorly-lit, unflattering photos of me:


Interspersed with wrapping herself around my abdomen, hoping to feel the baby kick.

Overall, it was a good holiday.

And best of all, there's pie left! Lots of it! Two kinds!!

Mmmm. Pie.

And now that we're all done being thankful for various things, we have to start shopping IMMEDIATELY because CHRISTMAS IS ALMOST HERE!1!eleventy!

Before we're done being thankful, though, I wanted to take a chance to thank my readers and fans of MediaPeruana Designs for all your support throughout the year. It is, as always, very much appreciated. And starting tomorrow, which is Small Business Saturday, and running through Monday--which happens to be Cyber Monday--you can take $1 off any pattern in my pattern store, using the coupon code smallbiz.

Hope everyone had a lovely, lovely holiday, and no one was irreparably damaged during Black Friday shopping!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Saturday Sampler: holiday knitting

The holidays are upon us!

No, wait, come back! You still have time. Don't worry.

Here's a round-up of some darling holiday-themed knits to get you inspired.

Love these Deck the Halls socks

Knitted Christmas ornaments!

No fire hazards here!

No actual knitting required, just yarn.

I have every intention of making us handknit stockings . . . someday.

Remember Jovie's darling hat in Elf? Knit your own!

Try a handknit Advent calendar to countdown the days.

How adorable are these festive holiday mice?

Seen any other adorable holiday knits lately?

On pre-empting

I should be doing the Saturday Sampler today, but instead, I'm going to do a little self-promo--sorry about that!

But, look, I've got too much yarn.

There, I said it.

I love my yarn. I really really do. But it's getting a little out of control. I found myself considering stashing some in the baby's dresser today.


Especially since I ordered yarn not once, not twice, but THREE times this week! THREE!

(Although in my defense, most of the yarn I ordered was for swaps or giveaways. Or, at least half, anyway.)

I've got to destash.

So if you're in the market for more yarn for your holiday knitting, or just looking for a bargain, please check out my destash page over on Ravelry.


There's Madelintetosh, Malabrigo, Cascade, Knit Picks, Rowan, Louet and more. Most of these yarns are priced a few bucks under retail, and the price includes shipping within the U.S.

And I promise to do the Saturday Sampler this afternoon.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Bound off: Little Oak cardigan

I give up.

I tried sunshine. Clouds. Monsoon. Auto setting. Manual setting. Everything.

I cannot get this color to photograph.

So, here it is, Peruanito's Little Oak cardigan, looking all kinds of the wrong color:


Pattern: Little Oak, from the Coastal Kids Collection
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Sport in Tart, approx. 400 yards.
Needles:  szs 2 and 3
Size: 6 months

The Tart color is really a deeper, Valentine's Day-style red. My photos have all come out too pink. I don't know what the answer is.

I mean, other than actually learning to use my camera.

One of these days.

Anyway, this was a great pattern, which I think we've all come to expect from Alana.

 I never bothered with gauge, I just knit the smallest size, figuring it will fit the baby at some point.

It's almost entirely stockinette, save for the ribbed edges and the yoke, so great for mindless car knitting.

And then by the time you reach the yoke, you're ready for something more challenging.

These little oak leaves were actually quite fun to knit.  It was fascinating to watch them come together.

 And I found the perfect buttons hiding in my button stash--the right size, a bit decorative, but not gaudy.


So we're just about ready for Valentine's Day. 

There was plenty of yarn leftover for a matching hat, so I think that will be my next baby project.

Although, I'm very tempted to tackle these new Tanis Fiber Arts' patterns immediately--coordinating mom and baby sweaters!

 (Photo snagged from the Tanis Fiber Arts blog!)

She's even got sweater kits!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

On damage control

An epic tragedy has struck my sock family.

Not one, but TWO socks have sprouted holes:



It's a very sad day.

Although, on the plus side, I did find the hole in the gold socks before it became monstrous--those are CP's socks, and if I hadn't noticed, I'm sure he would've continued to wear them until the heel disappeared entirely.

And happily, I've discovered a series of video tutorials on darning socks, on the Knit Picks website.

Oh, Knit Picks, you never let me down.

I'm going to order a darning egg, and once it arrives, tackle this project.

(I'm sure I won't accidentally order anything else. . . )

I'll keep you posted on the results. And feel free to share your darning experiences--have you darned before??

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tuesdays with Dory

I am given to understand that Kristen tweeted something yesterday about me eating a spider, and claimed that I was "officially useful."

I take offense to this.

I am always useful.

Look, here I am helping CP and Kristen put together nursery furniture:


And here, I'm monitoring the yard for rabbits and other miscreants:


And this one is very important: I'm keeping the comforter on the bed!


So as you can see, I am a Very Useful Kitteh. And I thought this issue was important enough to merit this whole blog post.

In other news, Kristen is preparing a pattern for release very soon, and she's going to do a giveaway in conjunction with it! To be among the first to know what's going down, be sure to sign up for the MediaPeruana Designs newsletter.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Saturday Sampler: All Things Owl

Did you guys know I like owls?

I know, it's a big secret.

Owls are quite popular these days. Check out some of this cute stuff:

Owl fingerless mitts

 Adorable owl lamp

Owl-iday plates!

Felted owl phone cover!

Owl lanterns (on sale!)

Even an owl speaker!

You'll find me pinning plenty of owls and other fun stuff over on Pinterest!

Friday, November 9, 2012

On Checking In

These are the days where I remind myself that I really need to make better use of my time and Blogger's scheduling feature.

Long, long week. Election excitement, one very late night at work (~10pm), and repeated computer/network woes here at the office. Finally, I have a few minutes to type.

Sadly, I don't have much to say. I did finish wee Peruanito's coming home sweater, but haven't taken photos yet.

For the first time, I'm working with a real, live tech editor on a new design--seems like my pattern was fairly clear, but I have to do a smidge more math before it's ready to go, which we all know is not my strong suit. I'll be tackling that this weekend.

And I'm working on  2 other designs I hope to get out before the end of the year. The most I can offer you there is this sneak peek:


And in preparation for Christmas knitting, which I'm terribly behind on, I recently purchased this pile of yarny goodness from the Verdant Gryphon:



In non-knitting news, I am officially in the third trimester!

I've also learned that CP has never changed a diaper in his entire life. Worrisome.