Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bad Girl Yarn Ready for Fun!

Flirty lace-weight yarn seeking knitter for just a little casual fun. Interests include looking beautiful, creating those pills while being knit with and self-tangling. Seeking that perfect knitter to fight with Taylor Swift-style so you can write about our torrid affair on the blogosphere. No pets please. Pic below...

BAD yarn! No donut!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Knitting To Dos

I write myself a to do list at the beginning of each work week. It helps keep me organized throughout the week, and is there any better feeling than crossing something off of a to do list?!

I try not to have knitting to do lists. I rarely pay attention to my queue on Ravelry because by the time I'm ready to knit the thing on the top of my queue, I've already got my heart set on something altogether different.

This year is a little different. All sorts of life changing events are happening to myself and people I'm close with. What better way to mark these events than to knit? How best to keep myself busy before my March 2014 wedding than to DIY a bit of it? To keep myself sane, and on track, I put together a to do list:

I am pretty close to finishing the Essential Cardigan. After knitting all those Christmas balls a month ago, I really wanted to knit something for ME. I knew there would be a lot of selfless knitting this year, so I thought I'd get a jump on something selfish. I have to finish sleeve 2, block all the pieces, seam it, and work on the collar with buttons. Not too bad.

I'm, at heart, a 1 project at a time kind of knitter. Sure, I'm working on a shawl too right now, but that's really a backup project for when I can't cart the bigger cardigan project around. This year might force me to break that habit.

I really have to get going on the Super Secret project. You can see there that I have set an imminent deadline for myself. Reachable, sure, but not without multitasking.

And then there are the real self-less projects. A project for a baby, and 4 shrugs so my bridesmaids don't get cold during my March wedding. And the sort-of selfish pom-poms for bouquets and table decorations. I have yarn for the baby project, and yarn for the shrugs just shipped. I think I might be in a good place with the bouquets, I have an interesting configuration ready, and I should be getting some help from my bridesmaids on the pom-poms for the centerpieces/table decorations.

Still, I somehow feel stressed about all these projects. Maybe it's the fact that hey all have deadlines. I realized I left a wedding shawl for myself off of the list unintentionally. I just can't handle thinking that so many of these projects are due around the same time.

Most of all the big wedding details, believe it or not, are pretty much nailed down. We have a venue, a date, an officiant, a DJ, and a photographer all lined up. So I guess the stuff that stresses most brides out is more or less complete. I fully acknowledge and admit that I've taken these projects on myself. That I've said I would do them and get them done on time. I guess I'm just a little worried that the me that executes stuff is going to somehow fall short and not follow through on it all.

I've got plenty of time, though. Right?

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

2012 Knits

Here's the list of projects I managed in 2012. I'm pretty surprised at how much I accomplished. I feel like I finished more projects this year than in previous years, but also the projects I finished were bigger than previous years.

  1. Fireside Wedding Blanket for my Brother and Kristina
  2. Red Vine Yoke Cardigan
  3. Navy Elf Hat
  4. Paris Rainbow Revontuli
  5. Rhodochrosite
  6. Incense Robin Tank
  7. Sunset Color Affection
  8. Crayon Wedge Socks
  9. Forestry Wrapped Pullover
  10. New Dorp Color Affection for Stanley's Sister
  11. Gioielli Gloves with conductive thread for iphone
  12. Aran Tree Skirt
  13. Irresponsible Tam
  14. 14 Christmas Balls

Another year of only one pair of socks, but I'm just dying to knit another pair.

2012 FOs

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Story of EZ's Knitter's Almanac

Does anyone remember that group from the '90s called Sublime? They had a hit song "What I Got." I had a copy of their self-titled album. I los it somehow, or it was stolen. More importantly, everyone I knew at one point who had that album were having a hard time putting their hands on their copy of it. It was the one album that everyone but no one had.

I feel like the Knitter's Almanac is just like it. I was looking for a copy earlier this year. I thought i'd had a copy, and my Ravelry Library, which I keep pretty up to date, was also telling me I had a copy. I'd just moved here a few months ago at that point and I remembered seeing the small 5.5 x 8", paperback, green covered book when setting up my book case. But I couldn't find it. A friend of mine mentioned that she couldn't find her copy either.

EZ Books
Can you find my paperback copy of The Knitter's Almanac?

Sometime this summer, I think I had a credit somehow or a gift card to use on Amazon. I knew there was a newer edition of Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac
out, so even though I was so sure I had a copy, even though I couldn't find it, I decided to get the updated edition.

The new edition is 7 x 10", hardcover, and red. I have reason to believe that this change in format and color mean that I will not lose it on my shelf!

Last week, I went on vacation to Disney World. I did a travel knitting assessment (check out my posts on knitting and travelling here), and decided to bring some lovely Briar Rose Angelface with me to create a Pi Shawl from The Knitter's Almanac. Now, I looked at my shelf and really didn't feel like taking this large hardcover book that was sure to be heavy with me. Didn't I have a much smaller copy in paperback somewhere? I noticed some extra space between two books and I did what any normal person would do: I stuck my finger between them.

Lo! And behold! My paperback edition of The Knitter's Almanac! At last!

I started flipping through it, and realized that this might make a good reading book in addition to a good pattern book. So I decided to read it as well. However, my purse is already quite heavy with the iPad I carry around with me everywhere. So I didn't want to carry another paper item around with me everywhere. I bought the ebook on iBooks and am pretty confident that I can't lose that edition, since it's in the cloud.

And that's how I ended up with 3 editions of the Knitter's Almanac.

Oh! This is a knitting post too, so here's my progress on the Pi Shawl. I'm using size 0 needles with Briar Rose Angel Face and just a simple eyelet ring pattern. this is one I think will be picked up and put down a lot so I wanted to keep it relatively simple. I'm a little worried that the eyelets will actually get lost, but I think it will still be pretty.

Pi Shawl Detail

Friday, July 13, 2012

Ravellenic Games 2012

My hardcore training will start soon.

The swatches.

The project is ambitious this year.

A virtual sort of cheering squad may be necessary.

Many times I have tried and many times I have failed at medaling in the Sweater competition.

This year I'm determined: I shant fail again.

Ravellenic 2012 Sweater Triathalon.

The Wrapped Pullover from atelier alpha will look glorious under a gold medal.

Pocket on the side for a medal is a plus.

Madelinetosh Tosh Chunky in a color way called Forestry will provide maximum delight for knitter and spectators alike.

A dash of negative ease.

A dose of a road trips. One driven, one drive.

Challenge: event on the last weekend of the Olympics.

Madelinetosh Chunky

PassionKNITly, indeed.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Book Review: My Grandmother's Knitting

I just finished reading this book by Larissa Brown. As someone who re-started family tree research recently, the combination of ancestry and knitting is quite interesting to me. The book ism ore than a pattern book, although there are many patterns in it. 17 contemporary designers are profiled with emphasis on family members that inspired them to be creative and knit.

Some stories stick out to me more than others. I loved the idea of Ysolda Teague going to pre-school thinking that all sweaters were knit by grandfathers instead of grandmothers. Jared Flood's father's art was always rooted in a utilitarian mindset - something Jared came back to after exploring "art for arts sake." The most inspiring story, to me, was actually the Family Trunk Project that Emily Johnson has undertaken. Not only did she research her family tree but she decided to design a garment for each member in her tree.

There are also some patterns in this bok that have gotten stuck in my head that I'd like to knit. The Concetta Cardigan by Cirilla Rose feels both vintage and classic at the same time. I think we all know I'm a sucker for sequins and the sequins in this pattern are just the right amount of sparkle to glam it up without getting kitschy.

Cosette Cornelius-Bates designed an Ice Skating Cape that can double as a skirt. I love the concentric circles of purls and how the simplicity of the cape/skirt is dressed up with buttons and a ribbon at the top.

Emily Johnson's 'Olina Socks do remind me of my trip to Hawaii, and I will probably end up knitting them sometime. The Wan Jai socks by Cookie A. are also spectacular with the meandering line of stockinette that represents her family's journey.

But the one pattern that I'm completely enamored with and inexplicably can't get out of my head is Wendy Bernard's Helen's Slippers and Wendy's Slippers. They just look so cosy and warm. I also feel like they look familiar, as though someone in my own family members might have worn slippers like these, maybe even I did! It's entirely possible that I might knit a LOT of these as Christmas gifts.

As you can tell, I was quite inspired by this book. It's been reminding me of the role my own grandmother has played as my crafting muse. Be on the lookout for an essay on that sometime soon!

*psst! Those pattern links are Ravelry links!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

There's An App For That

I got my first iPad in the summer of 2010. You may or may not know that I work in the publishing industry. I told myself it was research for my job because we'd be selling more ebooks and I wanted to know what the environment was like. That made for an awesome excuse. Now, I'm on the iPad 3 and I really just love it. I read on it almost every day I read a few magazines on it (Martha Stewart Living is actually one of my favorites!), play some games and knit with it. Yup. That's right. I knit with it. Since I knit with it so often, I thought I might let you in on the apps I've used and which ones I like best for knitting. All of these apps are available for iOS devices, but if you have an Android device, I think some of them are available for those as well. I know Dropbox is at least.

ibooks - Free! - I almost exclusively read books on my iPad now. I'll only really ever get a physical book if there is no ebook available. That means that often, my knitting books are pbooks instead of ebooks. I've found this is a great way to hide my book stash from my boyfriend. However, I've also found that when reading pbooks, I tend to try to highlight words I don't know to define them. That functionality really doesn't work as well in a pbook, by the way.
I actually haven't been using iBooks for pdfs of patterns at all. I will use it for pdf ebooks like Ysolda's Little Red in the City. I can highlight and add notes to things I find important and keep bookmarks of things, but for patterns, I find there are other apps that have better tools to help knitters.

Goodreader - 4.99 - You can get a free version of this app, but trust me, the $5 you spend on this app are WELL worth it! It's best for pdf files, I have had some trouble with using word files. Why is it awesome though? Do you knit shawls? You do? BAM! make a line and drag the line up the chart. You know exactly what row you're on and what to do on it. Add a note to let yourself know how many times you've done that repeat of the pattern. I'll bet that sweater you're working on has multiple sizes right? Highlight the instructions for the one size you want to knit. You can add arrows to point towards directions in written patterns to let you know where you left off. It's pretty sweet. You can transfer patterns onto Goodreader from your computer if your device is connected, or over wifi. You can synch Goodreader with your Ravelry queue (via the instructions here). Or you can import the files from a cloud service.

Dropbox - Free! - Dropbox is definitely my cloud service of choice. They start you off with a certain amount of space, but every time you refer a friend to their website and that friend joins up, you both get more space. I put music, photos, patterns and all sorts of stuff on there. If I want to share anything, I can send a link to someone so they can access just that one file. You can also use it to review patterns and things like that, but it doesn't have all that functionality of Goodreader, so it's good for reference, but not so great at keeping track of where you are in a pattern.

Knit-N-Count - $2.99 - I've used a few different counters. For a while, I was using the StitchMinder app to count rows. But when I started using two counters of the four counters StitchMinder provides to you for one project, I thought that might not work for the long haul. In Knit-N-Count, I can name projects, keep notes on them if I want (I've actually copied in a whole pattern for a simple sock before and used that instead of goodreader), all in addition to the counter. This counter is actually quite sophisticated for a counter. You can set alarm rows, repeat rows, pattern repeats and it'll keep track of your total row count as you're doing all of that. Make a mistake or accidentally press the row button one too many times? No problem, hit the frog button and the counter goes back a row AND makes a "ribbit" noise!

Those are the key apps I use to knit with on my iPad. I also read Vogue Knitting on my ipad (from the Newsstand) and if I want to grab an Interweave magazine, I'll nab it off their website so I can import it to Goodreader if there's a pattern I want to use. You can get IK from the Zinio Magazine app, but it's not a pdf, and oftentimes they're slow in adding things to Zinio.

I used to make a copy of a pattern from a book so I wouldn't have to lug the whole book around with me. I'd put it in a sheet protector, and when I was done with it, I'd stick it in a binder. Now, I scan the document into my computer, pull all the pdfs into one document and load it up into Goodreader. There are some books that doesn't quite work for. I bought Cookie A's Knit Sock Love and the size of the book made it quite difficult to scan the pattern in from my home scanner (with legal sized glass) as well as work's scanner (more like a tabloid sized glass). I ended up typing the pattern up in word and bringing it into Goodreader like that (which is how I know you can't really edit any word documents in Goodreader). I'm not sure what I would do if I needed to do something similar for any of her other patterns that are more complicated or included a chart. I'll cross that bridge when I get there.