Friday, October 28, 2005

Suss Over the knee

I visited the new Suss store on Lafayette between Houston and Prince. From work it's just a bunch of blocks east (damn, that makes it seem so close!). As soon as I opened the door my senses kicked into overload mode. The bright colors, the obvious fuzzy softness, the smoothness of the wood, the fabulous noises the calming smell, the perfect temperature, it was just all too much. When Suss Cousins herself walked by me and said something in my direction, I was taken aback. I recognized her at once from her books (and dude, you just don't see real blond like that anywhere in NY!), but didn't really comprehend what she said because this was the exact moment my brain was being flooded with sensory perceptions (she actually said hello to me in Swedish I think). So Jill and I just sat on the couch for a bit and knitted. I oogled the yarn and pulled an Amélie moment when I surrounded my hand with the fabulous Suss yarn. It's a gorgeous store, the sales staff were all really nice, and I'm totally coveting their couch.

On the Over the Knee Stockings front, here's where we stand:

We're looking at about nine and a half repeats of the lace (read around 96 rows). We have successfully gone over the knee, and are about to embark on the shaping of the calf. I'm kind of worried that they're not really going to fit. They're a bit tight over the knee, and I'm worried if I do the shaping that the pattern requires, that they're going to end up being too stretched out when I wear them. So I might skip one or two of the decreases. Although, I do kind of have to go from 13" around the thick part of my calf to about 8 and a half inches around my ankle, so we'll see what happens. To give you a better sense of what the lace pattern looks like:

That's going in the right direction with the top of the stocking at the top of the page. They're knitting up pretty quickly which is cool, and there's just enough in the lace pattern to make all the stockinette bearable. I'm going out shopping at Sal's (what a friend of mine often calls the Salvation Army, I kind of adopted the terminology and forgot that no one but him really calls it that) with my cousin this weekend, and I'm kind of hoping that I can find a cute skirt to wear with these.

Meanwhile, at The Point tonight, I ran into someone who made the most amazing hat out of some Noro Kereyon. I've decided that I must make this hat. I must wear this hat too. It looked too cool not to. But I still have all this yarn in my stash that I really, honestly, must use up before I buy any more yarn. I felt guilty looking at my bank account this morning (mostly because it was actually in negatives - ouch). On the up-side today, I taught someone how to knit in the round on double pointed needles today. That was pretty cool. I think I even remembered to tell her the important things like, don't twist your stitches and those kinds of things. She'll be alright in the end I think. It made me feel pretty proud to know I could pass on such knowledge.

So I'm teaching thiswomand and knitting and just observing everything around me. There's this girl with her mom in the store. The girl, we find out later, was about six. Now, around six years old, things begin to sort of becomeinterestingg. Lots of people start doing important things around the age of six. The girl wanted to make her own scarf. She doesn't know how to knit, but she wanted to learn, and make something herself. For whatever reason, the mother kept saying she didn't think her daughter could do it, no, we'll teach you when you're older, that kind of a thing. Now, this pissed me off. I don't like it when people limit themselves, and when parents limit their children, telling them that they actually can't do something, that really pisses me off. The woman goes to one of the women that works at The Point and says "Can you maybe tell her why she might not be able to learn to knit right now, she's only six." and Dawn says "uhm, well...not really. I started knitting when I was seven." The mother looks at Dawn in shock and Dawn continues and says, maybe you could bring your daughter over after school someday and we'll see what we can do. But, I need to reiterate that I totally wanted to slap that woman. If a child has the drive and interest to pursue something, why would you want to hinder that?

TECH UPDATE (more of a checklist for myself than anything else): There's still a few things I want to do to this, but just haven't gotten around to doing. I need to check out blogger's help stuff to figure out how to make my comments page in the same theme as the rest of the blog as opposed to that generic page. I also want to add an RSS feed button somewhere since my blog does, in fact, have an RSS feed attached. I think that might be it for now. We're taking baby steps. It's a good thing.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Labeling Status

Yeah, I like the way I come up with the names for my posts. It accurately describes what's in the post, by making a phrase that has nothing to do with my post at all!

I got my Charmwoven Labels in the mail today. They are a little less woven than I had expected. As you can see below, my name is actually just painted on them. I'm kind of disappointed with this, but like them other than that minor detail. I'll still use the 20 I have.

I don't think I'll use a ton of them, but whatever. They'll last for a while then. After I figure out how to affix one to the SURPRISE!!! (which could require me yoinking 101 Essential Tips: Basic Sewing from work - since I have no idea how I would even start sewing it on. They look pretty though, right?

So that, and I kept going with the Over the Knee Stockings. You can see where we (the sock and I - for we are currently separate, yet the same) are right now. I haven't even gotten past the thigh yet, but I just did the second decrease (four more left to go because I'm totally fudging the pattern)! Oh man, I still need to make a Hero John song. I should have it ready for when he comes back. He's going to be on that knitting show on the DIY channel. I think it's called Knitty Gritty. Check it out if you get that channel. I don't even have basic cable, so I'll rely on your reactions to it.
So anyway, here's the status shot of the day:

It's not the greatest shot, but whatever, you can kind of see the idea of it.
Also, I took a detailed shot of the lace, in case anyone was curious. Not completely my first experience with YOs, this is definitely my first experience with lace. It's fun, and I can see why people make lace shawls and stuff. I don't know if it's really for me though.

This is not an add for clover stitch markers, I swear! I just noticed while looking at the full sized version that the light was hitting the stitch marker in just the right way for the relief on the stitch marker to show spelling out Clover, quite proudly. Regardless, you can kind of tell where this is going right? They're going to be gorgeous. And I'm pretty sure that the merino wool, once it's stretched out will show the lace pattern quite effectively. I'm still looking for the perfect skirt and shoes to go with these though....

Sunday, October 23, 2005


Ahhhhh....(healing sigh)

Today I went hunting for some help on the Over the Knee Stockings from Handknit Holidays. I was having trouble with the decreasing because the pattern is written in a ridiculous fashion, but there's nothing online correction-wise because it's such a new book. I'll be calling Stewart, Tabori and Chang sometime this week I think - to make them aware of the mistake and see if they can find a way of sending me a list of corrections or something. If webspace wasn't so expensive I'd get off my ass and actually see about creating a site specifically to gather all the corrections for books out there. While I was at Purl in SoHo to check out the trunk show of items knit for Handknit Holidays, I grabbed someone to see if she could help me. I told her that the instructions were telling me to do two different things. I told her that by default, just by reading the instructions I can tell that they're wrong. She told me I should just try to do it, and that it will iron out when I try it. But honestly, the instructions made NO sense whatsoever. And while I really just wanted to tell her to shove it, I tried to think of the hot chocolate Jill and I shared earlier and calmly walked away.

Jill, Jill and I went to The Point instead (yeah, three eh?). I spent some time moping, looking at the Vogue Knitting book that I want desperately in search of any kind of clue that would tell me I'm either stupid for not being able to understand the instructions, or brilliant for knowing that they're borked (yes, I just said "borked," what of it!?). I finally sequestered John enough to say "help!" And help he did!!! He sat with me for like twenty minutes looking at the pattern, reading it, doing it, and finally we decided that yes, the pattern really is borked. So I'm just doing a plain ssk and k2tog on either side of the pattern to decrease it.

An awesome dinner at Sammy's and a new pair of Nine West hooker boots later, and I found myself mystified by the ever elusive YO. After a bit of confusion and talking over Jill, she was able to break through my thick skull enough to actually teach me how a YO works - for this I was elated. Somehow, I thought that the actual knit stitch after the YO was part of the YO. In this I was, of course, wrong. Armed with the knowledge I have, I decided that once home, I should continue on with my valiant efforts. And then I was reminded that John told me I have cast on too many stitches. To be honest, I've spent too much time trying to figure out what's going on with the pattern to make them imperfect. I have thus decided that I need to frog and re-cast on the requisite 84 stitches and start over.

This is a good starting over, however. When I restart, I should be re-starting with all the knowledge I need in order to get these goddamn things done to make these perfect.

LATER UPDATE: I decided not to start over, but instead just to make notes and decrease as appropriate. Oh, and the pattern says that the last decreasing round should be on round 70, but since i started decreasing a bit early I guess, I'm going to make my 6th decrease on row 72. And there's no one to stop me! Mwahaha!!!

Saturday, October 22, 2005


I just spent a bit of time looking to see if I could find any elaborations on Handknit Holidays. And I'm just baffled. I ran into this page which seems to be reviews of all knitting books out there. The part I'm having a hard time with is the fact that almost every book has at least one reviewer that says the book sucks because they need corrections. Are knitting books supposed to be perfect? Even if someone tries to knit the object before the pattern is actually published, there may be some things that are a bit off I would think. I think the point of pattern books is to get ideas for making the objects, and corrections are usually easy enough to get. I do, however, think that there should be a website out there that collects corrections for all the major books (maybe it could have a subset for magazines) so that you could do a one-stop shop for pattern corrections when you need them.

Getting back to the Over the knee Stockings, I realized last night that I had made a mistake in the lace pattern. There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, on the chart, it has one stitch marked for me to k2tog. That just doesn't make sense because it's one stitch that's worked over two stitches. However, while I was at The Point someone there pointed out that a stitch I thought was a k2tog, was actually a ssk (the symbols look similar on the chart). This goes back to what Claudine was saying while I was making The SURPRISE!! which is - COLOR CODE YOUR CHART (she'd say it like that too with the caps and the bold, I'm quite confident of that). This is, indeed, quite useful advice, and I will do so immediately.

I've run into a different problem however, in decreasing the stitches as described in the pattern. I think I just need some clarification because I don't understand the thigh area which is decreased on either side of the eyelets. It says to knit to two stitches before the end of the round, (even though earlier the instructions say that the decreases should be on both sides of the lace pattern which is after the first 8 stitches in the round), and then do the decrease. I would almost understand this if they mean to the last two stitches of the chart, but even that doesn't make a helluva lot of sense since there's cabling at that point, and I fail to see how that would be an "invisible decrease."

Well, at least Purl is having a trunk show of all of the objects from Handknit Holidays. It started October, 20th, and will go until October 30th or so I think. I'm going to head over there with Jill and see if I can figure anything out from the stockings tomorrow. After that I think we're headed to the point for some needling debauchery.

Technology update: I have a photo now! It was taken by Michelle while we were at Rhinebeck. Yes, that's Brook's Farm harmony I'm falling in love with right there, and yes, I did end up taking it home. But I haven't had my way with it yet, that will come with due time! Also, I added a few more blogs to the sidebar. You Knit What?? is a bunch of ridiculously ugly patterns. Better than the patterns, however, are the comments of fellow bloggers. They're hilarious! Also, My Big Fat Needle is new to the list. I really admire his talent, and kind of look up to him in a naive magical way I haven't really experienced since I was first starting school (think 1st grade). Anyway, he's a fascinating individual, and I learned of his Blog through Ilanna's blog (which is also on the list on the side).

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Organized History Afghan of Over the Knee Socks

Oh where to start...

I organized my yarn stash. I took everything out. There is honestly, a whole skein, at least, of every yarn I've ever used in there. For some, there's more than one. For the Karabella Aurora Bulky I used to make my newsboy hat the first time, there's two skeins. A skein and a half is left of the Reynold's Odyssey I used for the Clapotis which really is too bad because I would have made mine bigger had I known I was going to end up with all that extra yarn. A whole Skein of Blizzard is left from the scarf I made for Greg's mom. etc, etc.....

I decided that with all of these leftover yarns that I'm going to make a History of knitting afghan. It'll pretty much never be finished, but that will be a good thing because I don't really ever want to be "finished" knitting (even if I lose my arms, I'd still find a way with my toes I think...). Each square will feature the pattern that the yarn was bought for. For example, the first yarn I ever bought (it was part of a kit) will be featured in the afghan as being a garter stitch square, while the square from the newsboy hat yarn will have a cable running down the middle of it, with two purl stitches and a boarder of stockinette. It will not only represent all the yarn I have used, but also all of the projects I have done until now. And maybe it will be warm too! I think I'll call it a smorgasborg history afghan! How catchy!

I got a bit confused on the Over the Knee Sock pattern. I started getting to the lace pattern by now. I've never done lace, so I'm just kind of waiting it out. I think I'm doing something wrong, but I'm not sure if that "something" is with my knitting, or not having enough faith in the pattern. I went to B&N today, and checked out what Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book had to say about Yarn Overs. It looks like as long as I purl the row after the last YO before the hole, I should be OK. The pattern does say that I should purl on the wrong side and knit on the right side (which is weird because they say to work it in the round, so wouldn't they just say purl that stitch all the time?), which is why I think my problem was more with my trust in the pattern than anything else.

I'm really in love with the Aurora 4 I'm using for these socks. It feels so luxurious, so sexy. I have a feeling that I will take New York by storm in these socks and that they will allow me to do great things. I may, perhaps, be placing just a bit *too much* faith in the pattern at this point, but we shall see. :) We shall see....

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

New additions to the FO list

So I finished the newsboy...I might post a picture when the recipient has actually worn it, but I couldn't get a good enough picture tonight. Not every post has to have pictures! I have some Cascade Quattro still left over, so I might make her some matching wristlets or something. I thought that might be hip and cute or something.

Michelle and I got together this evening to wind some of the yarn I got from Brooks Farm at Rhinebeck into a ball. There was 500 yards of it, so this was quite a daunting task. The issue was that when I had attempted to wind it myself, it became quite tangled and mangled. It took us more than an hour to untangle it and turn it into something that resembles a ball. It was quite the project and I definitely owe her help with her 1200 yards of mohair. I'm so excited to use it though! I think I'm just going to make up my own little shawl pattern that turns into a triangle as I knit it. I'll start from the point and work my way up so that the hypotenuse is the working edge. Maybe I'll trim it with something cool. I have no idea yet.

I'm going to start on the Over the Knee Socks from Melanie Falick's Handknit Holidays tomorrow at SNB, or during lunch depending on how my day's going. :D

I'll be using Aurora 4 in color 1354 (it's a smooth beige shell color) and size 2 needles to get the 7 stitch per inch gauge. My grandmother would have loved the color now that I'm thinking of it. I'm really excited about making these!! The top ribbed part will be knitted with a bit of stretchy clear elastic so that they'll stay up and tight.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

I was baaaad

Rhinebeck was not really what I had expected. I'm not sure really what I expected, but what I expected wasn't as large as what I found. I found barns and barns and barns and barns of yarn. An unfathomable amount of yarn really. It's quite mind boggling to me that there would be so much yarn there for people to do things with, and that there is even MORE yarn outside of that festival is even more astonishing. I'm still blown away by it. Michelle and Jessica walked through with me. They kept me sane and enabled me throughout. I tried taking pictures of my newest additions, but they didn't come out well, and I wasn't sure how to arrange them, so you'll have to deal with seeing it in the FOs when they get to that point...

Even though I walked in wanting only sock yarn (as I didn't realize just how big this festival was), I came back with a 500 yard hank of Brooks Farm Harmony which is a mohair, wool-silk blend and is so luxuriously soft it was needed. There are a lot of colors in it, mostly with the same tone, so I'm excited to see what it will knit up to be like. It will become a shawl to keep me warm at work. I think I'm just going to start with a triangle at the bottom and increase stitches to make it triangular so I won't worry about running out of yarn, and maybe I'll do some fancy edging or something.

I actually did end up getting just a bit of sock yarn - 2 hanks of Sherbridge Farm Soft Touch Ultra. It's hand-dyed and has all these awesome purple colors in it from a pastel-bluey purple to a real bright OMG this is PURPLE color. It's really soft though. I just need to get some of that special soap to wash wool in so I can wash these socks in my sink when I need to. I might need to do that with the Over the Knee Socks that I will be making presently (that bar over on the side is moved up only because I'm counting the swatch!). Jessica assures me I can find this at any yarn shop, so that's promising.

Remember the Lobster Pot Mohair? Well, I found some brushed mohair at the booth for Mohair in Motion. This was the last bit of the day. Unfortunately, we ran into Katy, Ruth and Jill (Happy Birthday Jill!) and a few other SNBers after I found the mohair. I was thinking of going back to it a couple of times, and then I didn't. And then Katy and Ruth made me realize that yes, 1,000 yards of mohair can really be made into a sweater with the right tension. So I took that for what it was worth and decided to get it. It's a great dark green/teal with bits of deep red running through it. I told myself I wasn't going to get anything that required a check - and I was only going to use my credit card, but I really did NEED this yarn, and so I found myself running to and from the ATM at the very end of the fair getting the money to pay for the gorgeous mohair. So I came back with 1,000 yards of that as well. I'm going to use it to make a sweater. I'm going to design it I think. Katy has a book that will help me figure out how to do it, and I'm pretty excited about it (only 4 ends to weave in!!!).

All in all, I think it could have been worse. I could have completely depleted my savings. I survived though! I did, however, have to get Jess and Michelle back for enabling me so (moreso Michelle than Jess, really). So I did:

We also wandered around looking at all the animals. most of which we found quite adorable. Although there were quite a few sheep that looked just so cold because they were probably shorn for the festival. I wanted to hug them to keep them warm, but I controlled myself. :D Alas, we didn't quite find an alpaca Michelle and I wanted to come home with us, but we did find several bunnies, really cute angora bunnies. I watched as a woman cut the hair off of one, and it leaped into the air and came tumbling down again into the woman's arms. I think it was a bit skiddish because it had never been cut before, and there were all these people around watching as its hair was being cut. There were tons of rabbits though, and they were all so adorable. The llamas, I think, were the best though. The alpacas looked like fraggles, and they were wicked cute and all, but I kept finding myself attracted to llamas. Like the one below:

I think its name was WiFi or something. It actually had a really long name, that I'm pretty sure was shortened to WiFi, and if you look closely, you can see that on the tag on its neck. This is by far the best picture I took while I was at Rhinebeck.

I left Rhinebeck with a yarn induced (fine, maybe fatigue played a part!) stupor and got to my apartment with a yarn hangover. I'm not kidding, my head was pounding! Hopefully next year I'll be able to afford more yarn than I was able to. Also, next year I think I'll go easy on the French fries before the artichoke hearts, as most of my order of artichoke hearts is still in the fridge, and I waited in that line for forever!

The weather was gorgeous the whole time we were stopped raining as soon as we got to the fairgrounds, and then it started again right as we were getting in the van to go home. The foliage was brilliant on the way up and back, and we could see clouds coming out of the hills and gathering in valleys. What we saw of the town of Rhinebeck was adorable and reminded me of Rhode Island (Wickford mostly). Greg IMed me this morning to tell me that Rhinebeck is really close to where he used to live. He "hoped I payed attention" to it. Which I find interesting since we're not together anymore, and thus I have no responsibility to pay attention to things like that. But I'm pretending that him saying that doesn't bother me by knitting myself into oblivion. Which is good, the knitting part, because I have about eight projects in my pipeline...

Oh and I'm so upset that I didn't get a picture of the nuns!

MINOR TECH UPDATE: I have a button now. It's under my blogger button at the bottom of the sidebar. Cool how this is turning into an awesome sort of website thing! I'm excited about it!

Friday, October 14, 2005


My job: enjoy mud and sheep and wool and yarn and lamb sandwhiches?

Your job: Beat me senseless if I come home with more yarn than can make a pair of socks. Fine, you can beat me AFTER you ask what color, what it's made of etc. *in case you beat me too much, my stash goes to Betsy

Oh, and enjoy those fabulous project meeters straight from Illanna!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The healing power of Knitting

I had the most horrible day yesterday. After it was all done, I came home to realize that my kitchen ceiling was coming apart and water was dripping down. So i showered. And I cried. A lot. This did not make me feel better. This gave me a headache. But I wasn't getting the feeling that my usual Tea and sleep was going to make anything better either.

And so I started to knit. Two rows later I was feeling so much more calm and so much more centered and it felt like all of my troubles were falling away. I've only ever known that to happen in one other scenario (that thankfully used to recurr quite often) involving a boy. I was just amazed. Here I was, knitting this project I hated, with this yarn that I hated (Cascade Quattro), and I was feeling calmer than if anything at all had happened during the day.

Part of me wonders why this is, and the other part of me says, "Shhhhh! Just accept it and be happy that it works!"

So that's what I'm doing right now.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Giving in and Finishing Up

Whilst doing my laundry, I managed to finish the Ruffle Scarf from Scarf Style...
et voila:

forgive the zit in the middle of my chin please.

It's made of Lamb's Pride Bulky in Mulberry and Brite Blue. I had a hard time starting this because I didn't find anywhere online that said how to do this in two colors. I ended up wrapping the unused color around the first stitch of the new color when switching. Since it's in short rows, you actually do like eight rows before you need to do that. It keeps twisting the yarn, but whatever, it works in the end. It's pretty short, which is good because I have a lot of long scarves, and I'll be able to make mittens out of what's left over. I already got a few compliments on it by people at work. I like it when that happens.

*Oh, and the sweater was a Christmas present from my aunt - an Ann Taylor loft original - not mine. I have yet to venture to the world of sweaters but intend to quite soon...

So I went to School Products yesterday. It was glorious! SOOO many soft yarns! They had tons of cashmere that I told myself I wouldn't buy and like every Aurora yarn ever made. Come to find out, the guy who owns the store started the Aurora line! When I found that out, you have to understand, I needed to buy the Aurora 4.

Yarn in hand, I proceeded towards Downtown Yarns. I met some very friendly people there (and an adorable canine) and realized that that is the place to go for needles in Manhattan. They have all the needles I could ever possibly want. Except maybe some Addi turbos (I wasn't really looking for them and thus could not tell) but Addi's are expensive anyway, and should not be just everywhere for me to get or I will end up spending almost as much money on needles I don't need as yarn.

I started swatching for the Over the Knee Stockings. They're going to be decadent, I can already tell! I'm having issues with the newsboy hat for my cousin. I frogged it. Next attempt will be with two strands held together and the normal needles. I think I'll have enough yarn, if not, I'll make the brim out of something interesting, assuming that I make it that far. I hope so, because at this point, I really hate this hat.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Yarn bus or BUST!

I managed to drag Katie and Ruth with me one week before Rhinebeck to Flying Fingers on the Yarn Bus today. The object of the mission was to exchange four skeins of the Lamb's Pride Bulky that I had left over from the SURPRISE (oh man, I can't wait to post pictures of it....) and to come back to Manhattan alive with minimal damage done to my bank account and credit cards.

I think I succeeded. I had hoped to exchange these skeins for yarn that I would be able to knit the Over the Knee socks from Holiday Knits with. I haven't been able to get the pattern out of my head all week (and now that project has turned into several other projects at the same time somehow - more on that later.) and really wanted to start on them like, yesterday. The woman at Flying Fingers looked at the pattern, and professed that she also needed to make them (which is CORRECT!), and then oohed because she had the perfect yarn for them. She called out to the warehouse...and someone comes back with the first covetable yarn of the day: Aurora 4. They just got it in. It hasn't even been priced yet! She's going to call me when it has been priced and put into their system. I think I'm going to go to School Products tomorrow to see how much they're selling it for up there. I've never been to School Products (I'd link to their site, but it just says where they are and that their site is under construction) before, so I'm pretty excited about making another trek out there. I've used a bulky Aurora before. I made my newsboy hat from SNB Nation out of it, and if they're making fingering weight yarn...OBVIOUSLY I need to knit socks out of it. No questions asked!

So, sad though I was that I could not procure the desired yarn right away, I turned to the rest of the store. Running my fingers over alpaca, angora, cashmere, and wool, they stopped on yet more merino. Mission Falls 1824. You seee, this is convenient. It's exactly what the Candy Cane Hat also from Holiday Knits are made of! This is the point where you think that I only own this pattern book. I harken back to the time a few months ago where my friend Tessier helped me out for 2-4 hours on the phone with my iPod trying to get it up and running again. At the time, I promised that I would pay him back by knitting him a hat. This is the perfect hat for that. Funny that, it's about the same price as the Lamb's Pride Bulky I'm that must be had. Sadness averted.

Now, if you've ever been with me to a yarn store, you will understand that I touch everything. I ooh. I aaah! I get quite animated. I was very excited to be at this one yarn shop. I also have no self control. I get patterns in my head. I know they will be knit, but if I have a pattern in my head, i might as well get the yarn for it right? So, I'd been wanting to make another pair of socks. The lady (damn me for not asking her name) that was keeping the shop pointed out some beautiful hand dyed yarns to me. They were, indeed, beautiful. And then she showed me their cousins...the sock yarns....yes, well some of that came home with me too. I need more socks, the ones i'm wearing right now have holes in them. What I need now are clogs to show off my handknit socks...I might have to see if I can steal a pair from my mom the next time I'm in Rhode Island.

The other side of the Over the Knee Socks project is that I really have been wanting to design a whole outfit around these suckers (if you've seen them, you'll know why). I found the perfect skirt at Anthropologie today, but it was just about as much as the Lobster Pot Mohair (and uh...well...we know where the priority lies on that one now don't we?) and I just don't spend that much on clothes ever. Katy had the brilliant idea of making it, and suddenly i'm going to try to learn how to sew, as soon as I can buy a similar pattern online (the Simplicity website doesn't love me and won't let me go to the account page on any browser I use). This skirt will be cute, made by me, and maybe even somewhat decent.

Here are the new additions just discussed:

Additions 10-9

We decided some of us were hungry, some of us were parched, and so we attempted to venture out to nourish ourselves. Not quite in time to save me from this:


Those, my friends, are skeins of 1,000 yards of Lobster Pot Mohair. IT NEEDS TO BE PROCURED FOR MY SWEATER USAGE. It's also a bit out of my budget at $135 a pop. I fondled it, I snuggled with it, I thought about it all day. Actually, we were on our way out to find some juice and I reached up to touch it just once more. Katy, ever sensible, yoinked my bag and practically dragged me out of the store. Which is for the better I think. Even if the woman at the cafe had no idea what a smoothie is. Strawberry smoothie does not equal strawberry flavored milk, no matter how hard you try.

So recap, here's the trip - Beth, this is for you because you said I wasn't posting enough pictures:

Yarn bus in natural element

The Yarn Bus in its natural habitat.

Me in front of the yarnbus

Me in front of the Yarn Bus (please note the giddy smile)!!

On the yarn bus

Katy and Ruth smile while boarding the yarn bus for the trip back home.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Book Review: Handknit Holidays

The first of a few knitting book reviews is below. Basically, to sum it all up, I need to put in a new shelf for all my knitting books because they're taking up way too much space in my yarn box now.

Handknit Holidays: Knitting Year Round for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Winter Solstice by Melanie Falick

Not a huge fan of Weekend Knitting by the same author (I still have those Argyle Slippers to finish now that I've asked enough people how to do that), I approached this book with skepticism. While there were quite a few patterns in Weekend Knitting that looked as though they'd be up my alley, I doubted that I'd actually make them. However, the patterns in Handknit Holidays have haunted my brain for weeks and continue to do so. They've even prompted me to make a last minute reservation on the Yarn Bus to actually exchange some leftover yarn from the SURPRISE project to make the stockings.

Many holiday books have things that can really only be used within season (really, what are we going to do with the handknit toilet seat cover that has a portrait of Santa on it in May?). Handknit Holidays, on the other hand, has a lot of pieces that could be used in the winter season in general. Which is phenomenal!

Also, the other amazing thing in this book is the sheer multiculturalism. Each pattern has a story along with it, and tells of the significance of a tradition in its respective holiday. For example, the Saint Lucia wreath on page 119 explains the story of Saint Lucia in Swedish tradition, and its significance to the tradition today. The pattern itself is also ingenious, I've never seen anything like it, and it can be applied to other holidays during the season as well (the author points to an advent wreath or a festive centerpiece).

This book really does seem to have something for everyone, and I've included a few of the patterns that I've got designs on below.

Bookmarked Patterns:

  • Knitted and Felted Ornaments (p.11) I have a feeling a bunch of people are going to get these as Christmas gifts! They even look like they could be a decorative touch around a house or apartment after the holidays!

  • Candy Cane Hats (p.65) I already know who's going to get this hat! I had been thinking of trying to create something very similar. There's something about spirals and how they look on a hat that I've always loved. Though, I'll probably end up getting rid of the stem at the top or at least shortening it.

  • Over the Knee Socks (p. 83) These are the socks I can't get out of my head! I love the eyelet seam in the back of them. I have even started thinking of how I can rearrange my wardrobe so I can wear these! They obviously must be knitted - and soon!

  • Nutcracker Slippers (p. 89) These actually look like slippers I could finish.

  • Flap-Top Mittens (p. 103) I know that there are a bajillion patterns for these things, but I love the stripes involved. I made a pair of mittens last year, and the biggest problem I had with them was that it's impossible to take my metrocard out of my purse when it keeps sliding out of my mitten. This seems to be a suitable alternative. * Mitten trick I learned this week: work them in a tight gauge, then brush the insides with a toothbrush to almost felt them and keep the wind out!*

  • Zigzag Poncho/Skirt (p. 112) There's a matching dog sweater for those of you who are into that sort of thing. I really like the idea of wearing this as a skirt.

This Week

A few HTML changes and a few FOs later, and here I am in blogland.

HTML nastiness first...I still can't figure out what's going on with the sidebar in IE. I expanded the size of the editable space, which is what blogger told me to do. I shortened the links, I changed the size of the picture in the first post, I did everything I could think of...and now I've passed it on to a friend who might be able to help. I really hate how all the blog templates I looked at are centered in the middle and cover only about half of the pixels that it could. I hate wasting space.

The SURPRISE is complete...but pictures are going to have to wait until the SURPRISE is given away since I know she's reading this... Only thing is that I feel it requisite that I get some labels. I can't just let this part without leaving my mark on it. Which is odd since the whole object is me making my mark, but I've been working on this since May, and I can't just let it go down to live in Washington without sticking my name on it somewhere!!! I found the labels that I want to get online, but I felt too awkward at work to call them in while I was doing nothing on Friday, and actually ended up having lunch with a co-worker and couldn't really say "hold on, I need to get these labels right quick."

So besides the surprise that will travel with me down to Washington DC in a few weeks, I've still been working on the ruffle scarf. It's coming out quite well, but I think I've decided to make it much shorter than is described in the book. I think it's going to be an object I keep around the office until I stick a jiffy over the vent right in front of my cube to cover it. It gets REALLY cold there - so cold that my ears begin to hurt sometimes. But the ruffle scarf should be able to keep a bit of that at bay, especially since it's being knit out of Lamb's Pride Bulky...which is a pretty warm yarn.

I all but give up on the hat for my cousin. It's the newsboy hat from Stitchn' Bitch Nation. But my cousin picked out some Cascade Quattro to do it in....and the gauge is SO different. I thought I had accounted for it. I added another cable section in, but now I'm at the point where it's not quite adding up to what I want it to as I'm decreasing. I've put it aside because I hate it - it frustrates me more than the layout of this blog...but she keeps asking for it. She wants it by thanksgiving, and yes, I should actually stick to that deadline.

This post honestly wouldn't look so long if the width could be wider...

Yesterday I went to The Point in the West Village (a couple of blocks away from where I work!) to help seam together the 5"x5" squares that people dropped off. We were seaming together blankets to send to hospitals in Louisiana for babies. It was nifty. I felt like I contributed to some greater cause, and I learned how to make my seams seem not so seamy. :-p My seams actually came out quite well. I'm proud of the oblong blanket that I'm sure you'll see once the point puts their photos up on the site. Even if I did manage to screw up the elaborate design that John had for it! It's more of a blanket to wrap the child up in than anything else I think. I'm sure that some kid will love it. And now, to reward you for reading this far....a picture of the blanket that Jewel stitched together last night..I think we all had a huge amount of fun. The people at The Point are really great, and I suggest that if you're ever in the city, you go check them out...they're on Bedford between Downing and Carmine...but you can find all that on their site, which I've conveniently placed on the link list in the sidebar if you can read it :(

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Official Cast-On


So, now that it's looking the way I want this blog to look, I can start telling people about it. Which is good because someone at SNB today was asking about it. So here it is. I still want to make the text boxes bigger, but I've settled on the background image, the left alignment of the side bar, the links on the side bar (anyone have any other ideas of what links should be on the side bar?) and all the other stuff. The only thing to work on now is the content!

Today was the Knit Out 2005 in New York at Union Square. I have to say it was pretty intense. I told Ruth, but I seriously think that some of the older women sharpened their elbows to stab at me with. Especially at the Clover table while they were giving away needles. I feel like for all the pushing and shoving that I had to endure to get to the front, I should have at least gotten a pair of needles. It's so interesting to me that there's such a stereotype of knitters that they're cute innocent little grandmothers...but then there's a Knit Out and they become elbowing, pushing machines. Oh well. I got some really interesting patterns, and an issue of Vogue knitting from last year that might still come in handy for a couple more projects that I would like to do. Tessier helped me out with a huge iPod problem, and I told him that for payment for the two hours of his life that I absorbed, I would knit him a hat. I finally found a wicked cool pattern that is Tessier worthy in one of the bags I managed to gather. So that shall be started eventually. Really, the only good that came out of that whole Knit Out was that I got a couple of patterns. I don't really think it was worth going.

It was worth hanging out at the crafts/hobbies table in Barnes and Noble before and after though. There were tons of cool knitters, and silly knitters. Gregarious knitters. Knitters that couldn't tell me exactly how to put those slippers together for my mother that were last year's Christmas present, but knitters that would tell me where I could go to get the finishing instructions! :-D So I'm excited about the prospects of being added to the Knitlist so I can see if anyone else had the same problem with the project I did, and if they have any innovative solutions.

Well, I hear that surprise gift calling me to continue it. I made quite a bit of headway on it last night. I've got about two rows, a ton of ends to weave in and a few finishing touches. I knitted while I chatted with my grandfather on instant messenger. It was cute. He kept giving me encouragement and chiding me for knitting and talking to him on a Saturday night. But really, let's face it, knitting, chatting online, and listening to hot music is the best way anyone could think of to pass a Saturday night!