Monday, November 28, 2005

By Popular Demand

Yes, one person makes a demand, and it's all of a sudden popular! The magic of the internet!
Without further ado:

It's the Candy Cane hat from Handknit Holidays by Melanie Falick. I've bought several books, but I've never made as many different patterns out of the same book as with this book. Really, the patterns are great. Even the sock pattern is great, if they just fit!

I need a name for the opera gloves I'm making. They're made of black mercerized cotton held together with a silvery viscose that sparkles. They come up over the elbow and come down to a princess seamed (basically a v shape that points to my middle finger) fingerless glove. There's a lace pattern going the length of the glove as well. I'm thinking of something like Glamour Gloves or O Gloves (I love all the connotations that come up when I call them O Gloves!).

I've started them, and I think they'll be alright. I haven't gotten very far yet, but I just checked a pattern that a friend sent me of something similar (yet completely different) and I think I'm at least on the right page with these. We'll see how they turn out. I think I'm going to put up Christmas tree lights and post about my Washington DC trip on my personal blog

Friday, November 25, 2005

It's Just not Thanksgiving without a Battery charger for my DigiCam!

Yes, I have forgotten the battery charger and extra battery for my digital camera in New York. I hope it's having a good time and behaving itself in the apartment. And if it threw any parties while I was away, I hope it cleans up after itself.

I got quite a bit of knitting done on the drive up here thanks to NYC gridlock on the way out and Connectishit traffic from Stamford on. I finished a Christmas gift for a Special friend in Memphis out of Borroco Suede that I got from Jill's One Way Yarn Swap (that's all I'm saying because Mr. Memphis asked for the RSS feed. :-p I hope he's not bored to tears with listening to my life as a knitter (he's a non-knitter)!

The Thanksgiving James Bond marathon on SPIKE TV is helping my Christmas knitting as well! While Tomorrow Never Dies was on tonight I finished a hat for my friend Tessier who recently moved to Seattle. It was the Candy Cane Hat from Handknit Holidays out of Mission Falls 1824 Wool in Black and Teal (the price tag is right over the number of the color). I loved working with this yarn and it's a total shame that they're discontinuing it. I also really liked the opportunity to do a bit more with color. Though, my right hand yesterday was cramping from the extra use.

I'm totally bummed by my lack of foresight, but once I get home I'll post a pic of the hat at least (maybe more).

Next on the list is the opera gloves. I'm going to start swatching now trying to figure out gauge and the lace pattern that's going to wind its way down the front of the gloves. I should go look at a few pairs as well. I haven't quite figured out how to do the decreases at the top of the glove, nor have I figured out how to do the ring around the finger. Should the back stop once it hits the wrist, or should it continue up with the top of the hand?

I also need to think of a sexxy name for the pattern. Any swank ideas?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Eulogy for a Stocking in Ancram

It was a great project. One to end all projects. Beautiful stockings from Melanie Falick's new Handknit Holidays. Yet sometimes, a project is just not meant to be knitted by me. I can admire them from afar, know of their beauty and appreciate the pattern for what it is and be content. The passion and drive within me does not seem to be enough, and I can't seem to push myself enough to finish making these at the present. Maybe I'll pick them up again later (I've put the one that actually might end up being close to the stocking I want it to be on some string to keep the stitches live). Maybe when I pick them up again, they'll still be original.

It's all about meeting the limits right? Finding which project will simply kill me to finish. This is the first project I'm actually putting down (or more accurately hiding in my yarn box), and I've told myself that it's just honestly not worth it. I've been working on these for about two months now, and I just can't digest the fact that they've taken this long. I almost finished the first one in a couple of weeks. The project is turning into a chore, and it's actually making me not want to knit. So I'm making it sit in the corner to think of what it's done and we'll see what happens.

I went on a SNB group trip to someone's country home in Ancram, New York this weekend. It was so nice to get out of the city, to hear nothing but the tenitis in my ears, to breathe real air, to see a lake and do nothing but eat, knit, sleep and watch tv. This was all pretty much a treat because I don't really do the TV thing, as some of you may know, so watching Law and Order, horrible lifetime movies and a few other choice programs was pretty exciting for me!

Jill, Heather and I went up on Friday. We stopped at Stew Leonard's on the way. That place was an adventure in and of itself! There were so many samples that Heather and I walked in hungry and left satiated! We moseyed back to Jill's country home, turned the heat on, and wandered off to a diner for a late lunch. When we got back to the house, we knit late into the night.

The others showed up early Saturday afternoon and we all had a blast! We ate lunch, went for a walk to the pond, chatted, watched a couple of movies and knit (of course).

Heather gave an impromptu magic loop lesson, and we all picked up some interesting tips from each other.

So since I'm giving up on the socks, you might be wondering what's next on the needles. Here's a list of projects I have on my mind:

  • Candy Cane hat from Handknit Holidays

  • Flaptop Mittens also from Handknit Holidays from the same Lamb's Pride Bulky that I used for my Ruffle Scarf. I still have a skein left of each color.

  • Angie Sweater from some Rowan book (Link: Angie Sweater) I'm planning to make this out of Knit Picks Decadence.

  • Bowtie which is the current project of the moment. It should be done soon though. I picked up some Borroco Suede for this project from Jill's One Way Yarn Swap this weekend (hah!).

  • Two mohair sweaters one out of some tealish-green color that I got at Rhinebeck, and one from a hot pink yarn that I yoinked a lot of at Jill's One Way Yarn Swap.

  • Some sort of shawl thing out of Brook's Farm Yarn I got while I was at Rhinebeck this year.

  • Snowflakes that Betsy showed to me (I posted the pattern to the Knit List)

  • Opera gloves with a lace motif out of some silver yarn and some black yarn that I have yet to get. This is my first foray into designing, let's hope it's a good one!

  • Those don't include the various pairs of socks that I'd also love to make, but that I'm holding off on because of those stockings, or the beanie that's still on the sidebar that I'm planning to make for a friend.

    The good part about having Thanksgiving at my parents' is that I will get tons of time to knit while waiting for and traveling on the bus to and from Rhode Island. It's about a three hour drive without traffic, so I'm thinking it'll be closer to four hours at least on the way there. I think I might start on the shawl this weekend, but I might work on the candy cane hat for a friend. We'll see...

    Monday, November 14, 2005

    Fearless Knitting aborted

    Firstly, I want to thank all you folks who commented on the last entry. It reinforced that my dyslexia with pattern reading, and ripping the afghan out five times and knitting it in the 102 degree city heat was really worth it. I felt loved. :) thanks!

    I was going to post about my fearless knitting, but I realized it started to sound high and mighty, and that's not exactly what I was looking for, so I'm going to revisit it when I have a bit more of a clue as to what I want to say. I'm exhausted.

    Oh, and I got some Noro Kureyon yarn today (hey, my measuring tape broke, I needed a new one, and the Point will only take your credit card if you buy more than ten dollars...I had to make up for that cash somehow!). I plan on making a hat out of it. It shout be interesting mostly because I've never used Nora anything before.

    The Melanie Falick email chain ended with her explaining to me (quite nicely) that I'm a dumbass and should have read the beginning note for the Over the Knee Stockings which says that the marker for the beginning of the pattern is in the middle of the lace pattern. She did concede, however, that the chart for the ankle was wrong. Right now I'm still working on stocking number 2. I didn't get to knit a lot this weekend with friends coming in and out of my apartment, but I got a few more repeats of the pattern down while I was at The Point this evening, and I did end up figuring out how to do those invisible decreases. They're not that bad, they're just annoying. I'm still determined as hell to finish them - and I'd love for that to be sooner rather than later because to be honest, they're starting to get tedious.

    Wednesday, November 09, 2005

    Melanie writes in DC with SURPRISE!

    I got so super frustrated with the Over the Knee Stockings and decided to write to the publisher. I found that their website had a thing that said you could write comments, and I submitted it in that way. Two days later (Thursday night really), I'm opening my email and see an email from Melanie Falick herself in my inbox!! She asked what the specific problem was so they could see what's going on in the pattern and get back to me. I told her about all of my difficulties and she sent me an email today to let me know she forwarded my mail to the editor who should be getting back to me about what to do.

    With having received that first email under my belt, I set off on Friday to Washington DC to meet Betsy and her husband (it's still so odd to use that word!!). I had a SURPRISE to give them! I think they liked it...Here are a TON of pictures of it:

    TONS of fringe and a fabulous stitch pattern. How could I not?

    Here, the recipients show us just how big the afghan was. (finished dimensions ended up being close to 51 x 54")

    It really does look like they liked it eh?

    Close up of the stitch pattern.

    I used two strands of Lamb's Pride Bulky in Creme together on size 15 needles. I got the yarn from Flying Fingers. I started on Susan Bates circs, but I really despised them. I kept having to push the stitches onto the needle part from the wire and it was pretty annoying. I changed to Addi Turbos in the end, which was a dangerous move because I fell in love with them. I really hate the idea of buying multiple pairs of circs though, which is why I usually use my Denises. In this case, however, I found the Denise needles to have too gradual of a tip which meant that I was trying to knit a stitch an inch onto the needle already, which was also pretty annoying. Most important skill I learned on this project would have to be how to drop stitches in the middle of the work to correct mistakes that had occurred in previous rows. I used this SEVERAL times, because it was just going to be obnoxious to undo all those rows of 152 stitches at a time!

    I think they really liked it, and when they start churning out children I think I'm prepared enough to knit them blankets and trinkets. :-p

    On the sock front, I wanted to take pictures of it while I was in DC with the Lincoln Monument or something silly like that a la Yarn Harlot. But the stocking wasn't really that recognizable. It's coming along though. I've made measurements and am proceeding to decrease as necessary. I've only completed one full repeat of the lace pattern so far (10 rows), But I think it's going to be alright. I'm a little nervous that I'm not compensating enough for the stretch of the material, but we'll just have to wait and see.

    Wednesday, November 02, 2005

    Stocking 2

    Yes, that's right. Stocking one can rot in hell. At least until I've finished stocking two.

    Bitches up, hoes down, this means war, and my enemy is Stocking 1.

    I am shunning it. I am measuring. I am gauge swatching. I will not let Melanie Falick get the best of me. I bougt the damn book for this pattern, and I'm going to do it, damnit. They will be right. They will be calculated...and even if i need another two balls of yarn, I will surpass the SHORT as F--- Melanie Falick.

    Why do I do this to myself? Love of the process. And to say that I've made them. I'm not a fearless knitter. I'm a determined to do what is impossible knitter. With the finished product as my motivation, I take up my swords (or needles if you're going to be quotidien about it) and do a right thrust towards the ball of Aurora 4. I will make it fall like the Roman Empire. I will...

    I should just do it and stop writing about it.

    Right Quick Before Bed

    So I turned the heel on the stockings!!!


    So I tried them on!!!


    And they go to my knees. The middle of my knees, not over the knees, not below the knees. If they were over, they'd stay up. If they were under, they'd stay up. But now i'm like, wtf do I do now that I've turned the heel and the goddamn things aren't long enough?


    But they fit the calf fine...

    Tuesday, November 01, 2005

    Knitting Meme

    Oh dear, what has the world come to when there are knitting memes to be completed! There will be a real post soon, probably tomorrow after SNB about the progress of the Over the Kneee Stockings. Until then, tide yourselves over with my answers to Jewell's meme:

    What is your all-time favourite yarn to knit with? Lamb's Pride Bulky or Karabella's Auroras (but I try not to play favorites)

    Your favourite needles? Clover Bamboo Straights

    The worst thing you've ever knit? Those goddamn slippers from Weekend Knitting

    Your most favourite knit pattern? Cabled Newsboy hat from SNB Nation - mostly for the bill. I really liked doing the bill!

    Most valuable knitting technique? Cables - they can make something so simple look fancy and difficult.

    Best knit book or magazine? For technique: Stitchn' Bitch by Debbie Stoller. For patterns: right now I'm favoring Handknit Holidays by Melanie Falick (though I'm not sure why, you'll understand after I've written up that post.)

    Your favorite knit-a-long? I don't really do knit a longs.

    Your favorite knitblogs? Check out the sidebar

    Your favorite knitwear designer? I don't really have one.

    The knit item you wear the most? In the winter, the Sparkly Hat from the first SNB. Or any of the myriad of scarves I own.

    I will pass this on to Mud and Katy!!! Have fun kids!