Saturday, April 29, 2006

Berroco Denim Silk

Berroco Denim Silk is actually 80% rayon and 20% silk. It's also discontinued, as I discovered while trying to look for it. Why am I looking for it?

That's beauty on the right's why. It's the Roundabout Leaf Tank from Knitting Nature by Norah Gaughan. This baby's HOT. It's knit in a spiral. Like, if you were going to wrap saran-wrap about you or something. I've been looking for two days for something to substitute for this yarn. Something that wouldn't make the tank droopy or too stretched out. Something that would be able to hold itself up. There's way too much cotton out there though, and too many yarnshop people that want me to buy the cotton even though the weight of the cotton itself would make this sag and look awful.

To those yarnshop owners, I say: "YARNMARKET!" I actually found this discontinued yarn on YarnMarket, and it was significantly less expensive than it would be if I had gone out into Manhattan to find it (with shipping no less!). I got one extra skein just in case I had yarn issues. I'm so excited. I've never bought yarn online before (even the yarn I bought from Knit Picks - I called them on the phone for it instead since I had a gift certificate), and didn't realize that it can be so much cheaper! This is a very dangerous thing.

Final Scores:

Manhattan Yarn stores: 0
Jenn: 1


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Knitting

Yup. I still don't have a header and I'm not really sure what I did to nix that. I'll fix it later. I'm only on chapter two of this book, but I keep doing a chapter a day, and maybe this weekend I'll get a chance to do a bit more with it.

Anyway, onto the knitting.

I met an amazing woman today a The Point. Her name was Iris Schreier and she was doing a workshop on Modular knitting (I'm learning that there are a trillion different names given to this technique. She has some sort of involvement with ArtYarns and told me the most amazing thing I heard today. She said that Artyarns UltraMerino 4 can actually be machine washed, but that it shouldn't be dried! Folks! Do you know what this means?! It means I can actually wash the Embossed Leaves Socks I made! I just knew I wasn't going to wash them by hand...what was I thinking?

I've made a bit more progress on the Jaywalkers. Here are some photos for you:

Here's the detail of the heel. I really like whatever stitch it is that was used for the heel. Every other stitch is slipped on the knit row, and I think the heels will last for a while. Those are the only parts of any of my socks that tend to wear out, so I think reinforcing that part is good. And the Lorna's Laces has a hint of nylon in it, so that'll help the wearability as well.

This is what the Mountain Colors are doing on the leg. I like it a lot more than what the Mountain Colors are doing on the instep and the bottom of the foot, but I guess it doesn't matter as much since no one's really going to be paying that much attention to that area.

While these socks reinforce my desire for a pair of clogs, I couldn't help but notice that they made the transition from teal pants to grass green chuck taylors much easier on the eye than the white socks I was wearing today. They also seem to be knitting up so that they'll fit perfectly, which is something I was worried about.

I've been bad yet again. I bought more knitting books. I'm never going to knit all the patterns I want to knit from these books. I just keep finding more and more and more patterns. It took me almost a year to knit anything at all out of Loop-D-Loop!
So the new books I got are Knitting Nature by Norah Gaughan and Greetings from Knit Cafe. I got Greetings not only because the fabulous Nichole is gracing the cover and several of the pages inside, but because I noticed that there were quite a few patterns in there that I would actually be interested in knitting, and a bunch of them looked pretty simple too! I got Knitting Nature because I liked a lot of the patterns in the book, but I also thought that I would be quite inspired by it. I find I'm always drawn to nature and I really like to be inspired by it so it helps to have things that can bring me down to earth (so to speak) while I'm living in the city. I can't get the image of the cowl sweater with the spiral out of my head, and there was a nifty hexagon scarf that curled itself up into a spiral in there too. There were also some interesting guy sweaters in there, that were I to find someone worth all that cabling and tiny needles (no seriously dudes, size 3 needles for a whole sweater!? I'd lose my mind!) I might think about making one of those sweaters for them (note the word choice here. There's no way in hell I'm making either of those sweaters, but I could. And I can definitely think about it. I don't think even I'm deserving of those sweaters). We all need those inspirational books don't we?

So because Gauging Reactions is actually posting again and because she posted a pretty good meme, I think I'll do it. True to my comment on her blog, several of these are merely different subways or modes of transportation. I hope to add the beach to this list this year. I'm hopeful of actually going to the beach this year. And yes, I'm still a beach snob and am terrified by New York beaches.

Where I've Knit
  • Washington Square Park

  • The R

  • The D

  • The N

  • Metro North

  • Chicago's O'Hare Airport

  • Seattle's Airport

  • Bellevue, WA

  • In a few airplanes

  • Rochester, NY

  • I95 from NYC to Providence

  • Brewed Awakenings in Wakefield, RI

  • The Point

  • Washington DC Metro

  • Tuesday, April 25, 2006

    Sometimes, you have to knock a few walls down to build new ones

    And I have successfully knocked a few walls down. I remember the URLs for some of your blogs, but not nearly as many as I should. I accidentally killed the template, and can't fix it until I get back home tonight. What looks like progress really isn't. Heh. I hate this text box being dark blue, but might swap that color out with the one behind my profile (which also needs to be updated). I'm having issues with the header disturbing text size and all that so I need to work that out. I think the header is probably just too wide. But I'll tinker with it at home.

    Knitwise I think I'm doing the heel of my jaywalker all wrong. I started turning it last night, and I realized that I must not have knit enough to the center because the heel is totally lopsided. I'll hopefully get a chance to fix it tonight at SNB (if any of those folks could give me a hand I'd be much obliged. Sorry for such a lame post, I'm still dejected by the template issues...

    I got a book to help me with the HTML etc. and once I get home I'll probably revert back to the old template until I get more comfortable with the HTML and can get it together with something snappy. Hopefully I can do all that and still keep the blogger-ness...but if need be, I might switch to something that actually costs money. At least blogging is less expensive than knitting so I can afford both as hobbies!

    Sunday, April 23, 2006

    Under Construction

    Yeah. There will be a banner and the page will be spring-ified.

    But I have to do some tinkering with the code. Hopefully I'll be able to figure this out during the weekend. The more I learn about this through trial and error, the more I think I should buy a program for this kind of web design or something. Anyone know any good programs or some good CSS/HTML books? I just don't think I know enough about it right now to do the things I want to do. That needs to change.

    Edit: My tinkering has paid off with a new banner. When I get home tonight It should be an easy matter to just fit in all the other pieces to a new layout. I should change my bio too, it's kinda lame.

    Sunday, April 16, 2006

    FO, more inspiration, and new cast ons!

    Yup, it's been a loaded day. I managed to clean even more of my apartment (which is happy - YAY!) and even managed to meet Burhan at some sweet cafe in Chelsea. Even ran into one of the Dougs there! As Burhan battled with the entrelac of the strap to the purse he's making for his mother, I finished up the Ballet Tee I'd been working on. Yay for weekend knits!! Here she is, in all her blocking glory!

    Ok, so forget about the fact that I have no idea how to block anything (yes, those are safety pins). The idea is that i knit four extra rows than the pattern called for, and I'm hoping that this will block a bit more stretched out vertically than it normally would. My gauge was off by two stitches per inch (I got 12sts for 4" whereas the pattern got 10 and I have no idea how I would wear a shirt with a gauge of 10sts for 4" unless I was walking around the red light district near my apartment) and I was worried how that was going to work, but it seems to not have made too much of a difference. I'm also surprised because the pattern said it would use 3 skeins and mine only took up two. I think I'll return the other two to Downtown Yarns sometime tomorrow or later and trade them for some sort of light blue (Burhan's color idea - which is odd cause we never agree on anything, but yes, blue would be good). Anyway, I'm going to make the below out of it.

    It's the One-Shoulder Tunic also from Teva Durham's Loop-D-Loop. It seems like I'm finally getting my money's worth out of this book, which is a blessing because I've had it for a while and hadn't yet made anything out of it even though I liked the patterns.

    I'm still working (kinda) on the jaywalkers, but I'm wound all the Euroflax Linen yarn in colors natural, willow, eggplant and aqua for my friend's wedding present and plan to cast on for that project from Mason Dixon Knitting. I'm still excited for my first attempt at working with linen yarn, though I imagine this is going to be painful from the feel of the yarn as I was winding it.

    Friday, April 14, 2006

    Additions to the list or What happens when work shuts down two hours early

    Yes, I arrived back to my cube after a delightful lunch and there was a happy message waiting for me from corporate internal relations. "To help you with your travels," it said, "the New York office will be closing at 3 pm this afternoon and the last mail pick up will be at 2:30 pm." Well, if the last mail pick up is at 2:30, there's certainly no reason for me to hang around until 5! So my work compatriot and I hopped on the M21 towards the East Side and stopped in at Downtown Yarns.

    I haven't been there in quite some time because they're far away from where I hang out and all that, but every time I go there I wonder why I don't go there more often. But today I think I realized why (Sorry about the blurriness; for some reason, that shot is blurry and I don't know why - I used a flash and everything):

    Loot. Loot is why I don't go there often. Whenever I go there I end up clearing out my bank account cleaning up.

    What we're looking at is the new Mason Dixon Knitting by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne. I started looking at this in the shop because I'd heard good things about it. I read what the Yarn Harlot had to say about the book, but wasn't convinced that it was a book I really needed until I checked it out at Downtown Yarns. There's so many projects I want to do in this book! You can check out the Mason Dixon Knitting blog (which will go up on the blog list along with a few other additions momentarily). I'll post my own review of the book after I've finished reading it.

    We're also looking at the pair of Addis I had to get for the ballet tee, which I'm about to start with the Lamb's Pride Cotton Fleece you also see there. That's the lavender colored stuff (technical term for the color name "wisteria"). The other stuff there is some linen I got so I could knit a wedding gift for a friend who's getting married in July. I doubt she reads this, but in the event that she does, all I'm going to say is that the pattern is in Mason Dixon Knitting

    So what are the new additions to the list after having picked up Mason Dixon Knitting
  • Gift for Zoe

  • Mason Dixon After Dark Nightie. Interesting because I don't really wear nighties, but I'm interested in knitting it nonetheless. But surprisingly I'd only need 4 hanks of the expensive linen, so maybe this is actually feasible.

  • Dish cloth reloaded

  • Some sort of Log Cabin remix with leftovers. YUP! That's right...Leftovers! I thought I was going to do some sort of personal history of knitting blanket thing with all my leftovers, but the log cabin technique that's described in this book looks so cool and interesting that I've gotta give it a shot. This project won't be started for quite some time, but since I have such cool yarns leftover in my stash, I think it'll be really cool!

  • Oh, and I said I'd show something of the Jaywalkers once I got somewhere. Not to plague the blogosphere with yet another jaywalker progress shot, but really - check out what the Lorna's Laces in color way Mountain Colors is doing! It's not really pooling at all, which I thought was going to happen. It's just being really cooperative and stripey and such. As much as I was kind of dragging my feet on these, it's actually not that bad of a pattern. It's a great pattern to do while you're doing other things like watching a movie or something because it's only a two pattern repeat.

    With all that being said, I can cast on for the Ballet Tee. Maybe I'll even finish it this weekend. It doesn't look like it'll take too long to do.

    Wednesday, April 12, 2006

    I'm on the list wagon!

    That's right, I'm joining the current blogging trend and shall be enumerating the list of projects that I want to work on in upcoming months. I seem to be having a bout of knitting ADD right now. I'm getting bored with these Jaywalkers. While I love the colors and what the Lorna's Laces is doing and how it's feeling, I'm just so bored with the pattern. It's probably because I've cast on for these damn socks three times already and at last I think that they'll actually fit.

    So, without further ado, I present the desired project list. A la YarnMonster, complete with photos...though not as beautifully presented as hers...

    Clockwise from top-left to bottom:

  • Ballet Tee from Loop-D-Loop by Teva Durham

  • Berkshire Pullover from Weekend Knitting by Melanie Falick - let's not discuss the Melanie Falick curse I've got going on shall we?

  • Saddle Seam Pullover by Therese Chynoweth from Spring Interweave Knits - for my brother? Somehow, I can see both my dad and my brother wearing (vastly different sizes of) this sweater.

  • Still to be designed shrug for the office - this will be especially wonderful for when winter Summer comes along in the office. It'll be made of Brook's Farm's Symphony. There's a reason why my company's in the same building with Penguin - it's because they think we all like to be freezing

  • Hip Scarf with coins. I still need to procure jumprings for this project. I'll tack that on to my list of things to do while I'm getting yarn or cleaning my apartment strutting my stuff in a Manhattan Ghost Town.

    Unlike my compatriots, this is the practical list. The projects I actually can perceive of myself finishing within a year (I had to pad the timing a bit because I know how I can get!). I'm starting off with the ballet tee. I'm going to grab some Lamb's Pride Cotton Fleece this weekend at Downtown Yarns. I'm going to aim for a lavender color I think.
  • Tuesday, April 04, 2006

    I'm in an FO Wonderland!!

    Yes, that's right. With travelling comes the perks of travelling time. Being delayed in Chicago on the return trip definately didn't hurt.

    What's the tally?

    I finished the Embossed Leaves socks from W05/06 IK ten minutes before my plane landed in Seattle. I thought that was pretty good impeccable timing. I'm not saying I just finished the knitting...I mean all ends were woven in and they were wearable ten minutes before we touched down. I'm awesome. I used ArtYarns Ultramerino 4 in some sort of color I've been calling Kermit Green for the past three months. I love these socks. I made a few alterations once I got to picking up the stitches and knitting the foot part. I also shortened the toe. I'd totally make these guys again. It was a fun pattern and it didn't feel like it took me forever to do. I did notice, however, walking around various airport terminals in these that the yarn is actually starting to felt around the heel. I'm not sure what this means for the rest of the sock. I might have to find somewhere that will sell me some Koigu instead and re-make the socks. I don't think I'd actually mind that. I knit them mostly by magic loop and really liked doing that alot. I felt like it made the sock go by much quicker and was much less of a pain in the ass. I had to change to bamboo DPNs before I got to the airport because I didn't want to get my addis taken away...that would have been a travesty!

    However, I finished more than just those socks! I know, I know, hard to believe eh? I'm practically finished with both of these as well!

    I say almost because that green one is deliberately behind the orange one. The ends on these suckers is pure madness. Two for each petal, two for the icord, and another for the body. Besides the ends though, this is a pretty fun project. You start it at the petals, you join the petals together, you work it in short rows for a spell and then add on the icord. It's pretty fun, keeps it different and they knit up rediculously quickly. I started the green one as I boarded the plane for Chicago (that's where my first layover was) and while I still have the ends to weave in, I pretty much finished it on the return plane from Seattle to Chicgao. I didn't knit much while I was in Seattle, so all in all it was less than six hours I'd say. Pretty good.

    So back to my world of monagomous knitting. I got some Lorna's Laces while at Hilltop Yarn. I was inspired by Yarn Miracle to buy it. It's a lovely shepard sock yarn in the colorway mountain creek. I turned the skeins into yarn with the aid of my friend's chairs in Seattle and immediately cast on for a pair of Jaywalkers. I was going to use my Mountain Colors sock yarn, but I thought those socks would be too thick to wear right now and decided to use the Lorna's Laces right away. When I have progress to show, I'll show it.