Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Year in Stitches: 2008 Edition

The yearly list of Finished Objects! Comments are in italics and I've tried to include links to photos on flickr.

  • Noro Socks these already have holes in them :( - Flickr

  • Frog Prince - Flickr

  • Sky Master Noro Socks these also already have holes in them and one sock is way too short - Flickr

  • Tangled Yoke Cardigan I accidentally felted this one and will probably knit another - Flickr

  • Over the Knee Stockings - Flickr

  • Flower Power Bellatrix Socks - Flickr

  • Sublime Passion Flower Tank - Flickr

  • Jasmine - Flickr

  • Georgie's Jacques Cousteau hat - Flickr

  • Halvsies for K I think I'll make this pattern available at some point in 2009 - Flickr

  • Ridges and Ribs Socks for Lucille She wasn't expecting these at all! :) - Flickr

  • Katelynn's Dairy Hat - Flickr

  • Puff Daddy for Rebecca - Flickr

  • Puff Daddy for Sarah - Flickr

  • Red Sox Socks for Beth - Flickr

  • Lori's Flap Top Mittens - Flickr

  • Feather and Fan Cowl - Flickr

I was hoping to get that snowboarding hat done by the time the ball dropped last night, but I ran out of yarn and was kind of far away from finishing it anyway (I've got at least two more repeats to do before the decreases).

2009 started on a good foot though, as I managed to drink and knit at the same exact moment. It was somewhat awkward, but I proved to myself that it was possible. A photo exists on a cell phone belonging to some guy named Joe. If he posts that to facebook (I so hope he does!) I'll share it!

2009 starts off with a mystery gift for Illanna and her fiancé, the Hemlock Ring Blanket, Jeanie, the Cabled snowboarding hat and the Koi needlepoint project that's so close to being done I can taste it! My mother also bought me a sewing machine for Christmas, so hopefully you'll be seeing some nifty projects coming forth from that as well. I'm so itching to give it a go!

Happy New Year!!

I Know Why They Call it the Hemlock Ring Blanket

Because it makes you want to drink Hemlock like Socrates.

The Importance of Counting

What is this, you ask? It's the stitch count for the 8 different sections once i got to the second to last repeat of the pattern. As you can see, it's off by a bit. Four of those sections had the same number of stitches, but not one section had the same number of stitches it was supposed to have. This occurred the Saturday before Christmas. So I started tinking back. I didn't know how far I was going to have to go, and since my markers were all in the right spot, I figured that tinking was the best option.

Right after I realized the stitches were off

I put the Hemlock Ring Blanket on a bit of a timeout and while I was tinking I made myself a cowl.

Feather and Fan Cowl in use

It's from Knit 2 Together. I absolutely love it. It's knit out of Malabrigo Worsted and it's the warmest thing. I could live in it for life. I might have to knit a couple more of them so I can wear it with each coat (I just bought a new bright orange snow jacket for when Stan and I go snowboarding in January).

Finishing the cowl gave me enough motivation to get back to the Hemlock Ring. In total, I tinked back 36 rows I think. Here's what my diagram looked like after the fact:

The End numbers

So, I moved inward every time I got back to a row that was right before a decrease row. Good thing I only had to tink back that much, otherwise I'd have to re-do the chart. You'll see there are three sections in the middle that are circled. They're all off by only one stitch so I said to myself "fuckit, I'm just going to fudge that one part." Fudge it I did, and I think it turned out ok. I've been on the right stitch count now for quite a while and I'm almost back to where I was when I noticed things were awry.

Hemlock Ring Blanket

In the meantime, I've gotten a little antsy. I realized that now that I have this bright orange snowboarding jacket, I need a hat that will match. Something about light blue and sparkles doesn't seem like it will go well with the orangeness. So I stopped by Knit One, Purl Too in Wakefield, RI when I was home and scored some Elsebeth Lavold Classic AL to knit up into a hat. I found a Lucky 7 hat pattern on Ravelry and cast on. I've got two repeats out of 8 done, and while I was hoping to get it done yesterday on the ride from RI to NY, dawn was way too late and I didn't get a chance to. So I'm still chugging along on it.

Snowboard Hat

So that's all I've got now. I'll leave you with some photos of the Red Sox Socks I knit for Beth. I've given them to her for Christmas so it's safe to post them! I'll probably post some sort of 2008 wrap up soon. It's the best way for me to keep track of what I knit every year. Then I can re-set the status bars on the sidebar.

Red Sox Socks for Beth

Friday, December 12, 2008


Last night (or this morning actually) I dreamed that my brother was borrowing a vest I had knitted out of twinkle. He was going to wear it to work and I was devastated that he was going to get it all sweaty and dirty and maybe the yarn was going to be cut (he works at a golf course). I was yelling at him not to take it. I screamed at the top of my lungs. But he took it anyway, and then I saw him driving off wearing it over a wife beater. My mom came in to see what the trouble was and I was crying and upset and she took his side! Her head was shaved too, which I found rather odd in the dream (in a "when did she find the time to do that?" and "why would she do that" kind of way).

That was the first of three anxiety dreams I had this was odd.

Friday, December 05, 2008

I'm Made of Awesome

Mittens for Lori

That's my "OMG Do you know what this means" face!

What does it mean? It means:


That's what it means!!

Lori's mittens

They're the Urban Necessity gloves (Ravelry link) from old school MagKnits (the designer is offering the pattern on her website). I used size 8 needles and Misti Alpaca Chunky. I have a whole hank and a quite a bit of a cake left (I bought three skeins) and I'll probably use that to make a cowl out of.

I hated this pattern. It had nothing to do with anything. I just don't like knitting gloves and mittens. They turned out quite well though and I don't think you can tell how much I hated knitting them. I should mention that the pattern was quite easy to follow.

So this is the status (I just like showing that things have been crossed off, I'm not trying to gloat really):

  • Socks for Stan's Mom
  • Dairy Queen Hat for Stan's Niece
  • Jacques Cousteau hat for Stan's Nephew
  • Half Socks for my brother's girlfriend
  • "Almost A Mystery" project for Beth
  • Flap mittens for my boss
  • Puff Daddy for Cousin Sarah
  • Puff Daddy for Cousin Rebecca

Jenn vs. Christmas
Jenn: 8 Christmas: 2


So what am I going to do with myself? Well, I'm preparing myself mentally for knitting with the luscious Malabrigo I picked up back in October. I'll be turning it into a nifty little Bog Jacket from Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitting Around. I've been waiting so patiently to get done with all my Christmas knitting so I could get around to this project. Now I'll just make myself wait a bit longer until I can get the Hemlock Ring blanket to a nice size.

I took the Hemlonck Ring Blanket workshop at The Point. I'm way far away from being close to even halfway done with it, but I think it's coming quite nicely.

Hemlock Ring Blanket

Hemlock Petals

I wasn't sure if the marled colors were going to show off the design of the blanket, but I think it's turning out ok. I really couldn't decide if I wanted to knit it in grey or if i wanted to knit it in brown, so I decided to knit with a color-way that had it all.

Monday, November 24, 2008


One more gift down. Looks like I've only got one more left! I'd show you photos, but I know that Beth reads this damn thing. She reads everything, man!

  • Socks for Stan's Mom
  • Dairy Queen Hat for Stan's Niece
  • Jacques Cousteau hat for Stan's Nephew
  • Half Socks for my brother's girlfriend
  • "Almost A Mystery" project for Beth
  • Flap mittens for my boss
  • Puff Daddy for Cousin Sarah
  • Puff Daddy for Cousin Rebecca

Jenn vs. Christmas
Jenn: 7 Christmas: 2

So on I go to the final gift: The mittens for my Boss. Now, funny story, my boss just got an amazing new job and as of mid next month will no longer be my boss. I'm still going to knit her mittens though. I feel like she's been a sort of mentor for me over the years. I guess it's my way of thanking her. Also, knitting mittens always feels so magical.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

BETH: Don't read this till after Christmas

Alright...with that out of the way...

Seriously, I need help. I'm knitting with Lang Jawool. I'm in Rhode Island. I have no other project with me right now (cringe!). I ran out of the nylon for the toe and am kinda scrambling. You see, I'm not done with the toe, and I haven't yet gotten to the heel either.

Does anyone know anywhere in Rhode Island that sells Lang Jawoll (ravelry link) or even just the nylon stuff? I'm thinking that And the Beadz goes on... or Knit One Purl Too might have it.

The meeting I'm here for doesn't start until noon in Providence, so I have a bit of time tomorrow morning to scavenge...


as a side note...i made it here in 2.5 hours from NY! There was no traffic at all (I left at 7:30) at any point. Not even a smidge in Connecticut! I find this to be an accomplishment! And for those that asked, I didn't really fly...I was doing 80 most of the way.

EDITED TO ADD (11/20/08): I grabbed some at Fresh Purls on Hope Street in Providence after my meetings yesterday. It's not Lang, it's Fortissima, and it's not quite the right color, but it's so thin I'm not sure she's going to notice. I haven't knit all week though. :(

Sunday, November 09, 2008

More Christmas Productivity

Newly finished today:
The Dairy Queen Hat for Stan's Niece:

Dairy Queen hat

I did a bit of finagling on this one. I had to make it much smaller than it was supposed to, but it should fit her now.

The Puff Daddy for my Cousin Sarah:

Puff Daddy for Cousin Sarah

The Puff Daddy for my Cousin Rebecca:

Puff Daddy for My Cousin

The Puff Daddys were so much fun to make! They literally took an hour, and barely any yarn at all. They're perfect for stash busting! That being said, I took these gifts as an opportunity to buy a couple more skeins of yarn at Brooklyn General. Sarah's is knit out of Misti Alpaca Chunky in the Sushi Colorway. It was so soft to knit with. I can't wait to knit another one out of it! The one of Rebecca was knit out of Malabrigo Chunky. Also a totally decadent yarn to work with. I have a lot of both of these left over, so they're either going to become a whole series of Puff Daddys or something really creative is going to have to happen with the rest of it.

So where are we now?
  • Socks for Stan's Mom
  • Dairy Queen Hat for Stan's Niece
  • Jacques Cousteau hat for Stan's Nephew
  • Half Socks for my brother's girlfriend
  • "Almost A Mystery" project for Beth
  • Flap mittens for my boss
  • Puff Daddy for Cousin Sarah
  • Puff Daddy for Cousin Rebecca

Jenn vs. Christmas
Jenn: 6 Christmas: 2

I think it's safe to say, however, that I'm winning Christmas. :)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Christmas Photos

Time to show you all the Christmas presents thus far:

Socks for Lucille:
Ridges and Ribs partridge heel

Jacques Cousteau hat for Georgie:
Georgie's Jacques Cousteau hat

Halvsies for Kristina:
K's Halvsies

I decided that the best way to solve the Dairy Queen Hat problem was to use Ann Bud's book of patterns, figure out how many stitches to add and all that and to just work the pattern a little smaller than it should be. Time will tell if it works!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Snag in the Christmas Plan

I'm not ready to give Christmas one more point yet, but I have run into a slight issue. I realized a couple of things while looking at the pattern I wanted to use for Stan's neice's hat. Firstly, the gauge is so large, it more than likely won't work with the yarn I've picked out. I think Lamb's Pride Bulky really wasn't made to be knit at 2.5 stitches to the inch. Maybe this means I go out and get some Twinkle yarn, but that means buying more yarn and I was so excited to be using the yarn I have.

Also, the Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern for the Dairy Queen hat doesn't really do kids sizes. I thought this might be perfect, maybe I'll just knit the Lamb's Pride Bulky in the right gauge and it'll be smaller. By my calculations, however, the hat would be TOO small if I were to knit it like that.

So, fellow bloggers...anyone who reads this...Does anyone know of a pattern that would fit a three year old that I can knit out of Lamb's Pride Bulky? I want it to be kinda different. A little funky instead of just a plain ribbed hat.

I'm doing a ravelry search too, but I wanted to know if anyone maybe found something that I overlooked (I'm really good at overlooking things).

Saturday, November 01, 2008

RHINEBECK Recap, Memes and Christmas Progress

Woa. That's a lot to cover in one post!

Let's start with Rhinebeck! It was really awesome wasn't it!? Saturday I went with some folks from NYC SNB. We met up with some other SNB chicks there. I met a bunch of awesome knitters (though, if I'd gone to the Ravelry noon meet-up I'll bet I would have met more). I got some amazing yarn. And met Franklin and had him sign the awesome book he wrote.

After getting all the yarn out of the way on Saturday, I went back on Sunday with Stan and friends of ours. It was nice to be able to go and just take photos of knitters or fall upstate and sheep and alpcas. It was a great introduction to Stan of the whole knitting thing. He got to experience Rhinebeck without thinking that I'm some sort of yarn crazed knitter (seriously, I kept it under control the whole day!). We watched the Pumpkin Chunkin' contest, wandered around some of the barns, got some lamb, checked out the museum of old stuff, and we found some amazing Vodka Sauce in the food barn (Uncle Pete's!). They had fun, which was awesome because I was worried that the Sheep and Wool Festival would be boring if you weren't there for yarn. Here are some photos of the weekend:

Rhinebeck Mosaic

Alright now, and on to the Meme! Bread and Badger tagged me in a meme about two weeks ago. I'm finally getting to it!
7 Weird Things You Probably Didn't Know About Me
  1. I <3 synthesis. Anytime I can blend things together that I like I feel efficient. This is especially true for blending groups of friends together.

  2. I'm right handed but often eat with my left hand.

  3. I'm incapable of doing nothing. Just ask Stan. Last weekend we were hanging out and I kept poking and annoying him.

  4. I speak french fairly well when I'm drunk, but if I start speaking french when I'm drunk, I start thinking in french until I get sober.

  5. I get motion sick REAL bad. Especially on long trips.

  6. I feel nauseous if I eat eggs alone first thing in the morning.

  7. My iPod has over 5,000 songs on it. It also has tons of different genres from trance, polka, pop, house, drum & bass, heavy metal, bhangra, brazilian, country, lounge, french, middle eastern belly dancing music, classic rock...etc...

Oh, according to the rules I have to tag 7 people. So here are the folks I'm tagging:
  1. Illanna
  2. Beth
  3. Kara
  4. Rebecca
  5. Ruth
  6. Claudine
  7. Heather
Enjoy it kids!
So let's see where we stand on The Big Christmas Push 2008 ™:
  • Socks for Stan's Mom
  • Dairy Queen Hat for Stan's Niece
  • Jacques Cousteau hat for Stan's Nephew
  • Half Socks for my brother's girlfriend
  • "Almost A Mystery" project for Beth
  • Flap mittens for my boss
  • NEW! Puff Daddy for Cousin Sarah
  • NEW! Puff Daddy for Cousin Rebecca
Jenn vs. Christmas Jenn: 2 Christmas: 2 Yup, I've gotten a bit done. I'm about 3/4 done with the half socks too. I should probably finish them this weekend if I don't get too drunk tonight or too distracted with blogs and Guitar Hero World Tour (those video games are killing my knitting time!). I have, however added a couple of things. Seriously, who can resist the call of the Puff daddy. I certainly can't. Since I saw that last week, I've felt as though I have to knit like fifty of them and keep quite a few for myself! Now to just find a nice bulky pink yarn with a bit of silver going through it. I'm still thinking I can get all of this done by Christmas. Seriously, I've got about two months left, and I've already gotten through half of it. The things I chose to knit for folks this year are pretty small items and since I've been knitting on the subway (I usually read on the Subway so that I can maintain that obsession as well) I've found that I'm pretty quick at knitting stuff!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Finished Object Photos

First, there's Jasmine:
My creation

Then there's Christmas Project number 1!

Ridges and Ribs partridge heel
Ridges and Ribs sock

Doesn't that look productive?!

I'm about to start swatching for the Jacques Cousteau hat. I found the pattern on Ravelry, and it'll be the first time I'll actually be knitting with regular Kureyon.

As a total aside, I'm really excited because I just won this:

I entered through the STC Craft newsletter. I was pretty surprised when I won too because I didn't know. I just got back from a session of training folks on this new system we're implementing at work, and there it was. Sitting. Waiting for me in all its custom glory. I think one of my goals for 2009 will be to design a sweater for myself and knit it. Hopefully Wendy's book will be helpful for that!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Big Christmas Push

Ok. This year, for some reason, I decided that I'm going to knit Christmas gifts. Largely, these gifts will be given to various members of Stan's family.
  • Socks for Stan's Mom
  • Diary Queen Hat for Stan's niece
  • Jacques Cousteau hat for Stan's nephew
  • Half socks for my Brother's Girlfriend
  • "Almost a Mystery" project for Beth
  • Flap mittens for my boss
All of the yarn for these projects has been acquired except for the last one, which is a new addition to the list (as of this evening actually). We shouldn't mention that I still need to seam the blanket that my colleague gave me to seam up for her last year. She says she keeps forgetting I have it, so I'm hoping that as long as I get it done by the end of the year it should be ok. So I think I'm goign to add a little thing to the bottom of my posts that say where I am vs. Christmas. Just so we can all be on the same page.

HOT off the presses, however, are the socks for Stan's Mom. So hot, in fact, that I don't even have FO photos for you. I knit on them so much this weekend with Beth in DC that I managed to kitchener this evening while I was waiting for the Yarn Harlot to sign my book. Yup. I kitchenered standing up! I'm awesome. :)

Also, I should mention that I'm going to Rhinebeck. I'll be there all day on Saturday checking out the fiber and all that. Then Stan and I are heading up with friends on Sunday. I'm actually pretty excited about the second day. I can check out all the stuff that's NOT knitting related (like, anyone know what Pumpkin Chucking is?) and really take my camera out and give it a good go! It's bound to be a great weekend.

Jenn vs. Christmas
Jenn: 1 Christmas: 0

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Follow Up


I just got home from SNB. Illanna just told me she got engaged!!!


Monday, October 06, 2008

Dedicated to Illanna

Yup, that's right. This post is dedicated to Illanna. Let's call it part of her birthday present. I won't even refer to her gub or the fact that she's a knitting siren that makes me buy all sorts of expensive yarns (except for just there).

First things first, I finished the project she and I were knitting "together." I put "together" in quotes because she finished like a month ago. That chick knits faster than a speeding bullet! I'll have better photos after this weekend, but here's one visual just to prove it's been finished:


Oh! And what do we have here?

Button detail

Gorgeous buttons! At least, they're gorgeous when you don't look at the fact that they're crooked! I'm not as familiar with knitting sweaters as Illanna is, so I knit in the round up to the armpits and knit the top in separate pieces (back, sleeves, 2 front pieces). The top was huge at first, so I re-knit the sleeves on ones and used the instructions for the next size down. I then knit the garter part of the top on size zeroes (which was so much fun by the way!). I cast off tightly along the sleeve edge as the directions said to. I didn't realize that such a simple step could make such a big difference! it fits perfectly now!

I know, I finished it a little early for next spring didn't I? I figure that I can layer it with some long sleeved shirts until winter.

So, if you're curious as to who this Illanna person is, you can visit her blog or her Ravelry Profile. She and I have decided that we're pretty much the same person (besides the fact that I like new country while she like old country music, she's got longish curly hair to my short straight hair, she can design her own garments while I follow patterns... besides all that, we're identical!). But her awesomeness will be obvious once I show you the below:

Knitting bags from Illanna

Want a closer look at that pattern?

Close up of the bags Illanna made!

Can you believe she made those for me!? What an awesome birthday gift! She found the fabric on Etsy somewhere. There's a sweater sized project back and a sock project bag (both with drawstrings!) and even a tote bag! I felt so awesome carrying that tote bag all over the city this morning (my commute from hell is a different story, however).

Illanna is also awesome because she exposes me to all this amazing yarn. she kept letting me fondle the Bog Jacket (Ravelry link) she was knitting out of Malabrigo to the point where I had to go buy my own Malabrigo so I could knit an awesome sweater just like hers.


Yeah...I'm the reason The Point has no more Pearl Ten. I'm going to start swatching for my Bog Jacket when I'm finished with Lucille's socks, the Dairy Queen hat for Stan's niece, the hat for Stan's nephew, and the half socks for my brother's girlfriend. You know how it goes, you gotta get through that Christmas knitting first. I'm hoping I can get the hats going and done this weekend when I go visit another awesome friend, Beth in Washington DC.

I started the heel flap of Lucille's socks. the pattern is going really quick and is coming out beautifully. I dont' have any new photos though.

Well, this is long enough, and my Red Sox just won their game against the Anaheim Angels, so we're going to the Division Championship! Time to celebrate!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Jasmine Issues

Ugh. I was doing so well. I finished the front and the back. I finished the sleeves. When all was said and done, it looked like this:

Jasmine Mishap

Which looks great right?
Too bad it hung off my shoulders. When I say that it hung off my shoulders, I mean that my massive breasts couldn't even keep it up, which means it was humongous. Upon further investigation, Illanna and I found out that my gauge was 28 stitches to 4 inches. The pattern called for 24 stitches to 4 inches. It's just a tad bit different.

So I cast on for a pair of socks for Stan's Mom.

Lucille's Socks

I'm knitting them out of Knit Picks' Felici. I haven't been a huge fan of Knit Picks, but it worked for that sweater I knit for my brother. I just wanted to see what this yarn would be like, and it seemed appropriate to knit it for someone else so I wouldn't be stuck with it. :) But it's actually really soft and machine washable and can go into the dryer too!

The pattern is a free pattern I found on ravelry. It's Criminy Jickets' Ridges and Ribs. It's really easy to memorize and looks really great with all those stripes!

While I knit on that, I decided that I'd knit the sleeves for Jasmine a size smaller on size 1s (I knit the body on size 2s). While I did that, I'd knit the top part of the front and back on size zeroes. I think it's working, but I've only finished the sleeves and the back so far. I'm hoping to be done with the front by the end of next weekend so I can put it together and all that. Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sock Meme

I was reading Blue Garter this morning and found a nifty sock meme. Since I haven't had much sock specific on the blog in a bit, I thought a sock meme was just the thing!

When did you first learn to knit socks? A couple of years ago. I think I was looking for things that would be relatively cheap to make (compared to sweaters and afghans).

What’s the first sock you ever knit? It was a custom dealy from Lucy Neatby's Cool Socks Warm Feet (ravelry link) I knit them out of mercerized cotton at 9 sts to the inch. They make my feet sweat, and I don't wear them ever. Cool colors though. They were stockinette with a short row heel.

Favorite Sock Pattern? I'm not sure I have one. I like a lot of the patterns I've done. Maybe the Monkies by Cookie A or the Jaywalkers by Grumperina.

Favorite needle method? I really only knit my socks in magic loop. I feel like other methods are fiddely and take too long.

Favorite sock needles? Addi Turbos, size 1 32"

Who do you knit socks for? Me. I have knit socks for my roommate and my mother though. Stan's mom wants a pair next, and my brother told me that his girlfriend folds her socks so that she only wears them up to the heel. He asked me to knit a pair of those, whatever you call them.

How many pairs have you knitted to date? My sock drawer says: 9, hurt bag says: 3 and I'm reminded of two pairs i've knit for others. Grand total: 14.

What is on your sock knitting to-do list? In no particular order: Spiral Boot socks, Coriollis by Cat Bordhi, argyle knee socks, nutkin, Narragansett Bay socks (for my home state!), scroll lace socks

What kind of socks do you like to knit-
striped? Meh. Not unless it's self striping. I don't really dig weaving in ends.
colorwork? I'm not big into colorwork either. I have done one pair of color work ones, and they were a bit tight.
plain stockinette? I do like a good stockinette sock every now and again. especially with some good colors.
cabled? as long as the cable isn't too intense. I'm not a fan of using cable needles on such small yarn, so i'd have to be able to rearrange the stitches sans needle.
lace? I think these are my favorite socks to knit. They just can't look too girly, cause that's not really how I roll.
anklets? I knit a lot of anklets because they're nice to wear in the spring. I soon found out, however, that I should be knitting nice long legs to my socks to keep my legs warm!
knee socks? I have a few knee socks on my queue. I knit a pair of over the knee socks and I didn't mind them so much. So I think that regular knee socks won't feel as bad.
solid colors? I think I've only knit one pair of socks in a solid color. It worked for that pair. It just seems like I gravitate towards variegated yarns.
bright and crazy? I do tend to lean towards bright and crazy color combinations that don't match anything I wear.
Faux Faire Isle (where the yarn is doing all the work) I haven't ever used those kinds of yarns. I feel like my gauge would be off and they wouldn't be faux faire isle at all.

Tag a few sock knitters: Claudine, Illanna, Beth, and anyone else really that wants to. How about that!?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Jasmine Frustration and Pause


I'm at the point where I'm breaking for the armholes. I've been kind of stuck for a bit. Not that I don't want to keep knitting it, just that I have a vision of how I want to knit it, and I'm having trouble translating that to English. :)

I wanted to knit it all in the round. Because let's face it, seaming sucks, and the more seaming that's involved, the less I really want to complete this project. So I started looking at ways to get it to work that way. The sleeves in the pattern, however, decrease at a different rate than the front and back. Also, there's that whole thing in the front with the eyelet trim of the button hole band. It just came to a lot of different instructions to process at the same time. So, I decided, I'm just going to knit it front and back from here on out. I've got a flight to Vegas tonight, and then one from Vegas back to JFK on Tuesday night. I'm hoping that with those 10 hours in the air that I might be able to finish it altogether.

I found some nice mother of pearl shell buttons at M&J this week when I was with Illana. Illana has already finished hers. I blame that on the fact that she knits at the speed of light and she was knitting a smaller size than me. I do kind of feel like this size of shirt is going to be massive, but we'll see. Oftentimes I think these things are too big and when I try them on they're either just right or a bit small.

So that's that. I took about a week to figure out if I wanted to knit it in the round or flat from the pits up. And now that I've decided, I just have to actually knit it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Finished Passionflower Tank!

Stan and I

So, I neglected to mention that that date I went on a year and a half ago kinda stuck. :)

And now back to knitting!

I have a finished object for you to see!

Me in Passionflower Tank

That's my Passionflower Tank out of Louet Euroflax Linen. It fits quite perfectly, and I think that once it starts to stretch out with wear, and once it's washed a couple of times it'll be even better.

I do have two more skeins of the Louet Euroflax Linen left. Does anyone want to make any suggestions as to how I should use it? I think this tank top took me only 3 skeins somehow...

Next up, is Kim Hargraves' pattern Jasmine.

This photo is from someone on Ravelry. Her Jasmine is quite beautiful. My yarn will be Rowan 4ply also that same color, even though it looks much more red in the photo below:

Rowan 4 ply

I met up with Illanna today at The Point to hang out and knit for a bit after work. I was really amazed though, I didn't realize she was such a violent person. I went to look at some sparkly silvery variegated yarn. I showed it to her because I thought she might like it. Next thing I know, she's telling me I'm buying it. I tried really hard to resist. I told her I couldn't. "What about the children!?" I pleaded. But my words fell on deaf ears. She pulled out that PPK I've seen on countless occasions. I knew what was next. My credit card came out of my wallet and through my tears I signed the receipt for some of the most beautiful yarn I've seen this year.

Hand Dyed Sterling Silver

I don't know who spun it, or who dyed it. Really, all I know is the content of it (there's superwash merino, silk, nylon, and silver) and that it's pretty. If you want more of it, you should probably contact The Point. They didn't have a lot left there after I was forced to buy this skein by Illanna.

Anyway, time for me to watch more Olympics. I'm heading to Rhode Island this weekend, which means lots of travel time to get some knitting done. Hopefully I'll be able to get Jasmine started (I'll be trying to knit it in the round instead of seaming it like it says to).

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Let's hear it for the Stash!

About a year and a half ago I went on a date with a guy I started talking to online from a craigslist ad. I told my roommate I'd check in with her at midnight, and that if I didn't make it back, she should find a mariachi band to hire for my funeral.

After reading Stiff by Mary Roach about the secret life of human cadavers (historically and currently - it's a great book you should totally read it) I decided that I want my body donated to science when I die. I don't need it, and it's rather wasteful to just bury it somewhere or to burn it.

It was while reading the Yarn Harlot's newest book Things I Learned from Knitting that I started wondering...what's going to happen to my stash once I'm gone?

I mean, I could die at any time, and what happens if people don't know who should distribute my yarn, and who's worthy of my yarn? Surely, my cousin who just started knitting and can only knit garter stitch scarves (she's mentally disabled so the fact she can knit that is impressive) wouldn't do much of my yarn justice. No, this yarn should be used by someone who would truely understand and appreciate the wonders of the fibers I've bought over the years that I've been knitting.

My Stash

So, I think I put Ruth in charge of distributing my yarn once I'm gone. I trust her to make good choices. However, there's a hierarchy to my stash (to be explained in a later post), and certain skeins should probably be given to certain people.

But choosing someone to inherit a skein of my luscious stash is more than choosing the person that wants it. It's choosing the person who will see the potential I see in the skein and knowing that they'll help the yarn achieve that potential. Additionally, it's a matter of choosing someone who's worthy of receiving skeins from my stash. So how do you know if someone is "yarnherit" worthy?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sock Pair #2 Down!

Flower Power Bellatrix

The Bellatrix Socks (Ravelry Link) are my second pair of socks for the Sock Off with Claudine (who I'd link to, but she hasn't updated since May). I really loved the lightweight STR and I think that the colors did really cool things. Also, please note that there's absolutely NO color pooling! How awesome is that!!??

So these socks were successful!
But right now I'm taking a break from socks. I'm knitting the Passionflower Tank top from Sublime #610. Instead of knitting it out of the Soya Cotton, however, I'm knitting it out of Louet Linen. I wish I could show you what it looks like, but I can't seem to find any site that has a photo of it that doesn't run retartedly slow.

So...enough project news...there's been quite a bit of acquisitions chez PassionKNITly!

Firstly, Natalia gave me this yarn below:

<Unknown Yarn

I have no idea what it's made of. It feels like wool, but there are some long fibers in there that make me think there's some alpaca or llama in it as well. Natalia said she thought it was possibly Manos, but the consistency of the spin seems a little too consistent to be Manos. At any rate, I think I'm going to turn it into a hat of some kind eventually.

I have awesome friends, who, when they saw some STR lightweight while they were on vacation in Toronto picked some up for me!

STR Lightweight Backstabber

The color way is called Backstabber. I hope they weren't trying to tell me soemthing by picking up that color way, however, I do love the color. It reminds me of the Fleece Artist sock yarn I knit those Boot Socks from Favorite Socks out of (may they rest in peace).

On Friday, I went to meet Illana at Brooklyn General. She works there on Fridays and Saturdays, so go say hello to her! I've really only been to Brooklyn General once, and I haven't been since they've moved, although I've been driven by it plenty. I LOVE THIS STORE! I so wish they weren't so far away! I would go there to knit and stare at the yarn and the pretty fabrics and the massive amount of books they sell and everything else there for DAYS and DAYS and DAYS!! It's such a great place, you've really gotta go there!

While I was there, I was forced at gunpoint by Illana to buy things. So I did (you know, I really do value life!).

Rowan Denim

I started with a bit of Rowan Denim yarn because I still want to knit that ripple skirt from the Spring 2007 IK. Stan's not a huge fan of jean skirts, actually, he hates them. But I maintain that since this is a knitted jean skirt that it should be different. He said he'd give it a shot. The skirt really doesn't look like a typical jean skirt anyway, so he should probably quit his whining.

Also while at Brooklyn General, I managed to pick up a Lexie Barnes circular needle holder.

Lexie Barnes in and out

Awesome photoshopping skills eh? I wanted to show the inside and the outside. I love the fabrics, I think it's really neat. Finally I have something to store the plethora of circular knitting needles in! It's still empty, but sometime soon I'll move them all in there.

And I just wanted to leave you with one gratuitous shot of myself. My friend Alicia took it at Natalia and Alex's wedding a couple weeks ago. I think it's a better one of me recently and makes me look really cute. Also, that massive paper pouf behind me is really awesome! :)

Me at Alex and Nat's Wedding

Friday, June 27, 2008

Just found this...

Knitters, beware! New online knit-magazine to consume your precious stitch time!

Knotions looks to be rather cool and even empowering.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I Really Am a Sucker for Sparkly

Just a little pattern solicitation that's all.

I checked Ravelry already, but I wasn't too impressed with my results.

You see, while I was at The Point today, I ran into a fellow knitter. I was about to cash out, when I saw she was getting some nifty sparkly yarn. I went to the back to check it out. You know how much of a sucker for sparkly I am. Oh, you want to see it?

sparkly purple yarn!

So, after much thought, I think I've decided to knit the Spiral Boot Socks from last year's Summer Interweave Knits out of it. With the sparkles and the spirals I think they'd be pretty funky. Those will be the socks I knit after I'm done with these Bellatrix socks! Whee!!!

Anyway, the yarn is Kraemer Yarns Sterling Silk & Silver and it's made of merino, silk, nylon and sterling silver. It's totally fabulous.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Finished over the knee stockings

TAKE THAT! I pwned the Over the Knee Stockings! I actually read the pattern correctly this time, I adjusted for my row gauge being off by a bit, and figured out how many additions needed to be made. I had to do about four more pattern repeats than were in the pattern. I added quite a few more stitches as well so they'd be a bit wider at the top to fit my massive thighs. The top right twist rib I did holding the Louet Gems yarn together with some white elastic so that these suckers will stay up.

I'm really quite proud of these babies and think they're going to be awesome and warm as well as rather sexy this winter.

Next up on my Sock-Off docket are the Bellatrix socks. I got the pattern off Ravelry for free...which is cool. I'll be knitting them out of Socks That Rock lightweight in the Flower Power color-way I acquired in a trade with Illana for a few skeins of Twinkle Chunky that I had.

I'm about one pattern repeat into the sock, and they're not only quick, but I think they're going to look awesome with this yarn!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

BEA 2008 in LA

I went to Book Expo America last weekend for work. I checked out a lot of the craft book companies to scope out what's coming for fall. Here's a recap with reviews based on either the pages from catalogs or samples I saw at the show.

Mason Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines: Patterns, Stories, Pictures, True Confessions, Tricky Bits, Whole New Worlds, and Familiar Ones, Too
$29.95 | HC | September 2008
Kay Gardiner & Ann Shayne

This book looks promising. I was very inspired by the first Mason Dixon Knitting and the little I've seen of this one doesn't make me think they will ever disappoint me. The Potter Craft catalog includes a witty excerpt describing the dos and don't's of knitting for kids.

Knitting Noro
$27.50 | HC | October 2008
Jane Ellison
I've always been fascinated by the colors I've seen in Noro, but it alway seems I try to use the wrong Noro. Kureuon or Keuron sock are probably not the best yarns for me because I'm such a sucker for softness. Oh wait this is supposed to be about the book. Well, the book looks like an expensive 128 page Noro booklet. Which makes sense since the author is the designer of like six Noro books.

Continuous Cables
$32.50 | HC | October 2008
Melissa Lapman

While I admit I haven't knit anything out of Cables Untangled yet, I will admit to having looked at it and wondering where I was going to find the time to knit all of that. I'm totally enamoured with cables, so these two books are very much up my alley. It looks like the author came up with some of her own cable motifs for the book which is both innovative and so difficult that she might even get me to buy the book for just that reason.

Knitted Lace of Estonia
$24.95 | PB | November 2008
Nancy Bush

GOD! I have to wait until November for this to come out!? I got to see a few pages of it at the Interweave booth and it was just tantilizing. There was a lilly of the valley pattern that i was getting close to literally drooling on. Nancy Bush is nothing but a genius with wool and I'm sure that this title is no exception.

Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn
$19.95 | PB | February 2009
Carol Sulcoski

I'm not quite sure how a book publishing in February 2009 makes it into their Fall 2008 catalog. As we all know, the challenge with handpainted yarn is to show off the awesome colors while maintaining stitch definition in a pattern. I'm not sure if they just picked a bad example or two, but the photos in the catalog kind of scare me that Interweave might have missed the mark on this one. Also, the cover looked much different in the catalog than it does on Amazon.

It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons
$12.95 | HC | October 2008
Franklin Habit

I definitely don't read the Panopticon enough. Actually, blog reading is the first thing to drop from my schedule when life gets busy (which means i haven't been reading anyone's blog as of late). I am, however, just as familiar with Dolores as the next knitter, and am quite happy to see these cartoons come together in a book! Publishing in October means this book is well poised to be just the relief a holiday knitter will require after they've never fully finished those slippers for mom....

There were also a couple of books listed in the back of the Interweave catalog that I saw and feel a growing urge to buy:

  • Inspired to Knit - I think this should be coming out shortly. Flipping through an advance copy at the booth, there were certainly quite a few knits that fit my style quite well.

  • Knit so Fine - I actually went out and bought this last night at The Point on my way home. I couldn't get the image of the pink cowl sweater on page 81 out of my head. There were about five other patterns in there I can see myself actually knitting as well, although, I recognize that I look better in finer gauge knits.

Custom Knits
$27.50 | HC | September 2008
Wendy Bernard

I used to read Knit & Tonic habitually . Wendy blogged quite a bit about the process of creating this book and I can't wait to see what she's come up with. The synopsis makes it seem like there are tip b oxes along the way to tell you how to make the garment your own. Between Wendy's down to earth writing style and the sample photographs in the catalog, this book is definitely going on my birthday list!

Alterknits Felt
$24.95 | HC | October 2008
Leigh Radford

I hope the photographs for this Alterknits book are in focus. Felting isn't really my thing, to be honest, but there was an ottoman that caught my eye. I imagine that if I did like felting, I might like this book.

Picture Perfect Knits
$19.95 | PB with Wire-O | November 2008
Laura Birek

This might even get me to knit with color! Some of the projects really looked awesome, and there were bunches of hip charted designs in the back that you could use for whatever project you wanted. The instructions were fairly well illustrated and looked to be in real English (as opposed to knotted and complex English).

101 Luxury Yarn One Skein Wonders
$18.95 | PB | October 2008
Judith Durant

I wasn't thrilled about the first One Skein Wonder book. the second one is pretty good though. Both of them, I thought, were better than Interweave's One Skein., though mostly because the One Skein Wonder books actually do keep their projects to one skein. This luxury yarn book, however, is probably where the series should have started. Firstly, it will make an amazing gift paired with a luxurious skein of silk yarn (for example). Also, if one wants to splurge on nice yarn, but are constrained by publishing salaries. All in all, though the quality of this book is going to be determined by the patterns held within, which I'm personally hoping are more like 1010 Designer One Skein wonders.

The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques
$29.95 | HC | December 2008
Margret Radcliffe

You know, it's hard to knit with color without knitting something that ends up homely looking. I think that's one of the reasons I don't really knit with colors. this one does look like it tries hard to be too homely, though. It does look like the color pairing guide I saw looked pretty cool, but eh overall feel of the book just didn't feel like the kind of stuff I would want to knit. It did seem like threw were some kind of cool techniques that were a bit different than intarsia and fair isle, which could be cool to read about.

Lost Sock: 200 Clever ways to use Your Single Socks
$9.95 | PB | August 2008
Cynthia L. Copeland

I know it's not specifically a knitting book, but whether that sock be lost to the washer machine, or lost to your stash (you know what I mean!), this book seems to have witty, instead of practical solutions to the age old problem of what to do with that single sock.

Nicky Epstein's Knitting on Top of the World: The Global Guide to Traditions and Techniques
$34.95 | HC | November 2008

I've never bought a Nicky Epstein book, but I respect her work quite a bit. THe edge books are rather ingenious. I'm curious to see what this book has between its pages.

Sterling also has a couple more Vogue Knitting On the Go books coming up. I so rarely find anythig knit worthy in them, but figure they're worth reporting. There's one on Granny squares and one on shawls.

so I hope that's enough for you...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

After Memorial Day, it's time for more socks!

Sock Off

Claudine and I decided to do a Sock off. I have a rather competitive streak as some as you may know. And once when Claudine and I were comparing sock yarn stashes, my competitive streak decided to show itself and the First Annual Sock Off was born.

The Sock Off will run from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The idea is to knit the most socks between the two of us in that amount of time. Socks will be awarded points on the following critera, and they'll be weighed afterwards (Claudine says her feet are bigger than mine, so this is an attempt at making it even)

  • 1 point for a heel flap

  • 1 point for a short row heel

  • 1 point for a cable pattern

  • 1 point for a lace pattern

  • 1 point for a patterned heel

  • 1 point for short row toes

Other points will be added as needed. Can you think of any that are missing?
The winner will get bragging rights and a sock yarn of her choosing from the loser. I think there should be a certificate involved as well...but we'll see to that later. :)

Really, it's anyone's game. I actually don't have a ton of traveling going on in June. July, with San Diego Comic Con might help give me a boost, but it's possible that I'll just be so exhausted from working the show that I'll come back to just pass out in my hotel room sans knitting.

So, I think the first pair of socks that I'm going to work on for the Sock Off will be the Over the Knee Stockings from Handknit Holidays (Ravelry Pattern Link). I've got new yarn (Louet Gems in a nice cream color), and a new understanding of the pattern (from having done it a couple times before and failing). I understand that I have to make the sock a few stitches wider to cover my thigh and that it also needs to be about four pattern repeats longer than the pattern specifies. Now that I'm writing that, I hope I have enough yarn. The strategy is that even if I dont' complete the pair by the end of the summer, I'll have knit so much on these socks that when weighed they'll out-match my competitor. mwa ha ha!

Monday, May 19, 2008

I Give Up

I know I can knit the Thelonious Sock by Cookie A. It's just to the point where I don't want to. And nothing you can say will make me! So I'm shelving it. The skein is already wound though, so I'll find another good sock pattern (there are many). I bought Little Box of Socks which, despite being published by Martingale press (I find their stuff is usually more homely than my personal style), it's actually pretty cool. There are way more interesting than non-interesting sock patterns in the mix. However, the non-interesting socks are pretty wild (ack! Save the Fun Furs!). Socks, I guess, are pretty hard to bork.

I do though still really love the Lorna's Laces yarn I'm working with, which is why I'll use it again in a different sock. Hopefully the next sock won't be quite as complicated. With all the other personal things I've had going on, I'm not sure I'll be able to deal with anything too complicated.

Speaking of too complicated, I started working on Jeanie from Knitty. I had cast on and done a row, but I think I borked the second row so instead of taking it back I just decided to re-do the whole thing. in re-looking at it though, it really looks like it's just an odd kind of rib for the most part. So I re-cast on and worked the first row again, and hopefully this time I'll be able to focus enough to actually knit it correctly. I've got a four hour train ride to Rhode Island this weekend, so I should be able to put some sort of dent into it.

Friday, May 09, 2008

We all need a little SEX sometimes...

Stash Enhancement eXperiences for you perverts out there.

I seem to be buying up my weight in yarn. It seems like I'm sticking to the laceweight and sock yarn as of late though.

First up is my own little tribute to Gramps. I bought it the day after he died because, well...touching something so soft was extremely soothing. And it's such a vibrant alive redish marroon I just had to have it:

J. Knits lace-a-licious

As the tag says, it's from J.Knits. Lace-A-Licious is the name and i think the color is called Indiana or something along those lines. It's an alpaca laceweight and runs about 1200 yards which is pretty phenomenal. I could get another Icarus out of it, but I think I'll probably use it for one of the other myriad of shawls I currently have queued.

Next up, I met my friend Illana (that's a Ravelry link folks) for some good mediteranian food in Park Slope. I had de-stashed to her two and a half skeins of Twinkle's uber bulky yarn that I accidentally managed to get for $10 a ball (I KNOW!! Way cheap right!?). She told me to pick something from her stash I liked as an exchange. So I got this sexy looking thing:

STR lightweight

That's STR lightweight yarn. I'm not sure of the colorway, I want to say it's flower power or something like that. I've used the STR mediumweight, but find that the socks I got out of it were a little too thick for my liking. They're really warm, they just don't fit in my sneekers. So I've wanted to test the lightweight stuff for forever, and this color way is just PRICELESS. It's actually really made me want to seriously lobby my parents come Christmas time for the STR Rockin Sock Club.

I also managed to get out of the deal this cute little number:

malabrigio laceweight

That's some sweet looking Malabrigio Laceweight yarn. I'm not sure what the colorway is called, but isn't it gorgeous? So, I think it was a pretty good trade. I got some smaller yarn out of it anyway. I should mention that those two photographs were Illana's, not mine. I never had anywhere near that amount of natural light when I take photos of my yarn. :(

I started organizing my yarns a bit more, in that I now have one BIG bag that I've been putting two smaller bags in. One of the smaller bags is laceweight yarn and the other is sock weight yarn. Those seem to be the two kinds of yarn I've been buying recently. They're easy to pack up with me when I go back to NY from wherever it is I've been, and I don't have to buy a ton of it at the same time.

That said, I'm just now knowing the wonders of a sweater that fits well. I LOVE wearing my TYC around. It's just the right weight. Most of my other finished sweaters I think are a little too warm actually, which surprises me because i'm usually always cold no matter what. My TYC actually keeps me warm, but not too warm.

Aditionally, I just cast on for Jeanie from Knitty. I have really only completed a row so far, so it's not even really worth showing a photo. The project looks somewhat challenging, but I'm sure that once I get into the pattern, it'll fly by.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Thelonious Yoke Cardigan?

Finished TYC modeled

I finished the TYC! Doesn't it look darling! One of the few sweaters I've knit that I think I'll actually wear! It's great for these spring days that are too warm for a jacket but too chilly to just wear a shirt. I made the bottom about an inch longer and the sleeves a bit longer too. I actually don't even think the sleeves needed it. They're actually a bit *too* long now. The button holes I made are a bit big, so I'm going to have to sew them shut a bit, or just use the surrounding holes from the knitting instead of the button holes. I put on the buttons last week while waiting for my flight to leave out of Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (really, that's just a big mouth full for "barn with tiny planes nearby"). I found this lady:

Northwest Regional Arkansas Airport Knitter

Out of respect I didn't ask her what she was knitting (I gathered it was small and on wooden/bamboo DPNs), or even say hi, lest she think I crazy. I turned right back to my buttons.

Tonight, I managed to finish the leg of one of the Thelonious Socks that I started when I was in LA. Doesn't it look great!?

Thelonious detail

I love the stitch pattern. Which is good, because it looks like I'll be doing it at least three more times. Look at my issue:

Theloneous SNAFU

yup. either my gauge was off, or i did the wrong size. Looks like I'll be sizing up for this one. Going from a small size to a large. I'm pretty sure this has something to do with the size 0 needles I'm using, but they make a nice solid fabric that I think will hold up to the wear and tear that is my feet better than any other gauge.

So, back into a ball it is now. I'll re-cast on at SNB tomorrow night. I don't think I can focus on anything else except that right now, otherwise I'd totally lose it.