Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Short Row Heels

I started knitting Nutkin socks on Saturday. I turned the heel on Sunday night right before bed. I'm happy with it, and I'm not. You see, I'm a heel flap kind of girl. But I like the way this sock looked so much, that I thought I'd try, just once, to do what I was told.

I'm happy with the left side of the heel (strangely, this is the side that I had to P3tog)
Nutkin - left side of short row heel

However, the right side, leaves a little to be desired. I'm going to have to go over it again after the sock is finished to reinforce it.

Nutkin - right side of short row heel

My main question for you folks: do you know any good short row heels that are awesome and don't create holes? I'm looking for the short row heel that will tear me away from my happy heel flap loving existence, and turn me into a short row heel kind of girl.

Apparently, I'm doing a short row toe as well, so that kind of advice might come in handy sooner rather than later...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Whereupon I Post About Knitting Books I've Recently Acquired

Sorry for the long subject title, I've been reading Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman and a lot of his chapters are titled in that manner. I have three books here that I recently have acquired, though, and really want to share them with you!

First up is The Ohio Knitting Mills Knitting Book. The book is comprised of the history of, you guessed it, the Ohio Knitting Mills. The Mills kept a copy of every sweater they'd ever knit for commercial use (back before all commercially bought sweaters were knit in sweatshops), and the author got a unique chance to visit these gems. There's some examples of 1950s sweaters as well as some vintage labels as well as just a huge amount of history about the Mills, the people that worked there, as well as the patterns that were inspired by this Mill. It's honestly, a little slice of America that's fascinating to read about. The patterns in this book are timeless, vintage, and rather fabulous. The cover dress resembles and reminds me of Piet Mondrian, the artist, and while I've got a not so great track record with knitting dresses that involve color-work, I'd absolutely love to give this one a go. There's a few menswear patterns in this book that are actually wearable. I'd be lying if I didn't get it because I saw a page that expressed that the sweater the Dude is wearing in The Big Lebowski (my favorite movie) was from the Ohio Mills, though. The patterns are so classic that I think I'll be going back to this book often, and there's so much information about the Mills and the knitwear industry in America in this book that reading it is rather fascinating as well.

Yes, I know. I keep bringing this book back! But this time the book is finished and on shelves! The patterns in here are great! A little more toned down and knitable, I think, than the other books Debbie's put out. There are a few things in here I'm just DYING to knit. In true Debbie Stoller fashion, this book really takes those scary topics like steeking, designing, adding a hood to a sweater, different kinds of cast ons or cast offs, beading, embroidery on knitwear, and more advanced stitch patterns, and turns them into something even a caveman could do! When I brought this to the NYC SNB on tuesday, we were all rather pleasantly surprised with the amount of knowledge in this book and how advanced it was (how many books tell you how to cable without a needle?).

FULL DISCLOSURE: I worked pretty hard on The Needlework Book for DK Publishing as the US Consultant Editor. Their books are generated in the UK, and I tried hard to make sure there weren't any silly words like "habberdashery" in there for the American audience. That being said, I'm quite intimate with this book. It's really great if you want to see all the different needlecrafts out there and want to experiment. DK guides you in the best way they know how, via pictures and diagrams to ensure that you're learning how best to do something from real examples. The book focuses on Knitting, Crochet, Embroidery, Needlepoint, Quilting, Applique and Patchwork. For each craft, the tools needed for the craft are displayed, a general how to do that craft is explained, there's a stitch dictionary (or, in the case of the quilting section, it shows different ideas of how to arrange quilt squares) for each craft, and a project. There are also a few projects in the back. Really, it's a great reference for those, like myself who consider themselves a knitter, and would like to employ some other, and interesting techniques while knitting.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rhinebeck 2010!

Another in a long list of Rhinebeck posts I'm sure you've already seen.

One of the things I love the most about Rhinebeck are the sheep:


Ram 2010

The fabulous fiber works are always amazing to look at as well.

What is this shawl pattern?

Macrame pattern for Ruth

And of course, who can resist the lamb ravioli, the apple crisp, the fudge, the wool, and the friends? The ambiance is half of the reason to go, right? :)

Huge needles at Rhinebeck

Relaxing at Rhinebeck

Matthew Knitting in color

Oh, but don't you just want to know about the yarn I bought? Is that why you're here?
Both Briar Rose Sonomas

Firstly, some Briar Rose Sonoma. I knit a Quincy hat (Ravelry Link) already (I finished it on the ferry this morning, wove in the ends and wore it right off the boat!). I'm also going to knit a nice bulky scarf (maybe edged with icord like Quincy?).

detail: Decadent Fibers Creme Brulee

The only other yarn I bought was this beautiful yarn from Decadent Fibers. The yarn is called Creme Brulee and is quite fabulous. It's a merino, silk mohair blend. So soft and so beautfiul. It really wants to be a simple v-neck pullover. I'm thinking of this (Ravelry Link) one from Fitted Knits. Only trouble is that when I moved to Stan's apartment in July, I had to put a bunch of stuff, including knitting books into storage. So I have no idea where this book is. I'm not quite ready to knit it, but I think Ruth might loan it to me so I can use the pattern.

Though, I must admit, I have no idea when I'm actually going to be ready to knit for me what with all my friends having babies and my brother getting married and all that. I'm so in love with this yarn though, that I hope I can get to it soon!

Oh, I feel like I have so much more to say, but I need to pack for yet another trip to Rhode Island this weekend. Gotta check out the bridesmaid dress I'm going to wear at my little brother's wedding (and pay for it!)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Knitting for Others

This has been a rather wild time. In the span of a couple of weeks I accepted a new job at a new company, moved out of my old apartment and in with my boyfriend on Staten Island (!?) and leased a car. The world seems new again, and though my commute has increased exponentially compared to how it was in Brooklyn, I seem to not be knitting anything at all for myself!

I finished a sample for Berroco that will be in Norah Gaughan's new booklet for spring. It was really exciting to do something like that and see the garment before anyone else (it's really awesome and I'll point it out when the booklet comes out), but it was somewhat stressful knitting with a deadline.

But I'm not letting that stop me! In the upcoming months I have a friend getting married, a family member (my brother) getting married, and two friends are having babies. This is a LOT of knitting for others!

To start, I'm knitting a pair of pillows for my friend who's getting married in a couple of weeks. Neither the couple, nor the pillows are fancy. I'm taking some Ikea pillows that are still good from an old couch I had and am knitting a case for them, essentially. I'm taking a twisted carrot motif that was on their invitations and incorporating it onto the front.

Here's where I need YOUR help. Where can I find some software or an online generator to chart out the image? I've searched online, but I can't find anything that is exactly what I want. I want to upload the image, and input the size I want it to end up being, along with the gauge I've gotten. This doesn't seem too complex, but it's that last bit that I seem to be having trouble with.

Any advice?

Friday, June 18, 2010

New Style

Hey there! What do you think of the new style? I want to thank the blogger team for making this update to the blog as easy as possible! I nabbed the photo from Yarn 365. But then, I guess it's not really nabbing it if it's my own, right?

The next blog project is going to be to cut down on some of the clutter there on the sidebar. I think the main offender is the blog list. It'd be good to cut that down to size. Back in the day, I used to use that blog list to read all the blogs. Now I use google reader, so I'm a little less concerned about it, but it's still nice to show some love to the folks I follow. Trouble is, I read a LOT of blogs now, and I'm not sure I really want ALL of them listed on the sidebar, for fear the sidebar will never end!

I do, however, think you should check out this post by Knit Princess. It's a hilarious comic panel and kind of made my day. I wish I were going to Comic Con this year so I could get a great photo of Darth Vader holding up some nifty yarn for Yarn 365.

At any rate, I'm really happy with the way the redesign of the blog turned out and I'm looking forward to going through that blog list on some other day.

On Queue Confusion and Startitis

I have wandering eye these days. I finished my Seraphim Shawl (RavLink), it just needs to be blocked. And I'm currently working on another project of epic proportions (read, lots of stockinette and small gauge). The miles of tiny stitches in stockinette, I think, are leading me to want to knit with bigger (worsted!? DK weight!?) yarns so I can actually wear a new tank top this season.

I just finished the armhole shaping of the back of this t-shirt I'm knitting out of Silken Straw. I think the front might go quicker because the front will have all the deep v-neck shaping, but it's still a slog. I know the finished product will be nice though, it's being knit out of Alchemy Silken Straw. I'm really surprised at how far 2 skeins is getting me. I'm alternating skeins for the back because I was worried about the hand-dyed yarn pooling too much. I shouldn't have a problem at all getting through the whole back with two skeins, and I might even have some left over for a sleeve. All that being said, the gauge is REALLY small, and I'm knitting it on size 2 needles.

So, I'm contemplating taking yarn and just casting on sometime next week for another tank top. But which yarn!? Which pattern!? I have three yarns to choose from in the stash:

Cotton Tank Options

1. Rowan Purelife Cotton 2. Sublime Soya Cotton 3. Rowan Calmer

I'm pretty sure I have enough of these for one of the following projects:

Of the four, the two that are calling out to me immediately are the first and second. Ravelry folks have knit these two in a variety of sizes and they actually look pretty decent on busty folks. The VK one I'm interested in because a part of me wants to see how many items I can knit from that one issue. The Norah Gaughan is calling to me because I'm dying to know how it's constructed and because it looks pretty awesome and might be able to be worn for a longer period of time than a tank top. At the same time though, the tank top might go quicker, and honestly, I think that's kind of what I need right now. What color, do you think it would look best in? I'm kinda of thinking blue.

Any advice?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What I Took Away From the Swap

I was pretty good at the swap last weekend. I brought a lot of stash yarn (I realized I brought quite a bit more than I actually listed), and a lot of it magically went away! The key to swaps is that you should always bring back less than you take with you. For this swap, I really wasn't in much danger of taking back more than I brought with me, but since I'm moving at the end of July, I really was trying to take as little as possible.

That being said, of course I fell to a few pretties:

Laceweight silk

Some sort of lace weight silk. I'm not sure what I'll do with it yet, but it sure is pretty and soft.

Twisted Fiber Art Kabam!

Twisted Fiber Art's Kabam! yarn in Giles colorway. This might turn into a really pretty scarf, or, more likely since it stripes, it might turn into a nifty pair of socks. Maybe Rick from Cookie A's Sock Innovation (I'm kind of addicted to her book right now).

I also picked up some of my friend Malia's handspun yarn:

Malia's Blue/Green Handspun Malia's B/W Handspun
(click on the images to make them bigger on flickr)

At the party, we also dyed yarn. It was my first time dying at all, and I was really impressed with how the wool yarn took the dye. The yarn I dyed was leftover from my Over the Knee Stockings (the successful ones - Malia dyed the yarn I used for the unsuccessful ones). There's a before and after shot at the end of the post. First, we soaked the yarn to get it ready to take all the dye.

Yarn to be Dyedv

The Louet Gems I used is at the bottom of the pot.

Yarn in Mango Kool-Aid

I used the Mango Kool-Aid to get an orangey color.

Drip Drying Mango Yarn

Isn't it pretty!?

Here's that comparative shot I was telling you about.
Before and After Dying

I think I figured out a way to re-invent my knitting blog. Before Ravelry I used to post all sorts of project stuff. Since Ravelry, however, all of that goes onto Ravelry and then there's not much else to post about. I do a fair amount of fiber artsy stuff, so I think from now on this blog is going to be more about all other yarny stuff I do. Like the dying and swap party, moving the stash, knitterly books I read (I recently read Sweater Quest and rather loved it, so a review of that will be coming up soon), event recaps and such. What do you think of that? I guess if I have issues with knitting I'll still be posting them here, or any triumphs and stuff like that. I'm just having an issue keeping up with knitting and posting about knitting. Posting about knitting actually takes up knitting time, so I think I'll get back to the knitting now, and come back later with a book review!

Friday, June 11, 2010

What I'm bringing to the swap tomorrow

I went through my stash and weeded it out. I'm getting rid of a LOT of yarn. Granted, I still have a LOT left, but still. It felt so good to go through my stash and get rid of the stuff I don't see myself using anytime soon. Here's a list of stuff I'm bringing, so you have an idea:

A Denise Needle set that is missing one size 15 tip (I was using it as a cable needle when I was knitting the blanket for Beth and Erich and I think I dropped it on a Peter Pan bus to Providence).


YARN (in no particular order):
  • 1 skein of Knit Picks Stroll in Navy
  • Partial skeins of Knit Picks Stroll in Cocoa and Buckskin
  • 1.75 skeins of Misti Alpaca Chunky in teal
  • 1 skein of strange teal yarn
  • 3-ish skeins of Berroco Suede in grey
  • Partial Skein of Berroco Suede in kahki
  • 7 skeins of Sublime Cashmerino Silk Aran in Sage Green
  • 6 skeins of Mission Falls 1824 wool in green
  • 1 skein of Malabrigo Chunky in a dark green, black, blue colorway
  • 3 skeins of Rowan Denim in dark blue
  • 1 ball of Rowan Kid Classic in white
  • 1.5 balls of Rowan Kid Silk Haze in green
  • 1/2 balls each of Lacey Lamb in Rose, off white and pink
  • 1 skein each of Mission Falls 1824 in black and teal
  • 2 skeins of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Grey
  • a couple skeins of strange mohair in different colors
  • 1/2 skeins of Lamb's Pride Bulky in Blue and Raspberry
  • Several Skeins of Karabella Aurora 4 (I don't really want to know - this is from the original attempt at the over the knee stockings)
  • 3/4 of a ball of Rowan Calmer in Navy Blue
  • 2 balls of JoJo Land Harmony

This has freed up space in the sweater box and in the box of pretty. Actually, that's mostly because at the bottom of the box of pretty is where I generally keep odd balls. Check out Yarn 365 for an interesting oddball photo. So, if Stan's reading this, buddy, at least know that I tried to whittle down the stash. There's a lot of yarn on that list up there.

Also, check out the odd things I found lying around in the stash! How random!

Things I found cleaning out my stash...

An Alpaca finger puppet, a button from a bag, a stitch marker (!?! HOW!!??), a Paiette from a Sparkle Hat, and a ball band from some Sweet Georgia Speed Sock (Clapotis circa 2007!)

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

BEA 2010

BEA 2010 was recently held at the Javits Center. It was actually during the week (as opposed to on a weekend) this year which I think was great for publishers. The floor was actually pretty crowded, which was a great sign that having the show during the week is a good thing. I wandered around connecting with old friends in the industry and nabbed some crafty catalogs. In general, I found that there are a LOT less knitting books on the horizon this year than there were in past years, but that there are a lot more sewing books. I do, however realize that I missed a few publishers I normally hit up and while I didn't think that Interweave was there because they weren't with the group they used to be with, they actually were, and I totally missed their catalog. :(

I should also mention that I'm taking full advantage of the new Amazon Associates program that Blogger and Amazon have teamed up on. In return for my linking to amazon (which I do all the time!), if someone actually buys something from one of my links, I get a (small) cut. Why not, eh? Just wanted to mention it in the spirit of full disclosure. If it feels too pushy, just let me know. On the up side, the Amazon Associates program will totally liven up this blog post with nifty boxes of the books being reviewed (when they're on Amazon).

At any rate, here's a recap of what I've found in the catalogs!

$27.50 | October | Hardcover

I'm sure we all remember Barbara Walker's Knitting from the Top. While that book is an immensely useful resource, McGowan's Modern Top-Down Knitting gives Walker's book a bit of a face-lift for these modern times. The book is actually endorsed by Walker herself, a coup for McGowan. Modern Top-Down Knitting includes patterns not just for dresses, but also for dresses, skirts, tunics and accessories. This one is sure to be a captivating inspiring resource!

$27.50 | September | Hardcover

Go ahead, tell me you don't love the cover of this book. It's freaking adorable, isn't it?! The projects from Joelle's last book were really great. Somehow, I think that this book will be just as good, if not better. Personally, I'm ready to knit that hershey kiss hat for bunches of kids this winter!


$29.95 | October | Hardcover

I do love Amy Butler's fabric prints. I also have a love affair with bags. I sometimes even sew. So logically, I'm pretty excited about sewing some nifty Amy Butler bags from this book. I have found some of her pattens to be a little bit complicated, so I'm hoping that her bag book won't be as difficult as other patterns I've tried to make of hers. The description does say that the book includes only 12 basic patterns for bags, however, if you're familiar with her style, you might realize that those 12 basic patterns will be able to create even more different looks (26 according to the catalog).

All Wound Up (I'm surprised this isn't on Amazon yet)
$16.99 | September | Hardcover | Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

This is kind of a no brainer. If you knit and you have a sense of humor, you're obviously going to want to buy this book. It's really a shame that the book isn't listed on Amazon yet, because the cover is absolutely adorable.

$14.99 | November | Paperback

I know, I know, you have a knee jerk reaction to hate anything Ed Hardy. I know that having the sentence "Hardy's tattoo-inspired art is carried at stores ranging from Nordstrom to the Saks companies and is a regular favorite of cast members on Jersey Shore" doesn't quite sell it to you either (keep in mind that these catalogs are targeted towards buyers at bookstores, not the public). However, you have to admit that tattoo art makes a much better cross stitch design than those lame Laura Ashley flowers. I'm not going to lie, this is totally going on my wish list. I can totally see having some sort of Ed Hardy cross stitch pattern framed in my bathroom. I also need to mention for your stitchers out there that there's a similar Manga Cross stitch book out there!


$17.95 | November | Paperback

You may be thinking I reviewed this last year. As things are so often the case in publishing, this book seems to have been delayed. More time on the book, however, means it's going to be one awesome book though, right? I know I use her first book constantly to refer to techniques for the basics. I'm hoping this will be an amazing reference of advanced techniques I can refer back to like the first book.


$18.95 | October | Paperback

So, the first One-Skein Wonders
book was rather meh. I did end up buying 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders: A world of possibilities inspired by just one skein and thoroughly enjoyed it (I know it's silly, but I still can't wait to knit something from it - there are many contenders). I must say that with all this sock yarn I've accumulated, even though I love knitting socks, it'll be great to get some other ideas as to how to use it. I'm really looking forward to perusing this book and hope to make some awesome things out of it!


$22.99 | October | Paperback

I'm not sure about this one. It seems to be rather short and is somewhat expensive. I am, however, totally in love with one of the sweaters I see on the spreads here. A massive cowl with ribbing that changes around the waist.

$22.99 | November | Paperback with Flaps

I recently read Sweater Quest: My Year of Knitting Dangerously, which is about the author's quest to complete an Alice Starmore Sweater. I was quite inspired by this book to knit an Alice Starmore Sweater actually (I'll write a review sometime soon!). However, since I haven't knit too much with color, it might be a good idea to practice first. I have loved each of Melissa Leapman's previous books on cables. I tend to gravitate towards her cabled afghan patterns. I'm very much looking forward to her modern take on color knitting. Also, if anyone's interested, it looks like her previous books on cables are available in paperback.


$19.99 | October | Paperback

I'm not a huge fan of knitting stuffed animals. I knit the Baby Bobbi Bear because it has no seams and it's all knit in one piece and there's really no sewing. That being said, all the wild animals in this book are adorable. There are several different spreads in the book pictured. Of all of them, I think the giraffe is probably my favorite. With all my friends having babies these days, I think this book might be a great investment.

$29.99 | November | Paperback

Lorna Miser, founder and original owner of Lorna's Laces authors this helpful book on dealing with variegated yarns. Now, I personally have a TON of variegated yarn in my stash. Certainly, I have a lot of sock yarn (which is a whole other book), but I do also have some bigger variegated yarn. It will be great to hear tips from the master of variegated yarn how to best show off the undulating colors of variegated yarns. There are also several projects specifically for hand-dyed and variegated yarns.

$22.99 | November | Paperback

I've been rather fascinated by dying. This weekend I'm going to a dying party actually, and while I think we're using Kool-Aid instead of hollyhock or indigo, these natural dyes are just as interesting and even more fascinating. The little bit that I've seen of this book (and understanding it's a revised and updated edition) certainly conveys excitement and inspiration, even though I'm not a big dyer.

Lunch Bags! 25 Handmade Sacks & Wraps to Sew Today
$15.95 | July | Binding TBD

You know, the bags in this book look so cool that I think I'd actually be inspired to bring my lunch more.


$29.95 | September | Paperback

This is a new and expanded version of Alice Starmore's previously published Aran Knitting which has been out of print for 10 years. The sell piece boasts 60 charted patterns for caps, sweater and shawls, as well as 2 new pattersn. It also claims that the revised work includes expanded size charts, as well as new photography and re-knitted patterns. I think you'll agree that this beats getting the previous edition somewhere online for $250-$300, right?

$24.95 | September | Hardcover

Calling all EZ fans. Dover's re-publishing the Knitter's Almanac in hardcover! There's a new introduction by Meg Swansen and a preface by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee! They've even re-shot the book so ti'll include all new color photos of the patterns that have been re-knit in more modern yarns. I hope this refresh might get EZ into the hands of newer knitters that haven't quite realized her awesomeness. It's taken quite a while for me to realize that patterns older patterns can be awesome and don't always look out dated when they're finished.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

*Technical Quesiton

Anyone have any idea why the paragraph style changes after I put in an hr? It looks like the font might be smaller, but the spacing is definitely smaller.

A New Adventure

A few months ago, I picked up some Alchemy Yarns Silken Straw from Purl in Soho (right before they moved actually). The idea is to knit a t-shirt out of it. I felt the swatch at Purl and fell in love with the yarn maybe about a year ago. I just got to swatching it. I have a really comfortable v-neck t-shirt I got from Banana Republic that I want to model the shirt on. It's comfortable and flowy and kinda big actually. We'll see how it goes. I'm using Ann Budd's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns as a guide for a set in sleeve.
When I get back home, I'll take a photograph of the t-shirt, and I'll probably post a photo of the swatch sometime soon. For now, I've got to figure out what kind of edging I want. I was thinking of a hemmed edge, but I don't think I really want to use the yarn for the underside of the hem. I might do about an inch of ribbing, but I don't want it to be tight ribbing because then it'll make the sleeves look odd. Any ideas?

I want to get through row 21 of Seraphim before I really start this project, which is driving me nuts. I forgot to do double decreases at the end of each section, something I didn't realize until I got to the middle. Once I tinked back and re-did that section and moved on to the second half, I realized that all the yarn overs in the first section weren't lining up because my decreases weren't in the right spots. So now I'm tinking back AGAIN so I can make sure the damn row is right.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

I made it!

Baby Bobbi Bear for Illanna

This is the Baby Bobbi Bear I knit for Illanna's baby. She seemed to like it, so I'm excited! I think he turned out really cute.

Ishbel has been cast on. I'm using Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere 2 ply and I ended up on size 6 needles. The gauge is super loose for this, so I hope it works out well. I'd rather not have to rip back lots of cashmere. That would be kinda sad.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Good news!

I did manage to finish the gift for Illanna! I'll post a photo of it tomorrow.

I have the yarn and everything ready to go for my next project, Ishbel by Ysolda (Ravelry Link). Bummer is that while swatching today on size 3 and size 4 needles and somehow, though my gauge recently has been looser than...well, let's say it's been looser than loose...my gauge with these needles is actually too tight! I will probably be swatching at the party!

In other news, I think I've figured out what's been going on with my gauge. Since maybe February, my gauge has been super loose. I wasn't exactly sure what this might have been until recently. I think I used to wrap the working yarn with my pointer finger on my right hand around the needle. Doing so used to tighten the stitch before while working the current stitch. At some point, I think I actually cut my index finger. Perhaps it was a paper cut even. While I only vaguely remember this, I think I might have started using my ring finger to wrap the yarn around. I don't think that tightened the stitch before the working stitch like wrapping the yarn around my index finger did, which then made my gauge all together looser. I've started being more conscious about knitting with my pointer finger instead of my ring finger, and I think it's made a difference. Mystery solved!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Taking Bets...

I just started Illanna's baby's shower gift today. Who thinks I can finish by the time the car service comes to pick me up on Saturday?

I can't tell you what it is besides the fact that it's not a blanket and I don't really like knitting baby clothes since kids grow so quickly. I know Illanna's out there possibly even reading this blog. Also, it's knit out of this:

Blue Sky Dyed Cotton

Monday, March 08, 2010

My Knitting Olympics Project = Finished!

Finished Tangled Yoke Cardigan

Green TYC = Done. I used the same exact buttons on this sweater as I did on the red Tangled Yoke Cardigan I made a couple of years ago, just in a nice kahki color.

Tangled Yoke Cardigan Button Detail

I haven't tried it on really yet, so I'm not sure if it fits. I think it might be a little too big because I think my gauge was a bit off. No doubt there will be more photos once I've worn it. :)

Question now is, what do I knit now!? I've got a Seraphim shawl on my needles, I haven't finished the bucket hat I started (mostly because I"m terrified it's going to be too big!) and I'm thinking it will be too warm soon to knit the Malabrigo Blanket. So I'm thinking of casting on something new.

I have a sock that Bev knit a while ago. I got both the sock and the yarn for the second sock. I really could use a pair of black and grey socks.

At the same time, I do have this lovely Madelinetosh DK yarn. And I'd love to knit Ingenue out of it from Custom Knits.

Wednesday night I'm going to Jersey for a business trip and I have another this weekend to Boca. I think I could probably finish that one sock during one or both of those trips, but then I'd have all that extra time without a project, so I'm leaning towards Ingenue. I'm having a bit of trouble getting gauge though. If I can't get gauge, I might just bring the sock and the Seraphim Shawl so my bases are covered.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Tangled Yoke Cardigan Notes

I figured I'd write a post in case I ever decide to knit another one of these. Here were my pitfalls:

Decreasing doesn't make sense the way the pattern's written. Add 1 1/2 inches of pattern before starting decreases. Decrease on the following rows: 11, 27, 35, 41, 47, 51. Increase on the following rows: 59, 67, 77, 87, 97, 107.

On the button band: pickup 3 stitches, then skip 1 stitch. 154 stitches need to be picked up for the button band on both sides. Buttons should be about 2.5" apart for 9 buttons.

Monday, March 01, 2010

4th Place

The worst place to come in, because it means you were close, but you couldn't quite make it. It means you totally don't get a medal even though you're heroic, and I'm pretty sure that's exactly what place I'd come in if I were to compete in anything Olympic-wise.

I turned to Stan and I said, "maybe I just don't have the focus one needs to be an Olympian." He didn't say anything, because he's an amazing boyfriend, and gave the best consolation hug after I realized I had totally failed at medalling.

Here's the progress as Jacques Rogge announced the games were officially ended:

Progress at the end of the Closing Ceremony

So what the hell happened? It seemed like I could totally do this, why didn't I?

The ribbing directions at the bottom.
I knew they were different, I thought I'd figured them out and written them down. I might have, but I probably did so in a notebook that is long gone. I had noted where to decrease on the back of the photocopy of the pattern. I remembered having issues with the ribbing at the bottom, but I was convinced that those directions I'd written were the revised directions because why else would I keep the pattern. They weren't. I followed them blindly, even when Beth told me it could be the ribbing patterning, I was convinced my problem was my gauge. It wasn't. I lost a day to swatching on several different sized needles, and made Stan drive me to brooklyn to get said needles (No really, he's a sport and a catch. And no, you can't have him, he's mine!).
My inability to concentrate on charts.
I had to rip back the first two rows twice because I couldn't get the right number of stitches between the 1 into 5 increases. I had to put stitch markers after every repeat so I didn't get confused, but I did anyway. I kept forgetting to mirror the cabling, so the chart took me way longer than it should have.
Plain poor planning.
Before the Ravelympics, Knitting Olympics or what have you, I made plans with Stan and our friends to visit MOMA for the Tim Burton Exhibit. I just neglected to look at the date and to register that it was the Saturday before Closing Ceremonies. :/ If I'd had that one more solid day of knitting, I think I totally would have finished.

Sigh. At least I have most of a nifty Tangled Yoke Cardigan done and I might even get it done sometime this week.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Solutions of Olympic Proportions?

So, my amazing boyfriend drove me to Brooklyn this afternoon to pick up a couple of spare sets of needles. I picked up my Knit Picks set (I really wanted the size 5 needle) and I threw in a set of size 3 needles I had lying round just in case.

We got home and the swatching began.

The 4 was too big stitch wise, but way too small row wise. So I tried the size 5. The size 5 was too big stitch wise (actually, they were identical stitch wise!), and still too small row wise.

So, I pulled out the size 3 needle. I'm used to knitting stuff on small needles because my gauge is looser than a woman in a red-light district. But honestly, I don't have any needles smaller than this with me, and even if I did, I'm not sure I want to knit a whole sweater on size 2 needles. So let's see the gauge comparison again:

Pattern gauge: 24 sts and 36 rows is 4"
My gauge: 21 sts and 33 rows is 4"

I'm moving forward though. I'm going to knit the small size, which, because of the gauge difference, should get me the right size. I just have to do a bit of rejiggering for the different row gauge and then I can start up again!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Problems of Olympic Proportions

I'm knitting the Tangled Yoke Cardigan out of Rowan Felted Tweed for my Ravelympics/ Knitting Olympics project.

I knit this project originally in 2008 on size 4 needles with the same yarn (red instead of the nifty green I'm working on currently). All of my project notes tell me that I knit this project with size 4 needles. That makes sense since I tend to knit rather loosely. Maybe I'm more stressed, but when I measured the project after row 29 when I was supposed to have 6 3/4" Instead, I have 5 1/4". I'm using the same needles. So here's the gauge comparison:

The pattern says: 24sts & 36 rows = 4" square.
My project says: 28 sts & 33 rows

This makes me think that I'm knitting entirely too tightly. I am kinda stressed, so maybe that's where this is coming from. I have a set of size 6 needles with me, so I'm thinking of (sigh) casting on again and going at it with the size 6 needles instead. But I'm wondering if I should step up to a size 5 first. I don't know, what do you folks think?

I was doing so well too, so I'm terribly bummed. :(

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Preparing for the Knitting Olympics

Ravelry is amazing.

I knew I'd done a few mods for the Tangled Yoke Cardigan (Ravelry link) when I made it the first time. I remember that I needn't have elongated the sleeves, however, I didn't remember the other mods I made on the sweater. So I looked the project up on Ravelry.

Finished TYC modeled

The plethora of information and its importance is amazing. :) In order to complete this project, I think the important thing is to avoid the snags. The pattern is pretty well written, but I remember making notes as to which rows I needed to increase or decrease on, and I think that prep work will make the whole sweater kind of of fly - which is exactly what it's going to need to do in order to get done by the end of the olympics. It seems like the only major mod is adding a full inch to the ribbing at the bottom, which will be fine and simple.

The yarn comes in balls, which is awesome because it means I don't have to wind up all the balls before I start on Friday. I also bought some buttons for some Hoots (Ravelry Link) I made last year that don't fit the hoots. I'm contemplating using them for the sweater. They're simple white abalone buttons. I might head over to M&J on Wednesday to see if they have another button I'd like to use. I'm thinking of using a kahki version of the buttons I used for the last TYC might be nice (I really liked those buttons).

So, I'm feeling pretty well prepared. Everything's all ready to go after I copy the pattern and make notations.

2010 Knitting Olympics Project

So I'm viewing this weekend as the trials.

I've got a bit more than half a sock left to go in these Spiral Sparkly Boot Socks from Interweave's Summer 2007 issue. I found that the chart for the instep is written totally backwards and makes the spiral go in the opposite direction. No one had noted this in their notes, which I was pretty surprised about. So I made a comment on the main pattern page on Ravelry and noted it down on my project page. Those kinds of things are so frustrating. There wasn't any errata or anything! I had to rip back 3"! Other than that, the pattern is fun and flies pretty quickly, even though they're knee socks! I can't wait to wear them! It's been pretty cold here. I'm hoping that I can get them done this weekend - and with time at the accountant and the Superbowl, I think I'll be able to get that done.

Maybe then I'll have time to knit a new hat for winter before the Olympics...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Mommy, where do socks go when they die?

Mommy, where do socks go when they die?

I knit these socks out of STR Lightweight. I really like the yarn a lot, and actually, I'm wearing a pair of socks that I knit out of the heavyweight version.

I have learned quite the lesson, however. I'm pretty sure I'll be investing in some nylon thread the next time I knit a pair of socks out of yarn without any nylon. It's interesting to me to see which socks last the longest. And I'm suddenly in a sock mood. I want to knit every sock right now. Of course that's not possible.

Especially because the Ravelympics are coming! In 2006 I joined in the Yarn Harlot's kntiting olympics. I didn't medal. I came pretty close to finishing the sweater I was working on, but in fairness to me, it was my first sweater and it was knit in pieces and I had troubles with it to boot. I figured that to give myself half a chance this time, I should knit a pattern I've already knit before.

A couple of years ago I knit a Tangled Yoke Cardigan. I really liked knitting it. I liked the faux seams on the side, I liked the shaping of it and the button band as well as the cables in the yoke. I actually found it fun to knit. Tragically, this sweater which I loved for a short time, had an unfortunate incident with some warm water and felted. It's still wearable, just not by me. So to give myself a fighting chance of actually medaling this year, and to replace a fabulous sweater which I dearly miss, I'll be knitting another Tangled Yoke Cardigan as my Ravelympics project for 2010. And, because I liked it so much the first time, I'll be knitting it out of Rowan Felted Tweed again, this time in green instead of red:

Rowan Felted Tweed

I haven't quite picked up the buttons yet, but I'm pretty sure that M&J still has the buttons I used on the first one, and that they come in different colors, so that's a good bet I think.

How about you folks? Are you joining in on the Ravelympics? I haven't quite figured out which team I'm joining yet, though, I guess I should do that soon. I'm tossing up the Brooklyn Team or Team USA. Are there any friends on either? Which should I join?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mitts Socks and Hats

So, I'm not sure if it was really cricket, but I knitted all through Stan's cousin's Bridal shower. I really didn't know anyone there, and it kept my hands occupied. When my hands aren't occupied, I tend to try to occupy them by picking at them, and then they end up looking awful and feeling rough. So, I managed to finish the Bergen St. Mitts much quicker than I thought I would.

Bergen St. Mitts

Sorry for the bit of gut there. One of us went on a happy doughnut, french fry, fried chicken, ice cream binge before my diet started up again. I knit these Bergen St. mitts way shorter than they were supposed to be. I realized that I have no purpose for gloves that go up that high because I tend to wear long sleeves in the winter since i get cold so easily. While I was knitting them, Stan's SIL said she wanted a pair in white, so I bought some of the same yarn (Aslan Trends Invernal) at Annie & Company Knitting yesterday.

I wish I had a photo of the socks I'm knitting now to share with you. They're coming out quite splendidly. I'm knitting the Spiral Boot Socks from IK Summer 2007 out of the purple Kraemer Yarns Sterling Silk & Silver. You're going to have to trust me for now that it's looking great! They're also zipping along. I've only been knitting them for a week and a half I think and I'm at the heel flap!

So, did I mention that I lost the Side Slip Cloche I knit? I'm 90% sure I left it in a cab on my way home from the Rodeo one night. I was a little bummed about it, but Stan never really liked it, and while I really did, knowing he didn't and that I could just knit another one made me feel a bit better. Also, it's the first hand knit of my own that I've just up and lost. It was bound to happen at some point. So, I think I'm going to cast on for the Better Bucket Hat (Ravelry Link). I got a nifty Abalone button at Annie's yesterday, and I think I'm actually going to do that right now. I'm itching to feel some Malabrigo...

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Every time I sit down to write a recap of 2009 I just get tired. But here we go. There were some projects that I didn't note on the sidebar that I do note here because they were on my Ravelry page (any links here are to the Ravelry Project).
  1. Lucky 7 Snowboarding Hat
  2. Hemlock Ring Blanket
  3. Huron Jaywalkers A rare pair that fits each foot!
  4. Veronique from French Girl Knits (Amazon link)
  5. EZ's Bog Jacket
  6. Indigo Ripples Skirt It's just a little too short. :(
  7. Heather Betty Friedan Primavera Socks Another pair of happy socks that fit both feet!
  8. Halvsies I've put the pattern for this up for free on Ravelry.
  9. Boy Petal Bib for a co-worker
  10. Morocco from Sublime booklet #623 Ended up way too big, so I gave it to my Mom. Lesson learned: wash your swatch!
  11. Unisex Petal Bib for another co-worker
  12. Vogue Tank #25 from Spring/Summer Issue Knit out of Handmaiden Sea Silk, this is one of my favorite projects of 2009!
  13. A Couple of Hooters
  14. Side Slip Cloche from Boutique Knits
  15. Graded Diagonal Lace Scarf for Kristina for Christmas
  16. Dr. Monkey Renner for Dr. Renner for Cristmas.
  17. Dashing for Kristina's Mom - finished seconds before the ball dropped on New Years Eve!

So, I responded to the Yarn Harlot's Knit-Signal today. A little too much actually. I didn't see the confirmation page before I accidentally navigated away from it, so I ended up donating twice! I'm going to file paperwork so my company will match my donation, which will, I think, be fairly helpful to Doctor's without Borders in the end. :) I'm sure my tax lady will be upset with me because it's not in 2009, but that's ok. She'll be happy next year when she sees it. :)

Oh, but what am I working on? Well, I'm working up a pair of Bergen St. Mitts that are much shorter in the arm, but a bit longer in the fingers than the original pattern. I totally don't have any photos.

I just finished knitting a feather and fan cowl out of the same yarn I used for the bog jacket and the Side Slip Cloche. The idea was that it would match the Side Slip Cloche. I, however, am utterly brilliant, and left the Side Slip Cloche in the cab I took home from the Rodeo on Friday night. This is kinda a bummer, but I'm trying to look at it as an opportunity to knit a new hat. It'll probably end up being a Better Bucket Hat, and since I still have almost 2 skeins of that Malabrigo worsted in Pearl Ten, I'll probably knit it out of that. I'm not really upset with myself for forgetting the hat in the cab. It's ok, it's just an object. I'm kinda ticked with myself that I have to take the time to knit a new hat now. Especially since winter will (cross your fingers) be over sometime soon. Stupid. I'm just going to want a new one in December.

in the meantime, if anyone sees a nifty button that will show up against a deep brown that will match a purple coat (extra points if it'll match an orange coat too!), drop me a line with a link. I think I'm looking for something that's like 1-2" in diameter.

Alright, I'm going back to knitting and watching Conan. Poor Conan. Dude just wants to do his last few shows and folks keep taking up his time talking about what he's going to do next. I'm glad I can carpe diem undisturbed.