Thursday, December 04, 2008
Woohoo! Go me!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
- Clean up yarn
- Make Pioneer Woman Butternut Squash
- Make cranberry sauce
- Clean up yarn
- Go to work at yarn store where there is always the danger of buying more yarn
- Clean up the rest of the yarn
- Make Barefoot Contessa sausage stuffing
- Clean up for cleaning ladies (wtf, I know)
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Go vote, if you haven't already!
Friday, October 31, 2008
Me: Yes, when you are a bigger boy, you can knit.
H: Henry knit!
Me: What will you knit?
H: Red yarn
Me: But what will you knit with the red yarn?
H: Red. Red Choo-Choos! Henry's yarn.
I leave you with The Reluctant Yoda. Happy Halloween!
Friday, October 24, 2008
I do have one completed project to share, Jared Flood’s Turn-a-Square hat:
I have matching Turn-A-Square Elizabeth Zimmermann mitered mittens in progress, or at least I did until I realized this morning that I mixed up the order of the decreases.
It’s finally turned crisp and autumnal and I feel like knitting beautiful fall items. On a whim, I whipped out this Halloween-y Mitered Hanging Towel from the new Mason-Dixon book. It’s, uh, supposed to look like candy corn
I also have to start a baby gift for a dear friend who is having a girl next month. When I asked her if I could use non-superwash wool, she replied “I’m Polish. We launder well.” That’s music to a knitter’s ears.
This morning, The Toddler looked over at me as I ripped the mittens and said “Mama yarning!” Yarning indeed!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
He was a patient and kind teacher. We learned two new cast-ons and he came around the class and helped people individually (HE TOUCHED MY HAND, OMG). His taste is impeccable. He passed around a sweater he'd done, a simple V-neck, rolled hem raglan, and it was gorgeous. The class was officially "knitting from the top down," but toward the end, people asked such good questions that it turned into a lovely lecture on seamless knitting as a whole. Everything was firmly grounded in Barbara Walker and Elizabeth Zimmerman, but he knew contemporary designers and offered a lot of information on how to adapt patterns.
Overall, it was lovely. I knew the Walker and Zimmerman stuff in theory but it was incredibly inspirational to see someone who clearly had a passion for that kind of knitting explain and demonstrate it.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008
Books will always be a great love, particularly now that I can read for pleasure without guilt! As for the yarn part, I’m increasing my hours at the store. I’ll be there most Tuesday afternoons, Friday during the day, and Saturday, with some other days sprinkled in there as needed. It’s a time of transition, and I have to admit, as much as I know that this is the right decision for me and my family, it is closing the door on something that used to be very important to me.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
1. I finished the Big Boy version of the Super Natural Stripes sweater for The Toddler. He learned from Elmo's World that the thing to do when you see a camera is to say "CHEESE," so that's the only pose I can get him in these days. The yarn is Blue Sky Alpaca Organic and Dyed Cotton.
2. Here we go again with the MDK Crack. I am still very, very, very bitter that the moths got, of all things, my huge stash of dishcloth cotton, but I managed to salvage some of it. I'm feeling my loss in a big way, though, now that the new Mason-Dixon Knitting book is out, but I was able to come up with this. Miters and dishcloth cotton all in the same project! Woohoo!
3. I Tim Gunned my knitting basket. Did a lot of ripping and frogging. Looks like I'll be reknitting a lot of my sweater projects in a smaller size.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
It's 8:00 AM on a Sunday morning. Can I get a do-over?
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I've been running around like Cornholio all morning because I received not one but two packages from Blue Moon Fiber Arts.
No, this isn't all mine! After sorting out what Lisa and Michelle ordered, I was left with this.
The Lightweight: Gingerbread Dude, Flower Power, KawKaw, Downpour, Jubilation, and Oma Desala
The Mediumweight: Treehugger, Oregon Clover Honey (which I don't even remember ordering, so my subconscious must have clicked the button), Rook-y, and Rauen.
The September Rockin' Sock Club: Tide Pooling!
It's all I can do not to cast on for anything new, but I'm making myself finish up at least three WIPs first!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
And yet somehow, when I shop, I seem to forget that I have all this green sock yarn at home and immediately pick up the green again. Really, who has this many green socks? Anyone else have a strange fascination with a colorway that you'd never wear in a store-bought sock?
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Monday, September 08, 2008
It's official. I am a knitting bag whore. I've been waiting for months to be at the right place at the right time to score a Ravelry Knitting bag (to the point where Lisabee and I were stalking Very Important Founders of Ravelry last May at Md Sheep and Wool to find out how to get them) and mine finally arrived this morning.
- one prized Jordana Paige bag
- one floral bag purchased at Handmade Arcade last year
- one huge Md Sheep and Wool bag
- one bag from the old Pittsburgh Knit and Bead
- one sock monkey bag from the Chewy Spaghetti Blue Plate Special Club
- one plain old tote from Target that was supposed to be The Toddler's beach bag
Sunday, September 07, 2008
I told him he could choose his red yarn, and he replied "Hmmm," putting his finger to his lips and looking carefully at the yarn. He pointed out various cottons, saying "This is coot [cute]. This is a red one. This is a purple one." I don't know where he got the cute remark; I'm thinking he's been shopping with my sister. But for those of you looking for educational opportunities for your small children, a yarn store is a great place to talk about colors.
His choice, after a consultation with the staff of Natural Stitches and one black bunny visiting for the afternoon, is Cascade 220 Superwash Handpaints in the "cherry pie" colorway, a vibrant mix of reds. I think it will be a lot of fun to knit up as I tackle another Elizabeth Zimmermann pattern.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Girlfriend's Swing Coat Sweater, made for a new (well, not so new now) big sister in Cascade Sierra, a cotton/wool blend. Cute, cute, cute. I want a grown-up version for me.
This Super-Natural Stripes was knit for her baby brother in three shades of Blue Sky Alpaca Organic Cotton, which is my absolute new favorite cotton to knit with.
And finally, this Mossy Jacket for Miss Corinne, made with Malabrigo Merino Worsted.
The last two patterns come from f.pea's free pattern fridays, and while I don't want to diss the patterns because they are so cute and I am thrilled with the final result, I do want to give a heads up to newer knitters. Remember: free blog patterns haven't always been test-knitted to the extent that patterns for sale are (or at least should be) and there might be typos in the stitch counts, or instructions may not be as clear as you'd like them to be. I ran across a few glitches in these two patterns, but because I understood top-down construction, they weren't a problem for me.
I had a pretty relaxing holiday weekend full of knitting. I worked Saturday and Monday at the store, and learned an important lesson: don't rearrange and fluff the pretty alpaca roving when you're wearing black pants! Sunday I got together with a few of my knitting peeps, where I learned another valuable lesson: don't drink too much coffee when casting on for a top down sweater or you might forget to mark for something important, oh say, a shoulder. Since The Toddler is not a World War I veteran, I had to frog the whole thing and start over so he'd have two good arms in his new sweater. Hope everyone else had a nice weekend!
Saturday, August 30, 2008
this Merino 5 Print
or this Cascade 220 Superwash Paint
My other idea is to wait until the new shipment of Dream in Color Classy comes in and hope for some Lipstick Lava (and hope that the batch we get doesn't look this pink).
Thoughts? Anyone else in?
Thursday, August 28, 2008
I'm whipping through some socks and finishing up some baby gifts this week. Just a reminder, if you have entered the Summer of Socks and Lace contests at Natural Stitches, the deadline to bring your projects to the store to be weighed and entered is this Monday, Labor Day. I'll be there Saturday and Monday, and I'm looking forward to seeing all the entries.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
As for my online silence, well, all I can say is that it was so much worse after all. We've been battling moths of all kinds for weeks, and I've lost a lot of finished objects and some stash. The upside is that it's really, really made me reconsider my yarn buying habits (yes, again) and I realized that I need to enjoy what I have. Yet I wouldn't wish this on my worst knitting nemesis, if I had a knitting nemesis, that is. Wish us luck in getting rid of this problem for good. I'm already on a first name basis with half the employees of Terminex already!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
It's a good thing I did. No, my stash hasn't been eaten through entirely, but I was forced to confront The Shame of My Stash. See, long ago, before my wedding even, I bought a very expensive Colinette AbFab Throw kit at the height of their popularity. If you remember those, you remember how expensive they were. Anyway, I bought it and then abandoned the project about six inches into it. I know, I know. I never even entered it into my Ravelry Stash or Project page. I just stuffed it in its original plastic bag in the bottom of my cupboard and pretended it didn't exist. Guess which plastic bag had a hole in it? Guess which project had the tell-tale signs of, gulp, moths, on one of the skeins of yarn?
To my credit, I didn't freak out. I brushed off the visible moth....stuff outside, put the offending project in a new plastic bag, sealed it, and put it in Time Out in the deep freezer in the basement. The rest of my stash appears to be unharmed. I vacuumed the living daylights out of the stash cupboard, put in a ton of cedar blocks, and made sure everything was securely packaged in ziplocks. The sweater quantities are okay. The Precious Sock Yarns are tightly wrapped and then stored in plastic boxes with snap-on lids. I think it will all be all right. I hope.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
It's not bad for a first attempt at an Elizabeth Zimmermann pattern (even though I totally used a spreadsheet to keep track of where I was on the pattern and sent several desperate, frantic e-mails to poor Michelle who had taken the Baby Surprise class at Natural Stitches). My biggest observation is that I understand why The Yarn Harlot only does the top three buttons, as I think the way the fabric pulls, at least on mine, wants the sweater to be open at the bottom. I didn't do any of the optional finishing work since the garter edges look crisp and tidy. I can definitely see myself doing more of these....spreadsheet in hand, of course.
The yarn, Brooks Farm Solo, was an absolute dream to work with, very soft and squishy and the hand-dyed colors blend beautifully. The DK weight means this is a newborn sized sweater, so I'm not sure if any of the summer babies will be getting this one. The yarn is also not superwash, so it's definitely for someone who knits and understands how to care for natural fibers.
And finally, the yarn is purple and brown. Is that gender neutral? Talk amongst yourselves. I'm going to be doing a blog post for Go Get Your Jacket about gender neutral knitting for children soon, so I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Work continues on my February Lady Sweater. I've lost count of how many times I've cast on for this, and I'll have to rip and cast on once more, since Version 2.0 came out yesterday. It's definitely worth it, though. I remarked on Ravelry that this is the perfect Liz Lemon sweater: smart, cute, hip without trying to be hip. I can't wait to wear it. And hey, we have a Ravelry Group KAL for the sweater, so come join us! And stop by the store if you're making this because a bunch of us are working on it there as well.
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Natural Stitches had a run today of Dream In Color Classy because of this sweater. I bought some In Vino Veritas for my Lady Sweater; Lisa bought Dusky Aurora for hers. And then! We got to meet PAKnitWit from Ravelry, who brought in her socks to be measured for our Summer of Socks contest; she took one look at the pattern and bought some DIC for her own green Lady Sweater. We love to enable. It's a KAL after all!
I logged onto Ravelry and hit my "Friend Activity" tab, which is seriously greater than Facebook and Myspace and all those other things put together, and saw an adaptation of Elizabeth Zimmermann's February Baby Sweater on Two Needles for grownups in, like, five other people's queues. It's the February Lady Sweater!
I need yarn. It's a good thing I work at a LYS. It's a good thing I work in a LYS today, like in an hour. Anyone up for a KAL?
Friday, June 06, 2008
I think, no, I know this is the worst case of Startitis I have ever had. Help.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
The latest shipment of Socks that Rock certainly didn't skimp on the color. The colorway studies continue, this time in purple.
Check out my Flickr photostream for better pictures. I love this and was saddened to read in the Dyer's Notes that this is probably the last color study for the club this year.
Take 2 is knit in Gloss, a wool/silk blend fingering weight from KnitPicks. The Lace Ribbon pattern is fun to knit. I haven't exactly memorized the pattern, but it's very easy to "read" the knitting and take a quick glance at the chart to remind myself where I am. I have a feeling there are a lot of these scarves in my future: it uses up sock yarn and makes a great gift.
And it's orange! Orange has never been one of "my colors" (too close to yellow, which has never been and I can say with certainty never will be one of my colors) but recently I've been drawn to it. Has that ever happened to you? I usually go on "color jags" and pick up certain colors like a magpie (see my haul of green sock yarn, for example). This fairly recent orange (extending to pinky-orange and red-orange) binge has really surprised me.
PS: I'm sure you all have heard this by now, but if you haven't, I was saddened and stunned to hear that the Malabrigo mill caught on fire earlier this week.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Yellow is not one of my colors, so I'm having a hard time seeing this project objectively. Is this working for you? The pattern is a narrow version the Lace Ribbon Scarf from the current issue of Knitty (sized down because the yarn was pooling really badly with the original number of repeats). The yarn is the Chewy Spaghetti Blue Plate Special for February 2008, seen in its original condition here:
The whole point of a club, at least for me, is to work with colors and fibers that you might not have chosen on your own. I'm already breaking my personal sock club rules by not knitting the pattern that came with the yarn. This yarn up close is stunning, a silk and wool blend with a beautiful sheen and a soft hand. I love it. But....yellow.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Forgive the bad picture on this cloudy day, but it's enough to give you an idea of the vibrance of the colors. I've read conflicting information on various Ravelry boards about the color repeats, but mine was more than enough to do a matching pair. I used 2/3 of the skein to make socks for my size 9 feet and have enough to make a third matching sock, should the mood strike me (for the record, no I don't think the mood will strike me to make a third sock, but you never know).
Overall, what is lovely about Noro is what works against it as a sock yarn. However, working with the yarn was a pleasant surprise. Part of the beauty of Noro Kuryeon is the rustic texture, but that doesn't always equal a pleasing fabric that can be worn next to the skin and it certainly doesn't have the squooshy, springy, smooshy quality I've come to love in sock yarn. While the yarn itself was rough as it went through my fingers, it knitted up into a surprisingly soft fabric. I plan to soak the socks in Eucalan before I wear them, but I honestly don't think it's necessary to do so. They do, though, need a good blocking, but that's because my inexperience with the Magic Loop technique caused the creases you see in the picture.
The biggest problem I had with this yarn was the extremes of the thick and thin, to the point where the yarn verged on slubs. I had one unfortunately placed slub on the heel turn of my first sock; in retrospect, I should have just cut the yarn, but I was worried about disrupting the color repeats, and I hate weaving in extra ends, particularly on socks.
Really, though, these socks are stunning. I plan to make another pair for my mother, and I'm excited to see the Noro Silk Garden Sock when it comes out later this year. Martha has already ordered bags and bags of it, and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on it!
Friday, May 16, 2008
Actually, I didn't even make my Mother's Day goal. But it's done. The Clap is finished!
As for my other "goal," you may have noted that I wore nothing hand-knitted to Maryland Sheep and Wool. My Flair is languishing in my knitting basket. I'll finish it, really, I will.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Standing in line at The Fold was not how I planned to spend MDSW, but I finally understand what all that chatter about “yarn fumes” is about, because I was high on something when I got swept into that line. How could anyone resist the colors, the smooshiness of it all?
It’s a testament to the general good hearted nature of knitters that the line to pay for the STR at the fold went out of the barn and stretched outside down past the next barn and no one seemed to be just grabbing an armful of sock yarn and making a break for it. Instead, everyone got her yarn in an orderly fashion, took it outside, and stood patiently in line. Some people knit, other people had their arms too full of sock yarn to knit, but everybody was in good cheer and chatted pleasantly with their neighbors in line. It was a surprisingly lovely experience.
As for the rest of the haul:
From Brooks Farm, assorted colorways of Solo, their wonderful DK single ply
From Tess, well, a lot, two skeins of sock yarn, two skeins of laceweight merino (dude, I don’t even knit lace), and two absolutely divine skeins of Silk and Ivory, a gorgeous silk and merino blend.
From Just Our Yarns, some green cashmere laceweight (again, dude, I don’t know how to knit lace).
From Cloverhill, a bunch of indie dyer sock yarn
From Spirit Trail, two skeins of beautiful sock yarn
And from the Barefoot Spinner, a stunning skein of handspun, hand dyed sock yarn (and if anyone has a tag from her yarn, please weigh in on the comments, as I don’t know how much yardage I have).
It was a great time, if not a bit overwhelming. Ideally, I think the perfect day would have been to have Saturday’s selection with Sunday’s crowds, as Saturday was a mob scene, but things looked pretty picked over the next day. But in short, A++++ would attend festival again!!!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
And now, for a "book" part of this blog, I recently became an "advance reader" (actually, I'm not sure what my title is) for Random House. This means that every so often, I'll get some advance reader copies or uncorrected proofs of upcoming books in the mail, and in return, I am to blog about them. If you click on the Good Reads widget on the side of the blog, you'll see a link to the non-fiction selection, The Billionaire's Vinegar. At some point, I'll post an actual review.
Also at some point, I want to blog about my Noro sock experience thus far. If you've knit with this, I'd love to hear your comments.
Finally, it's primary day in Pennsylvania! Be sure to vote!
Sunday, April 20, 2008
(Lucy the Cat would like to point out that she is very beautiful and soothing as well.)
The first is the bodice of Juliet, knit in this gorgeous red colorway of Malabrigo I picked up at the Pittsburgh Knitting and Crochet Festival. The second is the beginning of my Knitting Rite of Passage, my first Elizabeth Zimmermann Baby Surprise Jacket, knit in Brooks Farm Solo, also purchased at the Knitting and Crochet Festival. (Please note that not only am I knitting from the stash, I am knitting with Precious Things from the stash.)
Both projects are really beautiful, but both have been a wee tad bit stressful in different ways. The Juliet is knit top down, and the beauty of that method is that you can try on as you go. So I tried on.....and realized that the bust measurement given by most designers must assume that the arms are toned. Um, mine are not, and so the underarms of the bodice are way too tight. At this point, I have to decide if I just rip back a few rows and continue with the increases. Or I can frog the whole thing and knit the large, but then possibly not be able to make the sweater as long as I'd like it. (And it turns out that the downside of knitting with Precious Things from the stash is that you can't just run down to the store and get more yarn if you run out.)
As for my Baby Surprise, well, I was surprised that getting started is a lot more complicated than it looks. I got confused by the third row. After a frantic email exchange and a phone call from a Concerned Michelle, I figured it out (the text of one email from me was, and I quote: "*$_)_)&$^#*#!!!!!") and am now rolling along with the help of a cheatsheet from Ravelry. Does it still count as a successful rite of passage if you use a cheatsheet?
I leave you with a delightful "perk" of my new job. I was the first to open the box of Noro Kureyon Sock when it arrived, and I bought the first one. Isn't it pretty? I'm Magic Looping for the first time, so wish me luck.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
I love my KnitPicks Harmony Options set, for the most part, really, I do. But I hate that a wooden needle part pulled out of the metal join in the middle of a row. I was going to frog my Talia anyway because I'm not sure I'm doing the YOs properly in the purl rows, but having the needle fall off mid-row was the last straw.
I love Ravelry, but my goodness, people, the drama on the boards lately.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Presto Chango, knit in Punta del Este Yarns South American Cotton for Peanut Sprague. Presto Chango is a really fun knit and the lace panel is surprisingly easy. The yarn is stunning with the depth provided by the space dying process, but I apologize to Bethie in advance for the hand-wash only care instructions!
Miss Dashwood, knit for Miss Sophia, who is finally home! Love, love, love this pattern and love it even more knit in Malabrigo. However, it took me three hours to cast on -- yes, that's right, three hours! -- because I'd never done a picot cast-on before. The K4TOGTBL (srsly, who thinks this up?) round nearly did me in so I skipped the bobbles in favor of a seed stitch band.
Seyi's hat, for Miss Seyi's first birthday. The pattern is the Children's Cotton Hats from Last Minute Knitting Gifts. It's become my go-to gift, and yet.....dudes, this pattern is all jacked up. I can't get gauge with the yarn it calls for and the eyelet holes are messed up. Why isn't this in the LMKG errata? Still, cute, cute, cute.
And I think that's it for the Secret Knitting for awhile. I have a baby gift coming up in June, but I feel pretty confident that the recipients don't read knitting blogs. I'm going to challenge myself with a Baby Surprise Jacket or the Pea Pod baby set. And other than the *$%_@+ Christmas 2007 knitting (yes, 2007) I have to finish, I have time to knit for me, which is a pleasant surprise.
For those of you who don't know, I just started work at Natural Stitches. I'm there Mondays in the daytime for now, so stop by and see me!