Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Secret Pal 10 Questionnaire

Having gotten my feet wet with the Winter Wonderland Swap, I'm diving in with big kids and joining Secret Pal 10. Giving and getting is fun (make a button somebody)!

My questionnaire:

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I like all kinds of yarns, really--although I'm especially fond of Noro Kureyon and yarns like that the do the work for you; I'll admit to a distaste for yarns that look like skinned muppet although I can make my peace with them with necessary.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
Jars, pouches, toolbox

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
Since my eldest DC was a baby, so about 20 years (holey he 20 years old???). I consider myself perennially intermediate.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

5. What's your favorite scent?
Citrusy stuff, lavender, vanilla

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I'm more of a salty kind of person, but I rarely turn down a piece of chocolate.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
Besides a bit of crochet, it's all knit all the time.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I listen to anything from George Clinton to George Jones (although Bruce Springsteen is my boyfriend). MP3s welcome.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I think I like all colors, in their proper context.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Three kids (boy 20, boy 17, girl 14), two dogs (Pink and Ms. Joan Rosen), three cats (Judy, Carmen and Pete), one husband (so far).

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Scarves yes, hats yes, mittens sometimes, ponchos--nothing against them but no.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I'm drawn to small, instant gratification projects (baby stuff, hats, felted bags, warshrag jags) but my ambition for 2007 is to knit myself an honest to goodness grown up seamed sweater.

13. What are you knitting right now?
Farrow Rib Moebius Scarf, Hexed Hat from Knitty, a tie for DH.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Sure (no popsicle stick pencil holders, please--I have plenty).

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?Circular--material depends on the project but I'm not picky.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Why, yes I do! Bought one for myself as a post-holiday pick me up.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
At least four years, probably more. I try not to think about it (and am obviously doing a pretty good job).

18. What is your favorite holiday?

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Uhm...knitting books and yarn.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I tend to treat myself to books and have a bunch, but would love to get my hands on Elizabeth Zimmermann's Opinionated Knitter or Debbie New's Unexpected Knitting. No current subscriptions, although Interweave Knits is my favorite. As for the rest...oh just send me anything (except popsicle stick pencil holders). I'm not picky--I just love getting stuff.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Steeking, seaming that doesn't look like I did it under the influence of bad drugs.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Nothing against them--just really haven't gotten into it. I wear a size 9 shoe.

23. When is your birthday?
October 18th

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Happy Mardi Gras

New Orleans, Jeffrey Simpson writes in the March issue of Architectural Digest, is "like someone who has been shot in a barroom brawl and is still dancing." Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler, y'all, I'm thinking of you.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Entourage Hat (with Pattern)

A couple of weeks ago, DMS (Darling Middle Son) directed my attention to a freeze frame on the DVR from an old episode of Entourage and requested that I knit him Vince's hat. Now, it must be noted that knitting commissions from my family are few and far between, and generally of the entirely unreasonable variety (recently example from DD: "Mom, I need you to knit me a pair of full-length overalls for Jacquie's bar mitzvah party.'s this weekend. And do you have any cashmere?"). Anyway, the proposed hat pictured above seemed perfectly do-able, so knit it I did ("it's crochet," you say? Hush, dear reader, DMS knows not the difference). Pattern of sorts follows (if you're not into Entourage, it will make a basic beanie adaptable to all sorts of striping or no striping at all):
Entourage Hat
Materials: Worsted weight yarn in 3 colors; approx. 1 50g. ball of color A (blue), lesser amounts of colors B (white) and C (black). I used antique stash yarn: 1 ball of Filatura Di Crosa Primo Antartic Wool Superwash for the blue, plus Woolease for the white and black.
Needles: 16" size 7 circular needle, plus an additional size 7 circular or a set of double-points for the decreases.
Gauge: It's a hat. It'll fit somebody. This pattern will yield a one-size-fits-most-adolescents-and-adults.
On circular needle, cast on 72 sts. in Color B (white). Place marker and join, being careful not to do the twist. Knit 1" of K2, P2 rib (approx. 5 rounds). On next round, increase evenly 12 stitches (K6, M1 around--I use a simple over the thumb loop increase here) for a total of 84 sts.
Change to Color C (black). Knit an inch of stockinette (knit every round for approx. 5 rounds).
Change to Color A (blue). Knit every round until hat measures 6" from beginning (approx. 25 rounds of Color A).
Begin decreases, knitting every other round plain:
Round 1: *K10, K2tog* around (77 sts.)
Round 2: K around
Round 3: *K9, K2tog* around (70 sts.)
Round 4: K around
Round 5: *K8, K2tog* around (63 sts.)
Round 6: K around
Round 7: *K7, K2tog* around (56 sts.)
Round 8: K around. At this point, your stitches will start straining on the needle so you'll want to divide them evenly onto double points or, my preference, 2 circular needles (thanks, Knit on, decreasing every round from this point on.
Round 9: *K6, K2tog* around (49 sts.)
Round 10: *K5, K2tog* around (42 sts.)
Round 11: *K4, K2tog* around (35 sts.)
Round 12: *K3, K2tog* around (28 sts.)
Round 13: *K2, K2tog* around (21 sts.)
Round 14: *K1, K2tog* around (14 sts.)
Round 15: K2tog around (7 sts.)
Cut yarn, thread through yarn needle and gather remaining stitches. Weave in ends, and wear proudly while rollin' with your homies.
entourage hat
Eat your heart out, Adrien Grenier.

Knitting for a Cause--Part Two

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, the Yarn Harlot, will be speaking at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC on March 22, and is trying to gather as many knitters as possible in a kind of shock and awe event to confirm the power of knitting. Details here. From Stephanie's blog:
The new book comes out soon and since it's a book about knitting as a destination and the community of knitters that populate it, we thought that this would be an excellent time to make a point. We would like to show the media and the muggles exactly how many knitters there are, how seriously we take it, and exactly how large a demographic they are ticking of when they discount our numbers and our buying power by ignoring the things that we tell them. Essentially, I don't care if they think we are stupid. I don't care if they think Sock Clubs are stupid, and I will still sleep at night if they laugh at us. I just want them not to openly mock us and impede our attempts at commerce or community.
Shameless (if well-deserved) self-promotion? Perhaps. But also sounds like a fun way to get together with pointy sticks and represent if you're in or near NYC. Since I am, I have no excuse.

Knitting for a Cause--Part One

For the starry-eyed Democrat knitters among us, a group has started up dedicated to knitting their way through the Presidential campaign of Barack Obama. Is Obama experienced enough for the job? Time will tell, but remember that JFK had limited congressional experience under his belt when he was elected. Does Obama smoke? do I sometimes. In secret. In the bathroom. Is America ready for a Black president? Yo, we already had Bill Clinton (and yes, if Barack fails to make it to the nomination I sure as hell will be knitting for Hilary). Anyway, join up if you're inspired, and in any case keep knitting for change.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

Drop that knitting and kiss somebody. xoxoxoTerri D.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Baby Surprise Jacket

Here's the Lemon-Lime Baby Surprise Jacket, another object that has been lurking in a bag whining for finishing. The necessity for a birthday present for the one-year-old daughter of a colleague of DH kicked my butt enough to slip-stitch crochet the shoulder seams, put on some buttons and weave in the myriad ends. Thank heavens for an absorbing Law & Order last night. The stats--varying shades of lemon and lime Mission Falls Cotton (to give you an idea of how long this project has been waiting, the wonderful Mission Falls has been pulled off and returned to the market in the interim), on I'm guessing size 8 needles. The pattern is from Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop. I've made a few of these, and it never ceases to amaze me how a warshrag gone beserk folds into an object of such cuteness. Elizabeth Zimmermann's genius is second only to the caveperson who figured out that a lobster is something you can eat.