Thursday, December 28, 2006

Obligatory Christmas Post

Christmas Tree 2007The Tree before demolition, and quite a lovely one if I do say so myself. Even better, one-fifth of all of those packages were for me, me, me! Knitting wise, my darling husband restocked my case with supplies since everyone's always stealing my shit, especially scissors. Plus, all sorts of non-knitting related stuff, including the big ticket item--yes, ladies and gentleman, I have me an I-pod!IPod and George(Shown here with my actual favorite present of the haul--a vintage George Jones keychain). Plus, my Secret Santa at work gave me 4 lovely balls of Debbie Bliss Soho, turning itself into a Farrow Rib Scarf. Farrow Rib in Progress. T'was a Merry Christmas, to you and yours.

Monday, December 25, 2006

R.I.P. James Brown

The Hardest Working Man in Show Business is working it on another plane. He will be missed; in the meantime, do yourself a favor and order a copy of the greatest Christmas album of all time. Sample:

Santa Claus, go straight to the ghetto.

Santa Claus, go straight to the ghetto.

Tell him James Brown sent you. Ha!

Go straight to the ghetto.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Very Nearly Finished Objects

Well, I'm unduly proud of myself. I have a buttonhole bag ready to be felted (which might take awhile since my politically correct frontloader won't do the trick and felting involves a trip to the basement of my apartment building where furry feral creatures dwell), and three ballband washrags ready to be finished off and packed away with assorted goodies for my Winter Wonderland Swap buddy. Plus, I've already cast-on for the Hexed hat from the new Knitty frugally using yarn left over from the buttonhole bag.

Santa baby, slip some quivit under the tree, for me
Been an awful good girl
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Friday, December 08, 2006

Cool Link of the Week: The Book of Knitty

The Winter 2006 Issue of Knitty is up. Lots of nice stuff, as usual. Nice hats, nice mittens, nice lunchbag--but the project that really blew me away was The Book of Knitty, designed by Laura Brown and pictured at left. One of those "why didn't I think of that?" designs that is deceptively simple and utterly cool. Besides its obvious use as a baby book (oh, I did so love Pat the Bunny), I see in my future knitted holiday cards (next year, people), knitted swatch books (yeah, like I'd ever really swatch), and maybe for real a knitted knitting journal for 2007. Thanks, Laura Brown and Knitty, you totally rock.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ballband Goes to the Movies

My warshrag and I went to a screening of Dreamgirls last Fabulous fluffy stuff, the perfect antidote to the dreary film I saw earlier in the week. It's interesting, because both films are homages of sorts--Dreamgirls harkening back to the behind-the-scenes Hollywood musical potboiler. But while Bill Condon opens the story up for the screen, he remains remarkably true to the original Broadway production--his use of stage lighting on film is fantastic. The audience was incredibly energized, applauding and whooping's that kind of movie, a real Event. I also loved that they gave us programs on the way in, kind of like going to see West Side Story on its first run, when Big Movies still had intermissions. Plus, who knew my Mason-Dixon Ballband Dishcloth would be color-coordinated? When this movie officially opens around Christmas, run (or at least sashay) to see it.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

On the Needles

Some simple knitting in anticipation of the holiday onslaught: a Buttonhole Bag for me and the beginnings of a little something for my Winter Wonderland Swap buddy. I've never been much of an Exchange knitter...terribly afraid to disappoint (see current thread on Knitters Review about disgruntled exchangers), and then there's that thing about having the object packed and ready to go and Actually Getting to the Post Office. But there is something appealing about gift knitting during the holidays that doesn't really have to do with the holidays. And a couple of warshrags? Hey, that I can do.

In non-knitting news, I went to a screening of the upcoming Soderbergh film The Good German and found it disappointingly "meh." I think I know what Soderbergh was trying to do--an homage of sorts to all of those anti-hero WWII movies--and in many ways he got it right. The B&W cinematography and bombastic score are way cool. Unfortunately, I've always been desperately bored by all of those anti-hero WWII movies. Even, dare I say it, Casablanca. Bogart has never gotten to me, and while George Cooney is undeniably appealing in context (for me, the Ocean's 11 films), he's mighty clunky here. Anyway, didn't hate it, and it gave me a cool poster to mount in the Last Movie I Saw sidebar (and considering the Last Movie I Saw outside of Netflix and TCM was Snakes on a Plane, it's been awhile). EDITED TO ADD: Here's an interesting blog entry from the Hollywood Reporter about the screening I attended; guess I wasn't alone in my wishi-washiness.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Cool Link of the Week (or at least of the day)--Turkey Hat

I don't usually link to commercial sites, but this was too timely to resist. And there's a tea cozy to go with. Less ambitious but free, here's another (scroll down). A bit late to start now, but there's always next year. Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Scribble Scarf

Scribble 2Finally F.O., the Autumn Leaves Scribble Scarf, based on the recipe found in the ever-lovin' Mason-Dixon Knitting. I used Lion Brand Incredible and a mystery stash yarn (my guess is some sort of kid mohair combined with a thin strand of nubbly silk or rayon). 40 stitches across and 40 scribbles down came out to approximately 15" wide and 54" long. The Incredible wasn't thick enough for a genuine scribble, but I like the end result--very swishy.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Blueberry Hat

Another fruit (not that there's anything wrong with that), this one destined for the baby of DS's high school advisor. It's OK, the interim semester grades are already in, so no bribery involved. The Apple Hat below came out more big toddler size than baby, so I modified the pattern a bit: cast on 64 stitches, knit 20 rows instead of 25, and started the decreases at round 32 (decreasing an extra stitch so the numbers came out right). Made in Sugar 'n Cream cotton left over from the Summer of Ballband Warshrags.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Apple Hat

Seems like I've been lurking on lists and posting about O.P.P. (Other People's Projects) a lot more than knitting my own, but I did manage to make this sweet little apple hat for a co-worker's nephew. Based on a pattern here (if you use it, note that there are corrections on rounds 26 and 30). Will post more interesting photos of the hat if I can get some with the little dude's head in it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Cool Link of the Week--Knitter's Stamps

How cool are these? The US Postal Service will be issuing these "Holiday Knits" stamps, designed and machine-knit by Nancy Stahl. Scroll down the page to see how she did it. Thanks, Nancy!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Opinionated Knitter

There's an interesting thread running on Knitter's Review wherein folks are, in that remarkably civil manner unique to knitters and buddhists, debating the merits of Elizabeth Zimmermann as a writer, teacher, and designer. I've been following it with some fascination, since while I bow down to EZ as a genius of geniuses (I mean, right up there with whoever first figured out that a lobster was something you could break into and eat), it took me a long time to appreciate her. Some 30 years ago, as a frustrated attempting to self-teach knitter, I picked up a copy of Knitting Without Tears figuring I'd find the hand-holding granny I'd never had. I just wanted someone to tell me exactly how to untangle those two sticks and a hunk of string. However, EZ's disdain of blind followers shamed me into casting the book aside in...well, tears. I can quote the exact paragraph that stopped me cold, from page 45:

Let nobody say she can't sew up a sweater--she just doesn't want to. Reminds me of the infuriating remark, 'I've always wanted to knit, but I just can't.' Pish, my good woman, you can plan meals, can't you? You can put your hair up? You can type, write fairly legibly, shuffle cards? All of these are more difficult than knitting. You just don't want to knit, so why pretend that you do? It's not compulsory; take up something else.

Well, it happened that at the time the only skill listed above I could consider myself remotely competent at was planning meals (couldn't cook, but I could plan). So I gave up until 10 years later when I encountered a cranky buy doggedly patient instructor at an Adult Education Course who taught me the basics (thanks, Mrs. DuPre). And then I returned to Elizabeth Zimmermann, who taught me how to knit. Oh, and I have since accomplished most of the above, but I still can't shuffle cards for shit.

By the way, The University of Wisconsin--Madison is launching an exhibit called "New School Knitting: The Influence of Elizabeth Zimmermann and Schoolhouse Press". Article here; exhibition link here.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Scribble Me This

An Absorba, a kimono, and many, many ballbands have not stilled my obsession with Mason-Dixon Knitting. So, I have moved on to the Scribble Scarf, being rendered in yet another mystery yarn from my stash—it seems to be a mixture of a kid mohair and a very thin boucle, neatly double-stranded and rolled into a workable ball. I swear I have no idea where it came from (hey, if there are yarn fairies out there repleting my stash while I sleep, I could use a bunch of Lamb’s Pride Bulky in assorted colors, OK?). The thick strand is Lion Brand Incredible, a nylon ribbon I wouldn’t ordinarily touch, but it serves its purpose very well here. The colorway is called Autumn Leaves, and combined with the mystery thin it results in a shiny, happy fabric that lends itself to regular arms-length admiration during TV commercials. And shiny, happy, light and airy is a nice change from the dense cotton of Absorba. For now, the scarf is dubbed the ALDS Scribble Scarf, hopefully to morph into the World Series Scribble Scarf (Let’s Go Yankees…thump, thump, thump thump thump).

UPDATED 10/7/06: OK, Let's Go Mets (Willie Randolph will always bleed pinstripes to me). And deep in my heart I knew this was going to happen...since 1960, the Yankees have only won the World Series when the President of the U.S. is a Democrat. Yet another thing to blame on George W. Bush. Next time, I will refrain from officially naming my Scribble Scarf until the fat lady sings.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Absorba, The Great Bathmat--F.O.

Thanks to the aforementioned Law & Order: SVU marathon, it's a wrap. I mean, a mat. Presented outside of its natural habitat because 14 year old DD refuses to give up the bathroom for a photo op (she's still in there, even as I blog). The stats: 20"x28", 11 hard-earned logs including the center. I used some truly ancient Patons Chunky Cotton (I think it's been discontinued) in a grimy footprint-forgiving army green. Since some balls were partial, it's hard to tell exactly how much was eaten, but I'd guess 8 100 gram skeins, triple-stranded, on size 15 needles. The toe-squishing result was worth the pain, but when DH suggested another for the kitchen, I laughed until he backed away, slowly.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Absorba The Great Bathmat--Still in Progress

I like my Absorba. I really do (and, clearly, Judy does too). But I must admit I liked it a lot more when I thought I was three ridges away from being done.

You know those rhetorical questions you realize you shouldn't have asked the second they leave your big mouth? Like when you run into your crotchety neighbor and you say "How are you?" expecting the requisite "Fine, and you?" but instead you get a litany of aches and pains and accusations of neglect?

Well, there I was doing a final sizing and toe-squish test run when DH walks in the room. What I should have said: "Nice bathmat, huh?" What I said (rhetorically): "Do you think it's big enough?" What he said: "Could you add a little more?"

So, with heavy heart, blistering fingers, running out of yarn and lesson learned, I need to go on to the rectangular version. Must. Haul. One. More. Log. Praise the TV gods there's a Law & Order: SVU marathon tomorrow.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Tasty Link of the Week--Law & Order Placemats

In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups—the Police who investigate crime, and the District Attorneys who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories. (doink-doink).

Not sure how I missed this one the first time around...found on Craftster, a thread on these absolutely awesome knitted Law & Order placemats. I bow to the creator, who claims it's her first time doing intarsia. If you scroll through the thread, you'll find the charts, along with a link to the Law & Order Coloring Book that inspired them. But wait, there's more. Ah, there nothing they can't do? Bonus link for SVU fans: Sesame Street's Law & Order: Special Letters Unit. Check out the most excellent Munch muppet.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I told you going back to work bites. Someday I'll start a blog about how ludicrous the NYC nursery and ongoing school admissions process is (those of you who've read 100 Things About Me might recall that my job is judging two year olds for their suitability to enter nursery school and then usher them on to ongoing schools that will ensure their entry into Harvard, Yale and Princeton), but for now, in the weeks after Labor Day that kick off the official Admissions Season, I haven't had time to blog my knitting and have barely had time to knit it (of course, a couple of washrags have been on and off the needles, but with Fall I am craving a big wooly project). But enough whining--there's good news: 35 days and counting to the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival, a.k.a Rhinebeck, sort of the Woodstock of knitting. Rhinebeck has become a birthday tradition for me (October 18th if you keep track of these things), since we have wonderful friends with a wonderful house near Rhinebeck who host us for the weekend. I've always admired knitters who return from Rhinebeck with fiber-laden satchels and an organized list of several winters-worth of much as I love it, I tend to wander the barns aimlessly in a yarn-induced stupor, paralyzed by choice and slinking back to the city with a skein or two with no designated purpose, tossed into my motley (but much beloved) stash. Also, I've always wanted to make connections with all those kindred spirits tramping through the sheep muck with variegated stars in their eyes, but it seems so...geeky (if not downright stalkerish) to go up to somebody and say "Hey, I love your Clapotis, can I touch it?" This year, however, things will be different. The intrepid Stitchy McYarnpants has come up with a brilliant scheme to link us all: Rhinebeck Blogger Bingo (check out the link to see how it works, one of the many results of my not having attended church enough is that I don't understand Bingo). Thanks, Stitchy; I'll be there and I'll be square!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Summer's Last Ballband

An ode to the ballband warshrags of summer (with apologies to Danny and Sandy):

Summer ballbands, had me a blast
Summer ballbands, knit up so fast
Dishcloth cotton cheap as can be
Mason-Dixon, the book for me
Summer days, knitting away
But oh...back to work and it bites

Well-a, well-a, well-a , uh!...OK, I'll stop now. Thanks, Ann and Kay, for a summer of carefree knits.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tasty Link of the Week--Handknit on the Red Carpet

And the winner is...The Knitting Heretic! Annie Modesitt, one of my knitcrushes, created this stunning dress that worked the red carpet at the Emmy Awards. Worn by the stunning Ami Brabson, wife of the stunning Andre Braugher, who won for Best Actor in a Miniseries for Thief (we forgive you for that Poseidon remake mistep). More details on the dress on Annie's blog. How cool is that?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

My 100th Post

It's my 100th Blog Post! No prizes or anything, I'm just sayin'. Is it just me, or does summer seem to end sooner every year? Drove the oldest child back to college yesterday, prepping the younger two for re-entry, DH has been officially annointed as High School Principal and me--I'll be back at work judging 2 year olds as prospective nursery schoolers on Monday. Sigh. On the other hand, there's good stuff about the coming of the New Year (although not Jewish, I have adopted Rosh Hashanah as the logical start to the new year, calendar be damned--back to school means a new beginning).

Picked up a copy of the Fall 2006 Interweave Knits; while nothing grabbed me by the lapels and shouted "make me," and I'm not quite ready to give up my Mason-Dixon obsession, I do feel my fingers tingling to get back into some wool. There are certainly enough UFOs mewling for attention, and Rhinebeck is just around the corner.

Oh, and it's my wedding anniversary. 21 years of bliss, and I wouldn't change a thing. Not even tempted by reports that Bruce and Patti are on the rocks. We've always been cuter, anyway:

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Survivors Ready...Yo!

Oh no they di'n't. Taking a break from knitting content to report on my second favorite pastime...TV watching. On this morning's CBS Early Show, my secret crush Jeff Probst announced the twist for the upcoming season of Survivor: they're dividing the tribes by race. I don't know whether to laugh or cry--aw, hell yeah I do...I'm laughing my ass off. It's yet another case of being careful what you wish for: the multicolored family and I (dedicated Survivor watchers all...sorry folks, but Project: Runway is just a way to fill in the gap between seasons) have long complained about the lack of diversity on the show and, Cerie aside, the lack of viable black role models for the kids to root for (oh, who am I kidding--they don't care...I'm the one who rants about this stuff). Anyway, I'm scared--can you imagine what the Fox Network is dreaming up right now?--but I for sure am watching. Would feel more comfortable if the tribes of color got to choose the turf (Survivor: 131st and Lenox, 3 am y'all), and definitely dreading the singing of Kumbaya when the tribes merge, but it will be...something completely different.

Now, speaking of something really worth watching, do not miss rebroadcasts of Spike Lee's When the Levees Broke on HBO.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Terror Alert Ballband Dishcloth

threatdownAs promised, the Terror Alert Ballband Dishcloth, presented here by The Colbert Report (if you’d like Stephen Colbert to showcase your very own FO’s, go here for the Threatdown Generator). The three of you who read this blog (hi, Mom) might remember that the finished product was promised to splindarella, who correctly guessed the significance of the color scheme in a contest entry below. OK, so she was the only entry, but she’s still a winner. I figure if you gotta go, you might as well go with clean dishes.

Snakes on a Plane Update: With two teenaged boys in the house, even extremely cyniclal ones, there was no way I wasn't going to see it on opening weekend. So, while DH snuck off to the Lincoln Plaza Cinema to see something arty (smell him), there I was at Magic Johnson on 125th Street with a rowdy talk-back-to-the-screen audience. The good news: I only had to look away fron the icky action and pretend to be engrossed in my Mason-Dixon Ballband Dishcloth a couple of times. The bad news: well, there really isn't any bad news. It's exactly what one would expect--snakes...on a plane...a good-bad toss your popcorn in the air experience if you can suspend your cinematic scruples. Slate Magazine’s review has an interesting slant: a reading of Snakes on a Plane as a post-9/11 allegory.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Tasty Link of the Week--Snakes on a Knitter

I know, I know... Snakes on a Plane is officially over. My darling son, self-appointed God of the Internets, has proclaimed so on his blog. However, I couldn't resist a Google image search for "Snakes on a Knitter," and came up with this hinged-jaw-dropping website for Adele Recklies, who does custom knitting, crochet and beadwork for theater and film. The 15' 6" beaded snake at left took her over a little more than a year to make. And I complained last night when my middle son asked me to knit him a pirate eyepatch for camp dress-up day (it only took me one and a half Law and Order SVU reruns to finish...take that Adele).

Thursday, August 17, 2006

...and all i got was this lousy warshrag

A highway patrolman pulled alongside a speeding car on the freeway. Glancing at the car, he was astounded to see that the Mason-Dixon KAL Member behind the wheel was knitting! Realizing that she was oblivious to his flashing lights and siren, the trooper cranked down his window, turned on his bullhorn and yelled , "PULL OVER!" "NO!", the Mason-Dixon KAL Member yelled back, "IT'S A WARSHRAG!"

Maybe you sort of had to be there. Anyway, I'm back from the much anticipated Nova Scotia vacation, experiencing the to-be-expected letdown. Knitwise, all I did was this one ballband dishcloth, which I had fully intended to finish in time to leave as a gift for our guest house hosts, but gin & tonics, lobster and good-bad Canadian TV got in the way so it traveled back with me to NYC (in all its blurry glory, I have dubbed it "The Grapes of Warsh"). I did hit a couple of nice yarn stores on the way (The Loop Craft Cafe in Halifax; Have a Yarn in Mahone Bay), but I did more fondling than buying...saving my money for the aforementioned G&T's and lobster. I did have a wonderful time, but it's good to be home with my stash. I've always been something of a loser with the vacation shots, preferring to live in the moment, but here are the few I took:
nova scotia 002First, the obligatory "Guard at the Halifax Citadel" shot. He was such a photo op I felt guilty not taking it and feared they would take away my tourist card if I didn't make goofy faces to get him to smile. I did and he didn't.
nova scotia 001Then, there was this weird-ass statue near the harbor. It had something to do with turned-away immigrants, but I liked it because it reminded me of the Dementors in Harry Potter. If the Dementors served pie instead of sucking souls.
nova scotia 003And finally, the picture postcard shot (OK, so I cut off the top spire) of the Lunenberg Academy in...well, Lunenberg, a seaport town settled and still populated by an alarming number of German expats. We never got to go inside for the tour, but it was pretty impressive for an elementary school. At least, they claim it's an elementary school, but I suspect some sort of Boys from Brazil thing going on. To this native New Yorker, the folks in Lunenberg were very friendly...too friendly. Which is why I'm so rarely allowed on vacation. Canada rocks, however. Even if we did have to leave behind our gels and toothpaste to get back home.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Vacation All I Ever Wanted

Well, I'm heading off to the yarn of Nova Scotia for a week, so if you're looking for updates (yeah, right), there won't be any. But feel free to leave a comment with best wishes, hot gossip or (especially) prize notifications and we'll catch up as soon as I get back! xoxoxT

Monday, August 07, 2006

Tasty Link of the Week - I Pity the Fool

Since I've been doing an inordinate amount of web-surfing lately, and inspired by the glorious blog re:knit and the late lamented You Knit What??, I've decided to add a new feature: the Tasty Link of the Week. I'll aim for weekly updates, but I have a warped sense of time.

Enough jibba jabba--let's get to it: the folks at laid down the challenge--best sock monkey ever. In a strong field, the undisputed champion: I Pity the Fool, a heart-stopping likeness of the one, the only Mr. T (I bow to the winner, and be sure to scroll through the other entries--wonderful stuff).

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Absorba in Progress

If someone had told me a few months ago I would be knitting a bathmat using three strands of thick cotton on giganormous needles, I would have said "" But, this being the summer of all things Mason-Dixon Knitting, I find myself turning the corner on the Absorba. It's a gratifying project in a put-upon fairy tale princess way; as I slog through I keep waiting for some dwarfish gnome dude to pop up and demand that I guess his name or he'll take my firstborn. Whatever, it's really good for mopping up sweat. Here it is, in progress, surrounded by newly acquired cheapo cotton stash for more more more warshrags. I am into naming my ballband dishcloths these days--draped on the stash up top behold The Grapes of Warsh.

By the way, I promise a Ballband Dishcloth to the first person who can tell me what the row of colors on the left represents (for the record, and since my digital camera takes sucky pictures, those colors are Green, Blue, Yellow, Orange and Red. In that order.).

Friday, August 04, 2006

Baby Ballband Pillbox Hat

Baby Ballband Pillbox HatBaby Ballband Pillbox Hat TopWhen is a warshrag not a warshrag? When it’s a baby hat! Never one to leave well enough alone, I’ve converted the ever-popular Mason-Dixon Knitting Ballband Dishcloth into a knit-in-the-round dome cover. Totally impractical of course—any self-respecting baby would fling it off in a heartbeat—but easily adaptable to larger sizes. No baby available to model, so I used a box of grits…that’s the Dixon in this NYC girl coming through.

Semi-Homemade Pattern:

Size: Baby. To size up, cast on extra stitches in multiples of six. Since you’re knitting in the round, forget about the extra edge stitches at the end of the flat pattern.
Materials: Worsted weight cotton of your choice in at least two colors (I used three colors here, but the pattern is written for two: Color A and Color B). Less than a 1.5 oz skein of each.
16 inch circular needle size 7, plus extra circular needle or set of double points for decreasing.
Gauge: Meh, just knit…it’ll fit somebody.

With Color A, cast on 60 stitches. Join and place marker. Purl two Rounds, and begin Ballband Pattern, joining Color B on Row 3.

Here’s the Semi-Homemade part: Ever mindful of copyright and giving props, I implore you to seek out Ann and Kay’s Mason-Dixon Knitting or buy yourself a ball of Peaches and Crème from the folks at Elmore-Pisgah (the pattern's on the...wait for it...ballband). If your ethics are shaky, an internet search will yield results, but I ain’t giving them here.

The tricky thing is converting the flat pattern to knitting in the round, but basically all you’re doing is reversing the stitches on the wrong side rows, and always slipping with yarn in back (i.e. Rounds 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 are knit as you see them; on the even Rounds 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12, purl where it says to knit and always bring your yarn to the back to slip the stitch and move it forward again to continue purling).

Do 2 complete rounds of Rows 1-12 of the Ballband pattern, and then repeat rows 1-8.

Back to the Homemade part:

Purl 2 rounds. Knit 1 round, marking 4 points (here, the 15th, 30th, 45th and 60th stitches) for decreases. Use split markers, small safety pins or paper clips, because the markers will move with the double decrease** stitch (use a different color marker on the 60th stitch to indicate the beginning of the round).

Commence decreasing: *k to within 1 stitch of marked stitch, dbl dec** (slip one stitch, k 2 together, pass the slipped stitch over the 2 knitted together)*. Repeat around.

K 1 round.

Repeat these two rounds until you have 30 stitches left, changing to double points or 2 circulars when your stitches start cramping. At 30 stitches, start decreasing every round until you have 6 stitches left. Break yarn, gather stitches and weave in ends.

That’s all folks: steal it, embellish it, correct it--but please don’t sell it.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

R.I.P. You Knit What??

Apparently, one of my favorite sites in the whole wide blogosphere has bitten the dust. Sure, there are other places out there that celebrate the fugly that is misguided needlework, but nobody did it better than You Knit What?? I will leave them linked in my sidebar forever. Thanks for the ride, guys.

Off to burn a ball of Bernat Disco in honor of my homies.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Mason-Dixon Baby Kimono

Awwww....Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono from Mason-Dixon Knitting; in the background, the ubiquitous Ballband Dishcloth (isn't it amazing how a new warshrag appears on the needles as soon as you've finished one?) and a Ninepatch. For all, I used stash cotton so antique that the ballbands have been long lost (which is one of the many wonderful things about the book--it really doesn't matter so long as it knits up nice). Tarted up the kimono a bit by adding a 3-stitch i-cord tie and a single crochet trim. Onward...I love this book.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Why Didn't I Think of This?

I stumbled across a wonderful blog the other day: re:knit. The blogger describes it as "a knit- blog re-blog"--she gathers the tasty bits from across the web into a sort of knit-blog's greatest hits. Very cool, and saves me a lot of time slogging through my bloglines. Why didn't I think of this (surely not because I'm lazy and lack imagination)?

Oh, and another Elvis Sweater update courtesy of You Knit What??. Be careful what you wish for.

Monday, July 24, 2006

You Know You're Obsessed When... come across a photograph of the soon-to-be-demolished stained glass murals on Terminal 8 at JFK and instead of worrying about how to save them, you start thinking about new color combinations for a Ballband Dishcloth.

Check out Kate A.'s beautiful analysis of the Mason-Dixon knitting phenomenon over at her very purty blog. Wonderful stuff.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Ninepatch Dishrag and Knitting Synchronicity

Since I've been neglecting my blog, I've also neglected to sing the praises of Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne's Mason-Dixon Knitting. I've been knitting almost exclusively from this book for the past few months as an antidote to my stressed-out melancholic life-related funk: it's fresh (in the sassy sense), funny (in the giggle and annoy the person trying to read in bed next to you sense) and remarkably unfussy (as in the it's OK to knit nothing but garter stitch using cotton you can pick up at your local Wally World [if you were ever going to be so bereft of ethics to step foot in a Wal-Mart--oops, that's me being fussy]). Anyway, I've made the ubiquitous Ball-Band Dishcloths (given away before being photographed but you can see some of Kay's awe-inspiring examples here) and the Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono (peeking out above, waiting to be seamed and trimmed. No babies in the immediate future, so no rush). Just finished this Ninepatch Dishrag, the pattern for which Kay put up on their blog last week.

So here's the synchronicity part: I have the book. I pore over the blog that inspired the book. I lurk on the remarkably active Knit-A-Long. I've seen pictures of Kay, and I've always thought "Gee, she looks so familiar," but chalked it up to that overfamiliarity with public figures that once convinced my husband and his friend Robin that if they could only have tea with Joni Mitchell she would be their Best Friend...but I digress. Last week, Kay posted, with the loveliest photos, about a recent move to Washington Heights, my very neighborhood. So I dropped a comment suggesting a neighborhood knit-in, carefully composing so as not to sound stalkerish. Well, within a few minutes I get an e-mail turns out I do know her! It's a long story and not particularly interesting but the reason she (and her children) look so familiar is because I shepherded them through the grueling paces of the NYC private school admissions process a couple of years ago (it's my job to judge children. I'm not proud, but it's a living. They got in, by the way).

Anyway, the knitting world is a small smelly one. And very sweet.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Elvis Sweater Update

Well, slap my bum and call me Sally. A poke around the internet reveals that I am far from the only one obsessed with the Elvis Sweater. It's been reproduced on playing cards, salt & pepper shakers, shot glasses, and even as a design for...well, a hound dog. I found a revelatory discussion of the garment's origins here; apparently it was worn by Elvis in this scene from Jailhouse Rock and may or may not have been his own garment or acquired from the MGM wardrobe department. Since the movie was in glorious black & white, the original color is in question, but it is most often reproduced in blue. A prototype won a contest on the knit-o-rama's close, but it's not The Sweater, so I might still drag out my Ann Budd and Barbara Walker and play with some charts. Nothing new under the sun, I guess, especially when it comes to celebrity knits. Or Elvis.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Elvis Sweater

I'm usually pretty imune to celebrity knitting sightings (well, there was Martha's Poncho, but that was a monumentous occasion and anyway it was crochet). Whatever, there's something very compelling about this sweater, worn by Elvis Presley in Jailhouse Rock. I think one of my summer projects might be to deconstruct and chart it (didn't make any promises about actually knitting it, folks). Stay tuned.

Friday, July 07, 2006

All the News That's Fit to Wear

It's not knitting, but it is textile related...DD works the catwalk in an ensemble constructed by a very talented friend entirely from the school newspaper.

Fierce. And informed, too.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Lemon-Lime Hats

T'is hats for the O'Leary boys, my boss's month-old twin nephews. Official photos will follow as soon as their heads are big enough that the hats don't fall over their wee little leprechaun faces. The pattern is another from Handknit Holidays, which I'm finding a most useful year-round book. They call it a Candy Cane Hat, but I had some yellow and green cotton in the stash, so lemon-lime hats it is. Twins--gah!! As I said in my welcome to the world note, when they're older I hope they switch these dome covers around at will to confound the adults in their lives.

Friday, June 16, 2006

A Knitted Wedding

While casting around on the internet for something to blog about, I came upon a site ever so appropriate for the month of June: it's a Knitted Wedding, y'all! Follow the link to read the story (don't miss the gallery at the bottom of the page) and get patterns for all sorts of groovy stuff--even the cake was knitted. The whole thing was the product Cast Off: the Knitting Club for Boys and Girls across the Pond. Those clever Brits: Jane Austen, the Beatles, Brideshead Revisited, Right Said Fred, Ladette to Lady, and now this. I'm inspired, and kind of tired just looking at it.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Baby Bunny Hat

A humble return to blogging. I won't apologize for my absence (did you miss me?); let's just say life got in the way. Anyway, here's a photo of Kelly, daughter of one of DH's colleagues, in the Baby Bunny Hat completed sometime around Christmas. Knit on; so shall I.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

I'm Knitting as Fast as I Can

Poke around the blogs and you'll find reports of folks who are blocking the Alice Starmore size 2 needle fair isles they finished the first sleeve on before the flaming skater (not that there's anything wrong with that) made his way around the ring. I've decided to avoid the ubiquitous Progress Report posts...let's just say that here, on Day 3, I have recognizable K2 P2 ribbing. And I'm having fun. See Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics Athlete's Pledge. And knit on.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Survivors Ready...Go!

Another button, nabbed here. For all I know it says "Knitting Olympics Sucks," but I like it. Some random notes on the opening ceremony:

  • Who wears the best hats? Austria wears the best hats! Love the fun fur toupee look. Am scouring the web for a picture.
  • Nothing says Olympics spirit like 70's and 80's disco music. Ah Ah Eh Eh, let's all chant...indeed.
  • OK, I totally get the Bode Miller thing. And the solo guy from Ethiopia? Mrrow.
  • Whatever happened to the Jamaican bobsled team?
  • DH called the Sophia Loren appearence early on, but he figured she'd be lighting the flame.
  • What is the deal with Pavarotti's scary eyebrows? And buddy, lip-synch much?
  • Yoko Ono. YOKO ONO???

Oh yeah, I cast on and knit a few rows. Go New York go New York go!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Haiku Socks--A Beginning

I managed to get a few inches of cuff on the Haiku Socks from Jessie's yarn. I'm using the basic pattern from Cat Bordhi's Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles, letting the yarn do the work. I'm not much of a sock knitter, but I'm loving the yarn so far...springy enough to hold a rib, soft and sturdy. And the color (bad flash here) is gorgeous. I'll see you after the Olympics, socks. Onward.