Monday, December 31, 2007

Coronet an FO

In the nick of time; Coronet emerges as the final Finished Object of 2007. Leftover Lamb's Pride in two shades of purple; size 8 needles. I'm quite pleased with it...although it looks a bit muffinlike off the needles, it's warm and flattering enough on the head. A very nicely written pattern (thank you, Alexandra Virgiel), simple but very interesting construction. Although one of my knitting truths is that I'm fonder of cabling as a look than as a technique, there's just enough here to give me a feeling of accomplishment without losing my patience. Notes for next time:
  • I finally figured out the unzip technique for the crochet chain provisional cast on (instructions here, although my lightbulb went on thanks to Vicki Square's Knitter's Companion, p.82). This method used to be hit or miss, sometimes leaving me with strangled yarn, but the trick seems to be to make some extra chains at the end to give yourself a running start and unzip from that end (not the beginning) which you have denoted with a loop of the provisional yarn kept in place by the tail of the working yarn (when picking up the bumps in the chain, leave a long enough tail to do the Kitchener). Unzip, inserting the needle into each stitch and releasing as you go.
  • Kitchener here is done with right sides facing out, wrong sides facing each other. It leaves a ridge on the inside of the band but is barely discernable from the outside. My Kitchener mantra after set up: front knit take it off; front purl leave it on. back purl take it off; back knit leave it on. Do not watch television while performing this action.
  • Remember that the pick up from the band is done with the wrong side facing out. I used two colors for this hat. Picked up with the original band color, placed marker and joined, purled one round, knit one more round, then joined new color and continued on to the top of the hat. Changed to two circulars at 24 stitches.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Holidays; Knitting On

I do hope everyone had a happy and healthy holiday. Despite my Charlie Brown Christmas tree pictured at left (or maybe because of it), mine was very sweet. Light on the presents for various reasons, but what there was was choice as always...two framed family photos, my own little DVD player (Netflix queue at 45 and rising), The Best of The Chris Rock Show Vols. 1 & 2 to play on said little DVD player once I get it hooked up (Daddy Still Has a Flat Top), and a Knitting Pattern-a-Day Calendar, which I must admit I value more for its abundance than for finding something to add to my silly long knitting queue. Speaking of which, I read somewhere that it's bad knitting luck to cast on a new project during the week between Christmas and New Year's, so I'm working on finishing up Branching Out and Coronet, both past the halfway point:
branching out 3coronet 3

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Cool Link of the Week (Knitting with Noodles); Kind Hearts and Coronets

Well, Momma always told me not to play with my food, but she never told me not to knit with it...courtesy of the latest version of Yarnival over at Fleegle's Blog, behold Ramen Knitting 101. Speaking of Cool Links, how is it that I, who waste inordinate amounts of time getting lost in the internets, had never encountered Yarnival until Fleegle's post over at Ravelry? It is kind of my dream come true...a compendium of incredibly cool knitting links, hosted monthly by a different knitter. As soon as I finish this post I am off to lose myself in back issues, the perfect antidote to the pile of backlogged paperwork I came into the office on a Saturday to accomplish. In works-in-progress news, Branching Out continues apace, and I have started on a bit of practical knitting, making myself a hat (Coronet...I'm on a Knitty two stashed shades of Lamb's Pride purple). Nice, easygoing pattern, but a gentle reminder that I like the look of cables far better than I enjoy the execution (will have to teach myself the cabling without a needle technique since I tend to tuck it behind my ear between rows and totally forget it's there until I change positions and it jabs itself into my temple). Anyway, I always feel unduly virtuous knitting something I actually need (some sort of mittens are up next; it's friggin' cold here in NYC).

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Branching Out in Progress

To prove I haven't only been knitting lovable hairballs, here's a photo of Branching Out after about 9 repeats. The pattern is relatively simple, but I've still color-coded the chart to make it easier to follow (i.e. highlight the ssk in pink, the K2tog in yellow, the double decreases in green, etc.). I'm using a lace yarn on size 8 needles, so it definitely has a chicken wire look to it at the moment; I'm hoping a firm blocking will help it flow in a good orderly direction.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Black Cat Hairball Scarf

I'm on a roll (of sorts)...another FO, begun at some point before my knitting hiatus and finished on various subway and bus rides around NYC. The endearingly fugly yarn is Katia Duende, gifted by DH after a business trip. Never look a knitting gift in the skein, I say, even if it's fun fur resembling...well...something the cat coughed up. See, the thing about fun fur is I generally start liking it in spite of itself. It's kind of like the mangy puppy that follows you home and is wiggly and sheddy and a pain in the ass to work with but, ultimately, wins you over with its sort of cuddly self. So this one turned itself into a ridiculously easy keyhole scarf variation (no fancy keyhole needed since the yarn hides any sins except its own): cast on 15 stitches in any furry yarn you're ashamed to be seen in public with (this one used size 10 needles). Knit each row for 3 inches or so. On the next row, K6, bind off 3 stitches, K6. On the row after that, K6, cast on 3 stitches (using over the thumb method), K6. Knit on until scarf measures 30 inches or so. Bind off; try to resist as it snuggles up to your neck.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Finally a F.O.: Chocolate Swirl Dishcloth

It's been a long slog, but I do seem to be back on the knitting track with this modest but meaningful (to me at least) dishcloth. My tension was off because of my bandaged finger and I totally spaced on the Kitchener (which I can't blame on anything but my tendency to totally space), but it's done, and it reminds me of chocolate, and I can knit again. I've put myself on the Branching Out bandwagon; the laceweight yarn is a challenge, but one that I fully intend to rise to. Onward.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cool Link of the Week--Jive Turkey Hat

In the immortal tradition of the Chicken Viking Hat, Sara of has come up with the perfect Thanksgiving topper (pattern here). There's still time to click this one out for a holiday baby, or if you want to wait until next year you can make enough for everyone at the table. Think of all the family feuds you can circumvent if everyone's wearing one of these.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Back on the Blog

Well, sometimes life gets in the way of blogging, sometimes you're without a digital camera and know that there's nothing more boring than a knitting blog without photographs, and sometimes you're walking your dogs and you turn the wrong corner and run into a pitbull who clamps on one of your dogs and your hand gets in the way and you end up in the hospital for three days and unable to knit for a couple of months. Or, in my case, all of the above.
Anyway, I'm back on the sticks, starting out slow with a dishcloth, taking my time. My tension is a little wonky, but I'm getting there. Whew, because there's nothing like personal upheaval to make you want to knit (and drink, which I couldn't do for two weeks because of the antibiotics, but that's a whole 'nother story).
In the meantime, there's Ravelry, which has pretty much kept me sane (knitwise) during the past couple of months. If you don't know about it, go over there and take a tour, and sign yourself up for the wait list (not an exclusive thing; they're still in beta and don't want the site to blow up before its time, and the list seems to be moving quickly as they approach public launch). There are many ways to sing Ravelry's praises, but for me it's the ability to reference other people's work and queue up a dream list of projects. You wanna make a Clapotis? Well, at Ravelry, 3,026 people either have or have had the same idea, and you can check out their projects complete with yarn specs and modifications. Or let's say you have a couple of balls of Noro lying can go to the Yarn tab and get suggested patterns. But wait...there's more! If you are so inclined, you can catalog your stash and needles (me, it just makes me feel even more disorganized than I actually am) or enter a world of social networking beyond your wildest dreams (if you don't want to cast your lot with the Clapotis Knitters Group, there's always knit-diddly-ittin-neighborinos (forum for Simpsons knitters) or completely arbitrary and pointless (forum for people who basically like to snark about nothing). It will never replace more intimate forums like Knitters Review, but as a knitting community it's truly impressive.
Good to be back; knit on.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Secret Pal Package #3!

Last week's mail brought another amazing package from my amazing Secret Pal. As a belated Mother's Day present, she (and I know she's a she because she identified herself as a fellow mother), there was this wonderful framed usual, my lousy photography skills can't quite capture how totally cool it is. Even stoic DH got a little misty, and it will hold a place of honor on our living room wall.
There was yarn, of course--a skein of Fortissima Colori and one of Regia Silk along with a suggested pattern for a hat...although what my psychic Secret Pal couldn't have possibly known is that DH has been asking me to knit him a tie and this yarn would be perfect. She even sent a size three bamboo circular needle. Oh, and did I mention porridge? Chocolate porridge?
Secret Pal 3 001 Along with the neatest card ever...a three dimensional fleecy pink sheep.Secret Pal 3 002
Thanks so much, Pal.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

Call your mom, or think about her if she's out of calling range. Let somebody else worry about dinner while you knit and watch bad movies on Lifetime. Above all, remember: No Wire Hangers. Ever.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Ene's Scarf--A Beginning

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred stitches...well, maybe not quite that many, but in a flight of fancy (or fit of insanity) I have cast on a giganormous number of stitches for Ene's Scarf, a project whose siren call I could no longer ignore. I'm living dangerously here by using a laceweight stash yarn in an apparently discontinued colorway (Kaalund Expressions in Toucan), but I'll cross the running out of yarn bridge when I come to it. In the meantime, onward.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Noro Keyhole Scarf (with pattern)

There's nothing like knitting a scarf to hug you when you're feeling uninspired and somewhat unloved. The problem with scarves, of course, is that you can easily get bored with them (or run out of yarn) before they reach the proper length to envelop you. My solution is a keyhole scarf, which takes less than two skeins of heavy worsted and has a clever little slot to ensure that it stays put. A 2x2 rib increases the hug factor. You could use any yarn, of course, but there's nothing like a couple of skeins of Noro Kureyon when you want the yarn to do the work for you (thanks again, Secret Pal). I also appreciate the slightly scratchy texture of the Noro here--along with the hug comes a gentle slap, reminding me to snap out of my funk. Pattern follows:
Noro Keyhole Scarf
Finished size: approx. 5" wide and 36" long
Materials: 2 skeins Noro Kureyon (50 grams, 100 meters), colorway 154 (or approximately 75 grams of any heavy worsted). US #10 (6mm) needles.
Gauge: it doesn’t matter here…just keep in mind that the ribbing pulls in quite a bit, so cast on more stitches (in an even number) if you’re a tight knitter or want a wider scarf.
Instructions: Cast on 28 sts. Work in 2 x 2 rib stitch (K2, P2 every row) for approx. 4" from beginning.

Make Keyhole
Next row: Knit 14 sts and place remaining sts on a stitch holder; maintaining pattern, work the 14 sts on the needle to a depth of approx. 2" (for me, this was 10 rows—your mileage may vary). Break yarn, leaving a weavable tail.
Next row: Place these 14 sts on a stitch holder and rejoin yarn to second group of 14 sts. Maintaining pattern, work these 14 sts to same depth as you did for the first group.

Knit On
Next row: K2, P2 across all stitches.Continue in pattern until scarf measures approximately 36" from beginning, bind off in pattern.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Another Package from My Secret Pal!

The consistently great thing about having a Secret Pal is, of course, finding something in your mailbox that isn't a bill or a threat or yet another invitation to join AARP when you still consider yourself relatively cool and hip. The bonus is when you have a Secret Pal who is as creative and thoughtful as mine. My crapfest camera can't do justice to what came in yesterday's mail: a gorgeous beaded necklace crafted by my Pal, featuring a pendant of Sojourner Truth-- foremother, activist and inspiration--a knitter whose image captures a permanent spot on this blog of mine. You can read more about her in the wonderful article linked here. Thank you, Secret Pal; bloggity blah cannot express how much your gift means to me.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Catching Up

The sun is finally shining here in NYC, and the Noro Kureyon gifted to me by my Secret Pal is making itself into a scarf. I give all credit to the Noro here; my hands and needles are but a vehicle for its stripey sherbety goodness. Sigh. I have a crush on a skein of yarn.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter

Happy Easter (and a belated Chag Same'ach Pesach). Knit on, eat deviled eggs, watch The Sopranos.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Secret Pal 10, Box # 1

As promised, the contents of the wonderful box I received from my Secret Pal in all its knitterly, chocolately, Easterly glory. Let me count the ways I was spoiled: a very sweet Easter basket with heartbreakingly cute eggs nestled within, three pristine and pastel-y towels far to lovely to ever see the light of day in my greasy kitchen, chocolate chocolate chocolate (and candied nuts!), and two beauteous balls of Noro Kureyon in colorway 154 itching to be eaten...err...knitted up (note to self: eat chocolate, not Noro).
Pete and NoroPete loves Noro.
Carmen and BoxCarmen loves boxes.
Me, I love my Secret Pal!

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Cool Link of the Week: Grocery Bag Ensemble!

Via Craft magazine comes this amazing 1950's-style outfit hand knit entirely from recycled grocery bags! It was accomplished as a thesis project by Cathy Kasdan, earning a well-deserved Masters in Textiles at Kent State University. Wow. Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz would be proud (I was instantly reminded of one of my favorite I Love Lucy episodes where my girls work a Paris catwalk dressed in feedbag hats).
In other news: A PACKAGE FROM MY SECRET PAL ARRIVED TODAY!!! Beautifully wrapped (I took care of that post haste), loaded with knitterly goodness, Easter swag, and CHOCOLATE. DH has absconded with the camera, so I'll post in great detail later in the week. I love you, Secret Pal!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

US Passport Agency--A Cautionary Tale

Like most knitters, I live in constant fear of having my handiwork confiscated by government agents. Some people shudder at the thought of Jack Bauer cutting off that Russian guy's pinky; for me the ultimate horror would be watching my work being ripped from the needles and cast aside.
Well, dear reader, today I came close...too close. A last minute need for a passport for DS (OK, so I've known he was going away for Spring Break for months now--gimme a break) necessitated an emergency trip to the US Passport Agency on Hudson Street here in NYC. I'm not proud to say I've been in this situation before (shut up), so I knew it would take awhile, so naturally I looked forward to some knitting time. First pass-through, no problem...but on the pick-up the security agent dug in my bag, pulled out my 16" Addi circ holding my precious warshrag (probably a good thing it was not the Terror Alert Ballband from last summer pictured above, but it makes my point better than the sweet little colors of Spring-inspired number I'm working on) and insisted on keeping it. I'm not inclined to argue with authority in any case, but the bomb sniffing dog and machine gun toting ninja police standing by were pretty convincing.
Anyway, it all worked out in the end and my knitting was returned intact upon exiting, but if you ever have to do the last minute passport thing, make sure you bring something else to do while you wait...and wait...and...OK, I know I have no one to blame but myself for procrastinating, but oy, the agony--a girl can only do so much Sudoku.
The last minute passport thing is pretty cool, BTW. You call to make an automated appointment (lines are perpetually busy so you need to do this in the middle of the night, seriously), show up with the application you've printed off the internet, requisite proof of identity, and an airline ticket showing you're traveling within the next 14 days, and they do a same day or next day turnaround. Just don't bring any knitting you're afraid of losing. Whew.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Happy Spring!

Like the lady at left, I've been distracted from my knitting, peering out the window for harbingers of Spring, but there's still ice on the ground here in NYC. I guess I have spring fever, because I've been having a hard time concentrating...even my beloved TV has failed to hold my interest of late, save for The Power of Bauer. My DVR is groaning with back issues of Grey's Anatomy and Lost. Survivor has been pre-empted by March Madness. I have yet to start watching The Riches. I tried Dancing With the Stars, but it failed to catch my interest since Heather Mills' leg failed to fly off. Sigh. And bad week in knitting news: I'm going to miss the Yarn Harlot's big shindig at F.I.T. because it's effin' parent's conference night at DD's school and I can't exactly say "Sorry, darling daughter--can't hear about your progress, gotta knit!" Sigh. Anyway, I am getting pleasure out of getting the first package together for my Secret Pal,'s Spring! Knit on.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

City Snow

The view from my living room window on the day after a near-Spring snowstorm. I love NYC snow before it turns gray and yellow and brown. And since we have a churchyard across the street, if you squint and tilt your head just right you can block out the cityscape. Anyway, the kids actually had a snow day yesterday, so I'm taking one today. A good time to start on a little something for my Secret Pal, catch up on Grey's Anatomy, and generally chill. Heh heh...snow day...she said "chill"...heh heh.

Oh, and to those of you who observe and indulge: Happy St. Patrick's Day! Knit something green and kiss a fireman!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Secret Pal--Woo Hoo!

Doing the Happy Dance because I have a Secret Pal and my Pal has me. I am ready to spoil and be spoiled. It's a fun break to plot this out, although it makes blogging a bit problematic, since I can't really blog too much about what I'm doing lest my receiving Secret Pal reads my blog. C' could happen...

Anyway, my spoiler sent me a fun e-card, and I sent one to my spoilee--anyone looking for knitting related cards, check these out.

The ingenious way my Secret Pal hostess, Heatherly, made our match will be evident at the reveal, but I wanted to take the time here to publicly thank her and the other Secret Pal hostesses for their hard work. Let the spoiling begin (and somebody make some cool buttons already)!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Process Not Product

Don't you hate it when life gets in the way of knitting? My day job has been keeping me insanely busy of late. True confession: I am an admissions director at a NYC nursery school, and this is our season. The time where I select the incoming class for next September. Yes, folks, I judge two-year-olds for a living. I'm not proud, but it pays the rent and keeps me in stitches in more ways than one. Anyway, my current WIP is a Moebius Scarf (I use the Elizabeth Zimmermann "transverse" method--knit a long strip with a removable cast-on, twist once and weave the two ends). In this case, acres and acres of Farrow Rib (behold the Lower 40). A comforting project for a busy time, but s-l-o-w progress. I'm loving the yarn, though--a very soft green confetti worsted gifted by a friend (thanks Caroline) who found it at Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool. Label says "A Touch of Twist", 1286 Weast Road Box 51, Pattersonville, NY 12157.

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.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Buttonhole Bag

So, technically, it was all over but the felting in 2006, but I'm counting the Purple Haze Buttonhole Bag as the second F.O. of 2007 because I officially finished it over last weekend (finally summoning up the nerve and the quarters to descend to the basement of my apartment building where the dollar-a-cycle top-loader lives and the furry slimy creatures lurk. No sightings, thankfully). The stats: Buttonhole Bag pattern available at from the ever-dependable gals at Mason-Dixon Knitting (if there's such a thing as a knit-crush, Ann & Kay, you're mine). I used Mauch Chunky from Kramer Yarns (100 grams, approximately 120 yds.) in Plum and JuJu Fruit, 2 skeins each doubled on size 15 needles, with enough left over to do a Hexed hat from Knitty, currently on the needles. I'd never heard of Mauch Chunky until I stumbled across it at the late lamented P&S Fabrics on lower Broadway, but it's similar to Lopi and felted nicely after three rounds in the washer. I didn't take pre-felting dimensions, but the finished product is 13" wide and 6" high and stands up on its own which is just what I was looking for in a sweet little bag.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Farrow Rib Scarf

Although my only Knitting Resolution for this new(ish) year is to stretch myself beyond scarves, warshrags and baby stuff (I'm talking to you, Perfect Sweater, here's my first official F.O. of 2007, a Farrow Rib Scarf. I know, I know...scarves are boring...but I really like this one. It started out as a My So-Called Scarf, but I just couldn't get into the rhythm of the herringbone stitch. Farrow Rib, now that I like. The recipe:
Cast on 34 stitches (or any multiple of 3 sts. + 1)
Row 1: *K2, P1* repeat across row ending K1
Row 2: P1 *K2, P1* repeat across row
Keep going until you run out of yarn or patience. In this case, 4 skeins of Debbie Bliss Soho (72 yds/50g) in colorway 37504 (a sort of kelpy combo of blues and greens) on size 10 needles yielded a scarf 7" wide x 49" long. Not long enough to wrap, but wide enough to cross the chest for a nice snuggle. Oh, and I discovered the pleasure of knitting the last few rows with the almost finished object tossed around my neck on the first bitter chilly day we've had in NYC this winter. Heaven.

My Secret Pal's No Secret Anymore

I came home yesterday from a crappy day at work to find a nice package from my Winter Wonderland swap buddy, Susan--a lovely card, two lovelier cloths, two delicious cakes of soap, two balls of Sugar 'n Cream (more warshrags!) and a cool set of stamps. I love being spoiled, and this post-holiday swap was a nice antidote to the post-holiday blues (BTW, it's been a slump since I've posted, so Happy New Year. And Happy MLK Day while we're at it).