Friday, December 23, 2005

Happy Holidays!

I just knitted these goofy lobsterclaw-looking mittens for my cousin. Just what every teenager was hoping for this Christmas.

See you next week!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Kool Aid Socks

Imagine that this one is bound off and partnered with another just like it!

These pink socks were knitted in k2p2 ribbing, toe up (short row heel) from knitpicks fingering weight color your own that I dyed using cherry and grape kool aid. I would've preferred slightly more vibrant colors – maybe next time.

Hopefully these will help keep my feet warm on the long cold trek to the office. And this means that I can FINALLY start a new pair of socks. I'm trying to resist, but I don't know how much longer I can fight off the jaywalker!

Monday, December 19, 2005


I finished my Tannenbaum! Check it out...

I decided to leave off the star and just knit to a point at the top. This was a quick and fun project and I completed it just in time. I'll try to post better photos tomorrow, I had to take these by myself.

Friday, December 16, 2005

A Shawl and a Promise

Ayyyyy, the knitting in my life, it has been sparse and not at all photogenic. I completed another row of branches on my Tannenbaum. This would be a perfect subway knit except for the fact that I'm using little bells that jingle as I knit. Can you imagine how fast I would get my ass kicked if I sat on the subway making jingly noises the whole time?

And that old kool-aid dyed pink sock, I'm working on that too. Fortunately it’s the second of the pair, because I'm totally starting to hate it.

Remember way back there a few posts ago I was all bold with listing my projects and promising FOs and whatnot? What happened to that girl? I finished one neckwarmer and then nothing.

I have good excuses - life got totally crazy on me. I mean WAY more than the normal Christmas crazy. I had to buy a whole special notebook for all the to do lists! But still, it's pathetic that I haven't seamed up that Rogue, and there are two other sweaters out there just waiting for sleeves and necks. SO, I am promising, here on this blog, that I will have a special new finished object by Monday, and it wont be that lame pair of pink socks.

To distract us all in the meantime, here is a photo (oooh, naughty, taken in my office) of a Kimono Shawl in progress.

I'm using Jade Sapphire Cashmere Silk and although it is a pain in the ass to wind, and waaay expensive, it is the softest thing I've ever knit. By the way, Monday's FO will definitely NOT be this shawl.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I Wish I Could Knit It

Thank you all for stopping by and leaving comments about Mt. Cashmere! I cant wait to get back to the knitting, and meet up with my new eight legged friends this Friday.

There hasn’t been much knitting going on over here, and I've been a terrible blogger, but I have three excuses. The first two are long and involved and relate to work and blah blah stressful boring. The third is funny - ha ha funny, not weird funny. If you knew me personally, it might make you laugh (it seems to have had that affect on all the real live people I’ve told so far).

Because I am a cheapskate and a dumbass, I am trying to make my own wedding veil.

Oh yes, nuptial plans are afoot (and have been for quite some time, I’m just a veilmaking slacker) and the deadline is SWIFTLY approaching. Like, we are now counting in days rather than months. 33. Days. Left.

Do you know how much a wedding veil costs? For a cheesy looking piece of tulle? Oooh, so much more than it should.

I took Home EC. And I can knit socks and lace. I can do this! (Right?)

I’ve got the tulle, I’ve got the sparkly headband, I’ve got the ribbon for the edges, and I’ve got the sparkly beads to glue on the ribbon. (The previous sentence now makes me wonder if I went overboard on the sparkle.)

Here it is so far...

The eagle eyed reader may notice that it is resting atop my still unfinished Rogue.

I’ve glued my fingers together 87 times already, and I am so sick of this project that I’m now thinking $5,000 is a reasonable price for a piece of tulle with beaded ribbon sewed to the edge. Hooray for the blessed union into which I am about to enter.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Bigger Than A Breadbox

Friday night I met up with the Spiders for the first time – what fun! I got to check out some awesome handspun and learn how the rest of the world pronounces clapotis (um, not like clap – O – tis).

But those ladies are ENABLERS. There was much talk of yarn, of course, and yarn shops, including the fabled School Products.

By 11 am on Saturday morning I was on my way home with this beast.

Note the diet coke thrown in for scale. And here’s another shot with a standard size pen.

Yikes! That's 1600 yards of cashmere/merino blend. The helpful folks at school products instructed me to use size 10.5 needles and not to freak out if it looked and felt weird knitted up. The yarn is covered with spinning oil, and the FO must be washed in the washing machine to remove the oil and prompt the yarn to fill out. The swatch in the store felt bunny-soft.

I’m thinking I’d like to make a nice cozy sweater for myself, maybe with some cabling? Maybe not? Nothing too close fitting, and nothing with a turtleneck, because I think I’d die an itchy overheated death in about 10 minutes. Instead, maybe something akin to a big wearable blanket. Yet still flattering and not enormous. And knit on size 10.5 needles. Is that possible? Has anyone heard of such a thing? What have I gotten myself into?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Handspun Neckwarmer

Sorry about the awful bathroom mirror shot and the dorky lawyer suit, I'll take a normal photo as soon as I find a satisfactory photographer. This neckwarmer was made from fabulous handspun Tramp yarn created over at Insubordiknit. I cast on 77 stitches and knit back and forth on big needles (size 10, I think?) in 6 x 1 ribbing. Once it reached about 10" I bound off and seamed it up to make a big tube. The kooky ribbing helped eliminate some of the curl and give it just a little bit of stretch.

My favorite thing about this neckwarmer (other than the awesome yarn, of course) is the lack of flappy scarf ends and the fact that it can be loose and slouchy, snug and cozy, or even up on the head over the ears.

I have a bit of a history with tube shaped neck garments. When I was in 8th grade, we used to shop at the Quaker Bridge Mall for all our '80s fashions. There was a Limited, Limited Express, Gap, and the elusive Units and Au Coton. Unsurprisingly, these stores no longer exist, but oooh how I loved them. The basic concept at Units involved semi stretchy cotton tubes of fabric (sometimes with sleeves) that you could layer. The smaller tubes were ideal as big wide belts (out of which you could generously blouse your shirt), way too tight mini skirts, and, my favorite, accent pieces for the neck area (we called them neckies). If memory serves, Au Coton had a bunch of oversized t-shirts and tank tops, but also sold the stretchy accent tubes. In a pinch, sometimes I'd also just tie a bandana around my neck. Yikes!

Terrifyingly, this winter neckwarmer is somehow reminiscent of those tragic 80s fashions, but I love it just the same.

Updated to add:

Here is a much better photos of my neckwarmer:

And a closeup:

And, in other exciting news, I've been invited to join the Spiders! Looking forward to meeting all of you on Friday night at the Point!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Need for Closure

I haven't been very productive knit-wise as of late. First, I'm generally not a holiday gift knitter. I kinda stress out around the holidays, for no good reason. So, aside from the assorted random joke knitted gifts (beer cozies, goofy headbands, etc) I don't like to add to my holiday freakout by imposing knitting deadlines on myself. The only knitted gift I'm planning on is a pair of big fuzzy mittens.

Nevertheless, I think I need to light a little fire under my knitting self. I'm going on a great big trip on January 16th and I'd love to have ALL of my current projects finished before I go. (That way, I have a great excuse to start something exciting and new!) Soooo, I'm going to do a little list of all my knits in progress here for you all on the internets, in the hopes that it will shame me into finishing up some of these things!

Rogue – I am pathetic. I love this sweater and all I need to do is seam it up. Really, I should be ashamed of myself.

Union Square Market Sweater
– This sweater needs one and a half sleeves and a collar, both of which need a little design help from me. Still, I should be able to finish this in one weekend morning of knitting.

Pink Socks – Oooh, I am sick of you pink socks. Your kool aid smell and non-stretchy yarn have me bored. I will finish you just so I can move on to new socks and be free of your Strawberry Shortcake colorway (for which I have only myself to blame).

Tannenbaum – You are fun! With beads! And jingly bells! And I am an ass if I don't finish you before Christmas. So you are very near the top of the list. And I love your lack of finishing. That bodes well.

Black Neckie – This yarn makes me smile, and the weather is getting cold. Things are looking good for this project. Very good. The only problem – does it need matching wristies?

Manos Sweater – Ha ha, internets – you didn't even know I had this sweater (or, um, vest). This is a sweater of my own design and, as such, is languishing now that I have finished knitting the easy parts. The elusive Manos Sweater has yet to be captured on film in the wild.

Green wrap – This is the Kimono shawl from Folk Shawls and it is so pretty and soft, but I have to pay attention when I knit it. Lately that's been asking a little too much. This one may not make the January 16 deadline. This one is also too elusive (or small?) for photographs.

Ok, that’s embarrassing. And it doesn't even include my cousin's mittens and the inevitable felted clogs. Or the unassembled baby sweaters and blankets hanging out under my bed, now way too small for their intended recipients.

I hereby vow to you, oh readers of the internet, that I will try very hard to have one completed knit item to post about tomorrow.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Shangri - Lion

All of you New York knitters – I found something very unusual tonight. We hear people in other parts of the country asking each other about yarn snobbery. We hear talk of “Lion Brand” and “unnatural fibers” and perhaps we wonder what they speak of. People come to our fair city and they have yarn crawls. They go to Purl for the Lobster Pot Cashmere, the Point for the rainbow of Lorna’s, Habu for the funky stuff. We have no shortage of fancy-pants yarn.

But lets say I want to knit a little sweater for a friend’s 2 year old son. Do I want to buy 8 balls of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, or perhaps $100 worth of Koigu? Hooo, no. I want something cute, cheap, and machine washable. I want the Lion Brand Wool Ease. But where? Where is that mystery haven of cheap and squeaky yarn?

My secret goal, always, is to spend less on yarn than I would on the sweater, were I to buy it at, say, the Gap. Is this possible in Manhattan?

Oh yes. Yes it is.

There is Patons Kroy sock yarn (on sale!).

A bargain bin with skeins the size of my head!

And, my favorite, enough Patons classic merino to make 80,000 felted clogs.

I was lucky to escape with only enough for 2 or 3 more pairs.

(And $30 worth of notions and tulle, for a very different sparkly little project that I’ll blog about soon.)

But where? Where is this mecca of cheap ass yarn? Why, its PS Fabrics.

You can find it at 355 Broadway, about 3 blocks south of Canal Street. Grrrr.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I want to send a humungous thanks out to the mysterious Nancy who donated 6 skeins of Rowanspun dk in a beautiful pumpkin color and 6 more skeins of Rowanspun 4 ply in a luscious jewel green. Nancy – if you happen to come across my blog, please leave a comment or send me an email so I can thank you properly!

I love it...

No. That most certainly isn't my bathtub. Look, its Mount Rowan!

And great thanks and admiration go to Susan and Margene who organized Give a Little and raised $102,337.81 for victims of Hurricane Katrina. You guys did a fantastic job and I cant even imagine the amount of work that went into this project.

I already had to hide my delicious new yarn because I was itching to cast on right away. In fact, I happen to have a few balls of Yorkshire tweed 4 ply lurking in my stash in very complementary colors – I cant help but think this might be the start of my first fair isle project!

If anyone has any ideas, feel free to drop a comment or email - I definitely need a little help finding the perfect project for this beautiful yarn.

Monday, November 28, 2005

O Tannenbaum!

Rather than work on some of the duller knitting projects I have lurking around, I started on a fun new hat - Tannenbaum. The pattern is available here and Deb has even started a knit-along.

What a fun knit! I'm using Louet Gems Opal Merino. The color is calledd charcoal but it looks like a dark gray/green to me. Definitely the color of an actual tree. Its a bit thicker than the Lorna's, so I began by casting on 114 stitches and working as directed for the second row of branches. I have a great variety of beads from Fun2Bead (6th and 38th for those of you in the NY area) and even a few little bells. This was the best picture I could get...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Felted Mules

Over the weekend I needed some mindless football knitting. I couldn't resist – I had to make another pair of felted clogs (especially considering the fact that my original pair were summarily co-opted by J about 10 seconds after they dried).

I finished them up last night and felted them, but something went very very wrong somewhere along the line. The new clogs are on the left…

Same yarn, same pattern, same felting process, same knitter, same everything! But not the same clogs. Instead of the cute little lip on the back, these are more like old man slippers. Or felted mules. Big, floppy felted mules. See…

I'm hoping I can fix these up by cutting a V shaped notch in the back, sewing it shut, and refelting. If not, I'm just going to use them as potholders.

Perhaps this is a sign that I should just stop procrastinating and sew up my Rogue.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Really Long Socks

Some days, you feel like a superhero. Like when your sockpal sends you superhero socks - thanks again Yarn Maven!

Some days, you need a little help getting to that superhero feeling. That's why I own these...

But every great boot needs a great boot sock. Or at least a really long boot sock. That's why I just knitted these...

Look, (with a little geknitic engineering) they're identical twins.

They're knitted from Elann's Sock it to Me! yarn (superwash wool and polyamide), one 50g/230yd ball per sock, in the Puzzle pattern. I used the Elann toe up sock pattern (free!) and size 1 needles.

I don't understand why, but they were a surprisingly quick knit. They just flew by. Socks rarely do this for me. Perhaps its a sign from the universe that my superpowers will be needed shortly?

Note: Superpowers include incorporating bacon into any recipe, calligraphing 100 wedding invitations in two days, and going from asleep to out-the-door each morning in under 17 minutes. Superpowers do not include folding fitted sheets, weaving in yarn ends (sorry Rogue), or styling my own hair.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Rogue at Last

Here she is, bathing...

(Don't worry, she's not modest)

And relaxing...

(And I don't know how I'm going to use the bathroom for the next 24 hours)

And a closeup of my highly technical method for getting the edges to stay flat...

Its time for a knitting confession - I have never blocked before! I have no idea what I'm doing. So I just threw it in the tub, soaked for about 20 minutes, and laid it flat (more or less) on some towels. More pics to follow once she dries and gets sewn up.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Losing It

Today I lost my shit. For real. Or, more accurately, I misplaced my shit. I feel like I spent the whole day rooting around my purse and office for various items, including my wallet (twice, both times found in coat pocket, duh), my office ID card (somehow lodged in sock-in-progress in purse), and my digital camera (yikes! still missing, hence the lack of photos).

Rather than yammer on about the annoyance that was the fifteenth of November, I’ll give a little knitting update. Inspired by the clever haiku over at Mason-Dixon Knitting, I’ll be presenting my update in the form of a really really bad sonnet.

The Rogue she is done
Time for rub-a-dub
But soaking? there’s none
Till I scrub the tub

The alpaca beast
With maths oh so hard
Knit the sleeves at least?
Or bury it in the yard

Xmas hat calls me
The lure of the bling
Need some green Lorna’s
And some sparkly thing(s)

Those are the knits that
are giving me fits.

Oooh - this is motivating me to dig out the melodramatic poems I wrote in college. Hooray for philosophical angst! But they are likely too embarassing to post.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


I got home from dinner last night all ho hum and la de dah when SHAZAM! I got the coolest socks ever in the mail!!

These are from the Yarn Maven and they are my make-up socks for Alison's sockapal2za. These socks are comfy and they fit perfectly. None of my friends or family members are knitters, so it is rare and exciting for me to receive a handknitted gift. And, since I am a knitter, I can tell that these socks are awesome! When I make socks they always have some weird bits, a lump in the toe, a gap at the ankle, stuff like that. These socks are flawless! And stretchy! And did I mention that they fit perfectly?

But, best of all, take a look at my lightning bolt...

and his..

A coincidence? I think not.

Thank you, Yarn Maven, for making me feel like a superhero!

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Best Laid Schemes

I am a planner and a listmaker. I need to know what I'm doing, where I'm going, what is happening next. I need to cross tasks off in thick black pen once they are accomplished. I do not fly by the seat of my pants.

Lately, though, my best laid schemes, knitting and otherwise, have totally gang aft agley.

This is not what I planned for my beloved felted clogs.

(That is not my side of the bed.)

I did not write "untangle biggest koigu knot ever" on yesterday's task list.

And last night I tossed Rogue aside in pursuit of homemade chocolate crepes.

But the world did not explode, and the crepes were delicious, and maybe I need to practice letting go of the master plan just a little bit.

So maybe Rogue will get blocked this weekend or maybe it wont.

And maybe I'll spend the rest of my life working at a law firm or MAYBE I WONT!

Change is afoot around here and I am excited. And freaking out. Mostly freaking out.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Paging Dr. MeBeth

Thank you all so much – I feel like I actually won the marathon, not just ran it! At least mentally. Physically I feel more like I got run over by a bus. But I didn’t feel bad enough to put off my trip to The Point yesterday to pick up that extra skein of black Cascade 220 for Rogue. I was definitely harboring secret thoughts of sock yarn and other naughty purchases, but when I arrived some sort of photo shoot was going on and I just paid and ran. Probably my quickest yarn store visit ever! But when I got home did I finish up the Rogue sleeve? Noooooo, I worked on a new sock. Even though I have plenty of lonely socks in search of loving mates, I just couldn't resist starting up a new one. I think my feet needed a special little treat as a post-marathon reward.

ATTENTION New Yorkers - last night I went to the coolest thing - Mt. Sinai Mini-Med School! This semester (6 Tuesday night sessions) is all about the brain.

Its interesting, educational, and FREE. Perfect for any frustrated lawyers who wanted to be doctors but just couldn't handle organic chemistry. (Not that I know anyone who might fit that description.) The lectures were funny, the topic was interesting, and no one seemed to care that I worked on my sock the entire time.

Monday, November 07, 2005


It was slow, and it wasn’t pretty, but I finished my first marathon yesterday! It took me well over twice as long as Jelena Prokopcuka, the women’s winner, but not as long as three times Paul Tergat’s winning time. I suspect no one wants to do that kind of math on a Monday morning, so just trust me that it took a long time to run that far. I’m fine with that – my goal was to finish on foot, running most of the way – and I did it!

The best part of the NYC marathon is definitely the fans. Most of the course is lined with New Yorkers holding signs and cheering on the runners. My friends and family provided amazing support – they woke up early, traveled far, and missed lunch to cheer me on and hand me powergel and tissues. I’m just starting to realize what an amazing experience it was. And the best part about finishing the marathon – the refueling! My Aui Zhou Spicy Chicken, Dumplings, and Shrimp Toast should be arriving momentarily.

In knitting news, it seems that I was right about my limited portion of luck. I must have used it all up finishing the race because Rogue sleeve #2 is stalled for lack of yarn. As soon as I can walk again I’m headed out for one more skein of black Cascade 220. Thank you all so much for your good wishes - it was great to know that so many people out there were wishing me well as I stumbled over that finish line.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Wish Me Luck?

Last night I was knitting away on the second Rogue sleeve when I noticed something alarming…

Not much left. I’m about to begin the decreases/bind offs for the sleeve cap, so there’s a good chance I’ll make it, but there’s also a decent chance I wont.

It’s a silly little superstition, but I believe that each person only gets a certain amount of luck. Not over the course of a lifetime, that’s too dreary to contemplate, but more like a weekly allowance. Lets say a 100 yard skein of luck is allotted to each person at the beginning of the week. For me, this has been a pretty good week. My cold went away, good things happened in office-land, and I didn’t drop anything on my toes. I feel like maybe I’ve used up a fair bit of my luck skein already. So there is NO WAY I’m using up those last few yards of luck on some cheap black Cascade 220.

Not when tomorrow is …


Thursday, November 03, 2005

Felted Clogs

Felting is so cool. The magic of it amazes me every single time. I always think I've made something way too big and it always shrinks right down. This shouldn't surprise me so much. I follow the pattern, I use the good math done by the smart patternmakers, I swatch and wash my swatch in hot water (no, actually I don't ever do that, but I might start someday). The best part about felting is the non-knitters. They stare and laugh and say "you're making what? Slippers for a sasquatch? A French Market Bag for an elephant?" and then, voila, they are jealous of my little furry purse or my comfy cozy clogs! Check it out.


And After

These felted clogs (Fiber Trends Pattern) were a super fast knit. I started them on Sunday and finished them Tuesday night. And I'm not an unusually speedy knitter. I used size 13 needles with two strands of Patons Merino held together. I made the women's size 8 and they came out more like a 9 or 9.5, perfect for my amply sized feet. I don't have a top loading washer so I had to felt in a front loader. I ran them through two full washes in hot water/high agitation with two towels, a pair of jeans, a flannel shirt, and some random socks that snuck in somehow. Is it me, or do they look a little nervous?

Then I put them in the dryer cause I'm crazy like that. Over the next few days I suspect they'll start molding to my feet and into a more cloggy shape. What, more photos depicting the magic of felting? Ok!


And After

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Every Single One of Us the Devil Inside

On Monday night some friends came over and we ate spooky enchiladas before heading over to the Village Halloween Parade. I love Halloween in New York.

And now for a meme from Lisa

What is your all-time favorite yarn to knit with?

Its got to be Zara, by Filatura Di Crosa. I've made a few baby sweaters out of this stuff and it is so soft and cushy to work with. I really need to make a Beth-sized sweater with this one.

Your favorite needles?

I'm not really that finicky about my needles. Although I typically use Addis and knit in the round when possible, I have a special love for regular aluminum needles. Maybe it’s the clicky noise, or maybe because that's what I learned on, but it somehow feels more like "real" knitting to me.

The worst thing you've ever knit?

Crocheted, actually. An enormous afghan (4 x 6, at least). I vowed to keep crocheting till I ran out of yarn and it took me about 3 years to get that thing finished. I took up knitting after that and haven't crocheted since!

Your most favorite knit pattern?
(maybe you don't like wearing it…but it was the most fun to knit)

Rogue, even though it isn’t finished yet. My first real cabling project and such a well written and clear pattern.

Most valuable knitting technique?

I'm going to have to say cabling without a cable needle. I got so sick of fishing that little cable needle out from between the sofa cushions.

Best knit book or magazine?

Folk socks, by Nancy Bush. I have this mental picture of Nancy traveling the world, clutching a half knitted sock Harlot-style, asking probing questions of local knitters. Sort of like a CIA operative (Craft Intelligence Agency) back in the cold war days? I know that is weird, but that is what I imagine.

Your favorite knit-a-long?

I've only participated in one, for the Union Square Market Sweater, but it has been tremendously helpful in motivating me to keep working on the sweater (my current hiatus notwithstanding).

Your favorite knitblogs?

How about if I tell you my very favorite non-knitblogs just to mix things up a little? I love Miss Doxie, The Amateur Gourmet, Mimi Smartypants, and Twelve Two Two Fondue.

Your favorite knitwear designer?

Again, I’m going to go with Nancy Bush. There are tons of great designers whose work I love, but Nancy actually managed to get me really excited about socks, which I never thought I’d be.

The knit item you wear the most? (how about a picture of it!)

Wow, it isn't easy to take pictures of a Clapotis and a Devil Hat while you’re wearing them.

And tomorrow, some felted clogs!

Monday, October 31, 2005

New Clogs Soon

Thank you for all of your encouraging words about the marathon! I think it would be hilarious to incorporate a knitted item into my outfit, but I think the extra weight might be the straw that breaks my back. Instead, I'm going to lend my knitted devil hat (navy with red horns) to my mom so she's easier for me to spot while running, and maybe she'll even wear her Vegan fox.

On Friday afternoon I went over to Stitches (not my favorite LYS, but dangerously close to the office) to pick up a little more black Cascade 220 in case I run out before I finish Rogue sleeve #2. They had none, so I was forced to spend my money on other yarn because I don't have enough unfinished projects sitting around the house. I got four balls of Patons merino in black and gray so that I can make a pair (or two) of Fiber Trends felted clogs.

I already started and the pattern is wild. Most knitting patterns are fairly intuitive and you can cruise along for a while without obsessively checking the instructions for each row. Not so much with the clogs. Every row is like k2, m1, k1, m1, k32, m1, ssk, turn work, p1, p2tog, p47, do the hokey pokey, p1. I'm totally unable to predict what's going to come next. But it is addictive because they're knitted holding two strands together using size 13 needles and they go FAST! The immediate gratification is so worth the hand pain from knitting with drumsticks. Next I'm going to make a sweater like that – a big puffy thing that I can knit up in 20 minutes.

Tonight I'm having a brother and friends over for spooky enchiladas and then we're headed downtown for the Halloween parade, so I should have some GREAT pictures tomorrow.