Friday, September 30, 2005

Cool New Yarn!

Yay and hooray for treats in the mail!! Today I got my yarn from Insubordiknit and I absolutely love it. Here is an attempt at a photo:

Black yarn is impossible (for me) to photograph. I only wish this yarn could talk so it could tell me what it wants to be! I swatched it (another terrible photo) and the one thing it said loud and clear was NO MOSS STITCH. And at first I thought it said “I don’t like garter, it looks like kindergarten.” But then maybe it also said “Garter makes flat edges.” I love it in stockinette, but I’d like to make something funky, and stockinette is maybe not so good for a funky garment.

I even consulted the mistress of funkiness, Teva Durham, whose book (Loop-d-loop) I just checked out of the library. Although may of the designs were lovely, I have a special message for the author.


You don’t want someone to die in your knitwear, do you? Look at this arm:

Reader, does this look like your arm? No, not my arm either. What about this tummy:

My tummy does not resemble this one at all. I would perhaps disown my family or even give up cheese if I could have a tummy like that. Yes, you too?

I fear to make this knitwear - what if it is only appropriate for those of no tummy and no arms? Do these patters take into account those with more ample parts? If I were cleverer knitwise, maybe I could look at these patterns and determine whether they would work for me, but considering my limited knitmagination when transferring ideas from page to person, I am not going to risk it. Especially in my easily stressed nonsmoking state. And I'd like to give a special thank you to everyone for your encouragement on the smoking (or lack thereof)!!

In other knitting news– here is a long pink sock!

This was kool aid dyed with cherry and grape and was a much darker color until it dried. I'm thinking of doing a few increases and going all the way up the calf to make a fun kneesock, but I'm not sure how much I'll like a kneesock that is ribbed the entire way up.

And whats that you say? Union Square Market what? I don’t think I have any idea what you’re talking about. Maybe you have me mixed up with someone else. Move along please, there is nothing to see here.

UPDATE - Just wanted to spread this message, stolen from Cara

1) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, liposuction and air conditioning.

2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

3) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

4) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

5) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britney Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

6) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

7) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

8) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.

9) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

I support gay marriage with no reservation whatsoever.

Monday, September 26, 2005


Whoops – I disappeared. I had a weekend of tremendous excess – lolling around, stuffing melty cheese into my mouth, gobbling dark chocolate Toblerone, and enjoying the slightly cooler weather which hopefully heralds the beginning of fall. But all debauchery was forgiven because I also restrained from the evil cigarettes. Today is 2.5 weeks and I still miss them. Oh yes I do, and I am hungry all the time and eating everything that comes near me, and still using my nicorette gum about twice a day but I HAVE NOT SMOKED IN OVER TWO WEEKS. And that was really almost impossible so I forgive all related grouchy behavior and overeating of fried treats.

I have been knitting, but just one very dull and long pink sock; I would show you, but blogger is not permitting the photo posting right now. This is my kool-aid dyed knitpicks yarn – using grape and cherry. When wet, the colors were far more vibrant, but now that its dry they are a little pastelly for my taste. Sockpal – I originally was going to dye this yarn for your socks, but once it dried and became so PINK I knew that these would not be right for you! I am so glad you liked the blue socks, and also sticky stars and want to use them for your students - that is exactly why I got them for you!

I have been on a yarn diet, giving my yarn money and book money to help all of the folks in need. But, I did a bit of yarn shopping today at a special new yarn source that I have NO power to resist! Oh yes, I bought all of the Tramp yarn and I am so excited to make a special wintery treat for myself. I will do pennance in the form of many many Duulan mittens!

And back to my sweater...when we last left the USM Sweater, I had done five repeats of the front side increase rounds, which brought me to right around the suggested 11.5 inches, and all seemed to be going fairly well. Then I did some of the front increase rounds, started thinking about my plans for an alternative front, and realized center increases were not at all what I wanted. I frogged back to 11.5 inches, coating myself (especially my inner nostrils?!?!) in alpaca fluff throughout the process.

I also realized that I am a fairly long torso’d person, and that I HATE to have anything constricting my armpits, so I should probably make sure to add some extra length and width everywhere. (Aside - who wears these armpit pinching garments? Who wants a bunch of cotton or, worse yet, wool, stuffed in their armpit while they are, even in the dead of winter, standing on a steamy subway platform or overbundled in their long coat? I see these women, with their tight little tops and seemingly nonexistant shoulders, and I wonder if they are perhaps ph balanced in a different way than I am, because I would be supersmelly and supersweaty wearing something all snugging up in my pits like that. Aside over.) I am adding extra length and width, and I have started as follows...

I’m now totally off the pattern and using it only as a reference point for armhole decreases and short row shoulder shaping. So here are my modifications. These start once you’ve finished the first batch of torso increases - the ones that occur on the sides of the sweater, not the ones in the middle of the front. In the pattern, the point where I switch to my mods is right where it says “piece should measure about 11½” (29cm) from finished lower edge.”

At this point I added a lifeline. I’ve never done this before but I’m in uncharted (ha ha) territory here and I also thought it might provide a sort of karmic appeasement to the Knitting Goddess.

*K2, M1L, knit to 2 sts before m, M1R, slip marker, repeat from * once more (4 sts increased), knit 3 rounds even. (Essentially you are continuing the side increase action, but with fewer plain rows between increase rows. I think if you have a big bosom you might want to increase even more frequently, but this was not exactly relevant for me.)

Keep going and I will be back tomorrow, if anyone is interested, with the news about how to start the contrasting color and the modified neckline.

DISCLAIMER - I am winging it, so this may be a giant failure. Knit at your own risk.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Socks in the Mail

My sockpal socks are on the way, along with a few other special treats.

I must confess that I couldn't resist flipping through the book before sending it. Actually, to be honest, I read the whole thing and thoroughly enjoyed it!

I hope these socks fit my sockpal and she enjoys wearing them as much as I enjoyed making them for her!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Sockpal Socks!

I finished up my sockpal socks - here they are...

And here's a closeup...

The pictures are not so good - I'm using my camera phone. These are lacy socks made of Cascade fixation - a wonderful and fun stretchy sock yarn. I actually adore these socks and was perhaps just a bit tempted to keep them for myself and send my sockpal something, mmmm, perhaps a bit less snuggly on the foot. But, I remembered the lovely and beautiful socks I received from my first sockpal and grew excited to share these new delicious socks with someone else!

These socks have had a fairly festive life (for socks); they've travelled all over New York City! They spend every morning and every evening on the E train from Chelsea to Rockefeller Center and back. Sometimes they went to City75 to pick up a little lunch. They often visited my local branch of the New York Public Library. They went to Fire Island for a few weekend getaways and they really seemed to enjoy their time relaxing on the outdoor patio of Half King.

Don't worry sockpal - I promise to wash them first. I hope you enjoy them!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Some Modifications

Because my gauge is completely different, I've had to make a number of modifications to the union square market pattern. First, I used an alternative hem as discussed in my prior post. Second, for the initial decreases, I did 5 sets rather than 6, for a total of 30 rows rather than 36. In the middle section, I only did 7 rows rather than the suggested 16. On the increase rounds, I only did 5 repeats, not 6 (again for a total of 30 rather than 36). This brought me to right around the suggested 11.5 inches, and all seemed to be going fairly well.

Unfortunately, the next bit didn't make too much sense to me. I made it through the first three front increase rounds (with a slight mistake that didn't merit frogging). Then the pattern stated "Note: front flap shaping continues at the same time as other shaping; read the next section all the way through before proceeding." What is this other shaping? I'm planning to just sort of ignore that part, and I'm seriously considering a bit of a neckline modification anyway. Here is what my sweater looks like so far...

I must say that I absolutely love the finished sweaters created by the rest of the members of the knitalong, and I am reluctant to futz with such a lovely pattern. But, I sort of cant resist - I'm thinking about a very narrow V-neck, sort of a long slit. Hard to explain so I created a very primitive drawing. Please don't laugh...

If anyone has any thoughts on whether this will look good and how to make it work, I would love to hear them. I am worried that the upper corners of the V will flop over because the alpaca is so soft. I guess I could put it a top button for more of a keyhole neckline, but I would prefer it to be buttonless. I also thought about a using a frog closure, like this…

but I’m not sure if it would be too cumbersome.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Making Progress

I've sorely neglected my little blog because of other life stuff, but I'm hoping that all is back on track now.

I finally restarted my union square market sweater, but I just couldn't seem to figure out the cast on. I gave up and used a regular cable cast on. After I cast on 166 stitches, I threaded a length of contrasting yarn through the cast on row while keeping it on the needles. I knit 9 rows and then, to make the hem, I just picked up stitches from the cast on row using the contrasting color to help me see which stitch to pick up. I did this one by one - I grabbed a loop from the cast on row, popped it on my left needle, and knitted it together (k2tog) with the next stitch waiting on the needles to be knitted. Here's a photo of the cast on edge...

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