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!