Thursday, December 28, 2006

Darling, Where Do the Mets Play?

Yet another unpronounceable knit. I started Shedir with two balls of cashmere I won in the Yarn Harlot’s MSF thank you gift drawing, and I have no idea how to say the name of this hat. To avoid another Clapotis incident (wherein I go around mispronouncing the name of my garment for a year or so) – does anyone have a suggestion about the pronunciation of Shedir? I’m thinking it’s pronounced the same way you’d answer the question in the title of this post.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

It's In The Bag, Baby

My knitting looks pretty much the same, just a little bit longer. But those very same projects pictured in my last post are so much happier now, so much more cooperative on the needles, so much more fun to knit. Why? They’re now traveling in style…

This great box bag made by misocrafty and gifted to me by Carrie in our Spiders gift exchange. Ever since my pinsripe jaywalker (suffering from serious SSS) started traveling in the pouch rather than a ratty old Ziploc bag, I’ve made inches of progress. Thanks Carrie!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Open Issues List

Back when I was a lawyer I used to have to make “open issues” lists – multipage documents listing and classifying every contentious issue that had to be settled before a transaction could close. The parties would then argue about whether certain issues should or shouldn’t be included on the list, thereby adding even more open issues and prolonging the agony. I love thinking back to those great lawyer projects, just remembering that drudgery motivates me when I’m feeling a little too tired to work the night shift at the restaurant.

Here’s a little list of the open knitting issues in my life right now.

Looks like it’s time for a new pair of felted clogs…

The fair isle sleeve of the yolk pullover is going well so far…

What’s this?

Part of a super secret surprise in progress to be revealed soon – so cute you may need to wear sunglasses when viewing the FO.

You’ll notice that none of these projects look like holiday presents. That’s because it’s only December 11th. Plenty of time, right?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Riotous Vacation Day

Today was the first day of my three day weekend. When you work in a restaurant, holidays mean tourists and long hours, not time off, so I’m enjoying my Thanksgiving vacation a little late this year.

How did I celebrate?

Smiley’s Yarn RRRRRiot!!!

Here's some riotously colorful cheap yarn

And some of the other rioters

The line stretched around the store; the crowds were dense and moving fast. Most of the yarn was flammable. I’ll confess here and now that I cracked under the pressure and, after a brief scan of the pickings, fled to Philly Slims for a therapeutic cheesesteak. Maybe next year.

You may notice that I also did a little redecorating around here using a new template, hope it's an improvement!

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Handknit Holiday Season

There has been knitting of sleeves in the wrong places (oh, hello new parent, does your child have an arm extending from the center of his or her back? If so, I have the perfect sweater.) and soon there will be frogging of baby sweaters. I have not started the fair isle sleeve. I unfortunately went out and bought 18 tons of baby yarn in an overly ambitious project to knit sweaters for all of the babies due to arrive in the next six months (six, at last count). I am now sick of baby sweaters and want to knit something for my selfish self. Just in time for the holidays.

Last year I had a “No Knitted Gifts” policy. I didn’t want to make my hobby feel like a job. Last year I was a lawyer and I could afford to spend more than $36 total on holiday presents. This year I am a cook and my annual salary puts me well below the poverty line. I made so little that I don’t think I’ll owe any income tax. Lavish gifts are not an option. Family and friends – I bet your hands feel chilly, don’t they? I bet you wish you had some nice warm mittens. Don’t run out to the store just yet – Santa may have something special for you!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Flashes of Brilliance

Thank you all so much for the advice on the fair isle colors! I apologize for not responding to your comments, I had some email inbox craziness going on, so consider this a great big THANK YOU!

Those of you who suggested swatching are totally smart and right (although it does sorta eliminate the possibility of reusing the yarn). The truth is that I am a terrible swatcher, and I’ll hide the sweater under the bed rather than doing a fair isle swatch. Instead, I think I found a great solution. Here’s the sweater…

I’ll just start with the sleeve! That’ll be a nice test run for the fair isle, and not too painful to rip if it ends up being uuuugly. This solution was painfully obvious and staring me right in the face, but it took forever and a day for me to figure it out.

I’m also working on another EZ baby sweater for a friend whose baby is coming very very soon! As usual, I made it a little big. I just cant bear the thought of it being worn for only a month or so!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Advice Needed

I’m still knitting away on the bottom of the yolk sweater and am very close to starting the fair isle portion. I went down to Purl the other day and picked out some yarn, but now I’m having second thoughts.

Are these colors too bland for a brown fair isle sweater. Will the blues and grays just blend together into one cool color mess? I love the icy hues but I’m afraid they just wont show up. Do I need to exchange these for some peppy reds and oranges? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006


November is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Participants attempt to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November, with a focus on quantity rather than quality. For those of us that just aren’t ready to commit to a whole novel, November is also NaNoBloPoMo . One blog post a day for the whole month.

Fortunately I learned of these two events today, November 2, blissfully too late to sign up for either. If I had learned yesterday, I may have done something rash while in a caffeine induced frenzy. For those of you participating – good luck! I’ll be cheering you on from the sidelines, and perhaps trying to post a bit more myself now that my schedule has calmed down a bit.

I continue to knit around and around on the Brown Tube, but it is not at all photoworthy, so instead I will share with you a knitting confession.

I do not save these little yarn repair cards that come with sweaters.

I am a knitter. I have a box in a drawer where I store these, perhaps by fiber or sweater type, so that I can reach in and grab the appropriate yarn in the event that I need to do some mending.

The thing is, I am not a mender. I do not mend. I will just wear a sweater with holes, the same way I will wear a shirt with wrinkles, because I don’t iron. I don’t even own an iron. I sold it at a yard sale in 1999 and haven’t looked back since.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Lots of Knitting, Not Much Swatching

Why am I knitting hats for bears? This hat is swell, from the summer Knitty. I was knitting it as a gift for an adult size recipient, but things didn’t quite work out as planned. You know how it’s really trick to judge size on circular needles, and things always come out a lot bigger than you think they will? Almost always.

Despite the size issues this was a delightful and easy pattern, perfect for my first fair isle project. As soon as the sting wears off I’ll be knitting it again in a much larger size.

Friday, October 13, 2006

A Little Sweater

It's finished (almost)! If you look carefully you'll see that the sleeve seams aren't sewn yet, but otherwise here's the final baby sweater.

The color problem ended up being far more significant than I originally anticipated, so I'm just embracing the two totally different oranges as a design element rather than pretending they may actually be supposed to match. Although the colors are gender neutral, I think the lace makes this sweater to girly for a boy baby, or am I just being silly? I don't know the gender of any of the babies I'm knitting for right now, but statistically one of them is bound to be a girl, right? As usual, I'm sure I wont get around to sewing on the buttons until the intended recipient is in his or her crib.

It's going to be a rough 10 days of work and travel around here. Hopefully I'll have plenty of time for knitting, but I'm not sure I'll be doing much blogging.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I Clearly Started Without A Plan

I wanted to knit the baby sweater in the Knitter’s Almanac without a major yarn investment, so I tried to use up some Zara I had hanging around from prior projects. Unfortunately, I ran out of orange…

I bought another ball but the difference was too noticeable, so I switched back to maroon, at least for a little Charlie Brown style stripe. Now I’m trying to decide whether to keep going in maroon or switch to the new ball of orange (and hope the difference wont be detected because of the distracting stripe) or switch to a third color (thus buying a second ball of yarn and thwarting the whole thriftiness aspect of the project). Ripping the entire sweater out and starting over is not an emotionally viable option at this point. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Zimmermania - A False Start

Alas, my first Zimmermania project isn’t going quite as well as planned. I started the baby sweater in the Knitter’s Almanac using Knitpicks Andean Silk and something is amiss. The yarn is just too big, too fluffy, not baby-ish enough. The lacy pattern isn’t showing up well and I think the sweater will end up being toddler size rather than baby-size. As if that weren’t enough, I only have two skeins and I’m pretty sure I’ll run out of yarn before the end. AND, I already messed up the garter stitch button band.

Don’t worry, I got right back on that horse. I already started the new and improved (now machine washable!) baby sweater in Zara (possibly my favorite yarn ever) on slightly smaller needles.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Knit Your Own Stately Pleasure Dome – Save $388

In just a few hours on my day off, I managed to knit up my version of the Marc Jacobs Kubla Khan hat . Here’s his…

Here’s mine, gracefully modeled by Mr. Teapot…

And in the bathroom mirror…

I used Bear Creek Bulky (99% wool, 1% nylon), a bulky weight single ply that resembles roving more than yarn, and size 17 dpns.

I just sort of made it up as I went along. Here’s the pattern in case you’d like to make your own.

Gauge: Approx 2 sts per 1” but it doesn’t really matter, the hat is big and stretchy anyway. I didn’t even bother swatching.

Needles: Size 17 dpns (or two size 17 circulars, using two circs sock method)

CO 44 sts, join (don’t twist, although it wont show if you do, hooray!), knit around and around in 1 x 1 ribbing (k1 p1 ribbing) until the hat measures 8” (yes, this is very long, but you will fold it).

Knit 1 round as follows: *k2tog, k 9* rep 4 times. 40 sts remain.

Knit 4 rounds stockinette. (If you have a very small head, knit 2 or 3, a very enormously large head, 5 or 6. I have an average to biggish woman sized head, 4 worked for me.)

Decrease as follows:

*k2tog, k 6* rep 5 times.
*k2tog, k 5* rep 5 times.
*k2tog, k 4* rep 5 times.
*k2tog, k 3* rep 5 times.
*k2tog, k 2* rep 5 times.
*k2tog, k 1* rep 5 times.
*k2tog* rep 5 times. 5 sts remain.

Thread yarn through 5 remaining stitches and pull tight. Weave in ends. Roll ribbed portion of hat twice to get puffy brim. Don’t even bother blocking.

As you can see from the above photo, it’s sort of a goofy looking hat, but it is WARM, and it’s so fluffy that it doesn’t really mush down my hair (though in the winter I imagine it would pose a major static electricity risk).

Monday, September 18, 2006

Just Say No

One hit isn’t going to hurt you. Just try it, you’ll like it. It’ll make you have a really good time. All the cool kids are doing it.

These rationalizations, we learned in Sixth Grade Health Class, would be used later in life by “drug pushers” to entice us into a life of addiction and misery. Just say no, we were taught, no matter what they say, no matter how fun it may appear. I never found this teaching philosophy to be very compelling, until now…

Some are just too addictive to sample. Thanks to a certain knitter's recent post, I took my first hit, and now I fear I’ll be going back for more.

Knitted dishcloths? Preposterous. (Actually, mine is a washcloth for my round pink face; I just couldn’t bring myself to put handknit to pot crud.) Still, I have plenty of washcloths. There’s just something about the excuse to use garish colors, something about the pattern too, I just don’t think I can stay away.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Magic Mushroom?

The Yolk Sweater still looks like a brown circle, and continues to grow.

I am still knitting this damn brown alpaca round and round and round, with a keen sense of déjà vu because that is exactly what I did with the frogged Union Square Market sweater. It makes for fabulous late night knitting, when I get home from work and it’s 2am and I just need to wind down enough to realize that I’m really quite tired.

I was walking past Marc Jacobs on my way to work yesterday and I noticed something eye catching in the window…

The Kublakhan (mushroom?) hat. For a mere $400 this hat could be yours! I’m not even going to go into my little issues about spending $400 on a hat that does anything less than enable the wearer to fly and simultaneously turn handguns into prosciutto and cheese panini. Instead, I’ll just point out that this hat looks pretty simple to knit. I am tempted, but I worry that I'll look like a portobello.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


So far the Equinox Yoke Pullover (I keep wanting to write Yolk Pullover) is trucking along nicely, but isn’t exactly prime blogging material. Just picture a big (hopefully not too big) brown 2” circle. Woo hoo!

It’s a lot of stockinette. I find myself really looking forward to every 10th row, when I get to make four increases. I keep telling myself that this does not make me lame, it is all part of the meditative zenniness that is knitting.

You may have noticed that I’m knitting this one in the round. The pattern instructs you to knit it flat, but I just couldn’t imagine doing a front then starting all over again with a big backful of stockinette. Hopefully this won’t cause some great disaster that I was unable to forsee when I started. I know I’ll have to separate it into two pieces later, but that shouldn’t be too much of a big deal. Now I have cursed myself forever.

Because I know myself and my fickle ways, I am not planning to purchase the fun multicolored yarns for the fair isle portion (Nay, I am not even planning to set foot across the threshold of the den of temptation that is Purl!) until I have finished the stockinette portion of the body. Hence I will have a little reward for my success. Hence, again, I will not be going to Purl for about 4 months. Fortunately there are plenty of other yarn stores in this city!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Ready for Fair Isle

The camo socks are finished, and are now a far more flattering knee length.

They really are even, I don’t know why one looks shorter than the other. Also, my knees really are that knobby. They’ve never been my finest feature.

I also made a practice fair isle swatch.

Actually, this is the start of manresa, which I promptly ripped out after taking this picture. I realized that the likelihood of me wearing green fair isle legwarmers is just about nil, despite my desire to wear flip flops year round.

With the #3 circulars freed up from sock knitting, and the assurance from my swatch that I can make a fair isle garment that will at least hold together and not crumble on the needles, I’m ready to start the Equinox Yoke Pullover (again). This time in a slightly smaller size.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

The first FO I mentioned in my prior message, the camo colored socks, are not quite as F of an O as I thought. I was about to bind off and tried one on, only to find that it hit my calf at a spot where it a.) made my normally scrawny lower leg look hefty and b.) was destined to fall down every 37 seconds.

I ripped out the ribbing and I’m knitting up as a proper knee sock now.

I started the Equinox Yoke Pullover, but that had to be ripped as well. I like a roomy sweater, but it was ridiculous.

I’m going to restart it in a smaller size just as soon as I get those size 3 needles out of the camo socks. I was a little worried about the fair isle until I realized I have 87 yards of stockinette to get through, so there’s clearly plenty of time for a little fair isle practice on the side (Norwegian stockings, perhaps?). Anyone know a yarn store in NY that sells Dale yarns?

In other news, guess what I did last night…

The crowd was solidly behind Agassi, including one particularly verbal fan next to us in the nosebleed seats. Definitely the best $18 I’ve ever spent on a ticket to a sporting event.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Back to the Blog

It’s not easy to come back after being away for so long. I haven’t been blogging, I haven’t been reading blogs, and I haven’t really even been knitting. Work and school and so on and so forth, but I’m back now. Blogless summer vacation is over. This morning I cleaned out my under-bed knitting storage boxes. I frogged a lone wristwarmer and, more painfully, nearly a full Union Square Market sweater.

It hurt. Hours of knitting down the drain, but it just wasn’t working for me. The silhouette was too clingy for alpaca, which makes me itch. The sleeves were too snug, and had to be redone anyway. The back had a weird poochy part that would have been useful in the abdominal region after a large meal, but did me no good right above the backside. Honestly, though, the motivating factor was the Equinox Yoke Pullover on the cover of the latest Interweave Knits. Perfect use for the Blue Sky Alpaca that was tied up in the USM pullover. Now I just have to head down to Purl and buy about 7 more balls in various colors!

I’m glad to be back in the blogosphere and I look forward to getting back to reading everyone else’s blogs and finding out what I’ve missed out there in the knitting world! I’ll leave you with a photo (see above) of what I anticipate will be my first FO since the hourglass sweater.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

World Cup Knitting

Here it is – the secret mystery World Cup knitting project!

Yep, it’s the start of an Argentina World Cup Soccer sock! I originally wanted to finish the pair before my husband left for Germany to watch some of the games. Unfortunately, he left yesterday, so it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. He’ll be gone for ten days, so hopefully I’ll have them finished by the time he gets back (and hopefully Argentina will still be in the running)!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A Finished Hourglass

Thank you for all your kind words of suport during my knitless time! My hands are all better now (lots of baking, not too much cooking) and I’m back on the needles. I had a great time meeting up with the Spiders last night for a mini yarn crawl and some knitting at the Point!

The big knitting news around here is that I finally finished my hourglass sweater! Check it out…

And a closeup of the sleeve…

I used some very slubby mystery cotton purchased during my yarn binge in Argentina. My gauge was totally off and, instead of doing lots of nasty math, I just knitted the XS size (I’m normally a M) and hoped for the best. Amazingly, this resulted in a nearly perfect fit. I lengthened the sleeves to fit my monkey arms and added a few extra decrease rows to prevent the “Flashdance-shoulder” commonly experienced with this pattern. I’m already plotting my next hourglass, but not before I finish my secret mystery super-urgent World Cup knitting project, to be revealed shortly.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Oh, do I have a knitting blog?

I started knitting because I enjoy creating things; I love the feeling of turning raw materials into a very different looking finished product with just my hands and minimal tools.

Since I started culinary school, that need has been pretty well fulfilled. I spend hours chopping and sautéing and plating food. When I get home from school I often have just enough time to shower and grab a snack before heading off to trail at a restaurant for eight hours. After twelve hours of chopping and cooking, my hands are puffed like oven mitts and have all the dexterity of lobster claws. Knitting is not an option. I miss it – I miss the fine yarn running quickly over my fingers, the meditative row after row coming together to make something potentially wearable.

I hope I’ll be back soon. I’ve considered knitting with gloves on, so the yarn doesn’t snag on my roughened skin, but my knuckles cry out when I pick up the needles. I’ve resorted to petting my yarn and rearranging my knitting basket instead. I thought the holiday weekend would provide relief, but I took a sailing class – two full days of pulling ropes and trimming sails. At least the instructor was amazed by my aptitude for tying knots!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Seven Sevens of MeBeth

Many moons ago, Amandamonkey tagged me for a meme. It took me much longer to complete than I initially anticipated, mostly because I got all excited about my favorite books and movies, and had to go reread/review all of them, and so I got a little distracted. But here it is…

Seven things to do before I die:

(I had a list of these things somewhere, but I think I lost it. Perhaps #1 should be to get organized, eh? I don’t like the whole “before I die” thing, so these are some things I’d like to do before the year 2006 dies.)

1.) Eat at Per Se.
2.) Do wheel pose (see below).
3.) Get paid to create food for other people.
4.) Write more funny stuff. Lots more.
5.) Have one of those dinner parties where everything seems effortless and I don’t end up getting red-faced, sweaty and flustered.
6.) Run another marathon. (Please read as if I put little finger-quote things around “run” -- I’m not afraid to stop and smell the Gatorade.)
7.) Learn to tourne vegetables really well. (A tourne is a bizarre football or barrel shaped seven-sided thumb-sized cut. It is really hard.)

Seven things I cannot do:

1.) Do a multi-day rock climb and sleep in one of those hammock things 800 feet above ground.
2.) Tree pose at yoga. I suck at tree pose.
3.) Also wheel. Why is everyone else at yoga class popping up into wheel while I’m stuck doing bridge pose with the 80 year old ladies and the really fat man in sweatpants?
4.) Be a foot model.
5.) Be an opera singer .
6.) Figure out how to make the stupid banner on my blog look somewhat more interesting. (I even checked out helpful books from the library!)
7.) Walk on any kind of tightrope, even if it’s six inches off the ground.

Seven things I say:

1.) Hot Behind!
2.) Carrots, hold still. This won’t hurt a bit.
3.) Just one more mile.
4.) Just one more bite/row/glass of wine/snooze.
5.) Oops, sorry, did I spill that on you?
6.) Can I have just a little nibble of that?
7.) I’m just going to read one more chaptzzzzzzzzz.

Seven things that attract me to my mate:

1.) He smells like dryer lint. In a good way.
2.) We have the same size feet.
3.) He can’t order food without asking the server eight million questions. Annoying, but endearing.
4.) After one drink he forgets that he can’t sing.
5.) Until he met me he didn’t know that pickles came from cucumbers. He didn’t believe me about this for a very long time, like, two years.
6.) He has great intentions to do work on weekends and exercise regularly, but he can be led astray with the slightest hint of cheeseburgers and the promise of a movie.
7.) He’s smarter than me, but thinks I’m smarter than him.

Seven books I love:

1.) James and the Giant Peach
2.) Anna Karenina
3.) The entire Susan Cooper Dark is Rising series. (As a matter of fact, excuse me while I go reread it all right now.)
4.) The Moviegoer
5.) Atlas Shrugged
6.) Franny and Zooey
7.) Frost on my Moustache

Seven movies I’ve loved:

1.) The Royal Tenenbaums
2.) The Usual Suspects
3.) The Holy Grail
4.) Pride and Prejudice (BBC – mmm, I love that proud Mr. Darcy)
5.) Shaun of the Dead
6.) The Princess Bride
7.) Spellbound

Seven people to tag:

Oh crap, everyone’s done this already. Have you not done this? Leave a comment and you are hereby be-tagged.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Does Raglan Really Work?

The Hourglass is my first raglan sweater. I just joined the arms to the body, attaching two sleeves to the tube top part.

Set in sleeves make sense to me. You make a vest, you make some sleeves with round shoulder tops, and you sew them in. The finishing is annoying, but I understand how it all comes together.

The raglan thing – I just don’t get it. It looks like I’ll be making a sort of triangle up from the tube top/sleeve and ending in the neckline, but I don’t think I’m shaped that way. My shoulders are boxy; they don’t slope, they just sort of jut out. I can’t envision how this sweater will fit without having big poochy parts – either on top of my shoulders or in the front of the neckline or some other unfortunate and unflattering place.

Right now I’m just following the pattern with my fingers crossed. Please – if you’re a boxy shouldered reader out there who has knitted an hourglass that has resulted in unsightly poochy parts – let me know now so that I can resort to plan B. (Also, if you have a plan B, please let me know that too!)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Peep Research

If you’ve got even the littlest bit of either nerd or Peep lover in you, head right on over to – HILARIOUS!

This weekend was Spiderrrific, with a party on Friday and Kaitlyn’s baby shower on Saturday morning. I didn’t get any decent photos, but plenty of the others have great pics on their blogs.

I’m not so coordinated when it comes to knitting and socializing, so I chugged away on my all-stockinette sock while snacking and drinking wine.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

I See London, I See France

I see MeBeth’s…STASH!

Yep, today is Flash Your Stash day in the Knitblog world. Here’s a look at mine.

The basket of yarn booty from Argentina.

The messy knitting corner.

Sock yarns, a giant cone of cashmere, and some other assorted stuff.

From the underbed storage boxes, we have my spinning fiber and, you guessed it, more yarn.

Not exactly a beautiful yarn containment system (YCS) but it works in my little apartment. Hope everyone has an inspiring day revisiting some old forgotten treasures hiding in the depths of their stashes!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Totally '80s

Finally, I knitted. I made it to Spiders on Friday and finished up one Hourglass sleeve. Check it out…

I started number two yesterday and realized if I stopped right now I’d have a one armed sweater and a matching wrist cuff. Rock on!

Fortunately, I have a special new motivation to complete this sweater in a hurry. I was too cheap to buy Last Minute Knitted Gifts, so I checked it out of the library about a week ago (before that, I was just sort of winging it). It’s due back on April 4, and can’t be renewed because someone else is waiting for it. I can’t possibly keep it past the due date – that would likely do irreparable harm to my knitting karma. Soooo, I’m using the due date as a target date for completion of the sweater.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Without Knitting, I Am Perhaps A Little Evil

I haven’t been knitting. Nope. Not one bit. Who, me? Knit? As this is a knitting blog, that leaves me with very little to talk about. So how ‘bout some other stuff.

Culinary school is great. Aside from a few louts that think they’re above doing the dishes (hey, why bother when those nice girls are going to do them for you) everyone in my class is delightful. Most of our cooking is done in teams and it’s fascinating to observe how others work in groups. Bossiness, micromanagement, laziness, passive aggressive peeler stealing – it all comes out when you team people up, give then an unreasonable deadline and a limited number of metal bowls in which to whisk their mayonnaise. I tend toward a strange combination of bossy and overly solicitous – delightful!

I’m actually a bit weddinged-out this morning after a weekend of nuptial revelry. For the past two days I’ve felt less than sparkly upon lifting my head from the pillow, and the day has been an exercise in recovery. Maybe Gatorade? A little caffeine? Oops, now I’m dehydrated again, time for 97 gallons of water. How about a nap? When you’re tending to these most basic needs it’s hard to find the time or mental capacity for any higher level activities like reading the newspaper or, god forbid, trying to do the NYT crossword puzzle. I think I got two words in there, and I’m pretty sure they’re wrong.

I did learn one thing about weddings though – once you have one, it is nearly impossible to resist comparing every wedding you attend to your own. In this case, the comparison wasn’t easy, as the wedding in question was a glamorous sit-down dinner with a big band and a cake. But we managed. I was really impressed with my husband’s eye for detail, he picked up on a few scandals-in-progress that I would have totally overlooked. Yes, we’re bad evil coal-hearted monsters, but we’re fun to sit with.

Hopefully once I medicate myself with sufficient Gatorade, coffee, water and naps I’ll be able to function well enough to have a little knitting to talk about, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Felting, Not So Magic Anymore

Much like my last post, there's little knitting going on around here. But felting, oh there's plenty of felting! Here's what happens when your ungrateful husband puts his hand knitted anklets in the washer and dryer...

(Those are my feet, not his.)

Some of you out there may be wondering why I knitted my husband such garish anklets in the first place - this is a valid question. I was knitting toe up socks for myself and he specifically requested them, that very color, but in an anklet version. True, he does not wear them outside the confines of the apartment, and they serve more of a slipper role than anything else, but he did ask for them. These are the only knitted item he has ever requested or shown any interest in. And he felted them. Guess who wont be getting any more knitted socks ever again for forever and ever.

Anyone have a 6 year old that needs some felted slipper socks?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

No Knitting Here

Does this even qualify as a knitting blog anymore? I haven't knit a thing in a week, I haven't been able to read knitting blogs, I missed Spiders last Friday and will be missing it again this week for a business trip. (At least perhaps I'll get in some knitting time so that I have somthing to post on this here blog.) We've been cooking lamb in culinary school - that's pretty much as anti-knit as one can get. I'll be back soon.

In the meantime, here's a picture of the largest ball of twine. Just imagine if it were wool...

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Handknit Envy

The other day I was walking down the subway platform and I noticed this guy, probably around my age, wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase, staring at me in the most peculiar way. My first thought – “Oh, he must be jealous of my hand knit Rogue sweater.”

Right. I am sure that is exactly what he was thinking. I think I need to spend a little more time with the non-knitting population; I am losing my grip.

I didn’t get to knit with the Spiders this Friday – I’m so sorry I missed the festivities! JF and I had a dinner that was not to be missed, and could not be rescheduled. I hope everyone had a great time.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Ouch and Damn.

I thought I was soooo clever – I bought myself a 12” circular figuring it would be perfect for the sleeves of my hourglass sweater. (Note – I bought this at School Products and managed to leave the store with NO OTHER ITEMS – I consider this a personal triumph.)

Anyway, I got my little circular needle home and tried to cast on for the sleeve. No chance. The needle and yarn kept flying out of my hand, loops popped off the needles, it was disastrous. I cast on using regular needles and then tried to knit a few rounds with the little circular, but similar problems ensued. After about three rounds my hand muscles seized up and refused to go any further.

Do I just have monstrous bear paws, or is it really that difficult to knit a sleeve on a 12” circular needle? Has anyone out there done this successfully? Any tips? If not, I’m headed out tomorrow to buy some size 6 dpns.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Sorry I disappeared there for a bit – big life changes are in the works. I just started culinary school! I have to wear a really unflattering uniform from head to toe, with black nurse shoes, checkerboard pants, a white chef coat, and a silly little hat. The one internet-friendly part of our outfit that isn’t strictly regulated is our socks…

(Ribbed socks from kool-aid dyed knitpicks.)

In other news, we got the best wedding present ever. We’re going to call him Ferdinand Donkey M(last name deleted to protect donkey anonymity).

Fortunately Ferdinand didn’t arrive on our doorstep. Instead, he was delivered to a family with greater donkey needs and a bit more space for him to roam. According to his bio, he enjoys plowing, helping with irrigation and carrying supplies to the marketplace. If you’re shopping for gifts, check out Oxfam. Who wouldn’t want a donkey?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

New Projects on the Needles

I’ve put a little time into some of the old projects, but, as usual, I couldn’t resist starting a new project (or two). I’m working on an hourglass-ish sweater, but I’m at the point where I really need to go out and buy the pattern rather than winging it. I have no problem knitting a big tube with a little waist shaping, but I’d much rather stick to the pattern when it comes to the neckline and sleeves of this one. I’m using one of my Argentina yarns – a slubby cotton that is ultra soft – sort of like Manos stria but with the thickness variations of regular Manos. I wasn’t sure it would work for the hourglass, but so far I’m really liking the texture…

It is MUCH more blue in real life.

I’m also working on a pair of camouflage socks using the squeakiest sock yarn on earth – there are no natural fibers in this one, but I couldn’t resist the colorway. So far it’s pooling a bit more than I had hoped, but is perfect mindless knitting during all of the Olympics I’ve been watching.

I’m not involved in the knitting Olympics, but HOORAH! for all of you Olympic knitters – I hope your projects are going well!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Rogue and Socks

(Post edited to fix typos in sock pattern!)

Thank you all for our excellent sink advice. I think the neighbors must be a little overenthusiastic with their dishwasher soap. The problem seems to have abated in the past few days, so perhaps they were just using the snowy blizzard weather to catch up on their dishwashing.

Today, I have photos of two FOs. First, here’s Rogue…

I used size 7 needles and Cascade 220 yarn to knit the medium size – I’m pleased with the baggy sweatshirty look. I want Rogue to be the sweater I put on after work on winter evenings. The biggest pattern modification I made was to add the red racing stripes up the sides by knitting the cable charts in red. This entailed knitting the body flat and then seaming up the side, but was otherwise pretty simple. I’ve worn Rogue for at least a few hours pretty much every day since I finished it (last Friday) and I can tell I’m going to need another. Fortunately, Rogue was such a well written pattern and fun knit that I cant wait to make it again.

My other FO is a pair of Cascade Fixation socks. These are quite similar to the socks I made for my sockapal2za sockpal Ashley, but I used a new lace pattern of (sort of) my own invention. The pattern was so simple I don’t really feel like I can claim that I made it up – it’s sort of like trying to take credit for a long garter stitch scarf. Its easy and fun though, and Fixation (or the equivalent) is the perfect sock yarn.

I use’s basic toe up sock pattern, which you can find and copy for free right here, with the following modifications:

Stop after row 10, when you have 48 stitches on the needles, 24 for the top and 24 for the bottom of the sock. Work two rows in stockinette, stopping after the bottom 24 stitches, so you are about to work across the top of the foot.

Row 11: (top of foot)) k2, ssk, k2tog, k4, ssk, k2tog, k4, ssk, k2tog, k2, (bottom of foot) k24.
Row 12: k one round (48 stitches).
Row 13: (top of foot) k2, yo, k2, yo, k4, yo, k2, yo, k4, yo, k2, yo, k2, (bottom of foot) k24.
Row 14: k one round (48 stitches).

Repeat rows 11 – 14 as many times as needed to reach point where you want to start heel. Remember that Fixation is stretchy yarn, so you may want to make the foot a little shorter than you normally would.

Do your favorite short row heel. I like the one in the elann pattern, but I typically pick up a stitch or two (and k2tog them later) to account for gaps where the heel meets the top of foot stitches.

After the heel, resume lace pattern as follows:

Row 1: (top of foot)) k2, ssk, k2tog, k4, ssk, k2tog, k4, ssk, k2tog, k2, (bottom of foot) k2, ssk, k2tog, k4, ssk, k2tog, k4, ssk, k2tog, k2.
Row 2: k one round (48 stitches)
Row 3: (top of foot) k2, yo, k2, yo, k4, yo, k2, yo, k4, yo, k2, yo, k2, (bottom of foot) k2, yo, k2, yo, k4, yo, k2, yo, k4, yo, k2, yo, k2.
Row 4: k one round (48 stitches).

Continue until you are an inch or two from ideal length, switch to k2, p2 ribbing and continue until desired length is reached. Bind off in k2, p2 rib.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Everything is a bit haywire around here – it turns out that when I’m left without any structure (i.e. work) in my life, nothing gets done and I don’t leave the house. I forced myself out today and I’m sitting in a tea shop blogging on their wi-fi. Today’s blog entry is disjointed and awkwardly transition-less.


Rogue is finished, but I have no photos (despite the fact that I’ve been wearing it for three days straight). So COMFY! Also so full of mistakes. Rogue was my first adult sweater, my first cable project, my first work with lots of shaping and, as a result, looks more than a little bit homemade. I’m trying to love it in a Velveteen Rabbit kind of way rather than obsessing over all of the holes and weird bits. I’ll post a photo and pattern details as soon as I can get a decent action shot.


Although I’m not officially participating in the Knitting Olympics, I’m trying to use the Olympic spirit to motivate me to finish up some of the projects lurking around in the knitting basket, like the USM pullover, my chunky manos sweater, and lots of odd socks. Unfortunately, my best intentions have been thwarted by the lure of the new yarn from Argentina, and I’m fooling around with some slubby blue cotton that may become an hourglass sweater. I crave endless stockinette rather than fiddly finishing, especially because I cant unglue my eyes from the TV for more than 45 seconds. Has anyone made an hourglass sweater out of cotton? Is that even possible?


In other news, I fell and I’m wounded, but I think I’ll survive. The great blizzard of ’06 + pomegranate margaritas = me sliding down the steps at the Lexington/53rd Street subway station and landing on my left hip. I jumped right up and tried to pretend nothing happened, but by the time I got home I had a huge lump. I would take a photo and share the horror right here on the internet, but it would be nearly impossible to photograph my hip without also photographing other parts of me that I would prefer not to share with the internet at large. (Mom – did I just hear a sigh of relief?) So use your imagination -- It looks like I have a third butt cheek, a purple third butt cheek, growing from the side of my hip.


This is my sink…

But that is not my soap! Every morning a giant mass of bubbles comes wildly frothing out of my sink drain and fills up the entire sink, stopping juuuuust shy of overflowing all over the kitchen floor. Why is this? Fellow apartment dwellers – do you have this?