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?

Friday, February 10, 2006

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is beautiful, the sock had a delightful time enjoying the view from the balcony of our hotel.

We spent quite a bit of time visiting with JF’s friends and family and traipsing around the city. In exchange, JF agreed to accompany me to the yarn district and act as my translator. (This is particularly hilarious if you know JF!) JF’s knitting aunts had warned me that the yarn district was huge, and could be a bit overwhelming, but I had no idea what I was getting into.

I have never seen so much yarn in my life. Three blocks of yarn stores, one after another, lining both sides of the street.

I’d say about 50% specialized in machine knitting yarns, and of the remaining 50%, half of those were closer to the acrylic end of the spectrum, but the remaining 25% (must’ve been at least 10 stores) looked like this…

Most of the shop employees didn’t speak English, so JF gamely translated, “do you have wool, very thin wool?” “No, she wants the kind that is only wool, to make something for the neck, perhaps a cape? Made of lace?” “She likes the thick wool too.” “How many yarn, um, things are in a kilo?” “Do you have any more in the back?”

The phrase he used most often, “She’ll take one kilo.”

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A Meme (More Argentina Soon)

I’ve been tagged, and double tagged, so I’m going to do this meme even though it makes me feel kinda old.

Instructions: remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place, then add your blog to the bottom slot.

sassy stitches
mebeth rambles

I’m going to tag Stephanie, but it’s an optional tag – no obligation if you don’t want to meme! Anyone else – if you want to do this meme, I hereby tag you!

What were you doing 9 years ago?:

In February of ’97 I was a first year law student at a small law school in the mountains of Virginia. I had left first semester nerdiness behind me, quit my job as a waitress (my favorite job of all time), was enjoying Feb Club (a party nearly every night at someone’s house) and the boot camp camaraderie of law school. I was dating a med student and I thought we would get married eventually. I was going to be a death penalty lawyer or a professor.

What were you doing 6 years ago?:

In February of 2000 I was living in Richmond, Virginia, clerking for a judge, preparing for my impending move to New York and my job in a big law firm as a tax associate. I was finishing up my stash of cigarettes and wine that I'd stockpiled in preparation for Y2K. I had recently broken up with a guy with a big TV and a small vocabulary. I got over him the following weekend by having an anti-Valentine wine and pizza fest with my young surfer neighbors.

What were you doing one hour ago?

Trying to do the stupid Wednesday crossword puzzle in the New York Times. Honestly, I don’t know why I do these puzzles – they’re a constant source of frustration and they make me feel like an idiot.

Name 3 movies/tv shows you can’t turn off if you stumble across them on television:

Alton Brown’s Good Eats
The Witches of Eastwick
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Name 3 things you want to improve upon this year:

Run the NYC marathon in less than 87 hours (maybe)
Decide what I want to be when I grow up
Seam my knitted sweaters rather than just leaving them, sleeveless, laying around the apartment

Name 3 things you can’t live without (aside from knitting):

Many small notebooks scattered all over the apartment
The “guide” function on the remote control, so I don’t have to scroll through all the channels to find out what’s on

Name 3 things you could…

People who don’t have their money ready when they get to the register - you buy that same bagel every day, you should know how much it costs by now!
The fact that my local wine store is closed on Sundays (and the fact that I can never seem to remember this fact)
Ice cold drips of dirty water onto my head from the scaffolding on my building

Name 3 things you really like about yourself:

My ability to guess the time of day within a few minutes
My ability to fix broken toilets (thanks Dad!) and…
I secretly like my big ugly feet (thanks again, Dad)

Monday, February 06, 2006

Argentina - Part 2

From El Calafate, JF and I drove about six hours to Torres del Paine national park in Chile. The trip would’ve been great knitting time if I hadn’t constantly been looking out the window at the amazing scenery.

Torres del Paine was amazing. We climbed a little mountain, here’s the view from the top…

The lakes are such a bright vibrant color because they are fed from glacier meltwater, which contains certain particles of sediment that create the “glacier blue” color. It’s quite deceptive, the water looks like it’s about 80 degrees, but really it’s closer to 40.

We drove from Chile back to Argentina to stay at our hotel overlooking the Perito Moreno glacier. While we went glacier trekking…

the socks enjoyed the view of the glacier from the hotel.

The next day, one of the socks felt adventurous, and joined us on a boat to explore the Upsala glacier.

We had a hard time saying goodbye to the Patagonia.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Argentina - Part 1

It’s not easy to get back into this blogging thing after a two week absence, I feel like I need to do a little recap over the next few days. I apologize for the photo heavy post.

First, we got married. For photos and a story, check out this link

The wedding was fabulous. I never expected it to be so much fun. After all the planning and chaos I was just hoping for no catastrophes, but I wasn’t anticipating that it would end up being a terrific party. The only thing I’d change is that I would’ve cloned myself about 8 times, so that I could have more time to spend with each guest.

We left the next day for Argentina; we flew to Buenos Aires and then directly down to Ushuaia. The sock was a little tired after 24 hours of travel, so it spent the first day of the honeymoon resting in the hotel while JF and I went on an excursion in 4 x 4s.

It was still pretty sleepy on the second day, so we let it rest while we went kayaking to the island of penguins.

It barely had the strength to peek out the window on the flight from Ushuaia to El Calafate.

It recovered a bit once we landed, bolstered by the knowledge that El Calafate is an important hub for wool traveling from the Patagonian estancias for export. See all the sheep…

There may have been a little wool shopping.

I bought four fluffy skeins of sheep-colored handspun.

This yarn is RUSTIC, it smells wooly, feels a little oily, and has little flecks of barn stuff throughout. It reminds me of an Irish fisherman’s sweater, but I’m not sure if I have enough for an adult size.

I also bought three skeins of super soft brown merino (150 grams per skein) for another undetermined project.

Total expenditure – approximately $15. Yep, $15.

There’s so much more to tell – I’ll post again tomorrow with more photos and yarns!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Back From Argentina!

We flew back from Buenos Aires last night, and landed this morning – the honeymoon was fantastic. No opportunities for blogging, and not too many for knitting, but we enjoyed plenty of hiking and feasting on meats and empanadas.

I did find a little time for shopping. In fact, I bought a new duffel bag.

Here's why…

Argentina is the world’s largest wool exporter. The entire Patagonia is full of sheep. We drove for six hours - much of the time there were sheep grazing as far as we could see.

The wool was amazing - beautiful, soft, and 1/4 the price. I promise I'll provide a better update tomorrow, after a little sleep and a lot of unpacking.

In the meantime, here's a photo of my sock in progress enjoying the shady and beautiful Plaza San Martin in the middle of Buenos Aires.