Monday, November 30, 2009

A boringly pictureless (catch-up) post

Thanksgiving weekend was a little insane. On Thanksgiving day itself, Bruce and I ran around like crazy people most of the day and I got absolutely no knitting done. Ah well.

The rest of the weekend I spent recovering from Thursday. Friday I knitted some. Started a Koolhaas hat, which is just complex enough to keep me entertained, but is a quick knit. I'm about halfway through. I find myself having to use the cable needle in order to keep track of what I'm doing. Otherwise I would be cabling without a needle.

I'm chugging through Bruce's sweater. As of this morning, I have approximately 15 inches of the 16.5 inch main body done. On to the sleeves this afternoon.

The Featherweight is on hold again. I need to figure out the length of the body for Ella, as well as the sleeves. She wants a longer sweater. I'm not sure I have enough yarn. So I need to do some calculating.

Yesterday, while happily knitting on the Koolhaas, I started to think more and more about designing my own sweaters. I have a hankerin to do so. It will be happening soon. I keep dreaming of some colorwork... I suppose I should complete a colorwork project before I try to design with it.

In non-knitting news

We've kind of accidentally had really nice Sunday dinners a few weeks in a row now, with some guests that have just kinda shown up. We've all really enjoyed the meals, so we decided to officially institute Sunday dinner. Last night I cooked a menu from the new book Martha Stewart's Dinner at Home. We had pork chops with apples and onions (awesome), kohlrabi and fennel slaw, mustard mashed potatoes, and maple custard for dessert. The slaw we liked, but the problem with it is that the dressing completely overwhelmed the delicate flavors of the veggies.

The book is great. It's organized by season, so we can do most of our shopping for each menu from the farmer's market. And the recipes are pretty awesome as well. They're inventive, and unlike quite a few other cookbooks I've found, I don't have to doctor the recipes so that there is flavor.

Monday, November 23, 2009

On Hiatus

I'll be taking a break from ye olde blogge for a few days, at least until after the Thanksgiving holiday is over.

However, when I come back, I shall have my first giveaway! Which, in true Virginia (the person, not the state) will be due to my own crackheadedness.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Actual knitting updates

Please, my devoted tens of readers, try not to be overcome with surprise.

Ok, so I dyed the ugly green/yellow/orange koolaid scarf. I meant for it to be this color (or a variation thereof):

(teal jacquard dye from knitpicks)

And instead it came out this color:

Um. That's not teal. I think maybe it's because I used twice as much dye as the instructions called for. Well, maybe it was three times as much. Heh.

However, despite the lack of tealness, I think that the black is a decided improvement over the koolaid colors, and honestly, who doesn't like black? So once I get this sucker blocked and ready to go, I'll package it up and send it off for a Christmas gift.

I just wasn't up for the blocking last night.

And yes, for those who ask, the Knitpicks dye was super easy to use, and they had an excellent tutorial on their website.

An actual photo of the epic knitting fail

Unfortunately, I tried to take pictures at night in our crappy apartment light, so they're not as clear as I'd like them to be.

Although that might be in my favor, because then it's harder to see my incompetence with the knittage:

As you can see, on the left side of the ridgey middle bit, the stitches are all loose and ugly. Bah. I will need to rip back (fortunately haven't knitted all that much) and start over again. Plus the yarn overs on the lower edge aren't working (thank you Shortly for the advice in the comments).

And I hate, loathe and despise the needles I was knitting this on. They were Kollage square needles. Somebody may love them. In fact, if somebody wants them, post in the comments and I'll ship them off to you. I have two or three sizes. International shipping is fine.

My problems with them are:
1. my knitting is loose to begin with, and even though I go down two full needle sizes below what I normally do on regular needles (which is two sizes below the pattern size usually) my knitting still looks loose with these. Apparently they are very good for supertight knitters, which I am not.

2. I HATE THE JOINS on these needles. nuff said.

3. I don't like the cables. Yes, they are very flexible and that is cool, but when I'm knitting with them and the stupid cable gets all twisty on itself and I have to untwist it constantly, that drives me bananas.

4. They cost $16 US, and I have already thrown out a pair of these needles because the finish came off the corners of the squares, making for not very smooth knitting.

Yeah, I'm not really giving a good advertisement for them, but seriously, you may love them. So drop me a line if you're interested.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Epic Knitting Fail

So I started in on the Herbivore and got about four inches into the first part of the project, and discovered that there is something terribly horribly wrong with my technique. Some of the stitches are all loose and nasty on one edge of the ribbing - similar to the problem that I was having with cables oh so long ago (and still haven't resolved to my satisfaction).

Also, the yarn overs (J, it's when you bring your yarn forward between the needles to create an extra stitch and a nice decorative hole. It's one of the ways to make holes in lace) along one edge are laying open nicely, and the yarn overs on the other edge I can barely see when I pull the stitches out as far as I can.

Which is odd, because I certainly wasn't having this issue at all with the Damson. Then again, the Damson body was garter stitch, and this is stockinette.

I am pretty damn sure that I'm doing my yarn overs between a knit and a purl stitch wrong.


I'll post some pictures of my screw ups tomorrow when there's better light.

More pictures

Here's some more of Ella's bounteous photo shoot.

This is the Firefly (unblocked) - another Morehouse Farms Original. Again, a super easy pattern, and despite the two skeins of lace weight yarn, knitted up in a few days (2 hours per day).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pictures (or, Bagheera's photo shoot)

Yesterday was way heavy. I'll write about it some more later on when I have a little distance from it, and maybe some more clarity.

Anyway, to keep the stuff light today, here are some of the results of Ella's photographic bonanza yesterday. She took so many awesome photos, I'm going to have to break it into a few posts.

Today's project is the Sizzler (a Morehouse Farms Original). Very very simple project. But I really dug the brightfreakingpink and it was superfast to knit up.

Here's the photographer herownself:

A couple of lovely shots of the project:

And Bagheera, demonstrating that black looks awesome with hot pink:

And the piece de resistance. This may be my favorite photo of Bagheera ever (although all of these are awesome):

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Photography

Lots of pictures today.

Ella wasn't feeling too hot last night, so she skipped work today (probably for the best that she doesn't push it) and decided to photograph my knitting for me. There are a lot of advantages to having an artist/photographer in the family. That girl can make our little point and shoot sing. There will be actual knitting pictures tomorrow morning. YAY!

Also, I took my lunch break in Battery Park today (that's at the lower tip of Manhattan, overlooking the Statue of Liberty. Tough day at work. Battery Park is one of my happy places. So instead of knitting (was a bit too cold for that, 50F, 10C) I took peectures.


You can't quite see it, but that's the Statue of Liberty hiding behind the bush. It's crazy, because if you didn't know where it was, you'd think I was out on some windswept lonely beach somewheres.

The ferry to the Statue of Liberty just coming back:

The rear view (this is immediately behind where I was sitting):

Some of the gorgeous landscaping they've done here:

One last lonely straggling flower:

The only all-glass skyscraper that I ever really loved (hate most of them, but I like this one because it always perfectly reflects the sky) and the East Coast Memorial (WWII):

More awesome landscaping views:

The sculpture that stood between the twin towers (and somehow miraculously survived):

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekend Fun

On Saturday, Georgia and I went to a Fancy Nancy party at the Borders at Columbus Circle. Unfortunately, our train was running local and we got there for the tail end of the party, but Georgia was happy because the Time Warner Center had its pretty color changing stars hung, and those are her favorite.

Then we walked across the southern edge of Central Park to FAO Schwartz. Central Park was beautiful. Wish you were here, J. (also, Georgia knew already how to get to FAO from Columbus Circle. She's got that part of Manhattan well mapped out in her head.)

On Sunday we went to see the Rockettes. It was an amazing show, and completely over the top. The absolute best part of it was watching Georgia. Her expression when Santa and the little boy started to fly was priceless. And she adored the Rockettes. Bruce and I were completely overwhelmed at the end of the show. Although despite being overwhelmed, we still managed to sneak in quite a few snarky comments. We just can't help ourselves.
Here's the lobby and the theater. Again, taking photos in low light with the camera phone doesn't work all that well.

Believe it or not, I got a TON of work done on both Bruce's (Terry's Pullover) and Ella's (Featherweight Cardigan) sweaters. I had to slow down on Bruce's, because I'm not going to be able to move on to the sleeves until the needles I ordered from Knit Picks come in. Again, the pictures of both will be totally boring. Sorry.
I also started on the Herbivore, which in true Virginia fashion, I have now knitted and ripped out the first 20 rows four times. I ripped out and reknitted the first few rows this morning, but I screwed up AGAIN, so I'm going to have to go back and redo. However the yarn is a really pretty color and I'm enjoying knitting with it. Once I get enough of the pattern done so that it doesn't look like a hot mess, I'll post photos.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Knitter

If you haven't taken a look at this magazine, I highly recommend it. It's very pricey in the US, but it is well worth every penny. Awesome articles on technique, cool (and intricate) patterns, and of course, the Mason-Dixon Knitting column, which is fabu.

And thank you to Ella, for getting me a subscription. That was an awesome birthday present.

Here's this month's issue:
Last night involved me, The Knitter, lots of tea, and many glasses of seltzer (still trying to get over this cold)

Knitting Progress

Both WIPs (Works-In-Progress, J.) are progressing. Yep. Totally boring, I know.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Still not up for much writing

Stupid chest cold.

So last night I had a major fail. I attempted tea dyeing this piece:

As it is way too neon. However, even though I was tea dyeing it for the second time - the first time didn't work, it came out looking exactly the same as it did when it went in.

I'm either going to have to find someone who likes those colors as is, or overdye the entire thing with some actual yarn dye. Sigh...

Other knitting

Terry's (Bruce's) Pullover is coming along swimmingly. I've got about an inch of stockinette stitch done on the main body. Only 12 more inches to go.

The Featherweight Cardigan is coming along quickly. I'll probably be starting on the collar band this weekend. ETA: Next week.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Not much for writing today

I feel pretty crappy. But here are some pix.

Terry's Pullover (for Bruce):

I finished all three tedious inches of ribbing today, and am moving on to the stockinette for the body.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I will conquer you, Terry's Pullover, I WILL!

I spent a few hours last night working on this sweater.

Things learned:
  1. Long-tail (or double) cast-on. (J, this is when you set up your first row of stitches on the needle)
  2. The long-tail cast-on is awesome. Very quick and easy. Casting on 232 stitches using this method took me about 20 minutes, as opposed to 45+ minutes using the knitted cast-on method. Sweet.
  3. It's also stretchy.
  4. Beer helps.
I have approximately 2 rows completed. So far the first row of ribbing looks good. It's not all loose and bloopy like my last one was. I am happy thus far. It's still the beginning though. I'll work on it some more tonight and tomorrow (it's a holiday - Veteran's Day for my non-US friends, and those of my US friends (that being most of them, much like myself) who can't remember what day of the week it is - and Georgia's daycare is closed). The day off will provide some primo knitting time. Plus, I'm not feeling too hot, so I don't think Georgia and I will be running all over creation like we normally do on days off.


Sorry, this one is going to be boring as hell. I'm doing miles of stockinette (stocking) stitch right now, and I'm pretty good at that. Barring total stupidity, or drunken knitting or something, I think I'll be able to get through the rest of the main portion of the sweater without incident. Things might get dicey when I start picking up stitches for the collar.

I KNOW! The drama! I have you all biting your fingernails and sitting on the very edges of your seats in breathless anticipation of my next screw-up. Will she make it? Can she possible pick up 200+ stitches successfully? How many times will she have to rip out?



I'm gonna start tomorrow. WOO!


No photos today. Sorry. :(

I will leave you with a link to my WTF moment for today at It's Lovely, I'll Take It!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Oy, the Frustration

I've cast on and ripped out three times for Bruce's sweater. I'm doing Terry's Pullover from the Interweave Knits Holiday. I decided against Rhapsody in Cables, because I'm really not skilled enough yet to be able to pull that one off. I'll probably make an intricately cabled sweater for Georgia first before I attempt a full-sized adult version.

Anyway, I have to build myself back up to attempting this one a fourth time, because it's just so damn much work to cast on this many stitches.

The first try, I cast on, started knitting the ribbing in the round, and then realized I'd twisted it about halfway through the ribbing.

Second try, I cast on, and my cast on was way too tight. I had a tightness problem on my first try, but I was hoping to get past that. So I cast on, started the ribbing, it was so tight I could barely pull the stitches over the join in the needle, and ripped out.

Third try, I cast on over two needles, which was waaaaaaaaaay too loose. I started the ribbing, sailed through the first three or four rounds, and discovered that the first round of ribbing looked like crappydoodle due to the loose cast on. There's no point in continuing knitting on something that you're not pleased with from the very first round.

Anyway, I think I need a few quiet hours to myself to work back up to casting on for this thing again. Ever hopeful, I'm carrying it around in my bag... I don't think the few quiet hours is going to happen. So I'm just going to have to suck it up, and cast on while I'm on the subway. At least the only people there who talk to me are crazy, and relatively easy to ignore.

I'm just trying to build up the nerve to do this again. (You can do eeet!)

Featherweight Cardigan

I've broken out the sleeves from the yoke and am about two inches past the armpits. I'm flying through the body. I've been getting at least an inch+ done an hour. (45 minutes of uninterrupted knitting time on the subway this morning produced 1 inch of knitting)

It's a really beautiful pattern. So simple, gorgeous... I will be knitting pretty much ever pattern I can get my hands on from Hannah Fettig. The Whisper Cardigan was amazing, and the design was genius. I will be making another one.

Here's a picture of my Whisper from the back (please excuse my poor posture. I was tired and sitting on a rock):

And yes, I will be making a Featherweight for myself also.

The Herbivore

I found the correct pattern and the correct yarn for the project I'm knitting for my friend C!

It shall be the Herbivore and I'm knitting it out of Lorna's Laces sock in Envy.

I'm having major issues with posting pictures today. I'll work on that.

So I'll be casting on for that soon.


I have a bunch of gifts finished, and I'm going to be working on some more soon. And some of these are massively overdue (like as in, I owe some of these people favors for a lifetime, and should probably be knitting them a sweater a month for AT LEAST the next ten years, so these first few items will be only a drop in the bucket). So as soon as I get everything photographed, I'll be shipping them out.

Please don't fall over, faint, or otherwise injure yourself in surprise if you actually receive your Christmas gifts BEFORE Christmas this year...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday Pictures

One of Ella's friends was over with his fancy camera, so I put him to work photographing some of my knitting:

(Morehouse Farms Original)

Ysolda Teague


and for J. - how to wear the Damson:

Or this way:

Thanks Nathan!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Ok, ok, a few more:

The Aftermath

I know you can't quite see it in this photo (and again, apologies for the crazy angle) but people are knee deep in paper, and are having massive paper fights out on the street. It's kinda awesome.

Allright, I think that my hanging out the window is done for the day.