Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Finished Object: Nancy's Honey Cowl (and other news)

On my way to the Debbie Stoller event last night, I got (as per the MTA special) stuck on the subway for nearly two hours. I was a little late to the event.

The positive side of the situation was that I had two uninterrupted hours to finish up Katie's sister's honey cowl and listen to SMODcast (Kevin Smith and Scott Moiser).

Pattern: honey cowl (my rav page) by madelinetosh (rav pattern page)
Yarn: Malabrigo Silky Merino in Cape Cod Gray, two skeins
Needles: US8 (5mm)

Little cat feet creeping into the frame... heh.

So, last night I got to see Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn for the first time (I love going to new places in the city):

See Debbie Stoller pretend to be a knit stitch (she's in the center) with some audience members on stage (terrible lighting, I'm sorry):

Purchased her new book and got her to sign for me, which was REALLY exciting, as I taught myself to knit from the first Stitch n' Bitch book.

AAAAAAAAAAAND, I got to meet OfTroy which was really wonderful. We rode the subway up to Times Square together and talked about books, history of NYC, education and a little knitting.

It was an AWESOME day, and I'm so glad that I got to go to the event. It had a rather small turnout though. I hope the trains didn't prevent people from getting to Brooklyn.

Bruce tried on the honey cowl last night and decided that he wants one as well, so I have three more to churn out. He really likes how it looks like chain mail (as you may have read in his comments) and how he can double it and cover both his face and the back of his head if he needs to. And honestly, it looks great on him.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Finished Object: Cherry Fizz

Finished up the Cherry Fizz yesterday. It is pink and purple (as I have discussed ad nauseum before), so Georgia pounced on it as soon as I cast off. "It's just my size! And it's not itchy!"

However, now that I know the pattern and how it all goes together, I could easily make a wider and longer version for myself. Which I will, once I get through my massive list of things that need to be knitted for other people (that I actually have the yarn for).

I also have two full skeins of the Alchemy Migration left, so I will likely be making Georgia a hat and mittens with those because, as I noted above, it doesn't itch.

Pattern: Cherry Fizz (link to my project) by Kate Gilbert (from twistcollective)
Yarn: Alchemy Migration in Rosy Finch, two skeins
Needle: US 8 (5mm)

We also went to the NY Botanical Gardens yesterday to see the train show. I got some pretty shots of winter grasses:

In other exciting knitting news:
  • Ella and Katie have asked me to teach them how to knit, so we're having a knitting lesson on Saturday evening. If any of my NY readers want to join us, please let me know and I'll send you an e-mail with time and location.
  • I'm going to see Debbie Stoller of Stitch n' Bitch speak tonight in Brooklyn! Really stoked about this, as it was her first book that got me into knitting (and I have purchased and given away a few of these since then).

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Stash Enhancement

Yesterday was "Black Friday" in the US (for foreign readers, it is when the Christmas shopping season officially kicks off for retailers, and lots of stores have huge sales, discounts and incentives to come in. It is generally insane,with stores opening at 3 a.m. and folks lining up for hours ahead of time). I am emphatically NOT a Black Friday shopper, and in fact will do anything I can to avoid going into stores, shopping districts, malls and/or leaving my home on this day.

However, Ella was at our home for Thanksgiving, and we decided to venture down to Brooklyn General to buy more Schoppel Wolle for another September Circle to replace the one she lost. Of course, this led to other stash enhancement, all subsidized by Ella:

The Schoppel Wolle Crazy Zauerball she chose to replace what she lost.
Slightly different colorway than the last one.

Some madelinetosh in Oxblood for mittens for Ella.
I'll be making the Snapdragon Flip Tops for her. (also for Katie and myself)

madeline tosh Pashmina in Fjord. I have no idea what I'm going to make from this, but it sure is pretty.

Malabrigo Silky Merino in Ravelry Red for a honey cowl for myself.

My purchases were simple: Three buttons to finish up the Tiny Tea Leaves I did, and the new Interweave Knits winter edition.

Unbeknownst to me, La Casita Yarn Shop Cafe is up the street from the subway stop that I take to Brooklyn General. So we popped in and did a little more shopping. La Casita has a wine bar at the back of the store and a really lovely fireplace to sit and knit in front of. I will be going back.

Ella got this Cascade Eco for a 103-1 sweater for herself. I think it'll look cute.

I also found this scarf on the streets of Brooklyn. It's really pretty:

It's going into the laundry to get rid of any nastiness that might be lingering, but it sure is pretty. I also got a pair of Frye Harness Mules at a second hand store for $15 US. SCHWEET!

And lastly, I worked on Katie's sister's Honey Cowl. Only two more to go (one for me, one for my husband's aunt Libby). Here's a shot from this morning, about halfway through:

Friday, November 26, 2010

Finished Object: Katie's Honey Cowl

I finished up Katie's Honey Cowl (rav) on Tuesday night, blocked it Wednesday and gave it to her yesterday for Thanksgiving. I'd get her to model it, but we're all exhausted, haven't showered, and I've only had minimal coffee. Plus, you know, Katie apparently doesn't want to look like she just woke up in her photos. Go figure.

  • Pattern: Honey Cowl (free pattern)
  • Yarn: Malabrigo Silky Merino (awesome yarn. First time I've knitted with it. Has the same "blooming" problem as regular mal, though), two skeins
  • Needle: US 8 (5mm)
  • Size: 38 inches by 11 inches (96 cm by 28 cm) unblocked. Longer and narrower after blocking. Sigh.

I started on Katie's sister's honey cowl on Tuesday, and am through the first skein. And after Katie's sister's, I have two more honey cowls to churn out. Fortunately, the seem to only take a few hours of work, so it's not too bad, grand scheme. I think I may steam block the second cowl and see how that works.

Also, I spent a couple of lovely hours knitting in Madison Square Park the other day while Georgia played on the playground.. I looked up and had this lovely shot of the Flatiron Building (probably my favorite building in NYC):

We had a truly wonderful Thanksgiving. It was small, we had two people we truly adore with us, and it was incredibly relaxed. Finished up the evening by watching "Say Yes to the Dress" and drinking a little prosecco. Yum.

This morning I am totally avoiding dealing with the aftermath (incredibly messy apartment) by blogging. Heh.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

We've got a whole lot to be thankful for in our household. And I'm incredibly thankful for all the awesome people I've met through my blog. Thank you for reading, commenting and your wonderful support!

(and thanks from my whole family! Minus the cats, of course.)
From left: Me, Bruce, Georgia and Ella.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


As you all may have noticed (or probably not) I made a few changes in my sidebar to the right.

I put up a find me on Rav button! YAY! It only took me two hours to figure out how to do it. Which is ridiculous, as I'm somewhat tech savvy, but for some reason, Picasa kept eating my button. (I really like the word savvy. Two vs. That's AWESOME)

I'm knitting along on the cowl for Katie (rav link), and will start on one for her sister soon. She liked it. We g-chatted about it yesterday. Probably this week. I finished the Teeny Tiny Tea Leaves (but it doesn't look much different in photos than it did the last time I posted about it). Still working on the Cherry Fizz (rav link), and am about to start on a mystery project. Which I can't blog about, because the recipient reads my blog. But it will be fun. I'll post secret Rav links to it when I start.

Also, Beezer isn't feeling too great right now. He's having some sort of reaction to his vaccinations last week, and is limping (off and on, and in different legs) pretty badly, is kinda low energy (well, for him this means, only twice the normal energy level of a kitten, instead of 15 times the normal energy level), and is more velcro-y than usual. He also shivers and shudders pretty badly on occasion. Poor guy. I called the vet and did some obsessive internet research, and apparently this can happen after vaccines to kittens, and he should be better by next week. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chickens and Cowls

We've had a busy few days.

On Friday, Georgia and I went out to the park to ride her new bike. While we were there, a couple of hawks perched in a tree above us and were feasting (I won't go into details, it was gory). Anyway, the hawks drew quite a crowd and lots of folks were standing around looking up at them. Unfortunately, only had my cell phone camera, and the pictures are pretty blurry.

Saturday, we all went out to Long Island to visit with some of Bruce's family. We went to the harbor, visited a LYS, fed some animals at a petting zoo/working farm, looked at some koi for sale (not a chance of us purchasing them. Our koi pond would be the shower, and honestly, I like bathing sans fish.), ate tons of food, and just generally had a lovely time catching up with some great folks.

Really fluffy chicken! (thought of you, Alwen, while taking photos of chickens)

Non-fluffy chickens!

View across the harbor at Northport.

I started on Katie's cowl (in Malabrigo Silky Merino, Smoke colorway) on Saturday night. She had originally asked for a slightly different pattern, but that one was a total clusterheck in this yarn, so I swapped patterns, and am now about seven inches in:

It's a really weird stitch pattern, as it's like one of those magic eye posters. It completely changes depending on the direction and the light that you look at it in.

Beezer thinks the colorway of the yarn should be changed from "Smoke" to "Beezer."
Also, this cowl is his. He has claimed it. Sorry, Katie.

So hopefully Katie likes this. I hope she will. It was causing a great deal of envy everywhere I was knitting on it. Bruce's aunt kept petting it, and finally I offered to make her one, which she pounced on immediately.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Beezer's mojo is just fine, thank you very much.

I thought I'd show you some photos of the progress on the Cherry Fizz scarf.

Beezer however, decided to add visual interest to every single photo I took this morning:

To paraphrase Georgia, "Stripes match the stripes and black goes with everything."


Oh, were you trying to take pictures of the scarf?

The scarf is going to be really lovely. Cept for the whole colors thing. Which apparently I am in the minority on, as everyone else loves the colors. Either that or folks are just trying to be nice.

And in the event that you don't hang on my every word, and obsessively read my twitter feed, I took the Beez to the vet on Wednesday, and the vet was convinced that I'd pulled a switcheroo on him with the cat, as Beezer is as big as an 8 month old cat (he's only 3 months).

Beezer is going to be HUGE. (He's already big in Japan. His career is really taking off there.) The vet is estimating that he'll be a minimum of 15 pounds (7 kg), but probably between 20 and 25 pounds (9 to 11 kg).

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

No mo' mojo

(Insert sad face here)

My knitting mojo seems to have disappeared for the time being. Which is fine. Sort of. I guess. Ok, no, it's really not. At all.

Anyway, I'm still working on the Cherry Fizz (still not liking the colors). I'm totally uninspired to finish the button bands for the Tiny Tea Leaves and my Interweave submission fizzled out. Feh.


And I have zero pictures for you all.

Maybe I should go start a new project. Although I'm uninspired to do that also.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Little Bronx Flava

Had a seriously busy weekend, and didn't get much knitting done, but I thought I'd share a little bit of our neighborhood with you all today.

Perches reminded me of one of the things that cracks me up in our hood: that every bakery labels meringue as "merengue" (as in the dance) because 99% of the folks here are from the Dominican Republic.

So, here's what we see on the street and on the beach during the summer... BACHATA!:

(and a linky here if the embed doesn't work for you)

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Day Off...

Georgia had the day off from school yesterday (Veteran's Day/Remembrance Day) so I took the day off and trekked around the city with her.

We went to Brooklyn General Store for the first time. What an awesome store. They have a beautifully curated selection of yarns that no other store in the city has, including Morehouse Merino and Peace Fleece.

Looking towards the back of the store.

The logo on the store's shopping bag. Cute, no?

Whoever picks their colorways has excellent taste and I was madly in love with most of them. Their staff was friendly and helpful, which is always a major plus. So yes. I like Brooklyn General A LOT! I will definitely be going back. Even if it takes me an hour to get there.

Looking towards the front. Where's Georgia?

I picked up some yarn for a mystery project that I can't blog about because the recipient readsMalabrigo Silky Merino to make cowls for my friend Katie and her sister in Smoke and Cape Cod Gray:


Cape Cod Gray

Beezer was confused as to why I'd be taking pictures of boring old yarn when I could be photographing him and he did a kamikaze slide into the frame right as I snapped a picture:

After Brooklyn General, we headed to Soho to have lunch with Katie (and let her fondle the yarn a little) and thence to Rat Park (also known as Sarah D Roosevelt Park, but it's full of rats...) so Georgia could play on the playground. Yes, I know, it's nasty. But to the Parks Department's credit, they keep that park spotless in an effort to minimize the rattage. And they mostly come out in the park at night. Plus it's New York City and rats are a part of our daily lives here. Apparently some construction in the Financial District disturbed rat colonies that have been around for 400 years.

I love that I managed to catch her in this photo completely off the ground.

And we walked up to Astor Place to see Bruce at his office (which was really fun. Plus his coworkers are nice). Georgia and I decided to wait and have dinner with him in the area, so we hung out in Union Square. Got a really lovely shot of Grace Church's steeple (10th & Broadway) on our way north:

All in all, an awesome day. I got a bunch more knitting done on the Cherry Fizz (total blast to knit. LOVE that pattern) hung out with the kid in some cool parts of the city and had dinner out with the family! Total win.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Taking it slow, sort of

After the knitting induced wrist disaster in late October, I've been taking it slowly on all my projects.

Well, that and I've been hecking busy lately. Saturday and Sunday were both packed with activities, although I bowed out of a fair bit of Saturday's due to fatigue. Monday we had round three of the battle of the century against lice. Georgia has caught them once a month since she started school, and I guess Monday was November's case. I ended up having to treat her twice on Monday and me three times, and then de-loused the house. Again. I didn't get to sit down until 9pm. Last night our toilet clogged, again, and I spent from 5pm until 8pm madly multitasking on homework, dinner, lice combing, toilet unclogging, bathing and getting the kid to bed. (I'm getting tired just reading about all of this)

Also, I found out last night that Ella (sister-in-law) lost the September Circle cowl and Koolhaas hat that I knitted for her. These are my first two projects that have bit the dust, and I'm surprisingly not pissed. I guess because Ella is spacey (both naturally and health induced) and they are accessories, so they didn't take that long to knit. I told Bruce last night that I was kind of surprised she'd managed to keep the hat as long as she had.

Regardless, I managed to finish up the sleeves for the Tiny Tea Leaves last night:

Though looking at the picture, it seems that I forgot to do some decreases on the right sleeve and I may have to rip back a little. Not such a big problem, as the sleeves didn't take me too long. Only about an hour or so of work. Oops.

I haven't worked on my Offset Raglan at all. It could be any number of things. I'm not sure I like the gauge. It's producing a really dense fabric, and with the Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride, it's a little stiffer than I'd like. I got gauge with the specified needle size (US 6/ 4mm), and I really just don't like knitting worsted yarns on that size needle.

Secondly, it's miles of stockinette, and I've been enjoying the zen-like concentration needed for lace projects recently (see Cherry Fizz).

Thirdly, I'm using a Susan Bates circular needle because my size 6 needles from an interchangable set that we shall not name died (and the replacement sent by the company that made them sucked) and the Bates is not as slick as I'd like for a yarn as sticky as Brown Sheep. It was also causing a little hand pain. (I like the Brown Sheep, and I like the Susan Bates needles, I just don't like them together.

My brown sheep isn't very brown.

All of which adds up to me not really enjoying the project and contemplating frogging it. I may try a different needle next week to see if that makes a difference, but I'm thinking this one is headed to the frog pond.

Bruce commented the other night that I'm getting much quicker to frog projects, and my reasons for this are twofold:
  1. I'm more experienced as a knitter now (almost two years) and I'm learning my preferences for projects (gauge, needle size, etc)
  2. I knit considerably faster now than I did before, which means that when I'm frogging, say, a scarf, I'm only frogging a few hours of work, instead of a few weeks worth.
Lots of growth as a knitter! Now I just have to take care of my little wrists, and the world will be full of love.

Also, I'm hoping against hope that there will be zero disasters this evening and I will actually be able to start work on my Interweave Knits submission. I have the yarn. I shall photograph it soon.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pop, pop, fizz, fizz

Started the Cherry Fizz the other night. We had a rocky start together, but once I got going, it is a truly addictive pattern. I am definitely experiencing growth as a knitter on this one, as it had instructions and a technique that I had never seen before. That hasn't happened for a while (probably a year? Maybe more? My second knitaversary (knitiversary?) is next month)

I'm almost done with the first chart, and am about to dive into the second. This pattern is amazingly beautifully written/charted. While knitting it, I have wondered about the kind of mind that can create this type of pattern. The designer, Kate Gilbert, just doesn't think like most other human beings. And that is awesome.

Although I am completely wild about the pattern, and will likely knit it again, I am not wild about the colors of the yarn. I bought the yarn (Alchemy Migration, 70% wool, 30% silk) because it was truly beautiful in the hank, and feels like a dream.

It's pretty in a cake, too!

In my defense, I purchased this yarn a year and a half ago, when I was a very new knitter, and did not know the ways of many colored yarns. And it truly does feel wonderful. It's quite soft and has an almost mohair-ish halo to it. You can also feel the silkiness in the yarn. Knits beautifully. Feels wonderful in the hands. Is a PAIN to tink or rip back.

So my only real beef with the yarn is the color. Which is a little pinky-purply for my tastes. Georgia however, has had her eye on this yarn as soon as I brought it home. Additionally, when she saw the Cherry Fizz pattern, she went crazy for it, so my child may be the only five-year-old sporting a hand knit, silk and wool, lace scarf. Snort. At least she appreciates hand knits.

As I've been knitting on the scarf, Georgia has been asking me, approximately every five minutes: "Who are you knitting that for? It's really pretty. Really really pretty. And soft."

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Autumn Saturday

I did a fair bit of knitting on the Teeny Tiny Tea Leaves for my friend's granddaughter, and am about to start on the sleeves:

We took a walk up to the Botanical Gardens today, and it was truly amazing. There's something so lovely about autumn gardens, and the NYBG does a truly amazing job with the shades and textures.

Of course, they can't take credit for all the fall color:

One last honeybee holdout. Poor guy must have been freezing today, it was 40 degrees (4 C).