Friday, October 29, 2010

I'll be restoring sanity this weekend...

No, really. I will be, I swear.

Bruce, Georgia and I are all going to Washington D.C. for Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity tomorrow. Then we're going trick or treating with Georgia somewhere in Northern Virginia.

So, this should be interesting.

I'll post some pictures on Monday when we return.

(and yes, I fully intend to knit through the rally if at all possible. Solidarity through fiber!)

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Started and finished another Shroom hat for Georgia last night, which makes it my fifth finished object for October (probably my last for the month) and my most productive month EVER!

Yarn was Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande in purple. (It's a really nice yarn, by the way).

Here it is, unmodeled:

The model came home from school (where she apparently was very bad in church...eek!) and threw a massive temper tantrum, at which point I put her down for a nap. She pretty much never throws tantrums unless she's tired, so I figured a rest was in order.

Ooh, breaking news, Georgia woke up in a better mood and consented to model:

And here's the yarn for the Tiny Tea Leaves I'm about to cast on for:

It's Malabrigo Rios (their new superwash yarn) in Archangel.

Anyway, it's for my friend's granddaughter for Christmas. I think it'll be really cute.

That's about all. Today was an "every-word-written-is-like-a-pulled-tooth" day, but I met my goals. However, I don't have much left over for the blog.

I might need a nap too.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Yet another FO!

I have now officially had my best month for finished objects ever: Four! I got some yarn for a Shroom hat for Georgia so I might even have five FOs if I finish it before Saturday. Which is a possibility, given how quick the knit is.

Anyway, here is Ryan's Very Manly Cowl, unblocked:

I knitted this for my soon-to-be-brother-in-law (Ella's fiance) per Ella's request. It is the first of four commissions I've received recently. The next is a Tiny Tea Leaves cardi for a friend's granddaughter.

Pattern: My own. Just cast on 200 stitches, garter stitch for 10 rows, knit like a crazy person until the yarn has almost run out, 10 more rows of garter stitch, cast-off.

Yarn: Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball Crazy in color 1153.

Needle: US 7 (4.5mm)

Beezer had to "help" with the picture taking this morning:

And then Bagheera decided to take over the "helping."

I'm knitting on the Offset Raglan for myself, but have only gotten an inch or two past the ribbing done. For some reason, knitting that sweater is causing some hand pain. Other knitting, no pain at all. It might be the needles. I'm trying out a Susan Bates circular for the first time, since all of my other size 6 needles are... well, they're from that particular interchangeable set I was whining about a few months ago.

In addition, I have the yarn wound into cakes for Cherry Fizz and the pattern all printed out. I was just waiting to get Ryan's Cowl off my needles.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Happier than...

Well, happier than I was before. Maybe just happy? Happy. There we go.

Anyway, spent the morning writing a couple of knitting and sewing articles and I'm REALLY happy about them. They flowed, I enjoyed writing them, it was fun to dig into the technical side of knitting and it really forces me to stop and think about my own techniques and how I go about things.

It's almost as good as knitting.

I've also been thinking about the other things that I really enjoy doing, aside from knitting and writing about knitting. I've spent so much of my adult life doing things that I don't really enjoy (working for total douchebags and/or the clinically insane, various other things) that an exploration of what I do enjoy is far past due.

Here is a list of activities that I really love and in which I experience flow:
  • knitting
  • cooking
  • writing (except when I don't)
  • traveling
  • reading
  • researching (pretty much anything)
  • walking
  • listening to music
I'm sure Bruce could add a couple more to the list.

As much as I enjoy sewing, I'm usually not experiencing flow while I'm doing it. Sometimes it's a mild irritation, and on occasion it is full blown frustration, but I really like the finished product (most of the time).

So my new project is to incorporate more of these things into my working life (and to focus more of my working life on the things I enjoy). So yeah, really really loved writing about knitting this morning. It made me SO happy. Why not continue that feeling?

In the same vein, I'm thinking of starting up a food blog (yeah, cliche, trite, been done a thousand times, blah blah blah I will get this stupid voice in my head to shut up one of these days) as I think and read about food all the time, and am pretty fascinated with it. Also will share some of the issues I have cooking for three fairly disparate sets of tastes and needs, and to talk about my process of learning to become a better cook.

And, a series of completely unrelated photos:

Georgia hugging her friend Nicholas at her (rescheduled) birthday party. Blurry, but cute.

Union Square on a beautiful fall day. Love the one yellow tree.

SATC: Sheep and the City. Found this lovely guy on the American Felt Building near Union Square.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Still in shock

I started and finished an entire object yesterday. Granted, it was a hat, and knit out of bulky yarn, but still.

I made an entire hat in one day. I'm still bragging about it to myself.

Shroom (rav link), by Lee Juvan on Knitty (not rav link)

Yarn: Mirasol Sulka (left over from my 103-1 sweater)

Needles: US 9 and 11

Mods: cast on 52 instead of 48 stitches, decreased to 51 when I started the puff rib. Also, added an inch of ribbing and an extra repeat of the puff rib. Made pattern mods to account for slightly smaller gauge of the yarn.

Georgia says this looks like a baker's hat. I kind of agree, however I love it and am not sure I ever want to take it off. It is rather warm, though.

Crappy photos courtesy of my computer's web cam.

Next up, I thinkI'm going to tackle Cherry Fizz (non-rav link) by Kate Gilbert. It's got an intimidatingly long set of instructions. However I have the perfect yarn (Alchemy Migration) in a pinky/purply color.

I also have the Offset Raglan (rav) on the needles and I'm getting close to finishing Ryan's cowl (rav). Only a couple more inches to go.

Friday, October 22, 2010

First Knitting Articles Published

I managed to get a few knitting articles from the site that I work for the other day, and lemme tell you, it was a fun experience writing them. They are nothing hugely special, just quickie 500 word pieces, but I'm pretty excited to be writing about knitting!

Here they are:

How Do You Stop the Sides From Curling When Knitting a Sweater?

How to Stop Your Knitting From Sliding Off the Needles

and a sewing article:

How to Sew Fabrics With Four-Way Stretch

Most of my articles up till now have been about travel, which I love writing about, but it got a little repetitive for a while there. I was writing a lot of "Hotels in..." type articles, which got a little dull. Hotels, no matter where they are, pretty much offer the same thing: bed and toilet.

I also wrote a couple of brief political bios for another site recently, which I'm pretty excited about. It was a really nice change of pace. Plus, I actually got to interview people for them. That's always fun.

Yay! I'm so excited to be writing again!

And no, I don't think I'll be doing a novel for NaNoWriMo. It's just not where my head is right now.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Adventures in Soho and a FO

I had the best morning yesterday. I got called for a test group and went into Manhattan at 9 a.m.

The testing was remarkably relaxing, so I came out of there in a good mood and a few bucks richer.

After that I decided to hop on the subway and go down to Purl Soho, since I hadn't seen their new space yet. It was closed, of course, so I took a leisurely walk through Soho to Whole Foods up on Houston (which is, I think, the awesomest Whole Foods ever) taking pictures of some of the gorgeous architecture and architectural details.

I'm not usually a fan of Soho. On good days it makes me feel... well... violent. Between the snottiness (and expensiveness and pretentiousness and...) of the stores and their employees and the hordes of people in the area, I end up feeling remarkably out of place. However at 10 a.m. it is quiet, mostly empty except for a few Bronx born freight workers (with whom I get along famously) and a few club kids staggering home after a long night out. And yes, a few walk of shamers. Heh.

I got to spend lots of time staring up at buildings and taking pictures. Additionally, I found an amazing little cafe/hut in a leanto up against a huge building. Cafe Angelique, I think it was called. AWESOME coffee, and totally amazing cupcakes. Which I used to supplement my, um, breakfast.

At Bowery and Houston, I saw this really awesome grafitti wall.

After I went to Whole Foods I sat in Eleanor Roosevelt Park (subtitled Rat Park due to the HUGE numbers of rodents running around there) and knitted on my Dierdre (see below). Had some engaging conversations with some of the homeless guys there about knitting, and listened to the school kids play in the playground nearby.

Purl Soho's space was beautiful. The staff this time around was quite friendly and helpful. However, I just can't get into that store. I like their blog, I like some of the projects they put out there. The prices are insanely high and their yarn selection is lacking. I can't determine how they've organized their yarns, as it doesn't seem to be by weight, fiber content, brand or color. So that confuses me a wee bit. Also, they pack their shelves very tightly and none of the labels show, so in order to find anything you have to ask for help, or risk yanking out an entire shelf full of yarn to determine what you are looking at.

I did get to look at Shelter, Jared Flood's new yarn line. The colors are muted and lovely, and the yarn looks awesome in the skein. In terms of feel, it's a pretty rough yarn and it had quite a bit of vegetable matter in it. I would put it on a similar level to Noro Kureyon in terms of how it felt to my hand, however I think it will soften considerably with washing and blocking.

So in terms of my actual projects, here's Dierdre (rav link), finished:

Yarn: sweetgeorgia cashluxe fine
Needle: US 4 (3.5 mm)
Size: 56 by 24 inches

The yarn is a dream to work with. Feels really amazing, isn't splitty, absolutely awesome. The fabric is quite drapey, although honestly I used a much larger needle than the pattern called for, so that added to the drapey-ness.

I am not so sure that I like the color. I think I'm starting to become anti-variegated yarn. Or at least, if the yarn is variegated, I want it to be all in the same tones.

It's a lovely pattern, and a super fast knit, providing that you don't have a kitten who has suddenly developed a taste for cashmere and chews through a large length of yarn.

It's also fast if you manage to get all the yarn overs in the right place and you don't have to rip out more than half the shawl to fix an oops.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


If you wanna feel good, go see the awesome video on Georgie Love's blog.

Come on. All the cool kids are doing it.

Rhinebeck, et al

I think I did mention that I was really sick. (As Bruce said last night, my illness has been well documented by now. I have been a little whiny.)

Anyway, didn't buy any yarn. I just didn't see anything that grabbed me. Also, we're on a tight budget right now due to the quitting of job/starting up a writing career thing for me.

So here are some pictures of pretty fall foliage and animals from the festival:

That's Georgia playing with the leaves. Urban Muser got a picture of my favorite red trees from the festival grounds, which you can see on her post here.

Some llamas (I think) with their long silky fur blowing poetically in the wind. They were ridiculously gorgeous (and pampered) animals. They knew it, too.

And below, some babydoll sheep. They were so stinkin cute.

In other news, Georgia got a bike from her auntie Jen this past weekend for her birthday. Georgia is THRILLED.

Finally, I have photographic evidence that the cats have been snuggling with each other. They're cute, aren't they?

Yes, Bagheera (big kitty) does pull down knitted things from the back of the couch and nest in them. She is also a yarn snob. Refuses to have anything to do with acrylic.

And yes, am still knitting. Almost done with the Dierdre, that will probably happen at some point this evening. Working on Ryan's cowl. A friend bought me some yarn at Rhinebeck (Malabrigo Rios in Archangel) to make a sweater for her granddaughter. I think I'll probably make a tea leaves cardigan for her little one out of it. (Yes, also met up with my friend Jen and Joey's parents at the festival. It was awesome. They are fabulous peoples).

I am feeling better. Fingers crossed that will continue.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Not dead yet

I've been knocked on my butt by a cold for the past two weeks. First chest, then head. Usually it goes in the other direction for me.

I am ready to be healthy again. Really.

Then a funeral on Friday (sad) and Rhinebeck on Saturday (happy!) and running around yesterday. All of the above, I think, lengthened my recovery time.

I managed to get out of Rhinebeck without purchasing a single skein of yarn (I must have been sick), though my friend's mom

Aaaaaaanyway, I've been knitting, simple stuff mostly. Dierdre (rav link), which is going so quickly I've almost finished it before I have had a chance to post about it.

Also, Ryan's cowl out of the schoppelwolle.

I think I'm going to go lie down now. Which honestly, has been my state of existence for a while. At least I have kitten antics to keep me entertained.

Story and photo re: Rhinebeck to follow when I have more energy.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Last night I went to a color workshop given by Amy Hendricks, the owner and creator of madelinetosh yarns at Knitty City.

As always, the folks at KC are some of the best on the planet. Really lovely staff.

Amy started out the class with some really solid basic color theory, and progressed deeper into the psychological and cultural aspects of color. Some of the philosophy of it as well, which of course, as a philosophy major, piqued my interest.

tosh lace in oxblood
(photo courtesy of madelinetosh)

I'd never before considered how color is pretty tightly wrapped up in time. That colors change over time, fade, deepen or intensify, depending on what it is. That color changes depending on what time of day it is, (and what time of day you are, as apparently our perception of color changes with our sleep and waking cycles), what kind of light you're looking at it in and how old you are. Like our other senses, our ability to perceive color peaks at a certain age and declines as we get older.

tosh merino in violin
(photo courtesy of madelinetosh)

Beyond all the theory stuff, Amy talked quite a bit about her process for dyeing yarn and how she comes up with colors. That most of her colors are glazed and overdyed multiple times to give them a richness and depth (saturation, if you will) that large batch dyeing does not have.

tosh merino light in cherry
(photo courtesy of madelinetosh)

We also learned about the pretty amazing journey her company has taken. She started up in 2006 with dyeing her own yarns and sold some of the extra to a LYS. As of 2010, she has 42 employees and is thinking about building her own large studio/factory.

Amy is really lovely and knowledgeable. I highly recommend taking a class from her if you get the chance. I also highly recommend getting your hands on some of her yarn. It is fabulous. I'm currently obsessed with four colorways: Filigree, amber trinket, ginger and gilded. I wish I could find pictures of these colors for you all... well, you can always check them out on her website.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy 259th Post! (and a discussion of knitting technique)

Since I completely forgot to commemorate my 200th (or even 250th) post earlier this year. Heh. (and apologies for the lack of pix today)

Anyway, the 103-1 Jacket that I just finished involved many new techniques for me, and was a total blast to do.

The lineup:

  1. The pattern wasn't written as explicitly as I've been accustomed to (or spoiled by) in the past. This meant that I took extensive notes, wrote all over the pages, did some actual math, re-wrote the pattern in spots and used lots of books and blogs for reference. I have never done extensive planning for a project before, and boy did it ever make this one fly off the needles with nary a hitch. (the bulky yarn also didn't hurt).

  2. I have never knit a sweater fully in pieces before, and frankly, have been dead set against it. I thought long and hard about re-writing the pattern to be knit in the round (and honestly, probably will if I knit this again in the future in a different yarn) but after reading Carol Sulcoski's article "To Seam or Not to Seam" in Vogue Knitting Early Fall 2010 (no really, I buy it for the articles) I decided that with the fiber content of my yarn, seaming would be the way to go.

    The yarn was Mirasol Sulka, and is 60% Merino, 20% Alpaca, 20% Silk. From my gauge swatch (yes, I actually did one) I could tell that this yarn has zero memory. So it would be stretching and bagging out of shape. This was confirmed again when I had finished knitting the fronts and the back, blocked them like a good little knitter, and discovered that the very second I took them off the blocking boards, they went back to doing exactly what they had been doing before blocking, which was curling.

  3. I have seamed a couple of things in the past, such as sleeves and, well, sleeves. Honestly, I seamed those exactly the same way I do on sewing, which is to put the right sides together and sew, using a back stitch or something else sturdy. This was fine on Bruce's sweater that had a lot of ease in the sleeves, or on Georgia's first sweater (which was my first sweater), but with bulky yarn it became immediately apparent that my crappy technique was not going to work on this project.

    This led me to lots of research. I pulled out Knitwear Design Workshop by Shirley Paden, as she is known around NYC as the "Queen of Finishing" and taking a finishing class from her is kinda like "knitting bootcamp" according to those in the know (i.e. people who have actually taken the class). That was pretty helpful.

    I also looked at Knitting Daily's two blog posts on seaming a sleeve cap, (Part I and Part II) since that was the hardest part. The Knitting Daily posts were brilliant, easy to follow and well explained. I HIGHLY recommend them if you're seaming a sleeve cap for the first time. These posts also referenced Shirley Paden. There is some extremely helpful information on easing in fullness at the sleeve cap, however if you have sewn a shirt before, you shouldn't have any troubles with this at all. It did, however, take me three or four tries before I got the first sleeve cap in correctly.

  4. I was exceedingly dubious about mattress stitch when I first tried it, thinking that there was no way in heck that the stitches would disappear, but they did! It was like magic. My seams look fabulous (if I do say so myself) and I couldn't be prouder.

  5. For the shoulder seams, I initially used my crappy original technique and that looked horrible. I thought about using a mattress stitch seam, but I did some research and discovered the three needle bind off. This was just about the best invention since sliced bread. Absolutely genius. I wish I could have done this for all of the seams in my sweater, but alas. Again, I learned this technique on the fly from Knitwear Design Workshop which had concise, clear instructions. The shoulder seams are definitely the sexiest seams on my sweater.

  6. The collar is in moss stitch and the instructions said to increase two stitches at each side every other row. Which gave me nightmares. I tried and ripped back about three times before I realized that there was no way I could stay in pattern, or even plan ahead to stay in patter with my brain all fogged with a headcold, but I desperately wanted to finish this thing yesterday. So I altered a little and put on a small garter stitch border which not only made it a heck of a lot easier to stay in pattern, but also gave me a great edge to mattress seam the collar to the fronts of the jacket. Out of everything on the sweater, the collar gave me the most trouble until I thought of the garter stitch border.

The yarn was great. A real dream to knit with, although it sheds like crazy. I was wearing a black shirt yesterday and the thing ended up covered in little red hairs. It was a little splitty if I didn't pay attention to what I was doing. It also mats together (not quite felting) SUPER fast, so weaving in ends didn't take much effort. Unfortunately ripping back (especially where I bollocksed up the shoulder seams) did take quite a bit of effort, and in one case, scissors and reknitting. Despite the fact that the yarn mats together, it doesn't felt and would not accept a Russian join at all.

However, it is REALLY soft, and can definitely be worn against the skin.

And that is all for now.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Finished Object: 103-1 and sundry other news.

Yeah baby, the name of this sweater is just hottttt:

103-1 Jacket in Eskimo or Silke-Alpaca with A-shape

Anyway, I finished this afternoon. I now have yet another buttonless cardigan.

I learned lots and lots of stuff on this sweater including seaming and the magic of mattress stitch. Also, I am using my Jedi mind tricks to make you all not notice the mess on the carpet.

As you can see, Beezer was extremely helpful with the knitting process:

Adding to the extreme cuteness, Beezer took up residence today in my knitting project bag:

We had a rainbow a week ago:

A crowd gathered to watch:

Heather and I had a Farmer's Market Swap and she sent me this:

Yes, to those of whom know me, I did actually manage to already send her a package back and she received it in a timely fashion and everything.

Heather also gave me an award, but that's going to be another post.

And back to the cute, Beezer stuffed himself into a small kleenex box:

and attacked it:

I have a lot more photos of Beezer attacking the kleenex box. I may upload them soon.

Anyway, more posts are forthcoming. I am feeling better, Georgia is feeling better. She got sick and we had to cancel her birthday party yesterday (poor kiddo).

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I didn't knit a stitch yesterday

And the only thing I read was a chapter of Bruce's book.

The disease factory has gone into full swing at Georgia's school, which of course means I'm picking everything up from her.

Anyway, I'm working on getting better. I also realized yesterday that I don't have any knitted hats. Which I should definitely rectify prior to Rhinebeck. But I suppose I should first finish my sweater.

I'm really really really excited about Rhinebeck.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Rosamund Fail

Last week (Wednesday, to be exact) I started swatching for Rosamund's Cardigan with my lovely birthday yarn, Mirasol Sulka. The yarn gauges were similar for Sulka and the yarn the pattern called for, Tahki Rio. In fact, the Rio's label calls for a slightly larger gauge than the Sulka.

Regardless, I dutifully set up my size 6 (4mm) and 8 needles (5mm) needles and cast on for the swatch.

The pattern calls for a gauge of 19 stitches and 26 rows = 4 inches in reverse stockinette on the size 8 needles. Ok. I cast on 19 stitches, knit a couple of rows and have a swatch of about 7 inches. Obviously not getting gauge. I try again, this time on the size 6 needles. Not only is it damnably hard to knit with such a big yarn on size 6 needles, it only reduced my swatch to six inches.

At that point I gave up. I was questioning my own sanity. What is the point, after all, of knitting with a bulky yarn if you're knitting at a worsted weight yarn's gauge? Why not knit it with worsted? Why knit such a lovely garment out of drapey yarn (the Rio is alpaca, merino and silk, much like the Sulka) at a gauge that completely negates the drape? My swatch on size 6 needles felt stiff.

I really wanted to knit something with the Sulka. It has been burning a hole in my pocket (so to speak) since I bought it in July and it's such a lovely yarn. So I hit upon this as a solution:

It is the highly sexily named 103-1 Jacket. I am making it with long sleeves instead of the shown 3/4 length. I don't think I've made any other pattern modifications, but we shall see.

It is a free pattern, and if you haven't looked at the huge free pattern library at, I highly recommend doing so now. As of today there are more than 36,000 free patterns on the site. Ravelry only has a fraction of Garnstudio's patterns up.

I am glad that I did not attempt to make this pattern when I was less experienced. It is the first large garment that I am knitting in pieces, and the pattern is not as explicit as most of the other patterns I've worked from. Which is awesome, because it's giving me a bit more confidence in my designing abilities. I have made EXTENSIVE pattern notes for this one, and I'm quite proud of myself for being able to follow the instructions for this pattern.

Ordinarily I would have converted the pattern to be from pieces to knit in the round, but in this case, with the drapiness of the fabric I feel like the seaming will give the jacket some stability. Unfortunately my seaming skills are... non-existent, since I haven't seamed a project since my very first sweater for Georgia nearly two years ago. I sewed up the shoulder seams last night and it looks crappy. I'm going to have to rip out and try again.

All that said, I'm almost done with it. This is a super fast knit. I've done both sides and the back. Each piece has only taken me an hour or two to knit, which is awesome. I'm expecting to be done by Wednesday or Thursday. This might be my Rhinebeck sweater.

Also, I sat down this morning and drew the designs for two sweaters and had a third pop into my mind. I'm kind of excited. The first two sweaters are men's and I'll have to wait until Bruce gets home this evening to do the math for them, as I need his measurements. The third is a woman's sweater and I can't wait to start in on it. YAY!

Other other news:

Beezer is doing great. He's a fun little fellow. Here's a series of pictures of him attacking Georgia's Easter basket.

Bruce sent off his first batch of query letters regarding his book! I'm very excited for him.

Georgia is still enjoying kindergarten and tomorrow is her birthday! She's going to be five. It's hard to believe.

It's gotten cold enough here that I've been able to break out the sweaters and shawls! I wore my Travel Shawl all morning yesterday, and my Villane in the evening. I know my Villane is not popular due to the variegated yarn and cables and stuff, but I love it. I love the bright blueyness of the sweater and all the colors and the cables and piffle to the rest of the world for not loving it as much as I do.

Still need to buy buttons for it. We went to Tender Buttons on Saturday and that was insanely expensive. I couldn't find any buttons there for less than $2.50 per button. Gorgeous buttons, though.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Brave New Knits

It's brave, it's new, it has knitting!

When I first heard about the book Brave New Knits by Julie Turjoman from somewhere (honestly, I think sometimes that I'm just somehow plugged into the knitting universe and things like new book releases just get downloaded instantly into my head) I was pretty darned excited, as it contains patters from folks like Ysolda, Jared Flood, Stefanie Japel, Norah Gaughan and tons of other famous folk (many of whom you can see in my blog roll at right).

Orchid Thief Shawl by Ysolda

I gotta tell y'all, the book doesn't disappoint. There is a wide range of patterns in this book, including garments, hats, accessories, shawls and socks. The photography is by Jared Flood, which is instantly recognizable through the careful way the knitwear has been depicted and through his amazing use of light. Of 26 patterns, there are 11 that I would love to cast on for immediately, and another five that I will probably squeeze in at some point or another into my queue.

My only real complaint about the book is in the layout. I was a little annoyed that the title and basic information for each pattern is on the page preceding the photo. So you read the title, flip to the photo, flip back to see what yarn it is, flip to the photo, flip back to read the pattern notes, etc. Oh, and the knitting "blogosphere" vocabulary is a little irritating. Don't care, don't use the words, and for goodness sake, just f*$#in' shoot me if I ever write or say the word "squee."

Woodsmoke Scarf by Jared Flood

Aside from the patterns, one of the things I like the best about the book is the lengthy blogger profiles/interviews. These sections provide insight into the designers' processes and also give readers an idea of why these knitters got into blogging (and knitting, in some cases) in the first place.

Origami Shrug by Melissa Wehrle

Last night I went to Knitty City to see the book's author, Julie Turjoman speak, and as it turns out, three designers from the book were there as well; Melissa Wehrle, Connie Chang Chinchio and Kristen Kapur. Melissa modeled her Origami Shrug:

(That's Julie, Melissa and Connie, from left to right)

One of Melissa's knitting group members modeled it as well:

The even was lovely. Knitty City is hands down my favorite LYS in NYC. The owner and employees are some of the nicest people in town.

All of the garments from the book were hanging up in the store, and it was really nice to be able to try them on, feel the yarn, explore the construction and see them on a wide variety of body types. Of course, I had difficulty fitting into the sample sizes, because they are knitted to a size 34, and, well, I am not a 34.

I also had conversations with knitters there about fitting sweaters to my body type (rather hourglass shaped, with actual boobage. And a lot of it) and realized that a large part of the problem I've been having with sweaters is that I'm knitting to my bust measurement which makes the rest of the garment waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too big for me. So I probably need to knit a size or two down from my bust measurement and do a lot of short row shaping around the bustline.

I enjoyed hearing the inside story on the book and the designers from the author. I loved hearing about Melissa's design process and how she initially thought the garment had failed when she first made it. To hear an experienced designer talking about making mistakes was comforting for me, as I've been a little fearful about delving into the world of design due to my perfectionist nature. I realized I don't have to design a winner from the first moment I put pen to paper. Phew. Takes a little pressure off, you know?

Here's the group of luminaries who showed up for the event:

(Standing, from L to R: Pearl, owner of Knitty City, Julie Turjoman, Kristen Kapur.
Sitting, from L to R: Connie Chang Chinchio and Melissa Wehrle)

And as usual, my disclaimer: Nobody paid me to review this book, and I didn't receive a review copy (although it would AWESOME if publishers started sending me review copies, ahem) and I totally used the photos without permission (though I did give credit for them), except for the ones I took at the event. I asked myself for permission to use my own photos, and while I debated internally for about 30 seconds, sense (sort of) prevailed. And OMG. this entire post is so, like totally META. I mean, what? a knitting blogger, writing a knitting blog about a book about knitting bloggers? SQUEE!