Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Storm

Just a quick update to let everyone know that we're doing fine. We didn't lose power, and we're quite warm, dry, safe and happy. I'v'e been merrily knitting along during the past few days, and it looks like that shall continue, as my work is still without power.

Soon, I'll post an update with news about Rhinebeck (!), some FOs, and other good stuff.


Friday, October 5, 2012

The set, for Katie

Here's the hat and the loop (finally blocked) that I made for Katie:

Pattern: November Leaves by Melissa LeBarre
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in Stone Blue
Needles: US 6 & 7 (4 & 4.5 mm)

And the Vine Loop (on the poutiest model ever):

But, it is the pouty model's birthday today (she's 7!), so I'll give her a pass.

I immediately cast on for a September Circle, because apparently I'm going to knit everything by Melissa LaBarre, EVER right now.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

FO: Vine Loop

I made this loop for my friend Katie. It's another one of those patterns that I SWEAR I will make for myself one of these days, and it's made all the more shameful by the fact that it literally takes NO TIME to knit.

Also, I have the yarn to make myself one. Just hasn't happened yet. I am a slacker. Or something.

Here's Katie's loop unblocked (and me looking grumpy in it):

Pattern: Vine Loop by Melissa LaBarre
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in Stone Blue
Needle: US 8 (5mm)

Modifications: Katie is rather petite, so I shortened the overall size of this thing from 54 inches around (which probably would have reached her knees) to 36 inches around. It is big enough for me to loop twice around my neck, and it will likely stretch out (the other one I knitted did) with wear, so it should drape nicely. The number of stitches cast on were 144, and I did six repeats of the pattern chart.

In other news, I had my hair done today for the first time in a year. Got it colored (got rid of some of those greys) and cut.  My stylist was this big burly Serbian dude, so that was unique. Gotta love Queens. Also my stylist and his assistant got into a fight (in Serbian) while the assistant was washing my hair. In the middle of the shampoo she dropped my head and stomped out of the salon. Uh. Ok. Also, while the cut is fine (you can see it in the photo above), my stylist decided to blow out my hair into a combination bouffant and Farah Fawcett flip, and then used approximately 15 pounds of hairspray on it to keep it in place. Which, yeah. SO not me. At all. In any way. Bruce said that I was looking very "Queens" after that. As soon as I got home I washed my hair, put nothing in it and let it air dry. The results of my lack of styling are what you see in the picture at the top of the post.

Needless to say, I likely won't be going back to that place. I have such a hard time finding stylists that I like. It's tough. And the ones I do like are generally WAY too expensive for my taste/budget.

Anyway. That's probably more than anyone wanted to know about my hair. And honestly, it'll probably be the last that you hear about it for quite a while.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Color Affection Affliction

So while I was in the Washington, DC area for my friend's wedding, I stopped in at the lovely LYS, Fibre Space, which just happened to be having an exceedingly large Miss Babs trunk show that day.

I succumbed, and bought one of their exceedingly lovely Color Affection kits. Because I am a sucker. And this yarn was really pretty. And I've been wanting to make a Color Affection shawl. And because my husband is awesome and totally indulges my knitting habit because he frequently gets knitted items out of it. And he rocks.

Here is the yarn I got. It's the Yet Lace kit in Roasted Pumpkin, Coventry and Pewter. All three colors are twisted together, but they are individual skeins:

I cannot tell you all how much I love that store. I try to get in there every time I visit my friend, and I usually come away with some seriously awesome yarn. They seem to make a point of carrying local and harder-to-find brands, and they curate their colorways beautifully. There's also a lovely seating area right next to an enormous picture window for knitting, and when I was there it was full of knitters and their little dogs too.

Anyway, this time around they had these awesome reusable project bags that they used for their shopping bags. LOVE it! Love the drawstring.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Busy, busy.

It's been a crazy two weeks since I last posted:

1. Georgia started school:

2. I finished my Swirl Shawl but was unable to block it until today. It's gorgeous, if I do say so myself. It also makes pretty shadows:

3: I started a Paintbox Afghan. The noro squares are making me SOOOOOOOO happy:

4. Georgia and I were in my best friend Jorie's wedding on Saturday:

5.  Oh, and Ella had her baby boy today (August Bowen Anderson, 6lbs, 10oz):

Saturday, September 1, 2012

All the things I did wrong

Apparently my brain was on vacation when I knit this sweater:

It is a Snug, a quick and easy baby knit. And apparently I was just not functioning AT ALL when I made it.

A short (but by no means exhaustive) list:

  1. Started the sleeve rounds at the top of the shoulder instead of the armpit, so the row transition (knit in the round) is pretty visible. (and ugly)
  2. Was apparently on crack when I started the round for the hood (you can see the VISIBLE join of the yarn on the left side of the photo, about an inch from the armpit. But I was on crack on only one side, because the other side is ok? WTH?
  3. Ran out of yarn on the cast off for the hood, so only about a quarter inch was left, barely enough to weave in, as it keeps popping out.
  4. Did mattress stitch on the back of the hood for stockinette stitch instead of garter stitch, which  now leaves a nicely visible line of stockinette for the seam.
  5. I think one sleeve is about six rows longer than the other.
  6. My crocheted button loop is WAY too big.
  7. I apparently decided that apple green thread was the PERFECT match for this sweater, so that's what I used to sew the button on.
  8. And finally, even though this sweater only took me a couple of hours to knit, I decided not to rip any of it back, and just finished it, for completely unknown reasons, even though it looks like poopydoodle. 
I am amazed at how many problems I packed into this teeny tiny sweater. Anyway, my sister in law loves it, warts and all, and is excited to put this on her little one, when he actually shows up. Which should be soon. She is feeling about 11 months pregnant, and is due towards the end of this month.

I'm also working on a swirl shawl right now, and it is taking FOREVER. I also screwed that one up in a pretty major way (around the same time that I made this sweater) and ended up having to rip and entire row of swirls back. Because I was joining them incorrectly. Which was not so much genius as not genius.

Georgia and I are heading off in a few minutes to help a friend continue to set up her yarn store (Seaport Yarns. They just moved from the 5th to the 4th floor in the same building) and we've been having a total blast playing yarn store. Plus, I'm getting paid in yarn. WOO! Plus, plus, I'm spending the whole day fondling and smelling and mentally shopping for yarn. And helping customers. And talking about yarn. And looking at all the pretty colors... sigh. It is a little slice of heaven.

Health-wise, I'm doing a bit better. I'm still feeling pretty tired, but looks like the problems I was having earlier this year have cleared up, and my tests have come back with good results, so, YAY!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Hap. Number Elevendy.

Here is yet another Hap:

It is, as you can see, green and blue (Berroco Vintage Chunky Fennel and Tidepool to be exact).

It is also soft and squishy. It is for Ella's baby. I will be writing in short declarative sentences.

I do not have much more to say.

Working on a Snug with the excess Tidepool. I should be done today.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Actually finished FOs

I finally blocked and put buttons on the Baby Yours sweater that I made for Ella's baby, (whose shower is this afternoon) and put buttons on the Cria sweater I made for myself (and finished  in April). Go me!

Here is an updated photograph of the Baby Yours (my rav link):

And and updated photograph of the Cria (again, my rav link):

And me modeling it today. The shoulders are a little weird, and it sheds like crazy, but it is soft and I love it:

Also, it took me a while to post again because I strained my hand pretty badly (knitted too much) and couldn't type, or knit for about two weeks. Bleh.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

For my birthday, we took a trip up to Webs (America's biggest yarn store) in Northampton, MA, which also happens to be in one of my favorite places in the US (which would be Western Massachusetts).

We spent the night in a horrible little fleabag motel in Pownal, VT, which only added to the adventure, and we bounced around in Williamstown, North Adams (MassMoCA!), Shelburne Falls, Charlemont, among other towns in the area. I LOVE it up there. Love. Would move there in a hot second if I thought we could get decent jobs in the area.

Anyway, at Webs, I bought all the yarn.

I got a bunch of (the now discontinued) Berroco Campus in Coffee Run:

To make Alderbrook by Cecily Glowik MacDonald for me:

I got some Valley Yarns (Webs' house brand) Superwash DK in Grape:

To make Saffron by Elena Nodel for Georgia:

I got some Berroco Vintage DK in Delphinium:

To make the Limestone jumper for Bruce (and yes, he looks AMAZING in that shade of purple/lavender):

I got some more Berroco Vintage DK in Sloe Berry (one of my favoritest shades of theirs EVER):

To make the Slanting Gretel Tee by Petra Manis for me:

I got some Berroco Vintage Chunky to make a Hap Blanket for Ella's baby. I'm not going to bother with a picture, because I've already made approximately 500 of these blankets, and I'm sure y'all are tired of looking at it by now. Here are the colors Ella picked out:

I got a ball of Zauerball Crazy for a September Circle for me (again, have made a billion of these, so no pic):

Some Lang Jawoll Magic Degrade in Rainbow for some socks for Bruce. He loved the colors, and so do I. This stuff looks like a blast to knit with:

Some Jojoland Melody Superwash in Teal:

To make a Swirl Shawl by Lijuan Jing for me:

And some Cascade Pastaza (discontinued, apparently) in Chrysanthemum:

To make a Summer Flies shawl by Donna Griffin for Georgia at her request. She wanted a shawl, and loved this pattern.

And that is all. I wanted to get some madelinetosh pashmina in Tart to make a cardigan for me, however they didn't have enough on hand. This yarn has been eluding me for quite some time. Really irritating.

I had a wonderful time in Webs, really enjoyed hanging out in Massachusetts, and loved that we have Georgia's total number of states visited up to 14 now (with the addition of Vermont). I'm at 41, and Bruce, I think, was in the high 20s, low 30s.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

FO: Baby Yours

I haven't blocked it yet, but it sure is cute.

Pattern: Baby Yours
Yarn: madelinetosh pashmina in filigree
Needle: US 4 (3.5mm)

My one complaint is that it was knit in pieces and then seamed together. That is an AWFUL lot of seaming for one tiny little sweater. It definitely needs a little blocking, but I'm pretty happy with this one.

It is for my yet-to-be-named unborn nephew, who is due in September or October, so it'll be a while before we get modelled pix.

Next up: Chandial. For me. Because I'm tired of knitting for other people.

Also, I'm dragging my family up to Webs next week for my birthday. I've been prepping my shopping list for two weeks.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Finished Object: Lacy Scarf

Finished it!

Pattern: Silky Alpaca Lace Scarf (my rav link)
Yarn: Knit Picks Shadow Tonal in Queen Anne
Needle: US 6 (4mm)

Here's a picture that shows off the lace pattern:

And here's two that show off the color my daughter:

I'll be shipping this one off to me Ma shortly.

On the needles right now is a baby sweater for my SIL.

Longer blog post later on, I promise.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Lace Scarf, in Progress

My  mother sent me a skein of cobweb weight yarn, and requested a lacy scarf made from it.

I started the scarf, however, it became apparent after about 10 inches, that the skein was not going to be big enough to do much of anything with. I  knitted 10 inches, weighed what I had left, discovered it was 35g of a 50g skein, and realized that would be barely enough to pull out a 30 inch scarf.

 Plus, my stinkin cat was totally obsessed with it, and would attack the yarn  no matter where it was.

After a little research I discovered that this skein was Broder Medici, a line of embroidery thread from DMC that was discontinued a few years ago. The tag, which was mostly illegible, was still attached. I'm trying to figure out what to do with it.

Anyway, I ripped back the original, and re-knit with some of the lovely Knit Picks Shadow Tonal in the Queen Anne colorway that I had left over from making a sweater for Georgia. Which, by the way, Georgia (or possibly her father) accidentally shrank. Sigh.

It's coming along well, although the aforementioned stinkin cat managed to chew through the drawstring on my project bag one night to get to the yarn, and I woke up the other morning to Queen Anne yarn spaghetti all over our apartment floor. I spent the first 40 minutes of my morning re-winding the ball, and discovered that the little s$!% had chewed through it in numerous places, so instead of having one big ball, I have five little balls and about 10,000 tiny pieces. Grr.

Here's the scarf as it was today at lunch. Clearly unblocked, as it is a WIP:

While I was knitting on it, the very same coworker who had ripped my Rock Island out of my hands two weeks ago started circling me like a damned vulture. I clutched my project to my chest and glared at her until she moved further away.

I don't need any more disasters like the one she caused the other week. Plus, no lifelines on this scarf. Come to think of it, maybe I should put one in soon...

On the musical front, I've been completely obsessed with Foster the People. I know I'm a little late to the game on this one, but I tend to ignore musicians with floppy hair.

 Most of the time when I listen to an album there's a song or two on it that I absolutely loath. When I like all songs, I refer to it as a "perfect"  album, and honestly, there aren't too many of those out there. Torches is one of them, and I've had it on constant repeat and probably will until I get sick of it. Here's a link to their video for "Call it What You Want" which is my favorite song off the album, and amazingly enough, I loved the video for it as well. There are homages to the great videos of the 1980s and 1990s sprinkled throughout, which cracks me up.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

FOs: Fuzzy Lamb and Rock Island Shawl

Two FOs today. The first is the Rock Island (disaster) Shawl. It's for my friend Dani, who is a vet and did a LOT to help us out when Beezer was so sick.

Yarn: Malabrigo Lace
Color: Midnight
Needle: US 6 (4mm)

Not the best photos, but black is tough to photograph and I was doing this by myself.

Also, I finished up Georgia's Fuzzy Lamb. It took me forever, but mostly because I kept neglecting to buy embroidery floss. I didn't really enjoy knitting this, simply because it was fiddly, had TONS of seaming, and I'm lazy. But it was super quick. I think the next time I make a toy I'll try out one of Ysolda's patterns. Georgia really wants Poppy...

Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride
Colors: Charcoal Heather and Sandy Heather
Needle: US 6 (4mm)

I suppose I'll have to knit a sweater for him now. :)

Up next is a lacy scarf for my mother. After that, I got nothin. I'm at a loss. Any suggestions?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Blocking is hard on a kitty.

Man, fighting those blocking wires and attempting to eat the t-pins just knocked poor Beezer out. He spent a good hour "helping" me block my Rock Island shawl.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The slog.

So my Rock Island has been the disaster shawl of 2012.

It took forever to finish the trim.

I screwed up the very simple first two rows of the lace charts about 16 times before getting it right.

After I FINALLY got going on the lace charts, a coworker grabbed my knitting out of my hands as I was knitting it (because she "just wanted to touch it to see if it was soft), and ripped about 50 stitches off the needles, causing me to have to rip back to my lifeline and reknit about three days of work.

And now, I'm slogging through approximately 10 billion rows of garter stitch.

But the end is near! (I hope)

Here it is in progress, with Beezer's tail, and our new rug:

Monday, May 21, 2012


I recently got bitten by the spinning bug, and after about two months of whining about not having a spinning wheel (or wanting to spend the money to buy one), I broke down this weekend and bought a spindle, and Abby Franqemont's book and video, Respect the Spindle.

 By the way, I blame Monika, and her absolutely gorgeous handspun yarn for this problem of mine.

Here's a picture of my fiber mess and the beginnings of my spinning.

Spinning on a spindle is HARD. Looks easy, but is not. At all. I tried and failed for about two hours on Sunday.

However, I'm really loving a new skill, and I can honestly say after reading Respect the Spindle that I understand yarn a lot better than I did before. This is really giving me a much closer connection to the tools that I'm using, which is awesome, because I am all about context in terms of how I learn and operate.

On the personal front, things have started to calm down. Thank goodness. I'm doing fine, Beezer is doing fine, Bruce is healing, and Georgia continues to delight and amaze.

I'm currently inundated with reading materials, with an enormous stack of books sitting by my bedside, and a whole bunch on my kindle that I haven't delved into yet. Oh, and I also have a pile of magazines sitting here that are demanding attention.

I'm also studying to become a LEED Accredited Professional, which is a certification for people who are involved in the green/sustainable/eco building industry. Which I am, as I work for an engineering firm. The process is fun, but a little tough. There's a lot of memorization involved with learning the materials, but I'm still enjoying it.

And, as always, I'm listening to music while I knit. At the moment, I'm on a Latin music kick, listening to Celia Cruz (official Goddess of Salsa), Bebel Gilberto (Brazilian. I know. Whatever), Rodrigo y Gabriela (rockin Spanish guitarists from Mexico), Los Amigos Invisibles (crazy funk/disco/jazz party band from Venezuela, saw them in concert this winter), Bomba Estereo (awesomeness from Colombia) and a little Shakira for good measure.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Bruce's Hat

I finally got pictures of Bruce in the hat (my rav link) I made for him:

Pattern: Los Muertos (rav pattern link)
Yarn: Cascade 220
Needle: US 7 (4.5mm)

And I think I'm starting to get back into the swing of things, with regards to life, the universe and everything.

I've cast on a sweater for my mother, and a shawl for my vet friend who helped me out so much with Beezer when he was sick last month. Beezer seems to be fully recovered now, thankfully. He's back to his normal self, and doesn't seem to be in any more pain.

Hugs to everyone, and I'm hoping I get more time to catch up soon.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Still Alive

It's been a busy and tough couple of months. However, knitting has happened, amazingly enough. Blogging unfortunately, hasn't. It's been so long since I've even logged into blogger, that the platform has changed completely!

I finished my Cria cardigan, though I haven't had the wherewithal to weave in the ends or sew on buttons. I should probably do that one of these days.

I've knitted two hats, my first colorwork, and even managed to get some photos of one of them (they're both the same pattern, one for Bru and one for Georgia. Different colors). I haven't managed to figure out duplicate stitch embroidery yet, but I'm sure that'll come soon enough.

Anyway, here's Georgia's hat (my rav link):

Pattern: Los Muertos
Yarn: Cascade 220
Needle: US 7 (4.5mm)

Aside from the knitting, on the personal front, I'm feeling better, after a rough March, and part of April. I haven't had a head cold or sinus infection for either of those two months, so obviously, taking care of the other issue which-shall-not-be-named helped out on the entire health front.

We also bought a (cheapo used) car, which gives us a great deal more freedom. We drove out to Western New Jersey for a mini vacation at the beginning of April. Did some hiking and felt better about the world. We also had no idea how pretty that part of NJ is, given that most of our experience has been on the I-95 corridor, which is decidedly NOT pretty.

Also, my beloved cat, Beezer, fell ill, and we've been having a tough time with him. He keeps getting better, getting sick again, recovering, falling ill... it's been bad. Right now he's in an ok phase, however he's doped up on kitty morphine, and I feel like we're going through a feline version of trainspotting.

Georgia is doing great. She's a fabulous kid. I can't have possibly asked for better. Bruce is also doing well. I'm hoping things are on the upswing now. Incidentally, speaking of husbands and cats, here are both my husband and my cat in a video Bruce did for his work.

I shall post when I can, and will attempt to get caught up on everybody's blogs. It feels like forever since I've been able to check in with everyone.