Wednesday, February 28, 2007

february wrap-up

I didn't perform too badly in the stash reduction for February.

-one skein of Regia sock yarn (100g)
-ten skeins of Tahki Bunny for the drop-stitch sweater (1,000g)
-two skeins of Tahki Bunny for Dulaan items (100g)
-one skein of Morehouse Merino Bulky for mittens for me (I wore them today, but need to give them a hotter bath to get some felting going on.)

But, what's this? How did these get in my house?

I am weak, and hereby modify the rules of Knit From Your Stash 2007:

Sock yarn doesn't really count. I've got some Trekking XXL, Adirondack Soxie in Watermelon (but who would eat a watermelon with a big teal stripe in the middle? Icky!), and Mountain Colors Barefoot. I went to a new-to-me shop in Nyack last weekend, and it would have been rude to not buy anything after the amount of time I spent browsing and chatting with the staff.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

the good and the bad

Good: Snow! Pretty floaty snow on Sunday night!
Bad: It's reduced to inches of slush by Monday morning.

Good: I love my rib and cable socks, and they are a joy to knit. Sometimes you just have to jump in and start something new.
Bad: There's not much time available for knitting.

Good: My dinner of cottage cheese and baby carrots last night was tasty and affordable.
Bad: It was eaten on a bench in a hallway with pictures of NYU's many Nobel laureates. Their smug sense of accomplishment was mocking me. I knit after eating to spite them. I'll bet none of them knit.

Good: In the next year, four sets of people that I really like are getting married.
Bad: No bad here, since it none of them know each other and I can wear the same dress/outfit for each event. And of course, I'm very happy for everyone. But not having to shop for clothes is a big plus for me.

Friday, February 23, 2007

getting my groove back

(Poor quality cell phone picture again; sorry.)

I'm trying to get back in my knitting groove. Step 1: Forget those black socks for now. It's just not working for me, and it doesn't matter. Knitting is for fun, and fun I shall have. Step 2: Grab needles, and just start. I knit a new black mitten last night (it was too dark to photograph this morning). It isn't perfect, and I'll probably redo some of it, but it got me going. Step 3: Start a new sock on the train. It's the cool Rhinebeck yarn, in the IK Fall 2005 Rib and Cable. I had to make a few changes, including making the pattern repeat one stitch bigger. I knew the yarn needed size 0 needles (and every I do is on two circulars, until M teaches me the magic loop), and my feet require at least 64 stitches. So I think that I'm back in business.

Do I dare knit during the Knicks game tonight? I think that we are sitting fairly close to the home bench.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

wednesday wednesday

I had a lovely breakfast at Tisserie this morning: a latte and guava & cream cheese chasson. And the Times dining section and a walk through the Union Square Greenmarket (still there, even in winter!). Sadly, my lovely little breakfast was followed by a dreadfully boring professional development session. Work would have been preferable. (I took the picture with my phone - not bad, right?)

My knitting mojo seems to have disappeared. I've been carrying around my Regia Silk sock for three days, and haven't knit a stitch on it. I'm trying to be good and finish those before starting something new, but frankly, I'm having none of it. I also foresee some gauge issues on the new socks, so that's preventing me from getting going on those too. Further compounding the issue? My zipper arrived and is a horrible, totally non-matching color for my sweater.

Long and short of it: lots of work and school are overloading me, and I'm just not going to be knitting very much in the near future. :(

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Two more hats for the Dulaan box! I was able to use up the remaining yarn from the drop-stitch sweater. By the time I finish Dulaaning I might need a bigger box. A few days ago, a guy on the train started talking to me about knitting. He proudly sports a garter stitch scarf from Lion Brand Suede. He said that his daughter started the knitting club at the local high school, and that they do a lot of charity knitting for a nearby hospital. I suggested that if they'd like to include a little international flavor, they should consider Dulaan. He didn't seem that excited about Mongolia, but a couple of days later he told me that his daughter was very interested. I passed my card along, and hope that I'll hear from her soon. So great!

And speaking of great, when can I call Claire to offer more coherent congratulations? This time zone thing is very challenging!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

new sock projects

I've got plans for my next two pair of socks: the Rib and Cable socks from Interweave Knits' Fall 2005 issue, in the purple yarn on the right. I got this yarn at Rhinebeck last fall, from Sliver Moom Farm. The color is Smoky Plum, it's 100% superwash wool and approximately 172 yards. It's a big thinner than Koigu, so I'm not sure if I should use size 0 or 1 needles. And I'm going to use the Knit Picks Gloss for Grumperina's socks in the new Interweave Knits. I think we can say that I've had my fill of stockinette socks (for the time being).

However: I would really like to finish a pair of socks that have been hanging around from last year before starting the new ones. Will I have enough willpower? Doubtful! ;)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

hubby's socks

Finished just before the bell, Hubby's socks were completed last night. They aren't washed or blocked yet, but I like them a lot. Regia's very orderly stripe progression was just the thing to cure my varigated blues (which was also caused by Regia, too, but...). And they really are the same size, although the picture doesn't seem to back me up. My next sock projects are going to be in solid color yarns, which I started to wind up last night. Two pairs of socks already in 2007! It could be a banner year!

Oh, and a comment to the guys at the station this morning? I don't think that you are more masculine for not wearing a hat when its 10 degrees outside. I think you are more idiotic. And trying to solve the cold problem by jumping up and down, and bumping into me on the train platform? Not cool. There are trains, people! Big heavy trains that can't stop very quickly. I can't wait to move.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

love letter for alice

For the requisite Valentine's Day post, I have to recommend that you read About Alice; it's the most beautifully written love story that I've ever read. Last week, the book jacket alone made me cry at work, and reading the book at home had me sobbing. I've been a huge Calvin Trillin fan for years (I think he's responsible for my near-obsession with barbeque). Bud really, really loved his Alice, and he's one of the lucky few who can communicate that love through words.

Hubby's socks will be finished today, too.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

play ball!

The Yankees' pitchers and catchers report to Legends Field for spring training today. It's baseball time! This is the year! Yankees all the way! (I don't dare use an image to back up my joy, because I have a feeling that Steinbrenner would not be fun to deal with on a copyright issue.)

And in other good news, there's a disarmament agreement with North Korea, so we might avoid another war. What a lovely day... except that I couldn't hide in the file room today and knit around lunch time (emergency conference call). So Hubby's V-Day socks probably won't be done on the day itself. He, of course, could care less. [ETA: About V-Day specifically needing a present. He likes the socks a lot already.]

Monday, February 12, 2007

One Year Anniversary

Happy blogiversary! Yay! Cupcakes for everyone! Except I probably won't have one today. Last year on this date, New York was getting its first snowfall of the season. We are supposed to get snow in the next few days, and that should be the first significant accumulation.

I was looking through my stash yesterday evening, trying to figure out what I should start as my "home" project. I want to finish Hubby's sock (I'm doing the heel on sock #2 now), and he's also requested a pair of mittens. But I was surprised to see that my sweater stash has about seven sweaters' worth of yarn, and three of those are red. So... that leads me to think that I'll have to make a summery sweater out of some Jo Sharp Desert Garden or some linen stuff I got on a super sale. And both of those yarns are rather greenish. I need to increase my stash diversity (but not until August). I would rather start a heavier sweater, but given my upcoming workload, I wouldn't be able to finish it while I could still wear it.

The super-observant might have noticed that my drop-stitch sweater isn't exactly finished. I couldn't find a zipper, and had to order one from It will hopefully arrive this week. But I'm still wearing it tomorrow.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

it's finished!

It’s finished! My Drop-Stitch cardigan is done. It took four days to knit, a month plus to age in pieces, and then about a day to seam and finish the last bits. I’m really happy with how it turned out. It seemed that the i-cord edging along the front was going to do me in, but I persevered. The sleeves seemed very bell-like before they were seamed, but I’m pleased to report that they are, in fact, just lovely. I did the collar about an inch shorter than called for in the pattern, but everything else is done by the book.

Pattern: Drop-Stitch Cardigan by Amy King, Interweave Knits Fall 2005
Yarn: Tahki Bunny (not nearly the 12 skeins called for) from
Needles: size 8 bamboo, then size 6 for the i-cord edging

There’s quite a bit of yarn left over, and I’m going to knit Dulaan items with the left-overs. I saved my swatch for any emergency repairs that might be called for. I’m just very pleased with it, and plan on showing off this sweater on Tuesday when we are having dinner with relative/knitters.

So what’s next?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

bebe chapeau

One more baby present: finished! A co-worker's wife just had a little girl, and last night I found this hat that I'd made a while ago. It's some leftover sock yarn, 60 stitches or so (?), and a three-needle bind off across the top. I couldn't decide how to finish the hat, and thought that pom-poms would be cute. I still think that they would be cute, but I have a mental block on how to make them. So I whipped up two tassels, tied them on, and voila! Baby present! It took a bath in some lavendar Euculan, and I think it's much softer as a result. The office party will probably be on Monday, so I have some time for creative wrapping.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

tuesday listage

-Hey, Go Daddy, or whatever your company name is? While it will probably be a surprise to you, women use the Internets these days, and probably didn't like that obnoxious Super Bowl ad very much. You stink, and won't be getting much business from my demographic.

-I didn't really know who you were, but now I like you a great deal.

-Yay! Googlie eyes!

-This week's Car Talk Puzzler is a great one for us non-automative types. (And not just because I managed to figure it out!)

Monday, February 05, 2007

mama's patterns

My grandmother moved out of her house this fall, and her collection of knitting and crochet patterns were saved for me. It's quite a trove, and I love that she wrote out her famous baby sweater set. She preferred crochet (which I can't figure out), but there are a lot of knitting patterns too. The publication dates range from the late 1940s (when my eldest aunt was born), and go through the early 1990s. There's a significant, um, diversity, in style.

This book, from the early 1960s, does have some sweaters that I would make now, including this blue cardigan (rather dowdy-licious, isn't it?) and the kids patterns. With the exception of the bonnet-shaped hats, the kids patterns are all timeless and fresh. Oh, except for the bloomer/shorts things for babies. Those aren't so hip.

Isn't the sweater on the left just the cat's meow? In case you can't see the detail, you use a super-fluffy mohair for one of the cable twists. Isn't that hilarious? The pattern is very specific that you should use a VERY contrasting color for the mohair.

We went to a bar mitzvah on Saturday afternoon/evening, and when I was looking at these patterns on Saturday morning, I was very disappointed that I wouldn't have time to whip up one of these classy dresses for the event. However, Nephew #1's bar mitzvah is this November, so if I start planning now, maybe I can knit myself a dress. (Nephew #2 didn't want to sit next to me in the car when I was knitting. Too much potential for my dorkiness to rub off on him, I guess. He was really impressed by this site, though, and that one of the pictures he took at the Giants game was published.)

Friday, February 02, 2007

san fran pinko commie socks

All blocked and finished are my first socks of 2007! Started around the time of our trip to San Francisco, these socks were comforting and just what I needed. I've conquered toe-up socks! I love it! The only downside to these socks were the pooling issues. (I can't make out which one has the really bad blue stripe on this monitor, but trust me: it's bad.) In closing, I'd like to point out that this Regia Crazy Color is truly crazy, because this is not how the socks are supposed to turn out. See Bonne Marie's? I'll post a picture of the sock as it appears on the ball band as proof. These are wacky little socks.

Since stockinette socks are all I can manage right now, Hubby's new pair is in Regia Strato Color. I know exactly how these will turn out!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

bottom's up!

I didn't get a chance to take pictures of my SF Pinko Commie socks this morning, but I did finish them last night! And promptly started a new pair of socks for Hubby.

But I haven't posted about interesting cocktails in a while, but rest assured: I've been imbibing. Last Sunday we went out* for dinner with some friends, and I had a promising, but not entirely fulfulling drink. It was a mix of cardamom-infused Knob Creek bourbon, cointreau, and orange juice. The cardamom got me excited, but it was very subdued in the mix. I'm going to try to infuse some bourbon at home and see if I can do better, because it was really good and has tremendous potential. And Knob Creek for infusing? Isn't that a little over the top, like using grower champagne for mimosas?

*I love New York City in January. It takes 25 minutes to get into the city from our suburban home, and there is street parking just about wherever you need it. Tourists aren't really around, and restaurants are so much more relaxed. And today is February 1. Sigh.