Thursday, May 31, 2007

may wrap-up

  • 3.5 skeins of Cotton-Ease for the log cabin baby blankie
  • 1.5 skeins of Cotton-Ease for the Thinking Dress*

Not a great total for the month, in terms of fully-finished projects (thus becoming eligible for the knit-up stash total). Given the rate at which I acquired yarn in May, it's really not terrific. But June is going to be impressive!

*I got pictures of the Little Miss in her red dress, and they are completely adorable. I don't want to share them with the whole world, but believe me: all that finishing angst was completely worth it!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

really: no more yarn buying!

When in New Orleans, I thought that I needed to do my civic duty and go shopping. As soon as we broke for lunch, I took off down the street for Quarter Stitch. It's a pretty small shop, half yarn and half needlepoint.* There was very little sock yarn, which is my typical go-to for vacation yarn shopping. The store also organizes much of their stock by color. Perhaps I'm easily confused, but that method doesn't really work for me.

*Which are completely beautiful, but why does it cost so much for a machine-stamped piece of canvas? I guess one could say that about lots of things, but they just threw me a bit.

However, I did find a bundle of 425 yards of a slightly-varigated cotton/rayon blend that was dyed by Quarter Stitch. The colors really fit with my wardrobe. However, I think that I'd like to make a garment, as opposed to a shawl. Knitters, what do you think? Is that even possible to contemplate without exposing waaaaay too much, or looking all mid-80s? There was no gauge, but it looks like it would need at least a #10 needle.

Or should I call them and ask for another bundle and plan to make a full sweater?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

imagine if i wasn't KFYS

About a month ago, after a slightly traumatic final presentation at school, I visited my favorite shop, Downtown Yarns. A little retail therapy was called for, I decided, and therefore I shopped.

I love Jaime Harmon's yarns. It's an angora/merino blend, and just about the softest thing ever. The stripes are adorable in baby hats. To eek the utmost out of each skein, I'm going to make these top down.

I have no idea what type of shawl I'll make with this, but the color was so gentle, and the yarn so soft, that I couldn't resist. It's perfect.

Monday, May 28, 2007

last dulaan 07 post

Very happily, life did slow down this weekend. I decided to make it a four day weekend, and I'm still not ready to start the work week. I accomplished a major goal, which was to wash, dry, and pack up my Dulaan items to mail off. Good news about the Patons SWS hats in the lower right corner: after a bath, the stitches firmed up a bit, and got a lovely halo of fuzz, that will help ward off the winds of Mongolia. (Now I'll happily do something with the six-pack I've got stashed away.)

I also started a summer sweater project for me, but it's not feeling very photogenic right now. We went to the TKTS line yesterday morning, and I knit away on it while we stood. The group of four women behind us in line kept trading places, and they said that as long as I kept knitting, they'd know where to slip in. They were very funny.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


It's nice having friends who regularly travel to far off places. Especially when they bring back yarn. One of the two people who brought back the crazy silk yarn from Nepal just went to Japan. And she brought me more yarn!

The orange and green wool is called Gerbera (color 9, 50 grams, 80 meters). I assume that it does the usual Noro striping thing, but I haven't seen this in the US. The crazy yarn is called Hotaru (cotton/poly, 50 grams, 85 meters, pink=color 24, blue/green=color 20, and the orange/purple=color 22). Any ideas on what I should do with this? I'm at a bit of a loss, but thing that I'll swatch some up for kicks and see what happens. I think it says to use a size 9 to 11 needle, but my Japanese isn't the best. ;)

The yarn was delivered in a beautiful silk bag, which M said was very popular in Japan.
It rolls up for easy storage, and has a loop sewn in to hold it together in the mornings (presumably), and then can open up for carrying home dinner fixins! I used it for carting around the log cabin blankie. I'm going to try some sewing soon, and would love to make a pattern for these bags. Is that too ambitious?

Friday, May 25, 2007

the first embossed leaf

I finished up the first Embossed Leaf sock today. I think that it's going to be a while before I start the next one. While I liked the pattern, I couldn't get the row gauge, and then had to do a short and stumpy toe. It also just doesn't fit my foot very well. I assumed that I wouldn't love it (I'm not really a lacy sort), but I did think that I'd consider keeping it. Perhaps it will be happier after a bath.

It does look better on the foot. The yarn is from Shelridge Farm in Ariss, Ontario. I got it at Rhinebeck in 2005. It's 100% wool, and I thought it was superwash, but turns out not. When I purchased it, I remembered thinking that it was a Koigu clone, but it's really not. There is very little sheen in the color, which is pretty flat. But I do think that it was quite affordable...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

no more deadline knitting

I'm seeing the Mom of Miss Little Red Dress tonight, and had to whip up the edgings and seams on the Thinking Dress quickly! Rowan patterns are generally lovely and clear to knit, but yikes: that's a helluva lot of finishing touches on a tiny dress. I guess they look so good because of the finishing, but it seems like I spent the same time on the edging and seams as I did on the back of the dress. However, the finished product was worth it.

I made one change to the pattern (in Miss Bea's Rainy Day), which was to do one more cable twist at the top of the dress. In this picture, you can sort of see that there's a (seemingly) big expanse of non-cabled stitches on the top left. I just did a twist in the already-knit row before picking up stitches for the neck edging. I'm much happier with the result, as a result!

But no more knitting deadlines! For a while, at least.

Monday, May 21, 2007

when does life slow down?

So much to catch up on! First, there was the panic about what knitting project to bring with me. I wanted to start the Ribby Pullover, but then realized that knitting with a linen yarn really probably needs a gauge swatch and a wash before casting on 200+ stitches. Scrap that. Lace? Um, again, need to figure out needle sizes, etc., and there just wasn't time. Therefore: lace socks!

I started the Embossed Leaves socks (IK, Winter 2005) with stashed yarn from Rhinebeck from 2005, I think. Seeing those socks in the magazine was the only reason why I bought mossy green yarn. I was casting on in the car to the airport, then quickly put them down and concertrated on not getting queasy from the driver's, um, interesting style of accelerating and breaking every three seconds. I leapt from the car. Saw another knitter in the Jet Blue terminal. Didn't go over.

New Orleans was quiet. Too quiet. Everyone should go there ASAP. Remember when it was patriotic to go to the mall and spend money? Time for that again. The conference was fine, good even. But even better were the fresh beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde on Thursday morning. Yum-o. I went to Quarter Stitch on a lunch break, and got some very pretty cotton/rayon blend yarn... which I don't yet have a picture of. But don't they pack things up beautifully? (I had to undo the package to fit everything in my backpack. C'est la vie!)

Saturday was the marathon to finish the blankie. Hubby was working, so I settled in, thinking that I'd be finished in four hours or so. Ha! It took much longer than anticipated, but I did finish during The Philadelphia Story. The blankie was gifted on Sunday, and much admired. It was hard to give it away so soon after finishing. K&E should expect me to visit often, so I can hold the blanket, er, baby.

Garter stitch does take much more yarn than stockinette. I weighed the other Cotton-Ease blankie and this one on our kitchen scale. The stockinette weighed 287 grams, and the garter 355 grams. So I can confirm that I used three and a half skeins of Cotton-Ease for this project... except I had to buy a skein of pink for the second. Darn. (Now a shot without the flash.)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

baby blanket progress

I'm heading off to New Orleans* for a conference for a few days, but I'm not bringing the baby blanket (too heavy for that heat and humidity!). I've made good progress and should have it finished for the shower on Sunday. (Thankfully, Hubby's helping a friend out for the day on Saturday, so I can sit and knit for hours!) I need to finish the in-progress yellow, do another yellow, then two green, and two red. Totally doable! I really like this blankiet. It's going to be hard to gift...

*My hotel is just a few blocks from Quarter Stitch, and I'm skipping the lunch session tomorrow to go over and shop.

Monday, May 14, 2007


First, last week I got a package in the mail from Kristie! Thank you so much! I don't know how you let that beautiful Trekking out of your hands, but I'm very happy that it landed in mine. The lotion and soap she included matches the shampoo picked up a while ago. It's lime coconut verbena, and it sets me singing in a Kermit voice, "Put the lime in the coconut..."

I can also unveil a pair of socks that have been done for a while, but I just was able to gift them to the receipient this weekend. It's Knit Picks Gloss in Burgundy, a cable and seed stitch pattern. There is so much left over from the two skeins I purchased. I might have to get more in a different color and try some striped socks... sometime.

And finally, because Brenda is offering more cocktails than I've been recently, I made mojitos last night during cocktail hour. The mint at the market smelled so vibrant and fresh that I knew I needed some. Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to drive around the South Bronx and look for the parked vans selling tropical fruits and sugar cane. Sometime this summer!

Tomorrow: the log cabin baby blanket!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

where harry met sally

I graduated!

Yes, that's almost the exact spot where Sally dropped off Harry after arriving in New York... after finishing grad school in Chicago. I passed by there almost every time I went to campus, but it still says special!

Monday, May 07, 2007

a post in two parts

(Thanks so much for the good wishes! I'm still on cloud 9.)

The first part of this post was supposed to be a question: what do you think of this design for my next baby blanket? It's inspired by the quilt Pig in a Pen, from the Gee's Bend quilt exhibit. Is the center of the blanket OK?

Well, after I took the picture, it was time to go out. When we returned late in the afternoon, I found an invitation to the baby shower for the blanket receipent. It's on May 20. I really thought that the wee one wasn't supposed to arrive for weeks and weeks, and that I had plenty of time to make her blankie. So, like it or not, I knew that I had to get cracking. As of this morning, here's where I stand:

Whaddya think? Is it OK?

Saturday, May 05, 2007

i'm done!

It's over! I just emailed my final exam to my professor. I can hardly believe it. School has been such a huge (ginormous - these are the words you learn in fancy graduate school) part of my life over the last three years. I can do all of the things I like to do (read FICTION!, knit, bake, go to museums) without guilt for ignoring my studies.

In less than a week, I'll be decreed? annointed? bestowed upon? handed? my Masters' degree. I picked up the cap and gown earlier in the week, but didn't really take it out of the bag until just now. The instructions say, "Upon receiving your gown and academic hood, you'll want to put it on to admire your distinguished and refined look. Once the gown is on, the proper wearing of the hood is an essential part of the overall prestigious look." Oh, yes. That's me all right. Distinguished, refined and prestigious. All in one package.

However, the instructions don't fully explain how to wear the hood so you don't look like you have a purple tail. The wearing of the academic hood was never covered in my coursework. Hopefully some of my more clever classmates will have figured it out. Or the internets will help.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

april wrap-up

-Three skeins* (or so) of Cotton-Ease in various colors for the blanket, and
-Two skeins of Knit Picks Gloss for gift socks.

To try and see how I can decrease all my stashed Cotton-Ease, I went through some old Rowan magazines to look for some All Seasons Cotton patterns. I think there are some good options for the miles of bright red that still remain. And I've designed the next baby blanket, which will eat up a bit more.

And it's not really stash,** but I made two Dulaan hats in Patons SWS picked up at the Harlot Represent event.

*These stinkers are huge. Huge.
**But it's still yarn that entered the house. I'm not speaking about my weekend purchases. Yet. But it's really pretty yarn, and I"ll have to talk about it soon.

(I forgot to post this yesterday. So Happy May Day! Go and hug your favorite worker. And remember: Mission Accomplished! (4th anniversary)).