Saturday, June 30, 2007

june wrap-up

June was quite a productive month!

6.25 skeins of Royal Linen for the Ribby Shell
1 skein of Regia Cotton for stockinette socks
2 skeins of Wildfoote for Garter Rib socks
1 skein of Fibre Co.'s Terra for a child hat
1 skein of Blue Sky Alpaca Silk for the Totoro hat
1.5 skeins of bulky cashmere for Hubby's hat
3 skeins of Touch Me for a seed stitch scarf

Last night's dessert was a mixed berry terrine, recipe available: here. It was very easy, and very tasty. Any guesses about the knitting project sitting on the table behind all the wine?

Friday, June 29, 2007

finished object friday

Another pair of socks are done! I can't say that I love the Wildfoote. It was a bit tough on the hands, but Brenda says that they hold up really well. I've seen others mention that the color bleeds a great deal in the first few washes, so I'm kind of interested in seeing that.

Pattern: Garter Rib Socks with a Heel-Flap from Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlotte Schurch
Yarn: Wildfoote (color SY-200 Rhapsody)
Needles: Addi circular size 0s
Modifications: I had to fudge the heel flap a bit for the 64 stitches on the leg. For some reason, I keep thinking that a heel flap is a good option, but I. Do. Not. Like. Them. Remind me of that when I get there on the Jaywalkers that are hanging around...

During the Yankees game on Thursday, I was feeling very discontented. With the Yankees, and with everything that I had on needles. Also with some yarn that's been hanging around for too long, and that is cluttering up my psyche. And yarn bins. So I grabbed this plush, extravagant yarn, and cast on.

The Touch Me has been knit and ripped a number of times. Originally, I planned to do a smaller version of the Vintage Velvet scarf from Scarf Style, as I only had three skeins.* But ribbing didn't seem to work, and the cable completely disappeared. I'd often grab it when heading on a short trip, but always ripped. I was concerned about length vs. width with the limited yardage, and just never got anywhere. But now! I'm very pleased.

*I got the yarn on sale (yay 50% off!) at least two and a half years ago at an UES shop, called, I think, the Lion and the Lamb. I think it's closed now.

Pattern: Seed stitch over 25 stitches, back and forth until I ran out.
Yarn: Muench Touch Me, three skeins in a bright red (the labels are long-lost)
Needles: Bamboo size 9, 10" long or so (I used straight needles!)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

it's a mystery

Yarn keeps arriving at my home, in spite of my Knit From Your Stash pledge. But I decided to participate in Mystery Stole 3 this summer (no idea why, really; I'm generally not a joiner) and didn't have the projected 1200 yards of laceweight in a very dark or very light color, so I had to go shopping.

I ordered some Knit Picks' Shadow in Vineyard (and some other things I wanted to try, since I could add them to the order without increasing the shipping charge), and then some Lane Borgosesia Cashwool in Charcoal from the Loopy Ewe (shown on right). In the middle is the the laceweight I picked up at the Renegade Craft Fair from Traveling Rhinos. I haven't swatched either contender for MS3, nor purchased the beads, or anything else except delete the thousands of emails I've received from participants on the Yahoo group. Ah, well: summer is young.

And speaking of summer, Hubby and I made a Strawberry-Basil cocktail last weekend (makes two): Take six strawberries and four large basil leaves and toss in the bottom of your shaker. Add two teaspoons of sugar. With the wrong end of a wooden spoon, commence muddling. When everything is nice and mushy, add four ounces of gin and ice. Then shake, pour, garnish with more basil, and enjoy!

Monday, June 25, 2007

a weekend behind

Last weekend was a busy one; the most recent, not so much. Last Saturday we headed up the Hudson for a trip to the Franklin D. Roosevelt birthplace and presidential museum. It's a very lovely place, and well worth a side trip from Rhinebeck, should you find yourself needing a diversion from a huge wool show in October (only 15 miles or so).

The most exciting part of the trip was the Eleanor Roosevelt Roosevelt* section of the Museum. Look! She knits!

The information cards note that Eleanor often knit through the many meetings she attended as First Lady.

Her needles! And needle-keepers! And a stocking in progress. There were other unfinished items from the end of her life, too.

(Doesn't she look more comfortable with needles in hand?)

*She was a Roosevelt before marriage, niece of Teddy, and fifth cousin of Franklin. Hubby found an interesting geneology site somewhere showing that nearly all of the U.S.'s Presidents are related somehow. It's on the Internets, so who knows if it's accurate.

After the museum, we went to New Paltz to see Pink Martini, which was the most rowdy crowd I think I've ever seen. Both Thomas and China from Pink Martini seemed freaked out by the enthusiasm of the audience. Which was pretty funny.

Sunday was another action packed day: the Renegade Craft Fair** (with a rather uninspired write-up in the Times yesterday), and then the leading contender for the 2008 Best Musical Tony award: In the Heights. Should you have the opportunity, go immediately.

**I bought one skein of yarn, and Hubby got some notebooks, but it was really too hot to think about shopping.

As a result of the plethora of activity, this weekend involved lots of cooking and lots of not doing much at all. Wonderful.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

ssr #2 and #3

Hubby lost his Silk Garden hat late in the spring, and since this cashmere was left over from He-Who-Goes-to-Nepal-and-Scotland's (more on that later) neckwarmer, it seemed like a good match-up.

Pattern: Morehouse Merino Mushroom Hat, with modifications
Yarn: Bulky cashmere from School Products, purchased this spring
Needles: Bamboo 10.5 circular and DPN
Modifications: The pattern was written for much thinner yarn, but a quick consultation with the Ann Budd pattern book gave me the proper number of stitches to cast on.

Oh. My. God. This is just too cute.

Pattern: Top Down Bonnet with Anime Character from Hello Yarn
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpaca & Silk
Needles: Addi circulars #3
Modifications: I made the ears a little shorter than called for. I really wanted to make sure they would stand up... and they do! I'm so pleased.

I got a book of pictures from My Friend Totoro to accompany the hat, in case the parents haven't seen the movie. I'm fairly sure they'll get it immediately, but just to be safe...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

ssr #1

Pattern: Winter Femme, from d-made
Yarn: The Fibre Co.'s Terra, in Nettle, seen here (60% merino, 20% baby alpaca, 20% silk), purchased from Downtown Yarns in September 2006
Needles: #7 16" circular and #7 DPNs
Modifications: Where to start... First, I had a very different yarn, and limited yardage. Instead of the recommended 108 stitches, I cast on 84. I worked only six rows in the cables and in the decreases, assuming that I had different row gauge as well. I liked the pattern very much, and the yarn was great. I'm glad that there's another in a different color in my stash!

For a while, I was engaging the Power of Positive Thinking in that the hat was going to fit an adult, and that I'd have enough yarn to finish: two things about which I was quite concerned. That Power got me a hat that should fit Little Miss Red Dress (celebrating her 18-month birthday in July and my favorite knit-wear model) this winter (it's 13", unstretched in diameter). Ah, well. She loves hats, and I had enough yarn. It's all good in the end.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

single skein syndrome

I have a problem. My name is Abby, and I buy single (or maybe two) skeins of really lovely yarns, and then don't really have an idea of what to do with it. When I'm feeling drunk from whatever it is that they pipe into yarn stores to tamper with my discretion and better judgement* I think: hey, this would make a very pretty scarf! All fine, except for the fact that I have more scarves than I know what to do with. Really.

*Somehow, yarn websites can also pipe those fumes through my computer (back when I bought yarn (ha! right. Like I haven't been acquiring yarn this year**)).

**Dare I imagine how bad the yarn acquisition would be without the Knit From Your Stash pledge? No.

So. I'm feeling burdened by the little single skeins lying in my stash. Over the past few days, I've been making a list of those skeins, and the projects (not scarves! not socks! but some sock yarn!) that I'd like to knit with them. (It's been a very quiet week in the office, so I've been doing a lot of yarn daydreaming.) The list is very long. I'm going to have so many holiday gifts to give this year!

I'm not going to knit socks for a while (except to finish up some seconds). I want some bigger needles, and portability... so it looks like there are going to be many hats and baby items coming up.

The picture shows the yarn for Round One of the Single Skein Syndrome Reduction project. It's going to be a great summer!

Friday, June 15, 2007

slightly grubby

(Please look only at the lovely wedding-favor violets, and not the slightly grubby window sill.)

A quick post to wish everyone a happy weekend! I finished a sock yesterday, and cast on the second immediately. It's Wildfoote yarn, and my first from Charlotte Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks - the Garter Rib. I'm not crazy about the yarn, and have two more skeins in my stash! What to do?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

for my next trick...sewing!

I made my first purchase from Superbuzzy a few weeks ago, with the great intention of getting my sewing machine out of deep storage and making some tote bags for summer. I love the Marimekko-like pear fabric. The brown fabric is going to be lined with the fabric from a simple bag I bought years ago in New Haven. The top of the bag was starting to fray, so I chopped it up, and it will live a second happy life in a small tote for holding my wallet, phone, and keys for those quick trips to the store and library. The striped fabric is going to be a new kitchen curtain... eventually. (The Superbuzzy service was excellent, and came with a green tea candy!)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

what i did over the weekend

1. I did knit in public on Saturday, as did many other knitters. It was a very brief knitting session, because we were attending a wedding. (I'm VERY glad that I pulled out the floppy hat for the event, because it was darn sunny, and I'm pretty darn fair-skinned for hanging out in a garden for an hour-long ceremony.) There were lots of people from the alma mater attending (including the bride), and the picture for the alumni magazine was populated with class members from 1959 to one current student.

(New Jaywalker sock in Trekking)

2. I started to read the Friday Night Knitting Club, got 100 pages in, and decided to check out the ending. BLECH! It confirmed that I should not be wasting my time on it. I wondered why the author bothered with writing a novel, since it seemed ready for the screenplay treatment. Back to the library it shall go, and I'm moving onto Edith Wharton. My high hopes for a great piece of fiction haven't been dashed!

3. While not exactly during the weekend, I was invited to join Ravelry, and I can't wait to find a few hours to start exploring and creating some content myself. The message boards are very interesting, and looking at different versions of the same pattern, all in one screen, is going to be invaluable. Such a time saver!

4. My ribby shell made its debut yesterday. I'm very not happy with the pictures of it, but I'll share a headless picture. (Why do I look so exhausted in every shot?) Blocking did it a world of good, and I ended up being really pleased with the fit.

Pattern: Chic Knits Ribby Shell by Bonne Marie
Yarn: Filatura Lanarota Royal Linen (50% cotton, 30% viscose, 20% linen), color 5, 6.15 skeins
Needles: Clover bamboo #4 and Addi Turbo #7
Notes: (I don't think that I made any modifications)

Friday, June 08, 2007

friday listage

1. The New York Botantical Garden's Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden was in full bloom last weekend. It was almost too overwhelming to be right there, so we retreated to a bench on a nearby hill. I think that a quilt in greens and grays, with small bits of very warm colors, would be really beautiful.

2. Taking a walk on a new path, I got to see a highlight of the spring in the suburbs: baby geese! I couldn't get too close, because the parent geese are quite protective of the little ones. (See that one holding back a bit?) A few years ago, while walking along the traffic circle at the train station one spring morning, I saw a goose family trying to make there way from the center of the circle over to the river. Parent Goose knew that s/he just had to bolt across the lines of traffic, but the baby geese weren't so sure. Cars, buses, and evil SUVs zip around the circle really quickly. I then did the only thing I could think of: I became a goose-herder. Parent Goose wasn't really sure what was going on, and started back to squwack at me, but the kiddies understood and waddled over to the river while I held back traffic. People on the train think that I'm a very strange person, what with the goose-herding and knitting.

3. And tomorrow is Knit-In-Public-Day, and I'll knit away before the wedding we are attending upstate. I've got two socks with me for the trip!

4. Ribby Shell is blocking and drying after a soak in Soak. That yarn takes a good long time to dry. Action shots when we get back on Sunday! Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

taking shape

I've been working away on Bonne Marie's Ribby Shell for the past week or so, and I'm very pleased with how quickly it's going along. The back is finished, and since it's knit in the round, the front (up to the arm holes) is also done! I'm using Filatura Lanarota Royal Linen (50% cotton, 30% viscose, and 20% linen), purchased at the December 2006 Smiley's Yarn Riot.* I can't really tell if I'm even close to gauge at this point. All I know is that, with the ribbing (I'm doing the 2x2x3x1 version), it's much smaller than it's supposed to be. I'll try it on before dunking it in Soak, just to make sure. My very small gauge swatch smoothed out nicely after drying, so I have high hopes for Ribby.

It's been riding back and forth to work with me in my new Lexie Barnes bag. It's really too big for Lexie at this point, but that doesn't hold me back. It was intended to be home knitting, but it's been too exciting to leave behind.

*It is a riot, in so many ways: first, that there are hundreds of people in a hotel ballroom on the outskirts of midtown looking for discounted, already-cheapy yarn; second, that people stand in line to pay (cash only) for 30-60 minutes and walk out of there with massive garbage bags of yarn; and third, that the Best Western patrons are SO confused at the sight of all this.

Monday, June 04, 2007

fiction time

Since I became a free woman about a month ago, I've been starting to work on my fiction reading list. The first two items fell squarely into the "chick-lit" genre. It wasn't really intentional, and unfortunately, I wasn't that into either book.

The first was The Easy Hour by Leslie Stella. Mimi Smartypants gave the book a rave review, and said that everyone should read it immediately. Therefore, this has been at the top of the list for quite a while. But I just couldn't get into it. There was a bit too much fashion talk, I think, and it felt kind of alien for me.

The next book was listed on last summer's Summer Reading list from the Times. It would be very good for beach reading. It's Literacy and Longing in L.A., and while I liked it more than Easy Hour... it still didn't quite do it for me. At the end, I saw that there was a nine page Book List with all of the pieces referenced in the novel. Oy. Nine pages? OK, you authors are well-read. I got it.

Next up is the Friday Night Knitting Club, because it arrived from the library earlier than I expected. If I didn't have two weeks to read it (no renewals since there's a waiting list), I would jump to Edith Wharton's House of Mirth. just did a book club discussion on it, and it was a gift from my last birthday. After all of this chick-lit, I think that Wharton's commentary will be very refreshing.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

in praise of stockinette

Near the end of the spring semester, I needed something calming. Something that would give me little bits of joy, even when I couldn't really spare much effort. These lovely stockinette Regia socks fit the bill. It was the first pair I magic loop-ed, and it went pretty darn well. I even matched the stripes! However, summer has arrived in New York, and I fear that after a bath, these socks are headed for a three to four month hibernation in the sock drawer.

Pattern: none really, just a top-down, 64 stitches, and short-row heels and toes
Source: my noggin'
Yarn: Regia Cotton India Color, #4301, purchased in Germany (August 2006)
Needles: magic loop with Addi #0, massively long 40"
Modifications: I cast on the sock over two needles to avoid the binding problem

Friday, June 01, 2007

non-knitting post for day

Release Scholar Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh from detention in Tehran: Free Kian.