Friday, August 31, 2007

august wrap-up

Used up this month:
- 2 skeins of Shelridge Farms sock yarn for the Embossed Leaves
- 8 skeins of Summer Tweed for Chamomile
- 5 skeins of Lambs' Pride Bulky for AfA hats

I did quite well in cleaning out some yarn that had been marinating for waaaay too long this month. Of course, I think that I bought more yarn this month than I used up. (Correction: the trip to Portland was in July. Yay! I'm fine!)

And I made lots of cute hats! How many ways can you stripe it?

We're off for vacation tomorrow morning! While we'll be travelling avec laptop, I don't know how much wireless we'll be able to swipe. I'll definitely be back in a week, so have a good one.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

yay! chamomile!

Perhaps seaming doesn't really take as long as I'd thought! I went into overdrive tonight, and stitched up the arms and sides, and it's finished! And really lovely.

Pattern: Chamomile from Rowan's Summer Tweed Collection, by Kim Hargreaves
Yarn: Rowan Summer Tweed, color 537
Needles: unknown circular size 6 and Addi size 7
Modifications: None really... none that were intentional, at least.

I still need to get the lacing for the top part, but it's certainly wearable without it. If only the weather would cooperate!

This yarn as an interesting history. I originally bought four skeins at Colorful Stitches in Lenox, MA, with the intention of making Ginger from the same book. I started working on it, and discovered gauge issues early on. The project was frogged, and laid to rest. After a while, I discovered that Ginger wasn't going to work on my body, so the gauge problem was worthwhile!

Months, and maybe even a year later, we wandered into a (since closed) yarn store on the Upper East Side. I'd heard that there was a sale, and wanted to check it out. I decided to bring along a skein tag from the original four to see if I could find a match and get more Summer Tweed to make that nice little Chamomile, which had caught my eye. The Knitting Deity smiled: and lo, four skeins of Summer Tweed, in my color, in my dyelot, and 50% off.

After many years, a very satisfying payoff for a project that just couldn't get off the ground...

(Action shot, and don't you like my new haircut?)

Monday, August 27, 2007

butch cassidy

Oh my word, it was him! Still looking f i n e at age 82, and sporting very fancy mirrored aviator sunglasses. He didn't have the glasses on, so I got to (discreetly) gaze upon his lurvely eyes.

I've discovered a secret about my seaming skillz on Chamomile: each seam I do needs to be ripped out at least once, and probably should be ripped out a second time, but I'm too lazy to do so. There will be no close-ups of any seams shared on the internets. But it will held together in some fashion! Seriously though, I'm liking how it's coming along.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

blocking action

Through the haze and humidity, some sunshine is falling on the blocking Chamomile! It's been pinned out since Friday, when I went over it with a very steamy iron. Of course, it's been entirely steamy everywhere, so I'm not sure if there was an added benefit from using the iron. The goal: finish Chamomile before we leave for vacation on Saturday! Since we'll be in New England, I imagine that a silk/cotton sweater will be quite welcomed on those chilly* September nights.

*Here's hoping!

To celebrate the end of major knitting on Chamomile and the blocking-pinning, we drank New Yorkers on Friday night. Whiskey, lime, Cointreau, grenadine (I think we used a bit much) and simple syrup: a very tasty combo. In comparing this with another pink cocktail, the much-overdone Cosmo, a New Yorker wins hands-down. Me likey whiskey.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


(I needed a photo. Any photo. And it's so cute!)

A stomach bug has knocked me out for most of the week, so there's not a lot of knitting to show. The Chamomile sleeves are done, and the back needs a tiny bit of finishing and then it's ready for blocking. And finishing (blech). I'd been planning on finishing it all this week, but social plans and the need to go to sleep at 10pm laid waste to my agenda. Last night, for instance, even though a friend was over for dinner, I had to excuse myself to nap. I hope that Ed didn't mind.

In lieu of anything intriguing, this article is interesting, at least, for those interested in real do-it-yourself cocktails.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Much like Alison, I spent Friday afternoon taking pictures of my stash, uploading them to Flickr, and filling out my stash on Ravelry. The sun was out for the photo session, and the rain held off until I was done. Thank you, nature!

Now that I've got (almost) everything up in my stash, I've fallen for Ravelry. I started to identify pictures for finished projects, and filled up my Flickr allotment for the month. So no more pictures for August, and I couldn't even get all 2007 pictures uploaded! I'll be adding the projects over the next couple of weeks. Happily we've got a big screen on our desktop computer, so I can keep both Ravelry and blog up on the screen to record the project details in Ravelry.

It was very, very gray this morning, so no pictures of the Chamomile progress today. One sleeve is done, and the other should be finished by tonight. It's going well, but I have one gripe. The pattern calls for seven skeins of Summer Tweed, and I'm going to be lucky if I can finish the project with eight. What gives? I'd be further along in the knitting, but I had to spend some time looking in Ravelry to see if anyone had my color that they wanted to unload, in case I ran out. I think it will turn out OK, but it's creating more tension than I'd like!

Friday, August 17, 2007

another friday listage

1. I'm loving my Mighty Leaf Tea variety package. I pounced on it last Saturday when I discovered it on the shelf at Fairway. So yummy.

2. I'm having my first facial in a very long time tomorrow. I need to prepare myself for a puffy, weird-looking face for the afternoon.

3. Clairest tagged me to do a meme thing, and I'm not sure that I can remember most of the things that I'm supposed to reveal. I'm quite impressed that she can recall all of those lifey details. I think I remember winning the 300m sprint at a track meet in Malone at some point during high school. Does that count? (OK, OK, I'll try to work on it over the weekend...) And why did Clairest leave out living in Ohio for four years? Hm?

4. More yarn: my birthday present from Hello Yarn arrived this week. It's. So. Pretty. I'm slowly being buried by sock yarn. Happily, grandma really liked her birthday socks, so I've got someone else to knit for!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

sleeve island

I'm trying to avoid Second Sleeve Syndrome by knitting both of them at the same time. A good idea in principle, but it makes for some very long rows and significant bulkiness for commuter knitting. However, I anticipate that we'll only have one more day of commuting with this (in pieces), because I should be able to finish this weekend!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

how do you spend your birthday?

I have yummy, fresh fruits.

Work on the back of Chamomile.

And buy some yarn.

Can't ever have too much sock yarn!

Ain't that the truth.

Add in a pedicure, and a mint and purple basil mojito, and it's a perfect day. Even if it means I'm getting older.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

on the needles, and off

Why, it's the front of Chamomile, from the Rowan Summer Tweed book! I came back from Portland with the idea that I needed to start knitting sweaters; I've got tons of yarn for them in the stash, but fear them. I think it comes down to the getting gauge issue. There was one disasterous sweater, from years ago, which I can't talk about without having a few drinks first.* Lately, I seem to be evening out, and by going down one size from the recommended size, I'm right on.

*Seriously: it's bad. I shed tears when it was over. Then did something stupid which prevents me from frogging the whole thing. Oy vey.

After Chamomile, there will only be one other red sweater's worth of yarn. Next up has to be something purple. I've got three (yes, three) purple sweater projects in the stash. I guess you can say that I know what I like.

Claire sent me the loveliest boucle yarn from her trip to Australia. In this season, holding it makes me start sweating, but in a few months it will feel great to have in my lap. Thank you, Claire!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

emergency sock

Last Friday I discovered a problem. While I had three knitting projects in my bag (all small, thankfully) and two hours in which to knit after work and before dinner, I hadn't planned out the projects very well.

Project #1 was the blue AfA hat. I needed to do the crown decreases and forgot my DPNs.

Project #2 was the Embossed Leaf sock that needed a toe frogged and a new one knit. While I brought two skinny DPNs on which to place the newly-live stitches, bringing needles that would allow me to reknit the toe escaped my notice.

Project #3 was swatching for the now-frogged Desert Garden sweater. This I could have worked on, but didn't, and I guess I knew that it wasn't going to work out for us.

I decided that, since it was August and KFYS was over, I should treat myself to some new yarn and start something new. I headed to The Point, and didn't really see anything.* So I walked over to Purl. Lots and lots of Koigu, and custom Lorna's colors, yet nothing jumped out at me.

*Except, Subway Knitter, was that you? I couldn't tell for sure, and was too shy to interrupt.

Thus the idea of the Emergency Work Sock. I need a sock-in-progress to keep at work for those times when I haven't planned well and need something easy for the train, or to kill some time before an evening event. Therefore:

I'm going to start this with Judy's Magic Cast-On, and just go crazy with stockinette stitch. I love my Regia stripes. If the torrential rains that have completed shut down New York City today (WTF?) appeared during the evening rush instead of the morning, I'd be really happy to have an easy sock with which to entertain me during the delays.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

what a mess!

(Not the roses, of course. Those were just a treat for myself at the beginning of a week that I knew was going to be a long one. I love the color combination, and unfortunately the horrible flourscent lights at work don't allow me to really capture the B-U-T* of them. )

*A favorite book that Hubby introduced me to is called C-D-B. So the phrase B-U-T should be read as bee-you-tee. It's a fantastic read, and so clever.

I decided to use up some stash to make a summer top for myself, before the end of the season. The Nothin' But a T-Shirt came to mind (even though it was named for a Jessica Simpson song (shudder)), as it was what I wanted style-wise, and my gauge was close for the old bag of Jo Sharp Desert Garden.

But whoa: this yarn twists up like no one's business. And I'd re-skeined it after seeing that the swatches were pretty twisty. This was the scene from the train last night on my way home (sorry the photo is so shaky - I couldn't help it!). I had to stop knitting because I couldn't untwist, and didn't have space for shaking it out.

Another decision for stopping this project was the fact that, with one ball of yarn nearly finished, I'd only gotten 3" of the front. I wouldn't have been able to get the whole garment knit (by a long shot) with only 10 balls. The pattern calls for 6 balls of Rowan Calmer, leading to the question: what is up with this yarn?

And what can I do with it since a garment isn't in the cards? Learn to crochet?

Monday, August 06, 2007

finish-up sunday

Yay! More socks!

Pattern: Embossed Leaves Socks, from Interweave Knits Winter 2005
Yarn: Shelridge Farms Soft Touch Ultra in Forest, purchased at Rhinebeck 2005
Needles: Addi #1s
Notes: My row gauge was off from the pattern, so when knitting the first sock, I really shortened the toe because I wasn't sure who would be able to wear these huge socks. It ended up fairly fugley. But I pressed on with the second sock after a two-month pause, and had a revelation: grandma's birthday is coming up, and she's got BIG feet! So the second sock was knit (just about as written), and wow: that toe is really pretty! It finishes the last leaf and everything. So clever. I ripped the old, stubby toe and re-knit it as designed.

(One more shot, this time with detail!)

I was very sad to hear that the Dulaan Project is over, but happy to hear that Mongolia has moved into the cadre of developing nations, and thus not requiring crates and crates of warm items from developed nation knitters. I saw that Afghans for Afghans has a deadline of September 21 to collect items for this winter's shipment, so promptly started in on the stash of Lamb's Pride Bulky. Hubby thought this hat looked huge, but it was pretty snug on me... There will be more to come!

Pattern: It's not really a pattern, but the extra, fold-over brim was Ann Budd's from the Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns. 66 stitches, then decreases of k4, k2tog; even row; k3, k2tog, etc.
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Bulky in Ink Blue, purchased from Patternworks nearly two years ago when we were on vacation in New Hampshire and went to the store.
Needles: Clover Bamboo #10.5 16" circular and DPNs
Notes: I try to do my greater-good hats with the extra brim for greater warmth: knit a few rounds, then do a purl row as the turning point. At the end, I just take the extra yarn from the cast-on and whip stitch the brim up inside. It's wonderfully toasty!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

i heart portland

I heart Knit/Purl in Portland, more specifically. Since it was a vacation, and near the end of my no-yarn-buying phase, I went a touch crazy on this trip. Happily, my suitcase was half-full went we went out there... and packed on the return!

Bee-yout-tee-ful Sea Wool.

Lurvely Baby Alpaca from the new Shibui Knits line (from Knit/Purl!). This will likely get knit up into the Backyard Leaves from Scarf Style for my sister-in-law, who loves this color.

Yes, I'm going to knit a sweater in sock yarn. Am I crazy? Very possibly.

No idea what this will become, but who can resist Sea Silk in this lovely, spun gold? Not me!

This bamboo sock yarn was the only thing I bought not from Knit/Purl... and I can't remember the name of the shop. It was in the Pearl District, on Gilsen Street? I'm excited about this.

Portland is excellent in other ways, too, but with all this yarn, it would be too much to talk about the other ways it is so wonderful.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

july wrap-up

-one skein of Trekking XXL for Jaywalkers
-one skein of Silky Wool for Branching Out
-one skein of Lorna's Laces Angel for baby booties
-three skeins of Jo Sharp Rare Comfort Infusion Kid Mohair for the Misty Garden scarf

I thought that there might be more to add, but I didn't get a whole lot of knitting time during our Portland trip. I'll talk more about the trip soon...

What's in all these bundles? Lots of wonderful items! But my photo skills weren't working very well yesterday, what with the four hours of airplane sleep, and I need to do another photo shoot. It'll be worth the wait!