Wednesday, October 31, 2007

kiku and the return of cocktail talk

(Pretty pictures from the New York Botanical Garden's Kiku show. It was lovely, crowded, but lovely. Must go back before November 18.)

Today had two great cocktail articles appearing in my favorite newspapers. The first, written by William Grimes (who also wrote my favorite cocktail book - go figure!) is about Jerry Thomas, the first cocktail mixmaster. I'll have to pick up the book that inspired the article. I learned that Thomas was born in Sackets Harbor, NY (nearish to where I was born), and also the home of Funny Cide's owners, the group that own the racehorse that almost won the Triple Crown a few years ago. (North Country trivia time!)

Next up is a recipe that uses Applejack. I'm always on the lookout for uses of Applejack (Laird's Applejack, because if the family made it for George Washington, it's good enough for me.) Since I always have organic eggs on hand, I'm certainly going to make the Clover Club and Pink Lady soon.

Happy Halloween and autumn!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

the finished wave

Pattern: Wave Jacket from Miss Bea's Seaside
Yarn: Elann Den-m-nit, about 7 balls of the darker and 3 of the lighter
Needles: size 6 Addi
Modifications: I couldn't get the row gauge on target, so that caused some changes. Most of my discussions about the jacket took place here, waaaaay back in September.

This was my first experience in installing a zipper in a knit garment. Things were pretty shaky at first, but I have high hopes that it will stay in place. I ordered the zipper from Custom Zips, who matched the yarn sample really well* and sent my order really quickly. I mailed the form on a Tuesday, and had the zipper on Friday. That's impressive.

*If you do order from them, you MUST send a sample for them to match and then cross your fingers. There's no color chart to help you (even on the website), and only a list of color names. Not terribly helpful. But they did a very good job this time, so I will use them again.

I'm so happy with my jacket that I'm dancing!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

one day, one row scarf

Pattern: The Yarn Harlot's One Row Handspun Scarf
Yarn: Morehouse Merino three-ply handpainted, one skein (140 yards)
Needles: size 8s
Modifications: none

It's a very short scarf (32 inches), but I'm completely in love with the colors of autumn that look glorious here. The yarn is so soft that I wish the knitting could have gone on forever.* It's reversable, and took less than 24 hours. I can't recommend this pattern enough. And I'm ready to get out my brown suede jacket to match.

*Good thing I bought four skeins at Rhinebeck last weekend. The fun can last!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

the haul from rhinebeck

We still didn't have sunshine today, but there was enough light to quickly take some pictures... through the rain!

Sock yarn was, of course, highly desirable. The top two skeins are very squishy and lovely. The denim yarn just above here is from Sliver Farms. I got some last year in purple, and liked it so much that I went back for more. The barely varigated colors are a pleasure to see.

Morehouse laceweight, 440 yards. It's lovely. Though I said that I wouldn't buy any laceweight, it's Morehouse, so I made an exception.

And four skeins of stunning hand-dyed Morehouse three-strand merino. They are going to be lovely scarves or mittens. I'm sad that they are closing their store, but very glad for them that the internet business is doing so well.

This wool is part of a mitten kit that came with roving to use as thrums. They're going to be very, very warm.

And I can't wait until next year!

Friday, October 26, 2007

october friday listage

*The Farnsworth Invention, a new play by Aaron Sorkin, was a riveting two hours of theater. Mr. Sorkin was there, and should maybe not use the car service quite so much and walk a little bit. Might help the waistline. Just sayin'.

*The lack of light at any point when I'm home is going to make taking photographs pretty difficult. I think I might try to set up a light box with some posterboard, because it's dark dark dark all the time.

*The clasp in the front of the Tilted Duster doesn't seem to keep the points together as I'd like. More futzing will be required over the weekend, but I enjoyed the cozy collar this morning on my walk to work. It's way too hot to wear it in the office, but happily I'm going out to lunch and get another opportunity to try it on!

*My lunch date is with a one-year-old (and his mother), who will finally receive his Wave Jacket. I've installed my first zipper, and now can only keep my fingers crossed that it stays in place. I love the little jacket. It's spread out on my desk because I can't bear to wrap it up yet.

Pictures of my Rhinebeck purchases coming tomorrow!

Monday, October 22, 2007


Much fun was had over this exhausting weekend. I didn't get to the New York Botanical Garden's Kiku show, the wedding was great, it was wonderful to be away from my messy apartment for a little while, and I had a fabulous time with Stephanie, Marni and Ed and bought great yarn at Rhinebeck. The New York Times was there, with rather balanced coverage of yarn and fleece-crazed people. And the Yarn Harlot! Who was not fair and balanced, which is how we like her.

The trees were stunning, and Morehouse helpfully dyed some yarn to match. (Thanks for holding it up, Marni!)

The sad news is that I won't have natural light for photographing my purchases until Saturday! (So strange that it's warm out, but dark when I wake and dark when I get home.) But there's a lot of beautiful things reclining on my coffee table. Including a drop spindle. Egads! Am I spinning now?

Friday, October 19, 2007

weekend of adventure

I'm off for the wedding (which now looks like it will be very soggy), and then to Rhinebeck on Sunday. Since it's going to be waaaaay too warm, I won't be sporting the Tilted Duster, but will probably have the red Chamomile on instead. Say hello if you see me!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

pillow talk

I am frantically knitting two small, slightly fancy pillows for a pair of three-year-old ring bearers for a wedding this weekend. They are small, thankfully, and but many attempts to find a really cool edging to stitch on for a border have come to naught. I've been through all of the Knitting on/over/at the Edge books, my two Walker Treasuries, and just about every other knitting book I've got. I thought that it would be a breeze to knit up a nice border, tweak it into a circle, and knit a pillow inside. The problem was the border.

The search for the perfect border delayed the start of the knitting for about a week. Once I realized that the wedding was less than a week away, I decided that the time for casting on something, anything was NOW. Deadline knitting is no fun at all.

Things are looking up: the pillows themselves are done and stuffed, and the edging is coming along. I'm just picking up 8 stitches, and decreasing at each end (every other row) until there's only one left. I'll certainly tidy up the points before the wedding, but I'm very happy that it's not going to take me the rest of the week finish!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

overdue photo shoot

The weather is finally cooperating, so I can wear the Tilted Duster and not succumb to heat exhaustion immediately. When it's right around 60 and a bit windy, the sweater is perfect.

(Click here to see the inspiration for the poses.)

I like the neck, because it stands up enough to protect my neck, and I don't need a scarf. I don't have the willowy neck of Interweave's model, so I probably should have made it a bit shorter, but it's working out fine.

I need to add a hook and eye to close the points of the front. Right now, I'm using a safety pin, but a more permanent solution would be good.

So what sweater is up next? The Hourglass Sweater? The Half-Circle Cardigan? The Urban Turtleneck? I can't decide.

Friday, October 12, 2007

fanning myself

Thanks to a sick day, I finished the feather and fan socks. (This is a legitimate sick day; I'm not feeling very well, and have no clue how to fix it.)

Pattern: WendyKnits' Toe-up Feather and Fan Sock
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino in Jewels colorway
Needles: Addi size 0, 40" long
Modifications: I used the Magic Cast-On for the first time, and worked a wedge toe from there. I'd split the skein into two balls, using our digital kitchen scale to weigh them out into equal amounts. I could have made the legs longer, but I wasn't enjoying the feather and fan, for some reason. I've done it for scarves in the past, and liked it just fine. But it wasn't working for me, and I decided that the lacey little socks would look just fine a bit short.

Another Christmas present, done!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

there's always next year

I can't quite speak about what happened in the Bronx last night. Give me some time to grieve.

But there's a finished sweater!

It's done! And too hot to try on, so you'll have to make do with pictures of the Tilted Duster lying about in repose.

Pattern: Tilted Duster, by Norah Gaughan in Interweave Knits Fall 2007 (featured on the cover)
Yarn: discontinued Rowan Magpie Aran, in color 315 (Mulled), 7.5 skeins
Needles: size 8 Addi circulars (down two sizes from what was recommened)
Buttons: from Tender Buttons
Modifications: Well, I cut a few stitiches from the skirt, because I just couldn't get that many pick-ups from the back of the sweater. But other than that, I found the patter really well-written.

It's ready to wear to Rhinebeck! Cooler weather is supposedly arriving - starting tomorrow.

Monday, October 08, 2007

still playing

Saturday morning, I was starting to understand what conspiracy theorists feel like: totally helpless to explain a terrible event that made no sense. I am, of course, speaking of the gnat attack at Jacobs Field when Joba took the mound on Friday night. Inexplicable. However, my boys are back on track, and that's all we need to say about that.

Saturday morning, I finished the first feather and fan Cherry Tree Hill sock. Cute, no? A little too lacy for me, but that's why I'm not making them for me!

We went to the 2nd annual Putnam County Farm Festival, where we saw some beautiful horses

and the adorable little pony that lives with them.

And very large grasshopper was taking in some rays on swiss chard.

Because Sunday was so hot, I decided to try Calorimetry with the left-overs from the hat that Hubby made on vacation. It seemed like a very cute pattern, and a good use for quite a bit of lovely Malabrigo yarn. However, I forgot to read the pattern all the way through (missing the part that said Repeat row seven 17 more times), so... I'm not quite sure what to do. It seems like it's pretty big already. I'll have to futz with it and see what I can do.

Yes, soon, I will finish the Tilted Duster. If anyone sees autumn weather around, could you send some my way? Much appreciated.

Friday, October 05, 2007

it's autumn, right?

Yesterday's high of 84, and the equally steamy temperatures forecasted for tomorrow has me in a bit of a state, but my knitting knows that it's fall, and nearly time to break out the woolens. So I started making a pair of mittens from Diakeito Diamusee Fine, which is a very fun yarn. It's Japanese, and has two plys that are very gently, um, plied in great colors.* I'm using a basic Ann Budd pattern, and it's about perfect: lightweight, and just hand sized. It only took two or three evenings to whip up, and I'm excited to start the next one. I have two skeins, but this mitten only used about a third of one, so I get to make another pair... holiday gift, perhaps?

*The photo doesn't show the colors very well, but there was no light this morning. The fog was so dense that I couldn't see across the street.

The hot weather means that I haven't started putting the sleeves on the Tilted Duster yet. But I've got Monday off, and will finish it then! And keep my fingers crossed that someday it'll be cool enough to wear it.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

finished leaf

Pattern: Backyard Leaves by Annie Modesitt from Scarf Style
Yarn: Shibui Knits Baby Alpaca DK in Wasabi, two skeins (but with a lot left over)
Needles: Bamboo size 8s
Modifications: None!

I'm very happy with the scarf, and hope that my SIL will like it. It's really soft, but I think it could still go for a bath in Soak to soften it up a bit.

I played volleyball for the first time in three years on Tuesday night. It was a lot of fun, but I'm still in pain! All of the crouching and diving around the floor... ouchy. Yesterday morning my arms were so swollen, I couldn't fasten my watch in the usual hole. But I do know that I'm hitting the ball in exactly the right place! Perhaps my gleeful experience in letting my gym membership expire this spring wasn't the best thing ever...


Monday, October 01, 2007


The rolling sides of the sweater stand no chance against me, my blocking pins, and a crazy steam iron. I will triumph!