Monday, November 26, 2007

Bulky yarn n'est pas pour moi

Ugh! I've been knitting up this bulky hat today and it's totally killing my hands!!! Maybe I chose the wrong needle size. I'm using Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky Hand-dyed and size 11 addis. Seriously, my right thumb is having difficulty typing. I'm about to give up on this hat. I wanted to make one of Yarn Harlot's Unoriginal Hats for a xmas gift, and I found this beautiful yarn at Yarntopia yesterday, but this is turning out to be a huge PIMA!*

Mondays seem to be for blogging. This past week has been crazy. And this coming week promises to be just as crazy, if not more so. But one week from now, 1/2 the craziness will be over. One week from now I will be done with fall semester. Hard to believe. A little scary to think of the stuff I should accomplish in this week.

I've been having a bit of knitter's ADHD this weekend. Flitting between the plum cardi (almost done--one button band, arm pit grafting and buttons to go); the February Baby Sweater; the Embossed Leaves wristwarmers; a newly cast on pair of socks using Kaffe Fauset Regia sock yarn.

I saw an awesome movie last night--Enchanted. Oh did I ever laugh! Sorry no pictures today, I'm being lazy.

*Pain in my ass--I learned this term last week from a nursing student who visited our floor last week...hehehe :)

Now playing: Iron & Wine - Flightless Bird, American Mouth
via FoxyTunes

Monday, November 19, 2007

in class...

Perfect time for words about those pictures. First, the progress on the plum tweed sweater. Cruising right along on the yoke. Not sure how I feel about the length of the body, but I'm just going to go with it. When I first added the sleeves and body together, I thought I would never get through the row--so many stitches! But the only way to make it less is to do it, so I'm chugging through.

Next: I've started a February Baby sweater as a gift for a friend's kid--I really hope it fits a 1 year old. I'm not sure....we'll see. The yarn is Classic Elite Provence cotton. So soft and shiny! I love it! And the pattern is fantastic, of course. I'm a bit worried about having enough yarn. We'll see how that goes.

Third project: Finally some pictures of the Embossed Leaves wristwarmers. Love these. The yarn is Socks that Rock mediumweight--too thick for socks, I think, but great for wristwarmers. These will be a great xmas gift, I think.

Lastly, it's snowing today!!! Can you see the snow? Look closely--you see those faint white streaks? Especially in the second picture. Earliest snow in my time here. Yea for snow.

Just pictures...words later

yoke progress

February baby sweater

February sweater detail

Embossed Leaves wrist warmers

Embossed Leaves wrist warmers

nov 19 07 010

nov 19 07 009

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sometimes things just work out

Like magic!! Today I had a clinical in the Bronx and I used the travel time there to get some knitting in on the second striped monkey sock. Lo and behold, the clinical was actually a conference, and my friends happened to choose a table in the very back. Rather than sit there and simply listen to the speakers, I decided to make the most of that time and continue work on the sock, and it's done!

trekking monkeys

Not only is it done, but look how the colors lined up perfectly in the foot. I soooo did not plan that. I didn't give a second thought to the striping pattern, figuring that the stripes were so random and thin that no one would ever notice if they did or did not match up.

trekking monkeys

But I'm so happy that they did! :D

Monday, November 12, 2007

Oooo! Pictures!

trio fo dirty hippie hats

In an apparent case of the reverse-Mondays (trademark!), I actually took some pictures of my knitting this morning before school. Above you see a lovely trio of Noro Silk Garden hats, or Dirty Hippie Hats, as I prefer to call them. They are sized, roughly, large, medium and small. Below you see a duo of bright hats, Zeebees, for a couple of Heinze boys I know. They are, hopefully, sized for child and toddler. The yarn is Cascade 220 that I myself died, a color I call Un-Lose-Able in honor of its brightness. And what a delightful pattern!


I've had an influx of new music this week. Iron and Wine-The Shepard's Dog; Josh Rouse-Country Mouse City House; Old 97s-Hit By A Train; Beirut-The Flying Cup Club; Band of Horses-Cease to Begin; The New Pornographers-Challengers; Headlights-Kill Them With Kindness. All of it wonderful (of course!)

Where did the general put his armies?

Above you see my progress on the never-ending-sleeves. Maybe it would have gone faster to do one sleeve at a time, but then I'm afraid that one would end up looser/tighter than the other if I was more/less stressed while knitting it. I think I have about 3 inches left to go on these before I can join them with the body and finally begin the yoke. Below, two pictures of another pair of monkeys I'm working on. The yarn is Trekking XXL. It feels softer than I remember previous trekkings to be--could this be? I think these socks are so lovely. But alas, they're destined for other feet than mine. I'm more than 1/2way done with the second one. Maybe I can finish it tomorrow on the way to and from clinical.

trekking monkey

trekking monkey detail

Happy Monday, hope everyone had a chill Veteran's Day yesterday.

Friday, November 9, 2007


I swear I've been knitting, but no photos to show, because, let's be honest--it's boring. No finished objects. At this moment, I'm finishing up dirty hippie hat #3, so maybe I'll have a pic of this sometime before the end of the year.

In lieu of knitting pics, how about this little bit of humor
It Makes Cappucino and Houses a Family of Five

UES trophy wife #1, in black dress: ... And the dress was only twenty-six hundred dollars!
UES trophy wife #2: Wow, that's fabulous!

--David Burke & Donatella Restaurant

via Overheard in New York, Nov 9, 2007

Now playing: Headlights - Put Us Back Together
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Ah--life is crazy!

And I've been going Cast-On Crazy!!! I feel like I need a cool announcer to say that. Like it's a car sale or something--"Get down here right now, Robin's going Cast-On Crazy!!" Maybe I'm manic, I just can't focus on one project. Active projects on the needles right now: Dirty Hippie Hat #3 (50%), Xmas Monkeys (75%), Embossed Leaves Handwarmers (25%), More Striped Socks (5%), Plum Sweater sleeves (50%). And that's not counting projects that have been dolefully pushed to the back burner. I have so much great yarn, I just want to knit it all up RIGHT NOW!

Mostly I think all this casting on is just a thinly veiled study-procrastination technique. I did horrendously on my last exam, which means I really need to get my ass in gear and fricking study! But I just can't bring myself to sit down and crack the textbook (if I'm going to skip class, I'm resigned to doing the reading).

And OF COURSE I don't have pictures of any of this stuff. But I might have a picture somewhere of a recent FO...hrmm...Here's a (blurry) pic of Dirty Hippie Hat #1:

dirty hippie hat #1

And here's one of adorable little Logan wearing his Two-Tone Cable Yoke Jacket--it fits perrrr-fect!! :D


So there you go, a couple of pictures. Maybe now I should get back to my homework? I've decided that the study is a Knitting-Free Zone so that I can come in here to do work without being distracted. This plan isn't working out so well, though, since MY WHOLE STASH is in here. Hrmmmm. I could really use some discipline right 'bout now!
Now playing: Josh Ritter - Wait For Love
via FoxyTunes

Friday, October 19, 2007

mid October update

So much to talk about, so let's get right down to it:

1. Blue Stripeys. Finally finished these socks that I started waaaaaaaaaaay back in July on the way to Jamie's wedding. Way back when, I'd nearly completed one sock, when I had my roommate try it on, only to find it was way too small! So, completely frogged. Re-cast with larger needles. And many months later, here we have the finished product.

blue stripeys 4

I wasn't too happy with these socks. I don't like the way the short-row heel turned out (note to self: investigate other short row heel methods). Also, not so fond of the knitted fabric that resulted from increasing the needles size.

blue stripeys 3

But thankfully I've got a family full of women with similarly sized feet. A quick text message to my sister, "Hey, check out my flickr page and tell me if you want those blue socks," and her reply, "Yes please!!" and these socks have a good home with someone who won't look at them and only see their flaws (do you think I'll be like this with my hypothetical children? only seeing their flaws??? I sure hope not)

blue stripeys 2

2. Plum Sweater Update. Making excellent progress on the sweater. Done with the body up to the armpits. Need to cast on the sleeves. Nothing too exciting, just LOTS of stockinette.

3. Cast-On-itis. A week or so ago I got a mad case of cast-on-itis, went stash diving and started a few new projects. First, the Chevron Scarf from LMKG, using two amazingly bright colors of Colinette Jitterbug. I have no idea who I'm making this for--it's sooooooooooo bright.

Jitterbug wave scarf

Also cast on last week, Dirty Hippy Hat. Just a basic hat, seed stitch brim, with tall stitches on the body of the hat. Yarn: Noro Silk Garden. I plan on making a few of these as xmas gifts; good mindless TV knitting. This first Dirty Hippy Hat has been almost done for about a week now (I knit it in one sitting while watching a movie). I just need to suck it up and finish the darned thing!

dirty hippy hat

The 3rd NCOO (newly cast on object) is a slightly modified version of Broadripple from Knitty. I started with a picot edge; am working the sock over 64 st (large footed family); and instead of yarnovers, I'm using M1 on the plain row for slightly smaller holes in the lace pattern. The heel is a plain stockinette square. I love these socks so far. Hopefully their recipient will like them as well.

Mod Broad

4. In non-knitting stuff, I went to Boston last weekend, my first time there in a year. I visited Jamie and Jessica, and had such a nice time! On Saturday, by sheer dumb luck, Jamie and I ended up at the Partners in Health Symposium at Harvard--we heard Paul Farmer, Ophelia Dahl, Jim Kim, Melinda Gates, Danny Glover, and people from PIH sites around the world. It was inspiring; my desire to work abroad has been re-ignited. Me and Jamie (I forgot to take a picture with Jessica...oops!)

Me and Jamie

5. Today I saw Gone Baby Gone. What a good movie! Though, I can't say the title without thinking of the Gnarls Barkley song Gone Daddy Gone. Anyways, back to the movie--well acted, beautifully shot. Heart breaking, though, as social commentary. A bit demoralizing.

6. On the subway today, I was sitting next to little boy--not more than 4 years old--who was studying a placemat map of the world from 125th to 168th. It was pretty much the cutest thing.

7. Let me leave you with this sentiment: I love tofu. It's so yummy. I really want this shirt:

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Finished: Florentine Clapotis

Florentine detail

I purchased this yarn in January 07 when mom was visiting. I remember showing it to her while we were waiting in line to see The Drowsy Chaperone. I was instantly taken by the vibrant colors of the yarn—how bright! So soft, and superwash! Oh Colinette

Florentine Clapotis Floretine detail

I started this project in January and plugged along slowly until late February or so when this project got moved to the bottom of the project basket. With the advent of cooler temps a few weeks ago, I pulled this out with renewed vigor and voila!

Florentine Clapotis

I was unsure how long to continue the straight section—I didn’t want a clapotis too long, and I kind of had to guess about when to start the decreases, but I’m so happy with the length! I feel like it’s perfect. Long enough to wrap around and around my neck, but not so long that it drags down around my waist.

oct 02 07 006

Let me just say for the few people who have yet to knit up this project—it’s so freeing to drop stitches! And it’s fun to knit a diagonal project.

I popped by Spin Out this past Saturday and learned to knit with a drop spindle—what fun! New hobby? I think so! In other news, I cast on for a sweater for me. My last attempt at a grown up sized sweater has remained in storage since it's creation a year or so ago. The wool is too scratchy, even after a good soak in WoolWash. This new sweater is going fine so far. I'm using Cascade 220 tweed that I purchased in Sept 06 at Knit NY during the Knit Out sale.

sept 17 06 038

According to flickr, that picture was taken 9/17/06. For a year I've thought and thought about the best way to use it. I finally decided to knit up this sweater from the summer Classic Elite booklet. My gauge is different, so I had to fudge the numbers a bit, so I'm nervous about how it's all going to work out. But so far, so good.

plum sweater plum sweater

I know gauge lies so I've got my fingers crossed that it works out alright.

I learned how download audiobooks from the NY public library website--how exciting! All morning while I was sewing sewing sewing I was listening to The Painted Veil. The reader has a pleasant English accent and 6 + hours of listening has given the voice of my thoughts a bit of an English accent too! :)

Friday, September 28, 2007


Logan's birthday jacket is all done and in the mail! (Only a month late.) I really enjoyed making this sweater--it provided enough of a challenge that I feel my skillz have deepened a bit.

two tone

The pattern is Cable Yoke Jacket from Debbie Bliss Simply Baby. I made a few modifications to the pattern. Since I chose to use a different yarn with a different gauge, I cast on a different number of stitches than any of the sizes listed. And since I despise seaming, I worked as much as possible in the round--the lower portion of the body and the sleeves. I did a 3 needle bind off at the shoulders, and used kitchener to graft the sleeves to the body. The pattern calls for a zipper, but it's much easier for me to find buttons, so I decided on buttons. I added the button bands 2nd to last (right before collar), instead of working them simultaneously with the body as called for in the pattern. I would definitely work this pattern again.

two tone -- all done!

The yarn I chose, Cascade Sierra, is so soft! Half cotton/half wool--not the least bit itchy and machine washable--great for a 2 year old. I've used this yarn before and it's such a bargain! The only gripe I have about it--it's loosely plied.

I'm not sure how I feel about the buttons, I don't really think they match too well--I couldn't find anything better at my LYS, and I didn't feel like going all over town in search of the perfect button. Oh well.

I really hope it fits! I'm going to bug Tamiko until she sends me a pic of him in it, so we'll see. :)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

the problems with working so much

Well, don't we wish we didn't have to work. Of course. One of the problems with working so much is that it really takes away from knitting time. I'm thissssss close to finishing the two-tone jacket. Seriously--I'm half way done binding off the collar. Then I sew on the buttons and that's it! And I just can't stay awake long enough on work days to get it done.

What if I had a job where I could knit at work??? That would be dreamy. What kind of job would that be? In a knitting shop? Or really any kind of little shop that doesn't get too much business. Someday, when me and the sisters have our craft shop--then I'll be able to knit at work. Certainly not at any sort of nursing job. :(

Another problem with working so much--no natural light in which to photograph the progress. In addition to being thissss close to finishing two-tone, I'm also cruising along on the forgotten clapotis. But once again, no picture.

On a side note: this girl, A Fine Frenzy, has a very beautiful new CD out called One Cell in the Sea. I love love love it and can't get enough.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

FOs and UFOs

As a bit of a stay of execution, I managed to get today off from work--4 days in a row would have killed me. Thank you Marta for taking today from me. Recognizing this day as a blessing, I believe I've made the most of it. I decided today should be a day for finishing. First up, Aunt Michelle's Cancer Sucks Socks.

Aunt Michelle's monkeys

I found out my aunt has small cell lung cancer a couple of weeks ago. As a nurse, I believe I've come to view death as a part of life, and it sucks that she's sick. But me getting all upset about it isn't going to make her feel any better. But you know what might? A pair of nice, cozy socks! This is the monkey pattern from Knitty, the second time I've knit this, and I do so love the pattern. And love the yarn also: Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn.

Second finished object, the Americana blanket. For the past 3 or 4 weeks, all that's been left to do for this blanket was bind off the i-cord border and sew in all the yarn ends. 36 yarn ends was enough to put me off finishing this project, but today, while watching When Harry Met Sally, I bit the bullet and wove 'em in. I had so much fun making this blanket. I love the stripes, the yarn is so soft--I think it will make an excellent baby blanket.

Americanan blanket

The cable-yoke jacket is coming along--I finished sewing the sleeves to the body, now I've picked up the stitches for the button band, I bought the buttons today. Once the button bands are done, all that'll be left is the collar! Maybe I can finish it tonight if I stop blogging. :)

In the category of renewed vigor, I've picked up the Florentine Clapotis I put down last spring and forgot about--I think it as the cooler weather we had last week. Maybe I can actually wear it this fall!

I successfully died some kelly green yarn!! And, a bit less successfully, some red-purple yarn.

cool as a cucumber reddy-purple

The green was dyed putting the kelly green dye over the royal blue dye. The red-purple was from 2 packets of black cherry Kool-Aid and 6 packets of grape Kool-aid; I had hoped it would be predominantly purple, but oh well, I love it anyways.

A couple of non-knitting items: I got a massage today at Super Magic Fingers on W 81st St. So wonderful, and cheap! I saw the film The Jane Austen Book Club--it was a nice romantic comedy--not too cheesy even!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Ok, here goes

My first knitting blog entry! I don't really know how to start. I might as well talk about what I'm working on right now. First, a mitered square blanket (pattern adapted from Mason-Dixon Knitting):

mitered squares

Americana blanket
Americana Blanket, yarn: Katia Jamaica (4 balls), needles: US size 7

The squares are joined with single crochet on the back side. I'm chugging my way through the applied i-cord border. I really like the neat and tidy edge it creates. First, I went around the whole blanket with single crochet, now I'm working a 4-stitch i-chord. The edge is so soft, I think a baby will have a nice time running its fingers along the edge.

Next, cable yoke jacket from Debbie Bliss Simply Baby. I'm aiming for a 2-year-old size, though sizing kid garments without the kid present is a little challenging for me--I always fear that the sleeves won't be properly proportioned.

cable yoke jacket in progress
2-Tone Cable Jacket, yarn: Cascade Sierra (2 skeins dark blue, 1 skein light blue), needles: US size 6 for stockinette, size 5 for cables

I love the way this pattern is coming out so far. I'm trying to knit this up with as few seems as possible. So far, it looks like the only seems will be at the shoulders (3 needle bind off), and where the sleeves join the body. I have a bit of work left on this: sleeves, middle zipper bands, find appropriate zipper, collar. The yarn is so soft--and machine washable!

Yesterday I had a bit of a dyeing adventure. My first foray beyond Koo-Aiding. I got some Jacquard dyes a few weeks ago at Lee's Art Supplies on 57th. My goal was to make yarn that was mostly kelly green with short runs of royal blue. The first step was taking the skein of Cascade 220 and turning it into a much longer loop:


The next step was soaking the yarn. I soaked it for about 1/2 an hour, I think.


While the yarn was soaking, I mixed the dyes (1/4 teaspoon dye in 1 cup boiling water with 2 tablespoons white vinegar) and prepared a workspace on the kitchen table. Since we don't get the newspaper, I used a couple JCrew catalogues. On top of that, I laid out a long piece of saran wrap in a sortof-circle. My yarn loop was longer than the available space, so I had to double it up a bit on the table.

dye prep

laid out

I applied the dye to the yarn with sponge brushes, about 5/6 green, 1/6 blue. I forgot to take pictures of this part, sorry! I had the gloves on, and I was really into it. Once the yarn seemed saturated with dye, I wrapped up the yarn in the saran wrap like a big yarn burrito, put it in a microwave safe bowl with a bunch of water and started microwaving it.

yarn burrito ready to cook

I cooked it in 2 5-minute sessions on high followed by a 3-minute session on low, with cool-off periods in between. I tried really hard to keep the water from boiling. Next time I'd really like to have a dying pot (aka a big cheap pot) so I could cook it on the stove. Anyways, here's my finished product!



I've named the color Un-lose-able because it's that bright. Those colors you see are true to life. It's not exactly kelly green. Oh well. Next time, I'll mix double the amount of green pigment I mix. I'm not sure what will be come from this yarn. Probably something for a kid, who else will wear day-glo green? The whole process seemed to take forever, but I'm pleased with the finished product. It probably wouldn't have seemed like such an ordeal if it had been a little bit cooler in the kitchen.

Anyways, there you have it, my first knitting blog entry! Today I'm going to Coney Island with some friends from work, and I'm bringing along my purse sock (pics to follow). Fingers crossed the sun comes out, it's overcast now.