25 June 2008

sometimes i make my own stuff

cardiganbut this is not one of those times. when i am at the store i tend to work on store models. some i have been asked to knit, and others--like this one--have been abandoned by those who were originally asked to knit them. like an aluminum can on the side of the road or a funny looking dog at the pound, i scoop them up and take care of them.

i actually finished this silly thing about a week ago, but i needed a picture for the blog before i aired it for all to see. i have started anther model in the shop. this one is a new little gal... i am knitting the strawberry pullover from Roo Designs. i'll report back on my first foray into intarsia.

a.k.a. Baby Cardigan (and Hat) P630
by Plymouth Yarn Design Studio

knit in Plymouth Oh My! (5 balls turquoise, 100% nylon) on size US 10 addi turbo needles.

started: june 4, 2008.
finished: june 18, 2008.

this was another orphan project. it was abandoned about a year ago by a collegue who just got tired of knitting it. on one hand, i don't blame her, it is a simple (boring) pattern knit in a goofy yarn. but then again, i inherited it with the back and most of one side finished, and i knit the sides, sleeves, collar, and did all of the finishing in about 6 hours.... so why not tough it out?

either way, i feel more informed about this yarn. it is all nylon and pretty slick. people seem to like it a lot, but now i can see why the other ladies are always trying to steer new knitters away from it. you really can't see the stitches and it is a pain to seam or otherwise finish.

it feels like what i imagine knitting marshmallows would feel like.

but it sure is cute, no?

24 June 2008

model knitter

tankat the shop, we get paid to knit store models. i took on one that should have been very easy. big needles, very little shaping, no sleeves, simple stitch. the only catch seemed to be that i was knitting the third size instead of the smallest size (which is what we usually do a model in) because my boss wanted to wear it after we stop carrying the yarn.

that was back in march. i finally finished the beast today. to be fair to my laziness, i finished the sweater over a week ago, but i tried to get the seaming done at work. we were too busy for me to get it done (which is good! very good!) so i put it off until today at home. but now Lyn is back from vacation and there is no more letting this sweater sit on the back burner.

Lyn's Tank
a.k.a. "#6 Ribbed Tank"
designed by Rosemary Drysdale
published in S. Charles Collezione, Spring/Summer 2008

knit in Lana Grossa Cambio (5 balls #8 teal, 70% cotton, 30% polyester microfiber) on size US 10.5 and US 5 bamboo straight needles.

started: march 15, 2008.
finished: june 24, 2008.

tank topi know, i know, it did take a long time. it was really hard for me to knit. the yarn on big needles hurt my wrists a lot. i had to wrap it so much and hold it with so much tension that my hands would ache after only an hour of knitting.


i learned that when knitting a yarn on a needle that is much larger than the yarn calls for, it is better to use straight needles. when i tried to work this on a circular, the yarn would snag on the cord joins and often it got too tense to slip easily back on to the working needle end.

i also learned which needle i needed to use by trial and error. i started out on metal needles, and they were waaaaay to slippery. i switched to birch, but they had too much drag. i finally settled on bamboo, and it worked pretty well.

i hope i can get a picture of this on Lyn because on me it looks very silly and dress-like. the yarn has a lot of vertical stretch knit on the big needles, so the arm holes are almost to my waist and my lack of curves "up top" mean the top stretches to mid-thigh when i wear it.

the effect is that of a chainmail dress.

in sock tie news, i have completed the length that hangs down from the tie knot and the decreases for the neck portion. i am now knitting the neck and tail. yay!

baby things are also moving along, but i have been on the tie more than the baby things. i'll need to do switch up on those soon!

19 June 2008

socka socka socka

right sideconditions under which you can knit a sweater for a man...

1. he is your father, brother, grandfather, or a really awesome and appreciative cousin or in-law.

2. you are married to the recipient or have been together long enough to be considered common law.

3. you have signed a pre-knit-ual agreement.

4. you want to end your relationship.

even though rW is a sweater wearing, knit-desiring, pretty-awesome guy, he does not fit into any of these descriptors. however, i am a total sucker.

very few knitters have men in their lives that want to have things knit for them... let alone a tie. yes, a tie. people are pretty evenly divided on knit ties. either they hate them or they love them, and most people who i know who love them have no one to knit one for.

wrong sidethis is my first knit tie, and it has been fun to make so far. it goes faster than you would expect for fingering weight yarn on size US 3 needles. i find that i can get in a rhythm with the linen stitch after a few rows and it moves.

rW calls it a sock tie, which i think is a funny name, but i guess it is accurate because it is knit from sock yarn. the truly silly thing is that despite calling it a sock tie, last night we were looking at knit ties on ravelry and he didn't like one we saw because it looked "too much" like a sock.


17 June 2008

too much. (part II)

peas in a podsee that fine pair of preppy bags*? yeah, i only own one of those. the other sitting next to it belong to my #1 girl... my cousin. she drove out thursday for a very last minute visit.

it was great!
while this visit was the exact opposite of my mum's in terms of amount of stuff smooshed into 2.5 days, it was just as enjoyable. highlights...

i took jess to Plato's Diner in College Park. she declared their ravioli The Best Ever.

we shopped. well, window shopped. very little buying was done. we just looked at baby stuff at buybuy Baby and Ikea and hit The Container Store as well. there was some buying at Ikea. jess thought it was pretty amusing that she (the pregnant lady who doesn't even really like wine) was buying wine racks.

i bought an underwear drying hanger thingy that looks like a green octopus. it is absurd, but i love it.

speaking of absurd things you love, we had a nice visit with our aunt, uncle, and cousin. we even bought along rW to be judged by them. (ha.) there was dinner and conversation. and wine. we took a trip to the "art gallery" to see our little cousin's photos from her art show, and rW got to look at a box of old 45s my uncle had in the basement.

speaking of rW, he took jess and i out for italian on saturday night. he and i don't usually have pasta so we sort of had to hunt to find a place. we ended up at Ottelo's in dupont. i think the whole Ottelo's experience need its own highlights section.

  • through a series a judgement errors, we ended up in dupont on the day of the Pride Parade. this would have been fine, and maybe a little fun, if i had not been confused about the location of the restaurant. we had to cross the parade twice because of my 'oops'.
  • our aunt called in the middle of our wandering and confusion and left a message saying she hoped we did ot get caught in the parade. thanks, AUnt C. but at least jess can go home saying she saw drag queens, lesbian hot-rodders, and the gay square dancers.
  • by the time we got to Ottelo's, it had started to rain and we were sort of soaked. it took us some time to recover, and the wait staff seemed too anxious to make us order 3 minutes after we waked in the door dripping.
  • my arugula and radicchio salad was the best ever.
  • did i mention the attentive wait staff? they were super friendly and great, but i found them edging on annoying. we had 2 waiters, the host, the water server, and a runner from the kitchen all after us. and they were making me feel self-conscious and high maintenance because they would bring me things i didn't ask for like i was acting like a princess to get them. at the same time, they were teasing me! i am not a fan of being teased by people i don't know.
  • all that being said, the food was good and they were super nice, so i would probably go back. i think i would just not wear a dress and hope more frumpiness would help.
finally, i am excited jess got to come out now because i wanted to see the little baby bump. she didn't look pregnant the last time i saw her, so this was sort of cool. i should get to see her one more time before the big arrival day. it seems silly, and i know she is having a baby, but seeing the change makes it sink in more.

oh, yes. and reminds me that there is a lot of knitting to be done! the knitting updates won't be as frequent because some of this baby goodness is going to be a surprise.

which reminds me, i have finished the knitting on 2 store models. now i just need to sew them up. yay!

*for the record, there is nothing wrong with owning a preppy bag. i will say the preppier navy and green belongs to jess and the cream one is mine--a gift from jess at her wedding rehearsal dinner.

09 June 2008


small lace update.

i made it 2.5" into the center chart on the christening shawl this weekend. yay!

today, however, i decided to knit this morning because i got up a little early. i gave myself a certain amount of time to allot to my lace, and i used it all. but made only one row of progress.

when i looked at the project this morning, i thought about sticking in a new lifeline (prompted by rW wondering last night when i would put in another) but then i got cocky and decided not to for a few more rows. bad move.

i messed up the side frame charts. i knit the same row twice and didn't notice until i had already purled back the next row and started a new knit row. without a life line, i could not simply rip. i had to tink* back two whole lace rows of 150+ stitches. i had just enough time left in my allotment to reknit one row.


*tink = knit spelled backwards. or "unknitting". there. a knitting term f the day for the civilians.

06 June 2008

growing pains

my other half is supportive of my knitting habit. i may even say he gets excited about my projects. the other day he even gave me a hand massage. my right wrist is starting to cramp, and while he says it may be from too much knitting, i am still in denial.

let's blame stress.

i was on the phone with my cousin last night, and i got a little knot in my stomach (nothing, i am sure, compared to hers) when she told me she is right around the halfway mark with her pregnancy. i have a lot of knitting to do!

i have the bottom frame section done on the christening shawl. i now need to start the center chart, and because i am a big wuss, i have not begun. granted, i was finishing up a sweater, a 2nd mitten, and a few other mindless projects. now i need to buckle down and alternate between finishing the sweater for my boss and this shawl.

i must finish the lace if i want to be able to move on to the other gifts! wrist, do not fail me now!

here is a detail shot of the bottom frame section. it is stretched and pinned down on a pillow for the photo, but i have not blocked this project yet at all.

lace for baby

05 June 2008


i finished the Gathered Pullover.


this is the ugliest piece of jewelry i have ever seen.

not so last minute

sideways scarfmay was the month of finishing, but i did a little starting as well. i can't do without an autopilot project, after all. these are the sorts of things i can knit or crochet while i talk on the phone with my cousin or watch bad tv with my boyfriend. (my idea, not his--terrible tv and knitting are BFFs.) and i have two to share--from the same book even!

Sideways Scarf
a.k.a. Men's Rustic Scarf
designed by Joelle Hoverson
published in Last-Minute Knitted Gifts

knit in Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande (1 skein black, 1 skein + a bit charcoal grey, 100% baby alpaca) from my stash on size US 10 1/2 32" circular needles.

started: may 26, 2008.
finished: May 28, 2008.

i had some leftover yarn from a holiday gift plus the yarn (same dyelot!) i bought to make a gift i never knitted for personal reasons. add a pattern i have always wanted to knit and divide by a holiday monday... ta-da.

i now want to knit... like... 18 of these scarves. and maybe i will once i get deeper into my baby gifts for my future niece/nephew (ps- i find out who i am knitting for this month!). i will need mindless projects too then.

love this yarn.
i love the look of the stripes on both the wrong and right sides. and this project saved me from extreme boredom the day my car was in the shop and i had to metro everywhere. i will say binding off on the train when you are doing a project in which the tension of your bind off has a major impact on the finished look... less than ideal. but i managed.

cotton cutie
Rainbow Hat
a.k.a. Children's Cotton Hats
designed by Kim Hamlin
published in Last-Minute Knitted Gifts

knit in Mission Falls 1824 Cotton (1 skein #774 "lush", 100% cotton) from my stash on a size US 6 16" circular needle and US 6 DPNs. size med/toddler shown.

started: june 3, 2008.
finished: june 4, 2008.

this is why i was knitting 26" of i-cord. in the end i got distracted by bad tv and knit 28". it turns out to be a happy accident because i like the look of the longer tails on the bow.

i think this pattern's sizing is a little off. i think their infant size is a preemie or true "newborn", while their toddler size is older infants and their child size is more like a toddler's hat. but it is still cute. i couldn't see a 3 year old letting you put it on them anyway. they have too many opinions by that point.

this one was knit for no one in particular. i am saving all my random baby knits for the great baby deluge of 2010. i am predicting it now.

04 June 2008

fancy that

last night rW and i went to a fancy dinner the non-profit he works for threw to honor people with lots of money who give it away to save old stuff. i sound flip--it was pretty cool. and the work these folks do it swell too.

highlights of the evening...

1. i got to wear the vintage late 50s cocktail dress i wore to helen hayes 2 years ago. i love that dress and it is memorable, so i can't wear it to HH again soon. this was a good excuse.

2. rW in a tux = fancy!

3. dessert buffet. hells yeah berries diplomat. let's hear it for lemon mousse!

4. big bibles. we were at the Library of Congress, and the Gutenberg Bible and the Giant Bible of Mainz were in cases on either side of one of the bars set up for the party. i read about them and then got to use a cool interactive screen thing to look at the details of the Mainz. it was pretty awesome. the screen is sort of like a huge iphone screen. you can zoom in and drag the pictures around in a similar fashion.

5. sad sob story. i can really work one, and it got us vegetarian dishes for the main course. (boo hoo. i can't eat your soup course. or anything else on the menu. woe is me.) and it is a good thing too because i was pretty sad to see everyone else's amazing vegetables and delicious potato and eggplant galette floating is extraordinarily rare beef juices.

we had mushrooms stuffed with mushrooms. sounds redundant, but it was great.

and now for something funny....

cyanid and happiness

speaking of knitting, i am working on a 26 inch long 2 stitch i-cord. gah. thrilling.

03 June 2008

too much. too much. much too much.

this past weekend my mother came for a visit. it was a long and crazy weekend. we went to two knits shops (where she got yarn for 2 sweaters and 2 pairs of socks), drank martinis, visited with my aunt's family, drank mojitos, visited with one of my college roommates, drank coffee, saw two plays in one day, delighted in avocados, spent 1h, 45m at the MVA, had the worst waiter ever, and she met my boyfriend.

it was pretty awesome.

in addition she finished a baby blanket and i finished my sweater, although the sweater and i have not fully made peace. it is currently too big, and after it finishes drying from the good blocking i gave it today, it will probably undergo surgery.

if it cannot be saved, i may give it away to a knitting girlfriend it looks better on or give it to my little cousin. she has more athletic build than me, and it would probably look fantastic on her.

i suppose my third option is eating cream puffs until i fill it out or saving it in case i ever have a baby. ha.
blocking pullover