Sunday, October 28, 2007

New Digs

I decided to upgrade the old blog and carve out some webspace of my very own. From now on, you can find my blog at! Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rhinebeck Roundup


I am just now coming down off of my Rhinebeck high enough that I can talk about it without using the words cool, awesome, and incredible five times per sentence. All day yesterday, I daydreamed about my fantastic finds and vibrated with excitement over what I would knit first. I had intended to take photos of everything in the sunlight, but due to unfortunate and boring circumstances, I didn't get home until dark, so indoor shots will have to do.

I'm sure you've read by now that the crowds on Saturday were unbelievable. Amy and I arrived at 9 a.m. when the gates opened, and there were already a lot of people there. An hour or so later, the crowds seemed to reach their peak and stayed there until about 5 p.m. Ordinarily, I can't handle crowds. I feel constricted and claustrophobic and need open space. These crowds, however, were the nicest crowds I had ever experienced. Only one time during the whole festival, and late in the day, did I experience anything bordering on rudeness. The rest of the time people were respectful, kind, and patient. Everyone was having a great time, it seemed. It made me think that if only knitters ran the world, we could really get somewhere toward world peace!


The great thing about the crowds was the people watching. For about an hour or so on Saturday, Amy, Nell (who we met the night before the festival and had so much fun with!), and I sat and watched people. It was like the world's biggest knitting fashion show, and it was so great to see so many designs in person.

The vendors were amazing, naturally, and just what I was hoping for. First of all, I found a Plisse kit! I was certain there wouldn't be any Falkenberg kits at the festival, so I wasn't even looking for them. I turned around in one of the barns and saw the familiar plastic totes and audibly gasped. They even had it in the leaf green color I wanted! If I had found nothing else I liked, I would have been satisfied with just this kit. But fortunately, there was plenty that I liked.


The first stall we visited was Ellen's Half Pint Farm. I had heard good things about them, and they did not disappoint! The browny-purple sock yarn in the front is their merino/nylon blend, and this skein was the last of its kind in the bottom of the basket. I made a pact with myself that I wouldn't buy variegated yarn in this trip (I rarely actually knit with it), and the only thing I wish Ellen's had had was more solid yarn. In the heavier weights, the hanks for sale were enormous! I'm talking sweater-sized, and very reasonably priced. Another favorite booth was the Skaska booth. It was draped with exquisite shawls, and full of beautiful laceweight, including a merino/cashmere in the perfect shade of green I've been searching for to make the Estonian Shawl! While I waited to be checked out, I pawed through a basket holding balls of Australian merino/cashmere and found a nice gray one. The single ball is enough to make a generous shawl, and it was only $15! Since I had found the two things I was hoping to find (the laceweight and the kit), I concentrated on finding some patterns and kits. On Sunday, it was much less crowded, so I decided to check out the wine. I asked one of the purveyors about ice wine, something I heard a lot about when reading about Rhinebeck, and learned that most New York ice wines are not true ice wines, as the grapes are not harvested frozen. He said that if the grapes were left to freeze, the birds would eat them all as they migrated from Canada. He gave me a couple of samples of dessert wine instead, and as you might notice in the picture, I've been enjoying that. It comes from Clinton Vineyards, and is called Nuit. I've been having a glass at night as dessert, but I think it would be outstanding with a flourless chocolate cake. I plan to order more wine from this vineyard.

Of course there were loads of other bloggers at Rhinebeck. Most of them, I just saw from a distance or passed by on the walkway. We weren't aware of the Ravelry meetup, so sadly missed it, but I did spy Jess and Casey twice. I also saw Adrian from Hello Yarn, but each time she was in conversation and I didn't want to be rude. We stopped and chatted with Cheryl from Seed Stitch, who was wearing a gorgeous Imogen. Our hotel was a happening spot, too. Saturday night, rather than hit the parties happening around Rhinebeck (we were pretty wiped), we went back to our hotel and had a nice evening with a rather large group of knitters. I had the pleasure of meeting Ann of Purling Swine, Vickie of Knitorious, Tara of Knittable Kitten, Cara of January One (though I decided not to harass her about how much I love her blog as she didn't seem to feel well), blog-free Liane, and Kate Gilbert. As I said before, I was pretty tired, and on top of my shyness I wasn't very talkative, but it was so nice to just be with a group of people who were all excited about knitting!

When planning our drive to Rhinebeck, Amy and I discovered that WEBS was almost exactly in the middle of our route! How could we not stop?


This time I came prepared, armed with a list of yarn and projects. It really helped! The first time I went to WEBS, I sort of wandered around the store, completely overwhelmed. This time, even though I didn't come away with exactly what was on my list, I had some guidance. The Rialto is a substitution for RYC Cashsoft DK, which didn't have any colors I liked together. I'm using this yarn to make Briar Rose for a super girly-girl, hence the double pink. I planned to buy some Shibui, since I'm hearing so much about it, but I had no intention of buying Knitscene when I went. This issue of Knitscene is the one with the famous Central Park Hoodie, so how could I resist? My brother has expressed an interest in Cobblestone, but seems to have a genuine sensitivity to wool, so Amy had the brilliant idea of trying a hat in the yarn I want to use and see how it feels to him, so that's what the Mission Falls is for.

It was a weekend for a bit of gluttony, sure. Maybe someday I'll get to the point where I don't feel like a kid who has to eat all of the ice cream right now, but for my first Rhinebeck, I wanted to really go all out, and I did! I'm already thinking ahead to next year!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Gearing Up

Tomorrow morning, even earlier than I usually leave for work, I will be heading out with my partner in crime for Rhinebeck! I've got myself all packed, and am just about to cast on for a simple toe-up sock. I will bring my scarf, too, but just in case I want some variety. Speaking of Rhinebeck, I mentioned before that I'm a square in Blogger Bingo! The following picture not only fulfills my promise of a photo of my face so you can identify me at the festival, but it also shows off the skirt I finished.


So, let's talk about this skirt. You may remember it from April, when I said I would be soon hemming and finishing and wearing this skirt. I finally finished it the other day. I was pretty proud of it when I was finished. It hung well, I took my time with tacking down the lining, and I loved the fabric (are you noticing the past tense?). I proudly wore the skirt today, and was actually pretty proud when no one commented on it, since I took that to mean it didn't look hand made. So, at lunch I went to the bank, and when I returned to work, I stopped in the bathroom and did a quick once over to assess my hair/outfit. I did a double take when I checked the rear view. One of the side seams had come completely undone, and my underwear was totally hanging out. I have no idea how long it was like that. I suspect that the reason for the disaster had to do with my inexperience and the boucle suiting that I suspected was trouble from the moment I cut the pattern. The fabric is rather loosely woven, and came unraveled quickly. I don't really know what I could have done differently, but I think for now I'll stick with easy fabric and work my way up! As for this skirt, I think I'll put it aside until I can figure out the best way to seam boucle, and then I'll attempt repairs!

The Cabled Turtleneck continues to cause me trouble, through no fault of the pattern this time. I was happily knitting away last night, and as I approached the final stripe sequence, I decided to measure and see if I was at the required 18 inches. Imagine my surprise when I realized that the piece measured 24 inches! I picked up the pattern again and reread the directions. Yep. I was supposed to begin armhole shaping at 18 inches. Sigh. That was a big rip.


As a consolation, at least when I reknit, it'll be decreasing rows.

When next you hear from me, I'll have finally experienced Rhinebeck!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sorry, can't concentrate... Rhinebeck!

I can hardly believe that one week from right now, I will be either home or on my way and Rhinebeck will be over. Amy and I have been planning for Rhinebeck since, oh... February? I can hardly believe that it's not only October, but Rhinebeck week. I have no idea how I'm supposed to get any work done. Amy and I have decided to become squares, but I don't yet have a decent picture of me with my new haircut. I promise to post one by Friday, so watch this space!

I wish I had started the sweater dress sooner, because judging by the weather here, it might be cold enough to wear it to Rhinebeck! Since taking the picture below, I've completed another repeat, and am just about finished with the back!


I'm not quite sure what's going on with the color in that photo, I don't remember choosing any wonky settings. The yarn is actually shades of brown. I modified the simple cable twists so they mirrored each other, instead of all being alike. The pattern is very easily memorized, and conveniently, the stripe sequence coincides with the diamond cable pattern perfectly. I hardly have to think at all while working on this, which is nice!

I'm two acts in on my first Sidewinder, and it's shaping up pretty well.


There's still some pooling, but I'm living with it! I've been completing one act at a time, which is working well, but since I've been devoting most of my time to the dress, it's slow going.

I love both of these projects, but I don't think either of them are right to bring to Rhinebeck. I'm thinking of a nice, simple toe-up stockinette sock, so I can talk and knit at once. I suppose I'll also bring the scarf, since it's an easy one and has to get finished. I can't wait! Who else is going to Rhinebeck?

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Yesterday was the Memory Walk, and this is the last you'll about it for another year, but I had to share my final donation.


What's even more incredible than that amazing donation, is that I was not even close to being the top fundraiser at my walk. The third place fundraiser raised more than $2,500! It felt great to walk up to the registration table with my donation, though. I'm already looking forward to next year and hatching plots.

In all of the excitement last weekend, I completely forgot to share my exciting stash enhancements I picked up while at Purl Diva!


I bought two balls of Reynolds Whiskey for a pair of mittens, the sweater pattern that Anna just finished (which I love), and a hank of J. Knits Superwash Me sock yarn in Montana (does anyone actually need a reason to buy sock yarn?).

In other news, I finally casted on for the cabled turtleneck that I've been thinking about ever since I got the Fall issue of VK. I haven't been able to find a picture online, so I snapped a photo of the magazine.


Can you see why my heart palpitates? The subtle color changes! The exaggerated turtleneck! The sheer eighties-ness of it! I can't wait to wear it, but I think I'll have to. Here's where I was at Friday night:


On Saturday, I frogged that back to the ribbing. There were two issues. One was my own fault, but to be fair, the pattern gave me reason not to trust it, which is why I thought one of the cable charts was lying to me and I screwed it up. The second issue gave rise to the first, and has to do with the Beaded Rib on the side panels. First of all, in the stitch pattern guides, it's called Beaded Rib, but in the actual pattern they have written Broken Rib. Second of all, the right side and wrong side have been reversed, which meant that the crappy wrong side was showing up on the right side. I tried to ignore it, and I thought that maybe I was wrong and it was supposed to look like that, but I just couldn't live with it. And come on, I had only done like seven rows with US10.5 needles. Like it would kill me to go back. I'm now past that point again, and everything is looking much better.

Now to work a provisional caston and start a pair of Sidewinders!

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Due to the damp weather we've been having, Cobblestone took three days to dry! Even stuffed with plastic bags! I was starting to regret giving it a full soak when I arrived home today to a dry sweater. It was worth it to soak it, the garter stitch was a little lumpy pre-blocking.


The boyfriend prefers his shirts to be close-fitting, so I made this sweater in the smallest size for his 36" chest. He has room to wear a shirt underneath, though he finds the Cascade 220 soft enough to wear next to his skin. Speaking of Cascade 220, I used only five complete balls and the tiniest bit of a sixth for this entire sweater. Not bad! I still have a complete ball and most of a leftover ball of this yarn, so I'm thinking of making a matching hat and possibly mittens. I'd do socks, but they wouldn't stand a chance. They'd be completed felted in no time flat.


I love the garter detail on the sides. At first, I wasn't sold on it, but as I worked the body, it grew on me. I was actually surprised that I enjoyed the garter stitch so much! There's something so clean and streamlined about it. I don't know if I personally would wear a sweater entirely knit in garter stitch (it would be a little bulky!), but I do want to try to add some more of it to my projects.


I mentioned in my last post that "third time's a charm." Well, this is the third sweater that I've knit for my boyfriend. The first one was way too big. It was my first ever adult sweater, and it took me about a year to finish it, during which time my tension kept changing. I knew nothing about seaming or finishing, and basically sewed the seams (with whipstitch), instead of weaving them together.
Here, check it out yourself!


He still has this sweater. He wears it when it's totally freezing, at home. Oh, the kicker? It's 100% acrylic, baby. And not just acrylic, acrylic with aloe!

I don't have a photo of attempt number two. Let's just say it was not pretty. I did a ribbed raglan, and I knitted my fingers to the bone to get it finished in something like two weeks. Turns out, I stopped too soon. The term "belly shirt" comes to mind. That one I frogged (maybe I'll use the yarn for another Cobblestone).

Next on the needles? Some Sidewinders and that fabulous cabled turtleneck from the Fall VK!

Monday, October 01, 2007


The De-Stash and Do-Good Charity Stash Sale at Purl Diva a resounding success! In the first half hour of the sale, we raised over $400, and by the end of the day, we had over $800. Including online stash sale purchases, we raised over $960! I am beyond excited, and want to thank everyone who purchased yarn, donated yarn, or just left encouraging words about the Memory Walk. I appreciate all of it. I am especially thankful to Ellen, who not only had the idea, but also offered her space, stash and time to the effort. She also offered her jacket and a hot cup of tea when the wind became a bit too much for my thin sweatshirt! Thank you so much, Ellen, I could never have done it without you.
I barely had time to price everything before the knitters came, but I did snap two quick pictures of the stash for sale:



Now, the walk isn't actually until this coming Saturday, so if you feel moved to donate a buck or two, there's still time! You can donate online (using credit, debit or PayPal), right up to the day of the walk!

In other news, guess what I finished this weekend?


Proper FO shots after it's had a nice block. In its unblocked state, it fits very well, and the recipient wore it for a little while yesterday and pronounced it "very comfortable." I guess third time's a charm!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sale Preview!

As promised, I'm posting the stash I'm offering for sale at Purl Diva on Saturday, September 29 (this Saturday!) from 11-4. I will also offer any leftover yarns here after the sale is over, to make sure everyone gets a chance at some cheap yarn!

Want some yarn? This is how it works. Contact me via email (sassy_spice1975 at yahoo dot com) and let me know which yarn you're interested in buying. I'll let you know if the yarn is still available (I will try to update the blog as quickly as possible when something is spoken for), and you can either donate directly on my Memory Walk page, or send me your donation via PayPal. The minimum donation amounts are listed with each yarn (50% suggested retail according to Yarndex), but OF COURSE you are welcome to donate a little extra. :) I'll foot the bill for shipping, but please note that if you're in the area, I will also happily transport your yarn to Purl Diva for you to pick up on Saturday. (And can we please talk for a second about how excited I am to spend an entire day at Purl Diva???)
And away we go....

Brown Sheep Cotton Fine, Barn Red, $2.50/ball, 2 balls available

Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille, dark purple, $3.75/ball, 1 ball available SPOKEN FOR

Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille, light purple, $3.75/ball, 1 ball available SPOKEN FOR

Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, Barn Red, $3.75/ball, 3 balls available SPOKEN FOR

Artful Yarns Jazz, Billie, $4.50/hank, 3 hanks available (This is actually an incredible deal! I bought this yarn at 50% off, and am pricing it at 50% off THAT!) SPOKEN FOR

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport, Child's Play, $5.00/hank, 2 hanks available SPOKEN FOR

Classic Elite Waterspun, fuschia (#5027), $3.25/hank, 3 hanks available

Sandnes Alfa, gray tweed (#3885), $2.50/ball, 3 balls available

Debbie Bliss Cotton DK, orange, $3.50/ball, 10 balls available SPOKEN FOR

Noro Kureyon, #95, $4.25/ball, 4 balls available SPOKEN FOR

Artful Yarns Jazz, Thelonius, $4.50/hank, 4 hanks available SPOKEN FOR

Artful Yarns Serenade, My Funny Valentine (pink and green), $4.00/hank, 5 hanks available SPOKEN FOR

Crystal Palace Deco Ribbon, white with black pinstripes, $2.90/ball, 4 balls available

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, Aslan, $5.00/hank, 2 hanks available SPOKEN FOR

Hopefully there'll be something here that appeals to you! If you're in the Brunswick Maine area, or plan to be on Saturday, make sure to drop by Purl Diva between 11am and 4pm, I'll be happily knitting away on the porch!
Edit: BREAKING NEWS! Purl Diva is having a SALE that day, too! What a great excuse to replenish some of my stash!

EDIT2: The sale is over! I haven't tabulated the final donations yet, but we raised almost $800 at Purl Diva alone today! THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who helped, whether it by monetary donations or words of support, and a special thank you to Ellen, who made this whole thing possible!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sweaters & New Friends

Okay, let's start with the exciting news! We added a new friend to our home this weekend. His name is Moose:


Before you go thinking I'm becoming a crazy rat lady, Moose really is IT. Five rats is more than enough for us, but my boyfriend absolutely fell in love with Moose when he saw him on the Maine Rat Rescue website. Also, my finding Moose was too serendipitous to ignore. I received a message through Ravelry from someone who is affiliated with MRR. She complimented me on my icon photo, which is Betsy, and we got to talking about rats and one thing led to another and BAM... we have a huge male rat. We love him so much already.

Onto knitting news! I will spare you a photo of black seed stitch (you'll know I'm desperate for material if I flash that one again before it's finished), but I'm pleased to say that sleeve #1 of Cobblestone is complete and attached, and sleeve #2 is underway.


Not that my enthusiasm for this project was flagging necessarily, but my energy is renewed. I keep meaning to swatch for a couple of projects, but every time I get a spare hour to knit, I find myself reaching for Cobblestone. It's a fun pattern... very simple, but still fun. And hey, I feel like I'm cruising on a man's sweater, that's saying something! They usually start to feel like they're really dragging by sleeve two.

Reminder: The Memory Walk is in only three weeks! I will be on the Purl Diva porch September 29th, selling stash (she's received a couple of donations of stash already). If you are able to help me support the Alzheimer's Association, I would really appreciate it. If not, I also really appreciate all of the kind words and encouragement!

And one more thing! Anyone reading this going to Rhinebeck? Amy and I are going for the first time this year! I am pretty much beside myself with excitement. We'll be staying in Poughkeepsie and attending the festival both days. Have you been before? Any tips on how to maximize the experience?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Memory Walk

So, you may recall that a few entries ago, I mentioned the Alzheimer's Association's Memory Walk. I've walked every year since 2003, and I love it! It's an amazing experience, with hundreds of family members and caregivers coming together for a common cause. A lot of headway has been made in Alzheimer's research, but there still isn't a cure. Anyone who has ever known someone afflicted with this disease knows about how isolating and lonely it is, and has seen how it robs people of their independence. It's commonly known as "The Long Goodbye," a fitting description, since as people progress through the disease, they gradually forget shared memories and, as most people know, family members. I work with people who have Alzheimer's Disease, and it's difficult enough to get to know them for a short time... I can't imagine how hard it must be for family members and friends.

Anyway, it makes me feel productive to do something to help these people, so I walk the Walk. For the last few years, I've wanted to find a way to incorporate knitting and yarn into my fundraising, and this year, thanks to Ellen, I have a way!

Ellen has generously offered her porch to me on September 29th to hold a destashing sale for donations for the Alzheimer's Association! I'll be there from 11-4 selling her stash and mine. I'm really looking forward to meeting some more knitters and having some quality knitting time while working for a cause I love.

And, of course, I'm asking for help! There are a couple of ways you can help:
1. Buy yarn at the sale! I do also plan to offer a preview of my stash offerings for people who can't make it to Brunswick, Maine. Ellen said she would also offer a preview. Details on previews will be forthcoming.
2. Donate yarn to the sale! Email me at sassy_spice1975 at yahoo dot com for my mailing address. Any other stash yarn I receive besides my own, I will also offer for preview, so it would be great if I could have it by the week before the sale. If you're in the area, you can also drop off donations at Purl Diva.
3. Donate! Even if (for some weird reason) you're not interested in yarn, but still want to donate, there are a couple of methods for doing so. You can mail me a check (see email address above for mailing address), or donate via credit card to my fundraising site.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help, and a special, huge thanks to Ellen for the idea, and the space!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Hot! Hot! Hot!

So, remember a couple of weeks ago when I was all, "It's so nice and cool outside! I think I'll start a sweater!"? I swear to all that is holy it was 187 degrees F here today, no one can convince me otherwise. My current knitting projects make me look like a head case.

Exhibit A:


Cobblestone. A worsted weight, men's sweater, using 100% wool. Let me tell you, there is nothing like having this on your lap on a hot fall day! I thought I was at the armholes, but I measured the sweater against a favorite shirt, and discovered that I need a couple more inches. I should be just about at the armholes for real now. I know that I could set this project aside for cooler days, but I do enjoy working on it, and I don't like to accumulate wips.

Exhibit B:


I know you all have been anxious to see the scarf! Ha! I have a feeling I'm a little short on yarn... I'm going to finish up this ball and see how much I have. The scarf is for someone over six feet tall, so the scarf should be at least six feet long, right? This yarn, as I've said before, is heavenly. But it's also wool! Luckily, a scarf doesn't lay on my lap the same way a sweater does. But honestly, if not for that cool, wonderful weather, I would not have casted on for a scarf now!

I'm searching for a yarn for the stole pattern I showed in my last entry. I'm surprised that with all of the positive comments I got about it, it hasn't had more of a presence in blogland!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Hi, there!

So... long time, no update! Stuff's been going on, you know how it is. I've been doing some knitting, some stashing... so at least I have pictures to show you!

First of all, I didn't update over the weekend because I was in Vermont, visiting my best friend and her husband. Michelle isn't a knitter, but she understands the importance of acquiring accoutrement, and so she always makes a point to carve out some time for a visit to Kaleidoscope Yarns. Love this store! They had a few things I'd never seen in person before, including Tilli Tomas silks, Colinette Jitterbug (puuuurty colors), and Malabrigo laceweight (which I almost purchased, but their stock was very low and I couldn't get enough of the colors I liked). I ended up with some Berroco Pure Merino for a Christmas gift, and some stupendous sock yarn, Soxx Appeal by K1C2.


I also picked up a stole pattern. I was so taken by the shop sample of this stole, I wanted to cast on immediately. Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything non-alpaca in the color they used for the sample (a pale green), so it'll have to wait until I find just the right thing. I bet Ellen will have a good idea.

Speaking of pale green, look what I finished!


To recap: I used Wendy's Generic Toe-Up Sock Pattern, with a stitch called Grating Stitch from Mon Tricot's Knitting Dictionary, modified to be worked in the round. The yarn is SWTC TOFUtsies in lime green. I don't think I used even half a ball of yarn on these. The fabric was very floppy, and I was afraid that full length socks would droop. I shouldn't have worried, though. After a wash, the fabric firmed up nicely, and became very soft. It wasn't one of my favorite sock yarns, it was a little splitty and felt coarse while knitting, but I do love the finished product enough that if I found more of this in another color I liked, I would use it again. I used my trusty US1 needles, by the way.

I casted on for a simple seed stitch scarf using the Pure Merino I picked up in Vermont, but no photos yet (I'm sure you're on pins and needles). Cobblestone continues. It's time to start the sleeves, but I wanted to push through and finish the socks. I'm planning to swatch for the cabled sweater dress next, and also gear up for some Sidewinders!

Speaking of gearing up, it's almost time for the annual Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk! As usual, I'm walking! This year, I'm taking a cue from Claudia and offering prizes for donations! Watch this spot for more information!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Heat is On!

So yeah, all of the fabulous fall weather we were having? Gone! Naturally, this occurs on the day I have to walk a mile to pick up my car after its repairs are finished. The car was supposed to be finished this morning, before the sun reached its blazing apex, but no dice. So... while I wait for the garage to call, I thought I'd snap a couple of pictures, make an update, and try not to think too hard about the yarn waiting for me at Purl Diva right now.

I have a sock...


I casted on for the second sock the other night, before second sock syndrome could kick in. Amy just finished a Sidewinder, and I'm aching to bust out the STR.

I made the TOFUtsie sock shorter than I usually do, because the yarn is quite drapey, and I think that, unless I went down to a US0 needle, the fabric wouldn't be firm enough to stay up on my normal length sock leg. I like the short sock, though. I've only ever made other pair of ankle socks. Maybe it'll become a habit!


Work on Cobblestone continues. I love working on this sweater! It's very simple, so I don't have to look away from Dynasty (I rented the first season on DVD and I love it!), the yarn feels great, and the gauge is such that after one evening of work, I actually have something to show for it! Only a couple more inches, and I'll be in sleeve city. This sweater is intended as a gift for my boyfriend's birthday, which is in November. I have a feeling though, that I'll be so excited when it's finished, I'll give it to him right away!

In non-knitting news, I was the victim of heart breaking disappointment this morning, and have to share to provide a lesson for anyone else who may find themselves in my position. You may have heard that Van Halen is doing a reunion tour this fall, WITH David Lee Roth!, and they have a concert in Boston on October 30th. I stalked Ticketmaster this morning, waiting for the 10am on sale. The first tickets I was offered were lousy, so I tried again. Lousy also. Next time I put in for a specific seating section, and again, got lousy seats. On my next try, I got decent seats, but hemmed and hawed. Finally, I decided I liked the seats, and went to buy them. Ticketmaster alleges that I went over my two minute time limit to pay, and released MY tickets! I was pretty bummed, but just tried again. Okay, there were no tickets available in the section I wanted. How about this other section? None. I searched for tickets in the whole entire stadium. Sold out. The time? 10:10 am. Let this be a lesson to you. Don't go being picky when you're trying to get tickets for the concert of a lifetime. I seriously cried, I am so disappointed. All I can do is hope they add another date!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Favorite Mittens by Robin Hansen

While I have been doing some knitting, I haven't been taking a lot of pictures, so I thought I'd tell you about a book I got recently, Favorite Mittens, by Robin Hansen. I bought this book because growing up, I remember some of the girls wearing Fox and Geese mittens, and I loved them. They're not the kind of mitten you can buy in the store, and no one in my family knitted, so I always made do with store bought. Now that I'm a knitter myself, I decided it was time to make some of these mittens, and so I bought this book. I am so glad that I did!

This is the first knitting book I've bought in awhile that I've wanted to make almost every pattern, and the very first one I've read cover to cover. Each pattern has a passage describing its history and origins, all of which are absolutely fascinating. Most exciting to me, they all have origins in Maine and the Maritimes. Some are quite simple, like the Chebeague Island Fisherman's Wet Mittens, which are plain mittens knit large enough that they will felt to the hands of the wearer. Most interesting to me, these mittens are intended to be worn wet, which keeps the hands of the fisherman warm. Other patterns are more complicated, like the Double-Rolled Mittens, which seem to be like thrummed mittens, but with roving held all through the inside like fair isle. I can't wait to try these!

Other patterns in the book are traditionally made in certain colors, my beloved Fox and Geese among them, but I imagine them in bright colors to bring cheer to a winter day. I have a plan in the back of my mind to go through this book front to back and make all of the patterns this fall/winter. I'm not sure if I will yet, but I will definitely be making at least one or two patterns soon!

A recurring theme throughout the book is the importance of keeping these patterns alive. Some of the patterns included took quite a bit of hunting down by Robin Hansen. Most of the time, when she found someone who knew the pattern (and this person had always learned the pattern growing up and memorized it), they couldn't believe that the pattern was in danger of falling into oblivion.

Apparently, these patterns were culled from Hansen's books Fox & Geese & Fences and Flying Geese & Partridge Feet, which I haven't seen in person, but will look out for. I saw a glimpse of a star patterned mitten I would love to make, too. If you love mittens, be sure to check out this book! Check it out even if you're not crazy about mittens, just for the fascinating history lesson.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Yay for fall!

After my last post, things cooled down here considerably. It seemed as though Mother Nature was answering my plea for sweater weather, though I know we'll get at least another two weeks worth of scorching heat before fall finally arrives for good.

I expected I would be showing you progress on my cabled sweater dress, but I was destined to work on something else. How I do I know this? Because it seems that between the final edit of the magazine and when the issue arrived in my mailbox, the put up of Top of the Lamb changed, and I find myself with half as much yarn as I need. I could stamp my feet and curse the yarn lords, but instead I decided to cast on for something else.


I jumped into the fray and started Cobblestone, from the Fall '07 issue of IK. When I showed my boyfriend the photo of this sweater in the magazine, I kind of expected a lukewarm response. He tends to like plain pullovers, with maybe a half zipper and some ribbing. I was thrilled when he said he liked the sweater, and happy to see I had some appropriate yarn in my stash. I do hope that Jared forgives me for not using tweed.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Just socks.

It has been too unbearably hot to work on any project other than the small, innocuous sock. So... that's all I have to show to you.


I'm using Wendy's Generic Toe-Up Sock Pattern, that I've added a stitch called Grating Stitch from Mon Tricot Knitting Dictionary, modified to be knit in the round. Rather than a provisional cast-on, I used an invisible cast-on, because I suck at crochet.

There are two exciting things about this pair of socks. First, and most life-changingly phenomenal, are the heels and toes. I took a photo of the heel.



Please note: NO HOLES! Thanks to a comment by Elgia, I checked out Misocrafty's Short Row Heel Tutorial. Knitters, this tutorial has revolutionized the way I make socks. It's so simple, and so effective. If you have problems with sloppy short rows, definitely try her method.

The other exciting thing is the yarn. It's TOFUtsies by SWTC, which I purchased the minute I saw it at Purl Diva. The fabric is sturdy like wool, but has an interesting drape due to the Soysilk, Cotton and (I presume) Chitin. Plus, I just love that I'm making socks using shellfish shells. The color, which is very bright in the skein, mellows out a little when knit, and the finished fabric is a nice, soft lime color. I will definitely be picking up some more of this yarn. And, even though I had my doubts, there appears to be more than enough yarn in a single skein for a pair of socks. Amazing.

Well, it's time for me to hit the road. Speaking of Purl Diva, I'm on way over there now to get the yarn for that sweater dress in the fall issue of VK that's been giving me fits. Time to crank up the A/C, I'm ready for some fall knitting!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Coachella = Complete

I finished up Coachella last night! I'm pleased to report that the halter modification went swimmingly, and I didn't even have to use elastic.


I did three or so rows of ribbing at the top of the back, just to stop the curl. Shadkitty also did a halter version though, and she said she just repeated the twisted stockinette and didn't have any curling.


Full disclosure: In this photo, the halter portion is pinned behind my neck. When I tried Coachella on immediately upon completion, it fit perfectly. Since I didn't wash it before putting it back on this morning, the yarn had stretched out of shape, making it just a little too big. I'm not too concerned about it, I think a wash will snap it back into shape.

This was fun to knit, and mostly just stockinette, which is nice when you want to knit, but not think about knitting. I love the finished product, too. This is the sexiest thing in my wardrobe right now! As such, I don't know how often I'll wear it, but it's nice to know it's there to fill that gap.
Pattern: Coachella by Fathom Harvill, Summer 2007 Knitty
Yarn: Berroco Suede, Maverick, 3 balls
Needles: US7 and US5

I casted on some toe-up socks today using my Lime Green Tofutsies! I only have a few rows, nothing picture-worthy yet. They'll be just plain old stockinette. I don't think my heat-addled brain can process much else.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

You like me! You really like me!

I've seen this Rockin' Girl Blogger thing prancing about the Internet, but never imagined I could be one! Two of my fellow Rockin' Girl Bloggers disagree. Amy and Wendy both bestowed the honor upon me. And now I can let my freak flag fly:


Aside from Amy and Wendy, who are already recognized RGBs, I can easily name five more, the hard part will be stopping at five!
Kristen, whose blog never fails to make me laugh
Parikha, who was the best Secret Pal a knitter could hope for
Pioggia, whose knitting ideal is getting the most bang for her buck, and making beautiful things in the process
Little Purl, whose kind heart comes through in her writing, and whose knitting is inspirational
and Nicole, the token non-knitting blogger (but she just started knitting!), whose blog is so well written. A perfect slice of life.

I totally agree with Amy's list, too, so be sure to check it out!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Those Sticky Summer Days

It's pretty hard to get all hot to trot over wool and knitting when it's 110 degrees F outside and each stitch sticks to the needles. That said, I am knitting, but only on one project. That's right, the Sock That Rock is back in time out.


This scarf is just not doing it for me. I think that part of the issue is that the two shades of yarn are just too close to one another. After a nice time out, I'll pull the Marbles colorway out again and try the Sidewinders sock pattern. If that pools, I'll make mittens and let the yarn do whatever it wants!

When not endlessly frogging sock yarn, I can be found knitting away on Coachella. I love how this is knitting! The yarn has such an interesting hand, and subtle variegation that adds to the Suede-like illusion. It feels a little stiff right now, but I think it'll soften up some after a wash. Right now I'm in the nice, mindless stockinette portion. Just what I need on a day I want to go to hell to cool off.


I only have about six inches to go, and Coachella will be ready for her debut!

In other knitting news, I got my Fall issue of Vogue Knitting yesterday. It's the 25th anniversary issue, and in addition to several free patterns featured in the magazine and available on the site, this issue is chock full of patterns. There are so many, that I was actually able to pick out a few patterns I want to make, including one that's giving me palpitations. I haven't been able to find a photo of it yet, but I'll take one myself soon. For those of you who have this issue, it's pattern #45.

Well, this entry is late for me. Good night, everyone! Hopefully next time I see you I'll have an FO to premier!