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!