Saturday, April 29, 2006

I just had to.

Okay, I said no pictures, but what is a knitting post without knitting progress pictures really? So here are a couple of pictures of the Placket-collar pullover, I'm about 4 1/4 inches into it. I heart the crayon yarn from knitpicks, it is sooooo soft. Although it's not the best for showing stitch definition (as you can see from the close-up), but I think that's fine for a simple st st with moss stitch edging.

I am getting distracted from the pullover, since the jaywalker socks keep pulling me in. I really love the colorway, I love how the zig-zagging stripes are appearing, and the merino is pretty touchable too. My only issue so far has been those Pony Pearl needles that I was so excited to get. I wasn't even 20 rows into the sock and there was a plopping noise beside me on the sofa and the left needle went super-bendy. The frigging metal rod in the middle of the needle had fallen out of the end!! WTF?!?!? Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that that is not supposed to happen. I had to do a make-shift fix with superglue, but the tip of this needle is totally messed up now. I'm pretty gutted, because, besides the obvious broken needle factor, these needles are perfect for me, they have flexibility, they're not too sticky, yet not so slick that I lose the needles out the stitches during travel. I've written to the supplier to let them know about this problem, let's see what they say. Anyway, here is the sock in progress.


Yesterday I left work early and went with Mr. B. and a couple of friends to see the Conan O'Brien Show recording. While the guests were just okay, I found Conan to be really funny and his warm-up guy hilarious. I think I laughed almost solidly for the hour, and leaving the studio, we all felt a little odd, as though high on drugs. I couldn't tell you if it was the laughter, the lighting, or sitting in the small studio flicking eyes between the *real* stuff and the many TVs, but it was quiet odd. If you get a chance, and you like Conan, I highly recommend going to a taping for the experience, although your hands will be pretty tired afterward from all the clapping.

We were fortunate enough to go to Joe's Shanghai restaurant in Chinatown afterwards, my first time. The soup dumplings were a major hit with Mr. B., but being the finickety eater that I am (don't like soup, can't stand dumplings) I tried, but couldn't do it, although the flavor of them was awesome. After that it was drinks at a selection of bars, now I find myself at home smiling about the great evening.

As for knitting news (no pics right now, sorry). I have started the "Child's Placket-neck Pullover" from "Last Minute knitted Gifts" for Jane's Bambino. And the Jaywalkers are progressing, albeit slowly. I must confess that I had ditch the toe-up idea when I admitted to myself that I didn't really know what I was doing and I was feeling too impatient to start (again, I will save toe-up for the falling leaves socks). Speaking of which, I'm having a lot of trouble finding Kool-Aid with no added sugar, I walked into several supermarkets in the city on the way home on Thursday, but no luck. Kool-Aid itself is hard to find, but suger free has proven to be elusive so far, my search will continue...

I also bit the bullet and decided that I will join this round of Secret Pal, still yet to inform Mr. B. of this decision though :-)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Yarn Yumminess

I picked up my knitpicks yarn from the PO today, just in time for Project Spectrum. I said I was having an orange fetish right now didn't I? Well here the proof.

Goodness knows what I will do when the color change happens next week. The orange crayon is to be a sweater for Jane's bambino (she's not here until Sept, so plenty of time for that). The Yellow and Orange balls (6 of each) are going to be doubled up as a sweater for me (if it works) - first one! Still to decide what they will be exactly. The sock yarn was to be falling leaves, but after casting on and knitting a little, I think that there is a definite stripey-ness going on, which is apparently a no-no for this pattern. But guess what? Jaywalkers are calling for this yarn instead. I'm a little disappointed that I can't try toe-up socks right this second, but my time will come... Actually, I also got some color your own sock yarn from knitpicks with this order, so it's time to decide on a color and knit them into those lurverly falling leaves socks.

UPDATE: I just found a site that shows how to do the Jaywalkers toe-up. Looks like my time came before I knew it!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Overheard in New York

In a New York Bar actually. A young lady walks around a pool table putting her hands in the tables pockets shouting "where do the balls come out? Where are they?" Eventually, she goes to the bar and asks the barman "how do I get the balls out?". Straight faced, he explained that she needed $1.50 in quarter etc etc... His straight face and patience impressed me.

Unlike me, I am not patient. I have given up on the one-skein sock, the yarn was ugly and it was making a truly fugly knit, I wouldn't even wear thick acrylic socks - what was I thinking? I chose to abandon it the sock this evening, I spun for a bit and spent the rest of the evening blogging and planning my next sock (the knitpicks yarn is waiting for me at the post office across the street - it's okay, I didn't even try to break in to get it). The picture below shows the sock it all it's fugliness.

Thick, acrylic, weird stripe pattern - not for me.

On another note, here is a picture I stole borrowed from Yarn Harlot's blog. It's a totally cool little tool/gadget where you basically tuck your sock needles in the tube whilst knitting, it's ingenious! And since sock knitting is my new travel project, I feel I absolutely MUST have one. Can' I'll get over it, I know we have to save money for our trip in July, and it'll be totally worth it.

Yarn Harlot's picture of a cool sock needle keeper.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Project Spectrum

Just a few things today. I joined Project spectrum, I noticed it on someone's blog (sorry, I completely blank on which one) and thought, those are the colors (orange and yello) I've been knitting in this month, I put pictures at the bottom of this post to show my April Project Spectrum projects. As for other knitterly stuff, I managed to find a magnetic clasp for Sophie, I plan to do a lining for this bag, and the magnet will go in there - but since I don't exactly love sewing, I'm sure this project will be finished just before I need to hand it over. The one-skein sock is going, but I'm not really enjoying it, I ended up having to use the wooden needles since my Pony Pearls were too small, I'm having to adapt the pattern a lot as I go and the yarn is a little too thick and acrylic-eek and just not fun to knit with -eurgh! But then I don't have my Knitpicks order yet!!! HEEEELLLLLLOOOOO YAARRRNNN WHHEERREE AAAAARRRRREEEE YOOOOOUUUUUU??!?!?! I don't think it heard me, I don't think it's anywhere near me yet, but it's only been 9 days since I ordered, they do say it will take between 5 and 14 days.... I just hate waiting :(

Yellow and Orange Sophie Bag

My Orange and Yellow Booga Bag

My Terra Cotta Liesel Scarf

Stimpy-tiger, our ginger moggie - with Dad's broken leg.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


That's how I feel today (actually an understatement), after a night of excess and a morning of self-inflicted illness. I've done very little today, but here is what I did do.. cast on for a scarf using the first yarn I'd ever spun. I like the thick-thin, and I know I need to enjoy it while I can, since my spinning has started to improve a lot already.

I also got the Pony Pearl needles yesterday, I can't believe how quickly they came, I only ordered them late Thursday night! Kudos to Angelika at (NAYY, just impressed with the service). I found a single skein of Moda Dea sassy stripes in my stash (obviously when I had no clue that 2 skeins were generally needed to make socks - duh!). BUT! I found a recipe for single skein socks, they don't look like much, but I'm sure they will look fine on. I will be making these while I wait for my knitpicks order (which I feel will never come), it gives me a chance to test out the needles, and gives me some travel knitting for work next week.

In the meantime, I've found the pattern for my dad's one sock, to help him publicise his, my Mum's and my Aunt's breast cancer walk in Sept. However, I have a dilemma - his cast goes right down to the ankle, so do I do shorties and adapt the pattern so there are ribbons lower down, or do I just try and make the sock with a little ribbing in the ankle to give him enough stretch to pull the sock over the cast? Decisions, Decisions...

I have also decided that I will be making Mr. B. these break-out socks. But need more yarn for them.... It will never end!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

MY Liesel is done!

I finished it in record time (esp. compared to MIL's scarf). It is a little shorter than I normally make my scarves, thanks to my running out of yarn. But I think it's a great length for a spring scarf. I really like it, and can't wait for it to dry so I can wear it!

Blocking, I wait impatiently

Friday, April 21, 2006

100th Post

I can't believe that I'm still doing this blog - really! It's rare that I find something that I'm interested in enough to keep on doing it after about 6 months (it's been over a year). I started this blog at the beginning of last year, thinking that it will be my way of keeping track of different things that I knit over time. If you look back to the beginning, it's really silly, I didn't expect that anyone would actually read this blog, and I had Bugs Bunny model my knits. As time went on, things grew, I wrote a couple of patterns, joined some wonderful rings and am now just under 12,000 visitors to my site - phew! That seems like a lot to me (although I have no idea).

In honor of my 100th post, here is a picture of my first ever pair of socks. The pair of socks would not be my first choice if I were to buy them - but I've never thought about socks that much, to be honest. They are pretty basic and helped me figure out the rudiments of making socks which I'm glad about, I also feel that I have been bitten by some kind of bug - hmmmm, socks. I ended up buying "pony pearl" dpns in 5 3/4 length, in #0, 1 and 2, while they were reallly hard to find - thanks, I hope that they are worth it, they sound perfect for my style of knitting socks and I will let you know how it goes.

April WIPs

Just a couple of pictures of my current WIPs (excluding the extremely untempting). Only the second Krazy Stripes sock and my liesel scarf (about 15" into it). I will be finished the sock today, which realistically leaves only my scarf to knit. Which, while pretty, is going to be done in no time thanks to my practice with the pattern and the thicker yarn.

I was getting very worried about this situation, what will I do? What can I start now? My knitpicks order doesn't look like it's coming anytime soon, I MUST buy more yarn!!! But then I talked myself down and took a step back. Yes, I can finish the sock and I want to do more - surely I can wait until the order arrives? I have the scarf to do, I have to make a decision about untempting, I can also spin some more (I still have a good amount of that gorgeous pink/red roving, and that 50/50 wool/mohair. Then I thought about it some more, I really need to stash bust, I have Denise needles and cables that have been MIA for months, I think that I really need to find them. So, my promise to myself: today, I will finish sock #2 - then I will BUST MY STASH, work out what to keep, what to throw out, what to ebay and what long lost WIPs will be ripped out or finished. Okay, now that I have this promise in writing, I will have to do it. Better get working.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Scarf Stats

Here is a picture of the scarf, one half blocked, the other, not (yet). The scarf is based on the Liesel pattern.
I did 3 pattern repeats instead of the 2 it calls for in the pattern (so I cast on 49 instead of 35 sts).
Yarn used was an unlabeled lace-weight merino (I think hand-dyed) in a sage green/yellow. Scarf was knit with #1 needles and with 52 pattern repeats (not including the tinking incidents (of which, there are many).
The scarf measures about 6" wide and 60" long and it will be going out tomorrow (when dry) with a lovely card, all wrapped for Mrs. B. Senior. I think she will love it.

Call me crazy, but after all that pattern, I decided to start the Liesel scarf again, this time just following the pattern, but using Brown Sheep's Cotton Fine in Terracotta Canyon with size 3 needles. It will be a little narrower (about 5") and this is all mine. I'm also just starting the foot of the second sock, it is just my travel knitting now, I'm running out of project right now and can't wait for my knitpicks order to come. Where I will have yarn for 1 more pair of socks (falling leaves), I purple sock for my Dad (cos he's crazy to match his cast), the sunrise circle jacket/hourglass sweater (I'm undecided) and a cute little child's placket-neck pullover from Last Minute etc. for Jane's ickle George.

Work has been hard the last few days, I feel like I'm going through break-ups, 10 of them so far - I still have 14 more to go - it's really tiring, some of the families/clients I work with have become quite attached and get quite upset. I can't wait until that's done with (hopefully by the end of the week).

Monday, April 17, 2006

Mrs. B. Senior's scarf

I finished knitting Mrs. B. Sr's scarf today, about bloody time. I'm in the process of blocking it right now, so pictures will follow later. Anyway, I realized that this scarf has been with me for a long time, doing one or two pattern repeats when the mood took me. It's seen a lot of other projects come and go, while it just sat patiently, quietly, knowing it's time will come. Here are some other things that occurred while knitting the scarf:

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Finally! - it's Easter

And I will be able to eat this! Yes, two chocolate posts in two days, can you tell I like it? Our good friend brought over some chocolate and tea bags, including one of these eggs each. I don't think about these much, it's not something I miss greatly from the UK, but when you are given a Cadbury MINI EGGS Easter egg, it gets to the point where it is all you can think about, so I'm relieved that we can gorge ourselves start our eggs.

As for knitting news, Mrs. B. Sr's scarf is taking forever! I'm about 46" into it, need to do soooo much more (guess what I'm doing today). The second sock is coming along slowly too, about 5.5" into the 8" of st st on the leg. I am determined to do toe-up socks next time, actually, I'm looking at the Knitty falling leaves pattern, I have more yarn coming from knitpicks...

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Don't be jealous

But I really wanted to share a picture of the gorgeous chocolate that Mr. B. gifted me to congratulate my getting a new job. They taste devine....

Also, here's a shot of the latest fiber I've been working with, spun and on a bobbin. It's a 50/50 wool/mohair mix that I got from Oregon trail on that auction site, not a big fan of mohair and have made a mental note to steer clear of it in future. As you can see, I've improved considerably in my spinning, the yarn is coming out much thinner now, and the thick/thin difference is a lot less. I'm so pleased that I'm picking it up. I even put a couple of pounds of laps, one silk/merino and one superwash merino, I'm really enjoying playing with different fibers. I also treated myself (in celebration of the new job) to some goodies from knitpicks, sock yarn, sock yarn and some wool to knit my first sweater (currently toying between the hourglass sweater and Interweave's Sunrise Circle Jacket, I will play with the yarn and see what I think it will be best for). Okay, want to go spinning again...

Friday, April 14, 2006

You know you're in New York City when... you walk past the church you spot a walker [zimmerframe] at the bottom of the stairs, chained to the railings so it's not stolen. I couldn't help but laugh smile and I'm kicking myself that I didn't take a picture to share with you all.

No knitting progress pictures to post today. I did a bunch of spinning, a few inches of Mrs. B. Sr's scarf, and some of the second sock. Pictures will follow soon, promise.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Good News

Firstly, and most importantly for this blog, I finished my first sock! As I said before, it really wasn't as hard as I expected. It's not perfect. Can you see that little hole where I turned the heel? Yup, I wish I could say I didn't notice until too late, but I did, about 3 inches into the foot and there was no way I wanted to frog (that was just too much re-knitting for such a little hole). I will do a Schrodinger-fix instead (sew it up). Other than that, the sock fits great, and I've cast on for it's partner. The sock was knit with Kroy's "Krazy Stripes" yarn using their basic sock pattern. It's my subway knitting, perfectly transportable, and fascinating for fellow commuters.

On to the other good news, I was offered a new position within my agency, with some more yarn money. I feel that I've worked hard for this job, I started the application process in January [yes, you read that correctly]. Six interviews later, I was offered the position yesterday. It's a totally unique position (a rare thing within the agency) and gives me a wonderful opportunity to develop my skill set and career network, all that good stuff, it's all very exciting/terrifying for me. The other great thing is that I will get more time off and more time off is more knitting time a great opportunity to get things done. I will now have a crazy month as I transition my caseload and move towards this new position - gulp. In celebration of all this news I treated myself to a subscription of "Interweave - Knits" (I'm debating their spinning mag too), yup, living life dangerously. I also went out and drank a silly amount of alcohol for a work night. Mr. B. bought me a box of heavenly "Maison du Chocolat" chocs... mmmmmmmm.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Lookie what I made.

I had so much trouble the last time I started socks and thought that I could never use dpns. Having thought about it a lot recently I decided to bite the bullet and try again (I tried 2 circs and didn't like it much). I realized that using only four 12" dpns was probably the main issue (awkward is an understatement), the amount of times I nearly poked my eyes out is ridiculous! Anyway, I decided that I needed five 5-6" dpns, I had a quick look around and could only find 7" metal dpns (eurgh) I thought I would make some myself. So I spend a whopping 64 cents on two 36" (1/8" diameter) doweling. I had already made some dpns with this size dowel before, but they were size 3. So, I sanded this dowel a lot more while watching the "Fifth Element" and here they are, 1 set of #3 dpns and 2 sets of #2 dpns! I'm using one set of the #2 right now to make a basic 'Krazy Stripes' pair of socks and it's going really well, phew! I'm not totally incompetent. Okay that was far too much information, congrats if you got to the end of this *yawn* post.

Booga Booga

As promised, here's a picture of the Booga bag complete. Taa Daa!

Sunday, April 09, 2006


Yup, it's done and I'm proud. While I was doing this bag I read something somewhere that said intarsia cannot be done in the round. So I look at my bag and realise that I've been doing some illegal knitting move, explaining some of the issues I was having (durr). Admittedly, the ends were a mess (see pic below), but, after a lot of knot tying and end weaving (thank goodness this was a felted project) I felt pretty pleased with the result. Note to self: Never knit intarsia in the round again, is a PITA. The minute I was finished I felt that I deserved the reward and ran down the stairs (did I tell you that I live on a 6th floor walk-up) to the basement with my trusty pillowcase and Mr. B's jeans. 30 minutes later, lo and behold the machine did it's magic again! Once again, I'm astounded (flabbergasted you might say). Here are the photos:

Bag before

Look at all those ends!!! The horror!

Bag after felting.

The Booga bag is also complete, I'll post a picture soon.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

UK pictures

Stimpy-tiger in one of his favorite spots.

This is not knitting related, but I really wanted to share a couple of photos from our trip back home. One of the big things was seeing our cat, Stimpy, who now lives with my parents and is loving it. He decided to move in with us when we lived in Derby, UK, I don't think his previous owners were very nice to him. We would kick him out of the house all the time since the sisters weren't too keen on him, we even tried to get him to live with friends, but he just kept coming back. We gave up in the end and he stayed. Now that was eight years ago, since then we moved to the States and he moved in with my folks. He settled in immediately and gets more and more affectionate every time we see him. Isn't he adorable?

Up above the trees and houses...

We also had a lovely little rainbow on one of the days. They're actually pretty common in the UK thanks to the super-changable weather, there is frequently 2-4 seasons in one day!

Booga Bag


As promised, here's a couple of pictures of the booga bag in progress. It still needs to dry completely before completion, but you get the idea. This is only my 3rd time felting and I'm still in awe of the magic of it.

During (bag is in process of being blocked).

The sophie bag was frogged :( and restarted, but coming to a conclusion (I think) this weekend, it's such a cool adaptation (pics to follow), even if I do say so myself. I will have more time to knit [and spin] than anticipated thanks to the rain, we were supposed to go to the Mets/Marlins game this afternoon, but neither of us are inclined to traipse out to Shea in this crappy weather. Oh well, must knit instead.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Pink and Red

Just finished the first bobbin of the pink/red brown sheep wool roving, thought I'd share the pic since I think it's so purdy.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Sunset Scarf

This is scarf beautiful, soft and so huggable - I'm finding it hard to give to the recipient. You can get decent sized scarf (4.5" x 60") out of one skein of Angel Hair (pictured in "Berry"). Making this scarf is a quick and satisfying knit. It's perfect for a luxurious feeling gift at a reasonable price that can be done in a hurry (I knit this in about 2 hours while chatting with those around me). Instead of garter stitch, I felt that this yarn was more interesting to knit with the simple box stitch, giving the scarf just a little more texture, which may be hard to see in the pictures.

Anyway, on to the recipe:
Size 13 needles (straight or circular, whatever your preference is for knitting flat).
1 skein Joann Sensations Angel Hair in Berry (or color of choice)
Darning needle to weave in ends

CO 14 sts
Row 1: K2, *P2, K2; rep from * to end
Row 2: P2, *K2, P2; rep from * to end
Row 3: rep row 2
Row 4: rep row 1
Repeat rows 1-4 until you have just enough yarn to cast off (approximately 55 pattern repeats give or take a repeat).
Cast off, weave in the ends. You're done! How fast was that?

I'm back

Yup, I'm all in one piece, back - from what seemed like five minutes in - the UK. The funeral service, commital and wake were lovely and it was wonderful to see so much of my family. However, it was harder than ever to leave for the airport. It doesn't help that my Dad broke his leg last week (refusing immediate surgery because of his mother's funeral) and will be having surgery tomorrow, when it rains, it pours. I'm really glad we went, but happy to be back, to get a good nights sleep in our own bed.

As for knitting, I did a booga bag (photos and felting to follow), Maureen's scarf #2 and 2/3 of a sophie bag, which may need frogging thanks to a little yarn shortage and a motif being misplaced (doh!). Not bad considering I had little time to knit, apart from on flights. Speaking of flights and knitting, I had no problem with the security at this end with my blunt children's scissors and my 10.5 Denise needles. However, security in London was a lot more thorough, they ummed and ahhed about the scissors (eventually okaying me). Then, just before boarding, Homeland Security randomly selected me to check my bag again, they were rude and very funny about the scissors and needles, eventually letting me keep them but telling me to keep them in the hold in future [how the hell am I supposed to knit with my needles all the way in the hold?!]. Anyway, I trotted off to the plane, relieved that I could still knit, and not once did I attempt, or even have the urge to attack anyone with the blunt plastic coated scissors, or less than 4 inch resin needles....