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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A scarf that would make Jordan Catalano proud

I have a confession. I didn't even tell you all that I was working on this. I just couldn't admit to anyone that I'd bought two more skeins of manos and was knitting something else for myself. But here it is -- the inimitable "my so-called scarf":



This is a great pattern, made famous by Sheep in the City. It really does justice to the yarn's complex colorways. Plus it's easy to memorize and great knitting for DVDs of "Arrested Development." This seemed sadly ironic to me, since "Arrested" seems to be going the way of another brilliant but cancelled show that I'm assuming inspired the scarf's name.

Here's another gratuitous shot of the scarf. I'm telling you -- it is WARM.



I realized recently that I haven't kept up with my occassional series, the dumbest thing I did this week. And this is not for lack of dumb actions. Case in point -- my mom sent me a bottle of wine for Thanksgiving. (As an aside, when I saw the box from wine.com, I misread it as wino.com and was offended.) Anyway, we decided to open it Saturday -- but Jon has no corkscrew. So we opened it the ghetto-fabulous way, with a hammer, screwdriver and screw. There were a few tense moments, like when the cork broke. Eek! But it was a success nonetheless, as you can see.



Apparently, I'm not the first person who tried to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew. I googled "opening wine bottle without a corkscrew" and found a message board thread about it. My fave answer -- "Why don't you just buy a corkscrew?"

Oh, and two very, very important announcements.

If you have some extra time and yarn -- and who doesn't -- consider stitching up a scarf for the third annual glitter scarf drive.

Also, in more selfish news, Yahaira and I started a knit-a-long for Stefanie Japel's newest pattern, Angelica. You may remember that I was drooling over it in my last post. C'mon, join up, even if you have a pile of holiday presents to knit.

Edited to add: Um, yeah, I shoulda probably posted the link to the knit-a-long. Maybe this is the dumbest thing I did all week?

Saturday, November 26, 2005

A knit garment the likes of which you've never seen before!

Ok, I'm lying. It's another clapotis. But this time it's for my mom, who is just fantastic, so therefore this is a clapotis like none other.



See, even my teddy bears are enthralled. But they don't get out much. And they don't surf many knit blogs. So a clapotis is exciting and new to them.

In other holiday matters, I managed to cook up a meal for us despite working from 3 to 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. (Hey, the news doesn't take a holiday. Did you see what happened at the Macy's Parade, for heaven's sake?) We celebrated before then, chowing down on this before a nap:



I made everything but the turkey. And yes, that's green bean casserole. Got a problem with that?

On to knitterly things, I'm dreaming of making this. Ain't it darling?



It's a glampyre design fresh from the Hip Knits site. Problem is, it calls for Hip Knits silk, and that stuff sells out so fast. I tried to buy 400 grams, and it was grabbed up before my request was received. Darn it! I'm also wondering how long it will take for the yarn to arrive from the UK. Has anyone else ever purchased yarn from Hip Knits?

Thank you all so much for your comments about The (mini) Edge. We saw U2 Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden, and I kept imagining my little doll out on stage, rocking out and garnering crazy applause.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Even better than the real thing?

Not quite. But my tiny knit facsimile of The Edge from U2 isn't all bad.



He's a little lumpy and highlights my problems with finishing, embroidery, etc. He looks a touch like Mr. Bill, except with a scruffy goatee. And he illustrates the fact that U2 is completely overexposed right now. But my boyfriend is a tremendous fan and I've been promising him a stuffed Edge for a while. Since I'm not finishing his blanket by his birthday next week, I knit him a little guitarist. (Something about The Edge spoke to me as a knitter -- his little cap, perhaps?)

The Edge is prone to fits of rocking out.



And he's really trying to fit in around here.



That is, when he's not silently passing judgment on our previous CD purchases.



Incidentally, I did not use the Knit Your Own Rock Star doll from Stitch n Bitch Nation. The Edge's body type simply does not resemble Henry Rollins or Joey Ramone. Frankly, he's closer to the Joan Jett doll. So instead, I pulled out this oldie but goodie:




The little boy seemed a perfect fit.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Humble beginnings

There was a time when I didn't knit or crochet. This feels a little hard to believe now, since they monopolize so much of my time, energy, thoughts and money. But until maybe early 2001, my only hobbies were reading and eating and fretting.

Prompted by Yahaira's brave choice to share with us the kooky book she used to teach herself, I thought I'd show you folks the ridiculous pamphlets that I picked up when I was inspired to work with yarn. (I wrote a longer, kinda sappy missive about why I decided to take up crochet here, for the seemingly defunct crafty gal. I was really missing my grandmother when I wrote this, so if you read it, please forgive me for being a little maudlin.)

Anyway. I went to JoAnn fabric and picked up this. It should be called, "I can't believe I bought this":



Luckily, my mother dabbled in crochet when she was younger and had this fantastic, totally '60s pamphlet. The patterns are fantastic, all granny squares and hippie, dippy ponchos. And, of course, the punny title drew me in -- "The Bare Facts of Crochet for Beginners."



My taste didn't improve when I decided that it was time to pick up knitting needles. There was no "Stitch N Bitch" yet, no "Knitty," and I didn't know any knitters to point me in the proper direction. I went straight for this beauty:


In my defense, I only used it for the instructions and opted not to knit up any of the boxy, stiff, acrylic wonders.









Ok, enough of the trip down memory lane. Back to tomorrow's knits today! I'm honestly not crazy about the flecks in the plymouth napa yarn. It's just not my speed. But gosh darnit, I'm finishing the ballet pullover. It's such an embarrassingly quick knit that I truly have no excuse.

Friday, November 11, 2005

all aflutter

Just in time for winter, while the rest of you were knitting socks, I finished an airy, completely non-autumnal little number called aflutter.

Ever since I saw it on Keridiana's site, I was enchanted -- it's so flouncy and fun. I tried the pattern as soon as it became available, but I got nowhere fast. Guess I'm out of practice with my crochet.

But I revisited the pattern on vacation and realized that I could rip out part of this cape that I made a few years ago and magically transform it into aflutter. I loved that cape, but I only wore it once to an Indian restaurant up in Morningside Heights. Otherwise, it was a dust collector. Capes just aren't acceptable attire for reporters at crime scenes. They have zero street cred.

Anyway, this is what I came up with:



I couldn't get the ribbing around the collar right, so I left it as it. And I used a less dramatic lace pattern around the sleeves. Here I am on the steps of someone else's brownstone, trying not to be cold and looking oddly pensive:



Still trucking on holiday gifts, and now I'm coming up with other people I need to knit for. The fantastic woman at our paper's library. The night editor. Maybe my noisy neighbor. There's just gotta be a great, quick, easy scarf pattern that will satisfy everyone.

To get me through this stressful time, I've started another little number for myself -- the Interweave ballet pullover mentioned below. The yarn was in fact discontinued, but I found it dirt cheap on ebay. I'm uneasy about it, though. See, I got a denim looking color, not realizing that the white woven throughout would stand out so much. I fear it looks like my yarn is going gray! Believe me, we've had quite enough of the errant gray hairs around here.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

No pix of me, I swear

You know, there were just way too many pictures of me in the last post, kind of flying in the face of my promise to keep this blog free of narcissism. (But can any blogs really make that promise?) Jonathan told me that the meme post with all of my previous finished objects reminded him of a "clip show" on a sitcom. Like on the Golden Girls, when the gals would gather around a cheesecake and Rose would say, "Oh, Dorothy, I remember that one time ..."

So now for some new material. I finally finished the little baby sweater for my friend's son today when I found the cutest little bus buttons at the Yarn Connection on Madison Ave. It's just the "No Seam Raglan Baby Sweater" from about.com's knitting page. I wish I'd taken a little more care in picking the pattern, but when she had the child and found out it was a boy, I wanted to get knitting right that minute.



And here's a lousy close-up of the cutey cutey buttons:



I'm sure that some of you have already stumbled upon Knit Cast, the first podcast about knitting. Now there's a second, Cast-on. (Cute name, huh?) I've only listened to its little promo, but it seems to differ from Knit Cast in that the host doesn't interview one knitter or designer per episodes. Instead, there's a topic that she discusses with a few knitters, and she bills it as something fun to listen to while knitting. I dunno about all of you, but it's so thrilling to hear people talk very seriously about knitting. Makes me feel less kooky!

And now I'll ask for some advice. In my typical day late, dollar short fashion, I'm thinking about making the ballet pullover from last summer's Interweave. (I bought the back issue before realizing I could get the pattern online and just lengthen the sleeves. Oh well.) Problem is, the yarn called for -- Plymouth Napa -- has been discontinued. Has anyone had good results with another yarn? Would some kinda bulky cotton do the trick?

Friday, November 04, 2005

All presents, all the time

I am not a procrastinator. I never pulled an all nighter, never turned a paper in late during high school, college or grad school. I pay my bills when they arrive, and I just now I filled out my juror questionare that showed up this afternoon. Perhaps this is why I'm a daily newspaper reporter -- deadlines don't bother me. And I don't say this to brag. I say this to illustrate that I'm crazy.

So, in the spirit of starting and (hopefully) finishing early, here's a stack of holiday presents!



I must admit, though, that I keep hearing the selfish voice in my head. "Go to the yarn store! Start a toasty sweater for yourself!"

In the meantime, I did a little navel gazing and filled out the ubiquitous knitting meme that fellow New York knitter Lisa tagged me for. So here goes:

What is your all-time favourite yarn to knit with?
That's tough. Since I've only been knitting a few years, and since I've only had money for nice yarn during the past year, I like to try new yarns for each project. I'm not sure I've used the same yarn twice, except maybe manos.

Your favourite needles?
Definitely addi turbos. I have to go through medical detectors at work, so I don't dare take crazy LONG POINTY needles. Circulars all the way.

The worst thing you've ever knit?
I'll give you one knit and one crochet.
Here was my attempt at the pin-up sweater from Stitch n Bitch. The sweater is so ugly that it's trying to strangle itself.


And here is a poncho. I don't even remember the pattern now, but it feels like I used three strands of straw to crochet it.



Your most favourite knit pattern?
Most recently, clapotis. And I really enjoyed knitting lelah, though I haven't found many occasions to wear it.


Most valuable knitting technique?
Magic loop! No more double pointed needles!

Your favorite knit-a-long?
Gosh, the only one I ever joined was for Knitty's ribbon x-back, and mine turned out TERRIBLE. I still have no idea what I'll use that yarn for. So now I'm knit-a-long gun shy.

Your favorite knitblogs?
I'll just direct you to the links to the left. And I'm finding new folks all the time.

Your favorite knitwear designer?
Definitely Teva Durham, Glampyre Stefanie and Keridiana, who basically created the super circular shrug pattern. She's kind of a genius.

The knit item you wear the most?
The Interweave cabled shrug


and the infamous circular shrug!


This weekend, I have a super-secret crochet project to reveal! For myself! I'm both selfish *and* sly!