Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Things I've Been Working On...

But Haven't Finished Yet...

Not Like That's Any Big Surprise.

So after a seemingly long (for me) run of completed items (like, three things? maybe?), we're back to the stack of unfinished fibery goodness. Here are some of the things I've worked on in the past week-ish.

Say hello to the right front of my Central Park Hoodie. For those of you who are keeping score, this is piece number four. I already have the left front, the back, and one sleeve finished. My trend seems to be to work like the dickens on one piece, finish it, then set the whole thing aside for a while. I ought to have this ready to wear by next fall.

This is my sample magic loop sock for the class I'm teaching in April. The pattern is the Gentleman's Fancy Sock from Knitting Vingage Socks by Nancy Bush. The yarn is Lorna's Laces, colorway Vera. The needle is a 40" US #2 addi turbo. The jury is still out on the magic loop method... there's a lot of pulling needle/cable through stitches as with the two circulars method. It's going okay, though.

This Short-Row Hat by Veronik Avery (found on the Interweave Knits free pattern page) is another one of those pure genius designs. Unfortunately, this is not the greatest picture of the hat, but if you click the link and see the picture that accompanies the pattern, you'll understand why I had to cast on right away. The yarn is malabrigo, which is an utter delight to work with.

("utter delight"? since when do i talk like that?)

And last but not least... (you might want to sit down for this one)

Raindrop Lace socks in Lorna's Laces Seaside colorway. The idea for these socks made its debut on January 17, 2006, and the plan was to start them shortly after the knitting olympics, so these socks have been on the needles for over a year. I worked on these for the entire second session of my March easy sock class. I should have some kind of baby-lotto-style contest about when these socks will be done.

Ha ha... suckers. Like I'm ever going to finish them. :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Uptown Update

Pattern: Uptown Boot Socks from Interweave Knits magazine.

Yarn: Lorna's Laces Kool-aid dyed by Wendy.

Needles: US #2 double pointed needles.

Finished: Monday, March 19, 2007.

I love these socks. Love love love.

So I started a new one. (Simple toe-up pattern for a store sample. Shhhh... it's Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn and so far... so far it's just fine.)


Road trip update:

Pittsburgh (March 30): Nicole
(and we're going to leave early to go to IKEA, too.)

Lexington (April 21): Joy, Heather

Anyone else?


Preview of coming attractions:

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Road Trip, And You're Invited

EDIT: Timing is everything. Shortly after I posted about the Pittsburgh road trip, the Yarn Harlot posted about her updated tour schedule, and she'll be in Lexington again on April 21 at the book fair. I'm interested in going to Pittsburgh AND Lexington. Any takers?


Where: Joseph Beth Booksellers in Pittsburgh, PA
When: Friday, March 30, 2007, at 7:00pm
The Yarn Harlot! Need I say more?

I've been thinking about this since I first saw
the notice on the yarn harlot's blog, and I'm ready to announce the plan and see if there are any takers.

I'd like to leave Cincinnati around noonish on Friday, March 30, to head to Pittsburgh. It's about a four hour trip according to Yahoo maps. That would give us plenty of time to get there, have a bite to eat, and get to the bookstore early since Stephanie tends to pack in the knitters wherever she goes. It's no big deal if we get there early, since we will (of course!) bring knitting.

We'll be driving back that same night since I have to work at the yarn store on the 31st.

I've seen Stephanie two other times (once in
Mount Vernon, once in Lexington). You can even read about me on her blog (Mount Vernon and Lexington - scroll down a bit). Trust me, she's totally worth the drive.

So call me Willy Wonka, because I've got the golden tickets. I can carry four people besides myself to Pittsburgh. If you want to go, either leave a comment or send me an email.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Knitting Knerd Fighters

Remember the In Your Pants post from last month? Well, the gag came from a video blog called Brotherhood 2.0 in which two brothers have given up all textual communication in 2007 in favor of leaving each other video messages every weekday. It's pretty darn amusing.

Well, they have been discussing a video game called "Nerd Fighters" with some regularity, and the challenge today was for any fan aspiring to be a nerd fighter to determine the kind of nerd he or she might be and add a verse to the Nerd Fighter theme song based on the perspective of that particular type of nerd fighter.

You so know what kind of nerd I am. I had to get in on the fun. Here's my verse:

Knitting Knerd Fighter

With shiny metal needles and a room full of yarn,
I’ll fight my knerdly battles without giving a darn.

I keep track of my projects using MS Excel,
How knerdy is that? You know that I’ll never tell.

And what’s a knerdy knitter without a knitting blog?
Better make those stitches perfect so I don’t have to frog.

I even love the math that goes with knitting and design…
As nerd fighters go… baby this battle is MINE!

For more verses from other aspiring nerd fighters, click here.


In other news, I finished the store sample.

This is not an easy shade of blue to match when it comes to ribbon. So I went with brown to match the little star buttons, and I think it turned out well. Plus, the whole shebang was knitted from one skein of Butterfly mercerized cotton, which I think will be a good selling point for the class.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Maggie's Cable Purse

Lion Brand Cotton Ease [50% cotton, 50% acrylic, 100g, 207yd]
Orangeade (discontinued), two balls
(click here for the new Cotton Ease colors from Lion Brand)

1 set US #8/5.0mm straight needles
cable needle
tapestry needle

I'm not sure, and I don't think it matters, as long as your stitches are tight and your fabric is sturdy. You'll be holding two strands of yarn together while you knit, and you want the fabric to be strong.

Pattern Notes
(click any image to make it bigger)

Using the long tail method, and holding two strands together throughout, cast on 42 stitches.

First Row (WS): Cable set up row. Work bottom row of chart from left to right.

Rows 1-16: Work rows 1-16 of the cable chart. Read odd numbered rows from right to left, and even numbered rows from left to right.

Repeat rows 1-16 three more times (for a total of four repeats). Bind off all stitches.

Fold piece in half so that the cast on edge meets the bind off edge. Seam sides, leaving cast on/bind off edges open.

Cut 12 strands of yarn six feet long. Insert all 12 strands halfway through edge A of purse (see diagram).

Holding 8 strands together in three groups, braid strands together until your handle is as long as you'd like it to be and tie it off, making one or two small tassels. Attach top of tassels to edge B and sew securely.

Fill purse with crayons, candy, barrettes, lip gloss, and anything else that would make your favorite little girl happy. Enjoy!

Photo Credit: Morgan Higgins
Models: Mrs. Frisk and Maggie

Cable chart and key from
Viking Patterns for Knitting by Elsebeth Lavold

Sunday, March 11, 2007

And It Only Took Five Years

I'm teaching a series of knitting classes this summer from Simple Knits for Cherished Babies and I just finished knitting my first sample.

Umm, no, knitting the sample didn't take me five years. It took me about three days. And it still needs a ribbon in the back and a pair of booties to match. I've made this particular pattern (the Classic Cashmere Sweater -- although I've never used cashmere for a baby... or at all...) at least eight or nine times. Maybe more.

But never have I seen a seam the likes of this one.

Or this one.

And look at this underarm seam! It looks like a three needle bind off!

But it's not.

And it only took me five years to figure out how to do a proper seam. It's sad and happy all at the same time.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Walk Around In Circulars

In case you're one of the three people in the entire world that I haven't talked to about this yet, I am willing to admit that socks on two circulars isn't as horrible as I once expected it to be.

The theory is this: I had a miserable time with Calvin's socks on two circulars because of the yarn. Cascade Fixation is mostly cotton with a little elastic, and that little elastic caused the stitches to collapse around the cable of the circular needle, causing me to shove, force, and otherwise manhandle those stitches back up onto the needles each time. So all the time I saved by having one less join was used up by having to struggle to get those stitches back onto the needles.

One of the theories pertaining to socks on two circulars is that you should use one 16" needle and one 24" needle in order to make it easier to know which needle to use and when. This also gives you two different size needles to use in other projects. However, I've found that I will prefer to use two 24" circulars (when I get the second one), because you can get all your sock's stitches onto the needle part of the 24", but not onto the needle part of the 16". And I'd rather get all the stitches onto the needle part before starting that side if possible.

I started another sock on two circulars to use as a sample sock in my socks-on-two-circulars class at the store. I'm using regular ol' Trekking, with no elastic, so the stitches stay the size they're supposed to be, and it's much easier to get them back onto the needles from the cable. I might even say I'm enjoying it. The pattern is the
Gentleman's Sock by Designedly, Kristi, and I love how it's turning out. The yarn is sunny and inspiring.

However, I'm tired of it, and I'm working on the second koolaid-dyed Uptown Boot Sock instead.

Pictures later when the camera batteries are recharged. Whoops.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

A Toy Turtle And His Tam

There once was a turtle named Knit Knack,
With a number of shells on his coat rack.
He came from the lochs
With a bunch of shamrocks
On the St. Patty's Day shell on his back.

A turtle who's prone to much banter
Demanded his own tam o'shanter.
He wanted it plaid,
But that is too bad.
It's just green like the fern in his planter.

Friday, March 2, 2007

I'm Glad I Wasn't 30 In the 80's

Dudes. I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while. But the following should keep you going until I can make another substantial post.

Last Saturday I went to a kickin' 80's party hosted by my good friend Leslie and her husband. Shockingly, I won the best overall costume. Yikes.

Yes, Leslie can flashdance.

Yes, I made that vest. Thankfully no one ever actually wore it in the 80's.

Yes, I pegged my pants. In fact, everyone at the party who was wearing pants pegged them.

Hannibal Smith, Roscoe P. Coletrain, and Tootie from Facts of Life all made an appearance.

Yes, those are pink feather earrings.

Yes, that is my real hair.

Yes, a great majority of the females in attendance had side ponytails.

Side ponytails rule.

A treatise on socks on two circulars is coming soon.