Friday, August 31, 2007

Secret Pal Spoilage Saves the Day!

Next item on the update agenda... Secret Pal! (Unfortunately preceded by a completely unrelated, lengthy rant... I encourage you to just scroll down to the pics)

It's been a busy few days for me. With the non-infested roommate on vacation in Greece (sailing on a yacht from island to island... must be nice ;) ), I've been given the responsibility of supervising the moveout of the infested roommate. This means no beach house for me this weekend so that I can prep the apartment for the move-in of our new (hopefully bug-free) roommate. (I trust him, I think he'll be ok.)

So I've been cranky because of that and because it's becoming more and more clear that this chick needs to get out NOW but she's being purposefully difficult. (I also think she's leaving drunk notes on the refrigerator white board that she thinks are insulting/sarcastic but really just don't make any sense. She has made me completely confident in my assessment that the majority of people who attend ivy league colleges for undergrad are D-U-M-B).

Then to top it off, I discovered on Wednesday night while out for happy hour drinks with co-workers and former co-workers that the evil office manager is trying to get me fired. This comes after a big to-do on Tuesday during which she repeatedly screamed at me that I was a
"TERRIBLE PERSON!!!" and "SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF [MYSELF]!!!!" because I try to generally avoid contact with her in any form. She is an evil hag, but rather than similarly behaving like a lunatic, I bit my tongue and did not say anything in response other than "Calm down." and "Grow up." My coworkers were completely taken aback by her major flipout, which apparently only stopped when my boss arrived. I hate that work has become so miserable because of this woman, but my annual review is next week and I plan on using that forum to forcefully state my grievances.

This brings me to yesterday. I spent the day getting sweaty and dirty out on Long Island finishing work on the Cemetery Project from Hell, thinking the whole time about how the roommate was moving "most" of her stuff out that morning but had not yet given me her definitive time of departure, or the confidence that she would not be walking off with our stuff. I came home expecting to find the apartment in a state of disaster, but instead it was relatively neat and devoid of all her things (except for 2 bags. WTF? she couldn't be bothered to move the last 2 bags and leave the keys so I could be completely rid of her and enjoy my weekend in peace???). The smelly garbage she had filled up was gone and there was a perfectly polite note saying that she would be out "by early evening Friday." At least she is finally communicating soberly/coherently, even if she is not responding to emails. Oh well, can't win them all.

But then I saw sitting on the kitchen counter was a package... for me. From my Secret Pal. Suddenly all thoughts of crappy roommates, evil office managers, hot sweaty workdays in cemeteries, and lack of labor day beach house action were gone. All I could think about was this:

Now, we should first note that the hands that were about to open this package looked a little something like this:


So there was some heavy-duty scrubbing in order which took about 10 minutes. I was not about to touch anything wrapped in tissue paper with those grubby mitts. Good lord, my nails look horrible. Time for a trim.

Once I had properly washed and moisturized, I tore into that tissue paper like a kid at Christmas and this is what I found:


A plastic egg with the most ingenious row counter I've ever seen: It's a bracelet. It's a row counter. It's a bracelet row-counter! Now if only I remember to stop knitting long enough to move the beads and keep track of my rows, I won't continue to mess up all of those cabled projects that are currently on the needles.

A pristine used copy of Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitter's Almanac to initiate me into the world of lace and Elizabeth Zimmerman. And lord knows I love me some used books. Thank goodness I bought that extra bookcase at Ikea.

A bottle of Kookaburra Woolwash (because goodness knows I need it), a goat's milk soap (so frikkin cool), and YARN!

A skein of Malabrigo lace weight in Emerald and Garden Tweed (a cotton/linen blend), both in such gorgeous colorways I can't even stand it. Thank you, Secret Pal for completely making my day!

It's Official: Big Red Is the Coolest Sweater Coat EVER!

So I was holding off on posting until I felt that I had good pictures to post and some good updates that people might actually be interested in. And um, yeah... today is going to be a whole lotta pictures and updates.

So now for the big (red) reveal:

Good grief my hair looks horrendous, but oh my that sweater with a skirt is delightful!

Tilted Duster by Norah Gaughan
From Interweave Knits Fall 2007

Yarn: Cascade 220
Colorway: 2401 (Dark Red)

Size: 36"
Yardage: All of 5 Skeins with about a yard left over! So 1099 yards!
Notions: 2 Very cute buttons, 2 plain boring buttons

This is what the lovely Big Red looks like now that she's been washed, blocked, seamed, and had her ends woven in. I may want to adjust the button placement slightly (I think this is what makes some of the dusters on Ravelry hang open too much across the bust) so that's why you still see some loose ends at the collar.

What did this project teach me? Many things, my friends. Like the fact that blocking is the best thing EVER. Or than it is common for dark red yarns to bleed (although the proper way to stop this from happening still eludes me). Or that making up techniques is not the answer (Consult your pattern or handy copy Stitch n' Bitch, damnit!). Or the fact that Norah Gaughan is a goddess (Thank you Norah for designing fun stuff!). This sweater looks great and will be so much fun to wear. Especially to Rhinebeck! YAY!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Big Red Update


Last night I seriously pondered what I was going to do about Big Red. She's become finicky and I've become finicky as a result. But ultimately Big Red won.

I undid the seam on the sleeve that I worked on the other evening and was all set to try and steam block (I even got most of the body pinned) before I remembered "Oh, right, the excess dye that has turned my hands pink!"

Note the two horizontal lines on my index and pinky fingers where I carry the yarn.
"Pinky" is very apropos, no?
Please pay no attention to my creepy double-jointed fingers. :)

So having gotten ahead of myself, I undid my lovely pinning and I got out my plastic wash basin. Now here's my big question: Yes, I know that to remove extra dye you need to use vinegar, water, and heat. But is there a specific ratio? Does it matter? Because I pretty much just filled the basin with enough hot water to cover each piece and added a healthy amount of vinegar. But there was no scientific mixing involved and since I do things according to pre-determined ratios all the time (because otherwise, buildings collapse and people get sued), this made me nervous. Would something happen if I used too much vinegar? If I didn't use enough would I have to keep repeating this over and over again?

But a funny thing happened when I rinsed Big Red. I realized how BRILLIANT the concept of blocking is. This is funny only because I am apparently the last one to the party. The sleeves that I thought would be too tight are suddenly a delightful size perfect for wearing layered over a long sleeve shirt. The stitches look orderly and professional. And in general I'm loving this sweater even more than before and this is only after a rinse and not actually blocking the thing!

There's just one problem (and I'm not talking about the fact the sweater and my apartment both reek of vinegar): there's still dye coming out of the sweater.

Now, to clarify, I only did one wash in the vinegar and hot water mixture. I laid the sleeves and the body out to dry on towels on top of my yoga mat (might as well put it to some use). And used some paper towels to pat dry and get some of the excess moisture out. I then left a paper towel on the sweater for a bit just to see if there was any residue left. And there was.

Please note the towels in the picture are actually pink and not Big Red's imitation of a red sock tossed in with a load of whites.

So I think finishing Big Red will take another wash or two in a vinegar bath until I don't get any more excess dye (Didn't have time last night in between making a huge batch of zucchini bread... yum!). But I wish there were more detailed instructions on how to do this rather than just willy-nilly mixing up a stinky bath.

I'll have to pick up some nice smelling wool wash this weekend.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Celebs and stuff

An e-mail from my friend Kris:
From this month's Maxim, an interview with our gal...

Interviewer: Besides angry letters from producers, what pisses you off?
Lin-lo: One pet peeve- a Lindsay rule- is no denim on denim.

Her second biggest pet peeve, you might ask? Lying. Yes, that's right,
denim on denim beat out lying. This leads me to believe that crazy drunken
car chases didn't even break the top ten.

Apparently LinLo and I share some pet peeves. Who knew? Gosh but just when I think my day is going down the tubes, I can always depend on a humorous LinLo story to make me feel like, wow, maybe my life isn't so bad after all!

But no amount of celebrity hijinks can make me less aprehensive about Big Red. Um... because I haven't blocked any of my pieces. And since I spent this afternoon reading about blocking and finishing techniques rather than doing work, it's changed my mood quite a bit as far as the projected success of this project is concerned. So yes, lots of blocking fun will be on the menu for this evening's activities. This should be interesting.

Oh and... I am supposed to make some zucchini bread with the MONSTROUS zucchini currently sitting on my kitchen table.

How will I have time for ANY of this???

Oops... I did it again

I can't stand Britney Spears, but girlfriend's got a point. Last night in my infinite wisdom and rush to get out of the office so I could a) buy jeans and b) attach the sleeves to Big Red, I managed to leave my keys at work again. How does she do it you say? Oh, just by being unbelieveably disorganized. It's hard work, let me tell you, keeping this desk as messy as it is.

My desk in better days... actually, now my raving loon of an office manager's desk, but let's not split hairs over this.

So by the time I located my non-bedbug-infested roommate on the UES (I hate going to the UES!), got her keys, and went back up to Inwood it was 9:30, just enough time to seam one sleeve and get it partially attached before I collapsed from exhuastion. I plan on getting home at a decent hour tonight (keys in hand) so I can get this bad boy finished. Then I'm taking a three-day-weekend to enjoy my last beach house weekend so I hope that'll take care of the exhaustion factor. But hey, at least I overpaid for not-so-great Gap jeans!

Tomorrow I hope to have a lovely FO pic as well as some progress shots on Lady Eleanor and the My So-Called Scarf. I'm finding both of these really fun to knit although I'm finding that picking up stitches on Lady E is a little difficult with the Patons yarn. It's such a strange yarn (I feel like I'm knitting with really fine hair... creepy), but I like it and the colors are great. Entrelac is fun :)

I'm going to be giving serious thought to Christmas gift projects this weekend. I feel like I've been really bad about strategizing, and I've noticed that I seem to be making an awful lot of stuff for myself. But really now, at least I know the person who is getting the stuff is going to appreciate how much effort was put in!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Progress and Willpower Breakdown

I have a problem. A very serious problem. I just can't stop myself. I can't. I walked into Knitty City yesterday. I wanted to see if they had Sea Silk. You know, just to look and maybe give it a squeeze. And yes... I bought some.

I believe this is the Rose Garden colorway I had been eyeing on the Handmaiden site, but it's not labeled so I can't be so sure. And I know, I'm typically not crazy about pink and there were so many gorgeous colors to choose from, but this is the one that really leapt out at me on the website and totally stuck in my head for that reason. Sooo pretty. Sooo soft. It will be destined for the Montego Bay Scarf. Ideally, I would've liked to make a shawl or something with it, but I just couldn't bring myself to buy 2 skeins. Atleast I showed SOME restraint. Oh and I also bought Tofutsi's. I told you it was bad.

But in other news, Big Red is nearly complete.

Between watching house flipping shows all weekend and movies and the Giants pre-season game last night, I got quite a bit done. I got to the button holes on the collar, so all that remains is to finish the last 2 or so inches on the collar, attach the sleeves and the buttons, and block it. Although more and more I'm thinking I want to add a bit more length to the skirt. I'll see how much yarn I have left over and then I'll make a decision. But I have a feeling it won't be done just yet. And today was the first day in a while that I wasn't able to knit on the subway. It was kinda sad. But Big Red's just too effin big.

I'm just so excited at the prospect of having this done. It was actually kind of chilly this morning, makes me so excited for fall!

And on that note: Creed Thoughts

Thursday, August 16, 2007

SP Kickoff Contest

My SP Hostess Shelby has kicked off the festivities with a contest. Squee!
She's asked us to answer the following questions and post them on our blogs. Again, I ask you,
when have I ever been known to pass on a post in numbered list format?

So here we go!
1. What is the one knitting accessory you could not live without?
Right now I'm honestly going to say Ravelry. Does that qualify as an accessory? I don't know
what I would do without it! Simply amazing and it has become the tool that I turn to time and
again when I need help or inspiration.

2. If you're heading on vacation, do you take knitting with you? If so, how much and what
type of project?
I most certainly do. I'm lucky enough to have a beach house again this summer with some
friends (see picture in sidebar) and there is nothing I enjoy more than sitting on the porch
with a cup of coffee and my knitting. Recently it's been Big Red making the trip with me, but
last weekend I made the mistake of not bringing an extra ball of yarn. I could've gotten much
more done if I had it.

3. Where have you travelled to that you'd consider your favorite spot?
Aside from my Jersey Shore house,
I'd have to say the Isle of Skye in Scotland.

This is Loch Coruisk which is surrounded on all sides by the Cuillin, an unbelievably rugged
mountain range at the south end of Skye that rises right up out of the water.

How can you look at these pictures and not want to be there???

4. What is your favorite knitting book at the moment? Do you own it?
Toss up between Poems of Color by Wendy Keele and The Art of Fair Isle Knitting by Ann
Feitelson. Both are excellent in terms of describing techniques and color theory as well as
providing patterns (although truthfully, I wish the patterns came in slightly smaller sizes).

5. Do you listen to podcasts? Which is your favorite(s)?
I listen to non-knitting podcasts, but have never actually tried one of the knitting ones. I'm
partial to the
Lost podcast (awesome TV show) and then I typically listen to WFUV's Take Five
(my college radio station, a great public radio station with awesome music), Wait, Wait! Don't
Tell Me! and Meet the Press if I happen to miss it on Sunday.

Totally made my morning

This article in Slate. I think a) it shows some pretty impressive (tongue-firmly-in-cheek) crafts and b) manages to mock both the left and the right.

I also enjoyed the reference to 1776.

RepubliCraft No.1 and DemoCraft No. 4 are probably my favorites ("Just like Nana would've made... if she went to Wesleyan") LOL.

Be afraid, be very afraid

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Knitting Survey

So in my travels through the blogosphere, I came across this survey, which is exactly what I needed to reflect on what I've done and what I plan to do. It's in list format, and you know how I feel about lists. A lot of these things are planned for my immediate future (entrelac, soy yarn, etc.) so I'm very very excited at the prospect of checking a few more items off the To-Do List.

Bold for stuff you’ve done,
italics for stuff you plan to do one day, and
normal for stuff you’re not planning on doing.

Afghan/Blanket (baby)
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Baby items
Button holes
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)

Charity knitting
Continental knitting
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers
Designing knitted garments
Domino knitting (modular knitting)
Drop stitch patterns
Dying with plant colors
Dying yarn

Fair Isle knitting
Freeform knitting
Garter stitch

Graffiti knitting
Hair accessories
Holiday related knitting
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cozies…)
Kitchener BO
Knitting a gift
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting and purling backwards
Knitting art
Knitting for a living
Knitting for pets
Knitting for preemies
Knitting in public
Knitting items for a wedding
Knitting on a loom
Knitting smocking
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
Knitting to make money
Knitting with alpaca
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Knitting with beads
Knitting with camel yarn
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with circular needles
Knitting with cotton
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Knitting with DPNs
Knitting with linen
Knitting with metal wire
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegating yarn
Knitting with silk
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn

Knitting with soy yarn
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Knitting with wool

Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Lace patterns
Long Tail CO

Machine knitting
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Moebius band knitting
Norwegian knitting
Olympic knitting
Participating in a KAL
Publishing a knitting book
Short rows
Slip stitch patterns

Socks: toe-up
Socks: top-down

Stockinette stitch
Stuffed toys

Teaching a child to knit
Teaching a male how to knit
Textured knitting
Thrummed knitting
Toy/doll clothing
Tubular CO
Twisted stitch patterns
Two end knitting
Writing a pattern

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Next project

I know what you're thinking. But I swear, I will finish Big Red first. I'm having too much fun knitting it to leave it unattended for long. I was actually a little annoyed that I couldn't get a seat on the way to the Yankee game last night (woo!) so that I could annoy my bro with my knitting on a big red thing. I also figured that knitting in red at Yankee Stadium is not a very good idea. :) But if there could be no knitting, at least there was a Yankee victory. An awesome game with some really awesome (Way to go, Joba!) and really atrocious pitching (I'm talking to you, Ron Villone!) with an awesome 9th inning (Yay Melky and Derek!).

But where was I... right, new project. Say hi to Lady Eleanor:

(pic from Scarf Style by Pam Allen. Pattern by Kathleen Power Johnson)

Thanks to the Ravelry project gallery, I've decided to use the Patons Soy Wool Stripes in Natural Earth. I really love the jewel-toned look of the stole in this colorway, but believe me it did take quite a while to make a decision. So I have ordered the yarn and it will be making its way to me shortly. Hopefully it'll show up just as I've finished Big Red and am itching for a new big project. I can't wait to try out some entrelac.

And, ok, I'm not being completely truthful here. I have 2 new projects I'm planning on starting in the near future. But one is really because I am going to be in need of a smaller, subway knitting project. So I'm planning on using up my remaining LL Shepherd Worsted in Icehouse to make the My So-Called Scarf. That'll be a lot of cold weather gear in Icehouse, but it is such a fantastic colorway that I don't mind. I'll just be sure not to wear the gloves, the beret, and the scarf all at once. That would be an unfortunate fashion decision, not unlike wearing denim on denim.

Knitting Jenn in DC also happened to cast this on yesterday so with her input and advice I'll be able to get this done quickly. (Knitting Jenn in DC, you seriously need a blog so I can link to you. Your ravelry ID will have to do, I guess).

Also Yankees-related, Peter Max "honored" Alex Rodriguez with 2 portraits and a sculpture last night. Um... interesting. He also managed to knock the sculpture to the ground. That drew a laugh. I don't think Alex knew what to do with himself.

Pics added to post below to show my fabulous finishing techniques!

Monday, August 13, 2007

In which the Tilted Duster teaches me to be a better knitter

Like many knitters I have dreaded the task of finishing. Not the "having a FO" aspect of finishing but the physical "weaving in ends and sewing pieces together" aspect of finishing. So after I finished the second sleeve this weekend (OK, actually the third. I have to frog the first sleeve I knit because the gauge is WAY off), I got to the portion of the Tilted Duster pattern that calls for you to sew the front and back pieces together before picking up stitches for the skirt. I had to take a deep breath when I read that, because this is what I was dealing with:

Lots of pieces!

So I got out my trusty copy of Stitch n' Bitch (which right now I consider the best money I ever spent on a knitting book). I just have to say, "Thank you, Deb Stoller." Despite comments like the one in this article (in which you do knitters no service with the baseball-loving community), you are quickly showing me that I am an idiot when I do not do things the right way and think that my made-up techniques are sufficient.

This project has turned into a learning process for me, in the best sense. So far I have learned:
  • a new (and far superior) cast-on method. I've been using the same method I learned seven years ago when I first learned how to knit! It's amazing to me what a difference doing the thing properly can make, although I guess I really should not be all that surprised
  • how to properly sew pieces together using mattress stitch
  • how to pick up stitches

Yes, you read that correctly. I've never actually picked up stitches. I guess I've done some sort of rudimentary picking up of live stitches when I've ripped back a few rows on a project, but I've never really done it while following instructions on the right way to do it without messing things up. Granted, it's not a monumental difference between them, but just knowing that I'm doing it properly I think will help me tremendously. And while shortcuts are all well and good, it's nice to know that I've done everything I can to make sure that a project turns out looking the way I intended.

Mattress stitch join at sides

Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera in to work today, so pics of the constructed piece will have to wait until tomorrow (Update: Pics now added!). I still love this project. Picking up the stitches for the skirt was awesome, but it also means that this project will soon lose the portability factor that made it such great subway knitting. Whatever, it kicks ass.

Sewn and ready to go!
Oh yeah, and I've taken to calling the Duster "Big Red" because that's what it is.

Friday, August 10, 2007

More Subway Knitting

I've never regretted the decline of Overheard in NY (which started getting all crass with stupid titles and stupider overheards) more than on the way to work this morning. So on the A train, as I'm knitting on my sleeve, the two gentlemen next to me were quietly commenting on my knitting:

"Is it a scarf?"

"I don't know, looks like a scarf"

"I want to get the dog a scarf"

"So-and-so got his dog a scarf but he got it at K-Mart"

"I think it's a scarf"

So rather than point out that I am, in fact, not knitting a scarf, I pulled out my (now battered) copy of the Fall Interweave Knits and to check my sleeve cap decreasing numbers and made sure the image of the Tilted Duster was clearly visible.

"Ohhhh it's a sweater with a skirt!"

Close enough.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


So a couple weeks ago I won a blog contest over at Yarn Pirate. Another post that makes me desperately wish I did not live in a NYC apartment with a roommate allergic to pet hair (as much as I love her). But wow, I had no idea that it was going to be this awesome a prize:

As a girl who loves pirates, and is counting down the days to September 19th (Yarr!), those needles are just what I needed!

This colorway of the superwash merino is called Sierra and it is probably the first one I would've picked out if I had the chance. I can't wait to cast on. And then have a feeling I will need to stock up on some more of this yarn the minute it's gone.

Thank you Yarn Pirate!

More Ravelry
I just remembered something ELSE that makes me love Ravelry with the fire of a thousand suns. The book/magazine pattern index or whatever it's called. The fact that I can locate a book or an issue of a magazine that I don't own, and instantly see the projects that are included as well as the yarns I need (or yarns I could substitute), FOs from people who've done them, links to blog posts... I could go on and on! This thing is wonderful!

Great day for knitting

So yesterday's rain-induced commute fiasco had one major benefit: I got a whole lot done on the Tilted Duster. I spent 2.5 hours going from Dyckman Street (the equivalent of 200th Street) to 96th Street. Someone fainted on my train while we were stopped between stations because people were crammed in so tightly. Luckily, I had a seat. More luckily, the train was air conditioned.

In that span of 2.5 hours, I knit a sleeve and started on the second for the duster. Then I made the mistake of getting off at 96th when were told the 1 train was running normally. An hour later I showed up at work hot, sweaty, and unbelievably cranky.

Thankfully this morning's commute was lovely in comparison and there was still much knitting on the train.

I've been spending so much time here recently. After gmail, it's the first website I open when I get in to work and I flip over there so often and just browse around that I must seriously be completely useless as an employee.

I find that I spend a lot of time reading the forums for the various groups I've joined, which is nice, but I'm really starting to explore a lot of the different yarns and trying to get a feel for some of the ways that the yarns I like are being put to use. It also helps that when I have stuff in my stash without any clear purpose, I can search for that yarn and see what other knitters have made with it. It's such a great source of inspiration.

My favorite feature thus far has to be the project queue. I need to organize mine a bit better and fill in more details, but just the fact that I have an actual list with pictures and details all in one place is the most amazing and wonderful thing. I love that I'm quickly linked to other people who have done the project and can get their thoughts on what went right and (often, more importantly) what went wrong.

Monday, August 6, 2007

SP11 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I've noticed that I have knit almost exclusively in wool (and wool blends and some alpaca). I would really like to try some different fibers to see what all the fuss is about ;) But I lurve Lorna's Laces.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
As in organized? Ha! Any unused needles are currently jumbled together in a bag in one of my stash storage boxes.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I've been knitting since my sophomore year of college (about 7 years). A friend who was in the Residence Hall Association with me ran a program teaching people to knit. She couldn't believe how fast I picked it up and I've been pretty much knitting ever since with some brief breaks.

I'd consider myself an intermediate level knitter but even as I write that I laugh at how mediocre most of my FOs have turned out to be. Beginner-Intermediate then? Since starting this blog I've been improving though, so I guess that's good :) I feel like there's so much I have yet to learn that achieving "advanced status" is impossible!

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I do have an Amazon wish list! Which reminds me I need to update it.
My Wish List

5. What's your favorite scent?
Fresh baked goods, lilacs, lavender... wow this is a surprisingly hard one. My fave perfumes are Estee Lauder Pleasures (which I wear) and Estee Lauder Youth Dew (which my mom wore)

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I most certainly do have a sweet tooth. I look forward to my coworkers going on vacation so that they will bring back candy treats. I never met a chocolate I didn't like and I'm starting to get into funky flavored high-end chocolates, but I will always have special places in my heart for nestle crunch, 100 Grands, and Reese's PB cups. :)

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
Knitting is pretty much it. Although I do draw and paint on occasion and am trying to do some photography. I'm thinking I want to try spinning, but am a little nervous about it.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I like pretty much any music except rap, heavy metal and most country music. As a Jersey girl, anything involving Bruce or Jon Bon is heavily in the rotation, but jam bands, folk music, classic rock in general is the way I go. And yes I am MP3 capable.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I'm definitely a blue/green person. Must be the Pisces in me. I am not a big pink person. I don't wear it and I don't own many things that are pink.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I live in an apartment with 2 roommates, one of whom is allergic to dogs/cats, so alas, no pets for me. At least, not until I get my own place. :)

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Most certainly (excepting ponchos)! I live in NYC and the weather does tend to veer towards the colder range of the thermometer for about 1/2-1/3 of the year (global warming notwithstanding). Like many knitters, my scarf collection is extensive.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Wow, tough. I just recently tried socks for the first time (toe-ups). That was fun. But I'm not at all particular. I guess I prefer smaller things. And since I don't have many babies in my life, there is very little kid-sized knitting going on. But I think socks as a portable knitting item are going to become my go-to items. I like creative things and I also really like top down sweaters.

13. What are you knitting right now?
The Tilted Duster from IK Fall '07, the long-suffering Blaze from Knitty, and a Kid's Fair Isle Cardigan that has completely stalled

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
If they're cool ;) Don't have much need for knitted toaster covers, but fun stuff is always appreciated. Actually come to think of it... a knitted toaster cover might be pretty freakin cool.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I really like circs. DPNs and I do not mix due to the whole subway commute thing. I try to avoid poking my neighbors with sharp pointy sticks unless they invade my personal space, then all bets are off.

In terms of materials I like bamboo and aluminum. As in most things, it really depends on the project.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
I do not! But winding balls of yarn by hand is a kind of mindless activity that gives me great joy. I actually have an unnatural fondness for detangling knots.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
Oh you mean the cabled blanket. I would say it's at about 6 years. I should just frog it and move on.

18. What is your favorite holiday?
Toss up between Christmas and Thanksgiving. But any time there is food and my family in one place it's sure to be a great time.

19. Is there anything that you collect?
I collect vintage paint catalogs primarily from the 1920s and 1930s. Esoteric, I know. But it happens to coincide with one of my favorite research topics. I even wrote my graduate thesis on them and will be presenting a related paper at a conference in January.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Oh gosh, this is almost impossible to answer! I have no willpower when it comes to buying stuff I want. I really want to try some sea silk and Handmaiden yarns. I also can't believe I have yet to try some Manos del Uruguay. There are loads of patterns out there I have yet to acquire. I subscribe to Interweave Knits.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I have yet to try lace knitting. That's on my agenda. And I'm dying to make Eunny Jang's Entrelac socks and the Lady Eleanor Stole so Entrelac is up there as well.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I am now. Measurements eh? Small feet... um a size 7 shoe. I'll have to get out my tape measure and get back to you :)

23. When is your birthday?
February 20th

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?
I am! JKPenny

Duster Update

I finished the back panel of the duster this weekend as well as the right and left front panels. I had big plans of casting on the first sleeve this morning on the train. Unfortunately it was not to be. I neglected to pack my needles! I can't believe I remembered my notions bag and didn't remember my needles. Ugh. I will be making a stop at lunch today to buy some new ones because I have far too much subway knitting time ahead of me today and brought nothing to read since I thought I would be knitting instead. Still totally loving this pattern, too bad the Cascade is causing me problems. Now I've noticed thatI have a pinkish tinge on my fingertips and nails so I'm really hoping the yarn is going to be colorfast when I block the finished product. I will be really upset if I get this project finished only to have it look like crap because the yarn started misbehaving.

Update: Apparently it's just excess dye? Apparently I can rinse the yarn w/ vinegar or something and it'll stop? (Pink) fingers crossed.

Also, bought some size 9 circs en route to the subway from Design Partners. Bless them. Have about 8 inches of sleeve completed. Looking forward to the subway ride home.

Friday, August 3, 2007

I'm the reason A-Rod hasn't hit #500

So just as I was lamenting my lack of an interesting new project and pondering what I could cast on next, I came home and saw this sitting on the kitchen table. So I poured myself a glass of white wine and started browsing. Finally I decided, it was time to just pick one. So I did.

And so I swatched last night and cast on for the Tilted Duster by Norah Gaughan. I had a lot of train travel for work today and this is where I currently stand with the upper back panel.

I can't believe how fast it's going. I'm using the Cascade 220 I had intended to use for the Nantucket Jacket. I figure it's not really cheating since I'm using it for another cover image of a Norah Gaughan pattern. I love this color and figure it'll be really nice since I wear so much black. Can't wait to wear it this fall. Maybe for Rhinebeck?

Also, I don't know if this is just me, but the Cascade 220 (which I have only used in superwash format before) feels an awful lot like acrylic on my hands. Ugh. My poor thumb is raw, but I really don't care b/c I'm loving this pattern. It's coming together very quickly.

Went to the Yankee game on Wednesday with Knitter Jenn from NY. We went in thinking it was a sure thing that A-Rod would hit a home run at the game. All that needed to happen was him getting up while I was standing in line for food. Unfortunately, I happened to be in line for food when Cano and Shelley Duncan were up. So that's why they hit home runs and A-Rod's still at 499. I have missed a total of 5 homeruns in 3 games this season while I have been in line for food.

But I took this picture just in case he hit the homerun the night I was there (and happened to be waiting in line at the time) so I could say that I saw #500 ;) Oh well. Looks impressive for a pop up.

A smattering of pics from the game:

Moon over the Bronx (County Courthouse)

Everybody's favorite Yankee Fan, Freddy. He "sits" in the section in front of Knitter Jenn from NY.