Thursday, December 28, 2006
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Drumroll for the Hourglass. Learned my lesson on swatching and good thing - pattern calls for 19 stitches for 4 inches on size 7 and this netted me over 5. Switched to size 6 - close enough.
Monday, December 25, 2006
It was a great Friday. Hart and I both had the day off and after we went to store we came home, watched movies, packed for the weekend and I started the scarf. Been home in Massachusetts all weekend and have made some progress. I love this pattern and love this yarn. It is so warm, soft and squishy.
Today is Christmas and I was so excited to finally get my hands on all the knitting goodies my Mom got me. I was also really excited to give my mom her new digital camera so I could snatch it and take all these pictures. I normally use Hart's camera and we just need to internalize that we need a new one. Yes we were early adopters and bought one 5 years ago but it's like Atari now.
Anyway - I received Knitpicks Andean Silk in Orange for my Hour Glass Sweater. I love the color and can hopefully pull it off before the winter is over - although it's not really feeling so winter anyway.
I also received Knitting Around, and some Knitpicks Telemark for Norweigen Mittens! I've been really looking forward to starting these - although I'm a little nervous after reading the pattern.
The funny part of this is that after we ate (me tofurkey, everyone else turkey) and entered our food comas, my mom got totally absorbed in Knitting Around. She skipped all the knitting stuff and went straight to the "Digressions". Even non-knitters fall in love with EZ.
Monday, December 18, 2006
i am feeling the need for a picture and here it is - our glorious DR vacation. if anyone wants to know details let me know- i can't even describe how amazing this trip, country, people, hotel, experience was.
but....i have no pictures on ms. marigold. but i tried it on and a little concerned. when Hart saw me knitting it up - he was in awe of my skills, but did comment that, well, it looked a little small. i tried it on and well, it just seems a little small. i tried it on with just my bra on and well, i saw a lot of bra. this is my first sweater and i'm about 3/4 through and it's been a week. if it doesn't work out - the commitment was low and it was fun. i immediately implemented "tip 2" on how to increase to account for the natural curve of a woman's body - we'll see how it goes.
two learnings are:
a) banana republic resizing may have finally caught up with me - i followed the directions for my bust size (as it's written) but all these companies have turned 8's into 4s and well..
b) perhaps my tight knitting is finally catching up with me. my nails digging into my palms was clearly not enough - but once it effects the project outcome, it is an issue that needs addressing.
finally - i am frightened of the finishing - picking up stitches along the front and knitting them in rib.
i've done this once before on the now damned, never worn, destined to be unwound and recycled poncho, but i have no idea how that happened, as it happened a year ago.
Double finally- which may pertain to first finally- I may go to Stich N Bitch tomorrow night. I am nervous about this. I'm usually really great about new environments but for whatever reason I'm just nervous. will report
Saturday, December 16, 2006
The good news is that I’ve made some real progress on Ms. Marigold. It looks like a chaotic mess of loose ends so here’s what it will eventually look like (hopefully) but here's where I am.
I really love this yarn – it is my first time with KnitPicks (Elegance) and I’m in love – the quality, the price. This is my first sweater project (other than the Childs Placket – yes, still not weaved in/blocked) and my first time using smaller needles and getting a non bulky outcome.
One thing that really stalled me when starting to knit just a short while back was the price. Living in Nolita in NYC results in three obvious nearby yarn shops – Downtown Yarns, Purl and Suss (no longer). All of these stores, while I’m sure are beginner friendly, really stock the most gorgeous, soft, unique and I’m sure highest quality yarn – but all of it is really expensive.
I’m still at the stage where I look at a yarn and have no idea what to do with it – the color is easy but the width of the strand, the texture – I just don’t have the vision to see what I can become and therefore, I see the price tag and freak out a bit. I need a pattern and buy what it calls for and hence there is the reverse – like I’m dying to knit the mans sweater in the back of Last Minute Gifts but it requires like 12 skeins of Manos and at $15 a skein – we’re talking $180. I don’t have the know how to figure out an alternative.
Anyway – I feel like this will come and I had an aha moment at about the time I discovered KnitPicks. I saw Ms. Marigold on Carrieoke and then discovered that there were several bloggers who did Ms Marigold and I saw all their pictures and outcomes. So I started searching for the Hourglass Sweater and while the yarn suggested in the pattern was expensive, I noticed that many people were using all sorts of stuff- and some were using Knit Picks!
All of this is such a random stream of words but to me I’m getting this as progress. Progress in my knitting learning and progress in my Ms. Marigold. The other progress is seeing what’s out there from lovely and interesting knitters. Before discovering all these blogs I’m now obsessed with – I just kept seeing patterns from the few books I have and Vogue Knitting – most of which I either hated bc they are really, well, lame, or they were too hard/advanced. Ms. Marigold was sparked by a blog and so now is my new (yet scary venture) into the Norweigen Mittens inspired by Yarnmonster (thank you mom for Knitting Around and my Knit Picks order for Christmas)
Monday, December 11, 2006
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
While I simply can't envision knitting in 85 degree heat (never mind the stack of New Yorkers coming with me) I do have a 3 hour flight there and back so I am going to knit a fairly simple but fun scarf I found in Knit1. I bought this yarn awhile back and made little progress on a different scarf so I ripped it out and am starting new and fresh.
I love this yarn - it's white and creamy and very soft. it took me a very long time to take this out because it's fuzzy but bless john's mom for getting me a yarn winder.
I'm going to knit the Ruffler Neck Warmer from the Nov/Dec 2005 issue of Vogues Knit1. There are no links for either finished stuff or from the Knit1 site for this so I'm being ghetto and taking a picture of the magazine. Hopefully this doesn't constitue any copyright infringement...
Anyway, I'm really excited to head out. Work has been relentless and John and I are fofeiting our usual trips to places that require attention and exploration - it's a big step but i only have a few vacation days left and we are doing the whole "we deserve it" thing. Plus we are bringing 4 bottles of wine with us (our demands for menus pre-book showed a fantastic steal of $15 for one corona and no, we can't go into town to buy from a bodega as we're 10 miles from civilization), netflix, and a deck of cards. we're good to go.
I'm ready for 5 full days on the beach - reading New Yorkers and tackling my book club book of Winesburg, Ohio along with Kiterunner, which I started and then forced myself to stop so I could save it for this trip.
Okay - off for now. John just walked in from a day in Boston. I love the night before vacation. We just opened a bottle of champagne, ordered from Il Bagato and gave each other a hard time for packing to much (me) or too little (him).
hope that a) i will be showing of said scarf next time and b) i will be showing off knit picks gorgeous yarn (er, yes, there will be screaming if it's not at my door 5 days from now) and c) i will be sporting a tan to make all jealous (except for my mom as she'll be pissed and holler about skin cancer, and myself should be included, as i'll be pissed at myself 3 days later for those same reasons).
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Very very bad news is that I am terrible with this camera business. My house isn’t that dark and while it's past 8pm, i have a lamp over the work and the ceiling light as well– do I need to take my work outside? Going to need to figure this out because as someone who is highly dependent on fantastic picture taking on other blogs – this simply isn’t cutting it. So sorry for the darkness.
the full shot
the folded shot
the beauty shot
the good news is that i made my debut as a knit and driver (passenger side, of course). i had tried this once before but ended up very car sick. i am incredibly determined to finish this baby blanket and took in on the road on route to an offsite in NJ. It was great and I got tons of rows done.
the bad news comes in several hands. while the knit and drive all worked out, unfortunately got to the garter stich border finale as i was almost home and remembered how much i hate doing this. the result is gorgeous but it's very tedious for me.
i'm not feeling very zimmerman at this point as i just want it done. i'm not sure i'll finish before i leave for Dominican Republic bc the border takes me so long (20 rows of @120 stiches = 3 1/2 hours).
the other bad news is that i didn't receive my knit picks package today. i guess i should be patient but i'm just really disappointed. it's been 12 days. shame on me but net net, my learning is to not depend on ordered yarn to start a new project. This is probably one of those things i'll look back a year from now and be like "so typical". Whatever, just because yarn is a little more diy doesn't mean they shouldn't be agressive on shipping. if anything, knitters are more demanding.
and i'm willing to go back for more. my mom is going to buy me some yarn from knitpicks for xmas- i'm going to order stuff for the hourglass and the norweigen mittens (yes, i'm being waaaay too optimistic but i’ve fallen in love and one always pursues things they are simply not ready for) and per their holiday instructions - the order will be placed by 12/7 at 12noon! so excited!
So while the pictures are gloomy, above is my (big bad) baby blanket so far - almost done!
hope to have a final picture tomorrow - all blocked! i'll wash it up and dry it up while packing for DR!!!
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Been highly inspired (and obsessed) by knitting blogs lately. I started knitting about a year and a half ago but got really down on it - likely due to the fact that all I was doing was squares - squares for scarves, squares for a poncho (which I hate and have never worn) and a square blanket, which i have made 3 times so far. At the very least, I'll put pictures up so I know what I've done.
I’m sad that I can’t find the pictures I took of the scarves but here are the two blankets – with their owners. Never took a picture of the third blanket but as I’m knitting it up again using the same yarn – I can show it WIP or maybe in a day or so when it's done.
In any event, i'm back in the swing. I went to Michigan to visit John’s parents in October and his mom is a hardcore and amazing knitter and every time I’m there I get reinvigorated so I got all excited again.
So back to my swing. about 3 weeks ago I was a bit under the weather, was home from work and started going through Last Minute Gifts. Was needing to expand beyond the square to try something new and came across the little baby hat. perfect. it was the easiest thing ever and my first foray into knitting in the round.
fortunately Purl is 5 blocks from my house. was able to sneak in there, grab the yarn, new circulars (didn't have the right size) and some double pointed needles. similar to knitting in the round, i had never used dpn.
this was a thursday and i actually finished it all at once! net net, think i need to really start doing new and manageable projects.
my biggest issue now? i hate finishing. so here it is without the ends weaved in. plus i realize i'm an amatuer with the knitting photography - need to bump that up a bit.
Pattern: Children's Cotton Hats from Last Minute Gifts
Yarn: 1 skein Mission Falls 1824 Cotton color 402 (at Purl)
Needles: Addi size 7 16" and size 7 dpns
Okay, so this is likely happened to many new knitters and it's happening to me. So after the hat I got a little maniacal about continuing. Ever since I bought LMG a year ago, I've been obsessed with two projects - the childs placket and the man sweater on the last page. Only a couple of weeks ago was I brave enough to attempt the childs placket. With my first hat underway – I felt like I could try anything! I hit Purl and asked for some help picking out yarn. Given my “beginner status” I didn’t want to throw down $50 in yarn bc I was fairly sure I would screw up so I picked up Cascade 220. Unfortunately the gauge was a bit off (yes, I committed the cardinal sin of not swatching first) but it worked out in the end.
I feel like I may be going through knitting stages. Frankly- i haven't made one thing for myself. it's all gifts and i have no idea who this sweater is for and who the hat is for. i have a lot of friends who have kids between 0 and 2 years, hopefully they'll appreciate this. i look at these projects simply to a) try something new (like a sweater and a hat) and b) get practice so i can make something for myself.
john and i went home to my mom’s for thanksgiving and i started this sweater right before. needless to say that my mom was not excited that i had my head stuck in my needles. actually she was - mom's of new knitters (esp mom's who have no idea what knitting entails) are highly impressed with it.
by the time i left on sunday i had the body plus two sleeves done. i actually didn't bring enough yarn home to finish! woo hoo! i know that sounds weird that i'm happy about that but to me it means quick progress.
Again – the finishing is what kills me. Here it is 99% done.
Yarn: Cascade 220 – a little over 1 skein
Pattern: Child’s Placket Sweater from Last Minute Gifts
Needle: size 7 circular 24”, 7dpn and tapestry needle
Mod: Because the yarn knits up much larger than the recommended yarn, I basically followed the pattern for the 0-6 months to achieve the 1-2 years (I swatched, after 3 hours of knitting, mind you, and did the math). So I followed the 0-6 month on # stitches but knitted the length to the specs for the 1-2 year old.
The other big bad thing I need to figure out is how to knit more evenly. You can see from the bottom that the knits are fairly fluent because I'm knitting in the round (all knits) but when you start knitting the sleeves onto the body you go back and forth in stockinette stitch - so my purls on the WS are showing a big change in the fabric. I need to figure that out.
in the meantime, i'm itching for my new project, which is ms. Marigold. As mentioned, I only discovered knitting blogs about 2 weeks ago and in my search for NY ones, I found spidernet, and found carrieoke, who is great and who a) did a gorgeous ms marigold and b) did a gorgeous hourglass - my next project.
so on saturday of thanksgiving, i went on to my mom's lovely gateway computer - with dial up - and ordered yarn and a size 3 circular from knitpicks. it took me about 45 minutes (said dial up) and it's now Sunday and i don't have my yarn. the reality is i probably shouldn't yet - but every morning i reread the pattern and i'm just crazy to start this.
So to present. John and I are heading to the Dominican Republic on Thursday and I had to do necessary errands today – get sunscreen, pedicure, etc. I decided to go to The Point for the first time today. I’ll detail it out later but yarn shops really intimidate me. I’m not sure if this is true for all new knitters but I simply get overwhelmed with the whole thing. I just wanted to check the situation out – with my ammo being that I wanted to grab Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitting Without Tears. Hands down, love the place. I always want to sit down and knit at these shops but feel really uncomfortable about it – but this place just seems so unbelievably friendly so I’m eager to go back to knit and drink lots of coffee.
Needless to say I got Knitting Without Tears and read it all through my pedi. I LOVE IT.
Alas, I am so sitting down to finish this final blanket tonight. And pray to the mail heavens that my Knitpicks comes tomorrow.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Jeesh, I need a name for him but I have commitment issues. I'm calling him Palermo going forward - at least for now. So Palermo is a planner. I got up this morning, drank ice coffee and smoked cigarettes (no, it's not over yet) and puddled around on the computer. He worked diligently on the couch, with his computer. As I came nearer to him, he blocked the screen saying he was planning our day and instructed me to take a shower.
I get out - he's on his way in and tells me to check my email - there is an itinerary with options. I hate options. I hate getting a list of 7 restaurants to choose from.
Anyway- there was lunch, movie and dinner on there. sooo productive!!!
point of this is that we went to Angelika and saw "who killed the electric car?". this is a fascinating movie. it's about the launch of an electric car in the early 90's and the demise of it - who is to blame, what happened, etc. it is amazing. the most crazy part to me is that there were a ton of these cars on the market, waiting lists to get them, celebrity endorsements up the wazoo, and they were not only discontinued- but the car manufacturers actively pulled them all of the road and destroyed them. didn't let them die a natural death - they went to people's houses and collected them.
also interesting and enlightening to me (again, i read cnn.com and let Palermo update me on any important issues from the Economist) is that this whole Hydrogen bullshit is like 20 years away and is actually not that efficient.
i need to see this "an inconvenient truth" movie that Palermo, lawyer blogger and everyone else is talking about. I still stand by my opinion that no matter how smart he is, Gore is doomed in an '08 election, but I'm starting to wonder....
Sunday, July 30, 2006
He and I went to Brooklyn last night. We were at dinner with two other couples, and the two women are in this book club together. One of the couples is moving to Texas for some PhD thing so they have an opening in the club. B, one of the women, the one who isn’t moving, invited me to join. The great thing is that these friends of ours come from Him – he went to college with B’s husband, and they are all fairly new to me. It would be another great way to meet new women. Anyway – B and I always talk about this book club when we’re drunk – she’s a writer and she’s quiet. This fascinates me – specifically that she’s a writer and has historically said only a few words in my presence. I am one of those people who can walk into a room full of strangers and talk to anyone, and she has always been so quiet around me that I have, on occasion, thought that she simply thought I was an idiot. Only recently has she become talkative to me and I find this a great victory.
But I am really weirded out by bookclubs. First, it sounds very Oprah-esque. Second, it just seems so contrived. Every time I ask someone to describe what it’s like in these meetings, she (as it’s always women) says that it’s a lot of drinking, eating and just hanging out. Is a “bookclub” an excuse to meet up with friends and hang out? Why the required reading then?
I remember when book clubs were truly all the rage, maybe 5 years ago, it was way political. I had several friends, all in different book clubs. They talked about members being kicked out – the emotional challenges of breaking up with your book club because you wanted to go somewhere new.
I don’t know – maybe it’s because I’m consistently unproductive that I’m being critical. It’s the combination of being unproductive and the fear of commitment. Even more – B said that the book they’re on now is the Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan. I mean Come ON! Could you get less fun? I mean, I read the book (or skimmed it) in college but this isn’t some fictional easy fun stuff. This is fairly hardcore. It’s a lot of work!!!!
I’m just going to do it. The reality is that I used to consume books as though they were going out of style. Even though He and I live together we have two subscriptions to the New Yorker – as we eat them up like candy and are very territorial about them. But sadly enough, I can barely finish an issue these days.
I’m going to email her right now and tell her I’m game for the next meeting. And in the meantime, if anyone has any cliff notes on the Feminine Mystique, please let me know.
Speaking of commitment – I am quitting smoking for the 23rd time tomorrow. Wish me luck.
Friday, July 28, 2006
He (a Formal Noun, not a pronoun, for now until I have formulated the best nickname ever) is obsessed with Chowhound. You know, the true foodie website. Obsessed. Ridiculous. Granted, I can’t complain. When we arrive at a restaurant, he knows what we should order, what is the best thing ever, what is terrible. One of the things I love most about him is his obsession with trying new restaurants. And we (or He) always come prepared. Specifically, with a little post-it note that he hides in his pocket. Pulling out only when the coast is clear.
Tonight he knew the maitre d's name. Knew which wine we should order (which they had none of, but knowing wine to order is above and beyond the normal situation).
We went to Enoteca Barbone. Avenue B between 11th and 12th.
We went because it was new, it was Italian, was in the east village (ev and Italian is a good mix) and icing on the cake; this is the new restaurant of John Baron, the former pasta maker/chef/guru at Babbo. We love Babbo. Adore it. So of course we were going to try this place – plus it got rave reviews on Chowhound, which truly doesn’t let us down.
Barbone was okay. I am actually easy to please and this was just okay. The service great. The food and wine, okay. I’ll make it quick.
I got the watermelon, ricotta and caper salad. The watermelon could have been way fresher and the whole thing was really forgettable. For my entrée I got the ricotta, peas and mint gnochi. I usually steer away from gnochi but this was way promoted on said websites. It actually was really good, but spectacular? Eh. He got the asparagus for a starter- also touted as the best thing ever. Was fine. And got the Pappardelle with braised short rib ragu. Found it mediocre.
Net net- this is absolutely no Babbo. Not even Gnocco (which we love and only gets better) – maybe Bianca, which we want desperately to be fantastic but really never is.
Anyway – bill was like $75, the garden was great, the wine sucked (I hate Chardonnay and will never submit to the rationale of ‘it’s not woody California Chardonay’ ever again), the food was good, but no Babbo.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
and i still don't know my way around a blog. i feel like my mom when she got hip to the "world wide web" like 5 years ago, or when i thought i was advanced when i started texting like 4 years ago. in any event - i still don't read blogs. other than one, which i'm way too self-conscious to name at this point. first impressions are key and why ruin it in my first, or second, rather, post. i don't know - maybe i just feel like blogs are very myspace- which, with all due respect, is definitely the 21st century version of those weird party chat phone numbers that existed back when i was 16. i hope i'm wrong - i assume i'm wrong
in any event. i got refocused due to a couple of reasons. the first is that i often end up drinking at a bar with a bunch of friends, one of which does this blog which is really good. he's a lawyer, is annoyingly smart, always seems to school me on everything and/or make me feel dumb, reads literally 2 very intellectual books a week (which when he tells me, seems impressive, but now when i write, seems dreadfully lame) and still has time to write a blog that is really freaking good (although not good enough for me to read every day like my cult-like obsession with the other blog i read). the second reason is that i read a lot of cnn.com. i know it's way un-cool, and is kind of like the Fox news of online news sources, but i am a busy working girl and it's just easy. Anyway, i just read this thing on a woman in france who has a blog and it got her fired. something about her trashing her job on her blog, the company figuring it out, etc. of course, given it was on cnn.com, her server went beserk and it took me three days to get on her blog. i didn't read much, it was actually not that fantastic. and i thought, if she can write lame postings on a lame date she had and people are obsessed with her? i mean, is that what i takes?
so here i am.