Monday, April 23, 2007

Y is for Yarn

Can we talk about the weather? I can. The first true gorgeous New York weekend of the year, and Hart and I took full advantage.

Saturday morning we woke up and hit CafĂ© Mogador in the East Village. It soooo didn’t matter what we ate or how good it was (but it was) because we were eating outside.

We hit the dog run at Tompkins Square Park (it’s seriously like going to a zoo- people just hang there for hours watching the dogs), then stopped by Downtown Yarns to browse, and then landed at DBA at 2pm to meet Crimenotes.

DBA, how I love thee. We were there for, seriously, 5 hours. Hart, Crimenotes and I played Scrabble and then two of CN’s friends showed up and we played hearts.
And that’s me up there, just after scoring about 7 points for Yarn.

Speaking of Yarn, my silence has been multimedia related. I have taken about 25 pictures of this gorgeous yarn below- it's Blue Sky Alpacas - Alpaca and Silk - in Spring. It it so light that it's just not very photogenic and I just need to call it a day with trying to shoot it.

I haven’t given up on Rusted Root. She’s resting. But in the meantime, I’m working on this shawl from the latest Interweave.

If you have it, the yarn and the color I’m using is featured on the cover of Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

Anyway, Hart and I ended our weekend in Battery Park yesterday, where we kicked off our shoes, did crossword puzzles, and I started my shawl.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Six Degrees

Knitware Vase by Alyssa Ettinger
I've been in great awe of Etsy lately - only discovering it a few months ago. It's funny the degrees of separation, or the path you take to a new discovery on a blog or website. It happens all the time. I'll get so wrapped up into looking at new things and often times I'll think of something weeks later and have absolutely NO idea which site it was on and knowing that I probably pathed through 9 websites to get there in the first place, it's a lost cause.

I wish I could remember how far back it went, and the exact path, but I somehow ended up at a knit blog- the writer of which turned me onto Design Sponge. I love Design Sponge - it has turned into a daily read. And while I had perused Etsy a bit before that, looking for random things, it was Design Sponge that opened my eyes to lots of artists who sell work that I can actually afford to buy. More on that later.

Anyway, Design Sponge is on vacay, so in "path-like" fashion, I visited her guestblog, hosted by Victoria and saw a link for Poppytalk. Clicked on that, and found the above vase in her category called "Etsy Pick of the Day".

Cute vase, right? BTW there are several different vases and coasters available, in different cable patterns. Love that.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


I needed to perform some very scary surgery on Rusted Root this morning and I will say it was not fun. Not fun at all.

I had been knitting along at a good speed and was quite excited about it. This morning I was just making coffee, whistling, thinking about how far I had come...And then it hit me.

I put my coffee cup down, clenched my fists and hissed quietly through bared teeth, "I forgot to do the shaping".

At the end of the day I had to pull out about 4 inches worth of sweater so that I could do my decreases and shape. Again, Vogue Knitting saves the day. Even though I know how to do this method, it's always reassuring to have the visuals in front of me.
I haven't knit an entire round since this happened as I needed a much needed break after the 1 1/2 hour surgery. Also, just thinking about getting to the lace part is incredibly scary and it's making me nervous. I have really no idea what row of the pattern I'm on. Ugh. I just hope it works out.
Anyway. Off to enjoy the weather. The storm is coming and we've decided to have movie marathon tomorrow so I may need to hit Purl or The Point for another project. I almost want to stick RR in the corner until she behaves and starts telling me things in advance so I don't screw up again.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

God Bless You Mr. Rosewater

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
1922 — 2007

Monday, April 09, 2007

I’ve been knitting up Rusted Root at a fairly rapid pace after frogging 7 times in the beginning (more on that later).

Lack of progress shots is because she's not as photogenic as I’d like.

this is a better shot of the actual color

I recently got a new camera and I’m kind of not loving it. It’s a Canon A570 IS. We did plenty of research and we actually waited to buy as we knew this was coming out. I think the lighting/crispness kind of sucks and yes, I could probably learn more about the camera and take better pictures but at the end of the day, I bought my mom a Kodak Easyshare for Christmas last year and I like hers better.
Had a great weekend. But first, this. I have decided once and for all that I am taking a step back into anonymity and will be calling said boyfriend “Hart” from now on. I will discuss later, maybe.
Anyway, on Friday Hart and I had no plans and he convinced me to go to Sripraphai in Woodside, Queens. This review finally put us over the edge.
This was embarrassingly my first time in Queens outside of commuting through but I’m happy that going to this restaurant was my first experience. I first heard of it in 2004. Hart and I had dinner at Veritas and started up a conversation with the sommelier about food. We asked, and he told us that it was his absolute favorite Thai restaurant in New York. For the record, this was NOT when Hart first heard of Sripraphai. When recounting the story of dinner later to friends, I told the Veritas story and asked him when he first heard of it and he gave me that look that meant, “er, wayyy before that.” Like in 1990 when he was 16, as though he had walkie talkies with Zagat and they called when it opened.
Anyway - this place is ridiculous. Hands down the best Thai food I have ever eaten outside of Thailand. It is 100% the trek and they make the best Penang Curry with Tofu. We seriously ordered 6 dishes for the two of us and brought half home.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Who's on a roll?

Another from Veggie Meal Plans (let's recap that while this may be boring - you're talking to a lady who cooks no more than 2 times a year. just humor me)
Been thinking about this recipe for awhile. Went to my new best friend's place to shop, and spent $14.85 on enough for 8 - at least 50% of which was organic. How amazing is that?

Honestly, I have been knitting. She's just not ready for debut yet.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Pineapple Part Two

This is my second time with this. We loved it the first time but I think we needed more of the glaze and well, we didn't have enough so I made more.

Not bad, eh?
ps: Whole Foods at Bowery is as good as I thought it would be. I'm not being snotty but it's the best one I've been too - including the one in Atlanta where Alton shops. I could definitely spend at least 2 hours a day there.

Monday, April 02, 2007

FO: Hourglass Sweater

Pattern: Hourglass Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Hardware: 24” size 6 bamboo
Knitpicks Andean Silk in Orange – 12 skeins.
Start: December 26, 2006
Finished: March 14th, 2007

I really like this sweater in the end. If you look back or notice how long it took me to finish, you can tell that I kind of lost interest along the way– starting and finishing CPH before wrapping this up, etc. I think the reason is that, well, if you're in the stage that I'm in - which is eager beaver new knitter who has a short attention span and who wants to try every new technique she crosses, this could fall by the wayside.

But in the end, I love it. While it's easy and some could say boring (your call - it's many many rounds of stockinette), someone could probably whip this out in 2 weeks and it's just a classic sweater with a bit of a twist.

The first picture I took was this one below. This shows me wearing the sweater before I blocked it and how short it was. This was tres scary.

But then I blocked. And this next picture was the first picture taken post-blocking. The sizing made me very excited and I requested an immediate photoshoot. We were just back from Loreley and several beers (hey, it was that first of the season 70 degree day and what better way to celebrate than at an outdoor German beer garden). Hands on hips and stilll wearing work skirt is indicative of excitement level.

Here is the final photoshoot:

The above and first photo of this post were taken this past weekend (with new camera, btw). You can tell I am in the exact same position so that I could see pre-post blocking. Important to note is that I actually wore the sweater to work on Thursday and then took these pictures on Saturday. Maybe I’m crazy but it seems to have shrunken in length from the previous picture?


In terms of yarn/gauge/amount – the pattern calls for a different yarn using size 7 needles. As you may know, Andean Silk has been widely used as a substitute, calling for a size 7 needle. When I swatched, I was running too big, which is kind of weird because I’m a really tight knitter. I probably wish I used the size 7. Blocking did a lot for me but I do wish this was a little roomier. It’s not too tight, it fits well, I just wish it was looser.

In terms of Modifications - I saw a lot of sweaters with serious boat neck action – which is really not that obvious when you look at the picture in the book. This is, in reality, the style of the sweater. This works for a lot of people, mostly those who wear strapless bras or have super bra strap invisible powers, but it doesn’t work for me.

I read a post by a woman who started doing decreases every row instead of every other row, to make the neck more narrow. I am fortunate enough to live close to
Purl (owner is author of book), and so I strolled in for some direction. The staff recommended that I NOT decrease every row, but that I instead knit more rows, but continuing in the pattern of decrease one row and knit the next straight. Instead of 38 rows (I knitted the size for 37) of decreasing (19 decrease rows, 19 regular), I knitted a total of 44 – which nets 3 additional decrease rows.

I really wish I would have knitted this longer and while the blocking did wonders for me (added 3 inches in length without looking wonky/stretched)

And about that finishing. Yes, it’s annoying but it wasn’t at all hard. I have since seen some references to attaching/seaming the “turning round” as you go, vs finishing it after, and I would recommend that.

If you want a couple more pictures, click here.