Monday, December 31, 2007

Last 2007 FO: Noro Iro Scarf

Last FO of 2007, at least officially. I am so close to finishing Dollar and a Half that I can taste it but unless I abandon all plans to get my house in gear and the food in the oven for the New Years party we're throwing tonight, it's not going to happen.

I fell in love with this scarf the first time I saw it, when Jared Brooklyntweed introduced it to the world, aptly naming it “You’re My Iro”, based on the material and presumably his reverence for what it turned into. It’s little more than 1 part common stitch and 1 part perfect yarn but mix it together and it delivers a beautiful scarf that to me, looked perfect.

I was, at the time, paralyzed by the sweater myth, but I wanted to knit Hart something and a scarf seemed low risk but meaningful. When we first started dating over 5 years ago, one of my first gifts to him was a beautiful deep orange scarf. He fell in love with it when he saw it at the store, thought about it often and once he owned it he has been wearing ever since. I knew that the scarf I would make him had to compete, almost trump his beloved orange faithful. I showed him Jared’s scarf to make sure he would be on board and he was.

For both men and women, I see this as the perfect neutral yet colorful, warm colorway, largely driven by it being contained to a scarf. It is rich and unique, yet classic and timeless – something that looked finished but also home made.

In terms of recipe, here it is:

Pattern: garter stitch - 19 stitches (jared did 17 stitches wide, I opted for 19 to make it wider)
Hardware: US 10 (jared used 11 but after swatching, I opted for size 10)
Software: Noro Iro in shade #47. I used about 1 and 3/4 hanks and it got me to
Time lapse: Finished in October and this took about 2 weeks –could have been done in a couple of days but I was switching back and forth between projects

In terms of how it looks, I personally love it. My photography doesn’t do it nearly as much justice as Jared’s, so if you’re considering knitting something similar, look to his for potential greatness.

In terms of the finished product, I finally blocked this about a month ago and Hart has been wearing it since. He thinks it’s a bit scratchy – and I can understand. Most scarfs, or ones you love to wear, if not made from cashmere are made from a beautiful soft wool that is so soft that you love to pull it around your cold neck.

I also perhaps would have considered reducing the needle size a bit for a tighter stitch. It’s not as warm as his faithful orange, and I wonder if doing a tighter stitch (and compensating by adding a few more stitches per row, to maintain the width) would have done the trick.

Finally, at least so far in its wearing history, the scarf isn’t as pliable/flexible as I would have wished. When you fold it, and then release the fold, there is a fold mark.

At this point I’m just nitpicking. Net net, I give this a thumbs up and I think Hart does too.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Alton Realized

Our Alton Brown fantasy is about to begin….for Chistmas my BF Hart gave me a beautiful shiny Kitchen Aid stand mixer along with a shopping spree on Bowery, a street/mecca, steps from our apartment.

Apparently this plan has been in the making since May, when the New York Times printed this article on outfitting your entire kitchen for under $300 at one of the many professional kitchen/restaurant supply stores on Bowery. We found that we could do it in much less – so after buying tons of pots, pans, baking accessories, and such, we headed to Bed Bath and Beyond and picked up some W favorites – including a mandolin, a food scale and a probe thermometer.

I am very much looking forward to upping the amateur anti of our kitchen in 2008 and to kick it all off, I just cracked open the spine of my new Barefoot Contessa cookbook, another Christmas gift, this time from my Mom, and started making a heart clogging masterpiece. I should count, but it appears as though most of her recipes call for 1 lb of butter.

As my poor Hart is stuck in Detroit after his flight was cancelled and could be reading this on his blackberry, I’ll keep mum for now on what I made. In the meantime, here are some updated blocking pictures. As soon as I got home today, I blocked the front panels of Dollar and a Half. Just seaming (groan) and knitting up the neck band, and this will be a FO!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Feliz Navidad!

That sure was a long nap!

No better time to get back to this than when you’re stuck in the Massachusetts suburbs, bored out of your mind, watching a marathon of Everest on the Discovery Channel while breaking every 30 minutes for yet another slice of banana bread.

Knitting spirit still under repair, yet I do have some progress. I have been slowwwwwly working away at Minimalist Cardigan – one more sleeve to go. As promised, I would not finish Dollar and a Half Cardigan until I had a blocking board – and now I do! Christmas came early – my mom felt it was best to have the blocking board sent direct instead of forcing me to lug it home after opening it on Christmas morning.

And I also leave you with this link to Finnyknits. This lady is a freaking riot.