January 28, 2012


So, there I was, sitting in my room thinking about all the possibilities for making twelve projects in 2012 and how to keep my commitment to making things for myself for a change.  I was thinking about not having deadlines, or worrying about who would be disappointed if I didn't come through in time for a baby shower or birthday.

I have hundreds of balls of yarn to work with, and therefore hundreds of possibilities.  I settled on one ball of white yarn, Knit Picks Bare fingering weight, if memory serves and one skein of Cherry Tree Hill Potluck in watercolors (mostly brown) which was a gift from Sojourn Knitter (if memory serves she was generous with the gift of yarn and this time I didn't beg - like I usually do).

I found a sock pattern on Ravelry, Broken Seed Stitch socks.  The pattern is a 'recipe' not a pattern, which means there are no specific instructions for making a heel or toe, and you should already know how to knit socks. If you already know how to make socks, this is a crazy easy pattern.  I cast on my usual 64 stitches and off I went, being mindful of the fact that I'm going to be a thoughtful knitter and not so speedy, especially since this project isn't due until next month.

With that in mind, I got this far going slow and paying attention:

Oh my gosh, I love these socks!  I love the color and the feel and the look of these socks.  I love the white cuff, heel and toe:

And though I only have one sock done, the other one started, I've ratcheted the speed dial down and I'm enjoying the stitches and the way the colors are being distributed throughout the sock:

And that's my sock story.  US #2 needles and beautiful yarn.

I'm going back to my knitting and I wish you all a wonderful weekend.

January 23, 2012

12 in 12

This year I've decided to go easy on myself with the knitting.  I need to do some purposeful knitting instead of being a production knitter.  I can do that if I just slow down.  To that end, I joined a group on Ravelry called 12 in 12: knit and finish twelve projects this year.  They can be half done projects (WIPs), or you can start new ones, but you have to finish them.

It was my bright idea to work on the swirl scarf, mistakenly believing that it would be quick.  Turns out it's just frustrating to work a project that's so fiddle-y.  It's going to be nice when it's done, but I don't see that happening so fast.

To that end, I was scouting around again looking for a quick, satisfying project that I could start and finish in the month of February.  Unfortunately, I found it today and cast on immediately:

Problem is I'm going to have to find another pattern for February because this one is going so fast.  Let me not jinx myself, but how could I go wrong with a four row repeat?  Details will follow, it's just too late to go fishing around for the link.

It snowed in the Bronx over the weekend, not a lot, just enough to cause me to have to shovel and pull every muscle in my back and legs.  If I'm lucky maybe I lost a pound.  Since my car was kind of covered in snow and I was too sore to clean it off, I took a walk instead.  While walking, I came across this house right there in my neighborhood:

It's an odd house in the Bronx that doesn't look anything like the surrounding brick houses.  I wonder if they imported it from the French Quarter in New Orleans.  Just an oddity in my neighborhood.  I should walk more often.

January 20, 2012

Sorry I Missed Your Call

We were in a meeting half the afternoon.  One that was vital for the team.

We had to put our heads together and brainstorm like crazy!

You may think this looks like fun, but it was hard work!  Pay no attention to the plates, and food and  ... um ... beverages.  

It was a mandatory gathering of the minds.  It took at least an hour ... or so.

And my assistant, I'm sure she didn't say "wings and beer".  If she did, she meant to say 'do something with my hair'.  After all ... we were in a meeting, and I mean, well, you should give her a pass for today.

I'll have her give you a call when the meeting is wrapping up.

January 16, 2012

Knitting, Crochet Style

When I crochet, which I do rarely, what comes to mind is granny squares.  No matter how I make one, or what colors I use, they all look the same which is why I don't do squares.  I also crochet when I want to finish fast, and since I crochet faster than I ever could knit, it's a win/win for me; I get to reduce stash fast and someone else benefits.

So, when I saw the pattern for the swirl scarf at Rhinebeck a few years ago, I thought granny squares (even though the stole is not made up of squares, but swirls).  I figured I'd whip right through the pattern.  How long does it take to make a 'swirl', well ... depends on how many you can do before you want to yank your hair out.

Here's the pattern, and here's where I am right now:

I'm using Jojoland Melody in MS29 (amethyst/emerald), a superwash merino which is slippery as heck and much thinner than I imagined it would be, hence, the wooden needles.  I love the pattern, I like the yarn, but I'm frustrated with how long it's taking to make.  Lots of stitches to pick up, lots of swirls to make and lots of ends to weave in which I'm doing as I go.

There are five rows of swirls for the stole, only three for the scarf.  It's in the air about which one I'll end up, but I bought five balls of yarn for the stole and I'm only at the beginning of the third row of swirls.  Oy!

I'm going to make something else so I don't get frustrated.  I need some immediate satisfaction.

In fact, I think I'll go downstairs and make myself some baked ziti.  That would be a win/win too.

January 15, 2012


Well, my "three hour" hat is finally done.  It's my first project of 2012 and I'm pleased with it, even if it is a little on the large side:

I was going for a slouch and it does slouch, but mostly it looks like a big hat.  The back is pretty too:

The pattern is Amelie (Ravelry), the yarn is Madelinetosh, Tosh Vintage in Duchess.  The hat was knit up on US #7 and the modifications were a deeper hem and a picot edge.  Hat number 2 will fit my head better.

Knitting circle today was a variety show of knitterly goodness.  Maria brought in her Innovations knitting machine which her mother gifted her:

She says everything knits up in 8 minutes.  Imagine that!  What was more amazing is that the machine was purchased from Finger Hut, a business name I haven't heard in years.  I'm surprised they're still around.

Nilda brought in some knit good she said she had 'laying around'.  Wow!

The striped shawl is the abbreviated version of the Multnomah Shawl.   It fits her perfectly and that was not donated, just brought in for show and tell.

Amparo had some items that she donated, but i was most intrigued by her hat which she says is not a hand knit:

However, the preemie blanket she knit was made by her:

How cute is that?  She crochet a little angel into the blanket and it looks lovely.

Lastly, we have Mary Jo who learned how to work on a loom today, although she says she's not ready to give up the needles:

It feel wonderful to be back in the knitting mood.  Me and my knitting mojo haven't been seeing eye to eye lately, but I think it's here for awhile.  I've decided to knit for me instead of making goods for everyone else when I realized I'm a knitter that's never made myself a scarf.  In this weather, how is that possible?!

New year, new outlook.   It's going to be a good year I can just tell.

January 10, 2012

Help! I've Fallen ...

I don't normally blog twice in one day, but I can't help myself.  I just have to tell you what happened on my way home from work today.

As I'm walking down the stairs from the train station, I come to the turnstiles and there, under the turnstile, is a man laying down.  I'm not sure if he's alive or dead, but I get on the other side and ask him if he needs help.  No answer.  I yell to the token booth clerk to get help.

A gentleman comes over and also asks the man if he needs help.  He must have said yes because the man tries to help him up.  Another man comes up and also helps the fallen man up.  I ask the men to ask the fallen man if he needs an ambulance, my phone at the ready, but the man says no (I think that's what he said).  The two men help him up to his knees, then they help him to his feet.  When the fallen man is finally standing, he salutes the two men who helped him up and he holds up a button.

So here's what happened: the fallen man is homeless and drunk.  He was wearing a knit hat with buttons on it and one fell off.  He got down to retrieve the button that landed on the other side of the turnstile, decided to crawl under the it to retrieve said button, but when he got down he fell asleep.

Clearly he was homeless, and I doubt he had needle and thread to sew the button back on his hat, but he held up the errant button and gave us all a triumphant toothless grin.

The moral of the story is: if you are too drunk to stand do no crawl under the turnstile.

The Cold & The Cap

On Sunday Joanne called to ask if I wanted to go to Knitty City, I jumped at the chance because what's better than a Sunday at the yarn store?  From my window I saw the sun was shining brightly and my house wasn't being battered by wind.  It was a good day.
However, within 10 minutes of being outside, I realized the air had a little nip to it.  Since I had no gloves I went to the bodega for a cup of coffee.  At the bus stop, I realized my head was cold, too.  What made me leave without taking a hat?  By the time I got to the yarn store it was cold, overcast and the wind kicked up - and I was freezing.  Dang!

When I arrived at Knitty City I decided I was going to make a hat to wear home.  As if I could knit that fast!  I purchased two skeins each of Madeleinetosh's Tosh Vintage in duchess and Cascade 220 in blue heat for a different project.  I also bought a pair of US #7 circular needles to facilitate the delusion of starting and finishing a hat in less than three hours; all while chatting in the knitting circle, window shopping from my seat, and thumbing through magazines.  Yeh, OK.

As you can see - I did get started on a pattern called Amelie (Ravelry).  I made a few modifications: I made the brim longer because I know from experience that the ribbed edge of my hats doesn't last long, and I made the hat with solid colors.

On Sunday, maybe 3 inches:

I got about this far by Monday, about halfway:

And this far by today (almost done):

So my 'one day' hat is taking a few days.

I'm not quite sure I made the right choices: the hat seems rather large and the royal purple I saw yesterday looks like black cherry,  blueberry or some variation of brown today.  The brim may be too deep (at the moment this is looking like a Precious Moments sleeping cap), but if I make the slouch part long enough I can fold that up. 

I'm going to forge ahead because my ride home this evening is supposed to be chilly and I need a hat - and just one more day of knitting.

January 02, 2012

Happy New Year

Seems like life keeps getting in the way of my crafting, but I think I'll make it a resolution to catch up on what needs to be done so I can do what I want - craftwise, anyway.

I did a lot of knitting over the holiday, but because I don't know which family member is reading my blog, I couldn't post anything.  Too bad I wasn't wise enough to take pictures before I packed it up and handed it off.

What I did get was a picture of Holden Shawlette (Ravelry pattern) blocking:

I wish I could remember the details of this shawl, but alas, at my age just remembering who it went to is a feat.  Maybe I should consider a new year's resolution to slow down and pay attention.  (If I make enough resolutions, maybe some of them will stick).

And I did get a picture of Nicole's Hootenanny socks:

And a really bad picture of the Rustling Leaves Beret (another Ravelry pattern):

The pattern is from Coastal Knits (lovely holiday gift!) which I understand is hard to get, and made with some alpaca from Yarn Treehouse (which I think is out of business).

And I and fighting my way through the Swirl Scarf which I'm making with Jojoland Melody (color MS29 which is blue/green/purple):

I bought this pattern at the New York Sheep & Wool Festival about 4 years ago and put it in my book.  It was always my intention to make it 'when I had time', figuring all of the swirls would be like crochet - quick and painless.  True, it's quick, but not painless with all the casting on.  The yarn is slippery, so pull out your wooden needles if you use it.

The weather here in NYC is taking a dramatic turn towards freezing, so I think I should make myself a hat.  Truly.  How is it that I knit everything for everyone, but I don't own a hand knit hat?  I need a pattern for chunky wool so I can make it quick.   Any suggestions?

Well, happy new year, happy knitting!