Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Organizational help, please oh please.

I'm knitting up and sending out an SOS. I've decided to reorganize my yarn stash. And since I'm still relatively new to this whole psychosis by yarn thing, I need your much more experienced help. Does anyone have a preference when organizing their yarn stash? By color, by weight? By most-liked to least-likely to be used? By brand alphabetically? I'm at a complete and utter loss. Thanks for any advice/comment.

This, by the way, was a great deterence to me cruising online shops and randomly buying yarn that just happens to tickle my fancy. I highly recommend it if you're trying to curb your not-so-frugal-spend-all-disposable-income-on-yarn ways.

Monday, January 29, 2007

The baby model

Here's baby Penny modeling the sweater I knit for her. Isn't she adorable? And that red hair is just too cute for words.

Friday, January 19, 2007


Maybe it's because I'm dieting.
It looks like a scrumptuous, delicious, tender doughnut.
If I was more shameless, I'd have an accompanying photo of me smacking my lips.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Habu Textiles "Sale"

I couldn't believe my luck! I hopped onto Habu's website and eureka! - their showroom on 29th Street was having a sale! It was dreamlike. I was the only one in the showroom sifting through their precious assortment of exotic yarns with only the whirring of spinning machines in the background. So I ended up buying some Kenaf "yarn" (the big skein in the middle) to crochet some placemats, or one big table cover thingy. Four balls of a linen/wool mixture, and two balls of 5-stranded wool. All the colors were so subtle and gorgeous, I had to back away from beautiful cashmeres, boucles, chenilles, metallic threads... jute-like silk. It was really fantastic just to browse.

And sale is in quotes because only the 5-stranded wool yarn was actually on sale. I just couldn't resist.

Yarn arrived for the Swing Jacket!

Woo-hoo, the yarn finally arrived for the Phildar Swing Jacket. I'll be knitting up the swatch tonight to make sure the gauge is a-ok.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Update: Socks from Vogue

One sock done! (It's really hard to take pictures of socks on your own feet. Will have to make boyfriend model when both done.)

A quick update on my socks: Am finally onto the foot of the first sock. I had some technical difficulties as my yarn kept getting knotted - had to cut and re-wind, then the heel was "fun". Anyway, hoping to get these done soon and put them on the feet as that's really the only way to show off the pattern. It's a very cool twisted stitch zigzag type pattern. Very graphic.

Using Koigu Premium Merino in an olive brown on Size 2 dp's Hm, no dye color or dye lot on my tag. Have two skeins, and thinking I may need a third since these ended up being a bit longer than I thought.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

A rhetoric.

I have five plastic bins from The Container Store full of yarn. I just started knitting in July '06. Is that normal?

Friday, January 12, 2007

Socks from Vogue

I generally don't wear socks, or buy them at those streetfairs for $1. But again something you stumble upon as you delve deeper and deeper into this underworld of knitting - sock knitting. So I started a pair (since I'm waiting on yarn for the Swing Jacket) for my boyfriend. My very first pair of socks. I'm using a pattern out of Vogue Knitting's Fall 06 issue - the most masculine one I could find - and am only going to be using this nice olive/brown color as opposed to three different colors. So far so good - not saying much as you can see.

Now that I'm looking over the pattern again do I notice the "for advanced knitters" symbol. Hm.

I'll keep you posted on its... their progress. Damn - I have to do two of these.

P.S. - the background is wrapping I bought to wrap the BSJ in to send off - yay!

For my mom

This is my first Mom-mention. She turned me onto knitting in her own roundabout, parent-by-example way. Aside from getting all my creative genes from her, she was always crocheting, making beaded flowers and cake decorating when I was little. I used to watch her bead up wire, twist it around, tie a few together and end up with a bouquet. I'll never forget taking them out of the little vases she'd have around the house and bend and squeeze all the flowers out of shape. I'd carefully squeeze them back to their original state and place them where I found them, but always loved and would still love the way the beads felt between my fingers. As for the crocheting, she would make blanket after blanket for my brother and me. Always with three different colors, and always in the "charlie brown" zig zag pattern. She claims that's the only fancy pattern she could do while crocheting. I think she just likes the zig zags.

Strangely, I never picked it up when I was younger, more content to watch than join in. It would always hypnotize me. So over the years, her crocheting started me knitting; her cake decorating started me baking; and her beaded flowers... got me shopping for jewelry at Barneys? Oh no no, I mean - got me into beaded jewelry work. But it was only after 25 years did I pick up knitting. I've turned her onto knitting, but she still prefers crocheting. And I still prefer knitting. So, we make a pretty good team.

So I knit this scarf up for her - her most recently added color to her favorites list is purple. Me not being a super huge fan of bright colors, chose this Rowan Tapestry yarn with purple and gold to suit her current taste. This scarf was one of my first projects that I completed late last year. It already seems like a knitting lifetime ago. And I got the pattern from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Phildar Swing Jacket

I joined my first knit along a few days ago for the Phildar Swing Jacket. This was the first time I heard about a knit along aka KAL. I feel like I keep stumbling across more and more things in this whole knitting underworld :) I can't wait to get started on it. I ordered the pattern book and it arrived today. So I jumped onto the web and ordered the needed yarn. This'll be my first adult garment, so I'm a bit nervous and I think I've probably picked an overly ambitious project. But hey, why not?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Pouchy perfection

I haven't taken pictures of a lot of the smaller projects I've done, but I just had to throw my little drawstring pouch in. I had bought a hank of some Lorna's Laces worsted weight wool on sale, so was only able to procure one hank. Took out my One Skein book, and decided to use it for this pouch - just for the heck of it. As the finished pouch hung listlessly among my scarves for weeks, I finally decided to recruit it to hold my knitting notions.

This little pouch has stood by me. It's absolutely perfect for my little tape measure, stitch markers, safety pins, tapestry needles... thanks perfect pouch! You're a knitter's best friend.

Voila! A Baby Jacket

Well, if I'll be darned. It actually worked. Like some of you out there, I was highly suspicious of the pattern even after reading post after post of successfully completed surprise jackets. I didn't even get the schematic in the Knitting Workshop book. So while knitting, I had not a clue what part of the jacket I was on. Surprisingly, I got the stripes basically where I wanted them and it worked out just swell!

I used the knitted cast-on method, and when I got to the bottom of the pattern it states how nicely the seams sew up when using the long-tail cast on method. Oh well, next time. I'm still far from being a pro at finishing garments, so I'll have to make an effort in that department.

I also got a chance to practice my Continental style knitting since there wasn't any purling (why oh why is the purling so awkward). But the k2tog's and M1's were challenging enough. Well, I was glad for the practice.

I used La Mode tiny golden buttons since this Jacket is for a boy and I was highly against the huge plastic football buttons. These were the only non-feminine one's I could find that seemed special.

I used almost 3 hanks of Blue Sky Alpaca Sportweight in Lt. Green (maybe it's called Pistachio... can't find the label.) And the stripes are leftover from the first EZ baby jacket I made - Taupe.

Since I couldn't, rather densely I must admit, really picture how the knitted up sea mollusk would actually turn into a jacket, I took some "action" photos of me folding this one up. It may help some of you out there.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Baby Surprise Jacket - EZ #2

My next Zimmermann project is the baby surprise jacket. I had started it months ago, ripped it out. Started it again, ripped it out. Have finished two baby jackets in the meantime. Now. Finally - I'm well on my way having past the "make 9 increase at the two end sections" part. I'm using Blue Sky Alpaca Sportweight in Lt. Green - it's a great pistachio color. And since I have lots of leftovers from my other EZ baby jackets, I'll throw some stripes in there when I finally remember to. Maybe the dark grey is too dark? Hm, probably. This is for a boy so maybe not? And I got some cute gold/brass buttons for it. Wish me luck!

Added on January 9th:

Let me just say. No one could be more surprised than me. I was convinced I was making some sort of sea mollusk. But, I just finished knitting up the surprise jacket and wow. I'm SURPRISED. What an amazing amazing design. You will never realize the genius until you knit it. Even though you thought you did looking at the schematic. But no. Must knit it. Wow.

Pictures to come...

Two "1st's": Lace and Charts

Thanks to my wonderful Intermediate/Advanced Knitting teacher, Lisa, I started this beautiful lacy scarf in Tilli Tomas' 100% silk in Jade color. Lisa's favorite knitting was lace knitting, and she gave us this pattern from as a great start to lace knitting. I was lucky enough to grab two skeins of this color, and two skeins of a silvery color from eBay for a fraction of the cost. (We all know how much TT yarn costs.) I'm very fond of this pattern and I have to say - I'm quite proud of myself since this is my first lace project, and the first time I'm attempting to read the chart as opposed to the written instructions. Symbology? I think it's called. Anyway... here it is.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Another Baby Jacket - thx EZ!

Another baby jacket - whew. This time, a lot easier. But, I still messed up a little in the pattern. After finishing the first sleeve, I moved onto the second sleeve starting from the opening of the jacket - not moving across the back. So, on one side of the jacket I have a row that's knitted without the pattern in it. Can't really see it, but it makes the fabric look puckered there. Oh well. I'm sure I'll knit this one again. I'm doing the surprise jacket now, and it's already not quite as much fun.

Yarn - Blue Sky Alpaca, Sportweight, Lt. Peach, 3 skeins
Buttons - little pink flowers from La Mode