Saturday, December 26, 2009

Many travels

December has been a flutter of activity. I'm sure you can all relate. Some activity sad, some happy but all with optimism.

The month started with a "farewell" party to my dear friend who decided to move back to Chicago. A new beginning and a fresh start are always welcome, but this big city with only a few friendly faces will seem just a little lonelier to me. I miss her dearly. Since this was my girlfriend I spent hours with shopping for designer shoes, handbags and clothes I knew she had every material thing she wanted. So to make something was the only possibility to show her what she has meant to me.

I used Brooklyn Tweed's Hemlock Ring adaptation to make her a "Circle of Friends" Blanket and presented it to her from the Girls. Chicago's a cold place in the winter, so I think it's being put to good use. She tells me she sleeps with it nightly.

Next up, I had to do a little travel for work and then Mr. Migglesworth and I were off on vacation! We headed off to Papagayo in Costa Rica. It was heavenly. No, we didn't surf. No, we didn't do any of the hikes. My one and only goal was to turn into a complete sunshine-induced blob. It worked for the most part.

Right after we returned, we had to turn around and head to Laguna Beach, California for my cousin's wedding. It was another glorious part of the world with perfect weather and a view of the glistening Pacific at the ceremony and cocktail hour.

Unfortunately, while in California the East Coast got dumped with inches and inches of snow. I was bummed that I had missed the snowfall, but even more pissed our flight was delayed about 3 hours, getting us in around 4:30am.

But all is ancient history now. Another Christmas down... and New Year's is upon us. I can't wait for New Year's Eve - an intimate dinner with some of my closest pals!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sadistic mommy

I just had to. When I saw this pattern in the Pet Heaven book at Knitty City, I had to make it for my pug.

It's her 8th birthday today, so I thought it would make a cute little gift. Perfect for the winter time.

This balaclava is meant to have some puff mufflers sewn on. Well... as you can see, Brigitte is not as amused with it as I am. I can't stop laughing, and she's already taken it off by herself a number of times. When I come at her with the balaclava, she now hides. So, I didn't bother sewing the mufflers on. She's never going to let me put it on her again.

What I did do for her (and not me) on this special birthday, is make her a batch of chicken cupcakes. Now those, she loves!!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Made in Queens

Allow me some NYC 5boro pride, knitters!

Made in Queens, not Brooklyn! Here are my version of the Grove Mittens from Jared Flood's pattern booklet, Made in Brooklyn. Love love love these damn things!

In all seriousness, I had a great time knitting these mittens. Easy enough pattern, but not a drag to knit. And such a beautiful stitch. I love these mittens so much, I refused to take them off at work the other day. It was almost cold enough to wear them (yes, I got a few weird looks on the subway), so I pulled them on with pride and wore them all day long. It was damn hard to type, but fashion hurts right?

And I can't get over how lovely this Knit Picks City Tweed DK yarn is. I've got a bit of it left from each ball and I'm trying to figure out what I can do with it? A teeny scarf for the pug? One coaster? An eye patch? Fake moustache? I don't know. I don't want it to go to waste!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Cuckoo for Cowls

I've got another pattern up on! It's the Zig Zag Cowl.

I'm even more excited about this one than the last. It takes less yarn, and is quite easy to knit, but not boring.

And look! Wear it over your coat collar. Keeps you even warmer :)

I truly enjoyed working with the Berroco Peruvia yarn. I was surprised. It feels rough on the skein, but softens up as you knit it. And it was different for me to not knit with something with a lot of spring to it. It's really quite lovely.

Hope you'll give the pattern a try. Purchase it from, or from my sidebar here.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Surprise surprise

Well well well. Color me a yarn snob. I fully admit to having turned up my nose at acrylic. Having started my knitting life at Purl Soho, and now working at Knitty City, you can't blame me, can you? I honestly didn't know that I was dealing with top-of-the-line goods. I just thought it was normal.

So when I was dragged kicking and screaming into a Michael's, and then a Jo-Ann store I was horrified at the pounds of yarn. I couldn't possibly be seen leaving with that in my possession. Oh no no no.

But, I was tempted when the Lion Brand Yarn Studio opened in Manhattan. I've always associated them with those pounds of acrylic. Color me stupid now. I was in search of some baby friendly yarn. Superwash to be exact, and I stumbled across their LBY Collection Superwash Merino. At $8.00 a skein, I thought I'd give it a whirl.

It is absolutely gorgeous. I had such a good time knitting with this yarn!

I used it for the Autumn Leaves Cardigan pattern. I modified it a bit, but since it's a free pattern on Ravelry, I couldn't ask for anything more. I think it's adorable!

I had such a good time, in fact, that I even bought a skein of their Wool-Ease. Who can turn their nose up at anything these days?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The hole gets deeper

I'm sure I'm not the only one who started knitting making statements like, "Omigod, I would never knit those. I'm just going to make some scarves and hats." Or, "Wow, that's a lot of effort - forget that." Well, here I am three and a half years later, knitting things I wouldn't knit and doing things to them I chuckled at only a few months ago.

Yes, I purchased sock blockers from Knit Picks. And here I am blocking socks. They need to be blocked too, right? I just couldn't resist.

These are a gift for a fabulous co-worker. He wanted me to make some socks for his wife and mother after seeing pictures of my original Lindsay Socks. How often do you willingly knit two pairs of socks for someone which are not even for them? That's how fabulous he is. Since they were a gift to be a gift, I wanted them looking spiffy. They were so puckered that I bit the bullet and got the blockers.

Every time I look down this knitting hole, it just gets deeper and deeper.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

As fair as fair can be

Maybe there are just some things that don't come easily. Like this Fair Isle Knitting. Unfortunately, mine should be called something more like Ugly Isle Knitting. It's all about the tension isn't it. I'm such a tight knitter that when I'm told to knit more loosely, I just stare at my hands.

Here is another attempt of mine at "fair" isle knitting:

OK, you can't really see squat in that picture.

I know I didn't pick the best colors for fair isle, but I didn't really want to do something so contrasting you could really see my mistakes. So I'll go to that white and black when I'm feeling more confident. Sorry Brooklyn Tweed!! I've done absolutely no justice to your beautiful fair isle Beaumont Tam!

This'll be my third attempt, too. Third. I thought three was the charm?

That darn tension! It just looks so sloppy. And it's being blocked over a dinner plate, so it's kind of looking as good as it's gonna get. I know I know... practice makes perfect, but I'm not sure I can keep wasting yarn like this! I've tried every trick I've found online, read about or heard about. Wooden needles so the yarn doesn't slip back when you're trying to stretch it out. Put your finger under the strand to give it some slack. Pull on it once you've knit it to make sure it's loose. OK, that last one I can't do. It would take me a year to finish something like this little tam.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Eternity Scarf

I'm so excited about this scarf! It's my first pattern that's for sale on ravelry. I wanted to design something fashionable, easy to wear, but most importantly - easy to knit!

Anyway, my inspiration was all of those cowls, snoods and circle scarves for sale.

Having knit for so long, the cowl has always been so popular. Perfect for a one skein project. Perfect to splurge on that bit of cashmere you've had your eye on. But I always wanted something with a little more... drama, shall we say? This eternity scarf drapes low giving the appearance of something low-cut. I used different stitch patterns so you can twist it about and it can look different every which way.

Yes, I have a bit of an obsession with scarves. Generally, they've been much cheaper to buy, but this particular design seems to be cheaper to knit yourself! Especially in that fine fiber you've had your eye on! Here are a few more pics of my design:

Twist it around twice when it gets really cold out:

If you're interested, buy now! You'll be brought to PayPal and you must be a member of Ravelry. The cost for the pattern is $4.00.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


After completing my project for Shirley Paden, I was able to eek out another Baby Surprise Sweater. I was in such a rush to finish it, that as soon as I weaved that last stitch in, I gave it away. Forgot to take a pic. But, I think if you're reading this, you know what a Surprise Sweater is... I've knit so many I'm surprised I don't have the darn thing memorized. It's a really brilliant design, but enough. I think I have to swear them off for at least the next few newborns coming.

And I got to finish my Glynis Socks. You know... I'm happy with them yes. But this particular pattern just didn't blow my skirt up. It's such a small repeat of a pattern, that I feel it looks really erratic. Not a very pretty, graceful looking pattern. And, I can't imagine knitting this up in anything not solid.

Like, can you imagine that in a rainbow variegted yarn? Yikes.

So, I started looking back at my blog entries and I had a good laugh. Wow - some of those attempted projects in the beginning were really something special. Quite hysterical. If you're a brand new knitter and want to see some total rubbish, go to my older posts. You'll feel much better about whatever it is you're doing and however novice if you feel.

But, it got me thinking. Why have I continued knitting socks? When I've tried fair isle, but haven't gotten hooked (trying desperate). Tried lace... well... whatever. But socks? Huh. I don't really wear them, and if you don't wear them... they're really kind of useless. I realized it was the perfect outlet and inbetween type of project for me. I don't normally like wearing bright colors, and I'm not one to wear anything too lacey. I like my clothing basic. I use sock knitting to buy fluorescent pink variegated yarn. And to knit all those crazy stitch patterns I would never throw onto my torso. It is absolutely perfect for that.

Now I can get back to a garment and not feel totally bored. Love those socks!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Sock it to me

Here are the lovely socks I received from my Sock Exchange partner.

Aren't they lovely? And so cozy too. Just in time for this chilly spell we're having here in NYC. It got down into the 50's last night, and we're to enjoy autumn-like weather for the next couple of days. My exchange partner used ShibuiKnits Sock Yarn and absolutely loves it and highly recommends it.

You can see I've broken them in already. Dog hair is covering the soles like an added layer of warmth.

In the meantime, I've been given another project by Shirley Paden that will appear in Vogue Knitting's Winter issue. I'm quite excited about the project as I've learned loads already. It's going to be another spectacular creation from her. Since designing is such a work-as-you-go process, I've had a few spare moments inbetween stages to work on other things. So, I started the Glynis Socks from Cookie A.'s Sock Innovation. Thankfully, Interweave's site has the erratas for this pattern on a PDF.

One down, one to go. I just love this Koigu cornflower blue. It makes me happy to look down at my right foot.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

1st Sock Exchange

My closest friend and fellow crafter decided to do a sock exchange. I had never done one before, had tons of sock yarn, and hadn't knit a pair of socks in awhile. What the heck, I thought!

We chose the Lindsay Sock pattern from Cookie A's Sock Innovation book. I love the finished product, but true to what I had read about her book, the pattern was written very poorly. If you're thinking of knitting these socks, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. The "set-up round" is knit once. But the pattern does not mention to then start with round 2 for the first pattern repeat. That is the only way I could get the pattern to work. Most set-up rounds I've knit in the past, is just that... a set-up to the pattern. So, I kept knitting the set-up round once, like stated, and then going to round 1 of the pattern. I had to start over a few times before realizing that the yo's in round 1 would leave you with enough stitches to have a whole other repeat. Thus, huge socks.

2. The 6-stitch ribbing is not included in the chart, or mentioned. Only a k2, p2 and then another p2 at the end of the round. A quick note about those stitches being the ribbing would have helped.

3. The ssskp is not a commonly known decrease. Slip, Slip, slip, knit, pass slipped stitcheS over knit stitch. Why not put a description in there. Or, what's wrong with a ssssk? Most of us know a ssk, so an ssssk would have been fine, no? Which is what I ended up doing. I think it looks fine.

4. And the only way to get through this pattern with any sanity in tact is to knit round 6's knit stitches very loosely. So, in row 7 you can do the k4tog and ssskp (ssssk) with relative ease. Otherwise, a crochet hook is in order, or a lot of cursing and hand cramping. I'm a fan of neither while knitting.

So just a quick note to editors of knitting books and patterns out there: more information is generally more helpful.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

More Knitting, Less Sewing

Usually when the summer is in full bloom, I turn to sewing and quilting. Knitting yarn seems like such a winter-time activity for me. I've enjoyed changing crafts with the changing seasons.

But this year, I didn't seem to change gears with the longer days and higher temperature.

I've started three more knitting/crochet projects.

Linen Tank that's perfect for summer. I'm following the Liesl Pattern from cocoknits.

Crocheting a big granny square baby blanket for one of the many girls that my friends are expecting this late summer.

And I'm doing a sock exchange for the first time with my closest friend and fellow crafter. We're trying out the Lindsay Sock Pattern from Cookie A.'s book Sock Innovation. The book seems to have an abundance of erratas, but we're going to knit through it together! She picked out this great Claudia Handpainted Yarn I had in my stash - colorway Summer Rose. I love the colors!

I do hope the sewing bug bites me again and I'm able to finish up the zig zag quilt. But for now, I'm not fighting it.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

No Capes

As soon as I finished this shawl, I heard Edna Mode's voice in my head exclaiming, "No capes!"

This is the first true lace project I've knit, and honestly I'm just not a lace-shawl-wearing kinda gal. But I needed something interesting to knit. So, I chose this project.

Late last year, Shirley Paden had hired me to knit up a sample of the lace shawl that appeared in Vogue Knitting's Spring 2009 issue. I swore, to no one in particular, that that would be the last time I ever knit lace or used that crazy-a** mohair string they call yarn.

I started off using Yarn Place's Graceful yarn, which is very thin, yes, but not very fuzzy which is what I convinced myself was the issue with that mohair. After about 5 starts getting through maybe the first repeat, I changed my strategy. I dug into my Habu jar, and found that I had bought some of their Wool/Linen yarn on sale a few years back. I took a quick visual inventory of the jar and saw that I had five balls.

Well, I only had four. After a lot of cursing and more swearing of the different kind, I decided to throw some of that mohair in at the end for a different effect.

My naughty naughty Pug attacked my ball of mohair, which we know is unsalvageable once dog drool and lots of clawing happens upon it. Insert more cursing and more swearing, and thankfully I had another ball of mohair and finally finished this !@#$% lace project.

I held it up, and instantly thought: Great. I knit myself a frilly cape. Edna would be angry.

I figure I'll wear it more like this... does that make it seem less grandma superhero?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Back to Mine

Yes, I totally swiped this blog title from one of my favorite music compilation series. If you've never heard of them, do a search on Amazon My favorite is the Everything But The Girl's Back to Mine.

But, anyway... back to mine...

I just got word that a close friend of mine gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Hunter Riley. I haven't met the new guy yet, but when I heard his name I immediately thought of some Heather Ross fabric I had. The couple didn't find out the sex of their baby ahead of time, so I have no idea about color schemes, etc. I hope this is to their liking. If not, I hope they let Hunter run wild and drool all over it.

This has been my first chance to start a quilt in my new apartment. (Not so new anymore, but you get it.) I cannot express the sheer joy I have experienced being able to quilt in a normal-sized space. I mean, whoa. What a difference. I don't have to take apart furniture, or ask Mr. Migglesworth to stay on the bed, or use inappropriately-assigned furniture for things like ironing. I have a nice little area for cutting, my ironing board is out and can stay out, and my sewing machine has a permanent spot. I really feel like I'm finally able to get back to me.

I've also been able to tack up some batting as a makeshift "design wall". It's ironic that I've played around with this design wall for an entire day and ended up with the original layout. It's like shopping for a prom dress. You end up buying the first one you tried on.

The pattern is from The Purl Bee - Zig Zag Quilt. I love the simplicity of it. I also love that it reminds me of Charlie Brown's t-shirt.

Next post will have the completed quilt. (Hopefully!)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Summer? Already?

I'm sure I'm not alone in this thought, but how can it be June already? My spring season was dominated (and I don't use that word lightly) by my parent's visit. It was a true gift that they could stay with me, though. After living in one-room studios, they were finally able to stay in our "guest room". It's really my crafting room, but that nifty little aerobed sure can make anyone feel at home. And to make it all worthwhile, my mom made my favorite homemade goody - dumplings.

I had spent a night traveling for work and when I got home I was greeted by this little line-up. Thanks Mom!

Anyway, I should have known the warm weather was here. Subconsciously, I must have been getting tired of all the heavy wools, and thick cashmere. I lost complete interest in the two sweaters I had been working on, one thicker than the other. My mind started wandering towards my sewing machine. My poor little machine had been neglected since last fall.

I decided I needed to pick up the sewing, which apparently is my warm weather craft. To me, it's lighter in a lot of ways. And I'm sure I'm not alone in that notion either. I had been planning to make the Luxurious Wool Blanket from The Purl Bee for quite some time. I had bought the O-Wool Organic Wool material months and months ago, probably more like a year ago. And, I had bought this beautiful french linen from The French General when I was in LA. While I had no plans to use the linen for this project, it seemed like the perfect match.

I never worked with linen before. I prewashed both materials, and the linen became incredibly drapey. I was a little surprised since it's so stiff when it's new.

It's a wonderful and quick project. Hand sewing binding onto a quilt is one of my favorite things to do, so this was a real pleasure.

Now... how will I be able to keep my little girl from making this blanket hers like all the others in the house?

Monday, April 06, 2009


It's been three months since I've moved into my new apartment. It has been exhilarating.

This is the first time we've owned our home. And after renting countless apartments in Manhattan (eight to be exact), it has also been a culture shock.

I was terrified of mortgage payments and entering the world of adulthood, but I have to admit that it's been absolutely wonderful.

Investing in my home has felt like a privilege these past few months.

While I haven't been knitting and sewing as much as I'd like, I've been preoccupied with cooking, baking and furnishings. Here's an idea of what I've been doing.

It's taken my pug quite a bit to get used to the stairs. Instead, she'd rather take rest on the sofa.

I now understand the work to be done in one's home is endless. I'm thinking I should turn my attention back to the much more instantly gratifying work of knitting and sewing.

Friday, March 20, 2009

February in March

This is my third February Baby Sweater on Two Needles from Elizabeth Zimmermann. Every time I knit it, I'm always amazed at how simple it is, but how delicate the result. I just love it.

How fitting that it's snowing today, the first day of Spring.

I used three skeins of Blue Sky Alpacas Sportweight from Purl Soho. And those cute little rhinestone encrusted buttons are vintage buttons I found in my travels. Unfortunately, I only had three, so I staggered them with some plain gold buttons.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Practicality Reigns

No, it wasn't exciting to knit. But will I wear it? You betcha.

Pattern from Rowan's pattern book, "The Cocoon Collection". Pattern is the Lyra Sweater. I removed the eyelet motif at the bottom edge of the sweater ensuring that it be the most practical garment I would ever knit. Yarn is Rowan's Cocoon in color Frost.

I wanted something I could throw on and would be easy to wear, and I got it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Is it still winter?

As much as I complain about the cold weather, I find comfort in racing home, changing into my fluffiest sweats and burying myself in some nice woolly yarn. Having just moved, I've unfortunately had less time burying myself in wool as I have... putting up towel racks for instance. (Why would they install one towel rack IN the shower and not on the wall? Endless amounts of questions about the mental stability of contractors and developers come to mind.)

But I have been able to sneak some time away from my new best friend, the cordless drill, to knit. And I was able to finally finish this beautiful design from Olga, the Cabled Cowl. It became a birthday present for my dear friend who lent me her car during our move.

It was perfect. I met up with my friend right before she was leaving for the snowy Midwest, and I hope she's putting it to good use!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Natural Progression

When I think back on 2008, I become overwhelmed. I usually face a new year thinking of all the things that I want to tackle, and reminisce about all the things I accomplished (more likely didn't accomplish.)

But this past year has been historical in so many ways that I find it difficult to think about little ol' me. It has been eventful, and I've finally been able to take a deep breath and look around.

Mr. Migglesworth and I finally bit the bullet and bought an apartment. We moved in just a few days before Christmas, with just a few days notice and the chaos began. Let me just say this: when the movers... big men who move people for a living... keep exclaiming, "Wow, you guys have a lot of boxes," you know you're in trouble.

I have also been incredibly lucky and fortunate to have been hooked up with a knitwear designer, Shirley Paden, and was working on my second project for her during the packing and moving. I thought quite possibly that I would lose my mind.

This second project is going to appear in Vogue Knitting's Spring 2009 issue, and I can't believe I got it done. Looking back, I'm happy I didn't have time to dwell on the fact that I was knitting something that was very difficult for me. Using yarn and knitting in a style I am not accustomed to, made it challenging to say the least. But thanks to Shirley's unending encouragement and priceless advice, I got through it. She is not someone you meet everyday.

Many many posts to come in 2009!