Saturday, January 22, 2011


Despite having plenty of new yarn in sweater quantities, fixing the purple sweater (note to self: take pictures!) has inspired me to fix other sweaters which aren't quite right.

Till Thursday, this was a bottom up raglan cardi with asymmetrical buttons, lower edge, and neck. I liked the hem and the moss stitch trim (especially on the cuffs), but I wasn't crazy about the rest of it: the neck was a little big, the body was a little short, and the sleeves a little long. I thought about knitting it again to fix the problems, but I didn't think I'd have had enough yarn from shortening the sleeves to lengthen the body and sort out the neck.

So, rip!

(I warmed up for ripping on Monday, unraveling the sweater I made from the very first yarn I ever bought online! I loved the sweater for years, but each time I washed it it got imperceptibly shorter--and eventually, that added up to too short. I think it wants to be a gigantic infinity scarf now).

I've been obsessed with gigantic neckwear lately (could it be because my desk at work is cold, and my desk at home is cold, and the walk between them is also cold?), so I'm putting the grey yarn (Schaefer's Miss Priss, in the ash colorway) together with Filatura di Crosa Baby Kid Extra to make a Shadow[]box, a big cowl that's bog enough to cover the upper body to the elbow, with extra drape-y fabric at the neckline. The fabric is awfully cozy--I can't wait till it's finished.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I acquired 2 new things in the last week that I'd been resisting forever: interchangeable needles and my very own rowing machine.

As it turns out, they're lovely. Even though the front hall is just about the most boring place ever, erging is so much more pleasant when the erg isn't broken. The ergs at the gym face the wall anyway--at least the wall at home is clean. (And as long as the erg can hang from the bike hooks in the winter when the bikes can go in the storage unit, we won't have to move!)

The needles are great too--I haven't really taken advantage of the interchangeable-ness yet, but Knit Picks is a significant improvement over whatever random needles I'd been using (Susan Bates?). A couple of years after the rest of the knitting world, I've just discovered that KP needles are really pointy and smooth! The join doesn't catch! The cord is flexible! Hurray!

I'm like a Soviet gymnast who's just discovered that the rest of the world has been tumbling on springy floors for decades. Imagine how excited I'll be when I finally see the shampoo aisle in a capitalist grocery store!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I made Adrift (a top-down raglan sweater with extended, drape-y fronts) for my sister for Christmas. Possibly you remember me complaining about the long rows of stockinette stitch in laceweight?

Well, I clearly don't--

Because I'm making one for myself. My sister's was sage green superwash wool from Madeline Tosh, this one is the rest of the alpaca from Peru--I'm going to keep knitting till it's all gone, no matter how many times I fall asleep. Since it's colder here, and my yarn is finer, I'm using it doubled and I think I'm going to make long sleeves (good thing, or I'd have to knit myself a bathrobe to use it all up!).

In other news, I'm knitting some black socks--also endless--and thinking about other socks I'd rather be working on. And other sweaters I'd rather be working on, for that matter. Somehow, I've ended up with enough yarn for four sweaters (plus the current WIP)--which is odd, since there have been times in the past couple of years when I haven't even had enough for one--so at least I have plenty to think about.

Friday, January 7, 2011


After I finished Kevin's socks on Christmas Eve, I was really ready to make something for myself. Alarmingly, although I hadn't planned on this project at all, I had enough yarn and the right needles to make these mittens (the Portland Mittens, from New England Knits) with me (the book itself was a present from my sister). I cast on after we finished opening our presents, and finished them on the 26th--speedy!

I had to wait till we got home to make Hedgie (also known as Ysolda Teague's Smith), since I didn't have the pattern (and hadn't put it in my Ravelry library... that'll teach me!)

The gray and cream yarns are both Berroco's Ultra Alpaca (yum!), but I found the brown at the fair we go to every August. It wasn't a fiber event at all, but there were a few dozen skeins of yarn at one booth, and I found them. (I'm pretty impressed that my ability to sniff out the only yarn from miles around wasn't affected by all that fair food!)

It's lucky I included those gray sections in the mittens (there are 2 on the other hand), and even so I ran out of the brown and had to shorten Hedge by 2 rows of spikes. Poor thing!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sew Secret

Amongst all the secret knitting before Christmas, there was some secret sewing:

I managed to make this quilt for Kevin (and it's not small--those blocks are about 11" square, plus the sashing (?) and border), without him noticing. Months ago, he cut up a bunch of his race t-shirts to make a quilt. We weren't sure what to do next (and mostly wanted someone else to do the rest), so we just put the squares in a pile and ignored them. A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, I got the idea of finishing them for him--and figured that as long as the pile kept looking about the same, and I only worked on it when he wasn't home, he wouldn't notice (fortunately, he'd cut out a bunch of extra squares which acted as a decoy once I'd taken the real squares).

So I spent a few frenzied days buying fabric, cutting everything up, and piecing it back together (I spent most of a Saturday ironing on interfacing, and did all the sewing the Monday before Thanksgiving). When we went to Ithaca at Thanksgiving, I left the top, batting, and backing fabric there to be machine quilted, then my mom mailed it to my in-laws' house the Monday before Christmas, and it was there when we arrived.

I think keeping Kevin's quilt a surprise makes up for knitting his socks in front of him in the car on December 23 (telling him every few minutes that he might get a sock and a half a skein of yarn, and would that be ok?), don't you? Hey, I finished on the 24th, without even staying up late--plenty of time!

(Too bad I still need to sew a binding on the quilt, huh?)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

Kevin and I invited ourselves along on my sisters' plan to spend New Year's Eve in New York--they took the train up, we took the train down (having just driven home from NC), and we met for dinner, met up with sister R's friends, then went towards Times Square.

This is about as far as we got, which meant that we couldn't actually see the ball. There was a reflection on the side of a building which might have been it--but we forgot to watch the reflection at midnight, so we're still not sure. But it was fun to see my sisters.

And borrow their glasses!

(And steal their photos--at least someone uses a real camera!)