aswim in knits

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Dulaan hat

Last night, I finished the Dulaan hat I was working on. It's a black stockinette hat with a ribbed brim. Use your imagination, as I didn't feel like photographing a black hat at 11:00 p.m. Looks a lot like this, except with 1x1 ribbing instead of 2x2. I have 2 more hats left over from my winter charity hat making spree, so I'll send off all three, once I gather them up and drag myself to a post office....

School Products

On Wednesday, I went to School Products in New York City. It was about 3 blocks from my hotel -- totally a coincidence, as I didn't look up the address until I was already in NYC. I had some time to spare between my training course and my train home, so I stopped in for a look.

The selection was, as many people before me have mentioned, quite varied. There was a huge wall of Lamb's Pride and LP Bulky, as well as another large wall of Karabella yarns. I fondled quite a few of them, as none of my local LYS's carry a great and/or well displayed selection of the Karabella. I would definitely consider the Aurora 8 for a future project -- plump and springy, with good stitch definition. There were also the expected cones of yarn and no-name but probably designer skeins. There was some hand-dyed cashmere for $13/skein, a great deal for the quality and yardage, but none of the colors spoke to me. In the end, all I bought was some Koigu for socks...

I was just about to leave the store and wander slowly back to Penn Station, when the owner of the store started chatting excitedly with the other employee working at the time. I listened for a minute, and realized that they were waiting for a visit from the Princess of Thailand! I hung around for a few more minutes until she arrived. I didn't catch her name, but she was a middle aged woman in a wheelchair. (I tried some Google searches -- she could possibly be Princess Maha Chakri Srindhorn, although I can't find a photo of her in a wheelchair. I thought I'd take a photo, but her ten person entourage looked less than thrilled at a photo request from the store's owner, so I didn't try. Not sure she was up on the whole knit-blog community thing...)

On the whole, a fun trip, but I wasn't overwhelmed by School Products as some people have been. Then again, I live in a place where I have many, many LYS' within 30 minutes of where I live or work, so I might be slightly jaded.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Busy, busy, busy!

What a busy week! To all my faithful readers (yes, all four of you!), I apologize for the lack of news this week. Here's a quick recap ....

Last weekend was the Regional Championship meet for the kids I coach. All three of our Age Group team routines qualified for Nationals in Buffalo in June, and all of our intermediate swimmers qualified for the East Zone Championships next weekend. It was also my brother-in-law's college graduation that weekend, so we didn't get home until late Sunday night.

Then, on Monday night, my parents came over and we picked up our new desk from Staples ... in the pouring rain! They stayed for dinner and two games of Quiddler, before heading out.

Tuesday afternoon, I travelled to New York for a training course for work on Wednesday. Bah. I was not impressed with the class. But, I had a great dinner with a friend from college on Tuesday night, and even squeezed in a visit to School Products before catching my train home Wednesday evening. I got back into Boston around 11:00 p.m., in the pouring rain (again).

Then, Friday afternoon we took off for Western Mass again, to see our niece in her annual Irish dance recital. On Saturday, we celebrated my father-in-law's birthday with lunch at The Fort. On Sunday, I went to Cummington where I acquired some new fibery goodness.

Photos of most of this will follow in later posts this week.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Stripey sleeves

Here is the promised knitting content ...

I finished the back of the Little Star sweater, and experimented with short row shoulders. I think I did them right, but I'll have to wait until the front is done to try the three needle bindoff and see how it worked. No picture, since it's all scrunched up on a stitch holder right now.

I also started the sleeves. To reach the right length, I'm guessing that I will end up with 3 blue stripes and 2 white stripes above the ribbing on each sleeve. Which means that these are about half done!

Here's how they are looking:

Unfortunately, here are the ends that I artfully concealled in the first photo. Ugh!

Kristen, does your stripey BSCF sweater have ends to weave in, or have you been able to carry your yarns? I'm guessing that you are carrying them, since you had a big tangled mess to deal with recently!

More flowers for Chelsea

Here is a shot of some of the flowers on the MIT campus where I work.

Knitting content to follow later ...

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Unfortunately, that wiped out my old comments :( However, it will make it much easier for me to reply to those of you who do want to leave me a comment.


Chelsea had a great idea when she asked people to post photos of flowers. We could all use a lttle color in our spring. Here is the flowering plant that sits on my windowsill at work.
It's called a Kalanchoe. I went to the florist and asked for a "cheap, colorful, low-maintenance, flowering plant" and this is what I got. Pretty nice, huh?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Must Have, or Has Been?

A loooong time ago, I started the Must Have Cardigan from the Paton's Street Smart brochure. I planned to make it for my mom. I joined a knit-along for it. I didn't finish it, and the knit-along died out. I joined another knit-along, and I still didn't finish it. In fact, I never even finished the first sleeve!

Sleeve, unfinished.

The problem? I started the sleeve on bamboo circs. The straight needle here is just holding the stitches, as I used the circ for another project. I think I might really enjoy this pattern on an Addi, but it was just too sticky and hard to maneuver on a bamboo needle. Also, I started this a few months after I learned to knit, and I was knitting somewhat tightly. I've loosened up a little since then. (Ahem. For those of you who know me, I probably should amend that to read "My knitting has loosened up. I'm as tightly wound as ever!")

So, I have to decide what to do. My gut says to frog the whole sleeve, as my gauge will be off if I try to restart this on a different needle after so many months, and I'll be bothered through the rest of the sweater. I could start another sleeve on and Addi needle, using another ball of yarn, and compare the two before deciding to rip. What do you think???

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Little Star gets bigger

Last night, Thom and I planned to go to Staples to look at the desk we are thinking of buying for our office. Instead we stayed home, as our meatloaf didn't cook as fast as we thought it should, and by the time it was done, it was too late to go shopping.

So, I got some knitting accomplished! Between last night and a lunchtime knitting group, I'm past the bind-offs for the armholes on the Little Star sweater. It's a modified drop shoulder, so it also makes for easy and mindless knitting!
The sweater says "Block me please! My edges are curling madly!"

Hopefully, I can finish the back tonight. I'm thinking this is the time to try doing short row shoulders and the three needle bind-off thing for the shoulder seams. I'll have to figure that out tonight. Once I finish the back, I think I'll do the sleeves next, and save the front with its star for last. Although, compared to the 12 bobbins I had going for the Sox sweater at one point, this should be relatively portable.

Side note: At our lunch time knitting group at work, I think FemiKnit Mafia and I scared some of our friends with our extensive knowledge of the knitting blogosphere. I'll have to try harder to remember that comments like "Hey did you read the Yarn Harlot today?" might not make sense to everyone!

Monday, May 16, 2005


So, the Red Sox sweater is finished. (Yeah, I mentioned that already, huh?) I even cleaned up the living room and put all my knit stuff back where it belongs. Along the way, I decided to assess the WIP list...

  • Sox sweater and mother's day washcloths? Finito!

  • Sitcom Chic? Definitely too big. Need to make the medium, not the large. Riiiiip!

  • Broadripple socks? Maybe I'm just not a sock person, but they aren't calling my name. Still in the WIP pile though, as I would like to wear them.

  • Dulaan hat? Black acrylic/wool blend. Not inspiring, but well intentioned. Still sitting on the table.

So, I restarted the Sitcom Chic. Not only did I need to make a smaller size, I also went down a needle size this time. I had to knit pretty tight to get gauge on size 9 Addi's, so now I'm using the recommended size 8's. When I swatched, 9's were fine, but I guess I loosened up on a big piece. Claudia is right -- swatches lie!

Unfortunately, my size 8 Addi's are currently in use on the Dulaan hat! So, I tried a Susan Bates circ that I had hanging around. Eh. It was okay, but nothing like an Addi. So, the Sitcom Chic is on hold until the Dulaan hat is done. Good motivation to finish the hat, right?

Since I still had a good 40 minutes left of Crossing Jordan, I decided to start the Little Star sweater, from the cover of Adorable Knits for Tots.

Here is the back side so far, posing artfully with the bamboo plant in my office. The astute among you will realize that this is being made from the leftover yarn from the Sox sweater. I probably have enough yarn left to make at least 2 of these! This one will be for my cousin's baby boy, who is expected sometime early this summer.

Here is a close-up of the ribbing at the bottom.

This should be a nice fast knit. I still love Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece :)

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Dinner with the parents

Last night, Thom and I had dinner with my parents and brother, celebrating Mother's Day a little late. We went to a local Italian restaurant that we've eaten at several times. My parents are a little fussy when it comes to restaurants... my dad only eats American, Italian, and Mexican foods, so we've automatically ruled out a whole bunch of places already. They don't like loud places, or crowded ones, and strongly prefer places that take reservations. Luckily, this restaurant fits the bill, and we've eaten there several times.

So, I called during the week and made a reservation for 6:30pm and asked for a particular table, which they reserved for us. When we got to the restaurant, we were barely acknowledged by the hostess, who kept answering the phone and going back into the kitchen. Finally she greeted us, but our table wasn't ready. After 5 or 10 minutes, we asked for another table, which we got. This was just the beginning! We had a rude waiter. My mother had to order 3 different entrees before she found one that was available tonight. (Mind you, her first two choices were chicken parmagiana and eggplant parmagiana, which are fairly standard Italian dishes). Then, the waiter gave her a hard time because she needed some time to make an alternate selection when the first two weren't available. The butter dish had used containers of butter in in. My father got a dirty bread plate. My mother's glass had a chip in it ... I'm not sure that my dad will be going back there again. Hopefully, we'll give it one more try, since I like the place and it's convenient!

Now for the knitting related content ...

My mom wore her Red Sox sweater and I was able to get a photo! Here is a shot of her and my dad in our apartment --

I was hoping to get some close-ups, especially of the Sox logo, but she didn't want to take it off. I guess I'll have to try again later! The logo was my first attempt at intarsia, and I think it came out well! Especially since I designed the logo myself (well, I guess "design" isn't the right word -- I charted it myself from the "B" logo that everyone knows).

Sweater specs:
Pattern: My own. I used the Ann Budd Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns as a starting point, and adjusted to get the specific fit my mother requested. I charted the logo on some knitter's graph paper that I got from this site
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece (main color: Wolverine Blue, accents in Barn Red and Cotton Ball, I think).
Gauge: 5.25 sts/in and I forget how many rows!

Overall, I was very happy with the end results. My mom loves it and has worn it about three times this week, I think! I plan to use this yarn for a sweater for me sometime...

My new camera!

The nice Fed Ex guy brought me my camera on Friday morning, a day earlier than I expected! So, I was able to get a few photos of recent projects. Here is the flower washcloth that I made for my mom for mother's day (yes, I just gave it to her last night!)

I made two more of these -- a navy blue one for my mother-in-law and a pale yellow one for my grandmother. No photos, so you'll have to use your imagination. All three were done in Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille (the recommended yarn). I wound it into a nice little center pull ball with the help of my ballwinder and swift husband. The cotton chenille is kind of like a ribbon yarn in that it's flat and got twisted as I worked. Has anyone else had this problem?

Thursday, May 12, 2005

A Very Harlot evening ...

Last night, I went to the Yarn Harlot bookbookbook signing at Willow Books in Acton with FemiKnit Mafia . Stacy and Katie were going to come with us, but couldn't make it at the last minute. We left our office at 5:30 and made it just a few minutes before 7:00. Mapquest said it would take 32 minutes -- yeah, right -- not in Boston traffic!

Stephanie was as funny as I had hoped! I love that she laughed at her own jokes -- adorable! I got to see her gorgeous FBS up close -- now I want to order up some of that Chai from ArtFibers!

Being somewhat shy*, I didn't talk to too many people ... but, I did recognize Kristen from her stripey BSCF sweater and chatted with her. I'm quite impressed that she has managed to get her fellow med students to hold her hanks of yarn while she winds balls ... in the middle of lectures!! I also sat next to Jena who I "know" from the Boston S'n'B yahoo group. I had no idea who she was, but she sat down next to me, both of us carrying our Booga Bags and making flower washcloths. What a coincidence!

I'll have some photos soon, once my designated photographer (i.e. FemiKnit Mafia) downloads them from her camera.

* Ok, those of you who know me might argue with this ... But, although I talk a lot with people I know, I'm outside my comfort zone at gatherings like this where I only know one or two people. I did talk to a few people and wished I had talked to more ... perhaps I'll meet some other bloggers and knitters at the MA Sheep and Wool later this month.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Tonight FemiKnit Mafia, Katie and I are going to stalk see the Yarn Harlot at Willow Books in Acton. I'm not sure that I really count as a knitblogger yet, seeing as how (1) this is only my 3rd post and (2) I haven't talked about any of my projects yet and (3) I don't own a digital camera yet.*

But, I will get my book signed and hopefully knit up a few petals of my last flower washcloth while I'm there. This is the one for mom, who will be having dinner with us on saturday. Yes, we are a little late for Mother's Day, but that seems to be par for the course...

* I'm in the process of taking care of #3 -- I ordered this from here yesterday. It shipped today so I'll have it before too long!!

Monday, May 02, 2005

My Knitting Library

So, I thought it would be a good idea to record all of the knitting related books and magazines that I own. I'm not near my bookshelf, so I'm starting this list from scratch and I'll keep updating it whenever I remember something new, or take the time to go check out what's on the shelf ... I'll try to post a link to this in the sidebar too.

Reference Books:
Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book
Big Book of Knitting
The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques
Knitter's Handbook, by Montse Stanley (but mine is the old version with a different cover)
Knitting in Plain English - as Katie says, you've gotta love a book with a chapter title "Buttonholes are Bastards"

Techniques, Stitch Patterns, etc:
Knitting on the Edge

General Patterns:
The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns
The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns
Stitch 'n' Bitch
Stitch 'n' Bitch Nation
Vogue Knitting on the Go: Beginners Basics
Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton Collection - Book Two (this is her collection for Noro yarns; the most well-known pattern in the book is the Klaralund sweater)

Adults' Patterns:
Rowan 37

Kids' Patterns:
Adorable Knits for Tots
Tadpoles and Tiddlers

Accessories, etc
200 Knitted Blocks

Simple Crochet