Monday, December 05, 2005

Pumpkin Purse

So, I took a class in making a lined purseat the new Suss Designs shop in Lower Manhattan , and this was the result. I used a Katia super bulky wool in pumpkin, Lamb's Pride bulky in brown (two strands together), and a thin brown mohair and orange ribbon carried along with each, for continuity. Size 15 needles, plain old sticknette stitch. Add brown wooden handles and a coordinating corduroy lining and -- voila -- my first purse. I gave it to my friend Kathy for her birthday; I think she liked it, since she carried it that night to her birthday party.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Noro Lotus

This is a beautiful yarn that I bought on sale at The Yarn Connection, a midtown NYC yarn shop, last winter. It's a handpainted cashmere ladder yarn with a ribbon of varying colors running through it. Knits up in a striped pattern, as you can see. I used three balls of this to make a long, skinny scarf in stockinette with chunky tassels at each corner, which is now on consignment at Art-O-Mat. Alas, I forgot to take a photo before I sent it off for sale. I'll try and get to the gallery and take a photo this week (assuming it hasn't sold!) -- I saw it on display through the window on Tuesday night when I sent to SnB -- what a thrill!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

I am an Artist

Or so says my contract with a local gallery -- Art-O-Mat -- that asked me to knit up some scarves using novelty yarns for them to sell on consignment. So, for the past week, in my spare time, I whipped up a few scarves with some yarn that was sitting idly in my stash.

Am I a weirdo because I name all my knitting projects? I hope not. From top to bottom: detail for Carnival (red and grey wool tufts with metallic thread and paper flags) and Safari (black and tan wool tufts with a metallic thread and paper flags); all three scarves; detail for Starry Night (black handspun with blue beads and ribbon). A few months ago, I providentially ordered some labels to stitch into handknitted garments (none of which I've completed). Makes the scarves look so professional -- and well worth the $60 (!!!!) price tag that the gallery put on them. I get 55% if they sell.

Wish me luck!!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Ribbed for (His) Pleasure

Well, the Ribbed for Her Pleasure scarf that I knit for my friend Robert was such a hit (see "October in Vermont") that I had to knit one for Robert's partner, Chuck, who requested forest green. Luckily, I had a large stash of Lamb's Pride superwash bulky in just that color, bought on my vacation in Montana in September. (Now THAT was the deal to end all deals -- 18 skeins/1980 yards for just $58.) So, while I was watching CSI, Law & Order and Without A Trace this week (plus The Wizard of Oz last night), I whipped up a scarf for Chuck. Not quite two skeins worth of yarn.

With the yarn that was left from the 2nd skein, I decided to try my hand at leaves, for flower pins, using a pattern from Nicky Epstein's Knitted Embellishments books. One of them is tumbling around in the dryer as I type, since the sink-felting didn't seem to work too well. Look for a felting update later this week.

Secret Pal Mokie rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm participating in SP6 through blogspot and got my 2nd gift from my SP, mokie (not her real name) last week. I finally photographed it today, in all its splendor -- and splendor it is! Mokie's choices absolutely delighted me. I was jumping up and down like a kid at Christmas when I opened the box. Here's what she sent me:
  • an American Red Cross Knit Kit for One Pair of Serviceman's Socks (complete with olive drab wool, DPNs, a tapestry needle and a vintage pattern)
  • 6 balls of Knit One Crochet Two Cotonade, in a rich navy blue
  • 1 skein KnitPicks Shadow merino wool, in Lost Lake
  • 1 skein KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud, in Moss
  • 3 skeins Reynolds Rapture, a 50% wool 50% silk yarn, in three lovely shades of green
  • a spool of olive and forest green ribbon with gold metallic accent
  • scrapbooking papers
  • a stamp pad and alphabet and number stamps
  • "Unusual Toys for You to Knit & Enjoy" by Jess Hutchinson
  • "Simply Soft" by Debbie Bliss -- autographed by the great woman herself!!
  • and a fun, funky tote bag to carry it all in

I am completely overwhelmed by mokie's generosity, and can't wait until the reveal so that I can sing her non-incognito praises.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

October in Vermont

Just back from a quick trip to Vermont to celebrate my friend Robert's birthday. His birthday gift? The "Ribbed for Her Pleasure" scarf from the first Stitch-n-Bitch book, worked up in Debbie Bliss Merino Chunky in a lovely teal blue. It's always a bit anxiety-provoking, surprising someone with a hand-knitted gift. Will he like the color? The pattern? The texture? Happily, Robert loved the scarf. (And it even matched the fabric on his living room chair!)

The outdoor shot is from Robert and Chuck's deck. I love their view, and would move to Vermont in heartbeat if my husband and I could find jobs there. A girl can dream...

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Tangerine Dream

My first adult sweater -- a top-down pullover in lovely Blue Sky cotton (just 5 skeins for a women's size medium). I made it in a class I took at Downtown Knits here in NYC (a fab LYS, well worth visiting). The class was great, and I learned a lot about sweater construction as well as some good, basic knitting techniques like mattress stitch.

It's not quite finished -- I had planned it as a V-neck but neglected to add stitches along the front edge, so ended up with a U-neck. So, I picked up stitches along the one side and knit in, decreasing along the way, to create the desired V; got one side done and then lost steam. Other than the other half of the V, it just needs hemming. I used a finer, variegated cotton yarn to create an interfacing for the cuffs and hem, and that needs to be turned under and stitched down.

But, alas, I've decided I don't really like it. Love the color, but not on me. Love the feel of the yarn, but not the fuzz-shedding factor. So, it's heading to the frog-pond. I may swap it with someone from the Knitty board.

So, good night, sweet pullover, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Gift from my Secret Pal

Fun, fun, fun! That's what SP6 has been for me so far. I'm having a blast spoiling my SP, and am feeling quite spoiled already by Mokie. My first gift was a gift certificate from Knit Pixie (now known as kpixie, for legal reasons), which I have put to very good use: this gorgeous yarn from
Tilli Tomas, called Disco Lights, which is "a spun silk twinkling with petite sequins!" Here's the pic:

I'm thinking this will make fab trim on a sweater or scarf, perhaps along with the beautiful handpainted silk yarn that I bought from Hip Knit at Ally Pally in London last week.

On the needles right now: a striped cotton hat to go with the cotton cardigan for my nice Emily. The matching booties are finished, and a photo of the completed set will hopefully be ready by the weekend. Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Ally Pally

Today was the 1st day of the Knitty and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace (Ally Pally to the Brits), and what a day it was!! Significant stash expansion, as well as some amazing exhibits. My favorite was a room display in which everything -- and I do mean everything -- was covered in a knitted slipcover.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Negligent blogger

Yup, that's me. Frantically busy these past few weeks and no time to update my blog. I'be barely been home since I got back from my holiday in Montana -- tons of work travel. I'm in D.C. at the moment, was in Richmond earlier in the week and Philadelphia this past weekend. AND I'm flying to London tomorrow night for a week. The romance of travel has long since faded for me, and I'm just plain TIRED.

But I have been knitting. I finished the booties for my niece, and have almost finished assembling the matching cardigan. I am proud to say that my seams are beautiful! I'll post a photo over the weekend. Then I just have to make the matching hat, and the whole ensemble will be complete.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Greetings from Red Lodge, Montana!

I'm here in Big Sky Country for a 10-day vacation with my friend Milou, and we're having a great time. It's so nice to just sleep in every day and meander through the day with no fixed schedule. Red Lodge is a former mining town about an hour south of Billings, established in the late 1800s. It's now mostly a tourist desitnation, as you can connect to Yellowstone National Park via the Beartooth Highway from here. We're heading to Yellowstone tomorrow -- I'll post pics when we get back.

Knitting-wise, I'm working on booties to match the pale green cotton cardigan that I'm making for my niece, Emily. But the BIG news is the great LYS I found just north of town -- Lana & Cotone. I checked the yellow pages at the Billings airport when I arrived on Thursday and was surprised and pleased to see an LYS in Red Lodge (which is a REALLY small town). Anyway, beautiful stock and great prices = major stash expansion. I went a little crazy, as you can see from the photo.

Can't wait to start knitting with this yarn!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Secret Pal questionnaire

I'm so excited to be part of SP6! At the request of my new SP, mokie, here are my responses to the questionnaire.

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
I do avoid acrylic yarn like Red Heart, but am otherwise open to trying new things.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
I don't spin, and haven't crocheted since I was a little girl (when I made a poncho for my Dawn doll), but am wanting to start crocheting again (and have lots of crochet hooks!).

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
My husband is allergic to pets, and I don't like cigarette or cigar smoke.

4. How long have you been knitting?
I learned from my grandmothers when I was a little girl, but then didn't knit for years; I started knitting again about 7 years ago, but only really got into it as a significant part of my lifestyle in the past 6 months.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? No.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Lavender or rose.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
I LOVE dark cholcolate!!!

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? None.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Not an MP3 person, but happy to get a mixed CD. I like alternative rock, folk, world music mostly. Fave musicians are posted on my blog.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
My favorite color is green -- lime, celery, olive mostly, rather than the kelly or forest greens. I dislike girly pastels.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Married for three years, no children, no pets.

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
I want to travel all over the world. New Zealand is at the top of the list of places I really want to go. I'd also like to be independently wealthy so that I didn't have to work, or could retire when I'm 50.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
I love Rowan DK cotton -- it's my favorite for baby presents.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Not a fan of plain old acryclic, or angora or mohair, or eyelash, or sparkly stuff.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
Reading the Knitty Coffeeshop and knitting blogs!

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
No real faves. I've done lots of scarves and baby hats, am now moving on to garments.

17. What are you knitting right now?
A top-down pullover for me, in a great tangerine-colored cotton; a cardigan and booties for my new niece; a handbag.

18. What do you think about ponchos?
Really don't like them.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
I really love the vintage aluminum straight needles, because they come in so many great colors, but have just started using circs and find them much easier on my wrists. I have liked the metal Addi Turbos that I tried though I think they're boring looking. I have a full set of Boye interchangeable circular needles, which are fun.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

21. Are you a sock knitter?
Not yet.

22. How did you learn to knit?
From my grandmothers, when I was a little girl. Then, as an adult, from a nice woman in Philadelphia, through a local community ed program.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?
Two years old, almost (the cardigan for my niece, which was originally meant to be a cardigan for a friend's new baby).

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
I love flamingoes.

25. What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas!!! I collect vintage glass ornaments and love to decorate the tree. I also like to bake Christmas cookies and Buche de Noel.

26. Is there anything that you collect?
Vintage glass Christmas ornaments; vintage knitting and crochet supplies (knit counters, needle gauges, point protectors, etc.).

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
None, though I buy Vogue Knitting at the newsstand, and am a Rowan member.

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?
Not especially. I have a lot of knitting and crocheting books.

29. Any patterns you have been coveting, but haven't bought for one reason or another??

30. What are your foot measurements, and what kind of socks do you like?
I wear and 8.5 or 9 wide shoe. I wear cotton or cotton-blend socks, mostly.

31. Yes, I have pierced ears.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

9/11 Anniversary

It's been a really hard day, much more than so than expected. I was involved in 9/11 recovery efforts here in NYC, for the families of the 400+ rescue workers who were killed that day, and I've been thinking of them all day. It's so sad, 3000 people killed so needlessly that day, and then all those rescue workers who were there trying to save lives, only to lose their own.

I've been knitting most of the day, to try and stop thinking -- baby booties, which make me smile thinking about my adorable niece who will soon wear them. But I'm not posting a photo of those today. Instead, here are the Towers of Light, as seen from my apartment -- a tribute to those souls lost on 9/11 here in NYC.

Monday, September 05, 2005

My first-ever garment -- a cardigan for my new niece, Emily. Still a WIP, as you can see, though very nearly finished. I'm using Rowan DK Cotton, which I love, in a pretty celery green for the main color and a pale yellow for the collar. I'm planning on a striped hat in green and yellow and green booties to match. It's a Debbie Bliss pattern and has been very easy to follow. Collar, edges and cuffs are in garter stitch, while the rest is in stockinette. The pattern is for the 9-12 month size, though it looks like it would fit a 2-year-old!

Friday, September 02, 2005

No photos to post today, as I am rusticating in the country for the holiday weekend and forgot to bring the cable to upload pics from my digital camera. But the green knitted purse is coming along nicely. I finished the second side last night, and will probably attach the handles tonight. Then I need to figure out how to line it before I sew it all together.

Any tips for lining a knitted bag? My pattern simply says "Lining is optional" without providing and instruction for those would choose to exercise this option.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Had a great time at the Long Island City SnB last night, my second visit. Very welcoming group of women, who are working on some really beautiful projects!

Here's one of my three current WIPs, a knitted purse. I got the pattern from Flying Fingers yarn shop in Irvington, NY (same trip as the Yarn Bus adventure, below). I'm using a different yarn than the pattern called for, and am really liking the way this chunky cotton is knitting up.

I'm planning to line it with some funky floral cotton from a jacket that my grandmother made that doesn't fit me. My grandmother was an amazing seamstress and craftswoman, and it will be nice to think of her everytime I open the purse. :-)

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

My inaugural post! I decided to create a blog so that I could share photos of my works-in-progress and finished items with my growing circle of knitting friends, both in the US and the UK. (This coincides with my recent puchase of a digital camera, so that I can actually take photos of my WIPs and FOs. :-) )

It's been a busy summer for me in terms of knitting. While I was in the UK last month, I went twice to knitting night at Liberty's and met some lovely UK knitters; I'm looking forward to my next trip in October. Last week, I joined the Big Apple Knitters Guild and went to the SnB in my neighborhood (Long Island City, Queens) for the first time. But the most exciting thing of all was...The Yarn Bus!!!

That's me on the left, along with my good friend Ruth, outside Flying Fingers yarn shop in Irvington, NY. We caught the bus in midtown Manhattan that morning and knitted all the way up there, using the complimentary yarn and needles provided to create squares for charity. Then it was a blissful hour of shopping (there was a sale!!), lunch at a local cafe, then more charity knitting on our way back to the city. Can't wait to go again!