Friday, December 29, 2006

Say it with flowers...

I was in Las Vegas twice in November on business, and stayed at the Bellagio on my first visit. The Bellagio has an impressive art collection, including a number of pieces by my favorite glass artisit, Dale Chihuly. The main lobby ceiling is completely covered by fantastical glass flowers; here's a view, and a close-up:

Last week, I was also lucky enough to be given some beautiful roses by a friend -- the photos don't do justice to the deep red color and the perfection of the blooms.

Knitting? Oh, right...yes, I have been knitting as well, not just looking at flowers. I just haven't been photographing my knitting (bad blogger, I know). I knit two hats last week -- one for a friend who is moving to Idaho and will need a nice warm wool hat, and one for a friend of a friend who is undergoing chemo. Plus a lacy scarf, which I knit from start to finish while hanging out with a knitterly friend last night, and a few more sweater ornaments as gifts to friends at home in Philadelphia earlier in the week.

Friday, December 15, 2006

'Tis the Season...

I am slowly but surely getting into the holiday spirit this year. After a meeting last week, I walked over to Rockefeller Center to have a look at the Christmas tree. It's spectacular, as always!

Saks 5th Avenue, just across the street, has a beautiful lighted snowflake display, and I stood for a few minute to watch the show.

And the trumpeting angels, also at Rock Center, were just lovely.

In holiday knitting, I've made up a few little sweater ornaments.

Monday, December 11, 2006

I have been knitting...

...really, I swear I have! I just haven't been posting. I know, I know...I'm a bad blogger. It's just that it's been so frustrating to try and try and try to post photos, only to have Blogger fail on me. Maybe the new version will be better.

Here's what's been on the needles:
  1. Olive's cardigan -- knitting completed, seams all sewn, one ribbon sewn in for the button band, the 2nd one almost finished. Just need to buy smaller snaps; the ones I bought are too large.
  2. Caps for the Capitol -- one infant cap finished and sewn up, just need to mail it off to Save the Children. I used the same aqua-colored cotton yarn I've been using for all my baby knitting lately.
  3. Christmas tree ornaments -- little red cotton sweaters, 2-3 inches in size, to hang on the tree. I've been experimenting with different stitch patterns, and yesterday sewed little star-shaped sequins to them for decoration. Five done, don't know how many I'll aim for. These are destined for Art-O-Mat, for sale.
  4. Scarves -- finished three for Art-O-Mat, in a variety of glitzy yarns from my stash. I showed one in a blue ladder yarn to three friends, all of whom requested one for themselves. So, one of these three is finished; one is halfway done; and one is on the list of things to do.
  5. Chemo cap -- a friend of a friend has cancer and has lost all her hair from the chemo, so I offered to knit her a hat. Offer accepted, yarn agreed over the weekend -- a snuggly alpaca-silk from Debbie Bliss in a beautiful cream color. It was destined for a cushion cover for my mother-in-law, so I'll have to find something else for that, or buy more (sorry, Catriona!); it's the softest yarn I have, though, so the chemo cap seemed the most appropriate use.

See, I haven't been slacking!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Working that last inch

I finished yet another baby hat, for yet another colleague who gave birth a few months ago. Baby Max received his booties a few weeks ago, but it took me a little longer to finish his matching hat. And -- drumroll, please -- I finished it with about 6 inches of yarn to spare. Not too shabby!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Fall flora and fauna

A belated Rhinebeck post -- but what a great day it was! The weather was absolutely glorious -- crisp, clear and sunny the whole day on Saturday. The drive up was spectacular -- fall colors as far as the eye could see. Same was true for the fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, as you can see.

There was so much beautiful yarn to see, and so many people looking and touching it, that I didn't take any photos of the stalls. TGhe loivestock sheds were alittle less crowded, however, so I did take a few pics in there. Of the more unusual-looking animals only...

That's a Jacob sheep, above, and a weird-looking llama, below.

It was also really fun to hang with the women from the LIC Stitch-n-Bitch. Pictured below, from left to right, are Melissa from NeoKnits (wearing a Rowan-designed sweater); Dana (wearing a Melissa-designed sweater); Colette (wearing another Melissa-designed sweater); gwen; and me.

I managed to control myself and only bought two (that's right, TWO) skeins of yarn. Pics of those to follow another day. All in all, a FAB day!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I'm going to Rhinebeck!!!

Yes, faithful readers, it will be my first trip to Rhinebeck. (For my non-knitting readers, the official name is the New York State Sheep & Wool Festival, held in bucolic Rhinebeck, New York.) I'm so excited! Everyone I know who has attended in the past speaks of Rhinebeck in hushed, almost reverential tones. And the blogosphere chatter makes me glad I'm not a spinner -- apparently, the competition for buying premium fleece is cutthroat.

Stitchy McYarnpants has come up with the really fun idea of Rhinebeck Bingo as a way for bloggers and fellow fibre fanatics to connect. So, be on the lookout for me -- I'm a player as well as a square on Saturday only!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Last Knit

There's a great little animated film on YouTube that I clicked through to from The Yarn Harlot's blog; it's called "The Last Knit" and the quality of the animation was really superb! Check it out:

P.S. The Yarn Harlot -- aka Stephanie Pearl-McPhee -- got married this weekend to her long-time partner, Joe. :-)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Vintage Sock Press

I am a total sucker for/collector of vintage knitting items, and I saw this really cool one on eBay a few weeks ago.

It's a pressing board, to use for knitted socks/stockings. Here's a detail shot:

Isn't it cool? I bid for it and won, and am now awaiting delivery.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Caps to the Capitol

Save the Children, an excellent not-for-profit organization, has organized an advocacy campaign called "Caps to the Capitol" to focus attention -- and hopefully government funding -- on programs and simple, low-cost practices (such as putting a hat on a baby) that could save newborn lives. According to Save the Children's website, "Four million newborns die each year within the first month of life — half within the first 24 hours of life. The United States can lead the way in saving these young lives by increasing funding for critical health programs for mothers and newborns."

Save the Children volunteers were all over the NYC Knit Out on Sunday, passing out action kits and encouraging knitters to participate in the program.

I was a little concerned that the caps were going to be sent to President Bush, and end up being thrown away, but I was assured that only petitions were being sent to POTUS, and that the caps themselves were to be mailed to Save the Children's offices and distributed from there.

So, I'll be knitting some newborn hats this month. Won't you join me?

Monday, September 18, 2006

NYC Knit Out

NYC knitters were out in force yesterday in Union Square for the Knit Out. The weather was glorious -- sunny and warm but not too hot (a good thing when one is modeling knitwear), with nary a cloud in the blue, blue sky. I got lots of smiles and nods for the skull-and-crossed-knitting-needles T!

The highlight of my day? I MET THE YARN HARLOT!!!!! Not only did I meet her, I got my picture taken with her, and the sock! She was even kind enough to try and block the sun from my eyes.

Barnes & Noble even got into the Knit Out spirit, with an entire front window dedicated to knitting books, as well as a table of knitting books right inside the door.

I was seduced by volume 1 of Vogue's Stitchionary (loved the bamboo stitch), as well as Tracey Ullman's new book (the herringbone handbag is fab). Now I just need to finish my project backlog so that I can get started on some new things!

P.S. I had lots of photos to post, but Blogger is not cooperating and won't upload anymore, despite nearly a dozen attempts. I'll try again tomorrow.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Wastin' away again in Margaritaville

In my ongoing effort to hold on to summer for as long as I possibly can, I went to see Jimmy Buffett in concert tonight. What a fun show!!! They were even selling frozen margaritas at the concession stand. Those Parrotheads sure know how to party! I regret to say that I was one of the few people in attendance not wearing a Hawaiian shirt/lei /parrothead hat/cheeseburger hat/shark hat or some combination thereof.

I decided after the second song that I definitely want Jimmy Buffett's job. He came on stage barefoot, wearing shorts and a t-shirt, and played and sang to a completely sold-out Madison Square Garden, to an audience that sang all the words to every song and were loudly and happily sharing their love of the music. Beats sitting at a desk all day, that's for sure!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Souls on Fire

Someone once gave me a book titled "Souls on Fire" and that's all I could think about tonight as I stood out by the river and looked at the Tribute in Light as it disappeared into the clouds above Manhattan -- the souls of the 2749 people who were killed on September 11th at the World Trade Center, traveling along those beams of light and burning into, then through, the clouds.

I also thought of all the innocent people in Afghanistan and Iraq who have been killed in the name of those 2749 people, as well as the 184 who were killed at the Pentagon and the 40 on Flight 93 in Shanksville. I can't believe the victims of one horribly violent act would want others to be senselessly killed in their memory. Please pray for peace.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Bootie call

The charming Colton isn't the only baby to receive booties and a hat from me this summer. Meet the lovely Paige, pictured here at just 4 weeks.

Three of my colleagues have had babies this year, and a 4th just entered her third trimester, so I've been in baby clothes production mode. It's actually been great summer knitting -- lovely, cool cotton in a summery pale green, and small projects that I can tuck into any bag and take with me on my various travels.

These are from a Debbie Bliss baby book, using a Jaeger DK weight cotton (of which I have two full bags!). The cotton has a lovely sheen, which doesn't really come across in these photos.

My only complaint is that the Debbie Bliss pattern really falls down when it comes to finishing the booties -- as written, the rear seaming is totally ugly/unworkable, which has led to some experimentation on my part. I'm still not completely satisfied with the results, but it's better than the original pattern IMHO.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A letter from a very articulate nine-month-old

Dear Ms. Carolyn,

Thank you very much for my hat and booties - I LOVE them. My mom took the first few of these pictures to show you how good they look on me, and then I added a couple more so that you could see I wore the hat and booties a lot! I've also worn them fly fishing and on my first camping trip! (Mom can't get those photos from where we are on vacation right now...) I hope you like these photos and I can't wait to thank you in person for the hat and booties with a baci and wave - two of my newest tricks!

lots of love,

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A Family Affair

This is my nine-year-old niece, Sara.

She was in NYC visiting me for a few days, and came along with me to LICKnit. My fellow knitters were very welcoming of Sara, and she wowed us all with the speed at which she knit this hat. The yarn is a lovely blue merino that she and I picked out last fall at the Union Square Green market, on her last visit to NYC; she used a round knitting loom that I also gave her, thinking that it would be a little easier on her then-8-year-old hands than using straight needles (true).

Sara cast on the hat in the afternoon, did most of the knitting at LICKnit, and had it all finished and waiting to be bound off when I woke up the next morning! She was so in the groove, in fact, that she knit two more hats, using the next smaller loom, for her American Girl doll. Well done, Sara!

It's really exciting to share my love of knitting with Sara. I learned to knit and crochet and sew from my grandmothers and my mother, and I love the feeling of knowledge passing along the generations of our family.

Monday, July 31, 2006


I've already introduced you to Melissa, an incredibly talented knitwear designer who is part of the Long Island City knitting group to which I belong. Now, meet Susan -- or more, precisely, sulu-design, her handcrafted jewelry business. Susan is an occasional knitter and makes FABULOUS earrings and necklaces, and I'm so pleased that she's finally set up a blog and started selling her work on etsy. I love her earrings, and have given some to friends as very well-received gifts.

Monday, July 24, 2006

WWKIP Day -- Documentation

I finally remembered to post the photo of myself knitting in public on World Wide Knit in Public Day, back in June. This photo was taken by a very friendly Delta flight attendant on my flight from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico back to NYC. I was also knitting in the Puerto Vallarta airport, but it was a rather crazy scene and I decided not to ask anyone to take my photo there for fear of being trampled during a crazed rush to the gate (the airport not being designed for orderly boarding or queuing).

I like knitting in public -- people generally make nice comments, and I've gotten into some great conversations with fellow knitters about their latest projects, or with people who have fond memories of mothers or grandmothers who used to knit.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Olive's cardigan

The cardigan for my niece Olive, age 3 1/2, is nearly finished. The sleeves are actually a good bit longer now than when this photo was taken nearly two months ago. The cuffs will be in the purple yarn, in seed stitch. The yarn is Rowan cotton tape, and I must say I really, really like the color combination. The plan is to have a faux button band, with a ribbon lining and large snaps; not sure about the buttons -- I think I've bought 5 or 6 different sets and still can't decide which I like best.

I lost steam on finishing this when my plans to travel to the UK where I would see Olive this month were canceled, but as it's probably much too large for her at the moment anyway, I think it will end up being a Fall cardie that will easily take her through next year as well. Finishing this project will be one of my goals for my August holidays.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Renegade Craft Fair

I checked out the Renegade Craft Fair on Saturday afternoon with a friend, and met up with two of my fellow LIC stich-n-bitchers, too. To summarize the afternoon, and the Fair: tote bags, t-shirts, hot sun. Yes, it seems that every crafty person in the NYC area has decided that the humble tote bag is their preferred medium, with printed t-shirts running a close second. It got a little ... dare I say ... boring?

The one t-shirt that I did fall for was from Magpie, and I can't wait to wear it. Do you think I'll strike fear into the hearts of non-knitters? I hope so!

The careful blog reader will note that I've been using other people's photos for a few weeks, rather than images of my own knitting. Never fear, I have been knitting, but I can't find the cable that connects my camera to my computer, so I haven't been able to upload any photos. I'm sure it's buried in a pile on the floor of my closet, I just haven't been able to muster the energy to dig it out. I'll try soon, I promise. I've finished a pair of booties for my friend Erin's son and plan to cast on a matching hat tonight, and am almost finished the cardigan for my niece Olive as well. And I have a photo of me knitting on the plane from Mexico to NYC on WWKIP Day, too!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Grannie Smith

One of the things I love about my local Stitch-n-Bitch is that my fellow knitters are so much more talented than I am. Truly! I learn so much from them every week. One who I admire in particular is Melissa, who works as a knitwear designer inManhattan and has started her own business -- Neoknits -- in order to have an outlet for her creativity and share her lovely designs with the world.

Melissa designed this beautiful cardigan and knit it with Rowan Kid Silk Haze. If you are as impressed as I am with this garment, then click on over to Melissa's blog and buy a copy of the pattern:

Melissa also has a lace tank top pattern -- Lux -- in the newest edition of Magknits.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Saturday June 10 is WWKIP Day!

What fun! For more info, check out this site:

I'll be doing my knitting-in-public in the Puerto Vallarta airport and on the plane back to NYC that day. If I get in early enough, I'll even try and organize a gathering at our local cafe with some of my fellow LICKnitters.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

My Secret Pal is the best!!

I received my final package from my Secret Pal for SP7, and what a package it was! Knitting notecards, three (3!!) dark chocolate dove bars, AND Rowan's Vintage Knits.

I can't wait to make something from this book, perhaps the green pullover pictured on the cover.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Camera Found!

Hurrah!!! I found my camera, tucked away in one of my knitting bags that I must have used just before I went away at Christmas. What relief! To celebrate, I made a funky scarf for sale Art-O-Mat, our local artisan gallery. They like really wild novelty yarns -- the Noro scarf and the lovely black handspun scarf I gave them didn't sell at all, but the crazy novelty scarves sell like hotcakes. I call this one Mardi Gras. It's made from skeins of Bernat Boa, with matching ribbon as trim.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Thanks, Secret Pal!!

I'm regretting the loss of my digital camera more and more, especially today as I can't post a photo of the wonderful gifts I received from my SP7. My January package -- blue-themed -- had 4 skeins of KnitPicks yarn (striping sock yarn and coordinating solid yarn); an intarsia pattern book; assorted chocolates; and a knitting diary. The February package -- red-themed -- has wonderful red yarn from Manos; loose tea that smells divine; a retractable tape measure (hurrah!); and a chocolate bar with ancho chile. I gave up sweets for Lent, so that chocolate bar will be tempting me for 40 days! My pal has also been wonderful about posting comments to my blog, sending e-mails, and even a virtual bouquet of flowers.

I love the knitting community, and the generosity and sense of fun that the Secret Pal exchanges demonstrate. :-)

Friday, February 24, 2006

The agony of defeat...

I am offically out of the Knitting Olympics. I knit for an hour on Saturday and my shoulder and arm started to hurt so much, I couldn't believe it. And that was AFTER a massage and a chiropractic adjustment earlier in the day. Sigh. There go my dreams of Olympic glory.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Michelle Kwan of the Knitting Olympics?

That could be me. My right arm -- from shoulder to wrist -- has been bothering me for the past two weeks, and despite taking several days off from knitting, it's not getting any better. I've stretched it, massaged it, flexed it, even had my chripractor adjust my wrist, and it's still sore.

I've managed to finish the back of my sweater, but don't know about getting the rest of it done in the next week, the way I'm feeling. I feel my dreams of Olympic glory slipping away...


Wednesday, February 08, 2006


The new Rowan magazine arrived yesterday, and the pattern that really caught my eye was Minnie, complete with knitted-in wooden beads. It is so gorgeous! I don't know that I'll get to it this year, perhaps not even in this lifetime, but I'd like to.

I seem to have misplaced my digital camera, which is why there have been no photos of my WIPs or FOs lately. But someone from my SnB is bringing her camera to my flat on Friday evening (I'm hosting a Knitting Olympics kick-off party), so there will be an orgy of picture-taking.

Speaking of the Knitting Olypmics, I knitted up my gauge swatches last night and am pleased to report that my gauge is spot on. It's killing me not to start the sweater until Friday night, but I want to honor the rules. Sigh. It's so hard sometimes to be good.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Boycott Sew Fast Sew Easy

A boycott is afoot, and I've joined in. I heard about it when my Long Island City Stitch-n-Bitch group was deleted from Yahoo Groups, because a company called Sew Fast Sew Easy (SFSE) has trademarked the term "Stitch and Bitch." SFSE has had the gall to claim that it created this term in 1997!!! This is a term that has existed for decades. Using the button to the right, you may click through to a site with lots of details on this boycott, including a letter that you may print and send to SFSE. I mailed my letter off today!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Knitting Olympics

For The Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics, I will be knitting sweater #11 from the Fall 2005 Vogue Knitting. I bought all the yarn for this back in October, and it's been sitting in the closet while I a) finished my Christmas knitting, and b) learned to make cables. I haven't tackled the cables yet, but I decided to forge ahead and get this done.

I'll be using Rowan Kidsilk Haze in Meadow and Jelly along with Rowan Big Wool in Pistachio. Although the pattern calls for just one color of the Kidsilk Haze for the cuffs and hem, I decided to use two together, to add a little more weight and make the color combination more interesting; we'll see how it goes.

For anyone planning to make this sweater, there's apparently an error in the neckline shaping (hence, the model's artful pose). Here's a link to a correction, from nonaKnits.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Citius, Alitius, Fortius

That's the latin motto for the Olympics and translates to "Faster, Higher, Stronger." The Yarn Harlot has launched the Knitting Olympics, and I have decided to participate. I will be making a cabled pullover sweater, to be cast-on as the flame is lit and to be finished -- completely -- before the closing ceremony. 16 days of knitting! I'd better start training now (that is, learn to make cables).