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).

SP7 Questionnaire

Sorry for the delay in posting, Secret Pal!

1. Are you a yarn snob?
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. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
Several vintage knitting needle canisters.
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. I would say I am an advanced beginner.
5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Rose or citrus (lemongrass, verbena, orange, etc.).
7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
I LOVE dark chocolate!!!
8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
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 profile.
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. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
I wear scarves, hats and gloves, no mittens or ponchos.
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?
Making knitted purses.
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 cardigan for my 3-year-old niece; handbags.
18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
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. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Yes, both.
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?
3 months
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?
28. Any books, etc. that you are dying to get your hands on?
"Stitch and Bitch Nation"; "Socks Soar on Two Circs"; retractable tape measure.
29. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Cabling; socks; new cast-ons.
30. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Not yet, but received sock yarn in SP6 and am planning to try. I wear an 8.5 or 9 wide shoe.
31. When is your birthday?
December 31st -- a new year's eve baby!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Matching Hats

Happily, my sister took a photo of my nieces wearing their Christmas knitting -- a cardigan, hat and booties for Emily, and a matching big-sister hat for Sara. The yarn is my favorite -- Rowan handknit DK cotton -- and the patterns are by Debbie Bliss. I'll have to get a better cardigan photo to post -- I made a faux button band with really cute floral buttons from Covent Garden Market, and then used snap tape for the actual closure. (There's a photo of the cardigan as a WIP in an earlier post on my blog.)

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Matching Scarves

Am still in the UK, heading back to NYC tomorrow. Spent a fun day with my brother- and sister-in-law and their adorable 3-year-old, Olive. My mother-in-law made Olive a stuffed Winnie the Pooh bear for Christmas, and knitted a lovely white jumper for Pooh (or Winnie, as Olive calls it). So, I decided that Pooh needed a scarf, and Olive decided that she needed one as well. So, a blurry camera-phone shot of Olive wearing her new scarf and holding Pooh's. Olive very providentially wore a matching striped pullover -- already a fashionista!

The scarves are made up in Rowan handknitted cotton, in pink and deep red stripes, in simple garter stitch, with fringe. Easy, mindless knitting on the train to and from Belgium last week.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

An American Abroad

Apologies for having been such a negligent blogger! I was knitting up a storm all of December, making Christams gifts, all of which I neglected to photograph before giving them to their intended recipients. So this month, I'll be trotting around asking people to allow me to photograph their scarves, purses, and other misc knitted items ... hopefully, permission will be granted and photos will follow.

I've just spent the day yarn shopping in London with two new friends from the Knitty board, Carolyn and Charlotte (yes, I only hang out with people whose names start with C) -- we went to the Liberty and John Lewis sales (very disappointing), then headed up to Loop in Islington, where I bought some fab yarn (in green, of course) for a scarf for -- drumroll, please -- myself! Yes, I think I may actually soon knit something for ME, not as a gift for someone else. Thanks to Ben & Justine for the Loop gift certificate, which was put to good use today.

Earlier in the week, my husband took me off to Belgium for a surprise trip for my birthday, to a lovely medieval city called Bruges (or Brugge, locally). I highly recommend a visit to Bruges, particularly in the warmer months when one can take a barge trip on the canals or rent a bicycle and ride around (very bike-friendly place, everyone was riding even in the cold weather). On a cold January day, we were very happy to sit in cafes and eat croque monsieur (grilled ham and cheese sandwiches) and belgium waffles and sip cappucino (me) and Belgian beer (Alan). Bruges is known for its lace-makers, and I found some lovely lace items to buy. But the MOST exciting thing was wandering along a side street one afternoon and finding a yarn shop (!), Het Wolhuis (The Wool House, I believe, in Flemish). It was mostly a tapestry and embroidery shop, but there was also a huge selection of Katia yarns from Spain and Scheepjes yarns from Holland. The proprietor, Michelle Fraipont, was wearing a beautiful pullover she had knit in a lovely soft Katia yarn, and when I admired it she ran in the back, through a door and into her kitchen, and came back with a scarf in a twisted cable and lace pattern that she's making from the same yarn. I love those knitterly moments of shared joy in the craft! There doesn't seem to be a website, but if you find yourself in Bruges, the address is:

Het Wolhuis
Predikherenstraat 13 (becomes Dijver Straat further along)
8000 Brugge