My Bedside Reading….

In addition to being a full-blown knitting geek, I’m also a full-blown book geek. Nerdiness just comes naturally to me, really. I tend to approach things with interest in how I can learn more, what else I should be doing, and how am I going to learn to be better/wiser/nicer to people who walk slow, etc. So, in my endless quest for improvement, I do what comes naturally to me. I research. Lately I’ve been reading:

I got into Elizabeth Zimmermann through brooklynweed’s ongoing EZ projects, and his general opinion that she is amazing. Since I think BrooklynTweed is pretty amazing, I thought that I’d check out his source. And suddenly all the math that Jared goes on about for his sweaters made a hell of a lot more sense.

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s blog is so addictive, I’ve carefully combed through every entry (that’s research, NOT stalking!) and laughed and got a bit teary-eyed and really understood why she’s so popular– it’s that total honesty, that self-depricating humour, that very Canadian slant that I adore. I think I may have sat next to her on the subway earlier this week, pulled out Thermal, and entered into a large conversation about knitting. She looked a lot like the Yarn Harlot, if the Yarn Harlot has recently gone dirty blonde, cut her hair into a fetching bob, and put on a bit of lipstick….. but then everything on her blog tells me that she doesn’t wear make up. And don’t people who want to hide from their adoring public try to look less glamourous? But then if you wanted to hide from those who knew you never wore make up, lipstick would really throw them off the trail. So I’m not sure. She did talk a lot about socks, though. And when we talked about the Toronto Knitter’s Guild annual Knitter’s Frolic- which she had written in her day planner. Hmmmm.

Regardless, she proclaimed my Thermal “gorgeous” and asked where the pattern came from (that would be the lovely Laura), and the we parted ways. I hope one day I’ll meet her in person (and be sure about her identity) and sort this whole thing out. In the meantime, I’ll keep reading. It helps me feel sane when the knitting threatens to make me crazy.

New Yarn!!!

I got my yarn for the Central Park Hoodie!
Knit Picks Peruvian wool in ‘Cranberry’. Love it. The colour is exactly what I wanted– a deep, lipstick-red. Perfect. I was so excited, that after I swatched for gauge (and went up a size on my needles, so good thing I checked!), I started on the back.

I’m pretty excited about this project, and thanks again to Carrieoke for the inspiration!

Next up in today’s yarn porn, we have something I’ve been coveting for a while:
Oh yeah, baby. That’s 800 yards of 100% cashmere. So soft, I have to stop myself from constantly fondling it. So soft, I’m contemplating knitting myself cashmere sheets, I need to be surrounded in this bliss. Nothing is softer- not babies bottoms, not fluffy kittens, nothing. Since knitted cashmere sheets are not going to happen, I was thinking of something to sleep in made from this lovely pale pink softness. I’m still trying to decide between a camisole and short set, or a lovely and lacy short nightgown, with tiny, delicate straps. It’s a shame I sleep alone, I tell ya!

A tale of another kind….

Friday was payday for Team Knit at work, and like any sane person would, we rushed to the nearest mall. We started in H&M, where I found two handbags I fancied. A chic cream/white one and a brown hobo which looked kind of blah until I stuffed Lelah in it to get an idea of the normal shape. Then, with knitting inside, it was absolutely perfect. I hesitated though, still wanting to make the rounds while Julie shopped in case I saw anything better. I didn’t. Julie also had purse issues, I had to convince her Julie to return the first gorgeous purse in favour of a smaller, equally gorgeous but more “Julie” one. Then we trotted back to H&M, I bought my purses, and we began the subway trek home. So what? You’re probably thinking, I go shopping all the time. Why mention this in your knitting blog?

Here’s why.

I opened my bag to pull out my Lelah, only to discover she wasn’t there! LELAH’S GONE! My mind races at where she could possibly be and then I remember- The brown hobo! I never took it out! And it had been three and a hlaf hours since I ‘tried’ it in the purse! And I hadn’t thought of her since! I just finished the freaking decreases! F*$!!!! I was flipping out because not only do I have lelah in there, but also three sets of needles- two addi’s and 1 knit pick circular. I was nearly in tears when we get back to H&M, like a mother frantic to find her child. And there she was, sitting safe and sound on the cashiers mantle just as Julie predicted. Julie suggested we take a photo. The rush of relief is comical and soon I’m laugh/crying over how worked up I just got. I hadn’t realized how much a project can grow on a person before. I really felt as if I’d lost my baby.

Reunited at long last

Dashing, out of Season

Even though it’s summer and really not practical, may I present Dashing, from the Spring 2007 issue of Knitty.

These are a gift for someone (now a friend of ours, but then a remote friend-of-a-friend) we met under strange circumstances that also include the story of how Jen and I got the name Team Knit (it wasn’t cooked up just for the blog), but we’ll tell that story another time. Anyway, the pertinent details of Dashing involve being in the hotel bar at the Holiday Inn in Boardman, Ohio, and our new friend saw me wearing a pair of hand warmers I made from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. He wanted a pair, but with a thumb. I may have had a lot to drink that night and agreed to knit something for someone I had only met an hour earlier (boy, do I ever keep to my word or what?!). Coincidentally enough, Dashing came out in the new Knitty a couple weeks after that.

I was bored witless knitting them, but EVERY guy that saw me knitting these wanted a pair. They wanted to try them on, they wanted to touch them, even guys who don’t normally wear gloves like these. I really dragged my heels on this project, because I was in the mood for something more stimulating, pattern-wise, and all that ribbing bored the hell out of me. But for a quick low-key knit, these were perfect.
These are being modelled by our kind co-worker Jonathan, hours before I packaged them up and shipped them to Team Knit’s friend in California.

My Vogue Knitting magazines arrived! I have been waiting and planning for this, so I immediately cast on for the first sand dollar-esque part of the capecho. And here it is, in all it’s unblocked glory: The capechos I’ve seen have been huge, and I wanted something a bit more form-fitting, a bit more like the way the cover looks (even though I realize that really, that model has a capecho bunched and pinned behind her back). Also, I knew that this bit of experimentation might go horribly, horribly wrong, so just in case, I didn’t want to be using my priciest merino for this. It’s basic DK weight acrylic, done on 2.5 mm needles. Yes, that’s right- 2.5 mm. Now, here’s my confusion: The pattern calls for 5.5 mm needles. And the schematic in the magazine shows that each sand dollar is about 5″ across (for the xs size). So explain this:

The sheep says that my unblocked sand dollar is only a smidgen under 5″. How on earth did I get gauge on 2.5 mm? I’m completely flabbergasted. My stealthy plan to knit this on tiny needles is going to need a re-think. I’m going to block it tonight. For acrylic, I just give it a good old fashioned steam-and-press with the iron. This makes acrylic limp and drapey, which is exactly what I want it to do, since I have no desire for the capecho to make me look like a linebacker for the NFL. Once blocked, I’ll see how big it is, and then decide how many of these it would actually take to fit around me. This one will be an experiment right up to the bitter end, I think.