Sunday, December 30, 2007
First, we did a knit-along and made the Buttony cardigan.
Then, I finished a scarf made with some of the alpaca I recycled from a thrift store sweater. [*The pattern is Bryher. Check it out on Ravelry.]
I whipped out a Tudora for my momma for xmas.
And I made a luscious mobius scarf with some Noro Kureyon I bought that I LOVE SO MUCH. This is the greatest project and I wear it like crazy. It almost makes up for the scarf that was stolen.*
I'll post pics from Tokyo when I've sorted through them all.
*(My favorite scarf was stolen a few weeks ago. Not only did I knit the thing, but it's an original design, too. Someone isn't too bright.)
I welcome comments, suggestions, errata that you've caught, etc.
I'm maintaining my anonymity as much as possible in blog-land, so I'm still signing patterns KRGP.
Use the patterns, love them, share your FOs and I'll put them here.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
I first made this hat upon request from my writing partner, Todd. He spent two years in South America and discovered the joys of alpaca fabrics. Although he isn't a knitter, when I mentioned I worked with llama and alpaca yarns, he begged for a hat to replace the one he'd washed and felted by accident.
The hat needed to be warm, simple and, well, masculine.
Here's the finished product modeled by my husband:
Another version modeled by moi (made of Moda Dea Silk-n-Wool held triple-stranded):
I came up with a simple pattern that uses size 15 needles so it knits in a flash.
Needles: Two sets of size 15 circulars for double-circular method or size 15 dpns (do they even exist?). For instructions on double-circular method for knitting small things in the round--the only way to go i.m.h.o., check out this video on knittinghelp.com.
Yarn: One skein only of Berocco Ultra Alpaca held triple-stranded OR one skein of Cascade Pastaza held double-stranded. Cascade 220 will work as well, held triple-stranded.
Cast on 48 stitches.
Join to work in round. Place marker to mark beginning of round.
Rows 1-4: Work in k2, p2 rib.
Rows 5-8: Switch to wide rib pattern - k4, p4. **If you want a larger hat, here's where you should add more rows.**
Row 9: Decrease as follows - K4, p2, p2tog. Repeat to end of row.
Rows 10-12: K4, p3, repeat to end of row.
Row 13: Decrease - K4, p1, p2tog. Repeat to end of row.
Rows 14-16: K4, p2, repeat to end of row.
Row 17: Decrease - K4, p2tog. Repeat to end of row.
Rows 18-20: K4, p1, repeat to end of row.
Row 21: Decrease - K3, K2tog, repeat to end of row. (24 total sts)
Row 22-24: Knit.
Row 25: Decrease - K2, K2tog, repeat to end of row. (18 total sts)
Row 26: Decrease - K1, K2tog, repeat to end of row. (12 total sts)
Row 27: Decrease (last one!) - K2tog, repeat to end of row. (6 total sts)
Bind off by threading tapestry needle with yarn through remaining six sts and pull tight. Weave in ends. (See top view pictures below.)
Top View #1:
Top View #2:
p.s. Pattern is on Ravelry, now.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
This pattern has been significantly revised and rewritten as a .pdf. You can download the .pdf here for free.
I've reintroduced this pattern with a newer blog post and another FO, here.
I've made this scarf a few times now and it's so simple and fun I thought I'd share the pattern. It's a great Christmas present and because of the larger needles takes very little time to knit. It's also a great pattern to learn the cabling-without-cable needles technique.
Yarn: a heavy worsted or Aran weight yarn, or, a worsted held together with a strand of mohair.
Here's an example with Paton's Worsted Merino in Olive Green with Artful Yarns Portrait variegated mohair.
Needle: Size 10 1/2.
Cast on 20 stitches.
Rows 1-4: Knit in K1, P1 rib.
Row 5: (First cable row) K1, P1, Slip four stitches onto cable needle and hold to back of work, K1, P1, K1, P1, then K1, P1, K1, P1 stitches from cable needle, then K1, P1 to end.
Rows 6-8: Knit in K1, P1 rib.
Row 9: (Second cable row) K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, Slip four stitches onto cable needle and hold to front of work, K1, P1, K1, P1, then K1, P1, K1, P1 stitches from cable needle, then K1, P1 to end.
Rows 10-12: Knit in K1, P1 rib.
Repeat rows 5-12 until desired length is reached.
(This pattern is now in Ravelry, too!)
Sunday, December 16, 2007
I have found heaven and it is called Yuzawaya.
Holy sh*t I have never seen anything like that before. I bought a 10 pack of Noro Kureyon 188 for 6800 yen, about 63 dollars or so. I like that math. I also bought a 10-pack of some Filatura mohair stuff and a 10-pack of a Japanese alpaca blend. They have this big sale bin where yarn 10-packs are all half-off. The Filatura di Crosa was $3.50, the alpaca $2.75 a skein. Since they were giving it away, I was forced to accept.
The Japanese Puppy alpaca blend was also purchased by R.W.F. and we're doing a knit-along this week to OhMyStars's Buttony sweater. We bought buttons at the second most awesome place on earth, Okadaya, a craft store in the Shinjuku neighborhood. Wherein more yarn was also purchased--Noro, Filatura ZarOne, etc. etc.
Check Ravelry for our mods of Buttony.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Here's the washed yarn hanging in my bathroom. I've only ripped the front panel of the sweater so far. I have another ball that I haven't washed, composed of short pieces knotted together, in case I need the extra yardage for a project. This yarn, for the most part, is without breaks.
I can't wait to make socks.
Here's how it started. Look at all of that yummy yarn for $4:
I've only ripped one front panel. There was a lot of loss, so I probably will only end up with about 1000 oz. of yarn, instead of 1500 or so. Darn. 1000 oz. of like-new alpaca for $4.
It's fingering weight, so I'm going to make socks with it. I'll post a follow-up when the yarn is dry and wound, and the socks are WIP.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
If the N.C.A.A. genuinely wanted to take the money out of college football it’d make the tickets free and broadcast the games on public television and set limits on how much universities could pay head coaches. But the N.C.A.A. confines its anti-market strictures to the players — and God help the interior lineman who is caught breaking them. Each year some player who grew up with nothing is tempted by a booster’s offer of a car, or some cash, and is never heard from again.
Can you imagine Nebraska or Michigan or Ohio State football games on public T.V.? What a joke. There are so many issues here, including big intersections of race and class, but I don't feel like writing a treatise.
But I just can't think of one reason why we don't pay a stipend to college athletes. Waiving tuition isn't enough. I went through 12 years of higher education and learned the difference between a tuition waiver and education support. A tuition waiver doesn't help you take your girlfriend to the movies, especially if you are forbidden from having a part-time job because of your D-1 athlete status.
Although, I've never actually heard of an "interior" lineman. We always called them "inside." Whatever. Lewis still has a point.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Yes, those are my initials. Yes, I have four names, because I'm stubborn and easily swayed by society's dictates at the same time.
Yes, I'm a gemini.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Mostly I'm entering in my WIPs and FOs into my "notebook" and putting in the books I own into my "library." What fun! I highly recommend it.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Justice Thomas, elevated by Bush 41, was the crucial building block in what will probably prove the most enduring legacy of Bush 43, a radical Supreme Court. The ''compassionate conservative'' who turned the 2000 G.O.P. convention into a minstrel show to prove his love of diversity will exit the political stage as the man who tilted American jurisprudence against Brown v. Board of Education. He leaves no black Republican behind him in either the House or Senate.
My favorite bits of this paragraph:
1. "Radical Supreme Court" = hyperrepublican, highly politicized, activist conservative judges. Warren had nothing on these guys. God bless Ginsburg.
2. Minstrel Show. No kidding. See below.
3. No black folks remain the Republican party in Congress because, well, duh. Republicans are scary.
"Minstrel Man" by Langston Hughes
Because my mouth
Is wide with laughter
and my throat
Is deep with song
You do not think
I suffer after
I have held my pain
Because my mouth
Is wide with laughter
You do not hear
My inner cry?
Because my feet
Are gay with dancing,
You do not know
Monday, October 22, 2007
Here's a project I just finished. I bought an odd lot skein of Artful Yarns "Portrait" mohair blend and mixed it with a worsted weight merino. I used size 10.5 needles, and realize now that I could have used an even bigger size, because the gauge is still a little tight. But it's not too tight by any means. Just a note for future ref., or for anyone interested in making something like it.
The pattern I stole from an episode of Knitty Gritty, when Lily Chin was on talking about a nine-block baby blanket. She showed us how to make a double-sided cable using k1-p1 rib (otherwise the rest stays the same). Brilliant!
I ran the cable off-center for kicks, and kept it skinny because it's fairly warm here down south and this is mohair, and now I just want cool weather to kick in.
I tried another pattern out of Twinkle's Big City Knits, the Magic Shawl. I was, as I said before, careful with this pattern.
I can't decide if I like it.
My sister, my M.A.P., and my friend Rinku from San Francisco love it.
My friend K. from Austin called it "The Flying Spaghetti Monster." Because it started out looking like this:
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Well, here it is:
Complete with it's own closet and organization system.
Sometimes I just stare. Sometimes I shut my eyes and rub my hands all over it.
(Get your minds out of cesspool, people.)
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
New York times columnist, law professor, one-time Milton scholar Stanley Fish writes this week, regarding questions put to him for a BBC interview:
The final question put to me was, “Whom would you vote for as President of the World?” I know whom I’d like to vote for. Someone wise, learned, strong, courageous, compassionate, authoritative, incorruptible, inspiring, capable and good-looking. No one living (or dead) came to mind, so I settled for a fictional character, Atticus Finch, at least as he was played by Gregory Peck. (Morgan Freeman in any number of roles is another possibility.)
Although I could, for a while, dismantle the ethics of Hollywood's obsession with white male hero lawyers saving black men from wrongful murder convictions (Mockingbird, A Time to Kill, and Amistad come swiftly to mind), he's well, you know, Atticus.
I think I'm breaking my blog's "no politics" rule with this post.
It's a good thing I'm in charge here.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
I limited myself to the odd lots basket and dug out some darling Noro and mohair blends and funky Cascade, loading my shopping basket to the brim, thinking of my pregnant friend as a justification for at least half of the yarn in the basket. I called out to M.A.P. when I reached the counter, seeking his help in curbing my addiction.
Once, twice, three times I called to him. And he never came.
$111.00 later, we stood on the sidewalk; I was accompanied by buyer's remorse, M.A.P. by a rumbling stomach. I blamed him for the remorse I felt, insisting that in the ethical contraptions that shape our relationship, it is his duty to limit my spending in high-risk situations like shoe stores and yarn shops.
(Similarly, given my training as a lawyer and in the area of close-reading, and given we double-tipped the waiter at the resort restaurant last night because an 18% tip is included by the resort on all purchases and M.A.P. doesn't tend to examine receipts, it is my job to ensure that all annoying paperwork is read completely and filled out properly. See e.g. our life insurance documents.)
And he didn't fulfill his duty today. Even though I asked thrice.
Apologies were made and accepted. Shortly thereafter we stuffed our faces on half-priced appetizers at a fun little bistro and drank fruity beer.
M.A.P. then observed that it isn't like we threw the money away on the yarn--like with the double-tipping--since we did purchase worthwhile items that I will certainly turn into other, even more worthwhile items with my knitting.
Did I marry a winner, or what.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
But they fit my lifestyle: southern living; ducking in and out of over-AC'd cafes to read and write; layers of clothing rather than large, heavy pieces; small enough to tuck into a shoulder bag.
This one I made out of Schachenmayr Nomotta "Maxi Cotton" using size 8 needles.
To start, I used the principles of the top-down raglan construction from Stefanie Japel's Fitted Knits, reconfigured for this larger yarn and needle size.
I ribbed the sleeves, then brought them down to a 3/4 length. The variegated yarn makes it lots of fun, and cotton is nice too, in this climate of ours down heah.
Friday, September 21, 2007
It was an accidental slip of the tongue, actually, the transposing of the first letters of each word. But of course, now it's the preferred phrase of our household (if you are 6'3" and male).
Yes, I'm marrying a teenager, complete with oversized televisions and fart jokes.
But you know, Knitty Gritty lookes bitching on that T.V. screen -- you should see those swatch close-ups. You can actually count the gauge from across the room.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Knitting has become a solitary endeavor.
Then, last Sunday, after pulling myself from the shadowy wasteland of my bachelorette party hangover, I met a departmental colleague and another academic for a knitty time at our local over-sized bookshop's cafe. It was great. I found myself in the odd position of the person to whom questions were asked, but I didn't mind that, and we all know how the teacher can become the student.
I hope this becomes a regular thing. Wish our new fragile group luck against the forces of social inertia.
Available now in S, M, and L, for $3.00
Clarissa is now available in an expanded .pdf format with sizes for S, M, L.
This shrug is named for Clarissa Dalloway, the title character of Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, one of my favorite books.
This pattern is a great first-sweater project, because it is simple and easy to fit to your body.
The cotton-blend yarns make it perfect for summer. I wear this shrug all the time--it was perfect for my early-spring trip to New Orleans this year.
Check out Clarissa on Ravelry:
Monday, September 17, 2007
(According to Pearl-McPhee's quiz in Casts Off, I appear to be "product" knitter. That means I care about the usefulness of the end product. Or, it could mean I'm incredibly cheap about yarn. Because I also have never knitted a gauge swatch in my life.)
I love Chia's book, but thus far have been stumped by it, or rather, by the goal of making something that makes me feel awesome when I wear it.
I made the scarf, then ripped it out.
Around the same time, I saw a re-run of Stefanie Japel on Knitty Gritty, demonstrating a chunky cardigan project (the "better sweater").
Whoa, did this come out badly too. I've realized what my problem is. I think if you put chunky yarn on an amazon then you'd best be careful. And I was not careful in selecting this project--because I am not a careful knitter.
Don't misunderstand: Japel's Fitted Knits is my favorite pattern book of all time. It changed my (knitting) life. I recommend it to all of my acolytes. But this chunky cardigan just was not for me.
So I put the cardi on my small-boned slightly shorter friend S. and had her model it for me so I could photograph the work, before I ripped the yarn yet again. Here it is, nearly complete (pardon the stitch-holder in place of button):
As you can see, I made it out of two colors of yarn -- Classic Elite "Alaska," an alpaca blend. I also shortened the sleeves. Here's the sleeve detail:
And the back view:
I told S. that if she thought she would wear it, she could keep the sweater, but she wisely observed that in our southern clime, an alpaca-wool short-sleeved sweater-coat seemed chock full of clothing contradictions. (Not exactly her words, but you get the point.)
So I have ripped yet again, and have chosen another project from Chia's book -- the "Magic Shawl." This time, I'll be careful.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
This is excellent news on the knitting front. There's nothing like sitting down to an episode of Jon Stewart on the TiVo with a new project, and having it done by the time the episode is over.
Ah, the joy of baby booties.
I have made exactly one bootie, from Erika Knight's Simple Knits for Cherished Babies, a book my mother bought for me when I told her I was engaged. Ah, mothers.
It is the cutest thing I've ever made. It's on display, and my M.A.P. walks by it in the house and glances at it out of the corner of his eye with a combination of dread and uncontrollable excitement. I keep reminding him it is not for us.
But it is so cute, I can understand his temptation.
Does Erika Knight have a blog? I can't find it if she does.
Monday, August 27, 2007
When I saw her sample work at the end of the show, fabulously shaped and structured yet free-spirited sweaters, I knew I had found my soul-mate. (Lisa, if you are reading this, I promise I am not scary. I'm an English professor. I'm like the least scary person in the world. Okay, that's actually a lie, I can be scary sometimes especially if you are a slacker in my class, but I believe in nonviolence. So much for reassurances.)
In short, support this V.C.P.!! (very cool person) Go buy her books! Now!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
I am a free-form fiber artist. That's all there is to it. I hate following a pattern and counting stitches, and I'm most happiest when I'm knitting or crocheting an item without any pattern at all, with only an inspiration and a tape measure. When I do use a pattern, I start following with the best intentions, and then just diverge. I'm the Roberta Frost of knitting.
I read Dominitrix, and tried to take her advice, but it just didn't stick. And it's not that I don't like creating slim-fitting items or precision knits, I just like to do it differently than line-by-line patterns. I prefer a three-dimensional architectural approach.
You know how people fall into two camps when you give them directions to a place they've never been? Some just want to know when to turn right, and when to turn left. Others want to know the full picture, the cardinal directions, plus they want to see a map to discover where the voyage fits in the grander geography of the area. I'm a cardinal direction person. Left and right don't mean anything except in a very narrow context. But if you know where north is, you can always get home.
Same with knitting--if a pattern doesn't provide the overall structural context of a garment, I don't bother with it, because then I can't make modifications. And eventually, when the modifications surpass the pattern, the garment becomes something completely original. Imperfections can be incorporated into your work. (Wrong turns can be made right, without backtracking.) I'm not sure if the metaphor holds, but you see what I mean.
Second discovery: I'm far more confident with crocheting than with knitting even though I hardly do it any more. Time and experience matter after all. That one seems pretty self-evident, but I didn't figure it out until today.
Monday, July 2, 2007
Go to a thrift store and buy a cheap, ugly, 100% wool knit hat. Felt the hat. (Look up felting instructions on internet.)
Sew straps and zipper into hat in coordinating colors, total cost: $3.00.
Use purse, and when people ask if you made it, say "Yes!"
The one I have here was not a "cheap" or "ugly" thrift store hat to begin with -- my friend C. knitted it. Then she felted it and hated the results. I rescued it from the trash and made the purse you see here.
I used inexpensive nylon webbing by-the-yard from a craft store for the straps and bought a zipper in the exact same color.
(And C., whenever anyone asks me if I made it, I always tell them that you did the knitting, of course.)
Sunday, June 10, 2007
I followed the pattern just right, but i'm disappointed with how the edges curl in when it is hanging -- the weight of the knitted edges overcomes the lace pattern in the middle and it curls. I'm not sure what to do about that. But hey, it looks all right on the table.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Here are pics of the finished product, the "Two-Tone Ribbed Shrug" from Fitted Knits by Stefanie Japel, page 45. I used merino wool in two different shades of blue, following the pattern mostly, except the sleeves are longer and a little more full than the pattern allows. I want to be able to wear it over short-sleeve shirts.
The front view:
The side view:
and the back view:
I'm okay with the sleeves being a little full because the bodice area is slim-fitting. I wear it all the time. So it passes the "I want to wear it test," which is the only one that matters, really.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
I did happen to finish my blue Japel shrug from Fitted Knits, but at the very same moment, started the diamond scarf out of Wenlan Chia's Twinkle's Big City Knits. I seem to maintain this stasis of 4-6 projects going at any one time. And yet this seems okay with me. Given that I'm knitting. And knitting is (1) small, (2) relatively inexpensive (ha!), and (3) not something I expect to be eating dinner on.
No. Not hypocritical. But I'm open to others' opinions on the matter.
Monday, May 14, 2007
(Ha! Like all of these posts aren't "for me". Blogging is self-serving, self-aggrandizing, self-centeredness at its best. Anyone who says differently is kidding themselves.)
This post is for me because, like all fiberartists, at least the ones I know, even Dr. Fibersmarts starts and starts and starts projects and does not finish them.
There are a variety of reasons for this. Boredom. Season change. New and exciting books. (Can anyone say WENLAN CHIA?)
So, here are some projects in process that I will finish, and will post when they are finished, because now that I've put them here, the world will hold me accountable.
ONE: Soy-silk Skinny Scarf
(Slip one, k1, p2, k2 p2 rib, repeat to end; sz 9 needles, Patons soy/wool blend, variegated, in "natural blue." This would be one of those "boring" projects. Actually, I love it. But now it's summer and I don't need a scarf. I'll do this one during Grey's Anatomy.)
TWO: Black Crochet-Rib Mittens
(I'm using the Lion's brand microspun doubled-up for thickness, sz 9 hook. Front- and back-post double crochets. I have one arm done. Must finish other arm, add thumb and finger pockets. Total time remaining: one-two hours. What is wrong with me?)
THREE: Japel's "Boob Tube"
(I'm using this dreadful shiny blue yarn I bought at a cheap-o craft store on a whim one day thinking it was "just lovely" -- but I doubled it up and I'm using my brand-new Denise interchangable circular needles in size 17 to warm up for my first Wenlan Chia chunky knit project and this is actually turning out okay. The pattern is on Japel's web site here.)
These are my "other" projects -- not counting my "real" project, the shrug that is almost almost finished.
Oh, and the recycled-yarn afghan that is currently packed in a box because my house was on the market. Jeez. I certainly hope none of you were following that project.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
I've made many of these puppies, usually out of Takhi or Provence's mercerized cotton, and given them away as gifts. They last forever and can be washed in the machine. Here's a picture of one:
I just like to point out my ignorance whenever possible. Tapestry crochet. Huh.
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
I started with another shrug, using worsted-weight blue yarns. Here are some pictures of the work as it has progressed.
First, look at how the kfbs make the beautiful raglan structure -- growing and shaping without seaming. So cool. I love knitting.
This is the shape of the shoulder piece, as I continue to work on a sleeve. Yes, it looks bat-man-esque.
Here's the sleeve laid together, with the arm opening aligned with the raglan "seam" and the edges just waiting to be seamed (after I've put the ribbing on)...
And here is the seamed sleeve -- my first seaming! It looks just like those seams I used to rip out so gleefully when I would salvage yarn. Note the rib edging.
Here's that sleeve from the outside, with that lovely ribbing. (oh, I do love this project. and knitting. did i mention i love knitting? i've slipped into lower case letters.)
Just a side note: My friend and I are working on our dissertations, and our other friend is here studying for his comprehensive exam. We have just reached a consensus that novels about knitting are dumb. And I'm a knitter. I have a knitting blog. I still think this literary trend is dumb.
Go knit. Then read a romance novel.
Here is where I am at the moment -- the ribbing and increases around the bodice. Same 24 rows as the sleeves, but with increases at the four angles -- I'm very excited about those.
Also, I wonder if those people who write novels about knitting actually knit. I can't help but think that if they did knit, they would knit, instead of writing novels about knitting. And if they DON'T knit, but instead write novels about knitting, they would be ridiculous poseurs.
Actually, I must confess. I know a novelist who wrote a novel about knitting. We don't get along. And I've never seen a set of knitting needles in her hands. So, to temper my strangely strong opinions on this topic, I should have provided this information up front. This novelist is not a nice person. She was mean to my very-nice-person friend. Don't be mean. It isn't nice. I digress. ("Dramatic Irony.")
Back on topic: here's how the shrug looks now (on my faux leather desk chair). It will be finished soon -- like, this weekend, since I have nothing better to do. I'll model it for you then. Then, on to the next project -- the shrug from Wenlan Chia's new book -- Twinkle's Big City Knits.