Knitting


How do you pick up what you dropped off…

How do you find your voice when you don’t speak…

How do you move forward when you barely can get yourself out of bed…

I guess you start where you are, if this is what you want. One word tap at a time not looking forward, backward or making excuses (to or against) and you just do. Even if you tap from bed πŸ™‚ So I am starting with where I recently was… Rhinebeck!

Rhinebeck this year was a bit of a let down, and that was all my fault. I learned the rough lesson that one of my good friends from grad school is extremely self-absorbed and not trust worthy or thankful. But her being inconsiderate and flaking at the last moment didn’t mean I should flake on my preferences. It was fucking gorgeous. And I didn’t want to be around her anyways, yarn people would be better!

So I drove up through the GORGEOUS Hudson Valley pissed (excepting the moment where scanning radio stations I came upon FLASHDANCE and sang out loud with the windows open not caring I was alone). Only I got to the fairgrounds still irritated, feeling lonely. A veritable Little Miss Crabbypants as I wasn’t going to get to see Scout, I realised on the drive up that I hadn’t gotten Ann’s contact info so had no way to find her either, and I didn’t know if I would be able to track down Claudia and Silvia. I had no one to hang with and look at all the gorgeous leaves. I also had JUST missed the Punkin Chuckin… Yes that would be pity party of one called to her table. But walking around I ran into Kate (we both did double takes as well we aren’t supposed to “randomly” run into each other on *this* continent). And then Buckaroo decided to come out and play (what like we didn’t know I have multiple personalities :)) so I went straight to the animal stalls with my camera. I decided to stop wallowing in my one person pity party and try to make the best of things (one day I HAVE to learn how to use the camera cause the burning hot it is annoying the hell out of me!).

This wasn’t hurt by the fact that shortly thereafter I got a big fluffy pretzel with garlic and cheese. And then I got a text from Claudia and Silvia. YAY!!! Not all was lost. I was not going to be alone in the sea of knitting friends. I love my favorite redheaded sisters and I WAS going to get to see them πŸ™‚ And next time I AM going to remember to take a picture of all three of us!! We chatted, I got to see a ribbon winning photo (as well as print- which I think I might try printing some of my photos thanks to Miss Inspiration herself). I even heard about the Hello Kitty yarn πŸ™‚

And then they had to start the drive home, so I went on my way to go wander the yarn barns to see if I could eke out a purchase. While I couldn’t buy much yarn (when your travel costs bump 100%, your shopping budget goes poof!) I did get yarn. While last year I was entranced by Brooks Farms I saw nothing that pulled me in that I could tie to a project. And right now… nothing comes into this house without a project. But I did fall in love with one booth. Botanical Shades. And I got two yarns that I think I am going to really like (one is likely to become a Gretel. I saw a girl wearing on all day and DUDE I soooooo want it- I even finally bought the damn pattern; the other I might be getting more and make it into a sweater :)).

So there was my Rhinebeck. Rhinebeck of leaves and lambies… Until next year!

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And this is a knit blog. Thanks to the glory of Scout (really can I tell you how much I love her- oh let me count the ways :)) I am no longer in the knitting Ice Age. I have joined the real world of grown up knitters.
I haz ball winder and Iz not fraids to use it…

yarn cakes

See those nice little uneven cakes of soft pretty alpaca yarn… Let’s all clap for them, they took me long enough to wind. Next on my path to enlightenment (aka being a real big girl knitter) get a freaking swift! Though I have to admit the roommate swiveling her hips around to untangle the skein and keep a winding rhythm was entertaining. But they, they are going to become a sweater. There will be knitting on this blog! And in the not so very far future a photo of a sweater I predict. Well at least knitted bits of a sweater… we all know how I am with that whole FINISHING stuff. Nope no questions here, I am a process knitter!

Yes… of all things not only am I knitting, but I am making a sweater! Watch out the lightning might strike and smite us all πŸ™‚ Indeed. Back at the end of January I finally got futzed enough to say “yes I go gather yarn, hand-wind it into ball I can throw at people and I knit sweater. *grunt*” You know like the good cavewoman I was. That simple sounding step took enough of an internal debate as I am currently in a life wide funk known as Indecision Central or WHAT THE HELL DO I WANT?? I don’t know… Do I want grey? I don’t know. Do I want claret? I don’t know. Do I want neon yellow? I … wait I do know- no I do not want neon yellow. Thus with my impetuous impulsivity, I decided I will go with a peacock teal-ish colour instead. Nothing screams spring like a jewel tone colour you know.

texture

Then it took me and Google harvesting the powers of evil for good old fashioned internet research. Seriously, what the hell is this I live in NYC and I couldn’t find a store with the Berrocco Ultra Alpaca yarn in stock?? I like to touch the yarn and see the colour if possible before investing in a sweater worth- call me old fashioned. Oh internets again let me declare how I loves thee. I cannot heap enough praises on the Yarn and Fiber Company. When I wanted to “test” out the Berrocco Ultra Alpaca for the Minimalist Cardigan, they not only had the yarn, competitively priced and in the colour I wanted but also… they sent it with free shipping, even for one skein (but also for the additional five I got to make the sweater more than an indecently proposed sleeve). SCORE! I love you, hug you and call you GEORGE!

Sleeves

Even better at this point, I swatched a sleeve, actually I have both sleeves done and the back half way done as well. This was followed by the realisation that it would have been smarter to knit the fronts and backs as one unwieldy piece as seaming moss stitch is not exactly a favorite pastime of mine. Eh. Smart never claimed to reside here. An aside… photographing two sleeves is a definite challenge. Really how interesting can you make it look? Silvia managed to have an Orchid that helped. Me I only had the anemic jade plant… I so obviously lost that battle. Anyways, since I have travel going on (am back in Paris and Copenhagen this weekend, and before you get jealous Paris is for storage unit clearance action, and Copenhagen is to visit the best friend) I might just finish this sweater before spring if I am a good and dedicated girl.

That said I don’t know how this sweater is going to work out on me. It could be a bit boxy on me. Being the petite linebacker I am, that could make me look like I am GOING WIDE. And I am a bad swatcher as I haven’t gotten the sleeve wet to see if it is going to expand in gigonormous proportions… Life on the edge- I is living it!

Next up… the fronts let us see if I can get them cast on before I leave the RIGHT side of the pond πŸ™‚ Until then let us all ponder upon the beauty of my one perfectly wound yummy yarn cake!

perfection

Charlie's Pillow

I am using this as the reason I haven’t posted yet. It is not that I don’t have blog material…

At first it was that I couldn’t find the card reader. I mean I have the post written and ready to go, just waiting for pictures. Right, then I went to purchase one. B&H (where I spent more money than I honestly should have given that the exchange rate is going to rape and pillage me next week- money that is now a new toy and one that enabled me to post this photo thanks to the cool memory card I shelled out for) sold me the wrong one. Sounded like the right one. Got home- wrong one. That is being returned! So I guess I’ll blame technology for the lack of my real post.

And while I am playing this entertaining round of the blame game. I am going to blame Charlie for not knitting on my sweater this weekend… I had been hoping I would finish the back this weekend. Sigh. See Charlie is a very misguided dog. One who ate my peeps!, and who is fairly certain that my yarn and sweater back is his pillow. In the world according to Charlie: this sweater is totally not going to happen πŸ™‚

FYI: That blue is the Berrocco Ultra Alpaca Oceanic Mix (you can’t see the pretty green bits that fluff around in there, I promise they are there) that I am using for my Minimalist Cardigan.

I’ll save you the deep pensive reflections currently rippling through my Walden’s Pond… You know the ones about trying to get in touch with my inner-self, what feels organic, what I want and my direction in life. I have spent the past 8 years in a somewhat insecure existence. I survive, even float and on rare occasion swim. BUT… it has come with much anxiety to Ms. Risk Averse myself. The large part of my life over the past 5 years has been lived in wee increments, such that I think 6 months is long term. Instead I’ll just subject you to a “round ’bout” discussion… πŸ™‚

All that is to say that the anxiety knitting involved me waiting out contract negotiations (where in since the last post, I started and am half way through a clapotis- photos coming) and they have come to a positive end. Excepting this whole gastritis thing that showed up the same day I got the contract. That SUCKS and is still around GAH! But I want to try and focus getting on track. The big picture that I am working on is sometimes scary. So I want to look at a small attainable goal that gives me a sense of self, that I can control and define… I chose my wardrobe.

So as part of my “I am not on fiscal lock down anymore” modus operandus I gave myself a treat and went to see a movie. I wanted a comedy… so If went to see 27 dresses. Let the velveeta run! Now you might be asking why I am bringing this up (it isn’t to do a movie review… though the movie delivers- it is a fun cheesy chic flick)… Why, cause I have been battling my fashion sense. I am quirky, but I don’t have one of those defining senses of fashion. I am a chameleon, I adapt in part to what is around me. I would never have been able to survive the past 8 years in which I have moved 8 times and had 7 jobs with 12 different contracts; without the skill of being dropped in the FIRE and adapting so that I find my way out with out 80% of my body covered in 3rd degree burns.

What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?? Well I want Katherine Heigl’s stylist to come redo my wardrobe… Serious, I am focusing on the work clothes first and I want her clothes badly. But short of that realistically happening I want to strategise, and then shop. And I want to knit. HAHAHA… there it is! I told you I would find a way to tie it all together πŸ™‚

Minimalist Cardigan Tangled Yoke

So I am looking at knitting two staple sweaters for the spring/summer. The two that are currently percolating on my burner… Minimalist Cardigan and Tangled Yoke. I am also futzing with which yarn to use (Berocco Ultra Alpaca and Felted Tweed) and what colour to pick (grey and teal or cranberry) for which and what…

TealGreyCranberry

In the end this one is about finding and creating a wardrobe that I love more, that fits me more perfectly, that would be in style and reflect who I am as a person more uniquely. Something that wouldnt make my mornings hellish as I attempt to determine what the hell to wear with whatever else… And also to allow me to declutter some, to leave at least 10-20% of the space in the closets, drawers, and bookshelves empty, to leave room for new ideas and better things to enter into my life.

I realised a long time ago I am not a product knitter, I am a process knitter. The process keeps my fidgety hands busy as well the anxiety at bay, and that really is what it is about for me. Process at least makes me productive when I am sitting flat on my arse (which is expanding and the same rate as the US national debt) unmotivated and doing jack all. And sometimes feeling a teensy bit sorry for myself (which I need to crack myself out of every once in a while cause really- life is not that bad, and I just need to get my shite together). I am not one of those challenge myself process knitters either (thinking of the incredibly inspirational Mrs. Grumperina). I am of the “just a put needles in my hands with something to knit” kind of process variants. But it is a process that keeps my mind from speculating and running wild (which that hamster on crack running marathons on the wheel in my head is prone to), so I doubt I will ever let the needles go.

For many people knitting has a therapeutic effect, I know that it does for me most of the time. Fact: when I am stressed I tend to knit more. So this is what happens when I have to wait for things to settle out and I get just a wee bit anxious… I sit and knit- cheaper than therapy in NYC if nothing else. And right now I am in a waiting it out period that has left me a wee bit confused (introspection, reflection and questioning life… it is great) and my hands definitely tired. Not all of the below were knit between Christmas and now (only the monkeys and two sets of endpaper mitts) the others were just finished (ends woven in and toes sealed shut!). But I am grouping them all together in the same FO groupings. So bring em…

Starting the year off with FO’s and blogging, I guess it is a good way to go… Next up well I have some sweater envy right about now (oh over this, this, this, this… this and this. for starters) or I could make another pair of endpaper mitts to go with my red jacket. Then again I also have a cutaway that is 2 years overdue for finishing!



Pattern:
Charade
Needles: 2.5mm 10cm metal Addi needles (my only sock needles, you will pry them out of my dead cold hands before I knit with any other needles for socks)
Started: November 2007
Finished: January 2007
Yarn: Plucky Yarn Fingering Merino (Oh La La colourway)
Modifications: None!

Notes: First the yarn… This is my first go round with Plucky Yarn. I like supporting indie dyers, and the more I see yarn like this the more I think I might want to learn how to dye. And if I do, I want to learn with this yarn, because I love it. And I am willing to wager it wont be the last time I am playing with Plucky Yarn. The yarn itself reminds me of a Manos style yarn for socks… with out the thick and thin, if that makes any sense. The colours are incredible and the tone on tone pink of the socks are killer and meld with the pattern wonderfully in my opinion… But I am biased. The pattern, also lovely! It is mindless without being plain stockinette, and looks very pretty. Big props to Sandra, I am so grateful that the smart people think up the pretty things for me to knit up πŸ™‚ As for the socks themselves, the fit is a bit snug. Which is my own fault. If I knit it over again I might add 2-4 extra stitches, in the round to give it a bit more give. Otherwise, perfection.

Pattern: My Standard Socks
Started: April 2007
Finished: January 2008
Needles: 2.5mm 10cm metal Addi needles
Yarn: Vesper Sock Yarn in Crew
Modifications: None as it is my standard pattern for my feet πŸ™‚

Notes: This is my first time with Vesper yarn too… I love the striping! Great colour pairing and so much happy fun. This yarn in a simple mindless stockinette sock, it is perfection. Almost makes me wish I got two skeins so that I could make knee highs. I definitely see me making another pair in another colour. When I can find the time to stalk enough (I bought this yarn while I was still living in Paris and that took stalking to a WHOLE new level) to find the yarn in stock πŸ™‚

Pattern: The infamous Monkeys
Started: January 2008
Finished: January 2008
Needles: 2.5mm 10cm metal Addi needles
Yarn: Brooklyn Handspun in Chocolate Covered Cherries
Modifications: Again, none I am not that big into making modificiations on socks, I barely know how to modify on larger knits why am I going to make my head hurt (or buy a case of wine) for smaller knits πŸ™‚ And Cookie socks are pretty close to perfect so why would I need to?

Notes: One more indie yarn set of socks… also with I purchased the yarn eons ago when I was still in Paris. I LOVE the muted colours on the handwash yarn. Also GREAT customer service from Marie (who I met once in an inarticulate evening when I was at The Point…) And yes the yarn is wonderful too. Has held up to my abuse so far πŸ™‚ I initially tried it with another pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks. That pairing did not work… at all. So a few days ago (dude I said anxious and PLANTED on my arse) I unwound it and restarted with the Monkey’s pattern. Dear sweet buttery jesus that pattern is addictive. It is like crack. And next thing I knew within 2 days, I had one sock. 2 days later I had another (I have finished since this picture was taken… but thought it was fun to show in process). These are like instant gratification. Pop and I have a pair of socks. Woot! And ouch my hands…

Pattern: Pomatomus (or potty mouths as I called them)
Started: January 2007
Status: One down one to go… I hope to finish it before the weekend is over as it should be an anxiety wrought weekend
Needles: 2.5mm 10cm metal Addi needles
Yarn: Schaeffer Anne (I think… and don’t know the colour but it is a GORGEOUS yarn I got in an overly indulgent and unequal trade I did with Jodi. Again… while still living in Paris)
Modificiations: None… Cookie is a goddess

Notes: Ummm I am a bit more than way behind on writing on this one. The yarn matches the pattern perfectly, the pattern takes some attention so it isnt mindless anxiety knitting. We shall see what stage of anxiety knitting I am in over this weekend as I wait out the height of anxiety to this point. God I love my life, remind me why I chose this πŸ™‚

Pattern: Endpaper Mitts
Started: December 2007
Finished: December 2007 and January 2007
Needles:
2.5mm 10cm metal Addi needles for the ribbing and for the colour work
Yarn: Bollicina in Taupe and Wine (I think) and Elann Peruvian Baby Cashmere in Tapestry Blue and Cashmere Blue
Modifications: Again… none really, who is going to improve upon one of Eunny Jang’s patterns? Only thing I did was that I knit longer on the ribbing for the bind offs so that I could have longer coverage on the fingers.

Notes: I first started the brown ones last year when I was in the same place (Anxietyville) only different country. Then I got frustrated as they were knitting too tight and I stopped and made a My So Called Scarf out of Manos again. So the mitts, they sat and waited… and then about a year later, I decided to rip back and start again. And then I got annoyed with ripping back to twisted ribbing (which can I say I am really liking. bit of a pain in the beginning but after you get used to it, it is fine. and a bit of a trend in these knits non?) and started another pair. Cause that is how you solve the problem. Ahem. Half way through the blue pair I showed them to my roommate and she claimed them, and said she wanted the other one to be the inverse. FUN FUN FUN… Then once done, I set my sights on my first pair. The one made with the fancy yarn (can we say 65% cashmere 35% silk). So I started back up and finished them up. Only they don’t match the red jacket I got on sale and have been wearing during this season of global warming (it is 65F in NYC IN JANUARY). So I am thinking I need a blue and white pair… I fell in love with the colourwork. I had fun with the stranded knitting. These are addictive as crack and I might fall in again here soon, I have a pair of needles free for the taking/ribbing πŸ™‚

Photos were taken by me with my new 24-70mm f2.8 lens. All bless the holy of the fast lenses… I worship at your temple. I am in the love. Also the photos were enabled by my roommate who art directed and modeled for me πŸ™‚

I have been encouraged and convinced…
I have people who remember me and want to meet up… (Ill be there on Sunday if you are interested… and look something like this, only with longer hair

Salina

I will be a real knit blogger after this πŸ™‚

Might even be shopping for sweater yarn, cause you know I have a list of about 10 of them I want to make, but what is more apropos and cheesey for an October day (that by the way is 77F!) than to knit me a Central Park Hoodie? Will see what happens!

In the mean time, here is my train knitting… Yes I do still occasionally knit. And I am hoping that I get to do some leaf peeping, animal petting, and that by the time I post next week (I’ll try I promise) that I have this place looking pretty too.

Rhinebeck Knitting