Friday, March 30, 2007

Sock Progress and Yarn Porn

So here's the progress of the sock--I think I'll actually be able to finish it by the end of this weekend (I hope, I hope, I hope). Now if I can only be assured that the second sock will go as quickly (probably more so since I have more of a clue this time around)...

The sock is actually a little longer already. This was before I did another 15 or so rounds last night.

Hubby was a victim of yarn porn yesterday. I sent him a link to the koigu at Purl and after much e-mailing back and forth, he decided to get me some yarn so I could make a pair of socks for myself (something for me! Oh my!). I think that it is really cute and sweet that he gets excited on my behalf about yarn--when we went on our mini yarn crawl last weekend, he was amazed at all the textures and colors. Now I send him pictures and he buys me yarn. How awesome is that? Riding the subway into Manhattan this morning, he asked me not to send him any more yarn porn because he'd have to buy more. Yeah, like that's going to happen ;-)

My new Koigu:

Thursday, March 29, 2007

For your viewing pleasure...

May I present Sawyer:

Sawyer is lying in his snuggly bed--an empty wooden wine box with a pillow and covered in an old blanket--but if you look kind of closely, you can see a peek of a blue, grey, orange, and seafoam blankie; six 7 x 9 swatches I made as practice before I dove into the world of "serious" knitting. It's ugly as sin, but his favorite thing to cuddle with (besides sitting between me and my husband and showing us his belly). I want to bite him, he's so cute. Supercute!

In sock news, I'm done with the gusset and working on the foot...I'll post pics of that tomorrow. Meow!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

My first heel turn

Thanks to the comments I got on my blog and all the responses on the NYC Sn'B group, I got home last night--after two unsuccessful attempts on the subway which proceeded in lots of ripping, followed by storming into the house and complaining to my husband that I must be the stupidest person on the planet (with lots of four-letter words thrown in)--I went into my office, looked at all the comments and e-mails again, pulled up, and I freaking did it! I did it!!! I swear, I felt like the smartest person in the world. My husband definitely looked at me crooked after my "how ya like me now" happy dance followed by much air punching and general giddyness. I owe it all to the awesomeness of the knitters who helped me out during my knitting crisis. Thanks everyone!!
Check out my wonderful, beautiful, not-perfect-but-darn-close-enough sock:

This is what I started with...

Check out my heel!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sock Dilemma

I'm sort of freaking out about my socks for several reasons--first and formost is I really, really don't want to screw these up and I'm terrified that I'm going to. I know, I know--no one has ever been killed over knitting (that we know of at least), but still. In the grand scheme of my stuff, this is pretty big. I need to figure these socks out!!! Not to mention that I only brought the socks along with me today and if I don't figure out what to do about them, I'm going to have to bust a mission to Knitty City before I head home to buy some new yarn (and needles, since I don't have any except the dpn's I'm working on) so I have something to knit on my way home--and since it's an hour commute, I need a knit fix. Help!!

Here's the deal--I'm using a pattern I got from and honestly, all was going well until I started scratching my head about turning the heel. I've already done this part:

This portion is worked flat in plain stocking stitch.

Knit first 27 stitches. Put remaining 33 stitches onto a holder.

>> Starting with a purl row, work 21 rows of stocking stitch,
slipping the first stitch of every row. The right side is facing for
next row

This is where I get confused:
>>RS: Knit 18 stitches, SKP, turn

If I have 27 stitches on the needle, and the pattern calles for me
to knit 18, SKP, and turn, what happens to the rest of the stitches
on the needle? Do you think I'm supposed to keep going w/ knitting
after the SKP?

This is the next step:
>>WS: Slip 1, purl 9 stitches, p2tog, turn
Same thing here--do I continue on purling after the p2tog? and then
turn? If I'm supposed to end up with 11 stitches on the needle from
decreasing, I think this is what is supposed to happen, but I'm not

Here's the rest of this part of the pattern:
>>RS: Slip 1, knit 9 stitches, SKP, turn
>>Repeat last two rows until all stitches have been worked. Ensure
right side is facing for next row. 11 stitches remain on the needle

If anyone wants to see the full pattern, it's available here:

In lighter, non-obsessing knitting related stuff, how cute does Sawyer and Helena look all smushed into one basket??

Monday, March 26, 2007

I'm on the hunt...

Why does it seem like I'm always on the hunt for discontinued makeup or the perfect pair of shoes? After getting out of the ASPCA on Saturday (where I saw the cutest little kittens ever, ever--they fit into the palm of my hand!!!), Brad and I went to Roosevelt Field mall out on Long Island. Brad needed to get a present for his aunt and uncle, and I needed to find my favorite lipstick. It's not just any shade of lipstick mind you--it is the perfect, perfect shade of red--it's deep and has a really beautiful blue/cool undertone (I know the ladies understand the importance of getting a red lipstick that is not too orange and not too brown). This was perfect. It makes your lips look like ripe cherries. It was by this company called Alchemy and the name is (approprietly enough) Devil's Claw. Well I dragged poor Bradley in and out of Sephora, Bloomingdales, Macy's, and Nordstom's and no one--no one--had anything even close--not even Channel! I am distraught. I did search on eBay and Googled it and my search turned up nadda--apparently the company is out of business. Ugh. To make up for my disheartening lipstick search, Hubby got me some drop dead gorgeous peep-toe black patent-leather shoes that I will post a picture of as soon as I get a pedicure.

In happy news, I bought more sock yarn yesterday. I went to this sweet little yarn shop in Park Slope called Stitch Therapy--lovely people in there. They don't have a ton of yarn, but what they do have is beautiful. (I checked out Knit-A-Way too and though I was impressed with their selection, I didn't like the vibe--and they're more expensive than necessary. They were selling Karabella merino at $10 a skein--the same yarn I can get at Knitty City for $8.) Not that I've finished the socks I'm currently working on, but that doesn't matter--this yarn was too yummy to pass up. Not to mention having the Hubby with me to pick out the colors of his next pair of socks makes things easy and fun. Here it is:

It's from a Welsh company called Jitterbug. 100% merino wool and it's so freaking soft. I can't wait to knit with it. Has anyone ever used this company before? I'm hoping that they'll be self-patterning like my beautiful Koigu, but I won't be devastated if they aren't.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Grendel reads blogs...

He hasn't figured out how to type yet though...

Off to the ASPCA in a bit. I'm bringing a couple of old blankets that we have in the house. They need them for the kittie and dog beds. I also started making really simple kittie blankets--14 X 12 inch blankies. The first one is in plain ole' garter stitch, but I think I'm going to keep making them and trying out stitches and patterns I want to try (and it's a great way use up left over bits of skeins and whatnot). In these cases, they really need to be acrylic so they can stand up to the crazy amount of washings the ASPCA does. It would be nice if they gave the blankies to the kitties when they get adopted, but I suppose I don't knit fast enough to replace them. Soon though ;-) That just gave me an idea--if anyone is interested in knitting or crocheting blankets for the cats and dogs waiting for adoption at the ASPCA, let me know. If one knitter/crocheter/yarn enthusiast can help, imagine what a bunch of us could do!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Darn it, Harlot!

I spend the better part of my commute--from the ass-end of Brooklyn into the city all the way to the Upper West Side--knitting. But when I have to transfer trains (from the D to the 1), I stop and read a book for the next four stops until I reach my destination. This morning? Same story. Except--I missed my stop because I was so engrossed in the Yarn Harlot's new book. So I had to get off the train, walk to the other side of the tracks, and get on going in the opposite direction (luckily I didn't have to actually exit the subway station to do this). That's how good Casts Off is.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

NY Knitters did the Harlot proud!

I went to the Yarn Harlot's (Stephanie Pearl-McPhee) Represent/Cast Off book party tonight and it was--in a word--awesome. I was completely blown away by the sheer number of people who showed up to show some love to the knitting world's favorite blogger (not to mention how much we all love knitting). It was pretty darn cool. My favorite thing about the night? Aside from Stephanie's amazing wit and hilarious banter with knitters afterwards, her publishing company gave out swag bags with a skein of Patton's Soy Silk and #8's from Boye along with some info and directions to knit a square for Warm Up America. If that isn't one of the coolest things ever, I don't know what is.

KNYtters Unite!

The Casts Off poster:

Look at all 750 of us! That's a lot of knitters (in case you didn't know):

That's Stephanie all the way down there...fuzzy, but what can I tell you?
It's her :-)

I must say, knitters--or all yarn enthusists, are some of the nicest people. While waiting to buy a copy of Stephanie's book, I was chatting with a girl on line behind me and she was in love with my sock yarn (as am I--I made a few coworkers stroke it yesterday because I'm so enamoured of it. They didn't resist--I think they were afraid). I was fawning over her beautiful hand knit shawl (mohair and silk). I aspire to someday knit something like that, and I told her so--but when I told her how long I've been knitting (just over 6 months!), she was pretty impressed that I had forced myself out of a dpn fright. Knitters rock. I don't care what anyone says, we are cool.

I must take this moment to say how incredible my husband is for meeting me at the Represent party--being a non-knitter is reason enough for him to have not gone, but he also spend the better part of the afternoon under the needle getting his tattoo sleeve worked on, so needless to say he was in pain. But he took the train in back from Brooklyn where the tattoo shop is, all the way over to F.I.T., and sat through two hours of knitting wit. He's a good egg. I'm a lucky gal--and so is he since he's the one getting my first pair of socks!

And in related news, here I am knitting my sock on the way to work this morning:

Represent with the Yarn Harlot!

It is positively criminal to have to work on such a beautiful 60-plus degree day when I know that there are droves if yarn enthusiasts swarming the city going on various yarn crawls and getting their picture taken with la bella Yarn Harlot while I am stuck inside slaving away like a good worker bee. Fortunately, I'm heading over to F.I.T. at 5 p.m. to see/hear the Stephanie and hopefully buy the new book, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off. I actually tried to get it from my local Barnes & Noble but they said the publisher hasn't shipped them yet--drat. Luckily, they are supposed to be selling copies there, so all is not lost (maybe I'll even get that picture anyway!). I'll also be passing out flyers for my little blog, and hopefully I'll get a few new readers (because though I love my husband and girlfriends very much, most of them couldn't give two poops whether I've just figured out dpn's--though they do appreciate the presents, so that is something at least). The countdown begins!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sock it to me!

In preparation of the Yarn Harlot's decent upon the City (as us native NYers call it), I decided it was time to get my butt in gear and make my own pair of traveling socks since everyone else at the Represent event this Thursday is going to have traveling socks. It means absolutely nothing that I taught myself to knit only this past October--and that it took until just before Christmas for me to produce a scarf (in fun fur, thank you very much--I gave it to my mom). The Harlot was coming, so I busted out that beautiful Koigu I made the smallest swatch in the world with and got busy.

I searched high and low and finally found a pattern that doesn't look like it'll make me pull out what little is left of my eyebrows, and I attempted my very first dpn cast on. So far so good. Counted the right number, moved 40 of the 60 stitches to the two other dpn's, started the ribbing (it calls for K3, P1* for 6 inches which is a godsend since I dislike K1, P1 ribbing, though if I did that I could at least do it "until I was sick of it" a la Zimmerman--I'm not sure which is the lesser evil to tell you the truth) and since I totally forgot that my math skills are so horrid that even counting is a challenge, I had to frog it three times before I got it right. Except I didn't really get it right so I wound up frogging it again this morning and then casting on whilst riding the subway on my way to work. I got some funny looks let me tell you. It probably didn't help that I was talking to myself. And counting outloud. And muttering curses every so often, because damnit, I had no idea that knitting on dpn's was going to be this complicated. It's seriously tricky--not that I don't assume that other knitters who might be reading this are chuckling to themselves thinking, "Awww, how cute! A newbie's first time out on dpn's! I can remember back before I had my entire hand-knit sock wardrobe and was all awkward..." Well let me just say it loud and proud--ya gotta start somewhere. I'm pretty impressed that I was even capable of figuring out the pattern enough to get it started. So what, if all I have is 8 rows? I'm not counting! Well, okay, I am, but that's not the point. I'm just glad that I got it started without putting my eyes out.

Here's my beautiful Koigu and my first 8 rows on dpn's:

Monday, March 19, 2007

Ugly Sweater Vests...

I would love to know who actually wears some of the booty-ass sweater vests I've come across while searching for a good sweater vest pattern. I wanted to knit myself a really cute black sweater vest because, though I've seen lots of them around recently, for some reason designers have taken to attaching a faux button-up shirt underneath the vest like so:

Note--this is an actual vest I saw on eBay. It's not one in a real store, though if it was, I would probably buy it. I'd also get one in plain black. I don't buy clothes on eBay because I have this thing about buying clothes I haven't tried on, but I digress. Everywhere I go I see sweater vests with a "layer-look" faux shirt attached. Who came up with this brillian idea I would love to know (so I can go and bitch-slap them in the mouth).

But when I look for cute vest patterns, all I come up with are fugly things that I wouldn't even put your granny in:

Do not attempt to adjust your screen. Those are actual strawberries knitted into the vest. I'm not kidding. Fugly. Really, really fugly. I don't know anyone who would actually wear this. Do you?

So attention all knitters--anyone who has a cute vest pattern, please hook a sista up!

The Latest Baby Blanket (yes, again)

I mentioned a few posts ago that I was crocheting yet another baby blanket--this one for a coworker and his wife. Well I finally finished said blanket last week and crocheted up a cute little sweater vest for super-cute stuffed doggie that hubby and I found in Michael's. Here's the pics of the completed projects:

I used Paton's Shetland Chunky Tweed and a 6.0 mm crochet hook.

And because I am just that crafty, I also made a handmade card:

Up next? My very first felted project (I'm having serious anxiety about this, let me tell you), and the possiblity of me actually going back and attempting to knit socks. I don't know how successful I'm going to be, but damn-it, I'm going to try!

Cat and Dog Food Recall

In case you haven't heard about this yet, Menu Foods, Inc., makers of the popular cat and dog food brands Iams and Eukanuba (as well as Purina, Science Diet, and over 40 other brands), have recalled thousands of cans of wet dog and cat food. These products have caused kidney failure and death to several household pets already. Please check out Menu Foods, Inc. Recall for information about other products affected and be sure to take care of your pets!

The ASPCA website has additional information:

ASPCA Press Release on Cat and Dog food recall
Meow! Woof!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

You know you knit too much when...

You start searching CafePress for knitting t-shirts. It is really problematic when the idea of getting these panties seems like a good idea:

Maybe I should just stick with this t-shirt:

The weird thing about that t-shirt is that it kind of looks like me....

Monday, March 05, 2007

An Update from the Krafty Gal...

Lots of stuff going on lately--as I mentioned before, it's one of the many reasons I haven't been updating as often as I would like to. So here's a nice, easy bulleted list of stuff that I've been doing, working on, getting, making, yadda, yadda, yadda:

• Just bought Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmerman. I know, I know…as a knitter, I should have gotten this a long time ago, but what can I tell you?

• I’m now officially a volunteer at the ASPCA. After doing orientation and whatnot, I just got my ID on Saturday. (No, I will not post what it looks like because it is a mug shot as every ID I’ve ever taken is.) I’m very excited because I’m going to the “Cat Volunteer” session on Wednesday.

• Enrolled in another belly dance class (starts March 26th!) because it’s been way too long since I’ve shimmied and that is just sad.

• Almost finished with the baby blanket I’m making for my coworker Jay and his wife Lisa. I’ll post pictures as soon as it’s done. I’m also planning on making a sweater for the very adorable stuffed dog I’m also planning on giving them.

• Making plans for my next baby blanket project (so much for swearing off of them) for one of my bestest girlfriends, Sandra. She’s having a girl, so I’m thrilled to be able to crochet it pink. I think I’m going to try and design a ladybug blanket because she is completely obsessed with them and she’s having a “garden” theme for the baby’s room.

• Using my Denise circulars on the mystery-project-intended-for-my-friend’s-birthday, and I’ve discovered that it can be a little sticky to cast on when using 100 percent wool (I’m going to felt it). I figured out that going up a half size (knitting on 10.5’s, went up to 11’s to cast on) alleviates that problem.

• Hubby and I got a new dining room table in Ikea this weekend and it is beautiful. We got the chairs last weekend. We got the Markor table in dark wood and 6 Stefan chairs in red. It looks freaking awesome, especially with my turquoise and red candles, red table runner, and turquoise placemats. Yes, red and turquiose. It looks good. Really. Now I need to throw a dinner party to justify having such a big table and all those chairs.

• Work is still crazy-as-all-hell.

• My family has been driving me bat-shit.

• I’ve got a serious case of writers’ block.

• I need new music.

Ummm…that’s it right now. Unless I can think of something else.