Monthly Archives: July 2005

Only when pushed!

I’ve got nothing to knit. La da di da da! Nothing to knit, only stuff to steek. Steeking requires a bit of thinking and concentration, and a full-day commitment. Looking at my calendar, steeking might happen the weekend of August 13/14, and probably not earlier. Just lettin’ you know that there will be no sewing and cutting excitement before then ;).

Well, there are Paula’s socks to knit, but I can’t post about them :\.

When I went to Claudia’s last weekend, it was a great push to get finished on the Adrienne Vittadini sweater – I had nothing to knit, and I had to bring something with me. The AV sweater had to come out of its jail.

Friday night I was faced with a similar dilemma knowing that on Saturday I would meet up with Colleen and Paula, and I had nothing to knit! The apricot Shine won’t be here for some time (to knit this), and Paula’s socks are out of the question.

I’ve seen some cutie-pie wrap sweaters out there. Ms. Bestitched made one, and is currently working on another. Colleen made a sleeveless one – hello, pretty! Rachael made Michelle has been scheming matching mother-and-daughter wraps out of Noro.

Inspiration. It’s a great thing.

I never thought myself a wrap kind of girl. It’s the girls up top, they can’t seem to fit in or they are cut halfway by the wrap, and it’s just generally unsightly. But I never thought myself a cardigan girl, until I sat down and figured out a way to make one that fits. That’s the beauty of knitting for oneself! So, I put on an old, ill-fitting cardigan, started folding down this end and that one, putting pins here and there, measuring this thing and that, and I have an idea about how to make a wrap that actually fits me. Martha would say, “It’s a good thing.”

I’ll call this pattern “my own”, just because I’m writing it from scratch and not using anything as even a template, but, you know, there are a ton of wraps out there, so it’s just a pattern that’s already out there, highly modified and not really followed ;). Not much different from the way I typically knit, where eventually the pattern I’m “following” just gets in the way and I don’t leave a single thing the same.

By the way, I’ve decided that this type of sweater (at least the way I plan to wear it – tight) doesn’t need any waist shaping. Perhaps I’ll regret this decision later.

Why thoughts of a wrap, all of a sudden? Well, I have a ton of this stuff:


The color is not true in either picture – it’s not quite that magenta, nor that brown. It is ONline Linie 76 Cup, 52% schurwolle, 48% polyacryl which I got from elann a long while ago. I bought it for a hooded pullover, but sort of, eh, don’t love that idea any more. It’s chunky, and I can’t imagine wearing a full hooded pullover made out of this stuff, I would just combust. But a wrap… that’s an idea! I literally have a ton as far as yarn is concerned, 14 balls. And this stuff takes up space! Destash time!

Interestingly, Alison is behind all of this. The yarn went on sale at elann and I just loved it at first sight! The color, the texture, everything! I was so hesitant to buy it sight unseen, but then, just in the nick of time, I read some lovely comments Alison made about this very yarn!

The label is really amusing. I highlight the amusing parts: 7,0 – 8,0 mm (equivalent to something like US 10 3/4 – 11). 13 M (stitches). Bwahahaha! Not in this household! So I knit up a swatch on US 9. I did try US 11 at first, but couldn’t figure out how to hold that broomstick, let alone two of them, and still maintain balance!

I had just a few hours to come up with a pattern, so, uhm, I sped up the swatch-drying artificially. My gauge is about 15 sts and 21 rows per 4″ square. Which is BIG! I typically knit somewhere in the 24-26 sts range!

I wonder what’s going to happen to the apricot Shine when it arrives? Will I put this sweater in hold in favor of a cool cotton, or will I keep knitting it? I don’t know, considering that after a Saturday with my knitting pals, I’m almost done with the back ;).

Just a glimpse into my mania

I just had the most delicious nap. Yawn. I’ve been looking forward to this nap ever since I woke up this morning… cranky, tired, grumpy. I’m a real dreamer – I have dreams all the time, I remember them well, and today’s nap was the second daytime nap in a row where my dream was about knitting! And this one is so out there, I have to share.

I’m riding in the car with some people who aren’t familiar to me. We are going to a RedSox game, and the stadium is on our left. The road approaching the stadium is narrow and suspended up in the air, like the subways in some parts of New York City and Chicago. It is a huge stadium, and we must circle it to get to the parking lot. The female driver is going fast, way too fast. I close my eyes and feel as though I’m riding a rollercoaster.

We reach the parking lot; we park. We are walking down a humongous set of metal stairs, just down, down, down… stairs, landing, stairs, landing… we overkill and end up going down to the basement. We backtrack and enter the stadium.

I’m with my classmates, and one of them, J., has my ticket. Each ticket gets the ticket holder 2 beers, either Sam Adams on tap or I.P.A. (I think) in a bottle. I’m not much of a beer drinker, so instead I receive a voucher good for 2 coffees. J. and I walk away and I say, “this is silly, why didn’t I get beers for you guys?” He says, “I dunno. Why didn’t you?” We have time to spare, so we walk over to one of the areas where beer is sold. J. and I check our wallets for a dollar bill to give as a tip the bartender. I have a wrinkled one, soggy from the humidity, and I hand it to the bartender along with my voucher. I ask for the Sam Adams, I expect it to come in a bottle. Shit, it’s on tap, and eventually the bartender hands me the pint glasses, which I must balance above my head before lowering them down. A little beer spills and gets on my white t-shirt. My classmate B. joins us and comments, “looks like you spilled a little over here.” Yep, I spilled it a little.

I hand over the beer to J. and wander away for a little while; the game doesn’t start for some time. I walk around the huge stadium and end up in a little garden of sorts. I run into a beautiful middle-aged woman. She is all over the place, walking around, checking papers, looking in her bag. I am knitting, and we start a conversation. She says, “What are you making? It’s beautiful!” I say, “thank you, it’s a little sweater I designed.” She says, “Can I see?” I hand it to her and I immediately realize that it’s not a handknit! It’s a stretchy machine-knit, like from a store, where a pattern is printed on the fabric after it’s knit. But I have just a few inches of it, and it’s sitting on a honkin’ US 5 or 6 needle. There’s a ball of yarn attached, but I can’t see it. I want to see the ball of yarn, to see if it’s white like the fabric’s background, or perhaps it’s pre-printed to create that beautiful design, like self-patterning yarn.

The woman seems to know about knitting, and she’s pulling on the start of the sweater, which also has delicate little eyelets. “Wow, these eyelets are great! What a great design!” she says. She starts pulling out little thread fragments from my work, which leads me to believe that perhaps what I’m knitting is intarsia. Except the threads she pulls out are themselves not all one color! I am trying really hard to figure out what is this thing I’m knitting, and my brain is blanking. “Do you have other designs?” she asks. “Yes, I do.” She says, “Well, I’m the editor of Vogue Knitting, and I’d love to see what else you’ve designed.” I’m shocked to realize who she is, and I’m totally blanking on her name, although her face now looks a whole lot more familiar. “Uhm, sure, let me tell you about the different things.” We start walking and talking, except she’s a frantic walker, and we’re sort of running around in a jerky fashion.

We walk right past the Interweave Knits office. I know exactly what it is, and so does she. It has balls and hanks of yarn on the windowsill, lots of them. “Don’t bother with those folks,” she tells me. We get to her office and I say, “Let me take out my digital camera, I have photos of some of my designs on the memory card.” I pull out my camera, except it’s not my camera, it’s someone else’s camera! I put it on the small coffee table in front of us, and that coffee table has like 5 cameras on it! An older couple comes running in, outfitted in RedSox gear, and claims one of the cameras. They are relieved to have found it. I finally fish out my own camera from my bag.

I have 1,113 (Purly? Colleen?) pictures on my camera, and I start shuffling through them, looking for specific ones. There are all kinds of irrelevant pictures on there – pictures of people, pictures of plants – I can’t seem to locate any knitting pictures! There are pictures of sweaters that I didn’t design, that I didn’t knit, and the editor sees them. I feel embarrassed to tell her that those aren’t actually my creations. Some of them are from Interweave, in fact. I start pulling stuff out of my bag, maybe looking for my camera again, and there are a few sketches. The editor grabs them and examines them, and she seems to like some of my ideas. The only problem is that they are highly digitized and processed, I must have been playing around in Photoshop to create surreal-like knitting collages for some reason. But she still digs it. There is one in particular of me and my grandma on massage tables; we are both wearing a Tivoli and receiving a massage (where? You use your imagination, the Tivolis are obviously covering our upper bodies). The editor loves it. “Oh,” I tell her, “I’ve got pictures of that design on my stupid camera. I just can’t find them because there are 1000 pictures on here.” I try looking through the camera again, but just can’t find any Tivoli pictures. The editor is getting antsy, and I know if I can’t show her the pics now, it will never happen again.

“Wait a minute,” I say, “if I have access to the internet, I can show you some pictures. I e-mailed some pictures to a friend, and they are saved in the ‘sent items’ folder. Do you have a computer?” “Sure, follow me,” she says in that frantic jerky way.

We walk to a big desk, and there’s a very small rectangular panel above it. On the left is an air conditioner unit, and on the right is something akin to a swinging kitty door. She goes first. She puts her hands through the kitty door, wiggles the rest of her upper body through the opening, and down and out she goes, like trash down a trash chute. I’m next. I put my arms through the hole, and my head is next. I look down, and it’s like a 1-story drop to the ground. “Wait, how am I supposed to get down?” I ask. She says, “I’ll catch you!” We both start laughing at the thought of my ass crushing this petite beautiful middle-aged woman. “Move out of the way, I’m going to give it a try on my own.” She does, no hesitation. I get myself through the kitty door, and the behind is a tight squeeze. I get it through, and my legs follow, and I don’t fall! I sort of grab the doorway and other architectural elements around me, and lower myself without a big thump. We’re on our way to her computer.

The end.

I woke up and my arms were so asleep! I had to wiggle my bottom to get out of bed, I couldn’t even use them. Maybe that’s why I was wiggling my bum in the dream to get through that little swinging door :)

Sometimes you get force-fed a lil’ crazy

Oh yes. Yes, yes, yes! Do not adjust your monitors. That’s a photo of Falcon brand tissue culture dishes on my knitting blog.

See, it’s all about Paula and the socks I’m knitting for her. Even though I can’t show you the socks, there is enough insanity in my knitting to blog about them.

Paula’s feet measure 7.5″ around, and mine measure 8.75″ around, which is a big difference! I mean, I have tried on the socks I’m knitting for her without any permanent damage to the knit fabric, but my feet are so different, I don’t have a good sense of how long the leg is, when it’s time to start the heel, etc.

I went scrounging around for something, anything that measures 7.5″ around. My drinking glasses, diet Pepsi cans, even a scrap piece of Plexiglas I had lying around – all the wrong circumference.

But lookie what we’ve got here!

EUREKA!!! There was some frantic taping following the discovery, which led to this thing:


It’s a mock-up of Paula’s foot! I dressed it up in a regular sock so that the handknit fabric doesn’t get caught on any edges. Then I made it try on my Pretty Comfy Socks. Now I know that on Paula’s feet, the leg of these socks would be 6″ long, and that they would be… a little loose. I can take the same measurement on the socks I’m currently knitting for her.

And if the socks don’t fit after coming up with this contraption, I’m just going to sigh and hide in a corner ;).