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Monday, January 30, 2006

Random Stuff

I would just like to thank all of you for your nice comments on Butterfly. Hopefully I will have some time to find a slip this week and I can model it for ya. I almost went to look today during my lunch hour, but I didn't think I'd be able to trek all the way downtown, find the perfect slip and be back in an hour. I can't wait til it gets warm and I find a slip so I can wear it! It's calling to me!

This weekend I met up with two of my old high school buddies from South Jersey:


Sara (left) had only knitted a garter stitch scarf before and Robin (middle) was a newbie. I gave both some lessons and they were off and loving it! They have been my best students so far. The above picture was taken at the end of our session. Robin had a nice, even "flag" of garter stitch and Sara learned how to purl. Since we don't see each other too often, we are going to try to keep one weekend a month to meetup and knit. I hope we can keep our promise!

Hot Lava is coming along well. The sleeves are finished and the body is about 1/2 way there. I'd post a pic, but it isn't too exciting right now. It just looks like a big purple blob with arms - but in a good way!

I've decided to join Lolly's Project Spectrum and Sew? I Knit! I think Project Spectrum could give me a little shot of inspiration I've been needing so desperately lately. I also came across Sew? I knit! tonight. It is a gathering of knitters who want to start or get back into sewing. I've been wanting to dust off my sewing machine for a few months now, and there is nothing like group motivation! I haven't sewn anything since my sophomore year of college, right before my knitwear specialization kicked in. I just hope I have enough time to devote to both of these projects! Plus the Knitting Olympics are coming up - I need to start training! So many interesting things to do, so little time!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

I Now Present You With.....



Butterfly (dress version) Rowan 37
Yarn: KSH 3 balls
Size 8 bamboo needles
Started July 2005 - Finished Jan. 25, 2006

It took me 4 hours to finish this baby up tonight! I finished at exactly 11:59pm and I really had to push myself on this one. The bottom trim took a bit of time, but the main body went very quickly even with placing random beads around. Knitting with beads is a very pleasant experience, however getting them on the KSH with a small needles causes one to curse a little. The picot bind off around the armholes and neck is very pretty, but it took a little patience to work. Even though it's only 39 sts on each section, for every 6 you bind off, you add 3 more. It seemed like it would never end! I don't recommend finishing this in one night (especially if you're a little sleep deprived).

Overall I absolutely loved this project! It satisfied my addiction to KSH and challenges. The dress fits me very well, but I couldn't model it because I don't have any slips. I need to go shopping for a nice vintage slip now. Anyone know of a good place to go where I don't have to spend more money than I have to? After all, I need to save every bit for more yarn - more KSH even.

bftop Close up of picot bind off edge.

bfbeads Look at the little beads!

I think the funniest thing is that I wanted to wear this to my cousin's wedding back in August! Ha! Took a bit longer than a month I think!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

This Has Gone Too Far!

So I get an email from a member of the LIC SnB that our Yahoo group is nowhere to be found! Immediately I blamed the Sew Fast Sew Evil people and quick checked it out. Yep, our group is gone, but why?? We didn't even have Stitch n Bitch in our group name. Our official name was LIC knit!

I have heard a couple of stories about some groups losing their site because the group owner did not change their group names, but I thought we were beyond that due to SnB not being involved here. Guess I was wrong! I was a moderator for the group, and I never even got an email warning. Our owner is nowhere to be found -haven't heard from her in months, so maybe she got a warning but doesn't check her Yahoo account? I guess we will never know.

I didn't even want to go into the Sew Fast Sew Easy dilemma on my blog, but now that they have messed with me and my SnB group, I have no choice! For anyone out there that hasn't seen the deal somewhere else, here is the scoop: Sew Fast Sew Easy owns the trademark for Stitch & Bitch Cafe, an online chat room or something. They sent out a complaint to Yahoo Groups that SnB groups were no longer able to use the name Stitch and Bitch due to trademark infringement. Some groups changed their names, others were deleted. Apparently Yahoo doesn't do any investigating into the matter, if they are asked to shut a group down for whatever reason, they comply. Debbie Stoller is also involved due to the title of her books. I say this is absolute bull plop. The Stitch and Bitch name has been used for sewing/knitting circles for about 50 years now! If you want some more info, or want to track what's going on check out this website . It appears they may have a special boycott website dedicated to this cause up soon.

And in knitting news:


Hot Lava is coming along great! In fact, I feel a little guilty because this is supposed to be a knit-along with my LIC girls and I feel like I'm going way too fast. Now, I haven't seen anyone's progress from last week, so maybe when I show up on Tuesday, others will be at the same point. But until then, I'll just sit here feeling guilty. I do have a good excuse though (why do I have such a guilty conscience?). On Friday, my train to Philly was delayed due to two, yes not one, but two stalled Long Island RR trains in the tunnel. I waited 1 1/2 hours to get on my train. Then on the way back from NYC tonight, there was a NJ Transit train stalled in front of us and debris on the track! That took 45 minutes to clear up. So an extra 2 1/4 hours of knitting time really helped speed Hot Lava along. I mean, what else was I gonna do!


Butterfly is blocking away. I actually have the front on top of the back. I wanted to make sure that they were both blocked to the same measurements. I blocked the back last Thursday and placed the front on top tonight. I should be ready for some exciting mattress stitch action tomorrow. Yay!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

And The Winner Is........

first aid
First Aid wins it hands down 7-2. After some careful considering, I also felt this was the project for the challenge. The dang cable chart has made me crazy for 2 years - yet I keep coming back for more! Plus, this is the winter olympics, so isn't it better that I'm knitting something that can be worn in the blistery NYC winter? And on that note I present you with.........

Butterfly Progress!

This is a horrible picture, but you can see that the front, knit 2nd, is a tad bit smaller than the back, knit 1st. Thank God for the blocking process! It is really teeny-tiny, but after knitting no less than 3 garments out of KidSilk, I know of it's tendency to grow and expand. Hopefully this tendency doesn't leave me with dreaded knit dress/skirt molded butt syndrome!

And since I finished all the knitting I could on Butterfly before the blocking is finished, I started Hot Lava. We are having a little knit-along with my LIC SnB group and I'm two weeks behind, so I figured I might as well start. I'm so excited to finally be working Magic Loop. It's so much fun!


Before everyone thinks that I am a knitting fiend, let me just say that all this knitting was completed over the past couple days because I was in bed with a bad cold with nothing better to do. I'm feeling better now, (and back to work, hmph!) I just wish I had this much knitting time everyday. Boy, this whole knitting olympics thing may just be a bigger challenge than I bargained for, but to that I say Bring It On!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Knitting Olympics

By now, I'm sure a lot of you have heard of the Yarn Harlot hosting the 2006 Knitting Olympics. Basically, all "competitors" have 16 days to finish the project of their choice. So, because I am crazy, and I haven't had a good challenge for awhile - I'm actually thinking about joining. Problem is, I want this to be a really good challenge, and I'm torn over what project to pick. Here are the canidates:

1) Butterfly (tunic version): I just picked up my dress version again this weekend, and I'm moving along quite well (let's see I've only been working on this since July???). So I figured this could be a good chance to work on the tunic version because deadlines are good. Otherwise I'm afraid that I'll never get the tunic version done. Plus I already bought yarn in a beautiful teal color for it.

Pro: already have yarn, need a push to start second version
Con: feel like I'm cheating because I am already familiar with the dress pattern

2) First Aid cable cardigan: I already have yarn for this one too. But is knitting something on Size 11 needles really a challenge for me? But then again, I've put this pattern off for 2 years now because I just recently understand the cable chart.

Pro: Yarn in stash stock, cables aren't anything to scoff at
Con: Size 11 needles - is that cheating?

3) Corset sweater: I've had my eye on this one for awhile, but I have the feeling this might be a bit unrealistic. I'm fast, but I'm not that freakn' fast!

Pro: definitely a challenge
Con: need to buy yarn, might be a bit unrealistic

So those are my choices - any suggestions?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

FO Frenzy

What an excellent way to begin a new year - by finishing up two projects in one night! Lucky #2 is finally finished! And the Log Cabin socks are on my feet as we speak. I'm a bit tired, but it was so worth it!


Pattern: Lucky (by moi) from Stitch'n Bitch Nation
Yarn: Lobster Pot Lace weight cashmere in Hydrangea - 100% Cashmere 400yds (7 skeins)
Size 3 straights
April 2005 - January 2006

Whew! Lucky #2 is finally complete! The Cashmere made all that sewing up so worth it. If I had to do another one in cotton, I'm not sure I would have made it. Just touching that sweet, sweet cashmere made every stitch a pleasure. The 1 1/2 hours it took me to sew on the infamous neck band was like a dream........you get the picture! So the first lucky took me 3 weeks, the second....well a bit longer. It's amazing how much a deadline affects knitting time.



Log Cabin Socks from Handknit Holidays
Rowan Cork:95 merino wool/5 nylon 120yds (3 balls)
Size 5 double pointed
Dec. 18 - Jan. 12

I love these socks! The Rowan Cork is so spongy and warm. Perfect for keeping my toes warm and comfy in my sometimes cold apartment! I couldn't help but finish these after Lucky, they were calling to me "Please finish these four rows! And we only have 2 ends to weave in!" I couldn't resist!

Knitting the cork on size 5's was a little bit challenging. I felt like I had to knit really tight to keep ladders from forming and to keep them from stretching out too much after wearing them one time. I also learned something new from this little pair of socks - how to fix a cable twisted the wrong way. I dropped all the cable stitches back 5 rows and made it out to tell the tale! It's really not as scary as it sounds - trust me!


So I have two FO's for 2006 already! Maybe I will be able to keep at least one resolution this year. Now I just have to get to poor Butterfly and my Fair Isle pullover and nothing can stop me! I vow not to buy another ball of yarn until those two sweaters are finished!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Happy Belated 2006!

Whew! I'm finally back online! My network card decided to die on me right before Christmas and I've been too busy to fix it. Finally got over to the store tonight, bought a new card, and fixed the old girl up. She's as good as new (or at least til I buy my new Apple)!

The knitted gift scarves went over very well. My Grandmom couldn't help showing hers off to anyone that came through the door! Luckily knitting two different scarves for my Mom and Aunt didn't set off a bidding war. They are identical twins and sometimes the one wants what the other gets! I'm sure a couple months down the road, they'll be trading off anyway. I guess it's like getting 2 handknit scarves for 1.

I got several knitting related goodies this year:
Niddy Noddy: measures out 1, 1.5, and 2 yds skeins from Grandma and Grandpa

Sweater drying rack, WPI tool, yarn yardage counter, and book from Dad

The Art of Knitting is an excellent, very inspiring book! (Sorry about the blurry photo) It focuses on the construction of knitted fabric, using different yarns to achieve different affects, and thinking outside of the box. It has an awesome collection of inspirational photos side-by-side with beautiful swatches. I highly recommend it for anyone who designs knitwear and it would make a great coffee table book too!

Bag kit from a co-worker

I also got some cold hard cash from Mom, Grandmom, and Aunt to be used for Spinning classes at the Yarn Tree! Next class start March 1st, though I might wait til the weather gets warmer. I hate going anywhere after work in the cold.

I know I said I hoped to have the Log Cabin socks done by the time I came back to NYC on Jan 3rd, and I came close, but not quite:

I did manage to finish one sock - which is amazing since I spent more time watching the Simpsons on DVD during my week off than anything else. Unfortunately, I am not the type of knitter than can watch TV and knit at the same time. Sometimes I wish I was, but then I remember that I hardly watch any TV, so there goes that idea.

Now, my resolutions for 2006 are:

1) To be a bit more aggressive, not let anyone walk all over me at work or otherwise
2) To design more of my own knits
3) To finish all my UFO's before it gets warm again (I have to be able to wear them at least once this year!)

Speaking of finishing up UFO's.....what's this???? An almost completed Lucky #2? Hmmmmm........