Sunday, April 30, 2006


This is the closest this yarn will ever get to being the One Singular Sensation cardigan. May it RIP. My grieving is over, and I'm ready to move on.

That said, I finally have pics of an FO - the Honeymoon Cami. Although, I'm sad to report the following conversation:

Me: (to DH, with the cami on) enthusiastically So what do you think?
DH: Oh, dear, well, it's nice.
Me: a bit less enthusiastic Hm, really? Do you think so?
DH: Yeah. Of course. It's . . . um, well, it's nice.
Me: OK, c'mon. What's up? You don't like it?
DH: Well, you want an honest broker?
Me: Shoot.
DH: It looks homemade. Nice. Homemade.

Shucks. Homemade. Where's my bonnet?

Homemade? OK. I agree. Well, maybe not 100% homemade, but I think it's 1) too big and 2) my bod's not in tip-top summer form (where are those strength training WO cards?). So, I think the cami would be nice if I had a tighter, less cushy bod and if it were less droopy. A sister version of the cami (a striped deal, but mine's solid) is on the needles now. It has a tighter fit, so hopefully that will help. Unfortunately, it's going pretty fast, so I doubt my body will be all that toned before I can don it. Oh well, hopefully by next month I'll look better, making it look better. I'll post a pic of it on when I get this bod in shape.

And since I've been picture-less lately, I have a few extras:
DD's rug, the first panel 1/2 complete. You can see it here with the remaining skein (to get a sense of the size). I like how it's coming out despite how tough the yarn is to knit (3 strands of Sugar 'n Cream), size 10 needles. It's heavy. Definitely not a travelling project.

And here's another pic of my lovely DD sitting to admire the flowers. She's delicious.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

(no pics yet)

Me: 51, 52, 53, 54, 55
Creepy train passenger (CTP): Oh hi there. I bet you could do that in your sleep.
Me: 56, 57 Um, yeah, just about. (weak smile) 58, 59, 60
CTP: Neat. What are you making?
Me: ah crap, what's my count. Oh yeah, um, 61, 62, 63. . . what am I making now? Oh, the honeymoon cami. Wait. I can't say that to the male CTP next to me. Um, a cardigan. A cardigan? Knit in the round?! Yeah. A cardigan.
CTP: Oh, so a sweater with a zipper or buttons and a collar?
Me: Yeah. Cripes. What stitch was I on? !@#$% 1, 2, 3, 4. .

I think people have this notion of knitters as older women who wear Little House on the Prairie garb (including bonnet) and who are forever chatty, talkative, warm and fuzzy people.

The southern belle child in me says you have to be friendly and talkative to everyone. But the DC/NYC woman of 6 years says forget em all. I'm busy.

OK, maybe that's a little harsh. But really now. Pre-coffe, 7:30 AM train riding, and knitting. I'm not talkative (except to fellow knitters, and even then it's limited).

And speaking of cardigans, the YGG One Singular Sensation is now One Scratched Project. I can't bear to look at the pattern, and now I'm stuck with exhausted yarn that I don't know what to make into.

So I cast on for the striped, updated version of the Cami from Mind of Winter, and I'm knitting an in-season project. Hopefully this will be much better than the OSS.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

You may whine . . . briefly

I've been knitting the orange cardigan (all the pics in previous posts) since March. It's the poor article of clothing that's seen me discover I'm knitting incorrectly, suffered through several froggings to get the curvaceous decreases, been through a couple of different needle sizes to get gauge, and now is seeing MORE frogging as a result of a mistake in the pattern.

I wanna pitch it.

I hate it.

I love it.

It's not at fault.

but I hate it.

Overall I like the patterns in the YGG (that's why I bought it), and I think they're relatively easy to follow (I dislike having to flip to the back of the book for detailed instructions, but I understand space limitations). I have met the authors and frequent their store, so I know they're intelligent, thoughtful women.

But c'mon ladies. Cut an obsessive-compulsive perfectionist girl some slack. I get to frog BOTH front panels - roughly 8" on each one.

OK. I'm done whining. Onto ripping. Poor, poor yarn. I gotta hand it to the yarn, though, it's sturdy. I'd knit with it again any time. I love the stuff.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

and the winner is . . .

This delightful beauty: Blaze. I'll it make with short sleeves and a nice summer-weight yarn.

Thanks to everyone on Sexy Knitter's Club who responded to my post there. Lots of good suggestions that are going into my list of patterns.

Too many patterns, too much yarn, not enough hands.

Post-post: OMG I really have to get some new yarn to show on this blog. EVERYTHING is orange (including the yarn for the new t!). I gotta fix that.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

ISO scoop-neck T-shirt pattern

All knitters - I'm in search of a pattern for a basic t-shirt (much like nothing but a t) but with a simple scoop neck that swoops down a bit from the neck. I plan to make the Somewhat Cowl, but I have a specific summer skirt that needs a simple blouse. I'm worried the ribbing and cowl on the SC is too heavy for the skirt, which is a beautiful shimmery white in a flaring A-line to the knees. A cami is too casual for the office, and the SC too heavy.

I'd be ever so grateful if anyone can point me to a pattern!

My knitting class last night was taken mostly with hunting yarn for the SC and for the elusive scoop t I want to make. I know, I know, it can be problemmatic to pick the yarn before the pattern, but I did it anyway. I'm picky and have a very specific weight and color in mind, and I figure I'll do whatever adjustments I can to the pattern to make the yarn work.

So, not much knitting, and not much progress to show. Here's an FO from January, modelled by DD. I loved this poncho and have gotten so many compliments from strangers (and multiple requests to sell them) I thought I'd show it off. The Medusa hat I absolutely love and was so much fun to make.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The perils of blog-reading

I'm suffering. Suffering, suffering, suffering. I'm reading too many blogs and seeing too many delicious FOs. I want both the act of knitting, but I want FOs in each sitting. I could do little toys for DD (ah! more FOs to add to my list), but let's face it - fuzzy creatures are cute for only so long. Then they get, well, a little boring.

I signed up for the Sexy Knitter's Club Orangiana KAL but haven't started. One, I'm way past the cast-on date, and two I have too many WIP already, and the list is growing.

So the question of today is How, oh HOW do you curb your addiction??

That said, I'm in the land of blah knitting. I recast DD's rug, and it's slow going. The rogue knitter in me decided to increase the size of one rug panel by 6 so that I don't have to sew panels together, but it's making for s-l-o-w knitting. 104 stitches per row, 178 rows total for the first section of the log pattern. The yarn is thick and heavy, which hurts my hand. I can only knit a few rows a night, and at this pace I think it'll take 3 months to finish the first panel (and then there are a bunch afterwards).

As a result, I'm not posting much.

I did think about Colleen at Subway Knitter recently, as I've seen a few knitters sporadically during my 3+ hour commute (round trip). I was wondering why I saw so few (with such a long commute), and lo and behold I saw TWO in less than 24 hours. This cool chick was knitting in Penn Station while waiting for a train, and this lovely knitter actually sat next to me on the train in this morning. We had a nice time chatting and sharing tips.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

knitting is . . . romantic!?!

Yeah, romantic.

At least I regard knitting as romantic. I love the self-created nostalgia of it - the look of my hands on wooden knitting needles, the sense of longevity and by-gone days an FO evokes, how FOs are embued with love because they are handmade. I think it's the southern belle in me coming out (I grew up in northern South Carolina on the borders of appalachia with a momentary stint in the low country).

I think it's this romantic, nostalgic notion of knitting that propels me to knit for my SC-born and raised MIL. It's also what prevents me from knitting for my Texas-born and very practical mother. I envision umpteen projects for MIL but can't see a single one for mom. Sad, too. I love my mom. Now if I created piano music I'd have something to give mom. Like I live and breathe knitting, she lives and breathes any and all things piano. Maybe a knitted piano bench cover. A-ah! Maybe I'm onto something!

Friday, April 14, 2006


I posted on one of the knitting help boards (either knitty or knittinghelp) awhile ago about holes in the neckline of my green sweater. One of the responses included a link to an article on knitty about working with necklines, picking up stitches, decreases and increases. In somewhat of an aside, Theresa Vinson Stenersen described making graceful, curvy decreases along the arms and shoulders. I had to frog back on my sweater so I did a few extra rows to try the new stitches. As you can see in the after picture, the results are beautiful! I had no angst at redoing it since it turned out so nicely. I'm also hopeful that the other pieces will knit much more quickly as I learn these techniques and apply them from the beginning rather than having to rip and reknit all the time.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Twisted Stitches

I decided to do some experimenting on the twisted stitches and have some tell-tale photos. I decided to play around with the cardigan, since I have to rip some rows anyway. Can you see the changes to the stitches in this photo? I have three different stitches:
1. Knit counter-clockwise, purl clockwise (incorrect)
2. Knit counter-clockwise, purl counter-clockwise (correct)
3. Knit clockwise, purl clockwise (incorrect)
And a closeup of the last two:
1. Knit clockwise, purl clockwise (incorrect), and
2. Knit counter-clockwise, purl counter-clockwise (correct). Technically, the clockwise stitches should result in relatively even rows since I'm wrapping the yarn the same for the knit st as for the purl st, but it does look more twisted than the counter-clockwise wrap, and the stitches are weird to knit.

I'm surprised at how EASY the stitches knit when done correctly. My gauge is actually a little looser than previously, and the knitting has more ease. It also feels much more natural even though I've been wrapping the purl incorrectly for years and years (hence having gotten used to the wrap).

I've learned a lot through this and now understand why all of these years my knitting never looked like those in books I have. I always hated how my stitches seemed sloppy - bumpy and uneven and a bit strangled looking. My rows were never as straight and even as those in the books, and I thought I was just untalented.

Well, no longer! I'm just uninfomed (some call that ignorant, and in this case, ignorance is NOT bliss).

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

To slip or not to slip: that is the question

(DD is sick today and I'm at home with her. She's napping, so I'm blogging.)
So I posted this question on the knitty board and knittinghelp board and thought I'd post some updates and pics here: I've heard that for joining pieces, slipping the first st of the row makes joining easier. Is this true? What's the result of slipping? of knitting? Do you slip p-wise and k-wise, or only k-wise?

Following with the rogue in me, I decided to slip both k and p-wise for the cardigan. I don't know if I'm doing it right, and after looking at the edges, I'm not convinced it will be easier to piece. The edges roll in like mad - I think I'll have to block it before piecing together (are you supposed to block before piecing?? Again, I'm revealed for the poser-knitter that I am).

After my first intermediate knitting class, I was worried I might not get much out of it. All of the other knitters seemed very new, and the instructor didn't work with me at all. However, last night she gave the following advice about slipping: don't do it unless you're knitting an unseamed edge (like a rollneck edge). She showed me seams on a raglan sweater she knit. I swooned. Literally.

Anyhoo, so I'm going to follow her advice for now (not to slip my to-be seamed pieces). I'm also going to block (per her advice), and most importantly, I'm going to take the pieces to her to teach me how to seam them.

There is hope! (if blogger cooperates)

Eureka! I learned so much last night in my second knitting class, not the least of which is I'm purling backwards. I wrap the yarn around the purl stitch clockwise instead of counter-clockwise. I wrap the yarn around the knit stitch correctly, counter-clockwise. The combination of the two in St st results in a twisted stitch. No wonder my BOs are not so pretty (at least that's what I'm blaming it on for now). I don't know if you can see it in these two pics, but it's noticable in person.

I also had a terrific compliment from the instructor, Cathy. She said I had "great technique" and "beautiful knitting." I don't think it can get any better than that. Nice nice nice!

Despite my new-found discovery, I'm going to finish the honeymoon cami as is. I can't bear to frog it again, and I don't think the prissy yarn will hold up to another rip and reknit. I did buy new yarn last night to knit another cami, one that's more casual for shorts, etc. I also plan to put a seed stitch border instead of the twisted rib stitch. New yarn specs:

Elsebeth Lavold Cotton Patine
100% Combed Cotton
Color 05 (plum)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Confessions of a poser rogue knitter

(OK, now I know what everyone complains about WRT Blogger. Sheesh!)
I never learned the rules, so I really can't break them. And yet, every time, every pattern, the uninformed rogue comes out and wants to change things. The result? I frog every single item I ever make. In fact, I usually knit every pattern 3 times to get 1 FO. It's now DH's new favorite way to tease me. Current cases (yes plural) in point:

The Rug
Yes, the rug. The friggin rug that's supposed to be completely mindless knitting it's so easy. I frogged the entire thing last night. Why? Because I noticed that 1) my rows didn't match the pattern (some had 6, some 7, some 8 when all should have been around 6), and 2) I realized I needed to make 4 panels to sew together. If the panels weren't the same, they wouldn't match in size, and I'd have a heck of a time making the darned thing even. So, the result is I ripped it all off and am starting over. BUT, the rogue has to emerge, so I'm knitting ONE panel that is 5 times larger than the panels in the book. Why? Knitting 1 panel means I can change however many rows I want and not have to worry about matching up any other panels to it.

How will it turn out? Gawd, I hope OK!

The Cardigan
So I had some yarn for a cardigan from knitty, but I decided I wanted something more slim and trim. YGG had a great cardigan, but the yarn swatched a smaller gauge than called for in the YGG pattern. Some hackneyed simple calculations showed that I could use the yarn I had but knit the largest size in the pattern to result in the smaller size that would fit me. For some reason, I figured I'd knit the small size for length (e.g., knit for 11.5" rather than 12 or 13) but I'd knit the largest size for width (e.g., cast on 84 st instead of 74). Now I'm wondering if I'm going to have a squat box of a sweater. Only time will tell.

In the meantime, here's a nice pic from the train.

Note to self: don't use the phone camera again. Repeat: don't use the phone camera again.

Monday, April 10, 2006

A New Love

No pics make for a boring knitting post, but I just fell in love with a new blog. Well, OK, it's not new in absolute terms but it's new to me: You Knit What?!.

My coworkers are all a bit uncomfortable while I slink down in my cube laughing so hard I have tears coming out of my eyes. What a pick-me-up on Monday!

Sunday, April 09, 2006


Nighttime Knitting
Tailgate Rag Rug from Mason-Dixon Knitting
*instead of using rags as the border, I'm using 4 strands of the Lily in pale yellow
Lily Sugar 'n Cream Butter Cream Ombre Worsted 4-ply, 100% cotton
Lily Sugar 'n Cream Yellow Worsted 4-ply, 100% cotton
Lily Sugar 'n Cream Pale Yellow Worsted 4-ply, 100% cotton
This pattern looked like so much fun, and I've been wanting to get a rug for DD's room in just the right colors that I decided to knit it up myself. Cheap cheap cheap but luvley Lily Sugar 'n Cream yarn. It's what my MawMaw taught me to knit with. This is a fast project so far and the most forgiving I've had (besides the dishcloths). It's perfect for my TV knitting when I'm tired, usually very relaxed after a cocktail, knitting in somehwat dim light, and only paying half attention to it. The cami, on the other hand, requires full attention. And speaking of which . . .

Weekend Daytime Knitting
Honeymoon Cami from
Portofino Color 1, 70% Cotton, 30% Viscose
I really like this yarn, but it's annoying to knit. I love the weight, the drape, the shimmer, and the coolness of the yarn. It'll be perfect for the summer. But it's such a pain to knit - no matter how careful I am, I inevitably look at it the wrong way and it gets upset. It's worse than my toddler's tantrums. Today DH took DD to the park for several hours during which I could knit to my heart's content. Lucky me - I was able to redo all the ripped parts. I also spent some time last week figuring out the pattern and making detailed notes, which have proven very helpful. Interestingly, I think I did find a problem with the pattern (although so many others have made it I'd have expected someone else to find it). According to, the left decreases and right decreases in the honeymoon cami are reversed. In the cami, the left decreases are really right decreases and vice versa. I am reknitting the cami with the decreases and it's turning out very nicely.

Weekday Train Knitting
One Singular Sensation from Yarn Girl's Guide to Beyond the Basics
*I'm knitting this in a solid instead of stripes
Zara Merino Extra Fine, Color 1731, 100% Wool

This has got to be the softest, squishiest, loveliest yarn I've knitted with in awhile. I love how forgiving this yarn is - it holds its shape incredibly well, makes my sloppy knitting look decent, and springs back into place when pulled slightly. It's not too pricey, either, especially compared to the Portofino. Here's another pic with DD, who saw me taking pics of the knitting and insisted on having one of her. I made her a deal by saying I'd take one ONLY if she sat with the knitting. My lovely girl, knitter-in-training, complied. You can also see the color of the yarn is very different here than in the close-up. In the natural light, it's much more the color in DD's pic, not the close-up.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

R r r r r r i i i i i i p p p p p p !!!!!!

Ack. So much progress, so much ripping. I went to bed completely bummed about ripping out the two sides of the honeymoon cami. My gauge is a little off, the decreases are funky, and I can't figure out how to do the left side. I'm less than enthralled with the pattern instructions, though I've seen on Mind of Winter that many many knitters have successfully knit their own luscious camis. I want mine! And I want another!

I fought the urge to stay up late to figure out the mistakes. I was tired, and you know that a lot, sometimes most, of tired, frustrated, late-night work results in MORE problems. I went to bed instead.

I have learned this project is no longer suitable for train knitting. It's back to a project that's in the simple stockinette stage (a cardigan from Yarn Girl's Guide).

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Tales of the first knitting class

I went to my first knitting class last night. I describe myself as an advanced beginner: I've been knitting since I was about 8, taught by my patient and most wonderful MawMaw (shown here with DD), and knitted dishcloths for about 20 years after. A few years ago I adapted the dishcloth pattern to a blanket, which took 5 years to complete, but therein began my journey in knits more challenging than dishcloths. After the blanket, I knit several Jiffy Baby Sweaters, another blanket (wedding gift), a toy backpack (for my yet unborn DD), placemats and knitted metal, beaded napkin holders for my MawMaw, and most recently scarves, hats, a knitted top, and poncho. It seems like quite a list to put in one paragraph, but now you have the full gamut of FOs.

Anyway, back to the class - so I consider myself an advanced beginner, and a sloppy one at that. I hate to block, hate to gauge, hate to weave in the ends. I like to knit. So, I signed up for the intermediate class thinking it would take me a step beyond.

I went to the first class last night and loved it. There were 6 women plus the instructor, and each of us brought our own projects. However, I was really surprised and pleased to discover I was pretty advanced compared with the other women. Perhaps they were in a class too advanced for them? Perhaps I was in a class too basic for me? No matter - I was thrilled to be able to teach some of them something while the instructor was busy helping others. Wow. Maybe I do know some stuff!

I was able to advance on the honeymoon cami, finishing the right back side (1 of 4). Today I gleefully accidentally missed my morning train, so I knit the right front side (2 of 4 down). I'm noticing that my gauge is tighter knitting the sides than the body. I don't know why that is, and I hope it doesn't throw off the look of the sweater.

I'm not 100% in love with the twisted rib border, but I found it hard trying to find a different border that worked with the number of stitches in the pattern. Besides, I do feel so new to knitting garments that I figured I'd follow the pattern once through and then make changes if I knit it again (which I may do if it fits well). I love the graceful, feminine sloping curves in the body, and I love the yarn. HOWEVER, my yarn has "yarn flares," like sun flares. I don't know if it comes through in this picture, but the yarn snags and pulls out of place creating a tuft of threads that won't lie down. I love the look, feel, and texture of the yarn, but it sure is a pain difficult to knit.

Today I'm wearing my first adult sweater! It fits perfectly and is shaped very nicely after sending it to the cleaners, although the neck is still loopy and uneven. No matter - it's my first sweater and I can't possibly NOT wear.

A knitting first

This is my first blog post where I will wax ad nauseum about knitting, purling, cast-ons, bind-offs, increases, decreases, decorative stitches, intarsia, fair isle, and ripping off.

Occasionally, I'll also talk about my other favorite subjects - exercising and healthy eating, and my family. No work, repeat no work issues can appear on this site (unless it involves knitting, exercising and healthy eating, or family at work).

Some in-progress projects and FOs.

This is my first adult sweater, knitted for myself. I don't have the yarn specs on hand, but it's a lovely moss green. I'm not one for blocking and, while knitting the sweater, was relieved to hear the owner of my LYS say she never blocked anything. So, I happily took the sweater to the dry cleaners to have them care for it. I was particularly unhappy with the front neckline - all of the other edges came out lovely, but I think my gauge was too loose along the neck, which resulted in holes where the decreases appear. The sloppy excited, impatient knitter that I am, I skipped ripping out and redoing, hoping instead for a professional clean and press to take care of it. I haven't tried the sweater on yet since getting it back, but I think it may have shrunk! It's certainly much more plush and thick looking than when I sent it. Does anyone know how dry cleaners care for sweaters??

This is yarn for a new project, the honeymoon cami from Mind of Winter. These skeins have turned into the body of the cami (pics to come). I'm at the neck, back, and arm shapings, which are tricky. I need to stop knitting this on the train and switch to something mindless, like the sweater that uses the following yarn.

I'm knitting this lovely deep orange into a cardigan (again, a first) from the Yarn Girl's Guide to Beyond the Basics.

Saturday, April 01, 2006


May 2007
5/19 2hr 20mi bike ride
5/20 30min bike ride
5/26 9min 18 mi bike ride
5/27 2.5hr 25 mi bike ride
5/28 1hr 10mi bike ride
5/29 30min UB strength
5/30 40min LB strength
5/31 45min 10mi bike ride

September 2006: 5 (WFT?)
9/14: 45' TM (walk/jog)
9/18: 45' TM (intervals)
9/19: 20' CF step + 60' GM strength + 25' walk
9/20: 45' moderate step
9/21: 30' pilates

August 2006: 20
8/1: 20' TM + 30' lower body strength
8/3: 60' TM
8/5: 80' cardio mix
8/8: 45' cardio mix + 60' FB strength
8/9: 1hr 25min cardio mix
8/10: 40' pilates + stretch
8/12: 20' CF Power Max step + 45' GM strength
8/13: 40' pilates
8/14: 30' TM
8/16: 45' TM
8/17: 10' TM + 30' strength + abs
8/18: 45' elliptical + 5' TM
8/20: 50' step aerobics + 35' TM + 5' abs + 5' stretch
8/21: 40' pilates
8/22: 30' TM + 30' FB superset strength
8/25: 50' cardio mix
8/27: 30' walk in the neighborhood with the kiddies
8/29: (I did exercise, but I can't remember exactly what I did)
8/30: (I did exercise, but I can't remember exactly what I did)
8/31: (I did exercise, but I can't remember exactly what I did)

July 2006: 16
7/8: 30' TM
7/9: 40' pilates
7/10: 45' cardio mix
7/11: 60' FB strength
7/12: 40' TM
7/14: 40' TM
7/18: 60' easy TM (been sick)
7/19: 60' FB str + stretch
7/21: 2 hr kick ass mountain bike ride
7/22: 90' mountain bike ride
7/23: 30' jog on TM
7/24: 45' elliptical
7/26: 10' jog + 30' Upper body strength + 10' stretch
7/27: 15' elliptical + 33' lower body strength + 5' abs + 5' stretch
7/28: 30' cardio mix
7/30: 55' step aerobics + 20' arc trainer

May 2006: 10
5/1: 40' KS TS
5/13: 30' elliptical
5/17: 30' elliptical
5/20: 40' TM
5/21: 20' elliptical + 40' FB
5/22: 35' CF + 10' abs
5/23: 20' TM WU + 30' Upper
5/24: 20' elliptical + 30' LB
5/25: 30' easy TM + stretch
5/31: 30' easy TM + abs + stretch

April 2006: 9 (!?)
4/1: 40' elliptical + 60' FB
4/9: 25' elliptical
4/10: 40' KS TS
4/15: 50' elliptical + 15' abs
4/16: 15' TM + 25' FB
4/17: 35' CF floor
4/19: 10' wu + 25' LB
4/24: 35' CF floor
4/30: 60' step class