Sunday, February 22, 2009

My Clapotis

I've been working on a super secret project, so I can't tell you much about it. I only have a little be of I-cord and some grafting before it is done. Since it is a gift for a non-knitting friend you can check it out if you are a member of Ravelry.

But I'm not going to leave you completely hanging. I have some FO pictures of my Clapotis. It has been raining all day, so we didn't get to go out and actually have any fun taking pictures, but don't let my sour face fool you, I absolutely love my Clapotis.

When I first saw pictures of this pattern on the internet, it seemed like it would be too bulky for my tastes as a scarf. When I started making this one, it wasn't because I was looking to make a scarf. Rather, I wanted a light weight, workhorse type wrap that I could leave in my office for the days when the heater isn't working. I figured instead of filling up my purse on the way to work Monday, I would just wear it as a scarf. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it doesn't feel bulky at all. Instead of bulk, it is cuddly, and the extra width allows me to adjust it to cover what ever may be cold. I can pull it up over my head, or I can stretch it out to fill in the V-neck of my coat. Of course, I can also throw it over my shoulders. ( I don't need it to keep my shoulder warm when I have my coat on, but I was taking pictures to show off its versatility.) I wore it Monday morning to work so that I would have it in the office this week, and I wore it around the city Friday evening and brought it home so I could take pictures this weekend. In this little bit of time, I've become smitten. I feel a little bit of longing when I leave it at work because I'd rather be cuddling up with it at home. I guess, I will just have to make another one.

Pattern: Clapotis by Kate Gilbert
Yarn: Knit Picks Shadow in Campfire and Sunset Heather
Needles: US 7 (4.5mm)
Notes: Instead of a heavier weight yarn, I used two strands of lace weight held together.

Monday, February 16, 2009

WIP: Hubby's Koolass Hat

Hubby and I didn't make it out of the apartment much this weekend so I don't have any FO pictures of my Clapotis for you. However I did have a modeling session with Stitch while Hubby's new hat was a WIP.
I needed stitch to wear the hat because the pattern actually stretches quite a bit and looks much more open when someone is wearing it.
It was a little too big for him even though it was just over half way done when I took these pictures.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009

My Turn

I work in an old building, and some days the heaters just don't seem to be enough. One particularly cold day I decided that needed a workhorse kind of wrap that I could keep in my office for these emergency situations. I decided it was my turn to make a Clapotis. I went through my stash looking for something with enough yardage and no assigned project. I found some orange lace weight that was given to me in a swap, but it was going to have to be held double.

Since the orange was discontinued I had to pair it up with something else. Originally I loved the orange because I thought it would highlight that color in my hair, so when looking for another color I decided to go for another shade in my hair that I wanted to accent. The red and the orange work together in a beautiful way. When I am working on them right up close, they kind of look like what you get when you start swirling mustard and ketchup around together. The further away you get, the more unified and coppery the color becomes.

I've been working on this steadily on the subway, during my lunch breaks, and at SnB and it has been going pretty quickly. I was well over half way done when I had to join my second hank of yarn, so I decided to add 3 repeats to the center section. I had no particular reason to add more other than I knew I had the yarn for it, and the decision to add three repeats was just because I like the number 15 better than the number 12. Even with that addition, I have already started my decreases and I hope to be done with this before next week.

My first Subway FO

As I mentioned earlier, my commute has provided some time in the mornings for knitting. The first thing I accomplished was the long overdue socks for Hubby. My excitement about it seems to have made me over confident. I was on the train when the time came to start the heel flap. Instead of pulling the pattern out and checking the directions, I just went for it and made a teeny tiny mistake. The heel is suppose to be worked or needles 2 and 3 and I worked it over needles 1 and 2, or something like that. I didn't remember it from the last time I worked this pattern and it didn't occur to me to think of something like that.

As it turns out, I ended up working a heel flap that was two stitches smaller than the pattern recommends because there is not an even distribution of stitches on all four needles. I realized it as I turned the heel and thought about ripping the flap out and starting that part over. After very little deliberation, I decided not to. "Meh," I thought to myself, "two stitches isn't going to make that much of a difference." Well, I was right. It wasn't much of a difference but it was a difference. I had to do some fudging in the stitch pick up and the arch shaping to make the k2p2 pattern lineup. In the end they look fine, but the top of the toe is two stitches off center. Shh, don't tell Hubby; he thinks they are perfect.

*Pattern: Francie by Rebekkah Kerner
Yarn: Knit Picks Essential (soon to be renamed) in Buckskin
Needles: US 1 (2.25mm)
Notes: I went up one needle size from Dad's pair because when Hubby tried them on, they looked a little strained, and, of course, they are a little crooked.

* In attempts to keep my FO information a little more organized, I am stealing a setup from the blog Fascination with Needles. it seems like a good place to start for me and then if I find I need to add more or adjust it I can.

The Subway Soundtrack

Now that the holidays are over and everyone has been back to work for a few weeks, I am starting to get a good feel for my commute. I take a bus across the bridge from Jersey, and then I take the 2 train all the way to the end of the line. Since the really large crowds of people are headed into Manhattan and I'm headed out to Brooklyn, I always get a seat and plenty of room to knit once I pass Wall St. So, in the mornings I listen to my podcasts and audiobooks and the time flys by.

The trip home is different though. I leave my iPod and my knitting in my bag for several reasons. Instead I take out a book and read. The first reason is space. Since I start at the end of the line, I always get a seat for the train ride home, but the trains are much more crowded than they are in the morning. I take up more space when I'm knitting. While no one may know that I'm abstaining, I feel more polite leaving my WIP in my bag. The second reason is that I love reading and I haven't had time for non-assigned reading in a long time. I have honestly read more books (for leisure) in the past three months than I have in the seven years before that. I have so much reading that I want to catch up on and I love having this time allotted for it.

The final reason, and probably the most influential is that I don't want to listen to my iPod because I don't want to miss hearing the subway musicians. For the past few weeks, I have been coming home every day grinning from ear to ear because I just love the subway musicians. When you ride in your car and listen to the radio you pick when it is on and off, you chose the station and type of music you want to hear. In the subway it is completely different. On the subway you are crowded into the car and everything is tedious and mundane until the train stops, the doors open, and you world is filled with steel drums. Because you can't pick when to turn it on, or what type of music will be playing, the musicians in the subway are surprise musical gifts. I can't help but think the world would be a better place if everyone was given a snippet of music during one of the most boring parts of the day.

This one is for Rikki

This is another note I was tagged in on Facebook. I read though the first couple questions and stopped knowing that I wouldn't be able to fill it out until this weekend. I didn't want to over analyze my answers.

Instructions: Clear your mind. Answer the questions with the first answer that comes to your mind. After each question, explain your rationale for said answer. Enjoy! You have to chose one... so don't try and cheat and choose an option that isn't there.

1. You just jumped out of an airplane. On your way down, would you rather collide with a pelican or a remote controlled airplane? A pelican

Rationale: Because in my animated imagination the pelican would catch me in its mouth and then it would fly me to safety (maybe to the island of misfit toys or some other fantastic place)

2. While playing Oregan Trail, you come to a river. Do you pay the Indian to guide you across or try to ford it yourself? Pay the Indian guide

Rationale: Because I don't know if chickens are good swimmers

3. Albania has captured you in their effort to take over the world. You have to choose between two vials. One has chronic bad breath that no breath mint or medicine can sustain. The other has genital warts. Which do you choose? (Turns out, Albania is mean) Bad breath

Rationale: Because bad breath wouldn't make my tongue itch.

4. You are sitting in a restaurant and the waiter behind you seems to lose his balance. He is carrying hot coffee and a cup of water that has dirty silverware and food bits in it. Which would you rather go sliding down your back? Dirty silverware water

Rationale: I hate burns

5. Betty White knocks on your door. She tells you she is the host of a new reality tv show and she wants you to be on it. As you are the first contestant, you get to choose the theme of the show. She is between a Survivor theme, or a Tiny House theme (remember the Geico commercial). Which do you choose? Tiny House!

Rationale: Then I won't be nearly as picky when I use the money I've won to buy my NYC apartment.

6. Uh oh! North America, Europe, and Asia no longer exist! There is free transportation to either South America or Africa (Antarctica and Australia and under protest)... where do you go? Africa

Rationale: Because Giraffes are my favorite animal, and I could so get a job chasing monkeys out of farms.

7. You just won the Rosetta Stone Sweepstakes! You will be fluent in another language in 6 months! Oh snap! Now, you must choose between Turkish and Dutch! (Because that's all they are offering for free... you should have paid attention when you signed up for the sweepstakes) Which do you choose? Dutch

Rationale: because I've been to the Netherlands, and they were incredible people.

8. London bridge is falling down! Falling down! Falling down! Would you rather be on it or under it when it falls? On it

Rationale: Because dangling by one arm is a sure sign of damsel in distress and it will facilitate my super hero rescue.

9. Aliens have attacked. They take you into a small room. They explain to you that they are not looking to harm you, they just need to change your skin color. You can choose between caution cone orange or baby poop green. Baby poop green

Rationale: I just might look ok with my red hair, besides there is no natural camouflage benefits to cone orange.

10. You have been sentenced to death. Bummer. But, they have told you that they will let you free if you can eat a bowl of bugs. This is not a cereal bowl of bugs. This is like a popcorn bowl full of bugs. Now choose your bugs... maggots or dung beetles? Maggots

Rationale: I'm hoping they'd be smaller and slide down faster (less crunching)

This was a lot of odd fun. Thanks Rikki for making it up.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

25 Things

Facebook has been e-mailing me frequently over the past week to share 25 random thing about all of my friends with me. Now it is my turn to share.

1. I feel independent because I don't have caffeine everyday to keep me going.
2. I have once again found myself in the situation that I wish I didn't work for my boss so she could be my friend.
3. I'm an animation snob (according to Hubby)
4. When I read, I make the face that the character is making as the author describes it (example: if the character furrows his brow, so do I) I have batted my eyes, wiggled my ears, shrugged my shoulders, flared my nose, forced my lip to twitch, and displayed a crazy array of emotions just in the past few weeks, and I've done this all my life. I've never caught anyone watching me read, but I wouldn't blame them for thinking I'm crazy.
5. I get blisters on my feet absurdly easily.
6. I am a creature of habit. I like my routine very much partly because it is comfortable and predictable, and partly because when I plan to break from the routine, it seems extra special.
7. The one thing I really want to do before I die is be the voice of a cartoon character.
8. Kilimanjaro Safari is my favorite ride at Disney World.
9. When I was 15 I wanted to change my name. I can't remember what to, only that it also started with an A.
10. I love buying office supplies.
11. At one point in time, I had 5 different jobs.
12. Even though I now live in one of the greatest shopping cities in the world, I like shopping online because I like getting packages in the mail.
13. Every morning I listen to yesterday's news on my iPod because today's news podcast isn't ready to download when I leave for the bus.
14. I never expected to enjoy knitting when I started. I just wanted to keep my hands busy so I wouldn't fall asleep on road trips with Hubby.
15. I want a Kindle, but I can't see me affording one for awhile.
16. There is a handful of people that I wish I could just transplant so they are living near me without completely disrupting their lives.
17. I believe that my biggest flaw is that I hold grudges, but because it developed out of self-defense, I'm not eager to fix it.
18. My favorite movie is Monsters Inc.
19. I've always wanted to be thought of as quirky, but there is only one person who has ever used that word to describe me.
20. I brush my hair with a wooden comb.
21. I hate driving. I've never liked it and I am ecstatic to be dependent on public transportation now. Though I admit my high school year would have been different if I knew how excited I was going to be about selling my car. She was good to me, and I just didn't give her the love she deserved.
22. I think Mythbusters may be my favorite tv show (I think I need update that on my facebook profile.)
23. I love cute socks. I wear them as often as possible. I find the the idea of getting to knit them myself very exciting, up until I remember how long it takes me to knit socks. ( I won't let that stand in my way though.)
24. I have discovered Bailey's Ice cream from Haagan Dazs, and I think it just might be edible heaven.
25. My cell phone is at least 5 years old and doesn't even have a camera.

If you find these things fun, please take this as a tag and share about yourself on your blog or facebook profile. If you are not so into these, I promise some knitting content tomorrow after the sun comes up and I can take some pictures. Here's a teaser:

Monday, February 2, 2009

Silent Poetry Reading

The time has come for another Silent Poetry Reading.  Today I bring you:

Sentimental Education
By Mary Ruefle

Ann Galbraith
loves Barry Soyers.

Please pray for Lucius Fenn
who suffers greatly whilst shaking hands.

Bonny Polton
loves a pug named Cowl.

Please pray for Olina Korsk
who holds the record for missing fingers.

Leon Bendrix loves Odelia Jonson
who loves Kurt who loves Carlos who loves Paul.

Please pray for Cortland Filby
who handles a dead wasp, a conceit for his mother.

Harold loves looking at Londa's hair under the microscope.
Londa loves plaiting the mane of her pony.

Please pray for Fancy Dancer
who is troubled by the vibrissa in his nostrils.

Nadine St. Clair loves Ogden Smythe
who loves blowing his nose on postage stamps.

Please pray for William Shakespeare
who does not know how much we love him, miss him and think of him.

Yukiko Pearl loves the little bits of toffee
that fall to the floor when Jeffrey is done with his snack.

Please pray for the florist Marieko
who wraps roses in a paper cone then punches the wrong code.

Muriel Frame loves retelling the incident
that happened on the afternoon of November third.

Please pray for our teacher Ursula Twombly
who does not know the half of it.

By the radiator in a wooden chair
wearing woolen stockings sits a little girl
in a dunce's cap, a paper cone rolled to a point
and inverted on her hair; she's got her hands
in her lap and her head bowed down, her chin
is trembling with having been singled out like this
and she is sincere in her fervent wish to die.

Take it away and give it to the Tartars
who roll gloriously into battle.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A little something that is already frogged...

A frogging seems like a sad way to begin, but I'm not giving up hope for this little project.This pattern is the Toddler Tunic(pdf), and I started it in some wisteria KP Swish Worsted that I had unclaimed in my stash. I started it in the middle of our LOTR marathon because I had finished all of my Kitchener stitch and Hubby's socks (which I'm trying to get a modeled picture of before I blog). I frogged it already because it looks off center to me. It is not, it is actually centered just fine, but all of the raglan sleeve increases are facing the same direction. I think that is what makes it look a little off. It would probably fit just fine, but since Francis was a top down raglan, it will be a great guide for which two rows of stitches need to be leaning the other way.

You may also notice that there is a band right under the armpits and where the collar joins that is much tighter than the rest of the sweater. I wouldn't have frogged it just for that, but it is nice to know I'll be fixing it. It looks like I went down a needle size or two for that section, but the truth is that was just the huge battle scene in Return of the King. I couldn't remember who lived and who died in the trilogy so I guess I was a little tense during the fighting.

I love Kitchener Stitch

No, really I do. I find it simple and methodic enough to be just as relaxing as knitting. I get absolutely giddy when I've worked a good size segment and I pull the working yarn taut and the seam zips right up. I love the finished look of stitches uninterrupted by a seam. This is a good thing, because last time we talked about my Christmas Cardigan, I was facing a lot of Kitchener. I curled up with Hubby on the couch for a LOTR marathon and had at it. Long before Frodo made it to Mordor, I was done.It is a really cute sweater, and Hubby can't stop complimenting me. You would think that that would be enough, but of course it is not perfect. I didn't really understand ease going in to this project. A few weeks ago, Kelly did a great podcast on ease, but it was about a month too late. Not only did I not understand that I might want ease, it never occued to me that incredibly gifted pattern makers who do so much for me already, wouldn't have just worked that it. As I blocked each piece to my exact measurements, I never thought about what that would mean for fit. All in all, it was a noob mistake, but I'm not embarassed at all about making it. The sweater still fits, it just looks like it is not intended to shut, and if I did try to button it, there would be big pulling gaps inbetween each of the buttons. It makes the sweater look a bit more trendy and less cozy. It works, and it looks really cute with a particular orange top that I have (the orange just doesn't photograph as well as the brown did.)

The other problem is more serious and I'm not sure how to handle it. It is the collar. I've never had a top with a collar like this before, so I didn't really know what to expect from it. The collar is really heavy, and I feel like the weight is constantly pulling the top of the sweater away from my neck. It is a really odd feeling for me. It is kind of like the sweater is around my shoulders instead of on top of them. I thought it was just an odd sensation that I would have to get use to, so, I've been wearing it as often as possible to try and get comfortable with it. In the past two weeks, I've worn it three times and I can't sop pulling, readjusting, and trying to get comfortable in it. Then I went to put it on Friday, and instead of just feeling like it was falling off of my shoulders, it actually was slipping right off. (Which makes me wonder what it would be like if there were extra ease in there.) I think maybe if I soak it and reblock it that I can get the shoulders to pull back in to their original positions, but that seems like a lot to do everytime I wear it. It is outerwear, so I was hoping I wouldn't need to clean it as often as my other sweaters. Even when I do clean my other sweaters, I just lay them out to dry. I don't spend time blocking them to measurements. Since the wool is superwash, I threw the guage swatches into the washer and dryer with my delicates to see if that might be an options. The swatches came out at least a half an inch shorter in all of their measurements. They didn't felt. If I got them wet, I could stretch them back out to their original sizes, but that doesn't save me any time and a half an inch in height and width to every 4 inches would not be an acceptable change in size.

I've been thinking that if it is not a sweater I am comfortable in and I never wear it, then all of that time and effort is going to be wasted. So, I've been trying to consider the fact that it might need to be ripped out and made into something else. I've been thinking that Amused might maintain the spirit of the sweater, but being a pull over instead of a cardigan might keep the front flaps from adding the weight of the collar. I just don't know. Until I figure it out, it is going to stay in one piece. I'm going to re-block it and try to wear it as often as I can. Maybe it is something that I can get use to.