Friday, March 23, 2007

Veni, Vidi, Blogged

I am compulsive about avoiding lines, so Priscilla and I caught a 3:30 train to NYC and arrived in time to see the Yarn Harlot's slide show. Twice.

There were a lot of people - the auditorium holds about 800 and it was darn near full.

Ooh, there she is, in all her knitted glory. The photo is crummy, but perhaps you can make out her speech, camera and sock. She didn't knit as she spoke, but she did whip out the sock during the Q & A portion.

Just after she took this photo, she took the time to thank the many people who helped make her a success. As she wrapped up her acknowledgements, she began to share the story of how her mother-in-law had come to NYC this afternoon as a surprise. She hadn't gotten two sentences into the story when she looked over and saw Joe, her husband, who was supposed to be in Montreal. Sad to say, I didn't get her reaction on film, but it was clearly true love. Aww.

The Yarn Harlot does not disappoint. She is an amazing speaker, full of wit and humour. I really wanted to take her home with me, to show her off to all my friends and family, to have her explain to them this knitting thing. This particular speech was brushed with inspiration, not just about knitting, but about standing up, being who you are (a knitter, a mom, etc) and, most importantly, not letting others tell you who you are or should be. Brava to Stephanie, may her words whisper among us all and continue to change the world for good.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


In late January, we broke down and purchased a Wii*. If you've played the Wii, you know there's an "Everybody Votes" channel where questions are posed nationally and internationally. A few days back, one of the questions was "Do you belong to any fan clubs?" Both Eric and I thought for a moment and then answered no, as did the majority of Americans. Late last night, as I was pondering today's schedule, Eric turned to me and said, "not in a fan club, huh?"

Yeah, I'm giddy in anticipation. I have signed copies of every one of her books, I've seen her in Maryland and Atlantic City, NJ. But I've never heard her speak. I can't wait. Knitters, it's time to represent.

*I encourage the playing of Wii. Where else can I beat up my husband without having the police show up?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Where are they now?

It seems like forever since I’ve mentioned any knitting progress. And I’m so woefully limited on photographs lately. Could it be because Baby Jeneric has her first cold? Or could it be because she thoughtfully shared that cold with Mom?
Na Craga slowly marches on. There is a scant 10 cm left to the front (doesn’t it already look long enough?). One would have thought I could finish that in short order, but alas, I have flung away the interesting knitting in favor of simple ribbing.

May I present ’42,’ a ridiculously simple scarf (k2, p2 ribbing) in a fantastic forest green with a spasm of bark brown. There will be a matching hat, where the main color will be the bark brown (due to limited quantities of the forest green).

Did I mention I was knitting socks for my husband (the other half of Wily Jeneric)? I started these last year. They are the Gentleman’s Socks from Nancy Bush’s Knitting Vintage Socks.
Needless to say, these socks haven’t progressed very far for two specific reasons:
1. I generally knit at night. Knitting black in dim lighting is difficult (for me, at least).
2. The last pair of socks I knit was during the first trimester of my pregnancy when I experienced morning sickness like nothing I’ve ever felt before (even water was too difficult to keep down). Many thanks to the makers of Zofran. Ahem. This experience has tainted sock knitting for me. My stomach still gets a little queezy when I pick up the tiny dpns. What’s a knitter to do? In my case, I now knit baby hats.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

2007 Knitting Resolutions: March Update

Well, we’re two months into 2007. Let’s look at how well I’ve been keeping the promises I made to myself.

1. Knit from my stash.
Busted with the purchase of enough cotton yarn to knit Baby Jeneric a sweater. This uses my get-out-of-jail-free card. Can I make it to May and Maryland?

2. Projects in the Queue:
a. Na Craga. Baby steps, baby steps! Every day, I’m one pattern repeat (or half a repeat) closer to being done. As of today, I’m about halfway through the sweater front. My goal is do have this completed by July so I can enter it into our urban county fair.
b. Baby sweater with NZ wool. Rethinking the use of this wool for a sweater. Some knitted toys or pillows might be better.
c. Kittiwake. No progress.
d. Sunrise circle jacket. No progress.

4. Spin more. Lots more. Oh yes, I’ve been spinning! Just this past week, I tired of spinning the ‘cheap, dull’ pencil roving I’d purchased for practice. I pulled off the bobbin, set it on a shelf, and unearthed the beautiful merino/silk roving I’d purchased nearly 2 years ago at Rhinebeck. A wise spinner once said, “spin with the best you can afford.”

5. Think about knitting fair isle. Yep, about once a week, I look at Eunny’s Anemoi’s mittens (which, in my head, I call anemone).

Not too bad, eh?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Heads up (Seven up!)*

Pattern: Miss Dashwood, Winter 2004
Size: 6-12 months
Modifications: Omitted bobble border, earflaps and ties
Yarn: Rowan Cashsoft DK, 142 yards/50 g; 1 skein
Needles: US 6
New techniques: Learned a new picot cast-on.
Final Thoughts: An adorable and quick knit; definitely a hat I will make again. The cast-on directions were somewhat confusing, but I cobbled together a nice little hat.

*Anyone remember playing that game in elementary school? It was one of my favorites, probably because I always cheated.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

All Better!

It was bound to happen. I’ve made some small cabling mistakes on Na Craga, never large enough to warrant rash measures. Until today.

As is my habit (well, now it’s my habit), I was scrutinizing the last pattern repeat for errors and there it was, smugly sitting in the middle of the large, bold, center motif. This was not a mistake to be ignored. This was a mistake that needed the smirk wiped from its face. Lucky for me, Baby Jeneric was fast asleep, giving me time to spank those stitches back into shape using the Yarn Harlot’s fantabulous tutorial.

I was too eager to get started to remember to take a before shot, but I did take a during shot:

Here, I’ve ripped back to the offending row. The stitches are isolated and trust me, they are feeling the shame. Using dpns (smaller than what I’m using for the project), I crossed the cable correctly, reknit the frogged rows and slid it all back onto a straight needle.

I won’t lie. There was a rush of adrenalin as I ripped back those six stitches, recrossed and reknit them. It was a good, short-lived high. I shall sally forth without fear of mussing-up a cable cross.