Wednesday, December 30, 2009


It's nearly the new year, and I've certainly not maintained this blog as much as I've wanted. And while I may feel cliche enough to try and make it a New Year's resolution, I think I'll skip it and just try and do better. Especially when I have a master who looks like this:

How hard can it be? Then again, It might be yet another reason to do nothing...

More knitting-related distractions:

I have still not finished the gift I started working on nearly a month ago. While earlier this year it felt like I had no time, currently it's more like a lack of discipline when I do have time. I succumb very easily to new videos I get to watch (lately it's been a marathon of Sex and the City followed by Disney movies) and so I choose to watch instead of pulling out my knitting on the subway, during my lunch break or once I get home. Perhaps that iPod Touch was not such a good idea...

And then there is the newest addition to my satchel arsenal:

I received it as a gift for my birthday this past weekend from my friend, Stevie. I believe that she purchased it at a holiday market they do in several locations in the city. This one in particular most likely came from the one in Union Square, where I have always drooled over their wares, but never bought any as they tend to be very out of my volunteer salary. But as I am a "bag whore" as Stevie refers to it, she knew I would love it. Which I do.

Only one problem (which brings us to the next distraction): It is a bit small to carry around knitting in. Any of my bigger knitting projects are out of the question. However, it is just the right size to bring about my newest book purchase:

A fellow knitter friend of mine suggested this book to me. After reading the intro- duction online, I couldn't help but go and pick it up from the closest store that had it in stock. I haven't gotten to far, so I'll have to post my thoughts on it later, but I think I may have found my self a mistress. And this one comes with a riding crop from what I've read.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Lessons in Cables

I've been working on Lion Brand's Mixed Message Scarf for a few days. It's the first time I've ever followed a pattern that wasn't just ions of stockinette, or just doing a garter stitch. And this is what I've learned (so far):

1) Following a pattern can be easy. Despite that it is my first time ever doing a pattern of this level, I must say that it is fairly easy to follow. Now, that may depend on one's ability to adapt, but so far I've gone along without too many tribulations.

2) Reading patterns on the subway is not easy. Perhaps one day, I will be the sort of knitter that can memorize a pattern and simply knit from memory. Until that day comes though, it will prove for some interesting subway rides with a lot of juggling and stitch-by-stitch progress.

3) Cables really do afford a lot of bang for very little work. I've always admired cables in knitted items, and almost find the idea of cables alone synonymous with knitwear. I was incredibly nervous about it at first, but it has proven to be pretty quick to pick up. It makes me want to learn how they truly work and master them.

4) How to go back in my work. I've had to undo one particular section, and seemed to start up again on the wrong row. This led to a longer than necessary cable, and since I am quickly becoming a Type A knitter (sorry Harlot) to me frogging back to before the mistake existed. Of course, this is what caused the problem to begin with. My boyfriend has been kind enough to deal with me as I talk to myself wondering "How could I have gone wrong with this? I know I did a knit there, so why does it look like a purl?" Hopefully he doesn't have me committed. Or worse, take my knitting away.

5) Velcro is your enemy. Though I'm sure the statement to anyone reading this must make sense immediately, let me explain my particular situation. I purposefully bought an extra-large sized messenger bag for when I'm working on my knitting. Between all the yarn, needles, other tools, my books, work-related items of the week, etc., it was just getting to crowded in my original messenger bag. However, with the new bag came not two, but four Velcro strips to keep it shut. And while I find those strips handy when wanting the enormous thing to remain closed, it is not very helpful when my yarn attaches itself to one of the higher strips.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Kindle Kover

As I mentioned before, knitting has been on a sort of a hiatus for the past couple of months. Between work and figuring out what it is that I would be doing after this year, there hasn’t been much time to do anything that takes real attention. I’ve resorted mostly to watching videos on my iPod Touch. I’m working on remedying that. I don’t want knitting to go down the same road that my reading has.

And this past Thanksgiving break may have just given me the recharge that I needed. Wanting a project to work on while I was visiting friends in Albany, I picked up a skein of Vanna’s Choice while shopping around and decided to make a cover for my beloved Kindle. And though to many knitters it would seem like something very simple, for me it was quite a step as I didn’t follow a pattern nor have I done anything other than a swatch in the round.

I started our by creating a swatch (yes Ms Stoller, I paid attention) and then calculated how many stitches it would take to cover both sides of my Kindle (thanks for reminding me that there are two sides to be covered Eileen). And then I started knitting in a rib stitch in the round. And two days later (possibly my quickest project ever) we have the piece below.

Kindle Kover:

I thought of it sort of like the larger version of the iPod socks I've seen before. I'm rather pleased with how it came out. Now for the next knitting project.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Knitting Hiatus

Unfortunately I've taken a sort of involuntary hiatus from knitting. It's been two months now since I've updated this blog, and about as long since I've actively worked on a knitting project. Work and planning for the future has made this necessary to an extent.

But, the cold is setting in and hopefully I'll change my fingers' impending atropy. To anyone out there: wish me luck.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Sorry for my non-presence lately. Though I've been keeping ties to the knitting world as of late, I haven't been doing a very good job of updating. Between starting the new job, having my boyfriend move in and just adjusting to everything, sitting down to type a entry just hasn't been something I could get off the list. A thing I really must remedy for the future.

I was finally able to give G the Big Bad Baby Blanket last night! Between her birthday, getting off maternity leave and going back to the office, it took awhile before we could actually set up a meeting for me to present the BBBB to her. On my way to meet her I was just so excited that I stopped by JAM to buy a box for it. When I finally got the chance to give her the dark red box after dinner, she seemed really pleased with it, which in turn made me even more happy. My second project completed and delivered. These are the moments that may very well become one of the reasons why I will continue to knit.

I enjoy the process of starting a piece (from shopping for the right yarn to casting on the first set of stitches), actually working on it, completing it and then giving it to someone. While I don't think I'll ever be a process knitter (at least I hope not to have a lot of UFOs lying about), and I don't think I'll ever knit too much for myself (eliminating some of the product part) I do know that I will continue to do this, and hopefully continue my plans of branching out into other textile arts.

However, here I sit with no project to speak of for the upcoming subway ride, and nothing that I'll be able to take with me to Men's Knit Night. We'll have to remedy that by the end of the day tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Quickie I

It's complete! (Nearly.) I've just finished binding off the Big Bad Baby Blanket! I can't wait to sew in the ends and block this baby tomorrow!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Post Seminar

Finally! I've made it through my training sessions and can breathe for a few days. And knit. Sitting in all the sessions the past couple days, I had to repeatedly fight the urge to pull out the tote bag that I keep in my regular bag and start knitting away. (I'm starting to feel guilty about the BBBB not being done yet, but what is a boy to do?) And though the facilitators were very forward thinking and supplied Play Doh, pipe cleaners and other toys to keep our hands busy, I thought that my knitting may seem rude to some.

I have a friend who used to knit during class when we were going for our undergrad. No one ever said anything to her, but when she requested a recommendation she learned that professors did notice. The professor explained that watching my friend knit in class made her want to grab an object and hit her over the head. That is, until my friend would raise her hand and respond to a question, giving a brilliant answer. All was forgiven, but I fear that I would not have the chance to show people that I was in fact paying attention.

I'm slowly amassing a list of projects to undertake. A pair of gloves for my sister, a camera lens case for my friend, socks for DJ. I'm rather pleased to have the list growing steadily. I get the feeling that though this upcoming year and the commitment I've made will be great, I may need the occasional k2p2 to help me keep my patience.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

NY Return

I've been back in the city for about a week now, and have just been so caught up that I haven't been able to sit down. I tried writing an entry on the train ride back from VT last Sunday, but the less than comfortable ride just produced rubbish and its stored away in the recesses of a folder. Perhaps I'll revisit it later.

The BBBB has gotten to being about 70% completed, and hopefully I'll have it done very soon. Just a few more inches of the stockinette and then I get to finish off with the seed stitch. I have to say, I'm sort of looking forward to the 20 rows of alternation. After knitting 53 times and then purling 53 times, I now zone out as I'm doing the rows on occasion.

I had the great chance to grab some yarn from a friend of mine that is moving. Being only a winter knitter and not wanting to take her entire stash with her, she gave me the opportunity to rifle through what she had and take my pick. I'll have to sit down and take inventory and put the stash section on Ravelry to some good use.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Yarn Hunting

GP may very well kill me. He's a true friend, as he is not a knitter, nor is he interested in knitting (or desires in any way that I knit him anything) but is willing to go on Local Yarn Store (LYS) outings with me.

We've rented out the community car and plan a trip to Best Buy and any LYS that I can find. I just really feel the need to see what else I can find while I'm up here. I leave tomorrow and want to have been to as many places as I can. The last outing was just great, so I don't expect it to top that experience, but I'd like something that was at least a close second.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


In continuing my journey as a knitter, I find myself running into knitters all over this trip to Vermont. The woman who sat next to me on the train happened to be a knitter, confessing herself after she saw the book I was reading. An older woman with a endearing English accent at the train station this morning I recognized as a fiber conspirator by the bright orange yarn in her bag. I got to talking with her for awhile about what she was working on, it turned out that she was partially blind, and while she can't read on the train, she can knit by feeling the stitches. I've heard that some knitters when they get good enough have this ability, and I certainly hope that I get there some day. Though, I suppose that will come after I figure out how to increase and decrease.

The more I read about the Yarn Harlot's stash issues, the more I have the desire to go out and buy all the yarn in the world. Not only so that I can have a massive selection of yarn at home, but so that I may also have the stories of how I acquired it all. Between wandering in rural parts of Canada and having to defend freshly spun yarn from an overly aggressive, egotistical gray squirrel, there are a lot of history not only behind the yarn, but in Mrs Harlot's history as a knitter. I'm looking forward to creating that history for myself.

My intense desire to go yarn shopping took GP and I to a JoAnn's in West Lebanon. I'd noticed it while we drove around last night looking for a place to eat. However, having some foresight for a change I refused to buy anything. Though I had been informed by the friendly Englishwoman that morning that there were no yarn stores here in White River Junction, I was positive that I had found one online. With my assurance in hand, I re-searched the store when we got to his place and low and behold: it was just down the road! Eureka!

We hopped back in the car and headed down to a store right on Main Street named White River Yarns. I was warmly welcomed by the store owner the moment we walked in, and asked a couple questions about what I was shopping for. And before I knew it: I was sitting down and being taught how to knit a sock. She had some on her work station just for such an occasion and I had myself a great time (with GP being incredibly patient with the whole endeavor). I bought two skeins of yarn and a new set of AddiClick circular needles and left the store feeling incredibly encouraged and with tons of advice.

Guess I just have to put myself out there enough. Though I really wish I had more money to go and buy more yarn before I go!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I'm packing for VT and I'm for the first time am considering what knitting supplies I will need to take up with me. It is a given that I'll be taking up my current project: The BBBB. But I'm not sure what else I should bring. It is a 7 hour trip to and from after all. And though there is reading to do, I have been known to have short attention spans when I'm in a fixed position. It's a wonder growing up I never was mistaken for cheating during a test. The second my body knows its suppose to be stuck to a chair or staring at only one thing is the moment I feel the need to move around and see as much as I can.

I'm thinking that having enough knitting to do or intersperse between reading sessions will help keep my attention. So far I've settled on a couple skeins of yarn from my stash (which is growing nicely if I do say so myself) and just one set of needles. Aside from the BBBB, my goal is to try and teach myself as many different stitches as I can. In hopes of this I went back to Barnes and Noble and exchanged a novel I purchased (since it could be purchased for my Kindle) for The Harmony Guides: 101 Stitches to Knit.

I know that having learned to knit and purl is only the first two steps. Now comes the alternation of the two to make patterns. From what I saw while I was browsing, I liked it because it's a collection of cards, which seems pretty durable and portable. Hopefully I'm proven correct and the instructions will be clear enough and not require too much deciphering (why do I get the feeling I'm being condescendingly smiled at here?).

Well, I better stop procrastinating, or I'll wind up oversleeping. Now, which suitcase do I pack?

Book Hunt

My original plan of trying to hit up all the yarn stores in NYC before I start my new job have fallen through. I leave for Vermont in a little less than 2 days and have made plans with friends for any time that wont be spent cleaning my room and packing for the trip. But I'm not leaving NYC anytime soon, so I think I'll be able to make it around eventually (or so I assure myself).

However, yesterday did prove to be a good knitting book day. I received a gift card for Barnes and Noble from a co-worker at a weekend job I just finished and thought to myself: "Now I can get some of those knitting books that I claim I can't afford". In reality, I hem-and-haw over a purchase of any sort (though anyone who knows me as a reader would disagree with that statement). And so, when I pick up a book of project, patterns or other knitting related topics, I easily rationalize why it is not possibly an option for me to buy this book presently. And I've thus far refrained from buying them on my kindle, as there tends to be a habit of moving text or images around onto other pages. Something I am deathly afraid will destroy some future project. And there is something to be said about my growing shelf of fiber arts related books: I love it.

I managed to pick up Son of a Stitch and Bitch (which I have been considering for months) and Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter. The latter was almost left behind, however, as the copy at the Barnes and Noble I first went to was atrocious.

Now, please consider that I am known for being very careful with my books. I hold them open only as much as it takes to be able to read the words from the gutter. Friends and family have been afraid to borrow books from me specifically for this reason. I once had a friend warn me in advance before he returned a book that he had accidentally bent the back cover and wanted to tell me before I noticed it myself. So when I am shopping for a new book, am not very kind to crack in the spine, bent covers, shelf dust or worn out edges. If there will be any markings on my books, they will come from me, my bag or my pen.

I ended up having to call two other Barnes and Noble before I was able to track down a copy of the elusive Harlot where it was the placed on hold for me. (Sidebar: B&N's customer service was a lot more than I had expected it to be. People were apologetic that they couldn't find the book, offered product and store numbers for me to check in other places. I was positive the universe wanted me to have this book in a better condition.) Thankfully, my inspection upon pick-up proved to be acceptable and so the book was purchased--much to my delight as I began to read it on the way home.

Monday, July 13, 2009


I've finally reached the halfway point of the Big Bad Baby Blanket. It's taken some time, but attending the Men's Knitting Night (which I'll post about later) finally got me to (and a little past) where I'll switch the pattern around until I make the ending seed stitch.

The blanket's pattern originally calls for Koigu Wool Designs Painter's Palette Premium Merino. However, G requested that I give her something that she could just throw into the washing machine at the end of the day, so I substituted it for some Vanna's Choice Baby Yarn. It took some getting used to knitting with two strands of yarn held together (tog) but I think I've gotten the hang of it now. My friends says that the colors remind them of chocolate chip ice cream, which is an idea I've grown rather fond of. Hopefully the baby likes it also.

Other lesson learned, which my reading warned of but I learned when I ended up having to go and buy two more skeins of yarn: gauge before beginning the new piece! I'm about to finish my 3/4th balls of yarn and I've only just reached the midpoint of the pattern. This is something that I may have avoided if I had just stopped to make a quick swatch before I started. Hopefully I've learned at least that much from this adventure into my second project.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Casting On

As my knitting (and what I'm beginning to think may be fabric work in general) obsession grows, I felt the need to get some of this experience down in words. To have a forum where I could share my experience with my people and keep a log of it for myself.

There are several things that I can already think of that I'd like to eventually write about, but those will come as time unfolds. I'm hoping that I may be able to update this through the use of my Kindle, but I haven't tried to figure out the possibility of that yet. Gmail is suppose to be able to work on it in some odd way, but I haven't tried just yet. So I'm hoping there is some way to circumvent conventional methods and get access to this on the go as well.

- texturaphile