Saturday, September 29, 2007


How knitting is saving me money: I have become a fiber snob. Whenever I see a cute sweater / coat / anything in a store, I now check the label very carefully. I then sneer at the large percentage of acrylic / polyester / plastic and put the item back on the shelf, shaking my head at the ignorance of the world. Exceptions: new clothes made from good quality natural fibers (which I cannot afford) and clothes from the local second hand store (which are usually cheap AND made from good quality fibers, e.g. a $5 pure cashmere sweater).

How knitting is not saving me money: I spent $80 on yarn for Venezia and bought at least $50 worth of new needles for the project (silly small needles! stupid half sizes!). I'll spend a lot of time on this project, and my time can be worth a bit (bless the rich Ivy league students who need tutoring!). On the other hand, Old Navy has recently launched a "fair isle" collection; sweaters cost $20 on sale. Now granted, they are not Venezia, and the "fair isle" is quite minimal, but nevertheless. They shouldn't call it "fair isle".

Too lazy to take pictures today. I am one bind-off row away from finishing the knitting on Tangled Yoke. There will be quite a bit of finishing work to do, all the hanging yarn ends plus buttons and all, but I am quite pleased with the result. Trying on the cardigan after binding off the neck band was a very exciting moment.

Friday, September 28, 2007

It's here!!!

The blue and green sheep of Shetland have been kind enough to send me a few skeins of yarn:

After more than three and a half months of waiting, I finally have the Jamieson's yarn. Let Venezia begin!*

* not before finishing something else, I swear. Did you see how many projects I have on the needles? It's a disgrace.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


I know, I know, the silences are getting longer and longer. Two weeks without posting. Between a leadership retreat, three career fairs and lots of meetings, there just wasn't much time for posting. I'd post more, but how exciting is a post without pictures? It's taking and uploading the photos that requires planning - I really need daylight to take good photos, and therefore I need to be home while it's still light outside!

Too busy to post, but not too busy to knit. I finished the Kaffe Fassett sock during the retreat. I might wait a bit to start the second one, since I have plenty of other things I'd rather do first:

The Basque Beret from Veronik Avery's new book Knitting Classic Style. I am in love with this book, and the beret will go perfectly with the Voyager Stole! I'd been looking for something to do with the extra yarn, because such a lovely cashmere-wool blend should be used to the last yard. No, I haven't finished the Voyager Stole yet; I will make the beret, and then use all the yarn that's left in the Stole.

The pattern is great, and not too complicated. I love the beginning band detail: it is stretchy and seamless but has just enough structure to keep the shape of the edge of the beret.

Finally, I've been zooming through the Tangled Yoke cardigan. I can't remember why I cast on for this project, maybe it's the addictive magic of Eunny Jang. In any case, I'm up to the "tangled" part, a few rows of a lovely infinite cable design. Almost finished, really:

Speaking of Eunny and her designs: I received a call from the LYS that the last two colors from the Venezia kit are currently going through customs. This means... I might actually have yarn for Venezia some day!! Unbelievable.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Pictures, finally

It was about time, wasn't it? Here are some photos of the latest knitting, and a long-overdue photo of the red scarf for my mother

1. K.F. socks

On my latest trip to the yarn store (to check on that stupid Shetland yarn: do they have the lambs that will some day grow wool for my order??) I stumbled across Kaffe Fassett's sock yarn for Regia. The colors are so exuberant, so "Caribbean sea"-like, I just had to get some and cast on right away. Will make yummy socks, with the added advantage that I don't need a pattern: I'm making basic stockinette socks. The only twist is the ribbing: purl 2, knit 1 through the back loop. Looks cute. Depending on how big they turn out, they will become my socks or J's socks.

Notre Dame de Grace

I will indeed run out of yarn, so I'm waiting on the shipment from Cestari (crossing my fingers that they actually have the yarn in stock). Have no idea what the sweater will look like, but I didn't knit it for the looks - I knit it because I just had to try that smart construction of the collar. In any case, it will be a very warm sweater, and there's always room in the closet for a warm sweater.

Red scarf from VLT

The scarf has some cryptic name in Victorian Lace Today (scarf no. X with edging no. Y). It needs to be blocked. And then I need to ship it out, fast, before I decide that I'd rather keep it. Love the yarn.

Tangled Yoke cardigan

Everybody's doing it... and why not? It's a cute cardigan, goes quickly (lots of stockinette or garter stitch rib) and should be a very sexy finished object.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Breaking news!

I am saved. Notre Dame is saved. The Cestari site is up, online shopping is up (it's been down for weeks!) and I've just ordered another skein of SuperFine Merino in the color Blush - just what I need to finish the sweater.

This last skein will cost me $22 (skein + shipping) instead of the $8 it would have cost at Maryland Sheep and Wool. So ladies and gentlemen, please purchase enough yarn when planning for a project. In fact, please purchase one extra skein - it sucks to run out of yarn.

Back from vacation

Well, I am back from my trip to California. Mostly work-related, but I did get to do some sightseeing in San Francisco and some hiking in East Bay. Here's the knitterly update:

* my mom's scarf - got done so quickly I didn't even get to take "in progress" pictures. I'll block it some time soon and post those pictures.

* after planning for days and days what kind of knitting to take with me (what if it's too much? what if it's too little?) I had a perfect plan. It was going to be perfect. Unfortunately, I forgot most of the knitting at home! I only had Notre Dame de Grace with me, and only one skein of yarn. Fortunately, the trip was exciting enough that I didn't have much time for knitting. I finished the one skein during the flight back. I will definitely run out of yarn on this sweater, it's just a matter of "where" and "can I make it look like I planned it that way".

* the Arctic Diamonds stole did a superb job keeping me warm in airports, on planes, in chilly California evenings and in air-conditioned lecture halls.

* the pink scarf also did a great job keeping me warm in the evenings and elegant throughout. I might be known as "the scarf lady" in certain circles. Anyway, I felt very sophisticated in my lacy handknitted items.

* I was spending a few days in San Francisco, so I pulled some yarn store addresses and reviews from the web (knittersreview, to be more precise). Having a few key destinations is a fun way to explore a city, since you see so many interesting things along the way! "The yarn store hunt" took me to a sunny neighborhood park, to the top of an amazing hill, to a yuppie neighborhood and to the heart of the financial district. I was particularly impressed by Art Fibers: they custom-spin their own yarns, and they let you swatch these yarns in the store - they provide samples and needles and comfy armchairs. The lady working there was quite knowledgeable and never pressured me to buy stuff; great place. And did I mention the fabulous yarn? I got a couple of cones of deep red yarns in gorgeous fibers. I'm sure I'll figure out what to do with them.

Not all the stores were that amazing. At Noe Knit I was completely ignored: the staff didn't even say hello, despite the fact that I was the only customer in the store. Needless to say, I left fairly quickly. ImagiKnit had a great selection and some beautiful sock yarn; the staff was friendly and let me wander around for as long as I wanted. I spent so much time choosing stuff that I didn't buy anything in the end. I do understand though why it was such a popular place - the place had a great vibe.

And that was the trip. Back to regular knitting now, and hopefully regular posting.