bits and pieces

I have been a very very bad blogger lately. And not the best knitter, either. I'm sorry for the absence, and don't have much to show to make up for it.

November was a series of unfortunate events, including some that were knitting related.

First, my trusty size 19 circ broke during Twinkle test knitting! Next, even worse, I finished my pretty and sweet Phildar cardigan, seamed her up and everything, only to find that it was all kinds of wrong! I tried to modify her into a v-neck. Awful idea. Now, she looks like this:

I guess they all can't be winners, right?

I haven't had much time beyond the test knits to get really into anything, but the onset of winter has called for some emergency quickies.

Check it out! Mittens! and ice skates! My first pair of either! The snow is a beautiful novelty for me right now. I spent a lot of fall worrying about how I'd manage to look chic when the weather drops to 20 degrees. Now that it's happened, I've embraced the goofiness of winter gear: poofy jackets, rainboots, pom poms, all of it. There is something so endearing about New Yorkers in their silly winter wear.

And I finished off one of my oldest wips, one I had completely forgotten about until I found it during our move.

It's a 2 year old "branching out" scarf from knitty. My first attempt at fancy stitches.

I knew I wasn't going to go any farther on her, so I just bound off where I had left off, and now she makes a great jogging headband. Much better than those fleece ones I see lots of people wearing in the park.

Not much on the needles, either. Just the ol' afghan and a Christmas hat for my dad. He requested a knitted hat small enough for his tiny head. I'm trying out Jessica's pattern from fig and plum archives.

Sorry again for being a stranger, and happy holidays!


Tagged: 8 things about me

Girl Kae tagged me! Read on if you'd like to know 8 random facts about me.

The Rules: once tagged, you must link to the person who tagged you. Then post the rules before your list, and list 8 random things about yourself. At the end of the post, you must tag and link to 8 other people, visit their sites, and leave a comment letting them know they’ve been tagged.

1. I grew up in Avila Beach, a small beach town in Central California. So small that only 40 students graduated with me.

2. I was valedictorian of said 40 student class (didn't have too many classmates to compete with).

3. I used to surf every day before school for 2 years. My shoulders were linebacker huge.

4. I can dislocate my once musclebound shoulders at will, wiggle my ears, and roll my stomach.

5. I have a motorcycle license and rode a Honda Elite scooter before I moved to New York.

6. People always think I am 5-10 years older than my actual age. Yikes! A customer once told me, "You don't look a day over thirty-five." I was twenty-four then, now I'm just shy of twenty-six.

7. I started this blog to force myself to finish more projects, namely the one pictured above. I was terrified to start an 18 skein afghan and I thought that a blog would provide accountability, aka guilt. Well, I'm still working on that dang afghan, but at least it covers my toes now.

8. I keep my knitblog a secret from most of my friends. I still feel self conscious writing about myself, even after a year of blogging!

Now I tag Jen, Julie, kelli, jenna, pearl, janice,

6 people is good enough, right?


Pretty and Sweet!

I love the madly bobbled tunic, but I've been craving mindless stockinette so much. So I started the cardigan. Now I finally have something I can knit on the subway.

The back is finished, and I'm gonna modify the front to be a v-neck.

Yesterday, I was asked to be a test knitter for Twinkle's new book! I'm so so excited.


A really good day

Today has been a really really good day. Here's what a good day looks like:

I went shopping.

I picked up some Blue Sky Alpacas suri merino at Purl, then some Sublime merino silk dk from The Point.

Now, what to do with it? Some possibilities, courtesy of the new Phildar (arrived today):

pretty and sweet

a little more edgy but still classy

If Phildar and Twinkle had a baby, here's what she'd look like. total awesomeness. too edgy? or, am I just too short for this? I'm not sure if I care. I love this. I'm such a sucker for bobbles.


FO: Phildar Vest

Wow. I really really love this vest. It took a long time to knit, but it was well worth it.

This was my first Phildar knit, and I found the pattern to be very clear and easy to follow. I'm hooked. I already bought the winter 08 pattern book, and am waiting for it to arrive.

Details: Pattern is from Phildar #468, spring 2007. I used 3 skeins of Catalina Yarns Baby Alpaca Worsted. The pattern called for cotton, but I wanted a more drapey look, and the alpaca softened the cables and bobbles. I also sized down the needles. No modifications, except I decided not to an extra finishing step, which was some ribbing on the inside of the sleeves. This took about 2 months to knit, but I started it soon after I moved to New York and I was having trouble finding time to knit while settling in to my new routine.

I love it so much. I'm looking forward to cooler weather so I can start wearing it every day!


designer knit: Madeleine Press scarf

I found this beautiful scarf on shopbop and I feel compelled to share it. Has anyone heard of this designer, Madeleine Press? I'm in love. I think I may try to copy this one. I think it should be pretty easy to decipher, right?

Btw, last night was really fun!


Countdown to Knitting in the City

Knitting in the City is tonight and I am really excited! Yesterday was orientation and I met the other volunteer knitters at Wenlan's studio. It was great to meet Ivete of knotology, my first real life encounter with another knitblogger. It was also great to pick out our free outfit to wear tonight!

I loved all the clothing, but all my favorite pieces weren't my size! Ivete scored an amazing cropped jacket and blouse combo in what seemed like seconds, but I scoured the racks for what seemed like forever. There was a beautiful flowing dress in watercolor shades of purple, but even though it fit me perfectly, it just wasn't my style. I ultimately decided to just grab my favorite thing and forgive it for being a couple of sizes too big. I'm not about to complain about free clothes. Here's my selection:

And how I'm going to make it work for tonight:

After tonight, I'm going to take her to a tailor. I don't trust my sewing skills with expensive clothing.

And here's what I'm going to accessorize her with:

I found this on Ivete's etsy shop after we met, and fell in love with it and bought it! Seems like the appropriate thing to wear.

One more essential item for the evening is my new moo cards. I had to upgrade my flickr account to pro after I exceeded my photo limit. After going pro, you get 10 free moo cards, and these came just in time.

I'm really happy with how they turned out, and I'm tempted to order a pack of 100. I'll see how they go over tonight first.

Thanks to all the encouragement and tips on teaching knitting! Luckily, I was given a very explicit instructional handout, so if I get nervous, I can just find the appropriate page and point.

While it may seem like my knitting is revolving around Twinkle, I am still working on my Phildar vest. All those fancy stitches are taking forever, and I think I have about a week more to go.

Signing off for now, wish me luck!


Twinkle this Tursday at Rockefeller Center

This Thursday night, I will be a volunteer assistant at a special knitting night at Anthropologie. Is anybody else helping out, or attending?

I have never taught anyone how to knit before, or even knit amongst other knitters before! I am a closet knitter in my daily life, and taught myself to knit from knittinghelp.com, so I have some small fears that I am doing it all wrong, or that I won't be able to communicate how it's done. I am hoping that my retail sales personality will kick in, squash my little insecurities and do all the talking.

I'd love to see some of my fellow knitbloggers and knitblog readers there! Let me know if you are thinking of going so I can look for you there.


Twinkle Spring 2008 at Bryant Park

A couple weeks ago, a golden ticket came in the mail...

I felt like the luckiest knitter in the world! It was so exciting to attend a show at Bryant Park, even if I had to stand in line for half an hour and then pack myself in next to the photographers and get up on my tiptoes to see the runway over their heads. Waiting in line inside the tent was so entertaining: the best people-watching experience, ever! It was a neverending parade of fashion superstars and visionaries, fashion clowns, fashion victims, etc.

And the show itself was fantastic. Not as many knits as I expected, mostly printed silk dresses and flowy tops. Here's my shot of the final runway parade:

And Wenlan coming out to take a quick bow:

Since I couldn't get a decent photo, here's one from getty of a great knitted vest from the collection:

Other than the vest, I could only spot one more knitted piece, which was a white dress that I wasn't too crazy about. Her fun, colorful and quirky prints really made up for my dissapointment in the quantity of knitted pieces. It was really exciting to be there- thanks for the invite, Wenlan!

**Update** for those who have asked, I got the invite through my job at coclico, and will be selling some twinkle clothing, jewelry, and belts in the shop next spring.


Getting back to knitting

Hello everybody from so long ago and so far away! Sorry for the long absence. Moving is hard! I just wasn't knitting, so I had nothing to blog about. Finally I started to knit, got ready to blog, and then my computer died! Well, long story short, she came back from the dead but she's on the chopping block. She's up for sale on Craigslist right now and I'm waiting for a buyer.

Remember this?

It's in progress and I love it! I just couldn't take any more of the kusha scarf. I love the yarn, but I can only do so much stockinette before I start to fiend for a cable, a bobble, or a rib at the very least. The scarf makes for good subway knitting, and the vest waits at home for me to work on it.

I finally found time between the new job and furnishing our new apartment to make it to my new local yarn shop, Knitty City. I had a great experience there and the staff was really helpful and welcoming. Plus they give out these amazing drawstring top bags when you buy yarn:

And my apartment is coming along. Once we moved in, we realized that our loft scale furniture just doesn't work in the tiny space. We have since gotten rid of some of the things we moved all the way over here and replaced them with miniature versions, like this table and chair set I got at Ikea:

And my favorite part of the house, our tiny new sofa found on craigslist, and coffee table from IKEA.

Moving furniture, without a car, and in and out of a 4th floor walkup is pretty complicated stuff.

I've started a little blog for my new place, coclico. Take a break from ogling yarn and check out the amazing shoes on the site. I'm having a lot of fun getting to know my new customers and giving the store my special touch.


Knit 1 Halter/Jumper?

Yay! Finally, a real knitting related post! I mentioned the ill-fitting, ill-fated Knit 1 halter in my last post. I made both pieces, seamed them out and it came out so large! Maybe I didn't pay close attention because I'm using stash yarn, or perhaps I can blame it on my hectic nomadic lifestyle of the moment. This thing just came out wrong. Here's what I thought I was making:

I tried tugging, cinching, and shortening the straps. I considered felting it. Then I put it away for a few days. Today, I put it on again, and just let it hang low, and now, I think I like it! Is the New York heat getting to me, or is it cute? I'm not sure yet. I'm going to put some ribbing along the bottom and try wearing it as a jumper. I'll post again when it's done.

Many thanks to Vy of soknitpicky.blogspot.com for helping me out with my Habu kit! I had gone several days without knitting a stitch and didn't want to buy yarn for a new project just yet. I won't be reunited with all my stash and books for two weeks to a month, and I've got to save my money so that we can decorate the new apartment!


Small but special.

This is our new home! About half the size of the old one, but not bad for New York, or at least compared to the other 15 or so we have viewed. I am borrowing a computer so that I can post, since mine is in storage in San Francisco right now. Hopefully, I will get it within the next two weeks.

 I have had some really bad luck with knitting lately. I knitted the top on the cover of the cover of the current knit 1 and it is dreadful. So illfitting that I don't think I can give it away. 

 I got to spent the weekend in Mendocino before we left SF, and visited the best yarn store I have ever had the pleasure of  shopping at. I took home the Habu Kusha Kusha scarf kit, but lost the instructions somehow! I have so many bags and I hope the instructions will turn up when we move into the new apartment on the 15th. I was thinking it would make a great subway project.

I really miss my computer, my blog, and all you great knitbloggers who I haven't been able to keep up with lately.


Surprise from Interweave!

So I knew that there was going to be a photo shoot in my store sometime this week, but I didn't know until this morning that it was for Interweave Crochet!!! I met Kim Werker, the editor, and got to have a photo session for the fall issue take place before my very eyes. The model, who was ALARMINGLY thin, was wearing a flaired crocheted skirt with contrasting godets. The pattern looked very Annie Modesitt. I got so flustered and shy that I didn't really talk much, and I wish I would have given Kim my blog site, or at least talk yarn a bit. Well, I got her business card, so I suppose I can drop her an e-mail. Pretty awesome, right?

**Updated 10/04/07: the photo is up!


FO: Vogue Ribbed Minidress

Finally got some buttons! Here's the finished minidress, all seamed, woven, buttoned up, and err, wrinkled. I had tossed her into a bag on Saturday, thinking that I would find a nice place to take a photo of her during a long day of driving all around the Bay Area. I forgot to take photos then, and when I finally got around to it today, she was all wrinkled. I think she still looks pretty good, but maybe just a little too short.

I can't really wear her as a dress without worrying about the wind, so I guess this is one of those tunic tops. I've already blocked her, so I don't think she'll get much longer.

It took a long time for me to decide what yarn to knit this pattern with, and I am really pleased with how it turned out with the Koigu KPM. It is really soft and lightweight, as I didn't want the dress to get saggy and weighed down by some dense yarn. The smaller gauge helped out with sizing, as I wanted the bust measurement to be a bit smaller that the pattern's smallest size. She fits perfectly up there.

Details: Ribbed Mini Dress by Mari Lynn Patrick from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2007 issue. Knitted with 6 skeins of Koigu KPM color 229. Used size 4s for the skirt section (for faster knitting), size 2s for the waist ribbing, and size 3s for everything above the waist (for a snug fit and for more opacity). I modified the pattern to make it shorter, but it turned out a couple inches shy of a dress. Except for in these photos, she will be worn as a tunic.

Aside from the dress, I have started a couple of stashbusting projects. After Hawaii, and now moving cross country, I have no $$ for yarn and not too much time to knit. Sigh. Oh and my invitation to Ravelry (!!!) has also cut into my knitting time. Yes, it's as fantastic as everybody has been saying all along.

I bought my one-way ticket to New York last night! Ack! The big move is officially on July 2. We have hired a real estate broker who, along with my sister, is looking for apartments for us. It's really scary to look at apartments from across the country. Weird.


new hair

Bobby suggested that I dye my hair dark brown so that I will look tough in the big city. I was against the idea immediately, but I slowly decided that a change would be fun. I've been super blonde for about 5 years, or at least until a few days ago. I think I like this, but I still scare myself when I pass mirrors.

The Vogue dress has been done for a couple of weeks now. Sorry no post yet. Just looking for the simple, yet impossible to find, perfect buttons. Oh, and all those pesky ends to weave in.

So many size 7 feet in the blogosphere! What are the odds? I've gotta try to do a garage sale sort of entry before I move!

Tomorrow, I'm going to Hawaii! One last week of fun times before we get down to the nitty gritty of moving. Anyone know a good yarn shop in Oahu?


party fun time

The countdown to my cross-country move has begun! Got about 5 weeks to go. I've been too busy to knit, been a bad blogger and bad blog reader, but I did manage to throw a party, heavily inspired by this incredible book:

I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence by Amy Sedaris. I am a Jerri Blank superfan, went to the Strangers with Candy movie premiere in San Francisco, and was thrilled when Amy Sedaris came out with this book. I was gifted an autographed copy of the above book by my awesome older sister. I borrowed an image from the book to make my party invites:

Per Amy's advice, I set up a sale for my guests, so that I could get rid of some things and help fund our move. I made about 80 bucks off my guests, but the sale turned into a free for all costume party (with my discarded clothes as costumes) by the end of the night. p.s. alcohol + roller skates = ouch. Yes, I wore my extra special handknitted dress.

My mom was in town for the day and helped me out with some of the food prep. The recipe for the cheese balls is in Amy's book. Super yummy! I got tired of making the bite-sized balls, so I eventually rolled the leftover cheese mixture into a mega cheese ball (It's hiding behind the wienees).
Mmmmmmm pigs in a blanket are totally underrated. Bye bye wienees:

And we ate and drank and danced all night long.


FO: Sunny Delight

So here's Sunny D, or should I call it Margarita Limon in honor of cinco de mayo? There is something really nice about wearing a bright canary yellow dress on one of the first hot days of the year. We'll be going to a barbecue together later this evening, and hopefully the weather will keep up with us.

Details: Knit with Cascade "Sierra," 80% cotton/20% wool, on size 7 needles. I only used 3 skeins, which was less than $25!

This is my own pattern, and I am really happy with how it turned out! The idea for Sunny D was in my head for a while, but the Craftster Summer Knits challenge gave me the incentive I need to start knitting it. I crocheted the bobbled neckband first, then picked up stitches along the front and back and knitted it in the round from the top down. Once the dress got long, the weight of the cotton yarn made the armholes droop down to a pretty obscene degree, so I added crochet around the armholes to correct this. This addition wasn't my original intention, but I think it looks nice. The hemline was the toughest part for me. I did about 6 different versions, but somehow, the crochet hem kept ruffling up on me, and looked too frou-frou. The crocheted picot hem, somewhat less frou-frou, seems to work for me.


The Backburner

I've got about a week or so to go on the Vogue dress, and I found myself in an unusual situation: there aren't any patterns on my backburner to lust over. I usually have something lined up,even months in advance. My love affair with Twinkle is on hiatus, and I'm trying really hard to find something I like in a number of new books. I spent the better portion of my lunch break sitting down with several said books, (Runway knits, Fitted knits, Glamour knits, etc) and just wasn't feeling it. There are loads of of loveliness in these books, but the patterns just don't grab me. And I don't know why.

That sad, empty feeling is gone now, though, because I finally fell in love all over again. Here she is:

This is from the new Spring Phildar. Love the collar, the ribbed edging, the covered buttons, and that quirky little detail at the waist. Sigh.

I also like her:Look at all those fancy stitches! I want this to be a dark grey vest to wear over gauzy turtlenecks next fall.

I even like her, in spite of the fact that they call her (the horror!) a poncho:

I love the sleeve drama and the vertical ribbing. I have tried on something like this, but it made me look very very short, like the sweater was eating me up. Something about it still really appeals to me.

Three patterns in a catalogue is enough to justify purchase, right? That's what I told myself while I typed in my visa digits. Yay! I've never ordered from Phildar before. I wonder how long it'll take to arrive.

Now that the backburner is full, I'm promising myself that I will finish up my other wips before I order yarn for the cardigan. Not sure if I can stick to that, but I'll pretend for a bit.