On hiatus

It's been a long time dear readers and knitters, and I'm not sure how much longer it will be. I love knitting, but these days I'm just not that into it. I don't want to force it and will come back when I'm ready. Keep up all the amazing work in the meantime...



Dear almost finished Jaywalker in the best colorway of Lorna's Laces that I have ever seen,

I'm really sorry I left you in the bag along with my almost finished novel, somewhere between a wine heavy dinner out with friends in Nolita and karaoke on St. Mark's Place. I should have just finished your toe the night before, but I let my sudden interest in lace shawls come between us. I called the restaurant, the taxi and limousine commission, and the karaoke bar trying to find you- all dead ends. I'll always have my memories of you, the one that got away.


FO: Phildar Backless Tee

It's all seamed up, the weather is just right, my sunburn is gone, so today is finally the perfect day to take my new top out to the park.

I have to admit, this was a boooooring knit. As much as I love Gigi, I don't think I can do another stockinette heavy project after this.

I love backless tops, but I had to make sure to knit this on smaller needles than I normally would, just so that there wouldn't be any sheer peekaboo action in the front.

no nips, right?

I bought a 10 skein bag of this yarn on ebay ages ago, and thought it was going to be a soft buttercup yellow. I was horrified when it arrived in all of its acid lime glory. Luckily I held on to it- neons and brights grew on me, and the yarn was perfect for the pattern. Stashbuster!

Details: Pattern from Phildar Printemps Ete 2008, pull #486-T7-491, English translation. I used about 5 skeins of Noro Lily, but can't be sure because I have knit and frogged this yarn a couple of times, and some of the wound balls were partial skeins. Knit with size 5 bamboo straights.


A vacation from knitting

Despite bringing two projects and tons of yarn, I managed only three rows of knitting on my trip. I did all the driving, and spent most of my time eating, riding bikes, eating, walking, hanging out by the beach, and eating some more. Here's one of those nifty flickr mosaics:

My favorite places were Rockport, where we had the best lobsters and bike riding adventures, and Provincetown, a totally funky and laid-back town with great nightlife.

I managed to check out some yarn shops, thanks to some great recommendations I got in the comments (thanks Thea!). Seed Stitch in Salem, MA looked great, but was closed when I came through on Memorial Day. Windsor Button in Boston was something else. It's huge and with all kinds of crafty stuff and a firmly unpretentious vibe. But the lighting is horrendous and grey, and I often had to squint and use my imagination to appreciate some of the gorgeous yarns they have. Well, that didn't stop me from picking up some summery sock yarn. It's Claudia's Handpainted.

Since I've been back, New York weather has been alternating between pleasantly hot and unbearably sauna-like, and that just doesn't motivate me to knit. I've rediscovered my interest in sudoku during my commute, and at home I've been a wee bit obsessed with wii fit. It's awesome. But somehow, in fits and starts, I've gotten close to completing the Phildar top. I'm seaming it right now, but I'm afraid it might need some reconstructive surgery.

It was great to come home to the new knitty. I am so in love with Gigi and am trying hurry up and finish the Phildar top so I can start Gigi guilt free!


going on a road trip

Bobby and I are renting a car tomorrow and doing a weeklong driving tour of some nearby Atlantic states. I'm so excited to drive a car again, even if it's a dorky rental car. We'll be staying in Rockport, Boston, Provincetown, and Newport, and checking everything out in between (please please send lys tips). Our last night will be spent on Fire Island at my sister's summer rental. Looks pretty great, right?

My neck is all better, btw. Thanks again for all the tips and well wishes. I'm now tracking down some fancy pillows, carrying a lighter handbag, wearing heels less days a week, and keeping the window shut while I sleep. I never want to get a stiff neck again!


The many wonders of tiger balm.

For the last couple of days, I've had plenty of idle time, some of it spent admiring the colorful packaging of the tiger balm my sister brought back from India. Apparently it can do much more than relieve muscle aches, Look closely:

I also entertained myself with some online shopping, and ultimately pre-ordered a wii fit. It looks fun, but the purchase was partially motivated by what has happened since Bobby took charge of our eating habits while I'm stuck in bed. The last couple days have been full of pizza, burritos, pudding, egg and cheese sandwiches, and heavy cream based soup.

I also cruised the new Phildar mags and picked up another issue, mostly because of this summer top:

I love anything that's backless. I almost ordered the yarn directly from Phildar, until I realized that it would be 29 euros to ship 34 euros in yarn.

And I eventually was able to knit a bit, and finished up one little jaywalker last night.

Thanks for all the well-wishes, tips, and tricks for a less stiff neck, and for all the hours of knitblog content that kept me company over the weekend.


Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

I turned down a free ride from Ivete to go the MD Sheep and Wool Festival because I couldn't get out of work this weekend.

This morning, I woke up at 4:30 am with the unfortunate realization that I couldn't move my upper body without extremely sharp pain coming from my neck and shooting into my right shoulderblade and down into my right arm. After some internet research, I found that I have what's called a "crick" in my neck that should go away on its own with time and rest. Yay.

Right now, after Bobby's help, I'm propped up in bed by every pillow in the apartment. Can't move, can't go to work, can't go to the festival, can't even knit. Major weekend failure.

To everyone going to MD: have fun and take lots of photos please!


I'm on lucky.com street style?

Yep, that's me in the silk jammies. I just found this here on the lucky website.

On their site, they incorrectly guess at (but are very close) what designers I am wearing. I can't afford Marni, but I'm glad that Lucky thinks I can! I would love to own a pair of Marni shoes, but these Vilmas by Chie Mihara are twice as nice at half the price ::end shameless plug::

If only I was wearing a handknit that day!


FO: Side to Side Cable Top

Finished! Just in time for the sudden onset of warm weather. I loved the yarns, especially the color and texture created by carrying along the rose mohair with the beige base yarn. I think this first photo shows the pink tones in the mohair best.

Halfway through the neck/body portion, I realized that this was going to be way too small if I followed the directions. I did swatch this out, but I didn't pay attention to the row gauge. I had to add another 1/4 repeat of the neck cable pattern to make the body wide enough.

This modification made the cabled neckline asymetrical, and while knitting I couldn't decide if that would make the sweater more interesting, or sort of strange. I kept on knitting anyway, and I don't think it made much of a difference in the end.

Details: Side to side cabled top by Louisa Harding from Vogue Knitting's 25th anniversary issue. Knit on 5's and 9's in one piece and then seamed up the sides. 7 skeins of Sublime Yarns Cashmere Merino Silk DK and 7 skeins of Sublime Yarns Kid Mohair Blend, purchased at String Yarns on East 82nd St. This took about a month to knit.

Now onto something more weather-appropriate. Maybe my next knit will be a cotton or linen prairie tunic?


FO: It's a pair!

I didn't think I had it in me, but I am now the proud owner of a finished pair of handknit socks.

Details: Pattern is Embossed Leaves Lace Socks by Mona Schmidt from Interweave winter 2005. Knit on size 2 bamboo dpns with 2.5 skeins of Koigu kppm purchased from Imagiknit in San Francisco. I did an extra repeat on the leg, by accident, and omitted 1/2 repeat on the foot, because the sock was looking long enough.

I think this might be the start of a new knitting era for me...

Yep, I already cast on for another sock! This is a Lorna's Laces Jaywalker in progress. Bobby has read enough knitblogs over my shoulder to ask me if I "have finally crossed over to the dark side." The fact that I don't have another sweater lined up, or already on the needles, makes me think that he's onto something.


FO: Vogue Swing Jacket

Finally! It took two sick days spent in bed with two seasons of Weeds to get all the loose ends tucked away. I'm still not completely satisfied. The front openings of the sweater are curling away from me like a mofo. I'm gonna need to either go back to the blocking board or sew a lining in. I also think my short rows look kinda messy, and I wish I had done the sweater in darker color palette overall to hide the chunky short rows better.

I am happy with it overall. The knitting was really fast and enjoyable and I love how the changes in color define the shape of the jacket.

Details: Pattern by Shiri Mor from Vogue Knitting winter 2007/8, smallest size. 7 skeins of Cascade Superwash in aran, white, charcoal, and black purchased from Knitty City. I only used superwash because I liked the colors the shop had in superwash better than those in 220.


Almost there!

I imagined my "comeback post" to feature a glorious FO that would excuse my long absence, but it's just not there yet. My recent purchase of a Nintendo wii has really taken a bite out of my knitting, blogging, and blog reading. Enough excuses.

But this little swing jacket from the latest Vogue is almost there! I've been withholding after my recent knitting mishaps, not wanting to disappoint or jinx this project. At this point, I'm feeling confident enough to share it. It's definitely not one for the frog pond. I just need to do some minor blocking and weave in about 200 ends. I think I really love it.

And moving on to the next thing:

I have had my eye on this sweater from Vogue's fall anniversary issue, and after seeing an awesome finished version by Nueroknits on ravelry, I decided to shop and swatch for it. I'm pretty excited about this swatch in terms of color and texture. This is sublime yarn's cashmere merino silk paired with their kid mohair blend.

New York seems to be warming up though, and at the slow pace I've been working, It'll be in the 70s if I finish this one. Luckily, all my wii remotes are out of battery power for the moment.

Thanks for all the great comments, because they totally make my day and encourage me to get my knit and blog on!

I'm off to Las Vegas tomorrow for a shoe tradeshow (yes, a shoe tradeshow. It happens twice a year). Wish me luck and happy thoughts of awesome shoes for fall 2008!