Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Tuesdays are hard

But at least this one included Chinese food for lunch, sushi for dinner, and more cinema knitting. I saw "Mrs. Henderson Presents" and it was perfectly delightful. Judi Dench rocks. And Bob Hoskins was quite charming. And i got a lot of knitting done. Apparently I'm a better cinema knitter than I am a bedtime knitter because I seem to make far fewer errors in the dark of a movie theater.

I discovered that my brilliant plan of staving off pooling through varying my wrong side knitting techniques is just a little less than brilliant. It seems my gauge is the same either way. I was hoping that a touch of change would shake up the yarn a bit, but no such luck. I will say that it is far easier to knit backwards in the dark than it is to purl in the dark, so I'm sticking to that method for a while.

I think I've decided to do a yoke on this one. And the Divine Miss M wants large (or rather, "big big big BIG huge" red buttons. i'm thinking the button band is going to end up being 14 rows if this keeps up. I will say that her favorite shirts are those with three big big big BIG huge buttons down the front, because she can put it on herself but it gives her a little greater sense of accomplishment than a regular old pull over your head kind of shirt. Plus she never puts it on backwards.

Finished one of Marco's socks. It's too short. I was following the sock pattern in Ann Budd's handy book to the letter since he wasn't around for measuring when I cast on. But i thought it was looking rather large so i stopped early and slapped on a toe. I should have trusted the pattern.

Oh, and when i asked him to try it on, he asked which foot it was for. Apparently in his world socks are foot-specific, like shoes.

Flash your Stash

I'm so excited about this. It's making me organize my yarn. Which makes Marco very exited about this.

sneak preview

so today we had the company of My Kid The Squid's best friend and most besotted admirer. man. here are a few choice snippets:

r: i think you're my sister.
m: no!
r: why?
m: cause i'm just maya.
r: you have curly hair though. i think you're my sister.

Miss Roo holding the plate of dried payapa brought on this exchange:

r: want one, maya?
m: all of them, actually.
r: actually, no.
m: ok.

Anyway. That's probably not even slightly funny if you don't hang out with the under-three crowd often, but I was having a hard time keeping a straight face. And i wish I'd caught them "knitting" on video. it involved 2 cookie cutters, a stuffed giraffe, and 3 magic markers. and a lot of "don't bodder me, I'm knitting right now actually."

Sunday, March 26, 2006

More Knitting in the Dark

So I don't know if your kids do this. I don't even know if you have kids. I don't even know who you are so if you'd like to drop a comment every now and then I wouldn't mind too much.

By the way, what's the protocol on that? Do I reply with a comment of my own? reply in the next post?

As I was saying, I don't know about you, but it is TORTURE getting my kid to sleep. We've finally got a system that involves me sitting and knitting in the dark for 2 hours, which is a decided improvement over my kneeling hunched over her bed as she wrapped her entire body around my head.

So more knitting in the dark. Nothing like a cardigan for dark knitting. I did have a few things to fix when i made it back into the light, but, is it just me or does everyone love dropping back stitches, fixing things, and picking up those stitches again? I love doing it.

I've also been playing with color correction and camera settings, for, while i simply live for my Nikon D70, it does tend to over-saturate the reds a bit. Today's photo is a far more accurate representation of the actual colors in the yarn, which, incidentally, is Full Belly Farm organic wool à la Mosaic Moon. The colorway is a kind of subtle, light rainbow.

I'm doing my best to avoid pooling by knitting one row, turning, purling one row, turning, knitting one row, knitting one row backwards. Lather, rinse, repeat. So far, I think it's ok. I fear what happens at the armhole split. Which is why i'm leaning towards a yoke. But then again, raglan might be fine. Remind me why I'm knitting this bottom up? oh yeah, so i could cast it on in the dark.

I've been all project spectrumy, too, but those photos will have to wait for another day. I need to work on those reds.

Cinema Knitting

Went to the movies tonight. 3 nights a week I'm "off duty" from putting The Squid to sleep. The catch is that I can't be in the house. So I've been getting creative about where to go and what to do, and I suddenly remembered the movies tonight. Of course, it's saturday so everything good was sold out. So i went by what was available and starting within a half hour, and ended up with something utterly forgettable.

However, it was my first knitting in the movies experiment, and it went quite well. I cast on 128 stitches, completed 6 rows of seed stitch and 6 rows of stockinette, all without error. I'm impressed. Of course that's pretty SLOW considering it took a whole movie, but still. at least i don't have to rip it all out again because of dropping stitches, which was the outcome of my last knitting in the dark experiment.

It's on it's way to being a cardigan for The Squid. Raglan, drop shoulder, or yoke? what will look best with variegated yarn?

Friday, March 24, 2006

Pink and Red

I'm obsessed with Project Spectrum. I wish I had the time to knit all of this up, but i arrived late so I only have a week left. harumph. I can hardly wait until April. Yellow and orange. I'm going to try my best to knit up every bit of yellow and orange in the house. And I assure you, it's not a small amount.

I have a lot of yarn.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Project Spectrum

Is this pink?

I joined Project Spectrum a little late to get it together for March - the pink and red month. Too bad. I have some wonderful red yarns i've been hoarding.

I'm desperately behind on Marco's socks (which, sadly, are neither red nor pink) but aside from those and one teeny tiny little top secret project I'm testing for a friend, i have NO knitting obligations for the first time in like forever. I need to make things for the store, but i can make what I want, in the order I want to do it. I am not huddled under a damoclesian sword. so why am i suffering from knitting paralysis?

Monday, March 20, 2006

Coming to the surface

Blogger just ate my post. It was full of informative links and witty stories.

I'm just coming to the surface after my weird Alice Cooper sweater incident last week. I'm still a bit dazed and my schedule is way off, but I'm resurfacing.

This is how it went, short version of the short version (because the short version disappeared into the void). I have these friends. They're in the band BETTY. Currently best known for writing/performing the theme to The L Word. (hey, looking that URL up the second time, I just realized that I could download the theme song as a ringtone. That would be hiLARious.) Ok. Plug over. Back to me.

So, They know everybody. I mean everybody. So if you need something, say you're looking for someone who can, I don't know, do something odd, you call them up and they know just the person for you to call. Apparently I'm the one they call who will knit anything with only a moment's notice.

So I get a call from the friend of a friend of a friend of a friend who says " we need a hand-knit sweater with a flaming skull and crossbones on the front for a commercial starring Alice Cooper." ooooo.kkkkkk. "Oh, and we need it in three days."

So i pack up the squid and run off to Downtown Yarns and tell Rita that I need the biggest fattest yarn ever. She scurries up the ladder and starts hurling skeins of Burly Spun at me. Then she makes me really fall for her when she says "you can knit that on 19s." Grab the squid again, run halfway home. Turn around, go back to the yarn store, retrieve Miffy who was left there inadvertantly, go back home... desperately wait for naptime.... begin knitting.

So 3 days and 17 revisions to the motif (which THANKFULLY I did in duplicate stitch which is easier to change and put back and change and put back and change. Not that I had to do that. 17 times.) the sweater was finished and sent off to it's final resting place with Alice Cooper.

And yes, I know it's odd to have knitting needles in the hem of a sweater that has already been blocked, pieced together, and embroidered. But those are prop needles. Apparently Alice's granny is knitting this sweater during the commercial. As my friend Elizabeth suggested, it would have been far more cutting edge if they'd dumped the granny stereotype and had Alice himself knitting, but they just hired me to make a sweater. Not to write the script.

Friday, March 17, 2006

You Can Get Anything You Want at Alice's Restaurant

Alice Cooper, that is.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Industrial Era

I spent all weekend knitting the most insane thing I've ever knit. details to come. I'm not sure I'm allowed to discuss it yet.

Anyway, i've been having a hard time picking up the needles, so i've been devoting some time to research. And I've decided. I'm buying a knitting machine. I've been doing my research, quizzing my machine knitting friends, and I'm taking the leap. I've got it narrowed down to the Aritsan 70D or the Silver Reed SK 160. I'm leaning heavily towards the SK 160.

It's an entirely different world. There are all of these terms i don't get, and the entire concept is just ungraspable to me right now. I'm both dreading and looking forward to the learning experience.

I love hand knitting. I'm not going to stop hand knitting. I get such pleasure from knitting certain things by hand. But i'm starting to feel stifled as a designer by hand knitting, because i can't create the new designs I want to create, keep up with the things I make to sell, and do a little knitting for family and friends, too.

A machine will allow me to use finer gauge yarns, too. Things that right now make me shudder to think of how long it will take to knit it up.

I'm very excited about this. I can't believe it took me this long. If I were sewing I'm sure I wouldn't have hesitated to buy a sewing machine. I wonder what was keeping me?

Anyone have a recommendation of the best place to buy? i can't find a local distributor (which seems insane in this big city).

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Egg Pattern available

On curlypurly.com.

send me photos of your eggs!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Back to life

Well, the auctions are over and with a preliminary count of items already paid, we're over the $7,000 mark. How thrilling!! Thanks to EVERYONE who made this such a success. I'm so excited i could burst into a million pieces.

Today it's back to the grind. Got some eggs on Universal Mama tonight. I'm going to work on getting that pattern ready to release. I figure it makes a nice friend to the pumpkin pattern. Of course it's as simple as could be, but worked up in Mosaic Moon yarn they look great! Of course you could also make them in natural and dye them in egg dyes.

Of course eggs wouldn't be complete without bunnies. So I'm working on those, too. The Squid calls him "the Mister Bunny" and she's been hiding eggs all around the house (mostly like in the middle of the living room floor) and when i open my eyes and go to look for them, she runs up to an egg, does a whole Carol Merrill thing and says "aha!" Two year olds rock.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Fluff Factory in Full Swing

Well, the Fluff Factory auctions are in full swing. I've barely had a second to breathe as I'm photographing and listing a zillion items. And knitting last moment items. I think i've finally done it, though, as I can no longer feel my right hand below the elbow. Oops.

I'm so proud of this. It's simple, but the coordination we went through (Christy's in Texas, I'm in NYC) and the planning and late night email whining sessions we endured... I'm largely riding on Christy's coattails on this one, I'm well aware. But I'm pleased as punch that this is going so well.

yup, that's my Olympic feat.

A bunch of money is being raised for FIAU (which, incidentally, you pronouce as a word, not an acronym. It rhymes with "meow.") and for that I am eternally grateful to each and every woman who knitted, crocheted, sewed, painted, and built her fingers to the bone. And to the generosity of the bidders. Go check it out. You won't believe what some people will pay for a diaper in the name of charity! ;)