Friday, June 30, 2006

Curious George and the Swift.

George, I was told, wanted to go on the tire swing.

Yes, that would be the tire swing.

My Squid has learned, at the tender age of three, to wind balls of yarn. She gets the "don't change direction" mantra that I keep repeating over and over. She's very helpful in a Watch Every Move and Be Ready To Rescue The Yarn At Any Given Moment kind of way.

So we put old George on his swing, and he actually didn't get in the way of anything, and seemed to be having a pretty good time. He stayed in one place, hands and feet flying.

We wound 16 skeins of yarn and survived a rainy afternoon at home without the park. Only George got to ride the tire swing.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The "Perfect" Dress

Isn't it great? It's the "Perfect Summer Dress" from Little Turtle Knits. I just love it. There's elastic enclosed in that little picot trim at the waist, and the yarn is some amazing mercerized (which i'm usually not crazy about) cotton. The knitting is divine - that Theresa is Walking Knitted Perfection.

Note how my child is standing there, obedient and docile, while I take the photo. Let's pretend I wasn't saying "ppppplllleeeeeease just turn around and look at me!"

I've been knitting, too. I made a bunny.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Just Finisheditis

Whenever I finish a large project, the first thing i think is "well, that wasn't so bad!" but then for some reason i can NOT get motivated to get moving on something else.

This dress turned out better than I expected. It's another reversible (front to back so kids can do it themselves) colorgrown cotton dress. Inca Cotton, which I adore. I think the shape of this one came out even better than the last one, i think i finally figured out how to do a non-pointy-sided A-line.

This is child-sized. I'm contemplating making one me-sized. It looks so very comfortable. But for now, I need a nap.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Nice and Quiet

You know things are bad when a three year old comes into your bedroom where you're hiding out, knitting in hand, feet tucked under down duvet for that little bit of cozy when it's 459 degrees outside and says "ahhh. it's nice and quiet in here."

We have an extra three year old in the house. The Squid's friend is staying with us while her parents are away and it's total mayhem. Like I imagine it must be having twins around. Except twins are used to having someone else in the way. This is like having two only-child twins around.

But while I was hiding under the duvet, things got quiet for a bit. Like all parents, i had that inner struggle of "they must be doing Something Evil" vs. "who cares? they're not screaming at each other."

Who cares won and I waited a long while, knitting in trepidation until I heard "Look mamma, I look just like a tiger!"

If you don't get the tiger reference, you're not alone. incidentally, that color? that's what you get when you paint a child with every color in the watercolor box.

I handed them a bunch of wipes and a few different kinds of soap and went back to knitting.

Did you read the Harlot's post today? If anyone ever asks me "What's a Yarn Harlot?" this is the post i would point out. Witty, helpful, answering the pleas of a knitter in need, nostalgic, full of cocktails, photo essays, step by step displays of both a technique and a trick, finishing with a self-deprecating punch line.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Tears over Coffee

It's a weepy morning here at my house.

First because my kid doesn't like my elephant. She fell asleep asking me for a stuffed elephant to keep her other stuffed elephant company. It's no secret that she pretty much can't stand any toy I make. Lucky for me she offers equal contempt to other hand-made toys. For example, she loves the mass-produced acrylic knit weird looking bear that I got at a rest stop in college. But my hand-knit one of a kind items stuffed lovingly with organic wool, knit from the softest alpaca boucle yarn, with faces tenderly embroidered by hand... no love.

incidentally, she fell asleep saying "make me an elephant." and the elephant she has that needs a pachyderm companion is a mass-produced one that is decidedly not yarny.

Lucky for me, I'm my own biggest fan so I can enjoy my elephant.

Then i got teary because i read this bit of nostalgia over at the Green Gable knit-a-long. Nothing like a good knit-a-long to get the old waterworks going first thing in the morning, huh?

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Sorry about that google ads thing that was appearing all day. I was testing to see if it's true that you can't see google ads on a computer running Windows xp service pack 2 and guess what? it's true. and then because you can't see them, I forgot they were there. I came home to my beloved Mac and there they were, just hanging out in the wind.

I do apologize.

and now for a machine knit cardigan:

Pretty exciting. The white stuff is the "waste yarn" that I will pull out and replace with some nice finishing trim. I've already pulled it out of some other places and seamed the sweater up. I'm planning to pick up stitches all around the bottom, up the front, around the neck, and down the other front, then do some nice edgy thing. I bought a zipper. I'm going to try to install it. Wish me luck.

Anyway, i wouldn't say knitting a cardigan on a machine is easier than knitting by hand. And for a novice like me it's not faster either. And it's certainly not prettier, as it's a plain old drop-shoulder crewneck. And I have to say, that "you can tell it's machine knit because it's too perfect to be hand knit" thing? not exactly.

So what's the advantage you might ask?

When I figure it out, I'll let you know.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Think Pink

There's a new show my Squid enjoys. (yes, another one). The best part about it is that instead of squealing in frustration when she's unable to do something, like, say drag her mattress under the kitchen table because the table legs are too close together, she stops and says "It's time for me to Think Big."

And then she squeals in frustration.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Trampled Underfoot

It was school picture day. Our kids were standing in front of the Physical Graffiti building. It looks pretty much the same. They did ask that guy to shove over so he wasn't in the photo, though.

Anyway, the kids all were holding these big sunflowers and the photographer was desperately trying to get them to pay attention. Another mom, a good friend of mine, tugged on my sleeve and said "we're making this worse. let's go get some coffee." So we trotted off. A little way down the street we saw a baby squirrel on the corner of a staircase, and it was shivering with fear. My friend pointed out the vet across the street and suggested we go tell them and find out if they do animal rescue.

So we do, and they give us a cardboard box and the phone number of a local guy who does animal rescue. "He only does squirrels" they stressed. As we were leaving, phone number in hand, my friend said "what's his name?" and the woman at the desk said "Bernhard Goetz." we laughed. and said, "like THE Bernhard Goetz?" and the vet looked at us gravely and said "It is THE Bernhard Goetz."

So we called up the subway vigilante and chatted about what to feed a baby squirrel (avocado) and went to get our squirrel. But by the time we got back, it was gone.

This has little to do with knitting, I realize. Oh. my friend is a knitter and her kid was wearing a gorgeous dress that she knitted for picture day. does that count?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Rectangles Rock!

Thar she blows. And yes that's a square table with shorter legs stuffed under a rectangle table. It's called a desk. I live in Manhattan, cut me a break.

So I decided to break down and try to make something other than a rectangle. So I started to make a cardi for The Squid in a shade of Cotton Ease that I think is called "my, that is some serious red you've got there."

So I thought, shaping, i can do this. I started off to make a set-in sleeve cardi. Well, i got to the set-in part. "Designing" a set-in sleeve while a cakewalk with my hands, is challenging with the machine. AND it's really hard to frog back a few rows. So i frogged the whole thing. repeatedly. And decided that really, what The Squid needs is a drop-shoulder cardi.

So I made the back - cause it's, you know, a rectangle - and what you see hanging from the machine there is the left front panel just as i'm about to have to bite the bullet and do something shapey with the neck.


it's going to hang there and mock me all night, because I can't face the whole shaping, frogging, shaping, frogging thing.

I'm about an inch and a half away from yanking it off the machine and doing the top of the panels by hand.

i don't even want to THINK about sleeves.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A thought

knitting with a machine instead of knitting needles is like using a washboard instead of beating your clothes against a rock.

Rage Against the Machine

i'm mad at my machine. i broke two needles. bah.

however, after a 2 hour battle of wills (i won, by the way) i was able to make 7 different sized rectangles in an hour. It doesn't sound very exciting, but they will be seamed, felted, zippers will be added, and they will serve the geeky needs of my husband who gave me a list of dimensions for gadgety things that need various sized cushy felty bags. I've been putting off doing it because really, who wants to knit all that stockinette?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

It's a Scarf, It's a Throw...

... It's the world's largest gauge swatch. And since it's 7 ounces of organic shetland hand painted by Mosaic Moon, it's likely to be the world's priciest swatch, too.

So what gives? oh, this old thing? this is just a little something I not only whipped up but frogged and whipped up eight times tonight. On my brand spanking new (to me) Brother KX 350 knitting machine thankyouverymuch.


It's interesting. It's a different kind of zen. It still is completely mesmerizing and the rhythm is definitely soothing. and i was standing with the thing clamped onto a counter so it was also quite a workout as I swayed side to side.

It's not as fiddly and weird as I thought it would be. Far less fiddly and weird than a sewing machine, for example. and quite a bit larger. Cause, you know, there was that little 1 square inch of my bitty apartment left all uninhabited by yarn or some kind of computer thing.

Anyway, I'm a while away from actually designing anything on this behemoth, but i do so love the possibilities it allows me to dream up. the only REAL drawback is that it's a little clackity-clackity to be doing while the Squid is abed. So right now i'm itching to rip out my swatch and knit it again but I'll have to wait until tomorrow.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Blue is Busting Out All Over

Just because it's June, June, June.

There, just a little R&H for you first thing on a Monday morning. Here June is looking, yet again, rather grey. This afternoon we will attend the third 3rd birthday party in four days. The other two were quite soggy (including the outdoor one). This one is also in a garden so let's hope for the best.

I am excited to finish organizing my yarn in my fancy new yarn organizing drawers my genius husband fashioned for me out of the horizontal file cabinets that were taking up too much room for too little purpose. Just one more teensy weensy cup of coffee.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Bippity Boppity Blue

Despite having a three year old girl in the house, I haven't actually seen Cinderella since I was a three year old girl. So when I think of bippity boppity boo I think of a vaguely off-color Italian song my husband sings to the tune of the Disney number.

Now that I've confessed that, on to the backpack. I've refined the "Dora" backpack pattern, making it a bit slimmer and less cumbersome for a kid to tote around - my Squid feels a need to fill every bag she carries with her, so smaller is better in our case. It's now only 3" deep, 7" high, and still 6" wide. I've also added two monkey fist buttons to make it close better. Still really easy for pudgy little toddler hands to manage, though.

This one was knit from hand dyed organic merino from Mosaic Moon. The yarn was so lovely I felt kind of bad about felting it, but the dense, sqooshy-soft fabric that came out of the washer is heavenly and worth the deyarning of such a wonderful fiber.

I didn't even hate making these stripes.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Weird Little Internet

I finished my Green Gable. I'm pleased. I knit the medium in Classic Elite Premiere, added 1 set of increases at the hip, and added 35 rows to make the sleeves elbow-length. I decreased at rows 5, 10, 25, and 30. In the photo I'm looking at the disaster my kid is creating in the 30 seconds her father and I are otherwise occupied, and of course, that's the only non-blurred photo.

Now that's out of the way. What I really want to talk about is this.

I got an email this morning. The subject was "sit down." Lucky for me I was already sitting, because it was an email from someone with whom I have not spoken in 15 years. And she found me because we were both part of the Green Gable knit-a-long, and she recognized me from my "finished" photo. how's that for nuts?

Liz and I went to high school together. We rode on the bus together, always snagging the "Tultravox" seat (don't ask) and pulled the earphone thingys off the headband thingy so we could each hold one up to an ear and be listening to the same song at the same time. She was Viv to my Neale when Halloweeneed as the Young Ones. We went to the Alarm in concert together. She was the only person in my class that was shorter than I was.

She is, obviously, a knitter. Claims she was part of Sr. Sallie's knitting club. is it odd that one of my first thoughts reading this email from the past was "there was a KNITTING club?"