Monday, February 26, 2007

Yummy Alpaca

Elann just posted some Araucania Atacama for sale and I snagged some with the idea of making a Calpotis or two. A few years late, I know. But how pretty are those colors?

I didn't get much knitting done over the weekend. Progress on the Cabled Cardigan is slow, as I'm working the fronts and back all in one piece for as far as I can. So I'm only about 5 inches into it. The cables are just starting to appear. But since I need the instructions in front of me to work the cables, and remember the decreases, it's not good subway knitting. So I'm wasting 2 hours a day when I could be knitting. Maybe Clapotis will be a good subway project?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

In other excitements

As you can see in the picture, Mott and I had a visit from our little squirrel buddy over the weekend. There's a tree outside my bedroom window (not such a common thing in Brooklyn), and there are a few squirrels that live in/occasionally hang out in the tree. The squirrels are completely unafraid of Mott and me, and will occasionally sun themselves on my fire escape, or try to chew their way into my apartment by gnawing on the window sill. I think they're hilariously cute, but Mott usually freaks out and wants to eat them. His calmness in this picture is wholly uncharacteristic.

In other news, I cast on last night for the cabled cardigan (#19) from the Fall '06 Vogue Knitting. Last Wednesday I placed an order from Elann for some of their Peruvian Highland Chunky in Grape Heather, and it showed up on Tuesday. How awesome is that? I also got some of the Peruvian Quechua in Saxony Teal, and the Peruvian Baby Silk in Oxblood.

I also finally finished the little poncho for my friend Kate. Her shoulders are a lot more narrow than mine, so I couldn't model it, and the yarn is nearly white, it was difficult to photograph, so this is the best picture I could get. It's got yarn-overs down one shoulder, and it laces closed down the other shoulder.

I think she'll like it, and she should be able to wear it at least occasionally in San Diego.

Looks like I need to take a vacation

I feel like I've traveled a fair amount in my life so far, especially having lived overseas and all, but it looks like I've been neglecting the west coast a bit. I mean, I'm thinking I'll probably never have much of a reason to make it up to North Dakota (though I guess you never know), but I think it's about time I visit the Pacific Northwest. And maybe throw a little Vancouver in the mix?

Create your own visited states map here.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Cleaning in style

I indulged a bit today and bought a new toilet brush. Some people might not think that's much of an indulgence, and some might even think it's a little odd to be posting about, but I'm awfully excited about my newest acquisition. Because it's not just any $5 Rubbermaid toilet brush from Target, nooo, it's a Vipp! And it's orange!!!! I'm a big fan of Danish design, and products from Vipp are top of the line. When I found this one on sale over at Garnet Hill, I couldn't pass it up.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Bad Weather Sucks

My office mate Brian was supposed to leave this morning for a much deserved vacation in New Orleans. He was a good boy, and called the airline to check on the flight status, and they said everything was fine. Everyone was reporting no delays at the airport. So he leaves super early to get his 7am flight. Gets to the airport, boards his flight as scheduled, the plane leaves the gate and makes its way to the runway, where they sit. They are told they can't take off because of the freezing rain, and they can't go back to a gate, because all the gates are full of arriving flights that now can't leave. They sit on the runway for the next 5 hours. 5 hellacious, stir-crazy-inducing hours. Finally, they get to go back to the gate, where they are told that due to the nasty weather his flight has been cancelled, and since there's not another flight available on JetBlue until Sunday (and he was supposed to come back Monday night), he can't go. Is that not the worst?

In knitting related news, I've been relatively unproductive. I'm almost finished with the convertible mittens for my friend, just the right thumb left to finish, and weaving in the ends.

But last night I got sidetracked, and decided to rip apart an old cashmere sweater that had developed a few holes. I'm hoping to recycle the yarn for a hat or something. It's so fine that it's going to be a complete pain in the ass, but I didn't want to just throw cashmere away.

I also think I'm going to take apart the Blackberry from Knitty that I made last year. I never really liked how the arms turned out. The bobbles make them really bulky. I would like them to be a bit more sleek. So I'm going to re-knit them sans bobbles.

I also think I'm going to order some of the Quechua that Elann posted today. I really like the Cabled Cardigan pattern they're offering free with purchase. And I've had my eye on some Highland Chunky for the Cabled Cardigan (#19) from the Fall 06 Vogue Knitting (so beautifully done by cosmicpluto), so I think I'll finally pick some of that up too.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Spiral Hat Pattern

I also wanted to post this pattern for a little hat I made recently. I really like it and wear it constantly, and thought there might be someone out there who might also like to make it. It's not exactly a huge departure from some hats already out there, but I cooked this one up out of my own noggin, so I like it especially well.

Spiral Knit Hat

Knit Picks Andean Treasure – 1 sk. Mystery Heather (MC) & 1 sk. Lilac Heather (CC)

Double Pointed Needles – Size 4 & 5

Ribbed Band:
Using the smaller needles and main color, evenly cast on 108 stitches onto 3 double pointed needles, being careful not to twist the stitches. Place Marker and join, knitting in a 2x2 rib. Continue in ribbing until band is 1” (or desired length).

Spiral Body:
Switch to the larger needles, and with the CC, knit 2 st, beginning by knitting the first 2 st together (this will establish the spiral because there will now be an uneven number of stitches) continue knitting in a K2MC, K2CC, repeating the entire way around.

Continue in this 2 color pattern until the hat reaches nearly the desired length (about 6.5”). When hat seems long enough, and you are ready to reduce for the crown, with MC only, proceed to K2tog for the entire round. Knit 5 more rounds and repeat the K2tog round. K 3 more rounds and pull tail through remaining stitches to close top of cap.

Weave in ends, and you’re done! The hat will loosen a little bit with washing.

Gifts of Care

Well, the heat is finally back on in full. The office ended up closing at 1 on Monday, due to the cold. The past few days, the super claimed the boiler was up and working properly, but you sure couldn't feel it. If it wasn't for our trusty space heater, I'd have been seriously uncomfortable. As it was, my office mate Brian and I had to keep turning around to huddle around it like a tiny little bonfire.

In other news, my cousin's wife Kerry is not doing well, and is now in the hospital for a while. She is in her 7th month of pregnancy, and started hemorrhaging last Saturday, and has been ordered on long-term in-hospital bed rest. The baby's not due until mid-April, so she's facing 2+ months of purgatory. So to help her pass the time, I've put together a little care package. A few useful things like lotion and flip flops, a few fun thing like an assortment of nail polishes, a book of assorted puzzles and a digital solitaire game, and some warm hand knit slippers.

I used a pattern I found online at
Knitting Pattern Central, for the Stash-busters Slippers. They were super easy to make up. I used some Elann Peruvian Collection Highland Wool I had in my stash in Oxford Grey Heather and Eggplant, and start to finish they were done in less than 3 hours. Gave them a quick rinse, let them dry overnight, and now they are a great little keep-me-warm gift.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Holy Cheese!

The heat is out at my office, and it's officially freezing here. I think it's about 12 degrees outside, with wind chills below zero, and it doesn't feel much better inside. I'm sitting at my desk in my coat, hat, scarf, and one mitten. My fingers are aching from typing (one handed), and my feet feel like little blocks of ice. Here's hoping things are fixed quickly, or this will be one miserably long day.

In knitting news, I finished the little wrap for my friend Kate, and I hope to post a picture tomorrow. It looks ok, but since it's in a cream color, all the irregularities show only too well. Other knitting has been slow going. My friend Anne liked the prototype for the convertible gloves I've been working on, but she wants the flip part a little different, so I have to rip that back to the join...again. She really wants a hooded scarf, but I've been procrastinating.