Friday, December 22, 2006

Yarn Pr0n Friday: Fleece Artist, Basic Merino Socks

Colorway: Autumn, for, well, socks!

Not much knitting here lately. Spent last weekend in New York. No yarn purchases! Can you believe it? I went to Knitty City and bought a bag. I bought an obscene amount of Giorgio Armani and Scott Barnes cosmetics. Saw The Color Purple. Fabulous! I had a seat 3 rows from the stage - could see the whites of the performers' eyes. It wasn't the original cast, or the original Celie at least, but I can't imagine the original was much better. I highly recommended it.

I wandered around Times Square snapping pix then took the subway back to my friend Natasha's. I felt safe the entire time because of these guys:
New York's Finest on horseback. They even smiled and waved after I took their picture. I love New York.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Knit Ready-to-Wear: Alexander McQueen

Cuff-necked merino wool and angora tunic sweater
Alexander McQueen, Neiman Marcus, $765

How do you knit a draped back so that it stands up like this?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Though I've only posted for Yarn PrOn Fridays lately, I have been knitting. Here's the MK Cardi:

The back, front and one sleeve are reknit and finished. Half the second sleeve is finished too. I wish I had remembered to knit the sleeves simultaneously on one needle so that they'd be exactly the same. Next set.

Mom's socks:
I finally got over my disgust that they weren't the same size, frogged, and began again.

And the Lizard Ridge Squares:
I've knit about 27 squares. I only need 24 for the afghan, but they have become such mindless knitting despite all my previous bleating, that I lost count. I've put them aside in order to finish Mom's Christmas socks.

There are otherWIPs too. Like the Adrienne Vittadini diagonal shell I've had on needles for a couple of years. This reminded me of it:

This is scanned from a Bloomingdales catalog. Click on the picture twice to see the stitch pattern. (Have you noticed all the knitwear in the catalogs and magazines lately? There are so many cardis I love that I can't knit fast enough.)

I put the Vittadini project aside because knitting on the diagonal - the pattern I'm using at least - seriously misshapens it. I was discouraged because I couldn't tell if I didn't follow the instructions properly or if the instructions contain errors. I realize now of course that it may just need to be blocked. I'll give it another shot after I've finished some of my current projects.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Yarn Pr0n Friday: Yarns Plus, Tangerine

Yeah, I know it's Saturday. This is Yarns Plus, in Tangerine, hand-painted 2/10 Tencel. Click picture twice for a very close look.

I bought this at Unravel in Las Cruces, New Mexico. I think it wants to be a shawl.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


ARGH!!!! Mom and I visited the most charming yarn shop in Las Cruces, New Mexico, last week, and I took at least a dozen pix of the place that I accidentally DELETED from my camera. I can't express how frustrated I am! I've taken a few more pix since that I CAN'T UPLOAD to my computer. I'm going to have to take the damn thing in to Penn Photo along with the laptop to get help. It's just MADDENING. The only bright spot will be if I have to return it, in which case I will get a new one with more pixels.

The yarn shop is Unravel. It has a huge selection of yarn and roving(s?), two couches for knitters, and, a jewelry counter in the back. There was a collection of earrings made from very fine wire, which intrigued me. I had pix of those. There were a couple of knitters there, one with some yarn she'd dyed in a class she took there - it was yummy. Another knitter, Nora, frequently visits DC on business. I offered to take her on a yarn crawl the next she comes. Hope she'll call. I had pix of them too. I'll be going back at Christmas time, so I can take more pictures then. I'd like to go back for one of their dying classes too. After we left both Mom and I said simultaneously, "They were such nice people!"

I had pictures of my favorite coffeeshop, Milagro, which makes the best cappuccino in the country, of the sunset over the mesas, and - well, never mind. I'll stop now.

OT: I did manage to upload some pictures of an iPod vending machine in the Dallas/Fort Worth airport.
I was incredulous that one can buy a $350 video iPod out of a vending machine! It contained a full selection of iPods, Bang and Olufsen earphones, remote controls and the full array of accessories that would be available for iPods in an Apple store. I'm always most impressed by the simplest of ideas, like Netflix for example. Brilliant. You could also buy a cellphone from Motorolla's vending machine. I didn't have time to find out how you get service started. Since I'm off topic, I have to tell you that I also scored pounds of Ethiopian Harrar coffee in El Paso. I haven't seen it here for two years.

Anyway, I'm done with cameras for the evening, even the one that will upload, so I'll post pictures of my swag later.

Oh yes, and knitting: I've re-knitted the back, front, and one and half sleeves of the Michael Kors cardi. I can't believe it. I have to say that the Filatura di Crosa Zara Plus has held up exceptionally well through all this reknitting.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Yarn Pr0n Friday: Lonesome Stone Mountain Feat

Lonesome Stone Mountain Feat, Jingle Berries colorway; superwash merino wool.

I'm in El Paso visiting Mom for Thanksgiving. Found this in El Paso's lone yarn shop, Sarita's Custom Sewing and Alterations. Sarita's started out as a drycleaners with a few balls of yarn and an interesting selection of needles. They have more yarn every time I visit. I also bought needles: some 4" Bryspun Bry-Flex DPNs, some metal Boye DPNs, and some 12" plastic Clover circs. There was full selection of Addis too, but I love really love Boyes. They are a fraction of the cost of Addis and have sharper points. I got some on sale at Hobby Lobby. More about that later. Sure wish we had Hobby Lobby in Virginia.

Hope y'all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Yarn Pr0n Friday: Adrienne Vittadini, Nicole

Just in the nick of time! Damn Blogger and my camera!

Adrienne Vittadini, Nicole, 65% acrylic, 35% nylon, to make this.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Yarn Pr0n Friday: STR Lovers Leap

This is STR Lovers Leap, light weight, and very slightly variegated.

"Whatever Event Prompts a Knitter to Paint Her Nails"

I laughed so hard when Del posted,

"I hope you had a great time at whatever event prompts a knitter to paint her nails, LOL."

because I didn't go paint my nails as I intended. Why? Because I had to knit some more! So I finished a Lizard Ridge square instead. We're diehards aren't we? I hoped I'd be able to touch up my mani at lunch today and I did. Why use up valuable knitting time at home?

The event Olga and I attended was a lecture at the Corcoran Gallery of Art given by Andre Leon Talley, Editor at Large, Vogue Magazine.

He had a great slide show of his favorite spring fashions and took questions later. He was so entertaining, charming, and funny and not at all imposing in person as he appears in Vogue. Talley dressed simply in a grey suit and white shirt. But he had on black pumps with huge rhinestone buckles, made especially for him. Andre just had to be Andre, I guess. Some of his favorites of the season included Chanel, Peter Som, Versace, Vera Wang, Balenciaga, Missoni, and one of mine, Prada. Here are few shots of the slide show. If you're interested in seeing better photos of the full collections, go to

Someone asked what he thought of the movie, The Devil Wears Prada, in which the Merrill Streep character is alledged to be based on Vogue editor Anna Wintor, Talley's boss. He wouldn't even entertain the question. Don't blame him. I'd want to keep my job too! Someone else asked him what effect Project Runway has had on the fashion world, but he said he has never watched it. We were gossiping with some people at the reception afterwards and we figured out that he wouldn't admit to watching PR because Nina (Garcia?) is the editor of Elle, a Vogue competitor.

There were some great looking people at this sold out event. It was good to see that some part of Washington is fashionable and attends these events.

Andre singled a few well-dressed women in the crowd during the question and answer session, including the young woman on the right in the picture below.
I loved the woman in the hat. She was throwing back martinis at the reception later.

She made sure I got one too.

This young Houstonian, Julia, was appalled that there's no dress code in DC. She was shocked that people don't even dress up for church! (Many folks in the South and in Texas still have special Sunday clothes for church.) Julia proudly told us she dresses as approriate for the occasion and volunteered to posed for me. She even whipped out her own camera. I've toyed with the idea of copying The Satorialist, posting shots of well-dressed Washingtonians, but I'm too shy to ask people if I can take their picture.

Really, on the whole, most Texans dress up more than the Washingtonians I see everyday. Not big hair necessarily, but more make up, more jewelry, albeit subtly done. I remember when I moved here from Texas, I was stunned too. Then I began to dress less. I'd feel underdressed when I went home, so I'd put on more makeup and jewelry on when I got to Dallas DFW, so that I'd feel confortable when I landed in El Paso. On the way back to DC, I'd pare down a bit. Now I just do whatever I feel like according to mood - women should feel free to choose. (Talley said, "It's not what you wear, it's what you project.") But I've noticed lately that I'm slowly reverting to my old Texan ways. Decades-old habits die hard! I feel better when I'm dressed and made up, though these days that may mean only earrings, lipstick, blush, powder, mascara, sunglasses, and clean jeans!

Olga and I and another attendee had our picture taken for the society pages of DC Modern Luxury. Our first! I'll let you know if they actually get published.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Much Better

This is much better. Notice the absence of buttonholes? That's because I decided to reknit the left front again when I discovered that I knit looser than I did 2 years ago.

My options were to use smaller needles or continue with the larger hand. The latter is the better option, I think, since I really don't want it the cardi to fit as tightly as it does on the model.

I realized at the outset that I might have to re-knit the entire sweater.

I'm going to an event tomorrow night, so I'm going to go paint my nails.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Perils of Procrastinating

There are many perils of procrastinating, I realize, but this one is specific to the Michael Kors Cable Cardi. Besides forgetting how to read the instructions, apparently I forgot what size I was making! I forgot that I cast on 53 stitches for the front left side two years ago, and cast on 48 last night for the right side.

(Notes? What notes?!!? I've learned my lesson. I bought a little notebook for the kinds of annotations I failed to make. It also has pockets that will be useful for small strands of yarn or swatches, and graph paper for sketches. No more scattered notes!) I caught the mistake when I checked to see if the two sides matched. I've only knitted two inches and I can stand to practice my buttonholes anyway. Now to cast on for the sixth time - the first five attempts at buttonholes weren't acceptable. I know I should be practicing on swatch. It's too late now. Well, it's not, but I'm not going to.

This means I'm two stitches short on the sleeves too, both of which are finished. Fortunately, they knit up quickly, and I'm using Grumperina's no cable needle method, which makes the knitting go even faster. (Nik had a good tutorial too, but I couldn't pull it up on her site.)

I forgot to show you the Skacel purple lace weight yarn I bought on sale at Stitches East.

It's 100% shrink resistant merino wool. I got 1375 yds for $15. I'm thinking of Eunny's Print O' the Wave Stole (PDF).

And the Karabella Roses that the Karabella rep was giving away:

How could I forget a freebie?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Stitches East

At the last minute Olga's husband, Jason, got the day off and kindly offered to drive us to Baltimore to attend Stitches East. I hadn't been to Baltimore for at least a decade and had forgotten than it is only an hour drive away from DC. We didn't take classes, but spent four hours at the market. There were hundreds of vendors there and we were wild-eyed with excitement from the moment we walked in. Our first stop was Habu. I found and bought the thread-like slubby yarn in moss green and pink that I saw in their New York shop in May. (Click on each picture for a closer look.)

It was one of those yarns that made an indelible impression on me and that I regretted not buying. I have no idea what I'll make out of it. I also bought some novelty yarn for scarves

and catalog of yarn samples, which they will mail to me later. I bought these beautiful stone buttons from Cheryl Kumiski Glass Studio (no buttons on her website) that I envision on some Habu sweater.

I have no idea which sweater I'll make, but I know I would have regretted not buying these buttons for whatever sweater I ultimately choose. I'll have to choose carefully, because, frankly, most of their sweaters are better suited to small-boned, thin women, not broad-shouldered ones like me.

I was delighted to find these lighted needles that Wendy blogged about.

I plan to knit some deep purple Kidsilk Haze gloves with them. The dark color and "halo" of the yarn and its ultra-fine gauge make it hard for me to see it on the needles I had, so I thought illumination from the needles themselves might help. They were also cheaper than the ones on the site.

Interweave Knits exhibited Eunny Jang's Venezia Pullover and the Kate Gilbert's Equestrian Blazer, patterns for which are in the current issue. They are much more beautiful than the pictures show. Eunny's sweater is generally not my style, but after seeing it I'm coming around. And the Equestrian Blazer is just simply elegant. The picture doesn't show the gentle tapering at the waist or how perfectly the collar falls. Hope it fits as well as it hangs on the hanger.

There were surprisingly few sales. Webs had a stall there and they were selling lots of yarn, but the prices - of Kureyon at least - were the same as the prices on their website. I bought some Trekking and Jojoland for socks from other vendors, but no STR from Blue Moon Fiber Arts - nothing moved me.

I found Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk and Gedfira Gigante among those few sales. Don't know what I'll make of the Alpaca Silk, but I'll make a cardi like the one Olga was wearing out of the Gigante. (I was too wild-eyed to remember to take her picture!)

Woolstock Yarn Shop was selling it and other bags of yarn at 50 or 60% off! I wish I could have taken a picture of all the women madly sorting through the huge bin of sale yarn, but cameras were not allowed in the hall. Or, rather, we were not allowed to take pictures. Gigante looks kinda bleh here, but it knits up beautifully. And I love knitting with yarn that is variegated and varies from thick to thin. It made perfect sense to wear one of your handmades to an event like this. I wore my Pomatomi, but who could see them inside my shoes?!!? Interestingly, I saw few others wearing their knits. I saw a Diamond Fantasy shawl, a Clapotis, some domino square cardis, and one or two scarves. The rest of us must be making socks. Gotta re-think that, huh? Oh, I'm not going to quit making socks! I'm just sayin'... well, I'm just sayin'.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Yarn Pr0n Friday: STR Pink Granite

It seems strange to feature yarn from a sock club kit even if it is Socks that Rock! But it's my favorite so far. It's pale pink, cream, and gray.

STR Pink Granite

I may actually knit this soon.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Blogs are for Bitching, Right?

I thought I was going to have one more pair of socks to celebrate the end of Socktoberfest. All I had to do was kitchener the second Broadripple that I'm making for my Mom. Pulled 'em out at lunch, and this is what I discovered:

Well, shit. I couldn't believe that one is significantly smaller than the other! I knit them both with US3 Addi Naturas, with the same number of stitches. My colleague Tonya said that I may have stretched the first by trying it on. That might explain why the first one is wider, but not why it's longer. Obviously I'll have to frog it. Thank goodness they're for Christmas, because I'm not in the mood to frog right now. I'm using elann Esprit, which is much like like that stretchy Cascade stuff (I'm clearly too lazy to look it up right now. You know the stuff.) I don't even like knitting stretchy yarn. Someone said that the inside of the sock made up of this yarn feels like those terry athletic socks, so since Mom likes bed socks, Voila! Well, HUH. At least I gave Tonya her laugh for the day. She couldn't help herself! She smirked every time she saw me for the rest of the day. I shouldn't complain too much. The first one came out OK.

I don't like these Addi Naturas either. The point of the needle is much sharper than metal Addis, which I like, and the join to the cable is seamless, but the yarn gets stuck in the groove where the wood joins the metal (see arrow).

I did finish My So Called Scarf. I may redo the end with a crochet cast off a la Harlot. I think it will be tighter.

Yarn: Manos del Uruguay
Color: 107
Needles: Lattern Moon Circs, US 11 ( I really like these needles. The join is smooth and the ebony knitting surface is as smooth as they come.)
Mods: None


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