April 30, 2004

Nupps to You!

I have been a bad blogger this week. However I have been an excellent knitter. I will snap many photos of the many wonderful things I have done a little later. I did manage to get a decent photo of my Nancy Bush sampler bag so you can see my nupps. Man, I feel like should blush when I say that.

Here you can see the braided (Kihnu Troi) cast on, nupps and the lateral (Vikkel) braid. Neat stuff!

April 28, 2004

Lazy Post

I'm beat and feeling lazy so here's a super quick post.
Have you seen the new Rowan yet? I'm not totally sold on it yet. A little too fashion forward/slutty for my taste.
Have you seen the new Interweave Knits?
Are you interested in making a Go-Everywhere Cardigan? Then hop on over to Elann. They have three new yarns that are the perfect gauge for it.

I finished knitting Lottie/Hottie today. I also finished the front of my GE Cardi. I will cast on the sleeved tomorrow. I cast on for Lola tonight at Stitch 'N Bitch. I'm using some purple Cotton-Ease and it's knitting up nicely.

More tomorrow. 'Night!

April 25, 2004

A Day of Knitting

I spent my entire day knitting. I took Nancy Bush's Discovering Estonian Knitting workshop today from 10-4:30. I came home and kept working on my sampler bag until I finished it.

I learned so many new techniques. The sampler begins with a Kihnu Troi cast on which is a lovely braided cast on. It was pretty easy to learn and makes such a special edge. Then we learned Nupp, or button, stitch. It's an unusual (to me) slip stitch technique that makes little decorative nubs. (The nupps and Vikkel braid are really hard--okay, impossible--to see in this photo. I'll try to get a better shot tomorrow with some day light.) Then there is a traveling stitch of Vikkel braid, followed by some basic color knitting. Nancy is a thrower (yay!) and demonstrated two color knitting carrying both colors in her right hand. I only fiddled with it for a few minutes and didn't quite get the hang of it. I went back to one color in each hand just to get through that section. The next technique was the two color traveling stitch braid. I had a really hard time with this. It turned out I was doing it right. I just thought I was making some mistake and ripped it out several times. This technique has a lot of pop and has a really crisp edge. The twisted braid is done basically by braiding the three yarns and using slipped stitches to secure them. It's very simple but slow and there is no knitting involved. It also makes a great accent which stands out nicely from the knitting. Then there's the Kihnu Vits which creates yet another braid. This also creates a small bit of patterning above and below it. The large star design was created using Roositud patterning. I'm not really sold on this technique since it seems like a lot of trouble and could just as easily be accomplished with a needle. And lastly I cast off using two colors which creates still another braided effect. Whew. I'm tired. My wrists are really sore from this knitting workout but it was a great class. It was well organized and the hand outs are clear and informative. I think much of the information is in Nancy's three books. She also showed a fringing technique but we all, Nancy included, deemed it a little too 70s. So I skipped it.

Oh yeah. The Fiber Gallery called. I got the job.

April 23, 2004

Three New Stores, Two Sleeves, One Peeve, a Visit and an FO (and knitting is still sexy)

We all know that there is a knitting explosion going on right now. Here in Seattle we have six yarn shops (Acorn Street, Full Circle, Hill Top Yarn, Seattle Yarn Gallery, Tricoter and Weaving Works). We are getting three more shops in the next few months. There is a new shop opening on Capitol Hill called Stitches which will feature fabric and fiber. It's in a young, funky area. It's next door to Toys in Babeland. The shop where I just interviewed is The Fiber Gallery and it's located in the Greenwood/Phinney Ridge neighborhood. And when I was out for an early birthday dinner with Wes on Monday I saw a shop called So Much Yarn opening in trendy Belltown. Nine yarn shops in a city with under a million people. This should be interesting.

I think I mentioned yesterday that I'm knitting both sleeves for Lottie/Hottie at the same time. So far it's been great but it's occurring to me that by the end when I have 150+ chubby little stitches crammed onto my needles and two long sleeves flapping around it won't be quite as much fun.

I had a little free time between working out this morning (45 long minutes on the elliptical trainer) and picking up my younger son from preschool. I grabbed a (hideously bitter) cup of coffee at a local coffee shop and knit a bit of the second front sides of the GE Cardi. It's just straight stockinette stitch and I can knit it without looking. I was just scanning the coffee shop and found one of my biggest spelling peeves. I am not a great speller. I don't always know the right way to spell a word. But I do know the wrong way when I see it. Chocolate Carmel Hazelnut. I have to assume that this confection does not hail from the fair city by the sea, Carmel, California. No. It was a combination of chocolate, hazelnuts and caramel. Caramel, people, not Carmel. (And, for the record, they were giving out samples of this particular treat and damn! was it good.)

After we got home from preschool I had a message from the listowner of Purlygirls. She was in my neighborhood and wanted to know if I'd like to get together and knit. Heck yeah! I finished feeding my son lunch and put a Zoboomafoo video on. I got to sit and visit, chat and knit. Very nice.

Last night I finished Sherbet Ripple. Here they are.

Rachael has changed her t-shirt design a little. Cute.

Thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes and good job interview vibes.

Quick Update

Boy, it's late.
A quick update on what's up with me.
Wednesday was my birthday. My best friend got me the new 1000 Sweaters book. It's cute and I like it but I wish it wasn't written entirely for dk weight yarn. Wes got me a blank journal and the promise of a new MP3 player. We'll see...
Yesterday I finished the front of Lottie/Hottie. Today I finished Sherbet Ripple #2 and knit six inches of the sleeves (knitting at the same time) for L/H.
Today I had my interview for the new yarn store. I think it went very well. Unfortunately the owner doesn't have a lot of hours to fill and has a lot of applicants. I'm hoping my very extensive retail experience (and winning personality) will get me the job.
Now to bed.

April 20, 2004

No Slacker

I've been working hard and I have proof.
Here's my progress so far on Lottie/Hottie. I finished the back and and most of the front.

It's been sidetracked lately by Sherbet Ripple.

I've barely touched the GE Cardi in the last two or three weeks. I tried to snap a picture but it just looked like a bland brown mass--which is pretty accurate.

I'm taking a workshop with Nancy Bush on Sunday. The supply list is a bit puzzling. It says, "Please bring the following items to class: 1 skein of heavy worsted weight wool (170 yds-100 gram skein) in a light color, and 1/2 skeins of two other colors-- these may be different, for example, red and black or two shades of the same hue, for example, light blue and medium blue. A set of US#4 or #5 double pointed needles, or 16” circular, stitch markers, scissors, and a blunt tipped tapestry needle."

First off, if you're going to specify yardage and weight than you might as well just come out and say what yarn we're supposed to bring. I've been looking and I can't find a yarn that's exactly these stats. Secondly, a size 4 or 5 needle for heavy worsted yarn seems way too small. I think this is a typo for "bring 4 or 5 double pointed needles or a 16" circular." I'm probably going to bring some Lamb's Pride Worsted and size 8 needles and call it good.

April 18, 2004

Super Sized Weekend

This was a big movie weekend. Wes and I finally watched In the Mood for Love, which we received from Netflix in January. It was lovely. That Wong Kar-Wei really can create atmosphere. Today we had a screening for our film series. We had a hard time getting a film this month and ended up showing Happy Hour. Then tonight I got to see a free screening of a Super Size Me. And the director, Morgan Spurlock, was there for Q&A. It was a great film. It was repulsive. It was beyond repulsive. I was very pleased a few weeks ago when my five year old, out of the blue, was trying to find a toy he got from McDonald's. But since we stopped letting the kids eat there about two years ago he couldn't remember what the restaurant was called. He just remembered the big yellow "M." Progress, I guess.

I worked on the second Sherbet Ripple while I waited on line for the movie. I'm just starting the heel flap. The woman next to me asked if I was knitting or crocheting. Why do people always ask that? Anyway, she wanted to know how long it took to make a pair of socks. Then when I sat down in the theater the woman sitting next to me said, "Oh, you're the knitter from the lobby." I'm famous, I tell ya.

Oh! And I'm going to interview for a job on Thursday at a new knitting shop! Busy, busy, busy.

Weaver's Wool Quarters

Just a quick note since everyone is dying to know. I got the Mountain Colors yarn at my LYS, Acorn Street. I don't know if they have any left. They don't have online ordering but you could give them a call.

April 17, 2004

Ripple Effect

One Sherbet Ripple done!

The cast on for the second and have finished about 14 rounds or so. This sock is so easy and fun to knit. It's not complicated and doesn't require a lot of attention but it's not just knit, knit, knit ad nauseam either. It's a happy middle ground. And making a sock on 3s is very appealing to me too. I don't enjoy knitting on teeny tiny needles.

Lottie/Hottie is still moving along nicely too. I didn't get a chance to snap a photo of it. I was too distracted by all the new yarn that's been accumulating on my desk. After my online shopping frenzy I announced that someone should restrain me if they saw me about to buy more yarn. Well, let me tell you, not one person has tried to stop me and look what happened!

I found Mountain Colors Weaver's Wool Quarters on sale. On sale, people. A mere $9.99 a skein to use to make some lovely socks or gloves. These colorways are Obsidian and Red Tail Hawk. Aren't they lovely?
Then--now this is not my fault--Nanette sent me this Pingouin sock yarn as a thank you for some soap I sent to her.

It looks like there will be many socks in my future.
Now this last one I already confessed. I bought Cotton Ease to make a sweater for a friend's daughter's birthday. The horses were clearly disturbed when more yarn showed up on the desk.

April 16, 2004

Knitting is Sexy

I accidentally posted the link to Rachel's cool Cafepress shop all by itself the other day. We already know that knitting is sexy but in case you want to inform others you can go stock up. I, of course, discovered that some other people also find knitting sexy...

April 15, 2004

After Stitch 'N Bitch last night I realized that I forgot a decrease row in Lottie (should I call it Hottie? Damn, I'm bad at this nickname thing). I pretty much had to rip out everything I did when I was out last night. I managed to reknit most of it this morning. One of the knitters I met last night told me that Lion Brand Cotton Ease has the same gauge as Cotton Angora. Woohoo! I've been wanting to try it so I got some in the lilac color to make a sweater for a friend's daughter.

Today I taught knitting to some students at my son's elementary school. The school nurse had decided to try to teach the older (4th and 5th grade, I think) students in the Bilingual Orientation Center how to knit. She made needles for all of them out of dowelling and Fimo clay. Some of the kids just don't seem to have the manual dexterity yet to manage both needles. A few kids really got the hang of it but mostly they were adding stitches like crazy, dropping stitches and making holes. None of them speak English very well so it was difficult to give clear instructions. I'll try to get back in there to help some more in the next few weeks.

April 14, 2004

Sherbet Ripple

It seems like most knitbloggers are not content to call a pattern by it's given name. They rename them to claim them and make them their own. I think I'm too lazy for that. In a half-hearted effort to create a unique title for my current socks I came up with Sherbet Ripple. Thrilling, isn't it? Why can't I come up with cute names like Pumpkin Fluff or Roguesberry? Ah well.

Sherbet Ripple is growing rapidly. This sock is fun to knit. I love working on two circulars. I was up past one last night turning the heel. I couldn't put the damn thing down all day.

I finished the back of Lottie and am 40 rows into the front. It looks pretty grey and dull in the photos. I'll try to find a way to make it look more exciting.

And come up with a cool name.

April 13, 2004

The Pick Up Artist

It has been a really long time since someone tried to pick me up. But tonight as I waited for the other members of my knitting group to arrive someone did. I'm a New Yorker. I don't smile at strangers or make small talk. Now folks in Seattle are a little more relaxed. So it wasn't terribly surprising to have some middle aged guy see me knitting and ask what I was making. I was working on Broadripple on two circulars so it looks a little unusual. I curtly told him it was a sock and put my head down and kept knitting. He started asking me more and more questions about knitting. I tried to keep my answers short but civilized assuming that his order would be ready soon and he would go. Then he pulled up a chair and sat down. I put my head down further and pretended to count stitches. He starts asking about sewing and crochet. I feign ignorance. Then he says, "So, what do you do when you're not knitting?" Without looking up I said, "Raise my children." Then he left.

The back of Lottie is complete and I'm about 30 rows into the front. I'm ready to make the heel flap on my first Broadripple. I'll post pictures tomorrow.

April 12, 2004

Exhausting Weekend

What a busy weekend. My youngest son turned four on Saturday and we had a house full of kids. Then I had to take my older son to his best friend's party and then home so we could babysit for friends. Sunday was spent at the zoo and an egg hunt. I've been getting only about six hours of sleep a night for the last month or so. I almost fell asleep at eight last night.

But I didn't. Instead I continued on knitting Lottie. I'm almost done with the back now.

I also finally got moving on Broadripple.

I've got the hand of knitting on two circulars now and the pattern is simple enough that even I can remember it.

Lots of news on the Shapely Tank Knitalong blog on everyone's progress. Check it out.

April 9, 2004

Banner Day

I had a great knitting day today. I met two other knitters for coffee this morning for a few hours while the boys were at soccer camp. We knit, we chatted. It was lovely. I got to meet Amy. And baby Claire. She slept the whole time allowing her mom time to work on her Audrey for the Audrey Knitalong. I decided not to bring my Shapely Tank since I had only a few inches left to go on the straps and wanted to keep it with the front piece to make sure they matched up. Ditto for the left front of the GE Cardi. What's a girl to knit? I cast on for Lottie. It is going so fast. After knitting on 5s and 4s, knitting All Seasons Cotton on 7s is just flying. I'm almost through the first skein.

When I got home I finished the straps on the Shapely Tank. I barely pinned the front and back together and asked my five year old to take my photo.

Please note that I never intend to wear this over a shirt again. Particularly a big, boxy shirt. But I just wanted to be sure that generally it would fit. And it will. Now I'm torn between wanting to seam and finish knitting it immediately and waiting to do anything else until I take my Finishing for the Finicky class in May.

In the meantime, I also cast on for the Broadripple knitalong. I want to learn how to knit on two circulars. Here is where I am right now.

I messed it up the first time. I just didn't quite fully understand the two circulars process. The second time I had to put it down to check on my son's birthday cake and I didn't divide the stitches properly. I think I have it now and need to just sit somewhere and work on it without trying to bake and read email at the same time.

Things are picking up over at the Shapely Tank Knitalong blog. Join us!

April 8, 2004

The Shapely Tank Knitalong has a blog! It's not as snazzy as the Audrey Knitalong blog but it'll do for now. Any knitalong folks who want to post to the group blog just need to email me. Theresa is making her tank in the round and has posted instructions on how you can do it too. Chris has nearly finished her tank! I will hopefully finish knitting the back of my tank tomorrow. I'll try to take some pictures.

More yarn came from Patternworks. Koigu, baby!

I'm not really sure what I want to do with it all. I will need to do some creative thinking to find a way to make matching socks since I have ten different skeins of yarn each in a unique colorway. A Charlotte's Web shawl comes to mind of course. But what to do with the other five? I'm (very) open to suggestions.

I got a skein of Manos too. Just 'cus.

I was very inspired by this post by Leigh. She made herself some gorgeous yarn. I'm really wanting to learn to spin now. She also had a link to this site with great crockpot dyeing instructions that produced this incredible yarn in my favorite colors.

April 7, 2004

An Embarrassment of Riches

Things have been pretty busy here at Rose-Kim Knits. On Monday evening I emailed one of my knitting groups that I would be knitting at a local coffee shop in case anyone wanted to join me. Well, a dozen people came! We took over the whole place. It was a very nice evening and I managed to knit part of my tank with shaping without screwing up my pattern. Yeah for me.

I got a package in the mail on Monday and then another yesterday. Here's the haul. There's Rowan All Seasons Cotton in Mellow which I'm using for afghan squares from Debbie Abrahams's book.

I'm also using it to make Lottie. I ran into my office and started swatching right away. I didn't even eat lunch. I think it will be great and the gauge is spot on. This bundle of goodies came from Elann. I ordered it on Sunday afternoon and here it is! Amazing. I got a bunch of Sock It To Me Esprit.

I'll pick a color and use it for Broadripple. I just joined the knitalong. There are over 200 people signed up for this knitalong. I wanted to start swatching the Esprit too but I didn't have any size 3 dpns. I emailed my neighbor Megan to see if she had any I could borrow. Not only did she have them but she walked them over to my house! How's that for service? I'm also going to borrow a pair of size 3 circulars (Addis!) from another knitting friend and see if I like knitting socks on two circs.

I also got Bandolino in Rose which I want to use to make Sam. I started swatching that too. This yarn is okay. It's very inelastic which I suppose is typical for cotton. I don't think my needles are right for it. I think metal may work better for it. I will have to experiment.

I tried to set up a blog for the Shapely Tank Knitalong. Freakin' Blogger keeps giving me the same ftp error message. Wes and I Googled the error message and found dozens of entries in several languages with the same complaint. So I set it up at Blogspot but now when I tried to add a new member it gave her an error message. Sigh. I thought about switching to Movable Type but I can't make heads or tails of it. I challenged (maybe ordered?) Wes to figure it out last night and he couldn't.

I'm more than halfway up the back of my Shapely Tank. The back is looking quite beautiful, if I do say so myself. The front is looking pretty rough after being reworked so many times. But the back is great. Third (or fourth) time's the charm, I guess. I won't make any predictions about how soon it will be done since that seems to be the kiss of death for me. But I do hope to start Lottie soon.

Jessica, I'm waiting for you.

April 4, 2004


This weekend has been filled with knitting and fiber. On Saturday I went with my family and a (very patient) knitting friend to the Wild-N-Wooly Sheep Shearing Event. It was a cute little festival set up for small kids. They had lamas, alpacas and little lambs to pet. They had face painting and pony rides for the kids. There was sheep herding demonstrations, sheep shearing and spinning demos. Plus food and all the usual fair type stuff. You know, like tap-dancing clams.

I cut out early with my friend and we went on a tour of Bellevue's (two) yarn shops. One was large and stocked with lovely yarn and over-priced. And it's one of those stores that organizes the yarn by color. Why do they do this? It's so not helpful. It's looks pretty but so not helpful. But they have awesome sale bins overflowing with Anny Blatt and Bouton d'Or yarns. I held myself back. The second store was small and didn't have a really wide selection. They did have the new Cascade 220 Superwash. I didn't know they were coming out with that. It seems a bit pricey compared to the regular 220. A little over $10 a skein at this store. Then we went and had iced tea, Chinese food and did some knitting. A good afternoon.

I continued knitting when I got home and finished the left front of the GE Cardi. I had also started the back of the Shapely Tank. It's gorgeous. I've got the whole short row thing down cold, I'm used to the yarn, my stitches are lovely and even. The front is going to look like a train wreck in comparison.

I ordered a truckload of yarn this weekend too. I got Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora in Pale Blue for my beloved Mia. I also got some super cheap sale stuff to make one of the other patterns in the book. And I ordered a variety of solid and prints in the Sock It to Me Collection Esprit from Elann. I got some Schoeller Stahl Bandolino for yet another sweater in the Cotton Angora book. When will I have time to knit all these sweaters?

I also suffered a brief spurt of startitis tonight. I was digging out another ball of yarn for the right front of the GE Cardi when the other yarns in the bin starting calling to me. I want to use up my remaining Homespun from the No-Sweat Pants for the Critter Knitter's Knit-a-thon. I cast on to just make a big garter stitch square while I watched Criminal Intent. My needle developed a splinter which pricked my finger and snagged the yarn. I wasn't in a mood to go hunting for sand paper and an emery board did not do the trick so I put it back down. I also pulled out my Kidsilk Haze and considered--briefly--casting on for Birch. But the KSH scared me off again. That and the 299 stitches I need to cast on to start. I think casting on will be one of the biggest, if not the biggest challenge, on this project. I see that number and just lose my enthusiasm. I also dug out my Mission Falls 1824 Cotton for a Bottoms Up BOC. I can't decide on a stripe pattern so I put that back down too. So instead I worked more on the back of my Shapely.

For a taste of spring check out this lovely (newly completed) Arabella sweater from Rowan 35 at Knitting and Other Stuff. It's darling. I love the colors.

April 2, 2004


As you may have already heard. The new is up. Run and check it out.

I finally finished the front to my Shapely Tank. I don't know if this means that I found my brain or if I've learned to knit without it. I can only get easier from here, right? I'm going to order my yarn soon for Mia. I might start a knitalong on this too so let me know if you're thinking of knitting it also.

I bought these last night.

The pink is not quite so garish in person. They make me feel happy.