Sunday, March 25, 2007

stupid, STupid, STUPID!

Last night, on row 58, as I started the underarm decreases of my Pea Pod Baby sweater, I realized that I had 12 too many stitches. I must have counted the stitches 10 times and could not believe that I kept getting 147 when I should have had 135. I put it on a long Knit Picks Options chord, set it aside, and used my stress relief device.

I just couldn't figure out how I ended up with 12 extra stitches. It must have been an evil knitting sprite who changed my knitting while I slept. I checked my numbers again this morning - just in case the good fairy had come and changed it back - but still there were 12 extra stitches. There was nothing to do but start over. I did leave the 58 rows on the chord - someday I will finish the sweater as a larger size, or I will need the yarn and frog it. After the 7th row of my "start-over" I realized my mistake. In the 3rd row of the ribbing there is a yarn over - in the 7th row you knit a section of stitches out of order and KNIT 2 TOGETHER. Guess how many times this happens? That's right - 12! Somehow during my first attempt I didn't do the knit 2 togethers. The only thing that is keeping me knitting is knowing how much faster attempt two will be with 12 fewer stitches in every row. That's 612 fewer stitches! WOW!

I did have a lot of fun at Sit N’ Knit Crochet today. Forbes Magazine is doing a story about and a reporter and photographer came to our meetup. Here is a picture of the photographer and Chante taking a picture of the themed name tag that I knit.

Friday, March 23, 2007

I am a HUGE dork ... and that is so cool!

My day of "REPRESENTing" was perfect. I woke up in the morning and realized that my "Represent Hat" was still damp. First I ironed it... then I blew the inside with a hair dryer... then I just put it on my head and decided it was dry enough and the dampness would allow for perfect blocking. I have to admit that I was a bit confused by the whole hat thing. For some reason I thought that everyone was suppose to wear a hat to represent knitters who couldn't be there - it really was itching by the end of the day - but I had to keep it on because the hat head was ridiculous!

In the morning I took the train to Strawberry Fields for the "sock photo op." I met another knitter on the train, who told me about this must have
t-shirt. At the park, we were interviewed by KAT from the knitting video podcast Let's Knit2gether. I also met Guido (2Skeins) Stein ,the knitting show host of the podcast It's a Purl, Man. He is a really cool guy. I just subscribed to his podcast and I am looking forward to having something new to listen to while knitting.

Here are all of our socks around the "Imagine" mosaic. Mine are the at about 11 o'clock, just outside of the large white "thing". I like to think John is pleased.

Here is Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, aka the Yarn Harlot, signing my copy of Knitting Rules. As she signed the book, I explained that my knitting circle had a contest to knit a name tag, and I won the book she was signing. She looked at me - with the admiration of a mother who just watched their child play a baked potato in the Thanksgiving play - and said, "I love knitters." Now, not to turn this into something that it isn't, but it was really great to have someone who didn't know me at all - see me.

Here's what she wrote.

In case you can't make it out it says, "To Allena - Obsession is normal. Stepanie Pearl-McPhee"

As people started to leave the park I realized that I had a voice message from Anne-Marie, the fearless leader of Sit N' Knit, New York. We had e-mailed earlier about me being the contact person for Sit N' Knit's reserved seats. Anne-Marie couldn't be there because she had just delivered "the future knitter," Anastasia Marie, on the 16th of March. Anne-Marie decided that it would be easiest if I just came by her apartment so she could give the stuff that I would need. It was so great to see AM(Squared). I even got to hold the "future knitter," and she is absolutely beautiful. Anne-Marie looked great, and seems to have adapted to motherhood perfectly.

From Anne-Marie's, I made my way to FIT to see the Yarn Harlot "Represent." It was a little stressful figuring out how Sit N' Knits reserved seats were going to work, but it was all worth it once we were seated in the front row.

Here's a decent picture of the crowd, but we did fill up the place. Special thanks to Wendy, for holding my camera above her head to get the shot. The red bags that you see were on each chair and contained size 8 Boyle needles, a skein of Patons SWS, and patterns to knit a square for Warm Up America! I ended up having to finish my square at home, but I am a big fan of the Patons SWS. It feels really soft, and I love the color repeats. I gave the leftover to Dan, I think doing a square will be a good way for him to recognize the difference the difference between knit and purl stitches.

Here is my failed attempt at one of The Harlot's sock shots. Believe it or not Stephanie is on stage behind that sock, but I realize that I might as well have taken this picture in a dark room. Special thanks to Judes for holding it out for me, unfortunately hers didn't come out any better... but her sock rocks enough for me to show the picture anyway. My picture of Stephanie on stage tuned out horrible, so I won't bore you with it.

To Be Continued.......

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Speed Knitting for the Harlot

I decided that I needed a hat to wear/donate for the Yarn Harlot Represent events tomorrow. I had yarn - so I knit, I knit as fast as my Knit Pick options would let me ... and what were 2 skeins of Cascade 220 this morning is now ...
The pattern , Center Square - Knitty, Winter 2006, called for decreasing 8 stitches every row for eight rows - but I was getting huge ladders and it didn't fit, so I ended up frogging back and decreasing every other row - and I think it is pretty cute! It is even worth the sore index finger! For any of you out there who cannot be there tomorrow - this cap is for you! I am so excited!

And so much for my Sockation - I will be going to Stawberry Fields tomorrow and I will be knitting socks.

Monday, March 19, 2007


I have knit and frogged and knit and frogged so many patterns with that Colinette Jitterbug, that I am taking a vacation from socks - a SOCKATION! I feel so free! I found out yesterday that my Sherry Godmother's (she's my Godmother, her name is Sherry, so she's my Sherry Godmother, get it?!) son and his wife had a baby boy - Henry Butler Tate ... so I cast on! I chose yarn from my stash that at one point was in various stages of becoming a cardigan for my Grandma Elizabeth. Since Grandma Elizabeth passed away before the cardigan was anywhere near completion, I frogged it - promising myself I would use the yarn for special projects. My Grandmother was very fond of my Sherry Godmother - having known her from her childhood - and I know that she is very pleased with my yarn selection. I am half way through the body of sweater from the Pea Pod Baby Set. The yarn, Zara Extrafine Merino, is small on gauge so I am having to knit the largest size in order to get a 3 month size, but it is worth it due to the sentimentality of the yarn. I am knitting bobbles instead of using buttons - on the same row as the button hole I am knitting a bobble on the opposite band. I am also doing the matching hat - so I might have to do a pair of socks, no booties, booties to match!
I am also about to start my first lace! I have chosen the Print O' The Wave Stole, designed by Eunny Jang. The yarn came in the mail today! I purchased two skeins of wool lace weight yarn from in Satin Rose.
It was only $5.95 for a 950 yard skein! I just wound one skein into a ball and I did not notice one single break in the yarn.

Oh, and not to worry secret feet, your socks are just a ribbing cuff decision away from being complete!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

So much better!

I bought a skein of Colinette JitterBug yarn yesterday. I love the colorway, castagna - it feels really nice - and I was excited .... until I had it in a nonreturnable ball and I really had to: The skein is less than 300 meters! None of my sock patterns call for less than 350! OOOOOH I WAS MAD. I left a message at the yarn store, even though they were closed to inquire about what could be done. Since nothing else could be accomplished until morning I took a while drinking a "Chick-a-lobe" and enjoying the wonderful aroma of my new Eucalyptus Spearmint Scentport refill.

The owner of Downtown Yarns called me this morning and was genuinely kind. She assured me that many people had knit a pair with the skein, just as the manufacturer promised. Well, lets clarify, Colinette says that you can knit the pair of socks on the back of their label, which is just a plain stockinette sock - not for me thank you. The women told me to start knitting and if I ran into any problems to please let her know.
Downtown Yarns is now officially my favorite LYS in NYC.

Once my pity party ended I grabbed my
Barbara G. Walker "A Treasury of knitting Patterns". I decided to stick with Chapter Five: Slip Stitch Patterns, since they would most likely use the least yarn.

For attempt one I knit the "Diagonal Weave" - after charting to be knit in the round, rather than flat I thought it look ... okay. But like most things in Bon Appetit I just don't want to make the whole thing - let alone two. So I moved on to the "Little Butterfly", and my And for the close up .... Oh, and special thanks to Blogless Penelope (hint, hint) and Chante for their advice. And thank you Necia for raging with me! (Oh, I'm knitting with size ones)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Should I be mad?

I am really mad, but I want your opinion. At a yarn store today (which will remain un-named until I am able to see what their perspective is on this) I bought one skein of sock yarn. I know that I should have looked at the yardage, but they told me that one skein would knit a pair of socks. Actually one girl in the shop said it should knit a pair of socks and "a little something". I really love this colorway - and it is perfect for my secret feet - but the skein cost $21, about the amount that I would spend on yarn for a pair of socks. After winding the skein at home I was able to properly examine the label (the way in was stapled on the skein made it impossible to read all of the information) and came to two horrible realizations.

#1) It is only 267 yards/ 292 meters. This is not enough for a pair of socks.

#2) On a part of the label that I could not see until after I had removed it said:
"Colinette yarns are all hand dyed and therefore colours may vary from hank to hank to achieve an even colour effect it is essential to work with more than one hank at a time. Try working 2-4 rows from each hank, carrying the yarn up the side."

What? What? I cannot imagae knitting a sock this way! And it is not meant for a skein to knit a pair of socks - you need two skeins!

I called the store and left a message. I know that they don't take back skeins after they are wound, but I feel like these are difficult sercumstances.
What would you do, or expect the store to do?

Oh, the good news is I am not going the Texas, the bad news is I am not going to Texas!
(After two days of waiting by the phone, the phone interview never even happened.)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

My New Roving Braid

Sienna Miller has nothing on my new roving braid!

I bought it on e-bay from jenyalovesfiber. It is super soft and I cannot wait to see how it spins up. I like the name best, "Meadow in Springtime".

Paradise Found!

After several horrid starts I have found the perfect pattern for the Bird of Paradise Yarn (Sundara Yarn Petals Collection - Feb.)!

The color repeats are working absolutely perfectly. If you look closely you can see that the crossed over slipped stitches maintain the same color across the row. These rows are also repeating in the same order. I think it is perfect.

I bought the pattern from Amelia Raitte of My Fashionable Life. It is part of a set of three. I recommend getting the set – all three patterns are great. What I have knitted here is the Badcaul. I tried the Nautalis, but the yarn is too busy. The sock is knit toe-up with a short row heal. This is the first toe-up sock that I knit – I like the pattern so much that I have used it as my template when converting leg-down to toe up. Below two useful links for casting-on.

1) Tutorial for cast-on using 2 circulars: Turkish Cast-On
2) Tutorial for cast-on using 4 double point: Cyber Socks

Let me know if you want my trick for avoiding the horrid whole that often occurs as the join in heel and instep stitches on a short row heel.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Wabi-Sabi Wasabi ... in Space!

As every knitter knows mistakes happen. Much of the joy that I get from knitting comes from the fact that a mistake only needs to be noticed to be corrected. It often happens that a mistake is not noticed until hours or even days of knitting will be lost in order to correct the mistake. I heard a Japanese phrase that allows me to leave some of these mistakes - Wabi-Sabi. Wabi Sabi is the Japanese aesthetic that true beauty is found in imperfection.

Wikipedia defines Wabi-Sabi as: (in Kanji: 侘寂) represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centred on the acceptance of transience. The phrase comes from the two words wabi and sabi. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete". It is a concept derived from the Buddhist assertion of the Three marks of existenceAnicca, or in Japanese, 無常 (mujyou), impermanence.

I heard a story this morning about a Wasabi mishap on the International Space Station. Wasabi is a very spicy green horshradish used primarily in Japanese cooking. According to the AP this is how it happened:
The spicy greenish condiment was squirted out of a tube while astronaut Sunita Williams was trying to make a pretend sushi meal with bag-packaged salmon. The three space station crew members are given a certain number of bonus packs of their favorite foods to help endure their months in space where most meals are the equivalent of military MREs.
Since everything is weightless, spilled food is no ordinary clean-up challenge.
'We finally got the wasabi smell out after it was flying around everywhere,' Williams told her mother this week in a conversation arranged by Boston radio station WBZ. 'We cleaned it up off the walls a little bit.'

So next time you decide to frog back several day of knitting remember this: It sure beats scrubbing Wasabi off your walls! Or the next time you see a mistake and decide to let it go you can look at with a new perspective, and say proudly, "Wabi Sabi!"

Thursday, March 01, 2007

When a good day/yarn goes bad! (Is it as bad as I think?)

Yesterday, I received a call from a potential employer! I have been looking for a job as a Medical Sonographer for a really long time. I recently passed my last exam to become a Registered Diagnostic Sonographer and things are starting to look up. The gentleman was calling from a company that does short term (13 week) travel assignments. They have amazing benefits and this would be the perfect way to get my resume the on thing it lacks – actual work experience as a Sonographer.
Today started out fantastic. I got my March yarn from the Sundara Yarn Petals Collection, and it is striking. It is based on the Bird of Paradise flower and I was really excited. Then with Dan acting as my swift I was actually able to wind the skein without any terrible knot wads. Then the gentleman from yesterday called and said that he had an assignment that was interested in me and he would be calling back in about an hour for a phone interview!!!
I was so happy! I wanted to be ready for the call so after doing a little research on the assignment I sat at the kitchen table – knitting with my new yarn. I decided to give the Fuego Socks that I saw on Chante’s blog.
How could this day go bad?
#1) I never got the call. I waited all day, doing nothing but waiting and knitting. I am very confused. I can only assume that if something sounds too good to be true or too many things seem to be going your way ….. the call may just not come in.

But why did my sock have to turn out like this?

I decided from the moment that I saw the yarn that I was going to use the yarn to make socks for myself. In honor of the colors they were going to be my "Austin Powers Socks". I guess I just should have stuck with the broken rib pattern that came with the yarn.

Please let me know what you think - I will have a prize for the person who can make me laugh the hardest at all of today’s possibility turned disappointment.