Friday, September 2, 2011

Episode 18: The Double Whammy

Discovered a new podcast: Knit. Spin. Cake. Check it out on iTunes and her group is here.

On the Needles
Still working on the February Lady Sweater, but now at the garter stitch hem of the body. I see the end in sight! Last night I ordered buttons for the placket: English Script Fabric Covered button at Howbeadyful on Etsy.

I also ordered the Cabbage Rose buttons for my next sweater which is the Melrose Peacoat from New England Knits. That will be part of the Study Hall for the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup, which I have re-enrolled in so to speak.

This past weekend, my knitting was at a crisis point in terms of it being all over the apartment and being disorganized. So I dumped everything onto my desk from my WIP bin which I have not touched in months and reorganized everything.
I also tidied up my yarn vase as the yarn cakes just collapsed: I have this tall clear vase that I got when I received my wedding bouquet, which was resting on the top and I was wondering what to do with it. I have some Lantern Moon needles that I don't really use anymore but are too pretty to stick in the yarn towers so I wound up some coordinating skeins, chucked them in, stuck the needles through the yarn cakes and had room to fit in a spindle that I had lying around as well.

One project that I did rescue from the widespread knitting explosion was the Bramble Beret - almost done!

Off the Needles
I finished the Norie hat! But I clearly must have knitting brain fart because again, I introduced another "design element" - from rows 67-83, it says to repeat the rows of stockinette and the cat's paw lace for the final lace repeat. It's snug and very warm; loved knitting with handspun.

Knitting Finds
Terpsichore pattern by Kara Hoover inspired by the painting “Terpsichore: La Muse De La Danse.” Overall a clear pattern and well written. The one critique I do have is the initial photo of the project - it was a bit fuzzy so I couldn't see what the pattern was like and was unsure of it, but when I saw the other photos that are provided in the pattern which can also be seen by clicking on the projects tab on the pattern page then you get a better sense of the pattern in real life.

Pinterest has taken over my life. But the way that it relates to knitting is that for one many designers are on pinterest - the only one I have found so far is Stephen West and Arianne Caron-Lacoste of Falling Stitches - so you can see what inspires them and hopefully you.

But most importantly for now at least are these pins of color palettes created by Design Seeds. I also found some great ideas and things related to knitting, such as using plain wooden clothespins to hold and store extra scraps of yarn.

Knitting Travels
Last week Mel and I went to Turks and Caicos for a short holiday. We got hit by Irene. It affected our 2nd and 3rd day of the trip which were the only full days we had, though we did get out of the city and did get some sun and relaxed. We definitely plan on going back: Turks and Caicos is beautiful.
 I got a decent amount of knitting done - the lace edging of the Rock Island Shawl was perfect beach knitting. I did bring my February Lady Sweater on the plane with me and got a bunch of the body done on the flight down - and during the hurricane.
 If you ever go to Turks and Caicos, you must try 2 things: first, rum punch. The second thing is conch fritters which is the muscle from the conch shell and they make them into small deep fried balls and the restaurant at our resort served them with spicy mayo, tartar sauce, lemon and lime. I liked them best with the lime. We kept ordering them every chance we got b/c for sure this is one thing that we will never find in NYC.
On Thursday morning we were able to get some beach time in before our flight which was delayed so I worked on the Norie hat in the airport. However, Turks and Caicos follows the TSA rules here in the US - I saw signs from the TSA that had the tsa.gov website so I didn't have to deal with security asking what my knitting was. Then again, the airport which is very tiny, was so crowded, hot and hectic that I think knitting needles were the last thing on peoples' minds.

Overall though it was a lovely trip and a wonderful, low key place to visit - the people there are really nice. Hopefully to make up for Irene we are planning on going back over Easter break.

Then there was round two of Irene - hence the double whammy. NYC shut down the public transportation system and instituted mandatory evacuations for low-lying areas for the first time in history which was admittedly a bit freaky. Having seen what Irene did down in Turks and Caicos I was a bit concerned about up here. Thankfully, it wasn't that bad, but there was flooding in my area over by Astoria park and I keep seeing on the news whole towns upstate and in Vermont being washed away which is upsetting. I spent most of that weekend watching the news nonstop and knitting the Bramble Beret.

Swatch and Learn

While working on the Rock Island, I taught myself a trick of keeping track of how many repeats I did because I forgot my phone, which has the row counter. I have the KnitPicks magnetic chart holder, and used the medium sized magnet to keep track of what row I was on. I placed the smaller magnet to the right of the chart at row 1 - this indicated the first repeat I was working on.

I moved the smaller one as I completed repeats - the lace edge has 8 repeats and while i didnt make it to the 8th I did wonder as to what to do when I did reach the 8th and ran out of rows - the answer was to put the magnet on the left side of the chart. Granted, a pen and just ticking things off works as well too but since i Was at the beach, there were no pens to be had and I didn't drop one in my project bag.

In addition, as a result of working on the Bramble Beret, I finally figured out how to do the 2-1-2 left leaning cable, and created a tutorial.

Events
Next week, Anna Hrachovec of Mochimochi Land will be at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio on September 8 doing a talk and book signing for her new book, Teeny Tiny Mochimochi - its by RSVP only so if you are interested, do call the store to see if you can still sign up. I will be there so do come up and say hi (I am still a bit shy).

Rhinebeck - it IS confirmed, I am definitely going on Saturday for more reasons than one but that will all be revealed by the end of October. So, I am still wondering if people are interested in a meet-up.
Do post ideas and thoughts in the thread for the festival.

Announcements
Amy Christoffers of Savory Knitting (who designed the Larch and the Acer cardigans) is offering 100% of the proceeds from patterns sold from September 1 - 5 to the Vermont Farmer's NOFA Emergency Fund.

Still working on some of the details for the Knit the Queue-Along so we will start after Labor Day officially. In the meantime, go ahead and post any related chatter in the thread for the QAL.

Fin!
Closing Song: "Sand in My Shoes" by Dido from Life for Rent

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