Friday, December 29, 2006


I just saw two (three) tops that I did for Soho publishing. I designed the first two and the third one I knit for their tutorial. Norah Gaughn designed it. The first is here. I had to redo the top portion of it because the boobs were too small. I thought they ended up too big but I guess they fit on this model.

The second is here. (The Subject Is Rose.) The third is the cover photo for the issue.

It's nice to see my work in print. However, I'm not too happy with the actual pieces. These were definitely not my best. I mean the knitting was fine. But for example, the intarsia sweater was just a gigantic nightmare. I almost gave up knitting altogether. Really. It had me in tears. The sweater design was great but the intarsia pattern, uh....questionable.

I'm a little disappointed because I knit up a beautiful cabled cashmere sweater that I'm not actually seeing in the preview. whaaa. It was lovely. I guess I'll wait to see if it's in the actual issue before I post it here. If it's not there, it'll be here!

Knitting for hire is weird.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Let there be light!

Look what Eugene gave me! He's so funny. Just because it's pitch black in the bar and I'm always knitting, he thought I needed some light up knitting needles. Awwwwwww. He's so sweet.

They are actually too bright. Because it's so dark in here the light actually makes it so that when I look up I can't see anything!

This is Eugene. He's hard at work!

This is what it looks like when I'm working!

and this is where I work!

In other news:

I had my first sewing lesson today. We went shopping! Specifically, we went to P&S. I bought all kinds of necessary notions and fabric. I learned a lot about sewing stuff. And then best of all, we went around the corner and bought shoes. I like sewing!!

I'm now sitting in Tekserve waiting to get my shift key fixed. I'm no. 13 and they are on 96. Oh brother!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Stress free and feeling fine (almost)

This holiday season has been almost completely stress free. I didn't suffer from poor time management. I didn't suffer from overeating or drinking. I didn't suffer from bad relative visits. I didn't suffer from waiting in horribly long lines or overcrowded stores. I honestly didn't suffer from anything. It's been a super easy season so far. I have really enjoyed being home. It seems like we are always going somewhere. And at the time that is cool. But to wake up knowing that it's just us...well, it is really a great feeling.

I made a bunch of gifts this year. I hope they were well received. But really who would say otherwise. "Oh I hate the sweater you made me." Or, "this hat blows"... I have issues when it comes to my knitting. Yes I get paid a lot of money to knit and design for companies or magazines or designers but when it comes to personal knitting for people that I know and love, I feel slightly inadequate. Isnt' that weird? I mean, it's great to get a gift that someone worked on. I love it. But for some reason when I'm doing the giving a simple scarf or hat seems a little uh underwhelming. I know....I'm an odd duck. Even when people fall all over me when they see me after I've made them something, I just sort of don't believe them. It's a tick in me. It's always been there. And I suppose I'm working on it. I think I will continue to make gifts for people so that I can work on my emotional state. So I guess, thanks to everyone who thanked me sincerely for the gifts that I made. Though I don't believe you for one second, I'm grateful that you said so.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

One piece at a time

This is the back of the cashmere sweater that I blocked last night. I blocked it a little long so when all pieces are seamed I'll reblock the entire sweater to proper size. I cannot emphasize how fantastic this yarn is. It is so soft before blocking but after...YOWZA!

And here is the front. Both fronts on the dress form in place. The red waste yarn is there only for inside hemming purposes. It will be removed. All shaping has been done by changing needle size!!! The number of stitches remains constant. It's really cool...very mathematical!

And a side photo...The armhole opening seems a bit large. However, the sleeves are very slim...10" from mid forearm allof the way to the cap. The sleeve cap will be more vertical than horizontal to continue the slim, japanese style of the sweater. I think it's going to be great.

I just have to figure out the collar now. It's super important. I guess it's going to be 2 pieces using short rows and then a 3 needle bo at the top? Haven't quite figured it out yet. I'll be thinking about it while I knit the sleeves.

I met with Tom Scott the other day to start working on his hand knits for the 2007 fall collection! I'll be swatching some really, really cool things for him this week. Deconstruction at it's best!! I can't wait to get started.

But I thought...

I just finished making 16 dozen cookies for 16 different teachers! UGH!!! I thought that gift giving at this school was not allowed. It's always been that way unless the gift was for the classroom in general. Not this year! The good new is that A. I'm done B. It wasn't so bad C. They taste really good!! I never would have made cookies but there just isn't enough time to figure out what 16 teachers might want. Besides, Martha says handmade is best. So Voila! the fastest 16 gifts I've ever made!

I finished the back of the cashmere sweater! oh yeah! 2 sleeves and a collar to go. I am so running out of yarn. I'm knee deep into the 5th skein. I figure each sleeve will probably take very close to a full skein. I'm hoping not more. So I'll probably need 3 more - just to be safe. Hey wait, I have one left so only 2 more. yay. I've already called the recipient and told her this will not be making it by the 25th. She was fine with it. I guess I'm fine with it too.

I got some very distressing news today. My sister-in-law's bunny, Izzie, broke her back and her hip early this morning. She's paralyzed in her hind quarters. It's such a tragedy. I guess she's going to give her 36 hrs and then evaluate the situation. She may have to put Izzie down. It's so sad. My s-i-l got this rabbit when whe was diagnosed with cancer. She made it through chemo with the help of Izzie. And now Izzie is the one suffering. It's so hard when a pet is in danger or is sick. You wish so much that they could talk to you so that you knew exactly what they wanted you to do. At least humans can tell one another how they are feeling and if they would just rather let go and die. Or if they want to fight it out. Cute, sweet little bunnies can't do that. I'm very sad for Izzie and for my sister-in-law. I'm thinking about them and praying for a quick decision....

Monday, December 18, 2006

He's Crafty!

And he recycles!

Look at what can be made using a scap of felted yarn and a groov-a-licious button! (Plus a crafty 13 yr old spirit)

This one doesn't show proper color but you can see the actual shaping:

He's fast too. This took him exactly 10 minutes to make. Including button sewing.


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Viva Tuscany!

Well, my sister has done it again! She's crochet(ed?) another dress for me. Isn't it beautiful? It's Tuscany from Interweave.

We picked out the yarn at Rhinebeck. It's squishy soft alpaca from A Touch of Twist. We bought 5 or 6 skeins....Hello, there are 678 yds on each skein! I not only got this incredible piece of art I now am the lucky recipient of at least 3 left over skeins. Boooyaaaah!!
It fits perfectly. I may have to shorten up the armholes a bit only because this alpaca is drapey. We'll see. For now it's perfect. I love it. Thank you. Thank you!!

I'm trying to let my fingers do the knitting but I think I'm going to run out of time. I'd rather have beautiful handknits a little late than sloppy on time knits. People still appreciate them...right? I hate, Hate, hate being late. I've been extra busy at work. Which only means that I've had to work LATE every night since wednesday. It totally makes me nuts because the more nights that I work the less sleep I get...why is that? (I guess I should call the Sleep Disorder Institute like my doc suggested!) Thursday was particularly insane. I was the "backup" girltender. All I had to do was show up at 8 and work a private party. Easy Peasy. Normally, I'm in the crazy spot where all of the real work happens...cocktail waitress, main bar, etc. The back up is pretty much just showing up and cashing in!! I made so much money it is almost hard to rationalize. The funny thing about bartending is that it is all cash all the time. Sometimes (like around the holidays) the money is on a one way street just speeding toward me. I know it's odd but it makes me feel uncomfortable. What I made on thursday, some people could pay their monthly bills with. I know it's not like I make a million dollars in a night but sometimes.. I think everyone should know how to bartend. If you ever find yourself in a rough patch you can always get a job and make some dough and get through the crisis. Plus it makes you more aware of how you behave as a customer....

bah, enough. I'm tired. I have knitting to do. Guests coming later....

Have a nice sunday.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Cashmere Sweater Redux

As I was saying, I finished the left front. Here it is blocking. On the left of the photo the markers show where I changed needle size. Beginning at the bottom I started with size 8's, then changed to 7's, 6's and finally 5's. I worked approximately 2" then worked a turning row and continued for another 2". I turned the hem and caught the cast on edge with the next row creating a perfectly even hem!! On the center front, I then cast on an extra 2" of sts and worked these with the rest of the stitches all of the way to the neckline bind off. Once all shaping was finished, I took a scap yarn and ran it up the st that marked the hemline. I then ran another scrap yarn 2" into the front. You can see these in the photo. I then stitched the hem. I've left them in while blocking until all pieces are completed. Once I do the final blocking of all pieces I'lll then steam the hems really flat. I'm very pleased with how this turned out. I was still a little concerned about the size. It seemed slightly smaller than the original sweater.

But as you can see, it turned out perfectly. I'm soooooo pleased! You can really see the center front hemline in this photo. When I blocked it some of the hem stitching pulled out so I'll have to double the yarn when sewing the remaining hems. I tried using only one strand but the yarn is so thin and delicate. Speaking of the yarn, I really am impressed with it. It holds up and it blocks incredibly well. I guess I'll start the back so that I can seam up one of the sides. I'm so impatient!

While I was at work last night I made this. I originally designed it for Lion Brand. You can see it on their website under Elegant Scarf. I changed a couple of things but it's pretty much the same. I just have to weave in some ends and it's done! I keep changing my mind as to what people are getting for christmas. I think this will be for someone.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

O Holy Night

When last I wrote, my mother was coming for a short weekend. I was cleaning. She arrived on Saturday while I was at work. She was escorted all around midtown to take in the holiday sights at night. It's really the only way to do NYC during the holidays. Everything really shows up against the night background. I guess the tree and all it's glory were beautiful. The inside of St. Patricks was amazing. Saks, Bergdorf, Barney's, were all beautiful. It was a little cold but she hung in there. Saturday came and we headed out to the NYC Craft fair. It was held on 4th st. in a lovely event space. It was a thousand degrees inside but worth the trip. It's great to see crafters selling there crafts. I would have to say that the knitting was the least impressive. I'm not sure if it was because it just wasn't great knitting and/or design or if knitting is simply unimpressive surrounded by handmade paper, jewely, pottery, and the like. I'm still thinking about it because it was Very disappointing. Anyway, we then had a lovely brunch at B Bar. I know, who would have thought? I haven't been there in ages. But, it was great. Then we headed down Bowery and into Soho. Soho is extremely underwhelming in terms of holiday cheer. The stores really need to amp up their decorations a bit. After we strolled and shopped downtown we headed uptown to Columbus Circle and the UWS. (Much better decorations.) We ended up at Lincoln Cetner for a 5:00 showing of the Nutcracker! Then home to decorate the tree.

It was really, really great seeing my mom. I wish we lived closer or that I could take time and visit her. It's been so hard since my dad died. My sister crazedcrochez is going to be with her for Christmas. So hopefully there will be a little cheer for her this the way, on my sister's blog she has a little questionnaire about your favorite things and traditions for the holidays...I can only answer one: favorite christmas song - O holy night. Whenever I hear it I start to cry uncontrollably. Probably it has something to do with my dad?

In knitting news...I have just finished blocking the left front of the cashmere sweater redo. I did something that I never really do. Instead of shaping up the side, I just changed needle size. I wasn't sure I was going to like it. And I wasn't sure that it would be subtle enough but after blocking, I think it's going to work. I also thought that it was coming out a little too small. Again, after blocking, I think it's ok. I've hemmed the bottom and the center front. Both look darn good. The only problem I'm going to have is yarn quantities. I was totally wishful thinking when I only bought 6 skeins. It's 400 yds each but I'm doubling it. So I only have 1200 yds. to work with. Both fronts are actually full backs because they finish at 3/4 front and then the 2" hem. It's $35/skein. YIKES!! Oh well, merry christmas!

I just bought a bunch of Karabella Aurora 8 on sale on the Patternworks website. It's only 4.50 a ball. I'm making an afghan for the sweater redo's husband. I'm thinking color blocks but I'm not sure yet. I can't imagine that it will be done in time for chistmas. However, we are all meeting up in Raleigh for a Big Birthday Bash over the 3 day weekend in January. It will be done by then (I hope!)

Uh, I think that might be it for now. I want to get crackin' on the other front so I can snap some photos and show it off!!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Shibori My Way

First knit up a 16" square of Brown Sheep. Try unsuccessfully to duplicate st. a little something in the center prior to felting. Using a rubber band and some river rocks tie off little sections of swatch. I used 4 rocks in each corner (I just eyeballed where I tied them.)

Throw swatch in the washer on hot with a little detergent and see what you get.

This is what my surprise was after 2 full washings. Notice the really nice center. Oh well....


Embellish with brand spankin' new embroidery skills. HA HA HA HA HA!!!!

Notice the corners where the rocks were. I think you can click on the photo and blow it up a little. They didn't felt!!! That's the whole idea behind shibori. I wish you could see this better. I tried a little duplicate st. on the unfelted bobbles just to show them off a little better. See. On the bottom 2?

I know it's super simple but I love it. It's way better than cleaning!!

I'm going to use that cute grape fabric for backing and make a pillow. why not? It's 2 firsts. Shibori and embroidery. I should remember them, right?

Winter cleaning

I'm cleaning my apartment. (My mother is coming for oh about 36 hours) No time for knitting. My hands hurt a little too. So maybe this cleaning thing is a good departure from the knitting.

I've rearranged my apartment for the tree! Yeha.

p.s. I might have to make an aran afghan before the 25th! Dear lord.

p.p.s. My shibori experiment is SUPER COOL.

p.p.p.s. I've made a bullentin board out of cascade 22o. I need to run out and buy a frame (or two). Really cool. show you later.

Gotta clean.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


I was out shopping for yarn yesterday. The first stop was at School Products to check out their cashmere selection. Low and behold they had some more of the bulky squishy soft cashmere. Only this time it was called Donegal Tweed. I bought a brown and a lighter heathery brown. I then went to Purl and ended up buying 6 skeins of Jade Sapphire 2 ply in Driftwood. I'll be swatching that later tonight at work. I then made my way over to Downtown Yarns. Rita had made a scarf testing out some Shibori. It looks amazing. She had some problems with it but I got some great ideas. So I grabbed some Brown Sheep and I'm going to try out some Shibori. Photos to follow.

Anyway, I had big plans to start the sweater redo. But I got sidetracked with this...

I made another earflap hat. And a turtle. I threw them both in the wash and omg they are so soft!! I pinned the hat to my dress form and guess what...some of the dye came off on it. Waaaaah. Anyway, I made this for a nephew who goes snowboarding in Aspen. I hope he likes it. Apparently his friend started knitting. Maybe he will too. If he does I'll give him the pattern and he can make his own!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Stainless Steel Yarn

When I was at Habu yesterday I bought this:

I had them wind it on 2 cones because I new I was going to double it. Each cone is 2 oz . I can't remember the yardage but it's on their website. So I can look it up there. I have no idea what I'll make with it but last night I did a little swatch. I used size 4's and knit up some stockinette. It's a pretty interesting fabric. It's 69% silk and 31% stainless. It's stiff and soft at the same time. I'll have to come up with something super cool to make...

I've swatched a few yarns for the cashmere sweater redo from yesterday. The one on the left is aurora 8. I love it but I think it should be doubled to give it a more substantial fabric. I'd really like to use cashmere. I know that School Products has some (I've used all of their cashmere in the past!) but only their really bulky cashmere is squishy soft. I was recently on a cashmere kick and was a bit disappointed in the softness of some of their yarns. However, I'm stopping by there today just to check it out before heading down to Purl to pick up the Jade. I mean you can't beat the price. But for this I need something really special. Cost isn't really an issue.

And look a sweater! How did that happen? I started this at the end of the summer but had to toss it aside when the Soho Pub folks called. I was cleaning up under the Wurlitzer last night and found it. I only had 6 rows left on the second sleeve and the neck to finish! So here it is. I bought the yarn at the Suss closing sale. It's 100% cotton and cost $1.00 per skein. I'm not sure how many skeins this took but it was made for definitely less than 10 bucks. wow! I think it's the cheapest thing I've ever made. The neck looks a little funny but it's actually ok. I think I didn't pull it all the way down in the back on the dress form. sorry!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Just Another Manic Monday

Silken Staw....

Silken Staw. One skein. One week (or was it 2). It blocked beautifully. It's about 50" long by about almost 10" wide. I'm going to be adding about 6" to each end. That will make this baby about 62ish". Perfect. I'm very pleased with how this turned out. I was really not loving it but in the end silk is silk and it's got it's reputation for a reason. I cannot recommend this yarn. It is really tedious but quite beautiful. You need to know what you are doing to work with it. This should totally have a warning label on it!! Not for the feint of heart!!

I started out thinking this was going to be a really snappy shawl but couldn't find the right pattern and didn't have it in me to design one. Then I looked through my amazing Weldon's and found this ancient pattern. Pretty simple but looks great. I thought hmmmm, I'll make a double sided scarf and slip a piece of silk in between the 2 layers and sew around the edges. But that wasn't going to work out. I felt that the fabric would detract from the lace. I don't know, it might have worked but I decided against it. Then I didn't know what this was going to be....Now, after washing and blocking and staring at it....Hold on...Wait for it....I think it's going to be a table runner? WHAT? No really. It's screaming TABLE RUNNER. I don't ever use runners. I never think about them. I don't even know why it is screaming at me but there it is....a table runner. Maybe because it's from Weldon's and lace runners were the rage? I don't know....

Next up...

My sis-in-laws custom sweater. I've been begging her to send me pics or describe a sweater that she would like. Nothing. I couldn't get it out of her. After a while I just decided I wouldn't bother with it. If she got back to me cool, if not, cool. Well, we were talking the other day and she started telling me about her favorite sweater. It's a few years old. Cashmere. Getting a little worn. But it's her favorite sweater of all time. I asked her to send it to me and I would recreate it. Here it is....

It's a one button cardigan. Japanese inspired. The bottom flairs a bit. The sleeves are slightly belled. and there are hems all around. The collar can either stand up or fold over. It appears to be about 6-7 sts". Your basic dk or lite dk weight. I understand why this is her fave. I love it too. I can't wait to get started. I have been to Purl, The Point, Downtown Yarns, Knitty City and the Yarn Co. oh and Habu. I can't seem to find the right yarn. I had some elann baby cashmere in my stash and made a swatch. Then I made a swatch doubling it. It's much better doubled but the yarn is shit. Very inconsistent. I'm going to go back to Purl to check out the Jade cashmere. I was at Habu this morning and picked up some silk/stainless steel. It's amazing. I'm going to make a swatch and hope for some divine intervention on what fabulous thing to make with it. wait, the sweater...They had a lace weight merino that was incredible but not enough in stock.....damn. I've sketched it out. I'm ready to go.....arrrrggghhh!!!

Ding Dong...Fed ex just delivered a box of blanket remnants from the mill. I just threw one in the wash. I can't wait to see what happens!!!!! They only had a brick red color available but I actually like it!!! I have big plans for this stuff....More on that later.

I went to P&S first thing this morning. The line was so long yesterday. I didn't really need anything but wanted to go and pay my respects so to speak. It was pretty empty. I was surprised by how much stock was still available. I picked up some embroidery thread, another chibi and Denise interchangeable needles (which I totally and completely don't need). I also picked up those super cute stork quilter's scissors. but that was it. It is terrible that they are going out of business just because they sold the building. If there is one thing about NYC that I really don't like it's gentrification. The same thing happened to Paragon restaurant supply on Bowery. Like the greatest place for all your kitchen needs. Gone because they sold the building. It makes me sad. Really, really sad.

Blanket remnants tomorrow!!!!

Friday, December 01, 2006


I'm running this down to Vogue! Yay. I also have to drop off a couple of revised charts. Ugh. Kind of a nightmare. but anyway, happily finished for now.

I'm hopefully going to get a chance to hit P&S before I have to go to work tonight. I can't believe they are closing. It's one of those NYC places. Fabric, yarn, notions, sewing patterns. Totally old school all the way. I know they close early today because it's Friday but if I can get my butt in gear...