Thursday, March 29, 2007

Instead of knitting at work last night...

I flipped through magazines!

I ALWAYS knit at work on Wednesdays. Always! Yesterday I was feeling a little under the weather and I just couldn't bring myself to knit any more of the jacket. I started swatching something for Holiday but unfortunately (and fortunately) I finished it before I left for work. So I really had NOTHING to bring with me. I have the cute cabled top due in April but I didn't want to start it in the dark. So I took NOTHING with me!!!!! I have not been on a subway without a knitting project in a VERY LONG TIME! So I headed downtown. Stopped at the gym. Did some yoga for about an hour and a half and then headed over to work. The idea of having nothing to do on a Wednesday night was too frightening. So in desperation I stopped and picked up a bunch of magazines. I have to admit, I rarely read magazines because my brain starts going crazy with all of the designs. Well, last night was no different. I started sketching on guest checks, ripping out pages. It is seriously dark where I work. Color is all off because what lighting there is is yellow. So pink looks orange, black looks brown, etc. It didn't matter. I went crazy over the spring collections. OMG!!!!!! I think I went through an entire book of guest checks!

Have you seen the Bottega Veneta Spring Collection? It is hands down, my favorite. It is so beautiful and feminine and fresh.

These are a couple of things that I thought would translate into some beautiful knits:

This dress is fabulous. I LOVE the smocking. I'm going to knit this. NEXT. (Maybe I'll start tonight!) I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this!!!

The top in the left corner is from UGG or is it UGGS? Anyway, it would be awesome in linen or bamboo. Quick, easy, sassy!!

It's been too long. I think I'll get subscriptions to all of these magazines! I had so much fun looking through them.

The girlfriend of one of the dj's had a new Vanessa Bruno bag....She got it for her birthday. It is so fantastic. I MUST GET ONE. Her friend works for V.B. so maybe, just maybe I can finagle one at wholesale???? I think it would run about 350.00.....

One other thing, I think my cotton knit 2, purl 2 jacket is shrinking. Is that possible? I've blocked it. All was well and now it seems smaller? Oh brother. I guess I'll sew it all together and then toss it in the washer again and pin the crap out of it when I block it! I think I'll start the hood tonight at work.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

If it's Tuesday, I must be sewing!

I love my sewing teacher. She puts no limitations on anything that I want to make. For example....Toile.

I bought this at P&S. I have always loved toile and when I saw it in the basement at 50% off I bought 4 yards. Drapes, slipcovers, duvet cover - all good ideas for toile.

A jacket? Maybe not such a great idea for a third project. Cutting this out was kind of a nightmare! However, as you can sort of see, I'm all matched up! Phwew. Lucky for that 4 yds!

I've sewn the interfacing to all of the necessary pieces. Darts on Tuesday!

I'm still working on the jacket. I've finished one of the sleeves. I'm totally bored with it! *k2, p2* For 5 days straight. No stopping. No enjoying the nice weather. Just *k2,p2*!!!
The good news is that it's not due until the end of April (25th I think). I think I'll sneak a little project in over the weekend! I need to switch things up a bit!

Monday, March 26, 2007

I Can't Wait!

The first weekend in May.....

I'll be in Maryland!!!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sorry, no photos

I've been knitting up a storm but unfortunately I can't show anything. I hate that!

I had to rip back the armhole on my jacket. But the good news is that I have done all of the numbers for all of the sizes and now I just have to finish up the right front, sleeves, hood and button bands. The pattern is pretty much written. I did a pretty easy but super effective shaping technique so that the jacket can fit over the hips and still fit in the bust without any noticeable increases or decreases making the whole piece very streamlined. (I hope!!) It's actually a really simple jacket to knit.

Have you seen the new Vogue? I LOVE the dress by....I can't find my copy right now. Where did it go? Oh No. Anyway, I love the fitted dress. So simple, so pretty.

My co-girltender on Saturday nights was celebrating her birthday last night! The good thing is I slept until noon. The bad thing is I feel like I slept in the Sahara. I feel like every ounce of water has been sucked out of me!!! It could be the tequila? No, well, maybe. Anyway, other than that I feel great. I hope she had fun!

Back to the knitting. :)

Friday, March 23, 2007


I was told to have all of my tax information ready today. I just spent maybe 3 hours going through all of my receipts and organizing them so that the accountant can fiigure out what I'm doing! I have to say, I'm very organized. All knitting receipts are filed away by month. However, I then need to go through them and determine what category they fall, office, samples, etc. I should probably just get quickbooks or use excel to do it monthly but I never get around to it. It wasn't so bad. I can actually see when I'm busy, when I'm not. What I spend my money on. It's a little like exfoliating. I'm all clean and organized and ready to move forward. Ahhhh.

Well, I've finished a front to the jacket. I hope it shrinks up a little.....I hate ribbing and I hate cotton. Well, actually I don't hate either. Just at this particular moment all of this faith in the swatch is nerve wracking. It's a lot of knitting to redo if for some reason it ends up all wrong.

I reworked a couple of the hats for Tom Scott. Just the tops really. They turned out soooo cute. I don't have a photo but he loved them and I loved them.

I swatched another project for knit.1. It's a really cute cabled top. No Photos!

Yesterday was the second Stitch & Pitch committee meeting. It was fun. Everyone was there except for a lovely woman from Vogue. Lily Chin was there with tons of energy. Stacy Charles was there with great ideas and of course Deborah that works with him. She's the head of the committee. Claire Brenner the president of the Big Apple Knitting Guild and Linda Morse of String were both there. Linda is moving into her new space this week. She's moving into the parlor floor of a brownstone. I can't wait to see it. I had a dream once that I owned a yarn store and it was in fact in a brownstone. We all met at Seaport Yarns and Andrea put on an amazing spread for us. The meeting was fun and productive. Everybody went away with a to do list and were meeting again in April. The game will be Wednesday, August 17th at 7:00 pm. Braves vs Mets. We are hoping to get 1,000 people to attend!!!!! Yikes. I hope we can do it.

I haven't had to work all week. Lasse Hallstrom was shooting a pilot so we were closed on the nights I would have worked! But it's the weekend. We're open. I feel rested and relaxed. I'm ready to do battle. Although it's raining out, I hope it doesn't keep people away.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


I worked up the back of my jacket - holding my breath that the swatch would be accurate.....I had my suspicion about my row gauge on the larger needles. After blocking (it's cotton) it was a little wonky but I blocked it to size (I didn't use any blocking pins) I just smoothed it out. It took a day and a half to dry but I think it's going to be ok. It's slightlyl larger than I wanted it but I have a very nasty habit of making things a bit smaller than they should be. I hate "ease" so I alway knit to exact size. Since this is a jacket, I think a little ease will be a good thing. I'm now working on one of the fronts and of course I'm a little concerned over the width of my button band. Ribbing is a funny thing.

I also started working out the details of a cabled top that I'm designing for knit.1. I'm using some basic cables and one relatively complicated cable. I'm changing the complicated one by making all of the background stitches knits instead of purls. There are some kooky twists and slips but if you follow the chart or line by line info it's pretty simple. Cables aren't hard you just have to take your time and follow the directions. Anyway, I started a large swatch hoping that all of my guessing on size would workout. I think the hard part in designing cable pieces is determining how much the cables will pull in. My swatch was almost perfect. I have to add a few more filler stitches on the sides and then I'm good. This should be really cute when finished. However, I'm going to finish the jacket first! I just needed to know that I would actually be able to get both pieces finished in time!

I'm off to the second Stitch & Pitch committee meeting. It's being held at Seaport Yarns. I don't want to bring any cash with me that way I won't be able to buy any yarn. (they are cash or check only!) I think today is the day that they kick me off because I really have nothing to offer! I'll let you know!

The Yarn Harlot is having an event at FIT today. I don't think I'll be able to make it. I hope everyone has a lot of fun and they accomplish what they have set out to do. Hmmm, I wonder if there are a lot of knitters in town?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


It's done. It fits.

Now, a shrug and some shoes. Let's see....I can make the shrug. Can I make shoes?

Smarter than a 5th grader?

Uh, no!!

Tell me how this is possible:

Swatch #1
With size 6 needles cast on 4o sts. Work in k2, p2 rib for 36 rows

It measures in at 5.5" x 5.5"
Which equals 7.25 sts" + 6.5 rows"

After Blocking
It measures in at 8.5" x 5"
Which equals 4.75 sts" + 7 rows"

Swatch #2
With size 8 needles cast on 40 sts. Work in k2,p2 rib for 21 rows (I was lazy)

It measures in at 6.75" x 3.5"
Which equals 6 sts" + 6 rows"

After Blocking
It measures in 11.5" x 3"
Which equals 3.5 sts" + 7 rows"



I am a firm believer in the swatch. I usually end up getting a tighter gauge than my swatch so I account for that in my math.

But this swatch information is really important on this project.

I knit about 2.5 yards of k2, p2 rib yesterday. I was switching to smaller needles to incorporate shaping. However, I forgot to check my larger gauge. So I got up this morning did a swatch and found out that my row gauge is EXACTLY the same. I find this extremely hard to believe.

If it's right then all the angels in heaven are singing if it's not my cute little jackety sweater is going to become a coat!!! WAY TOO LONG. Crap. Crap. Crap.

Probably the only way to find out is to finish up the back (10 more inches - or not) block it and measure it. I don't know what to do. I could start on the other project that has it's own problems or just plow ahead according to the swatch and hope and pray for the best.

Or I could have my sewing lesson in a half an hour and panic that the cute little dress that I'm making for an unassuming sweet girl won't be finished by friday evening for the dance. And she'll have nothing to wear and I'll be the worst person on the planet. Crap, crap, crap. I have to put the zipper in today. Crap, crap, crap!!!!!!!



Monday, March 19, 2007

Blocking update!

Can you believe the difference?

The miracle of blocking

I finished up the top of this sweater the other night. Here is a photo of it before blocking. I've just pinned it onto the dress form. I cannot believe that it will block the way the swatch did. At this point, it is stretching to fit across the bodice. It's pulling at the centers.



Here it is blocking.... It's grown by many, many, many inches. It's almost dry at this point.

I haven't figured out what I'll do for collar, button bands or sleeves.

But I have to put it aside for now because the Lion Brand Cotton swatch is dry. The swatch was 5.5" square before blocking....after it is now 8.5 x 5!! BLOCK YOUR SWATCHES!!!!

I've cast on for the back. And I need to get a move on. It's going to be a lot of knitting.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

My cheatin' heart

While I'm waiting for this swatch to dry and become what it is really dying to become I'm two timing...

First things first. This is Lion Brand Organic Cotton. I'm using size 6 needles. This is my third swatch and clearly the simplest. It's just a 2x2 ribbing. I wanted something that really popped the purls. Because it's loosey goosey cotton I realized that after blocking it's going to lose it's zing and flatten out and really show off the purls. The only other option that I've already swatched for is a 2x2 fisherman's rib where you knit into the st below kind of puffing up the knits. However, it flattened out and became a little bit of a waste of technique. Better to save that for some springy wool.

This is a better shot of the true color. It's going to be a long (below the butt length jacket/sweater). It should be super cute. I think I'm going to do some easy shaping over the rear end area by just changing needle size. I think on ribbing if you can make it work, it looks nicer than inc. and dec. I don't want to draw attention to the fact that perhaps the rear is LARGER than the rest of the body. I mean of course it is but let's just shape it in a more flattering way, right?

Ahhhhh, this is what I'm working on right this second. I have to see where this thing ends up. I need to see what happens after I block it. I know the swatch is the master. I swatched and blocked appropriately. I just can't believe it's going to turn out like the numbers say it should. I mean I really CAN'T WAIT. I don't believe it!

The back, 14" into it.

The fronts. Of course I'm knitting the fronts and back together. I do this for a whole lot of reasons but the real reason is because I feel like it goes faster and the knitting looks neater and cleaner. But because of this I have to wait to see the results. And if (god forbid) it's not what I want......RRRRRRRRRRRiiiiiiiiippppppp! It can at times be devastating and the end of a very good idea! But, I'm taking my chances on this one! This is coming to work with me tonight. I should get to the armhole bo's and maybe finish up a front or the back? Probably the back since I haven't thought about the front yet.

I'm feeling like a grosgrain button band binding or perhaps a zipper? Not sure about the collar either. On the one hand I'd like a really big ribbed collar. I mean BIG. Or on the other hand something super simple with some long short sleeves. You know the kind that go to the bottom of the bicep. Maybe folded back with a button? Not sure yet. I gotta get it off the needles.

Happy St. Patrick's day.

Friday, March 16, 2007

100th Post!

Wow! This is the 1ooth post. That's amazing.

I finished up the birthday scarf. Why is that I think I can make a reallly pretty scarf for less than $50.00? This thing was $100+!!! It's pretty so I guess it's worth it. Plus it's of course one of a kind. blah, blah, blah.

Some pics:

The fringe may need to be beefed up a little but I'm going to wait until the birthday girl gets it. She can decide it she wants more, less or as is...

I dropped off the Knit Simple sweater yesterday. While I was there I picked up two projects for Knit.1 fall issue. They should both be fun and interesting. I had to finish up the scarf today so that I could dig into the new stuff. I can't wait! I have to pull my stitch libraries down off the shelf and start swatching!!!

I've been reading a lot about Eunny Jang (she was just named editor of Interweave magazine) on some of the knitwear designer internet groups...what's up with people? is it jealousy? It bugged me all day yesterday with the petty, insecure, jealous, spiteful comments people were making. Plus they were tooting their own horns as if the Interweave people were auditioning them or something....It was disgusting to read. And it's still going on today. A few people defended Eunny, which was nice but sheeesh sound ridiculous!!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

What's going on in NYC?

I was at work last night and a couple came in all feaked out because they couldn't get downtown. The police had blocked off basically the entire center of greenwich village. It was the 3rd night in a row that the cops had been in a scuffle. Apparently a gunman shot and killed a pizzeria worker. I heard that he shot him 15 times in the head (could be a rumor)It's unbelievable how fast the cops on duty responded. Super freaky. 2 auxiliary cops (the kind without guns) were shot and killed in the scuffle along with the shooter. 4 dead. ack.

Anyway, I made this scarf last night at work. It's a third of the way done. Maybe a little bit more. I'm making it to match a hat for someone. I hope (hope) it's the right color. I'm using a new yarn called Boho by Berocco. It's pretty cool. Very drapey. It changes finishes every little way so not only does it subtely change colors but it also changes reflectiveness. It's very interesting. I'm also combining it with Soft Kid and Gatsby. The fabric that's coming off the needles is very light. It has some gold flecks in it from the Gatsby which snazzes it up a llittle. and the soft kid just holds it all together. I'm really pleased! oh, I'm using an open stitch. it can be opened up more lattice like or when it's draped it looks more solid. Interesting!!

I made 4 hats the other day. These hats will go in Tom Scott's collection. So they are in the same Eco Wool as the rest of his collection. I just didn't have anymore of the other colors so I had to use some of the yarn from my Love sweater. (I think I'll still have enough for my sweater!) The hats look kind of kooky in a toque kind of way. They are big and floppy in the crown. The fabric hangs to one side to give a sort of groovey, 70's feel. They look cute so cute here!

I've also finished the Knit Simple sweater. It turned out very nice. I'm not crazy about the yarn. I meant to write up the pattern last night but ahem didn't. So I MUST DO IT TODAY!!

I realize that I have a very plain jane style when it comes to knitting. I love nothing more than a well fitting sweater made out of super luxe yarn in some basic stockinette. That's not to say that I don't enjoy embellishments but I'm not into busy yarn. It's really interesting to see where you fit in as a designer. What you turn to time and again. What speaks to you and what makes you cover your eyes. It's fun to see what changes over time and what remains the same.

Oh look, 70 degrees yesterday...snow tonight and 33 degrees and then maybe 3" of snow tomorrow night. yikes.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Chattaranga Dandasana & Pigeon

I'm wondering who snipped my hamstrings in the middle of the night. After going back to yoga I have a somewhat different version of T & A. OUCH. My shoulders are killing me, my butt is killing me and the spot where the rubber meets the road so to speak (where the hamstring meets the glutes) ooowwwwwiiiiieeeee! I LOVE IT!!!

I finished the sweater. Totally procrastinating on writing the pattern. I wrote a bunch of it on my way to work the other night but I have to type it up. gggrrrrr.

I've finished two of the three hats...

But what I'm really doing is hanging out on What a time consumer! It's cool but super dangerous in terms of time management. Note to self: turn off computer. Keep away from myspace!!!!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

It's nice to be home

I have been an athlete my whole some form or another. Oh, there have been down times. Times when I just didn't want to or completely refused to work out (or exercise) at all. I have been aware of my weight and muscles since I was about 8 years old. And I've had a love hate relationship with both. I know my way around a swimming pool, a dojo, a gym, a private training facility, an olympic facility, back roads on a bike and off road to run...You name it, I've done it or I've read about it or I'm thinking about doing it. I know how to take weight off, put it on, bulk up the muscles, lean them out, build cardio endurance, fast twitch muscles, abs, thighs, back, chest...I'm not kidding. I consider myself a little bit of an expert. (I say that in the dark with the doors and windows closed!) To look at me, you might not believe any of this but it's true.

So, the second most recent kick that I was on was martial arts. I got my black belt. I was ready to start learning all there was to know. I moved dojos and started training with an amazing teacher. He's a total master. He lives and breathes doing great things mind and body. Truly an inspiration. I loved (love) him. I tried to take as many of his classes that I could. Unfortunately as it turned out, my father passed away. And something changed inside of me. I couldn't go back to martial arts. I didn't want to fight anyone or anything. I lost my mojo (for the dojo!) I felt horrible. I was lost because it was really what I was physically into. I LOVED it. It was mentally, physically and spiritually challenging. It filled a void in me that I'd had for a very long time (athletically speaking). So there I was floundering. Not working out. Terribly depressed over the loss of my dad. The best thing would have been some exercise but because I had such a strange reaction to the kicking and punching I just didn't do anything. I wasn't sleeping well. I wasn't eating right. I might have been indulging in a few too many glasses of wine or shots of tequila all in an effort to get some much needed sleep. Nothing was working.

About a year ago, my sis-in-law started yakking to me about yoga. NO WAY I thought. Snooze, boring. Where's the fun? But the more she talked about it, the more interested I became. Plus I was pretty much coming undone. No sleep. No exercise. Poor eating. Way too much knitting on a deadline. Ack. Just thinking about it makes me cringe. Anyway, I decided to give it a try. What did I have to lose? I did a ton of research trying to find the right studio. And I ultimately did. I started going EVERY DAY. (because that's what I do. I'm an athlete that is highly motivated and possibly mildly competitive). I loved it. I really loved it. I couldn't believe it. It was challenging. It helped my mental state like therapy. My body loved it. My muscles loved it. It was really awesome. But then something happened. I don't really know what it was but I stopped going. So since September I haven't gone. I realized that my main issue was the lack of cardio in my life. I hate to run. I'll do it if I have to but I'd prefer something else - Plus the time investment and lack of a locker room, per se just wasn't working for me. But I NEEDED to do something. I just couldn't take it anymore.

So officially I joined a gym yesterday. One that I can go to in many locations around the city. It's not as super schwanky as I like but the convenience of locations is key for me. And today I took a yoga class. I was a little nervous about it. And to be honest, I still am. I don't know if it's going to actually be what I'm looking for in yoga, as challenging as I'd like but I'm willing to give it a try. I'm going to try out a number of classes in different locals and see what I come up with. Plus there are hundreds and hundreds of cardio machines. Some locations have pools (not that I'm interested in that but just in case) and I'm going to hope for the best. I'm totally at home in a gym. I know my way around so I guess it feels good to be home.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Hey homie, I cracked open the Janome!

I've had my new sewing machine for exactly 8 days. I've been so busy that I couldn't even give it a test drive.

Well, today I had my tuesday sewing lesson and broke it out. Look what I made!

I've had a request to make a sweet 6th grader a dress for her first middle school dance! Well, here it is. I just had a fitting with her and need to adjust the bodice shaping a little (it's too big). It also gets a petticoat with a tulle ruffle at the bottom. Photos to come...

I'm totally diggin' it. I love my sewing machine. It's quiet (though I don't really care about that...I live in NYC). The tension is even. The threading is easy. Bobbin...easy. I can control how fast it goes with the pedal and on the dashboard. So I can push it half way on the dashboard control and then put the pedal to the floor and it will only go so fast. I love that. I'm sure there are a ton of other features that I love but don't know it yet.

I've completed the collar on my Knit Simple sweater. Kind of a pain but it's finished and it looks good. Now the sleeves. Then I'm done. Oh, then the pattern! I've been writing it as I go (this is a first!). So, I'm in pretty good shape on this thing. Due March 21st.

I have to start thinking about the 3 hats that I have to design. Because they are hats, I'm kind of thinking that I can just push them out in a day or two. I hope I'm right!

I heard today that Project Runway was cancelled. I guess I'm happy for Tim G. but sad for me. I'm sure they just didn't feel like they could replace him. I mean he is pretty irreplaceable. I'm going to miss him.

I also started sewing a dress for myself! I'm kind of doing it on my own (without my teacher!) I might have to show it to her on tuesday for some pointers. I don't really have the time to be sewing right now but I don't want to just sew on tuesdays. I need to get it going a little more during the week. I need to move my fingers a little faster with the knitting so that I can spend some time with my Janome.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Lots of knitting this week

This is probably the last photo of my Knit Simple project. I don't want to give it away and I don't want to get into trouble! I've made great progress on it. I'll hopefully get going on the sleeves tonight...I'd love to be through with this by mid week. That way I can get back to the other sweater!

I have to make 3 hats for Tom Scott's collection. Those should be fun and quick. I'll show photos when I get going on them.

No drama at work last night. Everyone got drunk (not me, of course!). Unfortunately I didn't get home until about 5:30am.

gotta run.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

This is the part I hate...

On Thursday night a visibly pregnant woman came into the bar to meet her friend. She sat down and polished off an entire bottle of Pinot Noir. Her friend had water. I wasn't having a good time.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Persian Lamb

I finished up the hat that's due on Monday. Yay!

Boy, my photo's blow!

Off to work. I'm bringing the Knit Simple top with me. I probably won't get to work on it but if I can...I will!

Busy hands

Last night I couldn't crochet the black fuzzy hat that is due on Monday because it's so dark where I work, I decided to knit the first ball of the La Boheme sweater for Knit Simple.

This is a really crapply photo.

My hands are blue.

In other news, I finished the tank tops yesterday.

I'm going to Shea Stadium tomorrow to meet with someone from TNNA about Stitch and Pitch at a Mets game this season. I'm not sure how or why I was invited but I think it will be fun (or at least interesting!)

I'm still thinking about the Eco-Wool sweater, even after all of the knitting this week. I can't wait to get back to it. Thank goodness I made that no winding of the yarn policy until I've finished these few projects.

That's it for now.