Monday, December 24, 2007

'Twas the night before Christmas...once agin

Reposted from 12/24/06

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all though the house,
The sound of my needles clicking was noticed only by a mouse.

The hand knit stocking were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that no one would see the grafting mistakes there.
The nephews where all snuggled in bed,
While thoughts of snowman sweaters danced in their heads.
While mom in her cable cardigan, and I in my fingerless mittens,
Had just settled in for a long for a long nights knittin’
When out on the lawn there arouse such a clatter,
I sprang from the purl row to see what was the matter.

Away the window I flew like a flash?
(Just one more row perhaps?)
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash,
After a few dropped stitches and decreases that match.
The moon, on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Was like lace out of mohair on my lap below.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear?
But a set of Denise needles and another knitter so near.
I knew in a moment that it must be the knitting fairy
To help with the holiday stitching, so I could be merry.

“Now purl one row, then knit two more!
Don’t forget to YO at the end of each row!”
To the top of the hat and matching mittens, does that look too small?
Too late now; knit away, knit away all!”

She spoke not a word, but when straight to her work,
And knit all the yarn that lurked.
Weaving in the ends as she goes,
She knit in a flash, taking with her all of my woes.
Her well-worked fingers gave a signal of approval
As she took her leave with her needles
I heard her exclaim:
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all good knittin’”

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Embossed Leaves and a hat

I finally finished my Embossed Leaves Socks. It only took me a week to knit them and about a month and a half to weave in the ends. But they are really pretty. The yarn was a gift from Avocado Fever. I believe she bought it at Maryland Sheep and Wool. The pattern (as I am sure you know), is from Interweave Winter 2005 and republished in 25 Favorite Socks. These really are some of my favorite socks.

Embossed Leaves Socks 2

When I was in college I had a professor who explained that flowers and leaves that are pointing down make people depressed. So by making them toe up, the leaves "grow" up, instead of down.

Embossed Leaves Socks

I have 3 pair of handknit socks. They are all green. I think it is time for a new color. And you guys think I only knit in pink.

I also finished a hat for the store.

Mixed Media Hat Side

It's my own pattern, which will eventually be a free pattern with yarn purchase. I made it with Torino Bulky, Dune and Lace Mohair (6 strands held together). One ball of each will do the trick.

I also have been busy with Christmas knitting, but I think I need to wait till the 26th to post those photos. I still have things that I need to cast on for. I guess I better start soon…

Friday, October 26, 2007

As Promised

I have yet to get my copy of Find Your Style and Knit It Too, or even see it in a B & N. But since PassionKNITly got hers, I know it has been released. I have 2 patterns in the book but only pictures for one.

This first pattern (and my favorite) is Pirouetté – a flirty ballet wrap with lace trim to wear over your leotard during dance class. After class, slip a pair of leggings on underneath for hanging out with your friends.

Front

Knitting Picture 014

Back

Knitting Picture 017

A few detail shots

Knitting Picture 019

Knitting Picture 020

Knitting Picture 016

Knitting Picture 015

The second was suppose to be called Ornement de Cheveux de Fleurs, or Floral Hair Ornament. But, ummm, I guess there was some confusion there. Too bad no one at the publisher speaks French…or let me know that they didn't understand. Oh well. I guess you can't win them all. I see if I can get some pictures of that soon.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

It Happens to All of Us

So I "thought" I was cruzing along on Rogue. I even made it to the armholes. See the beautiful side cables?

Rogue side view

And then I did what I should have done awhile ago. I measured her. Here's what happened:

Should measure

Hummmm, that's a problem. Now I hear you saying "Smitten, did you check your gauge."
Yes. My gauge is spot on. See:

Gauge

I really wanted Rogue to measure about 41", but the sizes were 39 1/2" or 43 1/2". I was too lazy to rewrite the pattern so I went with the 43 1/2". So I guess now that she will be frogged, I will get closer to the 41". By my calculations, if I make the 39 1/2" size, I should get 42".

Blogless Jill R, I hope this makes you feel a little better about the Peplum Jacket. It happens to all of us.

For the time being, I think I need to finish something I can feel good about. So I am working on the socks exclusively. I have one done and am almost the heel on the second sock.

Sock and almost 1/2

I went with a picot bind off for a little extra girlness and stretch.

On another knitting front this book was released today. PassionKNITly preordered her copy on Amazon and brought it to SnB tonight. I haven't even got my copy yet. Be sure to stop by a book store to check it out. I'll post my pics of my patterns in the next few days.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hello Again

I apologize for the long pauses between posts. Life has been a little crazy lately. Something had to give, and unfortunately it was the blog. But I am here now.

So what have I been knitting you ask? Does anyone remember when I was a monogamous knitter? That seems to be in the past my friends. I currently have 4, yes 4, projects on the needles.

First I have my "work/commute" project. A basic toe up sock in Great Adirondacks Super Sox yarn. I wanted something easy for while I am at Annie's. That way if I have to put it down to help a customer, I don' t won't have a difficult time figuring out where I am. I started this about 4 weeks ago, I am half way up the foot on the first sock. Needless to say I don't have a lot of time to knit while I am at Annie's. But isn't the color way gorgeous?

Great A Socks

Next up is a bag that I am designing myself from yarn ripped from a sweater a friend was going to throw away. I loved the color and grabbed it quick. The wool is very course and will be perfect for felting. Because you KNOW how much luck I have had with felting. I have faith that this time I am going to get it right. I am also going to use some of my partial balls up and make some nice felted flowers to adorn the bag. I hope to have a picture soon.

Thirdly is the Aune skirt from Berroco. I love this skirt. I hate knitting it. It is made up of 24 lacy hexagons. The instructions tell you to knit them flat, and then sew them up. But you know me…"patterns are just inspiration." So I decided that I should knit the hexagons in the round (less finishing :-), which isn't so bad, except you kinda need to knit the hexagon all at once. It's difficult (since there is lace on every round) to find your place if you put it down. Each hexagon takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours to make. But it will be beautiful once it is done!

Aune Hexagon

And last but not least, I have always wanted to make Rogue, but thought I wouldn't wear a hoodie pullover. But while playing on Ravelry, I found this. A cardigan version of Rogue. How smart! So I set myself out to pick up some Cascade 220 to make it in. I was thinking, since it's a hoodie, it should be red (you know little red riding hood.) So I picked a lovely burgundy. I got a skein and a half into it before I realized that I didn't have anything to go with it. So I exchanged the yarn for some nice green. I know Ravi, I always knit with green, but what can I say, I like green. Here's a progress shot:

Green Acres

I better finish something soon as I have a very special project or two to knit for a special friend. I don't think I could handle five or six projects at once. Good thing I have till November before the shower.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Indulge a Little

I was working at Annie's yesterday. A customer came in and needed help weaving in ends on her first ever scarf. She started telling me how excited that we were finally open. She then said she was going to come back over the weekend because she wanted to knit something in the window and need yarn for it. She went on by saying "it's the cutest thing; it's a cozy for your pint of ice cream! I am going to make several for friends as gifts. Who doesn't eat ice cream out of the pint?" I then told her that it was my pattern from Not Your Mama's Knitting. It's so exciting when someone tells you how cute your pattern is without knowing it's yours.

I finally got my ravelry invite. So come say hi. My user name is Smitten.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Coming Soon....

IMG_1048

I know many of you have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the newest knitting store, Annie and Company Knitting. Fingers crossed we will be open on Saturday. Located at 1325 Madison Avenue, between 93rd and 94th Streets. We will be open 7 days a week. Here are a few shots to wet your taste buds:

IMG_1049

IMG_1050

We will be carrying SO MANY yarn. I can see my stash growing by enormous proportions. Some of the many yarn lines are:

Tilli Thomas
ArtYarns
Manos
Alchemy
Gems
Misti Alpaca
Blue Sky
Debbie Bliss
Noro
Trekking
Sublime
Mission Falls
Great Adirondacks
and too many more to list.

Our Hours will be Monday though Saturday 11-6 and Sunday 12-5. The number (so you can call and check before you head out is 212-289-2944.) If you live in the city, please stop by and say hi. If you are visiting the city, this should defiantly be on your to do list. You can tell your traveling partner that you want to see the newest exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, In your sweetest voice you can say "oh look honey, a yarn store, who knew there would be a yarn store so close."

By far this has to be one of the biggest yarns stores I have ever seen. The store is very spacious and has plenty of seating for you and your friends to come by hang out.

Hope to see you soon!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Looking for...

Summer Tweed, Color 522 smoulder (really a raspberry color), preferably lot 22J4. 3 skeins. Email me at smittenwknittin@gmail.com if you have some and are willing to sell it!

Summer Tweed

Friday, July 13, 2007

She rocks in the tree top all day long…

Here she is:

Robin

Robin
Pattern: Essential Tank Top, Lace Style
Yarn: Koigu, Robin Blue, 5 skeins
Needles: Addis, size 4, 32 inch
Mods: Knitted in the round, instead of flat (no seaming!). Also instead of using a crochet stitch for the spaghetti straps, I used I-cord.

I wish I had made this a little longer. I have almost 3 skeins left, so if I get inspired one day I can frog back to the armholes. This was a fast and easy knit. The lace pattern is easy to memorize. I would make this again using a different lace pattern.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Cursed Yarn

Have you ever had cursed yarn?

I bought some mint wool/cotton yarn last summer to make this:

rambling_big

I got about ¾ of the way up the back and realized how bad this would look on me. So I started a basic cardigan, then decided I didn’t like that either. So then I thought I would make a tank I made once before. Can’t go wrong with that right? WRONG. The tank had some seed stitch at the hem and at the neckline. The seed stitch was great at the hem but somehow grew at the neckline. Now I know what you are thinking…a) was the stitch count off at the neckline? No, I double and triple checked it; b) Did you remember to switch to smaller needles? Not only did I remember, but after I saw that all three pieces (it buttons up the back) were larger at the neckline, I ripped and redid and they were still too big. Why at this point I didn’t just decrease the number of stitches, I don’t know. Instead, in a fit of frustration, I stuffed it into the back of my knitting drawer. Until I saw this:

Juliet

It was time to ripe the tank and cast on for Julia. How could I not fall in love? As I approached the end of the garter stitch I realized that the yoke as pictured would only look good on a few people, and I was not one of them. Thinking I was so smart I decided to drop the line so it would look like a empire line. Sounds good right? That meant I would have to start the diagonal rib earlier, but that shouldn't be a biggie, right? So I charted out the rib and made sure to have it change directions, not only at the center back, but at the “side seams” as well. Finally, I arrived at the point where to split the body for the fronts and back. So, being the lazy finished that I am, I thought to myself, why not knit this as a yoke sweater so you don’t have to sew up the raglan seams? Genius...or so I thought. And, even though this is where my problem started I am glad I did this way. I would have hated to have knit the whole sweater, sew together and then see my issue. (I wish I had a picture to show you, but the camera is at work.) Anyway, I HATE what the diagonal rib is doing at the raglan sleeves. They are meeting at a weird angle. UGH! Plus as I laid it out I noticed that the proportion of the rib to the garter stitch was going to be opposite of how Debbie Bliss had designed it. There would be more rib than garter.

So here are my questions. Should I a) keep knitting, hope the angle works itself out and also hope I have enough yarn to rip out the cast on edge and knit it down farther, b) rip to the empire line, switch to something simpler (like seed stitch) and go from there again hoping I have yarn left over to knit down c) rip the whole thing and start as a top down raglan (duh, why make it easy) using a seed stitch and then I can knit till I run out of yarn or d) rip the whole thing and burn the yarn. Really I don’t think I would want to take the yarn to a swap. What if the curse is beyond me? Why would I want to do that to another knitter?

In the meantime, I cast on for some socks. Can’t go wrong with socks. I even thought this could be a good chance to do some cables again. I thought Eunny’s Bayerische socks would be nice.

091602

Of course the yarn I had in my stash splits like crazy. Have you ever tried to cable a sock without a cable needle on size 0 needles that splits? Let me warn you, don’t. Make sure your yarn is nice and smooth and doesn’t split. So I guess that goes back into the stash for the time being anyway.

So much for getting lots of knitting done this week. What should I try next?

Monday, July 2, 2007

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Getting There...

I have 6 inches of garter done...

Garter Insanity

...and only 6 more inches till I can purl!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Multiple Finished Objects

Thanks to the long weekend last week I finished a couple of things.

First the bag. I decided that I wanted to finish the bag so I could take it to Long Island for the Holiday. I made very small buttonholes, that, should I decided to do grommets later I can just put them over the buttonholes. Once the straps are thought the buttonholes, you can’t see them anyway; so many grommets are just not in the future for the Betty Shopper. I took Betty to SnB last week and got quite a few compliments. Here she is:

Betty Shopper

I also finished the cream top. I wore it under my pink suit the other day and it was perfect. Here is a shot of her blocking:

Cream cami

And a close up of the lace trim:

Lace close up

And finally, isn’t it amazing how this:

Robin Unblocked

Can become this:

Robin mirror shot

Better pic to come soon.

In the meantime, I cast on for the Debbie Bliss Cardigan, Juliet, that Crafty Girl is also making. 12 inches of garter stitch should make a boring upcoming post.

Juliet

Friday, May 25, 2007

Opinions Wanted

I have been a busy sewer bee lately. I bought some fabric from Purl Patchwork awhile back to make this:

betty_link_small

Out of this print:

AB_07_Olive_Coriander_Pal_01

This is going to be a great bag for the park and beach. I customised the inside pockets to fit my cell, ipod and wallet. After a long hiatus, I finished the sewing early this morning. Thinking that I had the day off, but most places would be open, I walked up to Steinlouf & Stoller to have some grommets put in, only to find out they were closed. I then spent a better part of the day cruising the garment center trying to find a place that could put grommets in for me, while I waited, in the right size and color. I didn't think it would be so hard.

So here is my question. Should I forgo the grommets and just make small buttonholes for the straps? Or should I wait till the next time I will have a chance to get to S & S (which could be a really long time as they are only open M-F, (9-5)?

Way to go JenWen!

Johanna, Mary and I went to go check out my "little sister" aka PassionKNITly the other night. Luckily, Mary's camera has video capabilities. Check her out!


Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Finished Object Alert

Say it with me…awww, so cute.

Baby Bonnet Side

Baby Bonnet Back

I finished this hat for a co-worker. She isn’t due until August, but she is moving at the end of the month. She’s moving to the mid-west, where they have very cold winters, so a hat is perfect for her. I hope she likes it.

So it’s back to the cream tank. I am almost to the armholes. Just about another half an inch. I should be done soon. Then back to Robin.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Quick Update

Here is a picture of Robin as she stands now.

Knitting Picture 031

And a close up

Knitting Picture 029

Nothing worth a picture on the cream tank (yet to be named, any suggestions?) But she is moving along nicely. I slipped half of the stitches onto a spare needle last night and tried her on. I am about half way to the armholes. The trouble with using size 2 needles is it takes a-l-o-n-g time to get an inch of knitting done. But I hope to have this finished soon as the college has a lot of functions coming up, and the pink suit is dyeing to get out of the closet.

If you want to pre-order your copy the book with my recent secret project, click here.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Hummm…

Well, there has been knitting going on, but there are no pictures to prove it today. Robin (aka the Essential Tank from Lace style) is rockin' along. I am about half way to the armholes. The lace pattern is pretty easy to memorize and goes pretty quickly. And I have only used about 2½ balls of the yarn I bought. I subbed the alpaca it called for, instead opting to use Kogiu (I heart Kogiu) and although the math tells me I need 10 balls of Kogiu, I think I will have a lot left. Good thing Purl believes in exchanges.

I also started another tank, this time of my own design. I purchased some Knit Picks Gloss in bare (I really need a basic cream tank). I am planning on reverse stockinette stitch with some garter lace trim at the neckline, but didn't want to do all that purling. So instead I am going use stockinette stitch and turn it inside out when I am finished. Such a cheater, I know. I have a vision of the tank under my favorite pink suit. I must knit faster, spring is already here!

Pictures to come soon!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Monday, April 16, 2007

I guess that’s why they call it the blues

So I finished knitting the stockinette stitch wrap for my mother. Once the wrap is on a person it will look something like this:



Flat it looks like this:




You can imagine how boring knitting all that stockinette was. I used 8 ball of Berroco Denim Silk in Acid Washed. I got four balls from Craft Girl during the last yarn swap and bought four others and stranded the wrap. What I thought was a little weird and kind of interesting was when I went to block it, the different dye lots absorbed water at a different rate:



I also finished the basic basic socks for my mother:



I knit these out of Regia Bamboo on size 0, toe up. I will definitely knit socks toe up again. I like short row heels better than heel flaps anyway.

I think I deserve a good daughter award for all this stockinette. Plus I am ahead for Mother's Day, even though I am really late for her birthday.

Now that I can knit something for myself, I wanted something a little more interesting. I decided to knit the Essential Tank from Lace Style (loving this book by the way). I got some beautiful robin’s egg blue Kogiu from Purl (much brighter than the picture). Of course I am going to knit this in the round in stead of flat (no seams!) I did a swatch on 2s, but my gauge is quite a bit off, so I am swatching on 4s. Even though this is all lace, I think it will go pretty fast. Here is my size 2 swatch:

Guess who said they liked my hair...

Robert Verdi came to speak the other day at school. I was sitting in the front row and mid way though his presentation, he stop, looked at me and said "I love your hair." All while doing that finger pointing in a circle thing. Love him.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Purr-fect Sunday Afternoon.

Just me, Murray and a sock.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Revlon Run Walk

Every year the college has a team made up of students, faculty and staff participate in the Revlon Run/Walk. Once again I will be walking. This is a cause that is very close to my heart. Breast Cancer is a disease that affects so many people.I am also a firm believer that once we find a cure for one cancer we will find a cure for the others. Click here to donate to the Revlon Run/Walk.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Harlot in NYC

So the Harlot was here this last Thursday. She gave a talk at the other fashion college that I can’t mention, (don’t tell my boss I was there). There were A LOT of knitters there. They gave out buttons at the door to guesstimate the number of knitters there. I am sure Stephanie will have a count on her blog once she winds down. But let me tell you when I say a lot, I mean a lot. The auditorium was almost full.



I met some of the SnB girls there. So were wearing the now infamous t-shirts (another great British/American collaboration)



Stephanie did not disappoint. She was very funny. Her husband Joe surprised her. He had previously told her he would be in Montréal that week, but instead he greeted her at that other fashion school. So sweet. She introduced us to the idea of C.H.O.K.E. (which I already forgot what it stands for, but the idea is that it is why muggles discriminate against knitters). Some being that if you are a knitter you like boys (it doesn’t matter if you are a girl or a boy); that if you start knitting while you are single, you will be single for the rest of your life (I still hold out hope); how non-knitters can’t understand our obsession with yarn and many other hilarious things. She also asked how many people tried to explain where they were going that night to a muggle, most everyone raised there hand. She told us for future reference to just tell people that we were out. At one point someone’s cell phone rang (another reason I abhor cell phones) and she just rolled with it and told the person to tell whoever was calling that she was “just out.”

She was wearing her recently finished Botus and it got almost as much applause as she did. Towards the end, she was getting hot so she took it off. She put the sweater on the floor of the stage. Many of the knitters to offence to that. She kind of rolled her eyes and reminded us that wool is washable; many of the NYC knitters reminded her she was in NYC. She agreed to pick it up.

Provided on the seats of the auditorium was a bag that included a pair of aluminum needles and some Patons wool. Everyone was asked to knit a square for Warm Up America and they were collecting them at the end of the evening. Of course I had to be me, and start my swatch over when I wasn’t happy with it. So I didn’t finish it, but I have some other squares for Warm Up America that I need to send in. I think I will knit a few more before I do that. At the end of the evening I asked the SnB girls if they didn’t want their needles if they would be willing to donate them to the knitting club at school (as I know many of you prefer either Turbos or Bamboo) and they obliged. Ruth was on a mission. She went looking for bags that weren’t picked up and any needles lying around. I now have 13 pair of number 8 aluminum needles.

She was also selling pins for Knitters without Borders. They ran out of pins. At the end there was a big bag of cash. I hope that she also gives a total for that as well.

And I must give a shout out to our fabulous Heather. At the end of the evening the Harlot was taking questions. Heather got up and gave her a copy of Not Your Mama’s Knitting. She was the last one to speak and I hope that it will help sell at least a few more copies for Heather.

I also picked up a copy of her new book. She wasn’t signing them that night; most of the copies that were for sell were already signed. Unfortunately, they ran out of signed copies about four people before me. Since the Harlot will be in Ann Arbor this week I wonder if it is worth fedexing my copy to my mother and telling her if she ever loved me she drive a few hours to get it signed. Hum, I don’t think she will go for that. Oh well, perhaps I will have another opportunity to have it signed. I have read only a little of it, but so far it holds up to her other books.

Afterward some of the girls and I went across the street to Brgr for well, burgers. It was a great evening all and all. I can’t wait till the Harlot comes back to NYC.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Harlot Rocks

More to come later, but for now here is a tease...



Sunday, March 18, 2007

Six Weird things about…Murray?

So Jessamyn tagged me a while back with six weird things about me. However, I can’t seem to think of Six Weird Things About Me that are both weird AND that I am willing to divulge to the world. So instead I present Six Weird Things About Murray.

1. Murray likes to play fetch. I discovered this about him shortly after adopting him. He was playing with a toy on my lap, and of course I was trying to knit, so I threw it on the floor. He brought it back. I threw it again, he brought it back again. His favorite thing to do it to bring me a toy and drop it in my lap. If I don't throw it for him, he gets upset and sulks off to the other side of the couch.

2. He likes to drink the water out of my bubble bath. He drinks a few sips, shakes his head, which I take to mean “this tastes gross,” and drinks some more. I put fresh water out for him everyday. He also drinks out of the toilet. I wonder if he thinks I am trying to poison him with water.

3. He comes when he is called. I have never known a cat to do that. Most cats when they hear their name, they if anything gives you a look like “don’t bother me” and stay excatly where they are. Not my boy, he comes trotting when he hears me call him. (Now next time any of you are at my place you will want to see this and of course he will make a lair out of me.)

4. When I first got him, he loved to go out into the hall. So much so that every time I opened the door I had to be careful (he was really good at sneaking past me). About six months later he stopped going into the hall. Now he is terrified of the hall. He will occasionally put a paw out there, but as soon as he hears a noise he comes scrambling back inside.

5. He knows that when my phone double rings, someone will be at the door in a few minutes. He will sit and wait by the door, until I open it, then he runs and hides. Although I think he is a little scaredy cat, he is still very curious about who might be on the other side of the door.

6. He would rather watch cars than birds. I swear. I thought having a tree outside my window would be a bonus for a cat. But once again he took me by surprise. I see him look at birds without response. But cars, that is a whole other story. He will chatter over a car, but a bird…nothing. I don’t get it.

Some of these things lead me to believe that Murray has an identity crisis. He isn’t sure if he is a dog or a cat.

The most important thing about Murray? He is my buddy, and although he probably wouldn’t want me telling anyone this, I know he loves me. The list of the great things about Murray would be about 100 pages long, so I’ll leave you with this instead…

Thursday, March 8, 2007

The Queen Returns...

...the cable queen that is.

Here is my open cardigan with cable details.



And a detail shot



Ok, so there isn't a whole lot of cabling going on. I still need to block it, but I wanted to wear it at least once this season. Nothing like finishing an alpaca sweater right before the temperture reachs 50 degrees.

So what do you do when you finish an alpaca sweater right before the start of spring? You start a new one of course!



I have knitting that would be more appropriate right now, but I have had this idea for awhile and thought I could quick whip this up. It's going to be a top down raglan cardigan with lots feather and fan and 3/4 sleeves. Let's see how fast I can knit this.

I also decided to give my lunch time knitting to charity. I have lots of yarn that would be great for Cancer Care hats or squares for Warm Up America, so I took quite a bit of it to work and am leaving it there. This way I always have knitting at work for those stressful days when I just need to take a lunch break. Now I just need to convince my boss to knit during meeting, it is for charity after all!