Monday, January 30, 2006

C is for . . . Cashmere

I was doing a little post-Xmas shopping and came upon this poor, unloved, deeply discounted sweater.

I just couldn't resist.

It's taking a little Eucalan bath right now. Hopefully, it'll be dry tomorrow and I can get a final calculation of yardage.

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Friday, January 27, 2006


Thanks to everyone who directed me to kippah patterns. Who knew there was even a Kippalong! Well, obviously Gail knew since she left me a comment with the link. Thanks, Gail.

The jury's still out about exactly how I'll knit mine, but I've been toying with the idea of a star top like the top-down hat I made last year from an old doily pattern. That might be nice. I also dug out the kippah I made my son for his Bar Mitzvah.

Just looking at this gave me flashbacks to the horror of knitting it. Hence the title of today's post: PTKD (i.e., Post Traumatic Knitting Disorder). True to form, I left myself, oh, maybe three days to knit it. And, in case you can't tell from the blurry photo, it's knit with cotton crochet thread at a gauge of 12 stitches per inch.

2mm needles + cotton crochet thread + a deadline = the project from hell if there ever was one.

Pass the smelling salts; I'm feeling faint.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Oooooh, Silk

I've been eyeing the ball o' cashmere/silk roving Beth sent me for Christmas but I've still not worked up the nerve to actually spin it. Instead, I've been practicing on bits and pieces of silk and cotton that I picked up at a local LYS. I've had the most success with some Bombax silk that was hand-dyed by Judy Jackson in the "Electric Lake" colorway. I got about 140 yards from 1 ounce of the roving:

Not quite perfect, but better that the previous attempts. I'm thinking this will make a nice Kippah for my daughter's Bat Mitzvah. Anyone have a good pattern that uses fingering weight yarn?

Stashalongers – Don’t Look!

If you’re participating in Kim’s Stashalong, don’t even think about reading the rest of this post.

I received an email from Lynn at Spinderella’s Creations the other day announcing a killer sale on her homespun yarn. Nearly every hank (approx. 100-125 yrds each) is on sale for $4.75 per hank. This is gorgeous, one-of-a-kind stuff and you owe it to yourself to take a look. Her Thrums (roving with thrums thrown in) is also on sale, for $18.00 a pound. I learned to spin on this roving and can vouch for the fact that the little slubs created by the thrums hide any unevenness in your singles. Perfect.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Perfect Pie

Although it may have been hard to discern from my most recent posts, I actually have been knitting. In fact, I have so many projects on the needles that I'm not making much progress on any of them. But today's post is about the project that I've been knitting on the most. Remember that Kauni yarn that Tine sent me for Christmas? Here it is, wound it into a center-pull ball:

How gorgeous is that??

Well, since Christmas, I've been looking for the perfect shawl pattern. I wanted something simple, to show off the yarn. After sifting through nearly every pattern I own, I finally settled on the "Perfect Pie" shawl from the book, Weekend Knitting. Basicially it's a semi-circular shawl knit in 5 wedges from one side to the other using short rows. The pattern is easily memorized so the shawl has turned out to be a nice, portable project.

Here's where I am after only a few hours of knitting:

And here's Mimi standing guard over what she erroneously thinks will be a kitty bed for her:

I just love the way the yarn changes color so drastically, yet so subtly. And this yarn is like heaven to knit with. The combination of an easy pattern and the gorgeous yarn have made this project just a pure joy to knit.

The pattern uses mohair for the body of the shawl and Koigu for the edging. I haven't yet decided whether I'll use the Kauni for the edging or some Koigu from my stash. I've also been toying with the idea of making the shawl larger by knitting 6 or 7 wedges instead of the 5 called for in the pattern. I think that would result in a shape that would stay around my shoulders better. What do you think? Am I wrong on that???

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Monday, January 23, 2006


Teri tagged me with this meme last week and I never responded. Now Laura's tagged me too so I guess I'll comply. Maybe you have something in common with me???

Four jobs you've had in your life:
File clerk
Proof machine operator at a bank
Aide in the children's room of a public library

Four movies you could watch over and over:
Napolean Dynamite
Annie Hall
Babette's Feast

Four places you have lived:
New York

Four TV shows you love to watch:
The Daily Show
Curb Your Enthusiasm

These are the only two shows I watch. I'm not big on TV.

Four places you have been on vacation:
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Blackpool, England
Paris, France
Vernazza, Italy

Four websites you visit daily:
Six Socks Knitalong
Oxford English Dictionary

Four of your favorite foods:
Dark chocolate (especially with bits of candied orange in it)
Eggplant parmesan
Brasil nuts

Four places you'd rather be right now:
L.A. Burdick in Cambridge, MA
Anywhere that's within a mile of the ocean
Work (don't laugh, I love my job)

Four bloggers you're tagging:
Since I could very well be the last blogger to answer this meme, I am graciously declining to tag anyone.

Who's linking here?

Saturday, January 21, 2006


If you are linking to my Homer Simpson Olympic Knitalong with any button other than this one, which Abby was kind enough to make for me, please stop and remove the link to me. There is one button in particular which I find extremely offensive and inappropriate. My knitalong is not about ridiculing other knitters for challenging themselves.


Who's linking here?

Friday, January 20, 2006


If you haven't joined my Homer Simpson Olympic nonKnitalong yet, don't fret. Latecomers and procrastinators are particularly welcome, as are those who fail to complete their Knitting Olympics projects or cease enjoying The Process. Just leave me a comment and I'll add you to the list; although I can't promise that I'll do it anytime soon. But don't forget, I'll be watching to make sure you don't start or finish any knitting projects between February 10th and February 26th. Then again, maybe I won't. It sounds like a lot of work.

And we have a button! Courtesy of Abby, button-master extraordinaire.

She assured me that she expended very little effort.

Someone pass that grrl a Duff.

Who's linking here?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Feeling the Heat

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard about Stephanie's Knitting Olympics.

Basically, you choose a challenging (for you) project and attempt to complete it in sixteen days, from February 10th (opening ceremonies) to February 26th (closing ceremonies). Stephanie is offering a "gold medal" button to every participant who finishes. Kewl.

Margene has countered with her "Eddie Along." She's encouraging you to enjoy the process of knitting and has only two rules. You must cast on during the opening ceremonies or pick up a neglected WIP and you must enjoy the process of knitting from February 10th to February 26th. Finishing isn't important. She also has a cute button.

After much soul searching, I’ve decided to start my own Olympic knitalong and I intend to call it the “Homer Simpson Olympic Knitalong.” Here are my rules:

  1. Don’t even think about casting on or knitting during the opening ceremonies. For that matter, why would you be knitting from February 10th to February 26th anyway. I mean, geeze, it’s the Winter Olympics---prime TV watching time. Plus, how can you knit while you're holding a beer bottle.

  2. Between February 10th and February 26th, you are forbidden from starting a new knitting project. Don’t you all have too many WIPs anyway? Why take on another project?

  3. Relish in your utter failure to complete anything by February 26th. In fact, those who do complete a project will be kicked off the island.

The motto of my knitalong is:

The Homer Simpson Olympic Knitalong–Too Lazy to Make A Button

Who’s in?


If you are linking to my Homer Simpson Olympic Knitalong with any button other than this one, which Abby was kind enough to make for me, please stop and remove the link to me. There is one button in particular which I find extremely offensive and inappropriate. My knitalong is not about ridiculing other knitters for challenging themselves.


Who's linking here?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Book Du Jour

Here's another recent addition to my knitting book collection,

Two-End Knitting written by Anne-Maj Ling and translated by Carol Rhoades (published by Schoolhouse Press).

Last year, Nancy Bush taught a class at my LYS on two-end knitting and I found it extremely fascinating, albeit somewhat fiddly. This book had only recently been translated and Nancy spoke highly of it so I've been meaning to buy it for a while. Because I am intrigued by the two-end technique, I may be biased in my review of this book. I think it’s a fantastic resource and it covers all the basics of the technique and then some-–including three-color knitting. Best of all, the charts that accompany the patterns are extremely large (a good thing). The only bad thing I can say about this book is that I wish it had been published in hardcover instead of paperback. I should also add that this book is very different from the book, Twined Knitting, published by Interweave Press more than ten years ago. The bulk of this book is devoted to the practical applications of the two-end technique. The bulk of Twined Knitting is devoted to a historical perspective on the technique and it's chock-full of amazing photographs of vintage mittens, hats, and jackets. Both books are wonderful.

Unfortunately, I don’t own a copy of Twined Knitting. This is the copy that I repeatedly check out from the library:

I live in fear that some day they’ll pull it from the shelf and sell it at their used book sale for--*insert audible gasp*--$1.00. Of course, if any of you have an unloved copy gathering dust on your bookshelf, you know where to find me.

Who's linking here?

Monday, January 16, 2006

B is for . . . Books

Since I joined the Stashalong, I haven't broken the "no-buying-yarn" rule yet. But, I have bought several books and I thought I'd give a little review of each this week.

First up is Nicky Epstein's book Knitting Over the Edge.

Some of the edging patterns in the book are clever, some are amazing, and some are just so-so. I'll start with the part I didn't like. With only a couple of exceptions, the section on color was weak. I've seen many of the motifs in other books (like stars, hearts, snowflakes, fleur-de-lys), and nothing really caught my eye except the sheep and the bow charts. So, I was particularly disappointed to see that this section covers a full 50 pages in the 180-page book.

The rest of the book, though, was interesting and inspiring. I especially liked the section on cords. She really takes the “lowly” I-cord to new levels. Be forewarned, however, that many of the edgings described in the book are knit separate from the garment and must be sewn onto the finished project. Some of the others require weaving in a lot of ends. I know this can’t be helped, but that’s usually enough to discourage me from trying something; especially for the edging of a scarf on which you can’t hide the wrong side.

This book is the follow-up to the book, Knitting On the Edge. I have that one, too, and prefer it to this new book mainly because it contains edgings I'm more likely to actually use for a project. The edgings in the new book are definitely more "fiddly" although, of course, that means they're more interesting visually. But I’m curious to hear from others who have both books. Which do you like better?

Who's linking here?

Friday, January 13, 2006

You've Been Warned

If the photos in yesterday's post caused you to recoil in horror, you may want to avert your eyes because I have photos of the finished sweater.

Pattern: Baby Baby from Minnies
Yarn (from my stash): Moda Dea Wild in the color barf "spring"

I decided to continue the garish theme with the buttons and chose some super-shiny, green shell buttons:

I appreciate all the comments that were left yesterday. I'm sorry I didn't have a chance to write back to each of you. I've decided to go ahead and donate the sweater "as is." After all, if the Spunky Eclectic liked it, it can't be all bad.

Who's linking here?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Tell The Truth

I promised a friend I’d knit a baby sweater for her and I decided to try out the pattern before I knit the real thing. She choose the "Baby, Baby" sweater from Jill Eaton’s book, Minnies. It's a cute, simple, hooded cardigan. The sample in the book is knit from Berroco Plush yarn. I searched my stash for an appropriate substitute but there's a dearth of cotton or acrylic bulky-weight yarn at Chez I'm Knitting As Fast As I Can. The closest I could get was the three skeins of Moda Dea Wild yarn that caught DD’s eye several months ago at the craft store. I cast on with abandon over coffee on Tuesday morning and had the back finished at lunch. The two fronts were completed by the end of Stitch ‘N Bitch on Tuesday evening. By dinner on Wednesday, all that remained was the hood.

I asked both DD and DS for their thoughts on the project. Both agreed that the pattern was cute, but the yarn was a bit . . . well . . . creepy. I believe DS summed it up best when he said, "It's cute in a hideous sort of way."

Decide for yourself:

I briefly thought about knitting a simple collar instead of the hood. But, with the hood, I figure the recipient baby will have the option of covering her face so no one will recognize her in the sweater. Here's the question though . . . When I bring this up to Primary Children’s Medical Center, will they laugh behind my back before or after the door hits me in the arse?

Who's linking here?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Wait is Over

For those of you who asked, my Branching Out pattern has been translated into French. Flore and Elisa wrote and asked if they could post the translation on Flore's site. Who am I to say no.

Here's the link (click on the photo) for those of you who prefer to follow the French-language version.

I also encourage you to follow some of the links on Elisa's blog. There are lots of fabulous things being knit in France.

Who's linking here?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


You know that indescribable feeling you get when you hear the doorbell ring and then your daughter calls down to you, "Mom, there's a package for you." Well, I experienced that feeling on Saturday when a box of goodies arrived from Kadri.

Has anyone used that Regia Silk Shine yarn???? I'm not even sure you can get this in the United States. It's incredibly soft and luxurious. I'm wondering if it would be better for socks or gloves.

And did you see the Holz & Stein rosewood double-points. Aaaah, heaven.

But the best thing was this little doll that Kadri made.

Check out the earrings. Too cute! She's currently in a place of honor right above my computer.

Perfect timing, Kadri. I was beginning to suffer from yarn-withdrawl symptons as a result of my Stashlong commitment.

Dankt Million!!!

Who's linking here?

Monday, January 09, 2006


Here's my first FO of 2006

Yarn: OnLine Caribic sent to me by Sibylle
Pattern: My own generic, top-down, 64-stitch sock pattern
Needles: Plymouth 2.25mm bamboo double-points

They're nearly identical . . . off by only a couple of stitches actually.

I can live with that.

Anne Shawls

I received quite a few wonderful suggestions for shawl patterns that could be made from one skein of Anne sock yarn. Margene and Chris were also interested in your suggestions so here they are:

Julia suggested Caryl's Kerchief, which can now be purchased without the yarn from Foxy Knits. I made one of these last year but ran out of yarn way before I was finished. Anyone else have that problem?

Kate suggested Judy Pascale's Shapley Shawlette pattern. I don't have this pattern but wonder how similar it is to Evelyn Clark's Versatile Scarves pattern and the Caryl's Kerchief pattern. I've knit both of those and they both use slightly unusual shaping to create elongated ties so the shawl stays on better. Kate thought Judy's pattern was different. Has anyone made a Shapley Shawlette??

Betsy suggested a Spiral Nebula shawl from Heartstings. Marie linked to this Candle Flame shawl pattern. Hmmm . . . two more possibilities.

Cassie suggested Sivia Harding's Diamond Fantasy shawl. And Carole (who just bought a new wheel . . . you go, grrl!) suggested the Flower Basket Shawl.

She who needs no link covered all the bases and suggested Leaf Lace, Diamond Fantasy, and Flower Basket. Stephanie made her Diamond Fantasy shawl out of one skein of Fleece Artist sock yarn. Come to think of it, I just might have a skein of that Fleece Artist stashed somewhere.

Who's linking here?

Friday, January 06, 2006


Kim promised to keep an eye on my stashbusting. Here's what I plan to knit this weekend, Kim:

And several people left comments or sent me emails about using Anne sock yarn for a shawl. Each skein has 560 yards of yarn. So it would be more than enough to complete the small Old Shale shawl I blogged about on January 1st. At least that what I planned to knit from mine. But I was also planning to add an additional pattern repeat on each side of the shawl. I should still have enough. Anyone else know of a small shawl pattern that uses about 550 yards of yarn?

Who's linking here?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A is For . . .

Anne, for organizing the 2006 ABC-along.

Great idea or what.

I've tentatively decided to try and tie the ABC-Along together with Kim's Stash-along. Every other week I'll try and find a yarn, needle, or pattern in my stash that begins with the appropriate letter.

For my first ABC-along post, I present . . .

my stash of Anne sock yarn.

I've only knit up one skein of it so far and I've gifted the socks so I can't show them to you. But it was wonderful yarn to knit with. It's a merino/mohair/nylon blend but the mohair is smooth, not fuzzy. I've heard that it's wonderful for shawls, too, and I've got the white/yellow/blue skein earmarked for another Feather and Fan triangle shawl.

When I got the skeins out to photograph them, I realized how predictable I am when it comes to choosing colors.

Two nearly identical "one-of-a-kind" skeins, purchased at two completely different times in two completely different states.
What were the odds of that.

Who's linking here?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Say It Ain't So

After taking stock of my stash over the holidays, I reluctantly decided to join Kim's stash-a-long.

Kim has posted the "rules" here.

I shouldn't have any trouble knitting from my stash for the next three months. Lord knows I could probably supply a small army with yarn. In fact, I organized some UFOs today and nearly finished a pair of socks that have been sitting around for a couple of months. And, I have several other stash projects in mind, including a project using the uber-fantastic skein of Kauni yarn that Tine sent me for Christmas. Rather, it's the not-buying-yarn-for-three-months part that's worked me up into a cold sweat. I sure hope it's OK to buy books and needles 'cause I just might have done that yesterday.

I'm just sayin'.

Who's linking here?

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Last FO of 2005

I blocked the last of my 2005 projects last night:

Pattern: Old Shale Shawl, by Evelyn Clark
Pattern Source: Jan/Feb 2005 Piecework
Yarn: Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud; gifted to me by Rebecca

As I blocked this, it got me thinking about how many things I've knit in 2005. So, I pulled up my Flickr account and went through the photos I uploaded last year. At last count, I had photos of about 75 items. They're all listed on my sidebar under "2005 FOs." That list doesn't include a couple of things I never blogged about and/or took photos of; like two hats I knit for a pattern that will be published in MagKnits at the end of January, 6 scarves I knit as gifts for my cousins in Italy, the two Grinda scarves that I gave away before I could photo, the mobieus wrap I made for my MIL, the numerous single socks that I knit for one purpose or another, and this Rick Rack purse that will be featured in an upcoming Knit Picks catalogue:

By my count, that puts me over 80 projects knit in 2005.

Phew . . . I'm off to rest a bit.

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Running commentary on my unending quest to knit up my stash.