Friday, 21. May 2010
Back in late 2009 during the coordination for my impending move to Boise, I had a conversation with the office administration lady in regards to what I should expect.
“Make sure you do all your winter shopping. You’ll need warm gear for Boise.”, said the lady.
“How cold does it get over there?”, I asked.
“In the winter, it’s about 20 degrees Fahrenheit.”
Having lived in Southern California for the last 10 years, my immediate response before I could filter my thoughts was:
“Holy cow. How do you people live?”
The day that my flight landed, it snowed. This was the first week in November. It was a bad omen. The next couple of weeks, it was full on winter – with temperature never breaking 20. I thought to myself: “They lied to me.”
It was then that I realized that I was going to need a much warmer sweater than all the sweaters in my arsenal. Knitting was no longer a hobby – it had become a necessity. I got crankin’.
This is my Turkey Waddle Sweater. I completed it on my Thanksgiving trip out to Detroit to see my best friend and his family, and was able to snap a few pictures by his parents’ lake house. If you look carefully, I am wearing 3 layers of clothing in this picture. Photo-snapping session lasted about 5 minutes before I dashed into the house for my down jacket. This ex-Californian is thin blooded. We don’t do cold – no we don’t.
Materials: Less than 7 balls of Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Chunky, in Lobster (I think), Sz 10.5 needles for body and Sz 10 needles for the ribbing and sleeves.
Notes: Sweater was knit bottom up, with 3-needle shoulder bind off, and then the sleeves were knit top-down ala Barbara Walker style. There was no waist-shaping, and the only mod that I made was to start the ribbing from the elbow down.
Braced with the warmest sweater I’ve ever had, I thought I was ready to go back to Boise and conquer the cold. I spent an entire weekend inside the confines of my new apartment and watched the snow outside. By spying on my neighbors, I even figured out how to use that weird looking contraption that they call a windshield ice scraper. Totally saved me an embarrassing experience of asking strangers how to use the damn thing.
Monday morning. Four layers of clothing. Two layers of socks. Arm warmer. Cashmere fingerless gloves underneath a pair of fur lined leather gloves. Stepped outside the door, and checked the temperature on my iPhone and it said “4 deg Fahrenheit”. Stepped back inside the apartment.
“Please route all my work calls to my cellphone. I’m working from home today. I ain’t driving in 4 degree weather.”
They lied. They told me it was 20 degrees.
It didn’t help that every Friday afternoon, one of my office mates would come in and tell me that it would be snowing in the weekend, and that it’d be really fun to go up to the mountains. He conveyed his weekly weather reports with such fervor and gusto – even after I had mentioned that nature and I don’t really get along.
To this day I still can’t figure out whether or not he was trying to interest me in outdoor snow activities or scare the shit out of me.
Monday, 22. December 2008
The second half of 2008 has been very frustrating and depressing for me, professionally. It is one of those times when you’re given a mountain of lemons, and asked to make lemonade. In my case, I was given rotten lemons and um, let’s say, a manual lemon juicer. Given the state of the economy and the rounds of layoffs that I’ve survived, I should be thankful. Yada yada yada.. but in truth, I wake up almost everyday wanting to scream at unnamed individuals and tell them to shove the work to where the sun don’t shine. So here’s to hoping that the next year will be an improvement on the last, and that next year’s end-of-year post will end on a much brighter note.
This little gem was completed in November, made up from a skein of red cashmere that was gifted to me by Joy before she moved to Hawaii, and 3 skeins of leftover Rowanspun 4-ply in the colorway Squirrel. The top-down yoke sweater is inspired by MissLemon’s stripey version, and all it took was just a simple gauge swatch, some head measurements to make sure the sweater will fit through my noggin’, and try-as-I-knit top-down fun.
The edgings for the roll neck, sleeve and the bottom bands were finished off with an applied icord, a la Purl Bee’s tutorial. I played around with jogless stripes and centered the beginning of each round at the center on the back of the sweater (traveling down the spine). It’s not completely inconspicuous, but it’ll do for now.
The result is a feathery-light garment that I’ve dubbed : Candy Cane. If you’d like to knit one for yourself, please drop me a comment and I’ll go dig up my pattern notes. Of course, it’ll only be in the size that I knit, which is 36″ around for 2″ positive ease. (editted to add additional pictures)
Pattern: Garter Sideways Hat from Drops, Sz 58 cm
Materials: Noro Sock Yarn (Colorway S164), 0.5 skein, Sz 3 needles
There isn’t a thing that I don’t love about this hat. The garter stitch, the slouch, the colorway, and the simplicity of the pattern. You should all knit yourselves some. Trust.
Saturday, 15. November 2008
Last month, during a phone conversation with my mom, she finally asked me when I was ever going to knit her a sweater. I thought about it long and hard, and finally narrowed it down to two patterns: Toledo from Rowan 37, and also Ilga Leja’s Fluid Linen. I emailed her images of both patterns, and even before she responded, I cast on for Toledo. 12 inches into the pattern, she called back to tell me that she liked Fluid Linen. Oops. How presumptuous of me.
Nevertheless, yarn had been bought, and I was not about to let it go to waste. I ended up ripping out most of the sweater and modified it to suit my measurements. Realistically, this tank only took me a week to knit.
The tank wasn’t fully complete without its accent ribbons. And since I didn’t have the Rowan Linen Print called for in the pattern, it took a while before I settled on Berroco Suede and finally called it a FO.
Pattern: Toledo, Rowan 37, Sz L hips modified to Sz XS for the rest of the bodice
Materials: Sz 6 and 8 needles, 5.5 balls of Rowan All Seasons Cottons (Shade 192) and 0.5 balls of Berroco Suede (Shade 3764)
Notes: All Seasons Cotton is a lovely yarn. Quite unlike the ropey feel that I have come to expect of cottons, it is springy, smooth and quite spongy. A delight to wear and also to knit with, very much to my surprise. I used 12 strands of the Suede yarn per plait, in lieu of the Linen Print. I think this blue/gray combo turned out quite nicely. In all honesty, I have always liked this pattern and wondered why I never see more of them on the web. In hindsight, I think it would fare better for a DK-weight yarn instead of an aran weight cotton, to minimize potential chunkiness. But all in all, a great pattern.
Now that this one’s out of the way, I better get cracking on that Ilga Leja Pattern.
Wednesday, 1. October 2008
You know those times when you’ve finished your knitting and because of the lack of a decent camera you never got to post the FOs? Well that’s the case with my knitting these days. And then you put off posting the pictures because you think someday you’ll take better pictures and write a post about them? I’m sure you’ve all been there. (Ha ha.. October 4th update: Situation amended)
My sister called me up in mid-September and said that the weather conditions in Toronto already required winter coats. And then she requested for a scarf.
“Sure, of course. Let me email you some patterns so you can pick which designs you like. What color are you thinking of?” (imagination goes wild with heavily cabled patterns in reds, pinks, and other jewel tones)
“Oh, black, brown, or dark gray.”
“Seriously? But if your clothes are already in that color scheme, don’t you want your scarf to have some color to punch up your outfit?” (I mean, seriously, knitting with black yarn ain’t fun)
“Yea… but if the scarf is black then it’ll go with everything I own..”
“Well, I’ve got really really dark purple. Like, grape. It’s almost black. How about cream white? Can we settle for cream white?” (hello? color? hello?)
And then, before she told me which scarf designs she liked, I went ahead and knit her the Circles Scarf from “Knitting New Scarves”.
Then I sent her the link to Lynn Barr’s “Knitting New Scarves” and she liked it.
“I really like the Gathered Scarf too” (and also the Boteh scarf, but I don’t crochet, so that automatically disqualifies)
“Oh really? Then you’ll get that one as well. Color choice?” (thinking now that I’ve shown her that cream and gray looks well together as a neutral color combo, she may want to be adventurous with her second color choice)
Well, I guess in the end, she wants what she wants.
Sunday, 24. August 2008
To say that this has been the worst summer for me would not be an understatement. There was very little knitting involved, and I’ve lost the ability to enjoy alot of the things that I normally look forward to in the summer : beach, knitting, concerts, and a nice summer tan.
This week is the first week that I’ve picked up my knitting needles and finished one of my lingering UFOs.
Pattern: Cherry Cardigan, 32-34″ by Anna Bell
Materials: Elizabeth Lavold Hempathy, 4.5 balls, Sz 3 and 6 needles
Notes: Hempathy is soft and not very splitty, and I love the fact that it is machine-washable. I had initially started this cardigan way back when in May 2008, but didn’t get to finish it until this week. The only adjustment that I made was to cast on in Sz 34 for the hips, but gradually decreased to Sz 32 for the waist and followed directions for the rest of Sz 32. It is a wonderfully written pattern, and I can see this being a go-to cardigan for the summer (or what’s left of it).
Would love to stay and write some more.. but I have to ski-daddle now to the Radiohead Concert. Parking spots are supposedly hard to find!