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, 8. December 2007
I know when I read blogs about other knitters’ FOs, I am always looking to see how it actually fits on a real person. Sure, just the act of completion is a marvel in itself, but let’s be honest: We want to know how it looks on someone.
Finding buttons for this sweater took way longer than knitting it, and hence the delay in the photoshoot. I’m actually visiting a friend in Northern California this weekend, and she warned me that she was going to drag me Christmas shopping with her. I told her that I’ll bring my comfy shoes
“Okay, but you have to take pictures of my sweater while we are out and about today so I can post on my blog.”, said I. “And headless”. She thought it was funny, but obliged nonetheless.
Pattern: Demi, XS from Rowan Vintage Style
Materials: 14-16 (ha ha I forgot) balls of Pingouin Shetland et Lin, discontinued yarn (a Shetland / linen blend yarn), Sz 6, 7, 8 needles, and 4 wood 3/4″ buttons from Joann’s.
Notes: No modifications, just knit to pattern. Seaming was a pain in the ass, and I misread the left collar instruction and botched the ribbed (placket) section. I thought I was outsmarting the pattern by not binding off at the left shoulder section. It wasn’t until the seaming that I realized that the bind-off had a purpose. Duh. Oh, yea, and seaming was a pain in the ass. It is so painful that I have to repeat. Painful. There, thrice. But whatever, I can live with it.
And there you have it. I love the way it fits, the modified bobbles, the length, the color and the warmth. Trust me, this baby is warm. If I can shop outdoors the whole day without a coat, it is definitely a-ok in my book. And oh, I admit, I did check my reflection a few times today to marvel at my own work. Pfffftt….. Who wouldn’t?
Tuesday, 5. June 2007
Pattern: Thermal, Sz 34”
Materials: Henry’s Attic Kona Superwash Fingering Yarn (8 oz), Sz 1 for body and body ribbing, Sz 0 for sleeves and sleeve ribbing, Rit Dye Royal Blue and BlackNotes: This has been such a long knit that I don’t even know if I can recall any details. I started swatching for this project using the recommended needle sizes, but decided that the resulting fabric was too loosey-goosey for my liking. Using Sz 1’s, I managed to obtain row gauge and decided that I’ll just knit the 34” size to result in a tighter-fitting sweater. From the original pattern, it appeared that the sleeves were loose. What I wanted was a three-quarter length sweater that is fitted all over, so I decided to use Sz 0’s. In the end, it worked out marvelously and I have a new favorite sweater…. But not without some drama.
I panicked and thought that I would run out of yarn.Initially, I envisioned this to be a cream-colored sweater. I posted on KnittersReview to see if anyone had yarn to spare, and a kind knitter sent me 3 oz extra out of the kindness of her heart (Knitters are just cool like that). It was a different shade. I bought an extra skein of yarn, only to find that it is a smidge darker too. What I had was a sweater that had two shades of cream in it.So I dyed it. Charcoal Grey. And you know what? I love it.
P.S. Yes, I know. I am still missing two buttons. But who cares? I wore it to work today.
Thursday, 22. December 2005
Of the few sweaters that I’ve made up to this point, the only one that gets heavy rotation is Raspy. Now that it’s cold and nipply, a cotton sweater simply won’t do. I’ve always admired the Hourglass sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, and so the timing was just perfect. Pattern: Hourglass Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Materials: Baruffa Maratona (8 balls at 121yds/50g), sz 5 and sz 6 circular needles
Gauge: 20 sts and 26 rows to 4″ in sz 6 needles
Notes: The pattern called for Noro Cash Iroha at a gauge of 19 sts and 28 rows, therefore I had to alter the pattern to fit my gauge (that and I was trying to stash-bust). I basically measured a shirt that I wear ala Diana’s method, and knit to fit my own specifications. I decided to be a little adventurous and try the negative ease thing on this one, and made it with 1″ negative ease. Could have gotten away with -2 or even -3, but that’s for next time. Of course, having a long torso and long arms meant additional mods too. The body piece before sleeve attachment was 18″, and the sleeves were at 22″ a piece before joining them to the body. I followed the pattern guidelines roughly for the shaping ideas and also the yoke for the raglan shaping. For the hems on the lower body and the sleeves, I followed the no-sew-knitted-hem tutorial by Marnie. The less I have to sew, the better. Initially I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough yarn since so many other knitters have run into yarn-shortage problems at the knit-along, so I decided to add the brown trims for the sleeves just in case. Turns out I have nothing to worry about. I still have 2 complete balls of yarn left.
For your viewing pleasure, here’s a close up of my neckline and my sleeves…
In an unfortunate turn of events, BF won’t be able to spend this holiday season with me. Quite the bummer. Here’s why: Power-tripping U.S. Consulate Interviewers. He told BF that it’s only been 3 months since he moved to Canada and that he didn’t see any reason why BF should come to the States. Hello?!? Friends? Family? Lonely girlfriend? It’s Christmas? That gentleman surely ruined my Christmas. I hope his Christmas sucks ass too. There I said it.