YO! ZMK Knits!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Okay, so I did it (again)

I signed up for another two-month pledge at Wardrobe Refashion.

I waffled over this one. One, the new job could mean new clothes -- not that I need new clothes, but it's a good excuse. Not to mention there's a lot of stores near my new job that are less traveled by me. The good news is that two of them are Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, two VERY expensive stores. In other good news, I haven't been excited by most of what I've seen at any clothing stores lately, so fuck 'em.

I have bad clothes-buying habits that I need to break. One, I like to shop off the clearance racks. I've found some great bargains off these racks, but it's not really a bargain if you have nothing to wear with it. Two, I like to buy in quantity -- one in every color, if you will. Why? I don't know either. I do that with many things -- books, cds, yarn, etc. I buy beyond what I need.

I have lots of mis-matched stuff at home. Unfortunately, this goes for yarn and fabric too. I need to get to work at streamlining my wardrobe to be MINE, not the clearance rack at Marshall's, not Ann Taylor's, not anyone else's. Just what I want, and how I want it. That's why I took the pledge (again). I once read it takes 30 days to form a habit, and I have to admit that I have broken the habit of going into clothing stores on my lunch break. I've bought more books than normal, though, but guess what else will be near my new place of employment? The BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY. So there!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Knitting Pattern-A-Day Review

I don't know what week it is, and am too lazy to go through my archives to find out.

Monday, July 24 and Tuesday, July 25 -- Marika. Two versions of a lovely sweater. It appears they are made basically the same up to the armholes, and then you can do one or the other. Even though it appears to be different yarns, I guess it is the same. As you can probably guess by my writing, I'm not particularly moved by this -- I don't know why, as they are lovely.

Wedneday, July 26 -- Party Necktie. I don't know if ZMrK would wear a knit necktie. He only wears thin, vintage neckties (when he does). If he would wear a vintage necktie, I'd probably make him one of these.

Thursday, July 27 and Friday, July 28 -- One-Piece Bathing Suit. I had to turn the calendar around on these days. I hate to admit this. It must show my stuffiness or something. I don't think there is anything wrong with a knit bathing suit, but in the photo the model looks really uncomfortable. I think she was reluctant to have her photo taken, and the angle is terribly unflattering. I really hate saying stuff like this; I'm not dissing the design or the model, really, but I am dissing the photo. It gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Saturday/Sunday, July 29 and 30 -- Bluebird Ornament. I'll probably hang on to this pattern because it's cute little bird ornaments, and I love birds! These look simple to make, and I could probably make birds of other colors with it.

That's it for the review! On to other stuff. . .

So, I've mentioned my sleep apnea before, and the sleep studies I took part in. Last Friday, I got my CPAP machine, which uses air pressure to keep my air passage open so I don't stop breathing in my sleep. I used that for a week, but think I need a new mask. To put it bluntly, my nose is fucked. It started off looking like a breakout, but became more blister-like and constantly red. It's way swollen too. I have a natural bump on my nose, but that bump is swollen to look like my nose is busted, and my dark circles are a little more pronounced now, and it looks like someone was beating on me. It's hideous. I don't know what it is, but I can just guess that I'm having an allergic reaction to the rubber in the mask. I slept without the mask last night and my nose looks a little better (even though it's still swollen). I'll try to go the weekend without it, and see on Monday what my options are for a different mask. Maybe I can try one that just goes into my nostrils, and I can try to keep my mouth shut when I sleep. Either way, I don't think I've gotten a good night's sleep all week.

Also, I gave my notice at work on Wednesday. My boss took it a lot worse than I thought he would, and I feel really guilty. I think it really is time for me to move on, though, but I did have a flurry of emotions this week (which weren't helped by my PMS -- Post and Present!). I don't really want to get into it too much, because I don't know who reads my blog and there were a few things I was asked to keep confidential. I know: loyal to the end. I don't know how much loyalty I feel to the firm itself, but I feel loyal to my boss because I do like him, and he's one of the reasons I have stayed on board as long as I have. I honestly don't feel really secure about the future of our office, though, no matter what anyone says. And that's all I'll say on the matter.

We had houseguests this week: ZMrK's brother, his girlfriend, and her daughter were all visiting from Istanbul, Turkey. They only stayed Tuesday - Friday, and were headed to visited ZMrK's mom in North Carolina. It was nice to have people about, but we're not used to it and really, don't have much space for it. Well, we have the space but too much stuff. No, we don't have the space. Stuff is good. Right? It was a good excuse to go to the Cheesecake Factory and eat like pigs, even though I don't think I've recovered fully and have been eating like a pig since. It's been a slightly stressful week, and I'm a stress-eater.

Due to the stress and busy-ness of the week, I don't have lots of knitting news. I've barely budged on the front part of my camisole. I've taken one crochet class at Spark, and the second one got canceled and I can't take the make-up until September (even though they did put me down for an "open studio" in the beginning of August on them). By the time I take my second class, I may have taught myself, but something tells me I'll still be working on my camisole. I may try to make something for my hairdresser, who is having a baby in September. The next time I see her is August 10, which doesn't give me a ton of time, but maybe I can crank out some of those frog-feet booties and a hat by then. Think I can??

Meanwhile, it's hot-hot-hot. I love it. We hit some yard sales this morning, and did a little bit of nature-walking. I nearly stepped on a garter snake at the Charles River Watershed Reservation. I was walking along the grass and it was right beneath my feet, headed towards the bushes. I yelled "garter snake!" and half-heartedly made a grab for it, but I knew I couldn't catch it and also was reluctant to because (a) it was big enough to give me a good bite and (b) I didn't want to get musked because that stuff smells way worse than poo-poo. I've never been bitten by a snake but I've gotten musk on me. Yuck! ZMrK says the bites don't really hurt, but I tend to shy away from being bitten by anything, except maybe Miss Solvie, who bites me often.

We also saw a bunch of geese and ducks. There were some adorable ducklings and wood ducks. Of course they all came up to us, thinking we had food for them, but we didn't. Well, we had some worms we were throwing in the water for fish/turtles, and one of the ducklings ate some worms. I didn't know they did that either, but the animal protein is probably good for them. A large fish tried to take a worm away from one of them, which was pretty funny.

Tomorrow, I think we will get up early and go to Walden Pond!

xoxo. . . Zanti

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Windin' n' Swatchin'

Yeah, I was gonna make up a little rap in the vein of the Beastie Boys' "Rhymin' and Stealin'", but you know something? I cannot rap fo' shit and I won't subject my readers to such nonsense.

But I will tell you what I did today!

I finally used my swift:

As you probably recall, I purchased it from Patternworks about a month ago. I can't believe I held out on using it as long as I did. Even more amazing is that I have waited so long to do anything with this yarn:

I'm sure somebody reading this blog is turning green with envy. I bought this yarn last July, and am just using it now. That's how bad my sickness is -- I have so much yarn that I forget I have some of it! July! Geez! (In my defense, I didn't receive said yarn until last September, because the original shipment got lost in the mail from Uruguay, and a replacement order had to be re-shipped.)

I not only wound the yarn, but I swatched it:

Gorgeous, isn't she? Wanna know where she came from? Do I dare divulge my eBay supplier of soft-as-a-kitten handpainted merino wool? No, it's not Malabrigo, or at least it's not labeled as such. It feels just like Malabrigo, though, and is from the same country, but seems to be slightly thinner or less lofty than Malabrigo.

I got this yarn from Handpainted Wool. With the shipping costs, it's about as much as Malabrigo is at the LYSs around here ($12/skein). It feels really soft next to my skin, and I think I'd really like to wear it. Shit, I'd like to EAT this stuff with a spoon like a cream puff.

I'm hoping to make Tempting II from Knitty with this. However, as always happens with me because I so often don't use the recommend yarn, there is a problem. I did the math, and am about 56 yards short with this yarn (my gauge came out fine, at least in the width. The length is off, but the sweater is measured by inches and not rows). I'm trying to figure out what to do. Should I buy another skein of the hot pink and black Handpainted Wool, and hope that the different dye lot isn't obvious? Should I buy a skein of plain black Handpainted Wool yarn (they've got it), doing the bodice in the variegated yarn and the neckline in plain black? Should I see if something from my stash would make a good sub (I was thinking my Debbie Bliss cotton angora could work, if I make gauge with it) and do the neckline with that? Should I just find something else to make with this yarn? But I really want a pink-a-black variegated Tempting II sweater!!!! WAAAAAAHHHH!!!!

Give me your thoughts, knitters!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

New Post in a While!

Dear Blog,

I've been neglecting you lately. I hope you forgive me.

See, there's been a lot going on a Chateau Zanti. My job search was taking up most of my time. I was going on interviews during lunch and after work, and researching potential employers to arm myself with questions. Interviews are historically difficult for me. I can be very quiet if I don't know a person. I come across as reserved, at best, and disinterested, at worst, in interviews. Time and time again this happened to me -- either I hated the place I was interviewing at, or their decision would be that my personality didn't "fit". One really twatty HR person kept rolling her eyes at me as I was talking -- am I really supposed to NOT be put off by that?

That all seems to have changed yesterday, for yesterday I had the Best Interview Ever. I was on my game -- I researched the firm, and researched the practices of the two attorneys I would be working for. I felt good, in spite of the massive cramps that threatened to bowl me over. (Oddly enough, they aren't around today, so perhaps I was nerves after all.) My interview went on for TWO HOURS, and when I got home, I got an offer! Which of course I accepted!

A few things will change. I'll have a longer commute that won't allow me to walk to work, but the MBTA stop is connected to the mall that my new building is connected to. That means that in crappy weather, once I'm on the T, I'm on. Because I get on the first stop, I should have a seat and should have plenty of time to get up on my (much neglected) reading, and possibly some knitting (although I find knitting on the T to be awkward, unless I have a single seat). I'll be working close to the Boston Public Library, which means I will be reading LOTS. I'll also have a Saks Fifth Avenue practically in the same building as my work, as well as a Sephora. Damn good thing I'll be making more money. There also will be a different LYS near my work (but Windsor Button won't be too far).

Unfortunately, I won't be able to go to the South Station SnB anymore.

My new place has to run background checks before everything is finalized, so I won't be giving my notice until mid-week, which will get me out of my current firm around the 9th or so.

On to crafting, though, shall we???

Today I finally finished the back of my Vintage Knits Lace Camisole.

I don't know why it's backwards; I did flip the picture you know. Just tilt your head to the side and look at it, k?

I cast on for this on July 5. It took me 2.5 weeks to knit 12 inches on size 2 (ribbing) and size 3 (pattern) needles. I just cast on for the front and have knit 3 rows of ribbing on the size 2s. I may have to start something on larger (size 8 or so) needles just to have something to switch off to, but I'm afraid that this will end up unfinished for a while. The pattern is easy to remember, so it is a good knit while watching TV. I can also carry on a conversation while knitting it. I may as well carry on, especially since I have been taking crochet lessons at Spark Craft studios in Somerville. I've only taken one of two classes, and the teacher is a great woman named Kristen. I'm the only person taking the class, so it is a great one-on-one instruction and we get to chat while I learn. Spark is a great place, and they always have cookies.

I've also been doing tons of T-shirt recons lately. Okay, I did three. And I have one in progress, which I really should finish. And I intend to do a couple more. That counts as tons, right???

Here's some photographic proof:

Can I please say something right off the bat: It looks as though I have a HUGE stomach here, and I don't know why!!!! I'm not pregnant, nor have I developed a taste for Budweiser. I was wearing my bathing suit under this outfit, and the skirt (which is a drawstring) was hanging down a little low, and maybe I was standing swaybacked or something. I should have taken a sideview so everyone could see that I haven't let myself go to pot (so to speak). All obsessing aside, I should talk about the shirt: the Hate Bombs were one of my favorite bands for a while. They existed in Orlando, FL from about 1992-93 until 2001, but they still have shows once in a while in Florida. They are also friends of mine. I have had this shirt since about 1997, and not to be gross, but it was a little sweat stained. When I was looking through the Generation T book, one of the halter-type recons seemed like a good idea for this shirt. It's a little loose, but perfect for a bathing suit coverup, as long as my gut doesn't show.

My next two are "Youth, Size L" t-shirts I picked up at yard sales recently:



I like the starkness of just the Mickey head silhouette. When I was in high school, I had a classic grey Mickey Mouse ringer T, with him standing with his hands behind his back, one foot seeming in mid-tap. I reconned that one to give him a mohawk, leather jacket and combat boots. I used sharpies. This was around 1984, and I wish like hell I had pictures of that shirt. What a genius obnoxious little punk rock girl I was.

This isn't directly lifted from Generation T, but I took ideas from different projects in the book. I had ZantiMisterKnit mark a spot on the back of the shirt right above where my bra hits, so I would know where to end the "V" on the back. I cut down the sleeves to make it a bit fluttery and took a tiny bit off the bottom.

This one may be my favorite:

I really liked the image of the cheerleader jumping, and when trying to figure out what I can do with this, I spied the t-shirt with ties in Generation T. I made the ties from the bottom of another t-shirt -- a red one, obviously.

The quality of these pictures kind of sucks, but I didn't feel like modeling them and having ZMrK take the pics. I don't know why as he's always happy to do it. Maybe I'll have him take pics the next time I wear these t-shirts. I wore this one to Puffy AmiYumi, by the way.

I took the picture from the side so everyone could see that the team is the Bridgewater Badgers. Bridgewater is in southeastern Massachusetts.

I know I have fans of the reviews, so heere's the Week 28 AND Week 29 (I told you I've been busy!) Review of the Knitting Pattern-a-Day Calendar patterns.

Monday, July 10 -- Necktie Scarf. This doesn't move me much. I think it's the yarn used; it looks like it's knit with hairballs. I think I'll pass.

Tuesday, July 11 -- Stuff Tank Top. Not bad; nice colors. The yarn looks like novelty yarn, which I am not 100% opposed to. I'm not certain I would wear it, however.

Wednesday, July 12 and Thursday, July 13 -- Lacy Vest. I'm generally not that big of a vest person, but the close up of the pattern on this may have changed that. The detail is SO gorgeous! I'm not sure how I can work a vest into my wardrobe, but I think I may look into this. It only takes 4 100g balls of worsted weight yarn, as well!

Friday, July 14 -- Miniature Pullover. This is really cute -- it's exactly what you would think! If I had tiny amounts of baby yarn I may try this.

Saturday and Sunday, July 15 & 16 -- Asymmetrical Turkish Stitch Poncho. Um, hmmm. You all know how I feel about ponchos. The Turkish stitch is interesting, though.

Monday, July 17 -- Blues 'n Greens Teen Top #1. I think this is pretty cute. Luckily for me, it can be made in my size (even though I'd probably make it a little longer). I'm working to be the world's oldest teenager.

Tuesday, July 18 -- Bump City Bag. A bag made with "bumpy" cotton, the purl side has a bumpy texture and the knit side is smoother. Pretty cute, and would make a nice little spring/summer bag.

Wednesday, July 19 -- Extended Twin Rib Dishcloth. Nice pattern that I'll have to try sometime. I could use another dishcloth, as I love the one I made last year.

Thursday, July 20 -- Maria's Cardigan. I don't know if it is the color (hot pink!) or the lacy texture of this, but this may be one of my favorites this year. The yarn used is 70% silk, 30% wool, which doesn't hurt. I've been thinking about meshy cardigans and this just might fit the bill. Maybe I'm just getting lace crazy?

Friday, July 21 -- Panorama Socks. I think it goes without saying that I like these. I'm afraid to make something in a size called "Ladies' Average", because that means it'll be too big for me. I'll have to size them down for my own little feet.

Saturday and Sunday, July 22 and 23 -- Fresh Tank Top. I'll definitely keep this one around, as tank top patterns are good to have. I'm a layering type of gal, so I like to wear tank tops with cardigans, under suits, etc.

I'm hoping to be a better blogger from now on, so please keep on loving me, dearest blog!

xoxo. . . Zanti

Friday, July 14, 2006


You Belong in London

A little old fashioned, and a little modern.
A little traditional, and a little bit punk rock.
A unique woman like you needs a city that offers everything.
No wonder you and London will get along so well.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Knitting Pattern a Day Week 27 Review and PICTURE!!

I'm really glad that people enjoy my reviews. I don't know if anyone else reviews the pattern on this calendar, but I'd love to read their takes on it.

Monday, July 3 -- O Canada! Bag -- Well, I know that one of my readers will like this. ;-) I do think it is very cute; I've always loved the Canadian flag.

Tuesday, July 4 -- American Flag Decoration -- I wonder if anyone is planning to make this for next year's Independence Day? I didn't count the stars to see if there are 50; at first I thought they were embroidered but now I see they are beads. Good project for showing off one's patriotic spirit.

Wednesday, July 5 -- American Flag Dog Sweater -- This picture is really bloody funny; it's a Silky Terrier (I think) with an American flag sweater on. Yes, it is cute!

Thursday, July 6 and Friday, July 7 -- Sassy Summer Anklets -- Y'all know I'm a whore for sock patterns, and these are no exceptions. However, I tend to wear the thinnest socks possible in the summer (when I'm not wearing sandals), so I'd rather call these "Sassy Spring Anklets" or "Sassy Early Autumn Anklets". Silly me.

Saturday, July 8 and Sunday, July 9 -- Simple Elegance -- This is a pretty nice, snug-fitting tank top pattern. I don't know if there is enough summer left for me to make all the summer patterns I have accumulated. Maybe the calendars should have the winter patterns in the summer, and the summer patterns in the winter. What do you think?

That's it for this week's review! In the meantime, check this out:

This is the picture I couldn't post yesterday -- my progress on the lace camisole from Vintage Knits (that's it pictures on the cover). I've probably added another 1/2 inch to an inch to my knitting here. I put the yarn I'll use for the trip next to it so you can see the contrast.

Does anyone else have this book, and have you made anything from it? ZMrK gave it to me for Xmas 2004, just a few months after I started knitting, and I admit that I was intimidated by all the projects made with pricey yarn on small needles. I've since realized that (1) the yarn (mostly Rowan) isn't *that* pricey and (2) knitting on small needles isn't any different than knitting on large needles; it just takes longer. I'm hoping to have this camisole done by Labor Day. Why Labor Day? Just a random day I picked; it gives me two months to knit something sleeveless on small needles.

I made three t-shirt recons today. Two are based on patterns from the Generation T book I bought a month ago. I've got plans for more, but I needed to put some time into tomorrow's wardrobe (interview after work!!! 2nd interview!!! With attorneys!!!), post my review, shower, and eat dinner.

Oh yeah, we went to the Stone Zoo today. I've started a Flickr account, and hopefully will have time soon to put all my pics up for everyone to gawk at.

Ta ta for now,

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Finished Dress and On The Needles!

The Knitting Pattern-A-Day Week 27 (???) review will have to wait. The patterns are downstairs on the kitchen table and I'm way too lazy to go get them. Plus, there is no A/C up here, and when I go downstairs it will be to get some cold Diet Dr. Pepper out of the fridge (or a beer; I haven't decided yet), and go back into the air conditioned bedroom to knit. I'm sorry, NittinNeedles -- I know that is what you wait for.

But I have pictures today!!!!

Here's my latest creation -- a green cotton pique summer dress!

I got the fabric a couple of years ago at a local fabric shop for about $1.99/yard (I bought about 5 yards!). I used a McCall's pattern M4829 (view D) that I won on eBay some time ago.

This was my first time successfully making spaghetti straps! I bought a Dritz "Loop Turner" at JoAnn Fabrics, and even though it took a couple of tries (and shredded the easily-shredible fabric), I was able to make them. This was also my first time making pleats.

I also made bust gathers for the first time! They look cool, but can be a bit of a PITA. Please ignore how wonky the hem looks. My hems always suck.

I wore the dress on a nice summer day to go shopping in Portsmouth, NH, and managed to get ice cream on the front of the dress (it came out). This may end up my favorite dress of the summer, unless I can make a better one. (Of course, the room that the sewing machine is in is also very hot, and is the "guest bedroom" this summer when BIL, his girlfriend, and her daughter are here in a few weeks from Turkey. Maybe they'll bring yarn.)

And yes, I am holding hands with the Creature from the Black Lagoon. We match!!!

On the Needles:

I'm currently knitting the Lace Camisole, the cover project from Sarah Dallas' Vintage Knits in the yarn I got at the yard sale last week. Lest you forgot, the yarn in question is Rowan 4-ply cotton in discontinued color 104 "Bonny". I got seven skeins for $4. It's a nice, dark lavender. I needed a contrasting color for the trim at the top of the camisole, so I got one skein of the same yarn in color 139 "Provence" (a paler lavender), which I think will contrast nicely. Winsor Button has the yarn for $6.50 per 186-yard skein, so I really did get quite a bargain.

I starting knitting this Wednesday night (July 5) and did the ribbing on a 16-inch size 2 Addi that I got at the Yarn Market in Portsmouth, NH. After the ribbing, I switched to a pair of aluminum size 3s that I got from my stepdaughter KBH (she gave me a large bag of needles, mostly aluminum). The pattern is very easy to remember, and I've gotten about 3 inches into it.

I would show you a picture, but Blogger won't let me upload the pic. Assholes!!!

No yarn at the yard sales today, but I got two really cute vintage cotton shirts for $2 each (possibly 50s-60s; they are a size 16 but fit me very well so I am thinking early 60s at the latest, due to my knowledge of vintage sizes). I also got some old brown sharkskin looking fabric ($1), two vintage kids t-shirts that I hope to recon ($0.25 each) and a little measuring device for hemming skirts ($0.50, ZMrK bought that for me). We went into Woolcott & Co. in Harvard Square and fondled yarn but didn't buy anything.

We did see the Strangers with Candy movie, which has an exclusive engagement this week at the Harvard Square Loews Cinema. It was great; as twisted as the television show always was (and maybe slightly more). I think Amy Sedaris is hilarious; she makes me think I should take some Improv classes and do some small-time acting.

I am very happy to say that pre-movie we saw only previews and no commercials! I hate commercials at the movies. . .

I'm going back to the A/C and Diet Dr. Pepper now. Either later tonight or tomorrow I'll do the pattern-a-day review. Is anyone getting bored with that yet? I kind of am, but I figure I only have half the year to go . . .


Saturday, July 01, 2006

MEGABABE -- Japanese Chicks Rock!!!

I love Japanese punk rock, and Japanese all-girl punk rock, so it is no surprise that I just spent the past hour looking up Japanese all-girl punk rock bands on YouTube and found. . . MEGABABE! If you've got 10 minutes to spare, check this out -- and watch the bass player; she's amazing (and has some serious guns too!)


At a yard sale today in NH, I scored 11 skeins of Crystal Palace Cotton Flamme for $7 and 7 skeins of Rowan 4-ply cotton for $4!

The Cotton Flamme is a melon color and the 4-ply cotton is lavender.

What should I make???