YO! ZMK Knits!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lace on a Train (June/July 2011)

Mmmmmmmmalabrigo lace.

After frogging my ill-fated Featherweight Cardigan (yeah, I frogged it after being fairly close to done with it. I wasn't digging the two colors and I had messed up something somewhere while knitting it that I don't even remember now but let's not talk about that, okay?), I had three wound balls of Malabrigo lace weight, two in the Forest (I think) colorway and one in the Lettuce (I'm certain) colorway.


I wanted to try to get some lace knitting mojo going (especially after frogging my Swallowtail Shawl), and remembered that an old issue of Interweave Knits had included a little booklet on scarf knitting. This booklet had three scarf patterns by Ann Budd, called A Scarf of Your Very Own. I chose the leaf pattern scarf to work on, thinking it would be a nice, lightweight project for the hot summer months.


It ended up being such an easy knit that I knit most of it either on my train commute, or in a car on the way to and from nature walks (don't worry, I was not the driver).

I also realized that the only photo I have of it on Flickr is the close-up above, taken while stuck in traffic on the home from of Rhinebeck. I have a couple of other photos on my project page, but those appear to have been taken with my cell phone and emailed to myself, unless...

Ah, I see. I have all of the photos I send directly to Flickr from my phone tagged with "Phone", so I was just able to find a crappy phone shot of it while it was a WIP:


It's good that I did that, because otherwise I wouldn't know that I had photos like this one:

Multimedia message

Someone was doing a promotion in Boston, and had these big daisy windmills installed outside the building I work in (which is in the background).

I also discovered I had taken a photo of Lizzie Borden's pets' gravestone:

Multimedia message

as well as the Deathwish Piano Movers truck:


Isn't it fun strolling through my flickr photostream with me? I should do a blogpost simply by going through random pages and picking the first photo that jumps out at me. Of course, if one of said photos turns out to be a snake, I could get someone bitching and moaning about how it needs a trigger warning or some such shit. Ah, well, fuck 'em. SCREW YOU GUYS I DO WHAT A WANT!

I think I may have had too much tea already today.


Thelonius Monster Socks (May/July 2011)

Since I've been such crap about taking photos of Sheep and Wool Fests I attended this year and the items purchased therein, I figured I would show a finished project from yarn actually purchased at a Sheep and Wool Fest this year:

The Thelonius Monster Socks.

Thelonius Socks

Yes, I finished these one weekend morning in the summer and modeled them while the cats were eating. Yes, those are bloomers I'm wearing; Mike bought me a pair a few years ago for me to wear as summer PJs. I have a sleeveless cotton shirt that I wear with them (that I have a hard time believing was sold as a shirt, since it is lightweight, white, and quite diaphanous, but that's Ann Taylor Loft for you. I'm still confused by shirts that you need to buy more shirts to wear under them - very clever marketing - and even more confused by the concept of layers and summer clothes).

Thelonius Socks

Thelonius Socks

In my blog break, I didn't lose the art of the tangent, did I? HEY GUYS DID YA MISS ME AND MAH RAMBLING WAYS????

I didn't even mention Gibson's quizzical look at my feet while Luciano goes on eating.

I got even better pictures of these on the way home from Rhinebeck this year:



I left little footmarks in the dust on the inside of Mike's windshield and, as of yesterday, it's still there. Should I be telling you that? Our car, it is filthy.

Oh, fuck, in my rambling and time-traveling ways I forgot to mention the yarn! THE YARN! It's Jennifer's Flock Sock from Holiday Yarns, in the colorway "Fiji". I purchased it at the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival in May of this year, and, as you can see, I cast on with it fairly quickly. I really love this yarn, and had used it before for my Bacon and Lattice (Hold the Tomato) Socks.

The pattern is Thelonius Sock by Cookie A. I'm torn between thinking her patterns are absolutely brilliant and fun to knit, and thinking they are overly complicated and crazy-making. It really depends upon the day and how frustrated I am becoming with flipping pages back and forth and going to Chart A, B, C or D. No disrespect intended, of course, but I usually need to knit something completely mindless after I finish one of her patterns. I feel the same way about Tsock Tsarina - her patterns are AMAZING and clever, but holy shit! They take up so many brain cells to knit. Both are great for winter knitting (or sick day knitting) when I can sit at home in my PJs and put something mindless on TV like a Beverly Hills, 90210 rerun or a zombie movie I've seen a million times already. They aren't good for knitting on a car, train, or while watching subtitled movies (although the plain stockinette foot part of a current WIP of mine, Oktoberfest, is fine for such knitting).

I'm going to leave this post with a sense of pride that I have made it through half of my 2011 FOs and don't have much further to go! I just have a few that I never even photographed (and one that I don't even remember what the pattern or yarn was - yeah, I gotta go check that out).


Go with the Flow/Jewel Socks (April/May 2011)

I needed a project.

We were about to embark on a busy weekend -- going to New Jersey and back in ONE DAY and setting up at the Boston ComicCon for two days -- and I needed something to cast on NOW that is complicated enough to be interesting, yet simple enough that I can knit in the car/train/while sitting at a table at ComicCon.

This is the yarn I chose.


It's Fleece Artist Merino 2/6. I know I got it as part of a secret pal/swap, and, like a bad person, I have forgotten who gave it to me and when. I've always loved the colors.

Now all I needed was a pattern.

I have many sock books and patterns. MANY. One problem with the many that I have, though, is that they are super awesome for subtle shaded colors and solid colors, but not for highly variegated colors.

To the rescue - The Go with the Flow socks from Favorite Socks. Even though they are featured in the book in a solid color (and look gorgeous in solid colors), I really like how the pattern broke up the colors and gave me jewels for my feet:



I thought the yarn, in the skein, looked vivid and crazy, but when I knit it up, the colors went together so well. I certainly wouldn't call it subtle, but it's much less crazy than I thought it would be.


Falling Waters Lace Scarf (March/April 2011)

A new yarn shop opened near me in March! JP Knit and Stitch is a knitting and sewing shop, offering not just products but classes, work spaces, and sewing machines for in-shop use.

I stopped in there a couple of weeks after it opened and purchased some -- what else? -- cashmere.


It's fingering weight cashmere by Bashful Yarns. I figured it was the perfect match for Falling Water, a pattern I had printed in 2006 and thought then it was SO FAR AHEAD of my skills set. It was, then. Now, not so much.



This was such a beautiful -- and fast! -- knit. It took me under a month to knit this. It's not a huge scarf -- I forget what my finished measurements are, and if I were to try to measure it now I would need to block it again. It's perfect for Spring. I should try to track now more of that colorway and make matching mitts for it; if I remember correctly, the yarn wasn't terribly expensive ($28 for 400 yards of cashmere).

I recommend both the yarn and the pattern.


Preppy Handbook Socks (February/March 2011)

This yarn was a stash rediscovery.

I don't remember when I purchased it, but I know it was from Mind's Eye Yarns in Cambridge. The colorway is "Bleeding Hearts" and I loved the pink and green 80s preppiness of it.



I had gotten the Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders for Christmas and decided to make some socks from that. I chose the Eyelet & Feather socks.

Thus, the Preppy Handbook Socks were born:




These were a fun knit, and the yarn was a near-perfect antidote to a crappy winter. Every stitch brought me a stitch closer to Spring, or at least that's what I pretend now that I told myself. It was probably more likely I was stuck inside, grumbling about the weather while watching zombie movies, knitting these socks in yarn that I loved, drinking tea. I think I may have had a couple of sick days while I was making these; I was so sick that the doctors tested me for mono. The tests came back negative. Ah, the things we remember when we look back at our old knits!


Duck Weed Hat (January 2011)

I wanted to make Mike a hat.

I wanted to make Mike a hat, but didn't want to make the same old same old ribbed, worsted weight hat that I have made so many of.

I also wanted to use up some stash that I have had for a long time.

I had this Interlacements Toasty Toes, that I had purchased around December 2006, lingering in my stash.


I had originally purchased it to make socks for Mike. After looking at it in my stash, I thought it might make a nice winter hat. I went looking around on Ravelry for a hat knit with sport-weight yarn and found this Cross Stitch Cable Beanie pattern.



I decided to call it the "Duck Weed Hat", because the way the different colors peek out of the green reminded me of the duck weed we saw in the Everglades a few years ago. I, of course, could not get a proper photo of the duck weed as I was seeing it, so you have to just believe me. In the sun, it sparkles with blue, red, yellow and green lights. I'm sure it's just water catching the sun, but it looks truly like little lights in the water.


The hat's a little fuzzy, already, but it's well loved.


Sarena Cashmere Cowl (February 2011)

One Sunday, at my knitting group, Alice had some stash to give away -- stuff she decided wasn't quite her colors or that she would never use. She thought, specifically, that three skeins of Mountain Colors Cashmere was in particular, "Andrea colors".

Three skeins.
For me.

Exactly one week later I cast on for the Sarena Cashmere Cowl in the Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders book. Less than two weeks later I had a lovely new cowl:


That's not my neck. My neck is not that freakishly long; I had just put a styrofoam head on top of my dress form -- again with the sewing! I even have a dress form! -- so I could get a good photo of this.


I like the little vaggy-looking drop stitches.


Pom poms! Yes, I wear something with pom poms!

This have proven to be a very practical item, as I have been wearing it quite a bit lately. The yarn is so, so soft (again, CASHMERE!) and it's so perfect for when the weather starts to turn cool. It's a great pattern for if you ever need to whip up a gift in a hurry and you happen to have some super-soft yarn laying around.


Beatles Baby! (January 2011)

My dear, dear friends Lisa and Lou had a darling baby girl in March. The baby shower was in January. I used some Beatles fabric that I had purchased some time ago to make a bib and booties from the One-Yard Wonders book:


Because both parents, especially Lisa, are Beatles fans, this gift was quite appropriate for the baby.



The instructions in this book are very good, but these were somewhat fiddly to make, being so small. I started sewing long before I started knitting, but knitting has definitely taken over as my craft of choice. I still have a huge fabric stash that is over 10 years old, that I really need to get back to, especially with this book around.

I did get a picture sent to my phone one day of darling baby Ida wearing her bib. I was so happy to see it in use! The booties were, initially, way too big (which is hilarious, considering how tiny they looked to me), but by now they should either fit or be too small.


Friday, November 11, 2011


Since they are running a contest in which you can WIN your ENTIRE WISHLIST, just by sharing it, I'm sharing it here!


Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Rhinebeck 2011!!! Best Rhinebeck ever?

We hit up this year's Rhinebeck as part of a whirlwind October (we traveled three weekends in a row - the other two being to Los Angeles, CA and Parsippany, NJ, which I hope to address in another blog post). It was promising to be a fun time, with about 12-15 folks from the Ravelry Rubberneckers group coming, and most of those staying in the same hotel in Poughkeepsie. We stayed in a different hotel, down the road from theirs, but close enough to hang out.

The first night (Friday) we had dinner at the fabulous Table Talk Diner in Poughkeepsie:


(That's GrannyG/Genny, Minkeswim/Andrea, MaCanary (Bluecanary/Barbara's mom), Weebil/Aileen and Jay, GrannyG's daughter, who may or may not have a Ravelry account.

I must have been feeling incredibly hungry, because I ordered the Thanksgiving sandwich (turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing!) with sweet potato fries, and a beer (Sam Adams):


I ate most of it, but not all, and I felt like I do after Thanksgiving.

The next morning, bright and early, we hit up the Everready Diner in Hyde Park for breakfast and, after a couple of odd turns, found our way to the Mulberry Street gate of the Dutchess County Fairgrounds.

Mike was really excited to be there and finally get another Diet Coke:


There was yarn. Lots of yarn. Amazing yarn.


There was also yarn with hidden messages in it:


And gorgeous finished objects!!! Absolutely beautiful!!!



I aspire to someday knit this much lace.


This is a really cute lacy bolero.


Yup, I should have purchased that pattern. Derp.

This was made out of quiviut! 8 balls of quiviut at $85/ball (show special price):


I should have taken a picture of the whole thing. It was some sort of shawl/shrug with a 24-stitch cable on it, and was absolutely gorgeous but oh-so-expensive. I would feel so elegant and luxurious in it though. AW SHAWN TAY!

Some displays were a little less elegant and luxurious:


Um, yeah. I'm sure this booth got many people taking a photo of THAT.

Of course there were animals! Llamas:




Sulcata tortoises/alligators/lemurs:


A goat that completely macked on my husband, who was feeding it:

Ridiculous goat!!!

When we got back to our car, we had a surprise waiting for us - Andrea, Pearl and Lisa had left us some gummies:


Mike went for it:


We went back to our hotel, where I ogled my new stash additions:


I do need to photograph everything individually, so I can show it off.


There were more additions made that night/the next day. I may have purchased more this year than I have since my first Rhinebeck in 2006.

We hung out in one of the hotel rooms that night and had beer and pizza:


Both of these are New York breweries. I preferred the Hurricane Kitty to the Bear Naked Ale. I'm not sure if I can get either locally, but I'd buy more of Keegan's beers if I found them. They apparently have a milk stout that is quite tasty (though I'm not much of a stout fan).

The next morning was time for another great breakfast at the Everready before day 2 of the Festival!


And our Rubberneckers meetup at 12:30:


I'm really bad about taking photos of people rather than of animals, yarn, and other stuff. It may be because I'm awkward about having my photo taken, and assume everyone else does.

I did get a photo of Fennel/Jamie getting a photo of me:


I love my friends. We had so much fun.

Getting out of there was a real drag. For one, we were SO TIRED when we arrived at the Fairgrounds that we forgot to turn the car engine off. Yup. Our car sat there, running, for about 5 hours. Thankfully the battery didn't die, and we had no problems getting home except for awful traffic jams.

This is how tired we were:


I passed the time by taking photos of some of my recently finished FOs that I haven't blogged about yet.

This is my Lace on a Train scarf:


So called because I knit most of it on the train. It's from an insert booklet that came with Interweave Knits around 2006 or 2007, i.e., long before I ever considered knitting lace. The yarn is Malabrigo lace in the "Lettuce" colorway.

These are my Thelonius Sock Monsters from Cookie A's Knit. Sock. Love book:



The yarn is sock yarn from Holiday Yarns, in the colorway "Fiji". I purchased that yarn at the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool back in May (I think).

I'm debating trying to wrap up my year of projects since my last post in March. I may have a couple without photos, though. I think it's high time I start getting my words and photos onto this screen again.

Until later!

Labels: , , , , ,