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Brooklyn Knit Chick

Friday, June 22, 2007

Everything old is new again

I'm overflowing with pattern ideas lately. I have to buy some cute little notebook to store inspiration and pattern ideas. Right now I'm working on a pattern for a bikini for one of the Jersey Girls. I want to make it to fit her perfectly, so I'm building the pattern by knitting up a sample in junk yarn so I can fit it to her. I'm going to make it with Cascade Fixation. It's a cotton yarn with elastic built in, so I'm hoping it will hug her nicely. She should be able to swim in it. Here's the sample 1/2 of top I made.

It's hard to tell from this picture because the scrap yarn I have is a variegated color, but there's a little cat paw lace pattern near the top of the cup

She wants a really tiny hipster bottom, so I'm not sure if the cutouts for the top of the bikini bottom will work. It may have to add some height beyond what she wants for it to not be obscene.

In the world of finished products. I LOVE my Tempting II

To sum up my journey . . .

Too loose:

Too tight:


LOVE this sweater!!!

As for the cotton cable. I finished the body. I pinned it together to try it on for size:

As is my style, I added shaping to the sides. I'm so glad I did. I think without shaping, it would hang much more like a white cabled potato sack.

Here's the ribbed boat neck

and the cable edge

Just when I'm thinking a lot about patterns and construction I come to work and find out one of the hair staff has bought an antique pattern book.

She, very kindly said I could xerox anything I wanted. I loved some of these sweaters. Here are the ones I'm going to add to my "sweater cue". The cable number on the cover (without the tie around the neck. Maybe make it a v neck, or just let it drop open)

Maybe knit as is w/o the button closure, or a shawl collar

Knit with only one color (no little "tree top" color changes)

Knit the one to the right in some yummy mohair

AHHH!! There's not enough hours in the day, or yarn in the world to knit everything I want to knit.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Dodging the stream

Today was a great day. I slept until noon (okay, that I didn't plan, but I've needed to catch up on my sleep). The Tempting II was finally over it's growing pains and ready to leave the safety and security of the needles. . . so that meant it was time to pick out it's buckle. I headed over to Britex to the fantastic notion floor. They have a ton of buckles, so I was sure I'd find something great. I found a fabulous vintage shell buckle. It was the only one left and it had a little crack in it, so I got it for $3.00 (usually $12.00 - yeah!!). It was a beautiful sunny, summery (for San Francisco) day so I took a walk down Powell to do a little window shopping along Market.

Of course it wouldn't be a beautiful summer day in downtown San Francisco without dodging a stream of urine. What was that? A stream of what? This was after all, Market Street in San Francisco. That means even in the middle of a crowded street, in broad day light, full of tourists, you're bound to walk past someone with their back to you doing something that should be done in private. Sure enough as I passed a mans back I saw a stream of liquid coming towards me that, let's put it this way, I knew was not spilled soda (unless you are using "spilled" in a very biological way). The New Yorker in me identified the stream as quickly as Robo Cop identifying a criminal. In one deft move, I successfully dodged the stream with not a drop on my shoe, and not a missed step. Some might focus on the urine and let it get them down. I was feeling full of hope for the future and I was proud of my ability to dodge.

When I got home I bound off the sweater, sewed in the buckle, tried it on, and was VERY happy. I post some pics of me in it as soon as I can get someone to take some photos. I'm sick of the pics in the mirror thing. Here it is:

Here's my $3.00 buckle.

I got it finished just in time to meet up for coffee with a special visiting knitter from New York. Then I headed off for another lovely evening with Chicks with Sticks.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Tempting take two

Okay, so I did a bit more blog searching and found others with the same problem. I wonder how in the world the pattern can work as written. Here's a picture from someone's blog of the sweater as written:

Then she replaced the last K 1, K2 tog row with K2 tog all the way around. She also did what I was thinking which is P2 tog with first stitch from band and next stitch on yoke. Here was her result:

I found this page after I went a little nuts with my modifications.

1) I knit the band on US 7 instead of 8
2) I k2 tog all the way across
3) I SSK the last stitch of the band w/the next stitch of the yoke
I P2 tog with the first stitch of the band w/the next stitch of the yoke

Although better than the pattern I was still not happy. First with the K2 tog all the way around the last row of the yoke left holes all the way around the band. Next the neck was now too high

little too high for me

Nun neck line
(the camera angle makes my chest look huge. BELIEVE me, just an illusion)

Sassy neck line

I know I've already done it once, but it's still not the sweater of my dreams. So that means one thing and one thing only:

"Ripit, Ripit"

Here's what I didn't like from version 2. The K2 tog all the way around brought the neck too high up and I didn't like the way it left little holes all the way around. The band in US 7 made it too small and pull across. The P2 tog at the beginning of every WS made the band pull too much, especially across the shoulders.

Here's what I'm going to try next. First I'm going to frog the band, and rip back past the k2 tog row and one of the rib rounds.

Version 3:

1) K1, K2 tog all the way around (as written)
2) K all the way around (to avoid the little hole between the K2 togs)
3) K the band with US 8
4) (RS) K1, P1 rib until last stitch. SKK knit the last stitch on the band to next stitch on yoke
(WS) P2 tog with first stitch on band with next stitch on yoke, K1, P1 rib to end

Do step 4 across body. When I get to the 40 stitches of the sleeve I will alternate with the pattern as written. This will give a little more room to go across the shoulders.

Stay tuned. I'll let you all know how it turns out.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Tempting II tragedy

Tempting II . . . I'm tempted to kill someone.

I saw it coming. I never knit from patterns without messing with them. I adapt them for my shape, I read through and find boo boos and fix. I never just pick up a pattern and knit it as written. Until now. I even went so far as to go on e-bay to buy Rowan Calmer (since I did a lot of reading about how unique it is). Here's what it's supposed to look like:

The instruction for the yoke seemed suspect to me. I read other people's blogs and there were many cute versions out there, and nobody mentioned any problems with the band. Some people changed the yoke to K2 tog all the way around, but it was this that seemed like "how the hell will this work"

Using a new ball of yarn and double-point needles, CO 11 sts. Work in 1x1 Rib until work measures 5 inches, ending with a WS row.

Next Row [RS]: Work in patt to last st, ssk last st of band tog with first st of neckline.
Next Row [WS]: Work in patt.
Repeat these 2 rows until all sts of neck have been worked.

That means there's two rows of the band to every single stitch. Although I was filled with disbelief, I soldiered on. I somehow believed it would all come out okay in the end. This is what made more sense to me (Patty's version of above)

Next row (RS): Work in patt to last st, ssk last st of band tog with first st of neckline. Next row (WS): P2 tog w/first stitch of band with next stitch of yoke, work across row in patt

I stupidly wasted all my time finishing it. Here's what it looked like

Still, I soldiered on. Next step was to seam up the arm holes. The pattern called for a three needle bind off, but I was afraid that would make it too bulky, so I did kitchener stitch instead. I was still left with this delightful hole:

I had to add several more stitches to make it look okay:

At this point I tried it on. It looked like ass. Here it is in all it's floppy glory:

I tried tucking in the ends and seeing what it would look like buckled. No better:

I was feeling depressed and then I found this web page. It featured another sad knitter who's Tempting II looked EXACTLY like mine:

All right all you Tempting II knitters out there. What's the secret. How come some of us knit happy products with NO mention of altering the pattern, while others followed the pattern and ended up with a floppy mess.

Lemme know


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tony night & ADD knitting day

Last week was another long week at work. We had a little something to look forward to at the end of the week. Larry's Tony party. His pre-baseball party was amazing, so I could only imagine what he and his roommate (who owns the wonderful Soluna restaurant in San Francisco) would come up with for Tony night. We were NOT disappointed. We were all told to dress in "cocktail attire". I, of course, chose to wear a hand knit. Never pass up the opportunity to hear "you did not make that". I wore Marnie MacLean's Evening Diamond tank.
and, yes, I did make that.

Me with the wonderful Jersey Girls, Lyndsey Cole & Jenny Lee Ramos

So right away, as soon as we reach his front door, the fun begins. He had filled the door with signs you might find in a theatre lobby "this show will be performed without an intermission", "there are strobe lights used in this production", and my favorite "musical theatre songs will be heard tonight". When you open the door you are, literally, greeted with the red carpet treatment. He had put a red carpet in his hallway, and set up strobe lights (to look like flash cameras going off) all around the hallway. After your red carpet photo is taken, you enter full blown Tony land. First there's the fridge decorated with famous "Tonys"

Please note, Tony Blair, Tenille, Randall, Soprano, and my favorite . . . the tiger

The living room was full of Tony displays, from the Grey Gardens flower arrangement (please note the can of corn, and cat food. If you know the show, you'll know why)

to the dining room hutch filled with the nominees:

There was one last hidden tribute to Broadway. It was not in the living room, not in the dining room. It was not even a tribute to a nominee. It was the logo to a certain (then already) doomed Broadway show, taped to the inside of the toilet seat. Since that show has posted closing, I'll let it remain nameless.

Then there was the food!! Leave it to a restaurant owner to really put out a great spread

The bar:

And our bartender (otherwise known as our host)

Cocktail hour was on the roof. It's a great deck with a great view

Me & Danny Austin

John Michael Dias, Jake Speck, Steven Goldsmith
(looking oh so much like the San Francisco Jersey Boys version of the cast of The Godfather)

Soon it was showtime, and we all had a great time watching on the big screen.

Some were rooting for their favorites. Me, I just wanted to win the Tony poll (big money, big money, big money). Turns out, I came in second. Ah well, I won a nice bottle of wine.

By the end of the evening Larry was ready to call it a night. He had already changed into something a little more comfortable. Here he is on the red carpet with Jeremy Kushnier. I'll give you a hint . . . Larry is the one to the left.

After the Tony's were over we headed over to a bizarre nightclub called the StarLight Room. As you could guess by the name, or see by the web page. It was a bit like stepping back in time.

I didn't get home until well after 2:30 am . . . VERY late for me these days. Monday was a very ADD day of knitting and spinning. I couldn't seem to commit to any one project for very long. I would spin for a bit, measure & ball remainder of old yarn. At one point I was alternating between three different projects. When I go up to have a cup of coffee and saw that my little couch looked like this:

I knew it was time to focus. That's (from left to right) Tempting II - almost finished, a simple garter stitch triangular scarf I'm doing from two left over yarns held together, and the cotton cable sweater front - almost finished.

Monday night Larry (otherwise known as Julie cruise director) set up a Jersey Boys themed movie night at his pals restaurant, Soluna. It was a double feature of All About Eve (which was filmed at the Curran Theatre), and The Blob (Jersey Boys fans will know why). I watched 3/4 or All About Eve, but then I hopped on the J train to go to Chicks with Sticks to do a little knitting with the gals.

They posted a swell pic of me in my new sweater, posing at Noe Knit. I had to steal it for my own blog.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Cocktails and free yarn . . . what could be bad?

The ONLY good thing about spending you whole life working 6 days a week, is how damn much you appreciate your one and only day off. Monday I had a knitting filled day from sun up to sun down. I spent all day in my p.j.s sitting on the couch knitting and watching movies. I decided the K1 P1 rib of Tempting II was so tedious that I would alternate each round with a row or two of the cotton cable. But the whole day was building up to the big yarn swap at Chicks with Sticks. It was AWESOME!!!!

The evening began with a delightful ride on the J train to get to the Bliss Bar. What made this ride particularly amusing was the 2 year old that kept pulling the next stop cable. His dad did not notice until the kid did it about 9 times in a row. It really didn't matter because it was rush hour and someone wanted to get off at every stop anyway. It was just amusing watching the "when I pull this cord the red light comes on . . . cool". Babies really are little scientists. The next delight on the J train was the park. I've never taken J train as early as I did on Monday, so it's always been dark when I pass this park in Noe Valley. This time it was only 5:45 pm and I've never seen so many dogs out in my life. The canine to human ratio was 1 to 1. Pretty cool.

Next stop to whet my appetite and get me in the mood (as IF I need any help getting in the mood for free fiber), was the super cool Noe Knit. There I ran into fellow Chicks on their way to the yarn swap. It was supposed to begin at 7:30 pm, but by 6:50 the table, bench, side table and floor were already filling up.

(Time for a little browsing before your turn)

(The summer knit book I had my eye on and lost to a lower number - damn!)

So here's how this crazy thing worked. Everyone who brought yarn (17 of us), go to pick a number. Then we went up one by one as our number was called and got to pick one thing. If there were multiple balls of the same yarn that counted as one thing (including 21 spools of this really nice grey cotton, or a HUGE skein of cashmirino). I picked (gulp) 16 out of 17. Very sad, one by one I saw my first picks taken. However, there was plenty to go around.

There's Leslie (lucky #2) holding the $82 GIANT skein of cashmirino. That's Kathy in the background (lucky #1) holding the pattern book I had my eye on - crap!

After a few rounds of picking, it was opened up to all the non yarn contributors. Look at Matthew in the background looking like he is mid pounce

Here's my haul:

There's 7 different colors of chenille that come to about 700 yards. I think I'm going to design a striped raglin 1/2 sleeve sweater with it. It may not come out that great, but I want to work more on my own sweater construction and design, and using some free yarn seems like a good idea.

The spool in the front is 150 yards of hand spun cotton. Any ideas you guys??? What can I do with 150 yards?

This is really thin, thread thin, yarn. I have three skeins of it. I have no idea what the yardage is. I'm going to do the ole', count the wraps around an 18" piece of cardboard to find out. I guess I'll make some kind of lace shawl with it. Any suggestions???

Here's a close up of some yummy chunky handspun I got. What to do, what to do.

I got 7 skeins of this thick, thin Bernat cotton n' silk. I'm not sure I can wear lime green, and I don't really know what to do with it, but I'm open to suggestions.

All in all, it was a fantastic night. I will really miss this group when I go home. It's a great group of women (and men), and I love being around their energy. There's something so amazing about being in a room full of knitters. It's an energy and creative spirit that really feeds me. I could easily see myself being very happy to be around that every day.

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