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Brooklyn Knit Chick

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Swatching in circles

It turns out my procrastination didn't last as long as I thought. I actually finished the top a few days after my whining post about all the finishing I had to do.

Once again I was kicking myself for mindlessly knitting a pattern without thinking, "why aren't they . . ." or "I could just . . .". First of all, if I had given the scalloped edge two seconds thought I would have done a provisional cast on or invisible cast on and then folded the edge over and knit two together to create the scalloped edge and not have to seam ever ^&%#& edge. PLUS why do I continue to mindlessly cast on for front and back when I could have knit this bad boy in the round right up to the arm hole, thus avoiding yet MORE seaming.

I'm not going to make that mistake again with the Classic Elite Cotton Bam Boo Smock Top, I am going to knit this guy in the round. I learned after my trauma with the Bluebell from Fitted Knits, if your going to knit in the round, for god sake, swatch in the round. BOY does it make a difference.

I first swatched the Classic Elite Cotton Bam Boo (which is supposed to get 6 st/in on a US 5) flat on US 5 and got the gauge perfectly. Then I swatched it knitting in the round and I had to go up to a US 7 to achieve that gauge. I really am a crazy tight knitter. The great thing about this is, my row gauge is now 30 row per 4" instead of 28 and I really need that, because I am about 130 yds shy of the yarn that I actually need to do this pattern. Hopefully between cutting a couple of inches off the length and the row gauge I will be able to eek by.

Does everyone know to cool trick for swatching in the round? Here's my sample (note the loosey goosey stitches on either side)

But that's not in the round you say. It's not! You just cast on the number of stitches you want on circular needles, making sure to cast on at least four more on either end, so you can have a good flat section in the middle to measure. Then knit a row, pull the stitches across to the other side of the needle, and then bring the yarn loosely around the back and knit again. The back of your swatch will look like this:

By knitting every row, you will be able to check your in the round gauge. I'm doing the same thing with the incredibly dreamy Alchemy Silk Purse, getting ready to cast on for the Lotus Blossom Tank. More about that another day.

In the garden, it is one battle after another. Following my triumphant defeat of the Katydids I am now battling powdery mildew. Our zucchini is barely hanging in there. We are picking more green beans, tomatoes and eggplants than we can eat, and the peppers are just starting to ripen, but the zucchinis . . . are rotting on the vine. GRRR

We are getting new and strange bugs arriving everyday. We now have these weird all black bees and black & red beetles, and these crazy dragon fly things:

Our dahlias have been joined by the glads

In our continuing effort to save some cash (eating all our home grown veggies helps), David found some old stale bread in the back of the fridge and turned it into:

Who's a lucky gal! He's a keeper

Speaking of keepers. I got a fantastic knitting magazine from my mother in law when we went on vacation. The cover tells you it's gonna be fun (check out the hair!)

and please note the almost, paper doll like pose, here's a picture from inside the magazine of the same model

Oh what wonderful things can be done with a crochet hook (eek)

Here's some equal time for the horrors that knitting needles can create in 1970

Here are my two favorite adds. The first one is one of those "not only little old ladies knit" adds but with a hip 70's flair

And, last but not least. . . everyone can have a yarn store in their home!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Let the procrastination begin . . .

We do I insist on knitting things with so much finishing??

I hate finishing, and now I will look at these pieces for the next week, sew a few inches, and pick up some new knitting.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Vacation and Veggies

David and I got back from vacation on Sunday and I've just today felt a little caught up. I always need a vacation after a vacation! I'm typing on my shiny new macbook (yeah!). My baby was waiting for me at The Point when I got home. She's preeettty.

David was the hero going with me to nine yarn stores in ten days. We went to four in Portland, one in Bar Harbor (this one was called Bees and was 1/2 yarn store 1/2 chocolate shop . . . double yum) one in Newburyport (1/2 yarns store, 1/2 weaving - HUGE room full of looms, cool) one in Lenox, one in Pittsfield, one in Great Barrington. The interesting thing about visiting all those shops was the prices. People talk about "New York prices" or "big city prices". I've never understood that, since I know our prices are in line with the rest of the country . . . at least until I saw "Berkshire prices". WOW! The stores in Portland and Bar Harbor were pretty much in line with NY prices, but holy moly, the Berkshires. The first place I went in Pittsfield was nice and the prices were consistently about $.25 above NY prices, next stop Lenox. It was very large, great selection, and about $.50 above NY shops. Then the craziest place I'd ever been. From the outside it looked like a tiny weird gift shop in a broken down house, then inside you find five rooms crammed from floor to ceiling with yarn. Sounds cool right . . . until you notice that yarn was anywhere from $1.00 to a whopping $3.00 more a skein than NY. Crazy world. If you're ever in Western Mass, check them out, just be sure to check the price tag.

When we weren't visiting yarn stores we were enjoying the incredible beauty of Maine and Western Mass. Here are just a few of the hundreds of picks we took

Peaks Island when the fog rolls in:

Adorable Bar Harbor:

Idyllic Acadia:

My knitting comes to Sand Beach:

We also decided to relive our Memorial Day weekend, and get a 1000 piece puzzle. I LOVED IT. Here's what we tackled (note all the white sky)

end of day 1:

end of day 2:


The Western Mass part of the trip (Lenox, etc.) was to break up the long drive home from Maine. We spent the day at Jacob's Pillow, one of my favorite places on earth. For those of you who haven't been. . . it's a dance theatre camps on the top of a hill in the middle of the woods in the Berkshires. They have things going all the time. We went to watch a presentation on old film footage of the Pillow, then a free outdoor dance presentation by the students danced in this idyllic setting:

Then we saw the awesome Hofesh Schecter. They were rockin!

All this driving gave me a lot of knitting time. The back of my scallop edge pullover was finished in Cape Cod (the first stop on our va ca), and I cast on for the front. By the time I got home . . .

The other thing that grew (besides my bamboo t-shirt) in ten days was our garden. Holy @#%@#!!! First of all, when we left there were no Canna flowers, Dahlia, Lillies, and when we returned . . .

Here's what can happen in one month:



And then there's the food. We came home to find ripe tomatoes, peppers, green beans, zucchini

And then there's the veggies right out of the movie Sleeper . . .

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