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Brooklyn Knit Chick

Monday, March 24, 2008

Road Trip!

Saturday night David and I hit the road to visit our niece in Saratoga Springs. She's in College up there and we've been meaning to visit. It's an amazing town full of mansions. We stayed in a great B & B just outside of town. It was gorgeous.

After strolling around town and having a little lunch, we all headed back to "our mansion" to hang out by the fire



I had cast off the fitted knits sweater the day before the trip. Here's a couple of not very great photos of me by the cozy fire

I had worn the eyelet tunic from Vogue the day before, and decided it would look better on someone taller, so I gave it to Alana. Here she is looking adorable

The next day we headed over to the awsome Saratoga Needle Arts. If you are ever in the area, you have to stop by. Great selection and fantastic prices. Usually when I've seen a yarn store in small towns in New York, Conn, Mass, they jack up the prices because there's no other store around for customers to compare them to. (I could say the same for one or two stores in Brooklyn that shall remain nameless). This store's prices were really good and they had a huge selection of yarn, books, patterns and notions. The owner was really nice. Alana had gotten me a gift certificate, so I got sweater blockers - YEAH!

I'm loving the yarn I'm currently working with! It's Classic Elite's Soft Linen. A GREAT yarn. I'm working up the Feather & Fan Cardigan from the Make It Modern Book.

Here it is so far:

Monday, March 10, 2008

Freakishly long arms??

Why do I add inches and inches and inches to every sleeve length I ever knit and they are still too short?? Does anyone else have this problem?

I finished my Mr Greenjeans before I left on vacation. I have worn it several times and I've decided the sleeves are just too short. Ironically, the pattern calls for "bracelet length" sleeves (my least favorite look), but I decided to knit them longer. Now, after a few wears, the sleeves are bracelet length. The problem is, even in top down patterns, that I can try on as I knit, I can still never tell. I try it on, it looks great, then I wear it for a while and the stitches stretch out and the wider the stitches get, the shorter the sleeve gets. Here are the pics I took before I took the sleeves out. You can only see the sleeves in the last pic. I was waiting for David to come home, so all of the pics until the last one were taken by me holding the camera out and blindly pointing it at myself. . . cool

So, I unbound off, put the sleeve back on the needle, and started to extend the sleeve. The other thing I did to keep the cuff snugger was to change from a US 8 to a US 7 for two rows, and then go down to a US 6 for the rest of the sleeve.

In other tales of frogging . . . there's the sweater from Fitted Knits. First I (as always) did a gauge swatch. I was achieving my 18 st/4 inch, so I cast on and merrily knit away until I divided for the sleeves and connected the body. I then (tried) to slip it over my head, and much to my horror found it was INSANELY tight. Okay . . . frog #1. I went up a needle size and tried again. Swatched perfectly (hmmm), cast on and away we go. Dived for the sleeve, connected the body, tried on . . . still snug, but doable. Light bulb (otherwise known as the, freakin duh) moment. If you are going to be knitting in the round, for god sake, swatch in the round. Why did this not occur to me??? It's the purl stitch that affects your gauge, well if you doing stockinette in the round, there is NO purl stitch. What a dope.

From there came mistake number two. The sleeves are not knit in the round, and for some unknown reason, I decided to follow this pattern instead of ignoring it (as I usually do when I have the option of knitting in the round.). Well here in lies the problem. I knit the sleeves to a length that seemed good (as always, a good three inches LONGER than the pattern called for). Then when I started to seam up the first sleeve, because I was suspicious it would be too tight, and tried it on again - SLEEVE TOO SHORT. Errrr. Again, once you stretch the stitches horizontally around the arm, the sleeve shortens up. Frog #2. First sleeve back on the needles. Now I have both sleeves on the needle and the bottom still on the needles. I wanted to wait to decide how long it would be until I finished the sleeves. What a pain.

This time I'm going to keep BOTH sleeves on the needles and seam them both up, and try it back on before deciding on the sleeve length. Luckily, I got my whole KnitPicks interchangeable & my Denise interchangeable to play with.

Speaking of KnitPicks, the Point got these cool needle cases in from Ashland Sky. I was going to get a circular case until I realized that I don't need all that room because I only have 4 cables. The crochet hook sack is perfect for my KnitPicks set.

The cables tuck right in

It folds up easily

And my favorite thing, the frosted plastic is easy to write on, so you can label your own case


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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Well it's been a long, been a long, been a long

. . . been a long time (you can take the girl out of musical theatre, but ya can't take the musical theatre out of the girl!)

I know, I know (as my pal Kia pointed out) Feb 4th, what the heck. Well, it's been a month. First there was preparing for the semi annual sale at the Point. That was a scene I did not anticipate. We put the entire store on sale (20% - 75% off). I asked Leia, one of the women who works at the Point, "do you think a lot of people will come?". She replied only "are you kidding?". The Saturday of the sale was not to be believed. They were hanging from the rafters.

Sunday afternoon David and I headed off to Israel. We were going for a week for his nephew's Bar Mitzvah. We didn't really have time to do much planning (or any) so it was all a little last minute. We arrived late on Monday exhausted. Tuesday morning we woke up to a sight not seen in Jerusalem for five years.


It took a bit of figuring to decide what to do next. You see Israelis don't know what to do when it snows, and start to shut everything down. Our nephew Carmiel is a tour guide, and he planned our day. First he took us to these very cool caves. Since the snow turned into pouring rain he thought it would be good to run from cave to cave. Here's a few cool pics

(burial cave)

This was the translation of one of the more bizarre inscriptions:

(The bell caves)

Here is the version of the main post office. The holes in the walls are for carrier pigeons

A BRIEF break in the rain affords a glimpse of the countryside.

Next we went to a Bedouin Village to see the women spin and weave. When they spin they go right from the fleece, with all the straw etc.

Here's the yarn hanging out to dry after the dyeing process:

Here's the weaving:

I bought some yarn just because. It's terribly rough and overspun, only suitable for a rug. I may try to take some of the twist out, wash it and hang it out, then knit up a little throw rug.

The next day we headed off to Haifa. We saw the Bahai Center at Haifa. Gorgeous!

(The view of the harbor from the garden on the hill)

The next day we went to the old city at Acco.

After a lovely day in Acco we headed back to Haifa for a great meal and to enjoy the garden lit up

Next morning to was back to Jerusalem for family time. The next few days were all about hanging out with the nieces and nephews and about the Bar Mitzvah. It was fun to spend time with everyone since we don't get to see them all that much.

Sunday we did a bit of bumming around the old city. Checked out the markets, etc.

Sunday night was the party. Lots of food, music, family and fun. We were so tired, but the party was great. After that we got in a cab to the airport at 1:00 am (ugh), two planes and 19 hours later, we were home!

As for knitting, I left the scarf I was working on at home (it was on US 4 Knit Picks and I was afraid they'd get taken away). I took my Fitted Knits sweater on my plastic Denise Needles instead.

Here's how it's coming along:

When I got home I finished the scarf out of the yarn that one of our reps gave me. I love this yarn. The color changes are so subtle and beautiful. We are going to order it in lace weight and worsted. Here is is:

I forgot, I finished Mr Greenjeans before I left, but I didn't get any pics of it.  Next time