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Brooklyn Knit Chick

Sunday, June 22, 2008

SOOO much knitting . . . SOOO little blogging

It's been almost two weeks since I posted and WOW have I been doing a lot of knitting. First of all, I finally cast off the Branching Out Scarf. I love this pattern, but I watched way too much TV and made way too many mistakes to have knit this bad boy out of mohair. If you're not willing to pay attention, then BACK AWAY FROM THE MOHAIR! Here's she is getting a little sun in the garden














Speaking of the garden, all was well in our little bucolic wonderland. Our lettuce was tasty, our zucchini coming in nicely, many tomatoes were on the vine and then . . .

These all over. Eating holes in our rose pedals, in our rose leaves, in our sedum, our basil, our tomatoes! What the devil were they??? Thanks to the wonders of the internet we were able to identify them as Katydids.

So now we know what they are all we have to do is follow the remedies outlined in all the clever gardening web pages. Here are the suggestions culled from all over the net.

1) Release toads (on our roof garden in Brooklyn)
2) Let the field mice eat them
my FAVORITE

3) see if you can borrow some chickens for a few days.

Any gardeners out there know a remedy that doesn't involve releasing mammals or foul onto our roof???

Last Saturday I took my first session of Machine Knitting at FIT. It was really hard and frustrating to get the hang of. The weird thing about knitting on a machine is, it's the cast on and cast off that takes all the time. The knitting is nothing! Our teachers were so patient and knowledgeable. Here's the class room


And some random yarn pics (who could resist when faced with shelves and shelves of yarn!)

























Here's the machine we worked on. It's a Brother 850















Despite all the frustrations of the first day . . . ripping out and starting again, and learning a whole new language, I still knit two sleeves (at a 9 st/inch gauge) in one day. CRAZY


The cuffs of the sleeve and sweater bottom look just like K1 P1 rib, but it's a mock rib. It's just a tube of stockinette knit on every other needle.


There's one thing the machine doesn't do for you . . . finishing (UggggggH). Still gotta do that the old fashioned way. We took home our sleeves to seam them up. The next session was going to be the sweater body.

In the week between the machine classes, I was quite happy to pick up my needles again. I finished the cutey little Debbie Bliss Bolero. It was a fast little knit (although the machine knitting teacher was quick to point out I could "knock that out in a few hours")







I truly adored working with the Rowan Purelife Cotton. This is the softest, dreamiest cotton I've ever worked with. And the subtle color variations are really pretty.

Yesterday was the second session of Machine Knitting. We made the front & back of the sweater. Here it is just waiting for finishing

Today was the final day and we learned increases and decreases, we made silly little leaves and flowers, and I practiced de-knitting, and dropping and picking up stitches.

Then it was time to take the tour of the Dr. Suess like knitting lab. There we saw whozitz and what nots, dodads and thingamgigs.

Strande and wonderful machines that did strange and wonderful things. Here are a few of my favorites.







Here is the industrial machine that can knit whole garments (seams and all). Our teacher had made a piece of lace that took her 10 hours on the machine, then after programming the computer on the industrial machine, it kicks in out in about 15 min


Here's a video of the machine in action and then a picture of the lace panel as it comes out of the machine

video


Here are a couple of insane looking sock knitting machines



Finally it was back to the classroom, where I sat and did my finishing while listening to the teacher tell us about the different machines. If I do every buy one, it will be the Brother 260 bulky. I will NEVER put down my needles, buy I could see myself doing a combination. For instance, I could have put the bodice of the Feather and Fan cardigan on the machine and used the machine to knit the miles of stockinette at the end.

Here I am wearing my two day sweater with my teachers


It looks a lot better on David (who I made it for)





After all that time with machines, I rode the subway home, picked up my needles and knit all the way home.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Yarn reinvention

It's 95 degrees in New York . . . for the third day in a row! I had no idea when I started the Point Temperature Lottery (10% off all yarn when it's over 90 degrees, 15% off all yarn when it's over 95 degrees, 20% off all yarn when it's over 100%) we'd be hitting lottery days in the first week of June!!!

I'm hiding in the airconditioning reinventing my yarn. I did a special order of 2 bags of Cascade Magnum for my brother's freakishly large scarf, and ended up only using 1 bag. So know I have two skeins of Cascade Magnum left, and I don't feel like knitting with it.

I was looking at it and it's like pencil roving, so . . . I'm spinning it



My hope is to turn this single ply 2 st/in yarn into a 3 ply 5 st/in yarn

Monday, June 02, 2008

Vacation and Finished Objects!

I've been so busy since I last posted! First David and I went on a fab little Memorial Day weekend getaway to New Hampshire. We stayed at his folks summer place. It was really nice. I had just finished the body of the Feather and Fan cardigan and set it out to block.


All I had left to do was the button band, but I didn't feel like picking up stitches in a five hour car ride, I cast on a new project that involved lots of car riding stockinette. I decided to use the Purelife Cotton and cast on the Fiery Bolero by Debbie Bliss. A quick knit and I got a good third of it done between the car ride up and back


The trip was SOOO fun. It was the perfect combination of active state & vegetative state. Our first day was mostly about getting settled and then poking around a few nearby towns. We had a fantastic dinner out and then headed back to our little condo. We found a 1000 piece puzzle in the closet and I couldn't resist. My family used to do puzzles when I was a kid and I always loved them. We cracked it out the first night . . .


and FINISHED it the second


David wanted me to mention that (as it turned out) it was NOT a 1000 piece puzzle, but a 999 piece puzzle. Bummer


It was really fun to stay in and listen to our ipod and do a puzzle. Just good old fashion fun that you only seem to do on vacation.

As for the more active part . . . we took a pretty tough hike up a mountain. It took us about 2 hours going up and an hour going down, but here was the view that greeted us


We were hot and tired, but we got a wonderful cool breeze, ate our trail mix and recharged for the hike down


After that David took me to check out Patternworks. It had a pretty good yarn selection, but oddly not a great pattern selection (kinda surprising considering the name!). After our hike we felt like the rest of the day would be well spent lying on the little beach by the lake.

The next day we checked out of our place, and drove out of town, passing the obligatory pretty covered bridge.
and set off for Lake Winnipesaukee to go to Weirs Beach. It had a great pier with old fashion arcade games. We had lunch and played a little pinball, and then had a great old beach day. SO much fun.


We also stopped at an antique store where I found the perfect buttons for the Feather and Fan Cardigan. Now all I had to do was finish up the button band (yeah)



I was exhusted the next day, and it was a big work week. Not only is it the usual end of the month stuff, but we did a full store inventory as well. I was so happy to get to yesterday (my day off).

Sunday was all about the garden. David had bought some new plants on Saturday while I was at work, and Sunday we were doing major work. All the Iris's had to be dug up and divided, we rearranged a lot of the plants, put in the Dahlias & Cannas . . .



The climbing roses are more like falling roses, because of the crappy job I did this spring cutting them back. They also got really bad black spot. Right now we are just waiting for the blooms to fade so we can hack it back


The other two are doing much better



But for me the main attraction of our garden is FOOD. We are harvesting lettuce twice a day now


The broccolli heads are big and happy



The zucchini is freakishly large (it now fills the box and there are already 5 zucchini's that are pretty large) and there's already a tiny tomato on one of the plants . . . I LOVE growing food



Almost as much as I love FINALLY finishing the Feather and Fan cardigan. I knit it pretty much as is with the exception of adding an additional increase round for the body. I'm a little hippier than the average model.

So here she is, my favorite finished object so far!!









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