Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Near Catastrophe

A serious crisis was narrowly averted here at Casa Yarnmonster. Last night, I somehow caused myself a serious injury to the left elbow--there was a cloth rug involved, and a slippery wood floor--and woke up to find that I can neither straighten, nor bend, it all the way. It can move in a sort of half bent position, but its range is very limited.
So, is it bad that, though I can barely wash my hair or put in my contacts, I was HUGELY relieved to find that I can still knit? Mind you, I have to sort of turn my left arm just so, to avoid stabbing pains, but it is totally doable. I mean, can you imagine, school starts August 27th, wouldn't it have been a tragedy to waste any of my remaining study-free knitting days?
So, there's been a lot going on over here--too much for one post, really, but I'll attempt to give the digest version, in hopes of my next post having Actual Knitting Content.
I've had some lovely visitors, the first of which are my friends Katherine and Jess from Australia:
They were here for a whole month, and got a little homesick, so I took them to a place to get real Australian pies in Brooklyn. I also took them here:For what are truly, my favorite cupcakes in NYC. I miss you, girls! You'd better come back soon!
A few days later, these charming and handsome guys showed up on my doorstep:Taylor, Colin, and my brother David. It was pretty interesting having 3 21-year-old boys camped out in my living room for 3 days--a bit more excitement than this apartment is used to--but these guys are always a pleasure to be around. I don't know if there is anyone who makes me laugh harder than my brother and his friends.
Me and Dave, on our way to see the FABULOUS White Stripes concert at Madison Square Garden, woo hoo!!!In the midst of all of these visitors, Harry Potter 7 came out!That's me, Jess, and Lisa, trembling with anticipation outside of Book Court in Brooklyn.
And here I am, SO EXCITED to have my book!
I finished it Sunday night, and I have nothing but good things to say about it. Of course, I'm devastated that the series is over, and am now consumed with jealousy for the people who haven't read them and can now start at the very beginning and blast right through the entire series!!! So unfair.
And we had our inaugural Spiders Gala, hosted by our incredible Virginia!
Jess, Carrie, and Abby, rockin' the tiaras:Girls in tiaras, fiercely attacking a pile of yarn:And Spiders Jeopardy, Virginia's amazing idea: 30 knitting and Spiders-related questions! And some of them were really hard! Strangely enough, we kept getting the most appropriate questions delivered to the perfect person, like Sandra's "How many pairs of Jaywalkers has Sandra knit?" and Steph's question about the iguana pictured on her own blog, and Veronique's "How many stitches are in this lace sequence?"
OK, whew! Hopefully I can get a little knitting done, now that I'm otherwise incapacitated. ;) I saw this a few weeks ago, and realized that I couldn't live without it for another second. I'm almost to the lace part, but it's looking a little big. I'll let you know how it goes....

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Hey, Miss Tambourine Scarf

Why do I look so sad in this picture?
Because I'm wearing an alpaca silk scarf and it's 85 degrees outside!
But this little girl began her life 10,000 miles away, far South of the Equator, where winter was starting to settle in, and I needed something warm and soft to go around my neck.
Unfortunately, she did not want to leave, and tried to run away with some Australian musicians. (I understand, little scarf. The allure of the hedonistic lifestyle is strong.) I had to go home without her.
She was, however, found out, discovered hiding away in a tambourine, and promptly shipped back home to me. Hopefully now she's pulled herself together. I think she'll find New York winters much more to her liking.
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk, 4 balls. (Yes, I went to the Land of Merino, and I came back with Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk. I was desperate for this scarf.)
Needles: US 7 circs (They were random pointy bamboo circs, the only ones I could find at the shop, I didn't have any Addis.)
Pattern: Mock cable rib. So simple, it's not really a pattern at all.

CO 32 sts.
Work K2 P2 rib for 4 rows.
Now shift it all 1 st to the left for the next 4 rows, so:
Row 5: P1, *K2 P2, rep from * till last 3 sts, K2, P1.
Row 6: K1, *P2 K2, rep from * till last 3 sts, P2, K1.
Rep. rows 5 & 6.
Now shift it all over 1 st to the left again, so:
Rows 9-12: P2 K2 rib
Now shift 1 st to left one more time, so:
Row 13: Rep row 6
Row 14: Rep row 5
Rep. rows 13 & 14.

Now keep repeating the above 16 rows till desired length or till you're out of yarn. I used 4 complete balls of yarn, and my blocked scarf is about 67" (170 cm) long. Bind off. Block lightly.
See, that's a little happier. I'm really glad to have her back.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Rockin' Socks

I forgot to show you all the only thing I knit during my entire 3 months away!Pattern: Michael's Smiley Socks (my own)
Yarn: Claudia Hand Painted Yarn, Fingering (the camo color), 2 skeins
and Koigu KPPPM (the red color), 1 skein
Needles: Lantern Moon Rosewood DPNs, US 1, and then had to switch to 32" Addi US 1 circs when all of my rosewood needles broke in my backpack. :(

So, I did make 2 of them, but forgot to photograph both on him before I left. Not. Smart.
Wanna know what else wasn't smart? When I decided to make these socks, I said, "Yeah, I can do pretty much anything. I'll make whatever kind of socks you want." And he replied, immediately, "I want smiley faces!"
Oops.
I was thinking of a nice, manly stitch pattern, but OK, smiley faces it is. It took some experimenting before I got the idea of adapting a Norwegian X's and O's pattern into smilies. Nice and subtle, no bright yellow yarn. Did them top down, regular heel flap, grafted the toe. Easy peasy.
And seriously, I've never seen someone so happy to receive his socks. Makes every stitch worth it, doesn't it?
I hope they're keeping his feet nice and warm, in far-off and chilly lands.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

"Let's Pretend We're Bunny Rabbits"

I've been busy:
Making the bunny skirt!
OK, I was totally remiss in my last post: the bunny, and polka dot fabrics, are from Purl Patchwork, and the tiny flower fabric is from Brooklyn General.
I put in an invisible zipper, for the 2nd time ever, and it went really well!
Veronique and I also discovered the Blind Hem Stitch on our machines, and it is FANTASTIC!!! We can't stop hemming:
The underside:
And last week, I finished the sundress that I started a YEAR ago:
It is girly and summery, and I'm quite pleased. This was before I discovered that I can hem on the machine, however, so I actually hemmed this whole thing BY HAND. That's OK, though, I had far-flung friends keeping me company on Skype while I laboriously sewed. ;)
Happy 4th of July, everyone!

ETA: The skirt is the "Meandering Vines" pattern (which is a simple A-line) from Sew What! Skirts. The sundress, however, was made in a wonderful class I took at Purl Patchwork from Heather Ross, and is her original pattern. I'm not sure if it is available, but I wish it were, b/c it was really fun to make, and Heather is an awesome teacher/designer. :)