24 December 2007

Mermaid Mittens

I found this pattern for mermaid gloves on Ravelry, but as we're getting into winter now, I decided to make them into mittens, as a Christmas present for my sister (to match the hat and gloves).

I cast on 48 stitches (4 sets of 12 stitches), and added the gusset after the first horizontal pattern. I knit in pattern til the middle of my index finger and then started decreasing simply by not putting in the increases, probably about 6 times. Then k2tog all the way around, twice, and then cut the yarn, pulled it through tightly. I just reversed the pattern for the other mitten, replacing all the k2tbl with k2tog. Done!

Here's one in progress:

Here they are finished:

I've been really good and not bought any wool recently, even though webs is having a huge sale right now. I've managed to knit through a bunch of yarn, so that I'm down to three boxes. And a bag. And some piles of yarn that find their way around the house, much to Rog's dismay. My friend Max just had a second daughter, so I'll be knitting a sweater for her pretty soon, that should take care of some of those piles...

19 December 2007

Lamb mambs

For the record, I'm almost done with round 8 on the secret project - just one more band, and then I'm on to round 9.

My goal is to finish it before I have to make a New Year's Resolution about it.

In the meantime, I made little christmas presents for Stigs and Marcie:

They were meant to be lambs, because Stigs' word for stuffed toys is "mamb" (rhymes with lamb). The white one looks more like a lamb, the brown one is a little mouse-like. Maybe it's the bow-tie.

Here's another shot of the lamb mamb...

Overall, though, I was pretty happy with them - the twins seemed to like them too - at least they hugged and kissed them. This is where I got the pattern. There are lots more cute toys there - I saw a tiger I liked... I altered the pattern a bit - I knit everything in the round - including the arms that started off with 7 stitches. On no. 3 needles. It's not so much that I thought it'd be easier than knitting them flat and then sewing them up; I just enjoy knitting in the round, even when it's painful, more than I enjoy sewing.

I still have a few more presents to knit up in the next few days.

14 December 2007

Hat to end all Hats?

Not yet... as it turns out, my head is too big. I knit the 5.5 inches called for in the pattern for the Odessa hat, but it's still a bit short and threatens to fall off my head.

K mentioned that she made the same hat in plum for a friend - I would love to see a picture. This is such a nice pattern, I think I'll try it again in white.

I've started going through my stuff, trying to get rid of things before we leave for London in ... a month and a half.

Preparing to leave (mentally) makes me look at New York differently, in a good way. Being nostalgic while I'm still here means I get to do all the things I think I will miss. Like going to my favorite tapas bar on 1st ave., Oliva - I realize I have to go back there a few times in the next 90 days. Those albondigas are pretty amazing. Or even just looking at the streets in Park Slope - now that winter seems to be upon us, the trees are all naked, gnarled branches reaching skyward.

I filled two recycling bags with shredded paper! Who would've thought? There were lots of duplicates of old syllabi and handouts and articles for my classes, that I don't really need anymore because everything is just posted online these days. And bank statements and taxes that were older than seven years.

Then there's the stuff I know I ought to throw out - like pairs of tights that are too short, and therefore so uncomfortable. Socks with holes in the toes. T-shirts that I haven't worn for years. How many black t-shirts does a girl need, anyway?

11 December 2007

New Knitting Projects

Well, I had to get this done quickly, so Rog could send it off to the UK, so Lily could have her present in time for christmas:

My current WIP is this Odessa hat. I had one skein of Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK in this really nice green, and in my ongoing attempt at making a hat I'll like and wear, I thought I'd try this one. Here it is so far:

I washed my L'il Red Riding Hoodie, and it didn't shrink! I have to try it again. I think I took it out too soon. It's still too big.

09 December 2007

Last Day of Vending

Today, Miss M and I were at the Brooklyn Indie Market again, and I was pretty happy with my sales. But, we decided that we were going to close up shop. I'm a bit sad, because I really enjoyed selling our hand knits on the street - it meant I got to do some of my favorite things:

1) hang out with Miss M
2) people watch
3) knit
4) talk
5) talk about knitting

I even kind of liked being cold, because it made me really appreciate my cozy warm home.

But, I've listed a bunch of things at my Etsy shop, so even if I'm not vending in the real world, at least I'll try my hand at the virtual one!

06 December 2007

Some nice things happened recently

Miss M & I were at the Brooklyn Indie Market, and my sister came by and bought a hat and scarf. She looks so cute!

I was at Staples today, and the checkout girl told me it made her happy that I had brought my own bag. It made me happy that it made her happy.

I finished my l'il red riding hoodie, but it's too too big, so I think I have to shrink it a bit before I sew in the zipper. I'm nervous.

27 November 2007

Smiley's Sale & my budget

Today Miss M & I went to the Smiley's sale on 57th street. We each had our budgets, and we each stayed in our budgets. What we were trying to figure out was: is there a 24 hour limit on budgets? i.e. tomorrow, do we get to start again?

I got some really nice Puno alpaca and some pink yarn to make christmas presents for Lily and myself... pink and white hats! Anyway, it's a long day - I taught from 9am til noon; went to Smiley's; came home to drop off the stuff and block my l'il red riding hoodie; and now I'm getting ready to go back to class tonight.

I now just have to wait for the hoodie to dry and sew in the zipper. I can't wait. I'll put in pictures as soon as I finish!

20 November 2007

Tomorrow will not be like today

All of a sudden, with just a bit over two months left before we leave for London, I'm worried about finding work. It's not that I was so sure I'd find a job there until now, or that I wasn't thinking about it. Maybe it's just more real now. I think it's the idea of work itself that's just more real now - considering that I was more or less MIA for the first nine months of this year - I'm finally ready to get into some sort of challenging project.

And that project apparently is not the secret one that was meant to be finished... yesterday. But, for you pertinent parties, I'm now four stripes all around and I've blocked the other square.

Well, actually, I'm about to block the other square after I finish this post.

Here is one reason why I have been so behind on that project:

It's actually a much more butterscotch color than it seems in this picture. Actually, I was sitting at my kitchen table, and when I put the glove down next to a bag of oranges, I realized it was exactly the color of oranges, though I would never have though that had they not been next to each other. It's a short version of this pattern.

I like the idea of a change and that every year for the past several years has not been like the year before it. So I'm excited to go to London. Maybe I'm just introducing job worries in my continuing efforts to complicate my life by trying to create mini-rituals which prevent my jinxing things... Yeah, that's it.

02 November 2007

L'il Red Riding Hoodie

All of a sudden, my l'il red riding hoodie is almost done!

I just have to knit the zipper bands and sew it all up:

26 October 2007

Trip to Vermont

We just got back from a lovely trip to Vermont. We needed a little break from NYC. I never really think of myself as stressed out, but after a day in the country, I realize the difference between what I call "relaxed" at home and what relaxed really feels like. After two days in vt, I felt not only relaxed but also really awake.

I also wanted to go there because I wanted to go to the cute little yarn store in Woodstock, the Whippletree, and get some more of these:

The further we drove north, the more autumn-like it became. It was still very warm (79 deg one day!), but the trees are turning. By the time we arrived, we found ourselves amidst hills mottled in rust orange, various vibrant reds, warm browns and greens. This picture really doesn't do it justice at all.

Which all made me want yarn the colors of autumn foliage. This is what I found:

I finally got invited to Ravelry, so I know what I will be doing this rainy afternoon.

20 October 2007

Middle Men

I finally finished this sweater for my landlady's daughter. Alexander, my LL's son calls it the elephant sweater because of the sleeves...

Some scarves I've finished for selling on 7th:

And, a new project - this is a scarf for a friend, who commented in-depth, helpfully & brilliantly on a story of mine. I wanted to give something in return, and I'm a big fan of barter. She's just moved to Maine.

On the subject of barter, I have this idea that it's the middle men (middle people I suppose I should say, but I was worried it would sound like I was talking about elves or something) that have led to the atomization / destruction of community. This is related to F. Tönnies ideas about the change from face-to-face communities to groups of interacting strangers, and probably also to Benedict Anderson's work. Ask for more and I'll explain more. Think about the difference between buying from keyfood or the farmer's market. Face to face is always better. Always? Maybe not always; I thought there have to be exceptions - not all middle men are bad - and of course, the best example of a great middle man is the yarn store!

16 October 2007


My fingers hurt from knitting so much.

14 October 2007

Selling stuff

Actually, I knew Miss Mildred & I would be selling our stuff in Park Slope, but I didn't want to jinx it - now that we've done it for a couple of days, I feel I'm jinx-safe!

It was fun - maybe my long-dormant entrepeneurial (no, I don't know how to spell this word) spirit is finally awakening...

11 October 2007

New Activities

I can now run all the way around Prospect Park! I've done it twice...

Some new FOs made from various leftovers and loose ends... I'm trying to use up my stash, so I'll be able to more reasonably rationalize buying lots more yarn. I love these wood buttons - I got them on a trip to Vermont during the summer - I'm hoping I can find more just like them.



Of course, what am I going to do with so many felted purses? I guess they'll end up either as gifts, or mayble I'll try to sell them on Etsy.

26 September 2007


I'm in the middle of four projects, more if you take into account all the things I'm already dreaming about starting.

First, there's the secret log cabin project. I'm halfway done, and I haven't started the second half yet. Right now, it's feeling a little like a chore. I'll start it again in October. Here is Miss Mildred's post about her part of the secret project.

I'm also working on Rog's annual birthday scarf - I'm almost done. I'm knitting it as I write (write a bit, knit a bit). I have to finish it by tomorrow! Luckily, it's a half hour subway ride to and from teaching tonight, so that should give me enough time. It's the men's cashmere scarf from "Last Minute Knitted Gifts".

This is half a sweater for my landlady's daughter. It's these projects that work in halves that get me - it's such a good point to take a break... but then the break lasts for months.

Finally, I'm making the l'il red hoodie. This time I made a proper swatch and matched the gauge, and so far, I have to say, it looks pretty good!

The next project I'm thinking of making is a hat for Rog's niece (my niece-in-law?) Lily. I know I'm an anthropologist and I should have this categorizing-family-members thing down, but I don't. Lily, who's 5, has just as good a system as anyone I know: she calls me "Uncle Jasmine" (admittedly, just once, but it was so cute) - this makes sense - I fit in the same category as her Uncle Rog, who lives in the faraway land of NYC. I can see how that makes more sense than categorizing me with her dad's sister, (whom I've never even met) just because we're both women. Besides, to me, family is only loosely tied to blood relatives - as far as I'm concerned, some people who are related to me aren't family, and some people who aren't related to me are definitely family. So I'm just going to call Lily my niece, ok?

Here's a picture of Lily wearing some mittens I knit her a few years back:

And lastly, only 14,431 people ahead of me on the Ravelry invite list...

15 September 2007

14 September 2007

Crystal Palace Shimmer

I made the Slink (from Domiknitrix), but I don't know if I like it, I think I made it too big and too sloppily: Miss Mildred suggested I block it before ripping it apart in despair, so it's drying now. I'll put a picture up of it later.

In the meantime, I made a scarf from the leftover Crystal Palace Shimmer - I like how it looks combined with soft fuzzy Suri Dream (knitpicks) - it looks more inviting than when it's just by itself.

A really nice brandywine tomato we got from the farmer's market at Grand Army Plaza.

Small miracles

I can finally start writing my blog because I finally have a name for it! In all fairness, I should mention that Rog came up with it.