Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Yarn and Cafe Crawl

Here in NYC, we are blessed with an abundance of yarn shops. Just about every neighborhood in Manhattan has one. And, believe it or not, I haven't been to every single store in this city!

However, knitting buddy S. and I are slowly doing our own personal yarn and cafe crawl.

So far, we've been to Once Upon a Tart in Soho for coffee and pastries. And then went next door to Purl.

Luscious pastries--luscious yarns. I'd been to Purl several times before and it never fails to tempt me with something.

Today, S. and I met at the Grey Dog Cafe in the West Village for a late breakfast and then we strolled over to The Point.

What took me so darn long to get there?
This was my first visit and it won't be the last!

This is a smallish store. But it has plenty of roaming space and, since The Point is also a cafe, it has plenty of tables.

S. and I stalked and fondled yarn. We perused patterns. We gushed over buttons. We talked about future projects. We bought yarn, patterns. A successful fun visit!

Lorna's Laces Angel for more booties.

There's only one thing we weren't crazy about.

Wire baskets full of yarn are mounted on the walls. This is creative and attractive--however, many of the baskets are very high up on the wall. Out of our fondling reach. I noticed that there's a long-arm grabby thing--but, who wants to try to manipulate that? Not me.

But, I'm not gonna complain about that too much. Nice yarn. Friendly, helpful salesperson. A good variety of books. Plus, it was suprisingly easy for me to get there via subway. It may not be my primary yarn store, but, I'll be back.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Shawl Tale

I have a story. A confusing and bizarre story with two beginnings. Two re-starts. No middle. And matching ends. It concerns that feather & fan, rippling lake, Victorian lace shawl.

When last you saw the shawl, it was happily admiring the mountain lake and for a week, you watched the shawl progress.

The Shawl Tale--the Prequel:

It was cast-on in NYC. I knit a few repeats while traveling north on the way to a mountain vacation but around Albany, NY, I decided the fabric created by using size 5 needles looked like saggy upper arm skin.

I then ran into a yarn shop in Saratoga Springs, NY yelling, "This is an emergency! You're the last outpost of civilized knitting before we enter the North Country and I need size 4 needles."

Size 4 needles were purchased. And, because they were there, size 6s too. Both Addis lace.

I then cast on (without frogging the size 5 saggy thing) the size 4s and spent vacation knitting away.


on the last day of vacation, I looked at the fabric and thought that it was too dense, too tight, too small just too. . . too. . .

So I went back to knitting on the piece first started on the size 5s. Decided that the saggy upper arm really was the look I was aiming for. But that it would look saggier and better


I continued knitting it on the size 6 needles.

It's now post-vacation. Last night, I compared the size 5/6 fabric with the size 4 fabric.

That's the 5/6 on top and the 4s on the bottom. Yes, really it is. I've checked and re-checked.

What the. . . ??!! The fabic knit with the size 4s appears to be looser and saggier.
How did this happen?
Maybe more relaxed during vacation = looser tension?

I'm now in a quandary and am wondering:

Size 4s to size 5s for a couple of repeats to size 6s for half. Continue the other half on 6s. Pretend to be on vacation. Run water and have hubster quack like a duck. Graft the two pieces together. Ends will match. Blocking may even things out. Or not.

Anyone have a better ending to this tale?

Monday, July 23, 2007


Last week, a visit was paid to my Auntie.

95 years old. Lives by herself. On the couch is everything she needs to keep busy during the day. A book, TV remote, a radio, a mini-bar bell, pattern book, polyfill, a crocheted penguin in progress.

Yes, Auntie is one of us--a needlecrafter.
A very, very talented one.

Look at this colorful golfer:

Aren't those toys amazing?!

Most of them aren't made with anybody in mind. Auntie is making the toys for the sheer joy and pleasure of doing so. Hands are busy. Working crochet hooks and knitting needles provide a soothing rhythm. A challenge in the pattern gives the brain a work-out. The finished product makes us smile and marvel.

Isn't this why we all pick up needles?

Auntie is also one of the most stylish women I've ever known. Her style was always expressed in little details--a ruffle, chic gloves, a hat worn just so. Please notice the ribbon around her neck in this photo:

Auntie was not expecting company that day--this was her hanging out at home outfit. But, look how she added a jaunty ribbon and brought a bit of style to a blouse and shorts.

A remarkable, kind, joyful, talented woman.

So what kind of a stash does a 95 year old have?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Same Old, Same Old

I’m bored. Bored with vacation. Bored with my knitting.

And this was my goal for the week!

For nine years, hubster and I have been taking a vacation week in the same little cabin in the Adirondack Mountains of NYS.

Trees, rocks, water. Ducks and canoes. The daily visit to the ice cream stand. BBQ on Saturday night. Logging trucks. Motor boats. Sitting in Adirondack chairs on the dock. Jewel-toned sunsets. Drinking coffee on the porch. Bears everywhere!

An easy-peasy week. Mindless. No surprises.

I brought with me a bag full of knitting projects. I thought I would finish both the Tabloid Socks and the Forest Canopy Shawl. And maybe another pair of socks would be started.

As an afterthought, I threw in Catalina's alpaca/silk in the Baby Steel color. I also brought along the pattern for the Victorian Lace Shawl from St. Seraphina Knits.

First night, I cast on for the shawl.

An easy-peasy knit. Mindless. No surprises.

The blue of the shawl seemed to be one with the blue of the sky and the lake. And the waves in the lake are repeated in the shawl’s ripples.

Vacation is almost over. Soon we’ll return to rigors of city life. Exploding steam pipes. Subways. Schedules. Terrorist threats. Must-go-to events.

And my knitting will resume the ssks and yos and the charts that always challenge me.

But for now, one more boring day and a few more boring pattern repeats.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


A day of changes--weather-wise and clothes.

The day started as rainy, cloudy and cold. Then it turned rainy, cloudy and warm. Next up rainy, sunny, warm. Then sunny and warm. Wore a wool sweater at noon and a tee shirt by mid-afternoon.

Met a spinner

and bought a skein of her yarn.

There was some water-sitting knitting.

And the only thing cuter than ducks' tushes

are hubster's seldom seen feet in the water.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

SUMMER--for a day!

Finally! A good, summer vacation day!

Clapotis not wrapped around anything. Sock-free toes. Project wants to go for a swim.

The new project also enjoyed some sand time

And we all enjoyed a beautiful sunset.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Different Day

Still sitting by the lake. Still wrapped in the Clapotis. Wearing a different pair of hand-knit socks. New project is growing ripple by feathered ripple.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Knitting in Nature

We're on vacation and that means the knitting takes in some fresh mountain air. And, dag gum it, even if I have to wrap myself in my Clapotis and wear wooly hand-knit socks -- I'm knitting (the new project) by the lake!

Vacation Snit:
Overall, I really do like nature. However, I'm not fond of those bits of nature that creep, bite, crawl, bite fly, bite, buzz and bite.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Vacation Knitting

I'll soon be enjoying sunsets such as:

and I'll be doing the BEST type of knitting--Traveling and Vacation Knitting!

Hubster and I are leaving very, very soon and nothing is packed except the knitting.

The before picture:

In that pile you'll see:
*a pair of nearly finished Tabloid Socks
*the Forest Canopy Shawl in progress
*some Trekking yarn for socks I might cast on for
*some other sock yarn I might also cast on
*Catalina alpaca silk and a pattern for a shawl

On our vacation I will:
A) steadily work a bit on every project and come home with Tabloid Socks and FCS done and the others all in progress
B) finish the Tabloid Socks, begin another pair of socks and fret about the FCS
C) stop at a yarn store on the way, impulsively buy yarn for something else and then work only on that
D) forget how to knit, stare at the lake and quack at the ducks

The Internet comes on vacation with us, so sunset and knitting updates will be posted mid-week.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Too Sweet


The pictures you're about to see are just so darn sweet that your teeth are gonna ache.

Also, if you have a biological clock, expect it to start sounding the alarm.

How cute are these? Too, too cute!

The Angora Baby Booties from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. The yarn is Belangor French Angora purchased from Purl Soho in the pink.

The directions threw me into a panic at first, but I "knit in faith" and it all worked out.

The twee bits of fluff were knit on size 5 needles, however, the bind off was done on size 8s. This gives them a very stretchy opening for pudgy baby legs.

At Purl, I was warned that the 33 yards of yarn was "exactly" how much the pair would take--and, wouldn't you know it--they were right! Leftover yarn:

Friday, July 6, 2007

Slopes and Lines

Over the past few days, I've crossed a line.

Take a look at that sock. With this sock I:
*experimented with a different type of heel
*picked up the dreaded gusset stitches (my nemesis) without having to refer to online help

Um, OK. . . some honesty in blogging here. I did the gusset stitches all by myself, but I picked up a wildly uneven number for each side. But that leads me to:
*figured out and fudged what to do with this wildly uneven number of picked up stitches
*didn't create a hole between the heel and foot

The gusset slopes may be a teeny bit wonky. But I doubt that the gentleman on his galloping horse will ever come down and inspect this sock for wonky slopes.

They look fine and they fit.

Line crossed.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

Hail the Red, White and Blue!