So close, yet so far away

Last weekend was the first time since before the holiday that I was able to really relax and do some knitting. And just freaking chillax for a second, although it wasn’t a total and unadulterated weekend of sloth like I’d hoped for.

So I’ve sort of “finished” Briar Rose! But not really. The border on this thing is like, most of the damn sweater. So while the sleeves, body and shoulders are complete, it still looks like a sweater for Mary Lou Retton, and not me and my linebacker shoulders.

I’ve got a free hour before Somnus takes me to the land of Nod [run + shower + jammy pants – cell phone left at work + 1 goblet Pinot x comforting sounds of Alien in background on HBO = happy sleepy time by 11:45p], so I’m going to take a crack at the border. I haven’t even gotten to the baby cable part! [Marge Simpson annoyed noise] impatience!

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The F stands for fleur

So I made a flower for the new ribbed hat. May I also take a moment to note that the hat? Is mostly knitted in purl. So purl folks, knock your collective selves out.

I found this flower pattern on the most excellent Knitting Pattern Directory – Flower Pattern 2. Even though it calls for a different yarn and size 8 needles, I used the super chunky (same as the hat) and size 10s (same as the hat).

It’s super cute. I still am without a digital camera! But the video function is cool so tomorrow I will model. Tonight me and my man friend Greg had our own Christmas, and now we’re drinking wine and watching Amadeus. Actually Greg is napping and I’m making the same hat in leftover gray yarn, possibly for Greer? Possibly for Mom? TBD. More to come. Amadeus is funny!

[2.5 glasses Capella Sant’ Andrea Merlot later]

The reason why I love this movie so much is that I love a good historical dramatization of something, but also F. Murray Abraham. A couple of years ago, I worked at a start-up ad agency where one of our clients was MSG,who at the time still did A Christmas Carol. They alwayd hired some tired old B-list former famous actor to be Scrooge because it was a HUGE draw to be “Oscar-nominee” fill in the blank. He came on the set and there was a smattering of applause, and he said, “The F stands for Famous.” No one could tell if he was being completely self-aware, that he was an oscar-winner now reduced to playing Scrooge at MSG? Or was he demanding that we all address him as a big star because he won an oscar like 16 years before? It was all very weird, and funny. F, you’re a big star in my eyes.

PS – Gray version of hat with fleur knitted and completed for my friend Kate’s 31st birthday.


Thirty-third time’s a charm

Norweege blogi hat continues. I bought 40 cm size 10 needles, and cast on 60 sts. Hat is progressing well (knock on wood) and I’m moving between some red wine from my friend Kate (we just had our annual christmas gift exchange), Arnold Palmer Lite, and Poland Spring sparkling water (or fuzzy wee-wa as it’s also known).

I’m also watching Nightwatch. Apparently it’s a fine Josh Brolin performance. A very young Ewan MacGregor. Bradley Whitford? And a way whory chick – you can tell because her lip liner is roughly 800 shades darker than the lipstick.

And now I’m ready for the decrease. Rib row means row 1, not the cable row. After the first decrease, I now have 53 sts. Is that right?

[one dinner at Bar Toto and one whisky at Barbes and one Melatonin-induced dreamscape and then coffee/Big Lebowski later]

I am decreasing steadily according to the pattern, and the percentages are working out (ie, the 53 sts are correct, and they continue to be so). I think I am going to end up with all knit sts – and I think I do a ssk to keep the right-leaning knit pattern. Actually, it was ktog, well, I ended up doing a combo of both but it didn’t really matter b/c it only needed one last decrease before I was done! DONE! and it’s cute! It’s very snug on my head, which is a pretty normal sized head. If I were making this for my friend Devon who has an enormous noggin, I would start a bit larger.

Now, on to the fleur…but for the moment, here’s the base hat (uploaded with my new Flip camera).


It’s a mod, mod, mod world

Ok, ready to make the swirly-do hat with fleur, from Lauran Blogi. Except the only white or white-ish yarn I have is Twinkle’s handknit super chunky. And because I’ve waited until the last moment for custom holiday gifts for friends, now I must…dum dum dum. Modify this pattern! I’ve never done this before. I hope I don’t fuck it up. Is it a good idea to do this for the first time when the instructions are in Norwegian?

It calls for:

Aran weight yarn, gauge 14 sts/10 rows = 10 cm. 5mm circular needles, cast on 80 sts.

I know nothing about guage. I should. Maybe I’ll learn one day. I hope this isn’t the day. But anyway – I cast on 48 sts of Twinkle handknit super chunky on a 5mm circular needle. Fingers crossed!

[40 mins/1.5 glasses cabernet sauvignon later]

It seems to be working. Because I’m an idiot, and also I think because the yarn I’m working with is so thick, I’m using a cable needle (well just a single dpn; I don’t own a cable needle) and doing this cable-style. The instructions I needed (and ass-umed, which turned out to be correct), is that for the first row (knit 1, purl 3), you knit the knit and purl the purl. Er, the 3rd and odd rows, since you repeat rows 1 & 2 ongoing.

[1 glass Fresca and 10 rows later]

Hat looks great. For a Pinhead. Dammit! Changing to larger (size 10) circs, metal.

[3 days, 1 office holiday party, 1 dinner party, 1 play festival and countless glasses of wine, beers and vodka rocks later]

Size 10 circs too long in length. To be continued!


Bring me the malabrigo, it pleases me.

I went to Stitch Therapy  on Lincoln and 7th ave in Park Slope last night…the nicest, coziest, most non-threatening yarn store on earth with the simple idea of going in and buying some size 7 needles I need for that upcoming Ysolda project I keep fantasizing about.

And then I went to the sale corner…and bought like 8 more chunks of Malabrigo. In a delicious creamy Orange Julius and then a couple in a pretty robin’s egg blue. These are the kettle dyed worsted weight yarns…they’re soft and versatile and the colors are beautiful. The sweater I’ve [temporarily!] abandoned was a beautiful cranberry kettle dyed Malabrigo.

Orange Julius…aka “Tiger Lily” Malabrigo kettle dyed    Stone Blue from Malabrigo    Cranberry for the old sweater…aka Garnet

Christmas presents, right? Too bad it’s December 13th and I’ve not even started. I have a problem. Stitch “Therapy” is not the kind of therapy I need for this.


Progress, Malbec and Movies

My man friend Greg is off to Los Angeles (safely I hope), meeting the elusive, kind, mysterious Jewerl and pursuing his dreams. I myself am pursuing my dream of a real wearable sweater (Somewhat Cowl, by Wendy from Knit and Tonic, excellent pattern), while powering through some work, some freelance stuff, roughly 1/2 bottle of Malbec, and a couple of movies. TCM, one   favorite channels of course played one of my favorite flicks – Sense and Sensibility. Then, nothing interested me (even AMC’s Monster Fest – the Frighteners which I’ve seen, not that great despite Peter Jackson directing), so I popped in – this is very embarrassing – Don Juan de Marco. So what – sue me. I love this movie. It’s freakin fun. Ok, now I’m watching Little Odessa. Tim Roth is fucking amazing. Edward Furlong – actually not offending me. Vanessa Redgrave – brava! Moira Kelly – Boo urns. Girlfriend, can you just FAKE a Little OdessaRussian accent? It’s even Brooklyn Russian. I’m not asking for St. Petersburg, this is goddam Brighton Beach. Christ. She is ruining everything. The Cutting Edge aside, she has not lifted my skirt since time out of mind. The upside being, the sweater is progressing, as is the bottle of cheapie Malbec I procured from the incomparable Shawn Liquors. Shout out to Hillary!


Something actually wearable

So I’ve knitted a few projects so far. Hats, socks, ipod case etc and they turned out ok. I then turned to more ambitious projects, like sweaters. They have all sucked. Unflattering, gaping holes, mismatched sleeves and downright unwearable. It’s mostly because I like to knit it order to turn my brain off a bit, and not think about my job or my expanding waistline, and I don’t pay attention to the actual knitting. Also, perhaps in my defense, most patterns I see are appropriate for someone approximately age 76 and bear significant resemblance to a potato sack.

However, I purchased an excellent pattern from Knit and Tonic (she had me at the title) and I’m paying attention. It seems to be working. I think this may actually be wearable, and not birdcage lining (if I had a bird). Fingers crossed!

In the meantime it’s rainy (but oddly not cold) in late October Brooklyn. Which means: movie day. The man-friend and I are watching a Jean-Pierre Jeunet marathon, starting with Amelie, then City of Lost Children, ending with the very depressing but wholely awesome A Very Long Engagement. I have a feeling I will be very sick of the adorable-ness right around midafternoon, but I think we can push on through. The jokes are kind of like watching Family Guy – so obvious, milked for all their worth but usually worth it.