Monday, January 28, 2008

Humor Test Stolen from Iliane

Your Score: the Wit

Your Score: the Wit
(52% dark, 38% spontaneous, 31% vulgar)

your humor style:

You like things edgy, subtle, and smart. I guess that means you're probably an intellectual, but don't take that to mean pretentious. You realize 'dumb' can be witty--after all isn't that the Simpsons' philosophy?--but rudeness for its own sake, 'gross-out' humor and most other things found in a fraternity leave you totally flat.

I guess you just have a more cerebral approach than most. You have the perfect mindset for a joke writer or staff writer.

Your sense of humor takes the most thought to appreciate, but it's also the best, in my opinion.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Jon Stewart - Woody Allen - Ricky Gervais

The 3-Variable Funny Test!

- it rules -

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Central Park Hoodie --Top down

Yes, yes, my friends know I don't get past the first instruction of a pattern before I am thinking of how I want to change it, but this time I've bitten off a mighty chunk. I decided to knit the Central Park Hoodie, but I am not going to put that much time in a project and discover it doesn't quite fit. Or discover it will never even approximate my figure--such as it is.

So, I'm going to rewrite it for top down. This isn't the easiest thing I ever do because I have to reverse spatial shapes in my head. I can do that, but sometimes at a price of scrambled brains. Where the pattern says bind off, you cast on; where it says decrease, you increase, and so on.

I have to shake my head and clear the slate from time to time. I recommend you attempt this one part of the pattern at a time, and then rethink your work the next day to make sure you haven't included three armscyes and only one sleeve.

Just to make this interesting, I also decided to use some yarn from my stash. (Warm feeling) I love Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece; perfect for NC winters and lovely colors to choose from. I have My Blue Heaven. I joined Stashalong 2008 and using this really gets me started on my goals.

Gauge rears its ugly head. (Wish I had a picture of that) After lots of math, I decided to knit the pattern 3 sizes larger to get the size I need. Of course that doesn't take in the row gauge; who counts row gauge? Top down lets me try it on and speed up or slow down the shaping. Sure . . .

So far, so good. The back neck is the correct width as is the shoulder width. I've knitted the back and two fronts almost to the end of the armhole shaping. I've frogged twice; mainly because I seem to be unable to read my own handwriting. I've frogged two cables because I twisted them incorrectly. I've changed the numbers of rows between increases several times and I just cast on some extra stitches near the center front because I liked them.

That's the thing about altering the hell out of a pattern. You've got to be willing to screw it up from time to time and visit the frog pond, a wiser knitter than before. For some reason, I really love this way of knitting. Must be senility setting in.

Stay tuned. I'm soon going to have to figure out how to cover "the girls." Can you say Short Row?

Also on the needles, Lily Chin's shawl from Vogue Winter08, a lace scarf for Charlotte Yarn as a store sample, and a new sock pattern in development. I keep them all in bags around my chair and knit a bit on each as the mood strikes. Life is good.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Design Pride

Rachel, the incredible Vice-President, sent me a picture of her version of my Baby Sweater pattern. I'm so proud. Had to share. Pattern available free in the side bar.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Baby Alpaca Grande Vest Adapted

Stopped by Charlotte Yarn and Sandy had just displayed her store sample of this vest. Tried it on and was hooked. So soft. So warm. In accordance with my Stashalong rules for 2008, I bought it, cast on and completed it. Here it is.I have worn it almost constantly since I bound off. It's like a constant hug.

The pattern is a one size fits someone other than me, so I tweaked it. Don't I always? First I added a cabled braid up the center back.This is Ensign's Braid from Barbara Walters Book 2. It is a 24 stitch, 24 row repeat. You could add any cable design you like; just center it on the back. I have charted the pattern for Ensign's braid and will share it if you like. Just leave me an email address and I'll send it to you.
I also added to the armscye. The original pattern just folds over the piece and seams the two sides. This forms a very tight, ill-fitting armscye. I had to insert a panel of ribbing as an afterthought, but I can tell you a better way to do this.

The pattern begins with a cast on for 2X2 ribbing which forms your bottom ruffle. Work this as normal (I added 12 stitches to the whole thing to help it fit me.) At the end of the ruffle, you just decrease to 1/2 the number of stitches. It's on the first row of these stitches that you add in any cable pattern you like.

I added 2-3 inches to the length of the back because I wanted an 18 inch armscye to form the 9" depth of armhole that I need.

Then the pattern has you increase to the original number of stitches and complete the top ruffle for the shawl collar. At this point, I would add stitches to form a more fitting armhole.

Remember the flat line where you bind off some armhole stitches before you start a gradual increase to get the the shoulder. (see below) We are going to create that space so the armhole will not bind.
Ater increasing for the final ruffle, cast on 2-8 sts (depending on size) at the end of the first two rows. Continue to knit all stitches in the 2X2 ribbing. Sew the side seam by joining only the 2X2 rib sections.

Even if the pattern fit me as it was, I would add 2 stitches to modify the underarm fit.

I did use the Plymouth pattern, N026, and used a bit more than 4 skeins of Plymouth Alpaca Grande.

If you have questions, leave me a note in the comment section or email me at

Thursday, January 10, 2008

New knits--Beaded Scarf

You're just going to have to rotate your head. I cannot get this to upload correctly and I am not in the mood to mess with it anymore. I'm not in a bad mood, but I just want this to go smoothly and then I want to knit on my new vest.

This is the Hydrangea Scarf pattern from Fiber Trends that I am using for my Beaded Scarf class coming up this month. The original pattern does not have beads, but I added them--a trick I will teach in the class.

More and more I am loving beads with lace. I'm not looking for bling, hence the bead choices are subtle. I'm looking at the way that the weight of the beads helps the fabric drape. Also the beads are a nice touch and you can take them quite wild if you want.

This yarn is Simply Shetland's Cashmere Silk blend. Charlotte Yarn has it in quite a few colors so I chose it for the class sample. It isn't buttery soft, but has a nice hand, much like raw silk. The yarn has enough texture that it holds the lace pattern open to view. It creates a very elegant casual look. Two skeins will make a 10" X 75" scarf--or longer.
I used a size 4 needle and a size 12 steel crochet hook to place the size 6/0 seed beads.

I bought the beads from Emilia Beadelia's Bead Shop on ebay. Jennifer has great prices and great products. Ordered new beads from her late Tuesday and received them today. Obviously great service. Highly recommend. Order size 6/0 to get a bead with a large enough hole to use with the crochet hook technique.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

BAM!--no cooking involved

Well, I finally got to BAM-Cotswold. That's Books a Million, a most patient bookstore. They actually allow some very strange people to just hang out and drink coffee and knit. And laugh. And misbehave. And scare some of the customers.
This is what it looked like last night. There were knitters who are very intense, even when KIP.

There were knitters who are somewhat silly.

There are knitters who may actually be certifiable.

And there are confident knitters above it all.
I will allow others to designate in which group I belong.

We talked about the Central Park Hoodie and several want to make it, so we are thinking about making it at the same time. Not a formal Knit-along, but a somewhat looser group-knit. Much discussion about using stash and which yarn to buy. Turtlegirl76 refuses to believe that I don't have plenty in my stash to use, but worsted weight is big yarn to me and I only have some Kureyon and some Cotton Fleece, both of which I consider light worsted. Okay, I'll do the math and make it work.

I scouted Ravelry today and found one person who used the Cotton Fleece and it did well. Lots of Cascade 220 which I also don't think is a true worsted and some Paton's Classic Wool that I do think is a true worsted. (I sound like the college football announcers talking about True Freshmen.) I think I'll use the Cotton Fleece in the My Blue Heaven colorway. The multi-colored ones did not show the pattern well. Didn't think the really dark solids did either. Pooterprincess should definitely go with the red Patons.