Monday, February 27, 2006

also ran

Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
The Knitting Olympics sweater was finished last night. I wove in the last stray piece of yarn at around 10pm or so. So I came in just under the wire.

There was a lot against me on this race. I had re-knit one entire sleeve. And the nonsense about not reading the directions properly. Remember that? And the pattern, when followed correctly made the arm holes way too small, so I had to knit some more on the front and back, just when I thought I was done.

Ultimately, I didn't follow the pattern all that much. I would say about 80%. The neck I just did on my own (picking up more stitches than recommended and knitting the whole thing in the round).

The sweater is finished, and it looks very nice (good shaping and seaming, etc.), but I don't know if I'll ever wear it in public. I swear my gauge was spot on, but it seems much bigger than I expected. It's comfy and oversized and might get some wear, but probably not. I love it because it's my first sweater and I finished it and I proved to myself that I could do it.

So how does this reflect on me as an Olympian? Am I a Bode Miller, who never finished a race? Am I a Sasha Cohen who skated beautifully, but made some fatal mistakes? I'd like to think that I'm kind of like Jeret Peterson, who did an amazing job, but left Torino with 5th place.

Though my goal for the Knitting Olympics may not have been as ambitious as "The Hurricane", I executed it well, but it somehow fell flat. It does, however encourage me to set new goals and work even harder on the next sweater. Now how's that for Olympic Spirit?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

trapper keeper

Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
What it is: trapper hat from Vogue Knitting winter 2005/06

Made from: two skeins Misti Alpaca Super Chunky alpaca/wool blend in natural

Time to complete: two episodes of Hustle on AMC, two installments of Ken Burns Jazz on PBS (parts 5 & 6)

(Complete Idiot's Guide to Knitting & Crocheting needed because I've never crocheted a stitch in my short little life.)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

what's that you say?

Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
You want to see more progress shots of my Knitting Olympics sweater? Sorry. Instead I give you this! My knitting needle case. I put this one together a couple of weeks ago using leftover scraps from my curtains. Cute, no?

The sweater is moving along. I was frantic with the idea that I just couldn't read the pattern. I packed it all up and took it to work to beg at the feet of my co-workers.

So I pulled out the pattern and laid out the sweater pieces and when I started to read through the directions THEY MADE PERFECT SENSE.

I just felt so foolish. I mean not as foolish as Lindsay Jacobellis who pulled a trick at the end of her race and lost the gold medal. And not as foolish as Bode Miller who failed to complete yet another race. And definitely not as foolish as Apollo Anton Ono who placed third to two Koreans in the speed skating. But pretty foolish nonetheless.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

highjacked blog

So we have this Italian butcher down the block and I needed some lamb.
"Do you have any lamb?"
"What do you make? A roast?"
He's Italian from Italy.
"No, I'm making a stew."
He starts cutting up some leg of lamb. It's beautiful. We've been going there since we moved and it's always been great. One thing, though. I believe that in this past century we've put too much emphasis on sanitation and not everyone died of salmonella before refrigeration. I do. But as he was cutting my lamb a piece fell on the floor. He noticed as he reached for the next slice and he picked it up and addded it to the already cut pile. And last time we were there we needed some prosciutto and beef. He cut up the beef with his hands then the prosciutto and offered us some. With his hands that he hadn't washed. What was I gonna say? He's cheap and, as I said, the meat is great. So I ate it.
While watching him cut up my lamb this other guy walks into the store.
"You got any frozen livehs?" He's got a real heavy Italian American accent.
"Livehs. Frozen livehs. You got any?"
"Who's asking?"
He's walked past me to right next to the butcher at the butcher block. Not a foot away from him.
"Jimmy who?"
"You fuckin' know Jimmy. Jimmy! Jimmy the Exterminator. C'mon."
The butcher pauses.
"No. I no have."
"You don't have any."
"This is Jimmy the Exterminator."
"I no have. I give you call if I get any."
The guy stares at the butcher for a hard moment.
"Thanks for all your help."
He takes off.
The butcher weighs my lamb. Fourteen dollars for three pounds.

Monday, February 13, 2006

x-men evolution

Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
So after waiting for the snow to stop on Sunday, myself and Master P took a little trip to Sunnyside, Queens. I carefully packed up the front of my sweater and planned for a night of Olympic Knitting.

Our good friends Kevin and Carmen (you remember Carmen, right?) promised us dinner if we would trek out to Sunnyside. I've never been one to turn down a free dinner invitation, so off we went.

I managed to finish the majority of the front of my sweater while watching Bode Miller and Apollo Anton Ohno embarass themselves. The rest was completed the following morning while watching Master P and Kevin play X-Men Evolution 2 on the Nintendo Game Cube.

We spent the night in Queens after consuming mass quanitities of wine and deciding that we didn't want to pay for a car service nor take the 3 trains required to get back to The Works. Kevin made waffles and then we headed off to spend the afternoon frolicking in the snow in Central Park.

I cast on for my first sleeve tonight while watching curling (my favorite!) and I figure I can make at least one, if not two sleeves tonight. The sweater is moving a lot faster than anticipated, but I still have to correct my mistakes on the shoulder shaping, finish the cowl neck AND seam AND block. We shall see. We shall see.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

pot au fool

pot au fool
Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
So I managed to pound out the back of my Knitting Olympics sweater in two days. But something has gone terribly wrong. I swear I read the pattern correctly, but the left shoulder is longer than the right.

I'm very frustrated and stranded in the middle of the first real blizzard of the year. I've put the back aside and decided to just go ahead and cast on for the front and just stop when I get to the shoulder shaping. I'll have to bring it to work and ask one of my co-workers for help, maybe John, because he knows everything about kntting.

So, I am stranded, as a matter of speaking, and planning on making something warm and homey in my brand spaking new dutch oven from Le Creuset! I'm so in love with it and it's beautiful french blue color. It was a gift from mom and dad for my birthday. They thought I was nuts for asking for it, but they got it for me anyway.

So it's a day of knitting, cooking and Olympic watching ahead of us at The Works. I have to say that I was really disappointed with the pairs figure skating last night. What's with the new scoring system? It sucks. And I'm also tired of hearing about Bode Miller. I'm going to try to find some curling on ESPN 8 or something.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

let the games begin!

Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
I've joined the knitting olympics, which began last night. Pictured right are six skeins of Noro Yoroi which are destined to become a cowl neck sweater from Noro Pattern Book #17. Wish me luck!

In the background there is my Purple Blobby. He's a Shawnimal and a gift from my dear friend, Cinnamon. He used to live at my parents' house in NJ, but he recently moved into The Works. I don't think he much likes the Yoroi. Too bad, Purple Blobby. Too bad.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
It was a busy weekend at The Works! Well, my weekend is Sunday and Monday so that's what I'm referring to.
Sunday was spent making chili, watching the Superbowl and doing lots of knitting. (I can knit and watch football at the same time. What?!)
Monday was spent sewing my 30lbs. of fabric. While Master P did some writing I sewed my brains out. I made 6 panels, each 9 feet long. We only hung 4 however, because we can't freakin' drill through the cinder block wall. We've tried almost anything and nothing has worked, so if anyone can make a suggestion, I'd love to hang the rest of my curtains.
After finishing the curtains, I decided to keep sewing and I pulled these scraps together to make some cases for my knitting needles. I finished the case with the circle motifs before I ran out of steam.
We're talking 6 hours of marathon sewing! I told Master P every Monday should be like that. Neither of us spend enough time on what we "really want to do" (like writing, or sewing). We'd both be happier if we did.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

30 lbs. of fabric

Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
That's right. I bought 30lbs. of fabric that is destined to become curtains for The Works. It is the most amazing color orange - a little darker than in the photo.
And that's one of my cats, Monk. He's always poking around my photo shoots. I asked him if I could use his picture on my blog and he said, "Whatever." He has a bad attitude.
I was going to sew last night but I ended up knitting instead. I started a Clapotis for myself using Noro Aurora in colorway 4. I'll spare you the boring Clap progress shots and plan on a big "Ta Da" when it's finished.
And now, I'm off to make chili for the Superbowl!

Friday, February 03, 2006

hell yeah!

Originally uploaded by Needleworks, Inc..
I know you were all hanging around sitting on your hands with excitement, wondering if I took the desk my neighbors left in the hallway. Well, I did. It's now happily ensconced in The Works. There is so much room for all my stuff, I'm absolutely giddy. I've never had a proper work table before. Isn't it pretty?