Friday, August 14, 2009

What knitting emmybear has been up to

(When my mom called me "emmybear" as a child, she'd use it in the third person)

I've been on a casting-on kick. My wips at one point were up to 15. I'm out of control! So since then I have casted on minimally and finished maximally... not really a word but what the hell... Here are some of the projects I have recently finished, both knitting and non-knitting:

Cookie A's Kai Mei socks
A mixed-media canvas of yarn leftovers in whites and grays:
Something I cannot show you yet because it was made for my biggest blog fan:

Some charity baby hats:

The variances in size don't matter...for a sad reason.

Some alpaca handwarmers from a kit I got at MSWF:
And last but not least, I cut my Blooming Cotton Scarf! I promised many SSKers to show this fringe-cutting process. It was knit in the round horizontally (all 400 stitches). This was post-cast-off and pre-cut:
Cutting time. Eek! Not as bad, though. The stitches don't unravel like you'd think.And...all cut. I realized here that I hadn't inhaled for a while.

The cut edge.It doesn't come all undone. You actually have to undo the previous row to undo the next row. And once you establish how far to pull, it's impossible because of the magic interlocking nature of knitted stitches, for the row to unravel anymore. Just look, because I'm a horrible explainer:
Then you just tie those two ends together. Here is some fringe already done:And one side all done. Notice the lighting change. Flash was required because day had turned to night since I had started cutting.And then there was blocking.

On the third day all of that curliness & stickiness of wet cotton turned to straightness and smoothness of dry cotton:
I love all the varying lengths and random knots from when I changed colors. I almost kept it this way.

And then more cutting.Yeah so there are tons more projects but I'm charging my camera battery right now so just hold your horses!

I'll be back...hopefully sooner than 3 months from now.


I'd like to address the Stephanie Pearl-McPhee issue.

I've been too lazy to blog since May, so you know this is important to me to write. (But as long as I'm here I might as well share my projects with you. See next post.)

If you live under a rock or are a non-knitter I will tell you that my favorite knitting philosopher was attacked by a woman who found SPM's Canada Day post offensive to her as an American (although it seems SPM made fun of Canada more often than America. I myself love both countries. I'm on a Canada kick right now though. I'm rambling.) Here is the post in which SPM addressed this woman's behavior.

Now, this woman is very mean and harassed my friend SPM, but there is another side to the story that I feel like sharing with you. Keep in mind as you read on that I just came from a training on Mental Health First Aid, the final part of which addressed the stigma socieity holds against those with mental disorders.

So I read this woman's blog--because hey, I like drama--to see what she is all about. In it she divulges in a non-socially-appropriate way that she has mental issues and takes meds and even calls herself crazy. She appears to have pretty severe issues with socialization and/or interpreting others' statements, otherwise she maybe wouldn't have written such verbally aggressive comments (on SPM's blog, twitter, personal email, etc). This is not to say that people with these issues are allowed to behave in such a way, but to give us insight on herself and her struggles with mental health.

I myself work with teens who have similar problems (e.g. cursing out 15 male gang members=not a good idea). We teach them how to be socially appropriate. Hopefully someone is working on that with this woman as well.

Also, you only know what you learn and this woman is from Texas and likes George Bush.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bloom! It's Spring!

Welcome back. Just wanted to fill you in on what I've been up to. I've been working diligently on my sock wips since I got the new Cookie A sock book and want to get going on some of her intricate designs. I purchased 6 skeins of sock yarn at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival (subconsciously all the yarn I got there was sock yarn...Cookie was on my mind I guess).

I'm moving and have been gradually shoveling my stuff all .25 miles over to my new apartment (yay hardwood floors is good for yoga!) Here, Ringo is wanting to spend some of our final days together helping me to dismantle my massive LYS-loving Expedit shelves from Ikea.
I've also been enjoying Spring! Here I was experimenting with a camera feature. I'm sure it has some fancy photography name, but all I know is that the foreground is in focus and the background slightly blurry. I love it.

And this brings me to the focus of this blogpost: the scarf I'm knitting! The moment I saw the Blooming Cotton Scarf in Interweave Knits Spring 2009 I was drawn to it, as you can read in one of my last posts. It reminds me of being laid-back and exciting and daring for having so many colors. I, however, was drawn to some of my favorite Spring colors. I also wanted to save some $ so I got half as many colors and widened each row to 2.

Here it is so far. I wanted to share with you all, especially anyone interested in making it, the amazing design. It's knit in the round. Cast on 400 stitches! The first and last 15 stitches are not knit in pattern. After casting off, you simply cut (CUT CUT eek!) at the beginning of the round and UNRAVEL (eek!) until you get to the beginning of the stitch pattern, tie off, and Wabam! you have fringe.Not to mention the stitch pattern, which looks like fair isle but really isn't (mwah ha ha ha). You simply slip those magenta stitches every round until you knit with the magenta again. It makes these cute little ovals that pucker in. and the one row of purling of the magenta adds dimension too.
And inside each little oval are 2 wee stitches. Again, not fair-isled. They are knit, and all the rest of the round slipped.
Whether my explanation makes sense or not, try it! It's pretty easy and loads of fun! The hardest part is picking out the colors, truly. ...and casting on & the first few rows. Not difficult, but really annoying if you have to rip it out. I literally had to un-knit two rows early on. But it was worth it because it is looking beautiful!

I'll update you when I'm finished...

Monday, March 30, 2009

A home remedy...

...for the following:

Oh and here's some cute pictures of the cat...

Vara thinks he was posing.
I swear I'm not a crazy cat lady.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


so my last post was a month ago...i'm not even going to comment any further this time...

So I haven't been a good little knitter the past few weeks. I haven't gone to the Tuesday SSK knitting group because I have this new job and I get off at 8:30pm. I haven't read or write blogs. I haven't been on Ravelry, including perusing new patterns. So I was doing the latter just moments ago and I kept loving these new patterns, then I noticed they had something in common...Knitty Spring 2009! I got the email from Amy Singer while at work but put off reading it until rediscovering it this morning. A nice birthday present (my bday was the 12th).

The first pattern I came across--Shipwreck--is simply amazing. There is a list of 67 needle sizes you need to make it, not to mention 5000 beads which I assume you string on before knitting. All that and a whopping 3 skeins of sock yarn (which you have to dye yourself). For me it'd be another Jeanie Shawl (which is sitting in a bag somewhere, 1/6th of the way finished). You need to be a dedicated lace shawl knitter (...dyer, and beader) to make this exquisite thing. Oh yeah, and the first picture on the pattern page looks exactly like me from behind when I was in the seventh grade.
I like the idea and design of Hanne--it looks fun to knit--but I would probably not wear it, even though I think it looks nice. Maybe I will make it then...
Lastly, the bird mobile, named Flock, is adorable and a great way to use up random balls of yarn.
Ok, now I'm off to knitting group. Have a good day!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sick Day

So I am having a sick day. More on that later. First, have you SEEN the new Interweave Knits? I think it's the best yet. Here are some patterns that stood out for me, in reverse order (for anticipation's sake):
8. Silk Cocoon Cardigan. Love the matching texture on the shoulders and wrists, although I will probably never get to knitting this.
7. Sweet Tee. This silhouette is one of my favorites to wear. I'd probably make it longer and skip the fair isle, though. Also, will probably never knit this.
6. Float Stole. This is my idea of the ideal lace shawl: lots of coverage. Sorry, but I always question the warmth of those really holey lace shawls. This one looks actually warm. But when I saw the width of this yarn, I had shortness of breath, so I don't think I'm ready to knit this yet. 5. Sculpted Lace Scarf. I am always weak for cables. The lace aspect is good too, since it might counterbalance the amount of yarn it takes to make the cables. I also see in my future small projects for men as recipients (one in particular), and this project looks like a nice one.4. Net Duffel Bag. This just looks really fun to knit. Also strong and functional.
3. Whisper Cardigan. Always love a good cardigan. This one looks good for Spring--just warm enough.
2. Blooming Cotton Scarf. Besides having to cast on 400 stitches, this one looks fun to knit. I love the colors and after searching for different cotton yarns to use, it looks like that to achieve the right effect I might just have to use the suggested yarn. The scarf reminds me of my friend Soyona. Bright and cheerful, yet super laid back and new bohemian/hippie. I excitedly anticipate the weight of it too.1. Petal Halter. Ok, so as of me typing this, 468 people have favorited this on Ravelry, so I don't need to persuade you why this is cool. (but I will anyway) Great shape, interesting construction, beautiful. If you like this, try the book, Knitting New Scarves. Just look. You'll see.So, anyway, kudos to Eunny and all the designers. These were only my top favorite. There is nothing in the issue I wouldn't knit. Great combination of patterns (although they are almost all larger patterns. I like the speed of knitting accessories too).

What is on my needles? What's not?

I finally started Breeze from Knitty, which I queued on Jan 2, 2008 and had the yarn for for almost a year.

I love the heel flap which is made of cables.
And each row in the heel turn ends with the decrease (ssk or p2tog) across the gap only, rather than working one more stitch after it. This created a more boxy shape and defined line on each side which I love.Oh btw I decided that all my hand painted yarn shouldn't be boxed away but displayed, so I did so. I don't think I'll ever have the heart to knit with these, though. It'd feel like killing them! Stretching them out and rewinding them, then twisting and turning them! I think they'd rather stay loosely twisted up like this so we can all see them.
Ok that sounded a little crazy.

So back to my sick day. I went to the doctor and she said, "go home and lay down." Just a regular cold I think. So as I was driving home I encountered heavy traffic and had to take a detour through Bethesda. Oh, gee, there is an LYS in Bethesda and I will drive right past it. I think I'll stop.

The clerks at Knit and Stitch agreed. I need something to do while I'm on the couch sick!

I picked up some Cascade Fixation for something in Knitting Lingerie Style. That's all I'm gonna give you about that...

I was always curious of that shrink-wrapped yarn. Why do they shrink wrap it? Oh, it has elastic in it? Hmm that seems scary. I swatched with it and it's not that bad, actually. Pretty functional. Here is the beginning of my project:
I'll just let you guess what it is.

I also picked up Berroco Geode for Interweave's free Entrelac Scarf for beginners. This technique is also something that slightly terrifies me, so this pattern will be good to try I think. Part of my reluctance to learn this technique comes from watching Rebecca from SSK work on hers for months and complain about how long it takes. I didn't want it to be another Jeanie Shawl (which is currently hibernating).

Oh, AND I bought Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitting Workshop. A book all knitters should have, they say. On my way out of the store Lyn said, as she saw the book in my bag, "oh, are you knitting the baby surprise jacket?" I said no, but then as I was walking down the stairs I realized that I have always wanted to knit that--the icing on the cake!

So my wips (works in progress) list will be growing today, but who cares? I'm sick.

Here is the view from the couch:

My knitting box, needles, yarn, tylenol pm, computer, crossword puzzle, The Knitting Workshop, pattern books, The Price is Right, and six-pack of Propel Fitness Water (I've already downed 2 since beginning this post).

AND I just realized that I broke my vow from my last post about not buying yarn until MDSW. Oh well.

And now, your moment of zen--what I see whenever I go to get dressed in the morning:
Hello. Just chillin in the closet.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I vow...

Ok, before I get to my vow, I'll share with you what I've been working on... My most recent love is the After-Dark Robe from the first Mason-Dixon Knitting. I had gotten 8 skeins of this mystery DK weight cotton from a yarn swap and didn't know what to do with it. When I am in the bath one of my favorite things to read is pattern books that I haven't looked at in a while for inspiration. One day I rediscovered this pattern which I originally thought I'd never have enough yarn to make...and tada...pattern and yarn find each other. I couldn't find a good public picure of the robe, but here is what I have so far:The bottom piece is the back. I have advanced a little more on the top piece, which is the left front. It looks like this now:In addition to the 3.5" seed stitch borders, I am in love with what will be the exposed side edges. They have you slip at the beginning of every other row so that after it is all done and sewed up, this slipped edge will look finished. I also found that if you treat the first row as the WS, it makes that bottom edge cleaner and matches the side edge.

I am advancing way faster than I thought I would on this garment. It will make a good movie theater project since the back is knit in stockinette stitch for 23" with no increases or decreases.

Ok, and now for my vow. The idea for my vow began several days ago when I realized that I hadn't bought yarn for a while. I thought, wow I wonder if I can make it until the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival without buying yarn. And like many of you yarnies, I thought, hey that's a good idea.

Then Heidi invited me to Crafts and Kisses where her friends Jon and John were selling stuff. RIGHT NEXT TO their booth was Woolarina. Damn, I'm weak. Especially with $4 off all pink yarns. So then I said to myself, ok, I haven't officially made the vow yet. I thought of how I would state my vow in this blog. I am adding this small fact to explain why, oh why, I then stopped at Now and Then on my way home and bought MORE YARN. Sorry, but this cascade handpainted sock yarn is amazing. Here are my new yarns--
Beautiful right? Yeah, I know... so now, officially,


**and if I mess up, I will be honest with all of you.

And now, your moment of zen...

Ringo, trying to get rid of his kitten fat with a little feline yoga.
Or, he's just rolling around in the sun licking himself.