Central Park Hoodie

is it the fumes

Or did I finish the hood of my CPH with no more than one ball and change.  I now can breathe easier that there will be enough to CO.  I cannot contain myself… I’m soooo close!  I plan on working on the button bands tonight and hopefully finishing them so I can seam on the weekend.

Cph1

I have been following along Cara’s scary nightmare turned deliriously happy ending with my fingers and toes crossed.  It’s so easy to knit along on this top and not stop to check if the cables are being turned the right way.  I found with my sleeves that I would easily go on to the next row without having turned a cable on one of the sleeves.   I’m so happy she found the fix and has shared it with the rest of us cable happy knitwits!

Cphood

Question for my CPHers out there, how did you bind off your hood?  I was thinking of doing a 3 needle one from the inside but then just decided to bind off since I had to pick up the stitches anyway for the button bands.  An invisible seam should work right? Or do you think I should get this thing inside out and seamed? 

Random Rant: I came home to my apartment today to find it reeking of paint.  I live in a two unit building which is being sold (my lease wasn’t renewed and thus a new home is in the works of being found) and it seems in an effort to spruce the place up to buyers they painted the downstairs studio.  The smell from all the painting has infiltrated my apartment (a duplex) which finds me confined to my bedroom on the top floor still getting hints of the noxious paint smell from the ground.  Granted I’m quite happy to be lounging in bed tonight as I’m beat tired, but I’m catching whiffs of it and it’s starting to give me a headache. (Sorry for the venting!)  It just better not infringe on my peaceful, destressing knitting tonight.

Rant Over.

Besides finishing CPH and impatiently awaiting the start of my Leaf Lace.  I’ve seen another top that’s caught my eye.  I of course am a huge fan of the Zephyr ladies as shown by Rusted Root and now with Carrie’s finished Glee and what I’m sure will be a gorgeous Lolly creation, it’s got me itching to try it out as well. (Yes, one sweater at a time! I just get so excited!)  I bought the pattern and may switch up the yarn used to the Blue Sky Alpaca Silk.    I promise not to get too ahead of myself… (yeah, Ok.)

I have two school events tomorrow and Wed, plus a huge day on Saturday and then the Superbowl.  I have taken Monday off (woo!) to reset the batteries and probably recover from any hangover I predict I will have.  I’m sure before then more and more knitting patterns will catch my eye to drool over and share.  Until then, I’m all button bands.

Central Park Hoodie

Well Rested

It feels so great to finally sleep in and have a day where I don’t have to be anywhere!  Yesterday I woke up at 7:30am (an ungodly hour for a Saturday) to be at my school by 8:30 to proctor a scholarship test.  Granted I was home by 12 and took a little ‘noozer, it still doesn’t feel as good as sleeping in.

CHP sleeve done!

I finished my CPH sleeves!  If you were to ask the BF what I was doing on Friday night it was knitting like a mad woman on these sleeves.  I got to a point where I just wanted to get them done and nothing – not dinner, not sleep or a few glasses of wine were going to get in my way.    I casted off right before we went out to dinner last night.  They’re a little on the bigger side but figure that’s good since I’ve read on the internets that the sleeves run a bit tight.

I did have a minor panic attack on whether or not I would have enough yarn left.  Correct me if I’m wrong but let’s say you get gauge for a certain pattern and it says you need x amount of balls.  It shouldn’t matter what yarn you use because if you get gauge you’ll still need to order X amount and hypothetically no more.  Of course that is the theory but not the reality.  I’ve come to realize in my short stint as a sweater knitter you probably could need more or less yarn in any situation to get gauge… Thus the rule of thumb – buy more than what you think you need. (Sure, must remember that for Leaf Lace)

Classic Elite Skye Tweed

While working on the sleeeves I had 5 balls left and was starting another ball for my left sleeve.  In my mind  I am guessitmating I will need at least two for the hood and one for the trim plus seams.  I was in deep panic mode until I casted off the sleeves last night and have 3 completely unused balls and two somewhat used.  I should be fine, right?

I ‘ve already used about half of the slightly used ball from above and have about 4 inches done on the hood.  I should get another two inches out of that which means that one more  full ball would be enough for the hood.  This may not be as bad as a nail biter as I thought it was going to be.  I cannot wait to get this done!

I hope everyone else enjoys this nice sunny Sunday.  My 2nd week of hellish work begins tomorrow so I’m enjoying this while I can.
 

stash and stuff

friday, i’m in love

thank you so much for the kind words yesterday. I’m feeling phenomenally better today! One, because last night’s wine tasting and cooking demo was fabulous – I even won a bottle at the end of the night!   Two, the fact that it’s Friday is an upper in itself. And three, I’m testing out a new yarn and I love it.

Sheepshop

My LYS picked up some new Sheep Shop Yarn which she discovered from her last trade show. This one is their Sheep 2 yarn in green.  It’s SO soft! The yarn is a 2 ply bulky and has such a great twist to it. The color has a slight variation with great stitch definition.  I knew she was going to be getting some so I did a little research and then read their yarn review.  So, hey thought I’d give it a try and now I know just what to make…

Leaflace

I’ve been looking for a while for a great yarn to try the Leaf Lace Pullover and I think this is the one! It’s bulky enough and it’s such a great green.

Do you want to hear something completely silly of me?  I proceed to knit the yarn on 10.5 needles getting 3 stitches to an inch. Oh, way to big I say… it’s got to be 4 stitches/in..  So I rip it out and switch to 9s which is getting me 3 and then some… ooh getting somewhere but of course the gauge swatch is a bit tight and then I think so myself, "wait, is this really right?" 

I look again and read the gauge: 10 stitches to 4 inches… wait a minute…  That’s 2.5 stitches to the inch and not  4. Somehow my mind calculated that as 4 stitches to one inch. Instead of dividing the sucker I multiplied. Riiight.  I think it’s time for me to put down the needles and unwind a bit.

Now, where’s that wine I won?

Central Park Hoodie

Devastated Excitement

This week has been one of my busiest at work.  It’s a time when parents are either overly excited or devastated with the decision that was made with their daughter’s admission.  There is no in between.  It’s either the highest high or the lowest low.  Normally I’m an in between teetering to a higher emotion all the time personality.  But the vibes from both kinds of families are putting me out of whack.

CPH Sleeves

Excited: The CPH Hoodie is getting there.  The sleeves are coming along.  It’s slow going with two sleeves at once but I’m pushing along.  I am doing the double duty of counting 10 rows between cable turns and 8 rows between increases.  I’ve thankfully begun to notice how the stitches lie so that I can pick it up and count them without worry on what row I am.

Devastated:  I want to keep knitting them but have so much going on with school that they’re being neglected.  Plus, knitting a sweater is a long commitment and frankly I’m about ready to get this puppy
done.

Black Water Abby

Excited: I got my wonderful package of free color cards from Black Water Abby after seeing them on Fricknits.  Beautiful! I am scheming to do the Seamless Hybrid for my BF.  I was going to connect that to the Project Spectrum by making him a blue sweater with grey hems.  Just don’t tell me about that myth, Ok?

Devastated:  Who knows when I’ll be able to buy the yarn and I must finish some of my other needle projects first.  And maybe I’m worried about that myth just a little bit… (a wee bit).

Excited: I’m seeing two of my friends tonight for a wine tasting/cooking class event.  I cannot tell you how much I’m looking forward to being with them. It’s so nice to just be with the girls and to have the freedom to do this.

Devastated: Reading a Salon.com article about Darfur.  It seriously breaks my heart it’s so sad.  So utterly sad.  I truly hope that we can help end genocide everywhere.  Why do people do this!? 

Excited: My mom left yesterday to go pick up my grandmother who is moving back to New Jersey.  I am so happy to have her close.

Devastated: My grandmother is suffering from Alzheimer’s and therefore does not think I have graduated HS let alone know who I am. 

Excited: That you all are out there who listen and read and make me want to be a better knitter, person, thinker, writer, me.

There’s definitely no devastation to that.

mad hatter

brrrrrrr

The winter weather has finally hit New Jersey.  I opened the door to my apartment on Friday morning surprised to see the white stuff covering the street and cars.  I even had an audible exclamation.  Helps too because I did not look outside my window or check the weather report so frankly I had no idea. I was completely and utterly unprepared for the snow and had to wipe off the powdery stuff with a flip flop that I found in the trunk of my car. (Note: It pays to leave random crap like that in trunks for moments like these).

A few hours later it melted when the sun came out.  There are still remnants of the stuff in shadowy corners but all that’s left now is the bitter cold.  Just in time though I cranked out the hat for the BF. 

Jimmy's Hat

My first official out of nowhere FO of 07!  He loved it so much that he commissioned me to make another with a different color combination.  With the three skeins of Blue Sky I had more than enough for two.  I just made the pattern up (simple stockinette beanie), did a little gauge, casted on 88, worked the pattern and decreased evenly at the top.  Friday night cast on to Saturday morning wear – this puppy was quick!.

Top of Jimmy's Hat

He sported his hat out on the town last night.  We walked 5 blocks in the freezing cold to a great Mexican restaurant, had a little red wine sangria and walked home  Despite the fact that we were both wearing warm wool hats our faces still turned red with runny noses.  I prefer this type of weather with the pretty precipitation…  I mean,  why have cold freezing weather without snow?

The only other consolation?  The urge to knit more! And having seen berets pretty much everywhere. I now have the extreme urge to make one.  Poor, CPH, will your sleeves ever get done?

Life

indulgences

One resolution I did not make this year was one that involved no new purchases to the stash.  I know I need to budget regardless. Not to mention I have a nice collection of yarns that are yearning for my attention before new major yarn purchases are made.  But when the BF asks you to make a hat… You make him a hat. 

Blue Sky Alpaca

My west-coaster friend Sarah led me on to this cool hat site: Coal Headwear, which features hand knit and machine knit hats.  Her favorite is The Nels (unisex hats – beanies) which includes a separate neck warmer that is buttoned to the top.  It provides multiple wearing options!  I don’t plan on making both pieces just yet. I simply  like the reverse stockinette stitching and will be using that as my frame of reference for the BF’s hat.

Of course a trip to my LYS for the BF also meant that I would fetch a little something for myself, too.

fetching

I must have done something really well at work that day because I was also happily spoiled by the owner as well!  Patricia was in San Diego at the TNNA all weekend and so generously brought me back some goodies!

a gift from san diego

Koigu mill ends! (the brain is storming over what to make with them!) with a signed copy of the Painters Palette by the dyers themselves.  The book is filled with gorgeous patterns made of the KPPPM and Kersti yarns.  Not to mention the history of their business which makes knitting with their yarn so much more meaningful than before.  I also got a signed copy of the The Friday Night Knitting Club book that Julia Roberts is bringing to the big screen.  I cannot say enough how thrilled I am that she and her husband thought of me. 

I’m happily smitten at home tonight with all the knits and gifts.  The Monkey socks and Hoodie are still both coming along. I’m finally on the sleeves and hope to do a good deal of them this weekend so that I can start the hood.  As for the monkey, one foot down – one more to go.

Central Park Hoodie        Monkey Socks

My posting might be a bit sporadic the next two weeks as it’s Super Courting Mode at my school.  This is the time of year when our acceptances and registration happens for the class of 2011.  It kills me to say that so naturally… Twenty Eleven.  I can barely think of tomorrow, let alone 4 years from now.  I have multiple nights in the next two weeks (6 to be exact) that will require me to schmooze parents and daughters alike.  I’m in my full sales mode.  The only thing I’m looking forward to is the downtime I will have in the afternoons between school and Schmooze Night to knit! (plus the TiVoed hours of 24 and Grey’s).

Uncategorized

pardon the interruption

this girl can’t get enough of her Monkey Socks

Monkey Socks

CP is sitting on the bench while I work these fabulous Monkey socks.  The pattern is just so easy to memorize and I simply cannot put it down!  I had some of my friends over last night eating takeout, watching football and gossiping.  During all our great conversations my fingers were working on the heel and gusset.  They were joking how I was unable to stop knitting.  I was multitasking! The yarn is fabulous (have you seen Cara’s Super Crazy Fabulous Generous offer?). Go get some!

I knew it was dangerous to cast on for socks.  I was really trying to just focus on one project at a time. (It works better when you have a deadline (Christmas) and when you’re knitting for others.)  When it’s a personal knit you are prey to your inner Ego. (Or is it your ID or your Superego?  Oh I shouldn’t of slept through my psychology class).   I had the yarn, I saw the pattern and that was the end of that.  I would have socks.

This sock will be done before the sleeves of my CP, but I’m still getting a few rows in here and there on it so it won’t lag too far behind.  I’ve also been thinking a lot about the buttons for the hoodie.  I’m worried about going into the city to get some because of the sheer overwhelmingness of it all.  The walls and walls and shelves and shelves of buttons! What if I cannot decide? There’s nothing bad about too many buttons? Right?

There’s still a ways to go so I won’t stress over that just yet.  Today I’ll just keep to my Monkeying around!

Life

the pen is mighter than the keyboard

the letter 

Way long before I was obsessed with knitting I had this fond loving for all things paper.  You name it, I bought it.  Journals, accordian folders, note cards, stationary, scrapbooks – I wanted them ALL… I frequented stores like the Paper Source and Kate’s Paperie walking around with a serious case of attention defcit disorder.  I wanted everything I saw.

Recently due to the knit-love, I haven’t been as obsessive over my precious paper goods.  Of course next to all the yarn I’ve managed to buy in my short stint as a knitter sits boxes of different note cards, journals, and pads. 

When I was younger, I always pretended that I would have this fantastic long distance frienship that required boxes of letter stationary.   I even signed up through the post office for an international pen pal.  Her name was Heli from Finland. I can remember how excited when her first letter came.  I loved how she wrote her H’s.  I wished then that my name would have begun with an H.  Funny now with the BF that childhood wish might come true one day.  We maybe wrote once or twice but soon that was taken over by basketball practices and piano lessons.

I then tried to start up a new letter writing relationship with a girl I had met while vacationing on LBI.  I felt like Bette Midler in Beaches fanticizing about this long term deep relationship with a girl I just met swimming.  Much like the first this ended in a three to four letter writing relationship.  Soon high school came and then computers, beepers, cell phones, and the boxes of note cards and stationary collected dust.

In college, my letter writing would get a bit of a resurrection.  I went on a retreat my sophomore year which included a surprise component of letters from friends, classmates and family.  A full envelopes of sheer affirmation.  My love for letters was reborn.  I of course paid it foward by writing to other friends and aquaintances who went on this retreat and letting them know how much they really mattered.  It was a great letter-loving sharing time!

Since then that letter writing hasn’t had much of an opportunity to shine.  Much of what we tell people is said through phone or emails, never really hand written anymore. This year I hope to write one person a month a good letter of love and appreciation.  How often to we truly get to say how others  effect our lives.  When I write a letter I sit there thinking of each word instead of the email which seams more stream of concious than a cohesive sentiment.

So I tack on one more margaux-lution – spreading the love by letters. I mean what else can be better to join bills or catalouges than a stamped envelope of love?

Central Park Hoodie, Socks

hand me a banana

January weather has arrived. It is currently 29 degrees outside. There apparently was a flurry last night but I didn’t see it.  Despite the fact that the warm weather made me nervous about global warming and NYC going underwater because of the ice caps melting, I kinda loved having that warmer weather.  But now that it’s colder I can now enjoy knitting inside without feeling guity I’m not taking advantage of our Indian Winter.

central park hoodie

My CP is now to large to lug around with me. The fronts and back are done and now it’s all about the sleeves.  Brilliant Cara is planning on doing hers in one piece.  A great move that I didn’t consider. It will be good seaming practice for me but if I make another I will so combine them.  With my quick progress on CP I found myself without a transportable knit on the needles… what was I do to but to cast on some Socks!

monkey

(I took the pics inside around 5ish so the lighting is a bit dark.) These are the Monkey pattern from the current issue of Knitty.  The yarn is STR in Prove it All Night.  I’m using size 1 addis (the pattern called for size 2s) and I might be moving it down to 0s.  So far I love how it’s coming out! It may be a tad on the bigger side but I can’t really decide since it’s just two repeats in.  The pattern is pretty simple and memorizeable once you get it going.

I’m also loving the color of this yarn!  It’s got subtle color change from the pinks, reds to greys… not to mention how I have that song stuck in my head as I knit with it. I know I’ll be swinging from the trees when these are done.

I was showing my knit group last night and a bunch of them hadn’t knit socks yet.  What’s exciting about that is I might be teaching a sock class at the shop!  It amazes me how far I’ve come as a knitter.  From back in the winter of ’03 sitting patiently with my Stitch N’ Bitch book to now being a potential bonafide teacher of the craft.  Who freakin’ knew?

Central Park Hoodie

margaux-lutions

Why is it that I always make these wonderful promises to myself that begin on Monday?  Alas the "margaux makeover":

– Ahh I shouldn’t eat that brownie sunday… will start eating right Monday.
– Nap or work out? Ahh Nap… will work out on Monday.
– I’ll just buy this one cute top now… saving will start on Monday

Well here you are, Monday, and it’s rainy and sad out and there is no motivation in your weather today!  But there are some signs of hope that I will at least TRY to make these "resolutions" work… I finally woke up this morning feeling refreshed rather than groggy like I did all last week.  I didn’t buy coffee this morning and feel pretty awake, surprisingly. Plus, I’ve taken on a new attitude at work.  I will not worry about the things I cannot change, only of the things I can. (AA much?) And if all else fails throw in a few knit rows here and there and feel a bit better!

Central Park

At the moment I’m watching the rain fall from my office window and doing a little work on CP.  I finished the left front last night and started the right front during the Giants game.  I had to rip out the right front 3 times while watching Tiki’s last game. I’d say it’s Bye Bye to Coughlin and I really am hoping Eli comes around and shows a little more heart/emotion next year (i mean take some from Shockey, will ya?)… at least I have my knitting…

I found a KAL yesterday with some other goregous Central Park Hoodies! Have you seen Aquaknits!?  I may need to make another just with Cascade 220!  So far it has truly been a quick knit.  I plan on doing the sleeves at the same time.. but of course the seaming is the toughest part for me. So I still have a ways to go.

In the meantime as a part of this "margaux makeover", I’m excited about participating in the 365 photo project. I’ve been reading about this on many blogs and finally checked it out.   It’s quite a huge challenge but I feel excited about the idea of taking a photo a day.  I don’t plan on Posting one everyday but I’ve already set up a flickr set and will probably do a "week in review" every here and there.  I took several classes on photography in college and it always helps when you have an assignment vs just freelancing it. One of my professors took (or stlil takes) a picture of himself every morning.  He’s been doing it for at least 10 years – it’s Amazing when you see them all together. I digress.  I’m gonna put a little button the the sidebar eventually so you can check out my progress, too, if you want… 

I should probably go back to focusing on the job that allows me to buy all my yarn.  Maybe just one more row…