Life

snow way

Yesterday I was granted one more vacation day when at around 5:30am I recieved the call that my school was indeed closed for snow.  I got up all excited and continued the phone chain and looked out my window expecting to see cars buried in the whiteness – but no, the snow was a bit slushy and in my mind didn’t grant the snow day (but did I complain, oh hells no.)

I went back to sleep and in the end woke up around 8:30, got a little breakfast and did a little knitting.  Sure, I thought – I have this extra day, I should do something productive!  Work out? (ahem, no.) Laundry? (maybe tomorrow).  After wrestling with a few other ingenious ideas I decided that I could do a little apartment research – no pressure. 

My lease is up in my current apt on 3/31 and I have to get a move on as my building is being sold.  I have been lurking on rental websites and real estate sites and tso far nothing really sparked my fancy.

So with bowl of cereal in hand, I did a little clicking and there it was.  A one bedroom right off the main street with a pretty little rent (heat included!).  I grabbed my phone and dialed the number and reached the nice realtor who was happy to show it to me that very afternoon.  A jump in the shower and comb of the hair and I was on my way, excited but with no expectations.

Well my dear friends, I signed the lease to that apartment that very night in the company of my BF and wonderful mother.  It was mine, allll mine and such a complete surprise. It had a lovely big kitchen and big living room – a very tiny bedroom that yells "you’re only sleeping in here, hon!" and a bathtub that reminded me of the Money Pit movie (minus the breaking through the floor and Hanks’ seal laugh).

All I kept thinking that night and today was: No snow and no apartment. Snow and I’ve got a place to call my own for one more year in this fabulous Sinatra town.

Cherie

the spoils of break

Cherie Sleeves

Having the time to finish the front and back of Cherie and start on the sleeves.

Waking up at 8:30am instead of 6:30am.

Enjoying a few more hours to hang out at your LYS and to talk about exciting new happenings on the horizon!

Staying up late and drinking wine (well I do that normally but sans guilt)

Getting a facial and a neck massage from a local spa. (Ahhh!)

Being able to blog more often and with energy which leads to meeting new people and getting a few surprises. Thanks again Mai!!!

Cherie Button         Central Park Hoodie w Buttons

A trip to NYC with blogless Dana to find buttons for the CPH and Cherie at MJ Trimming (Tender Buttons – I will see you next time!)

Getting time to truly assess the stash and feeling good about going to School Products and walking out without any new yarn.

A round trip to the Jersey shore to find a house to rent for the summer.

Meeting my dad for lunch in the city and walking around 5th Ave. with the handsomest man I know.

Stalking Bloglines 24/7 to see some great looking Le’Slouch’s that make me want to cast on for one like now.

Having the time to make pancakes for me and my BF not once but twice this week.  I’m an excellent flipper.

Getting a call from my mom at 8:30am to help her figure out how to purl and knowing that she’s knitting with the women at her office!

My day job isn’t the most glamorous nor does it pay the big bucks but these are the things that make it the best job in the world. 

Who knows, the way the weather is shaping up tonight maybe I’ll squeeze just One More Day…  I’ll be sleeping with my pajamas on inside out tonight.  ETA: That pajama thing works every time! Woo hoo! i heart snow!

General Knitting

Waiting for the goods

Have you ever felt that you missed out on a knit?  Like missing the deadline for a sock exchange or not being able to buy that knitting book because it’s out of print and may never be printed again?  Such drama that can arise in the knit world. 

I had seen the knitted robots by Jess Hutch on a few blogs and felt the urge to make one but alas, no patterns available.  It wasn’t even on Ebay.  I remember how my friend Patricia said that it was near impossible to get now that they were all sold out.  Imagine my surprise to see it then on the cover of Craft magazine.  I was definitely one of those people who was duped into buying it thinking that pattern was inside but alas, no… False advertising? A whopping Yes from me!  I’m not completely dissin’ on Craft mag because I do loved the other projects within, but really now… it was so misleading.

Sadly, I have to wait like everyone else to see if she’ll reprint this fabulous toy book of hers. (Please do, Jess! Adoring fans are waiting :-))

Her book of course isn’t the only one that I am talking about.  There are other great knitting books that have either been out of print for sometime or have recently gone out of print.  Mostly Mittens is another such title (Did you see it’s over on Amazon, used for $205! whaa!)  I’m not all so bummed out though since there are new titles out everyday that contain a wealth of great patterns which make not being able to get some of the other coveted titles not as hard to bare. (but can I tell you how envious I get of those who do have them! you know who you are ;-))  But, I’m a very patient girl.  Just ask my friends.

Oh! I heard back from Kim Hargreaves, which is so thrilling to me because in what other industry does one of the leading desingers actually have acess to or is able to commuicate with a normal everyday person of the craft.  If I were making an at home film and wanted to ask Spielberg a question do you think he’d respond?  Anyway, point being it’s true that her kits are sold together… no seperate pattern for me but I get that if you’re growing a business there are things you have to set standards for and hope your consumer understands.  I actually might just get the kit anyway since I’m considering more and more finishing that Blanket Cardigan for my mom after seeing the Philistine’s.

The knit world is no different from any other industry – there are things that are currently available and others that aren’t.  Example: have you tried getting an copy of the orignial Fletch movie? Impossible.  Out of print! (plea for Chevy Chase!)

I will keep knitting Cherie while I wait for all these things.  The back is complete and now to start the front (can’t winter break be Every Week, I’m getting massive amounts of knitting done!).  Being straight stockenette I thought I would go nuts but I  love mindless knits on a vacation week.  Keeps the brain on a low function frequency.

stash and stuff

Get me some Beads cause I’m flashing my Stash!

I almost forgot what day it was.  Actually, if it wasn’t for a phone call from my principal wishing me a happy "Ash Wednesday" a day early, I would have gone this whole week without a second thought.  The Marti Gras person within me is taking full advantage of the day called Fat Tuesday in which Catholics around the world are indulging themselves for one last night before the great fasting time that is Lent.

What was thought of as a small box of small yarns ‘here and there’ has turned out to be a great wealth of yarn that has simply been out of sight out of mind.  Perhaps I should reconsider that whole Knit from your Stash idea…. yeah… nahhhh.

Rowan Wool Cotton

I have about 7+ balls of Rowan Wool Cotton that I had originally planned for a Blanket Cardigan for my dear sweet mom (hi mom!).  I may finish it or I might rip it depending on what she wants and also if I can get the Ali pattern without having to buy all the yarn that could go with it.  Oh please email me back, Kim Hargreaves!

Brown Sheep Bulky

Here we have a lovely array of green shades of Brown Sheep Bulky which is supposed to be used for a Felted Board that I saw in Alterknits. Not so sure that will be it’s destiny, I’m thinking hats now.

Foxfire Fiber

Ahh the gorgeous Foxfire Fiber that is currently becoming de-stashed with my recent knit, Cherie.  It’s just pretty to look at and touch. It’s about time I got this Rheinback acquisition on the needles.

Yarn Guts

Ahh and the bag of yarn that time forgot.  It actually looks quite terrible in there will all the guts of different yarns mixed together.  I like to give that bag a shake every once in a while to see what yarns come to the top.  I think there’s an unfinished sock in there somewhere. There’s also a wonderful bin of other-yarns-I-did-not-feel-like photographing.  In
there is some Manos, a few Socks that Rock hanks, some Brown Sheep
Cotton Fleece for a Green Gable or two.  Oh and some Regia Silk for a shawl, but not sure which one, and other odds and ends.

Lastly comes my final great indulgence before I take a mini time out from yarn purchases.  It helps when you have a LYS readily willing to make special orders.  This is my yarn for Glee, and yes people I love to splurge – beautiful and soft Brown Sheep Alpaca Silk.  I cannot stop touching it. (Oh Dana, it’s time you get your yarn too!)

Blue Sky Alpaca Silk

What can I say?  Looking at all these yarns does make me feel a little guilty but I know I’ll find them loving homes with either patterns I’m knitting or perhaps my very first stash sale.  For now, hand me a burger and some margaritas cause this girl is loving her stash and is not afraid to show it.

Cherie

My Cherie Amore

Thanks for all the wonderful comments on Leaf Lace!  I am so happy you all were patient enough with me and my laziness in finding a button!! But good things come to those who wait I guess.  So now, what’s next for me?

Why Mon Cherie!

Cherie Begins!

This is what happens when you stick someone in a yarn shop all weekend with nothing to knit. She goes back and forth on knit patterns, checks out what’s on all the shelves but comes to her senses and using something from her ever growing stash.

I knitted up a swatch with the gorgeous Cormo Silk Wool I had gotten way back at Rheinback from the great people at Foxfibre.  It seriously is about time that I made something with this gorgeous wool.  I didn’t want to knit just anything, I wanted to knit something that I knew I would wear, that would make buying this lovely soft silk/wool worth it.  At first  I though I would do Jemima by Anna.  A fabulous and simple raglan sweater which is still hot on my knit list. 

Then after seeing Classic Knits I thought, hmm a V-neck would be nice too! Such a great wearable work knit.  So I took out my 5s and went to work on the gauge swatch.  I was getting 21 sts to 4 inches pre-wash which was one stitch off the gauge (22 sts for 4in).  I then gave it a little soak and as suspected the yarn bloomed a bit to 20 sts to 4in.  Sigh, not going to work for the V.  Part of me wanted to go down a needle size but the other (slightly impatient) part knowing there are so many other great knits out there with that gauge decided to do a little hunting.

While at B&N on Friday I also got myself a copy of Vintage Knits which I had been coveting ever seen I saw Jarrett and Demi.  I paged through this fabulous pattern book and one simple yet stylish knit caught my eye… ahhh Cherie. 

Gauge swatch, Check!  (despite the fact that I was using 5s and it asked for 6s, but I digress). 
Color: Dark rust, Hmmm Goood.
Needles: Knit’em if you Got’em (5s and 4s, check!)
Yarn Mojo: Pretty little knit that I adore!

Cherie Back

After the leaf lace I find I like the slight boatneck on sweaters and this one has a similar style and I feel it is So Very Wearable.

Sing it with me Stevie, "La la laaa la la la, La la laaa la la la!"

leaf lace

Leaf Lace Pullover

Leaf Lace Pullover

When I teach my beginners knitting class I always tell them that learning to knit is just like learning to do anything else – it will take time.  When you learn how to drive you don’t start on the highway, you start in an empty parking going slow getting to know the gas and brake.  When you learn the piano you practice simple scales day in and out and then tackle Beetoven’s 5th Symphony.

So even while I tell them how it just takes practice while repeating the mantra, "the more you do it the better you become," it still surprises me when I can finish a FO in what seams like record time that my own silly advice actually works.  Here I am in my car doing 110mph on the autobon blazing a trail…

leaflace2

A few thoughts on this delicously comfortable sweater:
– I would defintitely next time make the torso a bit longer – I don’t mind it as I’m 5’3 and it seems like a perfect fit, but one or two more rows might give it that extra comfort look.
– Seaming the sleeves was the toughest for me to handle as I found it hard making it fit into the already established hole instead of laying it flat like I did with my CPH.  I made it work but it felt slightly akward.
– the yarn was so soft! Again I used Sheep Shop Yarn, Sheep 2 in green which I picked up at my LYS.  I’ve never used it before and found it to be so soft and such a joy to knit with.  I love the color too – its beautiful change from light to dark really brought this sweater together for me.
– You need to block it pretty roughly to get the wide neck in this sweater. I kept pulling at it to make sure it looked right.

The finding and sewing the button was perhaps longer to do than knitting the sweater itself.  I got a little lazy in the end but finally finished it up.   I’m two sweaters more than I’ve ever done before and I cannot wait to cast on for another! (only… which one!?)

General Knitting

batting .200

After hitting a few home runs, I’ve found my self in a knitting slump. I was crusing along knitting to my hearts desire, whipping out FOs here and there and now I’m like "Ehe".  The problem I know has to do with the small needles and the teenie tiny yarn that I’m working with for both the sock and the beret pattern.  Worsted and Bulky weight will do that to you – especially the bulky.  Shame on you bulky.  Why do you just give in so?  So eager and apt to please me like you do.

It’s like I have Phenominal Cosmic Knitting Powers, itty bitty knitting mojo.  I need a dosage of "knits-i-would-stay-up-for-all-night" or some might call, "Start-itis". Please someone infect me!   Glee has the potiential but alas no yarn so I must find something in between to kick start the fire.  I want to be overwhelmed as I have been in the past and those past potential knits are still out there but the flame has sizzled a bit.  Enter a new to me book Classic Knits by Erika Night, I haven’t even see it yet but for my J.Crew/Banana Republic influence wardrobe I feel like it might be just the thing.

Eknight

After reading a few book reviews on the internets I think a quick trip to B&N with my gift card might be in order!  I’ve seen her Glamrous Knit book and know she’s a woman of great designer talent. Somehow though her other book didn’t seem to have many practical things-I-would-wear knits where this does.

I am finding so much gratifcation with my CPH that I want to have other everyday sweaters in my wardrobe. It’s so thrilling and fun to wear something you’ve knit and actually LOVE wearing it.  I think it’s time to do a little shopping ;-).

Uncategorized

Valentine’s Snow

Cupid, draw back your bow and let your arrow flow straight to my lover’s heart for me! For meee!

(I love that song! I mean does it not make you think of Innerspace?)

I’m beyond delighted that the snow/slush/ice has caused a day off.  Reason #2394 why I love my day job.  As I suspected I will be spending my day cozed up on the couch, knitting a bit and preparing the menu for my special dinner for tonight.  We’re talking steak and potatoes tonight – a good yummy favorite.  Last night I had such a great time at my knit group.  There were 4 new people that joined us and I couldn’t be more delighted.  Again, knitting has proven not just to be a really wonderful creative hobby but a great connector. I am looking forward to next Tuesday!

And although Project Spectrum is in the blue, grey and white months – today is devoted to the reds… and how I do love the reds.

Louet Gems Opal

This I’m hoping to create finally my own "Cranberry" Beret.  I’m using Ann Budd’s Handy Book of Patterns as a guide and have already gotten past the 1×1 ribbing. It looks kinda small to me now but we’ll see when I have a bit more done.

Also in my battle with the Second Sock Syndrome, my monkey has returned…

Monkey the Sequel

See that pile of STR in the backgound? I am really hoping and a wishin’ it’s going to be enough for sock #2.  I have been doing the scienfitic method of holding both the working sock and the ball of yarn in seperate hands and shaking them a bit to see if I think they feel the same.  This is a time where it would be really truly advantageous of me to get one of those mesauring thingys.  I’ll just be hopeful!

I wish everyone a nice comfy and warm V-Day!

General Knitting

Famous Whenever Words

You must be asking yourself, "after the speed at which she knit the Leaf Lace Pullover (remember Bulky wool!), how long must it take her to get a decent picture of it for all to see?"  Can I confess something?  While it’s all seamed up and ready to go, the obsticle that has slowed me down is the friggin’ button.  I did get one over the weekend but found that none of the needles I had could fit through the little holes and I haven’t had a moment to go to a store to get some proper needles. I’m not making any true promises to anyone as I can barely keep those promises to myself.  So blame the button and part my procrastnation. "Why do today, what can be put off until tomorrow?"

It’s supposed to snow royally here which will be fun if I can get a day off (yea working at schools!) or not fun (Ugh, driving to work in snow!) if I must come in.  Obviously a Snow Day will be used knitting up other fun things like mittens, another monkey sock and maybe finising a 2nd BF hat.  The little immediate gratification knits, how I love thee.

I’m still waiting on an order for starting Glee ("patience is a virtue") and I also still need to measure my BF for his potential sweater (which frankly i’m not starting juuuust yet, yes yes I believe, I believe, no sweater for the boyfriend).  I have been though at least swatching for it.  I’m using it as practice. I’m trying hard to get into a rhythm for continental knitting.  I am normally an english knitter and feel pretty darn good about it, but know that it’s always good to learn new things and become more versitile.  "One should never feel like they’ve learned "enough" of anything!"  So I have resorted to just knitting continental for now… believe me it’s getting easier but I always feel like changing back to the Old Ways.  Hey, "If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it."

yarn

Outside of my knitty life things in tentenknits land are changing.  My apartment lease is up and it’s time to get a move on.  It’s truly sad because I love (Love!) my current apartment.  It is big and the location is great, but the owners have decided to sell my building and therefore I’m out on my tutkis. I’m hoping to strike gold a second time with the hope of finding another apartment with such luxuries (Cross my fingers, toes and knitting needles).  As they say, "Change is good."

What mottos do you live by?

warm hands

my mother’s hands

Momfetching

My mother’s hands are strong.

They cook amazing dishes like empanadas, parmesan mashed potatoes and a crown roast of pork.

They sew beautiful dresses, skirts and stunning tops.

They are masterful in crochet but learning to knit.

The are able to turn a simple window into a beautiful fabric adorned masterpiece.

They are skilled with tools and have turned ordinary pieces of wood to creative crafty pieces of art.

They are magic on the top of my head where she has spent countless hours playing with my hair.

They hold a precision that can be seen in her handwriting and attention to detail.

They are what I always hope my hands to be.

They are my mother’s hands.