I don’t know ka-ra-te, but I know ka-ray-zay

Possibly the best James Brown line ever, but it’s can also describe my day to day lately. Things are hopefully starting to hit a stride, and thus I’ve made something. Huzzah.

Before I get to le triomphe I must acknowledge le grande poo, which is also le francais, Le Slouch by Wendy Bernard. I totally screwed this one, I used Maalbrigo and size 8s but just didn’t pay attention. Decreasing in seed stitch was more challenging than I thought. And so it looks like ass on a stick.

But then I went to my friend’s house in Long Island, and we spent the day at the beach and played tennis. I spent some time in my own brain and thought about the spot on the wall in between the bedroom and the bathroom (among other spots). Frustrated but still feeling okay, I attacked a new hat pattern. I’m not stuck in a rut! This hat kicked ass, not only because it’s a great pattern, but because it’s a great baby pattern I modified for my own big adult alient head, and it totally worked out. Huge props to Hey Julie, where I found the original bestest earflap hat pattern (I made literally everyone one for the holidays last year).

I’ve filmed the junk cuz I got no camera – but it look real nice!

It resembles Mush Mouth’s hat/headpiece when looking at it not on a person, but when you wear it, it looks normal.

Dumb Donald, who I thought was Mush Mouth
Dumb Donald, who I thought was Mush Mouth

The sleeper awakens

Okay, it’s been a long time since I picked up the needles, and even longer since I categorized it. Basically, I’ve been on a plane for the last month. Usually, plane rides mean lots of knitting, but this time I’ve been knee deep in planning, upfronts and other assorted work nonsense. Taken as a whole it’s been more taxing than anything, although there were some highlights, notably a couple of wild nights Vegas and an evening of weirdness in San Francisco, featuring badly lip synching trannies dancing on tables. And we paid them to do this. Here is a photo of one of the less attractive ladies…one was attractive enough that my hetero male co-workers nodded appreciatively before tucking into another Anchor Steam. This was not that lady:

saggy butt

So without further ado: my current project is finally Le Slouch. I had previously picked up some sale yarn, which I originally thought was so cool and summery and finally decided it was downright ugly (and thus why on sale). This sale yarn was a multicolor hand painted yarn in blue, green and yellow, called Curacao, and I was going to wing a Fitted Knit. However, I forgot that I have no patience for things like measuring and gauge. Oh yes, this was a wank.

So I had/have a ton of Malabrigo. I’ve previously waxed on about how much I love this yarn. It’s soft, pliable, easily knitted, can be doubled without a problem and has a nice variegated tone throughout since it’s kettle dyed. I am using a gorgeous blue, and am about halfway done. I am electing to make Le Slouch Less Slouch, and knitting 4.5″ instead of the full 6″ (which Wendy offers as an option).

Malabrigo Worsted, Jewel Blue

I got some knitting done this weekend. Greg and I rented a place up near Woodstock (but not as expensive). Lovely place, it’s actually for sale. We again went to the incomparable Peekamoose for dinner on Friday night (got there around 9:45, just a couple of minutes before the kitchen closed). Excellent wine, all organic/locally grown foodstuffs. I had an awesome Vidalia onion and local goat cheese tart, my man friend had an incredible hand made gnocchi. My main was a skate wing with bacon lardons (hello) and I elected to skip dessert in favor of a Macallan 12. Tidy. All around great stuff, I highly recommend.


Peekamoose is just up 28 from Phoenicia/Woodland Valley/Shandaken in Big Indian. Dining room closes at 10p, but the bar was open at least until midnight. At least last Friday ­čÖé

Mohair, Mo Problems

Godddamn it, not again. Finished the back panel and left front of the Kelly Cardigan from Erika Knight’s Classic Knits. Things are moving along nicely…except I’m noticing that I still have the right front and both fricking sleeves/shoulders to do with only two balls of yarn left. You’re supposed to knit both together – do they mean I’m supposed to double the yarn? It’s absurd that I should only need 6 balls. I’m not using the called-for mohair but yarn almost exactly the same. Urge to kill growing!

A Yarn Tragedy

Cloud Bolero. A great pattern. Knit well by me! And I ran out of fucking yarn. Ran out of it! And no other place in NYC seems to carry Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk anymore. Fuck a doodle doo.

Serenity now. I went out to a work dinner and had a lovely Malbec and a filet mignon. I’m putting my Cloud Bolero away until I can find my yarn and eat worms. Meanwhile, I might make Le Slouch. Wendy B. rules! Knit and Tonic’s free patterns rule. Yarn tragedies make me sad!

Yarn Over Matter

I’ve moved on…we shan’t talk of Briar Rose unless I’m drunk or much time has passed. The former being a possibility even tonight.

I’m now on Fantasy Pattern #2, Cloud Bolero. And it’s moving along right nice! I’ve never done a ton of yarn over stuff, creating that lacy, open look. But this pattern is full of them. I had a couple of hanks of Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk, which is so*fine*. I’ve doubled the yarn, since it called for chunky, and it’s so soft and purty. I’m working in a gorgeous almost navy dark blue. Things seem to be moving along!

Debbie Bliss - Alpaca Silk

I’m watching Shadow of the Vampire with my man friend and a glass or eight of McWilliams Shiraz. Kinda brilliant and really funny. Director hires method actor to play Dracula, and he turns outto be a real vampire.

Failure..is an option, nay, it’s my manifest destiny

Briar Rose is complete. If I could just find a little person with Booger McFarland-sized biceps the sweater would be an excellent gift.

How have I really fucked this up? How could I have sincerely f-ed the sweater but make reasonable Booger-sized arms? And the damned baby cables. For 4″! Could I not tell this was a doll-sized garment before I wasted my entire holiday weekend working this nonsense?

It comes down to guage. If I am not prepared to really take into account guage, I have to face this possibility. But I’ve been lucky so many times before!! ARGHHH.

Pics and or vids to come. They’re embarrassing. But I’ll show you.

Update: Ok, ready to show. Not ready to try it on, because it would be like fat guy in a little coat, fat guy in a little coat:

So here it is on the floor. My greatest disappointment to date. Le sigh.

Knitting on a whirlwind tour of holiday insanity

Feliz navidad…what to do with a entire week free from work (well mostly free)? Watch movies, spend time with family, eat wheels of brie, drink excessive amounts of wine and champagne, and relax with some projects.

I finished a mitten set (which I left in Indianapolis), a hat for Greer (knitted entirely on Christmas Day) and started on my Ysolda Briar Rose sweater. I’ve finished the bottom body portion, which is knit with short rows. I think I did it okay, and I’m now seeing the point of short rows: it makes a groovy little curve within a long piece. I’ve finished and then joined the first sleeve, which took me a good ten minutes of studying the piece before I figured it out. Sometimes I am not that smart. We’ll see how the rest of it goes!

Renewed knitting

So it’s been a while. I hosted Thanksgiving (albeit for only 3 people) but hell I made a damn turkey. Also, our digital camera is busted, thus making a blog about knitting projects difficult to chronicle. I could draw a picture? Here’s what Knit and Tonic, where I bought the pattern, says it looks like. Mine isn’t as nice.

Knit and Tonic's Somewhat Cowl

Ok so I took a break from the sweater. Too much of the same color, I nearly jumped out a window at several points. In the meantime, I churned out a couple of small projects that I hope to give away as gifts. A couple of hats I made on a very bumpy Friday night flight from LA to JFK the week after Thanksgiving. Flight attendants are ALWAYS interested in what you’re knitting. I made the Aspen hat from Wenlan’s Big City Knits, and then made my own design (just a regular old hat in seed stitch – turned out pretty cool). I bought a crapload of her yarn online and it’s pretty nice but holy jeebus – essssspensive. Like $18 a hank. I don’t pay enough attention to the yardage or what have you I just go by the all inclusive “hank”.

Best part about work travel (aside from the miles you can rack up for your own personal use, which I never actually take advantage of) is the free time with no phone calls or blackberry service. Aside from a honeymoon, it’s the only time work folk just accept that they’re not going to get in touch with you. After that, you’re fair game.

However. I finished a set of mittens on that trip (NYC to Dallas, Dallas to LA). Satisfied, I admired my handiwork as I packed up my stuff and prepared to leave my seat. Soft gorgeous Debbie Bliss alpaca silk in a groovy looking green and gray stripes. And I LEFT THE DAMN MITTENS on the plane. I’ve rarely been so pissed at myself. I am retarded.

…serenity now. I’m over it, I think. I’m here on my couch, finally attacking red sweater again and having a nice big glass of Syrah (Smoking Loon – always under $12 at Shawn downstairs). Smoking Loon, it turns out, is a Sebastiani family wine. Me likey.

Finally, my tree is up and decorated. If I had a camera I’d snap a photo – it’s real purty and putting me in the holiday spirit (in addition to the actual spirits I’m imbibing). The cherry on top of this Monday night is White Christmas on TV – one of my favorite holiday movies. I tend to goob out a bit at the holidays. Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby are hilarious, Rosemary Clooney and…the attractive blonde with the great legs. IMDB tells me she’s Vera-Ellen. She was like Ann-Margret of the 1930’s – 40’s.

I’m secretly glad the man-friend is out this evening…better I keep my bourgeosie holiday proclivities to myself.