It’s a mod, mod, mod world

Ok, ready to make the swirly-do hat with fleur, from Lauran Blogi. Except the only white or white-ish yarn I have is Twinkle’s handknit super chunky. And because I’ve waited until the last moment for custom holiday gifts for friends, now I must…dum dum dum. Modify this pattern! I’ve never done this before. I hope I don’t fuck it up. Is it a good idea to do this for the first time when the instructions are in Norwegian?

It calls for:

Aran weight yarn, gauge 14 sts/10 rows = 10 cm. 5mm circular needles, cast on 80 sts.

I know nothing about guage. I should. Maybe I’ll learn one day. I hope this isn’t the day. But anyway – I cast on 48 sts of Twinkle handknit super chunky on a 5mm circular needle. Fingers crossed!

[40 mins/1.5 glasses cabernet sauvignon later]

It seems to be working. Because I’m an idiot, and also I think because the yarn I’m working with is so thick, I’m using a cable needle (well just a single dpn; I don’t own a cable needle) and doing this cable-style. The instructions I needed (and ass-umed, which turned out to be correct), is that for the first row (knit 1, purl 3), you knit the knit and purl the purl. Er, the 3rd and odd rows, since you repeat rows 1 & 2 ongoing.

[1 glass Fresca and 10 rows later]

Hat looks great. For a Pinhead. Dammit! Changing to larger (size 10) circs, metal.

[3 days, 1 office holiday party, 1 dinner party, 1 play festival and countless glasses of wine, beers and vodka rocks later]

Size 10 circs too long in length. To be continued!

Bring me the malabrigo, it pleases me.

I went to Stitch Therapy  on Lincoln and 7th ave in Park Slope last night…the nicest, coziest, most non-threatening yarn store on earth with the simple idea of going in and buying some size 7 needles I need for that upcoming Ysolda project I keep fantasizing about.

And then I went to the sale corner…and bought like 8 more chunks of Malabrigo. In a delicious creamy Orange Julius and then a couple in a pretty robin’s egg blue. These are the kettle dyed worsted weight yarns…they’re soft and versatile and the colors are beautiful. The sweater I’ve [temporarily!] abandoned was a beautiful cranberry kettle dyed Malabrigo.

Orange Julius…aka “Tiger Lily” Malabrigo kettle dyed    Stone Blue from Malabrigo    Cranberry for the old sweater…aka Garnet

Christmas presents, right? Too bad it’s December 13th and I’ve not even started. I have a problem. Stitch “Therapy” is not the kind of therapy I need for this.

New fantasy patterns

Easier Amelia Earhart capMaybe I should just freaking knit the stuff I’ve bought yarn for. However, when on supremely boring conference calls, I troll the internets for new stuff. And thus, I’ve found New Fantasy Patterns. Probably I’ll never knit them, but it’s good to dream.

For a long time I wanted to make this Amelia Earhart cap, it was this groovy retro looking thing in a weird rib worked back and forth. It looked too complicated for me, but here’s one that’s more my speed. And it has a flower! Which I can’t do! Because it’s in Dutch, isn’t that weird? But no, there’s English instructions and I think I’m just going to use a free knit pattern for a fleur.

And then there’s this cool Anthropologie-inspired capelet. Making this means I have to find a cool sparkly to bring it all together. As Dom DeLuise said in The Secret of Nimh, “Thparkly!!”

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.

Progress, Malbec and Movies

My man friend Greg is off to Los Angeles (safely I hope), meeting the elusive, kind, mysterious Jewerl and pursuing his dreams. I myself am pursuing my dream of a real wearable sweater (Somewhat Cowl, by Wendy from Knit and Tonic, excellent pattern), while powering through some work, some freelance stuff, roughly 1/2 bottle of Malbec, and a couple of movies. TCM, one   favorite channels of course played one of my favorite flicks – Sense and Sensibility. Then, nothing interested me (even AMC’s Monster Fest – the Frighteners which I’ve seen, not that great despite Peter Jackson directing), so I popped in – this is very embarrassing – Don Juan de Marco. So what – sue me. I love this movie. It’s freakin fun. Ok, now I’m watching Little Odessa. Tim Roth is fucking amazing. Edward Furlong – actually not offending me. Vanessa Redgrave – brava! Moira Kelly – Boo urns. Girlfriend, can you just FAKE a Little OdessaRussian accent? It’s even Brooklyn Russian. I’m not asking for St. Petersburg, this is goddam Brighton Beach. Christ. She is ruining everything. The Cutting Edge aside, she has not lifted my skirt since time out of mind. The upside being, the sweater is progressing, as is the bottle of cheapie Malbec I procured from the incomparable Shawn Liquors. Shout out to Hillary!

Something actually wearable

So I’ve knitted a few projects so far. Hats, socks, ipod case etc and they turned out ok. I then turned to more ambitious projects, like sweaters. They have all sucked. Unflattering, gaping holes, mismatched sleeves and downright unwearable. It’s mostly because I like to knit it order to turn my brain off a bit, and not think about my job or my expanding waistline, and I don’t pay attention to the actual knitting. Also, perhaps in my defense, most patterns I see are appropriate for someone approximately age 76 and bear significant resemblance to a potato sack.

However, I purchased an excellent pattern from Knit and Tonic (she had me at the title) and I’m paying attention. It seems to be working. I think this may actually be wearable, and not birdcage lining (if I had a bird). Fingers crossed!

In the meantime it’s rainy (but oddly not cold) in late October Brooklyn. Which means: movie day. The man-friend and I are watching a Jean-Pierre Jeunet marathon, starting with Amelie, then City of Lost Children, ending with the very depressing but wholely awesome A Very Long Engagement. I have a feeling I will be very sick of the adorable-ness right around midafternoon, but I think we can push on through. The jokes are kind of like watching Family Guy – so obvious, milked for all their worth but usually worth it.