Knit 2 Par 3

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What I did on My Winter Vacation

I had this week off, maybe for the first time ever in my working life. Usually at my job I have about a million things to do to close out the year but this year I left all that to a very competent someone else in the office and I haven't looked back once.

We had a long list of home improvements to accomplish, and we made it through enough of them to warrant me unlocking the door and letting the family out for breath of fresh air.

First we checked on the only really important home improvement project going on in some people's minds, the new Yankee Stadium:

I cannot imagine how this thing will be done in time for opening day, which is a mere 2,268 hours away.

Just down the street from Yankeeville is The Bronx Museum, where we saw a really terrific show called Street Art Street Life. The real excitement in this show are films and other documentation of some performance art pieces, like this one by Tehching Hsieh. The show is open until January 25 and it's free on Fridays, so run don't walk to the D train.

After all that walking around in the sunshine we went to a dark movie theater to see Milk and it was faboo. There was so much weeping and sobbing going on in this theater at certain points you would think we were all there to see Wuthering Heights. The man sitting next to Emily was so vaklempt he thought he was going to have to leave the theater. Spoiler Alert: mysteriously, not one Twinkie in the whole movie.

Well, I realize it is New Year's Eve and I meant to do one of those Year In Review Round Ups so here it is: I had a pretty good year. I finished 19 knitted things. I played a lot of golf. If any of our friends were in town tonight, we'd have a little new year's eve party at our house. But, since you are all away, and we are house sitting for most of you, we may have the little party at YOUR house.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


A woman walks into a yarn store in the Big City on the day after Christmas and picks out four different and shiny new skeins of Noro Kureyon. As she pockets the change for the shekels given to her by her mom for the express purpose of buying more Noro for Christmas, she tells the grim and unfriendly shop keeper that she is going right home to cast on a Noro striped scarf.

Imagine her surprise when the shop keeper laughs in her face and cackles: "You and a million other uncreative people!" And her minion, a wizened toady wearing a fleece jacket in a yarn store, seconded: "that's the dullest pattern ever written!"

I wish I could say that I had the dignity to give back the yarn and ask for my money back but I did not. I really wanted that Noro and didn't have enough time to head uptown to the other unfriendly yarn store that stocks Noro. I'm pretty amazed that they just didn't wish me a Happy New Year and laugh at me when I left the store (like I would have). Because Noro or not, I am not coming back.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Let's Get Real

I bought this yarn at Sheep 'n Wool this year with the intention of making this, this,, and maybe even this. But really, I bought it because I love the way the colors look together twirled up in the skein and I have no intention of ever knitting anything with it.

So there.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

New Snow and Red Yarn

A messy snowfall this weekend was the perfect reason to forget all the chores and to-do lists and just finish up these Thuja socks:

This is a delightful pattern and very easy to adapt to any size or weight. Extra delightful was the Lorna's Laces Shepard Worsted I used - a really vibrant and even dye, and there was plenty of yarn leftover even after making these socks to fit Emily's size 8 feet.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Buttoned Up

I put my good button hole research to work and finished up this birthday vest for Brendan with enough time to actually wrap it:

As you an see those are some fine looking buttonholes, and so many of them, too! I realize I had purchased extra buttons at Brooklyn General for this project, with the idea of sewing the extras into the bottom band in case one fell off and rolled onto the subway tracks or something. But I got carried away with the buttonhole techniques, using three different kinds in this vest for the heck of it.

What's this pattern? I turned to my favorite Handy Book of Knitting Patterns for the vest. It has a simple K2P2 border, and then I launched into the stitch pattern I'd seen done in Yank (Rav link). This stitch gives all the pleasure of garter stitch with a nice little pattern to keep it from looking too plain.

Here it is up close. Look at those fine buttons all snug in their buttonholes.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


My neighbors put out a perfectly new copy of Pride and Prejudice in the trash this evening, so now I have one more copy of this perfectly wonderful book.

I wonder why they did this. Do they think Jane Austen isn't relevant in our modern times? She even has her own Facebook page now.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Buttonhole Surfers

I need to work harder when it comes to making nice buttonholes in a sweater. So many of my projects end up looking like they were buttoned up by a three year old, and it is discouraging. I did a little research and found a lot of useful techniques that won't make your buttonholes look like you poked a pencil in the knitting to fit a button.

I also found a number of mentions for steeking buttonholes, but I was afraid to look.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Good Art Right Here

Have you seen this Embloggery blog?

When we were in Maine in October, we saw a number of samplers at the museum, some of them over 200 years old. Even though samplers of that time had a formula (a little lettering, a little scripture, a picture of a house) they really spoke to me. Just to imagine time it took to complete one, on top of a busy day milking cows and making candles and tending sheep. It might have been a way to teach needlework, but I like to think it was also a way to give a busy woman some concentrated time to make art.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Vampire Weekend

No, not the musical kind, the small screen kind.

I had planned to use this weekend's blustery weather to hide in the house and "finish up a lot of knitting projects". What I really meant was that I was going to sit around in my pajamas and watch the entire season of True Blood which I TiVo'd over the past few days. Since I only drink wine, I hadn't really heard much about this show at all , but Nancy lent me one of the Charmaine Harris books over Thanksgiving and I really sunk my teeth into the whole story.

I had a hard time knitting while I was watching, because I kept having to push the mute button real quick when I heard neighbor in the hall pause outside my door, listening to all that screaming and heavy breathing from the TV screen. Although I watched quite a few episodes I was surprised to see no one playing golf, or knitting. You'd think if you were going to be around for eternity you would at least cast on the Clapotis scarf, right? You might even have a chance to finish it.

Speaking of, I did finish up a big project and a few small projects and I will post those pictures in the near future, say December 15th.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Back to the Here and Now

After reviewing all that ancient history this weekend, I needed to knit something to bring me back to the here and now. Something "chill" or "crackin", perhaps. Something "dope" ! Something the young people are wearing.

These fetching things took about 2 hours to make and fit the chill, crackin and dope category. And I am the 8,689th person to knit these this year, according to Ravelry.

I used some leftover Cashmerino but I don't think these took 100 yards. If I were to make them again I'd put in a thumb gusset instead of a simple thumb.

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Way, Way Back Machine

Not only did I spend a few hours lost in nostalgia for the unremembered 80's this weekend, I took a spin in the Way Back Machine to the 70's - I attended my 30th High School Reunion.

I hadn't attended any of the previous 29 reunions and I wasn't sure what to expect. Would the cheerleaders still be show-offs? (Yes). Would the good looking boys still be good looking? (Time has not been kind to the men). Would the dorky kids still be the most fun? You betcha!

I am curious about people, and I had a lot of opportunity to ask a lot of people a lot of questions while they sucked down martinis. I asked the usual (are you part of a couple? Have kids? Livelihood?) and also what kind of passions and interests they had pursued. When I got a heartfelt answer to the question, I found a woman who had worked in a marketing office by day and was a telephone medical intuitive by night and a man who left his high paying job to become a zydeco clog dancer.

After asking me about my wild youth, people were pretty surprised at how conventional I turned out to be after all, what with the knitting and the golfing and the gray hair and the eyeglasses with the rhinestone sparkles. And I guess I was surprised too.