Knit 2 Par 3

Monday, July 27, 2009

S.E.X., and (then) the City

I would have posted last night, as usual, but I had a superbad yarn hangover. It started on Friday night, with a trip to Beans and Noodles to see if the new Interweave Magazine had arrived. There were no new knitting magazines, but that didn't stop me from looking at every pattern in every issue of all the rest of them, again - even the ugly British ones. Saturday found me behind the wheel of my large automobile zooming up 9W looking for a little Stash Enhancement eXcursion. I was totally and completely satisfied with my nooner with Noro at Knitting Nation, although surprisingly I left with a big bag of Malabrigo. It's important to try new things!

When I got home I put a cool cloth on my head, took a little disco nap, and headed out to see what this new High Line Park was all about. It's about this: wow! Wildflowers! Stainless steel and concrete! And you can see my house from there:

In New York, you are either on the ground, or under the ground, or way high up. This High Line Park runs through the city at a height I've never been before while outside and your view of the city is very different. There are no swings or sandboxes, and the noise is chiefly the approving murmurs of handsome european tourists walking hand in hand. There were a lot of Finns there, and I was dying to ask them to translate this pattern, but Carrie Bradshaw wouldn't let me.

Did I say Carrie Bradshaw? I meant Emily, but you decide. Here she is, at the intersection of Ninth Avenue and 1992:

Monday, July 20, 2009

One Two Three: I Love the Monkey Socks

Which is harder: knitting socks while singing this song, or trying to explain why you are singing this song all alone in your office at work?

10,000 Ravelers are not wrong about this sock. The pattern is easy to memorize. It goes crazy fast. Not only will I knit a second one of these, I am keeping this pair for myself.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Worst Case Scenario Part 2

What if you spent a lot of time outlining a blog post about the fashions of the British Open, only to have Tiger Woods crash and burn in the second round? (He told the press he felt he was "making mistake after mistake" as he played. I had the same feeling with those Catnip socks last week).

Tiger had his clothes all picked out, but he didn't get a chance to wear the sporty faux-argyle red shirt he picked out for Sunday. John Daly, on the other hand, respectbably finished tied for 27th, which is pretty good considering not everyone can wear that particular shade of yellow.

The guy who came in second after a sudden death playoff was seen sporting an argyle sweater in early rounds. Argyle, sigh. I know golf is argyle, and argyle is knitting, and therefore I should be knitting lots and lots of argylosity but I just haven't been able to get in the spirit of argyle knitting. For one thing, argyle socks have seams. Socks with seams, ick ick ick!

And why would anyone knit socks with seams when they could cast on these lovely Monkey socks? I've moved from the Wendy D column to the Cookie A column, starting with the most popular sock pattern in the universe. And for good reason! I have opted for the No Purl option, and they look great in this Misti Alpaca Handpainted Clown Vomit Yarn I had hidden in the back of the stash cabinet. I think I might even make two of these.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Worst Case Scenario

We went to Maine for a short little trip over the weekend, and I planned to devote the weekend to completing the second Wendy D sock using the Catnip pattern. I did not bring any other knitting. I felt so free! Just one project in one big ziplock bag.

(First, take a deep breath and concentrate on this picture of the beach to calm your excitement. As you can see, it was a typical summer weekend day there and quite crowded):

Okay feel better from looking at that picture? I know I do. I'd call this sock the Worst Case Scenario sock. It has a lace pattern, a rib pattern, a reinforced heel knitted from the toe up. I used a varigated yarn with a lot of varigation. In a chartreuse colorway. On size zero needles! So much to go wrong.

(Take a minute to look at thie canoe we saw on one of the many bike rides I required John to take so that I could get away from these socks):

Everything went wrong with this sock. The lace pattern was way too busy for the yarn. This is a very common problem, probably worthy of a DSM 4 entry, Plus, the pattern was a multiple of 7 stitches and 7 rows which made it impossible for me to memorize. And size zero needles, 'nuff said.

The heel, though, was a shambles. Reader, there is nothing wrong with the pattern or the way it is written: I blame myself. My W& T skills need a lot of work. I miscounted, I K2TOG for no good reason. The heel came out real bad, almost unrecognizable and with something that looked like a bobble on the side. Could it be saved?

I consulted this book, and found no answers. I thought about ripping it back to the sock gusset, but I just don't love the pattern or the yarn enough to re-knit. I decided to just keep on knitting and not look down there at the heel, not ever again.

If I had been thinking I would have brought along my usual 3 or 4 UFOs and even one new thing to cast on. But I wasn't thinking and I was not prepared and disaster struck my happy home.

Don't let this happen to you! Here is the Knit 2 Par 3 Travel Knitting Worst Case Scenario Survival Guide. Print it out, put it in your stash bin, and learn from me so you don't have to learn the hard way.

1. Never leave for a relaxing weekend vacation without at least 3 unfinished objects.

That's it. A simple solution for a devastating problem.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Cookie A v. Wendy D Summer of Socks Smackdown!

It's all about socks this summer here in this house, particularly sock patterns by Wendy D and Cookie A. Starting "now", and continuing until "then" I am going to knit pairs of socks but using different patterns in each pair. Some pairs might have two Wendy patterns, some might have two Cookie A patterns and some - some - might have one of both.

I have a head start on the Wendy D's though:

These are the On Hold Socks from Socks from the Toe Up. The partner for this one will be Catnip Socks. The yarn is some hand dyed stuff I got a few years ago from Shannon Okey at a craft fair that had very generous yardage - some of it I used for a small shawl, and even after I finish sock number 2, I think I'll have enough for at least one more pair.

Here's another Wendy D sock giving that sad Brooks Farm yarn one last chance:

I know I've complained about that Brooks Farm a few times in this blog lately, and I was going to use it to tie up plants if these socks didn't work out, but they did. These are Van Dykes. The matching one is the Labryinth sock which is finished but go figure, no picture.

I used this long weekend to finish up a few objects in preparation for the sock smackdown. If you haven't had a chance to knit The Heartbreakingly Cute Pilot Cap (Rav Link) go out and find a hatless baby head right now. It shouldn't be hard to find a baby these days, they seem to be everywhere.

I also finished - hold on to your seats, folks - a sweater vest for my very own husband. You'll have to wait for the fall to get a picture of him wearing it, but here is some of it:

Two things about this: it was a more subdued Noro than I usually work with, and I still found the same beautiful striping and blending while knitting. And this is actually only the second sweater I ever knitted for my husband - the first being one I knitted during our very short courtship twenty years ago.

Hoboken Fourth Of July 2009

Thursday, July 02, 2009

What About NIxon?

We passed the Bendix Diner on our way up to play golf on Saturday, and I mentioned to Brendan that Richard Nixon was a big, big fan of the pork roll and egg sandwiches at the Bendix Diner, where he would go after he played golf.

Truth be told, not being a New Jersey native I think it was unlikely that Nixon liked the pork roll sandwiches, but he did live in New Jersey and he did sometimes eat at the Bendix Diner. Since Brendan - like Nixon! - is not from New Jersey, he naively wondered why Nixon would spend his last larcenous years in suburban NJ.

Why indeed:

New Jersey and Nixon: perfect together!