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"Knitting is very conducive to thought. It is nice to knit a while, put down the needles, write a while,
then take up the sock again." - Dorothy Day


Ah, the best laid plans...

About twenty minutes before I left to make the stole purchases, I got an e-mail from my Mom. The bride-to-be, her mother and grandmother, and my mom had all gone to buy The Dress on Saturday. The bride-to-be tried it on first, of course. And the moms didn't like it. Oh dear.

I gather there was much wringing of hands, and trying on of other dresses. Sadly, no decision was made. This weekend will involve more dress shopping, and hopefully a final decision.

Being a bride is hard.

So I'm holding off on making any purchases until a decision has been made. Mom has promised to keep me in the loop with as many pictures as she can get her hands on. The pattern search may begin anew after I see the dress, but that's OK. It's a wedding, and perfection is required.

In other news, I have been a busy, busy girl. Very little knitting has gone on for the last week or two. There is a four-day-weekend that starts in about 11 hours though, so there should be plenty of time to actually accomplish something I can post about.

I also got my Ravelry invite (I am yarnmule, of course)! Sadly, there hasn't been much time to play with that yet. I poked around enough to know that I will love. This. Site. That is, when I get time to play with it. Sadly, my four day weekend also involves a place with no internet access, so that too will wait until next week.

Did you ever notice that the end of summer tends to be the busiest time of the year?

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By George...

I think I've got it!

I searched the interwebs far and wide, and just couldn't come up with the perfect stole pattern. Everything out there seemed to have too many diagonal lines, and I was looking for something a little softer and curvier. I found a lot of triangular shawls that I loved, but having never knit a larger lace project, I didn't feel much like trying to convert a pattern.

So I went to my LYS, and I think I found it. What do you think? That link should bring you to the correct pattern, but if it doesn't it's the Estonian Garden Stole. I love the lily of the valley border, and the heart shaped main pattern. I would still prefer a less pointy edging, but frankly, I will probably never find anything better.

I picked out yarn too. Somehow I stumbled across this review, and I knew I had to have it. Wouldn't you know, a different LYS carries it, and has white in stock. I'm going on a little shopping spree after work on Wednesday. I do believe I'll need some bamboo needles in the appropriate size as well; using my aluminum circulars just seems like a tragedy waiting to happen.

I'm going to try to wait until this weekend to cast on. I know this is going to take a good deal of focus, especially at the beginning, and I'd like to be able to dedicate some solid hours to it at the beginning. But can I wait that long? Will the lure of cashmere & silk and lace (oh my!) break me? Quite possibly.


Wedding Stoles?

There's some extra joy for my family lately. My baby brother (who is most definitely not a baby) is getting married! We are almost as in love with his bride-to-be as he is; she's a wonderful woman, and they treat each other very well.

All this love deserves something special, so I've decided to make her a stole to wear over her wedding dress. They're getting married next September in Minnesota, so there is a distinct possibility that it will be cold outside. The weather doesn't mess around up there.

I'm looking for some inspiration. I have never knit a stole or a shawl, so I'm not too familiar with the patterns that are out there. Since I'm not quite on Ravelry yet (724 people to go!) I'm having trouble finding the perfect thing.

There are a very few requirements:

1) She wants a rectangular stole, not a triangular shawl.

2) I want this to be the most amazing thing anybody has ever laid eyes on. I have over a year to work on it, so time and effort should not be an issue.

3) It should be fairly large; her dress is strapless, so I do want it to be big enough that it will actually keep her arms warm if necessary.

So if anyone knows of beautiful stole patterns, please leave me a comment. There's a freezing cold bride out there that needs your help!


The Long Wait

Only 998 people ahead of me in line for Ravelry (yes, I jumped onto that boat pretty late). I'm thinking less than two weeks.

Insert Final Jeopardy theme song here.


Oh Duh

I've decided that the term "mindless knitting" should be abolished from my vocabulary. A stitch pattern might be mindless, and the thought required to actually accomplish said stitch pattern might be mindless, but the knitting itself? I need to stop being mindless about it.

Oh, do you sense an example coming on?

The last time we visited the latest pair of socks, they were about a dozen rows plus ribbing away from being completed. Those dozen rows were mindlessly knit, then the ribbing was mindlessly knit, then the bind-off was mindlessly accomplished. I gave the sock to BBMM so he could try it on. When next I glanced at him, he had THAT LOOK on his face. You know the look; it's the one that says "there's something wrong and I really really really don't want to be the one to tell you about it". I looked at his foot. The sock was on his foot. Not on his leg though, just on his foot. Stuck at the heel.

Lesson 1: When you notice that your stitch pattern doesn't stretch quite as much as a regular ribbing, you should pause and consider that instead of, you know, mindlessly knitting.

Lesson 2: When you are knitting a second pair of socks for the same person, using the same technique and the same yarn, you should really look back at what you did the first time.

Lesson 3: When every pair of socks you have knit in the last century needs to be ripped back to the heel because the leg is too tight, you really ought to have people try on their socks just after the heel. You should not wait until you have mindlessly knit 100 rounds and a bind-off.

Lesson 4: I don't learn my lessons very quickly.

So yes, I picked out the bind-off, I frogged, I tinked, and I ended up at the heel. I took out the size 1 needles. Here we go again; only 98 rows to go.

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I've realized that I am working on the most boring knitting ever. Just ribbing, ribbing, ribbing, all the time.

First up, the redo of the Lunch bag Sweater. I may have to change the name if it keeps going this well.

I've only got about 8 inches done; not quite enough to try on. Nonetheless, this one won't be a paper bag. The circumference is about 4 inches less than my bust when it's not stretched. It should be about perfect.

Next, BBMM's sock. Yep, it's still the first one. But it's nearly done; about 12 rows plus the ribbing left.

I really like the stitch pattern; Slipped Stitch Rib from (of course) Sensational Knitted Socks. It looks very much like a regular 3x3 rib, but with a little more dimension; the slipped knit stitches are a little "puffier" than the rest of the pattern. It also seems to be a little stretchier and sproingier than a regular rib. I like the contrast more than I thought I would too. It's a plain enough pattern that it needs a little interest, and the contrast color gives it.

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Stitch & Pitch

You may have read that NYC transit had some, er, issues yesterday***. Some rain that came too quickly and something about high tide, and there were basically no trains for most of the day. It was also about 95 degrees, with humidity. It's was like Grover's Bad, Awful Day, only we weren't Muppets.

But despite the lack of transit and the heat and the chaos of the day, Stitch & Pitch went on. Knitters persevere, don't they? And once we finally got there, everybody had a fun time.

Knitters doing what they do best:

Checking out the booty from the gift bags:

A bunch of people from my Wednesday night knitting group were there, although I didn't get pictures of all of them. Here's Elaine, my knitting guru, at the finish line of her Feather & Fan scarf:

She's, um, not so blurry in person. And Heidi, working on something lovely and lacy:

Lily Chin was there, wearing an outfit she apparently whipped up this weekend (!):

She also had a glove and baseball, which went over quite well with the little boys sitting behind me.

I worked on the latest BBMM sock a bit, but frankly, the wool didn't feel so nice in the heat. Mostly I watched a really good baseball game; the Mets won in exciting last-minute fashion.

This morning, I saw that we even got a write-up in the Times; you can see a much better picture of Lily, complete with accessories there.

This is the first year Stitch & pitch came to Shea; I'm already looking forward to next year.

***It shames me to link to the Post, it really does, but it's a pretty good overview.


More Fun Than Knitting?!

I did do some knitting this weekend, but not a tremendous amount. I've turned the heel on the first sock for BBMM; not particularly exciting or picture-worthy. I also re-started the Lunch Bag Sweater. I reduced by 16 stitches, removing a set of ribs (no, not THAT way) on either side of the center front and center back cables. I also took out 4 stitches just because I converted to the round instead of flat. I also realized that I knit much, much looser in ribbing than I do in stockinette, so I went down two needle sizes, from a 6 to a 4. I'm only about 8 rounds in, so it's not big enough to gauge size yet. We shall see...

Yep, that's all the knitting I did this weekend. One heel and 8 rounds of a sweater. It's unusual, I know, but I do have a very good reason.

Very difficult to knit in the back of a speeding boat. And too much fun to even try.

Coming up later this week, Stitch & Pitch! It's Wednesday night at Shea Stadium, and I'll be there. If anybody lets me post pictures of them I will. If not, gratuitous player butt shots!

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Bad Blogger

Is this thing on? Tap tap tap. Oh, hi.

It's been a while, hasn't it? Life appears to have gotten in the way of blogging. A couple of business trips and a long weekend conspired to keep me away for a while. Of course, that doesn't mean I haven't been knitting...

First up, another pair of socks for BBMM, making pretty fair progress.

Slip stitch rib from Sensational Knitted Socks, done in my usual toe-up short row everything manner. They look a little wierd laying flat, partly because the ribbing is super stretchy. I had two skeins of Patons Kroy in a colorway called Glencheck. BBMM liked the yarn, but we all know what happened last time I tried to make him socks with two skeins of this yarn. So I'm using the leftover from those socks for the toe, heel and cuff. That should buy me enough yardage to give him some decent length. Because men just don't love the ankle socks, know what I mean?

Next, the beginnings of the Bob Dobbs, from Domiknitrix, also for BBMM.

That's one skein of Patons Classic Wool so far. It got me about 6" in length. This moves very, very quickly when there's a movie to watch and mindless knitting is required. I haven't touched it for a while though. Worsted weight wool and 90 degree weather just don't mix in my book. But we tried it on, and it fits perfectly, so when I do get back to it at least I'm guaranteed some measure of success (knock on wood).

Moving along, hey, did I feel an itch?

This is what's left of the Lunch Bag Sweater. I unraveled it a week or so ago, then spent some time avoiding it like the plague. But I think it might be time to pick it back up. There will be some maths first, because I will not be doing this thrice. I suppose the math didn't help me last time, but I wasn't exactly precise about it either. Apparently the "oh it's close enough" approach is not really close enough. This time around, there will be a calculator and some stubbornness.

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