hanging out 

I'm sitting here with my new pal, Louise, trying to convince her she should get herself a blog. I've got a slice of the "best pizza in Paris" (says Louise) in my left hand and I'm typing with my right. Earlier we went to La Droguerie. I needed some cotton because my belle-mère wants an Anouk. I think I'm going to make it stripey. We're going to their house for the long weekend-Monday is All Saints' Day and is a public holiday. I'm hoping to get it done there. It's unlikely, but I can pretend. Here's what I bought:

In real life the middle one is more pinky, not red.
It was getting dark so the colors look funny.

I'm also knitting up a Lise hat because I'm finally writing up the silly pattern. I'm also probably going to rip out my entire Michelin man sweater, but I'll explain that in a later post so you all can give me your opinion. Louise is taking a lace making class. How insane is that?! No, not lace knitting, I'm talking about lace with all those little bobbin thingies... like Belgian lace. She's trying to convince me to take it too or to knit the Forest Path Stole I wanted to knit before... I'll think about it. I think I'd rather use my spare knitting time to learn to spin. Have a Happy Hallowe'en!


Under the microscope 

I typed out a whole lovely post ealier today. Then stupid internet explorer decided it was too brilliant and earth shattering to share with the whole world and I lost everything... So as a measly substitute, here's something I do sometimes when I make yarnovers. Maybe it will help you some time. Maybe it won't. When I was making my Baltic Sea Stole I wasn't really happy with the holes that were in the wiggly panels so I took some out. And then I wasn't really happy with the area above the holes. Sometimes it seemed like the yarnovers were making the stitches above them stretch out wider and then gradually go back to normal. I probably could have changed the way I was making my yarn over and that might have helped, but instead I worked a ktbl in the stitch above the yo in the next RS row. Here is a photo to illustrate my point:

Kind of looks like a close-up of some sort of...
thing inside your body or something.

So I actually think that this is pretty useful when you've got little buttons and you are just using a yo to make the hole. This keeps it a little firmer and... oh just try it...

I hope all of you out there are wonderful and happy. I have lots of projects going on and have to buy yarn tomorrow, so I should have some good stuff to show you then.

clarification: The yo was made in the RS row. Then I purled across the WS. Then the ktbl was done in the next RS row.


Hey Diddle Diddle 

Hey Knittle Purl-arf
Fiskars, Addis and a scarf
Of silk and wool called Clapotis
Little Kate wept
to see her things gone
And the sissors ran away with the addis

OK. My nursery rhyme sucks. I know. I'm a knitter not a poet. The point is CLAPOTIS IS MISSING.
So are 3 of my addis.
So are my eensy weensy Fiskars that are good for cutting little ends of yarn.
So are some of my Chibis (you know those tapestry needles?) but I can still find one, so I'm not terribly worried yet.

Why would this be?
Could it be that I am absent-minded? Maybe.
Could it be that I am not careful enough with my possessions? Perhaps.
Could it be that I am disorganized? Certainly.
Could it be that I would loose my nose if it weren't attached to my face? Most likely.
Could it be that my apartment is too darned small and too packed with stuff for each thing to have a place and everything to be in its place? Probably.
Would it be all of the above? Hell yes.

If you have any information about my lost objects, please call 1-800-555-KATE-LOSES-EVERYTHING.

UPDATE: Call off the dogs, the needles have been found! 20 minutes after I posted I found them. All three were together, huddled for warmth in one of my nicest bags. Moral of the story: Bitch and ye shall receive. (You didn't actually think I would have learned to put things where they belong, did you?)


Tam I am 

The Shadow Tam is done. I think it doesn't look as nice as the one in the magazine. I think I was supposed to work the repeat 8 times total but I can't find the magazine to verify that. I only worked 7 and I have a big, fat head and it fits...of course, I didn't bother to check my gauge so that could have something to do with it Shhh... don't tell. If I had worked 8, then it might have been more floppy and beret-like. You're supposed to cut out a piece of cardboard and block the hat on it. It would probably look better if I had done that too, but I didn't and I'm not sure if I will. This was more of a for fun and process project than for the finished result thing, so I wasn't really very concerned with the final hat. I used Phildar Laine/Cachemire (85% wool/15% cashmere). It feels really nice. I kind of wish I had used the red where the white is and the opposite. Then the hat would look more red, not white. Or I wish I had picked two colors that weren't so contrasted. I nearly picked an orange to go with the red, but they didn't seem contrasted enough. The orange was almost too red. Or maybe I should have used gray and white. Actually, it's not white. It's ivory... or cream. Oh well. Anyway, like I said, it was the process not the product.


Ribbons again 

A couple people have asked me for the method I used to make the pink ribbons so here are patterns. I just kind of made them up as I went along so maybe the instructions aren't too specific. I have no idea of the number I cast on, plus it depends on the yarn you are using. I hate turning so I decided to make the ribbons side to side rather than end to end.

Ribbon #1: Stockinette Stitch Ribbon
Using appropriately sized needles for the yarn have chosen start casting on with the long tail method. Cast on until it looks like it will be about 7 inches wide.
Row 1: Purl
Row 2: Knit
Repeat these rows until the ribbon measures about .75 inch then bind off your next row in pattern.

Ribbon #2: Seed Stitch Ribbon
Using appropriately sized needles for the yarn have chosen start casting on with the long tail method. Cast on until it looks like it will be about 7 inches wide. Have an odd number of sts on your needles
All rows: K1, *p1, k1, repeat from * until end.
Repeat these rows until the ribbon measures about .75 inch then bind off your next row in pattern.

Ribbon #3: 1x1 Rib Ribbon
Using appropriately sized needles for the yarn have chosen start casting on with the long tail method. Cast on until it looks like it will be about 7 inches wide. Have an even number of sts on your needles
All rows: *K1, p1, repeat from * until end.
Repeat these rows until the ribbon measures about .75 inch then bind off your next row in pattern.

Finishing: for all ribbons
Use one of your ends to secure the ribbons in the twisted form, then weave in your ends.

Super simple, no? I've also made some using my I-cord knitting machine. I really have to get those things in the mail. They've been ready for a week.

Other knitting news: I haven't had so much time to knit because I've been working a lot. The shadow tam is really addictive so I've been making that on the metro. It's 5/8 done. I'm unsure about the shaping of the armholes on the Michelin Man sweater so I might have to rip and do some other calculations. I'm still plodding along on my Denise needles.


Princess Tam Tam 

My friend Anne is French and has been knitting for 50 years, but she's rarely used a pattern and never one in English. She wanted to knit the shadow tam that was in the fall IK and needed my help translating it. I figured it would be easier to make it with her, rather than just looking at the pattern. Plus, I had never done any shadow knitting before. I probably never would have made this hat otherwise. It's kind of fun and the pattern seems complicated at first but it's actually pretty logical (which allowed me to quickly find 2 mistakes).

Here's the right side:

and the inside:

I think I almost like the inside better. I'm probably going to give it to my friend Monika because she told me she thought it was, "chouette" and that she needed a hat in the colors of the Polish flag.

Haven't gotten any further with the Michelin Man sweater. I'll probably take it to Paris Tricot tonight since it's mindless knitting. I'm looking forward to going because this is the first meeting in a while and I know at least one other American will be there, so that's cool. Sometimes you just need to talk to someone who knows who Mr Rogers is and what a cranberry tastes like - among other things.


Tube top for the Michelin Man 

Now it's a tubetop.

Yesterday I went to my friend's house and sat and knit and chatted. I knit one more ball and since then have started a third. I'm now at the tube top stage. Even with all of your reassurrances I am not 100% convinced that I love it. I like my pattern. The yarn... don't you think it's a little Michelin Man? It might end up giving the unflattering impression of lots of love handles. We'll see. If I hate it when it's done I'm not afraid of ripping it all out and making something else. I dearly wish that I could run off to my nearest addi retailer like clementine suggested in the comments yesterday, but unfortunately, I think my nearest addi supplier is in Germany. I didn't even have time to go get some INOX since I was at a meeting all day today. Then I went for my surprise birthday present from my frog. I got a facial and "soins de cheveux" but I decided to get a haircut instead of the soins. Not quite Jean Seberg, but getting close. Maybe I'll put up a photo later, but he made me a nice dinner so I am going to go eat!


Munch munch munch 

That's the sound of me eating my words

I am sitting here laughing at myself because I am in the middle of knitting a why bother sweater of sorts. I bought some yarn in Austria which I was expecting to be slightly variegated. It's not that at all. It's kind of like Phil'Onde. It starts as bright turquoise and gradually one of the plies turns darker and then another and another, then they turn back again. I can't imagine making a stitch pattern in it. I wanted to use decorative decreases. I'm not. So I am sitting here knitting a plain old stockinette stitch sweater (not like me) in a thicker wool (not like me) on size US10/6mm needles (not like me) in a yarn that in certain areas may be approaching the color teal (not like me-I hate teal with unreasonable passion) and besides, I'm knitting it for me (not very like me since besides my stole I haven't finished a project for myself in three and a half years). I'm just hoping that it all comes together to be a sweater for me. So far I'm not sure. So it looks like I'll have to eat my words from a couple weeks ago. On the other hand, the thing is, I would never knit this if the pattern was sitting in front of me in a magazine. The only reason I'm doing it is because I created the pattern myself. I'm going to do something nice with the neck. And maybe the sleeves. We'll see.

So far it looks like more of an obi than a sweater. If the color of the sweater turns out bright and clear overall, I will probably like it. If it looks dark and dingy or in the slightest bit teal I will hate it. Hopefully I'll know before I spend too much time on it. The yarn is Gedifra Fashion Trend Color. I really like the drape and I like the yarn, but I wish I could find my freaking addis. I'm knitting this with denises since I can't find my 6mm addis and don't seem to have any 6mm bamboos. I might have to go pick up some Inox or something today because, frankly, the Denises are making me nuts. I like them. I never lose them because I always put them back in the case, but they are not the needles for this yarn. It's dragging on the cord. It's catching on the connection. It's really, really aggravating. I'm sure I work at least 50% more quickly if I had some addis. grrr. That's what I get for being messy.


Things to participate in 

Sheila from My Threaded Bliss started The Great Pink Ribbon Project. People are donating knit or crocheted pink ribbons. She sells them in her store for $2 each and all of the profits go to breast cancer research. She needs more ribbons because even though she doesn't have 100 of them, she has already sold them and raised $250. You can send ribbons to:

Threaded Bliss Yarns
127 Franklin Road
Brentwood, TN 37027

Here are my first three:

I've also contributed a recipe for the Knitting Bloggers Cookbook. You can too. I submitted Tapenade de Tomates Confites, which is what the frog and I eat when we're feeling too lazy to cook. I make the tapenade ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. We get some prosciutto, fresh mozzarella and good bread and maybe a couple anti pasti from our local Italian specialties store and there's dinner.


Progress told me to kiss its butt 

You have a day where you do loads. You're all proud of yourself for what you've accomplished. You set a goal to keep accomplishing things and what happens? The gods or karma or whatever give you the finger. Yesterday I got pretty much nothing done. I went to work, so that's normal. Every time I go in there to just pick up a paper what should be a 5 minute visit turns into a 3 hour ordeal. To make up for yesterday's inertia I have to run like a mad woman today. I've only been up 2 and a half hours but I have already made a 19 page handout for nurses helping them deal with patients in English and detailing basic English tenses and grammar. I've also made a lot of muffins for said nurses and to bribe thank the secretary at the office for printing the aforementioned handout for me. Now I'm off to Phildar in the hopes that they have 5 buttons that I want since I bought the last of them a few weeks ago. Then I pick up the wedding photos from the photographer, go to work to pick up papers, give a class, photograph a model for a submission deadline (today-OUCH!), finish the instructions and that will pretty much take me until midnight. Then I will sleep and eat something if I haven't stuffed myself full of muffins. I'm off! Watch me go! Oh yeah. I should probably shower, shouldn't I. PS I was typing this while I was waiting for the last muffins to bake, so it was efficient to post, not a waste of time!



This is my new goal. To make progress every day. Whether it be 6 loads of laundry and a pot of chili (yesterday) or a project off the needles and being blocked (today). I would even settle for 2 loads of laundry or a project started.

So I'm not the most experienced knitter in the world. But I know some stuff and I figured that some of you might be more interested in the stuff I know than me rambling about melted candy corn. So I'm going to try to share some stuff I know. Maybe you already know my stuff too or more stuff than I do, but maybe you don't and it'll improve your knitting life (I can hope, can't I?). Plus I have to admit this will help me - when people email with questions about how to do things that I put in my patterns, the answer will already be ready. Next week (or relatively soon) I'll tell you how I cheat when I'm too lazy to do an invisible cast on, but first on the list is something more basic: raised increases. When I first started knitting I used to knit in the front and back of stitches all the time. I still do that sometimes. Then I really got into lifted increases. They were my favorite, but lately, I really like M1L left slant raised increase and M1R right slant raised increase. Here's how you work them on the knit side:

Right Slant Raised Increase

Using your left needle, pick up the top strand that goes between the needles from back to front.

Knit the loop you picked up through the front.

There it is.

Left Slant Raised Increase

Using your left needle, pick up the top strand that goes between the needles from fromt to back.

Knit the loop you picked up through the back.

There it is.

Mirrored Raised Increases

Work both around a central stitch to have mirrored increases.
Pretty, no?


I knit scarves 

I swore I wouldn't let angora back into my house. I guess I spoke too soon. It's back. It's shedding. I don't know if it's psychosomatic, but my throat is itchy. I guess I shouldn't buy a rabbit. I'm making Project Neck again. I can't show it to you because I'm going to submit it somewhere. You'll see it soon enough here if not elsewhere. I also fiddled around with the scarf for my mom. Here's my swatch:

It's the DB Silk Alpaca that I bought in Scotland. It seems really soft and nice, but I can already see that it won't stand up to a lot of ripping and maybe not even a lot of wear. First I thought cables! so I started making cables on both sides so it would be reversible. Then I got bored and started thinking about lace. So I took out the cables on one side and put a net-ish sort of lace in there. I'm still fiddling. Don't know what I'll end up doing. We'll see. Maybe I should go dig out that cabled lace pattern I was trying to design a while back and see if I can make it work the second time around. I know it's not the greatest photo in the world. I'll give you a better one as soon as I have something more worth showing.

In food news (did I ever tell you I love to cook?) I made excellent chili for dinner. The frog loved it. And now I'm snacking on this:

It's candy corn of course! But it didn't really enjoy the trip over to France, nor being forgotten in the bottom of my backpack, so now it's all melted together into one sort of candy corn blob. That's ok. I guess stuck together Halloween candy is better than no Halloween candy at all, but my favorite part of eating candy corn is eating the yellow, then the orange, then the white. Can't really do that now. And I'm not sure I'm really enjoying the taste. It seems to have picked up even more of a plasticky flavor than it usually has. Maybe no Halloween candy is better.


Back to school 

When I was in high school, I used to go to the sculpture room during lunch period, both to avoid lunchroom and in an attempt to use the potter's wheel in peace. Often my teacher would be in the class room and would spend all 42 minutes of his lunch frantically telling me how busy he was while drinking what must have been his 12th coffee of the day and therefore get absolutely nothing done. I'm afraid I'm turning into that. I've been a compulsive list maker for a while, but...

is this proof that I am unwell?

I can't sleep. It used to be that when I couldn't sleep I would clean like a maniac. Now my apartment is too far gone to bother, so I find myself doing quasi-productive stuff like making lists like this one that I stuck to the side of my bookcase and getting nothing done on that list. My list is even organized into separate, smaller lists. And it's only knitting related stuff, by the way.

Wow. It's already 6:30. Maybe I'll be nice and go buy my new husband fresh-baked bread for breakfast. Maybe I should make a list of what I want to buy before I go...


slow start 

I'm not on honeymoon yet. We were supposed to leave today but got held up by illness, crappy weather and lack of funds and definitive plans. Hopefully we'll be out of here tomorrow. No knitting to report. Lots of thinking about knitting, but no actual knitting. Here's the line-up for the coming months.
  • Finish all the silly patterns that have been sitting around half written.

  • Remake my black capelet turned sweater with the cables for the billionth time.

  • Find a way to use that alpaca I bought at la droguerie.

  • Make my butter capelet??? I'm not workingon it and my interest is waning.

  • Find a better commenting service since I keep ending up with stupid little ads that have nothing to do with my opinions or values (ex-gays?! republicans for kicking out immigrants?!) and can't seem to get rid of them. If anyone knows something better, please share.

  • My super-fantastic idea that I am too psyched about but think I really kind of need a dress form or a clone to do properly.

  • Return the purple Rowan polar I bought for my cousin's wedding or buy more to make something fantastic.

  • Make something with the turquoise-ish yarn I bought in Austria.

  • Scarf for mom in the DB silk alpaca.

  • That's quite a list. I better get crackin'. See you next week.

    Since I have nothing new to show you in the knitting department,
    here is my stole... and a full length view of my dress.



    Thanks for all your kind wishes!

    on the boat with our friends and family

    The lining of my dress is sticking out and you can't see the frog so well but I had to pick a photo where you could see the stole. We had a BLAST. I'll tell you more about it tomorrow because I have to go help friends pick out a good wine to take back to the states (as if I know anything about wine!).

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