Friday, October 31, 2008

Toddler knitting conversation

In between Trick-or-Treaters, I knitted a hat and supervised The Toddler's dinner. He noticed the hat and asked "Henry knit?"

Me: Yes, when you are a bigger boy, you can knit.

H: Henry knit!

Me: What will you knit?

H: Red yarn

Me: But what will you knit with the red yarn?

H: Red. Red Choo-Choos! Henry's yarn.

I leave you with The Reluctant Yoda. Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 24, 2008


I think I’ve been frogging more than knitting, so I don’t have much to share these days. I had a moment with myself and got real about my knitting basket and the number of WIPs in it. I ripped a few things that I had to admit weren’t going to be finished any time soon, including the lace ribbon scarf I agonized over the yarn choice at the beginning of the summer. Then I re-took my own measurements since my weight has been yo-yoing up and down this year and ripped out all, yes ALL, of my sweaters in progress to be reknit at my current size.

I do have one completed project to share, Jared Flood’s Turn-a-Square hat:

I have matching Turn-A-Square Elizabeth Zimmermann mitered mittens in progress, or at least I did until I realized this morning that I mixed up the order of the decreases.

It’s finally turned crisp and autumnal and I feel like knitting beautiful fall items. On a whim, I whipped out this Halloween-y Mitered Hanging Towel from the new Mason-Dixon book. It’s, uh, supposed to look like candy corn


I also have to start a baby gift for a dear friend who is having a girl next month. When I asked her if I could use non-superwash wool, she replied “I’m Polish. We launder well.” That’s music to a knitter’s ears.

This morning, The Toddler looked over at me as I ripped the mittens and said “Mama yarning!” Yarning indeed!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Meeting Jared Flood

On Friday, I took a Top-Down class with Jared Flood at Yarns Unlimited. Honestly, I didn't want to go and be all swoon-y and stalker fan-like, but I came home a bigger fan than ever. The beauty and simplicity of his photography shines through in his personality. He's actually kind of shy and nonassuming in a very charming way. I knew he was about 25 years old but I didn't know he'd been knitting seriously for only 4 or 5 years.

He was a patient and kind teacher. We learned two new cast-ons and he came around the class and helped people individually (HE TOUCHED MY HAND, OMG). His taste is impeccable. He passed around a sweater he'd done, a simple V-neck, rolled hem raglan, and it was gorgeous. The class was officially "knitting from the top down," but toward the end, people asked such good questions that it turned into a lovely lecture on seamless knitting as a whole. Everything was firmly grounded in Barbara Walker and Elizabeth Zimmerman, but he knew contemporary designers and offered a lot of information on how to adapt patterns.

Overall, it was lovely. I knew the Walker and Zimmerman stuff in theory but it was incredibly inspirational to see someone who clearly had a passion for that kind of knitting explain and demonstrate it.

Monday, October 06, 2008

The "books" part

It’s with a mixture of sadness and exhilaration that I write that the formal “books” part of my books, cats, yarn life has come to an end. At the risk of sounding trite, after a lot of soul-searching, I came to the decision to withdraw from my Ph.D. program. I am grateful for every single class I took, the exceptional lifelong friends I made, the amazing professors who taught me, and the joy of discovering my dissertation project (a subject that I will always love), but in the end, I do not think I am suited to follow an academic path. It’s exciting and scary at the same time to be at this point in my life, but I look forward to seeing what’s next.

Books will always be a great love, particularly now that I can read for pleasure without guilt! As for the yarn part, I’m increasing my hours at the store. I’ll be there most Tuesday afternoons, Friday during the day, and Saturday, with some other days sprinkled in there as needed. It’s a time of transition, and I have to admit, as much as I know that this is the right decision for me and my family, it is closing the door on something that used to be very important to me.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Say Cheese!

I have three somewhat substantial blog subjects floating around in my head, but for now, I'll condense them into three brief talking points. (Have I been watching too much cable news this election season? I just used talking points in a sentence.)

1. I finished the Big Boy version of the Super Natural Stripes sweater for The Toddler. He learned from Elmo's World that the thing to do when you see a camera is to say "CHEESE," so that's the only pose I can get him in these days. The yarn is Blue Sky Alpaca Organic and Dyed Cotton.

2. Here we go again with the MDK Crack. I am still very, very, very bitter that the moths got, of all things, my huge stash of dishcloth cotton, but I managed to salvage some of it. I'm feeling my loss in a big way, though, now that the new Mason-Dixon Knitting book is out, but I was able to come up with this. Miters and dishcloth cotton all in the same project! Woohoo!

3. I Tim Gunned my knitting basket. Did a lot of ripping and frogging. Looks like I'll be reknitting a lot of my sweater projects in a smaller size.