Showing posts with label rock island. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rock island. Show all posts

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Episode 35: The Do-Over

On the Needles:
Mel and I headed back to Turks and Caicos this past week, for a much needed re-do of our vacation from last summer (in which we got hit by Hurricane Irene). I worked on the Rock Island on the beach, using metal Hiya Hiya needles which were much better for knitting on a hot day since my hands didn't stick.

Not so much knitting since there was a lot of reading: I finished  The Emperor of All Maladies, The Paris Wife, The Winter Palace and currently working on The Knife of Never Letting Go which is for the A Playful Day Read-Along.

Spin Right Round:
Working on my Into the Whirled Ritual, which is a Romney braid. Getting better at drafting and no wrist pain! Taking breaks, stretches, Icy Hot is helping a lot as is figuring out how to position my drafting hand (my left hand) such that I don't have a claw hand and that my fingers don't tense.

Knitting Finds:
Leftie by Martina Behm (of Hitchhiker fame)
Maxwell Cardigan by Amy Christoffers - edgy and classic
Classic Wooly Toppers by Wooly Wormhead 
Baah Yarn - currently based in Southern California and slowly expanding. Credit given to Lisa, who informed me about this yarn, love the color.

Knitting Travels:
Great eats: Mango Reef (best Conch Fritters), da Conch Shack, Coco Bistro, Somewhere Cafe, Hemingway's
Earrings by Sheila Ludington (based at Paradise Arts owned by Brenda Ludington). Also check out Anna's Art Gallery.
Toured the reef and Iguana Cay with Island Vibes Tours.

Closing Song: "Feel the Same Way" by Poema via Noise Trade

PS. Photos of our trip to come soon!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Episode 18: The Double Whammy

Discovered a new podcast: Knit. Spin. Cake. Check it out on iTunes and her group is here.

On the Needles
Still working on the February Lady Sweater, but now at the garter stitch hem of the body. I see the end in sight! Last night I ordered buttons for the placket: English Script Fabric Covered button at Howbeadyful on Etsy.

I also ordered the Cabbage Rose buttons for my next sweater which is the Melrose Peacoat from New England Knits. That will be part of the Study Hall for the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup, which I have re-enrolled in so to speak.

This past weekend, my knitting was at a crisis point in terms of it being all over the apartment and being disorganized. So I dumped everything onto my desk from my WIP bin which I have not touched in months and reorganized everything.
I also tidied up my yarn vase as the yarn cakes just collapsed: I have this tall clear vase that I got when I received my wedding bouquet, which was resting on the top and I was wondering what to do with it. I have some Lantern Moon needles that I don't really use anymore but are too pretty to stick in the yarn towers so I wound up some coordinating skeins, chucked them in, stuck the needles through the yarn cakes and had room to fit in a spindle that I had lying around as well.

One project that I did rescue from the widespread knitting explosion was the Bramble Beret - almost done!

Off the Needles
I finished the Norie hat! But I clearly must have knitting brain fart because again, I introduced another "design element" - from rows 67-83, it says to repeat the rows of stockinette and the cat's paw lace for the final lace repeat. It's snug and very warm; loved knitting with handspun.

Knitting Finds
Terpsichore pattern by Kara Hoover inspired by the painting “Terpsichore: La Muse De La Danse.” Overall a clear pattern and well written. The one critique I do have is the initial photo of the project - it was a bit fuzzy so I couldn't see what the pattern was like and was unsure of it, but when I saw the other photos that are provided in the pattern which can also be seen by clicking on the projects tab on the pattern page then you get a better sense of the pattern in real life.

Pinterest has taken over my life. But the way that it relates to knitting is that for one many designers are on pinterest - the only one I have found so far is Stephen West and Arianne Caron-Lacoste of Falling Stitches - so you can see what inspires them and hopefully you.

But most importantly for now at least are these pins of color palettes created by Design Seeds. I also found some great ideas and things related to knitting, such as using plain wooden clothespins to hold and store extra scraps of yarn.

Knitting Travels
Last week Mel and I went to Turks and Caicos for a short holiday. We got hit by Irene. It affected our 2nd and 3rd day of the trip which were the only full days we had, though we did get out of the city and did get some sun and relaxed. We definitely plan on going back: Turks and Caicos is beautiful.
 I got a decent amount of knitting done - the lace edging of the Rock Island Shawl was perfect beach knitting. I did bring my February Lady Sweater on the plane with me and got a bunch of the body done on the flight down - and during the hurricane.
 If you ever go to Turks and Caicos, you must try 2 things: first, rum punch. The second thing is conch fritters which is the muscle from the conch shell and they make them into small deep fried balls and the restaurant at our resort served them with spicy mayo, tartar sauce, lemon and lime. I liked them best with the lime. We kept ordering them every chance we got b/c for sure this is one thing that we will never find in NYC.
On Thursday morning we were able to get some beach time in before our flight which was delayed so I worked on the Norie hat in the airport. However, Turks and Caicos follows the TSA rules here in the US - I saw signs from the TSA that had the website so I didn't have to deal with security asking what my knitting was. Then again, the airport which is very tiny, was so crowded, hot and hectic that I think knitting needles were the last thing on peoples' minds.

Overall though it was a lovely trip and a wonderful, low key place to visit - the people there are really nice. Hopefully to make up for Irene we are planning on going back over Easter break.

Then there was round two of Irene - hence the double whammy. NYC shut down the public transportation system and instituted mandatory evacuations for low-lying areas for the first time in history which was admittedly a bit freaky. Having seen what Irene did down in Turks and Caicos I was a bit concerned about up here. Thankfully, it wasn't that bad, but there was flooding in my area over by Astoria park and I keep seeing on the news whole towns upstate and in Vermont being washed away which is upsetting. I spent most of that weekend watching the news nonstop and knitting the Bramble Beret.

Swatch and Learn

While working on the Rock Island, I taught myself a trick of keeping track of how many repeats I did because I forgot my phone, which has the row counter. I have the KnitPicks magnetic chart holder, and used the medium sized magnet to keep track of what row I was on. I placed the smaller magnet to the right of the chart at row 1 - this indicated the first repeat I was working on.

I moved the smaller one as I completed repeats - the lace edge has 8 repeats and while i didnt make it to the 8th I did wonder as to what to do when I did reach the 8th and ran out of rows - the answer was to put the magnet on the left side of the chart. Granted, a pen and just ticking things off works as well too but since i Was at the beach, there were no pens to be had and I didn't drop one in my project bag.

In addition, as a result of working on the Bramble Beret, I finally figured out how to do the 2-1-2 left leaning cable, and created a tutorial.

Next week, Anna Hrachovec of Mochimochi Land will be at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio on September 8 doing a talk and book signing for her new book, Teeny Tiny Mochimochi - its by RSVP only so if you are interested, do call the store to see if you can still sign up. I will be there so do come up and say hi (I am still a bit shy).

Rhinebeck - it IS confirmed, I am definitely going on Saturday for more reasons than one but that will all be revealed by the end of October. So, I am still wondering if people are interested in a meet-up.
Do post ideas and thoughts in the thread for the festival.

Amy Christoffers of Savory Knitting (who designed the Larch and the Acer cardigans) is offering 100% of the proceeds from patterns sold from September 1 - 5 to the Vermont Farmer's NOFA Emergency Fund.

Still working on some of the details for the Knit the Queue-Along so we will start after Labor Day officially. In the meantime, go ahead and post any related chatter in the thread for the QAL.

Closing Song: "Sand in My Shoes" by Dido from Life for Rent

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Episode 16: Chicken and Rice

Off the Needles
Towards the end of my program, I was getting severe startitis. I also really really wanted to knit from my stash and just do something with my hands other than write fake lesson plans and write on chart paper during summer school. I needed a reprieve. How does one get a mental reprieve?

Well in my case its finally completing your first knitted FO from a Japanese pattern book, called "Favorite Aran Knits." I knitted cap #7 by Mariko Oka which I call my "Sea of Japan" hat - partially because it is a Japanese pattern, and partially because I knit this up in Fresh from the Cauldron Merino Silk Worsted in Poseidon which is a lovely blue-green sea color with a bit of shimmer.

Two things really helped me with this hat: I finally purchased "Clear and Simple Knitting Symbols" which had most of the cable stitches, but not all of them. However, the cable in the Bramble Beret from Vintage Modern Knits is the same one in Cap #7.

I also completed another Turn a Square for a classmate of mine who asked for one very nicely during the 6-day seminar that I attended immediately after teacher training.  In exchange, he bought me lunch. More specifically, Dominican Food. I never had Dominican before so I picked a basic chicken and rice platter at a place in Harlem near where our seminar was located. It was SO good.

But this experience begs the question: what do I do in the future if someone asks me for a knitted object? What do you guys think? Any tips for deflecting future requests?

On the Needles
I cast on for the Rock Island Shawl by Jared Flood. I want to have a few more shawls in my wardrobe and give the Traveling Woman a bit of a break. I cast on for the lace edge in Creatively Dyed Sami in Fresh and  Persimmon Tree Farms Piggy Toes SW and I saw this lovely forest/hunter green and sky blue yarn.

I worked on this mostly during a seminar I took the week after my program ended - it was mainly about how students have all different ways of learning and there are neurocognitive causes for that and the students have strengths and weaknesses in these certain areas, like memory and attention.

So why am I mentioning this? On the first day we did introductions - and as part of my introduction I mentioned that I am a knitter and participated in a cognitive study at Columbia University last fall which examined the link between doing repetitive tasks (such as doodling or knitting) and attention and retaining information.

I said this for mainly one reason: if I am going to sit in a chair for 6 hours for 6 days, I am going to knit. Otherwise I will go bonkers. So this was my way of politely declaring it and also asking for permission - I wanted to get a sense of what their reaction was - which was really positive!

The man in charge of the entire program for the NYC Department of Education talked to me about how his grandmother knitted and that there need to be more studies on the connection between memory/attention and knitting. One of the facilitators put down "Knit, sketch, purposeful movement" on our guidelines and norms for the week.

This experience reminded me of the Miss Manners article about knitting in public that came out a few weeks ago and fired up all over twitter.

Knitting Trainwrecks 
I did get the February Lady Sweater back on track - bit of an issue with the cast on of the 7 underarm stitches when separating for the sleeves. 

After I finished the Sea of Japan hat,  I casted on the Snapdragon Tam by Ysolda Teague.

However, last Sunday was a day of epic, epic, fail. Not just knitting trainwrecks, but life fail as well.

That Sunday, I am happily knitting along on my Snapdragon Tam and just about finished. I noticed it was coming along 2:45 - its a 20 minute walk to my yoga studio and I really wanted to go to a particular class at 3:30. So I race to complete the last two rows, cast off's too big. This time, it involved...FROGGING.

So that happened in the 5 minutes before I had to leave for yoga. To top it off, while walking to yoga, my flip flop broke. I missed yoga.

Spin Right Round
A very minor update here - of rather what did not happen during the Tour de Fleece. I was a part of Team Sasquatch and was off to a great start - I finished the first ounce of polwarth that I purchased from Gherkin's Bucket in the colorway Motley. Plus, I even got to spin while watching the actual Tour de France when they did the recaps that fourth of July weekend.

My goal was to spin at least 15 minutes a day - but what I didn't anticipate was feeling so tired during the course of my program that when I got home, I needed those 15 minutes either to sleep a bit more or do the assignments that I had to do and submit on time.

I am definitely going to finish up that braid and came to a realization - I really do enjoy spinning. But man is spinning on a spindle slow. I'm going to have to start saving up for the Lendrum, which I will be able to try again  at Rhinebeck! I am 90% definitely going for sure that October 15 (it will be 100% once I purchase the ticket).

If anyone else is going and will be around that Saturday, do let me know b/c I would love to plan a small meetup and get to meet you all.

Knitting Finds
I must be very strange because for the most part, a lot of the fall knitting patterns are not that appealing. This is why I didn't look at the new Twist Collective when it came out lest I be tempted, but overall this is actually a good thing - I can use most of this season to catch up on my queue and knit from my library.

Knitty First Fall: Double Heelix, Lingerie, Dragonwing, Bosnian (this last feature and pattern goes well as a companion piece to an article in Knitty from 2006 about the History of Knitting).

Twist Collective: Boundless, Evendim most of the Spirited Away section such as the Hawthorne Hat and Mitts, Sheepcote and Loure.

Twist also had some really great articles on seaming and the last wool mills in Ireland

People have been talking about Google+  lately and there are a lot of knitters on there which is another great way to network. There is also a knitter's database that is being compiled so that you can share your information and join in on the conversation.

Finally, I want to mention a blog called Falling Stitches, which is run by Ariane,  a French Canadian knitter living  Montréal. She has some great designs and one of my favorite things about her blog is the What's Hot on Ravelry Series.  Definitely want to knit one of this week's selections, called the Imogen Cowl.

Thanks for Listening!
Closing Song: "Big as the Sky" by A.M. 60
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