Friday, December 18, 2009

What's With all this Technology?

So after being a techno-hermit for the past few years, steadfastly refusing to join things like Facebook, I completely flipped, not only joining but creating a Facebook Fan Page  (which has hit 100 fans, woohoo!),  joining Twitter  (which, incidentally can be linked to Facebook), and of course tweaking my Etsy store by setting it up for Google Analytics.  I don't think I'd ever done so much computer stuff ever!

Knitting and Crocheting are less often illiciting that raised eyebrow and "my grandmother used to do that" comment by mystified onlookers - It's definitely to do with the surge of young girls and boys who are proudly brandishing their knitting needles on the subway, on airplanes, in restaurants, and... hey, is that a glimpse of a yarn-and-needles tattoo I see?  And those grandmothers who knit?  They are all super-cool and trendy and many are jumping onto the techological bandwagon with as much verve as their younger counterparts.  Buying any yarn you want anywhere in any color online is so amazing (and so addictive it's killing my wallet and taking over precious apartment space). And the thousands upon thousands of patterns out there! My computer is bursting with all the patterns I've stored over the past few years.  Thank goodness for backups, because if I ever lost that stuff I would be royally p----d.

Here's a Steampunk Version of my Swirls Cap

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

of Turkeys and XOXO Boyfriend Hats

Still trying to get back into the swing of blogging, but in the meantime, some stuff I've been working on:

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  I brought this as part of a gift for the people who hosted Thanksgiving dinner this year:

It was a pretty fast knit, although I did have to add some single crochet edges and it needed a bit of blocking.  It might be fun to make a few of these in matching colors and join to make a tablecloth or runner, or even a kitchen towel.

I also can't believe there are almost 600 projects for my Swirls Cap!  I'm totally flabbergasted that it ever got this much interest!

Swirls Cap

I've also finally made my boyfriend a new hat for this year (seriously, he gets 1-2 new hats every year):

XOXO Boyfriend Hat

I made the first variation of this hat when I started knitting in 2001 (pre-Ravelry, pre-Blogging, Prehistoric, totally!)  I believe this was my 3rd or 4th project ever, after I had mastered the cabled hat in "Idiot's Guide to Knitting", which was my first ever knitting book.  I had also made a pair of matching fingerless mitts. They've been totally stretched and worn out of shape, almost to the point of felted, but here's a couple pics:

I had used some bulky Cherry Tree Hill wool from an annual sale they had... I think they sold through ebay back then, but am not sure if they still do... Anyway, as you can see, the elasticity did not hold up well over the years...which is why the newer version of the hat has more ribbing.  It's funny looking at my earlier knits, as I'm a lot more picky now about finishing techniques and the different types of increases/decreases I'll choose for a particular project.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Back from Hibernation

I'm really quite embarrassed that it has been over a year since I last blogged!  I don't really know how to explain my falling off the planet; I was starting to get burnt out on knitblogging, I was totally stressed out because the place where I work was threatening to not exist anymore (it's still sort of a cross-your-fingers-and-see sort of situation), then mix in the fact that Ravelry (wonderful though it is) became a surrogate blog-substitute, and well, poof!

Many apologies to those who wondered what became of me, and I will try to slowly get back into blog reading and posting once in a while...

What got me interested in coming back was a combination of knit/crochet designing and opening my own Etsy store (  The knitwear store was in response to the many requests I'd get from people asking me to make things for them.  Since I obviously can't sell stuff from other peoples' patterns, I had to come up with some designs of my own.  Then, a curious thing happened: I started getting messages from knitters and crocheters wanting to buy my patterns.  

(and soon at my Etsy store) 

Now, the other reason I wanted to blog again, unfortunately, is a vent:  I had some unpleasant experiences with this whole designing thing.  This cap was originally a free pattern.  Then some people decided to ignore my copyright and terms of usage and sold hats made from my patterns.  Although I was able to work things out with these people, I must say it's not a fun experience and I don't wish it on anyone!  I spent many hours on my patterns so people would enjoy making them for their own personal enjoyment.  I assumed people realized copyright laws prohibit things like people using your patterns to make things for sale, or that changing one or two things in a pattern does not give you the right to call it yours.  Most people do understand these things, but I was really surprised that there were people who didn't...  So... those of you who are excited about sharing your patterns with the world - be prepared for the occasional headache ;)

Nevertheless, I won't give up on designing so easily!  This is a sneak peek of a pattern I still have to write up (I don't use charts but feel other knitters might like to use them?)  Once I figure out how to do that this puppy should be up on my Ravelry store:

Climbing Leaves

(shown on left in Dream in Color Classy, and on the right in Karabella Aurora 8)

Well, I'm off to play an opera, so I must go and dig out some black clothes... and bring candy for intermission!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bon Voyage Hats!

It was recently suggested to me that I join Kristy's Quest, where as many hats as possible were to be knitted and crochetted so that Kristy could take them to orphanages in the Ukraine, where it's extremely cold and the indoor heating is pretty unreliable. The deadline was Sept. 5th, so I've been busy churning out hats like a maniac the last few weeks. I made 9 total.

4 basic crochetted hats (improvised pattern)

3 smaller crochetted hats (bottom center has a lining),
an improvised cable hat and an Elizabeth Zimmerman Maltese Hat.

...and then this one came about, but it was too small to send (baby size). So, I wrote out the pattern, and here it is:

Mini Muffin Hat

...and then I wanted an adult sized one, but a little different, and for self-striping yarn and I came up with:

Rook Hat
pictured hats made with Noro Kureyon (left) and SWTC Karaoke (right)
1. Free Ravelry Download
2. On my Free Patterns Page

...and finally, of course, I ended up wanting a matching, reversible scarf...

Rook Scarf

There is more knitting and crochetting going on that I can't blog about yet, and one more free pattern coming soon (crochetted newsboy cap)!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The winners are...

First of all, a big THANK YOU to everyone for participating in this little drawing. I loved reading all your comments about your favorite Mozart compositions; there were such varied and interesting responses!!! It made me hunt through my recordings to go listen to all of them!

FYI: When tallying up everyone's choices, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik was the most popular (hard to beat that piece), followed very closely by the Clarinet Concerto and Requiem. As for me, I do have multiple Mozart faves, but my current ones are Don Giovanni and Symphony #25 (which I get to play next week!)

Here is my oh-so-scientific selection approach... having the BF pull out 3 folded up pieces of paper stuffed in one of the first hats I ever knit. It happens to be the only hat the BF actually wears, despite the many other hats I've knit him since...

The names he pulled out were:

#1: EJ (for the Kaalund Lace)

#2: Miss Ewe from miss ewe knits (for the Regia 4-ply)

#3: Teri E. (for the Opal 6-ply)

Will the three of you lucky winners please email me your snail mail address to:

Thanks again everyone for playing along!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I was...

...burnt out, to put it simply...

I must admit, knitting and blogging just slipped away from me for a while. I feel bad that I let it get there, but with all the work and the auditions and the fact that I was crazy enough to take a Japanese class on top of everything else, I just needed a break.

I went on a vacation to Puerto Rico for a week:


Much revived and refreshed, the knitting mojo started flowing again:

Vine Flower Dress
by Anne Hanson of Knitspot

Yarn: Knitpicks Cotlin in "Moroccan Red"
Very soft yarn, except for little pokey wiry bits sticking out of the yarn. They softened with washing, but gave me a scare initially.

Circle Socks
by Anne Campbell

One of the few WIP's I've got going. I'm using yarn from Twisted. It stripes, but at different intervals, so no matching (took me a while to get over that). I like the yarn very much, but ever since Twisted started its own site, buying yarn from them has become a bit more challenging. They do a pre-order thing (which I'm not into), and an occasional "instant gratification" thing. Honestly, I have better luck scoring fabled Wollmeise.

Dream in Color Shrug

I'm using the colorway "Giant Peach" for this (like in the pattern pic), because I happened to have some in my stash. It's very soft, squishy, bouncy yarn that smells really nice. I'm knitting this shrug because the air conditioner keeps things at arctic temperatures where I work.

Lawrence of Arabia?/Fun with Earflaps
Maltese Fisheraman's Hat
by Elizabeth Zimmerman

I am obsessed with this hat. There is lots of potential for variation, it's ergonomic, and weird enough that I keep wanting to tweak the design. Yarn is a combo of some colorful Insubordiknit and Morehouse Bulky in colorway "Oatmeal".

Mods: I switched to the contrast color when you start the shaping for the earflaps, and switched back after knitting the "one full row". When you start the row that ends with CO 14 sts for the forehead, that should be back in the main color. I added more rounds of garter ridges for symmetry and hat depth, and slip stitched along the head for that "ridge". Also crocheted one row around the hat opening. I also decreased at a faster rate for a rounder top: when it should be K2tog (or P2tog), K10 around, I changed to K2tog, K4 around.

Chullo inspired Maltese

Here's another one, but this time I tried for some patterning at the top. It was improvised from some Peruvian wave designs I've seen. Earflaps were knit with some bulky hand dyed that I lost the label to, and the top was Misti Alpaca worsted that I used quadrupled. If I ever visit Minnesota, I'm taking this hat - it's that thick and warm.

Some kitchenalia knitting mojo kicked in as well. Here are some variations on the:

Mods: I cast on 41sts for a larger potholder, and lined them with felt for more heat protection.

These were pretty cute too, and super fast to crochet:

Yeah, I know, this is a totally photo-heavy post. But if you've made it this far, here's the...


It's Mozart season again! To enter, leave a comment telling me what your favorite piece by Mozart is! It can be an opera, symphony, chamber piece, concerto, whatever!

Prize#1: Kaalund Lace yarn hand dyed in Australia
100% kid mohair 460m colorway "Pawpaw"

Prize#2: Regia 4ply Crazy Color in colorway #5402

Prize#3: a huge skein of Opal 6ply in color #1714

Contest ends on Midnight, August 2nd, and the winners' names will be posted the next day. Good Luck!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Still Playing Catch-up

Since my return to NYC, I've been scrambling to find the time to catch my breath. First I took yet another audition (this was for a neighboring opera house to where I currently work): I did better this time, making it to the finals. There were 4 finalists in all, and between 250-300 people who took the audition from around the world, so I'm not feeling too bad about losing.

Taking auditions is definitely a marathon ordeal! Once you get there, there is a lot of sitting, waiting to be assigned a practice room, finishing your snacks and getting hungry, trying to stay focused while being surrounded by other auditioners, waiting for results between rounds... It's really exhausting, and it can take hours (the last day, I got out at 8pm. I had been there since 2pm, and was there the day before as well.)

After that was over, I thought, great, I'll have some free time now... and then I caught a nasty cold. I've finally gotten over the cold, and have been practicing like a madwoman for an upcoming chamber music concert.

The knitting has been sparse, but here is a pair of socks I knit for my mother as her get-well present after her knee replacement surgery. Thank you everyone for your kind words for my mom's recovery:

"Lotus" by Robyn Gallimore
yarn: 2 skeins Lorna's Laces in "Periwinkle"
mods: didn't like how the original cuff curled, so picked up stitches and added ribbing,
finishing with a tubular bind off.

closeup of the "lotus" stitch pattern

Well, otherwise, I missed my blogiversary (argh!), so I will be putting together a contest soon!

Not to be an enabler but Knitpicks is having their 40% off all books sale again!

Off to catch up on blog reading!