Friday, February 25, 2011


You probably know someone like my sister Lulu. She loves fashion and design and trends. If it's cool and hip and cute and handcrafted, she has either seen it, owns it,  or bought it professionally to sell in the  gift shop she runs. What to do for her birthday ?
Despite an iffy felting track  record, I decided  Bevy of Bangles was worthy.
If you know how to knit backwards,  the whole knitting part is effortless as well as mindless. Which is to say knitting strips  goes very well with The Wire.  The slate blue are Brown Sheep Lambs Pride worsted, the brown is Valley Yarns Berkshire worsted, and the white is Cascade Magnum, super bulky. The pattern calls for bulky but you know, whatevs. It's felted. Relax.
Before I started, I had my favorite kind of conversation with Archinknist , in which we deconstruct a pattern.  Why knit strips of stockinette, and 3 needle bind them off to form a circle pre-felting, rather than knitting iCord? We also considered knitting short tubes in the round, but realized that'd deprive the piece of its bangleness -  strips curl in upon themselves when felted.  So,  the white is a 3 stitch icord on size 15 needles, the others are strips 7 stitches wide on size us 10 needles. I knit loosely though, if you're keeping score.
Unfelted, I was laying bets on the icord to come out best , with the brown Berskshire least likely to bangle nicely. So wrong. The Valley Yarns Berkshire came out smoothest. This is why felting and I will never be BFFs. So unpredictable.
The wraps are crewel thread. I wanted to try some thin leather strips, or thick waxed linen but I was out of both. I may still yet with 2 leftover felted rounds. Epilogue: sister Lulu happy, felting faith rehabilitated, bangle gifting successful.

P.S. added 2/24 Since I posted this I discovered these  versions of the bangles. Love. (its a Ravelry link, I'm guessing you can access it, right?) Knit from Noro Kureyon, a yarn I have some scrappage of.  Also , MaryLou's comment that white yarn doesn't felt as well was news to me, and the icord approach is worth revisiting in a color. Looks like I may be back in the basement hovering over the washer again sometime soon.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


 I often find myself photographing at public schools. I'm almost always there because of  people and programs going on, and I love the subject of education.  But there is something about the settings that get me. Maybe because they're so timeless and often (economically) classless. I mean, look at the velvet curtain, the construction paper chains and winter decoration. This could be last week in Fair Haven , a working class  neighborhood of  Latino new immigrants in New Haven , or it could have been my elementary school, a few hundred miles and a couple, few decades um, lifetime, ago.

Thanks for all the blogiversary comments. This whole blogging scene, and the connections we make, and the things that happen next, are really truly amazing.

I thought I'd be showing you the finished Cobblestone sweater but you know that garter stitch yoke? A time (and yarn) gobbler. We've been on a bender of watching The Wire on DVD,  this week obsessed with Season 2.  So caught up in the plots and dialogue that I sometimes stop knitting to concentrate on the characters. I know ? Whats up with that? Unthinkable. But the sweater is  blocking now and so is another little project. FO's next post.
Meanwhile, play fair, OK?

Friday, February 11, 2011

six years and 455 posts

This week is my blogiversary.  My sixth. Pretty funny to go back to my first posts. Turns out I was talking about casting on a sweater for Dave,  I hadn't knit one for him in a while. Guess what ? The more things change, the more they stay the same. I'm still trying to get a sweater done for him. That's the yarn up above.
Only this year it's almost finished.
Each winter since 2005 I started a sweater for Dave, and each year it was abandoned by March and then frogged the following fall. This one was no exception; last winter I started a cabley manly sweater, only to find myself never wanting to pay the kind of attention it required to get the cables and textures right. This November I frogged the 12" completed and  cast on for a nice simple Cobblestone in the blue yarn. All was going smoothly.
Until I ran into these adorable indie dyers at Rhinebeck
Amy of Spunky Eclectic, David of Southern Cross Fibre and Adrian of Hello Yarn
and I knew I needed something hand dyed in the mix.  Actually I was coveting their hand dyed and handspun yarn. Is it not to love? Since I was conveniently at Rhinebeck , I picked up a skein from Potosi Sheep Farm to mix in the Cobblestone yoke. It should be finished, that's right,  finished, this weekend. 
When I started this blog I told no one. I thought it was kind of dorky and narcissistic. (Turns out it is kinda dorky and narcissistic but, well, whatever!)  I even purposefully used small photos shot with a crappy point & shoot,  to keep the blog separate from my professional work. Once I got over myself and mashed up the commercial and editorial work and the knitting world,  did a couple of books of the yarny nature, it all gelled pretty well.  
Which is a huge understatement, what I really mean is I have met (virtually and in real life, too)  more smart and funny and warm and interesting , not to mention talented and creative and thoroughly inspiring people because of this blog, I feel so lucky . Not to mention, it keeps me  from talking myself silly about knitting to an under- appreciative audience here at Testosterone Central home.
I could end with an artful photo of  delicate ice covered marsh grass, or snow on the beach against a steely sky but I'm really really really weary of seeing snow. How 'bout something juicy? 
Seattle trip with Gabe, festival, dorothy,  
Pike Place market, Seattle last June